Disclaimer: I own nothing except for the original character.
Elyana sat in front of her mirror whilst her maid Mariya was brushing her hair. Her head was down as she stared at her hands as if they were a tome or an important parchment, Mariya had yet to ask her what was wrong and for that she was grateful. It had only been a mere day since Elyana received both the news of her siblings' true heritage and of her departure to Winterfell. A sick feeling still lingered in her stomach; she couldn't decide whether it was fear or disgust. With that sick feeling came doubt; did she still love her mother? Was it possible for the child of Robert Baratheon to still feel affection for the woman that raised her, the woman that loved her and the woman who committed an injustice against her father? Elyana was unsure of how to feel, there was a part of her that wanted to hate her mother, Jaime and all the bloody Lannisters but another part of her wanted peace and reconciliation. The problem was, how would something like this be reconciled? Her father would not forgive Cersei for this should he find out, it would give him another reason to hate her and the Lannisters. Had he been younger, Elyana did not doubt he would've rallied their allies against the them. Baratheon, Stark, Tully, Arryn, Tyrell - all the great houses and their banner men against the lone lions. Elyana smiled down at her hands, her father would probably still do that, he was a young man at heart.
"Ah, now that's the princess I know. I was wondering when you'd break out a smile milady!" Mariya put the brush down on the table and began braiding a section of her hair.
Elyana lifted her head, smiling at Mariya from the mirror. "I'm sorry for my silence. I was just thinking about... leaving and then a funny thought came to mind."
Mariya, although her maid and a few years her elder, was her friend. Elyana felt comfortable speaking with her about life and her problems; she was a trusted confidant who gave sound advice. This current predicament though, was something that was best kept to herself. Even those we trust most can succumb to the jingle of coin or promise of a better life and give away the darkest of secrets that they were sworn to keep.
"Oh, don't worry. The Starks are good people; you'll be welcomed there and treated like family. Those northerners have different values but I think you'll fit in right. Besides, I'll be coming with you and your family will visit from time to time. You won't be alone."
"I don't fear being alone, I fear being absent. Anything could happen and I'd be - we'd be all the way in the North." Elyana frowned, her mind drifting back to Jon Arryn's words.
Mariya nodded knowingly, offering a sympathetic smile. She would have to leave her family too. She returned to braiding Elyana's hair but this time Elyana didn't lower her head, instead staring at herself in the mirror. She wondered whether the northerners would like her, she certainly looked different to them but she could blend. Her sun kissed skin, due to the King's Landing heat, would slowly pale in the north and before anyone would know, she would look like one of them. She could hardly imagine what the cold would do to her.
It was trivial to think about the cold considering what she knew but it was a welcome distraction, lest her anger get the best of her. After leaving Jon Arryn's quarter's she had half the mind to have Jaime Lannister killed, for a man who is perceived as a somewhat honourable knight, he was nothing of it. Chills ran up her spine, his words with her yesterday were brief but could be interpreted two ways after finding out that he was sleeping with his sister and fathered three of her children. She didn't even look at him when she passed her father's room. Elyana was a quiet girl, polite and dutiful but on the rare occasion she was angry, being equal parts Baratheon and Lannister made she was a force to be reckoned with. There was one occasion, a year ago, where Joffery had barged into her chambers in a rage because he wasn't getting his way and decided to take it out on her. In an act of courage and stupidity she yelled back at him and slapped him across the face when he started to berate her. He slapped her back, of course and then their mother ran in and took Joffery under her wing to shield him from her. She didn't even care in that moment, she locked the door behind her and let Joffery spin his tales but of course, a few hours later she transformed back into the girl she was and spent the night alone in her room.
"There, love. You're all done, anything else you need?" Mariya placed her hands on Elyana's shoulders and smiled down at her.
"Thank you, Mariya. Perhaps drop by before lunch? I think I may need some help preparing for the north."
Mariya chuckled lightly, "Of course, I'll come find you."
With that, Mariya left Elyana's chambers, locking the door gently behind her. Elyana remained in the seat, taking a look at herself again. She hoped that when she went to Winterfell, the Starks saw more of her father in her than her mother for when she looked closely in the mirror; she could see a little Cersei staring back at her. Elyana closed her eyes and opened them again, this time seeing her father in the mirror. She started to giggle, her hand coming up to her mouth to conceal her laughter. Her father - in thought, in sight and in sense was a source of her strength and her joy. She would do anything for him and the fact that she had to keep such a secret concealed for his safety and her own hurt her. He deserved to know what was happening, as King and her father.
