Faces in the Night
The crackle of the brightly burning fire filled Jon's ears like a lullaby. He crouched near the edge of land, staring into the lake surround the Isle of Faces. The peace that had settled over him would be jarring if not so relaxing. He couldn't remember the last time he felt carefree and maybe even hopeful. He pulled his eyes from the water and glanced at the nearest weirwood tree. It seemed to stare back at him; its wide, knowing eyes maintaining his stare.
He had been raised in the same faith as his father and had heard many stories about the Old Gods and the weirwood trees. Many hours had been spent taking lessons under the weirwood in Winterfell's godswood. At the time, Jon had resented these moments, not because he didn't care for the history of his family's faith, but because he had never been allowed, even once, to join the Stark children's lessons. His presence upset Catelyn Stark too much.
Now, as his eyes roamed over the face carved into the stone-like wood, Jon could only feel grateful. While most of his lessons had come from Maester Luwin, there had been many early morning lessons with his father. Jon felt a stab of regret at the thought of Ned Stark. There were so many things he longed to say now; things he had been too young and naïve to even begin to understand when they last saw one another.
With a long exhale, Jon pulled his eyes from the weirwood and glanced down once more at his reflection in the water. It had been quite some time since he had seen his own face. Seeing himself now, half shadow, half illuminated by firelight, he saw traces of his father staring back at him.
"Winter has finally come, father." The words, hardly more than a whisper, spilled from Jon's lips unbidden. "You always said it would. It pains me to face it without you, but perhaps it's better that you have found your rest. I don't know what the future holds... It frightens me."
Jon glanced over his shoulder at Daenerys. Drogon and Rhaegal had flown off to hunt hours earlier, leaving their mother in Jon's care. She was now sleeping peacefully under the protection of his cloak. Her body was curled toward the fire, her features alight by the dancing flames. A small smile pulled at his lips and he turned back to his reflection once more.
"If I'm being honest, everything frightens me now. I know the past will always haunt me, but now I fear the present as much as the future. I spend every moment knowing the world could end. I fear for the girls and Bran, the Northerners, the Free Folk." He shook his head and glanced up, looking at the nothingness across the lake. "The battles to come, the losses I know we'll suffer… I'm terrified."
His words trailed off and he glanced up at the heavy mist above them. The blanket of peace pressed down on him and he felt detached from his fears and worries. They were still there, swirling inside him, and yet he felt indifferent to them.
"I don't think I'll survive the war to come, father. I think about it often. I shouldn't have lived this long. It must only be for this one thing that I'm still living. Everyone thinks me so fearless, so brave, but here I sit praying to the Gods for some promise that we'll survive. That… That I'll survive. I'd like to live, father, through this winter…"
Jon rose to his feet, picking up a red leaf from the ground. He held the stem between his fingers and twirled it gently, the leaf creating a crimson blur in his hand.
The crunch of leaves somewhere to the right pulled Jon's attention. The leaf dropped from his hand, floating delicately back to the floor of the isle. In hardly a second, Longclaw was unsheathed and held at the ready. A figure stepped out from behind the wierwood, his hand tracing along the face of the tree gingerly. Jon held the man's eyes, though he knew instantly he was not a man and he was not a threat. He was dressed in contrasting dark and light green fabrics and held a white staff in his free hand. The top was adorned in red wierwood leaves. His skin was green in color with patches of gray and a horned headdress sat atop his head.
Jon lowered his sword, though he did not return it to its sheath. The man inclined his head slightly and then continued his trek forward until he stood only a few paces from Jon.
"Why have you come here, child?"
"We mean you no harm. We're only passing through on our way to Winterfell." Jon gestured toward Daenerys who still slept several paces away. The man followed his gaze and nodded once before returning his gaze to Jon.
"You would not have been allowed to find this place if you intended harm, but I am grateful to hear you say it all the same. You seem troubled, child."
Jon laughed, though the sound was not as light as he intended. He ran a hand over his face and through his hair.
"Aye, my Lord. I suppose I am."
A breathless chuckle fell from the man's lips and he shook his head slowly.
"I am no lord, child."
"What are you?"
"I believe we are called The Green Men. We are the protectors of this place. We care for the wierwoods at the will of the Gods."
