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23 August 2011 @ 02:02 pm
Paradigm (One Shot)  
Title: Paradigm

Fandom: ASOIAF

Characters/Pairing: Jaime/Brienne, Cersei

Rating: T

Spoilers: Through ADWD. Seriously, don't read if you haven't finished A Dance With Dragons!!!!

Prompt: Cersei's reaction when Jaime introduces her to Brienne. by cabepfir

Disclaimer: Only in my dreams, people.

Author's note: From Cersei's POV. I've never written her before, so I hope this is alright. *is nervous*



Paradigm


Her knees ached from kneeling. Praying had never been her strong suit, yet here she was forced to live out this mummer’s farce under the watchful eyes of the Faith and court. The endless delays to her trial slowly were driving Cersei Lannister to madness. How much longer must she wait? They brought precious little news to her, especially now that Hand was dead. Cersei knew she should mourn her dear uncle, but all she could see when she pictured him was the look of disgust he gave her when he refused the Handship. He knows about us, she’d told Jaime.

They did not release her for Kevan’s funeral. Privately, Cersei was not especially grieved, but appearances were everything for her now.
She must appear contrite, obedient, humble and chaste. What better opportunity than her beloved uncle’s funeral? She’d pleaded, cajoled and practically prostrated herself before the High Septon and still he would not budge. Cersei could not be seen in public until after her trial, he declared. In her heart, Cersei raged at the injustice of it, but she accepted his judgment meekly. Appearances above all, she reminded herself.


Unfortunately, the loss of her uncle brought her number of visitors to practically zero. They brought Tommen to her whenever she asked,
but no one else in the Red Keep wished to taint themselves by association. The loathsome Mace Tyrell was Hand now. He visited Cersei shortly after Kevan’s death to break the news and reaffirm the terms of her house arrest, but that was all. The only visitors she’d had were the servants who dressed, fed and washed her each day. She was never alone, but she’d never felt more alone in her life.


Silently, Cersei prayed to the Father for justice and to the Smith for the strength to defeat her enemies. She was a lioness of the Rock,
she reminded herself. She would make those who had shamed and thwarted her tremble in the face of her wrath. If only she could get out of this damned gilded cage!


There was a commotion in the corridor. Cersei broke off from her prayers and rose to her feet. Her startled septa followed suit beside her.
On the other side of the door, Cersei could hear a pair of low, insistent voices. Who could possibly be on the other side?


The door opened. The shock Cersei felt as her visitor stepped through the door was palpable. It was Jaime. After all this time, her own sweet, golden lion had returned to her. Despite her words to Kevan, Cersei half believed she’d never set eyes on him again. He looked older than she remembered, with more gray in his beard and at his temples. There was a fresh scar on his forehead. He was dressed in Lannister crimson, as opposed to the white of the Kingsguard. Still, his brothers heeded him when he ordered them to go.


As Cersei drank him in, part of her wanted to rage at him, demand to know where he’d been when she needed him. But, more than anything else, she just wanted to be in his arms again. Instinctively, she took a step toward him, then froze. The septa was still standing next to her. She could not embrace Jaime with that wretched septa watching her every move. It would ruin everything she’d worked so hard to rebuild. Cersei stepped back and schooled her features.


“It is wonderful to see you have returned to King’s Landing, Lord Commander,” she said formally.


Jaime ignored her and fixed the cowering septa with an icy stare. “Leave us.”


“But…but Lord Commander, Her Grace is not to be left alone,” the septa stammered. The girl could not have been more than nineteen, Cersei mused. Likely she’d been in orders her whole life. No wonder she was frightened nearly out of her wits, with a man as imposing as Jaime staring at her. Cersei allowed herself a small smile. “By or-order of the High Septon.”


“As you can see,” Jaime replied, “Her Grace will hardly be alone. I would have words with my sister.”


“As you wish, Lord Commander.” The septa ducked her head meekly and hurried out.


As soon as the door closed, Cersei ran to him. She threw her arms around him and hugged him tight. Awkwardly, Jaime patted her back with his good hand, but otherwise remained still. Something nagged at her mind, but she ignored it as she rained kisses on his face. All that mattered was that Jaime was here and he would make everything all right. He’d run through Mace Tyrell and the High Septon and everyone else who had wronged her. They would rule the Seven Kingdoms as they were always meant to, together.


Cersei’s dream was shattered when Jaime pushed her away with his stump. It was the reminder that he was no longer whole – that he was no longer the invincible lion of their youth – and it revolted her.


“Don’t touch me with that,” she snapped.


“As you say, sweet sister. Shall I fetch Lancel or one of the Kettleblacks to embrace you in my stead?”


Cersei’s slap reverberated in the chamber. Jaime said nothing, much to Cersei’s fury.


“Where have you been, Jaime? What happened to you?” she shouted. “I needed you.” Cersei was so angry that she didn’t notice the door open behind Jaime.


“You seem to have done well enough without me, sweet sister.”


“The Jaime I knew would never abandon me to my enemies! Did that stump turn you into a coward as well as a cripple?”


“Ser Jaime is not a coward,” said an unfamiliar voice forcefully.


Cersei’s eyes fell on the newcomer. Cersei had only seen her once, but that was more than enough. Standing next to Jaime with her head held high was Brienne of Tarth. She was even uglier than Cersei remembered. It appeared that someone or something had taken a bite out of her cheek. Her grotesque manish figure was clad in breeches, shirt and leather jerkin. Her lone redeeming feature looked at Cersei with a mixture of curiosity, anger and revulsion. Cersei laughed.


“Is that so, my lady,” Cersei spat with venom. “Then why are you here? Have you come to defend his honor from me? I can tell you, creature, he has none to defend.”


Jaime’s jaw clenched the fury evident on his face. Jaime raised his fist a fraction and for a second, Cersei thought he might strike her. Brienne saw it as well, and stepped between the twins. Gently, the maid of Tarth placed her large hands over Jaime’s.


“It is of no matter, Jaime,” Brienne said softly. “She did no harm.”


Cersei wasn’t sure what upset her more, watching Brienne comfort Jaime or the realization that Jaime was offended on the creature’s
behalf.


“She should not have spoken to you that way,” Jaime murmured.


“Nor to you,” Brienne replied. Cersei couldn’t help but notice the affection with which they spoke to each other. And suddenly, Cersei
realized she was looking at a stranger. He looked like Jaime, spoke like Jaime, but he was not her Jaime.


No, her Jaime was gone and now Cersei Lannister was well and truly alone.







 
 
Current Location: The Red Keep
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Paradigm - We Are the Fallen
 
 
 
Sarah: Jaime/Brienneiorwen107 on September 6th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
This was amazing, I just loved it!
michellemtsu: Jaime Lannistermichellemtsu on September 7th, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :D
kylathelurkerkylathelurker on August 13th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
Oh this was so wonderfully done! That bit where Brienne calms Jaime, such a simple choice of words and the gesture was so powerful. I really loved in that instant everything is revealed with so few words. m(_ _)m its a shame there isn't more reviews for this honestly this tale deserves a lot more recognition!
michellemtsu: Jaime Lannistermichellemtsu on August 13th, 2012 01:20 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you! It was really interesting and fun to write. I really love that part too. :)