It's so bright when she opens her eyes, yet she can clearly hear her childrens screams in the distance. She blinks several times to allow her eyes to adjust. As she looks around, she realizes it’s actually not as bright out as she originally thought. But compared to the blackness she came from, it's as if she's staring at the sun.
Once she's able to shake the last tendrils of unconsciousness from her mind, she realizes she's in a bed at Winterfell. Which surprises her a bit because she has no idea how she got here.
She tries to push herself up but the action ends up doing the opposite as pain takes over her so completely that for a moment, it's all she knows. Fortunately, it only lasts for a few moments before it begins to lessen. Soon, it is only a dull ache that doesn't quite go away but is at least bearable if she keeps her breaths shallow. Her wounds were obviously much worse than she thought.
She hears a rustle beside her and her head turns to find her wolf beside her bed, his head tilted back as he rests in a large chair with his eyes closed. Ah, now it made sense how she came to be here.
She drinks in everything about him as her eyes roam over his face. She looks down to find her hand in his and the sight causes her heart to almost burst.
When she sees a giant white ball curled at Jon's feet, she grins. The direwolf seems to sense something as he opens his big, red eyes and looks at her silently.
She smiles at Ghost and he takes that as an invitation to approach her. He bends down to put his face in her outstretched hand, his tail gently wagging. She beams at him as she moves her hand to scratch under his chin. She truly loves the silent wolf. He’s even better than her children in some ways. While her bond with them has grown stronger and they’re more agreeable, she always remembers what her old bear told her.
They’re dragons, Khaleesi. They can never be tamed. Not even by their mother.
She knows it’s true. And she’s alright with that now. She could never force them to be where they do not wish to be. She learned her lesson after making the grave of mistake locking two of her children in the dark.
But Ghost’s wildness is of a different kind. While he too goes where he wishes, he still remains loyal to Jon. The bond he shares with Jon truly has tamed him in a way that a normal person with a regular direwolf could never accomplish.
She gives him one last scratch before he goes to lie back down. She then turns her eyes back up to Jon's face and stares as her thumb runs back and forth over the skin of his hand. She feels the scars from the fire when he’d witnessed his first wight. She knows that even now it still causes him pain and he has to really work on keeping it from becoming too stiff. She remembers how he’d always kept it hidden beneath his gloves at first, as though the rough, damaged skin would be abhorrent to her. But she could never find it repulsive, not to her touch or sight. As her eyes travel up the length of his arm and land on his face, she knows she will never tire of looking at him. Even when they're old and grey, she would love him like a maiden would a young knight.
He looks so tired and frail that it worries her. How long has she been unconscious? How long has he been sitting next to her, waiting for her to wake up? The last question clenches her heart as she imagines his worry while he sat beside her.
But her train of thought is cut short when her ministrations alert something in him as his brow furrows and his eyes open. They blink as he turns to her and he goes completely still.
As he stares at her, not quite believing that she's actually awake, she uses the opportunity to take in the state of him. His eyes are bloodshot and the circles underneath them are the darkest she's ever seen. His beautiful curls are tied back once again. His skin looks slightly sallow in complexion.
Then his face crumples as he takes a deep shuddering breath and removes his hand from hers to cradle her face. They simply stare at each other for an unknown amount of time, reading the emotions in each other’s eyes. Her throat tightens as she sees the lingering fear mixed with happiness and love. His eyes search her own a moment longer before he leans in and gives her a searing kiss then rests his forehead against hers.
"Please don't do that again," he whispers, his breath hot on her face as he struggles to keep his composure.
"I won't," she whispers back, her voice hoarse and cracking.
He breathes through his nose as he pulls away to look at her again.
Before he can say anything else, her bladder tightens and she asks curiously, “What hour is it?”
“Almost sunset,” he replies.
“Is Missandei near?,” she asks.
His brow furrows as he shakes his head. “She’s eating supper with the others. Why? Do you need me to have her brought to you?”
She can feel herself start to feel embarrassed but the need to relieve herself overpowers it.
“I need a woman’s help. Now,” she says with a pointed look.
His face clears and he nods. Turning his head, he calls for the guards to send two servants as he slowly pushes himself out of the chair with a wince. She can tell how difficult it is for him to stand up and sit down but knows he's most likely having to take milk of the poppy or perhaps a special herb to help lessen the pain. The rest will simply have to heal with time.
The thought causes her to lift her hand and attempt to touch her ribs, but he grabs her hand to stop her. She turns her head and stares at him in bewilderment.
“Don't," he says quietly. "Your chest is bruised from Drogon and your wound is still tender. Maester Wolkan had to keep it bandaged.”
She gulps nervously and asks, "But it will heal?"
"Yes," he says as he twines his fingers with hers and kisses the back of her hand, his eyes never leaving hers before he lets go and limps towards the door, Ghost right next to him to help support him, just as two female servants come in.
One is a girl a little younger than herself with the usual Northern features of dark hair and light eyes. The other is a plump woman who looks to be in her early forties, with light brown eyes and dark hair. Both curtsy and listen to Jon’s explanation of her injuries before they nod and quickly make their way towards her.
“Your Grace, I’m Mary,” the older woman says kindly before pointing to the young girl. “That there’s Anya. What do you need help with?”
“I… I need to relieve myself,” she says quietly.
Mary smiles and nods before pulling the furs back while Anya brings the chamber pot over to the side of the bed.
