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Bad whiskey and Sweet revenge.

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“You know? I once knew someone, who had a real penchant for story telling and jokes - usually pretty terrible and very inappropriate ones at that.” He sighed heavily at the almost bored sounding voice beside him. He hadn’t bothered to look, to put a face to it. That wasn’t why he was there. “It was rather common to hear tales of the most unlikely of companions walking into a bar.” He ground his jaw hard before knocking back the glass of cat piss parading as whiskey, and prepared himself to shoot her down.

 

It’s not like it wasn’t something he was accustomed to, in fact it had been a rather common occurrence for him over the years. Which was why he usually didn’t frequent bars at all, let alone dive bars like he currently was. He was handsome and exceedingly rich and there wasn’t really anyway for him to hide that. Just as there was no real reason to deny it. It was what it was. And bars? Bars tended to be prime hunting ground.... He certainly wasn’t in need of companionship - had he wanted it? He wouldn’t be in Flea bottom. He did have to give her points for creativity though - he hadn’t heard lines like hers before. He also had to acknowledge that she smelled good, and likely was somewhat attractive, given the soft, slender hand on the bar beside his now empty glass, plus the wave of long, clean and shiny red curls, he’d noticed from the corner of his eye. But that made no matter. He wasn’t interested.

 

He sighed again once the bartender stepped off to fill the glass he had tapped and her order, and turned to her. More than ready to send her on her way. Right up until his eyes clashed with a set of vibrant blue, and clearly amused eyes. “So tell me? Just what sort of spin do you think this person could put on a tale that starts out with ‘A Lannister and a Stark walk into a bar?’”

 

He couldn’t have stopped the cocky grin if he tried. He hadn’t come in here to talk. After the last weeks, all he had wanted was to disappear from his world and drown his sorrows. Maybe numb himself a little, where certain people would never ever think to look for him. And yet? The moment recognition dawned? The man who had been missing for months was back. And back with an arrogant, cocky swagger! “Sansa Stark.” He dragged it out slowly and looked her over. Noting curiously, that she had grown up. And out in ALL the right places. Noting even more curiously, the thrumming in his blood that he hadn’t felt in quite some time, as he catalogued it all. Especially the confidence and the glint of amused challenge in her eyes. “Jaime Lannister. Not a face I expected to see in a dive bar in Flea Bottom.”

 

He snorted a small laugh and waved to the stool beside him with lazy grace, rather impressed with the fact that for all he had put away, he was still in command of his fine motor skills. A point that only added to his suspicions, that his drinks were being watered down somewhat. “Yours isn’t exactly a face I ever really expected to see again at all. Certainly not in this city.” She hummed in amusement and nodded slowly as she leaned into the sturdy old bar with her elbows and kept her face turned towards him. “I suppose you wouldn’t, no. To be honest? I wasn’t sure you’d even recognise me.”

 

“I don’t imagine I would have, had you not approached me. Tyrion would have, he’s the observant brother.” She hummed nonchalantly and sipped at her drink as she eyed the bar and the patrons taking in its many delights around them. It also wasn’t exactly necessary to point out that his brother actually KNEW the girl - certainly better than he did at any rate. “And yet, you’ve likely noted the exits and any potential threats all the same. It’s why you are at the bar, in full view of the mirrors and the doors and halls leading out of this main room.” THAT he hadn’t expected. He cocked a brow in question and waited, her condescending smile failed to hide the embarrassed little head shake, and the heavy blush. Her bravado was good. He would give her that. He was just used to playing with masters in the art of hiding their true selves away. “I grew up surrounded by soldiers remember?” He nodded in understanding. Her tale of a Stark and Lannister walking into a bar wouldn’t end as an amusing tale if they talked on either his being a soldier, or those she grew up around and under the watchful eyes of, either.

 

“Not to sound like some ridiculous cliche here Sansa, but what exactly is a girl like you doing in a place like this? Talking to burned out old soldiers at that?” She rolled her eyes at him and twirled her glass lazily, watching the amber liquid of what he suspected was also cheap, watered down, cat piss whiskey, as she thought over her answer. “I’ve been sent to Kings Landing.” She sighed heavily and lifted the glass to her lips slowly, almost more for something to do, rather than to actually savour the scent OR the flavour. “To CONSULT with Southern investors for Stark Industries.” He whistled in surprise. What in the worlds were her family thinking? Sending her, out of all of them, back into the cesspool? “Your FAMILY sent you here? Of all places in the world they could send you?”

 

“YEP.” The popping of the ‘p’ reminded him JUST how young she’d have to be. He wasn’t exactly sure of course - he’d had very little to do with the girl in truth. He’d come ‘home’ right at the tale end of her abusive relationship with his nephew. He’d met her as a child of course, before either she or Joff had been old enough to care that the other existed, let alone date. But beyond that? All he knew of her was that she always seemed so quiet and well mannered. His bitch sister had called her quite a few different things over time, but the most prevalent insults were ‘weak and stupid’. A ‘pretty little doll’ with no mind of her own. A description that did NOT fit the woman beside him at all anymore. If it ever truly had. “Why? Surely they realised that it would hold bad memories for you?”

 

“You would think that. Except that they don’t know EVERYTHING about my once life here.  Only that our families are no longer friendly with each other in even the most stilted of ways, because Joffrey and I ended things badly. THAT is why I am staying in Flea Bottom. I figure I’m less likely to run into GHOSTS here. Not even in the gentrified sections. What’s you’re excuse? Why is The Lion Of Lannister hanging out in this fine establishment?” He let out a slow, derogatory laugh at just how much that they seemingly had in common this day! It was a surreal realisation, in a surreal moment. “I thought I’d be less likely to run into GHOSTS here myself. And yet here we sit. A Lannister and a Stark, faced with at least some small reminder of said ghosts, simply by sitting beside each other, at this fine establishment, with its.... Interesting alcohol supply.” He downed his glass again and turned to face her fully, leaning his ‘robot’ arm and elbow into the dark wood. Gods! She was fucking stunning. He always knew his nephew was an idiot, but that became wildly more obvious when faced with the creature he had humiliated and abused, having blossomed into a proud and strong and glorious woman. “Except that there IS no escaping the Ghosts I truly wish to shake. So hiding out to drink and hopefully suppress my rage for another day, in Flea Bottom, seemed like a safe bet. Unlike yourself, there are those who wouldn’t walk in here.”

 

“Ahhh. And how IS your sister?”

“You don’t care.”

“Of course not. Not unless you are going to say that someone shaved off all of her glorious golden locks as she slept through a medicated stupor, because her chronic crazy bitchitis is finally being treated.”

 

He blinked rapidly in surprise. Not only at what she had said - that hadn’t actually registered initially, but at the dry tone AND the fact that the ‘scared little dove’ he ‘remembers’, still NOT WELL and not at all accurately apparently, was really a clever and witty little wolf with very sharp claws, who wasn’t at all afraid of HIS reaction to her words. She didn’t care if she insulted him, by insulting his sister. And then he roared with laughter, once it all settled in his mind that he hadn’t been hearing things. He couldn’t wait until he could call Tyrion and tell him about it! He’d have to check the time zones first this time. His brother did NOT like him calling in the dead of night, no matter how funny he found his forgetting that fact when he had picked the phone up last time.

 

“My, My. Vicious little thing aren’t we? You’re far more interesting than I ever gave credit for Sansa.” He swallowed hard and ignored the twitching he felt at the look of pure arrogant disdain on her smirking face. Gods she was fucking something else. “If I was VICIOUS at any other point in our short acquaintance, I was REWARDED for my efforts. And the less interesting you are, the quicker people forget you are there.” He winced uncomfortably and nodded at the bartender as he waved his glass again lazily in invitation, and again to indicate he fill Sansas also. “That’s fair. I’m sorry for what it’s worth. Not that I imagine it makes a difference now of course, but all the same. Tyrion had him bashed by a couple of ruffians he was friends with, just after you left, if that helps at all. We saw that they were repaid handsomely for getting a bit back for you. Out of his own trust fund.” He snickered as she sputtered and coughed, patting her chest hard and blinking at him stupidly with those hypnotic eyes of her, swimming in tears from the effort to breathe through what he had just done to her. He probably shouldn’t have told her that. But it HAD been worth it.

 

“The two of you organised to have him pay his own assailants for assaulting him?” He shrugged lazily. “Tyrion did most of it. I just made sure it was his money and not one of ours. It made it look like they were bookies chasing him and he paid them off after he was taught a lesson. I didn’t want it falling back on my little brother. And my nephew HAD earned such a lesson after all.” He grinned around the lip of the glass as she huffed a disbelieving laugh and shook her head again. Letting the YOUNG girl shine through her facade again, as she tucked away a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “Thank you for telling me that. And for apologising. But it’s unnecessary. YOU didn’t do a thing to me. You didn’t even know he was abusing me in anyway did you?” He sighed heavily at the quiet question and shook his head. He hadn’t known. But he hadn’t been looking either. He knew his sister hated the girl and that Joff was a prick in how he spoke of her WITH Cersei, when she wasn’t around. And he also knew what he could be like at times to. That was bad enough in truth. But he honestly never triggered to the warning signs of further or deeper issues. Not with his distraction with his own issues. “No. I didn’t know until after you graduated and left the city. Cersei wanted me to track you down and INTIMIDATE you into staying quiet. I didn’t much like her thinking me her personal thug. Nor did I feel it necessary.”

 

The girl beside him snorted rudely and rolled her eyes. “What does she think, she’s some sort of crime boss? So ridiculous. She was definitely some sort of evil Queen or something in a past life! Calling for her innocent enemies heads to cover her precious, untouchable sons sadism. You think she’d have learned better, being raised by Your Father. He simply paid me off.” He blinked at her in surprise. “I was hardly going to say anything anyway. How often is anyone actually convicted of domestic type abuses? How often is it the victim who is raked over the proverbial coals, rather than the abuser? I’m a Stark and a Tully. And he’s a Lannister and a Baratheon. Such claims in our world can lead to political unrest, and economic downturn when the vitriol starts flying, and then the general public start making up their own stories and for what? So I can be labeled a liar and a troublemaker and a man hater, whilst the whole world sees HIM as MY victim? I don’t think so. I kept quiet for my sanity and for my reputation. I’d suffered enough without feeling the need to take on the court of public opinion. Not because your sister scares me. But if Tywin Lannister offers you a million dollars to do as you had already planned? You’d be stupid to not take advantage of it.” And then he laughed. Cunning little thing too apparently! “You took hush money from my Father, for something he needn’t have been concerned over?” She hummed in affirmation and smacked her lips around her glass with a wicked grin and a cocky wink, making him laugh in utter astonishment.

 

He cocked his head, unable to hide his amusement and odd pride in her antics. She was something else entirely. This little red she wolf, who hid herself so well in the lions den. “Why are you telling me this?”

“The same reason you told me of Tyrion and subsequently, your own actions. Because you and I are in Sweden, Jaime Lannister. Conflict free zone. You are drinking in a bar in Flea Bottom to avoid your family, and I am doing so because I know such information will get back to mine - very likely from my own mouth, and it will piss them off that I was being a ‘naive little girl’, who is reckless with her own safety and reputation. AND WE don’t have reason to sell each other out.” He laughed again and leaned his weight into the bar lazily as he looked her over. A curious and dangerous thought coming over him. He really shouldn’t, but by The Gods he was going to. “You want to piss your family off for sending you here huh?” She cocked a single, delicately shaped red arch at him and waited for him to make his point. She had made that abundantly clear already, after all. “How do you feel about pissing mine off too?”

 

“I’m listening?” He smirked dangerously and leaned in just a touch, cocking his head curiously at the faint pink infusing her delicate skin. Perhaps his ruse wouldn’t HAVE to be so ruse like after all? It had been quite a while and he was there because he couldn’t stand his sister and fathers insufferable carrying on of late. It would cause more than a few ripples, but then, that WAS the point. “If you and I were to be SEEN here together and potentially LEAVING together.... I don’t mean to say we actually ACT on anything THAT implies of course, simply make it LOOK that way - that would send everyone into quite the tizzy, one might think.” He grinned as her eyes popped open as wide as humanly possible, and her jaw dropped. But it didn’t last at all. Mere seconds passed before the shock morphed into amused curiosity and SHE was eyeballing HIM! “Of course? I’m amenable to following through, though it’s not technically necessary for the ruse to hold up. If you wish to be a little more authentic about it Stark.”

 

“To clarify. You’re suggesting that we make it look like we met up HERE and then SLEPT together?” He winked at her bewildered look and waited. Giving her all the time she needed to think on it. He didn’t think she actually did need it, or that she wouldn’t play his little game either. He’d recognise that stubborn streak and the reckless refusal to back down from a challenge he had sensed in her, anywhere. He suffered it too. She may once have been forced to suppress it, smart enough to understand the danger of such a thing. But she was in no danger with him, and he was fairly certain they wouldn’t have discussed all that they had, if she had concerns in that regard. “We can discuss making such a thing authentic later. Smile pretty for me handsome.” He laughed happily and leaned in close as she pointed her phones camera at them to take a selfie, and then he went one further and nipped at her ear just as it clicked, making her yelp in surprise and then laugh like a hyena as she tapped away at the screen.

 

“There. Now if we give it.... Half hour? And head out, back to my place - along a back route somehow so we can lose any creepy stalker types, with cameras? We will ‘be seen leaving together’ too. And will have caused all sorts of naughty scandals by morning. Here’s hoping we don’t start an actual war Lannister. Cheers.” He held his newly filled glass up with his robot arm and tipped it to her in return. He was a walking dead man. But at least he’d die laughing, in her refreshing company. “Mmm. Not so worried about economic downturns and political unrest now?” She shrugged lazily and turned her phone to show him the rather ‘loving’ looking photo she had taken. It shocked him in truth. Besides the glassy, laughing eyes and impish grins, indicative of a good few drinks if you looked closely? They almost looked like an attractive, happy couple. “A drunken one night stand is not exactly the same as claims of abuse Jaime. We look good, despite poor lighting and the fact that you tried to bite me.” He winked at her playfully again and scrolled down to read her captions.

 

The things you find in Flea Bottom! I’ve talked to the owner, he’s happy to rename this place ‘The Lion and The Wolf.’ #astarkandalannisterwalkintoabar...

 

He looked up at her through his long, golden hair in amusement, and shook his head. Oh he was going to hell for it. And it definitely wasn’t what he had intended when he’d walked into a dingy little hole in the wall in Flea Bottom. But he WAS finding out if the snarky little darlings claws were as sharp as he suspected they might be, before the sun rose on the morrow. - It had been awhile after all.

 

“Want to take this some place else Stark?”

“Finish that drink first Lannister. Then we’ll talk.”

“I was fairly well done with the talking portion of the evening?”

“Not a talker huh? That’s disappointing. I was very much enjoying our rapport, I suppose I will make do with POTENTIALLY testing out being spanked with a bionic hand hmm?”

“That so? I don’t think you want to play that game with me little wolf.”

“It isn’t in a wolfs nature to toy with their pray Jaime. DRINK UP. Places to be. Wars to start. Conversations to be had.”

“You’re a curious little woman, you know that?”

“Aren’t you glad you looked up before you sent me packing now?”

 

Oh! Glad most definitely did NOT come close to how very pleased he was at having recognised the darling eldest daughter of Ned Stark standing beside him in a bar in Flea Bottom. Not even close.

Chapter Text

Jaime Lannister has a big dick! A long, thick, wonderful dick and it was presently pumping furiously in and out of her! Hitting and rubbing against every single possible spot inside of her that sent sparks of infinite pleasure rolling over her every quivering nerve! Because apparently he was also very, very good with it. Gods, what he was doing to her. She couldn’t have stopped the panting or the whining whimpers if she tried. She didn’t want to try! Anymore than she wanted to shove his hungry mouth off of her neck or ear or jaw or chin or away from her own hungry mouth. “Ahh!” He hummed like the cocky, arrogant shit he is, at her breathless cry, and kissed her hard, clashing their teeth together and licking at her messily. They hadn’t even managed to strip down completely! They barely made it into her temporary apartment! Hells! It was pure bloody luck that they hadn’t settled on an alley somewhere along their winding, convoluted, pap ditching route, between the bar and said apartment. Thankfully it was a neat little studio apartment though, because it meant the bed was only a few steps further than the dining table that he had been headed for after hoisting her legs around his hips and kicking the door shut behind him.

 

“Come on little wolf? Where are those claws now hmm?” She growled at his taunting and bit his lip pointedly as she clamped her muscles over him, making him groan and twitch just as he pushed harder again into her. She would never ever tell him. He was arrogant enough! But he was absolutely the best she had had, without him even having made her come yet. She wasn’t necessarily ‘experienced’ per se. But she had known a couple of talented lovers. And a couple of terrible ones. One of which had most definitely left a bad taste in her mouth for Lannister’s AND Baratheons both! Which was obviously the least of his insults towards her - being terrible in bed. But she hadn’t known it at the time either. And the taste for Lannister’s was most definitely being corrected presently. He was better than them all!

 

“Gods! You feel incredible Stark. What do you need Little one? Hmm?” She moaned in acknowledgement of his words. That was what she needed! His husky, panted words pressed hot to her ear. She wrapped her legs around him tight and pushed at his thighs and ass with her heals as she did. And her arms around his shoulders, one hand splayed and gripping his hair roughly as she scratched at his scalp to hold his head RIGHT. THERE! With his mouth so close to her ear. The other to his rippling back and shoulder. She was out of control! Like her whole body was on fire and he was stoking the blaze into a raging inferno set to consume her and him right along with her. “Keep talking Lannister? Please? Gods! You feel so good.” She whined again at the sound of his dark, breathy chuckle and rocked back against him pointedly. “You really weren’t playing with me about that hmm? Maybe next time I’ll test out that desire to be spanked hmm? Do you want that my naughty little wolf? Would you like it? Mmm shit! Do that again!” She did as she was told and squeezed around him again and again, with every single thrust and held on for dear life, her ‘claws’ ripping into him wherever they could reach as his hips started to reach culmination. “That’s it! Fuck Sansa! Fuck!” She wailed, clawing and shoving him as deep as she could with her heels in his ass cheeks. Her head tipping back as her body flexed and gave way under his onslaught. And she dragged him behind with the sexiest guttural grunting sound she had ever heard! For a sound that that really shouldn’t actually BE sexy at all, but for the raw need and pleasure behind it.

 

He collapsed down over her and pressed actual gentle, almost caring and soft kisses to her jaw and neck as they both caught their breath. She could hardly criticise it though, she barely even registered that she was stroking his sweat slicked hair and rubbing gentle fingers over where she had had her nails driving into the hard flesh of his shoulder, under the silk blend shirt she had barely managed a few buttons on before giving in to their mutual need to just be joined already. It was strangely soothing and very intimate. For what was and had to be, basically a one night event. It had to be. She could even HEAR the reasons it had to be so - because neither of the phones had stopped vibrating wherever they had landed during their scrambled passions. That wasn’t the point! That wasn’t even why she had been in that bar - and certainly not why she had approached the man! But by The Old Gods didn’t it make much more of a splash than she had originally planned.

 

“Told you I was done talking Stark.” She snorted an exhausted laugh and tugged at his hair in reprimand. “Clearly you weren’t actually. In fact? I think I liked you talking just now better than our fun little chats on the way here.” She smiled wickedly as he popped up and propped himself on his elbows to look down at her with a smirk so cocky and proud that she kind of wanted to smack him for still having the hide to be so Gods damned hot, more so even, given his dishevelled state. “Good to know! I was serious about testing out that spanking talk too? - Just so you know. But you’ll have to give me a bit to be ready for more.” She huffed a quiet laugh and let her eyes wander over his features slowly, as her hands slipped down and around to cup his strong neck, and stroke at that insultingly sharp jawline with her thumbs. He was handsome. He always had been, of course. But there was something just a little bit.... MORE about it now. A bit rugged. He had aged VERY well! “More? You haven’t even LEFT yet, and you’re already talking of more huh?” He bit his lip and it made her twitch. And of course the ass would notice, because he was still VERY MUCH inside of her. “In for a penny, in for a pound, Stark. The whole world assumes we are doing exactly what we are actually doing! May as well have some fun. Battle cries have sounded! And they sounded GOOD.”

 

“Mmm. You DO make a valid argument Lannister. But maybe we should... disengage and sort the mess we made of our clothing before we discuss anything further?” He hummed dramatically and wiggled before thrusting his mostly soft cock back into her as best he could. “I’m good here for now.”

“We should also check the shit storm we started Jaime. One of our phones is ringing again.” He kissed her. Not that she actually minded at all. Not even really that he had basically done so to shut her up, and prove his point. But it was soft. A gentle, almost tentative exploration. Kind of like one might expect a first kiss to be? And it made her heart pound with how good it felt. How nice it was. “More tonight - at least, Sansa. Us sharing breakfast will only make our point to THEM even more clear. Tell me you want at least THAT too? And I’ll agree to look at my phone and sort my clothing out. Even though I can already tell you exactly what every single member of my family has to say to me and I don’t care to hear it. AND the most I am doing with my clothes is losing all of them, but for MAYBE my boxers? Deal?” She blinked in surprise and accepted his return to kissing her, even going so far as to lick and suck back at his perfect mouth as she let his words process.

 

She didn’t step into a dive bar in Flea Bottom with the intention of finding and seducing Jaime Lannister. She had walked in there after yet another argumentative phone call with her Mother over what she expected from her whilst she was there. She hadn’t told him that the real reason it was her sent, was because of her being the single and ‘lovely’ eldest daughter. Not that she was actually told of such things! But it was rather bloody obvious when she was encouraged to accept a dinner invitation from some Well-to-do son of one of the key Southern investors, within a week of her starting negotiations. Never mind that he was clearly a self obsessed, douche nugget of an immature, man child, who felt himself to be The Gods gift to women. And she had absolutely no interest in the guy, and had made it clear, exactly what she thought of him, when her mother had asked! Even Arya knew she had absolutely no interest in it or him! For the Gods sake! She wasn’t even TRAINED for the role that they had shoved her! She had barely graduated! So it was pretty clear that SHE was the draw, more so than her business acrumen. She WAS actually good at it! But they’d have to notice HER to notice that she knew what she was talking about and could offer more than just an attractive potential marriage prospect. But they didn’t. And she could finally see that she would only ever measure up if she kept being the good girl, who did as she was told and dating who they wanted her to.

 

“Hey? Where’d you go just now?” She swallowed hard and clammed up. Biting back her tears harshly as she studied his deep, confused and concerned eyes. It had been a snap reaction to his teasing, and taunting her with the chance to annoy his family too. But she was glad she had done it. Sleeping with Jaime Lannister, and making it public knowledge, would send a very clear message. Dating him.... At least for show, for a little while? That sent a better one. “Tonight. Breakfast. And we will talk about MORE and also the seven hells we just raised then?” He hummed and brushed under her eyes softly with his actual thumb, and pressed a soft kiss to her forehead. Clearly reading her distress and attempting to calm her, without her needing to ask him too, and it made her heart thud a little bit inside of her. “You using me for some nefarious agenda Stark?”

“That a problem for you Lannister?” She cleared her throat uncomfortably and refused to meet his eyes. She shouldn’t be doing it at all. But? Well? He had been nice and funny. And he was VERY handsome and incredible in bed? “Not at all Little Wolf. Not unless it’s likely to backfire on you - or the both of us?”

“The damage is done. May as well ride this train to the end of the line and see where it takes us now?”

“Mmm. We can TALK come morning Sansa. When you’ve got a clear head and want to tell me what this is really about. Tonight? We are just focusing on tonight hmm?” She smiled sheepishly and nodded, accepting the sealing kiss he pressed to her lips. “Deal.”

“Alright. Let’s see what hells we’ve raised hmm?”

“Sure. I suppose a candid, post sex, still wrapped up in each other, selfie would be pushing it anyway!” She grinned cheekily, trying desperately to find the fun again with such daring taunts, but it made him laugh loudly. So it was absolutely worth it. “Don’t temp me! I’d be completely agreeable were it just for the two of us. But I’d be too tempted to share it with the world and have my ego stroked a bit for making you look even more stunning than normal! Come on! We are BOTH ringing now by the sounds of it!”

Chapter Text

He had BARELY dozed off! Barely - as in his mind was JUST lingering in that lovely in between place on the edge of a really good, refreshing sleep after his body had well and truly pushed beyond the curtain and was very happily soaking up the complete satiation of being well fucked - repeatedly, and now cuddled. When there was some sort of cacophony of exploding fury at the fucking door. He wrapped her in his arms and rolled, tucking her well and truly under himself, his heart racing like a rabbit on the run. His instincts honed to react, protect, assess, kill. He pressed a finger to her lips and listened to the banging and cursing and then groaned as his mind caught on. She wasn’t in ‘danger’ from some enemy insurgent. She wasn’t under attack necessarily speaking. No one was ‘breaking in’ to her apartment - strictly speaking. He leaned in a kissed her quickly. Ignoring the curious way she kept blinking at him. He wasn’t about to explain a fucking thing. And pulled back to sit and search out his underwear. “I should answer that.”

 

He snorted rudely and almost cheered when he found them poking out from under the bed, and proceeded to pull them up before standing and pointing a menacing finger at her adorable little nose. She was beautiful, even well fucked, sleepy and feigning haughty amusement to hide the confusion and vulnerability under the surface. “I’m answering that. Do you often answer the door to angry men in the dark of night?” He relaxed his hand at her wincing and patted her hair gently in almost an apologetic manner as she sat, tucking her knees to her chest and pulling the sheet around herself in a protective manner. He relaxed his stance so he didn’t scare her, but his rage was rapidly growing, and tipping over as the banging started anew. “My shirt is...” He reached out and snagged it off the blanket box at the foot of the bed and held it out awkwardly. “Just here. Better than a sheet hmm? At least if I need you to run and hide in the bathroom? It’s still only me who knows what this beautiful body looks like bare hmm? Less chances tripping too.”

 

He kissed her head hard and stalked off. More than a little concerned, and absolutely lost to his anger and frustration and instincts. He was supposed to be enjoying the influx of very different hormones and chemical reactions in his brain in that moment. He didn’t do more than note a single person through the peephole. It’s all he needed to know. He whipped the door open wide, grabbed the rude fucker by the front of his shirt, dragged him through the open door, kicking it shut as he did - just in case he wasn’t actually alone, and slammed him into the bricks beside the heavy door. No wonder he reacted as he had! He didn’t notice on his way in - though he had been rather nicely distracted too! The door was curiously? Industrial steel. It soothed the beast inside him, a little. To know that no one was getting in that door, had he not ‘let’ them. Even if it was a curious design choice. Though it fit with the exposed bricks and the steal beams he supposed.

 

“Stop fighting and carrying on. I can kill you a number of ways without having to reach for a weapon at all. Actually? Could be more than that? I’ve never tested the robot hand out?” He ignored the scoffing and renewed, rage filled carry on. It would do the idiot no good, he had his face and chest pinned to the bricks and his arm twisted back so he couldn’t actually move. “Seriously? You want to keep fighting? Very well. Have at it. I can wait.”

 

He knew who it was. He wasn’t a complete idiot. Didn’t mean he wasn’t going to play the unexpectedly menacing ‘victim’ of a home invasion here. Even if it was purely to prove himself willing and capable of protecting her, and as an ego boost for himself. As well a just a little bit of revenge for triggering an ALMOST episode at all, let alone in front of the girl he spent all night inside of and unexpectedly developing a curiosity over. “Robb? Are you kidding me? Jaime let him go.” He snorted rudely at his lover and cocked a brow. “Let the raging lunatic who woke us up before sunrise go? Not a chance little wolf. I’d prefer to not have to kill him for scaring you or worse. He stays exactly where he is until he calms down.”

“Don’t be ridiculous Lannister. He’s my brother, he won’t hurt me.” He snorted rudely and cocked a brow at her, more than a little amused, despite his still, very present anger, at her rolling her eyes and strutting into the kitchenette to flick the coffee maker on, wearing nothing but his shirt and a lacy scrap of wannabe panties over her perky little ass, that he absolutely would be stealing at some point.

 

“Sansa? Call your guard dog off. I’m not going to fucking hurt my sister. It’s you I want Lannister.” He snorted rudely again and cocked his head at the idiot, taking in his red face and the fire still burning bright in those Tully eyes. “How’s that working out for you champ? You stay there until the GUARD DOG is satisfied that your anger is abating and my girl there isn’t in any danger from an obviously controlling, potentially dangerous, raging family member.” Sansa sighed dramatically behind him, he could even see her closing her eyes in exasperation with BOTH of their posturing. But he was serious. The power dynamics weren’t in her favour, and if her brother willingly travelled all the way to her door in through the dead of the night and carried on as he had once he arrived? He didn’t respect her at all either. Combinations bordering abuse of another kind. The kind HE KNEW WELL, after years of suffering it. And it was only a small leap from emotional to physical abuse, especially when there was no attempt to curtail such heavy emotions. He didn’t doubt she understood that’s exactly what her family were guilty of there, he didn’t doubt that like him, she simply accepted it and found ways around it rather than taking them to task. But he wasn’t going to risk it turning physical when he could prevent it.

 

“You have to be fucking kidding me? You have the hide to question ME? You taking advantage of my drunk sister is the whole reason I’m here! I’m not the danger here! You are!” He leaned in close to his ear with a low growl. “I’m not the one scaring her you fucking idiot. I’m not the one disrespecting or disregarding or belittling and judging her or her choices. Think about it? You flew here in the middle of the night - over a half the continent in distance, and banged on her door like a complete asshole, scaring the seven hells out of her, and you are currently making assumptions on what she wants and needs. I’m not the danger here. I didn’t do a damned thing I didn’t have consent for asshole.”

 

“Jaime? Let him go. He isn’t going to physically hurt me. If he looks like doing so? You may intervene. Robb? Any menacing, chest puffing ridiculousness at either myself or MY GUEST? And I call a friend of mine at KLPD and I’ll make sure that the media gets wind of it too. Coffee is there. SIT! AWAY FROM EACH OTHER.”

 

He didn’t want to. Not even a little bit. But he did as she asked. Noting the slight waiver in her ice cold voice. She was angry, yes. VERY. But she was also hurt. Having clearly read the same implications he did. They had known that they were stirring the pot, that WAS kind of the point. Yet it was clear as the first rays of sun breaking outside the bank of windows along the outer wall of the studio she lived in, that she hadn’t expected THIS. He let go slowly and turned the man child to shove him towards the kitchen island pointedly, and well out of reach from a flying swing, and took up post, with his folded arms over his chest, leaning back into the bricks he had just had the idiot pinned. He knew he was a soldier too, if he hadn’t been aware of it beforehand, laying eyes on him would have told him anyway. His stance and posture was a dead give away. Jaime was just a faster, slightly more experienced one. And he had learned long ago, to channel and control his own emotions, so he didn’t make blustering, and foolish mistakes anymore. Not as Robb Stark had just done at any rate.

 

“Go and put pants on Lannister.” He clenched his jaw tight and cocked his head in arrogant dismissal of her command. He wasn’t taking his eyes off of her brother and she would just have to accept that as fact. Which she did apparently, grumbling and gesticulating at him dramatically as she stomped back towards the bed. He held the little bastards eye though, refusing to back down. Even though he could both hear her muttering and ratting about, and see her out of the corner of his eye searching out pants for the both of them. He nodded in thanks when she shoved his pants at him and pulled them on quickly. Still refusing to take his eyes off the still VERY angry Stark primed and honed at the counter, still taking note of her frustration and anger and embarrassment, in her every gesture as she grabbed up her own coffee cup and turned to glare at her brother. And he probably should be uncomfortable about the whole ridiculous situation! He likely should be getting ready to slink off into the lingering shadows of the final moments of the ‘night’. Except that he was NOT about to abandon her to the unexpected results of THEIR actions, anymore than he was going to actually crawl away like she really was a genuine one night stand. They BOTH knew long before they left that bar, that it would never be that between people like them. Even if it was JUST sex.

 

“Explain yourself. Now.”

“ME? I’m not the one whoring myself out, shaming our family AND making it public knowledge!” He growled low in his throat and pinned the little bastard with wildfire eyes. But he didn’t move, even if he was set to do so, and do so quickly. “Call her a whore again and I’ll break that pretty face open asshole.” He may look calm and even nonchalant. His words may have been delivered in a falsely easy manner. But he was ready to take the arrogant little fuckers head clean off for how he was carrying on at his sister. “Jaime? Enough. Tell me why you are here Robb, or get out and come back when you can speak civilly. Those are your only options.” The fool looked like he had been slapped. Apparently he was unused to his sister speaking for herself. “Civil? You expect me to be CIVIL? Do you hav any IDEA what your little game here has caused? Our MOTHER is pitching a fit hard enough to bring The Wall down, and our FATHER was immediately dragged into conference calls with Robert Baratheon and Tywin Fucking Lannister! There are media rats calling the house and staking out the gates of Winterfell! And that was within HOURS of your post! You wouldn’t answer your phone!” He let out a dark, rueful laugh and cracked his neck. Of course they had all overreacted. How utterly ridiculous they all were. “The media would have left you all well enough alone, had you not carried on like idiots over something that is NONE of you concern. I can almost see at least one headline now! STARKS GOING INTO A FRENZIED MADNESS BECAUSE ELDEST DAUGHTER MAKES HER OWN CHOICES LIKE A GROWN WOMAN.”

 

“Fuck You, Lannister!” He grinned wickedly. “I prefer my Starks a little less hostile, but I’m flattered.”

“JAIME! SHUT UP!” He cocked a brow at the victorious sneer on the idiots face. He was going to break his nose. At least. Maybe knock out a few teeth for good measure. “He’s being a dick right now? But he’s also RIGHT Robb! I’m an adult, and I can actually choose who I sleep with, contrary to popular belief!” He scoffed harshly and glared at the both! Were they fucking serious? “You DO realise that YOU are the ONLY ONE who should be deciding who you sleep with? Tell me you understand that Sansa - or so help me, I won’t be responsible for what I do to your brother and any other family member who thinks they have a right to have a say in that!”

“You! STAY OUT OF IT!” The attempts to look intimidating pissed him off more than being commanded by this little boy, playing at being a man. He was going to kick his ass. “You are getting dangerously close to learning exactly why it is, I have the reputation I do you arrogant little fuck.”

“ENOUGH!”

 

He leaned back again and sipped at his coffee silently. He would respect her right to speak for herself, but he was not going to stay silent on such blatant disrespect and malice being thrown at her either. Curious, how invested he had managed to become in Stark affairs. “Now? Let me clarify a few things. DID Dad send you here, and was he actually angry about having to speak with Mr. Lannister and Mr. Baratheon?” He growled low and subdued what wanted to be an explosive reaction, forcing the boy into hissing his answer through clenched teeth instead. “He did not send me, he didn’t HAVE TO. But he was angry.” Sansa nodded deftly and sipped at her own cup, clearly thinking over his answer. “Did he react in anyway that was indicative of his having come to ANY sort of conclusion before you went off on your own tangent and booked a flight here?”

“No.” She hummed in cocky and condescending affirmation. And he was struck once more, but just how switched on the sex rumpled beauty before him was. She had her brother on the hook and he didn’t even know it. “Does. He. know. You. Are. Here?” He didn’t need to answer. The angry glare was all she needed. “I see. But our Mother does?” He nodded. “Of course she does. Because me choosing to sleep with someone of my own choosing, rather than the despicable lech that she was not so subtly handing me over to, all wrapped up in a lucrative Stark Industries contract, wasn’t what she expected. I stepped out of line and you were sent to pull me back into it, before my acting an adult with free will, costs the company an investor contract, because I jeopardised some of the merchandise huh?”

 

“What the fuck did you just say?” He saw red. Surely she wasn’t serious? Surely not? He could the blood surging through him, burning hot with a rage unlike most he had known. He could feel his fingers tingling - even the ghost fingers of his long since amputated hand. “Don’t be ridiculous Sansa! You’re carrying on as if our MOTHER is soliciting you out to the highest bidder! What RUBBISH! What she is doing? Is worrying, as Mothers are WANT TO DO, over their child’s poor choices! And HE is a poor choice! Just like every other fucking scumbag you’ve DATED! Of course she’d encourage a decent relationship if the option to do so came up!”

 

“Was encouraging you to date Roslin Frey, even though you were in a stable and happy relationship at the time, not the same thing? Did you know that this apartment was supposed to be leased for a full six months, whilst I - me, who isn’t actually trained or ‘experienced’ enough to be meeting and negotiating with investors yet, set to work with a particular investor who happens to have an unmarried son, for up to six months, on something that should be done and dusted in one? Did you KNOW that the two actual ex-boyfriends I have, that I know the be those you are referring to with your little spiel about MY POOR CHOICES, were the only relationships I’ve had her approval and encouragement for? You DO know it was Aunt Lysa who introduced me to Harry right?” He was seething. Robb Stark looked like he’d been slapped. “She said you were getting along really well with some guy here. Said that he was all you spoke of. And that you going home drunk with Lannister would ruin it.” Sansa snorted rudely and nodded, staring hard out the bank of windows as the morning sun painting the city scape pinks and oranges and purples. “And there it is. Confirmation.” He swallowed hard and followed, glaring hard at the idiot who thought to get in his way, as she pressed her coffee cup to her chest and her forehead to the cool glass of the window.

 

“Giles Rosby is his name, and he is the son of Vic Rosby, whom I have been negotiating with this week. And YES, I have spoken of him, because he is a vile, despicable bastard whom I overheard boasting to his coworkers how he intends to ‘break in’ the only acceptable term of offer, Stark Industries has made. Can you GUESS what that might imply brother? Because I can. Especially if you seem to be under the misguided notion that I have any interest in ANY man in this city - besides the one you’ve been carrying on like a right fool in front of?” He didn’t give the idiot a chance to react at all. Obviously he heard her, from the look of horror and disbelief and pure judgement on his face. He also didn’t know what to actually think or believe. Jaime didn’t fucking care. He was reeling. She had made it obvious that she was using him to piss her family off. Just as he was using her for the same. But that was before he realised the depth of betrayal she was weathering too.

 

“Get out.”

“Fuck you. Sansa? Talk to me?” He looked over at her in question, hesitating only long enough for her to acknowledge his look. And then he cursed softly at her denying him his silent request to forcibly remove her prick of a brother, and stalked over to the bedside table and took up his phone. Not even blinking before hitting the contact he did and pressing it to his ear. His place or not? His business or not? This ended immediately. The phone line clicked almost before it rang. “Good Of you to get back to me. Now explain yourself.” He sneered in annoyance and rolled his eyes. “I’ll come see you later. For now? I need all you can tell me about a Vic Rosby and his son Giles. Get me that information, and keep Joffrey and Cersei leashed and well away from Sansa Stark - and myself if they know what’s good for them? And I’ll come talk to you directly. I’ll even weather a phone call from Stark for you. Deal?”

“I have questions.”

“I’ll answer them later.”

“Deal. I’ll get Varys to email you what he finds.”

 

He sighed heavily and tossed his phone onto the still mussed bedding pointedly, before meeting two sets of incredulous Tully eyes. One curiously astonished, the other obviously offended at his high handed behaviour. “Get comfortable Stark. And it goes without saying, but upset her again? And I won’t wait for her permission as I have been doing up until this point. I believe we mentioned breakfast little wolf? Let’s eat whilst we wait hmm?” He clapped his hands and strolled to the kitchen. Not nearly as carefree and relaxed as he was putting across. This was absolutely NOT what he had intended when he walked into that bar. But it certainly was the ‘war’ they joked about starting, he supposed. Luckily? He was rather adept at war. And a pretty girl, who was incredible in the sack and could actually make him laugh was as good a reason as any he supposed. “That was your Father wasn’t it?” He hummed in affirmation and turned his attention to the fridge. He didn’t WANT to think on his complete turnaround in attitude. He didn’t want to explain why he had dismissed his own anger at his Father, to deal with her situation for her. He just wanted to eat breakfast with her and go back to bed, also with her. Except that it wouldn’t be happening now. “I’m not seeing bacon in here Stark?”

“And you won’t because I don’t have any.”

“Well? I suppose you were bound to have some flaws - besides the overbearing and intrusive and judgemental brother that is. Eggs without bacon it is I guess.”

Chapter Text

He didn’t know what to think. All he did know was that his wife, and his little sister too - were  right. He shouldn’t be here. He should have waited to hear from Sansa herself. But what was he supposed to do, when his mother had called him hysterically, wanting a family meeting and then proceeding to pull him aside to beg him to get to his sister and talk sense into her? To put a stop to whatever rebellious scandal she was cooking up. She had been blaming herself for upsetting Sansa earlier in the afternoon. And he had been ropable over his sisters arrogance and petty and dangerous behaviour. And he had been genuinely concerned for her too, thinking she had bitten off far more than she could chew by getting caught up with that scumbag Lannister prick, in a bar she only went into to cause a scene enough to get back at their mother, for whatever perceived slight she had imagined up.

 

Arya and Jon were the only ones who she had even bothered to acknowledge, and that had been hours later. And even they only got an unconvincing text stating that she was fine and to let everyone know so they would stop calling. Though he did have to grant that neither of them seemed overly upset by her not offering up something more than that, either? In fact Arya had made a point of calling them ALL ridiculous, as well as making some really unnecessary and inappropriate jokes, and making it rather clear exactly where her loyalties lay - which only set their mother off further. Now that he had slowed down somewhat and thought a little more about it? Everyone else had remained pretty quiet over it all too. Jon hadn’t been there at all, but when he texted him over getting him to meet him at the Kings Landing airport, he had stopped replying. He just assumed his phone had died, or he had fallen asleep maybe? But it was becoming rather clearer by the moment that his siblings had all come to a very different conclusion than he. And his Father didn’t exactly HAVE an opinion on it YET, because he had been in his office, speaking with Baratheon and Lannister when he headed out. He had been angry though, so he had assumed that although he might not appreciate his quick response? He would at least appreciate it when he helped to pull Sansa out of her ‘very likely’ dangerous situation. The ‘very likely’ dangerous situation, that she clearly had NO interest or intention of leaving.

 

They looked like they were dating. A notion that sent a fission of fear and disgust running down his spine. They didn’t just LOOK it either! They were completely in sync with one another. Now that he was in, at least, some semblance of control, he could see the looks and the small sad smiles, and the way the cocky old bastard offered small touches every so often, that were partly for comfort, partly to piss him off further.

 

He hated him. Once upon a time he had idolised him - that was true enough. But he also remembered how arrogant he was when they were kids too. He knew well what his parents thought of him also. And it was NOT exactly a glowing recommendation. Far from it. And being the incredible soldier and war hero did NOT make up for the things those he trusted, spoke about the man. That hadn’t improved at all with his pinning him to the wall as he had, and claiming that HE was the danger to his sister. He hadn’t missed what he had called her either! ‘His girl’. ‘Little wolf’. The way he reacted? His viciousness towards him and the unadulterated distrust and rage? The way he kept silently checking on her? The way he helped himself to the kitchen? His outburst at his sisters horrific claims against their mother and the man that she was supposedly ‘developing a connection with’. It was right there in front of him. They hadn’t JUST slept together. Very likely the one whom Sansa had an interest in, was the same one currently cooking breakfast, shirtless, in her kitchen. She had even admitted as much. It made him sick to his stomach. But his sister was actually ‘dating’ The Kingslayer. A man at least twenty years older than her. A medically discharged Special Forces Commander, who also happened to be her first ever boyfriends uncle. A fucking Lannister.

 

And so far, from what he had seen? He was only a hostile, arrogant prick, towards him. But was it purely because of how he had shown up on the doorstep before dawn or not? Was the question. A valid one, because not once had he lashed out in anyway, at his sister. Even when she clearly frustrated him by refusing his silent plea to let him kick him out? He did not aim any of his frustration at her. If anything? His actions all spoke to genuine affection and care. If it was merely a one night stand? Why hadn’t he left? Why did he care about Stark business? And it wasn’t JUST because he didn’t trust him not to hurt her either.

 

Not that it mattered really? At the end of the day, they would never work out, because of the way their families hated each other. But he did have to wonder, if the man might have at least tried to not be such a dick, had they not come across each other under such circumstances. Now, it definitely wouldn’t matter, and it wouldn’t be possible to test that theory either. The man could be the most genuine person and his sisters soul mate to boot. But the hostilities were already running hot. The dye cast. They would never accept him as Sansas. Just as he didn’t doubt they wouldn’t accept her for him after the drama she and Joffrey had caused between their families when they broke up. He didn’t like the guy, and his shoulder fucking hated him - as did his pride. But he could see he cared for her, and that is all he had ever really wanted for her too. Just not with someone that would never be acceptable to their family. It was hard enough when one family member disliked the love of your life. Let alone all of them. He knew that very well himself.

 

“How long have you two been together?” His voice cracked uncomfortably, over the words. He felt ridiculous. Trying to have a somewhat normal, attempted casual conversation. Except that he hadn’t spoken again since he asked his sister to talk to him. After he yelled and screamed and carried on like a fool. “Not long at all champ.” His eyes met the back of the scumbags head, if it weren’t for the slight pause and the microscopic serious vibe in his tone? He’d have believed he was taunting him again. Except he didn’t look at his sister either. And she was clearly shocked at his answer. “But this isn’t.... Nothing, is it?” The man snorted rudely and focused on turning the stove off quickly and dropping a plate in front of him reluctantly. “Look at you being a big boy and asking reasonable questions rather than hurling insults.” He sighed in frustration and clenched his jaw hard. He deserved it. Whether he liked it or not. He didn’t feel bad about his words and insults to the still, half naked man, making himself at home in his sisters temporary apartment. But he felt like a right bastard after the way he had spoken to her. He had done since he calmed down and noticed just how hard she was forcing down her upset. “Jaime, please stop. Robb? It’s really none of your business. Not after the way you’ve acted this morning. The only reason you are still here is because you will be talking to Dad with me.”

 

He sighed sadly and nodded to himself. No matter what else had happened here, or would come as a result. He could tell by her quiet, exhausted, flat resolve, that he had well and truly lost her trust. A point that really hadn’t fazed him in the slightest when he come down here and banged on her door like a crazed lunatic. But it absolutely did now. Because regardless of all else he didn’t yet know? He did understand that he was in the wrong. He just didn’t know if she necessarily was still or not. She was right, in that it was her choice whom she slept with, and she was right to be insulted over their mother’s matchmaking, if all of what she had said was true. He didn’t and couldn’t see his mother being so cold and cruel, but his sister was right too. She had tried to set him up with another girl, when she knew he was looking likely to propose to the one he had already. But that was not nearly as disrespectful and conniving as the charges his sister was laying at her feet. But he had to know the truth too. “Did she really encourage you to make it work with Joffrey? AND Harry? How did you mean that Sans?”

 

Sansa cleared her throat uncomfortably and shot a quick look to the man standing across from him. Jaime Lannister however, merely cocked a brow in challenge at her. Obviously curious of the answer himself. Which he was NOT sure was a good idea. Not after what he had threatened when he implied he was within his rights to dictate who she slept with. - That wasn’t at all what he meant. But with a clear head, he could hear how wrong his words had come across too. “I asked to come home before I started senior year, Robb. I wanted to go to White Harbour because you were at university there. Or maybe to Harrenhal or Braavos with Arya if Dad agreed to let her go there like she’d been begging. Arya went to Braavos. But I was told that I only had another year to go and ‘didn’t I want to stay close to Joff anyway?’.... I didn’t. I wanted to be close to my family. But apparently I was just home sick and I’d be fine when school started again.” His heart broke inside of him at the pain in her voice. And he winced at the clatter of cutlery across from him and the rage building on the mans face. She had never confided in him. He never even knew she was unhappy. Not then, and not more recently either. And he could kind of understand - with how he reacted to recent events. But he did wonder if Jon or Arya knew more about it too? With how Arya had defended her? With Jons silence?

 

“And Harry?” She snorted rudely and shook her head on a rueful laugh. “Harry could do no wrong, Robb. Even when I suspected he was cheating on me, it was me who was being paranoid because he was just ‘such a nice boy’.... I found him in bed with one of my FRIENDS and when I lost it at them, he told me I was colder than The Wall in bed and it was alright, he’d still marry me one day - I just had to accept that he had needs that I wasn’t up to meeting. So needless to say? I’ve plenty of reasons to be disinclined to be the good girl and date anyone she or Aunt Lysa point in my general direction.” His gaping was nothing on the near incoherent blustering coming from The Kingslayer. He thought he was angry at him for banging on the door. But apparently he had much more in him than he had been shown. And much as he wasn’t at all comfortable with how openly she shared what an ex thought of her ‘in bed’? He was too insulted on her behalf, and confused and disappointed in their mother - again whether it was all true or not, he didn’t know, but it really didn’t matter either. This was how Sansa felt and it explained so much about her behaviour of late. “Harry who?”

“Hardyng. Lives in The Vale somewhere - some distant relation of Jon Arryns.” The Man nodded to him in thanks for his automatic response, and stalked back to his sisters bed determinedly and shot of what looked to be a stream of texts or emails perhaps. With how fast the fingers on the REAL hand moved.

 

“Mmm. Got a thing for blondes do you Stark?”

“Seriously? What did you do?” He blinked in surprise as the man sauntered back and wrapped his arms around his sister, drawing her against his bare chest and pressed a soft kiss to her lips - making him more than a little bit uncomfortable and rather irritated. But he held his tongue because of how she blushed and smiled in surprise. Because of how colossally he had already fucked things up apparently. “Looked him up to start with and then told Tyrion that you apparently had another dickhead ex.”

“You did NOT?” He had missed something. Something vital to understanding what in all the seven hells that meant. Meanwhile Lannister was kissing her again. “I did. And I’m not sorry. But I AM VERY curious over your thing for blondes?”

“Shut up!”

“Mmm? But you LIKE IT when I talk!”

 

He shuddered and jumped up from his stool to get away from them and their carrying on. His sisters low growling reprimand and Lannisters subsequent laughter only making it so much worse. He wanted to pull the mans bionic hand off and slap him stupid with it. Except that it would likely upset his sister, and for the moment? Until things were afforded some semblance of clarity? He would accept them at face value. She deserved that if nothing else, for his actions. But that did not mean he needed to be exposed to him turning on the ‘charm’.... If that’s what it could be called. “You aren’t cold at all Sansa. Not even a little bit. And I might just break THAT ones face personally for such horse shit.”

 

Nope! He did NOT need to hear THAT either! He also didn’t need to find anything even grudgingly approval worthy in his words. It was going to end badly enough without his finding anything redeemable about the man. It was already a bloody shit fight. One he had helped to create and spew further. Yet at the same time? He’d never seen her look at anyone with such curious hope in her eyes. If only he weren’t a Lannister, that their family hated rather passionately at that. Himself included. He discreetly held his phone up under his arm and snapped a half dozen pictures, just to make sure he got at least one in focus. And then he left them to their moment and leaned into the counter to look them over. At the very least? It might make a small difference in how their Father reacted to everything. If he could see there was genuine feelings involved.

 

 

GROUP TEXT TO TAL; ARYA; JON:

 

PHOTOS ATTACHED.

 

I fucked up. What do I do here? This isn’t going to end well.

 

 

ARYA: DAMN! Get a better shot of that hand! That’s cool as hell! Also? I fucking TOLD YOU! Do NOTHING! Let Sansa deal with her own love life and stay the fuck out of it! Is he worthy? Abso-fucking-lutely NOT! But neither is anyone else and if he’s making her smile like that? He’s doing better than any other has before so I repeat? STAY THE FUCK OUT OF IT ROBB!

 

 

JON: Aye. Stay out of it and leave Sansa to sort herself out. She’s a big girl. If she ends up hurt? That’s on her too. I don’t like the guy, but I don’t exactly know him either do I? She does. He kicked your ass didn’t he?

 

 

ROBB: I banged on the door and woke them up before dawn. Her ripped the door open, dragged me inside and pinned me to the fucking wall. Told me not to bother struggling because he didn’t need a weapon to kill me. If I wasn’t so fucking angry? I might have been impressed. I might have shit myself too. Down and hand and old as shit? He’d still have me.

Also? He’s still a Lannister? It’ll never be acceptable to either family.

 

TAL: I told you not to go down Robb. So you are getting no sympathy from me. Is Sansa alright? I still don’t understand the issue by the way? And just so you all know? There is NO ENDING TO THAT. I know that look. I’ve known that look since the day we met Robb Stark. And so have you. LANNISTER or not? She is falling in love right before you blind eyes, My Love. FIND A WAY!

 

 

ROBB: He knew exactly who I was when he pinned me too. Refused to let me go until I calmed down because he wasn’t risking letting me ‘near his girl’ until I stopped threatening her basically. I was hardly going to hurt her... But thinking back on it? I can see how he might have determined that it was worth the risk. And I’m not blind, but there just is NO WAY.

 

 

ARYA: Good on him. You fucking deserved it by the sound of it! Someone banging on her door in a rage and waking her up would have terrified her you complete toss! I’m going radio silent. Just sent those pics to our parents and told them to sort their shit because I was on team Sansa even more solidly after seeing how they look at each other. I suspect I’ve just been disowned. But the lone wolf dies and I’m not letting my sister get shunned by the pack on her own. THAT IS HOW YOU FIND A WAY IDIOT! Later fuckers. And Tal.

 

 

ROBB: Seven Fucking Hells! As if this wasn’t enough of a mess.

 

 

TAL: It likely wouldn’t be such a mess if you and your mother hadn’t carried on Robb. Come home.

 

 

JON: Aye. I’m out too brother. Fix it.

Chapter Text

“What is this Jaime?”

“This is us, riding the train to the end of the line Stark. May as well see where it takes us right?”

“MORE?”

“Yes, MORE.”

 

He couldn’t get the words out of his head. They had shocked him, not the words themselves or the sentiment behind it. He had decided long before they had called it a night, in the quiet of the predawn, whilst she dozed, so fucking beautiful and sated and soft on his chest in between rounds, that he was taking everything he could get from his little wolf. What shocked him, was the ease with which he said them. Like them continuing to ‘see’ each other was quite simply, the most logical and rational thing in the world. And it had been her surprise and her vulnerability that had him making wordless promises and sealing them and his ACTUAL words with a soft, lingering kiss, before he headed out the door.

 

They needed to talk. Really talk. Without interruption. Which was not going to happen for a day or two. But that was also probably a good thing, because he needed to think and process and shower and sleep. They had ‘picked each other up’ in a bar, intent on just stirring the pot with the families that had been pissing them off. He certainly didn’t intend on the level of crazy fallout they had caused, and he certainly hadn’t banked on wanting a repeat performance, let alone potentially numerous repeat performances that would likely cause even more trouble and risk actual dangers too. But it was what it was. He liked the girl. She was sexy and smart and she made him laugh with her sassy attitude. And as he had already determined? Wars were started for far less wonderful prospects than time spent with a beautiful woman. She also triggered something inside of him, that hadn’t been triggered in a long time. But he wasn’t ready to think too much on THAT just yet. Maybe after sleep, he would come to his damned senses too - who knew?

 

He also needed to talk to his Father, and let her talk to her own family. Sort out the hells he had dumped their business dealings into with a single request for information. A request only made because he was seething mad over the revelations dumped on he and Robb Stark in regards to Catelyn Starks horrendous treatment of his girl. He wouldn’t deny that a very large part of it was also arrogant pride. He wanted to know who the asshole who spoke of Sansa Stark as though she was some common whore to be bent over his desk for the sake of a few contracts, really was. And he wanted to know HOW and WHY he was a more acceptable prospective suitor than he was. Of course he KNEW why he would NEVER be a CHOICE for her parents, but that was NOT the point. And they didn’t get a fucking say anyway! He wanted to supply his girl with the means of really sticking it to the woman. And he did.

 

He wasn’t about to hang about for that though, anymore than he was going to give an opinion on it. The things they found about the son had both Starks gaping and snarling, the elder Rosby, by all accounts, seemed like a decent guy, with a decent handle on his business and a firm hand on his finances. The son was a lech. To put it politely. And yes it did absolutely make him feel smug as all get out, to be PROVEN the better man. But still? Much as he had developed a fondness for that vicious, cunning, funny, passionate and glorious girl? He was still a Lannister, and beyond caring what happened to HER, he couldn’t give a rats ass if Ned Stark was stupid enough to get tangled up with the likes of Giles Rosby, who would likely take over for his Father one day and tank EVERYTHING his Father had built. He had handed over the information and reminded her to be that cunning girl who tricked Tywin Lannister out of a million dollars, and he left them to it.

 

Something he could only comfortably do because Robb Stark had stopped harping on like a complete wanker, and had turned a complete about face, after being faced with his sisters pain - and possibly, their obvious and open and frankly adorably RIGHT feeling affections. He wouldn’t have left her side, if there was even the slightest chance the idiot would turn on her again in anyway. But he knew he wouldn’t. It was as clear as day that he had been manipulated into showing up on her doorstep. He was a hothead and a fool. But he was also just a little bit broken from what he could see. Blinded by familial pride and loyalty and respect for a mother who clearly didn’t deserve it.

 

It wasn’t so very long ago that he, himself, suffered from those exact same byproducts of emotional abuse at the hands of an unstable family member. For him, it was losing his hand and dealing with the fallout from that, that shone a light on the control that he did not have over his own life. Perhaps this would be that pivotal moment for Robb Stark. His sister had already had hers, likely many times over, from what little he had learned in his less than twenty four whole hours with her, but this time, her rebellion and breakaway would stick - because she had him. For what it was worth and for whatever the fuck that actually meant. No matter if what they had was restricted to that one glorious, magical night? Or if they continued on with some casual sex, friends type relationship - or even maybe became that elusive something MORE.

 

He was determined to protect her and guide her through the other side of her finding her independence and her strength to stand on her own two feet. He didn’t doubt that she could do it all on her own and without anyone’s help. She was far stronger than even she gave herself credit for. Simply approaching HIM, after what she suffered at the hands of his family was proof of that. But she had inadvertently drawn him into her orbit with their little word games and their rather dramatic scandal plot. And he was hardly focused on anything else anyway. Besides avoiding his own family. Which he would continue to do in regards to his head case of a sister and her devil spawn. But his Father? Well - their little games just played right into his hands there too, didn’t they? And it would frustrate The Great Lion, every bit as much as it would please him, and ultimately, if the man was ‘getting what he wanted’? He’d been helpful rather than hindering. Only time would tell.

 

 

——————

 

 

He didn’t bother knocking, he simply sauntered into his Fathers office and made himself at home on the extortionately expensive sofa along one bank of the windowed walls and lazed like the exhausted, sleepy ‘cat’ that he was. It was arrogant and rude. But that HAD been the point. No need to make things easy and, or comfortable for the old man. “I was expecting you long before now.” He hummed in mild amusement. Of course he had. He had expected him to make his way to him immediately after hanging up the phone, and simply pass on the information Varys had supplied him, at a later date. But that hadn’t been happening, for any reason. “Varys took forever to compile everything I wanted. And I had an angry big brother to scare into behaving.” His Father scoffed rudely. It very likely pissed him off that he had yet to look over at him too. Maintaining his lazed, eyes closed and carefree pose just to see if he could make the mans jaw tick any harder.

 

“The eldest boy flew down?” He hummed in affirmation and tilted his head finally, to blink at his Fathers very obviously judgemental sneer. “Because his sister obviously took someone home from a bar - or because of WHOM she took home from said bar? And I want details on that also. What are you thinking - taking Sansa Stark like that?” He snorted a laugh and looked back at the ceiling. More than a little pleased that the irritation he had caused. “A bit of both. Don’t worry yourself over it. He has calmed down and is FAR less likely to create anymore drama than his ridiculous midnight jaunt and attempts at intimidation have already.”

 

“Details Jaime. Now.” He sighed heavily in exasperation and sat up to meet his Fathers eyes properly. The Great Lion was pissed. But he was also mildly curious, which told him that his anger wasn’t necessarily over his actions, only his ‘careless’ disregard for the consequences. And perhaps there was a touch of suspicion over the who and WHY. “We actually did simply run into each other in that bar. I was there because I had a run in with Cersei earlier in the day, after you had already made your usual speeches at me. I was pissed off and I knew she wouldn’t come looking for me there. Sansa had just had a row with her mother over the phone, and decided to ‘rebel’ a little bit and make a point about being a grown woman who can make her own decisions. So she walked in with the intention of her mother finding out that she was acting a bar fly in Flea Bottom. We got to talking, shared a few drinks, and quite a few laughs and stories. And then we fucked all night and woke up, before even falling fully asleep, to Robb Stark trying to break the door down just before dawn.” It amused him to see the many different emotions that tracked through his Fathers cold eyes at his slap dash monologue. He was frustrated and angry, but he was also curious and calculating. And far more disgusted by Starks over reaction, than his admitting to fucking the girl so candidly.

 

“The two of you intended on causing a scene I take it?” He hummed in affirmation and smirked arrogantly. He wasn’t going to fucking hide it. What was the point of it all of he did? He wasn’t much of a liar at the best of times anyway. “Am I to assume it is over now and we can let this blow over?” He snorted rudely and stretched like a lazy cat, before turning his eyes to the ceiling and resting his hands on his belly in contentment. Hell fucking no! It was not done. Not even close. “I wouldn’t bank on it, no. It started with bad whiskey and the promise of sweet revenge. But it’s not going to end that way.”

“I see. And you don’t think that perhaps DATING your nephews ex girlfriend, whom he was less than gentlemanly towards, is a bad idea?”

“I think it’s a fantastic idea. Not my fault he is a stupid little bastard who didn’t know a good thing when he had her. Not my fault he’s also a sadistic and spoiled little cunt either.”

 

He had to bite down on a laugh at the grunt in agreement the old man let slip. It was obvious that he was suspicious now though. But he would work it out eventually, that Sansa had no real interest in using him for slightly more Lannister like revenge. She was a cunning little thing, that was true enough, but she WAS a Stark still. And she had already made it rather clear, that she was smart enough to not toy with challenging his Father in particular. Not to any serious degree. If she had been inclined to do so? She could have slaughtered them in the press with her very true allegations of domestic abuse against Joffrey - maybe even Cersei too. But she didn’t, because her own mental health and reputation were more important to her. Not that his Father was aware of it though? As far as he knew - she had taken the money and kept her mouth shut because of it. As ridiculous as he found it, his Fathers suspicious nature had kept many from taking advantage of their family over the years. He had cause for it here too. But he would learn on his own in time.

 

“Look? We hadn’t intended on The Starks carrying on as they have - Cersei and Joffrey, I imagine, have been equally as ridiculous however. And as far as I’m concerned? They can all kiss my ass. I’m not backing off because it makes people uncomfortable enough to carry on like we have personally pissed on their shoes or something. I like Sansa. I’m going to continue to see Sansa. She’s a big girl and can deal with her family. And if Cersei or Joffrey think it within their rights to interfere or carry on in anyway? Or WORSE? I will personally see to MAKING them regret it.” He held firm, showing his Father just how serious he was in his stance on it. He didn’t waver at all, despite understanding the danger one courts when staring The Great Lion down. Despite his hungover and emotionally exhausted state. He was utterly wrung out. But his Fathers acceptance - even grudging, would keep his sister and her asshole on their leashes. And he needed that a little more than he needed his pride right at the moment. He wasn’t so naive as to risk them attempting to lash out at her when they got no reaction from him. His Father would keep them in line at least long enough for him to process and SLEEP.

 

Tywin Lannister sighed tiredly and scrubbed at his chin, in what was, most definitely an uncharacteristic show of ‘weakness’. He was clearly as wrung out by the carry on as Jaime himself was. But as he suspected, the prospect that Jaime might just have enough interest in a woman to look at taking a relationship seriously? Was enough to put his efforts into turning it in his favour - IF he come tot he point of deeming Sansa suitable - which he would, the moment he trusted that she was not out to destroy them all. “Don’t worry about your sister and nephew. Robert is taking them to Storms End and leaving Stannis in charge of things here, until things settle here. It was MY instruction and I made it with Ned Stark present during the conference call. They are very likely on the jet as we speak. Tell me about the Rosby reports you asked for. I know they are the prospective partners or something, that Stark is concerned he will lose because of this ‘scandal’. He is NOT happy about you sleeping with his daughter, but he is not acting an immature child as his son has done at least. So that is something. But if I am to be forced into dealing with the fool? I want answers and your enjoyment of a pretty girls skills in a bed are not going to cut it.”

 

He did not let the smile he felt inside make it to his face. He had pushed enough. But he knew he had him too, and that was worthy of the most cocky of smirks. “He doesn’t really WANT that contract anyway. Not after what I read a small amount of. Sansa is in Kings Landing to meet with potential investors. Namely - The Rosbys. Suffice it to say, that it was not necessarily business skills that had her as the perfect candidate, but more so her being the single, eldest daughter, hidden behind the excuse of her KNOWING the city. I don’t know if Ned is aware of it? But Catelyn had hoped to basically arrange a suitable SUITOR for her daughter and wrap it all up neatly in a Stark Industries letterhead. I left the files with her to take to her Father. I don’t care what he does business wise - but Sansa is not about to let herself be sold off to a man she can’t stand the sight of, to start with - hence her sleeping with yours truly... The Father isn’t a bad sort, I don’t know much about it, as you are well aware? But he doesn’t seem to be in the same financial category or field of business, as Stark though, so there’s something missing there too. It doesn’t really make sense that he would look at Rosby as a potential investor or partner? But again? Not my issue. What IS my issue, is that I was put into a spot of having to pin my lovers brother to a wall before the sun rose, until he calmed down enough that I could trust him not to scare her, because their mother is bat shit crazy and manipulated the idiot into racing down here to ‘scare me off’ and put Sansa back on the path that SHE chose for her. I’m a little insulted that I’m considered a worse prospect than a drunken pig with gambling debts and complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace that were conveniently silenced.”

 

His Father grunted at him, which was pretty well all the answer he was getting until he processed everything he had said. And he HAD said far more than he actually intended on too. Left himself far too open to his Fathers scrutiny. But honestly? He was completely wiped, and he just wasn’t interested in playing it safe to keep his Father out of his affairs as much as possible, by being more evasive. And perhaps it should concern him somewhat, that he had made it blatantly obvious that he was indeed, serious about pursuing a relationship of ‘some yet to be determined description’ with Sansa Stark. He wasn’t yet ready to think on just why he was being so very adamant about it all either. Yes! She had been one hell of a good time - both in bed and out of it. But his determination was stemming from that long dormant THING she had risen inside of him, and he did NOT have the mental strength to deal with it just yet. He liked her. And at the moment, that was all that truly mattered. “Very well. I want those reports too. Unless Stark contacts you directly? Stay away from the rest of the family. And keep it above board Jaime. If you mean to pursue it? It will be subject to public opinion. No more carry on, and antagonistic behaviour. Ignore the media and let them say what they will. I am going to want to speak with Sansa Stark myself. But it can wait a few days. You will repay my intervention with your sister, by keeping your head clear. You TRUSTING that this girls intentions are pure, is entirely on YOU. I’ll not be held accountable should she prove to have nefarious intentions.”

 

“Of course.” He paused and cocked his head in amusement at his Father. He thought he was a dead man simply by sampling Starks lovely little Red she wolf pup. But this opportunity was JUST too good to miss, even if it got him in serious - potentially life threatening, shit. “You DO realise that I wasn’t seeking permission? I don’t need you to tell me I can keep seeing her.” He grinned at the cold, dead pan look he received for it. It was worth it. “I don’t imagine you were. Not when you and your little LOVER felt the need to flaunt your ‘intimate bonding’ all over the damned internet, just to enact some ridiculous attempts at revenge - or asserting your ability to MAKE ADULT DECISIONS WITHOUT HELP.” He barked a harsh laugh and scrubbed at his face. The dry, waspish tone was indicative of everything he had hoped to achieve with said acts! It was petty. That had been the point. Apparently it also hit its mark. Which definitely pleased him. Almost as much as knowing that his sister and her oxygen wasting, sanity sucking, vermin scum, son had already been caged and hidden away. “Mmm. It was hardly cause for THIS level of carry on though was it? It’s not like she posted photos of us in bed.”

 

“No. But the fact that you were seen all over each other as you left that bar AND walked around The City, sold the rest of the image for you. And her posting picture of her breakfast where your RATHER DISTINCTIVE AND IDENTIFIABLE HAND was visible next to the plate sealed it as fact, this morning. So I repeat? Behave yourself in that regard.”

“Huh? That’s what she was up to? Cheeky thing. Fine. I’ll talk to her about keeping it ‘CLEAN’. But I won’t stop her from posting innocent images of what looks to be a happy relationship - If that’s how this goes, though.”

“See that you do. Go and find a shower and sleep it off Jaime. You LOOK like you just came straight from Flea Bottom.”

“Because I did. Don’t worry? This morning it was from the gentrified areas.”

“That’s really not any better. We will discuss her living somewhere so inappropriate should this progress further.”

“Of course we will. I’ll send those files through later.”

“See that you do.”

Chapter Text

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?”

“I will.”

Chapter Text

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

So we know what happens when a Lannister and a Stark walk into a bar now? Want to see what happens when they when they willingly step out in public together the very next day?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I don’t recall giving you my number? Are you stalking me Lannister?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I can if you want me to? But I admit the creep genes were all dumped heavily into the OTHER  Lannister that I was forced to share my mother with, I’m afraid. And then she shared them on herself - thankfully unloading them all on her first born and leaving the next two the agreeable genes.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I see what you did there. Very clever. It doesn’t answer my question though does it?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’ll tick no on the box that says ‘AMENABLE TO DEFLECTION’ shall I? Fine! I may have slipped a sneaky text off to myself at one point when your phone was unlocked and not on your person. And now I’m forced to reassess my beliefs on my level of creep. AND also point out that you did not answer mine either?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

And now I need to change which box I ticked for that particular point too don’t I? I was curious how you meant to contact me if you were actually serious. Not a move I expected at all. So points for creativity that will be deducted again for creep value. What do you mean by stepping out in public?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’m not much of a liar Stark. I meant it when I said I was boarding that train with you. SO? Dinner? My treat? And I promise not to go ‘all Lannister’ on you. Something simple - maybe one of those hippy walk in eateries down in your fancy ‘new’ neighbourhood? Just nowhere vegan. I draw the line at meat substitutes and man buns.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

And yet you’ve such lovely long golden locks? For shame! To clarify? I like it out. Makes it easier to pull and grab handfuls of it. A DATE? Dinner sounds good - should we actually cause another scene so quickly though? I’m exhausted from the last one - and my lack of sleep!

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Yes. A date Sansa. And then you may pull my hair if you want. You WILL need something to hold onto when I bury my face between those sexy legs. I will even let you sleep between rounds just as I did last night my little drama queen! And everyone else can kiss my ass beautiful. I don’t care what they think.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Oh Lannister! Such romance! You had me at ‘you may pull my hair’. But I object to being called a drama queen! I thought I held my cool in the face of the DRAMA around us rather well actually? It wasn’t ME pinning people to walls.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I can be romantic little one. If that’s what you want? And if that’s what gets your perfect little body on my cock again? I stand by my knight in shining armour routine thanks very much. Your brother is a dick.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

He was today, yes. I won’t defend him to you YET. And you do make for a handsome knight - especially in those sexy tight, black boxer briefs and nothing else. Dinner and another sleepover huh? Then what?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I COULD have been naked, but I was saving your sensibilities too. Maybe don’t defend him to me for some time yet hmm? I’ll return the favour - though I do appreciate that my own sibling (and her evil spawn) are a whole different level of hateful family members. So there will never come a time where I defend them, especially to you.... More dinners and more sleepovers? Many stations to pull up at before the end of the line Stark. We can talk?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Saving MY sensibilities? And here I thought I proved just how much I approve of your being naked in my presence? I’ll try harder to make that clear. And I’ll thank you for that. No need to ruin our amicability over your darling sister and HIM. Are you implying that we DATE THE ENEMY here Lannister?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Enemies? And here I thought we were in Sweden? Switzerland? WHERE? Doesn’t matter! Conflict free zone! I am implying that the sexy little redhead I went home with last night and spent the better part of it inside of, agrees to figure out what those pesky little feelings hiding behind curious looks and intimate touches mean, actually? The sex was incredible. But it’s the stuff underneath I’m curious about little one.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’d have thought a ‘washed up old soldier’/actual war hero would understand the reference actually? Are you saying you LIKE ME JAIME LANNISTER?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You just like to toy with me don’t you Sansa Stark. Yes. I do like you.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I told you already! Wolves don’t play with their prey! Pick me up at seven and we will take a walk and see what we can find? Maybe a microbrewery with a pizza menu? There’s one around the corner that’s pretty good?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Be still my beating heart woman! Pizza and beer? Where have you been all my life?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’ve only been alive for the second half of it? And for a good eighteen years after that THIS would have been entirely inappropriate! Also? I know right? Sexy, romantic, first date material right there!

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Such a vicious little thing my girl is! Knows how to keep a man humble!

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’m just keeping my cocky, arrogant Lannister grounded. Be gone with you pest! I’ve a date soon and I need to wash my lover off my body so he can dirty me up again later.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Such a statement is only sexy because said lover is me. Heads up too by the way? We were reckless last night. I’m clean and I know it. Plus I don’t share. But for the sake of being SMART? Should I be employing the use of uncomfortable and desensitising latex? Also? I don’t NORMALLY go without. EVER.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I don’t make it a habit to pick up dirty old men in dingy bars Lannister. I’m clean as a whistle and protected from accidentally procreating already. But it’s up to you. You never go without protection? Why did you with me?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Clean forgot, if I’m honest! But you felt incredible and I don’t really want to bother after knowing how good you feel with nothing between us. Especially if I don’t actually HAVE to.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You don’t have to. But become that .3% GIVER and we will have problems.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Don’t knock you up. Got it. Don’t forget it and don’t forget to tell me if you’ve had something that could interfere with it. You’d look good with a belly full of my babies though. IMAGINE THAT SHIT FIGHT? I’d be a dead man? But my Gods it’d be worth it.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

GODS! One night of revenge induced sex and plans for an actual first date, and we are already discussing birth control and potential unplanned pregnancy? We are going this ALL WRONG Lannister. Enough about THAT! Or I’ll change my mind about added protection of the latex variety. Now go and blow dry your hair or something. I need to get ready.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Is it unplanned still if it’s discussed like this? Also? We both know the revenge plot burned out long before we got to the actual sex.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You aren’t funny. But yes... I do know that Jaime. Seriously? I’m going to shower.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You do realise that you could have just not replied at any point there right?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Anybody ever tell you that you’re a pain in the ass Lannister?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Aren’t YOU glad I looked up before I sent you packing now Stark? And if I remember correctly? You quite like it when you ass and pain is involved?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I see what you did there. Very clever. I’ll see you soon.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You will beautiful.

 

 

Chapter Text

A part of her felt guilty. An even bigger part of her felt guilty about not really feeling as guilty as she felt like she probably should. It was always the way for her, when she lashed out over the way her family made her feel - namely her Mother of course... She’d feel like she SHOULD feel bad, for causing more trouble. Even if she only did it because she wanted to be seen and heard. Perhaps that was dramatic. But it was true.

 

And it certainly didn’t apply to ALL of her family. But it was sometimes easy to forget that her sister had her back for the most part. Understanding and getting angry on her behalf whenever she did lash out, because she could see why she did it herself. But Arya didn’t have to deal with the same restrictions as such either. As she had told her brother, their Father had let Arya go to Braavos to finish school, when she hadn’t even been allowed to go home. So to a point, as much as she had her back, it felt more like it was purely for entertainment value - even if she knew it wasn’t. She had grown so much when she came home from Braavos for good, that they were genuinely close now. And she WAS grateful. She just sometimes forgot that she would be there for her too.

 

And then there was Jon. If anyone should truly understand about just not measuring up to Catelyn Starks extreme standards of expectations? It was her cousin. He had quite simply - never been good enough. She was never cruel or neglectful or anything quite so obvious, but she made the distinction between his being their cousin and not their brother just a little bit too strongly. She had even inadvertently made sure that distinction was kept as a small child too - because her mother didn’t like it that to all of them, Jon was just their other older brother. And she didn’t want to upset her mother either. Now that she was an adult she could see it for what it was though. Jon had only been a little boy, it wasn’t his fault that his parents were killed in that car accident, leaving him alone in the world and in need of his Uncles family, and it certainly wasn’t his fault that they had been having an affair when Uncle Rhaegars first wife was dying of cancer either! And she and Jon were close now because she understood that. Because he had been the strong, silent big brother who found her crying on more than one occasion when her mothers judgemental words had cut just a little too deeply. He never said anything, understanding that she wouldn’t appreciate it. He just held her; or sat with her, until she felt better.

 

It was disingenuous of her to think SO poorly of her mother over that! She hadn’t been awful to him, she had welcomed him into their home and raised him. He WAS part of the family and her mother understood that. He was just a nephew, not a son and his being the elder, more Stark like child than Robb, didn’t help. But she didn’t NOT love him, there was just a level of jealousy there that led to distance.

 

Robb SHOULD understand. The impossible standards applied to him too. But he had blinders on, and the only time he had ever come close to challenging the status quo, was when their mother had taken such a dislike to his NOW wife. She had been proud of him for that. For holding his ground and following his heart. She wasn’t proud of him at the moment though. He had been potentially even more vile and outright cruel, in his reactions to her antics than their mother would have been. The things he had said had ripped her apart inside. But she had been forced to keep it together so that Jaime didn’t beat the ever living hells out of him - like he clearly wanted to, for it.

