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Cubs and Gemstones

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Brienne plodded across the muddy field in her borrowed armour; an unfamiliar blade on her hip. She’d considered taking her own blade, the sword she had purchased on the streets of King’s Landing many moons before, but knew Ser Jaime would recognise it in an instant. He’d clashed with it often enough; had felt the point against his throat or the soft of his belly. So Brienne had left it behind, and came onto the tourney field as the blue knight. 

Other knights gathered; swinging swords and morning stars and shields painted with sigils Brienne recognised from her lessons with Septa Roelle. Amongst them stood Ser Jaime Lannister; the golden lion a familiar face in Ashemark. He nodded at her as she approached, her visor down. 

“Have we met before?” Ser Jaime asked, green eyes taking in her ill-fitting armour and solid blue shield. “I know most who fight in these parts.”

No,” Brienne said, adopting a gruff tone to hide her clipped vowels. “Nah, I usually fight in the Stormlands.” 

Ser Jaime grinned. “A Stormlands lad. The home of our good king.” 

At that point, a passing merchant spat at Ser Jaime’s feet. Even in the Westerlands, the shadow of Casterly Rock and Tywin Lannister looming over it, people still knew him as the Kingslayer. Ser Jaime took it with the good grace she knew so well, and simply shrugged. A few more challengers joined the field for the melee; several eyeing a member of the Kingsguard and the mystery knight he stood beside. 

One of them seemed to recognise Ser Jaime. The man approached them, clapping Jaime upon the shoulder. “My Lord. It’s good to see you. I thought you would be in King’s Landing guarding our good King.” 

“Princess Brienne is travelling through the kingdoms, visiting all the noble houses. A coming of age procession.” Of sorts. She’d come of age two years before but they were at war then, and nothing more than a Lord’s daughter besides. “I am tasked with her protection, but not today.”

No, two of the Hand’s personal guards had been tasked to protect her whilst Ser Jaime fought in the tourney. Tywin Lannister’s money could buy many things, but not competency. Brienne only had to claim her monthly blood had arrived before the men closed the door and stood at the far end of the hall. It hadn’t taken much for Brienne to sneak out and take her place at the tourney. 

“I hear she’s quite something, the Princess. As large as an aurochs, but not quite as pretty.”

The man laughed, as did two close enough to hear. Ser Jaime did not. He grabbed the man by the scruff of his collar and pulled him close. “You insult our Princess again, and I will cut out your tongue. Clear.” 

Ser Jaime pushed him into the dirt before storming away. Brienne watched him; stomach churning. No one had ever defended her before. No one. 

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With Podrick nowhere to be found, Jaime Lannister decided to go downstairs and get his own cup of coffee. He decided to be nice and get one for his co-counsel as well, and one of those chocolate chip muffins whose crumbs always littered her desk. He got himself a lemon curd tart as well, and shoved five gold dragons in the tip jar before he headed back to the office. Podrick was still noticeable only by his absence. Brienne Tarth was noticeable by the scene she was making of herself in her office. 

Jaime slowly approached, rapping twice on her closed door before entering without invitation. Her head jerked up at his presence, softening for a single moment. She mouthed, not now and went back to pacing and arm waving and forming her hands into curled fists. 

A figure joined him in the doorway. “Sorry, Mister Lannister, I had to get some copies done for Ms Tarth.”

“No matter, Podrick.” Pod was the assistant he and Brienne shared at Stark, Tully, & Reed. Nine times out of ten they were working the same case, so they didn’t have to act like two divorcees squabbling over custody. Brienne’s current case, however, was that one in ten. “Who’s she on the phone to?” 

“Baelish. He’s not happy with her progress, or the stance she took in the recent depositions.” 

Jaime frowned. Brienne was one of the best; handpicked by Catelyn Tully herself. If Baelish had a problem, it certainly couldn’t be with Tarth’s work performance. “How long has she been on the phone?” 

“Well over an hour.” 

Just then, Brienne ended her call. She clutched the phone, knuckles turning white, as it seemed she was fighting every urge not to throw the damn thing at the wall. She huffed out a breath, threw her chin down to her collarbone, and shuffled behind her desk. Brienne was there for all of two seconds before she jumped up and turned her attentions to Jaime and Podrick. 

“I have never, ever in my life been so...insulted.” Jaime opened his mouth to argue. He’d insulted her countless times when they were first paired together. “He criticises my work ethic, my knowledge, my strategy...he made some baseless accusations about my loyalty within this firm. He...ugh!”

Brienne began to pace once more; her shoulders tense and arms taut. Jaime remembered seeing her like this before: constantly angry, yelling and pacing. Pushing herself hard to prove herself to the inferior man that had challenged her. Only last time, it was Jaime himself who had been responsible. 

“You know, Petyr Baelish is really the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.” 

“Surely you must have met more arrogant men?” Jaime asked, unsure why his stomach was churning. 

Brienne shook her head. “No, no one’s got under my skin like this before. He just...infuriates me.” She eventually sat down at her desk, barely even acknowledging him and how much his golden ego and silver tongue had previously pissed her off. “Can we do this later, Jaime? I need to reschedule some depositions.” 

Jaime nodded, his head bobbing as if on a string. “Sure, sure.” 

He left the coffee and muffin with Podrick, and retreated to his office next door. Since when had be been Jaime? Since when had they just been ordinary colleagues? He didn’t like this. Not one bit. He was Jaime Lannister. If anyone was going to steal Brienne’s attention and make her huff and go all red, it was going to be him. 

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Her father had just finished installing the carbon monoxide detector when there were two knocks at the door. Brienne left him to finish whilst she went to answer it: a neighbour, perhaps, wanting a cup of sugar. It certainly wouldn’t be Jaime Lannister, the occupant of the Penthouse, who had been a regular on her doorstep delivering mislaid letter after letter. Brienne doubted she’d see him ever again after her father had laid him sprawled across her welcome mat. 

Yet, when she opened the door, Jaime Lannister was there. No letters, no parcels, but a bouquet of sunflowers. He stared with soft eyes, and offered her the carefully wrapped bundle in blue tissue paper. “Sunflowers, because of the suns on your old house sigil. And the blue for your eyes. I miss you, Brienne. Please take me back.” 

Who is it, Brienne?”

“Just a neighbour!” Brienne called back; slipping through the gap in the door so she could block her father’s view of Jaime. She turned on him as soon as they were out of sight; voice low. “What do you think you’re doing, Mister Lannister?” 

“Winning you back,” he said, as if it were that simple. 

Brienne took in a deep breath, ignoring the very beautiful bouquet of flowers Jaime Lannister offered, and the nagging thought that no one other than Ron Connington had ever given her flowers, and he’d crushed those under his boots. She fumbled for words before bluntly saying, “You’re not my boyfriend.” 

Well, not right now.” Jaime’s eyes glinted. “I meant what I said the other day, Brienne. I like you, and I’d like to ask you out on a date. If I have to pretend to be your ex-boyfriend winning you back for you to take me seriously, then so be it.” 

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The sales assistant brought over another tray with two flutes of champagne, and Jaime thanked her warmly as he reached for his. He took a sip, and addressed Brienne as she tried on dress number five. “You know, you don’t have to wear a dress.” 

“You couldn’t have had this epiphany last night?” 

Jaime chuckled. “No, no, I mean it. There’s nothing that says you have to wear a dress. You could wear a skirt, or a jumpsuit. A three-piece suit!” His mouth went dry at the thought of Brienne in a blue suit to match her eyes; a gold tie knotted around his hand as he pulled her close. Jaime took a sip of champagne. Since announcing her engagement, his thoughts had strayed into a new area regarding his best friend. More than once he’d woken in the middle of the night dreaming of her hands on him. The more time they spent together planning her wedding, the worst it got. 

From inside the fitting room, Brienne carried on as if she hadn’t noticed her friend trailing off. “I know that, Jaime. I’m not entirely opposed to the idea of dresses, you know, I can just never find one that suits me. And, for once in my life, I’d like to be a little traditional at my wedding. It’s silly, but I want the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with to see me walking down that aisle and lose all sense of thought, of speech. I want that moment.” 

The curtain pulled away, revealing dress number five. The skirt was long; made of flowing white material that fell over Brienne’s long legs. The bodice was intricate lace in swirls and sunbursts; two straps curling over Brienne’s upper arms. The dress showed off her collarbones; the thick cords in her throat as she swallowed. Frowning, Brienne turned to the full-length mirror and looked at herself in the dress. 

“Guess it’s time for dress number six.” 

Jaime said nothing. 

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After the Evenstar had become King of the Seven Kingdoms, Jaime had hoped to be dismissed and returned to Casterly Rock. Especially after it was made clear that King Selwyn would not take another wife (to the chagrin of Jaime’s father and sister), and that his daughter Brienne would be his sole heir. As a Kingsguard, Jaime had broken his sacred vow. The penance for such was being the personal guard to Princess Brienne. A Princess who, at seventeen years, enjoyed sword-fighting and climbing and doing her best to avoid the Kingslayer that was her babysitter. 

At dinner, Jaime had suspected that Princess Brienne would sneak out to meet her new suitor, Renly Baratheon. He was charming, and pretty, and his sweet words had rendered the usually sullen princess under a spell. Jaime waited until she was out of her chambers before his hand wrapped around her arm. 

“Going somewhere?”

He did not expect the dagger pressed at the hollow of his throat. When she realised who it was, the pressure eased but was not removed. “Leave me be, Kingslayer.”

“Can’t. Shan’t.” Jaime disarmed her easily enough; the dagger clattering across the stone floor.  “Your safety is my responsibility. I can’t, in all good conscience, allow Renly Baratheon to take your maidenhood in the dead of night.” 

“I just want to talk to him. Without the Septas. Without you.”

It was at that point that Princess Brienne’s knee connected with his crotch. Pain blinded him, and for a tall creature she managed to disappear quite easily. Knowing Ser Barristan and the King would have his head if anything happened to the Princess, Jaime tried to think where they would meet. The veranda. Brienne loves the ocean. He darted through shortcuts and hidden passages to make it to the gardens before Princess Brienne met Lord Renly. 

He needn’t have bothered. At the entrance to the garden, Brienne stood, unmoving. She was watching two figures embrace in the darkness: one was clearly Lord Renly; the other an envoy from Dorne. A male envoy. 

Princess Brienne turned away from the pair; shoulders hunched as she headed in his direction. Jaime didn’t know what to say. She’d seemed so excited at the prospect of becoming Renly’s wife. “Princess—”

“—don’t. Whatever you wish to say, Kingslayer, you can keep it to yourself. And I’m not a Princess. Princesses are beautiful, and wanted. The minstrels sing songs of them; knights wear favours and joust in their colours. I am an ugly daughter of an island lord elevated far beyond her station and sometimes I wish my father would marry your damned sister and give him a son so I could crawl back to Tarth where I belong.” 

As instructed, Jaime kept his thoughts to himself. He didn’t offer a word of comfort; as if she would accept such things from him. He just listened, outside her door, as Brienne of Tarth cried herself to sleep. 

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As soon as they reached his chambers, Jaime grasped for the nearest decanter of wine. His heart was beating wildly in his chest; his hands shaking as he poured into a goblet. It was only Brienne’s hands that steadied him; her soft blue eyes bringing him back to solid ground. Her fingertips curled over the inside of his wrist. 

She drew in a deep breath. “Your pulse is racing.” 

“It’s been a very exciting day. Wife.” 

Brienne flushed; her cheeks a similar hue to the Lannister colours in her wedding gown. “It seems so strange. A few weeks ago I was sleeping on a bedroll and cleaning mud and blood from my boots. Now I’m…your wife.” 

“You forget you’re Queen as well.” Jaime took a sip from his goblet, before pouring another for his wife. Wife. She wrapped both hands around it. “You’re right; it is strange. I wake up most nights expecting my bed to be on fire; the whole city burning. Now I’m…it doesn’t seem real.” 

