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Stone Walls and Silence

R
one-shot
Cersei Jaime (implications of Brienne/Jaime)
warnings for language and implied incest
A/N: written for the round six prompt over at [livejournal.com profile] asoiafkinkmeme: "Brienne/Jaime– When Jaime visits Cersei in her imprisonment on the Rock, he brings his towering children with him, each marked as their father’s in their own way."

this is very Cersei-centric. consequently, I'm not entirely sure this is exactly what the OP had in mind, but what can you do. posted to my journal instead of in comment-form because, my god, this got out of hand. many many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] smirnoffmule for reminding me that I am not, in fact, the worst thing that's ever happened to fanfiction.


She suffers even her sentence to imprisonment with icy dignity.

At her trial, she stands unbent and unwavering as the Dragon Queen declares her accountable for crimes against the crown, for defiling the Realm in her own self-interest. Eyes like flints of amethyst fix her in place while the High Septon reads off a list of accusations for all the shambling inhabitants of a sacked King’s Landing to hear. Cersei Lannister meets the gaze with a flat stare of her own and her mouth compresses into a thin line.

They cannot shame her now. She has suffered punishment far worse than this. Not so long ago, she was once stripped and shaved and paraded for a harlot. Compared to that, the pretty little Dragon Queen is gentle in her retribution, and Cersei will not break for her. True enough, the little girl strips Cersei of her titles and strips the Rock of all its power. No Lannister will command the realm again. But that is nothing, Cersei tells herself; this child-woman from the East is overly gentle.

Live out your days in the shadow of what once was, the young Queen says mildly, and dismisses Cersei, for all to see, with a wave of her slim hand.

Two of the Unsullied haul the woman once called queen forcefully away, and she does not flinch at their touch. Naked, I was once forced to walk these streets. The solemn crowd’s eyes watch her. They do not jeer now. The shadow of a dragon looms over King’s Landing. There will be no cheering, she suspects, for a very long time.

I have been named an adulteress and a heathen. I have been called godless by these same cretins who you now command. I have lived, already, the life of a pariah. Your pretty claws don’t hurt me, little girl.

Those queer eyes of purple follow her path. A strange fire burns in them, as the Unsullied toss this dispossessed woman into a barred cart and lock the door. Her knee is bleeding, her feet are bleeding, and her shackles don’t permit her reach enough to raise her hands and break her fall. She lands hard on one shoulder and makes no sound. She wept before the smallfolk once, already; it makes no difference to them if she weeps now, but she does not.

She looks up through the bars of her cage and through the tangled fall of her golden hair. Her green eyes are bright as the horseman cracks his whip and the cart carries her away from the capital and the Queen and her monstrous beasts perched atop the Red Keep’s crumbling towers.

.

Casterly Rock has been gutted.

Like a mausoleum, it stands empty, now, but for the history it houses; the remnants of some time long lost. All the great rooms have been emptied, though the Queen saw fit to leave her furnishings enough to outfit a solar, a library, and a bedchamber. The rest of her childhood home, though, may as well be ruins for all that’s been left to it.

Disenfranchised, she wanders the bare and winding lengths of dim, empty halls and she wonders, vaguely, what the dragon woman saw fit to do with all of Tywin Lannister’s wealth.

Of course, there is no one who would tell her, even if she asked. The child queen has set her Unsullied freaks upon the Rock; guards for the green-eyed Lannister woman, they keep a silent company to her solitude. They stare right through her when she, on the offhand chance, encounters them. Despite their quiet, Cersei remains certain that her every move is watched. She is also certain that, were she to attempt to speak to them, she’d have as much success as she might with a wall. And so, the fate of her family and her family’s legacy remain a mystery to her; she is left only with remnants of what once was but is no longer.

Also left to her: a small custodial staff, presumably stationed to see to the upkeep of Casterly Rock—and to monitor her imprisonment as much as the Unsullied, she suspects.

These servant-wardens do not speak to her either, except to announce that they have meals for her from time to time. She doesn’t care. Her ignoble retainers’ attitude towards her makes not a whit of difference. This imprisonment is but a trial to be suffered, and suffer she will. She will not break under this, no more than she broke under Daenerys Targaryen’s public accusations. Her life has seen her fall much farther, and land much harder and more painfully, than this gentle house arrest.

