Chapter 1: Awakening
She stared at the crocus' tip incredulously, wondering how such a tiny thing could find the courage and power to fight its way through the still thick blanket of snow, when a warm hand grabbed hers and her rising gaze was caught by the sun's reflections in her companion's emerald eyes, speaking to her of the approaching spring, hope and - love.
Chapter 2: Worries
"It's … it's dead!" she cried out, slumped over the primrose's pot, "…the water! I forgot to water it! Jaime! How shall the baby ever survive, how can I ever…" - Jaime shook his head, smiling, then hurried over to his scared, hormonal, pregnant wife, hugged her tightly and assured her yet again that she'd be an amazing mother.
Chapter 3: Bliss
Brienne's eyes wandered from her book over to Jaime in growing frequency, her mouth opening involuntarily in total bewilderment, while he just lay beside her, arms slung around her, nose in her neck, not joking, not talking, not groping, not biting her, not doing anything to force a reaction - he simply lay there silently, and while 'asleep' or 'sudden death' were the only possible explanation for his behavior that came to her mind, she could still feel his smile and the movements of his eyelashes on her skin, leaving her puzzled.
Chapter 4: Coincidentally
Miss Tarth's voice on the phone made Jaime shiver happily as he particularized the tenth technical difficulty in one week to the Support Hotline's exciting new staff member.
Chapter 5: Perception
Brienne should feel regret or shame for having taken advantage of the obviously drunk Jaime Lannister, but she didn't: it had felt too right, and his caresses had brushed away her doubts and self-control quicker than it had taken her to groan out his name in one long breath - her train of thought was interrupted when she felt his hand on her hip, his breath in her neck, and heard him whisper "Stop overthinking, wench, or do I need to convince you again?"
Chapter 6: Interlude
Grinning broadly, Jaime caught his sword's blade in his golden hand's fingers, blocked Brienne's attack both-handedly, pushed their joined swords towards her head and up, kissed the surprised warrior and quickly retreated to a secure distance.
Chapter 7: Hunting
Humming joyfully he pinned yet another photograph to the carefully arranged collection on the wall, knowing that one day he would be able to explain the whole gamut of the color red using the example of his wife's blushes.
Chapter 8: Headstrong
"And then he stole my apple, and then I hit him on the head, and then he didn't fight back but started crying! - Daddy, he is WEAK!" his daughter exclaimed, her emotions changing from excitement to contempt, while Jaime started to consider whether Brienne's and his constant verbal and physical sparring was really the best example to set for their fierce 4-year old offspring.
Chapter 9: Bottomless
She snored silently, her left arm stretched behind her, her hair a mess, her shirt ridden up to show just the tiniest bit of pale skin, her long legs folded in a complicated way to fit into the limited space reserved for them - and Jaime Lannister couldn't help but fall for her even deeper.
Chapter 10: Spell
Since their daughter had been old enough to understand what Jaime's golden hand was for, it apparently had become her life's mission to create alternatives for him: Painted diapers (badly glued together), a fork and duct tape, a drawing of a hand on cardboard, an old sock of hers with added bunny ears... - Brienne had gotten used to a lot in these years, but couldn't stop herself from breaking into laughter when she became aware of Jaime, staring at her intensely, moving his newly fitted sparkling pink wand into her direction while forming silent words with his mouth, then suddenly grinning happily and addressing her: "The wand works! I love your laugh, Brienne."
Chapter 11: Tease
When Brienne looked up from her crime novel accusingly, Jaime smugly raised an eyebrow and did a lewd bottom-wiggle: "If you want that last page - come and get it!"
Chapter 12: Déjà vu
Horsebackriding felt as natural as if he had done it all his life, and while his son Tommen excitedly chatted with his chubby pony, nearly falling down its back while trying to feed it carrots and pet all of it, Jaime kept wondering whether he had seen their family vacation's tall, blonde tour guide before, admiring her strong, lean body from behind, when she suddenly turned her head to scowl at him with oddly familiar blue eyes, hitting him right in the heart.
Chapter 13: Persistence
There was no honor in hiding behind the bushes to watch the large female warrior do her morning routines with her sword, but Jaime needed every bit of knowledge of her fighting rhythms and techniques he could get in order to be able to beat her as soon as possible - and he needed to beat her, her words on this matter having been unmistakably clear in her narrations of the past, and seeing the determination in her eyes, admiring the elegant strength her muscular body was moving with, watching her sweat trickle down her forehead, her neck, her collar, further down to… until he felt his trousers tighten in the most uncomfortable of all places… just reminded him of the overall urgency of the matter.
Chapter 14: Alternatives
Bowing down her head and slumping her shoulders Brienne accepted her fate, the daily humiliation led by the forbidding female Lannister twin, head of the college's sorority, and her entourage, when she felt a hand clamp around her left arm and was forcefully pulled backwards into the closeby broom closet, right into the arms of the smirking male twin, the not less scary Jaime Lannister, even if she feared him for different reasons - "Wench! Nice of you to join me on such a short notice! I bet engaging with my mouth can bring you more joy than my sister's ever will. Care to try?"
Chapter 15: Impatience
With growing frustration Jaime attacked her right shoulder, putting all his one-handed strength into the blow, which Brienne blocked easily, stepped aside, let his sword's blade glide down the blade of hers, and, bringing her left foot diagonally behind her right one, swung her sword to his throat in an effortless circle, stopping when it touched his skin, scowling "Jaime, you know better than this!"
