Jaime watches the young king as he slept in a bed far too big for him; everything was too big for the boy, including the titles placed upon him. His thoughts travel to Cersei and the knowledge of her promise she loved the child (same as the other two) were pure of heart, but in his own heart Jamie knew if forced to choose between her child and keeping a hold of power; she would let go of the boy.
As he continues to watch from the bedside in silence the horror that he constantly pushes down keeps bubbling up. This child, his child, would never be safe. There could never be peace for him. Still young enough not to fully understand the pressure and cruel ways of the world, that's changing quickly though; he's becoming aware, asking questions, learning of the history, and realizing his role he has and will have. Jaime knew that his firstborn wanted that power, craved it in a way looking back was not natural and never pure of heart; but this child dreaming peacefully never asked for it. Yet he has it.
Jaime is not a fool to believe his sister will back off when he becomes of age to rule solely on his own; she will continue to puppet him, mold him to be the perfect King Of The Seven Kingdoms. He knows the mold Cersei is to cast the child with, it's a dark mold only accompanying herself and very few others. A King should not be like that. A King should not be forced to rule. A boy should be allowed to be a boy. Jaime takes a deep breath, trying to calm the nerves that have entered him, nearly shaking him; he has to protect his child; he stands up and gently brushes the blond hairs from his forehead, he opens his eyes slowly.
"Hello, Ser uncle." The boy's voice is small, heavy with sleep.
"Hello, Tommen." He doesn't use his titles when alone.
"What are you doing?"
"I...' Jaime pauses, as to turn away for a moment 'I wanted to tell you that I'm proud of you and I love you. Tommen smiles and gives a tiny nod.
"And I love you Ser uncle. I'm doing a good job?"
"The best you possibly could. I have a special treat for you' He reaches into his pocket pulling out a small vile of purple-hued liquid. 'It tastes of honeysuckle." The boy sits up and takes the vile from his uncle, the smile now far larger.
"Oh really? For what occasion?"
"Because I thought of you when I saw it. I will be away before you awake and wanted to make sure I had a chance to personally give it to you. Was that acceptable Tommen?" Jaime inadvertently gasps as he watches his son swing back the liquid swallowing in one gulp.
"Yes, that was fine. Thank you. You're leaving again? So soon?' Jaime nods. 'When will I see you again Ser uncle?"
"Not for a long time if the Gods are to be fortunate."
"I don't understand..." Jaime watches Tommen's eyes droop as he fights what Jaime assumes the young king thinks is sleep.
"Don't worry about it son." He never used that word in his presence before, but the boy does not seem to notice as he lays back down.
"I think I'll sleep again Ser uncle."
"Sweet dreams." Jaime leans down and kisses one cheek, then the other, and removes the vile from Tommen's hand returning to his pocket. He sits back in the chair and this time does not try to control the tears. He prays the liquid would act quickly and without pain. Will put you in a forever sleep, slowly the heartbeats, and breaths from the lungs. Is what he had been told a month prior as he adjourned such a disguise he would not even be able to recognize himself. Once digested the poison could not be found, the truth would not be known; for such a powerful weapon Jaime had to pay fifty gold dragons. To save his son from this world he'd pay fifty thousand. He looks at the bed and Tommen once more, his chest no longer raises and falls.
"Goodnight," Jaime whispers as he stands up and walks towards the door. He is not worried about being caught or questioned why he was here. He knew this place better than the back of his hand and knew the paths to take to not be seen by a single soul. He walks that path slowly, the reality of what had just occurred pressing on his shoulders. I did it to save him. I did it to protect him. He was too pure for this world. Cersei would have destroyed him such as she destroyed Joffrey. If, no when the truth of who I really am to him came to light they'd kill him. Jaime repeats it all as reminders of why he had to act.
"Mother please forgive me." The words stumble out as he steps out from a long-lost secret door of the castle into the bantering rain. He had thought of going back inside through a known entrance making an excuse if asked why he was out at this time, in this hour; and it makes a good alibi if it came to that. Yet he could not bear to return, he did not want to be there in a few hours when the screams of the septa in charge of waking Tommen filled the walls. He did not want to be forced to play grieving uncle. He had already made known his plans, leaving to rejoin Brienne to continue to assist her; he did not care that nearly person who heard this thought he was a fool.
"Is he ready?" Jaime asks the Stable Master who for a moment just stares at the Lord.
"Of course. Just as promised. Perhaps you shou..." He hears no more walking past to find his stead groomed, cleaned up, and ready for another journey. Jaime's handful of provisions needed were already on his person, anything else needed he could accrue along the journey. He opens the gate, pats the beast who releases a friendly neigh as Jaime climbs onto the saddle. All it takes is a firm but gentle pull on the reins and the horse steps from its covered enclosure out into the storm.
Jaime rides for hours, until the sun reclaimed the sky and then a bit after that. Eventually, a full rest is needed and not just a few passing minutes; he had already killed a child in under a day, he would not also be responsible for this animal dying too. He leads the tired beast to a hitching post, tosses a coin to a young boy asking him to care for the animal as he enters a small inn, it's sigial revealing to be loyal friends of the Lannister's. A few tables and chairs are being occupied, morning conversations mulling around, no one paying attention to the new stranger.
"Didcha hear about the news from Kingslanding?" Jaime forces himself not to turn towards the man addressing his friend (he assumed) had word of Tommen's death already spread this fast?
"It's a shame."
"Do they know how?"
"Nah. They think it was just an accident. These things happen."
"You do have to feel bad for Queen Cersei. First, she lost her son and now her daughter." Jaime's knees give out and he stumbles to the ground. Daughter? Dear innocent Myrcella?! Without lifting his head he calls out.
"What happened to the girl!"
"Her shipwrecked in the storm. No survivors." Jaime remains on his knees, starts to sob, not caring what others thought or if they judged him. The Gods have punished him for his act, by taking his brave and strong daughter. He had held on hope that despite the fact he knew Tommen's faith was sealed with a black X that for Myrcella she'd be okay, even if all the truth came to light. He loved two of his three children, but she always felt to be a gift from the Gods; a gift they ripped from him.
His thought then flies once more to his sister, his poor sister; soon if not already she'd be grieving her final children and without her brother to comfort her. He for a moment considers returning to his horse and retracing their journey to be by her side. No. She would be able to bear this alone, it had to end somehow. And forever. Myrcella was the last hold to that life and her; perhaps the Gods were being kind to him?
"Ser Jaime?!" His head snaps up at a familiar voice.
"Lady Brienne? What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same, but first I am so sorry to hear of your niece." Though she knew the truth she never would reveal it even in private. He wonders when the words of sorrow for Tommen will begin?
"Yes. As am I. She was a good child...we should be on our way. Ser Reginald won't wait long."
"Don't you want to return home? To be with...your sister?"
"She does not need me. Not anymore." Jaime gives Brienne a look and she knows not to say more.
"As you wish Jaime. Podrick is with the horses, including yours."
"Are you sure you need to re..."
"I'm fine wench!" Her eyes grow dark, guilt fills him but says nothing more.
"I'll meet outside in a few minutes." Said through clenched teeth as she storms out. He ignores the looks and remarks said in whispers from the patrons who witnessed the conversation; he did not care what a few lesser borns thought. Taking a few deep breaths he heads out too and nearly walks into the young woman.
"Ready?" Jaime mutters, she only nods and leads him to where Pod is waiting as promised. The three still in silence climb onto their respective horses and race out; him racing away from a destiny he so desperately wanted to shed. He has faith some way that his woman keeping pace with him, was the key.