And so her days while away into weeks, and weeks into months. She reads through all the books in her modest library. She sleeps, she wakes, she eats, she wanders. She thinks of Jaime, occasionally, and dispassionately. She thinks of Tyrion, never. Some nights she dreams of Tommen and Myrcella, their fates unknown to her. On those nights, she wakes confused and haunted, but not even the shades of her children are enough to bring the lioness to tears.

.

She has long since lost count of time when Jaime comes to see her.

Once, she suspects, the sight of him might have lit a fire in her. Her other half, the father of her children, the only one in the world to know her as well as she has ever known herself—and in some moments, her champion. Perhaps, were circumstances different, she might have expected him to carry her off; to cut through the silent ranks of the Unsullied, to save her from the punishment bestowed upon her.

But Jaime has no hand, now, and no sword to cut down anything. He stands just on the inside of her solar, flanked by two of her guards, and Cersei has the vague thought that she’s never felt so far away from anyone in her entire life.

“Jaime,” she says quietly. She did not know he yet lived.

“I…” He hesitates. “Cersei.” His good hand—his only hand—flexes. She hears knuckles pop. “I’m sorry I did not come to you sooner. “I—it has been trying. It seems the Queen distrusts you very much.”

The wry comment falls flat. She doesn’t laugh, though she does wonder what Jaime did (or what she herself might have done) to make the little Targaryen girl deem her suddenly deserving of visitors.

Jaime shifts a little, clearly uncomfortable with the silence.

“I’ve missed you, Cersei,” he says quietly.

And at that, she goes to him. An abrupt rise to her feet, and she can’t remember crossing the room, can’t recall willing herself to move, to stagger, to embrace him as she hasn’t since that moment in the Red Keep so very long ago.

His arms come around her, thinner than she remembers them being (the whole of him is thinner, gaunter than she remembers him being)—and this too, serves to make her feel cold and strange. Whatever truths they held between them are lost now, even as she buries her face in the crook of his neck and breathes in the scent of cotton and skin, and reminds herself that they came into this world together, that they are two halves of one whole. She wonders what that means, now, if it means anything at all.

“I thought you dead,” she says, finally, pulling away enough to look upon his face. She thumbs the line of his jaw, gently. She thinks that she should want to kiss him, but the desire isn’t there. “How…?”

Jaime’s mouth twists in an expression that could pass for a smile, humorless and raw. “I survive only at the behest and good will of others.” He draws his hand through her hair, as though relearning the texture and the length of gold.

They linger like that, his fingers carding through her hair, combing lightly at her scalp. She wonders if she looks as different to him as he does to her. And then, abruptly, a cloud passes over his face.

“I cannot stay,” he tells her. “We might conspire, the gods forefend.”

The thought of him going makes her stomach clench, even though his presence is unsettling. She had forgotten that she missed companionship; her silent livelihood hadn’t been painful until this moment, when she has been reminded that silence isn’t the only way to live. She clutches his elbow.

“Already? You’ve only just arrived.”

Jaime looks off to his left, frowning at nothing, and then his eyes travel to the one Unsullied standing at his side.

“I suppose they don’t seem to be in a rush to drag me off…”

“Jaime—what. What of Tommen? And Myrcella.”

For the second time, Jaime’s mouth contorts in mirthlessness. “Myrcella remains in Dorne, a ward, and betrothed. I…haven’t seen her. I’ve only been told.”

“And Tommen?”

He studies her face, as though searching for something there. “With me,” he says, at last. “After a fashion.”

This surprises her. “With you?”

Jaime does smile now, and bitterly. “You think there might be better caretakers for the boy?”

“No. I think the Queen sees fit to risk her claim, if he’s with you.”

“You think so? I promise you, a ten-year-old and his maimed uncle pose very little threat to the Iron Throne.” Jaime raises his stump between them. The hand that crowns it now is white and long—less like a hand than the bones that form its armature. “Kingslayer or no, not many fear me now. Even if they did, I’d be foolish to gamble it for a game of ambition or revenge. You are not the only one under watchful eyes, sister.”

Cersei shoves his hand away. “Is Tommen well? Does he understand what’s happened?”

“He’s as well as can be expected. And…he doesn’t ask many questions. If he understands, I hear little of it.”

She steps away from him. There is a vast and hollow pit inside of her, it seems, consuming all that she throws into it: her rage, her fear, her hate. The world passes her by like distant shadows in the fading light of dusk. She thinks of Tommen and realizes that she cannot quite recall his face.

