In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs.
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears."
- William Butler Yeats
The babe would come any day now. Nine months of waiting, nine months imprisoned in her rooms as the child within her grew. Her back ached, her feet and legs were sore and swollen, and she could no longer see her toes; but she would endure it all for months more if it meant that her husband's life would be spared.
She moved away from the window as another pain moved through her. She had been having them for weeks. "False pains." The maester called them, "Your body is weary my lady and ready to be relieved, but the babe is not yet ready. You will know when it is time." She winced; the pains did not seem much different, but she didn't remember the others being so close together. Or lasting this long.
"Good news my lady!' Roslin lifted her head to look at the woman bustling in through the door. "I've just come from the kitchens and the cook says that she'll have some fresh pastries sent up with your dinner. That will be lovely now won't it?" Una gave her such a brilliant smile, Roslin couldn't help but return it. "Yes Una, that will be love-" She hissed as another pain went through her abdomen, much sharper than the last had been. "My lady?" Una looked startled, "Are you well?" Roslin opened her mouth to say no, to tell her to call for the maester but all that came out was a bloodcurdling shriek as the pain drove her to her knees.
She felt a wetness running down her legs and she didn't need to hear Una's declaration that her time had come to know it to be true. As the guards came from outside the door to carry her to her bed, she sent up one last prayer to the Seven. That the child she was about to bring into the world would be Edmure's salvation, not his doom.
It seemed as though she'd been laboring for hours when she heard her brother's voice at the door demanding entrance. "She should have her family with her, and if non of our sisters will come to her then I will!" Roslin felt new energy rush through her at his words and she called his name, interrupting the maester's protests. Within seconds Olyvar was at her side, holding her hand and brushing the hair back from her forehead as he murmured soothing words of encouragement. "Come on little sister, you can do this." Roslin looked into Olyvar's warm brown eyes, then sat herself up with a determined look on her face. Grasping Olyvar's hand on her right and Una's on her left, she resumed pushing with renewed strength.
A few hours later and she was exhausted and weary to the bone. "One more push should do it my lady." The maester said as he gave her an encouraging smile.
"Hear that Ros? One more push now, let's put some strength into it!" Roslin gritted her teeth. "Move your head where I can reach it Olyvar and I'll show you strength. I'll hit you in the head with it!" Olyvar looked shocked for a moment before throwing his head back in laughter. Roslin huffed, she supposed she might have found her outburst amusing as well...if she wasn't being split in two.
Once more, she gripped her brother's hands and, as the next wave of pain hit, gave one last push...and was met with a piercing wail as her babe took it's first breath. Joy burst out of her in hysterical laughter and she collapsed back against Olyvar's chest in relief, weeping and laughing at the same time. Suddenly, she noticed one of her guards moving away from the door towards the maester with and expectant look on his face and her joy was replaced with panic. She frantically asked, "Boy or Girl? Boy or Girl!?" "A girl my lady." Una said, smiling as tears rolled down her plump cheeks. "A beautiful, wee girl."
She relaxed for a moment, only to have the panic return along with confusion as she realized that the guard wasn't returning to his post. When he moved to stand by the mid-wife over where she was cleaning her babe, it finally hit her. A boy was a hostage, a girl was worthless. Her father disliked worthless things.
"Olyvar," she whispered in horror, "Olyvar, the guard, don't let him take my baby!" Her brother looked from her to the guard. She saw the understanding dawn in his eyes and he moved to stand between her daughter and her father's man. It was only when the guard had left the room and Olyvar had placed her daughter in her arm that she allowed herself to relax and focus on the miracle in her arms.
She was beautiful. A thin, soft layer of red down upon her head and beautiful Tully eyes. Her daughter grasped her index finger with her tiny hand and Roslin wondered if her own mother had ever felt this way, as though she was holding her heart in her arms. "Catelyn." She said, looking up at her brother. "I want to name her Catelyn. For Lady Stark. Do...Do you think he will mind?" Olyvar looked down at her daughter then back at her, and odd look on his face. "Roslin..." he said, then stopped and looked down again, studying her daughter's face, the odd look still in his eyes. Finally he sighed and said, "It's a good name. A good Tully name. And it suits her..." He gave her a sad smile, "I do not think your lord husband will mind."
