Just a little idea, perhaps to celebrate the premiere of season four and to remember Robb.
When Rhaegar first sat in the Iron Throne, he felt he had finally found his rightful place. But even if he had managed to prevail and keep Targaryens as the monarchs of the Seven Kingdoms, he had lost much more than he could believe fair.
His wife had died protecting their children, but with enough luck so the babes could be saved from Gregor Clegane's hands. The man had been punished by Tywin Lannister himself, claiming insubordination and that he was innocent for the crimes committed. Without further proof, Rhaegar had to accept.
Loyal soldiers and friends had been murdered. His mother had died while giving birth to his little sister, and now he was the only one leading a house that was broken and kingdoms that still resented one another. To mend these wounds needed not only time, but also measures to be taken, and so he made the most important decisions.
To make an example out of Robert, the man was executed, not because their rivalry, but because he would not allow such behavior and his enemies needed to know so.
Lyanna begged for his brother to be forgiven, and his love for her was probably the only thing that kept Eddard alive and as warden of the North. Rhaegar knew that despite the man's alliance with Robert, Lord Stark was sensible enough to not plot against him; especially not after Rhaegar had taken Lyanna as his new wife. In exchange of this royal pardon, Rhagar had forced Ned to give him his heir to foster him. At the time, Robb Stark was almost a babe, just a year old. Lyanna, as his aunt treated him similarly to their own son Jon.
Rhaegar's siblings were living in the Red Keep as well, but Viserys was quite demonstrative of his dislike for his new wife. The eight year old boy was too bitter and angry against everyone, including Daenerys who was only months old, resenting her for the death of their mother.
Two years after the end of the rebellion, Rhaegar watched two boys running around, one with hair as dark as his mother and the other with red-brown hair taller and a bit bigger. Robb and Jon felt like brothers, even if they weren't.
"Your Grace?" Jon Connington, Rhaegar's Hand called for his attention once more.
"Yes," Rhaegar sighed, distracted as he was about to keep reciting his plans to the council. "As I was saying, in order to keep our bonds to Dorne strong, Viserys will be promised to Arianne Martell."
At this, Varys nodded. "Wise, Your Grace. This will most likely… heal some of Prince Doran's resentment after his daughter's death."
"I think you mean after I remarried," he replied evenly. As always, he was quite aware of what happened in the realm and he was not about to play naïve. Martells had taken personal offense when he married Lyanna, but as to keep the peace between them, he had offered to marry Viserys to Arianne.
Jon Connington said nothing and only shot a warning look to eunuch.
"As I was saying, since my son and daughter will keep Targaryen's tradition and become king and queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Jon will become the heir of Dragonstone. Until then Ser Arthur Dayne will be its protector."
"But, Your Grace, your son should-"
"My son will become my shadow as he learns how to become a king," Rhaegar said instead of confiding them with his secret fear of his son being just like his own father. He did not wish to leave the kingdom in the hands of a mad man, even if he carried his blood. As an alternative, Jon would be there to take Aegon's place.
"How about your sister?"
"I understand Garlan Tyrell is already betrothed, and even if she's not to become the next Lady of Highgarden, it's imperative for me to keep the ties close."
Jon Connington frowned, looking at him with doubt. "I realize you have high trust in House Tyrell, Your Grace. But after Willas married Lady Ashara Dayne and you rewarded him with the Westerlands, as you commanded, there are not many worthy options for your sister."
"I do not forget, my dear friend." Rhaegar gave him the hint of a smile. "But Loras should be a good option. With the marriage we will provide them of lands and appropriate titles."
The men looked a little hesitant, but Rhaegar had never given them reason to doubt that he was less than capable to deal with politics, and if this was his plan then he should have had a bigger purpose than just keep bounds. He was placing the pieces of a puzzle in such way that when the time came, the most powerful families would be tied to him, one way or the other. And that was how he won the game.
