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Paths Crossed

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JON

 

Another day, another hectic morning of rush to get Lya to school on time. It had been two years since Jon had taken full custody of his daughter, Lya, short for Lyanna, named after her Grandmother, and it had not gotten easier. Every minute that he spent with her he felt inadequate as a parent. For the first two years of her life, Jon barely even knew her.

Her mother, a woman named Val, did not allow him to see her very often, simply out of spite at the fact that Jon did not want to be with her. It wasn't that she wasn't attractive, she was everything that Jon found attractive in women, but still, he felt no connection, no attachment and her pregnancy had been the result of a drunken night out. For that reason, Jon felt distant to his daughter. So when Val died in a horrific car accident, and he had to care for Lya full time, the father-daughter relationship was not the strongest. He and Lya got along just fine, but he didn't experience the spark that should exist between a father and daughter often enough for his liking. He had always regretted not taking the custody issue to court, but he did not have the time nor the money to do so before her mother died, eliminating the need for a legal case, things would be so much easier now if he had done so. Perhaps it was his fault. Actually, not perhaps, it was his fault without a doubt.

Jon had been pursuing a career in Mixed Martial Arts since he was seventeen and he finally felt that he was making worthwhile progress. This progress had come at a heavy cost however, he sacrificed the vast majority of his time for training, meaning less time to spend with his daughter. As a result of his dream, he had always had to entrust Lya’s care to someone else. Mainly his mother, but due to his mother’s busy work schedule, he also had to pay for a babysitter several days a week.

He had recently had to hire a new babysitter due to the fact that his cousin Arya, who previously looked after Lya, had left for college just two days prior. Jon had rushed to find a new babysitter, and put an advertisement in the local paper, as he could not afford to miss this week of training. This Saturday, he was fighting for the Welterweight title of the small MMA promotion to which he was contracted. It wasn't much, but it was a start, he had to perform well locally in order to be signed to a bigger company. His current employers paid him a decent, liveable wage, enough to support his daughter and himself, but he dreamed of having more. He wanted to give his daughter anything she could ever want, to give her a childhood much easier than his. When Jon was a child, he lived with a single mother, who worked two jobs simply to provide for him. The only thing Jon’s father had ever given him was his last name, Snow. He wanted to give his daughter much more than his surname.

Thankfully, Jon had managed to find a babysitter almost immediately. She had contacted him through the phone number which he had left in the advertisement, and Jon had given her the job, as she seemed to be a kind woman. She was called Dany. Jon had given her all the instructions through the phone. She was to pick up Lya from school and look after her until the evening, when he would be able to come and collect her. He had sent her the address for the school and she had agreed to look after her on Mondays, Wednesday’s and Friday’s.

Today was Monday. And now, it was five minutes before the start of school, and Jon was crawling around Lya’s bedroom, in search of a missing school shoe. At last, he plucked the small shoe out from under the bed resulting in several cheers from his onlooking daughter. Jon was less than amused. As if he didn't have enough on his plate today, with training and the new babysitter, now he had to explain the reason for his daughter’s lateness to the school.

He basically dragged Lya out to the car and strapped her in to the backseat, she still had her breakfast which he had hastily made in her hand. He turned the radio on to calm his daughter down and began the ten minute drive to school. The journey was uneventful, although the rushing traffic caused it to take longer than usual. Finally, he pulled the car into the car park of the school and jumped out. He went to the back door and helped Lya out. He grabbed all of her things from the boot of the car and held her hand as they walked towards the school reception.

When the automatic doors opened for them, Jon instantly noticed the disapproving look on the receptionist’s face. He had had several encounters with the woman, who proved to be a very judgemental person, especially on the subject of Jon’s parenting. Jon knew he was struggling to raise his daughter, he didn't need a stranger to tell him that. He approached “Sorry we’re late, we had a bit of an issue with a missing shoe, didn't we Lya?” He spoke looking down at the girl holding his right hand.

Lyanna spoke up “We’re sorry miss Baratheon, it was my fault.”

Jon smiled at his daughter trying her best to help him out. Miss Baratheon smiled at her and said “Don’t worry, it’s fine sweetie. Run along to class now.”

Lya looked up at him and said “Bye, Daddy.”

Jon bent down to her level. “Have a good day honey, I will see you later. Remember the new babysitter is picking you up.”

Lya smiled and nodded. She turned around to walk to her class. “I love you, Lya.” Jon said, Lya simply hummed in response.

When she had left his sight, Jon turned to face Miss Baratheon. She was scowling at him. “Alright, now Lya’s gone you can say what you really want to.” Jon said, sighing.

“That girl is like a stranger to you. Never mind not spending time with her, you can’t even get her to school on time.”

“Yes I know, I am a shit parent. I am doing my best, don't try and tell me that you were a perfect parent straight away.”

“But it isn't ‘straight away’ Mr Snow, you've had full custody for over two years. You barely even know her. You spend too much time working and not enough with her.”

“Of course I know her.” Jon replied defensively.

“Do you? What is her favourite subject?”

“Erm…art?” Jon guessed.

“No, she hates art. Her favourite is dance.”

“What? I don't know my daughter’s favourite subject so that makes her a stranger to me?”

“Notice how she didn't say that she loves you when you said it. She feels no connection to you.”

Jon turned and walked towards the exit chuckling. “Whatever, Miss parenting expert, I need to get to the gym.”

“See? You care more about training to fight than having serious discussions about your daughter’s wellbeing.” Miss Baratheon shouted.

Jon paid no attention to the bitter woman’s comments. He whispered to himself “Bitch” as he walked through the doors.

**********

Jon had just finished showering after his training session. It had been a tough one, he had been in the gym sparring for almost ten hours in preparation for his upcoming fight. He got in his car and saw that it was 5:45pm. He took his phone from his pocket and put the address that Dany had sent him into google maps. He was happy to see that her house was close to the school and the gym, in Winter town which was just a ten minute drive outside of Winterfell where he lived.

He arrived to a secluded property. It wasn't the biggest house, but it looked very cosy from the outside. As he walked up the path to the front door, he noticed one of the most beautiful cars he had ever seen. From a distance, it looked to be a black, ’55 mustang. Jon had only ever seen them in photographs, and they did not do the car justice. He wondered how Dany could afford such a vehicle, working as a babysitter, unless it belonged to someone else, a boyfriend or a husband perhaps.

Jon felt quite nervous as he reached the door. He had handed his daughter over to this woman and he had never even met her. His mother would be furious with him for making such an irresponsible decision. For all he knew, she could be a psychopath, well, there was only one way to find out. Jon tentatively raised his hand and knocked on the door. He heard some commotion in the house and soon after the door opened.

The woman who answered the door was not like he was expecting. Every babysitter he had ever had had been a student or an old person, looking to make some money in their free time. Dany, however, was nothing of the sort. If he had to guess, he would say that she was probably in her early twenties. To say she was beautiful was an understatement. She had long blond hair, which had been expertly put into braids. Dany was also very small, Jon felt as if he were nearly a foot taller than her. What caught his gaze the most were her eyes. They were a deep blue, almost purple colour, the likes of which Jon had never seen before. She was stunning.

“I am assuming that you're Jon.” She said softly, with a shy smile on her face.

“I am indeed. It is really nice to meet you, Dany.” Jon replied, extending his hand for her to shake.

“It is nice to meet you as well.” She said while shaking his offered hand, now with a much larger smile on her face.

There was a few seconds of silence before Dany spoke again. “Would you like to come in? We are just finishing baking some cookies, it shouldn't take long.”

Jon grinned and nodded. “Of course, thank you.” He now noticed the apron which she was wearing, it was clear she had been baking.

He followed her through to the kitchen and took the seat which she had offered at the table. She opened the oven to check on the progress of the cookies and then asked “Would you like something to drink Jon? Tea? Coffee?”

“Could I just have some water please, I am cutting weight at the moment.” Jon replied politely. Dany nodded in response.

She approached him and placed the glass of water in front of him, before taking the seat opposite him, with a mug of tea for herself. “Thank you.” Jon said.

“No problem. I am terribly sorry about the wait, but I didn't know what time you were coming to collect her and Lya really wanted to bake with me.”Jon chuckled. “Don’t worry, it’s fine.” He smiled. “Thank you for doing it with her really. I can't bake, and neither can my mother so she doesn't have the opportunity at home.”

“So anyway…it’s really funny. This morning, when I was putting the school address that you gave me into Google Maps, I realised that Lya and my son Rhae went to the same school, which made everything much easier. They're even in the same class.” Dany said, laughing.

Jon thought it was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard. “How old is he then? Four?”

“He’s five.” She replied.

“Hmm…it’s funny how things work out isn't it?” Jon said while sipping his water.

“Yeah. They get along really well so there has been no trouble.” Dany answered.

Jon exhaled in relief. “That’s a relief. She can be a nightmare sometimes. Like this morning, I spent almost half an hour looking for her school shoe, all while she laughed at me.”

“Little Devil.” Dany commented sarcastically. They both laughed simultaneously.

Just then, Jon heard the loud pattering of footsteps, running recklessly down the stairs. Lya entered the kitchen, along with a boy just slightly taller than her. Both of them smiling, wearing aprons.

“Daddy!” Lya shouted, upon seeing Jon seated at the table.

Jon smiled widely. “How’s my girl?” He asked playfully, picking her up to sit on his lap.

Jon placed a strong kiss on her cheek, eliciting small giggles from her, before turning to look at the boy. Jon placed Lya back down on the floor, before crouching in front of who he assumed to be Rhae. Jon offered his hand for the child to shake. “Hello. You must be Rhae.”

The boy smiled shyly. “Hello, mister.”

“Jon is fine.” He replied as the boy shook his hand.

Jon moved back to sit back down in the chair as Rhae approached Dany. “Mama, are the cookies done?”

“Ooooo, I don't know. Come on Lya let’s have a look.” Dany replied, trying to build suspense.

Dany pulled open the door to the oven and pulled the tray out. “They look done to me, boys and girls. We have ourselves some cookies.”

Both children squealed in excitement. “Can we taste them, Mama?”

“Of course you can. But be careful, they will be hot.”

Each of the children as well as Dany bit into a cookie. “They are delicious aren't they?” Dany said after a few bites.

“Hmm.” Lya replied. She approached Jon and offered him one of the cookies. “I can’t Lya. I bet they are lovely though.” He answered, ruffling his daughter’s hair.
“Lya, honey, go and collect your things. You and Daddy need to go home, now.” Dany said. Both children eagerly ran up the stairs.

“Are you sure you're okay, looking after her on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday?” Jon asked.

“Of course, I love her already.” Dany replied.

“Do you want to get paid weekly or every day that you care for her? Either way is fine for me.”

“To be honest, Jon. I don't really care about getting paid. I don’t do this for the money.”

“Dany, you have to let me pay you, for my own piece of mind.”
“I would prefer it if you gave that money to Lya, so she can have anything she wants. That would satisfy me.” Dany said.

“I mean, this is quite unbelievable. Are you sure, Dany?”

“Yes, I am sure. I have enough money.”

At that point, Lya and Rhae reentered the room. This time, Lya was carrying her school bag. “Well, say thanks to Rhae and Dany, darling.” Jon said.

Lya turned and smiled at Rhae. “I will see you at school, Rhae.”

“Yeah, see you tomorrow, Lya.” The boy replied.

Lya approached Dany and the woman bent down to be on the same level as her. “I will see you soon, honey.” Dany said as she hugged the girl.

“Thank you, Dany.”

“Oh, you're welcome honey.” Dany said, smiling at the girl.

“Let’s get home then, shall we Lya?” Jon proposed.

Lya nodded. “Thanks for everything Dany, we will see you on Wednesday.”

“I look forward to it. Bye Jon. Bye Lya.” Dany replied.

Jon and Lya then left the house and walked down the path to his car. He secured his daughter’s belt and started the engine.

“Dany is great, isn't she Daddy?”

“Yeah…she is.”

Chapter Text

DANY

 

It was Friday. This was the third day that Dany had been taking care of Lya and it couldn't have gone better. She felt an instant bond with the girl and they shared many common interests. Having Lya around enabled to do many things that she could not with Rhae. There was no chance of her ever convincing her son to dance with her around the house, but Lya needed no convincing at all. The fact that Lya and Rhae got along so well meant that taking care of her didn't even feel like a job, it was like looking after a niece or a nephew for example, it was just natural.

Despite only seeing Lya and Jon interact for three days, Dany had already noticed the distance between them. They clearly loved one another, but it was clear to Dany that there was something missing. She approached the window in the living room to see a day of beautiful, sunny weather. Conditions like these were not common in the North so Dany really needed to make the most of it. She walked upstairs to see Dany and Rhae laid on his bed, watching some animated movie on Rhae’s TV.

She leaned against the door frame and said “Weather like this and you two lazies are cooped up inside.”

The unexpected noise startled the two children and they turned around to face her. “I asked Rhae if he wanted to go outside but he said no.” Lya replied.

“Yeah, that’s because you would've wanted to do girl stuff. Like when you dance around the house. It’s boring.”

“What would you want to do then, Rhae?” Dany asked.

“I dunno.” He mumbled.

“How about…we have a picnic in the garden?” Dany proposed excitedly.

Lya squealed. “Yeah, can we?” She asked.

Rhae was much less enthusiastic. Dany noticed this and said “Oh c’mon Rhae honey, we still have some cookies left from a few days ago, and I’ll make sandwiches, and we have juice. It will be great.”

“Fine!” Rhae exclaimed. “But if it’s boring I'm going back inside.” He finished.

Dany looked at Lya and she nodded. “Fine, we accept your terms. Now c’mon!”

Dany grabbed both children’s hands and they ran excitedly down the stairs. Dany quickly assembled several sandwiches along with the cookies and drinks and placed them into the basket. Lya grabbed a blanket from the couch and ran outside excitedly. Dany and Rhae followed.

The little girl placed the blanket onto the warm grass and took a seat as did Rhae. Dany sat down opposite them and distributed the sandwiches to the children. “Can I have some juice Mama?” Rhae asked.

Dany smiled. “Of course you can honey.” She replied as she passed him a bottle of apple juice. “Do you want some as well, Lya?” The girl nodded in response. Dany handed her an identical bottle “Here you go sweetheart.”

“Thank you, Dany.” Lya said, smiling. “You’re welcome, Lya.” Dany responded.

After a few seconds of silent chewing, Dany asked “Lya, do you know what your Daddy does? I mean, why he works so much?” She was very curious about Jon’s constant need for a child carer.

Lya put her sandwich down on her plate and wiped her mouth. Dany smiled at the little girl’s manners. “My daddy is a fighter. That’s why he can’t look after me, he is always training.”

“Oh I wouldn't have guessed. Your daddy doesn't seem like someone i would expect to be a fighter.”

“I always tell him he is too nice and kind to be a fighter, but he just laughs.” Lya offered.

“Does it upset you that he can’t look after you sweetie?” Dany asked.

“Sometimes I guess.” Lya answered, shrugging. “Like when he can’t come to my dancing performances because of training, it is always just my Grandma.”

There was a pause, Rhae was no longer paying attention to their conversation, fully engrossed in the book he was reading. “Oh and when he didn't taste those cookies that we baked, because he was cutting weight. That upset me, I worked really hard on them, and he wouldn't even try them.”

“When is his next fight, Lya?” Dany asked, feeling pity for her.

“Saturday night, I have to stay with Grandma because Daddy says that I am too young to go to the event.”

“Well, I am sure that after his fight things will be better.”

“Things are already better. My new babysitter is amazing and beautiful and I love her already.”

“Oooohhh, that’s so sweet, come here darling.” Dany pulled the little girl into a fierce hug.

JON

 

Jon felt unusually nervous as he drove to his mother’s house. He had worked so hard for this fight, and if he wanted to make it big in the fighting world, losing was not an option. To win a title at Winterfell MMA was not a huge deal in itself, but it was the options that it opened up. It dramatically improved his chances of being signed on a huge deal to Westeros MMA, the biggest promoter of mixed martial arts in the world.

Lya was completely oblivious to his anxiety in the back seat, smiling as she read a magazine that she had insisted on bringing with her to her Grandma’s house. Dany had given it to her, it was about fashion, and had seemed to really intrigue his daughter. Jon could not be happier with her new babysitter. Every time he had been to collect Lya, they had always seemed to be doing something exciting and as a result Lya had been much happier recently. Dany seemed to care for Lya like she was her own daughter, and still she refused to accept pay for her care. This had made Jon very curious. She definitely seemed to be well off in terms of money, with a car and a house like she had, but as far as he could tell, babysitting Lya was her only job. He would have to ask her when he felt comfortable enough with her.