 

It was just one of the many reasons that she didn’t feel nearly as much guilt as she thought she probably should. The impulsivity to lash out, had led to SOMETHING. And YES, it was something that she shouldn’t have let go so far, and she really SHOULD NOT let it go even further still. She had been honest with her Father about that. She did understand that any further interactions with Jaime Lannister would only exacerbate already fraught tensions. Her parents didn’t like him, his sister and her son hated her, there was around twenty years between them in age, and there was that unspoken truth about unfriendliness between her family and his. Plus her ‘break up’ with Joffrey had caused enough drama with the parts of their families that once were amicable, already.

 

But there WAS something there. And it was something that she hadn’t experienced with anyone else. He made her feel special. Safe and almost cherished. And he liked HER for HER. Just as she liked him, and the way he laughed and made her laugh too. Sure! It had all started as some petty, childish, alcohol fueled rebellion for them both! But it was rather clear that it had stopped being about that - or at least JUST that, moments after she posted that picture of them. It definitely stopped being about that when he pulled her close and kissed her almost desperately after she had him roaring with laughter. She didn’t even remember what she had said to make him laugh so hard and pull her into his arms as he did. But she did remember the surprise over his heated look mere microseconds before his lips were on hers. And it had most definitely stopped being about that when their drunken, fumbled, extremely passionate sex had taken a rather more sensual, affectionate turn.

 

She felt like she should feel guilty, and the small part of her that did, only did so because of the resignation in her Fathers tired voice. The reason she couldn’t actually let herself succumb to her guilt over not feeling guilty, was Jaime Lannister. AND herself. He had said it so plainly, as though it was the single most obvious thing in the world. Her family had gone mad - far beyond her predictions mad, at that! All because she had made a personal choice as a grown woman. It wasn’t up to anyone BUT HER who she developed a relationship with, no matter the potential feelings or reasons behind said relationship. And she LIKED Jaime. She really liked him. And consequences be damned! She needed to know where it could go. Because for the first time in her life, someone had noticed her for HER - even if, technically, he noticed her for WHO she was initially, just as she did him. But he wouldn’t have stuck around and he wouldn’t have ‘protected’ her from her brother and even attempted to be amicable once things calmed down, nor would he have blatantly stated that he wanted MORE, after the ridiculously unexpected dramas that they had caused, if it was ONLY about their little rebellion.

 

Any lingering guilt or guilt of not feeling guilty disappeared completely, the moment she opened the door to the man himself, just before seven o’clock. He stepped straight in the door, kissed her nose and sauntered off to put the bottle of wine he had tucked in his arm on the kitchen counter, before dropping the overnight bag he had in his other on the blanket box at the end of her bed. It was presumptuous as all get out. But it was also strangely endearing and so adorably practical. “Moving in are we?” She grinned as she watched him make himself even more at home than he had that morning, and crossed her arms over her chest with a brow cocked in challenge as he smirked and sauntered right back over to stand directly in front of her. His hands, both real and bionic, finding their way to her hips to drag her closer to himself. “Settle down Stark. Just preemptive measures. I dislike using other people’s toothbrushes to start with, even more so than simply not brushing my teeth as I did this morning. Plus! I’ll have clean and NOT DAMAGED clothes in the event that you rip my shirt again.” She blushed softly and rolled her eyes at his stupid handsome face and the stupid pleased grin on it too. “It was ONE button!”

 

“And a very expensive shirt. But it’s also rather easily replaced, even more so if I have an extra right here on hand for next time. Besides? It’ll be far more comfortable, when we are lounging around all day tomorrow, avoiding the media and our rather intrusive families, and actually TALKING! If I can do so in lounging clothes! I could do that naked I suppose? But we won’t get much talking done if I do. Even less so if you are either naked or wearing only my shirt again too!” She sighed softly and shook her head at his apparently well thought out and maybe even practiced arguments. She loosened her crossed arms and wrapped them around his neck, inviting herself to be just as presumptuous about touching him, as he was being about touching her. She was not about to tell him that she liked his high handed arrogance - in THIS situation. Because he was already so full of himself as it was. “And here I was thinking that that was the purpose of an actual DATE? To TALK - get to know a person.”

 

The feel of his hands dragging rather lazily around her lower back to pull her closer still, was enough to set a fire under her skin. “Mmm. True enough. But my theory is - that we can talk about all those little ‘get to know you’ topics over beer and pizza. Pretend that we are just normal people. THEN! We can have incredible, mind blowing sex all night again! And we can actually go over the.... Awkward and uncomfortable parts because of WHO we are tomorrow.” She smiled against his lips as he leaned in and pressed a soft, lingering kiss to her own. She liked that. From what she could gather so far? Jaime Lannister was a big fan of kissing. Of simply showing his underlying feelings, with small gestures. And she was a big fan of such things too. She had never DATED anyone who enjoyed those little moments, like she WANTED to herself. “Alright. I’ll give you this one Lannister. But before we do go and find pizza and beer - or whatever you want for dinner? How DID your family react?” He groaned dramatically and flopped his head back to look up at the ceiling. Clearly not wanting to go into it and making her rather more uncomfortable about asking because of it.

 

“Don’t be surprised if my Father does something incredibly intrusive, like having your finances checked or something. SOMEBODY swindled him out of hush money at one point and he’s paranoid about your motives. But he will hold back any demands or whatever until he decides if he can trust your intentions aren’t to cripple us. Or something equally as ridiculous and paranoid! He does want to meet with you in coming days too - but don’t stress about that. I’ll put him off. Tyrion thinks we are hilarious and is completely supportive of us actually dating AND getting our little bout of revenge. And I haven’t spoken to my sister - nor do I plan on doing so, because like YOUR MOTHER? She is a narcissistic bitch who likely thinks this is all a strike at her and her son and HER inheritance. So she can get fucked. Preferably by someone who will share yet another venereal disease with her. So can Joff. THEY have been sent to The Stormlands on my Fathers orders for now anyway, so they don’t cause dramas.”

 

She should be offended on her mother’s behalf for his calling her a narcissistic bitch. She SHOULD be offended for women in general for his rather disgusting thoughts and assumptions and jokes about his sisters sex life. AND she should be highly disturbed by his resentment. But truthfully? She just found it funny. So she laughed. She shouldn’t have, because the reality was that their families were pretty screwed up and they were pretty screwed up because of it too. But it was what it was too. “Well if it helps? I won’t actually mind meeting with your Father at some point. I’ve got nothing to hide. Though I might just have something to say about it if he does run financials and a background check or whatever. And my sister is apparently rather firmly ‘TEAM SANSA’ too. So a couple of siblings is a start right? I mean.... If we are.... Whatever.” She blushed slightly at his VERY amused humming and tugged his hair just because she could. He stole a quick kiss in retaliation and she could do nothing but laugh softly at his antics. “They won’t all come around Sansa. Which is WHY we do need to talk about it. And just so you aren’t stuck in some confused limbo? I want to see where the train actually stops. IF it stops. Do you understand?” She let out a slow breath and studied his eyes. He wasn’t HIDING anything from her. He was genuinely interested in pursuing an actual relationship with her. And for as nerve wracking and disorienting as it was? She wanted that too.

 

“Consequences be damned?” He grinned wickedly against her lips and hummed in affirmation and agreement. “I don’t give a shit what any of them think sweetheart. They can kiss my ass - or tear each other apart for all I care. My Father has been pushing me to settle down for years anyway. Besides, he pissed me off - and not that arguments are particularly rare between my sister and I these days? But she pushed a little bit too far recently too. And no offence? But I’ve never cared what your family thought OR wanted. And in regards to THIS? I’ll only care about any potential effects it and they have on YOU.” She bit her lip and nodded, pulling him in close so she could kiss him properly. Boldly clinging to that proud, cocky woman who had drawn his attention initially. Nipping at his lip playfully and licking into his mouth, making him groan and squeeze her in those fantastically strong arms.

 

“Keep kissing me like that beautiful? And we aren’t going anywhere tonight. Come on. Dinner.”

“We could order in instead?”

“We could? But I’m not HIDING.” She smiled softly and nodded. More than just a little bit happy that he was so determined. After talking to her Father, she had been almost tempted to step back - even though she REALLY didn’t want to. So it helped to have him take the lead a little there. She let out a shuddering breath and actually hugged him. Seeking comfort and strength too. If they meant to take this into a potential full blown relationship? It would cause far more drama than they had already, simply by sleeping together. She hoped it was worth it.

 

“Pizza. Beer. Copious amounts of mind blowing sex. Come on little wolf. It’s our first DATE.” She snorted a laugh and pulled back to see the cocky grin on his stupid handsome face. The cocky grin that was doing a terrible job of hiding his vulnerable, underlying tone. “Well alright? But if the sex isn’t AT least on par with last night? I’m just not sure we will make a second date Lannister!” He tipped his head back and laughed happily, and held tight so she couldn’t step back away from him as he did. “I love a challenge little one. I am willing and prepared AND most importantly? CAPABLE, of doing exactly that. Perhaps even exceeding expectations there, especially if it means you will entertain the idea of MORE DATES.”

“Just for future reference? Are you planning on packing an overnight bag if I DO agree to more dates?”

“It’s likely I’ll pack an overnight bag when I’m just popping in to visit at times too. Maybe I’ll just start leaving stuff here too. Who knows.” She smiled softly and nodded. She SHOULD be affronted by his presumptions. She was not.

 

Her heart thudding rather nicely in her chest as his cheek turned soft and silently telling, as he tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and thumbed at her jaw. “You with me Baby?” She swallowed hard and studied his eyes quietly. He was nervous. Likely just as nervous as she was, if his eyes were telling the actual truth. But he had said that he wasn’t a liar, and she didn’t think it possible to fake the sorts of emotions that he was showing her either. His whispered words were asking a hell of a lot more than merely whether she was ready to head out for dinner. The hilariously inappropriate - given their age gap - endearment telling her that much, VERY clearly. And it was as terrifying as it was exciting. “I’m with you.” She was absolutely ready to be his Baby, and let the world burn around them. Mad as it was full stop, let alone after little more than a drunken ‘one night stand’.

Chapter Text

“What’s your favourite colour?” He snorted a laugh and simply stared at her, the bottle of pale ale swaying slightly in his fingers where he had been lifting it back towards his mouth. He wasn’t actually sure if she was being serious, or if she was taking the piss out of him again. Either was entirely possible with his little wolf, and honestly? It WAS part of the draw with her. She was a combination of adorably innocent sweetness, and hilarious sass and snark. “White.” He grinned around the bottle as he finally shook off his confusion and took his sip, whilst she let out a startled laugh. “Liar.” He scoffed dramatically and narrowed his eyes, feigning affront. “Don’t judge! It’s clean, it’s clinical and it shows up every possible flaw or curious reaction, and it contrasts nicely with the tiniest of coloured details. A smudge on a white wall perhaps? A red flower in a vase maybe? Or a rather telling flush under porcelain WHITE skin for example.” He run a teasing finger down her cheek and then laughed happily at her groaning and swatting at him. “Freckles. Imperfections I suppose.” He snorted rudely and rolled his eyes as she pointed to the constellations that danced across the skin of her shoulder and upper arm. “Mmm. No. Tiny details.” He bit his lip and run his knuckle over them. “Alright Casanova. Seriously! I want to know!”

 

“What the fuck is a Casanova?” She blinked at him stupidly for a moment, at least until he grinned and gave himself away. Then she slapped at him again and let out a huff of laughter that was just too intoxicating to his senses. “Idiot. Tell me your favourite colour?” He groaned again and shook his head. She was adorable. And sexy. Very sexy. Especially when she laughed and relaxed. “I don’t know? Probably red? What’s yours?”

“Predictable Lannister! Mines baby blue. And yes that’s important. How else am I to predict lingerie that will have your eyes falling out? I mean? Black is the obvious choice of course... But it’s so cliched and I have to be careful with my WHITE skin too.” He sucked at his beer bottle slowly in a bid to NOT choke as he studied her cocky grin. Their pizzas hadn’t actually made it to the table yet, so he supposed it would be frowned upon to haul her over his shoulder and lug her back to her apartment JUST YET. It would also be frowned upon if he were to lay her over the said empty table and take her like at least one part of him was rather convinced he should. He swallowed slowly and licked his lips as he lowered his bottle once more and looked her over. There was no hiding the heat in his eyes either. He wanted her to feel that he was imagining exactly what she had tried to taunt him with. TRIED? As if that mark didn’t hit him fair in the trousers!

 

“You choose whatever colour you want little wolf. I’m happy to collect panties in every possible colour there is. Hey? I’m even happy to pay for THAT. On the condition that I get to peel them off your frankly mind fracturing body, before I stash them in my pocket like a tiny, Lacey trophies.” He waggled his eyes brows and then laughed heartily at her embarrassed flush and giggle. “That’s so disturbing.”

“I think you meant to say sexy, so I’m going to go with that. Besides? I lost my dominant hand beautiful? The robot replacement is functional for MOST things? But added assistance in SOME AREAS never hurts.” She damned near had beer come out her nose! And he couldn’t do anything but roar with laughter as she choked and almost spat it out all over the table, and then shrieked with laughter herself and slapped at his shoulder in reprimand. “I can’t believe you just said that! Since when is THAT sort of information, appropriate first date material Lannister?” He shrugged nonchalantly and leaned back in his seat to watch her wipe at her still giggling mouth with a napkin, clearly wiping away any and all spillages. Gods she was a fucking beauty. “I’m pretty rusty Stark. I don’t even remember the last time I actually went on a date if I’m honest?”

 

“Seriously?” He shrugged carelessly. She didn’t really NEED to know that he didn’t DATE as a general rule. Though truthfully? His lack of appearance in tabloids should probably give her that information anyway. It was pretty common knowledge that he was a career bachelor. He wasn’t of course, he just didn’t make his dalliances known as a general rule. Mainly to protect himself and any lovers from his sisters mad jealousy over his gifting his attention to someone other than her. She had scared enough off when they were younger for him to just not bother risking it. “Been single long? If you don’t date? I mean... Have you had many relationships? Is there some crazy ex I might have to deal with one day, on top of EVERYTHING ELSE? You already know I have at least one of those, and another who was a giant ass too?” He snorted rudely and shook his head, lifting his real hand to rest on the back of her seat beside him. The temptation to toy with the tiny loose curls that had pulled free from her side braid, around her nape just too much for him. “No exes to worry about, no. I mean I have them. Really only one that I would say was actually a GIRLFRIEND though? Even that’s a pretty loose term I guess? She was a fellow soldier and it was very much left behind in the deserts on the far side of Essos. We are still friends though, and I actually think you’d really like her. But otherwise? The only one you need worry over is Cers.”

 

“Did you just call your psychotic sister, an EX?” It was him choking on and spraying his beer this time! And blinking at her in wide eyed shock, whilst she tried to not laugh at him. He could think of nothing more horrifying than fucking his sister. She had kissed him as a kid, purely experimentally on HIS part - and he kind of hoped it was on hers too, because any other thought was just far too disturbing to comprehend. Especially when there had been times that she had made him uncomfortable in that vein too. Getting TOO close, pressing her breasts against him almost, whispering at him, touching him in a way that a sister probably shouldn’t touch her brother at all - ever! He shuddered lightly and shook his head at her, masking just how awkward her joke had made him feel. “You’re HILARIOUS. I meant she is the only JEALOUS person you ever needs worry about in my life. And she IS crazy, and you ARE aware of it, she doesn’t tend to like me having anyone in my life who might compete with her for my attention see. I was a little older than you when I stopped letting certain, controlling people dictate my love life Stark. But I do actually KNOW that feeling rather well too.” He cleared his throat and waited as she processed silently. Studying him and unconsciously picking at the label of her beer bottle in a weirdly telling, anxious manner. “I remember thinking it weird, how she spoke about you sometimes. And how awful she was to you, when you came back after you lost your hand.”

 

He hummed in affirmation and bowed his head. They had taken a rather serious left turn apparently. And now he wasn’t at all comfortable. He liked her. But he wasn’t exactly ready to delve THAT deep yet. If he ever would be. “Mmm. As I said. She’s crazy. And you are already WELL AWARE of that. You know? She actually threatened to shove my first girlfriend in a well. We were only kids, so of course, poor Mel was terrified that she would actually do it. I didn’t know that’s why she broke my poor little ten year old heart either! Not till we were in high school and we had a bit of a laugh over it. But she WAS my sister and my best friend so? Anyway.” He smiled ruefully at her disgusted and sad look, and at the way she shook her head. It felt nice to have someone understand just how fucked up that was. To have someone other than Tyrion get angry and even hurt on his behalf.

 

And then she shrugged and grinned impishly at him, leaning over his lazed form slightly to nudge his nose with her own. “Pretty sure I told you once already that your sister doesn’t scare me Lannister. She can threaten me with a WELL all she likes. I’ll enjoy laughing in her face for it. She will need to do a little better than that to scare me off.” He grinned wickedly and lifted his hand to the back of her head to hold her close as he nipped at her lip and stole a quick peck. “Win my Father over Stark? And such threats will have her cut off financially until she starts behaving - at the very least. I’m not exactly one for violence against women, as you know? So unlike your brother? I can’t exactly pin her to a wall or threaten to break her face open for threatening you. But money? Money and power are the keys to hurting her anyway.”

 

The clearing of a very clearly uncomfortable and amused throat drew them apart - only AFTER he stole another kiss, thank you very much! But their food was actually ready apparently, and they were making a scene AGAIN. He didn’t let her go completely though, he merely let her pull back and rested his hand back on the back of her chair as she smiled sweetly and thanked their smiling and blushing server, quietly. He was pretty grateful for the interruption in truth. The temptation to either make a REAL scene either by getting TOO friendly right there, or actually toss her incredible body over his shoulder and carry her back to her apartment in truth, was getting to be just a little too much. “Smile handsome! Actually...” He cocked a brow as she lifted a slice of pizza and held it out to him in silent instruction. “Food Jaime! Take it! It’s hot!” He chuckled darkly and held his false hand out to take the frankly delicious looking slice of cheesy goodness. Being HOT would hardly bother the thing, and the ‘pain’ he felt stimulated up his arm from the sensors was an entirely different sensation anyway. And then he huffed a small, slightly amused, slightly exasperated laugh and waited until she had her phone positioned just how she wanted and then leaned in and bit her piece instead, startling her into laughing happily again. Not enough to have her STOP taking photos like he had actually intended though. Even if it was a little bit adorable that she wanted to take more photos of them together. He had been happy enough to save a copy of their first photo earlier in the day, after all. And he would do the same with that one too, if it was worth it. But he could still act put out about it too.

 

He rolled his eyes at her excited grin when she held her phone out to him to see what shit storm she had decided to cause this time! Not that he minded of course! That HAD been their original game. But it wasn’t ABOUT causing more drama now either. At least it wasn’t for him, and he desperately hope it wasn’t for her either. It didn’t feel like it was. But still, he wasn’t entirely certain of it just yet either. - It was yet another really good picture of them, looking incredibly like a playful, loving couple. They were both rather attractive people. There was no denying it. It was simply the truth of it. But just like the very first one? He was biting at her - in this case her pizza, rather than her ear! And in both, she was laughing, and looking so very carefree. And they did look... Just happy to be together. To be enjoying each other’s company. And it had a curious effect of his ridiculous heart too. The stupid thing thudding quite happily inside of his chest.

 

 

Questionable whiskey last night? Beer and pizza tonight? My man definitely knows his way to a girls heart huh? #astarkandalannisterwalkintoapizzeriaandbrewery #hungrylion #hejustwantstobitemeiswear #datenightwithhandsomehere

 

 

“YOUR man huh?” He grinned at her careless shrug, that did absolutely nothing to hide the sheepish smile behind the slice of pizza, or the soft blush on her gorgeous face either. “Fairs fair Lannister. You want me to be YOUR BABY? You have to concede being my man. Simple.” He huffed a breathy laugh and nodded, sliding her phone back onto the table without a word and leaning in to kiss her perfect lips softly, completely uncaring about the food she was presently chewing behind them. And MORE than happy to take on the role she just gave him. “I’ll happily concede to that BABY. But you do realise that you basically just told the world that we are actually TOGETHER?” He grinned at her squeaking protest and awkwardly harsh swallows and pulled back to hand her the fresh bottle of beer that had been delivered just after the pizzas, so she might wash it down before she choked completely.

 

“I’m sorry?” He couldn’t help but snicker at her scrunched up nose and hilariously embarrassed look. That was precisely why he had pointed it out - to get a reaction! And it was so worth it too. He hardly cared. Far as he was concerned? That detail had become a reality the moment she agreed that she was ‘with him’ in her apartment earlier. He might not have announced it quite so - though he also probably WOULD have encouraged her to, when she was ready to too. Her doing so already, without his needing to prompt such a decision, just pleased him actually. “Don’t be. I’m more than happy if you want the world to know it Sansa. I DID say that I wasn’t hiding. I meant it. I was just surprised that you would so obviously court more of today’s drama already.” She shrugged carelessly and lifted her pizza again, narrowing her eyes at his own untouched piece, still resting in his hand, in silent command, making him laugh quietly. “Yes well. Much as I DID agree with my Father that I would attempt to behave and lay low for a bit if I meant to actually pursue a relationship with you? To avoid that exact thing? I also just want to enjoy being with you too. If they can all kiss your ass Lannister? They can kiss mine too!” He grinned wickedly and kissed her nose before lazing back and taking a bite of the slice of pizza finally. She was beautiful, and strong and ALL his apparently. No one would be actually kissing her perfect ass but him though. He WAS curious about what she meant by her Father asking her to behave and lay low if she meant to pursue a relationship with him though? Not enough for him to bother asking just at the moment, of course. But enough that it had him wondering if Ned Stark was at least more reasonable about interfering with his daughters choices than his batshit crazy wife?

 

He smiled happily and met her stunning eyes over their food and cocked a brow in question. “What’s your favourite movie?” And then he laughed. She was taking the whole ‘get to know you’ schtick and running with it apparently. But it was rather endearing too. “Guess.” She narrowed her eyes playfully and cocked her head to study him, clearly pretending to think it over. “Saving Private Ryan - or Black Hawk Down.... OH! Indecent proposal!” He scoffed rudely at her, more than just a little bit amused by her ‘guesses’. She was a cheeky thing. “I don’t know if I’m offended by that or impressed Stark! Are you calling me a cliche? Rich boy? Soldier?”

“OH I HAVE IT! LOLITA!”

“OUCH! Anyone ever tell you you’re a vicious little woman Stark!” Her JOKE wasn’t actually funny, but her amusement with it definitely was. The cheeky little thing. She’d pay for that one later. He didn’t really care though. It actually felt rather good that she was comfortable enough with him, trusting enough of his own reactions to be comfortable picking on him. “Someone DID actually mention that recently, yes. Luckily for me? He likes my claws and teeth.” He hummed in amusement at her coy delivery and reached up to tip her chin so he could press a hard kiss to her perfect, cocky little grin. “He does, yes. Doesn’t mean he isn’t going to spank that perfect round ass for such lip later, little one.”

“And I’m completely agreeable to that too.”

“I like you Stark.”

“I like you too Lannister.”

Chapter Text

“Favourite thing to eat?” He groaned dramatically at her still insisting on asking him every possible thing she could think of, and bit the lovely, delicate arch of her long neck roughly. It would leave a bloody mark and she deserved it, the cheeky thing! She laughed happily and pulled his hair, making him growl. Good Gods she was a delight. “You know? I have actually come to a conclusion on my favourite movie!” He grinned wickedly and licked a long, wet line all the way from her collarbone to her ear and nibbled at her lobe before sucking it into his mouth. “What’s that?” He snickered at her breathless whisper and rocked himself against her again and earned himself a soft moan. “The little mermaid. Because the sexy little redhead can’t talk until the very end.” He grunted and then laughed uproariously at her offended huff and yet another tug on his poor hair. He pulled back and grinned wickedly down at her. “And then she SINGS! SO! Hush beautiful and I will SHOW you what my current favourite thing to eat is and we will see if I can’t make my girl sing for me as I do hmm?” The way she laughed made his ridiculous participation in her game so very worth it.

 

“How do you know I am your favourite thing to EAT? You’ve not tasted ALL of me yet!” He rolled his eyes in faux exasperation and bit her chin in reprimand and stole yet another kiss. Gods he loved kissing this girl. “I’m working on it Stark! But SOMEONE keeps distracting me from the matter at hand!”

“Oh! Then? By all means - carry on.” He snorted a laugh at her faux nonchalance and her waving a hand in indication of her spectacular body, pinned to the bed under his own, still MOSTLY clothed. “You do realise that I am now obligated to taste every single inch of you? Hmm? By the time I’m done with you tonight BABY? You will be completely wrung out.” Her blush was quite simply? Adorable. But he meant it too. He wasn’t one to give false words. He was going to lick and suck and bite at every single stretch of her flawless skin. He was going to have her sobbing in desperation and begging him for release before he turned his mouth on her sopping folds.

 

“EVERY inch?” He hummed in affirmation and lifted slightly to better hold his weight over her and pressed his lips to the corner of her forehead. “EVERYWHERE.” He dragged his mouth across her hair line gently. “Around Your face?” He made quick work of trailing down across her forehead and those perfect red arches and her eye lids, and he bit the tip of her nose before pressing a lingering kiss to it and moving on to her cheekbones and jaw and around her ears. “This beautiful long neck? I’ll pay special attention to these fabulous tits.” He rubbed his hand over both fantastic mounds lazily. “I might even suckle at those for quite some time, leave my marks ALL over them. Your belly? Thighs? Gods I’ll lose an hour on those beauties alone! Your perfect ass? I’ll slap it until it’s as red as your hair first and then soothe it with my tongue all over AND IN BETWEEN! Even your toes won’t be safe. As I unwrap you like the magnificent gift you are? I’m going to feast on every new discovery.” He had already worked his mouth over her ears and neck and collarbones, punctuating his words with nips and licks and the odd suck. She’s be COVERED in his marks when he was done.

 

Just the thought of doing exactly as he had said had him harder than he had ever been - without a lot more physical stimulation at any rate. He had never had all that much interest in worshipping his lovers so very much. He was happy enough to FEAST on them. He was a BIG fan of receiving oral sex, so he certainly wasn’t one to hold out in the giving of it. But he wasn’t really one to hold back the inevitable conclusion either. Such things were really just a prelude to the main event in his mind. Yet already? He was making his ‘promise’ the main event of the evening. Honestly? He be more than happy with jerking himself off once he had her a boneless mess. And THAT was an entirely new and confounding realisation. “Jaime? Gods! Clothes? We are wearing too many. I want you.” He hummed in amusement at her soft moaning whine and tugged her soft, flimsy top down and out of his way as he mouthed at her BLACK lace clad chest under it. He twirled his tongue around her hard nipple and suckled it, just as he threatened, through the soft covering. “Patience little wolf. I can drag this out all night.” He snickered at her huffing and whining and at her clawing at his scalp pointedly. He bit the flesh of her perky mound in silent reprimand and grin as she growled at him for it. “Behave Sweetheart. Be a good girl? And I’ll give you what you want.”

 

“Gods! Should I call you DADDY too?” He growled and popped up over her, more than a little amused at her sarcasm. Far more aroused by the idea of her actually doing that, than he was comfortable admitting. And so was she if the curious light in her eyes was any indication. “You can call me whatever you want Sansa. I’m personally a BIG fan of hearing you cry my name though. Just so you know. I’m not adverse to GAMES either though.” He smiled softly against her lips as she tugged him down to her to feast and take her frustrations out of his lips and tongue apparently. “I’m going to die of frustration if you don’t get inside me right NOW Lannister. Is that what you want?” He barked a surprised laugh at her low growl and hugged her tight, because honestly? That was just too funny. “No you won’t beautiful. Trust me? It’ll be worth the wait.” She pouted and hells if it didn’t tempt him to give in! She was so fucking beautiful, that it was actually pretty insulting if he was being completely honest! “Do you promise DADDY?” He groaned and bucked at her, taunting her and him both with just a touch. A dragging rub of his length against where her heat was hiding behind the tight, restricting denim of her skinny jeans. That really SHOULDN’T be arousing. He had never felt the need to have a lover call him that before! And their circumstances didn’t exactly lend to such a thing being a good idea... But fuck, he really did NOT care about that anyway. He wasn’t going to object out of some ridiculous moral compass that he didn’t even have in regards to that. Plus he had heard from Tyrion that kink shaming was seriously frowned upon. “I promise you baby girl. Be a good, patient girl and I’ll make it so worth it for you.” He grinned at her sheepish look and her soft blush.

 

“That is actually pretty hot.”

“Apparently it is. I didn’t know that either. Now hush woman! This is NOT getting my tongue in your ass.”

“JAIME!”

“Mmm. Yes, I believe that’s exactly what I want to hear you shrieking! Not yet though! I’m not even ‘touching’ you yet!”

“OH MY GODS! Yo-“

“That too! You can cry that out too! But I said not yet!” He laughed uproariously and pinned her hands quickly so she couldn’t slap at him. That was fun! THAT was the difference between her and every other lover he’d ever had. It wasn’t just about sex - the end result. He enjoyed HER. Making her laugh? Earning a genuine smile? She had this incredible wit that he hadn’t expected from who he THOUGHT she was once upon a time, but was the first thing that drew him to her. He LIKED her. And he wanted more from her. And he really did not give a shit if the whole world took issue with him for it.

 

 

——————

 

 

He gave into her pleas LONG before he was finished! He managed only the ‘front’ of her body before she was shuddering uncontrollably and begging him. And Gods didn’t it feel incredible to have such a gloriously beautiful woman want him THAT much. And he was not at all too proud to admit that he turned his robot hand on himself and stroked lazily as his lips finally descended on her arousal slicked thighs and the positively drenched trimmed red curls, and swollen, pink folds. He barely even finished a single swipe of his tongue over her before she was trying to scalp him and screaming herself hoarse, his fingers dancing and rubbing her whole cleft as she let go. He barely managed to keep himself from exploding because of it too. But by the Gods when he crawled over her sweaty, flushed and gloriously spent form and wrapped her jelly legs around himself, to push into her with a single, firm stroke? It was absolutely worth holding off. He had NEVER been so turned on in his life. NEVER had a lover felt so fucking perfect around him. NEVER had a breathy, begging whine of his name sounded so fucking good. He held her sparkling eyes and took her, with slow, deep thrusts, rolling his hips and almost flicking them in a bid to get just a little deeper once fully settled inside of her tight, soft walls, over and over and over until she cried out and clamped down around him, as her pretty little perfect cunt spasmed all over again with a second, drawn out, magnificent orgasm, that he could feel every single moment of, dragging him down with her and milking him of every single drop he had. And it hit him like a blow to the head. THAT had NOT been JUST sex. It certainly wasn’t ‘fucking’. That was something else entirely. The petting and kissing, gentle hands and soft eyes and shared breaths? He had fucking made love to her! AFTER WORSHIPPING HER BODY until she could take no more? And he couldn’t seem to find sufficient motivation to feel uncomfortable or WRONG in anyway, for having done so. It was simply the single best moment in his life. Which was confronting.

 

 

Chapter Text

He found his wife slamming clothes into the suitcase laying open on his bed. Which told him likely FAR MORE than either his daughters obnoxious eye roll and nod towards the stairs, or the wincing and scattering of his younger sons, OR the frustrated, and guilt ridden combination screwing up his eldest sons face, and the straight up anger on his daughter in laws, possibly could. Apparently his little lady had done something else to push her mother over the edge she was barely clinging to. Or HE had. It was entirely possible. The woman hadn’t spoken a word to him since he told her to back off and let Sansa make her choices, lest they lose her for good. It hadn’t gone down well. Worse even, than his metaphorically ripping his son a new asshole for his little jaunt into sheer lunacy. His and Tals appearance back at the manor after such a small window of time should have told him something. It was not nearly long enough for sufficient wound licking.

 

But he had been caught up, once more, with surprising revelations. This time in the form of an anonymous email, with files giving him the direct answers to his curiosity over being pointed towards Rosby for business. He had been on his way to speak to his wife over it, when his attention was drawn by what was apparently, yet ANOTHER emergency Family meeting having finished up, with his wife likely stomping away and into their bedroom for what looked to be, her decision to deal with Sansa personally. His temper had already been on the rise. Now it was set to snap entirely. He wasn’t generally an angry person. In truth he couldn’t actually remember the last time he was wound quite so tight. Possibly when his daughter had come home from school, so very cold and filled with anger and resentment, after finding her boyfriend in bed with her FRIEND. Or more likely the time before that, when his own friend had spoken so poorly of her to him and earned his wrath for it, when she broke up with the mans son.

 

His wife certainly pushed his buttons at times with her desire to control their children. But he also understood that she genuinely thought she was helping them achieve their full potential. He had been a blind fool over it in truth, because he had wanted the best for them too. He just didn’t necessarily think their happiness matched up with his wife’s expectations and he was alright with that - especially Robb and Sansa. He was happy to keep the peace and ease her into seeing that she was taking things just a little too far at times. The delightful woman his son married was proof enough, Cat had warmed to her, despite her ridiculous beliefs that a foreign girl was just not GOOD ENOUGH for her boy. Now that they were actually married, Talisa was winning her over slowly. But it had taken time. Far too much time he believed, but she did come around.

 

His silence, and ignorance - if he was being honest with himself? Was just not going to cut it this time. Not only had she let her FRIEND manipulate her, and by extension HIM? Into potentially making a deal that would ultimately benefit HIS pockets once the younger Rosby took over and signed his all of what his father built away to square away his debts to Mockingbird creditors. Thus risking the image of HIS FAMILY LEGACY and business? His integrity and reputation potentially too? But she had apparently flat out ignored his instructions in regards to their daughter. And they were instructions - much as he didn’t actually believe in giving people orders or trying to control their choices and actions? He hadn’t been ASKING.

 

Her over reacting in anyway would cause far greater issues than simply letting things play out on their own would. Either she would drive his little girl away completely - possibly more of their children also? Or she would cause a media NIGHTMARE! They had bloody lucked it, that Robb hadn’t done exactly that the day before! But thankfully his little trip had not been noted by any media sources. Small mercy that it was. And that wasn’t even mentioning just what sort of shit fight it would create if she intended on carrying on at Jaime Lannister! He alone, wasn’t a man to antagonise, his carelessness in regards to what people thought, made him someone you did NOT push without running the risk of unexpected reactions. He was also a lethally trained war veteran and national hero. Not that he would get physical with a woman of course, but that didn’t make him any less dangerous. And that was assuming that it was HIM that stepped between his wife and her objective to pull his daughter into line, and not The Great Lion himself. He would take the implications and insults levelled at his son as a personal affront. The simple fact of the matter was, that their daughter was an ADULT. And his wife could do nothing to force her hand. And if she tried? All seven hells would break loose, without their daughter having to actually do or say anything.

 

He strolled forward and dropped the file on top of her ‘packing’, flicking it open as he did. “Did you know about this?” He didn’t bother looking at her, if he did? He’d lose whatever composure he had left. “What is it?” He sighed at her waspish tone and at her refusal to let him interrupt her rage packing. “Yesterday I received reports on both Vic and Giles Rosby. Vic, from all accounts is an honest, hardworking, genuine sort of person. Someone I would willingly do business with. His son? Not so much.” He sighed heavily and and turned to sit, waiting for her to acknowledge his words. “Is there a point to this Ned? I am busy. Dealing with the mess you wish to ignore, that is our daughters life and reputation.” He grunted in frustration and scrubbed at his face. “You aren’t going to Kings Landing to drag Sansa home. I need you HERE. To deal with YOUR FRIEND. Who thought to swindle his way into shares in MY COMPANY and destroy an honest mans legacy in the process, when he retires and hands it off to his wastrel of a son. The same wastrel of a son you wish to set our daughter up with.”

“What?” He ground his jaw hard and met her wild eyes. He finally had her attention apparently. Good.

 

“Giles Rosby... The one you deemed an appropriate FIT for our daughter? Has gambling debts greater than the value of his fathers company for one thing. For another? He’s a drunk, from what I can glean - worse than Robert drunk, at that. And he’s had not one but THREE sexual harassment claims squashed and brushed under the rug. And it’s Petyr Baelish he owes a not so small fortune to for his LIFESTYLE. So you are NOT going anywhere near Sansa to interfere in her choices, when your own FOR HER and for MY COMPANY are so questionable.” He held her defiant and angry eyes coldly. He could feel himself shaking, he was so angry with her. Angry with himself. How he had missed the direction his family was spiralling in was lost to him. But it was unacceptable. No wonder his little girl was so very angry. “Where did you get this? Petyrs not... He isn’t a LOAN SHARK or a BOOKIE or anything of the sort Ned! For the Gods sake! Don’t be ridiculous! This has to be false information. He can’t have known himself.” He snorted in exasperation and scrubbed at his face again. He didn’t even know what to say to that. YES, he knew they had been friends since she was a girl, but his own thoughts on the man were VERY DIFFERENT. He’d only met him a few times, and he made his skin crawl every time. His brother had beaten all manner of hells out of him at one point too. And as much as Bran could be a hot head at times? He didn’t pick on those smaller and weaker than he without provocation.

 

He was tired. Too tired to deal with all of this crap. “I’ve already had it checked Cat. It’s true. Mockingbird creditors is owned by Baelish, and on the surface it is an aboveboard operation. Though shady, as all private crediting companies tend to be. But I have heard enough. I don’t trust the man. Never have. I know he’s your friend and I gave the benefit of the doubt with this Rosby deal, despite it not measuring up to the actual needs of what I’m looking to do in The South. ON YOUR WORD. But I won’t be dealing with him. He will be lucky if I don’t share what I now suspect about him with other big corporation heads. I’ve already shared what I have been sent with Vic Rosby himself. I’ll be heading South to meet with him, amongst OTHER potential investors and potential future partners and such, with SANSA beside me next week. YOU will be staying here.”

“I will be going and bringing my wayward daughter home. I’ll grant that obviously I was wrong about Giles Rosby, if THIS is true. But I will NOT hold Petyr accountable for not telling me things he can’t have known for one thing. And for another? A single poor choice on my part or NOT? Sansa is clearly on a path to self destruction that needs to end before her reputation becomes beyond repair. She’s actually DATING that man NED! The KINGSLAYER! A LANNISTER! He’s old enough to be her Father and not nearly worthy, or what she needs and should WANT. I won’t allow it. LOOK!”

 

He sighed and took the phone she was shoving in his hand and flicked the screen to see what the ‘problem’ was. It was a picture. Some sort of social media post he supposed. She looked happy. Happier than he had seen her in so very long. Even the other ‘post’, and the pictures his children had sent didn’t show it the way that the latest one did. He couldn’t actually help the small smile that lifted the corners of his mouth. It was obvious it had been captured mid laugh, as Jaime bloody Lannister stole a bite of her food from the looks of it. He hated that it was THAT MAN making her smile and laugh like that. But the point was that someone was. “Worthy or not My Love?” He sighed softly and hit the screen to make it light up again as it dimmed. She was a beautiful girl. His little lady. A beautiful girl with a beautiful smile. And he wanted her to smile like that. “You go down there and command her to end it, try to drag her home and away from him? You’ll lose her Cat. Look closer. We don’t get to choose. She’s in love with him. If not? It’s happening and there’s no stopping it. I told you that the only way this works is to let her make her choices and hope she comes back on her own. You need to accept that.”

“I won’t.” He sighed sadly again and shook his head at her, as he held her phone out to return it. “Than you’ve already lost her. But I won’t be doing the same. I don’t like him, I don’t think he deserves her. But THAT?” He pointed to the phone. “Isn’t about causing drama. THAT is about showing the world how happy she is. He gave her that smile, and I’ve no interest in being the one to dim it.”

 

“If she chooses HIM over her own family? Than she isn’t the girl I raised.” He growled low in his throat and pulled her close, a firm - but not hurtful grip on her hand. “If you disown my daughter? It’ll be YOU tearing our family apart. Arya will be on the next flight South to be at her sisters side, Jon will not come home until they do, I’m not even sure Robb will back you in such a decision after seeing them for himself, first hand. And I will not accept it. YOU will be doing so on your own. I will not have ultimatums dumped on her like that. I will not ban her from her home or restrict her contact with OUR family. I will not command our children to cut her off either. Nor will I fire her from working with the company.”

“You would ACCEPT Jaime Lannister with her would you? Into our home? Into our FAMILY? To potentially be privy to YOUR COMPANIES inner workings through HER?” He let her go and stood. He couldn’t be in the room with her any more. Not until she thought on everything he had said. She needed time to process. That was all. She didn’t HAVE to like it. She just needed to stop trying to CONTROL it. “I won’t like it, but I will do so, AYE. Because who she chooses to give her heart to his HER CHOICE NOT MINE! And THANK THE OLD GODS it is NOT YOURS either! If it were? She’d be stuck with someone like that Rosby fellow! I may not like Jaime Lannister? But I can guarantee he won’t mistreat her. If that’s all the say I have? Than I’ll be grateful to KNOW that much!”

 

He walked away. It was the only option he had left, until his own ire cooled somewhat. The ONLY way that they got through this was to let it play out. Even if that meant being stuck with Jaime Fucking Lannister for the rest of their days as FAMILY. He wasn’t losing his daughter and tearing his family apart because he didn’t like the man or trust his Father. He didn’t WANT a connection to The Lannister’s. He didn’t want his daughter to have anything to do with one, let alone love THAT one. But driving her away was a far worse fate. At least if he ACCEPTED it, he was in a better position to protect her from her LOVERS family. It was the best he could hope for, for now. That? And hoping that his wife actually did come around at some point. He supposed he could be grateful too, that his daughters INTERESTS pulled up at ONE generation gap, rather than TWO! At least it was JAIME Lannister and not TYWIN she wanted to spend her time with.

Chapter Text

He looked different when he was sleeping. At ease maybe? It made him look younger. Not that he looked anywhere near as old as he actually was - or as she assumed he was? She knew he was Cerseis twin and obviously she knew that Cersei had a child her age, and that she was younger than her husband - which also made her younger than her Father, but all she really actually KNEW was that he was around twenty odd years older than her. He certainly did not look it. And she really didn’t care at all anyway. If anything, his age was a point in his favour. It may be something she had only discovered in recent years, but the reality was that she had always preferred men older than her - or she preferred men who were possessed of more maturity than those closer to her age - as a generalisation. How she and Jaime started out, ONLY days past at that - did not at all, indicate proof of maturity though!

 

Maybe her girlhood crush on Robar Royce should have giving it away? He was a good ten years or so older than her? And she had often fantasied about him - amongst other MEN, when with her boyfriends too? Joffrey had soured her interest in BOYS close to her age. Not that she expected they were all LIKE him, of course. And Harry had only clarified that those only slightly older than her, AGAIN! As a generalisation - just weren’t for her. Not that she NECESSARILY felt the need to ‘settle down’ into a serious relationship that was headed for marriage and babies and all of that stuff YET. But she was interested in being taken seriously and respected. She wanted to be heard and understood and encouraged to work hard to build her career if she wanted. She didn’t want someone who would get upset if she was sent away on business and she didn’t want someone who assumed they could pack up and go with, to treat it like a holiday whilst she was working either OR conversely, take advantage of her being away to ‘play the field’. And after the poor relationships she had been ENCOURAGED to pursue? She was absolutely determined to stop pretending she was actually attracted to younger men - boys really, and make her own choices in that regard. That’s what Jaime was for her. A turning point maybe? HE was her choice. A very fine one at that.

 

He was actually quite adorable in a ‘boyishly’ charming way, when he slept though. His hair was sticking up EVERYWHERE, likely from her playing with it - pulling at it whilst it was damp with sweat from their bedroom antics. And he snored. Lightly - it was almost like a rumbling purr, except that it was coming from his nasal passage and throat rather than his chest. He wasn’t a chainsaw ripping through a tree, so it didn’t bother her at all. If anything it was a soothing sound. An unexpected imperfection that made him just a little bit REAL. And he was needy too. Apparently he liked to cuddle. Which she supposed fit too, he was rather affectionate towards her. She liked it. Just as she liked that dull ache downstairs and the completely relaxed, looseness of her limbs caused by great sex.

 

Great sex was actually a bit of an understatement to describe what he had given her the night before. And the night before that too in truth. The differences were glaring though. To start with? The only impediment to her indulging in sleepily watching him in the soft morning light, inches from his face, his arm slung over her waist and their legs tangled in each other and the sheet too? Was that she could hear her phone going off again behind her, on the bedside table. Which she could and would continue to ignore. Unlike her idiot of a brother and his unwelcome arrival the morning before. And their passionate nights were worlds apart in underlying meanings. She hadn’t actually voiced it, and nor had he. But the way he WORSHIPPED her and then.... She had followed his lead, happily. And returned the regard he was showing, without question. But it hadn’t been JUST sex. And then the way they cuddled and lingered together in that post coital bliss? It was different. Evidenced even more by them silently SNUGGLING, and dropping off to sleep without a second or third or fourth round. Even more notable was the lack of awkwardness over it. It felt... RIGHT.

 

“You’re staring Stark.” His sleep raspy voice startled her out of her thoughts and she flushed slightly and then sighed as his hand stroke up her side lazily, to pull her closer yet again. “I like pretty things Lannister.” She giggled softly at his indignant snort and happily accepted the ‘good morning’ kiss nuzzled to her jaw before he snuggled into her neck completely. “You like antiques, I think. But whatever works for you, works for me too I guess.” She hummed happily - letting his return joke go and enjoyed the feeling of him being wrapped around her so completely. Apparently he was as adorable upon actually waking, as he was sleeping. At least if he wasn’t being startled awake and thrown into some sort of episode! She traced lazy patterns on the heavy muscles across his back and just.... Existed with him. Too soon, they would have to DEAL with things. And TALK. In that moment? She just kind of wanted to enjoy that soothing peace and feeling of RIGHTNESS, he brought out in her.

 

“I like this. Much better than the racket and carry on from your brother.” He was kissing her neck, and honestly? Her interest in ‘talking’ was beginning to turn to a rather specific topic. One of which her brother was absolutely unwelcome in! “Me too.” She mumbled it softly against his shoulder and let her hand drag down and over his side pointedly. Slipping between their near flush bodies and patting at his cock with barely there, tickling fingers. His resulting huff and the hungry kisses being pressed to her pulse point shot delightful tingles to her core. “So I can tell. That tickles.” She smirked and bit his shoulder playfully at the low growl pressed to her ear. It might be tickling and teasing him - but if he had any real interest in stopping it, or taking control, to move things along? He would have by now too.  “It feels good and you know it.”

“That so? You know what would feel better?” She grinned wickedly at his cheek and pulled back enough to actually bite his bottom lip and meet his shining, arousal darkened eyes. “I’m willing to bet that my MOUTH will feel a whole lot better actually. What do you say DADDY.” She stole a quick kiss and pulled away with a challenging look, as he blinked at her in surprise until it clicked - what she had said, and he smiled widely in return.

 

“Are you seriously asking permission to suck my cock Stark?” She grinned wickedly and waited. She was actually far more nervous than she was allowing to show. It had been a little while since she did that. Yet another thing that certain LITTLE BOYS had spoiled for her. She had only really LIKED doing it with one other lover, and he wasn’t exactly a lasting relationship in any way shape or form. Just a bit of fun, that was useful in helping her find confidence sexually. But she was apparently pretty good at it. Considering the practice she had at it with certain assholes in her past? She probably SHOULD BE pretty good at it. But she had never... Jaime was a very well endowed man. And he had had EXPERIENCED lovers before. He was too GOOD, to not have learned from talented lovers himself. She also did NOT have the advantage of liquid courage first thing in the morning, as she had had previously with him. But she REALLY wanted to. Almost desperately actually! Especially after the way he made her feel so special and wanted the night before. “By all means Little Wolf. You don’t need my permission - well you DO, I suppose? But assume you have it whenever you want. I’m not stupid enough to knock back a blow job. - FROM MY LOVER! Note that I would knock it back from a random stranger. Not you though? Shit? I’m babbling aren’t I? Please suck my cock baby?” She couldn’t have stopped herself from laughing if she tried. He really had been babbling. And he was almost blushing too because of it. Which was kind of cute, and it did relax her quite a bit.

 

She leaned in and kissed him, sucking at his lips and licking into his mouth lazily as she pushed at his shoulder in silent instruction to roll onto his back. It was pay back time for what he had done to her the night before. And she was going to have fun with it. Even if his SIZE had her a little nervous. He groaned long and low in his throat and stroked at her shoulders and hair and then cupped her neck to hold her to their kiss whilst he kicked their tangled legs free of the blankets, leaving them naked to the bright morning light, her half atop of him and happily exploring his incredible HARD body with her hands. “That babbling AND begging is rather cute handsome. But it’s unnecessary.” She grinned against his lips as he chuckled and loosened his hold on her to a gentle ‘patting’. “I am well aware of just how SEXY begging can be Stark.” She rolled her eyes and turned her attention to mapping his body with her mouth, starting with that incredibly sharp, lightly stubbles jaw. “Be a GOOD BOY Jaime and I’ll let you come in my mouth too.” The groan and the firm slap and groping of her ass made THAT so worth it.

 

Her nerves disappeared completely before she even reached his delicious tight stomach, driven away by the sheer pleasure on his lax face, the way his hooded eyes watched her every move, and his mouth hung open just slightly between heavy moans and groans. And the way his fingers carded into her hair and gripped and loosened on her scalp as he pushed it out of his way so he COULD see everything.... And the way he let her decide on pace and place. Not once did her shove her or force her in anyway. And by the time she actually reached the golden and lightly sprinkled silver trail of hair below his belly button? She felt powerful and beautiful and sexy and WANTED. And it was intoxicating.

 

She held and stroked him loosely as she wiggled around to make herself comfortable between his spread legs, and then she smirked wickedly at him and laughed softly at the challenge in his returning cocky grin. He was an arrogant shit. But hells if he wasn’t a sexy arrogant shit that was apparently all hers too. She bent forward and licked him from root to tip, and engulfed him, drawing him as deep as she could straight up, as she held his eyes. Sucking and lapping and twirling her tongue around him as best she could, hollowing put her cheeks and bobbing. She wasn’t messing around. Kissing her way down his body, feeling his hands in her hair, the way he watched her and let her hear what she was doing to him? She was wound up and ready to snap. And all she wanted was to devour him completely.

 

“Fucking hells Sansa! You’re a hungry little thing aren’t you?” She hummed happily in agreement and let him go with a wet pop, turning her attention to lazy, long licks as she propped herself up on her knees slightly, watching him, watch her hand slip between her legs. She had never done THAT in front of anyone before, and she had never felt to need to from giving a blow job before either. But she couldn’t help it. “Are you? Fuck... FUCK baby!” She closed her eyes and let go completely, sucking him back into her mouth and stroking her fingers over and inside of her dripping folds in time with every lick and suck of her mouth over him. Until she squealed and moaned around him and shuddered on her own fingers, and swallowed down the salty spurts that she triggered as he pulsed hot and hard in her mouth and throat.

 

She had barely let him slip free from her lips when he was hauling her up and over him and then rolling her under him, devouring her mouth like he was chasing the flavour of himself down her throat, while his hands explored and gripped and stroked at her everywhere he could reach. She couldn’t do a thing, but hold on for the ride and give as good as she was taking. “I take it you approve?” He bit her neck and sucked hard, definitely leaving a mark. Probably a really black one at that. “Not the word I’d have used. Give me a minute little one, and I’ll show you just how much I approve of you touching yourself while sucking my cock. FUCK! I’m going to fuck you into the bed my wolf. What are you doing to me?” She groaned softly at his wrapping her legs around his hips and grinding his still soft length against her sensitive parts. Noting that he was already starting to twitch in interest against her. “Returning YOUR passion MY lion. That’s what I’m doing.” He hissed slightly as she bit his ear and pulled back enough to look down at her, licking his lips and studying her whole face - almost searching for something. “You know if you keep it up? I’m not letting you go? We will have to cash in your hush money and my trust fund and high tail it to Essos or Europe or SOMEWHERE? I’d say Dorne - it’s actually pretty nice there? Or Sunspear is at least! But it’s too close! They’d find us there.”

 

“Or we could just MAKE them accept it and wipe our hands of those who won’t ever come around?” She swallowed hard. That wasn’t actually funny. Or in line with his ‘teasing’ at all. She didn’t even know why she said that. He blinked down at her quietly and thumbed at her hair softly. “If that’s where this goes Baby? It won’t worry me to walk away from those who won’t ever accept it. But I hardly LIKE those particular members of MY family anyway.” She smiled sheepishly and nodded, pulling him down for a kiss. “We should just go to Sweden.”

“Isn’t it cold there?”

“I’ll keep your poor sooky Southerner ass WARM.” She giggled at his sceptical look and wiggled her hips in invitation. Getting them back on point and well away from such heavy speak. And making him smile softly and nod in understanding before he leaned in and kissed her again. “Why don’t we get something else WARM for now hmm?”

“That was a terrible ‘dad joke’ Jaime. You are showing your age.” He chuckled darkly and bit her lip. “I was never hiding it sweetheart.” She didn’t get a chance to reply at all as he shuffled around and pushed inside of her, right to the hilt and stretching her perfectly. “Gods you feel good.”

“Mmm. So do you Baby girl.”

Chapter Text

“The information was received?”

“It was.”

“And it can not be traced back to me?”

“It will not be traced at all, let alone back to you. You received that same information, obviously. But I sent it anonymously through a web so tangled that it would take the greatest minds, years to follow and find. And it’s just not interesting enough for said minds to bother with.”

“Good. I don’t need the finer details or the lip either. So long as neither of them ever find out it was me who had it sent? That’s all I have interest in.”

“Indeed. Might I ask WHY you decided to GIVE there?”

“You can ask all you like.”

“But you won’t answer. Shall I assume that it has something to do with your desire to take The Mockingbird down?”

“Assume what you will. But remember that I pay you to keep your mouth shut also.”

“And handsomely too. Very well. It is done and I am monitoring the rest as you’ve requested. I’ll send word when I have anything more.”

“See that you do.”

 

 

He despised HELPING that Northern buffoon. If he weren’t so well disciplined he might make a claim that it made his skin itch. Except that the thing that actually did that was owing anything to someone of such weak constitution. And he did owe The Stark Family. Just as he owed The Tully and Arryn lot too. More so in truth, if he counted what his vile Grandson had done to the girl his son was currently fucking all over Flea Bottom. Except that THAT had already been paid for. Which is what started his determination to be the bringer of INFORMATION, in truth. YES. He had a decades long debt to pay, one he had been working on quietly, because he had absolutely no intention of ever allowing it to come to light. But he had Varys send that anonymous information that shone somewhat of a light on Baelish’s POTENTIAL, and very convoluted reasons for pushing Stark in the direction of Rosby, through his meddling and frankly insane wife - if what he had learned in the past twenty four hours was any true indication! For one reason and one reason only.

 

Sansa Stark.

 

The girl had him rather more than a little curious, and suspicious. From what he could recall? She was a quiet mouse, a doormat really. His Grandson had taken full advantage of her quiet, PLEASING nature and brutalised the girl at every turn. Beating and belittling her at the very least. Likely far worse than he had been made privy too also. Of course, he was his Daughters child, and he was not about to have such claims linked to his name in any way, shape or form. So he had paid the chit off, out of the funds he had docked from both Cersei and her idiot boys trust funds. Half a million from each of the million dollars he took from their accounts as a warning for risking such things. He had docked a further million from the boy, for the insult it would be considered to not ONE but THREE other powerful families. And for the fact that he found such needless violence towards women abhorrent. Not that the idiot would have noticed, had he not made sure he was informed.

 

The girl had never touched it. A point he had not bothered to check until discovering that his son had spent the night between her legs. Why, he had yet to work out. But there were likely two possible answers, one of which was his reasoning for ‘helping’ the girls Father with his little problem - the little problem he likely was not even aware he had in truth! Either she never intended on staying quiet as he had paid her to do, and her coming back around years later and seducing Jaime instead, was part of some elaborate shake down, or revenge plot of some description. Or conversely? She never had any intention of speaking on it, for her own reasons, and had suffered an attack of conscience over taking it in the first place. And this thing with his son, was as genuine as it both appeared, and he actually HOPED it was.

 

THAT was why he had done it. If it was going to work between his son and the Stark girl? Measures would need to be taken to ensure that it was as clean as he could possibly make it. Plus, it would benefit him immensely if Stark did as he predicted and shared that unspoken information about Baelish’s underhanded business dealings. It would just LOOK better when he got around to taking the man down himself - if someone as HONEST and NOBLE as Ned Stark, slaughtered the mans reputation for him first.

 

He didn’t LIKE it. But if it eased the path for his son, to have the girl he had apparently chosen. He would do what was necessary. Much as it irked that the idiot had gone ahead and FINALLY decided to settle down - and he was not blind, nor was he stupid! Jaime may not even realise it himself yet, but the way he had spoken of Sansa Stark the day before, in his office, was all the proof he needed. Lannister men fell hard and they fell FAST. He had with his Jo, and Kevan had done the same with his Dorna. Even Tyrion had fallen prey to the curse of his blood, with the little foreign girl he eloped with, without his knowledge. It was as clear as the sea shallows along Lannisport beach! He even said it himself - it might have started out as the pair of idiots lashing out at their families, but it wasn’t going to end like that. The fool had finally come around to finding the woman he would settle down with, but it irked that the one he chose - whilst MORE THAN APPROPRIATE! Was so damned problematic! It was bound to be dramatic and rife with very real issues.

 

Which meant he would have to involve himself more than he would have liked, to make sure it couldn’t be sabotaged by CONCERNED family members. When he would much prefer to focus himself on heading them towards marriage and his ultimate goal: his much awaited LANNISTER grand children. The goal that BOTH of his sons seemed determined UNTIL NOW, to withhold from him. Though Tyrion could at least be forgiven for it, being that he could hardly control his fertility issues.

 

And PROVIDED that his concerns for the Stark girls interests in his boy, were unfounded? He could finally forgive him too, for awaiting a WORTHY woman. He would do what he had to, to ensure she was eventually the mother of future Lannister’s. If his concerns weren’t unfounded? He’d destroy her and her family, right along with that worm Petyr Baelish.

 

He would need to meet with the girl. IF he could pry his son off of her that was! Since discovering her in that blasted bar he had apparently felt the need to hide himself away in? He had parted from her only long enough to meet with him, and return to his penthouse long enough to shower and pack a bag to return to her! He had even paraded around down in Flea Bottom with her again for a second night in a row! Flea Bottom! Two high profile people from prominent families, and the pair of idiots were gallivanting around in the slums of the city! GENTRIFICATION or not? They did NOT belong there. Which he supposed was the point too. It fed into BOTH of their ridiculous little rebellions. What was even worse though, was that she was LIVING THERE!

 

Which was something he would be putting an end to when he did manage to meet with her. Not only was it unacceptable that a woman with her name, blood and connections, LIVED in the worst part of town? They hadn’t exactly covered their tracks - she hadn’t protected herself with nearly enough vigilance. If he could find her address without employing Varys’ help? So could Cersei and Joffrey and any number of others who could cause issues or become a threat to her. INCLUDING the media rats who wished to report their every single blink. She was ALSO far more likely to be mugged or robbed or assaulted there than further up in the hills where she belonged. And Jaime was well aware of such things! Yet he actively encouraged her, by staying with her! And NOT employing basic thinking skills to know better than to parade around the same neighbourhood she lived, not once but TWICE!

 

His daughter and grandson were subdued for now, shuffled off to the Stormlands with access to their finances restricted upon threat of his pulling financial support out from under Roberts hefty weight! Which had actually been rather fortuitous too. If he was to deal with Baelish appropriately, for his idiocy in involving HIS daughter and HIS son in law in one of his money grubbing schemes? He needed them out of his damned way. He had already had to send his son off on ‘business’ that was far below his level of intelligence, because of his daughters ridiculous attempts to be SMART, and ‘take care’ of things herself! And he had been forced to weather his eldest sons wrath over it too! So having her out from underfoot was necessary. Even more so with the reintroduction of Sansa Stark into their lives.

 

His daughter was a vapid woman, who was not nearly as smart as she thought herself. Her husband was a blind, drunken oaf and her eldest son was a spoiled and violent little boy who needed a good kick up the ass. TO START WITH! And if they were to find a way to get at Jaimes girl? All seven hells would break loose, and all of his attention would be needed there to keep it from becoming an all out war with the other ancient families of Westeros.

 

It was a MESS. Not outside of his abilities to contain and control of course. But all the same. AGAIN! If he were a less disciplined man, it might give him reason to state that it made his skin itch. It would be a challenge. But one he was prepared to take on, with the right incentives. A worthy match for his son and a potential future line of Lannister’s with strong connections to large parts of the country, subsequent political potential AND business connections that have been outside of his reach for decades? And protecting his Families legacy and reputation from their own follies and a despicable little power hungry worm? Those were some rather strong incentives. All he needed to do for the moment was wait for information, and double check his strangle hold on certain family members. He did NOT like being made to wait. But under such circumstances? He supposed patience would be a virtue.

 

Chapter Text

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

Stop ignoring me and answer your phone.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

Don’t push me Jaime.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

I always knew you were the stupidest Lannister! Answer your phone or I’ll have Joff post EVERY PHOTO HE HAS OF YOUR LITTLE SLUT ONLINE. And you will learn at the same time as the rest of the world, all of your little whores dirty little secrets.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

You have an hour to get back to me, or so help you Jaime? I will make sure he does so.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

Tick tock brother. What’s it going to be?

 

 

 

He was going to kill her. Well? He wasn’t. But he was going to make her life a living hell. She just didn’t know it yet. They had had their differences in recent years, obviously. The loss of his hand and subsequent mental and physical recovery had been hard on him. But it had also granted him something that he hadn’t really been concerned with before too. And that was clarity and understanding of his sister systematic abuse. Before he lost his hand, she was just a control freak with a vicious jealous streak. And for the most part he let her go. She was his sister, his twin and his first friend. He didn’t really know how to move through life without carrying her with him. Even through his deployments and the weeks, months and years of separation. Cersei was a constant. So he put up with her DRAMATICS, so that he’d always have what he’d always known.

 

And then he lost his hand. In her eyes he had become half a man. A useless cripple who couldn’t be her own personal hero anymore. Probably more accurately, lap dog and punching bag. He wasn’t PERFECT. Meanwhile he had been broken down in far worse ways mentally, than he had been physically. Depression and Post Traumatic Stress had kept him locked in the deepest pits of his mind, sometimes reliving the moment his hand was pushed down, sometimes the screaming agony that clogged his throat the moment the pain of the blade separating skin and flesh and bone, registered. Sometimes it was that feeling of being restrained and unable to fight back. And others it was the taunting nightmares of thinking reality was all a nightmare. He had needed her support, and she had acted like he was some disease riddled stray that she might catch cripple from if she got too close.

 

And whilst he recovered, fought through his demons to learn how to go through life without his hand, and without her shadow? And with a giant black hole trying to suck his soul out every single time he closed his eyes? His Father had sunk millions of dollars into prosthetics and bionic limb research and technologies. And his sister had gone from obvious disgust, back to trying to control him like a puppet on strings, and teetering between disguising her judgements to get what she wanted, and making it blatantly obvious that he was beneath her when he didn’t jump to do her bidding.

 

He had learned to go on, without her taking such a prominent role in his life, without a living hand, with the demons inside of his head. Ignoring her, and staying away from her as much as he could without causing too much drama with their family as a whole was simply, the easiest solution. Right up until her screw ups and vicious manipulation and her demands had somehow resulted in his baby brother being shipped off to Essos on some cocked up, bullshit excuse of a BUSINESS trip. Which was little better than banishment for only the Gods knew how long. And NOW the crazy bitch wanted to threaten an innocent woman, whom he had.... Who was important to him? He was going to destroy her for it. For that! For having Tyrion sent away! For everything. He had had ENOUGH.

 

 

“Hey Little Wolf? When is your birthday?” He tipped his head back over the lip of the back of the sofa and met her baffled look. He didn’t actually WANT to explain himself to her, so he worded it and buried his anger at his sister, behind a curious ‘get to know you question’ like tone. “December third. Why?” He smirked arrogantly and shot her a wink. He NEEDED to know for far more serious reasons, but he also kind of wanted to know for him too. “Just figured I’d get that information stored away early. And how old are you exactly? I know you are Joffs age - but I actually don’t know exactly how old he is either?” He hit the lock on his phone and dropped it in his lap as she sauntered closer, and then he twisted himself around so he could face her as she settled herself on the very edge of the sofa cushion, beside his prone form. “Funny you should ask, I was actually thinking I didn’t know just how much older than me, YOU are, while you were sleeping this morning.” He smirked at her slight blush and reached out to lace his fingers into hers in her lap. He was MORE THAN happy with this domestic bliss situation they had going on. “Mmm. Well? My birthday is April thirteenth and I am fourty five.” He nipped at the fingers brushing his hair off his face and wiggled to give her just a touch more room. “And I’ll be twenty five in a few months.” Gods! Didn’t that make him feel OLD! It also gave him the exact information he actually NEEDED. “So you would have been seventeen LAST time I saw you?”

 

She sighed heavily and nodded. “I guess? Yes, I went straight home after graduation and I celebrated my birthday with my family. WHY? Am I making you feel old Lannister?” He snorted rudely at her cheek and pulled her hand close to kiss her knuckles. He couldn’t get enough of her. And confronting or not? He really didn’t care that he was old enough to be her father. It’s not like he hadn’t known that before asking. “You’re HILARIOUS. I was just curious. You grew up VERY nicely little one!” He gave her the biggest shit eating grin he had in his repertoire and just as he had hoped she snorted a laugh and slapped his SADLY NOT bare chest. “Yes well? Those years were very good to you too. Not that you need that giant ego stroked anymore of course! I even like the stray silvers in there.” He barked a surprised laugh and swatted at the hand fingering at his VERY FEW grey hairs in faux annoyance. And leaned up to accept the giggling kiss she offered quickly. “Now that we have established that you are a dirty old man and I am apparently a giant cliche - poor broken, wannabe rebellious, rich girl, shacking up with an even richer man, old enough to be my Father? Can I finish what I was doing and then get us some lunch sorted out?” He grinned and pulled her in close again - making her lean over his chest and kissing her nose. “Shacking up are we?”

“You’re the one who seems to be making himself at home in my little apartment Lannister!”

“I like it here. But we can retreat to my penthouse if you prefer?”

“See. Shacking up. Now let me up.” He kissed her softly and brushed his nose along hers affectionately. “Might be a bit fast? But why not.” He rolled his eyes dramatically, making her snort and laugh as she stood and strolled away again. “Idiot.”

 

She was something else. His girl. He watched her ass as she walked away, right up until it was hidden behind the counter again. And then he shot her a lecherous wink for good measure, and ducked quickly with a startled laugh as she launched the balled up tea towel at him for it. He liked it. Whatever the fuck IT was. Whatever THEY were. He liked it and he wanted it. And he was going to damned well keep it. No matter what his crazy bitch of a sister threatened.

 

He turned his attention back to his phone, and slipped off a quick email to a certain OLD FRIEND, and smiled darkly to himself over the almost instantaneous reply. It really astounded him sometimes, that his sister thought him the idiot she did. Not that it wasn’t helpful of course, but she really was blinded by her own arrogance and self importance. He was special forces for the Gods sake! Obviously she didn’t realise that that meant he had FRIENDS. Friends who could do all sorts of crazy mambo jumbo with technology, even at a distance. She also seemed to forget that her own husband - whilst a drunken idiot for the most part - was not a man to antagonise. And despite his backing his son and wife during the initial breakup, he would NOT stand by and do NOTHING if they thought to carry on anew, without provocation.

 

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

Times up brother. I think I’ll enjoy this better anyway. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

TEXT TO THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

Go ahead. I’ll wait.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

I’m serious Jaime. He’s gathering them together in a single file now. LAST CHANCE.

 

 

He sat his phone back down as his girl slipped in beside him again, this time he actually sat up and made space for her beside him, as she sat the extravagantly fancy toasted sandwich type THING, she had created on the coffee table before him. It made him smile, and shake his head. She was adorable.

 

 

TEXT FROM UNKNOWN NUMBER:

 

DONE. When file sends device will corrupt completely. You want file forwarded to the attached emails once I receive it here?

 

 

TEXT TO UNKNOWN NUMBER:

 

Yes. And post me the device you copied it all to or whatever. Can you monitor activity from all his devices without any more information than I gave? Just IN CASE my predictions of fallout don’t go to plan?

 

 

TEXT FROM UNKNOWN NUMBER:

 

You make my head hurt. I’ll do what I can. But you owe me a few bars of that gold you lot shit. And I am wiping this thread. THIS NEVER HAPPENED.

 

 

TEXT TO UNKNOWN NUMBER:

 

I do understand how this works you know?

 

 

TEXT FROM UNKNOWN NUMBER:

 

Forgive me if I don’t believe, for a moment, that you understand a single thing about my ‘magic techno voodoo.’

 

 

TEXT TO UNKNOWN NUMBER:

 

I was talking about denying it happened asshole.

 

 

He sighed happily and lazed back into his seat, lifting his plate onto his lap and wrapping his right arm around her as he did. He could easily eat with his left, and he was just too pleased with himself to care anyway. “Anything important? Or just more social media bombs like I’m getting? You know? I don’t think I’ve EVER had so many texts and missed calls either? THOSE I AM IGNORING - for the most part! It’s a bit ridiculous.” He hummed in amusement and traced his robot hand up her side lazily. “You are sleeping with the enemy Stark. - or is it actually DATING now? If we are SHACKING UP and all?” He grinned at her playfully around his sandwich. “I thought we established that you and I aren’t enemies? AND that we went on a date last night, with the intention of more of those and more sleepovers? Which I THINK constitutes actual DATING.”

“That depends on if I was as SATISFYING again last night. Isn’t that what you said?”

“And now you are fishing for compliments. AND you are deflecting. Was it something so bad that you don’t want to tell me hmm?” He swallowed the food he was chewing and shook his head at her cocky grin, that was absolutely not hiding her discomfort and almost nervous disposition. “My sister is being a bitch. Shock of all shocks - I know. But you don’t need to be concerned with her or what she had to say. I am more than able to handle her.”

 

 

TEXT FROM THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?! YOU WENT TO ROBERT? SERIOUSLY? YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS JAIME! HE JUST SMASHED ALL OF JOFFREYS ELECTRONICS! AND HIT HIM! YOU HAD MY SON BEATEN! I WILL SEE YOU DEAD FOR THIS! AND YOUR WHORE TOO!

 

 

He smiled like a predator and flipped his phone around to show her the results of his little game. “What DID you do?” He chuckled darkly and shook his head. “I didn’t do a thing. And on an entirely unrelated topic? I now owe a rather large debt to an old friend of mine.”

“Jaime.” He leaned in and stole a kiss, ignoring her narrowed eyes entirely. “I pissed my sister off. Don’t worry. I do it regularly. And she REALLY deserved it.” He grinned as she huffed and rolled her eyes at him. “We NEED to actually TALK Lannister.”

“Yes DEAR.” He laughed uproariously at her exasperated groaning and kissed her head quickly. He could definitely get used to teasing her like that over Sunday lunches! And she knew as well as he did that his sisters threats where as empty as her head. Which pleased him greatly!

 

 

TEXT TO THE HATEFUL BITCH:

 

Actually sister? I was protecting YOUR SON from getting himself in serious legal trouble. Distribution of child pornography (you DO REALISE she was a MINOR when they were together? And THUS WHEN THOSE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN?) PLUS the use of a carriage service to harass and intimidate - both are rather serious charges sister. One even carries a minimum JAIL sentence if found guilty. And each individual PHOTO could be counted as a single distribution charge too? AND that’s not even mentioning the potential CONTENT which very likely lends credence to physical, emotional and potentially sexual assault? You do remember how he treated her don’t you? And how she never laid charges? PUSH ME AGAIN AND I WILL ENCOURAGE HER TO DO SO. I’ll even testify on her behalf. You and I are DONE.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“So? Talking huh? I’ll start with the most obvious from the Lannister vault of conspiracy theories shall I?” She blinked rapidly at her lover in surprise. She had been off in her own little world, checking an email from her Father. Having finally given in and deciding that avoiding the proverbial ‘music facing’ was no longer responsible, whilst he dealt with a phone call from his Father, that sounded suspiciously like he was being raked across glowing red coals. She hadn’t even realised he had returned from the bathroom that he had disappeared into because it was the only real ‘privacy’ the studio apartment offered. He was smiling rather like the cat that caught the canary though? So either it sounded worse than it was, he just did NOT CARE, or he found his startling her, amusing. Two out of three seemed rather more likely than the first given the level of drama and ridiculousness they had dealt with already though? She sighed softly and nodded at him resolutely.

 

And then smiled sheepishly as he stole her hand and lifted it to kiss her palm and then her wrist, making her tingle. Before he settled them back in her lap with their fingers laced once more, with a dramatic sigh. “Did YOU, Sansa Stark, step into that bar that you did NOT know I would be in - with the intention of seducing me, and ultimately seducing your way into swindling even MORE of the Lannister fortune than the hush money you took even though you NEVER meant to keep your mouth shut over Joffs despicable abuse. And THEN did you plan on crippling my family to get your revenge?” She blinked rapidly at his dramatisations and tongue in cheek sarcasm and excessive hand gesticulating. And then she laughed. Uproariously so at that! It was obvious that HE didn’t believe a single word of such an elaborate and sinister plot. And he had very likely extrapolated on a few of ‘someone else’s’ concerns? But it was the sort of utter rubbish she would expect Cersei to claim too. It was simply HILARIOUS to have him voice it in such a way. “IF I was going to attempt such a ridiculous scheme? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just go straight to the source? What do you think Lannister? If I wanted the Lannister fortune for my own - it would have been far smarter to have you call me Mama instead of Baby.”

 

She smirked wickedly at his bemused face and walked the fingers that were not tangled with his in her lap, up his arm playfully, and waited for him to process her words. “Have you MET my Father little one?” She chuckled darkly and exaggerated a haughty look. “Exceptionally tall, commanding presence, lean and still very strong looking for a man of his years? Still quite handsome too? He paid me a million dollars once.” She couldn’t hold back her peals of laughter at his look of amused horror. He didn’t know if he should laugh or cry! And it was wonderful! “Woman! Come here!” She shrieked with laughter as he pulled her into his arms and tickled her mercilessly, not letting up until she had tears streaming down her face and begged for peace.

 

She snuggled into his neck happily and laid a soft kiss to his thrumming pulse, while he patted and stroked at her hair and arm almost unconsciously. “I don’t think I’ve EVER known a woman to look at my Father and claim him an even remotely attractive prospective partner. Though I suppose he IS still a handsome man? And he IS exceedingly rich? There would have to be a few to find him... BUT he’s also TERRIFYING! I have certainly NEVER had MY LOVER do so? You got the part about me not sharing right? That extends to my Father too, Stark.” She giggled happily at his almost nervous sounding confusion. It was good to know he was actually serious about the whole NOT SHARING bit. She wasn’t one for sharing herself. She had been on the receiving end of that once herself and it was NOT NICE. It was positively awful actually. But it was also a bit cute that at least some small part of him was concerned that she would look elsewhere and was jealous over the idea of it. It was very telling. “Settle down Lannister. I only have tolerance enough to deal with ONE alpha male at a time.” She kissed his jaw softly and ignored his attempts to pull back to look at her. She didn’t want him to see anything in her eyes. Because the warm feeling his affections and nerves and unspoken jealousies were eliciting were just TOO Much. “But I meant it too. If I wanted to bring down the LANNISTER EMPIRE? I’d have targeted the very top. Gods! I didn’t even know you were in that bar? I KNOW you know that.”

“I DO know that, yes. Rather I TRUST that. You said it yourself Little Wolf. You and I have no reason to sell each other out. There’s no need for lies between us.”

“No. We don’t. And there’s not.”

 

She sighed softly and took a risk, lifting her legs to lay over his lap and pushing her hand to his belly and side as she did so. It was pure, unadulterated affection. The type that she just was NOT accustomed to consciously GIVING. But he didn’t object - in fact he hardly noticed it! He merely shuffled slightly himself to accommodate her, and laid his hand and arm over her thigh. “Right. Well? Now that we’ve established that? Where do we stand? We are DATING? We’ve HINTED at that enough so let’s just go ahead and SAY IT. Consequences be damned? I’m your ONE TOLERABLE ALPHA MALE? Neither one of us is plotting anything against the others family? And we are running away to Sweden if we get serious and our families get too intrusive and mad with hunger for war, AND you promised to keep me warm if we do? Did I miss anything?” She huffed a tired laugh and hummed in affirmation. More than a little pleased that he was actually SERIOUS about wanting to see where they were headed. He had said it more than a few times, and SHOWED his intent for such too. Along with his raw feelings. He didn’t HIDE anything from her - besides the severity of the situation with his sister, that was! And she was mighty curious over it too! But still? There had been that niggling doubt too, that he was using her purely for the dramatic effects and the great sex. It WAS what they had originally planned. She was just as guilty of it as he was. But whatever the something was between them? She wanted that more. Enough to risk upsetting her family for more than a bit of pettiness.

