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ASOIAF Drabbles Part III

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Chapter 2: What is Jon supposed to do when suddenly everyone in the world knows he's going to be fucking his own sister? (Rhaenys/Jon) (Modern Westeros AU)
Characters: Rhaenys, Jon

Chapter 3: Lyanna dreamt of many things, but it was Rhaegar, lying in a river of blood, that made her hesitant. (Rhaegar/Lyanna)
Characters: Lyanna, Rhaegar

Chapter 4: Rhaegar knew how lucky he was, to have survived the Rebellion with all three of his children, even if one had been kept from him. (Rhaegar & Jon) (Basically everyone lives AU)
Characters: Rhaegar, Jon

Chapter 5: Sansa's suggestion has merit. (Jon/Sansa) (Future fic)
Characters: Jon, Sansa

Chapter 6: The Dragon Queen did not make a good impression on Sansa. (Jon/Sansa) (GoT based)
Characters: Sansa, Jon

Chapter 7: Jon tries to talk sense into his brother. (Jon & Daemon) (Great Bastard AU)
Characters: Jon, Daemon Blackfyre, Aegor Rivers

Chapter 8: Daeron has never been good at scolding Jon. (Jon & Daeron) (Great Bastard AU)
Characters: Jon, Daeron II

Chapter 9: The Prince and Princess of Winter aren't quite fit for court. (Jon/Val) (future fic)
Characters: Jon, Val, Aegon, Arianne

Chapter 10: Rhaegar's third child is born a true dragon. (minor Rhaegar/Elia/Lyanna) (Rhaegar Won AU)
Characters: Rhaegar, Lyanna, Elia, Marwyn

Chapter 11: Aemon feels it the moment another dragon enters Castle Black. (Gen)
Characters: Aemon

Chapter 12: What if the Prince that was Promised was already dead? (Gen) (futurefic)
Characters: Jon, Bran, Daenerys, Bloodraven

Chapter 13: Lyanna shows Cersei how to deal with an bore of a husband. (Lyanna/Cersei) (No Rebellion AU)
Characters: Lyanna, Cersei

Chapter 14: After the war, Ned thought he was done cleaning up after his siblings. (Ned Gen)
Characters: Ned, Jon, Other

Chapter 15: Jon is born with eyes of two different colors--one his own, one his soulmate's. (Jon/Allyria) (Soulmate AU)
Characters: Jon, Allyria

Chapter 16: Aemon returns to the Red Keep for a shock he had never expected. (Rhaegar Won AU) (Dark)
Characters: Jon, Aegon, Cersei

Chapter 17: Lyanna felt powerful when she had Robert like this. (Lyanna/Robert) (Harrenhal AU)
Characters: Lyanna, Robert

Chapter 18: Lyanna takes matters into her own hands when she overhears her father's plots. (Roose/Lyanna) (AU)
Characters: Lyanna, Roose

Chapter 19: Aegon flies North to force the Starks to bend the knee, but they're a greater threat than he'd expected. (Aegon vs Starks) (futurefic)
Characters: Aegon, The Cannibal, Rickon, Arya

Chapter 20: Arthur is once more on the hunt for an outlaw on the Kingswood, though this time he finds unexpected answers. (Arthur & Jon) (Rhaegar Won AU)
Characters: Arthur, Jon

Chapter 21: Aegon thought taking Westeros would be easy, if not for the Starks, it might have been. (Aegon/Jon)
Characters: Aegon, Varys, Arianne

Chapter 22: Jon meets his Aunt and her husband as they conquer their way across Westeros. (Jon & Dany) (Drogo Lives AU)
Characters: Jon, Daenerys, Sam, Drogo

Chapter 23: Jon leaves the Wall after coming back to life and goes to the only place he can think of: the famed city his aunt founded. (Jon & Dany) (AU)
Characters: Jon, Dany

Chapter 24: Lyanna had explored plenty of Ancient Valyrian buildings, but none like this. (Gen) (Tomb Raider/The Mummy AU)
Characters: Lyanna

Chapter 25: Xaro may wish to wed Daenerys, but it's Jon he clearly wants. (Jon & Daenerys) (Xaro/Jon) (AU)
Characters: Jon, Dany

Chapter 26: 10 years on and the answer is obvious. (Jon/Tormund) (GoT Futurefic)
Characters: Jon, Tormund

Chapter 27: Lyanna is stuck in King's Landing with a vulnerable babe and scheming lords. (Robert/Lyanna) (Lyanna Lives AU)
Characters: Lyanna, Robert, Ned

Chapter 28: Aegon finds out a secret when he takes King's Landing. (Aegon & Jon)(AU)
Characters: Aegon, Jon

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Jon groaned. He tossed his phone somewhere behind him, deciding it must have hit something soft since he didn't hear it breaking against the tile floor.

"What now?"

He rolled his head to the side, scowling at Rhaenys. "Have you seen Tweeter? I told father we shouldn't announce the engagement, yet."

"Then when? After we're married? After our first brat is on the way?" Rhaenys picked up one of her delicate throw pillows and hit him across the back of the head. "Stop being a coward, little brother."

"How can you be okay with this? You know they're saying worse things about you, since you're older."

She wrinkled her nose, sitting down on the couch beside him. The smell of her shampoo wafted to him, reminding him of the quick shower he'd taken in her ensuite before she'd woken up.

Which in turn reminded him of why he was in her rooms, causing him to blush.

The notifications on his phone sounded more and he groaned. He'd turned off everything from social media accounts, but very few people had his number to text so he thought that had been safe.

The very first text he'd read after getting out of the shower, which apparently he'd accidentally timed to be right when their director of public relations let the news be released, had been from Theon fucking Greyjoy. Why he'd ever given him his number, he didn't know, but he figured it must have been at Robb's insistence.

Not that Theon was worse than Robb. Or Arya. Or Sansa.

Or, gods, the missed calls from Uncle Ned and his mother.

Every person with some vested interest in his life wanting to find out what the hells was going on with his engagement to his own sister.

"Did I fuck words right out of you?" Rhaenys poked him in the cheek, staring intently.

He shoved her off, pouting. "Could you be less of my older sister when you say things like that?"

"No, no, I really can't. Because until you accept what we are to each other, you're going to have weird hang-ups. And I don't want that in a marriage."

"It is not a 'weird hang-up' to dislike marrying my own sister!"

He stood up, needing to put some distance between himself and her curvy, towel-clad body. The only excuse he had for the move, though, was retrieving his phone, and he picked it up with dread.

"We're going to spend the next few months on Dragonstone."

"Dragonstone? Isn't it just some vacation home?" He'd seen pictures of an intimidating castle, but had never been there himself.

Rhaenys waved her hand dismissively. "That's exactly what it is. Our family's home on our family's island in the middle of a sea controlled by our family's navy."

Looking down at his phone, wincing at the 46 new text messages from Sam, he realized she might have a good idea. "...So no one gets on unless we want them to."

"Well, technically unless father does, but, yes. That's the plan."

She stalked towards him, the towel slipping open, and he caught his breath. His sister was the best possible combination of Targaryen and Martell and he had too much wicked dragon blood within him to fully withstand her.

"I know you're looking at this like some sort of unearned punishment, Aems, but it's really, really not. Do you really think I'll be such a bad wife?"

Jon shook his head, hurriedly pulling her into an embrace for comfort, and then realized that was probably her plan all along.

" know I love you. It's just...this is....It's a lot to take in. And everyone else disapproving isn't helping."

"Fuck them. We're the royal family. Our ancestors put down every petty rebellion or attempt at democracy that they tried. What are they going to do? Whine on their podcasts? We have fucking dragons!"

There was some logic in that, he supposed. "Wait, isn't Aunt Dany keeping her dragons on Dragonstone?"

Rhaenys' comforting smile quickly transformed into a wicked smirk. "Indeed, she is. That's two whole riderless dragons...right there with us...for months...."

He couldn't help but to return the smirk. Sometimes he really did love his sister.

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"If this is the last time we see each other--"

"Stop." Rhaegar pulled Lyanna closer, placing a gentle finger on her lips. "Please, do not speak such dire words. I will return, triumphant, and once you and our little one can travel, I will take you home to Dragonstone."

Lyanna frowned, but did not contradict him. Ever since the babe within her had grown large enough to be known, she'd had horrid dreams. Dreams of Rhaegar dying in a river of blood, of little bodies in front of the Iron Throne, of a storm raging as a woman screamed out her dying breaths.

If it weren't for the dry Dornish sky, she would have even worried that the woman was herself.

"Take Arthur with you, at least, please." She would not beg him, she refused to, but she was getting close.

He shook his head. "I cannot, if he returns to the Red Keep with me, the King may set him to some other task. I need the three of them here, so that they might guard you and our babe, and Elia and my other children, not to be used for some vulgar deed my father desires."

"You will be king by the end of this, if you are triumphant against Robert."

"That might not be soon enough. I will not leave any of you more vulnerable than you have to be." He kissed her, gently, hands settling on her belly near-reverently. "Soon the dragon will have three heads, Lyanna, and the world will be safer for it."

"Why is it, that your dreams are prophetic and mine are nonsense?" she huffed out, though she could not manage true anger, not while she knew he was going off into the horrors of war.

Rhaegar graced her with a sad smile, kissing her again. "You have far more stress upon you than I wish you did. But I know everything will work out, I have seen three children, two light haired and one dark, one dragons. I felt the truth in it."

He kissed her once more, for three, and then pulled away. "Maester Marwyn will see to the birthing and Wylla is here to take care of the babe with you. You have nothing to worry about. Either I or Elia will meet you at Starfall in a few more moons."

