He had never stopped to think about how he would leave his family for good.

Since his tenth nameday, all Jon knew was Queenscrown, Winterfell and the North. He had spent days, weeks and even months travelling through both his and his father's lands. With guidance or on his own, young Jon had made sure to know every little space in his city, had fallen asleep in the fields, explored the underground tunnels and ventured through the snowfields near the Wall. He and his friends had explored all of the abandoned castles across the wall, all of the abandoned towns in the Gift, as much as the mountain as he could.

It had been a surprise when he had first stepped out of Winterfell without his father.

Jon knew every nook and crook of the North; from the very swampy limits of the Neck until the Wall, staring down at the end of the world, he had seen it all. But at the end of the day, after concluding adventures, finding new treasures and communing with the Northern lords of the Realm, Jon had always returned to Winterfell.

Arya's wild smiles and Robb's laugh, the warmth of his father's embrace and the relief of being home and safe, of knowing he hadn't to worry about ruling it; that was Winterfell. Queenscrown was home too, but Winterfell was…it was his home. It was where the only family he had ever known lived, where he had lived.

Now though…Now, he was leaving for good.

Arya turned her back on him and ran, as nimble as always, leaving him breathless. Barely, he noticed Dany standing beside him, shoulders sagged and eyes shiny as she looked at him.

"Jon…" Her sweet voice called for him, one small hand gripping tightly to his arm as he turned to face her.

His breathing turned erratic, his lower lip trembled and he could feel the cold sweat running down his back.

"Jon…" He blinked and frowned down at her, his mouth opened and he felt the need to say something, anything. He turned his face back towards where Arya had run towards. His wife's other hand cupped his cheek and turned him back to her. "Let's head to my chambers." Jon shook his head, closing his eyes and untangling himself from her touch, stepping towards Arya.

But what could he do? He was leaving, he knew he was.

With daunting realization, Jon finally admitted to himself that, maybe, he did not want to leave.

The gap barring him from Arya — his little sister and his dearest sibling — was an empty void that screamed at him to choose. Behind him stood Daenerys, beautiful and willful and gentle Daenerys, who was a new addition to his life even though she was the whole reason for him to leave. And even though his people were in the path that his wife opened, Jon still gazed longingly to where his young sister and his past remained.

There shouldn't have space in his mind for confusion. He had chosen Queenscrown a long time ago, he shouldn't be hesitating to finally leave Winterfell and go to the place where he mattered.

"No, Dany, I need to…" He stood in the middle of that dark corridor, feeling unsure and young and everything he hated. He was a lord, he had no time to be so insecure and foolish. Grow up, Snow.

"You must rest." Dany's hands returned to his arm again, stronger and surer than he felt. Again, his wife showed just how extraordinary she could be. She tugged on his arm, making him stumble close to her. "Let's go through here." And she directed him to the opposite direction from Arya. He let her guide him through the dark corridors of his own home, dazed and relying on her in a way he…he hadn't ever. There had never been someone for him lean on.

He looked down at her with a cool face, locking himself up as securely as he could. "This is the longer way."

Violet eyes rose up to meet his own grey ones, solemn and watchful as studied him closely. Her words were soft. "I know."

Jon wanted to curl up and cry. He wanted to throw something at her head and scream how unfair it was that he had to leave everything he knew behind because of her. He wanted to throw himself at her feet and thank her for everything she had given to him.

A distant remembrance of his younger years came to mind, misted over and vague. Cold hands of a stranger giving the bare minimum a baby needed to ensure its survival, echoes of cries and cold sheets and thin beds in a dark corner of the castle, away from the warm chambers of the Main Keep. Father's voice and rare presence was the only thing to hold on to, and Robb's company was denied to him for so long, it had been as if they never lived in Winterfell.

How many a night had he spent alone in his room? Confused and small, young and away from his family. Jon could not have been relaxed like Robb, or defiant like Arya. It did not matter that he was as diligent as Sansa. He could have never been as curious as Bran or as wild and loving as Rickon. Jon was bastard, no true born and no true heir to the North. He had no place here.

Robb could freely ask for comfort, Jon could not. Sansa could easily ask for guidance, Jon could not. Arya's rebellions could be tolerated, Jon's could not. Bran could be indulged, Jon could not. Rickon could be affectionate with his family, Jon could not. His siblings had the freedom he had never dared thinking of achieving, and if it weren't Daenerys, who had chained him to her at the same time that she opened up a world of goals and dreams that were near unreachable to every other bastard in the Realm.

Standing in the middle of a dimly-lighted corridor, his wife's hands holding tightly to his own while she stared at him with scared jewel-like orbs, with his back to where his dear sister had run to, felt like a betrayal.

"Jon?" A voice came from behind them, not Arya's, but as familiar as hers. Daenerys bit her lower lip, worry clear in her eyes as she hesitated for only a second before turning her eyes to where Arya had run to.

"Robb!" Relief was clear in the way her shoulders relaxed and her mouth slacked open just a smidge, the corners of her full lips twitching up just slightly. Even in his state, Jon still admired her beauty. She let go of his hand so she was standing beside him, facing his brother. Frowning slightly, Jon turned around to see Robb standing with Ramsay behind him. Ramsay met his gaze with a smirk, nodding as if he was saying 'I told you so'. His hands fisted by his side, making his nails dig into his skin. The Bastards' Boys were standing behind Ramsay, hoods over their faces only allowing their mouths to be seen.

"Dany, Jon," Robb frowned at them, glancing behind for a moment before continuing. "Was that Arya?" His brother's expressive blue eyes were slightly accusing as they met his and Jon looked down at the ground, guilt making his throat tighten painfully.

"Aye…" He murmured in response, not sure if Robb could hear him but unwilling to speak loudly. An awkward silence loomed over them. Daenerys elbowed him and Jon tightened his muscles and clenched his jaw, intent on not giving away his thoughts. His wife sighed in a way that almost made him give up and act like the lord he was supposed to be, but he bit his tongue and glared at the ground.

"Yes…Robb, I…" Dany sighed. He saw by the corner of his eyes as she hung her head down, shaking her head softly. Robb's steps echoed in his ears as his brother approached them. "It's because of me. Jon is going away because of me and she…" She sighed, looking up at Robb. "Arya is right. I am meddling into your family and it's only tearing you apart."

Jon snorted.

They turned to him and Robb's amused smirk was clear in his mind. What surprised Jon was that Dany's reaction — a strong furrow between her brows, raised chin in defiance and slightly tilted head — was exactly as he expected when he turned slowly to face them.

"How is that, Jon?" She lifted one challengingly eyebrow that made both him and Robb exchange slight smirks.

It was Robb who answered her. "You couldn't be more wrong, Dany." He smiled, dashing and charming as he had always been. "It's just…" He sighed then, shaking his head and moving his bright blue eyes to Jon. "It's just Arya." He whispered, tired and looking as small as his three and ten namedays. Grinding his jaw, Jon locked eyes with his brother. He could feel his whole body stiffening as Robb looked at him in that way he did, as if he was the older, as the heir to the North. "What did she do?"

Without him knowing, Jon's eyes moved to Ramsay, standing all the way back at the corner of the corridor, observing them all with clever eyes that saw more than people thought him capable. His frightening clear eyes met his and the older boy smiled softly, mockingly. Jon scowled and looked down, his arms rising to cross in front of his chest.

He took a deep breath, looking up sharply as his eyes stung and a gasp — sob —rose up in his throat. He sighed, again, his eyes watering up as his lips trembled. He lifted one arm, one hand hastily dragging his fucking tears away as he met his brother's eyes. Jon lifted his chin and bit the inside of his cheek.

"She told me to stay."

"Ah," Robb answered softly. The sound came out of his mouth almost falsely, but the way he moved on his feet and his mouth clipped shut soon after told Jon that Arya's actions reached him the same way it had Jon — like falling from their horses or being taken by a painful illness, or their father's raised voice in anger and disappointment or Lady Catelyn's sharp words and even sharper fingernails. Robb took half a step towards him before his gaze slid towards Dany, who was looking away from them. "Well," He gasped out, a trembling smile on his lips as he blinked his tears away, sniffing slightly as he chuckled softly. "She only did what I wasn't brave enough to do."

Closing his eyes was the only way to make it possible for his tears not to fall. It would be unsightly for him to cry. He was almost a man grown despite his age. Men did not cry, that was something that should be left to women.

Yet, Jon could not look away from his brother as his tears finally fell. He gritted his teeth harder, scowling furiously for a moment before he stepped forward and met his brother's open arms with a fierce embrace.

Jon did not know what his new wife would think of him, seeing him so vulnerable and messy and behaving like a child, but at moment he couldn't bring himself to care. "I'm scared, Stark." He whispered quietly, only for his brother's ears. Robb moved away, just enough that he was holding the back of Jon's head while Jon held his shoulder. "Does that make me less of a man?"

Robb chuckled, closing his eyes and shaking his head before meeting his gaze again. He smirked, blue Tully eyes twinkling playfully as he messed with his hair. "Good thing we're still boys, aye?"

Jon's lips twitched as he held back a laugh, shoving his brother away and pretending that his heart hadn't just almost jumped out of his chest and that he hadn't almost fallen to his knees while bawling over like a baby. They laughed and then clasped hands, holding tight for a long moment as they exchanged long looks that spoke much more than their words ever could.

"I'll take care of Arya. Go sleep, Snow." Robb nodded to Dany, without taking his eyes out of Jon. "I heard you were leaving early with a bunch of Southerners."

"You aren't wrong," Jon replied, moving his eyes to his wife. Dany had moved forward so she was standing closer to Ramsay, looking at them worryingly. He could feel the way he softened slightly, his face and body relaxing as he met her eyes. Without moving his eyes away from her, he lifted his chin and smirked. "And it's Targaryen now, Stark."

Robb doubled over laughing. Jon felt lighter as Dany finally smiled and took him to their chambers.

•••

Waking up at dawn was something Jon was used to for most of his life, but waking up with someone by his side certainly was something new. In the past days, Jon could barely believe he had someone beside him, every day and every night, holding him as tightly as he held her.

Sometimes, he would sleep in. Those times were the mornings where they had been more adventurous in the previous night, more curious about each other. Sometimes they would stay awake exploring each others' bodies, other times they would sit by the fire and talk about anything; to the way she enjoyed learning and reading to the way he enjoyed planning and training. There were nights where he would roll out his maps and documents and they would discuss Queenscrown. They planned for the future and exchanged stories of their past, always listening to what the other had to say.

There were nights where they would simply lay on their bed and look at each other.

Every time he woke up next to her, be it when she was already awake and looming over him, thin fingers caressing his face — she had a fascination with his facial hair — while her other hand was tangled in his locks, or when he woke up first to feel her cuddled close to him, under the same cover as him while her breath fawned over his skin, Jon felt something inside himself shift. The sheer magnitude of having someone by his side, someone so close, someone that he could be closer to without fear, changed and made him…softer.

In his heart, he knew he wasn't as good and as honourable as his father and siblings, as a true Stark should've been. Yet, a soft look, a bold statement and a firm voice from his wife changed him in a way he had not expected. Daenerys wasn't above him or beneath him, as all people he had met were. She was his equal and she would not let him think of her any other way. It made him hesitate, for he had always been sure of his standing when dealing with his father and his family and his people and his servants, but suddenly, there she was, not less or more than his own standing.

He had always been…strange. Adrift, too forward and too far apart from what was the norm to properly fit in. A bastard, but yet an heir to a great piece of land. A lord, but yet so poor — at first, because the Others took him, he would not have let himself fall into the greedy hands of their investors. He would've found a way out their debt, even if they had not found those mines. — and young. Too young, but old enough to deal with things himself. His mind had always set him apart from what his father expected; Jon had always wanted more, always planned more, always dreamtmore.

He felt so alone. So utterly alone for so long, without knowing how it was to have someone to touch him and be with him simply for him…Jon did not know what this was. It wasn't what he had with Robb, with snarky comments and heavy hitting and crude jokes. It wasn't Arya, where he made his best to guide and protect her from what she couldn't understand. It wasn't Ramsay and how Jon commanded him, how the older boy showed him how to be independent, to think outside of what his father expected and what others wanted. This…companionship? Friendship? Whatever it was that he and his wife were slowly creating between kisses and long conversations into the night, it made him different.

Stroking the smooth skin of her leg while she laid tucked into his chest, nuzzling into her bright tressed or exploring her features with just the tip of his fingers wasn't what he expected from their duty. The way he wanted so desperately to have her moaning in his ear and feel the tight embrace of her around him wasn't…it wasn't what it was supposed to be.

As husband and wife, they should only fuck and have their heirs, not feel the pleasure they should. He was supposed to be her lord and she, his lady, always ready for him. But then, Jon could not picture a better way on how to deal with all they had together. One moment they were reading over their shared plans from just the other day; when they had faced the Lannisters and kissed under the Winter Roses, Jon arguing with her over the best way they should proceed with a dealing and in another she was teaching him how to dance in some Essosi way and in another moment they were whispering to each other like giggling children. A paper marriage had turned out to be something else, something…more.

Everything was spiralling out of his control too fast. Nothing went as planned and that had never happened before. Jon was lost and more scared than ever, he had no way of knowing what the future had reserved for him. Was Dany faking? Was she putting up a face? Would she simply throw him aside once they arrived in Queenscrown and she had her seat as a true Targaryen? What would happen to him? To Ramsay, and Satin, and Anguy, and Siro?

It made him lost and confused and the idea of staying in Winterfell, where he knew everything would stay as it was, was never more appealing.

Arya's pleas still rung in his mind, loud and clear as Winterfell's bells. The temptation to stay with his blood, where he knew he would be safe and somewhat…accepted?

No, Jon thought. He had never truly been accepted and that was merely a longing of his. It would certainly be easier to remain there, loose of the responsibilities and the touch of a stranger of a wife. There would be no lordly duties to the Wall, or negotiations and petty games. No plotting or constant paranoia, no spies to deal with or people to worry about who wasn't his family.

I could ask to stay, Jon thought numbly and distant. He could argue with his father that he wished to remain by his side until his six and tenth nameday, when he finally took his official role as lord, with no regent to protect him. Daenerys would go North because he knew she would want to go North instead of staying back at Winterfell, and he'd have another year with his father and siblings.

And that, of course, would never happen.

As if Jon would let go of his power and his castle and his city. It wasn't right, his father would certainly disapprove and Lady Catelyn would say to all who could hear 'I told you so' because Jon Snow was a bastard and he wanted. There was once a time that he had hated how he was used by the king to humiliate his wife, the girl Daenerys, but that time had long passed and Jon much preferred the life he gained from her humiliation.

Though his love for Arya was great, Jon knew he had no future in Winterfell. At best, he now knew, he would've gone to the Wall had it not been for Dany. It felt like something tearing itself apart from his very core, the thought of leaving his little wild sister behind and being so far away from the she-wolf, but Jon had to go. Jon wanted to go, despite his fears. It would take time for her to understand, for her to truly appreciate how fucking lucky her bastard brother had gotten, but it would happen. He hoped only that she'd forgive him, and not resent Dany so much.

Sighing, Jon looked idly at the shy glimpse of daylight coming through the narrow windows and falling over his wife's side of the bed. Sitting on the bed, Jon wondered where Dany would take him and what she would make of him as he gazed at her relaxed form. The slight girl laying down beside him, chest down on the bed with their shared pelt resting lightly over her small waist did not seem like the heavy weight of responsibility that had fallen over him the moment they married under his Gods' eyes. Jon bent his legs, hugging his thighs close to his chest as he laid his cheek on one knee, grey eyes glued to the girl bathed in early sunlight, innocent and ignorant of the waking world around her.

One of his fingers slowly reached for a lone curl on her back, twirling his finger into the silky lock while he dragged his blunt nail over her skin. Daenerys arched into the bed, like a cat, whining lowly while nosing her pillow. Her skin was warm. She made him smile, grey eyes softening as he dragged his finger up her spine. Her hair shone silver and light gold, bold against their dark covers and gleaming like starlight. Jon had wondered at some point if she was the reincarnation of the Ice Dragon taken human form, here to either mock him or seduce him to an early death, like the sailors from White Harbor and Sea Dragon Point had told him years ago.