Jon parked the car on his mothers driveway, and helped Lya out of the car. He opened the door and Lya ran and jumped into her Grandmother’s arms. Lyanna smiled and said “How is my baby girl?”

“I’m fine, Grandma.” Lya replied, grinning widely.

Lyanna placed her granddaughter back on the ground carefully. “How’s school?”

“Good! I’ll have another performance in the next couple of weeks! Will you come and see?”

“Of course I will my darling!” Lyanna answered, kissing her on the cheek.

“What are you two up to tonight then?” Jon interjected.

“Hmmmm…I don’t know. Any ideas, Lya?”

“Can we bake something. Like cookies or cake?” Lya asked.

“Well, you know I’m not very good at baking…but if you're an expert now I’m sure that we can give it a go.” Lyanna replied, ruffling the girl’s hair.

“Right, I need to get going, the fight is in a few hours.” He approached his mother and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “See you tomorrow, mom.”

“See you. Be careful my darling.”

“I will.” Jon replied as he knelt down to his daughter’s level. “Bye, Lya. After this, we can do whatever you like, okay darling?”

“Don’t get hurt please, Daddy.”

Jon chuckled. “I won’t Lya.” Jon exited the house. He peeked into the house after and said “Love you, Lya.”, before closing the door once again.

**********

 

Jon was breathing heavily from the energy he had expended in the fight. The fight was halfway through the second round, and Jon knew he was winning. He had controlled the fight from the start. His opponent just couldn't cope with Jon’s movement and quick striking. His opponent was an older man, Bronn Blackwater, but what he lacked in quickness he more than made up for in experience. Jon knew that his opponent’s wealth of experience was the only reason the fight had not ended. Bronn knew exactly what to do in every situation, meaning Jon hadn't had much opportunity to finish the fight by knockout.

However, the longer the fight went, the more opportunity that Jon would have to do so. The older man was tiring, no longer as capable as he once was, and Jon noticed the clumsiness beginning to develop in his opponent’s movement and punches which were exposing him to Jon. Bronn was becoming desperate in his attempts to win the fight. He knew that he would lose if it went to a point decision, so he was swinging recklessly at Jon, hoping for a knock out.

Jon noticed the man’s pattern. He was swinging with his right hand, leaving the right side of his body completely vulnerable. Jon did not respond to the strikes for almost a minute, lulling the man into a sense of false security, finally, Jon seized an opportunity. As Bronn attempted to catch him with a right hand, Jon simply moved to the left, out of his opponent’s reach, and countered with a left hook to the jaw. The sound of the connection between Jon’s hand and his opponent’s head caused the crowd to erupt with large gasps of excitement.

Bronn was reeling. He stumbled around the cage, backing away from Jon in a wobbly fashion, desperately trying to escape. Jon gave him no chance to recover, he furiously pursued his shaky legged opponent around the cage, delivering heavy, unanswered blows whenever he was within range. Jon had Bronn backed up against the cage in the clinch, delivering fierce uppercuts to the man’s chin. After several such punches, the man collapsed to the floor in a heap, and the referee broke up the fight, preventing Jon from dealing any further damage. Jon sprinted around the cage, yelling victoriously from the adrenaline, while some of his coaches congratulated him. He paused and searched the stands, looking for his family. There were probably almost a thousand people in attendance, Jon couldn't wait to fight in front of tens of thousands instead. He finally located his family. His uncle Ned, and his cousins Robb and Sansa were cheering wildly for him, and the sight brought a smile to his face. The referee grabbed his hand as the announced declared the winner.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the referee has called a stop to this contest at four minutes, twelve seconds of round number two, declaring the winner, by TKO… JON SNOW!”

Jon shook hands with Bronn, who was clearly disorientated, while the title was placed around his waist. ‘This is just the start.’ Jon thought to himself.

He was quickly pulled aside by the interviewer who asked him his thoughts on the fight. He answered, giving a brief summary of his thoughts throughout the fight, and then he grabbed the microphone from the interviewer. “Right, I need to say thanks to the fans, without them, it wouldn't be possible. Thank you, it means a lot. Also, I just have to say something to my beautiful daughter, Lya. I don’t know if she’s watching…I mean, to be honest I hope she’s not. She is only four years old.” Jon said, pointing to the blood accumulated on his face during the fight, eliciting laughs from some of the crowd. “I know you suffer because of my schedule, and I’m doing my best.… but I just want to say that I am doing this for you. Love you, Lya.” Jon finished, a round of applause now ringing around the arena.

**********

 

It was another beautiful day as Jon drove to pick up Lya from his Mother’s house. It was Sunday, the day after his fight, and he was so excited to be able to do whatever Lya wanted. After the last few months of constant training, she deserved to have his complete attention for a while.

He opened the door to the house with the key that his mother had gave him, and was pleasantly surprised at the calmness of the house. He walked around the house and could not find anyone, it was a ghost town. The only remains of human activity being the mess of pans and trays and all other kitchen utensils which could possibly be used in baking. He reached for the phone in his pocket. He located his mother’s name in his contacts list and dialled the number.

“Hello?” She answered.

“Hiya, mom. Where are you? I’m at your house to pick up Lya.” Jon replied, his worry easing at the calmness of his mother’s voice.

“Oh, sorry Darling I had to go into work.” She replied. This was not an unusual occurrence, Lyanna was a midwife and could get called at any time, either to the hospital or the pregnant woman’s home.

“What? C’mon Mom. Lya will be having nightmares for weeks after seeing some of the shit that you deal with. And I will have to deal with the nightmares.” Jon replied, annoyed.

“Don’t worry, I didn't bring her with me. I dropped her off at the babysitter’s. It’s a good job that you gave me her number.”

“You should tell me first, mom.” Jon answered, relieved but slightly pissed off.

“I usually do. But I didn't want to ruin your rest after a fight and you and Lya had both assured me that Dany was great.”

Jon sighed. “It’s fine, mom. Just worried me, that’s all.”

“Hey, I saw your fight in the paper. What’s up champ?” Lyanna said. Jon could tell just from her voice that she was grinning.Jon laughed. “Please, don't call me that ever again.”

Lyanna laughed also. “Suit yourself…champ!” Jon didn't have time to respond before his mother ended the call.

Jon grinned and shook his head. “She is one of a kind.”

**********

 

Jon parked outside of Dany’s house, having found the journey much more simple now that he had done it several times. He strolled up the path and knocked on the door. He hoped that Dany hadn't had other plans before his mother called her, because Jon knew that she was too nice to refuse to care for Lya, even though she hadn't agreed to work on Sunday’s.

Dany opened the door with her usual wide smile decorating her face. Every time Jon saw her smiling, he found himself smiling as well. “Hi, Jon!” She said enthusiastically.

“Hi, Dany. I’ve been informed by my mother that she brought Lya over here.”

“Yes, she did. Come on in, I’ll go fetch her.”

“Thanks.” Jon replied as he stepped through into the living room. Before Dany began to ascend the stairs, Jon called out her name and she turned around to face him. Jon cleared his throat nervously. Every time he saw her he was reminded how beautiful she was.

“I’m really sorry. I'm sure you had probably had better things to do on a Sunday.”

Dany chuckled. “You take me for a much more interesting person than I actually am. Honestly, there aren't many things I would rather be doing, Jon.”

Jon laughed. “I find that hard to believe.”

“It’s quite easy to believe I think. Your daughter is amazing.”

“Yeah, I know.” Jon said, sadly.

“Anyway…I better go get Lya.” Dany said and she went up the stairs.

Dany came back down shortly after, with two small children in tow. “Daddy!” Lya shouted as she ran into his lowered arms. He clutched her tightly to him and planted kisses on her head. “How are you, Darling?”

“I’m great!Me and Grandma tried to bake but it didn't go well.”

“Awwwwww. As long as you had fun though.” Jon answered.

Jon placed his daughter back on the ground. “How are you, Rhae?”

“I’m fine Mr…Jon.”
Jon felt Lya furiously tapping his arm. He turned to face her. “Did you win, Daddy?”

“I did, honey.” Lya clapped in response.

Jon once again looked to Dany. “Hey, are you busy today?”

“No, I’ve got nothing on, really. Why?”

“Do you wanna go get something to eat? With the kids?”

“Oh, Jon you don’t have to.” Dany replied.

“Please, let me. I feel guilty. You have done a lot for Lya and me for absolutely nothing. At least let me buy you and Rhae dinner, to say thanks.”

Dany looked to Rhae and Lya, who were both nodding excitedly. She looked back to Jon. “Okay, will you give me ten minutes, to get ready?”

Jon smiled. “Of course, we’ll wait here."

Chapter Text

DANY

 

Dany rushed up the stairs and into her bedroom. She quickly closed the door behind her and relaxed against it. She genuinely had no explanation for her current emotions. All he had done was offer to buy her and Rhae a meal, as a ‘thank you’ for looking after his daughter, yet she felt such anxiety and excitement at the prospect of spending time with him. She didn't want to admit it to herself, but she knew why. She liked him. She really liked him. A lot more than she should after such a brief spell of knowing him.

She looked down and realised that she was still dressed in her nightgown. His mother, Lyanna was her name, had dropped off Lya relatively early and since then Dany had been too lazy to dress properly. She browsed her wardrobe and her drawers in search of something suitable to wear. It was a tricky situation to dress for. It was not formal, but it was not entirely casual either. It was somewhere in the middle. After a few minutes of contemplation, Dany opted to wear some blue skinny jeans, some boots and a turtleneck jumper. She quickly checked her appearance in the mirror and made some minor adjustments before moving down the stairs.

When she reached the bottom floor of her house, she heard laughter from the living room. She walked towards the origin of the sound and smiled when she located the cause. Rhae, Lya and Jon were all giggling ecstatically as Rhae was trying and failing to tie his shoelaces. Jon was helping him, offering guidance. Rhae turned and saw Dany and shouted “Mama! This is so hard!” Dany laughed in response, while browsing the room for her handbag.

“It’s not Rhae, just give it time. And anyway, I don’t know why you're laughing Lya, you are even worse than him!” Jon said jokingly. Lya just shrugged and continued to laugh.

Jon looked up to Dany and asked “Are you ready?” He stared at her for several seconds, causing Dany to blush.

“Yes, I am. Shall we go?” She asked.

“Yeah, let’s go! Come here Rhae, I’ll tie your laces.” Jon replied.

Her son went to Jon and placed his foot on Jon’s lap. At the same time, Lya stood from the couch and ran over to Dany. Lya grabbed Dany’s hand as they waited for her Dad and Rhae. Jon expertly tied the lace of the first shoe and repeated the process with the second.

Jon stood and smiled at the three of them. “Right! Off we go!” as he searched the pockets of his jacket in order to find his car keys. They walked out of the house and Dany noticed that Jon drove a black Jeep, which was much more suitable than her Mustang for the Northern climate, which for most of the year, was not great. Today however, the temperature was somewhat enjoyable. It was relatively warm with a nice breeze, which was a pleasant surprise.

Dany locked the door to her house and advanced towards Jon’s car. Jon smiled at her and opened the passenger door, urging her to enter. “I’ll strap the kids in, don’t worry.” He said, to which she replied with a thankful nod of the head and a small grin.

Jon closed her door after her and turned to the children. She observed through the wing mirror as Jon picked up Lya and Rhae and placed them into the back seats, doing so as both children were unable to get into the seats on their own, due to the height of the vehicle. He fastened both of their seat belts before getting in to the driver’s seat. They smiled shyly at one another once again.

While the two kids talked amongst themselves, Jon asked “Where do you want to go and eat?”

“I’m not sure, I don’t really have a preference.” Dany answered. “Do you have anywhere in mind?” She continued.

“I know a few places, but like you, I’m not really bothered.” Jon replied.

“Perhaps we should ask the kids?” Dany proposed, smiling once more. There was just something about him which just caused her to smile endlessly.

“Sounds like a plan!” Jon replied. “Lya, Rhae, what do you want to eat?”

Lya and Rhae looked to one another, pondering. After a few seconds, Lya spoke “I want pizza, Daddy.”

“Hmmmm” Jon replied. “What about you, Rhae?”

“Yeah, pizza!” The young boy replied.

Jon and Dany laughed loudly. “Pizza it is then!” Jon exclaimed, as he started the car engine.

**********

A ten minute drive later, and Jon’s car was parked outside Winterfell Pizzeria. Dany had seen the place before when she brought Rhae to and from school, but she had never been inside. As she attempted to reach down and grab her handbag, Jon opened her door for her and did the same for Rhae and Lya. Jon helped Rhae out of the car first, while Dany did the same for Lya. She smiled seeing the excitement on the children’s faces.

Dany took Lya’s hand and they walked towards the entrance. Rhae and Jon walked just ahead of them. Dany was very happy that Jon and her son got on just as well as she and Lya did, it was important if her and Jon’s relationship continued to develop as she hoped it would.

She found herself daydreaming momentarily and didn't immediately recognise that Lya was tapping lightly on her arm, trying to draw her attention. Dany turned to face the little girl, who was looking shyly at her.

Dany could tell from her expression that she was upset. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”

Jon and Rhae were now inside the restaurant while Dany and Lya had stopped outside. Dany crouched to the girl’s height and stroked her hair comfortingly.

“Did you see my Daddy’s face? With all the cuts, why does he fight? It must hurt him!” Lya said angrily, tears beginning to creep down her cheeks.

“Don’t cry honey. He’s not hurt, he’s fine. Look at him!” Dany exclaimed, pointing to a laughing Jon, who was speaking with one of the restaurant workers.

Lya nodded, wiping her tears away. “Now, come on darling. Let’s go and get some pizza.” Dany added, and she saw the emergence of a small smile on Lya’s face.

She heard the door open and Jon walked out. “Dany, Lya are you coming in?”

Jon noticed remnants of the tears on his daughter’s face as he approached them. He picked up Lya into his arms and kissed her head. “Hey, what’s all this?” He spoke softly.

Lya didn't reply, instead moving her head deeper against Jon’s chest. “Hey Lya” Jon began, trying to cheer his daughter up, “Guess who’s working today?”
Lya looked up at him. “Guess who?” Jon asked again.

“Auntie Sansa…” Lya spoke timidly.

“Yes! Auntie Sansa. Let’s go see her!”

Lya nodded and Jon carried her inside, Dany following closely behind. When they entered, Dany saw Rhae seated at a table for four, browsing the menu. Jon placed Lya in one of the chairs and urged Dany to sit down also.

Jon walked over to the owner of the restaurant, Syrio. “Syrio, do you know where Sansa is?”

“Ah yes, my friend. She is in the kitchen, why?” The man replied.

“Do you mind if I borrow her for a second? My daughter is upset and needs some cheering up.”

Syrio smiled. “Of course, I will let her know.”

“Thank you.” Jon replied with a nod of the head and returned to his seat. “Right, shall we order?”

Both kids shouted ‘yes’ excitedly while Dany just smiled. Dany was seated opposite Lya and noticed a tall red headed woman approaching behind her. The woman placed her hands on the little girl’s shoulders and Lya jumped in surprise. She turned and placed her arms around the woman’s neck and she was picked up into her arms.

“And how is my favourite girl?” The woman asked as she rubbed her nose against Lya’s childishly.

Lya laughed. “I missed you, Auntie Sansa!” She exclaimed.

“I missed you too, honey. It’s a shame your daddy is too lazy to bring you to see me.” She replied jokingly.

Jon snorted. “Hey, you can always come round to our house to visit.”

“Oh please! You're never home!”

“And you are…?” Sansa asked awkwardly, looking at Dany.

Dany smiled and offered her hand for Sansa to shake. “Hello, I’m Dany. This is my son Rhae.” She said, pointing to the boy seated to her right. Sansa smiled at Rhae. “It’s wonderful to meet you!” Dany finished.

“Oh Dany! You’re the new babysitter! Jon won’t stop talking about you!” Dany glanced at Jon who was blushing, embarrassed at Sansa’s words. “I’m Sansa, Jon’s cousin. We’re basically siblings though. I have heard so much about you!”

“Good things, I hope.” Dany replied.

Sansa laughed. “Good things only.”

Sansa put Lya back into her chair with one last kiss.

“Will you take our order, Sansa?” Jon asked, trying to steer the conversation away from his embarrassment.

“Sure, what are we having, then?” Sansa answered, looking at the four of them. “You first, Lya.”
“Can I have a pepperoni pizza and a chocolate cupcake for dessert please?” The little girl replied.

“Sure, honey.” Sansa said, writing down the orders on a notepad.