Jon recalled a particularly blistery morning at the Godswood with his father. He had been young, perhaps five or six. Catelyn had taken Robb and Sansa to visit their Aunt Lysa. Jon hadn't been permitted to accompany them, even though Robb had invited him. Together, they had hidden several items in their packs, which they planned to throw through what Robb called "the Moon Door." To his extreme sadness, when Catelyn had found them waiting to leave with Sansa, she had informed Jon he would never visit the Eyrie. Instead, he spend the entire day with his father; half in lessons at the Godswood and the other half riding and hunting. It was one of his favorite days.
"Father told me about The Green Men once. I wasn't sure I believed him, but I've come to believe all the stories I heard as a child."
The Green Man laughed that same breathless laugh and strolled past him to the edge of the isle. He stared out at the water and Jon stepped up beside him.
"We have become the subject of many children's tales over the years. Very few actually know of our existence and even fewer have set their eyes upon the Isle of Faces, let alone one of us. The last time I, myself, spoke with one of your kind was nearly 200 years ago. A dragonrider, like yourself."
Jon stilled, staring at the profile of the Green Man. He glanced back at Daenerys and then stepped closer to the Green Man.
"A dragonrider came here?"
"He did. He sought counsel during the War of Succession. I believe his dragon's name was Seasmoke. What do you call your dragon?"
"Rhaegal, but he's not my dragon."
The corner of the Green Man's lips pulled up into something resembling a smirk. He set his bright eyes upon Jon's face. He seemed to search for something within Jon's gaze; it felt as though he was reading him as the pages of a book. Jon shifted under the weight of the Man's stare, the heavy silence between them causing any remaining peace within Jon to dissipate.
"You look like your mother," he said suddenly, causing Jon's heart to beat into a frenzy. "Her eyes, her hair, her olive skin. But you have your father's nose and jaw. More importantly, you have his strength and heart. He loved fiercely, child. Just like you."
"It's funny, you know. I've always been told I had my father's eyes. You know my mother?"
"The Green Men know no one and everyone at once. The Gods have blessed us with sight through the trees. We've known you since you were a child playing at your family's Godswood."
The thundering in Jon's heart began to slow. He imagined himself being watched by the wierwoods as a child. He briefly wondered how many times they'd listened as he knelt at the edge of the great tree and wept for his mother, for the injustices he felt as a bastard in a noble family.
"I'm sorry you had to witness me in those days. I felt wronged and wallowed in it often."
"Perhaps, but it is to be expected of any child forced to grow up without his mother and father."
"Aye," Jon said. He'd spent his entire life longing for his mother; that pain was merely a dull ache now. But the mention of his father was still as painful as the day he'd found out he'd been beheaded.
Daenerys stirred behind them, pulling both men's attention to her. Her hand stretched out toward the fire, her fingertips dipping into the hot coals. Jon gasped and rushed to her side. He crouched and pulled her hand from the flames, cradling it to his chest. Her fingers were as soft and delicate as ever with no trace of injury. His eyes traveled the length of her arm to her face where he found her eyes upon his, a small smile upon her lips.
"Your fingers," he whispered. "I'd heard rumors fire couldn't burn you, but to see it…"
His eyes returned to her fingers and he stroked them gently, his rough and calloused hands folding over her own. Jon dipped his head and kissed the tips of her fingers before releasing her hand. The fire in his veins roared to life as Daenerys's lips parted, her eyes darkening with desire. Not far from them, Jon heard departing footsteps in the leaves, pulling his attention to the spot the Green Man had just stood. Daenerys was on her feet immediately and Jon put his hand on her arm, stilling her.
"It's okay. He's a friend. Native to the Isle. Have you heard of them? The Green Men. They tend the weirwoods. I was speaking with one before you threw your hand into the flames."
Daenerys shook her head and took another look at the edge of the trees. She seemed apprehensive, but allowed Jon to pull her back to the fireside. They laid down beside one another, Jon's hand still resting on Daenerys's arm. Slowly and almost timidly, Daenerys laid her hand over his.
"Sleep, my Queen," Jon said, pulling his cloak over them both. The mist was still heavy above them, blocking out the moon and stars, and Jon began to feel the peace he'd felt earlier return to him. Within moments, he followed Daenerys into a dreamless sleep.
"You must have been freezing," Daenerys said to Jon, watching him clasp his cloak back in place. The fabric draped over his shoulders and he shifted the fur lined shoulders where he wanted them.