Chapter 16: Storm
Her smile had always been rare, but illuminating her whole face, letting her eyes light up in a way he imagined the sea around Tarth to look like on a clear summer day, no clouds on the horizon, just a small breeze, blowing away all his thoughts and sorrows, wanting to kiss the mouth that produced it, to enhance the smile, to deepen it, to embrace her, to feel her … just that this time a trickle of red ran from her lips in a stark contrast to her pale skin, she shivered in his arms, and her last smile was blurry through the tears in his eyes when she repeated his words in a low whisper, "I am yours and you are mine", before she closed her eyes forever.
Chapter 17: Concerted
After spontaneously crashing on his brother's sofa the previous night Tyrion woke up to a heated discussion in the kitchen; sneaking closer he found Jaime and his flatmate Brienne eating breakfast, obviously in disagreement over an article in the "Politics" section of the newspaper, their rhythms of pouring coffee, adding milk, cutting and buttering bread, sharing fried egg, handing the salt shaker to and fro while dismantling each other's arguments a practiced and obviously familiar three-handed routine.
Chapter 18: Legendary
'Since when does the lion concern himself with the wellbeing of cats?' Jaime thought irritatedly when Lady Dots attacked his toe through the blanket, but his daughter's joyful giggles and the smile in his wife's eyes made him bear the pain like a hero.
Chapter 19: Conflicting
With a grunt she pulled Oathkeeper out of her opponent's throat, took a deep breath and quickly glanced over the battlefield, but there was neither time for hesitation nor to mourn the dead - she'd cry later, if she survived.
Chapter 20: Endurance
Brienne had no idea which madness had ridden her to accept his challenge to arm wrestle, but after half an hour of pressing, pushing and enduring his commentary about her freckles, manly strength and mulishness she raised her gaze to glare at her opponent, the smirking Jaime Lannister, just to have him shout out: "That's cheating! She's trying to distract me!"
Chapter 21: Paralyzed
- as this collection started very fluffy, I'll add this warning sign for anything that includes heavier (and heaviest) angst, violence, death(s) and whatever else may cross this collection's path. Due to the shortness of the pieces and not wanting to spoil everything for those who decide to read nonetheless I won't state what I'm warning for. Just... be warned.
It took her a moment to realize where her unease fighting this particular wight came from as his features were blurred by rot and his clothes nearly unrecognizable, but when she did she froze in horror, unable to lift Oathkeeper against what was left of him.
Chapter 22: Quiet
Brienne lay on her horse's back, gazing up into the nightly sky while her mare's steps rhythmically rocked her body; "Do you think we will be able to cope with peace?" Jaime had asked her once, and now, several years of unrest, jumpiness, nightmares and having to learn to trust later, in this very night, Brienne was finally tempted to answer "yes".
Chapter 23: Solitude
Having returned to bed from a nightly tour to the bathroom, Jaime lay down next to The Holy Tri-curli-ty (Lady Dots in the middle, his daughter rolled around her, framed by Brienne) and felt weirdly left out - until Brienne turned her head, smiled at him sleepily and took his arm, pulling him closer.
Chapter 24: Reunion
The setting sun was catching in Cersei's hair, letting it glow like spun gold, her dress was highlighting her slim waist and revealed more than it hid, but Jaime barely noticed her approach when he discovered Brienne in the ranks of the people present, looking him straight in the eye.
Chapter 25: Solitude II
Returning from a nightly tour to the bathroom, Jaime woefully saw himself faced with his wife lying diagonally, her arms sprawled to the sides, their daughter stretched out to her feet, head protruding under the wrong end of the blanket, Lady Dots curled up on his pillow, snoring lightly, and decided that he'd buy a bigger bed first thing in the morning.
Chapter 26: Commitment
He had never caressed calmly, exploring every freckle, every taste, every moan; she had never known devotion, never trusted, never desired; but together they learned.
Chapter 27: Nightly
When Lionfist, her annoying opponent in many heated discussions at mySwords.west, asked her for a date, Brienne considered it to be one of his crueler quips, despite the fluttering sensation in her chest.
Chapter 28: Cookery
Happy JAB June!
Watching how Brienne peeled the bananas, chopped them with strong strokes, pushed the slices into the frying pan and smiled contently as the heat transformed the pieces into a sweet grey mass, Jaime gulped and protectively crossed his legs.
Chapter 29: Solitude III
As JAB June is around and I have no clue how to rate properly (what to rate, how strictly, etc...) I changed the rating to M, just to be on the safe side. I might use the freedom this gives me - or not ;-)
If he glued them to their places, or at least their blankets, or rather sewed to make for easier washing, or bought a massive bedstead to which he could chain them … chain Brienne … and then … - Jaime's thoughts drifted towards an unexpected direction and he quickly left for another nightly tour to the bathroom.
Chapter 30: Hunger
Brienne's tongue was wetting her lips and she hummed lowly in anticipation, stretching her well-toned body over his' to read the drive-through's menu, while Jaime reconsidered his appetites.
Chapter 31: Sunset
They were an island in a sea of wights, standing back to back, shattering the endless waves of undead creatures trying to flood them, perpetually washing their strength away, when Brienne, feeling that they lost their footing, took a final plunge: "I am yours."
