A bit of a necessary foreward: Go easy on me, guys. I'm very out of practice and I've had a terrible month. For those of you who follow me on Tumblr (tomakeitbeautifultolive), you know exactly why. For those of you who don't know, well. One of my dearest friends was critically injured in an accident at the very beginning of July. It's been a loooong and stressful month, to say the least. Completely devoid of creativity. But she pulled through, because she's a fucking superhero. And now I owe her some good readin'
Lastly, big thanks to EVERYONE who left me kind comments on this fic during my impromptu hiatus. I appreciate it more than you know. I'm still getting back in the swing of things and playing a lot of catch up so bear with me! Onto the chapter!
Despite finding himself pushed to the very edge of the bed, Jon woke with a sigh of relief. Between he and Sam lie a snoring Ghost, his thick white coat keeping the icy drafts at bay. Since Ghost had had such an eventful day, Jon decided to let the wolf sleep in alongside his friend. And so, he slipped quietly from the bed, painfully tugging on layer after layer of cumbersome leather and fur with his bandaged hand before heading out.
The morning was dark, grey and dreary, as if night stubbornly clung to the sky. Jon took his time wandering through the castle grounds, taking those moments of solitude to think of anything but the distressing events of the night before, unable to come to grips with the fact that some dead never get the chance to rest.
Instead, he imagined what his life might be like had he yielded it to the Night's Watch some three months ago. While the day was cold, as usual, it wasn't the chill in the air that sent a shiver down his spine, then. After all, the night that Daenerys had confessed her feelings for him had been the very same night he all but begged his Uncle Benjen to take him when he left for Castle Black.
The Wall isn't going anywhere, Benjen had said. You don't understand what you'd be giving up.
So lost in his thoughts, Jon had managed to, quite literally, run into his sister.
The girl's eyes widened as she recovered from their collision, "Jon!"
"Why are you alone?"
"I'm not alone," she said, gesturing toward her tall, raven-haired friend—the same boy she'd been trailing like pup the last several days.
"I meant where is Arstan?"
"Breaking his fast with the Maester."
"And why aren't you with him?"
"I was busy looking for you."
"Because Daenerys isn't feeling well. She said she needs your help."
Turning on his heel, Jon started toward the dining hall to find Aemon.
"Where are you going?" she called.
"Fetchin' the maester."
"No," she protested. "Dany doesn't need a maester. She said she needs you."
The boy at her side let a chuckle slip, quickly met with a glare from Jon. "Go on, then," Jon raised his voice, his frustration with his sister flaring. "Go find Arstan and stay by his side. I'll check on Daenerys. The next time I see you, you had better not be alone."
Arya tugged the boy's arm before scuttling off toward the dining hall, turning back to shout as she rounded a corner. "I'm not alone!"
Shaking his head, Jon swiftly stomped his way up the King's Tower to assist his wife. The more his irritation with his sister waned, the more his stomach tied itself in knots. Upon reaching her door, Jon pounded his left fist into the wood, worried now.
"Daenerys, let me in."
"It's open," he heard her small voice call. Already, his mind started spinning lectures for her. She was in there alone with the door unlocked—those seeing Ser Barristan breaking fast without her might put two and two together. Shaking the thoughts him his head, he reminded himself, It doesn't matter. I'm here, now.
Once inside, Jon noticed a hump shifting beneath a mess of blankets on the girls' bed.
More shifting occurred, yet no answer came. His stomach gave another helpless flip as he approached her. Drawing back several blankets, he revealed a pink-flushed face, lashes fluttering a bit as if she were dreaming. However, he knew his wife well enough to know she was faking it, for whatever reason. Jon pressed the back side of his good hand to her forehead to check her temperature. She did feel a bit warm.
"Are you all right? Tell me what's wrong," he pleaded, brushing the hair from her face.
From underneath the blanket came an outstretched arm. Even with eyes clenched shut, Daenerys skillfully unfastened Jon's cloak. He hardly had time to process what she'd done before it fell to the floor with a thump. His gaze drifted from the discarded garment back to his wife, just in time to see the same hand reaching for him a second time. Dany discreetly opened one of her eyes to spy him as she grabbed a fist full of his leather doublet, yanking him down into bed with her.
Unsurprisingly, Jon toppled over her, trying his best to dodge her belly in his descent, to keep his muddied boots from touching the bedding. As he floundered beside her, she broke into a fit of laughter before leaning in to place a kiss to his lips. Disgruntled, now, Jon dodged her when she came in for a second helping.
"What in seven hells was that about?"
