Title: After the Fall
Pairing: Daenerys/Jorah
Prompt(s): plumes of black smoke, run with blood
Word Count: 1000
Rating & Warnings: T for descriptions of a battlefield, character death
Summary: Today Victarion Greyjoy fell and the rest of her enemies likewise will fall.
Author's Note: Written for the House Targaryen shipping contest, Fire and Smut, at gameofships.

After the Fall

Daenerys feels more a Targaryen in this moment than ever before. She has mounted Drogon, rode him over her enemies, and burnt them to the ground. Today Victarion Greyjoy fell and the rest of her enemies likewise will fall.

The half-man Lannister assures her that Victarion is dead—slain by Jorah Mormont's sword.

My bear.

He has proven his fidelity, his loyalty, and she need not deny him the love of his queen any longer.

"Where is Ser Jorah?" she demands, as she brushes back the damp curls at her forehead, still short from the flames.

She has seen his face—altered by the slaver's mark—and she has spoken to him to grant him permission to become one of her men once more. She schooled her features and kept her tone cool, not allowing him to see or hear her happiness at seeing him once more. Now there is no reason to hide.

Daenerys Stormborn can be forgiving and she means to prove that today.

"The last I saw him, Your Grace, he was slicing through the tentacles of the kraken like a man possessed," Tyrion says, shuffling forward with his ill fitting plate clanking about his limbs.

"Possessed by justice."

"As you say," the little man says with an awkward bow.

He is clearly no warrior, but she insisted that he fought too. More than Ser Jorah needed to prove his loyalty on this day.

"I would thank him for his service," she says, as Irri presses a goblet into her hands and Daenerys drinks deeply in relief, cooling her parched throat, which is raw from her shouts to Drogon over the roar of battle below. "Bring him to me," she says, handing the goblet back, but no one moves to carry out her order. Half a dozen eyes stare back at her unmoving.

"Perhaps it would be best to rest, Your Grace."

She looks in Ser Barristan's direction before dismissing his concern with a flick of her hand. "Perhaps it is the rest of you whom need to rest." She feels strangely invigorated, buoyed up by victory and anticipation. She will smooth her hand over his burnt face and press a kiss to his brow. She will tell him all is forgiven. "I'll find him myself."

The landscape beyond Meereen has been altered by the battle, and Ser Barristan hurries after her, picking his way around charred ground and huffing from the exertion he's already spent today, fighting on her behalf.

"Your Grace," he tries, but she holds her hand out again.

"At your ease, Ser. He can't be far."

Her Lord Commander raises his hand as if to grab hold of her bare arm, but he stops short. "Please, Your Grace. The battlefield is…it is more gruesome than you might expect."

Daenerys has seen battlefields before. She has seen the sick and dying. She has seen blood spilled thick and red across the mud and grass. Her eyes dart over the ground never settling for too long on any one point, seeking out a thick man in armor.

The smell is different.

Roasted flesh, she realizes, as she pushes forward once more, Barristan close on her heels, but silent. His long legs would overtake hers, but he must step around the still steaming ground, where Drogon's fire has cooked the earth. She has no need to step carefully, even though she lost her sandals in the air, for even barefoot she does not feel the heat.

It does not occur to her how she will find her bear amongst this field of death. She can only imagine their reunion, and something pulls in her belly, when she pictures his gratitude and relief at being hers once more. Perhaps she will kiss his lips. Perhaps he will grab her waist, his fingers stained red with blood.

She thinks she might allow it.

Ser Jorah will be at her side when she retakes Westeros. She will give him back what was his, as he helps her reclaim what is rightfully hers. They will be victors together.

And then… Well, a queen might do as she likes, and she is done with political marriages. She thinks she might be done with marriage altogether, but that doesn't mean an end to her life as a woman. Her pulse quickens.

Dying sunlight glints off the armor of a knight, sitting in the field, his broad back turned to her. Dark hair peeks from beneath the helmet with the head tipped down low enough that the man's chin might be touching his chest. He is surrounded by a circle of black.

Daenerys blinks. She only saw him for a few moments before mounting her steed and taking to the sky, but it looks very much like the simple armor of Ser Jorah.

He must be so tired. Those on Bear Island once feared the Ironmen raiding parties that always came when the men were at sea, fishing to feed their families. It made warriors of their women, just as she, Daenerys Tagaryen, first of her name, has become a warrior. He has settled that ancient score in slaying Victarion, just as he has settled the score between them, so that she might stand upon her toes and slip her arms around his neck.

Though he looks so weary, it might be best to kneel at his side and rest her head upon his shoulder.

She hurries forward, barely registering Ser Barristan's warning shout, as her hands reach out to clasp the armor blackened by age. But then, it was not black this morning. It was dull silver, where now there is blackness everywhere. The smoldering ground, the smell of meat on a spit, a face burnt by slaver and now dragon fire.

A name rips from her throat. Nails press crescent moons into the flesh of her palm. The world tilts at an angle.

The Ironborn have fallen. Victarion has fallen. Ser Jorah has fallen. And so does she.