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Into the Lion's Jaws

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“Lady Sansa” the clipped, cold voice of the King’s Hand pulled her from her daydreams and back to the horrible reality of the Red Keep.

She schooled her features before she turned from the balcony, ensuring her mask of indifference was in place, “Lord Hand” she curtsied, using the action to quell the fury in her blood. He was watching her closely, she could feel it as she stood.

“I suspect you already know why I am here” he said, moving from his place near the room’s entrance to stand before her at the balcony’s door.

Before now, she had had no interaction with the Great Lion. She had heard others’ accounts of him, always spoken with reverence dipped in fear. Good, she’d thought, at least the Lannisters are afraid of something. Upon his arrival in King’s Landing, she had been gifted a brief respite from being the Court’s daily entertainment. This, she knew, was because of what he had seen upon his arrival. She had been nearly naked, save for her torn shift, Ser Meryn once again lashing her back as King Joffrey squealed in delight. Squealed like the disgusting pig he was. No, that was insulting to pigs...

The Lord Hand had put a stop to it, she felt the cold fury rolling off him in waves as he dismissed the court and had her escorted to her rooms. Here she had stayed, a prisoner as always, until she waited for something to happen. Waiting was always the worst. Left in solitude to ponder over every possible future was sickening.

She had heard the gossip two days ago, that King Joffrey was to marry Lady Margaery Tyrell in less than a moon's turn. For the first time in memory, she had sobbed in relief. She was free of the monster she had once begged for. Free. Freedom has a price, however. So once her tears of relief were dried, she began to prepare herself for what came next. She was not stupid, she knew that she was now only a pawn in the Lannister’s hands, free of Joffrey but still a maid. Quite the prize for them to hold; a maidenly key to the North.

She had waited 3 days for her price and now the Lion was here to collect.

Ensuring that her voice and eyes were vacant, she gave a nod, “His Grace is to marry another, Lord Hand.”

“Lady Margaery Tyrell,” Tywin replied, his feline eyes boring through her. Beneath his examination she felt naked once more, stripped bare of every wall she could possibly erect. And it infuriated her.

 

He was a man who prided himself on a great many things, the most important of which was being able to read anyone at a glance. He could see through the armor of any king, nobleman or soldier, fetter out the truth beneath their pretty words and cut them to the quick with words of his own if need be. It was a good skill to have and had served him well. He had worked hard to restore his family's honor, erasing any damage done by his Father, and would go to any length to ensure his legacy. He knew he was a hard, cold man, but those were necessary qualities to possess.

But this girl, this tiny slip of a thing fascinated him. By all accounts, he expected Lady Sansa Stark to be as stupid and weak as his daughter and grandson reported her to be. A simpleton at the very best. Such opinions that were repeated in letters were being loudly echoed by the King himself as he had arrived in the throne room three days prior.

 

“Stupid whore, how would you like that? To have your brother’s head on a pike! I could have it delivered to you now that it is no longer attached to his body!” Joffrey’s voice echoed in the hall. Tywin made his way from the door, behind the crowd of courtiers to watch in morbid fascination as the thin, waif of a girl stood tall against every cruelty hurled at her. Her control was impeccable, not a single emotion apparent on her person, nor in her posture.

He moved, still unseen despite his imposing appearance thanks to the rooms focus being on the Stark girl, and now stood parallel to her left. Where he’d expected a simpleton, incapable of thought, instead he was looking at a young woman who did everything in her power to quell the fire in her eyes. To control the defiant tilt of her chin. To survive. He could see it plain as day; the fire and fury of a woman repeatedly wronged. And yet, she portrayed herself the demure little bird, repeating what the King wanted to hear.

“Do you know what we do to wolf bitches in the South” Joffrey laughed as he motioned to the Kingsguard to his left. “We break them” he continued. Before she could move, her arms were held by two men in white cloaks. “Isn’t that right Ser Meryn?” he spoke to the third man who now moved to her back, roughly wrenching her hair to the side before cutting the back of her dress open.

If it was ill fitting before, the dress now positively gaped, falling from her body to rest on her elbows. Nearly bare to her waist she let out only a small whimper as the cold blade of the knight’s dagger trailed across an array of scars, old and new.

Tywin stared in disgust at the roadmap of pain her body had become at his grandson’s hand. Bruises dotted her back and shoulders, markers of the pain she had borne quite recently. Disappointment in his family coursed through his veins.

“What will it be today, Ser Meryn?” Joffrey flicked his wrist and they forced the girl to her knees, her fiery hair falling to cover her face entirely. “The whip, I should think?” With practiced dexterity, Meryn produced a whip and lashed the girl before anyone could speak.

Tywin had had enough. Stepping forward he made his presence known, turning his hard gaze on the men and women of court who stood in audience. “Out” he hissed the single word, its weight bearing more threats than a thousand words, sending court instantly scurrying for the doors.

“Lord Hand, you’re just in time--” Joffrey laughed nervously.

“You will shut your mouth this instant,” he said softly, glaring down at the boy, silently daring him to speak. “Release her” he ordered the guards and they did, her body crumbling to the marble in a mess of red hair and torn fabric. “Ser Addam, escort Lady Sansa to her chambers and stay at the door until I dismiss you” he told one of his trusted guards who quickly got to work helping her to her feet and leading her away.

“Grandfather---”

“You insolent child, is this your idea of pleasing your court? To beat noble women, expose them?” Tywin glared.

“She is a traitor---” Joffrey screamed but the look in Tywin’s eyes had him nervously bouncing on her feet.

“She was your betrothed” Tywin said calmly. “But you do not deserve the key to the North if you think the only way to inspire respect is to beat it from women.”

“I am the King!” Joffrey screeched. Tywin only glared, watching the worm squirm under his gaze.

 

“I wish them both a fruitful marriage, Lord Hand” Sansa parroted perfectly, eyes fixed somewhere near his shoes, hands held demurely in front of her waist.

“What will become of you now?” he asked, wondering how far he could push her facade.

“I will serve as my King commands, Lord Hand” she said, her tone vacant.

“And if he commands you to be his whore?”

“Then I will endeavor to please His Grace” she said, the slight scrunch of her brow her only giveaway as to the disgust she felt at such an idea.

“What do you know about pleasing Kings?”

“As you say” she nodded. “Lord Han---”

“Enough” he grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him, her light blue eyes wide. “Enough with your courtesy. Show me.”

“Lord Hand, I--”

“Show me” he demanded. “The King is to marry another, what say you?”

Her eyes briefly flashed, “I wish them---”

“No” he cut her off, the word sharp as a blade. “Enough of your courtly lies. I am not Joffrey and you, Sansa Stark, are not a meek bird. Show me!” he demanded. “Your king is to marry another, what say you?”

They stared at each other for several long seconds, neither daring to move. He suspected that if he did not hold her chin, she would turn away, but he held her captive and his reward was watching the ice melt from her eyes as her nostrils briefly flared.

“Good” she whispered the word with more fury that he thought possible. “He is a monster!”

“What will become of you now?” he prompted.

“I will be sold off to the next nobleman with a working cock” she spat, blue eyes now full of glorious strength.

He did not flinch at her crude language, “If your king would ask you to serve as his whore---”

“I would kill myself before I let him--let that sick boy touch me” she said. While her tone was soft, the words were not less vehement. “Lord. Hand.”

“There it is” he used his grip on her chin to turn her head slightly each way, enjoying the flush on her high cheekbones. “The truth of Sansa Stark” he released her chin and stood back to his full height. While he would have towered over most, she stood tall beside him, the top of her head just passing his shoulders. “You hide it well. Very well. You can fool the court, fool the King, but you cannot hide from me. You will not hide from me.”

She held his gaze as she dropped her hands to her sides, “Who is it to be then?”

There was no mistaking her meaning, “There are several options, one more favorable than the others.”

“I suppose it was too much to hope that you would send me home” she said softly. “Who then?”

“I could marry you to my son, Tyrion” he began. “But there is the matter of fathering heirs. He is defiant enough to leave you untouched and there is no guarantee he can father children.”

“Jaime then” she raised a delicate arched brow. “You would want the key to the North close. Bannermen can be bought, so it would have to be a Lannister. The king could dismiss Jaime from his duties and allow him to marry. We are both well aware that he can father children.”

“Careful girl” he felt his temper rise but schooled it well, years of practice making it easy.

 

Sansa stared up at the Great Lion, unflinching as he chastised her. He had not struck her, which surprised her. But he had seen through her walls, stripped her bare and so she would not give him the pleasure of flinching. She stood proudly, brain working quickly to sort through this surprisingly honest conversation they were having.

Being forced to attend court and dinners so regularly, she was able to pick of bits of information here and there from gossip and rumors. It was true she was trapped but she was not stupid. It was all a game of chess to them, kings, queens and pawns moving about the board to see who would win and who would die.

She was also not ignorant as to her role in this. With all of her family gone, having either fallen in battle in the Riverlands or when Winterfell was taken by the Bolton’s and with Arya missing, she was the last Stark, the heir to Winterfell and men had fought and killed to have a chance at claiming the North. Here she was, a girl of twenty, ripe for the wedding.

Looking over to the Great Lion, she felt something click in her mind. Ah, she thought, I am missing the most obvious answer of all. A widower, patriarch and a man still able to father children at his age of near 60. The answer was literally staring her in the face.

“You then” she said. “I suppose that is your preferable option.”

“Very good” he gave only the slightest inclination of his head as his emerald eyes looked smug. “We will marry in a fortnight and make no mistake, you will give me children.”

“And if I throw myself off this balcony?” she asked.

“Then I will wake you up and keep you in the black cells until the time of the wedding” he replied without pause. “But I believe that if you think over your options, you will determine that I am not the worst that could happen.”

She watched as he moved slightly closer, invading her space and forcing her to look up at him. He was not an ugly man, no in truth he was still handsome despite his once golden hair now being mostly white. His figure was powerful, imposing and she knew that he was the true power being the iron throne. The entire kingdom knew it under Aerys and it was true now, Tywin Lannister was the ruler. To have him as her husband, she could be safe, she could even perhaps convince him to send her to the Rock, away from all of this madness.

She thought briefly on his first wife, Joanna and the rumored affection he had for her. She supposed there must be some truth to it if he did not remarry for thirty years. She was not under the misguided illusion that Tywin could ever love her, but if she could garner his favor that would be most advantageous. Tears aren’t a woman’s only weapon. The best one’s between your legs. Cersei had told her once and she had dismissed it. But now...

Meeting his leonin eyes once more, she saw something flash in the depths, “Tell me, Lord Hand, since I cannot figure it myself. Is it because I amuse you or arouse you?”

“Both” he replied without pause. “You will be my wife and you will not be touched by the Kingsguard again, you have my word.” He stepped back, “You will be moved into the Hands quarters the day of the wedding, until then you will have Addam at your door. He will have a list of people allowed to be admitted and anyone else will be sent away. A seamstress will also be arriving to measure you for a new wardrobe and any other necessary items. You will be Lady Lannister, and as such cannot wear these rags that Cersei has kept you in.”

She gave a nod, “Thank you” she meant the words, as she knew her dresses were too small and too short for her frame now.

He acknowledged her words with a single nod, “For now I will leave you to your ponderings. Good day, Lady Stark.”

“Good day, Lord Hand” she watched as he strode away, his gait determined and unfaltering as he left her to the most peaceful silence she had felt in a long, long time.

Chapter Text

The day of the wedding dawned the same as any other, only this time she was awake to see it. She sat on the tile floor of her balcony clad in her robe, staring into the horizon as the sun emerged across the waters.

She had not seen her betrothed since he left her chambers a fortnight ago. As promised Lannister guards were at her door and now she was delivered 3 meals each day. Her body had already begun to fill out with its newfound nutrition. The seamstress he had sent visited several times, once to measure her and once to deliver several new gowns, all in red and gold. A third visit, yesterday's visit, was to deliver her wedding dress. She did not know what she expected, but it certainly had not been the beautiful dove grey down in the Northern style. It was...perfect.

“The Lord Hand gave me strict instructions” the seamstress had explained with a nervous smile.

Of course, Sansa nodded to herself. He was marrying the North, he would want to make a statement. And this dress was a beautiful statement. Along with the gown was several new shifts, nightgowns and smallclothes. He had even sent her new stockings and a pair of shoes. A statement indeed.

Soon she would have to begin to prepare herself for the day ahead of her. Irina, the maid Tywin had tasked to help her would arrive any moment, but Sansa sat unmoving on the balcony.

When she imagined marrying a golden knight, she did not think it would be to the terrifying Great Lion himself. Yes, he was older than her, but she had always expected her husband would be older. Brides were young to ensure fertility, an idea that made her decidedly nervous now.

She scoffed to herself, wondering how she had managed to catch the eye of the Lord Hand. He had seen through her and seemed to encourage the fire she kept hidden from court. She had to dance the Joffrey’s tune, had to tell him what he wanted to hear if she wanted to stay alive. But Tywin could not hide that he wanted her fire, her defiance. He had admitted to having been at least in some way aroused by her, and she only hoped that that would work in her favor.

“My Lady” Irina’s voice sounded in the chamber as the maid set her breakfast tray on the sideboard. “Are you well?” the small maid appeared on the balcony.

“I am well” Sansa assured her. “Just thinking.”

“Big day” Irina gave a soft smile. “Scary.”

“It is” Sansa agreed, grateful for the oddly candid conversation. “Will you still be my maid...after?” she found herself asking.

“I am not sure” Irina said.

“I should like it if you were, I will speak to my h-husband” her voice tripped over the word.

The maid curtsied, “Thank you, My Lady” she smiled before moving inside.

Sansa pushed herself to her feet and followed her maid, grabbing a pastry from the breakfast tray as she moved to stare at her wedding dress.

“I will arrange for a bath and then we can sort out your hair--” Irina began.

“The Northern way” Sansa turned from the dress. “It should be styled the Northern way.”

“Of course” Irina nodded. Sansa turned back to the dress. It the Lord Hand wanted a Northern bride, he would have a Northern bride.

Later as she bathed, rubbing the scented oils into her skin, she felt herself washing away the porcelain of her skin, replacing every inch with Northern steel. Soon she would have to tame the Great Lion. Whatever she faced, she would be strong, she would survive and she would not let them run roughshod over her ever again.

