"Better me than Robert, eh?" is all he says in the way of asking for her hand.
Better you than anyone, she thinks, but says instead, "This is the most foolish thing you have ever done." By which, of course, she means yes.
"Do I still need to ask permission from your father, if he's my father, too?" he whispers, as the throne room slowly fills up. They both know that it won't matter, either way, that he would raze the whole of King's Landing to the ground before giving her up as his betrothed.
She scoffs. "Of course you do. Just because we may marry now does not mean we are to become lawless savages."
That just makes him smile - and, yes, she can see it in the squint of his eyes, the curve of his mouth.
Yes, he would burn the city, burn all the seven kingdoms, and she would yell for him to stop - can practically feel the raw, incredulous cries of his name scraping through her throat - but she knows that she would still find the fire beautiful, that she would still fuck him in the ashes.
They remove her Lannister cloak, so that he may fasten another in its place. She's not sure if she's the only one who can hear his snort of laughter at the fact, but she pretends that she is.
When the time comes, they stand in front of the royal marriage bed, eyes twinkling at one another in the candlelight, as if this whole ceremony is just one huge jest that only they're in on. Mostly, it is.
He cups her face, titling it upwards, and smirks. "Tell me, girl, you are a maiden, aren't you?"
She tries not to smirk back, images playing through her head of feeling him through his smallclothes when they'd been eleven, of shoving him onto his back in the dusty bowels of Casterly Rock, of him on his knees, face pressed between her legs, not all that many moons ago.
"Of course, My Lord," she says.
He clicks his tongue, shaking his head. It's condescending, baiting. "'Your Grace,' you mean?"
My brother, I mean, she thinks, grabbing him by the jaw and kissing him.
Tyrion, of course, thinks it's the most amusing thing he's ever heard, ugly face contorting with laughter. Brother to both the King and the Queen, he says, like it's somehow terribly clever.
But today even his presence can't quite ruin her good mood, as she adjusts the crown on her head.
"Aren't you glad, after all, that it wasn't Rhaegar?" he says to her once, after a small council meeting, when the advisors have cleared out.
"Rhaegar would have been much better at ruling the kingdom," is all she says, because the truth is, yes. Yes, she is glad. Rhaegar had been more handsome, perhaps, if only slightly, but the purple eyes and the stark silvery hair had looked nothing like her own, and she can find no flaw deeper than that.
"Who's talking about the kingdom? I hate the kingdom. The kingdom is dull." He tries to pull her into his lap, but she stays standing, and his grip doesn't insist.
"Maybe you just ought to pay more attention during council meetings, Your Grace."
He shrugs. "Maybe you ought to come over here and fuck me, Your Grace"
She tilts her head at him, tries not to look too pleased with herself. "Maybe," she says. By which, of course, she means yes.