With tears in her eyes, she gave her final goodbyes and watched him go, her dread increasing with every step he took. The babe inside of her was restless, as if it wished to call its father back. They were both helpless to convince him of reason.

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Rhaegar knew few pleasures in life anymore. His children were nearly all that was left to him. Any good news from them, about them, was enough to make him feel happiness in the long stretches of depression.

When he'd received the letter informing him that the boy so many called Jon Baratheon was, without a doubt, his son, he'd all but crowed with joy. For a few hours, he didn't think the servants and guards even recognized him anymore.

He'd always known, from the very moment he'd heard of Lyanna's pregnancy, but there was no way to get to her. No way to save her from Robert Baratheon's grasp.

As much as it had pained him to see her fall into that man's hands, he'd understood passing his child off as Robert's. If something had happened to the babe because of that man's irrational hatred...Rhaegar would have been devastated.

What he had never been able to understand, though, was that she had never told their son the truth. She allowed him to live the lie, to delude himself even when told the truth by his true family. If Lyanna had simply said something, Prince Aemon would have had his place in Valyria years ago.

Instead they had to wait until Aemon had a son with unmistakably Targaryen features for him to realize the truth in Rhaegar's words.

But the wait was worth it, to have his boy here, before him. There was no formal greeting in the throne room, no awkward attempts at courtly behavior. As soon as Rhaegar was told Aemon had arrived, he had gone to his personal solar and awaited him.

His son looked exhausted. Fragile. In all the years they'd known each other, even across the battlefield, Rhaegar couldn't ever remember him looking like this.

"You were right," he muttered, glaring at the wall behind Rhaegar's head.

"I did not wish to be right to hurt you. I love you, I have always loved you."

Aemon rolled his eyes. "You barely know me."

"Do you think I haven't read everything I could about you? That I haven't listened to any story someone would tell?"

What had Robert done to his child, he wondered, that Aemon could doubt a father's love? If Rhaegar hadn't already wanted the man dead for so many other crimes, this would have surely done it.

He approached, cautiously. The babe rested in Aemon's arms, surprisingly quiet--he'd been told Aemon had been like that, too, as a child. Peaceful. His older children had both been hellions, so he could only imagine that Aemon and his grandson got that from his mother's side.

His grandson. He had two grandchildren already but he did not think he'd ever get over the feeling of it. If even just one thing had gone differently during the Rebellion, all of his children might be dead. He would have never known the joys of seeing them grow into the people they now were, of seeing them have children of their own.

"I have always been your father. You have always been my son. You are not a stranger to yourself just because of that."

His words seemed to be the right path to take, as Aemon squeezed his eyes shut and ducked his head. Holding back tears, perhaps.

"What now?"

"Now? Whatever you want. You are a prince, still, and it is your brother who is my heir. You are free to stay, or to travel if you wish. Though...I would like to spend time with you." He knew the rest of their family would, as well, that Aegon was desperate to speak with his little brother in a peaceful setting.

"Just because you sired me?"

"Perhaps that's all I did, but that's not all I would like to do. I want to be your father, I want to make up for all the time we missed." He wrapped an arm around Aemon, who did not move to push him off. "Your life has been full of deceit, but you know I have never been anything but honest with you."

He knew his son must feel vulnerable, must not know who he could trust. Rhaegar would make sure that he was who Aemon looked to, was who Aemon put that trust in. No one else would come between them.

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"Marry you?"

"And why not? We both have claims to the North, everyone will try to use us against each other."

Jon stared at Sansa and all he could remember for a moment was the sneer on her face when they were younger. The "half-brother" leaving her lips when all he'd ever been to her was kind.

"Is it only the North you're after?"

He wouldn't move against Aegon and Daenerys, he'd already promised them that. He would be their Warden of the North and one of his children would marry their heir to combine their three claims into one.

Which, he supposed, should make him more open to Sansa's idea.

"My children will be Starks, not Targaryens."

"I don't want to be some broodmare for Targaryens, Jon. I want our family back. In its rightful place. Strong and happy."

Worrying at his lower lip, he thought of that. Of two little boys who might look like he and Robb playing in the godswood, of a little girl like Arya making mischief in the corridors.

"I'll need their approval."

Her nose wrinkled in distaste. "Why? This is a Northern affair, why would they care?"

At that, Jon couldn't help the wry smile that formed. "King Aegon is the head of my House, Sansa, remember? I'll need his approval. If...if Bran hadn't given up his claim, you'd need his, too."

Sansa scowled, but acquiesced. "You'll send a raven?"

"I could simply fly to King's Landing?"

"What? Surely that sort of thing should be reserved for-for battle."

She still hadn't gone out to see Viserion, though he thought that might be for the best. He was a sweet, lazy boy, but he didn't particularly like most of the new people he'd been meeting since they'd settled at Winterfell.

"He has larger wings than a raven, I can get there faster, and make a better case than a few lines could."

"I can dictate what you should say."

He snorted. "And would anyone who knows me believe that came from my mind, even if it is in my hands?"

"Fine. Fine. won't let them talk you out of it, will you? We need this, Jon. We can't just let anyone in here, with their families that might try to take Winterfell from us."

Jon was sympathetic to her fears, he'd felt much the same when he'd been told he could have his childhood home once more. There were so many people lurking, waiting to take advantage of the slightest slip.

He wasn't convinced Sansa wasn't one of them, but she had shown her loyalty to the Starks, if not to him.

"I won't, Sansa. You're right, this is a good idea. No one will be able to claim my children, our children, aren't Stark enough."

The North liked him for his prowess, for his heroism, but they hated his dragon blood. Sansa was in a similar position, her Southron attitudes offending some of the Northern lords. But, together...together he hoped it would all work out.

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"Is she always so hard to work with?"

"You're not exactly being a saint, Sansa."

She rolled her eyes at Jon, but relented the point. "She's just so...weird. What was that line about my beauty from earlier? Was she trying to flirt with me."

"Her flirting style is more threatening than flattering. But I'll make sure to keep her better distracted."

Sansa scoffed, thinking of exactly how he might be doing that. "Please, I don't want to even think about her touching you."

His eyes darkened and she felt her core tightening as he stalked closer. "Oh? Is my sweet sister jealous?"

"She's a Targaryen, she has no right to touch any of us."

"Don't try telling her that. As far as she's concerned, everything and everyone in Westeros belongs to her."

"Some 'Breaker of Chains,'" she muttered, wondering how someone could be so focused on freeing people on one continent and so convinced everyone on another didn't get an opinion on who they swore fealty to.

Jon stroking her hair pulled her from her thoughts and she grinned up at him, looping her arms around his neck. "You look awful, by the way."

"Thanks, it took some effort to make this hair look this bad."

They laughed for a moment, sinking into the comfortable by-play they'd had before he'd left. So much had happened, but he was still her rock and she was still his cause.

"Once this war is won, I'll need to help her in the South."

"Will you? We've hardly got any men as it is, after a fight with the white walkers...."

He sighed, kissing her, his hands working at the ties of her gown. "Aye, I know. But she'll insist. Once she has her throne, I'll be free of her. Even she won't make a bastard her King."

And then he'd come up here and marry some Northern maid, Sansa thought, bitterly, even as she knew that wasn't fair of her. They might be only half-siblings, but they were still too closely related to wed.

"She'll forget about the North," Sansa said, with more conviction than she felt. "And we'll have peace. Finally."

"Peace," Jon agreed, kissing down her body, and she let her mind shut off now that she knew she was safe again.

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Jon didn't know why he thought he could get through to any of his older brothers, but he couldn't stop himself from trying.

"You can't mean to do this, Daemon!"

He stumbled back a few steps when Daemon turned on him, his face full of a dragon's wrath.

"And why should I not? He's more a bastard than we are! Our father legitimized us!"

"Daeron is not a bastard! You can't listen to every vile thing Aegor spews into your ears, Dae! You're supposed to be the reasonable one!"

"So you're choosing his side, then?"

Jon had been born only a little before their father's death, his mother dying from the birth, so while he was legitimized he was largely ignored by his Northern family. Daeron had been near a father to him, letting him stay in King's Landing, educated alongside his grandsons.

But Daemon...Daemon was the big brother he could turn to for comfort when he was scared. For company when he was lonely. When he'd wed and moved, it was all Jon could do not to request to go with him. It was a moot point now, of course, as Daeron had arranged a marriage for Jon in the North, but it had been a fantasy life he'd imagined for years growing up.

"There shouldn't be a side! We're all brothers! What will you do, become a kinslayer because, why, you aren't getting to marry Dany?"

Daemon looked angrier, yet, and when he took a step forward Jon flinched. The movement seemed to still his brother's mood, forcing Daemon to take a few breaths for calm.

"Don't you see, he's trying to separate all of us? Daenerys was promised to me by father, now she's been sent to Dorne. You have always been closest to me, and now he's sending you to the North. To isolate me."

"That's...I truly doubt that's how Daeron thinks of this."

"Then it's not him, perhaps, it's Brynden."

Jon flinched. Brynden was...scary. And Jon felt bad, every time he thought that. But it wasn't his looks that made Jon uncomfortable, it was his abilities. And the stories he told. He'd often come to Jon when he was little and whisper tales of the First Men, of the Blackwoods, and the Starks, and the Children of the Forest. Of wargs and greenseers.

Everyone knew he did some sort of magic. Sorcery, most claimed, but Jon thought it was something from the stories. Thought that if he hadn't been so close to Daemon, Brynden might have sucked him right into that world.

"Or it's Daeron making sure his rule is as stable as possible. For the good of the people. And our family."