 

Tywin stood at the altar in the Sept of Baelor, Jaime, Cersei, Tyrion and Joffrey on the steps below. Joffrey had been fairly insistent that he escort Lady Sansa down the aisle, but Tywin would not allow that to happen. No, the North would come to him alone, he would give his betrothed that much.

As the doors opened, he watched with his practiced disinterest as she appeared. Ah yes, his Northern bride. He knew that the gown would be a good choice, a symbol and statement in itself. He inwardly smirked, realizing that with her hair styled in the Northern way, she had not missed his intention. While she may be the last Stark, she certainly carried herself like the proudest.

Whispers followed her as she descended the steps, hands holding no flowers, only lifting her dress enough to ensure she would not trip. Her head was held high, shoulders squared and he saw that she did not wear her demure facade. Good. This was not the girl they had seen in court, not the simpering child who spun lies. No, this was the first time that they were seeing her, the truth of Sansa Stark.

As she climbed the steps before him, she hesitated only slightly when Joffrey murmured something to her, something he could not make out but would be addressing later. She did not reply, instead looked up to him and kept his gaze as she climbed the remaining steps.

She stood proudly before him, even taller in her wedding shoes and clothed in her house colors. While he did not care for the Starks, they were an old and honorable house and the keepers of the North. It was the North he married today as much as it was this proud woman.

“You may cloak your bride and bring her under your protection” the Septon began and Tywin turned to grab the lush velvet cloak, the scarlet color deep and rich. Unfurling its length, Sansa turned, moving her hand aside so he could place it on her shoulders. The cloak was long, like her dress, and spilled down the steps before them as she turned back to him.

In this moment, he idly thought her beautiful. She was young to be sure, nearly 40 years his junior, but she was strong and her mind was sharp. It would have made sense for him to dismiss Jaime from the guard, to give her to his eldest son and send them to the Rock. But she would be wasted on Jaime. At his side, she would be a formidable Lady, in truth. She would not be abused, or beaten, but she would know her place as Lady Lannister. He would see to that as they both would see to the Lannister legacy.

The ceremony passed quickly, and in a bit of a blur. It was not the joyous occasion that his wedding to Joanna had been but it was not a somber occasion either. He found that because of her height he did not have to bend far to kiss her, the chaste touching of lips deigned only to show them as wed. Later they would focus on other, more pleasant, kisses.

She took his arm as they walked back down the stairs, applause echoing around them as they reached the steps where his family stood.

“Congratulations, Grandmother” Joffrey snickered and Tywin fixed him with a glare laced with a warning that had the king withering.

Cersei only glared as they continued their walk, leaving the Sept to find the carriage that would take them back to the palace.

 

Sansa sat beside her husband, his broad figure looking fine in a deep burgundy tunic, his Hand pin gleaming in the candlelight in the dining room. The feast was winding to a close and soon she would have to face the reality that she would be truly wedded and bedded by the Great Lion.

She schooled her grimace as she thought of the bedding ceremony, wishing that they would not have one. She did not want others, Joffrey especially, touching her. Unfortunately her husband did not miss her grimace, observant man that he was.

“Is something amiss?” he asked quietly.

“I do not want a bedding ceremony” she said plainly, seeing no point him lying. “I should not like to be touched, not anymore.”

He gave a slight nod, “Then we shall not have one, My Lady.”

She was surprised that he would grant her this concession so quickly, but then she imagined he had no more desire to be manhandled than she did. “Thank you, Lord Hand.”

“I am grateful you received my message” he nodded to the grey of her gown.

“It was quite clear,” she countered. “And I thank you for the dress, and the others.”

Another nod, “They have been moved, along with your belongings to the Tower of the Hand. You will share my chambers and you will be guarded. Speaking of, I believe it is time we excuse ourselves from these frivoloties” he looked across the room at Tyrion who was clearly quite drunk and laughing louding with a group of lesser lords. Tywin stood beside her and offered his hand, helping her to her feet.

“A bedding then, Grandfather!” Joffrey snickered.

“No, Your Grace” Tywin said, loud enough to be heard. “I will be the only one to touch my wife.” The double meaning hung heavily in the hall. With that, he lead her away. They walked in silence, her hand on his arm as they made their way to their chambers.

 

Soon Sansa found herself standing near the balcony doors in Tywin’s--no, their room, a glass of arbor gold in hand as she braced herself for the unexpected.

“What have you been told, My Lady, about marital duties” Tywin broke the silence, moving to stand beside her.

“I would much prefer it, if in our rooms you would call me Sansa” she asked. “And I have been told what all good little ladies are told; that it will hurt but it is my duty, my reward will be children.”

“I believe it appropriate in our chambers that you call me Tywin” he began. “And I am sure that you know your education is quite lacking, at least in this particular area.”

“And is that what you would like to do, Tywin? Teach me?” she set her glass aside and turned to face him, watching his emerald eyes flash.

“I believe you would be an apt pupil” his voice was soft and dark as he stepped closer to her.

“What is to be my first lesson then?” she asked, looking up at him. His eyes, so sharp before were now full of heat, want.

“Unpin your hair” he instructed and she obeyed, not breaking eye contact she unpinned the braids at her temples, pulled the hair free of the plaits to have in waves around her face. She watched him as he, dare she say, admired her hair. His eyes raking over her until he found her eyes once more, this time as he mouth descended to hers. One of his hands carding into her hair to tilt her head just perfectly as he delved into her mouth.

She absently registered the clicking of her hair pins hitting the floor as she melted into his kiss. Her hands, now empty, found his doublet, fingers tracing over the intricate buckles. This kiss was nothing like the one he’d given her in the Sept. This was a claiming kiss from a powerful man that was determined to possess. And possess he did, heat spreading through her system like wildfire as his lips and tongue devoured her.

Her body collided with his as one of his long arms wound around her back, pulling her tightly against him. His body was hard and warm, her own forming to his with ease as her arms found their way around his shoulders. Their kisses were wild, deep and sinful, leaving her gasping for air between them.

She had not felt their movement, but his hand had worked at the side laces of her gown and soon it was loose on her body. She let out a soft gasp as he broke away from her, feeling dizzy as he was no longer holding her up.

“Second lesson” he all but purred. “Remove your clothes.”

“And will my husband do the same?” she countered.

“No,” he said plainly. “You will undress yourself and then undress your husband.”

She knew her hands were trembling as she pushed the dress from her shoulders, but that could not be helped. The fabric slid from her body and she had to shimmy slightly to work it over her hips, then let it fall to the floor. She wore only her thin shift and felt the chill of the room course over her exposed arms and legs.

“All of it” he encouraged, watching her with predator’s eyes and she unbuttoned the shift’s straps and it fell away, followed by her smallclothes. With a crooked finger he beckoned her closer. Stepping out of her gown, aware of her nudity, she moved toward him. “You are quite beautiful,” he mused, the featherlight touch of his fingertips trailing over her bare shoulder and across the tops of her breasts. “Undo my belt and doublet” he said softly, his fingers continuing their exploration of her skin.

She unwrapped and loosened his belt, letting it fall to the floor as she moved to worked the clasps with trembling hands. Soon the burgundy fabric parted to reveal the black undershirt he wore beneathe. She pushed the thick fabric from his shoulders and his hand left her body only long enough to let the long jacket fall away. Her hands trailed back over his broad shoulders, to his chest and stomach where she could feel the muscles clench and relax. Though much older than her, there was still a lot of youth left in Tywin and it showed in his body.

“Good girl,” he praised and she looked up at him once more. “The shirt now.”

She pulled the linen free from his trousers, her hands meeting warm skin dusted with blonde hair as she pulled it over his head and free from his body. Before the material hit the floor, he had kicked his boots away and his arms were around her once more, hot against her cooled flesh as he reclaimed her mouth.

Sensation crashed through her as her chest pressed against his, skin on skin for the first time. She felt every hard line of him against her, including the long length of him pressed against her stomach. His lips were firm, full and insistent, stealing away her very breath as she felt him lift her body against his. Her arms were around his shoulders once again as he moved them toward the large bed.

“Trousers” he said between kisses and she understood his instructions. Her hands went between them and blindly worked the ties free, moving both his pants and small clothes away until the long, hard length of him settled against her body.

Her legs hit the foot of the bed first, then her back as he moved over her and centered them on the crisp sheet. She mewled as their nude flesh was pressed together entirely, the warmth of his body and the slight tickle of his blonde hairs sent tingles through her.

He pulled back slowly, rising above her to rest on an elbow, the other hand trailing down her body. “Shall we move to your next lesson” his smile was purely predatorial as she gave a small nod. His mouth travelled then, from the corner of her mouth to her jaw, neck and shoulder. “A husband who thinks only of his pleasure, does not deserve to be a husband” his warm breath skated across her breasts as he pulled one of her nipples into his mouth. She arched against him, gasping as her hands went to his hair.

 

She was glorious, as he knew she would be from the first moment he saw her. From her porcelain perfection to fiery hair, she was a goddess. She had been afraid, he could sense that from the moment they were alone, but she did not let her fear cower her. She knew what needed to be done and would do her duty.

He was hard from the second she asked if he was going to teach her, the glimmer in her eyes telling him everything he needed to know. She was all fire and fury when dressed, but in this their marital duties she would submit to him and his touch. It would be easy to rut into her like a boar, but why would he do that when he could slowly uncoil her tightly wrapped control and have this firebrand under his spell.

He could already see the change in the new Lady Lannister, in the way she walked, held her head and spoke. She was his wife now, and she could call upon the fear attached to his name to ensure she was treated as she deserved.

As he pulled from ancient memories of how to seduce a woman, he tasted, teased and suckled her, a hand wandering her soft skin with featherlight touches. He had not taken a maid since his first wedding night and any needs he had had since then were discretely dealt with by experienced women, but in this he would take his time.

“Tywin” she gasped his name as his hand trailed from the curve of her hip inward to find the ore hidden beneath fiery curls. Another gasp as he found her, hot and soaked, his fingers easily slipping through her folds.

He knew the instant he found her bundle of nerves, because her cry filled the room and her back arched in the most sinful way. He was not lying when he said a man who ignored a woman’s pleasure was undeserving. Yes, a husband had a duty to plant his seed in his wife, but the act was much more pleasurable when both parties enjoyed it.

He teased her with his fingers, occasionally slipping his middle finger inside her folds to tease her channel. She was already writhing, panting as he teased her with his lips and fingers, he could hardly imagine what it would be like to feel such reactions around his cock.

“Next lesson” he kept his fingers busy and moved to whisper in her ear. “A good wife always comes when her husband commands” she gasped, eyes slamming shut. “Come” he commanded and she screamed, her body reaching its peak at his touch, her hands holding so tightly to his shoulders that she might have broken the skin with her nails. “Good girl” he kissed beneath her ear as he parted her legs with his own. “Breathe” he encouraged, lining himself up with her body, lightly dipping the head of his cock into her folds. He knew that now, lax from her peak, would be easiest on her. He did not want to hurt her, but it had to be done. “Breathe” he said once more and when he felt her inhale, sank into her body with a long, smooth thrust.

She cried out as he felt her maiden’s gift stretch and give way, her body stiff beneath him as her hands gripped his shoulders once more.

“Good girl” he held still, allowing her to adjust. She was so incredibly tight he could stay there for hours. “It’s done now, no more pain.” She gave a nod and he cupped her cheek prompting her to open her eyes once more. “Wrap your legs around me” he said and she obeyed, the motion allowing him even deeper into her body. He groaned as she whimpered, her long legs wrapping around his back. Slowly he rocked against her, hoping his small movements would help to spurn her pain to pleasure.

He took her lips once more, swallowing her whimpers as he began to move within her in earnest. She was more than wet, which made it easier, her channel gripping him in the most sinful way. Their kiss grew deeper as he adjusted his knees to fuck her harder, deeper, their pants and the wet noises filling the room. He was not sure she would find her peak this first time, but he could feel when her pain had melted away, her hips instinctually rising to meet his as she cried out against his mouth.

“Next lesson” she purred against his mouth, hands in his hair as she pressed their foreheads together as he slammed into her over and over. “A good husband comes when his wife commands” she ran her tongue along his lower lip. “Come” she whispered and his body obeyed, pushing deep to fill her, pulsing within her until he could no longer hold himself up and collapsed beside her.

She crawled up beside him, her body molding to his side as she kissed him softly as her red hair hung over them both. No words needed to be said. Pulling the blanket over them, he relaxed against the pillow as she put her head on his shoulder. Her breathing soon evened out signalling his Northern bride was asleep. She had a core of fire, strength he found he oddly admired and a naturally submissive tendency that would suit their marriage bed well.

Breathing deeply he could smell the rose oils in her hair, smell the scent of their coupling and it served to pull him into slumber.

Chapter Text

Walking quickly, as to outrun the palace gossip, Sansa made her way to the Lord Hands office in the tower. They had been married several moons now and the intimacy between them had only grown. He was still cold and distant beyond the walls of their room, but they had settled into a sort of rhythm when in their chambers.

He had proven to be quite a diligent instructor, teaching her all the ways they could find pleasure in each other. And she was an aput student.

She had peace from Joffrey and her interactions with Cersei had been reduced to stilted small talk. Even though delays continued to halt the royal wedding, she was spared their wrath. It was the happiest she had been since coming to King’s Landing. Reaching the door she smiled at the guards who did not stop her, as they had been instructed to always admit her should she visit.

“Lord Hand” she walked in as the guards shut the door behind her. She found his tall form at his desk bent over several letters. “A moment of your time, if you please.”

“I am quite busy” he said looking up at her as she approached anyway.

“Am I not important, husband?” she asked, raising a bow. His reply was a look of exasperation that made her laugh. Others might be frightened by that look but she saw the truth in his eyes. He was not in the slightest annoyed. Taking his hand from the desk she took it in hers, “Are we not important?” she placed his hand over her stomach.

“Sansa” he swallowed.

“I’ve come from the Maester, to tell you myself before one of your spies reports back to you,” she explained. “I have not bled since the moon after our wedding. I am with child.”

He stood, moving his chair back to face her. “This is very good news” he guided her to stand between him and the desk, kissing her softly.

