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A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

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Title: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
Fandom: ASOIAF
Pairing: Jaime/Sansa
Rating: T for language and mention of adult concepts
Word Count: 1773
Summary: Jaime visits Cersei in the dungeons of Casterly Rock.  Set post series.
Author’s Note: [info]mrstater said, You should write jealous!Cersei, Jaime/Sansa.  I think she was joking.  :)

 

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

“Brother,” his fair haired twin sneers, as she fingers her still too short hair, trying no doubt to smooth it back, to reclaim some impression of her former glory.

It is a useless gesture.  If she is freed, she will need a great deal of false hair to make her feel fit to be seen.  But, she will never be freed.

“Sweet sister,” he says, leaning against the sweating stone wall that boxes her in, nodding at her through the bars that hold her fast.

“How long has it been?” she asks.

Not long enough, he wants to tell her, but he is drawn down into this dungeon to face her as one might be drawn towards the flames, knowing it will burn, but transfixed nonetheless.  For every hundred people that ran from Daenerys’ dragons, one would walk right towards them.  He saw the phenomenon with his own eyes, and he feels a strange kinship with those who marched into the flames.

“I don’t keep count, as I’ve only five fingers,” he says instead, holding them up and wiggling them for her benefit.

It’s a lie.  He knows the last time he saw her face.  He always remembers, whether he wants to or not.

“She must keep you busy.”

The Cersei of old would never be so careless: she must be tired to betray her jealousy with so little attempt as concealment.  Although what she is jealous of Jaime can’t be exactly sure.

It might be that she despises that he tastes freedom, while she molders below.  Their crimes should have been enough to condemn them both to death, but he has been forgiven by their brother, the Hand of the Queen, and she shall never see the light of day again.  Even Jaime can see how that isn’t fair, but life is rarely fair.

Then again, she might hate that another woman presides over Casterly Rock, given by Tyrion after the war to his wife, whose own seat of power still lies in ruins.  If any woman was to reign over Casterly Rock, surely Cersei believes it should be her, not the Stark girl.  That same old jealousy of the power others hold curls her bony hands into fists at her side and rots her from the inside out.

“She does indeed,” he says, pushing off the wall and strolling towards the bars of her cell.  “Very busy.”

Or she might regret that another woman holds sway over him.  She might even suspect that Sansa’s hold on him has very little to do with honor and duty anymore.

That is what he’s come to tell her, after all.  There’s a streak of cruelty in him yet, which has nourished with anticipation this revelation.  If it had been up to him, Cersei would have died the day she handed Tommen over to the Dragon Queen in exchange for her own life—her intense self-preservation conquering even her love for her children, their children.  He can never forgive her that.  If it had been Joffrey, it might have been different, and that somehow only makes the betrayal worse.

“Self-important little bitch,” Cersei says, as she straightens up to her full height, but the effect is not so impressive as before now that she is dressed in a drab linen shift that only comes to her knees.

“I’d watch your tongue,” he reminds her coolly.

He’s told her before that she lives at Sansa’s pleasure.  Tyrion saved him with a word to the new queen, but their brother has no love for Cersei.  She would be dead if Sansa had not traded Daenerys her loyalty, the North’s loyalty for Cersei, alive and unscorched.  Jaime had assumed the auburn haired beauty wanted her, so that she could execute justice herself in Stark tradition, but he had been wrong.

“You’d report on me, Jaime?” she asks, tilting her head in a sad imitation of flirtation.

Without question, he wants to vow.

Sansa feeds Tommen’s kittens cream.  They curl on her bed, sleeping amongst the thick furs.  Sansa would never hand over any child of hers.  Not for anything.

He knows where his allegiance lies.  And yet, it’s hard to speak against his sister out loud.  Sansa knows this, and Cersei’s name is never spoken between them.  That he sometimes visits her is surely not below Sansa’s notice, but she has never forced him to disavow his twin, when she has every right to do so.

“Have the reports reached your ears?” he asks.

“I’m afraid not: my jailers are unfortunately tightlipped, and I have very little with which to bribe them.”

He raises his brows, thinking Cersei is more resourceful than she is willing to admit if he knows her at all.

He wraps his good hand around a bar—it’s even wetter than the wall.  The feel of the cool slickness against his hand distracts him from his news for a heartbeat.

“Casterly Rock will not be without an heir for long.”

He doesn’t know what he was expecting by way of response, but Cersei’s smile turns this anticipated moment into something unnerving.  As she tips her head to laugh ever harder, he has to force himself to stand firm.  She is the captive, he must remind himself.  He has the upper hand.

