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Beautiful Creatures: Charity Repost

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Daenerys sat on the great stone throne of Dragonstone, hands tingling with tension as she awaited the presentment of her most recent arrivals for an audience.  She’d had few seek her for such since her arrival at the ancestral seat of her family, their original home before conquering Westeros, and she’d found herself rather bored much of the time.  Aside from strategy sessions and small council meetings to discuss possible alliances with other houses to take back the Iron Throne, there really wasn’t much to do at the present, so the arrival of the so-called King in the North was a bit exciting, in and of itself.

Tyrion hadn’t been able to tell her much about this Jon Snow that she hadn’t already sussed out herself from her other advisors, except for one small detail that kept creeping up on her at the most random times: Jon Snow had a Direwolf.  As a fellow monarch who *also* happened to have the living representation of her House’s sigil, Daenerys thought perhaps they might find some common ground in that if nothing else. 

Tyrion was the only person on Dragonstone who had seen Jon Snow’s Direwolf, and she’d let on more interest than was prudent in pressing him for information.  Her hand had given her a brief education on the creatures; much like Dragons, Direwolves were so rarely seen in current times that they were considered extinct.  She was greatly interested in their size, as well, Tyrion telling her that when fully grown they could be as big as horses.  Her dragons were much bigger, of course, but there was certainly something magical about the picture her mind painted for her of these great, massive wolves prowling the wintery landscape of the North. 

When Tyrion had seen Jon Snow’s Direwolf it was barely more than a pup, he said, but of remarkable coloration, very unlike those belonging to his brothers and sisters.  Jon Snow’s Direwolf was an albino, with white fur and red eyes, and Daenerys very much hoped that he would be bringing it with him to Dragonstone.  She had an appreciation for the marvelous and wonderful and rare, more so than most, and so she sat and twisted her hands together in her lap until she heard the great creaking of the massive doors swinging on their hinges.

Daenerys looked up, eyes expectant as her bloodriders escorted two men into the throne room, her excitement of earlier dashed as she saw no great Direwolf at all, just two grim men, one older and one younger, being led to stand before her.  There was a tickle of irritation, now, that made her narrow her eyes at the pair as Missandei announced her and her list of titles, and she blew out a short breath in frustration before addressing them.

Then the great wooden doors opened once more, and a massive head forced itself through, white as snow.  Her breath caught in her throat.  She could feel her legs rising beneath her, could feel her body propelling her down the steps slowly, speechless as the beast stalked the perimeter of the room, planting his huge paws and lowering his head to growl at her bloodriders, who had now raised their weapons.

“Ghost.”  The younger of the two men spoke, and she rather thought he had a nice voice, a bit deep and growling, not unlike Ghost himself who now turned his head to watch her with those eyes as red as rubies.  She was both thrilled and discomfited by the Direwolf now that he was before her, as magnificent as she had imagined, not the size of a horse quite yet but certainly as tall as she was.

She stopped moving as the beast stalked towards her, giving a curt order to her Dothraki to lower their weapons as she kept her eyes on this magical creature before her, standing still but not shying away as he crept closer.

“Ghost!”  She wanted to look up, really, to see more clearly the man this Direwolf belonged to, and she could hear the warning in his voice as he called to his wolf once more, but she was powerless to do anything but meet those red eyes, feeling as though she was being scrutinized, examined, measured all at once.  Under other circumstances, she would find this aggravating.  She inhaled, and wondered if it was just the spell of seeing such a creature that was muddling her mind, or if she really was smelling something cold and sharp, like walking through a wintry forest.

The King in the North’s Direwolf stopped before her, his head level with hers, violet eyes locked onto red for what could have been moments or hours; There was no way to be sure.  She realized, then, that she might be in danger.  She could see the gleam of sharp white fangs through the wolf’s partially open mouth, and for a moment she wondered if her quest to reclaim her throne was at it’s end before it had even truly begun.

Then Ghost, that creature of legend in the North, extinct but for himself, licked a rough tongue up her cheek.  She couldn’t help but laugh even though it sounded girlish and foolish to her ears, and she reached a cautious hand to scratch below the wolf’s chin.  She let out a soft exhalation, marveling at the softness of the fur beneath her fingers and smoothing her hand across the warmth of his neck. 

The silence that had overtaken the room was broken, now, as she could hear the low murmur of conversation around her.  She didn’t look up, still adrift in the magic of touching something so rare, until she felt someone approach.  As she raised her gaze, her breath caught again.

Tyrion had not mentioned that this Jon Snow, the King in the North, was so comely.  Perhaps it wouldn’t occur to him, perhaps he hadn’t noticed; she supposed men rarely thought much about the attractiveness of other men.

But he was, and as she met his eyes, such a dark grey they almost seemed black, she felt herself being scrutinized, examined, and measured all over again.  Daenerys allowed it for a moment; she had been rather presumptuous in her contact with this man’s Direwolf, more presumptuous than she would have allowed with her dragons when they were smaller.  There was a scar across his eye, and an air of sadness and seriousness to him, his dark hair caught back and away from his face.

She smiled slightly, ending Jon Snow’s silent appraisal of her as she turned back to those red eyes that now shut slightly in pleasure as she scratched behind one large, pointed ear.  “He’s marvelous.”

She could hear the dry humor in his voice as he came closer, looking into the wolf’s face himself.  “Yes, he’s certainly made himself intimidating today.”  Jon Snow spoke to Ghost now, and she dropped her hands, stepping back a pace so that he could address his wolf alone.  “You’re going to have people thinking you’re just some great lapdog, as if you haven’t ripped out a throat in your life.”

Daenerys watched them, together, amused that the King in the North would suppose that she, the Mother of Dragons, would be intimidated by a Direwolf.  He might be large, but he would be but a snack for Drogon and his brothers.  “Was that your intent, Jon Snow?  To intimidate me?”

Jon Snow’s eyes scanned her face, taking in her raised eyebrow, then shook his head.  He seemed almost bashful, and that was intriguing to her in a way she would need to be very careful with, she thought.

“Don’t see how anyone could presume to intimidate a Queen with three large dragons.”  The King in the North did not look back as he answered, watching his wolf who was, at the moment, watching her.

“It would be a rather monumental undertaking, I can assure you.”  She watched him for a moment, with his wolf, and considered how pleased she was that he’d trusted her enough to bring something so rare and obviously special to him to this audience with her.  She was struck by the need to extend the same courtesy.

“Tell me, Jon Snow.”  She paused and waited for him to meet her eyes.  “Do you consider yourself especially brave in the face of imminent danger?”

The King in the North looked at her curiously, but it was the grey-bearded man who’d accompanied him who barked a laugh and replied.  “Imminent danger is something of a regularity for him, Your Grace.”

Daenerys turned an eye to Tyrion, who’d been watching the entire exchange silently, and he gave her the answer to her unspoken request.  “Ser Davos Seaworth, Your Grace.  Hand to the King in the North.”

She looked at the man, rather humbly dressed and smiling.  He struck her as friendly, but what she was considering was not an undertaking for the friendly of heart.  “And you, Ser Davos?  Are you of courageous spirit?”

Ser Davos Seaworth just laughed again, shaking his head and looking at Jon Snow before meeting her eyes.  “Oh no, Your Grace, I leave the heroics to the King.  I mostly just try to talk him out of them.”

Jon Snow smiled at his Hand’s words, rolling his eyes a bit as if to ward off the praise Ser Davos gave him.  “I should probably take your advice more often.”

Daenerys studied them for a moment, then made her decision.  “Tyrion, please show Ser Davos where he and the King will be lodging for the duration of their stay and see that the King’s men are settled.”

Jon Snow just listened, eyes focused on her as his Hand spoke up.  “And the King, Your Grace?”

She looked at him, comely and quiet, and intensity to him that she could almost feel rolling off of him.  She looked at Ghost, sliding her palm down his soft neck.  “The King will accompany me alone.  To test his bravery in the face of imminent danger.”

Daenerys turned, facing him, and gave him a challenging smile.  “Tell me, Jon Snow, would you like to meet my dragons?”

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Sometimes life, that wonderfully awful fiend who’d inflicted on Daenerys many amazing and terrible things, still managed to surprise her.  She had expected Jon Snow to be perhaps a bit fearful, perhaps his stoic mask would fall apart at the sight of her massive children and he would scream.  Perhaps he would cower and tremble and she would find that he was just like every other man after all, nothing special really.

She did not expect all of her children to land around them once she’d walked out to the cliffs with him.

She did not expect them to ignore her wishes when she instructed them to back away, as they edged closer to the King in the North.

She did not expect Drogon to charge the man, this Northern King with a beautiful creature of his own, and to see Jon Snow simply stand and hold his ground.

She did not expect Jon Snow, raven hair blowing back under Drogon’s hot breath, strip off a glove and hold his hand towards that great massive snout.

She did not expect to see Jon Snow petting her largest dragon like it was his Direwolf.

She *absolutely* did not expect to hear Drogon purr like he did for her.

So Daenerys stood in shock, just watching it all, mouth open in the most embarrassing fashion.  She did not pull herself together enough to make a coherent sentence until Jon Snow, eyes a bit wet-looking and face full of awe, walked back towards her and her sons took to the air.

“They’re beautiful, aren’t they?”  She felt her face flush a bit, feeling a bit awkward at how she’d been gaping at him.

His eyes left hers and looked at the horizon, watching her dragons wheel around the sky.  “Aye, they are.  Gorgeous beasts.”

Daenerys narrowed her eyes, studying him.  She’d thought he understood.  “They aren’t beasts to me.  They’re my children.” 

Jon Snow looked at her then, seeming to think for a beat then nodding.  “I misspoke.  Many have called Ghost a beast, and that may be the least of him.  He is no pet.  He is not my slave to do my bidding, and I am not his master.”  She stared at him, listening intently, his words echoing within her.  He understood after all.  “He is my family.”  Yes, this Jon Snow understood perfectly.

“Just so.”  She smiled sweetly at him and he looked slightly taken aback, then gave her a hint of a smile in return.  The King in the North acted like he’d never been around women very much. 

“Have you come to Dragonstone to bend the knee to the rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, Jon Snow?”  She adopted a formal tone, regretful at killing that slight smile on his face but wanting an answer all the same.

Jon Snow sighed, eyes slipping back to the horizon before he answered.  “No, I have not.”

Daenerys remained silent, tendrils of her silver hair whipping about her face as she waited for him to look back at her lack of response.  He did, hesitantly, but face firm and resolute.  She kept him in suspense, nothing on her face until she smirked at him.  “I suppose I should expect no less from a man who stood his ground against my dragons.”