"I'm used to much colder nights. This is practically warm for me. You're not from the North; I could see the cold's effect on you."
Daenerys offered a grateful smile and tucked a loose strand back into the braid she had pulled over her shoulder. She had awoken before Jon, just as the sun had begun to streak through the mist above them. His cloak was draped over her body and he had still been sleeping soundly. Daenerys bit her lip as she recalled the way his arms wrapped around her waist as she rested on his chest. At the thought of the firmness of his body and the strength of his arms around her, the tingle between her legs began to pulse with the beat of her heart. Not since Drogo had she felt so safe and comfortable in another man's arms.
Jon opened one of the packs that hung across his body and pulled their breakfast from inside. He passed her a chunk of bread, two slices of dried meat, and a small sack filled with berries, nuts, and dandelion seeds. Daenerys popped a piece of meat into her mouth and then dropped the remaining items into the pouch at her waist. She unhooked her waterskin and drank several mouthfuls before passing it to Jon. He drank long and deep before handing it back to her with a nod toward the sky.
"You can call them now. I just… I'd like to have a moment to myself before they arrive."
Daenerys inclined her head and sent up a call for her children. She watched as Jon walked past her. He stopped at the weirwood tree near the edge of the lake. He was still for several moments and then dropped to one knee in front of the tree. He removed his glove and placed his hand on the white bark just below its face. She heard his voice, but could not pick out his words, as his tone was too low to hear clearly. She turned away, suddenly feeling as though she were intruding, and kicked a bit of sand on the already burnt out fire. In the distance, she heard Drogon and Rhaegal's wings cutting through the air as they approached.
Jon appeared at her side, his eyes cast upward. Silently, and without turning toward him, Daenerys took his hand, lacing their gloved fingers together. She felt Jon's eyes upon her, but their connection was broken when the dragons swooped down out of the mist and landed side by side in front of them.
"Good morning," she said, moving to Drogon's side. She put her hand on the side of his head and lowered her forehead to his body. Drogon gave a huff and pressed his head against her body. She felt his affection radiating through her body and smiled at him as she pulled back. "You've had a good night," she whispered, running her hand over his scales.
Beside them, Jon stood in front of Rhaegal, staring into his eyes. His hand rested on the side of Rhaegal's snout, apparently not bothering Rhaegal at all.
Jon turned to her suddenly, confusion and excitement filling his face.
"He wants to leave," Jon said. "He likes having me as a rider. Why do I know that?"
Daenerys froze for a moment, unsure whether to be impressed, jealous, annoyed, or downright turned on.
"I… I don't know why you know that. I know it as well. He's never had a rider before and he was always jealous that I chose Drogon over him. He likes feeling needed and important. Perhaps dragonriders can feel what their dragons feel. I always thought it was just because I'm their mother."
Jon shook his head and turned back to Rhaegal who snorted and swung his head, gesturing toward his wing. Jon patted him one more time and then walked around him, climbing up his wing and onto his back with much more ease than he had the previous day.
"It will take us most of the day's light to get to Moat Cailin. From there, it's maybe half a day to Winterfell. If there's still ravens at Moat Cailin, I'll send word ahead."
Daenerys nodded in acknowledgement and watched as Rhaegal swept into the sky, rising above the mist. She trailed immediately behind, Drogon following Rhaegal as Jon guided them toward Moat Cailin.
It wasn't long before they passed a massive castle. It appeared abandoned and relatively run down, with chunks of the towers missing or otherwise damaged. The lands surrounding it were lush and obviously fertile. Portions of the land were freshly burnt; clearly her children had feasted on the wildlife and crops that were growing wildly here.
"Harrenhal!" Jon called to her as they flew over it.
"Why didn't we camp here last night? We could have at least been indoors!"
"I don't know enough about Harrenhal; anyone could be there. I wanted to go where I knew we'd be safe. If we hadn't been allowed to find the Isle of Faces, we'd have had no choice but to land at there."
Daenerys took a second glance back at the castle as they flew North. The north side of the castle was heavily damaged by what Daenerys thought had probably been dragonfire.
"Aegon the Conqueror," Jon called to Daenerys as she pulled up beside him once more, "used Balerion to defeat King Harren during the War of Conquest. That's why it looks like that. They never rebuilt the damaged towers."
