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Seventeen days he’s laid in this bed. Unmoving.

And for seventeen days she’s sat by his side. Watching his chest rise and fall. Watching and starting at every twitch or movement beneath his lids. Changing his bandages. Checking for infections. Assisting Sam however she can. Holding her breath when they feed him bone broth through a monstrous apparatus forced down his throat.

She’d screamed and wept the first time they did it. Davos and Sansa had to restrain her to keep her from lunging at Sam. Collapsing into her good-sister’s arms in a deranged mess of tears. Sansa’s hand tracing patterns over her back. Her firm, but soothing voice calming her. Bringing her back from a violent incoherent grief to the numb empty shell of herself.

Seventeen days since she’s heard his voice.

There have been other visitors. Davos comes in three times a day, usually before meals. He’ll talk to Jon and work on carving the intricate dragon figurine that rests unfinished on a small table in the corner. Recounting his adventures from his early life as a smuggler. She couldn’t recall a single one if she tried…

Missandei comes in nearly as often. Bringing her something small and simple to eat. Asking if she can brush her hair, or prepare a bath. Each ask refused with a silent shake of the head. The food often goes untouched except for a few small bites.

Seventeen days since he’s reached for her hand.

Sansa visits nightly. Spending an hour or two stitching at his bedside. Quietly explaining various bits of news and gossip. Cautiously, gently, asking how she would like her to handle court issues that she is unsure about. Though by now, her good-sister has learned not to expect a response.

Seventeen days since she’s seen his smile.

Tyrion is less subtle. He comes in every few days. Demanding she eat. Demanding she leave this room. Giving long practiced speeches about her duty. Those long practiced speeches quickly becoming frustrated rants when she only sits and stares at the unmoving form of her husband. All of her Hand’s impressive rhetoric has lost its meaning. And all his words have become nothing but empty sound.

Seventeen days of waking up to his face, only to find it cold and unresponsive.

Drogon and Rhaegal call to her. But she cannot answer them, the invisible tether that ties her soul to theirs has gone slack. Like they are a boat that has dropped anchor, only the anchor has no weight. There isn’t enough left of her to keep the line taut. Ghost lays on the floor at the foot of the bed, head tucked between his front paws. Occasionally, coming to her side, letting her clutch him tightly when the grief threatens to break her.

Arya won’t come. The little wolf blames herself. Believes she’s failed in her duties as their guard. She’s come to the door, peeked in and then turned on her heel and walked away. There was nothing she could’ve done. It's not Arya’s fault.

Their armies were to muster at Riverrun. The Northern Armies, The Knights of the Vale, her Unsullied and Dothraki, any remaining Riverlords who would rally to that half-wit Edmure Tully. Any southern lords brave enough to openly swear fealty and pledge their allegiance. From there, they would march south to reclaim the Iron Throne.

It was an ambush. Not even by Cersei and her forces. By a roving pack of raiders. Bandits. Deserters preying on those they felt were weaker.

The armies had paused to rest for midday but, she wanted to keep going. They were so close to Riverrun. So close to a Castle where they could truly rest. Where they could have a hearth fire. Where they could bathe. Where they could make love in a bed instead of a tent.

They should have stayed with their Armies. They should’ve been flying on Drogon and Rhaegal. Why were they on horseback? Why had he challenged her to a race? Why had they gone so far ahead? Why didn’t they stay with the others?

In the end, it was a rock, thrown by a nobody, that had toppled the King in the North. A half dozen dead bandit corpses lying at his feet before her sons swooped down. Their dragonfire destroying most of their attackers in one fatal burst. He had just turned back to face her. A broken arrow shaft sticking out of his thigh, holding his shoulder in a way that had made her believe it’d been dislocated, blood dripping down a gash in his arm.

“Are you hurt, Daenerys?” he had asked. His breath coming in heavy pants. His dark eyes settling on her. Looking wolfish and dangerous as his battle-frenzy faded. Columns of flame erupting behind him. Her warrior king.

But before she could answer, a rock, thrown by a nobody, struck his head.

And she had screamed.

And it feels like she hasn’t stopped screaming. Even though she sits, unmoving and stoic by his bed. Even though she can’t remember the last time she’s spoken to someone. He would be so disappointed in her. She thought she was stronger than this. She’s supposed to be stronger than this.

It isn’t the first time she’s almost lost him. It isn’t the first time she’s sat by his side wondering if he’ll wake up.

Their allies trickle into Riverrun. Lords, and knights and their armies. She cannot bear to greet them. Cannot bear to leave this room or be more than a few feet from his side. Cannot bear to be anything except this hollow, empty thing.