 

“My Father knew that I meant to... That I had decided that it wasn’t just a one night thing for me. He KNOWS that it isn’t what we originally meant for it to be.” He hummed quietly in question and waited silently. Clearly understanding that she had more to say, and that she needed a moment to figure out what she wanted to say. Her heart was racing. It was daunting to lay it on the line completely. But if they meant to be.... Almost an ‘us against the world’ type deal? Then they needed honesty too! It was just MUCH easier when they were snarking at each other and fooling around. This serious talk was... HARD. “He wasn’t HAPPY of course. But he told me that he couldn’t stop me from making my own decisions and that I was his daughter and he still loved me even if he thought I was being stupid. He won’t support it - but he won’t judge me for it either. He will come around to accepting it - probably grudgingly, provided it makes me happy.... My mother? She won’t ever accept it I don’t think.... But I already knew she wouldn’t.” It broke her heart, but it also hardened it too. Her siblings would not HATE her. Arya and Jon were completely supportive already, and Robb was at least questioning his original rage - not that she was ready to forgive him yet for his own stupidity, but still. In time he could come around? If it LASTED. If it didn’t he’d likely be even worse still. For her having created so much drama only to get hurt again - like he predicted. And Bran and Rick? They had always loved her best. But it was ALL of their mother she was going against here too. So... It would hurt them to be caught in the middle. And that hurt her to know too.

 

“Well? I guess the question is? Whether your REASONS for being with me are WORTH all of the drama we have caused and WILL CONTINUE to cause? I know that was the point in those first drunken moments? But I imagine that the reaction was far greater than you intended for your Family. Mine reacted exactly as I expected - Cersei got a bit more carried away today, but again? Not entirely unexpectedly. Do YOU want ME and whatever is between us enough to risk it Sansa?” She sucked in a deep, shuddering breath and ignored the pain in her chest, brought on by fear and anxiety, and closed her eyes. Was it? “You aren’t going to tell me that they either accept it or they don’t and it’s their problem if they can’t? That I’m the only one who’s opinion and input matters?” He tipped her chin and forced her eyes up to meet his wide open, expressive green eyes, and shook his head. “It IS their problem if they can’t accept your choices Little one. But I’m not about to coerce you into PICKING ME over your family Sansa. Your Father? - And I am still struggling to comprehend his words myself, given your mother and brothers obvious thoughts, and his DISLIKE for me and my family - but.... What he said is TRUE. He can’t TELL you not to. And I can’t tell you to. What I can offer, is to not be an arrogant dick to those who are willing to accept that you can make your own choices. Do you WANT to be with ME? To see where this has the potential to go? Or do you want a way to stir drama with your mother? THAT is the question. Because if it’s still about that? Than it isn’t worth it. Not if it’s going to upset you so.” She licked her lips quickly and studied his eyes closely. There wasn’t a single lick of falseness there. Anymore than there had been at any other point with him. “I want to see what THIS is between us. Because I think I might be something REAL.”

 

He smiled softly and tipped her face so he could press a soft, lingering kiss to her lip. It was relieving, almost. Saying it like that had lifted the weight off of her chest. It was too soon to be labelling any FEELINGS of course? But admitting that feelings existed in the most basic sense and deserved exploring regardless of the consequences, was a relief. And most of her had made that decision long before she actually forced herself to think on it too hard. They’d either accept it, or they wouldn’t. “You and me Stark. Our Fathers will very likely come around - mine will, I KNOW. The moment he realises you don’t want his money. And yours? Well? I don’t intend on hurting you - on purpose at any rate? So perhaps he will too. Plus some of our siblings are supportive? We can just lock your mother up with my sister and stick them in a corner somewhere. They can hate the world that isn’t bowing down to them, together hmm? And we can all get on with our lives. And if all else fails? We will run away together.” She huffed an exasperated laugh at his ridiculous eyebrow waggle, but nudged his nose with her own affectionately too. His eyes were so soft that it was actually rather terrifying and exhilarating too. He had looked at her like that when they were ‘having sex’ the night before. Sex that wasn’t JUST sex. And it was... SOMETHING. “We will give them separate corner boxes I think. Better to be safe than sorry.”

 

She SHOULD object entirely to his lumping her mother’s control in with his sisters crazy. But she knew he was only playing around too. -For the most part. And she respected his right to see her that way, given how she had likely reacted - beyond the part they KNEW about with her brother. All because she chose to be with him. And with how he was seeing her treatment of her over the years too. Truthfully she wouldn’t be surprised if she cut her off, at least for a while. And it would hurt! But eventually she would hopefully understand that she was hurting her and had been doing so for a long time now. She LOVED her! She was her Mother. She just didn’t like her very much right now. And she had had enough of her life being decided for her, dependent on the best possible marriage prospect of her mothers choosing. She was MORE than that. And she wanted her Mother to see and understand that. It wasn’t a big ask. “Ugh! Fine! Be reasonable! Separate boxes in separate corners it is. But only because I like you Stark.” She snorted a laugh and whacked his belly in reprimand. Truthfully? She appreciated the return to their usual bantering ways. It was far more comfortable for her.

 

“Are you going to tell me what happened with Cersei? Or your Dad?” He groaned dramatically and flopped his head back. “I WAS thinking about getting you out of you clothes again actually? And then you go and mention THOSE TWO?!” She cocked an arrogant brow and waited for him to look at her. He groaned again, just as dramatically when he did and it was rather amusing. “I probably SHOULD confess there, I suppose.” Confess? She frowned in question and sat up slightly at his rather severe look. It wasn’t GUILT... It was Anger? And a LOT of it. “Joffrey claimed to have PHOTOS. And my sister threatened to have him post them online. I made sure that if he tried, the files would go to My Father and Robert and also all data from his phone would be copied to a separate device and then wiped from his - at least I THINK that’s what happened? Anyway? As I knew would happen? Robert flipped and broke all of his electronics and slapped him around for it. And my Father called me to see what the hells went on. He said that the files he was sent wiped after a few minutes, and the same with Robert apparently. So they’ve SEEN THEM yes, but they don’t have copies of them. The device with the ONLY copies LEFT will be sent to me and I will give it to you. I also threatened Cersei with having him charged with distribution of child pornography being that YOU were a minor when he took the photos. I also told her I would push for you to press charges because they would likely show evidence of your abuse at his hands. I WON’T push you to do anything you don’t want. But risking that, will keep her in her box too. Not that my Father is likely to let her out again after that anyway.”

 

She felt sick. Photos. She hadn’t even thought about the possibility of that. Except that she could remember him taking them at times too, now that it had been said. And now she couldn’t breathe because... Because her Boyfriend? Lover? Jaime knew about them... He knew about her abusive relationship with his nephew anyway... But photos made it real. He had shared them with... Robert Baratheon AND Tywin Lannister had SEEN them! But the world hadn’t because of Jaime. Her chest hurt. “Hey? Come on! Breathe Sansa. Breathe with me Little Wolf. Like this.” He was cupping her face and pressing his forehead to hers, but she couldn’t see him through the blur of her tears and she couldn’t breathe and her chest hurt and she wanted to be sick. But he held her head so tight and he wasn’t letting go and she felt safe. She closed her eyes and let the tears fall and just LISTENED. “That’s it. Keep breathing Baby. I’ve got you.”

 

“That’s why you wanted to know my birthday? So you could threaten him with child pornography charges?” Her chest still hurt. But it hurt a whole lot less now that she could breathe AND now that she was straddling his lap and draped over him and held so tight in his arms. When that had happened she couldn’t for the life of her work out? But it felt good. Safe. Protected. WANTED. “Well, YES. Partly. But I also figure it IS something I should KNOW about the girl I’m DATING right? Especially when there will be those ‘just how YOUNG is your girl’ questions.” She huffed a breathy, utterly exhausted laugh and shook her head where it was resting on his shoulder. “Those are some serious claims Jaime.” He hummed in affirmation and rubbed at her back almost lazily, without loosening his hold at all. “They are. But his crimes against you are also rather serious. If for no other reason? My sister will hear the danger such actions against you will court. But those photos Sansa? I KNOW they exist - my Father was apoplectic over it - not at you. He will make sure that they stay away from you. Neither of them can do anything with them now anyway alright? This friend of mine? He is VERY GOOD at what he does. He will make sure that the only copies are in your possession.”

 

“Thank you.” It was high handed of him. And she was rather uncomfortable about the fact that his Father had seen... AND Robert too. But better them than the whole world she supposed. The idea of Robert having seen them was far more uncomfortable than Tywin Lannister though? At the least she could guarantee that The Great Lion would have seen beyond the naked curves. And such. She didn’t want to think on THAT. She was angry about them seeing them - about Jaime purposely using them to make his ‘MOVE’ against his sister and her vile son. But it was proportional to what and WHO he prevented from seeing it too. She was angry at herself more. For ever being in a position to have such photos taken to begin with. AND for forgetting about it - probably more accurately, assuming they were no longer an issue, some seven odd years later! And she was a little embarrassed by her reaction too. She hadn’t had a panic attack like that in a long time. And she was fairly confident that she had just done so in front of someone with likely FAR more reason to suffer such ailments himself. Never mind that they had only JUST established that they were together officially. Never mind that until two days ago, he hadn’t been in her life at all, but for a foot note in her sordid past.

 

“You alright?” She hummed in affirmation and stroked her hand over the back of his head in gentle thanks and affection. She wasn’t REALLY? “I’m alright. Thank you Jaime.” He pressed a small kiss to her head in acknowledgment. “Want to have sex and take your mind off it Stark?” She snorted a startled laugh and shook her head at his cheek. He was even rubbing and gripping at her ass and hips pointedly, in invitation. If she had been actually looking at him, she could almost guarantee he’d be smirking at her like the ass he was - probably waggling his eyebrows at her too. He was such an idiot. A stupid, handsome idiot. Who also was apparently HER idiot. She grinned wickedly and turned her head to lick and suck at his earlobe to tease him some. “Maybe I don’t want my mind off it Lannister? Maybe I want to lay all over MY lover, and plot out all the ways I want to tear his bitch sisters world apart. That’s what she thinks I’m doing anyway right? I don’t want to bring down your whole family for the actions of those two? But HER? HIM? They just became free game.” He groped her ass hard and actually spanked her with the ‘robot’ hand as he ground his ridiculously hard length against her with a low growl. “See? SUCH vicious threats just make me want to fuck you even more little wolf. You sure I can’t persuade you, My Beautiful, Angry girl?” She hummed in amusement and bit his jaw as she rolled her hips over him. They really SHOULD be talking. But she was kind of done talking too. She was wrung out and emotionally exhausted, and she didn’t want to THINK anymore. “You know? It really wouldn’t take too much shuffling to FREE you from the confines of those pants.... And I AM only wearing loose fitting shorts that could be pulled aside?”

 

He didn’t waste any time at all, lifting his hips and tugging his tracksuit pants down enough to free himself, all without dislodging her at all. And she laughed happily at his eagerness and his excited and cocky grin. “Oh! Would you look at that? NO PANTS!” She laughed again and leaned in to press a kiss to his stupid, pleased grin, around her own laughter. “You’re ridiculous.”

“Rude! We definitely need to mark the occasion. It’s YOU and ME. And we are TOGETHER. We should actually BE TOGETHER! To celebrate!”

“Are you begging again Lannister?”

“Absolutely! My girl is SEXY! And on top of me! And my cock is out and hard. It does things to me when you snarl and growl like that, Stark.” She smiled bashfully and kissed his stupid delicious lips again as she shuffled around to pull her shorts and panties aside and sink down on him slowly. And then she pulled back to rest her forehead on his as she rode him, lifting and rolling slowly to savour every inch of him stretching her. “I’ve got you Little One. You and me alright? You with me, Baby?” She nodded ever so slightly and held his frankly stunning eyes. “You and me, I’m with you.” They were crossing the line between sex and that SOMETHING MORE, all over again. And she was completely alright with it.

Chapter Text

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

It’s Monday morning! Can I assume you have finally ceased wearing a pair of wolf legs for a belt? - And will FINALLY get back to me in a reasonable time frame rather than making me wait for hours?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Funny. She kicked me out this morning because apparently, I am a distracting pain in her ass. Her Father is flying in today too though? So I’m not sure I’ll see her for a few days.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Ahh. So we aren’t at ‘meet the folks’ stage yet? Well? At least I’m not missing ALL of the drama. Although I’ve no doubt the tabloid speculation will keep me entertained well enough anyway! What happened with Cersei? Myrcella called yesterday, said she was on the war path and that you two had another massive row?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

I don’t doubt she is. But it won’t do her any good. I have to meet with Father AGAIN later over that. I’ll actually call and explain it all later. As for the ‘meet the folks’? I have no idea what I can expect there. If she asks me to? I will endeavour to behave myself, I guess?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Like a good boy huh?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

See? You say that like it’s the funniest thing in the world little brother. But let me assure you? VERY good things happen when I’m a good boy. And FUNNY isn’t the word I’d use for any of it. Although my girl does have quite the wicked tongue and wit enough to rival YOU!

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Does she now? I do have to admit, I have been particularly amused by her #astarkandalannister tags! But just for clarification? You have SPOKEN with her about your desire to actually DATE? Is Father planning a Rock wedding and a hostile takeover yet?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Funny you should mention that? When we were talking in the bar that first night she wondered what you would make of a story that started out with THAT. ‘A Stark and a Lannister walk into a bar’. Yes we have spoken, yes we are dating. I can’t confirm or deny his take on things YET. He’s keeping it close to the chest - likely until he decides whether he can trust that she’s not out to ruin us all.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

I am not even sure my vast imagination could have predicted a tale as dramatic and wonderfully entertaining as I’m getting, with such an introduction! My only complaint is that I’m not PRESENT to enjoy it to its full potential!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Come home and we can all be seen together and cause a real stir? AND you can meet my girl for who she REALLY is.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

I look forward to doing exactly that Brother. I have not seen or spoken with her in a very long time. I can only imagine from the things you have told me, that she isn’t the same girl anymore. Unfortunately, I do actually have a job to do here for now though.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

That’s horse shit and you know it. I’ll talk to Father about THAT too. The Hateful Bitch is confined to The Stormlands with an allowance regulated by Robert for now anyway?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

I will still need to see this done Jai. Below my pay grade and skill or not? It is a necessary task for the company. And we both know why I’m really here. And surely he has a tighter hold on her than trusting ROBERT to hold those purse strings?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

He will hold them according to Fathers dictates or he will find himself cut off too. We both know he wouldn’t hesitate to bring Stannis into it. And that tight bastard won’t need any convincing to cut them off either.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

True enough I suppose. Do you know of the current potential hostilities in The Stark camp since the angry brother went home?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Not in detail? Jon and Arya and someone named Tally? (I have no idea who that is? One of the elder ones partners maybe?) They have all told her that if she’s happy, they are happy for her? So that’s a start. Actually Arya has been pretty vocal about being ‘team Sansa’. Her Mother is the issue and will very likely stay an issue. And apparently Ned told her that he can’t tell her what to do, he isn’t particularly HAPPY about it, but he loves her anyway even if she’s making a stupid choice? So it could be worse?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

If she hasn’t been ordered home and/or disowned? There is hope yet brother. And you know you COULD ask your girlfriend who Tally is? But if I were to guess, I would say it’s Robbs wife. Rumour has it that Mama Stark wasn’t particularly happy about his marrying his foreign girlfriend.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

I could yes. That’s the first time that term has been uttered you know? And that sounds about right too. Sansa said something to him about their mother trying to set him up with some chit while he was seeing someone.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

And here I was thinking Catelyn was the sanest of the Tully siblings?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Sanest does not necessarily mean SANE brother. Did you know she wouldn’t let Sansa go home to do her final year at school? Do NOT tell a soul I told you that! But apparently she implied that Sansa should stay closer to Joff! She may not be as OBVIOUSLY insane and abusive as our sweet sister, but she is both, from what I have heard.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

You are kidding surely?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

I wish I was.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Want me to search out an apartment for you and your girl while I’m here? Getting her away from the crazies in BOTH of your lives might just be the smarter move brother.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

That’s a regular topic between us actually. But we aren’t really at ‘run away together’ YET.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

And where exactly ARE YOU? Because from where I’m standing? It’s definitely not a fling, or a one night stand type deal, and it’s also far more serious than merely dating - considering the crazy drama you are both willing to wade through?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Not sure. Is ‘she’s sexy as fuck, great in bed, hilariously quick witted, and terrifyingly intelligent and interesting, thus making her my favourite person ever’ a relationship stage do you think?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Ahh? I believe THAT stage is called ‘falling hard and fast in love with THE ENEMY’! Look at you growing up!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Fuck off Ty! First off? It’s WAY TOO soon for that! And second? She isn’t the enemy.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Keep telling yourself that brother. I tried to deny how I felt about Shae initially too. So no judgement. But I’m getting in early with my ‘I told you so.’ And no I don’t suppose ENEMY is the fitting term, no? But saying your arch nemesis’ daughter is a mouthful.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

You’re an idiot. And Stark is hardly MY nemesis? I don’t think about the man enough for that. If anything Father is the arch nemesis of ALL elder generations of Starks AND Tully’s.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

True enough. But you can’t deny that you and he are the epitome of ‘Stark and Lannister’ or in most cases? Oil and water?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

And yet I’m willing to be civil for his daughters sake?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

There’s a word for that? What IS the word I want, I wonder?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Mature? Reasonable? Magnanimous?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Nope. That’s not it?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

You are being an ass Tyrion.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

I have it! WHIPPED!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

You’re hilarious. I have to go meet Father. And I WAS going to advise he replace you over there because I’ll need you here to navigate the shit storm my Baby and I have created? But you can sweat it in the desert a little longer now you fucker.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

YOUR BABY? How’s that not being IN LOVE AND WHIPPED working out for you big brother.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME

 

I’m calling Shae.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

HA! You’re out of luck Brother! Ovulation is coming up! She won’t risk our window of opportunity to kick me out of bed for annoying you!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

I’m still calling. She can just hold the sex AFTER the window closes until the next one opens (which will hopefully be unnecessary because this window will work.) Stop being an asshole and make me a niece. Make her in the image of her Mama too. I like her better than you right now.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Sure. I’ll get right on that shall I? Good luck with The Great Lion! I want a play by play when he organises a meet with you and Sansa and her Daddy too brother!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

You’re still an ass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

ARCH NEMESIS. OIL AND WATER. ENEMIES.

 

His brothers words were irritating him. It wasn’t exactly a secret that he didn’t like Ned Stark. It wasn’t exactly a secret that Ned Stark didn’t like him either. But to consider them in such terms - as though their dislike of one another was of some significance? Made absolutely no sense to him. There wasn’t a point in any interaction he had shared with the man, that he could think of, that would indicate that any animosity ran deeper. Their families were like ‘OIL AND WATER’ as a general rule - a point that stemmed from their Fathers once amicability being shattered over political differences. And it wasn’t necessarily restricted to them and the Starks either. That ‘disagreement’ also included Hoster Tully and Jon Arryn - yet the animosity between THEM and his family was far less, though perhaps it was simply DOCUMENTED FAR LESS by the media who blew everything out of proportion? His Father being Rickard Starks ‘nemesis’, wasn’t an inaccurate statement. But that did not automatically transfer to He and Ned?

 

He did NOT like his girlfriends Father. The guy was self righteous and judgemental and arrogant to a whole different degree than he was used to, being a Lannister. Actually? Even without hearing the things he had in recent days, about the mans wife? He could remember her being even WORSE in that regard too! The only time he and Ned Stark had ever shared any sort of accord, had been the few times that the man was privy to him standing between a drunk and abusive Robert, and his sister. It was a short lived and singular type of accord too though - it certainly didn’t extend to understanding when he lost his mind on one of those occasions and had to be pulled off the belligerent idiot that was his sisters husband, by that same man. But that didn’t make them ENEMIES necessarily.

 

The man was a fellow soldier, one who had been ‘forced’ into an early retirement to take over the mantle of ‘heir’ when Brandon Stark had been killed in that freak horse riding accident all those years ago. Not that they had ever REALLY served together. Stark was Northern Army and he was Special Forces. And he KNEW that a lot of the mans dislike from him came from THAT. He thought him reckless and to a point, a danger to those serving beside him? He had never hidden that he felt that way, even if he was forced to respect his service record too. Jaime had never really concerned himself with such things, because no one - not even fellow servicemen, KNEW the sorts of things his teams had been forced to face over the years either. Even Ned Stark could be forgiven his ignorance, in thinking him reckless in that. And he probably thought he was shirking his familial responsibilities, by being the ‘heir’ and throwing it away to chase his ‘glory’ too? And yet STILL, none of that made them more than just two men, born of Families with animosity between them, who simply DID NOT LIKE EACH OTHER.

 

Being associated so closely with the man - when he would soon be faced with him in a way that meant it would be necessary to behave respectfully and amicably? Was utterly baffling and frustrating. He hadn’t even thought of the guy in YEARS. The last time he could remember even THINKING about ANY Stark, was when his now girlfriend, broke up with his vermin shit stain of a nephew. At that point he did actually think Ned Stark, at least deserving of respect. Because he had been supportive enough of his daughter and the hurts that he apparently did not know the full extent of, to cut Robert Baratheon from his life after his ridiculously immature carry on over it. He didn’t like him, and Lannister’s and Starks would never see eye to eye when they were so fundamentally different, and both equally as proud, stubborn and arrogant as each other. Not when the fallout from the political drama their Fathers had caused was so significant. But that didn’t make he and Ned Stark enemies.

 

He realised that his brother was exaggerating to make a joke, of course, but unfortunately it had resulted in serious thoughts for him. He didn’t particularly care what anyone thought of him. And he certainly wasn’t one to attempt to encourage someone to LIKE him. But his girls reaction to their conversation about them actually dating, had given him pause. She wanted to make her stand, and she DID want to be with him. But no matter how strong she pretended to be over it? It hurt her to think that she would never be accepted for her choices. That WAS what her walking into that bar and initially talking to him, had been about - forcing them to accept her for who she was, regardless of her choices. Her attempts to trigger a response were designed to force them to see, that they had upset her, by not SEEING her enough to know that being back in Kings Landing would be hard for her. By not hearing her when she said she wasn’t interested in a man just because her Mother thought him a good fit for her.

 

Unlike him, she hadn’t cut those who would deny her the freedom of choosing her own life, from her life - for the most part. It would HURT her, to loose them. - She wanted him anyway. She wanted to explore what they had together. Which told him that she felt it too. Whatever IT was. But it would break her heart if none of them ever accepted HIM for HER. They could joke about running away all they liked - but that wasn’t what they truly wanted either. So he would do what he had to, to ease that for her. He had resolved himself to being ‘friendly’ - as friendly as he could manage at any rate - with Ned Stark. A point he could grudgingly stomach, because of what the man had said to his daughter. If he was willing to let her make her choices, and love her anyway, the least he could do was meet the man half way - FOR HER. Catelyn was a lost caused. As lost as Cersei and Joffrey in his mind. But he would try to make it work, as best he could with the rest.

 

The misconception of HATE between he and Ned Stark - made that an impossibility, and it was playing tricks on his mind! And his mind wasn’t exactly a safe place for him at the best of times. His emotions were in overdrive enough, with Cersei and Joffreys idiocy and his lingering rage over Tyrion being sent off, when it SHOULD have been Cersei sent packing? On top of the ridiculous amount of drama that exploded out around he and Sansa? AND he and Sansa full stop! It had come out of nowhere, and yet? Here he was, ready and willing, to move mountains to be with her? - He did not need the concern that things were SO hateful there, that it would be impossible to make it work, so his girl could be his and NOT lose her family because of it. He need to clear his head. He NEEDED answers to wade through the crap so he COULD clear his head. And he wouldn’t get them in regards to his RELATIONSHIP with his girls Father, until he was actually faced with the man. But he COULD get them in regards to his families current issues - provided his Father would stop refusing to share it with him.

 

He had had entirely too much contact with his Father in recent days, if he was being completely honest! He would MUCH prefer to devote his mind to either thinking about the beautiful woman who had seemingly taken up residence under his skin, in such a small window of time. Or conversely, plan out some ridiculous and snort worthy way to make her laugh and beam at him happily with those incredibly expressive eyes - AND ultimately win himself another opportunity to wrap himself up in her, in her bed again. But she was busy with her Father and he needed to face his own once more. He even WANTED to, as confronting as that was? Because he honestly hoped to get to the truth of a few familial matters, thus clearing the way for him to actually be able to focus and move forward in this strange new landscape. And thanks to modern technology? He could even get her to make him feel better before facing his Father, and hopefully without interrupting her dealing with her own TOO badly.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Hope things aren’t too uncomfortable between you and your Dad. I’m about to go see my own now. Thought I’d let you know, that I would MUCH PREFER to be spending my day disposing of all of your clothing so you are restricted to either being gloriously naked or wearing MY clothes. And also stealing all of your underwear for my trophy collection. How am I doing on your creep scale now beautiful?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Well NOW things between he and I could be uncomfortable! I’m blushing redder than my hair you ASS! It’s lucky you’re cute Lannister. Definite point loss for being a creep AND for embarrassing me! But you can have them back for checking on me too. You alright?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I believe you mean devilishly handsome? Perhaps funny and witty and charming too? Oh I HAVE IT! I’m SWOON WORTHY! Definitely NOT cute. Such terms can bruise a mans delicate ego Stark. Are you worrying about me, Beautiful?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Swoon Worthy? What century is this? Is this a generational gap thing? I MEANT CUTE LANNISTER. Suck it up. You are CUTE! And I actually WAS, yes. Do I NEED to worry about you?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

OUCH! Must you remind me that I’m a dirty old man? I refuse to accept being cute Stark. YOU are cute. I am not. And thank you Sweetheart. But I’ll be fine. Even more so now. I’ll let you go do whatever it is you are doing. No need to antagonise your Father by taking all of your attention hmm? I’ll call tonight. Unless you want me to come by?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

MY dirty old man, Lannister. Told you I was a fan of the silver where there used to be gold. And you’re cute whether you like it or not. But if you are sure you are alright? Call me first and I’ll let you know about tonight alright? Also? Dad doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about me texting you? But he will be if I continue to be rude - plus we have work to get through. I’ll talk to you tonight.

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You are a cheeky little woman Stark. But I’ll let you off with a warning just this once. I really am fine Baby, thank you. I’ll call later.

Chapter Text

“There you are!” She smiled genuinely at the harried and almost overwhelmed look on her Fathers usually calm features, and wrapped her arms around him, kissing his bearded cheek, in welcome. She was nervous - Of course she was nervous! Regardless of his claims that his trip South had more to do with business, she knew he was there because of her actions. It was even possible? Probable? That her actions had actually impacted the business side of things too. She KNEW it would have an effect on the Rosby dealings at the very least. But he had been good enough to imply that he hadn’t been all that concerned about that particular deal at all, and had always planned on joining her to hopefully settle an entirely different and far more lucrative one himself anyway. And that her actions had only moved things along a little faster, by opening a window of opportunity to meet sooner, rather than later. She didn’t believe it to be the complete truth, but he had also told her he wasn’t disappointed in her either - so she was clinging to that. “Hello love. By the Gods! I forgot how overcrowded and awful it was down here!” She laughed at his low grumble and pulled back to shake her head at him. Preening almost, at the feel of his heavy hand awkwardly patting her shoulder.

 

“Mmm. Yes. Definitely overcrowded. Let’s get you out of here before you make a break for the departures lounge and hightail it back North! I spoke with Beth and got you set up in a quiet hotel just on the edge of Flea Bottom. It’s nice, and not too far from my apartment. Unfortunately - my place is only a studio, so you can’t just stay with me.” He gave her a small smile and nodded as he turned, offering her his arm to hold - something she hadn’t been sure he would do, but had desperately hoped for. Her Father was not an expressive man, but in lieu of holding a hand or wrapping his arm around any of them, like another might? He always offered his arm to she and Arya to hold. There Mother too - though she was THE ONE exception to his discomfort over more obvious affections. For obvious reasons. He clearly meant to convey that he had meant his words about not being too frustrated or angry with her. “I’ll manage with the hotel love. But we might look at getting you a bigger place too? A single room loft type of place won’t work if Arya comes knocking on your door hmm?” She huffed an exasperated laugh and nodded. “If I’m honest? I half expected her to be with you.”

 

“Aye. She thought about it. She’s got her own work, and life, to worry about though.” He paused quietly for a moment and smiled, almost sadly at her as she hailed a taxi for them, in the lanes outside of the arrivals terminal. “I needed her at home for now too.” She nodded in understanding and almost flushed. It didn’t take a genius to figure it out. Her Father wanted to speak to her, get a handle on the situation, without her vicious little body guard making that difficult, and things weren’t alright at home. A part of her was embarrassed, and guilty, over the fact that she had caused SO MUCH drama. A small dark part of her was proud of having done so. The rest of her was just stubbornly resolved. She had met a man, one of her choosing, and acted on it. It was utterly ludicrous, that her family had gone into such a tailspin over it.

 

“And how ARE things at home?” Her Father sighed tiredly and shook his head as he settled into the backseat of the taxi beside her, and reached to pat her hand awkwardly. “Ahh. You and I are both in the dog house, but don’t you let it worry you. We will get past it.” She frowned in confused question. Her heart hurting over the idea that her actions had somehow put her Father in the firing line meant for her. Arya and Jon? They were used to it too - well Jon was, at any rate! And Arya tended to jump into it to protect her more often then not in recent years. But her Father? He was usually the peace maker - not a fellow antagonist? “And how are things... With.” She huffed a small laugh, over his uncomfortably avoiding her many questions, by asking after Jaime. “Things are good Daddy. He... Um? He has to meet with his Dad today again too. He had a bit of a run in with.... I’ll explain it later. Alright? Things are good between the two of us though - we are trying to... Get to know each other better, and balance the awkward stuff out separately too.” She cleared her throat uncomfortably and squeezed his hand gently. It was awkward between them, and she HATED IT. But she couldn’t exactly blame him for being uncomfortable over it. They didn’t really TALK about her romantic life, at the best of times. She didn’t doubt it was even more uncomfortable for him - being that her man friend? Lover? Partner? Being that Jaime was so much older than her - and that her Dad wasn’t exactly FOND of him at all!

 

“That’s good. I guess. I saw a photo.” She blinked at him in confusion as he cleared his throat and looked off out the window. She wasn’t really sure he was actually seeing any of the city he was studying so intently though. “You were happier in that photo... Than I’ve seen you in a long time love.” Oh. She swallowed hard and nodded to herself. “He makes me laugh.... For all of the very many, very real ISSUES there? He can make me forget everything weighing on my mind. It’s moving so fast and that does.... It is unexpected. But.” She felt like a little girl, begging her Dad to let her have her way. She felt small. Despite the fact that it hadn’t ever been her Dad that denied her when she did so? There was some ingrained, sinking disappointment that was just... Taking her under. He sighed softly and nodded, smiling sadly all over again. “Aye. I know Sansa.” She smiled sheepishly and nodded in thanks. He didn’t need to say anything more. She understood that he was as happy as he COULD be for her, but that he wasn’t happy for himself and their family. And then she flushed slightly as her phone chimed, smiling sheepishly at his knowing smirk when she noted WHO the text she had received was from. “Speak Of The devil and he shall appear hmm?” She squeaked slightly in surprise and then laughed happily with him, at his cheek. It wasn’t EASY for him. But he seemed to be willing to TRY. And that was all she could have asked for. She loved him so very much in that moment. For just being her Dad.

 

 

———————

 

 

“Tell me about Rosby? Your impressions? You read people differently to me - that’s become a bit obvious of late hmm? What do you think?” She laughed at his cheek and ignored her heavy blush, as she laid her cutlery aside and settled back into her seat. They had checked him into his hotel, and dropped his luggage off. And then decided that they would find somewhere for lunch, before delving into things too deeply. And it was.... So nice! To just have her Dads attention, all for her own. To have him treat her, almost like an equal. Definitely like an adult. It was surreal. And she wanted to savour every single moment. “Well? Vic Rosby? He’s a genuinely nice man. Very good businessman too. He has dedicated himself to building his business up on his own shoulders - and it shows. He is VERY hard working.” She paused and frowned at her glass for a moment in thought, sipping at it as she weighed her words, and letting it settle back on the table gently as she met her Fathers deep grey eyes once more. “I don’t think he’s as interested in working with us, as we were led to believe though Dad. To be honest? The connection between us and Rosby is pretty obscure. I’m not sure why we WANT to work with them, and I’m not sure Vic understands it either. Not beyond him just being a good, solid, Southern businessman that is?” Her Father sighed heavily and nodded at her, in very obvious agreement. “Aye. I was of a similar mind when it was suggested to me too. But it was made as in investment suggestion, as you know. And I was  curious over it. I HAD hoped that it was more about Rosby wanting to expand things for himself, and just needing a leg up I guess? Investing with us would be a practical move for a small company, wanting a guaranteed, but steady return. As you know. But I was suspicious too. Those files you sent me told me everything I needed to know.”

 

She nodded deftly. It would be disappointing, in a way, to not have that connection created with VIC Rosby. He was a nice man, and his business was solid, regardless of the ‘lack’ of actual DEFINITIVE CONNECTION between their industries? It would be a workable situation. One that would benefit them both. Rosby would give them the Southern exposure they wanted - to a small degree. And They would give Rosby a solid and steady gain on his investment. If not for his disgusting excuse for a son. But it was absolutely impractical to settle an agreement, when they knew his son was only sweating on signing it all away to pay for his poor choices, the moment it was his to sign away. And that was just NOT their problem.

 

“You knew? About.... It being IMPLIED that I was part of the deal?” Her Father grunted in disgust and wiped his mouth with his napkin quickly and leaning forward over the table a little, on his elbows. She wasn’t sure she really WANTED to know. She felt a little sick at the idea actually. But she needed to understand, and she wouldn’t if she didn’t ask. “You were NOT part of the deal Love. Surely you don’t think I’d sell you off like some piece of.... No. I knew, that your Mother had hoped to encourage a potential relationship.” He sighed wearily and focused his eyes on his hands, picking at the callouses on the side of his finger, as he always did when severely angry, and unwilling to show, act or speak on that anger. It was almost like a nervous tick. “She’s always wanted... It was her hope, that you’d marry well enough to... I don’t know Love? She wanted someone lower on the ranks of society, but financially independent for you, I guess? I know it’s not right. I know we don’t live in medieval times where marriages or IN THIS CASE - potential relationships - are designed with political connections in mind or whatever! But honestly? I trusted that you were capable of separating THAT from the actual WORK. And I wanted to give you a chance to prove yourself in THAT. And give you and your mother some much needed time apart. It’s no excuse, that I haven’t put my foot down over this matchmaking business until now. I won’t make excuses for my ignorance there Sansa. I should have been firmer with her interference after Hardyng. Like I was after Roberts brat of a boy. And I... I didn’t KNOW you wanted to come back home so badly then either. Not until Robb spoke to me about it when he came home.”

 

She wanted to cry. The tears were actually pricking the backs of her eyes hotly too. Not that she would let them come. She wasn’t even going to allow him to see just how much of an effect his quiet, gruff words, had had on her. She had waited years to hear something - anything, along those lines. And now she did NOT know what to do with them. “I’m missing something there Sansa. What do I not know?” She sucked in a deep, shuddering breath and met his eyes. She was angry, and scared. “About Joffrey? Or about Mamas INTERFERING and MATCHMAKING?” It came out like an icey dagger, slashing and cutting at the air between them. She hadn’t meant to sound so aggressive. But she was a wounded and broken wolf too. And he was FINALLY looking. “Both.” She swallowed hard and nodded. She didn’t WANT him to know the truth of Joffreys treatment. But with Cerseis threats and... Jaimes reactive protection? He needed to know SOMETHING, in the event that it did come out too. “I asked to come home, because I had no friends, and I was lonely and I missed my family. I didn’t want to go out with Joffrey anymore because? In all honesty? He’s a terrible person. We weren’t happy together anymore, and he turned into a jerk because of it. But him and his family were all I had here, so I sucked it up. Tyrion was actually a pretty good friend. And Tommen and Myrcella were friendly and kind too. I focused on school and studying, and Arya and I emailed back and forth a bit too.” She shrugged in a bid to appear nonchalant. Hoping beyond hope that he didn’t ask anything heavier.

 

“I’m sorry I didn’t notice Love. I’m sorry I failed you there.” She swallowed hard and nodded. His tone told her everything she needed to know. And it only confirmed more of her suspicions. Her Mother hadn’t disclosed JUST how distressed she had been. She obviously hadn’t told him how she begged, and was brushed off as being overly dramatic because she was homesick. “I um... I should warn you? That... Jaime knows about that. And I’m sure you can imagine how judgemental he has been over it... But.” She winced slightly at his uncomfortable and guilty and even a bit heartbroken, look. “He knows Joff though? It wasn’t until AFTER we broke up, but he come to understand just how hard things had been made for me here. He was pretty upset when he found out that I had wanted to go home and was denied.” Her Father cleared his throat and bowed his head in a nod of understanding. Very clearly angry, but it did NOT feel as though it was directed at her at all. Which helped the pain building in her chest. “He never said anything? Or Tyrion? They never tried to help?” She let out a small, dark laugh. If only he knew it all. Except that it would hurt him FAR too much to know it all. “Tyrion was a friend to me, but he knew it wasn’t his place to make demands on my behalf to my own family Dad. And Jaime? Gods? This all happened around the time of his attack. I didn’t even see him until about a month or so before school finished up? He was in the hospital and then the rehab centre over in Essos until then.”

 

“Oh. Aye. Of course he was. I was just thinking that... I wouldn’t have thought he would have hesitated to call me out on my failures towards my daughter.” She smiled sadly and shook her head at him. No. Jaime wouldn’t have hesitated to interfere and to call her Father out for it. Not the Jaime she knew NOW anyway. But it was a positive thing for her, that her Father understood that about him too, from what he knew of him. “That’s why he has to meet with his Father again today. He and Cersei got into over he and I being together. She got pretty nasty, she and Joffrey both. Jaime got nastier. He said to me ‘don’t worry about it Little Wolf. I pissed my sister off, and I do it regularly. I can handle her.’” She blushed slightly and shrugged at his slight shift towards amusement. Though he was still genuinely upset looking too. She hadn’t told him that he hadn’t failed her himself either. Part of her WANTED to. But she realised too - that he did fail her, by trusting her mother’s thoughts on it. And he couldn’t really be blamed for trusting his wife to know the truth of his daughters circumstances either really? And she had never taken it directly to him either she supposed... But that wasn’t something she learned to be necessary until much later either. And she still did feel a little resentful towards him, even if she could understand, and didn’t WANT to feel that way.

 

“Little Wolf huh? That fits you more now than it ever has before hmm?” She laughed softly and nodded. More than a little grateful at his taking the hint and stepping away from what she did NOT WANT TO talk about any longer. Especially not in public. “Apparently so. I’m sorry I’ve been so difficult lately Dad. I just.... I’m not really either? I guess. But I am. I don’t want to make things HARD at home.” He huffed a tired laugh and scrubbed at his face. “Aye. You do. But that’s understandable Sansa. You’re as much a wolf as the rest love. We might be pack animals, but we are also FREE animals, who shouldn’t be chained.” He looked at her pointedly, making her heart melt just a little bit in her chest. He was SEEING HER. And it just meant SO MUCH to have him look at her like that. “You know? You’ve never been more like your Aunt Lya, than you are right in this moment. She was a bit wilder than you. And not nearly as responsible in other ways, as you are.”

“And I LOOK absolutely nothing like her!”

“You don’t look like her, no. But she just wanted to be free too Sansa. Her choices were.... Well? I think she even had you there too. At least Lannister isn’t a married man.” She snorted a disbelieving laugh at his dry humour and shook her head. It wasn’t actually funny. And yet it was too. “I just meant that she wanted to make her choices on her own, and she would lash out when cornered too. None of us liked Rhaegar and none of us liked that she had taken up with him knowing he was married, and his wife was dying. But she was happy Sansa. She was happy, and we missed most of it, because we couldn’t accept it for the longest time. It wasn’t until Jon was born that we did, and then she was gone. I won’t make that same mistake with my daughter. I don’t like Lannister, I won’t hide that from you. But I don’t HATE the man like I do his Father. If it had to be a Lannister? Tyrion might have been a more comfortable bet. He’s closer in age to you and at least a little more palatable to me.”

 

She snorted a laugh and shook her head at his cheeky grin. It was surreal. To talk to him like this. A single precious moment in time that she would cherish. “And MARRIED. Happily, from what I hear.” He nodded in understanding and let out a small snicker. “Aye. I just like him better. And I don’t exactly like him either. But I just want you, I want ALL of my children to be happy Sansa. If it’s Jaime bloody Lannister that gives you that? So be it. I won’t deny that I hope it’s a passing fancy. But I also don’t think it is.” She swallowed hard again and looked to her hands. “I don’t think it is either.” He sighed wearily again. “Aye? Well? I’ve told you that it’s on your shoulders? And that I don’t particularly LIKE IT. Which appeases the disappointment of WHO you’ve chosen love. You are still my daughter and I still love you. Even if I secretly hope that your boyfriend is conveniently busy whenever you come home to visit.” She laughed again. Utterly astonished that they were talking so very openly, and even joking about it. “You DO realise that I’m only in The South, until we settle the agreements you have me working on?” He hummed quietly and sipped at his water as he shook his head. “One of these deals will - HOPEFULLY - open up a need for a consultant position of sorts down here, which is yours if you want it, and it works out. If you don’t? That’s fine also. You are ALWAYS welcome back at home AND at work. But I thought.... If you mean to see where things GO? You can do so... With my support. PLUS? I get someone I can trust implicitly, with this potential partnership of sorts?”

 

“Dad! I’m not exactly experienced enough or qualified for such a position! And...” He held up his hand and straightened himself also, holding her eyes seriously. “I’m NOT offering anything that I don’t think you capable of, for any negative reason you might think Sansa. You ARE capable. You ARE my CHOICE for this, IF it works out. That is why I sent you SOUTH. It just worked in my favour too, to give you and your mother a break from each other. If you aren’t interested? That’s fine too. I can’t actually guarantee that what I am hoping to create, will WORK OUT. So I wasn’t going to tell you until it was a done thing. But I AM telling you now so that you don’t think I did so because of all of this drama. Besides, you don’t know WHO I am asking you to work with yet? You might just want to strangle me for it.” She blinked rapidly at him. Confused and disbelieving. And more than a little bit excited and proud. Even if there were suspicions marring both. It felt like she was being banished, and yet it didn’t at the same time. And he was vehemently stating that she wasn’t. It FELT like he was attempting to make it up to her, by offering her such an opportunity too? And yet, it felt like he was doing it because he believed in her too. “Who?” He smiled almost smugly and shrugged. “Stannis Baratheon.”

Chapter Text

His Grandson was a depraved lunatic. A violent and unstable predator. He always suspected that the boy wasn’t quite right. Both of his sons had voiced concerns of varying degrees over the years, about his behaviour also. But thinking he needed a swift kick up the ass, right along with his mother for the way she pampered the spoiled little shit, was a far cry from the reality staring him in the face. A kick up the ass wouldn’t have made a difference. Though his mother receiving one for her treating him like some precious, untouchable wonder, who could do no wrong, might have LESSENED the extent of his madness, to a small degree? Made him less entitled and INVINCIBLE. But even that would not have stopped the inevitable. The boy was psychopath. And Sansa Stark had gotten extremely lucky, in that she got away from him before he really let his true nature show. They had ALL gotten lucky that she had.

 

He knew well, that some blame rested on his own shoulders also. He had taken a backseat, left the weight of his Grandchildren’s upbringing to their parents. In fact the only time he had involved himself at all, beyond clipping the boy around the ears at times, if he was present for any misbehaviour, had been when he paid Sansa Stark off, and docked the trust funds of he and his mother both, to do so. He had wrongly believed it would be sufficient warning, to his daughter, to pull her son into line, and his grandson, to straighten up. Had he paid more attention? He’d have noticed that THAT was just the beginning. The tip of the proverbial iceberg. The iceberg that Varys had discovered at his request for whatever he could find, after he had seen those disgusting photos he meant to send viral, in under a full twenty four hours. An iceberg that he would see sunk. Swiftly and silently.

 

There was nothing to say that he had ventured beyond the role of voyeur and financier. But that did not mean his actions were acceptable. Even simply PAYING for photos and videos of such atrocities being enacted, made the boy culpable in a court of law. His culpability dependent on his in put. Had those things, those vile and violent acts of depraved  disregard for healthy, happy, functional human life, been HIS DESIRE, or did he simply pay his companions to document their own sick behaviour for his pleasures? Unfortunately for the idiot? His abuse of Sansa bloody STARK, and the photographic evidence of it, gave credence to the idea of his being the potential mastermind behind such things.

 

The boy was an idiot. A vile, despicable fool. He and his mother both. He was a lost cause, that needed to be cut from his family and his legacy completely. And she was just as bad, thinking she could get away with encouraging such a thing, by both COVERING for him, and assuming that he would also, if he was caught for sending those images of Sansa as he had. She would not have encouraged it at all, if she understood that he would face the consequences, so it was obvious that she meant for him to get away with it - because of who he was. Though he HAD to believe that she knew nothing of the extent of his... Past times. If she did? Than she was a lost cause too. One that he would wipe his hands of.

 

He wouldn’t ever let it become public knowledge. That much was true. But they should have learned their lessons well, when he delved into their finances as a warning. Now they would BOTH be facing him, rather than criminal justice. And he would need to deal with it quickly and quietly, to have either a plan in place, or one already acted out, for when his son caught wind of EVERYTHING, and reacted as violently as he had the potential to. As violently as Tywin himself wanted to. Unfortunately for him however? They did not live in a world, where it was still acceptable to kill off family members for bringing shame upon the family name. He would have to deal with it in a ‘more acceptable’ and only dubiously illegal manner.

 

Luckily, his daughters other failings gave him the perfect solution for her, and his Grandsons clear mental instability would suffice for him too. He would bury their despicable actions, force his daughter into a rehabilitation centre for drug and alcohol abuse - he might even let it become public knowledge that she was doing so, to tighten his control on her further - punish her further? Addiction was an easier scandal to weather than the TRUTH. And Joffrey would be admitted to a high security mental facility, with Robert and himself signing off on any and all necessary treatments, and force required to keep him there. And finally? BOTH of the trust accounts would be emptied. And he would ensure that they were fully aware, that some would go directly to Sansa Stark, for inadvertently drawing their behaviour to his notice, he would pay Varys AND Jaimes contact out of it, and then he would donate the rest, to women’s abuse charities, and homeless shelters and the like, to pay the debt of his own ignorance. He may even put the task of hand picking said charities, into his sons GIRLFRIENDS hands. And PROVIDED Robert Baratheon did as he was told and helped him ‘deal with it’? He’d pay that bastard worm Littlefinger off for the idiot, as a ONE time deal. - He would still take the slimy little man down eventually, but for the time being, he had bigger insults to answer.

 

 

——————

 

 

He didn’t bother looking up, merely waved an impatient hand at his son to sit, and returned his focus to the detailed instructions he was sending via email to his security team. Noting that thanks to the stubborn fool seated across from hims, ridiculous refusal to work until his brother was returned. He wouldn’t need to explain away his engaging ‘his men’, in tasks that he didn’t need to know about just yet. As he had Marbrand working as his head of security for the time being instead.

 

He refused to acknowledge him before he was good and ready. He also refused to openly react to his continued lack of basic courtesy. Jaime was charming and engaging, he was also arrogant, prideful and he had an horrendous temper. But he had raised him to adhere to appropriate behaviours, as he did his siblings - more so perhaps, as he was his natural successor, as he eldest son. Not that he would ever actually BE his HEIR apparent, of course - he was not a businessman and would never be a businessman. No matter how he tried to make him one. That was Tyrion. But Jaime had been pushed harder as a child in the hopes of him being the one to follow in his footsteps. Yet, that petty fool went out of his way, to taunt him with his childish refusal to act in a manner befitting him. He wanted a reaction, by refusing to announce himself, and he was not going to get it.

 

He hit send and closed out of his email before turning and meeting his sons deep green eyes fully. He wasn’t in the mood for his histrionics, but from the set of his jaw, he could see that some were headed his way regardless of his desires to avoid it. Not that he was particularly surprised, and not that he particularly objected. He’d have been far from controlled had it been him to face such things as his son had the day before. Not even Genna would have gotten away with pulling such a thing against Joanna. So he could understand, even if he wasn’t terribly happy about having to be the one to face him over it presently.

 

“Miss Stark is well, I presume?” He cocked a brow at the mild surprise flashing behind those expressive emerald pools that his wife had gifted his boy. Apparently he wasn’t supposed to care? Yet it had been made clear that the girl WAS his Joanna. He had seen the photos, and seen and heard the affect she had on him too. He had yet to speak to her, as he had hoped to do, before settling on a decision about whether he could trust her or not. But again - he had seen the photos. - looked harder at them. He didn’t need to know the girl, to understand that such emotion being shown openly on ones face, was not feigned. She didn’t have an agenda. She genuinely liked his son. So he had eased what suspicions he had initially, to a mild observational stand point. “She is. She picked her Father up at the airport earlier. I assume you knew he was heading South?” He hummed in affirmation. He DID know. Ordinarily he would not be privy to such information and he wouldn’t care to be privy to it. But given the circumstances, Ned Stark had advised him, in a bid to ‘work together’ to give an appropriate perspective of their ‘acceptance’ of his son and Starks daughters relationship, to keep the vermin at bay as best they could. He hated it. And he was sure Stark did too. But they knew it was necessary all the same, if they didn’t want it getting as out of hand in public, as it had in private.

 

“Good. I had concerns after your sisters carry on.” His son nodded deftly and sighed dramatically as he slouched lazily in the seat across from him. The insolent fool should be thanking him for the genes that made his still remaining graceful, despite his lack of grace, a possibility. “I had assumed that is what you meant. But she is fine. She was upset and then angry. And it likely will come back around on her when the device my man had the photos saved to, arrives. For today however? She’s suitably distracted with her Fathers presence. You might be impressed by her kicking me out this morning because apparently I am a pain in her ass.” He let his lips twitch ever so slightly at hearing that. He WAS suitably impressed. Not only because she apparently had no qualms about putting his son in his place? But also because she obviously felt confident in her safety with him to do so. Given the history that he now understood, in a lot more detail? That was quite a feat in a small window of time. “I imagine she will struggle then, yes. She should not see them. It won’t be helpful to her at all. I assume she has moved on and put that particular part of her life behind her?” His son hummed in quiet agreement and he nodded in answering agreement. “Then she has enough to navigate, merely being back in the city and back in OUR family orbit. Without seeing such things. I don’t object to you having possession of such, though I would prefer they didn’t exist? It is insurance for her safety. I still mean to speak to her, and if she is agreeable? I am happy to have THAT locked away for safe keeping on her behalf. But I won’t push. I don’t imagine she trusts ME of all people, to act in her favour, against my own family.”

 

As expected, his son scoffed rudely, he even let out a derogatory huff of laughter as he shook his head. “I’ll offer to set up a safe deposit box or something, that only she and I can access. She won’t trust you, no. Not in this. But she doesn’t want that coming to light, anymore than you do.” He bowed a single nod in acceptance and tented his fingers before himself, his elbows pressed into the arms of his chair, as he lazed back comfortably. As lazed back as he could be, whilst still maintaining an appropriately upright presence. Unlike his idiot son, who looked somewhat like a giant cat, laying all over his furniture. “Speaking of which? Are you actually planning on dealing with those idiots, beyond their luxurious Stormlands house arrest and new financial dependency?” And there it was. He sighed heavily and let his eyes wonder towards the city skyline, out his floor to ceiling windows. It wasn’t Casterly Rock. It would never be The Rock, and thus, would never afford him that same level of peace. But being so high above the world, and free to look over it to the horizon HELPED. “I am dealing with it Jaime. And no, I won’t be explaining myself in that regard. So do not bother to ask. You will just need to trust that your little Stark girl, is and will continue to be safe from their carry on, from now on. I am sure I don’t need to remind you, AGAIN, to not engage with either of them yourself, so as to not give them a window?” He ignored the disgusted snorting and waited.

 

“You don’t need to worry about that. Far as I’m concerned? The pair of idiots are dead to me.” He cocked an arrogant brow in question as he turned to take his boy in. He was deadly serious. The stubborn tilt to his jaw saying more than his words had. She had finally pushed him too far. He was curious as to whether it was that the Stark girl meant so much to him already, or if there was more to it. “No, I don’t mean that purely because they acted in a manner that threatened Sansa, so much as I have no interest in finding myself in the company of people capable of such things. It’s been a long time coming. And it’s not EXACTLY new ground for me with Joff. I’ve hated and dismissed that ones presence for years. And Cersei has only been afforded acknowledgement in recent years, because we are both LANNISTERS. Her carrying on at you and passing the buck for her shortcomings, onto Tyrion was very nearly my breaking point. Yesterday was the very last straw. I’m done. She can burn in Hell.” He sighed at the melodramatics, but accepted the sentiment behind such carry on easily.

 

He knew it was coming. It HAD only been a matter of time. Especially after she tried to lay blame for her actions at Tyrions feet recently. His eldest children had always had the strangest dynamic. One that his son blindly accepted as his lot in life, for FAR TOO LONG. Even their being separated by adult life hadn’t been enough to sever his daughters monopoly of her brothers attention. THAT came with his losing his hand, and her disgust at something he could hardly control. And now he was finally cutting the ties completely. Much as he was disappointed that his family was being so irrevocably changed? He could hardly object. He meant to remove her from the equation - for the most part, personally. His son disowning her only made his own plans easier.

 

“Tyrion.” He almost groaned. If he wasn’t so adept at controlling himself, he might have. It irritated him no end, that his own children were so blind to his intentions, as to think so poorly of both his LOVE of them, and his intelligence. “What of him?” He would have to say it. Because he was not giving him the satisfaction of knowing that he knew what he wanted. Not in this. “I want to know why you let her convince you to send him away, rather than her.” He snorted rudely and glared at the idiot. That was just insulting. He knew what he thought, he knew what ALL three of the idiots thought. His daughter believed he had been fool enough to believe her hysterical carry on, and his sons believed him a cold, heartless fool to allow it. He shouldn’t have to explain himself. But he would. If only to bring his foolish eldest son down off his self righteous high horse. “Do you think she’d have backed off him, if I had done so? Whilst I investigated his claims - and hers?” His son sighed heavily and shook his head, frustrated and almost defeated. “No. But you could have intervened as you have here?”

 

“I could have. And I did. I took the one I didn’t believe needed supervision, out of the mix for a time, by sending him away on business. And I kept the one I did need to watch close at hand.” He cocked an arrogant brow and waited. He had another reason, a more important one. But he did not wish to disclose it, if he didn’t have to. His sons frown of concentration almost had him breathing a sigh of relief. But not quite. He heard him, but apparently it was just NOT ENOUGH. There were SOME occasions, that he wished his son actually was as stupid as he pretended to be. “Yet she would have backed off, if she believed you were keeping eyes on him anyway. What AREN’T you saying?” He grunted in frustration and glared across the room. He wanted to throttle the idiot. But if it did work to knock him off that damned pedestal of high and mighty? So be it. “Tell me Jaime? What is your brothers number one priority right now?” He waited, not calmly, but not visibly showing signs of his annoyance either. “Shae. She’s always his priority. Presently? It’s the baby that they are desperately trying to conceive.” He bowed a nod and looked at him pointedly. “Indeed it is. The child that he is desperate for. Now? Do you honestly think, it would be an environment conducive to said conception, that they are already struggling with, to continue to be around the stress and carry on your sister is capable of normally, let alone when her ire is directed at him?”

 

“You used it as an excuse - to get them away from the stress? To HELP their plight? Why the fuck didn’t you just SAY THAT DAD? Does Tyrion even know that’s why you did it?” He scoffed rudely. Even more insulted at his sons disbelieving tone. And at his increased frustration and incredulity. Had he not proven - more than once, just how far he was willing to go to deal with their medical issues? “He does not know, and he isn’t to know. He doesn’t need the added pressure of being successful, to appease me. Which is WHY I didn’t bother explaining myself.” His barely controlled rage was clear in his cold voice, and he hit his mark. His son was an emotional man, had been all his life. And just as when he was a boy, it was impossible for him to hide his contrition from him. He could hide behind a mask of cocky indifference with near enough to the entire world. He had been doing so since the first time he shot an enemy insurgent dead. But he couldn’t fool him.

 

“Seven hells Dad.” He bristled slightly at the exasperation, and at the continued use of that title. He KNEW he preferred the more formal FATHER, but he wouldn’t comment on it now. It was a petty thing and such was beneath him. “I’m not stupid, nor am I heartless Jaime. I KNOW your brother did nothing more than bring his sisters antics to my attention. He, like you, can not lie to me. Cersei? She likes to think she can. Besides, he had nothing to gain from telling me that she was sleeping with members of his financial team to bypass needing his or MY permission to withdraw funds from the company. As for my sending him off to ‘work’ for a few months - away from the city and the stressful environment? You DO realise that there is seven years between you and he, don’t you? I know a thing or two about what he is dealing with, because I lived it. Now if we are done bruising my pride? Would you mind putting away your childish indignation, so we can focus on the drama YOU are currently causing? And before you say it? NO. I will not be replacing him in Meereen, so that he can babysit you through it. You’ll have to settle for The Great Lion over the far more palatable and affable Little Lion.”

Chapter Text

“Hey Beautiful.” She blinked in surprise and accepted the hurried kiss pressed to her lips, without thought. “You know, Stark? I’ve decided? That I actually quite like you living in Flea Bottom! To START WITH? It irritates my Father. But! Look at this! Tyrion and I have scoured all over the hills looking for THIS EXACT Dornish restaurant! Shae ALWAYS orders from there for us, and refuses to tell us where to find it! LOW AND BEHOLD! It’s two blocks from here! AND TO TOP THAT OFF? There is at LEAST a third of the creepy stalkers with cameras down here too! Maybe I’ll sell the Penthouse, and buy one of those busted ass old buildings down here to do up? Inject some of that Lannister money into the gentrification process down here? Maybe I’ll even let my beard grow in properly so I really fit in.... No MAN BUN! But the beard? I think I could handle. My Father will LOVE IT!” She blinked rapidly at his diatribe, trying and failing to hide her shock at his unannounced arrival, and at her Father trying to not laugh on her sofa. She had told him that Jaime wasn’t going to interrupt their time together, that she would probably just call him later or text to work out a time that suited them all to sit down and TALK. That neither of them really wanted to PUSH too much to start with. Yet there he was, strolling in her door, looking utterly delicious, and only slightly harried. Arm laden with take away food and wine, after he dropped his overnight bag at the door to kiss her in greeting. She didn’t know what to do, or say. But it was getting harder to not laugh at him as he rambled on, completely missing the presence of her Father.

 

“Looks like dinner has been decided after all, Love.” And she lost it. Falling into peals of uncontrollable laughter, at her Fathers dry in put and Jaimes horrified shock. “Fuck.” He blinked at her slowly, and grimaced as he scrubbed the back of his neck and actually blushed a little bit. He was so sheepishly adorable. “I was meant to call.” She nodded and bit her lips together to stop laughing and stepped over to wrap her arms around his waist and offer up a kiss to his cheek in greeting. Emboldened by her Fathers amusement, and Jaimes own unconscious affections of greeting. “Hello Jaime. Heads up? Dads here.” He snorted a laugh and shook his head at her, as his arm slowly snaked around her loosely in return. “Yes. I did see that - eventually. Stark.” She smiled at him and then at her Father as he offered an awkward greeting, thankfully, her Father stepped forward quietly and held his hand out to be shook. A silent offer of PEACE. “Lannister. We were just discussing where we were going to grab something for dinner. Sansa made a terrible JOKE about some vegan eatery, so apparently I’m happy to see you.” She snickered and stepped away to let her lover actually take said peace offering, and so that she wasn’t curled into his arms whilst he spoke with her Father.

 

“Well? They DO say that the way to a mans heart is through his stomach? What did you bring me - and My Dad?” Both of them snorted at her as she turned to snoop into the mountains of food containers in the bags on her counter. “Better than bad whiskey I suppose. I didn’t actually KNOW what you would eat from there so I grabbed a bit of everything. Which was lucky I guess. I’m interrupting so I’ll-“

“You will open that wine to let it breathe and then find a beer in the fridge and sit down, while I sort plates and such. You are here, you may as well eat with us now.” She was a little bit uncomfortable. The whole atmosphere was a little uncomfortable, now that they had stopped laughing. But he was there already, they may as well roll with it, as it was. Jaime sighed slightly less dramatically than he would have, were they alone and kissed the back of her head on the way to the fridge. “Yes Dear.” She scowled at the back of his stupid handsome head and balled up a paper napkin quickly to throw at him. Making him jump in surprise at the attack, and making her Father let out a breathy laugh. “Dad probably needs a new beer while you are there. I know I do. And put your bag away too.”

 

“Good Gods Stark! You’re a bossy little thing tonight. Nervous or uncomfortable? OR BOTH?” She groaned in embarrassment and a little in annoyance at his tone too. It was pretty obvious that he was starting to feel uncomfortable too now. She was about to apologise when he leaned around her to hand her Father a beer, as she had asked, and squeezed her hip with his ‘robot’ hand lightly, and kissed her head again as he pulled away. “I’m playing Sansa. I will pick up my MESS, and sit and drink my beer, like I was told. But I make no promises about identifying which one of those dishes there is actually the snake one. Have you ever eaten Dornish cuisine?” She scrunched her face up in disgust and eyed the containers suspiciously, setting them both off laughing at her. “I have actually - but I’ve never ordered anything but their mildest dishes and NEVER snake. I usually go for a lemon one if I can - chicken or fish or salad. I prefer the citrusy flavours.” She blushed softly at his amused smirk and pointed nod. “Lemon chicken AND a seafood one there that also has citrus sauces.” He tapped the containers of each and then strolled off to ‘do as he was told, and put his bag away’. Her father taking advantage of her lovers back being turned to point at the ghastly oily, red container and silently mouthing ‘snake’ to her, with a small twitch of his lips.

 

“So, Lannister? Shae was it? That’s Tyrions wife?” Jaime hummed quietly and met her Fathers almost resolved looking face. Much as it was amusing to see him attempt ‘small talk’, it was also endearing. She knew he didn’t care, and was only doing it for her. But his trying was incredibly sweet. “Yes. She’s a sweetheart - a little bit scary too actually? She might actually be a Lannister you would like!” Her Father huffed a breathy laugh and nodded at the dig in acknowledgement. “Sounds like someone else I know hmm? She’s a foreign woman too, isn’t she?” Jaime bowed a single nod and made himself at home on the stool beside her Father, and across from her. Whilst she turned her attention to serving a bit of everything - including the snake that she was NOT eating, onto the plates she set out, letting them fumble their way through. Her stomach turning on itself over and over at the fact that they were awkwardly TRYING, and it was all for her sake. Even when they had been stuck interacting, because of her Fathers friendship with Robert, they had never TRIED to attempt anything more than basic courtesy dictated - as far as she was aware. It meant a lot. “She is, she’s originally from Lorath. They were together for over a year, AND he married her, whilst on holiday in Lys, before he introduced her to the family. THAT was an interesting dinner party.” She huffed a startled laugh at his cocky and highly amused grin.

 

“What did your Father say?” Jaime snorted yet another laugh and shook his head. “Not a thing. He just kept eating and staring at the two of them. It was the others that carried on. Myrcella, Tommen and I at least had the grace to congratulate them - of course, I knew he was seeing someone anyway.” He smiled proudly and waggled his eyebrows before sipping at his drink once more. “Seriously though? Dad got over it. He and Ty yelled at each other - away from everyone else, and then they ignored each other for a few weeks. And in the end it was Shae herself who sat them down and ordered them to sort it out, because she wasn’t going anywhere, but she also wasn’t putting up with their dramatics. I’m pretty sure he likes her better than any of us now.... We tend to forget that he does actually love us, and has feelings that can be hurt. He was upset about Ty eloping with someone he’d never been introduced to.” She cocked her head at his guilty look, and heavy sigh, and shot her own Father an awkward wincing look. Not that he was likely to weigh in on Tywin Lannister in anyway shape or form - not if he didn’t have to. But it was obvious that Jaime was thinking hard on something that was eating at him.

 

“Well? I don’t imagine it would be terribly hard for anyone to like her over SOME OF YOU. What did you do Jaime?” He laughed darkly and nodded to her in acknowledgment of her cheek. “I underestimated him. It’s been a rough day Little Wolf. But NO. It isn’t terribly hard to like Shae Lannister at all, let alone more than SOME of us. Possibly MOST of us. You’ll like her. And she will LOVE you.” Sansa smiled sadly in understanding, at his deflection. Either he didn’t want to talk about it, or he didn’t want to do so in front of her Father. Both were entirely acceptable to her. They weren’t anywhere NEAR ready to delve too deeply into a lot of things. His relationship with his Father was NOT something she was likely to push over just yet, if he didn’t want her to. “I look forward to meeting her. Dad? Tyrion is actually in Meereen at the moment, on some business trip.” Jaime smiled at her slightly in silent acknowledgment and sipped at his beer again, before jumping up to find the wine glasses, whilst she started moving their dinners over to the dining table, after handing her Father the cutlery in silent instruction. It was very domestic and VERY surreal.

 

“Meereen? Not exactly around the corner! What’s in Meereen?”

“A big pyramid, dry heat, hot winds and thousands of people living in what we would consider poverty, that are likely some of the happiest people you could ever hope to meet? And the stench of foul water ways and fish.” Jaime dry words made her roll her eyes, but her Father hummed in a strange sort of sad agreement. She didn’t know he had ever been there. And apparently her confusion showed on her face. But he offered up no explanation either, simply settled himself into the seat across from her, leaving the one beside her for Jaime to settle into. “He’s over there for some mining exploration contract I think. Shae went with him, so he will probably be gone for months.”

 

They settled into an easy rhythm after that. There were the occasional lulls in conversation, and the odd awkwardness of one or the other verbalising something that they obviously saw differently. And she hadn’t failed to notice the few looks of exasperation or annoyance, that were poorly concealed. But it was the CONCEALED part, that won her over, more than anything. They did NOT like each other. They weren’t going to ever ‘LIKE’ each other really. - But they did not hate each other as most would think either. And they were willing to play nice, for HER sake. What she found curious, astonishing perhaps? Was that they actually shared quite a bit in common too. Under the surface of things. Once you stripped away the arrogance and the stubbornness and Jaimes tendency to joke about everything? They were more alike than either would ever admit or allow to be said. Of course their differences would definitely keep them from ever truly appreciating each other too. But it was rather clear to her, that neither had ever TRIED to see below the visage the other presented either.

 

They had even shared a round of uproarious laughter! Granted that was because she had not been watching what she was doing and managed to actually eat a piece of snake, and then proceeded to gulp at her wine furiously, whilst her whole face, mouth and oesophageal passage burned like a pot of wildfire! Thankfully the wine Jaime had brought with the food was full of different spices also, that was specifically designed to open the pallet up to allow the flavours through, rather than lose them behind the burning sensation. - Which was the true beauty of Dornish cuisine. But still! It was awful! And chewy. And apparently, utterly hilarious for the both of them. And then they ventured into tales of the disgusting foods that they had been served over the years, in different places they were deployed to. Her Father, obviously, hadn’t served for even a quarter of the years Jaime did - she didn’t think? And they also served in wildly different capacities too. But she knew well, once a soldier, always a soldier. And if there was one thing that all soldiers could bond over - besides shared traumas and desperate hopes for humanity? It was FOOD. The good, the bad, and the things nobody mentioned because when rations run low, anything can become a meal.

 

They would never be friends. And they very likely would prefer to NOT have to pretend with each other either. Likely there would be times where they would go toe to toe and but heads too. But they were trying. They were putting their money where their mouths were and giving the chance. Her Father, would even be courting further issues for himself by willingly giving Jaime the chance to prove himself worthy of her. He didn’t APPROVE, but he didn’t DISAPPROVE either. And he had accepted it as both her choice and a reality he would have to support. That was ‘voiced’ clearly with his silent nod and handshake offer, as he prepared to head out for his hotel, once they were done eating and talking. Leaving her apartment, with Jaime inside, knowing he’d be spending the night with her. They hadn’t delved into anything heavy, or directly related to their relationship and the subsequent actions needed to ease the path somewhat. But she preferred that they could simply attempt a ‘meet the family’ type dinner to start with too. It felt good. Like it boded well for a peaceful future. And she was immensely grateful for it.

 

“Well? THAT was awkward. I’m sorry I forgot to call first. I was stuck in my head, and I just wanted to see you. I may or may not have been attempting to bribe you into making me feel better.” She laughed softly and let herself lean back into his chest ever so slightly, where he had wrapped himself around her back and hugged her to himself, while she rinsed off their dishes quickly. “It’s alright. It all worked out in the end. Thank you for not being a dick about it.” He hummed softly, his lips pressed to her shoulder lightly, where he rested his face. It was... Nice. Very... Domestic and ‘happy couple like’. “Your Father gave me no reason to be a dick Baby. And I freely admit? I was at my dick limit for the day anyway.” She turned her head slightly to look at him and cocked a brow in question. It was obvious when he waltzed in the door, that he had something eating at him. He had done when he was texting her earlier in the day too. But she wasn’t going to ask either. He would tell her if he wanted to. “Odd? Your Father didn’t make me feel like shit at all just now? But mine absolutely did today. - Granted? It WAS very warranted. But it’s surreal all the same.” She sighed sadly and pressed a kiss to his cheek softly. She liked that. The way he just accepted her affections without thought, and gave them back freely too. She had never had THAT. “You CAN ask. I won’t bite your head off over it Stark. I MAY not answer sometimes, if I don’t want to talk about something. But you can always ask.” She smiled sheepishly and nodded in thanks and in understanding. More than happy to have that cleared up some.

 

“What happened with your Father?” He groaned dramatically and shook his head against her shoulder as those incredible arms tightened just a touch further, seeking comfort. “I assumed he sent Tyrion away at Cerseis demand, over something SHE did. It is why I have been so angry at them. Why she and I had that massive fight that led to me hiding in Flea Bottom and being met with a persistent and snarky Little Wolf. But he didn’t. He knew exactly what had happened between my siblings, and he used their issues as an excuse to get Tyrion and Shae away from the stress of Kings Landing and work and Cersei of course.” She hummed in question and waited as he decided how to word his thoughts, turning her attention back to the last few dishes. His anger and frustration and guilt were all palpable. They were rolling off of him in waves. “Tyrion and Shae have been trying to have a baby, for the longest time now.... They have seen fertility specialists and run all of the tests and still they haven’t been successful, despite knowing that their isn’t any TRUE fault there. And my Father... He removed them from a stressful environment, in a bid to ease things for them.” She huffed a small, understanding breath and closed her eyes sadly. “Why didn’t he just say that? Why let you get so worked up and angry at him over something he didn’t mean to come across so?”

“Because he didn’t want to pressure Tyrion, by making him feel obligated to succeed to please him. And because he’s too damned proud to admit he cares enough to do such a thing.”

“And because he had hoped that you understood him well enough to understand what he wasn’t saying.”

“Mmhmm.”

 

She sighed sadly and turned in his arms to hug him tight. It was an awful situation. And she didn’t really blame Tywin Lannister for being hurt by his children’s anger over it. For their failure to understand his actions. But it also didn’t take much to explain that he wasn’t actually punishing Tyrion for something he didn’t do. Proof that communication was important, though recent for her, in regards to her own parents - her FATHER. Was before them, not so very long ago. They had talked, and found a way to work it out. Of course, it would NOT have been achieved, had her mother been around. But the premise remained. They shouldn’t have made assumptions and Tywin could have made it clear. “You should apologise.” He grunted against her neck and pressed a lingering kiss to her pulse point, making her tingle a little. “Apologies are not a Lannister’s strong suit sweetheart. It’s admitting to and owning weakness. My Father, of all people, would not appreciate hearing the words.” Sansa rolled her eyes and groaned in annoyance, at such arrogant pride and utter stupidity, and tugged his head out of its current hiding spot. She cupped that stupid, incredible jaw hard, with biting fingers and glared at him. “Don’t be a proud fool Lannister. You JUST admitted that you hurt his feelings by making assumptions. Stop making assumptions about what he needs from you!”

 

“Do you have ANY idea of how sexy you are when you snarl at me?” She huffed an exasperated sigh and tightened her hold on him in faux threat. “Nice deflection. Think about what I said?” He nodded deftly and twisted his head to lay a smacking kiss to her palm. “Fine. I’ll think on it. Tomorrow though. Want to have sex?” She let out a startled laugh and rolled her eyes as her arms found their way around his neck, pressing her whole front against his much harder, much stronger front. “What if I said I just wanted to shower and then curl up in bed with you and go to sleep?” She didn’t actually WANT that TONIGHT. But he didn’t know that. And she was genuinely curious over his answer too. Would he want to spend the night, if they weren’t going to be ‘intimate’. There would be nights where she actually did, just want that too?

 

He studied her face intently for a few silent moments and then leaned in to gift her the gentlest, softest, barely there brush of his lips over her own. “I can’t tell if you are teasing or being serious right now. BUT! I’d be happy to do exactly that if you genuinely aren’t in the mood. Because we don’t HAVE TO have sex, just because I’m staying the night and I happen to be in the mood. I want to stay because I want to spend time with my girl. - BUT I will also voice my opinion that we should definitely have sex. AT LEAST ONCE tonight. Multiple times, in many different positions, would be agreeable to me also.”

 

She smiled at him in wonder, absolutely stunned and touched by the fact that he wasn’t staying with her JUST to get laid. She had known some real dead beats. She knew that. She had learned to expect the worst in the most general sense. In her experience lovers didn’t tend to have SLEEP OVERS as such, and boyfriends, tended to piss and moan about it, if she genuinely wasn’t interested. Like she was the worst kind of person for not feeling aroused merely by the idea of them. Yet Jaime was being completely honest. He’d happily sleep with her, without the added incentive. But he wanted her to know that he wanted her regardless. It was an interesting little bit of information. “You really would be happy to stay, regardless of if we have sex.” He cocked an indignant brow and scoffed. “Sex, or no sex Stark? Your apartment, your bed? They have something my own don’t.”

“Hmm?”

“You. If the options are sleeping alone in a cold bed in a cold apartment, or sleeping wrapped around my naked girlfriend? You do realise that I am NOT an idiot right? That’s a no brainer.”

 

She froze at his use of that term. He hadn’t even realised he said it, let alone her reaction to it. She hadn’t been sure how to title him, in relation to her, even with the knowledge that they were now DATING. But they were dating, and he had advised that he didn’t share, and he had spent every night since their ‘one night’ together too. “You know what else is a no brainer Lannister?” He hummed in amused question at her sly grin and let his hands drag down over her curves slowly, until her was cupping her bottom, not groping at it or teasing her at all. He was just holding her close... By the bum. “Whether or not we are having sex, after you just called me your GIRLFRIEND for the first time. It’s a no brainer.”

“Remind me to thank both my brother AND father for coining such a thing, both separately without having spoken today? Hmm?”

“You’ll thank the man for calling me your girlfriend, but you won’t apologise?”

“Oh shush. Don’t ruin things with sound arguments woman! We were discussing far more interesting things.”

“You’re ridiculous Lannister.”

“Ridiculously handsome? And sexy? And great in bed too? Yes I am ridiculous. But only for you Stark.”

“That’s NOT what I said, at all. True or not.”

“Hmm? Are you sure? That’s what I heard?”

“Of course it is.”

Chapter Text

“Fuck me! You feel incredible Stark!” This was what he needed. What he had been needing all day. He hadn’t lied. He would have been just as happy, if she was agreeable to letting him stay the night - yet again! Without actually having sex. He FELT more for her than mere sexual attraction. But by the Gods! He’d be lying if he said he hadn’t hoped that she would want him physically after his getting caught up in the web of emotions and fears and guilt that had been plaguing him. He’d be lying if he said he wouldn’t be disappointed sometimes, with just cuddling and sleeping. But that worked both ways too. There would be times where that’s all he wanted too - at least he supposed there would be? The present moment was NOT one of those times though.

 

The term ‘incredible’ didn’t even really begin to describe just how good she felt. He didn’t really know a word sufficient enough to explain it. She was like a perfect glove of velvet, dipped in warm, slippery honey, and moulded to fit only him. She was PERFECT everywhere and in every way. But he wasn’t about to open himself up quite THAT much yet. Not after what his brother had implied earlier in the day. He’d be willing to concede - ONLY to himself! - That He was, in fact, ‘whipped’. But in his defence? He was human, a human being with a ingrained desire to be WANTED, and to want in return. And her sweet little cunt wrapping around his hard cock so wonderfully, was enough to have him ready to follow at her heels. Without taking into account how that perfect snug fit was a rather vulgar and crude representation of how he felt around her. His cock was happiest buried inside of her soft walls, for the moment. And he was happiest with her in his arms, and her wonderful, brilliant mind and sharp tongue and underlying sweet innocence wrapping around him.