10 Years Later
Daenerys had just turned twelve when she was told about her engagement to Loras Tyrell. Around the realm there were stories of how handsome the Knight of Flowers was, and she was about to see it for herself in the tournament that would be held in King's Landing the week after that.
As she appreciated the beauty of the garden, and let her skin be kissed by sunlight, she sighed. She watched from afar how Rhaenys was surrounded by her ladies in waiting and other young women who were laughing and talking. Rhaenys was a beautiful young woman, with a light tan skin and long and luscious brown hair, much different from her.
The tournament to be soon held would be part of the celebrations of Rhaenys and Aegon's wedding; Rhaegar's last attempt to keep their old Valyrian's customs.
"Why do you not join them?"
A shadow blocked the sun and Dany had to squint to recognize who had said the words. She smiled softly at the sight of Robb.
"Rhaenys is not fond of me." This was true. Since she was very little, Daenerys had felt the dislike of Rhaenys whenever she happened to spend time with her older brother. It soon translated in her being placed as second to everyone else, which saddened her. Rhaegar was the only father figure she knew.
Robb sat next to her, giving her his profile. He was just thirteen and had become his brother's squire, which meant he would be involved in the tournament, but not like he wished so. Still, he was a handsome boy, taller than Jon and stronger than Aegon. No one had blue eyes that sparkled like his or that gentle smile.
Even if he and Jon were cousins, Robb was much friendlier and open, more confident in some sense. Jon spent his time practicing with his sword and reading to learn whatever Rhaegar pointed as necessary, while Robb liked to wander around the Red Keep, play with the small children of the cooks and hear stories from knights.
"Aren't you happy about the wedding?" he asked, turning to her expectantly.
"Of course," she said. "But I'm nervous. I'm supposed to meet Loras tomorrow, and it has been said he's an excellent jouster."
"That means you will be crowned queen of love and beauty," Robb stated without a hint of doubt in his voice.
"Robb," Dany whispered in an attempt of scolding.
"He'd be a fool not to," he interrupted before she could continue her thought.
She blushed at the compliment, and ducked her head. Not much attention was given to her from Rhaegar, who worried about teaching his children how to behave and be good rulers, while Viserys held a grudge against her, since he had always believed he would marry her and instead two years ago he had married Arianne Martell, a girl many boys had lusted for. Jon was the only one left, and he really did not care much about anything but to please his father and make him proud.
"I must go. Jon is waiting for me to train." Robb stood up and smiled at her. "See you soon, my Lady." He bowed with a flourish, only making fun of her.
She grinned. "My Lord." She giggled softly as he hurried through the garden, making his way to the courtyard.
Lyanna, who had been watching them from afar, approached the young girl.
"He is about to be promised to Ayana Tyrell, daughter of Willas and Ashara, and he will become Warden of the North, as his father is." She reminded Dany of this softly, just to make a point and so any dreams she could start to have would not be shattered when they were too big and fragile.
"And you'll meet Loras tomorrow. He is a fine young man, handsome and educated."
"I'm sure of it."
Lyanna reached with a hand and placed it on Dany's shoulder. She said nothing and in part regretted this because she had once been promised to a man she had not liked, and then destiny led her into the life of a man she could not imagine her life without.
"If you excuse me," Dany said, "I must leave to finish preparing my dress for the wedding."
Nodding, Lyanna watched the girl walking away. She hoped the wedding could be as peaceful as those last years had been, and that her husband's children were finally happy.
Cackling sounds travelled through the air reaching her ears, and she saw Rhaenys laughing.
The wedding would be held the last day of the tournament, as a way to offer entertainment while waiting for all the guests to arrive. Smallfolk loved a good joust.
Dany was sat one row down and at the right to Lyanna. Rhaegar had decided at the last moment he would not compete, favoring to observe the matches and let his son Aegon fight. Jon looked quite excited about this, since he kept asking questions about the knights and lords, trying to remember what his father said.