"...You are too soft, little brother, too kind. Perhaps we coddled you too much as you grew, but you were so young and we were all you had." Daemon frowned, setting a hand on the top of Jon's head. "I love you, Jon, and that is one of the reasons I must do this. I will not let someone who has no right to that throne tear us apart."

Jon gritted his teeth, torn. Daeron was his rightful king, he knew that to be true. But Daemon was just deluded. If he could stay with him and get through to him, would that be worth it? Or would Daeron--and Baelor, and Valarr, and all the others--just see him as a traitor?

"Don't do this, Dae, please."

"Stop trying to dissuade him, brat." Aegor's voice mind Jon tense, but Daemon simply shot their brother a glare. "This was always meant to happen. It's why father legitimized us. To put a true son of Aegon IV on the throne."

Rolling his eyes, Jon pulled away from Daemon, feeling like they'd lost something with the interruption.

"You know, Aegor, I may have even sided with Daemon in this. But I have no interest in being your puppet."

"No, just Daeron. And Brynden's." Aegor laughed at Jon's grimace. "Go on, dog, back to your master. You wouldn't want to gain a mind of your own."

"Aegor," Daemon's voice was foreboding, but the damage was done.

Jon shook his head, sending a glare Aegor's way. "You're both fools if you think war is better than peace. When our family lies dead and dying across a battlefield, will you even care?"

He didn't stay to hear what else they had to say. If Daemon was so willing to listen to Aegor, Jon realized he must be truly lost.

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Daeron stared down at Jon. Was that look disapproving? He couldn't tell.

"You're hurt."

Jon looked away, shrugged. "Not worse than the other guy."

At that, Daeron sighed, ignoring the mud around them to sit down on the log next to Jon. "What happened, Jon? I thought you were getting along with those squires." When he couldn't understand Jon's mumbled reply, he pulled up his chin and made Jon look right at him. "Well?"

"It's nothing...."

"Clearly it's not. I have a boy half-dead in the maester's care and you don't look much better off."

Jon's shoulders slumped. "It was just...he was saying stuff about you and Dany...."

"Treason should be dealt with by the guards, Jon, not nine year olds. Especially not with boys four years your senior."

"I beat him, though, didn't I?"

Sighing, Daeron relented with a slight smile. "You did. I have half a mind to knight you, but I don't want to upset Daemon."

Jon laughed, imagining Daemon's face if Jon was knighted a whole two years earlier than he had been. "Brynden would like that."

"And Aegor would probably try to stab me in my sleep." Satisfied that Jon was in a better mood, Daeron started inspecting his wounds. "I know sometimes you feel like you're alone, but you're not. We're all family, we all love you."

He nodded. "I know, Ron, it's just...why does everyone either like you or like Daemon?"

Daeron rocked back, grimacing. "It's all politics. There are a lot of people who don't like Myriah and Baelor."

"But why? Baelor's the best! He's going to be a great king!"

"Oh? Better than me?"

Jon flushed. "I didn't mean that."

Laughing, Daeron stood, carefully lifting Jon with him. "Can I let you in on a secret? Brother to brother?"

With wide eyes, Jon nodded.

"I think Baelor is going to be better than me. I think he's going to be the best king Westeros has ever known."

Jon grinned, half in agreement and half because of the pride in Daeron's voice. He knew his brother was nothing like his father was, but sometimes he liked to pretend, if his father had lived, he might have talked about him that way.

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Jon felt the fire inside of him burning all the hotter as he got a glimpse of Val through the crowd. She'd torn off the skirt of her gown, revealing the leggings she always wore underneath, and the knives sheathed over them. The two of them danced with the assassins, moving closer to each other until they were back to back, Jaehaerys in between them.

They shifted and moved together, having sparred and fought beside each other for so long now that the movements came natural. When she struck one person, Jon blocked the swing of another going for her vulnerable side. When he went in low to force an attacker to stumble, she was ready with the killing blow.

By the time the Gold Cloaks got to the throne room, they and the Kingsguard had made quick work of the attackers.

"Uncle Aems," Jaehaerys breathed out, once Jon could turn his attention fully to him.

"Are you hurt?"

"No," Val answered, for him, setting a hand on his head. "He moves quick."

Grinning at each other, the fight still pumping through their veins, Jon knew that she too was having a hard time not throwing him against the nearest wall and kissing him.

Instead, Jon pulled Jaehaerys into his arms and lifted him up, hurrying over to where his brother was sat on the steps of the Iron Throne. Arianne hovered over him, a scowl etched across her face that lessened only when she saw her son whole and healthy.

He passed his nephew over, then crouched next to Aegon, grimacing at his wounded shoulder. His sword arm, of course, but Aegon had re-conquered Westeros and would not be going back to war, if any of his advisers or family had a say.

"It looks like another successful battle for the Prince and Princess of Winter," Aegon japed, motioning with his good arm to the bodies piled up where Jon and Val had left them. "I expect another barrage of scandalized reports over Val's actions."

She grinned, using Jon to lean against. "The kneeler women could have been right there beside me if they weren't so obsessed with those cursed outfits."

"You look beautiful in gowns," Jon protested.

Val raised her eyebrows at him. "Oh? And what do I wear that you don't think I look beautiful in?" His silence was enough of an answer and she chuckled, finally dragging him into a kiss.

"Ew!" Jaehaerys protested, and they pulled apart with a laugh.

Arianne rolled her eyes at them, in sympathy, and called for the nursemaids that had finally come out of hiding to take Jaehaerys back to his room.

"You know, if Jaehaerys and Aegon had died, the throne would have been yours."

Jon and Val had similar, disgusted looks on their faces and Arianne chuckled, a few of the Small Council that had joined them doing so as well.

"Not that again, dear wife," Aegon interrupted, voice as light as it could be with his wounds. "You'll scare them off to the North and we won't get to have them intimidating the lords at the feasts."

"True, we can't have that. Especially not when everyone knows, now, what sort of knives Val is keeping on her."

Val just smirked, with none of the simpering of a highborn lady. There was not a day that went by that Jon wasn't glad he had married Val before coming South, so that Aegon couldn't just sell him in an alliance. He didn't know how he would have worked with anyone else.

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"What is it? What's wrong?" Rhaegar looked anxiously between his wives, the midwife, and the maester.

"It seems," Lyanna said, a bemused look on her face, "that our prayers cancelled each other's out."

He frowned, still unsure at the hesitant way many in the room were watching him. He could see his child, his and Lyanna's, resting in her arms, seemingly safe and sound. Alive.

"Dragons do not have a gender," Marwyn began, looking speculatively at the babe. "Or, perhaps more accurately, they are what we'd consider both male and female at once. And there have been records of stillborn Targaryens who...have been born similarly."

Rhaegar couldn't quite process what the man was saying, mind latching onto the word that made panic bubble up inside of him. "Stillborn?"

Elia sighed. "They're fine, Rhaegar. Stop hovering in the doorway and come meet your youngest."

"And last," Lyanna muttered, sharing a look with Elia that didn't bode well for their husband.

He reached out for his child as soon as he could and Lyanna transferred the babe to Elia, who handed them to him. They looked perfect, healthy, perhaps less aware than Rhaenys had seemed and calmer than Aegon had been.

"What will we name them?"

"Visenya doesn't quite fit, does it? But then, neither does Aemon."

It was only then that what the others had been trying to say occurred to Rhaegar. He stared down at the babe, wondering if this was not another sign of some misinterpretation of prophecy on his part. How did this fit? Where? He thought he'd have two daughters and one son, but instead all three were different. That had to have some significance.

"I'll...need time to think of the perfect name," he murmured, handing the babe back to his wives, mind already at work.

Lyanna scoffed, pressing a kiss to their child's forehead. "Until then, they shall be Jon. They seem like a Jon to me."

He couldn't even dignify that absurdity with an answer.

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Aemon felt him approaching. For a moment his mind, caught up in the familiar feeling, forgot how long it had been since he'd felt it. He'd opened his mouth and almost called this newcomer by his brother's name.

But this boy was Jon Snow, or so they claimed, though he could not imagine Rhaegar choosing such. Even if the boy was indeed just a bastard, his father had been too endeared to the legends of their family to choose such a Northern name. Jon Waters, at the very least, though perhaps he was a Jaehaerys or a Daeron, or even a Baelor.

There was no mistaking the blood of the dragon within him and Aemon cursed his lack of sight, constantly wondering if the boy's mannerisms were as familiar as his voice, as his face when Aemon touched it.

The boy was so innocent in so many ways and Aemon did not know what Ned Stark had been thinking. Clearly he had not raised Jon to try to take back the throne, but nor did he seem to raise him for the life of a bastard.

He had learning enough, and wits enough, to have made a good lord. Sometimes Aemon even imagined the world where Rhaegar had not failed, where they had little Aegon as, perhaps, his father's Hand and Jon in another Small Council position, ready to take over Handship when his brother ascended.

Or mayhaps he would have still gone to the Wall, but as the beloved bastard of the King. They were not supposed to be judged by their former attachments, but Aemon as much as anyone knew that wasn't true. Jon would have been treated much better.

And Aemon would not have needed excuses to have the boy close to him.

But he was old, and near the end of his life, and Jon was so very young. This was the only time he'd know the presence of another dragon. Aemon wished to give him as much of that feeling of comfort as he could. Soon he would be alone and never know why there was that empty feeling inside of him, that vast hole in his spirit that seemed as though nothing could fill it.

Would that he could send this boy off to Essos to their remaining family. Would that he had the connections and ability to do so still.

