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One Moment

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Jaime and Brienne are walking down the streets at night, the moon shining dimly on them to paint them a silvery kind of blue that makes Brienne's eyes spark even more than they do by nature.

“Tyrion surely didn’t promise too much when he said that the restaurant is good,” Jaime says with a grin. “That pasta was probably the best I’ve ever eaten.”

“Yes, it was really good,” she agrees. “So I think it was the perfect place to celebrate your promotion.”

Brienne could still burst in pride for Jaime having earned the promotion to Assistant Commissioner at the police station. No one thought that he would be so good, well, other than Brienne, of course. She knows just how outstanding he is. She went with him to the shooting range often enough - and has wrestled and fought with him in gyms even more often.

All took him for no more than a rich boy who just didn’t want to please his father by refusing to take over his company, chasing guns and glory, but Jaime has skills to match his apparently very big ego.

At some point Brienne still asks herself if she shouldn’t have followed through with it and become a police officer as well, but she is happy with her job nevertheless – and never regretted the choice. After all, she owes Renly so much that words won’t ever be enough to describe it. So it seemed almost natural for her to take the job offer to work in his law office as the security manager. Not to mention that she got to flip someone over only last month, after the man had smuggled a weapon inside. So she has a police officer-like life. And that is good enough for her.

“In fact,” Jaime grins. They enter one of the alleyways, the moonlight disappearing from their features because of the large buildings shielding them from the sky’s natural source of light. Suddenly, everything is painted pitch black, even dousing the blue flame in Brienne’s eyes.

“Is that the right way?” Brienne frowns.

“Maybe we should have taken a taxi after all,” Jaime grimaces. They decided against it after there was no single taxi to flag down for ten minutes, and the taxi service was seemingly overloaded because of a festival downtown, which means that lots of drunk people want to be brought home to kiss the porcelain.

“Oh, wait, I recognise the building over there, we are on the right track,” Brienne says, pointing ahead.

“You are actually the one counterexample to the stereotype that women have no good sense of direction,” Jaime chuckles. “I think you could find our apartment blindfolded.”

“You and your fantasies. I told you that I’m not into that kind of stuff,” she argues, knowing the implication.

“You haven’t tried it yet,” Jaime grins darkly. “I thought you’re a gambler at heart?”

“Gambler at heart, but no fool in mind,” Brienne tells him. “Or do you take me for a fool?”

“I wouldn’t ever dare. You knocked that bit of sense into me long time ago,” he huffs.

“Good, just keep that in mind,” she snorts. “Or else I will have to knock the sense into you again.”

“Ah, or I knock it out of you once we get home, wench,” Jaime smirks. Brienne shoves him lightly, which only makes him laugh harder.

That will always be the thing between them – fight.

Brienne chuckles softly at last. She long since forgot about taking offence in him calling her “wench”. In fact, it grew to be her strange kind of nickname, after that has been what Jaime called her all the while in the beginning of their… relationship, because at first, they wanted each other dead. Now, it is just an echo of familiarity – and something people still tend to frown upon, though neither one really cares.

At some point, Brienne and Jaime pride themselves with not meeting social expectations.

“Oh, and by the way, we will have a huge Lannister family dinner soon, and no, you don’t get to feign a flu,” Jaime smiles.

And family dinners of the Lannister clan tend to be huge, especially if they are about something bigger, which will be the case, he knows, but for that, Brienne has to suffer through it as well.

“Oh, please no, your Father doesn’t like me, at all,” Brienne grunts.

“He likes you better than my previous girlfriends,” Jaime argues.

“You mean the dumb geese who just looked pretty?” Brienne snorts. “Those top model chicks?”

“Those, right,” Jaime chuckles. “But hey, I told you often enough that they were just the gap-fillers until I met you.”

“How can you say that with a straight face?” Brienne snorts.

“I have no clue,” Jaime shrugs. “I’m a good liar, I guess?”

“Well, better than me anyways,” Brienne says.

“Right, you’re a terrible liar,” Jaime sighs. “Though that makes you the better person of us two.”

“With you, that’s not at all so difficult,” Brienne snorts.

“Oh, that hurt!” Jaime cries out.

“You know that you deserve it,” she huffs.

“But that also means that I deserve you because you give me so much wonderful pain,” Jaime grins.

“That was not as smooth as you thought it was,” Brienne rolls her eyes, well, Jaime knows she does, though he can’t see a thing in the darkness.

“It was smoother than what I tried to hit on you for the first time,” Jaime argues. “You see, I have learned since. To think back to…”

A gunshot kills any thought or word he ever had on the tip of his tongue. Jaime holds on to Brienne’s arm out of reflex, cursing at himself that he left his gun at home.

He’ll be the joke over at the police department.

A cop without his gun gets mugged, for laughing out loud.

“No one moves,” a voice rings out from the darkness.

“Hey, if it’s money you want, we will give it to you,” Jaime says, knowing better than to fight back with what appears to be a whole band of heavily armed folks. Jaime can spot at least five, though it might be even more.

That this happens to him shortly after his promotion must be a wink of fate… or rather misfortune.

“You keep your hands right where I can see them,” the leader snarls.

“Okay, okay. Look, we don’t want this to escalate in any way. Just tell us what you want,” Jaime says, keeping his voice levelled, hoping sincerely that his lady won’t decide to play hero.

Because she is reckless enough for it.