Chapter 32: Solitude IV
Uncovered limbs everywhere, no space, no space, tangled blankets, legs and arms and heads wherever he looked, body-shaped bulks, there was no space, no air, he had difficulties breathing, it was hot, so hot, he just wanted a space, he mustn't sleep alone, he was so tired, he - awoke with a start, realising he wasn't returning from a nightly tour to the bathroom but had had a nightmare; exhaling in relief Jaime realised he needed to pee.
Chapter 33: Rescue
"How did you know that you love dad?", their daughter asked one day; "Who is he, how long have you known each other, is he worthy of you?" Jaime interrupted, suddenly looming over the girl, and Brienne sighed with relief, just to find Jaime's amused gaze on her, mouthing "You owe me", before he turned to frown at their daughter once more, continuing his interrogation.
Chapter 34: Nightmare
He tried to run, grabbing for Brienne's arm, but the giant beast of a dragon was quicker and Jaime felt, through a blaze of pain, his consciousness fade away … and awoke coughing, on the floor, fighting for air, sweating heavily, in a white room, to eerily white light and a white woman approaching him, baring her teeth in an attempt to smile and addressing him in an artificial cheery voice "Mr. Lannister, how are we today? Did you dream of dragons and that woman again? Ah yes, I see, I will tell Dr. Qyburn… Now be good and take these pills - yes, that is your right hand, make use of it! If you behave you will be allowed to make a small round in the courtyard later, but before that we will take another little nap to calm down…" and with a needle's prick the world went black again.
Chapter 35: Sunbathe
I'm gonna be abroad during the next days, working pretty much 24/7. I'll try to find internet and keep the updating schedule, but can't promise anything.
"Do you see the lion here? And look, here he hunts, and there's a monster, coming to hurt him, but there's a fierce maiden to protect him, and if you look further down" - Brienne slapped at his hand that was following her freckles well under her bikini pant, and turned to him and their awed daughter, her face showing the familiar mixture of scowl, smile and blush that Jaime loved about his wife.
Chapter 36: Solitude V
Returning from a nightly tour to the bathroom, Jaime lifted the blanket, jumped to the middle of the bed, took the second blanket, built a pile of pillows, spread his limbs, moved in a 360° circle without getting up, buried himself under everything he could find in the bed and finally lay still, exhaling loudly, missing his family that had already started their vacation on Tarth, while he had to attend one more important meeting in King's Landing before he could follow them.
Chapter 37: Keepsakes
Many years ago her mother had sewn Brienne a doll, a beautiful, delicate creature in a rose-colored dress, that, despite Brienne's growing stature and strength, survived her sisters, her mother, her brother, her dreams to, one day, become a fair and just lady, married to a handsome lord… - the only memento from her youth to outlive the doll, which she had burned the day she had left Tarth and her assumed future behind, was her maidenhead.
Chapter 38: Adrift
She stared at him unblinkingly, following his every move with her eyes, sitting very straight, the tip of her tail beating a steady rhythm on the floor, until Jaime, feeling increasingly uncomfortable, gave up: "What!?" he demanded to know, got an indignant "Meeeeeeeeehw" for an answer, and wished for the umptienth time that he had listened more closely when introduced to their new pet's wants and needs, or, even better, asked for a written manual.
Chapter 39: Wicked
She parried Jaime's blow in front of her right shoulder while stepping closer to him, her sword's tip pointing down, released her right hand's grip from her sword, caught his left hand and sword's hilt between her arm and upper body and was about to knock her sword's pommel into his face, blocking his golden hand with her elbow, when she sensed his fingers move at her breast and froze, blushing, while he quickly took a step behind her right foot, rammed his hip into hers and, enforced by his right arm, sent her flying to the ground, smirking down at her, eyes sparkling with mischief.
Chapter 40: Volition
Letting his gaze wander, the red of a weirwood tree caught his eye and, for a moment, Jaime hesitated, considered the possibility of… but, forcefully, pushed the idea far from his mind, his heart, being aware of the battles that lay ahead of them and knowing, realistically, that he might … that if he… he didn't want her bound to eternal loneliness, just because of keeping yet another dooming vow.
Chapter 41: Nightmare II
Brienne awoke in a white room to a world that consisted of pain, not knowing who she was, where she was or where the knowledge that she needed to get out of here came from - she just knew it, also that dragons, pills and syringes were dangerous, that she was missing something, someone?, - she was tied to the bed … table … stretcher…, something was attached to her head, she couldn't move she couldn't move she couldn't move, panic clouded her mind, she felt vomit rise up - she became aware of surveillance cameras, directed at her, making buzzing noises as they zoomed in and out, a reflection in their lenses: herself! - she blacked out.
Chapter 42: Promise
A second update today, because I hadn't realized the amount of angst December and I combined would throw at you today. Take this fluff. It's the fluffiest I could come up with on such a short notice.
His eyes, the expression in them that morning, when she, with a leap of courage, had finally used the test, the humiliating procedure of trying to not hit her own hand, blushing because he had refused to let her do it alone, holding her other hand - his eyes, after he had seen the result, before she had even dared to look at it - his eyes… she'd always remember that moment, his expression, the spark of joy, life and love in them… she had known, without looking at the result herself, just from seeing his eyes, and she was happy.