But it was very real. Like the thrust of his sword into Aerys Targaryen’s back. Like Ned Stark and Brienne of Tarth standing, judging, as he sat upon a throne he, at the time, had meant to hold for another. Her arms around him; the flutter of her eyelashes on his cheek as they collapsed against each other. Warm touches and secret embraces as men older than them decided the fate of the realm. 

He and Brienne had been playing cards – shoulders touching and feet entwined – when his father had strode into his chambers in the White Sword Tower and declared that Jaime would be King. And, to appease both the rebels and those still loyal to the Targaryen line, Brienne of Tarth would be his Queen. 

His Queen. His wife. Jaime took the goblet from her hand and stepped forward; two hands sliding up to cup her face. In the weeks since Aerys’ death, he’d found comfort and a kindred spirit in Brienne. Since his father had announced their betrothal, the thought of how much else they could share had overwhelmed him. 

“Can I kiss you, Brienne?” he asked, wetting his top lip as he stared at her mouth. 

She nodded; hands already carding through his hair. “Yes. Husband.”

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Brienne tried really hard not to stare. But whether it was the third glass of champagne Margaery had thrust into her hands, or the temperature in her flat thanks to the busted heating, Brienne was openly ogling Jaime Lannister and his very, very lovely thighs. 

He was currently in her kitchenette, being a good temporary roommate, and preparing the snacks for the cocktail and spa portion of ‘girls night’. Other men (re. Brienne’s ex boyfriend Hyle) had taken great strides to avoid the monthly occasion in Brienne’s flat. Jaime, however, was embracing every part of it: the cream Sansa had smeared underneath his eyes to rejuvenate the skin; the short robe he wore that showed off his chest hair and toned thighs. 

He’d even called his brother and his bartender friend for tips on how to make cocktails. 

“So, ladies,” Jaime started as he passed the kitchen island and walked the few paces to the sofa. He deposited the tray on the coffee table and took the remaining seat: right beside Brienne. “What’s next on the agenda?” 

“Gossip, mainly. Who’s dating who, who’s sleeping with who,” Margaery explained. “You go first, Jaime. Who are you sleeping with?” 

“Brienne, of course,” Jaime said, drawing a few startled gasps from the room. He swung an arm over the span of her shoulders and pressed her into his side. “Her sofa’s too small for either of us to sleep on, so we’re doing the mature thing and sharing her bed.” 

Brienne squirmed, feeling several sets of eyes upon her. Jaime’s hand refused to shift from her shoulder, and his robe had ridden up to reveal several more inches of muscular thigh. Brienne drained her glass of champagne. “His apartment should be ready next week. I don’t understand why you couldn’t stay in a hotel.” 

“Forgive me for wanting to stay with a friend during these trying times.” 

“You’re redecorating.” 

“Well, the decorator’s been trying my patience. Here, let me top that off for you.” Jaime reached for the bottle of champagne and filled Brienne’s glass. He was still far too close, and Brienne felt the warmth from her cheeks as she took a drink. “You’re next, Brienne. Are you…seeing anyone?” 

There was something odd in Jaime’s tone; something she couldn’t identify. Brienne just watched the bubbles in her glass as she said, “No. No one.”

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Every eye was upon the pair of them as they traversed the streets of King’s Landing. The people had glimpsed their princess before; tales of her stature and appearance had no doubt been repeated in brothels and taverns alike. They watched her as she examined the fruits on the stalls; as she smiled at fishermen who recognised her from Tarth. The people watched him, too. More than once he saw them whisper Kingslayer as he passed. At least Princess Brienne had the stomach to call him that to his face. 

“Princess, this really isn’t safe for you. Whatever you’re after, I’m sure I can have it sent to your rooms. Those fruits; some jewels. Perhaps some fabric you can embroider.” 

Princess Brienne stopped, and threw a wilting stare over her shoulder. “Thank you, Ser, but what I’m after can’t be delivered by a handmaiden.” 

It was at that point that the Princess gasped, grinned, and took off in the direction of a side street. Jaime threw himself after her, fearing his head if some of the ruffians in this city realised a second quicker than he who this woman was. When they returned to the Red Keep, Jaime would have to have words with Ser Barristan. He understood keeping watch over the…singular Princess was his punishment, but she didn’t have to make his job quite this hard. 

Jaime cursed when he realised Brienne was walking along the street of steel; armourers and forges on both sides spitting out helmets and swords for hedge knights and far away tournaments. “Princess—”

“Not now.” 

Brienne had stopped at one blacksmith, admiring his skill as he forged a fresh blade. Her gaze swept the armoury, lingering on a lengthy blade with blue stones in the hilt. She caught the blacksmith’s gaze, and gestured her head to the sword. “May I?”

“Of course, Princess.”

The man handed Brienne the sword. She took it in hand, testing the weight. Jaime sighed. The Princess would come back with more cuts and scars than the one just above her lip if he didn’t stop this now. “Princess, may I advise caution? These are very sharp. I wouldn’t want you to poke one of your pretty eyes out.” 

“Of course, Ser. I’ll be careful.” 

Jaime huffed, and was fully prepared to snatch the sword from the Princess’ grasp. Then she started moving. Brienne twirled the blade; listening to the swoosh as it glided through the air. Her form was good, very good, as she sparred with an imaginary opponent. Her arm moved like water; the sword an extension of herself. It came to a stop a hairs breadth from Ser Jaime’s own mouth; the steel almost close enough to kiss. 

Behind the blade, Princess Brienne smirked. Singular indeed. 

Chapter Text

“Right, I think that’s it. Shall we head home?” 

Jaime’s head shot up. “No!” Beside him, Brienne raised a questioning eyebrow. “I mean, I need new boxers.”

“Can’t you get them another time?” 

Thankfully, the seventh floor hosted the underwear section of Tarly’s Department Store. Jaime pointed in that very direction. “Come on, Brienne, they’re right there. I’ll treat you to dinner.” 

Fine. But I’ll have to pass on dinner; Hyle and I are getting takeout.” 

How romantic, Jaime wanted to say, but resisted the urge to call out Brienne’s fiancee and his utter disregard for his future bride and their forthcoming wedding. Jaime could count on one hand everything Hyle had contributed to the ceremony. Thankfully, Brienne’s Man of Honour had stepped up. They spent most weekends together, now, but it was not enough. Jaime couldn’t get enough of Brienne. 

So, as they approached the underwear section, Jaime was determined to get boxers, briefs, socks, vests, perhaps even suspenders if it meant spending a little more time with Brienne. Jaime took his time flicking through the sales rack, enjoying Brienne’s warm gaze upon him. Even now, after a lengthy day of picking items for her registry, she was happy to indulge him. Brienne gave too much of herself. Someone like Hyle would take and take until there was nothing left. 

Brushing away his frustration, Jaime plucked a pair of burgundy boxers with gold spots from the rack and pressed them to his crotch. He wiggled his hips. “What do you think?”

Brienne laughed, burying her pink cheeks into the collar of her coat. “Very on brand.” 

“Good.” Jaime tossed them in her basket. He continued to sift through the merchandise, pointedly avoiding looking at the women’s lingerie that was only a few paces away. “Is there anything you need?” He just couldn’t help himself. “Something for the honeymoon, perhaps?” 

No.” Brienne wrapped her arms around her torso, also avoiding looking at the racks of bras and panties; suspenders and negligees. “Are you nearly done?”

He smirked. “No.”

Jaime picked out several pairs of boxers, a variety of socks, looked at monogrammed handkerchiefs, and even asked the sales clerk about their loyalty program. It was only when Jaime required his postcode, and turned to Brienne to ask, that he realised she was no longer behind him. He found her, unexpectedly, in the lingerie department. Brienne stood in front of a negligee in a deep red; gold embroidery decorating the cups and the material that would brush her upper thigh. 

He didn’t know what it meant that Brienne had chosen this negligee to appreciate. There was a gorgeous set in red and blue just beside it; even a bra in brown and white (the rather terrible colours of House Hunt, which rhymes with…). “Those colours would look good on you,” Jaime found himself saying.

“They’re your colours.” 

“Yes. Yes they are.”

Just then, his phone vibrated. A text from Tyrion. He took himself off into a corner to reply to the flurry of messages, before returning to Brienne’s side. When they left Tarly’s Department Store, Brienne had an extra bag. 

Chapter Text

Brienne was checking that everything was set up when she felt a presence lingering behind her. She didn’t even have to turn around to know who it was; the dulcet tones were evidence enough. “Well, hello again.” 

“Mister Lannister.”

“So formal.” He came into view; green eyes shuttering from her hair down to her shoes. “You look better. No twigs; less mud.” 

“Shall we get on with this?” 

“So impatient.” Jaime stood close; too close. His hands toyed with the belt of his robe. “Are you that desperate for me to take my clothes off, Blue Eyes?” 

“I just want to get this over with.” 

“Fine by me.” 

Jaime Lannister, Ice and Fire magazine’s sexiest man seven years in a row and well-known male model, strode onto the dais that had been set up in the middle of the studio. This would be the second time she’d worked with him; the first on an ancient Westeros themed photoshoot with Jaime on a horse and sparring with a sword. It had been a notorious disaster, despite how good the photos had come out: the horse had refused to behave, her assistant had fallen down a hill, and she and Jaime had found themselves soaking wet in a lake. 

But work was work, and Brienne had agreed to do this underwear shoot for Margaery’s new line. “Can the talent lose the robe, please?” 

“So professional.” 

Jaime Lannister did indeed lose the robe; the towel material falling off his shoulders and pooling at his feet. An assistant darted onto the dais to collect it, and Jaime settled himself back against the bed at centre stage. One hand lingered upon his stomach, just above the trail of hair leading to the prominent bulge in the black briefs. Brienne swallowed, hiding herself behind her camera. 

“Maybe not.” He laughed, green eyes glinting in the artificial light, as Brienne snapped her first picture.

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They made an unlikely pair: the Kingslayer and the Princess. No one would spar with her for fear of maiming King Selwyn’s only living heir. Few would spar with him; the vows he had broken making him unworthy in the eyes of most. But he was her protector, and she was slowly warming to him. Which was how Ser Jaime and Brienne found themselves on a secret spot hidden away from prying eyes where they could spar until the night drew in. 

“You know, you’re surprisingly not that bad,” Jaime said. 

He darted to the left, just in time for Brienne’s blade to shoot past his ear. She smirked. “Funny, I was about to say the same of you.”

They each took two steps back, circling each other like animals. “You’re not as good as you think you are, Princess.” 

“As long as I’m better than you think I am, I’ll have you yielding soon enough.” 

“We’ll see.” 

Jaime lunged forward; Brienne’s blade coming up to meet his. They exchanged blow after blow; swords meeting in a furious exchange. He’d never admit it, but the Princess was exceptional. He considered himself a prodigy with a sword, but Brienne might even eclipse him. She was dedicated, fighting to prove she was better, stronger, quicker. Only rarely did she move to show off. It was in these brief moments that Jaime had her. 

Suddenly the Princess was knocked to the ground; Jaime on top of her. His knife pressed to the collar of her jerkin rather than skin. “Yield, Princess.”

Never.” 

Brienne squirmed underneath him, trying to get free of the hold he had over her. Her laboured breathing, the rapid movement of her hips, awakened something in Jaime. He swallowed as he felt himself harden; his cock pressed against the juncture between Brienne’s thighs. She was still wriggling: cheeks pink and eyes ablaze. Close enough for Jaime to feel her breath on his face. 

She took his distraction as opportunity, and flipped them so he was on his back. Her hips met his; her hand yanking a handful of long hair and pulling him back to expose his throat. “Yield?” 

Yes.” Get off me. Come closer. “I yield.”

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Jaime had decided he liked being a prisoner of the Tullys; certainly more than he’d enjoyed being one of the Starks. At Riverrun he had his own room; could sleep lying down. He could walk in the grounds, and although he couldn’t wield, hold, or even look at a sword, he could still watch Brienne – his wife – spar with the Blackfish every morning. They’d even removed his chains. Brienne was to remain both his spouse and guard, and men followed them at all times. But there was a certain freedom to his life now. Of course, he was still shackled; if not physically, then by circumstance. 

