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17 August 2011 @ 10:54 pm
Fic: Fly on the Wall  
Title: Fly on the Wall
Fandom: ASOIAF
Pairing: Jaime/Brienne
Rating: T
Spoilers: If you've read through AFFC, you should be good.
Prompt: Jaime/Brienne, curtain!fic (or a similar scenario in art form) with Brienne as the Lady of the Rock, bonus points for a Genna Lannister cameo by fallingtowers 
Disclaimer: They are SO not mine. Sadness.
Author's note: Written for the Jaime/Brienne fanworks fest '11. I'm not sure how accurately I followed the prompt, but I hope you like it! It turned out a little angstier than I anticipated. ;)

Fly on the Wall

Brienne strode purposefully across the yard. The plans for the feast were coming along nicely, but Brienne was nervously checking and rechecking everything. It was their first major event since she married Jaime nearly two years ago. The general lawlessness and rebuilding brought on by the long war had occupied most of their attention. This years saw the first good harvest since Ser Ilyn had struck off Lord Stark's head. Brienne had suggested that a celebration was in order. It was something her father would have done, she thought.

Much to Brienne's surprise Jaime agreed with her. It was as good a time as any, he'd said, for the smallfolk to get a good look at the new Lord and Lady of Casterly Rock.

That had been three weeks ago. Now the feast was only a week away and Brienne regretted opening her mouth. There had been a quiet fealty ceremony when Jaime returned to Casterly Rock, but she hadn't been his wife then. Now she was and the thought of facing the lords of the Westerlands enmasse terrified her. It was an old insecurity, one she'd thought long buried. How wrong she'd been. It would require her to play the lady all dressed in silk and lace. It was not a role that suited her and she knew it. If the rumors were anything to go by, half the Westerlands knew it too. She'd heard the whispers and the gossip, mostly from servants who'd believed themselves unobserved. Once upon a time, she would have ignored it and gotten on with things, but her life wasn't just hers any longer. She shared it with Jaime and it grieved her to have people think ill of him based on his choice of bride. They already thought bad enough of him as it was.

She shrugged off that line of thought and got on with her task. She checked the larder, then spoke quietly to the head cook. After that she needed to stop by the laundry. The entire castle needed to be swept and fresh rushes laid in all the rooms. So much to do, she feared that she would be late for her sparring session with Jaime in the afternoon. Brienne had finally convinced him to practice in the light of day; he really had improved. He'd never be quite the swordsman he was, but he was more than capable of defending himself now.

At the appointed time, she made her way to the armory. After slipping her mail over her tunic, she snatched one of the tourney swords and headed out into the light. Jaime was nowhere in sight. It wasn't like him to be late. Their sparring sessions were one of the few times they saw each other during the day, their respective duties kept them busy much to their chagrin. In the early days, they received many strange looks, but eventually the servants grew accustomed their lord and lady attempting to disarm one another. Today, however, there was no one near the yard; Brienne furrowed her brow in annoyance.

She was about to go in search of him when Jaime's squire Peck came running up. He skidded to a stop in front of her, nearly loosing his balance.

My lady,” he panted.

Brienne reached out a hand to steady him. “What is it, Peck?”

Peck took a deep breath before continuing. “Lord Jaime sent me to beg his forgiveness; he will be unable to train this afternoon.”

What's going on? Is he unwell?” Which considering his efforts the night before seemed unlikely, Brienne mused.

No, my lady. His aunt of Frey has arrived at Casterly Rock.”

Brienne blinked in surprise. Genna Lannister? Here? Brienne had only met the older woman once, and she had been left with the distinct impression that the lioness did not approve. The visit had been a short one; Jaime had sent his aunt away soon after. He rarely spoke of her after, despite his aunt being one of his few remaining relatives. It was yet another sacrifice he made for her.

Still, it was her duty as Lady of Casterly Rock to welcome her. Brienne put away the sword and mail. Her tunic was old and a tad frayed, but it was clean. Her boots were dusty, however. She thought briefly of changing but chose not too. Brienne did not want to keep the formidable Genna Lannister waiting.

When she didn't find them in the hall, Brienne walked to Jaime's study. Her suspicion was confirmed when she heard Genna's booming voice through the door. As she got closer, she could hear exactly what her good aunt was voicing her opinion on. It was her. Brienne froze just on the other side of the door.

