title: give me my robe, put on my crown; i have immortal longings in me
category: GoT AU
disclaimer: I disclaim.
spoilers: pre-GoT, Robert’s Rebellion.
summary: a world in which the innocent get to live, but only by means of making themselves guilty; or, House Targaryen loses a prince, a king, but not a throne of swords.
notes: what is this even? Ishi’s to blame-she peppers me with plot bunnies and stuff and then forgets about them while I obsess to the point of near unproductivity … anyway, enjoy and stuff.
They let the lions in.
The corridors of the Red Keep never seemed so twisted and endless as they did that night. His focus was on his footsteps, on the sounds of his boots striking the floors. He had no time, no time for any of the other things happening just outside the castle walls. He had no time for the screams, the cries for help, the splintering of wood, and clang of steel on steel. The lions were in the Keep, and yet Jaime had more pressing matters.
Burn them all.
Later, he will laugh at the irony of the moment, of his rush away from the screams and pleas of the dying. He could not stop to save them, because he was too busy trying to save them. Later, he will think of that and laugh and laugh and laugh, and his heart will pound against his chest and his eyes will gleam with something that aren’t quite tears and the panic will swell and rise over and over again. Jaime knew this, he planned on it, because there was no other outcome that his mind could divine.
Some evils must be done.
Burn them all.
His sword was out, gripped tightly in his right hand, firm and steady. The blood had not yet dried, but rather dripped along the blade leaving a trail of scarlet dots upon the stone floor. A line, between one dead man and a man about to die.
The door to the throne room loomed ahead. The screams were closer, the song of steel on steel sharper. He hadn’t the time he thought he would have. He had to hurry.
He pushed open the doors, stepped into the shadows of dead dragons, and then stopped. He looked to the centre of the room, to the person standing rather calmly in the midst of all this chaos. Jaime had come expecting a raving old man, a king long past madness. He expected shouts, screams, and accusations-he had prepared for such an onslaught, prepared himself to ignore it.
But here, none of the things he expected awaited him. No violet eyes burning with suspicion, no thin lips spewing diatribes and spittle in a single breath. Silence reigned in the dragon’s room, silence that stretched and strained against the oncoming cacophony.
Jaime started, opened his mouth to speak and then thought better of it. He moved instead to close the doors, shutting away that which was coming. He turned back around, stepped further into the room, his sword still clenched tightly in his hand.
A quick gesture. “Whose blood?”
He looked down at the blade, almost surprised to see the garish red dripping off the edge. But the surprise was misplaced, because he had been thinking of the blood all the way from the Tower of the Hand. “Rossart’s.”
“Did he deserve it?”
The screams rose in pitch, before ebbing away again. Jaime looked over his shoulder, looked at the closed door, and felt the sting of phantom flames. “Yes.”
“And now, you’ve come to tell your king? To defend him from the lion horde destroying the city?”
His hand flexed, gripped the sword so tight he could feel his bones rubbing together. “I came to kill him.”
The words hung heavy in the air. He looked towards the serene figure once more, not knowing what to make of the smile there. “But I cannot understand why my princess has done the work for me.”
Princess Elia Targaryen smiled softly before kneeling beside the body at her feet. Jaime watched as she wiped the bloody dagger clean on the king’s own tunic before slipping it back into the sheath at his hip. “I believe it is queen at this point. That is how it works, isn’t it?”
- It is a tragedy, but such things happen in war, do they not?”
He faltered, lowered his sword point to the floor. “You would blame my father’s men. Why?”
“Your father’s men have come to kill the king, and to kill my children. Perhaps to kill me as well; who is to say they did not fulfill at least one of their master’s requests?”
“That master is my father.”
The princess, no, the queen stepped forward, hands clasped demurely in front of her skirts. “You have no family,” she corrected with a gentle shrug. “You surrendered all claims to family ties when you let a mad king put a white cloak upon your shoulders. Though, perhaps that is a bit harsh. The cloak would have been just as binding if given to you by a sane king.”
She came to a stop just in front of him, close enough to touch, close enough to kiss. Jaime looked at his princess (no, queen) and thought, perhaps for the first time, that she had some beauty to her. A terrible beauty, but beauty nonetheless.
“Do you remember your vows, Ser Lion?”
The moniker sounded different, less playful, more haunting. There were still people dying outside, but he saw nothing but the brown of her eyes and the dark curl of her hair. Her lips, he realized, were stained an appropriate red this day.
“What would you have of me, my lady?”
She raised one brow, and he wanted to laugh at her insistence on courtesies at this most absurd moment. “Your Grace,” he amended, with no lack of sarcasm woven into his words.
