A/N: So you're probably like, Izzy, why are you starting all these stories when you have SO MANY WORKS IN PROGRESS. Well, it could be that I like to have a place holder, get all this stuff out so that I remember what I'm doing. It could also be that I'm a horrible tease.
(It's because I'm a horrible tease)
Nothing you recognize belongs to me, as usual. Look for a new chapter after I finish "A Beautiful Disaster," which I plan on doing just as soon as school is over! I saw a post on Tumblr that made me want to read a Game of Thrones AU, but there weren't any. So I'm going to make one. :D Necessity is the mother of invention (and boredom is the father of fanfiction).
Prologue: Goodbye Stars
Rose Tyler of house Powell stood in the middle of a field, staring at the stars. The night was warm and cloudless. The gentle wind carried the chirping of crickets and the rustle of grain past her. A warm muzzle nudged her side and she reached out a hand to stroke Kaynine, her steel-gray mare. She was getting married in the morning, and she knew that this night could be her last chance to look upon her oldest friends. The stars had been her constant companions since her father's death when she was a child. Peter Tyler was a good, kind, clever man—but he was a dreamer, not a warrior. When Rose was six months old he died, supposedly in a hunting accident. Her mother didn't believe that and neither did she, but there was no way to prove their suspicions and they dared not accuse anyone without proof positive. And so her father was forgotten, one more casualty in the struggle for the Iron Throne. House Powell wasn't rich or influential—but it was old. She could trace her lineage back to the dark times, before the Wall was built and the Seven kingdoms were cut off from the North. It was a potent claim for anyone seeking legitimacy.
If the Doctor of house Tardis hadn't offered his protection she would have been married as a child. Her mother didn't trust the man—she'd heard too many stories—but she was practical and she knew that she couldn't protect her daughter. He could, and whatever Jacqueline Tyler's shortcomings, she loved Rose and she wanted her safe. For nineteen years she was; Rose Tyler was allowed to grow up in house Powell, a half-wild thing more accustomed to the stables than a drawing room. She'd learned when she was forced, to read, to write, but she preferred to ride. She was proficient with a longbow and a sword, although she had no stomach for killing. If your father had paid attention to his teacher he would be alive now, her mother told her. Study hard, Rose. Learn everything you can. Learn how to defend yourself. We don't have an army, but we've got our wits, and that will have to do. For nineteen years she'd learned, because Rose Tyler was no-one's pawn.
And then the Doctor came to collect their debt, or, rather, his advisors did. He needed a wife and she was of age (older, really, than most of the girls in the various houses when they were married). Jacqueline did not approve of the match but she had little choice; the debt was binding.
There were stories about the Doctor of house Tardis, stories that made her shiver. For starters, no one knew his name. He went by 'the Doctor,' just 'the Doctor.' There were whispers of a gentle, kind (if eccentric) man, a scholar and a healer. There were hushed mentions of a pixie-faced, raven haired girl with laughing eyes and a beautiful, regal wife—but those were stories told around fires far from the man himself. To mention either woman in his presence was to call down rage like few had ever seen—like fire and ice and the storm in the heart of the sun—because then came the war. Rose hadn't been born when the Great War had broken out in the Seven Kingdoms. The Doctor had been young. He'd gone off to fight, as he was required to, and returned to find his wife and daughter slaughtered.
That was when he changed, according to the stories. He'd become hard and angry, cold and aloof. He would brook no dissension, tolerate no questions. He locked himself in his castle and spurned the outside world, refusing to participate in the political and personal intrigue that surrounded the crown. But he needed an heir. With his family dead house Tardis would fall to the strongest contender, and whatever else anyone said about him, he would not visit destruction on his people, not willingly.
That's what Rose thought, anyway. She'd met him twice, once when she was very small, and again when the betrothal documents were signed. He was as tall as she remembered, and rather imposing. He was all hard angles and rough edges, from his shaggy, black hair to the stark lines of his nose and cheekbones and the simple garments he wore—black leather and cloth. He spurned decoration, unlike the few suitors she'd had before. They seemed to believe that showing off their wealth was the way to win her favor. He didn't try, didn't need to. He knew that she was promised to him, although she thought that even if he hadn't he wouldn't have worn the brightly colored, flamboyantly decorated outfits that Adam and Michael had. The Doctor wore a sword at his waist. The sheath, like his clothing, was simple. It was a weapon made for use, not show. He was a soldier—and he looked it.
But when he took her hand he was gentle. When her mother and his advisors left them alone—she could see something in his cold, blue eyes. Something past the pain and the anger that roiled in plain sight, something locked away. He asked her about Kaynine, told her how he knew her father, and when he found out that she loved the stars he showed her his library—a room with a ceiling painted like the night sky. Not everyone is a hero, Rose, her mother told her. Don't go building people up in your head. They'll almost always disappoint you. Like everyone else, Jacqueline only saw what he wanted her to see. Rose couldn't help but think that there was something more to him.
She'd find out soon enough. She was getting married in the morning. She sighed and turned away, back towards her horse and her home. Time would tell, but whatever happened—Rose Tyler was no-one's pawn.