As she rose, she realised that she had three days left in King's Landing, the third being the day of her departure to Winterfell. In the short time left, she hoped to spend time with her father and the people she loved. Myrcella and Tommen, though not her real siblings, meant the world to her. They were children, innocent and sweet. There was the Septa Aelinor, who would be staying behind and of course Jon Arryn, the person who was looking after her without her even realising it. There were more, people who she respected and cared for and if there was time, she would see them too.
Elyana went to the door, deciding to visit her father and spend time with him if he wasn't busy. Opening the door, she was greeted by Ser Arys Oakheart standing watch at her door. She beamed at him, glad that he was her guard and not Ser Meryn Trant. He was kind to her and treated her well unlike Ser Mandon Moore, whose stare made her uncomfortable.
"Princess," he smiled at her "Are you well?"
"I am, thank you, and yourself?"
He grinned, "I'm quite good. Do you need me to accompany you?"
Elyana about to say no, had a thought. She didn't want to see her mother or Jaime now, Ser Oakheart could shield her from unwanted visitors. "I was just going to see my father but you're welcome to, you would be guarding a door if you remained here."
He laughed, motioning for her to start, "Shall we then?"
The two started to walk to the King's chambers slowly, it wasn't a particular long journey from Elyana's chambers but both the knight and the princess clearly had something to say.
"Have you heard the news? I'm going to be a ward of Winterfell."
He gave her a small smile, "I had hoped that you were informed, I was going to ask if the King told you. Ser Barristan and I will be escorting you to Winterfell, we'll stay the night and leave the next morning. Jon Arryn thought it wise that it was two of the Kingsguard you were accompanied with that would take you there. "
"He is a wise man, I'm glad that it'll be you and Ser Barristan with me. Do you know if my father will be there? With the way he speaks of the Starks, I assume he'll be joining us on the road."
He shook his head, "I'm afraid I don't know."
As they came closer to the King's chambers, Elyana spotted Jaime from the distance - standing gracefully beside the door. Her eye twitched and she clenched her fist instinctively. Although she wanted to say something to him and command Ser Arys to attack him, she tried to calm herself down before she acted badly. She wasn't supposed to know anything and she would hate to defy Jon Arryn after all he had done to try and keep her safe. The closer they got, the more of Jaime's face became visible to Elyana. He was grimacing.
He held up a hand, as if telling them to halt in their tracks, "I wouldn't go in there. The King and Queen are... discussing your relocation to Winterfell."
Elyana's eye's widened, she had a feeling Jaime would be outside but she didn't expect to see her mother, at least not yet. She needed to think before she had converse with her, this wasn't a little white lie that she could make up on the spot. It was something so much bigger than that. Should she say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing and it wouldn't be her who faced the consequences. Jon Arryn would be punished or killed if she did the wrong thing and her father... with Jaime in such close proximity, she could only imagine him facing the same fate as the last king. She needed to get into the her parents chambers, to calm them down and defuse the volatile situation.
"Perhaps the best remedy for this discussion is that I do go in there." Elyana said boldly to Jaime.
She started at him coldly as he thought about it briefly. She could hear her parents voices rising.
"You send my daughter to live with those people for what reason!?"
"Don't you damn-well start with me woman!"
"How dare you! My daughter! You decide to send her to the cold north without even consulting me! You know what I think about the Starks, Robert!"
"You're forgetting who's King here, I'll do whatever the hell I want! She's my bloody daughter too and I think she'll be better off with the Starks! I don't give a shit about what you or your Lannister father thinks about them!"
After taking his time to decide, Jaime nodded and let her in. Elyana entered the room alone, slamming the door behind her.
"Stop it, both of you!" She yelled, walking towards them.
"Don't you worry my darling girl, I won't let him send you there. I refuse to let a child of mine be sold to the North." She glared at Robert, who was beginning to look irritated.
"I'm not being sold like some animal!" Elyana's voice started rise as she pleaded with her mother.
"But you are being sold, sweet girl, he's selling you to the north to compensate for his unrequited love," she spat, still glaring at Robert "He wants to send you North in hopes that you'll marry that Robb Stark. Just ask him."
Elyana gently pushed her mother's hand away from her and stood her ground, raising her chin as she looked at the two of them. Her father hadn't said a word since she came in, he knew better than her mother. He knew that she agreed to go to Winterfell. More importantly, she knew that whatever he fathers reasons were for agreeing with Jon Arryn, the real reason she was being sent away was because of her mother and her affair.
"I don't care about marriage! I'm going to Winterfell because it's my father's orders and because I agreed to it. I know what you're doing - there's no need to pit me against my father!" Elyana's courage had resurfaced and at the back of her mind, she knew that she would regret it later.
"Ha! My bloody daughter!" Robert folded his arms across his chest, proud and amused expression had taken over his angry face.