At this Jon Snow finally graced her with a full smile, his eyes crinkling a bit, his teeth flashing white in the sun.  It felt a bit like magic itself, because she got the distinct impression that Jon Snow wasn’t a smiling sort of man.

“Aye, not much enjoyment to be had in an easy victory I suppose.”  He smiled wider at her sudden laugh, just watching her for a moment before forcing his gaze back to the ocean waves and blue sky.

“I think perhaps you believe yourself more stubborn than I, Jon Snow.”  She made her voice grave, only giving him a mischievous smile when he risked a look back.  “I regret to inform you that you are very much mistaken.”

She gazed back at Dragonstone Keep, large and forbidding.  “You will dine with me tonight, King in the North.  You and your Hand.  Then you can explain to me why you have come all this way to declare yourself in open rebellion.”

Daenerys began walking back before he could respond.  Jon Snow was infinitely more interesting than she would have expected.  He would bend the knee, she would see to that.  Direwolf or no, she would wear him down eventually.

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Tyrion began chuckling the minute she entered, already present to await the King and the North and the man Tyrion called ‘The Onion Knight’ for their evening meal.  She’d arranged to dine in one of the solars rather than the hall, the smaller room a bit more intimate.  She was going to test a theory, now, and she felt an odd thrill of excitement shudder through her as she bit the inside of her cheek not to laugh in response to her Hand’s amusement.

“Too much?” she asked, casting her eyes down at the silk gown she’d donned, the purple silk hugging her figure around her breasts and waist then flowing gracefully outward down her hips to trail the floor.  The sleeves hung loosely, shimmering and sheer.

Tyrion laughed into his wine, taking a large swallow before responding.  “I’ve never actually seen a man  burst into flame in front of me, but that ought to do it.”  He eyed her carefully, appearing to consider his words before continuing.  “You are aware, Your Grace, that the Night’s Watch requires its’ members to abstain from the pleasures of the flesh, correct?”

Daenerys took her seat, feeling the fire blazing at her side as she smiled slowly.  “I am aware, my Lord.”

“You may get more than you bargained for, my Queen.  He’s bound to have years of frustration rolling around in that melancholy head of his.”  He raised an eyebrow as he delivered his warning, giving a small chuckle as he trailed off.

She had to laugh with him, because her Hand truly was an entertaining man sometimes, and Jon Snow’s head did seem to have an air of broodiness to it.  It would disappoint her if he was easily swayed by her beauty, because a very tiny part of her wanted him to be as different as she suspected he was.  Maybe as different as she was.  Being different was an extremely isolating endeavor, she had found.  She had no doubt he would find her attractive, most men did.  But she hoped perhaps he would resist it, as silly as that seemed.

“Wars can be won with more than just swords, my Lord.  Perhaps allies can be gained just as easily.”  They both looked to the door as it opened, and she rose with Tyrion as their dinner guests arrived.  She didn’t need to, she was a Queen, but she was interested in a full reaction. 

Daenerys got one, surprisingly subtle and something she might have missed if she hadn’t been watching for it.  Jon Snow’s eyes widened slightly, his gaze sweeping from her silver hair, pulled back from the crown of her head but loose and curling around her shoulders, down the purple silk bodice and to the hem of her gown.  The King’s eyes met hers, narrowed a bit, then he cast his eyes downward, avoiding her gaze as his Hand led the way to the table set for them.

She remained standing as the King in the North took the seat at the end, leaving the seat beside her open for Ser Davos.  The older man looked from the Queen to the King, then back, lips twisting a bit before he cleared his throat.  “Your Grace, I believe this is your seat.”  Davos pointed to the seat beside Daenerys, and Jon Snow’s lips moved in a silent “Oh” as he shifted himself over, his Hand taking his seat after King, and Daenerys and Tyrion finally following suit.

“Jon Snow.”  Tyrion tipped his wine in Jon’s direction, the King’s black head nodding in response.  “You said you’d tell me how the Bastard of Winterfell became the King in the North.  What happened after I left you at the Wall?  You were barely more than a boy then.”

Jon sat silently, looking from Tyrion to Daenerys, his eyes burning into them both.  “Many things happened.  Many terrible things.  Most of my family’s blood has now spilled across the Seven Kingdoms since I last saw you.  Since your sister took my father’s head.  Since your family’s men and the Freys and the Boltons murdered my brother, and his pregnant wife, and his Lady Mother, and his Direwolf at the Red Wedding.”  Jon narrowed his eyes at Tyrion now.  “That’s what they call it, you know.”

Her Hand nodded woodenly, and Daenerys felt sick, her stomach twisting.  She had not known the extent of the suffering House Stark had experienced, not to this degree, just vague reports. 

“He had a Direwolf?”  Jon cast that flinty gaze to her now, eyes still aflame as he studied her.

“Grey Wind.  We all had one, many years ago.  But Robb’s wolf was Grey Wind.”  His eyes grew sad now, the fire turning to embers and he stared at the empty plate before him.  “They say that after they killed them, some of the men took Grey Wolf’s head and sewed it to my brother’s body.  They paraded him around the keep like that.”

She grew hot now, hot with rage at the suffering in his voice, at the defilement of his brother and such a magical creature, hot with nausea at the gruesome image, hot with what she would do in her fury if that had been done to her dragons.  Her teeth were a bit clenched and she fought to subdue the tension in herself.  “Do these men still live?”

“House Frey remains.”  John smiled grimly then and a bit darkly, and she felt a satisfaction that surprised her a bit at his next words.  “But House Bolton is no more.”

“I’m sorry, Your Grace.”  Tyrion’s voice was more serious than she could recall, and she turned to find his face solemn.  “I shouldn’t have asked.”

The King in the North gave a heavy sigh and she felt an irrational need to embrace a man she just met.  This was going to require careful treading on her part; romantic entanglements were dangerous for her, and were the source of a great deal of suffering.  She remembered what Tyrion had proposed when they’d left Essos, of gaining alliances through marriage if necessary.  A political marriage to someone she respected was a goal to consider here, and she respected what she knew of this King so far.  She need not let herself do more than that.

“Tell me of the Wall, if you would, Jon Snow.  What it is like?”  She kept her tone light, hoping a change in subject might lighten the dark mood in the room.

Jon Snow rolled his tongue across his teeth, she could see it pushing against his closed mouth.  She tore her eyes away from his lips immediately, because they were far too attractive than they had any right to be and she was going to at least get information from this dinner if not the fealty of the King in the North.

“Extremely fucking cold.”  Tyrion gave a sharp burst of laughter and Ser Davos cleared his throat as if to censure Jon Snow.  She gave a bit of a giggle then clapped her hand over her mouth to stifle it as the King’s gaze travelled between Daenerys and Davos.  “Davos, I may be wrong, but I suspect the Queen has endured much worse than course language across the Narrow Sea.”  His eyes shot to hers, and he quickly added, “If I have offended you, then apologies, of course.”

Daenerys just smiled and sipped her wine.  “No need.  Your assessment is correct.”  She leaned back at bit, angling herself towards him.  “Anything other than ‘extremely fucking cold’, Jon Snow?”

He leaned back himself, mirroring her pose.  “I knew another Targaryen there.”  She gave a start at the words; since Viserys died she’d assumed she was truly the last of her House.

“Who?”  It was barely above a whisper, even to herself, but he must have heard her because he answered, his the hardness of his earlier tone lessening.

“The Maester, Aemon.  He told me who he was, once, that he was brother to Aegon V.  I think that would have made him your great-uncle, Your Grace.”  She knew from the pity in his eyes that she shouldn’t bother asking if the man still lived.  By her calculation, he must have been at least one hundred by the time Jon would have met him.

Daenerys nodded her understanding, feeling her eyes grow a bit wet.

“Someone was sending him ravens about you.”  Her eyes shot to his, hungry to know what he knew.  “My friend Sam was his assistant, and by then I think Aemon had been blind for some time.  Sam read them to him, then he’d always tell me.”  She raised her eyebrows, questioning him silently.  He cleared his throat and his lips tilted up in a smile as he continued.  “That’s the other thing I can tell you about the Wall, Your Grace.  It’s extremely fucking boring most of the time.  Not much to do but talk and drink at the end of the world.”

Daenerys watched as they were served, then, mulling his words and packing away her thoughts and questions.  Tonight she had a goal, and she would test it, and she would save the thousands of questions flooding her mind for another night.

“It is true, Jon Snow, that the recruits of the Night’s Watch take a vow of celibacy when they join?” 

She heard Ser Davos give a choking cough, and watched the King in the North chew slowly then swallow.  “Among other vows, yes.”

“And do you still hold to your vows?”  She slowly raised a brow and shifted a shoulder at him slightly.

Jon Snow’s grey eyes studied her for a long moment, hand rasping across the trimmed hair along his jaw.  “That’s a rather personal question considering I’ve just met you, your Grace.”

She heard Tyrion snort into his wine, and fought back her own laugh, instead adopting an innocent widening of her eyes.  “Is it?”

“I’d say so.”  He turned back to his food, and the four ate in silence for a time, finishing their meals. 

Daenerys broke the silence, turning back to Jon Snow who was staring into his cup.  “Are you going to answer my question, Jon Snow?”

Jon’s chest gave a visible rise and fall, his eyes closing briefly before opening and landing on her face.  “Are you proposing to help me end what you imagine to be an unending period of celibacy, your Grace?”

Ser Davos responded first, a shocked and scandalized “Jon!” floating free as the King just stared at her.  Tyrion started laughing, his small shoulders shaking as she glanced at him.

“Jon Snow, you never cease to surprise me.”  He continued chuckling as he checked his gaze to Daenerys.  “I warned you.”

She turned to stare right back at Jon Snow, her eyes challenging as she spoke.  “Leave us, if you please, my Lords.  I would speak to the King privately.”

She did not look at either of the two men as they left, just continued holding her stare until the door shut behind them.

He crossed his arms, finally, relaxing back a bit and giving her a grin, “It was a good try.  I expected you might resort to this tactic, though.”  He shook his head.  “I’m sure you have been able to get many men to underestimate you, but I can assure you I have not made that mistake.”

Daenerys did not like the warmth flooding through her right now, because it was dangerously more satisfying than the useless flattery and praise that men usually resorted to with her.  She smiled and finished off the wine in her cup.  “Damn you, Jon Snow.  No easy victory, then.” 

