It was a decade and more before they saw each other again. Jaime had lost his white cloak when Tywin was found dead, sent away from the Kingsguard for his lack of ability to protect the king. That left him Lord of Casterly Rock, cast out of Cersei's presence. He could only see her in a mirror by squinting until water came to his eyes and his features blurred enough that he could imagine himself still handsome, imagine her still innocent as she had not been for decades.
He had ordered the guards to keep watch for his brother after the Queen Regent was poisoned. Casterly Rock had never been a haven for the broken, but it was, in the end, the best home that the Seven Kingdoms had to offer Tyrion. The Queen Across the Water had driven him away from her court, and surely he would end in Westeros. There was no other place for him to go.
The steward came to the lord's chamber with the message on the day that the maesters declared that autumn had returned. Jaime gave the order for his brother to be brought before him, and when the guards deposited the dwarf, he dismissed them. Although their father had never shit gold, they had grown it to replace what the ravages of time had stolen from them: a hand and a nose, glinting in the lamplight.
Tyrion spoke first. Despite a thousand threats, he had kept his tongue. "You have forgotten my promise."
"Not for a day. How could I forget the man who told me he killed my son?"
"Didn't you? I have trained as best I could." Jaime drew his sword left-handed.
"And I threaten your inheritance, even now." Tyrion shrugged. "You wronged my first wife."
"At our damned father's order. Yes, I did. How many have you taken since her?"
"Two. One of the north, and one of Lys."
Jaime smiled a little. "You never claimed Winterfell."
"She was a child. As Tysha was."
"As Joff was."
"He was his mother's son." Tyrion scowled. "As befits a bastard."
"He was no more fit to be king than you."
"Or you, who would have ruled as a Targaryen, as a madman who dares to bed his sister when he knows full well his sons will be madder yet."
Jaime shrugged. "I never meant to be king."
"Just as well."
"Are you still a Lannister?" Jaime gestured with his sword.
"I keep my promises," and yet Tyrion made no move to draw his weapon.
"I regret what he did to you."
"As do I."
Jaime sheathed his sword. "Did you come here to kill me?"
"Then I suppose I ought to call my guards."
"No, brother. Not now. Not yet." Tyrion shuddered. "Was every moment of affection you ever showed me a lie?"
"Was Cersei's love for me a lie?"
"If it served her purposes --"
"No," Jaime said coldly. "No. Never. She lied to herself about me, but she cared for me."
"And did you lie to yourself about me, so that you may care for me?"
"My brother the dwarf, the Imp, the Kingslayer and the one who felled not only a king but his heir's Hand. What lies would I need to tell to care for you?"
Tyrion frowned, twisting his old scars. "I told myself you cared for me."
"As I do. And did." Jaime fell to one knee and extended his left hand toward Tyrion. "Come here, brother."
He hesitated before approaching. "I could put a dirk in your chest."
"You could. Do you want to be Lord of Casterly Rock?"
"I have no sons."
Tyrion embraced him. "You had best find a wife, and soon."
"Another wife." Jaime frowned at him.
"Another wife, then." Tyrion grinned. "Give her a son, that I may keep my promises."
"I've no wish to marry." Jaime put his right hand on Tyrion's shoulder, where it weighed heavily, and pulled him closer. "Brother. Flesh of my flesh."
Tyrion laughed and touched the gold hand, then his nose. "Indeed."
"I could have you thrown into the dungeons, now, and I would be safe."
"How lovely, to perish in the bowels of one's ancestral home," dryly. "I can't imagine why I came home."
"I don't know why you did."
"To kill you."
"Then do it." Jaime kissed his forehead.
"When I'm ready, I will."
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