 

“Talk to me.” He groaned harshly and actually pulsed inside of her, pushing him to thrust harder, faster up into the heat of her above him. His balls twitching delightfully, over her soft growl and the feel of her teeth dragging over his earlobe. It wasn’t a request, so much as a command, and as much as he’d never really been much into ‘talking’, he was beginning to truly appreciate it’s potential effects. His voice, harsh and raspy, and breathless, speaking filthy praise into and over her ear tended to ‘release the wolf’. Even when being gentle, it pushed her beyond her limits and he found it incredibly arousing. “What do you need Little one! Hmm?” He reached down and took a firm hold on her hips, guiding her into riding him with just a touch more vigour. He was more than happy to lay back and let her take him at her leisure, stroking and tracing her curves and lines with gentle hands. But she BIT his ear. And now he wanted the She wolf to play with him.

 

“Answer me, My naughty wolf. What do you need?” He slapped her ass and slammed up into her roughly, earning himself a growl and a wonderful little squeeze over his entirely length. “Mmm. That’s it isn’t it? You don’t want me to tell you how beautiful you are, how stunning and sweet and GOOD.” He grunted in pleasure at the biting sting of her nails tearing into his chest, and reefed her down to lay over him, holding her there tightly and taking control completely, as he drove into her hard and fast. “You want to use your teeth and claws and fight back, do you?” He bit her ear.

 

“Yes.” Fuck. She was magnificent. And ALL his!

 

“Mmmm. My vicious little wolf. Want it rough do you?” He cursed breathily around the rough pants and groans she was drawing out of him and bit into her hip with a punishing grip with his good hand, and pulled her head back with a robot hand full of tangled red locks, exposing her neck to his own teeth. He was out of control, his legs and stomach burning with the effort to keep his punishing pace, and slicked with sweat, his and hers too. But by the Gods! It was worth it. The feel of her, the warmth and softness of her. The way her body slipped and rubbed against his. The sound of her breathy moans and sharp gasps and those little, throaty growls? Fuck. And her scent. The mix of their natural scents, mixing with sweat and sex? He pulled back again and crashed their mouths together, holding her there and growling in return as she bit and sucked at his lips and tongue almost violently.

 

He slapped that incredible ass and gripped at it roughly. “Yes. Again Lannister.” She was going to kill him. It was just that simple. He laughed breathlessly and did as she asked, slapping her perfect round ass a few times and then shoving his hand between them to rub at her clit roughly. He was losing the battle, and he’d be damned if she wasn’t coming with him! It was primal and beastly and fantastic. And then she howled his name, and threw her head back and positively erupted around him and he was done.

 

“I am feeling every single one of my years right now.” He laughed quietly to himself, at his own joke and rubbed her quickly cooling, sweaty back, languidly. He couldn’t move anymore than that, so maybe his JOKE wasn’t too much of an exaggeration. But neither had she bothered to move? And she WAS half his age. She had done no more the relax her sated body down over him and close her eyes. “I feel every single one of your years right now too.” He snorted rudely and let out a small, tired laugh at her cheek. His girl definitely knew how to keep him humble.

 

“At some point - when I am functional? We are going to have to discuss those kinks of yours Little Wolf. MINE TOO apparently. What they are, safety - that sort of thing.” He didn’t actually KNOW anything about it, if he was honest. One of his exes had enjoyed having her ass slapped when they were fucking, but that was the extent of it. Another would have carved him to pieces if he tried it - let alone BITING or restraining or anything potentially MORE than that. He wasn’t at all ashamed that he hadn’t a clue about more complex desires - not to the point where, if his brother was to be believed? Safe words and discussions about trust and limits were an actual, necessary thing - that did exist outside of porn and erotic novels and the like. He enjoyed the idea that she was maybe amenable to such explorations, so he could LEARN and ENJOY with her. If that’s what she wanted. But he needed to know the boundaries of such things too. He would need to talk to Shae. She would explain it all better... Without being a dick about it.

 

“Is this the part where you ask me strap you to the bed frame with leather restraints, and whip you until you beg your mistress for mercy?” He barked a startled laugh and pulled back to discern her ACTUAL interest level there. Her query had been delivered so flatly, that it could go either way. “Sorry Mistress Sansa. Not my thing. Restraining me at all, in any way, is a bad idea. But I’m open to exploring other avenues if you want me to.” She hummed quietly and let her the soft pads of her fingers trace along his collarbone and down over his chest. Clearly thinking. “I suppose that there is merit to our at least taking the time to think about it and talking about it too. We WERE pretty rough just now. And we did let go and get carried away with it too.” He hummed in affirmation and brushed a few stray locks of hair off of her pretty face, gently tucking them around her ear, as he studied those gorgeous eyes of hers. “There’s a fine line between getting carried away in the moment and getting TOO carried away and ruining the moment, Beautiful. I want us to know the difference and where that line is.”

 

“Yes. That makes sense. Even if it is embarrassing? It’s important.” He chuckled darkly at her soft blush and sheepish but thoughtful look, and pressed a lingering kiss to her cheek bone. “After what we just did? You are worried about having a conversation?”

“You are incredibly distracting in bed Lannister. I don’t have opportunity to THINK too much then.” He smiled happily at that. Almost preening under such praise. Of course she snorted at him and grumbled something about being an arrogant ass. But he was taking it, whether she liked it or not. “Don’t worry Stark. I find you distracting too. You don’t even NEED to be naked to distract me. HELLS! You don’t even have to be present for me to be distracted by you!” She grinned happily herself, under HIS praise. And he cocked an arrogant, knowing brow at her pointedly. He didn’t call her an arrogant ass for it. But he did laugh when she rolled her eyes at him. “You saying that you LIKE me Lannister?” He sighed dramatically and looked her over slowly, almost groaning at the picture she presented, naked and well fucked, and draped over him like a sexy blanket. “I’m fairly sure that you’ve sufficient EVIDENCE of my LIKING YOU Stark.” He laughed as she blushed as red as her hair at his waggling eyebrows. Apparently he did not need to actually point out said PHYSICAL evidence. She could feel it as much as he could.

 

“We should shower.” He groaned dramatically and held her a touch tighter. He did NOT want to move, and he didn’t want her moving either. He was completely spent too. So the prospect of falling asleep exactly where he was, with her exactly where she was, was just too tempting. Uncomfortable fluids be damned. They’d wash off just as easily in the morning. “I’m old remember? And that was intense. You’ll need to let me rest before I’m up for shower sex. It’s a small shower too - so it’ll be awkward. I might need to stretch to limber up.” He chuckled at her surprised laugh and whack of reprimand, delivered to his shoulder. “Yes. Because you are so out of shape. How long DO YOU spend working out?” He feigned indignation, and tickled her side, making her squirm and rub that frankly mind blowing body, against him delightfully. “Should I stop, do you think? A couple of hours in the gym a week and a run most days? Gets exhausting. If we are shacking up, I can let myself go right? I’ve already attracted a mate.” Her pout was utterly adorable. He leaned in and kissed it away. “Don’t worry Stark. I don’t actually work out for my vanity and I’m not about to stop. But I’m TOUCHED to know you’d still want me if I wasn’t FIT!”

“I would. But I’ll just want you more LIKE THIS. And just out of curiosity? Am I to continue to assume your presence here with me DAILY?”

“Might be for the best, that you do.”

“Seriously? We are ONLY just dating.”

“I like it here. I like you. Just kick me out when you get sick of me. Or if you’ve got plans that don’t include me. And I’ll stay away when I’m in a bad place in my head. Alright?”

 

He wasn’t about to admit that he was nervous for her reaction. He even closed his eyes to sell his nonchalance. But he could practically feel her eyes touching every inch of his face as she studied him. He didn’t want to go home to his cold apartment. But he did respect that they couldn’t just jump into things THAT deeply yet. She didn’t even technically LIVE in Kings Landing. So really? It was much more like a six month sleep over that would come to an end and they would be together long distance instead after that. IF he didn’t scare her off before then. “I’d prefer it if you come home to me, especially then, Jaime.” He knew what she meant. And it meant more than... Nobody had ever really offered such a thing. To that degree anyway. To just be available to him when he was lost. He cleared his throat and patted her hair gently with his hand, needing a bit of affection. “Thank you Sweetheart. But trust me you don’t.” His discomfort settled slightly as she sighed softly and pressed her lips to his chest, over his heart. He wasn’t going to think on THAT gesture too hard. “Alright. It’s your choice. But Jaime?” He hummed in question, and snuggled in to the bed as she retrieved the sheet, to pull over them, awkwardly, with her toes, and then her fingers once it was in reach. “I can’t be RESTRAINED either. For different reasons perhaps. But because of similar potential outcomes. I imagine.”

 

He froze at her near silently breathed words and swallowed hard. He had his suspicions. But... He shouldn’t ask. She didn’t pester him about why he didn’t want to be tied up? He should respect that she would tell him if she wanted to. But she was... Comfortable, even confident in bed? “Did he?” He couldn’t say it. He already knew the answer anyway. And it made him sick. “There’s a fine line between getting carried away in the moment and getting carried away and ruining the moment. There are those in this world who don’t understand the difference. And there are those in this world who are too naive to understand that consent or the lack of it, doesn’t need to be verbal, necessarily. Or that consent isn’t automatically assumed because a sexual relationship already exists. There are those that don’t realise that it’s a violation, because they harbour an unhealthy understanding of what is and isn’t alright or EXPECTED.” He swallowed harshly and nodded in understanding, she didn’t know or understand until later, that SOMEONE had no RIGHT to her, just because she may not have necessarily used the words NO or STOP. Because they weren’t a stranger ATTACKING her.

 

He pressed his lips to her forehead hard, in a desperate bid to show her his affection and to breathe her into himself too. “Say the word, give me a name, if I don’t already know? And I’m more than happy to remove the air from their lungs permanently.”

“Sweet. But unnecessary. The fact that you understand there’s a line is all I need from you. And please trust that I will also understand if you get a bit lost in your head sometimes.”

“Alright. But don’t be hurt by it, if I need to be alone for it, when I know it’s going to be bad. And... Don’t startle me if I’m...”

“Got it. You are lethally trained and you might not be seeing me, but a ghost.”

“Something like that.” He swallowed hard and followed her movements closely, but left his mouth resting against her, despite her wiggling to get comfortable. The conversation was done. And he was relieved by that fact, but he was also rather more than a little astonished by the ease with which he addressed his... Issues. - But she did need to be aware, even if he refused to talk anymore than he had to. If he was going to spend as much time as he had been with her? She needed to understand so he didn’t hurt her accidentally. He wouldn’t be sleeping for a while yet, just in case. But that was alright. He was happy to hold her as she did, and distract his mind from his issues, to focus it on his anger towards HER GHOSTS. He’d need all day in a gym, come morning. But that was alright too.

Chapter Text

“There’s a Miss Stark here to see you Mr. Lannister - would you like me to send her in, or should I make her an appointment to meet with you?” Tywin blinked in surprise at his phone, and then at the closed door of his office, beyond which, his assistants desk sat. He hadn’t been expecting her to just show up. It was actually the height of rudeness, the likes of which, he would not expect from the girl. But he did want to speak with her, and providing his son had done as he asked? She knew that. If she was as intelligent and cunning as he was beginning to suspect, then she also realised that he wished to speak with her privately, before being pushed into interacting with her in either his sons company, or her Fathers. Both of which were very real possibilities for coming days. He didn’t REALLY have the time, he wasn’t exactly a man who had what one might consider ‘spare time’. But he would make it. And he would make it abundantly clear also, that she understood it was a one time leniency. He would also have answers as to how exactly, she had managed to make it past the front desk and all the way to the top floor and his assistant, without being stopped by security, or his being made aware of her presence, before the working day was done too. “Send her in, and hold all calls. I don’t want to be disturbed.”

 

He moved to close out of the reports open on his laptop, and pile the hard copy ones on his desk efficiently, and then he leaned back and studied the young woman walking through his door. She was lovely, but he had known that, she was lovely as a young girl, though far less interesting than the woman who walked confidently into his office. It was more than obvious that time had afforded her more than physical maturity. She had been poised and straight backed, the last time he met with her. She had also failed to hide her emotions. She was angry, rightfully so. And insulted, also rightfully so. The woman before him was neither. This woman had discovered strength, yet for all that the business attire and sleek hair and light makeup, which served to sell her as a confident and competent business woman - which he didn’t necessarily doubt she was? It didn’t hide that reckless, challenging light behind her eyes.

 

He waved to the seat across from him in invitation. “Miss Stark.” She smiled slightly and sat, holding his eye comfortably - a point that peaked his curiosity. - He didn’t intimidate her anymore, it would seem. “Mr Lannister. Thank you for seeing me. I apologise for intruding without notice or invite. But I had the time, and I had hoped that we would have opportunity to speak alone, and sooner, rather than later.” He hummed quietly in agreement and studied her. It did irritate him, that she had been presumptuous. Yet, he had the same thoughts himself and he had already assumed that was her reasoning. She had merely confirmed his suspicions, and appeased him by acknowledging the herself, without his needing to say it. “I assume that you are ordinarily, rather busy, and as I know your Father is also in the city - which is partly WHY it IS necessary that we meet privately first. I had assumed you would be hard to pin down also? I intended on organising a meeting myself, for a convenient time for us both.” She smiled slightly, and had the grace to colour a little. She truly was an exquisite beauty. One whom clearly hadn’t noticed ALL of the marks his son had marred her delicate skin with. Most were covered quite well, but perhaps she had hoped her collar wouldn’t slip quite so far over her collarbone. “Indeed I have been, and will continue to be, for the most part. But My Father has had to deal with some work for up North, and we have pushed Southern interests back to meet and sort through from tomorrow. I took advantage of a cleared schedule.”

 

He nodded in understanding, a mild interest piquing over her Fathers NORTHERN work. He had to wonder, if it was of a more personal nature. Not that he cared over much, but he didn’t imagine the mans wife would appreciate his appearing supportive of their daughters choices - not if what his son had implied was indeed, accurate. “And where is my wayward son today, if you are free of responsibility and he is not ‘being a pain in your ass’?” Again, she had the grace to colour, and even laugh softly in embarrassment. “He mentioned working out - he didn’t sleep well last night, which I assume means that he needs an outlet to sort his mind. He also mentioned meeting with someone from work, getting himself back to it?” Now that was curious? Jaime didn’t disclose his sufferings to anyone, as far as he was aware. Not outside of his therapist, and most were unaware that he had seen one at all, outside of what was ordered during his service and recovery from his amputation. Let alone that he kept regular contact with one. But he had advised the new girlfriend of only a handful of days - at most - of his issues? And he had implied he was contemplating getting his ass back to work too? The last gave him a smug sense of satisfaction. FINALLY the fool was coming around - it had only taken his explaining himself. But the first part had him even more interested in the girl before him.

 

“Might I ask HOW poorly he slept?” He wasn’t comfortable asking such an intimate question, but he needed to know if he was having episodes too. She sighed softly and almost shrugged - she might have, if she weren’t such a poised person - or if she was relaxed in his presence enough to allow it. It was rather clear that she had been concerned however, which soothed the suspicion in his mind even more. As well as confirming the thoughts he’d had after looking more closely at their interactions. She CARED that he had struggled, and likely felt useless to help, because she cared for his son. “I think that yesterday was a heavy day for him. I assume you had realised that yourself. What little sleep he had, was not restful, but he had no cause to head home to his own place either.” His desire to delve a little further into the depth of their relationship was almost overwhelming. If his son was opening himself up to this girl, than his thoughts on her being the one meant for him, were confirmed. He hadn’t doubted that they were, but now she was confirming - whether or not she realised it. - That it was entirely mutual. He was conversing with his future daughter in law, and the one day mother of his sons children. Now, he just had to help push them there, subdue any and all negativity, and square away the past between himself and the girl. And possibly her family, as best he could at any rate.

 

“He has stayed with you every night.” It wasn’t a question, but rather a statement of fact that implied that he wanted answers, or perhaps more rightly? Details. “He has, yes. Apparently he likes my neighbourhood.” He scoffed rudely and bit down on a sneer. His son LIKED Flea Bottom! What an utterly ridiculous and unacceptable statement. And the small twitching of her lips only served to make it worse. The chit had said it on purpose, knowing he would disapprove. Except that in doing so, she had shown him a small glimpse of the girl who had managed to snare his son. “I think we both realise that it’s not your NEIGHBOURHOOD he enjoys Miss Stark.” She laughed softly and bowed a nod of acknowledgement. “We do. Just as we both know that you have already come to your conclusions in regards to my relationship with your son.” He cocked an arrogant brow and waited for her to elaborate. He HAD, but he found her confidence in not only facing him, but also speaking frankly, impressive and incredibly refreshing. Even if the impertinence irritated him. “You have decided to accept it, potentially encourage it - providing I prove to have no nefarious intentions of REVENGE. I don’t. Your Daughter and your Grandson are vile people, whom I have absolutely no interest in and no intention of ever having contact with again. And whatever issues exist between you and my Father and Grandfathers, uncles and so on? It’s not my business, and again, I have no interest - not beyond the hope, but not necessarily the belief, that perhaps tensions might one day be eased somewhat, so that it doesn’t hangover mine and Jaimes heads, should our relationship continue moving forward, as I hope it has the potential to.”

 

He hummed and let a small sense of satisfied smugness seep into it. She had a backbone. There were not very many people in the world with fortitude enough to speak so succinctly and ultimately CHALLENGINGLY, towards him. She wasn’t angry or concerned about his reaction at all. Her words were an honest representation of her thoughts. Dare he think that he might actually LIKE the girl? Already, he could imagine her challenging his authority and actually holding her own against his dissatisfaction, which should gall. It did not. Because, so far, she seemed able to put forward her stance with intelligence and well worded arguments, rather than becoming emotional and argumentative. She reminded him somewhat of his other daughter in law, and his wife both, in that. And yet, she was wildly different too.

 

“You never planned on speaking out did you?” He had suspected it was a possibility, when he discovered that she hadn’t touched the money he had paid her off with. And now her sly smile told him all he really needed to know about that. The cunning thing. He hardly appreciated be taken advantage of, in such a manner - Of course he didn’t appreciate it! Under any other circumstances, he would deem it a great insult. Except that he would not knock back a million dollar pay out, from someone stupid enough to offer it to hold his tongue, over something he never planned to speak on anyway, himself. So he could appreciate her having done as she did. And it hardly made him too much a fool anyway, because his paying her off for it, would have sufficed to destroy her credibility had she ever changed her mind. If anything? It impressed him, that she would risk his wrath in such a way.

 

“My family don’t even know the true extent of your Grandsons actions, Mr Lannister. Nor of your daughters. They also don’t know that I took money from you, for anything. I didn’t want them to know then, I don’t want them to know now. And I quite appreciate my reputation not being slaughtered, to have my story known, in a bid for justice that would never truly come. It’s a rich mans world we live in, and no matter if it’s wrong or right? I was never coming out of it unscathed, if I made those claims public. And let’s be fair, I had suffered enough without adding to it. No. I never planned on speaking, but when someone hands you a cheque to do exactly as you already planned? It would be the heights of insults to turn it away. It would also be deplorably stupid. I am neither. Furthermore, my taking it, allowed you to consider my potential threat of JUSTICE, no longer that. I moved on with my life - you and yours moved on with your own. It was done. And it remains DONE for me. But I WILL fight back, if they think to come at me or at Jaime again. I tell you this freely understanding that you may consider it a move against you. It isn’t. But there’s no true trust between you and I yet. We don’t KNOW each other at all, to have the potential to build it. I hope that that changes - for Jaimes sake, if for no other reason.  It it certainly is not there now.”

 

There were very few moments in Tywin Lannister’s long life, where he could and would admit to being completely and utterly floored. He wanted to throttle the girl, and he wanted to crow with pride, that he had little right to - YET. The sheer arrogance and pride, was unexpected. The intelligence and cunning, a gift from her grandfathers, something that he suspected, had skipped her parents generations entirely, and concentrated in this one Grand daughter of them both. A mere slip of a girl, whom he knew very well, most dismissed as nothing more than a pretty face. He had done so himself years ago. She wasn’t some forgettable, dull girl, who could be written off as uninteresting, or unimportant, OR unthreatening. She had the potential to be a very great threat, but thanks to her affection for his son? She would be a great asset instead. If it weren’t liable to create more issues than was worth, he’d contemplate poaching her from her families company and instilling her in his own too. He didn’t KNOW what it was she actually did for her Father, but a girl so eloquent and fearless, so clever? Would be a definite asset to his companies too.

 

He slipped the file he had set aside, specifically for her, out of his locked, desk draw and pushed it across his desk smugly. He would enjoy seeing if he could shock her in return. “What’s that?” He tapped it pointedly with his fingers and pulled himself back to settle into his chair and study her, as she studied the file quickly. “Financial reports?” He hummed in affirmation and nodded to them as she met his eyes curiously. “I suspect you know, or can at least make an educated guess, as to my reaction over that deplorable photograph business.” Her eyes darted back to the papers before her quickly, and it was apparent, that there were chinks in her well crafted armour after all. But she didn’t flag or waver beyond that, she simply nodded and waited for him to speak again. “What you are looking at, is proof of certain trust funds being closed, after the funds were redirected. The entirety of both is now held in a single account. The meagre shares in MY COMPANIES, held in certain names, will be reverted back to myself also, in coming days, or potentially divided between my younger Grandchildren. Also included in that file, are lists and details of charitable organisations, that I felt appropriate and deserving. I would like it if YOU would look them over, advise me on where I am best redirecting seventy five percent of those funds. Once done, the remaining twenty five percent will be transferred into an account I’ve used only one other time.”

 

He smiled, ever so slightly, at the way she startled and blinked at him slowly. She had not expected that. And he had satisfied the beast inside of him that wanted to turn their battle field back into his favour once more. She licked her lips silently and fingered at the file as she watched him. It was fascinating to see such a mind work. As such, had he not already been of the belief that she was to be a Lannister one day, he would have been determined that such a thing eventuate after having met with her. She may very well infuriate him at times, she had done so more than once in the last moments alone, but she was quite simply, far too fantastic a prospect, to let slip away. His sons open interest and claim on her, had told him that well enough, but after speaking with her? He understood the draw too. SHE was worth the headache of dealing with Starks and Tully’s and their obnoxious, self important, high and mighty righteous bullshit. She was worth putting an end to his daughters antics, and also simply dealing with his Grandson.

 

“Does Jaime know about this?” He bowed a single nod and waited as she gathered her thoughts. She sighed quietly and straightened herself, closing the file slowly and meeting his eyes confidently. “The shares - I realise you did not want my opinion on those - for obvious reasons.” He cocked an arrogant brow as she paused and pursed her lips, clearly thinking on how to word her thoughts. He was not happy that she would welcome herself into THAT topic. And he would not be at all impressed, should she ask for them for herself. Such a thing would ruin everything that they were tentatively building. “Hold them, for Tyrions future children. As for that twenty five percent? Add it into trust for the one he will hopefully be blessed with soon. I have no need, nor want of it. And this time it serves to turn it down, to prove myself uninterested in gaining anything more than respect for myself, and your sons continued attention and affection. The charitable tasks you have set me? I will be happy to see to. It is an admirable venture, and an impressive statement.” And she had done it again. She had surprised him. He wouldn’t tell her of course, but he did not think he could have been more impressed with her than he was already. She also inadvertently told him JUST how openly his son spoke with her too.

 

“Why Tyrions future children, and not Jaimes future children?” She snorted a laugh, actually snorted! But she also had the grace to blush once more also. “Because there is potential there for Tyrions future children to become a reality.” He hummed curiously and held her eye pointedly. And whether it was a conscious surrender to appease him, or an involuntary one? She finally wavered under his silent stare. “I think it might be a tad presumptuous of both YOU and I, to make allowances for something that may never be Mr Lannister. Tyrion and his wife have hopes to start their family together, so Jaime tells me. It is not something Jaime has thought on for himself.” He huffed a small amused breath and leaned forward, tenting his fingers before his face, elbows pressed into his desk, as he studied her heavy blush curiously. She and Jaime would make handsome children. And hopefully, they would also be well rounded and intelligent, on top of what would be overwhelming odds, for strength, arrogance and pride between the two of them. She would give his son, him and the world, strong and proud LANNISTERS.

 

“I believe it is naive to deny the inevitable, Miss Stark.”

“Nothing is certain in this world. It is sheer arrogance to believe otherwise.”

“It is. But in this case - I am confident that my desires align quite well, with what I believe is inevitable. However, your requests, suggestions - perhaps, is a better term? They are reasonable and they are both easily done and acceptable to me. I will see that to it. Take that file with you, so you might work at it in whatever time you have spare.” He held her eye seriously, showing her the depth of what he was truly allowing. “You would trust me with this? It is rather sensitive, and that is a lot of money?” He hummed in affirmation. He knew what it was. He knew what he was asking. And she had to have read the test he was laying at her feet also. “We have to start somewhere Miss Stark. I asked for your assistance, it seems only fitting that we make that our starting point hmm? You have already been forced to trust me with far more serious things, given the reason behind my requests. And you are well aware of what might happen, should I be disappointed.” She swallowed hard, and nodded slightly, sitting back to tuck a few fallen locks of her hair behind her ear delicately. “They were bad, I assume?”

“Bad is not the word I would use. Know that I pass no judgement on you for any of what occurred during that time, and had I known the true extent, - that I still do not know fully - of course. I would have reacted rather differently. I do not advise you either look at them, or concern yourself with them once you have the only copy of them locked away for your own safe keeping. I also don’t advise showing my son. He’s a volatile man, as I’m sure you are fully aware.”

 

“Thank you.”

“For what exactly?” She had barely breathed the word, so quietly it fluttered across the space between them. He wasn’t confident on the WHY, but he could feel the sincerity easily enough. “For not sugar coating your words and for not offering false platitudes. And for acknowledging and respecting that I mean to keep them, myself.” He bowed a slight nod and held out his hand to her. She had succeeded in one of her goals, and would succeed with the other. He respected her, and his son was in love with her, so his continuing to care for her was not even in question. She took his hand slowly and shook, smiling slightly at him before letting go. “As things stand, Mr Lannister, I imagine that it is reasonable, expected even, that my boyfriends father might use my name.” He huffed a small breath of amusement and nodded in acceptance. “Tywin then. As I imagine you are correct Sansa. If you would be agreeable also? Leave your contact details. If you are dating my son, it is also acceptable that the three of us dine together at some point. And as you are aware already, I assume? I will need to meet with your Father also, so we might work together to subdue any more negative thoughts on your relationship with my son. It might be wise that we do so, in the presence of yourself and my son. Lest tensions rise, rather than lower.”

 

She let out a small, dark laugh and nodded easily as she stood, gathering the file and her handbag up as she did. He stood slowly and rounded the desk, a gesture he did not normally offer. But he would escort her as proper gentlemanly behaviour dictate he do. She smiled slightly and walked easily beside him, interestingly, he discovered she was quite tall, quite a bit taller than most women he had met. Without seeming masculine in anyway. He had not noticed it before. “I shall speak to both Jaime and my Father and see to organising something for this week. Dinner perhaps? And I’ll leave my contact details with your assistant.” He nodded in thanks and opened the door, to see her out and on her way. Rather more pleased by the unexpected turn of events, than he had thought he would be when she had first arrived. Rather more proud of and pleased with his sons impeccable taste in woman also. Sansa Stark would make a wonderful Lannister. She was a woman that he believed his Joanna would have even approved for her darling boy.

Chapter Text

 

From her earliest memories, Arya remembered being jealous of her beautiful, perfect, elder sister. Even when she was tiny. Back then, she had wanted to be exactly like her. Sansa was LOVED. By EVERYONE, for being a REAL little LADY. Pretty and girly and sweet and talented in ways that were - what the world saw, as quintessentially feminine ways. But when she worked out that she wasn’t going to shine in those same ways? And her own wild, free nature couldn’t be forced into that same round peg hole, that her sister fell into easily? It became about being the direct opposite of Sansa, in every possible way. They were chalk and cheese. Where Sansa was born in the image of their mother, with glossy red waves for hair and shining blue eyes? Arya was all Stark. Not that being a Stark made her unattractive or as a child, unpretty? She realised that now that she was a grown woman. But as a child, the shadow cast by the shining sun, that was her sister, was deep and dark. Where Sansa was clean and well kept and got glowing report cards and compliments out the ass from every teacher she ever had, just like every other adult in their lives? Arya liked to get dirty and play rough and despite being incredibly advanced intellectually - she was ALWAYS in trouble at school. - Until she went to Braavos at least.

 

It was boarding school in Braavos that changed everything for her - including - and most significantly, her relationship with her sister. She hated that she didn’t understand it until it was too late to undo all those years where they could have been as close as they are now. Because while she was having the time of her life, figuring out exactly who she was, and where in the big old world she fit? Her sister had been miserable. Lonely and homesick and without friends at all. She never said it, but looking back, Arya could see the signs easily. And now knowing what she did, about her asking to come home, or to go with her to Braavos, for her final year? She wished it was her that was the elder sibling, and that she knew at the time, because she’d have moved heaven and Earth to get her sister out of the deep pit she had meekly accepted as hers. Hells! Even if she wasn’t the elder - if she knew about it, she’d have gone to her Father about it.

 

That was the thing, their Father was a pushover. He’d have had her home that same day, if she had only gone to him BEFORE going to their Mother. She learned early, she and Jon both - that their parents had two distinct rolls. Their Father, was the calm, collected, easy going parent that only sad NO, if their Mother interfered, or if it truly was a terrible idea or outlandish thing they’d asked. Their Mother on the other hand, was stern and a bit judgemental at times and a bit controlling at others, and she had expectations and Gods forbid you fall short of them. It never seemed terribly out of the ordinary, when they were kids, and Sansa and Robb both, had the ingrained NEED to impress her. The more she thought on it, in recent years though, the more she realised just how controlling it was. She loved her mother, of course she did! And as a general rule, she wasn’t at all a bad person. In Aryas mind - and it was not an opinion she had shared beyond Jon, and even then only hinting at it. - Their Mother wasn’t necessarily stable. She was her usual fine, happy, loving self the majority of the time. She COULD be a bit of a bitch if they were late to family dinner, or if she had a big night out with ‘her brothers in arms’ - or worse, if one of them sided with Tal, when Tal disagreed with her over something. But that was generally the WORST of it, in everyday circumstances. She was overbearing and a pain in the ass - but she was loving and caring too.

 

It was the not everyday moments that painted a very different picture though. She had always been jealous of her sister, just as the boys had all always been jealous of Robb. - Jon included. The two of them, were the pillars of what they kind of - expected to be and strived to be, but none of them could quite reach that level of ‘perfect’. And it all came down to them being the eldest, and their own insecurities, along with their Mothers expectations for the two of them, that put them up on their pedestals. She was always jealous of her sister, but she shouldn’t have been, because where she was reaching out to at least touch her sisters level, her sister was desperate to break free and know what she did. Freedom, to be herself. To be SEEN and LOVED, for all the ways she wasn’t perfect too. That had NEVER been more clear to her, than it was in recent days. Just as it had never been more clear to her, than it had in recent days, that their Mother did more than flirt with the line of control and judgement were Sansa was concerned. She didn’t even acknowledge the damned line, she delved straight into the ugly bowels of manipulation and emotional abuse, and she fucking sugar coated it, by calling it love.

 

She did love Sansa, of course she did - but it was almost as if she loved the idea of who she wanted Sansa to be, more than who Sansa really was. And it was the same - to a slightly lesser degree, with Robb. Case in point - those out of the ‘everyday’ moments, that had her stepping beyond that hovering, overbearing Mother, and into manipulative, conniving Mother. Robb dating Talisa had been enough to have her carrying on, Robb proposing had her packing her shit and heading off to a week long spa retreat in The Riverlands until she calmed down, and then coming home to bitch and snipe at the both of them, wherever the opportunity arose, in a bid to stop the inevitable. As did the news that Sansa threw Harry fucking Hardyng to the curb where the lying, cheating asshole belonged. Compounded, yet again, when Sansa transferred to White Harbour to finish up her business degree, rather than sticking it out in The Vale, and in Harry Hardyngs orbit. And then it was Sansa snarling back that had her carrying on yet again - even more so than ever before. What she and Jon KNEW to be Sansas desperate bid to be allowed to just BE SANSA, everyone else saw as Sansas rebellious streak, which was a little more pronounced because she’d never rebelled as a teenager - or EVER, until after she came home from The Vale. Their Mother, saw it as more than that too, she saw it as some sort of treasonous behaviour or some such shit.

 

And this business with Jaime Lannister was apparently the ‘last straw’ for Catelyn Tully Stark. She didn’t get it, not even a little bit! Their Father hadn’t been happy about it, but he reacted like she imagined most Fathers would - he did NOT want to know about his daughters sex life, and whilst it upset HIM that the new lover was closer in age to him, than to his daughter, and he didn’t at all LIKE the guy himself - he KNEW it wasn’t up to him. He KNEW it was Sansas decision and hers alone. He KNEW it wasn’t any of his business. And he respected that perhaps she was seeing something in the guy that he never had. He understood that, while ever Lannister was GOOD to her, he couldn’t object, because that would only get her newly strengthened, stubborn back up.  He was looking at it, and accepting it, putting away his own discomfort over it, because it made Sansa happy.

 

Not their mother though. No. She was acting like Sansa had sold them out for a rich, older man. Like they were in some sort of archaic world, where daughters were supposed to do as they were damned well told, and do so meekly, with a demure smile or some such shit. And the absolute worst part of it was, that Arya could tell, that it wasn’t even about Jaime Lannister, being a dick or being A LANNISTER - heavens forbid, they didn’t carry the grudge of their Grand Fathers! It was about Sansa not doing what SHE wanted. Not picking who she had decided to ‘gift wrap’. AND for discovering that the one she supposedly did deem a worthy prospective husband for her little living doll - was NOT what she had been told he was. But that couldn’t possibly be her fault - or her slimy weasel of a friends either. No. That was another mark against Sansa instead. And she had fucking HAD IT!

 

With her Mothers ABUSE of her sister - and it was abuse! There was no NICE way of saying it - she had tried for years to see it any and all possible other ways - but at the end of the day, ABUSE was the only thing that completely described her Mother’s treatment of her sweet sister. She had had it with how often she reached out to her ‘friend’ for advice and guidance! The guy was a complete slime ball, and his shonky business dealings gave him a sort of cliched salesman vibe. Whilst his sly words painted him as The Iago, to her Mothers blindly believing Othello. Her Aunt Lysas too - except that Lysa, wasn’t just flirting with madness and abuse like her Mother, Lysa was full fledged bat shit crazy. But that was an entirely different story! What she had truly had it with, more than anything else, was her Mother’s propensity to throw tantrums like a naughty child, who has had her sweets taken away, because Sansa isn’t doing what she commands. Said tantrums weren’t an expression of her feelings - like a child’s would be - they were, yet another manipulative device against Sansa.

 

She knew that her mother had hinted at disowning Sansa, if she didn’t break it off with The Kingslayer. She had learned early on that she was sneaky and light on her feet, so listening at doors wasn’t exactly a difficult feat for her. So she knew she had carried on about Sansa effectively choosing her man over her family, just as she knew her Father had FINALLY lost his incredible composure over it. What he had threatened was true - if she tried to disown her sister? She’d be gone too. As would Jon - though Jon was working away in Dorne the majority of the year, now anyway. SHE could easily put in for a transfer - it was actually EASIER to train as a field medic, in the Southern ranks, because they had access to faster paced military hospitals, with higher a population and larger overall bases than up North. She WOULD need to be re-stationed at a larger base, to finish off her training at some point anyway, and whilst White Harbour or potentially Godsgrace with Jon, had been her first choices? It wouldn’t be difficult to put in forms to request a position in Kings Landing or somewhere close to her sister - HELLS! She could even ask her sisters LOVER to give her a hand and pull some strings for her if she truly wanted. The way he looked at her sister in all of the photos she had been sent - plus those ones the world had seen too, implied that she could probably ask him for his remaining hand, and the guy would give it to her! Her Mother refused to see what everyone else had seen too. And that only served to piss her off even more.

 

 

——————

 

 

She had gotten home early from work, with no drills, or training, or even classes to take that afternoon, she thought she could maybe try to lighten her Fathers stress levels, and be there to help around the house or SOMETHING, as well as maybe try to actually TALK to her Mother. But she wasn’t there. Her Grandpa Rick was, and he didn’t look particularly happy. But her Mother was nowhere in sight. And she was fucking ropable over it - and pissed at herself, for not having done ANYTHING else, rather than coming home. But it was done, and she WAS happy to see the old man anyway.

 

“Hey Gramps. Wasn’t expecting you.” The gruff old bastard breathed a rumbling laugh and nodded to her in greeting as she pulled a beer out of the fridge and knocked it back quickly, whilst pulling a second out for him. “Bit early isn’t it little pup?” She shrugged lightly and jumped up to park her ass on the counter, facing where he was sitting at the kitchen table. “Needed it. I’ve been up since about three, because I had early morning drills. So really? It’s like five o’clock for me. Did you come just to see little old me?” She knew he didn’t. She had spied the note on the fridge, and the lack of her Mother’s handbag and favourite coat in the entryway told her enough. If she hadn’t called him, and then hightailed it, probably to her stupid SPA? Then Grandpa had caught wind of what was going on from all the media bullshit, if not from one of her siblings, or her Dad himself. “Don’t I always come specifically to see you my girl?” It was delivered with so much dry humour that you could almost shake the sand and dust out of such a statement, and she couldn’t help back cackle at him. “I spoke to your Father this morning. How I managed to fly around in a bubble of ignorant bliss for so many days I don’t know? But there we have it. I come to have a chat to your Mother actually.”

 

She studied him quietly as she slugged at the bottle in her hand slowly. He didn’t seem pissed, necessarily at her sister. But he was a LOT like her Dad too, he hid things behind that always solemn looking face. You couldn’t pick when they were angry or upset necessarily, because that was just their faces. They were gruff, stern, Northmen. They always looked a bit angry. “Been under a rock Gramps? Mama isn’t here - I didn’t know that either, she was in bed when I left.” He scoffed softly and scrubbed at his heavy, thick white and dirty brown beard. “Think it’s our little Lady wolf who’s climbing UNDER THE ROCK isn’t it?” She sprayed beer out of her nose she laughed so fucking hard! He didn’t just... But he DID! And he was quite pleased with having done that to her too. “That was a shit Dad joke Gramps! Gods!” He hummed smugly, clearly pleased with himself, whilst she jumped up to grab a wet cloth to wipe the mess she had made. If her Mother was gone, it would be her delegated to kitchen duties for the time being, for her and Rick and Bran. She learned her lesson many years ago, about leaving shit to go sticky on the counter and floor. “Aye. It was Lass. True all the same isn’t it? What do you think of her shacking up with a Lannister?”

 

Arya Stark was a lot of things, and she was brave in a lot of ways, but her Grandpa Stark happened to be one of her favourite people. Even if he was old fashioned and a bit too traditional for her comfort. He was also as stubborn as a thousand oxen - not just that proverbial ONE! And he wouldn’t like hearing it, but would have to draw on her own stubborn reserves to stand up and tell him to his face too, even if it meant that he was angry with her. She straightened herself up and tossed the cloth across the kitchen and into the sink, and then jumped back up onto her perch before meeting his eyes with as much strength as she could muster - channeling her sisters strength as she did. “I think Sansa is a grown woman who can date whomever she chooses, and I think she happens to have found one who at least looks at her as she deserves - which is a hell of an improvement on anyone else she’s ever dated. His being a Lannister, and old as dirt, is of little consequence, if he’s good to her? If he makes her happy?” She shrugged lightly, her determination growing with her every word. “Then what right do I have - do ANY OF US have, to take that away from her?” Her Grandfather hummed quietly and slugged at his own beer bottle heavily before shaking his head on a weary sigh.

 

“Aye. You sound like your old man Lass. He said those same things. Said he had dinner with them last night and that Lannister was obviously trying to make an effort too. Laughed about him forgetting he was supposed to call before showing up at her door too. Said it showed him what they are like without him around.” The Old man shrugged and sat forward to lean his weight into the tabletop, and met her eyes seriously. “Not all sons grow to be their Fathers lass. Just as not all daughters grow into their MOTHERS. I don’t KNOW the lad. And I learned my lesson about giving such an ultimatum to a She Wolf once already. So you can put your teeth and claws away, I’ve no intention of disapproving so obviously as your Mother has in her little snit. Ned knows to warn our little Lady of the risks in being involved with The Lannister’s. And I’m willing to bet that she knows enough herself from when she was with that brat of Roberts. I don’t want her anywhere near Tywin Lannister. But she’s a big girl, and a smart one. Think I’ll trust her to know how to handle herself. But it won’t be all flowers and happy families if I’m ever stuck in a room with that old bastard!”

 

Arya cackled in utter delight - she SHOULD probably be focusing on the serious points of their discussion, but honestly? She had been assaulted with the image of her Grandfather and Tywin Lannister breaking out the fisticuffs and then wrestling in the middle of the dance floor at Sansas future wedding reception and it was possibly the greatest visualisation she had ever had! “What’s so funny about that Lass?” She couldn’t fucking breathe! And her belly was hurting, and she had tears. It was just TOO funny! “Oh! No. I’m just... The future is looking so bright Gramps! I can see some truly happy moments, is all. You should give Sans a call but... In all seriousness? She would feel better knowing you don’t want to disown her. Especially when she finds out that Mama has taken off, over not getting her way again.” She was still giggling occasionally, even with the serious turn in her speech. She couldn’t help it. It was kind of a relief, to be able to find something to laugh about, given how angry she had been just before that. “How do you know she took off again Arya?” She snorted rudely and pointed to the fridge, and the note on it. “There’s a flight number on that note. She does this, when things REALLY don’t go her way. You remember when Sans transferred North to finish her degree. AND when Robb proposed to Tal.” She bit down a smile at his grunt and judgemental head shake. Of course he saw it too. It bugged her that he never really said anything, but maybe he had been waiting for her Dad to do so too? And he finally had, for the first time ever? “Aye. I remember. I also remember that it had more to do with guilting them both, than her being upset or stressed out. Your Mother can be a bit dramatic Lass.”

“A BIT? Gramps? It’s.... It’s NOT RIGHT. I get her getting upset and worrying they are making stupid choices or whatever - Dad does too? But THAT!” She jabbed her finger at the offending piece of paper pointedly, and even shook her hand for emphasis. “THAT! Is manipulative abuse. And I’ve had enough of it.”

 

She was shaking, she was so angry and HURT on her sisters behalf. On her OWN! On ALL of her families. All of this carry on, because Sansa decided to take a chance on a guy who makes her laugh? It was NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The ‘fallout’ was embarrassing, Robbs stupid carry on was astonishing in its madness, and he felt - rightfully so - like the worlds biggest asshole for having done it. But the fact that even with her Dad, making it clear HOW to accept it, HOW to move forward? Things only seemed to be becoming more and more ridiculously complicated. It had gone beyond embarrassment, and even beyond her own personal disgust. It was utterly humiliatingly stupid! “Aye Lass. Enough is enough. Lannister might have a name, Father, and familial reputation that I don’t want my family associated with, but so far, it seems that he isn’t the devil incarnate that his Father is - and yes, I did look into him - I won’t deny that. On paper, he’s a decent sort. A bit of loose canon in the field, reckless and stupid brave - even for Special Forces. But nothing to question there really. I know your Father and he don’t like each other, he might very well be an asshole. Wouldn’t know personally, but I wouldn’t be surprised with who his Father is. But it doesn’t matter. Enough is enough, no matter who it is that your sister chooses for herself, your Mothers actions are not acceptable. Which IS why I am here - I had hoped to talk sense into her before she did something stupid, like take off because things aren’t going her way.” She was actually panting, she was so wound up, and now she would need to run for a good hour or more to burn off her adrenaline.

 

Her Grandfather sighed heavily and pushed his chair back to stand and round the table, patting her head - as he had always done - on his way past to the recycling bin. “I’ll call Hoster, and get him to talk to her. Though the Gods only know how he will react either! Bloody hot blooded Tully’s and their quick tempers! Your old man has meetings that he probably shouldn’t be rescheduling down South. So it’s on us Lass. And Robb if he’s over his sulking - Aye, I know about his carry on too.” She scoffed lightly but nodded. She’d do whatever was necessary at this point, and if he was going to HELP? Then maybe she wouldn’t lose her own temper and cut her Mother out completely, for her shit. “Best thing we can do to help, is discredit that asshole who whispers in her ear all the time. Petyr Baelish, that vile little shitstain. He’s probably the one who told her that if she made it look like she was going to walk out, Sansa would be forced to do what she wanted and break it off with Lannister.”

 

“Aye. He probably is indeed. But I’m the WRONG OLD MAN for discrediting someone Lass. I’m not a Lannister. I think I’ll just threaten him with a good old fashioned beating, if I find he is interfering with my Family.” She snorted a disbelieving laugh and twisted to simply blinked at his completely straight face. Not really comprehending exactly WHAT he was truly saying. “Course? Assault is as much a crime, maybe even more so, than destroying his credibility? But it seems far more honest doesn’t it? Never was one for THOSE kinds of games.” She couldn’t believe what she was hearing! She knew he was tough as an old boot, like generations of Starks had been, he was a soldier first and foremost. The politics and the family business had come after THAT for him, just as it did all of them. He had served and then taken over the business when his Dad died, and then handed it to her Dad when he learned the ins and outs after retiring his service, and the he had stepped into politics instead. He was mostly retired these days, only advising those currently holding down the fort for The North. But that still didn’t mean he could beat someone up and not risk his reputation to do it! And SURELY the stubborn, old fashioned and HONOURABLE Rickard Stark was NOT condoning such measures, the likes of which his arch nemesis, Tywin Bloody Lannister was synonymous for?

 

“Be a shame if someone was to draw the notice of those who don’t have any qualms about such questionable behaviour.”

“Would. Wouldn’t it Lass?”

“Is that permission?”

“I know nothing of what you speak Lass. I encourage nothing and I advise nothing. I also have no opinion whatsoever on there being MORE than just us who have the potential to suffer negatively from your Mother potentially making unnecessary waves at that fool friend of hers, influence. OTHERS who might take exception to such things and possibly look to lay blame for such potential negativity at her feet.”

“Anyone ever tell you, that your a sneaky old shit Gramps?”

“I agreed that enough was enough my girl. Saving one of ours from herself - and possibly far WORSE, and shoving the vermin whispering in her ear under the bus to do it? Well? We do what we have to for the pack little pup. Even if that means making unknowing allies of enemies. Better the devil you know, so they say.”

Chapter Text

“You knocked back the Rosby deal?”

“Aye. I did.”

“Because of those fake documents you were sent? You have to be kidding?”

“I’m not, because they weren’t fake, when I spoke to Vic Rosby, he admitted to not having known the TRUE EXTENT of his sons problems, and THANKED me for bringing it to his attention. All this blasted deal - that I didn’t necessarily want or need, has done, is serve to draw the mans attention to his sons shortcomings and EMBARRASS BOTH HIM AND MYSELF. That’s not even mentioning what your implications towards Sansa in regards to it, have wrought for us all!”

“MY IMPLICATIONS?! Well EXCUSE ME! For thinking to help guide her into finding an acceptable partner for herself! No! Of course! We should let her figure it out on her own shouldn’t we Hmm? Because she CLEARLY is mature enough to make wonderful choices for herself isn’t she?”

“By the Gods Cat? Do you HEAR yourself? She is our DAUGHTER! And she’s twenty four years old for crying out loud! She was happy AND SUCCESSFULLY focusing on building her career! She didn’t NEED a mans arms to be shoved into, just because you felt it was time for her to start looking at such things again! As for her being too immature to choose on her own? I don’t even have WORDS for that horse shit.”

“I don’t know why I’m bothering. You’ve clearly made your choices known. But if you think I’ll stand by meekly, as you have done, and become a Lannister whipping post - just because OUR DAUGHTER is too caught up with her Sugar Daddy to notice or care that she’s tearing our family apart? YOU would be dead wrong Ned Stark. I’m going to my Fathers for a while, get your head out of the sand and pull OUR DAUGHTER into LINE! And I’ll think about coming home.”

“Aye. Think that might be a good idea for now Catelyn. Because it’s not me with my head in the sand. I’ll warn ya now though, love? I’m not feeling terribly forgiving after what you just said. I’ll be even less so if I find out that Baelish has been in your ear about anything to do with OUR DAUGHTER and her relationship with the man she is clearly FALLING IN LOVE WITH? I hear anything of the sort? And I’ll tear his head clean off his slimy little body for it. Better yet? I might just give his name to OUR NEW SON IN LAW and see what happens.”

“You’re Father would be ashamed of you for such an attitude. As WILL MINE. As AM I!”

“Aye. I don’t doubt you are. But it won’t be me that our Fathers have cause to be ashamed of. Anymore than it’ll be our daughter. I love you Cat. I do. Remember that, when you work out how poorly you’ve behaved here, over this hmm? Go to your Fathers, get your head clear, and stay away from causing any MORE DRAMA. And I’ll talk to ya when your ready.”

 

 

——————

 

 

He hadn’t lied to his daughter, he had actually had business he needed to deal with up North that morning. He just hadn’t explained that that business entailed putting an end to the farce of an agreement with Rosby, and speaking to firstly, her mother, in a bid to finally - hopefully! Get through to her, after giving her a few days to cool down. And also his Father, because it would be necessary that it was explained to him in a way, that didn’t shine a ‘LYANNA ALL OVER AGAIN’ light on his daughters pretty head. To do that, he had needed to come to a definitive conclusion about her relationship with her Lannister. Dinner the night before had given him that. The Kingslayer waltzing in, completely having forgotten to call, and behaving as he likely NORMALLY would, without an intimidating presence to shutter his true thoughts, feelings and behaviour away from. Had given him even more than he had hoped for. The idiot was completely smitten and at his daughters mercy. His initial reactions, not being judged, had encouraged the man to just act as he normally might, even in his presence, to make that abundantly clear. And that was enough for Ned.

 

It had been enough, surprisingly, for his Father too. He had grumbled and growled over bloody Lannister’s, and advised him to warn her to be very bloody careful around The Great Lion. But he conceded, that he himself did NOT wish to suffer through losing yet another She Wolf, to his inability to see past his own arrogant pride. So as much as he missed his mark, in NOT drawing the reminder of his late sisters antics to his Fathers attention? It had actually worked in her favour too. Like him? His Father desperately missed their wild, free She Wolf. So much so, that they both carried guilt for those years that there was no contact, because of their refusal to accept her choices.

 

Her choices had been far worse than his daughters of course, far harder to stomach on a moral level, he realised that, and his Father realised that. They were also both, and Benjen too, far less likely to react without THINKING, without the influence of the wilder wolves, whom they had lost. Gods! Bran would have done exactly as Robb had done! Except that maybe Lannister might not have gotten the upper hand without a good bit more effort, against his explosive brother. And his sister might very well have punched his wife in the face, for her awful words against his girl. But the basic premise was the same, objecting to it, and demanding that she comply with what THEY thought best, would have her pulling away completely. And they’d lose her, as they lost Lyanna the first time - and for what? Because they didn’t particularly like being stuck with the man at Family gatherings, or trust a grown woman to protect herself from her unscrupulous and untrustworthy ‘Father in law’? No. They learned that lesson well. Sansas choices were her own, and making them was on her alone. But the way home would always be open to her, without restrictions.

 

Unfortunately, his wife hadn’t been as open to accepting ANY OF IT, as he had hoped. He hadn’t really believed she would be. Everyone always made comment about The Lannister’s and their pride and arrogance, but never their own. And Tully’s could be just as arrogantly proud, and just as spitefully vengeful too, the difference was that Lannister’s didn’t give a toss who they ‘hurt’ in the process of seeing to their goals. Apparently neither did his wife in this instance either. He had hoped she might be more amenable to LISTENING at least though, and now he genuinely wasn’t sure she ever would. He just had to hope that his Father, and hopefully her own, could show her just how ridiculous she was being. Because apparently, he was as guilty of betraying her as Sansa was.

 

She didn’t HATE Jaime Lannister, anymore than he did. At least he hadn’t thought she did. She didn’t REALLY have cause to, not beyond his being an arrogant ass, with questionable morals, and a Lannister in general? And that wasn’t enough to warrant HATE let alone the the level of which she was levelling at them all, over his seeing Sansa. He didn’t like the guy, and that wasn’t about to change just because he was willing to look past it for his daughters sake. But he didn’t think about the man enough to consider it HATE to that sort of degree. And he’d grudgingly accept that he had so far proven good to her. So HIS OPINION ON HIM DID NOT MATTER!

 

Yet now, he would be forced to tell his daughter, AND convince her that it wasn’t HER FAULT, that her Mother had ‘run away’ until the two of them stopped acting out? What a bloody joke THAT was! He would have to actively encourage her to CONTINUE on the path she chose - despite it not being one he was particularly fond of! Because his wife had lost her Gods damned mind! And he just did not have the faintest idea how he would pull such a thing off, when his own head and heart were aching over the destruction of his own relationship. AND at the idea of now actually ENCOURAGING it too!

 

He wasn’t really going to dump Petyr Baelish in Jaime Lannister’s lap though. Good Gods! Part of what he truly disliked about the man, about Lannister’s in general, was how they felt no qualms whatsoever about crushing people for insulting them. The despicable little rat deserved it, but that didn’t make it the right thing to do either. But he had been so Gods damned angry at her and her childish behaviour, that he lashed out back, himself. The worst part of it all, was that he could actually use the fools help to keep his daughter from ‘self sacrificing’ to appease her mother’s demands. And yet, he didn’t want the man judging his wife, anymore than he probably already was. It was family business, and he wasn’t family - not yet at any rate.

 

He was exhausted, and frustrated, and heartbroken too. But he didn’t want to put the extra weight of it on his daughter either. He didn’t know what or why, but for all the steel and strength she was showing, there was a vulnerability under the surface. One that was being brought up from its buried depths, thanks to the safety and comfort that she had found with Jaime Fucking Lannister. A vulnerability that he had serious concerns, over being directly linked to his wife and daughters relationship. And he was not going to risk breaking her open, because he was carrying the burden of never having put his foot down where his wife’s need to plan out their children’s lives for them, were concerned. He had completely missed the pressure she had been putting on them - Sansa, in particular. And honestly? He wanted to own his anger at her, and at himself for it.

 

He NEEDED a breather from her. To figure things out for himself. Get to the bottom of what was really going on. Because as far as he was concerned? Sansa dating someone - even if it WAS Jaime Lannister? Did NOT WARRANT the level of ridiculous carry on that they had weathered. Not from his wife, not from his now repentant son. Not from Robert and his hypocritical ways, not from his vicious bitch of a wife, and possibly their bastard son either. Not that he’d heard anything from the Baratheon quarter since Tywin Lannister ordered them to take a break in Storms End. So either they were behaving, or he had kept a lid on it. He could only hope, that from the outside looking in, his wife’s actions were as hidden too.

 

For now, all he could do, was trust his Father and Father in law to at least keep things out of hearing distance from the media, so he might focus on sorting the business he had to get through in The South, and leave their Southern interests in his daughters capable hands once more, so he could get home, to get things back to as normal as he could make them, for the time being, and she could focus on building her relationship as she would. The sooner they stopped being ‘news’, the sooner everyone would stop carrying on like it was a personal insult to them, that triggered bouts of complete madness. He was tempted to OPENLY encourage them, from a position beside The Great Lion him bloody self, just to make his point very bloody clear. And THAT was HIS madness! But he had had a gut full.

Chapter Text

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

So we KNOW what insanity ensues when A Stark and A Lannister walk into a bar, and also when they walk into a pizza and beer joint? Also apparently when they ‘do breakfast’... Want to find out what happens when they go to the market like I ASSUME normal people do? I’m willing to face the much less likeable, friendly and all around attractive Stark if I have to?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Side note: I will grudgingly concede ground to the other Alpha male in your life, if you already have plans with him.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You want to go to THE MARKET with me? Also? Are you implying you don’t NORMALLY do that? You’re in luck! Dad just called, told me to make plans with you if I wanted because he was wiped out and needed a quiet one.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Ugh! And now I’m contractually obliged to ask if Ned Stark is alright! Rules of the boyfriend code and all! This is all your fault! ALSO? Boyfriend seems like a strange way to term it? I’m not exactly a boy? And YES I do? We can buy stuff to MAKE DINNER TOGETHER! I say NORMALLY? Because in my kitchen, food magically appears. I assume I have a fairy who sees to that for me?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Would you prefer the rather pretentious sounding ‘man friend’? Scrap that - forget I asked! I’m NOT calling you that and if you ARE pretentious enough to have a personal food shopper that you apparently don’t KNOW of? You’ll take such a ridiculous thing and RUN! Dad said he was just tired and wanted to take advantage of having a quiet hotel room to himself. But thank you for being contractually obligated to care.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Cheeky little thing aren’t you Stark! Boyfriend it is - just be conscious of my amusement at such a term. Also? For the sake of my pride? I DO know that it’s my housekeeper who does my shopping. Her name is Dorea and she is paid very well to make me appear a functional adult thank you very much!

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Are we pretending that you don’t secretly preen like a peacock over such a title Lannister? You SHOULD pay her very well then! If she is responsible for such a thing!

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’m unsure if I’m insulted or amused by your cheek Stark. I’m a LION not a peacock woman!

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

MY LION. And a domesticated one at that, Mr I-want-to-go-food-shopping. Have you finished everything you had to do today?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You. Take. That. Back! Domesticated she says! Vicious little thing, my girl is! I am done, yes. I may not walk tomorrow, for the lengths I pushed myself in the gym today? But Marbrand has some job he’s working on specifically for my Father, that apparently, he doesn’t need me for, so I’m not necessarily needed back at work JUST yet. I might just refuse to get out of OUR bed tomorrow.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

OUR BED? Presumptuous of you Lannister. But I am absolutely NOT taking it back because lazing about in bed all day is quintessentially domestic cat like behaviour. - Aren’t YOU head of security for your Father? Also? Because I’m a caring girlfriend, do you feel better for having pushed yourself physically?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

DOMESTIC CAT?! If I can lift my arms later I’m spanking that perfect ass for that Baby. And YES, I am, but I assume this job has to do with my sister, so I’m happy to bow out of THAT. I always feel better about things after a work out Sans.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Oh! Are we cuddling without sex tonight Lannister? If you are that sore? Good. If you are done, you can come home and we will head down to the small farmers market a few blocks from here.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

See? You are attempting to tease me with that Stark, but it’s a miserable failure of an effort. I’d be completely happy to do that. And considering I just SAT on the bottom of my shower for an hour recovering from my over exertion? It’s entirely possible I’ll fall asleep on you anyway.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Poor Baby! Want me to come to you instead?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

If you want? I will have to look up where to find a market though? Because my magical food fairy doesn’t tell me these things! AND I will have to find energy enough for sex, because my place hasn’t been ‘broken in’ for us yet. You haven’t been here at all yet?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Maybe we should hold off then?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Is this your way of telling me you aren’t in the mood Stark?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Just don’t want my old man breaking a hip trying to prove his prowess and ‘break in’ his fancy penthouse.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

How thoughtful of you sweetheart. Alright! I’m

Up! I’ll be home soon HONEY!

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

And we’ll leave my penthouse until Daddy wolf goes North again hmm? Save you awkwardly finding him waiting on the ‘doorstep’ during a ‘walk of shame’.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

A walk of shame, implies I’d have cause to be ashamed. But that works for me. The upside to my place is that your sister doesn’t know where to send her assassins if we are here. You know? Because she thinks she is some sort of old timey mobster, or something equally ridiculous.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Ha! My place or yours Stark? They’d have to get through your ‘guard dog’ as your darling brother termed me. And I am not exactly an easy man to kill? Plenty have tried and failed spectacularly.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Mmm. Guard cat maybe? You know? Not a fan of thinking on anyone trying to kill you. I don’t imagine I’d allow such a thing.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You saying you LIKE me Stark? Also? Still - with the cat?

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Don’t fish for compliments Lannister. It cheapens you, My handsome big cat.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Those claws are sharp today little wolf! But for future reference? Lannister and cheap don’t exactly go together. Nice deflection by the way. I like you too.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

I’m bored and you make a nice scratching post? Chew toy?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

And here I am thinking you aren’t in the mood. Go hide all of my trophies or something, I’ll be there soon.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Why would I hide them? That defeats the purpose. You have to want to EARN them lover.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Fuck it Woman! We are finding somewhere I can get an energy drink or something and something for the sore muscles! And I’ll show you EARNING my trophies!

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Shouldn’t you be driving already?

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Had to grab some stuff and it’s a long way down to the car park from the top floor cheeky. Besides! You are very distracting! I’m leaving now.

 

 

TEXT FROM THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

Thank the Old Gods! I was going grey waiting.

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

 

You’re hilarious.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

“We are hunting for dinner together! - A Stark and A Lannister walk into THE FARMERS MARKETS! One day I’ll get a photo and my lion won’t be trying to BITE ME in it! It’s good to have goals.”

 

His brothers antics, over the last week or so, had been a wonderful source of entertainment for Tyrion. Perhaps more correctly, it was his ‘new little sisters’ propensity to post their antics online for the whole world to bear witness, that he liked best of all? Of course, he was stupidly pleased to discover that his brother was as susceptible to the curse of Lannister blood as the rest of the men in their Family too! He, of all of them, deserved that sort of blinding, soul stealing, LOVE at ‘first sight’ business. Even if he was determined that he did not. Even if he was denying that that is exactly what happened also. It HAD only been a week after all. And Jaime was both stubborn AND self deprecating. - Not that he would ever SHOW the second - to the world, he was and HAD BEEN cocky and carefree and happy playing the role of life long bachelor. The fool simply refused to see that NOW, to the world, he was cocky and carefree and utterly smitten with his ‘Little Wolf’. Whether Jaime liked it or not? - Wanted to admit it or not? It was his reality.

 

From what he had seen and heard - and read in nonsense tabloids? His brother was falling hard and fast for a girl MORE than worthy of the level of devotion, that Jaime was capable of delivering. From what he could work out? Sansa Stark was just as bad. And thus, every bit as giving as his brother had been so far. AND from his removed position, in a ‘far off, distant land’? On the surface, both Stark and Lannister camps were aware and accepting. He KNEW that wasn’t the case of course, he KNEW his sister and her devil spawn had attempted to cause all manner of very real, very serious and VERY dangerous issues. But he also KNEW that Jaime and his father BOTH, had put the proverbial foot down over it. In his opinion, it was something that should have happened LONG before it did. Where those two vicious fools were concerned. But it was what it was, and it was finally happening, and if it filled him with a wicked sense of malicious glee, to see the pair of them FINALLY being brought low? He wasn’t too proud to own it and enjoy it. Why should he be? After the lifetime of bullying and bitchiness he had lived thanks to his sister and later his nephew? After Cerseis attempts to blame him for her most recent failures? Nope! He was definitely going to enjoy it thank you very much!

 

He also knew that the Starks, some of them at least, had also reacted poorly. Though embarrassing themselves and acting like insulted children throwing tantrums, as Catelyn and Robb had both done? Had NOTHING on Cersei and Joffrey. And Ned Stark had curiously, decided to actively TRY with Jaime, for his daughters sake. He had also apparently, gone against his own wife’s wishes to do so. So to a point, it counteracted his wife and sons stupidity. Only to a point though! - Much like his Fathers moves had successfully silenced the drama from their side too. - Only to a point and both very likely, only for the time being too!

 

From the outside looking in? It was very much a case of two people from opposing families, falling in love and building the bridges to mend the past. The media was making it into some ‘forbidden love’ come ‘Great Dynasty building, epic love’ tale. And he did have to wonder how long it would be before someone used it as inspiration for an actual TRUE LOVE STORY for the ages type gig? Novels, Songs - movies? They weren’t EXACTLY nobodies! And the fact that she previously dated his nephew, creating waves to further the ‘rifts’ when they broke up,  gave it just a bit of a ‘great tragedy’ twist! - From the inside, currently visiting the outside and knowing the drama occurring, but not witnessing more than a lick or two of scandalous speculation over undercurrents of ‘family drama’ in what others were seeing? He was in prime position to monitor things.

 

And by monitoring it? He was also privy to the entertainment value. And it was wonderfully amusing for him. - He was so infinitely happy for his brother, of course! And for Sansa Stark too! She was a wonderful, sweet, kind and smart girl, and she deserved to be loved, just as Jaime did. But honestly? For Tyrion? It was better than any story he could have told. He was more invested in it than any book or movie or show he could immerse himself into. Which was truly saying something! Because he loved a good story! Plus, Sansas hilariously witty hashtags and captions, and the frankly ridiculous and fantastic gossip she generates because of them, is like a little gift from The Gods, with his name on it! He hadn’t known her to be in possession of such a wonderful sense of humour? But then, when he knew her, she had been so very broken down too, he supposed.

 

She had been a sweet thing, sweet and infinitely GOOD! Kind and gentle, but smart and observant too! He didn’t much remember her as a CHILD, mainly because what PHYSICAL PRESENCE contact his sisters husband had with his FRIEND, was not terribly common, and he didn’t necessarily feel the need to be around for it, unless he had too. He never WANTED to be exposed to his sister, and generally avoided it whenever he could. So Sansa Stark offered only up a vague image of a pretty little girl smiling, when he thought on what she was like BEFORE Joffrey got his demented mits on her. But as a teenager? The most obvious memory, about his interactions with her, was the rage he felt on her behalf. The helplessness, because she didn’t want him doing anything to HELP - more than being kind and friendly to her, for fear that it would make Joffrey worse - not that she ever said that of course. Always maintaining that she was happy - even with tears in her pretty eyes. Which earned her his utmost respect. It was a silly choice of course, but it was a strong one. She understood the dangers of speaking up, so endured it quietly. Even if he thought she really should have spoken! And pity. He pitied the poor sweet thing. - There was reason for his actions against his nephew, after all. Someone had to get a bit of revenge for the girl!

 

So truthfully! He looked forward to getting back to his ‘real world’ and get to know the REAL Sansa Stark! The witty, free, laughing girl who so made his brother into a fool. Of course? He COULD go home at any time. He was FAR from stupid! The tasks his Father had set - though he claimed them to be NECESSARY for his hope to expand their mining interests into Essos sooner, rather than later? Weren’t JUST below his pay grade and skill, as his Father told him initially? And he had subsequently said himself, to his brother. They were also not even remotely related to what HIS job actually entailed to start with! And they weren’t nearly as tangled up in bureaucratic red tape, as was implied. The permits were there, all he had needed to do REALLY, was present reports and FIGURES on potential turnover dependent on the findings of their explorations. - Of course FURTHER negotiations would be necessary, once they discovered IF there was reason to do more than explore, but in a manner of speaking? He was actually DONE for now. And that WAS all his Father had ‘sent’ him to do? Get things rolling, negotiations underway, so they could send in the exploration drilling crews. Even if it was implied that he was to stay as long as it also took for things to ‘calm down’ at home too. They HAD calmed down in that regard - because Cersei had screwed up EVEN MORE colossally, and had herself sent away, with restrictions to boot, from what Jaime and his Father had both explained to him.

 

Except that he wanted to get a feel for the area too. It wasn’t necessarily the ‘right’ way for him to explain his interests? But the people FASCINATED him! They were so happy, living their simple lives - simple and rather poor, by Westerosi standards that was! But they didn’t see anything wrong with it at all. They got on everyday, doing their thing - traipsing off to work, or setting up street stalls, or in the kids cases, swimming in the bay, or playing with the dozens of others in the dusty streets, when they weren’t in small school rooms for lessons. And most significantly - ignoring those at the top of the totem pole, who controlled their world.

 

The same distasteful men he had been LUCKY enough to have to deal with. He COULD go home, but a part of him wanted to ensure that IF and WHEN their mines were up and running and funnelling large sums of money back into Meereens and surrounding areas economies - and also into Casterly coffers too of course! That those funds and the resources that SHOULD come from such significant economic growth, rolled down to those happy people, at the foot of the Great Pyramid the city was built around, rather than just lining the pockets of the men at the top. He didn’t much like them, or the spine tingling feeling he got, when faced with the HISTORY and PRESENT image of the largest city along SLAVERS BAYS eastern shoreline. The word SLAVE wasn’t used anymore, of course. And they had come some ways from what WAS, once upon a very long time ago! But there were still FAR too many REMINDERS, in everyday life in Meereen, of the history of Slavers Bay, for his comfort. When he DID go home, he would advocate to his Father, the prospect of using Westerosi standards of employment and pay rates and benefits, in a bid to not only help the Meereenese PEOPLE who would be the ones ‘working’ for them, but to also cash in on the positive image it would give their companies to do so too.

 

That wasn’t the ONLY reason that he wasn’t ready to go home yet of course! It wasn’t even HIS main reason. His main reason, was the gloriously beautiful woman currently howling to the God of ceramic bowls and cradling the teeny tiny little firm curve of her belly as she did. His beautiful wife, who was stunning - even bringing up fowl smelling chunks of the tasteless bland foods she had been forced to eat of late! Was pregnant with the child that they had been so desperately trying for. And he was NOT ready to share. Going home meant sharing. And as far as he was concerned? After the years of trying and failing, and being heartbroken EVERY DAMNED MONTH! After the tests... So many tests, to try to figure out WHY? After the fears and self pity of thinking it had something to do with his being born a dwarf? AND BOTH of their fears of their years of promiscuity too! All ridiculous and irrational fears - but genuine concerns when you just HAVE NO ANSWERS! And emotions are in overdrive. After the constant counting of days, and temperature monitoring and feeling like sex had become a chore, rather than an expression of their love and simple ENJOYMENT of pleasures? - The fact that they were FINALLY there? Was THEIRS to savour.

 

They had BEEN THERE, before they left for Meereen - and if they hadn’t have been sent, everyone would know by now of course! And he wouldn’t be LYING and avoiding talk of it to save himself lying about it where he could. But he HAD been sent - because his whore sister was suffering some sort of brain worm, that ate all areas of rationality and left voids to be filled with more paranoia, selfishness and outright mega bitchitis! And he supposed that he COULD thank her - if she hadn’t have done as she did, and somehow made HIM out to be the family traitor for it? He wouldn’t have had the opportunity to keep his and his wife’s secret for as long. BUT thanking Cersei for anything at all, was like thanking an actual lion, for ripping your leg off. And again? He wasn’t a stupid man.

 

Their little cub, was well past the point where he or she was supposed to let up on their mothers poor stomach too. As his darling liked to remind him daily! But she was just not going to get a break from the morning sickness apparently. Not for long than a week at most. She HAD had small windows of relief, but it just kept rolling over her, like a wave. And so again, he had reason enough to be in no great hurry. Here, he could devote the entire morning to looking after his darlings, because the difference in time zones was excuse enough for him to organise different work hours for anything he needed to see to at home. Which CONVENIENTLY actually fell around the time of day that his wife usually settled enough to eat and rediscover the beauty of physical energy! Anything else he had to see to here in Meereen, like the lodging of the already signed agreements, could await his leisure. He was in no hurry to see to any of it. He had more important things to do - like dote on his sweet Shae and stalk his brother.

 

He did feel a small twinge of guilt, over not being ready to share their happy news with their family AND actively deceiving them. But Shae didn’t have any of her own, and as much as he KNEW that Jaime in particular, but also his Father, were desperate for their happiness too? His Father having gone so far as to dump thousands of dollars to pay for their testing and everything else he could think of to help - he had even offered to pay for IVF treatments and hormone injection therapies to boost their chances and numerous other potential solutions! But they hadn’t ‘needed’ them, according to every doctor, specialist and test they did! All they really needed was time and patience. Which were NOT exactly Lannister strong suits!

 

Jaime had even sent flowers and chocolates and food stuffs and alcohol too - ‘for no reason’, at times to make them feel better. There were times when he’d pop in just to ‘hang out’ with his wife too. Which was frankly endearing for him, because his big brother knew better than to actually SAY he was doing it, to show his support and commiserations at times. It was very welcome support! Even Myrcella and Tommen would be sweating on hearing it when the time come! The rest of the extended family just didn’t KNOW the extremes they had gone to and wouldn’t mind that he had kept it quiet for so long. The exceptions to all of that, were of course, Cersei and Joffrey - who would likely pitch a fit no matter when they found out, because he would have his Fathers attention and approval - and his child would be a LANNISTER! And Robert - because he simply wouldn’t care beyond any jokes he might make.

 

But he wouldn’t tell them yet no matter how guilty he felt, not until he did go home. Because NEEDED to have this for just he and his love for a time. Four months, and his little wife’s emotional ping ponging, and the odd bout of fear that shivered down his spine at the frustrated anger she levelled at him with in a single look! And the positive tests and the midwives and nurses that had shown real confidence in Shae and his cubs progress and health? And the regular prayers at the porcelain alter? EVEN the lack of regulated sex and bloody texts to come home because it was ‘prime time’ for it! And still - it didn’t feel REAL yet.

 

So for as much as he was enjoying his brothers hilarious drama filled love story? He was just going to continue to enjoy it from far away, no matter how excited the prospect of getting to see it first hand, and getting to know The REAL Sansa, and introducing her to his own love, might make him? And no matter his desires to be PHYSICALLY present to prove his unwavering loyalty and support for his big brother, best friend and hero? For the moment? His excitement had an entirely different focus, that he wanted to savour for as long as he could. And he could SHOW Jaime that well enough, with regular teasing and chatting AND updates to his Father about how it was being perceived by those AROUND and in the greater masses too. He didn’t NEED to leave his happy little world, where it was just he and his wife and his unborn child - just yet.

Chapter Text

She was stunning. - Ethereal almost. With the weak morning sunlight falling across the smooth, milky expanse of her back and hip, and making it almost glow from the inside out, where the sheet had slipped low. With the tangled silk of her vibrant fiery hair spread out on the pillow and his own chest behind her. With the delicate bend of her knee, and curve of that perfect ass hidden tauntingly beneath the sheet. And young. She was so very young. Her high cheekbones and soft pink pouty lips. That straight nose that tended to scrunch up so adorably at times? She had a face carved from porcelain. And for some reason? She wanted HIM.

 

He KNEW, of course he did! WHY this thing between them started! It was a bit of fun, a bit of a rebellious game, that he should have known better than to play. He DID know better. He also didn’t care. He had wanted to play their little game - HE had suggested it, after all! She was beautiful and funny and HONEST. And from that very first moment in her company, he felt a little bit less broken.

 

He knew he was handsome and rich and he wasn’t the nobody that he had been attempting to pretend to be that afternoon! But he was also ‘old’ and embittered and washed up, and pretty fucked up too. But she wanted him enough, wanted whatever it was that he made her feel, enough that she was willingly holding to it, in spite of the pain it was causing her to hold solid against those who opposed them. Her own family, even if she had been angry and screaming for attention, and determined to force them to acknowledge her right to independence, when it started? She didn’t want to LOSE them. She didn’t even really want to HURT them. Even if they were hurting her, and had been for most of her life. His family... And the very real dangers that some posed to her. The memories that they could evoke in her also.

 

Yet she had claimed him as hers. He didn’t really GET IT. But he was not about to object. It might make him an asshole, to be the guy who didn’t push the girl away for the good of her family. But he didn’t really care about that either. He didn’t like her family at all to start with, and they - her mother at least, didn’t deserve her devotion. He hardly deserved it either, but at least he was willing to earn it, every day. He was willing to compromise with those willing to work with him for her sake too. And what that said about him? He had no fucking clue.

 

But she was STUNNING, and he liked waking up beside her too much to bother analysing it too hard. He liked sleeping wrapped around her too much for it to really matter. He had even done so with no more than a touch of kissing and petting and light teasing, the night before. It was SUPPOSED to be a one night thing - maybe a bit of a fling as a means of sticking it to their families. Right up until it wasn’t. And it WASN’T just that for him, before he had even kissed her that night. Somehow, that one night deal, had become cuddling, and falling asleep doing so - without sex, with his girlfriend.

 

He wasn’t even sure he’d ever really used that term? Not in regards to an adult relationship? He’d had ‘girlfriends’ when he was younger, but none of them had been ‘sexual’ relationships, necessarily? And he’d had LOVERS at times. Random lovers, friends with benefits type gigs, and lovers that he returned to on a casual basis? But never THIS. THIS was entirely new and as daunting as it was exciting. With her, he felt less broken. It was just that simple.

 

“Care to share with the class, Lannister?” He grinned in surprise and leaned in to nip at her shoulder lightly and press himself against her soft skin. He hadn’t expected her to speak, in fact, he had been fairly sure she was still sleeping, apparently he was wrong, though perhaps not completely? It was pretty clear that she wasn’t entirely awake yet, her eyes weren’t even open! “What’s that Stark?” His lips found there way to her nape, through the tangle of wild curls. He loved the fact that although they had done no more than sleep, she was still naked as the day she was born, in his arms. “You are thinking entirely too loudly.” He snickered at her grumbled whisper and tugged her closer still, until their whole lengths were flush and slotted together like a perfect pair of spoons. “Am I?” She hummed softly and rubbed against him slightly, very clearly distracted from her train of thought, by the warmth and comfort of his body being so close to hers, which amused him even further. She absolutely was NOT even close to being awake properly, and it was utterly adorable.

 

More so, because he hadn’t failed to notice that she was curiously nervous with offering up her affections at times too. It was a sweet, almost innocent little quirk, that he found himself enjoying every bit as much as her confident side. He was as much a fan of her growled orders, and her sassy taunts, as he was of those blushing moments when she pushed past that awkward shyness to find the confidence to touch him. Yet sleepy Sansa didn’t hesitate in anyway. And he wasn’t at all too proud to say he loved it!