A keening noise from her shattered his silly musings, making him snort and roll his eyes at himself as he finally reached her neck, gripping it from behind as he moved atop her. His mouth twitched up even as he felt his cheeks warm up and his member harden as he straddled her behind. Jon took a careful grip on her neck and begun massaging, not sure of what he was doing, but knowing from her pleased mewing that she was enjoying it.

It was a silent agreement between them that, should one enjoy whatever the other was doing, they should keep doing it.

If they didn't, the other would say stop, and that was it.

One of his hands supported his upper body by bracing himself onto the mattress with his fingers splayed open near her face. He was so concentrated in pleasuring her, he almost jumped when one small hand joined his on the mattress, intertwining their fingers as she sighed. Jon gasped briefly as she arched her arse up against his groin.

"Dany!"

She chuckled, twisting her neck into his grip so she was looking up at him over her shoulder.

"You started, Lord Targaryen." Jon bit his lip and hid his face behind his hair, looking down at the small of her back so she could not see the way the title affected him.

Too bad, she already knew how he felt about it.

His mouth hung open as her tongue danced across one of his fingers while she thrust her hips up, making him jerk widely forward once before stopping with a growl. She was awkwardly twisting her neck so she could put her mouth around one of his fingers. He kneeled on the mattress, giving space for her to turn over on her back. She kept her hold over his hand while he loosened his hold over her neck.

"What are you doing?!" He hissed out, feeling a numb kind of panic and arousal and confusion because she was sucking on his finger and what the actual fuck?!

Cheeks red, Daenerys took his finger out of her mouth with an obscene 'pop' that made him blush to the root of his hair. She looked up at him bashfully, making him seriously consider running out of their chambers to his own private one, like he had done after their first night.

"Don't you like it?" She gulped and bit her lower lip, distracting him. Her voice was so raspy from sleep and her mouth looked so succulent. "Is it weird?"

"If I like it?!" He asked faintly. "Of course I…! Weird? What do you even? Where did…?!" He literally squeaked in frustration, falling back onto her lap, sitting on her while he covered his flaming face with his hands. Jon took a long moment to calm himself down and gather his composure, which he had never lost before meeting his wife. Small hands, almost as familiar to him than his own, slowly moved his hands away from his blushing face. Jon obeyed her silent request and looked down at her worried face. He blushed — his head would explode if he continued to do so — and slowly nodded. "I liked it." He murmured, hands grasping tightly to her own. "I liked it a lot." His voice changed from high to low and Dany giggled.

She rose from the bed, her hands letting go of his to go around his shoulders and bring his head down. "That's good." She breathed over his lips. The new Targaryen relaxed in her embrace, melting against her body. His hard member pressed against her belly and he knew she was wet under him. He tightened his legs around her while his hands circled the back of her neck and brought her up into a kiss. He pressed hard against her mouth, opening his own and licking, surprisingly meeting her own tongue.

They chuckled, finding amusement in their hunger for each other.

She bit him and backed away, still holding to his lip while giving him a sly look he was slowly getting used to. She let his lip go and kissed it softly. "You need to go, Jon."

"Hmm…" He particularly couldn't care less for those Southerners. He did not want to be their guide while they toured Wintertown. "Don't wanna…" He nosed her shoulder, dragging the tip of it to her neck and sucking at the smooth skin near there, intent on making one of those bruises. He quite enjoyed seeing those marks on her body, and his too, now that he stopped to think about it.

Dany nipped at his ear. "My lord…"

He let go of her skin and licked all the way up to her ear. "My lady." As expected, she squealed cutely and shoved him back so she could fall back on the bed, covering her face with both hands. Jon let himself fall against her legs as he laughed.

"Jon! That voice! Don't…It's…Gods. Jon! "

"It's nothing but my…ah, how did you put it?" He teased, rolling on the bed to his side, hoisting himself up with his elbows. He smirked at her, meeting the one vibrate violet eye peeking through her thin fingers. "My manly voice."

"Silence, Jon!" And she threw a pillow at his face. He let it collide on him as he fell back on the bed, laughing way too much at such silliness. "Jon!" At her frustrated call, Jon only laughed more, turning his back on her as he held his stomach. One moment later and she was throwing her body over his and soon they were brawling on the bed. Dany made her best to cover his loud laughs and he tried his damn best to get away from her.

They fell to the ground and he snaked his arms around her, falling on his back while she was on top of him. They gasped and laughed at each other as Jon lifted his back from the ground to sit with her on his lap. Jon looked at her with soft eyes as she slowly prodded his back as much as she could, silently checking for injuries as she carefully studied his face for any indication of pain.

Jon wondered when was the last time he had been so carefree. He wondered if someone had ever looked after such a small thing for him like if he had hurt himself from falling from his bed. Jon wondered when was the last time he had been so…so…

"Are you well, my lord?" Her soft voice dissipated his pondering, making him focus on her again. She had freckles, he noticed briefly before diving into her for a kiss. He gave her soft touches, worshipped her full lips, giving as much as she did and hoping one day he could be as good as someone like her deserved. "Jon?" She whispered against his lips.

He shushed her, softly, as he closed his eyes and rested his forehead against hers. She understood as he knew she would. Her hands travelled down his torso, dragging her fingernails on his skin and making shudder. With his mouth hanging open, Jon gasped softly when her hands circled around his member, moving up and down, so slowly he thought he would die. Dany moved her lips to his cheek, giving soft kisses and small licks where she went.

"Yes…" He breathed out harshly, letting his head fall forward and his forehead rest against her shoulder. He was panting too much and he felt too hot. Her hands were like fire on him and he couldn't stop himself from jerking into her hands. "Ah," He pressed his head against her skin, biting his lip so hard he expected to tear it open. "So-sorry…" She shushed him again.

"Do it, Jon." Frowning, Jon moved back. Meeting her beautiful gaze, he was silent for a few seconds, just taking in her own disheveled appearance — glazed violet eyes, wild silver curtain falling over pert nipples and small shoulders, a soft and sculpted body that spoke of the fighting lessons she told him about — before pushing her down with his hand still holding her neck, letting his forehead rest against hers.

"I want you to feel good too." He spoke earnestly, softly, just for her to hear. Dany's face reddened, and her eyes shined like stars as she smiled at him, wobbly and happy. Nodding against his skin, she moved back, letting go of him. Jon moaned embarrassingly loud, but Dany didn't seem to care much, only smiling softly at him as she adjusted herself on his lap.

His hands cupped her breasts, light little weights in his hands as his thumbs played with her nipples. Dany hummed in pleasure, arching against his touch. Looking down, he could see her mound, soft silvery curls, shirt and thin between her legs and hiding her cunt underneath. Her hands grasped over his as she whined, a deep furrow between her brows telling him that he wasn't paying enough attention to her.

With a growl, his arms circled around her and he pulled her body flush against his. Dany went on her knees as his left hand went down between her legs. He dragged two fingers from her womb, through the thin hair covering her cunt, spreading her open. Dany was almost sobbing now, arching against him as one hand grabbed at his hair, holding firmly. She was almost leaning down, trusting the arm around her to keep her from falling back. Her other arm extended down her body, thin fingers going his as he massaged her cunt. She bit her lip, holding back a loud moan as he pinched her nub, played with her sleek core, even caressed her own fingers.

It was messy and confusing and the greatest thing Jon had ever done. And when he finally drew back, taking her hand with his, and replaced their fingers with his member, Jon could've cried.

Jon wanted to fuck her really hard and it made him so fucking ashamed.

He brought her closer to his body, trying thrust upwards. She started fucking bouncing on his cock and Jon's eyes rolled back for a moment as he cried out. Up and down, up and down, and Jon couldn't think straight, couldn't really understand nothing else other than how tight she held him and how it felt to be inside her. He couldn't hold for long, really, he couldn't. With a grunt, he spilt inside her but still she kept moving, keening and whining and sobbing while Jon tried to hold her close despite the boneless feeling of release.

He was softening but still, she hadn't reached her own pleasure.

Well, he wouldn't have that.

Chest to chest, Jon hugged her close and kissed her hard. Dany was breathing harshly, drunk on her unreached release after he moved away. He let go of her, turning on his knees as she sagged back on her hands.

With her hands supporting her, she had her knees drawn up, leaving her cunt exposed, spilling with his seed and her own fluids and making Jon blush to the roots of his hairs. He kneeled in front of her and between her legs. One hand pushed her lightly to the ground and she laid tense as a bowstring with her arms thrown back. He pushed her legs further apart and opened her up, leaning down and blowing over her folds.

"Aaah, yessss…" She arched up, pushing her legs apart as much as she could and pushing herself closer to his face. Jon smirked, one arm moving over womb to hold her down as finally put his mouth on her cunt.

He adored her as much as he could with his mouth, the scent of her making him delirious as he licked and sipped at her core. Jon dined her, enjoying every drop she gave him. Her little nub was stiff and swollen, begging to be played with, which he did with vigour.

Her screams echoed in his ears and when she grabbed his hair and pulled, he growled against her cunt. She grunted loudly, jerking wildly and trying to pull him closer still as he lapped at her pearl, biting it slightly in reproach to her painful tugging and making her cry out again. Her thighs locked on his head, hurting but telling of how close she was.

Jon knew Daenerys by now, to the point where every twitch and turn of her was like a sentence, his mind making immediate translations to the slightest change to her moving. When she finally reached her peak, it was like a song to him, unrestrained and sinful, played masterfully by him with her as his instrument. She gasped, whimpered, and finally sighed, sagging on the ground into a boneless way, like a cat.

He lapped at her, licking his way up her body and gliding his skin against her. She hummed, hands massaging his scalp gently. He nipped at her collarbone, straddling her hips as his hands massaged her tits and then moved to her back, moving her up slowly. Daenerys moved, kneeling and letting him fall back on his ass so she could straddle his lap once more.

His behind was cold and the ground was uncomfortable and harsh again his skin, his back and knees hurt, but her soft body and scent made him drift into a numbing serenity. Her hands gripped the back of his head, his hair a mess between her fingers as he mirrored her position. They breathed together, breathed each other, for a long while before he tucked her into their bed, grabbed a coat to hide his nude form and went to his own room to prepare for his leaving.

•••

Jon wished more than never that he had stayed back at Winterfell, like Robb, and took care of Bran's training.

The young lord held back a yawn as he galloped along with his small retinue of lords and knights. Conversation was almost nonexistent as the Southerners all seemed to follow Jon blindly in their sleep-deprived states. Jon could barely blame them. Feasts were continuous in the last days, and even his fellow Northmen were put to test with such little time to spare for sleep. Jon could have turned away their invitation to venture into Wintertown, which he knew better than even his father — not that his father spared much thought to the Small Folk; at least, not as much as Jon. — but…

His eyes moved to the older boy on a grey mare by his side. Ramsay was as alert as ever, inhumanly so, as he seemed to not have the proper functionalities as a normal Northmen. Jon narrowed his eyes at him and then turned back to their path.

They had business to deal with in town, and Dany had agreed that it'd better for them to go quickly and unsuspectingly.

His face almost broke into a grin at the thought of his clever wife. She had just waltzed into their lives without a care to what they thought what a woman should do. Even Ramsay had somewhat mellowed down to her, bowing down to her orders as if they were given by Jon himself

That was no simple accomplishment.

Swaying to the slight movement of his mount, Jon threw his head back and let the sun hit his face, warming him up against the cool breeze. He cracked his neck and then let his eyes move around the faces that surrounded him with cool appraisal.

Renly Baratheon was the closest, as the loudest of the bunch. The man had a charm to him that attracted many, and he was a manipulative little bitch, according to Ramsay. No obvious likes or dislikes, but he enjoyed the company of men alright. Younger men, Ramsay had snorted out, as he then proceeded to rent about knight systems and how the Baratheon had knighted the youngest Tyrell just to fuck him more easily.

Ramsay did not like Renly because, according to him, the Baratheon had butchered the system just to fuck. Ramsay had also proceeded to point at Satin and say that there was a reason for whores like him to exist. Of course, it had made them argue and fight for days, which was a nightmare to Jon himself.

Wondering if his wife knew of her cousin's preference, Jon turned his eyes to the portly Lannister surrounded by none less than five knights as his personal guards. A landed knight himself, Kevan Lannister was as shrewd as his infamous House was said to be. That shrewdness had counted for a hard negotiation that had lasted for two days and the only conclusion of it was the agreement that it would be concluded in Queenscrown.

Rumour had it — or at least, Ramsay said, — that Tywin had sent the man just for a laugh, probably. The Seven Realms had thought them a joke and Jon had thrown in their faces that they were not, but few were the Houses of Westeros that had truly seen the Union of Ice and Fire, as Ramsay would say. It had turned out to be an insanely good advantage, but also a pain in their arses. Things would move at a slower pace because they had such few Great Houses as witnesses, but the impact would be bigger as the news reached all corners of the world, allowing them the chance to not go begging for their attention, but them actually trying to contact House Targaryen for negotiations.

Lannister, Tyrell, Baratheon and Martell, Jon thought as he remembered the Sand bastards of Oberyn Martell. The Viper had taught his daughters well; Jon would have never known who they were if it weren't for Dany. Though he had exchanged letters with Prince Doran and the man had sent an official representative, Jon had not expected that he would send someone of his own blood so soon. Their palace had been an exchange for their water system, and Jon had said little of his discoveries to the man, but now he could confirm Ramsay's suspicious; their dealings had something to it. Something had made the man approach Ned with his first offerings and now he wanted to find a way to prod even further into Jon's home…

Jon had big plans for Dorne. He planned to have strong deals with the Reach and Dorne, as they had the best ports. The Crownlands were out of the question as Jon had no desire to ever negotiate in King's Landing. The Tarths were a given way to the Stormlands, and though the Lord of the Stormlands himself had graced Jon's marriage with his presence, the man hadn't been much interested in negotiations, preferring to shower his cousin in gifs and enjoy the feasts and training courtyard.

For Dorne, Jon had access to Sunspear, but he had hoped for a second port in the extreme South, one giving more access into the Summer Sea in case of things with the Reach not going the way he planned. But those plans were butchered, to his ever-growing chagrin, because House Dayne was gaping missing tooth in the Dornish revenue.

House Dayne was…They hadn't come. Which was a disappointment, but Jon would have to deal with it as it came. Ramsay said that something had barred them from coming to the wedding or, most likely, no one there would've wanted to see the bastard of the man who had ruined Ashara Dayne's life. Their vacancy was another butchered plan, as none from that House had arrived. But it was still possible that someone would come along once news reached the Realms.

They had no one from the Riverlands, Vale nor Crownlands, other than the Houses who were sworn to Dragonstone, and thus, to Dany. It was exactly as Jon had predicted, but it still stung to be so easily thrown aside because he was a bastard and she, a Targaryen.

Yet, Dany's speech was truly a blessing in disguise. Her words and actions would be enough to call forward small folk and prod the King a bit. They just needed a bit of time to establish themselves as an irreplaceable powerhouse for the Night's Watch. They also needed something unique so they could lure all those stupid Houses into Queenscrown. He just needed to figure out a way to properly invest his capital.

Trading in Westeros was a bitch to go about, especially because most of the population just didn't have the money or purpose. Nothing and no one would want them for a while, but they had the raw material to call enough attention from the higher places. Jon would bet that in a few moons time, there would a whole bunch of lordlings knocking at his door with some hundreds of peasants wishing for a better life. Jon suspected people travelling from Dorne, as they were prone to adventure and the ship dealings he had planned would provide easy transportation. He also hoped for people from the Westerlands, in search of the Targaryen riches. Those two Kingdoms would be their primary targets. Unfortunately, people couldn't go through the sea to Eastwatch as easily as he wished, but that could be solved if they made a few contracts on the side with their sailor guests from all over the world.

That would also give passage to trade with the East, Far East — if the many Yi Tish and other races that he saw around Winterfell were to say something — and South. They could potentially become a trade centre, despite their obvious horrible location for it. It was a farfetched dream that even Ramsay didn't believe in, but the presence of so many foreigners certainly lighted the fire within Jon to somehow make it happen.

Unlike their dealing with Westerosi, those of the East were already deeply rooted into Queenscrown's midst, providing for a strong connection and future trade as soon as he went back to Queenscrown, to show them the results of their investment and hard work. All there was left was for them to initiate the trade, but the deals were signed and the documents guarded. Everything else was all but set in stone, and there was talking of turning their eyes West, to where no one in the Seven Kingdoms had gone before.