Then, one afternoon, a commotion in the armoury dragged their two watchers away. Jaime took his chance. 

They were in the woods on the Tully estate, and it took only a few seconds for Jaime to grab Brienne and push her against the nearest tree. She gasped as her back hit bark, and Jaime advanced. One hand pinned hers to the tree; the other holding her shoulder in place. She was quick, and strong, but he’d been right all those moons ago: he was strong enough. This was it. This was the moment that had consumed his waking thoughts for far too long. 

“You’re trembling. You’re afraid.” She nodded. Jaime slid his hand against her neck; his thumb brushing the hollow of her throat. “You think I’ll kill you? You think I’ll take that knife on your hip and slit your throat?” 

He felt the tremors against his hand as she swallowed, and shook her head. “No.” 

Jaime leant forward; his breath fluttering the strands of her blonde hair. “So, what is it, my Lady? What has you so afraid? What do you think I’ll do to you?” 

“I think you’ll kiss me.” 

He grinned; dragging his thumb across Brienne’s mouth. She sighed, eyes closing at his touch. “Clever girl.” 

“We can’t, Jaime. We have a duty—”

Fuck duty. You’re my wife, Brienne.” He pressed his forehead to hers; hands clasping her face. “I just want to kiss you.” 

Everything she did after that was the most exquisite agony. Her teeth tugging at the skin of her bottom lip. Her half closed eyelids as she trembled; his slow, gentle touch making her shiver. The way her hands carded through his hair and teased his scalp, pulling him closer and closer until they shared one breath. Her lips brushed his. A tentative first kiss as if they were a squire and a lord’s daughter rather than two knights in the middle of a war. Brienne tasted of sugar and copper; her breath catching as he deepened their kiss. 

It wouldn’t be long before they were found. But Jaime wanted this moment to last for as long as it could. 

Chapter Text

“Don’t you have your own place?” 

Jaime grinned, barging past Brienne to gain entry to her flat. “Yes, but I much prefer yours. Look, I brought wine and brownies as a humble offering.” He pushed the bottle and greasy paper bag into her hands. “Is that spaghetti?” 

This was their routine most nights: they’d see each other at work, say their farewells, and within an hour of leaving the office Jaime would be on Brienne’s doorstep. Sometimes he would bring beer or pizza; other times a film to watch or a boardgame to play. Jaime would never arrive on Brienne’s doorstep empty handed. For as much as she rolled her eyes and thought his penthouse apartment was bigger and better, Jaime loved her place. 

It felt more home than home. 

Stripping off his coat and scarf, Jaime hung it with Brienne’s own and immediately went to the kitchen nook. Whilst Brienne grabbed two glasses, he found the dishware and cutlery. 

“Is there garlic bread?” Jaime asked as he loaded his plate full of spaghetti. 

Brienne shoved a meatball into his mouth before ducking down to open the oven. “If I’d known you were coming over, we could have ordered in.” 

“Why? This is great.” He stole another meatball from her plate. “Much better than eating out.” 

Brienne shook her head, and followed him into the seating area. She turned the television on; immediately searching for the next episode of the show they were bingeing. They ate their spaghetti while the show washed over them; greasy hands smearing garlic bread to catch every drop of Brienne’s homemade sauce. As the next episode came on, Jaime caught Brienne’s eye and grinned. He’d never tell her, not sure she’d understand, but these evenings were something he’d always wanted, but never knew he needed. 

His own home was uncomfortable; built for style rather than function. Cersei had picked out the furnishings during her interior decorator phase: the television was too high up and the sofa too uncomfortable. Brienne’s sofa almost swallowed you; the television at the perfect height. Jaime would certainly never eat on his sofa, much less stream a show with someone. His previous girlfriends had always insisted on eating out or going to the theatre; never just sitting and watching some bad historical drama. 

“Another episode?”

Jaime smiled. “Sure. I’ll get the brownies.” 

They topped up their glasses and ate the gooey brownies Jaime had bought from the bakery near the office. Three episodes turned into four. Brienne, in her corner of the sofa, stretched out. Her fingertips brushed his shoulder, as they always did, and Jaime knew it was okay. 

With practised ease, he rested his head upon Brienne’s shoulder. As four episodes turned into five, her fingers began to play with his hair. Just the strands falling into his eyes. Then stroking his hair; teasing his scalp. Jaime resisted the urge to purr; instead wrapping his right arm across Brienne’s middle. The first time they’d done this, she’d jumped right up and fled to the kitchen to make tea. Now her free hand slid up his arm; tracing circles along the bare skin. 

Eyes half closed, savouring the satisfying feeling of a good meal and a good cuddle, Jaime asked, “It’s getting late. Can I sleep in your spare room?” 

Brienne nodded, as she always did. One day, he’d just never leave. 

Chapter Text

Brienne watched as Jaime Lannister handed his gold credit card to the caterer, and ticked off the last item on her list. It had been a long day, the end of a long week and several, several months of planning. But tonight was the sixtieth nameday party for Tywin Lannister and Selwyn Tarth, and both their heirs had managed to pull together a surprise party without murdering the other. 

After signing away a considerable sum of money, Jaime joined her at one of the banquet tables they’d rented for the party. He lounged back against the chair, observing her with cool green eyes. “That wasn’t too painful, was it?” 

Brienne stared blankly across the table. “It’s as if you think I won’t hit you.” 

“Come on, Brienne,” he grinned, leaning towards her. “It hasn’t been that bad. I think you actually quite like me now.” 

Her mouth faltered; unsure what to say when faced with Jaime’s lazy grin. She did quite like him now, as a matter of fact. Only took forty years. With their fathers being college friends and business partners, Brienne had never known a time when the Lannisters weren’t in her life. She’d always got on well with Tyrion, but Jaime was a different matter. Perhaps it was because she always challenged him in karate class or fencing. Maybe it was his Aunt Genna’s assumption that the two of them would eventually be married; an assumption that both Tywin and Selywn seemed to share. Ultimately Jaime had never had a kind word to say of her, and she could not stomach being in his presence. 

Their fathers upcoming nameday, however, had changed all that. 

Jaime continued to smile at her; now so close he could whisper in her ear. “Do you want to know a secret, Brienne?” She truly didn’t. She had years and years of taunts and japes; cruel insults and childish pranks. She didn’t need another. Not today. “I quite like you too. Very much.” 

Pulling away, Jaime retook his seat. Brienne didn’t know what to say to that either; just tried not to blush too hard or stammer under the force of what she believed to be Jaime’s sole compliment towards her. Clearly she hadn’t succeeded. Jaime grinned before looking at his watch, a sixteenth nameday gift from her father that Jaime seemed to cherish more than his own father’s coming of age gift: fifteen percent of LT Holdings. Tywin had given her the same a year later. 

“I should probably head back to the flat; shower, get changed. Pick up my date.” 

Oh.” Brienne wet her top lip. “You’re bringing a date?” 

Jaime nodded. “It’s a party, Brienne. One tends to bring dates to these things.” 

But you never do. Nameday parties, anniversary celebrations, weddings of mutual friends...Jaime never brought a plus one to such events. Brienne never did, either, but that was always out of circumstance rather than choice. Dateless, the pair would quickly find themselves thrust together. Aunt Genna would force them into a dance before the evening was out; side by side at dinner and a hissed argument at the bar would follow. 

But not today. Jaime swallowed, looking down at his shoes as he asked, “What about you? Are you bringing someone?” 

Of course. My boyfriend.” 

A muscle in Jaime’s cheek clenched. “We’ve spent nearly every waking moment together for the past few months, and you’ve never mentioned a boyfriend.” 

“You didn’t mention a date. Guess we’re not that close.” Brienne gathered up the paperwork on the table, and reached for her bag. “I’ll see you at the party, Jaime.” 

She left first, darting past a waiter restocking the bar for the evening’s events. Brienne could not explain the churning of her stomach; the taste of bile in the back of her throat. As she texted Margaery to ask if she knew of anyone who could pretend to be her boyfriend for the night, Brienne suddenly realised why she was so upset. She’d assumed Jaime would be there by himself so they could be together like always. So they could dance, and eat, and just be together. 

Gods. She wanted Jaime. 

Chapter Text

“Do you have to stand so close?”

Jaime grinned as he pressed in even closer to Brienne Tarth, enjoying the roll of her shoulders and intake of breath as she summoned up a glare just for him. “Apologies, Ms Tarth, but your publishers employed my services to protect you. I can’t very well do it in the coffee shop across the street, can I?” 

Brienne shifted her gaze to the stack of books in front of her. This was the third second-hand bookshop they’d visited that day; after that would be a trip to the library, and several hours tapping out today’s chapter whilst Jaime closed off the curtains and viewed the security feed for any leads on Tarth’s blackmailer. So far, not a trace. But he’d get his man; Jaime always did. Until then, he intended to stick close to Brienne Tarth. 

Especially as her cheeks turned a gorgeous hue when he got too close. 

“This really can’t be professional.” 

“Of course it is.” Jaime leaned over and rested his chin atop her shoulder. “I’m undercover, Ms Tarth. No one must know I’m your bodyguard, because no one knows who you are.”

That little deception was at the root of Tarth’s blackmail threats. To the bestseller lists, and Jaime’s own bookshelf, she was Brien Storm, an alternate history novelist with a rack of awards to ‘his’ good name. A mysterious literary figure, someone had discovered Storm’s true identity two months before. When the cryptic messages turned into blatant threats, Jaime had been called in. He’d yet to express his affections to his favourite novelist. Didn’t help that she was more striking than Jaime could have predicted. 

Just then, someone approached them. Jaime’s hand reached into his back pocket, and the knife he kept there whilst undercover. The man, shorter than both Brienne and Jaime, wore a serious expression. “Can I help you with anything?” 

Brienne smiled thinly. “Just looking, thank you.” 

“Yeah, we’re just looking.” Jaime pressed his lips to the fabric of Brienne’s shoulder. “My girlfriend loves to browse.” 

The man’s forehead furrowed as he looked between the two of them, and the possessive – protective – hand Jaime placed upon Brienne’s hip. The sales clerk quickly left them to it, and Brienne immediately shook him off. “What do you think you’re doing?” 

“I’m your undercover boyfriend.”

She scoffed. “Like anyone will believe that.” 

“I don’t know,” Jaime said, lounging back against the bookshelves. “People will believe anything.”

Chapter Text

“Remind me again why I’m letting you do this to me?”

“Because you’re the one who couldn’t resist crawling into bed with me.” 

Brienne frowned; crossing her arms over her chest before Jaime grabbed one and dragged her to the next boutique. “I was cold. We were both fully clothed! And I didn’t even know your father had a key.” 

“Neither did I until I found him in our living room.” 

Jaime had woken up beside his best friend and roommate; her body curled around him as they warded off a Winterfell winter in bed together. He’d allowed himself a moment of joy; a brush of his fingers against her forehead. Then he went to make coffee. He’d screamed at the sight of the figure sitting, motionless, in their living room. Brienne had emerged moments later with sleep in her eye and a replica of Oathkeeper in her hand. Tywin Lannister was supposed to be in Casterly Rock. He wasn’t supposed to be in Winterfell, visiting his son early on a Sunday. He wasn’t supposed to be frowning that his son and heir had kept his girlfriend from him. 

“We should have made it clearer that we’re just friends,” Brienne said, resisting the pull of Jaime’s arm as they stepped into another clothing store. He nodded at the security guard before dragging Brienne in the direction of the dresses. “Can’t we just…I don’t know, pretend to be fighting so I don’t have to come?”

Jaime sighed, bowing his head. He kept his gaze soft; his bottom lip out. “I suppose, Brienne, if you really can’t bear the idea. I’ll step into the lion's den by myself. I mean, a true, honourable—”

“—do you need a knife, Jaime, because you’re laying it on thick.” But Brienne groaned all the same; shoulders sagging. “Fine. I’ll stop moaning. But you owe me, Jaime Lannister.”

“Of course. A Lannister always pays his debts.” 

