A/N: Well... here we are. Almost two years, through good times, bad times, and truly shit times, we are here at the end of Empire of Ice and Fire. What began as a fun tribute and ended as a needed catharsis, we come to the ending we all deserved in the series. Not a rushed, contemptible, corrupted shitshow by incompetents but a wonderful, sweet, fitting ending after a massive thrill ride that delivers on everything promised.
Don't you fret, there will be a sequel. It'll be called Dance of Dragons and it will be awesome. For a hint as to it, check out the awesome map of the Empire on Archive, by the awesome Preacher 2125. I'll let everyone know when it's out, but until then be sure to check out my other fics: Heart of the Blessed, Last Hope for Westeros (on archive of our own), My Father's Son, and the completed fic A Terrible Resolve!
Also, just want to give a shoutout to some new GoT stories that I think are awesome: one's called From the Ashes Begin Anew by bykim0120 - it's an alternate telling of Aegon's Conquest; another is called Wolves of War by my good friend GulfYankee23 that's a post season 8 ressurection/reconciliation fic; one is a unique spin on the post-season 8 time travel to fix the past plotline (hint, it isn't Jon or Dany going back) called Howl of the Dragonwolves by my other good friend Elphaba818; and the other is a season 8 fix-it called The Kingdom of Ice and Fire by my other good friend WhiteWolf04, starts off slow but I have assurances the plot will be awesome. All are really, really good! Check them out :D
An early morning mist had blown in from the Bay of Dragons, shrouding Meereen in a rather picturesque image. Daenerys wished she could have some sort of means to take a snapshot of the urban landscape before her. High atop the great pyramid - high above the mists and the vagaries of the sprawling metropolis below - she stared upon the New Valyrian capitol city. Where the initial high of her young reign had faded in the midst of fire and blood. She wanted to remember it as this, not the sight of butchered bodies and rioting harpies in the streets.
She heard a clink on the lip of the balcony beside her. "You're thinking far too hard for this early in the morning," Jon chuckled, face crinkled with that smile of his.
Daenerys would do anything just to have him smile like that more. Nevertheless, she raises her eyebrows. "This is coming from the king of brooding?" They held a serious look before both giggling. "Just thinking of how far this city has come," she finally said, picking up the goblet of non-alcoholic fruit juice. Sipping the sweet brew, Dany found she didn't really miss wine or ale.
Jon sipped his on concoction, non-alcoholic in solidarity with his beloved. Their late great-uncle had written long before about his concern that alcohol increased the chance of feeblemindedness in babes from simple observation of wildling mothers - their drinks were strong, but in far different ways - and both had decided to heed his advice. "I remember being here during the height of the harpy rebellions. So much death, but also hope. The Citizens' Council was working together and the guild of artists was producing new masterpieces."
"King's Landing will be served well by your decision." Even in the midst of war and chaos, Jon still had the foresightedness to prepare a group of artists and artisans to journey to Westeros and ply their skills to rebuild after centuries of stagnation. "You won't simply be known as a great warrior." He's good at fighting… but hates what he's good at. Jon was good at being a benevolent ruler in the vein of Daeron II the Good, and Daenerys was sure his feelings would be far different in that regard.
"My father wanted to take a city of brick and shit and leave it of marble and gold." He closed his eyes, trying to temper his emotion at thinking of Rhaegar. "I can think of nothing more important I could do than delivering his legacy. Not just for King's Landing." He reached over, hugging her from behind. Hands resting upon the swell of her stomach.
The babe began to kick against his father's hand, Daenerys' lips widening in a huge smile. "Meereen is prospering under the new order of things. New investment from the twelve arriving." With the devastation in Westeros from years of war, many second or third sons of intact noble families saw the new Empire as an opportunity. Ten men and two women of highborn blood - half, ironically, being of bastard birth - assembled the funds and journeyed to New Valyria, ready to fill the economic hole and boundless new ventures that the end of slavery brought. Both monarchs had met with them the night before, convinced of how their plans would help New Valyria.
Jon nodded. "The world is shrinking." He set down his empty goblet and pressed his lips against the side of her neck. "But it's too early to worry." His hands reached up to cup her full breasts.
Dany purred. "And what do you think you are doing, your Grace?" Even still, she tilted her neck, wanting more of his kisses.
"Enjoying my morning." Without restraint he pulled the shoulder straps down from her thin gown, letting it fall and pool upon the tile floor. Hands back to kneading her breasts as he sucked at her pulse point. "I love your dresses."