Elyana turned her head to her father giving him a pleading look. She didn't want to put him in a worse situation than he was already in nor her mother to hating her before she left. She lowered her head, taking a step away from her mother. Her hands quivered and she bit down on her lower lip. What a strange feeling to feel towards someone who she very much so wanted to hate. Guilt was a terrible thing. She should've listened to Jaime, she should not have come into her parents chambers. It wasn't here place. Now she didn't even want to look at her mother, not out of disgust but disappointment.
"I'm sorry." She whispered to her mother, head still down.
"Seven hells! You can leave woman. Leave me to speak with my daughter." Robert glared at his wife as she exited the bedchamber. Elyana didn't doubt that she would go her brother for comfort.
"Now you," he gave a large grin to Elyana "You were bloody fantastic! You should be angry more often! Ha! I saw myself when you started yelling!"
Despite her father's approval, Elyana found it hard to raise her head. Her actions to her mother were dishonourable - she didn't deserve to be treated that way. The woman loved her, even though at times it didn't show completely. Perhaps it was best that she didn't choose a side, both Robert and Cersei were her parents, both had their faults and yet she could only find herself accepting her fathers and not her mothers. There was time for her to try and accept her mother for what she was but Elyana thought that she would much rather avoid it. Her stay in Winterfell would give her time to think.
"Was I too bold? I feel my actions were.. misguided by emotions." Elyana asked quietly.
"You weren't bold enough, girl! It's about time you started to stand up to that woman!" Robert noticed his daughter's frown, "You didn't do anything wrong. She won't fight with you. You're not me after all, you're you - you're her daughter too."
Elyana chuckled, "She's always angry with you. I suppose, at least now she'll be angry at both of us."
"Ah, damn her. Bloody Lannisters. Let the asses think what they want."
This wasn't how Elyana imagined herself spending time with her father earlier but she would happily take whatever she could get. She would be weeks away from him in Winterfell, not able to hear him or see him. The only communication between them would be ravens, though she didn't think he would send any. A King's life was too busy and her father was often in the middle of something.
"Perhaps I should take my leave as well? I know you must want to get work down." Elyana smiled warmly
"You're no pest, girl. You're welcome to stay with me however long you like but I think you're better getting ready for Winterfell. You haven't much time left here."
She nodded, giving her father a quick grin before heading out. Jaime wasn't there anymore, Ser Barristan Selmy had taken his position and Arys Oakheart stood beside him. Elyana frowned, not wanting to think about whatever it was that was happening. She exchanged a few words with the two members of Kingsguard and departed, Ser Arys not far behind her. Elyana's paced quickened when she saw Joffery, not interested in his rude comments and snarky attitude. She knew what he truly was and it only worked to make her dislike him more. Their relationship had never been as good as Cersei wanted, he was a cruel child and she was often one of his many outlets. Elyana breezed past him, not looking at him and quickly slipped into her room, bidding Ser Arys a quick farewell before closing her door.
Mariya was bound to return to help Elyana pack for Winterfell, time had quickly passed since the morning. Elyana wondered if her days in King's Landing would move at the same pace. She didn't quite like it when time when faster than it should, it was easier to waste. What had she done since the morning? Spoke with Arys, yelled at her mother and exchanged a few words with her father. Truly she had done nothing and yet time had flown but what bothered her was that her interaction with her mother, however small or large it really was, carried such weight. There wasn't supposed to be a conflict, she was supposed to hate her for what she was both planning and doing. Yet, she found herself still loving her mother and regretting her outburst. She had done an injustice against her, though a small one, that was equal to her own in Elyana's mind. She had never been so disrespectful to her mother and under the current circumstances, it was still wrong.
Elyana didn't want it things to be like this, she didn't want to waste time nor did she want to be known to her mother as a disrespectful child. At heart, she loved her immensely - the woman did raise her and treated her like the princess she was but her actions were unforgivable. To bed her brother and birth his children, raising them as if they were the King's was wrong on many levels. Not to mention Jaime, as a member of the Kingsguard was sworn from fathering children but that wasn't the big issue. The incest and deceit were the damning factors. Did they think themselves like the Targaryen's by trying to keep their line pure? There was no honour or respect in what they did, why would her mother mimic it? There were other men to run to but she chose her brother. Elyana felt disgusted again, the guilt of her actions slowly easing away into another part of her mind.
The door her chambers opened gently, Elyana continued to pace thinking that Mariya would surely start about her spending too much time with her head in the clouds. The lack of response, however, caused Elyana to stop and take in who was standing by her door. Both Mariya and her mother stood there, Mariya with her head down and hands clasped gently in front of her hands.
"Mother, I-I'm... Mariya, perhaps you should come back later?" Elyana gave her a quick smile as the woman nodded politely and let herself out. "I don't want to fight."