“We’re goin’ to need to slowly push you up. Can you lift your hips up a bit so we can avoid the bruises? We can’t go pullin’ ya up or that’ll be too painful,” Mary tells her.
Dany does as she’s told and together, the two women somehow manage to get her into a sitting position and slide her towards the end of the bed.
She looks at them nervously and without question, Anya sets a few rags down beside her and helps push her up while Mary holds her hands. The women help her sit down on the stool and get her shift up around her waist. While Dany has become used to nudity from her time in Essos, this was another matter entirely. But she decides she doesn’t care as they quickly step out while she relieves herself.
When she’s done, they come back in and remove the pot before helping her sit down and lay back against the pillows. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to move as long as she keeps her upper body completely still.
“There now, Your Grace. Feel better?,” Anya asks in a soft voice as she adjusts the pillows while Mary wipes her hands off with a hot rag.
Dany smiles at the girl and nods.
“Thank you,” she tells them as she looks between the two.
“It’s no trouble at all, Your Grace. Not after what you did for us,” Mary says as she pats Dany’s hand before they curtsy once more and leave the room.
Jon immediately comes back in with Ghost and resumes his place in the chair next to the bed.
“How long have I been asleep?,” she asks as confusion.
“We’ve been back almost three days,” he tells her as he puts their joined hands back on the bed.
She blanches at that. Her mind quickly runs through the last moments that she remembers and the reality of their situation sets in. She’s alive. And so is he. The Great War is over and somehow, the living prevailed.
Her eyes meet his worried ones and she stares at him for a long time before saying, “We won.”
The awe in her voice shakes away his worry as his lips quirk up and he nods.
“Aye, we did,” he tells her in a soft voice, his eyes shining with relief and pride. He blinks then and looks at her in concern.
"Do you want some water?," he asks, unable to break the quiet as he continues to speak softly.
She nods her head and he leans over to grab a cup from a small table that she hasn't noticed before. It has vials, a water jug, a wine flagon as well as a plate with bits of bread and a bowl of broth.
He brings the water close to her face and she lifts her hands up to hold the cup herself. He still keeps his hand near the bottom as she drinks it. Once she’s finished, he puts the cup down and gives her a small piece of bread which she gladly takes. As she eats, he goes back to simply watching her as though she's going to disappear. She pats her fingers on the bed in invitation. His eyes flick to her fingers then meet hers before he silently pushes himself out of the chair and walks around to the other side of the bed. He adjusts himself as he lies down beside her. He’s close enough that she can feel the heat of his skin and can see the darker flecks of black around the pupils of his eyes when he turns his head to her, mimicking her pose.
She smiles at him and lays her head back down on the pillows, content to simply look at him. She can see the dark circles under his eyes are worse than she thought and feels her brow pinch. He looks at her with a curious expression, silently asking her what’s wrong.
“You should try to sleep. You look tired,” she murmurs as she continues to frown.
He gives her a small, crooked smile and quietly tells her, “I’ve plenty of time to sleep, my queen. I’m quite happy at the moment.”
She feels her mouth curve into a smile of its own as she sees the emotions in his eyes that support his words.
“Oh,” she says, her smile not faltering, “well, who am I to deny you such pleasures then? Carry on.”
Her words cause him to break out into a full grin and his eyes to soften to a grey that reminds her of clouds that released a light rain. Her heart stutters at the sight. She lifts her hand and lays it on his cheek, cherishing the heat of his skin and the feel of his beard beneath her fingertips. His eyes close at the contact and he brings his own hand up to cover hers, his thumb lightly brushes back and forth across her knuckles. His dark lashes fan out across his cheekbones and she has the urge to bring her other hand up to trace them. But before she can, his eyes open, crashing into hers as he tilts his head to place a kiss on her palm. The small gesture, accompanied with the heat she sees in those grey depths, sets her heart on fire.
“Thank you, Dany,” he whispers against her skin. Her breath catches slightly at the words, pulling her back to a different time. When she was the one waiting on him to wake up. Her mind then goes to the battlefield when he’d called her that just before rushing off to fight the Night King. Then she vaguely remembers dreaming of whispered words in the dark, beckoning to her. She decides right there that he can call her by that name as long as he chooses.
The timbre of his voice and the vibrations of his gruff Northern accent on her wrist makes her break out in goose flesh. She feels herself being pulled into his eyes as her thoughts drift around the pet name and she has to blink several times to focus on the meaning behind the words. When she realizes it, her eyebrows pinch in confusion.
“For what?,” she asks quietly as her own thumb moves across his skin.
“For not leaving me here alone,” he replies, his eyes watching her intently.
Her chest tightens at that and she gingerly lifts her other hand to cup his face, never breaking his stare. “Never, Jon Snow. I will never leave you. I’d fight the gods themselves if they dared try to take me away from you,” she whispers vehemently.
He takes in the fierce possessiveness in her eyes and his mouth slowly pulls up into a rueful grin.
“I’m glad to hear that. I’d hate to fight them on my own,” he tells her.
“As long as we're in agreement,” she says with a smug smirk. Before she can say anything else, she hears the far off calls of her children and looks to the window. She finds she can’t tear her eyes away from it as she wishes with every part of her being that she could go to them. Jon turns his head to the sound as well, staring at the window for a moment before looking back at her.
“They’ve hardly left,” he tells her in a soft voice, another echo of a cry solidifying his point.