Chapter 43: Arrangement
There was the usual murmur around them on the dancefloor, but Brienne didn't care: She was taller, she was stronger, she was the thinker and - as Jaime claimed - notoriously stubborn, so it was only logical that she'd take the lead.
Chapter 44: Celebration
Happy JBO Boardiversary!
This goes out to Mikki and all the other amazing people over there!
I've only been part of the community for the last half year, but I wouldn't want to miss it anymore.
(And yeah - this piece is totally out of my comfort zone, but the content appeared to be adequate.)
When she entered their flat Jaime practically jumped her, dragged her to the kitchen, swiftly unclothed both of them, pushed her onto the table, kissing her intensely to prevent her from questioning any of his actions - until much later, when he, smirking, replied: "Do you know fanfiction? I read something we needed to try…"
Chapter 45: Missile
Brienne chewed on a forkful of salad, swallowed and exploded into a coughing fit, fighting for air, feeling her eyes water - when a strong hand hit her back and her sore windpipe released the culprit, a medium roasted crouton, which flew in a flawless bow to the neighboring table, hitting a toddler on her head who started to wail in surprise - "You're dangerous!" Jaime exclaimed in awe, leaning closer to her, spellbound, while Brienne, flushed beet red, wanted nothing more than to be swallowed up by the earth, disappear into thin air, shrivel up and never ever ever ever! go on a first date again.
Chapter 46: Importance
One day Jaime noticed that his wife's laughing wrinkles had become deeper than her frowning ones and considered it to be the biggest success of his life.
Chapter 47: Solitude VI
After having returned from a nightly tour to the bathroom, Jaime, as agreed, woke up Brienne silently, both of them tiptoed out of the room, firmly closed the door behind them, sneaked to the living-room sofa, got rid of their clothes quickly and were letting their hands and mouths roam over each other's body passionately, feeling and tasting what they had missed and desired so many days and nights in a row, savoring the precious moment alone, when they heard a muffled voice through the door, "Ma? Dad? Are you there?", and froze in the motion, locking eyes in resignated longing.
Chapter 48: Meditation
I'll spend the weekend traveling once more and unfortunately can't promise to post on schedule.
As a child Brienne had loved to stare at the sea, listen to its murmur, calm down in face of the waves that were glistening in the light … as Oathkeeper's texture was, reminding her of water flowing over the steel's surface, capturing and soothing her thoughts - despite the blade's deathly purpose.
Chapter 49: Inducement
"Brienne, wear this tonight, please" was written on a piece of parchment, pinned to a blue tunic, hems embroidered with suns and crescents on red ground, the garment hugging her shape in all the right places while still leaving her enough room to move freely - but what confused her more than the perfect fit or the golden lions that she, on second glance, discovered hidden among her sigil's signs, was the usage of her name and the word "please".
Chapter 50: Everything
Fencing was when he felt the most alive - until he met her, whose empathy, courage and quest for honor made his heart sing, whose shyness, curiousity and desire made his skin tingle, whose calloused hands, strength and stamina made him cry out in lust, whose voice, smile and eyes made him believe in love.
Chapter 51: Faith
"Do you believe in the Seven?" she asked, nervous in face of the approaching battle, when Jaime turned towards her, looked at her silently and finally answered: "No. But I believe in you."
Chapter 52: Heritage
The door to the sparring room opened and closed silently, a small person sneaked in unnoticed, startling both of her parents out of their concentrated grappling by stomping her foot onto the ground and announcing loudly "Me want, too!", a stubborn expression on her face that Jaime knew only too well.
Chapter 53: Heritage II
"Your giant just threw me to the ground!" Jaime whined, limping from the sparring room, eliciting a smile out of his wife: "You earned it. And don't forget that she's your giant, too!"
Chapter 54: Heritage III
I'm sorry for the irregular updates. Aside from traveling/working way too much I'm currently spending a lot of time on "Old Gods and the New" and another new project. I might update these one-sentence fics less regularly in the future, to have more time for other stories. I love the "Moments", so I'm torn. But... However it might turn out, you've been warned :-)
Their giant sat at her desk, head sunk onto the paperwork, arms crossed over her neck, groaning loudly: "Ma, Dad, you birthed me into the wrong century! If I had lived during medieval times I'd be a famous knight, ride a huge horse, rescue the innocent, kill everyone that calls me ugly or dumb, and never ever have to do homework again!"
Chapter 55: Honor-bound
"Annoy me and you'll feel my Honor!", "Eat my Honor!" and "My Honor and me will never be separated!" were commonly heard exclamations in the kindergarten's yard once Jaime Lannister had learned that all the best swords had names - even years later Brienne of Tarth was the only one he trusted to appreciate, protect and hold his honor.
Chapter 56: Gone
The door closed from the outside and Jaime, standing in the hallway, tense, jaw clenched, silently counted from 10 downwards, until, at 3, he heard the sound of her steps in the staircase disappear through the entrance door - "Fuck!!" he bellowed, punched the wall with his fist and wondered, whether he'd ever be able to make things right with her.
Chapter 57: Reflection
Brienne had shied away from mirrors whenever the two of them were together, avoiding the stark contrast between her own ugliness and his beauty, still uncertain whether a man like him could really want to be with a woman like her - until Jaime had redecorated his bedroom with a multitude of mirrors and spent a weekend making sure she saw all of him, his love, his appreciation, his lust, when mapping her body meticulously.
