TITLE: For Those About To Rock, We Salute You (2/?)
FANDOM: A Song of Ice & Fire/Game of Thrones
RATING: Mature
DISCLAIMER: Dearest GRRM, I am not you. I'm sorry I'm borrowing your babies to make them wear leather pants and have tattoos and sing bad hair rock, but I promise I won't hurt them. They're yours, not mine, but thank you for creating them and letting me put them in bands. No profit is being gained, either. Love, Pieces xoxox


Part One @ DW/LJ | Read it at AO3





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{2}
Problem Child


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I'm going to fuck the Seven Kingdoms and leave them wanting more.
- Robert Baratheon


My father wanted to fuck the Seven Kingdoms? I'm going to fuck them, spill my seed, get them with child and kick them into the streets. There's always more where they come from, right?
- Joffrey Baratheon


---


"He's fucking terrible with metaphors." Bronn was sitting behind his drum kit, his mouth full of the lemon cakes delivered earlier by Joffrey's little piece of ass. Formerly known to all of them as Ned's little princess, naturally, but Sandor Clegane knew exactly what Sansa Stark was here for - and it wasn't delivering fucking lemon cakes like a gussied up handmaid. She was sitting behind Joff, next to her father; her red hair hair pulled into a severe style Sandor could tell was engineered by Cersei to make her look older, much like the outfit that was cut too high at the legs and too low at the teats.


Not that he minded the outfit, to be completely fair - and Gods knew her curves were much better to look at than Joffrey's attempt to fill out a pair of leather pants. Sandor turned his attention to restringing his guitar, and tried to ignore the tantrum he could tell was only seconds away.


"I'm not my father, Bronn," Joffrey spat.


"No fucking shit, Joffrey. Next time you decide to cock and balls at the press, make sure it actually makes sense. You can't get kingdoms pregnant, you little shit." Another lemon cake, and Bronn grinned. "But I'm certain you're not exactly sure how to get something pregnant, are you, my little lord?"


The drummer dusted his hands and began wrapping tape around his drumsticks like he hadn't a care in the world - which, Sandor had learnt through spending most of his adult life with Bronn, was probably true. Joffrey was no more than a fly in the honey to Bronn, while the rest of them had to try their best not to grab the monster and kick him soundly up the arse.


The stammering, hammering from Joffrey's mouth was more than enough, however, to sate those urges for now. "I know how to get…things…pregnant…"


"Can we just practice? Please? We've got this concert in a week, and we've not even practiced once with Joffrey." Ned Stark's self-righteousness rang out from the corner, and Sandor looked up from his guitar. For a moment, past Joffrey's red tantrum face and Pod scrambling into position with his bass, he caught Sansa's eye briefly. She looked away and towards the floor like she'd been stung, her pretty little face flushing from embarrassment or shame. Probably both.


He laughed. He had to, because it wasn't a look he was a stranger to - in fact, after twenty-odd years, it was one he welcomed the most. The scar on his face was his armour, a "badge of bad-assery", Robert had once said to him, and he knew better to expect young birds in their tight skirts to look at him the way they looked at pretty boys like Jaime Lannister. He was the lead guitarist in one of the biggest bands of all time - and scars aside, he was still rich, got all the pussy he wanted and used his guitar to prove anything else he needed to. And he didn't need to prove anything to a slip of a girl who's main job was to make this dick of a kid they now had standing in front of them look good.


Standing up, slinging his guitar over his chest, he found he was still staring at her. "Let's do it," he rasped, and looked away just as she turned to him again. Silly little bird.


"Alright!" Bronn clicked his sticks together. "One, two, one-two-three-four!"


Sandor opened 'Ours Is The Fury' with the riff he knew better than his own name. Podrick now, a baby like Jaime was once upon a time, but could make a guitar sing just as good as Sandor and Jaime could, leading Ned into the bass line that looped around Bronn's beat like silk. Joffrey finally, clutching the microphone and looking like he was scared shitless. Like the kid he actually was, and he opened his mouth and began to sing.


