Robert Baratheon knelt in the mud with a sword pressed to his throat. The Silver Prince stood above him, smiling. But the smile was sad, as if he didn't take pleasure in this.
"I didn't take her from you Robert!" Rhaegar shouted above the sounds of the river and battle around them.
"The hells you didn't! She was mine and you took her!" Robert roared, his hand aching for the hammer he had lost.
"She ran from you, you great fool. She ran and came to me. You should have known better Robert. You should have known she was not going to submit weakly to you trying to own her." His anger boiled at the surface, but he had made a vow. He would not kill this man. There had been to many deaths as it was.
"She did not come to you. She did not want to be with you." Robert spat.
"Think about it Robert. Think of what time you spent with her! Think back at every time you touched you, how she cringed. Think of every word she spoke to you, her replies. She was barely able to hide her contempt!" He pressed the tip of his sword deeper into the other man's neck, just to the point of blood being drawn. Robert froze in his spot, remembering.
"It's not true. She loved me!" Robert spoke weakly, his faith in his love crumbling into dust around him.
"She didn't love you. She loved her brother, her father. They wanted the match, she didn't. Robert, move past your rage. Think man, for once in your life. We both want the same thing in the end. To protect her. My father would have layer waste to the country to kill her. I did the only thing I could. I hid her. Now you have a choice." The sword was lowered, but not put away.
"And what is that?" Robert demanded.
Rhaegar smiled, and he looked every part a prince, no a king. Robert knew he would have lost, no matter what would have happened. He hung his head in defeat.
"What is it you would have of me?"
The leaders of all the great houses gathered in secret. Rhaegar shuddered to think of his father and what the man would do if he knew that all the heads of the Great Families were gathered with his son. He felt real fear at this. He father held one of his wives and two of his children. He wanted to save them at all cost.
"Alright Targaryen. You gathered us all here; now tell us, how do we stop the Mad King?" Robert spoke. He was well into his cups now.
"My plan involves you all. We will need to take King's Landing, but in a way that uses minimal force. Lord Tywin, I believe you will be able to provide the keys to this problem." Rhaegar smiled at the man sitting across from him.
"Whatever I can do to help." He was a slippery man, but nessicary to the larger plan.
"Before we go further into the planning I demand to know where my sister is." Ned had hardly spooked since the battle of the Trident. The outcome of the battle had been difficult for the man. He had driven his army and that of Riverrun hard for the Battle of the Trident. He had left his new bride to face certain death only to find Robert had bent a knee to the Silver Prince. When he had demanded answers both Robert and Rhaegar had only said all would be discussed in due time.
"It is now the time for my questions to be answered." He locked eyes with the Prince. But that did not affect Rhaegar. He had grown accustomed to that look; Ned shared it with his sister.
"Lyanna Stark ran away. I did not take her away." He watched the man beside him. Ned closed his eyes and nodded that this sounded like his sister. "She came to Elia and asked for her protection after the events of Harrenhall. I had no idea they had contrived this elaborate plan together, or the subsequent events that happened. Elia and Lyanna became close on the journey back to Kings Landing. Once there they reveled their plan. Elia knew of my obsession and she and Lyanna contrived a solution to the problem I faced. I married Lyanna. I admit I fell for the strong willed wild Northern." He smiled at the memories of their moments together before their world was shattered.
"You have wed another? You have disgraced my sister and our noble house!" Doran seethed.
"I did nothing without my lady wife consent. Honest Doran this was her idea!" Rhaegar said to his good brother.
"My Lord Doran, ser, I have something from your sisters own hand to explain this to you. And something for you My Lord Eddard from Lyanna. Both women bid me to carry these letters for you and if the chances arose I should give you the letters." Ser Barristan said to the two men whose sisters were wed to the prince.
Ned took the sealed letter. The seal was red wax. On it was a three-headed dragon with a dire wolf. He looked up in shock. His sister, his dear sweet sister, had combined the Stark house coat of arms with the Targaryen house. He broke the seal and recognized his sister's hand writing. It was hurried untidy.
My dearest brother,
I am heartsick over what my careless behavior has created. Please believe me it was never my intention for this to happen. Please understand I ran away on my own free will. After I was crowned Queen of Love and Beauty, I sought out Elia. I wanted to give her the crown. When I entered her tent, I expected her to be livid. Instead, she was kind. She made me feel safe and at ease. I found myself opening up to her about my true feelings about what was happening with my life. I confessed I had no desire to wed Robert. That I found him disgusting and foul. I admitted that I was only following your love for the man. I found myself weeping on the Princesses shoulder. She soothed me with kind words, words of her own woes of being married to a strange man because her family wished. She spoke of the prince. Of how kind he was, how fierce and intelligent. I found myself liking him, despite everything.
