It came to Dany's realization that this was the first time she truly made love. With Drogo it was mostly about pleasing him and at times it felt more like work than anything else. Daario was fun but there was no love there. This… this was different. She looked at him, Jon Snow, as she rested her head on his chest. She felt his shallow breaths on her skin coming and going like waves that hit the seashore, and they were little reminders that this was all real. She kept replaying the events of last night in her head, the way he knocked on her door and didn't need to say a word. The way his gaze never shifted to anything other than her own.
It was perfect, and she needed to be reminded that it was all real.
When she decided to pursue the Iron Throne she knew the path of a Queen would never be easy. A Queen rarely gets to truly experience love, family and all the simple things in life that bring people happiness. She knew she would have to sacrifice all those things, for it would always be about the greater good. Therefore, when Jon Snow entered her life, it felt like a block of ice hitting a ship in clear waters. The moment their eyes met as he stepped foot into her throne room in Dragonstone, she knew there was something different about this man. She felt it so strongly, as strong as the gut instinct that told her to enter Drogo's funeral pyre knowing she will come out unburnt. She tried to deny it, to avoid it, to busy herself with battle plans and defeating Cersei but deep in her heart there was only one thing on her mind.
She loved Jon Snow and there was no hiding from it.
"I know you're staring at me," his voice interrupted her thoughts. He was the one now staring at her.
"I was not,"
"Mmm" he mumbled, pulling her in a little closer, holding her body like it was his last lifeline.
The sun's rays creeped through the curtains and she began to feel the warmth of it on her skin. She couldn't remember the last time she felt this warm. "We will be docking soon," she said. "Tell me about Winterfell,"
He looked at her and smiled. "Alright," he said, thinking for a moment. "I think the word that comes to mind when the average person thinks about winterfell is… gloomy," he paused. "But I think if you really looked hard enough you may find a bit of charm,"
"How lovely," she joked.
"I have many good memories there." Many bad ones too, but he tried not to dwell on them. "My brother Robb and I were close. We spent days on end sparring, shooting arrows, riding in the woods… He was my best friend,"
She saw his eyes change, a touch of sadness overcoming them. "Him and Rickon deserved better,"
Jon looked at her in surprise, he must have mentioned Rickon's death in passing ages ago but she remembered. He tried not to think of that day.
"What about your sisters?" she tried to change the subject.
He took a deep breath. "Arya was the closest to my heart,"
"Why was that?" She wanted so badly to know more about him and how he came to be himself.
"I think we bonded over being… different," he continued. "Sansa was the perfect little lady, she made beautiful dresses, had beautiful penmanship, a beautiful singing voice as well… Arya, on the other hand," he chuckled. "Arya was more like you,"
Her eyes widened. "How so?"
"She had no business in pleasing others and doing what she was told. She would sneak out her room at night to practice archery so no one would see. She knew what she wanted and she went for it." His face lit up when he talked about her.
Dany smiled. "I wasn't always like this you know," she said. "Before I had to learn how to be a Khaleesi, I was weak. So weak. Anything my brother told me to do, I would do without a question. I was afraid to speak up to him. Even when he said he would let a tribe of horselords rape me, I was afraid to speak up."
Jon shuddered at the thought. He was lucky to at least have a family with siblings that loved him. The only family Dany ever knew was a fucked up brother who sold her off like a piece of meat.
"But those experiences shaped you," he mused. "You wouldn't be who you are today without them."
She nodded, also trying to not think too much about her past. "Anyway," she cleared her throat. "You said you bonded over being different… how were you different?"
"Well you know…" he said, his voice now took a lower tone. "I was the bastard of Winterfell, and Lady Stark made sure to remind me of it everyday I was there."
Her heart broke a little at the thought of a young Jon being mistreated. "Is that why you joined the night's watch?"
He took a pause and tried to gather his thoughts. Till this day he never really knew the full extent of why he took the black. "One of the reasons," he eventually replied.
"I am really looking forward to meeting them," she tried to end the conversation on a more positive note.
He sighed and kissed her forehead. "Me too."
The arrival to White Harbor took longer than expected and it wasn't until next morning when the ship docked in. Most of the people who were on the ship had left already, but Jon stayed behind, waiting patiently for Dany to pull on another layer of furs. They had barely left the room since the moment they stepped foot in it, and Jon took a moment to look around it before they left, for it would always mean something to them.
"Jon this is silly, " she mumbled. "This isn't the first time I see snow,"
"This is your second time, and the first time was definitely not a pleasant experience. Truly, it can be very beautiful…"
"and cold, and harsh, and relentless…"
He rolled his eyes. "Come on, we can discuss the details later,"
She smiled, securing her cloak with two pins; a direwolf and a three headed dragon. You need to fit in, he said as he gave her the pin earlier that day. It will ease the situation when they see you, a silver haired girl marked with the Stark sigil. Indeed, she felt proud to wear them both.
She finally made her way to the door. "Okay, I'm ready."
"Close your eyes."
"And you will make sure I won't fall off the ship as I tread with only four of my senses?"
He slipped his hand into hers, still getting used to that shock of feeling he always got whenever he touched her. "Do you trust me?"
She closed her eyes.
He lead her to the upper decks carefully and they both braced themselves when he opened the door and a wave of cold air hit them. Although he had only been in the south for a couple months, the cold still shocked him as it sent shivers down his spine.
Finally, they arrived. "Here you are, my Queen."
She opened her eyes only to have the harsh white light of winter forced her to squint them. Her breath caught in wonder as she took it all in. The snow lay thickly drifted on the rooftops of the abandoned buildings, on the spears of the gates, and on what was left of the trees and plants. It was comic to behold, straight out of a book of fairy tales.
"It's… stunning," she said.
She watched her surroundings while he watched her. The delicate flakes fell down from the sky to mesh into her bright hair and land light as air on her eyelashes. It was the most beautiful image he had ever laid eyes on.
He shook himself out of it. "Come on. Our carriages are waiting,"
He gave her hand a squeeze. "A carriage."
"You two seem to be enjoying yourselves," Tyrion said, waiting for them along with other crew members. They had almost forgotten that other people existed in the world, for the last two nights belonged solely to them.
Dany quickly let go of Jon's hand, although she knew there was no use to it as Tyrion must have seen them from the beginning. Tyrion always seems to… see everything. She remembered his words. I suppose he's staring at you longingly because he's hopeful for a successful military alliance.
"I was just admiring the snow…" she said, her eyes shifting more towards Jon than the actual snow.
"Of course," Tyrion mused. "I'll take my own carriage if that's alright."
Thank you for reading everyone!
Would like to credit the Tumblr user blue-roses-in-a-wall-of-ice for inspiring the ending of this chapter and allowing me to use a few snippets from her own work.
Stay tuned, for jonerys is cannon!