You're asking who we are
Where we came from, what we're for
Baby, there's no absolution
When you're grabbing the bull by the horns

Ain't no tomorrow, ain't no today
Ain't nothin' but the music pulling from your speakers
Open your mind and your legs, mama
Coz we ain't got nothin' to prove

Ours! (Huh!) Is the fury!
Ours! (Huh!) Is in the music!
Guns and drums and horns, baby,
Lock up your mothers and pray to the Gods
Ours! (Huh!) Is the night!
Ours! (Huh!) Is rock and roll!
We're coming to getcha, whether you like it or not
Because ours is the fury!



"Stop, stop, STOP." Bronn pulled out the beat, and the room sat silent. Joffrey was visibly sweating as they all stared at him, his Adam's apple bobbing up and down - Ned, that passive fucking mask like always; Pod, eyes wide as he held his guitar tightly; Bronn, not giving anything away but a raised eyebrow; and Sansa. A smile on her face, wider than Sandor though possible, her hands clutched together like she was in the middle of some Martell romance novel, and he knew hers was the only truly honest expression in the room.


"Well." Standing up from behind his kit, Bronn walked over to Joffrey, who visibly recoiled when the older man placed a hand on his shoulder. "You're a shit, Joff. But looks like you have some of your father in you after all."


The tension broken, practice came easily after that - and Sandor felt himself and the others playing better than they had in a while. From relief, probably, that Joffrey wasn't going to fuck with their livelihoods any time soon, and all while Sansa watched them happily, like all her namedays had come at once.


Sandor found himself looking at her when he knew she wouldn't know - when she was staring at Joffrey like he was all Seven Gods in annoying teenage form - before forcing himself to focus on his guitar and the music Robert Baratheon had left behind.



---




Brienne Tarth stood tall against the back of the green room. She moved nothing but her eyes as her charge darted across the floor, fussing over the Baratheon boy as he got ready for his father's tribute concert under the watchful eye of his mother. One week on the job, and Brienne was sure that, if given the chance, she'd like nothing better but to take Sansa Stark as far away from the Baratheon-Lannisters as possible.


If anything were possible, though, it certainly wasn't that - so Brienne decided to look after Sansa like she were her own sister. Her dark suit was cut well - a requirement of Cersei Lannister, provided on the day of her hiring - and her shoes serviceable, giving her enough range of movement to protect the young actress from the throngs of Westerosi paparazzi that seemed to be psychically aware of their every move. It was chaos. Absolute, and despite being a woman in a man's world, Joffrey's bodyguards - the Kingsguard, they half-jokingly called themselves - had reluctantly accepted her. Granted, it helped that she'd managed to save their collective asses more than once at Robert Baratheon's funeral three days earlier, where they'd some how walked into a pit of waiting journalists at every turn. No planning, no escape routes, nothing - so Brienne had taken it upon herself to throw a set of decoys she'd plucked from the funeral home staff into a car in order to sneak Joffrey and his company out without the paparazzi's knowledge.


It'd seemed almost too simple for the so-called Kingsguard not to think of, but Brienne was quickly learning this job required her to dismiss everything she'd thought about the rich and famous and those who protected them. It was a welcome change from the in-fighting she'd seen day in and day out whilst working as the bodyguard for Renly Baratheon, one half of the Stormland's greatest folk group, Baratheon&Baratheon. To say Renly and his older brother Stannis fought…well, there was a reason they had broken up, with great attention from the press, and she'd been dismissed almost as soon as the ink on the press release was dry.


A sharp phone call from Renly's manager, Loras - "you're not required anymore," and it was obvious Stannis had used her well-hidden feelings towards his brother as fodder in their breakup, although she wasn't sure how he'd known. It had been hard - Brienne was no beauty, and she was the first to admit that; something Stannis had reminded her of on a daily basis, despite Renly telling her to ignore him - but the ache in her chest felt the same as the one that had come from being teased so mercilessly in her youth.