Turning in his arms, Dany stared into his eyes. "Why?"
A happy, contented sigh left her lips. Finally able to place a memory of every part of her life with the man she married. "I can't imagine a world for me without you, Jon" she said truthfully, untying the laces of his leather gambeson and pushing it off his chest. Marveling at the sculpted muscles that were bare to her. A man gifted by all the gods that were out there to her… Qoy Qoyi… blood of my blood. "I can never thank you for what you've given me."
"You…" Jon groaned as she brought her naked body against his bare chest, nuzzling into his neck. "I did it gladly."
Daenerys began licking up his neck. "And I do this, gladly," she whispered in his ear, licking the shell. "Pleasing my Emperor. Performing my duty as a loving Empress."
Lust overtaking him, Jon growled and lifted her in his arms. Nearly six moonturns pregnant, the squealing Empress was hefted like a twig by the Emperor. "How can you do this to me, Daenerys?" Their lips crashed together as he backed her against one of the columns. "Make me this way… lose control?"
"Gods," she moaned, a flood of wetness covering. "I don't try too… but it seems that I just can't help it."
The growl deepened, like a wolf ready to attack his prey. "I need to feast on you, Dany." Keeping her pinned against the column, he slid to his knees and threw her legs around his shoulders. Baring her soaking slit to his tongue.
She shuddered as her husband licked one long trail up her slit. "Fuck! Jon! Ñuha zokla," she hissed, fisting her hands in his raven locks and gasping in pleasure. How is he so good…?
Jon refused to stop as Daenerys grinded her hips against his mouth, plunging two fingers into her warmth and wrapping his mouth around her swollen nub. "Enjoying, your Grace?"
"Uhhhhmmm," she purred, rocking against his hand. "I love yo..." she moaned, hair splayed out in tangled, wild strands. "So. Close."
"I love you too. Come Dany, come for me."
"AAAAHHH!" Dany screamed, losing control against his mouth and fingers. Curling hard, Jon then withdrew them, lapping up everything she gave him until her pulsating core stopped its motions. Feeling him ease her legs down and rise to embrace her, Dany's eyes fluttered open with a loving gaze. "You're the only man to ever give me the Lord's Kiss," she cooed, kissing him sweetly.
"The only man who ever will," grinned Jon.
Feeling the dragonfire start to heat up her core, Dany's eyes grew large. Marshalling her strength, she turned them around and pinned him against the column. "Time for the Empress to take what she wants." Bending the knee to him - her only Emperor, the only man who could ever rule her, and she him - Daenerys jerked his breeches down his legs and wrapped her fingers around his rock-hard length. "This belongs to me," she growled from deep in her throat.
"Yes, my dragon. All yours." Jon grunted as she took him in her mouth. Gargling as she went all the way, sucking hard. "Please… seven hells... don't stop..." His teeth clenched, weaving his fingers through her silver locks when she licked him all over.
Daenerys wanted to please him in every way imaginable - it was her duty to do so. The fact that doing so pleased her immensely was an added bonus. Gripping the base of his cock and licking the tip, she engulfed it in her mouth… only for her to yelp as Jon pulled her up. Pushing his pregnant wife towards their bed. "You haven't finished…"
"I need to be inside you, Dany," he winced with a harsh need. Gingerly manhandling her until she rested on the bed. All fours with her ass in the air. "Do you want the Emperor Jaehaerys to take his wife as a wolf takes his bitch?"
"Oh, gods, take me, Jaehaerys." Her hips bucked, displaying herself even more. "Take me. Take me…" Dany begged, needing Jon inside of her. Needing to feel close and loved and full.
Smirking, Jon climbed onto the bed and entered her. Immense wetness making it easy for the head of his member to simply slip inside. Burying deep till it was to the hilt. At her scream, Jon knew it was of pleasure. He knew her intimately and how much she could take. A hand moved to caress the bump swollen with their babe while the other gripped her hip. Leverage to fuck her hard.
Her mouth hung open in a silent scream. More… more… more… The silence ended as he grabbed her hair. Pulling on it, a little pain adding to the delicious pleasure. "Fucking, fuck me, my wolf!" His wolfish growls spurred her forward. Took her to the edge and back again, member stretching her so wonderfully. Her climax incoming…
"Gūrogon ñuha orvorta... " His transformation into a Valyrian Dragonlord complete, drifting into High Valyrian, Jon's eyes were fluttering open and closed as he erupted. "Daenerys!"