She rose, silk swaying around her as she walked towards the open stone window along the wall, staring out at the clear night sky and collecting her thoughts.  “So, Jon Snow, if you will not bend the knee this night, perhaps you will finally tell me why you’ve come.”

Only silence answered her and she swung around, hair curling across her shoulders and tumbling with the movement as Daenerys looked into that handsome face, lips pressed together as he stared into his wine.  She approached, his eyes slowly raising to hers the closer she got, a belated thrill coursing through her as she saw him risk a tiny look at the bodice of her dress before settling on her face.

“A war comes, Daenerys Stormborn.  An army gathers north of the Wall, and without your help every man, woman, and child will join the ranks of the dead who fight for him.”  His voice was heavy and cold, and she felt a chill sweep through her, raising goosebumps across her flesh as she studied his face.

“For whom, Jon Snow?”

“For the Night King.”  He took a big swallow of his wine, emptying the glass and setting it before him.  “I know what Cersei Lannister is.  Perhaps better than most.  I would love nothing more than to take her head myself for her part in the crimes against my family.”  She could see the anger in his eyes; Tyrion had explained to her before the King’s arrival the a few of the reasons that Jon Snow would enjoin her efforts to depose the Usurper’s wife.  He sighed and continued, eyes dark and deep in the dim light of the room.  “But if we do not join our forces to fight the true enemy in the North, you may yet win the Seven Kingdoms, but you’ll be ruling over a graveyard.”

Daenerys could feel her dinner turning over in her stomach.  This was not what she had expected at all.  She didn’t want to hear this, any of this, but she could not ignore the seriousness of his tone, this man who had brought his Direwolf to see her, who had touched Drogon with no fear.  He was not mad, and that meant she could not discount what he was saying, at least not immediately.

“And if I cannot give you my forces and my dragons?  Is there nothing else that would assist in fighting this army of dead men?”  She could not just cease the war she’d already begun to wage, she would not; No matter how much she thought she might like to kiss him, no matter how much she thought he was different from any man she’d ever met.

He waited before responding, watching her fill his cup and then her own with wine. 

“Dragonglass.”

She felt her brow furrow, eyes tracking back to his as she reached for her wine.  “What?”

“Dragonglass.  Dragonstone sits on a mountain of it.  If you will allow me to mine it, take it back to Winterfell, my people can forge weapons from it.  Besides fire and Valyrian steel, it is the only other weapon that can kill the Night King’s soldiers.” 

Daenerys bit her lip, weighing his words and studying him, no hint of mockery or jest on his face to suggest he was trying to deceive her.

“I will think on it, Jon Snow.  That is all I can do for now.”  She let her eyes slowly trace his face, lingering on his lips, determined to give him one more prod because he was so very interesting.  “Unless, of course, you are ready to bend the knee?” 

He pushed his jaw out a bit, as if to brace himself against her eyes and her voice, responding with a firm, “Not this night, your Grace.”

--------------

Daenerys realized the next morning, as she opened the door to her chambers, that while her efforts to win over Jon Snow might be unsuccessful his Direwolf was not afflicted with such stubbornness.  He was lying just to the side of one door, panting, mouth open as if he was smiling at her as his large body crowded the corridor.

She went to him immediately, palms itching to capture the magic of him in her hands, giving him gentle sweeps along the crown of his head and down the thick ruff of fur on his neck as Missandei gasped behind her.

“Do not fear, my friend.  Ghost is much more manageable than his King.”  She smiled at her friend’s giggle as the white wolf rose and followed her gamely, his head even with hers as he escorted her down the long hall and through the Keep.

She bid Missandei a brief farewell as she made her way outside, Ghost still accompanying her as she walked down to the small landing she favored most, watching her children screech and play in the early morning sun.

“Amazing thing to see.”  She did not turn at the sound of Jon Snow’s voice, indulging the brief notion that he meant her, not the dragons wheeling about before her.  She waited until he joined her, not ceasing the attention she gave his wolf with her left hand as she placed her right on the ledge before her.

“I appreciate your decision to bend the knee at such an early hour, Jon Snow.”  Daenerys looked at Ghost, still not looking at the man this wolf belonged to, but she could feel the warmth of him at her side.

“Then I am afraid you are in for a disappointing morning, Your Grace.”

She finally spun to face him, keeping her expression stern.  “You are off to a terrible start in terms of diplomacy.”

“I am afraid I’m rather new to being King, so the politics of it all escapes me at times.”  He shrugged, eyes open and honest, and she couldn’t stop her lips from quirking into the tiny grin she’d been fighting.  She shook her head, feeling the long braid of hair swing against her back.

“So I see.”  Jon’s dark head bowed a little at this; She knew he was telling the truth.  She had no doubt from the stories she had heard that Jon was a warrior at heart, not a politician, and his bluntness was refreshing, if not made a bit aggravating by his stubbornness.  “Jon.”  She dared a hand on his arm, and his eyes immediately went from her light grip against the strong forearm she felt beneath her palm to her eyes.

“I will allow you to mine the dragonglass.  Any men or resources you need I will provide for you.” 

The surprise in his eyes, and then the hope that eased the tension in his brow must have loosened his amazingly tight grip on his control, because then he was bringing his hand to cover hers and squeezing slightly, voice low and rumbling out a “Thank you” in a way that made her want to give him everything, right then.  It had been far too long since she’d had a man in her bed, if the moisture pooling at her center from the feel of his hand on her skin was any indication.

She pulled her hand free, trying to reign herself in, straightening her shoulders and keeping her gaze trained on her dragons.  “You’d better get to work, Jon Snow.”

Daenerys heard him depart, his boots striking the stairs, then his voiced called down, “Ghost!  Come!”

She looked at the Direwolf, his red eyes moving from Jon to Daenerys.  He whined a bit, then licked her hand and bounded up to the King in the North.

The Queen remained, only taking one small glance at his retreating form, puzzling over why this man seemed to draw her to him as he did.  Perhaps it was just the challenge of him, and once he gave in she would want nothing more.  She hoped she was right.  She could not afford to lose whatever remained of her heart.

---------------

For the next three days Daenerys occupied herself with planning the invasion of Casterly Rock with Tyrion, finding Missandei a bit teary that third evening with the news that Grey Worm would be leading the Unsullied forces on the mission.

“He will return to you, I promise.”  She took her friend’s hand, then folded her in an embrace.  Missandei sniffed a little, fingertips wiping away a stray tear.

“I am sure he will.  He is very capable.”  Daenerys saw that sly, secret smile creep over Missandei’s face.

“Is he now?”  Her tone was teasing and Missandei’s eyes held something mysterious that Daenerys suddenly wanted very deeply to learn.  Her friend was not cooperating, however, and changed the subject to the other topic that was heavy on the Queen’s mind the past few days.

“I saw the King in the North today, Ser Davos as well.”

She was being ridiculous.  She shouldn’t feel a tremor in her stomach at the mere mention of him.  She tried to contain any trace of excitement in her voice, adopting a tone of unconcern.  “Really?”

Missandei’s warm brown eyes grew a bit too knowing for Daenerys’s liking, but her friend did not comment on the Queen’s interest as she spoke.  “We had an…interesting conversation.  Ser Davos said something I thought you might like to know.” 

“What?”  She wanted to blush at how earnest she sounded.

“Ser Davos said that the King in the North was chosen by his people because they believe in him.  Because he fought for them.  Because he took a knife in the heart for them.”  Missandei must have seen the growing disbelief on her face, but she pressed on.  “The King cut him off before he finished, but it sounded as though he was going to say that the King in the North gave his own life for his people.”

Daenerys felt numb, the only sensation waves of cold that coursed through her as her heart beat.  “Do you suppose it’s true?”

Missandei looked down, studying her hands.  When she tilted her face up to look at Daenerys, she looked as conflicted as the Queen felt.  “I can’t say for sure.  It seemed to be something Ser Davos said without thinking, and I have found that hastily spoken words tend to be true.  But if it were true, would that not be the sort of thing a King used to build his image?  His own legend or greatness?”

Jon Snow would not.  The thought raced through her mind, following by an aching pang in her heart that this was probably true.  It was impossible, though, that he could be before her as was and have been killed and returned to the living.  Daenerys had seen with her own eyes that magic could indeed restore life to the dead.  But Drogo had not returned as Jon Snow supposedly had.  Jon Snow was alive in a way that Drogo had not been, and that dreadful state had driven her to end her husband’s life as a mercy.

“Most Kings would.  But Jon Snow is not most Kings.”  Her mind felt a mess; she was not sure that he would even tell her if she asked, and yet she desperately wanted to know.

“No, he does not seem to be, Your Grace.”  Missandei gave her a thoughtful look.  “Perhaps you may ask him yourself.  Ser Davos mentioned he intended to show the King in the North the baths.  He says the King in the North has been spending much time in the mines.”  There was a smile creeping across her handmaiden’s face now, slightly devious, and Daenerys felt her own lips slip up.

“What an utterly perfect idea, Missandei.”  Daenerys walked over to her dressing table, reaching for the twist of braids at the nape of her neck.  “Would you help me with these?  I’ll leave it down, I think.”

--------------

If she had any doubt as to whether she would find the King in the North in the Dragonstone baths, her fears were quickly allayed as she saw the smiling face of the Onion Knight heading towards her, his eyes widening and smile faltering a bit when he looked back over his shoulder to the carved stone entrance of the bathing rooms. 

Daenerys stopped before him, seeing Ser Davos take in the large cotton bathsheet over her arm, and the thin robe she wore.  He cleared his throat, his voice quiet in the empty stone hallway.  “I should mention, Your Grace, that Jon Snow…”

“…Will never know that we saw each other and certainly will not hear how you failed to stop me from entering the baths, as you are guests in my home and it would be terribly rude to keep the Queen from bathing when she desires.”  Perhaps he saw the plea in her eyes, because he nodded slowly, turning to continue down the hall. 

She continued onward, shoulders convulsing in amusement as he called after her, “Take it easy on the lad, Your Grace.”  

Daenerys pursed her lips, letting an exhale slowly stream out and she stood up straight, keeping her bearing regal and unaffected as she entered the narrow sloping walkway that led down to the pools under Dragonstone.  Her ancestors had left a wonderful small pocket of peace and quiet here in the heart of this great stone keep, cunningly channeling the small springs that were scattered about on the island to feed and heat the handful of large stone basins set into the floor of the room.  Each could probably fit half a dozen or so more comfortably, but at most she had only ever had Missandei here with her when she bathed.

