She jolted awake and looked around in panic. Her hysteria grew when she saw that she was in a dark room lit with candles and surrounded by people wearing red hoods chanting something in a strange tongue that she had never heard before.
"You're awake," someone said. A woman with a soft voice and a musical lilt with each word she said. "Your dragon brought you to the Dothraki sea. We were already waiting for you."
Her heart beat faster and she suddenly felt like she couldn't breathe. She felt a sharp pain close to her heart. Shaky fingers reached for her heart and she felt a scab. Her mind flooding with of memories that would soon rather forget;
She was in the throne room which was destroyed, she saw the symbol of the power of her House, Jon...Jon Snow.
He...he stabbed me. As soon as that thought took root in her mind, she burst into laughter. She threw her head back and laughed. It was a terrible sound even to her own ears. When her laughter subsided, she scanned the room once more. It wasn't really a room, she noticed. It was a tent and there were twelve people around her. Twelve people in red. Twelve Red Priests and Priestesses. Servants of the Red god.
The one who looked to be the leader cocked her head. It was eerie, but after what had happened to her, nothing scared her anymore.
"The Lord of Light brought you back as a reward for being one of his champions against the Great Other."
Dany heard her, but her mind was in Westeros...along with her heart and soul.
He killed me. I gave him the entirety of me and... he killed me.
Dany never let herself be seen as she truly was with people she didn't know, but in this tent, she was as naked as the day she was born and she didn't have it in her to be strong anymore so she buried her face in the palms of her hands and she wept. From the deepest trenches of whatever was left of her, she wept.
She was older than most of the known world. She had been alive when the First Men had left for Westeros and when Valyria was the ruling empire of the world. She'd seen its doom. She had seen the rise and fall of many kingdoms, fiefdoms and empires. She had seen hope and she had seen despair. She had seen victory and triumph. She had been kept alive by the mercies of the Lord of Light and one of the greatest miracles that she had ever seen or heard of was the Mother of Dragons coming out of the pyre she had lit unscathed. Not even the most powerful of them had experienced that wonder. Daenerys Stormborn was special. The Chosen One. And she had done what the Lord had rebirthed her to do. That is why she had been taken aback by what she saw in the flames merely two moons ago. She had informed her people and they had set out to Vaes Dothrak to await the return of the Dragon Queen.
When the dragon had brought them her lifeless body, they stripped her of all she was wearing and got to work.
A girl, Kinvara had thought. The formidable mother of dragons looked nothing more than a flowering girl as she lay lifeless on the stones. She was small of stature and had a beauty so striking, it made one's heart ache. The last scion of Old Valyria and House Targaryen. Kinvara had caressed her cheek lovingly and sorrowfully while she chanted in an ancient tongue. The other eleven priests and priestesses had joined in.
A little while after that, the silverhaired queen had shot up looking frantic and with a mad glint in her eye; looking around to get familiar with her surroundings and when all seemed fine, she laughed. It wasn't a sound of mirth. It was a broken song. That sound soon changed to one of anguish and bitterness.
Her heart went out to the Queen. All she saw was a young girl who had nothing to live for anymore. Many lifetimes ago, in a world so far away that she could barely remember, she had known a broken heart and she knew then like she knew now that only a broken heart could express such pain and despair. The utter loneliness of it made her wave the others away while she waited for the Queen to cry to her heart's content. Nothing she could say would make it better. But maybe having someone with no ill intentions towards her would provide some much needed comfort for Daenerys.
"Snow. Ice. Fire. Dragons. Dany...," those words kept being repeated over and over again in the same dull tune. Like a prayer. It was happening more frequently as time went by. Usually, it was either accompanied by a chuckle or a sob. He worried for his friend.
Jon thought he didn't know about his midnight treks into the forest, but he'd been keeping a keen eye on the lad since he returned from the south to where he truly belonged; with the Free Folk.
Jon wasn't the same man who had left to go south with the Dragon Queen. There was something dark and hollow that had returned with him. Something that didn't belong in him and if it wasn't closely watched, it could transform into a disease that would eat him alive from the inside.
Tormund sighed. Women. He too had lost a great love. The big woman. He tried to cheer Jon up with his own stories of wronged love, but those words were wasted on deaf ears. He would never have known what had happened if he hadn't forced Jon into drinking fermented goat's milk one night. That night, a very drunk Jon had loose lips and what a tale those lips spoke of. It had horrified Tormund for his sake. Not because killing lovers was unheard of, but because it killed something so true to Jon that where the man once was, only a husk remained.
He had seen the Dragon Queen. She didn't look like she belonged in Westeros. She didn't look like she belonged in this world. In Winterfell, she had looked as out of place as the Others had in the realms of men. She had a strange sort of beauty. But she had made his little crow happier than he could remember. She had looked at him like he was her whole world. But that love wasn't enough and when it was time to choose, love had to die to save the seven kingdoms.
