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all the world's a stage

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i.  prologue

February 2020AC

Los Angeles, California

 

“Mirror.”

 

Daenerys peered at her reflection in the mirror her manager held up to her while he also went over the schedule for the evening’s events, like they hadn’t already been through it while she was getting ready all damn day. She studied her image, smiling at the reflection. She looked damn good. She knew it. It was for one very specific person in mind and she knew the moment he saw her in all her glory, he would be on the floor, regretting the day he ever met her.

 

Like he didn’t do that already.

 

She pushed the thought from her mind, handing the mirror back to Tyrion’s assistant, a young boy named Podrick who was far too innocent for the world they lived in, but he would figure that soon enough, working for Tyrion Lannister of all people. She handed her glittery bag over to her brother, who was barely paying her attention as he shouted into his cell phone at his assistant. She peered out the window as the car came to a slow crawl, in the infinite line of black limousines and SUVs that had made their way up to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.

 

Los Angeles was a detestable city, but she lived in Kingslanding, Westeros, so what did she know. Westeros was one of the largest cities in the entire world, with its own subset of cultures, attitudes, accents, and general psychosis, much like many large cities in the world. She felt her stomach flip, watching the entrance to the red carpet creep up. She glanced at Tyrion again. He was studying her, with that somewhat worried expression on his face. “What?” she asked, plastering her fake smile on her face and grinning like she actually cared.

 

It wasn’t that she didn’t care. She did. This was the culmination of years of clawing and digging and hauling her career from all but nothing. From the ashes, as it were. She had been a laughing stock, a tabloid goldmine, and the only thing anyone in the world knew about her was that she was the fallen sweetheart with the famous auteur brother and insane producer father, who made questionable life decisions and all but ruined anyone who came into contact with her. She was a dumb former teenage actress from an equally dumb and ridiculous television show that had made her into a star, the sweet girl with the sweet smile, who was never allowed to grow up.  Until she did.  Until she grew up and she turned into someone else, into who she really was and they turned on her.  She was a mess. She was nothing. She was a joke.

 

Tonight she was a sure thing for an Oscar.

 

It was all she’d dreamed about, since she was a little girl and watched her big brother, her perfect big brother who could literally touch anything and turn it to gold. Music, television, and movies, even artwork. Rhaegar was the world’s favorite son. Until like most stars, he shone so hot he burned out. Died early ike most young stars.  It fell to her to come from under his shadow and she had, until she’d lost that too.

 

She glanced at Tyrion again, smirking and covering the nerves that were roiling in the pit of her stomach. “Remember,” he said, last minute words of reminder before they would likely get separated on the red carpet or even if he did manage to speak to her, it would be obvious with her leaning down to listen to him or someone no doubt overhearing. He counted off on his fingers. “It is an honor to be nominated, as shit fake as that is.”

 

“Obviously.”

 

“You are so proud to be part of such a beautiful film showing the fragility of the human soul.”

 

Whatever.

 

“The honorary Oscar for Rhaegar’s charitable works and his contribution to film is why you are truly excited to be here, blah blah blah.”

 

Viserys pinched her arm, likely leaving a pink welt, and she smacked at him. He scowled, typical older brother, jabbing his phone in her direction.  “Don’t make that face, you’re going to smudge your makeup.”

 

Of course that was what Viserys cared about in the moment. “Fuck you, I don’t need to explain a bruise on my arm.” She leaned over and made a grab to twist his nipple, but he blocked her and merely kicked at her. She hissed at him like a cat, or perhaps a dragon, and he simply smiled, the shithead. Tyrion rolled his eyes and muttered something about children. She glanced at her manager as the SUV rolled to a stop, the sound of the crowd screaming, the various other stars and their teams climbing from cars, and the general excitement of everyone as they saw their favorite actors and actresses appear. “Anything else?”

 

The door opened and Tyrion leaned in so she could hear, while Viserys shouted into his phone, something about her next role not being that of a washed up actress, she was a star, godsdamnit, didn’t they know where she was at that moment? Naturally he was trying to get her another job immediately after this one.  Little did he know.  She felt her signature silver hair fall over her shoulder, flatironed to within an inch of its life, poker straight and down clear to her breasts, which were barely covered by her crimson Valentino gown. “Yes?” she called to her publicist, manager...whatever Tyrion was today in his endless rotation of faces.

 

He reached his hand to squeeze at her fingers, comforting but also warning. She squeezed back in understanding. “Do not,” he stressed, hissing into her ear. His face gave nothing away, and his lips barely moving to keep the reporters at bay in case they were trying to overhear. “Whatever you do, do not engage them on the Jon Snow rumors.”

 

She glared at him for dare saying that name. It was an unspoken rule set forth among her team to never mention him around her. The name alone sent a flush to her already pink cheeks. A flush that was only partly anger and the other part sheer wanton desire, curse her traitorous body. Her eyes fluttered shut for a brief moment and she saw flashes. She felt the flashes.

 

His hot tongue skimmed over her abdomen and with a wolfish grin, his mouth closed over where she craved him moment, throbbing for him, and she arched into him, watching beneath hooded eyelids as his dark head began to lave at her, one arm curled around her left thigh and the other reaching to sling her right over his elbow, splitting her open for his taking.

 

Take me, she begged, thrusting against his tongue, needing it everywhere. Take me now. Forever. I don’t even care. Take me from this world and we’ll never look back.

 

“Daenerys!”

 

She blinked, shocked back to the present, where Tyrion was glaring up at her, irritated she’d dared to not listen to him, especially at a time like this. Yes, he was saying something about….him. She looked out at the crowd, which still had not yet realized she was the one in the SUV, about to climb out and stun them with her comeback appearance. “Rumors?” she demanded through grit teeth. She gripped at his hand, tighter now, and felt him wince at the force.  Her words were clipped. “What. Rumors?”

 

His eyes widened, realizing he’d said something she hadn’t known about. “Dany…”

 

Since he wouldn’t tell her, she grabbed Viserys’s phone before he had a chance to shout at her and stared at the image on the screen, the star gossip blog blazing with the headline that sent her stomach plummeting to her six-inch platform heels.

 

Ice Queen Cometh! Did Daenerys Targaryen Sleep Her Way to the Coveted Role in Jon Snow’s Tragic Oscar-Nominated Film The Long Night? On-Set Screaming Matches, Diva Demands, and Fire Melting Ice Down-- We Have the Pics!

 

There, on the small screen, staring up at her right before she walked out onto the biggest stage of her career, with all the press and interviews and eyes of the world on her, was the image of her with her head thrown back, the silver hair that had all but made her famous, and a look of pure ecstasy on her face. There was no way to tell who the man was making his way down her neck, but she recognized that head of inky curls anywhere. So would people who had been following her and the movie. Fuck, so would anyone who didn't even care.

 

Bile rose into her throat at the idea she’d been captured in such an intimate moment. Her privacy had always been violated—people seemed to think she owed them something of herself because she happened to be on their television screens every week and then their big movie screens. This was different though. This entire thing felt…she felt disgusting all of a sudden. So she did the one thing she knew how to do. She pretended it wouldn’t bother her and she would make her people fix it. That was why she had Tyrion anyway. She glared at her publicist, and did not bother to look at the next photo, because she already knew it was one that had been circulating for over a year, of her and the movie’s writer standing outside of a famous restaurant screaming at each other. That one was old news. She felt her hands shake and begin to sweat. This was not the time. “Tyrion,” she demanded. She wanted answers. She wanted something to fix this. Now.

 

His eyes widened. He glared at Viserys, whose rage was barely contained beneath his placid, pale face. Accusing him, he pushed at Viserys's side. “I thought you told her!”

“No,” was all her brother said, all he likely could say without exploding.  Not that it would do much-- Viserys was more bark than bite.

 

I can’t, she thought, climbing fully out of the car.  She could not do this.  Not now.  She emerged entirely, bit by bit, her black satin heel touching the pavement and accepting the hand from one of the security officers as he helped her get out of the car. The tape that was holding the gathered fabric of her dress against her breasts, keeping them from spilling out and flashing everyone, strained, but she could barely focus on keeping her dress from spilling.

 

The enigmatic smile that she had perfected since she was 12-years old came easy to her and she held her hand up in silent wave, the large silver, onyx, and ruby statement ring that stretched in the form of a dragon over her fingers shining brightly in the LA sunlight. She carefully adjusted her hair over her shoulder like the stylist told her, to keep it from disrupting her look.

 

As she approached the first set of interviewers, one of the main television networks’ entertainment shows, she could hear people shouting from all angles. Photographers in the pool ahead, fans in the stands screaming for her, and journalists and bloggers and gods knew who else who had been able to get a press pass into the event.

 

“Dany! Did you really sleep with Snow?”

 

“So are you the real Ice Queen in the movie?!”

 

“Hey Targ! How’s it feel to finally melt ice?!"

 

All she did was smile, keep her famous amethyst eyes as unknowable and exotic as they were, and remind the world that she was Daenerys Targaryen. She was Hollywood royalty, she was America’s sweetheart—even though she was born and raised abroad—and above all else, she was a fucking professional and no rumors of impropriety and the bloodlust of the public to see her torn from her dragon, her chosen spirit animal as it were, and burned to ash, were going to take her down.

 

She was a dragon, she told herself, and lifting to wave against as they walked in and Tyrion directed her towards the first interview stall. It was Petyr Baelish, known among their world as Littlefinger, and he was already waiting, his eyes all but dancing with malevolence. He even gave her a small smile and a little shrug of his shoulders, as if to say “Well what do you think I’m going to talk to you about?”

 

So she steeled herself and she stepped up onto the dais, laughing when Petyr shoved the microphone into her face. “Dany, you look positively divine this evening. Step over here so we can see your dress properly.” Petyr could have cared less about the dress. Petyr was a critic of anything and everything, he loved to tear down anyone and he had his claws out and she knew it, practically sensing his lust for the kill.  He thought himself a professional gossip reporter, whatever that meant.  Mostly he stuck to the corporate politics of the Hollywood industry, but when he could dig into the personal lives of his subjects to get to what he considered the full story, he had no problem ripping them to shreds.

 

“Oh Petyr,” she said, waving her hand and adjusting so everyone could see the side of her dress. The floating, soft chiffon that stretched in two straight strips down to cover her breasts and attach to a gathered waist with a tie, before fluttering out to a thicker fabric that fell to the ground, a slit showing her toned legs and her dainty feet encased in her platforms. Even with the six-inch heels she was barely tall enough to look most men in the eye. She placed a hand showing the dragon ring in all its glory on her hip. Eyed the camera. “You’re too kind.”

 

He merely smirked. Shoved the microphone into her face. “So, Dany, tell us, we’re all wondering…” Here it goes. “What do you say to these malicious rumors accusing you of well, <i>impropriety</i> regarding your Oscar-nominated role tonight as the Ice Queen in film prodigy Jon Snow’s film The Long Night?”

 

Prodigy? Dany wished that the object of that adjective was standing around to hear it. She would have loved to see his disgusted reaction. No doubt accompanied with a glare and refusal to speak to the press before storming off. Typical artist. She put on a fake look of confusion. It was all about acting. Damn, she should have thousands of Oscars on her shelf for the way she acted in public. It was a formula she had perfected over the years.

 

A perfect, throaty laugh. A upturn of her lips. A quirk of her brow. A toss of her hair. A flick of her wrist. An eyeroll.

 

“I don’t comment on people who have nothing better to do but gossip about my love life.” She cocked her head. “All I have managed to hear is just the most wonderful things people are saying about Jon’s movie and let me tell you, he was an absolute joy to work with on set, his vision for this movie started years ago and as you may know, came first to the lucky ones who managed to see it on Broadway before its adaptation for the screen.” She surged ahead, Petyr’s annoyance that she wasn’t giving him what he wanted obvious. It only served to empower her. “I think Jon has made an incredible film and I am so grateful and so proud to be a part of it. I think he did an amazing job, just amazing, at translating the love and the frustration and the complex family dynamics that exist in times of struggle…setting all that against the backdrop of a war of ice is just…” She pressed her hand to her heart. Drawing attention to her chest, but at least it would distract most people. She closed her eyes and shook her head slightly. “I mean, it is just brilliant.”

 

Petyr wrinkled his nose; clearly pissed she didn’t take the bait. She was known for her temper, after all. He pretended to smile again. “So you aren’t going to comment then on the rumors about on set meltdowns?” He winked. “Pun intended, of course.”

 

She laughed again. “Oh of course. Well as you know artists are fickle creatures.” She winked at the camera. “I should know, right?” She saw one of the assistants behind the camera signal to wrap it up.  Thank the gods.

 

Littlefinger set his lips in a thin line, perturbed.  He brought the microphone back to him and turned to the camera.  A fake smile, gritting his teeth. “Well there you have it, Daenerys Targaryen, Lead Female Actor Oscar nominee tonight for The Long Night.”

 

“Thank you Petyr, it has been an absolute pleasure!”

 

“Good luck tonight, dear Daenerys.”

 

She leaned in to kiss his cheek, still grinning broadly for those around them. “Fuck you,” she whispered through her teeth, laughing and leaning to give him another fake kiss on the other cheek. Her hand gripped at his, crimson nails digging into his wrist, forcing him to wince and lean closer to her. “If you are behind that filth I will end you.” She rocked back onto her platforms, squeezing her fingers in a wave bye-bye to everyone and smiled again at Littlefinger.

 

Tyrion greeted her at the base of the steps as she moved along the carpet, closer to the drama. He said nothing as they walked, but she lightly bumped her fist against his, low enough that people didn’t see. Silent approval for how she had handled the situation. Of course she handled it right, she thought, the muscles in her face tight and cramping as she continued to smile, waving and blowing kisses.

 

It was showtime. If there was one thing Daenerys Targaryen knew how to do, it was act, and godsdamnit she was good. She stared straight ahead, the dragon queen marching down towards her subjects, prepared to conquer them.

 

Until out of the corner of her eye she saw the familiar profile of a man with unruly curls, barely tamed into a bun at the base of his neck, wearing an all black suit, no tie and no adornments. Silver glasses on his nose. He was speaking with one of the few outlets he would even deign to acknowledge, likely because it was somehow linked to his family and he could control the story, and when he turned, he caught sight of her and stared.

 

The gray eyes were almost drowned out from the fat black of his pupils. His beard looked like it had been trimmed since the last time she saw him and he seemed healthier. At least he was healthy. She swallowed the lump in her throat, straightened her back and even though Tyrion and Viserys both tried to grab for her, she tore away from them, marching towards him.

 

The interview over, with all eyes on them and cameras and gods knew how many other ways it was being maintained for all to observe, she reached for Jon, the throaty laugh echoing around them as she wrapped her arms around his neck, the heels bringing her almost to his height. “Jon!” she exclaimed. “My favorite writer!”

 

His lips brushed over her ear. “What the fuck are you doing?” he growled. Desire shot straight to her groin. Fuck. He pulled back, his teeth set and the warning flashing in his eyes even as he pretended to smile. He was good at this, even if he mostly refused to play the game. “Daenerys!”

 

Another laugh and she leaned back in to kiss his cheek. “How did they get those pictures?” she hissed. He grabbed his arm around her waist, his warm hand splayed over the exposed small of her back. A tiny gasp came out before she could stop it, the softness of his black suit jacket hitting against the exposed skin of her chest and belly. It lurched her forward, tottering in her heels. She gripped at his shoulder to steady her balance, pretending like they were still hugging after a long time apart.

 

In reality, she felt his fingers tighten at her back, all but branding her with his mark. His eyes may have danced with merriment at being on the red carpet at the Oscars, to the average onlooker, but if anyone was as close as she was, they could hear the wolfish snap in his voice. “I don’t know, why don’t you tell me?”

 

“I have no idea,” she whispered.

 

“Fuck you don’t.” He let go of her and wrapped his arm around her waist, smiling and gesturing to her as though she were a prize he’d won at a fair. He leaned back in again, whispering into the silver hair covering her ear, all but muffling it. “For my sake, I hope you lose tonight.”

 

“Dany! Over here, give us a smile!”

 

“So are you two lovebirds making your debut tonight or what?!”

 

“We love you Dany! Ever since you were Princess Periwinkle!”

 

“Jon, any truth to the rumor you’re working on a new film inspired by the Dragon Queen here?”

 

It was all just noise to her, nothing to be bothered with, but she knew that the newcomer next to her despised it with every fiber of his being. He’d prefer to be hiding inside his wolf cave with his ancient typewriter and his nonstop diet of whiskey, cigarettes, and coffee. She fixed her purple eyes on his storm gray ones. He cocked his head, still pretending to smile. “You broke my heart,” she grit out. Grinned wide when she saw someone waving a photo of her when she was a teen, in that horrid television show they loved about spunky Princess Periwinkle.

 

He turned to give her another kiss on the cheek. “Didn’t know there was a heart to break.” He brushed his shoulder against hers, returning to his agent and manager, kind Davos, who gave her an apologetic look before scurrying after his stalking wolf of a client, who disappeared in the throng of people to hide in the theater.

 

All she could feel was pain.

 

It radiated through every limb of her body and it seemed her heart had become a block of ice. She blinked at the bright flashes of cameras and light displays, the heat smothering her in the sticky Los Angeles evening. She kept the smile on her face and continued to walk, taking careful steps before angling again at a new area of the carpet, doing her job.

 

She was Daenerys Targaryen. She was a fucking dragon. She kept smiling, tossing her hair over her shoulder here and there; hand on her hip, angling here and there to show off her body and her dress and her shoes. Answered questions about the movie, flattering Jon at every turn as the savior they wanted to make him into, giving her this amazing opportunity and even adapting his characters from the West End and Broadway productions, stretching his talent at every turn.

 

By the time she finished on the carpet and got into the theater, she was exhausted. She closed her eyes briefly as the usher led her to her seat, in the front row of the theater, where she would be on camera the entire evening, likely the brunt of the host’s jokes, and no doubt would have to laugh and pretend to be Princess Periwinkle for part of the host's opening monologue.  No doubt it would be not funny, but taking the piss out of one's self was important in this industry and she of all people needed to remember that.  Especially now.

 

As she greeted her other co-stars, feisty little Lyanna Mormont who played the strong tomboy daughter and was nominated that evening; Tyrion’s brother Jaime who she could not fucking stand but whom she would rather spar with any day of the week, and she even managed a polite smile to Jaime’s manager, twin-sister, and enemy of Tyrion, Cersei…Dany was ready to collapse. Except now the real show began. She leaned over to Viserys, who was still working on his phone, probably the only thing he knew how to do. “I have something to tell you,” she whispered.

 

“What’s that?” he barely acknowledged. He glanced sideways, tearing his gaze away from the stories about her long enough to press her purse at her hand. He scowled. “Fix your lipstick.”

 

She rolled her eyes, but shoved her hand into her bag to grab at her lipstick. She leaned closer to him. Here it was.  Now was the best time, all the cameras on them.  Viserys knew what that meant.  “Whatever happens tonight, win or lose, I’m done. I’m out.”

 

That caused his thumbs to stop moving on the keyboard. She held her breath.  He rotated his neck slowly, lilac eyes on hers. They looked more like twins than even Cersei and Jaime, who had matching golden halos and lion-like green and gold eyes. The Targaryens' natural silver hair and purple eye coloring was almost as if the gods had created them for show business.  Viserys cocked his head slightly, a strand of silver hair coming out of his styled ponytail. “Oh? Out?” he leaned closer. A smile twisting and his eyes going unhinged. “Dear sister, you better be telling me you’re coming out. As in, out of the closet. Like, you’re fucking a woman or something. Is it Yara Greyjoy?”

 

Oh he’d love that. Would make it easier for him to manage with the press. She patted his hand. “No big brother. I'm out as in I’m done. No more acting. I’m finished.” She pretended to exclaim in surprise at the sight of a famous multiple-Oscar winning actress Olenna Tyrell, who came over to wish her luck—she’d already been told by Tyrion the woman would greet her upon entry to the theater, per Tyrion’s agreement with the dame’s assistant, just in time for the primetime cameras to pan over.

 

It was going to be the evening of her professional career. Daenerys Targaryen had a show and she would certain perform. Lights, camera, action, she thought with a flash of her eyes, meeting Jon’s gaze across the aisle, where he was seated a few rows back from the front, where the actors sat.  He no doubt would have preferred not to show, but per the contract, he had to be there.  She was glad for that. She smirked in his direction, hoping to irritate him, but there was no heat behind it. No threatening. He knew it too.  Judging from how he smirked back, only his had heat.  Anger.  Hurt and pain.  She tore her eyes from him, feeling the same hurt and pain.

 

As glorious as this evening would be for her career, win or lose, she was tired. She was done. Jon Snow had extinguished the flame. It had been there, raging, and after all the time...all the fights and laughter and everything else...she was so done. Tears pricked her eyes again. She blinked at them hurriedly.  Took another breath.  Began to applaud when the lights went down a bit more.

 

Viserys would lose it if her eye makeup dared to smudge.

Chapter Text

ii.

December 2017

London, England

 

This was getting embarrassing.

She sat practically in the center of the restaurant, surrounded by fat men in suits conducting business meetings. It was a prime location to conduct her business of course, strategically located near her apartment and the production offices they housed in London. She would, of course, much prefer to be back in Westeros, but they couldn’t have that. No one really cared for her strange country and its strange ways, so she’d had to move farther out to be noticed, not go running and hiding in the comfort of her family’s old drafty estate where she could pretend she was a child again.

A child with no friends, no future, and no hope, a nasty voice reminded her. She reached for her glass of water, draining it in the hopes of drowning out the voice. Her lavender eyes lifted to see a few of the men at another table glancing at her, likely debating whether one of them should come over and ask her if she’d like a drink. She took a deep breath and reached into her clutch, removing a compact and doing a quick sweep of her appearance.

Silver hair twisted in elegant braids, like usual. Light makeup, only some mascara and lipstick and a sweep of eye shadow. She didn’t want to intimidate the man. Didn’t want to draw attention to herself, she was simply here for business. The black designer suit she wore clung to her curves and the Oxford shirt buttoned straight to her neck, with a dainty dragon chain serving as her only adornment. And her mother’s ring, of course, always on her left index finger.

One of the waitresses walked by, wincing, but apologetic. “Ma’am I am so sorry but if your lunch date does not arrive within the next ten minutes, I am afraid we will need the table.”

If she were Viserys she would have shouted do you know who I am?” and made a scene. Thank the gods she was not Viserys and her stupid brother was not there. So she placed on her placid smile that signaled neither acquiescence nor defiance. “Oh dear, I am so sorry, perhaps he is in traffic. I’ll give him a call, thank you.” She really could have used another martini, but that had been drained and the glass taken away almost twenty minutes ago.

This was embarrassing, she thought, yanking her phone from her bag and hitting her brother’s number. It rang only once and his thin, slightly nasally voice greeted her. “What?”

“He isn’t here,” she grit between her teeth, which were grinding so hard in the back she feared she might need to get new crowns. She kept her voice as low as possible, lest someone overhear her. It didn’t appear as though anyone had recognized her; right now she was just a sympathetic woman whose date stood her up. She pressed her fingers to the bridge of her nose, pinching. “Did you confirm?”

Viserys cursed under his breath and she heard him rummaging in something. He seemed out of breath. Gods knew what he was doing. Or who he was doing it with. She tried never to find out what went on in her brother’s wing of the townhouse. “It’s confirmed,” he said a moment later. He snapped. “I talked to his manager…a Davos Seaworth. What kind of fucking name is that?”

What kind of fucking name is Viserys Targaryen, she felt like snapping back, but she had no time to argue with Viserys over trivial matters like names. She growled. “And what did Davos say?” She knew Davos was his manager. A literary manager, but a manager nonetheless.

“Said he would be there.”

Well clearly the manager lied to them or he lied to his manager. Something told her it was the latter. The stories she’d heard of the man lent itself to that belief. She hung up as Viserys began to complain about how bad this would be for her if she got snapped sitting alone at a known restaurant for business deals. What would they say? She would listen to him bitch later. She had to get out of here before someone recognized her or before one of the fat businessmen she recognized as Bobby B, a known pervert in the world of television, came to ask for her number or to get her a drink. She stood, throwing enough cash down to cover her martini and whatever the water and bread cost. It was like penance, she thought, grabbing her Celine bag, tucking her wallet into the folds as she clicked on her Chanel heels out of the restaurant.

Just when she thought she could escape without further embarrassment or with anyone recognizing her, she was stopped at the door, a young woman approaching her from where she had been standing by the bar with some friends, likely waiting on their reservation. The young woman was dressed in designer clothing and had an air of wealth about her. “Excuse me,” she called. She had her phone out.

Dany took one look at the photo on the phone and felt her heart sink to her stomach. This was not going to be pleasant. She gripped the handle of her bag so tight she felt the bronze of her mother’s ring cut into her skin. Her teeth had to be ground to nubs, but somehow she kept them set, a beaming smile on her face. “Yes? Can I help you?”

The girl gave her a look of disgust. “I cannot believe you did what you did! Drogo deserved better than you and now he’s dead! It’s all your fault!” She almost began to cry there, clearly having some obsessive attachment—like most young girls in the world—to her former husband.

A couple of the other girls gave her disgusted looks as well. “You are such a whore,” one of them spat out. “For what you did to him!”

All it would take was a nice open palm against the girl’s pretty little face. Maybe dislodge the nose job she’d clearly had done. They always thought it was her fault. She was the easy target. Seven hells, she was still alive after all. It was always Danys’ fault. Never mind Drogo had been high as a kite when he’d gotten on his motorcycle. Never mind it had been raining. Never mind his buddies hadn’t bothered to call the emergency services for too long after the accident. Never mind all that stuff, no it was Dany’s fault because she’d gotten in a fight with him and left him on his movie set. She’d disappeared and run off with Daario Naharis, the smarmy action star.

Of course there was a good year and a half gap between when she met Daario Naharis and when Drogo died, but what were facts when you could make up your own story about someone you never met?

She fought the urge. The dragon temper she’d spent years cultivating. Meditation exercises. Yoga. A nice hour or so with a pair of boxing gloves and a sand-filled bag. The occasional trip with her head of security to an out of the way old farm where she would take a fucking flamethrower to piles of leaves and sticks and scream as she let out the aggression. It was managed, she liked to think, so she would not smack the ever-loving shit out of this pack of vipers. Girls were the worst, she thought, still smiling like she had just taken several hundred Xanex. The imagining of the slaps was enough or her in that moment.

“Have a nice lunch, I hear the risotto here is excellent,” she merely said in reply, as the girl shouted that she needed to trade places with Drogo. Would people say that to someone they knew or was it just me? She handed her valet ticket over and fumbled with her sunglasses, wanting to hide the tears that pricked at her eyes. The tears that if she dared let them fall in public would be almost as shameful as being stood up in front of a bunch of her peers.

She climbed into her car, sat behind the wheel for a moment and stared ahead. Fire blazed in her eyes. The target of her aggression. If she couldn’t’ take it out on those insipid girls for calling her names and shouting at her in a public place, causing a scene that someone probably took a picture of and was posting on a gossip rag, then she could take it out on the person who stood her up.

Knuckles burned white, her fingers gripping the steering wheel as she made her way back to her townhouse. The temper began to rile up. Viserys would be home, but he was used to her rages. He would no doubt be in one as well for what this was doing. Or not, he thought this was a stupid plan.

She was going to burn Jon Fucking Snow to the ground if she ever got her hands on that good-for-nothing lying Northman. She didn’t care how good of an author he was. How good of a playwright. Fuck, she didn’t even care if he was good looking, which her best friend often reminded her of when they discussed this project. To Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow was a means to an end and right now he was going to be an end that winded up dead when she got her claws into him.

 

 

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

“Vis! I’m home!” She dumped her purse and shrugged off her suit jacket, throwing the both of them onto the foyer table, her car keys clattering into one of the glass catch-all dishes beside Vis’s various keys and assorted items from his pockets. She probably should have hung everything up, put them all in their place, and perhaps even tried to keep her suit from wrinkling, but right now she didn’t care.

She still felt the fresh sting from the comment of the random girls in the restaurant, the hostility they felt towards her still so unfamiliar, even after growing up in that world. Seven hells, Dany, she chided herself, pausing to take a few cleansing breaths. She was nearing mid-thirties now. She was washed-up in her profession—depending on whom you asked.

And it seemed her entire legacy was going to be that she was the daughter of a disgraced producer—Mad Aerys with his pyromania issues, burning down sets and the like for money—, sister of a great actor who died too young, onetime famous child actor, and…and the downfall of Khal Drogo, famous action star particularly known for his Westerns, since he loved horses so much. Sometimes she thought he loved his horses more than he loved her. Probably did, he was her first…first everything and in the end he was the first thing people usually thought of when they saw her name.

She ascended the staircase in the main foyer, with its shiny oak bannisters and abstract paintings along the wall. The townhome in London was one of a few homes she had in her name, but it was not what she would consider a home. She took the right set of stairs that split at the top, leading to the half of the home that belonged to Vis. She knocked on the wall as she made her way towards wherever he might be, just in warning. “Oh brother,” she sang, leaning against a wide archway to his media room, where she found him lying on his stomach on the floor, magazines and newspapers spread around on the floor and his tablet in his lap, no doubt a gossip site on the screen. She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, lounging against the wall. “You have to stop reading those things.”

“You have to stop engaging the fucking tweens.”

“Rich, coming from someone with the shortest temper known to man.”

He scowled at her. His silver hair was stringy and hanging around his face and bags were under his eyes. He probably hadn’t slept in a couple days. She walked over to a desk in the back of the room, swiping off empty pill bottles. “Your entire career is appearing in the rags,” he announced. He got to his feet and she was surprised to see that he had allowed his black silk Gucci shirt to get wrinkled. He was fastidious. He picked at imaginary lint on the sleeve. “We have to do damage control.”

“You ever think the damage control makes it worse?” Each time he and Tyrion sent her out to do something, whether it be a charity event or a movie premiere or some kind of talk show to talk about her brother’s legacy or whatever, it always ended up in people talking about Drogo’s death and her “alleged” role in it, or her rebound Daario coming out of whatever shithole he’d been in at the time and reminding the public of his heartbreak.

Then Daario’s shitty action movies would sell big, he’d run a race of press junkets, using her name to propel him forward, and all the insipid women who watched him because they secretly wanted to be with him would gang against her and all the men who watched him because they secretly wanted to be him would also rail against her. Then any movie she made or any appearance she held, she would somehow get vilified.

Daenerys Targaryen, the Dragon Queen.

At least it was something sexy like a dragon, she’d always tried to spin. Viserys would just dive into a hole of alcohol and drugs, lamenting the day that Rhaegar died and he got stuck with her. Tyrion would apologize and try again, but it was no use. She just hoped that this gamble with acquiring the movie rights to Jon Snow’s beloved play would work out.

Targaryens were kind of batting zero-for-three in the post-Aerys entertainment world. She glanced over at Vis, who had rolled onto his back, lifting his legs up in some sort of complicated yoga pose. “Dunno,” he answered, waving his hand and snapping his fingers towards his desk. “Get me my medicine.”

She rolled her eyes, walking over to the desk and opened up the drawer that should have housed pens and pencils, but instead was filled with various types of drug paraphernalia. She was pleased to see it was just pot at least. If he was back on the hard stuff, it was hidden somewhere else. “Perhaps you should go for the real medication, not the naturals.” She knew it was no use, so she picked up the slim metal case where he usually kept his already rolled joints.

Part of her wanted to partake, but she needed her wits about her for her next move when it came to Jon Fucking Snow. She handed him the case. Vis took it, but didn’t open it. His purple eyes, lighter than hers and more deranged, narrowed on her. “The real medication makes my head fuzzy. I need to be working on my comeback.”

His comeback. Vis was not an actor and never pretended to be. He wanted to be a better version of their father. King of Hollywood so to speak. Kingmaker, even. Aerys had been mad. He’d driven their family’s production company into the ground and anyone who was anyone broke away immediately and ran for other companies to attach their projects. Robert Barathon, the fat prick, had been the worst, taking just about everything their family had built up and just slapped his name on it.

She had plans for the comeback, both of their family and of her career. “I told you, I have plans for that,” she reminded him, sinking onto a plush black velvet ottoman. The entire room was done in shades of black, gray, and red. Vis preferred to live in their family’s ancient history of dragonlore and fire. She folded her hands in front of her, draping her arms over her knees. “I’ve got everything under control.”

It was a relatively convincing lie, if Vis wasn’t sober. He scowled. “That play?” He snorted, picking up another magazine and scanned over the cover. He turned and pointed at the bottom picture, of her and Daario. It was from over two years ago. “A play isn’t going to get rid of this.”

“I’m not interested in getting rid of that. I want to make a name for myself as something other than Princess Fucking Periwinkle.” She pushed her fingers up through her hair, knocking askew some of the braids. It was her signature. The braids and the red lipstick and the ever-present dragon ring on her left index finger. It belonged to her mother. It reminded her to stay grounded at all times. She began to twist it, speaking out loud, since Vis was likely ignoring her. “It’s a gorgeous play. I saw it five times in New York and twice when it was on West End.”

“Hmm,” he hummed.

She took a deep breath, closing her eyes. “It’s a good gamble. We secure the rights. He’s already got the screenplay finished.” That might have been a bit of a stretch. From her last conversation with Davos Seaworth the screenplay was still in the lad’s mind. She wasn’t sure what that meant but from limited conversation she realized that for a manager, Mr. Seaworth had very limited involvement in his client’s life. Or rather, it seemed, Jon Snow didn’t give a shit about things like deadlines and contracts.

It seemed even Viserys had paid enough attention to the information on the play, even if he hadn’t bothered to go with her to see it. He got to his feet and flicked open the case, removing a joint and walking over to his desk to snag his lighter. He shrugged a shoulder as he lit up. She rolled her eyes when he made to try to puff out a smoke ring. His gaze landed on hers again. “The play is about zombies and monsters and shit. I thought you were done with that after Princess Periwinkle.”

“That was basically a teen drama set in medieval times with dragons and shit, this is different.” It was the fight of one family set against the backdrop of a never-ending night. Death coming for them, led by Death himself. Yes, it was essentially zombies versus the world, but it was so much more than that. She loved it. She loved the human interaction and the relationships and the characters. She pushed up from the ottoman. “You may not think its worth it, but I have a controlling interest in the company too and we’re buying the rights. This is going to be big.”

“What makes you think this Snow fellow will let Princess Periwinkle, murderer of Drogo and the breaker of hearts buy the rights to his play?” Viserys demanded. He arched a slim dark eyebrow. “Maybe he’s avoiding you for a reason.” He scowled. “Did you wear that suit to the meeting? Gods, no wonder he didn’t show.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fuck you Vis.”

“I was going to find someone to do that, yes.” He picked up his phone, scrolling through to find someone in his contacts who he’d likely invite over for that very purpose.

While her brother engaged in his favorite pastime—debauchery—she adjourned to her side of the house. She shed off her suit, kicked her heels into the closet, and promptly dropped several inches. She always got a kick how people thought she was taller on screen. The illusion was courtesy of some decent blocking and a stepstool when she was beside other actors much taller than her.

She entered the bathroom across the hall from her main suite, flicking on the light and studying the sudden gleam of gold and silver. Just as you entered the guest bath, you stared straight at an old color image of her with a bright smile, a pile of silver braids, and a periwinkle dress, holding her first Emmy and looking so innocent and triumphant. She was 18 at the time, playing a stupid princess character. She won the award for Comedy. It certainly was, the entire thing was a joke.

The Emmy itself sat atop a shelf near the bathtub. As did the other two she’d won for the damn show. By the time she got the third one, Princess Periwinkle was in its fourth season and she was sick of it. She hated that she had to always be the good girl, the sweet little princess. She’d done a movie not long after where she’d had a fairly raunchy sex scene and took her top off. The backlash was immediate. Oh no! Princess Periwinkle showed her tits! Whatever will we do!?”

The show was canceled due to low ratings after its fifth year. Thank the gods, she’d thought at the time, since that was when she had run off with Drogo. She surveyed the other awards. The Emmys, a couple Golden Globes for the same role. She’d gotten a few lesser-known theater awards thanks to a couple turns on the stage. She’d even won a Drama Desk Award for a musical she’d done. It wasn’t enough though. She wanted something more…something that was serious. To show she was serious.

She left the bathroom, shutting the door behind her. It was odd to keep your awards in the bath, but she never wanted to take herself too seriously. Never wanted them to be the defining thing in her life. Which somehow they had become.

“The Imp is here,” Vis yelled from somewhere in the house.

“We talked about this,” Tyrion’s voice filtered up from the foyer. “I don’t respond to Imp or Dwarf.”

Viserys wouldn’t care, he was a prick. She leaned on the railing and called down. “I’ll be there in a moment.” She wanted to change out of the uncomfortable suit. She returned to her bedroom, doing just that, and putting on a pair of jeans and a large cashmere sweater. Her braids stayed in their complicated style and she slipped her feet into ballet flats.

The massive sheaf of papers that was the play’s script and all the accompanying contract documents were on her bedside table and she snagged them up, along with two of Jon Snow’s novels, which he also had written with similar characters. She jogged down the steps and greeted Tyrion with a peck on the cheek. “You look comfortable,” he said, following her into the big study off the main living room in the back of the house. He glanced over his shoulder. “Is Viserys going to be here for this meeting?”

“Viserys is busy with Viserys.”

Tyrion merely grunted in acknowledgment, hopping into a chair on the other side of the desk. He accepted the glass of Arbor Gold she handed him, choosing a soda and lime for herself. She sat in the chair opposite, waiting for him to speak first. No doubt he had something to say otherwise he wouldn’t have come to see her in person. He sighed, flicking open his leather portfolio. “You aren’t going to like it.”

She pinched the bridge of her nose with one hand. “Tell me.”

“Full creative control.”

“Fuck him, no way.”

He sighed. “It gets worse.”

Her jaw set. Violet eyes flashed. “How much worse?”

Tyrion winced. “He doesn’t…um…he wants you to audition for the role.”

Audition?! Her mouth fell open in surprise. She snapped it shut almost immediately after, grinding her back teeth. The muscle in her jaw hurt as it ticked. “He wants me to audition for a movie that my production company wants to secure rights to?” Her nostrils flared. The nerve of this man! “Does he realize that no one else is coming to call for his play? Just me. I’m the only one that wants to make this bigger, I’m the only one that sees it for what it is?”

“Something tells me this Jon Snow character doesn’t care much for attention.”

“Then why the fuck does he write award-winning plays and novels?”

The little Lannister shrugged and casually sipped his wine. “Perhaps he just likes to write?”

I’ll give him something to write about. Her temper was flaring. She needed to keep in check before she did something stupid. She took a few deep breaths. The rage began to quell slightly in her belly. She crossed her legs and arms, staring over at Tyrion. “Call his manager. Tell him that I am willing to allow him full creative control over the script, but that if he wants me to audition for the role, it will happen in my production studios in London. Where does he live anyway?”

“I believe his manager said that he lives on his family’s estate, up North.”

“Scotland?”

“He’s from Westeros like you, but yes, he lives in Scotland most of the time.” He studied her for a moment, his voice quiet. “I believe it will be a good thing. I think this is worth it. It’s a fantastic part and it will be a perfect vehicle for you.”

“I hope so.” I need a fucking win.

He sighed again. “Did Viserys tell you the other news?”

“He failed to mention anything.” Probably didn’t want to deal with her wrath. Or he forgot. Entirely possible. She really should have poured herself a real drink, not soda and lime. She sipped at the beverage, trying to pretend it was something stronger. “What now?”

“Apparently Daario is doing a story for Hello claiming that he has indecent photos of you.” Before she could start snapping at him, he held up his hand. “I’ve already looked into it, he’s bluffing. He only wants this story because of the word on the street that you are getting the rights to The Long Night and will be starring in it.” He frowned. “Although…do you really have a dragon tattoo on your ass?”

It’s not on my ass, she thought with a scowl. She jerked back the sleeve of her sweater, showing him the three dragons inked on her left wrist. “These are the only dragons I have.” She got up from the chair and went around to her desk, dragging the papers towards her. “Now, let’s go back over this contract before we send it to the lawyers. I’ll deal with Jon Snow.”

“And how might you do that, Your Grace?”

She shrugged, flicking open the binder with the latest version of the contract. “I’ll use my charm.”

“And if that doesn’t work?”

“Then I’ll burn him alive.”

 

 

 

 

~/~/~/~



December 2017
Winterfell Estate
Inverness, Scotland

 

“You have got to quit smoking.”

Jon puffed on the last bit of the cigarette in between his lips, shaking his head as his fingers flew over the old keys of his vintage manual typewriter, the letters smacking angrily against the piece of paper trapped in the spokes. He shook his head. “Can’t,” he muttered around the cigarette. He took another breath, smoke escaping from his nose as he puffed it back out. It burned, but he ignored it. “Keeps me writing.”