But Jon Snow was here.  Alone.  Probably naked.  The last thought sent a spiral of heat through her, and that reaction should have set her feet in the opposite direction, but she had missed him.  He was entertaining company and since she’d given him permission to mine the dragonglass he was rarely to be found.  She would behave herself, but if she wanted answers he did not want to give her, such as how he was magically brought back to life, this might be the only chance she had to keep him in one place.

Daenerys finally turned the last corner, the corridor of stone opening into the great cavernous room beneath the keep.  Someone had painted the ceiling to look like the daytime sky, bright blue with great white clouds and a gleaming sun.  This was her favorite thing, this room, and she had been here often, sometimes just floating weightless in the water and staring up at this pretend sky.

She slipped off her soft silk shoes, leaving them against the wall and padding over to the farthest pool, her favorite, the one with three spigots on the far wall that continuously fed water into the pool.  Jon Snow was there, his head leaned back against the edge of the stone, surely sitting on one of the sunken ledges that lined the perimeter.  There were not many braziers lit, but the one nearest the King in the North was, and as she approached she could see wet droplets beading along his neck and a very well-muscled chest. 

There.  Just there, peeking above the line where skin met water, over his heart, she could see it.  A large, fresh looking scar, angry and red.  She let her eyes memorize it, knowing that as soon as he realized she was there he would hide it, would sink down into the pool to keep his secrets.

The Queen stopped walking quietly, allowing her bare feet to slap against the smooth stone floor as she passed by Jon Snow, prone with his eyes closed.  She risked a glance down but the darkness of the room unfortunately guarded the King’s virtue as to what lay beneath the lapping surface of the pool.

“I haven’t changed my mind, Davos.”  His tone was not pleased, and she wondered just what Davos had been discussing with Jon Snow.

“Changed your mind about what, Jon Snow?” 

To his credit, he did not start or panic.  Of course not.  He slowly cracked his eyes open, seeing her leaning against the wall by the hooks that now held her bath sheet and, she assumed, his.

It made her happy, just a bit, that his only reaction was to start laughing, a resigned chuckle as he dropped his head back against the stone and slid down on the water until it reached his neck.  “Shit.  I see I am to have no peace tonight.  If you would turn your head I will leave and give you some privacy, Your Grace.”

Daenerys said nothing, walking to the stone edge of the pool, taking a seat and folding the long edges of her robe under her thighs to submerge her feet and calves in the water.  “Ah, it’s very warm this evening.”

Jon Snow watched her kick her legs, water eddying around her calves.  “You aren’t going to let me out of here are you?”

Daenerys smirked at him.  “Not until you answer a question for me.”

“You’ll forgive me for suspecting I may not like this question, if you feel the need to imprison me so.”

She wasn’t going to dignify that with a direct response; he was free to climb out whenever he wanted, but she knew he wouldn’t if she was watching.  She wondered if all Northerners were as prudish, or if it was just the King in the North.

“Did you take a knife in the heart for your people, Jon Snow?”  Daenerys kept her eyes on the water, watching it swirl around her skin, but eventually his silence made her cast her gaze to him, chin so low now to the water that drops fell from the hair lining his jaw.

“I think I’d rather answer your question about my Night’s Watch vows.”  His voice was wry, but he was fidgeting.  Gods.  It *was* true.

He’d answer one way or another, then.  She didn’t want to do it this way.  Well, a part of her did.  A part of her wanted nothing more than to throw off her robe and slide her wet skin against his to test the feel of him gliding along her.  That she wanted to so badly, though…that would keep her from throwing herself at him, at least.

“Close your eyes, Jon Snow.”  Daenerys stood, walking back to the hooks that line a section of stone wall.  “I’m getting in.  I thought I’d warn you before I took off my clothes, what with your celibacy vow and all.”

“Why?”  He sounded so confused that she looked over her shoulder as he asked, noting that he had certainly closed his eyes.  She sighed.  She doubted he would peek, but her pride might start suffering soon if she was truly dealing with the one man in the world who wanted nothing to do with her physically.

“Why am I getting in?  To bathe, Jon Snow.  Isn’t that the intended use?”  He did not open his eyes as she spoke, and she walked down to the far end, descending the inlaid stairs until she was submerged.  She swiftly dunked her head under, resurfacing and smoothing her hair back from her face with her hands.  “You don’t have to keep your eyes closed the entire time I’m in here.  I daresay it is dark enough for modesty’s sake.”

Daenerys saw him open his eyes, but he only briefly looked at her, choosing instead to stare at the daytime sky painted on the ceiling.

“I want to help you, Jon Snow.  I want to trust you.  My dragons do.”  Now dark eyes met hers.  “But if I am to trust you, we must be honest with each other.”  She approached as close as she dared.  “So many men have tried to kill me. I don’t remember all their names. I have been sold like a broodmare. I have been chained and betrayed. Raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself. In Daenerys Targaryen.”  She kept his stare trapped with hers, inching a bit nearer.  “I would like to think there is at least one other person I can have faith in besides myself, as foolish as that may seem.”

He really was beautiful, here in the dim light the flaming braziers provided.  Like a statue, something carved to try to capture perfection, the scars she could see only making her desire him more.  She studied him as he made his decision.

“I brought the wildlings south of the Wall to protect them from the Night King and his army.”  Jon Snow finally sat up fully, his chest exposed again to just where his ribs began below his pectorals.  She tried diligently to ignore how very well-defined his muscles were and focused on listening to him speak.  “My brothers in the Night’s Watch.”  He seemed to be gathering himself, jaw clenching as he continued.  “They betrayed me for it.  Stabbed me to death in the snow at Castle Black.”  He pointed to the scar above his heart now.  “That was the final one.  The one that killed me.”

Daenerys was breathing heavily now; he was telling the truth, she could hear it in his voice, but she could not understand how he could have come back as he was now.  “How are you alive now?”

“A priestess who serves the Lord of Light brought me back.  Davos was there for it all, he’s the one to ask if it’s specifics you want.”  Jon Snow gave her a grimace that perhaps could have passed for a smile if not for the grim topic.  “I was dead for that part so I don’t rightly know.  I remember bleeding to death, and then I was awake.  It was fucking terrifying if you want the full truth of it.”

He was magic.  That was how.  He was magic as she was, something in the blood, she thought.  The Starks descended from the First Men, this she knew from the histories she had studied on her journey to Dragonstone; her journey home.  She had the magic of Old Valyria, of Dragons, in her blood, and Jon Snow had the magic of Wolves, of the First Men, in his. 

“Do you know why the Dothraki sailed the Narrow Sea for me?”

He shook his head, face relaxing a bit.  She supposed he was relieved she asked no more about his resurrection.

“The first time I rode a dragon, Drogon saved me from certain death.”  Daenerys swirled her hand in spirals through the water as she talked, picturing it in her mind.  “But he left me in the Dothraki Sea, alone.  I was found by a khalasar and taken to Vaes Dothrak as a prisoner.  Understand that I was a Khal’s widow already, and in their tradition I was to become one of the dosh khaleen.”  She looked up, to see him watching her carefully.  He wouldn’t understand parts of it, but she was not going to take up all the time he might allow her with him in this pool explaining Dothraki culture to the King in the North.

“I had broken tradition, however, and they took me before the Khals to decide my fate.”  She set her jaw, now, as he had done in relating his tale.  “Oh, they had many plans for me, Jon Snow.  Sell me to Wise Masters of Yunkai.  Force me to remain with the dosh khaleen.  Keep me prisoner and fuck me, first the Khals, then their bloodriders, then their horses.”  There was horror on his face, and she wondered what he would think when he heard the rest.  Would he call it justice or madness?

“Those were my options.  And so, I told them that they were small men.  That under their rule the Dothraki would be a small people.  That none of them were fit to lead.  But I was fit to lead, I said, and so I would.”  She drew in a deep breath.  “They laughed of course.  But when I locked them in the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen with me, and I burned it to the ground…”  His eyes widened, and she saw him searching the skin he could see.  “They did not laugh then, Jon Snow.  They screamed.  And only I emerged from the flames.  My clothes had burned away.  I walked through the doors and the Dothraki fell to their knees before me, for I had proven myself stronger than any Khal.  I was unburnt.”

Jon Snow had dropped his eyes to the water, dipping his chin a bit to look at the scars littering his chest and abdomen.  “Well, you win.”  He looked up and gave her a half-smile.  “Your story’s much more dramatic than mine.  With many more witnesses, I’m sure.  Does it make my story more impressive if I add that the wildlings now think I’m some sort of God?”

Daenerys Targaryen, Rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, snorted in a most unladylike fashion.

“Well, you did come back from the dead, Jon Snow.  What else are they to think?” 

His flinty eyes were solemn now, all trace of humor gone.  “I’m not a God.”

She carefully made her way through the water to the sunken ledge he rested upon, far enough away that he wouldn’t find it too terribly improper.  Her hair floated and trailed around and behind her, finally settling as she leaned back against the wall of the pool as he did.

“Neither am I, Jon Snow.”  She turned her head slightly, taking in his profile as gazed up at the ceiling once more.  “But you and I, we’re not like everyone else, either.  We are different.  We are…more.”

Daenerys watched him nod, eyes still directed up.  She realized then he was avoiding looking at her in case he saw anything he thought he shouldn’t.

“Alright, King in the North, I’ll get out and leave you to whatever brooding it is that almost-Gods alarmed by naked women get up to while they bathe.”  She pushed off the wall, splashing her way to the steps and calling out, “Close your eyes, Jon Snow, unless you don’t want to, of course.”

“They’re closed, but I’d like to make it clear that I am not *alarmed* by naked women.”  She stepped from the water, laughing at the declaration as she wrapped the bath sheet around her and walked over to where he still reclined in the water.

“Just me, then.  I don’t know whether to be offended or flattered.”  Perhaps he heard the aggravation in her voice, as he finally looked at her, chuckling at her narrowed eyes.

“Yes, just you I suppose.  Make of that what you will.”  Daenerys smiled coyly at his words, slipping into her robe and securing it, letting the bath sheet fall away so she could dry her feet before slipping on her shoes.  “Not going to ask me to bend the knee tonight, Your Grace?”

No, that was not what she wanted.  She wanted to ask him into her bed, she wanted to make that haunted look in his eyes go away; that look that spoke of betrayal and a deep sadness.  She wanted to stop with all the politics and just be a woman, just for once, but this was not the night for such impulses.  “No, King in the North.  Not tonight.”