Daenerys imagined Aegon flying in this exact place decades before. Suddenly, the significance of her ancestry weighed heavily on her, reminding her why she'd been fighting so hard for so long. In the back of her mind, she wondered if she was allowing the threat to the North to distract her too much. Or perhaps it wasn't the threatto the North that was worrying her the most; perhaps it was the man at her side.
She looked to Jon. He held Rhaegal in a way that could not possibly be comfortable and reminded her again that this was only his second day on dragonback. She had seen him stretching his legs and back often throughout the night. So many hours on dragonback, gripping the sharp contours of the dragon's spine and anchoring oneself with primarily by leg strength took a toll.
The longer she looked at Jon, the more she worried he was the real distraction. She dropped her head, resting it on Drogon's shoulder as she watched Jon staring straight ahead. He was everything she had loved about Drogo: strong, fierce, kind and caring, and loyal. He commanded a room when he entered it, just as Drogo had. Unlike Drogo, he was also soft and, despite all his brooding, funny. Perhaps above all, the man's honor, however foolish, was incredibly attractive. So much of her life had been spent surrounded by men with no honor at all. Even Drogo, whom she admired more than anyone, had raped her for the first several weeks of their lives together. He also would have lied to Cersei easily and without pause. Sometimes she wished Jon had done so, but now she knew she would never doubt him; he would always be honest with her, no matter the cost.
The pull she felt toward Jon, both physically and emotionally, was undeniably strong. It unnerved her.
Moat Cailin had obviously been recently occupied. Daenerys walked beside Jon as they explored the center of the three towers, making their way up in search of the rookeries hidden in the depths of the castle. Jon's sword was drawn, a precaution Daenerys understood, and she held a lit torch in front of them, illuminating their path.
"The last I knew, the Knights of the Vale were camped here. Petyr Baelish brought them to our aid when we retook Winterfell. I don't know why they're not here now. Perhaps they've gone back to the Eyrie, though I can't imagine Baelish would be so quick to leave Sansa's side."
"There may not be any ravens left here."
"Then my sisters may be in for quite the surprise." Jon grinned, a sly, playful smile that gave him the boyish expression Daenerys rarely saw.
They finally reached the uppermost level of the tower and Jon pushed open the first door they found. Immediately, they were enveloped in a blistering cold. Daenerys looked over Jon's shoulder and saw a crumbling wall, the window much larger than it had originally been. The room itself was filled with ravens of varying sizes. Some swooped and flew from the tower upon their entrance; others remained in their nests. Each wall of the room had nooks carved into the wall, nests built into each one.
"King's Landing… Harrenhal… Castle Black… Ah, Winterfell."
Jon stepped up to a group of nests along the eastern wall. These were the ravens that had been trained to fly between Moat Cailin and Winterfell. Three ravens chirped as Jon stepped up to them. Daenerys watched as he held out his hand, a small pile of seeds laying in his palm. A bird hopped down from its nest and landed on his wrist where it began pecking at the seeds. Jon gave him a moment and then pulled a small roll of parchment from his pocket.
"Well, you're very prepared," Daenerys teased. Jon glanced over his shoulder with a smirk on his face.
"I wrote it while you were sleeping last night."
"And what does it say, may I ask?"
"Of course, you can ask, Daenerys. We have no secrets."
He handed her the scroll, which she unrolled and held under the light of her torch. Jon stroked the back of the raven in his hand while it continued snacking.
"My dear Sisters – Sansa, Arya – and my Brother, Bran –
I write to you this night camped on the Isle of Faces. I am on my way home and I am bringing Queen Daenerys with me. She has agreed to join the North in the fight against the Night King. We will arrive in Winterfell in two days' time. I look forward to seeing you all.
Sansa – The Northern houses must be informed that I have bent the knee to Queen Daenerys and that she comes to join the fight for the North, not against it. I leave this in your capable hands, sister. Please have two horses waiting for us on the King's Road north of the river mid-afternoon the day following your receipt of this raven. Thank you, Sansa. I'm anxious to see you are safe and well once more.
Bran – I wish I had been there when you arrived, little brother. I'm happy to know you are there to look after the girls in my absence.
Arya – I know, I know. You don't need looking after. I'll see you soon, my Arya. We'll go for a ride on my dragon.
Yours in faith and love, Jon"
"Your dragon?" Daenerys turned toward Jon, a playful grin filling her expression. Jon hesitated for a moment and then shrugged.