In Westeros, things would go at a much slower way than he desired, yes, but as for the rest of the world…

A smirk grew on his lips, devilish and dark as Wintertown finally came into view.

"You seem positively savage, my lord Targaryen."

Anguy, the older of Ramsay's man and their best archer, much to Ramsay's chagrin, jerked his mare forward, barring Ser Garlan Tyrell from approaching Jon. The man's exclamation of surprise brought faint amusement to Jon as he raised his hand, signing the man off with a flicker of his fingers. The man nodded at him and moved back, opening the formation so Ser Garlan could go closer.

Jon stared at him, silent and cold, but inside he was truly guffawing at the man's terrified face. While Jon had come to understand the flowery way the Reachmen talked, it amused him the same amount as it annoyed. Sam, though he was fairly direct nowadays, had many a time slipped into his strange habit of describing things — usually food, or girls, or books, —in the most flowery and fancy way possible, in the true way of the Reach. But Sam was a boy, a boy who did not care for the frivolities of his home, while Jon was facing the pinnacle of the Reach's fanciness; a Tyrell to boot.

He nodded to the knight. "Ser, I hope the festivities were to your tastes." Small talk. That's what he had to do. Satin taught him that.

Ser Garlan grinned at him. "Why, thank you. It has been an incredible experience." He tilted his head to the Town. "I fear that if the infamous Wintertown is to be as much welcoming as your father's House than I shall go back home as plump as when I was in my boyhood!" Jon smiled faintly at the man. It made him look strangely at Jon and he hastily stared forward, berating himself for even attempting. He chose to hum quietly in response, fidgeting with his reins.

They stood in silence and Jon could hear Ramsay's faint voice behind him, obviously mocking him. Jon did not allow himself to turn towards the other bastard and throw something at his stupid face.

By the corner of his eyes, Jon could see Ser Garlan fidgeting awkwardly over his horse, opening and then closing his mouth. Great, he thought annoyingly, now I have made thing awkward with an important member of one of the Great Houses. Jon could just feel the disappointment in both Sam and Ramsay at his obvious lack of social skill. To hell with them, he wanted to say. Too bad he had common sense.

House Tyrell had gifted them scented oils and other things that were meant to be for his wife. A frivolous gift, luxurious but impersonal to any other should someone pry for their connections. The true gift had been given when Jon and Dany had met with Ser Garlan privately, to discuss future dealings.

Lord Willas Tyrell had sent one of his best hawks, trained and bred personally by him and of a rare breed indeed. The animal was a gorgeous beast, big and with talons longer than Jon's hand. A hawk strong and fast enough to cross the Seven Kingdoms, robust enough to be able to endure the cold climate of the North with immense wings that would carry him all the way South, to the very heart of the Reach, to Highgarden.

House Tyrell had always been loyal to House Targaryen, and Jon had been counting on their loyalty to somehow find a way to pass inconspicuously by all the eyes directed at their dealings. Now, Jon had a safe way to get in contact with the older heir of one of their most powerful potential allies.

"I heard you sister chose my wife's gifts…" Jon started, hesitating over his words for a second, but Ser Garlan immediately followed along. The man's eyes narrowed at him for a second before he smiled more openly at Jon, his clear teeth gleaming under the early sunlight.

"Ah, yes! Margaery has a vision, or better yet," He chuckled. "A nose for these kinds of womanly things! She was delighted to be tasked to choose Lady Targaryen's gifts." He looked at Jon expectantly and Jon just stared back with a blank face, not sure what he was supposed to do. A short moment passed before the man turned forward with a guffaw. "Gallant I may be called, but I can see I have not a drop humour here in the North." He proceeded to laugh loudly.

That was a joke?!

Jon gulped and frowned at their path ahead. It seemed an awfully long way until they reached the town and he could part with the man.

•••

The putrid smell of the town was the first thing that Jon always noticed upon arriving.

It was said in Winterfell that Jon had become awfully spoiled by his own fledgeling city, built to completely erase any foul smell coming from the people's shit and waste. Every town was shit unless you were speaking about Queenscrown, then you bet you were taking a walk through a flourishing garden in the middle of a city, next to a nice marketplace.

Jon still insisted that his city smelled like oranges and limes, but Ramsay and Robb only laughed at him and called him delusional.

When their retinue finally entered therein street, they were greeted by a wonderful bucket of shit and chicken guts being thrown from the second story of a house right into the street, splashing dirty liquid everywhere. People didn't blink an eye, but Jon was already twisting his nose in disgust, Ramsay and Anguy chuckling behind him while he could hear Satin retch drily.

The Southerners, used by such things in small folk's towns and their big cities, only directed their horses away, some already getting down from their mounts or moving somewhere else. Ser Garlan, who had chatted away all the way into town, finally gave his goodbyes, heading for an inn.

Lord Renly and his army of friends and knights approached them, the man at the very front with his Tyrell lover close. Jon looked at them coldly and nodded slowly to Ramsay, allowing them passage as they moved beside him.

"So, cousin, where are we headed at?" He smiled widely, blue eyes twinkling as he made a flourish with his hand. Jon's eyebrow twitched in annoyance as he scowled before he turned back to the road, paying attention to the town residents walking around them. Most of them flicked away from their group.

Moving his gaze towards the balconies above them, Jon could see them looking, whispering. Some old ladies appeared to be praying quietly while mothers took their curious children away, closing the windows sharply. Jon huffed, annoyed by their scared behaviour even as he could just feelRamsay's giggles.

"I am heading for an apothecary, my lord," He spoke slowly, not once moving his eyes away from their surroundings to see the lord's — his cousin in law, according to Dany, and the man himself. — reaction. "My lady is curious about some of the Northern common herbs…" A valid excuse, he knew. Daenerys was a curious being who enjoyed to know what the people enjoyed. His wife said that she enjoyed buying what they had to offer, to know what they had available for themselves instead of relying only on what the castle had.

It was convenient, Jon thought. Their glasshouses and gardens were outside of their castles, opened to the masses and carefully guarded as the closest districts to the main wondered what Dany would make of the orchards and beautiful glasshouses, much more elaborate and fancy than the one in Winterfell. Bigger in quantity, complexity and size, Queenscrown's Inner Greenbelts were a thing of beauty that Jon was sure would call for many curious tourists and others.

It also made everything smell way better than the stinky cities of anywhere, Jon thought, disgust clear in his face as they passed a dark alleyway that people probably used as a public pot chamber, going by the smell of the place.

"Ah! Young Daenerys, always a curious little thing," Dany was no little thing if Jon had anything to say about her. "Could I accompany you, perhaps?"

Fuck no, was Jon's most sincere response, because he really needed to go alone and deal with his own stuff, and that couldn't be done while the judging eyes of the King's younger brother and master of law there as a witness. Jon turned his face to his other side, where Anguy silently followed him. His other guard, Siro, was right behind him, on the rear of their group beside Satin. Ramsay had moved behind, right to Satin's side so he could give space for the Lord Baratheon.

They couldn't make a run for it, it would probably be bad for his House's image.

He'd think of something.

"Let's head to the stables first," Jon said, louder this time, jerking his reins and sharply turning on a corner. The lordlings scrambled to follow along, even his guards, but Jon didn't pay heed to them, mind furiously whirling as he tried to think of a way to dispose of the lords' attention.

He made his mount go faster, surprising a few women on the other street as he busted out, a string of other men following him on their own mounts. They needed to be fast; when things happened a bit more fast than usual, people tended to lose themselves in the fray.

He would let the lordlings search for him while he faded away into the crowd.

The stables came into view, a stableboy sitting by the entrance noticed their ruckus. The boy seemed to recognize Jon, bolting to his feet and called a few other ones. Jon made a sharp stop in front of the boy, meeting his eyes with a hard stare as he got down his horse, handing the reins to the young one. Jon turned around, seeing his guards being attended first by the boys. The four of them were quick to close around Jon.

His guards closed their formation around him. Jon stood in the centre, sharp eyes moving from one lord to another as they were left behind. Still, a few of them persisted, chatting and looking at Jon's group with growing suspicion that made him purse his lips in frustration, a low growl rising from his chest.

Renly's voice boomed around the chaos as he greeted the servants, losing himself to the attention. Jon turned away from them, passing by the boy while Satin was quick to handle a few Star copper coins to him.

Jon turned around the corner of the stables, entering a busy street full of vendors. His hands grabbed the hood resting on the back of his neck and pulled it over his head. As the heavy cloth fell over the upper half of his face, Jon pressed forward through the crowd. His guards shifted around him, dressed in black and putting up their hoods. They all formed an indistinguishable group, moving as one. They parted slightly, letting people pass through their group and make them blend into the crowd.

Ramsay moved behind him so he was standing at his left, Satin going to his right as the other two stepped forward. The fine mist of the morning made it more easy for them to blend into the crowd of early vendors and passing travellers, rising lazily to the sky.

His guards closed tight around him for a short moment, ready to listen to his orders. Jon's fine hairs on his body stood on end, his whole body singing at the thrill. He moved gracefully, fully were of every move as the four around him copied seamlessly, waiting and breathing at his every word. He knew what to do and he knew how to do it, as efficiently and quickly as possible, with no waste of energy or resources. He breathed out, mist coming from his hot breath meeting the cold air of the morning. His muscles tensed, his whole body shifted and he uttered a single word that rang out among them as the order it was.

"Mingle."

With one word from him, they moved. The five boys spread into the crowd. Jon moved to the left, going close to the buildings and leaving the centre of the street while Satin stomped through the crowd. Ramsay turned sharply into a corner and disappeared between buildings while the other two turned around, heading in the opposite direction from Jon, Ramsay and Satin were going to.

He remained close to the buildings, moving around the people without ever stopping. Soon, he saw a cart. Jon walked into it and used it to hoist himself up into the balcony of a store. He jumped again, grabbing onto hard rocks and pushing himself up. Looking down, no one noticed his daring climb. Some street kids pointed up at him but as his eyes fell upon them, they quickly scrambled away. Jon glued his back to the wall, crouched low, and moved across a wood beam as fast as he could, stopping beside an open window and entering what he knew to be an empty room of the store.

He closed the wood window behind him while he fished for the small key in the pouch strapped to his thigh. Jon went to the closed door of the room, unlocking it with his key and entering a corridor. He closed and locked the door again, quickly, as he heard the oncoming voice of two girls. They appeared down the hall just as he turned away from the door, gasping at the sight of him and scrambling back from where they came.

He huffed out a breath, hastily pulling the bottom part of the cape over his mouth. He really should arrange something to cover the bottom half of their faces.

Jon turned away from the hall, searching from the small stairs that led to a small attic where the owner of the apothecary — he told Renly he was heading there, after all. — kept some of his rarer species. It had a small window that gave way to a small side street that would give quick passage to the brothel.

A quick and very unnoticeable passage, might he add.

Jon opened the window, crouching low onto the small alcove outside as he closed it. He looked down and gulped. On the other side, there was a small house with a sturdy roof that could handle his weight. Without thinking too much about it, Jon jumped, landing into a roll and immediately going into a run. He remained as low as he could, not wanting to call attention from the residents of the taller structures.

Feet throbbing, Jon crossed over to the other side of the roof, where a small shitty alleyway was the perfect spot for him to jump without calling for too much attention. He did so with only mild disgust, landing and immediately holding his breath so as to not inhale the foul scent of whatever the fuck was in that place.

He crossed the alleyway where at its entrance, around its corner and watching the crowd move about on the street, was one of his guards. Jon exited the alleyway without stopping to greet who he knew was Ramsay.

His personal guard didn't hesitate in following him through the questionable crowd of people. Ramsay loomed close, face carefully hidden and holding the pommel of his preferred dagger just a bit out, as to warn others of his weaponry.

People just assumed he had one dagger if they attacked, and that was their mistake.

They turned in another corner, approaching the edge of the town, near the Kingsroad entrance. Soon, whores were roaming the streets too. The foul scent in this part was the worse, as the poorer parts of anyplace were. Jon snapped his jaw shut, a dark furrow between his brows as they approached the brothel. Three buildings away from the place, coming from inside a dinky tall building of wood and stone, came another one of his guards. This one, Satin, walked in front of them, guiding them into the brothel without ever hesitating.

Entering, the sounds of pleasure and scent of sex were unbearable. Nothing like when he was with Dany, Jon thought idly as they approached a red-haired woman sitting at a table. Ramsay hastened his pace, stopping in front of her long enough for her to recognize him and get up from the table. They were taken into the main administration area. They passed the kitchen and a few closed doors before they stopped before a small and sturdy wooden door.

"He's down there," She spoke lowly, staring at them with wide eyes full of fear and anticipation. Jon nodded and stepped forward as Ramsay dealt with her reward.

"Be sure to speak with your matron, Ros," Satin spoke to her. "It'd not be good if you all were to fall out of our favour, but you did well this time." The slight threat made Jon's lips twitch in amusement. Satin had sure evolved from the meek boy he had first met.

The woman nodded and unlocked the door for them, Ramsay being the first to enter. Jon followed him while Satin stayed behind, standing guard in front of the door. They had to crouch down a bit while going down the slim stone staircase. The air was thin and suffocating, the place far too humid. It was warm and dark, they could only see the slight glow of fire by the end of the stairs.

Entering the room, a small wooden table housed a small candle just beside the entryway. Ramsay grabbed it and walked further into the room. As they moved, the light revealed a tied up young man, quiet as a mouse, staring up at them with terrified eyes. He was young and pretty enough, thin and dirty. His leg was obviously broken, bent backwards. His hair was long and dark, with vivid blue eyes staring up at them.

"Well, well, well…" Ramsay said, stepping forward and crouching low next to the boy. "If it isn't the prettiest whore in town." He pushed his hood back, revealing his face to the boy and making him scream, muffed out by the peace of dirty cloth in his mouth. "We meet again, hmm?" His guard poked the cheek of the boy, the bruised one, making him flinch away with a short scream of pain. He was breathing heavily from his nose, tears and snot running down his face. Ramsay pressed harder, making his face dig on the dirt ground. "How ye doing?"

"Ramsay." The older boy stood up, turning to him with a small smile. He stepped back and rested his back against the wall, holding the candle towards the boy. Jon stepped forward and crouched down, one knee on the ground as he stared down at the boy.

He moved his hand to his face and the boy flinched away, making Jon stop for a moment. His hand remained there, between them, for a few moments while Jon stared silently at the boy. Jon knew exactly what the other one saw.

A small, dark figure hidden by dark clothes. Slim and shorter than Ramsay or any man, obviously younger and still in command of the older, crazier, boy. His solemn silence surely made for an even stranger figure, slow and watchful while Ramsay was all jerky movements and mocking one-sided conversation. What would his father think of him, Jon thought while he moved his hand closer to the boy again, moving the dirty piece of cloth.

The dirty rag stained his fingers and Jon could feel the drool on it. He was quick to wipe his hand on the thick cloth of his cape. The boy immediately screamed as high as he could, as soon as the rag was out of his mouth.

"HELP! SOMEONE!" Ramsay kicked him in the balls and kept kicking as Jon wiped his hand and stood up from the floor.

"You think—" Ramsay kicked him again. "Someone would help—" He stopped, the boy moaning in pain at his feet. Ramsay crouched down and dragged him away from the corner of the room. He threw him in the middle of the room like a rag-doll. "A little shit like you?"

"Enough," Jon spoke, staring at the young man as he wiggled on the floor, staring at the staircase in what Jon knew to be desperation. "I have some questions for you." He moved closer to the man, crouching beside him and pulling out a small knife, cutting through the ropes that held him.

As the ropes loosened, the boy started to crawl pathetically towards the stairs. His fingers and arms were broken, Jon noted dully.

"H-help…" He sobbed out, breathing into the ground. "P-please…"

Jon stared at him, silently and numbly. Ramsay snickered and then promptly sat on the boy's back, falling on him and making him screech in pain.

"Mercy…milord…"

He pursed his lips, moving around until he was sitting on the first steps of the stairs, finally making the young man's eyes focus on him. "How do you know if I am a lord?"