“Get the bitch,” the leader says, and at once things go from nervous tension to chaos. Jaime feels Brienne being ripped away from him. She shrieks in surprise once, but after that she growls like a cheetah, survival instinct kicking in. Jaime means to move in her direction, but as he tries to lunge, a muscular arm punches him right in the gut, knocking the air out of him.

“Jaime!”

Jaime blinks, trying to see anything, but he sees nothing. Absolutely nothing. He only hears Brienne kick and punch, but then there is the sound of a safety catch being unlocked. And at once he can hear her stop moving, only breathing hard.

“Let her go!” he growls once he can speak again.

And why the Seven Hells is there no one to hear them and call his goddamn colleagues?!

“Now, now, what fun would that be? We should get to know each other better,” one of them says.

“Let us go!” Brienne growls, though the men seem unimpressed.

“I think you should shut up,” the man speaks up again. Jaime can hear the air being knocked out of Brienne and he barks some curses, but then a man shrieks, though not the leader, “The bitch bit me!”

Of course she would, Jaime can't help but think.

“That bitch’s fight for sure,” the leader says. “I’ve never seen one like it.”

“Do you want to fight me?” Brienne challenges.

“Brienne!” Jaime barks. That is not the right time to pick a fight. They are outnumbered and they have guns. Now is the time to simply let them have what they want – and hope that it’s not their lives they want.

However, that is when he hears something he did not at all expect.

“I'll take the big bitch first. When she's good and wet, you lot can finish her off,” the leader then says.

Jaime’s world tilts sideways, though he can’t tell the direction in the darkness.

Brienne starts to kick and punch despite the gun against her head, but punches are delivered to her the same way.

“Let her go!” Jaime shrieks again, fighting against the men holding him, punching him.

Where are his colleagues?

Why is this like in the damned cheap cop dramas?

“Brienne!”

“Jaime!”

Brienne tries her best to keep them away from her, but she stands not much of a chance against two to three men with guns. She can feel her dress tear, can feel rough hands leaving bruises on her body.

This is happening.

How is this happening?!

“Hey! Hey! I’m rich, alright? Whatever money you want, you can get it from me! One walk to the bank and you are so rich that you won’t have to work for just one more day. Trust me! Just let her go! Just let her go!” Jaime cries out.

Suddenly a torch goes on, the blue light falling on Brienne like a spotlight, her blue eyes shining with unshed tears and terror, her nose bloody, her dress in tatters. Jaime means to bark at them again, but that is when he is punched in the back, forcing him to his knees.

“Hey! Leave him alone!”

“How about we make you watch the show? Would you like that, rich boy? Hey, maybe we will let you fuck her from behind once we’re done with her, hm?” the leader grins at Jaime, though Jaime still can’t see his face. And those he can see in the light of the torch wear ski masks. A bunch of mummed men, really, this is too much out of the movies.

“Please, just, just let her go,” Jaime finds himself begging. He doesn’t really care if it’s pathetic. He just sees the desperation in her eyes – and knows the same to be in his.

He just has to get her out of this situation.

“I’m rich. You can have my money. Just let her go. Take my money. Take my money, but let her go,” Jaime repeats frantically.

“Ah, so that’s it. You think you can buy yourself out of the situation, rich boy,” the leader sneers.

“Look, if you have something against me, then fine, but leave her out of this,” Jaime tries to bargain.

“Get the bitch on her knees. She’s too tall to fuck like that. Never been with a woman that big,” the leader says. Jaime can hear him stepping away from him, but his eyes are on Brienne as they kick her legs so her knees give way and bite into the pavement, surely drawing blood.

“Stop! Just stop!” Jaime curses.

“You don’t tell me what to do,” the leader says, nodding at one of his men to punch Jaime repeatedly.

“Leave him alone!” Brienne cries out, which only earns her a few more punches to make her shut up.

“Don’t move, rich boy. It’s not your turn yet, so just keep your pretty mouth shut until we are done with her,” the leader says. Jaime can see him stepping over to Brienne, and that is when something snaps inside his head, rages out of control. Jaime kicks and punches around blindly. He manages to wrestle free and lunges forward, to Brienne, somewhere closer to her. His hand is only inches from her forearm, but that is when someone rams his boot into his right arm. Jaime shrieks as his bones cry at the impact of the blow.

“Jaime!”

“I gave you a command, rich boy. And I think it was simple enough. Don’t move and wait until it’s your turn,” the leader says, turning around to him. “And you moved. That’s not what I said. You have to listen carefully.”

Jaime breathes hard through his nose, blowing the sweaty strands out of his face.

“I can only repeat it. Let her go and you get all the money you want,” Jaime says, through gritted teeth.

“When will you finally get it that I don’t care about your bloody money?” the leader says.

“Then what do you want instead? I’ll give it to you, alright?” Jaime asks. “I’ll give it to you.”

“No, no, you get me wrong. I don't need you to give it to me. I’ll just take it,” the leader says. “Because there are things that money can’t buy. Like a big bitch screaming and crying as she gets fucked like a real woman for once, and a rich boy realising that money won’t save either her or him.”

Jaime means to say something in turn, but that is when he can hear sirens in the distance, and for a moment, just a fraction of a moment, he thinks fortune will be on their side at last, as the leader growls, “Let the bitch go. We won’t have the time to make the fuck worth it.”

Jaime lets a breath he has been holding in ages, but that is when he hears a gun moving, “But for that we still have time.”

A gunshot rings out.

One moment, there is pain.

And the next moment… just darkness.