All he could hope for was that the boy would find a place here, that he'd find a duty to fulfill him that would lessen his pain, the way Aemon had.

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"Aegon was the promised prince," Bran gasped out, coming up for a break from his visions.

Daenerys tensed beside them, eyes wide. "I...I saw my brother talking about that, once, in a vision."

"But what does that mean for us?" Jon demanded, trying to make sure they didn't go too off-track.

Ever since they'd started to lose, truly lose, the War for the Dawn, Bran and Daenerys had been falling deeper into whatever mysticism they could find. Jon was still half-convinced it was lies, but everyday he appreciated having something to believe in more and more.

Bran looked at him, in that way that made Jon feel like he was looking through him. Not Bran, then, not at that moment--Bloodraven, "Uncle Brynden" as he had taken to jokingly calling him when he felt particularly angry.

"We must save the Prince That Was Promised. We must alter time so that your brother, your true brother, survives."

"Is that even possible?"

Bloodraven gave something like a shrug, if one only half-remembered how to do it. "I do not know. Perhaps you will save this world. Perhaps you will save another. But if you do not, no one will be saved."

Daenerys and Jon exchanged looks, tense now as they thought of what this would mean. Saving Aegon meant going back to the Rebellion, before either of them had even been born. Their mad fathers would still live. Their mothers would not yet have died birthing them.

She sucked in a breath, then nodded. "We'll do it. Whatever 'it' means. If only Aegon can bring the Dawn, than we will ensure he survives to do so."

"Then we must hurry. I cannot send you bodies back, I am afraid they will be lost. You will inhabit others, those who have the means to save Aegon, but not the will. Once your younger selves are born, you should move into those bodies, instead."

"That doesn't give us a lot of time to keep him safe," Jon muttered, glancing at Daenerys. "You'll have months more than I will. He would be nearly two years older than me, and I'm nearly a year older than you."

It wasn't that he'd spent a lot of time thinking about his siblings after his identity had been revealed...but in the moments when nothing else filled his mind, he couldn't help it. Thinking about what it would have been like, being the youngest. Not being the one with every responsibility thrust upon him by the deaths of others. And what they would have been like, what they might have done together growing up.

If Aegon survived, he wouldn't just win the War for the Dawn--he could very well change how Jon and Daenerys grew up, as well.

He could tell that Daenerys was thinking the same thing, a dreamy look filling her eyes.

"We won't make the same mistakes. We'll win the war before it even starts."

"Aye." He nodded, grabbing her hand in his and squeezing. "We will."

Bloodraven watched them and Jon thought the look he gave was skeptical, but as they continued on he realized there was almost a sadness to him. With Jon and Daenerys dead, that was the last of the Targaryen family. What he'd worked so hard to protect for so long.

"Goodbye, Uncle Brynden," he murmured, for once not putting any hostility behind the words.

"We'll meet again, nephew, niece."

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"Lady Baratheon."

"Your grace." Lyanna Stark--for all her marriage, Cersei knew she was still a wolf, as any predator could recognize another--dropped into a just suitable enough curtsey with a subtle smirk on her face.

"Come to gloat?"

The she-wolf snorted. "Over a husband's wandering eye? Do I seem such a hypocrite to you?"

Cersei conceded that point. Robert Baratheon was one of the worst of the lords she knew of, his hands straying to any good-looking female who came within range. Even she, herself, had been a victim of his strong grip once or twice, Rhaegar barely managing to scold his cousin, still knowing too well what sort of alliances the Stormlord held.

She sighed, glancing back to the ballroom, where her husband gazed with interest on some new young thing. When she'd taken Princess Elia's place, ascended to Queendom alongside the newly anointed King Rhaegar, she had foolishly believed things would be good between them.

Now she knew the truth. The only man who would have ever been loyal to her was her dear Jaime and he, too, was now too enamored with his King to come back to her.

"What do you do?" she asked, after a few more moments of silence, observing Lyanna nonchalantly drink from her glass of wine as all in the Keep new her husband was off fucking a servant girl.

Lyanna laughed, downing the last of her wine and giving Cersei a searching look. "I make my own fun, your grace, the sort no man can give me."

Before Cersei could ask what that meant, Lyanna had taken one of her hands in her surprisingly calloused on, pulling Cersei closer. Their bodies pressed together, Cersei staring down at the other, noticing how her lips had been stained by the wine.

"Are you truly so unaware, my Queen? Surely one of your beauty has been approached before?"

Cersei made a soft noise as Lyanna tugged her closer, their lips pressing together. There was something wild about the kiss, an abandon that Cersei had never felt before. Jaime had wanted her, but he had more often than not allowed her to take the lead. And Rhaegar's own interest was vague and more from duty than anything else.

No, with Lyanna, Cersei quickly felt as though she was being picked apart in gentle hands.

They parted, Cersei gasping for breath, eyes wide. "You--"

"No?" Lyanna pouted, beautiful and wanton, and Cersei felt a new tensing in her core.


She took Lyanna's hand in hers--who would ever question two ladies touching so?--and drew her away from the public halls, towards her rooms.

If Rhaegar and Robert didn't want them, well, Cersei would learn how the she-wolf improvised.

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The woman had skin as pale as snow, and hair to match, but it was her eyes that made Ned falter. Blue, bright burning blue, and not a thing like human eyes.

"This is yours," the woman said, her voice creaking like an old door.

He looked at the bundle she held out, recoiling as he saw it move. When she simply stayed in place, bundle held up, he found his courage (he'd just been to WAR, how could this scare him so?) and approached.

It...was a baby. And not at all like this woman. Dark hair, darker skin...dark eyes.

Stark features.


"Your nephew," the woman said, her voice like wind through a crack.


" brother...." Surely Benjen could not, had not...

"Brandon and I had an agreement. My side has been fulfilled."

Ned's thoughts spun. An agreement? Between Brandon and...and a white walker? For that surely must be what this woman was.

The babe let out a soft noise and Ned's heart clenched. He thought of his own son, even now on his way to Winterfell, and he knew he couldn't just abandon his brother's boy.

A boy. A son of the rightful heir of Winterfell. A bastard, surely, but still.

What a mess Brandon had left for him. Ned had felt like he was finally done picking up the pieces of the shattered world his family left for him.

Cooing, the babe reached out, hand flailing towards Ned's face as he curled into his uncle's warmth.

He looked again at the...the mother? Wondering if his nephew had ever even felt warmth before.

No, he could not leave this boy to the white walkers. Not Brandon's son.

"Is there anything I must know?"

The woman watched him for a moment. "He will know, himself, when the time comes. When the mortals have betrayed him and his heart's blood runs red in the snow."

Ned shuddered, clutching the boy closer, scared, now, for what fate might bring him.

She left without another word, seeming to blend into the forest around them. Leaving Ned to ponder how he could explain this child to the world.

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Only those blessed by the gods were born with soulmates--their eyes of two colors, their own and their fated partner's.

Jon had been born with such a blessing, an eye of grey so dark as to be black, his own Stark eye, and an eye of lovely violet.

His father had been enamored with a Dayne, people whispered, and Jon was surely fated for one. And so it was no surprise when the Citadel sent back a letter: Allyria Dayne was almost certainly his match.

He spent long hours looking into the polished silver glass in his room when he couldn't sleep, imagining what his other half might be like. Beautiful, surely, weren't Daynes known for that? But was she clever? Was she nice? Would she be like Sansa? Or Arya? Or, and Jon sincerely hoped not, Lady Stark?

For those with soulmates were blessed by the gods and always legitimate, even when not. Jon was his father's second born son and if anything were to happen to Robb, he would inherit Winterfell. Lady Stark would never, ever forgive him for that.

When he was ten his father finally parted with him, his eyes shining with unshed tears. Robb, Sansa, and Arya did cry, clutching at him, as he promised he'd write, promised he'd visit.

Jon could not admit to them how excited he was to see Starfall, to meet Allyria.

She was only a few years older than him and her eyes were, indeed, his own eyes' mirror image. She was lovely, and nice, and clever. They and her younger nephew, Edric, spent most of their days together, he and Edric training, or all three of them in lessons with the Maesters. His father had promised him a keep of his own in the North, but the Daynes tried much to tempt him into staying in Dorne, instead.

He squired to one of their household knights. Normally that may not have meant much, but Starfall would always attract the best un-landed knights in the realm. Second sons, talented hedge knights, whoever felt the call to perhaps know the future Sword of the Morning and call him their comrade.

At four and ten he was knighted, during a skirmish in the Prince's Pass where he was wounded. After, Allyria insisted he not go again and her worry kept him at home with her. If he were to die before they completed their bond, he could take her with him, and he had no desire for such.

When they were six and ten they were wed. He agreed to do it before the Seven, knowing the Old Gods were the more forgiving of them, since it was important to Allyria. And so they wed in Starfall, on a bright, cool day, with much of their families in attendance and many other guests, as well, even Prince Oberyn and Princess Arianne.

The morning after their wedding, they both held their eyes shut, buzzing with anticipation. This was it, if their eyes were wholly their own, now, just one color, it would prove that their bond was forged and settled.

When he opened his eyes, Jon frowned at first, thinking something must be wrong. For he stared into a pair of Stark grey eyes.

But the widening of Allyria's own eyes, the thrill of shock he felt through their formed bond, told him he saw the truth.

It was Jon's eyes which were the violet. Targaryen purple, the Daynes and his father (his uncle, Ned) explained, reluctantly. His birth father's eyes. And Allyria...she, too, had her father's eyes. His Uncle Brandon's eyes.