“I thought so,” she replied, touching his doublet beneath his Hand pin. “It’s unfortunate you’re so...busy” she smirked before turning away. She laughed when his arms snaked around her from behind, pulling her back flush against him. She knew she had hooked him...

 

“Not so busy” his hands trailed over her body as his lips found her neck, gently biting his way down to her shoulder. “I’ll take you anytime or any place I please, wife” he worked the ties on her southern style dress and opened it to find she wore only a think silken shift beneath and no small clothes. Her body had filled out in the months they had been wed thanks to proper nutrition and less stress, her curves lush and full under his touch, her butt soft as it rubbed against him.

With one hand softly holding her throat, thumb stroking her jaw, the other hand trailed from her breasts to lift her shift and delve into her core.

“Eager for me” he whispered against the shell of her ear, teasing her folds.

“Tywin” she pleaded, rubbing the curve of her behind against his length.

“Sansa” his tone was mocking, dark and sinful.

“Please.”

“Beg” he instructed, ghosting across her bundle of nerves.

“Please make me come” she gasped as his fingers slipped away. She was about to protest when she heard his belt hit the floor and the rustling of fabric. He released her long enough to pull her dress and shift away before pulling her back flush against his chest. His hand returned to holding her chin as the other guided his cock to her entrance. “Please” she whispered then cried as he filled her in a single, brutal move.

It was hard, rough and dirty, him still fully clothed and her naked as her name day as he fucked her from behind, practically over his desk. Her cries echoed in the room as he returned to teasing her bundle of nerves, already close to falling apart.

His voice was deep, whispering in her ear as he thrust again and again,”Are you a good wife?” he asked.

“Yes!” she cried.

“Prove it” he gently bit the lobe of her ear. “Come” he ordered and she screamed, loud enough that the guards no doubt knew what they were doing, her body spasming around him, milking him until he followed her over the edge, hips stuttering as he poured into her.

Carefully, he guided them to his chair, him sitting with her on his lap. He stroked her heated flesh, soothing her as she trembled.

“I have a proposal,” she whispered, sinfully naked across his lap.

“Oh?”

“After the wedding, have Lord Tyrion act as King Joffrey’s hand for a time so we can go to the Rock” she asked softly. “I would rather have our child there. King’s Landing is not safe for babies.”

“I will consider your proposal” he replied, stroking her bare flesh. “But I will not make a decision until after the royal wedding.”

“Thank you” she nodded.

 

Hours later found Tywin working at his desk as Sansa slept nude across the settee. He did not lie when he said he would consider her proposal. He agreed that their child, their Lannister child, should be born at the Rock, especially if it was a son. It would only be right it be born in his birthright.

The only problem would be bringing Joffrey to heel. That boy was wild, violent and impulsive, none of which were good qualities in a king. He would know from first hand experience. Leaving Tyrion as acting hand, while having its merit, would not work based on the boy’s treatment of his uncle alone.

Pausing in his work he looked over to where Sansa lay, her back was to him, and on display were a hundred reasons that Joffrey could not be left attended. Would he beat Lady Margaery next? Alliances were fragile things and he could not entrust them to Joffrey or Tyrion. With a sigh he ran his hand over his face before getting back to work.

 

Jaime watched from across the royal wedding celebration, his gaze fixed on where his father and new step-mother were talking quietly. They had been married several moons ago and he had wondered as to the reason for the match. His father had not remarried for thirty years and he didn’t understand the change of heart. He would have assumed that Sansa would be married to Tyrion and both of them sent to the Rock, but the Great Lion had taken her for his own.

Watching them now, he could tell they were talking but could not hear what they were saying. His father stood tall in all black and Sansa beside him was in a dress of deep scarlet that seemed to make her hair glow like fire. Her hand was on his father’s arm, her body pressed close to his side.

Cersei had flown into a rage upon hearing the rumors of how loud the new Lannister couple seemed to be and how much they were enjoying their marriage bed. She had thrown goblets, decanters and a chair, screaming about how the Stark whore was ruining their family. He had wondered then if it was that Cersei felt threatened by Sansa that she was so angry. He did not dare correct her to remind her that Sansa was a Lannister now.

Lady Sansa used to be the whipping girl, taking the brunt of Joffrey and Cersei’s abuse for her family’s trespasses against the throne. But since his father had arrived in the city, it all came to an end. In truth, Sansa almost looked...happy now. Certainly healthier and prettier than before. And this father, well, he didn’t look as angry.

A servant approached them to present two goblets on a tray, bowing as they each took one. His father sipped his while Jaime noticed that Lady Sansa did not touch hers. Now this was a new development, he noted. Surely his father hadn’t put a child in her that quickly? Gods, Jaime scoffed. It must be a secret then, as it would drive Cersei over the edge.

He watched as Joffrey approached, sauntering up to his “Grandparents’ as he liked to call them at court. He looked to be already well on his way to drunk when he laughed loudly, taking the goblet from Sansa’s hand to drink deeply before tossing it on the ground at her feet, splashing her dress. His father must have spoken some threat, because Joffrey turned away, laughing once more as he took a few steps and fell to the ground.

His death was slow, agonizing and Jaime would never forget the screams that filled the courtyard.

The celebration erupted into chaos. Jaime however, tore his gaze from the dead king to watch his father, his father who had just realized that someone had tried to poison Sansa and had unintentionally taken the king’s life instead. Rage unlike he’d never seen covered his father’s features as Sansa hid her face in his chest, Tywin’s arms around her. Someone had woken the lion, and there would be the Stranger to pay.

Chapter Text

By the time Tywin returned to their chambers, it was well past dark. He had escorted Sansa there earlier after the wedding guests had been escorted out. She was pale and quiet, so he left Addam at their door and instructed she be left alone to rest.

He had returned to talk with Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion and the council in regards to what happened. Cersei had screamed, raved, demanded that Sansa be arrested for poisoning Joffrey. Tywin was surprised when it was Jaime who spoke up, revealing that he had seen the servant and the exchange with Joffrey. That while she had not drunk the wine, it was not Sansa who did this.

“No,” Tywin had agreed. “She did not do this, she did not drink from her cup because she is with child” and at that, Cersei had become unhinged.

They had been, thus far, unable to locate the servant who had brought the wine. Tywin had gone so far as to have all the serving staff lined up in the hall so he may inspect them in the hopes he would recognize their face.

He was exhausted himself now, leaving the arrangements of a funeral for tomorrow, he had dismissed everyone for the night and headed towards his wife. Giving a nod to Addam, he entered the room and locked the door behind him.

“Tywin” Sansa said instantly, standing from the settee on the balcony to approach him. She wore only her night robe now, her hair loose to her waist as he preferred it. She stopped before him, touching his chest. “Did you discover who did this?” she asked plainly, her eyes expectant.

“No” he admitted. “But we both know it was not meant for the king, so until we discover who is behind this, you will be confined to our rooms. I will hold all small council meetings in this Tower and you will be safe.”

She opened her mouth to argue but exhaled, “Alright” she said, taking a deep breath. “I think ...I think we both know who wants me dead.”

He understood her meaning, “If that is the case, then she will be arrested.”

“If that is the case she killed her child” Sansa said softly. “Her favorite child…”

“While unfortunate, that would be her grief to bear” he stated. “They know you’re with child now, and until further notice, you are not to take audience with her. Is that clear?” he asked and she nodded. “Jaime saw the whole thing, the servant, everything.”

“Cersei did this, Tywin” she stated. “There is no doubt in my mind.”

“We do not have the evidence--”

“Hang evidence” she countered. “You weren’t here Tywin, you weren’t here to see how she treated me. She hates me! She didn’t know I am with child, she sent the wine--”

“Until we can find evidence of this---” Tywin tried to say logically.

“And when she tries again?” Sansa glared up at him. “What then, Tywin?”

“I will find who is behind this, Sansa, of that you can be certain” he met her glare with his own, proud that she did not wither as others did.

“And if it is her” Sansa’s eyes bore through him. “Will you hold her to the letter of the law? She would be a kinslayer, a kingslayer. A crime punishable by---”

“Do not presume---”

“Answer me!” she demanded.

He clenched his jaw, stuck firmly between a rock and a hard place. A daughter and wife. “You should rest--”

She stood up taller, stepping back from him, “No, you should rest, Lord Hand. I find I am not tired” her voice was ice cold as she moved away, turning to walk to the balcony and effectively ending their conversation.

His movements were economical, fueled by anger and frustration, as he readied for bed. He knew, deep in his gut that Cersei had been involved in today’s events. His daughter had been inconsolable at Joffrey’s death, screaming incoherently about the ‘Stark whore’ who was ruining their family. She was so far gone that not even Jaime had been able to calm her, his eldest son’s eyes wide as he looked to him for help.

Tywin lay in bed for some time only to find sleep would not come. He turned to the opposite side, surprised at how large it seemed without Sansa beside him. Tyrion was still at work below stairs, questioning staff before he would move on to any Maester who had been able to get their hands on the poison.

”How is she?” Tyrion had asked him as they sat in the small council room.

“Scared, and rightly so” Tywin said curtly, not willing to delve into discussing his wife with his youngest son.

“I do not believe you are ignorant as to the instigator of this” Tyrion sipped his wine. “Cersei holds a vitriolic hatred for Lady Sansa that has only grown with time.”

“We will find who is behind this and they will be punished for their crime” Tywin promised.

“Even if it is Cersei?”

Rising, he strode to the balcony to find Sansa sitting on the bench, a blanket over her lap as she cried silently. She made no sound, no movement but for the tears on her cheeks. He could not fault her for her tears. She had narrowly escaped death, she was afraid and damned mad.

Moving slowly, he bent to lift her against his chest, grateful when her arms went around his shoulders. He carried her to bed, tucking her beneath the covers before blowing out the candle to crawl in beside her.

“I hate it here” she whispered in the darkness. “This city, that throne ...I hate all of it.”

He did not reply. He could not find the words to. Instead, he pulled her close to his body, the warmth of his chasing away the chill in hers until they both succumbed to slumber.

 

Sansa came awake slowly, her body languid and warm as pleasure coursed through her. As her eyes flickered open she saw that the room was still quite dark, the sun only just rising. Another wave of pleasure hit her and she realized then that her husband had woken her, now naked with his head between her legs.

“Tywin” she whimpered as he lapped at her, teasing her bundle of nerves. A ‘Lord’s Kiss’, he had called it when he introduced it to her in the second moon of their marriage. She had never imagined that such pleasure could be found this way, but as he continued his ministrations, the stubble of his beard and sideburns tickling her inner thighs, she found she quite enjoyed it.

So this is how Tywin Lannister apologizes to his wife, she mused as he suckled her core, a long slender finger sliding into her channel. He must have been at her core a while, as she could feel how wet she was.

She whimpered, feeling her peak closing in as he circled her bundle of nerves without restraint. One of her hands found his hair as the other fisted in the pillow beside her head, body shaking with her pants and she felt it building.

“Come” she felt, more than heard, the words against her most sensitive place and with it she felt her peak wash over her in a tidal wave of heat. She called his name as her body clenched around his finger, his mouth slowing to bring her down with practised ease.

As she went limp, she felt the bed dip as he crawled up her body to take her lips. She could taste herself on his lips and beard, the taste more bitter than she imagined, but did not hesitate to return his kiss with fervor.

Without preamble or a word, he slid deep into her still sensitive body, the stretch of him a delicious ache that she would never grow tired of. Her legs wrapped around him, holding him deep within her as he kissed her softly.

“You are my wife” he told her, propped on his elbows above her, he used his hands to hold her arms above her head. Like this, she was at his mercy, her body clinging to his as he began thrust hard and deep. “From your body will come the heir to Casterly Rock, the heir to Winterfell” he spoke, all but growling as he bit her ear lobe softly. “If you think for one second that I will let anyone, anyone, Lannister or not, threaten that” he said against her cheek, his pace increasing to pound into her, shaking the bed. “Then you are not as smart as I gave you credit for” he bit her neck softly.

 

She tried to pull her arms from his to push him away, but he held them in place with his own now, hips slamming against hers in a punishing, brutal pace. He could see the fire and fury dancing in her eyes as she tightened her legs around him.

“You bastard” she hissed, biting his shoulder. “I promise you,” she spat, panting as he drove them both wild, the bed creaking in protest. “If you will not do it, I will fucking kill her myself” she warned. “I will kill anyone who threatens me or my children.”

“There’s my fierce lioness” he fucked her harder, her nails digging into the backs of his hands.

“I’m a wolf first, husband” her voice broke on a cry as he felt her body growing closer. “And I will protect what is mine.”

“Good” he abruptly released her hands and they went to his back, blunted nails scoring his flesh as their lips met in a bruising kiss. A hand went to her thigh, hiking it up on his side, changing the angle of his thrusts, bottoming out in her. Her cries all but incoherent as he fucked her harder than he had before, hitting a spot inside her that would forever mark her in some small way.

He didn’t want her sad or afraid, he wanted her mind sharp. Angry, but thinking ten steps ahead of anyone who would trespass against them. That was how they would survive.

He felt her body seize, her screams of pleasure spurring him on as she reached her peak. He felt her channel clench, soak him in her juices and that combined with the tight grip she held on his cock pulled him over the edge, slamming deep a final time to fill her.

He collapsed atop her, barely able to hold himself from crushing her as they came down from their highs. He could feel her breathing heavily against his shoulder, her body shaking from the force of her peak. The sting along his back told him that his lioness had likely broken the skin, or at least left welts that would linger.

“I meant it” she whispered against his neck. “No one will hurt my child. Not even its half-siblings.”

“Good” he agreed, moving beside her as an insistent knock sounded at the door. He glared at the door, “What?”

“Father” Jaime’s voice sounded on the other side. “Dress quickly, we have a problem.”

Chapter Text

Jaime had stood in the hall outside the Hand’s chambers for several minutes, him and Addam doing their best not to make eye contact as Sansa’s screams echoed against the stone. As much as he didn’t get along with his father, he had to give the Old Lion a small bit of credit. Sansa did not sound dis-pleased.