As if in sync with his question, Daenerys shed the remaining blanketed layers in one swift motion, revealing she'd had on absolutely nothing beneath them. Jon's eyes doubled in size, instantly gaping at her naked body.
"Now I've got you alone and all to myself," she threatened.
A beautiful threat it was. Daenerys smiled, hooking a leg over his side before pulling her body on top of his. As his mouth was claimed again in a hurried kiss, he internally cursed all the leather that only served to bar his skin from hers. His unbandaged hand took advantage of her nakedness, helping to ward off any sign of gooseflesh as her familiar heat rose to the surface, hot to the touch. While Daenerys clung to him, crushing his mouth with hers, Jon found an erotic sort of thrill in that while he was still dressed head to toe, she didn't have a single stitch on her body.
Cruelly, she broke from his mouth, pulling him back to the plane of reality.
"Did you lock the door?"
Unfortunately, the response had been the best he could manage on such short notice—at least with a head drained of blood as it all went rushing elsewhere. Luckily, a furrowed brow had expressed enough doubt to lift Dany to her feet to solve that very issue.
Quickly, Jon propped himself up on his elbows to watch her sprint to the door, admiring the way her bottom bounced each time a foot collided with the hard floor. As she fought with the stubborn lock, Jon marveled at her body, something he hadn't gotten to see much of since before they left Winterfell. Naturally, his eyes fell on her belly—he'd felt it plenty, but seeing its prominent curve filled him with a satisfaction like he'd never felt before.
"Are you done yet?"
After finally twisting the lock into submission, Dany turned to him, incredulous, her loose hair falling around her shoulders. Jon ran a tongue over his bottom lip as she moved her long tresses out of the way of her breasts, pushing her chest forward. "Here I thought you might enjoy the view."
"Such a tease," he accused her, running his left hand over the stiff leather at his groin.
The simple motion lured her back to the bed. She reached first for his bulge, keeping a tight grip on it as she climbed atop once more. Daenerys wasted no time before tugging free the laces of his doublet, her breasts swaying in tandem with her efforts. Jon watched them, waiting to be wrenched free of his bothersome garments before latching on to her left nipple. He stayed there long enough to tease it taut with teeth and tongue before letting his fingers take over. As his lips moved onto her right breast, Dany maneuvered him free of his trousers while he worked.
So busy with the task at hand, Jon only briefly felt her wetness before she was fully seated on his cock and sighing in relief—a deliciously cramped fit for the both of them. Daenerys took a handful of his curls, peeling him away from her before dragging her palms down his neck and over his chest, pushing him backward. The want pooling in her eyes, alone, had been enough to make his cock twitch inside of her—an involuntary act that only strengthened her intent to use him as she saw fit.
After collapsing onto his chest, a veil of silver fell around their heads. The heat of her skin finally flush against his had sent his head swirling, a feeling he only just realized he'd been taking for granted. Dany began bucking her hips so hard a steady kiss proved impossible. Instead, a small, rigid tongue flitted just inside his mouth when she could reach it; wet, pillowy lips dragged over his chin when she couldn't. Digging his fingers into her right hip, he tried to match her pace—his efforts a series of clumsy, discordant movements with the aid of only one hand. Dany didn't seem to mind, though. Each time he took another invasive plunge inside of her, she rewarded him with an array of satisfied sobs.
So caught up in wringing Daenerys free of every last groan her tired lungs had to offer, he failed to realize how much pressure had built inside of him. There was no time left to warn her before the first pulse of his orgasm struck, his cock jerking inside of her in just the way she liked. Dany lifted herself up enough to spy his scrunched face, swirling her hips until she knew he had finished, and a few times more, for good measure.
They lie locked together afterward, simply staring into each other's eyes. "I'm sorry, Dany," Jon huffed after a moment. "Let's finish you off."
After leaning in for a quick kiss, Dany was on her feet and scampering toward the privy, likely to clean herself up before putting Jon to work. She had made it about halfway before a knock rattled the door.
"Seven hells!" he heard her curse, flinching and covering her nudity out of instinct. "Who's there?"
"Just a moment!"
Daenerys retraced her steps to grab a tall stack of clothing from the wardrobe. She motioned for Jon to answer the door before sprinting, stark-naked, to the privy and locking herself inside. After hastily dressing, Jon picked his cloak up off of the ground, re-fastening the straps. Feeling almost feverishly hot back in his many layers, the pain in his right hand seared him anew.
After doing a piss-poor job of lacing himself back up left-handed, Jon unlocked and opened the door. Aemon had looked in good spirits, not even the least bit winded after climbing the tower.