“I’m tired, Jaime,” she says without looking at him.

He is quiet for a moment. And then: “Of course. ‘Til next time.”

She doesn’t say goodbye and when she looks again, he’s gone, leaving in his wake only stillness and an empty doorway.

.

Jaime’s visits are infrequent and inconsistent, but they do become a fact of Cersei’s life in this place. As time unravels, so it seems that the vast abyss between her and her brother diminishes; with each visit, she comes to recognize him all over again, her twin.

And with him, she realizes, comes a certain kind of hope. His presence heralds the promise of the world outside. Open air and enormous skies. He tells her of the wasted riverlands, of the marshes of ash and silt that have come to fill what was once the cradle of life in Westeros. The smallfolk might have starved, he said once, had the Dragon Queen not chased off winter and the faceless Others with her leviathans and her desiccated nephew at her side.

Now, though, the world rebuilds. Life toils on, slow and tottering. A child just finding its legs, and looking up in awe, from time to time, at the great winged beasts that soar amongst the clouds.

Time unfolds and builds history in its latticework—and penned up in her gilded cage, Cersei yearns.

.

“You linger long by windows, sister,” Jaime remarks, once, slouched desultory in his chair. “It’s enough to make one believe you have a mind to do yourself some harm.”

He smells of earth and brine. When she stands close enough, she can catch the scent on him and what it signifies is enough to drive her mad. A place away from here. A life unfettered.

Now, though, she draws her fingertips over barred glass and gazes out over the roll of quiet land. “Our liege lady has seen fit to ensure that I couldn’t throw myself from a window, even if I wanted to.” She turns to meet his gaze. “Don’t trouble yourself, though. I’m only thinking.”

Truth be told, she’s bored. Boredom was the first thing to return to her, after longing. Perhaps it was the longing that brought the boredom on; thoughts of life beyond her Rock, and suddenly her prison seemed that much smaller, that much darker. The walls of her childhood bore down on her. She’s lost count of the nights she’s spent pacing long halls, irritable and frustrated.

Jaime watches her, now, unsmiling. “Thinking.” He makes a strange noise. A laugh, maybe, though there’s nothing funny about this moment. There is a tightness around his eyes, in his jaw, and he looks away to stare at something that Cersei cannot see. Finally, he speaks: “What of?”

Every place that isn’t here. “Justice.”

“Of what sort?”

“Is it so hard to guess? I tire of our Rock, brother.”

At this, Jaime says nothing. His mouth compresses into a thin line.

“That’s quite a predicament,” he says at last, “as I don’t believe the dragon woman means to set you free.”

“I don’t care what the Targaryen child means to do.”

“You should. Your life comes at the heels of her good will.”

She glares at him, frustrated with his willful obstinacy. “You may recall that, when a different dragon locked his sister in a tower, Ned Stark was not content to let her languish there.”

At this, he does look at her. A quick snap of the eyes, the sudden light of emerald fire. “I am not Ned Stark.”

“More’s the pity,” she sneers.

“You’ve made this bed for yourself, Cersei. Nothing I can do will change it.”

“Coward.”

“If cowardliness means I value my head—well. You and Ned Stark can have bravery, in that case.”

Taking measured breaths in through her nose, she watches him from her place by the window and he stares back, defiant. She wants to slap him hard enough to loosen teeth, but she doesn’t move.

“Go, then,” she hisses.

Jaime gets to his feet and inclines his head slightly in mock deference. “You’re kind to give me your leave, sister.”

She does slap him, then. Four quick steps to close the distance between them, and she hits him hard enough that her palm stings from the impact. He says nothing to that, only touching lightly the place where she struck him, red blossoming in a misshapen blotch across his cheek.

And then he leaves her to the Rock and all its indifferent silence.

.

Jaime stops coming for a very long time thereafter.

She whiles away her days in restless monotony and wills herself not to think of him. She wonders whom amongst her guards could possibly know about Casterly Rock’s secret passageways and, upon attempting to steal away into one, she finds that they’ve been bricked off or intentionally collapsed. When she reemerges from her failed escape attempt, the Unsullied only look at her mildly, without even the slightest indication that they intend to punish her for trying to run.

They’ve known all along, she realizes. They know there’s no way out. It doesn’t matter where I go.

