Family always comes first

Jaime Tully (or Jaime and his creepy obsession with his sister)

He always had a queer affection for his sister : Catelyn Tully. When he was very young, he would follow her everywhere like a little tail. Her puppy, Catelyn called him, despite their sigil was a leaping trout, and Jaime found proud in that nickname. Although he had his own chamber, often at night Jaime would sneak to Catelyn’s and pled to share her bed. It was not proper for brother and sister to share the bed, their septa told them once she discovered Jaime’s little “endeavors” but Catelyn only shrugged off and smiled.  He’s only a boy, she said and Jaime took that as her approval. There was a time she turned him down, her brows furrowing to make her countenance a little stricter, and Jaime only stood there with tears swelling in his Tully blue eyes, until it was Catelyn who gave up and let him in. Jaime had their mother’s eyes, Catelyn told him, and she could not bear to see them teary and puffy. Catelyn’s heart was soft and loving and Lord Hoster Tully often said she was spoiling her little brother. And a spoiled little brother indeed he was, for Jaime knew how to take advantage of Catelyn’s heart.

Catelyn was not Jaime’s only sister though; there was another- Lysa. However, as willing as Jaime was to be Catelyn’s pet, he and Lysa were ice and fire. Close in age, Jaime and Lysa should have been closer than he and Catelyn; yet he could hardly recall any moments of peace between them. It often fell on the eldest Tully girl to have her quarreling younger siblings reconciled. However she tried, peace only lasted for a while until the next war began.

Sometimes Jaime wondered how he was so attached to one sister and was always at odds with the other. His strong attachment to Catelyn might have something to do with the untimely death of their lady mother. She had died bringing him to this world, Jaime was often reminded by the Maester, sometimes too often that Jaime felt he was to be blamed for her death. Catelyn never let that thought wandering for long in his mind. The gods took a soul when they saw fitted; therefore none was at fault for their lady mother’s leaving. Her words gave Jaime comfort, especially when his head was on Catelyn’s lap. Though he could never feel familiar with his lady mother’s face despite all the paintings on the castle walls, and begrudged himself for it, he was content with imaging Catelyn’s face in place of Lady Tully’s. There were traits of her in every of her children, Jaime’s eyes and Lysa’s skin; however, it was her eldest daughter that inherited her beauty.

Catelyn was more than a sister to him. When he was young, Catelyn was his surrogate mother. Though there were several servants for tasks as bathing, feeding or dressing, the eldest daughter of Lord Hoster Tully made herself responsible for taking care of Jaime. She bathed him everyday, taking time to scrubbing clean every inch and getting her gown wet with soap and water. She fed him till he reached five, running with him all the length of the hall so he would finish his porridge. After that, his sister still reminded the cooks his favorite dishes.  When the Maester told his lord father that his son refused to learn, being unable to read the letters, it was also Catelyn who sat with him for hours, helping him. Their motto was “Family. Duty. Honor” and Lord Hoster Tully often said Catelyn was most dutiful with her family. That, Jaime did not doubt.

Jaime suspected that Petyr Baelish boy had something for his Catelyn. The way Petyr looked at his sister, the way his eyes glued on Catelyn’s early womanly curves, the way he sneaked out in his duty hour to tail her everywhere she went, Jaime liked none of these. It also irked Jaime that Catelyn was gentle with Petyr like he was also her little brother. I am her only little brother, Jaime thought and felt no qualms in giving Petyr a piece of his mind whenever they were on the training yard. It gave him small pleasure to know Petyr was a complete failure when it came to sword and shield. That made him an easy victim for a gifted sword like Jaime. Catelyn was none too pleased with his bullying the boy but Jaime could not help it.