----------------

The Mother of Dragons dreamed a dream that night, one she had not had for some time, of her comely young lover who loved her so sweetly, so perfectly, his face always masked in shifting shadows.  It was a respite for her, these dreams, and she always felt a sense of relief when she awoke; this lover in her dreams was still there, he still came for her, pleasuring her in ways she had not had outside the world of this dream, none of the hurt or hostility that the reality of her past had been.

But it was different, that night, and when she awoke it was with a gasp and a shudder, climax still rumbling through her core like thunder, her thighs soaked with want.  That night she had heard his voice.  Oh, that voice as it had called her name, that low growling rasp as he had tasted between her legs, the feel of him thrusting into her, driving her mad with desire as she plead desperately with him not to stop.

It was Jon Snow.

Had it always been him?  She wasn’t sure.  But it was now, she had felt the rough hair of his beard against the tender skin of her thighs, between her breasts, against her neck as he had whispered all the things he would do to her into her ear.

Daenerys trailed a hand down her neck, rising and walking to her dressing table.  She examined herself in the mirror, finding no evidence of being loved so thoroughly in the night.  She ceased her pointless search when she heard scratching at her door, hurrying to open it and finding Ghost standing there.  She opened both doors wide, gesturing with an arm.  “Enter, my Lord.”

He made a slow circuit of the room, sniffing intently at every surface, and she marveled at him, this beautiful creature of the North, magical and lovely.  The Direwolf came back to her, now, laying that large head on the floor at her feet and eyeing her expectantly.  Daenerys could not help it, she fell to her knees before him with a giggle, scratching with both hands as he whined and stretched under her fingers, fringed white tail sweeping across the floor.

“Ghost!”  She did not have to look up to know who now stood at the open doors to her chambers, the chiding in his voice making Ghost look at her and chuff.  She was certain that if the Direwolf could have rolled his eyes he would have, seeming exasperated that he’d been found by Jon Snow so quickly.

Daenerys shifted, the black dressing gown she’d thrown on slipping to pool around her as she slid her legs to rest flat on the floor, Ghost obediently laying his head firmly on her lap.  The weight was soothing, and she lay her cheek atop the crest of his head and turned her eyes, as hopeful as she could muster, to Jon Snow. 

“Oh, don’t make him leave yet.  He just got here.”  She scratched a finger between Ghost’s eyes, and he gave a great groan, his eyelids slamming shut at the touch.  She could see her unbound hair tumbling across his fur and was struck for the first time at how closely his coloration matched the silver locks.  “Besides, Jon Snow, we match, your wolf and I.”  She picked up a long curl, waving it at him as he stayed standing in her doorway.  “See?”

Jon Snow did not look as enchanted as she did, and still he hesitated outside her chambers.  “You may enter, if it’s an invitation you were waiting for.”

The King in the North heaved a great sigh and crossed the threshold, casting his eyes around curiously and quickly before coming to stand before his Direwolf.  “It seems you have been successful in bewitching my wolf, Your Grace.”

“That only seems fair, Jon Snow.  How many others do you think have touched my largest, fiercest dragon?”  Daenerys watched him consider the question, then set about smoothing her hand down Ghost’s back and rubbing between his shoulders.

“Not many I would assume.”

“None, Jon Snow.  None have ever dared.  In hindsight it’s a good thing I was right about you, as I doubt the North would have backed my claim to the Iron Throne if I’d sent their King back as ashes.”  He was looking at her a bit incredulously, then shook his head, as if exasperated at the chance she’d taken.

“He really might’ve killed me, then.”  It was not a question, but she nodded her agreement.  “Wouldn’t have been the first time.”

“But he did not.  And I was right.  You have magic in you Jon Snow, just as I do.” 

The King scoffed, staring at Ghost, who finally must’ve realized he’d disobeyed enough already and reluctantly rose to his feet.  “I don’t know about that.”

“You need not know it for it to be true.  You did not say anything to your wolf just then, but he can sense what you want, can’t he?”  Oh, he did not want to answer that, this King who was in turns both honest and secretive.  But he did, finally, with a stiff nod of his head.

“Magic, Jon Snow.  Not the kind practiced by witches or priestesses.  Magic in the blood.  It is the same with my dragons.  They can feel my intent, when I am in danger…is that not magic of a sort?”  She held her hands up questioningly as she finished, and she was pleased that he did not immediately brush off her words again.  She was no fan of the magics she had encountered elsewhere, but the magic inside her was a part of her, beating with her heart and pulsing through her.

“I suppose it is.”  He ground the words out grudgingly.

“Your Grace?”  Missandei’s quiet question from the door ended the conversation, and Daenerys had to bite back a smile at the look of panic that flashed across Jon Snow’s face, as if he’d been caught doing something wrong by being there.  He looked from the Queen, clad only in her dressing gown, to her handmaiden, who stepped inside and waited, giving the King a knowing look.

“I will take my leave now.”  The words were clipped, and he hastened to exit, saying to Missandei as he passed, “I was not improper in my behavior, I can assure you.”

“Unfortunately.”  Daenerys chuckled at the glare he threw her, Missandei joining in as he left and closed the doors behind him.

-----------------

Daenerys did not see the King in the North for two more days, not even in passing, and she was starting to regret letting him mine for dragonglass, her eyes hungry for the sight of him, and she was truly starting to believe he had been out to seduce her all along, instead of the other way around.  There was no other way to explain this yearning for him, to be in his company.  She actually liked him, and she liked very few people.  She tolerated, in general, because most in her retinue of advisors fell into the same trap as many other men; they saw her beauty and believed she must desperately need their input as she must be clueless as to the realities of the world.

Jon Snow treated her as an equal, and he did not underestimate her, and he had far too much honor to give her what she now desired from him.

She dreamed of him every night, this mysterious lover that she now knew to be him.  It was far too soon to feel what she felt, and the small part of her that still clung to the notion that she could love someone engaged rapturously in daydreams of having him in her bed whenever she liked, marrying him and keeping him here, with her, and letting Cersei Lannister and this Night King do what the wished.

The King in the North found her walking with Missandei, asking her to accompany him into these mysterious mines of his to see what he’d found.

She wished she hadn’t.  She wished she’d never seen what decorated those walls, the monsters with ice blue eyes like creatures from a nightmare, some tangible proof that Jon Snow’s tale of the danger beyond the wall was sickeningly real.

Daenerys stared at the images as her stomach twisted itself in knots, one more impossible choice now added to the list of impossible choices her life had been.  She allowed her eyes to creep across his face, the torchlight flickering and throwing his features into sharp relief.  His tongue slipped out to wet his lips nervously as he looked at the wall as well, and she almost moaned at the sight.  Another impossible choice, perhaps, because what she wanted of him he might not give her.  He might have no interest at all in her, even in a politically advantageous marriage, and she would have to accept that.

Then Jon Snow’s eyes, black in the dim light, met hers, and she knew he wanted her.  He wore it now in a way she hadn’t seen before, and she wondered if she looked as irresistible to him as he did to her here in this cave, just the two of them, bathed in firelight. 

“I would like to call a temporary truce, Jon Snow, in my campaign to force you to bend the knee.”  She walked slowly closer, watching his eyes flit from her eyes to her lips, quickly but there all the same, a hunger in their depths that told her that this might not be her smartest political decision, but they both wanted it.

“Why is that, Your Grace?”  She did not answer, the rough pitch of his voice sending a shiver up her spine.  Instead she took the torch from his hand, finding a bracket nearby to rest it in. 

It was not until she stood before him again that she gave him a reply, her voice breathy as she spoke.  “So that when I do this, you will know it is simply because I wanted to.”

And Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, kissed the King in the North with everything she had, every ounce of frustration and longing and hunger that existed within her, terrified and overwhelmed by the sensation of his lips against her, finally.  The longest second of her life passed, that second that he froze in her grasp, at the feel of her soft lips against his and her hands locking together around his neck, at the press of her body against his.

But then Jon Snow, King in the North, groaned low in his throat and parted her lips with his tongue, and kissed her back with a passion that was thrilling and primal.  She opened her mouth wider, welcoming the slide and tangle of his tongue with hers, only drawing back to suckle at his plump bottom lip, which in turn only seemed to enflame him, his tongue now thrusting into her mouth in deep strokes that made her suckle it instead, wishing they were rid of all these stupid layers of clothing, that she could feel his touch on her skin as their mouths made love to each other.

She was gasping against his neck as he licked and sucked at the skin of hers when Ser Davos Seaworth called out to them from a distance, that they needed to return to the beach, his voice echoing and breaking the spell that had possessed them for a few precious minutes.

Jon Snow leaned his forehead against hers, both catching their breath.  “Alright, Davos.”  He had turned his head away from hers to call out to his Hand, and when his eyes met hers again she smiled.

It probably should have been awkward and strange, but there was no doubt in her mind now.  He was hers.  He would be hers.  They would sort out all these monstrous enemies, Cersei and the Night King, and then Jon Snow would be hers to love.  She wasn’t going to tell him that, though, not yet.

She settled for caressing his cheek, then winking cheekily at him.  “Truce over, Jon Snow.”

Daenerys led the way through the narrow network of corridors, Jon walked apace with her as they reached the wider entrance of the dragonglass caves, Missandei and Davos now behind them.

Whatever satisfaction had coursed through her dissipated quickly at the news Varys and Tyrion brought her, and she stormed ahead of the group, rage coursing through her as she stopped and stared at her children, the easiest way to rid herself of Cersei Lannister but at the high cost of thousands of innocent lives.

She was unleashing her thoughts on Tyrion’s plan when Ghost came bounding across the sand, snuffling quickly at Jon before padding to her, and she plunged a hand into his fur, the slick cool feel of him centering her a bit. 

She looked at Jon, then, who was watching her carefully, Ser Davos doing the same just over the King’s shoulder.  “What do you think I should do, King in the North?”

Jon Snow’s eyes slid to the side, his head already shaking as if to deny her his counsel.  “I would never presume…”

Daenerys stalked to him.  “I am at war.  I am losing.  What do you think I should do?”

He looked at her, really and truly, taking a quick breath before speaking.  “I never thought that dragons would exist again. No one did. The people who follow you know that you made something impossible happen. Maybe that helps them believe that you can make other impossible things happen. Build a world that’s different from the shit one they’ve always known. But if you use them to melt castles and burn cities, you’re not different; you’re just more of the same.”

He was right, and his counsel was wise, but it was bitter all the same.  She had three dragons but if she wanted to break the wheel she could not use them to burn it to ashes.  She would have to try something different.