Chapter 58: Past
Considering I've been sticking to one-sentence fics until now: Yeah, I'm cheating.
Stickers of famous fencers on the door, "Renly <3" engraved in the wooden beam, soot stains created by years of candle light too close to the roof slope, lighter imprints on the wall, where photographs of her mother, her brother, her sisters, a group picture of her family had hung - Jaime and her had just carried the last boxes out of her late father's house, her childhood home, but it still didn't feel empty to her.
(She didn't notice she was crying until she felt Jaime hugging her.)
Chapter 59: Tradition
After last time's cheating there's probably no use in trying to hide it's no one-sentence fic this time...
Their daughter had drawn onto the window's glass. Brienne's anger had been huge, her daughter's wailing massive, while Jaime had pretended to be invisible (and succeeded, for the moment). The permanent marker withstood all kinds of polish, and in the end they had to live with the roaring dragons and mighty, sworded knights.
"Come here" Jaime called out softly. Brienne approached, frowning. Jaime had put an armchair under the window and was half sitting, half lying in it. He made some space, then patted the cushion. "Come."
Brienne approached warily. "What…"
"Just come" Jaime insisted, smiling. "You'll see."
Brienne sat down slowly, feeling Jaime's arm find its place around her shoulder, drawing her closer.
Sighing, she gave in. "So what now?" she mumbled, her head placed on his shoulder.
It took her some time, looking out of the window, trying to see what Jaime had deemed so important. And then she saw.
The knights were standing on a huge white hill, opening its mouth to devour them, while the dragons breathed cloudy smoke down on them. The setting sun bathed the situation in eerie light.
The corners of Brienne's eyes crinkled, her mouth softened into a smile, her whole face lit up.
"Tell me their story" she whispered, snuggling even closer.
That first time was followed by many more celestial stories. Of wild chases. Of an abyss, parting mankind from the realms of magic. Of the end of the world. Of its beginning.
Even years later Brienne still felt the urge to rush home whenever the sky looked especially spectacular, eager to hear yet another tale of their warriors and the various other creatures they had drawn over time.
Chapter 60: Protection
This is a reaction to december13's Chapter 91 of "All the Small Things": "First, Do No Harm". For context I posted her piece at the top.
(I originally had planned to post something different, but after staring at the text document way too long, creating stuff I don't necessarily like, I finally give up for today.)
"You touch her again, and I will rip your head off!"
"Jaime, calm down, please. Take a seat."
"Calm down? Calm down?! He just hit our daughter and you're asking me to calm down?! I should go up there and teach that boy some manners."
"For the love of all Seven, Jaime, it's a school play. He didn't really harm her and... and, look, she's waving to you!"
"Daddy, I couldn't wave earlier, I had to act!"
"But ... What good is a signal if you don't use it? You promised you'd let me know if you weren't in real danger after that last time! The neighbors just started speaking to me again! How am I supposed to know..."
"Dad, really! That guy is weak! I threw him into the bushes when he bragged about hitting me to his friends. Ma and you taught me plenty!"
Jaime wasn't sure whether he should be proud or scared. He still didn't feel ready for the scares of fatherhood, even after all these years.
Chapter 61: Memories
Instead of keeping a diary, Brienne had spent huge parts of her childhood whispering her thoughts and secrets to a stone: looking at the sky, being surrounded by wild flowers and insects, imagining replies, smiles and hugs, while gradually forgetting what the woman whose grave she was lying on, her mother, had looked, felt, smelled and sounded like.
Chapter 62: Correlation
One day Jaime had found their daughter sitting at his sleeping wife's side, a map of star constellations spread on the ground, staring at her freckled skin intently - it was the beginning of a mutually loved family tradition of "looking at the stars", which Brienne, despite being the center of it, never noticed.
Chapter 63: Solitude VII
After a nightly tour to the bathroom, Jaime found his wife laying awake, looking at the empty space, sighing, and knew exactly, how she felt - time passed by so quickly, and things changed even quicker … and changes sometimes were chances, he decided, leaned over and kissed her passionately.
Chapter 64: Frisky
Brienne stepped closer, parried Jaime's low strike with a similar blow, quickly grabbed his sword's pommel, used her blade to push his' upwards, effectively winding the sword out of his hands - and answered his scowl with the most diffident of larking smiles.
Chapter 65: Awareness
Second piece inspired by december13's All the Small Things, Chapter 104. (The title's totally stolen!)
She wakes up in his arms - sharing a bed a measure taken to keep warm -, her skin tingling where their bodies touch, and she carefully walks her mind through all these places, storing the memory of him, how he feels, how he smells, deep down in her heart, as every day at the Wall can be their last.
Chapter 66: Bronnus Ex Machina
Crack!fic based on S7X03. Prompt was: "(...) and even bigger bat for him to be clubbed on the head with..."
Exiting Lady Olenna's chamber, Jaime still couldn't get rid of the image of the wineglass in his mind. Both glasses, to be precise. The one he consciously hadn't emptied, forcing himself to endure the encounter clear-headedly. The other he wished he had - a sharp pain exploded in his head, he tumbled over. The world went black when he hit the ground.