Tormund didn't understand that type of honour, but it was something that had broken his friend. Something that was clawing away at his mind. Something that made him wander deeper and farther away from their travelling group more often than not. He wished he could change it, but the torment was Jon's alone to bear and it was something that clung to Jon even tighter than his furs. Something that brought out a wildness in him as it pushed away the humanity that had made him such a great king. Madness and humanity fought to possess him and more and more, Jon gave in to the madness just so he could be with his Dany.
He felt the presence of Ghost before he heard him come to settle down near him. Jon could taste the blood of his kill on his tongue. He was getting better at warging. It was the only time he wasn't haunted by Dany's ghost. His body might be withering away, but his belly was always full. Ghost nudged him with his snout and he absently scratched the direwolf behind its ear.
She was here with him again. His breath hitched when he remembered her look of childlike wonder and absolute trust in him before he...
He couldn't bring himself to finish that sentence. Not even to himself and so he began his conversation with her to tell her how he was and to ask her how she was doing like he should have done when she was still the Dany he knew, but all he could say was, "Snow. Ice. Fire. Dragons. Dany...,"
He shut his eyes tight at the mention of her name. He willed himself to remember her. All of her. Her smile. Her will. Her voice. Her body.
She had commanded great authority, but whenever she was alone with him, she'd let the mask drop and he had seen that there was still an innocence and idealism to her. He smiled despite himself. She was talking to him now. Teasing him in High Valyrian. That mischief in her eyes. He reached out to comb through her beautiful hair. Full and soft and silky.
He used to loosen her braids and grab her hair to expose her neck to his tongue and teeth. He loved - had loved - how tiny she was. She fit just right with him. He wasn't a tall man, but he towered over Dany and was big enough to overcome her space whenever they got intimate with one another.
Her smell... What did she smell like? He searched his brain, but that piece of information was just out of his reach. He got up and ran to his tent; throwing things out of his trunk until he got to one of the ties she used to use for her hair. He inhaled deeply. Exotic oils, lavender and lemons. He clutched the tie and held it closely to his heart.
Her heart. He remembered that as well. Sweet Dany with a heart as selfless as anyone could have. That's where I stabbed her.He thought as his face contorted in pain. He stumbled out of the tent and went straight for the woods again. This time he retched.
He took a swig of wine from the animal skin that was never far from him and rinsed his mouth.
I did the right thing, he affirmed to himself. She was...she was going to murder more innocent lives and I had to do my duty. I needed to. I needed...Dany!
His thoughts always trailed back to her name. He called out to her again. He needed to see her. To be with her. To hear her voice. To tease her. To fuck her. To love her.
The voices in his head were becoming louder; regret, pain, justification, duty, honour, betrayal, lust, love, hate. All of it. Each one stronger than the last. Each one fighting for the ownership of his soul. He hated himself more than anything. And he hated her for what she had become and what she'd made him do.
The ground was soft and wet under his feet...no that wasn't right. Under his paws. He was Ghost and Ghost was him. Here, she couldn't haunt him. Here, he had peace.
She was sore. From head to toe. She felt dead inside. She wished she had been left to rest in peace. For all she knew, she had been asleep. A dreamless sleep until Drogon intervened. Her whole body stung; from where the dagger had found its place to the claw marks on her body when Drogon carried her. At least she was clean. Bathed, clothed and cared for. It didn't matter. She felt the stickiness of death on her skin, still. A fresh wave of despair washed over her and she let it.
Kinvara, the First Servant of R'hollor, had hardly left her side. She always sat in silence observing Dany and tending to her in an almost motherly fashion.
What was it? A fortnight now? A moon's turn? It made no matter. Time was nothing if it all led to the same end.
They barely said words to each other, yet Dany was thankful for her presence.
"I failed," Dany began. "I failed the people who believed in me. Jorah, Missandei, Grey Worm...and when things got too hard, I held on too strongly and I destroyed everything. I murdered where I should have protected. The thing I feared the most befell me."
"Everything happens for a reason," Kinvara said calmly, "Whatever you did brought you here."
If she could, she would have laughed. That's what she used to tell herself, but look what happened. She'd lost her armies, her dragons, her friends, her dignity, her legacy, her life, her ... love. Because she believed in herself and her vision and would stop at nothing to bring it to realization.
Jon killed me, her breathing became heavier as she thought of him. He said he loved me. I trusted him and killed me.
"Yes, but now you're here. Alive. With a dragon and two more on the way," Kinvara said.
At first, Dany tried to remember if she had wondered aloud and then slowly, the Red Woman's words came alive in her.
"You're with child. With twins," Kinvara said with that strange smile of hers.
Dany's head spun until everything was black.