"Jon," the old man greeted him.
"I'm afraid Daenerys had to use the privy."
"Oh, that's quite alright," he smiled, moving forward, straight toward the chairs at the center of the room. "I'm a bit early, after all."
"Allow me," Jon said, pulling one out and helping guide the maester to his seat before taking the chair beside him. "What brings you this mornin'?"
"Why, the dragon eggs, of course," he smiled. "Easier to bring myself up this tower than lug those heavy things down to my quarters, I suspect."
Aemon laughed, "I imagine they're not unlike like the egg I had myself, as a boy."
"You had a dragon egg?"
"That I did. As did my brothers."
"What happened to it?"
"I suppose it was just another thing lost at Summerhall."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Jon said, running a hand through his sweaty mess of a mane, regretting his inability to find any combination of more suitable condolences. The education they'd received from Maester Luwin had conveniently left out much of the recent Targaryen history for what he always assumed was Dany's protection, but in retrospect, it was likely for his, as well.
"Jon," Aemon said, shaking the boy from his wandering thoughts. "The Lord Commander would have a word with you this morning."
"With me? What for?"
Suddenly appearing without warning, Daenerys cleared her throat. Aside from flushed cheeks, she looked every bit the lady she sure hadn't been only moments ago. Silver hair had been swept up into loose twists at either temple, quite reminiscent of Margaery Tyrell's, and she donned a poorly stitched knee-length riding dress over a pair of trousers. Good girl, Jon thought.
"Daenerys," the man smiled, his clouded eyes unmoving. "Are you feeling well this morning?"
"Quite well," she said, offering Jon a secret smirk.
After his wife stepped forward, it was then that Jon realized both men had taken up the only available seats. He shot straight up, pulling his chair out further before offering it to her. Squeezing his hand in thanks, Daenerys smoothed the stiff fabric of her dress before taking a seat.
"I'll leave you two to it," Jon said.
"Where are you going?"
"Commander Mormont would like a word with me."
Daenerys frowned. "Come back after?"
"I'll try my best," he replied, stepping forward to place a kiss on Dany's forehead. "Maester," he nodded to the blind man, who nodded in reply.
Upon reaching the door, he gave his wife one last smile before mouthing another apology for leaving his job unfinished.
Daenerys felt her heart slump in her chest as she watched him leave. Again. While seeing Aemon always filled her with contentment, she wanted Jon to get to know the man, as well.
Resisting the urge to sigh, she turned to her uncle. To her surprise, Aemon had produced a leatherbound book.
"What have you got there?"
"A gift," he grinned, thrusting the book forward.
Daenerys grasped it gently, inspecting the cover first. Engraved had been a title in a language she couldn't identify. Flipping through the pages, she found yet more unfamiliar words.
"I can't read this."
"Not yet, perhaps. I will help you."
"I'd like that," she decided, smoothing a fingertip over the letters, noticing the way many of the vowels were accentuated with flat lines above them.
"High Valyrian," her uncle clarified. But she already knew.
"Is it hard to learn?"
"Perhaps for an average child," he said. "Though you are anything but."
. . .
Though he'd been there the night before, Jon felt a cold sweat as he approached the Lord Commander's quarters. Jon had suspected his early morning invitation might have to do with the events the previous night—something he wasn't too keen on reliving so soon.
"Jon Snow," Mormont greeted him upon answering the door, pushing his back against it so the boy could enter. "I take it Aemon found you?"
Inside, the fireplace barely made a dent in the stubborn chill that hung in the air. And though the Lord Commander had yet to equip his cloak this morning, the cold didn't seem to faze him. It was clear he was preoccupied with whatever had been plaguing his mind as he slumped into his seat in front of the fire. Jon waited for Mormont to begin, listening to the echoes that had been carried from the training yard—the sound of men shouting and swords clanging as they dueled.
"Has he said when you'd have your hand back?"
"Soon, my lord. A week or more."
"Then I don't suppose you'll be tormenting Thorne with that pesky expertise of yours."
"Not today," he smirked.
"I suppose it matters little."
"I've ordered Thorne to take the hand your wolf found and present it at court. He leaves for King's Landing today."
A flicker of a smile tugged the corners of Jon's mouth, then. Good riddance.
"Not so fast," Mormont said, folding his hands upon the table. "Now, you and I both know I wouldn't be sitting here if it wasn't for you and that beast of yours."
"It was the least I could do, my lord."
The old man shook his head, letting a chuckle slip. "You may not have your father's name, but you have his honor."
