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10 March 2012 @ 07:33 pm
fic, asoiaf: where you invest your love you invest your life (Jaime/Brienne, Daenerys), PG13  
Title: where you invest your love you invest your life [AO3]
Pairing/Characters: Jaime/Brienne; Daenerys
Rating: PG13
Word count: 2600 ca
Spoilers: basically until AFFC, blink-and-miss-it reference to Dany's general storyline in ADWD.
Warnings: none really.
Disclaimer: GRRM owns, I don't.
Summary: what he thinks of Brienne has always been his business alone and he isn't sure that he wants to share it with the new queen. He hadn't particularly wanted to share the rest, either - after all, Brienne is the only one who's seen him at such a low point and he doesn't mind it because it was her. Not Daenerys Targaryen. Then again, if he wants half a chance to at least talk to the wench one last time, he has to tell her.
A/N: written this summer for a comment fic fest at jaimexbrienne; the prompt was In the dungeons of the Dragon Queen, Jaime saves his skin by telling her stories of his lady love.. Goes unsaid that this is so never going to happen, but let's just pretend it does. Title from Mumford & Sons.

"I've only ever told all of this to another person." Jaime lets a breath out, his voice hoarse, not daring to ask for some water to soothe his dry throat. He hasn't drunk anything since they brought him food hours ago and the story of his kingslaying isn't a short one to tell. It had already made him dizzy the one other time he shared it.

To be entirely truthful, there's just one reason he has told the new queen instead of keeping the information to himself; otherwise, he wouldn't have bothered. The gods know that he deserves the Queen's Justice for reasons that aren't Aerys. But right now, he hopes that Daenerys isn't cut of the same cloth as her father.

"And who's this other person?" she asks, her eyes not betraying anything. He's slightly relieved for that - if he saw disgust on her face he'd know that all of his talking hasn't had any effect.

"She's the best knight I know," he answers, figuring that there's no point in sarcasm. Not to mention that he's too tired for bothering with trying to charm Daenerys. He's sure it wouldn't work anyway.

"She?"

"Yes, she. True, she's better off dressed as a man, but as I told her once, you can't deny what you have between your legs." He's also not up for flattering talk - not as if he ever was, but he's too tired for it.

"I figured it would have been your sister."

"It's what everyone would have assumed. The same way everyone assumes I killed your father just because I felt like breaking my oaths."

Daenerys's eyes narrow, but she doesn't leave the cell or contradict him. Jaime wonders if Barristan ever told her what sort of person Aerys was like. He hopes he did - at least his story would gain some more credit.

"How did you come to know this... knight, then?"

"Catelyn Stark told her to escort me back to King's Landing in exchange for her daughters. It didn't go as everyone hoped and I lost my hand in between, but... I'd be dead if it wasn't for her."

"She saved your life?"

"She didn't have to and she didn't particularly like me until I lost that hand and I told her the same story I told you, but she did nonetheless. Then I gave her a priceless sword that I was supposed to use but couldn't, since I had lost what to wield it with, and sent her to find Sansa Stark. And then she ended up having to swear to kill me, and she never did. Well, that's the reason you didn't find me with my sweet sister when you graciously stormed King's Landing."

"Tell me some more about her."

"Why do you even care?"

"If she broke an oath for you, she must have had her reasons. I'd like to understand them."

"If it consoles you, I wouldn't have done the same in her place. Nonetheless... when they cut my hand they made us ride bound to each other with said hand in the middle. You tend to put away your disagreements, when in that kind of situation. At some point I - I just wanted to die. I told her. And she answered that it was craven. She was right. I would have just given up if not for her."

"That's why you told her about the reasons you slayed my father? I don't think it's about your family paying their debts."

Jaime wonders if he should lie, but it's pointless. Also, he told Catelyn Stark to her face that he threw her kid out of a window; he has never been anything but honest with himself and he's not going to change that now.

"Because she saved my life when she hated my guts and she was honest with me. She deserved the truth. And no one else had bothered to take a moment and ask themselves why I did it, anyway."

