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we dig our foundations with bloodied knuckles and bruised hearts

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In the end, it is Catelyn's sense of honor that brings her to the conclusion that the Kingslayer is going to die if he doesn't get out of the damp, wet surroundings of his capitivity, In the darkest moments of her days, she imagines that he does die, horribly and painful, cold and unloved. But then I am no better than them, Catelyn thinks, bitterly. For is that not how Ned met his end?

Catelyn is sitting at her writing desk, another list half written beneath her quill when they bring him into her tent. The men leave with weary glances as she dismisses them, and she motions to the fire. He kneels, warming his hands in front of it, rubbing them back and forth as best he can, despite the iron shackles still on his wrists.

"Do you want to bathe?" she asks, not looking up from her notes. "I can have a tub and water brought for you."

"Do you promise to wash my back for me?" Jaime snarls, but she can see in his eyes he regrets the words and she looks at him with raised brows. "Yes," he says, quieter, nodding his head. "A bath would be good."

The tub is steaming when full, and Catelyn stands in front of him, helping him take off his tunic and shirt, despite the fact that his hands have been released from their shackles. She frowns at the faded bruises on his chest, and her fingers graze over them slightly before she notices what she's doing, she pulls her hand away as if she's touched a flame. He makes no comment, and she's grateful for his tact for once.

He undresses himself the rest of the way and Catelyn doesn't turn away in modesty when he steps into the tub. She still doesn't trust him not to run, naked as his name day or not. He lets out a long relieved sigh as he settles into the water. His eyes are closed, and his head is tilted back to rest against the rim of the tub. He looks almost peaceful in that moment, not a hostage who's been made to sit out in the wet and cold for far too long.

She's not sure what makes her brush the hair from his eyes, her fingers ghosting over the skin of his forehead. Perhaps it the memories of times long passed, when Jaime come to Riverrun, just a boy then, when she was still a girl, only just flowered. He had spent his days making her and Lysa laugh, laugh so hard that they had cried, tears running down their cheeks at his wicked words and naughty gestures.

His hand is warm and wet on her face, and his thumb brushes over the tear that had escaped her lashes, rolling down the curve of her cheek. "Kitty..." The nickname is barely a whisper on his breath but she hears it, and she freezes. No one had ever called her that except him, save for during that summer when she had been betrothed to a boy she had yet to meet, and he, a promised whisper in her sister's ear.

"Don't," she says, finally, finding her voice, though its hoarse. "Don't..."

She remembers the way he'd reached out from his hiding spot under the stairs, pulling her flush against him. She could hear Lysa still playing the game, running from room to room as she looked for them. His fingers had brushed over her mouth, and then he'd dipped his head low, kissing her softly but not tentatively, there was no unplanned action when it came to Jaime Lannister, even then.

"I haven't thought about that summer for..." she pauses, quietly pulling out of his touch, standing. Her face is still wet from his touch, and from her tears, and she dries her face with a cloth from her trunk.

Jamie shifts in the tub, his wrists are red from the heat of the water and the chafing of the iron shackles. "I think it was that summer that I started hating the Starks," Jaime says, honestly, into the silence of the tent.

Catelyn's jaw twitches, and she moves back over to the tub, wetting the cloth before she holds his chin in her hand, rubbing away the dirt and grime from his face. He's pink skin beneath it, his lips red and slightly cracked, and as she sits close to him she can see the tiny freckles that still cover his nose. There's more grey in his beard than she'd imagined, lines in the corners of his hooded eyes, but he has aged well, there is still a boyish charm to his looks that she thinks will be with him for the whole of his life.

"You are not so fierce without the dirt and mud on you," Catelyn observes, swirling the cloth in the water before continuing to wash his neck and shoulders.

"Maybe you should stop then. I'm more myth than man these days anyway."

She ignores him, continues to wash him, moving to kneel next to the tub, her sleeves pushed to her elbows as she washes over his back, gentle around the barely healed wounds. "These should be treated."

"I've had much worse, those are nothing but flesh wounds."

"Flesh still rots," she says, looking at him with brows raised, "does it not?"

He grimaces at her but say nothing, tipping his head forward as she cups the water in her hands, trickling it into his hair. It is a slow process, but Catelyn is thorough, her fingers scratching along his scalp until the dried blood and dirt washes free in the water. Water that is near black now.

Jaime's head tilts slightly, and he leans in, pressing his mouth soft against her own, the tip of his tongue barely grazing her bottom lip. She pulls away, lips parted in shock, but it is not the shock of Jaime's mouth on her, rather the shock of the jolt she had felt, after days and weeks of feeling nothing at all.

Jaime's hand, warm and wet pulls her face closer to him, and he kisses her deeper this time, his tongue licking into her mouth, setting a quiet rhythm as Catelyn slowly, hesitantly, kisses him back. Jaime's hand slide from her face to her neck, his thumb rubbing along the column of her throat, and farther down to cup her breast through her gown, and Catelyn freezes then. Her hand had found its way on to his cheek, while her other still rested his chest. She can feel his heart beat beneath her palm, fast and strong.