“You next, Rhae.” Jon said.

“Can I please have a pepperoni pizza but with ice cream for dessert?”

“Of course, darling.” Sansa replied, smiling at the boy.

“Could I just have a Margherita pizza please, Sansa? No dessert.” Dany said. Sansa nodded in return. When Sansa finished writing Dany’s order, she looked at her once more.

“Do I know you from somewhere else? You look so familiar.” The red headed woman asked.

Dany cringed internally. “I don't believe so, I think I would remember.”

“Weird. Anyway,Jon?” Sansa asked.

“Tell you what, since Lya always calls my healthy meals boring, I’ll have exactly the same as her. Thanks, Sansa.” Jon said, smiling at Lya.

“Ok…shouldn’t be too long. Bye guys.” Sansa spoke, before walking to deliver their order to the kitchen.

Less than five minutes later, Sansa had placed all of their food on the table. Lya and Rhae had talked between themselves mostly, while Jon and Dany had made small talk. They weren't really talking about anything particularly interesting, yet she never found herself bored speaking with him. There was just a natural comfortability between them, one that she had rarely felt with anyone.

When Jon finished his pizza, he was quickly ambushed by Lya, impatiently insisting that he tasted his cupcake. Jon just laughed as did Dany. “Lya, you do know that I have had a cupcake before in my life, don't you?” Jon asked.

Lya just shrugged and resumed pressuring him to try it. He finally gave in and took a bite of the cupcake, as Lya, Rhae and Dany watched on. When he did, he let out a clearly exaggerated moan of enjoyment, and Lya giggled.

“It’s great Lya, but I’m sure that you could bake something nicer.” Lya smiled in response.

After a few seconds of Jon continuing to eat his dessert, Lya spoke up “Daddy, can me and Rhae go to the play area?”

Lya’s question peaked Rhaego’s interest. “There is a play area here?”

“Yes, in the back. And it’s fine by me.”

“Can I go, Mama?” Rhae asked Dany.

“Of course, sweetling.” She replied.

Both children’s faces glowed with excitement and they rushed to the back of the restaurant. “Be careful, you two!” Jon shouted after them.

There was a brief moment of silence before Dany spoke “Thank you for this, Jon.”

Jon looked at her. “Oh, don’t worry about it. I owe you a lot more than a pizza.” He said with a smile. “Lya has been so much happier recently because of you.”

“I know it’s not really my place Jon, but Lya told me some things that I think you need to know.” Dany said with some trepidation. This was a sensitive subject that she was about to breach, and she didn't want to impose.

“It’s fine. Go ahead.” He replied.

“So the reason that Lya was crying outside was that she hates that you fight. She doesn't like to see you hurt. Also, it is all the other sacrifices that come with being a fighter that upset her.”

Jon nodded. “Yeah, I know.” He replied sadly. “I hate myself when I can’t do something with her. Like watch her dances. Hell, I didn't even know what her favourite subject is. I’m a shit parent. The teachers at school like to remind me of that.”

Dany shook her head defiantly. She reached for his hand. He looked up at her when their hands touched. “You are not a shit parent. I have seen you as a parent, you are amazing.”

Jon chuckled. “Now you are just trying to make me feel better.”

Dany laughed and put her hands on her waist, feigning offence. “Are you calling me a liar, Jon Snow?” She asked rhetorically. “I am telling the truth. Even with Rhae, you are amazing with him.”

“Thank you, Dany. It’s just…I try my best, but it’s just so difficult to balance fighting and parenting. Especially since I didn't always look after her, only after her mother died.” Jon replied.

Dany gulped, surprised. She had not expected him to open up to her like that. “How did she die?”

“Car crash.” Jon said woefully. “Just after Lya turned two. Before that, I barely even saw my daughter. Her mother wouldn't let me.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Jon nodded before continuing. “I just feel so distant sometimes, and then other times, I feel like I know her like the back of my hand. We don't have any common interests. I think that is one of the reasons she loves you so much, because you're kinda…like a mother to her, I guess.”

“That means a lot to me.” Dany replied genuinely. “And I understand how hard it is for you. You’ll get through it.”

Jon smiled at her for a second. “Thanks for caring, Dany.”

Dany looked down at the ground. Feeling the barricades she had built around her heart crumble more and more by the second. “I need to go to the bathroom.” She said quickly, trying to escape the vulnerable situation which she found herself in.

Dany stood and rushed in the direction of the bathroom. She heard the movement of a chair behind her and soon Jon was calling after her. She turned around to face him. He moved closer until he stood only a couple of feet away from her.

He laughed nervously. “Right, I’m not really sure how to do this…but here it goes. Dany, I might have only known you for about a week, but I feel like you're a really important part of my life already.” Dany exhaled, her palms sweating from anxiety. “What I am trying to say…is that I really like you…and was wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me. Just us, no kids. Just the two of us.” He finished and immediately looked down at the floor for a second.

Dany hesitated. She really wanted to refuse. She had coped just fine without a man in her life for over five years, why did she need one now? But in her heart, she knew that this man was not like the others. He was kind, thoughtful, funny, there was nothing not to like. She couldn't say ‘no’. If she did, she had a strong feeling that she would regret it.

She cleared her throat and decided to take the chance. “Yes Jon, I would like that. Very much. Just give me a call to arrange it.”

Jon smiled widely at her. “Like I said, I’m not really sure how to do this, I don’t have much experience. Where would you like to go?”

She laughed at his nervousness which mirrored her own. It seemed that both of them had very little knowledge or experience of dating. “Surprise me, Jon Snow. I would like to see how romantic a fighting champion can be.”

Chapter Text

JON

 

Jon was excited for the upcoming weeks. He had decided to only train three days a week instead of the five he usually did. After what Dany had told him about Lya feeling distant, he had realised that he was neglecting the most important thing in his life. So instead of his mother looking after Lya on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, he was going to. He would have looked after her three days a week instead of Dany, but Lya loved her so much so that would have been unfair. Also, who was he fooling, he wanted to see her as well.

He parked up his car in his usual spot outside of Dany’s house and went to knock on the door. When it opened, Dany was smiling at him widely, and she pushed the door open more so he could enter. “How are you?” Jon asked.

Dany smiled “I’m great!You?”

“Yeah, not bad.” He replied.

There was a brief silence between them. However, it was not an awkward one like before. It seemed that they were now much more comfortable around each other, which boded well for the upcoming date that he had impulsively asked her on. A few seconds later, Dany took a sip from her mug of coffee and spoke “The kids are upstairs, I’ll get them.” Jon nodded gratefully.

Dany walked to the bottom of the staircase. “Lya! Come downstairs, your daddy’s here!”

Jon heard the faint, distant sound of Lya’s reply. “I’m coming!” It was followed by the obtuse sound of footsteps hurrying down the stairs. Dany reentered the room this time with Lya and Rhae following closely.

“Daddy!” Lya shouted when Jon came into view, she ran into his extended arms as she usually did.

Jon kissed her head. “Hiya, darling! How was school?” He asked as he put her back down on the ground.

She smiled up at him. “Good!”

Jon smiled in reply. “How are you, Rhae?” He asked, greeting him with a high five. “Yeah I’m good.”

Jon glanced at the watch on his left wrist. “Oh we’re gonna be late for dinner at Uncle Ned’s house, Lya! Go get your stuff, hurry!” He said playfully, and the two children ascended the stairs almost as quickly as they descended them.

Jon turned to Dany and laughed just as she was. “Those two are becoming quite the pair, huh?” Dany said.

Jon nodded. “That they are. Do they ever stop running?”

“Hardly.”

“I suppose we’re lucky that they get on so well.” Jon offered.

Dany smiled and hummed in agreement. “I suppose we’re lucky that we get on so well, also.”

“You might reconsider that statement after our date.” Jon answered jokingly.

“Or maybe I won’t, and I’ll like you just the same.”

“Wishful thinking.” He said causing her to chuckle. After a short moment of silence, Jon spoke up once more “Listen…I’ve been thinking about this date of ours, and I was just wondering whether you actually want to go on a date with me, or whether you were just too nice to refuse.”

Dany laughed at his insecurity. “Trust me, Jon, I’ve refused plenty of dates, I am not as nice as you believe.”

Jon nodded, relieved. “What day do you want to go?” He asked.

“My mother is free to look after Rhae any night this week, so whenever really. The choice is yours.” She replied.

“Tomorrow? I mean I was meant to look after Lya but my mother won’t mind doing it.”

Dany sighed, “Lya will, though.”

“I will make it up to her.”

“Promise? I feel bad about taking your attention away from her.” She said regretfully.

Jon chuckled. “It amazes me how you care more about my daughter than yourself. And yeah, I promise. So tomorrow? The sooner the better for me because I am too nervous about it to sleep.”

Dany grinned and shook her head in disbelief. “Jon Snow, the professional fighter who is scared of girls.”

“Woah!” He shouted in mock offence. “Give me a break, it’s my first ever actual date.”

“Really? I don’t believe you. How old are you?”

“24.”

“I honestly find it hard to believe that you've never been on a date.” She admitted.

“No girl has ever captivated me enough to do so.”

She blushed at his words. “Well anyway, don’t be nervous, it’s only me, the babysitter.”

Jon laughed. “That’s why I’m nervous, if I fuck it up I’ll have to find Lya a new babysitter, she’d kill me!”

Dany burst out laughing, drowning out the sound of Lya’s and Rhae’s footsteps as they came back downstairs until they were in the room.

Jon turned to Lya as he fished for his car keys in his pockets. “Right, honey, say bye to Rhae and Dany.”

Lya did so, hugging both of them before opening the front door and walking to the car. He ran his hand through Rhae’s hair before saying “Bye Dany.” and offering a genuine smile as he left the house.

**********

Jon parked outside of his uncle’s large house. It was once again a beautiful day, perfect for Robb’s birthday. Lya was very giddy in the back seat, practically bouncing with excitement. She loved her cousins, and just like they were to Jon, they were like siblings to her, not cousins. Although all of them were quite significantly older than her, she enjoyed spending with them regardless.

Jon helped her out of the Jeep and she proceeded to sprint to the front door. Jon laughed to himself as he saw her enter the house without knocking, as soon as one was in Stark Territory, manners went out of the window. He entered and saw that she had already found herself a comfortable seat on the couch, resting between her Uncle Ned and Sansa’s dog, Lady.

Jon walked into the kitchen and was greeted by quite the crowd of people, his auntie Catelyn, along with all of his cousins except Arya, who couldn't make it due to college, as well as Robb’s girlfriend of several years Margaery, and a number of dogs, each of the siblings owning one. Sansa was the first to notice him, turning away from the game of cards she was playing with Bran and Rickon. Gradually, everyone noticed him and welcomed him with a loud, somewhat drunken shout of ‘Jon!’ in unison.

“Hi, everybody!” Jon responded, placing the beer that he had brought on the kitchen island. He approached his Auntie Cat and asked “What’s for dinner then?”, placing a kiss on her cheek. “I think we’ve unanimously agreed to have a barbecue instead.” She replied.

“Yeah, let’s do it! Make the most of the weather, eh.” Jon agreed. He was startled as Lya wrapped her arms around his leg from behind. “Are you excited for the barbecue, Lya?” She nodded, smiling.

Jon suddenly picked her up and placed her on his shoulders, securely holding her above his head, eliciting giggles and small screams of exaggerated fear, and began to walk outside to the site of the barbecue. “You’re so happy lately darling! I love it!” He said, tickling her.

“So are you, daddy. Why?”

“Well, if you're happy, so am I.” He lied, well not really, that did make him happy. But there was something else, something else that he wasn't quite ready to admit yet. “Go play, honey!” Lya quickly ran away towards the dogs at the opposite side of the garden.

He took a seat in one of the garden chairs surrounding the barbecue and grabbed a beer from the table. He was soon followed by Robb and Margaery who sat next to him. Jon slapped the back of his head jokingly. “25! You old fucker!” He said causing both of his companions to laugh.

“Wait hang on…you’re not even a year younger than me!” Robb argued.

Jon smiled, taking a sip of his beer. “And don’t you forget it. How are you anyway, Margaery?”

“Good, but not as good as you if what Sansa says is true.” She replied, causing Robb to laugh, poorly hiding his laughter behind his hand.

Jon shook his head. ‘Sansa and her gossip.’ He thought. “And what is it that Sansa says?”

“Just that you went on a date with Lya’s babysitter.” Margaery answered.

Jon chuckled. “If she calls me taking Dany, Lya and her son Rhae out for pizza a date I really pray for her love life. Seven hells.” He finished, sighing.

“So that’s all there is to it, she is Lya’s babysitter, and that’s it?” Robb asked.

“Yeah, that’s it.” He replied.
“The redness of your cheeks right now says differently…” Margaery said, Robb bumped fists with her triumphantly. “That’s my girl.” He added.

Jon laughed nervously. “It is nothing more…for now. But honestly, I’m hoping to change that. I’m going on a date with her tomorrow.” He blushed once more.

“Ooooooooo!” Both Margaery and Robb said simultaneously and childishly.

“I’m happy for you, Jon.” Robb said seriously, clamping his hand on Jon’s shoulder. “She must be fucking stunning for you...you of all people to ask her out on a date.”

“Aye, she is.” Jon admitted.

“You got a picture?” Robb asked.

“Yeah Robb, because it is a normal thing to have a picture of your daughter’s babysitter.” Jon replied sarcastically yet defensively.

“Don’t tell me what’s normal! You hired her as a babysitter before you even met her. That is so dumb.”

“Yeah, I know.’ Jon accepted.

Jon luckily managed to avoid any more questions due to his mother exiting the house and joining them next to the barbecue.

“Mum?”

“Yes, darling.” Lyanna replied, smiling as she inspected the meat on the barbecue.

“I know that I said I would look after Lya tomorrow but could you? Something came up.” He asked.

“And by ‘something came up’ he means that he asked a girl on a date without realising that he had to look after his own daughter.” Robb said, returning Jon’s sarcastic tone. Lyanna and Margaery laughed while Jon punched Robb in the arm.

“Seven Hells, Jon. I already made plans…talk about late notice.” His mother answered.

Jon contemplated his options, it was unfair for his mother’s life to revolve around him. Soon after, he felt the small arms of Margaery wrap around his neck from behind. "Robb and I will look after her, if you’d like.”

“Will we?” Robb questioned jokingly, Margaery punched him in the arm as Jon had done earlier, a clear sign for him to be quiet.

Jon laughed at the action and turned to face Margaery. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah of course! Anyway, if all goes to plan we’ll need the practice.” She said, that everlasting smile plastered on her features.

“Thank you so much, Margaery. Really, it means a lot.” Jon said sincerely, kissing her cheek.

“Great. Now I have two maniacs running around my house instead of just the one. I swear, you and Lya are just the same person but with a twenty year age difference. Well, it will mostly be Marge doing the 'looking after' because I’m working.” Robb said to his girlfriend and Jon.

Everyone at the table laughed. “Where is Lya, anyway?” Sansa said taking a seat.
“She’s there.” Jon pointed to the treehouse in the corner of the garden. “Lya, come here! The food is nearly done!” He shouted. Everyone was now outside, with the food being done imminently.

Lya soon came running over. Jon immediately noticed the grass and mud stains on her knees. He sighed. “Lya, you've been outside for five minutes and you’re already a mess!” He said, faking annoyance. Lya shrugged in response.

“Reminds of someone else…” Ned spoke. “Another girl who couldn't stay clean for more than an hour.” He said laughing while looking at his sister.

“You know brother, I may be over forty years old but I am not above wrestling you on the ground like children.” Jon’s mother replied.

“Yeah, well I am, my back couldn't take it.” He answered.

“Oh Lya” Jon started. “I’m sorry, but Margaery is going to look after you tomorrow.”

“But you said you would…” She argued, clearly upset.

“I know, I’m sorry darling, something came up.”

“What came up?” Jon chuckled at his daughter’s stubbornness, before he realised that he didn't really have a usable answer.

Jon was unable to reply for several seconds, luckily Robb realised his predicament and lied “He has to come to the office with me, I need his help with something.”

Lya shrugged and took the burger offered to her by her Aunt Cat and ran back in the direction of the treehouse. “You owe me so much ice cream, Daddy!” She shouted over her shoulder, causing everyone to laugh once again.

Chapter Text

DANY

 

“Mom! Have you seen my bag?” Dany shouted, panicking at her current situation. She glanced at her watch, it read ‘7:58’. Jon had said that he would pick her up at eight and she was nervous. She had laughed when he had told her that this would be his first ever date, but in reality, she was in a somewhat similar position. This would be the first date she would go on where she had a genuine interest in the person she was going with. Well, an interest that went deeper than appearance.