“Have you lost your wits?” he finally demands loudly enough to be heard over her peals of laughter.

Her mirth thankfully dries up, having spent enough time bound and drugged by the Casterly Rock maester, when she first arrived and he deemed her a risk to herself, to fear the stamp of insanity, but her eyes still shimmer gleefully.

“You’re such a fool,” she whispers almost sweetly, as she leans into the bars.  “A great, big fool.  Jaime Lannister, ever ready to play the stud horse.  Would she like to know the truth about us, do you think?”

“Sansa’s a Stark, not a simpleton.”  Even the smallfolk spoke of the Lannister sin and spawn.

Biting her thinned lower lip, she sighs, “Faced with a monster for a husband, I suppose she chose the less damaged of the two Lannisters.”

Jaime isn’t so sure.  Sometimes he wakes up, stares up at the ceiling, and thinks he is the most damaged person in the Seven Kingdoms.

Then again, at least he has his nose.

“She’s less fool than you.  Still, there are much safer objects for your lust, you know.”

“Lady Sansa is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous women in Westeros,” he says with a cocksure grin, willfully misunderstanding her.

“Dangerous?  Hardly,” she scoffs.  “A real woman would have dispatched me, and here I stand.”

He suspects Sansa’s decision to keep his twin alive here in the bowels of Casterly Rock, while she rules overhead, is not intended to be a mercy.  There is a steeliness to Sansa one wouldn’t have expected of the girl once beaten by Joffrey’s Kingsguard.  Although, Cersei hardly has cause to complain, when she played a part in creating the woman Sansa has become—a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

“I don’t know.  She’s managed what you couldn’t, sister.”

Cersei steps back from the bars and finds her bench without turning her head, composed enough as she sits to be gracing a throne.

“To bend the knee to a slut that Robert would have been wise to dispatch?  Why, yes, I suppose she does have that dubious distinction, doesn’t she?”

“No.  To survive the game.  You can hardly call this elegant life,” he says, nodding at her bleak surroundings, “surviving.”  The dogs are better housed.

“She plays the game well enough.  I will give the girl that,” Cersei says with a flick of the wrist that seems to tidily negate Sansa’s accomplishments.  “Littlefinger worked rather hard to make a good little pupil of her.  I wager he taught her well.  Although, I suppose you have nightly proof of that.  He got there first, didn’t he?” she says with a delicate frown.

Jaime’s hand grips the bar so tightly his knuckles turn white.  He would like nothing more than to lash out at her, but he draws upon the caution he has learned late in life to bite his tongue.  He will not give her the pleasure, although the pleasure would be his as well.

“It’s the Imp, not the girl, that you must be careful of, or have you forgotten that he doesn’t like to be crossed?  Doesn’t like to be embarrassed?” Cersei asks, looking exasperated with his dullness.

Of Tywin Lannister’s children, Jaime might not have been the greatest mind, but he is not that thick.

Tyrion would have seen to it that his marriage was dissolved—as a kindness to his unwilling bride—upon his return to Westeros, but the marriage provides Sansa with the sort of protection the Kingslayer and his stump cannot.  Tyrion makes no claims on Sansa and lives rather monastically if reports from Kingslanding are to be believed.  He has never explicitly discussed with them Jaime’s continued presence here at Casterly Rock and at Sansa’s side, but Cersei is right: Tyrion is no fool, and his forbearance might very well be tested by this pregnancy.

For a moment Jaime pictures himself with a crossbow through his guts.

Cersei, perhaps sensing his discomfort, pushes on, “The Imp isn’t as dim as my dear departed husband was.  He’s liable to realize that he’s never stuck his cock in her, and you’ll lose more than a hand.”

Sansa claims nothing of the sort will happen, but there is a chance that she is only feigning certainty.  Lady Sansa has become quite nearly unreadable, her real thoughts and emotions held in silent reserve behind a carefully crafted mask.  Sometimes he fears that she is acting even with him.  When she returned from a journey to Kingslanding one night and slipped into his bed for the first time, warm and distractingly soft atop him, she whispered throatily in his ear that she hated them all, and he wondered not for the first time how he could fail to be counted amongst those she waits patiently to destroy.

And yet, he trusts her with his life.

A fool he might be, he thinks, as he turns his back on his sister.  But, death at Sansa’s hands is precisely what he deserves, should that be what she intends.

He can hear Cersei scramble to her feet, as he strides down the hall, her composure failing her as she loses her intangible grip on him.

“Jaime,” she calls after him.  “I won't be ignored!”

That is precisely what he does, however, as her cries can not slow his steps.

THE END