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They posted Jaime at her door the night before her wedding. "Who better to guard the bride's virtue than her own brother?" Ser Barristan had said, and it had taken everything Jaime had not to laugh. Thankfully, Kingsguard were so accustome to the young knight's smirks by then that nobody paid this one any mind.

Inside her chambers, the sense of impending loss seemed a tangible thing in his lungs. But Cersei only laughed, and tossed her hair over her shoulder. "You think this means anything—anything at all?"


"Yes," she agreed. "It means I will be queen." She fixed him with her piercing green gaze. "Do you truly think there is anything—anything—I could do that would make the slightest difference? Your heart beats my blood; you are the other half of my soul. And yet you worry about a scrap of fabric?"

(In that moment he had had no words. It was only when he stood in the Sept of Baelor, arrayed around Robert with the rest of the Kingsguard as the ceremony began, that he realized how he should've replied: "That is not what you said when it was me who was to be wed to Lysa Tully.")

When he still did not move, his sister's tone turned flippant. "Would you like me to wear the cloak later so you can tear it off me? Is that it?"

That, at least, got a reaction out of him.

Later, it is impossible to recall whose words they had been, repeated in the breath between them when there was no more breath to be had. They had been Cersei's—they must've been. A fervid attempt to soothe her brother, to placate his jealous impulsivity. A plea: I don't want him, but I want this—don't ruin it for me, not today.

Or had they been Jaime's, possessive and desperate? An assertion, reminder and demand of the words' truth, and for the first time ever, tinged with the fear that they might not be.

"I am yours and you are mine, from the beginning of our days until the end of our days."