He was exhausted. Just completely drained. And he still had no idea what to make of everything he had come to learn since the evening beforehand. But the most curious part, was that finding out his little girl had slept with Jaime Lannister wasn’t even the blasted worst of it. That was bad enough! But in all honesty? He didn’t need, nor want to know about his daughters sex life. No matter who it included, if he was being completely honest with himself. Her ASSOCIATION in general, with Jaime Lannister was a concern for him though.
He didn’t like the man, never had. Not even when he was forced to tolerate his presence because of his closeness with his boyhood friend, whom happened to be married to the mans sister. But his dislike of the man and his discomfort over the fact that a man not so very much younger than he, had slept with his daughter, mattered little. He KNEW he wasn’t the sort of man to take advantage of a drunk girl. And he was one man that he KNEW for certain, would never raise a hand in anger to a woman. Because there had been enough occasions of him standing between a drunk and belligerent Robert and Cersei, to know he just wasn’t that sort of man. It was the only thing he had ever respected him for. He wasn’t deserving of a girl like Sansa, but he would not have hurt her. And ultimately? His daughter had chosen to sleep with him and she had chosen to make it known to the world at large, that she was doing so. Which was not necessarily his business, except that she had made it blatantly obvious, which came across as a bit of a cry for help, or yet ANOTHER rebellious message, and THAT was a point of concern for him.
There was far more happening under the surface than a bit of a splash being caused by two consenting adults being ‘caught in bed together’. Even if those two were from apparent RIVAL FAMILIES. Far more, that his own wife and eldest child only managed to exacerbate with their ridiculous overreacting. He had been in the process of ‘grudgingly’ speaking to Tywin Lannister about letting it blow over on its own, when they and Roberts idiotic wife and son also felt the need to make the situation much more than it needed to be. Where Cat had carried on like the world was ending because their daughter had apparently done something truly evil and demanded a family meeting, to FIX IT? Which actually resulted more in her raging and ranting over his little girls poor choices from what he could glean from his children. Whilst Robb had taken it into his head to fly down there on the red eye flight to confront them both? Cersei had apparently gone into a screaming rage about how ‘that little bitch’ was trying to sleep her way into The Lannister family fortune AGAIN. And that vile son of hers had threatened to post all photos and text conversations they had ever shared as teenagers, to show the world what she was truly like.
Thankfully Robert had taken the fools phone and made it clear that doing so would not be in his best interests. And The Great Lion had made it very clear that he was to get them in line and OUT of the city until it blew over and he was forced to deal with them himself. He would need to pull his own family into line for their carrying on also. But he would need more details before he knew which direction he would need to take too. Truthfully? It had been coming for a while, where his wife’s reactions to his daughters passive aggressive rebellions were concerned. He had just hoped they would both get over it without his needing to help that along. He also hoped that time away from each other entirely would help, rather than hinder as it has done.
He hated Tywin Lannister. It wasn’t merely dislike or simply the fact that he could not and would never respect or trust the man. But the ‘RIVALRY’ between them was rather largely exaggerated too. It was decided long ago that they would simply stay away from each other. An exception to that wordless dictate being made only in regards to his best friend marrying into that family. Which hadn’t been an issue at all since he and Robert put distance between them following their children’s messy break up.
He absolutely did NOT want to work with him on anything, let alone something involving one of his children, who, as far as he was concerned, needed shielding from unscrupulous men of Tywin Lannister’s ilk. But he would do whatever was necessary to get his little girl out of the mess she had inadvertently made. Including working with the man who threw his Father and mentor AND Father in law and their subsequent potential political constituencies, under the proverbial bus all those years ago and cost their separate kingdom states a fortune and them, their own personal reputations in the process. There was a bloody reason he avoided the political sphere so vehemently, despite attempts from many around him to cajole him into running for a seat in parliament. And it was very much ingrained in his disinterest in dealing with such men.