"It's a dragon, Daenerys. I may have gotten a little carried away."
Daenerys laughed and placed her hand on Jon's arm as she handed the scroll back to him.
"He's more yours than any other man's. I'll forgive you this time."
Jon gave her a bashful smile and then turned away, securing the scroll to his raven. He walked to the window and held out his hand.
"To Winterfell, little one."
"Why the horses?" Daenerys asked, watching the bird take flight.
"I don't feel it would endear the Northern houses to you if their first impression is you swooping in on Drogon. Despite anything Sansa may say, they'll think you've come to conquer the north and that fear will stay with them far too long. I'd rather they meet you as I did. Don't worry, though, you're still quite scary even without your dragons."
Jon turned, looking down at Daenerys, with that playful smirk she had seen so many times during this trip. She stared up at him, taken for a moment by how close they stood together. Her mind instantly replayed the morning when she woke up in his arms.
"You're blushing, my Queen," Jon whispered, raising a gloved hand to her cheek. She stared at him for a moment longer and then shook her head.
"Queens don't blush, Jon Snow. Didn't you know?"
She raised an eyebrow at him and then turned, leaving the room. She heard him following behind her and she slowed her pace so he could walk with her in the light of the torch. They walked together, exploring the tower in silence until they came to a large room with a fireplace, a bed, a chair and desk. Jon ignited the remaining logs in the fireplace quickly and then lit the lamp sitting on the desk.
"This will do. You can have the bed. I'll find some extra furs from one of the other rooms for myself. It's best if we stay together until we're safe in Winterfell. I'm going to go get some more wood from the stores we passed when we came in. I also want to refill our waterskins and see if Rhaegal can find us some fish for supper. Rest, my Queen."
"Jon!" Daenerys called as Jon left the room. He reappeared in the doorframe and Daenerys handed him her waterskin, making him sigh at his own oversight. She grinned at him and Jon stopped, mid-turn. His eyes moved from her eyes to her lips and then back again.
"What?" she asked apprehensively.
"You don't smile often. I like to see it."
"Well aren't we a matching set, then. You don't smile often either, Jon Snow. But when you do…"
They stared at one another, the air around them growing heavy with something unspoken demanding to be acknowledged. Just as Daenerys was about to press her body against his, Jon cleared his throat and stepped back, putting much needed distance between them.
"I'll be back soon."
Daenerys nodded and watched him go until he was out of sight and she could no longer hear his footsteps echoing through the halls. When she finally closed the door to the room they would call their own that night, her legs were weak and a fire burned deep in her core.
Pain. Blinding, tearing pain. She opened her mouth in a rush of fear, confusion, and desperation. Dragonfire poured forth and then sputtered into smoke. Her body was being torn in half, a searing fire engulfed her chest and wing. Darkness pulled at her. She was falling; drilling down toward the ground in an unbreakable spiral. She tried to fly, tried to pull out of it, but her wing failed to respond and her body was aflame. The pain choked her. She screamed. The agonized sound filled the air and then she hit the ice fast and hard. Water enveloped her, pulling her down. Bodies followed her into the water, but they weren't afraid. They clawed at her body, pulling and tearing at her skin; biting and ripping. Her skin peeled back where the broken ice stabbed and sliced through her. She roared in pain, sucking in several mouthfuls of water. She was drowning. Her body was being torn apart. She was dying and she was terrified.
Daenerys lurched forward, her back arching off the bed. She screamed into the night, tears spilling down her cheeks. Her body felt heavy and weighed down as though she were under water, darkness all around her. Strong arms wrapped around her from behind, lifting her into a sitting position. Lips whispered calming words into her ears, promising her she was okay. Daenerys clung to Jon's arms, holding onto him to keep from drowning. Sobs rose in her chest and she could not control them; her body trembled, the pressure from her cries threatening to rip her apart.
"You're safe. I've got you. Feel my body; focus on the rise and fall of my chest. Breathe with me, Daenerys."
Jon's voice and the warmth of his breath on her ear and neck was Daenerys's only life line. She focused all her attention on him, ignoring the lingering fear and pain from her nightmare. She felt his chest moving against her back and closed her eyes, trying to slow her breathing to match his. Her grip on Jon slowly began to relax, her nails withdrawing from the deep impressions they made on his arms.