Her eyes remain on the window as she nods, absently biting down on her lip as Viserion comes back to her mind.
“You’ll see them soon,” he says as he sees the sadness in her eyes.
Her eyes drop to the bed then. Releasing her lip, she whispers, “I know.”
He stares at her for a moment, wondering why she won’t meet his eyes when he realizes what her dragons’ calls are probably doing to her.
“I know you miss him,” he says gently. He knows he’s guessed correctly when he sees her lower lip tremble ever so slightly. He also knows that while it was extremely hard for him to see her dragon in such a way, he could never comprehend what it was like for her. No amount of acceptance and preparation would have helped in this situation. Her desperate screams as her lost dragon fell for the final time echo in his mind.
“He… he knew. In the end,” she whispers, biting down on her lip again to keep from crying.
“I think he knew when you fell,” he murmurs, his eyes roam over her downturned face in a vain attempt to see if he can gauge what would be the best thing to say to her. He hopes this won’t make it worse for her.
At that, she lifts her eyes up to him and he can see the way they shine with unshed tears as she silently asks him to explain.
“He stopped chasing after you and Drogon. He didn’t fight Rhaegal or try to get past him. He just watched you and cried out. He knew,” he tells her, lifting his hand to wipe the stray tear off her cheek.
“Zaldrīzes buzdari iksos daor,” she whispers, her lilting voice flowing over the Valyrian words like silk.
”That’s right,” he agrees solemnly as he continues to watch her, wishing there was something he could do to take her heartache away from her.
“He was a such a good boy, Jon. He didn’t deserve that,” she says, her voice wavering the entire time.
“No, he didn’t,” he replies as he closes the last inch of space between their bodies so that he’s right next to her. That seems to help her as she presses her face against his shoulder.
“But you were able to talk to him. He seemed to understand what you were saying,” he says, hoping that can somehow help ease her sorrow.
Swallowing hard, she nods as she tries to regain her composure.
“It’s alright to be sad, Dany,” he whispers gently as he swipes away another tear.
“It won’t bring him back to me,” she says, her own voice remaining in a soft whisper as well.
“It won’t. But it doesn’t mean you have to lock it away if you don’t want to,” he tells her.
“We’ll bring him to King’s Landing, just like you wanted. A true Northern ritual. He can go right next to throne. And we’ll make sure none of his remains are used in a way you don’t wish,” he murmurs as he caresses her face.
She looks up at him and searches his eyes for a long time before the corners of her lips twitch upwards in a small, watery smile and she nods her agreement. Even though it’s not a true smile and it’s filled with sadness, he’ll gladly take it.
He presses his lips to her forehead and takes a deep breath. He’ll say anything, do anything, to make her smile again. The kind that makes her eyes sparkle like newly polished gems and shows the small dimples in her cheeks. But he knows that first, she needs to properly mourn. He realizes suddenly that she’s never had the opportunity before. She’s always had to tuck her pain and sorrow away and carry on. He knows then that he’ll help her bear the weight of her sadness for however long she needs him to.
They lay in silence for a long time and both of them begin drifting into the state between sleep and consciousness as they relax. Without thinking, she shifts her position to get more comfortable. But she must have twisted her hips too much, because blinding pain suddenly courses through her as the action pulls at the wound on her ribs. It's enough to make her wish she could have stayed in the darkness a bit longer as spots dance before her eyes.
She can't catch her breath and the more she tries to breathe through the pain, the more she experiences. It’s an all consuming agony that she feels from her head to her toes and causes her to try to instinctively curl in on herself to escape it. Which of course, only makes it worse. A part of her registers that Jon’s trying to say something to her, but there’s a ringing in her ears and she can’t hear him. She begins to panic as her stomach rolls and her heart rate picks up. Tears prick her eyes at the extensiveness of it and she knows she’s never felt such agony in her life.
"Jon," she pants, her eyes large with fright and tears as they meet his. "It… it hurts."
The shooting pain becomes too much and a low keening sound comes out of her mouth.
At the sound, Ghost is immediately on his feet and hovers over her anxiously. Jon calls out for one of the guards to get Maester Wolkan immediately.
Jon leans towards her and grabs her face, trying to get her to calm down. When he touches her skin, it’s cold and slick with a light sheen of sweat. Then she somehow manages to lean over the side of the bed just enough to vomit the bread and water she just ate onto the floor. Thankfully, she just barely misses the furs. She can feel Jon pulling her hair back to hold it away from her face then gently grabbing her arm to help her sit back up once she’s done. All the while attempting to soothe her to no avail.
Within moments, Maester Wolkan is bustling into the room and pushes past the large direwolf to examine her, calling for one of the servants to bring something to clean the sick on the floor. He takes one look at her pained expression and the way she’s sitting before he pours some dreamwine into a small cup and holds it up to her lips.
“Not yet, Your Grace. Rest a while longer,” he says gently as she looks at him over the edge of the cup.
When she finishes drinking it, Maester Wolkan waits until she falls back asleep before he cuts her bandage off to make sure her stitches are still in tact. Once he seems satisfied that she hasn't torn them, he begins moving his fingers along her ribs to make absolute sure nothing is broken or some sort of harm to her insides has occurred.
"What happened, my lord?," Wolkan asks as he continues examining her.
"She...she woke up and was fine but then she must have moved queerly," Jon replies quietly as he moves to get off the bed. Ghost came around to support some of his weight, allowing him to pull himself up to stand. He then goes over to the other side of the bed and looks between the prone woman and the maester.