She doesn’t sleep that night, instead laying in the darkness and wondering if this was the Targaryen girl’s true purpose, to punish her slowly, to drive her to madness by leaving her alone.

In that moment, the tactic reminds her intensely of the Faith, of her cell in the High Sept. They broke her this way, too, making her a prisoner to some state of quiet desperation. The realization makes her gut twist and lights up something sharp inside her chest. She rolls onto her side, curling into herself. Eyes closed, she swallows against the bitter taste that suddenly floods her mouth and tries to will away the looming sense of dread waiting, in the darkness, to consume her.

.

Time moves strangely in Casterly Rock; months rush by while days drag on with painful slowness. Years build up, somehow, and feel hollow.

She marks the passage of her life by the crude blueprints that she drafts; leaves and leaves of paper piling up. Ten thousand renderings of the Rock in all its impregnability—both within and without. She draws up her escape plans and tears them to pieces, burns them, or blots them out with whole bottles of ink, her fingers stained blacker and blacker by the day.

The simple fact of the matter, of course, is that there is no escape. The child queen has chained her, hand and foot, forever, and Cersei has never hated anything more. Where there was once a numbed indifference to her situation, there is now only terror and rage. She thinks of her whole future laid out before her, doomed to this monotony of isolation, and she feels sick.

She will not beseech the queen for freedom, she tells herself—and realizes later that, even if she did, the queen wouldn’t listen.

She has no means to stage an escape, nor any place to run to in all of Westeros. The deposed regent, she remains denounced and defenseless in her lonely hold, her life subject to the whims of a girl who cares not at all whether Cersei Lannister lives or dies in madness.

.

Her hatred and frustration culminate, finally, in a lashing out. Gripping hard on a knife brought to her with dinner, she grabs the jerkin of an unsuspecting serving boy with her free hand. It only takes a moment to drive blade in through fabric, skin, and sinew; she feels the length of beaten metal skitter over a bony arc, pale ribs, before sinking deep into soft flesh. She jerks the knife to the side, dragging it through him, twisting the blade.

When he falls, she stabs him again. And again.

Two Unsullied pull her off, eventually, but by then the serving boy is motionless, his body haloed in a slowly growing pool of red; a grim aureole. Cersei’s skirts are stained up to the knee, and blood cools, congeals, and cracks over her hands. She thinks of struggling away from the hands that hold her, of falling on the boy again, just to smash his slackened face in, but she doesn’t. They twist the knife from her fingers and she only glares, defiant and unapologetic.

In retribution—or, perhaps, just to ensure that she can’t attempt the same thing twice—her gaolers carve her palms open later. Three deep strikes for each hand, and Cersei grits her teeth, determined not to cry.

Cry she does, though—but not until she is alone. At night, when the hurt nettles through her hands like choking red vines, sharp and unrelenting.

She tells herself she has not been broken, but it seems a hollow sentiment, now. She hates them all the more for unmaking her so, and that hatred burns through her, leaving something empty in its wake. A calcined husk, long dessicated.

All around her, the world seems fractured beyond repair.

.

Jaime returns to her on a stormy day when the whole world beyond her windows has turned wet and cold and colorless.

She sits in silence in her room, her bandaged hands in her lap. Even now, the pain lingers. A dull, incessant throbbing beneath her bandages.

Distantly, she registers the sound of footsteps. Passersby, she presumes—the quiet, liveried servants. But when the footfalls draw close, when they halt at her open door, she looks up to see who could have possibly come calling and her breath arrests in her chest.

“Jaime,” she breathes, though it isn’t Jaime that she sees, not truly.

A youth stands by her brother’s side, tall—nearly as tall as Jaime himself—with golden hair and emerald eyes. Jaime at seventeen, she thinks, though not completely. There is something different about the way this young man holds himself; he stands void of all the youthful arrogance that characterized her brother at that age. He beholds her not with passion or lust or even a lion’s ferocity, but rather with a cautious kind of awe.

All at once, Cersei feels something fracture inside of her, minutely. A subtle shift, and, oh

“Tommen.”

Her son bows a little, awkward. “Mother.”

There is a silence that draws out between them as she looks at him. Around her, the world diminishes and fades away and she hears nothing but the sound of her own heart, beating in her ears.