Then Elia told me of her struggles. She was in tears, confessing how lonely she was. She wanted a friend, someone to help her carry the burdens. There are things I cannot explain to you in this letter, but know Dearest Ned, that I choose this path. If I could have done things different, I would have.
So when Elia departed in the morning, using her humiliation as a cover, I rode away with her. Rhaegar had no idea what we had done. I have always wanted a sister and Elia became one to me. Once Rhaegar came back, he was furious. He wanted me to return home to you and father. As Elia wept and we held each other, he relented. Elia convinced him to wed me. We were both shocked, but neither could deny the attraction between us. So into the Godswood we went and were married in the ways of old.
After the ceremony I made good byes to the only sister I will ever know. My new husband and I rode for the Tower of Joy. I got to know the man I had wed and fell in love with him. We were together a month, than word reached us of Robert and fathers demands to return me. My beloved set off for the Capital as fast as he could. I heard the news of Father a d Brandon death on the same day I realized the greatest joy I will ever know. I am, with child dear brother.
If you happen to come to terms with everything you have learned do not hate me. I followed my heart; I did not know Robert would start a war. The fool always was an imbecile. If I had known the Mad King was capable of the crimes he committed I would have killed him myself before leaving Kings Landing. Promise me Ned you will hear out my husband's plans. He wants justice for our family as badly as I do.
When the fighting is over come to me with Rhaegar and Elia to the Tower of Joy. I want you to meet my child dearest brother.
Princess Lyanna Targaryen
Ned sat back with tears streaming down his cheeks. His sister, his baby sister was with child, and married. She was just a year younger than his new bride, but he had not known his wife from the time she came into the world. He read it twice more before Robert went to take it from his hand.
Rhaegar moves faster then light. A dagger was held to his throat. The look they gave one another was murderous.
"The words of my wife to my good brother are no concern of yours Baratheon." The prince said the name like it was a curse.
Robert let his hand drop. There was a tense peace between the two men. There would never be love, always pity from one and hate from the other. But there was respect as well. A respect that was as old as time its self. Fridges on the battlefield. Robert was a proud man. He had bended a knee to Rhaegar and he would uphold it. If not he would be killed. Robert valued his life above all.
While this altercation occurred, the forgotten Lord Doran forgot all but the letter in his hand. He knew the seal that held the letter shut. It had been his sisters. The three headed dragon and the heart of the Sunspere over it. He broke the seal and read.
My dearest brother,
I can hear your voice as I write this. Elia what have you done? All I can say is that I did what my heart told me to do. I met a girl as wild as the North and I found in her all that I lacked. I grew to love her and tried to protect her the way any sister would. We have a bond that is stronger than blood or marriage. She is the second mother to my children I did not know they needed, the second wife to my husband that ne deserves. She had everything I lack.
When she came to me at Harrenhall after the tourney, I knew we could save each other. My dear brother you might not understand this, but the dragon must have three heads. I can provide no further children, the babe Aegon will be my last. But the dragon must have three heads. Never forget that, always remember.
I took Lyanna Stark from her family, not my husband. I told her of my burden and my difficulties. She wished to help. Before we had any time to think of the ramifications of our actions, it was to late. They were already wed. I cried that night, but not for the reasons you think. I missed my sister, the other mother to my children. Rhaenys already loves her. I long for the days when my family is reunited.
We did not mean to start a war. But I hope we will end it. My husband and I have developed a plan. We will have to use a tool we do not like to deploy, but the son, Jamie, is a kind youth. He is as sick as I am by the king's actions. Beware of Tywin. He is the key. But do not let him take advantage.
When you all meet with my husband and all the other lords, you must back him. This plan will work, just beware the Lions. They will want more than they deserve. We need the son to much.
I await the chance to see you again,
Princess Ella Targaryen
This letter, written under his sisters own seal, by her own hand calmed him. He knew his sister. She was not an impulsive woman. She was kind and loving, true. But she also knew how to protect the ones she loved. She was going to do whatever it took to protect her family. Doran would do what he could to assist her and her family.
