"How long have you known? You must think me quite a fool for believing that you cared for me."
Daenerys cut Jon with her words and she knew it, but she didn't care in that moment. This wounded her. She felt utterly sick at the thought that the moments they shared alone on the ship, moments that made her feel more deeply than she had ever imagined she could, were false. She turned her face from him now, unable to look him in the eye. Afraid she might see something there she hadn't before and that it would break her. Her eyes began to well at this thought and she knew she had to be strong now. She turned even further, nearly giving him her back so he couldn't see as she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and tried to make the words she spoke next sound unaffected, and regal.
"You pledged yourself to me and spoke of honor. You bent the knee in exchange for my help in the battle against the dead. Do you intend to challenge my claim to the throne if we survive?"
Then a chill ran down her spine and she mustered all the strength she could and continued.
"Perhaps you never meant me to survive. Then you'd be free of the dragon queen." Her voice nearly cracked with emotion now so she cleared her throat and tried to seem calm.
"No one could deny it is your birth right. Would you claim my dragons as well? Will power consume the man I thought I knew? Would you leave me with nothing?"
He could bear no more of this, instinctually he reached for her but she pulled back just out of his grasp. How could she think this of him, he had to make her see that he would never hurt her or take anything from her.
"Do you think so little of me now?" He said softly.
She turned and stared at him, this time he could see pain in her eyes. Again, he stepped toward her, this time taking her hand though she tried to pull way. He placed her hand over his heart and knelt. The next words he spoke were even softer, this pained him and she could hear it in his voice.
"I've never wanted a title. All I've ever wanted was my father's name. To be a real Stark. But I was a bastard. Born to a noble house yes, but I was always the stain on Ned Stark's honor. The most noble man I will ever know, who raised me, gave me everything and all I could bring him was shame. So I went to the wall and pledged my life to defend the north, and protect its people... and they murdered me for it."
She let out a small gasp, she had seen his scars. She'd kissed them as they made love. But this was the first time he'd spoken about what caused them.
"I've never been your enemy Daenerys. I have never, and will never lie to you. I don't know if we will survive this war against the Night King and his army of dead men. But I can't pretend not to be who I am. I have a name now, and it means something to me. I have something to fight for and a house that I belong to... to restore honor to... and a true and deserving queen to stand with."
He paused then released her hand and stood. Then he raised his eyes towards her and the look on his face nearly broke her. This brave man who marched into battle towards thousands of the dead was afraid of her reaction.
"I would never wish you harm or take your children from you. You are the mother of dragons, they will always be yours. And you can order them to burn me. But you'd only be condemning to death the last person who shares your blood and a loyal man whose greatest joy was sleeping beside you... loving you."
She stood there stunned, her eyes welling as he took her face in his hands and placed a kiss on her forehead before leaving the room.
How could she have doubted him? Jon was unlike any other man she had ever known. The situation was complicated, that much was clear. But when she thought about it, and was honest with herself she knew she could trust Jon. It had been some years since she blindly obeyed her brother Viserys but she was raised believing she would marry him and be queen until he married her off to Drogo.
But Viserys was no king. He was cruel and prideful, and would never have allowed a queen to rule at his side. But Jon would.
Still, he was rightful heir. What right did she have to ask that they rule together? Together. It was so simple that it seemed impossible but he had just called her a true and deserving queen and said he would stand beside her.
The words flew from her lips and before she even knew it, she was calling out to him.
She ran to the doorway and saw him stop and turn to face her from the end of the corridor.
"King Aegon," she said softly as she approached him. Her eyes were wide and hopeful.
"Would you really have us rule together, as rightful heirs and equals? King and Queen of House Targaryen?"
His face was serious but his eyes were soft as he replied, "I would, on one condition."
Panic flooded her in that moment and she thought fearfully of him asking for something she might not be able to give him. But she had to know, "What is your condition?"
"My condition," he said, planting his feet in the powerful and confident stance he assumed so naturally, "is that you can take no lovers and you may never marry into another house."
This caught her by surprise. The last thing on her mind was marriage. In the rush of calling out to him she had assumed that ruling as King and Queen they would marry. But then she realized that he aimed to restore their house and to do so, he would need heirs... heirs were the one thing she could not give him. Though she had believed herself unable to conceive for some time now, it pained her to remember it.
She looked down as she responded to him, "Of course... I can't have children and if you're going to restore our house, it will require blood heirs."
He smiled at this, "I know you've grown accustomed to tormenting yourself with a witch's lies," she looked up at him perplexed.
"But you should pay closer attention to things sometimes."
He smirked and stepped closer whispering in her ear. Their closeness made her ache as it reminded her of their stolen moments alone. The way he would hold her waist and kiss her, the way he could make her shiver with just his breath on her neck. She would miss his touch when he married another. She knew he would never break a marriage vow; his word was everything to him.
"What do you mean by that?" She asked in a low heated rasp that made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, among other things.
"My sisters and I are true northerners. We don't trust outsiders. But they trust me and I asked them to be welcoming. Sansa loves to make things and offered to make you a dress, but Missandei mentioned that you weren't well on the morning she went to measure you. I know you assumed it was fatigue from our travels on the boat and horseback but I am particularly fond of looking at you. I know your shape quite well."
He smirked, and she could feel the heat rushing to her cheeks.
"Your breasts have swelled since our time on the ship... so I had your chamber pots sent to the maester to test..."
Her eyes widened in anticipation of what he was implying.
"Am I the only lover you've bedded since arriving in Westeros?"
She was blindsided by this, of course he was the only person she had been with, and how could he not know!
"I have been true to you! To us! Do you honestly believe I would," he interrupted her with a kiss which was more tender and forceful than even their first kiss had been. And when he pulled back and looked at her, his eyes glistened with joy.
"Then the heir you carry inside you is mine." He touched her belly, and smiled. "You won't show for some time, so our little Targaryen prince or princess is our secret for now. But I will not subject our child to life as a bastard."
Her face beamed in astonishment as she placed a hand on top of his over her belly. "A child... we're having a child?"
Tears flooded her eyes as she looked at him, and he kissed her once more before pressing his forehead to hers.
"Be my wife Daenerys… be my wife AND my queen. Not for a birthright or for the sake of our people. Marry me, the bastard. You are my greatest love."
"No," she whispered. The two words knocked all the wind from him and he looked at her with his soft eyes as she continued, "The Dragon Queen will marry Aegon Targaryen. But I, Daenerys Targaryen, will marry the great and noble Jon Snow… the humble and brave king who risked his life to sail south and stole my heart."
She touched his cheek, and locked eyes with him.
"We will rule together for the sake of our people and for the restoration of House Targaryen. But make no mistake, you and I will marry for love."