Chapter 1 – Daenerys
"I will fight for you. I will fight for the North…"
Jon Snow looked her in the eyes again, which made her stomach flutter, though she did not even acknowledge it to herself. She could see a glimmer of gratitude and something that was perhaps disbelief, in the Northerner's eyes. The Warden of the North who was calling himself King. The thought made Daenerys angry. She was the rightful queen of the Seven Kingdoms – and the North was one of those kingdoms. And yet…
No. No, no, no. Of course she wasn't finished.
"…when you bend the knee."
The gratitude and hope were gone, and were instantly replaced with a deep sadness. Part of Daenerys felt bad. There was such a woeful look in the Northern lord's dark eyes, and she was fully aware that she was the cause of it. Yet she steeled herself. Jon Snow shouldn't have been so stubborn in the first place. She should have insisted that he swore fealty back in the throne room when they first met. She should have taken him outside to be roasted by Drogon for refusing to follow an order. Dany simply couldn't see why Tyrion liked him.
Yet she couldn't feel angry towards him, not really. He had been honest with her from the start, a trait that not many people possessed. He had to be a great warrior to do the things Ser Davos had said he did, and he genuinely seemed to have the North's best interests at heart. At the very least, you're better than Cersei. His words flashed through her mind. Maybe she could change his way of thinking: he did seem so keen on defeating whatever he'd seen beyond the Wall. Which happened to be real, if the Children of the Forests' cave paintings were anything to go by.
It seemed like an eternity of pensive staring before Jon finally spoke.
"My people… won't accept a southern ruler," he said, slowly, his accent lingering on every word. He looked contrite. "Not after everything they've suffered." Daenerys took two steps closer to him and he backed away half a pace and looked at her, trying to determine how she would respond.
"They will if their king does," she replied simply, trying not to wince at how soft her voice had become. She had not intended to go softly on the so-called King in the North. Yet here they were. They now stood so closely together that Dany could speak in little more than a whisper now. "They chose you to lead them. They chose you to protect them." She paused, her voice hardening as she realised Jon had looked down. Is that the kind of influence I will let him have on me? Pull yourself together. "Isn't their survival more important than your pride?"
It was a few seconds, but when Jon Snow finally looked back to her, it was a mix of horror and fear that crossed his face, as though she had said something truly disturbing. Dany couldn't help but feel startled. He opened his mouth to say something, then stopped, and looked away again. He twitched uncomfortably and stepped back again. Perhaps I just made a really good point.
"What is it?"
"N-nothing…" Their eyes met again. His expression reminded her of when Ser Davos had tried to sing his praises, back in the throne room. A knife in the heart for his people… Daenerys turned her gaze back to the carving in the wall, of the alleged White Walkers. The icy blueness of the eyes did make her feel a tad unsettled.
It took a minute for the King in the North to regain his composure.
"Sorry," he said gruffly, taking the fire torch. "It's just… I said those exact words to another, once. They didn't listen. They're dead, now."
"I'm sorry," Daenerys replied. She fiddled restlessly with her hands, wracking her brains to think of something diplomatic and meaningful to say in response, all while pondering why this man had the power to make her feel the way she did. Luckily, an interruption came in the form of quick footsteps. Jon took another step backwards and Missandei hurried into view.
"Your Grace," she breathed, looking from Daenerys to Jon. "Lord Snow."
"Are you alright?" Dany asked her. "What has happened?"
"Lord Tyrion and Lord Varys have come down to the beach, Your Grace," the young advisor explained. "I think they need to speak with you."
Daenerys nodded, motioning to Missandei to walk beside her as they began to make their way out of the cave. Another set of footsteps was enough to know that Jon Snow was following them. She felt cold, despite the fire from the torch. The drawing of the White Walkers, and those blue, blue eyes… made her shiver, though she would never admit to it. She knew she'd never forget it. And she wouldn't forget how solemn and sad Jon looked while they spoke.
They walked together in steady, companionable silence until they had left the inner cavern and re-joined Ser Davos, who had been watching some of Jon's men hammering away at the glittering obsidian. The metallic scent of cold steel and the dust hung heavy in the air and Daenerys resisted the urge to cough violently. Instead, she glanced over at Jon who had moved slightly to her right. He had been brooding, entirely consumed in his own sombre thoughts. Now, he gave his older Hand a rueful smile and a slight shake of the head. Dany's stomach jolted. He had been counting on it she realised. That's why he came here. Not to bend the knee. He wanted to be allies and fight together, without having to surrender his crown. She thought for a moment about what he had said. Why wouldn't the Northerners accept her? It's dreary in the North, Tyrion had told her – but what did he know, really? If only Ser Jorah was here Daenerys thought gloomily. He was a northerner. He may even have known some of the people Jon spoke of. She frowned. But then again, what would Jorah think of Jon? With that, she looked up at the so-called king.