They were supposed to be safe now. The worst was over. They’ve fought monsters together. Defeated undead abominations sent from the seventh hell. Destroyed Death himself. Their only remaining foe is outnumbered, overwhelmed, and cornered. Lords flock to their banners in droves, sensing the turning tide. Odds are the smallfolk of King’s Landing will riot before they even arrive. Their wars are nearly over and the danger should be long passed. They were supposed to be happy.

But a rock, thrown by a nobody, ripped it all away.

A basket of linen bandages and a half dozen herbal mixtures sit by his bed. A pungent tincture that smells of nettles and mustard seeds to keep the wounds from infection. A salve from her healers from Essos, made of garlic and the green mold from old bread for the same purpose. Dried purple flower ground into a paste with Willow Bark pulp to reduce the pain he’ll feel if… when he wakes up. Hot pepper oil, given to her by her Dothraki handmaids, to soothe the lingering ache of his dislocated shoulder. An extract from mint leaves in hopes that its strong sharp scent will wake him up.

Every morning, her fingers steadily and methodically undo the previous day's wrap before washing him, as well as she can, with a wet rag. Wiping away the dried herbs and poultices. Pressing a cloth soaked in boiled wine onto the arrow wound in his thigh and across the slash on his arm. Each closed with a row of Sam’s tidy stitches. Carefully reapplying each medicine before wrapping them back up with clean bandages. The crisp rolls cool to the touch as she winds it around his thigh and forearm.

Lastly, she combs his hair, a silly girlish gesture. But he did it for her, during all those hopeless nights as the dead kept pushing them further and further South. He’d find her sitting on their bed, in their room or tent, whatever cold, dreary, dark place they were staying. Whimpering to herself as she tore at the wind-whipped knots in her hair, the tangles she’d earned on Dragonback. Sniffing and crying as she mourned their losses, mourned the son that had brought about those losses.

He’d light a brazier, a simple task she always forgets to do, having been raised in warmer climates. Kiss her cheek or her forehead and gingerly take the comb from her hand, before settling behind her on the bed. Taking her silver hair and working through the strands with loving care. Apologizing with a small kiss on her bare shoulder at each sharp snag. And by the time he was done, warmth had sunk into her bones, and she’d sink into his arms, human once again.

They had so little time. A few weeks on a boat. A few rare moments of solitude in the middle of a war. A few months of peace and quiet and joy and loss and grief in the aftermath. A night in the godswood at Winterfell, where he became hers, and she became his.

Not enough time to grow sturdy roots within the other. Not enough time to explore all the nooks and crannies of each other's souls. Not enough time to learn to love each other in the deep slow methodical way of long love stretched through years. Not enough time to see his dark curls turn as silver as hers and see the scars around his eyes fade as age lines take their place. Not enough time to care for him when old wounds catch up to him and to listen to him gripe about not being as young as he once was.

So little time.

She sits at his side and combs his hair and smooths that mint oil into his soft raven curls. And when she’s done, she takes his hand and begins her long vigil. Gently tracing the scarred cuts and burns, the ridges of his knuckles, the lines of his palm, the thick veins beneath his skin. Each caress a prayerful plea that he’ll wake up. That she’ll wake up from this nightmare half-life without him.

Occasionally his eyes move beneath his lids, and hope will swell within her. Hope that he’ll blink awake and stare at her with those deep dark eyes like he did that grey morning sailing back to Dragonstone from Eastwatch. That the hand she holds will tighten and squeeze and he’ll give her that small smile that never fails to rip down her walls. That he’ll say her name- that name only he can say, with his rich rough voice.

“Dany…”

It’s her imagination, a small ghostly noise from deep in her mind. A memory and a wish and a prayer all mixed up in an illusion. She’s gone mad with grief. Mad like her father. Like all her enemies said she was. She should renounce the throne, and spend the rest of her days slowly withering away alongside her husband. That would be best…

The hand around hers closes and her heart stops.

Breath hitching and shaking as she looks up to see him. Dark eyes glossy and just barely open. But open. His eyes are open. Head tilted toward her, not up at the high arched ceilings. His full lips barely parted and his chest rising and falling in a deeper, deliberate rhythm.

“Dany” he croaks again. That soft noise. That soft harsh noise crushes her hollow shell that’s been holding back a flood of tears. Grabbing his hand. Seizing it and pressing it to her face. Big heavy drops rolling down her cheeks and dripping off her chin in a steady stream as she sobs into the cup of his palm. His thumb weakly gliding beneath her eye to catch the falling tears.