Blue eyes stared helplessly up at him, a strangled sob coming from his mouth as he sagged against the ground. "Imma a b-bastard, milord…" He gasped, coughing dryly and spitting out blood. "Imma useless, please…"

"How. Do. You. Know." Jon spoke more hastily now, something in him urging for an answer. What made him a lord? What made the boy see him, a small dark figure, as a fucking lord and not what he was? A bastard, just like himself. Ramsay's hand gripped the other's hair and pulled his head up so he was staring at Jon.

"I…I…"

"I could be a merchant for all you care. Maybe someone angry at you for what you do, or for someone you fucked." Jon spat the words out, putting his elbows on top of his knees and intertwining his fingers. He rested his mouth against his hands, staring down at the pitiful excuse of a bastard thrown at his feet. "So, will you stop your little joke, or will you get serious?"

They stared at each other for a long while, the man gasping and spitting out drool and blood. He had been captured the previous day by Ramsay's men in the town, and knew perfectly well why he was there. It made his hands itch for a sword, just thinking about what the man had planned to do. Jon wanted to get done as quick as he could, the room stunk of piss, shit and blood.

"Lord Targaryen," Ah, he was going to show his true face now. "I can tell you anything you wanna, anything, just, please," He sobbed out, face crumbling and lips trembling. "Please, get this man outta here, lemme be alone with ye and I'll say anythin'!"

Head moving down, Jon tsked. He shook his head, hands dragging up his face and throwing his hood back. He shook his hair away from his eyes before getting up. What would father think of me now?

"You shall tell me everything you know about Baelish, whore," Jon spoke softly, crossing his arms and nodding to Ramsay without moving his gaze away from the man. "And Ramsay shall punish you for each thing you say that I consider wrong." The man cried out, jolting away from Ramsay's hands as he pulled him by his shoulders and dragged him away from the staircase. Jon remained there, sitting and watching, wondering where was the honour in him. Where was the honour in doing this?

For Queenscrown, he decided. It was for Queenscrown and for the Gift, and for his family and his House.

The man's screams echoed in his ears, his words striking a fire in Jon that made him harden himself for the obstacles to come.

What would father say of what I have become?

•••

"Make sure he disappears, do you understand?" Ramsay nodded in delight as he closed the door behind them. By the next morning, the spy would no longer be in the living realm. Ramsay closed the door behind them and Jon nodded at Satin, who moved along with them. They put their hoods over their faces, securing their identities behind dark clothes and shadows as they exited the brothel. As they passed the doors, two other figures accompanied them.

His guards all moved to their places, walking just slightly behind him as the people stared at them. Jon knew that it was an open secret who they were, here, in the poorest parts of Wintertown, but they wouldn't dare to try and confirm who between them was the newly named Lord Targaryen. His father didn't know, and the small folk was glad enough by the protection he could give them.

Father ignored the darker side of his lands, the traffic, the people who sold and were sold, the prostitution and even the numbing substances — in the apothecary, as it was. — that were sold for recreational purposes. Those things existed even in remote Wintertown, but that wasn't for his father's concern and he did not care to search for it.

It wasn't his either, but he had decided a long time ago to make it his own business, and he would make the best of it while trying to protect his people and anyone who needed.

It was for the best, Jon thought. If he hadn't moved and took reign of the town and its dealings, it wouldn't prosper, and it wouldn't be good for Father. It could potentially affect Queenscrown. At the very least, it helped the people in it and it was good practice for when his city grew.

Honour came in many ways, that was just his own brand of honour, as Ramsay would say. His honour was what he made it be. All he did, it wasn't for himself, it was for his family, for his city, for his people. He had to choose what was best for them all, and if the life of one little spy was the price to pay, then he would.

His hands trembled at his side, jerking close into tight fists as his breathing fought to regulate. Jon turned sharply into a smaller street leading into the better part of the town, stopping in front of a little vendor, supporting himself onto the stall so he could try and breathe.

The foul smell of the stupid town was making him dizzy.

Biting his tongue, Jon pushed himself away from the stall. He pushed his hands against his eyes for a moment, breathing out slowly before he let his hands fall to his sides again. His guards gave him space, the closer one being Ramsay — always Ramsay — as they watched over him.

Staring down at his feet, Jon felt like he was standing at the edge of an abyss.

He remembered staring down the Flint Cliff, so high up that the sea looked like some sort of mantle. The wind had screamed in his ears, Ramsay by his side and Robb by his other. They had followed some of the local boys away from Flint's Finger, galloping through the fields with fast horses for hours on end until they reached the stony cliff. The fall was long and hard and Jon had been the only one of them to jump behind those crazy boys.

He had thought he would die, alone and cold as he hit the water.

For some reason, he was feeling he would die right at that moment, standing near a funky vendor and surrounded by people who he trusted with his life.

"Jon?" Ramsay called.

"What?" He snapped at the older boy, turning dangerous and dark eyes to meet with his unshakeable clear ones. Ramsay didn't appear to be affected by his glower, only nodding him to a stall on the other side of the street.

Moving his eyes to where the other had instructed, Jon found a bald man, waving costumers in and screaming loudly for all to hear. "Come, come! Come have a look at the first jewels of the North!" Jon didn't understand, at first. Frauds were common in these areas; especially in the North, where so few of the luxury of the warmer corners of the world were appreciated. Father and the Northern could pride themselves as much as they wanted in their Northern practicability; their people cared not for such pride. They wanted comfort, and they searched for it. Still, as Ramsay had pointed the man out, there must've had something about him…

Jon narrowed his eyes at him, straightening and walking toward the man. His hood was securely over his face and he kept his chin low, as to not giveaway nothing of his Stark appearance.

"My good sirs are searchin' fer anythin' special?" The man smiled at them with rotten teeth. Behind him stood Ramsay and Anguy, Jon could tell. The other two were moving slowly so they could find somewhere behind the man without him noticing.

"Whaddaya have here?" Anguy spoke, his Dornish origins obvious and making the vendor open a bigger grin. Jon ignored them for the time being, eyes locked upon the offering pieces of gleaming metals and crystals. Surprisingly, they all seemed to be real. Not jewels as the man said, rather, they were material of fine quality.

As Anguy chatted the man up, Ramsay elbowed Jon slightly, making him turn to his guard. Ramsay's eyes were fixed on the man's side, and Jon followed his line of vision. There, at his side, for all to see, was a very unique piece of clothing. One that Jon had seen a lot, since his first visit to Queenscrown.

Most of the workers used a special kind of fabric to cover their faces. The purpose of the fabric was to stop the number of deaths by inhalation of the dust in the construction ground, a practice common in some parts of the South and most of Essos. By the last year, the cloth was used by the miners as well. The cloth was dark, with red and white markings. It was of high quality, once again provided by their investors of the East. It was durable, and few of them had been destroyed throughout the years. They were unique to the working force of Queenscrown.

Jon's eyes moved down, to the displayed pieces of minerals on the stall. Each gleaming piece, a pretty coloured rock or shiny metal, was his.

Amethysts, Jon recognized. A pile of silver and even a diamond. Jon knew all of those, and all of them were confirmed findings of their mountain range, not a single one of the displayed goods weren't present in his mines.

And the little piece of shit in front of him thought he could escape selling House Targaryen's riches right under their noses.

"So, lad, something caught yer eye?" A gleaming ruby shone beautifully on the dirty cloth of the table, the early noon light passing through it beautifully. The whole table was a myriad of colours. Jon slowly dragged his gaze up. He memorized each little part of the man in front of him, from his large waist up to his bald head and his missing pinky finger. Behind the man, Jon could see the two figures of his guards looming.

Jon smiled, slowly.

"I don't like smugglers."

The man reeled back, blinking owlishly at him and scowling at him. "Now, look here ye lil' cunt—" He lifted one fat finger to shove in Jon's face. Jon did not even blink.

Grasping the man's finger, Jon bent it back without mercy, not caring for the big man's scream of pain as it broke. The vendors around them screamed too, as Jon's target was grabbed from behind by his two guards. Anguy stood behind, bow and arrows in hand as he barred people away from them. People noticed the black hoods, and they quickly scrambled away. Jon kept hold of the man's broken finger, twisting it from side to side as they dragged him into a corridor very far away.

Ramsay hastily started to collect the man's merchandise, putting it into bags and destroying the man's stall. Jon entered the alleyway, where two lovers quickly grabbed their clothing and ran away from them. His men threw the vendor to the floor and he howled in pain, rolling on the mud like the pig he was. Jon stomped forward and put a knife to his knee. The vendor howled louder.

Something in him roared in outrage, demanding for the man's blood at his daring to take something that was his. That was theirs. Maybe it was his bastard blood, Jon thought idly, as he twisted the knife and Satin tied the man's hands.

"Where is your honour?" He asked the man. The vendor kept screaming, howling and rolling and screeching. Jon had enough of his stupid crying and slapped him. The man still did not shut up, making him growl. One of his men threw water at the man's face and he sputtered, coughed, gasped. "I asked you," Jon grabbed the man's shirt and pulled. "Where's your honour?" The man fumed at him and spit at Jon's face.

Drool trickled down on his face, stinky and cold and utterly dirty.

A ruckus at the corridor's entrance called for his attention. Jon turned in time to see Ramsay lower his hood and speak with the Stark's guards. Jon glared at them, fingers itching to teach the man a lesson about not stealing from him. From Dany. From their lands.

Jon took several steps back, nodding to Ramsay as he let the guards enter the corridor. Jon let the guards grab the criminal, pushing him up. He let the man keep the Queenscrown cloth, knowing it would serve as evidence when he had to explain what happened and had to give his accusations.

Ramsay approached him, his men closing around him as he showed Jon the heavy begs in his hands. Ramsay nodded towards Anguy, and when Jon looked at the older man, he lifted two bags towards him. A cough behind him was the only warning given as Jory Cassel approached their group. Satin and Siro moved in front of Anguy, stopping anyone from seeing the bags he held. Jon turned around to face the captain of his father's guard.

"Found a new victim, Snow?" Jory never liked him, not since Ramsay.

"This man has stolen from my lands, Cassel." Jon spoke lowly, staring up at the man and not cringing at the slight hitch in his young voice. There was no time for embarrassment now for something he couldn't quite control. Cassel's face and posture changed, snapping at attention as he narrowed sharp eyes at him. "That cloth he has in his pocket is evidence of his connections to Queenscrown. He was either a miner or a worker there, and he was selling my goods in Wintertown. Do you know what this means?"

The man nodded severely, moving his eyes to the smuggler. "Aye. We can't have those Southern nobles shitfaces knowing about this, right?"

Surprised the man eve understand that political notion, Jon nodded. "Aye. It makes us look fragile and may invite them to send their people to do the same instead of buying it directly from us." At the word buying, as a true Northern, the man sneered. Jon had no time for the accusations of greed. "All of our investors may doubt of my oath on paying my debts," Now the man truly understood, by the grave and outraged look on his face. Nothing like someone doubting the oath of a Stark, even a bastard one, to get them to do what he wanted. "Take him to the dungeons, and keep it quiet."

"Will do, Snow." And the man turned away from him, dismissing him as nothing worthy of his time. Jon scowled at him, but a quick glance to the smuggler's whimpering form and the cloth he carried made him look back at Jory Cassel with a cool mask and the lifted chin his wife often wore.

"It's Lord Targaryen, Cassel," The captain stopped, looking at him over his shoulder with a whitening glare that Jon matched with a nasty glint in his eyes. He snapped his gaze to the man on the muddled ground. "Don't lose him. We need to know how he did it." And if there are other leaks like him, he thought furiously, turning away from the man without waiting for his response.

The Stark guards gave him a wide berth, as they always did, and Jon stepped out into the fray. They stood there in silence for a moment, all breathing heavily and looking around the crowd. Soon, they could hear the voices of one of the lords calling for them.

"Oi!" Jon swore and ran. They all scrambled away from the group of man that had entered the town with them. Anguy disappeared into an alleyway with Siro. Jon remained with Ramsay and Satin, running through alleyways and jumping through stalls until he saw a bunch of chicken cages that gave passage to some lower balconies.

"We'll take a quick way!" He warned them, turning sharply and jumping over a few baskets.

Satin groaned behind him. "I hate the quick way!"

"Ha!" Ramsay cackled. "Such a pansy!" Satin didn't answer, as they had to concentrate on finding their way up towards the roof. Jon used the stocked up cages as stairs while Satin — agile as ever — jumped on one and then immediately went to grab the edge of a windowsill, hoisting himself up. Ramsay jumped on top of a man's back as he crouched down, making the poor man dig his face into the ground, and then jumped on top of a stall — destroying it — and managing to grab on the edge of a wooden railing. All of them were quick to traverse across their chosen balconies and up to to the roofs, leaving behind a string of chaos as they ran to the stables.

•••

Arriving at Winterfell to see his brothers training, peaceful and safe, made him calm down.

Bran's warm welcoming and Robb's bright smile cooled his blood and temper, settling him into a peaceful state for a while when they reunited. He moved through the fighting stances, showing Bran how to better position himself for battle as Robb corrected their younger brother. A smile was stuck to his lips, even as he felt like his head was throbbing in pain and his whole being shook in anger.

He went through the motions of greeting and laughing with his family, nodding to whatever Bran exclaimed and joking around with Robb.

All of it fell flat to him.

They had successfully captured and interrogated the whore spy in Winterfell, a young man that worked for Littlefinger in brothels, installed in Winterfell months past while Jon was in Queenscrown. The man was waiting for when Jon left with Dany for Queenscrown, hoping to enter the city along with many others that would surely follow them North. Littlefinger's machinations rang to Lord Stannis' warning, making Jon grit his teeth and hold himself back from punching something, because, while he succeeded in stopping a Lord's prodding in his own city, a mere smuggler with rotten teeth had escaped his watch with his riches in hands.

Theon and Ramsay jabbed at each other, loudly and goaded on by the lords around them. The groups formed a circle around the two boys while Bran ran away, no doubt itching to climb the castle's walls. A training sword was given to Theon as Ramsay took out his dagger, spinning it forward and opening his arms in invitation.

Lord Renly and Robb both stood beside him, looking on and laughing. Jon let small chuckles fall out of his lips, not wanting to pass as too ignorant. He interacted with them enough to not raise Robb's suspicions, but kept a sharp eye on the windows and the walkway, waiting for his Lord Father to appear at any time's notice.

His whole being vibrated with energy, the ire and bloodlust still singing loudly for that vendor's miserable head; he wanted justice but his justice wasn't his Father's kind of justice and as such, not possible to acquire in Winterfell. Jon knew that his father would soon receive news of what had happened, in a few hours time he'd be searching for Jon, to give him a punishment, no doubt.

Robb screamed at Ramsay to use a training sword, as to not actually kill Theon. The Greyjoy protested but Ramsay conceded to the request with a snicker, eyes meeting with Jon's for a moment before he sheathed his dagger. Satin threw a sword at him, which Ramsay caught with a twirl, spinning around to grin at the crowd.

Theon did not wait for Ramsay to turn back, running at him. The older boy simply twisted around and kicked his ass as the Ironborn passed. The crowd laughed but Jon pursed his lips, watching closely and crossing his arms.

Theon would lose, as he always did.

Even now he could see the way he was paler than usual, legs shaking and a clumsy grip on the sword. His whole being shook in fear as he turned around to face Ramsay, his muscles locking as he lowered his stance. Theon had feared Ramsay for a long time, and Jon knew he had the reason for it.

When Jon had one and ten namedays, Ramsay had arrived in Winterfell, sullen and bitter to be given to some the bastard of his father's liege as a gift. Ramsay had tormented Jon with lies, had made him hate Dany with his twisted words, and it was in bad waters that they accompanied Lord Stark to a brief tour of the west side of his lands. Theon and Robb had tagged along, and Jon felt himself being left alone, as Robb was thick friends with the Ironborn while Jon preferred to stay away from the hostage.

It was in their first stop, in Highpoint, the seat of House Whitehill, vassals to House Bolton, that Ramsay had dared to lure Theon and a girl he had taken as a lover, to their deaths.

It had been rumoured that Ramsay Snow had been sent to Jon because his own father had no use for him anymore, as he had become far too uncontrollable. Jon hadn't believed those rumours, for he had been sure Ramsay was sent with the purpose of spying for Lord Bolton without outright insulting Lord Stark.