When at last it was quiet he knocked, “Father, dress quickly we have a problem” he answered, knowing that any bliss his father had felt in that bed would soon vanish. Minutes passed and soon Tywin appeared, unshaven and looking only slightly rumpled, buttoning his doublet as Addam closed the door.

“We’ve found the servant,” Jaime announced without preamble. “You will have to confirm, I did not get a good look at their face, but the clothing matches.”

Tywin cursed, “Alright, take me to--”

“They’re dead” Jaime continued. “Poison, I would guess. Tyrion is with the guard waiting” he explained and he felt his Father’s mood go dark.

“You will not move from this doorway” Tywin ordered the guard. “No one goes in and she does not come out” he ordered.

“Yes, Lord Hand” Addam replied and the two Lannister men were heading down the hall.

 

They wove through the halls of the Red Keep, any who crossed their path quickly moved aside to allow them unhindered passage. The two striking lions we’re fierce indeed, both carrying themselves with the burden of anger. Soon they were in the servants quarters and they arrived in a hallway where Tyrion stood looking rather dour. Tywin did not spare him a glance as he entered the servant's room.

The smell was foul in the warm room, a sickly sweet smell of spilled wine mixed with death. Tywin looked to the servant, it was indeed the one who had given them the wine, and looked to have met the same fate as the king. The man was dead in the chair beside the bed, still clad in his clothing from the wedding.

“Who is he?” Tywin asked.

“The other servants say his name was Alran” Tyrion said from the doorway. “From Flea Bottom. He had only been here a few weeks. Hired as help for the wedding.”

“Lovely” Tywin looked around the room. It was sparse, holding no personal effects whatsoever. The bed was messily made, the sheets looking as if someone had recently sat upon them. “Did any of you sit here?” Tywin pointed to the imprint on the bed.

“No” Tyrion replied confidently. “We did not enter the room once we realized he was dead.”

“So he either did not take the poison knowingly or someone forced him do it” Tywin reasoned. “What better way to silence an accomplice.”

“None of the Maester’s I have spoken with had access to this poison” Tyrion informed him.

“I have still been unable to locate Maester Qyburn” Jaime addeed.

Tywin turned to one of the Lannister guards in the hall, “You will find Qyburn, and bring him directly to me” he ordered and the man nodded before hurrying away.

“Maester Qyburn and Cersei have been known to hold private council” Tyrion said, addressing the elephant in the room. “And Qyburn has...unique ideas on life and death.”

“She did this, didn’t she” Jaime asked, his eyes on the dead servant, full of sadness.

“It looks more and more that way” Tywin admitted aloud. “Deal with the body, he won’t be of any help to us,” he ordered the other servants as the Lannister men removed themselves from the room. While Jaime’s eyes were sad, he could see the determination in his son’s jaw. An expression he knew all too well as he had worn it himself most of his life. Leading them to the Hand’s office, he turned to speak to them once more.

“You will both listen to what I have to say, right now” Tywin’s voice was hard as diamonds as he spoke. Jaime felt the childish fear of his father rekindle along his spine as he listened. “Whoever did this, Cersei or not, will try again. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but they will try again. Jaime, I need you to pick out several Lannister men you know you can trust and create a rotation of guards for the Hand’s chambers. Addam cannot stand vigil every hour and he will need to be reserved for any occasion that Sansa needs to leave the room. Is that clear?”

“Yes” Jaime replied without pause.

“Tyrion, I need you sober and with your ears open” Tywin demanded. “Find the guard who was at Cersei’s door last night and figure out her movements after Joffrey’s death.”

“Yes, father” Tyrion nodded.

“If Qyburn cannot be located within these walls I demand to know where he went” Tywin took a deep breath, looking to both his sons. “As of now, Cersei is confined to her chambers and all visitors will need to be approved by me. If Cersei is behind this she will be punished” Tywin’s gaze rested on Jaime. “And you need to prepare yourself for that. I will not have any foolhardy attempts to plead for her life. If she tried to kill my wife, your step mother and my unborn child, and in the process killed the king, she will be put to trial and she will not be spared any prosecution. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, Father” they replied, both of them feeling the wrath of their father’s promise like a lead weight. There was no mistaking Tywin’s fierce protection of Lady Sansa, nor the anger in his emerald eyes.

“You’re dismissed” he instructed and they both quickly removed themselves from the scathing Lion’s presence.

 

Sansa was hungry, but did not touch the food on the platter that had been delivered to her room at midday. Tywin had been gone for several hours and she wondered what was unfolding the palace beyond. She took to reading one of the books she had sitting on the sideboard. While her heart no longer yearned for songs and fairy stories, they served today to distract her mind.

This morning after Tywin left, she had emerged from bed to pull on her robe, pausing when she noticed her figure in the floor length mirror near her vanity. As if overnight, her stomach had grown, changed enough to show that there was a child growing there. Moving closer to the mirror she had marvelled at the slight change. While her body had filled out since Tywin’s arrival in King’s Landing, she was still slender so the rounding of her stomach was obvious to her eye.

Her heart clenched as she cupped the swell, eyes filling with tears as she remembered how close she had come to dying yesterday. She had held the poison in her hand, and but for the child in her womb she would have drank the deadly elixir. No matter the circumstances of her marriage, she had meant what she said to Tywin that morning; nothing would ever hurt her children. Her death would have meant the death of her child, and that was something she would not allow.

Turning away from the mirror she tied her robe, uncaring if it was unseemly to wear it all day. She moved then to the balcony, a place that had become her haven. It was shaded, the edges lined with pots of flowers that smelled sweet in the sun, far above the city below she could almost forget that she was stuck in King’s Landing.

It was just past midday when she heard the door to the chamber open, signalling the return of her husband. Standing to greet him she found him ordering several servants about, one of which took the old tray of food away and replaced it with another. She watched in silence as another set something fabric wrapped on the table and then scurried away.

“I watched them prepare it” Tywin explained as the door closed. “I am glad you thought to not touch what was delivered.”

“I didn’t trust it” she replied, looking to all the food he brought. “Thank you, I am quite hungry.”

“You are eating for more than yourself now” he kissed her forehead. “Eat, we have much to discuss.”

She sat at the table, eating to her heart’s content as Tywin sat beside her and filled her in on what had occurred that morning. He explained the next steps they were taking and told her that both Tyrion and Jaime had been instructed to prepare for their sister’s arrest and trial, should she be behind this.

“And this” he stood, moving to the fabric he opened it to reveal a slender, gold hilted dagger in a metal sheath. “This will attach to your arm beneath your gown” he explained. “And gods forbid you have to use it, it is sharp enough to pierce leather armor and kill a man in a single blow. A woman who so fiercely defends her child needs an elegant weapon.”

“Thank you” she stood, reverently touching the beautiful blade. The hilt was slender and simple in design, and the blade was less than the length of her palm but sinister all the time. This dagger, whether he realized it or not, was a great show of trust on his end. He trusted her not to slit his throat in his sleep, trusted her to defend their child, and that meant more to her than any weapon.

“Promise me you will wear it anytime you leave this room, and keep it close when you’re in our chambers” he asked.

“I will” she agreed, smiling up at him. “Thank you, Tywin.”

 

Sunset found them watching as the servants filled the large bathtub Sansa had requested be placed on the balcony. The tub was large enough for them both and she was going to selfishly indulge herself by enjoying her husband there.

When finally the door was closed and locked, she quickly pinned her hair up to avoid the water, and removed her robe. Tywin, she noticed was watching her quite raptly, leonin eyes dark with desire. His eyes lingered first on the curve of her breasts before landing on her stomach.

“Well now” he guided her into his arms. “This is new” he cupped the swell.

“I noticed it myself just this morning,” she smiled, untying his robe to push it away. Her hands roamed over his nude chest, raking through the golden curls that covered it before her hand dipped lower. “Join me” she stroked his length, easily bringing his soft cock to life.

 

He lifted her then, her legs wrapping around his waist as he carried them to the tub. He released her long enough to get them both safely in the warm water before he pulled her astride his lap once more. His lioness pounced then, her mouth taking his as her arms went around his shoulders, mewling softly as he allowed his hands to freely roam her body. He lingered only momentarily on the swell of their child, a shockingly arousing addition to her body, before moving to the apex of her thighs.

Finding her core he found her channel slick, ready for him and he guided her then, tilting her hips just right so that she could sink down onto him. She sighed in pleasure as she took him completely, his own groan meeting hers. Her first movements were unsure and stilted, but soon she adjusted her knees and found her rhythm.

It was achingly slow, nearly languid in its pace as she would rise up and then sink back down on him, grinding against him as she took him. Soon her lips left his, her hands going to his chest to push herself upright as she rode him.

The sunset seemed to glow behind her, her fiery curls a riot around her head as she threw it back in pleasure. He was content to sit back and watch her, his infuriating, fierce little wife as she took her pleasure from him. His hands traveled her body, sliding up her thighs to cup her breasts, teasing the jeweled peaks until they practically begged for more.

She cried out at his attentions, eyes snapping open to meet his, “Tywin” she gasped as she kept her pace slow and deep. This was nothing like this morning, this was the two of them escaping the world together, lost in the only safe haven they had.

“My lioness” he praised her, stroking his hand from her chin, down her throat, passed the swell of their child only to return the same way it came. He cupped her jaw, her back arching as she finally sped her pace, if only slightly. It almost felt a sinful indulgence as he watched her, her young body greedily taking from his much older one every pleasure it could take.

“Tywin” she gasped as he felt her start her tumble.

“Good girl” he whispered. “Make yourself come on your husband’s cock” he stroked her jawline with his thumb and watched her head tilted back, mouth open in a silent cry as she settled firmly on his hips, his cock fully inside her as came around him. Inner muscles fluttering around him almost violently. He held off, not wanting to be done with her just yet, though he just barely managed it. She went limp against his chest, breathing heavily as she trembled around him.

He longed to turn her around and fuck her roughly from behind, but the metal tub would be too hard on his old knees, so instead he he sat up, away from the edge and wrapped her legs around him, seating her on his lap. He helped her hips to resume their rhythm, his large hands gripping her to rock against him once more.

 

“Tywin” she murmured as he helped her to ride him once more. Their chests were pressed together now and she could feel where the swell of her stomach touched his, as she took him. Riding him in the tub had been better than she had imagined it would be, her peak settling into every bit of her body. Still fluttering around him, she moved once more, each thrust sending chills through her.

His mouth was on her neck and shoulder, alternating between soft and claiming kisses and she knew tomorrow she would bear his marks on her flesh. His his hands guiding her, she sped her pace, clinging to his neck and shoulders as she moved. She could feel him growl against her shoulder and knew that he was close. Smirking, she slowed, teasing him with slow, deep movements.

“Good girls do not tease their husbands” he warned, pulling her ear lobe into his mouth to nibble it before releasing it. She took his lips then, sliding her tongue against his lips until he allowed her entrance and once she did she fucked herself on him hard and fast. He was long and thick, each pass within her dragging more pleasure from her body.

Water splashed out of the tub around them, neither of them caring as she rode him, her cries swallowed by their deep, unhurried kisses as they both raced towards their peaks. His hands cupped the curve of her bottom, helping her to keep pace as she faulted, muscles burning.

Pulling back from his mouth to gasp, she panted heavily, crying out his name as she came once more. This time, he followed, pulling her as close as possible before he spilled inside her with a roar.

He all but collapsed against the wall of the tub, her unmoving in his lap, placing kisses across his chest where she could reach without moving.

“I daresay all of King’s Landing heard my lioness roar” he mused as he stroked her back, his body slipping from hers.

“Good” she purred, too sated to be embarrassed.

Chapter Text

Tywin woke at sunrise, blinking awake to look at his wife’s sleeping form beside him. After their rather enjoyable bath they had both fallen asleep quickly, exhausted physically and mentally from the previous day's events.

He had not seen to his duties as Hand yesterday, in fact he had not seen to funeral and coronation duties either, and today would need to catch up on the stack of ravens on his desk. Before he rose, he watched her for several minutes. She looked impossibly young, hair spread across the pillows, her face relaxed and free of worry. Beautiful nonetheless.

He would admit now that it was a selfish act, taking her for his wife. He had seen her and he had wanted her, so he took her. She was beautiful and had a core of steel, never letting the cruelty around her break her. At his hand she had grown, matured and had become the woman she was born to be. And make no mistake, she was born to be Lady Lannister.

Before the royal wedding at least, now she was back to being a prisoner in the palance, held hostage by the fear of attack. He would find the culprit, or rather, find the evidence to arrest the culprit and free her from this gilded cage.

The Rock, he found himself thinking. At Casterly Rock they would be free of this madness, they would be able to prepare for the arrival of their child without fear of murder or deceit. Selfishly he thought that at the Rock he would be able to keep her abed for an entire day. With Joffrey dead, Tommen would take the throne. Tommen was a mild, kind soul, not prone to violence or madness. Tommen, he reasoned, might come to heel under Tyrion’s guidance.

With renewed purpose, he slid from the bed and quietly dressed. It was after he pulled on his boots that he was surprised to hear her voice, “Tywin?”

“Get your rest” he told her, moving to cover her with the blankets. “You will be safe. I will have Addam see to your food.”

“Alright” he watched as she sighed, rolling over to grab his pillow before settling once more.

You will be safe, he promised.

 

“Well, it is certainly not exonerating” Tyrion scoffed as he sat across from the Great Lion at the makeshift small council chamber in the tower of the Hand.

Tywin looked up from his letters at his younger son, “What did you discover?”

“Maester Qyburn is still unaccounted for. According to the guard at her door, Cersei did not leave from when she arrived the night after Joffrey’s murder, after we all talked in the Small Council chamber, until the following morning” Tyrion explained. “However, I cannot find anyone to account for her between the meeting and when she went to her rooms” he added. “She refused Jaime’s escort and, for all I can find, vanished for nearly an hour.”

Tywin leaned back in his chair, “It is possible she went straight from our meeting to address the servant then” he concluded.

“And the most likely series of events” Tyrion agreed. “You should know how much I respect Lady Sansa, I have been sober some 36 hours.”

“She is truly honored, I am sure” Tywin drolled.

“She does not deserve Cersei’s hatred” Tyrion said, his tone taking a serious note. “But she has it all the same. Cersei will not stop until Sansa, and her child, are dead.”