--------------

Jon Snow sought her out the night before she planned to engage the Lannister forces, finding her studying the painted table her ancestors had built, going over her plans one final time.  Daenerys was surprised, as she’d assumed everyone had retired for the night, and while she’d wanted to see him there had not been much time with the flurry of activity and preparation.

She knew where Cersei’s army would be; Dothraki scouts amongst the forces she’d already sent to the mainland for Tyrion’s planned blockade had scouted the loot train en route to King’s Landing.  She traced her finger along the Kingsroad, eager to see this done, to deliver justice to her allies destroyed already in this war.

The King did not knock, just entered and shut the door behind him firmly, coming to stand opposite her and gazing at the map.

“Do not become so bound to the plan that you are unable to improvise.  The Lannisters know that you have dragons.  They will surely have planned for it.”  Jon Snow did not speak loudly but he did not have to; she could plainly hear the concern and worry in his voice.

Daenerys eyed him, walking around the great table that dominated most of the room to stand beside him.  “This is not my first battle, Jon Snow, but I appreciate your counsel all the same.”

It wasn’t until he swung his head to face her that he noticed how closely she stood.  His eyes were glittering in the candlelight of the room; she had to stop seeing him in dimly lit rooms or whatever resolve she continued to muster that kept her from dragging him to her bed would soon be exhausted.  “Don’t get overconfident either, then.  That’s an easy way to find yourself on the wrong end of a sword.”

The Queen pushed herself up until she was sitting on the edge of the table, her eyes searching his as he stood to her left.  “I am exactly the correct amounts of cautious and confident.”

“You forgot aggravating.”  He laughed as he spoke, some of the tension in his shoulders leaving.

“And stubborn.  I am inordinately stubborn, Jon Snow.  Much more stubborn than you.”  She grinned at him.  “And far too stubborn to let myself get killed on the morrow.”

The King in the North stopped smiling, then, coming to stand right in front of her, his hands sliding up her arms to her shoulders.  “I beg a truce, Daenerys.”

The way he said her name; it was just like she dreamed, his accent drawing it out in a manner that made her want to have him right here, to strip off all the leather and armor he wore and taste every inch of his skin as she did while she slept, to see if her dreams were at all like the reality of him, and her, and them together.

“I grant your truce, Jon Snow.”

His mouth was on hers instantly, her arms shifting up to wrap around his neck while his slid down to hold her tightly to his chest.  It wasn’t the frantic kiss they’d shared in the cave.  No, this time Jon Snow kissed her tenderly, gently exploring the shape of her upper lip, then her lower.  This time Jon Snow kissed her like he loved her, and she felt herself melting against him, giving herself over to whatever he wanted to do to her; a heat simmered inside her, sliding along her arms and legs, through her core, along her heart.  His palm came up to cup her jaw, turning her head slightly for a new angle, tasting and teasing her tongue with his, and she was slightly embarrassed at how loudly she moaned as she brought her thighs closer together to squeeze at his sides.

He broke the kiss, staring into her, and she felt exposed and raw with want.  She knew she wanted nothing more to take him and claim him, to give herself over to him, but tonight was not the night for such things.  She suspected that Jon Snow was something to be savored, not rushed, and if she had him tonight she worried she would be hard-pressed to leave him at dawn.

“Truce over, Your Grace.  I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.”

With that he was gone, as if he’d never been there, except for the racing of her pulse and the flush on her face.  And her heart, of course, her heart that burned for him as it never had for another.

-----------

The King in the North was waiting for her, as she saw the cliffs of Dragonstone come into view, and the high of her victory only fanned the flames of her desire for him as Drogon clambered down, apparently intent on greeting Jon Snow as well.  She had a momentary concern for him; it was possible that first meeting had been a fluke, but it flew out of her mind as she saw his hand stroke Drogon’s snout, unafraid as her largest child began his whistling purr.  As if she needed any reason to want him more.

Daenerys took her time climbing down and approaching him, suddenly a bit nervous, a feeling she hadn’t felt in some time. 

“You weren’t gone long.”  Gods, she had missed the timbre of his voice, the pitch and tone, the way it sounded like every word was meant just for her.  She needed to calm herself down, truly, or she would be begging him to take her right here in full view of anyone who happened to be watching for her return.

“No.  And I have fewer enemies today than I had yesterday.”  She regretted the deaths of the Tarlys, that father and son who had refused to bend the knee.  But she hadn’t had any other option, regardless of how Tyrion felt.  She knew, to a degree, that both Tyrion and Varys were just waiting for her to become the Mad King’s Daughter in truth, and it was a sore spot that she rarely visited but one that was especially raw today.  The Tarlys had betrayed a House they had been bannered to for a very long time, had helped the Lannisters destroy House Tyrell and take it’s riches and supplies for themselves.  Allowing them to live meant allowing traitors in her midst, and she would never have been able to trust them even if they’d sworn to her.

“And you?  How do you fare?”  She reached out and took his arm as he asked, thrilling in the warmth of his strong bicep against her palm as he folded her hand into his grasp. 

“Unharmed.”  She sighed, gazing at the keep in the distance.  “Though I doubt I will stop seeing their faces when I close my eyes.  At least not anytime soon.”  Daenerys felt him come to a halt, but she did not meet his eyes until he put a gloved hand on her jaw and tilted her face to meet his.

“Never gets any easier.  I know.  Even when they deserve it.  Even when it’s the least shit choice of the shit choices you have.”  Something rushed through her at his words, a feeling of being known, of being understood, because that’s all it ever was to be Queen.  Being the one to make the right decisions when none of them were good, and facing the judgement of her advisors no matter what she chose.

“Truce, Jon Snow.”  Her speech was rushed, because she was about to kiss him, probably for quite awhile, and if he had changed his mind about her in her absence she was going to let him back out gracefully though it would pain her greatly.

“Aye, Daenerys.”  He met her halfway, mouths greedy for each other, devouring each other as if it had been a year since they parted instead of a day.  She could feel his hands slide across and down her back, groaning as he stopped himself at the base of her spine instead of going lower.  She pressed her chest desperately against him, her hands gripping the muscles of his back, wanting the friction of the wall of his body and layers of leathers and furs against nipples that ached for his touch, for his lips and tongue.

Jon Snow brought her firmly against him, then, and she could feel his desire for her, the hard length of him pressed against her, making her nip at his lips as she gasped into his mouth.

“Khaleesi!”  It was Qhono’s call that ended their embrace, the Northern King’s eyes hot and heavy with want as he looked down at her, before she turned away reluctantly to see what could possibly have made him interrupt her just as Jon Snow was becoming the most interesting thing in the world.

Jorah.  Jorah was returned, and he was healed, and Daenerys did not miss the suspicious glare Jon Snow shot her oldest companion as she greeted him.  It was very wrong to feel a little thrill at it, as if he was jealous of Jorah the Andal, who had always wanted something he could never have.

She turned back to the King in the North, mouthing “Truce over” reluctantly as they all made their way back to the stone Keep she called home. 

------------

Jon Snow’s brother Bran was alive.  His sister Arya was alive.  She was happy for him, really, but then her excitement at the news turned to lead in her chest as he voiced his intention to leave.

“I thought you didn’t have enough men.”  Jon Snow only grew more aggravated with every sentence she spoke, and this was all spiraling out of her control faster than she could allow.  This army of the undead was an abstraction to her, something she tried not to think on too greatly, for if she kept it at arm’s length it did not have to be real to her.

But it was real to Jon Snow, and he was leaving her.  And she could not follow because Cersei Lannister was nipping at her heels to the south, and this entire thing was impossible.  Another round of shit choices and she must choose the least shit choice, as the King in the North had so correctly phrased it.

And then.  Oh, Tyrion and his miserable, terrible plans, and then Jorah.  And Jon.  No.  This was too far, this was too much, and she was done fucking around with all of it.  She would not risk any of them on the chance that Cersei Lannister *might* see reason.

Daenerys slammed both her hands down on the table, shocking the room into silence.  “Enough.”   

She rose and stalked to the other end of the table, where Jon Snow and Ser Davos stood, inserting herself between them and studying the map.

“We are here.”  She pointed to Dragonstone on the table and looked at Jon Snow, who nodded.  “And you propose to travel here.”  She trailed her finger to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, at the edge of the great northern Wall of ice, the only thing that kept the Night King’s Army at bay.  Unless, of course, he managed to bring the Wall down as Jon Snow feared, and then they were all completely fucked.

Daenerys had flown enough over Westeros now to approximate her flight time, the length of her little finger from palm to tip about an hour’s worth of travel if she flew at an average pace.  She measured it off now, carefully marking off each hour with her pinky.  “Eight hours if I don’t push Drogon too hard, I suppose.”  She said it more to herself than the others, but Davos heard her clearly enough.

“What are you proposing, Your Grace?”

She looked from Tyrion to Jorah to Varys.  “I will see this army myself.  And I will make my decision.”

“What decision?”  Tyrion drew the words out, voice heavy with suspicion.

“If the Night King’s Army indeed gathers at Eastwatch, if it is indeed as dire as the King in the North believes, we will move North.  No one is going on this mad mission to capture anything.”  She looked down once more, tapping the Wall with her index finger, then facing Jon Snow.

“I will fly there, on Drogon.  And you will accompany me, King in the North.  You will show me the truth of this once and for all, and I will assess the danger myself.”  Jon Snow stared at her, eyes calculating, biting his lip for a second as he considered her proposal.

“And if you decide the threat is more immediate than taking the Iron Throne?” 

Daenerys turned to the map.  “I will move all of my forces North.  I will garrison a unit here,” she pointed at the Neck, “to halt any incursion by southern forces while we fight the Night King and his army.”  She faced Jon Snow once more, whose eyes were growing a bit wider as he realized she was finally considering joining his war to the North.  “If I do so, if I commit my armies and my dragons to your command, Jon Snow, and we live, you will bend the knee and commit the North to my cause in reclaiming my Throne.”

The King in the North seemed to struggle to breathe for a second, but he found his voice soon enough.  “Agreed.”

“We depart in the morning.”  Daenerys looked to Tyrion, knowing he was about to protest but in no mood for anymore meaningless arguments, not now.  “My decision is final, Lord Hand.  See that preparations are made.”

She left the room abruptly, not wanting to speak to any of them for the time being, these fools who wanted risk more than they should for a half-hearted chance at convincing the false Queen who murdered indiscriminately.

Ser Davos was hot on her heels, surprisingly, calling a polite “Your Grace?” to get her attention as she strode quickly through the halls.  She slowed her pace enough for him to catch up, glad for once that Jon Snow was not with him.  Her heart still felt lodged in her throat at the stupid bravery he was capable of considering.