“I thought you left me…” her voice unrecognizable and thick with snot, shaking with hiccups. “I thought you left me” repeating it over and over again.

“No.” his voice barely above a whisper. His throat raw from the force-feedings. Lips barely moving, cracked from thirst. She sniffs and scrambles to find a cup, filling it quickly from the pitcher, while Ghost hops onto the bed next to him. Licking his face as he grimaces and lets out a weak groan.

Her hands tremble when she brings it to his lips, letting it slowly trickle into his mouth. He chokes and sputters at first but then he can’t get enough. Water dripping down his beard and neck as he eagerly slakes his thirst. Each deep drink flushing his face with color as life and strength slowly return to him.

Tearing away from it every few seconds to catch his breath. Chest expanding and contracting with deep heaving pants, his hand squeezing hers as he regains his bearings. Eyes fluttering then opening wide, those deep dark pools looking at her intently as the smallest smile crosses his face. She can never resist that smile, or the way he says her name…

“Dany-” Peppering her husband’s face with kisses he isn’t strong enough to return. But that doesn’t matter because he’s alive and the faint press of his lips fills her heart as if he was plundering her mouth. “-I’m not leaving you, love…”

He’s confused and, despite all the days abed, exhausted. Sam makes him follow his fingers and asks him questions. Can he identify all the people currently in the room? Dany. Sam. Sansa. Davos. Arya… Ghost. Does he know what year it is? 308 A.L Does he know where he is? Probably RiverRun. What’s his name?

“Which one?” he jests to his best friend, “Aegon Targaryen… the sixth. Protector and King of the Seven Kingdoms. The Shield that guards the realms of men. Commander of the Queen’s armies. The White Wolf of the North… Did I forget any, dove?”

Dove, something partway between Dany and love. It started as a mistake. A slip of the tongue, after a day that went on far too long. A small error, but a beautiful one. Now it's just another sweet word that makes a tender warm ache spread through her chest.

“Jon Snow.” she answers.

“Aye. Jon Snow”

The Maester smiles brightly, confirming that her husband will be back on his feet in a day or two and to her great relief, shoos everyone out of the room so that he can rest.

Despite Sam’s assurances, an anxiety permeates deep into her soul, spiking whenever he tries to move, or speak to her. Or at each too heavy breath he pulls into his lungs. It claws into her, leaving her frantic and edgy and helpless. A heartsick she can’t explain. A darkness clouding her thoughts.

She can’t stop shaking as she lifts spoonfuls of broth to his mouth. Spilling onto his chin and on to the grey linen shirt.

“Sorry,” murmuring as she brings up another serving. But, he smiles, that warm smile that starts in his eyes, crinkling the skin around them and swelling his cheeks. That smile that always disarms her and never fails to bring out her own.

“It’s alright, love.” nodding over the basket of medicines. “I already smell like a cooked goose. A man might think you’re getting ideas.”

And for the first time in seventeen days… she can laugh. It’s a dumb joke. It’s not even that funny. Not really. But her small snort devolves into a fit of giggles and soon she’s clutching her sides. It's been too long since she’s laughed and it leaves her breathless and cramping.

She blows out a slow stream of air through pursed lips in an attempt smother the bubbling laughter. Her husband and king sporting a bewildered smile at her outburst. A few deep breaths clearing her mind, and for the first time in seventeen days, she can feel her wits returning.

“It’s because you’re good enough to eat.” flashing him a wicked look and setting aside the broth. “I’ll have the servants prepare the bathhouse.”

They make quite the pair. The rightful king and queen of westeros, in simple linen house clothes, slowly trudging through the darkened passageways. He leans against her to support himself, his weight settling on her shoulders, with one hand stretched to the stone castle walls for balance. They’re taking the servants routes through the castle. Carefully avoiding any courtiers or lords who might see a weakened king as an opportunity.

The massive waterwheels of Riverrun pump water through copper pipes to the small bathhouse in the castle. Nothing as luxurious as her own on Dragonstone, but suitable.

Her handmaids had poured generous sums of her scented oils in the bath, which makes him grumble about how he’d rather smell like dinner than a flower garden. But despite his griping, he lets out a heavenly groan when he sinks into the water. Leaning back against the warm stone and closing his eyes with a deep sigh.

“Want to join me, love?” extending his arm up to her.

She can count on one hand the number of time she bathed during her seventeen day vigil. It would feel nice. But…

“Later perhaps” she answers quietly, hiking up her skirt to her waist and sitting behind him, her legs on either side of him, feet dangling in the water. He frowns but doesn’t say anything, and instead slumps against her knee, resting his head on her thigh. Idly her hands move through his hair. His raven curls limp from mint oil and sweat.

