The Lion Queen and the Prince of The Sun
"I only want to sleep, my head hurts." The Lord of the Vale and Warden of the East said with a pout as his servants dressed him in a pale blue doublet and cream trousers, Alayne noticed that he had heavy dark rings under his eyes and he was paler than he had been before. He had been a weak boy when she had meet him for the first time, and he was weaker now.
He was going to die, perhaps she should feel worse about that and perhaps not long ago she would have done but so much had happened that any sadness she might have felt for the little lord had been buried beneath the armor that she needed to form in order to ensure that she would be able to survive meant that she couldn't feel sorrow, not for anyone. Not anymore.
She knew that Lord Petyr was poisoning him, it had not taken her long to come to that conclusion. Indeed, it was the only one that made any sort of sense to her when all of the pieces were finally put together. Petyr had his ambitions and it had not taken Alayne long to realize what those ambitions were in the end and she had spent a great deal of time thinking what it was that she wanted, what her ambitions were if she even had them.
And the truth was, she wanted to go home. She wanted to be back behind the walls of Winterfell, her home where her last truly happy memories had been, where she had been safe and her best chance of getting there was to put her trust in Petyr, at least for a little while. Just until she was finally home and then she would...she wasn't sure what she would do.
She needed to get home, before she could think about that. And Petyr was how she got home, he was the one who had all of the friends and it had not escaped her notice that she was in his power, as not long ago she had been in the power of House Lannister. Petyr did not seem as bad as the Queen or Joffrey, that was hardly saying anything of course.
But surviving Joffrey had prepered her to survive anything, she might thank him for that if she did not hate him so very much. Perhaps it had made her stronger, but even if it had done so surely that wasn't worth it. She shouldn't have had to bee strong, she should have just been able to be safe, Joffrey was meant to keep her safe.
No, she wasn't going to shed any more tears because of Joffrey, she wasn't going to shed any more at all if she had any say in it. Besides, Alyane Stone had never been betrothed to Joffrey Baratheon, how could she be when she was just a bastard daughter of Lord Petyr Baelish, no prince would ever stoop so low as to marry her.
And so, she turned her attentions on to the charge that Petyr had given her. "I know my little lord, and were it up to me alone then I would surely let you sleep. But so many of your lords and ladies have come to see you, we can not disappoint them. Otherwise their hearts will be broken, I bet many of them have brought daughters who only came all this way to see you, if they don't then they will have tears in their eyes. You don't want to make them weep, do you?"
"I don't care." Robert Arryn said with a whimper as he wiped at his own teary eyes. He had not been able to stop crying ever since they had came down from the Mountain to avoid the winds of winter and to avoid being trapped in the Eyrie, he still missed his mother no doubt and a part of Sansa wished that she could spare him the pain of it, but no one could ever keep you utterly safe from pain.
But she could at least wipe his tears away and make his life as easy as possible before he finally reached his end, which if she knew Petyr well enough was not likely to be very long away. And so, that was what she did as she knelt in front of the little lord and reached out to wipe the tears away with a square of silk. "Oh, you don't mean that my brave little lord. You are such a gallent knight, greater than any of the knights that have ever come before you. Please come and say hello to all of them for me, won't you please?"
Robert sniffled, but no more tears fell after that. "If I do," He began and it took all that Alayne had to not let out a sigh. Honestly, the boy could have quite a future as a merchant if he had any sort of future at all considering how he always seemed to haggle after anyone even made the slighest request of him. "Will you read me ten stories tonight? And cuddle me as I sleep?"
"If that is what my lord wishes, but you must be on your best behaviour if you are to be given ten stories."
"I want them all to be stories about the Winged Knight."
"Of course, my Lord." She wasn't certain if there were even that many stories about the Winged Knight if she was to be honest but she was also fairly sure that she would be able to make some up, just tell him that they were stories that he had not heard before. To tell it true, she doubted that he would be smart enough to figure that out.
Regardless, it finally got him out of the room and that was what she needed. They walked hand in hand through the corridors of the Gates of the Moon, it was still winter down here as well and there was a chill in the air that attested to that fact but it was nothing compared to what it had been in the Eyrie, in truth it did not even compare to a mild day of summer in Winterfell.
But all the same, it was there. A reminder for all of those that cared to listen out for it, a warning for what was to come and pity all those who choose not to heed it.
Winter was Coming. For all of them.
