Compete in a tourney? What a joke. Of course Brienne had taken Sansa Stark up on the offer, but Brienne had two hands.
And you often forget that you don't.
Truth be told, Jaime didn't like the fact that the ghosts of the Red Keep - his ghosts, anyway - haunted him far more than Sansa's ghosts haunted her. She had promised that they would not stay long, yet as the days turned to weeks and the weeks to months, Jaime began to wonder if they would ever leave.
"You are free to go at any time," Brienne had reminded him, but she knew as well as he did that it wasn't quite that easy. Could he go? Of course. But would he...now, that was a different story. He'd been stripped of Casterly Rock, of course - not that he'd ever wanted it in the first place - and obviously he would never again feel comfortable in King's Landing. At least at Winterfell he could spar with Brienne in peace, pretend to scold fierce little Rickon Stark, listen to Sansa when she graced them with her harp playing and singing after dinner many a night.
It amused Jaime that a place that had once seemed so cold and inhospitable had become the place he felt most at home. Amused him...and at times left him feeling somewhat empty.
So it was that on the morning of Lady Sansa Stark's tourney, Brienne of Tarth suited up to compete while Jaime Lannister had the honor to stand by their lady's side and guard her. From what, he had no idea, as Ser Jorah and the rest of the Queensguard were present as well...but Sansa had requested that if he did not want to joust, he stay with her…and so here he was.
Gone were the days of Barristan the Bold, of the Knight of Flowers, of Robert Baratheon taking the melee with his warhammer...yet this new crop of men, despite being of a different sort, had their own sort of rough-around-the-edges talent. There was even a mystery knight, and for a moment Jaime wondered if perhaps he was an intelligent ploy thought up by the Dragon Queen or by Lady Sansa's cousin the King Consort...until he realized that they seemed as surprised as anyone at the hulk of a man in plain steel plate who unhorsed one man after another - well, and one woman, Jaime snorted when the mystery knight bested Brienne as well.
Sansa was certainly enjoying herself - she was nearly on the edge of her seat, her eyes shining, looking for all the world like the girl he'd never truly known and nothing like the sad, withdrawn woman she'd become. Jaime found himself wondering if maybe he should have competed...this mystery knight was big, but something about the way he struck with the lance made Jaime think that even one-handed he could have possibly withstood the man. And then Sansa's being named Queen of Love and Beauty would have been a sure thing, for even if Jaime had cared to name anyone else, the beating he would have taken from Brienne in doing so wouldn't have been worth it, anyway.
Ahh, who are you kidding, thinking that any other woman here would be worth the title? Even Cersei never rivaled Sansa Stark in beauty. Sansa was as fierce and as intelligent as Cersei had ever been, with an ingrained kindness and soft heart that his twin sister hadn't had.
It went without saying that Daenerys Targaryen was lucky that by the time she’d returned to Westeros, all Sansa Stark had wanted was home.