“Come, Ser Davos, I would speak with you.”  He nodded at her request, and she led him outside and down to the landing she favored most, standing in silence for a moment to gather her thoughts.

It was Davos who broke the quiet first, though.  “I wanted to thank you, Your Grace.  He was about to do something exceedingly risky.  Again.  And if we lose him, the North will fall.  That’s a fucking guarantee.”

Daenerys considered his words.  “How is it, Ser Davos, that the King you serve has only managed to get himself killed once?”

The Onion Knight laughed at the question, slapping a hand onto the stone before him.  “That’s a good question, it is.  He chases death like it owes him a debt.”  She felt his eyes on her, could see him gazing at her profile as she stared straight ahead.  “Reckon we should all be grateful the Rightful Queen of the Seven Kingdoms loves him enough to keep him from racing straight back to certain death again.  He might just listen to you.”

Her silver head slowly turned, eyes round as she looked at the old smuggler.  “And why do you say that?”

“If you can’t see that lad’s completely gone over you then you aren’t nearly as perceptive as I thought you were.”  At her look of shock he gave her a nudge on the shoulder.  “You want to know how Jon Snow feels?  You watch that wolf of his.  He trails after you like a hound, watching over you for his King.”

She felt flushed and chilled at the same time, a bit dizzy with the man’s words.  She didn’t know what to say, what to do with her hands; it was an altogether unfamiliar thing for her, to love someone and know they loved her in return, something that just happened, something she didn’t have to force herself to do in order to survive.

Ser Davos seemed to sense her flustered state, and gave her a pat on the shoulder.  “Just thought you ought to know.  Don’t let that mad fucker off that dragon, if you don’t mind.  If there’s a way to get himself in harm’s way, Jon Snow will try to find it.”

-------------

He came to her, that night.  The King in the North knocked on the door to her chambers, and as she let him enter she dismissed her guards.

“I’ve come to find Ghost, and as he is nowhere to be found near my chambers I assumed he must be nearby.”  He seemed tense, almost nervous, his eyes darting around then narrowing at the sight of his great wolf reclined on her bed.  “You let him sleep there?”

Daenerys leaned against the wall, dark blue dressing gown hugging her figure snugly.  She couldn’t hide her amusement at his seeming unhappiness with the wolf, and she walked over to where Ghost lay, giving him a good scratch on the neck.  “It’s a very large bed for just me, Jon Snow.”  She peeked under her lashes at him, smile growing as he stared at her, petting his wolf.

She sighed as he crossed him arms and walked over to her dressing table, setting to work on loosening the gathering of hair at her neck and letting the hair tumble free over her shoulder as she sat in front of the mirror.  She could see him from here, watching her, and she watched him in return.

“Are you prepared to fly on a dragon, Jon Snow?”

He was trying to hide the excitement on his face, trying to appear stoic and unaffected, but his eyes lit up at her words.  “Anything I should know before we depart in the morning?”

“Hmmmm.”  She tapped her finger against her lip.  “Yes actually, two things.”  She rose, coming to stand before him, watching him fight valiantly with himself to keep his eyes from trailing over her.  He might not know that she was bare beneath that thin gown, but he certainly might suspect it. 

“The first is dress warmly.  Very warmly.  We will fly at great height tomorrow and the higher we go, the colder it gets.  Though I suspect you would have done so anyway, since according to you, the Wall is ‘extremely fucking cold’, yes?”  He nodded at her words, a smile threatening at the corners of his mouth and making him bite at his bottom lip to hold it in.  She’d never found herself jealous of teeth before but she had found life was full of firsts for her where he seemed to be concerned.

“And the second?”

She crept a bit closer, watching his breathing pick up, just a tad.  “The second, we must hope, is not too terrible for one so bound to his vows of celibacy.”

“Suitably mysterious.  And I don’t recall answering that question one way or the other.”  He ground the words out as they both watched her finger trail from the neck of his leathers down to his waist, where the garment split.

“Hold on.  Tight.”  She made no effort to hide her study of his lips, wetting her own as she saw his part, his breath barely fanning across her face.  “Do you beg a truce of me, Jon Snow?”

He considered it; she could see it, desire surging to the surface and his chest rising and falling a bit more quickly.  But he only gave her a wicked smile, something she had not seen before, and it made her a bit weak in the knees at the promise it held.  “Not in your chambers, Daenerys Targaryen.  Not when I have to be up at dawn.  If I beg a truce of you, right now…”  He brought his lips a hair’s breadth away from hers, “…we’ll get no rest at all.”

The King in the North stepped back, taking in her now heavy-lidded gaze as it took her a few moments to realize he had withdrawn from her.  “Get some sleep, Your Grace.”  He had crossed the room and left before she found her voice, and she deeply regretted how much she had teased him when he first came, because being on the receiving end was horribly frustrating.

She climbed up onto her bed, Ghost snoring quietly at her side, and crawled beneath the covers.  Perhaps her dreams would provide some easing of her frustration, perhaps tonight as she slept she would have him again, and that would be enough.  For now.

-------------

Daenerys loved flying.  It was the one thing that made her free, that helped her clear her head and her heart, and being so high above it all gave her a sense of purpose; soaring above Westeros did not make her feel like a conqueror.  Instead it gave her a sense of duty, that she had been granted domain of the skies to protect these lands.

Jon Snow loved flying, too, and it made her love him a bit more that he showed no fear as they departed, and almost seemed joyous as they reached the altitude Daenerys preferred for covering great distance.  She wasn’t sure she’d thought him capable of laughing as much as he had, but it was thrilling to her as much as it was unexpected.

They soared together, now, she and Drogon and Jon Snow, and he alternated between wrapping his arms tightly around her midsection and pointing out things as they passed, things she had only seen on maps and never would have spotted without his seasoned eye; Landmarks of a land new to here but home to him.  As they flew over Winterfell she stared in amazement.  It was so much bigger than she had imagined, a great Keep indeed, and there was pride in his voice as she flew a bit lower so she might see the places he spoke about in her ear.

The white coating the ground was steady now, and she was almost regretful as the Wall appeared on the Horizon, turning Drogon east to bear towards Eastwatch.  What was normally a quiet, sometimes lonely endeavor had sped by and she wished she’d had a bit more time with him in the skies.

Drogon landed thunderously on the southern side of the Wall, lowering his wing for them to climb down, and the King waited for her to descend before he clambered down himself.

She looked around, her breath fogging on every exhale, waiting for him to join her as she took in the desolate landscape.  He had been right, Jon Snow had.  This place was extremely fucking cold.

“What did you think of flying, Jon Snow?”

His eyes were warm as he gazed at her, beaming at her in such a way that she wanted to wrap her arms around him and protect him, to stop anything from ever making him look stoic and brooding again.  This was Jon Snow as he should be.

“That was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  I don’t think that’s an exaggeration, and it’s not like many particularly good things have happened to me, but still.”  He shrugged and she gave him a shove in the arm, laughing with him as they walked for the lower door carved into the Wall.

“Well, then, you must try to stay alive.  Perhaps you may yet see more amazing things.”  She raised an eyebrow suggestively, then took his proffered elbow and let him lead her inside.

-------------

The King in the North showed her the truth.

It was real.  All of it, everything he had told her, had warned her of.  It was all true.  She wished she hadn’t seen it, she wished she’d never come, because now she knew.

They were gathering.  They were coming.  And now she must decide, her heart full of terror and her stomach full of dread.  There were so many.  So very many, and the North would never be able to do this alone.  Without her help they would all die.

She could not pretend, not anymore.  The Iron Throne would have to wait.

Daenerys made her way to the top of the Wall, letting the icy wind chill her face as she gazed out into the night, struggling to find her own bravery in the face of the war she must wage now, for she knew she had no choice anymore.

A man approached, and she thought this was Tormund, the giant man with red hair that Jon Snow had introduced her to.

He looked past her to Drogon, perched atop the wall some distance away.  “I can’t believe he actually did it.”

Daenerys didn’t speak, just gave him a questioning glance.

“Convinced the Dragon Queen to come to the fuckin’ Wall.  With a dragon!  Beautiful creature, that is.”  He pointed to her massive child, giving her a cheerful grin that she struggled to return.

“Jon Snow can be quite convincing, it seems.”  She felt numb and she could hear it in her own listless voice. 

“It’s terrible, what’s out there.  He saw it, and he brought us wildlings south to save us from it, and it cost him his life.  And he came back and now you’re here, and you’re probably our only fucking hope.  Chosen by the Old Gods, Jon Snow is.”  The giant man gave her a look that was surprisingly tender, sensing her fear and terror at what she had seen, what she had finally let the man he served show her.  “S’alright to be scared.  Scared is good, if you use it the right way.”  His red head turned to take in the dark gloomy forest barely visible to the north, the Haunted Forest if she remembered correctly.  “I’m a lot less fucking scared about surviving, now that we’ve got fucking dragons on our side, and there’s none that’ll ever forget it if you win this war.  They’ll carry you to that southern throne themselves, by then, all the dumb fuckers south of here.”

He walked away, not even giving her a goodbye, and she followed soon after, chilled to the bone and ready to speak to the King in the North.  She had a different proposition for him now.

--------------

Her hand shook as she knocked on the door to his room, both of them lodging near each other as the Keep manned by the Night’s Watch was almost deserted save for the wildlings and few sworn brothers who remained posted here.

Jon Snow opened the door, eyes surprised but understanding, neither of them speaking as he swung the door wider to allow her to enter.

Daenerys could feel her heart pounding in her chest as those dark eyes drank her in, something changed between them now, charging the air around them.  “I have made a decision, Jon.”

His brows raised slightly, whether from her use of just his first name or from the implication of what she said she wasn’t sure.  They crawled even higher as she came close, her eyes raking over the loose tunic and pants he wore, much less than she’d ever seen him in.  Good.  She had not come here to merely talk to him.

“I will join my forces to your fight.  My armies, my dragons, all of it.”  She watched as relief washed over his face, such deep and agonizing relief that he sank down into a nearby seat, his elbows going to his knees and his head dropping into his hands. 

Daenerys could not stop herself from drawing a chair from the wall over to sit beside him, her hand lighting gently on his back.  How long had he borne this weight by himself?  How long had he tried to convince people to fight for this cause, only to be scorned or dismissed, to be told it was only a story and he was a fool?

“I’m sorry, Daenerys.”  He did not lift his head, and his words were slightly muffled by the hands still cradling his face.