A snort from behind him was the reply. “Because it’s an addiction you dumbass.” His little sister Arya was probably the only one who cared enough about his health to try to get him to quit. Quit everything that was good, oddly enough. Quit smoking, quit drinking, and quit coffee. Gods, what was he left with if he didn’t have nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine? He’d never get anything done.

The script for the movie version of his play was practically finished. Davos had convinced him that Three Dragons Productions was the best bet when it came to the money they were willing to put up for the rights. He’d had his sort-of lawyer and best friend Sam give the initial contract a once-over and agreed that it was a good deal. Really good, in fact, since they were just about willing to give him anything he asked for. Yet, he didn’t want some former child actor to be the one to play the part of the main sister.

Arya emptied the trashcan, overflowing with crumpled paper, cigarette ash, and coffee cups. “This place stinks.”

“So open a window.”

“When do you go to Los Angeles for all this stuff?”

“I’m not.”

“Okay then, New York?”

“I’m not.”

She dropped the trashcan and scowled at him. “Well then what the fuck? Where are you supposed to go to sign this crap?” She picked up one of the copies of the contract. “Three Dragons has headquarters in LA, NYC, and London.”

“London, but I may not even bother, I can sign a contract and send it to them that way.” He had to finish this script. The movie version was a pain in his ass, he was going to strangle Davos for even suggesting they try to get bids on the rights. He’d turned down at least four other production companies, including Fury Stag, which had made some of the biggest blockbusters in the last couple of years. He just didn’t like the look of Robert Baratheon when he’d initially met him. Dude wore too many gold chains and had a shifty look about him.

Even if Robert Baratheon did know his uncle, from their time in the military, and even claimed they were good friends. He sniffed at that statement; he knew that his Uncle Ned was close with Robert Baratheon, but after the military, Baratheon had gone on to make a name for himself with his family’s media industry and Ned Stark had returned to Winterfell and kept the family businesses of coal mining, whiskey distilleries, and outdoor recreation equipment going. Winter is coming, he thought idly, remembering his late uncle’s constant warnings.

It was a motto to always prepare, always be watching and waiting, and he didn’t trust Baratheon. Yet somehow the earnestness with which Three Dragons wanted his play spoke to him. He couldn’t put his finger on why. So he worked on the script with the understanding it would be them to purchase the rights. Except he didn’t want this Daenerys Targaryen to be the one to play the role of Millie, the lead character and the one all the other actors revolved around. Millie was strong, fearless, and deeply flawed, not something that the former Princess Periwinkle could do, he determined.

He stubbed out the cigarette and reached for the pack beside him, but found it empty. He patted his pockets and then began to rummage in the drawers. “Where did you put them?” he demanded, climbing out of his chair and rounding on his little sister.

She smirked. “In the trash.”

“Seven hells, Arya!”

“Get a vape pen or something, just stop with the cancer sticks.” She walked over to study the pile of papers on the desk, shaking her head. “I cannot believe how old fashioned you are, using a typewriter instead of a computer.”

“I use a computer.” Once he had it written out on the typewriter. He would scan it in, do his edits by hand, and then make them on the computer. It was just the act of typing it out manually led the thoughts to make more sense for him. The story was easier to see in his head. He picked up his slim MacBook. “See?”

He followed her into the kitchen, where she dumped the trash. He set about making himself another cup of coffee. “Decaf,” she ordered, going to the pantry to grab it. She must have brought it because Jon wasn’t sure he had ever bought decaf coffee in his life. She opened up the pantry door and sighed. “Oh I meant to ask, why are your Tony Awards in here?”

“Because the hall closet was full with the others.”

“So weird.”

He whooped when he yanked open one of the drawers by the coffee pot, swiping a pack of cigarettes he must have placed there at some point, and sidestepped Arya trying to knock them from his hand. “Come on boy,” he called, his wolf-dog Ghost getting up from his place in front of the fire and trotting after him.

The crofter’s cottage where he lived was on the estate’s property, so his siblings were never that far away. He had bought it from his uncle before his uncle passed and hadn’t wanted to leave after then either. It served its purpose for him. He could write in peace, it was under his uncle’s name so he didn’t have to worry about people trying to find him, and it had enough land around it that he could go for runs that lasted hours when he wanted to clear his mind or take Ghost on long walks.

As they did now. Ghost sniffed around, leisurely making his way down the winding drive, following some animal’s scent. Or Arya’s tire tracks. The snow crunched under his heavy boots and he felt the late December chill on the back of his neck. He’d tied his hair back from his face earlier that morning because he knew he’d be writing most of the day. It hadn’t fallen out of the bun yet.

He flicked the collar of his wool coat up against the wind, wondering why he hadn’t thought to grab a scarf on his way out the door. Ghost reached the end of the drive and began to trot down the road. It was one of the many roads that wound its way through the estate’s lands and usually no one was on it, unless they were trying to take a shortcut from one village to the other. Except in winter it was pretty treacherous. Arya’s Ski-Doo was how she made her way there in the winter. He had his old, trusty Land Rover Defender.

So when a pretty shiny black Range Rover made its way towards him, creeping at a snail’s pace, he frowned, ignoring the urge to light a cigarette and shoved his hands into his pockets. He waited for the car to come to a stop, the brakes squeaking. He arched his eyebrows slightly and peered curiously at the woman who rolled down a window. She was pretty, that was his first thought.

And she was Daenerys Targareyn, was his second, recognizing her immediately. Even without makeup and wearing a chunky knit sweater and puffy ski jacket. It was the silver braids. “Hi,” she laughed, leaning out the window a bit. She glanced at Ghost, who looked up at her with equal curiosity. “Oh…hello there puppy.”

Ghost cocked his head at the term puppy. He smiled, looking from his wolf to the Targaryen woman. “Can I help you?” he asked.

“Um, yeah I’m looking for 998? The GPS stopped working once I got onto the estate.”

“Hmm…nope.”

She cursed in an unfamiliar language. He thought it might have been one of those old dead languages of Westeros. Not many people knew them; then again, not many people left Westeros for the rest of the world. She sighed, tapping her fingers on the bottom of the steering wheel. “Okay…all these roads look the same with no signs.”

“Are you looking for the main estate?” Please say yes. Although he knew she was looking for him. The address for his house was technically 998 Winterfell Estate.

“No, I’m actually looking for Jon Snow? Do you know him?”

It was then he was grateful he never allowed his photograph to be used on the back of his novels. He preferred the mystery. Instead of answering, he challenged her back. “And who are you exactly?”

She smiled brightly. “I’m Dany. I have a meeting with him.”

“You do, huh?” He thought that meeting got canceled. Didn’t realize that it was moved to his fucking house. She had balls, he’d give her that.

The curiously colored purple eyes rolled and she leaned on the steering wheel again. “Yeah, well, he’s been ignoring me.” She glanced at him and shrugged. “Thanks anyway.”

He removed a cigarette, smiling as he placed it between his lips. “No problem.” He flicked his lighter over it, taking a drag as he watched her drive off, the SUV rumbling down the worn snow on the road. He chuckled, glancing at Ghost, who seemed confused by the entire situation. He nodded towards the house. “Come on boy, let’s see how long this lasts.” It was greatly entertaining, no matter how short the exchange would or would not be.

A laugh escaped from him, something he really didn’t do often, and it felt rusty. Ash coughing out of his lungs at the same time. He took a deep breath of cold air and paused at the end of the drive, waiting for the SUV to crawl back towards him. This time she was not wearing a nice little smile, but was scowling. “You’re Jon Snow,” she accused.

“Guilty.”

“You’re an asshole.”

“And you don’t do your research.”

She glared at him and he had to admit it was kind of attractive. Princess Periwinkle didn’t look like how she did now, that was for sure. He remembered Arya watching it nonstop as a kid. There was a cute little purse to her lips and her forehead furrowed slightly. The flash in her eyes was what did it. He pulled on the cigarette to calm himself. “I need to talk to you,” she announced.

“Call my manager.”

“I have. He says you aren’t taking calls.”

“Then I’m not taking calls.” He wasn’t interested in dealing with her right now. Except it seemed his wolf had other ideas. Ghost jumped on the side of the SUV, nosing at the open window. He sighed. “Traitor.”

“At least your wolf wants to talk to me.” Her voice dropped to a coo. “Hello sweetling, want to get in the nice warm car? Come on then.” She leaned over and opened the door. Ghost, more human than dog, nosed it open and hopped up into the passenger seat. She smirked. “You coming?”

He rolled his eyes and made to climb in, but she pushed at his arm. “What?”

“Get rid of the cigarette.”

Ugh. He stubbed it out on the bottom of his boot and shoved the stub into the cellophane package. He climbed up beside Ghost and pointed towards the drive. “That way.”

“Thank you.”

 

 

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

“Oh my gods, Oh my gods, Oh my gods.”

“Arya, shut up.” His sister was being so embarrassing. Sometimes he forgot that she was considerably younger than him and her response to the former Princess Periwinkle standing in his kitchen was a reminder. He opened the fridge and removed a bottle of water, passing it over to Arya to give to Dany. She insisted he call her Dany instead of her real name. Daenerys.

His sister ignored him, leaning over the kitchen island and gaping at Dany, who was smiling, rather genuine, at her. “I mean, yeah I loved the show of course, I wanted to be Princess P, but what I really liked were those action movies you did with what was his name…Daario?”

If Arya didn’t see it, he did. The flicker of irritation and also disappointment across Dany’s pretty face. Except she smiled, genuine again. “Yeah, those weren’t the greatest, I’m glad someone enjoyed them.”

“I liked the movie you did what what was his name? Drogo! My sister Sansa loved him. He was like her guilty pleasure or something.” She made a face. “But I always like the strong female characters. They’re the best. I hope my brother doesn’t do anything too stupid. I think you’d be great for his movie, play, whatever he calls it these days.”

He really had to get rid of her. Arya was his favorite for a reason and unfortunately that reason was because she cared about a lot of stuff. Now it was causing problems. He nudged at her. “Don’t you have somewhere to be?”

“No.”

“Oh yeah, I think you do,” he said, pushing her towards the door. He leaned in and hissed into her ear. “Let me do this. I’ll talk to you later.”

She made another face and pushed at him, wagging her finger and widening her eyes. “Don’t fuck it up.” She looked around him and beamed, waving at Dany. “I’ll talk to you later! Also, can you maybe sign my Princess P Blu-Ray? I’ll bring it back later.”

Dany smiled briefly and nodded. “Of course. It was nice to meet you Arya.”

“Oh my Gods, Gendry is going to be so jealous of me.”

Why would Gendry be jealous…he rolled his eyes. Nevermind, he couldn’t think of his sister and his sister’s friend-who-is-a-boy-but-is-not-a-boyfriend. He slammed the side door behind her and then closed off the mudroom. It left them in the small, warm kitchen with the fire roaring on one side of the wall. On the other side was the living room, with the overstuffed chair, ottoman, and couch, along with Ghost’s flannel pillow covered in rawhide bones.

He nodded towards the door to his study. “Let’s go in here.”

“Do you always live like a hermit?” she asked, shrugging off her fancy jacket. The cream-colored chunky knit sweater she wore should have dwarfed her completely, but it clung perfectly to her curves and hung nicely over her dark jeans, which were tucked into tall ankle boots. She left the jacket on one of the island’s chairs and entered the study. “Ugh, it reeks in here, do you do anything other than smoke and drink?”

“Sometimes I sleep.” He stepped into the study, unsure why he was uncomfortable with her in his space. Normally he didn’t care what people thought, especially if they were the ones uninvited. He scowled. “I’m not done with the final draft of the script yet.”

“Well we don’t need it to get the rights. We need the rights to distribute and make the film. I’ll get the final script once we get the rights.” She stood before one of the many bookcases crammed into the study. It used to be a bedroom, but he had no use for two bedrooms. She tapped her finger on one of the spines of the books. “I read your book.”

He rolled his eyes; that wasn’t much of a compliment. “Everyone read my book.” The book in question was a bestseller. Winter is Coming. His uncle’s words, the Stark family words, and the warning that thread through the theme of the book. People liked what they couldn’t understand. They all thought it was a thriller. It wasn’t, it was supposed to be an allegory of trying to predict the future. In the end it didn’t matter, it made him a lot of money.

She shook her head, bypassing the copy of Winter is Coming. for a slim, small hardcover. She turned and held it up. His eyes widened in brief surprise. The Night’s Watch. It was one of his first books. “I meant this one,” she said.

“No one read that one.” He frowned. “I wrote it in the military.”

“Yeah I know.”

Maybe she did do her research. He frowned briefly. “You read that? No one read that book.”

She set the copy down on the shelf and left the study. He heard her rummaging in the bag she’d brought in with her. Guess they were done with the pleasantries and she was going to try to get him to read that damn contract. Except, she returned and handed him a small black book, the cover and edges worn almost to the binding. He took it from her and realized it was a copy of The Night’s Watch. He flicked open the cover and was surprised to see that it was marked up. Neat handwriting filled the margins, underlined statements and passages, and some were highlighted. There were even Post-Its along some of the edges.

“Wow,” he murmured, glancing to meet her smirking gaze. He felt slightly chagrined. “You did read it.”

“It’s a series of interconnected stories that take place on the single night from the point-of-view of seven characters,” she said. She shrugged. “My favorite was the one with the Night Queen. I like how you reuse some of your characters from this book and put them in the play.”

“Yeah well, like I said, no one read this book.” He turned to a couple of the most heavily bent and marked pages, glancing down at it again, his voice soft. “Except you it seems.”

She chuckled, leaning against his desk. “I spilled coffee on the part where the Lord Commander and the Night Queen give into temptation and make love.”

He laughed, noting that yes, there was a large crinkled coffee stain on the pages of that particular chapter. “I put that in there for my sister.”

“The one I met? She wanted a love scene in this book?” She laughed. “I wouldn’t have pegged her for that.”

“No, my other sister…cousin I guess they really are, but they’re more like my siblings.”

Dany arched an eyebrow. “Oh yes, the sister that likes Drogo.”

He smirked, noting some of her observations in the book were right on with what he wanted the reader to get from those particular scenes. He was slightly impressed. “Yes well…” He sighed. “She hated how I always wrote stories with no love in them.”

“I was wondering that myself.”

He spoke before he could stop himself, the words tumbling out in a soft murmur. “It isn’t real.” He lifted his gaze to hers, seeing curiosity reflected back at him. “I write what’s real.”

“Zombies and dragons and monsters are real then?”

Touche, he supposed. “They aren’t real, but what they represent is. Fear, hate, and death.”

Dany lurched forward from the desk, her eyes widening and her voice filling with passion. She reached to take the book from him, almost gripping at his wrists as she did. “That’s why I want to make this movie. I want to have other people see that. Understand it.”

Fuck. He was buying into this. He ran his tongue over his teeth and crossed his arms over his chest, squaring off against her. She stared, unblinking, waiting. He blew out a hard breath. “Fine,” he mumbled. She gasped, almost about to celebrate, but he held up his finger, warning. “I want a good director.”

“Absolutely. We’re looking at getting Oberyn Martell.”

“That fucknut? No way, I want Margarey Tyrell.”

Her eyebrows flew to her hairline. “Margarey Tyrell? She’s an indie director.”

“And she’s good and I want her directing this.” He’d done his research too. They wanted Martell because he was a big name and he came with a lot of his own money. With that, he also came with drama and Jon didn’t want drama. Margarey was capable and he liked some of her movies. He smirked at her suddenly unsure expression. Her forehead had wrinkled briefly as she chewed her lower lip. “You said you wanted to take a risk. Take a risk.”

She took a deep breath and nodded. “Okay. No one wants to take a risk on this but I am, I promise, I’ll do what you want for it.”

He narrowed his eyes, still curious about this entire endeavor. “So what’s in it for me, at the end of the day?”

Dany waited a moment and took a step towards him, her voice soft. It had a nice, husky quality to it. You’d think she would come with a high-pitched squeaky voice, for someone so tiny and so feminine. She was a mess of contraditions, he was noticing. “Me,” she said. She lifted her brows when he frowned. “Someone who read your book, someone who doesn’t take no and who drives up here to this godsforsaken place to find you.”

“You could be a stalker.”

“Please,” she scoffed. She rolled her eyes. “You aren’t cute enough.”

He smiled. Turned back to the desk and picked up her book. He flicked to the page he wanted, keeping it open before him. His gray eyes met her purple ones. She waited, her breath catching in her throat, wondering what he was doing. He glanced at the book again. “Page 54. First line. What is it?”

She gaped. “You’re serious.”

“I am. You tell me. You tell me that line; you have the rights to the play.” It was a test. All he wanted to do was see if she really did know her shit. He waited, patiently, for her response.

To her credit, she mulled it over a moment, puffing her cheeks out and gritting her teeth. “I act, without an audition.”

“Yes.”

“Okay.” She waited a moment and then stepped towards him, snatching the book so fast out of his hands he felt at least a thousand paper cuts on his thumbs. He hissed in pain and she scowled, angry. A temper flared up and her purple eyes darkened, flashing with fire. “I am not going to debase myself and prove to you that I’m your number one fucking fan to get this movie.” She stormed out of the office, snatched up her bag and coat, and walked out of the house, slamming the doors behind her.

He waited a beat, glanced at Ghost, and shrugged at the wolf’s exasperated look. “What? I just wanted to see if she knew it as well as she claimed she did.” He was going to give her the rights regardless, but this was more entertaining. He shrugged and went back to the mudroom and grabbed his jacket. He never did get to finish his cigarette before she arrived.

After a few minutes outside in the cold, Ghost sniffing around at his feet, he looked up to see her car reverse back down the driveway. Interesting. She jumped out of the driver’s seat and stalked to him, all fire. She smacked the book against his chest and her eyes widened, meeting his and unblinking. “The Lord Commander reached for her face, the cold angles warm in his hand. She stared and did not move as he drew her towards him. Fire and heat, ice and cold, they should not have found the other, they should not want the other, and yet they did, and yet against his better judgment, he was willing to throw his vows, throw his honor, and throw her against the wall.”

He squinted. “That’s not the first line,” he murmured.

She grinned. “No, because it’s the second.”

Huh. He flicked to the page and stared. Sure enough, it was. He looked at her for a moment, unsure what to say. She patted his face, her small hand warm against his cool cheek. “I’ll see you later Jon Snow.” She turned, sauntering to her SUV, and with a finger wave, drove back down the drive, nothing but taillights and steam from the tailpipe.

Wow.

Ghost whined, one of the only sounds he ever really made. His red eyes blinked up at him, waiting for something. He shook his head and chuckled, still holding the book she’d left with him. He flicked through some of the other pages and shook his head, marveling at her observations. He managed to get back into the house, kicked off his boots and ignored the package of cigarette, the tumbler of whiskey, and the pot of cold coffee, instead sitting in front of the fire, Ghost jumping to curl beside him.

Once he finished reading the book, finished with all her little notes and comments and questions, he fished his cell phone out from between the couch cushions, hitting the contact for Davos. It rang a few times and the gruff voice of his manager filtered through. “It’s me,” he greeted. He stared at one of the comments on the page, smiling to himself. “Yeah…get the contract. I’ll sign it.”

After a few minutes discussing the decision with Davos, he tossed the phone aside and continued to stare at the note. He wasn’t sure why it was so important to him. Or was bothering him this much. What is duty compared to a woman’s love?

He tapped his finger on the note in the margin, frowning and staring into the fire, watching the flames crackle and spit up into the chimney. It was exactly the question he wanted the reader to ponder, something an old mentor told him once. He furrowed his brow, slumping further into the couch, and began to wonder about this Daenerys Targareyn, who did not seem at all like what she appeared.

Chapter Text

iii.
January 2018AC
London, England

 

Final edits were the worst for him. He constantly second-guessed everything he'd written. Plus, even for a neurotic writer, he really hated reading his own stuff. He scowled at the pages, marking his red pen over a line and replacing it with a new one. He had already submitted the final draft for the casting directors and everyone else involved in the movie. He left everything to the Targaryens and their other financiers for the movie. Davos told him not to worry about it, he was not on the hook for production. Except I do have creative control, he thought idly, focusing on that line in his contract. Creative control, plus the rights to The Night's Watch and Winter is Coming. He'd approved those so long as this one succeeded. If it didn't work out, he'd take back the rights. He was shocked that the lawyers agreed to it.

She must have really wanted this part, he thought, studying one of the monologues from the play that had to get cut up a bit for the movie. Things about timing, blocking, all other kinds of movie terms. He ran his pen around the middle of the page, staring at the courier font. MILLIE. Millie, the older sister of the family, the one who was fearless, strong, independent...in the end she was the one who was destined to defeat Death. The Night King. He frowned a bit. In the play, the Night King had been an unknown apparition. It was sound effects and lighting tricks to create the fear. Death took no real form until it was upon you, that was the point.

He swished his lips around and kept circling the name. Daenerys Targaryen and her determination for this part. There had been some irritation by one of the other studios putting up money for this movie that they weren't going to use the actress from the play. She hadnt wanted to make the movie transition and he hadn't wanted her to play the role in the film anyway. The film role required...more. He wasn't sure what that was. He hadn't been sure it was Dany until she'd thrown that stupid challenge in his face. She was something else.

Arya was all too happy to give him the scoop on her favorite television character. Except that was all he got. Everything about Princess Periwinkle from how she hatched her dragons to how she defeated evil witches, fell in love with a prince who in season three died and had to be reborn in fire...gods it was a comedy? Yup, she'd laughed, it was a comedy, it was funny and smart and Dany was hilarious. It was a hit. He couldn't believe it. He had asked Sansa, his other sister, about the famous Daenerys Targaryen and got an earful.

"She's an absolute nightmare! Do you know what she did to Drogo?" she sniffed.

"No, what did she do?"

"Oh gods, she married him, tricked him, and then she did nothing when he got on his motorcycle! I think she was even there when he died and did it himself. She didn't even go to his funeral! She just disappeared and then she shows up with that Daario! And then she broke his heart too!"

"Sounds horrible."

Sansa scoffed. "She is. Horrible. Do you know her family has a history with ours? Remember Father's friend Robert? I guess her older brother met Aunt Lyanna at some event she was attending with Father and Robert and he just stole her away!"

"You do realize Lyanna is my mother," he reminded her.

"Well Rhaegar might have been an amazing actor, did you see his last movie? Broke my heart. Anyways, he broke Lyanna's too becasue he died and she didn't even get to say goodbye to him. I think his family had somethign to do with it too. Daenerys and that creepy brother of hers lived and he died. So unfair."

Sansa really had a passionate dislike for them and he supposed she would, she had always liked to hold grudges, whether they made sense or not. She still didn't like him near as much as his other siblings, blaming him for taking their father's attention from her when he was a boy, because he was the orphan and well, she took after her lady mother who Jon did not like to speak ill of, but who was a right bitch. Thank Gods she'd moved back to Westeros and was living with her family.

Also funny to him that Sansa was a journalist for Northern News Network, or 3N, and she was so biased. At least she kept to things like fighting for Northern independence back in Westeros, trying to make it a separate city unto itself. Good luck with that, he always thought, it was a pipe dream. He hoped if Sansa ever did meet Dany during the shooting of this stupid film that she'd behave herself appropriately. Sansa did have a horrid crush on Jaime Lannister, who had already been cast in the male lead, the Lion Knight. Seemed appropriate for a showbiz family who called themselves lions.

He didn't have a lot of issues with who they were currently casting, but he was sure that would change soon. He'd already gotten a call from Davos saying that they were going to film in Iceland and in the studios in London. Fine by him. They want to use green screen, only if we get the budget so it doesn't look fake, he'd warned. Fine. He stared at the page, letting his coffee grow cold beside him.

A shadow fell over the page and he looked up, exepcting it to be one of the baristas of the coffee cafe demanding he leave or buy something else, they wanted the table. Instead, he was peering up at the dancing violet eyes of Dany. "Hi," he blurted, surprised to see her. He pulled the binder back so she could sit across from him, a large leather tote propped on her knees. He cocked his head, studying her outfit. "You look...different."

"It's the scarf." Yes, that was it. He'd seen her a handful of times on video calls, but not in person, not since that day in the cottage. He felt a bit guilty for judging her on sight. He was still a bit gun-shy when it came to his work. Still expecting people to drag it through the mud, take ita way from him, the one thing he'd come to claim for his own. He leaned back a bit and narrowed his eyes on the scarf that wound around her head, hiding her silver hair from his and the rest of the world's sight. It was kind of a dead-giveaway.

I wonder if it's natural. He squinted at her as if trying to see if there were roots showing. Then again, there were other ways....whoa. Down boy.

She opened up a folder and checked the contents, folding it back up. "The studio was going to courier this to your manager, but I thought...I'd bring it to you in person."

He took the folder, glanced inside, and spied the final stamped contract. He shoved it into his beat-up leather messenger bag beside him and folded his arms on the small bistro table. "I guess that brings me to the obvious question," he announced.

"And what's that?" She didn't wait for his response, snagging a passing barista. "Excuse me, can I have a horchata? Thank you." She turned back to face him, adjusting the end of her scarf over her shoulder. For a brief moment the sunlight streamed in and bounced slightly off the end of a strand of silver-gold hair escaping from the scarf, curling over her shoulder and around her neck to her collarbone. It reflected back at him in a bright flash of her violet eyes. He felt his throat go dry and suddenly his fingers cramped, wanting to write the description before he lost it otherwise.

He carefully removed his pen from beneath the binder and grabbed one of his worn notebooks, flicking to a blank page and slowly began to scrawl. He cleared his throat, knowing she had asked him a question, but he wanted to get this done. She craned her neck. "Stop reading over my shoulder."

"What are you writing so intently?"

"Nothing. A thought."

She chuckled. "You're an odd wolf Jon Snow."

That was one of the nicer things he'd been called in his life. He tilted the book up a bit and kept writing, but he smiled in spite of himself. Morose, brooding, bastard, prick...yes he'd been called a lot. He was even surprised he was smiling. Not like he had much to smile about in recent years. "I wanted to know how you knew I was here."

"Your little sister gave you up."

Godsdamn Arya. He scribbled out a word and changed it on the line. Exotic. That's what she was. Not foreign. "Oh she did, did she? I'll have to lock her in her room."

"She's cute."

"Don't let her hear you say that, she's a jiu-jitsu black belt."

"Damn."

"I know." It terrified him what he knew his sister was capable of doing. She'd recently begun practicing with a bo staff. She kept saying she was planning to use it one day to defend herself when Sansa finally decided to try and kick her out of Winterfell. He sighed. "So she gave me up, huh?"

Dany smirked, but instantly changed it to a beaming smile at the barista, who set her drink in front of her and glanced at him, gesturing for his empty cup. "He'll have another triple espresso," she ordered. She waited for the woman to walk away with his empty cup and grinned at his lifted eyebrows. "Of course that's what you drink, right?"

How did she know? "Arya?" he questioned.

"No, just guessed. Your left pinkie twitches. You're either coursing with caffeine or you're jonesing for a cigarette."

"Little bit of both."

She opened up her binder again. This time it was to the final script he'd sent out to them all. She tapped her finger on the main page, her eyes widening slightly. "I called your manager, but Arya picked up his phone. I said I'd like to set up a meeting, one you would of course attend this time, to discuss the script and some comments I had on Millie. She gave away that you were in London for other meetings and that I could probably find you here."

The cafe was tucked in a narrow street in Notting Hill and yes; he did prefer to hide out here when he was in London. He had a flat not too far away that's only purpose was for when he needed to be in London for meetings or for when one of his plays was on West End and he needed to show up for rehearsals or opening night. Beyond that, he preferred to hide up at Winterfell. It was easier for him. He rarely returned to Westeros, too much...stuff there. He cleared his throat again and narrowed his eyes on hers. "Wait..." She said something that stood out. "Attend this time? What meeting didn't I attend?"

Her perfectly arched eyebrows almost went to her hairline. "Oh? You're going to pretend that you let me sit in a restaurant by myself for almost an hour before I had to leave or else get kicked out?" Hurt dripped in her words.

He instantly felt guilt for something he was clueless about. He cocked his head slightly and furrowed his brows to a point. "I have o idea what you're talking about."

She scowled. "You should go into acting Jon Snow. You're good."

"Trust me, I'm really not." He had experience hiding his emotions on his face, but at the end of the day, he was shit at keeping his true feelings silent for very long. He picked up his phone and scrolled through the calendar, seeing nothing about meetings with her in London. "You wanted to set up a meeting," he said. He remembered that. "But I didn't want it to be in London."

"Yes, I wanted it to be in London, you wanted it to just go through couriers and I said no."

"No, Davos said..." He trailed off as her face suddenly went blank. Blank rage, he recognized. No one probably would have seen it otherwise. Except he was good at this type of thing. It had been his defense mechanism growing up. Observe constantly, never show your true feelings. Her left eye twitched, ever so slightly, and he saw her nostrils flare. He glanced at the ring on her left hand. A dragon. That's what they called her. The Dragon Queen. He smiled briefly. "I take it you know what happened."

"I'm going to kill him."

"Davos doesn't forget things."

"No, not Davos. I'm sure he did absolutely nothing wrong of the source, I mean my brother."

Oh, that guy. "Viserys?" he tested, the name unfamiliar on his tongue. It was foreign. Daenerys was exotic, Viserys just sounded...odd.

She nodded. "Yes, he's kind of a nutter. He's my older brother, my manager...producer..." She waved her hand vaguely and rolled her eyes. He understood that more than anyone. His relationship with his siblings was equally odd, depending on the sibling. She sighed hard. "He's got his demons like anyone, so whatever you heard...it's probably true, but..." She shrugged again, her voice going soft. "He is my brother."

He wouldn't pry, knowing too much about what she meant. Then there was Rhaegar, he thought. He knew his mother had likely had an affair with him. Lyanna Stark had been...well, he hadn't known her, but from all accounts she was wild, willful, and bold. He wasn't sure who is father even was, she never said. He briefly wondered if it was Rhaegar, but his uncle told him that her affair with Rhaegar happened too long before his birth. In the end, it didn’t matter. He frowned, reaching for his espresso and took a long, bitter sip. It burned going down and he wrinkled his nose slightly. After a moment, he let the cup clink back into the tiny saucer. "I'm sorry."

"For my brother?"

"No, for standing you up. I'd never do that, even if I didn't want you to be in the movie at first." He ducked his head, apologetic. "And I'm sorry about that too."

She waved her hand again. "I'm used to it." She seemed like it was water off a duck's back, but he knew better. He knew the hollowness in her voice, probably more than anyone. She smiled tightly. She was a good actress, but not that good to hide from him. "But I hope I've proven you wrong."

"You have. You did already I just..." He tapped his pen on the top of his notebook,s earching for the words. He coughed slightly and laughed a little. This was so stupid. "I'm not good with...with words."

Dany made an unladylike snort that had a couple people looking their direction. She giggled. "Seriously? You've won Tonys and Oliviers for your writing and...and you've been shortlisted for a Pulitzer. But you're not good with words?"

It was easier to write them than it was to say them. It was a bit of an outlet for what he couldn't put into words verbally. He closed the notebook, hooking the top of his pen on the cover. His hands spread over the cover and he studied the table for a moment before lifting his gray eyes to meet her violet ones. "I'm sorry about before too."

"You're doing quite a bit of apologizing Jon Snow."

"Yeah well..."

She briefly smiled and sipped at her drink. A bit of the hot milk remained at the top of her lip and he had the urge to suddenly lean over the brush it away with his thumb, but she merely darted her tongue out and captured it, smacking her lips before going for another sip of the drink. He swallowed the lump forming in his dry throat. She chuckled. "You going to watch my drink all afternoon? Or perhaps you should answer me this question...you lied to me when I was on your street."

A dark smile twisted on his lips. "That was for fun."

"You're dark Jon Snow."

Some people really didn't know how much, he figured. He was the meloncholy bastard son of Lyanna Stark, unwelcome in his own home, and always trying to do something that was just for him and no one else. So when he had a chance to do something...different. He did it. "I thought it was funny."

"Hmm, I didn't, driving around in the snow."

"You should have known what I looked like."

"Funny that, you don't have your picture on the back of your book covers." She reached into her tote and took out Winter is Coming for emphasis, tapping her index finger on the back inset cover, where it simply had a blurb about him. She had painted her nails a stormy gray, he noted. She smiled, reading it out loud. "Jon Snow soared onto the literary scene with his breakout novel Winter is Coming, followed up by Dark Wings, Dark Words.. Snow is also an accomplished playwright and won two Tony Awards, three Olivier Awards, and numerous other acclaims for The Long Night and True North. A native of Westeros, Snow lives in Scotland with his wolf Ghost." She set it back down, smirking at him. "I'm surprised people think your real name actually is Jon Snow."

"It is." His birth certificate may have held Stark, because of his mother, but he never really felt like one in name. He preferred Jon Snow. His uncle Benjen called him Snow when he was a boy, claiming he only ever saw him truly come alive when he was out playing in snow. He shrugged at her. "Your point?"

She set the book down. "My point is Jon Snow that you can be a dick, but..." She smiled briefly, nodding towards his bag, where the contract sat. "We have an agreement and we have to work together. So no mroe standing me up."

"I didn't stand you up, i didn't know about it."

"Fine, then no more pretending you aren't who you are."

He smirked. "Can't really do that now, can I?"

She continued, undaunted. "And you have to answer one question and then I'll leave you alone."

Well that would be fine. What a deal. He shoved his notebook into his bag and reached for the script, covering it before she could spy all the red markings with his edits. "Fine, one question." He picked up the rest of his espresso, draining the cup.

Dany finished her drink. She turned the cup around a few times on the saucer and lifted her gaze to his again. It was unnerving. Her voice soft. "Why did you sign the contract? Why did you agree to turn your play into a movie? Why me?"

That was way more than one question, but he said nothing. He supposed he should answer that. He wasn't really giving off signs earlier that he was okay with the whole situation. He blew out a hard breath and glanced aside, focusing his attention on a group of people who had been eyeing them for the last few minutes. He kept one eye focused on them while he answered. "Because..."

"I have a lot riding on this you know," she interrupted. She jabbed her finger on the binder, leaning forward and her curious expression turning to a hard glare. That dragon ire was building in her again. "You have your books and plays, but this is pretty much it for me. It tanks, you can walk away with your other two books and turn them into movies with someone else."

Something told him it wouldn't work out like that. He really wasn't sure why he'd agreed to that term. Maybe because he'd keep working with her. He immediately ducked his head and glanced at the binder. It was one thing to fight her in his house, on his turf, when he had prepared for it in some way. It was another to be off-kilter in a land that was not his, in a world that was all hers. He shifted for some sort of purchase, something he could hold onto. He pulled at the edge of the binder. The words on the cover screamed up at him, slipped into the clear front.

 

The Long Night

Screenplay by Jon Snow

Adapted from the play The Long Night, written by Jon Snow

 

Why did he do this?

He knew why. He knew why he decided to make this into a movie. It hurt him to think of the reason. He closed his eyes briefly and saw her, grinning briefly, one final kiss before she left. When I get back, we should talk about how you can make a movie out of this, you know I hate plays."

Yes, she hated plays, hated sitting through them. "Oh I do, do I?" he teased. She hadn't even read his books, claiming they were too much.

She rolled her eyes and grabbed her pack, flipping her fire-red braid over her shoulder. "Gods, you know nothing Jon Snow."

He lifted his gaze to hers again. "It's a long story," he finally said.

Dany tapped her fingers on her empty mug. "It's a good thing you're a writer."

He briefly smiled. He looked away, back to the crowd that had gotten up from their table and were slowly walking to the door, still glancing at them. He clenched his hands into fists, an automatic reaction to perceived threats. Keep walking "Well I do think you aren't...terrible."

"Oh, well then," she laughed. She lightly touched her fingers to her chest. "Such wonderful sentiment."

He was about to say something else, something about how she cared, maybe too much, but at least she cared, when one of the people broke off, a young woman with her phone in her hand. He leaned forward, instantly on edge, his hackles raising. He wasn't sure why he felt so protective over her, maybe it was her reaction to when Arya had brought up Drogo and Daario, the hurt and the irritation in her eyes. He kept his mouth shut, waiting for the first move. The young woman leaned around and lightly touched Dany's shoulder, forcing her to turn quickly, surprised. "Excuse me," she said, gesturing to her phone, which had an image of Dany up from a movie poster for one of the action films she'd done with Daario. "Are you Daenerys Targaryen?"

instead of giving that genuine smile she'd given to his sister and nodded or otherwise admitted to her identity, she placed a quizzical look on her face and spoke, surprising him into straightening up when instead of her husky, slightly British-accented voice he knew was a Crownlands accent from Westeros, she had affected something he thought was more in line with Americans, a bit nasally and drawn into the back of her throat. "Oh no, I'm sorry, I get that a lot! Wish I was though, you know?"

"Oh, you do look like her."

Dany shrugged and held her hands up. "What're you gonna' do you know?"

"Oh...I guess..." The woman seemed to frown and then glanced at her phone gain. "Huh. You do look like her."

"Well like I said..."

"It's fine. We were just going to say that her last movie was terrible, she should do a Princess Periwinkle reunion or something," the woman laughed, turning and walking back towards her friends. One of them said loudly "I told you it wasn't her!"

Ouch. The hurt in her eyes was palpable. He uncurled his hand and covered hers briefly. He wasn't sure why. "You okay?"

She laughed, making a face. "Yeah well, that was a nice one."

"Good accent I guess."

"I saw them when I came in, they've been watching us since I sat down." He blinked, surprised. He thought only he'd noticed the stares. He supposed she got them all the time. She pushed her empty mug aside, fiddling with the ring on her left hand. "I can tell the ones who might just want to reminisce and get an autograph or a photo from the ones that want to create a scene or yell at me for something out of my control."

"Does that happen a lot?"

"More than you'd think for someone who is supposed to be washed up." She smiled sadly. Her eyes fixed on the binder. She swallowed hard, cleared her throat. "It's worse when they try to get me to fight back or yell or make a scene. Viserys usually does, he makes it worse." She propped her head in her hand, her voice slightly muffled as she spoke into her palm. "One time someone threw their drink on me for driving Rhaegar to suicide."

It was sad so nonchalantly that he only gaped. His mouth fell open slightly and he snapped it shut quickly at her darting gaze. "That...that happens to you?" Gods. He had no idea. Now he felt even more like a shit for how he'd treated her at Winterfell a couple weeks ago.

She smiled into her hand. "Once. They failed to realize that Rhaegar didn't kill himself, but...that doesn't matter. I know the rumors."

He knew them too. Rhaegar had died either by suicide, an accidental drug overdose, was murdered, and or was still alive somewhere under a different name. Some even said that Viserys was really Rhaegar in disguise. He had seen a few of her brother's movies. He was an amazing actor, he would give the man that, but beyond it, he seemed private and refused to answer press inquiries or do in-depth interviews, which only strengthened his mystique. He released a long sight. "Let's get out of here," he suggested.

She didn't move, simply studied him for a moment while he gathered his things and reached into his pocket for a few notes to cover the coffees. "You are an interesting character, Jon Snow."

He snorted. "Yeah, right."

"It must be nice to be a behind the scenes sort of guy."

It was, he was grateful for that. He took care to keep his public image as low as possible and so far it worked. No one really cared much about the people behind the books and the plays. He was just a writer, nothing more. It was the people who played his characters that got the glory and he was completely alright with that. He slung the strap of his bag cross-wise over him, knocking it behind him as he walked out with her. She tightened the scarf on her head against the light wind and wrapped her arms around herself, her thin Barbour jacket doing little to keep her warm in the damp chill of a London January.

She zipped up her jacket farther, as high as it would go and huddled down into the collar. "Did you drive here?" she asked.

"No, I took the tube."

"So did I."

"Daenerys Targaryen rides public transport?" he teased. Well, she was full of surprises.

She scoffed. "Of course I do. I'm all for energy efficiency."

"I don't live far, so I'll split off here."

She paused at the corner, frowning up at him. "You really are a man of few words for a writer."

Better writer than I am a talker, he thought again. He reached down, surprising himself, and adjusting the end of her scarf, tucking it into her collar to keep from unfurling and revealing her distinctive hair to the world. "Before I leave..." He reached into his bag and took out the copy of The Night's Watch she had left with him at Winterfell. He pressed it to the center of her chest and his fingertips brushed against her breast as he pulled away. He felt his skin prickle and heart beat a bit faster at the light shock that sparked into him.

It seemed the same for her and she drew in a sharp breath, but said nothing. Her fingers curled around the spine of her book. "Thanks. Did you read my notes?"

"I did. I had some thoughts of my own."

"Of course you did."

