I Don't Own Naruto or Game of Thrones!
Blood & Vengeance - Chapter 10
"They're still chanting your name."
There was a slight sting when Naruto soaked his hands in a basin of cold water, his bloodied knuckles shivering, but was soothed when gentle hands caressed his own, brushing the blood from his skin. Her touch was soft and tender and peculiar. Warm, even in the cold water. Despite the situation, Naruto felt his heart and body calm under her womanly touches.
"You surprised me," whispered Margaery as she dried her knight's hands with a silk cloth, mindful of his wounds.
Naruto gave her a small smile, "It was the only way, My Lady."
Margaery had watched her knight leave the arena surrounded by thunderous applause and glory. Men, women and children chanted his name from beyond the tourney grounds, one louder than the other. They stomped their feet and raised their arms high, all trying to call out to their hero. Hero. That was what Naruto had become to nearly every smallfolk in King's Landing. Before him, Margaery no longer saw the fear and hesitance in the people's eyes. They were sure and satisfied. Naruto had become a person that Margaery had wanted to be, a savior.
"This is the first time I've seen you hurt, however minor it is." The young Lady Tyrell wrapped a soft silk ribbon around Naruto's hands, softly closing the wounds away from the open air. It was remarkable that after crushing a man's skull under his bare fist, there was only a small wound on his knuckles. "If you're in full armor, I don't think anyone would be your match."
"You flatter me, My Lady."
"Margaery," she said with a graceful smile, "Just call me Margaery, at least when we're alone."
"That would be rude of me." Naruto shifted his on his chair and leaned closer to the girl, "I shouldn't have you tend to my wounds either."
"This is the least I can do."
The knight and lady were in the champion's tent, reserved for the victor of each event. Representatives of the royal coffers had already brought Naruto his twenty thousand gold dragons the moment he walked into the tent; they sat in several larges chests in the center of the tent. Naruto was a little surprised that he had emerged the victor so easily. He had expected to go against the rest of the crowd after killing the five Lannisters, but they all dropped their weapons the moment he turned to them.
"So what are you going to do with your winnings?"
Naruto chuckled and shrugged, "For the most part, I have no idea. But I'll set aside five thousand gold dragons into an account for Myra, and Melinda's family. Lily didn't have any family, so I'll name one of the orphanages after her, in her honor."
"You really are a good man, Ser Naruto."
"If I am calling you Margaery, then you should just call me Naruto."
"Alright," she replied with a small giggle.
Once Naruto's hands were properly treated, Margaery pulled her own chair across from Naruto, facing him directly. Dabbing a soft handkerchief in a fresh basin of water, she gently ran her hand across his face, leaning rather close to him. Naruto couldn't help but become flustered at the closeness – he could feel her breath on his lips. She was so very pretty, Naruto noticed. He admired her honey brown eyes that seemed to sparkle in the sun, her soft and clear skin as unblemished as fresh snow, and her long flowing hair that looked to be silk. He knew he shouldn't and it was improper, but he couldn't help but brush a loose strand of hair from her face, and tuck it behind her ear.
Margaery's breathing hitched and she became startlingly red.
"You're so beautiful, My Lady." Naruto stared at her parted pink lips that looked ever so soft and inviting, and leaned in. "Margaery," he whispered, his breath tickling her lips.
"N-Naruto," she breathlessly whispered back.
Naruto's touch was gentle when he caressed her cheek with his hand, the silk made warm and comforting, and Margaery found herself drawn close to him. Her eyes instinctively closed, as did his. And in the midst of silence, their lips met in the most tender and warm of touches. Her own hands made their way to Naruto, delicately brushing against his still-armored chest and exposed neck, holding him close in her own way. She felt her legs quiver in her seat, her fingertips numb, and her heart loudly beating.
