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Striped Carnations

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“Do you need a ride?”

She had seen him once or twice before. Mathematics, she thought, though she couldn’t be sure.

“What does it matter if I do or not?” she replied with much vex.

He was in front of her, sitting atop his motorcycle, staring at her with his deep and iron grey eyes.

“I’m only asking.”

“And if I did?”

She crossed her arms over her chest, letting him know of the barrier she was inclined to put between them both.

He frowned at her coldness, and he maneuvered the handles of his bike as if he planned to make off at any opportunity.

“Then I would offer you a lift home.”

She made to retort angrily, but she only clutched herself tighter, the cool February wind causing a shiver to run down her body; and she fought to keep her teeth from chattering in front of him.

He did not experience the same problems she currently faced. He wore distressed jeans and a brown leather jacket over his black shirt. On his feet, chocolate brown leather boots adorned his feet, as one foot rested on the ground while the other rested on a pedal of his bike.

“And what would give you any faint idea that I would accept an offer?”

It was unfair, to be angry with him. It was no fault of his that he’d dressed appropriately for the winter weather. It was no fault of his that he had the means to journey home. No fault of his that she’d decided to dress in a white shirt, tucked into a blue skirt with bumblebee striped socks. No fault of his that she’d decided to stay another few hours to help choose the next president of the drama club, and now found herself with no ride home.

She was a senior, as was he. At least, she assumed he was a senior seeing as they both shared mathematics. Yes...she recognized him now. Jon Stark from AP Calculus. He was always so quiet in Professor Cressen’s class. He never spoke in the class unless he was called upon by the professor. However, that had only happened during the beginning of the term the previous September, and Cressen had ceased in trying to involve him into the class after a month of short responses. They were correct responses, but she understood Cressen’s frustration at Jon reserving himself back into his mysterious aura.

That was why she now had no regrets for her hesitation. She didn’t know him or his intentions. And the bike? It spelled trouble.

He chuckled at her and she felt a flash of further annoyance.

“What’s so funny?” She asked him.

“Nothing. You’re right to be wary. I probably wouldn’t accept a ride either. Besides, you’re more than likely not waiting out here in the cold wearing thin fabric for the kicks of it. Probably already have a ride.”

He pushed the parking stand of his bike with his foot and lifted himself upright, throttling the acceleration a bit before he began to drive off.

“Wait” she said abruptly.

He turned to her with a quizzical brow.

She would have given herself her own quizzical look if she could.

“Wait” she whispered this time.

She walked towards him and only stopped when she was within his personal space.

Turn around. Leave, she told herself.

“I do need a ride…”

She wove her fingers together and shifted on her feet as she stood in front of him. She must have looked ridiculous, brushing off his offer and then accepting it by begging him to wait.

She ignored the way he flattened his lips in confusion, and the way they puckered out as he sucked his teeth behind them.

“Hop on” he told her.

She nodded in response and made her way behind him, throwing her leg over the bike to get a proper seating. Daenerys wrapped her arms loosely around his waist as she maintained a good distance between them, almost hanging off of the seat of the bike.

“Unless you want to kiss the asphalt or pavement” he said, still facing forward and away from her, “then you might want to get closer and hang tight.”

She blinked at his words, not fully grasping them until he turned slightly to look at her with amused eyes. She nodded her head a bit, giving a small “right” as she complied with his suggestion. She pressed herself close to him, and she couldn’t deny that she enjoyed the warmth that his body emitted. She also could not ignore the leather scent that emitted from his skin, very much not being due to the leather jacket he bore; the faint animalic and woody aroma that wafted to her.

“Are you alright?” He asked her suddenly.

She blinked again, and it wasn’t until he shifted in her embrace that she realized that she had fisted his black shirt into her hands.

“Oh God...sorry” she whispered, releasing the fabric and the rugged feeling of the skin underneath.

He assured her that it was no problem, stating that it would probably be best to clutch him tightly lest she fall off due to having a loose grip.

“Where do you live, anyways?”

“Aegon Hill” she replied. “Do you know it?”

He nodded in response,

“I’m Daenerys, by the way,” she told him, clutching tightly once more as he eased the gas to leave.

“Heh, I know” he replied, accelerating the black roadster motorbike.

She didn’t have the chance to enquire his knowledge of her name, but she later found herself thankful for the adversity as they sped through the streets towards Aegon Hill. It made more sense that he knew her from class. Unlike him, she didn’t shy away from the attention and her status of popularity was well known throughout their school.

She leaned her cheek onto his back, and she lost herself as they passed the bright city lights at night. She had never experienced anything like this. For one, she usually browsed her phone due to the amount of duty she found herself in at such a young age; and when she did take the time to view the scenery outside, she was always shielded by the protection of her family’s vehicle frame and windows. She felt constant and at ease as her body travelled with the velocity of a vehicle. But on Jon’s motorcycle, she felt a rush of exhilaration as the wind blew against her face.

The thrill was so much, that she hadn’t noticed him throttling the acceleration as he stopped in front of the gate that led to the front steps of her house.

“This it?”

She sat upright, her cheek numb from the loss of contact, and she gazed at the red Victorian home with black trim.

“Yeah...that’s it.”

Normally, she didn’t bat an eye at the sight of her home. It was the largest house in the community, but nearly every home still took on the Victorian look. Yet, she felt self-conscious for some unknown reason and she couldn’t quite understand why.

She climbed off of the back of his bike and walked towards the gate of her home. She expected to hear the rev of the engine and him speeding off, but only the soft hum of the motor filled the air around them.

She opened the gate and half turned to him.

“Thank you” she told him, “for giving me a ride.”

“Jon” he said suddenly.

“I’m sorry?”

“Jon. That’s my name. Jon Snow.”

She furrowed her brow.

“Snow? I thought it was Stark…”

He gave her a surprised look.

“It is. But I usually introduce myself by my first and middle name. Rarely ever flaunt out my last. Full name is Jon Snow Stark. But I just use Snow.”

“Oh...well. Thank you, Jon Snow.”

He nodded with a half-smile. She stared at him for a few seconds, wondering why he didn’t smile more often.

He had a nice smile. Even if it was only half of one.

She turned in her step and began walking to the front door, and still she didn’t hear the rev of his engine.

She pulled out her key, opening her door. She glanced over her shoulder wondering, and knowing, if he was still there. He was.

Daenerys closed the front door behind, locking the bolts, and finally heard the engine of his motorcycle roar to life. With swift agility, she moved to the side windows of the door and saw him speed off down the street and out of sight.

She later realized that she hadn't exactly chastised him for not wearing a proper helmet.


An obsession. That is exactly what she would call it and describe, for that was exactly what it was. An obsession.

After the day that Jon Snow had dropped her off at her house, Daenerys had made it her personal mission to find out all she could about him.

At first, it had been nothing more than a sense of curiosity. She would instinctively move her eyes to him as she stepped into their classroom. Then, at her desk, she would turn her head, and glance at him; just to see if he had been writing, texting or sleeping. Most of the time? He would sketch.

He would sketch things she couldn’t see. Things she could only theorize about as she tried to make out the shapes and figures from her angle at the front of the class. The way he would stick out his tongue at times and concentrated wholly on his notebook, only being separated from it when Professor Cressen assigned them work.

However, after a week of curiosity, she realized that he hadn’t glanced at her once. He looked up, but never at her. Only shifting his attention to the professor or, on the rare occasion, at the writing on the board.

That was when her curiosity died, and an obsession sprouted.

She would purposely have questions to ask the professor, lining behind students and then making her way out as soon as she saw him leave. She would maintain a safe distance as she followed him through the hallways to his next class, which was luckily along the same route as hers.

And for a week, she studied him during lunch. Watching him as he surrounded himself with three particular people at a particular round table in their cafeteria. After making sure that he did not move tables, Daenerys moved her entire group of friends to a table where she could watch him from a distance.

“Why are we moving here? We’ve been sitting at our other table all year” Margaery asked her during their first day.

“Yeah, it feels strange sitting here. Almost like we’re cheating” Doreah said.

Daenerys ignored Doreah’s comment, instead turning to the only person who could rival her in intelligence.

“I just feel like sitting here. It’s been getting stale in my life and that lunch table is just in the lists of a routine. It helps stimulate when you change things, even something as little as a seating spot.”

Margaery pursed her lips and nodded, not bringing up the topic of their table again. Soon, the group had fallen back into their norm while Daenerys would shift her focus from the conversation to the boy with dark curly hair that fell to his shoulders.

Two days into the new week at the new table, Daenerys learned who he associated himself with. Grenn Mason, Pypar, and Samwell Tarly. On the third day, she was then sure that Jon Snow only drank chocolate milk from the school cafeteria. On the fourth day, a girl decided to sit by their table and Daenerys was surprised by the apprehension that grew in her stomach. Apprehension that was later relieved when the girl chose to speak with Sam.

However, on the fifth day, another girl approached the table. This time a redhead, and this time very much targeting Jon.

Ygritte.

“You girls should stop over by my house sometime, grandmother has been growing these lovely yellow hyacinths in our garden” Margaery announced to the table.

Daenerys gave a halfhearted “yes”, still focusing her attention on the lanky girl that made conversation with the steel eyed boy that had stolen her attention for the past two weeks.

She shamelessly started to list off every possible flaw in the girl that she possibly could. Her eyes were too far apart while Daenerys’ were perfectly centered. She wore braces, which made some girls look cute (but definitely not her), while Daenerys’ pearly white teeth were perfectly aligned. Ygritte may have been slender, but she was also rectangularly lean, meaning that she didn’t have the soft curves that Daenerys possessed.

She would have continued to list more had it not been for Ygritte’s wandering hand that landed on Jon’s bicep.

A flash of hot rage coursed through her body and Daenerys did not realize it until Margaery placed a worrying hand on her arm. She immediately calmed down and unclenched the fist around her fork. She gave her friends a tight smile and assured them that nothing was wrong. However, Daenerys knew that there was something wrong when her blood boiled once more at the sight of the redheaded girl still sitting at the table where Jon sat.

She closed her eyes and began to internally meditate, the same way she did before a harrowing exam. But when a feeling of annoyance still persisted in her at the mere thought of the redheaded girl, Daenerys knew what she was feeling.

Jealousy.

She molded herself back into the conversation with her friends, but her mind still pictured Ygritte’s hand on Jon’s bicep.

She needed to do something. And quick.


The following Monday, Daenerys applied her makeup lightly but made sure to give her lips a lustful look with a red lipstick.

Daenerys twirled around in her room, taking her appearance in with her eyes and gave a satisfied smile after viewing herself from multiple angles. She had decided that today would be a redo of their first meeting, with her wearing a white shirt tucked into a blue skirt while she wore her bumblebee striped socks in a pair of black flats.

She walked into the classroom, a leather satchel slung over her shoulder and hanging by her side, and immediately pinned him with her eyes. He was sitting in the back corner, as he usually did, drawing into his notebook. She looked up at the clock and realized they only had about two minutes before class started, so she set her bag down onto her desk and weaved through the aisles to stand beside him.

“Hi, Jon” she greeted.

She must have startled him, because he flinched slightly at her voice and looked at her with a wide gaze.

“Daenerys” he responded. “How have you been?”

It was a safe question. No doubt the only question he found suitable since he was, most likely, caught off guard by her presence.

“I’ve been good” she responded.

She took a small breath and leaned down towards him, placing her hand on his back while avoiding the plastic of the backrest of his seat.

“Listen…” she started, “I’ve been meaning to talk to you, but class is about to start. So, would it be alright if we talked after class?”

He gave her a confused look, but he nodded nonetheless. Better yet, he didn’t question it when her hand lingered a little too long on the back of his jacket. Which brought her to another thought.

That perhaps fate was on her side as he wore the same exact outfit from when he gave her a ride home.

-

Class had finally ended, and for the first time in weeks Daenerys didn’t feign having a question to ask in order to follow Jon out of the classroom. Instead, she gave him a glance as he packed his things in his bag before waiting outside.

He walked out a few moments later, and she couldn’t help but admire how deliciously attractive he looked with his curly hair flowing freely down, while he gripped his backpack with one hand as it was slung over his shoulder.

“You wanted to talk to me?”

She nodded at him when stood close, and she chewed on her cheek when she smelled the leathery cologne coming off from his black shirt. The words of small talk began to form on her lips when suddenly a genius idea formed in the catacombs of her brain.

“Yes, I did but...actually. I don’t want to be late for my next class so maybe...I don’t know. Sit together at lunch?”

It was a longshot, but it was a longshot she was willing to take. If he said no then all she would need to do would be to get extra early to class the next day to catch him. But she would go ahead and take the risk because Daenerys Targaryen was not afraid of risks.

“Uh…” he muttered, his voice gaining a sudden raspy quality that she found she liked. “Yeah...sure, I guess. It’s just for today, right?”

She gave him a bright smile, and she internally fist pumped when the half smile she liked appeared on his face.

“Of course,” she responded. “Just for today.”

Just one face to face meeting is all it took.

-

Their lunch “date” went smoothly. Very smoothly. Daenerys used her expertise in conversation to dictate the flow as best she could, prying him out of his shell as much as she could but not pushing him too far.

It was a simple lunch date. They talked about the classes they took and the mathematics class they shared. They talked about their dreams moving forward and their likes and dislikes.

She found out that Jon was intelligent. Insanely intelligent with mathematics but found that he absolutely detested anything relating to science.

“Biology? Screw that” he had said. “I don’t need to know how to dissect a frog’s arse to fix an engine.”

She laughed at his statement, and she later wondered why she had. It really wasn’t all that funny, but Daenerys found that she laughed at every minor joke he made during their brief meeting. Whether it be an earnest and hearty laugh or a light chuckle.

In turn, she had revealed that she was enrolled in all AP courses. Calculus, English and, yes, Biology. His eyes bulged at the prospect of taking an advanced course on science. However, it was completely necessary for her. She had already been accepted into the University of Meereen and would begin attending classes the upcoming fall and she planned to acquire a master’s degree in business. She planned to follow in the footsteps of her father and brother, Rhaegar.

Jon, on the other hand, had no intention of attending university. Instead, he was attending career school. A vocational program to begin his trade in being a mechanic. After that, he would begin getting hands on work in a mechanic car shop before he would eventually acquire his license of Master Mechanic.

Daenerys wouldn’t lie when she said she was slightly off put by his meager aspirations.

In the end, she decided that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. They were just friends. She would head off to the other half of the world while he would stay in King’s Landing and fix cars for a living.

There wouldn’t be a conflict of interest as long as they both knew where they stood.

And how wrong she would end up being.


They began spending far too much time with one another. It had become noticeable to their friends first before it became noticeable to their peers around them, and noticeable to their peers before it became noticeable to them.

First, they would arrive early. They walked amongst the halls before school started, and he walked her to her classroom like a gentleman a few minutes before the starting bell rang.

Then, they began sitting with one another at lunch. This was when their friends had begun to notice their shared time together. Both Jon and Daenerys shutting them out as they found an empty table for themselves to sit alone.

Next, they began to walk together in the hallways. This was when their classmates discovered their growing friendship. They would joke about the most minute things, talking off topic before they eventually found their conversation back to where it initially started.

Finally, she began to lightly shove him in the hallways as they walked, and he would return the favor as he slung an arm over her shoulder to pull her close and give light jabs to her stomach. That’s when they realized that perhaps they were spending far too much time with one another.