Cersei frowned, "Neither do I but we must speak of what happened. I'm trying to protect you, sweet lioness. You don't belong amongst those northerners."
"You must truly hate them to keep persisting. What have they done to you? They seem good an-"
"We have our differences. Ned Stark has though we have little honour to match his since the Sack of King's Landing. But that doesn't matter. I don't like them because they're, quite simply, not us."
Elyana wanted to call her mother out on the triviality of her statement. The Sack of King's Landing was a brutal event, it was fair for the Starks to be cautious around the Lannisters and a little difference in values was nothing to resent a person over. It was a childish argument on her mother's behalf, childish and misguided.
"Father and Ned Stark are friends. They won't treat me badly and they won't change me, if that's what you fear. Besides, I'll still be the King's daughter - I'll still be your daughter. Nothing will alter that." A blatant lie escaped her lips masqueraded as the truth - 'nothing will alter that'. Jon Arryn's words already had.
Her mother smiled at her, coming closer and embracing her. For a moment Elyana stood motionless before gaining control of her senses and closing the embrace. Her mind quickly became clouded again, loving her mother or not loving her both yield a negative response. To love her was wrong considering what she had done but to hate her was a great injustice against the woman who brought her into the world. It only just came to Elyana's mind that this would be a problem in which she battled with for some time. There was no easy way for to feel or not feel for her mother and this problem would not simply dissolve away as easily as she wanted it to. With the knowledge Jon Arryn gave her came a great price and a heavy burden.
The few days that Elyana had left in King's Landing quickly came to a halt and she found herself standing in front of a carriage. She needed to go to Winterfell, she had to but her want and desire to leave had been diminished. In theory, leaving was easy but when the time had come she didn't realise it would be so difficult. For all that happened and despite her lack of interest in it, King's Landing was her home. The people she loved the most would be here whilst she was far away amongst strangers. She turned around, her family behind her standing in and orderly line as if there wasn't a rift between them. It was time for goodbyes.
Myrcella and Tommen were at the end, Septa Aelinor behind them. Squatting down to their level, she embraced the two of them. She could harbour no resentment towards the little lions, they were innocent and unaware of the harsher things around them. Elyana pulled away from their embraced, wiping a tear away from Myrcella's cheek.
"Behave, Joff." She smiled at him cheekily, although he was a pain - part of her cared for him and hoped that time would change him into a different person, a better person. The two quickly embraced but both felt uncomfortable and pulled away.
Her mother stood beside him, a frown gracing her face. Elyana's inner conflict had yet to be resolved and she was still unsure of her mother - equal parts loving her and hating her. Although, in this moment of her departure she found herself yearning for her mother like a child. She didn't want to cry, it was weakness to show such pain in public. Elyana embraced her mother tightly.
"I'm sorry," she spoke into her ear "It was unjust that I spoke against you the other day."
"It goes to show your strength, sweet lioness. Don't let the North change you."
When she ended the embrace she almost flung herself at her father as she went to say goodbye to him. He chortled as he gave her a squeeze, easily getting his arms around her.
"You be careful now, don't do anything I wouldn't do." She said to her father, not wanting to let go of him.
"Ha! You'd think I'd be the bloody princess leaving with the way you're acting. I'll be fine, don't worry about me!" Robert said as he pat her on the back and laughed.
Robert ended the embrace, placing a firm grip on her shoulders. "Seven bloody hells, I'm going to miss you, girl. You be good, no climbing walls and joining wildlings, eh?"
He chuckled as Elyana nodded vigorously, a large grin on her face that mirrored her fathers. Giving one last smile to her family, she moved away from her father and headed towards the carriage. Ser Barristan gently held her hand as she stepped in before moving to the front and getting on his horse. Elyana took a glance out of the small window, biting down on her lower lip. Little Myrcella was not the only one distraught. Elyana knew her mother and she had very rarely seen sadness take over her pretty face but alas, there it was and as she looked beside her, to her father - she saw regret in his eyes. Perhaps he thought Winterfell was too far to be sending his daughter, perhaps he wished to spend more time with her or perhaps he wanted to be there with her, leaving behind a throne he grew to hate and a wife he never wanted.
A/N: My Goodness! I didn't expect any response to this to be honest but getting a few follows and seeing the lovely words of the reviewers was so encouraging and I really want to thank you all for that! :) On another note, thought I'd tell you all in advance that I'm prolonging the actual events of Game of Thrones until about chapter 8, so that means I'm extending the time before Jon Arryn is murdered, thus extending the GoT timeline a bit. Also, I apologise for the minor delay for this chapter, I'm currently in exam period and won't be finished until the 11th so I don't know when I'll start writing the next chapter but here's hoping that I'll have some time to write it up soon!
Thanks for taking the time to read this lovelies, looking forward to seeing what you have to think! x