In fact, it had been so long since she had been somewhere that required her to dress nicely. Jon had messaged her telling her to ‘dress nice’ so she had spent a large proportion of the afternoon searching deeply into her wardrobes and closets. Eventually, she had settled on a designer floral dress that she had received several years ago and some nude heels. In the last few minutes, she had found herself frequently checking her appearance in the large mirror of her bedroom.

She heard her door open behind her, she smiled nervously when she saw that it was her mother. “How do I look?” Dany asked.

“Stunning. As always.” Rhaella replied as she took a brush to Dany’s hair. She then chuckled to herself briefly. At Dany confused expression, Rhaella explained the reasoning for her laughter. “You’d think that after doing what you did you would be confident in your appearance.”

Dany rolled her eyes. “That was over three years ago.”

“You really haven't changed much, darling. Come downstairs now and wait.” Dany didn't move. “Dany, if he’s not satisfied with how you look right now he's not worth your time anyway. Move your ass!” Rhaella said jokingly.

Dany laughed and walked downstairs. “Take care of Rhae, mom.” She said as they both took a seat on the couch.

“Don’t worry about us, darling. You just have a good night.” Her mother answered reassuringly.

After a couple of minutes of small talk, they heard a knock on the door. Dany opened the door and was stunned with what she saw. She had never seen Jon in anything other than shorts, jeans or training shirts, and now it seemed that he had taken his own advice of ‘dressing nice.’ He was dressed in a black, slim fit suit and even wore a tie. Dany was surprised to see that he also had silver framed glasses resting on his nose.

He smiled when he saw her though his smile did nothing to hide his obvious nerves. He immediately offered her a bouquet of purple flowers, how he knew that she loves purple she would never know, perhaps it was just a lucky guess. She grinned and took them from him as she stepped aside to allow him entry.

“You look beautiful, Dany.” He said as she turned around to find a vase for the flowers, her mother gave her an ‘I told you so’ look. “Jon this is my mother, Rhaella.” Dany said, presenting her mother.

“Hello, I’m Jon lovely to meet you.” He gave her a kiss on the cheek in greeting and Rhaella urged him to take a seat on the couch. “I won’t be long Jon, I just need to put these flowers in a vase and grab my bag.” Dany said.

“It’s fine, take as long as you need.” He replied.

“So what is it that you do Jon?” Rhaella asked as she took the seat next to him.

“I’m a fighter, MMA, but I am a nice guy, I promise.” He said and she laughed.
“You give me no reason to doubt you, sweetheart. No judgement here, you should do what you love.” She replied honestly. “Dany tells me that she looks after your daughter…?”

“Aye, she does. Does an amazing job, too. Lya likes Dany more than she likes me.”

“Yes, my daughter has always had that effect on people.” She leaned over to whisper in Jon’s ear. She whispered “Please look after her, the last man she became involved with wasn't all that great.”

Jon nodded. “What are you two conspiring about?” Dany asked as she returned to the room, bag in hand.

“Oh it’s nothing, darling. Jon was just telling me where he was taking you tonight. Didn't want to spoil the surprise for you.” Rhaella lied, winking at Jon.

“Ok…” Dany said unsurely. “I’m ready Jon, shall we go?”

“Yeah, of course. It was lovely to meet you Rhaella.” He said as he opened the front door.

“You too darling.” Rhaella smiled. “Have a good time you two!” She called out of the house.

They reached Jon’s car and he opened the door for her like he always did. She moved to get in and he offered his hand so she could steady herself in her heels. She smiled to him in gratitude and he walked around to the other side of the car to enter the driver’s seat. “I’m sorry.” He said, while fastening his seat belt.

She looked to him unsurely. “For what?” as she did the same.

“I should have figured that your footwear wouldn't be suitable for climbing into my Jeep.”

She laughed loudly. “Seven Hells, shut up Jon Snow.” She said jokingly. “What did you think I would expect you to do? Sell your car and buy one more suitable for my heels? Don't be ridiculous!” She added.

“When you put it like that, I do sound a fool. Anyway, if I do do something wrong, let me know.” Jon replied, seeing the humour in the situation.

“Trust me, I will.”

“Did you like the flowers?” He asked as he started to drive.

“Yes, thank you. I didn't realise that I did like flowers until you gave me those. I loved the colour by the way, purple has always been my favourite.” Dany replied honestly.

Jon chuckled to himself. “If I tell you something, will you promise not to laugh? No matter how cringeworthy it is?”

She nodded.“I promise. Go for it.”

“I bought those flowers because they were the same colour as your eyes and I think your eyes are beautiful.” He continued nervously.

“Have you been looking at my eyes, Jon Snow?” She asked, blushing.

“Yeah. As well as the rest of you.” His answer caused her to blush further, luckily he wouldn't be able to see the redness of her cheeks due to the darkness of the car.

“Anyway, where are you taking me?” Dany asked, changing the topic.

“Just like last time, to an Italian. But a nice one this time.” He replied.

Dany giggled. “I’m sure your cousin wouldn't be happy to hear how low you think of her pizza.”

Jon shrugged. “Then don’t tell her, otherwise I am in trouble.”

“My lips are sealed.”

“Do you actually mind that I am taking you to an Italian?” Jon asked.

She laughed once more. “Jon Snow, you told me to tell you if you were doing anything wrong…and you are.You should stop feeling insecure, this has been a great start. You’re lucky that I am a girl who loves Italian.”

Jon chuckles. “Fine, I will try. But if you define this as ‘great’ you must have really low expectations.”

Dany smiled as they drove into a line of traffic once more. “Is that not a good thing?”

“For me, yes, it is. But you deserve the best, you should expect more.”

“Jon Snow you are making me blush. Who would have thought you were a romantic. Besides,I am perfectly satisfied here with you.” Dany commented.

“As am I.”

**********

Dany was amazed and simultaneously surprised when Jon parked outside of one of the finest restaurants in the North. She had expected to arrive to a small, quaint but nice local restaurant but instead he had taken her right into the centre of Winterfell. When they entered, Jon approached to desk to enquire about his reservation while she took in the surroundings. She had never been wanting for money, she had more than most, but this restaurant was like something from a movie, the type of place that one only watches but never enters.

While the woman behind the desk compiled the details of Jon’s reservation, she shyly touched his hand, causing him to look at her worriedly. “Is something wrong, Dany?”

“No…it’s just…are you sure about this? You don't have to take me to a ridiculously expensive restaurant to show me that you care.” She said.

Jon squeezed her hand reassuringly. “Honestly, it’s fine. You’re worth it to me.” He said as they were escorted to their table by a waiter. He leaned over to her and whispered “Besides, I owe you thousands in child care costs anyway” causing both of them to giggle quietly to themselves, trying not to disturb the other people in the restaurant.

They sat down and immediately ordered, both of them hungry from a long day of training and looking after extremely energetic children. Dany had so many things that she wanted to ask, and she was sure that he was the same about her, but she decided to wait until their food arrived. So in the mean time, they both took full advantage of the expensive champagne on their table, Jon drinking much more reservedly than her as he was driving.

“So Jon” Dany said, beginning to feel the effects of her alcohol consumption “I asked you to surprise me…”
“Aye, you did. And have I succeeded…?

“You have passed with flying colours.” Dany confirmed. She looked around them, at all the snobbish people eating their overpriced food. “Don’t you feel a bit out of place?” She asked.

“Yeah, I do. But you shouldn’t, you fit in just fine. You look stunning.”

“Thank you.You’re not so bad yourself, Jon Snow. I didn't have you figured for a glasses wearing type man.”

“Turns out that I am full of surprises.” He said, shrugging. The waiter approached with their food. They had both settled on unnecessarily fancy pasta dishes, but she couldn't deny that they looked delicious.

“Where were we…?” Dany asked once they were alone again. “Oh yeah. Your glasses. You look like an intellectual.”

“I can assure you that I am not an intellectual. I punch people for a living.” He said in between laughs.

Dany shrugged. “Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.”

“What is it that you do, Dany? I’ve been wondering since the first day that I picked up Lya. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.” Jon assures.

She shook her head. “No, its fine. You have opened up to me, it’s only fair. So I am guessing the things that intrigued you were my car and the house.”

“Yeah and the fact that you essentially volunteered as a babysitter.”

“Right.” She said as she finished off her glass of champagne. Jon filled up her glass once more. “Here goes. It’s really not that interesting. My dad owned a car company, one that did very well, so when he died, it passed to me because both of my brothers died.”

“I’m sorry to hear.”

“Thank you. You know, it actually felt good to tell someone.”

“Is that why you have the Mustang? Because of your dad’s company?”

Dany hummed in agreement. “Yeah, but it’s broken. Has been for a long time, that’s why I have another car.”

“Why don't you get it fixed?” Jon asked.

“I’ve been told that it is irreparable, but I keep it because it reminds me of my dad.”

“I don’t want this to seem like an interview, but can I ask something else?” Dany nodded, urging him to continue.

“When we went to the pizzeria the other day, how come my sister recognised you? Now obviously it could just have been a mistake, but your reaction said differently.”

“When did you become so good at reading facial expressions?” She asked, smiling.

“You are quite simple to read. You are an honest woman.” Jon replied.
“I suppose there was a time in my life when I could have been classed as famous to a certain extent.”

“And is that likely to be the reason why Sansa recognised you?”

“It depends. Is she interested in fashion?”

“Yes, very much so. It’s all she talks about.”

“Well, that is probably why she recognised me. It may be hard to believe but I used to be a model. I started when I was seventeen and I quit at twenty.”

He stares at her. “No Dany, that is not hard to believe.That is the least surprising thing I’ve heard all week. Why did you quit?”

She blushed briefly at his complement. She had heard such praise on the subject of her appearance and had always thought that it was slightly condescending. But when it came from Jon, it felt completely genuine. It didn't seem like he only noticed her for her looks, but for her personality also. Something she had never experienced before in her previous brief romantic experiences. “Simply because I did not trust anyone else to care for Rhae apart from my mother, but I could not expect her to do so full time, so I had to make a decision. What was more important to me? My modelling career or my son? It was an easy decision.”

“Could Rhae’s dad not have cared for him part of the time?” Jon asked nervously, not knowing whether he was overstepping the boundaries with his question.

“Rhae’s dad…”Dany began “Excuse my language, is a complete waste of fucking space. He cheated on me less than a week after Rhae was born, and I haven't seen or heard from him since. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about how good of a father he would have been.”

Jon laughed at her initial statement but soon changed into an expression of sympathy. “If it’s any help, Lya’s mom wasn't particularly nice as well. I mean, I don’t like to speak ill of the dead but her pettiness made my life miserable for more than two years. I felt like the biggest piece of shit on the planet for not seeing my daughter, even though it wasn't my fault.”

Dany nodded. “You are definitely not a piece of shit, Jon. You are a fantastic father, and a fantastic person. A person that I wouldn't be opposed to going on a second date with.”

Jon smiled fully, it was one of the rare times where his happiness actually reached his eyes. “That makes me so happy. I really enjoy spending time with you.”

“It is the same for me…anyway, enough about me. Tell me about the mysterious Jon Snow.” She answered, returning his smile.

“Anything in particular?”

“How about your fighting? I literally know nothing about it.”

“Okay then. I am an MMA fighter-“ Jon started before he was interrupted.

“What the fuck does MMA stand for?”

Jon laughed. “Wow, you really weren't about knowing nothing. MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. So that includes like Jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, boxing and wrestling for example.”

Dany smiled at him. “You may continue.”
“Right so I fight at Welterweight.” At Dany’s fake, annoyed expression Jon added “That’s 170lbs. I am currently the Welterweight champion of Winterfell MMA.”

“Congratulations!” She exclaimed with exaggerated enthusiasm, causing some of the other diners to look at them. “What is your record?”

“I have a record of seven wins, zero losses and zero draws. I’m hoping that if I win my next fight I might get an offer from Westeros MMA, which is the biggest promotion in the world.” Jon said proudly. Dany poured the remainder of the champagne into her glass. “You know, you should come to my next fight, I can get you a free ticket.”

“I don’t think I would enjoy the sight of you being punched. Not my thing.”

“By then you might be tired of me. In that case, watching me get hit would be quite an enjoyable experience.”

Dany began to giggle uncontrollably. Jon examined her confusedly, but with a smile on his face. “Right, I need to get you home. If you’ve drank so much that you find my jokes that funny you should be in bed.”

Dany stopped herself. “Oh please, I’ve not had that much. Besides, I am laughing at something else. You don’t even know my real name. It’s Daenerys.”

“Why do you hide that? It’s a beautiful name.” Jon said.

“It’s just that I like to stay off the radar. It is pretty hard to do so with a name like ‘Daenerys’.”

“What should I call you?”

“Let’s just stick with Dany so Lya doesn't get confused.” Jon nodded in reply.

“Let’s start fresh. Hello, I’m Jon Snow.” He said jokingly, offering his hand.

Dany laughed and shook his hand softly. “Daenerys Targaryen.” Jon laughed also.

“Should we get going?” Jon asked.

“I guess we must. We have to relieve our parents of childcare duties.”

“I have to relieve my cousin and his girlfriend of childcare duties.”

“Which cousin?” Dany asked.

“Robb. He is Sansa’s brother. There are five of them in total. Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon.”

“Maybe I’ll meet them sometime.” Dany commented.

“Aye, I hope you do.”

Jon paid the bill and they left the restaurant hand in hand. She enjoyed how there was no awkwardness when they joined hands. It wasn't just one person who had grabbed the other’s hand. They had each just simultaneously reached for the other, and smiled pleasantly to one another when their hands had intertwined. Just like several hours previously, Jon opened the passenger door for her and offered his hand to help her in. This time, she was in much more dire need of his assistance due to her enhanced clumsiness as a result of the champagne.

The drive to her house was a short one. The traffic from earlier having died down to almost non-existence. The journey was also basically silent. There was no need for the typical date ‘gap fillers’ because they had both said all that they needed to say, and were perfectly fine with a time of comfortable silence. When he parked up outside her house, he immediately exited the car and opened her door for her, once again grabbing her hand to help her down from the tall car.

She smirked when her feet touched the ground. “You know, I am perfectly capable of opening my own car door.”

Jon laughed, realising that she wasn't seriously offended or annoyed. “I don’t doubt it, Dany. But I was raised to have gentlemanly manners when around women. My mother would kill me if she found out that I wasn't a gentleman on a date.”

She laughed. “Well, if I see her again. I will make sure I tell her how courteous and polite her son was.”

He walked with her the short distance to her front door and turned to face her when they reached it. “I hope you were being serious about the second date.” He said.

She shook her head. “What did I tell you about being so insecure?”

He chuckled quietly. “Shit, I’m sorry. I just find it pretty hard to believe that you're even giving me a chance.”

“What reason is there to not give you a chance?” Dany answered confidently.

When she saw that he was going to speak to answer her question, she raised her hand to his face and placed her index finger on his lips, shushing him. “That was a rhetorical question, Jon Snow.” She said, before reaching up to place a soft kiss on his lips. She had never felt such a strong feeling from only a small kiss before.

She leaned back. “I will see you tomorrow, Jon.” She opened her front door and entered, leaving Jon stood outside alone.

“Yeah” Jon said, clearly surprised by what had just happened. A smile developed on his face at the thought. “See you later, Dany.”

Chapter Text

JON

 

It was Wednesday morning, the day after his date with Dany. He had had a smile plastered on his face since the moment he woke up. It had gone so well, so much better than expected. He knew before the date that he liked her, but now, after what they had talked about, she felt like a completely new person, one that he liked even more.

The smile remained on his face while he drove to Margaery and Robb’s apartment to pick up Lya. He did feel terrible for giving up the opportunity to spend time with her last night, but he was really pursuing something with Dany, something meaningful, something that Lya would love if he managed to achieve it. In his mind, it was short term sacrifice for long term gain, both for him and for Lya.

He knocked on the door of the apartment and was soon greeted by a happy as always Margaery. “Hi, how are you?” Jon asked as he entered the apartment.

“Good, I was just making some coffee if you want some?” She looked at her watch before continuing “You’ve got time. You’re early.”

Jon smiled. “Yeah, why not. Did Lya give you any trouble?”

“Of course not, she was as sweet as always. She makes me want to have kids so badly.”

Jon laughed. “Go for it. I might not be in the best position in terms of parenting, but not once have I regretted having her. She brightens my day, every day.”

Margaery raised her eyebrow at him in question. “Beautiful words, Jon Snow. This Dany girl has made you so poetic.”

