Oh wow, thanks for reviewing: Guest, Apolli, Failed to De-anon, Oberon Sexton, Bess Woodville
A/N: Ahha...whoops, realised that I was using Braavos instead of Pentos throughout chapter 1, I went back and corrected it, sorry!
Chapter 2: Let In
"Hello, Uncle," she greeted calmly, "It's been a long time."
She may be managing that cool level of exterior calm, but inside she was an utter mess. This had not been a part of the plan! She hadn't known that the lingering threads of her family would be here. She knew that Viserys and Danearys had escaped of course, everyone knew that they had, but she hadn't been following their whereabouts since she heard of Viserys' coronation as the Beggar King. What was he doing in Pentos? Staying in a manse?
He looked like he was still having trouble comprehending that it was her. His violet eyes kept on flitting over her face and body. He'd open his mouth to speak, then shut it again as he thought more. Backed into a literal corner as she was, Rhaenys hoped that perhaps he was in shock enough for her to pass him.
"Well, it's been pleasant," she lied; moving forwards to brush past him, and make her way out into freedom.
He caught her arm in an iron grip that surprised her, and shocked her to, she was a princess, no one grabbed her like that! Well...Aegon might, but he was her brother, which made him a completely different category of people. Height may have been one of the features which she had inherited from both sides of her family, but hers didn't nearly make up for his, and she had to stare a good few inches to look in his eyes. There was anger there. That was sudden, he'd been merely confused a moment before.
'When a Targaryen is born, the commoners flip a coin to see if it will be great or mad.'
Rhaenys desperately scrapped her thin memories of childhood in the palace, what had he been like? As a boy, had he shown any sign? She could just be overreacting of course, all Targaryens possessed a quick anger. Perhaps not all, but certainly many of them did. Rhaenys had often envied her father's apparently constant calm, that was certainly one thing that had skipped both her and her brother. An angry Targaryen was one thing, but a mad one?
Viserys had still said nothing after 'wait', he was still just looking down at her, now with mistrust tingeing his confusion.
"What?" she demanded; matching his light stare with her dark one.
"How?" he asked; putting more than one question into that one word.
Rhaenys cast a worried glance around the alley, "Viserys, here is not the place for that kind of talk."
A dark cloud once more stormed over his face, but then he only smirked, "As you wish."
If she'd held the hope that he was going to release her, she was wrong. He kept his tight grip on her arm, and proceeded to all but drag her in his wake as he walked back towards the manse they had fled. This was not a part of the plan. She'd completed what she'd needed to do in Pentos, she should be on a ship that was sailing back to her brother by nightfall!
"Stop," she commanded, "Let me go."
Viserys paid her no mind at all, just continued tugging her along. Rhaenys didn't want to cause a commotion in the streets, word travelled quick enough as it was, she hoped that no one here knew enough to say that they had seen Viserys Targaryen with an Elia Martell lookalike. Anger simmered away inside of her as she quickened her stride so as to match his, and not be dragged in his wake. She pretended that she could ignore his hand on her arm, and walked with her head held high, as if this were entirely of her own accord.
That all changed the moment they stepped inside the manse. Rhaenys pulled herself away from her uncle sharply, and delivered an echoing slap to his cheek.
"What in all the hells do you think you're playing at? Dragging me through the streets like that? Are you mad?"
Several gasps could be heard from slaves in the area, and a well dressed, massively fat man who stood on the steps looked shocked. She guessed that Viserys' temper had been felt by many around here, but she didn't back down from her challenging stare. If he wanted to get angry, fine. She could be just as furious. She'd match him fire for fire.
Looking in his eyes, she saw that she would have to. If she'd wondered at his anger before, here it was certain. A red mark was already showing against his pale face.
"You little bitch!" he exclaimed, "You dare strike me? I am Viserys, third of his name, and the rightful king of Westeros! You will show me respect."
Rhaenys hadn't meant to, she really hadn't, but his entire manner and speech belonged to a petulant child. Perhaps she should have contained it to a light scoff, but her laughter ended up growing until she was near doubled over with it. It was the only sound to be heard all throughout the courtyard, save for the soft screech of metal on metal as the gates swung shut. If the others present had seemed shocked before, they were aghast now.
"You are not the first in line," she managed to get out, when her laughter died down and she could once more look him in the eye.
"What? Of course I am! I am the son of the last king, that makes me-"
"There is someone before you in line," she cut him off.
His eyes narrowed to purple slits, "I beg your pardon?"
"A-" Rhaenys stopped herself quickly.
Fool, she snapped mentally. She's nearly mentioned Aegon, but she had the feeling that telling her uncle that Aegon was alive would not be a good idea for her brother. Someday, perhaps. But if Viserys truly believed himself heir, then mentioning Aegon would perhaps cause danger for him. Not to mention the fact that she didn't know who might be listening. Bad enough that she was being so openly seen, but better her than her little brother.
She raised her chin haughtily, "I am."
