When The Flame Burns Out.
Okay, this might be a little weird but bear with me, this is a modern AU, and it's not exactly adhering exactly to ASOIAF, in the sense that Dany had a childhood growing up with Rhaegar and Viserys, I kind of just wanted to give her more of a sense of loss.
Her boss stood over her desk, looking pissed.
Dany had always despised Melisandre Rougement, if it wasn't only her horrible personality, her penchant for the colour red or just the looks she gave people, it would have to be the work environment she created that made Dany's life hell. It was like when you're a kid and you do something bad, but you won't admit to it and your teacher has everyone on the chopping block but they secretly know it's you all along. Dany nervously adjusted the neckline of her white lace blouse, Melisandre kept glaring.
"Ms Targaryen, if I could see you in my office for a moment, that would be great." Melisandre walked away. Dany stood up and followed her into the wide red room with the one glass wall, Shit, even the fucking ficus were red. It was weird and it never failed to make Dany nervous. What could she have done, she was only a receptionist... "Have a seat." her boss ordered, sitting down across the desk and lining up three red pens in order of length.
"Have I done something wrong-"
"Well, I didn't call you in here for just one particular action. Your work has been... less than satisfactory lately, just going down in quality. Now there are many young adults out there who need jobs and frankly I think you're taking this for granted. I run a tight ship around here."
"I'm sorry, it won't happen again-"
"Also, I've been getting some complaints." Melisandre stood up and began to pace around the office. "One, in particular, has been coming up quite a bit, regarding a few concerns other employees have about you possibly being a pyromaniac, you can't light matches at your desk and run them over your skin."
"I don't burn- I'm sorry, I won't do it anymore, I promise, I need this job."
Melisandre shook her head, "I'm sorry, your work ethic isn't there anymore and your behaviour is not something I can have in my office, Daenerys, I have to let you go."
"Please, I can fix it-"
"Would you like me to assign someone to help you collect your things?"
"I don't have that much." Dany whispered. She felt tears pricking at her eyes, her face felt hot as she emptied the sparse contents of her desk into her bag and left the building.
The crisp November air hit her square in the face as she left, tears began to spill down her face as she shakily dialed Ygritte's number on her phone.
"Hey, what's wrong?"
"...I... just need you to drive me home, I'm outside the office."
Ygritte's white Nissan Versa pulled up about five minutes later with Lana Del Rey blasting out the window. Ygritte's boyfriend Jon was in the passenger seat, there was a torn-open bag of chips on the center console.
"What happened? And why is there a stapler in your bag?
"...I got fired." Dany said quietly, getting into the back of the car, "Hey, Jon."
"Don't worry about it, I've been fired from a zillion jobs."
"Yeah, hon, that's because you're unemployable." Ygritte giggled, kissing Jon on the mouth. Dany thought of her husband and almost cried harder. She wiped some of the mascara tears with the back of her hand, leaving black streaks from her middle finger to her forearm.
"Hey, come out with us tonight." Jon invited, "We can probably set you up with someone, take your mind off of it. Sam Tarly lost a lot of weight-"
"Jon, I told you, I'm married."
Jon turned around in his seat, "Drogo's been dead for, what, two years? I mean, I know you were in a dark place but we all have to move on from things like this."
"Jon, quit." Ygritte scolded, "It's fine if you want to stay home, we completely understand."
"Maybe tomorrow." said Dany, staring out the window. She leaned her forehead on the glass, it was cold under her hot skin, the city passed by, grey and blue with red and brown leaves scattered on the sidewalk. Depressing. She focused her attention on the meticulous back of the driver's seat of the 2014 Versa. Ygritte pulled up outside the small townhouse Dany called home.
"So, call me if you need anything, okay?" Ygritte called as Dany walked away. She turned around and forced a smile, then continued inside.
She lived on the bottom floor of a townhouse in a depressing area. The apartment had only one bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and something in between that had a couch and a coffee table. The fridge was pointless as there was nothing in it. The only edible thing in the apartment was the wine that Dany kept on her night-stand and then there were the dead bugs and lettuce that she fed the bearded dragons in the corner of her room. They were the only company she had, she'd acquired them after Drogo died and they weren't bad pets.
Mostly everything in the apartment had some kind of bloodstain on it from the nights that Dany thought about her family. Her two brothers Viserys and Rhaegar were both dead, her parents were dead, her grandparents were dead, she didn't know if she had any cousins or second cousins but she didn't care to find out. She had miscarried her son two years earlier. The only people she had in her life other than her small supply of friends were photos, one photo of her wedding, one of Drogo, a picture of her brothers, a picture that had been taken at her parent's wedding, an ultrasound of her son.
She remembered the house fire that had burned Viserys and his girlfriend to death, she remembered the phone call the night of the fire and driving to their house just to see flames against the early morning sky. She remembered the car accident that left Drogo in a coma, she remembered begging him to wake up and say something and she remembered turning off life support, watching him die, and then she remembered losing her son about an hour later.