It was only the first week of April when this realization dawned on them.

-

School had finally ended and Daenerys found herself walking next to Jon, as she normally found herself doing nowadays.

“Do you think we’re spending too much time with one another?” He asked her out of the blue, holding the door open for her as they stepped out into the parking lot.

“What?”

He turned to her as they began making their way to the curb. Jon normally waited for her to be picked up by her family’s driver, Barristan, before he headed home.

“Do you think we’re spending too much time with one another?”

“What makes you ask that?”

She felt her palms beginning to slick with sweat as nerves coursed through her body.

“Everyone else seems to think it. Don’t you notice the looks people give us when we walk by?”

She shook her head, but in truth she had. She noticed the way people looked on in shock as the school’s most popular girl walked with the school’s enigma. Not only for a day or for a week. It had been a solid month since it began.

“Well, they look at us as if we’re the show freaks from the circus. The Princess and the Frog. The beauty and the beast” he noted to her.

She frowned.

“And who cares what they think? We’re friends, aren’t we?”

Jon nodded.

“Yeah...we are. You’re right. Who cares what they think.”

Jon turned to her and gave her a smile. The first full smile she had ever seen. A smile that made her heart skip.

“Friends” he affirmed.

She ignored the pain she felt when he repeated the word back to her.

The cold season had ended, meaning that Jon no longer donned the brown leather jacket at all times. Instead, he merely walked around as he held it over his shoulder; only sporting it when it was time to ride his motorcycle back home.

The problem was that she rarely ever saw him wear it anymore. The next problem was that it had been a few weeks since she had been in such close proximity that she wondered if he even wore that leathery scented cologne anymore.

Daenerys bit her lip as a thought sprouted to her mind. She pulled out her phone, keeping a close eye on Jon to make sure he wasn’t spying on her.

He wasn’t. Instead, he merely gazed into the distance and at the sky. She quickly pulled out her messages and found the contact name of her driver.

‘Barristan, I’m sorry to bother you but don’t worry about picking me up. Go ahead and buy yourself a smoothie or something. I found a ride’

She blew out a small breath as she pocketed her phone.

“Jon…” she started nervously.

He turned over to her with a questioning look.

“Yes, Dany?”

Her heart fluttered once more.

“Dany?” she questioned, feeling her breath catch in her throat.

He looked down at the ground.

“Sorry...just a nickname I came up with. I’ll stop if you want.”

She widened her eyes before shaking her head.

“No! No, it’s okay. Dany… I like it.”

He tilted his chin up and he gave her a soft smile.

She wondered if she would collapse from heart failure due to all the beats it seemed to be missing.

“Alright...Dany it is, then.”

She smiled at him in return, and she swore she saw his pupils dilate from where she was standing.

But how could she be sure? His eyes were deceptively dark.

“So” he continued, “what was it you wanted to ask me?”

She snapped out of her thoughts as she was brought back to the present.

“Oh, right! Uhm...it’s my driver. He’s sick and I don’t want to pressure him to drive. So, I was wondering if maybe you’d…”

“Give you a lift?”

She looked up at him with her soft violet eyes.

“Yes” she nodded.

He smiled, dropping his bag to the floor before he put on his brown leather jacket.

“Come on then, stranger” he said.

She smiled as they made their way to his bike, and she told herself she was not skipping as they neared.

He looped his bag through the handles of his bike before placing it atop the gas tank. Jon mounted the bike and turned to her, waiting for her to take her place behind him. Daenerys threw her leg over the bike- her satchel hanging loosely beside her -and wrapped her arms around him to hold tightly. Her suspicions were confirmed, a different fragrance wafting into her nostrils as she pressed her cheek into his back.

“I was wondering when you’d ask for another ride” he called out to her.

She clutched him tighter as she finally found the opportunity to bring up his lack of safety.

“I’m pretty sure that minors are required to wear helmets on a motorcycle” she told him.

She heard him chuckle, revving the engine as he began to balance themselves upright.

“I think the beard helps in fooling the law” he answered her.

That was true. They were only a single month away from being formally recognized as adults by society, and Jon had already begun to groom his facial hair into a neat and cropped beard. He had become a “late bloomer” in the girls’ eyes, and Daenerys remembered the annoyance she felt every time she caught one staring at him when they thought they were being inconspicuous.

“Plus, don’t you know that a Norton Commando is the universal “don’t fuck with me” bike?”

She snorted at his explanation but smiled nonetheless when he raced through the streets and to her home; the cool breeze running through her hair as she enjoyed the city at high speed.

She recalled the red field of carnations sticking out to her as they neared the final stretch to Aegon Hill.

She could get used to this.


Red Carnation - Admiration or longing.


She did.

For three weeks, Jon had given her a lift from school. And, for two weeks, Jon had given her a lift to school when he rode to pick her up early in the morning. It had been difficult, finding an excuse to keep Barristan from impeding her intentions but not as difficult as it was when trying to explain to her mother why a troublesome looking boy, in a brown leather jacket riding a motorcycle, kept picking her up and dropping her off.

Eventually, Daenerys cracked and came clean to her mother; revealing her feelings for the boy with the grey colored eyes that she couldn’t get enough of. She told her how she wished he would wear his leathery scent once more and how she enjoyed clutching him tightly as he drove through the streets of King’s Landing.

Her mother smiled a soft and genuine smile as they spoke about him but gave her a sad look when Dany revealed Jon’s aspirations in life after graduation.

“Oh, honey” Rhaella cooed, stroking Daenerys hair with her hands, “it’s best not to dwell on that boy. He may be nice and intelligent, but you should never ever settle for a prospective mechanic. You’ll find someone else in Mereen. Someone that’ll be worthy for you to spend the rest of your life with.”

Daenerys flinched away from her mother, a revolting feeling coursing through her stomach.

Rhaella sighed at her daughter’s reaction.

“Daenerys” she started, “look at me, baby. You are heading off to Mereen for God knows how long. There will be nothing left for you here.”

Daenerys turned sharply to her mother at her sentence.

“What do you mean by that?”

Rhaella sighed once more.

“It hasn’t been decided yet, but your father has been talking of selling the house once you head off for University. He plans to move us permanently on Dragonstone with your brother.”

Daenerys felt her body go numb, unable to form a response as she stood from her seat and left the room that her mother occupied; ignoring her mother’s calls.


“Go to prom with me.”

Jon turned up from his sketchbook as he looked into her violet eyes.

“What?” he asked, a dumb expression on his face.

“Go to prom with me. Be my date” she clarified.

He opened his mouth a few times before he swallowed and looked into her eyes with focus.

“You know that school events aren’t really my scene.”

“I don’t care” she told him. “They’re my scene and I want to go with you.”

“...why?”

She sucked in a breath.

“Never mind why. Just go with me” she said with more determination.

“Ok.”

She sighed.

“Jon, it’s our senior year. You have to go to prom. It’s a sacred right of- wait. What did you say?”

She looked into his eyes with a wide gaze. No doubt he could make out the desperation at the need for the clarification that she had heard what she thought she’d heard.

“I said ok” he responded, a small smile on his face.

She inhaled a deep breath as she realized that he had agreed to go with her.

A wide grin broke on her face.

“Great! That’s great. Well-”

“I’m not wearing a tux, though” he told her. “That’s just something that isn’t happening, Dany.”

Her smile faltered for a bit, but it grew back as she acquiesced with his decision.

Daenerys thanked him before twirling as she walked away towards her desk. She felt no need to turn back and stare at him as she felt her heart soar with happiness. And while they technically hadn’t clarified that they were going together, she thought she could lie to herself for a bit.

However, had she turned around then she would have noticed the pair of dark steel eyes gazing at her as she walked away.


They hadn’t considered the eavesdroppers around them when they made the decision to attend prom together. Professor Cressen’s class wasn’t exactly the most secure location to have a conversation after all.

The news spread like wildfire, and soon it was known that Daenerys Targaryen was being escorted to the Junior-Senior prom by Jon (Snow) Stark. If there were any doubts about their closeness, they were immediately put to rest by the time the final bell rang.

It also could not be doubted that Daenerys felt nothing but pure smugness and victory over Ygritte as she winked at the seething redhead, having her dainty hands wrapped around Jon’s arm as he walked them to his Norton Commando.

-

Prom eventually came, the last weekend before graduation, and she sat on her bed as she waited for the sound of the doorbell to fill the house. She wore a strapless red dress that flowed behind her, with silver heels. Her toes and fingers were painted red to match her dress, but her makeup was applied beautifully to accentuate her purple eyes.

The doorbell soon rang, and Daenerys darted up from her seat, walking briskly to her vanity as she sprayed perfume on her skin before grabbing a silver wallet that managed to both finish her ensemble and hold her possessions within.

Jon was already waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs, conversing with her mother with a genuine smile upon his handsome features.

She felt her breath hitch in her throat as her eyes glazed at his outfit.

He wore charcoal colored pants that were held up by a black leather belt that matched his black leather oxfords. A navy button up was tucked into his pants, as a black tie hung around his collar. And yes, he wore a leather jacket atop the entire fit. Black.

He turned to her, and she wondered if he felt the same way she did when she set her eyes on him. When she saw his smile slightly falter at her figure, never breaking eye contact when he looked up to her face; Daenerys told herself that he did.

“Ready?” She asked him as she reached the bottom of the steps.

He made to respond but Rhaella cut in.

“Wait! Pictures!”

Daenerys rolled her eyes but felt a bit of relief at her mother’s remembrance. She wanted to document as much of this night as she possibly could.

Rhaella returned with a camera in her hands and asked them to stand by the fireplace. Daenerys had been happy that she would have a picture to frame later, but she soon grew annoyed at the exorbitant number of pictures that her mother took.

“Mother” she exasperated.

“Just one more” Rhaella assured.

Daenerys huffed as she waited for her mother to position the camera when, suddenly, she felt a large and rough hand wrap behind her and at her waist.

 Her breath hitched in her throat; she didn’t need to look at him to know whose hand it was. How many times had she felt it around her shoulder when they playfully fought with one another? But around her waist? No, this was a first.

She dared a glance up into his eyes, and she lost herself as he smiled down at her with warm in those darkened steel irises of his.

CLICK!

They both turned to face Rhaella, who was currently looking down at the screen of her camera with a smile. She had captured their moment perfectly, both of them smiling down at one another as Jon held her by the waist. Rhaella walked over and showed them the picture, making Dany gasp at how beautiful they looked with the dim lighting of the fire behind them.

Jon began to thank her mother and asked for a copy whenever they were printed.

“Wait” Daenerys said.

Both of them turned to her.

“One more” she whispered. “Just one more picture.”

Rhaella smiled at her daughter’s words before ushering them to a new spot.

“Here. Here!” her mother said joyously. “These gardenias will make the photo look absolutely lovely!”

Initially they had posed with space between them, so as to let the flowers appear from their forms. However, Daenerys quickly closed the space and wrapped an arm around his back while placing her hand upon his chest, just over his tie. Jon placed his hand at her waist once more and held the elbow- of the arm she had over his chest- with his other.

Rhaella reluctantly remarked on how adorable they looked with one another, and the pair finally set off once the final picture had been taken.

Jon helped her with the flowing end of her dress, holding it as he mounted his bike. Once they had gotten settled, she bunched it in front of her as she clutched tightly onto him. She immediately noticed that his jacket emitted the leathery scent she so loved.

Jon sped down the street of her home and headed towards the venue where their prom was being held.

Both unaware to the stern and glaring eyes that watched them from the balcony of Daenerys’ home.


The Gardenia: Embodying elegance and sophistication, the gardenia is the bride of the flower world. Beyond beauty, the simple white flower’s intoxicating, sweet smell radiates and welcomes. This exquisite flower actually has a very romantic meaning–it means secret or forbidden love.


To her, prom night had been a success; which was saying something since she would have considered it a disaster had anyone asked her a few months ago.

She hadn’t been named Prom Queen- that had been bequeathed to Margaery- but she found that she didn’t rightfully care. The entire night she had spent it dancing and mingling with Jon.

Once the prom king and queen had shared their dance, the rest of the attendees joined in with their partners, swaying side to side in each other’s arms to the slow tempo played over the speakers of the venue.

Daenerys floated with each step she took as Jon led her to the middle of the dance floor.

“It’s a right damn shame” he whispered, placing his hands on her waist as she snaked her hands on his shoulders and around his neck. “The princess of the school...not named prom queen.”

He tsked.

“Yeah” she responded with fake sadness, “I’m beginning to regret spending time with you. That definitely killed my chances.”

He smiled at her words.

“Oh, most definitely, Daenerys Targaryen. The moment you decided to lower yourself from the rich echelons of this high school and talk to a poor middle-class greaser...well. I’m surprised your friends still even speak to you.”

She felt stupid at how she giggled at his words. It seemed that everything Jon Snow said managed to elicit some sort of reaction out of her nowadays.

“And for you?” She asked him. “Surely the “middle-class” Jon Snow has become a hero amongst his circle. Managing to sway a royal to spend time with him. To even dare to offer an elusive girl a ride on his motorcycle.”

He pursed his lips in mock-ponder, before shrugging.

“I believe… that they would call me a dragon slayer.”

She huffed out a humored breath as she smacked him on his chest.

They continued to dance in each other’s arms until the song ended.

“For the sake of our night, I believe it’d be best to be honest and let you know that the festivities are beginning to grow stale.”

She nodded at his words.

“Is there any place you had in mind on going? Or is your home the immediate destination” he asked.

She bit her lip as they left the venue and made their way to his bike. She didn’t pick up her dress due to the exhaustion of dancing in heels for four hours.

“Mother told me to be back home by the time the dance ended. Prom ends at 2 am, meaning that we still have three hours.”

Daenerys took a deep breath, wrapping her arms around him as she laid her cheek against his back.

“A drive around the city, then?”

She blew out cool air as she began to rub her cheek on him. He froze when she slid a hand from his stomach and down towards his groin.

“Dany…” he said in a warning voice.

She had no shame when she began to slowly, and clumsily, rub him through his pants.

“Does the dragon slayer have a home?” she whispered.

He tightened his grip on the handles.

“He does. But he would warn against it as his parents sleep in a room close to his.”

“And I would only deem it fair as the dragon has shown the dragon slayer her home on two separate occasions…”

He didn’t respond. He kept his face forward as she slid her hand back to his stomach to hold on tightly. She awaited his response, eagerly hoping for him to relent to her request. After all, there was nothing wrong with it. Everyone did it. It was an unwritten rule to have sex on prom night.

“The dragon slayer hopes that the dragon will accept a modest looking home.”

She smiled in excitement as he accelerated his bike and ignored the urge to grind against him at the growing wetness between her legs.

-

It truly wasn’t a bad home.

Actually, it was a beautiful home. It wasn’t large and made entirely of wood that was preserved through a century like hers was, but it was the right mix of traditionalism with modern.

Jon parked his bike at the end of his driveway, and between two BMW vehicles. One in black and the other in white.

“The black one is a BMW M5 and it belongs to my father. The white one is an M3. That one belongs to my mother” he told her as they walked up the two sets of stairs to his front door.

Jon opened the front door with his keys and held the door open for her to walk inside. It was a small entrance room, the living room separated by another door, barricading them in a moment of silence.

