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Gift of the Gods

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When you love someone, you would do anything for them…

A man with short, curly black hair was relaxing in his bed, kissing a red-haired woman. Her lips felt soft against his, full of love and passion.

But when you have lost that person you love, where do you go from there?

The same man was standing at a wall, looking depressed. The bottle of ale in his hand didn't feel like a heavy weight anymore as he downed the dark-colored liquid. Even though the liquid was somewhat awful tasting, it was all that comforted him. His lover had been gone for a few months now, and nothing had been able to take her place. He had begun to neglect taking care of his hair, and it had grown a lot longer - beard scruffy and tangled to the touch.

As the man continued drinking, a group of malcontents started to walk over towards him, snickering and laughing. Farmers sons from the Gift, in Mole's Town for a frolic in the brothel - eager for a good time and finding the only better fun than fucking was abusing the drifters and down on their luck brothers of the Night's Watch. The man became angry when one of the losers grabbed his wrist and tried to take his drink.

"You should learn to share, mister," one of the men said.

But the black-haired man became angry and started to attack the group of losers, leaving them all on the ground, and in pain. He picked up his beloved sword, Longclaw, and ran away from the scene.

A red-haired woman was walking on the other side of the great wall of ice - erected millennia ago - enjoying the cold air that blew around her. A few snowflakes had started to fall and the sunlight was reflecting off the snow that had already fallen to the ground.

The wind picked up slightly, and the woman wondered if the weather was starting to turn bad, but this rush of air felt warm. She was confused as to why the weather was strange.

She closed her eyes and when she opened them, Melisandre couldn't help but gasp in shock. Before her was a smiling man, long silver hair framing his face like a halo. Tall figure covered in an ethereal light, almost like the sun. "Greetings, Melisandre."

Staring at the figure who had appeared out of nowhere, the priestess could barely speak. "Who… who are you?"

A laugh left the figure. "My servant, you do not comprehend the Lord of Light?"

Seeing the face of who she worshipped made her scared, and she turned away from him.

"Melisandre, my dear servant," R'hllor said. "Look at me." She looked up and saw him reaching out to touch her cheek. "You have been given a very powerful gift and I expect that you will use it wisely."

"What is this gift, my lord?" she asked.

"You are able to see through fire when someone is in danger. There are too many good people in the world you live in that die or suffer so much pain."

"But we cannot save everyone, my lord."

"But what if you could? What if you could stop something bad from happening and are able to save someone? This is why you are getting this power. You can prevent an innocent person from getting hurt, or even dying."

"My lord, I...I do not know if I can partake in this. I haven't been the best servant lately."

"Melisandre...I have watched you for many years now, ever since you started believing in me. You are a good person inside and out, and you have this amazing ability that will change many people's lives. Why don't I show you why this gift can do."

With a sweep of his hand, R'hllor started a small fire in front of his servant. Images began to appear in the flames and Melisandre saw the face of a black-haired man, staggering drunk from Mole's Town to the fortifications of Castle Black. He was still holding a bottle of ale in his hand and dragging his sword on the ground. Even for the wastrels and rapists sent to the wall, this was quite embarrassing.

"This man...his name is Jon Snow. He desperately needs your help. I've been watching him for the past few months and all he's been doing is drinking himself to death," R'hllor said.

"What...what happened to him that has been causing all of this?"

"He lost the love of his life, Ygritte, and he's fallen onto a dark path that he will not be able to get himself out of if you do not help him."

Melisandre turned away from the fire for a second and when she faced her lord, the images had disappeared. R'hllor had made the flames burn out before turning his attention back to his loyal servant.

"I will do what you have asked me to do, my lord," she said. "I will go and help this Jon Snow. Can you tell me where he is?"

"He is at the Wall. I must return to my home, so I will leave you with one reminder. Remember to look into the fire and you will see the visions that your gift will provide."

R'hllor disappeared into mist and Melisandre was left alone. She knew what she needed to do, so she turned around and walked towards the wall, beginning her search for this Jon Snow.

Inside the Great Hall of Castle Black, Jon had finished the bottle of ale and - angrily - threw the mug across the room with a snarl. He looked about, no further drink to drown his sorrows in. Leave it to be that day for the Night's Watch to actually keep the place clean. He was completely alone, since almost everyone at the Wall hated him for being a drunk.