“I will not allow that to happen” Tywin said coldly, his eyes sharp.

“Take her to the Rock” Tyrion suggested. “If we cannot settle this, take her away from King’s Landing.”

Before Tywin could reply, Jaime joined them, “The guard rotation has started. I informed Addam myself and there will be two trusted Lannister men at the door at all hours” he reported.

“Good” Tywin gave a curt nod.

“You should know” Jaime took a deep breath. “Cersei is in the Throne room, making a spectacle over Joffrey’s body.”

 

In a terrifying movement of grace he had not thought possible from such a tall man, his father was standing and striding out of the chamber before he realized it, leaving both Lannister sons to follow in his wake.

Her cries could be heard from halls away, wailing over her precious Joffrey in the most unbecoming way. Jaime felt his heart clench, knowing very well that that was his son on that dias, and that Cersei and her uncontrolled hatred had put him there. Months ago he would have run to her, tried to console her and show her that she still had his love, now he only felt disinterest. He felt...shame.

“Leave us” Tywin ordered the guards in the throne room as he approached where Cersei lay across her son’s body. When only Jaime and Tyrion remained, Tywin spoke, his voice sharp as glass. “Cersei, you were to be confined to your rooms.”

“My son” she sobbed, stroking Joffrey’s pale hair. “My baby…”

“Cersei---” Tywin began.

“This is her fault” Cersei screeched, her scream echoing in the room. “That whore….”

“I am sure you are loathe to hear it, but she came to her wedding bed a maid” Tywin sneered. “Your step-mother is no whore, she is a Lannister.”

“She is no mother of mine!” Cersei argued, raising her head to face their father.

“She is my wife!” Tywin’s voice boomed, the rage in his father’s eyes terrifying him.

“She is nothing but a Northern whore” Cersei replied. “I wish she had never come here. This would never have happened…”

“You mean you never would have tried to poison her if she had not been here” Tywin spoke and Jaime felt his stomach roll.

“It should have been her” Cersei looked to Joffrey once more. “My precious boy.”

“Did you or did you not try to poison her” Tywin demanded.

“He’s dead” she touched Joffrey’s cheek, careful not to move the stones at his eyes. “So cold…”

“Did you try to murder my wife?” Tywin’s voice echoed in the hall, his eyes furious.

Cersei lifted her head once more, this time laughing, “It doesn’t matter now.”

“Why?” Jaime heard himself ask before he could stop himself.

“Because by now, she’s as good as dead” Cersei’s voice was filled with laughter. Hard, maniacal laughter. It reminded him so much of Aerys, his blood went cold.

“Jaime, get to Sansa” his father immediately ordered. “NOW!”

Jaime gave a nod and ran, his father’s voice echoing as he ran, calling for the guards.

And oh did he run, as fast as he could, the plate armor of the Kingsguard weighing him down and he never cursed it more than he did in that moment.

He shoved and pushed people out of the way, all but mowing down several maids in his haste to reach the Hand’s tower. The scene in the throne room made his stomach churn, Cersei’s vacant gaze as she had laughed at Sansa’s demise.

Hateful, was the only word he could think to describe his twin. She had lost herself to the hatred she had for the Stark family, to the resentment she had for their father and to the hunger she had for power.

Reaching the staircase, he bounced off the opposite wall as he nearly missed the turn, sweat nearly blinding him as he turned and started up the spiral staircase.

 

Sansa thanked Addam as he personally delivered her midday meal, standing guard as the servants emptied the bath before he gave her a kind smile and joined the two men at her door. Tywin had left early again today, leaving her to laze about while she waited for something to happen. Something that would bring this mess to an end.

She had dressed today in a soft dress of red, her hair styled in the Northern way as she wandered the Hand’s chambers. She had been sure to strap her dagger to her arm, hiding it in the scarlet cloth before she sat to nibble at the tray Addam had brought.

She was several bits of bread and cheese in when a resounding thud at the door alerted her that something was wrong. Standing quickly she moved from the table to stand near the balcony door, half hidden by the shadows.

A grunt, then another thud echoed in the room. She felt her heart racing as, after an eerie silence, the door began to creak. Silence filled the room and then with a crash the door burst open, bouncing against the wall behind it. She stared, wide-eyed at the figure who entered, crumpled guards barely visible behind him as he filled the room.

No, she gasped. He was dead. Deserted. Gone.

“Hello, Little Bird.”

Chapter Text

Sandor had been intrigued when the Queen Mother asked to speak with him, summoning him to her private chambers in the dead of night. He went, curiosity getting the better of him. He had no love for the royal family, a sick lot of bastards they were, but he made his way to her chambers in darkness.

He had stood guard while King Robert bedded whores, while Joffrey tortured his own whores and then while the Lady Sansa Stark was beaten in court. It was disgusting, and he hated his duty every second of the day.

He watched from the edges of the crowd as Sansa Stark became Sansa Lannister, her head held high for the first time in memory, standing tall at the Lion’s side. He had bristled at the match, the Great Lion being too old for the Stark princess, but the way she walked, stood beside him at the wedding told him there was more there than met the eyes. On Tywin’s arm she looked like a queen and she did not look afraid. So he waited...

When he entered Cersei’s room, she was already well on her way to drunk, holding a goblet of wine her hands.

“Hound” she said coolly, her gaze vacant. “I have a task for you.”

“Aye” he grunted, knowing that as a sworn Lannister man he had a duty to take her orders.

“Lady Sansa Stark” Cersei started. “I want you to kill her.”

‘Lannister’ he silently corrected. “And how do you propose I do that” he scoffed.

“I will create a distraction and you will cut her down” Cersei explained as if it were no more complicated than baking bread.

He gave an odd sort of chuckle, wondering why he had been summoned now after being banished to the lesser guards for so long, “Why me?”

“One Clegane is as good as the next, the Mountain is currently detained” Cersei shrugged, her eyes wide with madness. “And I command you to do so.”

“When?” he asked.

 

Jaime was gasping for breath by the time he reached the Hand’s chambers, but he nearly cried out at the sight of the two Lannister guards and Addam laying unmoving in the hall. Drawing his sword he approached slowly, listening for any sign of an intruder.

When he heard nothing, he moved into the room, drawing up short at the sight of Sandor Clegane’s massive frame seated at the table, eating and drinking wine at the Hand’s table as if it was some sort of brothel.

He instantly spotted Sansa, standing against the balcony doors, her eyes wide in fear. She stood tall in Lannister house colors, watching the Hound as if he would attack any moment.

“Sansa” he quickly moved to her side, standing between her and the Hound. She moved behind him, holding tight to the white cloak at his back.

“Relax, Kingslayer” the Hound laughed. “If I had wanted to kill her I would have done so already.”

“Clegane” Jaime stated. “Who sent you?”

“Who do you think? Same one that tried to kill her at the wedding. That precious fucking twin of yours” Sandor refilled the goblet before facing him. “Did you really think I would hurt her?” he motioned to Sansa.

“These days it is hard to tell” Jaime smirked.

Sandor laughed, “Sit down” he motioned to the open chair. “Join me.”

 

“Arrest her” Tywin ordered the guard who had just re-entered the throne room. Cersei could only laugh, her mind clearly gone as she clung to Joffrey’s unmoving form.

“See her to the cells” Tywin said to Tyrion as he strode from the room. His stride carried him towards the Hand’s tower, each step another prayer that he would find his wife alive.

Long legs served him well, reaching the Hand’s tower to find the two Lannister guards and Addam sitting up against the wall, nursing their headaches. Fury coursed through him as he entered the room, shocked to find Sandor Clegane sitting at his table as if he owned it, Jaime and Sansa near the balcony.

“Tywin” she called as she saw him, moving quickly into his arms.

“What the bloody hells is going on” Tywin demanded, his arms wrapping around his wife.

“Lord Hand” Clegane greeted with a smirk, sipping deeply of the wine goblet he held. “Your daughter’s a right cunt, I’ll tell you that much.”

“Jaime” Tywin looked to his eldest son to translate.

“Cersei hired the Hound to dispatch Sansa” Jaime explained, his sword still at the ready as he watched the would-be attacker.

“Did she now?” Tywin moved away from Sansa to face the Hound.

“Aye” Sandor nodded briefly. “Said my brother was detained and sent me” he laughed. “Dumb cunt.”

“You followed her orders” Tywin reasoned.

“I came to the chambers, aye, knocked out those guards” Sandor stood, eye to eye with him. “But I would never hurt her.”

“Why” Tywin asked.

“She’s too good for you” Sandor countered plainly. “But at your wedding, she looked unafraid for the first time since Winterfell.”

“He didn’t hurt me” Sansa said softly to Tywin. “And I think, if he had said no, Cersei would have sent the Mountain.”

“Aye” Sandor seconded. “Gregor follows her bidding, him and Qyburn.”

“Where is Qyburn?” Tywin asked.

“With Gregor, wherever he is” Sandor explained. “Cersei controls them both.”

“Cersei is in the black cells” Tyrion’s voice sounded as he joined them.

“Imp” Sandor raised his goblet in salutation.

“Clegane” Tyrion looked around the room. “What did I miss?”

 

The entire court gathered to watch the trial of Cersei Lannister, the throne room packed to the brim, all wanting to witness the fall of the Queen Mother.

Tywin Lannister sat upon the iron throne, his large, imposing body stiff with fury as he watched Cersei being led to the defendant’s podium. On each side of him sat Margaery Tyrell the King’s widow, Loras Tyell, Kevan Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Olenna Tyrell and beside them stood Jaime Lannister in his Kingsguard uniform.

Cersei, her gown now filthy from the black cells, was led to the defendant’s podium. Her once-bright blonde hair was a mess, her eyes wild as she stared up at her father.

“Cersei Lannister” Tywin began, his voice cold. “You stand accused of one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. How do you plead?” his voice echoed in the throne room. In truth, Tywin terrified the members of the court, his imposing presence and cutting words left them afraid that he would strip them bare next.

“I did nothing wrong” Cersei argued, standing tall despite her disheveled appearance the cuffs at her wrist.

“You murdered King Joffrey, your son!” Tywin replied. “And you attempted to kill Lady Lannister twice!”

“She is no Lannister!” Cersei screeched. “She is nothing but a Stark whore!”

“She is no whore” Tywin stated. “And yet you tried to kill her.”

“It was her” Cersei replied. “Another younger and more beautiful, to cast down all that you hold dear” she spoke, though no one knew what she meant.

“Did you send the servant Alran to deliver poison to Lady Sansa?” Tywin asked.

“It should have been her!” Cersei yelled as the throne room doors screeched opened and everyone turned to look at the tall, regal figure who now joined them.

 

Tywin felt his heart drop as Sansa appeared at the throne room doors. He had told her to stay in their rooms, to not worry about the trial. He should have known she would not obey.

He watched as Sansa stode into the throne room, her tall form encased in a gold gown accented with black. While her gown was cut just the right way to hide the swell of her stomach, he still knew that she was with child and it terrified him. She looked every inch the Queen that Cersei could never be. Her fiery hair styled in the Northern way, a halo around her as she approached the defendant.

“You” Cersei seethed as she watched Sansa approach.

“Me” Sansa’s voice was cold, withdrawn.

“You whore” Cersei repeated. “It should have been you!”

“Indeed” Sansa stated coolly, standing beside Cersei. “You have failed, you killed your son” she added.

“No!”

“I was no threat to your crown” Sansa told her. “I did not want it.”

“You took my father!”

“No” Sansa shook her head. “He chose me. I did not steal him.”

“I wish it had been you” Cersei glared, emerald eyes so like her father’s cutting through Sansa. “You should be dead!”

“But you failed” Sansa stated. “Twice.”

Tywin stood as Cersei spit in Sansa’s face, and Sansa recoiled, “I demand trial by combat” Cersei screamed.

Tywin watched as the throne room doors opened once more, this time admitting the illusive Maester Qyburn, the monstrous figure of the Mountain beside him, “The Mountain will fight for Queen Regent Cersei, Lord Hand” Qyburn’s voice echoed in the room.

 

“And I will fight for Lady Sansa” Jaime’s voice was loud and clear, meeting the challenge without hesitation.

He felt his father’s stare, even felt Sansa’s stare as he moved to the steps of the dias. He paid them no mind and instead looked only at his twin, one lost to madness and twisted by power. One who had shredded his heart and set him aside to manipulate others. Cersei stared, wide-eyed as he chose the side opposite her for the first time. He would fight for his step-mother, fight for Lady Sansa and his half sibling, and in doing so he would reclaim the honor that he had tossed asunder so long ago.

A kingslayer no more, Sansa Stark---no Lannister, was his chance at true honor.

Chapter Text

They both woke to darkness, neither of them able to sleep, both worried at what the day would hold. Tywin turned to face his wife, seeing that she was already looking back at him with a worried smile that did not quite reach her eyes.

“It's early yet” he assured her, pulling her close. “Save your worries for a little while.” She did not reply, merely raised her lips to meet his as her slender hands stroked over his beard. If this was how she would soothe her mind, who was he to deny her.

He would never admit that he needed the distraction as well.

Today, Jaime would fight Gregor Clegane in solo combat. The winner would determine Cersei’s fate. And while trial by combat was not necessarily to the death, merely until one man yielded, it was still very dangerous. For all that Jaime was and was not, he was still his son.

Pushing the thought from his mind, he focused instead on his wife, who was now rubbing her porcelain skin against him in the most enticing way. Her stomach, now that it had made its initial appearance seemed to grow more each day. Her hips and breasts had also begun to round, her tall frame carrying the new curves well. New curves that were lush under his touch.

Rolling her beneath him, he settled in the cradle of her thighs, his awakening cock against her core as he kissed her. Her hair spilled over their pillows in a fiery halo, an odd juxtaposition as she returned his kisses like a siren.

Using one elbow to hold himself above her, the other wandered her body. Cupping her breast, his thumb teasing over the peak until it was hard as a jewel before making his way to her core. His passionate wife was already soaked for him, her folds begging to take his cock and he would not deny her.

“Please” she whispered against his mouth as he aligned himself to her entrance.

He would always enjoy the way her head would tilt back into the pillows, her entire body enraptured each time he slid home inside her. Now holding her thigh high on his hip, he held her pinned, a slow pace of give and take, in and out as she sighed in pleasure.