He gestured to the two sliding doors behind him in the cramped room with a nod of his head.

“Washer and Dryer are right here,” he murmured.

She nodded, not mentioning the fact that it was redundant and useless information.

“Listen...I can hear the tv from here” he told her. “So, my parents are probably awake, and it’d be better not to disturb them-”

She placed a hand on his arm and squeezed.

“Jon... it’s ok.”

He stared at her before giving a nod. Jon walked over to the door that led into the living room and pushed it open, walking before her.

As Daenerys walked in, she noticed the two people sitting on the L shaped couch. One was a woman that looked to be in her younger years, but Daenerys knew that it wasn’t true as Jon was already 18 years old. The woman was the first to turn her head, and Daenerys noticed that she had a lighter shaded eye color than her son-a shiny silver hue-, with chocolate brown curls cascading down her shoulders. She was beautiful and Daenerys knew this to be Jon’s mother. Their features were practically the same, though there was a ruggedness to Jon that she was sure belonged to his father.

She was proven correct when the man turned his head, and Dany gasped at the bright shade of violet in his eyes. If he hadn’t displayed the same shaped lips and brow, the same visage with his cropped beard, then Daenerys would have assumed him to be a member of her family.

“Mother...father…” he said, digging his hands into his pockets, “this is Daenerys.”

His mother was the first to react, shooting up to her feet with a smile on his face. The man followed a moment later, the same half turned smile like his son.

“Oh my God! He didn’t say he was bringing you over. I’m sorry for the mess” the woman said, gesturing to the room around her.

The house wasn’t a mess at all.

“It’s no problem, Mrs. Stark” Daenerys said.

However, she internally cringed when the woman’s eyes widened.

“Is everything alright? Did I say something wrong…” Daenerys trailed off.

The woman only shook her head before a light smile came across her face.

“Oh no! Nothing’s the matter. It’s just that “Stark” is actually my maiden name. I go by Mrs. Dayne now.”

Daenerys felt her eyes bug as she looked from mother to son. From son to “father”. From “father” back to “son”.

“Oh then...Jon isn’t…”

She gestured to the man behind her.

But they look alike!

The entire family began to laugh, and Daenerys’ cheeks burned with embarrassment.

“What?” she asked weakly.

“Oh...Jon is my son,” the man said.

He stuck out a hand for her to shake.

“Arthur” he told her. “Arthur Dayne.”

“Daenerys” she replied, shaking his hand with her own.

“As to why my son goes by his mother, Lyanna’s, maiden name...well-”

“Is completely the fault of Arthur” Lyanna bit out.

“It is not!”

“It is too!”

They began to bicker at one another, but Daenerys noticed that it wasn’t full of acridity. At least, not like the arguments between her mother and father.

Jon nudged her elbow, and he gestured for her to follow him when the arguing didn’t seem to slow down any time soon.

They made light steps and she believed they would make it unimpeded, but Jon surprised her when he turned around to address the two spouses still arguing.

“When you two are done, then we’ll be here in my room.”

He grabbed her arm and quickly pulled her into his bedroom, shutting the door behind him.

He smiled and he gestured for her to sit on the end of his bed, causing butterflies to begin to flutter in her stomach. He turned off the lights, and she yelped as she expected for him to grab her and throw her further onto his bed, but she only heard his light footsteps making their way to the side headboard where he turned on a lamp.

Warm light began to encase the room, and she kept her eyes glued to him as he walked by her and took a seat by her side.

“Sorry about the family. They can forget about the company we have over at times…”

She smiled as she shook her head softly.

“It’s alright. I quite like their...personalities. So, are you going to tell me why it’s your father’s fault that you’re called Stark instead of Dayne?”

“Mom found out she was pregnant during the period where her and my father went through a rough patch. Long story short, she didn’t want to marry just because my father found out she was pregnant. So, she named me Stark as a final hint for him to ask her to marry him. No pregnancy involved this time.”

Daenerys paid attention with a small smile on her face.

“Good thing too” Jon continued, “or else I would’ve been called Jon Snow Dayne.”

Her laughs were uncontrollable at the ridiculousness of the name.

He chuckled quietly, but soon frowned.

“Is something wrong?”

He placed a finger to his lips.

“Do you hear that?” he whispered.

She turned to the door and noticed that they could no longer hear his parents arguing.

“It’s quiet…” he remarked.

Jon walked over to the door and opened it as quietly as he possibly could. He took a peak out of the door, but she could see that the lights had been shut off. He closed the door.

“They’re not there…”

“Where could they have gone?”

“I don’t know. I doubt the argument is over, but I can’t hear them coming from their bedroom over. So, I guess they might have gone to the basement.”

“The basement?”

“It has soundproofed walls. We use it as a theatre room. And... there’s a bed there too.”

A blush appeared on her face.

“Oh…” she muttered.

“Yeah…”

An awkward silence overtook the room as he retook his place beside her on the bed. She tried to break the tension between them by asking about his parents.

“Well...my mother...she is a nurse. My father works for the Security Service.”

She nodded her head, impressed with the careers of his parents. However, there was something lingering on her mind.

“Jon” she said. “Is it okay if I ask you something?”

He turned to her. Her heart stilled at the closeness in the private space they both found themselves in.

He nodded at her, prodding to hear her question.

“Why do you just want to be a mechanic?”

Her eyes widened at how rude her question came out and she tried to quickly recover.

“I mean-”

“You mean why do my parents have these amazing careers, my dad working to save people while my mother actually does save people while I just want to tinker with broken down vehicles. Right?”

“Not in such a rude way...but now that I hear it...yeah.”

He looked up at the ceiling, falling onto his back.

“I don’t know” he admitted honestly. “Maybe I don’t have an inkling what I want to do. But...I just know that I want to do it my way. What I want to do. I like cars and bikes. Anything that you can drive and has an engine.”

She fell onto the bed with him, gazing at him with no words on how to respond.

They stayed that way for a few minutes. Jon just staring at the ceiling while she stared at his face. The way his lips slightly parted with each breath he took. The way his lashes fluttered as he stared up.

 “Hey Jon.”

He turned to her, and both were wholly aware by the minimal distance between them in the privacy of his room.

“Yes, Dany?”

She chewed on her inner cheek, before boldness entered her system as the heating wetness became unbearable for her.

“Have you ever had sex” she asked him in a low whisper.

He blinked, and she thought that maybe she had overstepped.

Jon shook his head.

A wave of relief filled her body as she moved her eyes down towards his lips. Jon rolled over slightly to cup her cheek, and he began to lean in towards her.

“Me neither” she breathed, her breath leaving her body when his lips finally sealed hers.

She always read that a kiss would come naturally in the moment. Both parties knowing what to do if they were meant for each other. Daenerys found out that her readings turned out to be right.

She also read that the “first time” would be clumsy and awkward. Not good at all. And as the layers of clothing shed off of the both of them in Jon’s bedroom, she found that her readings had lied.

She wondered why they had waited so long.


It was the last week of June when it all came crashing down.

For nearly two months it seemed as if everything was sailing smoothly for her. Jon’s parents were welcoming of her and didn’t mind that she was, very much, fucking their only son. After all, it was no secret as to what they were up to when she visited during his parents’ working hours.

 Graduation had come a week after prom, Daenerys graduating in the top 10 of her class, while Jon graduated in the top 10 percentile. She remembered the warmth that bubbled inside her when she saw him cross the stage to receive his diploma, and the smile that spread across her face when she saw his shining eyes on her when she accepted hers.

Soon after, they hardly spent a second apart from one another. They would ride his motorcycle to the restaurants and fast food chains, engorging themselves on food that somehow didn’t affect their figure whatsoever; they would ride to the park, where she told him of her dream to live in a big blue house that held three bedrooms, a guest bedroom on the lower level, with a big yard in the back for her to grow and maintain a garden. Most importantly, her house needed a red door with a lemon tree growing in the front.

And sometimes, they just rode his motorcycle through the streets and the highway at night.

She foolishly thought that they would live and grow old together. That they would raise a family in their blue house with a red door. That they would raise their children, and a great big dog, and grow to see their grandchildren playing in the flower garden that Daenerys would spend decades cultivating.

Jon promised her that he would build her house with his own two hands- along with whatever help he also needed- and that he’d make sure the grass was always freshly mowed to perfection.

Those foolish conversations and rides led her to invite him over to her house to have dinner with her family.

She invited him during the last week of June.

How could it have all gone so wrong? How could she not have foreseen the horridness her father would show Jon when Jon revealed that he wasn’t the son of a millionaire? That Jon didn’t live on Aegon Hill. That he lived in a neighborhood from The Hook. It didn’t matter that Jon’s family lived comfortably. That Jon’s parents were both better than Aerys would ever be. His family was low. Too low for his daughter to marry into.

She ran to her room in tears when Jon slammed the door behind him, finding her heart in anguish when she heard the roar of his motorcycle’s engine come to life.

Jon didn’t speak to her for the entire week.

She was heartbroken.

However, her heartbreak allowed for her mind to clear from its clouded judgement. And the pain in heart only increased with the determination that had set in her mind.

-

It was the first week of July when she asked him to meet her under a willow tree atop a hill that overlooked a flowery field.

She did not ask Barristan to drive her to their meetup location.

Instead, she put her permit to use and drove herself.

She stood under the tree with her arms wrapped around her when she heard the familiar hum of motorcycle riding down the street and driving onto the grassy fields. He parked his bike a few yards away from her vehicle, and he walked harrowingly slow up the hill where she stood.

“I thought you wouldn’t want to see me again,” he said with a monotone voice.

“You’re the one who didn’t call me all week” she retorted bitterly.

He stood at a position where one leg was slightly bent at the knee, while he kept his hands inside the pockets of his leather jacket.

“I didn’t realize that I was to be the deferential. I was the one disrespected in your home. Not you in mine.”

She huffed, ignoring his statement as she looked off into the fields of flowers below them. They were beautiful, but also melancholy in a way. Perhaps it suited this conversation perfectly. Or at least the way it would turn.

“It doesn’t matter” Daenerys told him.

Jon looked at the field as well.

“No...it doesn’t. Does it?”

A soft summer breeze blew past them.

“I’ve been happy these past few months, Jon Snow. You are the sole reason for my well-being.”

He nodded.

“And you have been the reason for mine, Daenerys Targaryen.”

Tears began to pool at the corner of her eyes, and she turned her head to face him.

“Then you know why I asked you here?”

He didn’t turn away from the field, once.

“I believe I do…” he said.

“We both knew that this would never have worked, Jon. We’re two different people with far different aspirations. I’m moving to Mereen for school. You’re staying here. Long distance doesn’t work. Not with how far apart we’ll be and for how long in time we won’t see one another.”

He inhaled a deep breath but maintained his view at the flowery field.

She choked back a sob.

“I’ll miss you, Jon Snow. I’ll miss the walks we shared on campus. I’ll miss our talks as we became closer, the laughs you forced out of my mouth with your stubborn stupidity. I’ll miss those rides on a motorcycle as we both broke the law by not wearing helmets. I’ll miss the days and nights we shared in your bedroom; in the house owned by the two people I would have hoped to call my parents one day” she admitted.

She couldn’t stop the tears from flowing down her face.

“I’ll miss the leather scent I loved smelling when I pressed my cheek into your back.”

She walked up to him and grabbed his bicep with her hand. She wanted him to look at her, but she would not force him to. She owed him that much.

“I’m glad you decided to offer me a ride home from school. On the day I foolishly stayed without a ride home.”

She let go of his arm, her heart breaking with each step she took away from him as she walked down the hill and to her vehicle.

She only heard a single sentence come from his mouth before she entered her vehicle and drove away from him forever.

“The striped carnations are blooming beautifully…”


Striped Carnation - The striped carnation is the counterpart to the solid colored carnation. It signifies a rejection of love, or a feeling of anguish at being unable to love someone and be with them.

Chapter Text


7 Years Later

“God, if this day gets any worse...I swear I’m going to have a damn b-f!”

Daenerys huffed at the hearty chuckle she heard over her phone.

“It’s not funny, Missandei! How can this getaway start so shit?”

Missandei continued to chuckle but eventually calmed herself.

“Well, you are the one that pulled this getaway out of nowhere. Only a few weeks away from your big day as well.”

Daenerys sighed as she rolled her suitcase to the car rental of the Duskendale airport.

“Don’t even remind me” she sighed. “This trip is supposed to be my last sense of freedom before I sign my life away forever with the man of my dreams.”

“You weren’t like this the first time you met him, you know” Missandei chuckled.

“The first time I met him, it was supposed to simply be a physical thing. I didn’t realize I’d be pushed in a corner where I relied on my now fiancé for my future.”

When Daenerys had met Daario Naharis a little over a year ago, she had been attracted to his good looks and striking blue eyes. However, that had been it. Past that, he was just another stuck-up handsome looking man. Other than the nights they’d shared, she felt no connection to him whatsoever.

However, things fell into an unfortunate place and now Daario was the only option that Daenerys saw possible for her to chase her dreams. Her father had completely cut her off when Daenerys had informed him that she had received her Bachelor’s in communication and planned to pursue her Master’s in order to become a spokesperson for children’s organizations.

Once that had happened, Daenerys found herself struggling with a way to pay for the final one and a half years of university. She, along with Missandei, transferred from Meereen after completing their undergraduate.

That is where she had met Daario. At a bar a few months before everything went wrong for her financially. It just so happened that Daario was wealthily self-made, and willing to help Daenerys.

At a cost of course. Marriage.

Now, Daenerys could’ve whored herself out to any sugar daddy available to pay for her remaining education, but Daario was already an acquaintance. And, well, what difference did it make? It wasn’t like she had any objections to the proposal, because she learned that love was bullshit and marriage was simply a social contract to show the world that, yes, you were normal and content with your significant other.

She rolled her eyes at the thought.

As if divorce rates aren’t growing by the year.

Plus, Daario was well connected throughout Essos which would only help her as she fought to help children around the world.

There was no downside.

“I think you’re just grumpy that there hasn’t been any sex in your life” Missandei teased over the line. “You should have just broken your own set rule and had Daario fuck the life out of you.”

“I never go back on my word” she replied with a hint of humor in her voice.

It was true. Daario had proposed to her only 5 months ago, and Daenerys had accepted with a condition of her own. No sex until their wedding night. To build the anticipation and make sure the “love” was real.

What a load of bullshit. And she was sure that even Daario thought it too when his smile had become forced, but he must have been desperate for her hand seeing as he accepted, nonetheless.

In truth, it wasn’t a complete lie. She had grown tired of their physicalness, and the barrier would surely revamp things when they eventually did lay with one another. However, the love part? As if.

“I’m well aware” Missandei told her. “Still, I can’t believe you booked this trip without your fiancé.”

“Missandei, had I booked this trip with Daario then he would have pestered me nonstop for a week to have sex, seeing as we’d share a bed. And while I’m sure I could hold off; I’d rather not be bothered by his pestering and just relax for a week in the city I grew up in.”

Missandei hummed.

“Speaking of the city you grew up in... are you going to visit him?”

Dany froze in front of the doors to the car rental.

“No” she responded coldly.

“Ouch” Missandei replied.

“No. No “ouch”. I poured out my heart to him on the day we last saw each other and all he had to say was “the striped carnations are blooming beautifully”. What an utter arse.”