In truth though? He suspected that if anyone out of his family could actually handle that evil bastard, it would be his little Lady. She was far smarter than she let on. Plus she spent her quite a few of her teenage years living in The Capital, exposed rather closely to a branch of the mans extended family. His wife and the majority of their family in fact, saw her as a naive girl who’s greatest asset was her pretty face. But he knew better. That, paired with wanting to separate her and her mother for a time, was why he had agreed that she be the one to go South to deal with the potential investors that he didn’t actually NEED. He had the deal he actually wanted down there, or he would have, the moment things died down and his daughter could meet with the man he actually planned on settling a deal with. But it kept his wife happy to share talks with Rosby, because it had been her suggestion, after speaking with an old friend, who happened to be rather successful in the financial sector.
Rosby wasn’t actually a bad man at all, and he wouldn’t knock back a deal with him if it worked out. But he understood well that for his wife it was more to do with trying to set their daughter up with someone she deemed acceptable. For him personally? He had known all along that his daughter wouldn’t allow it. Not after the disaster matchmaking that led to Harrold bloody Hardyng, and the fallout from THAT doomed relationship. But he had been curious about WHY he was being pointed in the direction of a deal that made no actual sense - beyond said matchmaking. Enough that he had let it play out, knowing Sansa could handle herself. Yes, he had wanted to branch out South somewhat, but Rosby wasn’t exactly what he had been looking for either. He only agreed to look into it because his wife had been so adamant about it and again, he wanted to know WHY, besides said matchmaking schemes that would go nowhere.
He was frustrated with his daughter. There was no denying it. But not for having slept with someone of her choosing. He genuinely had no interest in it. She was a grown woman and could make those choices for herself. His frustration stemmed from the fact that she very likely picked Jaime Lannister in particular, as a very bloody obvious statement. His frustration came from her lashing out in a manner that she had to have known was going to cause some sort of calamity. Though he suspected she hadn’t predicted to what level, the madness she raised would reach. His main frustration came from the fact that she would belittle herself so much, by using someone and being used by him in return, to make her feelings known. Because it was obvious that their ‘connection’ was more about making a point than actually having a ‘connection’. - Which he supposed was actually a small mercy. Only the Gods knew what sort of mess it would make if they actually held any REAL fondness of any sort towards each other!
But his frustration with her, had absolutely nothing on his anger towards his son and his wife. Not to mention his utter disgust with Robert and his wife and sons actions and words and threats. He hadn’t been present for the ‘family meeting’, because he had been caught up with Lannister and Robert. But he knew enough to know that his daughter had somehow turned into some sort of vile, traitor to be metaphorically drawn and quartered. Whilst Jaime Lannister was a morally bankrupt predator who lured their girl away from her intended path, and those WORTHY of her, with his coin purse, basically. Much as he disliked the guy? He was far from THAT. He was an arrogant pig, with QUESTIONABLE morals, and an ill gotten bank account, thanks to his Fathers unscrupulous business tactics, that matched the size of his ridiculous ego, yes. But he wasn’t one who preyed on innocents in such a fashion. And his daughter wasn’t a traitor for sleeping with someone to stir them up either. His wife and son were out of line, and it was time that he put his foot down with them.
“Hello Daddy.” He sighed sadly - TIREDLY! At the slight tremor in her voice. She expected him to rip her apart. Much like her fool brother probably did. Although he couldn’t be entirely certain either, he had obviously sent the picture that Arya had sent on to him with her rather amusing and exasperating declarations to be ‘Team Sansa’. Robb had definitely gone down there in a rage, so something curious happened between his arrival and that photo being taken. But the point was, that her clear nerves over talking to him hurt. It also made him pause. She didn’t need him yelling at her when he’d get more answers by simply talking to her. “Hello love. Are you alright?” He could hear her swallowing, a fair indication of her upset. “I’m alright. Pretty embarrassed if anything. Are YOU alright? I didn’t mean to cause so MUCH drama Dad.” He sighed heavily and leaned back into his desk chair lazily. “I’m tired Sansa. Is your brother still there?”
“He is. He’s out in the hall talking to Tally on the phone right now though. And he’s only still here because I wanted him here for when I actually spoke to you, else I’d have kicked him out.” He let out a bit of a huff of laughter at that. He didn’t doubt for a minute she’d have done so. And he certainly wouldn’t have blamed her for it either. “And Lannister?”