“You don’t owe me an apology, Jon.  I should apologize, I should have requested this sooner, and not wasted so much of your time.”  He shook his head at her quiet words, finally raising his face to look at her, and she wanted to cry at the sorrow in his eyes.  His sorrow for *her*.

“This isn’t the war you came here to fight.  And I’m asking you to put aside the most important thing in the entire world to you to fight for the lives of people who don’t even know you, people who won’t believe either of us until they see this for themselves, until it comes to kill them all.” 

She stared at him, amethyst on flint, and slowly shook her head.  “Well, then all the more reason to win this war, so I can stubbornly force them to declare me the hero of the Seven Kingdoms and fight with me against the Lannisters.  Sometimes my stubbornness can pay off, Jon Snow, as can yours.”  She lifted a shaking hand, her fingers dancing along his cheek and down, finally cupping his jaw firmly and keeping his eyes on hers.  “Perhaps the throne was the most important thing to me when I arrived in Westeros, but it is not anymore.”

“Do you beg a truce, Daenerys Stormborn?”  She gave him a half-smile at the moniker; apparently he had been paying attention to her long list of titles that first day.

“No, Jon Snow.  No more truces.  And I will not ask you to bend the knee.”  He pulled back from her hand at the words, confused as he straightened his spine.

“Why not?  I would willingly do so.”

She stood, shedding her woolen overcoat and folding it over the back of the wooden chair she’d vacated.  She only wore a shift, silky and red, cut close where she most wanted it.  Those dark lovely eyes of his did not hesitate now, tracing over the curve of her breasts and the flare of her hips before meeting her eyes once more.

“You are a King, Jon Snow.  You will not bend the knee to me.”  Daenerys slid between his thighs, his arms coming to band around her waist as she looked down into his face, that face in her dreams that gave her such pleasure and solace, that face that held all the love for her he’d managed to hide away until now.  “You will marry me.  You will be my King.  That is my price, Jon Snow, King in the North.”

“And what of my celibacy vow?  That might make for a rather dreary marriage.”  He was teasing, she could tell, but she gave a little pinch on his shoulder anyway.

“I doubt you hold such vows.”  Jon brought his hands back to her front, his hands spanning her waist and thumbs caressing her sides.  She slid her hands along his strong shoulders, and laced her fingers together behind his neck.

“You are in luck.  Almost-God that I am, I figured dying effectively ended any vows I made.”  His eyes left hers to travel down to the neckline of red silk, her breasts level with his face, the thin fabric making no secret that her nipples were hard and aroused for him.  He licked his lips.  “But I will not marry you if this is to be strategic military alliance and nothing more.”

“Almost-God that I am, Jon Snow, who else could there be for me but you?”  She lowered her lips to his, gentle and teasing at first as she feathered soft kisses against those lips she’d spent far more time than was necessary thinking about.  She let her tongue tease after, tasting upper and lower and taking them between her own lips and teeth, until his hands came around to cup her ass and his mouth was suddenly open, hot under hers, his tongue sliding out to taste her in return.

His hands were gloriously brave now, mapping her spine, across her shoulders, sliding between them to mold her breast into his hand.  At her long, satisfied moan he tore his mouth from hers, standing and taking her face in his hands, his mouth a devouring inferno of heat that traced down her neck, taking nips of her skin between his teeth that made her gasp and grind herself against him. 

Finally, finally she could feel him against her, barely anything separating her from the hard, muscled body she’d only had glimpses of, and she pulled back long enough to grab at the hem of her shift and strip it over her head, her hunger for him far too great to draw things out now.

His eyes tracked her hand as she dropped the red silk to the floor, and he released her, stepping back to drink in the sight he’d denied himself the opportunity of seeing, and she marveled at the awe on his face as his eyes slid up taking in the turn of her calves and her thighs, pressed together with want, to the curls at her center, up to her full breasts, pink tipped and rising and falling with every intake of breath.

“You cannot possibly be real.”

She did not respond until she had grabbed the hem of his shirt, revealing himself to her with his help, scars and all.  She stared into his eyes as she brought her hand to the breeches he wore, her hand deftly unlacing as he throbbed beneath her, his cock hard and long and pinned beneath the leather.  Once he’d stripped them free she stepped back, running one finger from the base of his shaft to the very tip, watching as he gasped at the contact.

“Perhaps I am not, Jon.  You will have to touch me, terrible undertaking that it is.”

She wanted nothing more than to taste his skin, to glide her lips over those scars, to dip her tongue into his navel, to take him in her mouth and worship him as he deserved.  But Jon Snow had plans of his own, it seemed, and lowered his head to her chest, her hands immediately grabbing his head and bringing him closer as he caught a nipple between his teeth.  He swirled his tongue around her, suckling then worrying one peak slowly before switching to the other, and all she could do was moan his name and arch against him at the pleasure that flooded her body.

It was much like her dream, but she had not burned quite like this in her sleep, she had not felt the tug and pull of his fingers as he teased one breast with his hand, not neglecting either now.  Jon turned them with his body, picking her up slightly and laying her back on the fur-covered bed, and she thought that she’d never felt so perfectly aroused, his wicked mouth at her breast and the slick slide of the pelts beneath her as she writhed under his ministrations.

Daenerys was sure he would have done this for hours, but she ached and longed for him elsewhere, and the need coursing through her was becoming almost unbearable.  Her skin tingled everywhere he touched, and she shifted her hips suggestively, hoping he would consider a more southern course sooner rather than later.

She had underestimated his stubbornness, as he made no move to leave his careful examination of every spare inch of skin, his beard rasping between her breasts as he licked his way down the curve and slope, stopping only to capture her nipple again and begin his glorious torture anew.

“Jon.”  She was panting, twisting around on the bed below her, a creature of pure need now, and she did not care to be anything else, not anymore.  He raised his head, his eyes now black as the night sky above the Keep, something animal and hungry in his gaze.  “If you don’t keep going I think I will scream.”

He chuckled against her skin, his head dipping down and his lips blazing a path across and down her abdomen, his tongue teasing the skin just above the silver curls at her core.  “Aye, Daenerys.  You’re going to scream anyway.”

She arched an eyebrow at him, watching him as he made his way down her body, his hands gripping her hips and sliding her further up the bed as he knelt between her thighs.  “You’re awfully sure of that for such a celibate man.”

Jon Snow drew her legs apart, and she was distracted at the sight of his cock, so close to where she wanted it buried deep within her, that it took her a moment to realize he was returning his head to her body, kneeling on the floor at the foot of the bed and throwing her calves over his shoulders.

All she could do was bite her lip, the cry that built as he slid his tongue down her inner thigh escaping as a muffled groan.  She could tell what he was doing, now, and for as soaked as she knew she was, she felt a flood of heat anew as he licked the slickness of her want for him from her skin, and there was no stopping the second cry as he moaned now at the taste of her, sampling each thigh in turn, meticulously savoring her with each slow swipe.

“You’re going to scream.  I can tell.”  She felt his words more than she heard them, rumbling against the delicate pink folds he placed his lips against.

“We’ll see, Jon Snow.”  She wasn’t convincing, barely able to wrestle the words free, and then she was done speaking at all as he began devouring her, lips and teeth and tongue working in tandem to make something truly magical happen.  That had to be what he was doing, swirling his tongue inside her only to tease and tongue her clit, her back arching like a bow and her toes curling as he drank her in, quickly finding what would draw the strongest response.  When he slid a finger into her she cried out his name, but when he slid two into her, pumping in time with teasing flicks of his tongue she did scream.  She screamed and she sobbed and she came violently around his fingers, great tremors that made her hips buck against him and seemed endless as she gave herself over completely to the sensation.

She lay, gasping for breath, eyes barely cracked open to see him join her, his hand stroking from her temple and down her neck, waiting for her breathing to calm.

“I’m sure you’re very proud of yourself.”  She laughed breathlessly as he buried his face in her neck, peppering kisses down the column of her throat.

“Of course.”

She cast her eyes down the length of his body, and slid her hand down to grasp his length in her hand, fisting it around him and giving a long, slow stroke that brought his head back to face hers.

“See what you think of this, Jon Snow.”

Daenerys was straddling him before he could react, flipping her long hair over her shoulder as she positioned him at her slick entrance, eyes burning into his as she slid herself slowly down his cock, impossibly hard and hot and stretching her pleasantly.  She paused once her pelvis met his, rolling her hips slowly without drawing off him, grinding her clit against the dark curls at his base.

His mouth fell open, hands raising to grasp her hips, letting her lead as she began to ride him slowly, rolling onto him with every down stroke, his eyes darting from the sight of his cock sliding into her to her breasts to her face, all of it seeming to overwhelm him as his eyes finally screwed shut.  “Fucking Hells.  I was wrong.”  She increased her pace, tilting her pelvis in a bit more and feeling him slide against something inside her that made her blaze anew.  “This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  Not the flying.”  He was breathing so heavily it was hard to understand him, but she figured it out, and she braced her hands on his chest now, leaning down to kiss him as she giggled.

“Flattery will get you everywhere, Jon Snow.”  She rose back up, riding him feverishly now, watching herself fuck him, the sight of him sinking into her joining with the sensation of having him inside her causing flame to tickle up her spine, release building and coiling as she groaned, her name escaping his lips in a chant now. 

He knew what she needed, that extra sensation to tip her over the edge again, and he trapped her clit between two fingers, pressing on either side then circling and it was too much and just enough, and she felt her sheath contract around him, making him cry out under her, his hips now rising and fucking her furiously as she came around him once more, feeling him tremor and buck beneath her as the hot flood of his release filled her.

She collapsed against him, his hand smoothing down her hair to her back until he rolled onto his side, pulling free from her, and she mourned a bit at the loss of him inside her.  This, with him, this was the most perfect thing she’d ever had.

“I command you not to die, Jon Snow.  For purely selfish reasons.”   He was laughing, she could feel the shake of his chest under her cheek.

“Such as?”

“Who else will make me scream so?”  She raised her head to look at him, her expression serious.

“No one.  Don’t forget that.”  He tweaked her nose.

“Also, I love your wolf.”  She traced a finger along the scar covering his heart.  “I might possibly be very fond of you as well, but I am a Queen and I refuse to say it first.”

He rolled his eyes at her, smiling.  “You are too fucking stubborn for you own good, you realize that, yes?”  She glared at him.  “Fine.  I love you, but you already knew that.”

“Hmmm.”  She pressed a kiss to that scar, now, the one that had killed him.  The one that had made him as magic as she was, almost-Gods pressed together skin to skin at the end of the world.  “I love you, too.”