He shifts a little, his weight from one foot to another, and casts an uncertain glance about the room. Remembering herself, Cersei extends a hand to him and, after a moment’s hesitation, he comes and takes it, careful of her bandages. His hand no longer fits into hers, she realizes, but rather enfolds it. He is a man grown.

He bends to kiss her lightly on the cheek, holding her fingers with a gentleness that she recalls him having had, even in childhood.

“You look well,” he says, not meeting her eyes. “I. I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you too.”

He does look at her, then, before glancing back to Jaime, whose presence Cersei had all but forgotten. There is a child by his side, a boy of six, at the most, with hair the color of pale flax. For a moment, she thinks the child might be a squire before realizing her mistake—the boy is too young. She nearly asks who he is, but Tommen speaks again and her whole world narrows down to him.

“What happened to your hands?” He touches her bandages.

“An accident.”

Tommen nods. “Uncle and—” His breath hitches a little. “Uncle has told me about you. He always promised me you were safe.”

Safe. A very particular way of putting it, she supposes, though not untrue. She is safe from the world and, subsequently, silent. And in that silence, she thinks, she may as well be dead.

She doesn’t say this to Tommen, though. Instead, she pats the space beside her on the bed, inviting him to sit. When he does, the mattress sinks, slightly.

“I am safe indeed,” she agrees. “And, as you can see, not unwell.”

“I—” Tommen hesitates again. “I wanted to come see you before. With Uncle, all those times. But.”

It’s guilt that he’s trying to express, she realizes. Guilt, perhaps, over some worry that she might have taken his absence as a slight. Reaching out, she smoothes back blond wisps of hair from his forehead.

“It’s difficult to come here,” she finishes, for him. “I understand. And I’m grateful for your presence now.”

Tommen gives her a tight nod, his eyes wide and earnest. She wants to ask him of his life, but Jaime speaks before she can.

“Tommen. Take Emmon to see what’s left of the lion hold of Casterly Rock. I would have a moment with your mother.”

Her son stands with swift obedience, glancing back at her with that same look of curiosity and wonder, before he goes to Jaime and the child and takes the little boy by the hand.

“Come, Emmon.”

“The guards won’t bother you,” Jaime assures him, stepping out of the way of the door. “So long as you don’t bother them, of course.” He touches the little child’s hair with a tenderness that startles Cersei. “Keep him in your sight.”

“Yes, Uncle.” A last look back to Cersei. “I—I will see you shortly, Mother.”

And then he’s gone, the child in tow, their footsteps receding down the hall.

Jaime comes to her, now, with purpose, and sits down beside her. It’s his hand that takes hers, with a different kind of assuredness from Tommen’s, and he traces his thumb over her wrapped knuckles.

“They told me you killed a man.”

She regards him, coolly. “You act as though he might have been the first man I ever put to death.”

“A serving boy, Cersei?”

“Did you come here to reprimand me?”

Jaime sighs and looks away. “No—I didn’t.” His thumb traces the lines of her fingers, slowly. It’s startling in its tenderness. “I…didn’t leave things well, last time.”

“Didn’t you? I can’t imagine the hardship it’s brought on your life.” She disentangles her fingers from his.

Suffering the jab in silence, he doesn’t move to reach for her hand again. Cersei watches him study his empty palms, his mouth thinned into a grimace. After a long moment, he speaks:

“I can’t free you, Cersei—and for that, I’m sorry. I wouldn’t wish this fate on you.” He meets her eyes.

“Apologies count for little enough when they’re only words, Jaime.” Squaring her shoulders, she gazes at him coldly. “And do not think that you’ll win your way back into my favor with words.”

“It’s not your favor, I want. I love you. I have loved you first, and always, as I’ve loved no one else—and I owe you the honesty of telling you that.”

“Why?” she sneers. “When you make no good on it, why bother at all? What good does your love do me when—”

“I can’t save you, Cersei.”

“I’ve heard your excuses.”

Jaime’s fingers go still against hers. Looking at her intently, he says, “The child is mine.”

Cersei blinks. It’s a strange non sequitur, and it leaves a stranger feeling in her gut. Disquiet.

“What?” The word sounds breathless when she says it—as though she’s afraid, somehow, even though she only feels suddenly very cold.

“The child,” Jaime repeats. “Emmon. He is my son.”

The idea is so ludicrous that she thinks she should laugh. Instead, the world seems to tilt, horribly, to one side. Before she truly considers the question, she asks: “By whom?”