Jon scoffed and took a drink of his steaming hot coffee. “Where’s Robb anyway?”

“He had to go into the office super early today. And you're not changing the subject that easily. Not a chance.” Margaery said assertively.

Jon exhaled and was just about to speak when he felt a tap on his back. He turned and saw Lya, already dressed and ready for school, grinning at him. He grabbed her and pulled her onto his lap playfully while she squealed and tried to escape and he kissed her head repeatedly. “Did you try to sneak up on me, you little devil!” He said as she laughed uncontrollably.

He suddenly stopped and stared at his daughter, an artificial, exaggerated look of confusion on his face. He looked between her and Margaery. “Where is my daughter? Where is Lya? This can’t be her, she’s dressed on time for school!”

They both laughed in response. “Yeah, well I did her hair for her so that saved some time. Have you brushed your teeth, Lya?”

She shook her head and ran upstairs immediately, leaving Jon and Margaery alone in the kitchen. Margaery looked at him expectingly.

“Damn, you’re really not letting this go, are you?” Jon asked.

Margaery shook her head. “So how was it?”

“To be honest with you, it was one of the best nights of my life. I was never bored, not for one second. She is stunning, hilarious, kind. I don't have the vocabulary range to adequately describe what I feel about her.”

“You’re in deep.” Margaery acknowledged, smiling. Jon had known her for years, and had felt like family long before Robb and her became and serious thing. There wasn't many people he would trust to talk about this with, but she was one of them.

“Yeah, I am. No doubt about that. I feel like it is too soon to think such things, but she makes me dream about how my life will look in a few years. And in all of those dreams, she plays a huge part.”

“Do you wanna know how I could tell that you were in deep?” Jon nodded. “Because, this might be a bad thing to say, but when you talked about Val, that is all it was. Just talk, nothing more. But now, I see how genuine your smile is, and the way you talk about her, it comes from your heart. You are not just saying it because that is what you are supposed to say about a girl you like. It’s really refreshing, I’m happy for you. When can I meet her?”

“Not yet. Got some things to sort out between us.”

“Alright, just let me know.” Margaery responded, smiling.

Jon nodded gratefully. It was really important to him that he had her support. Lya reentered the room. “I’m ready, Daddy.”

Jon turned and smiled at his daughter. He really wasn't lying about her brightening his days. Sure it was difficult sometimes, but he wouldn't change it for the world. “Ok, darling. I’m sorry I couldn't pick you up last night, me and Robb finished really late at the office and you would have been asleep already.” He really did feel bad lying to her, but it wasn't the right time to tell her the real reason. He didn't want her to get emotionally attached to Dany as his girlfriend because if what was going on between them ended for whatever reason, she would be losing a mother figure in her life for the second time. To ensure that Lya believed his lie, he had ensured that Robb went to a bar the previous night and returned home late.

“It’s okay. Me and Marge had fun.” Lya replied, smiling.

“Yes we did, sweetheart.” Margaery commented, kissing the little girl’s cheek.

“I didn't know you went by ‘Marge’.” Jon said.

“Only the special person in my life calls me that.” She replied, smiling at Lya.

“Why does everyone like my daughter more than me?” Jon asked, feigning offence.

Margaery shrugged. “Obvious reasons.”

“Right!” Jon exclaimed, standing from his seat at the kitchen table. “That’s enough abuse towards Daddy for one day. Let’s go Lya!”

Jon gave Margaery a quick hug. “If you need anything, just give me a call.” He said. “Likewise.” She replied.

Lya approached Marge and hugged her legs. “Aww, you’re so sweet, Lya. I will see you soon.”

“Thank you!” Lya answered. “Bye!” She shouted as she and Jon exited the house.

**********

It was a rare feeling that Jon was experiencing. It was not often that he didn't feel motivated for training. Usually, his passion outweighed any tiredness or injury but today, he was not particularly excited to be here, at the gym. Perhaps he just had other things on his mind, he reasoned with himself. One of which being Lya’s birthday on Saturday. He had never been good at buying gifts for people, and to do so for his daughter was even more difficult. It was times like these when he questioned whether the people like Miss Baratheon were right in saying that he didn't know his daughter.

The problem was that he wanted to buy her something of meaning, not just those generic toys that all kids got and forgot about a week later. He wanted to get her something memorable, something which would be a permanent feature of her life for a long time, but finding such a gift is easier said than done. Anyway, he would have to worry about that another time, as he had to train at the gym.

When he entered the gym, it was much more empty than usual, apparently a lot of the other members were feeling even more unmotivated than Jon was. He was thankful when he heard laughter coming from his usual section of the gym. He was happy to see his coach Davos, along with his two usual sparring partners, Gendry and Tormund. Davos had been with him his entire career. The first time Jon had come to the gym, Davos offered him years of wisdom and advice for no particular reason, other than just wanting to help a young, aspiring boy. In that way, Davos had filled the gap in Jon’s life caused by the absence of his father to a certain extent. As for Gendry, Jon had become close with him in recent months as a result of him dating Arya. And Tormund, to be honest, Jon didn't really know when Tormund became a permanent fixture in his life, it just kind of happened, and he didn't regret it.

“Ah Jon! Fashionably late as always.” Davos said, momentarily pausing his conversation when he noticed Jon approaching.

Jon grinned. “Oh please, enough people criticise me for being late already. Don’t you start.” He replied as he took a seat next to them.

Gendry looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “What’s up with you, today? You’re smiling.” He commented.

Jon snorted. “I always smile.”

“Do you fuck Snow! I’ve never seen you smile once!” Tormund exclaimed.

“I think that is a slight exaggeration, Tormund.”

“Maybe. But I've never seen you smile this much.” Tormund replied. “Why?”

“No reason really.” Jon lied. “I guess the nice weather has just got me in a good mood.”

“Bullshit.” Gendry said.

“Don’t think that I won’t beat the shit out of you just because you date my cousin.”

“Just tell us the truth then.” Gendry suggested.

“There is nothing to tell. I went on a date, and it was great. And that’s all it is right now. So can we please just train? That’s what I came here to do, not to be the centre of some teenage girl gossiping.” Jon said, slightly annoyed.

Davos stood and clapped his hands together. “Great idea!”
**********

Jon and Tormund were currently both clad in heavy, protective gear while grappling on the floor. It was only 10am, and they had only been doing so for less than an hour, but both men were sweating and breathing heavily, Jon hoped that this was due to the hot temperature, and not that his physical fitness had deteriorated that much since he cut to three training sessions per week.

To add to his struggles, his phone had been ringing on and off for several minutes, providing further distraction. Grappling with Tormund was already difficult enough considering the difference in size between the two of them. Jon fought at 170lbs whereas Tormund fought at 205lbs, but Jon had always believed it to be beneficial to practice against people who are stronger than his actual opponents would be, as it prepared him for the worst.

When the bell rang, signalling the end of a five minute round, Jon quickly left the cage and went to his phone, which was in his backpack along with all of his other essentials. He was somewhat annoyed yet also worried to an extent because he had made it clear to his close friends and relatives not to disturb him during the hours in which he trained unless it was an emergency. He retrieved the phone from his bag with some difficulty, pushing his way through the towels and spare clothes covering it, and his worry heightened when he saw the notification on his lock screen which said seven missed calls.

He unlocked the phone and checked the number, which was mysteriously not a saved one. He urged Davos to turn off the music coming from the speaker and asked them to be quiet as he dialled the number.

The recipient accepted the call and spoke “Is this Mr Snow?” Jon cringed internally as he immediately recognised whose voice it was on the other end of the call. Miss Baratheon.

“It is. How are you Miss Baratheon?” He replied.

“I’m fine Mr Snow. You know, it really puts into perspective how many times your daughter is late for school if you recognise my voice that easily.” She replied in a snobbish manner.

Jon took a deep breath to calm down. She always made those little insults towards him, every time he spoke to her. “What is it?” He asked, trying to sound composed.

“Yes I was just calling because there has been an incident involving Lya and you need to come into school.”

“Is she okay?”

“Yes, she is fine. But still, you need to come in.”

“Is it really that important? I am busy right now.” Jon answered. To be honest, he said that just to get a reaction from her. There was no hope of him convincing her that he was a good parent so he may as well have some fun with it.

“Yes you must come! This is nonnegotiable!” She exclaimed angrily.

Jon covered his mouth with his hand to stifle a laugh. He enjoyed hearing how worked up she was. He really did dislike her with a passion. “Alright, I’ll be there.” He said and quickly hung up, giving her no more chance to speak.

**********

To tell the truth, Jon was glad that he had managed to escape training today. However, he was still worried about Lya. He had never received such a call before, and wasn't particularly knowledgeable on the subject of school procedure. Miss Baratheon had assured him that Lya was fine, and that was his only concern, but he didn't exactly trust the woman.

He parked in an unused space with the jeep and sighed. He hated coming to this place, he always felt like he was judged, ever since he had first brought Lya here, which is why he sent his mother in his place if he had the chance. He was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of another car, parking in the open space to his right. He glanced through the window and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was Dany. They both smiled and waved in a somewhat awkward fashion as they exited their cars.

The first thing that hits him is how beautiful she looks. It’s not like she was dressed up nicely, she was just wearing some casual jeans and a sweater with her hair in a messy bun but he thought that she looked stunning. They embraced in a small hug before pulling away and just looking at one another for several seconds.

He smiled. “Why are you here?”

“I could ask you the same thing.” Dany replied.

Jon grinned. “Not fair, I asked first.”

She smiled in return. “You and Lya are just as stubborn as each other. I got a call from school saying that Rhae had been involved in an incident…?”

“I got the same. Interrupted my training.”

“What have those two done now? You know they are just as inseparable at school as they are at home so they are definitely involved in the same incident.”

“Yeah I’m confused. Shall we go and find out?” Jon asked, gesturing for her to walk ahead of him.

Instead, they started to walk side by side and Dany tentatively began to hold his hand as they walked through the car park towards reception. Jon stopped and looked at her. “Are you sure that this is the best time for them to see this?” He asked, moving his hand back and forth between them. “Whatever this is.” He added.

“Yeah, you’re probably right. It just felt like the right thing to do. Sorry.” She replied.

“No don’t apologise, Dany. It felt like the right thing to do for me, too. I am so happy that you did it.”

When they reached the doors to the school reception, Jon paused. Dany eyed him confusedly. “I fucking hate Miss Baratheon. She always critiques my parenting. It’s like having my very own Supernanny,”

Dany laughed. She rubbed his hand reassuringly. “Don’t worry. I’ve seen how good of a dad you are. Her opinion is irrelevant.”

When they enter, Miss Baratheon looks up from her computer and looks at them. “Ah, Mr Snow. Nice of you to show up. And Miss…?”

“Targaryen. Daenerys Targaryen.” Dany answered. Jon was briefly surprised, having forgot how her name wasn’t actually ‘Dany’.

“Okay. Well, Mr Snow. I must admit, I am surprised to see that you have actually come. You don’t usually seem to care about your daughter’s education.”

“Just tell us where to go, Miss Baratheon. I don't wanna deal with this shit right now.” Jon replied, sighing. Clearly bored of trying to defend himself from a bitter woman’s insults.

Miss Baratheon pointed to a corridor, and Jon started to walk in that direction, but Dany placed a hand on arm. “Hang on, Jon.” She turned back around to face Miss Baratheon. “I am sorry, but what right do you have to criticise Jon’s parenting?”

Miss Baratheon attempted to answer her question but Dany interrupted. “That was a rhetorical question. Let me make something clear to you, Jon is an amazing father, to a beautiful, kind little girl who has had an extremely hard time in life. Jon tries his best, as a single parent, he provides Lya with everything she could possibly need. Yet you have the audacity to sit there behind your desk, like it gives you some kind of moral high ground, and insult him. Yes, he may not be a perfect parent, but who is? I am not. You’re definitely not. And I am no psychologist, but I would guess that your criticism of Jon’s parenting stems from your own insecurity as a parent. But hey, that’s just my opinion. Come on, Jon.” Dany finished, before urging Jon to follow her to the previously identified corridor.

As they walked away, Jon took a glimpse over his shoulder, and seeing the expression of hurt, confusion, and devastation on Miss Baratheon’s face was one of the best sights of his life. He smiled at Dany and leaned over to whisper in her ear “Pardon my forwardness, but that was so hot.” She laughed in response.

They reached the end of the corridor and spotted Lya and Rhae seated on some chairs. Lya noticed them and ran over, first hugging Dany before climbing into Jon’s opened arms. While Lya did so, Dany walked over to Rhae, who had remained seated, not as enthusiastic to see them as Lya was. Jon soothed his daughter while she cried in his arms, while Rhae seemed to be ignoring Dany.

“It’s alright, darling. I’m here. You don’t need to cry, Lya.” Jon spoke softly.

The door to the right of the chairs opened and a woman stepped out, Jon was pretty sure that she was the teacher. “Hello.” She said to Dany and Jon, “Do you want to come inside?”

Jon nodded and placed Lya back on the ground. “Just sit, sweetheart. We won’t be long.” Jon grabbed the phone from his pocket and opened a game that he had downloaded for Lya, before passing the phone to her.

He and Dany entered the room and took the seats opposite the teacher. If he remembered correctly, she was called Miss Greyjoy.

Thankfully, Dany started the conversation so he didn't have the chance to get her name wrong. “So, Miss Greyjoy, we are both quite confused as to what has happened.”

The teacher nodded. “It is nothing too serious. Though I do think it would be best if they took the rest of the day off.”

“Why, what happened?” Jon asked, losing patience with how everyone seemed to avoid answering the only question he was interested in.

“Rhae hit another child when the children were playing outside.”

“Why did he do that?”

“He won’t tell us why, so we are just assuming there was no reason.”

“Have you ever thought that he might feel quite scared about what is happening? He is five years old and you have him seated outside the teacher’s office. That happens when you’re in high school, not when you’re five.” Jon replied fiercely. “And what does that have to do with Lya, anyway?” He continued.

“She said that it was her fault.”

Jon stood with a small chuckle and opened the door. “Kids, come in here.” Lya and Rhae entered. Lya’s face red from tears whereas Rhae just looked angry.

“Why did you hit this kid, Rhae?” Dany asked. Rhae simply shook his head, refusing to answer.

Jon and Dany both looked at Lya who sighed. “He was calling me names, so Rhae hit him.”

“It’s not as bad now that there is an actual reason for what you did. But why didn't you just tell the teacher?” Miss Greyjoy asked.

Rhae continued to stare at his shoes while he spoke. “ ‘Cos Lya is like my sister, if someone is being mean to my sister I have to do something.”

Dany looked at Jon and they shared a small smile, quickly hiding it from the teacher. “Well, Rhae. Apologise to the teacher.” Dany ordered.

Rhae looked up. “Sorry Miss Greyjoy.”

The teacher smiled. “Right, that’s that settled, but don't do something like that again Rhae.” She looked between Jon and Dany. “You can take the home for the rest of the day.”

They nodded and thanked the teacher before making their way out to the car park. Jon cast a victorious look at Miss Baratheon on their way through the reception. When they reached the cars, Jon checked his watch. “Are you alright to take Lya now, Dany? I should get back to the gym.”

She smiled at him. “Yeah, that’s fine. Just come and collect her at the normal time.” She replied as Rhae and Lya got into the car.

When they were in the car, Jon laughed and said “Does this count as a second date?”

“Of course it does! Saving the kids from the principal’s office and taking them home from school early, and I thought that you couldn't get any more romantic.” She replied sarcastically.

Jon approached Lya’s window and knocked on it, startling her. He motioned for her to roll down the window. When she did, he placed multiple kisses all over her face, causing her to laugh uncontrollably. “I’ll see you later. I love you.” He said to Lya. ‘See you later, Rhae.” He added. He grabbed the car keys from Dany’s hand and locked it. Dany looked at him confusedly. “Follow me.” Jon ordered.

They walk a few metres until they are behind a wall, safely out of Rhae and Lya’s view. He kisses her on the lips. When he breaks the kiss, she reaches up and kisses him again. “I’m sorry. I know we still haven't figured out what this is between us, but nothing has ever felt as right as kissing you.”

“It’s fine. I liked it.” Dany replied, a smile on her face.

He looked at his watch again. “Shit! I gotta go. I’ll see you later.” He ran to his car, leaving her stood alone, pondering why she felt all the things that she felt when their lips touched.

“I’ll see you later.”

Chapter Text

For some reason, despite the amount that he had spoken with her, he still felt somewhat nervous as the he initiated the call. His nerves did not get much chance to settle before Dany answered the call.