“Feels so fucking good. Everything fucking hurts. I haven’t done anythin’ but lay there in days and it still hurts.”

Days. Seventeen days. Seventeen numb endless hollow days. She swallows and reaches for a small pail set along the side of the tub, bending over him to fill it from the warm pool,

“You don’t need to-” She silences him by carefully pouring it over him, wetting his locks. Her husband shivering as the the hot water trickles down his back.

“I want to…” filling the vessel again.

There’s something hypnotic in the contrast between the white suds of soap and his dark strands. The thick mixture of the two tinting his hair a silver grey. The shade bringing a small smile to her lips. He practically moans into the flesh of her leg when she begins to scratch at his scalp. The gentle clawing washing the tresses with a focused determination, carefully avoiding the point where he was struck.

Small pleasured sighs escape from his nose as he absorbs her attentions. The rhythm of her scratching and scrubbing lulling him into a kind of trance. It should soothe her, her husband relaxing in her embrace. But with each long slow breath he draws, that panicked void builds. The irrational, illogical, mad fear that he won’t open his eyes again.

“Yer quiet…” his burring voice still raspy from disuse, and from the force-feedings. She tilts his head back as she rinses, doing her best to keep the suds from leaking into his eyes.

“Just thinking.”

“You think too much.” He looks up at her, expectantly, turning between her knees to face her more easily. Honest, earnest orbs blinking slowly as she gently wrings out a section of hair, twisting it between two fingers. A small stream of excess water trickling down her arm. Dripping down onto the puddle of skirts about her waist.

“Perhaps” The past few weeks are hazy. A clouded mixture of an aching anguished emptiness, a thousand silent prayers to a thousand silent gods, and a brittle detachment from the world. She failed. Failed to be the queen she needed to be. Failed their council, failed their new allies. Their people. Failed him. Failed to be a queen worthy of her king. “Perhaps not”

Leaning him forward, her thumbs quickly find the knots in the ropes of muscle in his neck and shoulders. Flesh rigid from laying in bed for far too long. He lets out pained noise through his nose but fights the instinct to withdraw from her hand as she works loose the stiff kinks. Tries to hide all her turmoil from him.

All of Sansa and Tyrion’s words distort in her mind as she desperately tries to recall anything that’s happened over the past weeks. Which houses have bent the knee and sworn fealty? Which remain neutral? How many fighting men have been added to their armies? What new political tediums they must unravel in the Riverlands?

“-Dany?” Her hands had stopped their task, and sit at rest, limply folded in her loose skirts. And her husband stares at her, concern and confusion painting the lines of his face.

“I’m sorry” shuffling to grab the comb from a small basket of toiletries. But he reaches and stills her hands. Circling them with his own as he shifts in the baths. Water dripping down his torso when he stands upright. Little rivers running down from his wet hair, branching and pooling through the landmarks of his chest. The hard cuts of muscle, and the impossible scars. A sparse dusting of black curls in a narrow trail growing thicker and darker as it nears his groin and disappears beneath the water.

“Join me, my queen?” keeping hold of her hand and taking a cautious deliberate step backwards. Gently urging her to do as he says. The pull of him overwhelms her. Not just the physical force of her hand in his. But the tug on the invisible threads that connect her heart to his. Threads so very much like the ones that connect her to her sons, and he to Ghost. Threads woven into the fabric of their being. It is part of their nature, part of her nature to follow where he leads. Just as it is part of his.

They are children of fate. The last dragons. The prince and princess that were promised. Their destinies were both determined and built. She was always going to end up joining him in this bath. It was fated from the start.

If this was her own bathhouse, the small room would be thick with steam. Fragrant plants would hang from the rafters, their calming scent filling her nostrils. The water would be hot enough flush her skin pink, warmed by the volcanic vents deep below Dragonstone. She’d coat herself with a rich Essosi oil, rubbing it into her skin before carefully scraping it away along with all the dead skin and filth with a blunt Ivory tool. She’d wash, brush and oil her hair before fanning it behind her to dry. But this is not her bathhouse, this is Riverrun, and she has neither the patience nor the materials for such luxuries.

The tepid water protects her from his penetrating gaze. The dark stone and dim light hiding the failure she knows is plain on her face. They have mapped every inch of each other’s bodies. Every stretch of skin, every hidden place, every forbidden corner. There has never been any shame between them, not since their time on their boat when she taught him the Dothraki way, rattling him out of his prudish Northern upbringing.

And yet she hides herself as she washes. The urge to withdraw overtaking her rationality. The anguish at her own failure to act, forcing her to fight her nature. That heartsick she can’t explain testing her patience as her husband and king does his best to tend to her as she did him.