Jon pursed his lips together to hide a scowl. Just when he thought he'd made progress on it, Mormont had reopened the wound. Silently, Jon wondered whether he'd ever grow used to being Eddard Stark's nephew, rather than his son, or whether it would always remain a sore spot.
"There have been yet more reports of blue-eyed corpses outside of Eastwatch. I didn't know what to make of any of it until a bloody blue-eyed dead man tried to kill me."
Unsure how to respond, Jon remained silent, peering out from his veil of curls to watch the old man process his thoughts. His eyes were distant, solemn.
"The Night's Watch will not sit idly by and wait for the snows," he finally continued. "I mean to get to the bottom of these reports. Alive or dead, we will find Benjen Stark."
Even seeing the bodies of Benjen's fellow rangers—first dead and then undead, Jon could hardly entertain the thought his uncle might've met the same fate. Upon lifting his head, he was met with Mormont's intent gaze.
"I want you and your wolf with us when we ride out tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" he gulped.
"A skeleton crew will be left behind to run the castle while we're away."
This was it—the offer Jon had been waiting for since arriving at Castle Black—a chance to help search for his uncle. The reality of leaving Daenerys and Arya behind made him feel ill, but it was something he knew all this time he'd have to do. And the day had finally come. She'll have Aemon, he reassured himself. And Barristan, too. The girls will be safe.
"I'll do it."
. . .
"Rytsas!" Daenerys shouted as Jon unlocked the door to find her and Aemon still planted exactly where he'd left them.
"I'm... not sure what that means, Daenerys."
"It means hello."
"Hello. In High Valyrian."
"I was gone ten minutes and now you're speakin' another language?"
Daenerys rose from her seat, swaying her hips in a way Jon was thankful Aemon couldn't see. Slinging her arms over his shoulders, she purred, "Avy jorāelan."
"Avy jorr-" Aemon repeated, taking care to roll the pair of r's on his tongue, "-āelan."
After intently listening to his correction, she turned back to Jon before making a second attempt. "Avy jorrāelan."
"I... don't know what that means."
"It means I love you."
"I love you, too," he flushed, giving his wife a quick peck on the cheek before unfastening her arms from his neck. While Aemon might not have been able to see them, it still felt like an inappropriate show of affection.
"Now you're back, will you help me with the-," she stopped mid-sentence to turn to the maester, "Zaldrīzes drōma?"
"Good!" Aemon clapped.
"Common tongue, Daenerys. Please."
"Dragon eggs," she frowned. "Help me with the dragon eggs."
"Sure," he said, following her over to the wooden chest she kept at the foot of her and Arya's bed.
"It means yes."
"All right," he groaned. "You're the one with the lessons, not me."
"For now," she teased.
After shaking his head at her, the pair tucked their fingers underneath the corners of the chest. Carefully, they lifted and walked it to the maester, setting it down beside him. After hoisting the lid, Daenerys squatted on the floor. Next to her, Jon followed suit and took a knee.
"Which one would you like to hold?" she asked, palming the dark egg, her favorite egg. "Black, green, or cream?"
"Far be it from me to fuss over which impossible relic to inspect."
Laughing along with her uncle, Daenerys lifted the onyx-and-ruby-colored egg, just grazing Aemon's fingers so he could find it. The maester took it from her, cradling its bottom much like the way one might hold a babe. For several moments, Jon studied Aemon's face as he made sense of the egg—running shaky fingers all along the ridges of its scales, lightly bouncing it to measure its weight.
"I don't mean to get your hopes up, child," he finally said, "But I'm not so sure these are petrified as you were told."
Dany's smile widened. She rubbed her hands together as if she'd just won a champion's purse full of golden dragons. Or perhaps black, green, and cream dragons, Jon thought.
"So they can be hatched?"
"Sorry, Maester," Jon cut in, "But how can you be sure they haven't turned to stone?"
"It has been a lifetime, I admit, and at the time, I was just a boy. But the weight of this egg feels similar to the ones my brothers and I were given as children, as does its scales."
Daenerys elbowed Jon excitedly, her wide eyes a dead giveaway that she had already begun conceiving new schemes to hatch the eggs. Jon didn't know what to make of it, but he knew better than to bet on the sudden reemergence of legendary beasts.
"I need to talk to you," he whispered.
Jon rose, reaching for Dany's hand to help her to her feet. "Lord Commander Mormont has invited me and Ghost beyond the Wall to help search for Benjen."
"But your hand-"
"He suggested Maester Aemon teach Sam to dress my wounds. That Sam join us."
"You're taking Sam, too?"