 

“I’m thinking about how soft and sweet you look this morning. AND how much better I feel for having a decent sleep.” He nudged at her ear gently and pressed a lingering kiss behind it. “I’m thinking about how much I am enjoying the feel of you all sleepy and warm and pressed against my body.” He hadn’t actually been thinking about what his mind was heading towards now, at all. But she didn’t need to know that either. He had become slave enough to her, without his waxing poetically at her, like some poor love struck fool. He let his hand slip up her body, very clearly SHOWING his intent, and cupping the heavenly weight of her soft breast, squeezing it just enough for to catch his meaning, if she hadn’t already. He would go no further until she was actually awake enough to consent. Of course he wouldn’t! He was a lecherous bastard, when it came to her. But he was NOT an abusive one.

 

“That’s a sweet way of saying you want to have sex isn’t it?” He hummed softly and focused himself on laying soft kisses along her neck and shoulder, and nudging her hair aside with his nose so that he could. She was stating the obvious and she certainly didn’t want or need him to answer her verbally anyway. So he didn’t bother. And she clearly didn’t mind either, not if her rolling her hips so her soft ass was caressing his cock so delightfully, was any real indication. “Say yes, and I promise to make you feel good?”

 

“Mmm. Will you?” Jaime shifted his hips just enough to push his cock in between her legs to rest against her folds and continued his exploration with his mouth. Not actually pushing into her, but stepping them in that direction with obvious and silent answers to her breathy question. “You’re as randy as a teenager who has just discovered how good it feels. You know that don’t you?” Gods he loved that cutting tongue of hers. He laughed happily and bit her neck in reprimand for her cheek. Hells! He could barely remember being a randy teenager! Not that he wanted her knowing that! But he supposed that she wasn’t entirely wrong either! “Extra mean this morning I see? In my defence? There is just a hair over twenty years between myself and my gorgeous girlfriend. My hunger for her, is completely proportional to her age.” He bucked at her to emphasise his words and squeezed her just a little tighter as she laughed softly. “You woke me up. Besides? You like me when I’m mean to you.”

 

“Mmm. I do yes. But then? I just kind of like you full stop Stark.”

 

“I noticed.” Jaime barked a startled laugh and bucked at her for squeezing his length with her bum cheeks and thighs, as best she could with how they were spread just a touch, at any rate. His beautiful girl was full of cheek this morning apparently. “Would you please just give me permission? Because I really, really want my cock inside of you Baby.” She liked it when he babbled like an idiot, which was handy, considering that she had the power to reduce him to such mortifying levels too. Luckily, he didn’t actually mind her seeing him do so. It was worth it too, when she laughed. “You are being adorable and very sweet Lannister. Even if you DID wake me up with your one track mind.” He snorted rudely and nipped at her ear for THAT! If only she knew just how much that he fantasised about far more than simply fucking her every chance he got.

 

“Please Jaime?” He groaned softly as she welcomed him into her body. He wasted absolutely no time. He was pushing into her before she even finished saying his name. He had to wonder just how much she thought of him, beyond the incredible sex they shared. - especially with how softly she breathed those words. But now wasn’t the time to probe such things. Not with his mind zoned in, so completely, on the most important task of the moment. NOW he had a one track mind. “How’s that? Hmm? Feels good doesn’t it Little Wolf?” He didn’t even attempt to hide his arrogance as he started thrusting into her with slow, shallow rolls of his hips. She knew all about it anyway. His girl moaned softly and turned her face minutely to nuzzle into him affectionately. “You always feel good inside me Jaime.”

 

“Now who’s being the sweet one, Beautiful?” He didn’t expect an answer, and he was actually done with the talking too. It didn’t exactly ‘fit’ with the tone they were going with anyway. So he turned all of his attention to fulfilling his promise to make her feel good, with slow, lazy pumps into her body, and heavy stroking and kissing. In turn, making himself feel incredible. If he didn’t talk or think, he didn’t need to acknowledge the what or why of her ability to make him feel less broken and washed up. He could switch off and just enjoy his girls mind blowing body fitting his so wonderfully. He REALLY liked waking up with her.

Chapter Text

“What’s this?” Sansa hummed in question and looked over at the distractingly delicious form of her still nearly naked lover and winced slightly. He was bent over, leaning heavily on his elbows at the kitchen counter, fingering the file from his Father. It was rather obvious from the confusion on his face, that he realised WHERE it came from. The company logo was printed onto the front after all. She hadn’t mentioned it yet, not that she hadn’t planned on doing so, it was just that her meeting with his Father, had sort of been lumped in with the phone call she had from her Grandpa, and her understanding of her Fathers desire for time alone to think, because of the things her Grandpa had told her, the afternoon before. All of those situations required serious thought and processing, as well as discussing. And in all honesty? When Jaime had texted, all she had wanted was to set everything else aside and just enjoy being with him. She hadn’t forgotten about those things, but they had taken a backseat, because of the conflicting emotions weighing her down, and because Jaime was a hell of a distraction.

 

She zipped her skirt quickly and padded over to his side, her nude stockings slipping slightly over the smooth surface of the polished concrete floors. “THAT is the task your Father dropped in my lap yesterday, when I popped in to see him. He said you knew about it? At least part of it?” He frowned at her and straightened himself up as he flicked it open. “Is that? Seven hells. No, I didn’t know about this, and I’m hardly the most business savvy person Stark, so maybe you can explain this to me, so I’m not making assumptions?” He didn’t know. She should have spoken to him as soon as she could have. But she could have sworn that Tywin had nodded when she asked if he knew? Perhaps he meant that Jaime would come to the conclusion of his effectively ‘disowning’ them, without actually doing so, on his own? Which he had not, and now she would be explaining the goings on in his family to him. Oh the Old Lion would be hearing about this! The only question was whether it would be her or her lover to take him to task for it.

 

She stepped up close to his side and smiled sheepishly, breathing softly in relief and accepting the kiss he offered up as his hand found its way around her waist without preamble. Clearly he wasn’t annoyed at her, he was just confused and curious. “Uhh, well. These are basically, transfer reports, financial statements of both now CLOSED trust accounts and the holding account. There’s also details on Casterly shares in certain names there, and details on specific charitable organisations here.” She flicked through the pages quickly, giving him time to assemble his thoughts as he perused them silently. “He closed both of their trust funds, redirected the funds into a holding account and wants you to decide where to donate the LOT of it? What’s he doing with the shares?” She swallowed hard and nodded at him. The astonishment in his quiet voice made her even more uncomfortable. She shouldn’t be the one telling him any of this. She shouldn’t KNOW of it, let alone ahead of him. “The shares will be transferred into either your Fathers name or to Myrcella and Tommen. I advised that he hold them for Tyrions child, when they are eventually blessed there. As for the funds? Only seventy five percent are to be donated, and yes I am to decide where, from this list of rather telling organisations. The rest was to be transferred to myself. I told him to set it into trust for Tyrions future child also. I don’t want his money. Not when it sends the wrong message about why I am with YOU. I thought you knew Jaime. I’m sorry you didn’t and I am sorry that it’s me telling you.”

 

Jaime gaped at her slightly, making her rather a little more than mildly uncomfortable. Not that she tended to mind him studying her, but it was making her feel exposed in a way that his interest normally did not. He was trying to get a read on her, and she was trying to not ‘hide’, whilst KIND OF hiding, so that he could. “You? Good Gods Stark! What in the worlds are you apologising for? You REALLY knocked back THAT much money? So he didn’t get the wrong idea about why you are with ME? And you... Baby? You INSTRUCTED MY FATHER - MY FATHER? To hand those things over to my little brothers future child?” She shrugged sheepishly and looked down at the files to avoid his bewildered eyes. She hadn’t really THOUGHT on what that said, what it implied that she might feel for him. And now that it was registering in her brain, she was embarrassed and she couldn’t hide that with how heavily she was blushing and with how incredulously he was staring at her. “I told you that I have no interest in destroying YOUR family or exploiting you or whatever, for the ghosts I dealt with a long time ago. It’s all NEW and FRESH in everyone’s minds because of those photos. It’s at the surface and I don’t want it there. I have moved on and I want to keep moving on. I agreed to organising the donations, more to appease the GUILT and the SHAME. To let your Father pay his debt. And because I think it’s quite poetic to see it all go to such charities. As for asking what I did? Tyrion was the only real FRIEND I had, and then the two of you did SOMETHING in the end, as a means of getting some back for me or whatever. And for me? There are more important things than money and power. Joffrey and Cerseis actions were their own. I don’t hold it against anyone but them. Not THE LANNISTERS or THE BARATHEONS. Not you.”

 

Sansa squeaked in surprise at his reaction to her words. There were a plethora of things that he could have said or done or thought about her words, kissing her with an almost crazed sort of passion was not on the list of things that she would have expected. But she wasn’t about to object, not even when his ‘robot’ hand delved into the loosely knotted bun at the base of her hair, messing it so completely that it would now need doing again before she could meet with her Father and Stannis Baratheon. His desire for her in that moment was palpable. The air around them almost crackled because of it. And all she could do, all she wanted to do, was melt into his incredible bare chest and arms and cling for dear life, while he feasted and supped at her lips and tongue, like a man starving.

 

“How much time have you got before you have to be at work?” She huffed a breathy laugh and pressed forward to steal another messy kiss before resting her forehead against his jaw so she might calm the swelling NEED in her blood, and catch her breath. “I’ve an hour before I have a meeting, but I have to finish getting ready, and meet my Dad first, plus the meeting is over in the business district, I’ll need time to get there.” The groan he let out was so dramatic and petulant that she couldn’t do anything but laugh. What he wanted was rather obvious. Not only from his behaviour, his boxer briefs did magnificent things for his physique at the best of times, and without even being able to see between their flush bodies, she just KNEW, that the long, hard ridge of his cock would take that image to a whole new sinfully sexy level. “No sex then. Can I have the panties you are wearing?” She laughed again happily and pressed her lips to his neck softly. “How about you take them if you want them, and I go without all day?”

“Who are you meeting first? Before I decide whether I should be asking my incredibly sexy girlfriend to play that game, and meet with unknown men without panties?” She blushed horrendously and snuggled into his neck, pushing herself even further into his hold pointedly. “Stannis Baratheon.”

 

He choked on a surprised laugh and squeezed her to himself. “I have a lot of questions. Quite a few things require some elaboration - like what you are your Father are about with Stannis, and IF I can get away with asking those things! Also WHY you just POPPED in to see my Father, and HOW you are still breathing for having done so? Although I think I can figure that one out on my own. BY THE WAY? Hide your birth control if he ever comes to visit. He might just tamper with it so he can keep you through ME and a teeny tiny US. But I’ll give you a pass on discussing WHY I am worth more than however many millions of dollars you turned down, for now if you want. I heard and acknowledge your OTHER reasons Baby. They can be enough for now if you want. We haven’t even been together a full week, so it would be reasonable anyway wouldn’t it? That it not be about ME.” She bit him. When he teased that his Father would tamper with her birth control. And she MIGHT have been mortified by her actions, except that he had earned the reprimand for his mortifying words! She was NOT about to comment on that though. She could and would side step it. “I’ll take your pass - for NOW. You may ask all you like, it won’t be a secret anyway. Dad wants to set up some sort of partnership with Stannis directly. I don’t know very much about it yet. Hence the meeting, and if it becomes of interest? I’ll share. It was roughly three point seven million, at a quick estimate? Just so you are aware. AND finally? Do you want your trophy? Or are you perhaps concerned about my meeting a tall, strong, attractive older man without my panties on?”

 

She grinned impishly as he pulled her face out of his neck and laughed softly in disbelief as he cupped her jaw and stole a quick peck of her lips. “Three point seven million? That pass I’m giving has a short life span Stark. We are talking MORE about this soon.” She sighed at him dramatically and giggled against his lips as he pressed another hard kiss there. “As for my trophy? I’m taking them. Because my cock is very hard and very determined, and much as I know it won’t fall off if I don’t give it the attention it wants? I’ll probably give it SOME attention myself, purely because I can, and because my Little Wolf has made me a needy mess this morning. As for your cheek about Stannis Baratheon? I’m not worried. He’s not your type. Even if he is close to my age. He doesn’t have enough hair for you to pull to start with, and what’s left of it, is definitely the wrong colour. I’ll concede to the tall and strong bit though. But I do have questions about you finding him attractive?” She blushed furiously but absolutely did NOT have any other physical reactions to his carelessly informing her of his intent to... Except that she did, and it only served to embarrass her further, because the stupid, amused smirk on his obnoxious face told her that he KNEW that it turned her on that he might touch himself over her.

 

But she was also a little bit touched and relieved that he didn’t seem to show any signs of jealousy. She didn’t KNOW if that was because he necessarily trusted her to not look elsewhere, or if he genuinely didn’t see Stannis as worthy of being a threat. - Which she might have been insulted by, on the mans behalf, because she DID find him attractive. Very attractive if she was being honest. There was something just so commanding about his presence. When she was younger, he had been a point of curiosity, because he was so aloof and arrogant. As an adult, she understood that it was simply that he had a very different view on life to his brothers and most people around him. At least from what she could remember of the man. It wasn’t as if they interacted a terrible amount. Not that she did want to engage in any sort of romantic relationship with the man, but Jaime simply ruling him out as being unattractive in general was utterly dismissive and incorrect. She also didn’t know if his lack of jealousy was a reflection of his ‘lack’ of interest in their being in a serious committed relationship. Except that he hadn’t exactly hidden himself from her, so she doubted it.

 

“He DOES have a very deep, strong VOICE from what I can recall?” She grinned again as his eyes narrowed dangerously, and his smirk widened to show all of his teeth. It made him look just like the lion that was named for his ancient house. “Mine.” She let out a startled laugh as he nipped at her lips and hauled her up in his arms and against his chest. “What’s yours hmm?”

“You. Are. Mine. And I don’t share, My Wolf. Lions are possessive.” Again she laughed, a little softer this time, and wrapped her arms around his neck pointedly, hugging him to her even further and throwing all potential caution to the wind over his possessive attitude. It was presumptuous and arrogant, but she had stirred him into reacting too, and she couldn’t deny the heady feelings it produced inside of her either. “Yours. My possessive, needy man.” She leaned in and kissed him softly, sucking ever so slightly on his bottom lip before pulling back to smile at him. “Now put me down. I have to redo my hair and finish getting ready. You should get dressed too! Don’t you have plans for the day?”

 

“Indeed I do. But I don’t need clothes to test out my lifestyle change theory.” His grin was positively wicked. “I plan to laze about in bed all day, naked as the day I was born.” She snorted rudely and cocked a brow in outright challenge, making him hum in arrogant amusement as he nuzzled at her face. “See? I think, that with a girlfriend who can afford to turn down million dollar deals, and who can play nice with some of the countries most influential businessmen? Plus, you know? Daddy dearest didn’t take away MY trust fund! So there’s THAT! I can easily retire to a life of luxury. I’m thinking about the merits of becoming your concubine. Is that the word I want? Paramour maybe? OH! Bed slave! Kept man! What do you think Baby?”

“I think you are ridiculous. And that you’ll be bored by lunchtime.” He hummed in faux thought and rubbed at her bottom with his good hand as though he was inspecting her ‘goods’. “Probably within an hour of you leaving actually? BUT! I can send you naked selfies all day and remind you of what you are missing out on, by being a responsible adult too!” She snorted rudely and rolled her eyes. “Because naked and suggestive photos aren’t a rather inappropriate thing for us to be sharing, given everything hmm?” Clearly he hadn’t thought of that, if his wincing and cursing was any indication. “It’s not exactly the same thing though is it? You’ve already proven trustworthy to start with? PLUS it’d be me taking them of myself and knowingly distributing them ONLY to my ADULT girlfriend hmm?”

“You aren’t laying about naked in my bed all day Jaime. Much as I approve the idea of you being my kept man! You’d get bored and I’d feel bad. You have your own life to live when I’m not around handsome.”

“I’m being needy Stark. Don’t bring sound reason into this!”

 

They still had many more things that they needed to talk about. But they were things that she needed to process herself first. They probably should speak more about what his Father had done in retaliation over those damned pictures too. And what she meant to do about that once she had possession of them too she supposed. Somehow, somewhere along the way, they had become a bit of a team, where things that were strictly her business or his, had become THEIRS. Which was odd, except that it just kind of felt right too. It worked. Truthfully, if what they had was going to continue to work, she needed to be able to tell him those things, and lean on him a bit too. Perhaps that was what was truly daunting about it? It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him to know of the things occurring in her own family, she knew his sole interest there, was her. She didn’t tend to trust easily, as a general rule, but he had already proven himself an exception there. It was more that she didn’t really know how to have someone on her side so entirely, except for maybe Arya and Jon, but that was different again too, because they weren’t aware of certain things, and they also weren’t privy to what could come from the other side of the ‘war’ she and her lover had started. Curiously; their war hadn’t turned out to be Lannister against Stark, but rather internal conflicts on either side. And he hadn’t seemed too concerned about her being tasked with dealing with certain things on HIS side of it, nor did he hesitate to deal with things on his side himself. Something told her that he wouldn’t be terribly concerned about helping her deal with the things on her own side either. But only time would tell.

 

In the mean time, she HAD to stop letting him distract her from such serious conversations as easily as he did! The man was a bloody pest. A handsome, wonderfully talented lover of a pest, who up and invited himself into her little world and decided he was MOVING IN and staying for the duration! That was apparently all hers. And he had successfully distracted her from her own nerves over meeting with the serious and stern and frankly brilliant minded man, that was Stannis Baratheon.

 

And any hope that he might actually behave himself whilst enjoying the solitude of her apartment for the morning, were dashed the moment she greeted her Father with a kiss to his bristled cheek, and heard her phone chime with the tone she had set specifically for him. She didn’t need to look to know the ass had sent her a photo of himself lazing the day away naked, in her bed. The temptation of the challenge would have been far too much for him. Just as it may have potentially been for her too. She WAS attending a meeting, with her Father in tow mind! Without even a scrap of lace between her legs for modesty, after all! Purely because that suggested challenge had been thrown out. She supposed she could be grateful that it wasn’t HIS FATHER she was meeting without underwear, and with him sending nudes. She would just have to pretend her own wasn’t right there at her side. Or perhaps she could pretend that she was the good girl she wanted him to think her, and not the deviant who let her boyfriend peal her underwear off her body before she left him alone, naked, in her bed. It was going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

“Renly, whatever it is you require can wait. I am preparing for a meeting.” Not only was he not in the mood to entertain whatever it was that had his fool brother dropping so gracelessly into the seat before his desk. He simply did not have the time for his nonsense. He had been waiting an age to meet with Eddard Stark personally, now that the opportunity had arrived he didn’t intend on squandering it by holding the man up to placate one of his brothers. Not when it had been held for some time already, due to the presence of the other. Of course, they could have met many times already, were it not for their mutual agreement that Robert should not be involved initially, and unless it became necessary, at all. They had shared many calls and emails to discuss and negotiate their prospective dealings, but this would be the first opportunity that they had to meet in person. Largely thanks to his brothers harridan of a wife’s latest tantrum, and his brothers propensity to react like a whipped dog when faced with The Great Lions roar, in regards to his harridan of a wife.

 

He did not know all details of the latest catastrophe, he also did not care to know. He had all the information he needed. Cersei had carried on like a spoiled child, and Tywin Lannister had been forced to take control, yet again, because Roberts idea of keeping the woman under wraps was to ignore her where he could, and bellow at or beat her where he could not. Which was most definitely not acceptable, nor agreeable to any of them. Stannis had washed his hands of attempting to help his brother in any way that related to his wife, and also the eldest son that he was convinced was not even his brothers blood, a very long time ago. He had tried, in the beginning, to be supportive and respectful of their union. He had even tried to curb his brothers less than savoury behaviour, out of that respect. It had never been appreciated and thus, he stopped bothering. He had to love Robert. He did not have to like him. And he was also not required to afford the woman who claimed his family name for herself and the children she had birthed, anything more than the stilted respect that was only as deep as the surface that showed to the world.

 

“I am aware, thought I’d sit in with you and assist or whatever. It’s been awhile since I saw Ned.” He ground his teeth in frustration at his younger brother nonchalantly inviting himself into a business meeting that he had neither prior knowledge or understanding of. He knew well that he had little to no interest in the meeting itself. Work was not exactly a pressing concern for Renly at the best of times, so it was rather obvious that he was there purely for the purpose of gossiping like one of those idiotic, self styled ‘reporters’ he loved to prattle on about. “I doubt that Eddard will have any interest in placating your desire to know details of matters that are not yours to concern yourself with Renly. If you intend on making yourself useful? Read through that.” He pushed the file across his desk without bothering to look up. He didn’t need to, to know that his brother was grimacing like a naughty child told to clean his mess. “If you are here to ask inappropriate and unappreciated questions pertaining to his family, you may get out.” He huffed a small breath in utter frustrated disdain at the overly dramatic moaning coming from across his desk.

 

He did not care if he didn’t like it. He would not have him needlessly insult Eddard Stark. Personally, he had not always been the mans biggest fan. For the longest time, the jealousy he felt over a man so similar in nature to himself, being held in higher regard than he, in the eyes of not only his elder brother, who saw Stark as the brother of his choosing. But also his younger brother, who saw him similarly to how one might view an uncle of sorts, it had felt cloying. It was senseless of course, but contrary to popular belief, Stannis was just a man. A man who for the longest time, felt unappreciated no matter the lengths he would go to for his family. For the longest time, he believed Eddard Stark to be far too forgiving of his elder brothers vices. He had to power to curb some of his terrible behaviour, and yet he tended to keep his tongue. The moment he stopped holding his tongue, was the moment Stannis had deemed him worthy of his respect. All the same, he would not tolerate Renly insulting the man.

 

Why his brother thought it appropriate or acceptable to do and say the childish things he had, following the end of their children’s relationship, he would never know. It had been doomed to fail from the start in his opinion, but his brother hadn’t been able to see that, and the man he chose as another brother did not, at all, accept such vitriol being flung at his poor daughter. The same daughter who had clearly been the victim in that whole, sad, sorry affair. The same daughter who was now apparently seeking a relationship with his despicable nephews maternal uncle. The same daughter who would be in attendance for the coming meeting. Which was why his brother was truly there. He personally, had little to no interest in either the girl, or whom she engaged with romantically or sexually. It was not his business and it had no effect on his life. If she was happy with Jaime Lannister, and her family were accepting of it? Than he saw no reason for him to judge in any way.

 

Though he did question her TASTES, because although Lannister was a war hero, deserving of absolute respect for his service to his country? He was not particularly fond of the man, or his propensity to avoid the duty he carried as his Fathers son, or his arrogant, cocky attitude to life either. He wasn’t particularly fond of any Lannister in truth, though they were all acceptable people compared to the one married to his brother. At least the men and the elder generation of women, of the Lannister family could be afforded some semblance of respect, for their work ethic - in their chosen fields that was. The only other thing he might speak to it, in regards to the Stark girl taking up with The Kingslayer, would be to acknowledge that at least she had stepped up when she moved on from Joffrey. Because the only redeeming quality that his nephew possessed at all, was his name.

 

“Don’t worry Stan! I don’t intend on being RUDE about it! BUT! Sansa is going to be here with Ned, Davos told me that if everything goes ahead as planned, someone from Stark will likely be working alongside you, or possibly more often, Davos here and out at Dragonstone. THAT person will very likely BE SANSA. And none of them but for Ned, have had any contact with our family since the fall out. Even Neds has been grudging where Bobby is concerned. I am here, because if she is the person for the job of liaising between our companies, than I thought it best that we smooth the way a little for her. I don’t imagine she will be terribly comfortable given the way she was treated for ‘leaving Joff’. And you and I should probably stand united in the decision to have her work out of BaraCorp, should Cersei pitch a fit enough to have Bobby argue against it. PLUS if I happen to get the inside scoop about her wonderfully scandalous love affair with Lannister? That’s just icing on the cake big brother.”

 

“I don’t knows my relationship is necessarily worthy of being the icing on the cake Renly, but if it appeases you somewhat? I am happy to gossip with you like a school girl - OUTSIDE of business related meets. It appears that I likely will be staying South for some time yet, and besides my BOYFRIEND - note SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP, NOT scandalous love affair - I, unsurprisingly do not have a lot of friends here. Any - actually. Even Tyrion and his wife are away for the moment with work. So if you mean what you say about smoothing the way and making me a little more comfortable personally? I’m happy to take you up on it when the working day is done. And I’m grateful for the sentiment. I’m also not terribly concerned about personal opinions in relation to history, that should be left in the past. Unless it is likely to impact our working relationships, which we do have to grant, there is potential for.”

 

Stannis blinked in surprise at the charming woman standing in the open doorway of his office. She hadn’t been announced. Nor had her Father, who was biting down on his laughter at her words, where he stood behind her, and beside a chuckling Davos. She was startlingly beautiful, and poised, and despite her questionable entrance, she appeared to be quite smart. She wasn’t over dressed, nor was she over primped as a lot of younger businessmen and women tended to be. As though they thought it would make people take them more seriously. He found it rather refreshing in fact. Perhaps she was more sensible than her recent public behaviour might suggest, if one was want to read into such things. Her words about personal opinions implied as much at least.

 

“My apologies Mr. Baratheon. For not announcing myself more appropriately. I couldn’t help myself. Obviously I am Sansa, it has been some years, but I would hope that my appearance hasn’t changed so that you wouldn’t recognise me. And I don’t doubt my poor behaviour told you exactly who I was all the same. Mr. Seaworth here, came upon my Father and I on our way in and intended on personally announcing our arrival to you.” He blinked at the slender hand being held out towards him for a moment, before gathering himself and reaching out to shake it as he cleared his throat. He could feel his ears burning and it was utterly deplorable that he should feel so off kilter over a beautiful, confident woman so presumptuously making herself comfortable in his space. “Miss Stark. My memory is not so faulty, that I would not have recognised you on sight. And I apologise for my brothers tactless verbalisation. Eddard, welcome.” He held his hand out the older man after releasing the young woman’s, and waved them towards the vacant seats before his desk quickly before nodding to his friend and right hand man as he made himself comfortable standing before the windows, as was his way.

 

Had he been a less controlled person he might have shaken his head from side to side to clear it, as the ‘not a young girl anymore’ Sansa Stark actually greeted his sheepish looking brother with a laugh and a curiously fond buss of cheeks and pat to the shoulder, before she sat, whilst her father shook his hand and laughed quietly at the idiot. That had NOT been how he intended on kicking things off. Yet it would appear that it had effectively eased any potential tension in the room, but for his own, so he was disinclined to object too much. “Right. Well, now that we are all here? We can begin. Renly has apparently decided to offer his services and support FOR THE WORK we hope to achieve together.” He glared at his brother in silent order to watch his mouth, as he lowered his tall frame into his seat slowly. “But he is not up to date on where things stand yet either, so perhaps it’s best that we cover the basics we have agreed upon for now, and peruse the papers I’ve had drawn up? And we can go from there. Ideally, Eddard, I’d like it if we can come to an accord and potentially sign our agreements before you head North again, but obviously I am willing to await your legal teams approval first.”

 

“This is the final draft of what we have already discussed?” He bowed a nod in affirmation to the older man, but remained quiet, allowing time for them to formulate their own thoughts as they studied they pages before them silently. He used the quiet moment to study the woman before him. He was not particularly intuitive when it came to reading women, but he was rather adapt at gaining an understanding of a fellow business persons worth. Within moments it had become rather obvious that she wasn’t one to sit back and allow others to do the work for her, which was a point in her favour. As was the fact that she held herself with an air of confidence, without seeming to be overly cocky. She was actually reading everything, doing so quickly and tapping at points that she likely hoped for clarification on. She also deferred back to her Father, with a quiet word here and there for said clarification before moving on. The two of them were fascinating to watch. The respect was mutual and openly given, and though they were Father and daughter, before him, they were all business. What he wouldn’t give for his own brothers - both of whom, were not only older than Sansa Stark, but had been in the the business world far longer, to have even half of her studious interest.

 

“It all seems to be in order, from where we left off last we spoke Stannis. Unless you or Renly, or Davos perhaps, have anything to add in or want to clarify, I’d be happy to have this sent to legal, once I’ve given it a more thorough review of course. Sansa?” He wasn’t surprised by that, they had been working diligently to build what they had wanted, it was only a few finer points that still needed meeting out. Finer points such as the liaison position that they had spoken of, and the details of what it would entail, as well as an agreeable employment contract for it, that met both companies standards. It had been his hope that they could sign within the week of actually meeting face to face. But that would be dependent upon legal AND those finer points. “I just want to clarify? Perhaps make a suggestion? In regards to the freight. You are hoping to create a subsidiary of sorts, of both companies, employing Starks Steel productions into the ship manufacturing that you’ve been building at Dragonstone? That’s what THIS is all about. WHY are you freighting over land? If you ship through BaraCorp from White Harbour, direct to Dragonstone, you avoid freighting costs. AND Walder Frey and his ridiculously overpriced toll charges and weigh stations. Not to mention his despicable attitude. Plus you move far more in far less time, and create more work for your own companies to have your men moving it and opening up an increase in need for the ships you wish to build, by expanding your own fleet.” Stannis sat back slightly and took the woman before him in again, with new eyes. There was MORE to what they were doing than the very basic gloss over she has verbalised during her speech. But he certainly didn’t think it anything more than her simplifying it for the purposes of expediency. She was clearly a very smart young woman. He HAD thought of that himself, it was a rather obvious point he supposed, but he did have reason for it, as well her Father knew. However, it was curious to have her note something he had found to be a frustrating point himself, so quickly. She was very good. And it pleased him quite a bit to bare witness to a mind that looked to be quite adept, and curious. He could work with a woman like Sansa Stark - from what he had seen so far, he might even do so happily.

 

“Manderly has a strangle hold on all outward shipping North of The Fingers, along the East Coast. We would need to either employ his ships to move the steel either all the way, or as far as a more Southern Port, where BaraCorp already has shipping. Without the benefit of increasing our own routes to include The North? Which we aren’t in a position to achieve YET, unfortunately. We actually lose rather than gain, by sea than by having Stark trucks run. For NOW. Your summation of Walder Frey is rather apt however. Unfortunately, it appears the most cost effective way for the time being. I’m more than happy to have you look into more efficient plans that also remove the man from our equations if you would like.”

 

Her lips twitched slightly as she nodded and turned back to the file without a word. Almost as if she was relishing the challenge he had inadvertently laid down. It was rather disconcerting. Her Father, however, merely smiled slightly at him, clearly having seen the same thing, and noting his own awareness of it. The girl might have been made in the image of her mother, for the most part, but the intelligence and the almost hungry look in her eye in that moment, was all Rickard Stark. The girl was a wolf hiding behind the pretty face of an unassuming girl. Something he had NEVER realised about her before that very moment. As a child, he would have said she was remarkably pretty, and perfectly suited to the role of ‘living doll’ that Catelyn seemed to have mapped out for her. How wrong he would have been to make such an inappropriate, unacceptable assumption.

 

“Would you like more time to familiarise yourself with the details Sansa?” He nodded in agreement when Eddard looked to him to ‘ask’ without asking. He wasn’t merely agreeing to giving her a small window if she desired it, he was agreeing to trial setting SANSA STARK up as the liaison between BaraCorp and Stark Industries. After only an hour or so of having made her acquaintance again. It was ludicrously unprofessional of them all, yet he couldn’t help but think that she was quite simply, perfect for the position. Perhaps it was a more accurate statement to say that Eddard had tailored such a role, specifically for his brilliant daughter. He was not about to object, he would not mind working beside someone as capable as he believed Miss Stark to be. Also not when he would get what he wanted with moving his manufacturing back away from the sub par suppliers Robert had pushed them into in recent years.

 

It was why he had done as he had, and wrestled control of the vast majority of BaraCorp as a whole. Robert was his brother and he loved him because he couldn’t not do so. But he was an incompetent fool who believed his wife to be her Fathers daughter and as brilliant as he. And it was simply untrue. Robert tended to act as nothing more than a figurehead for the most part, which suited them all well, including Cersei, who liked to think she controlled his brother like a puppet on strings. Far too many of the ‘ideas’ she whispered into his ears fell short of their needs, ending poorly and requiring interference from himself and their board members, to correct. His dealings with Stark were yet another example of exactly that. They were also dealings that he had been pushing for for some time. Deals that should have been put in place years beforehand but were set aside because Cersei was insulted that the woman before him had outgrown her precious son, and Robert caved far too easily to her demands, regardless of the impact it had on THEIR family businesses. Renly had not been wrong to be concerned for their reaction to having her work alongside them. They would not like it. Stannis hardly cared if they did or not. This was about business, and he was the one making the calls. And rather conveniently, the girl herself was very likely, already protected from his vicious sister in law, by the woman’s own Father, as the GIRLFRIEND of the mans golden son. It might not be honourable to think it, but he didn’t doubt that Tywin Lannister would ensure compliance when it came to affording the young woman the respect she was due. If he could capitalise on it to the benefit of BaraCorp? He would not hesitate.

 

“I’m happy if you are happy Dad, I don’t doubt that a lot of time and effort has gone into this from both yourself and Mr. Baratheon, and I’m not so arrogant as to think I might see what the two of you have not already. But I would appreciate the opportunity to familiarise myself with it further, once the two of you are happy and the deals signed.”

“Assume that it will be necessary that you are familiar with all aspects of those deals, Miss Stark. You will be responsible for all future interactions between our companies, pertaining to them specifically, should you agree to act liaison for your Father, alongside myself and my team. Take as long as you need to do so. Renly will need to do the same if he intends on being useful anyway.” His ears were burning again. Frustrating him quite a bit. As frustrating as he found the shocked staring of both his brother and his best friend. Surely they had understood and seen what he had? He was not a man to make decisions without forethought, he had realised that it was Eddards intention to introduce her as his potential candidate for that role, Renly had said it himself when he obnoxiously invited himself into his meeting. All he had done, was approve of her doing so, in the interim at the very least. It certainly did not warrant the pair of idiots incredulity Over his giving voice to such a thing.

 

She cleared her throat softly and looked to be blushing also. He scoffed at himself internally. She had no cause to blush, - anymore than he had cause to have his ears burning ridiculously he supposed. “I appreciate the both of you offering such an opportunity to build up my own career. But I do have to acknowledge that there are personal issues in my doing so, that we all must appreciate. No matter my own hopes that the past remain where it is, I can’t guarantee that others will feel the same, and I wouldn’t wish to sully such a venture for both our companies to be the one taking on that role.” He scoffed out loud this time and met her eyes seriously. If she honestly believed that he would allow Robert - or more correctly, his horror of a wife, to have any say, she was woefully mistaken. “Let me worry about that Miss Stark. We need someone both intimately aware of every aspect of the future relationship between our companies, as well as someone competent and capable. If that person is you, as both your Father and I believe it to be? Than that is the direction we will be taking if you are agreeable. Regardless of the opinions of those who have no say or control here.” He did not give voice to anything further. He certainly would not BEG the girl to take on the tasks her Father had set out for her. This deal was not dependent upon who would act go between, and if she truly did not want to be involved, never mind that it was clear that she did? He would just as easily accept someone else, provided they were competent. Eddard knew him well enough to acknowledge his own expectations.

 

“Very well, if everyone is on the same page with taking these details as they are to legal? Perhaps we can turn our minds to detailing what is to be expected of me, before any settlements are formally made?” He nodded deftly in approval and turned his attention to Eddard so they might do exactly that. He both approved and appreciated that she appeared to not be prone to dramatics and did not require coddling or cajoling in any way. She had accepted his words and moved on. Yet another refreshing point in her favour. He might even actually enjoy working with the girl. It was certainly looking like he would be able to rely on her to work autonomously, if only with minimal bids for clarification initially. Which was to her benefit as much as it would be to his and Davos’ both. Perhaps it would be to his benefit also, to team her with Renly on it? His brother could learn a thing or two whilst making himself useful. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t fill the role his move in that direction would create. The downside would be his own increased exposure to his brothers antics. But perhaps he would enjoy it better than his current situation, if he did? He might actually do some blasted work rather than delegating it all. It was worth a thought.

 

 

“Have a care that Lannister doesn’t see that glint in your eyes when they are resting on his GIRLFRIEND big brother! Not that I don’t find it rather amusing, but I can see why he is acting such a hilariously smitten fool for her. Don’t imagine he would be anywhere near as amused by your curiosity as I am.” Stannis snorted rudely and glared at his idiot brother. The rate he was going, he may just break his jaw from how tightly he had it clamped to keep from reacting inappropriately. He had appreciated Renly holding his tongue and not necessarily having to have an input in their discussions. And not being more insulting towards the Starks than he had been initially, whilst still in their presence. But he certainly did not appreciate his uncouth assumptions now. And he would not be affording such implications, a reply. He might have done so, had there been a chance that either Sansa or Eddard Stark had heard his ridiculous teasing, but they had made their departure long enough beforehand to have been well away from his office before Renly had spoken. “Get out Renly. Make yourself useful somewhere that is not under my feet. Take that paperwork with you and study it. You want to help? You will actually help.” The meeting had gone very well, and he was quite pleased by the overall outcome. He did not need his fool brother finding ways to sully the professionalism of it.

 

Even if his thoughts weren’t entirely incorrect. He had found himself curiously fascinated by Sansa Stark. But his interest began with her competency and it ended with it also. She WAS most definitely a lovely woman. She was also a lovely woman whom he would be working with, and young enough to be his child to boot. Not that he thought negatively of such things, he certainly didn’t believe her a woman that concerned herself with such things either. Not if she was dating a man close in age to himself. The fact was that she was seeing someone already, and it was none of his concern. Even if she weren’t, he would not be inclined to act on any mild curiosities that she might evoke in him. He was not a sexless robot, as many stupidly assumed, but there was a time and a place for dalliances. That time and place was NOT his office, or at work at all. It would be unprofessional to begin with. It was also disrespectful to her as a competent businesswoman, for his brother to imply such things, and thus, unworthy of further contemplation. He was a busy man, he did not have the time nor the inclination to continue to allow such thoughts to manifest. Lovely as he found Sansa Stark to be, soon enough she would be a colleague, and thus off limits even more so than she already was as his business partners daughter, and a woman already romantically involved with another. He looked forward to working with her, perhaps even developing a friendly rapport if it became a possibility. But there would be no romantic inclinations, no matter his brothers desire for drama.

Chapter Text

“Are you happy with the outcome Dad?” Ned hummed in affirmation and reached out to squeeze his girls hand. She had been wonderful. Truthfully, he and Stannis could have settled things rather easily between themselves, but he had wanted Stannis to see what he did, when forced to acknowledge his daughters presence. He wanted him to come to the conclusion that she was the ideal person to take on the role they had outlined, without him having to say it. It was part of why the timing had been so fortuitous. He didn’t give a rats ass what Robert thought, and he knew Stannis wouldn’t either. Sansa was driven and more than capable and he was proud of her desire to push herself where her career was concerned. He didn’t actually believe Robert would object personally, especially when she would have no interaction with him working beside Stannis anyway. But he couldn’t guarantee his wife wouldn’t carry on as she was want to do, and pressure Robert into carrying on himself. Yet he wasn’t about to let their personal problems with his daughter interfere with her career projection either. He knew he could trust Stannis to protect her there. He also knew he could rely on Sansa to stand strong regardless.

 

She was strong, far stronger than he had fully appreciated, a point that was detrimental to him, because it made it all the more clear to him, that he had failed in his duty to protect her more fully from the pressures her mother had placed on her. Yet she had come out stronger, because she had been forced to weather it herself. Which was something she should be proud of herself for, something he was as proud of her for, as he was ashamed of himself. These last days, working at her side, and gaining distance to allow for perspective, had been enlightening for him. His wife’s childish antics and his daughters in turn, were enlightening. But where Cat continued to delve further and further into the mess she was making, his girl seemed to be climbing out of hers with more maturity than her mother. The evening of solitude that he had endured the night before, had given him clarity on where he needed to enact change himself.

 

Not even a week after the initial act that set all of the current drama in his family rolling, and his daughter was showing herself to be a strong, capable business woman, willingly working beside him to build a strong relationship between companies in a new venture, and utterly charming at least one businessman whom he had believed to be incapable of being CHARMED. Of course he understood it was her professionalism and skill that had done so, where Stannis was concerned, but it was amusing all the same. She was also beginning to act maturely in regards to her romantic life. The relationship between she and Lannister - though very new, had clearly, morphed into a serious relationship that was deserving of respect and privacy. He still wasn’t entirely comfortable with her setting her proverbial cap for Jaime Lannister. He wasn’t at all happy about the ensuing dramas it had caused. But he had meant his words when he gave them, to both his wife and his Father. Sansa was happy and Lannister was so far proving to be good to and for her. He didn’t approve how it started, nor the unsubtle shots at her mother. But it was rather obvious that she hadn’t thought on it since those first reactions either. What was obvious, was that his little lady wolf, was finding her place in this big world, and if he wanted to continue to be a part of it, have her continue to be a part of the world that was home? He needed to act to protect her finally.

 

What that meant for his own relationship with his wife? He didn’t know. He wanted her to see reason, and open her damned eyes so she might appreciate the girl that they raised, was a woman grown with a mind and heart of her own, that they could and should be very proud of. And if she couldn’t see it, than she was not the woman he thought her to be. And that was something he would need to accept.

 

“I’m proud of you love. You did well today. Not many can claim to have impressed Stannis of all men. Aye. I’m happy with what we’ve achieved.” He smiled softly at her blushing grin and knocked her shoulder gently as they settled in to the sofa in his hotel room, a cup of well earned coffee sitting on the low table before them both. If he was honest, he couldn’t remember a time where he was in a position to have so much one on one time with any of his children, being that there were many of them. And even less, a time where so much one on one time was afforded to his sweet girl. Yet another regrettable offence for him to weather. “I’m glad. I really do think that I’ll enjoy working with he and Mr. Seaworth. So I want to thank you for giving me the chance to try to prove myself Dad. I know I’m not really qualified, but I plan on giving it my best.” He hummed happily and patted the hand he was still holding awkwardly before pulling it back. She always had been one to want to please people. And he knew she was meant for such great things too. Even if he had never spoken it out loud. “You’re more qualified for such things than you might realise my girl. I know you will do well. Do me proud. Hmm.”

 

She blushed softly and smiled so sweetly, that for a moment he was thrown by it. Seeing his tiny girl for a moment, where the grown woman sat. “Thank you.” He nodded lightly and offered a soft smile himself. He hated himself for all the things he had been too ignorant to see. “What else have we got coming? I assume you want to get on top of all that you can, so you might get home?” He groaned tiredly and scrubbed at his beard. He didn’t really want to think on it for now. But she was right, much as he would prefer to hang about in The South and enjoy his girls company some more? He had responsibilities, not necessarily work related, things would continue to run smoothly at the office with minimal input from him for a time longer yet. But the responsibilities he would need to apply himself to were of far greater import also. “I’ll have Beth email you the details for those few other minor investors who have shown interest and you can organise to meet with them around your dealings with Stannis. Until legal gives the go ahead, that will be on hold for now. So I’ll leave those potential investors in your capable hands to keep you from going too mad sitting idle hmm? As for me? I think it best that I meet with The Great Lion, to at least speak to an agreeable approach to the public image for our acceptance of your relationship with Lannister. Put us on even footing there so that there’s no chance of a PR disaster. And then I have to deal with your mother.”

 

“Alright. I can manage that I think. Um... Speaking of Tywin?” He cocked a brow in question as she scrunched her nose in thought and traced the rim of the coffee cup she had picked up to cradle in her gentle hands. “He suggested that we might have dinner. The four of us together. As much as the idea makes me rather uncomfortable, and I imagine it does even more so, to you? I think it has merit. If we can do so and keep it civil? It sends a clear message that won’t really need further input for the time being.” He groaned again and sat forward with his elbows planted on his knees, his own cup dangling from his fingers. He was NOT comfortable with that idea. Dinner implied a level of companionability that simply was not in existence. It would also fuel his wife’s ire. And yet, it was the swiftest way to sell the image of there being no animosity between or amongst their families. Which was the whole damned point. “Aye. It’s smart. I’ll be relying on you to keep me from killing that old bastard though Lass. I might need to send for your sister to protect my neck when I head to Riverrun to have words with your mother because of it too. But don’t you let that concern you. Even if I am frustrated at you asking me to dine with lions, it’s not on you that I am already in the dog house beside ya.” If he could take away the pain it caused her to think on it, he would. All he could offer was the truth of just how far her mother had let herself get carried away.

 

“Grandpa called. Told me that she took off for The Riverlands again, before he had a chance to speak with her. Of course you had already told me that she would probably go to see Grandpa Hoster anyway. But all the same. He also told me that I was a big girl and I could date whomever I damned well pleased. He made me laugh actually. I wasn’t expecting him to be supportive, given the animosity between he and Tywin. As for Mama... I haven’t spoken to her Dad. I have ignored all her calls and texts. I know I shouldn’t but? I just can’t right now.” He sighed heavily and nodded in understanding. He knew she hadn’t spoken to her mother, because he hadn’t been on the receiving end of her words being misinterpreted, which he had to admit, was a rather nasty thought he had towards his wife. But it wouldn’t be the first time that he had heard such things apparently. He just wasn’t choosing to be blind to it this time. He also wasn’t blind to the truth from his daughters perspective either. “Probably best that you continue to ignore her for now Sansa. It’ll be better in the long run, if you don’t antagonise her further. For now, with you ignoring her, all of her opinions are based on her own thoughts, and can hopefully be changed. Let me worry about her. You just focus on your life here. As for Gramps? Well? He never liked being predictable, and you girls have always been his favourites. Just maybe give us plenty of notice if you mean to keep your Lannister around for the duration hmm? And remember to keep the old buggers well away from each other when the time comes that they might have to be in the same room.” His sweet thing laughed heartily beside him at the idea of her Gramps being an unpredictable old wolf, and he was grateful for the reprieve from talk of his wife. He didn’t really want her worrying over it at all if he could get away with it. He didn’t want her giving in to her mothers non verbal commands this time. From what he could deduce? She had been doing so for far too long now. It was time for her to make her own path, and time for him to support her doing so.

 

“Given everything? I’m not likely to forget about the importance of keeping the Lion and the Wolf well away from one another if it ever becomes necessary.” He chuckled softly and nodded in acceptance of the role of her taking the role of peacekeeper there. If she wanted to build the bridge, she was responsible for guarding it. “Do you think she will ever get past this Dad? She is my mother and I love her, and I don’t want her to hate me. I just want to be allowed to make my own decisions. Why can’t she understand - like you do?” And there it was, the million dollar questions he had been grappling with himself. Sending himself mad with, almost. He popped his cup down and slipped his arm around her to pull her into his side, it might have been just as awkward as it felt for him, but it was clearly what she had needed from him in that moment, if the way she moved into his side was any indication. “I honestly don’t know Love. I want to believe she will, given time to truly process, given more details than she currently has too. But you know I can’t make promises on her behalf. You can never know, how truly sorry I am for never having paid attention to the ways she belittled you like this Sansa. I’ve no excuse, only my ignorance of how much her bids to groom you to fit where she wanted you to, were hurting you. I don’t think she meant it to be as it has been. She does love you and she does genuinely want the best for you. I know that, and so do you. I’m afraid that she just doesn’t see that anything but her own desires for you, are that. And that is on her to see righted. If she can’t? Then that’s to her detriment and loss. You know well, that I don’t approve of the HOW, nor necessarily the WHO. But I do approve of my daughter making her own way in the world and finding where she fits. Don’t rule her out completely yet Love, she might surprise us yet. Remember she still has to face Grandpa Hoster, who has very likely already spoken to Gramps. Those two tend to agree on most things? There’s a chance that she’s already been on the receiving end of reprimands other than my own.”

 

He cleared the lump in his throat uncomfortably and held her tight. He hadn’t meant to make her cry with his babbling. Given his own tears blurring his eyes, he wasn’t terribly surprised by the fact that she was. She had always been such a sensitive soul. That wasn’t something she could outgrow, no matter how hard she tended to try to hide it as she got older. Something that told him that she had far more yet, that she wasn’t ready to tell him. If she ever would be. He wanted to know, so that he could help her. But he didn’t want to know either, for fear of how it would hurt him to know it. A selfish thought. But an honest one all the same. Maybe one day, when things settled down some, she might open up a little more. He couldn’t really ask for more than she was offering up already. The last week had been emotionally charged enough for him, he couldn’t begin to imagine how much heavier it was on her shoulders. He didn’t really think he deserved her trust yet either, with whatever it was she was hiding from him. Not after his inadequacy.

 

“I don’t want to be responsible for causing issue between the two of you. That’s truly not fair of me. But Dad? I won’t end things with Jaime, just because she didn’t get to pick him for me. You and I both know that had he a different name, and had she been the one to choose? She’d have no issue with it. He is rich - which, YES, is because of his family, but he is also successful in his own right too, and he comes with some lucrative connections. If it weren’t for the differences between our families? And her desire to be able to control my prospective partner as she has done me? She’d be well pleased. That’s bitter and cynical of me to say, I know that. But I honestly believe that her biggest concern is that she didn’t get to choose, and that there is no way in the world she would ever hope to control him in any way. Whether she realises that or not? I don’t know. I like to think she doesn’t understand just how much she has hurt me over the years. I KNOW she loves me. But sometimes I wonder if she really loves who she wants me to be more than the woman she doesn’t even know me to be.” That hurt. It hurt to hear it, and it hurt to know that she wasn’t exactly wrong. It hurt that he had had similar thoughts himself and ruled them out, because he didn’t want them to be a possibility. But what hurt the most was that she believed it because she had been so hurt before this. In that moment, he hated the woman he had loved more than half his life. He hated himself just as much.

 

But he would make it right. No matter the cost to him or his wife. He’d make it right for his little girl. He would play nice with the lions, and he’d make the world believe everything was all sunshine and rainbows. Hells! He’d even follow through and hand the bastard whispering in his wife’s ears to those who would have no qualms with tearing him and his world down brick by brick in whatever unsavoury manner they felt necessary. He’d dance with the stranger himself on the grave of his own marriage if that’s what it took. Because they had broken their own child. His wife with her controlling ways and he with his ignorance. He didn’t KNOW everything. But he didn’t really need to, to see that they had failed her in more ways than she was saying.

 

“What happens between your mother and I, is between your mother and I, Sansa. It’s not on your shoulders and you carry no fault. All you’ve done, is forced me to notice that you were hurting, love. And followed your own heart and desires and I can’t and won’t fault that. I told you that wolves aren’t meant to be chained. I meant that.” He leaned down and kissed the top of her head where it was pressed right to his chest. It had been an age, at least, since the last time he held his little girl while she cried. But in that moment, she was holding him together just as much as he was trying to do so her. He wasn’t proud of leaning on her, but he didn’t think she minded terribly either. “I love you Daddy.” He swallowed hard and closed his eyes. Grateful for that not so small mercy. “Aye. I love you too sweetheart. From the moment I knew that you were coming, to this moment right here, and until the day the Gods come for me. Nothing you do can change that. Not even taking up with Jaime bloody Lannister.”

“Careful now Dad! Best you remember that, I haven’t made you sit and play nice at dinner with The Great Lion yet.”

“Hmm. Don’t remind me hmm? Gods what fun that’s going to be. The things I do for you my girl.”

“Indeed. The things you do for me. Thank you for seeing me, for understanding.”

“I should have been doing so for far longer than I have Lass. So don’t thank me for that. But know that you can come to me Sansa. Smack me up the back of the head if I’m not listening. Make me see and hear you. Hmm?”

“I promise not to tell Jaime that you said that I should hit you.”

“Aye. I’d appreciate that love.”

Chapter Text

“You really did stay naked in my bed all day.” Jaime hummed sleepily and rolled to wrap himself around his equally naked girlfriend, taking quick stock of everything without bothering to open his eyes completely. “I’m not much of a liar Stark.” She sounded so quiet and small, which he would be investigating soon enough. But in the interim he was going to soak up the magnificent feeling of her having apparently stripped off and wiggled into the bed and cuddled into him, rather than taking him to task for being lazy, and even perhaps a little bit creepy too. He’d have to ask her where his following through, put him on her creep scale. He hadn’t actually been in the bed all day necessarily, but he had followed through with his intent to give his hard cock what it wanted, just as he had followed through with his threats to send her photos too. He HAD even contemplated sending her one AFTER he had done so. Except that she seemed skittish enough about the idea of his sending her nudes as it was, he did not think she would appreciate photographic evidence of something quite so ‘vulgar’, as his come spurted all over his belly and hand and her panties. Even if he suspected that the wild wolf inside would be more than happy to witness him touching himself over her. That was probably something that would do slightly more than toe their yet to be established ‘lines’.

 

What he did send her, was rather tame in his opinion, the sheet had clearly been covering the vitals, and it cut off both his face and his robot hand, so it wasn’t necessarily identifiable as being him. Whilst clearly showing that he was, in fact, completely buck assed naked - a second of his bum and back whilst he was on his belly, sent to confirm it. A point he felt she would appreciate, given everything she feared about the photos of herself that had caused so much drama. But he had actually done more than that too. He had spoken to his brother, he had actually called Shae, to ask her advice on the finer points of how to navigate and discuss sexual limits and safety when exploring kinky sex. But his sister in law had been sleeping off some stomach bug that had knocked her on her ass according to his brother, so he had bitten the bullet and asked him instead.

 

Thankfully the idiot had taken him seriously, rather than taking advantage of the window he had given him, to take the piss out of him. It had been rather embarrassing for him, to be asking for sex advice from his LITTLE brother, whom he had given the original birds and bees talk to himself! But it had been necessary and very helpful. He KNEW the thoughts and desires that he and Sansa had both hinted at having weren’t ‘wrong’, but it was refreshing to know that they weren’t all that uncommon, and that it was not indicative of any deeper psychological problem. Even if they both clearly suffered some of those! It also felt good to have someone understand, without his needing to explain, that his girlfriend had been ill treated there too, and that was what had fuelled his determination, more than anything else, to have clear cut lines for them, to better protect her and them both, from triggering something. He hadn’t TOLD Tyrion that she had been sexually abused, that wasn’t his secret to share. But his brother wasn’t an idiot either - far from it. And he’d been around when she was seeing his nephew to have his own suspicions. He also understood such things better than Jaime. He was more aware of the finer details of understanding people in general, he was simply more attuned to the emotions of others. That was just who his brother was.

 

It had been good to actually catch up with him too, to just sit and chat for so long about everything and anything. To unload some of his more complicated thoughts and to offer up the same for Tyrion. Though he didn’t seem to have any real negativity weighing on him, which was curious, given how desperate he was to be a Father, and how hard he had been taking his ‘failures’ over exactly that. And the fact that Shae was so miserably sick. But they had REALLY talked, about their Father and his cutting Cersei and Joffrey off completely. About his FINALLY being able to see the truth of their mad sister and her evil spawn. They discussed and speculated the dramas occurring in his girls family too, and his feelings about that and her both. They had touched on WHEN his brother might finally be able to come home and made plans for afterwards too. It had been cathartic almost. And he hadn’t known how much he needed it until he hung up after Tyrion laughed his ass off and finally gave into his need to shit stir him, when he told him of his laying about in Sansas bed naked all day, waiting for her to come home.

 

He had napped some - obviously, she had managed to slip in beside him without his knowing she had made it home, and if he had to guess, it was late afternoon, going by the slightly less than full brightness of the room that he noted when cracking his eyes just enough before closing them again. But he had also eaten - not in the bed because he knew better than to risk crumbs! He wasn’t a complete slob thank you very much! He had showered. And he had actually checked over his email and checked in with his security team too, knowing That Marbrand was working on some specific situation for his Father directly. And he had sent a few more nudes to his girl throughout the day, to keep up appearances. Even if she hadn’t replied to all because she was a busy working girl! But for all intents and purposes, he had been naked all day, and in her bed for the most part. Just as he said he would. And the pay off was so worth it. Not only had it been a wonderfully relaxing day? But now his baby was home and gloriously naked and in his arms. A surprise for him in truth, because he thought she might actually want to dine with her Father instead? He had even planned out his own dinner, he was going to permit pants for long enough to open the door to a pizza delivery, and then strip them off again. But this was way better.

 

At least it WAS, until he registered the soft, shuddering breaths and the way she was almost clinging to him, and burying herself in his neck and chest and arms. It was like a bucket of ice water being dumped on him. All of a sudden, he was fully awake and fully alert, and cupping her beautiful face to pull it back from his neck enough to look at her. And then he was seeing red, and moving, purely on instinct, wrapping his arms around her even tighter and nosing at her soft face, kissing the dried tear tracks and her swollen puffy, raw red eyes and her forehead over and over and then her nose and top lip too.

 

“What happened Little Wolf? And who’s legs am I breaking?” He whispered it, breathed it more like, over the lip she was biting in a bid to hold back her upset. He wasn’t having it, he brushed against it with his own bottom lip in silent invitation, and then soothed the poor gnawed beauty with a light sucking kiss. “Nobody’s. I’m alright - better now.” He snorted rudely and kissed her again quickly. “I know it’s not Stannis, because although I don’t doubt his ability to make prospective business associates AND women cry rather effortlessly? I doubt his ability to get so far under your skin to make YOU cry. If you can go toe to toe with MY father without giving him notice of your arrival and come out unscathed? Stannis would hardly concern you. - Although I could be wrong and I’m not at all intimidated by the idea of breaking the mans legs. His brother certainly never scared me, he doesn’t either. Was the meeting so bad?”

 

“The meeting was fine. Great actually, no Stannis Baratheon did not make me cry. And don’t be so mean. He is a nice man, a true gentleman too. If he made me cry, I think it would bother him far more than me. It’s... My Dad and I talked - really talked and it was a difficult conversation to have, but it felt good to have it too. So stop threatening to break peoples legs.” He swallowed hard and studied her beautiful, sad face. He didn’t want to think about WHY his heart was racing so much, nor why the sight of her crying and having been crying quite a bit, should set his temper off so completely. But for some reason that he wasn’t willing to name? He was ready to wreak utter destructive havoc on whoever had caused her such pains. And that feeling still hadn’t really settled with her words, but other feelings had erupted out of nowhere over them to add to the tension thrumming through him. Her defence of the stick in the mud that is Stannis Baratheon was curious, especially when he hadn’t really assumed his words to be necessarily MEAN? But it was easily brushed off as unimportant. The feeling of nervous trepidation at her having a hard conversation with her father was not so easily ignored. The man had said he would try to accept things for her sake though? And he was a stickler for keeping his word? Surely he wouldn’t wait until she had done everything he needed her to down here, and then laid on the guilt trip? If it was her mother, he wouldn’t even need to question her having done so? But Ned? He didn’t like the guy, but he respected him for the most part, because he wasn’t sly like that! She didn’t need to worry about his breaking any legs now, but IF it had been a conversation that he feared it might have been? He’d sure as shit, break the gruff, arrogant bastards face open.

 

He nudged her nose with his gently and kissed the tip, because apparently he was a needy bastard. She wasn’t exactly objecting to his clinging and gripping hands and desperate affections though? So maybe there was some hope. “If your Father has made you cry, my beautiful girl? Than all of those fantasies I’ve harboured at times over the years are all about to come true, because that is absolutely permission for me to break his nose.” She laughed. Not just a little bit, not even softly, she was laughing hard, and crying and not that he was going to be persnickety and complain given the current circumstances? But there was snot involved, because she had been crying. Plus? Now he was utterly confused. His promising to break her Dads nose for making her cry didn’t exactly sound like a laughing matter? “You aren’t breaking my Dads nose Jaime! You aren’t hurting anyone because I’ve been crying. Though I am so touched that you feel the need to do so.” He accepted her smacking kisses happily, still very confused, grateful that she thought to wipe her nose on the sheet before attacking him - which was a whole other hilariously icky issue that he never, ever expected to face from her of all people! But it was actually very unimportant at that very moment. “Why were you crying Sansa? Actually? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want. Just tell me that you aren’t leaving me, because your Dad didn’t guilt you into realising that I’m not worthy of you?”

 

Jaime winced uncomfortably and blushed like a damned teenager caught doing something he shouldn’t and seven hells if he wasn’t uncomfortable in his own skin as she pulled back and stared at him like he was stupid, or like he had a second head that she had never noticed or something! Her soft hand was stroking his jaw, and he wanted to snap at her over it as much as he wanted to savour the delicate touch. He felt vulnerable and exposed and he hated it. Even with her beautiful eyes blinking at him so incredulously. He was terrified, and terrified by the very idea that he was terrified that she was going to end things before they really got started. It made NO sense. They hadn’t even been together for a full week and he felt like he was being ripped apart by fear that she was going to end it already. “My Dad told me that he loved me, that there was nothing I could ever do that would change that, and he was proud of me and that he was sorry for never having noticed just how much I needed him to notice. And he told me that as a wolf I should never have been chained, and that he approves of me following my own path and finding my place in this world. So you can’t break his nose. But you CAN stop worrying that he is going to talk me into leaving you. He won’t do that, because he knows I won’t give in to such demands. I don’t think he wants me to anyway.”

 

Jaime blew out a long shuddering breath and let his lips twitch in a small, relieved but sheepish smile, and huffed an slightly embarrassed, breathy laugh at the amused and ridiculously soft look on her face. The fact that he could actually breathe again without pain was not lost on him. “So they were happy tears? Tears of relief maybe? Or?” He felt a little bit like a desperate fool. But she didn’t seem to want to say anything to acknowledge his ridiculousness either, which he was grateful for. He was hedging far too closely towards ‘feelings’ that they weren’t ready for, so he needed to move forward and around them a bit. “My mother came up. So... It was a bit of everything really. And I actually climbed into bed with my ridiculous ‘kept man’ who actually stayed naked in bed all day, in the hopes that he might make me feel better and let me forget for a bit?” He smiled softly at that and stole yet another soft kiss. Gods he loved kissing her. Almost as much as he loved fucking her.

 

“And he’s doing a miserable job of it. That needy bastard.”

“Oh I don’t know? I certainly feel better than I did? And we ARE naked and pressed together and kissing? It’s not a huge leap to having ‘distracting’ sex?”

“I wouldn’t presume it’s a LEAP at all beautiful? A roll at most, and I’m between these fantastic legs. My cock is even ready and raring to go if you want it.”

“And yet? You still are not between my FANTASTIC legs. Don’t make me say it Lannister.”

“I’ll give you a pass just this one time Stark.”

 

He didn’t hesitate to do exactly what she needed him to do. He rolled them over until she was under him, and he was between her thighs and pushed himself into her with a steadying hand quickly, before returning said steadying hand to its original place up under her back and holding her tight. “Better?” She hummed softly and almost mewled against his lips as he pressed light kisses over and around her own, whilst he rocked gently in and out of her perfect body. He couldn’t get closer if he tried, and nor could she apparently. Her legs were wrapped tightly around his hips, her arms around his neck and shoulders, his own under her back and shoulder to hug her tight and the other under the small of her back and hips to help her rock back against him. And it was... Intimate... It was MORE. And it was perfect. Exactly what she needed.

 

“I want you to remember this moment. You said your Dad loved you no matter what? And you fear that your mother doesn’t and won’t because of your choices - you didn’t say it, you didn’t have to... But remember this moment, my beautiful girl, if you ever feel like you are unwanted for being who you are, or that no one cares. Because it’s just not true.”

 

He didn’t know where the fuck that came from. He didn’t know why he said it. He had no control. But it was either the really RIGHT thing to say? Or the really WRONG thing. Because she was crying again and sucking and licking at his neck as she did so, leaving his face in its usual spot, pushed hard into her neck and close to her ear. Which was usually her silent order for him to ‘talk’. He just wasn’t sure if he should, because apparently he had no damned filter left! So he kissed where he could reach instead and let the pants and groans he had no hope of controlling, fall for her instead as he focused his mind on taking her to the heights of pleasure she was seeking, and following her over with an almost desperately breathy groan, as he finished deep inside of her soft body and continued to give himself over to her until he was soft again. It wasn’t his intention at all, but he was fairly sure that he just told her something that he wasn’t even ready to acknowledge himself yet, all without voicing the words themselves. And THAT was utter madness.

Chapter Text

“Mr. Lannister? There’s a Miss Stark downstairs to see you, she doesn’t have an appointment? Do you want me to have her sent up? Or make an appointment for her?” Tywin paused in his typing and looked up at his assistant standing in his doorway. Not only was it highly unusual for her to knock and speak directly to him of such requests, but she knew well that he had already entertained his son’s girlfriend once before without her having an appointment. She also hadn’t bothered to stop off at the main reception last time, but rather make her way up to the top floor and directly to his assistant. His assistant who was adept enough after years in his service to know that he didn’t tend to change his ways once they were set. Sansa being admitted to his office after arriving unannounced, without an appointment, a single time would be enough for her to expect it was acceptable to him. She smiled knowingly at him and cleared her throat. “You did not answer when I called, and I had assumed you would appreciate being notified, even if you were busy. Your visitor is not the same Miss Stark. I advised that Miss Sansa Stark was to be admitted without question to seek myself out, when arriving to meet with you, as she has done previously. This is a Miss Arya Stark.”

 

THAT he hadn’t expected. Of course, it explained why Sansa hadn’t just welcomed herself up to the top floor and directly to his assistant, as she had only days before. Because it wasn’t actually the MISS Stark he might have expected. He was at a complete loss as to why the younger sister would be seeking admittance to his office. He hadn’t even been aware that she was in Kings Landing. As far as he was aware, only Ned had been expected. Of course, he had spent the morning, and the better part of the afternoon and evening before, setting his plans in motion to deal with his daughter and grandson. Which had held his attention so completely that he could very well have missed any number of curious developments outside of it.

 

Sending Marbrand in his stead to deliver the files of what Varys had found on his grandsons despicable interests and activities to Robert, and to be on hand with a small team to keep it from becoming a violent war zone once he called the man personally, and spoke to him in regards to said file that would be delivered and perused during the phone call, as well his plans. He had also spent time locating an acceptable availability in a reputable and more importantly, discreet and near impenetrable facility and having it held under an alias that he had set up for the boy, paid for, through an account removed from any of his own, so it was seemingly untraceable back to him.

 

There was a secondary reason for his sending Marbrand in particular, one he would never give voice to, or allow to become public knowledge. But his daughter was, for all intents and purposes, an alcoholic who also had a love of prescription medications apparently. He had no doubt in his mind whatsoever that she would push the boundaries of what she could handle, over her son being committed against either of their wills, and in doing so, would ensure a much ‘cleaner’ way to have her forcibly placed in a rehabilitation clinic too. It made him a terrible person and an even worse Father, but he didn’t really care. He did not WANT to effectively endanger his daughters life, but the silly girl endangered it herself with such vices daily, if the reports from the maids at Storms End weren’t too heavily exaggerated. All he had done, in actuality, was ask a man he could trust, to be on hand to make sure emergency services were called when she did. She needed the wake up call, and she needed it quickly. At least being forced to become clean and sober, might afford her the sense she would need to see the reason he knew full well she would not presently.

 

He hadn’t been expecting an interruption at all, which was likely why he had disregarded his assistants calls, without noticing them. But such an interruption was not something he could have predicted in any way, shape or form.  He might have picked a Stark that was not Sansa, arriving to speak with him, but he had no cause to think it her sister, or think upon her sister at all. And yet she was apparently seeking an audience with him. Which had him exceptionally curious. She was lucky for that, and for the fact that he was actually finished what he had been working on in those moments leading to his assistant knocking at his door. “See her up, personally if you would. And ensure that no mention of her being here is made. She is Sansa Starks sister, as such, until I say otherwise, she is to be afforded the same exceptions as my sons girlfriend.” His assistant merely bowed a nod and turned to stride away and do as he had instructed. Leaving him a few moments to gather his thoughts on his unexpected guest. Ordinarily he might find himself irritated at some random chit feeling it within her rights to just ‘pop in’ and expect to be admitted to his office. But he was no more annoyed, or insulted by her presumption, as he had been her sister. Likely only because his curiosity outweighed his ire. That was something that could and would change rather rapidly, depending on her reasoning.

 

The girl who was shown into his office was nothing like the tall, glorious woman who had done so days beforehand. And yet she was. To a lesser trained eye, the similarities would be missed entirely. Because where the elder was tall and willowy and poised, the younger was quite short and petite. Where her sister was all Tully to look upon, this girl was all Stark. Yet they held themselves with that same rigid posture, that same air of confidence misconstrued as arrogance. And then there was the features. The same eye shape, though a different colour, the same mouth. He had actually moved, stood before his wall of windows to await her arrival. Something he would have noted as a defensive move were it him entering the office, something a young girl of perhaps her very early twenties at most, would not think to assume. Though she was studying him with every bit as much thorough scrutiny as he was her, which he found to be rather amusing. He waved a hand in invitation for her to sit, before his assistant managed to announce her properly, and nodded to the woman to disappear. And he continued to study her mannerisms silently as she did as he bid her. She was a curious little thing. No more scared of or intimidated by him, than her sister had been - even the first time they met privately. Like her sister, he had very likely actually ‘met’ the girl before, thanks to his son in law. But he had no memory of having done so, and nor did she by the way she was almost smirking at his open study of her.

 

“Miss Stark-“

“Arya. Please. And it’s actually Private. Northern Army, field medic trainee.” He blinked in surprise at her both interrupting and correcting him. He wasn’t insulted by it, if anything she had only served to pique his curiosity even further, if it were at all possible. “Very well. Arya. You know who I am so there’s no real need for the introduction. What is it I can do for you, Private Arya Stark, field medic trainee in service to The Northern Army?” The girl grinned at him. Actually grinned, like she knew something he didn’t and much as he would never allow his discomfort to show? He couldn’t deny that it was rather disconcerting. “I assume it’s of great import, if you have travelled so far, and have likely taken time off from work or training of some description to do so?” She hummed quietly, and again he saw her sister in such a simple mannerism. “Yes, BUT! I only missed one block of training this morning and then there was the weekend obviously, I’ve been on early drills all week and this last one today was more for those who struggled earlier in the week anyway. And any other responsibilities I have at home for now are covered. Gram- Someone is covering them for me while I’m here.”

 

He scoffed a small amused noise and cocked his brow in question at her slip. He was hardly going to tear her to pieces over mentioning her Grandfather. Although such a reaction, including the awkward scowling and blushing, had him questioning just what sort of monster he had been painted as for The Stark children. It also filled him with a very small amount of amused pride. That he couldn’t truly fathom for the life of him. But curiously, he found this strange young woman to be truly interesting, and he’d been in her company only a handful of moments. “I see. You have taken only one day off, and your Grandfather is covering for you having absconded away to the big bad South. You’ve yet to explain WHY. And why here, to my office - into the LIONS DEN, specifically.” He was having fun with this. Toying with the girl. As was she if the cheeky little smirk she gave as she watched him round his desk and seat himself once more, was any real indication. “See? THAT right there? That explains how you were such good friends for so long... You know? Before you were a dick.” He snorted rudely and simply blinked at her. He didn’t think anybody had ever called him that before. Or ever insulted him directly to his face like that. “Careful girl. I have enjoyed this little game, but I won’t countenance such vulgarities being thrown about over anything, let alone something that YOU know little to nothing of, in truth.”

 

“Mmm. There it is. Right? Well? Now that we’ve established that I’m not afraid of you, and that you do indeed have a sense of humour, that also has boundaries? We can move on with why I’m really here! But first? I just want to say that I’m not terribly concerned with that controlled roar. Insulting you to your face is hardly going to have you tearing my world apart at the seams, not when my world includes the darling girl who makes you son smile that a crack addict on a bender. You are much more refined AND intelligent than that. You don’t appreciate the insult, but you DO appreciate that it was to your face rather than behind your back. But I’ll attempt to behave myself more appropriately now. I think you and I could actually be friends, you know? I like people who don’t bother voicing empty threats.” He snorted an astonished breath and shook his head. What on Earth was it about Stark girls? First Sansa floors him with superior intellect, charm and cunning, and now her Runt of bratty sister was doing it with brutal honesty and insults. AND it was earning his respect, IN BOTH CASES? He was losing his mind. Or going soft maybe? It was sheer lunacy. Like her sister, he wanted to throttle her as much as he wanted to crow with pride at having found such a interesting character in his orbit.

 

“Why are you here Arya Stark? I assume that your sister is unaware of your surprise visit South, as she did not join you, and her manners would not allow for you to appear before me without her giving an introduction. Even if, like yourself, she arrived here without forewarning. Her apologising for having done so, tells me that it was an unusual occurrence for her.” He laced his fingers together where they rested loosely over his seated form, his arms resting effortlessly on the sides of his comfortable seat. It was a deceptively calm pose, and it had apparently failed to hit its mark, she had read it easily, much to his chagrin. “Sansa. I’m here, for my sisters sake. In a roundabout, convoluted sort of way.” He bowed a nod at her to go ahead. He had figured that her sister was pivotal in her reasoning. He just did not know the hows or why’s yet. “Alright. So? I assume you are aware that certain members of my family are unhappy with recent developments.” He snorted rudely. “Get to the point Arya.” She jumped up almost like a small animal with far too much energy, and started pacing and almost jigging. It was very distracting, but it was also very enlightening. Whatever it was she wished to speak to him over, both annoyed and infuriated her, and she was actually nervous over having come to him. Which was her first true sign of discomfort. And the first indication that she was not, in fact, every bit as strong as her sister.

 

“My mother isn’t happy. That’s an understatement. She has actually threatened to disown my sister. - GODS! Don’t repeat that! I shouldn’t have said it! Anyway? She’s a bit controlling - a lot actually, where Sansa is concerned. But... My sister? She’s so damned resilient and forgiving sometimes! And I don’t want her caving because my Mother is being selfish right? I’ve seen those photos and I’ve texted her too. Lannister - Jaime? She REALLY likes him. LOVES him even, I think. He makes her happy and TRUST ME! She deserves someone who can make her happy like he does. But it will hurt her at the very least, if my Mother never comes around. And the thing is? I think she will and she CAN do that. But she has this FRIEND. Who whispers in her ear, gives her ADVICE. And what not. She can’t see that he’s vermin. And I DON’T know for certain, but I’m pretty sure that he encourages her to react like a crazy person, for some unknown Gods forsaken reason. And he’s a slimy little bastard who I’m pretty sure Gramps wants to beat within an inch of living. I KNOW my Dad does - YES my Dad - NED STARK would very much approve of violence being visited upon this slimy little, oxygen thieving weasel. But that won’t actually do any good, because he’d crawl away and probably come back smelling like roses to my Mother. He’s like a fucking cockroach, I doubt even a nuclear blast would serve to terminate him! Anyway? I thought that you might HELP me show him for who he is, so My Dad can actually get through to my Mother, and make her see reason. Being that it’s in your favour to ensure Sansas continued happiness for Jaimes sake. AND the many genetically blessed babies that could and WOULD create a nice neat little bridge between our disconnected families.”

 

He didn’t know where to begin to dissect and process EVERYTHING that the strange little jumping jack rabbit of a girl had dumped on him, let alone react appropriately to. She was a blasted stranger! Some strange girl, whom felt it appropriate to come into his office, his space, his world and not only challenge him as she had done, but effectively attempt to cajole him into doing her dirty work - her families dirty work - STARK AND TULLY DIRTY WORK! For her! WITH HER? Working WITH her might make it a different beast? But not if she simply expected him to do her bidding FOR HER. It was not only presumptuous! It was the very heights of rudeness, arrogance, manipulation and any number of other grave offences that not a soul in this world should be stupid enough to level at HIM of all blasted people!

 

“SIT.” She blinked at him with wide eyes, but did as he ordered. Good. She was responsive to barked commands. As she should be being a military brat. That was a bloody start! At least she wasn’t fidgeting about and driving him to madness now. She was also holding her tongue. A grudging point in her favour. “His name is Petyr Baelish. If that helps... At all?... To make me - you know? Less presumptuous and rude and likely to become chewed up Lion chow. And I didn’t mean to babble at you just now - like an idiot. You are actually pretty scary, despite my attempts to claim otherwise initially.” He sat up slowly, leaning the weight of his upper body onto his elbows and into his desk. THAT! Might have just done as she had hoped, and saved her from becoming ‘chewed up Lion chow’. A statement that he would actually be filing for later review, when he was less furious, so he might appreciate his amusement of it more fully. At least she had the intelligence to realise she had angered him and that she should be afraid for having done so.

 

“We will come back to Baelish. Your colourful description of him was not necessarily incorrect, however atrociously delivered. Let us talk about your presumptuous attempts to have me act in YOUR favour, by bringing MY SON and his girlfriend of LESS THAN A WEEK, into it. Hmm? I didn’t take you for a fool when you walked in here girl. Be mindful of the position you now find yourself.” He relished the fact that she swallowed hard, yet still managed to hold his eye. Lesser persons had crumbled from the look he was levelling at her ALONE. Without the added insensitive to do so, that was his deceptively calm, even tone. By the Gods! Even his own children struggled to hold his eye when he was this angry. Perhaps he had been too quick to deny her, her sisters strength. This one was ALL Stark, but for that arrogance and guileless manipulative cunning. That was Hoster. And here he had thought that her sister had stolen ALL of her Grandfathers worthwhile genes for her own. Apparently it was only most of them. This one lacked her sisters finesse, and her ability to mask her nerves. They were DIFFERENT, but neither necessarily LESS. This little wolf pup could be as impressive, with a bit of discipline. Sansa could have had him agreeing to do exactly as she wanted without pissing him off, he suspected. He was angry, there was no denying THAT. But he was also contemplative.