“Okay. Okay. But...it’s not exactly all his fault.”

Daenerys felt annoyance rising within her, and she thought it best to end the call before she began to argue heatedly.

“Listen, let me call you when I get into the city. I’m here at the car rental already.”

She heard Missandei sigh, but Daenerys quickly ended the call.

Missandei was her best friend, so of course she knew about Jon. However, Jon was a closed chapter from Dany’s previous life. He was her ultimate lesson that love wasn’t real. Her feelings had been muddled by closeness and physicality. She wouldn’t lie to herself again.

Besides, what were the odds that he still lived in King’s Landing? Then again, he aspired to become a mechanic.

Daenerys scoffed as she walked through the doors of the rental office. He was more than likely scraping by as he still lived with his parents in the middle-class neighborhood in The Hook.

However, she secretly hoped that things had turned well for him.

And if they had, then great. But Jon Snow was a boy from the past.

And that is where he would stay.

-

Things had gone from bad to worse.

First her flight had been delayed and then cancelled; forcing her to change her destination from Pentos to King’s Landing to Pentos to Duskendale.  

And now?

Her rental car had a flat tire. A distraction was all it took for Daenerys to hit a pothole on the road, forcing her to pull over to the side. And did she say flat tire? Wrong. She had two flat tires.

So, even if she had the knowledge to replace a tire (she didn’t), it wouldn’t have done her any good. And to make matters worse? She was only about 10 minutes outside the city, stuck on the side of the Rosby interstate.

Which meant that she had no choice but to call for roadside assistance and wait until someone came to help. Daenerys had been informed that all the major shops were currently experiencing traffic, but that there was one shop available and nearby. They sent out a tow truck a little over 10 minutes ago, meaning that the driver should arrive any moment now.

She knew the driver was close when she received a text message saying so.

Please remain inside vehicle. Tow driver, Podrick Payne, will use hazard lights and assist you accordingly.

-

“What brings you out here, miss?”

She was currently leaning against the door of the tow truck, her palm under her chin as she looked out to the passing scenery.

“Vacation” she told him bluntly.

It seemed that he understood her desire to not speak, because the tow driver didn’t bother her for the rest of the drive to the shop.

Podrick had just turned right, after driving through the Iron Gate, and was currently heading towards the outskirts of the Dragonpit. He took caution as he drove on a narrow road that fed into one of the main streets, taking care not to shake the rental car atop the bed of the tow truck. Once the large truck had reached the main street, Podrick used the right turn signal and Daenerys could see a small wince on his face as he tried to avoid hitting a vehicle that parked too close to the side of the road.

He managed to safely avoid the vehicle and let out a breath of air as he relaxed on the wide street.

“Just up here” he told her, and Daenerys finally paid attention as a large, and slightly rusted, sign came into view.

She felt her heart race at the name on the sign.

Snow’s Mechanic and Body Shop

“Snow’s…” she whispered.

“Yup” Podrick responded, oblivious to the torrent of emotions that were beginning to course within her. “Best mechanic in the entire damn city, miss. The rate isn’t steep like the inner-city thieves like to charge. Snow can fix your car up in a jiffy and have you out on the road the moment he gets his hands on it.”

Daenerys looked into the openings of the shop, her eyes moving frantically over every worker that was visible to her eye.

But he wasn’t there.

She wondered if maybe there was another mechanic named Snow. There had to be.

She turned over to Podrick, who was concentrating on backing up the tow truck so that he could release her rented vehicle into one of the vacant slots of the shop.

“This owner...is he really that good?”

She cringed internally at the pathetic and lousy attempt at trying to pry for information. The particular question she asked wouldn’t get her the response she was looking for.

“Yes, ma’am” Podrick responded.

Damn. She would have to try again.

“He’s been practicing for a while then?”

That was a better question. If he said yes, then that narrowed it down a bit. If the answer was at least a decade, then it for sure wouldn’t be Jon.

“Erm...no. I suppose not. He actually went to school for a bit and worked under a mechanic before he opened this place up. Don’t let the age of the sign fool you. Jon grabbed a scrap from the junkyard and had someone paint it.”

She felt her hands go numb, but her heart fluttered and beat wildly in her chest.

“Jon” she asked in a small voice.

Podrick didn’t seem to think much of her falter.

“Aye. Our boss and master mechanic, Jon Snow.”

He smiled happily, opening the glass door by the opened carports and holding it for her.

“If he’s in the mood, he might actually be the one to attend to you” Podrick continued.

She turned to him and gave him a sharp look.

“If he’s in the mood?”

She didn’t know why, but she felt a rising fire being to emerge in her spirit; and Podrick must have sensed it as well because he made sure to make himself clear with his next words.

“Yes, ma’am. You see, Jon is taking a well-deserved break for a while, so he’s been leaving the work up to the other lads for a bit. He oversees them to make sure they’re doing well but I think he was planning to head out early. Sorry, ma’am. If that’s the case, then you might be here a while as the boys seem to have their hands filled.”

He bowed his head in apology, but she knew he was right when she saw the line of cars waiting their turn to be fixed. However, her eyes fell upon one lone figure in the distance that wasn’t busy.

She pointed him out and asked Podrick if the unoccupied person could help her.

He shook his head.

“Sorry, ma’am. He’s only a graphic auto body technician.”

She gave him a questioning look.

“Meaning that he can’t go anywhere near damage. His job is to spray a car or anything that affects the cosmetic of a vehicle. Want your rims blacked out? He’s your man.”

“So, he can’t change a few tires” Daenerys asked with a condescending tone.

“He can...but he’s not legally allowed to. It’s in the contract he signed. Plus, I don’t actually think he’s free. Only on break.”

She turned around and saw that he was speaking truly. The man stood up and discarded a wrapper of food before picking up a few cans of paint and heading towards a small building at the back. The building was small, but it had a large carport door where cars were driven in for a paint job.

Daenerys sighed in resignation, walking to the waiting area.

“Don’t worry miss” Podrick assured her, “I’ll ask the boss if he’s free for just a bit.”

He walked away from her with only a few steps before disappearing behind a door with a glass window. Just under the window, she could see the plaque of the owner of the office.

J. Snow

As if that wasn’t enough, there was a large window next to the door, with blinds preventing her from looking within. From confirming that it was indeed him.

She clutched her purse tightly, hoping that it wasn’t him.

Please don’t be him. Please don’t be him.

She could hear the voices from behind the door, but they were muddled so she couldn’t confirm whose voice belonged to whom.

Suddenly, the door opened and Podrick walked out with a bright smile upon his face.

Please don’t be him.

“Great news, miss” Podrick began, “the boss says he’ll do this one last job.”

Please don’t be him.

A lone figure walked behind the tow driver, clad in a tightly fitted white t-shirt and dark denim jeans. The years had done him well, along with what must have been a frequent visit to the fitness center, and he allowed his beard to grow fuller but not bushy.. His hair seemed to have grown a bit longer, but she couldn’t tell from the knot it was held in behind his head.

But he still held the same dark, iron grey eyes. He was still him.

Jon.

Her heart seemed to pound in her ears; and she stood up, clutching her purse.

She fought the urge to walk up to him and stand close within his personal space. She wondered if he still smelled like the leather scent she so desperately loved back then. She almost gave into the temptation when she suddenly realized that he seemed so bored within her presence.

“Jon…” she said, trailing off slightly at his name.

“Miss Targaryen” he greeted.

He stuck out a hand for her to shake, and she did so numbly. He ended the handshake as quick as he offered it.

“Now” he continued, “it’s to my understanding that you have two flat tires that need fixing. Am I right?”

She wondered why he was acting so distant.

She didn’t know why it hurt her chest when he acted to casually when she herself was going through a torrent of feelings.

Very well, then.

She steeled her face and answered him with as much professionalism as she could muster.

“Yes. Both tires on the passenger side where punctured.”

He gave her a small nod and gestured for her to follow as he walked to the shop.

She followed him with a deft pace until they arrived at the lopsided rental sedan. Jon stood in front of the vehicle before walking around until he came back to the same spot. Then, a small smirk crossed his face before it left.

It didn’t go well with her.

“Is something amusing” she asked with a clipping tone.

He turned to her with a surprised look upon his face.

“No... why would it be?”

That only added fuel to her brimming anger.

“I don’t know. Why don’t you tell me? You’re the one smirking, after all.”

He kept a surprised look upon his face before chuckling with a shake of his head.

“Still the same old Daenerys, aren’t you?”

She clenched her fist.

“What?” she asked with a low, venom filled voice.

“I can swap both tires in about 30 minutes. Though, it’s going to cost you a bit since I’m sure the owner of this car wants the same tires on all wheels. Don’t worry, I’m sure the insurance will reimburse you in a few weeks.”

She bristled at the dodging of her question, but she found it better not to cause a scene in front of all his staff.

“That’s fine” she told him.

He nodded, walking away from her to fetch the two name-brand tires that matched the perfect, and the flattened, ones on the rental.

-

Daenerys refused to keep her eyes on him as he replaced the tires on her vehicle.

She refused to watch his shirt strain as he moved the lug nut wrench from bolt to bolt. She refused to keep her eyes trained on the flex of his arms as they twisted with force to loosen and tighten the bolts. She refused to be impressed when he managed to replace a whole tire in the span of 10 minutes.

He wiped the light sheen of sweat on his brow as he moved over to the second tire and she fought the urge to bite her lip. She clenched and unclenched her fist repeatedly as the fabric of his top strained against the muscles of his back and she wondered if they were stronger than the last time, she ran her nails down them. They certainly looked bigger.

Suddenly, her phone began vibrating in her hand and she was snapped to the number that appeared on her screen.

She narrowed her eyes a bit due to the number being unknown to her, but the area code told her that it was a number local to King’s Landing.

She accepted the call and rose the phone to her ear.

“Hello” she spoke into the microphone.

There was a second pause over the line before she heard an intake of breath.

Yes, hello. Is this Daenerys?

It was a female voice.

“Yes, this is she” Daenerys responded politely.

Great! My name is Jeyne and I’m calling you to talk about the reservation you have with us at King’s Landing OMNI Suites.

“Ok…”

Yes, well, unfortunately it seems that we’ve lost your reservation.

“You what?!”

Jon paused what he was doing and turned to her with a quizzical brow before going back to what he was doing. No doubt the other workers were momentarily distracted as well.

Unfortunately, we seem to have lost your reservation” Jeyne repeated.

“I heard that part” Daenerys hissed. “What I’m actually asking is how did you manage to lose my reservation? It’s been booked for at least two weeks.”

I’m sorry to say that I have no idea as to how this could have happened, Miss Targaryen. I am aware that just yesterday the reservation was in place, but it seems to have been wiped from the system.”

This was unbelievable.

“Well isn’t there something you can do? Just add my name back!”

She heard Jeyne give a weary sigh over the line.

Unfortunately, it seems that another person has booked the very same room you previously had. And they have booked it for 4 days.

Daenerys felt her stomach drop.

There are no other rooms available at the moment, but I can go ahead and book you for the other two days you previously had” Jeyne offered.

Daenerys gave a trembled laugh at the gall of the woman.

“Two days when I’m already in the city and you’ve lost me 4 days of my reservation? Sure, lady. I don’t think so.”

She hung up the phone without waiting for a response and felt herself slump. She closed her eyes and sat back, massaging her temples due to the pounding blood in her head.

First her flight had been changed from going directly into the city to having to drive from Duskendale. Then, her rental car’s tires were flattened due to a pothole on the highway. Next, the person fixing her vehicle was her ex (who she definitely did NOT have a thing for) and now her week-long reservation at the OMNI was lost due to unknown circumstances.

This was officially the worst day ever.

“Something wrong?”

She turned to the man currently crouched by the rear wheel of the passenger side. He was beginning to tighten the bolts of the tire back onto the vehicle.

She debated between answering honestly or telling him to mind his business. She ended up choosing the former.

“You ever had a Hotel lose your reservation?”

He sucked air through his teeth and gave her a small smile before shaking his head. She ignored the faint fluttering of butterflies inside her.

“Well, it isn’t a great feeling,” she told him. “Two weeks I’ve had this reservation and they just called me right now to tell me they lost it.”

“Seems like a bad deal to be in” he said.

She snorted.

“That’s putting it lightly” Daenerys muttered.

“So, now you have to look somewhere else?”

He began cross checking the bolts, making sure they were tight enough.

“It’s the beginning of the summer and the capitol is the go-to destination for tourists. I doubt there’s a resort or suite available” she responded.

“I’m sure there’s a motel or two that have an available slot for you” he said, standing up from his crouched position and letting the jack fall down along with the car. He turned to her with a halfhearted smile. She noticed that he smiled a lot more that he did back then. “I know Davos runs a small motel just down the street. Breakfast is an included amenity.”

She gave him a grateful smile but shook her head.

“Thanks, but...I don’t think so.” He was about to question why but she cut him off to continue and explain her reasoning. “I’m actually here on vacation. And I was hoping for the luxury of a king-sized bed with quality room service. Maybe even go down to the hotel parlor and visit one of those fancy restaurants before I waited by the pool sipping on a martini. A motel doesn’t exactly strike that fancy living when I compare it to what I initially booked.”

He gave her a slight nod but didn’t say anything.

Daenerys wondered if he thought her a snob, but she found that she didn’t much care what he thought at the moment. She sighed as she followed him to the air pumps, resigning herself to a fate of an uncomfortable sleep that night.

“And the people that lost your reservation. They didn’t offer anything in compensation. Couldn’t find you another room?”

She gave an empty chuckle as he began filling the tires with air.

“Yes, since they only managed to book 4 days out of my 6 to whomever got my room, they offered to reserve the last two days for me” she told him, anger coursing through her body at the audacity of the hotel clerk she spoke to.

“Sounds like terrible customer service to me,” he told her.

“That’s putting it mildly” she retorted.

She saw a frown upon his face as he moved over the second tire, connect the pump to the valve of the rubber.

She saw that he wanted to say something because he bit his lip like he used to. However, he only shook his head to himself and finished his job. He asked her to follow him, so she did. He was walking back towards the inside building where his office was, along with the cash register, and she saw him pick up a rag to wipe his hands.

Once they reached the inside of the office, Jon informed her of the total. She handed him her card and he swiped it, giving her a receipt.

“I’ve got two suggestions for you” he said out of nowhere, and she blinked as she stared at him. “Two places to sleep for the night, I mean.”

She gave an “oh” expression at his clarification. In actuality, she was about to ask him where the motel he was talking about was located.

“So, option one is Davos. Like I told you, he owns a motel just down this street. You won’t get five-star room service or a pool, but the beds are more than decent, and his wife makes excellent breakfast.”

She pursed her lips but nodded, nonetheless.

“Ok,” she said, “so what’s option two?”

He stared into her eyes for a few seconds before answering.

“Option two...is that you can stay at my place.”

...What?

He must have seen the look on her face, because he quickly made to clarify himself.

“Just for tonight! You can sleep in the guest bedroom and try to find a fancy hotel for the remaining days that you’re here.”

That made more sense.

Still, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t a shock anymore. The fact that he offered her a place to stay was...actually, she didn’t know what to call it.

Should she accept?

You’re engaged and getting married in only a few weeks.

No, of course not.