Daenerys wasn't sure how much time had passed when she finally opened her eyes again. Her breathing had slowed and the pain in her chest had receded. For the first time, her rational mind prevailed and she realized the darkness around her was not the icy water from her dreams, but simply the dark of night.
Around her, the fire Jon had made hours earlier was still lit, but burning much lower than it had been. She heard Drogon's screech in the distance and knew they had felt her nightmare and residual pain.
"I dreamed I was Viserion," she whispered. "I was flying, soaring over the frozen ground, and then the Night King's spear hit me and I was falling. The pain and fear was so real, Jon. It's not the first time I've had this dream. I think somehow I'm able to feel what he felt in his last moments." She stifled a sob, putting a hand to her mouth. "He was so scared when he died. Scared, alone, and in so much pain."
A small sob did force its way from Daenerys's throat and she covered her mouth with her hand, holding back any that would follow. Jon's head, which was resting against her own, dipped slightly. His hands continued to stroke the skin of her upper arms.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered.
Daenerys nodded a bit, unable to tell him it was okay, because of course it wasn't. Nothing would ever make it okay, but she didn't blame him for what happened; she hadn't even for a moment. She knew he could have died that night, and very nearly did when he told her to leave in order to protect her and Drogon.
She turned her body slightly, still enveloped in his arms, and realized he had pulled her into his lap. His cloak, armor, and leathers had been discarded, leaving only his underclothes. Despite her frayed emotions, Daenerys felt a surge of heat but did not look away. Instead, her eyes dipped slightly, taking in what she could see of his chest – the smattering of dark hair on his pale skin and the edge of one of his many scars.
She glanced up at him and found him looking at her with concern and guilt clouding his eyes. She offered a weak smile, the best she could muster in her post-nightmare haze, and shook her head gently.
"Don't worry," she whispered. "I'm alright."
Jon nodded and loosened his grip on her, allowing his arms to relax slightly. Rather than moving away, Daenerys rested her head on his shoulder, her hand moving to his chest. They sat together in silence, clinging to one another while the adrenaline coursing through them both subsided.
"Do you ever have nightmares, Jon?"
"I do," he replied, watching her.
"What haunts you?"
"Many things. Things I've done. People I've lost…"
He paused and Daenerys relaxed her body into his, her eyes falling on the makeshift bed he had created on the floor in front of the door.
"I often dream of my father's death even though I wasn't there to witness it," he continued. "I know he was beheaded, but sometimes I see him stabbed to death. Other times, burned alive. Sometimes flayed with my sisters watching."
Daenerys felt a surge of illness at the thought of Jon's sisters having to watch their father skinned alive. For a brief moment, her mind flashed on Viserys's death. She wanted to feel remorse for what she allowed to happen to her brother; it hadn't been a merciful death, after all, but she found it hard to pity him after the years of abuse she'd endured at his hand.
"He was a good man, wasn't he, your father?"
"The best I've ever known. Far better than me, that much I know."
"He'd be proud of you, I bet. To see who you are now."
"I hope so," Jon said, smiling wistfully.
Daenerys allowed her eyes to wander over his face and down his neck to his chest. She had seen the scars on his chest and stomach on the boat the morning he'd pledged himself to her. Now, she moved her hand up slowly, her eyes darting to his apprehensively. He stared down at her, his dark eyes holding hers, and she guided her fingertips inside his undershirt.
"Do you remember the day we met? Davos began to say something about my having been stabbed in the heart?"
Daenerys nodded and pushed his shirt open enough to find the scar over his heart. She traced it tentatively and met Jon's eyes once more, urging him on.
"My relationship with the Free Folk didn't sit well with the Night's Watch; not all of them, of course, but many of them felt I was betraying the Brothers. They plotted against me; declared me a traitor and unfit to be Lord Commander. They each drove a dagger into me and left me to die in the snow. I was found and… brought back. My final act as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch was to execute the men who betrayed me. One of them was just a boy and I hung him. I often see his face in my dreams."
"Then Davos meant it literally? You really were stabbed in the heart because you followed your conscience?"
Jon nodded, but said no more, looking into the low burning fire.
"How did you survive that?"
"I didn't," Jon said, simply.
Daenerys's hand stilled, resting on the scar over his heart. She raised her head from his shoulder and turned a little more so she was looking at him fully.