In that moment, Jon thought he knew why Allyria was his soulmate. For he felt her heart shattering as his own did. Felt her identity fraying as her own did. And the two of them ran from the room, from the castle, as a unit, out to the bank of the river, tears in their newly whole eyes.

Their lives had both been a lie.

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Aemon shoved a hand over his mouth to hold back the noise he wanted to make. Blood was splashed across the throne room floor, Aegon standing at the base of his throne staring coldly at the bodies to the side.

Cersei was screaming, clutching at one of them, clawing at them. Begging her children to not be dead.

"What," it was all Aemon could manage, panic closing off his throat from more words.

Aegon looked towards him, smiling gently. "Little brother, I had wondered where you got off to."

He motioned for Aemon to approach and he did, not sure how to deny him. The Kingsguard stayed arrayed around Aegon, their faces cold, blank.

"Though, perhaps it was for the best." Aegon's eyes darkened and he looked back towards Cersei and the...the bodies. "I had traitors to take care of."

Traitors. Aemon looked back at the bodies, smaller than his own except for Daeron, who had been only a little more than a year younger than Aemon and had grown so quickly. He'd taken after Ser Jaime, training whenever he could.

He'd been strong, and talented, but there was only so much a boy of two and ten could do against the Kingsguard and Gold Cloaks.

Visenya...he could see her, too, her long golden hair arrayed out around her, the ribbons she always insisted on having stained with her blood. And little Jaehaerys, too, the one that Cersei held closest. Four. He'd been four, born just before their father's death.

"The Lannisters were plotting against me, brother. Plotting against us." He felt Aegon's hands close over his shoulders, a kiss pressed to the side of his head. "They would have to kill us both to put Daeron on the throne."

No. No, Aemon couldn't believe it. Cersei held no love for Aegon, but she'd been like a mother to Aemon all his life. She and Jaime had all but raised him.

As if sensing his thoughts, Cersei finally looked up. Her face was red and puffy, streaked with tears, eyes shining with grief. Aemon had never seen her look like this, even after giving birth to Jae.

"Aems, Aems," her voice was desperate, broken.

"Mama," slipped from his own mouth before he could help himself and he took a step towards her, wanting to hold onto her as he would as a child.

Aegon looped an arm around his waist, pulling him back against his body with a displeased snarl. Shuddering, Aemon stilled, eyes wide with fear.

If Aegon would commit kinslaying thrice, what was to stop him from doing so again? Mad King, some had whispered around the Keep, but Aemon had dismissed it, sure it was simply baseless rumors or prejudice against Aegon's Dornish blood.

"Father should have never let her sink her claws into you."

"E-egg, please, I did not know of any--"

"Shh, little brother, I know. The Lannisters used you as they used father, but one does not tell their toys all their secrets." Rage, hot like wildfire, filled Aegon's voice. "But father told Rhae and I to watch over you, Aems, and I always will. I'd never let them hurt you."

Aemon shuddered, squeezing his eyes shut against the scene before him. The guards had begun to grip Cersei, four necessary to hold all of her limbs as she fought against them, begging for the children she'd birthed, begging for Aemon to come to her.

Aegon rocked, gently, as if trying to comfort Aemon in his arms, and it was all he could do not to fall into hysterical laughter. His brother, his king, was just as mad as the others all claimed. And if Aemon wasn't careful, he would end up the ruins that their younger siblings had become.

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"It's a shame the gods saw fit to give you such a large body and such a tiny brain."

Lyanna saw something pass over Robert's face at her words and it took her a few moments to identify it. Then it was all she could do not to blush.

Still, there was something about that...about knowing what sort of reaction she could get from him...that maybe she could be as harsh, as cruel as she wanted and he would...well.

She couldn't help but be intrigued.

For the rest of the Tourney, she kept it up. The new hobby distracted her, keeping her occupied and in Robert's company far more than she had expected to be. Every insult that flowed off her lips, every cruel twist of her mouth, only seemed to ignite his lust more.

"Please, by the gods, Lyanna, please just let me...."

She scoffed at him, when he begged her for attention, for kisses and touches, even innocent ones. Anything to relieve the tensions she built within him.

The one time he tried to kiss her without asking, she'd hit him upside the head with a tourney sword and tripped him with a foot behind his stumbling legs. Then she'd planted her foot on his chest and stared down at his dazed, lustful expression, feeling at that moment like some warrior queen conquering new lands.

This couldn't be how other ladies felt with their betrothed. She would have surely heard something of it.

"You do not touch me, without my permission." She stated, and he nodded, obedient. "You do not touch other women without my permission." There was a pained look that flashed across his face and she whacked his side with the sword, making him nod again.

Then she leaned in, her face close to his, nearly kissing. "You do not touch yourself without my permission."

From the noise he made and the expression on his face, the little jerk his hips gave, she thought he got more pleasure from that than any kiss could have given him.

She laughed, mockingly, and dropped the sword beside him before walking away.

For the rest of the tourney, he only had eyes for her, following her like a pet. Ned admonished her for her cruelty, Brandon watched them with suspicious eyes, and Benjen was just confused.

But Lyanna liked it. Liked Robert when he was like this.

She'd be Lady of Storm's End. Stannis would surely continue acting as its Lord. And Robert...well, Robert was proving to be fun to keep around, at least.

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When Lyanna heard her father talking about a possible betrothal to Robert Baratheon of all people--and, surely, if Ned wanted Lyanna to consider it, he should have been less truthful in his earlier letters about his friend--she knew she had to take drastic action.

She'd been acting Lady of Winterfell in all but name for years, so it was no great feat to come up with a reason to invite many of the lords (and ladies) of the North for a festival. There were so many that normally went by with nothing more than a bit of feasting for the smallfolk, but that didn't mean she couldn't make them a greater event.

And Brandon's nameday was only a sennight from the festival, so the combined event made her brother her ally in this.

Most of the lords of note were married or the sort her father would never consider, not when he had a Lord Paramount hooked in. She graciously saw to all of them, though, just in case.

When Roose Bolton walked in, recently widowed and as cold as ever, Lyanna's heart felt as though it skipped a beat.

A Bolton. How could her father refuse the chance to make a greater alliance with the next most powerful house?

Roose clearly did not want sympathy for his loss, so Lyanna did not bother showing him such. That made her stand out more than any of the other ladies, she knew, who simpered and bemoaned his loss to him as though they cared.

Lady Bolton had been a coldhearted bitch, a perfect match for Roose, and Lyanna wasn't going to pretend to mourn her to fling herself at her widower.

"Perhaps, my lord, you would like a walk around the glass gardens?" she suggested, ignoring the glare of the latest maiden she'd interrupted.

It might have been a trick of the light, but it seemed as though Roose might have smiled at the offer. He gave her his arm and she led him away from the festivities, to the quieter parts of the Keep, a guard trailing behind them as escort.

Lyanna had nothing to say to him and so she stayed silent, observing the plants they walked by instead. It was peaceful, truly, even with Roose who often unsettled some animal part of Lyanna deep within.

"I thank you for your kindness, my lady," he finally said into the cool night air, his pale eyes staring down at her with a curious light.

"I know what it is like to be pestered by ladies, my lord, and I did not gather all for a night of mirth to go through such."

"Do you believe I would be mirthful without their presence?" Roose's lips quirked up again.

Lyanna had to laugh, the sound musical in the still night air. "Nay, my lord, but far more content, perhaps."

"Is that what you seek in life, my lady? Contentedness?"

She sobered, cocking her head to the side as she regarded him. Had he caught on already? He had always seemed the clever sort, even if (perhaps especially since) he did not spare Brandon much regard.

"I think such a state would be ideal, my lord. One can find adventure and excitement when needed, but contentment is surely a more illusive beast."

"And what would make you feel so content?"

"To live out my days in the North. To be the lady wife to a lord who garnered and gave respect."

Roose nodded, studying her just as she studied him. "Is that truly all? Such a free spirit as you, I would think you'd yearn for more."

"I know my lot in life, my lord. All I can hope is to have some small manner of freedom in the choosing."

"Indeed, my lady."

It was only early days of her father considering Robert Baratheon, with his maester whispering Southron poison in his ears. When Roose Bolton, in person, asked for Lyanna's hand and Lyanna gave nothing but approval, of course that seemed the better proposition. To not have to watch his back in the North when he played his games in the South was welcome.

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The first boulder clipped Rhaegal's wing and sent him spiralling, both he and Aegon shouting in surprise. Another they barely managed to dodge.

He'd never heard of a siege device with such accuracy and speed, but once they ducked below the clouds again to get a look at the lands around Winterfell, it became clear that this was no device.

Giants. As he'd heard of in the stories and reports. Giants hurling rocks towards them.

They went higher, righteous rage filling Aegon at the idea that these Starks would deny his rights as King until the very end. He would manage to get close enough and burn those giants to ash. And then Winterfell would follow, with all the traitorous Starks within.

Except the bombardment stopped, a lull filling the space around them. For a moment, his mind raced with possibilities--did they somehow run out of rocks? were they preparing for some other type of weaponry?

And then something huge and dark slammed into them from above. If it weren't for the chains of his saddle, Aegon would have fallen to his death. As it was, he thought at least some joints had been pulled out of place, his body screaming at him in pain.

The Cannibal. But there had been reports of his bastard half-brother in the South. Varys had been sure of that.

It struck again, raking claws over Rhaegal's belly, teeth clamping into his neck. He had a good look at the Cannibal's back, enough to see he wore no saddle, had no rider.

There was, Aegon thought in horror, nothing to make him stop until he'd killed and consumed Rhaegal. And Aegon along the way.