"Well, at least we know now that she can wake up. That alone relieves me immensely. I'm not too surprised she suffered such an episode with the amount of stress her body is currently undergoing in healing itself along with the shock of the injury. Since she's never had such injuries and is unequipped to know how to handle that amount of pain, unconsciousness is her body’s best defense in dealing with it. But it may also be because-," the maester stops his probing fingers when they reach her lower abdomen. His brow wrinkles and he begins to prod more. He keeps going over the area for almost a minute, murmuring under his breath. As he watches, Jon is just able to catch "hmm...as I suspected."
Then he meets Jon's eyes with a serious expression.
“I believe I understand now why her body has taken so long to heal, my lord,” he tells him. Jon stands there in confusion, unsure of what the maester believes is wrong with Dany. He opens his mouth to ask when there’s a knock on the door and the two servants who had just been in here come to clean the floor enter the room. Jon kindly waves them on when they pause and thanks them as they leave.
Jon looks back at the man but before he can say anything in reply, the maester holds his hand up in a silent request. He then goes and looks out the door, closing it all the way before coming to stand right in front of Jon.
His voice is barely above a whisper when he says, "It appears that she is with child."
Jon stares blankly at him, not comprehending the words that were just said. Then it hits him and his eyes go wide, gaping like a fish as he tries to find the words.
“What?,” he breathes as his eyes dart back to the sleeping queen.
The maester silently takes Jon's hand and brings it to her lower stomach where he gently presses Jon's fingers down. Jon gasps when he feels a small bump under her skin, almost as long as his thumb. He looks at the Maester with wide, unbelieving eyes.
"But couldn't that just be an injury or swelling of some sort?," he asks, his eyes wide.
"From what I've been told of the events that caused the injuries, the location wouldn't make sense. As you can see," he says as he gestures to the bruises along her side, "the dragon was somehow able to catch and hold her so mostly her sides and chest got the brunt of the impact. How this is possible, I don't know. But her abdomen itself appears relatively unharmed."
Jon stares at Dany for a long time before he can find his voice again.
"She said she was barren," he rasps.
His mind suddenly goes back to the conversation in the Dragon Pit. She had been so convinced while he was hesitant to believe the word of a witch. But, he didn't press her on the subject. He could see the pain in her eyes just by mentioning it to him, no matter how unbothered she tried to appear.
"She was misinformed then," Maester Wolkan quietly stated as he looks back down at the queen.
"But…," Jon says, not knowing what he's trying to say. He just stares at the maester until he can gather his thoughts. He swallows the lump in his throat as he looks back down at her.
“If you would like for me to bring a midwife in, I am more than happy to oblige,” Maester Wolkan tells him.
“Not at the moment, Maester,” he sighs as he rubs his face.
"How did she not know?," he asks, remembering how Lady Stark had always gotten sick. She was so sensitive to certain foods and smells when she had carried the younger children.
"There are some women who do not show the usual symptoms, like sickness. Or if they do, it can be until a later time. Sometimes it will just be sensitivity to certain parts of the body," the maester explains.
Jon can feel his face flush like a green boy at the uncomfortable topic the maester has tread into and quickly moves on to his next question.
"How far along is she?,” he asks the grey robed man in a quiet voice.
"Early. Around three moons I'd say, given the size," the maester responds as he looks down at her thoughtfully.
So right after they began sharing a bed.
Gods, she went to war. They both almost died not knowing that she is able to carry life within her again. That she already is.
He takes a deep breath, shaking loose the memories of things they can't change now before asking the question he wants to know the most but at the same time is desperate to avoid.
"Will the babe survive?," he asks quietly. His mind is whirring over the possibilities and consequences of what this could mean for her. For them. Hells, for the entire realm.
The maester looks contemplative as he decides how to best word his answer.
“One can never really know with these things. Women have lost their children under regular circumstances and her grace has just survived a war,” he says quietly. Jon’s heart stutters in his chest at the maester’s words, but before he can reply, Wolkan continues.
“But since it seems she hasn't suffered from any extensive damage to her insides and she hasn't had any sort of bleeding, there is a very good chance that the babe will survive. Actually, I’m quite certain it will as long as the correct steps are taken. I will need to observe her recovery even more closely than I already am. And her grace will need to be very careful. Any more stress to her body or mind would be damaging, especially for the next moon," he tells Jon.
The relief he feels is so potent, he almost falls to the floor.
But it's quickly replaced by a startling realization.
"Maester Wolkan," he says, his voice steely, "no one can know about this."
The maester nods his head emphatically. "Not a soul, my lord."
"When do you expect her to wake up?,” he asks.
“Most likely during the hour of the ghost or owl. No later then sunrise. The little dreamwine I gave her will let her rest for several more hours. I will give her some honeyed water to keep her body sustained while she sleeps," the maester replies.
"Thank you, maester Wolkan. I will need you to be here though when I inform her advisors. Most likely before the night is through,” Jon says to the man.
"Of course, my lord," he replies with a bow before leaving the room.
Jon sits by the bed, staring at her as his mind races with how to proceed from here.
Once her wounds have healed more, he will take her to the godswood and make her his wife before the old gods. Something he's wanted to do for awhile, but with the war and everything else, it didn’t seem sane. And had they both survived, he’d planned on doing it after she won King’s Landing.
