Dedicated to courtisanes, who just survived AFFC. Which, seriously, about time: this has been hanging out 9/10 finished on my desktop since July (or: since I read ADWD and Cersei mentioned her ~wedding morning, lol how could I not).
my heart is a kingdom, where the king is a heart
my heart is king: the king of hearts
black swan; sunset rubdown
i fucked jaime on the morning of my wedding.
cersei lannister; a dance with dragons
The world is gold on the morning of Cersei’s wedding.
She would expect no less: the world can give her this much. Her dress, stitched from the color that the Lannisters and Baratheons share, like a bright beacon of Casterly Rock wealth stitched onto her body. Gold cloth, frothing at the edges with bright Myrish lace and laced with shining ribbon. The thick summer sunlight catches against glass and cloth and her, shining at the center of her chamber. Her hair glints on her shoulders, the best gold of the Rock itself, brushed and brushed with her little maid’s assistance. The strokes tug gently and evenly; she is lulled by them and dazzled by the spectacle offered up in the mirror. She lets herself be blinded by it, by herself, and for a moment everything blurs into one uniform shining sight. She looks like a treasury, she thinks, not a woman. But she is not a woman, not a bride; she is a prize, a promise, a kingdom reborn into gold and promise and washed in blood.
She likes that far better.
When the corner of the mirror, which catches a jut of shadowed hallway, glints with gold too, it takes her a moment to notice it—but the hitch of breath and the shift of plate metal dash her from her reverie instantly, and her own breath catches in her throat.
She lifts her hand.
“That is enough.”
“I would be alone.”
She does not turn around until the maid leaves; she watches her back in the mirror. A paltry little creature, this one, clad in grey, all pale brown hair and washed-white skin. She is Robert’s gift—her husband’s, Cersei thinks, pressing her teeth into the back of her lip. Not her creature, like as not nobody’s at all, so pale, so uselessly meek. When the girl passes through the doorway, she brushes past white cloak and gold armor and Cersei decides at once to hate her. The clarity of the feeling floods her under her skin, warm as a gift, a wedding gift she’s given to herself.
But the girl leaves and her brother pulls the door shut.
“Gods be good,” he murmurs low in his throat.
The bone-deep warmth she feels begins to work its way to the blood under her skin. She turns on her stool, brushing her skirts and letting her hands linger over her thighs. Jaime is leaning against the door, long and lazy. His white cloak is clasped with a gold lion’s-head pin, jaws clasped in a snarl at the base of his throat. He is not wearing his gorget, and above the lion’s golden teeth, she can see his throat, can watch the motion of his Adam’s apple with the rise and fall of his breath, and loves it, loves knowing what he sees and instinctively what he feels, feeling her own breath quicken and her own flesh heat under his gaze. He looks to her as she feels: as if he’s swallowed the sun.
No light, she thinks, to spare for her husband, the king—who is darker, bearded, mortal. A hero, perhaps, but not a Rhaegar, nothing like a god, and shadowed next to her brother’s light. She has chewed over this alternative, this war-winner, this prospective king and husband, and it has quelled her appetite: she has eaten little leading up to the wedding. Her women approve of it; one called her parsimonious forkfuls of last night’s feast “ladylike” and she promptly longed to swallow the roast duck before her whole on its platter, to pick its bones from her teeth. She had not had the stomach. Her husband-to-be had ate and ate and laughed and toasted at her—he has nothing of Rhaegar’s melancholy, she thinks, nor his untouchable beauty. But his heroism, his strength, is dyed in blood, and she thinks perhaps that this is the man for whom she is meant to be queen after all: a hero tried and tested. Damn the wolf girl, damn the dragons, her king claims her in the aftermath of blood. It is with the ghosted taste of blood filling her mouth that she finds herself most pleased with the prospect of the marriage: it drowns out the knowledge that she is someone else's reward.
Still, her brother claims her sight wholly and perfectly, drowning out the rest of the world. She folds her hands in her lap with a demure gesture that she knows will make him grin, and is swiftly gratified with a white smile slicing across his face. Above the fold of her hands, she feels the hollow, starved tug of her stomach grow stronger. She does not remember what it is to feel a hunger that would be sated by food. Beneath her gown, she lets her knees slide apart, warm in her room, warm in her gown, warm in the blood.
“Do you find me beautiful?” she asks, teasing.
“The most beautiful woman in Westeros,” he replies, and she laughs, feeling her hair fall soft and shining against the bare skin of her shoulders, every inch his colour.
His smile lingers sly and crooked on his mouth as he crosses the room, reaching for her. She does not get up, and when he leans in to kiss her, she pulls him in by the hair, feeling him bend in around her. The shape of a smile lingers on his mouth under hers, and her own curves meet it until the smile turns into a sigh. His mouth is warm under hers, familiar, delicious. When he breaks away to breathe, she coils her fingers into a fist in his hair, pulling his head back until he bends in closer to her, falling into a kneel.
“Oh, so I’d best get used to this, eh?” he laughs. “Kneeling for the queen.” He slips a hand low beneath the bare curve of her ankle, her foot arching into his palm. His fingers linger, brushing along the delicate bone, until he begins to slide his hand up her thigh. “And how low would you like, exactly?” The thick folds of skirt crinkle audibly around his hand, and she shivers.