Chapter Text

Jaime leaned back against the soft fabric of the sofa; the light from the television washing over him as Brienne’s mouth engulfed his cock. They’d been sitting there, watching the new series of Masterchef, when Brienne had just said, Hang on, I want to try something. The next thing Jaime knew, she was unzipping his jeans and stroking his cock to full hardness. He’d already been half-hard squeezed onto the sofa beside his roommate; their new arrangement leaving him in a constant state of arousal. 

Brienne’s tongue swirled around the head, and Jaime squeezed his eyes shut as a wave of pleasure rolled through him. His hand gently carded through Brienne’s hair; teasing that spot just behind her ear. She released his cock with a soft pop, and looked up at him with bright eyes. “Am I doing alright?” 

“Yes, Brienne, you’re doing wonderfully.” Her nails bit into his upper thighs; Jaime threw his head back and laughed. “No, no, I mean it. Although, stopping halfway through to ask am I doing okay rather ruins the mood.” 

Brienne cast a sapphire eye upon his cock; still thick and hard. She raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment. “Duly noted.” 

Two firm hands spread his legs wider as Brienne settled further between them. Her hand teased the base of his cock; her tongue sliding up the length of him. Jaime choked back a gasp. She’d come so far in the few weeks since they’d made their arrangement. He liked to think he had, too. After that disastrous date where it was made clear his experiences with his step-sister had left him inadequate, Jaime had taken great strides to improve his performance. Brienne, after breaking things off with Hyle, had wanted greater confidence for her next relationship. 

Which was how Jaime found himself coming in Brienne’s mouth; fingers curled in her blonde hair as she sucked him dry. Definitely a fast learner. After kissing, groping, and now going down upon the other, that only left one last thing to perfect. 

Jaime thought of falling into bed with his roommate, his best friend. The woman he’d been in love with for the last three years. He moaned. 

Chapter Text

Win a Date with Jaime Lannister!

Brienne had remembered seeing the competition in pop up ads as she’d searched the web; had seen it mentioned several times on the period forums she traversed to discuss films and television shows set in Ancient Westeros. Other than that, Brienne hadn’t given the competition a second thought. She had no desire to spend an evening at a glitzy premiere, let alone with the man single-handedly responsible for misrepresenting one of the greatest knights in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. 

But Brienne hadn’t anticipated Margaery Tyrell. 

Now she was in a suite at one of the finest hotels in King’s Landing, tugging at the hem of the blue dress Margaery had insisted she buy for the premiere of The Gallows Knight. Brienne huffed, tugged at the hem again, and waited beside the door for Jaime Lannister to pick her up for their date. Brienne’s unfortunate prize included a three-course dinner with the vapid actor, a ticket to two hours of historical inaccuracies on the big screen, and a heap of embarrassment as Brienne walked the red carpet in front of photographers and reporters. 

Finally, there was a series of knocks on the door. Brienne yanked it open; spilling artificial light from the corridor into her room. And there he was. Ice and Fire’s sexiest man of the year, dressed in a tuxedo that cost more than two month’s rent, and a smile that Brienne waited to diminish when he caught sight of the beast who’d be escorting him to his big premiere. 

True to form, Jaime Lannister’s green eyes took her in: the flats on her feet; her long legs; the blue dress that covered her meagre breasts whilst maximising her broad shoulders. His tongue wet his top lip before he blinked; regaining his composure. “Apologies. I didn’t expect…you.” 

“I’m sure you didn’t.” Brienne resisted the urge to apologise for her presence. But it wasn’t her fault she’d won the competition, or hadn’t provided Margaery with a good enough excuse why she couldn’t make it. “Shall we get this over with?” 

The former teen heartthrob furrowed his brow; caught off guard by her brusqueness. “O–okay. Are you alright with your shoes? No heels?” 

“Believe me, Mister Lannister, neither of us want me towering over you in every photograph snapped on the red carpet tonight.” Neither of us want to be photographed together at all. 

“I–” Jaime tugged at his collar. “If you’re uncomfortable in them, by all means. But don’t not wear them on my account.” 

Brienne didn’t know what his game was, but she did grab the pair of blue stilettos Margaery had insisted she pack and slipped them on instead of the flats. Whilst before she was but an inch taller than Jaime Lannister, now she had a good four inches on him. He swallowed as he stared; eyes roaming over her legs. He then offered her his arm. 

“Shall we?”  

Chapter Text

“I can’t believe you just did that!”

Brienne stormed from the balcony and down into the gardens. Beside him, Tyrion gave him a look: go after her, or on your head be it. It wouldn’t just be Uncle Selwyn who’d give him an earful; Father would lecture Jaime senseless for reducing Brienne to tears. Like it was Jaime’s fault. She was the one who’d invited Renly Baratheon to her nameday party; she was the one who’d practically been drooling on the top of his head all night. 

Rolling his eyes, Jaime followed Brienne’s path before she reached the maze. He shouted after her; she finally stopped just as she reached the swan pond. Jaime was about to offer an insincere apology when she pushed him to the ground. “What did you do that for?”

“You are such an arse, Jaime Lannister! We were about to—” Brienne cut herself off, wrapping both arms around herself against the winter chill. “Renly and I were having a moment.”

You were having nothing.” Jaime picked himself up off the ground and forced his way into Brienne’s face. “He was acting all sweet with you because it’s your nameday, but saying all kinds of hateful things behind your back.” 

Brienne scoffed. “Like you don’t.”

Jaime shrugged. “I don’t. I say them to your face. Brienne, he’s not a nice guy.” 

He wasn’t, either, but at least he didn’t lead on a sixteen-year-old girl sweet on him and then laugh about her infatuation with his friends and boyfriend. Brienne, however, still seemed utterly enamoured with Renly. He was pretty (Jaime supposed), and funny (Tyrion was funnier). Honestly, as boring and plain as she was, Brienne could do a lot better than Renly Baratheon. 

“I can’t believe you hit him.” And we’re back to that. “We were having a moment. He was going to kiss me.”

“He has a boyfriend, Brienne! He wasn’t going to kiss you.” 

“Because no one would want to; that’s what you’re saying, isn’t it?” Brienne pushed him again; Jaime grabbing her very deft hands and pulling her close. “You think no one is ever going to kiss me.” 

“Why in all seven hells are you so obsessed with your first kiss?” Jaime groaned, letting one of Brienne’s hands free to clasp her face instead. “It’s not that important. Look, I’ll show you.” 

And then he kissed her. Firm lips pressed to hers; chapped from the winter breeze. She tasted of fruit punch and icing from her nameday cake, and her mouth opened slightly under his touch. Brienne wasn’t a bad kisser. Wasn’t bad at all. No tongue; little moisture. Her teeth caught his bottom lip accidentally and it made him shiver. Renly didn’t know (but no doubt didn’t care) what he was missing. 

Jaime moved to deepen their kiss, but two hands pressed firm against his chest and knocked him back. Above him, Brienne wiped her mouth with her arm and strode off in the direction of the party. Jaime lay on the ground, head twisting to watch her depart. That was unexpected. 

Chapter Text

As Brienne turned nineteen, and the King still refused his adviser's insistence that he take a second wife, a flurry of suitors had attended King’s Landing to vie for the hand of the Princess. As her guard, Jaime was present whenever she was introduced to these men: hedge knights, minor lords, even sons of noble houses. Thankfully, Brienne’s former Septa had developed some mysterious ailment and had returned to Tarth. The Princess could thus meet these men without her stark commentary. 

A shame, then, that none of these men were good enough for her. 

Today’s candidates were a hedge knight from the Reach (Jaime forgot his name; his manner as bland as his face), and Prince Oberyn Martell. He could be a legitimate candidate if the Small Council wanted to strengthen ties with Dorne. Jaime couldn’t see it himself. The Red Viper was a known philanderer, and since his arrival in King’s Landing had spent considerable time with Jaime’s own brother in many of the cities brothels. 

Hardly a decent husband for the Princess. 

Yet Oberyn glided through the gardens with ease, dropping to his knees in front of Brienne and instantly taking her hand. He placed a kiss upon the inside of her wrist. “You are as singular as the songs speak of you, my Princess.” 

“You’re too kind, Prince Oberyn.” 

“It’s not a kindness when faced with such beauty. For you are a beauty, Princess Brienne. Perhaps the men of King’s Landing or the Westerlands don’t see it.” Dark eyes glanced up at Jaime, lingering behind her. “But in Dorne, you are quite something.” 

Two pink spots blotted Brienne’s cheeks. The Prince had yet to relinquish Brienne’s hand, and Jaime felt the urge to tear her away. Lock her in her tower; keep her safe from all these bloodthirsty hounds looking for a place on the throne. Brienne, however, seemed bowled over by Oberyn’s affections. She kept teasing her bottom lip with her teeth; fingers fiddling with the hem of her jerkin. The Prince pressed another kiss to her hand, this time to her knuckles. 

“Perhaps you would do me the honour of a walk through the gardens? Although, I hear you are quite the swordsman. Perhaps a bout?” 

“I only spar with Ser Jaime.” 

He couldn’t resist grinning over Brienne’s shoulder as Oberyn’s dark eyes once again met his. She only spars with me, Martell. Only me. However, that didn’t seem to dissuade the Prince. “You know, in Dorne, we enjoy multiple partners. Perhaps you will as well.” 

The innuendo was clear, and Brienne stammered in the face of it. Her skin turned blotchy, and she stumbled to her feet. Oberyn rose with her, hand still within his, only for Jaime to place a comforting touch to the small of her back. “Are you alright, Princess? Are you unwell?” 

“Too much sun, I think. Forgive me, Prince Oberyn.”

“There is nothing to forgive, Princess. I’ll be here for some time. We have plenty of time to get to know one another.” 

The Prince watched them leave the gardens; a curious, contemplating look upon his face as he observed Jaime’s attentive nature. She was his charge, that was all. It was Jaime’s responsibility to keep her alive, to keep her well, and to keep her maidenhood intact until the Princess could be married in the Sept of Baelor. Though, if it was up to Jaime, that last one would never happen. None of these men were good enough to be her Prince. 

What Brienne needed was a good man, with a good sword. 

Chapter Text

Standing on top of the Wall, staring out onto a fathomless expanse of snow, Jaime was struck by the absurdity of his situation. Honourable Lord Stark had tried, twice, to banish him here. Once after he had saved the population of King’s Landing, and the other after he’d sought retribution for his missing brother. Leaving Winterfell for his sister, as fruitless as that endeavour had proven later to be, had been the final straw. Stark’s so–nephew had done what he could not. 

Ser Jaime Lannister, formerly of Casterly Rock, was now the Lord Commander of a frozen, pointless slab of wall. Still, there was one rather tall benefit to his situation. 

He heard her before he saw her; her footfall growing increasingly familiar to his ears. “Lord Commander.”

“Lord Commander.” Brienne gave him a brief nod as she stood beside him. “It certainly doesn’t get any warmer here.” 

“I don’t know. I think it’s grown on me.” Two sentences in, and already a smile. A new record. “How is Her Grace? I trust you have not left her undefended.” 

“Sandor and Podrick are perfectly capable of protecting Queen Sansa in my absence.” 

Jaime grinned. “You seem to be absent from Winterfell a great deal, Lord Commander.” 

“It’s important the Wall remains guarded. We don’t wish to see a repeat of the Long Night.”

“Of course.” 

As usual, Jaime walked Brienne along the length of the wall and gave his report on the latest events. Half of the new Night’s Watch were stabilising the wall; the other half on daily patrols for any sightings of White Walkers. A fool’s errand, but like before it kept the less desirable citizens of Westeros out the way. As Lord Commander, Jaime could teach the new recruits how to fight, could delegate someone else to deal with the Wildling King, and could entertain visiting dignitaries…Brienne. He could spend time, uninterrupted, with Brienne. 

They made quite the pair, standing atop the wall. Twin swords, twin positions. Twin girls, running around on Tarth, if Jaime hadn’t been such a fool. No use dwelling on such things now. 

He glanced over at Brienne; those bottomless pools of blue staring at him with such longing it almost drove him to his knees. As she always did, she quickly turned her attention elsewhere. 