The truth came to light in one early morning two days after their arrival, as Theon had taken the girl for tryst out amongst the destroyed Ironwood forest and Ramsay had followed creepily behind, bow and arrows in hand. Jon had thought about ignoring them, had thought of staying behind and watching the barren hill from his perch in the castle walls.

Something inside him had urged him to follow the group.

Good thing he did, tracking them through their footprints — He could remember how faint Ramsay's were — and tracking down the barren Hill for what felt like hours, alone and with only a mock sword in hand, young and untainted. Soon, he could hear screams, and he remembered how he had frozen, suddenly every bit scared as he recognized Theon's voice.

He ran, as fast as he could and with all of his might, not knowing what he would find but determined to end it. The mind of the child he was had been hopeful, thinking he would burst into a clearing and stop all evil with all but a swing of a sword, because Jon he was good at fighting. That ingenuity had been broken when he ran up a hill, stopping at the top and seeing Ramsay posted a few ways down from him, his bow drawn with a dozen of arrows in hand, shooting with an impossible speed at two figures in the clearing down the hill. Jon could hear Theon and the girl scream and cry, falling over themselves as Ramsay shoot arrows at them, making the couple run in endless circles.

The bastard was playing with them. He was making them run in a wide circle, Jon could even see the area marked down by arrows. He'd been frozen for a long moment, watching the morbid game and seeing it coming to a bloody end as Ramsay reached his final arrows. This shot was different from the others. Ramsay had shooting quickly, without taking aim and hitting his exact mark, but this one shot…He drew it out slowly, pulling at the bowstring while cackling madly, accompanying the running par in a devilish slow way.

He had been aiming to kill.

Jon tackled him just enough for him to miss his mark — he would later learn the boy had been aiming for the girl's heart — and the arrow to hit her leg. The bastards had rolled down the hill, and Jon could still remember the sharp rocks cutting through his clothes as they rolled down.

Jon had beaten him senseless, to the point where the boy had been covered in blood but had cackled throughout all of his beating.

Ramsay had no sense of fear, had no regrets and would do whatever necessary. That day, he had planned to get himself killed. He knew that people would know the attacker had been him, he had used his arrows, which he had been boasting about for a long time, and had brought an important member of Lord Stark's household for his little game. Arriving at the castle, his fate was sure to be death, bringing shame to his House for having done such unspeakable things right under Lord Stark.

Jon had left, hoping him to rot and bleed to his death, hoping to never see the idiot again. The fucker had crawled back to Highpoint, barely alive when arriving at the gates, and cackling madly when Jon had met his gaze. To this day, Jon still wondered how the hell he hadn't died.

Ramsay was a motherfucker who didn't fear death. Jon had let him die, just as he wanted; and the fucker crawled back from the dead just out spite. He had wanted to die while shaming his lordly father, who sent him away to some nobody's servant; still saved his life in the end by leading Jon to take him as a hostage of some kind.

When Ramsay fought, he fought to destroy and humiliate, to kill, and he cared not what the fucking hell hit him; he would just hit back with twice as much strength.

A monster, Jon thought, watching him struck the pommel of his sword on the back of Theon's head, not caring for the other's strike on his other arm. Theon fell into the mud at his feet and scrambled away with a scream before Ramsay could smash his skull with his foot.

Jon knew Ramsay had let the boy believe he could scramble away in time. He knew that Ramsay had enough time and was quick enough to pound his foot down onto the boy's head. Jon also knew that if Theon had not escaped the blow, Ramsay would not have stopped until the other was dead or Jon interrupted the fight.

Not when he was high on his bloodlust.

His personal guard turned to him, wide smile and empty eyes begging for a fight. Jon was pushed forwards to face him, and he went like in a trance, catching the sword Theon threw at him. Ramsay paced back in forth, eyeing him up like Jon was his favourite meal, ready to pounce at any moment notice.

Jon spun the training sword in his hand, moving into his preferred stance and waiting for the powerful blow that Ramsay always used in a fight. Memories of Ramsay's games shaming Robb's parents came to mind, making him grit his teeth and grip the sword harder, changing just position just a bit as in the last moment as Ramsay song his sword down at Jon's head.

He would make the boy pay for daring to mess with his family.

Pivoting around the other's body, Jon slashed at the boy's open side. Of course, if they had armour on it wouldn't be much more than a rogue push, but it was still a nice distraction for his next move. Ramsay stumbled a bit but used the momentum to turn and throw himself forward, slashing wildly at him with brutal force and speed that Jon knew was used for overwhelming his opponents. Ramsay waited for no weakness, he made them himself and exploited them to the maximum. Jon moved back quickly, not worrying about raising his sword when he knew he could dodge.

Would there ever be a reason for Ramsay to betray him, Jon knew he would be a formidable opponent.

Jon blocked a direct strike, pushing the sword away and quickly slashing at the older boy again. Ramsay shirked in pain, dramatic as always. He glared up at him, baring his teeth like beats before charging forward. As they traded blows, Jon wondered if he hadn't betrayed him already. as he parried and moved away from a wild kick, Jon thought if perhaps the betrayal hadn't come from closer than he thought.

Ramsay knew as much as him; Ramsay was the one with easy access to new batches. Ramsay was as much in control of the city as Jon, knowing everything and doing what Jon himself couldn't to make sure that everything happened smoothly.

But why would he even want Jon's fortune? Ramsay did not pass as poor, and lived in the castle itself, with as many luxuries as he wished.

Jon lifted his sword, stopping Ramsay's repetitive blows to his head. The young man was relentless, and Jon could only truly face him so easily because he knew him. Better than anything else and sometimes better than himself, Jon knew Ramsay Snow.

It was for that reason alone that he knew the boy would not betray him to sell some pretty rocks in the fucking street when they could make millions with jewelry and good investments. Jon may have been influenced by Ramsay, but he influenced the older boy just as much, and he knew the other knew exactly how to truly make a good profit out of a few shiny rocks.

Jon ducked from a horizontal slash, falling to one knee and hitting the back of the other's knees with the training blunted sword. Ramsay fell, defeated and cackling like mad, as Jon knew he would do.

He watched him silently, not offering his hand for him get up. Jon walked forward and put the tip of the sword to the boy's neck, staring down at him with freezing eyes.

"Don't you ever use my family for your stupid little games, Ramsay," Jon spoke quietly for him, just for him. The crowd clapped and talked animatedly around them, enjoying the show they gave.

Ramsay smiled up at him, clear eyes as empty as his soul staring up at him with sick devotion. "As you wish," He lifted his head, pressing neck to the tip of the sword with not an ounce of fear. "My lord."

Jon stepped back, turning his back to his…friend, and waiting for his next opponent. Theon strolled forward, arrogant and wanting to prove himself again. He never learnt, but Jon would indulge him, as he needed something to do to calm him and take him out of the dark place he went when thinking about Ramsay.

He put a third of his mind to the fight, distractedly meeting Theon's blows without ever really attacking. He thought of dragging the fight long, to slow him down and disperse the crowd.

Then, his wife — with trying sword in hand and a simple white dress covering her body — marched in the courtyard with his sister, demanding to fight for the honour of his hand in marriage.

•••

Daenerys Targaryen fought like she was a fucking dancer.

How many time had he rolled away from her by now, because she twirled that sword around so quickly and so effortlessly close to his neck, or legs? She thrust into him just as he blocked and had manoeuvred away from her, pivoting on his feet and showing his back to her for a fraction of a fucking second. He saw her strike at his back by the corner of his eyes, grabbing his sword backwards at an angle, letting her blade glide across his sword and directly into the ground.

His wife stumbled forward, the same as when Theon had blocked her. This time though, she rolled onto her back, not caring for the mud on her hair and dress as she pivoted around on one knee to face him. One hand still on the ground and one leg extended back, she slashed her sword at nothing, throwing away the mud staining it.

He could see the light strain on her body, tired now. She hadn't had the best of endurance then. Or maybe it was because we did not sleep last night, before the thought made him hesitate and mumble like a fool as he usually did when with her, Jon pushed himself forward. He held his training sword in both hands, held high above one shoulder. He brought on her without thinking, for a second realizing he was going at her like she was Ramsay or Ser Rodrik, with all he had, and realizing that she, maybe, could not block him in time and seriously injure herself.

The Targaryen surprised him again, bending her extended leg so she could scoot away from him and jumped back. She landed swiftly and proceeded ran to him again, thin sword low and held in one hand. Jon reverted his grip on his sword, blocking her but noticing far too late her other hand coming to his gut. The punch was not as strong as even the strongest he had ever received, but it sure felt like it. Jon reached dryly, doubling over herself for a single moment, allowing her to push her sword down the length of his again, pushing her arms back, ready to stab him while using his sword as support. Jon's eyes widened and he used his strength to push her sword up, making it fly out of her hand and she stepped back as he directed his blunt blade at her in a diagonal cut. As he expected — and wasn't it exciting? His own wife! Managing to fight him! Him, who could only fight at his best with Ser Rodrik, Father, Ramsay and few others without worry for truly hurting them. — she moved away from him, heaving and looking at him with dark eyes he knew very well from when they were in the privacy of their room.

Smirking at her, he crouched down to get her training sword, allowing a grunt of surprise fall from his lips as he noticed the sheer weight of it. It was like a compressed longsword in weight. He moved it around, distracted for a moment. "This is awfully heavy, my la-" He moved back from her fist, aiming squarely at his face. When did she get here? She kicked high on his right side, quickly throwing one of those quick punches with her other hand and hitting his left arm, making him drop her sword and scream in pain. She crouched down, caught the sword before it fell to the ground, and jumped back, swinging the — thankfully — blunt blade at his knees.

Jon stumbled back, his side, arm and knees hurting like Seven Hells. There was something seriously wrong with the way she attacked.

"If you don't pay attention, husband," She yelled at him, breathing heavily, her tits pressing against the muddled neckline. "You'll end up on the ground, just like your friend." Jeers came from the crowd watching them and he gritted his jaw, stopping for a minute and cursing himself for getting so distracted. She was right, though he had been exhilarated and jumped at her with all he had, he wasn't taking her seriously.

He observed her arms, noticing how they were built for sheer strength, but were still strong, not pure muscle but very well defined. She dealt her blows quick and rather foolishly recklessly, he noted, remembering her daring stab at him while their words were still crossed. She tried to be sneaky and her punches were just a random hit to tire him down. She knows anatomy, he deduced. Daenerys had been trained to hit quickly and to hit at a specific place, to quickly disable her opponent.

Adjusting his stance, he watched as she ran towards at him again, this time really observing her. He ducked her horizontal strike, poising his sword to cut at her legs and, as he expected, she had enough time to notice and jump back away. She jumped high and had quick reactions, her legs were very strong and he remembered the sinuous length of her lower members. She was quicker than him, and used her advantage at maximum, learning to jump around. She'd be good for their town runs, Jon thought dully.

Still, the point was that she fought with her mind, aiming to hit at specific points that'd bring her opponent down in an instant. Her sword allowed for quick moving, stabbing and cutting just fine. Not the best choice in a true battle, but he knew she had a Valyrian steel sword, and that explained a lot about her audacious fighting style.

Jon usually relied on his instincts and reflexes, just knowing without really thinking what to do. But he had never fought with someone like her, quicker than even he. Jon was strong and quick and knew how to fight better than most, but Dany was just as good on her own hard work. If she truly knew anatomy and used her memory only to quickly attack whatever weak point she saw closer, changing her stance to best reach that point no matter what distance between her and her opponent's sword, she could truly be the stuff of legends.

Fuck, he thought, feeling the stifling discomfort of his hard member in his breeches. They both crashed their swords together, he pushing easily against her thin blade. she grunted and jumped back, running around him far too quickly. Still, despite her sudden burst of speed, he blocked her, stopping her blade from reaching his side and making her pressed forward, holding her sword in two hands. She was losing her temper, he could see. She had never used a two-handed grip until this very moment, where she glared fierily up at him.

She was really frustrated. And he could guess the reason, Jon thought while glancing down her cleavage and seeing the shape of her hard nipples through her dirty dress.

Their eyes met, wild and savage, filled with fire and desire and Jon wished they were in their room, behind their red door, more than anything else in the world. She snapped her teeth at him, moving quicker still, stepping back raising her sword to stab at his shoulders. He had to swat away her blade, moving backwards on nimble feet. He had never fought someone like this; it was like she was fearless of his own attacks, aiming only to her goal and willing to take on anything as long as she reached it. Jon ducked sideways, moving around her and hitting her back. She fell forwards and did something he had never seen.

Despite the obvious pain, she fell forward for a second and then she bent her legs and pushed herself into the air. Her whole body spun in the air and then she fell back on the ground, feet planted firmly on the ground as she twisted back on him, clearly exhausted but not giving up anytime soon.

What in the Seven Hells? He stared at her with wide eyes, something he was sure every last one of the witnesses around him copied. Daenerys' fighting style was insane, and it tired him out just thinking about it. How did she manage so long? It was impractical and reckless and far too fancy and nonsensical and holy shit he loved it.

"Lady Daenerys!" Lady Catelyn's voice echoed in the silence that took over the courtyard. Jon felt his own desire deflated a little bit and he would have turned around to tell her to fuck off but Daenerys' eyes remained on him. Her violet eyes were dark, dark as the moonless sky and a void that called to him like a siren's song. He knew exactly what she wanted and that he could give her what she wanted — would give her anything she asked right at that moment. — and needed.

He wanted to stalk across the muddled courtyard and take her to bed and remain there for days, just them, alone and in peace and hopefully fucking.

"Lady Daenerys, what is this?" Catelyn appeared beside her, moving to block his view of Dany as she fussed over her dirty appearance. "Is that a sword?" The woman asked hesitatingly. Dany remained quiet, looking at him over the woman's shoulder. Lady Catelyn glanced over her shoulder to see him, sneering and turning back around to face the younger girl. "Come, let us take you inside." She took out her cape, putting over Dany's shoulders and guiding her away from the crowd. Daenerys looked back at him a moment, smouldering stare that promised many things for their night.

Jon had half a mind to follow her inside when he was tackled from behind by a tiny being, just as Lady Catelyn disappeared inside the keep. "Gods, Jon!" Arya's muffled voice reached his ears and he had to blink a couple times to refocus on the world around them. "You two were amazing!" She scrambled to stand in front of him, grabbing his jerkin, pushing him down and shaking him wildly. "What was that thing she did before Mother arrived?" She shook him harder, making him dizzy. "Teach me, Jon!" Robb appeared behind her, arms circling her tiny waist and hoisting her up. Arya fought wildly in his arms, reaching for Jon and cursing Robb to Seven Hells and beyond.

Ramsay stopped beside him, watching the ruckus the little wolf made and whistling softly. "Milady is one helluva fighter."

Jon stared at him with wide eyes, eyebrows high in his forehead. That is an understatement. Jon looked back where his wife had disappeared, wanting more to follow her to the ends of Earth and back if it meant he could have her in his arms again.

•••

A hot bath was usually welcomed after such straining days, but Jon couldn't find comfort while being so painfully hard with desire, engulfed by the heat that wasn't the one he craved. It was also particularly difficult to concentrate on his own predicaments beyond embarrassment and frustration when two of his personal guards chose to remain in his bathing chambers.

"I really don't need your help, Satin, and you know it," He grumbled to the younger boy who was massaging his head with oils Daenerys had given to Jon. Thinking of her only made it worse for him.

"Nonsense, Lord Jon," The younger boys answered calmly, moving his nails across Jon's scalp. Jon was definitively softening, as this lordly attentions had never been enjoyable to him. It was a custom of the South, but his guards took it gladly, accompanying him to baths as his personal servants and gossiping and joking around. Not that Jon trusted anyone else other than Dany to see him so vulnerable, but he hated having Ramsay giggling like a little girl while sitting on a little stool not two feet away from Jon's bathtub.

"Gods, I have another one!" Ramsay exclaimed, hitting his knee and leaning forward. He stared at them with gleeful eyes full that promised profound embarrassment to Jon. For the past hour, all he did was make stupid jokes as Jon tried to hide his huge boner from them, all the way back from the courtyard to this very moment.

Jon wanted to die.

"That sure was the hardest fight Jon has ever fought…" He remained silent for a moment, a huge smile on his mouth as his eyes moved from Jon and back to Satin. Satin snickered and tried to cover up with a cough. They could hear the loud coughing coming from the door leading back to the bedchamber, Siro and Anguy's attempt at hiding their own mirth at their lord's expense. Ramsay cackled loudly.

