AN: This story was written for a prompt at a ASOIAF/GoT LiveJournal site.
Dragonspawn! That's what it was. Filthy dragonspawn! A Targaryen just like its father. An enemy to be done away with.
That's what Robert thought when he read the letter Ned sent announcing the rescue of his sister and her newly born bastard.
If the king had been the one to raid the tower, the proof of Lyanna's suffering would have been disposed of immediately. No need for the poor girl to see anything even resembling a Targaryen again after what those monsters put her and her family through.
But Robert hadn't been the one to release her.
No, it was Ned. Honorable Ned – fresh from the outrage of seeing the murdered bodies of the Rhaegar's trueborn offspring and his wife – he had been the one to free Lyanna. He was most surely the one responsible for keeping the infant alive. He was the one demanding mercy for the babe who knew nothing of his family's deeds, a babe who carried just as much Stark blood as Targaryen.
But that was no matter. If Ned wanted the boy, fine. Let him rot in the North, far away from the mother he plagued. Far away from Robert's fury.
Lyanna would be Robert's queen.
There were whispered complaints of course. The bold bandied about words like "ruined," "shame," and even "whore." Whispers be damned! Robert would take no other. Not even a Lioness of the Rock, as Tywin Lannister tried to suggest.
Lyanna Baratheon, the Wolf Queen.
Robert could never picture her as a doe no matter what colors he draped over her shoulders.
The Starks would come straight to King's Landing from Starfall. The people needed a wedding, a proper happy ending to the war that shredded the Seven Kingdoms.
Robert soon received a raven from Ned informing him that they were within half a day's ride from the capital. They had merely stopped at an inn to allow the women to rest. Ned had planned to leave a few guards and the wet nurse, Wylla, there while the rest continued to the capital. But his plans went awry at the appearance of the king.
Impatient for their arrival, Robert impulsively jumped onto the first horse he found and road forth to meet them.
He found the party resting at an inn. As soon as he entered the room, Ned jumped to his feet, weariness in his grey eyes. Looking about, Robert saw a woman standing by a window, humming as she rocked an infant against her chest. The king immediately looked away from the sight and focused on Ned.
"Where is she?" Robert asked. "Where is Lyanna?"
Ned didn't answer the question. "Sit and rest. We can see to ..." But Robert wasn't listening to any of that. Instead he followed his friend's anxious gaze as his eyes darted oh so briefly toward a particular door connected to the chamber. Without ceremony the young king strode toward the door.
"Robert!" his friend cried. "She is resting. Give her -"
But nothing stopped the stag when he was in full charge. He swung the door open so hard he almost broke off the handle.
The words died as the woman turned around, startled. She looked worn. Older than her 16 years. The kidnapping had clearly taken a toll on her. But Robert expected that. What he didn't expect was to see her with the child. He wasn't prepared to see the way she held the dark haired babe against her chest or the tender way her hands cradled the child close or the almost violently protective way her body stiffened around the boy as her gaze met Robert's.
He was so stunned at the sight of them, for once, Robert could not speak.
Ned's hand rested on Robert's shoulder. "Come away."
"You never said there were two."
"My son, Jon, he is in the other room with his nurse," Ned said. "Come away. Give my sister some-"
"No," Lyanna said, before he could move. "His Grace has seen his share of bastards. I am certain he has fathered a few of his own as well. Why should he turn and hide from my son?"
Ned's hand fell away and Robert strode into the room purposefully, his blue eyes locked on the boy.
If this was dragonspawn, the babe hid it well. No silver crowned his head. Instead, quite a few wisps of straight dark hair grew. No purple tainted those eyes that looked about curiously. They were a wintery gray.
Robert's gaze shifted from the babe's gray eyes to Lyanna's. She faced him with a look he had only seen on men preparing for a duel.
"The boy takes after you," he said.
And Ned, he thought to himself. The babe resembled the two people he loved most. And Robert couldn't claim to love many people.
"He's got a name, don't he?" Robert asked, nudging the child's tiny fist with his large forefinger.
Lyanna's gaze had softened. "Rickard," she said, looking down at the boy sadly. "Rickard Snow, he will be."
After the grandfather he would never know.
"Hand him here, I want a better look at him," the king said.
Robert reached for the babe. After considering the outstretched arms for a moment, Lyanna carefully shifted Rickard into Robert's embrace, making sure he supported the infant's head.
Instantly, Rickard began to fuss. Before he could be taken away, Robert began to rock him the same way he used to with his little Mya.
"I'll be having none of that, little man." Soon, the babe quieted and looked up at him curiously with Lyanna and Ned's eyes. "Ah, there we are, there's a good lad."
The boy was even easier to soothe than his own bastard daughter had been. Robert wondered if this meant he would grow to be a man as quiet and patient as his Uncle Ned, or if he would end up taking after his strong and resilient mother.
By the gods, either way, he wanted to be there to see it.
Robert glanced up at his bride who was watching her son in his arms, her hand brushing his strands of hair off of the little forehead.
The rumbling complaints about Lyanna becoming queen of the Seven Kingdoms despite the dishonor that had befallen her would be nothing compared to what Robert was considering. But as always, the court be damned. The king did as he liked.
"Rickard Snow, you said? I don't like it. It don't fit the boy at all. How about Rickard Waters, eh?"
Lyanna arched an eyebrow and a smile twitched at her mouth as a moment of silence stretched through the room.
"Robert, that's impossible," Ned said, breaking the quiet.
"Why?" Lyanna and Robert demanded together.
"You plan to bring your bastard home," Lyanna said. "You plan to raise him alongside your trueborn son."
"Winterfell is not King's Landing," her brother said. "The court will-"
"Damn the court!" Robert roared.
"I am certain the court isn't pleased about me becoming their queen," Lyanna said. "Should I hide in Winterfell as well? I won't. Neither will Rickard. They might call me the Soiled Queen and my child dragonspawn, but when have I ever cared for what others think? My betrothed does not mind."
Lyanna turned to Robert then. She watched him holding her son and gave him a look she had never given him before. It wasn't the polite smile she treated him with while they were in company or the curious furrow she had when she caught him watching her from a distance.
No, Lyanna looked at him with genuine interest and hope.