Naruto felt her nervousness, or excitement, and held her close. She was small and fragile, beautiful and gentle, like a rose without thorns. Slipping his arms around her shoulders and under her legs, he lifted her up and placed her snuggly on his lap. Her arms were wrapped around his neck as her lips danced with his. They were so soft and sweet, Naruto never wanted the kiss to end. The split-seconds it took to breathe were regrettable and he immediately kissed her again, and again, and again. He felt her hands reach up for his hair, her dainty fingers combing through his golden locks, holding his lips tightly against hers.
It was a long while before he gently pulled away and rested his forehead against hers.
"T-The archery competition is going to start soon," she whispered, her eyes glued to his lips, not meeting his eyes. "You need to head out there."
"No, to the seven hells with archery." His arms tightened around her waist, holding her snuggly against his chest. "I'd much rather stay here." Margaery didn't want to give in, didn't want to feel such strong emotions, but she wanted to kiss him again, and her defense crumbled the instant she felt his lips brush against hers. "Stay here with me."
She silently nodded before pressing her lips against his again, but then felt his tongue touch her lip.
"What are you doing," she muttered against him.
"Trying something new."
Margaery was nearly overwhelmed when Naruto's probing tongue broke her defenses and managed to touch her own. Blood rushed to her face and she felt as if her heart was about to jump from her chest, but she responded. Hesitantly, she played along with his touches. She wanted to fight back and was tired of being controlled. She pushed back, forcing herself to rise to his challenge. It was oddly satisfying to find herself pushing the almighty Ser Naruto back against his chair. Her fingers tangled themselves in his hair and held his head still; her lips pressing deeper and deeper against his, forcing him back even more.
If she didn't have to breathe, she would have liked to overpower him more.
"You're strong, my Lady." Margaery shivered when she saw the hunger in Naruto's eyes. "But I'm not used to losing."
"Everyone will lose once in a while, my sweet Knight." Margaery took the initiative and sat tall before kissing Naruto again, leaning into him from above. "And I'm used to winning."
Naruto felt exhilarated, a feeling he'd missed ever since Arianne left the capital. He felt challenged and confronted, intrigued and aroused. He didn't know why the women in his life were all so strong and appealing, but he found himself to be drawn to them like a moth to a flame. They were all so very interesting.
"Well, it appears I'm interrupting."
With a single phrase from a booming voice, everything stopped. Margaery gave a slight cry and jumped from Naruto's embrace, landing on her feet with her arms desperately trying to fix her dress and hair. In turn, Naruto jolted to his feet and wiped his lips free of coloring, and tried to not blatantly display his obvious arousal.
"Y-Your Grace," managed a stuttering Margaery, who could barely look at the King.
"Sorry, Your Grace." Naruto tried to fix some buttons which had become undone to no avail.
Robert's laugh was loud and happy. "Don't worry, my boy! Though you're quite lucky I didn't bring Lord Tyrell with me." The King stood close to his favorite knight and gave him a hard slap on the shoulder, "And to think I wondered if you were injured. You were just enjoying yourself!"
The tent flap soon opened again, and Jon Arryn walked in along with Lord Stannis.
Naruto bit his lip, "Hello, my Lord Hand, and Lord Stannis."
Stannis gave the young man a nod as Jon shook his head, "If you're not hurt, you shouldn't hide in here. People are starting to wonder if you're alright when you didn't show for the archery competition." The crowd had yet to stop chanting their hero's name, even when the archery competition started, much to the archers' annoyance.
"Give the boy a break, Jon!" The King laughed, "He had a good excuse."
Margaery finally regained enough control to manage a bow, "Excuse me, Your Grace, My Lords. I should rejoin my Lord Father at the pavilion." The King laughed again, but Jon gave her a nod, and she quickly made her way for the exit. "Pardon me."
Robert laughed at the embarrassment on Naruto's face, "Who is next, boy? We should keep the girls away from you. If we ever head North, I'll need to warn Ned to keep his daughters away. You seem to have an eye for Lords and Wardens' daughters. In a few years, I might have to keep Myrcella away from you."