She stands suddenly and walks away from the tub, her own heart thumping so strongly in her chest Catelyn thinks it might burst. She has never had another man's hands on her, save for Ned. She had kissed Petyr, and Brandon, and Jaime, but that was all it had been, innocent kisses, promises of more, but only promises none the less. She hears the sluicing of water as he stands in the tub, and Catelyn finds herself rooted to the ground, unable to face him, to let him see the need in her eyes.

Catelyn feels his hands on the fastenings of her dress, slowly peeling down the soft wool gown until it pools at her feet. Catelyn feels his fingers pulling at the knot of her petticoat ties, his hands pulling at the drawstrings until the layers of material are loose enough to push down over her hips, no difficulty for his swift fingers. His hands are on her hips, and he steps in close to her, the length of his body warm, as the tiny droplets still on his skin begin to soak into the thin linen of her shift.

She can feel the long, thick line of Jaime's aroused cock against her bottom, hot even through the material that is now damp and clinging to her curves, to the shape of her body. Taking a deep breath, she turns in his hands to face him, her height bringing her to the middle of his chest. She can see the spattering of freckles on his tanned shoulders and the scars from battle.

Jaime takes her face in his hand, cradling her, his thumb stroking at the corner of her mouth before pulling her face up to meet him, brushing his mouth over hers as he lowers her down onto the makeshift bed at the far end of the tent. His body covers hers, a knee between her thighs as he rests his weight on one of his hands. He slides his hand along her thigh, pushing her shift up as cups her bottom. His hand is warm against her skin.

He kisses his way along her collarbone, and up to the curve of her neck, to the soft skin just below her ear. The bristle of his beard scratches teasingly along her skin and Catelyn gasps as she feels his mouth on the swell of her breasts. His fingers curl over the neckline of her shift and he pulls it down, her breasts now exposed to him. She bites down hard on her bottom lip to quell her startled cry as Jaime's mouth closes over one of her nipples, suckling it, tugging and licking over it with the flat of his tongue.

Jaime's hand slips away from her bottom then, and rests against her sex, cupping her in his palm. He strokes her slowly over the soft downy hair on her mound, two fingers sliding along her slit to hold her open, his finger slick as her circles it over her, once, twice, and then sinking down knuckle deep inside of her. Catelyn whimpers high in her throat, unable to to stop herself this time and he captures the noise with his mouth. "Shh, Kitty."

Catelyn rocks her hips up against his hand when he calls her that, a slow rolling grind, his fingers slipping deeper inside her. She is overwhelmed by the ache deep in her womb, the growing heat of her sex, her breath coming in quick, hiccupped breaths. Jaime's mouth presses soft against the shell of her hear, his nose against her temple. "Breathe," he says, softly as he pulls back slightly, his hand still on her, inside her, and his eyes, hooded with lust, watch her come undone, muscles spasming, the familiar tightening and releasing of her womb, her sex, and the overwhelming peace that followed.

She presses her cheek against her arm, hiding her face, flushed and perspiring, over exposed and raw.

"No," Jaime says, leaning back down, and he noses at her chin to turn her head. "Don't hide form me." He shifts over her, his hands on her hips as he fits himself between her thighs, her legs on either side of him.

Catelyn can feel him, the thick head of his cock pressing hot and solid against her opening. Watching him, she can see the muscles in his jaw twitch, can see his resolve slowly breaking. She leans up then, and brushes her mouth along his jaw, nibbling her way up to his ear lobe, which she takes in her teeth with a soft bite.

Jaime groans quietly and takes himself in hand, stroking his cock against her, wetting the head of it with her slickness. She feels him shudder above her, and the hand on her hip grips tighter as he steadies himself.

He takes her with one thrust, pushing the entire length of him inside of her, and Catelyn bites down into the flesh of his shoulder to keep from crying out. The stretch of her around him is sudden and intense, and she knows he can feel it, the tight grip of her.

He kisses her neck, her temple, her hairline, and slowly, slowly, rolls his hips as he begins to thrust. His hands run along her body, up her arms to find her hands, his fingers slipping between hers, her arms stretched above her head as they move together, a hurried rhythm, the want and need becoming stronger, building deeper with each withdrawl and the subsequent connection as he pushes back in. She comes again, still riding off of her last release, and he fucks her though it, his breath against her ear, her name on his lips until he can’t hold out any longer.

His thrusts become quicker after that, less refined, and Catelyn holds him tighter, squeezing her legs around his waist as he shudders against her, his seed filling her, hot and thick.

They lay together, the fire has died down, and it envelopes the tent in darkness. Catelyn's back is tucked into Jaime's chest, her head on his arm. He rests his hand on her hip, sliding over the soft plane of her abdomen to pull her tighter against him, ducking his head to press his face into her hair, his nose against the soft curls at the back of her neck.