“Hiya, Jon. What’s up?” She spoke. He found himself immediately smiling when he heard her voice.

“Hey, Dany. Erm…I was just wondering if you could look after Lya a little bit longer today, just an hour more than likely.”

She gasped. “The audacity Mr Snow! Not only do you not pay me but now I have to work overtime as well!” She said exaggeratedly.

Jon chuckled. “Hey, don't get it twisted. I offered you money and you refused it. I took you on a date instead.”

“Hmm…you did. I would say that I made the right choice by refusing your payment in that case, then.”

He laughed fully now. “That is without doubt a debatable comment.”

Dany audibly shrugged. “Anyway, how come you’re gonna be late?”

“I would tell you, but I would have to kill you.” Jon replied.

“Okay, let me make this easy for you. How about you tell me, or I won’t go on another date with you. Ever.” She said jokingly.

Jon sighed. “That is so unfair, this is confidential information, Lya can’t know.”

“She won’t. Trust me.”

“Fine. I’m getting her a puppy for her birthday. I just finished at the gym, and now I’m going to collect it. That is why I will be late.”

“Huh, fancy that. That’s actually a pretty good excuse. Well done.” Dany answered.

He snorted. “Thank you, Miss Targaryen. I trust that you can keep that secret until tomorrow…?”

“I will. In all seriousness, Jon, I think that is an amazing present. Lya will love it.”

“Yeah, I know that she loves them. I also think that sometimes she just feels lonely. I mean most of the time it is just me and her in the house together. She deserves better than an empty house.”

“Oh stop! You're gonna make me cry! Just so you know, I am fine with caring for the dog, if I must.”

“You’re amazing, Dany.”

“I think the same of you, Jon. I will see you later.”

“Alright, bye.” Jon ended the call and searched his contacts for a different number. He needed to speak with his uncle Ned.

“Jon, how are you?” His uncle answered.

“Hey, Uncle Ned. I’m doing good. You?”

“Aye, I’m not bad. What’s up?”

“Do you know that guy you told me about, the one you got the dogs from?”

“Yeah, I know him well.”

“I just bought one from him, a puppy.”

Ned chuckled. “You better have thought this through, Jon. Taking care of a dog is a huge responsibility.”

“Don’t worry, I have. It wasn't an impulsive decision. I’ve been thinking about getting one for months.”

“I’m assuming that you bought it for Lya…” His uncle commented.

“Yeah. It is an albino…beautiful animal. She’s been pestering me for a dog since she was old enough to want anything.”

“Lya will love it. She is obsessed with the dogs when she comes over. How are you going to look after it, though. With you going to the gym and everything.”

“I cut down on the gym, it was taking over my life. I can’t have it getting in between Lya and I. I only go three days a week, now. Besides, the dog is well trained, it can cope with being alone some days.”

“Okay, just as long as you know what you're getting yourself in to.”

“I do. It’s going to cost a lot of time, effort and money on my part, but the smile on my little girl’s face when she sees him will make all the sacrifice worth it.”

“It will be.” Ned agreed. “Are you going to leave it at my house for the night, so it’s a surprise for her tomorrow?”

“That’s a good idea. Do you mind?” Jon asked. He had initially planned to give her the dog tonight as an early present.

“No, I don’t mind, lad. There is already several dogs running around here. One more won’t make too much difference.”

“Alright, I’m on my way. Actually Uncle Ned, you know how…there’s kinda something going on between Dany and I…do you mind if she and her son come to Lya’s birthday party…I mean if she wants to?”

“Of course she can come, Jon. I need to meet the woman who’s managed to put a smile on your face, because seven hells, no one else has managed.” His uncle said with a laugh.

“You just couldn't wait to see me in person to take the piss out of me, could you?” Jon replied, chuckling in a similar fashion to Ned.

“That would've been impossible. I’ll see you soon.”

“Yeah, bye.”

**********

Jon had just dropped the dog off at his Uncle’s house, and found himself smiling widely as he drove to pick up Lya from Dany’s house. The puppy, whose name Jon had learned to be ‘Ghost’, was absolutely wonderful. He was gentle, smart and fiercely loyal already despite only having known Jon for a few hours. Also, the previous owner had chosen a name for the dog marvellously, Jon could not imagine a more perfect name for a dog with the aesthetic that Ghost had, the white fur, the red eyes, it was perfect. Lya would absolutely adore him.

Despite his smile, he did feel rather nervous at the prospect of inviting Dany to Lya’s birthday. To Lya and Rhae, it would seem harmless, but to Jon and Dany, it was a huge step in their relationship, or whatever you would describe what was going on between them as. Their situation was a strange one, whenever they interacted, it seemed like they were kind of a couple, but also just friends. They needed to discuss it between them, and decide how to move forward. Jon knew one thing for sure, that he liked her…he really liked her, and if he hadn't been misreading her, the feeling was mutual.

The children made the situation much more complicated than it would have been if it was just him and Dany. It required far more trust to allow someone into one’s life when there are children involved. They didn't only have to think about their own happiness and wellbeing, but also Lya and Rhae’s. Jon also assumed that Dany had a difficult time trusting men anyway due to her experience with Rhae’s father. Regardless of the difficulties, Jon was determined to build something with Dany, and was excited at the possibility of a future with her.

He arrived at her house, a house at which he spent a large portion of his time picking up Lya and then speaking with Dany afterwards. Shortly after he knocked on the door, Dany answered and let him inside, with that ever present smile plastered on her face and effortless beauty which haunted his dreams. In the time that Dany had taken care of Lya, they had developed an efficient routine in which Jon made the tea or coffee while Dany went to find the kids. It was a small thing, but it showed that they felt comfortable with each other.

They exchanged a smile as Dany reentered the kitchen. Jon placed the two steaming mugs of tea on the island in the middle of the room and took a seat. Dany sighed approaching him.

Jon sighed in response. “What have they done now?” He asked with a chuckle.

She broke into a grin at his question. “I’ll give it to them, they find some interesting ways to make a mess.”

“Yeah, sorry about that. Lya definitely gets that from me.” He replied, waving his hand in admittance.

Dany laughed as she took the seat opposite. “I doubt she got this from you. She somehow managed to get into my makeup drawer and completely cover her face with it.”

He grinned. “Fucking hell. I’m sorry. But at least she didn't get that from me, I don’t have a makeup drawer, so I am not responsible.” Jon explained jokingly.

She had just taken a sip of her tea and nearly spat it out at his words. Jon laughed simultaneously, her laugh was infectious. It was strange, he never intended to be funny around her, but she seemed to laugh all the time. Perhaps they both had weird senses of humour.

“There is no way that you find me that funny.” Jon commented.

“Honestly, I do. We must have the same quirky humour.”

“By that you mean that we both laugh at dumb, unfunny shit.”

She nodded. Dany allowed herself a moment to calm down before speaking again. “Anyway, I can tell it was her first experience with makeup, she had lipstick on her eyelids.”

It was Jon’s turn to laugh. “Ah, she is displaying the classic lack of common sense that is a feature of my family.”

“I’ll show her how to use it sometime, when she is a bit older.” Dany said, seconds later she began to blush profusely and hid her face behind her cup. Jon knew why, she had just unintentionally implied that she would still be around when Lya was older, and the thought made him so happy.

He grabbed her hand so she looked at him. He didn't need to say anything, his facial expression explained better than he could have done with words, she seemed to find comfort in it. The look on his face offered her assurance, that was she was feeling for him, was reciprocated.

She cleared her throat and changed the topic. “Can I see a picture?”

“Of what?” Jon questioned.

She smiled sarcastically at him. “What was it you said earlier, on the phone? Oh yeah, you implied that if I mentioned this confidential information, you would kill me. I can’t say it.”

Jon smiled. “Ahhhhh, I see.” He pulled out his phone from the pocket of his jeans. “This is him, Ghost.” He said, leaning towards her to show her the image on his phone screen.

Dany took the phone from his hands to get a closer look. “Awwwwwww, what a cutie. Just like his owner.” She said and passed the phone back to him.

“Thanks.”

Dany punched his chest jokingly. “I meant Lya, not you.”

Jon took a sip of his tea. “That is truly heartbreaking. You know where Lya gets her cuteness from, right.”

Dany stammered uncomfortably. It was a difficult topic to discuss, considering what he said happened to Lya’s mother. Jon sensed her anxiety and laughed softly. “She got it from her mother, not me.”

She joined him in his laughter, thankful that he had eased the tension that had arisen in the conversation.

“Actually Dany, there is something that I wanted to ask you.”

She smiled. “Go ahead.”

“Do you and Rhae want to come to Lya’s party tomorrow, at my Uncle’s house?”

“I would love to, and so would Rhae. Though I am nervous about meeting lots of new people, your family.” Dany admitted.

“Don’t be, they’ll love you. Think about it, it may actually be a positive that it is a party because that means everyone won’t solely be focused on you.”

“Are you sure it’s okay if I come? It seems a bit intrusive, to go to a family party.” Dany asked.

Jon smiled reassuringly, sensing her insecurity. “It is not intrusive, you are as big a part of Lya’s life as anyone, to Lya…and to me…you kinda already are family.” Jon blushed nervously as he finished speaking.

She smiled warmly. She tentatively reached for his hand across the table, and held it in her’s. “It is the same for me. The two of you, you fill the long existing gaps in my life.”

Their hands separated and Jon chuckled to himself. “Imagine how creepy what I just said would have been if you didn't feel the same.” She laughed in response. Lya entered the kitchen, her hair and face wet from her attempts to remove the makeup.

Jon smiled at his daughter. “Hey, you.”

“Hi, Daddy.” She said as she was lifted into her father’s lap.

“What do you say to Dany?” Jon asked, drying his daughter's face with the sleeve of his hoodie.

“I’m sorry, Dany. I didn't know what it was.” Lya spoke timidly.

“It’s fine, honey. Just ask me next time, please.” Dany replied softly. Jon swore that this woman was the sweetest person he had ever laid eyes on, and the most beautiful.

“Right, we’d better be off. Birthday girl needs some sleep, doesn't she?” He asked rhetorically, nuzzling Lya’s face with his nose. He carried his daughter in his left arm while his right hand fished for the car keys in his pocket.

Dany opened the door for him, he thanked her with a smile. “So, I’ll pick you up tomorrow, about 12…?” Jon said, speaking to her from the doorstep.

“Sounds great. Bye!”

“See you later, Dany.” He replied.

She closed the door and leant against it, sighing heavily as she did so. She had never experienced anything like what was going on between her and Jon. How had she gone from his babysitter to his unofficial girlfriend in only several weeks? It was going way too fast, but she had no intention of stopping it.

**********

Jon was seated on the couch in the living room of his house while he observed Lya as she opened the many presents which he had bought for her. His heart warmed each time she squealed in that exaggerated excitement that all children did. He had spent lots of money, and exerted lots of effort in order to find Lya’s birthday gifts. Every time that he and Lya went grocery shopping, she would see at least one toy that she wanted, and he had been writing them down for months. That smile on her face right now made the meticulous planning and frustrating searches all worth it.

Like all children her age, Lya had a very short attention span which was why he wanted her to have more than toys for her fifth birthday. He knew that in a matter of days, she would have completely forgotten about the generic toys which he had purchased for her, but there was no chance that she would forget Ghost.

Lya seemed to be very excited about the party later that day. She loved the environment of his Uncle’s house. It was loud, fun and filled with people whom she loved, a stark contrast to home. He cooked her the breakfast of her choice, which proved to be pancakes and helped her to get ready. Jon’s mother had bought Lya a dress specifically for her party, which his daughter absolutely adored.
The two of them left the house and Jon locked the door. Once he had done so, he glanced at his watch to check the time. He had told Dany that he would pick her up at 12 so they were surprisingly on time. “Oh my gosh, Lya!” Jon exclaimed.

“What, Daddy?” She asked as she perched on his back. He had promised her as many piggy back rides as she wanted on her birthday, an offer which she was taking full advantage of.

“It’s only 11:45.” He answered as he placed her in the backseat of the car and put on her seatbelt. “This is the first time that we’ve ever been early…for anything.” He said, smiling. Lya giggled as Jon entered the driver’s seat.

The journey to Dany’s house was a rough one. Lya had insisted that he put some garbage pop music on the radio as opposed to his usual musical preference. His little girl then also decided to sing along. For such a tiny girl, she could sure make a lot of noise. He would usually tell her to sing a bit more quietly, but he would have been lying to himself if he said that he wasn't enjoying seeing the happiness radiating from Lya as she sang her heart out. There was nothing he would rather see in the rear view mirror, and of course it was her birthday, she could do whatever she wanted.

Jon thought that his day couldn't get better, seeing Lya happy was the most important thing in his life, but when he saw Dany as she and Rhae approached the car, he realised that he was most definitely wrong. The weather was beautiful, there was not a cloud in the sky, only a bright, glaring sun. Dany was wearing a summer dress, and the sight caused him to swallow the invisible lump in his throat. Her clothing was completely different to what she usually wore which was a combination of sweaters and jeans, not that she wasn't beautiful regardless of what she wore, but today…she was absolutely stunning, he would never get used to it.

Firstly, she helped Rhae to get into his seat in the back of the car. He was becoming quite dismissive of Dany, displaying that typical young lad defiance, but he still regretfully accepted her help as he was not quite big enough to do it alone. She walked around to the other side of the car to see Lya. She opened the door and smiled brightly at his daughter. Dany planted a loud, exaggerated kiss on Lya’s temple. “Hiya, birthday girl!” She exclaimed as she did so.

After what felt like a lifetime, she entered the passenger seat next to Jon and smiled at him. Jon smiled in return. “How are you doing?” He asked, rather distracted by the intoxicating smell of her now familiar perfume.

“Fine! You?” She smiled more widely as she replied.

“Never better.” He answered simply.

While Lya and Rhae conversed in the back, Dany leaned over to Jon and whispered in his ear. “You look quite dashing today, Jon Snow, if I may say.”

Jon couldn't help the blush that developed on his face. He would never be able to comprehend how this woman found him to be so attractive. “You…you, words can’t describe.” Jon whispered in reply. He smiled and leaned over again. “Especially my words cos I’m a fuckin’ idiot.”

Dany laughed out loud. “No you are not!” she exclaimed, now talking at a normal volume as their conversation was now appropriate for the children to hear. Jon couldn't wait until they didn't have to hide their feelings from the kids, but it just wasn't the right time to tell them yet, it would be quite difficult and confusing for them to understand.

Jon smiled once more and started the engine. It was strange to him, he had never been overly fond of nor interested in smiling in the past. On several occasions, when he was a child, his mother had even had to bribe him in order for him to smile in family photos. Now, when he was around Dany, he found himself almost constantly and effortlessly smiling, and he loved it.

When they arrived at the Stark house, it seemed that the party was already in full swing, even without Lya. His family took any chance that they could to drink copious amounts of alcohol. Jon and Dany helped the kids to get out of the car. Lya and Rhae ran ahead to the house without second thought, leaving the two of them temporarily alone.

Jon glanced over and saw that she gulped nervously. “Hey, don’t be nervous, Dany.” He said reassuringly.

“I can’t help it.”

He walked around the car to her and stroked her rosy cheek. She naturally leaned into his touch. “You used to be a model, with hundreds of people looking at you, surely that’s worse than a few members of my family…?”

She smiled, grateful for his attempts to comfort her. “It’s different though.”

“How so?”

“I didn't care what those people thought of me, when I was modelling. But I do care what your family think of me.”

“They will love you. It’s impossible not to, sometimes when I see you and how you act around everybody, and I think that you must be the most amazing woman on the planet.” Jon confessed. She looked at him to determine whether or not he was being serious, which he was.

She smiled and reached up to to stroke the rough hairs of his beard. “Let’s go. If I'm not ready by now, I never will be.”

Chapter Text

They entered the house, immediately greeted with the sound of party music and somewhat drunken laughter. The relaxed environment instantly made Dany feel more comfortable. The majority of the noise seemed to be coming from the garden, it was hardly a surprise, why stay inside when the weather was so lovely? Especially since the weather was rarely so pleasant in the North.

To their right, the sound of footsteps moving down the grand staircase of the Stark house causes them to look in its direction. When a face appeared at the bottom of the stairs, Dany did not immediately recognise the girl, it was hardly a surprise, she had only met Sansa. Jon’s face broke into a smile that she had so rarely seen, one that reached his eyes. He approached her and grasped her into a fierce hug.

He kissed the top of her head before pulling back to look at her. “What are you doing home from college?”