Sighing, Bronn checked his sword's crossguard for blood, sheathed it, and started the laborious task of dragging the unconscious man out of view.
Jaime awoke to a sharp headache. He was tied on a horse that was in full movement. His head and all the body parts he could feel were covered by something that appeared to be rags, or old wheat bags. The cloth blocked his view. He tried to move, but even his arms were secured to the horse. He heard a sigh, then he felt another blow to his head.
Bronn scowled. He should have thought this through more thoroughly, to not endanger Jaime Lannister's health more than necessary. On the other hand he had deemed it necessary to act quickly when the opportunity arose. He couldn't watch this man's misery one more day, not when it was him he depended on to finally receive his payment. He could deal with a depressed Lannister, had done so long enough. But a dead one, no matter whether killed by an enemy's or his own hands, wouldn't be able to pay his debt. Additionally, it had been a pain in the ass to see him wither away.
Bronn simply had to hope that he wouldn't inflict any lasting harm on the man who was his last chance at ever owning his own lands and a castle.
Jaime's head was throbbing, his throat dry, the horse's steady rhythm made him feel dizzy. He groaned. His horse came to a halt, someone approached him, the cloth covering his head was soaked with water. He sucked it greedily.
He heard someone huff, before a piece of bread was threaded through the several layers of cloth he was covered with. The smell was better than anything he could remember. Not caring about dignity he chased the piece, gotten caught in the fabric's roughness, with his teeth and tongue. More water ended the meal. Before he could say anything he was gagged.
The gag had been an excellent idea! No more health problems, but still no noises! Bronn was about to whistle contentedly but stopped himself just in time. If he revealed himself he could end up on the wrong end of "A Lannister always pays his debts" quicker than he was able to run. His payment depended entirely on secrecy and - honor.
Jaime awoke with a start, still tied to the horse, still not seeing anything. He imagined to hear a low "Sorry", before he was knocked unconscious a last time.
"A delivery for the Lady Brienne of Tarth!" Bronn announced loudly.
The guards' crossbows were aimed at him. Neither them nor their commander appeared to deem him the trustworthy kind of traveler. He couldn't blame them.
"And who are you?"
"An underpaid delivery boy! Tell the Lady that she forgot something at Riverrun. This is hers, and will always be hers!"
Maybe his eavesdropping would finally pay off and lure the Lady out of Winterfell's gates.
A gust of wind tickled Jaime's senses, and the feeling that he was being watched. He was lying, and the cloth covering him had been removed.
When he opened his eyes his gaze was met by a sapphire blue one.
Chapter 67: Capitulation
Everything had started with an argument about who was 'worthy' enough to get the last cereal bar. Discussions had been heated, the packaging had suffered, their friendship had been called into question. The race to the other end of the hallway had shattered the coatrack, but brought no result. The push-up match had left them lying on the floor, limbs shaking, the result a tie. The staring competition, however, hadn't lasted long when Jaime's stomach clenched, Brienne's pulse started to race, their hands found each other's, their lips met, and, finally, with a last flicker of rivalry, their eyes were shut, giving way to enjoy the newfound intimacy.
Chapter 68: Tempest
She looks up and birds fly deep.
She looks up and clouds gather.
She looks up and thunder rolls by.
She looks up and lightning flashes the sky.
She looks up and rain hits her face.
She looks up and can hardly breathe.
She looks up and closes her eyes.
She looks up and waits to drown.
She looks up and feels hands on her shoulders,
turning her round, pulling her closer,
holding her tight, stroking her hair
while she cries and cries and cries,
until she feels lighter.
She looks down, only a little, and finds his heart in his eyes.
Chapter 69: Prize
"Mom? Dad? How… When… I mean, what had you been doing, the day I was perceived?"
Her phone buzzed. Seeing the number, she picked up and started speaking without a greeting:
"I will NOT call him! Stop pestering me! No, I don't care! That's absolutely not my problem!"
Without listening any further, she hung up.
Ignoring the frenetic knocking at his door Jaime buried his head under the pillow and tried to drift back into sleep.
"Brienne, please, you HAVE to talk to him! He's unbearable!"
Brienne stood up, walked to the window and, without looking outside, closed it.
"Brienne!!" she heard again, muffled, but still audible.
Scowling, she turned the radio on.
Breathing heavily, he threw one blow after the other at the punching bag.
"You can lock yourself in all you want, but eventually you WILL need to get out and talk!"
Pressing his lips together, Jaime changed his stance and started to kick in a quick succession, until he had successfully blocked out everything but his target and the hammering of his pulse in his ears.
23 calls in absence on her muted phone later she had managed to escape over the fire exit stairs. As it appeared to be impossible to get her bike without being noticed, she decided to jog to the gym. She needed to get out. She needed to blow off steam. She wouldn't apologize for something she hadn't done!
His arms trembled, his stomach cramped, but he could do more, he needed to do more! He felt bile gather in his mouth, but he could do one more … two … three … when he heard an all too familiar rhythm of steps walk through the hallway. That couldn't be. Gritting his teeth he focused back on his task.
"Brienne 'The Cheater' of Tarth!"
She froze in the movement, then slowly turned towards the door.
"Jaime Lannister, 'Man Who Can't Lose'!"
They furiously glanced at each other.
"You had no right!" he finally grumbled, taking a step in her direction.