“How long will you stay?” he asked. Not long enough. Never long enough. 

“A few days. Long enough for arrangements to be made. The Queen wishes to bring together all the important figures of the North; including yourself, Ser Jaime, as Lord Commander.”

He nodded. “Of course; I will answer the call of my Queen.” 

Three, possibly four days with Brienne. A two-week journey south, and then several days at Winterfell. Jaime should have started praying to the Old Gods sooner.  

Chapter Text

The large metal gate groaned as it slid open; the orderly, Podrick, giving her a reassuring smile as Brienne entered the belly of the beast. Her flats tapped against the peeling linoleum floor; her skirt moving unfavourably across her thighs as she walked the short distance towards the cell at the far end. So few were housed in the Riverlands Institute for the Criminally Insane due to growing budget cuts, but the Kingslayer had warranted a hall all to himself. Brienne slowed her approach as she reached his home for the last seventeen years. 

And there he was. The Kingslayer. 

Whatever Brienne expected, it wasn’t this. Dark-blonde hair gracing the breadth of his shoulders; a thick beard with a few specks of silver. Sharp green eyes that followed the length of her legs, all the way up her considerable torso, and met her own gaze. She had a vague understanding of his case, yet she hadn’t expected the Kingslayer to be so…handsome. But underneath the beautiful visage was a man who had committed pure evil. An oathbreaker, who had broken his most sacred vow: do no harm. 

“The fluorescent lights do you no favours, sweetling.” 

Brienne bristled, but kept her retort to herself. “Doctor Lannister, my name is Brienne Tarth. Might I speak with you?” 

“You might.” He approached the thick sheet of glass that separated them. His gaze was intense; head cocked as he no doubt tried to find the soft underbelly for which to sink his teeth. “You’re one of Baratheon’s. Not Stannis, I hear he’s gone and found religion.”

“I work under Renly Baratheon.” 

Doctor Lannister snickered, peeling himself away from the glass to lie upon his bed in the corner. “I’m sure you’d like to, sweetling, but Renly prefers to be the bottom. Or so I’ve heard.”

Brienne pressed her tongue to her teeth, determined not to bite back. To fail Renly. “I have no interest in foul rumours, Doctor Lannister.”

“Unless they’re about me?” 

“That’s a fact. Proven in a court of law.”

In the dim light of the cells, Brienne could make out a glint in his green eyes. “Is it now?”  

Chapter Text

Jaime took a sip of hot coffee, before adjusting the position of his lens. The camera was aimed at the bed; crimson sheets and pillows piled high. A little Lannister touch that was sure to earn an eye-roll from his model. Serves her right for accepting something as boring as a nightwear shoot. Jaime usually shot Brienne on a horse, in mail, or at the very least carrying a sword. Their first job together, both desperately needing cash, had been stock photos for a history book. 

But he was a good photographer, she was a fascinating subject, and Jaime had shot two coffee table books since, among many other projects. 

Now, in his loft space in Storm’s End, Jaime was preparing to shoot numerous photos of Brienne in pyjamas. He adjusted the lens again, before stepping over to the bed to move some of the pillows. Boring. But it was a favour for Brienne’s friend Margaery, and it couldn’t hurt having his photos in Ice & Fire magazine. Even if they were just bland shots of his best friend in pyjamas. Perhaps they’d have little lions on them. He’d never let Brienne live it down. 

“Are you ready yet?” Jaime asked, a flash of lightning illuminating the room. The Stormlands really lives up to its name. 

“Just about. Are you sure you’re alright doing this? I could ask Jon’s friend—”

“—no.” Brienne was his model, his muse, his best friend. Some wildlife photographer from up North wasn’t going to get Brienne behind his lens. Although, if she took any longer to get ready…“The light’s going, Brienne.”

“Well, you said you wanted a challenge.” 

The bathroom door opened just as a crack of thunder echoed through the room. Jaime glanced at Brienne; she’d pulled her hair back, a few messy strands framing her face. No makeup except a smear of red against her mouth. Will look great with the sheets. As expected, she gave him an eye-roll as to his colour scheme. She was wearing a blue robe, and bare feet. 

Teeth teasing her bottom lip, Brienne stared at him. “Where do you want me, Jaime?” 

“On the bed will be great. We’ll see how it goes from there.” 

Brienne hesitated for a moment; hands toying with the ties of the robe. “You know, maybe I should have asked someone else. This might be weird.” 

Jaime resisted the urge to remind Brienne that they’d shared a bed on numerous occasions when their budget was tight. He’d seen her in pyjamas before; he’d actually worn hers before. “I’ll be a professional. Just take off that robe and get on the bed.” 

So she did. And Jaime realised he’d misunderstood nightwear completely

Brienne wore a corset; the black material offsetting her white skin beautifully. He could see a hint of pink underneath the material; Brienne’s nipples barely covered by the delicate lace. Golden buckles, little suns like the old Tarth sigil, held the corset over her breasts and torso. Her knickers left miles and miles of alabaster leg on display; to say nothing of the sharp indent of her collarbones, and the taut muscles of her neck. She was glorious.  

Jaime couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t think. He was just witness to Brienne crawling across his bed, and settling herself against his pillows. She turned to him, seemingly unaware of his distraction or his cock hardening at the sight of so much skin on display. And all for him.  

“Is this alright?” Brienne said, lying back with one hand on her stomach and the other on the sheets. “Or is there another way you want me?” 

Let me count the ways. 

Chapter Text

Jaime clutched the two wooden swords in his hand and stared out at the dark clouds hanging over King’s Landing; rain covering the city in a fine mist. The Citadel believed winter would soon come, and the slight chill in the air suggested they were right. Damn. Both he and Brienne had fought in worse conditions than this. But the beauty of being Queen and Hand meant they didn’t have to spar in them. 

“Podrick?”

A squire was one of his father’s gifts at being made Hand to the Queen. Podrick had barely seen his ninth nameday but he was a sweet lad. He practically stumbled over his own feet to reach him. “Yes, milord?”

“Return these swords to my rooms.”

“Where will you be after, milord?”

Jaime grinned. “With Her Grace. You don’t need to disturb us.” 

His squire ran off with the two swords that were practically the size of him, and Jaime headed for the Queen’s chambers. It was still early; many staying within the Red Keep had yet to awake. He expected Brienne to be up and dressed; perhaps finishing a hearty breakfast she would use to drive him into the dirt. When he arrived at her chambers, however, he found none of those things. Ser Brynden gave him a single nod, and allowed him in without any announcement. 

Brienne stood by the open window in nothing more than her shift. Arms crossed, eyes soft, she stared at the first storm to hit King’s Landing in many, many moons. The wind caught in the drapes and blew them into the room; Jaime could feel the slight chill from the door. 

Grabbing a blanket from the bed, Jaime rushed over and wrapped it around Brienne’s shoulders. “You’ll catch your death. It’s freezing, Brienne.” 

“It’s a storm.”

“Yes, yes, it’s a storm.”

Her arms were like she’d been taken by the White Walkers. Jaime pulled the blanket further around her shoulders, before pressing Brienne against his torso. His hands slid up and down her arms, trying to drag some warmth back into her body. Brienne was fixated on the open window; on the rain which had become sheets pouring down upon an unsuspecting city. Her fingers tightened around the leather of his jerkin. 

“It feels like home.”

Of course. A girl from the Stormlands would enjoy the rain, and the wind. He liked when Brienne talked about Tarth. When she talked about anything that made her smile. “Tell me about it.” 

Jaime ushered Brienne onto a nearby chaise; her body resting against his. She was still too cold. Whilst Brienne talked about the last great storm she’d seen on Tarth, Jaime managed to summon some hot water, a fire, and some more blankets. They huddled together on the chaise, Jaime’s arms wrapped around Brienne, as they watched the storm outside. He continued to hold her, long after she grew warm. 

Chapter Text

“That’s her. Brienne Tarth. She’s talking to her father, Selwyn.”

Jaime followed Tyrion’s outstretched finger and caught his first glimpse of his future wife. Tall. Blonde. Periwinkle blue eyes. A nice, if slightly crooked, smile. She was talking animatedly with her father. Jaime thought he’d feel something seeing her for the first time. But there was nothing special about Brienne Tarth. She was a thirty-two year old singleton with enough family money to be considered a match for Tywin Lannister’s son and heir. No more, no less.

“What do you think?” Tyrion said, looking at his phone and Bronn’s description. “She’s…almost pretty.”

He shrugged. She could be the most beautiful woman in Westeros, and she would still be the woman his father was forcing him to marry. “She’s better than losing my house, my car, my replica swords. I’m sure I’m not her ideal husband, either.”

His brother raised a single eyebrow, but did not comment. Jaime was still considered one of the most eligible bachelors in the Seven Kingdoms, but he had never found himself serious with anyone. Hence his father’s ultimatum. Tyrion was probably right: he could swan up there, introduce himself, and have his future wife falling over him within a matter of minutes. Nothing special. 

“So, are you going to go over and introduce yourself?”

Jaime tried to imagine waking up to this woman every morning. Getting home and seeing her face every day. He sighed. “Maybe later.”

Patting his brother on the shoulder, Jaime decided to put some distance between himself and Brienne Tarth. He took off to investigate Evenfall Hall, the ancestral home of his future bride. There was a museum, and a mock tourney, and Jaime wondered if he switched to wooden swords or maybe a side hobby as a cat burglar he could afford his weaponry from the Dragon Ages and not have to marry the most boring, most bland woman in all of the Stormlands.

Sighing, Jaime slipped inside Evenfall Hall and found himself walking through some of the exhibits. One, in particular, caught his eye: he had the replica at home. “Oathkeeper.”

“Good eye.” 

He hadn’t seen the tall blonde approach. She had an inch on him; blonde hair pulled away from her face. Eyes the colour of the water surrounding the island, and a smile that made Jaime long to do whatever it took to see it again. She was talking animatedly about the history of the blade, how it came to be housed at the Evenfall museum. She talked about its sister sword and Jaime found himself chiming in with a few facts himself. 

She grinned at him. “I have a few replicas. Would you–I don’t suppose you’d like to spar with them, would you?”

Jaime found himself nodding. Now, why couldn’t this be Brienne Tarth?

Chapter Text

The office was quiet when Jaime stepped off the elevator. He expected nothing less, considering it was half six in the morning and the sun had barely risen. Winter had come earlier than the Citadel had predicted, and Jaime was not looking forward to months, Gods forbid even years, of cold icy mornings dragging his sorry arse into the office to prove to his father that he was capable of running Lannister Holdings. 

Coffee in hand, Jaime found the remote for the blinds and brought the thin morning light into his office. That’s when he saw it for the first time. The billboard. 

It was an advertisement for Golden Rose Lingerie, one branch of the Tyrell Foundation. The model was…unusual. Androgynous features; pale skin. Blue eyes that were clearly photoshopped (no one in the world had eyes that blue). Her blonde hair was pulled away from her face, and she wore a cream corset with tan lace covering her breasts. The billboard was certainly an improvement on the advert for carpet cleaner that had been there the day before. Other than that, Jaime couldn’t care less. 

When Tyrion arrived in the office at close to ten (bringing with him two everything breakfast bagels whose crumbs would litter Jaime’s reports), he stared out the window for some time. “She’s certainly something, isn’t she.” 

Jaime just shrugged, and continued checking the figures in front of him. “She’s a half-naked woman on a billboard, Tyrion. Nothing more.”

“She’s not my type, but I will admit she is striking. It’s those eyes. And the collarbones. And the…innocence despite her being in lingerie.”

He pushed aside the paperwork and stared at his brother. “She’s just a woman, Tyrion. And those eyes are probably the vibrance filter turned all the way up.” 

His brother frowned, but thankfully joined him at his desk to discuss figures rather than stare out the window. Jaime had half a mind to close the blinds from then on, especially as every visitor to his office that day seemed to have something to say about the lingerie model looking right into his office. Connington on three had some rather unsavoury remarks. Podrick, his brother’s assistant, blushed and stammered all the way through giving Jaime last month’s projections. It frustrated Jaime to no end. 