Closing his eyes, Jon tried to pretend he had never met Ramsay and his life was all an elaborate illusion. He never met Ramsay, never heard his bloody voice and never had to deal with his horrible jokes.

Satin's soft voice echoed in the chamber soon after. "Milord's resolve to win was hard as rock." Ramsay fell off his stop and rolled on the ground, a loud guffaw that should deprive him of air and kill him coming out of his damned mouth. Jon turned sharply around and pushed Satin from hisstool, making him fall to the floor. The previous whore didn't seem to mind, falling into uncontrollable giggles as he slowly got up from the ground.

Jon decided to cut Satin from his Ramsay-less dream life.

"Get out, you fuckers." They scrambled to their feet, stumbling towards the door and looking back at him with gleeful eyes. "Go deal with that fucking smuggler, I want him gone from here and in Castle Black's cells as quickly as possible." He turned away from them, grabbing his soap and dragging across his chest. While satin tried to regain a serious composure and nod gravely to him, Ramsay kept giggling and didn't even bother to look back at him.

"Whatever, whatever." He giggled, opening the door and heading out. Satin quickly bowed to him and followed the older boy, closing the door behind him. Jon could hear faint voices on the other side of the door before the silence resumed, more peaceful now that Ramsay wasn't there to pester him.

He waited a moment before throwing the soap at the wall with a frustrated growl.

Dany had been a wonderful distraction, and fighting with both Ramsay and she had cooled his temper a lot, but he still boiled with anger now. He had a fucking leak. The thought of it passing him with no notice made him want to scream and hit something.

He had thought Ramsay could be the leak, but he could see the impossibility of such. Though it was him who pointed the man out to Jon, he knew that Ramsay wouldn't do something stupid so soon in the game, not when they were dealing with the likes of Lord Baelish and the Spider.

That was another whole level of a problem; should he allow a controllable number of spies around the Gift? Maybe he could send them to Mole's Town or the Wall itself. They needed the numbers and would allow for a better way to manipulate the information leaving the Gift. While it was, technically, doable. Still, it was all a pretty silly idea that had a thousand and one ways to go wrong. One tiny slip and they could have the wrong things going out of their lands.

Still, Jon hadn't that much of important information for them to leak. As of now, all he had was the potential for treasure and wealth, who most of the Realm would surely be interested in invest. The master of coin and the spider's interest was a clear sign that maybe Jon could have the Crown interested in a loan and have them in his hands for a while. It could stop that fucker Joffrey from doing anything crazy when he took the crown.

The reports were clear that the boy was mad as Dany's father, maybe even more dangerous, as he seemed to have clear conscience of his actions. Jon had lost count of how many witnesses he had interviewed about the Mad King's own branch of madness, and most, if not all, said the man hadn't been capable of thinking clearly and had lost all contact with the real world as the years passed after Duskendale. His fixation in hurting Dany when she was in King's Landing could lead him to petty actions against the Night's Watch, like denying or decreasing the number of people sent to take the oath.

If the spies entered Queenscrown and the Watch, things could go terribly wrong for them in the future, as Jon did not know what kind of things could trigger the boy into action. So, Jon could not have those fucking spies roaming around his and the Watch's lands, because it could be potentially dangerous.

Still, it would be suspicious if they continued to deny entrance to certain individuals, as rare as it was for people to move all the way North. Jon would have rumours flying around of Queenscrown selectiveness in a few months and Dany's speech would fall short, making House Targaryen's worth and reliability decrease immensely.

It made everything a huge fucking mess and Jon was lost on how the hell he would fix all the shitty things he learned today.

The whore had said there was one other spy heading to the Dreadfort. They were no whore, but a child that worked for the Spider that Ramsay had snatched days back when Dany had told them of the spider's network. The boy would be dealt with, and Ramsay was sure he managed to even use his skills in information gathering before his parting with Lord Bolton.

The whore had said he knew of the boy because his lord had to join forces with the Spider to secure a place in Winterfell and then, closer to Queenscrown. Jon's grip was tight in the North, making impossible for them to find a place so easily. It would be harder once they were all the way back in Queenscrown, but Ramsay could manage. But still, why were they so interested in them? Perhaps the leak had to be connected to the crown, somehow, in the last year and a half, sending the news of Jon's discoveries.

They had too much to do and Jon felt nothing but rage at his incompetence. He'd have to make amends and take out any kind of spy, for now. They could not have any interruptions or plottings when so many potential investors and Houses were there, it'd only make his job difficult. He'd need to interrogate and dispose of them as quickly as possible, as soon as Ramsay found them.

With a tired sigh, Jon wondered what kind of a monster he was. By the next morning, a young man would be killed and a boy would die, he had sentenced their deaths and yet it was not him who swung the sword, and he would order many other deaths. How could he? He could not deal with every man that tried to attack his House and people. He could not go out in the city and kill a man without people noticing. He could not travel to the Dreadfort without people noticing.

Jon wondered if his father knew how difficult it truly was to do what he did. Everything was so clean cut for his father. He didn't see the enemies lurking in the shadows, too far away for him to take their head with Ice as honour demanded. Did his father know of the enemies that wished and wanted to take what he had? How could the Starks survive for so long, Jon thought, without ever seeing the true enemies playing their cards in behind the scenes, too stuck to their honour.

Was Jon even a true Stark? He did not seem like one, from his own point of view.

Tired, Jon moved out of the tub, grabbing a towel from a stool nearby. He put it over his head, trying to dry his hair as much as he could so as to not get a cold. He moved into his room without looking, knowing it to be empty. He dressed in soft clothing, ready for a full night of sleep. He missed the warmth of his wife.

He needed her peace.

Hurrying, he moved out of his chambers, stepping out in the corridor while closing his robe — he was wearing a fucking robe, how far had he gone — and nodding to Siro and Anguy as he walked towards the red door a few ways ahead from his own door. He knocked, smiling softly at her laughing voice allowing his entrance.

Entering, he was greeted with the vision of his wife laughing gleefully on the rug in front of the hearth, a small babe in her arms pulling on her silver hair and babbling incoherently. Lady Marya of House Seaworth sat in one of their armchairs, sewing peacefully with a soft smile on her lips. He closed the door behind him, moving to sit in the other armchair while watching his wife play with the baby.

"Jon," She laughed mirthfully, getting up with the little boy in her arms and kneeling at his feet. "Look at him! Isn't he the cutest little boy you have ever seen?" She cooed at the baby, showing his little face to him. The boy looked as any other baby had ever looked to Jon, he did not truly think him cute or adorable, but for the sake of his wife, and to keep that beautiful smile on her face, he nodded quietly.

Lady Marya chuckled, getting up from the armchair and putting her needlework on the side-table. "You said so for every son of mine." She wiggled her fingers at the boy, who immediately reached for her with a happy shriek. "And I'm sure you say it for every other babe you meet."

Jon's lips twitched and he coughed, falling back into the armchair and turning his face away, hiding his mirth from the playful glare of his wife.

"Only yours, Lady Marya," Dany continued, getting up from the ground to pass the baby to the older lady.

The woman only smirked at her, curtsying and walking out with a quiet farewell. Dany waited for her to get out before she fell atop him. His hands circled her waist as she climbed on his lap, straddling him and bitting on her lower lip as she sat on him.

He smiled at her, one hand gripping the back of her head and bringing her down, putting his mouth over her lips into a light kiss that she quickly deepened, using her tongue to caress his. They weren't as messy as the first time, kissing deeply and unafraid, using their tongues to taste as much as they could. She moved back, bitting on his lower lip as she usually did. She let him go and moved away from him, giggling all the way to their bed as she twirled and danced around.

Jon remained sitting, watching her with soft eyes and finally feeling his body relax.

"You are an amazing fighter," She pulled their pelt from the bed, throwing it over her shoulders as a mock cape, pulling it tight around her body. Her gaze was sly and there was a playful tilt to her voice. "I'm sure you'd have won, in time, husband," She giggled, cheeks flushed and closing her eyes as she hugged her shoulders, thin hands digging into the soft fur.

"Are you drunk?" He chuckled, getting up and walking at her with narrowed eyes. Her mouth had a foreign taste when he kissed her.

She squinted at him, a delicious blush on her cheeks as she swayed slightly on her feet. "Lady Marya said something about not drinking too much wine," Daenerys moved her eyes up, comically pensive while one of her hands scratched at an inexistent beard on her chin. "But I think she was over-" She hiccoughed, one hand bashfully covering her mouth. "Overreacting…?"

Holding back his chuckle, Jon's hands fell to her shoulders. "Why are you drunk, Daenerys?" One hand rose to play with her wonderful waves, soft to his touch.

"I had dinner with Lady Catelyn after she interrupted us," She pouted, her hands dragging over his clothed stomach. "There was plenty of wine there." It mildly worried him that Lady Catelyn had his wife visibly drunk. "But Lady Marya and Melisandre saved me." She finally reached his neck with her hands, dragging her nails on his skin and making him shudder. "Lady Marya stayed with me here," She rose to the tip of her toes, breathing over his mouth as her hands settled on the back of his hair, messing with it. "While I waited for you."

He hummed, hugging her close and moving his lips to her in another kiss. Jon didn't drag the kiss, uncomfortable in dragging her for into any kind of…activities, while she was clearly drunk.

"Good," He responded, pleased.

She narrowed her eyes at him, her gaze moving over his features with acute shrewdness. One of her hands played with his ear as she tilted her head at him. "You'll not fuck me tonight." Despite his rapidly reddening cheeks, Jon nodded slowly, playing with the fur of their pelt pushed tight against the small of her back. Dany hummed quietly, laying her head underneath his chin and dragging her hands to his shoulders and then his chest. "That's alright." He laid his cheek on the top of her head, breathing the scent of her soft hair.

He swayed with her, moving with the drunken body until she was making him mock dance with her. She kept stepping on his toes, and he tripped on the pelt dragging on the floor, but they kept moving, laughing lowly and exchanging short kisses. The night was upon them, the only light in their room coming from their big hearth, throwing dancing shadows over her light skin and painting them into its fiery glow.

Dany giggled against his lips, moving them to his cheek, and snuggling her cheek against his. He pressed back against her, closing his eyes and losing himself in the peaceful moment. She almost tripped over her feet, but he grabbed the back of her thighs and hoisted her up. Dany held tight to him, hugging his neck and pressing her legs around his waist. She kissed the side of his head, biting his ear as he put her on the bed.

Dany fell heavily on the bed, throwing herself back and opening her arms and legs, occupying as much space as she could. She moved her arms over the bed, wiggling over the covers. Jon had to bit his upper lip to stop himself from laughing at her.

"What are you doing?" He asked with obvious laugher in his voice, despite his efforts for hiding it.

"Foooooooling aaaaroooound…" She dragged the two words, singsonging to a tune only she could listen to. She stopped, staying still for a few seconds before snapping up from the mattress, a blinding grin on her lips. "Jon!" His mouth twitched and his shoulders shook with the effort to keep his mirth in.

"Aye, love?" He regretted his wording as soon as it fell from his lips, cringing and waiting for her to remark something about him. Jon must have sounded so desperate. He couldn't love her in such a short time, and she could never reciprocate his feelings. I am your punishment, he thought sullenly. For his luck, she did not notice.

She grabbed his hands, swinging them around as she wiggled her eyebrows at him. "Wanna see my sword?" Her words mirrored Theon's earlier taunt, and Jon smiled at her, shaking his head in fond exasperation.

"If my wife wishes for me to see her sword," He pushed her off the bed, helping her on her drunken feet as their pelt fell back to the bed. He lowered his head a bit, getting close to her and looking deeply into her eyes. "Then I shall." He whispered softly, kissing her on the tip of her nose and moving aside for her to move. Dany squealed cutely, jumping on her feet in excitement. She moved to one of her chest, a longer one ornamented with simple roses on its wooden surface.

"You'll love it," She whispered, unlocking the chest and throwing the lid open. Jon could see her training sword right on the top, a few clothes beneath it as well as other training or battling trinkets. A round shield, old and dented in some parts, held the faded sigil of their House. He could see a few odd pieces of armour, mostly protection for the shoulders and arms, different from anything he had ever seen. Dany paid attention to none of those, pulling a long object from some hooks on the lid of the chest. It was protected with a velvet piece of cloth, carefully done like some sort of purse. Jon felt like laughing. Of course, Dany would store her Valyrian steel sword inside a customized, rich, velvet red purse.

His wife turned around to face him, an excited glint in her eyes as she offered the sword to him. She unlaced the velvet cloth, allowing it fall apart. Jon's heart was beating like crazy, pumping blood to his veins like he was ready for a battle. The sword Dany showed him was definitelysomething only her ancestors could ever make.

It was some kind of rapier sword, but with the blade was larger, allowing for better cutting. It had a sharp and thin point perfect for Dany's much used thrusting attacks. The blade glinted with the rippled patterns that identified her as Valyrian steel. The colour was light, glinting beautifully as if it had just left the forge when it was older than the Targaryen dynasty.

Jon took it from Dany with reverence, awed by its light weight and the intricate pattern of the hilt. The crossguard was a fucking rose. It was an inverted cup, the petals opening delicately to the blade while the stem curled like a braid around the grip, wrapping on the pommel, which held a cultured drawing of a rose.

"It's beautiful, hm?" Jon moved his awed gaze back to his wife, who looked at the sword with pensive eyes. "It was held by a merchant in Qohor. It'd been passed down in his family since the Valyrian era…" She smiled mischievously, looking up at him through her lashes. "Cousin Stannis refuses to tell me how he got it."

"It's nothing like any other Valyrian sword…" He caressed the blade reverently.

"And I guess you've seen many Valyrian swords in your lifetime?" Lord Mormont's Longclaw and Father's Ice passed through his mind and Jon smiled softly at Dany.

"Not many, I agree." He directed his gaze towards the intricate hilt. "But none with such impressive craft." He breathed out, incredulous smile on his mouth as he fingered the guard. "The hilt and guard are coloured and made of Valyrian steel too!"

Dany jumped to her feet, clapping her hands and opening her hand in a silent request for the sword. He gave it back to her and held the grip firmly in one hand. She gave four wide steps backwards, suddenly very gracious despite the blush on her cheeks. Putting one hand on the low of her back, she flourished the sword in a wide arc to her side, twirling her wrist and rising her arm so the hilt was in front of her chest and the blade pointed up, perfectly lined with the tip of her nose.

"'Tis not a rare type of sword, but the forges of Qohor have touched this sword in the past." She lowered the sword, taking one step forward and pointing it at him. Her form was perfect despite her light drunkenness. Jon wondered what kind of training she took so she could reach such proficiency. "Lord Stannis told me the man kept insisting this sword was the first remade from Valyrian steel, that it was shown to his family by Valyrian forger centuries ago."

"That's why it's blue? The rose?" Dany shrugged, staring at the seemingly delicate guard that Jon knew could withstand anything, securing her hand from any attackers. It made sense that she used such a sword, it made it possible for her to such insane attacks so close to her opponents.

"Maybe. Maybe not." She smiled and let the sword spin in her hand, letting the guard point to the floor and allowing her to change her grip and throw the sword up. Jon watched with wide eyes as it spun the air and she grabbed it back by the fucking Valyrian steel blade which could cut through iron.

"Dany!" He grabbed the hilt she now had pointed at him with no real thought. He pulled his arm back, taking the blade from her nimble fingers and grabbing them with his other hand. "Are you mad?"

She frowned at him, pulling her hand from his. "Of course not!" She hissed, flushed red with anger. "It's just a trick. I know what I'm doing." She looked away, pursing her lips. "If you catch the sword balancing it on the flat of the blade with your fingers there's no problem at all…" She fisted her hands and snapped her gaze back at him. "I am not mad."

Sighing, Jon diverted his eyes away, guilty for ever daring to say such hurtful words to her. "Forgive me, Daenerys…" He bit the inside of his cheek. "I was just…I thought…" He turned away, looking down at the glinting Valyrian sword in his hand.

Dany remained silent, arms crossed beneath her chest and a pained face that made his heart hurt. Great job, Snow. He pursed his lips, looking down at the sword she obviously loved and was very proud of. How many hours had she trained to be capable of doing such a simple trick? How much of her creams had used to keep her hands soft? How much sweat and blood were the prices for crazy fighting style to be possible?

