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The Lie Between the Lies (Cersei/Jaime)

Title: The Lie Between the Lines
Fandom: Game of Thrones
Pairings: Cersei/Jaime
Rating: T
Summary: She had never meant for it to go that far.
Author's Notes: Written with the prompt 'broken glass' along with some additional details.
Also posted on FF.net and AO3.

She hadn’t meant for it to go that far.

In fact, that wasn’t quite true. If Cersei was honest with herself – and she tried to be; it was the only opportunity to distance herself from the lies ingrained deep into the Red Keep itself – she had meant it to go much farther. If she had only been free to do as she pleased, it would have gone much farther and it would have happened far sooner.

But she wasn’t. She wasn’t free to do as she pleased, and that meant that it shouldn’t have happened at all.

“Who gave you the right to address me like that?” Even with the thick walls in the King’s chambers, Cersei was sure that Robert’s voice had echoed outside too. “Telling me who should and should not have a place at my Council meetings in front of all these people?”

“My king,” Cersei began, aware that this was what he wanted to hear, as if the word itself would give him the power he was trying to establish, “I was just trying to suggest-”

“I’m tired of your family’s suggestions,” Robert snapped. She’d extended an arm towards him to try and calm him down and he gripped it, fingers curling around her wrist with enough strength to make her wince. “Just keep your mouth shut. Didn’t anyone teach you that?”

There were plenty of answers she could have offered. They did, but they all failed was the first one, followed by a reminder that the feast Robert had just turned into a circus less than five minutes ago had been paid almost entirely with her father’s money. What actually came out was just, “let me go”.

There was no reaction. Cersei’s other hand was still clutching the glass of wine she’d brought with herself upstairs and she tried to focus on that; tried to channel the fury inside her into something that couldn’t possibly hurt her. “Let me go,” she repeated, more forcefully this time. “Or-”

“Or what?” Robert challenged and stepped forward until he had her pressed against one of the pillars of the bed. “I’m your king!” He shook her and the gesture almost seemed powerless; designed to get the words to sink deeper this way and something inside Cersei snapped. Before she could give it a second thought, she’d gripped the glass with all the strength she had, missing Robert’s head by millimetres as she flung it in his direction.

She stared at the pieces, mesmerised by the wine that glistened over the heap of broken glass. It could have been his blood, she thought, and then, Good. If he hadn’t ducked away just in time, it would have been blood spilling on the floor instead of wine and Cersei wasn’t really surprised by how much she relished the idea.

The reality of what she’d done hit her with full force and she chanced a look at her husband and the numb shock in his eyes.

“You-” he seemed to be at a loss and Cersei took the opportunity to gather whatever bravery she had left. “Get out of my sight,” Robert said, voice more emotionless than she’d ever heard it, before he spun around at his heel and left the room.

He would be back, she knew, but it wouldn’t be soon, so she had enough time to think, but she couldn’t stay here. His presence was heavy in the room; almost suffocating and Cersei made her way out as quickly as possible.

o.O.o

The Queen’s chambers usually required a guard day and night, regardless of the Queen’s actual location and Cersei thanked any god who’d listened that night that it was Jaime’s shift tonight. She couldn’t bear anyone else from the Kingsguard asking intrusive questions and trying to figure out what was wrong; she needed him, even though she knew that he’d be able to tell that something had happened.

“What’s wrong?” If he’d been following protocol, Jaime would have never dared to be so forward, but all the walls went down at the prospect of her being in danger. Any other night, Cersei would have chastised him; now, she could barely find it in herself to deny it.

“I’m fine,” she assured him. “I will be fine,” she amended at the suspicious look her sent her way. “Myrcella-”

“The princess is asleep,” Jaime said, but Cersei could see through the words.  Myrcella was still much too young to be left in her own chambers and had to be around Cersei or her handmaidens at all times; if the servants had left already, it was just him guarding her rooms now.

Cersei sank into the darkness behind the door of her bedroom and, just a moment later, heard the telltale clink of Jaime’s heavy Kingsguard armour as he followed. “Let me see,” he insisted, pulling her hands forward from where she’d clasped them behind her back almost instinctively. She saw his eyes harden as his fingers traced the already forming bruises from larger, crueller fingertips and tried to snatch her hand away. It didn’t work; if anything, it only made Jaime trace the delicate skin there with a touch so gentle that she almost shivered.