 

There was a fine line between bravery and stupidity, he understood that better than most. Jaime had flirted with that line his whole damned life. This girl was doing the same. But what appeared stupid initially? Only was so, on the surface, from his perspective, and yet it was clearly the opposite from hers. “I have angered you. That’s reasonable. What I have ASSUMED and ASKED? Maybe IMPLIED is better? It’s the heights of rudeness. I know that. I KNOW I’m dancing with the stranger right now. But I do so without apology, and I’d do so again and again, for Sansa. Ultimately? That’s what I’m here for. I have seen my sister broken down and seemingly defeated, and I’ve seen her get up and shake it off and fight anew. I’ve seen her crawl out of ashes that another would have laid down and DIED in. And every time she has done something for HER? Mama has taken issue with it. I know that’s not right. I know it’s not your problem and I KNOW I can’t ask for your help with HER, because she’s my Mother and despite all of it? Nothing would break my sister faster. My whole family. For whatever reason, your son makes her HAPPY. I don’t get it - he’s old as shit. But she likes him and I’m firmly on her side. I can’t do anything about my Mother, but for maybe stage an intervention and tell her to shape up or ship out. But that won’t work while ever there’s someone telling her that she’s right to hold her ground either. And Petyr Baelish is a bastard, with shonky business dealings and probably a list of enemies a mile long. You’ve chewed up and spat out worse than him for far less of an offence than having even the minutest potential threat towards your son’s future happiness. I’m not in a position to remove the threat to my family, but YOU are. AND I am willing to help. I want to help. I’m asking YOU to help ME deal with a potential MUTUAL threat.”

 

She was not wrong. He had taken down worse than Baelish, for far less reason. But he did not suspect that she knew just how truly great an issue Petyr Baelish presented either. Nor did she realise that he already had the man in his sights. No one realised that. Not even the man himself, and that was exactly how he liked it. He was not about to tell this strange little git any of that though. He was still rather angry at her little game. Even if he found himself grudgingly liking her, belligerently arrogant thorns, and frustratingly annoying nervous energy, and all. Tywin sat back slowly and let his hands fall comfortably atop one another before himself, in a much more relaxed pose. He was anything but. But she did not know that. Anymore than she knew that she had just given him more incentive to see through his own plans. She might have spotted it earlier, but she was too overwhelmed with her own emotions now to do so. The Mother? He would leave up to them, as much as it might grate, she was no more his problem than Cersei was theirs. But Baelish was a mutual threat. He knew that to be true because he knew that he had pushed Stark towards Rosby in whatever game he was playing at there. The upside to this girls inappropriate request was that it would put her in his debt, even though he had planned on acting without her. And that was always a useful thing in his book. But the wild thing needed a few lessons too. Ones he would be giving, whether she liked it or not. Whether her family - her ‘GRAMPS’ liked it or not.

 

“Your sister is unaware of your presence in Kings Landing. You best rectify that. THIS did not happen, Private. When we meet for dinner this evening, with our respective family members? We will be introduced for the first time. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Good. Get out.” He watched her, leaning slightly more towards his initial amusement as she stood stiffly and held out her hand to shake before walking confidently to his door. Strange little thing that she was. “Arya?” He held her eye seriously for a moment as she turned back, her hand still resting on his door handle. “Leave Baelish to me.” The smile she delivered was all predatory wolf. And he didn’t truly know if he wanted to throttle her, string her up or pat her head and tell her she was a good puppy, because of it. It was likely the strangest encounter he had ever had in his VERY long life! Even her darling sister hadn’t managed to evoke so many different feelings and thoughts from him. What it was about Stark girls? He had no idea, but he liked the feral little wolf pup. DANCING WITH THE STRANGER she had said. She wasn’t bloody wrong. The devil child. AND she presumed to state that she wanted to be his FRIEND? By the Gods he really was losing it.

Chapter Text

They had been together a week. Actually TECHNICALLY speaking, it was a week since they run into each other in the dodgy little dive bar and proceeded to fuck each other’s brains out all night and set fire to the world around them in doing so. But he was taking it. As far as he was concerned? They had been together from that very first look. THAT would be their ANNIVERSARY. He had decided and she would just have to accept his ruling on that. Not that he expected she would truly object. She WOULD take the piss out of him for it, and argue for the fun of it, but she wouldn’t really find issue with it. He was banking on it being ‘sweet’ and not necessarily creepy and overwhelmingly desperate and clingy of him. Especially considering a WEEK long romance was hardly cause for celebration under almost any circumstances. But he kind of felt like it should be for them. They had moved at lightning speed, going from GHOSTS of each other’s dark past, to a full fledged relationship, where he had pretty well made himself at home in her apartment, and they had interacted with each other’s FATHERS. AND decided to throw the family members that would never come to the table for them out with the trash basically.

 

In his mind that was reason enough to celebrate. He didn’t know where they were going or if this was a forever type of deal? But he was willing to afford it the respect and effort it should have, as an opportunity to be. If nothing else, their relationship had served to shine a light on the rather serious issues inside of their respective families, which was also worth celebrating, because they had both made it out from under those oppressing them. They sort of seemed to be helping each other heal in a way? They had become a team, who could lean on one another when things got rough, and trust that they had each other’s backs. A week in - and that had become abundantly clear. Which was absolutely insane. But it was simply the truth. They just seemed to have clicked, and fallen into this strange world, where they were together and happy, in a way that felt like they always had been.

 

Although they hadn’t really talked about what happened the day he woke to find her crying either. They had talked about the things her Dad had said, and her hopes for a more open relationship with the man because of it, and they had discussed her meeting - not fully, there was SOMETHING that she had yet to talk to him about there too? But that was alright, she would when she was ready, if it was a relevant thing for him to know, he supposed. And whilst he had asked how she felt about things with her Mother, she hadn’t been ready for that either. Which was also pretty reasonable. He hardly wanted to explain his relationship with Cersei to her either. He just didn’t want to think or talk about his sister at all. And they had time aplenty to talk about the shitty people in their pasts. But they hadn’t ACKNOWLEDGED just what his actions in light of her upset had basically told her. He kind of hoped they could continue avoiding it for a bit longer too. He wasn’t ready for that. He hadn’t been then either. He still wasn’t, because at the end of the day, it had ONLY BEEN A WEEK.

 

Even if he was ready to ‘celebrate’ their ‘ONE WEEK ANNIVERSARY’ like a complete bloody fool? He wasn’t ready to ADD to the already ridiculous amount of relationship growth and emotional upheaval they had already weathered. Some things were beginning to settle down, the media had seemingly less and less interest in them - which COULD be simply because he hadn’t travelled too far from his girls apartment in the last two days? Until that morning at least. But it was all quiet on the Lannister front too. Which might have given him cause to be concerned, except that he knew his Father, and he knew what he had done, at least partially. It was quiet, because The Great Lion was on the hunt, and in a rather bad mood. The Stark side seemed to be similarly settled, besides the news that Catelyn had taken off like a runaway child in her snit. Which was something he had curiously been told by NED! As if the mans acceptance of his dating his daughter wasn’t confusing enough, without him informing him of his wife’s antics! But apparently someone was dealing with the woman, and allowing his girl some peace AND some much needed one on one time with her Father. It kind of felt like the lull before the true storm? Perhaps they were in the eye of one? But he didn’t want to be the one to plunge them back into the swirling madness, by talking on things they weren’t ready to explore. They were in a bit of a bubble of happy, carefree togetherness, and he kind of liked it there.

 

It was why he had spent the morning as he had. And he absolutely refused to feel embarrassed by his over the top antics. She was his girlfriend, no matter how long that had been together, it was completely reasonable that he spend a fortune in a bid to spoil her some! They would have to weather dinner with both of their Fathers that evening, rather than spending it together as he would prefer. And YES a very large part of his mind was still quite pissed at THAT idea. He saw the merit in it of course, but that didn’t mean he had to like the idea of trying to muzzle either of them, especially when he would be forced to behave himself! He KNEW they would both be on their best behaviour, they would be in public and the whole point of it was to attempt to convince the world at large that there was no issue between their families. Plus both men were well mannered enough to appreciate proper etiquette. That did NOT mean it was going to be fun or even remotely comfortable any of them. But the upside was, that he could justify his extortionate spendings, and he would hopefully be exposed to more soft smiles and sweet kisses instead of exasperated frustration, because he was being robbed of a potential ‘date night’ to spend it with their Fathers, and because he was being a good boy with not complaining TOO much about it!

 

Looking around her apartment, that he now thankfully had a key to, which was a sweet and unexpected surprise that she didn’t really explain beyond a shrug and a ‘you may as well have it, you’re always here anyway.’ The morning before? He MIGHT have over done it. There were flowers - daisy’s, because they were apparently simple and pretty and resilient, without being over commercialised like roses tended to be. And there was a plethora of bakery treats, because although she had said she like citrusy flavours, she hadn’t told him which was her favoured treat. AND there was extremely expensive lingerie, lacy matching bra and pantie sets, with stockings and garter belt in both ‘baby blue’ - her favourite colour, and in blood red, for him. He kept it simple, not wanting to get too carried away with something that he might like but she wasn’t comfortable with. And he had actually written down her sizes after snooping through her drawers. Which was admittedly creepy of him to do. But he wasn’t exactly appalled by his behaviour because in doing so, he had also found her little friend, which gave him many, many naughty ideas. Not least of which, was his outrageous idea to slip into the sex shop three blocks away in a side alley, and peruse their selection of toys. Where he also bought her a sneaky little gift, for them to share later. Who could have guessed that her ‘get to know you’ questions that had driven him up the damned wall during their first ‘date’ would come in so damned handy? He even bought a copy of ‘The Little Mermaid’ just because he thought it was hilarious that he do so.

 

The knock at the door startled him out of his musings and he was walking towards it before really registering that the one person he might expect to knock on his girls door, was her Father, whom she was presently with for some conference call with their legal department, and also someone that he should probably remember the name or connection to, at head office. But it didn’t really occur to him that it could potentially be an issue, to have him opening her apartment door to someone visiting. “Hello. Don’t worry! You won’t need to slam me against a wall like a cave man, I COME IN PEACE! Can you move? My bag is heavy and I want to put it down.” Jaime blinked rapidly at the tiny whirlwind of a girl before him and stepped aside without thinking, as she requested. WHY Arya Stark was randomly dropping by, with a packed bag to boot, he had absolutely no idea. But he held his tongue and closed the door slowly as he watched her study everything she could, after unceremoniously dumping her duffle right in the middle of the floor. Which he kind of thought amusing, because he could see his girl glaring at her and huffing in annoyance in his minds eye.

 

“Sans isn’t home, which begs the question of WHY YOU ARE? But I can see you’ve apparently been busy. Fuck my sister for a week and you’re already so whipped that you buy flowers and shit? Lingerie too? You are lucky it’s me and I appreciate such sappy crap for my sister Lannister! Where is she?” He coughed to cover his disbelieving scoffing, and scrubbed at the back of his neck in an ALMOST embarrassed gesture. He knew he was fucking blushing too, and that did not help to ease the tension that the very amused little wolfling was raising in him with her unexpected presence. “Hello Arya. How are you? I’m well, thanks for asking.” She grinned widely at him and strutted into the kitchen to flick the coffee maker on, making herself right at home - which he supposed he couldn’t judge her for. He tended to do the same thing in her sisters space. But it was rather confronting, now that he was the one on the receiving end of it. “I can see you are idiot. That’s why I didn’t bother asking! I am too - which actually IS surprising, given the dangers I was courting earlier this morning! You didn’t tell me where my sister was.”

 

He chuckled softly in utter bafflement and made his way to the stools at the kitchen counter, to sit and study the strange girl whom he found himself, not necessarily comfortable with, but not exactly uncomfortable in the company of either. “She and your Father had conference calls with head office today. She’s at his hotel, working. And your danger courting requires elaboration.” She waved over her shoulder at him lazily and continued her search for cups in the cupboards, which he wasn’t about to help her with, if she wasn’t going to ask. “Got it. Now I understand the need for the hotel too. I wondered about that when I asked Beth for her address. Suppose I’ll be staying with Daddio if I don’t want to be exposed to you climbing between my sisters legs.” He groaned loudly and shook his head. That was just his bloody luck! “It’s fine Arya, I do have an apartment of my own, that I can go home to. How long are you here?”

“Just the weekend probably. I have leave built up, but I SHOULDN’T put it in on such short notice. So I’ll probably head back for work Monday. And don’t be an idiot, we will work something out that doesn’t have me kicking you out. Unlike some family members? I shall be encouraging the continued genital rubbing between you two. You make my sister happy. If you didn’t? We’d be having a different conversation.”

“Genital rubbing? Well? That’s an interesting way to put it. What is with you Starks and your attempts to threaten me?”

 

He was far more amused than he was going to let her know, he had almost lost his composure over her descriptive words for SEX. The threat hardly bothered him, she was about the size of a Jack Russell, so hardly a serious concern for him. Besides she clearly wasn’t interested in actually doing him harm. She had said as much. He also knew full well that she was rather proudly ‘team Sansa’, and had been from the beginning. So he was more than happy to entertain her energetic disruption to his plans. Even if he found it as confusing as it was unexpected. She sat a cup down in front of him with a curious little blushing smile and returned for her own before leaning her weight into the counter across from him. “If I tell you something? Will you not tell my sister or Father?” He snorted rudely and cocked a brow in silent command. He would not be keeping promises to her unless it was in his interests to do so. Especially not from his girlfriend and her sister, of all bloody people. But that didn’t mean she was getting away with not telling him what she wanted now. “My courting danger? I went to see your Dad. He really is as scary as the boogeyman I was taught he was as a kid! Seven hells! He told me to sit and I near shit myself!”

 

He didn’t even bother trying to hold it in. She had called his Father, her childhood boogeyman and THAT was the funniest thing he had ever fucking heard in his life! He was positively roaring with laughter, enough so that he had actual tears running down his face! The BOOGEYMAN! Seven hells! He couldn’t wait to tell his brother that! He groaned softly as he tried to catch his breath and pinched at his eyes to stop the tears flowing at least. He liked this one! Who knew it was possible to like more than one Stark?

 

“Why were you popping in on My Father?” She grinned and looked exactly like a wild little wolf when she did. “I want his help with someone. You know Mama is being a crazy, judgemental bitch I presume?” He grunted in affirmation and cocked a brow at her to elaborate. “Alright so? Obviously? I want the dramas in my family to stop, its bullshit that Sansa being a grown ass woman and making her own decisions has caused some of our collective family members to act like complete fucking idiots. SO! I can’t really condone chucking my Mother to the lions necessarily, because she’s still my Mother, and Sansa wouldn’t like it. Even if she might think she would accept it for the time being. But, the asshole friend who ‘supports’ and ‘encourages’ her every crazy notion? He can be sacrificed for the greater good, of hopefully getting her to see sense. Everyone else has accepted it as Sans decision.” She shrugged lightly and grinned at him. “Even Robb, after his little trip into crazy, offensive dick town. EVEN our Gramps, who hates your old man with the fury of a thousand burning suns or something! So Catelyn Tully Stark just needs to pull her head out of her ass, and suck it up! If Baelish isn’t in her ear like the little creep he is? There’s a chance she will listen and our family won’t be put in that awkward spot of choosing between our Redhead ladies.”

 

Jaime blinked at her slowly, absorbing everything she had said. And actually seeing why she wouldn’t want her sister to know that she had done such a LANNISTER thing. He personally found it completely acceptable. Even if it was rather unrefined. He also knew without her needing to say it, that such a request had pissed his father off and intrigued him with equal measure. For him? Chucking Catelyn to the curb wouldn’t be any great loss, from what he had come to understand. Any more than throwing Cersei in a box, with a DANGER: do not open sticker on the side, in the corner somewhere had been. But he did actually know who Petyr Baelish was, though he’d never met the man, that he could recall? His brother had made mention of his being a vile little scumbag before, himself. And she was right, Sansa wouldn’t handle it well, she may even think it her fault that her Mother had been ostracised from her family. Never mind that the bitch didn’t deserve such a caring girl, like his Sansas, love and respect. She had it. He hadn’t even known the extent of drama in The Stark camp himself, it was obvious that Sansa either didn’t know or just hadn’t wanted to burden him with it. But he wasn’t about to let her carry any excess weight either.

 

“My advice? If you mean to continue an acquaintance with my Father? Don’t try to play with him. Be honest at all times, and at least attempt to stand your ground before him. If you cave too obviously, you’ll lose whatever respect you might have gained. And don’t demand answers. You won’t know everything he might have done or said, and you won’t know his reasoning either. Don’t bother asking. Accept what he offers and move on.” She cackled a bit and rubbed at her red face sheepishly. “Oh I got that. Loud and clear. I’m fairly confident that I’ve done all I’ll be allowed to do, just in having the conversation with him. I kind of like him. When he isn’t scaring the wits out of me that is! YOU KNOW? I’ve had drill sergeants that couldn’t make me move as fast as he did?” Jaime snorted a laugh at THAT and held his mug up in cheers to it. It was amusing that she would claim to ‘like’ his Father, and it was obviously bullshit bravado too. But he knew very well what she meant about him making one move better than a drill sergeant. He was raised by the man after all.

 

“Right! Well! I have no interest in getting involved in your dealings with my Father, UNLESS you do something colossally stupid, in which case, I MAY feel obliged to draw his ire off of you, for Sansas sake. Otherwise? THAT is all on you little one. As for your mother? I couldn’t care less if she never accepts me, but I will have quite a bit to say over it if I ever find she has maliciously hurt MY girl, more than she has done previously or is presently doing, because of me or not. She doesn’t deserve to KNOW Sansa from what I have come to understand, and I refuse to let her hurt her anymore. Do what you will within your family Arya, but know that I have no qualms at all about seeing your mother dealt with. And for the purposes of continuing protection? This conversation never happened.”

 

“You know you’re in love with her right?” Jaime groaned softly in annoyance and pinched the bridge of his nose. She was the second SIBLING to use THAT word. The word that he was avoiding like crazy. And he certainly was not going to speak on it presently with the wrong She Wolf either. Much as he appreciated leaving the previous, rather important, but not necessarily of actual interest to him presently, conversion where it was? THAT was NOT a segway that he would allow.

 

“Come here.”

“What? Why? Are you going to strangle me with that cool hand for saying that?” Jaime snorted in exasperation and rolled his eyes as he grabbed her wrist with his ‘cool hand’ and dragged her around the counter to his side. “No. Much as you might deserve it? Killing people when not sanctioned by the government to do so, is unfortunately, frowned upon - even for those of us who are REALLY GOOD AT IT. You can scrutinise my hand all you like, AFTER we take a photo to stir your sister up.”

“Seriously? You want to send her a selfie?”

“Hey? At least I won’t be naked in this one.”

“And THAT requires elaboration Lannister? You really send my sister nudes? And she hasn’t kicked your old ass to the curb? Curious.”

“You know I want to throttle you as much as I want to laugh at you, yes?”

“It’s a gift. SMILE! Look happy to see me!”

“Seven hells.”

 

 

TEXT TO THE LIKEABLE STARK:

PHOTO ATTACHED.

 

I found a stray at the door. Should I feed it? I’m not sure it’s going to leave, even if I don’t? ALSO? You might have to let the restaurant know we have an extra one for tonight.

Chapter Text

TEXT FROM JAIME:

PHOTO ATTACHED

 

I found a stray at the door. Should I feed it? I’m not sure it’s going to leave, even if I don’t? ALSO? You might have to let the restaurant know we have an extra one for tonight.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Oh! It’s cute and fluffy! Do yourself a favour though Baby! Don’t get it wet and whatever you do? Do NOT feed it after midnight.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

It’s a gremlin? Huh? There you go. A violent one at that! It slapped my arm for laughing and telling it you said that!

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Of course she did. In all seriousness? WHY is my sister with you? Not that I’m not excited to see her of course?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

She’s on a mission for Team Sansa apparently? I assumed she was making her acceptance of yours truly as YOURS obnoxiously clear. She said she was encouraging of our continued genital rubbing... Quick! Ask Stark if he found this one under a tree somewhere? She’s apparently a wildling or something.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

In fairness? I’m encouraging of such things myself? Though I wouldn’t term it in such a way? Maybe I would? That’s pretty funny. Dad apparently expected her days ago. He’s impressed with her restraint. And I’ve called the restaurant. Do me a favour? Tell her she better have something appropriate to wear and if she doesn’t? Make her go shopping? Maybe go with so she doesn’t settle on something she can wear her dirty old boots with. IF NOT! I’m making her wear something of MINE! Tell her that.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

What do I care if she wants to wear boots? What’s wrong with boots? I feel like taking her out in public requires some sort of formal training to be able to contain her?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

I feel like I should be concerned for my sanity with you two having apparently bonded? But I am actually a little bit excited about it! Don’t hold back stirring her up Lannister, she can give it and take it. Plus she kind of just stole your spot, I don’t exactly have a spare room.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Oh I’m well aware that I’m getting the boot Stark. So - much as I appreciate her having your back? I kind of want to drive her out into the sticks and leave her on the side of the road.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Now, Now! No need to delve into abandonment territory Lannister. A few nights of sleeping in your own bed won’t hurt you. It might even relieve some of your house keepers fears for your safety if she notices signs of life in your fancy penthouse! PLUS! You can look forward to having me back to yourself. There’s some old adage about distance and fondness? Maybe you can even make some plans. We still have yet to ‘break in’ your place remember.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

It might bloody hurt if you keep teasing me woman! I had plans for you tonight my wolf. We’ve been together a whole week now. It’s worth celebrating with lots of sex. BUT! Let it not be said that I’m a selfish man. I can wait.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

A week? Since we first hooked up you mean? It feels like much longer than that? Is that weird? What KIND of plans are we talking here?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Yes Stark. Keep up. I’m marking that first night as our start date. Our ANNIVERSARY if you will. And I am not going to TELL you. You have to wait and see. Also? It is what it is. A week? A month? A year? Fast or not? It feels pretty right to me?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Dad just pointed out that his hotel room is actually a suite, with a sofa. And it was already booked until Sunday because he wasn’t sure of his plans.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Did you just give your sister the boot so you can get laid Stark? So I can get laid? I like this plan.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Oh My Gods you’re a presumptuous shit Jaime Lannister! That was ill timed information sharing. Nothing more! You do know I am actually trying to WORK?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

You do know you could simply ignore my texts at any point?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

ASS!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

WHOA! No one mentioned THAT? Not that I’m going to object if your agreeable beautiful? I’ll take the perfect ass if you want me to? Never actually done THAT before so it’s kind of like you would be taking my virginity there! Which is pretty hilarious. At least we could guarantee I’m not that .3% giver you worry about, doing that? But I feel like I should state that I’m completely ok with it if you just want me to slap it some? Maybe PLAY just a little bit?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

SEVEN HELLS JAIME! I’m sitting here with MY FATHER! OH MY GODS! We are NOT having that conversation! And certainly not via text!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Ha! So you DO have limits on what I can tease you with? Good to know! Have I told you today that I like you Stark?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

This morning actually. But I like you saying it enough to tolerate a second reminder for the day. I like you too. Now go play nice with my sister. I’ll be home in a few hours probably. Unless you two want to bring Dad and I some lunch? NO SNAKE DISHES!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Shopping with the gremlin, and TWO meals with Ned Stark? PLUS exposure to my Father and potentially sleeping alone for the first time since I decided I was keeping you? I’d say you are lucky I do like you little wolf. I make no promises on not ordering you snake.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

And here I thought you were the one being ‘kept’. Thank you handsome!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

I see what you did there. And you’re welcome little one.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Clever right?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

I thought you were working? You just want the last word don’t you?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Who me? Not at all.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

He hadn’t actually been surprised at all, to find his youngest daughter laughing and joking with Jaime Lannister, when he opened his hotel room door. Strange as the notion might be to him. He hadn’t. Nor had he been surprised to learn that the wild girl had up and ventured South to plant herself firmly at her sisters side. That was the point. That was why he wasn’t shocked at all, by her unannounced arrival, or by her befriending The Kingslayer, without blinking. She was putting her money where her mouth was, and openly supporting her sisters choices and actions, just as she had said she would and did.

 

If he was being honest, he was more surprised by how long it took her. He had been expecting her since the day after his own arrival. She HAD wanted to come with him, but he had asked that she give him a chance to test the waters a bit first, and tasked her with keeping an eye on things at home for him too. Plus, she was a grown woman now, she had her own responsibilities that needed to be seen to before she could take time off too. If anything, he was impressed and even proud of her restraint. Just as he was proud of her making the statement she was, with her arrival.

 

He had enjoyed his time with Sansa, somehow, despite all of the drama surrounding her actions and subsequently their family as a whole? He had gotten a real chance to create something much stronger, than he’d ever had with his sweet girl. It had come with a lot of pain, that was the Gods honest truth. And there would be more to come too. But they’d managed and come out better for it. He was alright with sharing her some, now. He was even excited, to get time with his two she wolves together! To get to really experience what it was to have them both as open and honest with him, as Arya had been since she was a baby. To have them hopefully, let him see the true nature of their relationship with each other. He didn’t care that it meant more trouble for him when his wife caught wind of it. And she would, before he saw her next. Even if he was headed straight to Riverrun to ‘have it out with her’ when he left Kings Landing and his beautiful girl, and all of the business dealings in her capable and brilliant hands too.

 

“Hey - ho - Daddio!” He huffed a breathy laugh and lowered his head enough at his little wildlings tugging, so she could lay her customary smacking kiss of greeting, to his cheek, and then he settled for patting her head in return, rather than messing the ponytail that her chin length dark locks were forced into, like he ordinarily might.

 

“Hello Love. I expected you sooner. You’ve been having fun terrorising Lannister I see?” He grinned at her at the sound of the mans scoffing behind him, where he was probably being far too touchy with his daughter and he didn’t need, nor want to know about it.

 

“Mmm. He deserved it. Sans told him to take me shopping for a dress and shoes because I am supposedly not allowed to wear my boots to dinner! And the idiot is an indulgent sap, who does as he is told apparently! Do you have any idea how annoying it is to shop with a guy THAT pretty? It’s bad enough normally - but the looks he was getting? I felt insulted FOR HIM! Then I was just annoyed over having to shop in general! All because he’s a good little lapdog.” He chuckled darkly at her sly grin, and at the indignant complaint from the man. “Anyway! I would have been here sooner! But I did give you my word that I would be a responsible adult! So I adulted! Gramps is holding down the fort for us now, and I didn’t need to do this mornings training course, so HERE I AM! AND are you KIDDING ME? Dinner with THE DEVIL HIMSELF! I can’t wait! This is awesome! I have the best timing!”

 

“Did you just call my Father the devil, Gremlin?” He blinked in surprise as the man actually laughed over his daughter insulting his Father, without a lick of guilt or regret. And at him calling her a Gremlin. That was a curious nickname for her. But it was clear, with her cackling affirmation, that they really had found some sort of even ground together. Arya could hold a grudge like the most pigheaded of Northerners, but she didn’t tend to carry OTHER PEOPLES grudges for them either. She relied on her own experiences to form her opinions. And Sansa, was apparently the same, though obviously she was more subtle about it - or she had been until recent days at least! They were more alike than anyone had ever realised, and that was more clear to him, in that moment, than it ever had been. As was their support and acceptance of each other.

 

“I did! Because your Father was the boogeyman for us Starks, growing up! I already told ya this! And stop calling me Gremlin! Or I am going to stay with my sister at her place instead of here with Neddy! And YOU will have to go home alone tonight!” Lannister sighed heavily in faux exasperation and waved a dismissive hand at her with an annoying amount of arrogant swagger, as he strolled away, back towards the small kitchen counter, that he had sat the takeaway containers on. “I already said I was going home so you can stay at Sansas, so your threats are empty. Ned. Curiously? You ARE NOT my least favourite Stark in the room! Go figure? I brought lunch, no snake, because I’m a GOOD LAPDOG who does as he is told apparently. Come and eat. Work can wait.”

 

Not so very long ago, he’d have bristled internally, at Jaime Fucking Lannister having the hide to speak to him like that. He still didn’t much appreciate the sheer arrogance that was on display, and yet he wasn’t inclined to visualise punching the man in the face for it either. Especially not when his little girl had stepped around to the mans side and automatically leaned into him, accepting the quick kiss he pressed to her lips without hesitation, or even a little embarrassment over having kissed someone in front of him. And not when his other little she wolf was cackling like a mad woman at those same antics that irritated the hells out of him!

 

Curiously, he had recognised it, as the humour it was meant as, too. - Thanks to the ALMOST amicable interactions they had already shared in recent days, and in no small part, to the way his daughters reacted too, obviously. Which had him questioning other times he had possibly misinterpreted the mans intent? HE still didn’t like Jaime Lannister. But his daughters BOTH did, far differently of course, but it was genuine for them both too. And clearly? He didn’t dislike the man as much as he always had, because of it. It was becoming very apparent that his time in the city he so loathed, was even more fruitful than he had anticipated. Though he did still have to sit down with THE DEVIL HIMSELF yet too. So that feeling of accomplishment, acceptance and even happiness over his time there, both with Sansa and witnessing how happy the fool before him seemed to make her, might just evaporate entirely, later that evening.

 

He did NOT believe that his opinions of THAT man would change in anyway, let alone as drastically as his opinions of that mans son, apparently had. And yet, he was not dreading that, even half as much as he was dreading going to Riverrun, and dealing with Catelyn. Which said quite a bit about how angry and hurt he was over her treatment of their daughter - and over his own pathetic inactions. I loved her. Had done for over half his life. He just did not like her very much right now, and he didn’t like who he had been in the face of her actions either. He didn’t want to deal with her, because he didn’t want to admit that she might not be the woman he always believed her to be. He didn’t know how or if they could fix the damage that their relationship had taken, with his understanding of what had really been going on under his nose. He didn’t even know if he WANTED to fix it. That was where he was at. Not that he would be sharing those thoughts or putting the weight of them on his girls. But as much as he loathed the idea of facing Tywin Lannister over dinner and having to play nice? It was the less daunting of the two confrontations he would be weathering soon, too.

 

 

——————

 

 

“So! How are things at home Arry?” The bright smile, and nonchalant tone Sansa had put on, wasn’t fooling any of them. And it hurt to see her try to fool them into believing her anything but nervous about the answer. It even hurt as much as it pleased him, to see Lannister automatically sneak his hand around her back to show his support for her. It was a selfish thing, to want to be the one to pick up her pieces, after not being exactly that for her when she needed it beforehand. And he wouldn’t dream of begrudging her the support she had found without him.

 

“Fine actually! Besides Robbs ridiculous sulking that is! Gramps told him to pull his head out of his ass but, so hopefully he’s past it by the time I get back. Bran and Rick are cool with you doing your thing, I was told to threaten your old man here with some wonderfully violent promises of retribution, should he turn out to be a dick? I’m pretty proud of them actually! But you can stop worrying. It’s only Mama who is carrying on Sans. And Grandpa Hoster has her contained for now.”

 

He chuckled softly at the fact that she hadn’t bothered to slow up eating her lunch to spell everything out with a complete disregard for manners, or tact. And at the way Sansa scrunched her nose in disgust, but held her tongue all the same, in favour of processing her sisters words. He had known all of that, and he imagined that his daughter did too, but she had needed some clarification too, and it was obviously helpful, because she relaxed visibly at hearing it. Enough for her ‘old man’ to pull the false hand he had rested on her back, away again, so he might keep eating. He knew his little wolf pup had suspicions about Baelish whispering in her mothers ear too, and a lot of anger that she was aiming at him in her mothers place too. But she was smart enough to not mention that to her sister, which he was grateful for. She didn’t need the added concern of that vile bastard on her shoulders.

 

“What about your lot, Lannister? Are they all happy and accepting? Or is Joffrey acting like the spoilt, shithead he is?”

“Well? That’s one way to put it. But I wouldn’t concern myself with him. Or with his mother. My Father has them well in hand, as far as I’m aware. So there is no issue from my LOT, because the only ones who’s opinions I might care for, are supportive enough. And even if they weren’t? They would be welcome to kiss my ass. MUCH like your mother can. I don’t give a shit if she doesn’t like me. But I will give a shit if she doesn’t get past the bullshit idea that she should be the one in control of Sansas life.”

 

He shouldn’t have been happy to hear that. He shouldn’t be impressed by such clear hate and disdain being aimed squarely at his wife. But he was. Both. And it did piss him off too, but not nearly as much as it should have. The man wasn’t holding the punches, what he was doing was supporting his daughters right to determine her own life and her own happiness. And it was not only a reasonable stance to take, but a far superior and mature stance, morally, than his wife had been displaying with her antics. Which was confronting. The notion that he would agree that Jaime Lannister held the moral high ground over his own wife. Over HIM! After he had all but insulted his wife in front of him.

 

But he had always known that the man was loud and proud in his defence of woman AND of those on the receiving end of poor treatment, in general. His words may have been brutal, and inappropriate, and insulting, but they were honest, and they were spoken with regards to his daughters best interests too. Didn’t make them easy to hear, but he had to concede that he didn’t really deserve to be afforded the easy road after his own behaviour. And Cat deserved it even less after hers. So he wouldn’t say anything. Not even to assuage his desire to protect her and his duty to her as her husband. Not even to assuage his curiosity over the clear hate that was displayed for the mans own family members. - Sansa had said that he had had a run in with Cersei, but she hadn’t disclosed any details about it either, and he was definitely curious, now that he had witnessed the mans disgust with them, himself, with just a few short words.

 

“Mmm. That works for me! SO! Lannister’s contain their crazies and Starks contain theirs, and we keep the family patriarchs from coming to fisticuffs in the middle of the wedding reception? And all is right with the world! Because my sister is happy and knows what it is to have a relationship with someone worthy of her! And this ridiculous feuding family shit is put to bed! Side note: stay worthy Lannister! Or I’ll set Robb on you, to be pinned to another wall, giving me and Jonny the advantage while you are distracted holding him. You’ve been warned.”

 

Maybe he shouldn’t have laughed, but his younger daughters blunt, crassly spoken, simplification of the next steps they should be taking, her predictions of the future and her both complimenting and threatening Jaime. All while ignoring that words were spoken against one of their own, and all with one little speech? Was the breath of fresh air that they had all been needing. And he wasn’t the only one who had been amused by it. It wasn’t QUITE so simple, and yet it was at the same time. He was willing to do what it took to support his daughters right to choose her own life, his Father was willing to look beyond his own personal issues associated with The Lannister Family, for her also. As was Tywin Lannister, from all accounts. And even The Baratheon brothers had been willing to set aside old grudges to have Sansa work with them, Renly even going so far as to imply he was willing to defend that decision to Robert. So perhaps it was just that simple and Arya had the right of it. They needed to stop overthinking it and let things happen as they would, beyond containing their respective ‘crazies’. Her perspective was refreshing, and he was beginning to truly appreciate her presence in the city with them.

 

He scrubbed at his beard with a rough hand and studied the three people before him, his beautiful girls, and the man they were both willing to fight for, for the elder to be able to keep as her own. He didn’t like the drama, but their easy companionability didn’t reflect the ridiculousness that had resulted from Sansas initial actions either. Arya had accepted it and Lannister, for what it was and what it meant for Sansa. Everyone had but his wife, and apparently Cersei and Joffrey. Not easily for some, but eventually, all the same. And from the looks of things, it was going to be them missing out, because of it.

 

Sansa knew where he stood, but it was time that everyone else knew it too - without question. Eating at the same dinner table as Tywin Lannister would serve to show the world. But it was time he made it clear, with words, too. Aryas admirable approach had made that very clear to him. Her reaction had effectively inspired him to stop worrying about trying to keep the peace necessarily. She had the right of it, and his own support of his sweet girl needed to be openly declared for more than just her ears.

 

“Aye Lass. Might be that it should be looked at so simply hmm? Though I think any potential future wedding and reception fisticuffs might be a ways off. It’s only been a week -  even if it feels much longer because of the carrying on! Let’s just worry about getting through dinner with THE DEVIL first hmm? And then you will BOTH be letting me deal with your Mother.” He smiled crookedly and nodded to the man across from him in silent confirmation, as his younger daughter cackled happily. It had been the right thing to say. And the sweet, infinitely happy light in his darling girls pretty blue eyes, made it worth it. Once again, he was struck by the image of his tiny little girl, blinking up at him with so much trust and love, where the now, grown version of her, sat before him.

 

“A week! The way this pair carry on? It seems like they’ve been together years! AND the stupid dramas make it seem like a decades long war between families or some such shit! We’ve ALL heard the story of Romeo and Juliette! Things end badly when crazy families can’t move past their own stupid grudges. So YES! We go to dinner with The Great Lion and get the ball rolling on making it SIMPLE Daddio! No need for all the fuss! Sans is a big girl! It’s none of our business who she knocks boots with! And this shithead isn’t even close to being the worst she’s been with!”

“Romeo? Really? You should be aware that I still feel the need to throttle you, as much as laugh at you Gremlin.”

“Hey! If the shoe fits? Lace that bitch up and wear it BROTHER! And you know? Welcome to the family - ROMEO! Just don’t... Be all sappy in front of me. OR break my sisters heart! Or I might be the one declaring war! Got it?”

“Got it. And... Thanks... I think?”

Chapter Text

She froze completely, in surprise, and a bit in disbelief, as she walked in the door, Jaime following behind and closing it, and apparently missing her shocked state. There were flowers on her kitchen counter. Daisies - her favourite. Already settled into a settled neatly into a mason jar like vase. And there was a big bakery box next to them too. And some slim case with one of those cheap stick on gift bows, which was frankly adorable. She had no idea WHY those things were there, but she kind of liked that she didn’t, because it made it all the sweeter, that she hadn’t expected such things. He was ridiculous, but she wasn’t going to complain if he wanted to be ridiculous in such a way either. If anything, her heart might just burst, over such things, if he wasn’t careful! The Mad man!

 

“Have you decided you prefer the term ‘sugar daddy’ to boyfriend, Lannister? Or should I start preparing an intervention now, for such extravagance over our WEEKLY anniversaries?” She laughed under her breath at his dramatic gasping, and cuddled herself back into his chest as his arms slipped around her from behind. “Don’t get ahead of yourself Stark, I was just ensuring that I maintain my position on the creep scale. Besides! The most expensive gifts are actually more for me. The flowers and baked goods are a front, so I didn’t insult you by buying stuff just for my benefit.” The feel of his hot breath and his lips brushing over the shell of her ear, were doing delightful things to her body. Just as the sweet gifts before her were doing wonderful things for her heart and mind. Who’d have guessed that Jaime Lannister had such romance in him? And yes, it maybe was a bit strange and over the top, after only a week of seeing each other? But it wasn’t something she was used to at all - so she didn’t care! The flowers alone would have been lovely enough! But it was all just so NICE and heartfelt! And she LOVED IT!

 

“Your position on the creep scale is entirely dependent on what the EXPENSIVE, more-for-you gifts are, that you speak of.” She let him tip her face towards his and accepted the sweet, deep, lazy kiss he pressed to her lips, more than alright with tasting him, and being so snuggly wrapped up in him. “You are almost insultingly sexy, Stark. And if you can make comments about buying lingerie on our first date? I can justify buying lingerie only a week into our relationship. There’s another bit to it too - but that can be left and talked about when we have that conversation about safety and limits and expectations and such, if you want? Also? We are having that conversation soon.”

 

She squeaked in embarrassment and giggled into his mouth as he kissed away any possible reply or protest before she could form one. She didn’t have a clue what ‘THE OTHER BIT’ could possibly be - but it didn’t matter in that moment either. All that mattered was what he was doing to her. She wiggled enough for him to loosen his hold and let her turn in his arms to press herself fully against that magnificent hard body. “Tell me handsome? Did you go lingerie shopping with my sister in tow?” He snorted a laugh and bit her lip playfully. “I did not. She arrived after I got back. Cheeky bitch paid me out for it, called me a sap. And whipped too, if I remember correctly?” She hummed happily at the wonderful tingles, his mouth making its way across her jaw and down her neck, were creating. “I don’t doubt it. But that does explain why she ordered my Father and I to blow off the last few things we had to do in favour of him taking her exploring to find ice cream, before she comes to get her stuff! She was being my wing woman! Or maybe yours! Ensuring we would have a chance to ‘rub genitals’ after I saw what you had done.” She moaned softly at the feel of his hands gripping her ass, and his groaning mouth sucking and lapping at her collarbone. “I like your sister Baby. She’s a team player.”

 

“Mmm. She is. Now! Why don’t you drop those pants and put that wonderful bulge inside of them to good use, and take me on this counter right here hmm?” He wasted no time running his hands down her thighs to pull her skirt up around her hips and then hoist her up exactly where she had told him to take her. And she wasted no time tugging his ridiculous, handsome head out of her neck and crashing her mouth to his for a messy, starved kiss, full of teeth and tongue and mutual growls and groans, while his hand shot to his fly in a desperate bid to free himself of the confines of his pants. And then he was shoving her panties aside with his good hand and rubbing at her roughly, while the other pulled her precariously close to the edge so his wonderful BULGE had better access to replace his soaked fingers.

 

“Is this what you want Little Wolf? It is isn’t it? Such a needy thing, so wet, and it’s all for me isn’t it?” She was NOT proud of the sound that escaped her throat as he pushed into her almost harshly. The combination of being shockingly filled to bursting, so quickly, and having his hot breath and raspy, filthy words washing over her ear, was pure heavenly bliss. And she couldn’t help the way her body reacted at all. “Say it. Talk to me beautiful.” She cried out as his hips snapped and then rolled, between her thighs, driving him in deep only to retreat and do so again at a punishing and magnificent pace. “Yes. Yes, it’s what I wanted. What I needed. You, just you Daddy.”

“Oh fuck. Say it again. Who’s sweet little cunt is it I’m taking Baby girl? Who’s cock does it fit so perfectly?” She was out of control, she couldn’t find purchase to really hold on, but for around his neck, and tugging at his hair with her fingers, while her knees and thighs clamped over his sides and ribs. Not that it was necessary, he had her tightly held and pinned with firm hands anyway. One in her hair, holding the back of her head to himself, and the other around her hips and the top of her bum. “Answer me Sansa. Or I’ll smack that perfect ass.” She mewled pathetically and bit down on his earlobe at the flood of sensation his words had caused. “It’s all yours Daddy. My perfect cunt is all yours. It only wants your big cock. It only fits your big cock so completely. Please?”

 

She was fluttering and twitching around him before she even finished whimpering her words our breathlessly, which only had him pushing harder, and faster into her. And then she was screaming and almost sobbing in time his praise of how she was such a good baby girl, as the coil inside of her snapped and heat and fire and electricity, flooded her every nerve, as she came apart around him, dragging him along into the abyss behind her, with a deep and infinitely sexy grunt, and numerous hard, heavy pulses inside of her.

 

“Have I told you how much I like you today, Stark?” She laughed uncontrollably and patted at his big, sweaty, perfect head, where it had taken up residence between her breasts when they flopped down to lay prone together on the kitchen counter to come down. “Numerous times, plus you made it rather obvious with your insane spoiling for our ONE WEEK anniversary.” She smiled up at the pretty flowers she could see out of the corner of her eye. She really did appreciate that he had taken note when she said they were her favourite. “Oh good. Wanted to make that abundantly clear, in case you missed the memo.” He turned his face enough to kiss her still clothed sternum hard and then settled himself in comfortably again.

 

“Oh it’s abundantly clear. And thank you, for being so sweet too. You didn’t have to, but I do have to warn - you’ve now set the bar incredibly high for yourself! With such craziness.” She smiled down at the top of his head and soaked up the feeling of his soft, slightly sweaty hair between her fingers. She REALLY liked him. Which was as terrifying as it was exciting. But she didn’t really NEED such extravagance, and she did NEED him to know that. There wasn’t a price tag on what they had, such over the top spoiling was unnecessary. Even if it was sweeter than anything she had ever experienced before. “Good thing I am a rich old man who can afford to have the bar set high huh? I know it’s crazy Stark. But in my defence? I’ve never done the whole serious relationship thing, as you know. And I kind of want to be ridiculous and crazy for you. I know I don’t need to buy your affection, or your insatiable hunger for great sex. YOU like ME too, I know that. But I want to anyway, so you will just have to accept it.”

 

“How is it, that you can say something so sweet and romantic and still sound like an arrogant ass, Lannister?” She grinned at him wickedly as he lifted, with a put upon groan and shuffled until her was propped on his elbows, looking down at her with that sly grin that she just knew was a precursor to some incredibly snarky words. Gods! He was just so insultingly good looking, and wonderful. AND HERS! “You answered your own question Beautiful! LANNISTER. It’s like a superpower we all have. Supreme arrogant confidence, even when we are being SWEET!” She giggled at his waggling brows and let him pull her head up to meet his for a needy kiss.

 

It was awkward, and rather uncomfortable to continue laying on the hard surface of the counter, and it would need a good disinfecting when she did get up, thanks to the sticky fluids that followed his softened cock out of her body! But she was enjoying their affectionate come down too much to care.

 

“Speaking of LANNISTERS - are you ready for dinner with your Dad?” He groaned dramatically and dropped his forehead back down onto her chest. “Gods no! We are going to have to have sex at least three more times before I can even contemplate being relaxed enough for dinner with BOTH of our Fathers! And maybe don’t bring them up when I’m still between your legs, with my cock still wet from you, either. I won’t be able to get it up enough, to have sex even once, let alone the required amount of times, if you do!”

 

She let out a surprised laugh and hugged his head tight to herself. He was an idiot. But he was her idiot, and she kind of liked him.

 

“And yet, you like it when I call you Daddy when you are actually inside me? Curious!”

“Ouch! Sharp claws woman! I LIKE THAT because I am, apparently as appreciative of getting a bit kinky, as you are Little Wolf. And neither of us is thinking about our actual biological father when indulging in that fantasy. - Unless you want to tell me something disturbing, Stark?”

“Yuck! Gods no!”

“Exactly! Not at all, the same thing! Now! I’m thinking we shower together - maybe awkwardly attempt to fuck in there too? Oral sex might be safer? We can figure it out in there! And then you can try that lingerie on and parade around in it for me! What do you say?”

“I say that you’re being a needy boy right now! Should I choreograph a lap dance too, while I’m at it?”

“Well? Now! THAT is a fucking marvellous idea! Come on up! Chop chop!”

“I was kidding, you realise that?”

“That’s not at all what I heard!”

“Of course not. ASS!”

“Mmm. We can talk about THAT too if you want?”

“Don’t push your luck Lannister.”

“Yes Dear.”

Chapter Text

For as much as the idea of dining with Ned Stark sounded about as appealing to him, as eating nails? Tywin was looking forward to seeing his son interacting with his girlfriend for himself. He had seen the affect she had over him away from her presence, and he had followed the progression of their relationship online also. Of course, he had ignored the sensationalist tripe of the gossip rags, for the most part, and focused on the images that were being bandied about of the pair. Which told him with far more detail and honesty, the truth of their interactions, than some gossip mongers words did. But he was more than a little interested in seeing the truth of them, with his own eyes.

It had been his idea, and no matter that he might prefer pulling his own teeth out, to feigning any interest in Stark? It would serve as a succinct message to his daughter and Catelyn Stark. - The masses at large, he couldn’t care less about - it was none of their concern, and provided their opinions made no impact on his Family name or his company’s stock prices? They were of little matter. His daughter and Ned Starks wife and BOTH of their ridiculous carrying on, however? That, he would not tolerate, and if they were as smart as they apparently seemed to think they were - they would understand the clear warning that accompanied his acceptance. THAT was the whole point.

His Grandson had stopped being an issue earlier in the day, when his alcoholic despot of a son in law had taken advantage of his daughter spending the day at some spa, to have his son committed, as they had agreed. Of course his daughters SPA DAY, had been supervised, whether with her knowledge or not - he hardly cared. Thankfully Robert had had the sense to ensure he did not earn his ire, by letting her out of sight completely, whilst he dealt with the vile creature that was his son.

He would not ordinarily consider hiding a member of his family away in what was effectively, an asylum for lunatics, a positive outcome. Except that in this regard? The positive was that they had intervened before the boy managed to bring shame upon them all, with charges and convictions that he very likely deserved and had simply lucked at not yet having faced such things. He also did not consider it necessarily a win that they would be dealing with his daughter similarly, potentially before the evening was through, at the latest by the end of the weekend. And under his own direction also, as he was headed there to ensure that his dictates had been delivered upon, personally on the morrow.

Once that was taken care of, and both were sufficiently subdued? He would turn his attention back to Petyr Baelish, and as young Arya Stark had approached him with her own concerns? He would ensure he was doubly ruthless when he did take the man down. In fact, he had some things in motion already, to attain that exact goal. As for Catelyn Stark? He would afford her family one chance to pull her into line, before he dealt with the mad woman himself. He would not jeopardise the PEACE that was to be built between their families - but he would not allow her to maintain even a shred of the power that the younger Stark girl believed she held over his sons girlfriend.

 

——————

 

He had stood the moment they entered, and felt a rather large sense of pride, in the image that his son cut, with such a lovely, elegant Lady at his side, as Sansa Stark. They were a very attractive couple. The setting of a high end restaurant - is where people of their status belonged, not some pub in the slums. They were commanding - as children born of the families they were, should be - and so very well suited for one another too. The image was clear, from the very first glimpse, there was no question about it. Sansa Stark was most definitely the one for his son. It was mildly irritating that he hadn’t known that many years ago, had he known? Perhaps he’d have been blessed with Grandchildren from their union already. But he was hardly going to complain about it, when he could see that would be the eventual outcome, all the same.

“Father.” He took his son’s offered hand firmly and waited. “I believe you’ve met my girlfriend, Sansa.” He twitched his lips lightly at the amused and pleased light in the fools eyes at calling the girl such, and lifted her hand gently in greeting, before startling slightly as she leaned in and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Miss Stark.” He allowed an amused scoff to slip at the way she cocked a haughty brow at him in challenge. “Sansa.”
“Tywin. Good to see you. You of course, know my Father.” She waved a hand to indicate the very uncomfortable, and slightly baffled looking Northman behind her. “And with him, is our surprise late arrival. My sister Arya. I hope adding an extra setting wasn’t too much of an inconvenience for you.” He nodded deftly to them both, ignoring the sly glint in the younger girls eyes entirely, and turning back to his future daughter in law.

“Not at all, My Dear. You organised our table, after all. The only thing that might be cause for concern, on my behalf is if your sister deems it appropriate to accost me with her shrimp fork, or something equally as devious. She has yet to have the chance to learn that I am not necessarily the boogeyman that she might expect me to be. And she has the look of a wild wolf about her. Shall we? Stark, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to join us, and Private Stark, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He had enjoyed that. More so the look of utter astonishment and confusion on his sons face, and the war of insult and amusement on Ned Starks, whilst both girls laughed quietly. But he held his tongue from further malarkey, and instead turned to pull the younger girls chair free from the table for her, as his son shook himself enough to offer the same for his girlfriend.

“Might I assume you’ve gone to the effort to familiarise yourself with my family, Tywin?” He hummed in affirmation and lowered himself back into the seat that he had claimed for himself. Jaime had taken the seat to his left, with Sansa on his far side, Ned Stark had taken the seat beside her and Arya had been placed, by him, to his right between he and her Father. A most agreeable setting. “Indeed I have. And as a promising young mind in the business world yourself - I would hope that you can appreciate the importance of being prepared in such a manner.” The girl smiled at him lightly and nodded in affirmation.

“Indeed I do. Might I ask? How is the situation in Meereen going? Can I hope that Tyrion and his wife might return successful, soon? Jaime was explaining to my Father and I, that he could be gone for some months yet?” He hummed in affirmation and met his sons eye curiously, finding far too much amusement there for his liking. But he was willing to play along for now - they were there to give the appearance of amicability between their families, after all. “The business itself shouldn’t take him long to conclude at all - it was a straightforward mining contract. The sort of thing my son could easily handle without too much effort on his part. In all likelihood, he has already completed it and is holding off on signing anything so as to enjoy more quality time spent with his wife, away from the pressures of The City. As to his return? I am afraid that I have yet to hear when he is likely to be back.”

“Tyrion is your CFO isn’t he?” He bowed a nod at the man across from him, and bit down on a sneer of annoyance. Apparently, he wasn’t the only one to do his research. Though Tyrion being CFO was fairly common knowledge too. “He is. The Meereen venture, was uncomplicated, it was also was rather lucrative, and being that Tyrion had personal reasons for needing some time away? It worked out well for me to have someone I could trust implicitly, taking care of it.” The man blinked in surprise, but nodded in understanding, and he hoped he would leave it alone at that. It was none of his concern, and it did not sit well with him to play nice and give answers in the dealings of his business, if he did not need to. They could play nice without discussing business deals.

His sons girlfriend clearing her throat and staring pointedly at his son, drew his notice curiously. It was clear they were communicating non verbally between themselves, and much as he was irritated by the idea that it had something to do with him? He was fascinated by the stubborn tilt of the girls jaw, and the narrowing of her eyes. And more curiously, the acquiescence of his son, with a heavy and clearly exasperated sigh. He cocked an arrogant brow and waited as his son cleared his throat and met his eyes slowly. He wouldn’t admit it aloud, but he was rather amused by it.

“Speaking of Tyrion. I... Owe you an apology. For misinterpreting the situation and jumping to conclusions.” He snorted rudely and blinked at his scowling son in shock. Utterly gobsmacked - if he were one to actually be GOBSMACKED! He wasn’t sure he could remember a time, he had heard his son apologise for anything. It was truly an astonishing moment. An uncomfortable moment also.

Sansa cleared her throat again, drawing his eyes back to her, and he startled at the narrow eyed command on her pretty face, aimed squarely himself. He couldn’t help but let a small twitch lift the corner of his lip as his brow shot up again in challenge. She was not backing down though, which pleased him as much as it infuriated him. The curious woman was sat straighter than an arrow, her chin lifted at an arrogantly haughty angle and her blue eyes were blazing in silent order. And he was rather impressed. Even more so, when he noted the shocked stares she was receiving from the others at the table, and yet still, she did not flinch. She was a rather impressive creature. One he would gladly claim for his family.

He bowed a nod - not in defeat! He had intended on accepting his sons words, all the same, though likely without words in return! But he would let her have her small victory. Purely because not even his own children - not even his siblings, had the gumption to stare him down in silent command like that! The only one who come close was Shae, and he did so enjoy his daughter in laws steel.

“You are not the first, nor will you be the last, to misunderstand my intentions Jaime. This isn’t even the first time YOU have done so.” He cleared his throat and glared at the girl, as her eyes narrowed further. She COULD have left this for a more PRIVATE setting! But she would learn in time that he wasn’t a man to put on the spot in public. For the time being, he would allow her a pass, because he WAS impressed by her strength in standing up to him, and because that had been an unacceptable, half assed attempt at avoiding the conversation from furthering, one he would not have accepted himself.

“Apology accepted. Now! Shall we order?”

He turned and waved at the waiter standing by to join them and promptly turned his attention to the menu, and away from the fact that he had been forced to bite out those words.

“You’re mad. You know that, Stark?”
“Hardly. You needed to apologise, and now you have. Maybe if you didn’t act like I was torturing you into it? That might have gone better.”
“Seven Hells! You’re a vicious little woman! You are going to drive ME mad!Such a mean thing you are!”
“Maybe. But you like me anyway.”
“I do. More fool me!”

 

Tywin flicked his eyes up at that and bore witness to his son acting a complete besotted fool, as he laughed against the girls lips and stole quick kiss, completely ignorant and uncaring of the eyes on them. He cleared his throat to break them up from their preoccupation, and handed the menu over to the waiter, with a tap to indicate the entree he was ordering, before meeting his sons eye with a stern look of reprimand. Not necessarily for their words, they had been low enough, that he had struggled to hear them, meaning no other besides perhaps the girls father and sister, would have heard. But their antics were inappropriate, all the same. Inappropriate, yet enlightening.

 

——————

 

“That package we spoke about arrived too. I’ll see to having it put into storage on Monday.” He grunted in understanding and continued to chew the meat in his mouth slowly. His son was smart enough to have not made mention of the device containing those photographs, in front of his girlfriend, rather waiting until she stepped away to attend the bathroom, to inform him. “Good. Was the reaction something that we should find concerning?” He met his sons eyes silently and waited, nodding in thanks when he shook his head slightly. He was happy to hear it. The last thing that poor girl needed was to be reminded of such horrors. Not matter how strong she apparently was, they could and would be, very confronting.

“All was well initially. I’ll let you know if there’s any change.”
“See that you do, though I suspect you can handle that well enough without my input.”

Tywin swallowed quickly and laid his cutlery down with a clack, to pull his napkin up and wipe any excess from the corners of his mouth quickly. Wanting to take advantage of Sansas absence to speak with her Father, though he’d prefer the younger girl was absent also, he would have to make do. “Ned-“

“I’m terribly sorry to interrupt? But the young lady who was dining with you? She’s... Ahh?”

“SANSA?”

He was out of his chair, a split second after his son, and in time with the girls Father grabbing the waiter by the shirt. Whilst Jaime pushed his way past people in the direction the boy had presumably come from. He rested his own hand over Starks loosely, enough to calm him somewhat. He could understand, he wasn’t feeling reasonable either, given the fearful tone of the poor boys words, but there was no need to terrify the young man, before he even finished speaking. “She’s what boy. Speak up.” The boy gulped hard as his eyes flicked between his and Ned Starks. “She... We think someone must have been grabbing at her or something, she has some red marks on her wrists. One of our waitresses found her curled up in the hall near the bathroom. I don’t know anything more. I was just told to come find who she was dining with and advise you that she was hurt and take you to her.”

He pried Starks giant hand off the boy, and shoved him out of the way for a moment, whilst he shook the raging wolf into calming somewhat, with a firm hold on his broad shoulders. “Go and find her, I’ll send for my car and we will get her back to Jaimes penthouse, it’s the closest to here. I will speak to the manager and security and find out what happened. Private? Go with your Father, you are a field medic I believe? See to your sisters hurts and make a decision as to whether she needs to be seen by a doctor. I am also trusting you with keeping both your Father and My Son from killing someone, before we know what happened here.”
“Aye Sir. I can do that. But you best find some answers old man! Because I’ll set this fucking place on fire if you don’t.” He growled loudly in his throat and glared at the girl. “I realise that you are lost to your anger now, girl. But know this? Such emotional reactions will serve us naught. If you wish to truly harness the full potential of revenge? You need to learn patience. Now move soldier.” He blinked slightly in surprise as Ned Stark levelled him with an almost snarling smile and nodded before stalking off with his angry little wolfling at his side. Apparently they had common beliefs after all - though there would be nothing NOBLE or HONOURABLE about how he would react when he got his hands on the one responsible. Perhaps the man wouldn’t be the worst possible ally to have, when he found out what in all the hells had happened here.

He rounded on the young waiter again. “Manager?” He wasn’t asking, nor was the young man game to deny him, he simply pointed to the hall, through which both Starks and his son had stalked. “Good. Have The Valet bring my car around - and do not make the mistake of assuming I will await other patrons. It’s under the name Tywin Lannister.” He waited only long enough for the younger man to nod and almost trip over to do his bidding, before he stalked off towards the back himself, glaring at those he caught staring, pointedly. He didn’t know what had happened or how their evening had been so turned around. He did not want to think on who would be stupid enough to accost SANSA STARK in a restaurant bathroom at all, let alone when she was in the company of not only her own Father, who he imagined, to lesser men, was scary enough! But also himself, and Jaime - who had quite the terrifying reputation all on his own. It was utter madness. And it reeked of certain people who thought themselves untouchable too.

Chapter Text

Wave after wave after wave of pressure was crashing down on her. She couldn’t breathe, because her chest hurt. And she couldn’t see, because her eyes ached. And she couldn’t think, because she was paralysed under the weight of the crushing panic that just would not let her go. It was relentless and she was powerless to stop it. The empty, harrowing darkness was dragging her down, she could feel the blows, each and every one. The pinching hold, the bruising grip. Weak. Stupid little girl, with stupid dreams who never learns. Broken. Like shards of porcelain, of which she was made. She wasn’t a wolf. Not even close. She was a bird, a week little bird whose only use was to look pretty and sing inside of her cage. Sing for him. Cry for him. Why she ever thought she could break free of it? She would never know. Stupid. Stupid girl. Stupid.

 

“Baby? Hey! Come on Stark. Breathe with me sweetheart. Just breathe, I’ve got you.”

 

She shoved as best she could, crying out at the searing agony in her wrist and up her arm. Blocking it out. It and THAT voice too, pushing away the false hope it gave, and turning in on herself away from it, and away from the dark that wanted to consume her too.

 

Gentle, hands cradled her face, one big, and calloused and the other oddly smooth and stiff. But she couldn’t have gentle. It wasn’t real.

 

“I’ve got you, Sansa. You’re safe. Can you let Arya look at your hand please? Here? Let me show you. And this other one? Can you feel my heart, Baby? Feel it real and beating under your hand. That’s it. Just feel and listen and breathe. You are SAFE. It’s not real, it isn’t, I promise.”

 

“Shit! Jai? I think it’s broken. I’ll need to stabilise it, strap it at least? But she needs to go to the hospital - for the wrist - if not for... Is she.... She’ll be alright?”

 

“She’s coming around, slowly. Keep your voice down and calm. Do what you need to, to stabilise it for now, we aren’t moving until she comes back to me, alright?”

 

It wasn’t real. But it felt so real. She was warm and safe. But stupid girls don’t get to be safe. So it couldn’t be real. Because they gave her to him, and he could do what he wanted. Stupid girl.

 

“What’s she saying?”

 

“Ned-“

 

“WHAT IS SHE SAYING LANNISTER? What does she mean?”

 

“Stupid girl. That’s what she’s saying. It’s... She’s having an episode. PTSD. At least that would be my guess - and I am rather familiar with it myself.... It’s different for everyone and it can vary in severity and in what you see or feel, depending on what triggers it. I can’t explain it. And I’m not... I’m sorry! But it’s not my place to explain why she suffers from it. She’s... She’s somewhere else in her mind - she was. She is coming back, slowly - she can hear me... But just... I know that you want to - maybe even NEED to control this, but you can’t. Only she can. All we can do is make her feel safe enough to come back.”

 

 

———————

 

 

She blinked back to herself slowly, all but sagging into the familiar, and safe warmth of her lover, and hiding herself away against his neck, and as close to him as she could get. Needing to absorb his strength for a few moments. Her head was killing her, and her chest was aching.... And her wrist, - which she knew well, was broken. She had felt the snap when it happened. Not that she’d suffered THAT before, not somewhere so obvious as her wrist anyway. But it was pretty obvious that such pain could mean only one thing too. And maybe she should be - and WOULD be embarrassed by Jaime seeing her... Except that out of everyone who COULD have seen her like that? He at least, would understand. And she was too wrung out to care anyway.

 

“There she is. I’ve got you Sansa. In a moment? We have to get up off this floor and get you out to the car, because your wrist is broken, and we need to get it seen to, alright? When you’re ready though. And I’ll carry you. Alright?” She swallowed hard at the emotions that washed over her at his gentle, infinitely caring voice. He shouldn’t care that much! They hadn’t been together long enough, and... They only started what they had because they wanted to piss their families off! And yet he did. She TRUSTED that he did. Which made everything so much worse. Because she cared that he cared. She WANTED so much MORE.

 

“I’m scared.” She could feel him swallowing, his throat moving against her face. Scared really didn’t begin to describe it. She was terrified. And she was angry. And her heart was breaking. But it was hardening inside of her too. She had to choose. “Of what? What happened Baby? Who hurt you?” She swallowed hard. She was scared. But she was resolved too. He had proved it himself when Cersei had challenged him over those photos. His own sister had underestimated him. Whoever had sent her the text that sent her into the bathroom initially was doing the same. And they weren’t without support. She could even hear those who would protect her and him and THEM conversing quietly, somewhere behind her. She had given in too many times, put away her own desires to appease the demands of another. But she was done with all of that. And it wouldn’t matter who it was responsible. She didn’t care if her mother never came around. JAIME was the one who pulled her back. And JAIME was the one who was still holding her like she was the most precious thing in the world to him. She was CHOOSING Jaime. No matter the cost, or the repercussions. No matter how short their relationship was. And no matter the original reasons for it. She was a slow learner, that was true. But she did learn. And she was done being afraid. She didn’t HAVE to be afraid, with him.

 

“I went to the bathroom, because I got a text from an unknown number and I needed a minute to process what it was.” She pulled herself together enough to lean back and meet his eyes. Her anger rising with every beat of his heart under her hand. “We will need your friends help again. Because this text? Jaime... Its a photo of you and Cersei - when you were a bit younger. It wasn’t really anything.... I mean? You were hugging and laughing as you talked, and you were pretty CLOSE. But it’s... I’ll show you in a minute! It’s what it said that freaked me out.” She winced at his incredulous look, and swallowed hard. “It said that I was throwing myself at someone who would always LOVE another, and that basically, if I didn’t break up with you... The photo and rumours that you and Cersei are in an incestuous relationship, and have been for YEARS, would be posted to every major gossip rag in Westeros.”

 

She winced and automatically curled in on herself at the violence and outrage and disgust writ all over his face. Her heart slamming in her chest all over again.

 

Jaime froze and closed his eyes, breathing deeply and loosening his hold on her, so she understood that it wasn’t aimed at her, and she all but collapsed in relief over his understanding that she wasn’t in a place where she could handle that.

 

“Alright. That’s horseshit, and I’m going to enjoy letting my Father carve chunks out of whoever is responsible for THAT! But... It... Can wait. So long as you trust me when I say it’s just not true? And that I don’t want... I’d risk that... To keep you. I don’t want you to try to protect me from lies Stark. It’s not true and I want to be with you, and I won’t negotiate with people who want to blackmail you. I’ll hand them to my old man on a platter of LANNISTER GOLD!” She smiled sheepishly and stroked his chest, over his thudding heart in silent, affectionate, communication. Savouring the loosening of her own tightened and shuddering body as she did.

 

“I believe you. And I’m not... I’m telling you because I’m not going to give you up either. And I know that’s clingy and it’s too soon for-“

“It’s not. We are on that same page Sansa. Remember? You and me. You with me Baby?”

“Yes. I’m with you.”

“Good. NOW. That doesn’t tell me what happened to your wrist, and I can see the handprints bruised on your skin, and I cradled you through your episode. A text didn’t do that Sansa.”

 

She shook her head and cuddled herself into his shoulder, pulling his arms tighter around her again. Needing to feel that safety again. Needing to hide. She didn’t want to talk about it. But she had started now, and she knew it would only weigh her down further, if she didn’t speak about it. It always weighed her down because she never spoke about any of it. No one knew it all. “At least tell me WHO put their hands on you Sansa. You don’t have to tell me everything right now if you don’t want. You don’t have to tell anyone anything about it. Just give me the name of the fucking prick whose neck I am going to wring, for putting their hands on you.” She could FEEL the tension that he was trying to control for her sake, thrumming through him. He was hanging on. But only for her. She swallowed hard again. She knew they weren’t alone. She KNEW that her Dad and her sister and Tywin were all right there. And maybe she shouldn’t, but for the first time in her life? She felt like she COULD. Because she’d be HEARD. And that wasn’t fair either, her Dad? Her sister? Her cousin? They would have heard her all along - she was just to scared to speak to them.

 

“I was coming back out of the bathroom. I just needed a minute to get my head around that text. And I was so angry... I didn’t see him until I was backed into the wall. And that only made me angrier, he said that he was supposed to get to have me. That was ‘what that fucker said’ - that’s what he said to me... ‘That fucker said I’d get to have you, just had to play nice until you agreed to go out with me’.... Giles Rosby. He was SO DRUNK and HANDSY. And the angrier I got, the.... Worse he got. He grabbed my wrists and shoved his thigh between my legs.” She breathed through the sobs and the cracking of her voice, and the shame and disgust washing over her anew. “He, bent my arm around behind me and pulled me against him, and I just.... I lost it. I BIT his lip when he tried to kiss me and then I SPAT on him. And he twisted my arm and I felt it give - the bone? I felt it break, and then I went... I wasn’t there anymore. And I don’t know where HE went - if he took more liberties even... But I can’t FEEL any evidence of that, so I don’t think so.... Maybe my... Reaction? Or my arm breaking, scared him off. I don’t know... And then I come back out of... And I was... Safe - with you.”

 

“Dad? Get Sandor Clegane on the phone, we’ll meet him at the hospital - off duty too, if he can, for now. That’s who you meant, when you spoke of your friend at KLPD, when you threatened Robb? You meant The Hound?” She let out a tinny, wet laugh and nodded against his neck. “Yes.” He hummed in understanding and held her just a touch tighter. Pressing his mouth hard to her cheekbone and breathing raggedly over her cheek and ear in a bid to control himself. Of course he would know that. Tyrion knew that Sandor had been a bit of a friendly face - with a terrifyingly grumpy and scared face! But a friendly face, all the same. He was a cop, and a good one, not exactly DIRTY, but accepting of her refusal to press charges against Joffrey. Understanding of the risks she would have to take to do so. So he had looked out for her instead, when he could. And that was enough, just as Tyrions support and friendship was enough. Both had meant everything to her at the time.

 

“Alright. Come on, if you are ready? We are leaving. There’s probably fucking paps and sticky beaks everywhere out there. The restaurant was pretty crowded on its own, and someone has had to have shared what happened here. I’m sorry that I can’t do anything about that Baby.”

“Can I stay... Can you carry me - so I don’t have to see?”

“You bet. I just have to get my old ass up off this floor first. So bare with me a minute alright.”

“Because you are so unfit. I like your old ass.”

“There’s my girl! Sharpening her claws on my hide! And flirting with me in one go! Hold on tight sweetheart. Up we go.”

 

 

If she hadn’t known BEFORE Giles Rosby attacked her, and pushed her into a breakdown as he did? She knew it after the way Jaime Lannister had been everything she needed in that moment, to feel safe, and cared for and protected. And most importantly? Heard. He didn’t question a single thing she said. He didn’t even THINK about putting any blame back on her for any of it. He just listened, and promised that he still wanted her. After ONLY A WEEK, he had proved himself more capable of actually CARING for her, than any other lover or boyfriend she had ever had. And it was everything that she needed. She was NOT giving that up.

Chapter Text

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

ARTICLE ATTACHED

 

Brother? Is she alright? What the hells happened? I tried calling, but I figure you’re probably pretty tied up right now, and the old man isn’t answering either. So just get back to me when you can.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Fucking media rats! We’ve got phones going off like mad here because of those pricks! The short answer to your question is - NO. BUT! She will be. She was attacked coming out of the bathroom at the restaurant we were having dinner at. She has a broken wrist. I was carrying her because she had an episode. I’m not even sure she realises she suffers from PTSD. Ty? Fuck! It was fucking heartbreaking and terrifying! I’ve never seen it from the other side like that!

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Someone ATTACKED her? Randomly? Do you know who it was? Seven hells! What can I do? Let The old man know I’ll get his papers signed first thing, and we will be on the very next flight home.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Thanks Ty. I hate to ask, but I’m going to need you I think. Wasn’t just the attack - there’s anonymous texts and blackmail and it’s really fucked up actually. No it wasn’t RANDOM - the scumbag who put hands on her was the guy her own fucking Mother was trying to set her up with! He was TOUCHING her, so she bit him and the fucker... He twisted her arm until it broke and then run off when she broke down.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

FUCK! Seriously? What is this? Some fucking second rate thriller flick or something? Are we pretending we are part of the criminal underbelly of the world? DID we become part of that world when I wasn’t looking? Is Cersei involved? That’s the sort of shit she’d pull and think she could get away with?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Don’t mention it brother. Really. I’m not going to sit on my hands here when I’m needed at home. She IS alright? Or GOING to be - might be better? And you? Are you okay Jaime?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Ha! Fucking! Ha! It’s starting to feel like it Brother! And I’m not kidding! This isn’t Cers. Could, actually be considered an attack on her, too. I’ll explain that when you get here. The texts were a ‘warning’ for her to end things with me. I’m pretty sure her being assaulted and the texts are completely unrelated actually. It’s fucking messed up! To start with? Someone was dead set stupid enough to attack her in a restaurant, when she was dining with me and Dad and NED! But THEN to have someone trying to blackmail her into breaking up with me AS WELL? That is INSANE! Why the fuck do people even CARE if we are dating? It’s ludicrous!

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

I don’t know Jai. This sort of shit? Is right up our sweet sisters alley - but if it would be a potential threat to herself? Then it isn’t her at all. Which means there’s someone as crazy and controlling and disproportionately interested in seeing your relationship torn down, AS CERSEI. And that IS FUCKED UP Brother. Her being attacked, being a separate matter to THAT, could be at someone else’s bidding too - but I mean? Surely not? That feels entirely too ‘conspiracy theory’ to be credible!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Exactly! Which brings it back around to the point that the guy who attacked her, was the one CATELYN tried to set her up with. She is the only other nutcase I can think of, who would CARE! Her and Joffrey, and Dad said that it CAN’T have been him because he’s ‘subdued’ - which is yet another point that needs clarification! Seven hells! You know? Sansa and I joked about starting a war when we first talked about making it look like we hooked up? But it was a JOKE!

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

You’ve got someone tracking that text? I don’t see Catelyn purposely having her ASSAULTED. She could probably be behind the texts, if they are a threat to LANNISTERS, if Sansa doesn’t break up with you. But surely she wouldn’t want to see Sansa actually HURT - not consciously at least?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Truth be told Ty? I think I’ll stop trying comprehend what the crazy bitches around us are capable of. I’ve never done anything to warrant such vicious hate from that woman, and Sansa is the most amazing person - why anyone would want to HURT her or try to CONTROL her or BREAK her is absolutely beyond me. Especially her own mother.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Blackwater is chasing down where that text came from now for me.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Mmm. That might be a wise move! I would assume that trying to understand crazy, would only result in sending one crazy! - Blackwater is on it? Good. You should have answers quickly. What is everyone else doing?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Sansa is talking to Clegane, Arya is with her. Looks like she will press charges. It was obviously pretty public, so I don’t suppose there’s much choice. I’ll just have to wait for a window to open up somewhere, so I can deal with him. Might hit Clegane up to let me in for a WORD once he has him in custody. I’m going to break his fucking legs. Ned was going to talk to Rickard and Hoster I think? And The old man is speaking with Varys now. Which reminds me? What do you know about Petyr Baelish? Don’t say anything - but Arya spoke to OUR FATHER about taking the man down for basically whispering in Catelyns ears?

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Baelish? That would be who is responsible for the text and blackmail business brother. The only question is, whether the woman asked his assistance to see an end to your relationship with her daughter, or if she just vented and he was looking for an opportunity. From where I’m standing? Both is entirely possible. He probably has an agenda all his own too. He’s a slimy bastard Jai. I have questions over Arya Stark going to OUR FATHER with that though! Also? Bribing a cop and breaking a mans legs? Rather fitting for this manipulative mobster, underworld, type shit we’ve got going on here! Let me know if we are making him swim with the fishes hmm?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Mmm. You’d like the Gremlin, Brother. I’m not sure she isn’t an actual wildling. But if you’ll be home soon? You can just ask her about her poking The Great Lion yourself. As for Baelish - I’ll get Blackwater onto getting me something on him too. Fuck it! I’m going to owe that bastard a fucking CASTLE made of pure gold, at this rate!

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Fucking Mobsters? This is ridiculous! You know? Maybe running away isn’t such a bad idea? If everyone would just mind their own fucking business? Maybe my girlfriend wouldn’t be sitting on a fucking hospital bed, with her arm in a cast, talking to a cop about some entitlement son of a bitch putting his hands on her body against her will! And if her own fucking MOTHER wasn’t an abusive, controlling bitch? She wouldn’t have even met that son of a bitch either!

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

It is ridiculous. I agree. But Jai? You can’t play with ‘what if’s’. She DID meet the man, he did assault her, and apparently there are those who just don’t know how to mind their own business. Without all of those things? You probably wouldn’t have run into her in that bar either. And for all that this has been a hell of a week, stress and drama wise for you? Would you change THAT?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Of course I wouldn’t change THAT! Just everything else.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Be honest with me brother? You love her don’t you?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

It’s only been a week Ty.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

That’s not what I asked brother.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

It’s too soon to KNOW her enough to say that I do.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

HORSESHIT! Feelings don’t adhere to social constructs! A week is not long enough to know everything about a person. Nor is a lifetime, because people GROW AND CHANGE AND LEARN every single moment of their lives. So let me rephrase my question. Do you love the girl you KNOW her to be in this moment in time? Do you feel more and more with everything you learn of her?

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

Yes.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

Congratulations. Welcome to the club. Now go fight for your girl, and wade through the shit that keeps being flung at you and at her, so that when it clears? She knows you had the balls to stay the course. I’ll be home tomorrow to help with that fight. Kiss your girl for me and I’ll kiss mine for you. Love you Brother.

 

 

TEXT FROM JAIME:

 

You’re a real prick. You know that? Thank you brother. Love you too.

 

 

TEXT TO JAIME:

 

By which, you mean: I am the best brother and friend in the world and I helped make you feel better - more in control maybe? You know? It’s lucky I do know you so well? Else I might be insulted.... And you are welcome.