"What's the name?" He asked softly.

"Hm?" She blinked at him, anger and hurt forgotten for a moment.

"Every…" His voice hitched and he gulped. "Every great sword has a name. What's the name of yours?" She blinked at him, violet eyes falling to the sword in his hand. Her face became pensive as she stepped forward again, close enough to reach for his hand holding her weapon.

"I'd thought of a name before…" She gulped, eyes rising to bashfully meet his. "Before you." She smiled, a tentative truce offered. He smiled back, silently accepting. "But now I was wondering if it'd be more fitting to name it Winter Rose?"

Jon's nose scrunched up and he cringed slightly for not managing to hide his thoughts. She stared at him in shock.

"You don't like it?"

"Sorry…" He smiled weakly and she giggled. "What was the other name you had thought?"

"Well," she lifted one eyebrow, smiling blazingly as she intertwined her fingers with the ones of his free hand, lifting their joined hands so she could stare at them. "I had thought fitting to name it Frostbite."

"Frostbite…" He repeated thoughtfully, staring at their hands. "…The ancient Valyrian sword of House Targaryen of the North…" Dany giggled delightfully.

"I like the sound of that!" She exclaimed, beautiful eyes glinting up at him, flashing him a wide smile that showed her teeth. Jon smiled back, small and timid and every bit as sincere.

"Me too."

•••

For three days Jon was successful in avoiding his father while he prepared for their leaving. By the time his father had reached him, Anguy had made a complete investigation — with Ramsay's help — over the smuggler's history in Queenscrown and how the fucking retarded man managed to get out of Jon's city.

The man had handicapped himself in the mines after finding some of their recent batch, unguarded and unregistered in their daily reports. The man was Ironborn, uncommon in the far North but just as greedy. It fit right to Stannis' warning and Jon itched to return and make a complete surveillance over their numbers. The man needed to go with them to face trial for his attempt against the Gift's fortune. Jon would have to properly inform Dany about it, and consult with the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. They still had to make a true account of how much the man had stolen from them in gold dragons, but Jon figured it was a considerable amount, as the Ironborn had chosen the more profitable crystals and few metals.

Jon figured the man would lose a hand — or both, he thought, sneering at nothing — for his stealing, but Lord Commander Mormont should have to think of a proper way to punish him for stealing from what was, technically, the Watch's coffers in a more severe way. They couldn't have their miners stealing their fortune because there wouldn't be a proper punishment barring them from acting.

One hand was a nice price for a life in luxury, Jon knew those scumbags would think like that.

Ser Denys Mallister, lord commander at the Shadow Tower, and Eastwatch-by-the-sea's own lord commander Cotter Pyke's opinions should be counted too, Jon thought distractedly while watching some servants load shares of food for House Targaryen and guests' two weeks long trip to Queenscrown. They would be a large group with plenty of civilians, he thought, using the term the old magister used when describing non-fighting people, and as such would travel at a much slower pace than usual, despite the somewhat short distance. They should take fewer fruits, they would spoil.

Taking a ripe red apple from a passing servant's basket, he turned away from the kitchens, heading back to the main courtyard where carts were being loaded. The whole of Winterfell was abuzz with energy, restless in the wake of Jon's definite parting from the castle.

Robb passed by him, nodding and heading to the armoury. Jon decided to not bother and remained on his path to the courtyard. He'd have plenty of time to spend with the Heir of Winterfell. His brother would head out with them, remaining in Queenscrown for a few weeks, perhaps even months.

Eddard Stark would remain behind with his wife and younger children.

Jon bit angrily into his treat, eyes darkening in displeasure and slight betrayal.

What was his father thinking? He had installed Jon as lord of the Gift through a deal with the Night's Watch. Ned Stark should've been there to oversee his plans coming to fruition just like Lord Stannis was. Lord Stannis would be their regent, for fuck's sake. Jon was a long way from completing his six and tenth nameday, and even then, Lord Stannis offered to remain in the godforsaken cold hell that was the North because he wanted to watch over his ward and cousin.

Yet, Jon guessed that a bastard son wasn't enough to move his father into politics. He wasn't enough for his father to support. Ned had given Jon an opportunity in the North, had shown him the ways of the North, had allowed Jon to join him in his yearly tours around the North, but he wouldn't go to his…

What was Jon even going to do in Queenscrown? What was he even taking over? Wa sit his coronation? His culmination of the Pact of Ice and Fire? What was it? Regardless, he would be going to Queenscrown, and his father thought it wasn't something he would waste his time on.

Could Jon blame him?

He passed beneath the bridge overseeing the courtyard, uncaring for activity around him and seemingly not noticing the various pairs of eyes on him, watching and judging him for the young bastard thrown in the game that he was.

Jon was used to it though; he knew how to look like he didn't care and like he didn't notice. Blending with background and giving an appearance of aloofness and coolness that distanced him from them.

It made his life easier, if not lonelier.

"Jon!" The young lord stopped, turning to face his father as the other man approached. His father's face was weary, brows furrowed deeply while his whole stance screamed in unleashed tension. He had finally caught up to Jon's dealings in Wintertown.

He kept his features carefully schooled, fully turning around to face the man as he left the armoury. Movement on the bridge above them caught his attention and he quickly placed up, seeing Dany, Arya, Sansa and that tall girl from the Stormlands, Lady Brienne of Tarth, looking down at him. Dany wore that beautiful white coat she wore when she first arrived. Her hair was simply done, two simple braids keeping her hair from her face in the Northern way, mimicked by both his sisters. They flanked her sides while Lady Brienne hovered behind them, Dany's worried eyes moving from his father's tense figure to him.

He made sure to quickly avert his eyes so his father would not notice.

"Jon," Ned spoke gravely, finally stopping in front of him. His taller form loomed over him like a mountain, dark and freezing. Something in his chest ached, fluttering boundlessly as he faced the man that he admired more than anyone else in his life. The same man that both gave him freedom and shackled him to his own mind and doubts, his father, who loved him but couldn't, wouldn't give him his place as a Stark.

Numbly, Jon noticed he sounded awfully bitter.

"Jory spoke with me of what happened," He pursed his lips and shook his head slightly. "What made you do that to that man?"

His mouth opened to respond him, but no sound came out of it. He stood there, his boots in the muddled ground while his father judged him from above like one of their Old Gods, watching and judging and waiting. Unreachable and honourable, far too much to ever truly understand the fire that drove Jon forward. How could he? How could someone like Ned Stark ever understand the sheer amount of things that seemed to always pester Jon, always haunting and taunting and tainting whatever his father taught him? He could not, and with that in mind, Jon did not answer. He snapped his mouth shut and glared stubbornly at his father.

The older man kept his judging eyes — darker than Jon's own orbs, despite how everyone kept telling he was the copy of his father; but Jon had seen his own reflection in the mirrors of his home, clearer than anything available in the North and Westeros, and he could see where his appearance diverged from his father's — upon him, unmoving and unimpressionable. Ned sighed, closing his eyes for a moment before turning away. "Come!" He called, not waiting to see if Jon obeyed as he stalked towards where Jon knew was the crypts.

Jon remained where he was, staring at his father's retreating back with wild wide eyes before he turned to face his wife, looking at him with worried eyes. Violet eyes looked at him and made him want nothing more than to climb the bridge and fall into her arms, warm and secure and away from whatever lecture his father would give him. Despite the consequences of such, the thought of having Catelyn Stark proved right one more time about his devious bastard blood made him boil.

Still, even with his wife's safety there, tempting him to fall back into her arms and disobey his father, Jon turned away and followed the Stark patriarch into the Winterfell crypts, where he did not belong.

Walking into it was eerily like his dreams — the ones where his ancestors chanted at him, about how he didn't belong there, how he was no wolf and no true Stark — and it made him paranoid. His father had not waited for him, and the entrance was a gaping dark hole sucking him in with no regards to his fears. Stepping into the crypts was terrifying, more so than any other time he had ever done it. A ominous darkness covered his form, the faint light coming from a few torches in the walls making dancing shadows reach their void and phantom fingers to him.

It didn't take long for him to finally see his father's form, standing in front of the most recent statue of the past Starks. Jon stopped beside his father and look up, staring at the stone face of Lyanna Stark.

"You're a lot like her, sometimes." His father's quiet voice took him away from his wandering thoughts.

"Aunt Lyanna?" Jon murmured, blinking at his father and turning back to the statue with confused eyes. "They say I look more like you, that Arya is much more like her." The faint clacking of the flames accompanied his father's faint laugh as he stepped forward, one hand gently caressing the base of the statue.

"They who?"

Jon scowled, observing his father's gentle actions as he stood back. "Your people. Your allies. Your bannermen."

"Did Howland Reed tell you that?" When you decided to remain there, all these years ago, went unsaid.

A flash of green scenery, small people roaming around him, the smell of the swamp and the light sway of Greywater Watch floating in the great swamps of the Neck passed through his mind. A home away from home, where he was as welcome as the Heir of the North himself, treated as an honoured guest and sat, every day and night, by the Lord's right. A home away from home that welcomed him like nowhere else ever did. Three blessed moons he had spent there, two with Arya and the other by his lonesome, with only Ramsay there for familiar company.

He missed it fiercely.

"He told me I am a lot like you."

"He told you that you are a lot like your father."

Jon frowned, confused, and chose to not answer back, for he did not know what his father meant.

Ned sighed, turning his back to Jon again as he stared at the remembrance of Lyanna Stark mournfully. "He, Howland, is going with you." His words were quiet, rogue. He sounded tired.

"Unlike you." It escaped Jon's lips before he could stop himself, and Jon bit his tongue with enough force to draw blood, chiding himself and cursing silently at his own impulsiveness. "Forgive me."

"No," Ned shook his head, finally turning back to Jon. "You are right." He did not elaborate, only staring sullenly at him, sad and…

"Why?" Jon bit out. "Am I that much of a disappointment?" He clicked his tongue, snapping his gaze away from his father. He stared at the darkness leading further into the crypts. "I'm a bastard, I know that." He licked his mouth, still tasting faintly like the apples he had snacked on. The core was still in his hand, held tightly by his shaking fist. "But I thought…I thought you…"

"I love you, Jon." It felt like a kink in the gut, and he gasped softly, a lump in his throat stopping him from breathing properly. His eyes stung, tears gathered and threatened to spill as his father's words reached him. "You are my son." Ned Stark stepped forward, big hand rising to grasp his shoulder as the other cupped Jon's chin. Jon faced him again, biting his lips and scowling awfully to keep himself from crying. Ned chuckled, his eyes oddly shining and only making all the more difficult for Jon to not throw himself in his father's arms. "You may not have my name, but we share blood. I raised you as well as I could, and I am proud of what you accomplished," Jon's hands grasped tightly to one of his arms.

"I'm sorry, father." He gasped out, suddenly desperate to spill out everything that had been stuck in his throat for so long. "I am no Robb, I have not your honour." He gritted his jaw, daring to meet his father's eyes. "I am violent, and I plot like a fucking Southerner most of the times," His father smirked, but now that Jon began, he could not find it in himself to stop. "I want, and I desire, and I cannot be a true Northerner, I know. I am a bloody bastard just like Lady Stark always warned you about. But it's just that…Father, I have…I am…"

"Calm yourself, Jon," His hands grasped his cheeks, stopping him and making him look at Ned. "Breathe, Jon." He did, he took big gulps of air and tried his best to think rationally, properly. He couldn't lose himself in that way. He couldn't lose control. "You are not a devious bastard, you know that is bullshit." Jon gulped, he truly did not. "It is true, you are not me. You are not what I expected, you don't do things like I would," Jon sobbed dryly, bitting harder on his lower lip to keep himself from crying. His father's grip tightened and he crouched slightly so they could be on eye-level. "But maybe that's good for you, Jon."

Jon shook his head. "What I did to that man, you would never do that." He glared at his father. "You would not."

Ned shook his head slowly, wise eyes watching him. "No…" He sighed, hands grasping Jon's shoulders and pulling him into a tight embrace. "I would not. I still think you are wrong and you should've never done that." Jon remained silent, face burrowed into the fur on his father's cape. If only he knew of all the things he had done to so many other people… "But I know you, Jon, all of you, much better than you think." He tightened his hold. "You youths all think we don't see you, that we don't understand you, that we are perfect the way we are and we don't make mistakes but you are wrong." He drew back, looking down at him with dark Stark eyes. "Like I know you would do that to that man, again and again, and worse still."

Jon took a long while to answer, a denial rising in his throat but dying quickly when he finally looked at his father. "I would." He whispered, slowly but as firm as diamonds. "I will."

His father's eyes looked sad and regretful then. "See," He smiled softly, bitterly. "You don't need this old man. The Gift is better in your hands, I see that." His eyes glazed over, turned to the past as they were wont to do. "I knew it from the moment I took you there and you demanded to see the books and documents and accountings and dealings, at only ten namedays," He brought him close again. "But you already knew what to do."

Jon sniffled and lifted his chin like Dany always did when she was proud of something she did.

"You will do good, Jon." He brushed Jon's hair, and Jon held himself back from saying he wasn't a child anymore. "We may not always agree, but I know you were born for this." He smirked mischievously at Jon, a rare sight that brought a grin to Jon's own lips. "You thought you would get some kind of lecture, didn't you?"

Jon's mind went back to his various fights with his father, about how he acted and what he did. How he dealt with others to guarantee progress for Queenscrown or to make sure to cut down anyone that would come in his way. He thought back to the various lectures where he was told to act more honourably, about how wrong he was and how shouldn't do that or this.

In the end, he had always been coerced to do what he needed or do what he knew would work best, despite what his father believed and taught.

"Aye." He nodded, accepting his father's words and truce. It made him happy that he would not part with him in bad waters. Ned grinned slightly, bringing him to a tight embrace, crouching over him like he always did when Jon was a small lad; a blanket of comfort and fatherly love.

"It's your blood," Ned whispered against his head. "This wilderness."

"Wolf's Blood?" His father did not answer, only embracing him tighter. They stood there for a few moments before Ned stepped back, looking longingly at Lyanna's statue one last time before he guided Jon out of there.

Stepping out of the crypts was like breathing again, and something in Jon had finally settled, finally cleared. The sky was darkening, the night was rising and the air was cold, yet Jon felt right. Something had finally been calmed in him, a mysterious beast inside him that knew no master had finally stopped its raging thoughts, allowing Jon to finally think clearly. Smiling, Jon turned his face to meets his father's soft smile and tired features, thanking him silently for his support.

When he looked forward once again, it was to meet Lady Stark's haunting form. She was shaking, paralyzed on her feet as her eyes moved from Jon, to Ned and to the crypts. Her skin was as white as the snow in the darkest of nights, eyes wide and bluer than Jon had ever seen. He could see her hands shaking wildly by her sides, and she was breathing heavily. Lady Catelyn was in a panic.

Father's heavy grip n his shoulder made Jon turn his eyes up to Ned's grave face. "Go to your wife. Go rest." Jon remained there, frozen at the dark tone of his father's voice. "Jon," He focused on his father again. "Go."

He did.

•••

Dawn came as it always did, on the morning of their leaving.

Jon had been awake for about an hour, playing with Dany's long silver locks while he stared out at the narrow window, watching silently as the dark night sky cleared into a multitude of colours.

Daenerys had her back to the window, burrowed into their sheets, curled up like a baby. The window at her back looked like a vibrant moving painting, colour rising with the sun, the black of the night giving passage to blue and orange and yellow and gold. The sunlight took its sweet time to reach its fiery tendrils into their room, moving painfully slowly inside their room. tiny flecks of dust floated through the light, disappearing into their irrelevance, uncaring and unhurried.

They had let the window open, leaving the room to an almost freezing tempter if not for the hearth, clacking loudly the whole night, and the warmth of their own bodies cuddled close for comfort and sentiment. When Jon breathed out, a lazy mist drifted out of his mouth, playing with sunlight and rising slowly as he watched the golden tendrils of the sun reach his wife's ethereal face.

Her eyelashes fluttered over her cheekbones, thick and long, framing her violet orbs like they were portraits. Her beautiful eyes were glazed over when she finally awoke, her thick brows scrunching lightly as she blinked the sleep away. Her lips, full and pink and perfect, opened in a cute yawn, as she stretched her whole body, moving to lay on her back, arms thrown lazily back as she turned her eyes to the window.

