Pairing(s) / Characters: Tyrion Lannister, Tywin Lannister/OFC
Genre: Angst / Alternate Universe
Disclaimer: It's just fanfic!
Synopsis: Tyrion overhears an unexpected conversation.
Comments: Unbetaed. Part of a much larger piece I'm slowly working on. Written at 3am this morning.
The Lady of Qarth leant casually against the Hand’s desk. Lord Tywin stood by the window, his back to her. He said nothing for some time. Then, Tyrion heard him say, “What did I do to deserve that drunken little lecher?”
Tyrion thought that after all this time, it might not hurt so much. He was wrong.
Elsa’s expression tightened. “Tywin,” she says softly. Tyrion starts; he has never heard anyone address his father that way. The Hand’s shoulders relax very slightly.
But the Lady is not finished. “Do you know why Tyrion is a ‘drunken little lecher’?” she bites out, frustrated. Tywin stiffens. “Because you made him that way.” Tyrion is suddenly afraid for Elsa; doesn’t she know the danger she’s in?
“I did what?” The quiet calm in Lord Tywin’s voice is terrifying.
“Since the day he was born you’ve treated him like a bastard you were forced to claim. You just told him you’d die before allowing him his birthright. I know you loved Joanna, that you love her still. I know that every time you see Tyrion, you see blood on the sheets and her cold hands. But, my darling, women die in childbirth. It happens. It wasn’t his fault. He is your son. He couldn’t be anyone else’s. He’s too clever, too cunning, to be anyone else’s. You must know that – you sent him here to govern in your name.” She’d moved closer to the tall lord as she spoke, and now stood beside him at the window. “Would you feel this way if Tyrion was as tall and handsome as Jaime? I think you know what Jaime does. Tyrion may be short, but he is not stupid. He’s not ruled by his passions. His intellect is sharper than any sword Jaime could wield.” She placed a gentle hand between his shoulder blades. “Your greatest weakness is your fear of shame, my love. Your father shamed you, your children shame you; but only because you let them. Tyrion could make you proud. He could take this legacy of yours and create a dynasty. But only if you let him.”
Tywin turns to her. She doesn’t flinch when eyes as hard and sharp as Valyrian steel bore into hers. There’s not a hint of unease in her bearing. “If you were anyone else…”
She smiles. “No one else would dare.”
Tywin’s hands grasp his Lady’s waist as his head falls to her shoulder. She embraces him, a hand at his nape. Tyrion holds his breath as they stand like that for a long moment. He can’t help feeling he's witnessing something impossible.
“You’re wrong about one thing,” Tywin says. “Shame is not my greatest weakness.”
She meets his gaze.
“Do you know the danger you’re in? The danger you will be in if it’s discovered what you are to me?” It’s a shock to hear his own thought echoed back to him; Tyrion bites his tongue to stay quiet.
Lady Elsa rubs her Lord’s shoulders as he says, “They won’t hesitate to use you.”
“It’s worth the risk, my love.”
Tywin groans and plants a lingering kiss on her forehead. “You may be the death of me yet.”
Tyrion doesn’t move a muscle as his father and the Lady of Qarth take the stairs to the Hand’s chambers. Only when their footsteps have faded does he silently retreat.