No more than his own growing obsession, however. 

When his eyes grew tired, and the appendices and spreadsheets began to blur together, his gaze would shift to the window. To the blue eyes that seemed reminiscent of the waters he’d swam in last year when he’d holidayed on Tarth. To the wisps of blonde hair framing her face. To the length of bare neck that Jaime could picture putting his mouth on; lips light as he moved from her jaw to the hollow of her throat. Collarbones he would lave over with his tongue. Endless creamy skin that Jaime would mark with his teeth; the brush of a day’s stubble against the top of her breasts. 

The billboard was too far away, but in his lust-filled haze he could almost see the point of her nipples through the lace cups. 

“Fuck.” 

It was nearing eight, and Jaime had not yet left the office. The dinner his assistant had brought lay cold to one side; only the cleaning staff remained and they avoided his office like he carried greyscale. Outside, the strip lights above the billboard kept the Golden Maiden in full view. Jaime’s gaze lingered upon her breasts. His suit trousers tightened; his stomach coiling with want. It had been months since he’d had sex; he had no time for a relationship and Jaime cared little for one night stands (like his sister) or paying for it (like his brother). Getting himself off in his office would have to do. 

Unzipping his trousers, Jaime slid a hand inside his briefs and pulled out his cock. A few strokes had him hard and aching, and Jaime tried to keep his gaze upon the billboard outside. He kept slipping, though. Imagined this woman waiting back at his apartment: face bare, hair pulled back. She’d worn the lingerie for him, and he took his time undressing her. Every hook was replaced by his mouth; every lace a stroke of his finger. She’d be begging for him to be inside her; crying out his name until it was nothing more than broken syllables. 

Jaime spilled in his hand; the waves of his orgasm rolling through him. He slumped back in his office chair, and found the cool eyes of the model staring back. He needed to find out her name. He needed to have the billboard removed. 

Whatever he did, he couldn’t do this again.  

Chapter Text

Brienne struggled to keep the smile upon her face as Jaime Lannister settled in the chair in front of her. Her dressing room at The Sapphire theatre was small; all peeling paint with cracks in the corner of her mirror. Flowers her father had sent, sunflowers no less, had begun to wilt and the smell was overpowering. Perhaps, in his previous life, Lannister would have met his interviewees at an upscale restaurant or in a well-stocked hotel bar. 

But that was before, and regional theatre reviewers could not afford five-star locales. 

Crossing one leg over the other, Lannister pressed record on his Dictaphone and placed it atop her dressing table. He then pulled out a legal pad full of notes. “So. Brienne Tarth. Playing Jeyne in The Sapphire’s production of Oathkeeper.”

She wet her top lip. “That’s right.” 

“I once saw Ashara Dayne perform that role at The Red Keep in King’s Landing. She was…phenomenal. What made you think you could cope with such a role?” Brienne stuttered, flustered by the wording of his question. “Surely that’s not difficult to answer.” 

Lannister reached for the glass of ice water and lemon that one of the production assistants had brought him. He took a sip, then another when Brienne didn’t respond. “Let’s start with something easier. “Do you believe that audiences will accept you as Jeyne, who’s usually played by an actress with a…smaller stage presence?”

“I–I think—”

“Take your time.” He took another sip of water. “If you want, you can write the answer down and read it back to me.”

Something in Brienne snapped. How dare he sit there and throw absurd, leading questions in her face in what was supposed to be nothing more than a puff piece about The Sapphire’s first production since the floods last summer. This wasn’t even a commissioned article: Renly had called his former brother-in-law to help promote his first play as director. Clearly Jaime Lannister hoped to claw his way back into the limelight with a damaging piece, and Brienne refused to let it happen. 

“The reason why Jeyne has always been played by some simpering brunette on stage is because directors have long seen her character as nothing more than Arthur’s love interest. The historical foundation on which Oathkeeper is based upon describes Jeyne as ‘as tall as a Wildling, and with Targaryen ancestry’. I see my portrayal as bringing Jeyne back to her roots. But to be frank, Mister Lannister, I would have loved to have played Arthur.”

“So why didn’t you?” he shrugged, unfazed by her response. “Small theatre; small audience. You could have played the male lead quite easily instead of Hyle Hunt. Does Renly Baratheon not have any faith in you?” 

“He has faith in me!” Brienne threw herself back in her chair, frustrated that she had immediately lost the ground she had just gained. Sitting across from her, Jaime Lannister just smirked. “What about you? Does anyone have any faith in you to actually publish this?” 

That smirk quickly evaporated. Ha. 

Chapter Text

Of all the people Jaime had expected to see in a grungy Fleabottom bar listening to a Blackfish cover band, it was not his colleague Brienne Tarth. Gone were the sensible flats, tailored trousers, and sensible buttoned shirts. She actually looked relaxed; Tarth must have removed the stick from her arse before she’d gone out tonight. Hair pinned back; a black t-shirt that showed off the muscles in her arms. She was grinning at the bartender, beer in hand. 

Jaime couldn’t quite reconcile this image with the woman that had lectured him on semi-colons not four hours before. He sidled up to the bar, signalling the bartender for another whiskey, and turned to Brienne. “So, looks like I’m not the only one with a twin.” 

Tarth froze, lips still around the rim of her pint glass. “Lannister.”

“I mean, you can’t be my colleague Brienne Tarth. She’d never be out in a bar at gone ten on a Thursday night. So you must be her twin sister. What’s your name? Blue eyes? Wench? Freckles.”

“Piss off.”

Jaime grinned, leaning against the bar as he pushed up against Brienne. “No, seriously, this is the last place I’d expected to find you. I thought you’d be sitting at home with a good book, waiting until you could go to sleep at nine pm.”

Those blue eyes flashed, and Jaime leaned in even closer. This would be good. In the office, they could only throw so many barbs around; Catelyn dragging them in on more than one occasion with the direction to play nice. But they were in a bar, now. Sticky floors; the smell of sex and spilled liquor. There was no line that could not be crossed here. So Jaime waited for her parry, and was not left disappointed. 

“I didn’t expect to see you here, either; a man of your…experience. Just don’t go near the stage: the speakers will destroy what little hearing you have left.”

“I have more stamina than most of these young men, Tarth. You should test me, I might surprise you.”

She snorted. “No thanks. Unlike the women you usually spend time with, I don’t have daddy issues.” Brienne took a gulp of her beer. “Or granddaddy issues.”

“Ouch. I’m only eight years older than you.” 

“And yet, half the time you act like a child.” Brienne drained her glass, and left it empty atop the bar. “They’ve just started the mosh pit. Want me to call your babysitter to bring you home? I’ll make sure Bronn puts you down for a nap.” 

Jaime stared, unable to shift his gaze as Brienne left the bar and joined the flurry in front of the stage. Most Blackfish fans were tall and bearded; although she didn’t stand out because of her height, Brienne’s platinum blonde hair and shining eyes allowed Jaime to spot her instantly. Whether it was the alcohol or the change in setting but Brienne’s behaviour had left him…a little turned on, to be frank. Fuck. 

Finishing his whiskey, Jaime slammed his glass upon the bar and followed Brienne into the mosh pit. He wouldn’t – couldn’t – let her get the last word. 

Chapter Text

“So, what brings you to Tarth?” 

A simple enough question. As curator of Evenfall Hall, Brienne often encountered tourists looking to explore the history of her island as well as it’s blue waters and sandy beaches. But something about this man, who’d she’d found utterly fixated by Oathkeeper, made Brienne hope he had a different story. Perhaps he was a visiting professor, or a historical fiction novelist. Someone she could have a lengthy conversation with, before he disembarked like all the other tourists.

That’s all Brienne wanted. Just a conversation. She had no illusions about anything else: men who looked like him were not worth daydreaming over. 

“It’s..it’s sort of a weird story.” 

Brienne grinned as she took out the heavy set of keys that opened the armoury of Evenfall Hall, closed off to tourists due to health and safety. “I like weird stories.” 

The man grinned, and ran a hand through his dark-blonde hair. “Well, I–my brother has been set up with this woman at our father’s insistence. They’re technically supposed to meet next week at some big charity event in King’s Landing, but we wanted to take a look at her first. That sounds rather stalkerish, now that I think about it.” 

“Having been on my fair share of blind dates, I’d rather know what I was walking into.”

They both stepped into the armoury; the man gasping at the rows of weaponry on display. Brienne felt a shiver run through her as he immediately brushed past, examining sword after sword. He then spotted the shield in the corner and crowed. “Is that what I think it is?” 

“We’ve never been able to verify it, which is why it’s not on display in the museum, but yes, it’s Ser Duncan’s shield.” 

Her stomach fluttered at the man’s easy grin; his green eyes bright at taking in so much history. When he turned to look back at her, Brienne felt a pink blush rise across her cheeks. For anyone else, being alone in a quiet corner of the castle with a beautiful man would be a romantic dream come true. But she was her, and no amount of antique broadswords would make him press her against the stone wall and kiss her until her lips were pink and swollen. 

Get a hold of yourself, Brienne. Technically, you’re taken. “Let me get those tourney swords. So, did you find your brother’s blind date?” 

“Sort of. His PI friend could only give us a description; there’s no pictures of her online.” Brienne’s online presence was minimal, too: on the website for Evenfall Hall, her staff picture was her in full armour with her helm down. “Set ups, though. I mean, what if you hate the person?” 

Many of her father’s blind dates had loathed her on sight. Brienne saw no reason why her fiance, who Brienne had never met nor knew the name of, would feel any different. But Brienne would go along with it to appease her father in the wake of his latest health scare. Hopefully the future Mister Tarth did not care for the sight of her, and broke off the engagement quickly and without fuss. Brienne could then go back to entertaining tourists and engaging with ridiculously handsome men who kept smiling so damn politely at her. 

Chapter Text

For the second time in their acquaintance, Jaime Lannister entered the Queen’s chambers to find her being fitted for a dress. Brienne stood upon the dais being attended to by the Tyrell tailor and two of her handmaidens. Sensing his arrival, Brienne looked over her shoulder to offer him a smile; her features positively bursting with happiness. Whilst, in the day-to-day, Brienne preferred breeches and jerkins, this ball required a dress. And what a dress it was. 

“Your Grace, you look…” Jaime struggled for a word that would describe how beautiful he found Brienne suitable for mixed company. “Every eye will be upon you tomorrow night.” 

“Thank you, Ser Jaime. We’re nearly finished; will you wait?”

 For eternity, he thought, but could not say that in mixed company, either. A few stitches later, and the Tyrell tailor was satisfied with his handiwork. Rather than the hideous pink of her coronation gown, this dress was Tarth blue with a billowing skirt. Silver embroidery covered the bodice; moons and stars stitched neatly into the fabric. The dress revealed Brienne’s muscular arms, and the delicate cords of her throat. He would have to dress appropriately tomorrow night. A matching coat in the Queen’s colours would not be amiss for her Hand. 

“Do you really think it’s alright?” Brienne asked when they were finally alone. She took his offered hand and stepped down from the dais, immediately spinning in a circle. “I think I look alright.” 

“Brienne, you…” He took her hand once more and let his lips linger against her skin. “I thought you could not look more beautiful at your coronation, but it seems the Tyrell tailor has made me a liar.” 

Her cheeks caught aflame, and Jaime watched with delight as she teased her bottom lip with her teeth. “I’m glad. Not about the lying, or Master Flowers making you a liar, but that I–that I–forgive me, Jaime, I’m babbling. It’s my first ball in some time and I just want it to be perfect. I want to look like I belong and for someone to ask me to dance—”

“—I will.” Jaime grinned. He never grew tired of holding Brienne in his arms. Sharing a dance with her would be exquisite. “Do you dance like you fight?” 

Brienne laughed. “I’m better at the fighting, but I’m a rather good dancer. And you, Jaime?” 

