Disclaimer: Characters and past storylines belong to the series creators and George R.R. Martin.
Some things I should say: This first part will focus more on Jon and Dany as well as Sansa and Jaime. I know it's not a popular pairing, nor one likely to happen, but I'm feeling it, so I'm going there. As for Jon and Dany, I'm not ecstatic they're related but I think they're a perfect pair, so there's that. I feel like I ought to mention that Gendry/Arya will be the focus of part two of this series, though both characters appear here.
I want to stress that this is a work in progress, so updates may be slow, and with the universe so big, sometimes obvious things slip by when i'm focusing on other details. Also, I'm trying to follow the show, but i'm really writing it for the ships, so it may on occasion deviate from the series narrative.
Let there be life, said God. And what he wrought went past in myriad marching lives,
And brought this hour, this quiet room, and my small thought holding invisible vastness in its hands.
Let there be God, say I. And what I've done goes onward like the splendour of the sun,
and rises up in rapture and is one with the white power of conscience that commands.
Let life be God... What wail of fiend or wraith dare mock my glorious angel
where he stands to fill my dark with fire, my heart with faith?
from The Power And The Glory by Siegfried Sassoon
"Where does your loyalty lie?" She asked him.
She did not know her uncle from squat, nor he her, and they were in a dark dungeon, and it was likely he would never realize, so she used her own face. He seemed surprised of her age, but he didn't seem to doubt her tenacity, especially when his eyes would veer behind her, no doubt looking at the dead bodies strewn outside his cell.
"To my family," He answered, tears building in his eyes even in his fear.
"And who is that?" She said, her voice a grade louder.
He looked her over, no doubt searching for a sigil of some kind. When he found none, he asked, "Who are you?"
She smiled. "No one," And moved a bit closer.
He seemed to sense the danger she was trying to imply, and finally answered, "My wife and son. My people."
"And the Blackfish?" She asked, inching even closer.
"I did what I had to."
She accepted this answer, and moved on. "And your sister, Lady Catelyn?"
"She's dead. There was nothing I could do to stop it," He answered morosely.
She wanted to believe he felt sad, but she was not yet convinced.
"The Lannisters are gone South. Lord Walder Frey and his sons are dead. If I free you, what will you do?"
"Go home, but not without my-"
"Let's say I get you out of here with beau and babe in tow, and you go home, where will your loyalty lie?"
"Wherever you want it!" He exclaimed, hoping it was the answer she wanted.
She took a whole step closer, and suddenly a dagger was unsheathed at her side.
"A man whose loyalty is so easily bought is not worth much," She said.
Tears started streaming steadily down his cheeks, as he seemed to think she planned on killing him.
"You are right," He cried.
"I only wish to save my family and return home. I will do whatever it takes to see them truly safe and free, even give my life if I must."
"Stop your crying," She said, her tone exasperated.
"You will not die today. I will free wife and babe, but you will promise me one thing."
He blinked fast a few times, and he stopped.
"Anything," He said, his voice still broken.
"You've said nothing of your northern relatives. Are they not your family?"
This seemed to surprise him, but he answered, "The Starks? They are all dead save for Lady Sansa who is married to Lord Bolton's son, by choice I heard."
"Then you have heard wrong lord Edmure. House Bolton is dead. Lady Sansa is with her brother in Winterfell. And like you, they need allies. Loyal ones."
"I would be glad to pledge for the Starks once more, as I did when Robb was King in the North."
She smiled but it did not reach her eyes. With her blade still in sight, she replied, "Betray them, and I will kill you. Wife. And babe. I promise you."
"Never, I swear it," His voice was desperate and he bowed deeply.
When he looked back up, she was gone, and by the time he made it out of the dungeons his family was before him, and when they exited the castle, there was a horse waiting before them, and out of sight, she watched them leave.
She looked for a long moment at the place that had given her so many nightmares, where she'd seen her brother's direwolf's head and Robb... Though her mother and brother were still dead, she'd taken back the lives that had been stolen from her, three for three.
She'd considered throwing Jaime Lannister into the deal, even smiled when the thought of slitting his throat crossed her mind, and as she walked through the room making sure to keep her eye on him, she saw him speaking to Walder Frey. She watched their lips as as they spoke and though she hadn't gotten it all, it was clear Frey was comparing the two and Jamie did not like it. But instead of contempt she saw shame, and suddenly killing him did not feel like the right thing. He hadn't been on her list, and he'd never harmed her family, as far as she knew.
So when he looked her way, she'd smiled. For now, he would live.
She had wanted nothing more than to head north, and go home. But when she freed her uncle, she realized what she wanted was not to return home to her family, but to finish what she started. So she took the passing South, in search for the next name on her list.
The Red Woman had killed Gendry, as far as she knew. She'd taken him away, and Thoros of Myr and Beric Dondarrion had sold him like cattle. They were no brotherhood, and she would end their farce before more people fell prey to their lies.
After, she would find the red woman, and find out what happened to her friend. Then the woman would die, quick or slow, it depended on her answer.
And there was also Cersei and the Mountain to deal with. She still had much to do, and she would not return home until her list had been cleared, no matter what it took.
a/n: The title of this fic is inspired by a line from a poem by Charles Tomlinson called Against Extremity.
thanks for reading.