His daughter cleared her throat quietly. “He left about a half hour or so ago. He had to go and see his Father. But umm.... He refused to leave until he trusted that Robb had settled down completely too. So I should probably warn you that there will likely be even more animosity towards him than I imagine there already is. Because he kind of... Slammed Robb into the wall and refused to let him go for fear that he was going to hurt me. He also threatened to beat him up and actually told him how easily he could kill him if he didn’t stop swearing at me and scaring me.” He groaned in frustration and slammed his eyes closed in exasperation. “And what did your brother do to earn such treatment? Besides flying off his handle and out of his mind and showing up down there in a rage as he did?” She hummed in agreement and her anger was still rather evident from the sound of it. “He banged on my large industrial steel door just before dawn and started screaming and carrying on. I think he actually triggered a bit of an episode - like a PTSD type thing? For Jaime? Because he kind of shielded me with his whole body for a few moments before he realised what the noise was about. So he was already pretty on edge. But he genuinely didn’t trust that Robb wouldn’t hurt me Daddy. Even when I told him he wouldn’t. He was just protecting me. Which was a curious reaction I guess? But Robb was being a jerk. He told me I was whoring myself out and shaming the family. And he claimed that Jaime was a threat because he took advantage of me being too drunk to know better at the same time. It was pretty awful. And he probably is pretty lucky that Jaime didn’t break his nose like he clearly wanted to.”
Angry didn’t even begin to describe the way that statement made him feel. It didn’t come close to encompassing the rage that the waiver and hurt in her voice triggered either. He would deal with his son. But for now he needed to keep his head to deal with his daughter. “Tell me honestly Sansa. Did you sleep with Jaime Lannister purely to lash out at your mother for trying to force interest in the Rosby Lad?”
“You know about that?” He sighed at her offended and incredulous and pained words. He hadn’t meant it to be painful for her. He genuinely expected she could handle it. Perhaps he had been wrong? Or he had missed something vital maybe? “I knew she was trying to matchmake again, but I figured that you would just ignore it, or turn the man down to focus on the work so I wasn’t too worried about it. Should I have been worried?”
“I’ve sent you on reports that Jaime had sent for when it came up this morning. And you can decide for yourself whether or not you should have been more concerned.”
He was stunned silent for a moment, at the ice cold fury she delivered her words with. And as much as he should be taking her to task for thinking to speak to him in such a manner - he was both her Father and her boss after all! He was reluctant too. Because he had somehow, inadvertently hurt her, or helped her be hurt somehow. And he wanted ANSWERS. Not more questions. “I’ll look it over and we will talk about why this has upset you so, and caused you to lash out as you have. But for now I need to know what the situation is and was with Jaime Lannister. You aren’t in trouble or a disappointment to me or anything of the sort for being a woman with.... interests.” He grimaced and flushed at having said that. But it did need to be said too. He cleared his throat and scrubbed a hand over his face tiredly. The discussion needed to be had. No matter how much he really didn’t want to have it. “But you knew that such a thing would be questioned Sansa.”
“I did, which was why I made sure it was known that we were enjoying each other’s company. But I didn’t... We were only actually going to make it look like we had... Sleeping together was actually because we wanted to Daddy.” He shuddered slightly and closed his eyes. He did NOT want to hear that. And yet, it did make him feel better to know that she hadn’t gone to that extreme just to make her point.
“I see. And is this something that will continue? Or can I be relieved that it was a once off?” He wasn’t sure he actually wanted to know in truth. Especially with her clear reluctance to answer him. He didn’t need her to actually say it. Her silence was answer enough. “I.... I really like him Dad. It’s not.... I mean? I DID approach him and spark up a conversation because I was angry with Mama and I knew she would lose her mind over my being seen with him... It’s why I walked into the bar - to get under her skin and to prove a point. But... And I know that no one is going to like it or approve or whatever. Not even you.... But I do genuinely like him. He made me laugh, and he was really nice to me. He protected me from my own brother for crying out loud! And he didn’t.... Daddy? He didn’t do a single thing without my express permission.” He groaned and flopped back in utter frustrated despair. That was the absolute last thing they needed. “You know the issues that will arise if you pursue this Sansa? You are genuinely interested in HIM not in creating drama?”