Her hands clung to his neck, kisses now punctuated by pants and gasps as they moved. This was not wild fucking, this was not his wife taking her pleasure from him, this was them taking solace in each other. Here, in this moment, they were very much alive and nothing could ever hurt them, here they had no worries.

“Tywin” she begged, her body flushed as she clung to him. Her hips were angled just right and with each downward stroke he could feel her grind against him, working her bundle of nerves. He had taught his maidenly wife well, and she knew how to take his cock and her pleasure at the same time.

He felt her peak as soon as it started, inner muscles seizing around him so tightly it nearly forced him out of her channel. But he seated himself deep, sending her over the edge as he held her pinned to the mattress. She did not scream or cry out, merely kept her eyes on his, allowing him to see every emotion passing behind her eyes. A moment later he followed, neither of them breaking their heated gaze until they had come down from their highs and his body slipped from hers.

He moved beside her then and she settled into his side beneath his arm. He looked down at the curls spread across his chest and felt an odd sort of peace settle into his weary body.

 

“I would never ask him to do this” Sansa told Tywin as they finished dressing. Him in a doublet of deep black and gold and her in a red long sleeve gown, with panels of gold in the skirt, that was fitted enough that there was now no mistaking she was with child.

“I know” Tywin nodded. “I believe he sees this as a redemption of sorts” he moved behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.

“If you wish, I could have Sandor knock him out” Sansa reasoned. “Take his place…”

Tywin felt a smile cross his lips at his wife’s plan, “I believe people would notice if you were to replace Jaime with the Hound.”

And he was sure they would. Sandor Clegane had proven to be the most devoted guard now that he had been cleared of any wrongdoing. He had sworn himself to Sansa, vowing to be her sworn shield and Tywin found he was not opposed to the idea. Sandor had had the chance to hurt her once before but did not, choosing instead to protect her. He could not ask for a more devoted warrior at her side.

“He will win” Sansa said confidently, turning in his embrace.

“He will” Tywin replied, cupping her cheek. “And then after Tommen’s coronation, we will go to the Rock.”

“Tywin” she gasped softly, looking up at him with those impossibly Tully blue eyes.

“Tyrion can handle things for a while and we have the business of our child to keep us busy,” he explained.

“Thank you” she sighed, resting her forehead against his chin. “Even if it is just for a time, I cannot wait to wash this city from my skin.”

“I believe you will enjoy the Rock” he said with pride. He had worked hard to restore his family's honor and their ancestral estate and he would very much like to show it to his young wife. “Now come, its time.”

 

“You stupid fucking cunt” Jaime heard the deep voice sound from the door and turned to face the glowering form of the Hound.

“Clegane, lovely to see you too” Jaime smirked as the squire finished adjusting the ties and buckles of his armor.

“What do you think you’re doing, kingslayer?” Sandor bluntly asked. “I have been waiting my entire life to kill that cock sucker and you think you’re going to be the one to cut him down?”

“I will be” Jaime confirmed, sheathing his sword and checking that his dagger was in place.

“Buggering knights and their pride. What do you think is going to happen today?” Sandor moved into the small room Jaime had been given to prepare in. “What the fuck do you think will happen after Gregor kills you? That cunt Cersei will live, and then someday soon, that old goat of a Lion will die and then who will be there to protect Lady Sansa?”

Jaime swallowed thickly, “I realize that your hatred of your brother outweighs your faith in me, but she is my step-mother. She is a Lannister and I will protect her.”

“Can’t fucking protect her when you’re dead” Sandor growled.

“I will win” Jaime restated, his confidence unwavering.

“And if you don’t?”

“Then you will have to take my place as her protector” Jaime said without pause, unflinching from the anger in Clegane’s eyes. “Why are you really here? Surely it is not to warn me or wish me well.”

Sandor set a wrapped parcel on the sideboard, “She wanted you to have this” Sandor explained. “Best take it, you’re going to need it” he scoffed and strode from the room, leaving Jaime to look at the golden fabric on the table.

Moving toward it, he parted the fabric to find an impossibly small dagger, the golden hilt glimmering back at him. There was no note but he did not need one because he recognized the blade well. It had been his mother’s once upon a time, and another Lady Lannister before her. To defend herself in the city, his father had explained to him when he was a little boy. This blade will always protect a lioness he remembered clearly.

He had been surprised to see Tywin had entrusted the blade to Sansa, a show of trust and affection of which he did not think his father capable. And for today, as Jaime defended a lioness, he too would wear it. Tucking the sheath into the armor at his thigh, he took a deep breath.

It was time.

Chapter Text

Tyrion looked to his father who sat tall and still, the picture of indifference beneath the royal canopy as they waited for the men to enter the arena. While Tyrion was on his left, Lady Sansa sat to his father’s right, her face almost as impassive as Tywin’s. He would be impressed if he wasn’t so afraid he was about to watch his older brother, his only protector die a gruesome death.

His entire life, he had never been sheltered from the knowledge that his father hated him. He was well aware that he was, in their eyes, the most useless Lannister. Imp. Monster. Halfman, he had heard them all and used them as armor against his attackers. If was not ashamed of what he was, they could not use it against him.

But in the past fortnight, since the disastrous wedding, his father had called him nothing but Tyrion. He had made him integral in the hunt for Sansa’s would-be killer, depending on him, on his skills to track down and protect those who would harm the Lannisters. It was the first time in his life he truly felt like he belonged.

Not that his father had gone soft, Gods the kingdom would fall before that ever happened, but his father had been so fixed in his determination to protect his wife that he had not given Tyrion’s stature a thought.

His thoughts turned back to the arena as the massive form of the Mountain, clad in sinister all black entered the arena. He lumbered, it seemed, rather than walked and towered over all around him. He spared a glance for Cersei, who sat chained in the prisoners box and couldn’t help but wish she would have been able to quell her rage. But she was too far gone now.

A hush, then whispers spread over the crowd like wildfire as his brother appeared, striding confidently to the center of the arena. But the gasps were not for his golden appearance, but at the fact that he did not wear his kingsguard armor. No. Before this crowd stood Ser Jaime Lannister, the Young Lion, clad in the deep red and black armor of House Lannister, roaring lions at each shoulder. This man was not here to avenge the king, this man was here to protect his family. He had made his alliances clear.

Tyrion looked to his father once more and watched as Lady Sansa, noticing Jaime’s bold statement, raised her hand to place it over Tywin’s where it rest on the arm of his chair. They did not speak, did not even look at each other, there were no words that would adequately fill the silence. But as her hand settled atop his father’s, Tyrion was stunned to see that without hesitation, his father’s thumb curved up and settled over Sansa’s small fingers to accept her comfort, and comfort her in return.

 

Jaime stared up at the mountain he would have to climb today. Gregor’s face was distorted with the fury of a man who lived for the kill. A man who had committed more atrocities than Jaime could imagine. Jaime glanced to see his father, brother and step-mother beneath the canopy, barely hiding a smile when Tyrion raised his goblet in salute.

He looked to Lady Sansa who sat like a queen, one hand over his father’s, the other curled over where his brother or sister rest and he was reminded that this, his family, is who he was here to fight for.

His eyes found Cersei’s, her green eyes full of sadness as she watched them. He had loved her once and he would have loved her always if she had only loved him in return. But instead she loved to control him. He was her pawn, her puppet to escape the horror of Robert Baratheon and he would no longer chose her over his honor.

He refocused on the Mountain as Maester Pycelle addressed the gathered crowd.

Then it began.

The Mountain moved first, roaring and grunting as he rained down heavy blows, Jaime barely able to block them with his strength. He knew in this fight it would be footwork and speed that would help him win, and he intended to use it to his advantage.

They exchanged blows, back and forth they swung, parried and moved, neither of them gaining ground. Jaime’s armor was thinner than the Mountains, allowing him more motion, but the Mountain was pure strength, each attack echoing through Jaime’s muscles.

When Jaime landed another successful parry, the Mountain ripped off his helmet, tossing it into the stands with a curse.

“Fucking lions” he spit onto the arena floor before attacking again. “You fight like dogshit.”

Then he attacked once more. He felt as if they were testing each other, both men learning their opponent in order to predict their next move. He noticed that when the Mountain finished an attack, because of his size he was slower to recover and he soon noticed the Mountain predicting his footwork. The fight seemed to go for hours, though in reality it was likely only minutes.

Jaime was able to dance around him, and the next time he lunged to attack, Jaime spun quickly, drawing his dagger with his left hand to bury it between the plates in the Mountain’s armor. This he soon realized, only made the Mountain angry. He barely managed to escape the Mountain's sword, only to step full tilt into the man’s gigantic fist. He hit the floor of the arena before he could stop himself, pain coursing through his face, blood spilling from his lips and nose to stain the cement. His dagger had skittered away, but he still held his sword. At least there's that, he scoffed.

“Fuck” he spit the mouthful of blood out a second before he had to roll away from the Mountain's gigantic boot. Moving quickly to his feet, though he could already feel his eye swelling shut, he blocked the furious attacks. Again and again the Mountain's sword clattered against his, nearly missing his face on the last attack that enabled Jaime to reach him once more, landing a punch of his own to his opponent’s face.

The Mountain roared then, his blows beyond unrestrained as Jaime tried to hold him back. But soon the force of the beast’s blows sent him to his knee, allowing the Mountain to land another punch.

Sprawled on his back, the only thing that kept Jaime conscious was the pain of the Mountain’s massive boot crushing his hand where it still held his sword. He felt the bones protest, creak and finally give under the man’s massive weight. Jaime did his best to swallow the cry of pain, watching now as the Mountain raised his own sword...not over his head, but his hand.

No Jaime’s brain kicked into overdrive, his foot shooting out automatically to connect with the delicate flesh between the man’s legs. The Mountain recoiled, not much but just enough for Jaime to free his crushed hand.

He gave no quarter, did not hesitate despite it not being his sword hand. There was no time for fear. He drew the small dagger from its hidden sheath at his thigh, the hilt almost lost in his large hand. It would be this blade, he decided, the one his mother had carried, the one that Lady Sansa had sent to him.

With more confidence than he felt, he launched himself at the Mountain. His jump was unexpected and the larger man staggered back as Jaime’s knees hit his chest, both of them falling.

Jaime roared, dragging the dagger down across the man’s throat with the fury of an untrained hand and felt the hot spray of blood wash over him as they thundered to the arena floor. Covered in blood, Jaime rolled away and pushed to his feet, injured hand hanging useless at his side, he watched as the Mountain bled out.

The audience could only watch in stunned silence, the only sounds were the soft waves of the ocean and the Mountain choking on his own blood.

He looked then to his father. The Great Lion gave him an approving nod and he could not help but see the pride in his sire’s eyes.

“To Ser Jaime Lannister” he looked as his brother raised his goblet once more. “Slaying the Mountain with the Kingdom’s tiniest prick,” Jaime laughed at his brother’s words that now echoed in the arena.

Chapter Text

Tywin stood by as the maesters tended to Jaime’s broken hand and fingers. He feared that some of Jaime’s notorious good looks had been sacrificed today, but his son would live to fight another day. That was more than he could ask for.

After the trial was over, Cersei had been escorted back to her cell and Tywin sent Sansa to their chambers, the Hound at her side. Had made arrangements to send the Mountain’s head removed, and for both pieces to the Martell family with his regards. It was the least he could give the family who had been thus wronged by the monster.

With the maester’s final assurances that he would heal in time, Jaime looked to his father who was holding the now clean golden dagger. “She sent it this morning” Jaime explained softly. “It was mother’s.”

“And my mother’s before that” Tywin noted. “It is quite an old Valyrian blade.”

“I remember seeing it as a boy at the Rock” Jaime admitted. “You gave it to Lady Sansa.”

“I did” Tywin said without shame. “And today it served our family well. Today, you served our family well.”

Jaime gave a nod, humbled at his father’s compliment, “And Cersei?”

“I would offer her the life of Silent Sister, but she refused” Tywin stated plainly. “She will be executed for her crimes and forgotten by her house.”

Jaime nodded sadly, "I understand."

“Bold move with the armor” Tywin’s lips quirked in the ghost of a smile. “Cocky.”

Jaime chuckled, “Well, I figured it would hide my blood better than the white cloak.”

“Why did you do it?” Tywin asked and there was no mistaking his meaning. “The Hound would have volunteered…”

“Because it shouldn’t be some sworn sword that protects Lady Lannister” Jaime stated plainly. “I knew he would have jumped at the chance to kill his brother. I have made kings and unmade them, but this was my last chance at honor.”

Tywin did not reply, only gave his shoulder a squeeze before releasing it, the father and son sharing a silent moment before rejoining the castle.

 

Sansa made her way to the Hand’s chambers, Sandor’s heavy gait behind her as she walked. She held her hands in front of her, clasped tightly to conceal the tremor.

She had not expected Jaime to win, and she felt so ashamed that she had doubted him. He had been ferocious, a true lion as he struck the Mountain down with the small dagger. She would not soon forget the sound of the Mountain’s fist connecting with Jaime’s face, nor the sight of the lake of blood surrounding the great beast as he gargled his last breath.

She could see the pride in Tywin’s eyes as he looked upon his wounded but victorious son. Jaime had done the impossible in both slaying the Mountain and making his father proud. While he would always be a kingslayer to the world, today he had avenged attacks on his family, honored the Lannister name. Which was more than could be said for his twin.

She entered the Hand’s chambers, allowing Sandor in behind her before she turned to face him, “I am sorry it was not you” she said softly to the scarred warrior. “I know you wanted to be the one to kill him.”

“Aye, I did” Sandor agreed. “But he’s dead now, I suppose that’s all that matters.”

Sansa gave a nod, suddenly quite tired. Looking to the balcony she frowned at the large metal tub, still in place and blocking the shaded benches.

“Would you move the tub? I should like to read on the balcony" she asked. “I will not be able to lift it.”

He gave a nod, “Shouldn’t be lifting in your condition anyway” he gave a pointed look to her stomach.

“I suppose it is obvious now” she absently touched the curve of her small belly.