"Kessa, Jon, kessa!"
"To the Emperor and Empress!" Tyrion was already drunk, words slurred and swaying as he stood atop the long table. Goblet thrust in the air. "May they rule a hundred years, and their babes thousands of years after…" Toast cut off by a rather loud belch, that drew a louder applause and cheering than all other toasts, mugs and glasses clinking as the Lords and Ladies tossed their drinks back. Alcohol disappearing down their gullets.
Minstrels picking up another jaunty tune, servents brought in another course of food as the feast got going again.
Smirking, Daenerys leaned in to her goodsister to her left. "It's times like these that I am glad that Jon made you Hand."
"Well," Sansa laughed. "Tyrion does his best thinking drunk… at least I'm sure it's thinking and not just blank gazing." Both women were convinced that was a question unable to be answered.
To the left, Jon watched as the twins gushed over their cousin. "You'll be swinging warhammers in no time, little stag," Rhaegar proclaimed, pinching Sandor Baratheon's chubby cheek.
"Easy son, let him enjoy his crawling years," Jon snickered, sipping at his ale. He ought to act as a southerner now, being a dragon, but the wolf in him couldn't ever get used to the sickly sweet tartness of wine. "Perhaps this crowd…" He stared directly at Mance Giantsbane, punching a rowdy Lord Crakehall when he got a little too bawdy right in front of him. Off to the side, he was sure he spotted Tyene Martell and Bronn enjoying the affections of a servant girl. "Isn't right for a babe."
"Kepa…" Both twins wined, giving them the same pout that their mother had when she wanted to cheekily get her way.
Arya nearly fell out of her chair, laughing. "Lighten up, King Broody. My niece and nephew have been in battle, and this little stag here's gonna be a tough warrior like his mama and papa, isn't that right?" Sandor waved his arms around excitedly. Jon recognized the gesture as one Arya used to make when she was little. Definitely her son.
"Jon." He turned to see Dany motioning for the exit. Rubbing her belly.
He nodded, standing. While there was little that could still the festivities celebrating the fourth anniversary of their coronation - held at Storm's End as a goodwill gesture by Gendry and Arya Baratheon - his movements were one of them. "Well, Lords and Ladies, your presence has been an honor. And feel free to continue celebrating, but her Grace and I must make our exit." Cheers of "Lightbringer!" and "Dragon Queen!" roaring behind them, the Emperor took his Empress' hand and made their exit.
As soon as the door was closed, Jon attempted to kiss Dany but she pushed him away. "Save that, my wolf," she smirked. "But first, I have a little present for you. To commemorate our coronation day."
While the eager smile in Dany's face was infectious, Jon couldn't help but look away. Modest to the core. "Dany… you didn't have to."
She responded by grabbing his chin with her hand, forcing their lips together in a bruising kiss. Using her passion to show Jon just how much he meant to her. Their tongues battled, Emperor stronger but Empress far more determined and zealous. Overpowering Jon and plundering his mouth. "Jon…" When would he know he's worth the whole fucking world?
"I don't need a gift, Dany." A hand covering her heart, the message was clear. Having you is the greatest gift.
Swooning with love for him, Dany clasped his hands. "You spoil all of us, my love. Let me spoil you this time." Gently, she brought his hands to her stomach. "Let us show you just how much we love you."
How could he say no to that? "I love you," he murmured, tears in his eyes.
She kissed away the tears. "We love you too." At that moment their babe kicked against their hands, as if concurring with his mother. Both laughed happily. "Wait here, my dragonwolf." Daenerys darted away.
Tapping his feet on the stone, unable to stop the nervous drumming of his fingers against the wood paneling adorning the walls - the fact that the Baratheons liked a huntsman's cabin motif not surprising him in the slightest - Jon waited out the ticking seconds before Dany was back. Grinning like a madwoman while hauling in something covered by a tarp. "What do you have there, my love?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Close your eyes," she grinned,
Her grin widened as she giggled at his put out expression. "Please, Jon," she urged, bubbling with excitement. This was a side of her that he adored. Seeing her so joyous, without a care in the world.
Giving in, he closed his eyes. Waiting for Dany's signal. A flutter of a tarp being pulled off and a delighted giggle. "Can I?"
"Open them, Jon."
Complying, he first found Dany's face. Teeth bared in a dazzling smile. Following the line of vision of her twinkling eyes, Jon fell upon the item beside her and his heart stopped. Jaw dropping and eyes widening. Slowly, he stepped out of his seat upon their bed, walking over. "But… how?"
