Overall disclaimer for everything: nope, none of this is mine. Just speculating or mildly AUing or however you choose to take it.


The first night after the dragons are born, before the khalasar has made to move on, Daenerys excuses herself early. Irri has fretted over her, soothing the burns that never appear on her skin, and Jorah murmurs contemplations until she raises a hand in protest. "Tomorrow," she says simply, and she gathers her skirts in her hand as if to leave.

"Of course, khaleesi," Jorah defers, and he rises to offer her a hand up. She declines it, though politely, and clambers to her feet with a wan smile.

When night falls, the others begin to splinter off; "Look in on her," Jorah instructs Irri, sounding like he might want to himself but supposes he shouldn't.

"I'll go," Doreah offers immediately, jumping up and nodding to Irri to hang back. The other handmaid is, after all, the busiest of them, forever doing for others. She deserves a chance to lay her head down quickly, and Doreah is glad to offer it.

They exchange politenesses before hurrying their own ways; Doreah thinks she catches a suspicious glance from Jorah, but nothing is discussed.

"Khaleesi?" she half-calls as she lets herself into the tent, almost hesitant. "Are you already asleep?"

A moment passes in silence, then, face still buried in her pillows, Dany murmurs, "Doreah?"

"Yes, Khaleesi," Doreah says quickly, drawing closer. "I did not wake you, I hope?"

"You did not," Daenerys assures. "I've had difficulties falling asleep of late, I'll admit."

"I imagine an empty bed would take getting used to," Doreah muses before she can think better of it, and once she realizes what she's said, she claps her hand over her mouth. "I'm – I'm sorry, Khaleesi, I did not mean to –"

Dany rolls over to meet her friend's eyes, still clutching the blanket to her. "You're right about that, though," she whispers. She wonders sometimes if Doreah can read her mind, she's surprised by how little it fazes her. "You needn't apologize."

"Shall I leave you to sleep?" Doreah asks weakly, still flushing.

"Not yet," Dany says, sitting up in bed. "Stay with me awhile." She pats a spot near her feet, eyes suddenly shining. "It will do me good, I think."

Doreah nods, still tentative, and sits in the proposed place. "Would you have me braid your hair?" she offers.

"May I braid yours?" Daenerys asks in counterpoint, sounding so much like a little girl. "I would like that very much."

Doreah has to try consciously not to show her surprise – not because her queen is not so generous or kind, she is, but because this simply isn't done.

Wasn't done, she supposes.

"All right, then," she murmurs, and she turns to allow it.

It's quiet as Dany combs through her hair, working out each tangle carefully – and there are more than it would look. From the corner, one of the dragons coos, and both girls startle; "Does he need something?" Doreah asks, almost fretfully.

"More likely he's just waking for long enough to turn over and stretch his wings," Dany speculates. "They've different sounds for different feelings, like we do." She starts to section Doreah's hair off, thoughtful. "They're quite expressive creatures."

Doreah grins at that. "And they're quite handsome," she declares. "You should be very proud of them."

"I am," Daenerys agrees. "Thankful as well." There is no need to explain this further, and it hangs between them like smoke from incense, thick and almost tangible, until Dany asks, "Are you happy, Doreah?"

"Of course I am," is the reply, eager and hurried.

"Truly?" Dany presses, concerned.

"Khaleesi, I am freer here with you than ever before," Doreah whispers. "Freer in my soul. Yes, I am happy."

"And for that, I am glad," Daenerys nods, tying the braid off. "I want you to be."

Impulsively, or consolingly, or something such as, Doreah reaches for Dany's arms and arranges them around her own waist; Dany rests her head against Doreah's shoulder, her lips catching bare skin by accident, and if the other girl notices (of course she does) she doesn't say it.

"Would it be too much to ask you to stay all night?" Daenerys whispers.

"No," Doreah says quickly. "No, certainly not. I am glad to."

She makes to busy herself with arranging a place on the ground, but Dany pulls her blankets back and bites her lip. "If it is not too bothersome," she murmurs, and she finds she can't meet her handmaid's eyes.

"Certainly not," Doreah repeats, feeling suddenly shy herself. Gingerly, she slips under the covers.

"Please," Dany says. "Get as comfortable as you'd like."

Not to take her queen up on such an offer would be ungrateful, she knows, and – well. She keeps her hands to herself this time, or she starts to (she thinks perhaps she should) but after laying there a minute in silence, Dany reaches for her hand, pulls it over her waist.

So shall it be.

Doreah swallows – she can't ignore how warm she feels, nor how nervous – but she shifts a bit, her fingertips brushing the bare skin of Daenerys' belly. "Good night, Khaleesi," she whispers.

"Good night, Doreah."