"Your Grace," pleaded Naruto, only to be laughed off.
"Enough of this." Jon sighed and stepped closer to his sword, "Are you wounded at all?"
Naruto showed the men his hands, "Just some scratches around my knuckles – nothing serious." For some reason, his battle in the melee and his killing of the Lannisters seemed far away, his mind not being able to focus. "I should have worn some gloves." But his mind soon reeled in, "But Your Grace, My Lords, shouldn't you all still be attending the tourney?"
"Yes, we should be, but we had to come see you." Jon gave the young man a stern stare, "You've done something rather rash, Naruto." Robert scoffed as Jon continued, "Yes, killing those men in the melee is perfectly legal, but it was clear that these men were placed in the melee by you. You killed them blatantly in front of the entire realm, in front of Tywin Lannister. They will not overlook nor forget this."
Naruto stood strong, "That was the entire purpose. Let this serve as a reminder that no matter who breaks the law, they will be punished, regardless of family name."
"You've made a dangerous enemy, boy." Jon wasn't backing down.
"I'm aware. I was aware when I decided to do this." The knight continued, "One enemy, even if it is Tywin Lannister, is worth making if it means the smallfolk trusting us. If we let this pass, everything we've done and everything we will do will be meaningless. No one will ever believe in us again. The rich and powerful will keep coming and hurting the people with impunity. At least now they'll think twice before acting."
"The boy has done no wrong, Lord Arryn." The stoic Stannis finally spoke, and Naruto gave him a grateful nod. "Every man should be in accordance to the King's Law. These men managed to escape the King's Justice, but got their comeuppance. We should have executed those men the day we discovered what they have done. They dared to claim self-defence against women and managed to escape death. Such men should be publically killed."
"Yes, but it could have been done more discreetly. Naruto didn't have to kill all of them himself. At least leave a few of them to die naturally in the melee." Jon sighed again, "This is too obvious a loophole. The Lannisters will consider this a slight to their house."
"Good." Stannis added, "It's about time we stopped stepping lightly around these so-called lions."
"Alright, that's enough." The King's voice was deep and strong, "What's done is done. And I agree with the boy and my brother. Regardless of what the Lannisters might think of this, those men did commit murder and rape. Letting them go already left a bad taste in my mouth. Seeing them die in such a way was a good thing."
Jon took a deep breath, "Regardless, we have to tread carefully from now on. It may not come today, tomorrow, or even this year, but an attack will come. I've known Tywin Lannister for many years. I don't know how he will react, but rest assured that this will not be forgotten." Naruto nodded silently, adhering to the wise man's words. "Now you mustn't stay in here. Come with us back to the tourney."
Robert laughed, "You're not done yet, boy."
"There is my sweet sister," commented Loras Tyrell as his sister returned to her seat. "Where have you been?"
The summer heat did little to clear Margaery's mind, but did give her an excuse for her burning cheeks. Her heart was beating against her chest like a loud drum, and her fingers were tingling in excitement and fear. Never in her life had she ever felt, or even thought she'd feel such intense and overwhelming emotions. Never had she thought her logic and intelligence would be entirely overpowered by emotions. For the first time in Margaery's life, she was left powerless and vulnerable. It was frightening.
Lord Tyrell smiled at his daughter, "Where did you go, sweetling? The Archery Competition is already over."
Loras interrupted before his sister could speak, "Quite boring after the melee, in my opinion." The young Tyrell had hoped to see Ser Naruto compete in all three competitions again, but the Knight didn't show in the Archery. "I had hoped Ser Naruto would attend. Even the crowd had died down quite a lot after he left."
"Ser Naruto is tending to his wounds, but he should be able to compete in the Joust on the marrow."
"Have you been drinking too much wine, sister?" Loras gave his sister a side glance, "You appear awfully red."
"It's the summer heat, dear brother."
