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When The Snake Bites

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Jon

I am no Blackfyre. I am no Blackfyre.

 

Prince Jon Targaryen paced outside of his Father's solar, waiting for him to end his impromptu meeting with his advisors. A meeting caused by him.

He should have known what he was doing. He should have known not to...

But it was what he needed. If he hadn't swung his blade truly he might have gone mad. Now his fate was uncertain.

Jon huffed. 

And the day began so well.

 

The sun shone over King's Landing, waking the black prince, the dragon's wolf, or as some would call him, the bastard of King Rhaegar. The chirps of birds and splashing of the sea sounded throughout his room. Jon Targaryen woke and began his morning routine: a run around the Keep followed by training with the Kingsguard.

As he dressed in his morning wear, a simple shirt and breeches, Jon noticed the scars on his arms and chest. They had somewhat healed, though most remained, ever a reminder of his scuffles with the ironborn.

He tied his hair back, as he usually did. He remembered his mother liked it that way.

Queen Lyanna, for as short a period she was Queen, surely had an impact on her son, in more ways than one.

Realizing he might have to break his fast at the royal table with his family, Jon decided to eat early. Mayhaps it was a terrible thing to wish to see less of them, but he knew it would make things less tense. 

Inwardly he hoped he might get along with his good-mother Elia and half-sister. But Queen Elia's obviously false smiles grew more tiresome each day, and Rhaenys did not hope to talk to him since their falling out.

Jon wasn't sure what Aegon thought of him, but he secretly believed the crown prince was jealous. Aegon rarely spoke to him, and when they did have to in social situations, he treated Jon more as a joke and a diversion than a brother, an endless source of slight jipes. But why else would a crown prince belittle his younger brother, if not to undermine the fact that he was next in line for the throne?

Next in line. 

That notion gained ever more attention, especially after the Greyjoys. The year past, Balon Greyjoy had declared himself grey king of the Iron Islands. The old fool considered the kingdoms too weak, and too divided, to stop him.

The Greyjoys attacked the North and the Riverlands. The two kingdoms which had once rebelled against the King, called their banners to fight off the ironborn. Yet they suffered greatly at every raid. 

Once informed of this news at court, King Rhaegar offered to send his men to fight the invaders, and considered Aegon to join for vanguard. A man of his age, and a prince, would do well to march on a battlefield. But Aegon openly refused, reasoning that the North had to learn the price of rebellion, and should only be given support when the northern lords crawled to the crown on their knees. It wasn't forgotten that the North never paid for their rebellion, and it was no secret that Lord Eddard had nothing but disdain for the King who stole his sister.

Jon instead volunteered to lead the assault, and every eye turned to him. The so-called bastard of Rhaegar, as he was called in the South, wished to test his mettle in war.

Whether out of madness or shrewdness, Rhaegar agreed. A son of his should see war, he said. And he could get to know his mother's people.

The southern lords passed this off as a meaningless gesture. Few of them accepted Jon as a true heir, and the date at which Rhaegar married Lyanna was still in question. All that kept him from being a bastard was his Father's word. The South paid him little mind to the black prince heading north.

And surely no one expected him to come back as a hero. Jon's men had the most success in battle, and Jon personally slew three of Greyjoy's sons. The rebellion ended when Balon's neck met the edge of Jon's blade. 

Now the bastard of Rhaegar was to the Riverlands and the North, the Kraken-Killer. And yet again notion of rebellion struck. Few of the northern houses had love for the south, and after Aegon's comment, some might have believed that they had a prince of the north to replace Aegon.

But King Rhaegar, ever the calculating man, simply called for his son to return to King's Landing. He would be given a suitable welcome, and think nothing of rebellion. And the less he could be influenced by northern lords, the better.

When Jon returned to the Keep, he was met by the Kingsguard and his friend and mentor, Ser Arthur Dayne. 

"I heard you slew a Kraken on horseback," the knight said proudly, "Quite a feat."