“I would have you do your duty, ser. I have done my part to save my family; it is time for you to do your part. I would live to see the northmen who ride for the city.”
“Where are the children?”
A smile, more sardonic than gentle, quickly swept behind a mask of half-lidded humility. “They are safe.”
“Then they are not here.”
Another smile. “Safe, dear ser. Safe.”
There came a ruckus, obviously just outside the door. Her eyes moved away from his face for a second, but a second of uncertainty for sure. He did not see any of Rhaegar’s sweet wife in that face, none of the gentle lady who sewed shirts and sang lullabies to her children all day. “Who are you?”
She looked back at him, no smile this time. “Elia of Dorne.”
“You are not the Elia of Dorne I have known these past two years.”
She laughed, a curiously carefree sound, and her eyes sparkled with something he could not name. “That was Elia Targaryen; you have not known Elia of Dorne. But you will learn something of her soon enough, Ser Lion. I would treat with your father, after the Stark boy comes to ask for vengeance. Hold him at bay until then, and I will do the rest.”
“And why should I take the word of a person I do not know?”
She raised a hand, trailed a finger along the edge of his cloak to the hollow of his neck. Her fingernail scratches at his skin, digs deep for a second and then ghosts up to his chin just shy of his lips. “Because you are sworn, Ser Lion. You are sworn.”
He thought then that perhaps she was trying to seduce him, for it seemed suddenly that the neckline of her gown dipped lower than usual, the lines hugged her curves tighter, and the red brought made the flush of her skin rosier. Jaime had known no woman but his sweet Cersei, loved no woman but her either; however, in that moment, he thought he could drive this Elia to the floor, hike up her skirts, and fuck her senseless in a pool of dragon’s blood.
“You might be too dangerous to let live, Your Grace.”
She laughed and moved half a step back. “Come now, Ser Lion; you don’t fear me. You want me to live, so you can look upon my face knowing what I have done.”
He looked to Aerys, dead and cooling just steps away from his precious throne. “I have seen this. Is there more?”
And she smiled, a Elia Targaryen smile, soft and gentle around the edges. It was a mask, he realized with a jolt, a mask to hide what laid underneath. He stepped towards her and with a demure giggle, she stepped back. He pursued, followed her in this bizarre dance, not even glancing at Aerys as his boots brushed against the body. He followed and followed, and knew not what to make of the humming in his blood; followed her up the throne steps and gazed into her eyes, desperate for an answer.
“Is there more?”
“Help me live, Ser Lion, and I will show you.”
Later, when the doors were finally broken down and his father’s men flooded the room, Jaime stood before Ser Elys Westerling and Lord Roland Crakehall as the former nudged the dead king with his boot.
“I see it is time for a new king,” Lord Roland craned his neck, attempting to steal a look at Elia just behind his liege lord’s son. Jaime watched him do so, but put a hand upon his now sheathed sword’s hilt only when the man took a step forward.
“There is already a new king,” Jaime shrugged, but did not remove his hand until Lord Roland retreated to an acceptable distance. “Actually, with what I hear of Robert Baratheon, there might even be two. The future is for the gods to decide; we are merely men, and must do only as our oaths and vows of honour will allow.”
Ser Elys looked up from the body. “Your father will not like this.”
“My father will not get here in time for his displeasure to mean much. You should prepare, ser; I hear the wolves howling at the gates.”
Lord Roland remained stubborn. “She is not meant to be here.”
The queen laughed that same falsely sweet laugh from before. “My lord, I am the dragon’s bride and one of Nymeria’s own; I am meant to be nowhere else.”
She declared this from her spot just to the side of the Iron Throne. She had not yet moved to take it, and stood waiting with her hands folded in front of her, as serene as the moment he first stumbled upon her with her hands red and a king’s blood soaking the hem of her gown.
This was how the northmen would first see her, a picture of quiet grace and carefully constructed sorrow.
She is most certainly too dangerous to let live. Jaime smiled at the wolf-lord, hand tight on his sword. “So, it is to be King Robert Baratheon, is it?”
“No,” and this from Elia, her voice still sweet in spite of the steel in her words, “no, Ser Lion, it is not. Come Lord Stark; we have much to discuss and you’ve kept me waiting long enough.”
Ned Stark looked from the body on the floor to the lions lining the room. “Yes, my lady, we do have much to discuss.”
Elia of Dorne smiled and extended her hand towards the wolf. “Your Grace, Lord Stark; I am no man’s lady-not anymore.”
She is most certainly too dangerous to let live.
He guarded her, all the same.