Now, he will do anything to make sure the people accept the babe as her legitimate heir. He won't stand for any speculation of it legitimacy. Nor will he have whispers of uncertainty or judgement follow her in regards to their child.
The thought warms his entire being and causes his vision to blur. Never had he even imagined that this life would be his. To not only be a legitimate son himself but to have the love of this goddess of a woman and now to have a child with her. Never again will he have to fear the possibility of bringing a bastard into the world.
He can't help the smile that splits his face as he imagines what their child will look like.
Perhaps a girl with grey eyes and shining silver hair who is as beautiful as her mother. A perfect representation of what the Moon Maiden would look like should she deign to come down from the sky and walk the earth amongst them. Or a boy with dark hair and bright amethyst eyes. A strong warrior that has the fires of dragons burning inside him which drives him to be daring on the battlefield, yet the tempered cold of the North to keep him level headed and just. Perhaps the babe will take all the looks of her, but the actions and mannerisms of him or vice versa.
The possibilities are endless yet he tries to imagine them all.
He knows whatever it is and whoever it looks like, it will be the most loved child Westeros has ever seen. It will experience the adoration of both parents, something Dany and he never had. He was luckier in the sense that he did at least have a father and his half siblings who cared for him.
But even so, he was still an outsider, always battling with the consequences of being a bastard, the one dark stain on Eddard Stark's honorable reputation.
He was never able to escape the cold stares from Lady Stark, nor the sharp stabs of pain at Sansa’s avoidance as she copied her mother, or the drum of anger that threatened to overwhelm him at Theon's constant ridicule. He had grown up excluded and pushed to the shadows whenever lords visited, do everything to ignore the pitying glances people would throw at him. Even his brothers in the Watch had called him "Lord Snow" in mockery.
The similar upbringings they experienced is one of the many reasons he is glad to have Dany in his life. She understands what it's like to have people judge you simply by your name, never bothering to look at the actual person. Both of them have had to rise above the stigma surrounding the circumstances of their birth and family.
But the more he thinks on it, the more worried he becomes. What if Cersei gets hold of this information and has her mercenaries come to them before they can regroup? What if she sends an assassin of some sort instead?
He'll need to send a letter to Lord Varys. He will have to make sure his little birds control what's being said about the news of the North. As well as to see if he’s made any progress with the sellswords. Daenerys will have to convince them to join her side. He won’t allow her to be part of the battle if they refuse. If Cersei has made more Scorpions, he can’t risk Drogon getting shot down while she’s on him. She can control the dragon from the ground if need be.
They will also need to have more guards around her. He will personally make sure she doesn't go out to the winter town alone, if at all. He knows his dragon queen will rage and spit her flames at him for that, but he doesn't care. He knows now that he has his own flames to protect him.
Whatever he must do to make sure she and this child live, he will gladly do it. Even if it means he must become the king to her queen in order for him to get his way.
Thinking of that, he heaves a sigh. No, there is no "if" about that part. He will have to become a king in order for her to listen to him. He purses his lips in thought, maybe it won't be too difficult. She's listened to his council since the day on the beach. He'll just have to word any demands in such a way she won’t be able to argue against them.
After a moment, he has to stop as his thoughts begin to muddle together causing his head to ache right around his eyes,causing his stomach to roll in protest.
He looks down at Ghost, who has yet to move from his spot near Dany, and smiles fondly at the wolf as he reaches over to scratch behind his ear.
"You knew, didn't you? Is that why you always walked with her when she was alone? You were protecting both of them?," he asks as the direwolf’s behavior towards Dany finally makes sense to him.
Ghost just stares silently at him as he pants, his tongue hanging happily out from the side of his mouth.
As continues to pet Ghost, he thinks over Maester Wolkan’s observation about her bruising. He realizes that the dragons must have somehow known as well. Because while their child may not be a dragon rider to either of these dragons, it’s clear now that they’ll protect it. Again, he puts together their behavior and how they’d both stay close to Winterfell unless it was to hunt. [removed a sentence]
It comforts him to know that this child will have the protection of both wolves and dragons. He’s not sure if the dragons will continue such behavior once the child is born, but he knows Ghost will. Surfacing from his musings, he looks down at his beloved direwolf.
"You're a wonderful guard," he says, "but why don't you go hunt? I'll watch her."
He knows some find it odd how he talks to Ghost as though he's a person, but he also knows that Ghost can understand him.
“I’m sure Nymeria is waiting for you,” he tells the wolf.
Red eyes flick back to Dany before the wolf stands. Jon grabs onto his fur again and pulls himself up to walk to the door to let Ghost out.
However, when the door opens, he finds Davos standing on the other side.
The man looks from him to Ghost then steps aside as Ghost walks by him and continues down the hall. Turning back to Jon, he says, “You’re looking better.”
Jon gives a small smile and nods, allowing the man in the room.
"I've been told the queen was awake for a short time,” he says with a smile as he steps inside.
“Aye, she was. But the pain was too much,” Jon replies as he closed the door before limping back to the chair by her bed.
He gestures for Davos to take a seat nearby and quietly says, “There’s something I need to discuss with you, there is a bit of news the maester relayed to me.”
Davos’s brow furrows at the tone of his voice and sits without question.
Taking a deep breath, Jon looks Davos in the eye and says, “Maester Wolkan believes the queen to be with child.”