She holds little Cat in her arms and whispers promises into her ear as she nurses. She promises her that she will keep her safe, that she will always be loved, that she will always be protected. She promises her that one day her father will be freed and they will be a family. She believes in that promise, because her hope is all she has left to give her child.
A week after Cat's birth, a raven comes from the Lannisters with orders for she and Cat to moved to Casterly Rock. She is relieved to hear that they will be free of her father and the Twins, but she feels a sense of panic at the thought of seeing Edmure again. The last time they had seen one another had been in a room filled with the dead bodies of his family and friends. She is sure that he must despise her now. "But he will love you." She whispers into Cat's ear, "You are his and no matter what hatred he must feel for me, he will love you. I promise."
Lord Marbrand comes to collect them and she bids a tearful goodbye to Olyvar. "Come now little sister," He says as he kisses her head. "Don't you worry about me. I'll be fine, and you and Cat will be safer at the Rock." He bends down to press a kiss to Cat's cheek, and then steps away as Lord Marbrand helps her into her seat. He stands at the gate as they ride away and she watches his figure fade into the distance.
The King-slayer meets them at Riverrun, and he rides beside her wagon as they travel. She catches him looking curiously at her every now and then, and she wonders what it is he wants to know.
After two days, he finally asks her. "Your husband told me that you hadn't wanted to go along with the plan to kill your good-family." He states casually, as though discussing the weather and not the worst experience of her life. "He says that your family made you do it. Is that true?" He turns to look at her and she sees that he is assessing her, comparing what he sees with what the singers have said of her.
"Two of my older brother protested the plan and my father had them locked away in their rooms. When I protested as well, my father said he would have them killed." She looks to see his reaction and he raises an eyebrow at her.
"Why not simply use someone more willing? You have plenty of sisters yes?"
She is silent a moment before saying, "I am not vain Ser Jaime, but it is known that few of my father's daughters can be considered pretty and I am one of those few. I was also one of the few maids. My father wanted to keep the Starks happy and unsuspecting and a sweet, pleasing maid was better for that."
He gives her a knowing look, "Of course that does make sense. Perhaps also your father wanted to ensure that Lord Tully remained occupied and a pretty thing like you is better for that than say, oh, Fat Walda?" She feels her face flush as he gives her an arrogant smirk, and she clenches her fists in her skirts to keep from hitting him.
"If you're done with your questions my lord," she says coolly, once she'd regains her composure, "I think I should like to rest a while." He gives her a mocking bow. "By all means Lady Tully. I would never keep a lady from her rest." As he rides away up the line, she takes Cat into her arms. She holds her daughter close and tries to keep the tears and memories at bay.
The Kingslayer helps her and little Cat down from the wagon and leads her through the long corridors of Casterly Rock. She feels the panic rising with every step. She envisions every possible reaction to her presence, she truthfully is unsure of what her husband will say or do when she enters the room. When they reach the rooms where her husband is being held prisoner, he opens the door, lets her through and shuts it behind her. Now she is alone with the man her father had betrayed, the man who her family had taken everything from, her husband.
Edmure looks from her to the babe in her arms. "A girl? They told me it was a girl." He says as he reaches for their daughter.
She places her daughter into her husband's arms for the first time, "I named her Catelyn, Catelyn Tully."
He flinches and she thinks that she made a mistake, how could she have forgotten that his sister had been murdered as he was putting Cat inside of her. Why would he want to be reminded of that every time he looks at his child? What man would want that? She cannot bring herself to look in his eyes, so afraid is she of what she might find there.
She hears him let out a breath, feels his hand on her face, so she looks into his eyes and sees the one thing she was not expecting. She'd expected anger, hatred, disgust, betrayal, acceptance even, but she'd not expected the love and forgivness she sees now. "It's perfect." He says, "She's perfect." And standing there with her husband and child, she wonders why she was ever afraid.