The girl smiled. “What? You think I would miss Lya’s birthday?” She asked rhetorically.

“I guess not. I missed you, Arya.” Jon turned to face Dany, who had been smiling watching Jon and the girl who she had figured out was his sister interact. “This is Dany, my…my girlfriend.” Jon explained tentatively.

Arya chuckled. “Bloody hell, Jon. How have you convinced a woman like that to date you?” She approached Dany. “Wink if you're here against your will.” Arya said jokingly.

Dany laughed and shook Arya’s offered hand. “I assure you, I am here by choice but thank you for your concern.” Dany said with a smile.

“Just had to make sure.” Arya replied, smiling mischievously at her brother. Arya walked towards the garden leaving the two of them alone once more.

They smiled at each other. “I promise you that she is the weirdest one.”

Dany chuckled. “I already love her. She knows exactly how to annoy you.”

“Damn right she does. Come on.”

Jon led her through the large kitchen and into the garden. He had warned his family prior to not swarm Dany, he had explained that she was nervous about meeting them. When they entered the garden, they found that his family were too entranced in the playing of Lya, Rhae and Rickon to pay them any attention.

In the end, Jon had had to cough awkwardly to notify them of their arrival. Forgetful of Jon’s request for them to not be completely fixated on Dany, everybody in the garden turned to face them, with the exception of Arya and the kids.

Jon chuckled as he looked to Dany nervously, but she continued to offer her unique, beautiful smile that he had grown so accustomed to, seemingly unfazed by the unsubtle stares. “Guys, I feel like we’re being interrogated. Maybe you could introduce yourselves one at a time…?” Jon said, hoping his family would take the hint.

Suddenly, everyone remembered Jon’s warning as they all turned away with haste. Sansa took off her sunglasses and stood to greet them. She hugged Jon briefly before turning to Dany. “Really? That’s all the attention I get, huh?” Jon said, faking offence.

Sansa shrugged. “Try being more interesting and maybe I’ll pay more attention to you.”

Dany chuckled as she hugged Sansa. “It’s lovely to see you again, Dany.”

“It’s great to see you too, Sansa.” Dany replied, smiling. She had only met Sansa twice, but she felt that they would get on very well with time, if they had the chance.

“Do you two want a drink?” Sansa asked.

“I’d love a beer, Sansa. Dany?”

“Yeah, I’d love one too.”

“Coming right up.” Sansa said as she jogged inside and to the kitchen presumably.

Dany’s eyes followed Sansa inside the house. When she turned, the man she assumed was Jon’s uncle, based on what he had told her of him. It was exactly as Jon had explained, that solely based on appearance, his uncle could be perceived as very intimidating, but when he spoke, he was as kind a man as they come.

“Alright, Jon?”

Jon smiled at the man, who was the closest he had experienced to a father in his life. “Aye, I’m good. You?”

“Can’t complain, especially not on my niece’s birthday.”

“Uncle Ned, this is Dany.” Ned smiled widely at Dany.

“It’s lovely to meet you finally, Dany.”

Dany found herself smiling back at the man. “It’s great to meet you too, Mr Stark.”

“Ah we won’t have any of that. Call me Ned.”

Dany nodded happily. “I hope you don't mind me and my son being here, being a family occasion and all.”

“Of course we don’t, Dany. You seem to make my nephew very happy and smile, which we both know is no easy task.” He joked, causing the two of them to laugh, and Jon to roll his eyes at the overused joke. “And that makes me happy.”

Dany started to feel welcome almost immediately amongst his family. They were all like him, decent, genuine people, and they were hard to find.

Jon urged Dany to take a seat with a little touch to her shoulder, as Ned did the same. “Where’s Aunt Cat?” Jon inquired.

“Unfortunately, we had a bit of an incident last night.” He chuckled at the worried expression on Jon’s face. “It was nothing serious.” He looked around the garden, and seeing that the kids were a good distance away, he leaned forward in his chair, towards Jon and Dany.

“It had to do with Lya’s birthday cake.” He continued.

Jon sighed. “What happened?”

“We left the dogs in the kitchen alone, just for a few minutes. And when we came back, they had somehow managed to knock the box down from the table, and had started eating it.”
The three of them burst out in laughter. “I swear, that’s why your Aunt Cat is at the bakery right now, to get an emergency replacement.”

“Only in this house does that happen.” Jon said, a smile emerging.

“But wait, there’s more.” Ned continued. “I asked Arya to conduct a thorough investigation, and she discovered that Ghost was very much involved, at least in the eating of the cake, judging by the crumbs in his fur.”

Dany sighed. “This is the puppy I offered to look after.”

Jon laughed. “It is, and you can’t take that offer back.”

“Right, I am going to see if I can help in the kitchen, I’ll see you two later.” Ned excused himself, walking inside.

Jon pulled her into his side, with one arm around the shoulder which her dress left exposed. “See, I told you they would love you.” He said, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

“Jon, I’ve only met three of them.”

“Then there are only three more, Aunt Cat and my cousins. Aunt Cat loves everyone, and Bran and Rickon, who were here a minute ago, aren't particularly hard to impress. And Robb, but he had to work today.”

“I must admit, they've made me feel quite welcome. More so than I expected to be honest.”

“I know we haven't known each other long, Dany, but I feel so happy when I’m with you, everyone has noticed, I’m starting to realise myself. I can’t really imagine how I’d feel without you. Even after the hardest day, when I come to pick up Lya, and see that smile of yours when you open the door, I forget about all the shit that’s happened. You and Lya are the only ones who can do that for me, Dany.” He chuckles to himself. “I don't really know where all that came from, I guess I've just really been wanting to say it.”

“Would it be wrong to say that every time I see you with Rhaego, being so kind to him, I start to picture things in my mind that…that I shouldn't be picturing after knowing you for such a short time.” Dany admitted, avoiding eye contact with him as she did so.

“No Dany it wouldn't be wrong, cause if I’m honest, I sometimes catch myself doing the same thing. I don’t really know what Lya’s mother was like with her, but I can tell how you make her feel, just by looking at her. You give her something that it is impossible for me to give, and for that, no matter where this leads, I am so grateful to you, Dany.”

“What has it been, a few months? I try to tell myself that it’s just lust, it’s just physical attraction, but every time I see you it has gotten harder and harder to do that.” Dany spoke quietly, almost timid and afraid of what he would think of her. “It is something deeper and more meaningful between us.”

Jon nodded. “I know exactly what you mean. Let’s just take things as they come, and hope they continue to be this amazing.” He said, lifting her chin to place a soft kiss on her lips.

“Here are your beers, lovebirds!” Sansa announced, loudly placing two bottles on the table in front of them.

Jon and Dany instinctively moved apart, blushing from Sansa’s description of them. “Took you a while, Sansa.” He replied, chuckling at his cousin.

“Yeah sorry about that, you looked like you were having a pretty intense conversation, didn't want to interrupt.” She said, smirking at the two of them. “Anyway, you need to come inside, Lya is going to open up her presents.”

They stood and followed Sansa into the house and into the living room area, where all of Lya’s presents were spread across the floor. The family sat and watched as she excitedly opened each and every one, making sure to thank her relatives for the gifts each time. Jon watched on with a wide smile the entire time, nothing making him happier than seeing his daughter enjoying herself.

The smile on her face was magnified when she opened the gift from Dany. She had decided to have a picture framed, a picture of Lya and Jon, that Jon had shown her on his phone. It was when the two of them were at the beach, Lya sat on his lap, the both of them smiling widely at the camera. Jon leaned towards her when he saw it. “You’re amazing” he whispered.

Dany had no idea how Lya would react to the gift, at her age, she was more interested in toys and games, but Dany had wanted her gift to mean something, to represent how Lya meant so much to her. What she had not expected was the little girl to cry. Dany panicked when she saw tears beginning to roll down Lya’s cheek, had she upset her?

Jon moved off the couch and towards the girl. He pulled her into a hug, rubbing circles on her back comfortingly. “What’s all this now?” He asked her, Lya offered no reply. “Lya, what’s wrong, Princess? Is Daddy that ugly?” He joked, wanting nothing more than to hear his daughter’s precious laugh.

“No.” Lya answered straightforwardly.

“Lya, come here sweetheart.” Dany said, hoping she could find an answer. “Shall we go outside, honey, get some fresh air?” Ned nodded, agreeing.

Jon picked her up and carried her outside, Dany followed behind. They took the same seat they had previously, with Lya settled on Jon’s lap. “Talk to me, darlin’, what’s wrong?”

“Do you not like it, Lya?” Dany asked.

The girl nodded. “I do. It makes me happy and sad.” She mumbled, sniffling.

“Why is that, my sweet?”

“I’m happy because the picture is nice. It helps me remember how happy I was that day.”

“And why are you sad?”

“Because I never see Daddy smile like that anymore, and that makes me feel sad.”

Dany looked to Jon, not knowing what to say, how to comfort her. Luckily, Jon stepped in. “I’m so sorry, princess. Daddy didn't know that you felt like that, darlin’.” Dany could tell his daughters’ words had affected him, his voice breaking as he spoke. “You’re right, Lya. I don’t smile enough. Especially when I have every reason to do so, because I’ve got you. I’ll tell ya what, darlin’, how’s about me and you go on holiday, next weekend, to that same beach, huh?”

Lya finally smiled. “Can Dany and Rhae come with us?”

“Of course, princess. If they want to?” Jon accepted and looked to Dany, who smiled and nodded her consent.

“See! They will come! Have we got a deal, Lya?” Jon said excitedly, desperately trying to cheer her up.

His daughter nodded. That smile he had been waiting to see finally displayed on her face. She carefully moved from Jon’s lap into Dany’s, tucking her head into Dany’s shoulder. She kissed the little girl’s head, relieved to see her smiling once more. “You had me worried, sweetheart. Go inside and see everyone, they’ll be worried about you.”

The two of them found themselves alone once again. She moved closer to him, as he rested his head in his hands. “Are you alright, Jon?”

“I’m fine.” He mumbled. “That was just hard. Hard to hear from her.”

Dany sighed, kissing his shoulder. “That was my fault. I’m sorry. I should have just given her some bullshit toy instead.”

“It’s not your fault. Anyway, I’m glad she said it. I needed to hear it, from her. I’ve already heard it from a lot of other people, but hearing that from her is different.”

“You’re a good father, Jon, everyone knows that, Lya does too. She just wishes you were around more, that’s all.” Dany argued, hating how poorly she knew he thought of himself.

Jon nodded, his head finally raised from his hands. “As poorly as her mother behaved towards me, at least she always put Lya first. I can’t say that for myself.”

“You do put her first, Jon. Sometimes, you just get distracted by fighting. You want to be the best so bad so you can provide for her in the future that you forget that you need to be there for her now. It’s not all about the money, she’s a poor little girl who lost her mother and she needs attention. She loves her family, and me, and she likes being with them but it’s not the same as being with you, as being with her dad.”

“She broke my heart, she cried because of me. I never want to see that again.”

“You don’t have to, you know what you have to do.”

“Aye. I’ll change things.” A brief silence passed between them until Jon chuckled. “You’re so much more than a babysitter, Dany. This is not what you signed up for when you took that job.”

She smiled and laid her head on his shoulder, her platinum hair spilling over his chest. “You’re right, I didn’t. But I wouldn't have it any other way. With you, and with Lya, it just feels right.”

“There’s about to be one more, when I give Lya this puppy. Are you ready for that?”

She hummed, feeling peaceful in his embrace. “I don’t have a choice now, do I?”

“I suppose you’re right. Just think of it as another addition to this strange little family of ours. Because that’s what it feels like to me, family.”

“Then I suppose were taking a family vacation to the beach next weekend, then?”

“Aye. Just me treating my two favourite girls, and my favourite lad to a nice trip.”

Her heart swelled hearing his words. “Shall we go and meet the new addition, then?”

“Aye, let’s go.” He stood and offered his hand, pulling Dany to her feet when she took it. They walked hand in hand inside to the house, confident they were out of the intrigued eyes of the kids.

They reentered the living room in which everyone was still seated, Lya happily sitting in her Grandma’s lap. Jon smiled when he saw his mother, who had told she would be late due to work. “Mom, how are you?”

“I’m doing great, my darlin’. Happy to see you all, especially the birthday girl.” She tickled Lya’s sides, eliciting sweet giggles from her. “It’s lovely to see you again as well, Dany.” Lyanna added, smiling at the woman beside Jon. “You too.” Dany replied, reciprocating the smile, as she took a seat next to Rhae.

“Lya, I’ve got one more gift for you, princess.” Jon offered enthusiastically. “Close your eyes, darlin’, while I go and fetch it.”

Lya did as she was told, using her small hands to cover her eyes. Jon carefully picked up Ghost from his temporary hiding spot, and brought him back to the living room. He set the puppy down on the ground and urged him towards Lya, who was seated on the living room floor. The dog walked towards his daughter and immediately peppered kisses onto his daughter’s face.

The feeling startled her, and she opened her eyes to see the tiny little puppy who was responsible. Jon swore he had never seen her smile so freely. She looked down at Ghost and then up to him, and everyone in the room, questioning them.

Jon smiled and nodded. “Aye, he’s yours. His name is Ghost.”

She stood and ran into her father’s arms, who swiftly picked her up, happily spinning her around. “Do you like him, Lya?”

“I love him. Thank you, Daddy. I love you, too.”

“I love you too, darlin’.” He put her down on the floor and kissed the top of her head. “Go on, Ghost wants some attention too.” Jon and Dany watched on as the kids played with Ghost. His Aunt Cat returned with the cake, and quickly became another name on the list of names Dany had charmed immediately.

No day was ever perfect, but with Dany’s head rested on his shoulder, watching his little girl be as happy as ever, surrounded by family, Jon knew this might be the closest he ever gets.

Chapter Text

“This place is beautiful.” Dany commented, completely awestruck at the beach house they would be staying in for the weekend. It was spacious, cosy house located right beside the beach.

Jon smiled at her as he unpacked some of Lya’s clothes. “It’s been in my family for years, whenever any of us needs a break, we can come here.”

She smiled as she watched the kids through the window, chasing each other without a care in the world, as children should. “You must be exhausted, that was a long drive.”

“I can sleep whenever I want, but I only have a weekend at the beach. I want to make the most of it.” Jon replied.

“Rhae and Lya are having the time of their lives.”

Jon moved behind her in order to see out of the window. “Aye, it looks like it. Let’s join them?”

Dany nodded, following him through the doors and into the garden. “What are you two up to?” Jon asked, smirking at them. “Enjoying the sun?”

Both children nodded their heads aggressively. Lya approached Jon. “Daddy, can we go in the pool?”

“Of course, darlin’. Only in this part, remember.” Jon said, pointing to the right side of the pool which was shallow enough for children.

“I know. I’m not big enough yet!” She shouted, imitating what he had told her many times. Dany chuckled, eyeing the two of them.

Jon stepped back in mock offence. “How rude of you, young lady!” He joked. Jon suddenly picked her up and carried her into the deep end on his shoulders. In reality the water was only just reaching his waist, but still way too deep for Lya. She laughed and squirmed as he wandered the water.

“Let me go!” She demanded, laughing.

“Only if you say sorry for being mean to Daddy.” Jon replied.

“I’m soooooorrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy!” Lya screamed.

Jon laughed. “There we go.” He walked her back into the shallow water, before leaving her in the pool with Rhae.

He took a seat next to Dany. “Having fun?” He asked.

She smiled. “I am. This sun will do wonders for my complexion. All that time in the North hasn't been kind to me.”

He laughed. “Hey, it could be worse. You could have a skin tone like mine. I’ve actually been accused of being a vampire by Arya.”

She eyed him suspiciously before bursting into a fit of uncontrollable giggles. “There is no way that is true.”

“You’ve met her, Dany. You know that it’s true.” He replied, maintaining a straight face.

Dany smiled and hummed in agreement. She sighed happily, relaxing into the sun lounger. “This is wonderful.”

Jon laid back into his own sun lounger. “Aye, it is. I love Winterfell, but damn is it nice to go somewhere warm every now and then.” He replied.

She could see how exhausted he was. The moment he laid back he fell asleep. She nudged him. “Jon, you’re exhausted. Go and sleep a while.”

He startled awake and nodded in agreement. “You’ll be fine with them?” He asked, nodding his head towards Lya and Rhae.

“Of course. We’ll figure out something for dinner while you rest.” Dany assured him.

He stood. “Thanks, Dany. I’ll see you later.” He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and walked inside. She settled back into her seat.

Dany spent most of her first day outside, relaxing and playing with the kids. The three of them had then driven to the local store, and picked up something for dinner while Jon had been catching up on some much needed sleep.