“I’ll do it, my love.” tangling her hands with his and tugging them away from her scalp.

“I want to…” he repeats.

“You need your rest. It’ll take me but a few minutes, and then we can find our bed.” A hurt she hates flickers through his eyes but he nods, and lets her do as she wishes. Frowning and studying her as she quickly scrubs through her tangled hair before submerging to rinse. Nothing like the calm concentrated care of her usual routine.

He passes her the comb but she waves it away, lifting herself out of the water and quickly wrapping herself in her dressing gown. Her husband’s brows creasing into a deep furrow.

She is never the first one out of the bath. In fact, she often lingers too long, causing them to be tardy, much to his chagrin. She’ll tell him to go on without her, but he always refuses saying, “It sends a better message if we arrive together.” That small smile that’s only for her playing on his lips.

“Together,” she’ll repeat and then perhaps she’d get out and dress. Or perhaps she’d tease and remind him that a dragon is not a slave. Not today though. Not with this blackness with no cause hanging over her head.

The servants had changed the bedding while they were away. And he practically crashes into the crisp clean linens. Using what’s left of his strength to pull her in after him and wrap himself around her. His nose nuzzling into her neck. After seventeen days of lifting his limp arm over her at night, seventeen days of tucking herself into an embrace of her own making, this should feel like coming home.

His breathing evens and shallows, and that tell-tale snore he swears is Ghost fills her ears. Sounds that have lulled her to sleep through war, horror, and turmoil, fail to do so now. Her mind tells her heart there is nothing to fear. They are at peace. There are no wights, or dead marching for them. Cersei hides behind the high walls of Kings Landing, too weak and too paranoid to march for them. They will deal with whatever political turmoil she caused in her absence together, with the assistance of able councillors. Her husband is alive and well and recovering. Sam assured her that he was, and Sam is the most capable healer in all of Westeros.

But her heart does not listen, and that anxiety without reason leaves her stiff in his hold. Her husband's warmth fights away the night-time chill, the death throes of a winter they thought would never end. But the furnace of his body can do nothing for the cold of imagined griefs and unrestrained thoughts that sinks to her core. Falling into a sleep that is neither deep nor restful through a long night that feels the same as the seventeen other long nights she endured.

A wakeful sleep that is keenly aware of each unconscious movement, or slight change in the pattern of his breathing. A sleep that is shattered to full alert with the sun rising and his hand drifting up and down her sides, and lips travel across the skin of her neck and a hard length pressing against her the small of her back.

“Good Morning, My Queen,” whispers in her ear as he turns her to face him in his arms.

“Good Morning, My King,” he looks so much better. Dark eyes bright and full of life. His color returned from the chalky pale of his sickbed. Scars fading into the smile lines alongside a quiet groan as he pulls her even tighter against him, his cock poking in thick demand at her belly.

He captures her in a kiss, something soft and sweet that becomes possessive and needy. Tongue swiping across her wolfishly as she wraps her arms around his neck. His hands creeping under her nightdress to cup her arse, seizing it in order to roll her beneath him. Cock wedged between them as she inches the loose pants down his waist to free it.

Her husband warm and heavy atop her. Alive and present and holding her. Smothering her with seventeen days worth of kisses. His weight resting on one arm while the free hand pinches and plays at her breast. The thin fabric of her nightdress hiking up her torso till it disappears over her head and all of his skin presses into all of hers.

He pulls back, eyes closed, his forehead resting against hers, breathing her in.

“I missed you, love.”

“You have no idea.” cupping his face and tracing the blurry line of his beard. He lets out a small chuckle. Its vibration buzzing in her belly.

“Oh, I think I do.” nuzzling into the crook of her neck, rough untrimmed beard tickling the sensitive skin between kisses.

“It was unbearable.” The truth slides out, unbidden and unwanted. Her voice cracking with emotion and an errant tear sliding down her cheek. He stills the movement of his hips and looks at her. Pupils blown wide with love and worry.

“-Dany…?”

“-Don’t stop.” She shakes her head, and swipes at her eyes. Drawing her legs up and around his waist.

“I don’t think-” silencing his protestation by crashing her mouth to his. She wants him. She needs him. Needs to feel normal. Needs the physical assurance of his well-being. Needs the comfort of his arms. The release he offers. To feel the connection between them.

He relents, succumbing to her wants, surrendering to her own pull on those invisible threads that bind them together. But, it’s different now. He treats her delicately, touching her like he would a startled animal. Handling her as if she was a fragile thing. Cautiously and with care. Kissing her with long soft presses along her neck and breasts.