"It appears that the cave of dragonglass isn't the only mystery on Dragonstone needing to be discovered." Resting under her arm was a painting, intricate in its detail… one of his parents. Lyanna sat on a chair, clad in a sky blue dress with dainty hands clasped on her lap - Stark direwolf etched into the dress even as a three-headed dragon pin kept her dark crimson cloak tied around her neck. Behind, arm wrapped around her shoulders, was his father, Rhaegar. Resplendent in Valyrian style-armor, black tunic, and identical red cloak. Dragon a bright red in his chest, silver hair flowing around his shoulders as Lyanna's chestnut was on hers. "They must have had this commissioned before even the Rebellion started."
Tears were welling in Jon's eyes. It wasn't just how perfect the painting was… "The painter… he painted them exactly as they were." Thumb ghosting over the images, they were perfect likenesses.
Daenerys walked to his side and embraced him. "Tyrion found it, exploring the cellars of Dragonstone - there was also a portrait of my mother." Seeing it the day before had brought her to tears as well. "Now all of us will know what they looked like - forever."
Jon turned to stare into her eyes. A look of wonder in his. "Thank you." A tight embrace followed, the Emperor and Empress just holding each other tightly. "I got you a gift as well," he murmured after a long while.
She pulled back, intrigued. "You did? What is it, my love?"
He managed to smirk. "You'll find out when we're back in King's Landing."
Steel clashed on steel, the echoes ringing out through the inner training grounds of Storm's End. Bodies danced upon the stone, arms and blades flashing through the air. "Giving up," the Emperor teased, Longclaw flat against his arm to bat away a particular firm thrust.
Arya managed to spin on her feet to catch Jon's twirling blade reforming into a strike. Needle - now a Valyrian Steel forged masterpiece as a nameday gift from Gendry - was made for thrusting, but it's strong blade could parry as well as any Westerosi masterpiece. "I can do this all day, brother."
He chuckled. "That's my line." The two wolves charged at each other once more.
Among the many onlookers, three women watched from atop. "Arya has certainly recovered from her childbirth." Sansa had just come back from playing with her newest nephew. Little Sandor Baratheon had the same dark hair and blue eyes as his father - certainly proof of her sister's love and fidelity.
"Stark genes are as good as Targaryen ones," Dany remarked, eyes only on Jon. "I recovered quickly from each of mine… and will for this one." She rubbed her belly lovingly."
"The Emperor has not slackened," Missandei mused.
Dany's eyes blazed hungrily. "No, he has not." Even bloated like a cow, tired and aching, the sight of her husband locked in the middle of battle never ceased to arouse her. To awaken the dragon, though in a far more pleasurable, enjoyable way than Viserys could ever have meant. "This is probably one of the most enjoyable parts of my day… ooh…" A look of discomfort formed on Dany's face as she reached down. Cupping her stomach.
Sansa furrowed her brows, worried. "Daenerys?"
The Empress shook her head. "Tis nothing… just the baby. He's been restless all day."
"Dragon and wolf, tenacious combination," Missandei noted with a tiny smirk. "Pretty soon he or she will be sneaking off to ride Lyanarys one of these days."
"Don't…" Daenerys warned with a glare. "I don't want to worry any more than I currently am. Two wild dragonwolves is enough for me at this point."
A laugh left Sansa. "At least there won't be any undead armies for Saera or the new babe to fight." Watching Arya leap back nimbly, dodging a furious swipe from Jon before catching the Emperor's second strike with a skillful parry, she sighed and patted her stomach. "Nor this one…"
Her goodsister stared for a moment before beaming and hugging her close. "How far along?"
"A little over one moonturn…" the Hand murmured. "Haven't even told Pod yet."
A frown, sad and worried. "Fearful, I think." Her trauma, her pain… in a way Sansa still hadn't gotten over it. Constantly struggling with the ghost of her tormentors, fighting back the urge to adopt their bitter hate and ruthless manipulation for a wall against them. How could she be a good mother?
Seeming as if to understand the impulse, Dany pressed a sisterly hand on hers. "You'll never be ready till they are born, and even then…" The babe kicked again, doing his best to try and hammer his way out of her womb. "They're worth it, believe me." Just like that, a smile was coaxed from Sansa's lips.