"You?" he sneered; contempt clear in his tone, "Don't make me laugh."
"I am the daughter of Rhaegar Targaryen, that puts me ahead of you in the line of succession," she pointed out.
"A girl?" he scoffed, "You can't rule, I am your elder, the throne will pass to me first."
"Ahh," she smiled, "You forget my mother, Elia of Dorne. The women of my line have always been able to take the power should they be eldest. I would not have claimed that right over my brother, had he lived, but I claim it over you. I am heir to Westeros, not you."
Viserys was looking right down at her with an utterly shocked expression on his face. Rhaenys realised then that she had marched right up in front of him and had a finger poking his chest. But she wasn't going to back down from the proximity, it would look like she was backing down from her position.
Right in front of her eyes, Viserys' own became clouded over with rage, and even though she hoped she didn't show it, Rhaenys felt a tremor of fear. No man had ever stuck her, the only men she was ever around much knew her position and wouldn't dare, and she'd managed to stay low enough in the streets to avoid it. She cursed the fact that she had left her dagger at her lodgings. Aegon had given it to her, and taught her how to use it, for this very purpose.
"Your grace, please, introduce me to your guest."
Rhaenys couldn't look over Viserys' shoulder, so she peered around her uncle. The well-dressed man who had previously been nearer the house was now right behind Viserys, a smile on his face, but a wary glint in his eye.
Viserys didn't calm down a whit, and Rhaenys wasn't sure if he would hold back on using force, even in front of someone else. She was past the point where she couldn't reveal herself, anyone in that courtyard could belong to Varys, and this could be a good way to gain allies for Aegon.
"My name is Rhaenys Targaryen," she said; stepping fully around Viserys, "My mother was Elia Martel, of Drone, younger sister to the Prince of Sunspear, Doran Martel. My father, was Rhaegar Targaryen, son of King Aerys Targaryen, and heir to the Iron Throne."
The man looked startled, but only for a moment, before he collected himself. Bowing over her hand, he raised it to his lips, "My lady, I am Illyrio Mopatis, a Magister here in Pentos, and it would be my honour if you would deign to rest yourself at my manse while you remain here."
"What do you think you're doing?" Viserys demanded.
"Your grace, surely with your bloodline so thin now, another-"
"She may not even be a Targaryen," Viserys gave her a once-over glance, "She doesn't have the colouring, and I'm sure any number of girls have tried to pass themselves off as 'Rhaenys Targaryen'. Dishonouring a little girl who now lies dead."
Oh, he wanted her gone. He wanted her gone, and then he'd want to track her down and kill her. A threat to his claim to the throne. She almost laughed again. If he did anything of the kind, Aegon would put his head on a spike, family or no. But then again, she wasn't sure Viserys would really do that. Whatever her uncle was, he was one of four remaining Targaryens –three in his mind- and she didn't think he'd really kill off his own blood.
"When you saw me, you chased me down, and named me 'Elia'," she said coolly, "Perhaps the exertion confused you, uncle."
"Or perhaps I was mistaken," he snapped back.
Rhaenys had a trump card which would prove her lineage without a doubt, but she didn't feel like playing it yet. No more than she felt like informing these people about her living brother, she was happy that neither man had mentioned it thus far. She may have been only three when she left the Red Keep, but she still had some memories of her time there, tattered as they were.
"A few months before the rebellion began, you and I were playing in the Keep," she said; maintaining eye contact with Viserys, "We found a little black kitten, and I called him Balerion, after the dragon."
"Many people know that Rhaenys had a kitten," he retorted, "That proves nothing."
"The next day," she continued, "We were playing, and you tripped over Balerion. Fell head-over-heels over the ground. You chased me all through the Godswood for laughing at you, and made me swear not to tell a soul."
With the eye contact they had, she could see that Viserys knew she spoke the truth, and his silence spoke of it to the world. A smug smile tweaked the corners of her lips, and she turned her gaze to Illyrio, who had been watching the conversation with quiet observation.
"Magister, I think that my uncle and I have much left to discuss, and I'm sure you too have your questions. If we could perhaps move to a more private location?"
"But of course, and perhaps you might like to change into more comfortable garments?" he suggested, "I'm sure Daenerys could lend you something, until we get you some clothes for yourself."
"Ahh, so Daenerys is here too, could you have someone send for her?" she inquired.
She took Illyrio's arm as they began to walk, leaving her uncle to either remain or follow behind as he wished. He caught up however, and walked on her other side. She didn't hear Illyrio's reply to her question, as Viserys leant close to her to whisper.
"How did you get out?"
"I'll tell you inside," she replied in a matching whisper.
A smile had been curving her lips as she tilted her head to look up at him, but it died when she saw his expression. No longer was he looking angry, although remnants of a sulk still lingered. There was something calculating in his gaze as he returned her stare, and it unnerved her. It was like he was planning something, and Rhaenys had the feeling that she was not going to like it.