"Those are the rules!" she retorted, balling her fists.
"Nobody can roll that many sixes in a row!"
His nostrils flared.
She raised her chin.
He now stood so close that she could smell him, a vain hint of shampoo, his sweat.
"You cheated!" he snarled, bringing his face close to hers, staring her into the eye.
"You're a bad loser!" she hissed back, breathing his breath, holding his gaze.
His pupils widened.
"I won't lose!" he whispered, grabbed her arms, shoved her against the wall and kissed her.
Brienne pushed him away breathlessly, her face beet red, her pulse attempting to win a race.
She exhaled slowly, once, twice, her eyes locked with his'.
Then she extended her hand, cupped his cheek and pulled him close again.
Brienne and Jaime exchanged a long glance. She raised an eyebrow, his mouth twitched, she frowned, he shrugged.
With a sigh, Brienne turned back to their daughter: "I think we had been playing parcheesi."
Chapter 70: Literary Terms 101.1: Simile
Brienne of Tarth was like a hiccup to him. She hit him deep inside, his body contracted, he tried to breathe, his mind blacked out, his vocal chords weren't able to form any sensible words, but, on the contrary, sounded as surprised and as helpless as he felt. A small moment of calm followed, a moment for him to recover, to catch his breath, to try to understand what just had happened. And then there she was, again, shaking his world.
Chapter 71: Weight
Weight was a curious concept.
Brienne had never felt heavier than at the Dragonpit, when Ser Jaime Lannister, brother to Queen Cersei, had rejected her plea and forced her to doubt him.
She had never felt lighter than when she had seen Ser Jaime ride through the gates of Winterfell, looking exhausted but calm, his eyes meeting hers.
Now, when Jaime and her were leaning against each other, eyes, ears and noses blind to the battle around them, their gazes lost in each other's, noses touching, breathing each other's breath, their blood mingling on its way down, she lost the whole concept of heavy and light, she lost the connection to her body, she lost her balance as both of them slowly slid to the ground, fingers still entwined.
Chapter 72: Poesy
"Sun in the evening, bright and fair,
warms like a glance at your golden hair.
Your strong built, your gallant face,
and your smile send my heart to race.
There's no dragon to slay, I'm no pretty maid,
we're not connected by mission nor fate.
But be my knight, with armor and sword,
please accept my heart, oh my dear lord."
Cleaning out the cubpoard to make space for their long-awaited daughter's necessities, Brienne of Tarth smiled painfully when she stumbled upon this old poem, written fifteen years ago, addressed at her nowadays partner, but never intended to be sent. She had been hopelessly in love with him, already back then. And somehow they had found each other - if only years later.
"Jaime?" she called out, and was hugged from behind moments later, his hands on her growing belly, his nose in her neck.
"Yes, my lady?" he breathed into her ear.
Goosebumps raced over Brienne's skin, but she ignored the sensation and raised the letter so Jaime could see it.
He straightened at her back. "When did you write this?"
His voice was hoarse.
"Junior high." Brienne tried to turn her head in an attempt to see his face, but he stood up quickly and left the room with long strides.
He returned a few minutes later, wordlessly handing her a crumpled piece of paper, watching her intently.
"You are strong,
and stubborn and nice.
You helped and ate my awful rice.
We'll be mighty knights
and fence with a knife,
do you wanna be my wife?"
"Elementary school" he added, when Brienne just kept staring at the words.
Her chin was quivering, but her eyes were filled with determination and her voice steady when she looked back up at him.
"Yes, Jaime, I do."
And then she smiled.
Chapter 73: Duty
I'm taking prompts. Contact me here or on JBO, where I'm - surprisingly - Aerest.
"Ser. My lady. I can't… It doesn't… I…" Podrick Payne stood in front of her, shoulders slumped, unable to look her in the eye.
"Podrick, speak your mind! I can't read it!"
"I… your… it's…" he appeared to shrink in front of her.
"Podrick! Speak!" Brienne rebuked. "My watch is to begin soon!"
"That's…" Podrick took a deep breath, then he mumbled as quickly as possible "…impossible your belly has become too big to fit into your armor and Ser Jaime threatened to do terrible things to me in case I kept helping you to arm yourself and partake in watches and scouting and other soldiers will take over your duties you're to remain in here he said I'm sorry Ser My Lady…"
Brienne felt blood rush into her face.
"Podrick Payne!" she boomed.
"Being a woman has never hindered me to do my duties! I am commanding these men! I can still swing my sword better than most of them! And you are my squire, not Ser Jaime's! Before he harms you, he'll have to fight me!"
Pod paled in front of her.
Trying to calm down Brienne touched her belly. Pod was right. It had grown a lot in the course of the last few days.
"Go and fetch the blacksmith. We've been through this already. He'll have to adjust my armor once more."
"But… My Lady, Ser… Ser Jaime… The blacksmith… won't… I…" Podrick stuttered once more, too scared to complete a sentence.
"Podrick! Do as I said!" Brienne spoke silently, but forceful.
The boy bolted and ran.
Brienne stood silently for a moment, listening inwardly, her hands feeling the life that was growing inside her. It was a miracle. A miracle she needed to protect to the best of her abilities. With fitting armor. And by helping to make the world it was to be born into the best place possible, as long as she could.
Grabbing Oathkeeper Brienne left the tent as well. She had to find Jaime.