For a long time Jaime had been confused with his feelings. He loved Catelyn, that was for sure. Yet was it the kind of affection shared among siblings ? If so, why hadn’t he felt the same toward Lysa ? He did not hate Lysa, despite frequent quarrels; still, he did not hold the same feelings toward Lysa as he did Catelyn. He did not grow angry to watch Lysa swoon over some boy, nor did he flare up when boys tried to win her favor. It was a different matter with Catelyn though, the proof being his bullying attempts to Petyr Baelish while he had no personal grudge against him. Also, most boys of his age had fantasy about pretty girls they met. Jaime was the same, only that his fantasy directed to Catelyn , which often left him confused and guilty days later. Worse, he could not tell his little secret to anyone. His lord father would beat him bloody for storing such thoughts for his own kin. His septon would preach about the grievous sin called “incest” (which was the word he feared most) and told Lord Hoster Tully. He could not tell Lysa; the two of them were never close. He could not tell Catelyn either; the least he wanted was to see her eyes filled with disgust. And how could he expect her not to abhor him while Jaime himself was sometimes disgusted at his own thoughts ?

The Starks of the North came to Riverrun to ask for Catelyn’s hand. Brandon Stark, with his solemn Stark face which somehow Catelyn found endearing, almost doubled Jaime in age and height. The gleam in her Tully eyes seemed to admit Brandon Stark had won her favor. Such notion unconsciously enraged Jaime and for the first time, he snarled at Catelyn for no obvious reason.

The overwhelming, choking sensation he had felt when he heard Lord Hoster Tully announce Catelyn’s marriage with the Stark man Jaime could recall even years after. However, what had been inside his head that time was only a blinding fury. Jaime did not remember how he had gotten there, out in the training yard. But when he was there, he slashed and hacked at the training dummy with all the strength a one-and-ten year old boy could muster. What happened next was a blurry memory.

Jaime had not been the only one intrigued by Catelyn’s betrothal that day. A day later, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish challenged Brandon Stark for Catelyn’s hand and earned himself a terrible scar coupled with shame. I could do much better than Petyr. Jaime had had half the heart to follow the older boy’s path; yet when he looked his lord father and the tranquil fury in his eyes, all courage fled him.

He had had a wicked delight when the news of his soon-to-be brother’s death reached Riverrun. Murdered by the hand of the Mad King they said. If Brandon was no more, Catelyn would not have to marry him and his sister would stay with Jaime and be his forever.

He had been too naïve. Not long after Brandon’s death, his brother came to Riverrun. Eddard Stark, with a face grimmer than Brandon’s, came to replace his brother and fulfilled the promise between the Starks and the Tullys. This time, Jaime had watched as Eddard of house Stark drape the coat of white and grey over her shoulders, proclaiming her Catelyn Stark.

Jaime had grown from the one-and-ten year old boy with a jealousy for his sister’s suitors. Though he disliked the grim and dark walls of Winterfell, Catelyn seemed to blend in well enough. And what would Jaime hope for but his dearest Cat’s happiness ?

His bannermen constantly urged the handsome heir of Lord Hoster Tully to find a bride, all the while offering their own daughters to him. My lord father is still the Lord of Riverlands; there is no need for his heir to find an heir yet, Jaime shrugged and answered. To calm them, he promised he would choose his bride and get a son, but he never said when. Part of him deep down inside was still yearning for Catelyn with a secret passion. It is wrong, he knew and loathed himself for it. Jaime was neither the baby brother clinging to Catelyn nor the green boy who had mocked and defied and wanted to challenge Catelyn’s suitors for her hand. Jaime had grown and Jaime knew better than to let his feelings roaming freely. And Jaime knew he wanted Catelyn all the more.

He did not expect her to return to Riverrun, to him this way, with the rivers in her Tully eyes and the smiles lost on her lips. Twice the Stark men had failed her and twice Jaime had witnessed his Cat crying her eyes out for them. This time, he would stand in front of her chamber till she opened the door and allowed him to share her bed, just like the days they had been children both. There they would sleep together, like twenty years past, bodies snuggling and limbs tangling.

But this time, it would be Jaime who held and cooed his sister into a sleep.

Their motto was “Family. Duty. Honor”. No one would dare say Jaime was not a Tully who put his family above all else.

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