Sipping on a cup of chilled milk, Margaery slowly calmed her heart; her mind regained its function. She watched as the crowd started to disperse, with some still chanting their hero's name. She noticed that the bodies in the melee arena had been cleaned up, not even the blood stains were left, but seeing the arena, she was quickly reminded on the situation they were now in.
The Lannisters were known to repay their debts, be it in gold or blood. Naruto had spilled the blood of four Lannisters in public, in front of their Lord, Queen and King. Margaery was certain that Naruto had initiated a war between the Lannisters and all they represent. Regardless of how invincible Naruto appeared to be, of how much he was loved and revered by everyone in the city, Margaery was worried. No one should tempt a sleeping lion, much less a hungry one.
"Ah, Lord Tywin." Margaery felt her blood run cold when she heard her father's words, "How nice of you to come all this way."
"It is Prince Joffrey, my Grandson's Nameday. I wouldn't miss this day."
The man's voice was strong and firm, unlike her father's high pitched, friendly words. Forcing herself to follow her lessons in curtesy, she stood when her brother and father stood. Tywin towered over her father. Instead of being plump and wide like most Lords, Tywin Lannister was lean and tall. Despite being older than Mace Tyrell, he didn't look it. His appearance made it easy to believe the tales of the Rains of Castamere and the Sac of King's Landing.
Mace was oblivious to the tension, as per usual. "Will we see you tonight at the feast, Lord Tywin?"
"Of course, Lord Tyrell. But excuse me, I must attend to some matters before tonight." The man's voice held no compassion or friendliness, merely used to brush aside other lords.
Margaery nearly breathe a sigh of relief when the man left her vicinity, but as if the gods were playing a joke, the King, the Hand of the King, Lord Stannis and Ser Naruto all decided to return to the pavilion at that time. Between mingling Lords and Ladies, everyone bowed to the King before returning to their own devices. Fortunately, most visiting nobles in the pavilion were oblivious to the horrors and conflicts of the last few days and they were paying no attention to the potential clash, but many were still staring.
Margaery did her best to glance to the side inconspicuously, but her head moved much more than she had hoped. She noticed the Queen staring at the scene, with the Princes and Princess obliviously sitting beside her. It appeared that Tommen and Mrycella were shocked by the melee, but Prince Joffrey was smiling gleefully. But more urgent matters reminded Margaery, and she looked on as the King approached Tywin Lannister.
"Lord Tywin, how are you?"
Lord Tywin bowed to the King, "Splendid, Your Grace. I must say that this tourney has been a sight to behold. There are seldom events that can inspire such enthusiasm."
"It is all because of our young hero here, Ser Naruto." Margaery couldn't help but notice how small Naruto appeared to be next to these men. "Ever since the last tourney, he's been the talk of the realm."
"Ahh yes, of course." Tywin Lannister stared down at the young man, casting a shadow over him. "Congratulations are in order, Ser Naruto. I see your skills have improved since the last time I saw you."
Margaery inwardly commended Naruto's stoic and calm expression as he bowed to the Lord. "Thank you, my Lord. It is an honour to be praised by you."
Robert laughed and smacked Naruto on the back, "There is never a boring day with this boy around. Oh, if only he were born two decades earlier; it would have been a sight to see, him on the battlefield." Naruto gave his King and curt bow, but the man didn't stop. "He's not quite as strong as I was, but I can't wait to see what lies in his future." Tywin nodded along as the King turned to Naruto, "You better do well in the Joust tomorrow, you hear?"
Naruto nodded over the King's laugh, "Yes, Your Grace."
"I know you have faith in your son, Lord Tywin, but I'm going to have to place my bets on Ser Naruto here. The Kingslayer is good, but I have faith in the new blood."
Margaery nearly gave a loud sigh of relief when Jon Arryn finally stopped the King, "Pardon us, Lord Tywin. Are we keeping you from anything?"
The Warden of the West nodded, "Nothing urgent, but I must consult my brother about our present to Prince Joffrey. Pardon me, Your Grace, but I will rejoin you all at the feast."