Twirling, lighter on his feet than one would expect, the Emperor met his sister blow for blow. Handling Longclaw - the famed blade that brought the Dawn - as effortlessly as if it were the weight of Needle. Arya didn't give ground easily, fighting with the ferocity of a cornered wolf. Never ceasing her thrusts for Jon's center mass, forcing him on the defensive. Onlookers were entranced by the display, unable to even cheer for their favorites for want of missing a decisive blow.
A blow thought to come as Arya ducked from a swing, sidestepping quickly to jam Needle into Jon's armpit… Only to feel a whiff of cold steel resting at her neck. The Emperor having spun his blade and counterattacked. Soon there was no sound but their heavy breathing. "Draw?" panted Jon.
Arya, both irritated and impressed, nodded breathlessly. "Draw." Arms falling, tensions released, both sheathed their swords. Slowly, a teasing smirk formed on her lips. "Still can't beat me, your Grace." Arya bowed in a sarcastic manner.
Jon laughed and crossed his arms. "And you finally found someone who you can't beat… well, a second person." He cocked his head in mirthful understanding.
Flipping him off, Arya's grey eyes narrowed. "Supernatural I've demons don't count and you know it, stupid." The Lady of Storm's End only called stupid those she most loved, so it was high praise.
"I don't know, Lady Arya," Daenerys teased. "I believe it does count."
While Jon and Sansa erupted into chuckles, Arya was not amused. "When my nephew is out of you, we're having a match." She jabbed a finger in the Empress' direction for effect. "Just us girls."
Dany was not one to shy away from a challenge. "You're on… ahhh…" suddenly she doubled over, clutching her belly.
"Your Grace…" Missandei was at her side.
"Daenerys!" Sansa knelt a split second later.
"Dany!" Jon literally leapt towards the balcony, climbing the rest of the way to get to his wife. With a puddle of wetness underneath the heavily pregnant Empress, it was rather obvious what was happening. "Fetch a maester!" he roared like the dragon he was. "Dany…" he stroked her hair. "Hold on, my love."
She smiled wanly. "At least… there are… no assassins this time…" her weak laugh was drowned out as the contractions ripped through her.
Horse neighing beneath him, head tilting down and pulling on the reins, Jon pulled back. "Easy, boy, easy." Ironically, it was far easier riding Rhaegal. Less ornery… well, at least their magical connection made it easier to communicate through any problems. The horse below was a purebred Crakehall stallion, but even it would be a bit startled by the crowd all around the Imperial procession.
Tens of thousands of people lined the avenues of King's Landing. Faces filled with a joyous rapture as they screamed their love of House Targaryen and the Imperial couple themselves. The glimpse of Jon, atop his stallion in full Valyrian plate armor trailed by two flag-bearers and two Emperorsguard - Lord Commander Sandor Clegane and Ser Jaecarys Velaryon - it only made the crowd more wild. Chanting his name.
"LIGHTBRINGER! LIGHTBRINGER! LIGHTBRINGER!"
"Where's the Dragon Empress?!" screamed a random man in the throng of people.
A new cry picked up from the crowd. "DRAGON EMPRESS! DRAGON EMPRESS! DRAGON EMPRESS!" No monarchs had been so loved since Jaehaerys I and Alysanne, and now Jaehaerys III and Daenerys earned the adoration of the people of the Targaryen Empire - from the True North to New Valyria.
Wheelhouses, wagons, and troops of the newly formed Imperial Household Guard - including the Unsullied corps, now accepting new recruits in a far less brutal training regimen - passed through the gatehouse of the newly rebuilt wall around the Red Keep. Joffrey-era additions demolished during the time of the Imperial Progresses. Waving once more to the crowd, Jon urged his mount into the outer courtyard of the keep. Dismounting right beside the wheelhouse. Longclaw clattering against his armored shinplates, he passed Ser Jorah and Ser Dickon to arrive before the door, opening it himself. "After you, my Dragon."
Letting Jon's hand rest on the small of her back, Daenerys exited the wheelhouse. Dressed in a flowing white gown of the more… modest Essosi style, bundled in her arms was the tiny form of Prince Benjen Targaryen, their newborn son. She glanced up at her husband with a dazzling smile. "Your son missed you."
Jon brushed his thumb on the babe's soft cheek. "I missed him too." Eyes shifted to Dany. "His mother too."
Smile widening, the Empress fell into place beside the Emperor. "Shall we?"
"After you." Guards and servants trailing, they made their way towards Maegor's Holdfast.
Trail of servants behind them carrying their baggage through the hallways of the Imperial quarters, Daenerys glanced at the Emperor. "Alright, Jon… you have your coronation gift, yet I am yet to receive mine."