“Are you happy, then?” he asked and she was surprised at the emotion in his grey eyes. It was rather impertinent but she remembered a time when he had protected her long ago. He was a blunt man, but he had never hurt her.

“He is good to me,” she replied, meeting his gaze so he could see her honesty. She was not the shy little girl who came to King’s Landing. She was no longer afraid and hiding behind lies. She was Lady Sansa Lannister and Sandor would see the truth of that. “I am the happiest I have been since I left Winterfell.”

“He ever hurts you, I will kill him for you” Sandor grunted, breaking from their heartfelt conversation as he strode to the balcony and lifted the great metal tub to tuck it into the side room where the maids kept the spare linens and supplies.

As Sansa turned back to the sideboard to grab her shawl she froze at the sight of the thin, gaunt man clad in a grey robe staring back at her.

“Lady Lannister” his voice was awkward, stilted and laced with venom.

She heard Sandor’s footsteps stop cold in the other room but she did not look his way, doing so would give him away. Instead she fixed the intruder with a cold stare, “And who are you that would enter the Hand’s Chambers so boldly?”

“My name is Qyburn, my lady, Maester Qyburn” he replied. “I am most pleased to see you without your guards. I would like you to come with me.”

“No” she replied.

“I am afraid I must insist” Qyburn sneered as Ser Meryn Trant and Ser Boros Blount entered the chambers behind him.

“Get out” she spat, though memories of the Throne room flooded her.

“Come now, Lady Sansa. We always had fun together” Meryn laughed as he approached.

She backed up to the balcony doors, crying out as she barely escaped his hand as he lunged for her. Boros approached then too, both men so focused on her they did not see the great shadow loom over them.

Sandor had cut down Boros before Meryn even realized he was there, “Buggering cunts” Sandor spat on the corpse before looking to Trant.

“Hound” Meryn backed up, raising his hands in supplication.

Sandor didn’t care, cutting him down with a single downward swing, his rage palpable as the second corpse joined the first, blood spilling onto the stones of the floor. As Sandor moved to stand in front of her, Sansa watched with wide eyes as the blood wove through the seams, a zig zagging river making its way to her.

Qyburn stood still, shocked at how quickly the younger Clegane had cut down his men. He had overplayed his hand, assuming that the guard would have been at the door rather than inside the chamber.

“Sandor” Sansa found her voice. “Take him alive, we need to take him to the Lord Hand.”

Without facing her, Sandor gave a nod, lowering his sword. It was almost comical, she noted, how much larger Sandor was that the mousy maester, his form towering over him.

Qyburn swallowed his fear before he turned to run.

He didn’t make it to the door however, because there in the frame stood the tall, furious form of Tywin Lannister.

If Sansa had seen her husband angry before, she had never seen him like this. His entire body seemed to emanate fury, emerald eyes alight and fixed on his prey. She had spent countless hours in her husband’s arms, trusted him with her body and her most private thoughts, but this man here now, terrified her. She was seeing the Great Lion truly angry for the first time.

“Maester Qyburn” Tywin’s voice was cold and it sent chills through her body.

“L-Lord Hand---”

“You gave her the poison?” Tywin’s voice could have cut diamonds.

“I simply obeyed my mistress, Lord Hand---”

“Kill him” Tywin ordered without taking his gaze from Qyburn’s withering form.

Sandor happily obeyed.

Chapter Text

The day of Cersei’s execution dawned grey and overcast, the sun soon burning off the clouds as it rose in the sky. Her husband had been unusually silent, and she guessed that he was taking the impending death of his daughter, one of his precious last few pieces of Joanna, harder than he let on.

All that remained of the carnage a sennight ago was a dark stain on the floor of the Hand’s chambers, one she did her best not to look at. Perhaps a rug was needed, she thought.

She dressed carefully in a gown of rich, deep burgundy. In shadow it looked almost black, the fabric hugging her arms and torso perfectly. Irina styled her hair in the Northern way before leaving the couple alone.

“I would like to speak with her” Sansa stated.

“Out of the question,” Tywin replied.

“You can be there, or Sandor, but I will speak with her before she dies” Sansa insisted, moving to stand before him. “You have said your goodbyes, I will say my peace.”

His eyes were soft as they looked at her, “Take Clegane” he relented. “I would have you protected.”

“I will be” she softly kissed him, sighing as his arms came around her to hold her tight against his chest. She felt the rounding of her stomach bumping against him and he reluctantly released her.

“You’re growing fast” he touched the curve of their child.

“We are both quite tall, husband, I fear our babe will be rather large” she replied. “My younger brother, Rickon was quite a large baby” she trailed off realizing that she had just spoken of her family to her husband for the first time.

Tywin kissed her forehead, sensing her discomfort, “All Lannister’s prove to be quite tall, and Jaime was quite a hearty babe” he met her candid confession with one of his own.

A knock at the door broke their moment and a second after he was bid, later Jaime entered, “It’s time.”

 

Sansa stood in the stone tunnel that lead from the black cells to the executioner's block. Sandor was a few feet away, being as inconspicuous a possible while she waited.

Soon the rattle of chains reached her and a moment later the bedragged form of Cersei came into the light, guards at her back as they escorted her to the block. Sansa instructed her guards to step back several paces, at least they would have the illusion of privacy.

“Come to gloat, little dove” Cersei’s voice was hollow, her eyes dull.

Sansa stared at Cersei long enough to watch the woman shift on her feet, “No, Lady Baratheon” she said coldly, standing taller than the once queen. “I have come to remind you.”

“What could you possibly have to remind me of?” Cersei spat.

“Simple, that when you will die, a shame to your house, you will be forgotten” Sansa replied.

“It should have been you” Cersei hissed. “Should have left you in the North, just another Stark to spread her legs to get closer to the throne.”

“Was it not you who once instructed me to use my women’s weapon? Conveniently You seem to forget” Sansa showed no emotion. “That it was your father’s cock that tore my maidenhead. That it is your father’s seed that I carry and in five moons time, I will have given him a child. A son to rule the Rock or perhaps a daughter.”

“He will never love you” Cersei flung the words like poison. “You will never be Joanna Lannister.”

“No, but I am Sansa Lannister and he respects me” she countered. “Which is a lot more than I can say about you, step-daughter. Know, as you walk to your death, it was your actions that have made our marriage stronger.”

Cersei laughed then, “Just wait until that smug smile is wiped from that hideous Northern face---”

“You speak of Qyburn?” Sansa replied and watched as Cersei’s face fell. “I am afraid he had a rather nasty run in with a hound.”

“You bitch--”

“Safe travels, Lady Baratheon” Sansa spoke plainly and turned away. She left the tunnel, Sandor following quietly with a smirk on his scarred face.

 

Sansa watched with a smile as the High Septon placed the golden crown atop the head of King Tommen Baratheon first of his name. His grandfather stood on the steps of the dias, with Jaime on the other side in his Kingsguard armor. Behind her stood Sandor, ever vigilant in his gleaming armor. Though the treat from Cersei was gone, he did not falter in his duty.

Nearly a moon’s turn had passed since Cersei was executed, a reasonable amount of time to grieve a mother before becoming king.

She applauded along with the rest of the members of the court, momentarily noticing the gleam in Lady Margaery’s eyes as she watched the young king. Already after a third king then, Sansa made note to tell Tywin to keep an eye on that one. And her grandmother who made no secret of glaring at Sansa’s swollen stomach.

They adjourned to the celebration feast, Jaime following Tommen from the room as Tywin came to her.

“Lord Hand” Sansa smiled as she took his arm. Her husband looked quite regal in his black doublet and tall boots. She noticed as they walked that the other members of the court gave them quite a wide berth. They feared him, she guessed, the Great Lion. She thought then that she could not blame them. They did not see the Tywin Lannister that she did. To them he was the true power behind the throne and now the man who had ordered the execution of his own daughter for the crimes she committed.

The Tywin she knew, and admittedly the Tywin she had come to care greatly for, was a man burdened by duty. He suffered at his father’s hand and he would do everything in his power to prevent his house from falling into such a state again. While he growled and snapped at court, in their chambers his touch was gentle, his words soft as they fell into a routine of talking into the night after they had gotten their fill of each other’s bodies.

He was right all those months ago, she thought but would never tell him, their marriage was not the worst that could have happened to her after Joffrey set her aside. In truth, she believed it to be the best course of action.

Entering the hall the festivities were already underway, the sounds of celebration echoing as food was served and drinks were poured. Tywin guided her through the crowd to their seats at the head table, offering his hand to help her sit before taking his place beside her.

Beside her sat Tyrion, goblet in hand and a decanter on the table before him, “Lady Sansa” he greeted. “Father.”

“Lord Tyrion” she smiled. “Please remember to also eat something” she pointedly looked at the decanter.

He laughed softly, “Ever the step-mother.”

Sansa shook her head at him just as a servant appeared to set food in front of her, the smell of roasted meat and thick sauce hitting her nostrils and making her stomach roll. Though beyond the worst of her pregnancy sickness, sometimes certain smells made their babe protest quite fiercely.

Excusing herself she hurriedly made her way to the ladies refresher, leaving Sandor at the door as she ducked inside. She was in there sometime, waiting to ensure that it had passed and then cleaning herself up before exiting once more, this time to see Lord Petyr Baelish doing his best not to wither under Sandor’s glare.

She had not spoken to Baelish since before her wedding, she had had no desire to. She knew that he had once held an affection for her mother, and that once he had offered escape, but she never felt as if she could trust him. His eyes never seemed to settle, always bouncing around as if his mind was playing a child’s game.

“My Lady” he began with a soft smile.

“Lord Baelish” she greeted.

“I was hoping to speak with you” he glanced to Sandor’s looming presence.

Without speaking she shared a conversation with Sandor, who gave a small nod and moved several feet away, “Be brief” she encouraged Baelish.

 

When Sansa did not return quickly, Tywin stood and followed her path out of the hall, ignoring Tyrion’s amused expression as he went. As he made his way to the corner of the hall he noticed that Clegane was standing alone near the bend. Seeing his arrival, Clegane, while not looking thrilled, did not look murderous.

Curious who was talking to his wife, he quieted his approach and stopped to listen.

“You are so like her,” Petyr Baelish’s voice reached him. He was surprised to hear the Master of Coin’s voice speaking with such familiarity. “Perhaps even more beautiful. Motherhood seems to suit you.”

“Lord Baelish---” Sansa interrupted.

“I remember once, I offered to take you away from here” Baelish said and Tywin felt anger course through him.

“My answer remains unchanged, Lord Baelish” Sansa stated. “I will remain here, with my lord husband and do not need your assistance.” Tywin noticed how she emphasized the word ‘husband’ and could tell by the tone of her voice she was angry.

“Of course” Baelish did not sound deterred. “Should you--”

“I won’t, thank you for your time, Lord Baelish” she dismissed him and he heard her steps approaching. When she rounded the corner she stopped upon seeing him, clearly able to see the anger in his eyes. “Lord Hand.”

“You will come with me,” he said, walking passed her and leaving her and Clegane to follow. They made the trip quickly and soon he was pulling her inside the dim small council chambers. “Stay” he ordered Clegane and slammed the door behind them.

“Tywin--”

“When?”

“What?”

“Now is not the time to play dumb” he spat. “When did he offer to take you out of the city.”

“Several moon’s before Joffrey broke our engagement,” she replied. “He was in love with my mother once, as a young man. He fixated on me and sought to help---”

“Not help, kidnap. He sought to kidnap you” Tywin argued. “He would have sold you to his own benefit.”

“I refused then” Sansa glared up at him. “As I refused tonight. Though I am sure you heard.”

“His behavior it not acceptable and akin to treason” Tywin yelled. “I will address this, make no mistake of that.”

“Tywin, I do not understand---”

“He will not take you” Tywin interrupted.

“No one is taking me anywhere, not unless it is you taking me to the Rock” she moved to place her hands on his chest, soothing his anger.

“You are my wife” his tone was softer now, his hands cupping her jew, fingers carded into her hair. “Mine.”

“And you are my husband,” she replied. “I will not leave you.”

He kissed her softly, the urge to take her to their chambers and remind her of their vows nearly consuming him. He had felt anger at Baelish’s words, but he had also felt fear. And he hated feeling afraid. Had she said yes, she could have been lost to him forever and that was not acceptable. No, she was his and no one would get in the way of that. Cersei had tried and failed, he would not allow another attempt.

He would deal with Baelish tomorrow.

For now, he would remind his infuriating little wife who she was he decided as he took her lips.

 

Sansa felt him guiding her as they exchanged soft, gentle kisses, and soon something bumped into the back of her thighs. Tywin moved smoothly, lifting her to sit on the surface before stepping between her legs.

She had been shocked as his show of emotion upon learning of Baelish’s intent, his emerald eyes had been wild with anger and something she could not place. He seemed almost...afraid, worried that someone was going to take her from him.

Her thoughts trailed off as he deepened their kiss, tilting her head to devour her as his hands went to the skirt of her dress. She mewled as he cupped her through her small clothes, teasing her in such a way that soon she had soaked the material.

“Tywin” she gasped as he flicked her bundle of nerves with an expert finger.

“You are my wife” he growled against her mouth. “Mine” he teased her core, a second hand joining the first as the sound of her small clothes ripping open reached her mind. “Look at me” while his fingers teased and dipped in her folds, his other hand gently held her chin. “Mine” he held her eyes as he teased her to her first peak. She cried out, the sound echoing in whatever room they were in and she prayed that they were alone.

“Tywin” she protested as his hand left her, but a moment later she felt the head of his cock at her entrance.

“Mine” he plunged forward and she could only cry at the sensation of having him so deep once again. The way he fucked her was dark, filled with lust and something else, something desperate. Both of them fully clothed in the near darkness of a room close enough for the coronation celebration noise to reach them. Her leg’s loosely went around him but he held her chin steady, forcing her to look at him, his other hand gripping her left thigh in a near-bruising way. “Mine” he fucked her harder, almost savagely as she clung to his neck.

He leaned forward and braced a hand on the table beside her, the angle changing and hitting something deep inside of her that had her screaming his name over and over. The wet sounds of their fucking mixed with their pants as he forced her over the edge, body clamping down around his hard length on a wave of moisture that soaked them both.