Looking around, Dany could not find Robb, but no one really cared much about him and Jon believed his cousin was probably among the knights, conversing with those with much more experience. Dany also knew Robb admired Ser Barristan and Ser Arthur Dayne quite a bit, and could be with one of them as well.
When Loras appeared, people cheered for him, especially women as he threw roses around, earning himself the smiles and sighs of them. Every girl would have been happy to be with him, and boys to be him.
That did not stop Dany from feeling nervous. She thought he was very attractive, but did not make her heart stutter or her belly feel full of butterflies.
On the other side of the court, a mysterious knight showed up. He donned a burnt silver armor, with a helmet with the sides tinted black, just as what covered his arms. No one knew who he was, but everyone loved the mystery.
Dany, as Jon, sat at the edge of her seats, waiting for the result of the match.
When the horses began to run, their breaths caught in their throats, and when the lances clashed against the shields, they witnessed the defeat of the youngest son of the Lord of Highgarden.
Everyone gasped but that did not stop the mysterious knight. He abandoned the field as fast as he could, while everyone whispered about who he could be.
During the following days, the Knight of the Moonless Night, as his shield had the figure of a heart tree in the middle of a dark night and stars above it, won two more jousts. Only eight knights were left and luck had decided that Aegon was to face this mysterious knight.
Jon smirked and leaned closer to Dany. "Who do you think will win?"
"Are you really asking me? Should it not be obvious we must be siding with Aegon?"
"I don't know. This knight is… good. He rides like…" Jon trailed off and his dark eyes widened briefly before he shook his head.
"Never mind. Let's watch."
The crowd cheered for this unknown man, even if Aegon was well-liked. Perhaps many dreamed about having a commoner winning against the great lords, but they also knew better than to believe they could fight like that without a proper training.
After a few excruciating minutes, they took their positions and the joust started. Aegon fell from his horse, but was luckily unharmed.
"He'll fight against Jaime Lannister tomorrow," Jon murmured. "Do you believe he'll win again? Is it just luck?"
Dany shook her head. "I don't know." She gnawed at her lip.
Jon smiled in a gesture so rare that Dany felt he knew a secret. "He's brave. I know he'll try."
Jaime Lannister was an excellent jouster, and a man who had fought a war and was taller than the mysterious knight. He was stronger as well, and this made Dany fear for the knight she had grown fond of.
When Jaime knocked the Knight of the Moonless Night off his horse, Dany felt her heart clenching painfully.
"Reveal your identity to us, brave knight," Rhaegar ordered loud enough to quiet everyone else's voices.
The knight looked much smaller not sitting on his horse, but he still kept his pride. He bowed his head as he stood before the King and everyone gasped as he lifted his helmet.
"Robb Stark, Your Grace. From House Stark, son of Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell."
Dany looked at Jon who was smiling again.
Rhaegar smiled at him. "Well done. You've been a good jouster and I'm sure you've earned the respect of these knights. You've earned mine."
Robb looked at Dany apologetically before bowing his head. "Thank you, Your Grace."
During the feast after the wedding, Dany found Robb after he had been sharing with his Lord Father and Lady Mother, who were visiting for the occasion.
"You did not tell me about this."
"Did I have to?" Robb wondered with mild amusement.
"No, but why would you? My brother promised to let you participate next time, after your fourteen nameday."
He ducked his head. "I would've named you queen of love and beauty." Ser Arthur Dayne had won the tournament and he had given the honor and title to Rhaenys, as it was believed appropriate. "Because maybe next time I won't be able. It has been planned to betroth me to Ayana Tyrell, so I can become Lord of Winterfell."
Dany swallowed hard and nodded. "I understand."
Robb, sensing her sadness, decided to change the topic of their conversation. "So, Loras seems like a good dancer. Are you enjoying the wedding?"
"I am," Dany replied, smiling. Loras was very gentle and sweet to her, but it was just as she felt around Jon. "How about you? Would you like to dance?"