He nodded solemnly. "And we're leavin' tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" she asked, sounding as if her lungs had completely deflated from just one word.
"At first light."
"A fortnight or so, maybe longer."
Daenerys sighed, sinking into his chest. Enveloping her in his arms, Jon nuzzled into her hair, still a bit damp from their early morning whim. He wasn't ready to say goodbye to Daenerys, but he certainly wasn't ready to say goodbye to Benjen, either.
. . .
After a restless night, Daenerys woke just as the sun began to peek in through the frosted windows. She pulled the snoring girl beside her into her arms, hoping the embrace might ward off the last of the dead men that had lingered in her mind—remnants of the few times she managed to slip into a dream state. Inside her stomach sat a ball of dread that felt as large and heavy as one of her dragon eggs. The thought of being apart from Jon made her feel ill.
From the other room, she could hear the soft falls of boots, signaling Barristan had been up and about. Daenerys spied him from the doorway, where he came to rest at the table before reaching for her new book and flipping through its pages.
Her curiosity had been enough to pull her from the warm bed. After slipping into her boots and pulling a cloak over her gown to keep warm, she took a seat beside him.
She couldn't help but chuckle, "You speak Valyrian?"
"It was not uncommon for children of noble houses to be taught a bit of High Valyrian, though I suppose it fell out of fashion after the Rebellion."
"You learned it as a child?"
"Poorly," he admitted, setting the book down. "Most of what I learned came later, being surrounded by your family at court. I picked up enough to carry a conversation. Your mother quite liked to speak it."
Daenerys beamed at the thought. "Maester Aemon is going to teach me. Would you practice with me, then?"
"It would be my honor, Princess. Though I admit I am a little rusty."
Arya awoke to the sound their laughter, her irritation quickly waning upon realizing they'd all be making their way down to the gates shortly, to see Jon and Sam off. It was a sad morning, but Daenerys found solace in that almost all of the able-bodied men would be accompanying her husband on the trip north. She wondered what Castle Black might be like with the bare minimum left behind to run it, unsure yet whether it was something to dread or look forward to.
After everyone was dressed, the trio made their way downstairs. Outside, the men of the Night's Watch emptied the armory of its weapons—making sure every man, both seasoned and callow, had been armed. Jon and Sam were waiting for them beside a pair of horses she didn't recognize.
"Where's your horse?"
"I'm leavin' 'im with you."
"If anythin' happens to m-"
"Don't you dare," she interrupted. "Don't dare finish whatever it was you were about to say, or else..."
"Or else what?"
"Or else you'll be in an unimaginable world of suffering for defying your wife's order."
"I wouldn't dare."
"You'd better come back to me, Jon Snow," she reminded him.
"Always," he said, wrapping both his arms and his cloak around her, almost crushing her from the force of his embrace. "I promise."
Underneath the shield of his cloak, Daenerys let her hands wander south to pinch at his backside—finding satisfaction in both groping his shapely bottom and making him squirm. "You still owe me."
"I haven't forgotten," he said, before pressing a pair of warm lips to her forehead.
Once he finally let go of her, Sam swooped in for a goodbye hug of his own as Jon mussed Arya's hair, careful not to get too affectionate and risk ruining her clever disguise. This is it, Daenerys thought with a heavy heart. He's really leaving.
Awkwardly, Jon climbed onto his horse using his left hand. Daenerys noticed that attached to his sword belt was a hand-and-a-half sword, a bit larger than he was used to. Hopefully, he wouldn't have to use it. Finally, her gaze drifted to Jon's, and the pair held eye contact as the gate was slowly lifted.
Jeor Mormont led the men through the dark tunnel before them, many of which carried torches to light their way. Jon hesitated long enough to mouth something that looked an awful lot like avy jorrāelan.
Eyes welling with tears, now, Daenerys waved goodbye to him. She watched intently as Ghost ran ahead, swerving through the many mounted men. The small army bled into the darkness, even Jon. She stayed behind until the gate finally descended, acting as a physical bar between her and the man she loved. Already, the separation felt like too much to bear.
Another Annoying Author's Note: I believe I said this before, but, I have no interest in writing long periods of separation between Jon and Dany. In some cases, this will involve a jump forward in time. This time, I predict just one Jon-less chapter from Dany's POV, until he's back. This chapter was almost a chore to write because I'm so excited for what happens when Dany is left alone. Hopefully, it'll be as exciting to read as it is in my head! And just to reiterate—because I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say Jon is *not* getting kidnapped by the wildlings. I left out the bits about the wildling reports for a reason. Oh and before you ask—No, Jon doesn't have Longclaw (yet).