"I wouldn't say so," Jon replied with a smile, "The iron men aren't skilled warriors, only ravagers. They couldn't match us in a proper sword fight."

The Kingsguard laughed and one of them slapped his back. If one thing was certain, it was that most of the guards loved Jon. Unlike Aegon, who preferred reading about the kingdoms or being between a woman's legs, Jon always wanted to learn to fight. It was not lost on the Kingsguard why Jon was great warrior; he spent most of his free time training with them.

When supper arrived Jon ate with his family. He tried to keep the awkwardness to a minimum. 

"Your success on the battlefield, Jon," King Rhaegar started, "impresses me. Do not think I've forgotten. You'll be given a proper reward." Rhaegar's violet eyes flashed at him briefly, affirming his quiet pride. 

That was what Jon needed. Acknowledgement from his Father was the grandest thing. Jon tried not to smile dumbly. "Thank you, Your Grace," he answered. Jon then noticed Rhaegar's long, silver hair was unkempt and messy. The stresses of being King, most like.

Jon saw that Aegon was hardly touching his food; Aegon, who looked like a younger version of his father, was always a mystery to Jon. "It would be proper," Aegon said suddenly, meeting Jon's eyes, "Mayhaps one day you'll be given a pretty wife, or you can join my Kingsguard when the time comes." Whether it was a shallow jipe or a serious proposition, Jon had no clue.

"I heard you fought well, Jon," Queen Elia suddenly said, the petite woman smiling brightly, "I'm sure you know you'll be properly rewarded. Eventually."

Jon could tell that the woman kept it together well. Her facade as a loving good-mother was almost perfect.

Rhaenys, however, stayed silent. The young Dornish girl would have been more vocal, he knew, if not for his presence.

"Yes, Your Grace," he simply replied.

 

When the day in question finally arose, Aegon was fighting knights of the Kingsguard, in a grand show for the crowd. It could only be called a show, given that the men were going easy on the prince. Aegon, to his credit, knew how to fight, but not as well as those experienced men. He wore his dragon-plated armour, just as King Rhaegar had.

Still, many ladies of the city and high lords watched the prince take down his enemies. Women swooned and asked to bed him. Jon was sure Aegon would, if they were pretty enough.

Jon contented himself by sitting in a chair next to Ser Arthur, waiting for the crown prince to end his charade so he and the men could truly fight.

As Aegon "finished" Ser Jonothor, he rose his sword in the air in triump. "Do not underestimate your future king, boys!" he shouted proudly. 

Jon wondered if the high lords were as tired of Aegon's charades as he. To any trained eye, it was clear that the crown prince had been given an easy win. And surely some had to be annoyed at how he indulged in the lustful gazes of the common girls.

"Jon," Aegon suddenly said, pointing at him with a sword, "it's been too long since we sparred. Care to face me?"

"It's not like I have a chance to win," Jon shouted, hoping to get out of the situation. "I'll stay out of this one, Your Grace."

"Come now, little brother," Aegon whined, "You can't be so afraid of me. Some lords call you a great swordsmen. Let's see if you can fight me as well as you did those iron savages." Aegon smiled a dangerous smile, challenging Jon in every sense of the word. Jon had no choice.

"Aye," he simply stated. Ser Arthur looked at him sadly and gave him his blade. 

Aegon and Jon fought. For every blow Aegon struck, Jon struck another. Every swing matched a block from Jon. It was too obvious that Jon could match Aegon blow for blow, and that Aegon was furious at that fact. 

He swung his sword fiercely, too fiercely to be a sparring blow, and Jon barely dodged it. He knew he had to lose quickly. When Aegon threw his final swing, Jon feigned and fell to the ground. Aegon quickly rose above him, his sword by Jon's throat. 

"The battle is over!" Aegon cried. "Your crown prince is victorious over the black prince of the North." Many women cheered and few lords clapped. "Come now, brother, I expected so much more than that. Wasn't your Lady Mother a warrior?"