“Mine” he growled, pouring himself deeply inside of her. She felt him shiver against her as he came, his warm breath skating across her lips.

“Mine” she kissed him softly on the lips before trailing lighter ones across his stubbled cheek.

 

Outside in the hallway, Sandor saw Lord Tyrion approach the small council rooms, but as he opened his mouth to send him away, Sansa’s screams echoed off the stones, giving away exactly what was going on inside the chamber.

“No...” the youngest Lannister gaped.

“Just bugger off” Clegane replied.

Chapter Text

“You’re joking” Tyrion looked over at his father who only met is words with his usual glare. “No, you’re not joking” he went to set his goblet on the small council table but stopped himself as he remembered exactly what had been on this table not a day before.

“In two days time, Sansa and I will travel to Casterly Rock. We remain there until she gives birth and we are ready to return” Tywin informed him smoothly. “In that time I will need you to act as Hand of the King in my stead, while I handle what I can from the Rock.”

“Why me?” Tyrion found himself asking. “Why not--”

“You are my son” Tywin spoke plainly, his tone booking no argument. “Tommen will need all the help and guidance he can get and you no longer have to worry about Cersei’s poisonous influence.” Tyrion could not find the words to speak, shocked at his father’s paternal declaration. “You will need to watch the Tyrell’s closely” his father advised. “They will try to get the hooks of Highgarden into Tommen as quickly as they can.”

“Of course” Tyrion could only nod.

“I will leave Jaime with you, call upon him as you need him” Tywin stood from the table. “You will soon find your Master of Coin has gone missing” his father added and Tyrion looked at him in surprise. “I would suggest Mace Tyrell, as long as he is monitored.”

“And if I am asked where Lord Baelish has gone?” Tyrion raised a brow.

“You can tell them that Baelish sought to take something that did not belong to him” Tywin glared briefly before excusing himself from the room completely.

 

To say the staff at Casterly Rock adored their new Lady would be a gross understatement, Tywin mused as he watched Sansa laughing with several of the maids as she made arrangements for their child’s arrival. Since they had left King’s Landing, Sansa had been using her free time to make clothes, blankets and other necessities while she had set about creating a nursery out of the small bedroom attached to the master's chambers.

Sansa had insisted that she would be caring for their child, as her mother had before her. They had briefly argued, but his stubborn wife would hear none of it. In the end he had resulted to soundly kissing her and dragging her to bed to end the argument.

It had taken the staff sometime to get used to having their Lord and Lady in residence, especially a Lord and Lady who enjoyed their marital relations as much as they did. Tywin chuckled to himself, he’d fuck his wife in every room of this keep if they had the time in the day. Away from the chaos of King’s Landing, he was able to truly appreciate his wife, both in and out of the bedroom and along with it came a new appreciation for Tyrion’s diplomatic skills. His younger son was proving quite adept as Hand of the King.

His eyes returned to Sansa as she left the maids to stand on their balcony. He had noticed in King’s Landing as well that she adored the fresh air, spending as much time as she could outside surrounded by flowers. Today she wore a dress of golden fabric, a loose dress that was designed for comfort in her late stage of pregnancy, her hair styled in the Northern way, free to her waist.

“Tywin come quickly” she called to him and he moved to her side. “Feel” she took his hand and placed it on the lower curve of her stomach where their child was now heartily kicking. “He’s ready to meet us, I think” Sansa smiled up at him.

“You are so sure it is a son” he mused. These days her slender frame seemed to be consumed by the swell of her stomach.

“It feels like one” she smiled up at him. “I know that doesn’t make sense.”

“Not at all” he countered, kissing her forehead.

“If it were up to me,” she admitted. “We’d never go back to King’s Landing.”

“I told you that you would like the Rock” he smirked.

“It’s not just the Rock, though I do enjoy it,” she explained. “You smile more here,” she whispered. “I smile more here.”

“Then we will stay as much as possible” he pulled her as close as he could, wrapping his arms around her.

“Thank you” she whispered against his chest.

 

Tywin woke in the middle of the night to Sansa whimpering as she sat on the edge of their bed. “Sansa--” he flew out of the bed, rounding to her side.

“It’s alright” she assured him. “I am alright, it has been going for quite some time,” she said softly as he knelt before her, taking her arms, her weight leaning heavily on him.

“Should I call the midwife?” he asked.

“Yes” she whimpered as another pain coursed through her.

He left her side to open their door, yelling for her maid Irina before rushing back to her, “Irina will come---”

“Not yet” she looked up at him, her face unusually pale, fear evident on her features.

“Sansa--”

“My Lord?” Irina appeared looking half asleep.

“Midwife, now!” Tywin barked and the young girl squeaked before running from the room.

“Tywin” Sansa once again leaned on his weight. “I know you do not know want to hear it, but if something should happen to me---”

That is absolutely out of the question” he felt stone cold fear settle in his chest at her words.

“Listen to me” she gasped in pain, nails digging into his arms as the keep began to spring to life.

“No, you will not leave me, that is expressly forbidden” he ordered.

“My fierce lion” she moved her hands to cup his cheeks, guiding her forehead to hers. “It must be said, before ...just in case this is my last chance. I am so scared it will be my last chance,” she cried out as she nearly buckled in pain. He held her, his heart racing as the pain passed. She sagged against him, “You are my heart” she whispered softly, tears in her Tully blue eyes. “Dearer to me than any in this world, my lion” she choked on a sob. “And if I cannot say it after tonight, know” she sobbed. “Know that I have loved you with the strength of ten lifetimes.”

His frozen, long-dead heart shattered at her broken words, holding her shaking body as the midwife, maester and maids scurried into the room. He swallowed his emotions, holding her for as long as he could before he was ushered from the room and left to wait.

 

“My Lord” Irina’s soft voice broke him from his near catatonic state as he sat in the hall. It was morning now, the sun filling the golden keep. He looked up to see the maid smiling softly, though looking thoroughly exhausted. “She’s ready.”

“She’s---?”

“She is well, My Lord” the girl replied with a genuine smile as Tywin stood. He had managed to grab a few articles of clothing, ill-fitting breeches and an old doublet to wear as he waited. He had sat in the hall for hours, agonizing as he listened to her to cries, to his wife’s broken voice as she begged the Mother for mercy, each scream tearing at his chest until he thought he would collapse. He was left to wait, his wife’s shield Sandor Clegane standing with him in the hall, staring stoically ahead as they both silently prayed.

How, in all of this madness had he fallen so deeply for the firebrand Stark girl. He had replayed her confession over and over in his mind, her words tearing at every wall and boundary he had erected after Joanna left him. He swore that he would never love again, that his precious Jo would be the only woman he could love.

But Sansa Stark stormed into his life and changed everything. Every Gods be damned thing. Her fire, her passion and her ferocity called to him and he was powerless to refuse her. He had married her for one reason, to secure the North. Or, at least, that is what he told himself. He wanted her, he took her and she made him fall in love with her. He protected her above all others, worshipped her and at the thought of losing her to Baelish he had nearly gone mad with rage. He doubted anyone would ever find Baelish’s body, served the bastard right.

He had never seen a hint that she was scared of childbirth, not until she was looking it straight in the eyes. She was so strong, so unaccountably brave, his Sansa.

Standing, he made his way on unsteady legs to their bedchamber. Most of the maids and the maester had gone, only the midwife stood near the bed, talking softly to his wife.

“Tywin” Sansa’s voice was ragged, laced with exhaustion as she looked to him. “Come and meet your son” she beckoned him closer and he found his body obeyed without question.

He passed the midwife as she shuffled away, leaving them to their private moment. He rounded to her side of the bed and sank to the mattress beside her, staring at the small bundle contentedly nursing from her breast. Wrapped tightly in the blankets Sansa had sewn, just a small tuft of strawberry blonde hair was visible above a chubby face.

“Damon” Tywin whispered softly, his voice thick with emotion. “Damon Lannister, second of his name.”

“Damon” Sansa smiled at the bundle in her arms. “A strong name.”

“You are…” he cleared his throat. “You are well?”

“Yes” she reached out with the hand not holding their son to take his. “A few sennight’s rest and I will be back to driving you mad, I am sure.”

“Sansa” he held her hand tightly, meeting her gaze. “You have to know” he said softly. “More than anything in this world, you are my treasure.”

“Tywin” she smiled through her exhaustion, fresh tears upon her cheeks.

“You’re infuriating, stubborn and beautiful but mostly you are mine” he promised her. “My love.”

She blinked away tears, squeezing his hand gently, “Well then” she laughed. “You should summon your sons to come and greet their brother, my love.”

 

“I think he looks like me” Jaime smiled, holding Damon in his arms in the family’s private garden in Casterly Rock.

“Not a bit” Tyrion laughed. “He’ll have my smarts, I hope.”

“We can only hope” Sansa smiled, sitting beside her husband, leaning against his strength. “His hair is much too red to resemble you, Jaime” Sansa laughed.

“A Lannister with the Tully temper” Tywin shook his head. “I do not envy his enemies” he smirked as Sansa protested.

“Another fine Lannister” Tyrion agreed.

“Hopefully not the last” Sansa said, smiling up at her husband who kissed her forehead softly. Damon was nearly two moons old now, the pain of her labors long forgotten in his vibrant smile and gentle cries. She had not had a chance to talk with her mother about childbirth or child rearing, but she imagined that her mother would say the pain of labor was forgotten the moment your child was laid on your chest. Which she now knew was true. All of it, the pain, exhaustion and fear evaporated when she first held her son in her arms. Tywin’s son, she had sobbed. The heir he wanted.

She had been so afraid, never speaking a word of it until the moment her husband was to be spirited from her side. In that moment she had needed his strength, needed him to know that if the Stranger should take her that she would not go without having loved. And, oh, did she love.

Chapter Text

If you were to glance quickly, or from a distance, Lord Damon Lannister was the exact image of his sire, the Great Lion. Upon closer inspection you would see that his hair was slightly more copper than gold, but his leonin eyes were the exact emerald of his father’s. He was taller than his father thanks to his mother’s Tully height, but the resemblance rang true all the same and sometimes, Jaime mused, as he spoke with his younger brother, he felt as if his father was with them once more.

Now, at age twenty, Damon was Lord of Casterly Rock, and a beloved one at that. The oldest of Lord Tywin and Lady Sansa’s 4 children, Damon had a sharp political mind and a compassionate heart to balance it. He worked closely with his paternal brother Tyrion, who was Hand of King Tommen and his maternal Uncle Jon Snow, Commander of the Night’s Watch to keep the realm moving forward.

After Damon came Kyvan, who, now at ten and eight spent his time in the North at Winterfell. Kyvan possessed Robb Stark’s cocky attitude and bright blue eyes, but his father’s logical mind. The Lord of Winterfell had the golden hair of a Lannister and the heart of a Stark. The bannermen in the North had rallied behind Sansa Stark’s son and helped him to rebuild the keep that had long since been ill-treated. Now the North was once again prosperous and willing to work with the Southern lords to prepare for winter.

After Kyvan came the fiery, beautiful Joanna. The image of her mother with her father’s emerald eyes, she was her father’s precious girl, doted upon from birth. She was named for Tywin’s first wife and her half-brothers’ mother, the only woman beside Sansa to tame the Great Lion. At ten and six, rumors of her beauty had spread throughout the realms and Damon had a stack of ravens on his desk regarding her hand in marriage. All of which he could find fault with, as none would ever be good enough for his sister. Sandor Clegane, now silver of hair, had his hands full protecting her.

And little Gerold, only ten years old was the youngest of their children and looked more like Tywin than Tywin. A 'parting gift’ Sansa had cried softly, as Tywin was gone well before Gerold’s first name day. The Great Lion had done the impossible in their time of war and deceit, he died of old age beside his beloved wife as they slept. He left behind 6 children and a legacy that would never be forgotten.

Jaime had been at the Rock and heard his step-mother's screaming upon discovering Tywin had left them. While numb himself, he had held her as she cried, begged and screamed at the Stranger to return her husband to her. He had never experienced such grief before, doing all that he could to ensure Sansa would eat, drink, and even holding Gerold to her to ensure his youngest brother nursed. He held her once more as his father was laid to rest in the Hall of Heroes, his armor displayed for all to see.

Now, at nearly 43, Sansa was content to stay at the Rock, away from the chaos of the world, surrounded by her children and reminders of her husband. Jaime found himself at the Rock more and more with each passing year, content to give up his white cloak and surround himself with his family. Each year on the Great Lion's name day, Jaime would walk Sansa to the Hall of Heroes where she would place winter roses at the foot of Tywin’s armor and cry softly, speaking of their children into the silent hall.

He had not been close with his father growing up, but once Tywin had wed Sansa, everything had changed. By the time his father passed on they had a strong relationship.

“I want you to promise me something” Tywin spoke and Jaime was instantly alert, listening to his father intently. “After I am gone, promise me that you will look after your brothers and sister.”

“Father---”

“Promise me, Jaime” Tywin had demanded. “I am an old man now, tired” he sighed as she sank into his chair. “They will need you. You and Tyrion, both.”

“I promise” Jaime replied.

“And Sansa” Tywin’s voice broke and he paused for several long moments while Jaime waited. “You must protect her, always.”

“I will---”

“I mean it, Jaime, you cannot let her be hurt” Tywin insisted.

“I will protect her” Jaime promised.

“I almost wed her to you” Tywin admitted softly, staring deeply into his goblet of wine. “It would have made sense, to dismiss you from the guard and send you both here to the Rock” Tywin shook his head. “I do not regret taking her for myself.”

“She loves you” Jaime reasoned. “Anyone can see that.”

“Do not hate me for stealing that future from you” Tywin sipped his wine. “With her I have lived and loved, she taught me that my legacy is stronger than I thought. Gods, do I love her.”

“Brother. Jaime,” Damon’s voice pulled him back from the present. Jaime met his brother’s questioning gaze, so like their father's and smiled.

“Sorry, I was lost in a memory.”

Damon smiled, knowing full well what he meant, “Try and focus, I know it is only a matter of time before Mother steals you away.”

“Right, continue” Jaime listened as the Lord of Casterly Rock updated him on the news from King’s Landing and the realm. He listened, of course, wondering when Sansa would interrupt their council and spirit him away once more.