For a moment it seems as if Daenerys likes what she hears, but when she asks her next question Jaime realizes she isn't done with him yet.

"Tell me more."

"What else is there to say?"

"I don't think this was all to your story. So she changed idea about you."

"Obviously, since at some point she broke one of her precious oaths in order to spare my life. The gods know why she did, since she almost lost her head in the process."

"So this mysterious knight thinks your life is worth keeping," Daenerys says, more to herself than to him. "And what do you think of her, other than deeming her suited for a life that isn't usually one for a woman's?"

"What - your Grace, I'm not sure why it's important."

"It might not be, but it pleases me to hear it nonetheless."

Jaime isn't fooled by her apparent pleasantness of tone - it's obvious that she won't be happy if he refuses to answer. He's reluctant to do it, because what he thinks of Brienne has always been his business alone and he isn't sure that he wants to share it with the new queen. He hadn't particularly wanted to share the rest, either - after all, Brienne is the only one who's seen him at such a low point and he doesn't mind it because it was her. Not Daenerys Targaryen.

Then again, if he wants half a chance to at least talk to the wench one last time, he has to tell her.

"I think that if everyone saw her for what she truly is, she'd be the one wearing the damned white cloak, not me. She was the last person I fought against when I had both of my hands. I don't regret it was her. I'm glad it was her, actually. And if you decide to have my head after all, I'd be grateful if you'd let me talk to her before it happens. Does that satisfy you?"

"I want her name. And I want to know where I can find her."

Jaime takes a deep breath - well then. Apparently he isn't long for this world, but at least he might have a last wish. Others got it worse.

"I can't answer the second question, we parted before I came back here. About the answer to the first... it's Brienne. Brienne of Tarth."

Daenerys doesn't show any sign that she heard the name already, but she doesn't tell him that his wish won't be granted. She stands up and leaves him alone in his cell. At least it stinks less than the one in Riverrun did, he thinks.

--

He loses count of days, but it's been at least a week before his turnkey steps into his cell and takes off his chains, saying that the queen wishes to speak with him in private. He's brought to the baths and given clean clothes, though not the fake hand that he hasn't seen since he was captured. He feels marginally better after he's done though, and then Barristan comes to get him and almost drags him to the queen's private rooms. Daenerys waits for him sitting at the table where Cersei used to sit as well. Jaime's stomach clenches.

"Sit," she says, and he does.

"Your knight has been found. She was in the city already, it didn't take the effort you probably thought it would."

Why would she follow me here?, Jaime wonders.

"I spoke with her and she confirmed your story. She also added some parts you had omitted."

"Were they about how insufferable I was to her when we met?"

"No, they were about you risking your life to save hers at Harrenhaal. Why didn't you say that?"

"You asked me about her, not about me."

"Fair enough. Ser Barristan has also spoken to me about my father's ruling in the last years of his reign. Remind me, how old were you when you killed him?"

"Seventeen. I took the white two years before."

She nods, looking down at her hands, then up at him. "When I was fifteen, I was already ruling a city and I didn't do better than my father, in spite of trying. I can't do better than him if I don't accept that he didn't deserve to sit on the throne I'm claiming. But you will realize that I also can't forgive you openly - they would think me weak."

Jaime nods back at her. He understands that, he does - he's had time to make peace with knowing he's about to die.

"I could not take a decision, so I summoned Brienne again and asked her why would she risk her life for yours. She is quite honorable, you weren't lying about it. I won't tell you what she said, you shouldn't hear it from me. But she has also told me that she'd do anything in her power to sway me to spare your life a second time."

Jaime almost recoils at that - did the wench lose her mind? But then Daenerys smiles, just slightly.

"A prisoner died of infection yesterday. He was blonde, the same shade as you. He also had a beard. Right now his head is hanging on a spike and no one could tell the difference. I said I executed you without an audience."

"Do you mean that -"

"For all purposes and in the eyes of everyone, you're dead. Tonight you'll be seen out of this castle and of this city. Brienne has agreed to escort you over to the nearest port, and she has also agreed to hide you on Tarth, for the time being. It's secluded and small enough for you not to be overtly noticed, and if she guarantees for you I don't think anyone on the island will ever think about telling the truth."