No,” he readily admitted, leaning forward as if sharing some horrible secret with his dearest friend. “I’m a terrible dancer. Always thinking two steps ahead; can never quite get my feet to move in the right fashion. Cersei always wanted me to lead but I was awful at it. So she gave up. Found someone else.” 

A flash of pity crossed Brienne’s features, as it always did when he mentioned his sister. But then her mouth firmed, and her eyes hardened as they often did when they sparred in the yard and Brienne had formed a plan of attack. Still in her gown, she took his hands and lead him into an empty spot near the open window.

“I prefer to lead, anyway.” She took his right hand and placed it upon her shoulder. Jaime couldn’t resist brushing his thumb in a small circle across the material. Brienne shivered. She then placed her left hand on his waist, and linked their free hands together. “Slow and steady; follow my lead.” 

Brienne stepped back and he followed. To the right and he followed. She pushed forward and he pulled her a little closer. To the left, and back. Forward and closer still, until Brienne’s left arm was wrapped around his waist. Their steps slowed; neither wanting to let a crack of air slip between them. There were a few stumbles; Jaime fearing for the hem of Brienne’s new dress. But ultimately they moved in unison, as they’d done so when the assassins had broken into this very room. 

“You’re better at this than you think you are,” Brienne said, breaking her hold upon his hand to knot her arms around Jaime’s neck. His moved to clutch at her waist. They swayed to no music, just the wild sound of Jaime’s beating heart as Brienne slipped closer still. “You’ll be my first dance, won’t you?”

He nodded. “And your last. And all the ones in between.” 

Jaime wanted to kiss her. With her lips slightly parted, her blue eyes wide and seeking his, he wanted to close the distance and finally kiss the woman who occupied his every waking thought. All she had to do was ask him. Kiss me, Jaime, and he would. But not until she said those words. He would not take Brienne’s first kiss from her until he knew her lips craved his own. 

He had so much of Brienne, more than he ever thought possible. If this was all he could possess, then it would be enough. She would always be enough.

Chapter Text

Oathkeeper, Brienne’s rusted sapphire-blue car, shuddered into the driveway. She quickly turned off the engine, fearing for a brief moment that the hood would start to smoke – and not for the first time. Thankfully, Oathkeeper remained not on fire, and Brienne could head inside to do her homework. For once she wouldn’t be running to her bedroom, throwing on the latest Blackfish album to the highest volume, and muttering to herself don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry. 

School today had been…okay. 

Brienne grabbed her backpack and got out of the car. As she walked the short distance to her front door, her hands began wrenching at the hem of her skirt. King’s Landing Academy had a very specific dress code: all female pupils must wear skirts. On a normal teenage girl, this skirt would cover their knees. But for Brienne, miles and miles of long leg were on display. Whether it was the taunting wolf-whistles from the boys, or the snide looks from the girls, Brienne wished she had the confidence to launch a petition to allow female pupils to wear trousers. 

But today, there had not been a single comment. Perhaps because the person who teased her the most was off sick. 

Damn.” Brienne had completely forgotten the assignments she’d been asked to give to Jaime: her neighbour, her classmate, her teammate. Once upon a time, best friend. But that was a long, long time ago. “Fine. Let’s get this over with.” 

Shouldering her backpack, Brienne headed next door. She rapped her knuckles three times on the door, and waited for the housekeeper to greet her. Instead, the door opened a crack, and Brienne saw a sliver of Jaime Lannister’s profile. “What do you want, Tarth?” 

“Our teachers sent me home with your homework.” 

“How very responsible of you.” 

“Piss off.” There was a time, back when they were children, that Brienne would have walked on wobbly legs to his house with a bowl of hot soup when Jaime was sick. I just want to take care of him, she’d said, when her father had asked what she was doing. He’s my friend. Not anymore. “Do you want your homework or not?” 

“Do I have a choice? Just post it through the letterbox.” 

“But you’re right—this is ridiculous.”

Brienne pushed wide the familiar red door with the lion head knocker. Jaime stumbled back as she forced her way inside, slamming the folders of assignments that were due first thing next week into his chest. Up close, Brienne quickly learnt why Jaime had only opened the door a crack. He wasn’t sick. He was hurt. Splotches of blue and green covered his face; a vicious cut healing above his left eye. There were red marks around both wrists, too. 

Jaime.” Brienne brushed her fingertips against a welt on his cheek, and for a moment they were seven years old again. But then he smacked her hand aside. 

“I’m fine. Thank you for the homework, now will you please leave me alone.” 

He practically shoved her outside. The red door slammed in her face. A metaphor for their relationship if she’d ever heard one. Some part of Brienne cried out that she should be happy someone had wrecked Jaime’s pretty face: after all, he’d spent the last six years making comments about hers. Not so much recently, though. That duty had taken up by the others on the rugby team: constant comments about her height, her face; the insinuation that no one, ever, would touch her let alone love her.

Brienne thought, again, what a quiet day she’d had. She then slammed her hand against the door until Jaime threw it open. “What is your problem?”

“Connington, Eddie, Hyle, and Bushy were all off sick today, too.” 

Something flickered in Jaime’s green eyes that Brienne could not name. He exhaled, and began slowly closing the door. “Goodbye, Brienne.” 

Brienne stood on the Lannister doorstep, a million thoughts racing through her head, until Tyrion arrived home from debate practice and asked are you alright? 

“I don’t know.”

Chapter Text

Jaime Lannister swan through the doors of Stark, Tully & Reed early that Monday morning after spending the last four weeks stuck in a dingy police interview room in Braavos. Rather than go to his office, catch up on his messages, Jaime immediately took himself to the office of his frequent co-counsel, Brienne Tarth. She was always in this time of the morning when few else were. The perfect time for a reunion, and for them to discuss what had nearly occurred before he’d left for the Free Cities. 

That kiss had occupied his every waking thought, and several of his nocturnal ones. 

True to form, Brienne was in her office looking over files and depositions. He rapped three times upon her door, and waited for her to look up. Brienne’s face flooded with joy, and she crossed the room to meet him. Jaime abandoned his jacket and briefcase and swept Brienne up in the hug he’d been picturing ever since his flight from Braavos had departed. 

“It’s good to see you, Stilts,” Jaime said, earning a soft jab to the ribs for the old nickname. He pulled back and took her in. Four weeks was far too long without catching a glimpse of those eyes. “How’s it been here?” 

“Peaceful. I wonder why?” Brienne smirked. “No, it’s been fine. The Martell case settled two days after you left, so I could have easily come with you.” 

Jaime shrugged as together they made their way to Brienne’s desk; he taking up his customary position on the corner. “You would have hated Braavos. Too hot; too unfriendly. Some little teenager glaring at you when you’re only trying to help.” 

Arya Stark’s gap year in the Free Cities had not been a success. With her daughter arrested after a young woman had been found dead in her hostel, Catelyn had begged Jaime (who’d had his own brushes with murder charges) to fly out and represent her. He and Brienne had gone over strategy for hours the night before his flight, and after one too many whiskies there had been a…moment. Pounding hearts, open mouths. One inch closer and they would have kissed. But then Podrick, their paralegal, had interrupted. 

Moment over, but unforgotten. Jaime had spent the last four weeks giving Brienne some space, but showing that he cared deeply for her. 

The sunflowers, one of four bouquets he’d sent to her office, were blooming quite well upon her desk. Jaime admired the yellow petals. Brienne smiled. “Beautiful, aren’t they? Would you believe they’re from Martell?” 

Jaime could very easily not believe it, as he’d spent thirty minutes calling a florist from a police station phone to arrange their delivery. “Why do you think they’re from Martell? Was there a card?” The first bouquet should have had a card. Thinking about you from across the Narrow Sea, Jaime. 

“No, no card. But they arrived the day after the case was settled. It’s not just flowers; there’s been pastries delivered, lunch every day from Hot Pie’s.” Yes, because you have a tendency not to eat whilst working and I wanted to take care of you best I could. “Even this children’s book about a blue knight going on a bear hunt, which I thought was rather sweet.” 

“Very sweet. Such a thoughtful gift.” Jaime had seen it in a secondhand bookshop in Braavos, and called his brother (the antiques dealer) to procure a copy that could be delivered to Brienne’s office. Was it thoughtful? Yes. Had Jaime imagined them reading it to their own little cub? No comment. “So, all these gifts are from Martell.” 

“I can’t imagine they’d be from anyone else. Suitors aren’t exactly beating down the door, and Martell was always flirting with me.” As unsubtle as a brick wall, that one. “We’re going for dinner tomorrow night.” 

Jaime’s throat seized; the words strained. “Tomorrow? Why not tonight?” 

Brienne frowned, and Jaime realised he needed to reel in his frustration. It wasn’t her fault she didn’t see his card. “You’ve just got back, Jaime. I–I thought we could spend tonight together? Unless you don’t want—”

“—no, I do. I’ve missed you terribly, Brienne.” 

“I’ve missed you, too.”

Jaime stared across the desk into those blue eyes, and accepted that he would have to let Brienne go to dinner with Martell. His soft approach to wooing his colleague, his dear friend, would continue long after Martell’s dinner crashed and burned. Brienne would realise the brash Dornishmen did not do subtle gestures, and perhaps she would look a little closer to home as to her admirer. They would transition from friends to lovers slowly, and easily, and it would all be worth this miscommunication when they were going to Braavos on their honeymoon.

Chapter Text

Tywin Lannister was not the sort of man to be found in a museum cafe and gift shop. Yet, on that blustery Thursday morning, the Lannister Holdings CEO was sitting at a small table with the least amount of gum stuck to the bottom; circling a plastic spoon in a cup of tea. He took a sip, wrinkling his nose at the taste. Thankfully he was not here for their stock of beverages, but more for their assistant curator: one Brienne Tarth. 

The barista crossed into Tywin’s line of sight, blocking his view of the tall blonde from the Stormlands currently over-viewing the museum’s security protocols. “Everything alright?” 

“The tea is weak and carries little flavour.” Tywin pushed the cup across the table. “I do not wish for a replacement.” 

The young man fumbled for a response; inevitably settling on removing the cup – and himself – from Tywin’s eye-line. There. His view of Brienne Tarth was restored. He hadn’t thought much of the woman at first glance: homely, tall, doing her best to fade into the background of the chief curator’s office. Tywin had been present to settle a dispute between the museum and his thirteen-year-old grandson: the dark-haired terror had removed a sword from display and started poking the other patrons. 

The curator had done everything short of lick his boots to make things right. Brienne Tarth was the only one who stood up for museum policy, and had the gall to suggest that the Lannisters pay for the restoration of Widow’s Wail. Tywin had known two things in that moment: one, the curator would have to be removed; Tywin didn’t care for a man with no spine, and two, Brienne Tarth would marry his son, Jaime. 

Right on cue. As anticipated, his eldest son and heir swanned through the doors of the museum. Like Tywin, his eyes were immediately drawn to the blonde discussing matters with security guard Snow. They’d met three nights before, when Tywin had invited her to inspect a Lannister family heirloom. As expected, she and Jaime had not got along. 

“Doctor Tarth, what have you done with my sword?” 

She initialled on a clipboard, and handed it to Snow. Brienne barely gave Jaime the time of day, which Tywin knew would infuriate his son immensely. He was used to people falling all over him, but not her. “Mister Lannister, Oathkeeper was donated by your father to the museum. I know—”

“—you know nothing. That sword wasn’t my father’s to donate. It was an inheritance by my grandfather and I would quite like to see it back in my possession.” 

“So you can hang it on your bedroom wall; the only people getting to admire it being whatever women are stupid enough to let you charm them?” 

“Believe me, Doctor Tarth, the day I find a woman interested in my antique sword is the day I tell my father I’m getting married.” 

Tywin Lannister did not smile. But the corners of his mouth may have twitched. Brienne Tarth, however, was doing neither. “Well, now that your sword is in my possession, I will gladly accept the thank you card from the future Mrs Jaime Lannister saving her from your arrogant arse.” 

Brienne Tarth quickly moved out of sight, yet their argument continued to echo in the museum’s foyer. Tywin summoned the barista and ordered a black coffee. So it begins. 