She was about to say something else when someone came out of nowhere, he didn't even see them approaching, and a phone was suddenly snapping her picture. She jumped, startled, and bumped into him. He grabbed her around the waist before she toppled into traffic, cursing the four-inch heeled boots she wore. He kept his arm firm on her waist when someone else stopped and pointed, shrieking. "Oh shit! It's Daenerys Targaryen! The actress!"

"Hi," she said breathlessly, taking a pen someone thrust to her, demanding she sign something. She seemed used to it, which upset him. He scowled, trying to tug her away as a crowd began to form. Mob mentality, they all saw a bunch of people gathering and had to investigate. He caught a large camera lifting up and realized paparazzi had likely been called. He cursed whoever had done so, wondering if it was her brother or maybe the group that she'd blown off in the cafe. "Don't push," she exclaimed as someone pushed against her, trying to get a selfie with her. "I'll take photos! Just...give me a minute...please!"

Damnit, this was going to get out of control, he thought, when he saw a furious woman pushing forward to the pack. "Hey! What did you do to Daario? He was on TV saying you broke his heart again! Are you still messing with him? Can't get enough, can you? Stupid slut."

"Hey!" he barked. He felt someone knock into him and that was it. His fist formed and he slugged out, pushing hard against the crowd. He'd luckily thought to put his sunglasses on as they stepped outside, as did Dany, and it was the slight disguise that kept his identity from truly being blown. "Get that fucking camera out of my face," he snapped as someone shoved his or her phone at him. He tugged at Dany, almost bodily lifting her as someone pushed into her again. She weighed practically nothing. "Come on."

He hurried her across the street, grabbing a black cab that had just stopped to let someone out at a hotel, skipping the line. He didn't bother apologizing to the person he'd stolen the cab from, too busy pushing Dany in and sliding in after her, leaving the throng of so-called fans outside to wonder what had just happened. He leaned forward a bit to the cabbie. “Ladbroke Grove, please.” He provided his address, knowing it wasn’t too far, but also directing the cab driver to make a few sweeps around the block a few times, on the off chance someone decided to follow them.

She said nothing. He saw her hugging herself close, swallowing herself in her scarf, which she’d detached from her hair and had wrapped around her neck, hiding her from the world. He knew that feeling. He kept to himself, eventually pointing the cab driver towards the townhouse he’d purchased a couple years ago for when he happened to be in London. He paid for the fare, climbing out first and helping her exit.

She blinked a couple of times, finally aware that they weren’t where she lived. Fuck, he had no idea where she lived, so he just brought her here. They had to get somewhere after that debacle. “Where are we?” she wondered.

“My place.”

“You live here?

“Don’t sound so surprised,” he chuckled, stepping up onto the front stoop and unlocking the door. He tried to angle so Ghost wouldn’t attack her, but it didn’t matter. The wolf caught her scent and immediately shoved his snout into her crotch. He groaned, embarrassed. “Ghost! Manners!”

She laughed; it was a pretty sound, reminded him of bells. “Oh he’s fine, aren’t you, sweetling?”

“I don’t think sweetling is the word I’d use.” He tossed his bag onto the table in the foyer, closing and locking the main door behind him. He glanced at her again, smiling as she knelt on the floor with the massive white beast, not minding the fur that already was clouding around them and landing on her pristine black coat, jeans, and boots. He cleared his throat. “You’re probably going to need to dry-clean all that. His fur can be classified as hazardous waste. Doesn’t come out of anything.”

Another pretty laugh. She stood and dusted off her thighs. “Oh he’s perfectly alright. He’s a sweet puppy.” Ghost positively mooned at her, sniffing at her hands and giving her a happy lick. He had never seen his wolf take to someone the way he took to her. She shrugged off her scarf and coat, revealing the pretty red cashmere sweater she’d been wearing in the coffee café. She really did not seem to realize her own beauty, barely wearing makeup and her braids twisted in a looser style than he had seen in her photos. “What kind of dog is he? German Shepherd?”

He threw his coat on the same table as his bag. “He’s actually wolf.”

“Wolf?”

“Yeah, I found him when he was a pup. A runt. He might have some regular dog in him, but he’s pretty much all wolf.” Given Ghost’s massive size, the elders back in Westeros always wondered out loud if he was a direwolf, which had long been extinct, but which he thought sometimes was true in Ghost’s case. His head came up to most adult men’s elbows. When he stood on his haunches, he could put his paws on his shoulders and look him in the eye.

“That’s really cool.” She walked into his house, peering around and shaking her head slightly, chuckling. “I don’t know what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it.”

“What? You thought it would be like the cottage?”

“Well…yeah.” She stepped into the kitchen and leaned on the counter. It was all stainless steel and chrome. “Coffee, whiskey, and cigarettes.”

“The title of my autobiography.”

She laughed, her eyes lighting up. “Oh gods, did Jon Snow just make a joke?”

He cracked a smile, pretending that it pained him. “It’s been known to happen.” Not often. He opened the fridge and removed a bottle of water, handing it to her and taking one for himself. He didn’t open his, instead going to let Ghost out into the small back garden. The last time Sansa was in town she had puttered about out there, making it habitable, but he didn’t care. He rented the property when his siblings or he weren’t around.

While Ghost did his business, he went into the living room; the entire house was one long room it felt like, on all three floors. Entry way and a formal sitting area, kitchen and dining, and then the more relaxed family room that had large windows looking onto the back garden. He had installed floor to ceiling bookshelves, preferring them than a television. Which he’d only installed because Arya would lose her shit otherwise. Same with Bran, his younger brother. As well as the complicated video game system they’d left on their last visit.

Dany made for the bookcase. “You have an impressive collection. I noted it at your other house.”

“These are more for show.” He wasn’t sure why he suddenly felt so weird about her snooping about in his living room. She’d done it a bit at the cottage, but he’d been on even footing there. Had higher ground, as it were. This felt different. He crossed his arms over his chest, the flannel shirt he wore tightening on his biceps. He blinked a couple times and realized he’d forgotten to take off his glasses from earlier. No wonder he felt like he couldn’t see. He removed them, hooking them into the open collar of the flannel. He tried to keep his voice as even as possible, not let the annoyance seep in. “That happen to you often?”

She ignored his question, picking out a book of Shakespeare dramas. “You know, everyone in theater loves Macbeth but I am partial to Hamlet. I felt like I could identify with him for some reason.”

“Hamlet is a whiner.”

“Well yes, but I’d rather him than Macbeth. Although, playing Lady Macbeth is quite an honor, I never had a chance.”

He frowned slightly, wondering why she wasn’t answering the question. He stepped towards her, still with his arms crossed. He didn’t want to make her nervous. He came to stand beside her, studying her. She flicked through the book and set it back, plucking another one out from beside it. This one was Pride and Prejudice. “Yes, I’ve read it,” he said at her mouth opening, about to ask the question.

She giggled. “Really?”

“Jane Austen isn’t just for chicks you know.” He took the book from her and put it back on the shelf. His hand reached for hers, squeezing lightly. Another shock went through his system and he drew a breath sharply, at the same time as her. Gods, what was wrong with him? He barely knew her. He felt protective of her. Gods, dare he even say possessive? He shouldn’t. He really shouldn’t. “Tell me what that was about. I think I deserve to know, if I’m going to be working with you.”

She scowled. Tugged her hand free from him. “I told you, it happens sometimes. People think that they can just…they think if you’re public you’re fair game. You made the choice to stick your face out there and get famous. So they can talk to you how they want, they can take your picture, ignore your privacy…” she trailed off and went over to her tote bag, tugging out the script. “I had some notes for you, I mentioned it in the café but we didn’t get a chance to truly discuss.”

Notes?! He stalked into the kitchen after her. “What kind of notes?” he demanded, immediately suspicious.

She did not miss a beat. “Preliminary ones on my character. Just some choices that I would like to discuss regarding hairstyle, costumes, and the like.”

“Isn’t that the director and writer’s choices to make with the costume designer and hair and makeup people?”

“You forget I’m also a producer,” she teased. She tapped her finger on the binder cover. “This is just a copy. I know you are still making some edits here and there, once you finish those and they get sent out, we can chat further, compare and contrast and the like. Of course.”

He arched his brows. “Of course.” He set the binder down. He’d take a look at them later. He squinted at her. “So Jaime Lannister for the role of the Lion Knight. Lyanna Mormont to play Tallie. Good actors I suppose.”

“Lyanna Mormont is perfect.”

He agreed, but he still wasn’t keen on Jaime Lannister. He supposed it would have to do. He was only going to get his way so much. There were plenty of other people to get cast. There was still something off for him about Dany as Millie. He wasn’t sure. He would have to look at her notes, see what she thought. He tapped his fingers on his biceps, still keeping his arms crossed. “I did want to tell you something.” Might as well say it now, if she wasn’t going to talk about the entire debacle that had occurred outside the café.

She hopped onto one of the barstools at the counter. “What’s that?”

Jon thought showing would probably be better than telling. He smiled briefly and dropped his arms to his sides, walking over to the desk in the living room, where he’d placed the object in question he planned to show her. At some point, he didn’t think it would be so soon. He carried it over to her and flicked it at her. She took the Playbill from him, frowning at the cover. “As You Like It,” he said, in case she didn’t feel like reading the cover.

“I’m aware, it’s a Shakespeare comedy.” S he ran her thumb over the dates underneath the title on the cover, smiling fondly. Her eyes lifted to meet his and her voice was soft, reverent. “I was Rosalind in As You Like It.”

“Hmm, were you?”

The small smile twisting on her pink lips pulled wider over her teeth. “You saw me in this? Really?”

Arya had wanted to see her. Princess Periwinkle would be in a West End play; it was the best of both worlds. She could see an actress she liked from a TV show she loved and he could get his theater fix. He didn’t have the heart to tell her he wasn’t really a Shakespeare aficionado. He preferred plays from playwrights like American Sam Shepherd. “I did, I saw you in it and I thought…” he trailed off, shrugging and smiling briefly. “You’re not that bad.”

Another eyeroll. “Wow Jon Snow. I thought you wanted me to audition for your movie. I thought you didn’t want me to touch your precious foray into the world of film,” she teased, drawling out her words.

Okay, he deserved that and more. He shrugged, taking the Playbill from her and setting it on the counter. “Guess I was wrong.” He wasn’t sure why he had been so against her in his movie. He didn’t want someone using it for their own gain, but he was starting to see she was different. She cared. Maybe it was because she had read The Night’s Watch when no one else had.

Dany scowled. “Yes, you were wrong.” She walked around him and went back to the foyer, grabbing her scarf. “I’m going to get a cab back to my place. Thank you for…for getting me out of there, I do appreciate it.”

What the fuck was with the formality all of a sudden? He scowled, walking after her. Ghost let himself in the back door, nudging it open with his nose and then closing it behind him. He trotted towards her, pushing his snout back against her hand, clearly not wanting her to go so soon. “Alright,” he said.

Dany tied her scarf in a complicated knot around her neck. She slipped her arms into her jacket. “We’ll be in touch regarding the script and other matters.” She zipped it up and shoved her hands into the pockets, staring straight at him for a moment. She smiled quickly. “There’s something more to this movie than just…just turning your play into a movie. I hope you’ll tell me.”

Maybe he would. He did say it was a long story. He nodded briefly. Thought for a moment. He sighed and shrugged. “I am sorry,” he mumbled.

“For what?”

“For just assuming you wanted something from this…something other than just a comeback.” She cared. He was right about that. He wanted someone else to care about this. It was important for him. He felt a hollow ache in his gut. He swallowed hard. “I’m going back to Inverness later tomorrow. I’ll see you around.”

She nodded. Slipped her bag over her arm to hang off her elbow. “I’ll probably see you at the first table read.” She smiled briefly again. It didn’t meet her eyes. “Or maybe sooner.”

He wans’t sure what she meant by that, but he just returned the brief smile and held open the door for her as she slipped her sunglasses back on and walked out, phone in hand as she ordered a car to come grab her. He kept the door open, despite the cold—he didn’t mind it—Ghost pitifully hanging his head and watching her as she got into the car that arrived and drive off. Once he was satisfied that she was away safely, he closed the door behind him.

Ghost peered up, red eyes unblinking. Judging. He shook his head at his wolf. “What do you want me to do?” The wolf nipped at his hand and swished his tail, stalking away from him. He sighed, unsure what that was supposed to mean, but something told him he’d be seeing Dany sooner rather than later. If only because his wolf was now attached to her.

 

~/~/~/~

 

Two Weeks Later
January 2018AC

 

Gods these were good pages, Dany thought, re-reading one of the longer scenes her character had later in the film. She was shocked that the screenplay was so well done for a first-time screenwriter. He managed to catch everything that he wanted the actors and the director and the rest of the many hundreds of individuals involved in the filmmaking process needed to know. Maybe it was because he was coming from a novelist and a playwright background. He used more imagination than she’d seen in other screenplays.

Then again, she had never done something quite this ambitious before. Everything else had been pretty cheesy. Romantic comedies, cheap action blockbusters, and a few indies here and there, but nothing to get her noticed beyond someone trying too hard to escape the shell of a television role. She returned to the beginning of the scene, studying the first line again, moving to stand how she imagined Millie would be standing, with a bow and arrow and sword…she grabbed her pen and made a note. She’d need to learn archery as soon as possible. She had to be able to shoot well before they got to those scenes.

Her phone buzzed on the kitchen counter. She wandered over, still holding the script and mouthing out the words, committing them to memory as she lifted the phone up, seeing her brother’s name on the screen. “Yeah,” she said.

“Final financier is in.”

“You get Tyrell?”

“Contract has been signed for awhile now, dear sister.”

Oh that’s right, she’d forgotten. She tended to lose herself in the preparation. “Call Tyrion, find out what kind of archery lessons I can take. I also want to have a swordmaster on set, I need to make sure I’m wielding it properly.”

“Fine.”

“This is amazing work Vis, he’s a fantastic writer.

Viserys sighed hard. “Yeah, whatever, I don’t care. Is it going to make us money? It better. Is it going to bring back the Targaryen dynasty? It better.”

There was a beep on the line and she glanced at the phone again, surprised to see the phone number she had placed in for Jon. Why is he calling me? “Goodbye Vis,” she said, cutting him off mid-sentence. Something about what designer he would wear when they were nominated for Oscars. She thought maybe he said he’d kill Jon Snow if they weren’t. She cleared her throat, suddenly feeling nervous although she had no idea why. “Hello?”

“Dany?”

There was something about the way he said her name that sent her toes curling in her shoes. She really should have been mad at him still for how he’d made her come groveling to him, but…she wasn’t sure how she could still be annoyed at that. He had apologized, in a rather adorable sort of way, and he genuinely seemed contrite that there was a misunderstanding regarding the meeting at the restaurant. He could very well have been lying, but Jon Snow struck her as someone almost too honorable to do something like lie like that to someone’s face.

Plus, he had helped her out with the mob of people. He’d brought her to his house, someone intensely private, and he’d let her snoop in his books. He hadn’t blown her off when she confronted him at the café. He saw her play. Now that had surprised her. So he’d seen her in her play, he’d known her before the stupid insistence that she audition for the part. Maybe he was just being an asshole on purpose when he’d done that. Or maybe he just didn’t think that despite her ability to do Shakespeare that she could do his play and his characters justice.

She cleared her throat. “Hello Jon Snow.”

He didn’t waste time. “I have the final version of the script. All changes made. I’ll send it over.” He didn’t have to call her to tell her that, she thought with a small smile. He could send it through to the main production office, hand it off to the script supervisor and the other writer assistance at the studio.

“Okay,” she said.

They sat in silence for a moment and he cleared his throat again. “I’ll let you go.”

“I’ve been working on the script…making notes and stuff um…” she trailed off and grinned, laughing. Of course he knew that, he’d gotten some of her notes from before. “It’s just…it’s really good. I wanted you to know that.”

He was quiet, before coughing slightly. “Okay…thanks.”

She picked up the copy of his book she’d all but destroyed with her thoughts. She set it down and then thought of the other book of his, Winter is Coming. “I had some thoughts on your book.”

“The one you already wrote up?”

“The other one.”

“What kind of thoughts?”

“Are you working?” she asked, in response. She wasn’t sure what was happening right then. She walked away from the counter, gathering up some things and shoving them into a bag, setting it aside and making her way up to her bedroom. “Fixing more stuff?”

He laughed. “I’m actually doing something else.”

“Wow, multi-tasking?” She opened her closet, walking into it and grabbing a pair of boots. She wans’t sure what exactly she was doing, but she was doing it. “Would you like a break?”

“Break?”

“From typing. Your fingers have to be cramped.” She had been stunned to see that he actually wrote everything out at first on an old typewriter. He was a constant surprise. Although it made sense to her. Of course he typed it out first. He may as well have handwritten it.

He chuckled. “I guess so.” He paused. “You know…I watched some of Princess Periwinkle.”

“Oh gods.” She bit her lower lip, her voice dropping. “You know…I’d like to get away for a couple days. Pre-production is on track and…and I think it might be nice to escape my stupid brother.”

“Where are you going to go?”

She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth, inhaling hard. “Um, maybe…maybe Inverness.” There. She said it.

For a moment she thought she’d overstepped. She wasn’t sure what was happening between them. She’d met him once, she’d fought with him, he’d been an asshole…he’d been funny and nice and she’d been direct and…and then he’d helped her escape and…fuck. And then he broke the stiff silence. Almost teasing. “Bit far for you.”

“I’ll take a train.”

He made a sound; she wasn’t sure what it was, if it was an acceptance of her plan or if he wasn’t a fan of it at all. She was really overstepping. Fuck it. He couldn’t just whisk her away from the hoard of pissed off “fans” and expect her to just forget it completely. Besides, she could really argue with him about his books and his plays and everything else. “I have to go,” he finally said.

“See you later.” See you in ten hours or so. She disconnected and waited a moment before calling her head of security. She wasn’t under threat or anything, beyond the douchy people who accosted her now and then, but Jorah Mormont had been in her employ for years. He’d known Rhaegar. It was his little cousin who was going to be in the movie. It only rang once before her steady bear answered. “Hi Jorah, it’s me.”

“Of course khaleesi.” It was a silly little nickname he called her, some sort of dead language from Westeros that she’d discovered when she was younger, thought was fun to learn. She told him it meant ‘queen’ and it had stuck. He chuckled. “Everything alright? I was going to call your brother, discuss the plan for the filming shoots in Iceland.”

Oh Iceland would be fine, probably safer than filming in damn London. “I wanted to let you know that I’m planning on taking a train to Inverness.”

He sucked his teeth. “That’s a long trip. Are you sure I can’t get a driver?”

He still didn’t know she’d driven herself up to the estate there last month. “I wasn’t really asking permission, just letting you know. If you could get me tickets on the next train. I would appreciate it.”

“What’s in Inverness?”

Unclear. She lied. “A work thing. I’ll talk to you later. Send me the tickets once you get them.” She disconnected after another exchange of pleasantries. She left Viserys a note saying she would talk to him…whenever. They sometimes went weeks without speaking and they lived in the same house. She knew people thought their relationship strange, but Viserys had his issues and she had hers. He also had protected her for most of her childhood and was more of a parent to her than he had needed to be at his age. It seemed once she hit adulthood and had gotten famous in her own right, he’d reverted almost to the teenager he hadn’t been able to be and she in turn became to parent.

For now though he would have to take care of himself. She grabbed a bag and checked her phone, seeing Jorah had already gotten the tickets for her. She smiled briefly and got into the car already waiting outside the house. After a couple of hours, she found herself sitting in the train, watching the English countryside blur by her as they headed north. It would take some time, but she’d left early enough she hoped to be at the cottage on the estate’s grounds by early evening.

At some point she withdrew Winter is Coming and began to make notes in the margins, as was her custom with most books. She smiled briefly when she came across one of the main characters, a woman named Lyarra. She wondered if it was homage in a way to his younger sister. “Jon,” she murmured to herself, smiling briefly at one of the descriptions of Lyarra. She set the book down with a piece of scrap paper to mark her spot, and grabbed The Night’s Watch and the script for True North.

Each one of his pieces, including other works, Dark Wings, Dark Words and the short story Raven’s Cry, she found the same thing. A very strong lead female with a sort of magical realism quality about them; Jon Snow must have had a bit of a kink for strong, feisty females. Ones who took charge and didn’t let anyone back them into a corner. “Interesting.”

The only one that struck her as odd was there was a character that started in The Night’s Watch that seemed like she would be one of the lead characters, until suddenly she disappeared. Just was there in the first part and then gone. She’d made a comment on it in the margins, wondering where she went, but Jon hadn’t replied to that one like he had some of the others.

The woman seemed to be too real for the rest of the book. The descriptions of her, red hair and freckles and bright blue eyes, seemed realer than the others. The way he described her accent and the way he spoke of her independence. Just for the character to suddenly…vanish. She made a note on a post-it and stuck it in the edge. Real person???

Her phone buzzed and she glanced around, hoping it wouldn’t disturb the other passengers, lifting it up to her ear and speaking softly. “Tyrion, what do you want?”

“Are you on a train?”

“If you know the answer, why did you ask?” Of course he knew the answer. Jorah no doubt called him.

He continued as if she hadn’t said anything. “Jorah didn’t tell me, he protects you too well for that, I found out from Twitter. Someone posted a photo of you waiting to board.” He paused. “Be careful.”

Whenever she wanted to disappear, to just be an actress and to just be someone else, freaking Daario would show up and bring up their affair and people would want to take her picture everywhere she went. No doubt he was trying to jump on board the press that the movie was getting. They had announced the various castings, production schedule, and other assorted pre-production milestones the other day. It was already getting buzz.

“I’ll be fine,” she said.

“Just keep your head down. I’m not going to ask why you’re going to Scotland. I think I have an answer.”

She felt her cheeks tinge slightly. “Watch yourself Tyrion.”

“And you watch yourself.” He hung up before she could ask what that was even supposed to mean. She sighed, silencing the phone and burying it into her tote. She leaned back in her seat, ignoring the blur outside her window and focusing on the book in front of her.

 

~/~/~/~

 

Now or never Dany.

She glanced back at the rental SUV she’d grabbed at the last open car place in Inverness. The air was thick and filled with a biting cold and all she could do was focus on how warm it must have been inside the little crofter’s cottage. She stomped her booted feet back and forth, trying to shake her frozen blood loose and hoping that the takeaway she’d grabbed from a café near the station hadn’t also frozen solid. She had thought to actually pack gloves this time and chewed off one so she could actually knock loudly on the oak door. There was movement on the inside and she heard scratching at the bottom. She began jumping in place, not caring about the takeaway anymore.

The door swung inwards and revealed not just Jon and Ghost, but warm, fiery heat washed over her. “Oh thank Gods,” she exclaimed, pushing in and sighing in pleasure, feeling like she’d plunged into a hot bath. She turned, motioning for him to close the door. “It’s freezing out there!”

He shut the door, leaning back against it, staring at her with an unreadable expression. “You came here?”

“You want me to leave?” she asked. It was pitch black and gods knew how she was going to get back to the nearest town without driving off a cliff or something, but she’d do it if he wanted. She arched her brow. “Because I brought something with me.” She reached into her bag and slowly withdrew a bottle of scotch, waving it towards him. She grinned. “Macallan.”

A half-laugh, half-snort escaped him as he grabbed at the bottle. He whistled under his breath, lifting his gray eyes to meet hers. “Wow…this is…30-year Macallan?”

Yeah, it was a pretty pricy bottle. “Thought we could enjoy it with some shitty takeout.” She let herself into the kitchen, ignoring the tracking of snow from her boots on the hardwood and rugs. She set the bag of takeout on the counter and then dug around in her tote, taking out his books. Each one had markers and post-its all over the edges. She grabbed one and tossed it to him. She grinned. “And we could chat about these.”

He groaned. “You want to critique my writing?”

“Of course.” She took out her script. “And go over the script. I have questions. I’d like the writer of the primary source material to answer them.”

He went to a cabinet across the kitchen, in the little eating nook, and removed a bottle, carrying to her and setting it down on top of the binder. She gaped. “I see your Macallan 30 and I raise you…Stark 40.”

Oh fuck, I’m in for it. She took the bottle, with its pretty gray and silver label on the front, the liquid inside a beautiful dark gold. She smiled, still holding it and nodded towards the binder. “I want Millie to carry a longsword, not a short sword.”

He scowled. “Why? Do you k now how heavy those swords are? It wouldn’t make sense for her to be swinging that around.”

“Millie is strong, she’s capable, and she’s as good as any man. She’s going to swing a longsword.”

“Have you even held a longsword before?”

“No, but I’ll learn,” she insisted.

He pushed the bottle fully into her hands and stormed out of the room. She wondered what she’d done to piss him off this time. He returned and she glanced out of the corner of her eye, exclaiming in surprise as he held up a scabbard with a sword in it. The pommel of the sword was an ivory wolf-head with red eyes. He kept his gaze on hers and withdrew the sword, the muscles of his shoulders and forearms straining as he kept it steady, the blade hardly making a sound as he held it horizontal in front of him. The entire time, he kept his gaze on her.

It was a beautiful sword, not that she knew much about them. There were a couple ancestral swords that belonged to her family, with names and jewels in the hilts and everything. They were kept in a vault at the family’s estate off the coast of Westeros. She wondered if this was one of those types of famous swords. “This is Longclaw,” he said, introducing her to the sword like it was a human. He swung his wrist with ease, the sword sluicing through the air with a faint whisper.

Something clenched in the pit of her stomach. Her lips parted slightly and she felt her eyelids growing heavy, watching him through her lashes. “Okay,” she rasped.

“Longclaw is a bastard sword. A bit bigger than a longsword, a bit smaller than a greatsword. If you can hold Longclaw without breaking your shoulder, then Millie can hold a longsword.” He arched his brows. “Deal?”

Dany, what did you just get yourself into? She scowled and grabbed for the sword, but he withdrew slightly. She waited and then carefully he pushed the handle into her fist. She drew on all her strength, all the Pilates and yoga and other crazy exercise routines she’d participated in, hoping she didn’t make a fucking fool of herself.

Her breath held in her chest and he slowly stepped back, his eyes on the blade and his hands still aloft slightly, to catch it if it fell. She felt her neck muscles cording, shocked at how deceptive the weight of the sword was. It was fucking heavy. She wasn’t sure if she was holding her breath or if she’d already dropped it, but suddenly it seemed she was letting go. She gasped, her arm already aching and sore. She reached, rubbing at her shoulder. “Fuck! That’s hard!”

He returned the sword to the scabbard. “Wow…well…” He smiled. “Guess Millie is getting a longsword.”

She waited for him to return the sword to wherever he kept it before she almost crumpled onto the ground, whimpering slightly at the pain in her arm. Ghost came over and nudged her gently. She ruffled his ears. “Good boy,” she mumbled. She waited for Jon to return before she grabbed for the Stark 40. “Let’s get into this. Then you can tell me why you have a godsdamn bastard sword.”

“I got it when I was in the military.” His eyes darkened. He walked around her and took two tumblers off a shelf where he’d removed the scotch. He set them down on the counter and took the bottle from her, cracking the cap and sniffing the scotch, eyes fluttering shut. “Damn. That’s good.”

She took a whiff and coughed. “Whoa, strong.”

“My family knows how to make good scotch.” He poured them each two fingers. Lifted his tumbler and clinked it to hers. His gray eyes twinkled, the darkness from a moment before having faded. She wondered why his military service seemed to distress him so. When she’d brought it up in the coffee café a few weeks ago he did not want to discuss it then either. He clinked the glass to hers.

She thought of her family’s motto. Smiled briefly. “Fire and blood,” she murmured. They often used it to toast. It was how they took things. How they bent them to their will.

He squinted slightly, his lips hovering over the rim of the tumbler. “Interesting words,” he murmured.

“You want this movie to succeed, that’s what it will take.” She arched her brow this time. They were going to do this right. It was going to be a success. She’d be a success. She’d show how she was good at this. She wasn’t a talentless hack or whatever they decided to call her that day. “It will take fire and blood and you’ll listen to my suggestions.”

He barely sipped at the scotch before he dropped it from his mouth. She noticed that his beard was a bit more unruly than it had been in London. The ink-colored curls he managed to tame into a tight bun at the nape of his neck each time she’d seen him were wild and licked at the collar of his flannel button-down. “And why,” he whispered, his voice raspy. “Would I do that?”

“Because.”

“Because? That’s it?”

She barely sipped the scotch. It felt like liquid gold in her mouth as she swallowed the tiny bit. She lowered it slightly, still holding it up by her mouth, subconsciously mimicking his pose. She felt like she was playing with fire. Playing with a wolf. “Because you want this movie to succeed as much as I do.”

After a moment, he barely nodded his head. “I do.” She smiled. She was right. He wasn’t a complete boor. He closed his eyes and took a long pull from the scotch. Her mouth fell open in brief surprise at how little disregard he had for the expensive drink. He smiled, wolfish, after his long sip and set the glass down. “I have something I wanted to show you.”

“And what’s that?” Her breath hitched, following him with her gaze as he walked around the fireplace in the kitchen to the other side, to the living room, where he removed something from by a flatscreen. He actually had a TV here. He returned, handing her the square item in his hand. She took one look and groaned, slapping it onto the counter. “Oh gods!”

“Come on, I want commentary by Princess P herself.”

“Oh fuck you,” she laughed, in spite of herself. She glanced at the grinning girl she used to be, wearing the periwinkle dress, crown, and slippers, looking at the camera with a cheeky smile. She rolled her eyes. “I can’t believe you watched that.”

“You’re actually pretty funny in it.”

My comedic timing was always pretty good. She just hadn’t been able to laugh at herself at the time. Still struggled. She flicked the copy of the show over to look at the back. “Maybe you should write me a comedy then.”

He smiled. “I am linked to two movies with you now.”

“Unless this one tanks,” she reminded him. Her stomach hurt at the possibility. Losing all the money and time they’d put into this film. The last chance she had at…something. She tilted her glass towards him before she took a sip, groaning slightly at the lovely taste of the scotch. She smacked her lips, studying the gold in the glass. “Gods, that’s good.”

Instead of making towards the living room to put on Princess Periwinkle, he finished off his scotch and poured another. She drained the rest of hers, ignoring the burn in her throat and offered her glass for some more. He capped the bottle when he finished topping them off and picked up her binder, wagging it towards her. “Alright Princess P. Let’s see what notes you have for me.”

“You made a rhyme! Ever thought of writing songs next?”

“Oh shut up.”

“You’re taking this whole notes thing oddly well. Should I also ask how come there’s always a raven in each one of your writings?” She leaned towards him, grinning, already feeling the effects of the scotch. “Is that the representation of death in its many forms? Or perhaps you just like birds? Am I reading too much into it?”

He grabbed his red pen, fell backwards into his desk chair and spun around to set the binder flat on the desk, flicking to the first note. He shook his head as she collapsed into one of the chairs behind him. “You’re reading too much into it.”

Although she could tell she’d hit some sort of nerve with him. She smiled, wagging her glass in her fingers and leaned into the cushions, beginning to explain her vision for Millie and what she hoped that he’d allow her to do when filming began. To her surprise, he simply listened and wrote down things here and there. Until she realized that he wasn’t working on the script, he was watching her carefully and seemed to be writing something else.

She blinked, her vision feeling fuzzy from the drink. She’d figure out what it was, clearing her throat and beginning to talk about what he saw for Millie’s costume, full armor or perhaps something more feminine? She wanted it perfect.

And gods, she thought, staring up at the exposed ceiling beams. This was going to be perfect.

Chapter Text

iv.
March 2018AC
London, England

 

“You are all my little helpers and we will catch that evil witch but…whoops!” Dany enacted the perfect pratfall, tumbling onto her back and blowing out a hard breath, sending her silver hair tousling about her head. She grumbled and climbed to her feet, stomping her boots on the ground. In her fall, she’d set the pack filled with toys flying across the floor. “Oh no!” She slapped her hands to her face, grinning at the squeals of delight around her. “Well look at all those presents…I guess the evil queen will have to wait!”

It was something she only did for them, putting on the periwinkle blue outfit and getting her hair twisted into the Princess P style. The comedy had developed something of a second-wind among the younger generation and she was pleased that it did provide some joy to the kids at the center where she spent time she wasn’t spending preparing for the movie. She handed out presents to each child, engaging some of the older ones to help her. “You see, Princess Periwinkle wants all of you to be strong and brave and be fighters and warriors, you will be her little dragons!”

They laughed, some of the older ones rolling their eyes, but pleased with their new video game systems and books and action figures. She swept down into an exaggerated bow, lifting her skirts to the side. “And now, I must take my leave!”

“Noooo!” some of the younger ones exclaimed.

She grinned, beaming at them and waved her wand around for them all, preparing to take her leave, to go and do the rounds in the children’s rooms for those who could not get out of bed or were in isolation. She would visit with them all, pass out presents and sign autographs and take photos. Tyrion and Viserys referred to what she was doing as rebranding and image management. She referred to it as doing the right fucking thing.

Their family was known for its streaks of mental illness and Rhaegar’s death only compounded that, the rumors rampant about the circumstances of his death. In the end it was a tragic mistake he’d made. He’d been so tired, unable to sleep, destroyed by the final role of his career as a sociopathic serial killer, and he’d mixed medications. It had been painless and sad and pointless. So she did what she could do and that was establish a charity for mental health awareness, for better regulation of prescription medications, and because Rhaegar loved to visit children’s hospitals and pretend to be a comic book superhero—one of his more accessible roles—taking photos with the children, passing out presents and donating new equipment.

Viserys only went on board with the charity because of the tax writeoffs and the image management. He still was jealous of Rhaegar for his popularity and talent. The constant what might have been wistfulness with which people spoke of him. Dany on the other hand loved it. She loved the feeling of joy she received seeing the happiness on the children’s faces and the comfort in knowing that it was something Rhaegar would have wanted.

She stepped into the hallway and grinned at her friend Missandei, the head of the charity. She’d called it Song of Fire because she thought it was essentially Rhaegar. He was a song of fire and fire was cleansing and was bright and was something the children needed to focus on inside themselves to heal. “How is Shireen doing?” she asked, as they made their way down a hall towards one of her favored patients.

“Well, she hopefully will be going to live with a family friend and his wife,” Missandei said, walking slowly down the hall with her. She smiled warmly, but also knowingly. Missandei had an uncanny ability to read her mind. “You know you didn’t have to dress up as Princess P, I know how you hate to relive that part of your life.”

It was always hard for her, but she did it for the children, not for her ego or her attempt to move on from Princess P. “They like it,” she said in response. She crossed her arms over her chest, feeling the periwinkle leather and silks of her costume tighten slightly over her shoulders. She stared at the floor as she walked, boot heels clicking. “Did you hear back from the company regarding the donation of the new bed linens?” She had made sure to get new hospital bed sheets and pillows that were all in different children book and movie characters. It was more comforting for them than the sterile white and beige of the hospital.

“Yes as well as the new televisions for Rhaenys Children’s in Kingslanding.”

“Perfect.” She stopped at the end of the hall, glancing in a mirror that Missandei provided from her tote bag to check on her sparkly makeup. She took the purple lipstick and swiped on a new coat. She smacked her lips and looked up, just in time to see the elevator open and reveal someone she did not expect to see. Her eyes widened and Missandei frowned, turning and glancing between her and Jon, who had his hands in the pockets of his black jacket, approaching her with a smile he was trying to hide.

Trying to hide very poorly, she noted, shaking her head at him and trying not to laugh herself. He lifted his brows and nodded towards the costume. “Wow,” he simply said.

“What are you doing here?”

Missandei glanced at her again, her lips pursed and trying not to grin. She wanted to kick her friend, who had that cat-ate-the-canary look like she knew something Dany didn’t. Dany scowled at her. Her friend offered her hand to Jon. “Hello, my name is Missandei Naath.”

Jon smiled politely and took her hand, shaking quickly. “I’m Jon.”

“Missandei is the head of Song of Fire, Rhaegar’s charity,” she explained and then looped her arm through her best friend’s. She beamed at the taller woman. “And my best friend.”

“And you might be…?” Missandei drawled, trying to draw more information from Jon, who preferred as many monosyllables as possible in human interaction. She rolled her eyes when he simply gave her another smile. She glanced sideways instead, silently asking for more information.

It had been a few months, pre-production was almost complete and the first table read was only a couple weeks away. She grit her teeth at Missandei. She hadn’t told her much beyond how irritating Jon Snow was, with his edits and his annoying habit of suddenly spacing out in conversation and writing down random things in his little notebooks he carried with him. She had even trained with him a bit, with the archer and the swordmaster the studio had hired for all the actors. She’d told Missandei that he was more involved than any other screenwriter she’d ever encountered, but she got it—this was more to him than just a paycheck—it was his entire world it seemed.

She gestured towards him, hoping he would behave himself appropriately. “Missandei, this is Jon Snow, the writer of my movie. I invited him here since he was going to be in London for some of the production meetings.” She scowled at him, hoping he would at least smile around the children. Why did he come? She really didn’t expect him to show up.

One of the hospital’s photographers who was documenting the event for the families of the children as well as for the hospital’s PR department took a snap, the bright flash of the camera temporarily blinding her. Jon instantly glared at the man, who mumbled an apology and ducked away. Missandei excused herself with a polite smile, to no doubt go and explain to the man that any photos beyond the ones needed weren’t going to see the light of day. “It is nice to meet you. Daenerys, we’ll meet in the burn ward. I’m sure Shireen is excited to see you.”

“Thanks Missandei, I’ll be there in a moment.” She crossed her arms tighter around herself, leaning back on her left leg and cocking out her right. She smirked at him. “What are you doing here?”

“Well you invited me.”

She pushed her hand against his shoulder, knocking him slightly and he smiled. “Yeah well, I didn’t think you’d come. Figured you’d do your duty at the studio and then escape back to Winterfell.”

“Well I had to go to the real Winterfell.” He referred to the estate in Scotland as the Winterfell he actually liked. She’d learned that the real Winterfell was actually a giant castle in Westeros that had been in his family for centuries. Probably since the first men wandered around their native and odd country-like-city. He shoved his hands back into the front pockets of his worn black jacket, tugging it down a bit and revealing that he wore a faded gray shirt underneath, his scarf loose around his neck. He had on his glasses, which she wished he wore more often and his curls were tugged into a bun. He lifted his brows over the top of the glasses. “And since I already had a long layover in London…”

She rolled her eyes and turned from him, walking down the hall. “So you just figured you’d show up?”

“Well you did invite me.”

“I did. You missed most of the festivities.” Thank the gods. She really wasn’t sure she wanted him to see her pretending to be Princess P. It was one thing for them to watch it in the cottage in the middle of nowhere, laughing and making fun. It was another to have him standing here in person while she wore a ridiculous periwinkle outfit, sparkling eyeshadow and purple lipstick. At least she’d never had to wear a wig; her silver braids always something she’d had that the writers of Princess Periwinkle had added to her character. She reached and tugged a bit on his scarf, adjusting the ends so they were even on his chest. “Where’s Ghost?”

“He’s at my apartment. My friend Sam watches him when I’m out of town, dropped him off this morning.”

She wasn’t sure why she asked about Ghost. The wolf seemed to be a safe topic. She smiled briefly. He returned the smile. She jerked her head towards the corridor. “Come on, you can help with handing out some of the gifts.” Gods I cannot believe he actually appeared. What was it supposed to mean? She really had no idea, nor did she want to think about it in further detail.

They went down the hall and before she knew it, she was breaking character to stare at Jon Snow as he engaged with the children, smiling more than she had ever seen him do, even the few times when they’d sit on the couch in his cottage and drink super-expensive scotch like it was water, laughing about Princess P and her misadventures. He was good with them, helping them open their gifts and when they asked who he was, he simply said “I’m Princess Periwinkle’s loyal subject.”

She hadn’t realized it until she had finished with the burn unit and was moving on to the orthopedic one that he was doing something else while he was standing off to the side as she greeted the children in full Princess P character. She was preparing to leave one of the rooms when a little boy whispered to her, gesturing for her to move back to his bed. “Why yes, Ser Michael?” she asked.

The little boy held out a piece of paper, with some writing on it. “Can you sign this Princess Periwinkle?” he asked.

“But of course young ser!” She took the paper and held the marker she used for all the signing, looking down and reading the scribbled writing on the page, her heart straining in her chest. Oh I hate you Jon Snow. I hate you so much.

The writing was no doubt his, as neat as he probably could make it for a child to read. Ser Michael the Brave, the Unburnt, the Slayer of Demons, and Loyal Squire to Princess Periwinkle, on this day I knight you and decree you shall henceforth be cured from your illness and injury. She felt tears prick hot in her eyes. Fuck. She set the marker down and took a felt-tip pen instead from the table beside his bed and carefully signed her name.

She handed him back the paper, her voice cracking. “And from this day henceforth you are Ser Michael,” she announced.

His aprents smiled and leaned over to shake her hand. “Thank you so much Ms. Targaryen,” his mother whispered.