His serene smile at his wife carrying their newborn son only widened, grey eyes sparkling - she recognized that look, a mix of delight at spoiling the beautiful mother of his children and pinning his Empress face down on the bed and fucking her till she screamed his name. Both made warmth course through her system. "Patience, my dragon," Jon eventually said, leaning in to kiss the crown of her head and pinching his son's cheek.
Bouncing Benjen in her hands, their perfect Valyrian Prince giggling and waving his hands, she kissed his cheek before looking at her husband with a put out expression. "Do not keep your Empress waiting."
"Almost there, Dany." Turning the corner of the newly vaulted hallway, a gentle hand against her back stilled her. "Take a look."
Dany blinked. "It's just the doors to our chambers, Jon."
"Look closer." His grin was almost boyish, bouncing on the balls of his feet while the servants began to brush past them, at the very least bowing their heads depending on the amount of baggage they carried. Behind them, Ser Jorah and Ser Jaecarys stopped, leaning against the walls while keeping a watchful eye.
Brows furrowing, Daenerys simply scrutinized the various servants as they approached the imported ironwood from the resumed trade with the recovering north. Pushing open the red doors…
Suddenly she gasped, eyes widening as she pieced it together. Gingerly handing Benjen to Irri - her handmaiden and the designated wetnurse for each of their babes - Daenerys turned to Jon with a gaping jaw and trembling hands. "Red Door…"
Jon's grin widened, hand wrapping around Dany's waist to pull them side to side. "On the boat… you told me about your childhood. The days when Viserys was a kind brother, growing up under the watch of Ser Willam Derry in Braavos." At his urging they walked towards the doors, Dany's eyes unable to leave the red-painted wood. "The House with the Red Door."
"Yes," she murmured, still in disbelief. Their desperate moments together aboard ship, curled into each other skin to skin, furs pulled tightly over their body as the winds from the Shivering Sea crashed against the hull. They shared many stories in between bouts of frantic lovemaking, desperate to know each other in the little amount of time they had - now a lifetime. He remembered… he really remembered. Daenerys shouldn't have been shocked, but she was. Each time she said she couldn't have a more perfect husband… he did something like this.
"You always wanted to go home, Dany. To have a place to call home." He guided her into the Imperial Chambers. "Welcome home, ñuha jorrāelagon." Even the first glimpse caused her gasp to return.
The quarters were completely revamped. Classic red tiling iconic since the days of Maegor removed, adding in high-vaulted ceilings with intricate floral and sky patterns frescoed into the plaster. Walls and columns were arranged in a Valyrian architectural style, though of a light cream and red rather than the blacks and greys customary in dragonstone. Unlike the Throne Room - which sported the glorious murals, mosaics, and paintings of the glorious campaigns of Targaryen Kings and Queens of old, this was far more intimate. Paintings of family, mosaics of Dragonstone and Winterfell and King's Landing.
Daenerys walked around the massive chambers, stepping atop the Myrish rugs, northern wood paneling, and polished tile floors. The quarters were arranged in a sort of horseshoe pattern. A large solar in the front, anchored by a large hearth - bearskin rug lined in front, Dany suddenly filled with images of riding her husband before a roaring fire - and dozens of chairs and plush loveseats. On either side were doors to private studies for each of them, and down twin colonnaded hallways lining the atrium led to a half-dozen bedchambers. A grand one for themselves, two nurseries for Saera and Benjen, one each for Arya and Rhaegar, and a bare one for as yet unknown future babes that Daenerys was determined to make for Jon.
"While it was our ancestor Aegon the Unlikely that last renovated the keep," Jon explained, trailing several feet behind her. "The quarters smelled far too much of Fat Robert or the vicious idiot for my liking. Tyrion handled most of it, though the design was my idea. Especially the atrium."
Large wooden shutters folded in, waiting for the harsh winter winds that they would protect against, gauzy curtains took their place. Blowing inward from the sea breeze wafting from Blackwater Bay. Daenerys parted the curtains to find a delicate atrium. Two pools leading from small, artificial waterfalls designed as the ones in the Dornish Water Gardens, spouts shaped in a mix of dragons and wolves. But what drew Dany's gaze was the tree in the center. Affixed firmly by dirt and soil lugged up there, leaves poking through the open air top into the sky itself. No ordinary tree.