He laughed. "I believe I should be asking that."
"Well, you haven't," she teased.
When he offered her a hand, she quickly took it. Robb was not a man with feet as light as Loras', but his hold on her was firm and that made her feel safe and protected. He might have not been the best dancer, but she certainly had more fun with him.
Soon, as a song ended, there was raucous laughter and clamoring for the bedding. Given their status and age, they really were not active participants of the tradition, but they were witnessing this nonetheless, as they would be part of it soon, in just a few years when their own weddings took place.
Dany giggled uncontrollably as she heard the people's laughter and thanks to the few goblets of wine she had drunk. Robb laughed with her, but he was much more sober. When she almost tripped as she exited the great hall, he held her and soon she found herself quite comfortable in his arms.
"If I ever leave King's Landing, if they send me away to Highgarden. I'll miss you the most," she confessed. "I don't want you to go back to Winterfell."
"I have two years left, Dany."
Robb felt horrible when her eyes turned glassy and she tried to blink the tears away. "You are my only friend, the only who cares and doesn't hate me."
"No one hates you."
"They do. They don't even see me, just you."
"Jon loves you like his own sister."
"Jon lives in his own world." She sniffled and threw her arms around his neck, pushing herself on tiptoes.
The noise of the men and women still laughing and making lewd comments about the bride and groom could be heard in the background.
"I'll miss you, too," Robb whispered and hugged Dany tightly. "But don't be sad."
When they pulled away, they were just a breath apart and neither of them had a say in what their instinct forced them to do.
No one paid attention because they were too busy following tradition. Dany and Robb just kissed, taking advantage of their anonymity for those scarce moments. They both knew it could not lead to anything, but that did not mean it was nothing for them.
Dany felt her heart stutter and her stomach fill with butterflies as she placed her hands over Robb's chest, feeling his heart racing. She felt his fingers tangling in her hair and pulling her closer, as if he had longed for this and like her, he did not want to break away.
Her lips tingled when they finally pulled away. Robb was breathless and his eyes wide before he frowned. Guilt was written all over her face.
"I'm sorry." It was the last thing he said before he left her there, alone, thinking about how just a kiss could cloud one's mind so much.
Since the wedding, Robb had tried to keep his distance from Dany, entertaining himself with the direwolf his father had brought as gift for him, a brother of the one that had been given to Jon. He also committed himself to train, to learn from Ser Barristan, Ser Jaime and Ser Arthur Dayne whenever he visited King's Landing.
It had been Jaime Lannister the one who had taken him and Jon to a whore house, paying in gold for a young, pretty girl for Jon who looked so shy and innocent, Robb felt bad about them both.
"So, Young Wolf, do you need me to find you a girl?"
Robb just shook his head. He had only confided in Jon about his experience with one of the ladies that had come from Dorne with Arianne when she and Viserys had visited. The girl had been older and beautiful; she had served as a distraction from the thoughts of Dany that filled his head.
"Do you think I could become a knight, member of the Kingsguard?" Robb asked finally. It had been an idea that occurred to him as means to avoid the impending marriage to Ayana Tyrell, who was about to become a beautiful young woman like her mother, but who now was only a nine-year-old girl.
Jaime looked at him hard before sighing and nodding. "You could. Rhaegar would like the idea as well, since you've become a great swordsman. But I'm sure you are aware your brother will have to become Lord of Winterfell and more likely than not marry Ayana."
"And taking the white means to give up on everything. You will not marry or sire children."
Robb looked at Jaime in the eye. "I have no wish to have children or marry any woman in this kingdom who is free to be with me."
It seemed strange at the time, but Robb believed Jaime understood him. He never teased him about his answer.
When she flowered, Dany did not know if to feel happy to become a woman or extremely sad for her marriage about to come. She did not wish to leave King's Landing and be away from her brother, Lyanna and Jon. The thought of being indefinitely away from Robb had made her feel like she had been stabbed in the heart by a cold blade.