But…

“Though, Davos’ really is good” Jon told her earnestly.

Too earnestly.

She narrowed her eyes at the obvious attempt to backtrack on his offer. Normally she would turn up her nose at such a gesture and walk away. But the fact that he had offered and then quickly went to retract it set something else within her.

“Just for the night?” she asked him.

His eyes slightly widened, not expecting her to actually consider his proposal.

“Uh, yeah… If you want it” he said.

She narrowed her eyes ever so slightly once more, before she nodded her acceptance.

“Very well. Thank you.”

He moved his eyes to the corner of the room for just a brief moment before returning them back to her own. He lifted a hand to scratch behind his ear and gave her a small smile.

“No problem” he said.

-

She regretted taking him up on his offer the moment she stepped into the rental car to follow him to his home.

Why had she just accepted a proposition from her ex?

She wanted to tell herself that he didn’t offer it out of a sexual desire but...surely, he had?

She glanced down to her finger and wondered if he had seen the shiny diamond rock on its golden band. He must have. Surely, he knew that she was engaged.

They had driven for nearly half of a half hour and into a well-off looking neighborhood, but she was in half a mind to call him to say that she had changed her mind. Only, she hadn’t actually asked for his number, so she had no way of doing so. She contemplated driving off and leaving him behind, but she found that she couldn’t bring herself to do that.

Yes, you can. You’re engaged to Daario. You shouldn’t be going into Jon Snow’s home.

That was very much true. She was a taken woman. But she was also taught to have manners. Having accepted Jon’s offer meant that she owed it to him to retract her acceptance face to face. Just like all those years-

No…

It couldn’t be.

Jon had turned into a long street with various large houses on each side.

Dragon’s Dream Street.

However, what had caught her attention was the large blue house with white Doric columns and black trimming.

But it was the red door that caught her attention. No, not just the red door. The lemon tree! No, no it was the red door and the lemon tree.

No.

It was the house itself.

It was the house she had told him she wanted to live in. The house they plotted and planned together all those years ago. Down to the perfect tint of blue paint. To the circular window that overlooked the doorway from the second floor.

Her house.

Surely not. Surely the house had been pictured and built by another person who had a similar dream of her home.

But she knew that it was a ridiculous notion. Only he would be able to perfect her dream into reality. It was a dream that she had tried to let go but would think on from time to time. Dream on from time to time.

She tried to deny it, but she always saw a man inside her home in her dreams. She tried to lie to herself and say it was Daario. But she eventually told herself it was no one when it was clear that her fiancé had no business in her world.

Even though she knew exactly who walked in her dreams.

He turned into the driveway, all the way up to the garage but he didn’t open the door to drive in. He only allowed a space for her to park beside him, and she stepped out of the rental car numbly as he moved to his front door.

Jon opened the red door. Her red door and stepped inside, holding the door open for her to cross the threshold.

“Welcome. Lenton, dōna lenton” he said.

Welcome. Home, sweet home.

She looked around her and took in the wood flooring that didn’t creak beneath her feet.

The cream-colored walls with brown trimming.

To the side was a closed off room, but she knew that it held the guest bedroom he told her she could stay in. This was her house, after all.

Next came the living room.

A single large grey cloth couch, with two reclining seats to match on each side, angled towards the large television in front.

“Well, the guest bedroom is just here” he told her.

I know.

And she was confident that he knew that she knew where it was. He was only using formalities.

“Uhm, well I’ll be in my bedroom upstairs. Help yourself to raid the fridge if you’re hungry. For tonight. My house is your house.”

And then, he turned around and walked away from her. Up the stairs and to the master bedroom she knew was located to overlook the backyard of the home.

The thoughts of him possibly propositioning her sexually were immediately forgotten from her memory. Instead, she only watched his retreating form as he disappeared from her view.

No. Even when I’m gone.

This is my home.

-

She woke up feeling refreshed and energized. The bed was undoubtedly memory foam, the familiar feeling of tempurpedic beneath her.

Jon had knocked on her door the previous night, informing her that he had gone ahead and retrieved her luggage from the rental car. She wondered how he had gotten into the vehicle, but she got her answer when she opened the door and saw the keys to the car resting atop the handle of her suitcase.

He didn’t inform her where the guest bathroom was located, but he didn’t actually need to. She already knew that it was directly across from the guest bedroom. So, she had taken a shower in the dead of night but decided that it would do her well to take another in the early morning.

Feeling clean, Daenerys laid atop the bed of the guest room with a towel wrapped around her hair in a turban style. When she picked up her phone to check the messages, she saw that her phone was pitifully “dry”. 

With a sigh, Daenerys rose from the bed and went about to get ready for the day.

-

The city was just as she had remembered when she’d left all those years ago. Bustling and busy. Daenerys walked aimlessly through the plaza located in the inner city, fond memories funneling into her mind as she passed the shops she remembered from her childhood and adolescence.

She had debated on grabbing herself a scoop of ice cream but opted to not feel the later shame as she had only finished dining at a small Valyrian restaurant only moments before. Not to mention that she was still technically without lodging during her stay. Jon had been kind enough to offer her a place to stay for the night, and Daenerys was ever grateful, but he had also made it known that the offer did not extend past one night. Meaning that she had no choice but to try and find a hotel that was available in the summer. The chances of finding a resort was slim to none, the high touristed city in the summer making sure of it.

Daenerys pulled her phone from her purse, sighing as she ran down the list of hotels and their respective numbers, praying that one would be available.

-

It was ridiculous. Every single hotel was booked until at least Thursday. Was King’s Landing truly a hotspot to visit at this time of year?

Daenerys had only just arrived back at Jon’s house and had plopped down onto the bed of the guestroom, exhausted from the phone-calls without reward. It was as if the universe was against her from the moment her vacation was due to begin.

First, her original flight was cancelled. Then, her rental car had blown out two tires forcing her to be towed to a mechanic’s shop, which happened to be owned by her ex. Next, she was informed that her resort reservation was “lost” as her ex changed her tires. And now, not a single hotel, resort or not, had an available slot for her to stay in the remainder of the week. She could cry in frustration.

Now what was she going to do? She had no place to stay for the night, and Jon had made it clear to her that she was only welcome for the night prior. Well… she guessed that she could call the motel owner he spoke of. It wasn’t the luxury she had been dreaming of as she planned her getaway, but a motel bed was better than having no place to stay.

Suddenly, she heard a door within the house open and close. It wasn’t close enough to be the front door, so she could only assume it was the door that led into the garage. The sound of the door did seem like it came from the direction where she had designed the house all those years ago.

Daenerys looked over to the clock in the room and noted the hands to say the time was a little over 5 pm. She sighed as she got up from her comfortable position to face the man that had shown her a brief generosity of kindness.

Not just a man. Your ex, Daenerys. Your first love.

She snorted at the last thought. Her first and last love. Not due to some underlying affections she still had for him. No, it was due to her realization and enlightenment to the real world. Daenerys opened up the door and walked towards the living room, which was the feeding point for the hallway from which the garage entrance lead into.

She sucked in a breath as her eyes drifted until they focused on the figure in the dining room.

Jon was currently setting the table for two as he placed two takeout Styrofoam plates atop the wooden surface. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the tight grey V-neck shirt he wore that hugged his body, giving her a good look at his muscled back; not to mention the accentuation it showed on his arms. He was facing away from her, but she could see the rigid lines of his triceps through the fabric, his veins popping against the exposed skin.

You’re engaged to Daario. Focus.

That’s right. She was engaged. She wasn’t free. She wasn’t his. And he wasn’t hers to ogle. She steeled her features and stepped into the dining room, not hiding the sound of her footsteps to let her presence known.

That’s when he turned around to face, and that’s when she felt her breath catch once more.

Gods, even the muscles on his front torso were defined through the grey t-shirt. She could even make out the packs of his abdomen.

“Oh good, you’re here” he said, snapping her out of her daze.

He opened one of the takeout plates, revealing the contents inside.

“I got us Yi Ti. I know it’s been a few years since we last saw each other, but you still like honey sesame chicken with fried rice…right?”

“Uh…yeah…yeah, I do.”

He nodded, for some reason avoiding her gaze as he made his way over to the fridge.

“I forgot to pick up some drinks, so all I have is sweet tea. And it’s that instant mix Lipton stuff. I don’t have time to boil and add the proper amount of sugar. Is that all right with you?”

Daenerys had already found her place at the table, mouth salivating at the steaming plate of food in front of her.

“Yes, that’s all right” she said.

He came back with two glasses, filled to the brim with the sweet tea he had spoken of, placing one by her plate before moving to take a seat across from her.

She could hear his sigh as he opened his own plate, fork in hand as he immediately dug into the side of his order; a half and half serving of fried rice and noodles. It was then that she noticed his fingers slightly stained black, no doubt from the grease and oil of the vehicles he liked to tinker with.

“How was the hunt?” he asked, snapping her out of her daze. “Any success in finding a place to stay for the rest of your vacation.”

She stabbed a piece of her chicken with her fork, bringing it to her mouth and savoring the sweet tang of the sauce and juiciness of the chicken. She had missed the cuisine of King’s Landing. Despite her many years in Essos and how closer it was to Yi Ti, the food just never compared to the pop shops of the city that she grew up in.

“Oh, gods, that’s delicious.”

He gave her a brief smile before picking at his own entrée; a sizeable mound of General Tso chicken. Jon had always liked spicier food.

“And no” she continued, reaching for a napkin to wipe her mouth, “I had no luck whatsoever. Can you believe that every hotel in this goddamn city is booked? All of them.”

“Well, you said it yourself, King’s Landing is quite the tourist hub this time of year.”

“I know, but I didn’t think it would be this busy” she groaned. “I was mainly talking about the higher class resorts, not the regular hotels.”

He gave a hearty laugh, slightly shaking his head.

“I think you’ve got your logic bungled up, Miss Targaryen. Regular hotels get booked sooner due to how inexpensive they are. If you knew the resorts around would all be booked, I would’ve thought you would know the hotels would be too.”

She frowned.

“You can’t fault me for hoping” she murmured.

They ate in silence for a while longer until she decided to take a sip of her drink. She recoiled as soon as the liquid flowed onto her tongue, the taste overloading her senses unpleasantly.

“Gods, are you trying to give me diabetes? How much sugar is in that mix?”

He gave her a raised brow.

“It is called sweet tea, you know.”

She responded with a deadpan stare.

“Alright, alright. I may have a hard, sweet tooth. Listen, I rarely eat anything dessert-like if at all. I can satisfy my cravings through sugary water.”

Daenerys rolled her eyes but chose not to comment, instead going back to eating her meal. She didn’t notice Jon’s gaze upon her left hand; and on a very important finger.

“You’re getting married.”

She stopped eating her food and looked up at him, making eye contact with the man she had known all those years ago.

“I am.”

His eyes softened as a small smile overtook his face. Whether it was genuine or forlorn, she could not say.

“When?”

“In a month” she responded, suddenly feeling very awkward with where their conversation was going. She didn’t know why. “That’s partly why I’m here on vacation. Last sense of freedom before I sign my life away.”

His face became bemused at her statement.

“That’s an odd sentiment to have. I thought you’d be happier with the fact that you’re marrying the man that you love.”

She snorted.

“Right. Love.”

His smile died as he gave her a small frown.

“You are marrying the man you love, aren’t you?”

“You really think love is real?” she asked scathingly.

A surprised look crossed his face as he avoided her eyes.

Right. That’s what I thought.

She picked up another piece of her chicken and continued to eat once more.

“Yes. I do.”

She looked up from her food. He still avoided her gaze.

“I think there’s someone out there for everyone.”

He finally gazed into her eyes once more, his grey eyes filled with warmth and fondness.

“And when two people connect with each other, and you know they’re the one for you. I think everything can fall into place for them to be together.”

It was as if her whole body shut down and started. She could feel her heart begin to race with her chest, and her blood course wildly in her veins. She didn’t know what it was that caused it, but she was not a fan of it.

“Everything will fall into place? And what if they can’t be with one another? What if one of them, or both of them are already married? How will things fall into place?” She asked sarcastically, attempting to quell the emotions inside her.

However, Jon had a response that he was quick to fire off.

“Then they’ll do everything in their power to be together. If they aren’t willing to make the effort, no matter how great, to be with one another, then can it be said that they’re truly in love?”

She looked away from him, unable to meet his eyes as she processed what he had said.

Did he truly believe that? Did he truly believe that love was real? It was inconceivable to her. For someone like Jon Snow to believe in love.

“If you don’t mind, I’ll take the phone number of your motel owner friend. I was hoping for a hotel with at least a spa, but I’ll settle for that famed breakfast you speak of.”

The change of topic was obvious, but Jon didn’t call her out on it. Instead, he gave a brief nod and complied with her request. Daenerys stepped out of the dining room and made her way back to her room, already dialing the number she had received.

A few seconds passed before the line was picked up.

“Seaman Motel, Davos speaking.”

“Hello, Davos, I was calling to see if you had any room available for the week until Sunday.”

She sat down on the bed in the room and began to miss it in advance. She doubted the motel mattress would be as soft or comfortable as the one she currently laid on. Daenerys also began to wonder what prices she would be quoted but ultimately had no problem in the long run as she doubted it would be as expensive as she was initially willing to pay for the resort she had booked.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have any rooms available for the next two days.”

 That was not what she had wanted to hear.

“Are you serious?”

She already knew the answer before it came.

“Unfortunately, miss. Would you like for me to book you on the other remaining days?”

“No…that’s alright. Thank you.”

She ended the call before the man even had a chance to respond.

Now what was she supposed to do? She needed a place to stay for the night and had no option on where to look. Jon’s friend was realistically her last gamble.

Daenerys felt utterly hopeless and in despair of her current situation. However, she got up nonetheless and made her way back to the dining room. It would be best to inform Jon as quickly as possible to give her as much time to find accommodations for the night. And if worst came to worst, she could always sleep in her rental car.

Jon was still seated in the same spot, but his plate was closed due to being, presumably, empty. Only his glass seemed to be refilled with tea. He noticed her the moment she came into view, and immediately noted the downtrodden look on her face.

“What happened? What did he say?”

She sighed as she leaned against a wall.

“He said they’re booked for the next two days.”

“Are you serious?”

“Unfortunately” she said, repeating the same words that Davos had said to her when she asked the same question.

He frowned and furrowed his eyebrows, looking away from her as he focused his eyes on the brim of his glass.

Despite the bad luck of her entire situation, which seemed to transpire since the beginning, she was still grateful for all he had done the past day. He had fixed her tires as quickly as he possibly could when he was already signed off for the day. He had offered her a place to stay when she had nowhere to turn to and had fed her food (albeit takeout) out of his own generosity. It made her feel ashamed at the rancor she held for him all those years after she had left.

She opened her mouth to thank him for all he’d done.

“You can stay here.”

Her breath caught in her throat.

“What?”

He looked up with a small smile.

“You can stay here” he repeated.

Her eyes widened as she realized what he was saying, and she shook her head from side to side.

“You’ve already been far too generous. I couldn’t possibly ask that of you.”

“You’re not asking. I’m offering.”

“Still” she muttered. “It’s too much.”

“It’s better than wasting the rest of the night trying to find a place to stay. Please, I insist.”

She began to chew on the inside of her mouth, not liking at how much on the receiving end she seemed to be her entire time around him.