"Prince Rhaegar please tell us your plan?" His voice boomed over the assembled men.
Tywin had been silent and watching, Jon Arryn was watching in shock over the whole scene. His interruption had brought the other men to heel. They all sat down and the Prince cleared his throat and continued.
"My Lord Lannister, we know your son is the only remaining Kind's Guard in the capitol. He knows of my father's depravity. My wife there speaks of the disgusting acts that he is undertaking as we speak. I want you to send word to my father that you have finally seen the light and wish to join the cause for the crown. I will send word to my mother and wife to advise my father to open the gates for us. Once that happens all of us lords will swell into the city, by then your son will have placed my father into a secure cell for his safety. Once there we will take the proper action." Rhaegar looked around the table.
All the men there were in accord to this plan. All except Tywin. His emerald eyes gleamed. Doran knew he was about to demand a price for his part in the plot.
"My Prince," he spoke, "I am willing to comply with this scheme of yours, but I have one request."
The prince watched the man asking him his request. His wife, his first wife, about how slippery this man could be, had warned him. He looked at his good brother Doran, who nodded, giving his agreement that he wanted to hear what the demand was.
"I would like to request that my son, once this is done, be released from his commitment to the King's Guard. He had been groomed as my heir. I wish for him to fulfill the duty he was born to take." Tywin spoke to his son with fatherly love dripping from his every word. No one at the table was fooled. They all knew that his second son, the bane of this proud man's life, was deformed.
"I will take it under consideration and advisement upon the completion to this mission." The prince said coldly.
"That is all I ask, my lord." Tywin's emerald eyes glittered malevolently.
Rhaegar was weary of the Lion of Lannister. He had been his Father's Hand for 20 years. He would not be appointing that man as his Hand. Despite what Jon Arryn raising the banners against him the man had a good head on his shoulders. He would make a good Hand. Once this was over Rhaegar would ask his wives and then bring this offer to Jon.
When the Lannister party, heavy with men from all the families of the realm, entered the Capital there was an unearthly hush over the city. Rhaegar was astonished to see the city so deserted. It had been bustling with life and activity when he had left it. He felt unease swell in his gut as he urged his mount to the gates of the Red Keep.
Standing before the doors were the Gold Cloaks, men who were charged to defend the city above all else. He rode to them, helm off, his features unmasked. They looked at him with hallows eyes. No one spoke as they entered the castle. He quickly dismounted his house and ran into the Keep that he had always called home. Eddard was right beside him, as was Doran. They ran thru the empty corridors until they came to the doors of the Throne Room, which held the Iron Throne. The three men faltered in their steps when they got their first smell of burnt flesh.
Rhaegar's heart faltered as his hands pushed open the doors to the room. Touches were glowing along the walls, making the else dark room shine with light. On tone floor by the door lay the burnt body of a man, unidentifiable to them, except for the still burning body. Rhaegar knew at once what had been used in the man, Wild Fire. He sucked air in through his teeth and walked the long avenue to the Iron Throne. The skulls of the dragons started down at him.
He was half way to tone throne when he saw a man sitting on it. He was in the white a d gold of the King's Guard. But the things at his feet drew his attention. There were two bodies before him. One was still ablaze, the other crumpled. As he walked forward he heard one of his companions speak.
"Ser Jamie, what in the name of the old gods and the new has happened here?" Doran asked.
"I tried to stop him. But when news of my father's arrival came to the king, he was half-mad. He ordered his pyromancer to bring the young Prince to him. He said that you were nothing but a beast bent on killing him and the last of the Dragons. The Queen and Princess were brought here as well. He raged that they were going to kill them all, he had seen it in the flames. He ordered the pyromancer to cover the young prince in Wild Fire and the man did as his king commanded. They set him ablaze."
The three men looked at the still burning form. They all felt sickened at the sight.
"What of the women?" Ned asked.
"They watched in horror, screaming and clinging to each other. The Queen held back by the Princess. She is with child, large now. She pleaded with her husband while the screams of her child filled the chamber. The King had turned to her and told her that the fate of their son was the fate of the entire city. That we were all going to burn. I was beside the women, trying to protect them the best I could. Then something happened. The Queen and Princess spoke, low and quick. Ella released the Queen, lunged for my sword and before I could react took the blade, and ran it into your father. He fell to the floor, still alive. He was screaming for his pyromancer to burn the city. Before the man could move the Queen took a ball of the burning substance from the foot if the throne and struck the man. He ran to the door a blaze. She then walked to her husband and spoke to him. I am unsure what she said, but the took the sword, and ran the king thru. She killed him." Jamie finished his tale and the man hung his head.