She is soaking through the complicated silk-lacing of her smallclothes when his hand finds her, but he does not attempt to unlace them or slide beneath. He works her through her silk, sliding against her, and she gasps, closing her eyes as the sleek fabric presses damply between her legs, her brother’s fingers hard and deft and maddening beneath. “Stop,” she breathes, “oh, Seven, stop, not this, no more—”
“Command,” he says. His voice comes harsh in his throat, and his forehead is already beading with sweat. “Queen Cersei." His eyes are dark, roving over her with pupils swallowing the green; she must look the same. "My queen.”
She can feel, can almost taste her heartbeat, high in her throat. A gift, she thinks. “Then I demand homage,” she says, steadying her voice with all the regency in her body, and still the word catches on her breath.
“A wedding gift?”
Not for the wedding. Her brother is what a king should look like, she thinks, gleaming and golden as she, but taut and tousled already, his bright hair sticking to his forehead with sweat. This is a secret, now more than ever. She reaches out to smooth his hair away and finds her hand tangling a glossy knot into his hair, her mouth crushing and hot on his. No one must see him like this, no one must see me like this. She is Queen, she is golden, she is impermeable, and beneath her skirts, her legs spread luxurious and wide around his hand. “Silence,” she pleads into his mouth, and breaks away, pressing her hand against the back of his neck.
One ankle rises to rest against his shoulder as he leans in, following the path of his fingers with his mouth. The rasp of his chin, of coarse freshly-shaven skin, scrapes against her inner thighs, a roughness invisible to the eye. But she cannot see his face now, he is buried beneath her skirts, and she closes her eyes as he presses his cheek to the hollow between leg and hip, mouth hot and teeth biting against the soft flesh of her thighs, not made to mark, she does not have to ask, she does not have to be told. His fingers work up beneath her smallclothes, silk crumpling under his hands, and beneath the edge of her stays, thumbs against the vulnerable flesh of her belly, and she cannot fully bite back the yelp in her throat even before his mouth touches her again, even before the press of his lips and the flick of his tongue.
Jaime, she swallows, and his face prints itself on the backs of her eyebrows, etched in the same sunbright lines she caught in the mirror. “Jaime,” she whispers, and she bites her hand, she must learn to press his name out of her throat, the familiar fall of her cries, now that another man will go where he goes now, and her teeth sink in so hard she believes she will draw blood.
“Fuck me,” she whispers instead, the words thick and unbetraying on her tongue. Even a queen must be fucked, shall be—tonight, but she does not think of tonight; she thinks of her brother and only her brother. She is soaked and hot and bright as the treasury and boneless, helpless, beneath her gold wedding wrapping, and she is his, he is hers, he is her.
She slides to her knees to tear at the gilt buckles of his armor, so frantic she feels her fingertips scrape painfully against the edges. His hands light on her wrist, no less frantic but far more practiced in his clothes. Then the metal pieces are gone and she is tearing at the lacing of his breeches, the outline of his cock curving clear and hard beneath her hand. She braces herself against him, nails sinking into the back of his neck as she wraps her hand around him, as she slides on top of him, as his hands press flush against the small of her back, as she guides him into her. Leaning in, she silences her cries, turning wordless and unformed, against the metal rout of his shoulder, feeling her teeth scrape painfully through her lips against gilt and steel. Her brother’s hands clasp around her parted thighs and the taste of rust melts on her tongue, like her blood, like their blood. She silences his name against his neck, his ear, moving against his skin with lips and teeth and no words in the end, none at all.
She is fluid and spent against him, mouth tucked against the underside of his gasping throat when she feels him arch and shake and “no,” she whispers, slipping her hand back beneath her skirts, “not yet—”
Not in me, she thinks, not today, and it is not for her husband, either, but for the shining trappings in which she is wrapped. She curls her fingers around her brother’s cock and, shuddering, pulls it from her, flesh slick and sun-hot in her hand. His eyes are shut, lashes long and golden and casting shadows along the tautened lines of his cheeks. When she bends her head over him, taking him in her mouth, she feels him exhale, long and harsh and whole-body. He tastes like her: her second self wrapped under her tongue.
The queen kneels, she thinks, and digs her fingernails into the bared skin along his hipbones as he jerks beneath her, as he comes.
His hand is heavy on the back of her neck, tangled in her hair. She pulls herself up against him, into the crook of his thigh and his arm, a space shaped like her. She can see blood fading under his skin, the red rake of her nails and the bruise of her mouth. Breath ragged, she rests her open mouth against the taut line of his throat, lingering between the sprawl of his thighs and the hiked froth of her gown.
For no one else will she kneel of her own volition, she thinks, for no one less than herself. She shall think of this when she stands at the altar, shoulders straight and proud, chin tilted toward the gods, tall as heroes and idols, tall as her brother. She shall think of this with a wife’s cape on her shoulders and a queen’s crown on her head, with her knees chafed under her gown.
The floor scrapes her skin. She winces, swallows, and exults.
She shall be a law unto herself.