“I’ll pay you back” she declared.

He made a face and shook his head.

“There’s no need. I offered.”

He stood up from his seat and began making his way to the hallway but stopping right beside her momentarily, a genuine smile on his face.

“Think of it as my wedding present to you.”

Chapter Text


Tuesday had started just like Monday; without the sense of gloom, at least.

Daenerys felt no worries humming her lungs out as pleasingly hot water poured onto her body from the guest bathroom’s showerhead. She had a light bounce to her feet as she prepared herself for the day; choosing a cute floral crop top to wear with a pair of cut off shorts. Her sandals were a pair of leathery cognac lace up thongs and she let her hair fall down onto her shoulders in silky tresses.

A pair of oversized cat eye sunglasses to finish the look, and Daenerys was out the door with a hot sway of her hips with each step she took.

It was amazing how carefree one could live their life without stress or worry.

She walked out the front door of Jon’s house, and made her way to the rental vehicle parked on the smooth, concrete driveway. Daenerys would have entered her car unabated if it weren’t for the rather loud grunts coming from the very open garage.

With a slight falter in her step, holding her handbag in one hand, she paused and turned her attention to the source of the noise.

It was Jon.

He wasn’t in her line of sight, but she could very much recognize the sounds that currently came from his mouth.

…Yeah, probably shouldn’t every think anything along those lines ever again, Daenerys.

It was odd to her how she had currently been staying at his house for two nights now but hadn’t realized that he drove a truck. Even on the day he led her here, she was too lost in thought at the idea of sleeping at her ex’s house.

It was a maroon-ish color with a beige trim. A truck that very easily towered over her, and more than likely him as well. He had never been the tallest man she ever knew (not by a longshot) but he certainly was tall enough to clear a few inches over her.

She tilted her head just enough to see him working underneath the vehicle from the front of the truck. She had debated on calling out to him to have a good morning, but he sounded a bit frustrated with what he was doing. So, she decided it would probably serve best for her to go along her merry way and come back to greet him when he was in a much more agreeable mood.

That was the plan.

As all of her plans usually go, it wasn’t according. When she returned from exploring a portion of the city and enjoying a stroll along the shoreline as she sipped on an orange-mango smoothie, Daenerys had found that Jon was still working on that hulking vehicle of his. She heard his curses much clearer now, due to the fact that he was now working over the opened hood.

“Fucking… dammit. Go in you little shit…”

That didn’t sound too promising.

She heard the zipping noise of a wrench along with his grunts. He sounded very much tired and very much frustrated.

She reached up to her sunglasses, sliding them up to the front of her head so as to look him in the eye. Daenerys cleared her throat and Jon gave her a startled look as he was taken away from his task.

A few strands of his hair had come undone from their knot, sweat and grease covered his face and his chest expanded with each breath he took. She ignored how comely he looked when he gazed at her with his iron eyes; and she definitely ignored the bead of sweat that traveled down his neck and into the collar of his shirt (which gave an ample view of his bare chest from the angle he was leaning at).

“Oh, Daenerys. I didn’t notice you there.”

She gave him a quizzical brow in return.

“You didn’t hear me as I pulled in?”

He had the decency to look abashed before turning back to the engine of his truck.

“I did, but I assumed you would walk into the house versus hanging a bit out here. I certainly didn’t think you’d walk into my garage” he responded.

“Oh? Is there something you have to hide out here?” she teased.

He gave a small laugh at that.

“Nothing but hours spent muttering my curses of frustration.”

He grabbed his wrench and began to fiddle with whatever he was doing.

“What are you doing, anyways?”

“Giving my truck a well-deserved tune up” he responded.

“All day?”

“Heh… this truck is a particularly tedious model.”

“Then why not get a better one?”

He stopped what he was doing and gave her a dark look.

“There’s nothing wrong with her” he stated firmly.

“Her?” she asked, with a confused look.

“Yes” he nodded. “Her. My truck.”

“You call it a “her”?”

She gave him a deadpan look, but he ignored her in favor of continuing to work on… whatever he was doing. It was probably best for her curiosity that she ask; so, she did.

“I’m replacing the engine sparkplugs” he informed her. “It’s been 2 years since I last changed them. Already changed the oil and transmission fluid.”

She had no idea what he was talking about, so she merely hummed her “understanding”.

“But” he continued, “whoever designed this engine can truly find a cactus and shove it up theirs.”

He wagged the wrench in his hand at her before moving it back over what she assumed to be a spark plug.

“It’s bad enough that you need a special tool to safely extract the plugs, but the patience and labor makes it frustrating. And this ratchet is starting to resist on me. I am almost confident I’m going to end up stripping a bolt somewhere down the line.”

So, it was called a ratchet. You learned something every day.

The seeds of conversation died on her end and he seemed too focused on his current task to spark any sort of talks with her. Daenerys took that as her cue to leave when suddenly a nostalgic object in the corner of his garage caught her eye.

“You still have it” she exclaimed in half wonder and half excitement.

He looked up at her and then behind him towards the object of her current attention. His eyes widened in recognition before turning toward her with a small smile.

“You think I’d give up 1970’s only claim to badassery?”

She gave a hearty laugh before walking towards the parked bike. Memories rushed through her memory when she placed a running hand over the bike’s handles.

“I don’t see a helmet anywhere. Still neglecting road safety?” she asked with a teasing lilt to her voice.

Jon gasped in victory, placing his ratchet on the frame of his truck before wiping his hands with a rag. Then, he pulled his shirt up by the collar to wipe his forehead.

She couldn’t stop her eyes from falling down to the exposed skin of his ridged abdomen. Daenerys turned around and pretended to focus on the bike as walked towards her.

“I thought I already told you all those years ago” he said, stopping only a few steps behind her. “A Norton Commando is the universal “don’t fuck with me” bike.”

A shiver ran down her spine and she wasn’t sure if her hearing was off, but she swore his voice went a touch lower in pitch.

“Do you still ride it?”

“Unfortunately…no” he sighed. “The engine failed on me a while back and I never got around to replacing it. Now all it does is collect dust in here. Only reason it still looks good is because I polish her every other week.”

He placed a hand on the handle, dangerously close to her own, before giving the cold metal a squeeze.

“Great bike…” he said, almost as if speaking to no one in particular. “Anyways… I’ll finish up with my truck in the next hour or two. After that I’ll whip us up some dinner.”

He turned away from her and moved back to his task.

Daenerys looked at his working back for a few moments before entering the house through the door inside the garage.

-

The next she saw of him; Jon was finishing up on cooking dinner. His outfit was different, much cleaner, and his hair was damp in its usual bun.

“Daenerys” he acknowledged with faint surprise, “just in time.”

He had two plates in hand, and he walked towards the end of the table where she sat at. When he placed hers in front of her, the warm steam rose in the air and she was sure that it must have smelt delicious but all she could concentrate on was the waft of forest pine that invaded her nose due to his close proximity.

It was the same pine smell of the body wash he used during high school.

“Chicken Parm” he announced, snapping out of her small trance. “One of the first things I learned to cook while I was in college.”

That was certainly interesting. The boy that towed her truck had informed her that Jon had gotten his education, but she had only assumed he had gone forth with his initial plan at going to a specialty school. To hear he had gone to a college, possibly a university, was something she hadn’t truly expected.

The drinks were already set before she had walked in and Daenerys was very displeased to find the dark amber serving of his heavily sweet tea in front of her.

But beggars couldn’t exactly be choosers, so she decided to focus on the heavenly aroma of food that wafted towards her nose. The food was plated beautifully; melted parmesan on a breaded chicken breast that was paired with rolled spaghetti topped with shredded basil.

“Well, aren’t you just the master chef” she told him.

“Only a master mechanic, I’m afraid” he chuckled.

She cut herself a small piece of the chicken, and she found herself salivating when she saw the moist and juicy chicken on the tip of her fork. The taste was to die for.

“It’s delicious” she told him earnestly.

He didn’t mouth his gratitude but nodded it instead. They ate in silence for a few minutes before she asked if he had finished with tuning up his truck. He had responded that he had and that he wouldn’t have to tweak anything until another 15,000 miles.

Then he had asked her how she had been all these years, and she had told him that she had been just fine. She told him about Missandei and then about Daario. He took information about both of them with a smile on his face, not phased with her engagement in the slightest.

“He sounds like a good man. I’m happy for you.” He said.

They ate in silence for a bit longer when she began to feel curious about his parents.

“My parents?”

She nodded.

He took a sip of his sweat tea, which was slowly beginning to grow on her, before answering.

“Well… my Dad ended up taking a job behind the desk over at the SS. Mainly to appease my mother. Pay raise, so that’s something… but he told me that every day he goes into work he feels like a day closer to retiring. Mom isn’t too worried for his sanity, though.”

He said the last bit with a small smile and Daenerys found herself smiling at that too.

“What about your Mom? How is she?” she wondered.

Her interest was genuine as Lyanna was always nice to her.

“Mom? Well, doing much more comfortable than Dad. Same job. Same house. Same TV provider. Nothing to worry about.”

“Mmm…” she hummed, not really satisfied with his answer.

“It’s strange to think how big this city is. It takes me about 30 minutes to go visit my parents from here, but it can take me an hour if traffic is against me.” He sighed afterwards. “Even then… I haven’t had much time to visit them since I’ve been so busy with the shop. This vacation I’m on gives me that time, though.”

She perked up at those words.

“Really?” she asked him.

“Yeah. I’m actually going to go visit them tomorrow.”

He grabbed a piece of chicken and ate it, unaware to the warring feelings inside the woman across from him.

She had no right, she knew that, but she desperately wanted to see Arthur and Lyanna. Just one more time. No one would ever replace her parents, but when she was dating Jon she had felt right at home whenever she spent her time at his house.

However, that was the past and things had ended between her and Jon. And though they had ended amicably, Daenerys felt ashamed at holding so much rancor for him when he had seemingly been the better person and treated her much more warmly than she had thought of him all these years.

He finished his food before her and moved towards his kitchen sink.

“You know… if you wanted to, I could bring you with me to see them.”

She gave him a surprised look, and Jon moved quickly in panic.

“Only if you wanted to, I mean. But you probably don’t since you came here on vacation. I don’t really want to impede with any of your pre-made plans. I’m sorry for assuming-“

“Jon” she said, cutting him off.

He stopped in his mini rambling.

“It’s ok” she told him. “I’d be happy to go a visit your parents.”

He gave her a long and dumb look, almost as if in disbelief. Well, given how they hadn’t seen each other in years… he probably was reacting in disbelief.

“Really?”

“Yes. Really” she smiled.

“Oh… well… great.”

“Yeah, vacation hasn’t really gone according to plan. Like I told you the first day, the plan was to stay in a resort and sip on a martini while getting a tan.”

He gave an amused laugh.

“Heh, sorry to hear about that.”

“Me too” she responded with a smile.

It seemed that he hadn’t properly dried himself with a towel because his shirt clung to his chest, giving her a well-defined view.

“You know” she continued, thinking of anything to distract herself with, “seeing as you have the week off for vacation…I wouldn’t mind a tour guide.”

He turned to her with a smirk.

“The Essosi heat make you forget us already?”

“I may need a little reminding.”

He looked away with an amused look.

“Well, I was kind of hoping on getting some well-deserved sun under the beach but…I guess I can wait. How long do you require my services?”

She finished the delicious meal in front of her and leaned forward onto the table with her elbows.

“That depends… how long are you available?”

She was not flirting. She was only asking a perfectly valid question to his question.

He hummed, pensive as he leaned against the counter.

“I can keep you till Friday. That’s if you’re game” he told her.

Daenerys kept her face cool and passive, but her heart fluttered in her chest at his words.

“I can keep you till Friday.”

“If you’re game.”

“Must be a pretty busy schedule then.”

He nodded.

“Of course. I got you with my parents for tomorrow. Then, I’ll take you to the new mall in downtown. They started construction on that thing a few years after you left. Beautiful thing, too.”

“Is that where you do your outfit shopping?”

Jon raised a brow in response.

“Something wrong with my clothes?”

“No, nothing wrong” she said, trying to appease him.

He snorted but didn’t push it any further.

“Yes, that’s where I do my shopping. There’s a Levi’s there. And if I can’t find what I need. Macy’s.”

“And for your groceries?”

“There’s an Arbor’s Whole Foods down the street. Why? Got a problem with my cooking too?”

“Okay, first off, I don’t have a problem with your outfits. It’s a nice style but it gets rather repetitive” she laughed.

He had an eyebrow raised but a teasing smirk played upon his lips.

“And secondly” she continued, “I find myself enjoying your cooking. It was mouthwateringly savory the entire meal.”

“Think so?”

She nodded.

“Thank you” he said, a large grin on his face.

“You could rule the world with that Chicken Parm.”

He gave her a genuine laugh.

“That’s good to know” he said. “Looks like my future wife doesn’t stand a chance with arguing if I can cook something this good.”

The smile on her face, along with the warmth in her body, died slightly at his words but Daenerys recovered quick enough to not make him notice. It was an odd feeling. Something familiar but something she couldn’t quite place. Best not to dwell on it.

“So, if your parents are tomorrow and the mall is Thursday. Then what have you got in store this Friday?”

His eyes became mischievous and a dark smirk crossed his face as he looked over to her. A shiver ran down her spine and she was almost… excited by what he had in mind. It was a good preparation for the words that left his lips.

“Carnival Night.”


Jon was right about one thing. The drive to his parent’s place could truly take an hour if traffic was working against them. It was a good thing that his truck had ample space and comfortable seats. Even if the leather clung to her skin in the hot summer heat.

He pulled the large vehicle into the driveway and Daenerys felt nothing but nostalgia when she was the familiar black and white cars parked side by side. She lost focus and didn’t “snap back in” until Jon was opening the front door with his key. They both stepped into the small entrance room of his home, and suddenly she felt like she was 17 again.

The sliding doors, that hid the washer and dryer, were in the same place and she began to wonder if everything was as she remembered when she left. Jon knocked on the door that led into the living room, and Dany held her breath as she waited beside the man she used to call hers; in the home of his parents where they had both discovered the carnal pleasures of the body.

She heard footsteps nearing, and she began to wonder what she would find on the opposite side of the door. Would it be Arthur, with eyes that resembled her own and hair so black it nearly looked pitch. Or would it be Lyanna, a woman that Daenerys had adored, with chocolates waves and silvery eyes that nearly resembled her son’s if not for the radiance in them.

The door opened.

It was Arthur.

“Jon” he greeted with a warm smile, before pulling his son into a bear crushing hug. “I didn’t hear you pull in. How was the drive? Everything all right?”

“Hey, old man, take it easy. One question at a time-“

He was cut off by his father’s surprised voice when Arthur had laid eyes on her.

“Is that little Daenerys?”

He stuck out a hand for her to shake. It was strange. At one point in time, he would have hugged in greeting.

But that was a long time ago.

“I haven’t seen you in…years. Where’ve you been?”

She turned to Jon with a confused glance. Had he not told them?

However, before she or Jon could say something, Arthur spoke again.

“Oh! I’m sorry. I’m so bad with remembering things. You went off to…Meereen? Is that right?”

She gave him a warm smile and nodded.

“Memory isn’t all that bad, Mr. Dayne.”