Dany could hardly speak, so she just nodded and ducked away, going to lean against the wall for a moment with her eyes closed. She took a few of her cleansing breaths. This. This was why she did what she did. She closed her eyes and dropped her chin to her chest. Her hands clenched at her sides. She lifted her head up after a moment and took another couple of breaths. You son of a bitch Jon Snow. She opened her eyes and found him in another room with a kid, writing out something on a piece of paper, listening to what the little girl was saying.

The photographer took a picture of her with the young girl, smiling and handing her a new set of coloring books and art supplies. “What is it you have there, Lady Ella?” she asked, taking the paper carefully from the little girl to see what he’d written.

“My decree!” she exclaimed. She grinned up, showing off missing teeth. “Saying I am a knight.”

“Oh of course! I shall knight you!” She took out one of the new markers from the kit she’d just given to Ella, removing a purple marker and scribbling her name on the paper, reading aloud as she bestowed the title that Jon had written out for her. “I henceforth name you as Ser Ella, the Unbroken, Lady of the Lake District, and Lover of…” she trailed off, glancing at the paper and making a face. “Cats! Lover of Cats?!”

“I love cats,” she giggled.

Princess Periwinkle had a known dislike of cats, so she made a dramatic sound and draped her hand over her eyes. “Oh cats! I cannot!” She straightened up and smiled, handing her back the “decree.” “I wish you good fortune Ser Ella! Knight of Princess Periwinkle!”

Ella reached up and beckoned her forth, her voice a conspiratorial whisper between them. “I like your boyfriend Princess P,” she said, unable to hide her giggle. She looked around her at Jon, who had gone out into the hallway and was already writing something out in his notebook, Missandei reading from her binder. “He’s cute.”

That he is. She didn’t think it was possible for her to find him more attractive than she’d already reluctantly admitted to herself he was, but the man had gone had started writing out little decrees for the children, knighting them and naming them and making them feel like they were bigger than what the world said they were. She smiled down at Ella and nodded, her nose wrinkling. “He is cute, isn’t he?”

They shared another hug, a photo, and she bowed as she left the hospital room, returning to the hallway, where somewhere Jon had disappeared, but Missandei was waiting. She held her finger up, warning her best friend against saying anything, but that was why Missandei was her best friend. She shook her head, dark eyes sparkling. “You didn’t tell me he was this cute, Daenerys. Or adorable.”

“Don’t let him hear you say adorable,” she mumbled. She swallowed the dryness forming in her throat. All it did was make her cough. “He’s a right pain in the arse.”

“I didn’t realize screenwriters had this much engagement with their lead actors.”

They don’t. Yet she happened to have it with him. “We’re…friends.” I think. It seemed Missandei had the same sort of doubtful thoughts, simply rolling her eyes and walking off down the hall. She stood in place for a moment, unsure what she was supposed to really even be doing. Should she tell him to go home? Wait for her? Pretend that he was her loyal subject, Ser Jon of…of what? Of Westeros? Of Winterfell? Of the North?

He sidled up to her, hands still in his pockets. She lightly punched his shoulder. He scowled. “What was that for?”

“Making those decrees for the children. I almost started crying.”

“You’re an actress, just don’t cry.” He immediately looked embarrassed. He clenched his fists in his pockets, she could see the fabric bunching up. He ducked his head, mumbling. “They wanted to know what I was…I said I was your scribe. Wrote out the first one…kid liked it so much I thought I’d do it again.”

She was going to kill him right then and there. “Come here,” she whispered, reaching for him and feeling him tense as she rose on her tippy-toes and snaked her arms around his neck. They hadn’t been this close before. Not even when she’d fallen sleep on his couch after drinking too much scotch or he’d visited her townhouse and it was too late for him to head back north so he’d taken one of her guest rooms. We are just friends. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, smelling his wonderful scent of whiskey, coffee, pine, and peppermint. She smiled slightly and mumbled. “No cigarettes.”

He pulled back from the hug, his gray eyes dark but the corners crinkling slightly. “Yeah well…children’s hospital.” He reached into his pocket and removed a thin rectangular device, chuckling at her eyeroll. “I’mw orking on it!” He shoved the vape back into the inner pocket and stepped away from her. “Come on Princess P. You’ve got loyal subjects waiting.”

She watched him walk away, briefly admiring the way his jeans shaped his lovely ass, when Missandei emerged again. “He has a nice butt,” she announced.

“Missandei!”

“What? I might be married and love Grey to death, but I can appreciate a fine specimen of man.” She poked at her ribs, grinning. “You’ll have to fill me in on all the details you’ve been neglecting to share since you started whatever it is you seem to have with that man.”

She wanted to say that they didn’t have anything, but that would be a lie. They were friends. Just friends. She cleared her throat and glanced down at the open binder, returning the subject to the children. “So who is next?” Thankfully, being her best friend, Missandei knew when to stop teasing and prying, and returned to the work at hand.

After they had visited all the children in the ward, she went into the bathroom to change out of Princess Periwinkle, but not before Jon snagged the corner of her arm, preventing her from entering. He nodded towards the elevator. “I’m going to head back to my place. Thanks for inviting me.”

She smiled warmly, peering up at him. “I’m glad you came,” she said truthfully. She didn’t realize how much. She adjusted his scarf again. The ends kept getting all mis-matched. It bothered her. He glanced at her movement and smiled briefly, but didn’t say anything. She patted his chest and took a full step back to keep from doing anything stupid. Down Dany. “I’ll see you at the table read then.”

Jon opened his mouth and seemed ready to say something, but then closed it. He hesitated and then whatever internal battle he seemed to have with himself, he gave in. “You want to…you want to stop at my place after you’re done? We can go over your lines.”

There was something odd about how he asked it. It didn’t seem like his other requests for her to come north or to train or go over the script some more. It wasn’t even his exasperated demands that she stop showing up unannounced or stop critiquing his books and other writings. She could see a faint pink rising above his beard. He was blushing?! She swallowed hard again and then briefly nodded. “Yeah…yeah that sounds…nice. I’ll be there.”

Relief was immediate in his expression. “Ghost will be glad to see you,” he said, rather quickly, and then awkwardly leaned in to give her a brief hug. He stepped back, but didn’t smile this time. “I’ll see you later.”

A faint “Bye” came from her lips as she watched him walk away to the elevator. She was grateful Missandei was nowhere to be seen. What the seven hells was that?! She wasn’t sure what to think of it. Gods, she wasn’t sure what to think of their entire relationship. Whatever it was. Actual friendship, weird work friends…an annoying actress and her neurotic writer…seven hells. She turned on her heel and groaned, stalking into the bathroom to change. She’d just have to stop thinking about it completely and let it play out. It wasn’t like she had time for anything like this to begin with.

She was Daenerys Targaryen, didn’t he know, she thought sadly. She was cursed, she was screwed up…any man who came into her orbit ended up dead or felt otherwise. Jon clearly had issues, she didn’t feel like compounding them. She’d just have to let this go wherever but if it got beyond just friends…she’d have to stop it. Yes. That was it.

The sparkling makeup dabbed off with each swipe of her cotton swab and she didn’t realize until she started taking off the eye makeup that she had been crying.

 

~/~/~/~

 

“Let me in, quick.” She pushed by Jon, slamming the door behind her and immediately going to the window to peek out through the blinds, studying a car that may have slowed a little too much as it passed. Or it was just her imagination. She squinted, waiting another moment before she turned completely, seeing Jon surveying her with a curious expression. Unsmiling, of course. She rolled her eyes, knowing she was probably overreacting, but she really didn’t want anyone to find her here.

He peered out the window after her. “What are we looking for?”

“Paps.”

Immediately his face went dark and he glared at her. “What?”

“They were at the grocery store, but I think it was because Angelina Jolie was also there too.”

“Who is Angelina Jolie?”

Of course he was clueless. In an odd way she was pleased about that. She smiled at him and simply made sure the front blinds remained closed. It was probably just paranoia. The fear of her hideout becoming known. She had been able to live in peace for the last month or so, since Daario finally shut up after the latest round of press regarding the movie. They would be announcing filming startup soon and she was sure with that regular announcement in the trades, he’d show his smarmy face on the latest entertainment channel and bemoan how he was not invited to participate.

He held up a sheaf of papers, bound together. It was the latest casting list. He scowled. “I don’t like the Night King.”

“Well you shouldn’t, he’s supposed to be the bad guy.”

“I told you I didn’t want a name actor for it. I don’t want anyone else who already has a record,” he said, slapping the casting sheets against her chest. Like it was her decision. Their casting directors and team were great at their job, they’d done well so far, each actor for the parts were perfect, at least…from what she’d seen. Jon, of course, sometimes seemed like he wanted to be ornery for the sake of being ornery.

She shoved the papers into her tote, setting it on the foyer hall table and walking into the kitchen at the same time he asked her about the storyboarding. Like she knew what went on with that. “I’m an actor, I don’t know,” she said, entering the kitchen and reaching for the fridge. As usual, nothing in it but some old takeaway containers, bottles of beer, and a bottle of wine she’d left from her last visit. “So you going to run lines with me or not?”

“Or not, I’ve got some work to do.” He leaned against the counter and frowned. Seemed like he was going to say something else, but the front door opening and closing loudly distracted him. Ghost jumped up from where he’d been stretched in front of the back door and galloped into the front.

She didn’t think she should be worried, especially since when Jon peered around to see who had come in, he didn’t seem bothered. She crossed her arms over her chest, feeling odd about being found out here at his house, even if it was a friend or family member of him. She hoped it wasn’t a family member.

Her hope was dashed, when Arya emerged in the kitchen. “Hey Jon…oh wow, Dany!” She dropped some grocery totes onto the kitchen island and beamed. “I didn’t know you and Jon were still…” She trailed off, fixing her gray eyes on his and lifting her brows. “Close.”

“We’re not,” she and Jon said at the same time. Arya merely preened knowingly. She cleared her throat. “I should go.”

“No, don’t leave on my account. Jon said that everything seems to be going well on the movie, when do you start actually filming?” she asked, removing some groceries from the tote. She opened a box of biscuits, offering it to Dany, who delicately removed one of the ginger biscuits and nibbled at the edge as Arya began chomping down, waiting patiently for any scoop on filming.

I guess I’m not getting out of this. Jon was no help either. “Um, we do the table read at the studios in a couple weeks and begin filming the following day.”

“And you’re going to Iceland?”

“For the latter half of filming, yeah.” She’d have to chop off some of her hair, since at one point Millie gets burned in one of the battles and she refused to wear a wig. She’d argued for those scenes to be shot last, it only made sense. She needed something to do other than chew on the biscuit, so she set about making tea, just to give her hands a purpose.

Unfortunately, her familiarity with Jon’s kitchen only sent Arya into another knowing smile and a couple of light punches on her brother’s shoulder. The useless prick didn’t do or say anything; he was too focused on a sheaf of papers, his red pen knocking aimlessly on them as he read. “What’re you doing there big brother?” she teased. She tried to grab, but he knocked her hands away. “I didn’t think you worked when you were in London.”

“I’m heading north tomorrow.”

“What are you doing in London, Arya?” she asked, staring at the kettle and willing it to begin whistling. Only ten seconds after turning the fire on the burner up. Ugh, Dany, why are you so nervous? It was so silly. She felt her eyes itch and reached to rub at them, some more sparkles coming off onto her fingers.

Arya watched her, but spoke slowly. “I’m here for my friend, Gendry, he’s a metal artist and he has a show at one of the art design schools.”

Oh good something to distract. “Oh? Do you have any photos of his work?”

“Yeah, sure, let me get my phone…”

As Arya rifled in her backpack for her phone, she poked Jon in the ribs, hissing into his ear. “Should I go?” She really wasn’t sure what else they were going to do if he was in work mode and his sister was visiting. It would be best if she just escaped back to her townhouse and dealt with whatever crap Viserys was doing or whatever matter Tyrion wanted to bring to her attention.

He glanced at Arya’s back and then towards hers again, shaking his head, his voice soft. “No, don’t worry about it.” He returned to the papers. She glanced over his shoulder, trying to figure what it was. It wasn’t set out like a script, but appeared to be pages of a novel, still typewritten on the old typewriter he favored to a laptop. The ink was slightly faded and barely made out the sentence Silver-gold hair tumbled over her shoulder in a distracted plait, no doubt done hurriedly as she departed her chambers. He was in awe of how she held herself, back straight and hands clasped before her, poised and determined, despite her harried appearance.

She tried to read closer, but he swiped the papers away, scowling up at her. “No peeking.”

“No one reads his work before he wants them to,” Arya said, returning with her phone. She beckoned her over to the kitchen table and sat down, holding up the first photo of a gorgeous metal design that appeared to be a stag. “This was Gendry’s first piece that sold at an auction a couple years ago. He hadn’t even graduated high school and already made money on his work!”

“It’s beautiful.” She was about to swipe to see some more when the door opened again, this time the side door from the small drive and garage attached to the back of the house, accessible by an alley. She was startled to see a tall beautiful red-head enter, wearing a rather severe gray dress and long overcoat. She smiled politely, but the redhead’s blue eyes flashed angrily at the sight of her.

Uh-oh, this must be Sansa. The one who hated her, by all accounts. Her suspicions confirmed at Arya’s immediate eyeroll. “What are you doing here?”

“I was in town meeting with 3N’s corporate management.” The redhead seemed mighty proud of herself, tilting her chin up slightly and puffing up her chest. “You are looking at the newest primetime host of Stark Right, the latest news program from 3N, profiling the independence movement, politics, and other economic issues facing the north.”

The other two siblings did not seem as excited about this, but Dany thought it sounded wonderful. She clapped her hands, beaming. “Congratulations! That sounds like quite a promotion.” As they had never been officially introduced and Arya and Jon were just sitting there like dark-headed statues, she stood and offered her hand. “Hello, I’m Daenerys. I’ve heard a lot about you from Jon.”

The other woman sniffed and pretended as though her hands were full, moving to set her tote and a laptop case on the counter beside the remaining unpacked groceries. “I know who you are,” she said, her voice cool as her ice-chip eyes. “You’re the movie star. Although I suppose that’s a lot. TV star, maybe?”

“Sansa,” Arya growled.

Jon shot his sister a look that Dany had rarely seen, dark and glaring, his pupils drowing out the gray. He grit his teeth. “Watch it Sansa,” he murmured.

It was nice of them to try to watch out for her, but this was par for the course for her. She remembered Arya saying how Sansa was a big fan of Drogo. No doubt one of the many who despised her for some alleged involvement in his death. She waved them off. “It’s okay. Yes, I’m an actor.”

“I thought the term was actress?”

She pursed her lips in a tight smile. “Well we prefer to keep things gender neutral. Male actor, female actor…actor is actor.” She went over to the kettle, which had begun to hiss, but Sansa cut her off, removing it from the stove and busying herself to get the tea. Guess I’ve been put in my place. She tugged on her hands, figuring she probably should leave. She walked around to lightly touch Jon’s shoulder. “I’m going to go.”

“No…” he began, climbing off the counter stool. He reached to squeeze her hand. “I wanted to talk to you about something with the character. One of your notes…hang on.” He left the room, making sure to take whatever manuscript he was working on with him.

Arya’s phone rang and she jumped in place. “It’s Mother,” she said with an eyeroll. She wagged it at Sansa, scowling. “I blame you for whatever she’s going to yell at me for.”

Typical older sister, she smirked. “Well you deserve it. She wanted to know why you haven’t been home.”

“Because I’m in school!” Arya stomped off, answering her phone with a deceptively sweet voice. “Hello Mother!”

That left the two of them. She really wasn’t sure what to do. She wanted to try to help, moving to take the tray of cups and tea from Sansa, who turned away from the counter. “Let me,” she said, trying to offer to help at the same time as Sansa tried to tug it away from her, resulting in two of the cups toppling over and spilling hot brown tea over her white sweater. She yelped at the sudden clatter, despite the fact that she felt no heat from the should-have-been-scalding-tea—a peculiar thing she’d experienced since birth—jumping back at the same time Sansa cried out for her to “Leave it be!”

She jumped away and Sansa glared at her, furious, and eyes narrowing to slits. “I told you to let me do it!” she exclaimed.

“I was trying to help,” she uttered weakly, unable to fight with the other woman. She looked over at Jon, who had just rushed into the room at the sound, his eyes wide and immediately rushing towards her. She batted off his hands. “I’m fine Jon, it’s nothing…”

“Fuck! You could be burned! Let me…” He was trying to pull up the bottom of her sweater, likely to check for burns, and let go, rushing to the sink to wet a bunch of paper towels. He glared over his shoulder at Sansa, who was picking up broken pieces of teacup from the floor. “Seven hells, Sansa! You couldn’t just let her help you, could you?”

Sansa said nothing, just shot him a dark look as she kept cleaning up. Somehow the commotion hadn’t brought Arya to the kitchen. Dany thought it was just an entire overreaction. “I’m fine Jon,” she tried to say again, as he dabbed wet towels on her shirt. It seemed to just make it worse, spreading the tea stain further on the white fabric. She patted his hand, pushing it away. She realized that his one hand was practically cupping her breast, the thin fabric practically see-through, giving a perfect outline of her lace bra cup and the shadow of one of her nipples. Which, curse her fucking traitorous body, was pebbling at his light touch. She glanced down at his hand and then tried to tear away her gaze from his, but the sudden dilation of his pupils and the hitch in his breathing had her body reacting further.

He swallowed hard and let go, his hands falling to his sides. Already she felt like something was missing. “Um…sorry…you should…” He frowned, realizing that she was barely moving. “How are you not hurt? That was boiling water…”

“It’s nothing. I don’t really feel heat.” She pulled at the collar of her shirt, showing him what of her skin she dared. It wasn’t red or burned or at all reacting to the hot water. She smiled briefly. “Fine. Just…I’ll go try to clean up.”

“Ah…guest room. Dresser. There might be some clothes there.” His cheeks were tinged pink again. Something crossed over him, his face flickering with…sadness? She wasn’t sure if she saw it correctly. She had to get out of that kitchen. The tension between them, the tension with his sister glaring at them, and then of course Jon was likely pissed at his sister, which she saw immediately as she stepped out of the kitchen and heard him hissing “What the fuck is your problem?!

The guest room was at the top of the stairs, so she hurried up, and inside, closing the door behind her. She took a few breaths, trying to still her beating heart. Gods. The way his hand had just…oh gods it had been so long since she’d felt someone’s hand on her breast like that. Well, in general, but definitely like that. She reached to touch at it, shaking her head and trying to regulate her breathing again. Dany, get a fucking grip.

Dresser, he said dresser, focus. She pushed from the door and went to the dresser, tugging open the top drawer. There were only a few random knickknacks in there, some stray makeup, a couple hairbrushes and ties…she pushed that one closed and went for the next. It was filled with towels and other linens. Clearly, Jon had not spent time in this room in a while. There was a layer of dust on the top of the dresser. She pushed it closed and took a moment to look around the room. It was stark white, the bed covered with a plaid coverlet. She imagined Arya probably stayed here the most, probably why there was women’s makeup and brushes in the drawer.

She sat on the edge of the bed, reaching to tug open the nightstand drawer. It was not polite, of course, to be snooping like this, but…well she felt like she had spent enough time here enough…maybe. If she really wanted to try to argue it. She glanced in the drawer. More random items. Kleenex, chapstick, a broken watch…she frowned and picked up a photo, the frame turned upside down. The edges of it were tarnished and cracked, like it had fallen…or been thrown.

Thrown was a better guess, as the frame had a crack across the glass, splitting the image inside the frame into two. It was a couple. She immediately recognized a younger Jon, standing in the snow, wearing his all black tactical uniform of the Night’s Watch unit of the Westeros military, a patch on the arm signifying his role as a Ranger. He was holding a giant black gun across his chest and his arm was slung over the shoulders of a woman wearing a more camouflaged uniform, mottled browns, grays, and whites, designed for the far north, and her flame-red hair done in a tight braid from her face. She was scowling and Jon was smiling, albeit barely. She had a very fancy, complicated looking bow in her hand. The only markings on her uniform were a rank she didn’t recognize and a patch for a unit that she also wasn’t familiar with.

She felt like she had clearly overstepped something. She shoved the photo back into the drawer and got to her feet, tripping to the dresser and trying to find whatever it was Jon thought she might find there. She yanked open the bottom drawer, seeing a few women’s flannel and button downs. She tugged out a t-shirt that had block lettering on the front. Westeros Army. It was a women’s cut and she quickly yanked off her wet stained shirt and pulled the t-shirt over.

This was his girlfriend’s. Or wife. Or fiancée. Or…she had no idea. They’d never discussed his romantic history in their random conversations and visits. He’d never brought it up and she had never pried. She thought suddenly of the character in the book…the one she thought was real. The one who had just disappeared from the pages. She sank back down onto the bed, staring at the open drawer.

Something possessed her to keep looking for…something. She had no idea. She really should have just grabbed her stained clothes and gone back downstairs, grabbed up her coat and bag and left. Damn any paps that had found her there. It would probably be best for him, seeing as his sister hated her. She didn’t want to engage with Sansa anymore than it seemed the woman wanted to engage her. She shut the one drawer and reached for the very bottom, pulling it open.

Books. It was just full of books, some notebooks, and…she frowned, leaning forward more to grab at the thick cardstock bound set of papers. It was a manuscript. Unpublished, but at least seemed to have gone through some sort of official editing and manufacturing. She stared at the small font on the cover. Untitled Unfinished Jon Snow Manuscript. She flicked it open, beyond a few of the pages for the publishing house, and began to read.

A few chapters in, she had to close it. Tears were threatening to fall. She flicked to the end and found that yes; it was unfinished. It was missing an end. It was a story of a woman, a wildling from Westeros, and for some reason it was just…not finished. She could hazard a guess why and it made her stomach turn. She flicked back to the front, looking at the dedication. Jon Snow did not put in dedications in his books like most authors. This one did have one. For Y.

Who was Y?

“What are you doing?”

She jumped in place, throwing the book into the drawer and kicking it shut, spinning and staring at Jon, who was in the doorway, holding a large sweatshirt in his hand. She swallowed the stammering that threatened to take her over. “Um…I was just…” There was no way she could avoid it. He’d seen her reading. She was wearing the woman’s t-shirt from the military after all. She pointed to the drawer and sighed. Gave up. “You didn’t finish that book…just like you didn’t put the rest of the character…the same character…in The Night’s Watch.

He closed the door behind him, walking over and setting the sweatshirt on the edge of the bed. He sighed and sat down beside her on the bed. He folded his hands between his knees for a moment before reaching up to scrub at his face. She glanced sideways. He looked tired all of a sudden. She was about to apologize, but he spoke, voice quiet. “Her name was Ygritte. She was…she was my first real girlfriend…first real anything, really.” He turned to look at her, his gray eyes sad. He smiled briefly. “She was really something…we met in basic. She was a member of the Free Folk.”

The Free Folk was a group that lived above the Wall in Westeros, the ones who really didn’t get lumped into anything in the city. Didn’t necessarily even have rights. It was a sticking point with her and with a lot of Westerosi who had left for the rest of the world. Westeros was still so far back in time, as far as she was concerned. The way the government treated the Free Folk being one of those reasons. “And she joined the military?”

“Kind of a forced thing. She got caught smuggling stuff across the Wall and her punishment was jailtime or military, so she chose military.” He smiled briefly. “They immediately put her to work in the north. She knew it like the back of her hand…anyways…she died.”

He said it so matter-of-fact that it felt like she’d been shocked. She blinked at him. “That’s…harsh. What happened?”

“She died, like I said.” He shook his head and laughed, harsh, like a wolf bark. “She didn’t even die in the military. Didn’t die fighting or on a mission or anything. After the military she became a ranger…mountain climbing person. She was on an ice sheet in Switzerland…lost grip. It was an accident.” He licked his lips and his eyes widened slightly. His voice cracked. “She hated the books and…and the plays…she wanted me to make a movie.”

So that was why he was turning towards film instead of sticking to plays. She reached her hand over and wrapped her fingers through his, squeezing comfortingly. “I’m sorry,” she whispered. She wasn’t sure why she was apologizing. Apologizing for snooping, for giving him shit with the script, and for not realizing the importance of this for him. She bit her lower lip. She was sorry she actually felt like maybe…maybe there was something else here between them. Of course there wasn’t. She glanced at the unfinished manuscript in the drawer. Her voice soft in realization. “You don’t write happy endings.”

“They don’t really exist.”

Of course he would think that. To be honest she wasn’t sure she believed in them either. They weren’t anything that ever seemed in the realm of possibility for her. She leaned against his shoulder, somewhat comforted by his presence. She wanted to comfort him. Although he seemed better than she would have expected for talking about his dead girlfriend. She looked up to him, meeting his gaze. “I am sorry for…for what happened to her.”

“She was too wild for this world,” he whispered. He smiled briefly. “But like I said, she…she wanted me to make a movie so she could actually see what I was doing.”

“She didn’t read any of your books?”

“No, they weren’t really for her.” He leaned against her now, his voice husky and tickling at her ear, his forehead lightly brushing against her temple. Oh gods. What are you doing Dany? She leaned closer this time and his breathing hitched in the back of his throat. “But you seem to like them.”

Somehow she managed a laugh. By now their thighs were flush against each other and she was turning her body into him at the same time he turned towards hers, his hand going over to lightly touch her other thigh, steadying his balance on the edge of the bed. His eyes were unblinking, staring deep into hers. She thought she could see straight through his. She tried to think of something to say. “Well…you are an amazing writer,” she managed to get out.

He brushed his nose over hers. “I still think Is hould stick to plays.”

“I don’t know about that.” Then she couldn’t stop herself. She pressed against him, her hands going to his shoulders and her fingers digging into the hard muscle, her lips barely touching his before someone—him?—snarled and suddenly she was in his lap, her legs straddling his narrow hips and her hands diving from his shoulders into his curls, yanking at the tie and groaning as the silken strands sprung free, wrapping around her hands as she rocked into him.

The move of her mouth over his was nothing compared to what he did to her. His hands seemed to be everywhere. Diving under the shirt to the expanse of her back, another groan escaping him when he realized she wasn’t wearing a bra anymore. She felt like her skin was on fire, feeling heat she hadn’t felt when scalding tea spilled on her, but her skin flaming from his fingers. One wide hand cupped the back of her head, this time pulling on her braids, trying to bunch into her hair, but she reached one of her hands from where she’d skimmed it over his cheek to grip at his at her side, bringing it up to the breast he’d accidentally cupped earlier, now her fingers tightening in his, encouraging his rough ministrations.

His lips and tongue were everywhere. If Dany admitted it to herself she had wondered about this. Had wondered what he would be like; if he was really the wolf she thought he might be when the lights went out. Except the lights weren’t out and this was the middle of the day with his sisters downstairs and his…and his dead girlfriend’s shirt bunching up around her midsection as he tried to get it off her without breaking their kiss.

The kiss that set her on fire. The kiss that currently had her going blind and deaf to anything. Tongue teasing at hers, sweeping into her mouth, and teeth gnashing against the other. She gasped and whined, rocking against him as his hand began to tug at the tab of her pants, long fingers brushing between them and shocks of pleasure shooting through her limbs and pleasure pooling in her belly.

We have to stop. We can’t do this.

“Wait!” she exclaimed, tearing her mouth from his. She drew in deep breaths, her hands still tangled in his hair. Their eyes met. Stormy gray and deep violet, glassy with desire. His mouth was swollen and his face flushed. His fingertips dug at her hips, stilling her against him. She could only imagine how she looked, but she felt her lips throbbing and her fucking body ached for more of him. She leaned in again and kissed him, gentler this time, and he angled against her, returning the sweet kiss. She broke away again and pressed her forehead to his. “We can’t do this,” she murmured. Not here. Not now. She stumbled through her response, trying to untangle herself from his legs and get off the bed without making herself look like a fool. “I mean…I mean we can…but…but we were talking about your griflriend and…and…I don’t want this…” Gods.

He looked up through hooded eyes, his lashes brushing against his cheek. “I get it,” he mumbled. He lightly nudged her off of him and she rolled onto her side, half on the bed and half off as he stood. He offered her the sweatshirt he’d brought in with him and she took it silently, still staring at him. He glanced at her and then up at the ceiling. A moment passed and he turned to her again, his voice quiet. “But let’s get one thing straight…Daenerys.” He lifted his brows. “I was kissing you, not my dead girlfriend. I was kissing you because I wanted to.”

Oh. She wasn’t sure what to say. What could she say? She got to her feet and stared like an idiot. He looked sad again. She hated when he got that look. She stepped towards him, but the moment was broken, and they both looked over when Arya jogged by the room, poking her head in. “Jon, get down here I’m going to kill Sansa if she keeps talking about this Northern independence movement, I mean honestly.”

“I’ll be right there,” he said, coughing slightly.

Arya glanced between the both of them, narrowing her eyes. “What’s going on here?”

“Nothing,” she said first. She held up the sweatshirt. “Sansa spilled tea on me and Jon was getting me a change.”

Thank gods Arya focused on the Sansa bit, scowling and muttering under her breath about what a bitch her sister was and how she would deal with it. She stormed to the stairs, leaving them alone again. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans and turned away, leaving her to stand in the room, trying to gather her feelings. She felt flustered. She wasn’t sure if this was a good idea…

Stop thinking Dany, just stop. It would do no good. She pushed her hands at her hair, trying to get it back into some semblance of order. It was the way he’d been with the kids this morning at the hospital, all sweet and kind. It was how he’d even come to the hospital in the first place. The arguments they had over his characters and writings. The anticipation building as they moved closer to filming. It was just…just hormones and stuff. She glanced at her reflection in the mirror over the dresser.

“This is nothing,” she told herself. She pointed to her image. “You will not fuck this up. No.” She was not going to do this again. She would not have her moment, her last chance as it were, fuck up because of feelings and sex and emotions and all that. She nodded smartly at her decision and pulled on the sweatshirt, pulling it forward to look at the image on it and then glanced at the mirror.

Property of the Night’s Watch.

Well fuck, she thought, rolling her eyes and stalking out of the guest room.

Chapter Text

v.
May 2018AC
London, England

 

"Where are you going now?"

Jon dodged a black cab as he crossed the street, his phone to his ear as his sister rattled on about how he wasn't paying attention to her work-- didn't he know it was very important to her? Didn't he understand how this movement in Westeros was the beginning of something new? He should be supportive, he was from the North, he had the wolf blood, he fought there, blah, blah, blah. He also felt like sharing with her that Westeros had some of the most backwards ideals and values he had ever experienced, starting with the fact that they still shunned children born out of wedlock, like himself. He cut Sansa off as she prattled about economic forces beyond their control or something. "I've got to go, I'm at Dany's."

That silenced her. "Oh Dany is it?"

He rolled his eyes, standing outside of Dany's townhouse, rain pelting him on all sides and his old beat-up Army jacket doing absolutely nothing to keep him warm or dry. Water trickled from his damp hair onto his face and he ducked his head against the onslaught. He was surprised his phone still worked. "Yes, it's Dany, I don't understand your dislike."

"Well you do know that her family..."

"Sansa that is like medieval history with the Targaryens and Westeros, she isn't even that closely related." Something about how in ancient times her family were essentially royalty and almost wiped out the Starks and the North with dragons. It was like something out of his books. He even considered exploring it further for a future novel or play. He still might. After he finished the idea he'd been developing for the past few months. It was eating at him more than this damn film. He glanced at the bright red front door of Dany's townhouse and then to the street, hoping no one had decided today they wanted to stake her out. She'd been out of the news lately, which was a relief for them both. "I've got to go," he repeated.

She snorted. "We can talk about your newfound dragon obsession later."

"Or not," he said, concluding the call. Sansa had been a downright cow about his friendship with Dany, as well as Arya's fascination with the movie star. She'd even casually brought up whether she could join the movie as a stunt performer. That was all he needed. Arya deciding she wanted to spend her life tumbling and flying around movie sets. He still wasn't sure what she was going to do with herself; she tended to trail around after him because he was the only one who understood her, as she said it. Or else she was hanging with Gendry. He felt bad for his little sister. She was as much an outcast as him with their family. Especially since his uncle died a few years back. He shoved his phone into his pocket and punched the code on the gate, pushing open the door and jogging through the little garden up to the front door, banging the dragon doorknocker.

It swung open a moment later and he was greeted by the placid stare of her brother. Viserys unnerved him. He always seemed like he was a bomb waiting to go off. "Wolf," he greeted, his Westerosi accent almost completely hidden by clipped British. He arched a brow. "Don’t get your dirty paws on the Myrish rug."

He rolled his eyes and ducked into the house, shaking the rain off his jacket as he shrugged it off. He made sure to stomp his feet as well on what he assumed was the Myrish rug, just to annoy Viserys. "I have some things for her."

"Couldn't courier them over?"

Well he could have sent them via a courier, but that would entail calling someone to come to the house, get the pages, perhaps even send them off to the studio. Then someone would have to get dispatched to her house or wherever she was hiding these days and that would just take too damn long. Especially with the first table read in a couple days. He was anxious to get this thing under way. He'd already had several dozen meetings with Margarey Tyrell and was pleased that his script was in good hands. She had a similar vision as him, was no nonsense and despite her tendency to hide her true intentions behind a kind smile and flick of her hair, he was satisfied with what she brought to the table so to speak. Margarey’s primary AD, who would be taking over most of the secondary filming units, Yara Greyjoy, was equally capable.

He reached into his soaking wet leather bag, grateful he always put his pages in water resistant plastic envelopes. He wagged it in the air, the watermark stamped "D. TARGARYEN" across the cover. "For her eyes only."

Viserys rolled his, gesturing towards the back of the house. "She's with the Imp."

What was Tyrion doing there? He briefly wondered if there was another PR issue at hand, but pushed it from his mind, walking comfortably through the house towards the back, where Dany kept her study and a workroom. He was finding every actor had an interesting method. She was obsessive with her part, learning lines already, researching and making notes, and fighting with him. Then there were the others. He'd heard from the writing department that Jaime Lannister never read anything, preferring his manager and twin sister to do the work for him before he showed up for table reads. He only ever learned the part for that day and then immediately forgot. Little Lyanna Mormont had sent him a sweet note on stationary that had a bear on it, saying she was so excited for the role and couldn't wait to meet him. He honestly couldn't wait to meet her either, she already reminded him a bit of Arya.

He stepped into her study, finding Tyrion seated on one of the antique settees, sipping a glass of wine and reading through his phone. He frowned. "Where's Dany?"

"Outside."

"What's she doing outside?" It was pouring! He glanced out the window and tossed his bag on the ground, hurrying out a set of French doors onto the covered patio, and finding her standing in the rain, wearing nothing but a thin linen dress and boots, her hair drenched and her small body shaking like a leaf as she recited lines. "Get in here! It's freezing!" And raining, of course.

She shook her head. "Can't, working."

Tyrion appeared at his side in the doorway. "She's kind of method."

Method? "Is her method to get pneumonia before filming begins?"

"Entirely possible, if Millie has pneumonia during the battle scenes."

Others take me. He thought he had somewhat gotten used to Dany's quirks-- she didn't have near as many as him-- over the last couple of months, but this was a new one. One he should not have been surprised by either. He watched her for a moment, standing in what she imagined would probably be her costume, her hair knotted ropes down her back, and cold rain washing over her as her lips trembled out the lines. She was oddly enchanting, her wide purple eyes peering up at an unseen counterpart, begging for assistance. It was the scene where Millie went to one of the northern lords, having just escaped from fighting a walker. She would be exhausted, frozen, and yes, she'd lost her cloak in the fight, so she would be in just her dress. She'd have the little sister with her too, he thought, envisioning Lyanna Mormont standing beside her.

He watched her for a few moments more, as she moved in the rain, her voice still strong and determined, practicing out and testing various motions of her hands, body, and face. She had the lines down already. He didn't think he'd be changing that scene any time soon now. He smiled briefly at her determination. It seemed as though she had truly thrown herself into the role after their brief conversation in his house a couple months ago. He hadn't kissed her since, as much as he wanted to, and they hadn't mentioned it. Their time together had been brief though, usually just some phone calls while he spent his time writing up in Scotland, only making his way down for meetings he absolutely needed to attend in person. He found himself occasionally checking his phone for news on her, grateful when only old articles and photos popped up. Including a news article on the hospital's website saying Princess Periwinkle stopped by to greet the children. Of course there were comments about washed up actress trying to gain favor and all that garbage.

He wasn't sure why he'd been so reluctant to have her play Millie. Although something still ate at him about it. She was amazing, no doubt, but there was just...something otherworldly that she gave off that eh couldn't see a northern lord's daughter having. "She's good, huh?"

Tyrion's voice brought him from his thoughts and he coughed, slightly embarrassed at having been caught staring. "What?"

"She’s good," he repeated, sipping at his wine. He gestured towards her with the glass. His voice slightly reverent. "No one really gave her the chance after the TV show. Just tossed off her attempts as nothing but trying to get out of that character. Then she got caught up in the shitty action films."

He wanted to blame Viserys and Tyrion for those. Clearly poor management on their part, but he knew Dany didn't do anything she didn't want to. "She was probably just trying to avoid typecast."

"And she's doing a good job at it. Do you approve?"

"Approve what?" Tyrion was speaking riddles. He didn't feel like following. He scowled at him. "Approve her?"

The other man merely shrugged, unaffected by the irritation Jon projected at him. "Well you did want her to audition and all that."

Because I wasn't sure what to expect. Sometimes he still wasn't sure what to expect from Daenerys Targaryen. He didn't owe Tyrion anything, so he kept his mouth shut when it came to talking to him. He instead called out to the crazy lady in the rain. "Oi! Targaryen! Get in here!"

The shouting of her last name seemed to distract her from something and she studied him for a moment, like she didn't know who he was. He frowned and stepped into the rain, his boots splashing into a large puddle at the step of the patio, going to meet her halfway in the garden. He grabbed at her arm, tugging her towards the warm, dry house. She pulled back. "I still have to work through this scene, it's really difficult."

"You can do it in the house."

"No I can't, Millie is supposed to be in the snow at night." Her eyes flashed. "Hey, is it still snowy up in Inverness?"

Most of the snow had melted to slush, but he wasn’t going to tell her that. She'd probably get on the first train and go roll in it before working on her scenes. He pushed her into the study while Tyrion poured her a drink. He scowled at the so-called manager. Getting her drunk was not a way to get her warm. You could get her warm, Snow. He shook his head quickly at the dirty thought that jumped into his head. She gave him a strange look. Could she read his mind? He tried to keep the flush from his cheeks; Arya always made fun of him for being slightly prudish in these types of matters. He wasn't a prude, he just didn't think anyone but him and the woman he was involved with needed to know about his sex life.

And part of him wanted Dany to be that woman at the moment. The other part recognized the difficulty of it. They were working together. She was trying to recover her reputation. Too many people would want to get their nose into it. Too much of everything. Besides, she clearly thought their kiss a couple months ago was because he was sad about talking about Ygritte. It really had nothing to do with that. Ygritte and him were just...he sighed at the thought of her. It was young love. He was away from home, a fucking teenager, and she was wild, crazy, and didn't give a fuck about anything. she was the right woman at the right time but he never thought it would really work out beyond what it was. An on and off affair of two people with way different backgrounds who fought more than they fucked.

Dany on the other hand...he blinked, focusing on the blanket that Tyrion had pressed to his hands, using it to wrap around her shaking body. He scowled at her, pushing her to the large stone hearth in the corner of the room, and flicking the switch on the wall to turn the gas fire on. It whooshed to life, complete with fake crackling sounds. He despised these types of things. The only fire in a fireplace should be wood burning, in his opinion. He really didn't even think the things heated the room up, so he tightened the blanket around her and barked at Tyrion to go get some towels to dry off her hair.

She pushed at his hands, which were trying to undo the laces of her boots. "I'm fine, really," she said.

"You're insane."

"I don't like that word," she warned. He remembered. He ducked his head and mumbled an apology. She kicked at the boot, toeing it off with the other. He held up the boot, silently questioning why she would be wearing such a complicated piece of footwear. It had tons of laces and even hook and eye closures. She smirked. "I stopped at the studio and picked up some of the rougher versions of the clothes for Millie, so I could work on how it would feel."

Gods, they hadn't even done a fucking table read and she was already badgering the poor costume designer for fittings and test outfits. He rolled his eyes. "Dany, things could change." They might find out that working in Iceland in those boost wouldn't work. He might change the whole scene. He might have a dream and wake up and realize that Millie didn't need to be wearing boots in the scene but should be riding a dragon or something. Although he figured Margarey and special effects and the budget department would kill him. They were already going to be eating up most of the budget on the effects.