At that, Jon's eyes filled with rage and he quickly pushed Aegon's blade out of the way and rose to his feet. "You wish to fight?!" Jon yelled, now intolerant of Aegon's jipes. Aegon looked to be caught off guard, but tried to maintain his posturing in front of the crowd.

"Aye, if you'll give me a proper fight," Aegon answered.

Jon reached to the ground got his sword. "A proper fight," he muttered to himself.

Jon got his sword and pointed it at Aegon, and the battle began. This time, Jon attacked first. Every blow he struck hit Aegon's armor, and Aegon struggled to keep up with Jon's speed. While they had both been trained by the Sword of the Morning, only one of them took their training to heart. 

Jon charged and suddenly swung at Aegon, cutting the dragon plate on his armour. Aegon walked back quickly and tried to hold up his blade in defense. Then Jon swung at the hilt of Aegon's sword, knocking it out of his hands. Aegon's back hit the wall of the Keep, and Jon put his sword up to his neck. 

"Yield," he ordered icily.

Aegon looked both terrified and surprised. "I yield," he said quietly. 

At that moment, Jon realized the crowd was quiet. No one spoke, and their once cheering faces looked only in surprise and awe. 

Jon walked back to Ser Arthur and gave him his sword. By the look on Ser Arthur's face, Jon knew that he was fucked.

 

Jon continued pacing outside his father's solar, waiting for an answer. 

Then the door opened and Jon was met by Lord Jon Connington, his namesake. 

"Come in, my prince," the Hand said.

Jon entered and saw his Lord Father behind his desk.

"Before you speak, Jon," King Rhaegar said, "Know that I understand. If Aegon spoke about Lyanna so flippantly around me, I would have done the same. But know that your brother meant no disrespect to the Queen, only to highlight her past as a shield maiden." Rhaegar stopped, and looked down. "You know what the northerners say of Aegon."

Jon didn't want to say it. "They say he's another Aegon the Unworthy," Jon got out. He knew always to speak firmly and directly to his father.

King Rhaegar sat, inviting Jon to sit as well. Lord Connington sat next to him. "I'm afraid I haven't paid much attention to my son's activities outside the Keep. He knows how to rule; I have taught him that. But I never was one to teach him manners." 

Jon was confused why his father would bash Aegon so openly, until his father spoke. "But these allegations are exaggerated, by your mother's people. They have no love for me. They'd see you on the throne," Rhaegar uttered darkly.

Jon wondered if his response was a test of his loyalty. "I wouldn't take it," Jon said, "Aegon's a fine man, and I'm not suited for the throne."

Rhaegar stopped and leaned back. "Aye, you are," Rhaegar said, "you've been prepared all your life for that possibility. But that doesn't mean you will let that happen." He turned to Lord Connington.

The redheaded man spoke. "We've chosen your bethrothed Jon," he said, "you'll be consort to the Princess of Dorne."

Jon was speechless. His father had rarely spoken about who he would choose for him as a wife, or if he would choose at all. Now he was to go to Dorne.

"Dorne," he said, "I'll be a consort?"

"It's an honorable station," King Rhaegar said, "and Prince Doran has already accepted the proposal. They say the Princess is the most beautiful woman in all of Dorne. You were owed a reward. You've gotten it."

Jon didn't know what to say. He knew little of Dorne beyond it's warm climate and the oddities of the Rhoynar. Now he would have a wife.

At the end of their meeting, Jon left dazed and uncertain.

Dorne. Of all places.

And then it struck him. If he was in Dorne, he would be least likely to succumb to any Northern influences. Under the thumb of Queen Elia's family, he would never do harm to the crown.

 

Arianne 

As the Princess of Dorne ended her night with a new man, she gazed up at the night sky. Her dark eyes beautifully reflected the light of the stars, and she gave a clever smirk.

Her brother would soon be named Prince of Dorne, a title which belonged to her.

But Arianne knew however, that with the right suggestions, she would have far more. She would be Queen.