Closing her eyes and tangling her fingers into his hair, trying to block out the intrusive darkness in her soul. Trying to ignore the urgent prod of the mess they need to untangle today. Trying to absorb his attentions, and build the fire between her thighs. Letting out a frustrated noise when he pauses again and shifts on to his side.

“Why!?” she snaps with a sudden burst of anger.

“You look like I’m hurting you, dove.” he answers unmoved by her flaring temper, trailing a finger along her rips. “You’re not enjoying it”

“I’m trying” gritting her teeth angrily against his pity. Sitting upright and bolting away from him. Tucking her knees up to her chest to hide. She can feel his eyes searching her, seeking an explanation to the irrational behavior. “I just want to feel normal.” she finally admits.

The bed sinks behind her, his hand sliding from her hip to her shoulder in a gentle caress that calms her frayed nerves, that makes it easy to keep talking. “I don’t understand what wrong with me. Everything should be okay now but I’m not. And I feel like I’m going mad.”

“Yer not mad.”

“But I feel as though I am. I couldn’t leave this room. I couldn’t be the queen. And now it’s like my heart is stuck there-” halfheartedly motioning to the small chair by the bed. “-watching you. Like it doesn’t understand that you woke up.” arms wrapping tightly around her torso as he settles in behind her, letting her lean back against him “You didn’t wake for so long, I thought you never would.”

“I’m not leaving you, love.” pressing a kiss to her temple.

“You can’t say that.” she chokes.

“Aye, perhaps not. But I’ll always fight to get back to you,” his beard rasping against the skin of her neck. “So don’t you go hiding away from me neither. I’m yours and yer mine.”

Rich intimacy seeps into her pores, finding all the cracks in the stone that weighs down her soul and the gentle rumble of his voice shaking it loose. A quiet peace slowly taking its place as she relaxes in his lap. The blackness easing with an easy stream of tears.

At a certain point, he lets go of her, only for a moment, to reach for the basket of medicines and linens by the small bedside table. Rummaging through it to withdraw the comb. The comb she used on him each day while he laid silent and still. The same one he used on her during the War for the Dawn. The same kisses pressing into her bare shoulder as he steadily undoes the tangled knots of her hair. Starting carefully at the ends and working his way up.

And by the time he is done, by the time he can run the comb along the full length of her silver hair without snagging, all her tears have dried and darkness clouding her thoughts has evaporated, and she sinks into his arms. Human once again.

“Thank you, my love” she whispers and he smiles. Pressing his lips to her in small chaste kisses that quickly become heated in their undress. Her husband growling contentedly before breaking away.

“Let's get dressed, break our fast, and then we’ll go do all our normal things, love. Be right as rain in no time.” Swatting her arse to get her to move. The playful sting jolting something lusty awake. A wicked thought curling her lips into a smile he can’t see as she replaces the comb in the basket. Her hand lingering over the linen bandages.

“All our normal things?” she asks, dragonfire lacing her voice.

He doesn’t get a chance to answer as she spins and tackles him back down on the bed. A broad smile on his face while she wrestles him. Fingers interlocked as she hovers over him, pinning him down into the mattress.

Perhaps he’s still weak from his days abed. Perhaps she actually took him by surprise. Perhaps he lets her win as her knee traps one arm while she drags the other over his head. Wrapping the linen fabric in figure eights around his wrist and one of the wooden slats of the headboard.

His other wrist she takes loosely, offering him the chance to break free. A chance to tell her to stop, or signal his unwillingness.

He does neither, instead looks up at her with a feral grin as she sits back to admire her handiwork. Admire her husband beneath her. This isn’t a new game for them. The vivid memory of the first time she tied him up pooling heat low in her belly.

Memories of him sweating and struggling and fighting beneath her, his hands lashed into the metal storm rings bolted into their boat’s bedside by the shredded nightdress he had ripped off her, how he begged as she conquered him, riding him to collapse.

She fails to suppress her smile as she smoothes her hands over his torso. From his abdomen under her seat up to his arms. Feeling his textures shift under her palms. Rough, rigid raised tissue from his scars, the hard planes of muscle, thin curls of hair sparsely sprinkled on his chest, till she reaches his most recent scar, a slash across his forearm, neatly closed and properly bandaged.

“Why do you have to be such a hero, Jon Snow?” He laughs in response. The shuddering collapse and expansion of his chest jostling her in her seat. She flicks a nipple in response to silence him. Crouching to tug it between her teeth, before fluttering her tongue over it. “Heroes do stupid things and then they die.”