Effects...he frowned, studying her, kneeling on the floor in front of her as she still shivered on the settee where Tyrion had been earlier. He blinked owlishly. Something was different. Other than her soaking wet frame, ashy-colored skin from the cold, and her violet eyes, which seemed deeper now that the fire was warming her up a bit. He cocked his head. And it hit him. His eyes widened, somewhat fascinated and horrified at the same time. "Your hair," he croaked.

Her beautiful, beautiful silver-gold hair...it was gone. It was chestnut brown, practically black from the rainwater. Twisted into knotty ropes and hanging beyond her shoulders, unbraided and limp. He lightly touched one of the strands, curling at his touch, and she had the absolute fucking nerve to smile. Smirk, even. "I was wondering when you were going to notice," she murmured. She rolled her eyes upwards, as if looking at it. "I know they had wigs made, but I was adamant. No wigs. They hurt, they itch, and they're too hot. I need to be Millie. I can't just eb pretending."

But the hair...it was her trademark. He was stunned to find how much he ached to have it back. To wrap his hand around it and...fuck Jon, calm down. He swallowed hard, smiling as he investigated the chestnut again, rising to study her roots, which were stained dark down to her scalp. He shook his head slightly and ran his tongue over his teeth. He still wasn’t sure how he felt about this. "I understand why, but...it's so different."

"Different good?" she teased.

It was actually. Somehow it was good. It only served to make her unique eyes stand out further. Gods, how could someone be so beautiful and be so oblivious to it? He smiled tightly. He was going to do something he probably shouldn't if he wasn't careful. He glanced over at Tyrion, who had returned to the room, holding some towels. "Took me forever to find these, Viserys had no idea where you kept linens."

"Viserys doesn't know where anything is unless it's booze or drugs," she snapped. She took a towel and began to dry off her hair, while he took a few and set them in front of the fire to warm up before he wrapped her back in them. She tossed the hair back from her face, still smiling. An eyebrow quirked. "You still aren't sure of this."

"I admire your dedication." It should not have surprised him. She was devoted to this role more than anyone, almost as much as him. It was why he was there to begin with. Why they had carried on their friendship even when they had no reason to see each other after she'd gotten the first script and signed on. This was her movie as much as his, he had concluded. It was best he accept it and move on. Although it was still his story. He twisted another strand around his finger, watching it coil and spring free when he released it. He smiled again. "It’s pretty."

They stared at each other for a moment. Tyrion had disappeared and it was just them. Rain pounding outside, a warm fire, and...them. He swallowed the lump in his throat. Others take me, she's fucking gorgeous. He leaned in, determined and giving in to the fact that this was just going to have to happen, but she pulled back slightly, turning her face and getting to her feet. He sighed and leaned back on his heels, watching her get up and walk to the fire, kneeling and taking one of the towels to wrap around herself, dropping the sopping blanket onto the slate hearth. He ran his tongue over his teeth again. "You ready for the table read?"

"Hmm," she hummed. She ducked her face into the towel and sighed. "I guess I am. It will be realer. I can't hide behind making notes and preparing. I need to just do it."

he stood up and went back to the pages he'd left on the desk in his haste to get her from the rain. He opened the envelope and removed them. "The second Act, we were going over the staging...I spoke with Margarey, we think we're going to move the fight scene with the one White walker to the top of the act to open and then have her find her sister in the cave. There's too much to consider with Lyanna being present for the scene and it wouldn't make sense to have her just hiding somewhere while you fought."

"Yes but then what is she truly fighting for? She's fighting the Walker to protect her little sister."

"But the Walker isn't physical danger, the Walker represents the beginning of death," he reminded her. The studio kept getting caught up in the supernatural elements of it. It wasn't that. It was character driven. Or at least, it was supposed to be character driven. It was why he'd been so adamant about creative control. They weren't going to turn his play into some blockbuster special effects lovefest at the expense of the characters. He flicked through the pages and handed them to her. The table read was going to be entertaining, he knew the script supervisor was working overtime trying to make sure that each version was the same for everyone.

Margarey told him to knock it off, but he didn't care. It was his script, his story, and he was going to make changes as long as he needed to make changes. He turned around and studied Dany, who was glaring at him, still obviously annoyed at the change. He smirked. "What?"

"I don't think it makes sense."

He folded his hands in front of him and shrugged. "Convince me."

So they argued. He followed her up the stairs and draped himself in an armchair in the sitting room attached to her bedroom, hearing her shouting as she changed from her wet clothing into something warmer. She was slowly wining the argument, he was starting to agree with her that yes, Millie would need someone to fight for, particularly with the viciousness with which she fought this particular White Walker. Margarey would kill him if he made another change. Oh well. He noted it on the binder, the pages crinkled, worn, hi-lighted and post-noted and with scribbles in varying colors. He folded it back to the scene, moving a post-it to another location and making a mark to fix it for the final reading tomorrow.

He listened to her shout from the other room about the costume, how she wanted to make sure that they used a real corset, none of the fake thing, and he nodded idly, taking out the notebook from his back pocket. It was wet from the rain, but the pages inside the hardcover were still dry. He took his pen and began to scribble, glancing around the sitting area. It was done in very understated grays, creams, and pale purple. There was fresh flowers and pretty artwork on the wall. He even thought it kind of adorable that she had a stuffed dragon sitting on the couch across from the armchair. He chuckled and made a note in the notebook about that and tapped the pen to his lips, thinking. He slouched farther into the chair, propping his foot up on the coffee table and began to write.

 

"Gorgeous beasts."

"I know they frighten most people, they instill fear and terror, but to me they will always be my children, as big as cats and cuddling in my arms." He watched her face as she surveyed the giant creatures wheeling about in the sky, two of them grappling like giant reptilian birds, screeching over their latest kill. The sight should have horrified him, sent him for cover as they fought overhead, their cries reverberating in the soft sea air. Instead, his gaze focused on the woman before him, watching her sons with motherly pride, her smile warm and loving. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to think that he was the subject of that smile, and when she turned, her violet eyes glinting in the sunlight, he was and he smiled in return, feeling for just a moment that it was only them.

 

"What are you working on?"

The soft whisper of her voice in his ear sent him flying up out of the armchair, the notebook napping shut and moving so fast out of his hand that it felt a ton of tiny paper cuts on his thumb. She was standing behind the chair, straightening up from where she'd been hovering behind him. Her eyes were dancing with amusement and she folded her arms on top of the chair, her chin lifting up as a playful smile pulled on her rosy red lips. He wondered how much she might have read. He decided to play coy, backing away from her as she tried to cut him off when he moved around the chair. "Nothing."

"Liar."

"I never lie."

"You told me you weren't Jon Snow."

"Not true," he protested. "You asked if I knew a Jon Snow. I don't technically know anyone else named Jon Snow."

She scowled at him. "You're an asshole."

He lifted his brow, trying hard not to smile too wide. "And you’re nosy."

"Arya says you don't let anyone read your work before you're ready." S he crossed her arms over her chest. She'd changed into what he had learned was something of a uniform for her. At least, in the few months he'd known her. A thin cashmere crewneck sweater, this one long and extra-large, falling almost to her knees. She had on leggings beneath it and she wore no shoes or socks. He noted that her toenails were painted bright red. She squinted in his direction. "Yet you let me read the script before it was complete."

He did, yes, he did do that and now look at him. Allowing all kinds of changes and edits because she thought they had to be there. "Well you were insistent."

"And you were an ass."

"We've been over this." Many, many times. He darted away from her again, this time moving quickly and running out of her room, glancing over his shoulder to see her chasing after him, yelling about showing him what he was writing. He all but slid down the banister and jumped the last few steps, sliding on the hardwood and managing to get to his bag in time, shoving the notebook in. He spun around just in time for her to knock into him, like a fireball, and topple them both onto the floor in front of the fireplace in her study.

She pinned him down by his upper arms, her firm thighs straddling his abdomen. She grinned down at him, her dark hair pulled into a tight braid with three smaller braids kind of feeding into it. How she managed to do that without help, he would never know. He found himself often checking to see how she had it done each time he met her. Her eyes filled with mirth and he managed to smile, just a bit, as she pushed farther on him, rising up a bit so he would have to really push-- not hard though he imagined-- to get her off him. Not that he wanted to do that just yet. She felt really nice. She smelled good too. Like lemons and lavender.

She cocked her head. "Dare I say that Jon Snow is...laughing?"

"An outrageous accusation."

"I think I saw it." She leaned her face a little closer. He could see that there were flecks of gold around her pupil. Gods, she's so beautiful. She brushed her nose over his and he found himself reacting instantly. He knew it wasn't right. It wasn't good timing. This was a professional relationship. Nothing more. He almost believed himself. She seemed to realize what was happening and sat up suddenly, letting go of his arms. She remained straddling him though. He glanced at her lower lip, the plump flesh tugged under her upper teeth nervously. She seemed unsure where to put her hands, so she set them on either side of his abdomen.

All that did was send prickles of desire straight through very nerve ending of his body. His hands, also unsure where to go, rested on her upper thighs. He stared at her for a brief moment, not breaking eye contact as his thumbs moved up and pressed lightly into the curve of her hipbones. She rocked involuntarily against him, a gasp escaping in surprise. What is the problem Snow? You're both adults. You're both single.

So many problems. So many complicated problems. "We should run lines," she whispered.

"We should." He didn't want to run fucking lines with her. He wasn't an actor. It was what had gotten him to crawl out of his cocoon in Notting Hill, annoyed that he had to leave Inverness and would likely be in London for the foreseeable future, supervising the filming and working to see how a play about man’s humanity and fight against death actually would work on screen with special effects, overpaid actors, and an added storyline so they could make it a little over two hours. He had answered her call almost immediately, accepting her suggestion to work on her lines and using it as an excuse to bring over the new pages.

He was fairly certain that the relationship with screenwriter and star actor was not this close. Screenwriter and director, maybe, but he was purely colleagues with Margarey Tyrell and had spoken to her a handful of times thus far. Dany and he had gotten drunk on a thousand dollars worth of scotch and watched Princess Periwinkle. And that was within the first couple months of meeting.

Just stop thinking Snow. Just kiss her.

So he did. He rose up and tugged her against his chest, his hand sliding into her damp hair and his mouth covering hers, immediately sucking her lower lip between his. She tasted like strawberries, he thought briefly, feeling her hands reach to hold his jaw in them, a soft moan emanating from her chest. He felt her breathing hard against him, the soft flutter of it from her nose onto his cheek. He teased at her mouth with the tip of his tongue, slowly coaxing it open under him. At some point he felt his hair escape the confines of the tie; she really did not like it when he pulled it back, he supposed.

At some point she began to fall back and he snaked an arm to wrap around her waist, carefully moving her backwards to lie on the plush rug in front of the fireplace, her legs falling open to cradle him against her. They fit perfectly together. He broke the kiss just long enough to push at the hem of her sweater and she let out a soft grunt of annoyance as it tangled a bit in her hair. He threw it aside and she immediately placed her arms back around his neck again. “That was cashmere,” she murmured against his mouth.

“I don’t give a shit what it was it was in my way.” He placed hot, open-mouthed kisses across her jaw and to her neck, latching to the pulse that raced in her neck, while his fingers skimmed over her taut stomach to the top of her leggings. Thank the gods. The elastic pulled easy as he slid his hand around to cup her bottom, feeling the soft lace of her panties. His fingers curled into it and he had an overwhelming urge to just tear and conquer. Possess, as it were.

Her skin was so hot; he remembered she said that she didn’t feel heat like others did. She’s a dragon. Now it was his turn, he figured, as she began fighting with the buttons on his flannel. He was sick of the damn thing, needing it off as much as her and tugged at the fabric, ignoring the popping of buttons as she slid it over his shoulders and he shrugged it free. “This is a terrible idea,” she whispered, reaching for his jeans. She gasped as he moved her hands from him. If she got where she wanted to go, he was going to explode. This had to be about her. At least, for now.

“The worst,” he agreed, kissing her again. This time it was messier, both of them needing to get as much as possible. He pressed her back into the rug, moving over her flushed chest, nuzzling at the valley of her breasts and reaching to tug one of the lace bra cups, freeing her to his mouth. He secured his lips over one nipple, swirling his tongue around it and lifting his eyes to see her arch against him, hands tangling in his hair. She was chewing on her lower lip, little mewls of pleasure escaping her. He smiled and lavished the other breast with the same attention.

She tore at his hair, her thighs locking against his shoulders and she bucked against him. “I swear to gods Jon Snow, you better put that pretty mouth a bit lower.” She groaned again. “Or just fuck me already.”

“Gods your mouth is filthy.” To be an asshole he barely touched along the seam of her leggings, his plan going awry when he felt how damp they already were. It was his turn to groan. “Fuck Dany.”

She laughed, but he shut her up with a little nip at the soft skin under her breast. She pulled at his hair again. “Fuck you.

He grinned. He was straining against his jeans, still almost fully dressed, but he tugged at the elastic of her leggings, wanting nothing more than to do what he’d dreamed about for the last couple months. This was going to make things so much more complicated, but right now he couldn’t think of that when all he wanted was to bury himself inside of her and see if it compared to what he’d imagined. But first…

Little pants were coming out of Dany so fast she sounded almost like she was hyperventilating, arching and twisting as his mouth tracked over her belly, swirled his tongue around her navel and lightly brushed the tip over the top of her leggings. He decided to prolong it just for a moment, to get back at her for the way she was yanking at his hair, which he was finding he quite enjoyed. He smiled against her skin and she seemed to hesitate for a second, like she knew he was planning something. He rolled his eyes upwards in time to see her eyes open slightly and watch him, her breasts rising and falling with each shallow breath.

Once he knew she was watching, he opened his mouth and planted it over her, pressing the flat of his tongue against the bud he could feel through the fabric of her panties and leggings. A high whine sounded and she twisted her hips, simultaneously trying to get closer and pull away. “Oh I hate you,” she cried, her heel digging into his shoulder.

He chuckled and in one pull he had her leggings and panties tugged to her knees and she helped him rid herself of them, tossing them aside with her sweater. While he had moved away from her just far enough so he could kiss up her slim calf to the inside of her knee, she divested herself completely of her bra and grabbed him up, her mouth securing over his again. She moved her hands to his jeans, but he pulled way again. “I have to taste you,” he demanded, pushing her back down and with no more ceremony is fingers found her, wet and ready, sliding through the slickness and circling his thumb at the bundle of nerves he found, his mouth latching over to follow the track of his tongue.

Oh fucking gods. She tasted amazing. He had no idea it would be this good. He grabbed at her right thigh, slinging it over his shoulder and used his free hand to wrap around the other, folding her open for him so he could get more. More, more, more. He was a greedy man who had been waiting far too long for this and all he wanted was to send her flying, to make her happy, and judging from the sounds coming from her, he was succeeding. He suckled, sampled, and outright devoured, grunting in displeasure when she tried to move her leg away from his shoulder, his hand grabbing and fingers digging into the softness of her inner thigh, keeping her open for him, he didn’t care.

And then she began to twitch, her breathing hitching and her walls clamping around his fingers, one hand digging into his shoulder and the other gripping his hair so tight he thought she was going to yank a hunk of it out. He continued to swirl his tongue around and slide alongside her lips as she rode out the waves of pleasure, until he felt it already building in her again. He smiled into her thigh again, bringing her back to the edge and watching, pleased, as she went over again.

A thin layer of sweat dampened her chest and neck as she fell back against the rug. He moved up her body and lightly brushed his lips against hers, groaning as she darted the tip of her tongue out to sample the taste of herself on him. “Inside me,” she barely got out before she yanked at his jeans.

At the same time he thought he heard a door open and stilled her hands, both of them frozen in place. The large, overstuffed couch in the study blocked them from the door and she called out, breathless as he pulled a blanket from the ottoman and tugged it over her naked body and him, curling up against her and deciding he would still fuck with her, pressing light kisses on her belly. “What?” she demanded.

“It’s Tyrion, I think I left my phone here. What are you doing over there?”

“Reading lines.”

“On the floor?”

Jon pulled out from under the blanket and slipped his shirt on, trying not to laugh as Dany glared at him, wrapping the large blanket around her naked body and standing up. It looked like she had been just cuddling under a blanket in front of the fire. Save for the love bite on her neck, the beard burn across her face, and the way her hair was askew on half of her head. He moved closer to the couch, wondering if Tyrion noticed that his boots were still kicked over by the desk.

She kicked him when he kissed at her ankle, smiling as he made another move to distract her. Her voice went high again. “I’m just working on stuff Tyrion, go away.”

“Well okay then, sorry I bothered you.” His footsteps faded to the door and Jon heard him almost frown, his voice growing concerned. “Are you okay?”

“Fine, just…trying to focus.”

“Okay. Where’d Jon go?”

He ducked under the blanket, knowing he was still hidden behind the couch and his fingers tracked, brushing over her folds, which were still damp and growing wetter. She kneed at him, but he dodged away from her, snickering. “I think he went to make a call.”

“Hmm…okay. I’ll see you later then.” The door creaked as it was closing and then stopped. “Oh and Daenerys?”

“What?” she snapped.

“Jon Snow’s phone is on the desk so…work on a better lie next time.” He chuckled. “Goodbye Daenerys.” The door clicked shut a moment later.

Once it shut, she whipped the blanket back and vaulted over the couch, falling to the door to lock it before she turned on her heel, stalking naked back towards him. It was quite a sight, an angry and naked Daenerys. He reached for her but she swatted his hand away, ducking to grab at her clothing. “Well that ruined the mood,” she mumbled, stepping into the scrap of lace she called panties.

“Speak for yourself.”

“Aw,” she fake cooed, twisting her swollen lips into an exaggerated frown. She reached for him, rising on her toes and pressing her nose against his. “Poor baby.” She smiled against him, her voice soft. “That was nice. For someone who doesn’t like to use his tongue, you’re sure very good at it.”

He chuckled. Her hands spread over his chest and she looked down. He froze, realizing. “Oh…I should…explain.” How did I forget? He supposed he’d been too caught up with her, too focused on getting as close to her as possible that he hadn’t remembered. He was always careful to never expose his chest, not even when Arya tried to drag him to a beach in Dorne after she’d blackmailed him into going. He reached to cover her hand with his, his thumb brushing over her palm. She ran her index finger across the crescent-shaped scar over his heart. It trailed down, touching the slightly horizontal one beneath his right pec. And then to the two diagonal ones…then the other…and the sixth…and finally stopping at the shallow one just below his navel. He closed his eyes as her mouth closed over the worst of them, the one straight to his heart.

The question was there, in her eyes, peering up at him as she moved to brush her lips to his jaw. Her fingertips barely touched the faded scar that curved around his right eye and then the one that crossed over his left. “It’s a long story,” he whispered, his arms tightening around her, savoring in the feel of her warm skin against him.

“We have time,” she whispered.

“Not right now.” It was a sad story, one he didn’t want to get into, not right now. He gazed out the window. There was no way they were going to finish what they had started. Tyrion had ruined it. He touched his lips to her temple. “The rain stopped.”

“So it has.”

Somehow they found themselves outside of the townhouse, her clothes back on and his flannel, some of the buttons scattered across her study, tucked under his coat. She had an umbrella swinging from her wrist, in case springtime in London decided to let loose again, and walked slowly beside him, across the square in front of her home. He liked the neighborhood where she lived; it was quiet and removed from most of the world.

The neighborhood in Islington was full of old, stately buildings and mews homes. He had looked at something here, but Notting Hill had the restaurants and coffee shops and pubs where he could blend with everyone else. Here, he would stick out. He leaned against her shoulder and her fingers slipped between them, sliding into his and he squeezed lightly.

It would have been nice if he’d brought Ghost with him, he thought. She rested her head on his shoulder and he let go of her hand so he could wrap his arm around her waist, tugging her closer and reaching to take her other hand, pressing it to her side as they walked together. “Where’s Ghost?” she wondered.

“Home. I didn’t feel like exposing you to the smell of wet wolf,” he teased.

“Aw, poor puppy.”

“I’ll bring him next time.”

Next time. “Or,” she drawled, lifting her eyes to his, smiling. “I can stay at your place. Less likely for Tyrion to barge in or Viserys. We’re lucky it wasn’t him.”

We’re lucky it didn’t get any farther than it did, he thought briefly. As much as he had wished it had gone farther, of course. They would have to discuss what had happened. What was happening. He felt her already closing off a bit beside him, seeing the wheels turning in her mind as she gazed ahead. He wasn’t sure what he was doing either. He squeezed her hand quickly. “No one is going to recognize us, will they?” he whispered, brushing his lips to the top of her hair. Her dark hair, the braids redone.

She smiled and shook her head. “No, it’s the hair. They always see the hair.”

“You ever consider just dyeing it anyway?”

“No, it’s my hair. I was born with it. All of us were. Targaryens of Valyria,” she said, referring to an ancient area of Westeros where her family claimed they originated. She tilted her head. “Where are you going to be when we start filming?”

“I’ll be here. In London.” She made a sound, but he knew what it was. He sighed. They really did have to talk, but it seemed like the world was conspiring against them. He opened his mouth to suggest perhaps they return to the house to talk, when his phone rang. He tugged it out of his pocket and glared at Arya’s goofy face on the screen. He showed it to her. “Arya. I should take this.”

She extricated herself from him, turning and walking backwards, a smile flirting on her lips. “And then we run lines.”

He chuckled, lifting the phone to his ear. “What’s up Arya?” He could barely focus on what Arya was saying, watching as Dany skipped away, her Wellingtons splashing in the puddles and her arms outstretched, giggling and spinning. He smiled, unable to stop himself, and propped the phone on his shoulder, fumbling with the pen in his coat pocket and found a crumpled receipt, walking and scribbling out a reminder to detail the moment once he got back to the typewriter.

Chapter Text

vi.

June 2018
London, England

 

"And with the last breath…we fade to black. End of The Long Night."

Dany looked up from her well-marked up script, studying Jon's expression at the head of the table. He was leaned back, his ankle on his opposite knee and he had his trusty red pen between his teeth, a glare shooting down the table to Jaime Lannister, who was playing the 'Lion Knight' the nickname for one of the southerners who came to help against the fight against the dead, only to serve as a source of antagonism for the family, who were the primary focus of the film. He even had a death scene at the end. He was not happy with his death scene and had made a fuss about it-- through his manager and sister Cersei-- and Jon had been less than pleased with how Cersei had brought up her dislike of the way it was handled.

She generally disliked Jaime but for other reasons. He was a good actor, he just didn't apply himself the way she figured he should. His family of course was problematic in more ways than one. His father had all but turned in hers for his various crimes-- that wasn't her problem it was that he had no issue with betraying anyone and everyone and how could you work with someone like that? Then there was his complete and utter devotion to his horrid cow of a sister. Cersei was her father's daughter through and through. Sometimes she had no idea how Tyrion and Jamie came from the same family as her. She was not looking forward to working with Jamie solely because she knew that they would be very long days of him flubbing lines, takes, and Cersei getting involved in how she thought the scene should play.

They'd already been through some discussion over how he should play the Lion Knight. He wanted to play him as heroic and brave, but Jon insisted that he was supposed to be a fool and selfish. That shouldn't be too difficult. She liked how it played though, the read through had gone well. Jon just kept frowning during most of her readings, scribbling in his notebook. She'd ahve to ask him what that was all about. He seemed annoyed. He did light up with Lyanna Mormont, who was so spunky and a perfect cast for the little sister.

Margarey closed her copy of the script. "And we are done with our first read! I think this is going to be fantastic."

"I have issue with the scene where Jaime has to die," Cersei snapped.

Jon glared at her. He opened his mouth to say something, but it was Viserys who piped up from where he was sitting behind her. She smiled briefly; she picked up her phone and sent Jon a text message. Let him fight this out. He glanced at his phone, sitting beside a stack of papers beside his hand and she had to give him credit-- he was a good actor-- he barely acknowledged it as he lifted the phone up and sent her back a response. Looking forward to it.

Cersei whipped her blonde braid over her shoulder and leaned forward, a sneer pulling at her lips as she squared off against Viserys over the large table and many people in the room. Viserys glared and sneered back at her. "Of course you have issue Mrs. Baratheon," he said.

"Lannister," she snapped.

Viserys waved his hand. "Oh I thought it was Bobby B who got you this job."

"And I thought it was your sister that got you yours."

"Oh are we talking about me or your brother?"

"Fuck you Viserys."

"Oh I have no issue with that," he chuckled, still smiling placidly at her. "And no,we're not changing the death scene."

"Perhaps our esteemed writer can weigh in on that one."  Cersei smirked at Jon.  "Unless he's too busy ignoring me to be listening."

Jon didn't even look up from his phone. "We're not changing it."

The best part of the exchange was that the subject of the argument, Jaime, was leaning back in his chair, sunglasses over his eyes, potentially not even awake. Cersei glared at him. "As if you have a say in these matters at the end of the day. This is between Viserys and myself."

"It's my money and my movie," Viserys snapped.

Actually it's mine... Dany smiled at the text from Jon and fired one back. Vis is producing... She looked around the room, most people beginning to get up and leave, speaking with each other about the various notes and discussions that had been held. She caught sight of Margarey Tyrell, who rolled her eyes as Cersei and Viserys continued to fight back and forth, flinging insults that ranged from talent, marriage choices, and hair styles. Sometimes she wondered if they'd had an affair at some point, given how little they cared for each other but how much they loved to fight.

She got up from her seat and patted Vis on the shoulder. "Don't forget to take a Valium when you're done with her," she reminded him.

Never one to not have the last word, her brother grabbed her upper arm, tugging her to him so he could whisper to her. "Don't forget to take your birth control when you're done with him." He nodded towards Jon in case she didn't already know who he was talking about. Dick. She scowled and pinched his arm so he could release her. She didn't want to make a scene, so she let him smirk and then get up to go toe-to-toe with Cersei. She stepped around the table to join Margarey and Jon, who had their heads bent together, discussing a couple of reorganization matters for the script that hadn't played very well during the read-through.

She took a moment to observe Jon in his element, which she didn't see often. Yes, he would write and make notes and she would see him fixing things on his laptop, but she never saw him when he was truly and singularly focused on just...writing. he looked like nothing could distract him. She arched an eyebrow. We'll see about that. She was about to step completely to him, suggesting she speak with him about one of her more difficult emotional scenes, when sweet little Lyanna Mormont tugged on her elbow, distracting her.

The young girl was only ten years-old but seemed wise beyond her years. She had only heard wonderful stories from Jorah about his sweet cousin. To her shock, Jon even knew Lyanna, since the family's home on Bear Island was in the North and their families had been close for many years. Lyanna was even named after Jon's mother, who had been close with Lyanna's mother. It seemed everyone in Westeros was somehow connected toe ach other-- at least in the more prominent families there. She smiled down at the young girl, who had a stern expression on her face. "You did great today," she complimented.

"I know," Lyanna said. She held open her script and pointed to a highlighted portion. "I want to discuss the scene where you save me. Id on't think that my character would be hiding, she'd want to fight. We need to go over how this should be."

Well then. She glanced at Jon, who hadn't noticed her, too busy with Margarey, both of them walking out and discussing something. The filming would officially begin tomorrow in studio, mostly just staging and rehearsals before the full makeup and costuming would come the following day. She knew Yara Greyjoy was already going to be heading to Iceland to begin on what they called the 'Wolf Unit' and start shooting background footage. They needed to get the springtime in for the end of the film before Iceland froze over and they traveled there in the winter to get the best shots. "Ah...okay."

"I was not a fan of Princess Periwinkle," Lyanna said, walking with her out of the studios and across the lot to the line of trailers already set up for the main cast. They were heading to Dany's trailer, it seemed, which Vis had already made sure was set up with whatever she wanted, not that she cared much. She didn't like hiding in her trailer when she could be with the rest of the cast and crew. It was a place to take quick naps during long days and shower off stage makeup before she went home. She opened the door, pushing in and found Ghost lounging on the couch. Lyanna's eyes lit up. "Oh wow! You have a doggy?"

She chuckled, closing the door behind her. "His name is Ghost and he's actually not mine. He's Jon Snow's wolf."

"He's a wolf?" The stern face had immediately morphed into the childhood glee of a ten-year old. She grinned and knelt on the floor, Ghost hopping off the couch to ply his affections onto Lyanna. "Oh! he's so soft!"

She opened up the mini-fridge, removing two bottles of water. "Is Maege here with you?" she asked, referring to Lyanna's mother, who was highly protective of her youngest daughter. As she should be. It seemed the Mormonts weren't fans of Lyanna's desire to get into acting, but they supported it. Dany knew all too well the perils and temptations that existed for child actors. She had no desire to see sweet and serious Lyanna go through anything close to whats he had gone through when she was mega-famous and still hadn't had her first kiss.

Lyanna nodded, ruffling her fingers through Ghost's thick neck fur, the tags on his bright red collar jingling. She frowned and cocked her head. "He has red eyes."

"He's an albino."

"Oh! We learned about them in science class. That's cool."

That had been a point of contention, she remembered, Viserys and the other producers irritated that they had to adhere to US child labor standards, since the primary backer of the film was located in the US-- they wanted to work poor Lyanna to the bone-- and the labor and education laws were far stricter. She would have to also ensure she was completing her mandatory tutoring hours. "Will your tutor be here with you?" she asked. Viserys hadn't paid for a tutor for her. he said she could learn on her own. It was still an irritation. At the time she had been pleased. No homework, no teachers, it was amazing. She'd ended up getting her high school equivalent degree in her twenties, all because her older brother and guardian could have given two shits about whether she could count to twenty or not.

The young girl nodded, leaning onto her hands and knees so she could better scratch at Ghost's belly. "Yeah, but I hate school."

"Believe me, you're better off having a degree." You don't want to end up like me, in your thirties and trying to still make a name for yourself. She fidgeted with the bottle of water, taking the cap on and off and leaning against the dressing table. "Your cousin speaks highly of you," she said.

"Jorah is very nice. He got me a knife for Christmas last."

That sounded like a Jorah gift. Making sure she could defend herself. "Did he teach you to use it?"

"No, he's not close with Mother." Jorah's aunt was a formidable woman and closer to his age than his father's. She didn't know much about Jeor Mormont, just that he had risen highly int eh ranks of the Westerosi military. She'd have to ask Jon about him. Maybe he knew him, if she remembered right, Jeor was stationed in the North. Lyanna got to her feet and dusted white fur off of her knees. She picked up her script. "Where were we?"

She smiled again. Such a determined young woman. "You wanted to discuss the motivations of Ella for hiding in the cave while Millie fights the Walker."

"Yes, that. Also I want to discuss how best we should do the first scene, where Millie is yelling at her. I want to play it perfectly." She pursed her lips and her tiny brow furrowed to a rather terrifying scowl. "Jon Snow wrote a good script but he knows nothing about girls."

The brief image of Jon Snow devouring her on the floor of her study in front of the fireplace flashed lewdly in her mind and she pushed it away quickly, her cheeks no doubt warming. She crossed her legs to stem the desire that shot to her stomach. Gods Dany, get a hold of yourself. "No, he doesn't," she agreed. He might have been an adept user of his tongue, but beyond that, she had experienced, Jon Snow really didn't understand how best to talk or handle women. Unless he was awkward with only her, but she couldn't imagine him any other way.

Lyanna sat primly on the couch, Ghost hopping to lay down beside her, his head going to her knee. Dany smiled at the great wolf. It was a bit of a surprise to see him in her trailer, but maybe Jon had put him here on purpose. The sight of the great beast wandering around on set would probably scare everyone to quit. She took a seat in the chair at her dressing table, opening up her script and waiting for Lyanna to give her suggestions. The young woman was smart, eager, and she would listen to whatever she had to say. She hadn't acted much with child actors since she was one, but she couldn't imagine this was how any of them behaved. Lyanna was definitely a breath of fresh air.

They worked together for a little over an hour, practicing their first scene back and forth. It was a rather lighthearted scene in the kitchen of the family home, before the really heavy stuff started. Margarey had done a good job of making sure they got this done to ease them into things. Ghost fell asleep on Lyanna's lap, sprawled across her like a giant white blanket. She finally caught sight of her watch, yelping in surprise. "Your mother has to be wondering where you are!"

"Oh she knew I would be here, I told her before I left," Lyanna answered, waving her hand casually. She peered over at her with her dark little eyes. Assessing. I have to get used to this. She pursed her lips. A decision had been made. I hope I passed. "You are a good actress Ms. Targaryen. I didn't like Princess Periwinkle. I saw you first in Matchbox Girl.."

Her eyebrows went clear to her hairline. "Really?" That was an indie film she'd done after two back-to-back action thrillers with Drogo that no one had really liked but Drogo fanboys. She'd been in her early twenties. It was something. Had little distribution, was supposed to be the first English-language film for a famous French director, but with her attached to it, most people probably didn't take him seriously. She thought she had done well, she wasn't trashed in reviews at least. It just didnt' have the funding or the prestige associated with it that this one did. It was a twisted rather adult fairytale. She'd played an adult version of the Little Match Girl from Hans Christian Andersen. She frowned again. "Your mother let you see that movie?" It was rather bleak.

"My mother lets me watch good films. I thought it was amazing. I'm disgusted that it did not do well. I thought you were brilliant."

Wow. She felt her cheeks warm and her fingers tighten on the binder. "Well thank you. I really appreciate that."

"I think Drogo and Daario are dolts."

You and me both sister. She smiled briefly. "Well they are different." Drogo at least had been some semblance of normal for her. Even when they were on the back of his motorcycle screaming through the desert or on twisted mountain roads in Europe. She'd still go home with him and feel like she was a wife. She briefly touched her stomach. Feel like she had a family. Until it all went to shit. Drogo at least wasn't a terrible actor like Daario. His movies had been campy in a different way and people ate it up. before he died a studio had been looking at hm to play a comic book character who could talk to fish or something. She didn't pay much attention.

Lyanna waved her had again in that cute little dismissive way Dany was starting to enjoy. "I don't like them both. Their movies suck." She paused and looked over, suddenly dropping her gaze. "Oh sorry. I forgot."

Forgot? Oh. She smiled. She patted the little girl's hand comfortingly and gave it a light squeeze. "It's quite alright. Drogo died in an accident. Daario is...well..." She snapped her jaw shut and simply smiled. She did not need to brainwash this poor girl with her distaste over Daario. Hopefully, as wise as Lyanna seemed to be, she was blissfully unaware of the nastiness that existed in their industry.

It seemed Lyanna had an inkling and she merely smiled briefly. "I met Daario at a comic con when I did Stubborn Sorceress. He was there for one of the trucker movie things he did." She scowled. "He didn't sign my book."

Daario was definitely a movie star that no one should meet in person, you always ended up disappointed. She regretted her time with him, but it did serve its purpose for her. At least romantically. Scratched an itch, she moved on, made a mistake, and now she was just barrelling forward into another mistake with Jon Snow. One for some reason she could not stop herself from, try as she might. "Your book?" she asked.

"My autograph book." She turned slightly pink. Her voice dropped to a mumble. "I like to collect them from people I work with."

"Well I would be honored to sign it, whenever you want." If she would want Daenerys Targareyn's signature. Seeing as she didn't like Princess P. Which honestly, Dany was slightly glad about. She was still very impressed Lyanna had liked her other movie instead. It was like Jon admitting he never saw Princess P but preferred her on stage when she was Rosalind. She pointed her pen at Lyanna, who hopped in place, pleased. "And to be honest, I have to pick a fight with your cousin. He should have let me sign it before we met. I'm so upset I hadn't met you before today."

She giggled. "Cousin Jorah does not think much of show business."

"He can be a bit of an old bear."

"Old Bear is what we call my Uncle Jeor." She climbed off the couch and walked over to the door, looking over her shoulder. Dany realized that she had her hair in two braided pigtails. Such an incongruity, this little actress. "You know Mr. Snow was in the military with him. In Westeros at the Wall."

Oh really? "He never told me."

"Is Mr. Snow your boyfriend?" Lyanna blinked up at her, unperturbed if she knew the question was a bit rude. Unaware if she didn't. She turned slightly pink again. "Because he's...well he's kind of cute."

"He's not just kind of cute." She glanced at Ghost, who was walking beside them as they went from the line of trailers towards the studio offices. She caught sight of Jon, walking out of one of the trailers with Davos, his manager. He had his curls tamed back into a bun, this one higher than the base of his neck like he usually put it. His round silver glasses perched on his nose and he had on a lighter denim button-down with black jeans, black boots, and a scarf slung around his neck, a jacket looped over his arm with his pile of books. he looked like a college professor. A hot college professor. She licked her lips, wanting desperately to rip his hair from the bun. It was so wrong that the world couldn't partake in those pretty curls. She glanced at Lyanna, nudging her shoulder, leaning down to whisper conspiratorially. "He's very cute."

The girl laughed. She looked at Ghost. "Does your owner know you're here?"

Ghost opened his mouth and let out his equivalent of a bark, a high-pitched sort of whine. She ran her fingers over Ghost's downy head, pausing to scratch her nails in the crook of his ear joint, which sent his red eyes into a state of bliss, eyelids dropping. "I don't know if anyone truly owns Ghost."

The sound had distracted Jon from whatever he'd been discussing with Davos, who glanced in the direction of the sound. He didn't stop his conversation, but veered to the left, walking towards them. Lyanna's cheeks went pink again. It made Dany sigh in happiness that the girl was still just that-- a girl. Even if she had a painful crush on the broody writer. She almost wanted to warn her that he wasn't worth it. He was annoying and rude and fumbled and better at writing than he was speaking. Plus he drank, he smoked, he didn't eat, and he ran too much than she considered to be normal. No one should run for miles at a time. "Jon Snow," she greeted, gesturing towards Lyanna. "This is Lyanna Mormont, you've obviously met."

He smiled, warm and his eyes crinkling. It was definitely not something she saw on the regular. "Ms. Mormont," he said, reaching to take her hand and shaking firmly. "You did great today in the table read. I'm really glad you got the part. I insisted."

She smiled shyly. "I can't wait....to...to be in the movie."

Be nice, she warned with her eyes, eyebrow lifting briefly so he could understand where she was coming from. Of course, Jon knew nothing of girls, and he just smiled again and then his brow furrowed. "I should introduce you to my sister Arya. I think she might be good for your stunt double."

"Oh Arya's joining this?"

"I would love to meet her Mr. Snow, but I want to do my own stunts," Lyanna said.

Davos chuckled. "Of course you do. We just need to make sure you stay uninjured for the trip to Iceland. Do you have your tutor on the trip with you?"

"Yes," she grumbled.

"School is important," Jon said, rather idly, checking his phone. She wanted to push him, make him talk more with Lyanna, but he tapped at the keyboard and glanced at her. "I need to talk to you."

"Please."

"What?"

"You need to talk to me, please," she corrected.

"Yeah, whatever. Come on." He glanced at Lyanna again and gave her another polite smile. "Ms. Mormont. You can also call me Jon. No need for Mr. Snow."

The poor girl smiled, almost dreamy with heart eyes. "Okay...Jon."

"Davos, can you make sure Maege knows where Lyanna is? Ghost, where have you been? Go with them." He turned away without another word, walking towarsd the production offices. She could have killed him then and there. He was being so fucking rude. She wondered if it was just his way of coping with what had transpired between them a couple days ago at her house. They hadn't spoken since he left, when they'd finished their walk around the neighborhood and gotten dinner together. She felt her nerves spark at the memories that began to flash in her mind. Who knew that he was such a talented...giver?

She wanted to repay the favor and soon. She cocked her head, watching his perfect ass walk away from her, hidden away by the tight jeans he wore. She'd ahve to ask if he bought those on purpose or if he just grabbed whatever happened to be on the shelf. Come to think of it, she couldn't even see him buying his own clothes, someone else must do it for him. She jogged a few feet to catch up to him, walking at his side. "Where are you taking me?"

"I want to show you something."

"We could go back to my trailer if you want." She rose on her toes, cursing that she'd decided to wear ballet flats instead of heels. She paused their movement, her hand going to just above his belt buckle, pressing lightly against his taut abs. She glanced around, saw no one, and nipped at his earlobe and felt him automatically stiffen beside her. "I could repay..." Her fingertips dusted quickly over the front of his jeans and she nipped at his ear again, this time her tongue darting out to rake at the shell of it as she breathed: "The favor. I think I owe you." For good measure, she curved her fingertips, her nails skimming over the zipper of his jeans.

A tiny sound came from somewhere in the back of his throat. He glanced sideways at her, gray eyes darkening as his pupils expanded. She curled her lips up over her teeth, innocent, and hoped that the doe-eyed expression she felt was actually coming across. She glanced over his shoulder, seeing Margarey walking with their Director of Photography, waving. “Hi Marg!” she called.

Margarey gave her a funny look but smiled vaguely and waved her hand. He glared at her, stepping so she was in front of him and lowered his lips to her ear this time. “I’m going to kill you,” he growled, teeth grit.