Davos doesn’t respond for a moment and simply stares at Jon while he processes what he’s just been told. He then turns his eyes and looks at the queen for a moment before meeting Jon’s eyes again.
“He’s sure?,” he asks.
“Yes. Although he said he’d be willing to have a midwife look at her as well,” he replies.
Davos lets out a sigh, his eyes bouncing between the two of them again.
“That changes everything,” he says quietly.
Jon slowly nods and looks away from the inquisitive brown eyes of his advisor, unsure of what more to add to that statement.
“How far along is she?,” he asks
“Three moons,” Jon replies, meeting Davos’s eyes again. But he averts them once more when the man lifts a brow in response, feeling his cheeks warm.
“That puts us in a bit of a bind on time before she begins to show," Davos contemplates as he scratches his chin.
Now all shyness on the matter leaves Jon as he turns back to the older man with a fierce expression.
“The moment she is well enough, I am taking her to the weirwood to claim her before the old gods. I will not let my child be thought of as a bastard,” he says vehemently.
Davos’s brow goes to his hairline as he takes in Jon’s words and the fire in his eyes. Jon doesn’t back down from the stare and clenches his jaw in determination, ready to argue his point more if need be.
But a large grin spreads across Davos’s face and he nods in agreement.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from you, lad,” he says approvingly.
Jon feels himself relax, briefly wondering why he was so worried about the possibility of Davos trying to turn him away from that course of action. The man was honest to the bone and would disagree with decisions, but he’d never become disloyal and turn his back on someone simply because he didn’t share the same opinion. Perhaps he just wants this so bad that he knows he’ll fight any way he can to make sure he gets it.
“So what now?,” Davos asks him.
“Will you have my siblings brought here as well as Lord Tyrion, Missandei, and Maester Wolkan? I’d like to speak with them about this before they retire for the night,” he asks Davos.
With a nod, the man stands up and goes to the door. But before he opens it, he turns to Jon and says, “Fatherhood will do wonders for that brooding you’re always fond of.”
Jon just snorts and shakes his head in amusement as Davos gives him a wicked grin then leaves, allowing Jon to sit with his thoughts once again. His eyes go right back towards the sleeping woman who captured his heart and he simply studies her as he waits.
When Davos returns shortly after with those he requested, all but Bran look warily between the sleeping queen and Jon. He motions for them to sit in the chairs he had brought in.
"What's wrong, Jon?," Sansa asks worriedly. Her cerulean eyes search his for any clues.
He leans back into his chair and steeples his fingers.
"What I'm about to say cannot leave this room until the queen wakes and we have discussed a plan of action," he tells them, looking at every one of them.
The tone of his voice immediately sets them all on edge.
"Done," Tyrion says without hesitation.
"Maester Wolkan has informed me that the queen is with child," he says quietly.
He receives disbelieving looks from those in front of him, all except Bran.
"But before... she never...," Missandei stammers to Tyrion.
Tyrion snaps out of his stupor and turns to Missandei, looking thoughtful.
"Perhaps she wasn't the one who couldn't conceive," Tyrion says thoughtfully before looking back to Jon.
“That’s entirely possible, my lord,” Maester Wolkan agrees.
Jon understands who they're discussing and he breathes through the ridiculous and unnecessary jealousy he always feels when hearing of the Tyrosh sellsword and focuses on the fact that the sellsword is not here and she loves him.
"Are we certain?," Tyrion asks, his gaze is fiery as he seeks the truth from Maester Wolkan.
"Yes, my lord," the maester says, calmly looking around at the others.
"It's true," Bran says serenely. "The dragonlords shall return to the world once more."
They all look silently at the greenseer as they take in his words before Missandei asks, "How far along?" Her eyes going back the queen.
"Around three moons," Wolkan responds quietly. Jon knows they'll make the same connection he did.
The Naathi woman looks at him with an unreadable expression before turning to the maester and asking, "And you're sure the babe will live?"
"As I told Lord Jon, since she sustained no damage other than the bruising and the wound on her side, the babe should live. If she had lost too much blood, the child would have already perished. I’m quite confident it will live," the grey robed man tells her. She stares at him for a moment before finally giving him a silent nod.
“When will the queen wake?,” Tyrion asks the Maester.
“Soon. The dreamwine will give her a few more hours of sleep,” he tells him.
When Tyrion narrows his eyes slightly, Maester Wolkan explains, “She was in too much pain earlier and could not calm. I had no other choice. It was a slightly diluted mixture to begin with.”
That seems to appease the dwarf as he relaxes slightly in his seat. Maester Wolkan walks over to the queen and quickly examines her before turning to Jon.
“How do you wish to proceed then?,” Tyrion asks curiously although there’s a glint in his eyes that tells Jon he already knows the answer.
"I’ll tell you the same thing I said to Ser Davos. I won’t have any lords question the legitimacy of my child and will take her to the weirwood," Jon tells them sternly.
Tyrion sighs and rubs his eyes with his thumb and forefinger before nodding his head.
"A Northern wedding would be wise. It won't raise as many questions about the timing as it would if we wait. And we can use this to our advantage to portray it as uniting the North and South in a more equal setting for any of the lords who still have doubts about bending the knee to our queen," Tyrion says in agreement.
"It will bring the Northern lords to heel with the king and heir of the throne having Stark blood," Sansa says confidently. Arya gives a nod in confirmation.
Tyrion looks suddenly at Jon. "You'll have to do a ceremony of the Seven as well."