"What do you mean, you didn't?"
"I died in the snow. I was brought back by a priestess of the Lord of Light."
Jon nodded, raising a curious eyebrow.
"She came to me. She's the one who urged us to summon you."
"Of course she did," he said bitterly. "I suppose she failed to mention she burned a little girl at the stake and I banished her from the North?"
Daenerys froze, frowning deeply. "She omitted that bit of information. It wouldn't have served her well. Do the scars still hurt?"
Jon shook his head and Daenerys turned her attention back to the scar on his chest. She glanced up at him and moved her fingers lower on his shirt, drawing the laces apart and opening it with ease. Jon's chest continued to rise and fall, though Daenerys thought she saw a hitch in his breathing. Sliding out of his lap and onto the bed, Daenerys examined the scars on his abdomen and felt her stomach turn. She imagined him falling into the snow, blood pooling under and around him while the men he considered brothers walked away.
"You've lived a life in service of others. It's a noble life, Jon Snow, but a lonely one too, I'd wager."
"At times," Jon agreed, moving his hand to the center of her lower back. This time, it was Daenerys's breath which was stolen.
Jon pulled Daenerys back into his lap. Her hands moved up automatically, pushing his shirt from his shoulders.
"You unnerve me," he whispered, his lips brushing her shoulder lightly. Robbed of coherent thought and filled with an all-encompassing desire, Daenerys closed her eyes and pulled him firmly against her. Despite the warmth from the fire, a chill spread through her body. Her hardened nipples pressed into Jon's bare chest through the thin material of her dressing gown. Bringing one arm around Jon's neck, Daenerys leaned her head to the side, allowing room for Jon's lips to travel freely.
His hand moved to the side of her neck, cradling and supporting her while he kissed his way down the other side of her neck. A soft whimper escaped Daenerys's lips and a groan quickly followed from Jon's. He lingered over the sensitive curve at the base of her neck, sucking gently.
"Don't stop," she pleaded. "Never stop kissing me."
Daenerys's pleas were silenced by Jon's mouth on hers; a desperate, raw kiss she was sure would bruise her lips. She returned his kiss with the same intensity, tangling her hands in Jon's hair as she held him against her. Biting down on Jon's bottom lip, Daenerys earned a low growl from deep within him.
Using the hand on the small of her back, Jon pulled Daenerys's hips forward and laid her back on the bed, his lips never leaving hers. Daenerys gasped loudly and pulled back, looking up at Jon as she felt him pressing against her core. He met her gaze and stilled, breathing deep, ragged breaths. With one arm still wrapped around him, Daenerys reached down, pulling her gown free enough to wrap her leg around his waist.
Fire danced in Jon's eyes. He kissed her again, rocking forward slowly. Need overwhelmed Daenerys, and she heard her own moans filling the air as she clung to him. Jon's lips left hers and moved down her neck to her chest, his hand pulling the edge of her gown aside. He took her nipple into his mouth and Daenerys cried out, her eyes flying open as she felt the effect of his mouth all the way in her toes. Rolling her head to the side, Daenerys's eyes fell on Drogon's face peering at her through the small window. He blinked at her and Daenerys could feel his concern being replaced with curiosity.
A manic giggle escaped Daenerys's lips and she squeezed Jon's side. He looked up at her, his eyes dark and heavy hooded from desire. She nodded toward Drogon and let out another uncontrolled giggle.
Jon groaned and stilled immediately. She watched his face fall and then begin to light once more as laughter took him. He rolled to the side, lying next to Daenerys.
"Rhaegal, too," he whispered, drawing himself up on his elbow. Now that the sounds of their passion had died away, the flapping of their wings could be heard clearly.
"They came because of the nightmare, but now they're just curious," Daenerys managed to say between hysterical laughs. She laid back down and rolled into Jon, burying her face in his chest to silence herself. His own chest shook from the force of his suppressed laughter. Jon's arm wrapped around her body and held her against him, pressing the occasional snicker into her hair.
When their laughter finally died away, Jon sighed and kissed the side of Daenerys's head.
"We have a long journey tomorrow. You haven't slept much."
"No," she breathed and looked up at him, her arm crossing his body. "But I think maybe I'll be able to now."
She lifted her chin slightly and Jon took her cue, pressing his lips against hers. When she laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes, the thundering of his heart lulled her to sleep.