Fandom: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones & Downton Abbey (ish) crossover
Word count: 539 words
Characters & Pairings: Catelyn, Tywin, mentions of Brienne (the lady's maid), Gregor (Clegane, the valet), Eddard/Ned Stark, Sansa Stark, Robb Stark, Cersei Lannister & Hoster Tully; Catelyn/Tywin, Catelyn/Ned
Ratings/Warnings: K, no spoilers
Summary: Written for a prompt on Tumblr, any, Game of Thrones/Downton Abbey cross over. Ended up as more of a GoT fic in Downton years, but anyway.
Background: In this AU Catelyn is married to Tywin (quelle surprise) and they live in a big Downton Abbey-esque house. Both had been married before: Tywin, a man of recent repute who came into his fortune through his banking empire, to a distant cousin, Joanna; Catelyn, eldest daughter of the noble Tully family, to Lord Eddard Stark, a kind and well-liked aristocrat killed in WW1, shortly before the fall of the Romanovs demolishes the Stark assets in Russia (naturally) and the destruction of the family’s fortune. To save her remaining family from ruin (and herself from degradation), Catelyn agrees to marriage to Tywin Lannister. Their marriage has its many ghosts, and is therefore not always the ideal partnership it appears on the outside, but it works, and they manage.
They ascend the great staircase together, her hand barely resting in the crook of his arm. There is no need to keep up the façade now all the guests are gone home, but they do all the same, perhaps for their own sakes.
He holds the door to her room open for her, then follows her in and leans against the wall, propping his arm up on the chest of drawers as she gracefully lowers herself into the seat at the dressing table.
“No Brienne tonight?” Tywin asks conversationally.
“I send her to bed,” replies Catelyn. “There was no need for her to wait up so late.”
“She’s your maid; it’s her job,” retorts Tywin. “She might as well do what she gets paid for.”
Catelyn sighs and rolls her eyes at the mention of money. Her husband may be one of the wealthiest men in the country, but his self-made-man habits really do grate on her old-family nerves sometimes.
She bites back a stinging put-down. He is, after all, the reason she’s not back relying on the charity of her father and brother, the reason Sansa can live her beloved way of life the way she does, the reason Robb can once again afford to attend university after the Stark family’s fortune was lost along with its head, and Winterfell hasn’t been sold to some profiteering newspaper magnate.
Her money and family, his wealth; this is the foundation their marriage is built on.
Tywin watches as his wife take off her jewellery and set it aside. She reaches up to her elaborate coiffure – one of Brienne’s masterpieces – and draws out the many pins. The curls fall down in a ripple of auburn and she deftly arranges it in her preferred single braid, long enough for the end to fall to her hips.
“You didn’t tell your father,” he says, his tone a tad sharp.
Catelyn hesitates, her hand drifting unconsciously to her belly. “No,” she murmurs quietly.”
“Why not? It’ll be obvious soon enough anyway.”
She doesn’t say anything, just shrugs ever so slightly and stands.
“Help me?” she asks, indicating the fastenings at back of her gown and not looking him in the eye. Tywin pushes off from where he leans and steps towards her. His hands are not cold at the nape of her neck, but still Catelyn must suppress a shiver.
She slides out of the gown and is left in just her slip and undergarments and Tywin watches as she lays the dress over the back of the chair. He frowns. Catelyn has long been out of morning for Eddard Stark, yet he noticed she still wears black as often as the occasion permits it.
He retrieves his pyjamas from his dressing room and summons Gregor to help him. While he changes Catelyn dons her nightgown and prepares her toilette. They slide into bed at roughly the same time, and he peruses tomorrow’s headlines while she skims through some novel.
Eventually he calls time, and book and papers are set aside.
“Tell Cersei and Sansa soon,” he says after kissing her goodnight. “They should know before they hear it from the servants.”
He reaches over to turn out the light.
“And wear colours tomorrow.”