Since they had kissed, Dany had not been able to stop thinking about Robb and it pained her terribly that he had kept his distance. She had doubted he reciprocated her feelings, but even if he did, they were destined to be apart.
Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf, was quite friendly with her and it was thanks to him that they started a friendship again.
"You can pet him," Robb told her one afternoon. "He likes you."
She looked up at him as she scratched Grey Wind behind the ears. "I like him too."
From that day on, they started to spend time together more and more.
Dany watched as Robb became a stronger and wiser man, but never lost his good sense of humor or that charisma that helped him to smuggle those lemoncakes from the kitchen for them to share in the stables.
Robb witnessed as Dany's body became curvaceous and tantalizing, as she grew from girl to a woman, but always with that sweetness and innocence he liked so much.
It was one hot and rainy day, when they chose to ride around, that everything changed. They arrived to the stables soaking wet and laughing loudly at Jon who had fallen into a puddle of mud. Robb's cousin had only glared at them before making a quick exit towards the castle.
Alone, Dany and Robb only looked at each other, sharing knowing smiles and making sure the horses were tied and in their places before leaving. One wrong move, as Robb helped Dany, led him to press his cheek against hers while standing behind her. He was just teaching her how to properly tie her horse, but the closeness was too much for them.
"Robb," she whispered and leaned back against his chest.
He stopped her from saying anything she could regret by doing something they had both wanted, yet should not have done. Robb tilted her head so his mouth could crash against hers, kissing her with the hunger of a starving man, longing her lips and her touch. She turned around in his arms and returned his passion.
"Dany, I wish things could be different," he murmured but her eyes filled with tears. "They just aren't, and I cannot go against your brother's commands or ask anything more than I've been given."
"I don't want to marry Loras," she hiccupped. "I love you," she breathed out like the whisper of the wind on a summer night.
Robb cradled her face in his hands and wiped her tears away. "You must respect your brother and his decision. It's the best for you."
"We could leave Westeros, cross the narrow sea and… live in the Free Cities. No one would find us. We-"
"Those are dreams, Dany." Rob dedicated her a sad smile and ran his fingers through her wet platinum tresses. "We cannot escape our fate."
"We can fight against it. I, I don't want to lose you."
He kissed her, pressing small kisses all over her face, frowning as he thought about it as their last time together. He would be knighted soon, and planned to be part of the Kingsguard one day.
"You won't. Never."
In the months after that day, they were not able to be away from each other. Dany and Robb wanted to enjoy the last moments they would have together, and with that they took risks, sneaking around the castle and hiding where no one could see them.
It was Jon the one who warned Robb. "There are those which we see every day, so much we forget they are there, and yet they know more than kings and queens, knights and ladies."
Robb worried about this.
"Be careful, Robb," Jon advised.
"It won't last much longer. Her wedding is approaching fast," Robb uttered with devastating sadness.
Their passion had often found them tangled together, and in those moments, Dany could only think of Robb and their bliss, of their kisses and their soft laughs.
"I'll always have these memories," she swore. "I'll never forget."
Robb watched her looking at the ceiling and sighed. "I won't get married to Ayana or anyone."
She turned to look at him with wide eyes.
"Rhaegar has allowed me to become knight and Ser Arthur believes I could be part of the Kingsguard soon."
"You'll stay here."
"With you for as long as I can."
"But we won't be together," she whispered. Her tone was full of hurt.
"I'll be with you, near you, for you. Always."
Robb hugged her tightly to him and they remained like that for a long while, until she had to gather her skirts and run back to her room before she could be missed.
Robb made his vows two days before Dany made hers when marrying Loras.
She was the saddest and most beautiful bride Robb had ever seen.
They both were wearing white the day that marked their fate, even if they were mourning for the end of everything; they could never be together again.
When she looked at him, a lone tear rolled down her cheek.
His sparkly blue eyes seemed to lose their spark that day.