They remained in peaceful silence; she, watching the breaking of dawn as he watched her. Light travelled through the sheer shift she used, loose and letting the milky skin of her shoulders and collarbone for him to stare and long for.

If he was an artist, if he only knew how to draw life on canvas, or on a mural, he would have immortalized her in this way. Free, relaxed and hopeful for what the day would bring to them. The rise in the horizon, smoke started to come out of the chimneys from the direction where he knew was the castle, smearing the horizon and making it distort with heat. The castle was awake and, soon, they would part.

Jon would leave Winterfell.

"The sun is rising," He pointed out, softly and never moving his eyes away from her, afraid that if he did, he would disturb the serene image she gave.

Soft eyes turned to him, watchful and knowing. She directed one of her hands to his face, caressing him on his forehead, across his cheek and down his neck. She dragged her palm to the hollow above his collarbone, fingernails scratching lightly on his skin as she followed his left clavicle. Finally, she dragged her hand to his chest, stopping where his heart was and closing her eyes as if she could listen to his heartbeat; as if it was a song she adored.

"And we with it," She murmured back, gentle in a way that made Jon wonder if it that could be love.

He caught her hand, taking it away from his chest and kissing each one of her knuckles, feeling her soft skin — soft because of the many balms she used, for she enjoyed them — and the odd callouses across her palm against his own.

"And we with it." He concurred, dragging himself on the mattress so he could lay his head on her lap. Her hands moved to his hair, messy and tangled from sleep, brushing it delicately as they watched the dawn.

And when the sun wasn't hidden by the castles walls or the horizon, they left their bed. None of them spoke, Daenerys somehow understand and knowing of his pensive state and his need for space. Jon walked as if he was underwater, everything was blurred and quiet and diluted, Daenerys becoming the only focus, the only anchor for him to hold on. He kissed her farewell when her handmaids arrived, all of them quiet. The Red Woman remained by the door, watching him quietly as she held it open for him to pass.

He passed by her with only a greeting nod. Jon pulled his thick robe closer to his skin, stopping in the middle of the corridor to stare numbly at the dark stonewalls, hollow and lost as the red door closed behind him.

Choosing to not look back, he walked towards his own bedchamber in grave silence. He entered it, dressed and watched numbly as servants entered his sanctuary, tiding it for his leave. He would only pack his clothes and personal belongings after eating. He moved through the castle slowly, caressing each wall with deep care. Everything seemed warm and distant, a contrast of sensations inside him as he passed each rock that made up the halls of the place where he grew up.

The main hall was empty when he entered it, with only Lord Stark and Uncle Benjen sitting at the main table, a chair placed between them. They were not eating and looked at him expectantly.

Jon was received with soft smiles that made him want to cry, but he sucked up and walked up the dais, sitting between them while giving his greetings. They ate slowly, savouring the food and talking idly as they watched the Hall fill up. Robb joined them, Arya and Sansa and Bran and even little Rickon — who hated waking up so early — all joined them, smiling wobbly and greeting him with wide smiles. Neither Theon, Lady Stark or his Lady Wife appeared.

It came to a point where it was too much, and Jon feared he would cry like a baby at any point. So, with great reluctance, he said he needed to finish packing his things and stood up, moving to kiss each of sisters' heads, messing the hair of his littlest brothers and bowing deeply to his father. He and Robb only exchanged a long look, but his sibling nodded to him, telling him to go without saying a word.

Jon turned away and left before he broke down or something.

He passed by Lady Catelyn on his way to his room, and she glared at him for a moment, making him stop a few feet before her. He thought of saying a lot of things, he thought of accusing her of being petty and unfair and horrible to him. He could even see the way she wanted to say something, how the words were stuck in her throat and ready to lash out at him like a whip.

In the end, all she did was close her eyes for a moment, as if in pain, before meeting his eyes for the first time on her own account, uttering a soft parting filled with something he couldn't quite describe.

"Farewell, Lord Targaryen." And she curtsied, properly, the way she taught Sansa and Arya to do. She held her curtsy for a few seconds before snapping up, looking and rushing away from him, almost running. He stared at her retreating back, thinking of many things and contemplating a hundred insults and accusations. He decided to bow to her retreating form with all the dignity she thought he didn't have, as the lord he had become. She did not see and would never know, but it was something he needed to do, needed to prove to himself. He remained in that position for a few seconds, staring down at his polished boots of better quality than his child-self had ever had. Better quality than Robb's, because Jon bought them with his own money, with his investments; with the fruits taken from his hard work. A luxury the people of the North didn't much care for, but he wanted.

Because of that woman, he had become who he was. She had moulded him just as his father helped shape him. Though she had never loved him, she had taught him just as much of the ways of the South and how a lord was expected to act. She had never enjoyed, never wanted, but she taught him and Robb, even if she tried to keep as much distance from Jon as possible, pushing his own teachings aside and giving them to others to complete. Still, Jon had managed on his own, as he always did, and she helped him and deserved at least to be acknowledged for it, even if only once in his life.

This is the last time I shall ever bow to you, Catelyn Stark.

Familiar steps behind him warned of the oncoming presence of his servants. Four people, all of them walking lightly and with barely a sound.

"My lord," Ramsay's voice called for him. Jon straightened his back, turning to them with a cold mask as he nodded for him to continue. Ramsay stared hard at him, eyes moving quickly at the retreating figure of the Lady Stark before moving back to Jon.

Jon stared at him, unflinching and offering no excuses for his actions. Ramsay smirked, proud and deadly as he nodded in acquiescence. He moved, one arm extending in an invitation as the others snapped at attention, moving away and forming a corridor for him to pass.

"Shall we?" Jon nodded sharply, brusquely moving forward, a hard light in his eyes as his hands fisted at his sides.

That woman was trouble, he thought, somewhat amused and puzzled. It definitely wasn't the last they'd confront each other. He only hoped they never met on opposite sides.

They moved efficiently, reporting to him of the various parties who'd be following them North. Satin told him of Dany's doings and meetings in the morning while she left her handmaids to sort her things. Anguy told him, quietly, of the smuggler and his transportation, which had happened two days. He had been taken quickly with a small guard of Stannis' best men and two of Jon's own few men-at-arms. Ramsay reported about the few people coming from them to actually move permanently into Queenscrown, some of the sailors and companions from the East who had desired to stay longer in Winterfell and about the little whore in town, which had been felt with. Siro explained quickly of Jon's own belongings, most of it from his gifts, extravagant and small alike, and their safe transportation.

Arriving at his bedchamber, Siro opened the door and he entered, only Satin following him as the others had their own duties to take care of. It took long hours for them to carefully examine and fold each piece of clothing, trinkets and whatever weapons and valuables he had lying around his room. The pelts he kept from his huntings, the carvings he had done in his spare time, his textbooks and scrolls and writing utensils. The documents and his plans and everything that had ever been his, all put neatly into chests as they moved around the room, cataloguing everything and taking note of anything missing or needed.

A knock on the door distracted them, and Satin gazed at him, looking for instructions on how to proceed. Jon bit his lower lip, narrowing his gaze on the door as he called out for who it was.

"It's Arya, you stupid! Ouch!" His little sister screamed, bold as ever. Jon smirked, meeting his guard's eyes roll with an amused of his own. "And Robb! Why did you hit me, you stupid? Ouch!" Her voice was muffled by the door as she directed her attention to their brother.

"Because you shouldn't call Jon stupid. You shouldn't call people stupid, period." Jon huffed out a laugh as Robb's voice reached his ears, muffled by the door but still into hearing range. Shaking his head, he nodded to Satin, who immediately moved to the door, opening and stepping out of the way for the two Starks to pass.

Satin bowed to them, winking to Arya before stepping out and closing the door behind him. Jon knew he would stand guard at his door, and worried not any stray spies listening to his private moments. He put one of his newer overcoats inside a chest, the last piece in it before turning to his family, opening his arms to welcome Arya's tight embrace.

"'Tis a nice surprise, I won't lie," He spoke quietly, smiling softly at the mop of wild dark hair that barely reached past his stomach. "But what brought you two here?" Arya stepped back, grinning wildly and jumping back towards where Robb stood, arms holding something behind his back. Ah, Jon thought faintly. Robb had gone to Mitten and asked for a sword made. Jon had thought it had been for Robb, excited on going out and demanding for a newer and better sword for his stay in Queenscrown.

He could see that Ramsay was wrong, Jon thought. And so was I.

Robb narrowed his eyes at Jon, shaking his head in fond resignation when seeing him smirk slightly. He moved his hands from behind his back and threw the bastard sword at him. Jon caught it with a grin, directing his eyes to the cross guard — dark with red, vibrant, leather wrapped around the handle — and down scabbard. He moved it, tested its weight as he drawn the sword, seeing the fine Northern iron and work glinting at him.

"You already knew it!" Arya exclaimed, groaning in frustration. A pout formed on her mouth as crossed her arms as she grumbled petulantly. "Honestly, it's impossible hiding things from you!"

Jon and Robb chuckled at her. Jon eyed his brother, who shook his head at him.

"You can't keep yourself out of anyone's business these days, Jon," He smirked, raising one brow. "I'd mistake you for a gossiping Southern old lady."

Grinning, Jon let go of the guard, letting it fall back into the scabbard as he walked forward. He offered his arm to Robb, who grasped firmly to his forearm, Jon doing the same as they shook arms.

"I thought it was for yourself, Stark," He smirked. "Your surprise remains a surprise." Robb snickered slightly as Arya threw herself between them, hugging their waists as she celebrated fooling both Jon and Ramsay. Jon looked down at her with soft eyes, moving back to change the sword in his belt for Robb's gift. "Should I be offended?" He asked, pointing at the bastard sword with raised eyebrows.

"Well," Robb narrowed his eyes, a mocking smirk on his lips as he shrugged his shoulders. "You've always been kind of sensitive, I'd not be surprised if you ran to your pretty wife screaming about how your brother offended you, you know?" And, for some sick reason, the whole thing only made Jon laugh. No bitterness rose in his chest, no restraining thoughts of doubt. Only amusement and joy was found in his heart, gratefulness and love for his brother. "At least she could defend your honour."

"Fuck off, Robb." Robb's eyes widened comically, staring down at Arya with a pointed look.

"Jon!" He pointed at Arya. "There's a lady here!"

"Fuck off, Robb." Both he and Arya repeated dully. They all stared at each other in surprise for a moment, falling into laugh soon after. Jon threw his old, dull sword into one of the chests that were still opened, firmly securing his newest and dearest gift close.

"I chose the design and Sansa, Bran and Arya paid for it, as I currently can't waste my whole purse." He smirked knowingly. Jon shook his head fondly, knowing his brother would have lots to buy in Queenscrown as gifts for their siblings. Not that Jon wouldn't shower them in with presents, he would, but Robb loved indulging them, even if he complained so much.

Jon turned to Arya, bowing to her. "Thank you, my lady." Her lips twitched, ready to tell him to fuck off. She surprised him, however, curtsying with a deep frown of concentration. It made Jon and Robb exchanged yet another look, laughter contained to not humiliate little Arya's meaningful attempt at being ladylike.

"It was my pleasure," She spoke slowly, saying her words slowly and carefully. A lilt in her voice made him remember of Dany, and it made him smile as he recognized her work at teaching his wildest sister. Arya looked up at him through her lashes, grinning far too widely and showing too many teeth to be ladylike. "My lord."

He grinned right back at her.

A knock on the door caught their attention. "Lord Jon," Satin spoke, muffled by the door. "It is time."

Arya deflated, sniffing lightly. Jon approached her, petting her shoulders in comfort. "Go, Arya." He spoke softly to her. "I think you still want to talk with Dany, right?" She nodded, dragging the sleeve of her dress across her nose and eyes, smearing it with snot and tears.

She tackled him, hugging him so tight it almost hurt. "I love you." She turned to Robb and punched him in the gut, making him double over as she hugged him just as tightly. "Come back soon and bring presents." And then she ran off, wild and quick on her feet.

Robb straightened, massaging where she had punched as the servants entered to take Jon's baggage. Jon crossed his arms, tilting his head as he observed his brother.

"Ready to see my castle, Stark?"

Robb put his hands on his hips, smiling softly at Jon.

"Are you ready to leave home for good, Targaryen?"

Breathless, Jon looked around his emptying room, at the servants wearing Baratheon, Stark and Targaryen colours entering and leaving. His sword hand fell to the new weight at his waist, gripping tightly to the black pommel, one finger dragging over the red three-headed dragon carving on the very top, as he met his brother's Tully blue eyes with his own Stark grey ones.

"Aye."

I am Jon Snow, Lord of House Targaryen, Lord of Queenscrown and Lord of the Gift.

"Let's go."

It was time to leave Winterfell behind.

•••

A/N: Kinda sad with the response to the last chapter. But still very thankful to the five who commented, no matter how short it was.

SOB188, I'm glad you enjoyed the character development :). Dragonblaze, thank you! Yes, I like when stories try to come apart from canon. Canon Divergence is literally my favourite genre for fanfiction, along with Crossovers. LadyRhoswen! I'm so glad to see you commenting! Yeah, the chapter starts a bit slowly, but then it gets really action-packed and emotion filled. It took a while for me to write Arya's chapter. Blinded in a bolthole, haha, Dany is sure full of surprises, and Arya aims high alright. You are right to point that out, Yi Tish guy is much more than just a guy wanting a throne :). Thank you to anja. quickert. 9 and BioHazard82 for commenting!

Notes:

Boom. We finally Winterfell! Next chapter is our first POV out of Winterfell, can you guess who it is?

I'm actually very nervous about Jon, but hear me out okay? This boy has had a complicated childhood. Ramsay's appearance into his life and Jon's slow acceptance of him was crucial to who he became by this point, changing him from what we are used to. But, in true Jon Snow fashion, he broods about it and is very depressed and in denial of much who he is. Jon had kind of a hands approach to becoming a lord. Yes, Ned helped him and gave him lessons but he wasn't exactly present, as wasn't Catelyn. Catelyn was not present but did teach him things, and she (as we see in her POV) doesn't consider what she has done to him much, and even dismisses it quickly. Jon remembers it all very clearly though and applies this knowledge to this day. The theme of the next Arc will be hm moving and learning beyond relying on only himself and stopping being an arrogant and hot-tempered asshole. You know the lessons Mormont taught him? He hasn't learned to follow yet, kinda, and needs some elder guidance ASAP. I wonder who his guide shall be...

As for the fighting styles shown in the chapter, I wanted to highlight each of the fights to fit the characters. Dany is dramatic and quick and knows exactly where to hit; Jon thinks things through and just follows his instincts while brooding over each aspect of the fight; Ramsay is crazy and wants to torture and make people cry. Do you think I portrayed things correctly? I wanted to showcase their amazing fight styles while these three fought with other characters on their same level. While Jon is prodigy swordsman, Dany worked damned hard and developed something all of her own and Ramsay just wants to kill people, as usual. Tell me your thoughts.

I also think that I may have evolved in my smut writing skills. You tell me!

Dany's sword was chosen ages ago and those fight me on my pretty choice: please don't, let me be happy and give you fan service. But seriously, I had to make a lot of research on weaponry to get it right. Weapons are important stuff, and it was a challenge to find the perfect sword to fit her. Yes, Jon's final scene with Robb and Arya was supposed to mirror Jon and Arya's farewell, BEAR WITH ME I LIKE DOING PARALLELS! It's good for the feels. His sword is oppositive to Dany's and is not Valyrian steel but, not everyone can be happy.

Also, be free to make up the craziest story possible for how the Stannis and Davos got Dany's sword for her. Good luck in your endeavours.

As to Jon's political and economic plans, I'd prefer to answer your questions directly as to better approach your doubts and critics. Regarding Jon's random mention of House Dayne: the dude thinks (hopes) his mother is Ashara Dayne and is making excuses for having them near him when it doesn't even make sense lol

Yes, I can have my medieval parkour thank you very much.

There's one OC but no worries, I have plans that shall come to fruition soon enough for him :)

I hope you enjoyed, leave a review or two or three, as many as you like, I read and remember every single one of them lol

sorry for typos, I actually tried to edit this correctly and not in the middle of the night. See you soon!