“I’m going to kill him.” The words were velvet, too; music to Cersei’s ears even as she prepared to protest. “I’m going to kill him on a night when I’m standing guard in front of his bedroom. He’s not going to die in his sleep; I want him to see who did it.” The smile that curved Jaime’s lips had a sadistic touch to it and Cersei could see that he’d already thought about it before. It shocked her; Jaime could be merciless, he could be uncaring, but he’d rarely been cruel. “I want him to know why.”

And suddenly Cersei knew with absolute certainty that he would do it. She only had to say ‘yes’ and she would never have to endure Robert’s presence again; would never gave to feel his touch.

No.

The inner protest was so definite that Cersei almost thought she’d said it out loud. Not again. The Mad King had been one thing, but, “Robert isn’t worth the sacrifice.”

“Believe me,” Jaime retorted heatedly, “it would be a pleasure.”

“No.” Cersei was adamant. “I don’t want you involved in anything like this.”

Not ever again. Killing Aerys had made people despise him, but in truth, everyone had been relieved to be rid of him. But Robert? Robert was harmless. He’d won the crown and even if he hadn’t done much with it, people didn’t mind him. And him being killed here, in the heart of the Red Keep, would spawn suspicions that had been laid to rest for years now.

And still, he’s going to die. Cersei wasn’t sure when, she wasn’t sure how, but she would make it happen, and she was going to make sure that no matter how hard anyone tried, they wouldn’t be able to trace it back to them.

But the idea of it was vague; too muddy for her to rely on now and she knew it. It was only natural that Jaime would think of that just then, too.

“He’s going to come back soon,” he said and his voice was heavy with anxiety he didn’t want to show in front of her. Cersei couldn’t quite figure out why. You don’t have to hide from me, she wanted to say. I already know. I always know.

“Not too soon,” she said instead. She almost pitied the poor soul that Robert would take it all out on. Almost, because anything was better than him being here.

“I want you to tell me if he ever touches you again.” The look in Jaime’s eyes was almost desperate. “I don’t care how insignificant you think it is.”

Even now, after he’d seen so much bloodshed in his life, Cersei didn’t have the heart to tell him just how many times it had happened before. To Jaime, ‘king’ didn’t mean much; not when it came to Robert. He would go to war against him if he thought he had to, she thought in a sudden burst of helplessness. If confronting the King of the Seven Kingdoms was what he thought would make things better, he would do it in a heartbeat.

“Of course,” she said, hoping that the answer would distract him from any trouble he could get into. “You know I tell you everything.”

It was a lie – she hid plenty from him – but he always manage to find whatever the problem was anyway, and he always dealt with it as swiftly as possible. She tried to hide things from him occasionally, but she hardly ever succeeded.

“Of course,” Jaime echoed and Cersei felt his arms envelop her as carefully as possible, for once mindful of the fine fabric her dress was made of, or rather, mindful of her – it irritated her to think that he saw her as fragile, but she didn’t feel the need to prove the opposite; not tonight. The gold of his armour was cold through the material but it slowly got accustomed to the contact against her body and she felt invincible just like this, just for an instant.

If given a little push, Jaime would do anything for her. The thought had excited her, once; she couldn’t deny that it still did on occasion, but most of the time it just scared her. It would be the death of him one day, she feared, but it didn’t have to be today.

“I can manage him,” she assured him and felt Jaime’s arms tighten even more around her. “I’ve managed him before; I can deal with him in the future. But not forever, I promise you that.”

Jaime’s touch disappeared and for a moment Cersei thought that the words had upset him somehow, only to open her eyes and see him lock the door.

“You can’t just stay here,” she spoke half-heartedly. It was a habit she couldn’t quite shake off even when she needed him the most. “If any of the others see-”

“-I’ll tell them that I was fulfilling my duty,” Jaime interrupted, already slipping out of his armour and nearing the bed. “I’ll tell them that you were upset for one reason or another and that as a sworn brother of the Kingsguard – and as your brother – it was my duty to see to it that the Queen feels better.”

“Thank you.” It was all she could think of to say; any other display of gratitude or affection would be meaningless right now. And it didn’t matter, regardless – they’d never needed words to understand one another.

“I’ll be here whenever you need me,” Jaime vowed, still quiet just in case there was someone outside the door. “Never forget that.”

It was much easier for Cersei to put her worries to rest with him next to her and soon enough, she felt her eyelids grow heavy and slowly fall shut. She curled around him like a cat, fitting easily into his embrace and whatever threat that might have followed only served to lull her to sleep.

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