He located the wine cabinet and found a few bottles of piss-poor Dornish red inside and grabbed one. It tasted like horse piss, but it got a person drunk. All Jon needed. Just as he had removed the cork he heard someone call his name.


He turned around and saw a red-haired woman standing there at the Hall entrance. He didn't know who she was, so he drew Longclaw and pointed it at her.

"Who are you?" he asked. "What are you doing here?"

"There's no need to be afraid, Jon," Melisandre replied. "I have been sent here to help you."

"Help? I don't need help. Everything I loved is gone. There's no hope for me anymore."

"I know you're in pain, Jon. I know what happened to you, with Ygritte."

He became angry and backed Melisandre against the wall, pointing his sword at her alabaster neck.

"You better give me a good reason why I shouldn't stab you through the throat with this," Jon continued.

A smile formed on the woman's lips. "The Lord of Light has given me a gift that will allow me to see people who need help," Melisandre spoke. "He is the one who sent me here. He's been watching you lose yourself in the melancholy madness for months now."

Jon blinked. "The Lord of Light has been watching me?"

"Yes. He wanted me to save you from yourself."

Lowering his sword, Jon still he did not put it away in its sheath. He remembered Ser Rodrik's lessons from his youth, even while drunk. Never let yourself off alert until one was sure. "How do I know that you're not lying?" he asked.

"I'll show you, but I'll need you to start a fire. Once you have done that, you will know that I am not lying."

Jon still did not trust the woman, but he built a fire anyway because the temperature outside was dropping and he needed to keep warm. Such was the burden of the True North. Even in summer, the cold would kill ya.

Melisandre closed her eyes as she sat down in front of the fireplace, allowing her mind to be focused on the flames. When she opened her eyes, the face of a silver-haired woman appeared in the fire. She was sitting down at a table, writing something with a feather and ink.

"Tell me who you are," Melisandre said to the image in the flames. "Something bad is going to happen to you, and I need to know who you are so that I can stop this pain and terror from happening."

Jon was watching the red-haired woman stare into the fire and wondered why she was doing what she was doing.

The image shifted from the silver-haired woman to the paper that she had been writing on, which only had a name written on it so far: Daenerys Targaryen.

His eyes widened almost to the size of saucers. Even at the Wall, even among the Free Folk, everyone knew the name of the Crown Princess of Westeros - Aerys II Targaryen's heir. What have I gotten myself into? Suddenly sober, Jon ran his hand through his shaggy hair in frustration.

"Very interesting," Melisandre continued. She looked over at Jon and spoke again. "This woman will be in danger. Grave danger. I'm not sure right now when it will happen, but we have a name, so it's a start. But at some point in the future, this Daenerys Targaryen will be the victim of an injustice. I need you to go and see if you can figure out what will happen and put a stop to whoever is planning to harm her."

"Why should I help? There is no purpose for me in this world."

"I know what it's like to lose the person you love. It's a painful thing. I lost the person I loved."

"They died too?"

"No, but I had to leave him behind. It was the hardest decision I had to make, and when I left, it was almost as if a part of my soul had been ripped from my body." For the first time since he met her, Jon saw the smile on Melisandre's face falter. Replaced with a sad, longing look. "I still love him today, even though he probably has moved on. So I do understand your pain, Jon. Bad things happen to good people, and we question why that happens." She wiped away a tear, allowing the sadness to harden into determination. A fortitude stronger than Valyrian steel. "But I am telling you that if you help me, we can save people's lives. We may not have been able to have saved the people we have lost, but we can save this woman. And we can save people just like her."

He blinked. Left at the crossroads of a decision so profound that could change his entire life. The wayward brother of the Night's Watch hadn't made such a decision since she was taken away from him. "What do you want of me?" Jon finally breathed.

Walking to him, Melisandre took Jon's free hand in hers, clasping them warmly. Boring into his soul with her red eyes. "I want to help you. But you're going to have to want this." The smile returned - one of sincerity. "What do you say, Jon? Would you like to open a new chapter in your life?"

Melisandre suddenly felt a warm rush of air on the back of her neck, seeping through her core a welcome heat. A welcome fire. Contentment washed over her, knowing that the Lord of Light was pleased at what transpired. Heralding a new song that would change the course of the Seven Kingdoms.