 

 

Chapter Text

“Hey Lannister? Check it out! We are a matching set now!” Jaime snorted a laugh and scrubbed at his face in exasperation at his girlfriend waved her injured arm at him, as he leaned into the entryway of the hospital room she had been placed in. She was free to go, now that the bones had been checked over and properly set, and her arm wrapped in a plaster cast to keep them that way. And now that she had spoken with Clegane and given her report on what had happened. And apparently now that she was rather happily enjoying the high of painkillers. Though truth be told, after all of it - her uncontrollable reaction, especially? Even a sniff of alcohol wipes would have had her giggling! So he wasn’t terribly surprised to find her a bit high.

 

She didn’t really NEED a private room to set her arm, but she had been afforded one thanks to the nature of her visit, and very likely the presence of his very imposing, and VERY angry Father. Not that anyone who didn’t know him well, would know he was any angrier than normal of course! He had better control than that. But Jaime wasn’t just anyone. He’d spent a lifetime learning the difference between mildly irritated and angry enough to cause utter destruction. And he was most definitely, working his way through the grips of the second. So it was likely a good thing, that the hospital staff didn’t risk his ire, by not supplying adequate assistance, support and protection from prying eyes. It wouldn’t have been worth the risk. Especially when it wasn’t just Tywin Lannister’s anger they faced, but also the normally quiet and stoic Ned Stark too. Both of them were putting him to shame, and his temper and wrath weren’t exactly something to trifle with. In fact, he was the volatile one out of all three of them. Except that he was distracted somewhat, burying it down deep, so he could look after his girl, without scaring her, too.

 

 

“Matching set huh? Didn’t know that injuries came in his and hers!” He nodded to her hand pointedly, and straightened, almost jumping to get to her side as she hopped off the bed with a little skipping jump and the goofiest smile he had ever seen on her pretty face. “And now you DO know! Except that mine isn’t NEARLY as cool. No robotics. Just heavy, awkward plaster that I can’t get wet... You smell nice. How do you still smell nice? And look... You look like you just stepped straight out of the centrefold of the magazine of my fantasies Lannister! Why aren’t you a MESS? I am a MESS!”

 

Jaime huffed a baffled, utterly exhausted laugh at her and let her wrap her uninjured arm up and over his shoulders, and around his neck, and nuzzling her nose under his ear like a needy cat. He used his own hands to GENTLY steady her. Holding her loosely, and almost sighing at the feel of her happy and well against him. She was higher than a helium balloon, but she was also repressing, and focusing herself completely on lighter topics, and locking her fears and anger and pain away. Which was not healthy. And yet he had a sneaking suspicion that he would only make it worse if he startled her too much, or put his hands to heavily on her in anyway, or if he tried to push her out of the drug induced happy place she had found for herself. Possibly even worse - if he tried to put distance between them at all, rather than accepting her affections. She could be nervous enough about giving those normally, without his risking scaring her off, whilst she was so vulnerable! So he would let her go for now, she’d crash soon enough without anyone’s help, and all he could do was be available for when she did.

 

“Yes Stark! You ARE a HOT MESS right now. But it is pretty reasonable that the painkillers would do that to you! Now! Are you ready to get out of here? Your Dad is just sorting release forms for you, you’ve talk to Clegane, your arm is all wrapped up - I think we can swing taking you home? OH! Except that we are going to my place - just so you know! Your Dad and Arya want to stay close to you tonight and your place just isn’t suited to multiple overnight guests. I told them they could stay at the penthouse with us instead. Fathers driver has taken Arya to the hotel and your place to grab some stuff, they should be back soon, so we can head out. - Unless you want to stay with just them? Whatever you need.”

 

He smiled gently at her as she pulled back to blink up at him quietly, studying his face curiously, and blushing softly, as he did the same. His heart thudding heavily inside of him. His brothers words... What he had admitted to feeling, rushing over him more and more with every flutter of her lashes, every twitch of her stunning face. Never mind the madness of their very short time together? He was in love with the girl in his arms. He was in love with that sassy, snarky, confident woman who approached him in that bar. And he was in love with the battered and bruise, and so achingly beautiful and broken girl, that he held on the floor of that restaurant hallway too.

 

“You are going to welcome MY DAD and MY SISTER into YOUR HOME, so that they can stay close to me - because I want to stay close to you?” He hummed in affirmation and winced playfully at her. Truthfully? After everything? He couldn’t care less that he didn’t much like her Father. None of what had come before, mattered all that much to him after what had happened to her in that restaurant. Ned and Arya had accepted them, and that was all that mattered to him. He would not have afforded that same thing, if it was her Mother there - though likely, he’d have kicked that crazy bitch out of the hospital too. He doubted he would afford it to her idiot of a brother either! But Ned and Arya had at least TRIED to been amicable with him, for her sake. So it was the least he could do. Especially with how worried they both were. Especially when they really needed to TALK, once they got her settled in and feeling safe enough to sleep.

 

“Looks like we will have to hold off on breaking the place in, after all hmm? Until they leave, and until you are... READY again.” He swallowed hard at the way her eyes dropped away from his and glassed up slightly. Perhaps he shouldn’t have joked about that? But she did NEED to understand that he wasn’t going anywhere, and that he still wanted her, but would wait for her to be ready too. “Thank you for letting them stay. And for...” He tipped her chin to bring her eyes back to his, with a gentle finger, and pushed his hand up to cup her face. “Whatever you need, Stark. If you want to take a thousand photos and post them online with ridiculous tags? I’ll pretend to bite you - just to keep up the image I’ve created! If you want to sleep in my bed and you need to do so alone? I’ll drag a cushioned chair of some description into my bedroom, so I’m there if you get scared. If you don’t want to, or can’t be intimate with me, for a month or a year or whatever? After tonight? I’ll wait. If you want to talk? I’m all ears - or I’ll set you up with my therapist if you prefer? We can talk about THAT later... AND... If you want to... Cut certain people out of your life? For whatever reason? I’ll be there to help you deal with the grief you feel over that too. Playing nice with those two out there? Not so difficult. They love you and accept you for who you are and what you want and I can respect that.”

 

She flushed heavily, and let out a watery laugh, and cuddled into him anew, resting her forehead hard against his jaw. His heart was pounding at having said all that, and at the fact that she seemed to just accept it. “I cause utter chaos in your life and you say things like that? Offer such amazing support.... How are you not regretting failing to send me away like you WANTED to, in that bar that day, before you realised who I was?” He huffed a small laugh, turning slightly, to kiss her temple gently, and tucking his arms around her loosely. “Ahh well! Guess, I kind of like you, Stark. Besides! I remember thinking to myself, that I was a deadman walking, for what I was about to do! - I thought: Wars are fought for far less, than over a beautiful woman. And I figured when your Father DID kill me, for sleeping with you? That at least I’d die happy and laughing, and in good company, with you. So... Crazy drama, and stalker type crazy people, and wannabe gangsters and our very own fan club of camera wielding vermin? ALL of it? Worth it, to get to hang out with you.”

 

“Really?” His heart ached at how small, and genuinely nervous she sounded with that single breathy word. How she couldn’t know? How she couldn’t see that he was a fool for her? Said so very much about the pains she had known before him. And it killed him. “I’m not much of a liar Stark.” He pulled back and grinned down at her bashful grin and adorable flushed cheeks. Stepping them away from the heavy emotions and back to their usual cheek, lest he actually let his control slip too much.

 

“I like you too, Lannister.”

“It’s the blonde hair isn’t it?”

“Arrogant ass of a man!”

“Vicious little She Wolf!”

 

He laughed quietly at her narrowed eyes and pressed a smacking kiss to her nose. “Ready to go? You can have a bath or a shower - if we wrap something around that cast, and I’ll get you something to put on, and then you can climb into my bed and pass out if you like?” She sighed softly and nodded. “Just... One thing before we do?” He cocked a brow in question, and then let out an exaggerated sigh, - earning himself a cheeky little grin, as she pulled her phone out, and rearranged their hands to rest on his chest, how she wanted them, showing clearly, that they were cuddling into each other too, but leaving their faces out of it for the most part, and snapped a photo.

 

Jaime waited quietly, a little bit amused, a little bit exasperated, and a lot happy. Pleased beyond measure that she was able to smile after the night she had had, and impressed that she didn’t seem to be hiding and repressing her fears, nearly as much as he feared she was. Still highly entertained by the idea that she was a bit high, though again - not nearly as much as he had suspected initially. And ultimately? PROUD, and so humbled, and in love with the fact, that she was ready and willing to send out such a big, obnoxiously clear, ‘fuck you’ to those who had an issue with them being together.

 

It was all there, just under the surface, he could see that in her eyes, and feel it in the way she shook and even flinched slightly at being touched. But she was also, still that happy and sassy girl who had laughed like a hyena over the first ever post she had put out, of the two of them.

 

Everything was just under the surface for him too, but in the face of caring for her, being there for her - his desire, his driving, blinding need to kill anyone and anything that thought to touch her, or hurt her in anyway, just had to take the backseat for now. He could control it, while ever she needed him to keep his head.

 

She grinned at him playfully and held her phone out, and he rolled his eyes dramatically and took it to have a look. Ignoring the impish grin, that fairly well told him that she was being cheeky with him, and with whoever had tried to force her hand, and the whole damned world at large too.

 

Who knew battle scars came in matching his and hers sets? We are both a bit broken, and a bit worse for wear, but two broken RIGHTS are still RIGHT, right? Thank you for being my Knight in slightly tarnished armour, My Lion. I know I wouldn’t have handled this without you... I’m with you Baby. Always. #astarkandalannisteragainsttheworld.

 

Jaime swallowed hard, his heart twisting inside of him at what she said... At what she didn’t say... At the fact that she really did choose him, and that she really did just tell that to the world. - Threw it down like a damned gauntlet, even. She chose him. And she just kept choosing him.

 

He flicked his eyes up, and met her wide, hypnotic blue orbs and licked his lips. “Baby? Can I?” He paused and cleared his throat and blushed just a little bit... He hated asking! But she had the right to say no, and he SHOULD ask and not assume right now. “Will you kiss me sweetheart? It’s okay if you don’t wa-“ He groaned in relief and savoured the soft, gentle press of her sweet lips, as she shut him up, and gave him exactly what he needed. “Thank you for asking first... Can you take me home please Jaime? I just want to be... Not here, now. And I want that bath. And sleep! I’m exhausted.”

“I can do that.”

Chapter Text

“Any news?”

 

He didn’t really have to ask. He knew she had had news. And he knew at least some of it, was not to her liking. - He had seen it coming for some time now. He had even warned her of such an outcome himself. - Not his Grand daughter being hurt! But the other part of it... The REAL reason he had searched her out. He already KNEW that Sansa was alright, Rickard had called him to make sure that he knew.

 

Truthfully? The half packed suitcase on the bed was answer enough anyway. But as he leaned his weight back into the balconies rail and took in his broken child’s, heartbroken countenance? The tears on her face? The phone laying lax on the small terrace table beside the chair she was curled up on like the lost little girl who used to wait for him to come home from his business trips? He couldn’t help but feel her pain for her. Pain that she could have avoided, if she had just listened.

 

She waved at her phone listlessly.

 

“She’s HOME... HIS HOME apparently. Her wrist was set, and plastered, while she spoke with a police officer, she has to go down to the station, and file a formal report in the morning. Because of her... She wasn’t in the right frame of mind to correctly remember all of the details... And they took her back to HIS place to sleep... She was already in bed when Arya took my call... They are all staying there for the night with her.... AND I have been advised, that I would not find welcome, either with them, or at home for now... Ned won’t speak to me... Arya said that he hasn’t spoken to anyone really, besides those who were there, and Rickard. And even then it was only to relay what happened.... My daughter was assaulted... And I’m not welcome to see for myself that she’s alright... My husband won’t speak to me and my younger daughter only afforded me THAT information... She was so curt with me...”

 

Hoster sighed heavily. Partly in relief - that his grand daughter was being cared for appropriately, even though he had already known it? It was nice to be reassured, a second time.... Also partly in exhaustion over the whole horrible situation, and partly in disappointment. In both, his daughters behaviour and actions, and at the outcome of her failure to fix things before they were too late with her husband and her children.

 

“The bastard who attacked her... Cat? Why were you pushing her towards someone like that?” It was a question that had been plaguing him quite a bit, since Rickard had called him the first time, to say that Sansa had been assaulted and was in the hospital. -LONGER! If he was being honest? - Since it had first been mentioned to him that she was playing matchmaker, and that the man was found wanting in everyone elses eyes, - most importantly? His Grand daughters.

 

He didn’t have all of the facts, so he couldn’t form a clear picture himself. But he did know that the man who had hurt his sweet little Sansa, was the same man, who her own mother had attempted to encourage a relationship with. And he could only HOPE that she at least, had no knowledge of the mans true nature. He was at a loss as to what to do and say, over her behaviour, as it was. - If she had any knowledge of such a thing? He wouldn’t be at a loss, because he would never forgive her THAT.

 

“I didn’t know... Petyr said that he was a stand up young man. AND his Father IS highly regarded as being a good, honest businessman. A lot like you, and a lot like Ned. And I thought? If he’s a good, stand up person - he must be like his Father. Someone like that? Someone from a good family, of solid standing? Would be good for her. He’d take over his family business one day, and perhaps it could be absorbed into Stark holdings. And she could settle down after that - maybe even in Winterfell, and have a family.... I didn’t KNOW. - Ned warned me - he was sent information, but he couldn’t say where it came from, to know if it was true or not, and Petyr said it wasn’t... He said it was probably Tywin Lannister who made it up, to make his son look like the better prospect for Sansa.... To cover for her, by making me look stupid for wanting her to give someone decent a chance, rather than accepting HIS SON. Maybe even to convince Ned, that Jaime Lannister was a good fit for her, if THAT was the alternative option... And I believed him.”

 

He bristled at the mention of that slimy little bastard and clenched his fists, in a bid to stop himself from stepping closer and taking her by the shoulders - to SHAKE some damned sense into the girl! Petyr Fucking Baelish! Not for the first time in his life, Hoster wished he had drowned that blasted man when he was a scrawny kid, sniffing around his daughters.

 

He bristled at the way she spoke of these men as PROSPECTIVE PARTNERS for her daughter too. As though it would be completely acceptable that she be forced to choose between the options set out before her? As though she and Ned had any say over these PROSPECTIVE PARTNERS! Like Sansas future was nothing more than a business deal!

 

“Petyr... Catelyn? Since when do you listen to him over me or Ned? Hmm? Or your children themselves? When did you start paying him any real mind? You KNOW what I think of him - what your uncle thinks! YOUR HUSBAND! And By The Seven, Cat! I KNOW Sansa told you that she wasn’t interested! - That the man made her uncomfortable! WHY did you not LISTEN to her? Why did you feel it necessary to interfere? Surely you learned your lesson with that Hardyng lad? And after the drama with Robb and Talisa and your attempts to steer him at that other girl! At least, I thought you HAD!”

 

She glared out over the balcony past him, blatantly refusing to meet his eye, and refusing to answer any of his questions. Yet another thing she failed to remember, such arrogance told him more about her thoughts, than if she had spoken petty excuses to him. He sighed heavily again and shook his head. His daughter had made her bed, and there was nothing he could do to help her fix her mistakes, if she wasn’t willing to admit she had been in the wrong in any way. And she had been in the wrong, in many BIG WAYS.

 

Her family would be the price of her stubborn pride. Because he didn’t doubt that if she reacted similarly, when faced with her husbands questions? Divorce papers would not be far off. In a week, she had managed to completely break her family apart, and there wasn’t a damned thing he could do to stop it. All because she couldn’t stand the idea of Sansa acting on her own mind and desires. All because she was making choices for her own life, without consulting her Mother for approval.

 

“I wonder sometimes, where I went so wrong with my children... I know it was just me, and your Uncle at times when I was away? Your Mother dying when you were all so small still? But I did my best. And I KNOW I taught you better than this.... Yet still I failed, and in doing so? I have failed my Grandchildren also.” He smiled sadly to himself, aching for his late wifes guidance. ANY guidance really. “For years, I’ve been telling you to lighten up! To stop putting so much pressure on them to be PERFECT. To be what YOU wanted them to be. You weren’t a selfish child Catelyn... You weren’t this cold woman, made of stone that sits before me now. You and Lysa both? The older you get? The less I recognise you.”

 

Hoster shook his head tiredly and straightened himself, stretching out his weary shoulders and flexing his hands to relieve the ache from holding such tight fists, in a bid to control his frustrations. His daughter was crying, and much as it pained him to see it? She had done it to herself.

 

“If you need to understand WHY your daughters and your husband won’t welcome you right now? Take a long, hard look at yourself, My Girl. Step back and look at your actions in regards to your eldest daughter, from a perspective that’s removed from your own biased one... You’ll see what I do. YOU are in the wrong here, YOU have been in the wrong with regards to Sansa in particular, for far too long now. And you have little right to judge her finding SAFETY and COMFORT in the arms of someone of HER CHOOSING. I don’t like Jaime Lannister as a person, myself, and I despise the mans Father... But I don’t get to choose for her, and nor do you. AND from all accounts, but your own? It was a GOOD CHOICE.”

 

“Where was THAT opinion when it was Lysa and the boy who wasn’t good enough for her?”

 

He paused in the door way, at the crackled, waspish hiss, coming from his child, as he attempted to walk away. She had always been one for dramatic flair - less so than her sister? But she was, all the same. - At least SOMETHINGS felt familiar. Except that she had never been cruel, she had never been so unloving. She had never belittled another’s opinions or feelings - not as a girl at any rate. That was new. Perhaps it wasn’t so new to his Grandchildren though. Which was a painful thought.

 

“Lysa was a thirteen year old CHILD, who had to be hospitalised because she miscarried a baby that her sixteen year old FRIEND put inside of her. The same FRIEND who had an almost obsessive interest, that he claimed as LOVE, in YOU, NOT HER. And every day I regret not pressing charges against him for it! Everyday I hate myself just a little bit more, for believing that my banishing him from our home and from having contact with my daughters, would be enough. And it is something I am still paying for!”

 

He turned and glared down at her harshly. She hadn’t known, not from his mouth. At the time, she had been away on a school trip. Perhaps that had been a mistake too. Not telling her WHY. But she had been a child herself, at the time, and she carried enough weight for him, without feeling guilt for not having been there, because she was BEING A NORMAL TEENAGER at the time, instead. He had honestly thought his clear dislike and distrust of Petyr Baelish had been enough. It had kept him away, until they were all adults, and he had no control then. Perhaps she would have kept him away from herself, at least. Perhaps she would have been just as distrustful of him herself, if he HAD told her. That was on him, and he knew it.

 

“The difference is that SANSA is a grown woman. One who has known enough bad experiences in relationships, to be able to pick a poor choice, a mile off. And it was HER CHOICE, to give Jaime Lannister a chance.” He almost smiled - ALMOST. Were she anyone else but his daughter, he would have taken great pride in SHOWING pride in his Grand daughters apparent ability to read people better than her - better than almost anyone else. “And Jaime Lannister has proven himself a SOLID CHOICE. Not once has his behaviour towards her, or any of the drama surrounding his relationship with her, or even her FAMILY - been ANYTHING LESS THAN EXEMPLARY. Even to the point of physically defending her from her own raging brother, who he feared would HURT HER! He was well within his rights to beat the ever loving hells out of Robb for what he did! But he didn’t. He restrained him and nothing more! - And most recently? Being the one to bring her out of a TRAUMA INDUCED PANIC ATTACK!”

 

His heart hurt, at the defiance and the insult in her eyes. She still couldn’t see it. She STILL didn’t WANT to see it.

 

“Which is another point in his FAVOUR! He KNEW that she had suffered some sort of trauma that had her reacting like that! And he KNEW how to help her through it! - After only a WEEK together, she felt confident enough with him, to trust him with that! And her trust was well placed! So don’t you even THINK of comparing me acting to protect my BARELY-TEENAGED DAUGHTER from a situation that she was ill prepared to truly understand - to you attempting to command your ADULT DAUGHTER to break up with a man who treats her with kindness and respect and more care than any other PROSPECTIVE PARTNER ever has! Because Catelyn? They are WORLDS APART.”

 

He sighed sadly and shook his head again. He hadn’t raised her to be this person. And yet somehow? Both of his daughters had morphed into people that he could no longer recognise. At least with Lysa, she had the reasonable and acceptable excuse, of her schizophrenia. But Catelyn? There was no mental illness there, that might serve to excuse SOME of her behaviour.... She was just... Not the same person he once knew. And yet, now he would have no choice, but to treat her as though she was the rebellious teenager that she had never really been.

 

“I advise that you have no more contact with Petyr Baelish. As your husband requested only days ago. - You ignored that simple request? You broke his trust. You have spoken to him of Sansas actions since, and he specifically asked you not to share anything relating to Sansa, with him.... And now Sansa has been hurt, by a man HE LIED TO YOU ABOUT.... I KNOW that you had nothing to do with Sansa being hurt. I KNOW THAT! But from the outside, looking in? You keep CHOOSING to trust someone who has lied to you. Who has manipulated you. Who has hurt members of your family. Who has ENCOURAGED you to put your own child before someone who would attack her. And it STOPS NOW.”

 

“And yet? YOU ALL, are CHOOSING to place trust in a LANNISTER! I KNOW I’ve made a mistake believing in Petyr! I know that NOW! And I am going to LOSE EVERYTHING because of it! But how are any of you any better for trusting that FAMILY! Tywin Lannister ruined your reputation, and Jon Arryns and Rickard STARKS! But you will blindly accept his son - BECAUSE SANSA CHOSE a rich man, old enough to be her FATHER! And I’m the bad guy? For wanting to stop such a despicable and wrong union?”

 

Hoster sighed wearily and turned to drop himself into the seat beside her. In a way? He could understand her concerns. Jaime Lannister was older than Sansa. And there HAD been conflict between their families over the years. But she didn’t have any idea what she was talking about. A point that was also on him. He had known for some time, that what had happened all those years ago wasn’t what it seemed... But it hadn’t changed his opinion of Tywin either. Not ENOUGH that he had verbally pardoned the man at any rate. He still despised him, his actions, and his inactions too.

 

“Tywin Lannister did ruin our reputations, and he did cost us and our regions a lot of money... But it wasn’t a selfish move on his part, as we assumed, and he has been quietly making restitution since.” He paused and look over at his incredulous daughter for a moment, before scrubbing at his face in sheer exhaustion. He didn’t want to be going over it, and he really wasn’t confident in trusting her with such information either. Not after everything... But if it HELPED at all, to bring her around to seeing things as he did? In forcing at least SOME acceptance for the sake of his Grand daughters happiness? He would do so.

 

“The four of us, and Steffon Baratheon, had developed a set of bills to be put to parliament, in a bid to to unify the different regions somewhat. Share the prosperity around. And GIVE BACK, help maintain Westeros’ natural beauty, help the little people. That sort of thing... - Environmental issues and protection plans, inter regional trading, infrastructure... And so on. It was idealistic and probably a little bit unrealistic too, but the hope was to at least get SOME of it started, to build a better Westeros, without RUINING Westeros in the process.”

 

He huffed a tired laugh at himself - at his much younger, much more optimistic self. It had been a pretty dream. And far more complicated than he was explaining it, but that wasn’t important, she only needed the basics to understand.

 

“Steffon died before we got it set to go... And then Tywin blocked the Environmental plans, and we didn’t know why. He just... BETRAYED US... What none of us realised, was that just as we were getting ready to go ahead? Tywin was called into a board meeting at Casterly. They needed him to take over... His Father had bankrupted the company, and tanked the Wests economy completely, and we were about to push a bill designed to lay heavy taxing and costly specifications, regulations and so on, on industries that had a large impact on the environment - the MINING INDUSTRY, is, was and always has been, one of The West’s key industries, it is also The Lannister’s field of expertise... The West’s other big industries, include FARMING, and FISHERIES, and LOGGING.... ALL would have been subject to costly changes... Had he allowed the bill to pass - a bill he was fully supportive of - AND STILL IS, I have come to learn? - He’d have sent the entire region into poverty... And the fool was too proud to ask our help, to ask that we hold off until he could rebuild enough to be able to afford it. He let his pride get in the way, and it cost US. He tossed us under the bus, to protect HIS PEOPLE. I don’t despise him for blocking that bill Catelyn. I despise the man for being too proud to ask for help. And selling us out to right the mess his Father made.”

 

He paused and looked over at her again... She would hate what he was about to say... But maybe IT would hit the nerve that needed to be hit, to bring her down if that damned high horse she was sitting on.

 

“WHAT PRICE PRIDE, CAT? Tywin isn’t a BAD MAN - he isn’t a GOOD MAN, but he isn’t the monster you think him either... Tywin is a prideful, arrogant man, who likes things to go his way, and who doesn’t like to ask for help or understanding... Because admitting he needs help or understanding, might imply that he is weak, like his Father was weak... Tywin is a man who refuses to acknowledge his shortcomings out loud... A little like someone else I know.”

 

He didn’t wait for her to acknowledge THAT! He simply stood and walked away again, pausing only long enough to kiss her head. If that didn’t work? He didn’t really think anything would. He didn’t think Ned would bother to try anything more either, not after everything he had come to learn in recent days.

 

“Good night, My Girl.”

Chapter Text

 

STUPID GIRL.... STUPID! STUPID! STUPID GIRL....

 

No matter what he did, he couldn’t get those words out of his head. He couldn’t get the image of the broken girl out of his head. HIS little girl. His Sansa. Somewhere along the way, someone had broken his daughter, and he had somehow missed it. For the rest of his days, it would haunt him - the image of a man he claimed to dislike for near enough to his whole adult life, maybe even longer! Cradling that fragile girl in his arms, like she was the most precious thing in the world, and bringing her around. While he stood there, completely uncomprehending. He hadn’t known she was so lost. He hadn’t known that she had been hurt so, before that.

 

PTSD... That is what Jaime Lannister had said. With those words... STUPID GIRL... What she had said about why she had wanted to come home all those years ago too... And the thing that he had been missing clicked into place. She had been hurt. ABUSED. Before Giles Fucking Rosby touched her in that restaurant. Before she picked Jaime Lannister up in that bar. Before he realised the extent of her hurts at his wife’s hands, and his own. And he knew exactly who was responsible. Except that he didn’t, and without clarification? He could do nothing. He didn’t know WHAT he could do anyway! What he SHOULD do. He wanted someone to blame, and that someone kept coming around in his mind. That someone - those SOMEONES.... Were a little too close to home for his comfort. Because he had a sneaking suspicion, that if she’d been allowed to come home when she asked, all those years ago? She might never have known such.

 

Which also implied, that the men they dined with that night, had known about it in advance. His daughters boyfriend had known, and yet still, she gave the man a chance. And he didn’t know if he was angry at the man, for not having done something, or said something. - Or if he was grateful to the man, for knowing how to help her - and for helping her without thought, now. He didn’t know if it was right, that he might feel enraged at either of those men, for not having done enough to protect her from their own family - when he hadn’t done enough to protect her from HER OWN. Because at the end of the day? It was him who had failed her the most.

 

“She’s asleep.... Did you want a drink?” He blinked in surprise at the weary man who had apparently reemerged from the bedroom without his noticing, and nodded. He had done no more than stare blindly out at the city skyline, having taken up post before the massive bank of windows that made up an entire wall of the Lannister mans penthouse apartment, since he walked in the door. A dark part of his mind found it a little amusing, that the idea of having a drink with Jaime Lannister, and spending the night in the lions den effectively, were far from the most difficult situations he’d been thrown into weathering recently. But then, when dinner with Tywin Lannister had been easier to stomach than SOMETHINGS? Facing Jaime seemed like child’s play.

 

“She’s asleep you said?” The younger man sighed tiredly and nodded as he handed him a glass of what he desperately hoped was very good, very expensive scotch. A small sip was enough to confirm that suspicion, and in the scheme of things? It was a significant point in the mans favour, he supposed. “Yes. I jumped in a quick shower after she laid down, because apparently my staying until she fell asleep would only risk increasing my position on her ‘creep scale’ - which is actually a joke between us... That maybe doesn’t seem so funny to you.... Especially after this evenings circumstances... Where is the little one?” He snorted a small, dark laugh and sipped from his glass again, as he stepped around and flopped into the couch, utterly bone weary and exhausted. “I’ve thought you a lot of things over the years, Lannister. Creep was never one of those things, and I’m even less inclined to think it after the events of tonight... As for Arya? She headed off into the room you said she could use, Cat called her when I didn’t answer.”

 

“Ahh.” Ned hummed quietly in agreement, with what the man had the decency to NOT say. He didn’t want to talk to his wife. He didn’t want to think on her and he certainly was NOT in the right frame of mind to talk ABOUT her. Even if he was faced with the unexpected reality, that the man lazed out in the arm chair across from him was very likely the only one he could actually speak to, about her and fear no real judgement from, over his thoughts in that moment. Especially considering that he knew from both his daughter and the mans own Father, that he had severed all ties with his sister after her last carry on. He very likely could empathise, and very likely would encourage him to act on his deepest, darkest thoughts in regards to his wife and his marriage.

 

He downed the contents of his glass quickly and reached out to drag the bottle sitting on the low coffee table before him, to himself, to refill it. He was going to need quite a few of them, if he meant to sleep at all that night. He didn’t doubt that his companion would be in that same boat.

 

“You aren’t going to tell me about what happened to her are you?” He felt sick, and enraged, and utterly devastated. And truthfully - he knew the answer without even needing to voice the question. Yet he did anyway. Because he had to. “No. I won’t. Though I imagine that you’ve added it up in your mind all the same.” He cleared his throat in a bid to loosen off the strangling sensation caused by the pained lump lodged in it, and drank heavily yet again. Relishing the fire that pooled in his stomach, hoping that it might melt some of the ice that had infused his entire being.

 

“I’d prefer answers to assumptions, Lannister.”

“I have no doubt that you would. But I won’t be  yet another person to fail her. And speaking on something that is so personal? Even with someone that she and I, BOTH understand, can be trusted with such a thing? Would be me failing to respect her freedom to do so when she chooses, and failing to respect her pain as her own also. And you can hate me for that if you want? But the only way that such a conversation takes place between you and I, is if she allows it.”

 

Ned huffed a tired laugh and nodded slowly as he relaxed back into the seat, to stare up at the ceiling. He had expected that. And for all that it pissed him off? It also garnered a fairly healthy does of respect too. Respect and pride. He didn’t have any right to be PROUD of Jaime Lannister’s thoughts of course... But he could be proud of his daughter for giving her trust and her heart, to someone so willing and able to defend them. For finding someone who could and would protect her, even from others who loved her. She needed someone like that. She deserved someone like that.

 

“Just tell me that you didn’t KNOW AT THE TIME, that NONE of you knew... And I’ll accept it - let it go, and hold off asking further questions until she is ready to talk to me about it herself.” He closed his eyes and bit down on his anger, as Jaime poured another glass for himself and shuffled around in his seat. He didn’t believe for a second that the man had known and done nothing to prevent it, or put an end to it. But he didn’t have that same faith in the rest of the family. Not even Robert. If Joffrey had been violent and abusive to his daughter? Well? He had to have learned it somewhere - and he knew that his old friend was an abusive bastard of a husband too. He had taken him to task over it himself, and the man across from him had repaid him in kind, more than once. It was the one thing that Ned had ALWAYS respected him for. Which was how he KNEW that he didn’t really KNOW at the time, even if he had asked for clarification.

 

“I didn’t know. I DON’T know... Not everything. Possibly not even a fraction of it. I come to the same conclusions, based on assumptions and the word of OTHERS, just after... The only ones I would endeavour to excuse to you? I can confidently say, that they knew little also. In saying that? THEY DID KNOW SOMETHING. And you’re well within your rights to be pissed over not being informed. I freely admit that I was when I learned of it, but by then, my reaching out to you, would have only hindered moving on from a situation that was already done. You’ve enough in your own backyard to aim your rage at for failing that girl, Stark. Yourself included. And while I can respect that we are the easier targets for you? You should know that those of my family that I’ll excuse, either had no means to interfere, or have all asked for and earned her forgiveness... As best a Lannister knows how, at any rate. And any others? Are free game. I hardly care if you feel the need to take a run at them. But in return I’ll ask that you respect that there are those in YOUR lot also, that I will NEVER respect, or trust with her well being. Now! We weren’t having this discussion, so I will be saying NO MORE. Do you have any notion of what my Father is intending? Or what he has put in motion already?”

 

“You’re an arrogant prick. You know that?” He didn’t even bother looking up. In all honesty? He felt like he might just break, himself, if he did. And that was evidenced by the waver that he couldn’t stop from falling out with the words. His heart was tearing apart inside of him and it was agony. How he had missed it... How he had let his little girl? His sweet little Lady Wolf? Why he didn’t just call her and find out for himself, just how homesick she REALLY was.

 

“Oh! Nice! You can be the pot and I’ll be the kettle hmm?”

“You realise that I’ve never been conflicted about wanting to break you jaw before? I’ve wanted to do that, more than a few times in the past. And yet now? I want to do so with every fibre of my being... And I don’t... With equal measure.”

“Mmm... Trust me? The feeling is mutual. And if I wasn’t so fucking exhausted? I might have suggested that going a few rounds in the ring, in the gym downstairs, was a very good idea. Honestly? It’d likely make us BOTH feel better. But I’m not risking either of us being too far from her right now? In case she wakes up upset and looking for one or both of us. And I’m too tired to entertain you in such a fashion tonight.”

“Aye. Settling for a good few drinks, and flinging insults will just have to do for now.”

“Works for me. I won’t be sleeping anyway. And... I’m going to ask... I don’t do well... When my emotions are overcharged... I... IF I.”

“Aye. PTSD right? I’ll put you down if you are seeing ghosts... You? Is it like what Sansa went through tonight? For you?”

 

He sat up slightly and studied the man, finding himself almost humbled, by the fact that he was trusting him to KNOW of his own suffering, let alone trusting him to prevent him from harming himself or someone else, if he does suffer, after such a confronting day for himself.

 

“No. Not usually. I’ve dealt with it... Learned to deal with it. I usually know what will trigger things in myself, and I know how to minimise any potential damage. And usually I can pull myself back quickly enough. But I don’t want to risk scaring her, and I’ve not had a chance to burn off any lingering rage. Which is why I asked.” Ned nodded deftly, without hesitation. There wasn’t any real NEED to ask. And he doubted very much, that Lannister believed there was either. But having him verbalise it, ACKNOWLEDGE it? Went a long way to increasing both his respect, and his gratitude for the man. Which was also humbling. “Aye. It’s also why you knew you really didn’t need to ask. But I have to say? I don’t think either you or I, are going to be packing that rage away any time soon.”

 

He smiled almost ruefully as the man snorted and downed the last of the glass he was holding, before reaching out and pouring them both another. “Luckily for us? There are a few culpable persons who are prime targets for that rage, Stark... And for a curious twist? WE are on the same team. Which reminds me! You never said if you knew what my Father was up to? Or what you’ve deduced yourself?” He hated the idea of working with THE LANNISTERS... And yet? In this one instance? He didn’t hate it AT ALL. The bastards were ruthless, and they weren’t restricted by any strict moral code. And for all that he actually disliked and even despised that particular truth about them? In his daughters defence? He was willing to make an exception. He was willing to concede to their superiority in ruthlessness. Because she was his little girl, that soft, sweet little thing and she had started looking at him with that same love and trust, this last week, that he hadn’t even noticed missing in recent years, from her beautiful eyes. And he wouldn’t be failing her ever again.

 

“He has a man looking into those disgusting texts... And... I can only determine that THOSE came from my side of the battlefield... So I’ll apologise-“

“Don’t. I KNOW you didn’t have anything to do with that. Just as YOU KNOW without having to be told, that it’s all bullshit. Don’t apologise for things beyond your control.”

 

Ned couldn’t help but let a huff of laughter out over the mention of apologies. He had struggled to maintain his composure during the painfully uncomfortable moment at dinner, surrounding the mans apology to his Father, and the subsequently awkward and hilariously stilted acceptance too!

 

“We are playing nice here Stark! You can quit laughing over the fact that I apparently don’t apologise ENOUGH to have managed to grasp HOW TO! Whilst you apologise entirely too much when you shouldn’t!” He snickered happily and actually shared a bit of a grin with the man, before taking another swig to hide that fact as quickly as possible. “Anyway? I’m sure you’ve figured out the hows and why’s and possibly who’s too. We both know such threats didn’t come from your family... and it likely didn’t come from mine DIRECTLY... But I just... Don’t KNOW how much of it might have... As for Rosby? I gave your Father the nod to go ahead and call the mans Father... And we both agreed to leave him out of it, providing he doesn’t attempt to defend his sons actions... I’m not sure he doesn’t have men out looking for him either. Actually I am fairly certain that he DOES. All he said to me was that he ASSUMED I would have no objections to his acting as he would. And I don’t. But I DO want access to the man who put his hands on my daughter, should he find him before the authorities. I’ve a few questions... And a few statements to make. And if they are connected in anyway? Both incidents that is... The way I think they might be? The Great Lion is just going to have to get out of my way. Because, Lannister? THIS might just be war... A little different to how you and I know it? But war all the same.”

“It’s a dark day in Westeros when you and I are in complete agreement, Stark. Cheers to that. Because this is war.”

Chapter Text

“Mmm... There’s no blood. Nothings broken... Those empty soldiers there on the table tell me that they are going to be hurting even more than you today! How’s the hand? And... You’re good? Sleep okay?” She giggled at her sisters joking and shook her head at the sight of her lover and her Father, as she sipped at the hot coffee in her hands. She had stared at them in a mix of disbelief and amusement for a full five minutes, when she first stepped out of the bedroom, to find them passed out cold, on opposite couches, after what had to have been a long night of drinking. And even ten minutes later, and a cup of coffee warming her hands, as well as her sisters delight in having discovered them also? It was still as astonishing, as it was amusing - and being that it was utterly hilarious? That was saying quite a bit.

 

“Actually? I did sleep okay... I woke a couple of times, looking for Jaime beside me, but I could hear talking, so I fell back to sleep pretty easily... This explains that talking, I guess. And my wrist HURTS! But I’ve taken something for it, so it’ll be fine. Can you remind me to double check that none of my medications will interfere with my birth control too please? Before I forget about that.” She blushed heavily as her sister cackled happily and nudged her hip with a little bump of her side. “Sure. Think you should be fine though - far as I know? It’s more antibiotics that tend to do that, not painkillers.” She hummed in agreement. She knew that. But she wasn’t talking about the painkillers either. Maybe her sister hadn’t realised that she would be given medication that would help settle her anxiety and level out her moods - just until she saw a doctor to discuss her suffering such a break down. She had suffered much more than a physical assault. Much, much more. And the doctor she had seen the evening before, at the hospital, was not willing to discharge her without giving her something, to help calm her.

 

Her sister SHOULD probably have realised that. She was training to be a field medic, and mental health issues would absolutely be a concern for soldiers. But it was also possible that she was just looking at the events of the night before, as an emotionally involved little sister, who just hadn’t properly processed the medical side of things, too. “Thank you... For stabilising it for me. I can’t imagine I was an easy patient to handle, at the time.” She watched her baby sister shrug sadly, out of the corner of her eye. Arya was a bit like an actual wild animal. It was best - safest and smartest! To not risk direct eye contact, when there were heavy emotions involved. It was best for her too - because she had learned long ago, that nothing broke her heart faster, than seeing pain, or hurt in her baby sisters big, stormy eyes.

 

“S’alright Sis. I needed something that I could do... Something to focus on... You are... I mean? I WON’T ASK. But... I’m here you know? If you aren’t alright... And Jons coming too. I said he could... Robb wanted to too... They all did. But he has actually been LISTENING for a change - and Tal suggested that they stay home - after his... She figured he’s probably the one who SHOULD be relegated to staying home... And just in case Gramps has to come down to help Dad deal with the fallout, too. Investigations and legal processing and media madness and all of that. They are thinking of you but... And they want you to call when you are feeling up to it.”

 

Sansa sucked in a deep, settling breath and turned to shoot her sister a sad smile, before turning her attention back to the two men, who meant the world to her, snoring loudly and flopped into what had to be the most uncomfortable positions. “I’m not sure poor Jaime would handle more than Jon right now.” She huffed a small laugh at the idea of overwhelming him with Stark men - MORE Stark soldiers! At least she knew Jon wouldn’t judge him without giving him a chance. He had been solid in his support of her making her own choices over Jaime since the beginning. Just as Arya had been. Robb? He was an entirely different story. And she still wasn’t sure she was ready to forgive him. Especially not after what happened the night before - with the MAN she had SUPPOSEDLY been interested in. The things Robb had said and even just implied, the last time he had come down, lost to his emotions? They had played on her mind enough, in the dark of night, without being faced with him while she was only just getting her bearings back. She didn’t want to see her big brother. Not at the moment. She didn’t even want to talk on him, anymore than she did her Mother. Which wasn’t fair of her, but it was what it was. She didn’t want to deal with them. And Jaime didn’t need more fuel to add to his rage. And bringing up Robbs name might just set him ablaze. She couldn’t help but notice that her sister had been wise enough to not mention her Mother at all. And for that, she was very grateful.

 

“I can’t wait to see Jon. He hasn’t been home in so long! Thank you for talking to them all too. I wish I could have reassured everyone myself. The only one I could... Do you think I’m crazy? For leaning so heavily on Jaime? Is it... Is it clingy of me? After only a week?” He said it wasn’t. He said that they were on the same page. But it WAS only a week ago, that he had her brother pinned to the wall of her apartment, and things had only escalated from there. Sure! They had a day or two in the middle, where things looked like they might settle down, and they could focus on just getting to know each other and building the relationship to support the FEELINGS that they had stumbled over discovering. But this was a whole new game now. And she didn’t want him to feel trapped because of the circumstances out of their control.

 

“Stop thanking me. And stop being stupi- SELF CONSCIOUS! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean you were stupid-“

“I know that. What? OH... That... I said that out loud I assume?”

 

Her heart was racing as she took in her sisters shrinking, and uncomfortable fidgeting. Of course she had been saying it. She had had no control. She hadn’t ever reacted so badly, and she had been so afraid! So LOST. But it explained her sisters uncharacteristic softness and nervousness. AND it explained her lover and her Father knocking over three full bottles of expensive liquor too. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes. That was NOT how she wanted to introduce such a topic. She didn’t ever really WANT to talk about it. Now she would have to build up the courage to do so. And she would break all of their hearts when she did tell them. She would probably be signing the death certificate on her parents love in the process too... But her Dad had told her that it wasn’t on her... What happened between her parents... Even if it felt like it was.

 

“Joffrey?” She hummed in affirmation and focused her eyes down at her rapidly cooling cup, not wanting to break again, and not wanting to scare her sister in equal measure. “It was a long time ago Arya. And I don’t want to... I moved on - it’s only fresh in my mind - in other people’s minds... Because I’m seeing Jaime. I don’t want it at the surface, but I KNOW I will have to speak on it... After last night... Just give me some time alright?” She smiled to herself over the feel of her little sisters arm slipping around her back almost awkwardly. But she didn’t draw attention to it. Arya wasn’t a demonstrative person for the most part, so it was clear to her that she was hurting too. “I got your back Sannie. Say the word? And I’ll cut that little bitch into tiny pieces and feed those tiny pieces to his bitch Mother, in a pie! And you don’t even have to tell me what happened.... As for... Stop being self conscious! I’m not sure that THAT idiot, isn’t in love with you. What’s a week, Juliette? The way you two are? It’s like you were made for each other - or some such shit... Not too many people wouldn’t have run for the hills a week ago, when you had a raging idiot on your doorstep. Plus? He’s pretty strong looking... Your weight leaning on him isn’t going to bug him at all sis.”

 

She flushed heavily over her implying that Jaime was in love with her... She didn’t want to dissect THAT just for the moment... Or the way it made her stomach swoop, and her heart race! But she also couldn’t help but laugh in shock, at what wasn’t actually all that shocking, about her sisters vicious, violent promises. She transferred her coffee cup into her good hand fully, and wrapped her bad one, cast and all, around her little sister and best friends shoulders, and pressed a hard kiss to her hair, around her dark laughter. “Speaking Of Love? I love you, little beast!”

“Yeah, yeah... I love you too... Septa Sansa!”

 

 

The knock at the door jolted them BOTH out of their little moment, and actually just jolted her full stop! She hadn’t been expecting it at all! And Jon surely hadn’t... Even if he had made it to the city already? He wouldn’t know where Jaime lived, and he wouldn’t have made it past the front desk without Jaime being notified that he had an unexpected guest either.

 

“Don’t even think about it Sansa. I’m up. I’ll answer it just the second that the room stops spinning.” She snorted a rude little noise and cocked a condescending brow at her boyfriend as he slipped off the sofa and landed flat on his back with a hilariously pathetic groan, whilst her sister positively howled with laughter at him. “I think I can manage to answer the door Lannister. Whoever it is that they LET COME UP from down stairs, is going to be waiting awhile if they need to wait for you to make it there.” She gave in a giggled at him tipping his head back to glare at her. Never mind that his ‘threatening look’ was ineffectual thanks to his adorable, sleepy mussed hair, and puffy, bloodshot eyes... AND the fact that he was on the floor, because he fell off the couch hungover. “Woman! I am trying to be chivalrous and protective! What is it with you and bringing logic into it?!” She hummed in amusement and shot him a wide smile. He was an idiot. But he was HER idiot. And she kind of liked him. “How about you focus yourself on just trying to function, for now Handsome. And I’ll see who is disturbing your rather large hangover, shall I?”

 

“Extra mean this morning I see! Lucky I like you Stark. FINE! But don’t release the chain until you check who it is please? Just in case?” She rolled her eyes at him dramatically, even if she was a bit touched by his determination that she be OVERLY cautious. And then shot a smile to her rather harried looking, but yet still very amused looking Dad. She needed to talk to him... But it could wait until he was functioning a bit better too. “Morning Dad. Arya? When you can breathe without laughing? Can you please search out some water and aspirin for those two? I’ll cook something up for breakfast once I see who is at the door.”

 

“No you won’t! Seven hells Sansa! I’ll call someone downstairs to pick something up for us!” She snorted rudely and strolled towards the door, as the knocking resumed. “If you don’t stop with your attempts to wrap me up in cotton wool, Lannister? You might just have to get used to sleeping on the couch!”

“Seven hells, Stark! My head is not up to dealing with your snark this morning! You aren’t cooking breakfast! And before you get all snippy - think about the fact that your dominant hand is currently in heavy, awkward plaster!”

 

She rolled her eyes again, and huffed a quiet laugh, so that only she could hear it, at the sound of him groaning and grumbling and what was very likely his shuffling himself back on to the couch behind her. He was ridiculous, and adorable. And she was immensely grateful that they could step into their usual bantering ways, rather than dwell on the darkness and heaviness surrounding them both.

 

“TYRION!” She squeaked in excitement and bent low to hug the old friend who was on the other side of the door she had just opened - her lovers little brother, without really thinking on it at all. She hadn’t seen him since... THEN. And yet, there wasn’t any sort of hesitation in her about greeting him as she had! Mainly because within a half split second, she realised that he had come home early, because Jaime had needed him. And that was just... So important to her.

 

“Well! Hello there, Sansa.” She snorted a laugh as he patted her awkwardly and grinned at the blotchy flush on his cheeks as she pulled back. “I’m sorry! Gods! I just... I’m happy to see you.” The man smiled softly and nodded, and then waved to the smiling beauty beside him. “Sansa Stark, meet my wife. Shae, My Love? Meet the darling little wolf who has my brother all tangled up inside! Sansa.” She smiled widely and pulled the other woman into a tight hug without blinking. And then startling slightly at the feel of... She pulled back and looked down at the tiny, rounded belly, and giggled softly. “Oh! Congratulations... And... Gods! What perfect timing! He’s going to be so excited! And he MIGHT JUST fall off the couch again!” She shot the woman a playful wink. “It’s so nice to finally meet you! Jaime has said so many wonderful things about you! He even told my Father that YOU might just be a Lannister that he could like! Which - trust me! Is the highest praise! Come in! Quick! We were just arguing over breakfast!”

 

She handed the now empty coffee cup that she was still holding, to her lovers confused brother, and grabbed the other woman’s hand in her own to pull her behind her and into the apartment. “Do you mind if I stir him up just a little bit? I won’t ACTUALLY TELL him?” Shae Lannister chuckled darkly and shook her head. “Not at all. He will figure it out, much as you have done, anyway!” She grinned wickedly and winked over her shoulder, at the exasperated man strolling along behind them. “Hey Uncle Jaime? Your cavalry has arrived... And they come bearing gifts!”

“I object to that one Baby! Not comfortable with it AT ALL! And if we could maybe NOT discuss pet names in front of your Father? I’m not capable of defending myself from his right hook, right now!”

“Oh! You insufferable ass! Your BROTHER is here!”

Chapter Text

“Here. Get this into you, maybe - if you’re lucky? You won’t make a complete idiot of yourself in front of her again, if we can get you FUNCTIONING PROPERLY.” Jaime groaned and rubbed at his face before meeting the very clearly, far too amused and just slightly, judgemental eyes, of his girlfriends evil little sister. He was dying. It was the only way to adequately describe the state he was in. Of course, he hardly expected sympathy! It was self inflicted, and both he and Ned SHOULD HAVE known better than to wipe themselves out so completely. Not that they had consciously decided to do so, whilst still in control of their ability to make wise decisions! But still! Drinking to the point of being blind, rotten, drunk, when so emotional, tended to be the very heights of stupidity. Even more so, because she could have needed them, and they let themselves get to the point where they may not have been available to her. And even if they were? The stench of so much alcohol on them had the potential to make HER feel even WORSE - maybe even unsafe.

 

He sat slowly and took the glass and the pills, without comment. He did WANT to know why he was supposed to be drinking something so green that it kind of looked like something had vomited grass into a cup! But he wasn’t going to bother asking. Ned didn’t seem to be surprised by what he had been handed, so he wasn’t going to question it. He simply popped the pills in his mouth, and downed the entire, disgusting glass of thick fluid and clumps, and then held his breath to keep it from coming back up with the gagging reaction such filth caused. “Damn! That’s impressive! Especially after drinking as much as you did! You KNOW that there’s easily, close to a thousand dollars worth of, now empty bottles on that table?” Jaime snorted rudely and waved an uncaring hand, as he shoved the glass with the remnants of the offending ‘drink’ back into her hand. “Thousands - plural, actually! What the hell did you just make me ingest?”

 

He closed his eyes as another glass - this time colder, and thankfully containing only clear fluid, was pressed into his good hand with a far too ‘happy’ little pat. “Aryas hangover cure - raw eggs, and whatever juices and leafy greens she can get her paws on. And no - it never gets easier to swallow down. But it works.” The tiny girl hummed in a very condescending way as she stood the empty bottles up alongside the various glasses that she had brought out for the two of them. But Ned had sounded every bit as wounded as he felt, so at least he wasn’t alone in his pain.

 

“And I threw in a few splashes of hot sauce this time - because firstly? And I’ll try to keep it short because she isn’t going to be out of the room forever! - You IDIOTS! Got rolling drunk, because YOU were HURTING! And I don’t deny that you probably were, and still are? But SHE might have needed you and you forgot that! And secondly? Because you wasted the good stuff on getting wasted to numb that pain! Which is just insulting. And third? Because I wasn’t invited to partake. Which is just rude! And even if I DO find both of your current states highly amusing? The two of you deserved it! NOW! -“

 

“Hey Uncle Jaime? Your Cavalry has arrived... And they come bearing gifts!”

 

The tiny little whirlwind didn’t get the chance to truly finish her whispered, ass chewing, tirade - for which he was pretty grateful! Even if he damned well deserved it! But his head was really hurting, and her quiet growling was not nearly as funny or FUN as when her sister growled at him. And it was a knee jerk reaction, that copped him a slap around the ears - literally and figuratively! To make a joke of his girls words.

 

One hit him, making another laugh, whilst the third and ONLY LIKEABLE STARK present in his home, called him an insufferable ass. And all of a sudden? The world was back on its axis again! Plus! His brother was home! And much as it hurt him to do so? He couldn’t have stopped the slight laugh of excitement, or the graceless attempt to stand and step towards the safety of more lions, if he tried!

 

He smiled sheepishly at his girlfriend and leaned in to kiss her head gently, with a quietly whispered ‘good morning’ - AND then quickly removed his less than appealing stench from her person, to turn towards the other beautiful Lannister Lady love. “Welcome home! And thank you for coming - I won’t make you hug me! I smell like the floor of a seedy bar. But I’m happy to see you Shae! Little brother!” He ducked around the pair of highly amused women, ignoring the blush stealing over his pained skin, and lowered himself to hug his brother. “You don’t get the reprieve! You were once rather intimate with such strong odours yourself!” His brother laughed and patted his shoulder before shoving him away. “Far more than ONCE, at that, too brother! Sit down Jai. Before you fall. And preferably away from my wife - best not to run the risk of upsetting her stomach!”

 

He didn’t really know how or WHY his state would upset Shaes iron stomach! But he wasn’t going to argue either! He really wasn’t well - and Aryas miracle filth had yet to do anything for him, besides make him gag. He waved lazily as he turned and made his way back to the safety of his couch, taking his girls good hand, and pressing a kiss to her knuckles quickly, on his way past her. “Ned, Arya - I am sure you both remember my brother, and vice versa... Shae? This beautiful and not-angry-at-me-for-being-an-asshole, darling here! Is my girlfriend Sansa - I assume you met her already! And that’s her Father and sister, Ned and Arya - guys? The LIKEABLE Lannister - Shae, Tyrion’s wife. Now if everyone will excuse me for - however long it’s going to take for the aspirin and the swamp water Arya just forced on my person - to kick in? I don’t have it in me to play polite host right now. So I’m just going to sit here until it does. Ty? Do me a favour brother - and call downstairs to have someone sent to pick up some breakfast? And make a note to slap me senseless if I ever attempt to keep up with Ned, when there is scotch involved, ever again!”

 

“Do you think, if you tell him now? He will remember?”

“I think that if we tell him now? He will attempt to hug my wife after all - and I don’t much fancy cleaning vomit off the rug - hers and subsequently HIS! And maybe even Neds also! And it’s the weekend, so Dorea ISN’T supposed to come in - though she MIGHT given the circumstances, if I ask her very nicely! - STARK! It’s good to see you. If only it were under less terrible AND also less hungover, circumstances!”

“Aye. If only, Lannister! It’s nice to meet you Shae, Jaime has spoken rather fondly of you. And he might not have noticed? But I did, SO! - Congratulations, how far along are you?”

“Thank you, Mr Stark - it’s nice to meet you - all of you, too. Though I wish that I was meeting Jaimes girlfriend and her family under very different circumstances too... And this? I am almost half way.”

 

 

———————

 

 

Jaime woke with a start, at the feel of soft fingers brushing his hair off of his forehead, and then groaned at the realisation that he had apparently passed out again - with GUESTS in his house! At least the room wasn’t spinning anymore! And his head was only MILDLY fuzzy and aching! “Morning sunshine!” He grunted at the far too amused, sing songy voice, and stole her hand in his own, to press a kiss to her palm. “Morning Baby. I’ll apologise now for being a drunken asshole, and for passing out on the couch when you needed me to be - not a drunken asshole! And for doing so again when we had guests - especially being that you really probably don’t need to be playing host for me just yet - and certainly not because I’m an asshole. And also not when you’ve had a rough night and should be the one being looked after. If you just want to send the evil Gremlin in to cut my balls off? I completely understand. All I ask is that she makes it quick and as painless as possible!”

 

He blinked at her slowly, as she let out a small dark laugh and leaned in to press a gentle kiss - that he absolutely did NOT deserve! To his forehead. “I don’t think I will. - I actually kind of like those, and I’d like them to remain in tact. And don’t be sorry! I’m far more amused by your antics than anything else.” He scoffed rudely and pulled back just a bit, as she nudged at his nose with her own. He HAD to stink! It TASTED like something had died in his mouth, so he certainly didn’t want to breathe on her. “I WILL apologise! Because I SHOULD have been available to you if you needed me - and there’s no way I would have been, in the state I was in.” She tipped his head and held him in place with a narrow eyed glare, and honestly? He had to reevaluate which of the Stark girls was the scarier! Usually his girls temper just turned him on! Usually it wasn’t necessarily pointed at him either! “I am NOT made of glass Jaime. I’m not some porcelain doll who needs to be guarded in the dark hours. What I needed last night - was to not be touched, and to sleep and to feel SAFE. AND I DID.” He winced slightly at her haughty look, and then nodded, because in all honesty? The last thing he wanted, and the last thing she needed, was for him to make her feel belittled for wanting to feel strong, all by herself.

 

“As for you getting drunk with my Dad? Obviously you both needed an outlet, for your own emotions - and you both found one that left no one injured or ANGRY or worse! So let’s quit with the pity party - or PITIFUL party, more accurately! And consider it, time spent bonding with my Dad, over your mutual dislike of each other, your mutual like of me, your mutual anger over my being hurt and your mutual appreciation for a good drop of expensive liquor, that resulted in a rather hilarious morning, hmm?” He sighed heavily and nodded. There was no point arguing with her over any of it. He had known from that first moment in that bar, that she was a stubborn woman. He wasn’t exactly about to let himself off the hook for being such a prick! But he could give her the satisfaction of having put him in his place, without her knowing it.

 

“Tell me you slept okay?” She smiled softly and nodded, softening her bristles ever so slightly, and sitting up a little to look down at him, where he had been moved to lay down more fully, at some point. “I did. I’m not.... I’m not ALRIGHT, but I am... I woke a couple of times, but not because I was scared necessarily. I heard you and Dad talking, and knew I was fine, that I was safe, so went back to sleep without any trouble.” He nodded in understanding and rubbed the sleep from his eyes quickly, before letting his hand fall, to rest on, and stroke at her hip affectionately. She didn’t flinch at all either, so that was a definite bonus.

 

“And your wrist?”

“Hurts. But it’s fine.”

 

He huffed a laugh as she waved the plastered hand before him and wiggled her eyebrows at him cheekily. “I’m ALRIGHT, Lannister. Better than I expected to be. PLUS? It’s been a very relaxed, family type atmosphere this morning, with Tyrion and Shae arriving... I KNOW that’s going to end the moment your Dad gets here, and we start talking about what steps we need to take now, or whatever... AND I have to go down to the police station, to make a formal statement. But for now? It’s just been... Oddly comfortable - lions and wolves... Getting along! AND no one has checked any sort of media source or anything to ruin it. Tyrion mentioned there being paps downstairs? But otherwise it’s largely been ignored. Which has been nice.” She shrugged sheepishly and shook her head, tugging loose tendrils of soft hair, that pulled loose from the loose knot it was tangled into, back behind her ears, reminding him, yet again! That his proud, strong WOMAN, was also a sweet, young girl underneath it all too. “Well? I PROMISE to be right there with you, through the hard parts coming up... My Father is on his way? I could have sworn he mentioned something about being away this weekend?”

 

He shuffled around and sat up to face her better, and to wake himself a little more. The last thing he needed was for his Father to SEE him lazing about hungover, when they had such important tasks ahead! “Mmhmm. Jon too - Arya will have to head out to meet him at the airport soon I suppose? - But Tyrion said your Dad mentioned needing to talk to the two of you about something to do with HER. Something happened overnight there apparently too? God knows what that crazy bitch has done now! Probably paid that... Sorry! Not going there.” He breathed a tired laugh - even if it was NOT funny! And leaned his forehead against her temple, affectionately. “She wasn’t connected to that Sansa. There is no way she threatened what those texts said. I wouldn’t put it past her otherwise! Don’t get me wrong... I’m not defending her in anyway... But this wasn’t her Baby.”

“I know.” He hated how small she sounded. How wounded. “Still and all! Your Dad will be here soon, there is breakfast in the kitchen and IF you want to KNOW what surprise gift your brother has brought along before your Father learns of it too? I suggest you get up and go and ask him why his wife is currently napping in your bed.”

 

“Our bed.... WHAT? Why would Shae be asleep at all? Let alone in our bed?” He pulled back to look at her, cocking a brow in question at her amused grin, and slight blush. “Shacking up still, are we?” He snorted rudely and pressed a hard kiss to her head. “Don’t get carried away, Stark. It is what it is. Now tell me why there’s a beautiful woman in our bed who is not you!” If he was feeling better? He might have actually given in to the cocky desire to PREEN at the arrogant little grin she gave him. But he was just too tired to bother.

 

“Ask Tyrion, Jaime... Now! I’m going to make you a coffee, and you are going to dive through a quick shower and... Maybe ask Tyrion to get you some clean clothes so you don’t wake her up and freak her out! And then you can ASK HIM all you like! And put food in your belly too! You need that!”

“You aren’t making me coffee Baby! I can do that myself - because I am an ass and SHOULD have to look after myself after my carry on this morning.” He groaned dramatically and held up his hands in a gesture of peace, at the narrowing of her eyes once more. “Sorry! Got it. You ARE NOT made of glass - OR porcelain! And for as white as this beautiful skin is? It’s not even just a little bit strong, like ivory or something... YOU ARE ALL STEEL Baby! Unbreakable! I know! I believe it. I can see it... But you do NOT have to care for my drunken ass just to PROVE IT.”

 

“And YET! I WILL! Because, I CARE for your drunken ass Lannister. But I am glad to hear that you finally UNDERSTAND that I’m not BROKEN! Now go shower... And for the GODS SAKE! Will you kiss me properly already - before you do? You NEVER go this long without kissing me at least three times - sometimes more! I’m starting to get a Gods damned complex here Lannister.” He let out a startled chuckled and tipped her chin with his knuckle. “I haven’t kissed you ON THIS BEAUTIFUL MOUTH, because I can TASTE how awful my breath is Baby. Not because I don’t WANT to! You know how much I like you Stark. Kissing this pretty, perfect, SMART little mouth? One of my favourite things. So tell your complex to fuck off, and I’ll make it up to you with a terribly inappropriate and excessively passionate kiss, once the dead animal in my mouth is gone, if you want me to! I’ll even do that in front of everyone and risk getting decked by another wolf for it, if you want!”

“GOOD! Because I do want! - Maybe NOT in front of everyone! But... I just want things to be how they have been, all week... Between us.” He smiled softly to himself at how petulant she sounded. A little saddened by the fact that she felt so self conscious over his not having kissed her properly, all morning. And a little touched that it was so important to her too. He cupped her soft cheek gently, and licked his lips as she nuzzled it slightly. She was beautiful. And just as needy for him, in that moment, as he always felt for her, apparently.

 

“Hey? There’s no stopping our train Baby. This is just a bit of a divergence of lines. That’s all. I’m still with you. And if my drunken stupidity hasn’t managed to piss you off too much? You’re still with me too. That’s all the matters right now Baby. You and me. And if you are comfortable with my being as affectionate towards you as I normally am? I’ll trust you to tell me if you aren’t alright with something? Alright?” She smiled sheepishly and nodded.

“Thank you. That’s what I want.” He nodded in return and smiled softly again.

 

“I like you, Stark.”

“I like you too, Lannister.”

Chapter Text

She hated that her initial reaction was to freeze up. She hated that he felt her do so. She hated that he had to, and yet loved, that he reacted immediately to calm her, whispering softly against her lips that it was him, and that she was alright, WITHOUT stopping his affections and drawing attention to her knee jerk reaction. He had promised to make it up to her, that he had yet to kiss her ‘properly’. He had even said that he would do so in front of everyone, and that he would be dramatic about it. And she kind of loved that he did, even if it was mildly embarrassing that he would put a pin in his excitement over his sister in laws adorable little baby bump, allowing only one quick, squeezing hug, before he stepped up before her and actually dipped her in his arms to lay a loud, smacking, passionate kiss to her lips, only to turn the tables completely because of her panic, making it an affectionate and infinitely loving greeting by righting them again and whispering to her as he held her to himself, and peppered soft kisses against her lips. He was utterly ridiculous. And she more than liked that he was, because it was for her.

 

“Am I forgiven for neglecting to kiss my girlfriend properly now?” She huffed an embarrassed laugh and cupped his incredible jaw with her good hand, and pulled him in to press one last hard kiss to his stupidly perfect mouth, before pushing him off and away a bit. “You are ridiculous... But yes. You are forgiven.” She blushed heavily and scrunched her face up at the sounds of bitten off laughs and throats being cleared behind her. “Good. Now I just have to work on that whole - getting drunk and passing out like an asshole bit hmm? Did YOU know I apparently was still drunk enough to have missed that my sister is rather obviously pregnant?” She snorted a laugh at his dramatics and shook her head. Of course he would slip some joke in there to take away from the fact that apparently he was not willing to accept that she did NOT mind that he had gotten drunk with her Dad rather than coming to bed and worrying himself silly all night. If anything? It had been preferable to her, because she didn’t have to weather any guilt over his having a kinked neck from sleeping on a chair rather than beside her, or something equally as stupid! Nor did she have to feel guilty that he was still so completely focused on what had happened. Clearly he did care though. So she would let him have that, never mind that she found it unnecessary.

 

“I did notice that, yes.” His excitement was shown clearly with his waggling eyebrows, and his need to pull her back into his arms again as he turned them to look at the family members all gathered around the kitchen island together. “Mmm. It should have registered when you called me UNCLE JAIME I suppose! And I’ve decided to let it slide that my brother did NOT tell me! But rather left it for me to find out in my own. He’s lucky that I’m too happy about it to care hmm?” She pulled a face at the exasperated looking man seated at the counter and rolled her eyes. “As you should. Clearly Tyrion and Shae wanted to enjoy their news together for a time, before sharing with their family.”

“Again with the logic interrupting my dramatics! Ugh! Just for that? I’ve decided that my NIECE really does have to be a teeny, tiny replica of her beautiful Mama! Because she’s my favourite right now.” Sansa grinned at the snort Shae let out. And at the way he sulkily dropped his chin to rest of her shoulder.

 

“Mmm. Until your Father arrives and hands you the gift wrapped, severed hands that thought themselves allowed to touch what was not theirs to touch! And then he will be the favourite for us all. And then once your thirst for blood is slaked enough, that beautiful woman you are pawing at like a fool in love, will once more be your favourite. As she should be, no?”

“Oh! I LIKE YOU! Sansa? I like her.”

 

Of course her sister would like someone who spoke so casually about such things! Personally, she was just grateful that THAT was clearly what the little wildling had focused on, instead of what she had called her lover! “Ordinarily, I would not find the idea of SEVERED HANDS at all appealing Shae! But in this case? I’ll make an exception! And of course YOU would appreciate such a thing you evil little gremlin!” She was also grateful that her boyfriend had weighed in with a dark joke of his own, to fully dismiss it! And for the laughter his words had received also, meaning that everyone else had allowed the distraction from it! They HAD only been together a week, and regardless of what they had weathered, and the feelings that were bubbling between them? They did NOT need to give voice to WHAT those feelings were, just yet. Even if she suspected that that was exactly what she was beginning to feel for him. Even if she suspected that she might have been feeling exactly that, right from that first kiss he had stolen. It was too soon to speak to it.

 

The knock at the door was enough to draw all of their attention back to the matters at hand, or rather, away from their amusement. “Speak if the boogeyman and he shall appear. Ty? Can you let Father in please?” She swallowed hard and gave the short man a quick, not very convincing smile of encouragement as he slipped off the stool to do as his brother had asked, and cuddled herself back into her lovers arms as they tightened around her just a touch. “Alright Sweetheart?” She swallowed thickly again and nodded. She wasn’t DREADING seeing Tywin again! Far from it. She actually found that she quite enjoyed the mans company - he was an intense person, he was also an interesting one! But she definitely was NOT ready to revisit everything about the evening before, that they were all, sort of, pretending didn’t happen. And now she would have to, because Tywin was coming by, so that they could discuss how best to handle everything. - And it definitely had to be Tywin at the door, because no one else would have made it up to The Penthouse without Jaime being notified, but for he and Tyrion who was already there. “I’m with you, Baby. If there’s anything you don’t want to go over, or think about? You just say the word and we can leave it, alright?”

 

She didn’t hesitate, at his sweet promises, she turned in his arms and wrapped her own around his neck as she pressed herself flush against the safety of his warm, hard body. “I’m really glad that you looked up before sending me away in that bar, Lannister.” He chuckled darkly and nuzzled his face into her hair, and gripped her tight in those incredible arms. “Mmm. Me too Stark! Even if there was only HALF as much crazy in each of our lives before that!” She sighed sadly into his neck and held just a touch tighter herself. “I’m sorry I’ve brought so much drama into your life. Why can’t we just run away again?” He scoffed lightly and nudged at her head until she took the hint and pulled back enough so that he could rest his forehead against hers. “Yes. Because there was absolutely no crazy person induced drama in my life before you up and parked that sexy little ass next to me in that bar! BUT! If you want? We can run away. Say the word Little Wolf, and I’ll book us flights. Sweden right? I have to actually object to that, by the way! Can’t we go somewhere where I can comfortably walk around naked all the time?” She giggled softly at his cocky grin and shook her head.

 

“Sweden... AND! You CAN walk around naked there if you want?”

“Cold weather is NOT very flattering for a mans naked body Stark. I thought you said you liked my balls where they are!”

“So we will stay in, by the fire, when you want to get naked? How’s that?”

“That’s far LESS nakedness than I was hoping for... BUT! I’m good with it if you can be naked too?”

“As amusing as this is to witness? Cut it out! You pair are even making the pregnant chick blush! And I’m fairly sure that you have scarred Dad for life!”

 

 

——————

 

 

Sansas mortification over her sisters words, and the fact that she and Jaime had apparently forgotten all about there being others in the room, and within hearing distance of them, when they spoke as they did! Was thankfully, short lived. Not that Jaime had been embarrassed at all! The idiot had found it hilarious, that her Father, and BOTH of their sisters had heard them speak of such things! But it had been put on the back burner for her entirely, as she watched in fascination, as Tywin Lannister - The Great Lion. The Boogeyman of her childhood! Had actually SMILED! And willingly embraced the beaming Shae Lannister, without a word, as his eyes landed on the small protruding belly, that housed the much anticipated baby Lannister! It was a sweet moment. One that shocked everyone, barring only Shae herself. Even Jaime gaped a little, before smiling happily and tucking his chin into her neck and shoulder, where she stood with her back to his chest, in his arms once more. In that moment, Tywin Lannister was just a man. A proud Father, and an pleased Grandfather. And she didn’t even think her Father could see him as anything else, or even continue to hate him - at least in that moment.

 

“Well now! THIS is certainly the proverbial ‘light’ at the end of the dark tunnel, isn’t it! Congratulations My Dear! I’ll allow a pass over my not being informed before this - in light of it being a reality, after all of the heartache it took to get to this point hmm?” She grinned happily and patted her mans good hand, as he  unconsciously laced his fingers into her own, around her cast, where it rested against her ribs. “Thank you. I won’t apologise for not having told you before this. It was our hope that we ensure that it would become a definite thing first, before we got anyone else’s hopes up.” Tywin patted the woman’s arms in an almost awkwardly affectionate manner and turned to his younger son with a cocky, arrogant and VERY Jaime like look. “An acceptable reason. Congratulations son. Welcome to Fatherhood.” Tyrion flushed slightly and smiled in bashful disbelief before clearing his throat, clearly uncomfortable. “Ahh. Thank you, Father. But I’m not technically a Father YET.”

 

The older man scoffed dismissively and waved a hand as he stepped around and into the kitchen proper to flick the coffee maker on, and search out a cup. - A curiously domestic act, for a man whom she assumed would expect to be waited on? “Don’t be asinine Tyrion. You became a Father the moment your wife conceived and that child took, inside of her. Wouldn’t you agree Stark?” She grinned at her Father as he blinked slightly over being dragged into, what was most definitely, a family discussion. “Aye. He’s right Lad. It ain’t the birth of a baby that makes a man a Father.” Her friend blushed even more and nodded his thanks to her Father, and his own, but held his tongue. Which for Tyrion, was quite the feat. So it was rather obvious that he was touched by the things said.

 

“Now! Sansa? How is your wrist? Jaime! For the Gods sake! You are NOT in Flea Bottom! Unhand that girl!” She snorted a laugh and blushed, while Jaime scoffed indignantly and straightened, WITHOUT letting her go at all! Even going so far as to hold her a little tighter, as his arms flexed deliciously - possessively! Around her. “No! We are not in Flea Bottom! Mores the pity! BUT we are in MY HOME! I’ll hug my girlfriend if I damned well want! And I WANT.” She rolled her eyes at his childish antics and bit down on a laugh as the mans Father ALMOST did the same, but settled for an exasperated sigh and a head shake instead. “My wrist is fine Tywin. Thank you for asking. Can I trust that you slept well?” The man hummed quietly and finished making his coffee, efficiently. Stirring the hot brew quickly and placing the spoon in the sink after rinsing it. She found it curious that he would drink coffee. She didn’t really know WHY - just that it seemed unusual for a man such as Tywin Lannister to partake in something so NORMAL. “I did not sleep. But I did have a productive evening all the same. Which was of superior import, My Dear. I do hope that YOU slept well, however?” She nodded deftly and gave a small, albeit confused smile. Surely he didn’t mean that he stayed awake all night to ‘DEAL’ with things?

 

“Productive in that Sansas presence at the police station is no longer necessary, Father?” She blinked in surprise and almost shuddered at the way Tyrion nonchalantly implied SOMETHING that she wasn’t terribly sure she wanted to think too much on. “Not quite. Though I’ll thank you to not imply that I am some sort of... MOB BOSS or something equally as tasteless Tyrion. She WILL need to submit a formal report, as Clegane asked of her last evening. But I can and WILL happily inform you all that Giles Rosby WILLINGLY turned himself in before daybreak... If he did so with a few broken ribs, and an unrecognisable face? I would know nothing about it. IF her Father or my son, wishes to be beside her when she IDENTIFIES him as her attacker, and they wish to... Get a closer LOOK at the potential bruising he MAY now sport? I would know nothing of ensuring that they can do so.” Her eyes nearly fell out of her head at the wicked and satisfied gleam in the mans moss coloured eyes. And at the disbelieving laugh that both her Father and sister let out. - At the almost pleasured hum that rumbled in the chest pressed against her back, and the matching smile that she just KNEW he was wearing on his stupid, handsome face. It shouldn’t surprise her at all! She KNEW what the man was capable of. And she KNEW that he was not a man to insult, especially when it came to thinking to harm his family in anyway. What surprised her was the lengths he had apparently gone to for her! Sure! She was Jaime’s girlfriend - but she had only been his girlfriend for A WEEK! But apparently that didn’t matter at all. Apparently she was under the protection of The Great Lion now too.

 

“Ahh! That is news and ‘potential news’ that I, for one, am happy to receive. His turning himself in, saves the worry of awaiting his arrest. But THAT is NOT what had you awake all night Father. And in light of your letting my failure to inform you of my impending parenthood, go - I will NOT point out that THAT is very MOB BOSS like news to give.” The man hummed quietly in affirmation of his younger sons words, and sipped at the coffee in his long fingers, apparently willing to allow the ‘Mob Boss’ dig go unanswered too, which was rather curious to her mind! And rather terrifying, in truth!

 

“It was a PART of it. But you are correct. It is not ALL that had me awake. Some of what I worked through is not up for discussion, BECAUSE it is of little consequence, to the current circumstances, not because there is even a lick of merit to your ridiculous assumptions upon my character!” The severe look delivered with those words, was enough to make even the strongest of people shudder, but Tyrion only grinned in outright amusement over it. Apparently the man was NOT so willing to let it slide after all! Apparently his son also did not care! Which was rather amusing!

 

“I do, however, have information regarding that text, including details on the procurement of that photograph. I have also ensured that as many ‘NEWS SOURCES’ as can be contacted directly in the city itself, have been advised AGAINST releasing such disgusting and defamatory words, and word on that will continue to spread. I also advised that any and all words speculating upon last nights events were to be kept respectful and in line with what can be PROVEN. Lest they earn my ire. Unfortunately, I can not silence EVERYTHING in relation to what occurred, as it did take place in public. As a result, I HAVE advised that I will make a public statement pertaining to it, and Stark? I would ask that you willingly do the same.” Her Father nodded deftly, not even needing a moment to think in it.

 

“If we appear united, more obviously, in Sansas defence? And ONLY in relation to the assault? We may have some hope of containing the situation enough that our people can get to the bottom of both threats. The public do not need to be made privy to the attempt at blackmail. Nor the fact that there are those who would seek to create issues between Jaime and Sansa, to maintain the ‘FEUD’ between our families.”

“Aye. I can agree to that Lannister.”

“Good. Firstly, however? I would speak with my sons privately. Unless you need Jaime’s continued presence Sansa? In which case it can wait until you venture to the police station. I have men both outside the door and downstairs, who will be available to any and all of you who need to head out. You may rest assured that these are men who have been heavily vetted and work directly under Jaime’s command. So you may TRUST, that they are no threat to any of you. And while I think of it - Tyrion? Might I advise that you take a page from our lovely She wolfs book, and make some sort of informal announcement of sorts online? It seems to function well as a means of STEERING public image for her? I believe it would be appropriate that we utilise it for the current circumstances also?”