"Your Grace?" he said hesitantly, his dark eyes questioning. An amused half-smirk played about his lips. "Shall we go?"
It was then that Dany realised that all three of them were staring at her. I must have been brooding as intensely as Jon does she thought, pulling herself together.
"Yes," she replied, a little more sharply than she had intended. "The dragonglass is yours to mine. For now, let's leave."
She walked straight towards the cave exit. Jon came to walk beside her, still holding the burning torch. Missandei and Davos followed behind them, exchanging mundane pleasantries. Dany was glad to see them getting along well. If Jon had bent the knee, this would be turning out even better she thought bitterly, deliberately resisting the strong and strange urge to stare at the northern king beside her.
The small group walked out of the cave, all blinking desperately as the darkness of the mine gave way to the bright light of day. Daenerys opened her eyes to see Tyrion and Varys waiting for them as Missandei had said. Both men looked grave and apprehensive as Jon put the torch into the moist sand to douse the flame.
"What is it?" she asked, failing to keep the hint of dread out of her voice.
"…We took Casterly Rock," Tyrion told her after a couple of seconds.
"That's very good to hear," she replied warmly, encouraging them to continue. Then she noticed the look exchanged between them. "…Isn't it?" she faltered.
Varys nodded to Tyrion to continue.
"The Unsullied would have found taking the Rock an easier task than we had first imagined, it seems. Most of Lannister forces were too busy storming Highgarden. And as for our fleet… and Lady Olenna…"
Seconds later, Daenerys began to storm away across the beach; Tyrion, Varys and Missandei hot on her heels with Jon and Davos not far behind.
"If you want to discuss this amongst yourselves –" began Ser Davos.
"You will stay." Daenerys commanded. She was so angry that she didn't remember that the man didn't actually take orders from her. She continued. "All my allies are gone. They've been taken from me while I've been sitting here on this island!"
Dany and Tyrion then proceeded to argue about armies and strategy.
"Your strategy has lost us Dorne, the Iron Islands and the Reach!" she shouted in frustration, before insulting her Hand further, insinuating that he wanted to help Cersei rather than overthrow her.
Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal all screeched in unison overhead. Part of her wanted to take her children straight to the Red Keep, to end this war and get it over with. She said as much. Daenerys then turned around slightly to see Jon and Davos still stood slightly apart from the rest of the group. She noticed how uncomfortable Jon looked and slowly began to realise how loud and tyrannical she must have looked.
Positioning herself just enough to look the northern king straight in the eyes, Daenerys then asked Jon, "What do you think I should do?"
Jon Snow shifted uncomfortably under her calm, yet enraged gaze. Dany suppressed a sigh; the words had been out of her mouth before she could even think about it, and the look on his face told her she wouldn't get the answer she was hoping for.
"I would never presume to –"
She cut him off. "I'm at war. I'm losing." She took several slow paces towards him, ignoring the curious looks from Varys and Missandei. "What do you think I should do?"
Jon began to talk about the people who followed her, and then about her idea to use the dragons in Kings Landing, and her idea to make the world a better place.
"But if you use them, to melt castles and burn cities, you're not different. You're just more of the same."
Daenerys continued to stare at him. She had to admit his words had merit. But she had not expected him to say all that. You're going to listen to him, a man who you may one day have to fight, and not Tyrion, your loyal and trustworthy Hand? a voice in her head rang. Dany ignored it, all while trying to figure out what to say next. Luckily for her, again, someone else spoke instead.
"Your Grace, my lords, excuse me," Missandei piped up. "But, what is that over there?"
"That there is a ship, Your Grace, and it's on its way here," Ser Davos responded before anyone else could. Dany's brow furrowed. She didn't know a lot about the Onion Knight at all, but she had heard he was a skilled sailor.
"Well, it's not ours," Jon said after a few moments of silence, trying to break the tension.
"Perhaps one of the Greyjoys survived after all!" Daenerys said, failing to not sound too excited. Yara or Theon? Yara or Theon? Yara or Theon?
"No such joy, Your Grace," Davos replied after a few more seconds. "Red and gold, with a lion on the sail. A Lannister ship, of all things."
Dany wheeled around to face Tyrion in alarm, and she saw he had visibly paled under his beard.
"A Lannister ship…" Tyrion said quietly. He looked up to meet her lilac gaze. "My sister."
A/N: Thank you so much for reading. This is actually the first bit of fanfiction I have ever written so I beg you all to be nice if you leave a review (and please do!). I know this plotline probably sounds a bit weird but trust me I am going somewhere with it. Eventual Jonerys and no dragons will die. Promise. I will try to update as often as possible but with college five days a week and working all weekend I am quite busy. Cheers again!