Lord Rickon watched as Canny tore into his meal, laughing at the excited tail-wiggle he gave.

Around them, everyone was going back to more normal activities. Bran had let them know once the dragon was a few hours away and they'd all prepared, unsure just how well Jon's plan to let Canny at Rhaegal would work.

All it took was a few noises out of Rhaegal to let Canny know a dragon was nearby and he'd taken care of the rest.

"Jon should have taken out Daenerys by now," Arya stated, watching the Cannibal with dark eyes. "That means we should be fine. The only thing left to worry about is following the Ironborn back to their gods' forsaken islands and making sure none can ever manage to get back to the North."

Rickon grinned at that, a fierce look for their Wild Wolf. "Once Jon gets back. I don't want him missing any of the fun."

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"Jon Snow! In the name of King Aegon the Sixth of his--"

Arthur cut off as the man in question turned, his dark eyes glinting purple in the sunlight. He knew that face well, and not because he'd been tracking the outlaw Jon Snow for a moon.

"...Prince Aemon."

Aemon smirked, in the hodgepodge clothing and fraying cloak he looked more like a scruffy bandit than a Prince of Dragonstone.

"...Somehow, I should have known. A Stark bastard this far South? No one questioned that Lord Brandon had another lying around, but he rarely came south of the Neck. And that you were harassing such a select crowd in the Kingswood?"

"Harassing is such a harsh word, Ser Arthur. We're simply...redistributing wealth."

Arthur already felt the headache coming. "The King has set out a bounty on Jon Snow's head, you realize. One that is very attractive to hedgeknights and their ilk."

Nodding, Aemon started picking up the supplies he'd dropped when Arthur had appeared. "I've run into some of those already. They're not very subtle."

"They could kill you."

Aemon smiled brightly. "Oh? Do you think your training is that bad, Ser?"

"My--your grace, you are well aware that anything can happen in a true fight with live steel. Whatever game you're playing--"

"It's not so much a game, Ser Arthur. Though I suppose you could call it a pass-time." He pulled up the hood of his cloak again and started towards the tired-looking mare in the corner of the camp.

"You're coming back with me, Prince Aemon." Arthur used the no-nonsense voice he'd had to use on the brothers often when they were children and was relieved to say Aemon hesitate. "You are a prince of the blood, heir to the throne. You can't be gallivanting with smallfolk, stealing from your brother's lords."

He motioned to the knights who he had brought to assist him with what he thought would be a long fight and Aemon was soon pouting and being shoved onto Arthur's own horse, not trusted to ride on his own.

"The smallfolk need the coin and supplies we were giving them!"

"You realize that, instead of becoming a criminal, you could have approached your brother with this issue."

Aemon laughed in Arthur's ear. "You can't be that naive, you know the highborn will just make excuses for why the smallfolk on their lands are destitute and hungry."

He knew that to be true--he'd seen it before, over and over, with groups just like the one Aemon had joined earning more respect from robbing the rich for a few months than the lords of the lands earned in generations. For as much power as Aegon had managed to amass, even he couldn't help the smallfolk if their lords didn't want to.

"When those posters came out, I should have had the men ransom me back," Aemon muttered, now slumped against Arthur and preparing to relax for the ride back to King's Landing. "At least it would have been worthwhile."

"I'm sure you'll find some other way to help, eventually, my prince. You've always been good at such things." Then he added, to cheer Aemon up, "And regardless of that, you did make some trouble for your Uncle Brandon."

Aemon laughed again, arms squeezing tighter around Arthur's waist. "Oh, I wish I could have seen his face when he thought he had another bastard about."

"You know your cousins have probably sent you a detailed description of the whole event, waiting for you back home."

"Stop it, Art, you're not going to make me happy to be going back to the snake pit."

"Your grace, being such a blatant liar doesn't suit you. After all, you haven't even heard my greatest effort to sweeten the event, yet."

"Oh? And what's that?"

"The Queen has returned from Dorne."

Again, those arms tightened, and Arthur could swear that even through his armor he could feel Aemon's nervous anticipation. "Rhae is really back? Already? I suppose it might be good you found me...I wouldn't want to keep her waiting long...."

King Aegon would be displeased with everyone involved in this incident, Arthur knew, even himself, for having to bring the truth to light, but Queen Rhaenys had a way of soothing her brothers that would surely have the whole event forgotten in a few days.

Chapter Text

"The Starks have the North, the Vale, and the Riverlands. They have the heirs to the Iron Islands. And from what I hear, the Stormlands are close to theirs, as well, despite our conquest." Aegon glared around the room at his council, his advisers, waiting for someone to contradict him, someone to make this all seem less daunting.

He was supposed to come to Westeros a hero, welcomed by the people as he put down the Lannister Usurpers. The kingdoms were supposed to fall in line.

It is Varys who speaks up and Aegon thanked the gods once more for giving him such a Master of Whisperers. "My King, from what I understand, it is not King Rickon who holds much of the loyalty of those kingdoms."

Aegon narrowed his eyes. "I know Sansa Stark is Lady Regent of the Vale, their uncle is the Lord of the Riverlands...."

Varys shook his head. "But it is Jon Snow who the knights and armies, the Northern lords and Stormlanders, hold in high regard."

Jon Snow. He'd heard that name too often. Ever since the revelation of the other man's parentage, he felt as though his half-brother loomed over him, a shadow blocking out the sun of his victory. They'd met only once, so far, and it had done nothing to alleviate Aegon's obsession with him but give him a face and body to put to his dreams and nightmares.

"And what good does that do us?" Arianne scoffed. "He may have been born in Dorne, but he holds no loyalty to us."

Varys' smirk was familiar, comfortable by now. "Ah, they say he is incredibly loyal to the Starks, but perhaps he could be loyal to his other family, his true family." He raised his eyebrows at Aegon. "Perhaps if you show him that he is, indeed, a dragon, he might be swayed to want a united Westeros under his older brother's rule."

"We're practically strangers."

"Invite him to the Red Keep, give him guest rights, and no reason to doubt the sincerity of your overtures."

The knowing look Varys gave him made Aegon squirm. How could he know of what he dreamt? Was it just natural, for Targaryens? Would his brother feel this same, inexplicable draw?

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The free folk had no fear of the Dothraki and, certainly, the ones Jon had brought with him mingled well with the Dothraki that accompanied Daenerys and her husband.

They were a sight--his aunt and her horselord husband, her the picture of a Targaryen beauty, he the exact vision of the stories that so many of the Westerosi lived in fear of.

"I think there might be some truth in the theories of where the First Men came from," Sam muttered nearby, looking between Jon, Daenerys, and Drogo, then glancing off towards the free folk and Dothraki.

"Aye, mayhaps. A topic for another day."

His own skin wasn't too far off from the Dothraki's, and certainly his hair seemed similar, too. The North had largely kept to itself, even after the Conquest, and the Starks in particular preferred to breed even with the Mountain Clans before the Andals.

But the Southrons already thought the Northmen barely a step up from the free folk Jon commanded now, as well, and he would have preferred to give them no more cause for their prejudice.

The Targaryen forces--mostly Dothraki and sellswords, with some Crownlands houses and a few others here and there--had setup a tent for them to meet within and Jon soon found himself sat by the Mother of Dragons before an exotic looking meal.

"Does guest right mean much to the Dothraki?" he asked, after a few moments of staring across at each other.

Daenerys smiled gently, settling her hand on her husband's, who had stiffened at the word Dothraki but given no indication he understood the Common tongue.

"Not as such, though I have impressed upon all this custom and its importance."

Jon glanced away, back towards his people, who looked relaxed enough but could rush into combat at the slightest hint of aggression. "Westeros has had enough of those who break our sacred laws."

"Indeed. You have lost much to such dishonor. I am sorry that your mother's family has faced such trials." If it pained her to speak in any way favorably to the Starks, she didn't show it, though Jon knew well enough what she thought of them. "But you and the last Targaryens, along with my son, we have each other."

She reached across and took his hand. He allowed it, knowing that it cost him nothing. It was his good hand, after all, though both were still clad in gloves.

"They say my brother's eyes were a purple so dark they looked black," she murmured, still staring at him. "And I can see some of my brother Viserys in your face, as well. I had thought I would know no other family again, I cannot express how much it pleases me to know you."

He couldn't help but smile back, watching the glistening of unshed tears in his eyes. Turning his hand over, he carefully squeezed her own.

"I spent my whole life wanting to know who the other half of my family was," he replied, knowing such a fact was no great secret from any who had met him before and that it cost him nothing to admit it, "when I found out...I despaired, as well. I'd known Maester Aemon, but he had died before he could ever know I was his relative. I did not think we would ever meet."

Her smile wobbled. "We both knew one other, it seems, though not under the terms we would have liked. I hope soon we will know more. That my children will grow up with cousins and laughter and mirth will fill the halls of the Red Keep and Dragonstone."

King's Landing was half a ruin, he knew, after the dragons had taken out the Lannister forces. Dragonstone had been left a mess by Stannis, the Sept ash, many of the Targaryen heirlooms sold or destroyed.

But Winterfell, too, was half a ruin. And walking its hallways filled Jon with nothing but dread and remorse.

"You mean to marry me to some lady, then, for an alliance?"

"I know it is not what you would wish, but you can find happiness. Build love." She glanced again at her husband, who was picking at his food in boredom but making no move to leave.

Jon could turn around now, go back North, take up the crown that Robb had willed to him. But Moat Cailin was in no fit state, nor were their shores, and half their fighting men were free folk who wouldn't have the discipline to survive a true siege if her sellswords struck.