 

She didn’t know what to do, or say, or think. She had never thought to hear the man speak so much at all. Let alone in one single setting, or in a single speech either! Yet there she was, agape, struggling to process all that he had said, apparently missing all that was replied also, as her chuckling lover handed her a phone open, with images of them all standing around ‘chatting’, she and Jaime cuddling, and a selfie of both Tyrion and Arya with faux shocked faces. She smiled in confusion up at her boyfriend, only to find him grinning wickedly and nodding at her to go ahead and read the caption.

 

 

‘MEETING’ (renewing the acquaintance with?) the new in laws - some of them at least! Has resulted in an unholy alliance of APEX PREDATORS! Isn’t it funny - what LOVE can invite? #asmalllannisterandasmallstarkwitnesshistoryinthemaking #toloveandprotectthatswhatfamilyisfor #therearewolvesinthelionsden #itallstartedbecausealannisterandastarkwalkedintoabar

 

She wanted to cry, and she wanted to laugh too. If for no other reason, than the fact that Tyrion Lannister, her once dearest and only real friend, was very much, back in her life. And with him, came so very much more. Including the protective presence of quite possibly, the scariest man in the world. Including the presence of a new and hopefully, wonderful female friend, in the form of his seemingly lovely, wife. Including the man she LOVED. Even if she wasn’t willing to admit it yet. Never mind that she only had her friend back BECAUSE of the man she refused to admit that she had fallen for! Still. After everything, DESPITE everything! She was happy to have them in her life.

Chapter Text

He didn’t want to part from her, at all! Let alone so that she might venture to the police station without his being at her side. Truthfully? Just the idea of it, had caused a heavy pain to manifest just below his sternum. But she had said that she wanted her Dad with her for it. And much as it hurt his pride a little, he understood that she had only told him that because she knew HIS Father wanted to speak to him and his brother privately too. Not that she didn’t want Ned with her - he knew she would want him there. But the minute shuddering and the way her eyes flicked as he saw her down to the lobby, the way she clung to his hand, and then held tight as he hugged her goodbye and pressed a desperate kiss to her forehead, that she pushed herself hard into? Told him that she really was only implying that he not join her, because of what his Father had asked.

 

It served to relieve a little of the fear that had burrowed under his skin, at the idea that she didn’t NEED him. It also served to irritate him. Ordinarily he might have put his foot down, and just told her he was going with her. Except that it had been her choice to have Ned take her on his own, and she had had enough of people taking her choices from her, without him doing so. So he had bit down on the desire to do that, and he had made sure she understood that he was only a phone call or a text away if she needed him, and that he would be waiting right there, when she was done with her report. And he had waved her off, barking orders at the security his Father had brought along for their use, to keep the stinking vultures with cameras off of her, until she was safely in the car waiting for her, with her Father at her side. And then he returned to his apartment, to meet with his Father and Brother.

 

Shae had decided that whilst she was feeling well enough, she would accompany Arya to the airport, to pick up Jon, and then to Sansas apartment, and the market and Ned’s hotel too, to collect up anything they might need, because apparently it had been decided that they would hole up and await the media shit storm and whatever else, from the safety of his penthouse. He didn’t actually remember offering such a thing? And he was more than ready to be back home in Sansas little studio in Flea Bottom, just the two of them! Plus he was fairly sure that Ned at least, HAD had plans to head out for The Riverlands, which now looked like being on the back burner. And now he would have his IN LAWS effectively living with him for an undisclosed amount of time! Hopefully that implied DAYS not anything more! At least he knew that his overnight guests did not include the lions too! Tyrion and Shae would go home, not that he would mind their company necessarily! But they had just gotten home, he could well imagine their desire to be in their OWN home! And his Father was only there to give orders and make plans and apparently fuss over his girlfriend and his brothers pregnant wife. But for the moment? Shaes decision to tag along with the littlest Stark, and Sansas to have only her Father join her at the police station, meant that his Father would get what he wanted, in having privacy to speak with he and Tyrion. So it wasn’t any great surprise that he seemed to favour the two of them either.

 

“She made it to the car without incident? I half expected you to decide you were going with her?” He snorted rudely, over his brothers interruption into his thoughts, as he strolled through the doorway of his own office, where his Father had decided to hold court. His brother knew him well - unsurprisingly! “As incident free as having to push through the vermin ever is! And I would have, if she had ASKED. Much as I could feel that she wanted me too? She’s as stubborn as a bloody ox, and she knew Father wanted to talk to us... So she refused to ask.” He groaned as he lowered himself down into the seat IN FRONT of his own damned desk, because his Father was standing behind it, looking out the window, clearly having commandeered the space as his own. “Mmm. It was bad enough when Shae and Arya headed out! And they weren’t NECESSARILY the point of interest. Although they were of enough interest in an adjacent manner I suppose? Here’s hoping that Shaes coat hides my child somewhat! The last thing she needs is the swarms of assholes that discovering THAT will cause! Anyway! If you knew she wanted you but was being stubborn? Why didn’t you just go anyway?” He sighed heavily and closed his eyes and he slouched, and lazed into the seat like a sleepy cat. “Because she has had enough people in her life, making decisions for her. I need to be the one to respect her right to make her own decisions. Even if I KNOW it’s not really what she wants.”

 

He didn’t need to look, to know that his brother had that ridiculous, SMUG grin on his face that just screamed ‘I told you so’. He wasn’t in the mood for it. YES! His brother DID tell him so. But he was tired and still a bit hungover, and all of the emotions that he had managed to suppress with the excess of very expensive liquor were creeping back over him, and meeting up with those that made themselves known when he farewelled his girlfriend. Plus! He had heard far too many references to his being IN LOVE with his girl, as it was - without adding yet another! So HEARING an ‘I told you so’ was not something he wanted to do. Thankfully, he was not forced to endure it either, thanks to his Fathers need to TALK to them.

 

“Which was the correct decision to make Jaime. Sansa is far stronger than I believe anyone gives her credit for. NOW! I wished to speak with the two of you, without the added ears that did NOT need to be made privy to familial matters. I have news to impart, of your sister and your NEPHEW.” His head popped up without his permission. More so than the words, his Fathers disgusted tone, caught his attention fully. “What did they do now?” He straightened, using the movement to bite down on his desire to laugh darkly at his brothers tired and very uncaring words. Not that he doubted Tyrions disgust and dislike of the pair of them? But it was nice to not be alone in his complete and utter loathing for the two people who shared his blood, that he wished did not. His Father sighed heavily and turned to face them, maintaining his rigid posture, and holding his hands clasped behind his back, apparently deciding against sitting. “Joffrey has been admitted to a high end, and most notably - DISCREET, psychiatric hospital, under an alias. He will not be released. Not in the near future, if ever. For him to be afforded yet another chance? He will need to prove himself... SANE. To a plethora of the nations best doctors as well as both Robert and myself. His chances are rather less than slim after what I have come to learn of his... Interests.”

 

Jaime gaped. Shock wasn’t exactly an adequate way to describe what he was forced to feel at that news. Quite frankly? He didn’t know how to begin to process the combination of relief and dark amusement, and surprise and slight trepidation at what his sister might do in retaliation... Not to mention the pleasure he felt at knowing that the little bastard was finally being held accountable for his sick actions. “Cersei will not like that Father.” - And from his brothers wavering tone? He knew full well, that he was battling with those same confusing thoughts. “No. She did not. But she is also not in a position to defend that vile creatures actions, when her own are beyond unacceptable. Which brings me around to her. Cersei - after learning of mine and Roberts agreement that such a step was necessary, lost her damned mind.” Jaime snorted rudely. His sister wasn’t the sanest person anyway. Her losing ‘her damned mind’ was not exactly something new, and he conveyed his thoughts on that with no more than a sardonic look, and a cocked brow, aimed at his Fathers exasperated and rather AGED looking face.

 

“We took advantage of her having a SPA DAY - which she was actually GUARDED for mind you! And had Joffrey committed without her being there to interfere. I had intentions of being there this morning to deal with any fall out from her, personally. However? With the events of the evening? Both HERE and in Storms End? My presence was better spent here.” He held his tongue. He wanted details, but he knew well his Father would only impart what he felt necessary for them to know, and he would be better served awaiting his sharing rather than pushing for details. After the miscommunication over Tyrions ‘banishment’ he was willing to admit that he didn’t KNOW what went on in his Fathers head, and he needed to learn to LISTEN better, to what he didn’t say. “She has been checked into a rehabilitation facility - AGAIN? A high end, and discreet facility. I may not have been able to CONTAIN news breaking here, over our own experiences last evening? But I did ensure that word would not break over THAT. But - and I am ONLY sharing THIS information, so that there is NO MISCOMMUNICATION between the three of us, and thus no ANIMOSITY allowed to fester?” He smiled almost sheepishly at the pointed look, and ducked his head somewhat, so as to avoid his brothers confused, questioning look. He did NOT want to bring up that awkward debacle if he didn’t have to! As it was, he felt almost like a naughty child, because of it... Which was uncomfortable, to say the least. - He did NOT need his brother laughing over his stilted attempts to apologise, at his bossy little woman’s command!

 

“I spent the evening working with Varys to gain some semblance of clarification on what occurred here, after I was informed of all that occurred in my absence at Storms End... Cersei spoke with someone - someone’s, rather, over the phone, whilst she was at the spa. One of those she spoke with... Was in attendance at the restaurant that Sansa was assaulted in... Now Rosby claimed that he wasn’t SENT to hurt her, that it was very much a case of his being drunk and her being in that restaurant when he was. But that he was INVITED to dine there, last moment, by BUSINESS associates.... Business associates who knew all about the fall out with the deals with Stark? I assume you both know Meryn Trant and Boros Blount?” Jaime stood abruptly, his anger, RAGE! Mounting by the moment - with every beat of his racing heart! Not that he could do a thing, meeting with his Father as he was? But the energy that was brought about, was not abating. He was shaking, with the desire to act. Of course he KNEW who those bastards were! They BOTH knew who they were! “HOW did Cersei know you would be in that restaurant? HOW did she get passed those guarding her to organise ANYTHING? HOW could she predict that he would... React so violently towards Sansa, purely at the sight of her? And HOW did she KNOW about all of this?” He swung around and blinked rapidly at his snarling brother. He hadn’t even thought of any of that! Cersei wasn’t smart enough to have made any of those calls or plays. No matter what she thought! She just wasn’t THAT smart - or cunning! Even if she was, most definitely, that cruel.

 

“Precisely what I asked, Tyrion. Sit Jaime. And I will explain.” He snarled and crossed his arms over his aching chest, and refused to budge. He couldn’t SIT! He needed answers... And he needed a target. And his Fathers glaring was NOT GOING to make him calm down enough to do as he was told either. No matter how cold it was! “Baelish. And YES, you may rest assured that I have... SET things in motion to deal with the man. Because not only did he drop hints into your sisters ears, to.... Have such a vile man in the same general vicinity as your girlfriend, Jaime? HE was named as the one who - how did Sansa say that Rosby put it? ‘ Told him, he’d get to have her? ’ -Which is enough, on its own, to ensure he learns a VERY VALUABLE LESSON, I’m sure you’d agree? However? I also believe he is responsible for that texting issue. He is playing both sides of this. The question is WHY? And while I admit that I have not YET gotten my hands on the evidence to PROVE my theories. Of which I am not yet prepared to give voice too entirely? I do believe that HE is the real issue here... What I WILL give you both, is that, I was already looking into the man, because of Roberts gambling debts, that also lead to Cersei’s embezzlement from ME. The silly girl was doing so, to pay off the debts owed to MOCKINGBIRD CREDITORS. Rather than simply ASKING, or using her own trust to deal with it. Now add to that? The information that he was pushing that Rosby deal on Stark? AND the fact that Arya Stark brought concerns over the mans influence over her mother to ME? Also add in the ridiculously overstated ANIMOSITY between our families?And - I assume that you can form your own thoughts on what he MIGHT be about?”

 

Jaime was utterly confused. It made absolutely no sense to his mind, that someone could come up with something so convoluted!

He didn’t even really KNOW this Baelish guy? And yet somehow, the man had deemed it necessary to fuck up his life so very much! For what? Money? Power? It was sheer madness to take on his Father! - which was probably WHY he had tried to do it, by going around the back way, and through his sister, and by using his Stark connection to work his way in there too? It was utter madness. Yet it was clear, that his brother had added up, what he was also thinking, what his Father was implying that he had also, AND that he was accepting of his Fathers summation too, if his energised pacing on the other side of the room was any indication.

 

“So? He somehow got word to Cersei, spoke with her? Encouraged her to what? Make sure that the man who Sansa rejected, was drunk and angry at the same restaurant she was in? That’s quite the gamble, assuming he would ATTACK her? WHY would ATTACKING her be a move they made? It was unnecessary, and cruel? Right up Cersei’s alley, I realise? But all the same? It stands to be of no real gain for Baelish?” Jaime blinked rapidly, at his brothers rapid fire questions - it was pretty obvious that he wasn’t expecting answers, but rather talking to himself. His Father delivered all the same. “He wanted the photo. Best as I can figure it? He let her have something he knew she would want, to do with... What she would, - with the information he delivered, and she was stupid enough to send him that photo. - THAT I can actually prove. Varys tracked her having sent a photo file that matched the details of the one Sansa received. And Jaime? I assume YOU can figure out WHY he wanted that photograph?” He huffed a dark laugh and scrubbed at his face. He was grateful, that his Father wasn’t holding anything back, honestly? He didn’t really understand WHY he was sharing EVERYTHING so openly! But he was not about to complain, at all! He was grateful also. - That his girlfriend was NOT around for this! His girl, and her Father and sister! He hoped that they NEVER had to tell them about it! Wishful thinking, he realised, but still and all? It would crush them. And he now had his fucking target.

 

“Because Catelyn Stark wanted the big bad lion forced away from her daughters skirts. She MAY not have actually had a DIRECT hand in it? But she’s friends with this prick right? She’s complained about mine and Sansas relationship. And about Ned’s obvious support of us... Whether she knows or not? She is, at the very least? Indirectly responsible for both the attempt at blackmail of her own daughter, and the resulting assault she endured.”

 

His Father bowed a single, deft nod, and offered up an understanding look, which was rather confronting, all on its own. And yet again, he was hit with the utter disbelief, that so very much drama and carry on, was resulting from two grown adults deciding to pursue a relationship together. If everyone had simply minded their own fucking business? Maybe had a little bit of a pissy shouting match at them - which was what they HAD expected, and even hoped for that first night? It would have been reasonable! But what they had faced, and would still need to? Was like something out of some second rate, thriller, mobster film or something? Surely people didn’t REALLY act like this, over something so inconsequential to their own lives, as a relationship between two consenting adults. Even as a soldier, witnessing some of the very worst of the worlds evils, he could not comprehend this level of madness! And yet, he did state that wars were started for less, than the attention of a pretty woman. He couldn’t comprehend a MOTHER being so needlessly cruel, in her selfish desires to control her daughters life! And he was raised by fucking Tywin Lannister! AND he had weathered the Mad cruelties of Cersei! But Catelyn Stark was truly, something else entirely!

 

“Who IS THIS GUY? The fucking GODFATHER? Seven hells! I KNOW him! And I’ve suspected him as being as crooked and troublesome as an ancient peasants teeth! But fuck me! This is? It is some serious wannabe MOBSTER type of bullshit! What? He hoped to play Lannister’s against Starks, with the opportunity presenting itself with Sansa and Jaime? After attempting to play BOTH of our families separately? And what about The Baratheons? Are his LITTLEFINGERS in their pies too?”

“I believe they were Tyrion, at least I am assuming so, with his control over Roberts purse strings? But I think we can assume that ended the moment Stannis took over completely. It is my understanding, that Robert has little to no control over BaraCorp now - beyond what the PUBLIC believe, at any rate.”

 

Jaime laughed. It wasn’t a happy sound, it was almost pained actually. Coming directly from the burning, swirling mass of rage settling inside of his belly. “He backed off BaraCorp because Stannis is too much of a danger to his plans. He went after the weak link for all three families - potentially further families that we haven’t been made privy too, even? He went through Robert, Cersei and Catelyn. And with Sansa and I dating? Despite our families... Supposed hate for each other - plus the disconnect with Robert and Ned, following Sansa and Joffrey... And all of THAT drama? He hoped to use US to create dramas, that he could slip in underneath?” He shook his head in utter disbelief. “Do people actually THINK like this? I mean? I have dealt with my fair share of power hungry and evil people? I was Special Forces for crying out loud! It was my JOB to take out evil, power hungry war mongers! But this is? It’s like an intelligent Cersei - on steroids! It’s utter madness!” His Father hummed quietly and turned back towards the window, still maintaining that straight posture, which might have sent a frisson if fear rolling over him, if not for his own outrage and disgust and anger, and thirst for blood.

 

“Indeed. But Petyr Baelish is NOT the Godfather. Nor is he as smart as he would like the world to believe him. Because what he failed to take note of? Was the eyes locked on him, whilst he plays his little games. He failed to understand that a lion will only take poking so many times before he goes in for the kill. And it is NOT just the lion he has been poking at.”

“Seven Hells! This really IS some MOBSTER type shit? I’m sorry I joked about that now Jai!”

 

Jaime paused and scrubbed at his face, over his brothers angry, yet oddly fascinated words. It really was some underworld type of game. That wasn’t really a game at all! And it was making his head hurt, far more than the copious amounts of expensive, hard liquor he had consumed the night before! He and Sansa had only been joking about starting a war by sleeping together that first night too. Yet here they were. Very much on the brink of exactly that. With his Father not only eliminating the threats Inside of their own damned camp? But also setting the battlefield in his favour... Which also, curiously, met the favour of the allies who were supposed to be played against them, as the enemy. - Would have been, if this Baelish scumbags plans had come to fruition. And yet still? He was NOT giving her up. Even less so now, than he might have once upon a time. He just hoped that she would still feel that same way - that she would still choose him, once all was out in the open. Especially after he made his position clear to her crazy bitch of a mother. His Father was NOT going to let him have at Baelish, it was clear that he had set his own sights on the man. But Catelyn Tully Stark? She had hurt his baby far too many times, and he had had enough of.

Chapter Text

“Come on... I’m leading you this way... But if you fucking get caught? I’ll deny that I did. - You got that? You get caught somewhere you shouldn’t be? You are on your own. My advice? Play dumb. Everyone will know why you are where you shouldn’t be... But fucking deny it anyway... And for fucks sake? Don’t kill the little cunt! The paperwork will piss me off! Just... He’s already been banged up - more than once, and I agree that the little fucker deserved it? But I can’t have ya making TOO much of a mess! And don’t you worry about the Little Bird. She’s safe as houses in this building. Probably safer than she’s ever been! ‘Specially in this fucking hell hole of a city! I’ll make sure she’s alright. You just be back there on that seat when she’s done. You’ve got an hour at most.”

 

 

Sandor Clegane was a terrifyingly large man. He hadn’t actually registered WHO it was that his daughter was whispering to her boyfriend about after she came up out of that... Episode. Of course? He was hardly focusing on much, but attempting to contain the emotions coursing through him over ALL of it. But one look at the giant, scarred man who welcomed himself through the emergency department of the hospital the night before, without even bothering to acknowledge the nurses with anything more than a flick of his badge. Who awkwardly gripped his daughters cowered and shuddering shoulders, far more gently than a man of that size should be capable of - and he’d remembered. He just hadn’t realised that his daughter knew the man well enough to behave so welcomingly to his presence. But she had. She had almost deflated, her relief had been so great. Before he had arrived, Jaime hadn’t been allowed out of touching distance. Whilst he and Arya and even Tywin bloody Lannister, had been expected to remain where she could see them, else she was asking after their whereabouts until she could see them once more. But somehow, Sandor Clegane, THE HOUND! A man likely as old as he, if not older, and as rough around the edges and grizzled and ANGRY as the harshest of prideful old Northmen, put his daughter at ease. Enough so, that they could all do as they needed to, whilst he spoke with her.

 

The man had served with Jaime in the Special Forces, THE HOUND was the nickname and subsequent CODE NAME, he had earned, as THE KINGSLAYER was Lannisters. Lannister had earned his, after developing a reputation for killing men who were seemingly ‘unkillable’ thanks to their extreme levels of protection, and the mans own reckless nature. While The Hound had earned his for being blindly loyal to those giving his orders - no matter the task, the man delivered, without compunction. And that loyalty had transferred to Tywin Lannister, after he was wrongfully charged with desertion when the IED that killed his entire team and scarred his own face so horribly, exploded, and he disappeared. It was a then, rather young Jaime - and his own team, who searched for and found him, holed up in some refuge built by monks, being treated for his extreme physical injuries, and seemingly suffering from trauma induced amnesia. And it was the Great Lion who helped to fight the claims, and saw him set up with the Kings Landing Police Department, after a lengthy recovery, where he worked as part time security for Robert - which was how Ned actually KNEW the man.

 

It was also where his daughter - all of his children, in fact, had been exposed to the man. But never in his life, could he have predicted that his sweet little Sansa, would be comfortable in the mans presence. How wrong he had been, in thinking little of the great hulking man, who swore like a sailor and glared and snarled at everyone and everything. In thinking that he was too crass of a man to have earned his daughters trust and friendship. In believing that the sole reason that Tywin Lannister had ‘helped’ him, was so that he had a man on the force that would be his to control. - Not that he didn’t STILL believe that that was POSSIBLE, and even PROBABLE. But after all the ways that he had been proven wrong AND dreadfully arrogant and judgemental of those he ASSUMED he knew in recent days? He was almost willing to concede that he could very well, be wrong about that too!

 

Except that the fact, that it was Sandor Clegane who was leading him down into the holding cells, where the man who had attacked his daughter, was being held - told him EXACTLY what type of pull The Great Lion had? Kind of proved that theory too. He was just prepared to let it slide. Which was an exceptionally foreign notion to him! But who was he to judge, when he, himself, would be taking advantage of it?

 

“By The Gods! You weren’t kidding when you said he’d already been ruffed up! Looks like he’s been hit by a truck.” The man beside him grunted and slipped the key into the cell door - the others around it completely devoid of life. It WAS highly illegal, and morally wrong, that he was there. And that was made obvious - by the lack of potential witnesses too. But he couldn’t bring himself to care one bit. The pathetic being before him hurt his little girl in ways that... He HURT her and SCARED her and likely scarred her for life. He had no sympathy and he had NO QUALMS about being less than honourable in that moment. “More like a fucking Mountain.” Ned cocked a brow in question, only to find the bigger man glaring at him, clearly telling him not to bother asking. “Well. Thank you. Clegane. And I don’t just mean for this... I assume that this is NOT the first time you’ve stepped in when My Daughter needed someone to do so.” The man snarled and nodded to the now opened cell door. “I don’t want your fucking thanks. I didn’t do anything for you or any other fucker, but for The Little Bird. Bout time you pulled that ignorant head of yours out of your ass and noticed the girl was hurtin. Just make up for all those times that little cunt beat snot out of her and you weren’t about to sort him out and protect her as ya should have been. - By taking your licks with this one. Just keep me out of it and be back outside her interview room before she comes out.”

 

“You?” He paused, swallowing down the pain that was ripping him apart. Forcing himself to feel it and breathe through it, as he looked to the man who his daughter actually felt safe around. That’s what it was! He made her feel safe. Just as Jaime Lannister did - for different reasons. Yet for the same also. - Just as he fucking should have been doing, for her whole life. It was agony. But it was no less than he deserved. “You protected her... Joffrey beat her? - Did Robert know? Lannister? Any of them?” Sandor Clegane snorted and crossed his giant meaty arms over the barrel that was his chest.

 

“Aye. He beat her, broke her down... Worse probably too... Baratheon was too fucking drunk to know how to take a piss without forgetting why his cock was out and falling in some stray bitches cunt, instead Stark. The stupid prick squandered his vast fortunes in gambling dens and whore houses all over the place, for fucks sake! He’d have had to care about something other than that to notice! Cersei was as fucking bad as that evil little bastard that she raised. In some ways? She was worse! The Little Bird wouldn’t let me or the Little Lion do anything more than pick up her pieces from time to time... Course? What she didn’t know about him getting the odd touch up, didn’t hurt her. And we were fucking stupid to have listened to her. But I’ll tell ya now? Had the old man known the extent of it BEFOREHAND? It wouldn’t have happened. He’d claim it was ALL because he wouldn’t allow the mark against his reputation, but he wouldn’t have let him get away with flogging an innocent girl either. Case in point. The same MOUNTAIN that was dropped on this bastard here, dropped an impenetrable wall of concrete around that little bastard in recent days... AFTER he discovered the TRUE extent of things. Make of that what you want. But don’t you dare fucking try your high handed ‘honourable’ bullshit with me. You weren’t there when ya should have been! She asked for help at one point! Wanted to go home and she wasn’t allowed to. You make up for that fuck up, here and now.”

 

“I don’t know... I didn’t know any of this... Not until this week... I should have - Its no excuse and I won’t be making any of those, for my actions... And I won’t pass blame for anything on anyone else’s shoulders. In truth? You should have come to me... But I should have called after my wife claimed she was ‘just homesick’ and would get passed it if we let her be. So I WILL thank you, for what you DID do. For making up for some of my own failings... I... She told you she wanted to go home?” Sandor Clegane sighed heavily and shook his head almost sadly - as sadly as a man such as he knew how, at any rate. “Aye... I told her I’d take her home - or wherever she wanted to go, and that girl? Stupid chit that she was! Was more worried about my fucking reputation than anything. She said she wouldn’t run the risk of it being said that I had kidnapped her. Suppose she was right! Running off with a minor wouldn’t have looked good for a cop. But I shouldn’t have fucking listened either.” The big man deflated slightly and shook his head, clearly pained by his lack of action. Clearly hurting every bit as much as he was at learning all of what the man was dropping on him. “Doesn’t fucking matter now does it! Girls got that Golden fucker wrapped so tight that nothing and no one, will be allowed to touch her ever again. Proof of that is right there. He’ll be made a big fucking example, Stark. Ain’t no one in this world who will lay hands on her when The Great Lion is done. And just between us? Jaime is more his son than anyone has ever realised. Difference is? He’d have blown holes in this here fuckers knees and shoulders right there, for the whole world to watch him do it, then he’d have sat back with a smile and watched him die slow, and in agony. The old man isn’t as obvious. THAT is what makes him so much more dangerous. He’ll follow the letter of the law - as far as the public will know it.”

 

 

———————

 

 

He sat inside that cell for a solid ten minutes, after the gruff giant stomped out muttering at him - cursing him for a stupid fucking fool... He just sat, glaring at the silent and obviously terrified form of Giles Rosby, who was not only cowering from him, but also awkwardly propping himself up, to account for the agony caused by his numerous injuries. The bastard looked how Ned felt. Crippled. Beaten down. BROKEN. He didn’t care about him. He DID! But he wasn’t his only concern either. He was simply - an easy target, and OUTLET, for his self hatred, and his rage. A surrogate, that would take the brunt of what he felt towards far more people than just himself.

 

“I’m a dead man anyway. You might as well have at it.” Ned didn’t react to the rasping words. The coward before him was trying desperately to appear strong, maybe even intimidating... He didn’t like being forced to see himself for what he was. “Why would I risk my freedom to kill a dead man? I’ve only got the rest of my life to make amends with my daughter - she won’t appreciate carrying the weight of your life on her shoulders. And she would do that... Blame herself for me killing you. I would just be letting her down again - to make myself feel better.” His words were barely above a whisper. Bellying rather clearly, just how angry he was - and hiding it from the man across from him - who did not know him at all, let alone well enough to know that he was far more dangerous, the quieter he was. His Sansa would have known it, were she there. His little Lady knew him so well. And he hated that he couldn’t say the same for himself. “Better you, than HIM. And he WILL have me killed, likely soon. He just doesn’t know that I’ve already talked. Doesn’t matter. I was either dead to keep me quiet, or I was dead for talking. I know that NOW.”

 

“Petyr Baelish.” He swallowed harshly, his heart thumping HARD and FAST. His blood flooding with ice, as the man nodded and winced at the motion of having done so. OF COURSE he had meant Petyr Baelish! He knew he hated that man. He knew he was the worst kind of scumbag. But he didn’t know to what extreme until now. He hated him, always had! He was his wife’s FRIEND! A friend that he had, at times, felt a certain amount of jealousy over. It was why he hadn’t ever put his foot down over her interactions with the man. Part of him was jealous and another part of him, was making it up to his wife, that he felt that way, by putting no real stock into his dislike and distrust. Instead blaming it on that irrational jealousy. And that was yet another mistake that he would have to carry forevermore. - Of course? Rosby COULD have been talking about his supposed new ‘in laws’ when he spoke of being a dead man walking too. That ‘HE’ could have been any and all of them. Jaime. Tyrion. Tywin. But he KNEW in his bones, that he meant his wife’s childhood friend, and confidante. Which brought him around to the next part he needed answers for. Answers that he had NO DOUBT, that The Great Lion already had. Not that he expected him to share them - the man had no cause to trust that he might BELIEVE him, even if he DID share.

 

“Baelish organised that deal between your Father and I, to settle your debts to him?” The man nodded again, and groaned pathetically, pitiably. He hardly cared. It was like music to his ears, after what the man had put his little girl through. As terrifying as that was to think! “He told me if I seduced her... That I’d have the opportunity to... And that she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever know... That it’d be easy, and that it’d mean that I’d be able to maintain my lifestyle. And that I would get to have SOME say in what happened to My Fathers company, if I married her... After I signed the majority of it over to him, to pay my debt... Didn’t think about how he made it seem like he had some sort of control of Stark though. After I met her - and then YOU? I knew he didn’t have the pull he claimed. And I was angry. That deal was supposed to set me up comfortably. Instead? She shacks up with that dirty old crippled bastard, and talks you out of the deal, and I lost everything.” He snarled harshly, and relished the fear that such a noise encouraged. The way the man folded in on himself somewhat.

 

He was too far gone, into his emotions to feel anything but numbness. He felt almost like he was outside of himself, watching, not in control of his own reactions - not actually THERE necessarily. It was a strange feeling. One that scared even him. “You lost everything because you’re a selfish fool. A selfish, morally bankrupt, coward. One who knows nothing about taking responsibility for his own actions and failings. You’re an embarrassment to your Father - because the only thing that makes him anything less than a decent man - is the fact that he raised a son who thinks he can touch and take and hurt whatever he wants. And you won’t speak about my daughter or her boyfriend again, beyond your reports and trial and such - else I may just rethink my stance on killing you.”

 

He waited quietly, honed and ready to react. But the man did nothing more than flop his head in defeat. Which only served to make him even more pathetic. He wanted - NEEDED him to speak out - lash out. No matter how desperate he was for blood - he couldn’t justify whipping an already beat dog. More than anything, he wanted to beat him senseless, rip his throat out with his teeth maybe? He WANTED to HURT him. But he looked like he would simply accept the pain - though he’d likely cry and snivel - he doubted very much, that he’d fight back in anyway. And no matter how much he might deserve it? Ned Stark was lost - but NOT so lost, that he would physically beat a broken man. No matter how much he had earned it. He had already HAD beatings - no more than he deserved of course! But all the same. He would be no better than the man before him, were he to take to him physically, when he was so much weaker than he. Not without a verbal cue to PUSH him over the precipice that he was currently teetering upon.

 

“But I won’t be killing you. Nor will the man you fear. Because you FEAR the wrong man, and killing you is easy. You deserve it - for what you did to my daughter. And it’d be easy enough to do. But it’s too easy. So let me tell you what you CAN expect hmm? Your Fathers company? That’ll be MINE by the end of the next week. I’ll take care of him... But it’ll be on your shoulders that his legacy is ripped out, absorbed into my own - your names wiped from the board. Petyr Baelish? I’ve no doubt that he’s finally bitten off far more than he can chew... He’ll be lucky if he escapes with his life, after pissing off the people he has. But you? You will feel the sting of putting hands on MY DAUGHTER. On the GIRLFRIEND of JAIME LANNISTER! Every single day of your time in prison. You’re scared for your life right now? You’re afraid you’re going to be killed. You won’t die. You’ll live. A long and agonising life. That’s what you should fear right now - LIVING. You’ll know the pain that you forced her to RELIVE the moment you put hands on her when you had no right to do so.”

“And here I thought YOU were supposed to be some sort of SAINT. Some moral pillar of society. You are NO better than the terrible person you think me.”

“I’m a man before I’m anything else. A man, and a Father. And I’m as much a wolf as any other Stark in history, Lad. Being the QUIET one don’t make me MORALLY BETTER than any other. It just makes me all the more dangerous when I’m forced to act. You’ll learn that. And soon enough, so will that scumbag who thought to speak for MY FAMILY.”

“And what about your WIFE hmm? She may not have been privy to the details? But she was MORE THAN ready to sell your PRECIOUS DAUGHTER to me for a PITTANCE!”

“Thank you.”

“For what? Pointing out that your family is just as broken as screwed up as my own?”

“For giving me a reason - beyond what I already had.”

 

 

——————

 

 

As promised, he was seated outside of the interview room that his daughter occupied, by the time she came out. He had even had the time - AND CONTROL, to make a phone call to the head of his legal team, before she surfaced in the doorway, looking for all the worlds, like his tiny, heartbroken girl. He didn’t deserve for her too look at him for safety. Not after what he had LET her go through, in his ignorance. But he was willing and determined to EARN that trusting and almost relieved look in her eyes, when they landed on him, all over again - every damned day, if he had to. Enough so, that when she blinked at his busted and bruised and bloody knuckles, curiously? He didn’t HIDE them from her. He could and would, ensure she knew every detail, if it was her desire to know it. One thing he had learned, was that honesty and TRUST were important in earning trust. But she didn’t ask, she just shook her head lightly and almost smiled at him, as he offered his arm, as he ALWAYS did, and pressed a rough kiss to her soft hair, as he led her out of the police station, and back to the man with whom she belonged.

Chapter Text

 

Sansa liked watching Jaime sleep. The Gods knew he was a handsome man. He had always been so, and he knew it too. He likely even realised that she found him even more handsome now, than he had been, when she SORT OF knew him, years ago. The Gods also knew that he was an arrogant enough shit, without KNOWING just how much she enjoyed it when she could just LOOK at him - watch him so at ease and even vulnerable. Because that was the thing with Jaime, for all that cocky, self assured arrogance? He ALLOWED her to see him vulnerable. Not just in sleep either. Which only seemed to add to just how attractive she found him to be. Just as his ability to read her own vulnerabilities so easily, and react to them exactly as she needed him to, almost effortlessly, added to how attractive she found him to be.

 

What that said about their feelings for each other? Was fairly obvious. At least in her mind. She had suspected it for some time - never mind their exceptionally short time together! She even suspected that he MIGHT be feeling SIMILARLY - though likely not CONSCIOUSLY. She did NOT want to speak for him - even in her head. And MAYBE the opinions of others were skewing her interpretation of his feelings a bit too? But she couldn’t lie to herself anymore. She was falling in love with him. And she hoped to the Gods that he felt it too! All of the drama and HELLS they had been through, the damned war zone they had created? It would be worth it. Her decision to not forgive her Mother - her determination, though unvoiced, that she would never forgive her Mother? Would be worth it. Maybe even the attack on her person, would be worth it - at least to punctuate certain aspects of their lives together. If it meant she could have the sort of love that could make or break dynasties. And if anything? Their first - CRAZY week together, kind of hinted at exactly that.

 

Her sister had said that he loved her. And Shae had implied it too. As had her Dad. Just that afternoon, on their oddly companionable but quiet, return trip from the police station. She had heard it three times, from three different people, with no previous knowledge of the others having said the same, in one day. But by far, her Fathers acknowledgement of it, was the most extraordinary. But then he HAD somehow gained two fists full of bloody, bruised knuckles whilst she made her report too? So his quiet happiness, at being beside her - despite that - was odd enough. He had SMILED softly, so achingly happy and even - dare she think it? PROUDLY, when he made comment on how happy it made him, that she was loved and cherished as she deserved. She hadn’t been able to speak to him further - about that, or anything else either, not even those busted knuckles! Because by the time she processed what he had said enough, to lift her head from his solid arm, where she had laid it as they walked into Jaime’s building? They were entering the penthouse proper. Where the presence of the strangest, most wonderful, combined family, where making themselves all at home together. And all for her. And for Jaime too.

 

Because she was hurt? Tyrion Lannister and his sweet, yet scary wife, had dropped everything and raced home from MEEREEN! Arya had been there already? But her Father had advised her on their way TO the police station, that neither of them were going anywhere until she was ready for them to do so! Tywin had cancelled his weekend away to throw his not insubstantial weight around, to DEAL with the fact that she had been hurt, and that it had been in public too. And Jon had dropped everything to be there too. And it all meant SO VERY MUCH to her. More than she would ever be able to say.

 

Jaime had seemed slightly harried, by the occupancy of his penthouse - he had even grumbled about how he’d prefer it, if they were in a spot where they could SAFELY ‘go home’ to Flea Bottom. But it had partly been to stir his Father up - she was sure of it. And partly? She suspected, was because he was overwhelmed, while not necessarily UNWELCOMING towards their strange collection of family. He had also seemed to be barely in control. Just as she was. So it had been a relief, that for the most part? They weren’t expected to rehash things again and again, and make plans on top of that. Her Father and Tywin had stepped aside and spoken, though she was only assuming that it was about what had transpired and what they intended to do about it. And Jaime HAD laughed happily and smiled like a Gods damned lion when he asked if her Dad had at least ‘left something for him to break too’ - when spotted his knuckles. - Which implied things that she could not stomach thinking on, at all! But otherwise? They had simply.... Enjoyed each other’s company for the afternoon and dined together, almost like a normal family might. And it had relaxed the both of them almost entirely.

 

It had been so normal in fact, that after Tywin and Tyrion and Shae had all made their farewells and headed out, her Father had disappeared to first shower, and then call her Gramps, wishing her a good night before he headed off down the hall, with an almost sad kiss to the top of her head. And her brother and sister had seemingly taken their own cues from that, heading off down to the room Arya had claimed for herself, to call the rest of the boys together too. Effectively leaving she and Jaime alone. Which was nice. Yet also, weird enough to have her skin itching slightly too. Not that she would complain of course! As she had expected and maybe blindly HOPED! Jon had simply accepted things at face value, just as Arya had. He had made nice and even FRIENDLY with Jaime, just as her baby sister had. So much so, that he - like her sister and her Dad, had just up and made themselves at home in The Lions Den, and then left her to her own devices, with only her much older - ridiculously dubbed by SOME family members - ‘unacceptable’, boyfriend as company. Not once, implying that she was an idiot for being with Jaime, in any way, shape or form. And it was NICE. Domestic. There was a level of comfortable contentment.

 

Which brought her back to her current circumstances. She couldn’t sleep. Not because of her fears or anxiety over her attack. - Which probably SHOULD be what was disturbing her mind! She couldn’t sleep, because Jaime hadn’t even implied that he wanted her when they went to bed. Which was stupid! It was NICE and DECENT of her boyfriend to respect her enough to not ask, or even HINT at wanting sex after she was, not only physically HURT - but sexually assaulted too. It was SWEET of him to question if she was sure that she didn’t want him to sleep somewhere other than in his own damned bed, beside her! It was frankly incredible and even heart melting, that he might be surprised by her cuddling into him just like she normally would, to sleep. But the fact was, that she missed that teasing, ass of a man, who flirted outrageously, and who would randomly ask, straight out, if she wanted to have sex.

 

She knew full well, that she SHOULD NOT WANT to think about it. But she DID want to. She wanted to KNOW that he still wanted her so much that he rutted at her like a horny teenager. The fact was, that she was actually sore - because it hadn’t been much more than twenty four hours since they had indulged a frankly ludicrous amount of times, in each other’s bodies. It was around twenty four hours since the doctor was noting down that she had had sex with her boyfriend only hours before and exposing her to a rape kit - just to be on the safe side, after she all but blacked out, mid attack! She shouldn’t want sex. She should be basking in the surreal feeling of having a boyfriend who genuinely cared for her wellbeing - and NOT just about getting his end wet. But it was so new, and almost scary, to have someone respect her in that, that she was almost wanting to repay him the only way she knew how, really. Which kind of fed into her need to have him WANT her like that too. Which in turn - was feeding into her insecurities, about whether he STILL wanted her, or if maybe the drama that she had inadvertently brought down on his head, had finally hit his limits.

 

“You okay Baby?” She started slightly, and paused in her unconscious tracing of his defined stomach and chest. He hadn’t opened his eyes at all. She hadn’t noticed his breathing changing, or the ceasing of that adorable little purring snore that he let out when he was asleep. But she’d have noticed his eyes opening, because she couldn’t help herself but to trace his handsome face with her own. “Can’t sleep.” She didn’t want to tell him why. And maybe he wouldn’t make her - he never really made her speak if she didn’t want to? So surely this wouldn’t be any different? “Mmm. Well? I could sing to you? But I am contractually obliged, as your boyfriend, to inform you that I sound a little like I imagine a cow would - if you shoved a tree limb up it’s ass. So I’d horrify you... Probably give you nightmares. BUT the choice is yours? I’ll oblige if you NEED me to do so? Alternatively? You can talk to me? Tell me what’s keeping that magnificent mind from shutting down? Are you scared?” She couldn’t help the startled laugh that fell out over his insane, sleepy offers! He was an idiot! “Well NOW I won’t be sleeping, because I’ll be too concerned for your hypothetical cow!”

 

She smiled playfully as his glorious emerald orbs slid open slowly and blinked at her stupidly, as she propped herself up slightly on his chest. For all the messy emotions and confused thoughts that she had been buried under only moments ago? A single concerned query, posed as a joking statement from him, had her feeling far more at ease, and confident in herself. Just like THAT - she felt better. “The cow is fine, Stark. My concern is for you. What’s going on Sweetheart?” She shrugged childishly and turned her attention to playing with his crinkly chest hair. Distracting herself from his far too knowing eyes. “My heads just a bit messy is all. Nothing to be concerned about.” He scoffed rudely and rubbed his good hand up her side unconsciously - and it was NICE! That unconscious intimacy that he hadn’t ASKED but rather assumed her permission, to give. “You were thinking so loudly that you woke me San? Clearly you aren’t alright. I can FEEL your heart racing in your chest right now, where it’s pressed to my side. You DO NOT have to TALK to me if you don’t want? But can you please let me help? Are you?” He stopped and swallowed hard, drawing her attention back to his eyes. “Are you afraid of falling asleep with me touching you?”

 

She blinked in surprise. That hadn’t even occurred to her, to be an issue! Joffrey or even Harry, would have been terrifying for her to SLEEP beside after... She hadn’t wanted anyone touching her after Joffrey and she were ‘intimate’ - especially not him! But it hadn’t even occurred to her, to put Jaime at that same distance. Not since she woke that first time, the night before, searching for him in the bed beside her! She had been jumpy all night the night before - after her the attack? But she had WANTED Jaime to hold her! And she had hoped that he understood that. “Dammit Lannister! You are SUCH AN ASS! What kept me awake isn’t FEAR of you touching me! It was FEAR that you WOULDN’T WANT to touch me anymore!” She flushed horribly at the fact that she had just blown her bid to NOT tell him, sky high, with a single growl! But she wasn’t about to back down either! Didn’t he realise how she felt? How HE made her feel safe? Had he not heard her earlier when she told him that she WANTED them to be as they had been all week, prior to that damned incident at dinner?

 

“Seven save me! Trust me to fall in love with a crazy little, angry woman! I should have known! She can insult me like a champion when flirting with me! OF COURSE she can carve me open when she’s pissed at me! I even KNEW THAT! ... NOT WANT TO TOUCH YOU? For fuck sake! I ALWAYS want you, you beautiful fool!”

 

She blinked rapidly... Her heart in her throat and her whole body freezing at the exasperation in his voice - AT WHAT HE HAD SAID! And at the way he froze and cursed himself under his breath and pinched the bridge of his nose instead of continuing to rub the sleep from his eyes as he had been doing. “I said that out loud didn’t I?” She swallowed thickly and hummed in affirmation. Not really trusting herself to speak just yet. Not until she swallowed a few more times at least - and watched the way his chest deflated as he let out the huge breath he had been holding. “Do you?” She paused and cleared her throat again quickly. “Do you maybe want a pass for what you said... For a little bit? Morning maybe even? A week? Longer?” Her voice was shuddering just as much as her body was. She KNEW she was feeling it, and she suspected - more rightly HOPED - that he did too? But hearing it? THAT made it real.

 

Her lover sighed heavily and opened his eyes, and then tipped her chin, forcing her to look at his serious face, once more - despite his obvious blushing, discomfort. “Not really something that I think you can give me a pass for, is it Stark? It’s out there now. Isn’t it insulting to take it back?” She cleared her throat and licked her lips as she watched him swallow hard. “But you aren’t TAKING it back necessarily? Just... Putting a pin in it? Unless you didn’t mean it?”

“I’m not much of a liar Stark.” Her heart was pounding so hard that she had genuine concerns that it just might stop - or seize. He meant it. She could see it written all over his handsome face in the shadows cast by the brilliant moon outside of their bedroom window. In the way he was nervously studying her in return. He meant it. He loved her too. And she didn’t know how to handle that. “I’m sorry I said it like that. And that I said it too soon. AND if it shoots me way up on your creep scale too! - That I feel so deeply for you already! I only accepted it as reality last night.... I meant to wait... And I hadn’t even thought on how or when I might actually tell you... So? Fucked that up rather royally I guess? But in my defence? You are incredibly distracting and I struggle pretty well, just to THINK around you. You kind of make me an idiot. A blithering... Babbling one at that - stop me at any time? And I mean? If you WANT me to take that pass for now? Seriously? Stop me? Please?”

 

She huffed a breathy, disbelieving laugh and blinked at him again, dislodging the tears trying desperately to cling to her lashes. She didn’t know what it would mean, that they were moving so fast. But she HAD hoped that was where they were heading anyway? With everything? It made it worth it. She had only just been thinking on exactly that. “I love you too.” She blushed heavily and fidgeted as he paused his BABBLING and stared at her in outright shock and disbelief. Apparently that wasn’t necessarily what he was asking her to say, to put a stop to his adorable monologue. But it worked. So that was something. Even if she had genuine fears for her life, with the way her poor heart was feeling ready to give out over his gaping.

 

“So that’s a no on you wanting me to take that pass then?” She giggled slightly as he winced at his awkward words. Gods she loved when he got all flustered. “That’s a no on the pass Lannister... You said it? There’s not really any putting that away, now that it’s out? And if you meant it?” She shrugged sheepishly and smiled in bashful embarrassment. “I need you to know that, I’m with you Baby. All the way to the end of the line, and there is no end in sight. If you really love me? Like I KNOW I love you? Then it is YOU and ME, Lannister. Wars have been fought for less remember?” Jaime shuffled slightly, wiggling until their faces were just a little closer, his hand just a little bit firm on her body - like he didn’t want to let her go, but at the same time, he was consciously aware of NOT hurting or scaring her.

 

“Sansa? Baby? If you ever, EVER! Question whether I WANT you again? I’m going to remind you of this moment. Because sweetheart? I LOVE YOU. I’ve NEVER said that to a lover or a girlfriend or anyone who doesn’t share my blood - and before you take THAT little dig like I KNOW you kind of want to despite the current topic? - YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! I LOVE YOU! And I want you so much that it could actually become painful at times, if I am not careful, alright? I’ve never wanted anyone like I do you. But Baby girl? You aren’t READY to be with me, and I don’t want you worrying about disappointing me by turning me down, or WORSE! Giving in when you aren’t ready again. Alright? Do you remember what I said the other day? When you climbed into bed and woke me up from my nap, crying? When I was inside of you? I told you that you should never think that no one wants you - because it just isn’t true. I WANT YOU.”

 

She was crying in earnest, by the time he was done talking. It was hard for her to comprehend that someone might just care THAT much. Especially after such a short, and frankly INSANE amount of time. But not a single part of her feared that he was lying. Because Jaime wasn’t a liar. She knew that. She TRUSTED that. He had proved it again and again. It was WHY she chose him after all! Because he CARED. Because she felt cared for and safe with him! It had started out as something so very different - something pretty dark and messed up, if she was being honest? And sure! Their timing didn’t lend credence to it being HEALTHY necessarily? But he made her feel whole and sane too. Which was astonishing, and so incredibly vital, even if she had never noticed just how much she needed that. Just like she needed for him to give in to her sobbing and roll them until she was wrapped tightly in his arms, with his mouth pressed hard to her temple. She couldn’t say that she would never question his desires for her body again - she couldn’t control the part of her that struggled to accept such things. But he was getting pretty good at convincing her all the same. She just hoped he would mind reminding her from time to time.

 

“I really love you Jaime. And I’m not really sorry that I woke you up accidentally now. Even if I was sending myself crazy because you haven’t randomly interrupted me to ask if I want to have sex, in over twenty four hours.” She bit her lip as he snorted a tired laugh and then groaned, close to her ear. “Woman! If I asked for sex as often as I THINK about wanting to have sex with you? You’d never walk straight. OR SLEEP! And either we would wear my cock down to a smooth nub? Or my heart would give out in the process of my proving myself desperate for you, because - and this may come as a shock to you, I realise? But I’m not the twenty something year old, in this relationship! BUT! The fact that I actually do LOVE you, means that I can and will respect your boundaries - even if your fears have you thinking to ignore them. I can and will HAPPILY wait for us to get back to that place Sansa. I’ve told you before that I am happy to just sleep wrapped around you - and as you clearly know - because I’m SURE I made it obvious? I didn’t even really expect you to be alright with THAT yet - and I was STILL okay with it. So please don’t push yourself on my account.”

 

She let out a slow, shuddering breath and nuzzled her tear soaked and ruddy face into his neck more fully, giving into the temptation for a moment and pressing a desperate kiss to his throat, and smiling softly at the bob of it against her lips as he swallowed down hard, at the sensation. “You really love me? That much?” Jaime sighed in faux annoyance and squeezed her in his incredible arms for a beat.

 

“Again? Not much of a liar Stark! Are you going to need regular reminders?”

“You tell me you LIKE me all the time? Is it such a big ask that you trade LIKE for LOVE and keep it up?”

“Not even a little bit. Are you going to need more reassurance tonight?”

“I just need you to hold me so I can maybe try and get some sleep. Is that alright?”

 

She smiled sheepishly at the feel of his grin against her head. It seemed odd, that they hadn’t even KISSED following their declarations. And yet it didn’t either? Because they had shared touches aplenty, and a few kisses to soft skin, in lieu of a kissed pressed against each other’s mouths. “All night, every night, if that’s what you need Baby. And it is more than alright. Don’t know if you got the memo Stark? But I did say that I loved you?” She grinned wickedly into his neck and sighed as she closed her eyes, finally feeling the pulls of slumber. “Mmm. So you’ve said, first rather hilariously! - And then repeatedly. It’s just lucky I love you too, isn’t it?”

“Luckiest bastard in the world, I am. And I’m not so proud that I can’t admit it, Stark. Get some sleep.”

Chapter Text

Waking up with Sansa had fast become one of his most favourite things. Even more so than falling asleep with her soft body wrapped up in his own. He might even say more than fucking her - except that would be an outright lie. He might be a blithering fool and an utter sap for his little wolf? But he was still human - still a man! And being inside of her? Well? That was simply the best feeling in the world. He was more than a little bit curious to test out whether or not the words they had shared, at some Gods awful hour of the morning, would make that even better? And he couldn’t wait to test his theories out. Except that he would be waiting, because contrary to her implications - also shared in the wee hours? She wasn’t ready for them to be so completely intimate again. Not when he could feel tremors in her every touch, and as a result of his own. Not when her breath hitched ever so slightly, no matter how she tried to push through it, or ignore it. Truthfully? He kind of missed his bold, sassy wolf, and her wicked grin and sharp claws. But he loved the soft, sweet, shy girl inside of her just as much. And it was THAT part of her, that needed him most now.

 

Never mind that she was apparently trying to give him that vibrant and confident woman right in that very moment. - With a cold nose pressed to his neck, and warm, panted breaths brushing over his skin. With a soft, but determined hand mapping his chest and side and hip. With the way her perfect body was pressing and ALMOST rubbing against his entire front, where he had held her close to him, chest to chest, all night. His cock was VERY hard, and VERY interested in what she was doing and what it would mean under normal circumstances. And the blasted thing would be frightfully disappointed when it got no more attention than his own hand, in the shower once they were up and moving for the day! But that’s all he was allowing for now too. He LOVED her - there was no way in all of The Seven Hells, he was ruining what he really hoped would be a good long few years - preferably of the forever variety - by moving them too fast in that direction again.

 

He loved her. AND he had actually said it! - Not intentionally to begin with! But still? It was out there. They had said that they loved each other. He had never said that to a woman in his life! And he didn’t even mean to say it to her yet. Though he couldn’t honestly say, if he ever would have said it, if he had to try to consciously convince himself to either? Maybe if she had told him first - he would have had the confidence to say it back? But he had actually said that he was in love with her. He was in love with his girlfriend. And if he was choosing to ignore the fact that they had only been together for just over a week and had caused complete and utter chaos in that short time? So be it. He was done fucking caring. Just as he suspected that she was done caring too. They had joked about it, she had said it - somewhere in their early moments - they could just be together, and force everyone to accept it and wipe their hands of those who won’t... But that is exactly what they were doing now. And he was more than alright with it.

 

He hissed and then groaned - in surprise and then in defeat - as her teasingly light and almost tentative fingers tickled along the side of his cock. How he didn’t come every damned time she did that? He’d never know! It was torture of the most delicious kind and she fucking knew it! And he WANTED to let her continue! Gods did he want her to?! But he wouldn’t. Not yet. “Finally decided to admit you’re awake hmm?” He groaned pathetically and slipped his good hand up and over her side to tug at her arm - well above the bruising around her wrist, gently. A silent instruction to stop. “Mmm. Not by choice! Bit hard to pretend to sleep when there is sneaky little fingers tickling the bits I have no control over this morning!” He didn’t pull back to look at her, not wanting to see any hurt or confusion in those expressive eyes, for having stopped her. Instead, he pressed a lingering kiss to her forehead and laced their fingers together, tucking them up close to his face, and rubbing his jaw over them, a bit like a needy cat. He wanted her to take the message he was putting out, but he didn’t want to upset her either. “Why do you think I did it? I knew it would get your attention.” He snorted a laugh and kissed her forehead again.

 

“Ever think of trying ‘Good Morning Jaime?’ - Don’t get me wrong? I LOVE having your hand on my cock Stark! But being that my attention - even in sleep, is entirely YOURS? It’s not really necessary for you to pay my cock attention just to get my conscious minds attention.” He nuzzled at her hair pointedly, grinning to himself at the sound of her huffing. He had apparently pissed her off with his words, and maybe his actions too? But pissing her off was infinitely more appealing to him, than making her self conscious or sad. The only downside was, that an angry Sansa, was also a very fucking sexy Sansa, and he was already starting to hurt because of his determination to NOT take advantage of her interests. “Sure! You LOVE it so much that you won’t let me touch you.” He sighed heavily and pulled back enough to tip her face up, with their still joined hands, and then he pushed a harsh, almost bruising kiss to her pouting lips, pulling back ever so slightly when she inadvertently stiffened. He didn’t for a second, believe it was because she was pissed at him. She stiffened because it was a knee jerk reaction to his ‘forcing’ his attention on her. Which only served to prove his point.

 

“I love you, you beautiful, silly girl. But listen to me very carefully alright?” He chased his words across her lips with softly pressed pecks, until she hummed in exasperated question. “For a week, I proved rather obnoxiously, just how much PHYSICAL control you have over me. I HOPE that I showed you, just how much YOU are in control of our sexual relationship, just how desperately I want your body wrapped around my own... Now? After everything? Including what we said to each other last night? I want to prove to you, NEED to prove to you, that I don’t JUST want you physically. I want you to know and feel and understand that I want ALL of you.” He paused and kissed her again, taking her sharp, shaking breaths on as his own, with his lips and tongue. “Because I do Baby. I can say it - over and over and over. I can make promises and I can swear my words are truth, because I have never and will never lie to you... But it is up to you to hear and trust those words too. And you have been failed so many times in your life, that I have this ingrained NEED to not be another who fails you.” This time it was a sob or two he chased away, as he pulled her yet tighter into him, and kissed her perhaps even softer than he had been. “I need to show you, that I mean my every word Sansa. If you want to touch my cock FOR YOURSELF? Because you want to be intimate with me, and explore our love and reintroduce the sexual side of our relationship? Than by all means? Have at it. If you want to do so FOR ME? Because you feel like you need to, to repay me my care, or to keep my attention? Despite not being ready for that yourself? Then I’m going to stop you every time. BECAUSE I love you.”

 

“Jaime? He didn’t.... I KNOW what it’s like to have someone take you when you don’t WANT to be taken... He didn’t get that far... And YES it SCARED me - to feel like I had no control and to feel so powerless. But YOU DO NOT make me feel that way. I WANT us to be just as... PASSIONATE for each other as we were before Giles Fucking Rosby pushed his leg between mine. Before he held me into that wall and forced his mouth to mine. I WANT YOU TO TAKE IT AWAY! I want you to remind me - to SHOW me how it should feel again. But I’m too sore for that, after we got carried away that afternoon, and the hospital... HE made me feel dirty. He reminded me of what it’s like to not be able to say NO. But you? YOU make it anything BUT dirty. You make me feel beautiful when we are together. And I want to feel beautiful again.... I don’t want to HAVE SEX yet, but not because of that! I don’t want to because I’m so sore down there, and because I’m pretty sure that my... That I’ll be... THAT YOU won’t be that .3% giver this particular month.... And proof is forthcoming... But I want to feel beautiful to and for you, again.”

 

Jaime shuddered at the sincerity in her tear filled eyes. His heart just about giving out at how sweetly she begged. It wasn’t pretty. Her words were heavy and dark and begging. It was an ugly thing. The darkness she had known. And she was so strong in her vulnerability - in SPITE of her vulnerability. Being hurt and overcoming those hurts didn’t make her strong. It only served to SHOW her strength for what it was. She was strong before that. Just as being beautiful didn’t make her any more or less strong. Her strength was something that belonged only to itself, and to her as whole. It was a part of her, just as being pretty was a part of her. Just as being a little bit arrogant, and so terrifyingly smart, and so quick with a cutting word, were all just a part of who she was. She didn’t need protection from herself. What she needed, was to be able to SPEAK for herself. To be heard. And her determination to re-engage with their sexual relationship, WAS her speaking for herself. And his refusal to allow her to do so, was him trying to take her voice away, no matter that he had been trying to do it for HER sake.

 

He moved slowly, giving her plenty of time to stop him, or question him if she wanted. She didn’t want, she silently held his eyes as he led her hand back down his body, pressing her palm flat to his chest and holding it loosely with his own as he pushed it, to trail down his chest. And then he sighed and closed his eyes as she wrapped her long, soft fingers around him fully, there wasn’t a single lick of hesitation. She wanted her hand on him. “Come here?” He blinked his eyes open slowly, and waited for her to press even closer still, to his chest, just  as he asked. And he smiled softly as she nudged his nose with her own. “Slowly Baby. Please. Take your time. There is no rush.” He felt her grin almost impishly against his lips as she pressed forward to kiss him. “I think that LITTLE Jaime might just complain, if I go too slow.” He groaned at her cheek and nipped at her in reprimand.

 

“You KNOW what I meant cheeky girl.”

“A week ago? You’d have promised to slap my ass until it was as red as my hair for that Lannister!”

“And today I’m promising that such talks and actions will come, only after we discuss boundaries and limits. But... If you are sore? Can I?”

“Can you what?”

“If you are alright with THIS? Will you be alright if I put my mouth on your body? Specifically on and IN .... where you are sore?”

 

He groaned and tried so hard to smile at her, as she pulled back to look at him. Except that she was squeezing him, JUST right, as she worked her hand over him, and damned if he wasn’t distracted by it. Damned if he wasn’t close to losing himself and coming all over her soft belly. “Are you seriously begging to eat me out while my hand is on your cock? AFTER I said that my.... Period... Is CLOSE?” He snorted a little laugh at the way she whispered the word period. As if it was dirty or something. She said it was CLOSE - not that it was THERE for the Gods sake! He would just have to remember to NOT MENTION it, if she tasted a little different - especially if it was a little metallic! “Yes, My Love! I am. Did you not become aroused the first time - actually? EVERY TIME you have sucked my cock?” He smirked wickedly at the blush that stole over her, as she giggled at him, slightly embarrassed by the fact that they BOTH knew she touched herself whenever she took him in her mouth. He didn’t find it embarrassing at all! He found it hot. Just as hot as he found the idea of soothing her sore folds, with his mouth, with her hand pumping at him so wonderfully.

 

“I DO... And I would be very alright with it... But my... What if? Won’t it be yuck? If I start-“

“I seriously doubt that your period will start the moment my mouth takes to you Sansa. And if by some crazy, unbelievable chance, it DOES? You should probably remember that I’m a soldier. - Blood doesn’t scare me Baby. If you don’t want me to? I won’t. If you aren’t ready? I won’t. But know that I actually do want to have my mouth on you. Actually? I kind of want you to just sit on my face? BUT! It’s your choice.”

“JAIME! A minute ago you didn’t want me to TOUCH you! Now you want? Even if I am! GODS! You’re insane!”

 

He snickered at her embarrassed shrieking and bucked himself in her hold a little, grunting rather unattractively as his head nudged her soft belly in the process, making him twitch harshly and tighten up, tingling in that way that told him he was not more than a stroke or two from finishing. “And now I’m about to come all over both of us, which is entirely YOUR doing beautiful. I want us to take it SLOWLY - but...” He grunted again and held her tight, rutting into her like a horny teenager and spurting white hot streams, all over her hand and soft belly, and rather dangerously close to her mound too. And then he pulled her face up, threading his fingers into her hair, and laying claim to her sweet lips and tongue. He SHOULD hate himself for letting her talk him into such things - he didn’t even put up a decent fight! But she had wanted it, and he was powerless to stop their fast train on his own.

 

“You were saying?” He huffed a surprised laugh at her cocky words and kissed her hard again. “I was saying that you should sit on my face now Stark.” He grinned wickedly and nipped and then sucked hard, at her bottom lip, before licking at her in invitation. In VERY clear and rather vulgar, imitation. Showing her EXACTLY what he was going to do to her. “That is NOT what you were saying at all!” He chuckled darkly. No. It hadn’t been. But they would have time for serious TALKS once they were in the shower together. For now? He was letting go - as she all but begged him to do. “Of course it was! I said it clearly! I want you to sit on my face! Pay attention Stark! Come on! Get that perfect little ass up here!” Her blushing, bashful smile made it worth it. He hadn’t wanted to PUSH. But it wasn’t really him doing the pushing either? So surely that made a difference? It seemed like it did? She didn’t seem particularly uncomfortable about having jerked him off? “I’ll warn you now though Sweetheart? You are going to have to hang on, because I plan on kissing you, long and slow and until you fall apart for me, more than once. When I’m done Sansa? You won’t dare question whether you are beautiful in my eyes.”

“I don’t know how you can say something so sweet, and still sound so arrogant.” He snorted a light laugh and pressed a kiss to the tip of her nose. “I’m a Lannister, is how. We’ve discussed this. Now let me make you understand just how much I love you and how beautiful you truly are... We can TALK later - and know that we do NEED to talk Sansa... But for now? Just let me SHOW you.”

“I love you, you know that?”

“And I’m grateful, never mind my being completely lost as to WHY! Because I love you too Stark. So much. Now quit stalling! I want to drown in your delicious-“

“JAIME! Gods! Fine - lay back.”

Chapter Text

If there was one way that Jon could hope to never EVER wake up? It would be to the sounds of one of his sisters rather clearly in the throws of passion. Somethings could never be unheard! And while he was both impressed and yes! HAPPY - that what had happened to Sansa in that blasted restaurant, hadn’t destroyed her interest and ability to GIVE herself over to her own needs and desires? He didn’t need to fucking HEAR IT! He didn’t need to be consciously aware of her sex life! He most certainly did NOT need to know that she growled and gave orders that were met with very clear, aroused amusement! And yet now he KNEW that if Jaime didn’t stop TEASING her and just put his mouth to good use, she was going to strangle him. Now he knew that Jaime Lannister talked - perhaps even MORE in bed, than normally! Though thankfully, his low tones prevented Jon from hearing exactly what he was saying! The fact that he was a talker, was a horrifying enough thing for him to be made aware of! He did NOT need details on it! He just hoped to all the Gods, that he was the ONLY one exposed to such things, being that his room was the closest to theirs - even if he suspected that it was coming more from the door and hallway - than through the wall, that he suspected the en-suite and walk in, were actually on the other side of!

 

He wouldn’t complain - and he would never VOICE what he had heard - even if he struggled with his desire to go in there and beat his sisters boyfriend within an inch of his damned life for having sex with her so soon after she was assaulted! He would never do so, and he would never speak to it. Because he would never question her rights to do what she wanted, with her own body. Not anymore than he would question her rights to choose for herself, what she did with her life and to whom she would give her heart. She was his little sister - even if technically she wasn’t. She needed him to love and respect and even cherish her. She didn’t need him to protect her from herself - or make decisions for her. He had witnessed enough people trying to do that, under the misguided notion of LOVING her, to know that it was a selfish thing to do.

 

For years he had tried to stand up for her - by SHOWING his unwavering support for her decisions. And for years, it failed to hit its mark, as more and more, she was forcibly pushed into the mould that she didn’t fit in. He had failed. Because he hadn’t had the temerity, to just tell Aunt Catelyn to fucking STOP. He should have. He wished so many times over the years, that he had had the confidence to do so. And yes! There were times, where he made his standing on ‘Sansa related drama’ very clear. - He and Arya both. And he certainly had no qualms about taking Robb to task whenever he thought to speak lowly of Sansa’s choices. But still and all. He never told his Uncle Ned that he believed that his Aunts control was becoming abusive. He never stood against the woman and told her to back off. All he did, was hold his little sister when she cried, and hear her when she spoke. And maybe it wasn’t on him to SPEAK FOR HER - or encourage her to do so for herself. But someone had had to. And that someone was doing so - for the whole damned world to see now.

 

If for no other reason? He’d respect Jaime Lannister that. He had plenty of reason to respect him anyway - not least of which, was the way he looked at her like she was EVERYTHING important to him. Not least of which, was the frankly astonishing reality of his career - which, as a younger soldier? Was something to be in awe of! But as an older brother? What he could and would respect most notably - vocally, if and when he was asked to do so? Was the way the man respected his sister. Which was another reason he wasn’t storming in there to knock his damned head off. If Sansa was giving herself to him sexually, so soon after what happened to her? Jon KNEW it was her choice that had them being physically intimate - not Jaime’s. Which he was proud of her for - even if he wouldn’t be comfortable looking in her eyes for a good few days at least!

 

Determining Jaime’s worth in regards to his relationship with Sansa, was not why he had come. He did not NEED to see for himself, that he was good enough for her. Of course, in his mind? No one would ever truly be good enough for either of his sisters! But? He knew enough from Sansa herself, GIVING the man a chance, that he was too. Because it was her choice, not his. No. He wasn’t there to decide whether or not the man whom his brother vehemently disliked, and his littlest sister proudly supported, was an acceptable PROTECTOR AND SUITOR for their Lady Wolf. No matter what his fool brother had implied the night before, when he and Arya had conference called the rest of the pack. He was there to support Sansa, and to make sure she was alright. And curiously? Though unbeknownst to him - until he witnessed the way she automatically sought out her boyfriend’s safe arms the moment she and Uncle Ned returned from the police station, where she had been when he arrived? He was also there to hand off the role of ‘safe harbour’ to Jaime Lannister.

 

He was also there to help put an end to the ridiculous dramas, and the carrying on, in his family. Not just around Sansa, but as a whole. He and Arya had laid awake in her bedroom for hours after everyone else went to bed, and after they hung up from their brothers. Just... Talking. She had needed him. Because although she was a tough little thing, she was hurting. More than she would allow to show, or admit. She was hurting, because she KNEW that what was actually NEEDED, for Sansa to truly move on from everything? For their family to truly heal as a whole? Was for Aunt Catelyn to be forced to face her shortcomings. He knew full well, were it her? She’d never forgive the woman. She didn’t want to anyway. And yet she did. Because at the end of the day? She was still her mother. But she was also the woman who’s actions and words, had hurt her sister far more significantly, than any other ever had a hope of. Sansa was different. Even if she had been somehow, inadvertently involved in anything that had happened in that restaurant? Like Arya suspected? And he couldn’t find fault in her suspicions? Sansa would probably forgive her, whether she showed remorse for her despicable behaviour towards her, or not. Eventually? She would forgive her. Because she was just too good for this world.

 

And that was something that he, in particular, would never hold against her. Even if he wanted to shake her, and tell her that she should NEVER forgive the woman! He couldn’t and wouldn’t judge her, If and likely WHEN she did. Because Sansa had NEVER questioned him forgiving the memory of his own parents. She was the only one that really KNEW that he had. His Fathers other children, would NEVER forgive them, - with good reason. But they would also never forgive him for having done so - for understanding them in anyway. And things between them were stilted enough. They weren’t siblings. They were FRIENDS, that happened to share DNA, and a terrible story as to how they were connected. But they weren’t FAMILY. He hadn’t even attempted to reach out to them, until he was an adult, and  had been stationed in Dorne. And whilst they had opened their lives up to him - even going so far as to introduce him to their Martell family, who also accepted him without blinking? They wouldn’t continue to show him the respect they did, if they knew that he wasn’t as angry at their Father, and his mother, as they were.

 

Even his ‘cousins’ - his real siblings, wouldn’t necessarily understand his thoughts on it. Except for Sansa, and Arya - she would understand ALMOST - but not quite as easily as Sansa. Which was why he would never judge her. Even if he secretly hated that he knew that she would forgive Aunt Cat, her horrendous attitude and behaviour. Even if he secretly felt like they would ALL be better off if Uncle Ned were to divorce her and be done with. That was awful of him, and it was painful too. He didn’t want anyone’s heart being broken. But she had hurt them all, and she continued to do so. - Sansa most of all. And he had had enough of her being the one to wear it all. Even he wasn’t as constantly disappointed as Sansa was, and his uncles wife wasn’t HIS MOTHER. So as far as he was concerned? They were all better off without Catelyn Tully Stark, and her manipulative ways. And perhaps it was unkind of him to also think that his Uncle needed to step up now. But he did think it.

 

He had never been in love, or married or had children, obviously? But he couldn’t help but feel like, were it him, coming to learn the extent of his daughters suffering, most prominently at the hands of his wife’s machinations, regardless of her INTENT?  He would walk away. To protect his children? If his wife couldn’t at least see and agree to work on her issues? He would walk away. And that hurt him, to think. But it IS what he thought regardless. Even if he wasn’t ready to share that with anyone but Arya - who agreed with him.

 

 

——————

 

 

“Good morning Jonny!” He grunted in faux annoyance, as his sister wrapped her plaster casted, arm up and over his shoulders and pressed a smacking kiss to his temple in greeting. It actually used to be a point of annoyance for him, that his LITTLE sister, was actually taller than him. But it hadn’t been something that he let bother him for the longest time now. Not since he come to realise that it really was rather ridiculous of him to care that a girl was taller than him. It hardly made him less ‘manly’. It just was, what it was. And he had come to love, and in that particular moment ADORE the fact, that she had gotten into the habit of greeting him exactly like that. It felt good that she was comfortable enough to KEEP doing it. He just hoped that she didn’t notice the blush he couldn’t hide, over knowing exactly WHY it was a GOOD morning for her.

 

He wrapped his arm around her back and turned to kiss her cheek gently, as she expected him to. “Morning Sweet girl. You’re happy! - DO NOT TELL ME WHY! Where is Lannister?” He snickered happily as she snorted rudely and whacked his stomach with her good hand, before stealing the coffee he had been making himself, and stepping back to lean into the counter. “Blow drying his hair.” He snorted right back at her and cocked an amused brow as he pulled another cup down for HIMSELF. “Oh don’t you give me that look Jonny! We both know that these luscious curls of yours don’t sit so pretty, without help.” He grinned. She had him there. But still? It was funny to imagine Lannister blow drying his hair. “I look like an electrified poodle if I don’t do SOMETHING! And I am too lazy to cut it every week!”

 

“And you can get away with it, and the beard because of your rank and division - even though you are military and SHOULD be clean shaven and have short hair.” He snorted at her prim delivery, and her cocky little grin behind what HAD BEEN his coffee cup. “Aye. And you’re cheeky this morning too! How did my laughing at the idea of Lannister blow drying his hair turn into an attack on me?”

“Just lucky I guess.”

“Aye. Just lucky. Think you’re old man might be the lucky one! Hmm? Already set to defend and attack aren’t ya Little Lady Wolf?”

“Yes. Well? I kind of love him. So he’s mine to defend isn’t he? Even if it’s hilarious that he blow dries his hair every time it’s wet. And even when I know you aren’t at all, actually picking on him.” He grinned at her happily, and pulled her in for a tight hug. Her words - admitting her feelings? Made him so proud, and so happy for her. “He know that yet?” She hummed in affirmation and blushed, right along with the soft, sweet, smile she gave him, as he pulled back. “He does.” Jon felt himself nodding happily in acceptance and sighing. That is all that he wanted. Was for her to love and be loved. And now he KNEW that she KNEW that’s what she was experiencing. He couldn’t be happier. “Good. Now that’s been made clear? We can work on fixing the mess that the idiots around you both, have caused. Hmm?”

 

He watched her chew at her lip, and stare down at her cup quietly, as she thought on his words. While he turned his attention to finishing making the second cup for himself, and lifting it up to take a sip. “I don’t want to forgive her Jon. I just don’t want her in my life for now. Maybe even... EVER... Is that wrong? That I would choose someone else over my Mother? My blood? I don’t want to forgive anyone who didn’t, or can’t, or won’t accept him. Even Robb? I’m not ready to even talk to him? I don’t know when I will be - and I KNOW  he is sorry for what he did and said... It’s just... I’m choosing him. Is that wrong?” He sighed heavily and and turned to lean into the counter beside her, and tucked his free arm around her, letting her fall into him, as she always did, when she was hurting. Apparently he wouldn’t be parting with his role as ‘safe harbour’ as completely as he thought. And that was alright. Good, even. He liked being that for her. He rested his bearded jaw on top of her damp curls gently.

 

“Not at all Sans. If you want to choose him? If you want to hold those who failed YOU by refusing to accept your choice, at bay? Those who said things that they KNEW would hurt you? Without a care as to whether it would hurt you? Do so. They were the ones in the wrong sweetheart. And forgiveness has to be earned. So does trust. It isn’t freely given, especially not to those who refuse to ask for it. If you don’t want someone in your life? It is YOUR choice, because it is YOUR life, little sister. I’m not going anywhere. Nor is Arya. You aren’t alone and you never will be.” He sighed and smiled at the man in question as he froze upon seeing them, as he made his way towards the big open kitchen, and then as he stepped away pointedly with a nod. He didn’t want to interrupt. And that was yet another thing, that he could respect the man for. “Dad and I are finally in a good place. I don’t want to risk wrecking that. To hold to my anger at her, and at Robb too. Do you think I will disappoint him?”

 

Jon’s heart broke in his chest. But he did what he always did, when faced with his sad girl. He sat his cup down on the counter and wrapped her up in his arms tight. One day? She wouldn’t feel torn up over the idea of making her own decisions. One day? Those around them would respect her, even if that meant that those around them dropped in number a little. But until that day? He’d carry the pain for her if she needed him to. “I don’t think that anything you do, could disappoint him truly Sansa. I think that he has been disappointed enough, by ANOTHER, when it comes to your choices, and that isn’t on you Sweet Girl. I think.... I think that if by some crazy chance, it disappoints him now? Than that’s his burden to bare... Not yours. I didn’t expect you to... You are so strong, but you are also.... So giving. So loving. And you always just take and take and take when it comes to what gets put on you - especially when you don’t deserve it. I am proud that you feel in control enough to say ENOUGH. I didn’t expect it, because forgiving has become something that you do easily. But I’m proud that you are willing to give yourself THIS.”

 

“Thank you Jon.” He kissed her head hard and held her tight as she sniffled against him. “Anytime Sansiepants. If you’re open to suggestions though?” She hummed in question and pulled back enough to blink up at him, from where she was twisted and bent to rest her head on his shoulder, without actually moving away from him, which made him smile again. “You should maybe talk to Dad.” He didn’t actually call the man Dad normally. Even if he was more his Father than his own had had the chance to be. But she wouldn’t hold him calling his Uncle that, against him. “I think that you should tell him everything. Even if it’s hard for him to hear and for you to say. You and I both know that you’ve never talked about everything that you’ve lived... I think that it’s time you do. And I think he should be the one that supports you through speaking on it. You don’t have to - don’t think that I am ordering you to do anything - please. Because I’m not. It’s your story to tell, if you are ever ready to... It’s just a suggestion - because you said that you are in a good place with him now.” His heart thumped hard in his chest as she turned away again. Not wanting to meet his eyes. He didn’t want to hurt her, or pressure her. But he wanted her to understand that she wasn’t alone, if she was ready to let that truth out. “Maybe I will. I know I have to eventually... He should know... From my own mouth. But not today. Today? I just want to enjoy knowing that the man I love, loves me too. And that I have the best brother and sister in the whole world.”

“Aye. Think I might like to enjoy that with you. If you’ll have me?”

“Always.”

“Aye. Always.”