A beam of light entered their lair, a beacon of better days on the horizon. Jaime touched her temple and noticed the fever persisted. His lips brushed over her chapped lips willing her to wake up and simply get better.
Nothing else mattered.
It was only Jaime and Brienne…if there were survivors in other dwellings it didn’t matter in the end. No one came when the Others descended upon their baby boy and how he was unable to stop it. Not sound made for fear it would their last, that’s how these creatures had conquered them and taken over the lands of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. No more petty squabbles between the highborns of the most prestigious houses of the lands, as they were slaughtered like livestock and taken by the blue-eyed demons beyond the Wall.
His only remaining hand searched under the furs and found the swell of her womb, ripened to the brim ready to be birthed any day now. He kissed Brienne’s sweaty neck and caressed their child, willing it to wait a bit longer. Their only hope was getting to the coast and find passage from this accursed land, beyond the Narrow Sea. They dreamed of landing at the harbor of the Sapphire Isle and bring forth their son or daughter as a peace offering to the Evenstar. After all, the oathbreaker of House Lannister had besmirched his only daughter without properly asking for her hand and marrying before the gods.
Fuck the gods! Where are they now? Where is the Father protecting the innocent children that are torn apart mercilessly? Where is the Mother shrouding the women with their babes from the lust of starved men and the Ones that eat flesh? Oh no, the Maiden hides behind the Crone as she sneers at the brutality of it all, at our folly for not listening to our septa’s warnings…The Smith clangs his hammer impatiently awaiting our bitter ends, while the Warrior stands defeated and gives his strength to the only one that remains—the Stranger, the only that reigns freely, hollering his thrall at what has befallen the ill-begotten men.
Jaime growled at his morbid musings, at his cursing the Seven for leaving them to their fate. Brienne pushed his hand away and groaned in pain. Slowly, she tried to right herself, but it only made her feel the stabbing at her back and the quivering within her. Her blue eyes searched his, fear reflected in her gaze. Her hand clasped his fingers tight, making him whimper with how strongly her grip held him. Just as he was about to protest, her raspy voice stopped him.
“Jaime—I think it’s time. I can’t do this again. I won’t. ”
His throat closed up and his stomach felt it was gnawing on itself. He had no real solution to their very dire situation. Her nails penetrated his skin, making him bleed. He could hear the panic starts to take over, her breathing accelerated and his fingers found purchase on her wrist and he found her heart beating too fast.
“Brienne, listen to me. I know you’re scared. I know…that we miss our Duncan. He was our special boy, but the gods abandoned us all to this seven hells. But this one that is so eager to meet us won’t be taken from us. They can have my other hand! They can take me! You’ll live for him, for us! Do you understand, wench? You don’t give up. That’s not who you are.”
Tears stained her flushed face, as he found his arms holding her close to his chest. He helped her kneel and felt her belly. The baby was in the correct position. How long it would take, Jaime dreaded the moment when their babe would wail its first breath into the world. He hoped they were deep enough and the Others on the surface didn’t hear the cries of a newborn. Surely, he couldn’t set the traps he’d made for this eventuality. His Brienne needed him by her side.
“Hang on. You’re gonna be okay. Keep breathing. I’m right here.”
Brienne panted and growled as the contraction took over and there was nothing to ease the vice squelching within her womb. Her eyes closed, remembering the first time she held a babe, her son. Duncan Lannister, with his father’s good looks, straw-yellow hair and moss-green eyes.
His birth had been a blessing from the gods, the embodiment of their love. It didn’t matter that they’d kept their relationship a secret, that her father wouldn’t have approved of her choice. Jaime was hers and she was his; their tormented pasts weren’t of import to their serendipitous mating.
“BREATHE! Damn it, Brienne!”
Spots of light clouded her vision when she came to her senses. There was throbbing on the back of her head, that overpowered everything else. In the distance, she could hear the roaring of some animal and destruction. Finally, she could feel Jaime over her, checking her between her legs and wetness gushing out of her.
“Jaime…Jaime. Is it—”
His fingers probed and huffed in frustration. It would still take hours for their babe to meet them. He couldn’t risk moving her, but at least there was minimal bleeding only her waters had broken. With a clean rag, Jaime cleaned off the gunk of her legs.
“We have to wait for little Selyne to get her bearings.”
“Still thinking, this one is a girl. My only wish is that this one is healthy and gets to live beyond childhood, without fearing to go outside this cave…”
Jaime tried to give her sips of lukewarm water, but Brienne refused to take more. The fever must still be ailing her for she could see little Duncan toddle around the dark chamber, humming a lullaby.
Is my sister coming, Momma? Is she gonna be tall and strong like you? Will she have your eyes like Papa wants? Can I name her? Can I?
“Duncan! Please come to Momma… Stop and come to me—”
Brienne began to sob and tried to reach the specter of her dead son. Jaime shushed her and tried to hold her back, her weeping only intensifying. They had never really stopped grieving for their Duncan; it was an unhealed wound that had become a chasm between them.
Somehow, they had found themselves searching for warmth weeks ago and without thought he’d given in to his longing. It had been too long without having Brienne break apart in his arms, of tasting her skin and sinking his cock until he peaked. One hand could do so much. He saw the regret in her astonishing eyes, the recrimination in her words. Deep inside, Jaime only felt relief.
The roaring and the crashing of rocks kept on, while Brienne quieted down, humming a well-known lullaby, the one she sang to their boy. Jaime knew he had to look and see what awaited them outside of their cave deep, under the mountains between the Riverlands and the Neck. The Red Fork was nearby, the only source of water and how they’d survive this long.
“Brienne…I need to go outside. For now, we’re safe from those monsters, but we don’t know what is distracting them. The world might finally be ending and we only have today—Fuck! Let me go, Brienne. I’m coming back. I would never leave you—”
Brienne’s rage gave her the tenacity to stand on her wobbling knees.
“If you walk away I won’t see you again, Jaime. You can’t promise me a morn, or another turn of the moon. This is all we have. Duncan was ripped from us—we’ve paid with blood. Now, we’re ready to give another sacrifice. Is this the time you’re going to be the offering to the Others? I won’t survive. This babe won’t live beyond today.”
He was quick enough to catch her and helped her lay down on the furs. He kissed her forehead and embraced her, “I won’t leave…our little girl needs both of us. I need to teach her how to hunt a deer and you have to teach her how to wield a sword, so that we can spar. She’ll be a warrior, worthy of her heritage. Your father will dote on his little Starlight.”
And like the legends written by maesters of old Valyria, the dragons capable to breath fire and melt blocks of ice came upon the frozen lands infested by the Others and decimated the hordes that had killed thousands. The odds had changed in favor of mankind.
A sprite of a girl with white-blonde hair and violet rode the strongest of the creatures, the last of the Targaryen, come to safe the lands of the First Men.
Little Selyne Lannister sat in her grandfather’s solarium as her grand-papa narrated how the Dragon Queen saved all of Westeros from the leviathans that roamed and feasted on man. The Evenstar may have been old, but he could still fawn over his oldest grandchild. Brelyn was coloring on the floor, not caring for the story much. She’d heard it all before. She preferred to hear her father describe how her sister had come into the world inside a cave, as the dragons burnt the Others to ash and saved them all.