His heart ached, still, thinking of his cousins, dead or missing and surely dead by this point. Arya, especially, felt like a hole in his heart.

What did the North matter, without them? What did carrying on the Stark name matter, in the face of three dragons that the Wall so desperately needed?

Westeros was full of widows and houses that would now be carried by female lines, for once men were as easy to sell off in marriage as women.

"Did you have someone in mind?"

She smiled, again, brilliant and sweet, and he had to remind himself that his was his aunt, his married aunt, and that even if she were open to him, the free folk would never abide by such a close relation.

"There are a few. But that is enough talk of that, dear nephew, let us get acquainted with each other, first."

A servant brought in the babe, as if on cue, and he allowed himself to notice how much his cousin looked like himself. Sam was going to go half mad at another confirmation.

"Aye...Aunt Daenerys. I would like that."

Chapter Text

There was no questioning the prosperity of Vaes Tolorro. The city of white was overflowing with merchants and visitors, the path from the dock, but a few years old, all the way to the walls was crawling.

Jon was one of the few Westerosi, though, and drew the attention of the Khaleesi's men in being so.

He came before her humble and careful, with the small chest he'd been given at Starfall, the last time he'd set foot on the ground of their homeland.

Inside was his mother's maiden cloak and letters exchanged between her, his father, and step-mother. They mentioned her pregnancy, he knew, and he had put those at the top.

Daenerys sent for him privately the next time she did so, watching him with tearful eyes. "These were your parents?"

"Aye, your grace."

"No, do not...we are family, Aemon, there is no need for formality."

After, he met the dragons, and meeting Viserion reminded him of what meeting Ghost had been like. Filling a gap inside of him of all the things he'd left behind at the Wall.

Daenerys, too, knew what it was like to abandon dreams. Sometimes she still thought about taking Westeros, but less and less each year. With Jon there, less still, he thought.

Her City of Bones was ever popular, people coming from all over to see the dragons, many staying once they experienced the society she had created. Jon could not regret being one of those people, even as it meant revealing secrets that so many in Westeros had died concealing. The people here cared little and the ghosts that haunted the night cared less.

This city, given to Daenerys by the red comet, was a new beginning for them, and for House Targaryen, too.

Chapter Text

The last piece of the key slotted into place and Lyanna backed off, ready for anything as the ancient doors began to creak open. The mechanisms within Ancient Valyrian buildings, the few that survived to this day, never ceased to impress her. She wished her phone had half the longevity.

Once it opened, she slipped inside, mask firmly on and headlamp lighting up the area in front of her. As she worked her way down, she found the ubiquitous dragon carvings and statues of Valyrian architecture, but it lacked the script she was used to. And the gods.

No where was there a statue of Balerion. No where was there a prayer to Vhaghar. This was not like any of the temples she'd been in nor any that she'd heard of.

As she went further in, she started to see that the art around them seemed focused on an individual. "Rhaegar Targaryen," she whispered, eyes stroking over the name.

The Targaryens were a known name, one of the few dozen families considered "dragonlords." At the very end of the Ancient Valyrian Empire, they'd grown powerful, until even they were caught up in the Doom, or the quaint name the ancients had given to the catastrophic event that caused all of the surrounding volcanoes to erupt at once.

But Rhaegar...that wasn't a name she knew of. From the art, that seemed to be who this place was dedicated to.

This wasn't a temple, she realized, as she finally entered the main room. There in front of her was a raised dais, with something like a sarcophagus at its center.

This was a tomb.

Which...made no sense. The Targaryens didn't entomb their dead, there hadn't been a single instance of burial, even among the lower class. Not any they'd found in digs, not any they'd read about in the texts. All of the bodies they'd had to study from Ancient Valyrian had come from accidents or the like, had been buried in cave-ins or left for dead after battles on foreign soil.

She wished she'd had the time to wait before entering, that she'd had Arthur or Elia, or even Roose, with her for this discovery. It felt wrong to be all alone.

After checking, carefully, for the typical traps, she made her way up to the sarcophagus. It was a good size, more than enough for a full-grown man of Valyrian stature, and carved almost look like a human-dragon hybrid was inside.

Lyanna took a deep breath, looking around and chuckling softly to herself. The silence of the tomb was unsettling her. Another reason she wished she wasn't alone.

The stone beneath her hands, when she finally touched it, confused her. Under the paint was the oily black stone that was associated with far earlier periods of time than the Targaryens had been known in. Another puzzle, of a different sort.

"Let's get a look at what you're actually hiding," she murmured, carefully searching for the best way to open it.

Her fingers slid over the smooth surface until, suddenly, she felt a sharp prick. Pulling her hand back, she scowled at the blood welling on her fingers. It dripped down onto the surface of the sarcophagus, spreading out, and then continuing to spread, as though the few drops were a pint, more.

She stumbled away, cursing under her breath. This was not good. Whatever trap she'd just triggered, it was not good.

Chapter Text

Most of the people had eyes for Daenerys or her dragons, but Xaro Xhoan Daxos had been watching Jon since they'd met. The man's eyes roved over him often, making his skin itch.

"You are blood of the dragon, dear nephew, if I'm not to his taste, of course you would be," Daenerys had stated when he had finally worked up the nerve to point it out.

The whole thing flustered him. He had not lived in Essos long enough to be so comfortable around displays of men with men and despite traveling with the Dothraki, his Northern modesty was mostly intact. As was his virtue.

"Should I...allow it?"

She'd taken his face in her hands, tragedy written across her own. "Only if you wish to. I would never sell you, not for a hundred warships, Aemon. We are all that is left of our family, we must guard each other."

They must not be like Viserys, he knew she meant. Who sold her to Khal Drogo, who threatened the life of her child.

But the guilt at NOT allowing it ate at him and soon Jon was entertaining Xaro, just a bit. His shyness worked for him here, Xaro all the more interested when he learnt Jon was yet a virgin.

"Your beauty eclipses even the Mother of Dragons', my prince. To look upon you is to look upon the work of the gods themselves."

He'd only blush harder at all of Xaro's flattery, embarrassed for them both. He knew he'd been growing into his looks, but he didn't think he'd done that much. Certainly there were parts of him exotic in Essos, the Northern bred looks that weren't exactly anything like what was still found in the East, but he was hardly on level with Daenerys.

Not that Xaro didn't continue his flirtations with her, or his marriage proposals.

"He could be with you, but he couldn't marry you."

"He couldn't get a dragon from me, you mean," Jon muttered.

Daenerys scowled at the reminder. "We will leave here, Aemon, we will find a way to get ships, and soldiers. We will find our way back to Westeros."

Jon smiled at her, pressing a kiss to her cheek. "We will." Even if he had to let Xaro have his body, he'd get Daenerys what she wanted.

Chapter Text

Out of all the random people that sometimes showed up at the small home Jon and Tormund had built for themselves, Southrons were the least likely.

And yet, there they were, standing there shivering, with Tormund looking put-out and a few free folk Jon recognized from Hardholme who they must have hired to guide them.

"Prince Aegon--"

He halted on his way by them, sharing a look with Tormund, and then turning to face the strangers. "What do you want?"

"We've come to-to request you return to the South."

"I was banished. To the Night's Watch. Which doesn't exist anymore."

It had collapsed fairly early on after his return, none of the senior Night's Watch members still alive but he and Sam, and Sam had truly abandoned his post and Jon hadn't cared to help them. After that, everyone had simply left. Some went to Essos, some came to the True North. They'd been making good lives for themselves, since, at least the ones who he kept in touch with seemed to be.

"Yes, well, we-we have a writ, from the Small Council, pardoning you for-for oathbreaking."

"Oh? Just a general pardon for every oath I've ever broken?" He still grabbed the scroll they held out to him, skimming it over with disdain. "Who's this? I thought Tyrion Lannister was Hand, but this isn't his signature."

The strangers exchanged looks. "...Tyrion Lannister has been dead for two years now, your grace. During the last revolt."

"The last revolt?"

"...Yes," said one of the men who hadn't spoken, yet. "There have been five, your grace, over the last decade. The...the leadership you would know of from when you left the Kingdoms is gone, now."

"Gone? Your King Bran? Grandmaester Samwell?"

A part of him felt something like sadness when they affirmed that they, too, had been killed, but it was an ephemeral thing. They'd abandoned him, first.

Tormund stepped up as Jon was distracted with those thoughts. "And what exactly do you want Jon going back with you for?"

The first man shifted nervously on his feet again. "...He is the rightful King of the Seven Kingdoms. We wish for him to rule us."

Jon couldn't help but laugh, the strength of it bending him over at the waist, making him hold his belly against it. He could hear Tormund reacting much the same way.

"You--you want me as your king?"

"Y-yes, your grace."

Sobering a bit, Jon stood up straighter. "You all had your chance at a Targaryen ruler. Twice. And you clearly didn't like your Stark one. I'm not interested."

The men looked between themselves again. "But...but surely you wish to return to the Seven Kingdoms?"

Jon frowned. "Seven? Did you finally decide to start counting them properly?"

The man grimaced. "Your grace, the North has reunited with the other Kingdoms after the fall of Queen Sansa."

Again, there was that brief hint of sadness. Jon had avoided news from the South, but especially from the kingdom of the North. He'd only realized in retrospect how much he'd been manipulated, how easily Sansa could have spared him the banishment. She had gotten everything she had wanted--Daenerys dead, her Northern throne, the stain on her father's honor banished out of thought and memory.

"Sansa's dead?" Tormund snorted, glancing over at Jon. "Can't say I'm surprised. Nothing good comes from breaking an oath before the gods."