I’d like to see you try. She merely arched an eyebrow, tapped her fingers on his shoulder, letting them drift briefly as she stepped away from him. This was so not good, she thought, as he reached into his back pocket, removing the rectangular object she’d seen and thought was his phone. He flicked at it and lifted it to his lips, following her down the road and around trailers, trucks, and giant pieces of equipment. “You’re vaping?” she asked, surprised.

He blew out a stream of vapor from pursed lips, wiggling his eyebrows. “It’s strawberry.”

“Gross.”

“Well someone told me that smoking was disgusting.”

I did, she mused. She nudged into his side as he turned his head sideways and released more vapor. He puffed on it for a few more minutes as they walked towards one end of the studio lot. She wasn’t sure where he was leading her, no doubt he’d scoped out a spot that he preferred to hide or work. She did smell strawberries as he finished, tucking the device back into his pocket. “You’re quitting smoking for me?” she asked. It was silly to make it about her. Definitely shouldn’t have said that, she thought, eyeing him.

He ducked his head away and walked up to one of the doors, reaching into his pocket and removing one of the keys that the production teams were granted so they could get into various closed and locked sets. He opened the door, holding it for her and glancing around. “I wouldn’t say for you.” He chuckled, somewhat embarrassed at her eyebrow arch. “I was running the other day and had to stop after mile ten to take a breather.”

“Oh poor you.”

“I didn’t used to have to do that.”

She laughed. “Again, poor you.”

“Running is a high, you should try it.”

“If you see me running ten miles it’s because the Night King is chasing me.”

“Don’t be silly, he’d just freeze you,” he teased. He patted the giant stack of books and papers under his arm, making a face. “You know when I put this on Broadway there wasn’t this much arguing and back and forth.”

She snorted. “You haven’t dealt with Viserys.” She shoved her hands into the pockets of her jeans. “Or Cersei.” She rolled her eyes. “Or Jaime…or Bobby B…or…well, show business.”

“I suppose so.”

They were in a very dark set hanger, tarps and coverings over most of the actual setups, cranes and scaffolding pushed here and there to create a maze of pathways through the space. She was impressed he knew where he was going. “Are you taking me somewhere to murder me?” she asked.

He led her to another door and tugged on the handle, his dark eyes sparkling like onyx gems in the dim light from the track lighting above them. “All those times in the middle of nowhere Scotland where I could throw your body off a cliff and you think I’ll murder you here? On a movie set with nothing but cameras everywhere?”

“No one around to actually work the cameras.”

“True.” He led her through another dim hall and then stopped in front of a door, still smiling a little. He clearly had thought about this. She squinted. The smile kind of faltered a bit. Maybe he was second-guessing whatever it was he was planning to show her. Jon really didn’t seem excited by a lot with the movie. He was irritated more often than not. He glanced at the door and then at her, his voice soft. “I wasn’t kidding. There’s way more into this than the play.”

It was a beautiful play. It will be a beautiful movie. She lifted herself up, stealing a kiss, her arm draping around his neck and her fingers tugging a bit on the bun at the back of his head. “The arguing earlier wasn’t about the movie. It was because Viserys is a cunt that likes to be right all the time and Cersei is also a cunt that likes to be right all the time. They’re going to be doing this throughout the entire filming process and probably even after.” It was really adorable to see him so off kilter. She loved how unsure he could be sometimes. On some men it was annoying, she liked them to be decisive. On Jon Snow it was endearing.

She kissed him again. It wasn’t to reassure him. It was to reassure her, she thought, angling her head so he could draw more. She moaned softly, feeling her skin prickle in anticipation, wondering how he was going to respond. Would he be rough and grab her and snap at her lips and bite at her neck? Or would he be sweet and tender, lips softly moving and his tongue lightly stroking? She thrummed in need, unable to stop the gasp as he dropped the binders and papers onto the concrete floor, his arms snaking up under her sweater. “Jon,” she breathed into his mouth. Her eyes fluttered open, meeting his gaze. They were both needy. Her throat clenched. “Not here.”

It wasn’t supposed to be in a production studio, in the dark and cold, hiding behind dirty scaffolding and falling against tarps and hard floor. Fuck, she had no idea where it was supposed to be, but not here. He nodded and kissed her again, regretfully breaking away a moment later, but kept his arm still around her waist. “I wanted to show you something. Margarey showed me earlier, thought you’d like to see it.”

“What is it?”

He opened the door, stepping over the papers that he’d have to rearrange later, and flicked up on the power switches beside the door. The lights slammed on, a low buzzing filling the set. He tugged her through the wall of scaffolding and into a bright area of the room, walls of bright green set up in a trifold around a space with what looked like cliffs of ice. “It’s a green screen,” she said.

“Not just any green screen.” He disappeared behind the screen and she heard metal clanging in the background. His head popped up over the top of the green wall and she laughed, hands on her hips. What was he doing? He moved a machine at the top over and held out his arms. “My name is Jon Snow and I give you…” His head dropped behind the wall and she heard a muffled curse with a thump and then a fan started, white flakes beginning to float to the ‘ice cliffs’ below. He emerged, peering down at her. “Snow.”

It was June in London and it was snowing. She loved movies for this very purpose. You could do anything and you could go anywhere and…her shoulders slumped in sadness. You could be anyone. She walked out onto the ice cliff, climbing up to the highest one, a good ten feet or so off the ground. She held her arms out, lifting her face to the cool breeze from the fan and the fake snow fluttering around her. She spun in a circle for a moment. “This is so fun.”

“When do you start filming?”

“Few days. Probably closer to a week.” She opened her eyes and found Jon standing at the base of the cliff. She crouched down closer to him. “Green screen acting is difficult. You have to pretend that you’re there. You’re reacting off of nothing.” It was pure imagination. She watched as he climbed up to stand beside her and she stood straight. She glanced at the green screen behind them and reached for his hands, tugging him closer. “Where are we Jon?”

He looked at the screen. Took him a moment, but he realized what she was asking. An actor and a writer, their imaginations could take them anywhere. She leaned closer to him, touching her forehead to his lips, which brushed at her hairline. “We’re somewhere else,” he whispered. He stroked his fingers over her palms and up over her wrists, her pulse skipping. “Scotland…or back home…Westeros.”

Westeros was her birthplace but it was not her home. She’d learned it the hard way. “I don’t know where my home is really.” It was probably why Rhaegar was an actor. Why she was an actor. Why Viserys escaped into booze and alcohol and whatever other vices he had at the moment. It was probably even why her entire family had disappeared into a world where they could pretend they were bigger than they were. She wrapped her arms around him, her eyes closing and resting her head against his heart.

The ridged curve of the scar over his heart scraped at her cheek as she kissed down his chest. She wished he would tell her what happened to him. “The Wall,” he said.

“Hmm?”

“The Wall, that’s where it happened…where the…the scars happened.” She paused in her kissing, lifting her eyes back to his. He was pained. He glanced at the green screen behind them. In a way it was a wall. She’d only seen photos of the great ice wall in Westeros, so she could only imagine what he was seeing in the green space. She reached her hands up, cupping the sides of his neck. He needed to feel safe, she thought, kissing him lightly. He glanced down at her and took one of her hands, guiding it towards the scar over his heart. “I told you it was a long story, but…but I’ll say that I didn’t survive it.”

She frowned briefly. “Dark Wings, Dark Words.” It was one of his books. There was a resurrection scene. It was about coming back from death. In the end death still won. The theme of almost all his works was dark. Humanity. Truth. Death. She touched the scar again, fingers pressing harder against it. He flinched. She swallowed hard at the lump in her throat. Realization hit. “You died,” she concluded.

He nodded. “For about an hour.”

“An hour!?”

“I got stabbed and…and Ghost found me.” His hand tightened its grip around her fingers. He kissed them lightly. She wanted to hold him closer. To take him back home and just hold him. He didn’t need ot tell her this. This is such a mistake. Feelings and emotions were now involved. Histories and past trauma. He sighed. Resigned. “They medevac’d me out and there was a…well I wouldn’t call her a doctor but she was like a healer or something. Natural healer or whatever. Anyways, she was at the Wall at the time and somehow she brought me back. Enough blood and warm blankets and some kind of crazy CPR and a few shocks and…and I was back.”

She shook her head in disbelief. “What happened to the person who did this?” She didn’t need to know the specifics. He was telling her more than she ever needed to know.

“Persons. They died. Executed for treason and mutiny.” Mutiny?! Her head whipped up. He brushed his fingers over her hair, pushing a stray strand from her braid behind her ear. She wasn’t sure what was real and what was fake anymore. They weren’t playing a game now. He touched his nose to hers in a light butterfly kiss. She smiled briefly. He was so gentle for someone with such rough edges. “I told you it was a long story. I made some decisions and my men didn’t agree.”

“So they tried to kill you.”

“They did kill me.”

And the universe brought you back. “Thank the gods someone out there was looking out for you,” she murmured, wrapping herself around him and kissing him again. It was harder, more insistent and needy. She was grateful he’d shared a portion of his past with her. They were falling so hard and so fast. She was terrified for when they hit the bottom. Until then…she would enjoy the fall. She broke the kiss after another moment, feeling on fire. She moaned softly, eyes closing tighter as his lips moved to her neck, nipping at the racing pulse he found and trailing his tongue over the soft bites to soothe.

They had to get out of here. They had to slow down. He broke away first and kissed her again, one last time, hard and swift. He growled, wolfish. My wolf. “Where are you now?” he breathed.

With you. She felt her lips throb from the heated kisses. She chewed on her lower one and smiled when his eyes darkened, if that were possible, his pupils blown completely black. “The theater,” she said suddenly. She wasn’t sure what prompted it. She pulled from him and stood at the edge of the cliff, gazing at the set, the green screen at her back. “West End. The Vaudeville.”

It was where she had performed As You Like It. She rose on her toes and folded her hands, closing her eyes and imagining the set behind her. The forest and the flowers and the filmy costume wrapping around her and bringing her to the right time and place. Her hair in braids piled on her head. She took a deep breath and began to speak, her voice high and elegant, accent invoking an Elizabethan era. “Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do!”

She could barely see him, because she was in the world. There was no Jon and Dany, she was Rosalind and he was Orlando. She laughed, spinning on her toe and pointing towards him. “And the reason why they are not so punished and cured is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too…” She moved to him, dancing her fingers up his chest and sighing. “Yet I profess curing it by counsel.”

The blank look on his face broke. He grinned. It was an actual grin. “You did that? You remembered that?”

“I told you it was one of my favorite roles.” She loved stage. She loved Rosalind. It had been a relief to play. Something to focus on and do night after night. In a way the job saved her. She smiled briefly. “Some day I might tell you why.” It wasn’t time yet. It was a sad story, one he didn’t need to hear, especially after he’d shared a piece of his sad tale. She plucked at the collar of his shirt. “You should do an adaptation of it for screen.”

“Hmmm…maybe I will.” He rolled his eyes. “But Shakespeare is a bit out of my league.”

She chuckled and held her arms out, lightly touching his shoulders as he helped her off the cliff, lifting her by her waist to drop her to the next cliff. “Yes, you prefer dramas on the human condition.”

When her feet touched the solid ground, he snagged her by the bottom of her shirt, yanking her to him and biting at her bottom lip. The wolf had returned. She felt the dragon rise inside of her, kissing him hard. They could not stop touching each other. He clicked his teeth in frustration. “We need to stop messing around.” He sighed and played with her fingers. “I need to get back to Scotland.”

“We’re starting filming, I thought you’d want to stick around.”

“Family stuff.” He pulled at the bottom of her shirt again, fiddling with the lace edging of the camisole beneath it. There was something more. She wouldn’t press. It was entirely up to him. He looked up at the ceiling and then back to her. “My family is…I told you some of it, but…” He blew out another breath. “My brother Bran is coming to visit. He’s in a wheelchair, so he needs someone around most of the time.”

He’d told her that his siblings were really his cousins. That he had three brothers and two sisters. Other than Arya and Sansa, she didn’t know much about the brothers. He hadn’t been very forthcoming. She didn’t pry. He didn’t ask her about her crazy family. Gods knew he probably wanted to know why they were as screwed up as they were. “I’m sorry to hear that,” she whispered. She furrowed her brow, concerned. “Is there anything I can do?”

“Just do a good job this week,” he whispered, kissing her briefly. He squeezed her hands, still melancholy. Something was still on his mind. “Bran is…he was in the same accident that killed Robb and Rickon. It’s a lot for him. My Aunt Cat is sending him to stay with me in hopes it will…I don’t know. Light something inside of him so he isn’t so sullen. So he cares.”

“Will Arya or Sansa be there?”

He shook his head. “Sansa is doing something with work. Arya is hanging around here, like I said…she wants to do stunt work for some reason.”

“I think she’ll be quite good at it.” Thankfully the scenes she had with stunt work weren’t for a few more weeks. She really needed to practice her archery, she’d been remiss on the preparation. She poked at his ribs. “I’ll call. Make sure you’re eating and feeding your brother.”

He laughed. “I promise.”

She cocked her head again and frowned. That meant they’d have to delay whatever it was they were doing. Maybe it was for the best. She pulled away from him and crossed her arms over her chest as he followed her out. He flicked off the lights and knelt to scoop up the scattered papers. She picked up a few as well, fiddling with the bent corners of a few. “I’ll be filming for the next month or so and then I have to go to Los Angeles in September.”

“LA?”

“Yeah, I’m presenting at the Emmys…some sort of PR campaign Tyrion has me doing to generate buzz for the movies. They’re also doing some kind of salute to fantasy TV or something so they’ll want Princess P there.” She was not looking forward to a night of constant Princess P jokes. As much as she wanted to get away from it, it seemed the only way to remind people about her was bringing back that dumb character. “And I’ve also got a few other things to do out there. Some interviews, a couple of things for the charity…Missandei will be coming. She’s bringing her husband, something like a second honeymoon.” Gods Dany just ask him.

He tugged on one of her braids. “Are you inviting me to Los Angeles with you?”

“No!” It was entirely his choice. She felt her cheeks flush again. “I mean…if you want to come with me, you are welcome. Otherwise I’ll be here in London until then. So whenever you’re done in Scotland.” And then maybe we can do this thing. She still wanted to get her taste of him. Just when the time was right. And she wanted him to take her again. Just fucking take her and use her and make her forget who she was. He already had proven himself capable of that in the small sampling she’d been able to experience.

“Well you’re in luck.”

“And how is that?”

“Because I’ve been putting off going to Los Angeles for a Writer’s Guild of America thing and I also have to hit New York.” He rolled his eyes. “Davos is making me show myself in front of my publisher.”

Her stomach jumped in excitement. They would be away from England. Away from Scotland. The film, their families...it was the perfect time and place. “Okay then. Jon Snow takes America. That I’d like to see.”

“I hate that they drive on the wrong side of the road.”

“And you can’t smoke everywhere, poor thing.”

“The scotch doesn’t taste the same either.”

“Oh boo hoo, poor Jon Snow.” She kissed his jaw, laughing as they walked out of the studio together. She grinned up at him, catching his attention with her slight eyebrow raise and her voice dropping to a husky timbre. “I’ll make it worth your while when we’re out there.”

He perked up. “Well then poor me indeed.”

She tossed her head back in a throaty laugh, pushing away from him when they stepped out into the bright openness of the outdoors.

Chapter Text

vii.

September 2018
London, England

 

"Cut!"

The woolen dress itched, her underwear was hiked into her ass, her feet were frozen blocks, and the fake blood and dirt smeared all over her face and hands was gritty, commingling with sweat and fucking tears, and Dany was going to murder Jaime Lannister. They could make a movie about it. Jon snow could write the script. She launched herself from her position on the muddy floor, the soundstage set up against the green screen for the nighttime ice field scenes, but made to look like they'd been fighting in a snowy, cold, and icy landscape for the last few days. Which she felt like they had, because she was an actor and that was her e job.

And she at least could remember her fucking lines. She grabbed at his fake armor, pushing him hard enough to cause him to stumble back on the slippery muddy floor. "How is it that we're paying you millions of dollars for this role, you haven't had to film for the last two weeks, and I know your lines better than you do?" she exclaimed. She grabbed his sword, the heavy iron causing her already quivering muscles to almost give out in her shoulder, and she flung it up into the air, bellowing. "It isn't hard to do! You wave the sword and you shout 'Over here!' Then they jump out--" She gestured to the stuntmen playing the ice zombie people. "And tackle you! How hard is this take for you?" She threw the sword onto the ground with a clatter, turning and storming off to one of the PAs who had a thick dry robe waiting for her.

Over by the camera, Margarey tugged off her headphones. "Let's take a break. Dany, can I speak with you?"

It was likely another talking-to about how it was Margarey who was the director, not Dany. She sipped at the water offered to her from another PA and shook her head, eyes closing. "I know, I know, you're the director, I'm the actor."

"So you do know what I was planning to say." Margarey lightly touched her upper arm, her eyes kind, but warning. She smiled, but on her beautiful face was an edge that terrified actors into submission. Terrified most people into submission. It was why she was so good at her job and had made it as far as she had in a man's world. "Leave Jaime Lannister to me. We'll re-set for the scene and do a few more takes. I've got what I need I think. We can always re-shoot."

They could always re-shoot but even a month and a half into filming and somehow they were already behind. Mostly because Cersei and Viserys couldn't stop butting in and trying to change things to their desires. Viserys wanted her to have more action scenes; Cersei wanted Jaime to be the star. It was at its heart a character-driven emotional story, not an action thriller, but try telling that to the two managers and producers who wanted nothing more than more dollar signs added to their paychecks by the time everything was said and done.

She rubbed at her eyes, the dirt and grime on her hand scratchy into her tear ducts, but it only served to make everything more realistic and at the end of the day, wasn't that her job? She sighed. "Fine." She was just tired. Tired of having to constantly reset with an unprepared actor who just thought itw as amusing. She wondered if he was doing this so he could just keep speaking with the armorer on set, a tall blonde woman named Brienne, who was providing all the expert weapons and training consultation. She tugged at her hair, stringy and bound with gel so it looked like it had been matted by blood and mud. She was grateful for not wearing a wig-- it would have felt a million times worse.

Although, she thought of the rinse back home in her bathroom, provided by her hair stylist and the movie's head of hair and makeup. It was a constant battle to keep the dark dye on her naturally silver-gold mane, so she had to keep putting in a rinse. If she washed her hair enough it would wash out completely and return everything to its natural state. She had contemplated going to Los Angeles with dark hair, just to keep sparking the anticipation of the film, but she also knew that Jon preferred her natural color. And I cannot believe I am thinking of what a guy likes about me and wanting to change for that. Gods Dany.

She shrugged off the dry-robe and stood to the side to allow one of the makeup assistants to reapply the fake blood, dirt, and assorted goop to her skin. The tears and snot were real and would continue to fall if she had to keep doing this damn scene. It wasn't even a very important one. Jaime walked over, seemingly apologetic. "I'll get it this time," he said.

"Please do," she snapped. She didn't care about his apologies. She scowled. "You're better than this, you know. I don't know why you think otherwise." She nodded in thanks to the assistant, who backed off of her and turned to Jaime. He frowned at her, but she didn't care, and strode back to the stage to take her sword, a longsword courtesy of Jon's changes, from Brienne, who made sure that the wrist-guard was tight and secure to give her more support. "Thank you."

The tall woman barely acknowledged her gratefulness. She nodded to the sword. "Be careful with that. It's sharp." They normally did not use real blades, but for the closeups they would. She turned to the other wristguard. "You wield a sword well. Have you training before this?"

"I made sure to train on the sword and the bow before filming began and I still practice." Arya Stark had been a help in that area. Who knew the black belt was also good at fencing? She'd helped her with her form most of all. She sighed. "And I had a chance to hold and use a bastard sword, I think it was called?"

Brienne almost fell over herself, bright blue eyes wide. "A bastard sword? really? That's quite heavy."

"It belonged to a friend."

"Wow, well congratulations to you. Not many women can wield one of those for longer than a moment. Where may I ask did you have this opportunity?" She wondered if it was jealousy or just professional courtesy.

There was no way Jon would want her to out him as the keeper of the sword, so she simply smiled and spoke: "Someone from Westeros, they had a bastard sword. I think it even had a name." She frowned. What was it? It came to her. "Longclaw."

If possible Brienne's eyes bugged out even more. Her mouth formed a perfect round 'o' and a giddy expression settled in her bright features. "Longclaw is the bastard sword that used to belong to House Mormont in Westeros," she said, almost fangirling a bit over the fact. She smiled wide. "I understand your head of security is Jorah Mormont. It would make sense of course...I thought that sword had belonged to his father, but yes of course, he would have it." She smiled, suddenly more open and impressed. Dany felt a bit awkward under her obvious admiration. It was just a sword after all. She smiled again. "Longclaw is a Valyrian steel sword. There are only a handful in existence of course, many collectors around the world wish they could have one, they're practically priceless. Forged in a land thousands of years old, like the time of Romans even. Some even say that they were made with dragonfire." She immediately covered her glee with slight pragmatism, waving her hand. "But of course that is nonsense, dragons aren't real."

Try telling that to my family. She even allowed herself to think about them. When she was a girl she had three iguanas that she called her 'dragons.' She still missed those little assholes. Maybe she'd get some more. Or perhaps even some cats or dogs she could call her dragons. She didn't say anything about the dragonlore and the swords, but she knew of Valyrian steel. Viserys would tell her how Rhaegar had tried to locate their family's ancestral Valyrian steel swords, but it seemed they were lost. Probably in some psycho collector's den. It did bring up another more obvious question though. "You said Jorah's father had the sword last?"

"From what I recall, yes. You know he died in the skirmish in Westeros at the Wall several years ago. I suppose that was why Jorah had the sword." It seemed Breinne still believed. She wondered if Jorah knew Jon actually was in possession of the sword. It was priceless. Did Jon know that? He had to know.

She handed Brienne back the longsword. "Well I didn't realize it was so special, it was quite heavy."

"Did it have the claw pommel?" She looked jealous again. "Valyrian family swords usually have hilts and pommels that are representative of their family houses and legacy. For instance, the sword known as Ice, which belonged to the Starks, had a hilt that resembled a blade of ice. The steel itself is smoky as well." She sighed, wistful. "Another sword lost to history."

Since there were Starks still wandering close by she would hae to ask them. She had no idea there was all this extra history to their world. "I don't recall the pommel." It was a white wolf with red eyes.

"Shame." She switched out the real steel longsword for one of the duller ones, offering it to her. "Give it a go before we start again."

Their conversation finished and returned to work, she did the maneuver she had to do on the next take. She could actually remember her stunts and movements. It was Jaime that couldn't be bothered. Although, he did seem to focus a bit more attention on Brienne now. Cersei was nowhere to be seen, so that might account for his fascination with someone other than her. The relationship between the Lannsiter twins always creeped her out. She was somewhat close with Viserys by necessity, but nowhere near the level fo weirdness with the Lannsiters. She moved to the soundstage, preparing herself for the next round.

Once this was over she had to go shower off the makeup and day, change from the costume, and get home to finish packing for Los Angeles. Her flight left that evening. She was going to hit the ground running once she got to LA, barely enough time to freshen up from the flight before she was off to tape a segment for a daytime talk show and then she had a few interviews scheduled at a hotel before her fittings for her Emmy dress...ugh. She was always grateful for the privilege she had and the opportunities, but sometimes she wanted to just be...normal.

"Cues."

She stepped to her place and closed her eyes, bringing herself to where Millie was in that moment. Her chest began to rise and fall fast as she took her breaths. She was scared. She was terrified. She was exhausted. She only wanted to protect her family. She contorted her face and opened her eyes, just in time for the clapper to echo like a gunshot in the back of her mind and Jaime make the move forward that he had to before the stunt actors jumped from their perches.

It went well. She howled in terror when she needed. S he swung the sword, fell backwards as necessary onto the padding below her, and Jaime managed tog et his lines done. They hadn't ended the scene yet when she saw a movement behind the DOP, peering onto one of the screens showing the filming.

Jon

She remained as in character as she could, silently begging for the call to end scene. Margarey must have gotten what she wanted, because she signaled the wrap up. Someone yelled that they were done. She jumped to her feet, bypassed Jaime who wanted congratulations for finally getting it right, and hurried by to jump and wrap her arms around Jon, forgetting where she was for the moment. Or that she was covered in fake blood and mud and other assorted goop. "You're back!" she exclaimed.

He let her go quickly, almost as fast as she'd hugged him, and took a full step away from her, sucking his teeth at the sight. She spun around, the heavy wool dress spinning about her knees. "Wow...hello Millie."

"Is it everything you expected and more?" she teased. She ignored a couple of looks they were getting from some of the camera crew. They were just friends. They could chat. She moved away as they started to reset the stage for the next set of scenes with Jaime and the stuntmen. Margarey gave her the okay to depart and she made her way off set, followed closely by hair and makeup assistants. She gave his forearm a light squeeze. It felt like forever since she'd seen him and it had only been a little over a month and a half. They'd texted and chatted back and forth on teh phone, but it wasn't the same.

He reached to brush some muck off of her forehead and to her satisfaction he was barely smiling, which she knew meant he was at least somewhat happy. It was the tiny smile he reserved solely for her and for a couple others, she'd seen it with Arya and Davos and even Lyanna Mormont. "You're nothing like what I expected."

Well shit. She had no idea what to say to that, so she closed her mouth and took the robe offered her, wrapping it around herself and walking through the backstage areas outside to the hair and makeup trailer. They would be a bit to get most of it off her face and hands before releasing her to costuming, where she could return the dress.

While they worked on her face, Jon came in and sat in an empty chair beside her, spinning in it slowly, his boot heel hooked on the bottom rung. "Bran wanted me to tell you thank you for sending him those books on old North history. I don't think he's really smiled in weeks but he smiled when he got those."

"Oh good." After Jon told her his brother was interested in the old lore of Westeros, she'd had Missandei, who lived and worked out of the family estate in Westeros, called Dragonstone, rummage in the attic and old library for some books that might eb of interest to him. She'd found a few and off they went to the crofter cottage in Scotland for Bran Stark's reading. She couldn't imagine what he went through, knowing that he was the only survivor of a car accident and that he could never walk again afterward. Horrific.

He propped his head on his hand. "I've got a meeting tonight, a dinner thing, with Sansa's news bureau."

She scowled and one of the makeup assistants made an annoyed sound, as it messed up the cream they were using to take off the fake blood. "Oh?"

"Yeah, they're going to do some sort of profile of me. Local hometown hero or some bullshit. She's milking the famous brother angle." He tilted his head back, groaning. "I do not want to do it."

"My flight leaves tonight for Los Angeles."

"I'll be on one tomorrow."

"Where are you staying?" They kept their conversation as basic as possible. She didn't know these particular people working on thee film. Any one of them could go running to the media if they felt. be an unnamed source and get their payday from Petyr Baelish the cretin or worse, 'The Spider.' At least Varys couldn't be bothered to dip his little birds into the entertainment industry and he stuck more to politics, but he was always up for a big story. He'd done a few limited reporting series on the film, mostly as it related to the 'smallfolk' as he called them and what it symbolized about their plight. Baelish just wanted to make money.

Jon's eyes twinkled; he knew that of course she knew where he was staying. It had been a bit of a back and forth discussion, but eventually he caved. He had a room at the Four Seasons, through his publishing company, but ultimately he would be hiding out in her Venice Beach home, which she rented when she wasn't in LA. It was a nice escape from the confines of Hollywood or Beverly Hills and made her feel like she was living that normal life. She smirked back at him. it was fun to have this little inside joke.

"Four Seasons," he chirped.

"That's a nice hotel."

"Hmm, I tend to catch on fire in California."

She had the ability to tan rather easily, so she would have to hide out beneath umbrellas to keep her paleness for the role. Millie couldn't very well be running around in the darkness of an ice war trying to save her family and fight for her life with a nice suntan and bleached out hair. "Jon Snow turns into a little red lobster?"

"More like a tomato."

"I will have to see that." She really did, it would be hilarious.

He pulled out his vape, gesturing to the door of the trailer. "I'll be outside. We can talk about schematics with the family fight scene." The blocking would be interesting. She wanted Millie to be in the corner the whole time. He agreed, but Margarey was not a fan of it.

She glanced at her reflection in the mirror, meeting the gaze of one of the hair assistants, a woman named Irri, who smiled knowingly. She arched a brow. "Yes?"

"He's single, isn't he?"

"I don't think anyone wants the responsibility of Jon Snow," she answered. She wrinkled her nose. "As an actor I can say that writers and other artists are too neurotic for most people."

"But you're not most people." Irri tugged a comb from her hair after wetting it, to get out the knot of fake blood. "He is very attractive. I don't even think he knows it, so it's makes him even hotter. Wouldn't you agree?"

Irri was fishing for information. She had been one of the hair stylists with the studio for years, Dany had worked with her on a few other movies. "Yes, he is," she agreed. She chose her words carefully, shaking out her hand when one of the other assistants finished plucking fake blood and dirt from her nails. "As for not knowing it, I think he knows. He just doesn't care. He's very rude."

"Ah, but some men's rudeness is actually shyness," Irri said. She sprayed more water onto her hair and raked her fingers through it, shaking loose. "I think Jon Snow is actually shy."

Irri did know her stuff. His rudeness was combination shyness, general awkwardness, and an intense desire to hide from everything. He didn't want his visions to be messed up, so yes, he could be a general asshole, but Dany was glad she'd gotten to see more to him. She felt her cheeks warm again at the memory of him between her thighs. Gods I need him still. "He has a dark side I think."

"It's the quiet ones you need to watch for," another makeup assistant, Verri, chimed in. "He has long fingers. Wouldn't mind those wrapped around me."

Irri laughed. "Yes, always the quiet ones." She turned to Verri. "Speaking of quiet, I heard you were out with Tyrion Lannister's little assistant Podrick. I've heard quite the rumors of him. Are they true?"

Thank gods. The two women began to giggle and gossip about Tyrion's assistant, who Dany had met a handful of times, and while they gossiped over that, she allowed her mind to wander back to that moment on the floor of her study. She couldn't help but smile, eyes glossing over. Her fingers itched to pull at his hair again. He'd tugged it back from his face in a half ponytail today.

About half an hour later they finished cleaning her up as best as possible, so she wouldn't destroy the shower drain in her trailer, and she went off to the adjoining costume trailer, working with their costume designer to remove the woolen dress carefully, to keep persevering the material for the next scene they might need the muddy thing. She hugged a warm terrycloth robe around her and shoved her feet into comfortable shearling boots, even in the warmth of the fading summer and early fall, and made her way down the ramp from the costume trailer.

She spotted Jon sitting on the steps of her trailer when she approached a few minutes later, Ghost at his side. He was vaping and scrolling through his phone. There was something both wild and put together about him. Those cute little curls half pulled away from his face and the dark jeans with beat-up boots. "You look positively hipster," she commented. She kicked at his ankle. "Your jeans are even rolled above your boots."

He glanced at them and shrugged. "I just did it because they wouldn't go over the top of the boots." She thought of what Irri said. Gods he really doesn’t know how attractive he is.

"Again, who buys your clothes?"

"Sansa I think, when I don't remember." He was on her heels, she could feel the heat wafting off of him and the smell of the vape mingling with his normal woodsy and cool scent. She could feel his fingers lightly fiddling with the belt of her robe and she bit her lip hard to keep from making an audible sound as she unlocked the trailer door and practically fell in. He pressed behind her and she hoped Ghost managed to get inside before he kicked the door shut so hard the mirror to the side of it wobbled on the wall. He threw his bag onto the floor with one hand and his other instantly went to her front, skimming his fingers along the front crossover of the robe, trying to get in between the folds of cotton.

The strangled gasp she’d been holding in released and her hand went behind her, gripping at his head, his mouth open wide and locking onto the corded muscle on her neck. “Fuck,” she cursed. She could feel him against her, his desire evident. “It’s been too long since I kissed you.”

“It’s all I’ve been thinking about,” he gasped, before spinning her around. She got one look at his blown black eyes before he pulled her hard to his chest, their mouths and bodies crashing together. He pulled at the placket of the robe, his rough hands scraping over the soft skin of her breasts, knocking her towards the small couch in the corner while she fumbled with the hem of his button-down, her small fingers deftly popping the buttons free. She needed him more than she realized, her muscles tensing as he lifted her up from her ground, her arms and legs snaking around him, the denim of his jeans abrading her thighs, the pressure against her forcing her to break the kiss and cry out.

“Shh,” he laughed, hand covering her mouth as they fell onto the couch. She giggled, knowing that the walls were thin between her trailer and Jaime’s. He rose over her, that goofy smile on his face. She smiled back up at him. “Hi,” he whispered.

She giggled again, feeling so foolish, lifting up to nip at his bottom lip. “Hi.”

“How are you?”

“Hmmm…wondering if my trailer is the best place for this.”

He wrinkled his nose and kissed her again, hard and swift. She barely could return it before he was sitting back up, his shirt hanging off his shoulders and revealing his smooth carved chest. She spread her fingers over his shoulders, moving to push the shirt completely from him, letting it fall back and pin his arms down at his sides, trapped in the sleeves. “What’re you doing?” he murmured as she moved forward, pressing him back against the armrest. She straddled his hips, reaching down between them to continue unbuckling his belt, her mouth hot as she blazed a path of licks, nips, and chaste kisses on his collarbone.

She rocked against him, pleased at the reaction she received, his eyes closing and his lower lip disappearing between his teeth. She skimmed her nails over his chest, following her lips as she slid her way down over him, regretfully removing herself from the rock hard bulge she desperately wanted. She managed to get the stupid belt unbuckled and unzipped his jeans, lifting her eyes and watching the pleasure cross his face when her hand slipped in the denim, tracing him through his boxers. “Just returning the favor.”

“Favor?” he barely got out when she wrapped her fingers around him, stroking a few times before she let go. His eyes somehow opened, she smiled at the effort that he had to put into it and a breath rattled out of his throat. “That’s what you want to call it?”

She shrugged, rising back up over him, pushing at the jeans and boxers, grunting slightly as she managed to get them over his narrow hips. She knocked his hands free; they were trying to pull at her hair and were reaching for her breasts again. She wagged her finger, sitting back up and grinning slyly. “Ah, ah, ah, no touching.”

“Fuck, Dany.”

“No touching,” she repeated, shrugging at the shoulders of her robe, letting it fall to her elbows before she reached for the side of it, hiding her breasts from his gaze. He gave her an Are you shitting me? look. She lowered herself back to him, the tip of her tongue raking over each one of his abs, swirling around his navel, and then moved to bite at his hipbones, tracing along the ‘v’ of muscle that narrowed to her prize.

She hummed in pleasure as she slid her hands up and down a few times, her thumb circling the tip. A strange sound emerged from his throat again. Good. She took a deep breath and took him into her mouth, mimicking the movements of her hand, long and deep sucks, circling with her tongue, and following it up with her hand again.

It was only fair he get the same treatment he’d given her, so even when he cursed her, wriggled around as she tortured him, and her trailer was filled with their combined moans of pleasure, she didn’t let up. Even when he all but begged her, his fingers pulling through her damp hair, curling it around his fist as she swirled her tongue up and down the length of him, her cheeks hollowing with each pull of her mouth.

After what probably wasn’t a very long time, but what felt like an eternity, and as much as she wanted to just launch herself at him and take him inside of her, she figured it was time to give him what he was begging for. She popped off of him and lifted her eyes up, her face pink and her lips swollen. She licked at her lips and smiled stupidly. “Hold on,” she warned.

“To what?” he whined, arching as she closed back over him. “Fuck!”

Mouth over him again, this time she sank completely on to him, filling her throat and feeling him hit the back of it, her eyes closing as she fought the reflex. Her tongue slid like velvet over him as she did so, and her fingers played as well, and before she knew it she felt him stiffen and seize, a gasp escaping as she took everything he gave, gripping his hips when he tried to move away and pinning him in place, sucking and swallowing until he slackened beneath her, a completely spent bundle of limbs, his stomach hollowing out as he took in deep breaths, returning back from wherever he’d gone.

She lifted herself from him, but not before running her tongue back down his length so she could kiss the head and rose up over him, her fingers tracing along his pecs as she smiled, her lips swollen and red, and her hair in completely disarray around her head. He merely stared up at her, his eyes practically filling with hearts, gaping at her like a lovesick teenager. “Hmm,” she murmured, licking her lips rather obviously. “You reap what you sow.”

His head hit back hard against the armrest and he laughed, deep from his chest. “Oh fuck Dany, I’ll reap whatever you want if that’s what you give back.” She smiled and stretched out over him, her leg sliding up to hook over his hip, rubbing against him again. He groaned. “Gods, you’re a tease.”

It was her turn to laugh and she snagged his mouth with hers for another kiss. “I’ve been thinking about what I was going to do to you for some time.”

He opened his mouth to say something else when there was banging at her trailer door. They both shot each other a look of terror at getting caught and she jumped up, hurriedly retying her robe and trying to make her hair look somewhat presentable while he tucked himself back into his jeans and yanked at his belt. The banging continued and she was about to yell for whoever it was to hold on when her brother’s voice shouted. “Dany open this fucking door! Why is it locked?”

“So you don’t barge in you dick!” she shouted back. She sent Jon an apologetic look, reaching for the door and flicking the lock before hauling it back. Vis was on the threshold, his knuckles almost coming into contact with her cheek as he made a move to start knocking again. She leaned on the door jamb while Jon opened up his bag, busying himself with whatever was in it. “What do you want?”

Her nosy good-for-nothing brother poked his head around her and she tried to stop him. “Who are you hiding in there little sis?”

“Arianne Martell,” she lied.

The mention of her brother’s former girlfriend and probably the only woman who had ever been strong enough and sane enough to handle Viserys’s erratic behavior sent him scrambling to try to see. “What? Why is she here?”

“She isn’t, you goon, why don’t you fucking call her?” Good, the mention of Arianne distracted Viserys enough to have him drop down a couple of steps outside the entrance of the trailer door. She moved forward, on the second-to-last step while he dropped to the ground. “What did you want?”

Viserys handed her a plastic folder of documents. “Tyrion will meet you at the Emmys, I’m staying here to make sure that lioness cunt doesn’t fuck with my movie.”

“My movie,” she corrected. She took the documents and flicked through them briefly. They were just outlines and schedules for her events for the next few days in LA. She scowled at one of the lunch spots where she was to meet a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter. “Really Vis? This is a known pap hangout.”

“Of course it is, you have to get some shots.” He made a face. “I know you hate them, but it’s for the movie.”

For the movie my ass. She shook her head, folding everything back up. After a moment of him just standing there, she waved her hand towards the main studio offices. “Bye, bye Vis. I’ll see you when I get back.”

He narrowed his eyes. “You have someone in there.”

“It’s just Ghost.” Thankfully Ghost came to her rescue, appearing at her side in silence. Vis hated living creatures, so naturally he took a large step backwards, scowling at the wolf. She ruffled Ghost’s ears for good measure. Now Vis wouldn’t want to be near her. She wiggled her index and middle finger to mime walking away. “Bye, bye Vis.”

“I hate dogs,” he muttered, turning tail and going back to the studio.

She slammed the door, kneeling and kissing Ghost’s head. “Good boy.”

“He’s the best boy.” Jon was standing behind her, something in his hand. It was a flat wide box. He shifted on his feet, nervous. “Um…I have something I wanted to give you.”

They’d already been intimate with each other, she’d just given him an amazing blow-job if she did say so herself, and he was nervous to give her a present? Gods Jon Snow I may be making the biggest mistake of my life with you. She took the box gently, studying it. It was just a black box, slim and unceremonious. Too big for jewelry of any sort. Too innocuous for anything else. “What is it?” she asked.

“Well open it.” He raked his fingers over his hair, knocking his bun askew. He reached back and took the tie off, looping it over his wrist and letting the curls spring free.

The movement almost had her dropping the gift and jumping him back to the couch. Regardless, she walked over and sat down, putting the box on her knees and flicking her nails under to break any sort of seal, lifting the top off. She set it aside and pushed her fingers carefully through the white tissue paper and revealed a flat book. She looked up at him, silently questioning, but he merely urged her to go on, smiling nervously. She removed the book and set the box aside with one hand, placing the book on her knees.

It was curious. There was no cover, just the black leather. It was flat like a picture book. Except it wasn’t an album. She opened it up, pushing the first blank page aside and stared at the type set of the title on the second page. “The Dragon Queen,” she read. Her throat went dry at the subtitle. It cracked as she read aloud. “A Fairytale…by Jon Snow.”

Tears pricked the corners of her eyes as she pushed to the first page. Oh gods. She blinked quickly through her tears and read out loud. “Once upon a time there was a girl...a girl who wanted to be a queen. She…” She paused and hiccuped. “She had three dragons.” Fucking fucking fuck. She barely read to the second page before she jumped to her feet and flung her arms around him, her mouth crushed to his.

