things you said after you kissed me
Sansa stands at the balcony and stares across the water. Jaime wonders what it is that shes’s searching for out there beyond the sunset, where no man has ever sailed to and returned. Does she want to go there? Is the unknown better than the hell his family has put her through?
He cannot undo everything that his father’s done, or his sister, or his nephew. He cannot put Ned Stark’s head back on his shoulders nor resurrect her brother and mother. He cannot unseat the Boltons from Winterfell. Though, if Father has his way, her son by Tyrion will do just that, should his brother ever manage to bed his wife.
Jaime cannot heal her grief, but since being exiled to Casterly Rock, removed from the Kingsguard, he has taken it upon himself to watch over her. He’s not sure why he does it. Mayhaps it’s the vow he made to that bitch Catelyn Stark, or the one he made to his brother when he sent his wife away from the capital. Or it could be something else altogether, it might just be that soft heart Cersei’s always teased him for. Jaime doesn’t linger long on the why of it. He doesn’t try to sort out why he does the things he does. Ordering the kitchens to bake lemon cakes for her and sending a seamstress to dress her as befitting a Lady of the Rock. When he hired singers for her nameday, he almost won a smile from her, and when he asked her to dance… Sansa was a sweet girl, she deserved none of the cruelty and pain the world, the Lannisters , heaped upon her.
Still, none of his efforts seemed to cure her of her heartache. Jaime was at a loss how to help further. If he could turn back time, he would, but the gods were silent on that prayer. Nothing he did for her stopped the tears she would shed at night. The maids would tell him in the mornings, concerned for their lady, but Jaime had no clue what more he could do for her.
He had been restless, couldn’t sleep. Jaime had trouble sleeping ever since the dungeons of Riverrun. Even with the plush featherbeds, the silk bedding, the dreamwine… Nothing helped, so he found himself wandering the halls of the Rock. And this particular night, his feet led him to Sansa’s door. He’d never heard her cry before. It was terrible. He assumed that it was soft sobs, the ladylike tears that Cersei had shed for him, but this was… the sound of pure agonizing pain. Heartwrenching screams, Jaime has no idea how he’d not heard it before, how everyone in the Westerlands hadn’t heard the sound of Sansa Stark’s broken heart.
Jaime bursts through the door, without a thought, without care for decency, it’s his brother’s wife , and makes his way to her, pulls her into his arms and cradles her to his chest. Her nails dig into the fabric of his shirt, biting into his skin, but his pain is neglieble to hers. “Sansa, Sansa, shh. Sansa, I’ve got you, shh.”
It takes a while, but Jaime stays, holds her and rocks her gently, muttering incoherent words, comforts, nonsense. Eventually, she calms. The tears don’t abate, her cheeks still shine with them, but she does quiet. Jaime pulls back to look at her, her reddened eyes and chapped lips, and gods, how can she be beautiful like this? But she is. And it stirs him. Now that he’s witnessed this, he vows, more solemnly than he’s ever sworn before, that he will do anything, everything in his power to make sure she never feels like this again.
Jaime brushes the tears away with his thumb, his good one, not the cold, unfeeling golden one. He dries her eyes and allows himself to get lost in that sea of blue, before doing something as reckless and impulsive as he’s ever done. He pulls his goodsister into a kiss. Soft, not demanding, nothing more than a press of his lips to hers, before promising, “I’ll return Winterfell to you.”