“I’ll be careful next time, my queen.” he gasps as she offers the other same treatment. Releasing it with a loud suck.

“Is that so?”

“Aye, my queen.”

“I’m not sure.” Shifting onto her hands and knees and crawling backwards over him. His length dragging beneath her, catching on her mons, her stomach, her breasts before she settles in between his legs. “Perhaps you need more incentive.”

His teeth sink into his lip as she teases him. Feinting bringing him into her mouth before nipping at his thigh, or into the thatch of dark curls at his base. Teasing him mercilessly with warm breath and small darting flicks up his shaft until finally engulfing him whole.

It’s been too many days she’s taken him in her mouth, and her eyes water at the intrusion. But the hiss of pleasure and the tensing muscle and the creaking wood more than make up for the slight discomfort as she sucks him earnestly. Keeping her lips tight and her cheeks hollow as she bobs up and down.

Shifting in her crouch to rest on her elbows, she dips one hand beneath to cup his stones. Carefully rolling and squeezing them, feeling their warmth and weight. Heavy and full from too many days without spending his seed inside her. The thought sends a thrum through her body, thighs rubbing together in an urgent need for friction between her legs.

A low moan rumbles above her, and she peeks up to see his head hanging back, hands tightly balled into fists in his bonds. Her husband elongated and beautiful in his rapture, catching her off guard and making her pause in her attentions.

Watching his reactions as she takes him in hand. Her tight grip made smooth by her saliva, until he raises his head and smiles. She shares it with him, not breaking eye contact as she holds him all the tighter.

“Let me out and I’ll give you the Lord’s kiss,” a plea and a promise all wrapped up in a playful growl. Licking his lips in a way that suggests exactly how he’d lick hers. She doesn’t respond, only takes him around the base, and swirls her tongue around the head

“Let me out, and I’ll fuck you the way you like.” Dipping her head and ignoring him entirely as she focuses on her task. Ignoring the flood of heat rushing to her loins and soaking her thighs, as she recalls exactly how he would fuck her. With her leg thrown over his shoulder, his hands pinning her down, body bent in half under his weight, and his cock kissing her womb with each jarring thrust.

“Let me out, and I’ll make you scream,” She sucks down to meet her fist, then back up in even strokes. He growls in frustration as he tugs against the headboard and she can hear the faint ripping of linen. Not enough to break out, but enough to worry her. Enough to let her know that her bonds may not be as secure as she would like.

“Behave,” she cautions, releasing him. Cock sliding past her lips with a small string of spit.

“Or else what, my queen,”

Locking eyes with him as she lewdly draws two fingers into her mouth, wetting them thoroughly before slinking to the forbidden zone beneath his stones. Leashing in her laughter at the memory of him nearly jumping out of bed the first time she touched him here, and the drunken night when his curiosity got the better of him.

A long swear fills the air as she sinks in, quickly finding the small almond target. Moving her hand and mouth in tandem, building his pleasure from within and without. His feet drawing up to plant flat on the bed as the muscles of his abdomen bunch and quiver. Her eyes wide and watching him for the tell-tale signs that he’s about to spill.

Watching sweat beading on his chest and forehead, and listening to the small grunts grow louder. Wood creaking under the strain of his resistance. Stones drawing tight beneath him. Hips thrusting up into her mouth and onto her hand. Eyes pinched shut.

“Dany,” his voice waivering in warning

Plunging down deep once, then twice before backing off and gripping him firmly in a tight ring around the base. His cock flushed a deep red and pulsing in her fist. Carefully easing her hand away as she blows a thin stream of cool air from pursed lips, her husband shivering before relaxing into the sheets.

“Let me go, dove,” he pants, tugging against his bonds. “Let me fuck you.”

For a moment she considers it. Considers crawling up on her knees and undoing the knots ever so slightly. Only enough to give herself a headstart, a chance to slink away before he undoubtly tackles her, mauling her mouth and neck and breasts, before fucking her dumb. But no, not today. Not when for the first time in seventeen days she feels strong and vibrant and alive.

“No, my king,” She shakes her head, the movement shaking free the loose tie around her silver hair. Leaving one long lick up his cock before crawling over him, framing his hips with her knees and planting her hands on his chest. “I like you where you are.”

There’s a smile behind his eyes that she can’t quite name. Pride and lust and relief all mixed together.

“There she is,” he says, the thin veneer of his playacting breaking away to reveal her husband underneath “There’s my queen,”

Love’s sweet ache blooms in her heart. Her own thin mask cracking as she gathers his face and kisses him. A long languid kiss that shares all she cannot put into to words. The vastness of her love for him, and the depth of her gratitude that he is a part of her life. A possessive reminder that he is hers, and that she, in turn, is his.