“I do. And I am. I don’t... This morning would have put a definite end to it for the both of us if we were looking for the drama Dad. It was rather eye opening to see just how ridiculously everyone carried on.” She cleared her throat softly and waited. And he cursed under his breath.
“It was, Aye.... I don’t approve. Jaime Lannister does not deserve a girl like you. BUT! It’s not up to me to accept it necessarily either Sansa. You’re an adult. And if you’re aware of the problems it WILL cause, and are still determined to see where it goes? I can’t stop you. I can only ask that you be mindful of those problems and advise you to be careful. He’s a lot older than you and not even minutely worthy. He is also his Fathers son and you need to have a care around Tywin Lannister. I think you know that. I think you understand the risk you would be taking in regards to Cersei and Joffrey and your reputation. Not to mention your relationship with your mother, because she WON’T accept it or approve. And she will be far more disappointed and vocal about it than I will. But I can’t tell you not to do it. I can and will threaten him though. And advise that any fallout is on your shoulders. Those are things you need to understand and weigh up whether it’s worth the risk. It’s on you.”
He did NOT like it. But what was he supposed to do? He was hardly going to make a fool of himself as his wife and son had done. And his doing so would only drive her into the mans arms quicker than he could blink. And he HAD seen that photo. Much as he wished he hadn’t. Much as he denied what it meant for her to look at someone like that. Her mother looked at him like that too. A potential relationship made things infinitely harder for him. And he had absolutely refused to see it as a possibility. But it was rather obvious too.
He may even have to travel South himself to meet with his potential, entirely secret for now, new partner. He wasn’t sure that the man wouldn’t be put off by the idea of meeting his daughter with the drama hanging around her like a storm cloud. And he wasn’t sure that it wouldn’t lose them Rosbys interest either. But that was hardly a big deal. And in all honesty? From her tone when they spoke on it - it may just be a good thing to lose that unnecessary deal too. And he didn’t even want to imagine the drama it would cause their family - because her Mother was not going to like it. And she was not going to like that he hadn’t demanded she end it immediately. But it was what it was. He would... Figure it out. And just hope that it wasn’t a lasting relationship, even if she ended up having her heart broken. It was HER choice. And he had to let her make it.
“I know that that’s not approval. And I understand that it upsets you that I want to at least give it a chance. Just as I know better than anyone, the risks I’d be taking. So thank you for at least letting me decide for myself. That means more than you can know.” He sighed sadly and nodded to himself. He was definitely missing something vital in all of this. But at least now he had the details on what actually happened during that very long evening and night he had just had to suffer through because of her actions too. She had even made it clear that it was her who approached him.
It would mean more contact with The Great Lion too. But perhaps if they let it play out and at least pretended to publicly approve, things might go smoother on the outside, so he could focus on the internal fall out. “You’re a grown woman Sansa. You are also my daughter and I love you, no matter any poor decisions I think you might be making. Tell your brother to get his ass home immediately. You, at least I can trust to THINK before doing something stupid and approach it KNOWING that it’s stupid, but the consequences are on you. That one needs to learn to THINK first. I’m NOT happy Sansa. Don’t mistake me. But I respect that should you decide to pursue this relationship further? It is your decision to make.”
“That’s all I can ask Dad. You don’t want to talk to him?”
“No. By the time he gets off a plane and makes it to the manor and into my office? I might have had time to think and calm down too. I’ll look over those reports when I get a minute and get back to you on them. Put any meetings with Rosby off until I do.... Probably lay low for a day or two, and hope that the media doesn’t get wind of where you are staying. Or worse - Cersei or Joffrey.”
“Alright. I will. I’ll send him home and talk to you then. I love you Dad.”
“I love you sweetheart. Be careful hmm?”