"That won't be a problem for me," he says looking Tyrion in the eye.
"Good," Tyrion responds.
“Will it be a problem for those who follow the Seven?,” Jon asks Tyrion with a penetrating stare. He can’t help but hold his breath as he waits for the answer. This has been the question that has plagued him since he learned of his parentage but he’s never been able to voice it. Yet he knows that the time has come and he has to face it. While those who followed the Seven were fine with cousins marrying, he’s not sure how they would feel with their queen marrying her nephew.
Tyrion bites his lip and his eyes squint slightly while he thinks over that question.
“The Targaryens followed the Seven even though they married brother to sister,” he says slowly as his fingers begin to tap the arm of the chair.
“Why does it matter? You two are practically the saviors of Westeros. They should be begging her to take the throne,” Arya says defensively.
“I don’t want anyone to find a reason to rebel against her,” Jon tells her patiently.
“Fortunately, our queen has never been one to care much for the opinions of others. And with you both being dragon riders... well, I think this will very much be Aegon the Conqueror all over again. They’ll accept it or risk the wrath of the dragons and those who follow them,” Tyrion says in a dismissive tone.
Tilting his head, he looks at Jon.
“While we’re speaking of marriages and thrones, I want to make absolutely certain that you realize you will be crowned as Aegon Targaryen VI, King of the Seven Kingdoms. And that you will be expected to rule beside her in King’s Landing until the end of her reign,” he states. He gives Jon a moment to let that soak in before asking, “Is that something you’re now willing to accept?”
He takes a deep breath and glances around to those gathered in the room. His eyes land on his sisters and he nods before turning back to Tyrion.
“Yes. I’ve already told her I’d go with her wherever she chose to rule,” he says quietly, though the certainty behind his words is clear. He’s never actually told anyone aside from Arya that he’d planned on going with Dany if they both survived the Great War, but he stands by his statement. Especially now that their child grows inside her.
“I think Jon Targaryen sounds better,” Arya says in a slightly petulant voice.
They all look at her for a moment before Sansa lets out a long suffering sigh and gives Arya a reprimanding look, though the corners of her mouth twitch ever so slightly.
"Sansa," Jon says, looking at his sister and drawing her attention back to him. "You will then officially be Wardeness of the North."
Sansa's eyes go wide at the declaration, a small smile playing at her lips as she nods.
Tyrion raises an eyebrow at that. "The lords won't give you any issues with a woman ruling the North, will they? While there are lady heads of houses, I'm not sure any have been Wardeness," he says to Jon.
Jon's eyes are hard when he looks at Tyrion.
"She's already been ruling in my stead. And I know the queen will not have a problem with it, in fact, she'll most likely be very adamant about it. You know she finds Sansa to be an extremely capable leader. And after what the lords on the battlefield witnessed of the queen, they would not dare go against her."
Touched that not only Jon, but the queen as well actually feel so sure about her, Sansa can't help but sit taller in her seat.
Tyrion raises his hands in supplication. “I know this. But I’d rather not have to worry about the North once we head south and I wanted to be certain,” he says.
Jon nods in understanding before turning to Missandei. The Naathi woman arches a brow ever so slightly as his grey eyes meet her brown ones.
"It's paramount that we get the Golden Company on our side. We need an answer from Varys on his progress and inform him of the news,” Jon tells her. He hesitates only a moment before continuing.
“Would you mind writing to Varys? You’re the only one who knows High Valyrian and this is something that cannot be written in Common Tongue. Make it as vague as you can but with enough clues for him to catch on,” he explains.
“I’ll dictate and you translate,” Tyrion offers as he looks to the woman.
She looks between the two of them before finally settling her eyes back on him and bowing her head.
“It will be done... Your Grace,” she says quietly.
He completely blanches at the title, but before he can tell her he’s not a “Grace” at all, Davos speaks.
“With the Golden Company, it would be best to plan on having to meet the captains face to face," he says. "While Lord Varys is quite persuasive, it'll be hard to convince them on his own to switch sides. They're not the Windblown. I'm sure they'll want to hear it straight from her."
Jon nods as he begins to think through that suggestion and everything they'll need to do in preparation.
“It’s still worth a try. I know none of us will want her to ride Drogon into battle. And he won't listen to anyone else,” he tells them in a stern voice.
"Well, to be fair," Arya drawls as she gestures lazily towards him, "he did listen to you."
Tyrion and Missandei eyebrows shoot up at that and they both look at Jon.
"Those were extenuating circumstances that I will make sure don't happen again," he tells her, not explaining further. Seeing the steel in his eyes, she shrugs and concedes to his point.
"Another story for another time," Tyrion says, his expression telling Jon that he expects to be told about this before he moves on to the present matter at hand.
"But yes, we cannot let Cersei find out about the queen's condition," Tyrion says, looking back at the queen. "If she knows that both of you were severely injured during the war along with these new tidings, she will most likely send her mercenaries to our door step before we have time to regather our strength or an assassin if she feels the Golden Company is moving too slow."
"An assassin is not something to worry about," Arya says in a dismissive tone with a wave of her hand. "If that does seem to be a possibility though, then I will guard the queen. I had to identify almost every poison there is before I was allowed to learn how to change my face.”
Jon feels a warmth in his chest at the offer his sister just made. She has just told them all, in no uncertain terms, that she considers Dany worthy of her protection and a member of their pack. He glances at Sansa to see her nod in agreement.