His kisses always leave her breathless and heady. Drunk on the plush of his lips, and the invasion of his tongue. The invisible threads between pulling her along after him when he breaks the seal of their lips to smile up at her.

“You better get to work, my queen.” he teases, flexing some hidden muscle to wiggle his cock behind her. Stiff and straight and impatient against her backside.

She should tease him for his insolence. Pin his length between her folds and his stomach, and slide over him in a cruel mummery. Let him feel her warmth and her want, and withhold it. Make him watch her pleasure herself a hair's breadth away.

But her own patience has worn thin, and she needs to have him. Needs him to fill the emptiness within her and make her whole again. Needs to join with him so they can each become greater than the sum of their parts. Needs to feel the bond between them in the most visceral bodily way.

Eyes sliding shut as she sinks down onto him. Cock parting and stretching her narrow walls. Pushing them aside to make room for him. Spreading her legs wider to adjust her weight on top of him.

“Oh fuck Dany,” her name ghosting through the air in a breathless whisper as she settles.

Her palms polish her belly, circling the space between the flare of her hips. Savoring the solid mass she holds within her for a long moment before her eyes flutter back open. Her husband sprawled out beneath her, the hard muscles taut as the linen wraps binding his wrists.

Starting at an easy pace, letting her body reacquaint itself to the shape of him. Twisting and shifting at easy angles to open herself up. Relishing the pleasant discomfort of his press against her womb and walls as she finds her rhythm. Tilting forward and planting her hands on either side of his broad chest for balance as she begins to ride him in earnest.

The cant of her hips climbing them towards the peak of their pleasure. Her husband’s form rolling beneath her as he draws his knees up behind her. Finding what purchase she’s allowed for him. Meeting her stroke for stroke she proves her titles true. The wooden slats creaking and groaning under his weight as he arches off the bed. His back bowing under her weight. Bucking up into her, the blunt force of his cock butting harshly against the end of her. Her husband writhing against his restraints, fighting for more of her.

But he has yet to unhorse the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea. Restraining her mount by planting her hands on his chest to pin him. Shifting on her seat, moving to her feet in a low squat. Thick swears filling her ears as she takes him in short quick snaps of her hips, tight muscles stretching and sprawling below her as the canter becomes a gallop toward their end.

Her own rhythm faltering, flickering and waivering as the coil wrenches tighter and tighter. Blood pounding her ears, heart thundering in her chest. Sweat dripping from the crease of flesh under her breasts and her hairline. Her muscles burning from exertion and voice hoarse from crying out after seventeen days of silent sedentary vigil. Each thrum and twitch reminding her that she is strong. That she is powerful. That she is alive.

And so is he.

His eyes pinching shut as his body locks up. Every muscle and line of him tensing and straining. Linen faintly ripping alongside a strangled roar as his cock shudders. Filling and flooding her. Her own release charging behind like the crack of a whip. Energy rippling across her in a long wave before snapping. Collapsing over him, puddling into a heap on the broad expanses of his chest. Rocking back and forth as his cock twitches and pulses within her. Easing them to completion as sweat and slick and seed pool at the joining of their bodies.

Flushed with renewed life, she slumps atop her husband. Lungs pulling in the lush air of the Riverlands that breezes through the open window. The smell of winter thawing and spring fighting to bloom. A vibrant world, their world, ready to turn over once anew.

Her sons call to her, the threads between them solid and defined as she hears them roar in the skies. Perking upright in time to see them soar and dance out the window of their room.

“Dany,” her husband catches her attention, wiggling impatiently between her legs. She snorts a laugh, the first real one she’s had in seventeen days as she tugs the bindings loose. Linen falling away on the bed, small rips and tears in the edges from his furious struggle.

He presses a kiss to her forehead as he sits up and moves about unassisted for the first time in seventeen days. Occasionally rolling his wrists as he locates some clothes so they can break their fast. Her stomach rumbling loudly at the thought.

Missandei smiles at her as she brings in the tray, double portions of fried fish and eggs, and fresh bread from the kitchens. Her husband’s voracious appetite matching her own. The first proper meal either one of them has had in seventeen days.

Her friend laces her into a crushed velvet gown, a deep red of fire and blood, before braiding her hair into the silver crown. Fitting her with a silver chain across her chest. Making her look like the queen she has not been in seventeen days.

Buckling his sword belt around his waist before turning to stare at the doors. Outside them, a world she has not faced in seventeen days.

“Together” her husband offers, extending his hand.

“Together”