A moment of hesitation. She watches Jaime search her face—as though he’s looking for some unspoken meaning there—before at last he answers her.

“Brienne of Tarth.”

The name settles slowly in the space between them. Brienne of Tarth. Cersei remembers the woman only vaguely. A hulking oaf of a creature, with hair like cornsilk and wide, insipid eyes.

Her brother looks equally insipid, now, watching her with an unguarded expression of guilt. She recalls some breathless moment in the Red Keep—the first time Jaime had ever refused her. His breeches unlaced, his soft cock absurdly exposed. A stinging, blackened sense of vitriol roils within her, the taste of bile burning up her throat.

“Why, Jaime,” she leers. “I’m like to not believe you. I thought you’d long forgotten how to use that worm between your legs.”

“Cersei—”

She reaches out in a flash, gripping his groin. Fingers clawed, she can feel him there, full in her palm, and she clenches. It hurts to do it, the throbbing in her palm burning anew. A petty price to pay, she thinks, to see Jaime lift visibly off the mattress in reflex. His lips pulled back in a rictus grimace, he chokes on his own breath.

“Perhaps I was wrong,” Cersei hisses. “Tell me, brother, is the Maid of Tarth very beautiful? I don’t remember her being so. I remember an ugly bitch that should have been a man. Was she so desperate to have a cock inside her that she let an idiot cripple climb atop her?” She twists her hand and Jaime makes a thin, high noise. “Or was it you who were the desperate one, lonely enough to fuck cows.”

At that, Jaime takes her by the wrist, jerking her hand away. It hurts him, she can tell; the way his breath hitches again. His face gone bloodless.

When he looks at her, there’s a dark anger in his eyes.

“I admit—I’ve done you wrong.” His words are measured, his voice, hoarse. “But Brienne has no fault in this, and you’d do well to remember it.”

“No fault? She birthed your ugly whelp.” She barks a laugh. A short and raw and mirthless sound. “Did she think you’d make a very good father? Or was she ignorant of how children come into this world before you spent inside her?”

“Enough.” Jaime thrusts her arm away, rising sharply to his feet. “You’d have me risk her life, and Emmon’s, and Tommen’s for the sake of what? Your jealousy?”

His indignation is enough to rile Cersei further. She spits:

“You stupid, pathetic, crippled man. What did you expect of me? You arrive with a child you sired upon an abomination of a woman and have the gall to look so wounded when I don’t offer my congratulations?” She curls her upper lip, flashing teeth for a moment. “And yet here you say you love me. You never were terribly good at lying, Jaime.”

She watches a pained look cross her brother’s face, but he makes no attempt to argue with her. This, above all else, fills her with fury—his silent admission of guilt. He knew that it would hurt me, and yet he told me anyway, she thinks. He means to make a mockery of me.

A silence falls thick and heavy between them. Outside, the rain lashes cold against the windows. Jaime drops his gaze as though waiting for some final dismissal and Cersei wants to reach out to him, to hit him, to hurt him, to make him sorry.

Instead, she asks him quietly: “Tell me something. What would you do, were our positions reversed? If it were me with some other man’s child in my arms, and you condemned to eternity in a tower?”

Jaime looks at her and opens his mouth as though to speak, but no words come. At length, he sighs, heavily, all tension going out of him, and he answers:

“I cannot say for certain. I suppose I might hate you.”

“Yet here you are, confessing your sins.”

“I thought I owed you the honesty, as well.”

“How very stupid of you.”

“So it would seem.” Jaime looks to the door. “If it sits well with you, I’ll go find Tommen. I imagine you’d like to say your farewells.”

It stings at her, that. An unfair play at Jaime’s hands. Her son spirited away, into the rain and the world where she can’t go, can’t see him. A mother should never have to bid farewell to her children.

“Go, then.”

And he does.

When they return, she hasn’t moved. Tommen comes to her with that quiet, wary interest and Jaime hangs back in the doorway, the child—Emmon—by his side. Cersei stares at the little boy brazenly; evaluates all the ways in which he looks like Jaime, and all the ways in which he doesn’t. His hair is too light, his mouth too wide. But his face is round, like Tommen’s was as a child, and he has Jaime’s eyes, dazzling green. That similarity, more than anything, reawakens rage in her gut.