Robert gave a hearty chuckle, "Of course!"
Naruto bowed as the man walked passed him, "Good day, my Lord."
Tywin nodded back and left without another word.
Margaery could finally breathe a sigh of relief and sat down on her seat, finishing her drink. The King was certainly correct – there was never a boring day with Naruto around. She calmed her breathing before turning back around, but much to her annoyance, her eyes met with Naruto's and her heart pounded when he winked.
Even the Tower of the Hand, a monument that teased the sky and mingled with the stars, couldn't avoid the loud and rambunctious noise of the feast down below. Five large tents had been erected, four of them filled to the brim with Knights, Archers, Fighters, Squires and younger sons of Lords. Flagons of ale and mead were thrown around and hastily consumed; hundreds of roasted boars, lambs and cows were butchered and served, feeding the chaos and drunkenness.
In the fifth tent, Lords from across the land stood before the King and the crowned prince, each with presents under their arms and forced smiles on their lips. The young prince received each gift in stride, a proud smile and superior aura about him. On such an occasion, Joffrey could easily ignore his drunk and loud father next to him.
But atop the Tower of the Hand, one could only watch in distain and annoyance.
"Such tomfoolery, wouldn't you agree?" His golden beard appeared to glow in the candle light as his green eyes glanced around him. "It almost makes people believe that such false courtesies have meaning."
"How did you get in here?"
"Don't play the fool," Tywin Lannister sipped on his wine as he rested against the Desk of the Hand. "I've served as Hand of the King for over twenty years; I know this place better than anyone." The Lord poured another goblet of wine before stepping closer to the shadows, "But you already knew that. Now, if we are done with wasting time with pointless banter, let us begin."
The flickering of the candles casted eerie shadows upon the wall, licking upon the shapes of the two men facing the window. They drank in silence, looking down from the tower, each seeing different things.
"I assume that you want to speak to me, why else would you trouble yourself to come here after a day of glory."
"When did you recognize me?" Naruto stared at the tall man through the corner of his eyes, his gaze wavering.
Tywin finished his wine before he turned to face the young man, "I'll admit that I didn't recognize you at first, but your feats made it quite clear." Placing the golden goblet on the ledge, the Lannister stared down at the Knight. "When did you leave home?"
"My dear Aunt was reluctant, but I needed to see the world as it is, so I left over a year ago."
"And why did you not come to me first?"
Naruto nearly scoffed as he stared deep into the man's eyes, "Should I have?"
The silence returned as Tywin reached for his goblet, his fingernails white from pressing hard against it. As he poured himself another drink, he glanced at Naruto, who was staring back at him defiantly. With a sigh, Tywin turned away and sipped on his wine.
Naruto stood tall and stepped back, "If there is nothing else, My Lord, I will take my leave."
"I had plans for you, Naruto." His voice pierced through the silence as the young man turned away, "Your Aunt did well. You have grown to be a fine young man, that much I can see. I planned to bring you to Casterly Rock to learn from me."
"Don't play me for a fool." Naruto shook his head and began to walk away, "Of all people, you would bring me to your Family Stronghold? As much as I like to play the part, don't think I'm truly that gullible."
"It's the truth." Tywin turned to face Naruto, who stopped in his tracks. "I have already drafted my letter to King Robert, asking him to discard your status as a bastard." The elderly Lannister almost looked his age as he strode over to Naruto, his tall shadow casting over the young man. "You are my son, Naruto Lannister. I plan to have you succeed me as Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the West."
Naruto turned his back to his father, refusing to speak.
"You've grown, my son. It is time I tell you everything. I'll tell you about your mother."
Sorry for such a short chapter after such a long wait. Not to sound like a broken record, but real life is kicking my ass. Work and University is a killer combo, and I'm doing my best to write when I can. Regardless, writing is my most enjoyable hobby and possible my life long career in a few years, so please bear with me.
As usual, tell me what you think!
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