"Your Grace, don't think that I'm not grateful for your mercy, but why would you do this? You don't have to spare me. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't."

She smiles again, her hands placed above the table. Her fingers are slightly burnt, Jaime notices for the first time.

"I've always been told that you were heartless, but the way you spoke about Brienne was anything but. I used to care for someone else the same way, and no one after has been the same. Then I heard her speak about you, and if you were as cruel and heartless as it's told, then she'd be a fairly bad judge of character. And so would I. I doubt we'll ever see each other after today, but if I hear about you again, I hope you don't prove me wrong."

He opens his mouth, but then she raises her hand and shakes her head. "Don't thank me. I don't want thanks for having done what I think is right."

Barristan motions for him to stand up and doesn't say anything as he brings him back to another room. Everything he had at King's Landing is laid on the bed. He looks at what survived the sacking for one second, then he only packs a couple of shirts and breeches (he's thankful they were folded already). He doesn't take his golden hand - that would be pushing his luck. He sighs, thinking about what's left of his family - a daughter in Dorne and a son hostage at Casterly Rock; he's positive that Daenerys won't want them dead since she hasn't killed him, and tries not to feel too bitter about knowing he can't see them again. He never was much for them anyway, and they always were more Cersei's than they ever were his.

He's sent a couple of knights to escort him outside the city at the given hour; when they reach a small clearing just outside the walls, there's just one person waiting for them.

Brienne thanks his escort briefly before sending them away; Jaime tries not to think about how fast his heart is beating as she turns to face him. For a second he remembers dreaming of her once - it's not exactly the same light and no sword is flaiming between them, but the effect is similar. The moonlight makes her eyes stand out (and her hair too - they're a lot longer than they were when they first met, probably because she wants to cover her ruined cheek, and in this light, straw almost seems silver) and keeps most of her body in the darkness. He wonders whether someone knighted her while they were apart - she still doesn't look beautiful, but this time she definitely looks like a knight indeed, not almost like one.

"My lady," he says, his voice sounding tight even to his own ears. "I think thanks are in order. I'm not sure I would be here if it wasn't for you."

"They aren't. Everything I told the queen was the truth."

She doesn't say what she did tell, exactly; but she moves closer to him, and Jaime feels his hand itching to reach out for her shoulder. He doesn't, though, not until he's sure that he's welcome.

"Still, my thanks. I only hope this won't mean further problems for you, though." Jaime is sure that if they're going to Tarth, her father doesn't know that yet.

"Don't worry about it. I merely hope you don't find Tarth too boring."

"Do you think I worry about being bored when it means I'm not dead? And... Brienne, what did you say to Daenerys?"

"I told her that you're a better person than everyone gives you credit for. And that if she couldn't save your life for your own sake then she could do it for mine."

"For yours?"

"I dreamed of you, too. While I was feverish because of the bite. And why did she even seek me out?"

She looks straight at him while she speaks, her mouth set in a thin line, but he can read her eyes well enough.

"Because I told her that speaking with you was my last wish, if she deemed suited to kill me."

He doesn't give her time to answer before closing his hand around her shoulder and moving close enough that it would take barely a moment for them to kiss. "I also can't think of places I'd like to visit better than your island. I still need to check if there really aren't any sapphires to be found on it."

Then her mouth meets his; Jaime doesn't waste time in kissing her back, his hand buried at the back of her head. As her tongue moves slowly against his (for being a maiden, she definitely knows what she wants, Jaime thinks, and he finds out he likes it), her hands cupping his face, Jaime feels his shoulders losing tension. He had hoped she would do it first - he didn't want to decide for her, in case he had guessed wrong.

"I can safely say there aren't, but I'll be glad to show you," she answers when they part. Jaime raises his right arm before remembering he can't do anything with it, but before he can let it fall back against his side, she brings it behind her.

"Then I'm looking forward to it." From the way Brienne looks at him as she moves away, Jaime is sure she knows how much he meant that.

End.
 
 
feeling: soresore