He visibly cringed and waived her off.

“Oh, call me Arthur, Daenerys. I won’t have any of that “Mr. Dayne” nonsense.”

He leaned in towards her ear and whispered.

“And Lyanna will not take too kindly to “Mrs. Dayne” either, so best call her by her name.”

She gave a nervous chuckle at the thought of Lyanna’s wrath due to a fatal error on Daenerys’ part. It was best to leave a sleeping she-wolf asleep.

Arthur stepped to the side and gestured for them to enter before heading towards the kitchen in order to fetch refreshments. She chose to sit in the center of their leather couch while Jon sat by an armrest and leaning as far as humanly possible away from her. She would have rolled her eyes had his mother not walked in mere milliseconds later.

“Daenerys!” Lyanna cried, walking briskly towards her.

“Lyanna” she smiled, rising from her seat but being crushed by the woman’s hug midway.

She smelled of Winter Roses and cherry. A mysteriously peculiar scent that would be odd and any other woman that wasn’t the one currently embracing her.

“Oh, how I’ve missed you. Did you get your education over in Meereen?”

“Yes, I did. I got my bachelor’s in communication. Going for my master’s at the moment.”

Lyanna’s eyes widened before a face splitting smile appeared. It was the same smile she had received her with when they first met. She had the same chocolate locks along with the same warm silvery eyes.

“That’s amazing. I’m so proud of you, Daenerys. Look at you, furthering your education and making sure you’re ready for that cruel world out there.”

The two women shared a laugh with one another as Jon cracked a small smile. Arthur walked in a few seconds later with refreshments for everyone, offering a glass of lemonade to all three people on the couch before taking his place on his favored LAZBOY.

“You know, Jon got his degree as well. Over at Lannisport.”

“Oh? In what field?” she asked, turning over to the man in question.

“Mechanical Engineering” he said, his cheek resting upon a closed fist.

She turned over to Lyanna and Arthur with an impressed look on her face. She was so sure that Jon had been set on a vocational school versus a university.

“Yup” Lyanna chirped. “It was a surprise when Jon told us he was planning on attending when we were so sure he just wanted to train under a mechanic. But it was a welcome surprise. I was so happy I thought my tears of joy would never end. My son actually deciding on making something with his life.”

Jon scoffed beside her.

“A mechanic is still a respectable trade, Lya…. That’s what he ended up doing, anyways” Arthur said softly.

Lyanna turned towards her husband with narrowed eyes.

“A mechanic with a much higher salary and a degree versus a meager certificate.”

“A mechanic is a mechanic” Jon muttered.

Lyanna turned towards her son.

“A mechanic with degree has a much better shot at obtaining a wife to give me grandchildren” she responded in a sing-song voice.

“Well, a degree hasn’t exactly helped me with that now has it?”

“Oh, Jon, I already told you. Val and Arianne just weren’t the right woman for you. Your future wife is still out there.”

Daenerys felt a tug in her stomach and furrowed her brow when she heard the two unfamiliar names.

Jon scoffed once more and stood up.

“Whatever, I’m going to go check on that engine of yours. You said it was leaking oil?”

Lyanna turned to her son with a Cheshire smile and nodded. She called out her thanks as he exited the door.

Arthur followed suit but had departing words for his wife.

“This is exactly why he went halfway across the country to get his education.”

He turned on his heel and followed to help his son.

“Hey, two pairs of hands are better than one. It’ll get my car finished quicker” Lyanna called out to him.

Lyanna turned towards Daenerys and made herself comfortable on the couch, kicking off her shoes to cross her feet under her.

“Now that the men are gone, why don’t we actually talk about something meaningful?”

“Like what?” Daenerys wondered.

“Like what you’ve been up to. What your aspirations are in life… Boys. One boy in particular. I think we both know who I’m talking about” Lyanna said slyly.

Slight panic filled Daenerys as she felt her palms begin to sweat. Was she going to try and set her up with her son? It would be best for Daenerys to inform her that she was already spoken for.

“Come on, Daenerys. You didn’t think I wouldn’t notice that rock on your finger, did you?”

Relief suddenly filled her body. Why had she even panicked? She glanced down instinctively to the beautiful ring on her finger and gave a practiced smile.

“When did you two meet?”

“A little over a year ago, at a bar in Meereen. Tall, dark shoulder length locks with a roguish smile, but I was his victim the moment I got caught in those blue eyes of his.”

“Mmm, he sounds quite the catch…. Any good in the sack?”

Daenerys sputtered, blushing and choking on her lemonade as the older woman laughed at her misfortune.

“Lyanna!” she admonished.

“What? It’s a valid question.”

Daenerys could still feel the warmth in her cheeks as she avoided the older woman’s gaze.

“He’s very adventurous.”

Lyanna guffawed at that.

“That’s useful I suppose” she told Daenerys. “Very useful, actually. Good looks and willing to try anything new. Is he rich?”

Daenerys nodded, and Lyanna whistled.

“You’ve hit the jackpot.”

Daenerys chuckled but avoided looking the woman in the eyes.

“Heh, yup. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend after all.”

Lyanna grabbed Daenerys’ left hand and inspected the rock on the platinum band in her hand.

“Rounded cut… feels like 3 or 4 carats with a platinum band…” she muttered.

Daenerys put on her best smile as she showed off each possible angle of the ring. Even if she was indifferent to her upcoming marriage with Daario, at least she’d have this expensive ring.

“20 thousand?” the older woman questioned.

“25” Daenerys clarified.

An impressed look was the response.

They drank their lemonades and Daenerys began to talk about all the people she met while in Essos. The sudden passion to take communications and find a field in children’s charity when she saw all the children in poverty while she lived in luxury. Daenerys cried a few tears when she told Lyanna of how negatively her father had reacted to her ambitions in life.

Lyanna only had sympathy for her as she heard the tale. A hug at the end and suddenly it felt as if a weight was lifted from Daenerys’ shoulder, a tremendous burden. However, she knew that not all of her burdens were set free.

“Well, at least you have a man that loves you” Lyanna cooed, squeezing Daenerys hand within her own. “You have an intelligent best friend and a prospective career for the future.”

“Yes, that’s true” she said, another faux smile on her face.

Feeling another onslaught, Daenerys decided to divert the conversation from her love life to Jon’s. A confusing feeling hit her stomach once more and she was left unsure if she made a wise decision.

“Oh, it’s not been as successful as yours, I’m afraid. He’s met two girls he was steady with but neither materialized to even the engagement phase.”

Lyanna leaned into her.

“Between you and me, I don’t even think he was all that serious with either of them. Well, not with Val at least. Surprisingly enough, I felt he was going a bit farther with Arianne which is strange since Val was the more “wife-material” of the two. Very good girl.”

Daenerys put on a smile at the woman’s words but found it had been harder to do than when she was asked about her engagement. Probably due to having practiced the latter situation.

“And who do you think was the better of the two in the sack?” Daenerys questioned.

Lyanna gave a mock gasp of scandalization.

Daenerys! How could you even ask such a thing of me? My son’s sex life is no business of mine.”

Daenerys rolled her eyes and the two broke into snickers next to one another.

“Well,” Lyanna started, after gathering a bit of control, “I have no doubt about my speculation really.” She turned to Daenerys. “Arianne. If you catch my drift.”

Daenerys raised an eyebrow at her.

“Would that have anything to do with why you preferred Val, Lyanna?”

Lyanna attempted to keep her face neutral before it began to waiver obviously.

“Yes.”

The two of them broke out into snickers once more.

They laughed and spoke for what seemed like hours when Jon and Arthur returned from fixing Lyanna’s car. They all ate a delicious pot roast made via Lyanna that put Jon’s chicken parm to shame and Daenerys couldn’t help but laugh at the lion share of conversation shared by her and Lyanna at the table. Arthur and Jon truly were father and son, only pitching into the conversation when called up and focusing on a game of football on the television. Daenerys never understood how people could sit for an hour (or however long a game of football was) watching men kick a ball back and forth, but people had strange interests.

Suddenly, time flew by, and it was time for them to head back to Jon’s house.

“Oh, I wish you could stay longer” Lyanna whispered, hugging her on the steps leading into the house.

“I know… I do too” she responded.

Daenerys broke the embrace and moved over to Arthur. This time, he went in for a hug as well.

“You take care out there, little Daenerys” he told her.

Both Jon and Daenerys walked over to his truck, and Daenerys turned to waive one last goodbye as Jon turned on his vehicle.

“Goodbye” Arthur called.

She returned it.

“Good luck with the wedding and the marriage, you lucky girl” Lyanna said.

She laughed and gave her a slight nod.

Jon waived his goodbyes through the windshield and backed out of the driveway. Daenerys felt nothing but sadness as she saw the house disappear into the distance through her sideview mirror.  


Their day started much earlier than she would have liked. Daenerys cursed her host voraciously as he woke her with banging on her door. She nearly flung her scrambled eggs at his head as they ate breakfast.

However, her grouchiness eventually subsided, and she met him in the garage to hop into the passenger side of his maroon truck.

“You know, I don’t know why but I wasn’t expecting this truck to look this nice” she admitted.

“Oh? How so?”

“A friend of mine back in Essos had a truck but it was a dingy little thing. Cloth seats and he needed 10 air fresheners to rid the odor.”

Jon laughed at her description, still maintaining focus on the road as he drove.

“It is Essos, you know.”

She gave him a pointed look.

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“It means that the need for well manufactured trucks is slim to none. You guys have oil tycoons over there, right? They prioritize the flashy cars and all that. Over here, we have to actually work. Hence, the larger vehicles with better bells and whistles.”

“People work in Essos” she told him, feeling affronted.

“I’m not saying they don’t. But other that the people working on your oil rigs, there isn’t much use for a work truck. Which is surprising, considering all the sandy dunes you guys have. We work with steel, timber and all that over here. We need to transport heavy materials in the city or through towns.”

She huffed her response and sulked in the leather passenger seat to look at the scenery outside. Not much had changed really. King’s Landing still looked very much like King’s Landing, though she supposed it would be unreasonable to expect such a drastic change.

Boy was she wrong.

-

That’s the mall?”

Jon nodded with a smile.

“It’s huge!”

Jon nodded again with another smile.

“Welcome to the new world, Daenerys Targaryen” Jon said.

“H-h-how?! Where’d they even get all this space?”

“They bought the local shops. Bakeries, game stores, jewelry shops, thrift stores. You name it. They racked up area like they were infinity stones.”

She turned to him.

“And the local shops decided to just sell? But downtown is a profitable spot.”

Jon shrugged.

“They’re alright.”

“Alright? How?” she wondered.

“Well, they’re still here.”

“They are?”

“Yeah, they are. At first, they weren’t willing to sell. But when they were offered the terms, how could they refuse? Each shop got their own share inside the mall in their respective areas. Jewelry stores are bunched with the clothing stores, electronics are bunched up with geek shops and we even have a cinema.”

“And the thrift store? The mall actually allowed an antique store to set up shop in their facility?”

“Even the thrift store” he answered. “Being part of the mall network helps its prestige somewhat.”

“Mathy’s bakery here too? I love his gingerbread and especially his lava cakes.”

“Retired. His son owns it now.”

“Little Hot Pie?”

“Yup. Inherited his father’s shop and his baking skills to boot. Actually… I think he might be the better baker.”

“We’ll definitely have to stop by it, then.”

“We will” he assured. “His father chose the most opportune spot in the mall. Right at the front of the main entrance.”

“That is smart. First thing you see coming in” she started.

“And the last thing you see and smell after having some lunch or dinner” Jon finished.

When they entered the store, her nose was assaulted with aroma of baked sweet bread and pies. An assortment of cookies lay on display for customers to ponder.

The sign that used to read as “Mathy’s” now read as “Hot Pie’s Bakery”.

“Long line” Jon noted.

“It’ll die down by the time we leave. Come on.”

-

They walked throughout the store, Jon pointing out stores and their contents to her. By the time that the clock hit noon, she felt her feet exhausted with all the walking and begged for them to take a break at the food court.

“Don’t tell me you’re tired already?” he asked.

“Shove it” she snapped. “We’ve been walking constant four nearly 4 hours and I still don’t think we’ve even covered half of this mall.”

“We haven’t” he chuckled. “But, don’t worry. We’ll grab some grub and then go towards the clothing stores I shop at. Then, there’s a section I think you’ll like.”

He moved ahead of her and Daenerys groaned at the pickup in pace. She wished desperately to be back at his house, resting her poor feet and sleeping the day in.

Luckily, he had shown a hint of mercy to her by asking what she wanted from the food court. The options were vast, but she had had her eye set on a Meereenese food stall from the moment they crossed the threshold of this haven of food.

When he had returned, he came back with her plate along with his; a fried chicken sandwich with fries from a local Chick-Fil-A.

“All this exotic food, and you go for one of the most basic fast food shops?”

“Don’t disrespect CFA like this. This chicken sandwich is the backbone of this country.”

She rolled her eyes and wrinkled her nose in slight disgust when he poured a gloopy yellow sauce onto the top of sandwich bun.

“How the hell do you have that physique when your diet is shot to hell?”

“Hit the gym every night for an hour or two. Though, I haven’t gone since last Friday since I was so excited about my vacation. Heh, next week is going to be awesome.”

Daenerys shook her head and began picking at her food, eating and savoring it much slower than the person sitting opposite.

“Where are you even taking me? What’s so special about this place that you want to show me?”

He gave a sly smile.

“You’ll see…”

They finished their food and Jon practically skipped onto his feet as he gestured for her to follow. She would have found the sight adorable if the soles of her feet weren’t still cramping due to exhaustion. Was she really this much out of shape? It seemed that her physique in the mirror lied about the true state of her fitness.

When they reached the clothing section of the mall, Jon pointed his finger out to the Macy’s with the window pane exterior.

“That’s where I get all my essential accessories and shirts. Cologne, sunglasses, shoes, you name it. They’ve got it.”

Then, he moved his finger to a single level store with the Levi Strauss logo in the front of the store.

“That is where I get all my denim.”

“Two stores? Dull but convenient. You’re still the same Jon I knew from high school, aren’t you?”

He turned to her with a small grin.

“Don’t sell myself too short. I know a bit of luxury here and there.”

“Such as?”

“Leather. I love leather. I have a racer jacket and a nice watch with a leather strap that I like to wear when I go out to Chili’s.”

She gave a hearty laugh.

“Oh? What are they? H&M?”

He gave her a small smile.

“Coach.”

Daenerys stopped in her stride.

“Excuse me?”

He paused in his step to look back at her.

“What?” he asked, though his tone held a tinge of amusement to it.

“Did you say you have a Coach jacket?”

“Yes.”

“And you wear it when you go out to Chili’s?!”

“Hey. I like to eat fancy every once in a while, you know.”

Only Jon Snow would consider a 30 Stag Steak, served with mashed potatoes and a cold beer, fine dining.

“It’s not much farther, by the way” he informed her. “You coming, or are you going to stay stuck hanging back?”

Daenerys huffed out a breath but followed him, nonetheless.

She matched his stride as they neared what looked like the beauty section of the mall. However, Daenerys thoughts were still on the luxury that Jon spent on himself.

“You said you had a watch.”

He nodded from beside her.

“Is it Coach, as well?” she continued.

He shook his head.

“Oh… what is it then?”