Chapter 74: Storm
Still taking prompts :-)
"Words are wind", Brienne had told herself a thousand times throughout the years of her life. She had tried to let them wash over her, to stay unaffected by their intended, mostly humiliating, impact.
"Words are wind" Brienne whispered to herself, repeating the old mantra. "Words are wind words are wind words are wind words are wind" while the storm the weathercast had warned for was rampaging around her house.
"Words are wind" Brienne repeated once more, when the power was cut off and darkness fell over her.
"Words are wind", but no matter how often Brienne thought it, how loudly she shouted it, she couldn't drown out the memory of Jaime, his smile, his happiness when he had kissed her and whispered "I'm in love with you". The look in his eyes when she had panicked, unable to think, unable to breathe, and finally fled. Two decades of humiliation, of being mocked, of degrading bets, of her own painfully hopeful naivity that let her stumble into these traps again and again finally paying their toll.
"Words are wind" - but wind did have an impact. "Words are wind" - but she trusted Jaime. "Words are wind" - but her whole being yearned to repeat his words to him.
Her heart and courage took a leap.
Hoping that the network hadn't collapsed yet she picked up her phone and dialed Jaime's number.
Chapter 75: Time
For D. Happy boardiversary!
A year! One painstakingly slow year since she has been assigned to him. A year of cruel jests, snarky comments, provoking behavior directed towards her. A year in which she regrets to ever having agreed to that job. A year of keeping him on track. A year of accompanying him. A year of long days in the car, long evenings at whatever event, long nights in hotel bars. A year of him breaking with his family, a year of her father dying. A year of uncalled intervening in her matters. A year of unexpected care. A year in which his career has come to a dramatic end. A year in which his smile finally starts to reach his eyes.
A year! One confusingly eventful year since their first kiss. A year where joy and sadness take turns in her heart. A year to accept that she loves him. A year to believe him not interested. A year of doubting. A year to be scared. A year of learning to trust his love for her. A year of learning to trust his lust for her. A year of being at home in his arms. A year of coming to terms with her looks. A year of redefining her expectations of life. A year of having several options to decide between. A year of learning to say "yes".
A year! One excitingly scary year since she discovered her pregnancy. A year of pondering what she wants. A year of waiting for his reaction. A year of planning and loving and being scared. A year of arguing about names. A year to be afraid. A year of changes. A year to come to terms with her body, once more. A year of sharp pain, of doubting she's strong enough. A year of hell in the labor room. A year of him not leaving her side. A year of holding their daughter for the very first time. A year of smiles. A year of growing together as a family.
A year! One wholly demanding year since their daughter started kindergarten. A year of tears when saying goodbye. A year of rage over bullies. A year to hear excited stories. A year to realize she's her own person. A year of learning to let go. A year of learning to relax. A year to rediscover each other, their bodies, their desires. A year to remember they're more than their shared love for their daughter. A year to get back into her profession. A year of realizing there will be a sibling.
A year! One devastatingly fast year since he had finally agreed to see the doctor. A year of examinations. A year of hearing reasons. A year of hearing explanations. A year of getting a diagnosis. A year of hospital visits. A year of last attempts. A year of rage and grief and acceptance. A year of journeys. A year of talking. A year of laughter and tears. A year of desperate physical intimacy. A year of closeness. A year of saying hello to their grandson. A year of saying goodbye to each other.
A year! One severely testing year since his death. A year of missing. A year of endless amounts of tears. A year of living in his clothes. A year of taking long walks to his grave. A year of family visits. A year of remembering. A year to not feel lonely. A year of meeting her granddaughter. A year of realizing what he has given her, what he has taken with him. A year to value what she still possesses. A year to reconsider her place in life. A year to rediscover her love for life. A year to accept her will for life. A year to decide she wants to live.
Chapter 76: Enamored
Brienne's blade pointed towards Jaime's throat, both of them breathing heavily, when Jaime moved his sword's blade alongside hers, shoved her sword up with his crossguard, threaded his sword's hilt through her hands and pulled sharply, stabilizing the pommel with his golden hand - his blade at her throat, hers stuck, pointing to the right side uselessly, Brienne huffed in frustration.
Looking him in the eye she made a step forward, bringing them nose to nose, mouth to mouth, and kissed him intently - losening her left hand's grip on her sword she bit his lower lip, ducked quickly, made a low step to her right, came up, caught his throat between her right elbow and sword's pommel and, with one strong turn of her upper body, threw him to the ground, using her right knee as a lever.
"You fight dirty!", he exclaimed, grabbed her right arm to keep her sword under control, kicked her leg away from under her and pulled her onto him, whispering "I love it!", before his mouth found hers.
Chapter 77: Solitude VIII
For Chiara. Take that year by its horns and ride it! <3
After yet another nightly tour to the bathroom, mentally prepared for the worst, Jaime returned to find himself faced by six awake eyes, a cake, burning candles, a lovingly out-of-tune interpretation of "Happy Birthday", wide smiles, tight hugs, a tender kiss - and hands, pointing towards the empty middle of the bed.
Chapter 78: Healing
This is old, never posted because it felt "too cheesy". The heck with that! :-)
Her heart had been wounded, stabbed, broken many times, but each of his gazes, smiles, kisses and touches mended it further until she felt invincible.