Together they walked through the Lord's door into the feast hall of the gates but as soon as she entered the hall, she felt something in the air. There was a tension, something was wrong. She tried to find Petyr, it did not take her long as he was sitting at the high table to the left of the Lord's seat, a position of high honor that was granted to him by virture of his position of Lord Protector, and he seemed to enjoy the grumbles that caused as much as the seat itself.
But the look on his face, she had never seen him look like that. Not even once, his eyes were narrowed and his lips were pressed into a thin line and his hands were clenched into fists and he was paler than she had ever seen him before. There was a great deal of muttering in the air, questions being asked to neighbours.
She followed Peter's gaze to the middle of the room where a smalll group was standing, of all of them the one that caught her attention first was the woman at the head of the group. She had grown taller since Sansa had seen her last, her hair was longer and her eyes burned with something that had not been there the last time Sansa had seen her but she knew that it was her.
Myrcella Baratheon, the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms were here. Next to her was a man who by his colouring could on be her husband, one of Prince Doran's sons. Behind the both of them were ladies that had to be Myrcella's maids, Sansa's heart nearly stopped when she noticed that one of the brown haired ones was Margaery Tyrell.
There were two figures, both in white plate and both with helms on so she could not make out any of their features but their features were not the important part of them, what was important about them was the swords at their hips. Sansa tried to swallow around the knot in her throat but it would not loosen itself and she tugged at Robert's hand. "My lord, come with me now. I've changed my mind, you can sleep for as long as you want to do so. Let us go back to your chambers now."
Of course, he would not listen to her and began to struggle with her which drew the attention of almost all in the room. Myrcella's eyes narrowed at her and Margaery came forward to whisper into her ear and Sansa wanted for all the world to just run out of the room, but she knew if she did so she would simply be dragged back in.
"Your Grace," Lord Petyr began then to break the heavy silence that had fallen on all of them. It seemed that he had managed to regain his composure as his normal smile, the smile that always seemed to suggest that he knew everyone's secrets. "I was not expecting you, you should have sent word on ahead as I am afraid we have no rooms prepared for you."
"Oh, that's quite all right Lord Baelish, I do not intend to stay for very long when it comes to that." The smile on Myrcella's face looked sweet, but Sansa had seen it before on the Queen's face and she knew that it was poison covered in honey, simply waiting for some poor fool to come and take a taste of it and met their doom. "A good thing too that I rode ahead of my host and told you that, the poor steward would be at a loss if he had to try and find room for all those knights and all those men-at-arms."
Petyr's smile wavered at her words, but only for a moment. "Your Grace is very considerate indeed, and what a mighty host that sounds like. Are you off to war then, your Grace? I can't remember a time that a Queen rode to war since Rhaenerya Targaryen."
"Oh no, not off to war my Lord. A progress, I can not know my kingdom if I spend all of my time in the capital. I have brought food to the people and coin as well, judgement and I hope some peace. The stories of outlaws in the Riverlands around the Twins has brought me no small amount of worry, my Lord Grandfather has told me such stories when I dined with him a week ago outside the walls of Riverrun, he asked me to return to the capital in fact."
"Could you blame him for such a thing, your Grace? You may be his Queen but you are still his granddaughter as well. So, you are doubly precious to him. I would beg of you to return to King's Landing as well, your safety is all that matters to us your servants, who love you well." Petyr spun the lie so easily that even Sansa found it hard not to believe him.
"Your love touches my heart, my Lord. But I do not intend to return to the capital, not just yet." Myrcella ripped her gaze away from Petyr and looked at her, no, she was looking at Robert Arryn. She moved across the room towards them, the rustle of her skirts against the floor to Sansa almost sounded like it was as loud as a war drum.
Myrcella leaned so she was looking into Robert's eyes. "Hello, Lord Robert. It's been a very long time since we've seen one another, you were very small back then. Do you know who I am?"
"You're the Queen." Robert said and then tilted his head up at Myrcella. "My Mother said that your Mother killed my Father."
The silence that followed those words was the longest that Sansa had ever experinced in her life, the shock of Myrcella's face was clear for them all to see. She managed to cover it up and the smile on her face returned, even if it was the slighest bit strained. "Did she indeed? Well, I don't know why she would say such a thing as I know that not to be true." Myrcella rose to her feet and looked back at Baelish. "Indeed, I would hope that this is first time that you have heard your charge say these words Lord Baelish as a loyal lord would be quick to correct him."
