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Family, Duty, Honor

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They were married in the sept at Casterly Rock. 

His bride was two years younger than him and so very quiet that Jaime wondered if she were mute. When he cloaked her in Lannister red and she looked up at him with her big blue eyes, he felt nothing. He was sure most grooms felt something, even if it were just lust, but he felt nothing. He would never love this girl or the woman she would grow to be. However, he would not hate her. It was not her fault that his father and hers had made this match so Jaime might escape the fate of taking the black. 

Their wedding feast was small and Jaime had no doubt his father hated it, but the men needed to rest for they would be heading off to Storm’s End or wherever it is they were going. Jaime would be going with them, leaving his bride behind in the lion’s den. 

“Would you like to dance, Ser?” she asked softly from their spot at the high table. 

He glanced over at her. She was pretty, he supposed. Whent red hair and Tully blue eyes. He had seen her eldest sister, Catelyn, at the Tourney at Harrenhal and thought her much prettier. However, none could match Cersei in Jaime’s heart. 

“I’m not particularly fond of dancing,” he admitted. 

“Oh.” She looked down at her hands folded in her lap before glancing back at the dancing before them. 

Jaime just wanted the wedding to be over with. Soon enough, the men began shouting for a bedding ceremony. His wife, her name still unregistered in his mind, was pulled from her seat and lifted upon the shoulders of the crowding men. Jaime ignored her and glanced at Cersei.

His sister was the only woman present. Most of the work women were too busy preparing food and other essentials for the next day’s journey to be there. Cersei walked to him with every inch of grace that Jaime could remember Princess Elia having. He offered her his arm and they left the dining hall. No doubt those that had remained guessed that she would be telling him to be gentle with his young wife or whatever advice a sister might give to her brother when no mother was present. 

However, once they were far enough away from prying eyes, Jaime rucked up his sister’s skirt, pressed her into the wall, and thrust into her until she was almost screaming and he promised that he would come to her later that night once he finished his duties. She had kissed him, whispering mine, mine, mine when he finished inside her. 

Those words echoed in his chest, drowning out burn them all. 

He finally entered his chambers where his bride—Celia, that was her name—was sitting on his bed in her shift. She was blushing so terribly that Jaime wondered if she might overheat. Her red hair was loose and she was running her fingers through it nervously. 

She stood as he entered and gave him a curtsy. “Ser.”

He looked her over and sighed inwardly. She was a skinny thing, it would be hard to imagine Cersei while taking her. 

“Will it hurt, Ser?”

“Will what hurt?”

She turned red again. “Cat says it does not always hurt but Lysa says that it feels as though you are being run through with a sword,” she said quickly. “But Lysa has never been run through by a sword so I don’t know if she speaks the truth. Cat said it can be nice, but so many say it isn’t, not the first time at least.”

Ah. That. 

“It is better to simply get it done with,” he told her.

“Oh,” she looked down at her bare feet. “I thought you were really brave.”

He tilted his head and narrowed his eyes. “Brave?”

“The… the Mad King.”

Burn them all.

“I was a ladies maid to Princess Elia,” she said, “but Father was able to smuggle me out. I was there when he… when he killed Lord Stark and Lord Brandon.”

Burn them all .

“It was… you did the right thing.”

Burn them all .

“Get on the bed,” Jaime ordered, his voice restrained. He just wanted to disappear inside.

Burn them all.

She looked up at him then, her eyes wide. She did as she was told and sat on the bend before pushing herself back so that she was all the way on the bed. Jaime undid his trousers and pulled his shirt from them. He would keep the shirt on, wanting as much between them as possible. Even so, his father and hers would no doubt check to make sure that her maidenhead had been taken. He crawled atop her and she looked up at him, her hair the color of fire spread beneath her. 

“Don’t speak,” he ordered. If she was quiet, he could close his eyes and pretend it was Cersei. “Make as little noise as possible. Do you understand?”

She nodded before closing her eyes. 

Jaime reached between them and readied her. He wasn’t cruel. He would make this as painless as he possibly could, but this wasn’t lovemaking, it was coupling for an heir, he couldn’t even call this fucking. There was nothing behind it. No love. No hatred. Nothing. 

When she was ready, he entered her slowly, letting himself disappear inside himself before he forced his way as deep as he could. Jaime closed his eyes and began to move, thinking of Cersei and her possessive proclamations. 

Mine. Mine. Mine. 

Hers. Jaime would only ever belong to her. His other half. The only one who could possibly understand him. Know him. Love him. 

His wife moaned underneath him and he just wanted it to be over. He worked himself to his release and once he had spilled fully inside her, he pulled out and rolled away from her. Jaime kept his eyes closed, trying to find himself again. Find where he had disappeared to. He stiffened when he felt his wife, Celia, brush her fingers along his hair, tucking it away from his face. 

