First, because that’s more interesting. And second because it’s far more realistic, ffs. (When I wrote On Your Honor, which was my first real CP fic, one of the things it was about was thia - that Aimeric’s motivations were multilayered - though I don’t think anyone really noticed
It makes sense for a lot of reasons, other than just…people usually don’t do a thing this big for one single reason, especially when that reason is “win back an old lover.”
- Aimeric breaks down way too easily when Laurent confronts him with the truth about the Regent. Which, to me, says that he knew really, that he wasn’t going to get back from the Regent whatever affection he instinctively sought, based on an early teenage experience. Laurent is good at ripping people up and all, but this is too quick even for him. Aimeric could not have been that convincing of a spy for so long if he was that easily broken of a conviction he, supposedly, held firmly. Even if he had started with this conviction, it must have gotten eroded along the way, long before Laurent and his “interrogation.” But then…if that had been his ONLY reason for doing what he’s doing, why stay? Why not defect to Laurent, or rather, to Jord? I suppose it’s arguable that Aimeric just doesn’t think Laurent can win, but he didn’t need to continue doing a difficult and dangerous job to hedge his bets. He could have pretended to be compromised at one point or another and gone back. I’m willing to bet that his father was powerful enough to protect him from many significant backlash. Or, you know, he could have become a double agent - that’s the best way of playing both sides, though dangerous, sure.
- Aimeric hates Laurent and I don’t think it’s about jealousy. There’s absolutely no indication that Aimeric, or anyone, knows about the Regent and Laurent. And, honestly, Laurent is pretty hateable from the point of view of an in-universe anyone who doesn’t either have the hots for Laurent or isn’t somehow otherwise bound to him like, say, Jord. Laurent does enough shit that you’d expect a rank-and-file courtier to look at him and think “what an asshole.” I think this is supported well enough by the fact that the Regent’s political faction is significantly larger than Laurent’s, as Damen observes, despite the fact that everyone apparently thinks it’s kinda weird that the Regent fucks 11 year olds. (Though, tbh, Vere’s cultural standards around this aren’t superb at all.)
- But even besides personal dislike…Aimeric is the son of a Southern Lord. The South would have suffered the most in the war with Alkeilos and stands to suffer the most again if there is another war. The Regent puts himself forward as the man who understands and values peace with their ~war-hungry~ southern neighbor - and apparently knows how to keep it - but also understands the value of security, border duty, and a ~healthy, active distrust and dislike of Alkeilons. Laurent has the political, and otherwise, image of not caring about any of that, of shirking border duty, of being a potential diplomatic disaster (e.g. Damen’s beating), and generally only caring about his own comfort and pleasure. Etc, in this vein. I doubt ANYONE in the South like Laurent very much or wants to support him politically.
- Also, the other part of that was “I did it for my family.” Aimeric knows his father (and maybe a brother or three) have thrown in with the Regent. Aimeric can’t change or control that. But, given what kind of person Laurent is, Aimeric would be pretty certain that losing to Laurent would mean devastation to his family. “He thinks you’ll destroy his family.” And Laurent replies affirmatively. It’s not an empty suspicion. Aimeric isn’t stupid (fight me). If he wants to protect his family, Laurent can’t win.