The rest of the party was now in the throne room. The three men, brothers all, turned to the newcomers. They took the scene before them in shocked silence. The dead king, the bodies still burning. Their plan, so perfect in idea, had come to nothing.
"King Aerys is dead. King Rhaegar stands in his place. Who will swear fealty to him before the Iron Throne?" Jon Arryn demanded as they walked to him.
All the men with in the throne room dropped to their knees and swore fealty to their new king.
The kingdoms had healed themselves. There was still some bad blood between men, families, but there was no real way to alter that. To many families had lost sons, the country sides were stained red from the blood shed after all the battles fought. When the peace had been declared over the kingdom Rhaegar, Elia and Ned rode for the Tower of Joy.
When they arrived, they found Lyanna dozing in the sun soaked tower room. The three stood silent for a moment. No one wanted to wake the sleeping girl. They could all see how swollen from the child she had become. Ned was shocked that his sister was with child, but to see her he felt love for her swell in his chest.
Elia walked up to her. She touched her arm and Lyanna eyes fluttered open. When they cleared from the sleep, she gave out a shout of joy. She threw her arms around the other girl and they hugged one another, tears of joy streaming down their faces.
Rhaegar walked over to his two wives and wrapped them both in their arms. The three were overcome with happiness. Ned cleared his throat and his sister lifted her head from the two people who had loved her enough to help her when she had not been able to turn to her family for support.
"Eddard!" She shouted. Her husband helped to her to stand and the two Starks were holding each other. "I'm sorry Ned, I'm so sorry!"
Her slender shoulders shook with the force of her sobs. Ned comforted his sister. Once the women had both stopped crying the four spoke openly about the current political situation.
"We have to figure out what we are going to do about Robert. He will not stay this compliant forever. We must find him a wife that will be able to control the man." Lyanna said.
"He will not marry just anyone." Ned said, he was insure of where this conversation was going.
"Tywin's daughter is of age. She is strong willed. If there is anyone in this world that can match Robert it will be her." Elia spoke.
"But will he cones t to the match? Will either man?" Rhaegar asked.
"If you give Tywin what he wants he will consent." Ned said slowly.
Lyanna shifted and her face darkened. The people in the room watched as the babe kicked her. She sat and rubbed soothing circles to calm her unborn child. Elia and Rhaegar both placed hands on her stomach. Ned sat and watched as Rhaegar talked to his child and Elia spoke softly to Lyanna. In that moment, watching three people who would have never been together shone with friendship and love, he let go of all the anger be had not known he had been holding because of his sister's action.
Once the babe stilled they got to work on things.
"You Ned have already helped us by marring Catelyn Tully. And her sister being wed to Jon Arryn is also a pleasant thing. The only thing we have to deal with concerning Riverrun is when the heir comes of age. He will have to marry. Elia what of Doran's daughter?" Rhaegar asked.
Elia gave a snort of disgust.
"I don't see why you people do not allow the eldest child to inherit no matter what the Childs sex is. If I had born first I would be the Princess of Dorn and the ruler of that area of the country. I am still frustrated that our daughter will not be queen unless she is wed to her brother, and then she will just be a figurehead with no official power." Elia's cheeks were tinged pink with her frustration.
"Don't worry my dearest friend. Rhaenys will be placed as the lady of a strong noble line. Our daughter will not be left to rot as a sad flower in a weak mans home. Will she Rhaegar?" Lyanna asked their shared husband. He shrank back under the glare of both his wives.
"I am sorry my king, you must forgive me. You are going to have a hell of a time with these two. My sister would be enough, but I believe Elia may be worse than dear Lyanna. You are a lucky fool my lord." Ned could not keep the laughter out of his voice.
The women turned their glairs in him then and he laughed all the harder, the king joining in with him that time.
They stayed at the Tower of Joy for another week then the four and the members of the Kings Guard accompanied them back to King's Landing. The upcoming coordination of the new king, and his two queen was to be held upon their return. When they entered the city they were greeted with cheers and flowers rained down upon them.
Lyanna had had a difficult time during the journey. She wanted nothing more for the ride home to be over. Her child was strong and hardly gave her a moments rest. Her family had tried to make the journey as easy on her as possible, having her ride in a small wheelhouse where she could decline and try to rest. But the entrance to the city she had demanded she ride in next to her husband and her sister queen. They had all tried to persuade her to stay in the wheelhouse. But in the end, she won.