“Omega” he answered simply, squinting his eyes from side to side as he searched for a particular shop.

Did he just say he had an Omega watch?

You know what, Dany? Just ignore it and move on.

“What are you looking for” she asked instead.

He ignored her question, full intent on the task at hand until-

“Aha!” He gave her another motioning gesture and walked towards a Salon with a black and white interior and modern lighting.

However, he stopped just near the entrance and turned to her.

“I’m going to swing by Levi’s to look for something. Why don’t you go ahead and go on in?”

She turned up towards the sign of the salon and looked back at him with one eyebrow raised.

“Are you trying to tell me I need work done?”

Jon rolled his eyes.

“Just go in! I’ll be back before you know I’m gone.”

“Jon, it’s a salon. It might surprise you to know this, but I’ve been in salons before.”

“I know you’ve been in salons before” he retorted.

“Then why are you dropping me off here like it’ll hold something of interest? Why can’t I just go with you to the Levi’s store? What, are you buying underwear or something?”

“Just trust me” he said.

He gave her no chance to respond as he turned on his heel and walked away. Daenerys watched him walk away before turning towards the entrance of the salon with a long sigh. He hadn’t done anything during her entire stay to indicate that he would betray her trust. If anything, he’d been a more than generous host during her stay with him.

She stepped, one foot in front of the other, all the way into the salon, admiring the modern furniture but not really understanding why it was worthy of so much attention. Was it nice? Yes. But she’d much rather have been at the Levi’s store with Jon than walking alone in this modern salon.

However, when she heard a familiar soft voice call out her name, she realized that perhaps Jon brought her here for a “who” rather than a “what”.

“Daenerys?”

She whipped around to the source and her eyes widened as a smile split her face.

“Oh gods…Margaery?!”

“Dany!”

The auburn-haired woman moved quickly to her with her arms outstretched and Daenerys was more than willing to take her into her embrace.

“Gods, what are you doing here? Scratch that, how have you been?!”

Daenerys gave a light laugh at her friend’s questions, not deterred with either one or the order they came in.

“I’m here on vacation. And, I’ve been doing well” Daenerys answered.

“That’s great. You’re a… actually, I don’t really know.” Margaery admitted. “I keep up with your Instagram but all I know is that you got your bachelor’s in communication.”

“That’s alright. I’m planning on becoming a spokesperson for children’s charities. I’m currently getting my Master’s.”

Margaery gave her an impressed look.

“I always thought you’d end up going into business or something. You always were good with numbers.”

“That was the original plan. But I found myself to a different calling after seeing so many homeless children while in Meereen” Dany sighed.

Despite the pride she felt in what she hoped to accomplish, Daenerys didn’t really enjoy talking about herself much to others. Especially about her career path as the betrayal of her father still stung.

“Enough about me” she said, “What about you? What have you been doing all these years?”

“Me? Oh, not much. I went to beautician school and here I am” Margaery replied, leaning back with her arms spread out to the inside of the salon, “doing what I love.”

She looked happy; which was saying something as Daenerys never really thought that this sort of job would be something Margaery aspired to be. Yes, it was a decent paying job but like all the wealthy students in school, Daenerys had assumed Margaery would aspire for something more lucrative. Hell, she actually thought that Margaery wouldn’t work at all and just be a stay at home wife while married to a rich husband.

“You’re married, aren’t you? I saw your wedding photos 3 years ago on Instagram” Dany queried.

Margaery brightened at those words.

“Yes, I am. I met him during my first year in cosmetology school. His name is Harry.”

“Oh, I’m happy for you. What does Harry do?”

“He’s a lawyer”

Daenerys gave an “ahh” face. That would certainly explain her carefree lifestyle. Her husband had a comfortable job while she could bring in her own money doing what she liked. Not to mention her inheritance from her parents. Yes, it seemed as if everything was going well for Margaery Tyrell.

“What about you?”

Daenerys blinked.

“Me?” she questioned.

Margaery gave a chuckle.

“Yes, you! Who else got engaged recently and has this beautiful ring on a certain finger?”

Daenerys’ eyes flitted down to her ring finger to gaze upon the object that should have made her the “happiest woman” in the world but felt nothing but hollowness in her soul. Nonetheless, she gave her practice smile to save face.

“It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?”

She extended her hand for her friend to take, and her friend took it within both of her own to examine it up close.

Wow… what is it? Two carats? Three?”

 “Four” Daenerys clarified.

Margaery’s eyes widened like saucers.

“That man must love you, girl. Congratulations. Is he here with you?”

Daenerys shook her head.

“I’m here by myself. Booked this trip to enjoy my last few days as a free woman. Getting married next month.”

“Understandable. So, you staying at a hotel or resort?”

Daenerys looked off sheepishly to the side.

“Well… not exactly?”

“What do you mean, not exactly?”

“I mean… I booked a resort for the entire week until I left Sunday but… they lost my reservation.”

“What?! How?!”

“I don’t know” Daenerys responded with exasperation. “That’s something I wanted to know myself, but they somehow did it.”

“So, what did you do? Did you demand a room?”

“I did, but they were booked until Thursday, today, and I wasn’t willing to wait. So, I told them to go shove it, and I hung up.”

A bewildered look crossed Margaery’s face and Daenerys dreaded the next question she knew was coming.

“Wait… so where have you been staying this whole time?”

Daenerys didn’t answer her as she looked around the salon, looking anywhere but her friend’s eyes.

“Daenerys.”

She finally looked into her friend’s gaze.

“Where have you been staying?”

“Well…uhm… at Jon’s” Daenerys replied with a winced look.

Silence.

Violet eyes looked into doe brown.

More silence.

Until.

“What?!”

-

The salon manager had ended up kicking them out due to Margaery’s loud octave outburst but had ordered her employee to be back for her 2 o’clock appointment.

They walked to a bench just outside Margaery’s workplace to sit down. Daenerys had then explained her situation to her friend, excluding all the details about Jon and the shirts that seemed to always cling to his sweaty and muscly body. However, she suspected that Margaery had a suspicion of her thoughts during those times. Not to mention the raised eyebrow she gave her when Daenerys spoke about the visit to Jon’s parents. Luckily, Margaery never interrupted or raised her suspicions to her as she finished her tale of the week as it currently happened.

“You have some of the worst and best luck at the same time, you know.”

“Yeah, I really do. Though, it started off all really bad. Like, extremely bad.”

“Can’t disagree with you there. Relocated flight, blown out tires and lost resort reservation. The gods really had it out for you.”

Daenerys nodded bitterly at the reminder.

“However, then came Jon. There’s your good luck.”

Daenerys turned to her sharply, eyes narrowed.

“What are you trying to say?”

Margaery gave her an unimpressed look in return.

“What? I’m not lying. All your good fortune came from meeting Jon. He fixed your rental car’s tires and ended up giving you a place to stay, free of charge. Seems like good luck to me. Why? What’d you think I meant?”

 It was best, in Daenerys’ opinion, that she ignore the question.

“I suppose you’re right. He has been a generous host since I’ve been here” she muttered.

“And all that because you’re getting married?” Margaery asked with a scrunched-up face.

Daenerys nodded.

“Well” Margaery continued, “in that case, I’m going to one up him.”

“You’re going to give me a house?”

“No” Margaery scoffed, “I’m going to give you a free makeover.”

Daenerys threw her head back in laughter.

“And how does giving me a makeover, one up fixing my housing situation?”

Margaery looked as if she had been struck.

“Self-care, Dany! Self. Care.”

An amused huff escaped Daenerys’ lips.

“Well, you aren’t wrong about that. And I did plan on visiting a beauty spa at my resort.”

Margaery clapped her hands together.

“It’s settled then. Swing by tomorrow? Or Saturday?”

“Hmm… Saturday. I’m actually going with Jon to the carnival tomorrow, and I don’t want to mess up your art from all the rides I get on.”

The moment those words left her lips, she instantly regretted them as Margaery’s eyes narrowed. However, it seemed that luck was ironically on Daenerys’ side when Margaery’s manager called for her to notify that her appointment had arrived early. Daenerys hugged her friend one last time before setting up a time for around 5 pm.

On her way to the Levi store, she met up with Jon just as he exited the store with a bag in hand.

“That’s a small bag you have there” she noted. “I must have been gone a good thirty minutes to an hour.”

“I was browsing around. Ended up only getting one thing” he shrugged.

“Underwear?” she asked with teasing grin, but he smiled at her question.

“Yes.”

He angled himself away from her but motioned with his head for her to follow.

“Come on, let’s go to Hot Pie’s and get those Lava Cakes I know you like. Freshly made. And you can tell me about how meeting up with that old friend of yours was like.”

And that was exactly how things had gone. She spoke to him about Marge and her marriage and career (she omitted the semi suggestive moments when he was brought up) and told him how Margaery offered a free beauty appointment in an effort to one up him. He chuckled at that.

Before long, they finally reached the wonderful aromas emitting from the bakery and Daenerys almost skipped in glee towards it. Almost.

Jon had lied. The line hadn’t died down one bit. It was torture, and Jon scratched his head as he fell victim to her rant. However, eventually with time it was their turn next.

They walked to the counter and she recognized Hot Pie immediately. He may have been 7 years older, but he still seemed to have the same baby fat he had as child, and his brown hair and eyes were a giveaway.

Hot Pie turned to them and broke out in a large smile.

“Hey, Jon! Haven’t seen you in a while. How you been?”

“Been alright. Busy with work and all but I’m finally on a deserved break. Brought this stranger with me to taste your baking.”

Hot Pie turned to her, and his eyes widened with recognition.

“Is that you, Daenerys? It must be.”

“Hello, Hot Pie” she greeted with a smile.

“Ah, it’s great to see you! Ah! I’d love to catch up but it’s rush hour out here, so forgive me.”

“Of course,” Jon nodded. “I’ll get a gingerbread direwolf and she wants a lava cake.”

“No problem” Hot Pie responded, moving to get the deserts that were currently in a warming oven. “You’re just in luck, lava cakes just came out a few minutes ago.”

Daenerys took the bag containing their deserts as Jon reached into his wallet to pay. However, it seemed that Hot Pie had other ideas as he waived them off.

“No, no, no. It’s on the house.”

Jon looked up to him with a frown.

“Are you sure? I can pay.”

However, Hot Pie waived him off again.

“I’m sure. You and your fiancé enjoy those desserts.”

Both Jon and Daenerys’ eyes widened like saucers at the implication and Jon immediately moved to their defense.

“Wait, we’re not-“

“Next customer” Hot Pie bellowed out, moving away from them and beginning to converse with the person behind them in line.

He turned to her with a dumbfounded look and she was sure that she was not any better; however, she knew she was worse as she felt her face burn hotly from embarrassment.

They walked quickly out of the bakery and towards his truck.

-

She was currently alone in the house. Jon had received a call from one of his workers and he apologized to her when he dropped her off at the driveway of his house. She didn’t know why. It wasn’t like she was entitled to his time.

He told her that he kept a spare key under one of the pots by the front door, and she nearly rolled her eyes at the cliché hiding spot. However, if he hadn’t dealt with any home invaders so far, then the hiding spot must have worked.

Daenerys moved one of the two pots and found the key on her first guess, but what stuck with her was that Jon refused to leave until she was safely inside. It was sweet, she thought.

But she had quickly realized with how little she had to do inside his home without him there. She had tried watching tv, but the idea that persisted in her mind gnawed at her until she could no longer take. The idea to explore the house and see it in its entirety.

She started with the bottom floor. Just as she expected, it was exactly the way she had built it with him when they were younger. Kitchen, living room, guest bedroom and bath. A wooden staircase that led to the upper level where she expected to find four bedrooms. Just to the off corner of the staircase was a door that led down into the basement. Jon had always wanted a “mancave” for the future.

Placing a hand on the dark wood rail, she realized that she was trembling slightly. During her stay with Jon, she hadn’t once stepped foot upstairs or even set foot on the first step. It felt almost taboo, like she didn’t have the right. However, something in the past few days had changed. The taboo feeling subsided and all that was left were the nerves of what she would find.

It was strange, really. She knew what she would find. She had designed it herself. But still… the slight voice in her brain told her that perhaps he had changed something in the design to suit his needs. And for whatever reason, the thought of the upper floor being foreign was heartbreaking for her.

With a deep breath, Daenerys placed one foot on the bottom step; after that, it was history. She did not stop until she reached the upper floor. And what she found was everything she expected to find.

Directly in front of her as she reached the floor was the doorway that led into the second largest bedroom of the four room. The room they had said they would give to their eldest child. Next to it was a room that was just a tiny bit smaller; the room that would go to their second oldest.

She placed a hand on the walls of the rooms and let it drag as she walked past them. Adjacent to “bedroom 2” was the smallest room of the bunch, the room that would obviously go to their youngest. And just across from the smallest room, was the master bedroom.

Daenerys walked tentatively towards the door and she could feel her heart pounding in her chest, practically hearing its thud in her ears. She placed a hand on the knob of the door and turned it slowly until she was able to push the door open.

A lavender aroma immediately struck her, and she felt her body walk automatically into the room. The walls were a pewter color that was accented with dark grey curtains on the window. Abstract portraits adorned the walls in dark brown frames that matched well with the mahogany furniture. The bedding itself was white, a safe but attractive color in the grand scheme of the room’s palette.

It felt warm. It felt cozy.

It felt like home.

She walked towards the bed and placed a hand onto the soft sheets. She felt the texture under her skin and inadvertently imagined what it would feel like to wake up in a bed like this every day.

She looked around the room the room to admire it in its entirety.

That’s when she saw it.

A small black box resting atop the vanity dresser that was located opposite of the bed. It caught her curiosity, because it was only a few months ago that she was presented with a similar box by the man she was currently deemed to marry. Daenerys walked forward and stopped with her hand resting beside the small black box. She tapped her fingers atop the wood and wondered what she would find inside.

Yes, it was true that the box was of similar size but that did not necessarily mean she would find a ring. It could be holding anything from a locket to a small picture. However, something caused her to look to the right of the box and she felt her heart go still at what she saw.

On the corner of the dresser was a small vase that held a single striped carnation.

It brought memories to that day and suddenly she could bear it no longer. Daenerys swiped at the box and opened it to reveal the object inside.

She could not stop the gasp that came, for what she saw was the most beautiful thing she had ever laid eyes on.

It was a ring. A ring that had two dragons acting as the band, the look and feel of platinum, and designed with such care and meticulous detail. The dragon heads converged together to a single gemstone at the top, a bluish-purple alexandrite.

She was sure that all she was doing was admiring it, but she seemed to have lost control as she plucked the ring from its cushion to examine it closer. And then, before she knew it, she was sliding off the ring she had worn for the past 5 months and sliding on this beautiful new object she had fallen in love with.

It fit. Perfectly.

Daario’s engagement ring fell out of her hand and onto the floor, but Daenerys did not take notice of it; instead admiring the dragon ring on her finger.

She smiled as she wiggled her finger, reveling and entranced in the look of it. It just felt right. It felt like it completed her. Like it belonged.

And with her joy, along came tears. Tears of happiness and sorrow.

If only things had gone differently, all those years ago.


Striped Carnation - The striped carnation is the counterpart to the solid colored carnation. It signifies a rejection of love, or a feeling of anguish at being unable to love someone and be with them.


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