"You've got the most beautiful eyes," Renly had told her on the phone, when she was sure she'd hear nothing from him her after Loras' sharp dismissal, "and I wish you nothing but the best in the future." She'd cried after they'd hung up, something she wasn't very good at, before going home to Tarth to collect her thoughts. Don't be a weak little woman, Brienne had berated herself, but it seemed almost too easy to be just that.


Tyrion Lannister had called soon after - Catelyn Stark, another former charge and the woman responsible for her reputation in the Seven Kingdoms as the best female bodyguard currently working, had recommended her for her daughter Sansa - could she start next week?


Which was how Brienne had ended up standing in the green room at Robert Baratheon's tribute concert, her back starting to hurt a little from being so tense. She'd seen Renly already. He'd gone out of his way to say hello and give her a hug, and Brienne thought her heart might break. Be professional, she'd steeled herself, returning the greetings before excusing herself from Renly's company with a half-hearted excuse. She'd known he was nervous; it was the first time he'd performed with his brother as Baratheon&Baratheon in what seemed like an age. "We're doing it for Robert," Renly had smiled, his eyes filling with tears and Brienne had swallowed hard before forcing a smile. From afar, Stannis had nodded at her, his red bride Melisandre beside him looking into her eyes like she knew every secret in Brienne's heart - and like always, Brienne had played by the rules and nodded back, despite wanting to knock every single one of his teeth out.


"Ten minutes!" The young stage manager stuck his head into the room, shouted, and left. Suddenly, the green room was filled to the brim with the best of the best - The Westeros Boyz, first; lead by Jon and Robb Stark, wrapping their sister into a huge hug and dressed to match their bandmates, Theon Greyjoy and Samwell Tarly, who followed. Stannis and Renly, ignoring each other and paying attention only to Melisandre and Loras, who walked beside them. Ygritte, the indie darling from beyond the wall, and her fur-clad bandmates. Golden Stag, in turn - Podrick Payne, the guitar prodigy who looked no older than ten and five, Bronn Blackwater, eating what looked like beef and bacon pie as he used his free hand to adjust himself, Sandor Clegane, his hideously scarred cheek hidden in part by his long hair and his arms covered almost completely in elaborate and colourful tattoos, and Ned Stark, his serious face seemingly older than the last time Brienne had seen it on the cover of the Westerosi Music Papers. She could almost feel the grief of losing his friend pouring from him.


"Who do I have to fuck to get a glass of strongwine in this joint?"


If there were anyone in the room that needed little introduction, it was Jaime Lannister. He waltzed in, clad in a suit that was cut so well it could have been his own skin, and Brienne could feel the cockiness oozing off him. There was no denying he was almost devastatingly handsome - thick blonde hair that seemed to move with as much grace as the tide, his fine features almost a direct match for those of his twin sister Cersei, who he was currently embracing. There was something about him, something that Brienne almost instantly disliked - still, she found her eyes drawn to him like everyone else in the room.


Then - "and who is this magnificent creature?"


Of everything in the Seven Kingdoms, Brienne hated being the centre of attention the most - which she well and truly was currently thanks to Jaime's unexpected attention. He was looking at her lazily, making his way across the green room while adjusting his tie, like a shark circling a fish. She almost collapsed in relief when the stage manager returned again. "Two minutes!"


Jaime smiled at her, and took the glass of strongwine someone handed him. "Until next time, m'lady."


As the bands moved out of the room to settle on stage for the group opening number of 'Ours Is The Fury', Brienne swallowed heavily.


"'Just keep swimming'," Sansa said when they were alone.


Brienne frowned. "Ms. Stark?"


"That's what my mother told me. 'Just keep swimming'," and Sansa grabbed her hand and squeezed as she walked out of the room.


Just keep swimming. Brienne reached up to neaten her jacket, and followed Sansa.



---


To be continued...


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