She was sitting proud as the people cheered for them. Her child gave a savage kick and she doubled over in her saddle. Ned and Rhaegar were both taking one of her arms and holding her steady. She gave a cry and the child kicked again. Blue roses, her favorite flower, rained down upon them.
"We have to get me to the Master. The child is coming." She panted. Sweat had started to bead on her brow and she felt her body start its response to get this child out of her body.
The crowd pocked up on the fact that their newest queen was having their next prince or princess. They assisted the best they could; they got the hell out of the speeding Royal parties' way. They made it to the Red Keep a d as they slid her from the horse her water broke.
She was lifted into someone's arms, carried into the Keep, and placed on a bed. A kind old woman was there helping her get out of her dress. The Queen Mother and Elia were also with her, giving her words of encouragement and assisting as best as they could. She felt like her body was being ripped opened and she had never felt such pain. Her screams could be heard throughout the entire Red Keep.
"Push, my lady. I can see the head. A few more pushes and the child will be out in the world!" The midwife spoke.
She pushed with everything she had. She stopped and heard the woman say the babes shoulders were out. Elia told her to give one more push. She cried out and gave another push. Her body gave a final shudder and a piercing cry shattered the hush that had fallen over the room. The doors burst open then and the King was suddenly there. The midwife handing the king his child. The smile that lit his face made Lyanna feel that all the pain was worth it.
"We have a son my love. The dragon has three heads." He smiled. The child had stopped his wailing when he was held in his father's arms. "He had your dark hair Lyanna. But the eyes they may be from me."
"He is perfect Lyanna!" Elia said as she wiped the other woman's brow. The babe was placed in her arms and the queen mother smiled at her newest grandchild.
"You have done a very good job my dears. What will you name him?" Rosella asked.
"Jaehaer Targaryen. His name is Jaehaer." Lyanna spoke.
"Why that name sweetheart?" Her husband asked.
"Because I feel my boy will make something of that name." Lyanna kissed her son's raven-haired head. The babe rooted around her chest, showing signs of hunger. She chuckled and the Queen Mother and Ella showed her how to feed her son. She was determined not to use a wet nurse.
"That is a good name for him. But what will we call him, amongst ourselves?" Elia asked. "All the children have nicknames, Rhaenys is Ray. I hate the name, but it fits her. Aegon, well we are not calling him Egg. He will show us his name in his own time. But Jaehaer is to much for a baby."
"How about a Northern name?" Rhaella asked.
"Yes. A name from the North. Jon, we will call him Jon." Rhaegar said.
The birth of the prince was a reason for the folk of the realm to celebrate. The coordination of the King and the two Queens was another celebration. The seven kingdoms was in high spirits. Treaties were formed and Allies were made. Three months after the birth of his nephew, Ned received work his wife was with child. He wanted to ride for his wife the moment the raven gave him the news. He informed his sister and she told him to go to her. Told him to take the next heir of Winterfell home, so he could be birthed in the seat of the Starks.
He hugged his new good sister and brother, the King and Queen, held his sister and kissed her head. Then his nephew was placed in his arms. He felt his heart swell with love for the baby. He kissed the baby. He spoke to the infant in a hushed tone.
"You may be the son of the dragon, but you have winter flowing in your veins to temper the blood. Remember little Jon, Winter Is Coming. Never forget it." He gave the baby back to his sister, embraced her one last time and rode for Riverrun.
He would not see his sister again for many years. They wrote often, but in the day he left the Capital was the last day he saw the royal family.
In the years since the war, the lives of those involved were expanded. Each had children. The King and Queens only had the three. Robert Baratheon had wed Cercei Lannister. They had three children from their union. Ned Stark and Catelyn had produces five. Jon Arryn and Lisa Tully had produces one child, sickly and weak. The Tyrell's family was four flowers strong. Doran was the proud father of three children. The Iron Men of Pyke had four children in the end; they had stayed out of the war and had remained intact.
Now it was the next generations chance to learn how to play the game. The War might have changed the players, nut the game remained the same. In the Game of Thrones, you either live or die.
Hope you all like it so far. It's my first non modern AU. This one is AU for sure, and I hope I have intrigued you all. The next chapter will be a 20 year time jump to Winterfell. Let me know what you think.