But Tommen stands beside her now, tall and willowy and golden, and when he says Mother, she tears her eyes away from Jaime and the creature clutching at his hand.

“Tommen,” she greets him.

He goes to his knees before her, taking both his hands in hers. The cordial gesture is strange and overwrought—only the sort of thing a boy would do. It makes her think of a time, years past, when Tommen sat at her feet and played with kittens and announced to her that he would name his favorite of the litter Ser Pounce. Looking at him now, a red coil constricts tight inside her gut, and she thinks that, for all he’s grown, she can still see that little boy, with earnest eyes, telling her of the adventures Ser Pounce would one day embark upon.

“Mother. I—I apologize,” he stumbles over his own words. Struggles to choose between formality and familiarity. “I…very much would like to stay. I hope that I can spend some time with you, on my return.”

She reaches out and touches his hair again. Draws the backs of her fingers down the side of his face. “As do I.”

Standing, he kisses her on both cheeks before rejoining Jaime.

“Farewell, Cersei,” her brother says.

She doesn’t look at him or at the bastard watching her from the doorway. The quiet draws out until, at last, she hears their footsteps receding, diminishing against the sound of the rain.

Date: 2012-06-21 01:03 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] littlemissgriff.livejournal.com
OP here. Oh my god. *snugs this*

It's beautiful. It's perfect. It's absolutely what I wanted. And it had TOMMEN.

Date: 2012-06-21 01:49 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] littlemissgriff.livejournal.com
I admit, I totally dream of Tommen being all sweet and Tommen with Rickon as his rabid close-enough-to-a-knight in shaggy hair and probably only partially dressed - because I have a feeling that boy will have issues with shirts, shoes, and just about anything else- protecting him from people who say mean things. Because he's Tommen and no one should be allowed to say mean things to him.

Date: 2012-06-21 01:58 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] mon-st.livejournal.com
OH wow, this was fantastic. I like that it's sympathetic but pulls no punches when it comes to how bitter and how fierce Cersei can be. And OMG TOMMEN ALL GROWN UP MY HEART.

Date: 2012-06-21 02:22 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] lilith95.livejournal.com
This is perfect! Cersei's bitterness towards Jaime and how she talks about Brienne and what she thinks of their son is true to her character. And OMG Tommen is all grown up and Jaime is taking care of him. I love daddy!Jaime :)
Great Job!

Date: 2012-06-21 11:01 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] zuziafiu.livejournal.com
Perfection!! And frankly I’m glad that that Fic is not so kinky. I seriously love it!

Date: 2012-06-21 04:59 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fallingtowers.livejournal.com
Oh god. This is absolutely heart-breaking. Even though I rather ship Brienne & Jaime like burning, I ache for Cersei here. Her helplessness and her rage and her bitterness are so palpable, and it's like a punch in the gut. That was a really great fic and I hope you'll write more in this fandom!

Date: 2012-06-21 11:26 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] soavantgarde.livejournal.com
Jesus, this was perfect. I love your writing style and your characterization of Cersei was just so right.

Whatever truths they held between them are lost now, even as she buries her face in the crook of his neck and breathes in the scent of cotton and skin, and reminds herself that they came into this world together, that they are two halves of one whole. She wonders what that means, now, if it means anything at all.

This hurt so much to read, you convey her emotions so well throughout the entirety of your fill; her proud apathy, longing, anger, bitterness.

As someone who ships Cersei/Jaime and Brienne/Jaime, the lines when she finds out about Brienne make me both cringe with indignance and empathize with the unimaginable hurt she's dealing with. It's exactly how she'd react to finding out Jaime had fallen in love with someone else, biting anger without showing him her hurt.

This was a really lovely read and I do hope you continue writing for this fandom! <3

Date: 2012-06-22 06:18 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] rheakurokawa.livejournal.com
i didn't even watch season 2 and didn't read any of the books (although i know things as people tend to know things when surrounded by fandom), but hey, i love this so much. so so much. i can't stand cersei, but i love this, i loved how you wrote her and everyone

this is SO good and i can't write a decent comment to do it justice. truly, i was reading this in the cool morning and i didn't want it to stop. it truly is perfect

Date: 2012-06-23 05:48 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] xylodemon.livejournal.com
This is fantastic.

Date: 2012-09-14 05:44 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] losfantasmas.livejournal.com
Perfect Cersei.

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