Chapter Text

Lord Commander Tully piped up, slipping a piece of parchment from his sleeve. “Earlier today, I received word from my niece Catelyn. She has finally arrived at Winterfell. The babe, Robb, is doing well. Lord Stark is also at Winterfell, and Robert’s bastard Jon is with him also.”

Rhaegar’s bastard. Still, no one seemed to question Ned’s deception, as Robert had several bastard children already. His brothers seemed to think Ned foolhardy for taking this babe in, as many surely did. Better to be thought a fool than a man without honour. Robb Stark was the first noble new-born since Brienne had taken the throne, and it was traditional for the Crown to send a gift to the child. No gifts had been sent to Tarth upon her birth; the scent of tragedy at Lady Tarth’s passing thick in the air. She had little guidance as to what to send.

So, Brienne turned to her Hand for advice. “Ser Jaime, what did King Aerys send your father to celebrate your birth?”

“The weight of my sister and me in gold.”

At the other end of the table, Lady Olenna coughed. “Hopefully you weren’t a chubby baby, boy.”

Jaime put down his quill and was about to engage in yet another battle of wills with Olenna, when Brienne placed her hand firmly atop his. They were supposed to bringing peace to the Kingdoms, not engaging in war between themselves. 

Perhaps gold is not appropriate, considering our finances. We need to be spending gold on repairing the damage caused by the war, not sending pounds worth of gold to already rich lords.” Brienne pursed her lips, before settling on a strategy. “Ser Jaime, make a note to send young Robb a wooden sword to celebrate his birth. When he comes of age, I will send him one made of steel.”

“A wise gift from a Warrior Queen.” Jaime wrote down her suggestion. Brienne tapped the table twice, a code to none but them, and Jaime made a note to send a wooden sword to Lyanna Stark’s babe, too. “Any other business?”

Chapter Text

Jaime kept dreaming about the billboard. 

Some of the dreams were as you’d expect: she’d be in his office, waiting in nothing more than a trench coat and lingerie. Jaime would barely have to say a word and her fingers would be on his zipper and her mouth around his cock. He’d woken up on more than one occasion stiff and aching. Twice he’d already spent himself across his belly. Those were the days he closed those damn blinds. 

Other dreams were more domestic in nature. Between his work load and family name, Jaime struggled with long term relationships. The model, Blue Eyes, didn’t concern herself with how late he was home and how much money the Lannisters had. There would be takeout and cuddling on his sofa; they’d watch historical documentaries and she’d laugh as he told her increasingly ridiculous stories of his youth at Casterly Rock. 

Those were the days Jaime raided his chocolate box by noon. 

One day, six weeks after the billboard advertising Golden Rose lingerie went up outside his office, Jaime came in to find an ad for Baelish’s Used Cars insteadPetyr Baelish’s grimace sent Jaime’s empty stomach churning, and he immediately hit the blinds. 

When Pia came in two hours later, Jaime asked a very unusual request. “Could you please find out who is responsible for the billboard across the street, and get me their telephone number?” 

“Of course, Mister Lannister. I saw they changed it. To be honest, I’d prefer the ugly woman in her underwear.” 

Jaime snapped the pencil he was using to make initials on his spreadsheets. “Just the number, please, Pia.” 

Within an hour she had it, and Jaime was on the phone to the advertising company who leased the space. “This is Jon, head of purchasing, how can I help?”

You changed the billboard outside my office this morning. I work at Lannister Holdings.” 

Jaime hoped throwing his name around would…do what, exactly? Get the billboard back? It was likely already papered over. Perhaps he could pay for another cycle of advertisement; another six weeks of Blue Eyes staring at him from across the street. In truth, there was very little the advertising firm could do. Golden Rose were the people who had hired, shot, and displayed the model. Did he want her name? Did Jaime want the real her, when his fantasy was so utterly beguiling?

“I’m sorry, what would you like us to do, sir?”

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” 

He was about to put the phone down when Jon interrupted. “Look, if it’s about the model…one of our staff, here, Tormund, he’s a bit of a fan. Same model’s in the new issue of Ice and Fire. Just in case you were interested.” 

Jaime ended the call. Looked at his phone, at his computer screen. Then at his coat, and wallet, and then at the door as he was yelling at Pia that he was going out for a while and to hold my calls. There was a newsagent on the corner of the street, and Jaime practically ran all the way there. He skimmed the racks of magazines until he found the one he was after, slammed a ten dragon note down upon the counter, and retreated to his locked office. 

Same blue eyes. Same wisps of blonde hair. Tan lingerie with sheer cups and little straps that Jaime’s tongue could move aside whilst he left kiss after kiss to her creamy skin. The angle of the photograph made it look as if the viewer was above her. Jaime leaning over her, warm hands on her waist, slowly thrusting inside of her. Wanting Blue Eyes too much to undress her; wanting to make it last too much to take her quickly. 

The intercom buzz just as Jaime finished. He grabbed a couple of tissues, the self-hatred slowly creeping in, and replied to his assistant. 

Chapter Text

If there was one benefit to her forced marriage to Jaime Lannister, it was that her move to King’s Landing brought her closer to her friends. Brienne could count on one hand how often she’d seen Margaery, Renly, and Robb since she’d moved home to Tarth to take up the curatorship at Evenfall Hall. But now she was back on the mainland, she could enjoy an evening of cocktails, appetisers, and hearing the amazing lives her friends were getting up to. 

Stepping inside the restaurant, Brienne waved to the group. Robb waved back. Renly frowned. Margaery just gasped. “Brienne Tarth, what is that on your finger?”

Oh. That. As if she could have forgotten the giant ruby set inside a gold band that now sat upon her finger. “I’m…I’m engaged.”

Cries of joy erupted from the table. Margaery immediately wrapped her arms around her, before dragging her to sit and dish. Renly looked dumbfounded; unable to shift his gaze from the engagement ring on her left hand. His boyfriend, Loras, refused to look at her. Thankfully Robb and his wife seemed more than happy to share in her good news. 

My father feared I’d die alone, so he’s guilting me into marrying Jaime Lannister. 

“So, who is it? Do we know him? Where is he? Is he coming tonight?” 

Margaery was just full of questions that Brienne had few answers to. “He’s—” What? Jaime hadn’t even been at their newly furbished home, an engagement gift from her father-in-law, when she’d got in from the museum. She hadn’t thought to ask him; hadn’t even planned to wear the ring until she remembered she was contractually obliged to. Now Loras was looking at her, sensing blood in the water. Fuck. “He’s running a little late; I’ll just call him.”

Stepping away from the table, Brienne found her phone and scrolled through the directory until she found J. Lannister. She pressed call. Jaime answered on the second ring. “Brienne, is everything okay? You–you never call me.”

“I’m at dinner with some university friends, and they’re asking questions about the ring, and the engagement.” Brienne sighed, keeping her voice low so she couldn’t be overheard by passing patrons. “Jaime, I need you to pretend you’re my fiance.”

Brienne, I am your fiance.” His voice was so soft. She still recalled his refusal to end their engagement after they’d met for the second time. Not because of his father’s ultimatum, but because he liked her. Brienne was still working out how she felt. “Send me the address, I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

A quick text with the name and address of the restaurant, and Brienne slipped her phone back into her pocket. Margaery had already ordered her a cocktail; no doubt desperate to hear the juicy details of Brienne’s betrothal. Over the years, Brienne had had little luck dating. There had been no changes to her relationship status; no interesting stories to share at these emotional potlucks. A part of Brienne wanted to say I’m engaged to the most beautiful man in Westeros, and it’s legally binding that at some point we’ll have to make love. 

Another part – the louder part – knew that there was only so much she could share. The arranged part of their engagement, the lengthy contract and clauses, would make her more of a laughing stock than she already was. 

A minor crisis with Robb’s babysitter distracted the group for a round, and then they were back to Brienne. Margaery, as if sensing her friend’s discomfort, started out slow. “What’s his name?”

“Jaime.” At the back of the table, Loras laughed. “What’s funny about that?”

“No, no, nothing, Brienne. It’s just Jaime Lannister walked in at the exact time you said that.”

Brienne turned on her chair and caught Jaime’s eye across the restaurant. He offered her a brief wave, before passing patrons and waitstaff to join them. Jaime looked…'like a god’ was too weak a description. He was wearing a white t-shirt with tailored jeans; a lazy smile that made her stomach clench. His hair was wet from a shower and he immediately bent his head to kiss her when he reached their table. Soft, firm lips; he kissed her like he’d kissed her a thousand times. 

This was their third kiss. 

Head spinning, lost in the sensation of Jaime’s touch and the scent of his body wash, Brienne said the first thing that came to mind. “You smell good.”

Good.” Jaime kissed her again, this time on the burgeoning flush on her cheeks. He turned to the stunned group. “Have we got a spare chair? I don’t mind sitting on Brienne’s lap all night, but she might.” 

Chapter Text

Jaime sat, staring at his golden hand, as he waited for the whore his brother had paid to arrive. This was not his idea; Jaime would have been much happier back at Casterly Rock practicing with his squire. But Tyrion had insisted. ‘You need to step out from under this cloud, Brother’, he’d said after far too many goblets of wine. ‘They do say the best way to get over one woman is to get under another’. Of course, the woman in this case was their sister. Upon his return to King’s Landing, missing a hand after being kidnapped during his escape attempt, Cersei had made it clear she had no intention of ever touching him again. 

He did not know whether it was his missing hand, or his urgent need to be touched after so long with so little, that had driven her away. 

When his brother returned with his new bride to Lannisport, Jaime had gone with him. No more white cloak, no more golden twin. Just one hand and enough money to pay for the best whore in Lannisport. 

The door opened. Jaime expected a lithe blonde to step forward; clad in silks and little else. He did not expect the tallest, broadest woman he had ever seen, with short blonde hair and a ruddy complexion. She wore no silks; rather a blue tunic fraying over one elbow. Upon seeing him, she frowned. “Are you–are you for me?” 

Another paying customer. Jaime wasn’t surprised; with that face, this woman was probably used to paying for it. “Does it look like I’m for you?” 

He was Ser Jaime Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock. He was not a common whore. To say nothing of his current physique: gone were his golden lion days, when women would flock and flail all over him. The most beautiful woman in the Seven Kingdoms found him repulsive. Surely a woman, even as ugly as this one, would find him the same. 

“I–I thought they’d find me someone homely. Someone more like—” She bowed her head. “You’re far too beautiful.” 

Jaime barked out a laugh. He raised his right arm and waved the golden hand in her face. “Are you blind?” 

“No. You’re rude, though.” She crumpled before his eyes; shoulders sagging and arms crossing over herself. “This was a mistake. I shouldn’t have–I just wanted to be—”

“—touched?” The woman nodded. Jaime looked at her more closely. She was tall, perhaps even taller than him. Thick thighs; strong arms. Blue eyes that made him squirm. Whoever this woman was, she was the furthest thing from Cersei. She’d let you touch her, this one. “Close the door. Come here.” 

She stumbled forward, standing in front of him. His left hand reached out and brushed the jut of her hip. She shivered, breathing growing heavy. “Sorry. No one’s ever touched me before.” 

“Don’t apologise. I’ve only ever been with one person myself.”

She raised both eyebrows. “Were you a concubine, then?” 

Jaime spluttered, finding himself nodding along. “I suppose I was. She dismissed me when I lost my hand fighting in the war. Was no good to her, then.” 

The woman wet her lips. Pink and plump and Jaime struggled to remember how long it had been since he’d been kissed; since a tongue had pressed against the seam of his mouth. Stark was still alive, then. Back when Jaime was his sister’s concubine; not permitted a life of his own, only called when she wanted him, only loved when she wanted to. Jaime had no idea what had driven this woman to seek comfort in this whorehouse, or what mix-up had led her to believe that he was her companion for the next hour, afternoon, whatever. But he was glad she had. 

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Brienne.” 

Jaime smiled, rising to his feet. He slid his left hand against her cheek, and keened as she leant into his touch. “Well, Brienne, I’m going to fuck you. Would you like that?” 

He would. He really, really would.