He kissed her back with equal fervor, molding her against his body. They fit perfectly together, she had noted that earlier. After a few moments, she tore herself away, trying not to burst into tears, but it was a losing battle. Tears streamed down her face. “Why are you crying?” he whispered, his fingers shaking as he brushed them aside.

“You wrote me a fairytale.”

“Well I didn’t get you anything for your birthday.”

“A sorry excuse, my birthday is in March.” She kissed him one more time before she picked the book back up and immediately turned to the back page. There, in the final paragraph were the words she couldn’t believe she could see. “And she lived happily ever after.”

He didn’t write happy endings, but he wrote one for her.

The drawings in the book were beautiful too, cartoonish but not campy. She traced her fingers over the image of her on a dragon, smiling as she flew into the sunset. “Who did the colorings?”

“Bran. He’s a good artist, gave him something to do while we were cooped up in the house for the last month.” Jon stood behind her, his arm around her shoulder. He kissed her temple, murmuring. “You seemed so bothered by the no happy ending thing that I made an exception.”

She bumped her head under his chin, tucking close. “It’s beautiful. I’ll cherish it. A Jon Snow original.”

“No movie deals for this one, yeah?”

“Well I mean, if we did, you’d be so obstinate and rude about it all.”

He pushed his hand to his chest, mocking shock. “Obstinate and rude?”

“You Northerners, so stubborn.” She grinned. “Or another word for it is bull-headed. Irritating. Immovable.”

“Determined. Willful.”

She shrugged, kissing him one more time. They had to get out of here. She needed to get back home before the car came to take her to the airport. As much as it pained her, she broke away. “I need to finish cleaning up before I get back home. Need to be at airport in…” She glanced at he clock hanging on the wall by her dressing table. “Oh fuck! Like three hours! I have to hurry.”

Another stolen and frantic kiss later, her robe once more hanging at her shoulders, she had pushed him and Ghost out the door with a promise that she would see him in Los Angeles in a couple of days. She watched him walk off, Ghost trotting behind him, and shook her head, sighing hard. “This is a mistake,” she murmured to herself, turning and slumping against the door.

It is a wonderful mistake.

Her eyes fluttered shut and she slid down to the floor, tugging the book to her and opening it back up to read in full before she went back to the house. She knew she would likely be reading it nonstop throughout the entire 11-hour flight from Heathrow to Los Angeles.

And she had no intention of putting it down.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

September 2018
Los Angeles, California

 

“Hey,” Dany greeted, seeing Jon approaching her from where he’d slipped into the restaurant behind a group of socialites. There was a camera crew with them, probably filming for some reality show or who knew what these days. He scowled, his eyes hidden behind Ray-Bans. She had tried to avoid any restaurant where they could be caught on camera, but these days it was almost impossible. She also feared the paps had followed her from the other restaurant where she’d met with the magazine writer.

It was an Italian place she liked though, near enough to the highway so she could head out back to her house in Venice and close enough to the offices where Jon had been in his meetings with WGA. He tugged out a chair and sat across from her while she kept to the booth on the opposite side, her violet eyes swiftly moving from table to table, ensuring that there were no cameras out to capture them. People always thought they were being sly, but she knew when someone was watching her.

Jon set his phone and car keys on the table. “You couldn’t have picked a less conspicuous place?”

He seemed ready to fight. She scowled. “Well I don’t have every single dumb bitch socialite realty show production schedules in front of me Jon. How was I supposed to know?”

He shook his head, pulling his glasses off and pinching at his nose. “Sorry…just…tired.”

Jet lag was a bitch. She raked her fingers through her hair. She was ready to get back to her house and sleep for eternity. It seemed the moment she walked off the plane she had been harassed by cameras at LAX—there seemed to be a permanent paparazzi presence there just waiting for people exiting the international terminal, had a terrible meeting with a studio about a part in a new superhero movie franchise, and had done tapings and interviews nonstop. All she could do was talk about the fading brown in her silver hair (”Why yes! It is for a part! No I can’t give you full details about the but it’s amazing!”) and that she was honored to be in the movie version of The Long Night. and that ”Jon Snow is a brilliant novelist and playwright and now screenwriter, would not be shocked at all if he adds an Oscar to his award chest!”

She should tell them that he kept his awards in his coat closet. That would be fun. It had also been a bit terrifying when she opened it up to place her jacket in last time she was in the cottage and a Tony Award almost knocked her in the skull. “I know,” she said in understanding, reaching to lightly touch his hand. “I’m exhausted myself.”

A waiter came over to top off her water and ask Jon what he wanted, but he just waved his hand. “Not hungry thanks. Just…an espresso please. Triple.”

He was looking a bit gaunt. Espresso was probably the last thing he needed. “You should eat,” she said, reaching into the breadbasket and removing a roll, breaking it in half and setting it on the small plate by his hand. “It might make your jet lag easier.”

He shook his head and pinched at his nose again. “I said I wasn’t hungry. I’ve got a headache now. Fuck.” He looked over his shoulder and scowled at the cameras that were hovering around outside. “Why can’t they get real jobs?”

“Because people love to look at others and throw stones at them because they don’t want to throw stones at themselves. It’s easier and better to think you can have control over someone else’s life.” She almost didn’t acknowledge them anymore when she was in LA. She glanced at him and saw his discomfort level rising. This was way out of his zone. It was hot, it was sunny, and he was the center of attention. Or he would be, when they walked outside.

To be honest she was uncomfortable going out there as well with him. She didn’t want people to automatically pair them together, which they would. Although Tyrion could spin it as a business meeting. It wasn’t like they were holding hands and kissing and the like. She drew herself up, her back straight. “So did your meeting at WGA go well?”

“It was fine. Listen, I talked to Margarey.” Something was obviously bothering him. He fiddled with his car keys. His gaze was unsteady and he kept starting and stopping his words. He finally blew out a hard breath. “This is hard to say.”

“Gods Jon you’re scaring me. What is it?” She was terrified. What if they didn’t like her? What if they recast the role? What if they weren’t going to go ahead with the movie and just eat the cost?

He tore his gaze from a fake Italian Renaissance painting on the wall and finally looked her in the eye. There was something apologetic there, but also a fire she saw when he was really involved in his work. He sighed. “Don’t take this the wrong way but…I don’t think Millie is the part for you.”

Don’t take it the wrong way!? She plastered the fake smile on her face she used in interviews and her violet gaze when vacant. “Oh?” She gripped at a spoon on the table. The knife was so close but committing murder with dozens of paparazzi outside wasn’t smart. “Who thinks this? Margarey or you?” She answered before he could, her words dripping with ice. “Because I remember you not wanting me for the part. Wanting me to audition and answer questions about your books to prove my worthiness and I thought I did that. In fact, I fucking thought that I gave everything to this part and we’ve only been filming for a month.”

He closed his eyes and shook his head. “You’re not…no…I mean…fuck.

It hurt her. The lack of faith. She jumped up from the booth, grabbing her bag. “I’m not hungry either.” She had already thrown down cash to cover her water and the lemonade she’d ordered but barely sipped, and stormed towards the front door, ignoring his calls of Dany, wait!

The paparazzi were on her immediately as she stepped out of the restaurant, only hesitating for a moment when they didn’t immediately catch sight of the silver hair, the brown rinse still tinting it a rather dull color. She shoved her sunglasses on against the flashbulbs, walking to her car as Jon hurried after her, pushing one of the paps aside out of his way. “Dany, listen to me!”

“Not here,” she hissed between grit teeth and thankfully some of the restaurant’s security had pushed back the cameras, leaving them with very limited privacy in the parking lot. She glared at him again, but eh couldn’t see the fire raging inside of her behind the frames of her sunglasses. “You’re doing this now? Doing this here, really? After what we’ve been through these last couple of months?” How we feel about each other these last couple of months is what she probably should have said.

He tried to turn her towards him, but she was throwing her bag into the passenger seat of her car, a crappy Audi that belonged to the studio and that she used when she was here. She was always so uncomfortable in it, forgetting which side to get into most of the time. She walked around to the correct side, Jon on her heels. “Dany, you’re amazing, you’re a good actor, but I don’t think this is the right part!”

“Fuck you!” The cameras no doubt were getting this to be remembered forever, but she didn’t care, she was so angry. Hot tears pricked the corners of her eyes. “You’re an ass Jon Snow. You demand and never give. You wanted everything from me and I gave it and now you’re not happy with the results. Well fuck you. I signed a contract and so did you. This movie is mine and it’s yours and if it does well then you’re stuck me with for at least two more.” She pushed him aside as he tried to explain again, climbing into the driver’s side and hitting the push-button to start the engine.

He moved aside, lest she hit him on her way out of the space, and she saw him move towards his rental out of the corner of her eye. Fine, follow me. I don’t care. Good luck catching me in the LA traffic. She jerked the steering wheel around, trying to focus on the road as she made her way out of the parking lot, avoiding the paps once she got onto the road.

And ignoring the tears that continued to fall down her face. It hurt, but more than she thought anything could hurt. And that was what bothered her the most.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

The house she’d purchased in Venice was ultra-modern, sleek, Scandinavian simplicity, all that stuff. She only liked it because it had olive trees that hid it from the rest of the neighborhood, a lap pool with hot tub, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Plus, bonus for her to savor the beautiful weather and sunshine, the windows retracted up and turned the entire back wall of the living space into one seamless indoor and outdoor living location. It was like the pool and gardens were in her home.

She had returned, angry and upset, and ignored phone calls from Tyrion and Viserys about how the rest of her day went with the reporter and how there were pictures of her already on the Internet fighting with mystery man. Thank Gods no one really knew who Jon was. He was probably grateful. She shed her clothes when she got to her bedroom and promptly escaped into the bathtub, the water as hot as the faucet could get, her skin glistening with oils and salts as she drowned in her feelings.

How could he say those things? It wasn’t that he said she was bad. All he said was she wasn’t right for the part. He may as well have said she was bad. He knew how she felt about this movie. He knew what she had put into it. She scowled, slouching further into the tub, her messy topknot falling out and dipping into the water as she pushed her knees up. The cool air on her exposed skin sent a violent shiver through her. She probably should get out. She’d been hiding away for like an hour. The water was now tepid.

The tears no longer came. She just wanted to hate on him now. It hurt more because they weren’t in a professional relationship. They were in…well whatever it was they were in. It wasn’t a friendship. Last she checked, people who were just friends didn’t give each other mind-blowing orgasms. Was it an actual relationship? He could barely stand sitting in a restaurant with her in case someone took their picture.

Somewhere through the soft tinny of jazz music playing through the house’s speaker system she heard her phone buzzing. Probably Tyrion or Viserys. She made no move to get out of the bath. Her eyes closed again. Take me away, she thought. Just take me away…

Buzz…buzz…buzz…

“Others take me,” she shouted, pushing up on the rim of the tub and launching herself out. She splashed water onto the tile floor and grabbed for her robe, shoving her arms into the silk, which stuck against her skin, almost tripping her as she stormed from the bathroom. She grabbed the phone, eyes wide at the screen.

Superimposed over the image of her and Missandei on their last girl’s trip, was a notification: Jon 25 Missed Calls

There were over 30 different text messages ranging from I fucked up, I know I did to Open your damn door! to why do you always assume the worst?

“Open the door?” she said out loud. On cue she heard the buzz of the security system downstairs by the back door. She couldn’t hear it in the bathroom over the music. Oh gods. She dropped her phone on the nightstand, but not before she silenced it completely, taking it off vibrate. Her heart fluttered in her chest and she began to feel her blood rush through her in curiosity. Her feet padded lightly down the floating staircase and across the stone floor, through the long and chrome kitchen to the back of the house, where she studied the camera.

The black and white image showed Jon, his hair wild like a mad scientist, and leaning against the tall wall that surrounded the line of the property. She scowled. He looked really upset. Really apologetic. Good. He took out his phone again, hitting the screen with his thumb while he reached with his opposite hand and hit the button again. She smiled briefly and leaned forward, depressing the speaker so he could hear her. “What?” she demanded.

Relief washed over him. He dropped his phone. “Dany! Thank gods. Let me in, I want to talk to you.”

“No, you deserve to stand out there. Go away.”

“I’m sorry! Look it came out wrong.”

She hit her head against the wall, pushing the button again to speak. “I don’t really care.”

“You won’t even let me explain? Seriously?”

This was the man who made her a fairytale book. The man who wrote out little notes for sick children to knight them. The man who didn’t believe in happy endings because he never had one himself. The man who took a leap with her. Fuck.

For some reason she hit the button to open the door into the property. He whipped it open and ran in. She could see him sprinting down the path to the door, which she reluctantly tugged open, allowing him entry. He turned on his heel, but whatever he was going to say caught in his throat with a choke. His gaze swept over her once, twice, and on the third time he finally closed his mouth. He gripped his phone tight in his right hand while his left raked through his hair again. She smiled. So that’s why it looks all crazy.

He tried to clear his throat, but it only sounded like another choke. “Um…were you in the bath?”

“I was, until your incessant calling got me out.”

“Oh.”

She arched an eyebrow and crossed her arms. The silk robe, a lovely red number with black on the cuffs, hem, and sash, clung to her curves, leaving nothing to the imagination. She moved her arms and placed her hands on her hips, jutting her chin out in defiance. As she moved, the silk pulled taut over her breasts. It was unfair of her, but she was still angry at him for what he’d said. “Explain what you meant,” she murmured. When he said nothing, she arched her eyebrows. “Explain, Jon.”

He sighed, turning and following her from the hall down towards the kitchen. It was the first time that he’d been there. While she opened the fridge and removed a bottle of wine, he immediately gravitated towards the floor-to-ceiling bookcases. They were scattered with books and knickknacks. Most of the things came with the house when she purchased it a few years back. There was even a ladder on a track that stretched across to reach the top shelf. He immediately removed one of his books, chuckling. “You have multiple copies of this stuff, huh?”

“By this stuff, you mean good literature then yes.” She poured her glass, walking over and sipping at it, giving herself a moment to observe how he was holding himself. Wild hair, slumped shoulders, and he was hanging his head a little, even as he looked at his book in his hands. He was tired, yes, but she thought he was apologetic. She cleared her throat, holding the glass to the side. “So what did you mean in the restaurant? Because you look pathetic and sorry, but I deserve more.”

He set the book back and turned, eyes wide as he nodded. “Yes, you do. You do deserve more.” He stepped towards her and took the glass from her fingers, putting it on the shelf behind him. She frowned, but allowed him to take her hands into his, squeezing tight. She gripped back. Earnest, he leaned in, voice soft. “All I meant and totally fucked up was that you don’t deserve to be a part in a movie where you share the screen with everyone else…you deserve to have it be about you and only you.”

It was though. Or at least, she thought it was. “Millie is the main character,” she whispered. She was still confused. Maybe it was jet lag. She furrowed her brow. “I don’t understand.”

“All I mean is that the play…in the play it was shared credit. Ensemble. It’s a family drama.” He chewed his lower lip and it was his turn to frown. “But you’re not…you’re more than that. That’s all I meant. You’re killing it. You’re amazing. I’m a fucking idiot for not wanting you in the beginning. That’s all I meant.”

It was still hurtful. Even though she rose to wrap her arms around his neck, she shook her head. “It still hurt.”

“I know. I was a fucking idiot.”

“You were.”

He bent his knees so that he was at her height, kissing her jaw on the right and then moving to kiss the left, his words murmuring against her skin. Her eyes fluttered shut, sighing in pleasure. “I’m sorry…I didn’t…didn’t mean it…I’m stupid.”

“You are stupid,” she whispered, brushing her nose to his when he moved to kiss at her temple next. She tugged at the front of his jacket. “And annoying.”

“I am.”

“And stubborn.”

Now he kissed her mouth, open and hot, nodding. “Stubborn, yes.”

“Asshole, you are.”

“Hmm…yes.” Now he was sucking at the pulse of her neck, just under her ear, which drove her wild, her eyes closing and her body curving against his, gasping softly. The burn in her belly began to spider out to her limbs, her knees weakening and threatening to drop out completely from under her. She pulled at his shoulders, pushing him from where he was giving complete attention to the sensitive spots of her neck and shoulder, her mouth finding his instead.

It’s time. She opened her lips at his gentle probing, her tongue sliding alongside his, moaning into his mouth as his fingers began to skim down her sides, the warm touch against the coolness of the robe and dampness of her skin threatening to undo her, her nerve endings on fire. She moved her palm along his jaw, smoothing over his trimmed beard to tangle into his hair. The constant worrying he’d done to it made her fingers slip through with ease, the silkiness of it causing her to sigh.

“Oh,” she cried softly, surprised as he bent slightly and scooped her up under her knees. With her legs draped over his left arm and his right holding her around her shoulders, she smiled, floating on the warm feelings spreading through her and the intensity of the desire she felt for him. She pulled his face back to her, not breaking their kiss as he carried her up the stairs and to the bedroom, kicking his foot to shut the door behind him.

The room was dim from the candles she’d lit in the bathroom and around on the nightstand and dresser for her bath and the room was filled with the sweetness of the blue winter rose of the candles. She pushed at his jacket, sending it falling to the floor and broke the kiss just long enough for them both to tug off his t-shirt. She scooted back on the bed, her legs falling open to allow him to gently drop over her, bracing his weight on his hands, placed on either side of her head.

They stared at each other for a brief moment, silently questioning. His eyes were so dark, she thought, wondering where the gray started and the black began. Her fingers lifted to stroke at some of the curls that fell over his forehead, tucking them back from his face. He moved his weight to one hand and with the other he ran his thumb over her lower lip and his fingers brushed at her cheeks. He seemed to be making a note of something. What goes on in your mind? She kissed at the tip of his thumb and smiled, silently acknowledging what they were going to do.

He returned the smile, slightly shy, and leaned back down, barely touching his lips to hers before he began to track them down to her chest. As he kissed, his fingers brushed over the sides of her breasts, pushing the robe apart and revealing her to him. She arched as his mouth closed over one nipple, her fingers tangling in his hair, eyes fluttering shut as she slid her legs around him, moaning softly at the feeling.

There was something so intense about the feelings that had been bottled inside and threatened to overflow. She hadn’t felt like this in…fuck…ever. She hadn’t felt like this in her entire life. The love she’d had with Drogo was her first, terrifying to begin with and by the end she was just sad and angry. Daario wasn’t love; it was infatuation and neediness, using him for what he could give her in her grief and pain. There had been no one else but them, despite what the rest of the world might think of her as the foreign whore.

This was entirely different. This was animalistic, their need for each other resulting in them fighting for dominance and control. It was sweet and gentle at the same time, their kisses and touches tender and searching. There was emotion and connection she couldn’t understand. She closed her eyes tight, her head tossing on the duvet when his fingers, which had been circling slowly on her inner thighs while his mouth made the same movements on her breasts. The simultaneous actions in both places had her writhing, unsure which she needed more. Her fingers clenched at the duvet, at his hair, and on his shoulders.

She murmured her requests, needing him to hurry, her body craving release and feeling it build within her. Somewhere dark and deep, she was terrified of what would happen when she finally lost it entirely. She shouted in surprise when his index finger slid between her folds, his thumb roughly circling her clit. “Jon,” she panted, her hips bucking into his palm, which pushed against where his thumb had just been, as he slipped one and then another finger into her. She tightened around the digits, wanting something more. She wanted to feel him entirely, not just what little she had at the moment.

And then she felt the build in the base of her spine, her thighs trembling as she clutched them around him, her heel digging into shoulder. She tried to prop herself up so she could watch, but everything in her felt like liquid. She bit her lip so hard she could taste blood, her throat closing tight. She sobbed in frustration, hitting her fist on the side of the bed when he broke away from her, only to lunge over her, grabbing her mouth with his.

“Oh gods,” she managed to get out as he kissed her. She pulled at his curls, eyes wide on his, swallowing hard as she rocked her hips up to his, feeling the heaviness of him trapped against her stomach. He was still wearing his fucking jeans, she thought, the denim scratching at her thighs. “Jon if you don’t fuck me now…”

“Language,” he murmured with a smile against her lips, kissing her again. He was too busy smiling to really kiss her, so they simply just clashed their teeth and tried to each take the other. He tore away from her and she hissed in combined pleasure and pain, and watching as he didn’t break eye contact, leaning forward to pull off his boots and shuck aside his boxers and jeans before falling back over her again.

This time she laughed, slightly nervous at the realization this was finally happening. They could finally just be with each other and not worry about anyone barging in or worrying over other responsibilities. She moved backwards up the bed, her head falling onto the pile of pillows at the headboard, tugging him with her. She watched, her tongue darting out to wet her lips at the sight before her.

His hot tongue skimmed over her abdomen and with a wolfish grin, his mouth closed over where she craved him moment, throbbing for him, and she arched into him, watching beneath hooded eyelids as his dark head began to lave at her, one arm curled around her left thigh and the other reaching to sling her right over his elbow, splitting her open for his taking.

Take me, she begged, thrusting against his tongue, needing it everywhere. Take me now. Forever. I don’t even care. Take me from this world and we’ll never look back. It will just be us. They could hide away somewhere in the middle of nowhere, disappear from the world and be the wolf and the dragon they liked to think they were.

The buildup was faster this time, she was already primed for it, and she closed her eyes tight, her face contorted as she clenched around him, fingers and tongue, and the wave hit her, knocking her back and crashing over her, again and again, her mouth open in a silent scream as she quaked beneath him. She managed to open her eyes as the waves lessened, and once she had his attention, he continued to lick and nip at her already over-sensitive folds, pushing her back through another tidal wave, her body turning on her side as she folded against it, clamping against him again.

He didn’t even have a chance to kiss her, which she knew he wanted, before she hooked her leg around his hip and pulled at his upper arms, pushing at him as she bent forward, using what little energy she had to push him onto his back, his hands spreading over her thighs as she straddled his hips. She leaned forward, nails digging into his chest as she kissed him, pouring herself into it. He gave back as much as she gave him, the kisses turning sloppy as she fought her hands between them. He lifted his hips, rubbing against her, slick and ready. They both trembled at the contact. She sighed, which caught in her throat when he gently pressed his thumbs into her hips, lifting her carefully. She helped him, rising up and watching as he pushed into her, long and slow, burying himself completely.

They both stilled, unmoving, as they understood the feelings coursing through them. She gripped her thighs around his hips, pinning him in place, not wanting him to move just yet as she savored it. He lifted up, arms wrapping around her, palms wide and splayed over her back, bringing his lips to touch hers lightly, before she began to devour him, needing him in every way, her fingers diving through his hair, and hips beginning to rock slowly against his, the contact almost unbearable. He filled her completely, stretching her almost to the point of pain.

Her walls fluttered and tightened around him, forcing a groan from him as she began to move, sliding up and down, long and slow, opening her eyes briefly to watch him disappear into her again and again. He tugged at her hair, bringing her to him again for a kiss. She stilled slightly as the spring inside began to wind. It was so tight, she knew it would burst free. The fold of their bodies against each other was almost too much and she tightened her arms around his shoulders, the steady pace of moving against him growing erratic, until he tore from her, letting out a wolf-like growl and flipped them over, not once breaking their contact.

Her breasts bounced against his chest before pressing flush against the hardened muscle, his mouth not once leaving her skin as he kissed down her neck, the pace of his hips against hers speeding to a point where she wasn’t sure who was more desperate for the release. One hand on her leg, he hooked it over his hip, opening her wider for him as he sat up slightly, the angle putting more pressure against her clit and sending a sharp bolt through her, her mewls of pleasure growing louder.

With his other hand, he spread it against the small of her back, encouraging her hips to thrust up, bowing her body into a taut arch, and after pausing a moment, he began to thrust. Each slam of his hips to hers had her moving higher and higher on the bed and he bent back slightly, giving her room to move her foot, which she set in the crook of his elbow, his hand wrapped around her leg, holding her open for him. The look on his face was all wolf and she reached down over her stomach, lightly touching at the swollen bud, her fingers barely grazing over him as he pushed into her again and again.

It was enough for him to suddenly unleash and she fell over the edge suddenly, this time unable to sense it happening until it was almost too late, her arms snapping around him to hold on as he pulled her against him, taking her hard and fast; she clamped around him, clenching and squeezing, taking everything from him that she could, her nails digging into his shoulders as she fell into the dark abyss with him, the dragon scream from her almost drowning out the feral wolf growl from him. He thrust against her a few more times, erratic and weak as she continued to tighten around him, ensuring that there was nothing left for either of them to give or take.

She could hardly catch her breath. The heat of his against her neck was comforting and somehow it felt cool against her sweat-slicked skin, which felt aflame. His arms gave out and he fell against her and she savored the weight, cradling him. She hummed in contentment, wrapping around him completely, and her fingers stroked through his slightly damp hair.

They lay like that for some time and she briefly wondered if she’d fallen asleep at one point, their breathing evening out. He finally lifted his head up and peered at her, the gray in his eyes returning as his pupils returned to normal. He had a goofy smile on his lips, happy and sated. She shivered beneath him, feeling the cool air against her bare skin as he moved slightly to the side, exposing her. He rested his head on the pillow beside hers, still not breaking their eye contact and his fingers rested beside her head, his thumb brushing at her temple and moving to her hair.

“You’re so beautiful.”

His voice was raspy, thick with desire and sleepiness. She wrinkled her nose slightly. “That’s the sex talking,” she whispered, trying to play it off. He shook his head, but said nothing, before kissing her again. It was so gentle it broke her heart. He nuzzled against her and sighed, his arm stretched over her belly, hugging her against him. She felt so warm and soft against him, glad for him there.

The chill from the low hum of the air conditioner forced them both to move from their comfortable positions, just for a moment as they buried themselves beneath the duvet, seeking the warmth of the other. Her fingers danced across the scars on his chest while he tugged on her hair, the silence comfortable as they savored in their newfound relationship.

Eventually she felt sleep start to take her, but not before she ensured she was curled into his side, her hand atop his heart, and his arms protectively wrapped around her, ensuring that nothing would break through their peace. She sighed, murmuring in the quiet. “You’re really something Jon Snow.”

The rumble of his chuckle made her toes curl into his calf, their legs tangled beneath the sheets. “As are you Daenerys Targaryen.”

She sighed again in happiness, feeling comforted and loved, and slipped easily into sleep.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

At some point they’d woken each other up again, spending more time exploring each other’s bodies and giving in to the urgent need they each had for the other. This time there was no buildup; he’d woken to her mouth tracking down his abdomen and that just wouldn’t do because he need to be inside her, so they’d immediately come together, with her riding him straight to oblivion.

After a moment of rest, they were both ready to go again. He’d never felt like he would die without someone and yet Daenerys Targaryen had done that to him. She had kept him off-base and in a constantly uncomfortable position since the day he met her, with that cute little smile as she tried to get him to give up where he lived and then that furious snarl when she’d realized he’d played her. They all thought she was some fragile little princess. Gods, he was so glad he knew she wasn’t. She was a dragon. She was fire and she was ice and she was…

His hand stopped its ministrations, pulling and stroking at coils of her silver curls. The brown rinse from the dye had been all but washed away, you could hardly tell. He stared at them, wrapped around his wrist, and he saw a flash in his mind. Silver hair, cool face, and eyes like chips of ice, as blue as winter roses…he couldn’t stop, seeing it all before him. She was power. She was grace. She was fear and love and hate and…oh gods.

As much as he wanted to spring from the bed and scramble out the door, he carefully extricated himself from around her, watching her carefully to make sure she didn’t wake. He slid his arm from where it was cozied up under her pillow, her head lightly falling back. She sighed, moving a little backwards as he pulled from her, hoping the mattress didn’t give too much as he stood up.

He found his jeans on the floor, shoving them on quickly and ignoring his shirt and boots, quickly padding his way down the stairs and through her kitchen to the door. The night was relatively cool, but his skin was still warm from the exertions earlier and from being wrapped up beneath the thick duvet with Dany. Gods. He had never felt anything akin to what he’d felt when he was buried inside of her. It was like something out of a fucking book. Just not one of his. Unless he wrote it. Which he just might do, it was so intense.

The rental car was butted up against her closed electric gate and he pressed the button at the side, waiting for it to move backwards enough for him to slip through. It was almost sunrise, the sky lightening just enough that the streetlights had gone out. He moved fast, lest someone see him, and removed the case with his typewriter from the trunk, along with his messenger bag, carrying both of them into the house and over to the table.

He set up the typewriter quickly, yanking a piece of paper from the bag and shoving it into the machine. It began to flow from him like water through a stream, the words easier than anything he’d ever written. He could just see it in his mind. It was beautiful and haunting and it would be everything he’d never realized and more. At some point he realized he was smiling while he typed, fingers moving over the keys in frenzy. Mistakes meant nothing to him at the moment; he’d deal with them later.

Page after page began to stack beside him. He was so into the story that he didn’t hear the footsteps behind him, but he felt the arms snake around his neck and the soft kiss to his cheek. “What are you doing awake?” Dany murmured against his ear, her tongue darting to trace his earlobe.

He idly kissed at her palm, which she’d placed next to his jaw, turning his face up so she could kiss him properly. After almost losing himself in it, he tore away, shaking his head. “Don’t distract me, I need to get this done.”

“What is it?” she laughed. She went to pick up the pages, but he moved to hide them, shaking his head. She rolled her eyes. “Jon Snow, do you preferring writing to me?”

Only if I was a dead man. He pushed the pages aside and turned in the chair, reaching to tug her around the waist. She was wearing his shirt and gods he had never seen anything sexier. She wiggled her bottom against him and he groaned, his body immediately reacting. As it should, because he wasn’t a dead man. Nor was he a stupid man, which he would be if he denied Dany in that moment, the way she was moving against him. “No,” he said, his hand angling her head towards his, taking her lips gently. “Never.”

“Good.” She crawled from him, her fingers sliding against his as she grinned over her shoulder, before she let go and turned, walking backwards towards the lap pool her fingers moving to part the shirt and let it fall at her feet. “Because I need to warm up and I usually do laps in the morning when I’m in LA, but you know…you could join.”

His jeans went by way of the shirt and he ignored the script changes that were sitting on the table, choosing to fall into the warm pool with Dany, their skin slick as they grappled with each other, but in the end he won, pinning her back against the smooth tile, forgetting everything that existed except her.

Chapter Text

viii.

September 2018
Los Angeles, CA

 

"Oh gods,” Dany exclaimed, her fingers digging hard into Jon’s shoulders, sighing as he sagged forward over her, his mouth somehow still moving warm against her neck, and she wasn’t quite sure where her arms and legs were. They may no longer have been attached, so pliant and tangled around him.

 

Her head hit the pillow from where she’d been leaning into him, still unable to stop the explosion of stars that were still filling her vision. At some point he moved to her side, but she wasn’t sure where exactly he went. She reached her hand over, weakly trying to touch him, but only was able to pat her fingers along his face. He sucked on her index finger for a moment before letting go, moving to sit up beside her, propped on his elbows and peering down. She could barely move. The muscles in her thighs still trembled, brought to the brink before abandoning her entirely.

 

He idly ran his hand over her knee, which was drawn up slightly, her foot hooked over his hip. "When do you have to return that dress?" he asked, peering over at the deep violet confection of tulle and chiffon that was in a pile on the floor, along with her gorgeous satin plum-colored Jimmy Choo platforms and some scraps of plum-colored lace that used to be the Agent Provocateur lingerie she'd worn under her gown. Before a wolf managed to get his claws and teeth into it. They were brand new and he did not have any regret for what he'd done to it or to her body afterward.

 

Ellaria Sand was going to be furious with her when she found out that the couture Christian Dior Fall 2018 gown had been treated as nothing more than an off-the-rack discount buy, torn off of her without care to the various hidden zippers, hook closures, and strategically placed body tape so it didn't fall straight off her chest. Again, Jon could have cared less. He'd been incorrigible. Something had awoken inside of him and she did not ever want it to go away. It was feral and snarling and used her to absolute nothing. They'd enjoyed a lovely morning in her heated lap pool until her skin had begun to turn all pruny, before washing off the chlorine and sweat from their morning activities in her giant steam shower. She had never really found much use for the bench that was built into it until that morning, finding that it was quite delightful to use to keep her steady while he knelt before her and worshiped her. Or for her to pin him down and ride him until the water turned cool. Now she wanted to add a bench to her bathroom in London.

 

She glanced sideways at the dress, sitting up so she could stretch across his chest, straddling his thigh as she did so. It gave her the opportunity to press a sweet kiss on the scar over his heart and lightly stroke it. He shivered. I could have lost you before I even knew you. She reminded herself she didn't and he was here with her instead of on a frozen tundra somewhere. "Hmmm," she murmured, arching a brow. "Ellaria will be here later to pick it up and return to Christian Dior. Why?" She licked at a bead of sweat in the divot of his neck. "You want me to put it back on? It's dreadfully difficult to zip."

 

"I'm not interested in zipping it up. Just like seeing you in it so I can tear it off you."

 

"Jon you are such a beast." She purred. He growled for good measure, snapping his teeth at her as she pressed another kiss along his chest. "Who knew?" She hoped that the dress wasn't damaged; she was not interested in that conversation with Ellaria. She sighed, frowning at him as his eyes glanced at the bedside table, where his phone sat beside hers. "You have work stuff."

 

"Nothing can distract me from you. Especially if you put that dress on." He paused, an idea forming. S he could see his eyes darken at whatever was in his head. He smiled, long and slow, cocking his head on the pillow and lifting his fingers to flick at the starburst earrings she still wore, the diamonds glinting in the sunlight and bouncing off the windowpane above the bed. "Or you could just put on the shoes."

 

"You're a letch."

 

"You love it."

 

"I do," she confessed. She stretched over him, making sure to rub herself against him for good measure, delighting in the lovely little groans in the back of his throat. She was about to lap and lick her way down beneath the sheet, which barely covered his hips when there was a beep from the alarm system as one of the outside doors opened. Not that it mattered, they'd left the entire wall of the living room open so they could come and go as they pleased from the pool and gardens earlier.

 

He glanced at her quickly. "Who is here?" he mouthed, frowning.

 

"Dany! It's Missandei and Grey! Where are you?"

 

Shit. She forgot that Missandei was going to come over for brunch and help her gather up her things for return to Ellaria and the jeweler later that evening. The giant pearl and diamond starburst earrings she'd worn with the dress and the pearl and amethyst statement ring on her right hand were all she was wearing at the moment and she needed to get them back soon as well. She crawled from the bed, tripping on the dress and her shoes, cursing at her stubbed toe. "Um, just a moment! In the bath!"

 

While she had been getting ready all day yesterday before the Emmys, Jon had disappeared back to LA to return the rental car so he didn't have to deal with it and also check out of the Four Seasons, since it was plainly evident he would be spending the rest of their few days with her. Preferably without clothing and preferably without any commitments until they left on the same flight back to London. Missandei and Grey had come over the day before, since Missandei was her 'plus one' for the Emmys and Grey, her husband, had planned on working on some of the charity's staffing and administrative issues before returning to their rented bungalow on the beach, since they both preferred that to the city.

 

She had come home from the Emmys as soon as possible, to find Jon waiting for her, and she had barely managed to get a Hey how are you? before the dress's skirt was over her head and her legs were over his shoulders. If she'd known that it was a bit of a kink for him to hide under poufy skirts while he ate her out, she'd dig some of her old Princess P costumes she kept in storage. She'd completely forgotten that her friends were going to stop by though and hoped that there wasn't any evidence of their lovemaking scattered throughout the living room. "Go in the guest room," she advised him.

 

"It's your best friend, she's going to know," he said, unconcerned and stretching his arms up, stretching out onto he bed. His delicious abdominal muscles tightened and flexed over his ribs as he moved and it took all her power not to just shout for Missandei to leave. He propped himself back on his elbows again, pupils dilating to black again. "And besides, I still haven't gotten what I wanted yet."

 

"And what's that?" she asked, grabbing her robe from the closet.

 

"To tear that dress off you."

 

She rolled her eyes. "You did it last night."

 

"You helped me, but I want to rip it off."

 

"As much as I would love that darling I am afraid that ripping the several hundred-thousand dollar hand sewn Dior is a no-no in my books." She leaned over, taking his face into her hands and kissed him sweetly. She smiled and brushed her nose to his, whispering. "But I have a few you can rip later. Just remind me."

 

He nipped at her lip. "I’ll hold you to that."

 

"Be right back." She wasn't sure how to get Missandei off her back, but at least she wasn't too bothered about her finding out. It wasn't that she feared it getting out beyond the two of them, she just wasn't sure what she felt or wanted from whatever she had going with Jon and Missandei knowing would mean questions. It would be talking about it. And Dany wasn't sure what to say because she wasn't sure if she and Jon even knew. Or even wanted to know.

 

He grabbed her by the back of her head as she turned to leave, planting a kiss on her that had her toes curling into the carpet and her fingers gripping his shoulders to keep standing. Gods he was so good at this. He let go of her and pushed her lightly away from him, before turning and snuggling into the pillows and duvet. "Hurry back."

 

She stood in place for a moment, remembering where she was and what she was doing. Missandei, that's right. She grabbed his foot as she walked by and he kicked out at her. She giggled, dancing from the bedroom and jogging down the stairs to find Missandei perusing the papers strewn on the table and the typewriter still sitting where Jon had stolen away a few odd moments there and there to type out his secret manifesto or whatever it was that he had been adamant about starting. Missandei looked over at her, a knowing look on her face and her smile tight as she tried not to let it break across. Shit. "Dany," she greeted.

 

"Missandei." She glanced at Grey, who was oblivious, and making himself a cup of coffee in her kitchen. She ducked close to her best friend; cheeks oddly pink at having been found out. "Did you have a good rest of your evening?"

 

"I certainly did, thank you for letting the stylist loan me that beautiful gown. I've got it hanging in the front closet." Missandei quirked her eyebrow. "I take it you had an enjoyable evening?"

 

She hummed, pressing her lips together in a tight line. It did nothing to hide the dancing laughter in her eyes, her shoulder nudging her best friend's lightly. "Um...yes...it was...nice."

 

"Oh? What happened?"

 

Another hum as she felt her cheeks warm. She picked up a couple of stray pieces of blank paper, setting them atop each other in a neat pile. "Ah...many things."

 

Missandei was now unable to stop her giggle. "Many things?" she teased.

 

"It's new," she whispered. She knew that was all her best friend needed at that point. Before the questions would start coming in later. She'd completely forgotten the typewriter. Maybe they could have kept it secret had it not been for Jon’s obsession with work. She looked over her shoulder at Grey, who walked out of the kitchen, sipping his coffee. "I'm not feeling well," she lied, for his benefit. "I'll have to cancel brunch today, but I'll be sure to get your dress back to Ellaria, Missandei. Grey, I hope you had a good evening. Thank you for working on the budget."

 

He nodded briskly. "Of course." He was still very formal with her, despite having been in her employ as a security guard for many years, before meeting Missandei and marrying her. Now he was one of the heads of her charity. He frowned at Missandei, who wasn't meeting his eye. "So no brunch?"

 

"I could go to brunch."

 

Her eyes closed as Jon jogged down the stairs, completely dressed and somehow his hair damp from a shower. He must have sprinted in there seconds after she walked from the door. He was military Dany, guy can probably shower, dress, be out the door with gun ready in sixty seconds. "Oh?" she echoed. She glanced at Grey, who was confused by the presence of someone else in the house, someone he hadn't met before. She knew his security mind was immediately trying to place Jon and wonder how he hadn't realized there was someone else there. She gestured. "Jon, this is Grey Nudho, he's Missandei's husband. He works with the charity and was one of my former bodyguards. You remember Missandei of course."

 

"Of course, it is nice to meet you and see you again." Jon did his pleasantries and she was glad he was on his good behavior. He gave her a knowing look, his gray eyes darkening. "So brunch was it? I'm starving. I..." He trailed off and she watched his eyes fall to her lips and back up again. "Worked up quite the appetite." He shrugged, as if anyone cared, his eyes still on hers. "Went for a run this morning. Haven't fully recovered."

 

Desire and want pooled in the pit of her stomach. She was going to kill him once there were no witnesses. She crossed her arms over her chest. "Well then, I suppose I'll go get dressed."

 

"Don't forget the dress," he called over his shoulder as she walked by him up the staircase. She paused and placed her hand on the banister. Oh yes, I am going to kill you. She simply smiled again and slowly disappeared up the steps, but once she got to the top she rocketed into her bedroom, scooping the fancy dress and throwing it onto the bed and then skidded into her bathroom, only to slip a bit on the puddles of water that were still spread across the floor from their shower session this morning.