Seeing the bulbous lemons growing on the tree, Dany turned to look at Jon with a quivering lip. Eyes sparkling. "Jon…"
This time his smile was sheepish. Faint blush on his cheeks. "You said you loved playing under the lemon tree. That the last day before you had to flee was a day spent picking lemons from the tree. There was one growing in the gardens of the Red Keep, so it was just a matter of bringing it up here."
Just below the tree, leaves vibrant and green with life, Daenerys' hands trembled as she reached up. Fingers caressing one of the fat, yellow spheres. With a simple tug she snapped the lemon off from the stem. Dany brought it to her nose, sniffing the sour fruit. Memories flooded her mind - of a happy childhood in Braavos. Idyllic, just her, a carefree and loving Viserys, and their attentive caregiver Ser Willam Derry. A childhood free of pain and starvation, of fear of assassins finding and slitting her throat. Of Viserys going off into rages and abusing her. Holding that lemon underneath the tree, it seemed as if Daenerys was transported back into the House with the Red Door.
Hearing the baited breathing behind her, Daenerys slowly turned. Finding the comly northern features and grey eyes she adored. It's not the House with the Red Door. This could never truly recreate it - what this was… it was something better. A new home, new refuge with her beloved husband, children, and family. As if punctuating it, the roar of the dragons boomed above the keep, Arya and Rhaegar urging Edderon and Sansenya respectively in an intense dance above the city. The home before her wasn't an idyllic hiding spot from the demons of the world, but rather the safe refuge of love and happiness she had so longed for. And Jon gave it to me…
Feet shifting, Jon watched as Daenerys stared at him. Violet eyes deep pools as her mouth opened in pure disbelief. White dress brushing against the fine Karhold travertine floor while she slowly walked to him. Regarding him as if seeing him all over again. Jon could normally read his beloved like a book, but the long silence started to make him nervous. "Dany?" He rubbed the back of his neck, worried. "You don't like it?"
Only an arm's length away from him, his words cracked her contemplation. "You beautiful, beautiful man." Without warning, Daenerys reached out, looped her arms around Jon's neck, and drew him in for a deep kiss. Gods, she loved him - thinking of this… of giving her the House with the Red Door. "You're perfect…" she mumbled against his lips, attacking his tongue with hers. Hands frantically touching all over him. "My perfect dragonwolf…"
"I love you, Dany." His touches were also frenzied. Groping his sexy, breathtaking wife through her dress all over. Jon didn't care about the praise, he just wanted his Dany to be happy. "I'm glad you… liked it." Pulling his mouth from hers, he began kissing down her neck, making her mewl deliciously.
There was the familiar lust with him, but also love. A deep, pooling love a searing dragonfire and a cooling ice, both leaving Daenerys breathless and unable to resist. She loved him since Pentos and it had only grown ever since. "It's all I've truly wanted, ñuha jorrāelagon. Ñuha zoklazaldrīzes." Gripping his hair in her fingers, Dany pulled the raven curls out of his bun. He's far more handsome without it.
He couldn't tell how, but the feel of her fingers on his scalp felt amazing. "Ñuha zaldrīzes." Suckling a particularly sensitive spot on her neck - reveling in how she gasped and bucked her hips into him. "I'd give you the entire world if you wanted."
"I know. Gods… I know, Jon." Urging with her grip, she pulled him to meet her gaze. "You've already given me the most important thing." A tear fell down her cheek. "You… you are just the most amazing man." She had leaned in to peck her lips when an idea came to her mind. "Wait here."
Slightly put out at the delayed gratification, Jon nevertheless was curious as to his wife's idea. Crossing his arms and leaning against one of the columns. Watching as she stepped towards their solar. "Don't take too long, love." He had to admit, seeing her shapely ass from behind was quite enjoyable.
Daenerys made sure to add an extra sashay into her walk for Jon's pleasure. Only ever him. A smile spread on her face at seeing her present to him. The servants, all of whom worshipped the ground she and Jon walked on, had placed the painting of Rhaegar and Lyanna leaning against the plush chair in the solar quite gingerly - not wishing to damage it. Dany picked it up, walking towards the elaborate marble hearth where she already imagined spending chilly winter's nights cuddled up next to with her beloved husband. "I think the painting should go right here." Moving to place it above the hearth, Jon was by her side quickly - helping her.
His mother and father - the Pact of Ice and Fire finally consummated - looking at them assuming the commanding mantle of the room… tears began to fall from Jon's eyes. The Emperor helpless to keep them back.