"Children are capable of saying the queerest things, your Grace. They tell tales, and Lysa was a frightful creature but she was never someone who would hold treason in her heart. But perhaps, in her fear, she may have told her son some lies. But in my heart, I know that my late wife went to her grave with nothing but love for you in heart."
"That may be so, but what of your lies, my lord?" Petyr's smile utterly fell away then and Myrcella turned around to face her properly and Sansa thought she finally understood how a doe felt when it was cornered by a lion. "A lovely girl, this one. Your bastard daughter, this is the story that has reached my ears in King's Landing and on the road as well."
"That is the truth of it, your Grace."It was a talent to his skill as a liar that his voice was even but Sansa could see that he had a thin layer of sweet forming on his skin and he was playing with a ring on his finger, the lords and ladies in the hall were leaning closer and some were standing to listen closer. Lady Waynwood was leaning on her stick and looked as fierce as any lord, Lord Royce looked like he was about ready to pounce on Lord Baelish for even the slightest provcation.
"Now, that lie might work on someone who had not spent several months with with woman but I have. You've darkened her hair somewhat, but these are the same blue eyes that I knew well. My Lords and Ladies, this is not Alayne Stone. This, is Lady Sansa Stark of Winterfell. The daughter of the traitor, Lord Eddard Stark and a suspect in the murder of my brothers. You, Lord Baelish, for some nefarious purpose have been harboring her here. In my name, arrest him!"
It was hard to remember what had happened next, Robert had been screaming and there had been shouts for blood, shouts of objection and pleas for mercy and pleas for a head and the next thing that Sansa knew she was in her own chambers, one of the sleeves of her dress had been torn and she was sitting on a bed, alone.
She had to have been stting there a few hours, as the sky was begining to darken when Myrcella finallly came to her. She looked even older now, a woman when it had been a girl who sailed away from King's Landing. "War has aged the both of us, my Lady." Myrcella said, like somehow she had known what she had been thinking, before she moved across the room and sat down in the chair.
"Are you sure it is safe to be alone with me, I am a murderer after all." Sansa didn't know what she was doing, but for a moment she wished that she did have a knife she could sink into the woman's throat. Or at least try to, losing her head for attempting to do so would at least be better then being a prisoner, or a pawn, in King's Landing.
"You aren't a killer, and my Queensguard are right outside. You would not be able to do anything to me before I called them in and they would stop you, however they thought it was needed." Myrcella tilted her head, her eyes caught the light of the moon that was just appearing and it almost seemed to make them glow. "Whatever this was, whatever Lord Baelish planned or promised you, that's over now. In fact, I intend to have his head struck off in the morning."
Once, that might have sadden her but now it just seemed so much hard work to care. "And me? Is my head to be struck off as well?"
"We both know that in the end, you are far too valuable for that." Myrcella sighed, her hand coming up to push a loose lock of hair back. "Not as valuable, considering that your sister is now in Winterfell and wed to Ramsay Bolton, but all the same your blood is old and another claim to the North could come in great use in the days and weeks to come."
Sansa leaned her head back and shut her eyes, trying not to cry like the child inside herself that she had thought that she had killed by now. "And in the meantime, where am I to go? What am I to do?"
"You will not be returning to King's Landing, if that is any comfort to you. That is as much a kindess to you as it is to me, I don't need gossip of me bringing the woman accused to be my brother's killers back with me. If nothing else, there would need to be a trial as I can not simply pardon you without it looking like perhaps my brothers were killed at my behest."
"Where then?" For a moment, a queer notion of her being placed in a motherhouse somewhere crept into her mind and oddly she found that she almost seemed to like the idea of it. A quiet place, the only noise the sound of prayers and singing with good food and a warm bed to sleep in. Yes, maybe she would indeed like that.
"Where else?" Myrcella smiled, and Sansa gulped down the poisoned honey if she wanted to or not. "The Lion's den."
End of Chapter Fourteen
Well, this is a story I've not updated in a very long time, a year today in fact but it's a story that I always meant to come back to at some point. I hope that everyone is glad to see me return to it, at the very least as I've enjoyed getting back in the mindset for it.
Anywho, next chapter we get in the mind of my favourite Lannister sibling which you should know who it is by now, considering Tyrion's dead you only have the two options.
Anywho, please leave a review and follow and favourite if you enjoyed.
With a lot of love and the warmest regards,