Happy new year
Brienne is out of her wits when she goes to open the door. She knows it can't be Gal who's knocking, it's far too early for him to be here, but she hopes it is anyway. It's not.
It's Jaime fucking Lannister. The last person on earth whom she wants to see right now.
“What's that?” Jaime Lannister points at crying baby at Brienne's arms. The baby, who doesn't seem to want to see Jaime Lannister either, takes in a breath and lets out a huge wail. He is very good at wailing, Brienne has learnt.
“It's a baby, Lannister,” Brienne says tightly and stares at him.
Lannister stares at the baby.
The baby wees on Brienne. Again.
“Why do you have a baby, Tarth? And why is it pissing on you?”
Brienne, who usually doesn't have a lot of patience for Jaime Lannister, tries to find any. But no, the barrel where Brienne keeps her fucks is empty.
“Why are you behind my fucking door, dressed like a posh wanker?” Lannister is, for some strange reason, wearing a suit and a tie and looks extremely good in them like always. Before Brienne can stop him he steps into Brienne's apartment.
The baby keeps wailing.
“Because we are supposed to go to the New Year Gala together, Tarth. It can't be news to you, as you're even wearing a dress.”
Brienne feels the wee soaking her dress dripping down her stomach. In the last hour, she has totally forgotten that she was meant to accompany Jaime Lannister to that awful gala.
“Yeah, I don't think it's going to happen,” she sighs. “Things have changed.” Jaime Lannister is staring at her and the baby, his pretty mouth open. The baby has upped the volume and is now quite red on his face. He keeps wiggling as to escape from Brienne's clutches. Despair floods Brienne. She has tried to calm the baby down. She changed his diaper, shushed him, tried to give him a teddy bear and even sang to him but he just keeps crying.
“Alright,” Jaime Lannister says. “Give it to me.” Brienne tries to protest, but suddenly the squirming bundle is in the crook of Jaime's arm. She can only stare with her mouth open because the wailing immediately stops and the baby looks up to Jaime with his blue eyes blinking.
“Hello, little terror,” Jaime says with a soft voice. “Look at you, you sure have Tarth eyes don’t you? But you stink, you know? Just like Brienne here stinks. Because you pissed on her. Yes you did, you little weemuppet.” He then looks up to Brienne and uses his regular voice. “I'll put a new diaper on him. Go change, Tarth.”
“Do you know how to do that?”
Jaime snorts. “I've done it plenty of times for my niblings. At least I know enough not to put it on backwards. Where's the diaper bag?”
Brienne points to the sofa, where she has emptied the bag that came with the baby and escapes to her bathroom.
When she comes back, dressed in a clean shirt and sweats, Jaime Lannister is in his shirtsleeves, feeding the baby from a bottle and watching the photographs on Brienne's bookshelf. The baby is dressed in a clean onesie and is quiet as a mouse, except the sniffling noise he makes while eating. He sounds like a hedgehog, thinks Brienne. Jaime Lannister looks handsome as ever, holding a cute sniffling baby and Brienne feels like her ovaries might explode any minute.
“So,” Jaime looks at her and Brienne is suddenly acutely aware that the shirt she chose is old and too tight on her shoulders. “Which of your relatives ran away to celebrate the new year and left you in charge of a baby?” He picks up a terry cloth square from the sofa and sits down.
“He is my brother's baby. I think.” Brienne sighs and sits down next to him. Jaime throws the cloth over his shoulder, gives Brienne the empty bottle and lifts the baby to his shoulder.
“Well, his mother wasn't really forthcoming with details,” Brienne sighs. The baby burps on Jaime's shoulder. Jaime pats him on the back -- well done, weemuppet -- and lifts his eyebrows to Brienne.
Brienne sighs again. “I moved here, what, six months ago? When my brother moved back to Tarth. He used to live here.” The baby is back in Jaime's arm again and yawns. “Gal has always been a bit of a cad. Lots of girlfriends. I mean, this girl wasn't nearly the first one behind our door looking for Gal.” Brienne tries to look if the baby looks anything like Gal, but besides the Tarth blue eyes he just looks like a generic baby. “Sometimes they cry.” Brienne winces. “She was the first one who came with the baby though.” The girl had looked young, tired and very desperate. “I think she thought I'm his girlfriend,” Brienne sighs. “She kind of shoved him to me and just ran away before I realised what had happened.”