And she remembered the first suicide attempt.
She had a weird feeling. Driving back to her house as Jon inhaled chips like they were oxygen, Ygritte had a feeling that something was wrong, she couldn't put her finger on it, but something was definitely wrong.
"What's that look on your face about?" said Jon, Ygritte didn't respond, "I'm sure she's fine."
"She hasn't been 'fine' since she was ten." Jon inhaled another handful of chips. "You know what, screw this, I'm turning back."
They stood on the front step for a while.
"I don't know, we've been standing here for long enough, she usually opens the door by now, not a lot of people come by." Ygritte worried, "Go look in the window."
Jon went around the side of the house, "It's dark in there, I don't see anything but the neighbours are going to get the wrong idea."
She could hear Ygritte's voice outside.
The room began to spin as she cut another streak in her wrist, the bearded dragons in the corner stared at her as if they knew what she was doing. Her heart beat violently in her ears until she wasn't sure if it was being played on loop somewhere in the apartment or if it was all in her head.
Dany held the photo of Drogo tighter against her chest and sobbed harder. Blood ran down her arms and dripped onto the hardwood floor.
She heard Ygritte calling her name. Ygritte was resourceful enough, if she didn't get an answer within five minutes, she'd probably break a window.
If I do it, Dany thought to herself, Will people remember I existed? Will they talk about how beautiful and loved I was even though they didn't tell me when I was still alive? She remembered Sansa, who had married Sandor Clegane and had kids and never spoke to her again, and Margaery who married some rich guy and moved away. Or Talisa who was stabbed to death. And Doreah who was burned with Viserys. Only Ygritte, Jhiqui and Irri remained.
Dany leaned her head on her knees.
"Please answer the door-" pleaded Ygritte from outside, "Dany, I'll call the police, I swear to God..."
"Sorry..." Dany breathed, the apartment was dark, the only light was the dusk outside coming through the windows and settling on the edges of everything in the room. She heard Ygritte outside and the sound of her palms on the windowpane. Dany let more hot tears pour down her face, the mascara stained her shirt and hair.
"OPEN THE DOOR!" Jon yelled, so he was there too. Dany squeezed her eyes shut and tried to block them out, to go back to the silence of the apartment. Then they went silent. She heard footsteps going around the front to the door.
Dany got up and walked over to her closet, taking her wedding dress off the hanger at the back, tossing it on her bed and tearing off her clothes.
There was a a vague memory at the back of her mind, she was 5, Rhaegar was 20 and Viserys was 10. They had lived in their parents' mansion outside of the city until Rhaegar died and they were forced to pick up and live with a friend of the family.
It was three years before Rhaegar died, and they were driving to Starbucks.
Dany and Viserys used to drink hot chocolate under the tables and throw sugar packets at each other while their brother and his girlfriend Elia got their caffeine fix. Dany loved Elia, she was like an older sister, she smelled like vanilla and cinnamon and she used to give Dany chocolate when her brothers weren't looking. And Dany would cry into Elia's soft black curls when she missed her parents.
Elia and Rhaegar were murdered. The police came to the house and a week later everything was gone.
Dany put on her wedding dress, the blood from her cuts stained the greyish-blue fabric, she was the last Targaryen, and there wouldn't be any more.
She found a folding metal chair in the kitchen and placed it under the ceiling fan in her room. She kept a length of rope next to the bearded dragons' cage, it was pretty good, it wouldn't break. She couldn't let it break.
Memories flashed through her head, each one more painful than the last, phone calls from the hospital and the police, the smell of smoke rising from the ruins of her brother's house, the heart monitor flatlining and her baby's blood streaming down the inside of her thighs. And the nights that followed. Burying her face in the blanket Rhaegar had given her as a baby, calling Viserys's phone just to get hear his voicemail message until his phone was shut down, wearing Drogo's clothes and sleeping with a picture of him next to her, eating raw horse hearts because it reminded her of the weird things his mother made her eat when she was pregnant.
She tied the rope around the middle of the fan, she didn't want to do this. Her hands were shaking, maybe out of fear, maybe blood loss, didn't matter. She didn't even care anymore. She didn't care what people would say about her, she didn't care where she'd go, she was just tired...
Ygritte's frantic voice shattered the silence of the apartment, an anguished sob, Dany's eyes glazed over, she didn't have any tears left.
"Just a few more minutes." Dany reminded herself and her photos, stepping up on the metal chair and forcing her eyes to stay open. They were so close, she could almost feel Drogo's body heat again, and hear the complaints Viserys used to make about traffic, she imagined running her hands over the backseat of Rhaegar's car again, getting wasted with Doreah again, she could almost taste the chocolate Elia gave her when she was little, she would finally meet her baby boy.
Dany kissed the picture of Drogo, and with the sound of a shattering window and Ygritte's frantic shrieks in her ears, she could almost hear his voice calling her.
Dany kissed the picture, took a deep breath, and kicked the chair away.