"Your grace, you have to---"

"Have to, now?" Jon stepped up to the men and they backed off, probably just as intimidated by how much he looked like a wildling now as they might be from his reputation with a sword. "What will you do if I don't want to come back South? March an army through the summer snows and kidnap me? Chain me to whatever you have for a throne?"

The men seemed confused, surely having thought anyone would jump at the chance for amnesty and a throne. But Jon had seen what wanting to rule had done to other people, had himself been part of Daenerys' downfall (still had dreams of when he hadn't done it, when they'd lived a happy life together after, instead). He was not fool enough to think he could survive Southron politics.

"I suggest you start back, now. You don't want to be caught in the forest at night."

He didn't bother staying to hear what else they had to say, letting Tormund stare them down as he retreated into their hut.

"Almost thought you'd take them up on the offer."


"Somedays I know you miss it down south."

Jon scoffed. "The food, maybe. The weather. My long dead family. My life is here, now."

Tormund rolled his eyes, gripping Jon around his shoulders and pulling him close. "Guess I know that, now."

Chapter Text

The room was silent except for the soft coos of Aemon, nestled against her chest. Lyanna had refused to be parted from her son, half terrified that anyone might use it as an excuse to kill him, and with Wylla taking a much needed rest she kept Aemon with her now.

Robert had a hard time looking at her when Aemon was with her, she imagined the clear mark of another man's attention to her body disgusted him. Except, he had yet to release her back to Winterfell, either.

Aemon was a bastard, Rhaegar had not lived to become king, to legitimize her child, and so he posed significantly less threat than Viserys did. Ned had taken it upon himself to remind Robert of that, frequently, and he had a surprising number of allies. Many had been horrified at what had happened to Elia and her children--they'd agreed Aegon would need to die somehow, but everyone had suspected it would be at the Wall or through some subtle poison. And Elia and Rhaenys...there was no reason for that outside of pure maliciousness.

"He looks like you, more than anything," Robert stated, into the silence.

It made Ned look up from the papers he'd been going through, assisting Jon Arryn in his tasks as Hand while they were stuck within the Red Keep. Lyanna watched Robert carefully, waiting for any signs of an outburst, but he just looked tired.

"He does favor me," she agreed, after a few moments of silence. "He looks a Stark. Perhaps if I'd done you all the favor of dying, Ned could have claimed he was Brandon's."

Both the men flinched. "Lya..." Ned began, but it was Robert who continued.

"Do you think that's what we want? You dead? Seven hells, Lyanna! There's no one gladder for your life than us!"

She scoffed. "You spun a tale that Rhaegar was some mad raper to help win you that throne and I'm proof he's not."

"We still haven't found a trace of the letters you've sent," Ned stated, frowning. "Whoever was intercepting them was thorough."

"The Mad King, obviously! Hoping we'd all slaughter each other and leave him on his throne!" Robert's fist pounded the table and Aemon startled, giving a distressed noise. "Ah, shit, sorry."

"You don't have to pretend to be sorry," Lyanna muttered as she tried to calm Aemon down.

Robert made a frustrated noise, looking like he only just remembered not to hit the table again. "I don't want to hurt the babe, Lyanna!"

"Like you didn't want Aegon hurt? Like you don't want Viserys hurt?"

He sputtered, standing up abruptly and setting his hands firmly on the table. Ned is tense, looking back and forth between the two of them, ready to intervene.

"I didn't ask for what happened! Tywin fucking Lannister did that! And I'm not going to kill your son! Ned's nephew!" He took a few great breaths, seeming to find calm somehow. "You said you weren't even planning to keep the babe."

Lyanna swallowed, looking down at Aemon, who stared up at her with such trusting innocence her heart ached. "What else can I do? He would have gone with Rhaegar, been raised with Elia as his mother. They're both dead. I won't leave him an orphan." She held him closer, squeezing her eyes shut. "He would have grown up a prince and I would have been free in Essos."

She heard Ned's frustrated sigh at that, remembered how offended he had been when he'd found out the truth. She'd have a child for Rhaegar, he'd give her money and an estate across the Narrow Sea. It had seemed like all three of them would win out. When she heard news of Rhaegar's death she thought that the deal could still, perhaps, happen. Elia had seemed excited for another child, as well, after all. But then...then....

The memory of Arthur coming into her room in the tower, the anguish on his face as he told her of what had transpired, still made her feel weak and shaky.

"And that's the crux of it, isn't it?" Robert's musings interrupted her thoughts, drawing her back to the present. "If you'd ever told me that, you wouldn't have needed to run off with my cousin! You think I want to be trapped on some throne in some castle dealing with lords I have to play nice with while they plot how to stab me in the back?"

Looking at him, at just how exhausted he seemed now that the fighting was over and the rebuilding had started, she could imagine it.

"I suppose if either of us had been a bit more truthful," she muttered, then glanced towards Ned, her eyes narrowing, "if any of us had been."

He had the sense to duck his head, knowing that his own fantasy versions of his sister and his best friend had interfered in what they'd known of each other. In how they'd thought of the other.

Robert shook his head. "That doesn't matter now, though, does it? I'm King and I'm told I have to stick to it."

"And Ned and I will return to Winterfell." There was silence again, Ned's nervousness making Lyanna's hackles rise. "What? What is it?"

"The lords...they're insisting Aemon stays here. Where men loyal to me can keep track of him."

"More loyal than Ned?" Grimacing, Robert made a helpless gesture in way of answer. "You honestly think I'll just abandon a babe to these jackals?"

"I didn't say that. I thought...." He looked nervous, now, too, nearly as much so as Ned. "I thought you would stay as my Queen."

Lyanna's jaw clenched, brain stalling as it tried to deal with the ridiculous statement. If it wasn't for the slight pulling of her hair by Aemon's tiny fist, she thought she might have lost track of where she was entirely.

"I've run off with another man and had his child," she pointed out.

"...Yes. But you are still the only female Stark, and now you have family ties with the Riverlands, who are tied with the Vale...."

She narrowed her eyes. "After everything, you still see me as some sort of trophy to be won, don't you? Something else you can take away from a Targaryen."

"What?! No!" Again, he looked so frustrated that he might hit something, but glanced at Aemon and refrained. "We, you and I, we got off to a bad start. I was too proud, too full of myself, to realize that. But we'd work well together, you've got to see that. You'd be a great Queen, Lyanna."

Ned couldn't quite hide his snort and Lyanna turned to glare at him. "What, you think I couldn't be?"

"I didn't say that."

"But you clearly think it." The challenge was making the whole thing seem more appealing--proving her brothers wrong had always been one of her favorite passtimes. "I'll consider it, Robert. But you've better make sure to give me more incentive than that."

He agreed, relaxing, and Lyanna turned her attention back to Aemon. If things didn't work out with Robert, at least this would give her time to plan her escape from Westeros with her son.

Chapter Text

It had taken months of negotiating before Robb Stark been the knee, months where Aegon's advisers told him to take the North by force, to execute the Stark boy as a traitor.

If not for the information he'd received, his second month in King's Landing, Aegon thought he would have. A brother, raised as Eddard Stark's bastard, thinking the traitor Robb Stark was his older brother all his life.

Aegon had felt red-hot rage at the news, once he realized the truth of it. He'd thought he was all but alone, with Rhaenys' murder he thought he'd never know a sibling. He should have realized the Usurper's dog would steal as much from his family as he could. In his darkest nights Aegon dreamt of it, of Lord Stark's pleasure in having Rhaegar Targaryen's son as his lowly bastard. Of sending a dragon off to the Wall to die in the cold.

That it took months after Robb Stark regained his kingdom and settled in as Warden of the North for him to free Jon Snow made it all the more obvious to Aegon that the Starks saw his brother as a pet they liked to have around, not as their brother.

Aegon would have been at the Wall immediately, paying any tribute they asked, to have his brother with him, if their relationship had been publicly known.

Once Jon Snow was free, Aegon ordered Lord Stark to King's Landing, along with his brother. While a traitor king, Stark had legitimized his supposed brother, but Aegon had made it clear that such a thing did not make it true. He'd offered to do so himself, as part of the negotiations, had said he'd meet Jon and decide if he was worthy of his father's house.

Stark had never questioned that Aegon never once said he'd make the bastard Jon Stark.

Now he was here, in Aegon's solar, he bent the knee in the throne room behind his cousin, a subservient position, as soon as he arrived, and Aegon had spent a few days observing him. He and Stark had exchanged words before Jon had been left alone, Aegon's fury rising at how close they obviously were.

His stolen brother would have been like that with him, instead, if not for the Usurper's dog.

He handed over the papers first: a few letters their parents had exchanged, a maester's record of Lyanna Stark's pregnancy, a contract between her and their father to legitimize any of their children.

Watching Jon's face as he read them over, his expression twisting and changing, Aegon almost wished he'd done this differently. He hadn't wanted to hurt his little brother, just to claim him.

"My deal with Robb Stark was to legitimize you into your father's house."

Jon looked up, eyes wide. ""

Aegon smiled, stepping up to him, setting a hand on his shoulder. "I have only known of you a short time, little brother, but that does not change what you are to me."

"This is...."

"You know it's not a lie, it makes no sense to make it one. Your uncle never told you who your mother was, even when you were leaving for the Night's Watch. Now you know why."

He swayed and Aegon carefully led him to a chair. Taking care of him, as he would have, as he always should have been able to do.

"I can announce this at the end of your cousin's visit. I would...I would like it if you stayed here, so we could know each other."

Aegon knew he had to be careful, had to make everything seem as though Jon had a choice. He would not lose his brother to the Starks.