“Aha, and what does your brother say about this all?”
“He's on his way here.” Brienne doesn't add what she thinks, that Gal seemed to have a pretty good idea who would leave a baby at the doorstep of his former apartment. “He's flying over from Tarth, but he should be here before midnight.”
The baby seems to be in the process of falling asleep. He is cute now when he is quiet and not squirming. “I don't even know his name,” Brienne sighs. She seems to do lots of sighing.
“Well, may I present you Edwyn Storm,” Jaime smiles and suddenly puts the baby to Brienne's lap. “There's a blanket with his name on it,” he shrugs when standing up. “I'll make us some tea, Tarth.” Then he disappears to Brienne's kitchen and leaves Brienne alone with the baby.
Little Edwyn, tired from all the crying and wiggling, sleeps through the first half of The Oathkeeper. He doesn't seem to mind Jaime Lannisters constant running commentary about the film or the laughter that escapes from Brienne when Jaime delivers a particularly scathy remark about the CGI dragon. The little terror, as Jaime keeps calling him, would probably sleep even longer but then the doorbell rings, and Jaime -- expecting pizza delivery -- lets in his weepy and extremely sorry mother.
“Eddie,” the girl cries when Brienne hands her the baby. “I'm so sorry,” the girl weeps, face wet with tears while Eddie yawns and blinks slowly.
It's Jaime who convinces Jayne to stay for the pizzas and not leave before Gal comes. When Brienne's brother finally arrives, looking worse for wear and anxious, Jaime takes Brienne to the kitchen, letting Eddie and his parents to sort out the introductions by themselves in Brienne's living room.
“Gods Jaime,” Brienne sighs and pulls two beers out of the fridge, pops them open and hands one to Jaime who is leaning against the counter looking as handsome as ever. “I know you're going to be insufferable forever if I say this but you really saved the day tonight. I was at the end of my wits when you arrived.”
“You know I have been wondering if there is anyone who can make you lose your composure, Tarth. Who would have thought it's a small stinky infant who can defeat you and not some corporate lawyer.” He takes a drink from his bottle and Brienne tries not to stare at his Addam's apple bobbing up and down. She feels her face going hot anyways and when Jaime suddenly puts away his bottle and steps closer to her, she gets hot everywhere. “Brienne,” he starts to say, his hand on the counter quite near Brienne's arm and his green eyes so close that Brienne can see the flecks of gold, but before he can continue Jayne shows up at the kitchen, carrying Eddie.
“Brienne, can you take him for a while?” the girl pops Eddie to Brienne's arms and goes back to the living room where the voices have been steadily rising in the last minutes. Eddie doesn't seem to be up to anything particular this time, having already demonstrated all his baby skills earlier (crying, eating, sleeping, wiggling and soiling the diapers) and just looks around with his wide blue eyes.
“I'm sorry you missed the party, Jaime.” There is shouting on the streets. It seems to get nearer to midnight so Brienne steps to the window to show Eddie the fireworks. Jaime follows her there.
“I did have some plans tonight.” He has a soft smile on his face. Ten, nine, eight... comes from the street below them.
“Yeah, what plans?” Jaime is very close to her again. Only the baby in Brienne's arms separates them. Four, five...
“There you are.”
Jaime groans when Brienne turns around to see Gal and Jayne entering the kitchen. “I was just showing Eddie the fireworks.”
Two, one! Brienne hears the fireworks going off behind her. Happy new year!
“Happy new year, Gal.” Brienne says and plops Eddie into her brother's arms. Gal looks extremely uncomfortable. Good, thinks Brienne with some sisterly malice, leftover from the years of dealing with Gal's crying girlfriends. Before Brienne can say anything more, she feels Jaime's arm sneaking around her waist. She turns to him instead. “Happy new year, Jaime.”
“Happy new year, Brienne.” His lips are very soft when he finally kisses her.
Baby Eddie gets his new year kiss next.