“That looks delicious! Good job guys!” Dany exclaimed, having finally completed their homemade pizza.“Go and wake your Daddy up, Lya.” It had been a messy endeavour, evidenced by the flour and tomato sauce smeared all over the kitchen. Messy, yet so fun. She got to work tidying up while Lya fetched Jon.

Dany smiled as she saw Jon being dragged into the kitchen by Lya. “How are you feeling?” She asked.

He chuckled. “Tired.”

“We made pizza if you want some.” Dany replied.

“We helped, Daddy.” Lya added. “Dany took us to the store, and then we made it ourselves.” She explained enthusiastically.

He smiled and bent down to kiss his daughter’s head. “Well, if you made it darlin’, I want some.”

They all took a seat at the table as Dany cut up the pizza. She passed a slice to Rhae, then Lya and finally Jon. Lya eyed Jon nervously as he took a bite. He smiled as he chewed. “You two should be chefs!” He said, looking at the kids. “It tastes amazing!”

Dany grinned. Even if the pizza was disgusting he would have said the same thing, obviously it helped that the pizza was in fact delicious. “We should cook dinner more often.” Dany commented. “If you guys want to?” Both children nodded enthusiastically.

After the pizza had been consumed, the four of them settled on the couch to watch a movie. It was past the kids’ usual bedtime, but it was a special occasion. Before long however, less than thirty minutes into the movie the day of running and swimming caught up with them, and they were both sound asleep.

Jon and Dany quietly and carefully carried Lya and Rhae into the room and settled them into the beds, before tiptoeing out of the room. Dany loved them dearly, but it was nice to get some peace and quiet every once in a while. Jon sighed as he fell on to the couch while Dany poured two glasses of wine that she had purchased earlier.

“Thanks.” He said with a smile as she passed one to Jon.

He reached and grabbed her free hand, intertwining his fingers with hers. Jon gently pulled her down to sit on his lap, wrapping an arm around her waist. She leant into his body, feeling the effects of a long day herself. “I’m surprised you didn't argue against drinking that wine.” She teased.

He snickered. “I need it. Besides, I meant what I said to Lya, I’m not gonna let fighting control every aspect of my life anymore. I have things that are more important.”

“Do I belong to that category?” She asked, teasing more than anything.

He kissed her shoulder. “You know you do.” She sighed at the sensation. “Dany, I’ve been wanting to ask you something.”

She turned in his lap to face him, reaching to place her glass on the coffee table. “Is it something I’ll like?”

“To be honest, I have no fuckin’ idea.” He joked. “But I want to ask you anyway.”

“Go ahead, Jon.” She couldn't help but feel nervous.

“I know it’s really fast, but I want us to live together. Us. Me, you, Rhae, Lya. I want us to be a family.” His voice weakened towards the end of the question.

“Are you sure, Jon? That’s a massive commitment.” She replied. Dany wasn't sure what she was expecting him to ask her, but it definitely wasn't this.

He nodded, rubbing circles with his thumb over the back of her hand. “I know, Dany. But when it’s the four of us, it feels like home. I don't want to spend another day in an empty house with just me and Lya, when we could be together.”

“I feel the same way.” She stated simply, offering him a smile.

“But..?”

She shook her head. “There is no but. If you're sure about this, then so am I.”

His eyes lightened. “Really?”

She nodded as she laughed. “Really.” She confirmed.

His eyes darkened as he pulled her head down to meet his lips. He flipped them, and rested his hands on the side of her head, leaning down to nip at her neck. She found herself lost in his touch, almost lost enough to not hear the small voice calling out. Almost.

“Daddy?!”

Chapter Text

Jon almost jumped from the couch and to his feet. He looked to Dany, panicking, and then to Lya. “What’s wrong, darlin’? Why aren't you in bed?” He asked as Dany observed the situation awkwardly. The kids were bound to find out about the nature of their relationship sooner or later, but this was not they way they had intended it to happen.

Lya rubbed her tired eyes. “I got thirsty.” She replied.

“Let’s get you some water then, sweetheart.” Jon took her hand and led her into the kitchen. He grabbed a glass and filled it.

She took a sip of water. “We’re you two kissing?” She asked innocently, a mischievous smirk on her face.

Jon chuckled nervously and looked to Dany and she could only shrug in response. He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand and guided Lya to take a seat on the couch. “Yes, we were.” Jon answered honestly.

Lya took a moment to ponder this new information. “Why? Is Dany your girlfriend?” She questioned, more like interrogated.

Jon sighed and looked to Dany once more. “I guess she is.”

Lya moved her gaze to Dany. “And is Daddy your boyfriend?”

Dany could only chuckle. “He is, Lya. Does that bother you?” She asked.

She shook her head defiantly. “No, I don't mind. I need to tell Rhae!” She added enthusiastically.

Jon smiled at both of them. “Hey, don’t go and wake him up, Lya.” He warned. “It can wait until morning.”

“I won’t.” She replied. The look on her face leading him to believe otherwise.

“Lya. Promise me. Rhae needs to sleep. And so do you.”

“I promise.”

Jon smiled and pulled Lya to him. He kissed her cheek. “Thank you, darlin’. It’s bed time now. Say goodnight to Dany.”

Lya walked to Dany and hugged her. “Night, Dany.”

“Night, honey. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Lya took one last sip of water before trotting back to bed. When she was gone, Jon sighed and laid back into the couch. He snickered. “I swear, that girl will be the death of me.” Jon joked.

Dany reached and ran her hand through his hair. “The death of us.” She corrected.

He smiled at her, his eyes closed, clearly comforted by her touch. “Aye, the death of us.”

Dany smiled. “You know we’re gonna have to tell them tomorrow, about us moving in together.”

“I know. That is one conversation I’m not looking forward to.” He replied, laughing at the thought.

“I think they might be happy about it. They love each other. I know Rhae loves you, and I like to think that Lya loves me.” She commented.

“I hope so. It is awfully quick. Are you sure we’re not rushing into this, Dany?”

She nodded. “I mean, yeah, it is quick. But if you think about how much time we’ve spent together, and not just how many days we’ve known each other, we’ve been around each other a long time. So no, I don't think we’re rushing. I think we’ve spent enough time in each other’s company to know exactly what we want.”

“I guess. And it will make the whole babysitting thing a lot easier, if nothing else.”

She laughed. She felt her eyes starting to give in to fatigue as she yawned. “I need to sleep. Especially if we’re going to the beach tomorrow.”

“Aye, me too.”

He pulled her to her feet by her tired arms. “But first” he started, forehead pressing against her’s, “we have other business to attend to.”

She smirked. “Oh do we now, Jon Snow.” Her breath hitched monetarily, unable to continue this calm persona. “Please, enlighten me, what is this other business that we so urgently need to attend to?”

He chuckled, looking to his right, satisfied to see that the door to the kids’ room was closed. He picked her up, and she wrapped her legs around his waist, squealing in delight. “Oh, you have no idea, Dany.”

He almost ran to the room, kicking the door closed behind him. She giggled as he dropped her on the bed. He pulled off his shirt and she did the same. “I’ve been wanting to do this for so long.” He said, resting his body on top of her’s.

She smirked at him mischievously from below. “Then why wait any longer?”

He reciprocated her smirk, before reaching down to kiss her. “You don't need to tell me twice.”

This was a feeling Dany had not experienced in a long time. The comfort of strong arms wrapped tightly around her stomach as she woke, she could get used to it. It was hard to describe, but she felt safe and secure with Jon beside her. It was more than just his physical touch, it was his mere presence that brought a wide smile to her lips.

She wanted nothing more than to simply close her eyes once more, fall back to sleep and cherish these moments with him. This must be what love felt like. She had thought that she had loved Drogo, but she had never felt this way about him. For once in her life, Dany decided to be selfish. She relaxed into Jon’s arms and closed her eyes again.

The movement beside her disturbed her tranquility. She looked up to see him staring at his phone. Jon leaned down to kiss her temple. “Sorry, love. I didn't mean to wake you.”

She smiled, enjoying the raspiness of his voice. Dany pushed herself up with her elbows and sat up in the bed. “It’s fine. I was already awake anyway, I was just comfortable that’s all.” He nodded. “What time is it?” Dany asked.

Jon glanced at his phone. “It’s only eight. Go back to sleep if you want, I’ll see to the kids.”

She shook her head. “What sort of lousy babysitter would do that?” She joked.

He smirked. “You’re not here to babysit, Dany. And you know that.”

She chuckled as she crawled over to straddle him. “Are you suggesting that you brought me here for selfish reasons, Jon Snow?”

“Oh, I don’t deny it. I’m hoping to repeat last night at least a few times before we go back.”

“You enjoyed last night, then?” She questioned, leaning down to kiss his chest.

He shrugged. “It was alright, I guess.”

She punched his arm, feigning offence. “Only alright?”

Suddenly, he flipped them over. He returned the favour, dropping kisses onto her bare chest. “I loved it.”

She grinned. “Well, it just so happens that I did too. And I also would not be opposed to repeating the events of last night.”

“I’m glad to hear.” He paused for a second and relinquished his position on top of her. Jon chuckled to himself.

Dany eyed him suspiciously. “What is it that's so funny?”

“We were almost the first couple in history to move in together before sleeping together.” He stated simply.

She giggled. “That would've been strange, wouldn't it?”

He smiled and leaned over to peck her lips gently. “So strange.” He agreed. Jon stood and began to dress himself, and she couldn't help but ogle his body.

He smirked at her through the mirror, noticing her staring. “Just know, if you're gonna stare at me while I dress I’m gonna do the exact same thing to you.”

She grinned at him, blushing slightly. “Are you now?”

“Of course. It’s only fair.”

“Are you sure you didn't stare at me enough yesterday, when I was sun bathing?” She asked jokingly. Dany had known that he was looking at her the entire time, and she didn't mind.

He sighed, turning to face her, now fully dressed. A shy smile still present. “Damn. I thought I’d done a good job at hiding it.” Jon admitted.

She found herself giggling once more. “You didn’t, I knew you were doing it the entire time and I didn't mind. I must admit I kind of enjoyed the attention.”

He snickered. “You can hardly blame me, it’s not every day a man has a former model in a bikini only a few feet away from him.”

She rolled her eyes. “You’ll have to make it up to me.” Dany added.

He walked over to her, taking a seat on the edge of the bed. “What did you have in mind?”

Dany shrugged nonchalantly. “I have a few ideas.”

He kissed her once more. “I’ll be more than happy to hear them later tonight.”

“I look forward to it.”

Jon pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. “I’ll go and see to the kids while you dress. See you later, Dany.”

Dany watched him leave the room and sighed deeply, unable to hide her satisfied grin Damn, she was in trouble, and she had no intention of getting out of it.

**********

Lya’s face lit up as soon as she saw him. “Daddy!”

Jon grinned as he picked her up into his arms and spun her around. “Mornin’, darlin’.” He placed her down on the ground. “How are you feeling?”

She smiled up at him. “Good. Can we have breakfast?”

“Of course, darlin’. Where’s Rhae?” He asked, not seeing the little boy in the kitchen.

“He’s still asleep.” She answered, as he gently lifted her to sit on the raised seat around the kitchen island.

“You’ll be tall enough to get up here yourself soon, Lya.” Jon commented. She only smiled in response.

“Where is Dany?” She asked.

“She’s just getting dressed, love. She’ll be out soon.”

Almost immediately, Dany walked in to the kitchen from the bedroom. Well, it was theirs now, and that thought itself was enough to bring a smile to his face. As usual, she brightened the room as soon as she entered. That constant, immovable, gorgeous smile of hers made him weak at the knees every time. Jon had been wrestling with the idea for weeks, the idea that he might love her. Now, he knew there was no denying it. He loved her.

Dany smiled briefly at him, before moving her attention to Lya. She walked behind the little girl and kissed her cheek, causing Lya to giggle wildly. “Good morning, my sweet.”

Lya kissed her back. “Good morning, Dany!” She replied, as energetic as always, despite the early hour.

“I’ll go and wake Rhae.” Dany said, before walking down the hall.

A few moments later, she emerged with Rhae tiredly following. She lifted him to sit in the spare seat next to Lya. Jon poured them a glass of juice, while Dany prepared some coffee for the two of them.

Jon smiled gratefully as she passed him a cup, before she took a seat next to him, across from the kids. They smiled watching the kids interact and enjoy their breakfast. It was a small thing, but it was important that the kids got along. It would make this thing he and Dany had far more complicated if they did not.

Dany glanced at Jon, reminding him that they needed to tell Rhae what they had told Lya, and also that they were planning to move in together. She knew it was a huge development, and she desperately hoped and that Rhae would approve. Despite how much she loved Jon and Lya, Rhae had to and would always take priority. She needed to know that he was fine with it.

Dany paused for a second, thinking over the situation. Was it fair to ask Rhae how he felt about this information while he sat with Lya and Jon? He was only a child, and as a result he was easily distracted. She needed to speak with him in private, where she could hear the absolute truth from him. She knew that he loved Jon and Lya, but that didn't necessarily mean he would want to live with them, and have them be a permanent fixture in his life. What kind of a mother would she be if she put her own feelings and wants ahead of her son’s?

Jon shuffled nervously in his seat, preparing himself for the difficult conversation. Before he began to speak, she placed her hand on his forearm to get his attention. She nodded her head in the direction of the bedroom. Thankfully, he understood her meaning, and followed her inside, closing the door behind him.

He approached her and grabbed her hand. “What’s wrong?” There was genuine concern in his eyes, as if he had done something wrong.

She shook her head and allowed a small, reassuring smile. “Nothing. I just think it would be best if I talked to Rhae alone. About the whole situation.”

Jon smiled, clearly relieved. “That’s fine, Dany. You know best, love.” He pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. She responded by hugging his chest, addicted to the feeling of his arms around hers.

“I’ll talk to Lya later. Maybe at the beach.”

“Hopefully we’ll both have good news.” She replied.

Soon after, they returned to the kitchen. Dany leaned over the table and smirked. “Do you guys want to go to the beach today?” Rhae and Lya first glanced at each other, and then Dany. The smiles on their faces were enough of an answer.

She looked at Jon and chuckled, feeling somewhat excited herself. The kids’ enthusiasm was infectious. “I think that’s a yes.” Dany commented.

Jon grinned. “I think you're right. Finish your breakfast, Dany and I will get everything ready.”

**********

It was only a short walk to the beach, and an enjoyable one given that the weather was gorgeous once more. Dany walked hand in hand with both Rhae and Lya, while Jon was occupied by bags of towels and other beach necessities.

The beach seemed to be relatively calm, having not yet reached the height of summer. As a result, they easily found an empty section of beach which they could have completely to themselves. Dany was grateful, she would never have been able to fully relax as she intended if there were hundreds of people in close proximity. She would have had one eye open always, desperate to keep a keen eye on the kids.

Jon emptied the bags, and laid down the towels that they had brought with them. Lya and Rhae were understandably annoyed when Dany insisted that they wore suncream. Jon chuckled at the disgruntled faces as she generously applied it to everyone, including him. As soon as she finished, the kids sprinted away, taking full advantage of the beach and all it had to offer.

Dany smiled as she watched them leave. She put on her sunglasses and laid back, seeking to further the tan she had developed so far. She noticed Jon eyeing her from his position to her left, a smug grin on his face. “What is it?” She rolled her eyes as she asked the question.

“You really had to put suncream on for me?” He teased.

She chuckled. “Blame Lya, she’s too clever for her own good. I had to make an example of you to stop them from complaining. Besides, I know you, you never would have done it yourself.”

He smiled. “Aye, you’re probably right.” He paused, his smile developing into one of a more mischievous nature. “Anyway, if you want to touch me, who am I to complain?”

She slapped his arm without even turning to look in his direction. “Real mature, Jon Snow.”

“This is the life. I needed this. I didn't even realise that I did.” Jon commented after a while, both of them satisfied to lay in mostly silence.

She nodded. “Me too. We should do this more often.”

“Just say the word, Dany, and we can come here.”

“We would have to plan in advance obviously. I know that you said that fighting wasn't going to be the most important thing in your life anymore, but it is still important. We have to take that into consideration.” Dany replied. She couldn't help but feel guilty, it felt like Jon was giving up his passion. That wasn't what she or Lya wanted, they just didn't want it to completely rule his life.

Jon nodded. “If the kids are fine with us moving in together, I suppose we’ll have plenty of stuff to figure out.”

Dany sighed. “Yes, we do. That can wait until we get home. Let’s just enjoy this for now.”