Seven save us, Jaime, somehow you've been made lord of Casterly Rock! The place your father always meant for you! You have responsibilities.”

I am well aware of that, aunt.” Jaime's voice sounded tired, annoyed. “Speak to anyone you wish. I think you'll find I have discharged my duties responsibly.

That's not what I meant and you know it.”

Jaime remained silent. Genna sighed. “What would your lord father think? Seeing you married to...that.”

Careful, aunt. That is the Lady of Casterly Rock of whom you speak,” Jaime replied. He sounded angrier than Brienne had ever heard him.

Genna laughed. “I see no lady when I look at her, nephew. I see an unfortunate soul who is more man than woman, yet not fit to be either. If she is truly the lady of Casterly Rock, then why hasn't she given you a whelp or three yet? Are you sure she has all the right parts?”

Brienne never heard Jaime's reply. She did something she hadn't done since she was a little girl; she ran.

Jaime found her in the godswood, hours later. Her tears had long since dried, but she was ashamed of her cowardice. Brienne had had her womanhood questioned more times than she could count, but this time it had hurt more. Because now she was failing in the one thing that mattered: having a child. A child with Jaime's golden hair and her blue eyes. A child to inherit the great wealth and honor of the Lannisters of Casterly Rock. Never in her wildest dreams had Brienne expected to be in this situation. She'd expected to live and die on the battlefield. Love and marriage seemed a distant hope, even when her father expected it. It seemed that everything she did resulted in failure.

Brienne?” Jaime called. “Brienne, I know you're here. Although why you chose this place to run to is quite beyond me.”

Here, Jaime,” Brienne replied, stepping out from under the tree.

Jaime looked from her face to the ruined sword in her hand. “Did you kill it?” he asked, teasing.

Brienne did not smile. “How did you know where I was?”

The scullion saw you.”

Why are you here, Jaime?”

Jaime frowned. “I came to bring my wife back to the castle; it's getting rather late, in case you hadn't noticed.”

Wife? Are you sure about that?”

So you did hear Aunt Genna.”

Brienne nodded. She didn't trust herself to speak.

You should not listen to the words of an aging lioness, Brienne.”

Brienne shifted uncomfortably. She thought of that golden haired, blue eyed child again. She thought of her father's disappointed face each time one of her betrothals turned sour. She thought of the wager on her maidenhood. She thought of Biter and the ruined face of Catelyn Stark. Everywhere she looked she saw failure, and she could not contain it any longer.

But what if she's right, Jaime? What if I'm not fit to be a wife? What if there's something wrong with me? You deserve...” she trailed off, fighting back the tears that threatened to overwhelm her again.

I deserve what, Brienne? An heir? Is that what you think you are to me? A means to an end? I had not thought you capable of that, my lady,” he shot back.

Brienne looked at him in horror. Before she could muster a word, he continued. “If an heir was all I wanted, I could have had my pick of any wench at that godsforsaken court. But I told the queen that all I wanted was you.”

Brienne went from horrified to stunned as he spoke. She hadn't known any of that, and it was not Jaime's nature to lie. He'd always told her the truth, even when she didn't want to hear it. The silence stretched uncomfortably. Finally, Brienne found her voice. “Jaime, I...” she began, smiling weakly.

Visibly relieved, Jaime smiled wanely. “Clearly, you didn't stay long enough to hear me say as much to Aunt Genna.”

No,” she confessed.

Jaime reached out for her and entered the circle of his arms eagerly. As he held her, he whispered, “If you're going to eavesdrop, wench, next time I suggest you do it properly.”

I'll try and remember that,” she said, laughing.

Jaime released her. Before she could pull away from him completely, he took her hand. She looked at him curiously, his green eyes serious. “I could not – will not – be Lord of Casterly Rock without you, Brienne. If the gods choose to bless us, then so be it. But as long as I have you, I have everything I need.”

 

Not since the days of Tytos Lannister had laughter and merriment emanated from the Great Hall of Casterly Rock. As the lords and ladies of the Westerlands looked on, the Lord of Casterly Rock proudly led his Lady out to begin the dance. The lords privately decried the ugliness of Lady Brienne. Meanwhile, their wives wished themselves in Lady Brienne's place. As others joined the dance, Jaime and Brienne quietly slipped out of the hall to enjoy a more private dance.

Somewhere Joanna Lannister smiled.


 
 
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