“Word of the queen won’t leave the North, Jon. Only that we have won against the dead. I can’t deny the soldiers the opportunity to inform their families that they’re alive,” she tells him.
"I will watch the borders to the south," Bran says tonelessly.
“Thank you,” he says to them with an affectionate smile.
When he looks over to see Davos smirking at him. He raises his brow in question at his advisor’s thoughts.
"Oh, lad," the old smuggler says with a sigh, "you'll never stop proving the world wrong, will you?"
Jon cracks a small smile at his advisor.
"It's not as if I set out to do it," he replies lightly, settling back into his chair.
"That's what makes it all the more fascinating," Davos responds.
"Yes," Tyrion agrees wryly, "they're a fascinating pair that I'm sure are going to run us in the ground with their surprises."
Davos chuckles, "Without a doubt."
Sansa nods to him then gets up to hug Jon. Wrapping her arms carefully around his shoulders, she whispers, "I'm so happy for you, Jon. And thank you."
He gives her a light squeeze in response. "You are the rightful heir. Besides, you were always better at ruling than I could ever hope to be. It's only fitting," he says affectionately.
"It looks like you'll get to have a family after all," Arya tells him quietly.
He studies the look in his sister's eyes as they show the grim acceptance that this will mean without a shadow of a doubt he's going to have to leave her.
He leans forward and chucks her lightly on the chin before saying, "Aye, but what did I tell you about me being up here so often you'll get sick of me? Besides, I know after awhile you'll be unsatisfied about being in one place for so long and you'll decide on somewhere new to go next. And who’s going to train my child in being a water dancer if not you?”
The slight sadness in her eyes leaves as she hears the confirmation that he still plans to come back to Winterfell and wasn't simply telling her what she wanted to hear. And that he’d want her to train his heir.
“What if it’s a girl?,” she asks teasingly.
He shrugs, unconcerned. “If she wants to fight, she’ll learn to fight. Visenya was queen and a warrior. I gave you Needle, didn’t I? Besides, growing up surrounded by such fierce women will be good for the child,” he says with a smile.
She beams at him and lunges forward to hug him. "You're going to make a wonderful father," she murmurs, hugging him even tighter.
He chokes out at laugh and squeezes her, "I need Dany to wake up first," he says.
She pulls back and sees the emotion in his matching grey eyes. "She will. Stop worrying so much," she reassures him as she lets go.
He breathes deeply and nods before giving a her small smile.
"Did Nymeria go off with her pack or is she still around?," he asks curiously.
Arya gives a half smile as she answers, "I believe she's around somewhere, no doubt feeding on the dead horses on the battlefield. But since Ghost is here, I think she'll stick close by. At least I hope she will."
“I told Ghost to go find her while he hunts,” he tells her.
“If she’s not close by, I’m sure she and her pack are still eating what remains on the battlefield,” she says lightly.
That reminds Jon of what Dany told the soldiers about having the dragons burn the remaining dead.
"Shit," he says, dragging his hand over his head.
"What?," Arya asks, her head tilted to the side in confusion at his outburst.
"Dany told the soldiers she'd have the dragons burn the dead on the field, remember?," he says to her. "I'm sure they'd rather not have their dead eaten."
She gives him a smug look and says, “I already told Bran while you were asleep. He took Rhaegal and burned the men.”
He blinks at her a moment, taking in the knowledge that Bran can actually warg with dragon as she laced her fingers behind her head and arches a brow at him the glances at Bran who nods silently.
“So, you’re welcome,” she states wryly.
"Thank you,” he says with a smirk before turning to Bran. He still feels hesitant around his younger brother but he quickly pushes it aside.
“Did you see the soldiers?," he asks him.
"Yes, they seemed to have taken meat from the fallen horses, tended to the more serious injuries and are making their way here. They should be here in about three days. Four if the snow slows them down," the young greenseer responds. Jon nods and thinks about that, knowing the soldiers and horses will be practically starving and need to get back as quickly as they can.
“Can you use Rhaegal to help them along?,” he asks.
“Of course,” Bran replies with a dip of his chin.
After a moment, Tyrion looks around the small group and says, “I suppose we should all retire. Tomorrow we’ll need to begin the preparations for the returning soldiers."
The others murmur their agreement and make their way out of the room, bidding their good nights. Davos offers his hand to Jon to help pull him out of the chair. Once standing, he nods in gratitude and makes his way towards the bed. If she’s going to wake up sometime in the night, then he wants to be rested enough to tell her of the news.
Just as he sits down, there’s a knock at the door. But before he can call out, it opens to show one of the guard’s nervous face who silently moves aside to let Ghost pass.
“He wanted back in, m’lord,” he says apologetically.
“It’s quite alright. Thank you,” Jon says kindly with a small smile. The guard nods and closes the door again.
Jon watches as the wolf sniffs Dany then looks at him before going to lie back down. He shakes his head fondly at the white wolf, realizing he’s as likely to leave Dany as Jon is right now. Which is not at all.
Once he’s comfortable on the bed, he looks at Dany and feels his heart race as he realizes that he’ll get to look at her sleeping next to him for the rest of his life. The thought warms his entire being, all the way to the deepest recesses of his soul. Taking her hand in his, he sets them on his chest and closes his eyes. He falls asleep to the picture of Dany smiling her beautiful smile as she holds a small child in her arms.