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Where honour might be found

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She truly does look at home in armour.

This armour is ugly, heavy plain steel plate with scars and scores everywhere he looks, but suits her almost as well as the exquisite blade bare in her hand.

With a scarf tucked under her helmet, leaving nothing but those startling eyes of hers on display, she is almost beautiful.

“Well, wench,” he says, spinning his sword in his left hand and frowning when it is not so fluid as it should be. “What do you have to say now? Our foes are a little more fearsome than a bear, don’t you think?”

He cannot be sure, not with that scarf tucked in place, but he thinks she smiles. She certainly rolls her eyes, and he is so fond of her that it near takes his legs from under him.

Although, that could well be the hunger. He couldn’t swear either way.

“I’m told there may be wighted bears,” she tells him, and now she is definitely smiling - her eyes are even brighter than usual. “You will have a chance to defend my honour a second time, Kingslayer.”

He flinches to hear that name now, now that he is a Queenslayer too, but it does not sting from Brienne. There is little she could do to hurt him now, when she is the last person in all the world he trusts.

“Black suits you,” she says, as if he came willingly to the Watch, rather than fled there to preserve his own neck after Cersei’s was crushed under his hand. “There is yet honour to be found here.”

Sansa Stark is my last chance for honour, he’d once thought, and here is Brienne, waving that away as if it were nothing at all. How typical of her.

Above them, dragons scream and light the ever-dark skies. Before them, the world stretches both dark and pale, and bone-cracking cold. There is a beauty in it, if beauty is the right word, in the severity and mercilessness.

It reminds Jaime of Cersei, as she was, but not as she became.

Brienne, too. It reminds him of her, too, of the practical beauty of her hard, muscled body as he remembers it in the baths, of her absolute grace while wielding her sword, of the purity of her when not at war.

Here, below the Wall, there is still silence, a stillness that reminds him of Brienne’s depthless eyes. It is comforting, somehow, to know that even when the quiet before them is broken, the quiet in Brienne will not be.

He can draw strength from that, if from nothing else. It is a comfort beyond words to have her of all people beside him, at the end of all things.

“I have missed you, wench,” he says, Lady Stoneheart and Cersei slipping away from between them. “It will be good to fight by your side once more.”

“And yours, Lannister,” she says, bright eyes smiling again, and it is easy to return.

The world might turn dark, he thinks, but Brienne’s eyes will always be bright, and there is no greater comfort than that, in a place where even Jaime Lannister might regain his honour.