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Dreams of Red and Gold

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1.

His first night as a knight, Jaime can't sleep. His mind is still whirling, and he's elated and terrified all at once. In his fitful dreams, he stands with Ser Arthur Dayne, watching the sun set red on the horizon, side by side. Brothers-in-arms. The Sword of the Morning is smiling at something - smiling at him? Jaime swells with pride, knowing he's done well. When the older knight reaches out to him, draws him close against his chest, Jaime feels another sort of swelling, and a blush that spreads down his entire body, and he wants to turn away but he can't. He would do anything for Ser Arthur, anything at all. Jaime wants so badly to please him, but he doesn't know how. In the dream, it doesn't matter. He looks up into those purple eyes, so trusting and clear, and knows that whatever he does, it will be good enough.

2.

He keeps the white cloak wrapped around him so he can touch it every so often, to remind himself that it's real, that he's sworn his vows now, and his life is changed forever. It's rough against his fingers as he finally nods off, and he dreams of Prince Rhaegar. In his dream, he serves the son, not the father, for already he knows that there will be little glory or honour in the service of the present king, but the prince is both of those virtues personified. Rhaegar asks him to join him in the library, tries to show him something written in flaking, faded, rust-red ink on a tattered scroll, but the words blur before his eyes and Jaime can't read them. He's ashamed to admit this failing, but somehow Rhaegar knows and forgives him anyway. The prince gently strokes his cheek with one sword-rough hand and doesn't laugh or pull away when Jaime twists to kiss his palm.

3.

Jaime dreams often of his sister, especially after Father takes her home to Casterly Rock, leaving him at court. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. He misses her terribly, like a limb cut from his body. In his dreams, Cersei comes to him naked, her green eyes bright and playful, gold hair spilling down her back, teasing and tormenting him, always dancing away before he can touch her. But if he can keep the dream from slipping away even as he begins to wake, sometimes, sometimes, he manages to catch her, pin her down and slide his way into her. And even though he's not really asleep, he still doesn't open his eyes until his hand is wet with his seed.

4.

When he dreams of his brother, which is rarely, he still sees him as barely more than a boy. Sometimes, if it's a pleasant dream, they are riding together - on horseback, it's somehow always been easier to forget Tyrion's stunted body and just enjoy his conversation, the way his mind works, razor-sharp. Two normal brothers together, the way things should have been. Worse are the dreams about the peasant girl, Tysha, and the role he played in what happened to her, the single gold coin glinting on top of the spilling pile of silver ones. Once, he dreams about telling Tyrion the truth. Wordless with rage, his brother reaches into his chest and squeezes his heart in his fist until finally it shudders and stops.

5.

Jaime's dreams of Aerys are blood-red and black, smoke-filled and terrifying. He always forgets the details in the same moment he wakes, sweat-soaked sheet twisted around him, gasping for breath.

6.

On his sister's wedding night, Jaime drinks himself into a stupor and finally, mercifully, passes out. In his fuddled, wine-soaked dream, he wins the tournament and marches up to the royal box in his golden armor to crown Cersei with the wreath of red roses, his queen of love and beauty, and to the seven hells what anyone else thinks or says. Except that her husband's there, the king is in his way, bending his sister over the box's edge to fuck her while everyone watches. Jaime can't look away, and can't even move to stop him. When he finishes off, grunting like a rutting boar, the crowd applauds politely and Robert waves to them with that fucking smug smile on his face. Jaime wakes and barely manages to make it to the window before he's sick onto the cobblestones below.

7.

Each time Cersei's pregnant, he has the same dream. He's nine years old, and his father comes to tell him that their mother is dead. She had been supposed to give them a little brother or sister, and instead she went into her bedchamber and never came out again. Not alive, at any rate. Except he knows that it's not really his mother this time, it's his sister. He runs to her rooms, breathless, and throws open the door, knowing that if he can only get there in time, he'll be able to save her somehow. But all he finds in her bed is a baby, still wet and red and squalling. A murdering, monstrous baby. And he knows that it's all his fault.

8.

In the dungeons at Riverrun, Jaime lives each day in a waking dream - a nightmare, truth be told. He never knows if it's day or night, but sometimes he manages to sleep, despite the chains that shackle him wrist and ankle, the stench, the fleas, and the rage that burns within him. Once he dreams that Edmure Tully comes to him, grabs him by the hair and forces his mouth open roughly, then pushes his cock into his face, pounding hard against the back of Jaime's throat until he gags and chokes. He wakes with an ache in his jaw from clenching it shut so tightly, and the taste of blood in his mouth.

Perhaps it's a form of private revenge, then, when he later dreams of Lady Catelyn screaming as she writhes beneath him, with his chains wrapped around her red, red throat.

9.

In his waking hours it's generally easy for him to either ignore the Maid of Tarth, or to say something witty and cutting that makes her frown or turn red in the face. But in his dreams, Brienne is much harder to dismiss. Bold in a way she would never be in life, she drags him to the ground and straddles his hips, whether he wishes it or no - and, because it is his dream, of course he does wish it, in a way he cannot admit while awake. She's clumsy as she mounts him, and he steadies her with both hands - both hands, and that detail alone would be enough to make this a good dream - and eases her slowly onto him, all the way down, until she gasps and tilts her head back. The sunlight catches her hair, turning straw into gold for an instant.

10.

The Lord Commander's sleep is restless, and he dreams of Loras Tyrell. The Knight of Flowers is cocky, like he used to be, and with nearly as good a reason. In the dream, he challenges Jaime to a race. They run across a snow-covered plain, blindingly white. The lad's feet never seem to sink or stumble, while Jaime finds it harder and harder to take each step, wading through drifts past his waist, struggling just to keep from falling down. Just when he realizes he won't be able to go on, he sees Loras turn back, offer him his hand. Jaime tries to take it, but the hand he extends is gold, cold and heavy, and the young man shrinks away from it, a look of disgust on his perfect face. But Jaime grabs him and pulls him down, pushes his lips roughly against Loras's mouth until the younger knight stops struggling and finally submits to him. When he hears the knock at his door, it's almost a relief to wake.

He opens it, face still burning, to find Loras there, hopeful and almost shy, and this time neither of them shrink away, and it's not a dream any longer.