"Hey." A gentle hand cupped his cheek. "Don't cry, my love." Dany melded her soft body into his chest.
"They look like a powerful King and Queen, Dany," he croaked out. "It doesn't… show how loving they were… how they loved…"
She understood. "They loved you, Jon. I know they are proud of the man you've become." A loving smile. "The husband and father you've become."
"How do I truly know that? That I'm good… that I know what is good and just and right in the world?" Even now, after all that had happened, the fits of melancholy of the bastard of Winterfell he had once been - nothing but Jon Snow - would return. Telling him none of it mattered. That he would always be a stain on society, a useless mistake.
Drawing him down, Daenerys let him bury his face into her neck. "But you do. You do." He leaned back, Dany immediately cupping his stubbly cheek. "You've always known, Jon." If it took a thousand lifetimes, she would make him learn just how amazing he was. "We're going to do it, Jon. Build a better world. We've already done so much… you've already done so much."
He smiled weakly. "You always think so well of me."
"Because you are… Jon the Greatest. Jaehaerys the Lightbringer. The man I love." Kissing him again, Daenerys sighed happily as he reciprocated. "Come with me, please."
"Of course." Following her - his beloved dragon, the woman he had known from the beginning to be the only woman he would ever truly want - Jon was guided onto the balcony. Stretching out from the lemon tree's atrium towards the north side of Maegor's Holdfast. High enough to be protected by the first line of battlements ten feet below. Sun descending over the man-made mountain to the west, it cast a breathtaking shadow over King's Landing. Only just now rising from the ashes Joffrey had plunged it into. The great city Aegon the Conqueror and his sister-wives built centuries ago, Lyanarys swooping in from the sparkling waters of Blackwater Bay towards the newly rehabilitated dragonpit, open-aired and fully accessible to a dragon able to fly free.
A dragon is not a slave, never meant to be chained. Smiling wide as Edderon and Sansenya - twins still atop them - moved to land in the pit as well, Daenerys felt Jon's arms wrap around her waist. "I'm sorry, love. I know you hate my brooding."
"I happen to love your brooding - you look so handsome. I just wish you knew just how wonderful you are."
He sighed. "If you fell in love with me, then either I did something right or you suffer from our family's madness."
"No madness… just enchantment." She turned in his arms. Their last night in Winterfell coming back to her mind, the words she had come from her lips. "Remember this, Jaehaerys Targaryen." Much was the same, but so much was different as well - for the better. Their children, their home, loving siblings and friends, and Jon… finally knowing who he was and where he belonged. "Remember this. Remember our love."
Staring into her violet eyes, Jon understood. "I will. Always, my love." Just as he leaned in to capture her lips, a bark echoed from the atrium as Ghost bounded to them. Tongue lolling out, clearly seeking affection. Jon laughed. "Hey boy." He scratched the direwolf's head, only for Ghost to cock his head to the side and peer at Dany. The Emperor rolled his eyes. "Traitor."
"He's not a traitor, Jon," Dany giggled. "Just wants his muna. Isn't that right, little wolf?" Pouncing with her hands, Ghost practically transformed into the little puppy he was when first meeting Dany, rolling over onto his back and letting the Targaryen Empress tickle his belly.
Smile on his face - eyes shifting from Dany to Ghost to back to Dany - Jon shifted back into the sunset. Following his brother, Rhaegal landed upon the lip of the Dragonpit. His head turning towards the Red Keep. A large distance between Visenya's Hill and Aegon's High Hill, but Jon could see the amber gaze shimmer all the same. Don't be gloomy, kepa. His mount's thoughts were as loud as if he were right beside him. You're home. A hoot resonated through the city and then Rhaegal followed his brother into the pit.
Home? Placing a hand on Daenerys' shoulder, the Empress turned around from the overjoyed Ghost. Eyebrow raised quizzically, his wife concerned. Jon offered a reassuring smile. "I'm home Daenerys. We're both home."
A/N: Now that's how you make a proper ending with Ghost! Hear that Dumb and Dumber, you motherfuckers!
Sorry, it had to be said.
Anyway, here we are. A new dawn for the Empire, freedom and prosperity everywhere under our heroes. A new generation of children growing up in a better world, and happy endings for all our heroes. We'll see them all again in the sequel ;)
Many thanks to WhiteWolf04 and VaelerysTargaryen for their help in figuring out Dany and Jon's gifts to each other. They really are sappy romantics that love each other :D
Thank you to everyone that was here for the ride. And I'll see you all in my other stories!