Jaime took her wrist in his hand and pulled it away from his face. He stood up and went to where he had discarded his trousers. “Sleep here,” he told her. “These are to be our chambers, or one of them, I suppose.”

She had sat up and was watching him, her shift rumpled and Jaime could see the slight stain of blood between her thighs. “Have I displeased you, Ser?”

He looked at her. She reminded him of Queen Rhaella in a way or maybe Princess Elia. It wasn’t her fault that he could not love her. “No,” he said finally. “I have things I must do before I leave.”

She nodded. “I… I wish you good fortune on your travels and shall pray to the Warrior every day for you.”

Jaime finished tucking in his shirt. He said nothing, but merely nodded before leaving his room. 

He went to find Cersei. To love her and spend as long as he can in her arms for who knew what the next battle might bring. 

His wife wrote to him often, although he had little time to write her back. He did not have time to write Cersei either so he felt no guilt for it. His sister wrote little of his wife, save for when she annoyed her. 

My dearest Jaime,

Your little wife has begun to amuse herself with the presence of our younger brother. She walks with him in the garden and is teaching him poetry and such nonsense. She then always asks after you to see if you have written me, but I have received no letters from you or Father for that matter. I find your wife to be incredibly dull and insipid. Perhaps I might have liked her if she seemed to have any sort of cunning. She is truly a fish. I doubt she will thrive as a lion. ...

Her letter continued in detail of what she dreamed upon his return. She detailed how her fingers were not enough and how she wished he would return to her. Rarely did Jaime find time to seek pleasure from his own hand, but in the moments he did, it was with Cersei’s name at the tip of his tongue. 

The Baratheon/Lannister army had barely finished the siege of Storm’s End when he received a letter he knew not how to react. 

Dear Ser,

I pray that this letter finds you in good health and cheer. I know my letters are no doubt boring to you in comparison to your sisters. I have only a younger brother and know not what to write about save for the happenings of the keep and so forth. 

However, you will find that the content of this letter is far different from any previous. 

I am happy to inform you that I am with child. I had been suspicious in the time I was writing my previous letter, but I did not wish to give you a false hope. The maester believes I am three months pregnant, which makes sense due to our wedding having taken place that long ago. 

I await your return and pray that you may come home soon so that you might be here when the time comes. However, I understand that you have more important things to handle. 

I have thoughts for names and wondered if you had any as well. I have thought Arthur, for Arthur Dayne, if the babe is a boy, and Sansa, for I like the sound of Sansa Lannister, if it is a girl. However, I shall name the child at your pleasure for you are certainly more knowledgeable of names for a Lannister child. 

I await your return and shall pray to the Warrior, Mother, and Father. 

Your loving wife,

Celia Lannister

Jaime set the letter down and stared at it for a long time. He found no reaction but a laugh. A child. He closed his eyes and his stomach dropped. 

Princess Rhaenys and Prince Aegon wrapped in Lannister cloaks. His father and Robert Baratheon smiling. 

He opened his eyes. How ironic that he might have a child when the children of the man he swore himself to no longer drew breath. 

When he and his father returned to Casterly Rock, he was greeted by his sister, his brother, and his wife and son. 

Celia seemed to have a healthier glow than she had the last time he saw her. She held a small bundle swaddled in Lannister red. She curtsied to him and his father. 

“Ah, the littlest lion,” Tywin said with a smile. It almost appeared genuine and Jaime could not remember a time that he had last seen his father smile so truly. “Have you named him?”

“Arthur Lannister, my lord,” she said rocking the babe and cooing at him once he became restless. “I have hope that he might be as great a knight as his namesake and father.”

“A strong name,” Tywin replied. “May I hold him?”

Celia looked to Jaime, who nodded in answer to her unasked question. Hesitantly, she handed their son to his grandfather. 

Jaime could not remember his father ever holding Tyrion and realized this might have been the first time he had ever seen the great Tywin Lannister hold a child. The Lannister patriarch held his grandson tenderly and smiled as he spied the blonde tufts of hair. 

“His eyes are blue,” Celia admitted. “Although sometimes they look green when we are outside.”

“He appears healthy.”

Celia beamed. “Yes, my lord. He came into the world with a good set of lungs. I feared I might not sleep a wink after that, but he is a very quiet soul in general. He is a rather gentle babe.”

Tywin gave his grandson back to his mother. He turned to Jaime. “It appears we must celebrate. The Lannister line is to continue and it has been agreed that Cersei will marry the new king Robert Baratheon.”

Jaime’s stomach twisted into a knot. Cersei would be leaving him for King’s Landing. He had only just gotten her back. Now they were to be separated again. Could the gods truly be so cruel?

Burn them all. 

Jaime closed his eyes. 

Of course they could.