 

Somehow she managed to look presentable, even with beard burn on her neck and chest, and slipped into a long maxi-skirt and a cotton tank, throwing a denim jacket on, some of her favored rings, a few bracelets, and looped a couple of long necklaces on. She tugged her hair, still knotted a bit from Jon's hands in it nonstop, and pulled it into a loose braid over her shoulder. She opened her closet and chose a pair of platform wedge sandals. It was nice to still wear sandals in September-- London was far too wet for that right now. She strapped them on and stood back up, reluctantly removing the beautiful jewelry she'd been allowed to wear the previous evening, setting them into their special cases and locking them in the safe she kept her room for some of her more precious items. Once finished-- a quick swipe of lip-gloss and mascara-- she went downstairs, glad to see Jon's mouth fall open slightly. Even wearing casual clothes she was clad she could do whatever it was she did to him.

 

Missandei and Grey left first and she looped her fingers through Jon's, rising slightly even with the platform wedges to whisper into his ear, her fingers squeezing tight. "I have a present for you later."

 

"What's that?" His hand settled on her hip, walking with her through the garden to the back gate door. He pressed her lightly back against him and she shuddered at the feeling of him through the thin material of her skirt. "Because I've got one for you too."

 

"Classy."

 

He snagged her earlobe with his teeth. "All’s fair."

 

In love and war. She wondered which one they were. She reached back, squeezing him in her hand, delighting in the soft curse she heard in her ear. She tilted her head back to his shoulder, her other hand reaching back to cup his neck, pulling his face to hers. "I'm not wearing any underwear." She let go of him instantly, not bothering to look back to see what he looked like. He deserved any pain he got, she thought with a delighted giggle, stepping out onto the street where Missandei and Grey were waiting in their rental car. She slid into the backseat, closing the door. "Jon will be a moment."

 

A few minutes later he emerged, glaring angrily at her, but she ignored him. She did nothing wrong after all. She patted his knee when he got in beside her. "I have to work on something when we get back," he said. She paused, eyes widening a bit. She had plans for when they got back. He glanced sideways, nonchalant. "Margaery sent a text. She wants some edits."

 

"Oh."

 

Missandei peered in the rearview mirror, smiling politely. "How is everything going with the film?"

 

"Great," she answered. She traced her finger on the inside of his knee through the denim of his jeans. He twitched involuntarily beside her. "Jon's script is a masterpiece."

 

"It will be better with the edits."

 

She hoped there weren't too many. The film was already behind schedule and likely would end up over-budget by the time they were finished. If it didn't make up the losses then there went her career. It would go down the drain with the rest of her reputation. She frowned; worried, peering over at him and hoping he wasn't being facetious. "Edits?" she echoed.

 

There was a determined expression on his face. He gazed out the window as Venice flew by on their way to the brunch location Missandei had chosen for them. He lightly touched his index finger to her palm, upturned on the seat beside her. She watched as he traced nonsensical squiggles. "Just a few, but believe me, you're going to like them." He, like her, seemed not to be concerned with Missandei or Grey knowing about them, and quickly lifted her knuckles to his lips, brushing lightly. Gray eyes flashed on hers and she softened, unable to stop the smile that tugged on her lips. He was so gentle with her, despite that wolf beast that lived deep inside. "I swear it Dany. This is your movie and I'm making it yours."

 

A pink flush warmed her from the inside out. Even though her friends were there and she'd been worried about really acknowledging to anyone what this was, she found herself leaning over and kissed him, rather chaste, and he squeezed her fingers. He did that a lot, she'd found, just casually taking her hand into his and squeezing lightly. Always three times, like a mantra or a code of sorts to him. She wondered what it meant. "Thank you," she whispered.

 

He gave her hand that simple three squeeze again. "Don't thank me yet," he laughed, letting go of her and looking back out the window. She tore her gaze from him, albeit reluctantly, and met her best friend's eyes in the reflection of the rearview mirror. Missandei smiled warmly and then ducked her head, looking at her phone. A moment later, Dany's phone buzzed in her bag. She slipped it out carefully and looked at the message.

 

So do you love him or not? Because I kind of do ;)

 

She wasn't sure if it was love. Seven hells. I barely know him.

 

You've been friends for months. When did you meet him? MARCH? It's September.

 

They had built up a friendship before anything else, which was true. It was certainly more than she'd done with any one else. She ran her thumb over the screen, wondering what to say. They would obviously have more time when they got back to London and could schedule a girl's evening properly. She chewed her tongue for a moment and then sent the text, hoping Missandei didn't think her silly.

 

I think I might be in love with him, yes. But it's fine. It's just for the movie. We'll separate when it's over. These things don't happen in real life. She sighed, sadly, looking out the window and putting away her phone, knowing the message would silence Missandei for the moment. She stole another glance at Jon, who was scribbling at something in his ever-present notebook. She barely quirked her lip up at the image, before returning to gaze through the window and watch the traffic pass them by. He was right.

 

Happy endings weren't real.

 

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

October 2018
London, England

 

"What's this meeting all about?" Cersei demanded, hands on hips as she studied Viserys, who was looking at his reflection in the compact that he'd stolen from her bag. She scowled. "Unless you've fallen in love with your own reflection over there Viserys."

 

He grunted a reply to her, but did not break from the compact. "My reflection is certainly more attractive to me than you, Cersei dear." He frowned over, his face unmoving. Dany assumed he’d gotten more Botox. “Although, don’t witches not show reflections or is that vampires? Which one are you again?”

 

Cersei grit her teeth. “Be careful little dragon boy.”

 

“Be careful little lion bitch.”

 

The door banged open and Jon walked in, followed by a harried script supervisor, and one of the other writing department assistants, a poor young boy who pushed in a cart filled with binders. Margaery propped her hands on the end of the table. “Jon, I am telling you, this is insane. You have gone insane.”

 

He scowled at the director, who had tossed her long dark hair over her shoulder so it wouldn’t get in her way as she leaned forward, still mad at him for whatever he’d done now. It was hard to tell, Dany thought, since they fought often. “I don’t like that word,” he said.

 

“What word?”

 

“Insane.”

 

She found herself smiling, and took the binder he handed her as he walked around the table, passing them out to the main cast. Lyanna Mormont looked up at him curiously. “Why are we all here?” she asked.

 

It was a good question. Something had happened after they returned fro Los Angeles. He’d gone into a weird hibernation phase in Scotland; he’d apologized profusely when they landed, took her back to her house where he’d done things to her that still made her blush if she thought of them, and then he’d gone back home, saying he had something to do but he’d see her soon. She didn’t think much of it; they hadn’t defined whatever it was between them.

 

And then Viserys had come screaming into her half of the house about how Jon Snow had called and told him to put a halt on any scenes involving Millie. He’d been furious, thinking that she’d lost the role, but she didn’t fight it. She was not sure what Jon was doing, but the argument in the restaurant came back to her, as did his apology afterward.

 

”You don’t deserve to be a part in a movie where you share the screen with everyone else…you deserve to have it be about you and only you.”

 

So she didn’t fight it; she had things to do for the Song of Fire charity anyway that kept her time occupied and it wasn’t like the movie was stopping production. Jon was doing…revisions. That was all she’d gotten out of Margaery. So when he’d shown up at her door two days before, thinner than she’d ever seen him, his eyes sunken in his head and his beard untrimmed and untidy, and hair a mess, she’d let him into her room, and into her bed, where he spent himself between her thighs into a coma-like exhaustive sleep.

 

There had been something pent up inside of him over the last couple weeks. He had clearly been doing something regarding the script and she tried not to think too hard on it. Tried not to jump to conclusions. It was difficult. She was not comfortable trusting most people; they only ever ruined it. Jon was still new. She still wasn’t sure what to make of him.

 

And then Margaery had called, announcing that there would be a meeting of all the main cast to discuss a change. She had not been happy. It was clear, her green eyes staring Jon down like she was thinking of ways to murder him. Dany understood that completely. She lifted her chin, speaking cooly. “Well Jon, why don’t you tell everyone why you’ve gathered them here today and why you have decided to put a halt on filming certain…” She glowered. “Characters.”

 

Jon merely smiled. He gestured to the scripts. “I realized that there had to be a change. The filming showed me that there is something in the character of Millie that is missing and so I switched up some of the events.” He took a deep breath. Dany felt her stomach flip, unsure why she was so nervous. It was her character after all.

 

“Are you cutting her?” she whispered.

 

Everyone turned to stare at her. She blinked, focusing entirely on Jon. He would have told her. She hoped to the gods he would have told her already. He hadn’t said a word so far. She bit her lower lip, terrified. Her palms were cold and clammy. She looked down at the script and turned to the title page. Her eyes widened in shock. Oh gods.

 

The Long Night…adapted from the play….Jon Snow…the Night Queen.

 

The role she had before her wasn’t for Millie, the main character, the heroine, and the strong and steady force that loved her family and would die for them. The script she had for her was for…for the villain? She whipped her head up in confusion, clearly not the only one, as Cersei shrieked: “This gives the Lion Knight an earlier death scene, what the fuck?!”

 

Jon tried not to look at her, but she knew he was speaking directly to her. “The character of Millie is part of an ensemble and is pure and after reviewing the dailies and speaking with…with the rest of the cast and production teams…I realize that it does not work on film.” It didn’t work with her. “This version moving forward is still focused on the family dynamics, but it focuses on what happens when they lose a member to death. They lose a member to the darkness.”

 

She would have to read. She flicked through, eyes widening, realization hitting her. Millie dies. Millie becomes the Night Queen. They also referred to her as the Ice Queen. The description broke her heart. The Night Queen was the opposite of Millie, she was a woman with armor of ice, with hair as silver as frost, and skin as pale as the moon. She had loved and lost and she was bringing death to them all. She had become death. It was tragic. It was a metaphor for so many different things and it would break the family…it was beautiful.

 

It was Jon.

 

And the Night Queen had a death scene that rivaled anything that she had ever seen; it would take all her energy, she could see it. She would become both the queen dying and Millie realizing what was happening to her. All at the hands of her little sister, who would ultimately save them all. She closed her eyes around tears. It was going to give Lyanna Mormont so much to work with, he was trusting her with a pivotal moment. It would make her little career. Shoot her straight to the top.

 

She covered her mouth with her hand, still staring at the words as she read through them, blocking out Margaery’s explanations of the way forward, discussing how they were going to send out new shooting schedules, they would work with what they had already filmed. She heard Viserys say something about how this called for a change in budget and he’d have to speak to the accountants, but she could hear the glee in his voice. He got to kick it to Cersei because Jaime’s part got limited slightly and her part was increased tenfold. The entire movie was hers.

 

The family drama was still at the heart of the film. Having one of their own though…gods. A rattling breath shook from her chest; her ribs seemed useless as her heart tried to escape as well with each breath. She looked up finally and saw Jon was watching her, his eyes dark behind the glint of the florescent lights off the lenses of his glasses. His hair was all over the place, from his fingers raking through it nonstop and he was clearly exhausted.

 

She gave him a reassuring smile and eventually got to her feet; it was clear the meeting was over, having gone off the rails with this new development, as Lyanna began to talk excitedly with her agent and mother. She walked out of the room with him, both of them silent as they walked from the studio offices across the lots to where her trailer was set up. She opened the door and set the script carefully on the dressing table, turning in time for him to close the door behind him. She sobbed, her arms snaking around his neck. “Gods Jon, what have you done?”

 

“I did what had to be done,” he mumbled into her shoulder.

 

Her eyes clenched shut, screwed up against tears. “Are you sure about this?” She broke away, her hands on his shoulders. His fingers went lightly to her hips and she kept back far enough so she could look him in the eye. Dead serious, no hint of the rising feelings in her belly when she spoke. “Please Jon, dear gods, please tell me you did not do this because of…because of…” Whatever we are. She had no idea what that was. They hadn’t defined it yet. Or maybe they never would.

 

Thankfully the look he gave her was not offended or angry, but understanding. He shook his head. “No. You know I didn’t think this was…right isn’t the correct word, but you know what I mean.” The argument they had in LA. He continued. “I caught it early, we can still make everything we’ve done so far work. This way though…it works how it should.” He stepped into her space, his fingers lightly brushing over her forehead and his voice dropping to a husky rasp. “And I did this because you are amazing and because this is your movie more than it is mine at this point. I did it because you’re not meant to play the perfect hero.”

 

She watched him reach into his pocket and take out his phone. He fiddled with it for a moment and drew something up. He turned it towards her and she took it, watching a clip from a movie she’d done immediately after Princess Periwinkle. It was low-budget, an independent film, and no one watched it. Similar to how Lyanna had only seen her smaller ones. It seemed Jon had found this one as well. “This was terrible,” she said, laughing as she came on the stage, screaming out a victory speech. She played a villain. Or at least, she wasn’t supposed to be a villain. The shitty writing duo had flipped it on its end in an attempt to be subversive. “I was so angry I had to finish this film.”

 

Game of Lies definitely didn’t sell and the writing started good but then went straight off the deep end, but look…” He drew another clip up. This one from the movie Lyanna mentioned. Matchbox Girl, with her tragic character and her sad portrayal. He even showed her a couple clips she had forgotten about, from the awful movies she did with Drogo and Daario.

 

He even found a romantic comedy she’d done in a lame attempt to appeal to the women who loved to hate her. “So,” she laughed, gesturing to the phone. “Those are mostly horrible movies Jon. I told you, this is my attempt to make up for that all. To show them that Princess Periwinkle wasn’t a fluke.”

 

“And you killed every single one of them and if I had bothered to look at these before I judged you, I would have written this movie over again when you came to me in Scotland,” he said. He shook the phone at her, laughing. “You’re not meant to be the sweet leading lady, Dany. You’re the villain, you’re the flawed one, you’re the anti-hero. Those are the interesting ones. No one wants to watch the stupid sister who hides out the whole time and then somehow becomes queen because she tricked a couple of people to thinking she was smart.” He snorted. “That doesn’t work anymore, if it ever did.”

 

And so he’d fixed it all for her. Because he believed in her. She wasn’t sure what to think. “This is going to be…so difficult,” she murmured. She was already running things in her head about what she’d had to do to prepare for the role. She lifted her gaze to his. He was still smiling, as best as he could. “Thank you Jon.”

 

“Don’t thank me. I didn’t do it for you.” He raked his hand over his hair again. It went every which way and she giggled, trying to tame some of the strands. He chuckled, snagging her hand and bringing her palm to his lips, kissing lightly. He sighed and she felt her stomach flip at the look he was giving her. “You’re not perfect.”

 

Is that a compliment? She tried to smile. “Oh?”

 

“No, because you’re Dany.”

 

Tears pricked the corners of her eyes. She might kill him, if she didn’t want him so much. She reached closer for him and rose on her toes, enveloping him into her. He held tight. There was much to be done, but she really wanted to pull him onto her trailer bed and have her way with him. She pulled back from the hug, kissed him gently, and lightly swatted at his cheek, scowling. “Jon Snow, it is almost ten in the morning and you’ve been drinking.”

 

“Fuck Dany I haven’t been to sleep.” He laughed, shaking and she could hear the rasp in his lungs from the smoke he’d no doubt been sucking on while he fixed the script. He kissed the top of her head. “Go find them all, I bet they’re wondering where you went.”

 

Maybe. She kissed him quickly and grabbed at her new script, smiling over her shoulder as she hurried out of her trailer, returning to the studio office to go over the new plan moving forward.

 

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

November 2018
Inverness, Scotland

 

“Hey pretty boy!” Dany fell to her knees as she climbed out of her Range Rover, her hands ruffling through Ghost’s neck, chuckling at his immediate push against her hand, wanting more pats. For as ferocious as he seemed, being mostly a wolf, and as creepy with his silence and his bright red eyes, he was such a sweet boy. Sometimes she wondered how he could handle such an irascible owner, although Jon was always clear to tell people he wasn’t Ghost’s owner or master, preferring to say they were companions or that he was just Ghost’s ‘human.’

 

Perhaps he should write a book from the perspective of his wolf, but that might have damaged Jon’s reputation as the social commenter on family dynamics, death, and the downfall of society. Or whatever it was the critics tended to use when they fawned over him. She grabbed her overnight bag from the back of the SUV, following Ghost by Jon’s Land Rover and to the house. It looked like all the lights were off, but she knew that didn’t mean much. It was entirely possible Jon was hiding in darkness, having forgotten to turn on a light.

 

She was exhausted and very much looked forward to enjoying herself that weekend. The next call time for her was the following week. They were going to wrap up studio work before they ventured to Iceland for most of the outdoor scenes; they had to wait for snow to build up in some of the filming areas, so after the holidays. Then post-production, a nice break for the summertime where she hoped to maybe get another movie in or work on a couple of projects in her ‘idea bank’ and then press and…gods. Her mind was running rampant and hse hadn’t even gotten up to the front door.

 

It was open and she stepped inside, engulfed with the warmth from the fire roaring in the main fireplace between the small living space and the kitchen. It was so cozy; she thought she could curl up in this cottage forever. She wondered briefly why he never ventured closer to London, since it seemed that he had far more business dealings there. She supposed it was why she refused to move full time to Los Angeles. It was just not her scene.

 

She called out, setting her keys and purse on the kitchen counter. “Jon! It’s me!” She looked over at the sink, frowning at the sight of no dishes. She sniffed, groaning at the cigarette smell. “I thought you quit?” She picked up an empty bottle of scotch from the counter, scowling at it and glanced at Ghost, who was watching her, a tiny whine in the back of his throat.

 

Fuck.

 

She threw the bottle into the bin just outside the side door in the mudroom, scowling at the sight of plenty of others. Scotch was the preferred numbing agent it seemed, but there were plenty of beer bottles as well. She closed the door and glanced at Ghost, her voice soft. “Where is he?”

 

Ghost gave her a look like a human equivalent of a shrug and padded to the study, where she found his desk appeared as though a tornado hit it, papers stacked and flying about, red pens and pencils on the floor with marked up pages, several stacks of books with post-it notes and bookmarks—probably research—his computer tipped upside down on the couch and empty reels of typewriter tape piled in a bin by the bookcase.

 

As much as she itched to see what he’d been working on, she left the study and went to the bedroom. It was really the only other place left in the small cottage, but itw as also empty. Sheets and blankets rumpled, dirty clothes piled everywhere. Jon is such a slob. She continued to scowl, but her heart beat a little faster in her chest, hoping he hadn’t stumbled out into nowhere drunk or something and was currently lying broken on a moor or in a thicket of heather.

 

Ghost whined, padding over to the door and she opened it, seeing a truck pulling up behind hers. She folded her arms over her chest and watched, slightly amused as a giant red-haired man that appeared as though he’d stepped off of a Viking ship got out of the driver’s side. “Tormund,” she greeted, having met him a couple of times already. He was Jon’s primary drinking buddy and proprietor of the pub nearby. She arched her eyebrow as Jon fell out of the other side. “Hey there, you have fun?”

 

“Crow’s been a bit busy,” Tormund explained, going around to help Jon, who was stumbling and laughing at something innocuous. “Come on Crow! Your pretty girlfriend here is gonna’ take you for now.”

 

She should be upset, since he knew that she was driving up that evening, but she was trying not smile as his face lit up in a goofy smile at the sight of her and he lunged towards her, stumbling around the front of the truck as Tormund grabbed him before he tripped on the stones separating the driveway from the path to the house. “Hello Jon,” she greeted.

 

“Dany! Torm’d, look iss’ Dany…” he slurred, trying to push Tormund away from him to get to her. His face was relaxed, the lines around his eyes creased in happiness and not concern, his forehead smooth and for a brief moment he seemed like a happy little boy and not the constantly brooding man she’d come to know. He reached for her, missing her hand by about a foot and blinking owlishly, cocking his head at it like he was confused he missed. “Dany iss my girlfr’d…right? Or…no…what’re we gain’?” He blinked some more as she helped him towards the house, one arm around his neck as Tormund had his other. He looked over at his friend. “Torm’d iss Dany…Dany’s an act’rss.”

 

“Aye and you’re a fucking lightweight.”

 

“Nuh-uh!”

 

She groaned as Jon accidently stepped on her foot, his weight crushing at her toes. “I jus’ wan’ my bess’ fren’ an’ my…whoops…” He tripped on the edge of the rug, suddenly laughing at the moment as he pitched forward. He leaned against her and then pushed off, standing straight. “See? I’m fine!”

 

“Hmm,” she murmured, eyebrow arching. “How drunk are you Jon?”

 

“Not at all!” He wobbled on one foot as he shifted to shrug off his coat. It was Tormund who bore the brunt of the attack when the coat flung off one arm and went whipping into his face. He smiled again, hands outstretched. “See?”

 

She chuckled, walking over to Tormund, who did not seem convinced, and guided him towards the door. “You should probably leave. I know how he gets when he’s this sort of happy drunk.”

 

“Oh? I’ve seen him more drunk, but do tell.”

 

“He gets a bit handsy.” And more than a bit amorous, she thought, as Jon immediately grabbed for her, shoving his face into her neck and one hand going to grab at her breast through her sweater and the other falling for her hip, fingers digging into the curve and tugging her against him. “Hmm, you smell good,” he growled into her neck. He blinked again at Tormund, frowning. “You sti’ ere’?”

 

The Northern accent in his words was so thick she could hardly understand him, coupled with the slurring. Tormund gagged, made a face, and pushing at Jon’s shoulder. “Crow you’re a lucky man and also a bastard.”

 

“Thas’ me!”

 

“Thank you Tormund,” she said, watching him leave with an eyeroll. She would love to know what prompted this particular drinking binge, but she supposed Tormund might not even tell her. He was one of the people that Jon had known from when he was in the military; she’d barely managed to get out of him, and had grown up beyond the Wall in Westeros. He’d relocated to Scotland to work at the Winterfell Distillery and ended up opening up a pub for all the rest of the workers nearby. She trusted he would keep quiet on everything—her presence, Jon’s ramblings, and she respected it.

 

She tugged Jon towards the bedroom. “Come on, let’s get you to bed.”

 

“Hmmm, you too,” he murmured, turning and plastering his lips against hers. It was sloppy, wet, and gods help her she found herself responding when he probed his tongue against her lips, sliding in and tangling with hers. She moaned and the sound spurred him into action and he fell backwards against the wall, knocking a couple of pictures askew. She pressed him hard against the stone, her fingers slipping between them to pull at the buttons of his shirt. He groaned into her mouth, breaking away and sighing, his lips still twisted into a happy smile. “Hi Dany.”

 

She laughed, kissing him hard one more time. “Hi Jon.” Her eyes sparkled, enjoying this silly side of him. She patted his cheek. “You stay there. I’ll be right back.” She let go of him and went over to the door, locking it and picking up his coat before it got nudged into the fireplace and set the whole house on fire. She heard him tripping into the bedroom, a muffled ‘ow’ and then him collapsing onto his bed with a light squeak of the mattress springs.

 

Ghost had disappeared; he was a good dog in that way, leaving the humans to whatever it was they wanted to do, whether he agreed or not. She flicked off a couple of the lamps and checked the grate on the fireplace before removing her boots and padding in her socks to the bedroom, smiling at the sight before her.

 

One of his boots was off and he was fighting with the other, flailing about on the bed, jeans undone and his shirt half off. “You gonna’ stan’ there or help?” he grunted, falling backwards when the boot finally came off.

 

“Oh I feel bad wanting to take advantage of you in this state.” She crossed her arms over her chest, chuckling. It was so easy to get mad at him for not remembering or for being selfish and she worried for what had prompted this. Jon wasn’t a teetotaler, but he usually didn’t overdo it the way he had that evening. She wondered if he’d gotten some bad news, but she presumed that would mean he’d be sad drunk, which she had witnessed on at least one occasion over the last month. This was a delightfully drunk Jon. “How drunk are you? Think you’ll remember this?”

 

He got stuck with his t-shirt half off his head and off his arms, letting out a cry of surprise when it turned around slightly. “Dany! Where’d you go!?”

 

An un-ladylike snort sounded and she went over, straddling him with her knees on either side of his narrow hips, helping him remove the shirt. He sighed in relief when she tossed it to join a pile of other laundry on the floor. His hands immediately skimmed up her sides and he squeezed at her breasts through the fabric of her top. She groaned, enjoying the roughness. “So how drunk?” she murmured, lifting her arms as he removed the sweater, revealing her purple lace bra, which had his already obsidian eyes darkening further, if possible.

 

He rasped against her skin, one hand sliding into the front of her jeans to cup her through the matching purple lace panties she wore, his thumb flicking at the swollen nub, and fingers curling up to no doubt find her damp and waiting; she’d been thinking about this for the entire drive. “Hmm,” he groaned, his other hand reaching around to snap at the clasp of her bra. He tilted his head back and she cupped his face, peering down. “Don’ think anyone can forg’t you Dany.”

 

How is it that he’s shit-faced and still manages to say the sweetest things? She gasped when he pulled her bra free, her breasts springing forth and his mouth hot on her cool skin. She tugged at his hair, head falling back as she rocked against one hand that had now pushed beyond her panties and was playing her like a fiddle. It was too much and soon she was falling over the edge, which seemed to ignite something inside of him.

 

The wolf came alive and even with his alcohol-clouded mind he was on her instantly, ripping her jeans down far enough as she fought with the stupid zipper of his jeans, just enough to grab at the thick of him, her hand pumping a couple of times just to try to give him something back from what he’d given her. He lapped at her mouth, their noses pushed hard together as they both struggled with each other, hurriedly pulling and grabbing until one of her legs came free of the jeans and he had it pushed out to the side, her knee jerking upward in shock as he drove into her.

 

“Fuck,” he cursed, forehead falling to hers. He sighed, content. “You feel so fucking good.”

 

She could hardly speak, eyes shut and her chest gasping for air. “Move,” she ordered. Her walls clamped in him like a vice to spur him forward. She had to feel him; she was still quivering from a moment before and needed that buildup to reignite in her belly. It did, as he began to move, erratic tempo as he staved off his release so she could come first, but soon it became too much and she cried out when he flipped, the angle of his hips moving so she could set the pace and she pressed her hands down onto his abdomen, using it for support as she slammed up and down, meeting him with equal fervor as he braced on the bed below, a wolf-like roar coming from somewhere inside as he broke beneath her. The flood of him inside of her had her clenching, her nails digging hard into his hips to break skin and his hands grasping unconsciously around her thighs as she shivered atop him, feeling the twitching and aftershocks keep them in place for a few more minutes.

 

When her eyes had rolled back into her head, she slumped over him and felt him slip gently from her. He was breathing deep, his hand sliding over the small of her back to lightly cover her ass. She dragged the toe of her calf over the outside of his knee, still covered in denim. She looked up and sighed, shaking her head and chuckling.

 

His mouth was ajar slightly and eyes shut. He was fast asleep. “What a life you have,” she murmured, lifting her fingers to push under his jaw, closing his mouth so he didn’t start snoring. She climbed off the bed and went into the bathroom, tidying herself up and removing all of her clothing. She put on what she assumed was a clean flannel of his and undid her braids, scooping her hair out of the way with a tie and piling it onto her head. She returned to the bedroom; he’d shifted onto his side, still asleep and he had her bra in his fingers, holding it like a child might a stuffed toy.

 

Gods Jon you are something else. She removed his fingers from around the lace and tugged at his jeans, pulling them off his legs and then fought with him to get him to roll onto his back, leaving him in his boxers. He didn’t wake, but mumbled incoherently. She pulled the quilt and sheets over them, cuddling behind him, her arm going around his waist and feeling his hand drop to hers.

 

It was funny, seeing him like this, and she had laughed with him, but she was worried nonetheless. The drinking had been increasing as they moved further into production. He was smoking again when she thought he was making efforts to quit. She rose slightly on her elbow, peering at his face. In sleep he appeared a little boy, everything relaxed and smooth, but she could see the lines were deeper. The shadows under his eyes were darker. His beard was thicker and his hair more tangled. She ran her palm over his ribcage and he shuddered in sleep at the light movement, but she frowned; there was more give than normal and she could see the outline of each bone in greater relief.

 

There was something not healthy about him and she worried; she wasn’t sure what this was between them, but she would say something. She kissed the back of his neck and snuggled closer, slinging her leg over his and closing her eyes. She stared up at the ceiling, unable to stop her whisper. “I love you.”

 

It was a feeling she knew she felt; she knew she loved him. She detested that she had allowed it to happen. It had happened so fast and she wasn’t sure when. She closed her eyes, holding him tight and was drifting off when she swore she heard a raspy voice above speaking. It was probably just her imagination.

 

“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

ix.

January 2019

London England

 

"And cut! Reset!"

 

The PA shouted at the break of the scene, the various members of the crew that day buzzing around like bees, moving and resetting the stage so that they could film another take. Better be the last one. Dany moved from her place, her neck aching and her shoulders stiff. She was going to fall down if she wasn't careful, taking gentle steps away from from the fake slush and snow. She was not looking forward to some of the nighttime shoots they were planning for Iceland, probably why Margaery was lettnig her have four weeks between the final shoot in London and the beginning in Iceland. She blinked, the contacts she wore to give her eyes a bright blue-- which would be heightened with CGI-- itching. She tried not to rub them, since her hands were wearing green gloves with CGI markers on them.

 

The experience of filming the Night Queen compared to Millie had been rightfully shocking. The first day in hair and makeup took almost four hours as they made her face pale, with blue creases. The CGI team came in and attached little markers all over her, needed for the cameras and the computers to motion capture. She had also spent a lot of time in the motion capture studio as well with the stunt coordinator, moving so they could capture her exactly flow for everything. She had given blood, sweat, tears, and most of her sanity for the Night Queen and she was so exhausted, she was ready for four weeks to just savor not having her hair bound tight from her face, the contacts, the mud and the cold-- they kept the AC on about negative something to give the impression of chill-- the screaming...

 

As if on cue her brother barged forward, followed by Tyrion. "What?" she demanded; she was not in the mood. She glacned at Margaery who was going over somethign with Yara Greyjoy, the first AD, who had flown in from where she'd been doing what they could do in Iceland without the Night Queen. "I have to step out."

 

"We're resetting, it'll be a few, I'll send a PA to collect you." Margaery was involved in something else entirely, clearly in her element as director, gesturing her hand out so Yara could pretend to nod like she saw what her vision entailed. Dany smirked at yara, who merely shrugged and gave her a wink. She liked Yara, but sensed that it did not extend the way Yara would likely have hoped it would. Margaery on teh other hand, seemed to reciprocate, judging from how Yara had her hand lightly on Marg's side and the director did not notice or care.

 

At least someone is getting something around here. Jon had been flitting between Scotland, London, and New York for publisher meetings. She hadn't seen him in three weeks, not since they broke for the holidays. They had spent some of it at Dragonstone in Westeros, but he'd had to make family obligations and while she sensed he really wanted her to come, she did not press. They did not need his family getting involved in whatever it was between them. Besides, she was starting to get irritated with him. He was distant, brooding more than normal-- which was a lot-- the drinking had started to become a problem and she wasn't sure what all she was supposed to do with him.

 

He also had been making statements, the more hype she was starting to get in both press adn around set that he wasn't good enough. She heard that muttered once and almost slapped him. He hadn't said it since but she was waiting for it. Jon's self-flagellation was evident in not just his works but in how he carried himself.

 

She broke free from the assistants humming in her ear about makeup, hair, and costuming, and walked away from the main set to a somewhat secluded area behind some scaffolding, the wisps of gray and white of her costume tangling about her legs. "What?" she finally demanded, once she was convinced they were out of earshot from prying PAs. She crossed her arms, scowling at them both. "You look like a dog died."

 

Viserys snapped at Tyrion. "I don't think it's a big deal, certainly not as big as the fact that we are overbudget."

 

"I don't care about budget," she snapped. They would make it up; she was positive of that. This movie would be incredible in its final form, she knew it would be huge. She arched a brow, painted silver to go with the rest of the icy costume. "And Tyrion doesn't either, so do tell big brother why you and my publicist are acting like there are nude photos of me published about?" She knew that was impossible. There were no nude photos of her anywhere. She wasn't stupid.

 

Tyrion sighed and pulled out his phone, speaking as he brought up whatever it was that concerned him so. "It isn't nude photos, but..." He turned the screen towards her and she took it, peering at the series of Tweets compiled by an online gossip rag. The first message was from someone in London who claimed they had seen Danerys Targaryen with her arms around a new guy. A couple others had photos of her and Jon walking out of a restaurant together, his hand on her hip and hers around hsi waist. She recognized it from Christmastime. There was another-- they had gone to a play on West End. An updated telling of Much Ado About Nothing.

 

The headline was nothing to her. "Does Princess P Have a New Beau?! Daario Must Be Jealous!" She scoffed at it, handing it back to Tyrion. "Okay let's get one thing straight, I haven't been Princess Periwinkle since I was 22 and they still refer to me as that? Also, I haven't been with Daario in years, why do they act like I'm cheating on him?"

 

"It doesn't matter what ist ruth, it is what is believed. You want this role to be all yours, what happens when they find out that the guy in the flatcap and scarf and sunglasses is Jon Snow, your writer?" Tyrion demanded. He found another page and showed it to her. It was a series of the photos of Jon, trying to figure out who he might be. They all shrugged and came to the conclusion he must be a nobody. Although one did refer to his attire as hipster chic.

 

She snorted. "Oh he's going to love that." He'd like the amusing characterization but that was it. She felt her stomach turn at the knowledge of them being blasted out there in some way. Jon would not like it one bit. He wasn't used to this world. He didn't live and breathe it the way she did. She'd seen that as much with his reaction on their second meeting in the coffee shop, when those people outside had accosted her. He had almost decked a pap-- that would garner him an immediate assault charge and the photos would be broadcasted before the pap could even press charges. She had counseled him on avoiding their questions if he was ever cornered, but Jon was not someone to let comments about people he cared about go unaddressed. She was filled with a warm glow that that included her at this point in their undefined relationship.

 

She handed the phone back to Tyrion. It was not a problem right now, but she supposed that was why she paid him to read the online gossip sites and troll social media for her. It also helped that he had an'in' with Varys, "The Spider", who had a network of sources that MI-6 surely envied. He made his career on trading information whether it be political, entertainment, or otherwise. He was nice to have on your side though and so she made sure that he had Tyrion's ear at all times, no matter the cost, so she could ensure she had the information on her first, before people like that cretin Petyr Baelish.

 

She was not worried at the moment because all the blurry photos of Jon still had him disguised enough. His ever-present bun kept his hair hidden, often a black pea coat or black military jacket, scarf, and his constant rotation of boots. Usually when they were together, on the rare times they went out in public, he wore a hat. Beanie, newsboy cap, or a faded military hat. She sometimes put on a wig to hide her notorious braids. The few pics there were weren't enough to alarm her. The stories that would come out if they found out she was sleeping with the screenwriter who changed his entire movie for her...that she worried over. If that happened.

 

They hadn't defined their relationship. She swallowed hard at the thought of that future conversation. Terrified of it, because the feelings she had for him scared her. She swallowed hard against the construction of her throat. Hid the feelings for the sake of Tyrion and Viserys. "Don't worry about it," she repeated.

 

"They have photos of you in LA in September, fighting it out in the street," Tyrion snapped. He wagged the phone at her, scolding her like she was an unruly child. She rolled her eyes; those were nothing. Out of context and old.

 

"Yeah and we were fighting so how are they going to pair it as a lovers quarrel when they don't even know we are together?" She had him on that one and smiled smugly. She snorted, crossing her arms over her chest. Eyebrows lifted. "Besides Tyrion, you know and I know that this is only a thing because of fucking Daario's new movie. None of those photos prove who Jon is, show anything truly romantic and also, take a peek." She waited for him and Vis to both glance at the phone. She smirked. "Notice anything?"

 

Took a moment but her clotheshorse of a brother spotted it first. He chuckled, shaking his head and providing an affectionate smile. "Oh dear sister you aren't as stupid as I thought."

 

"Thanks Vis because you are always as stupid as I think you are."

 

"Explain," Tyrion snapped, ignoring their sibling arguing.

 

Vis pointed his finger to three of the photos "It's nice that Dany and her new toy have no style." He would see it that way, she figured. They were all wearing roughly the same outfit in each one. The photos wouldn't circulate heavily to the major outlets because it might look like the same day. No way could they make the money off the pics that they would have if they could show it was all on different days.

 

Tyrion scowled, irritated at having missed the obvious. She smiled at that. He glared at her. "Well, if you must go out in public keep doing that. Also, we need to sit and discuss you both."

 

Her smile dropped. She would rather have a dragon poke its tail in her eye. "No thanks." She turned away from them, walking towards the exit as a PA hurried over to help her slip her arms into a black dry robe. She tugged the hood over her hair, stepping out and to a waiting golf cart, which would zip her to her trailer to avoid walking in the damp. It was raining, cold flecks like little ice chips on her exposed skin.

 

Vis followed after her. He nudged her over on the golf cart. "Need to stop at my office first," he ordered the driver, who just nodded and set off.

 

She ignored her brother for the short ride, wondering how much time she actually had left. They couldn't start filming without her, but she never wanted to keep people waiting on set if she could help it. She followed him inside, preferring the studio to sitting in the cold waiting. She ignored Vis and moved to the corridor that led to one of the writer rooms. She liked to look at the story boards for the future scenes, they helped her with visualizing what the end product would look like.

 

As she approached, she paused, hearing terse voices. The thick Kingslanding accent of Davos followed by Jon's heavy Northern burr. She frowned, not realizing he had made it back to London. Uh oh, he was angry. He was dropping endings of words and slurring contractions like he did when he got upset. She chewed her lower lip, listening in, feeling guilty as she did so, but she wanted...no, she had to know.

 

"And what am I supposed to do with that Davos, huh?" Jon growled. "My sister is fucking in places she shouldn't. Tell her to call off her dogs."

 

"Sounds like your job as her brother, I'm simply passing the message from my source at 3N"

 

"She really thinks that low of me." He sounded sad. A heavy sigh. "Fuck it. I'll deal with her. In the meantime, I'll send over the pages for the manuscript."

 

"Stannis won't be happy if you delay again."

 

"Yeah I'll get it done."

 

Her brows knit together in worry. Was he behind pages? That didn't sound like Jon. "And I won't remind you about the Wall ceremony..." Even Davos seemed nervous with that mention.

 

She hitched her breath at the coldness in Jon's words. The Wall...that was where he'd gotten his scars, she remembered. "Why the fuck would I go back to the Wall for a Night's Watch ceremony after what happened to me there? Fuck them."

 

"And Tyrion Lannister told me there's photos, but before you bite my head off because you are in full wolf mode, no one knows who you are and they're blurry."

 

There was dead silence. She closed her eyes. She was going to kill Tyrion. He knew better than to loop in Davos. She sighed. It was classic Tyrion. Go around dealing with things before even telling her first. Claiming it was his job. It was to a point, but not when it was directly relating to her personal life. She took a step back when she heard Jon's voice, surprised. It was soft, uncertain. "Is this a mistake?"

 

Her heart stopped. Mistake? She clenched her hands together in front of her. Davos's words had a warning edge. "Don't start doing that now."

 

"What?"

 

"Thinking you're the bastard your good for nothing stepmother and those fucking backwoods northerners made you think you are."

 

Jon had never been very open with her about his upbringing but she knew it wasn't pleasant. Vis always bashed the Northern Territory of Westeros because of their old school morals, attitudes, and general dislike of anything that wasn't northern under the guise of being stubborn. It was racist and xenophobic, but they pretended they we're just hard and cold, he said. She knew that it was true but also a Northerner at some point no doubt dumped Vis. Then there was the whole ancient Stark versus Targaryen family history that for some reason northerners still clung onto.

 

She hesitated; she should step in immediately. Or run away. Marg was probably freaking out over where she'd gone if not her trailer. She bit her lip, terrified to hear more but unable to lift her feet from where they were rooted in place. Gods she hoped they wouldn't come out now. She heard Jon, whisper: "And what if I'm not? It isn't that. They'll think she did this to get the part. To get her rep on track and it will ruin it. I can't do that to her."

 

That stupid man. But Gods, they had the same fear. She chewed her bottom lip, almost in shreds now. He worried his involvement would make them all think she was sleeping with hi for the movie. She feared the same. Gods Jon, you're so fucking honorable it makes me sick. And then he spoke again and she clutched her fingers so tight the fake silver nails she wore cut her skin. "Besides, I'm not good enough, but I'll wait for her to realize that."

 

No, she thought, shaking her head again. She couldn't hear any more. She moved to step in when someone turned a corner. It was Doreah, Vis's assistant. "Oh there you are. He was looking for you."

 

"Yeah," she mumbled. She hurried away from the room hearing them still arguing. She didn't want to hear any more. She didn't want to hear Jon and his martyr complex and his...his terrible talk. She would see him soon. She hardly realized she hadn't seen him yet. Hadn't kissed him or hugged him or asked him if he brought her anything from New York. Like a typical...girlfriend.

 

I'm not his girlfriend. The sooner I realize that the better. But fuck... she loved him. She loved him so much it hurt. She blinked hard, pushing the thoughts aside, stepping into Vis's office. She put the mask back in place. Easy to do when she was already dressed as an ice queen. "What do you want? I really should go back to set. I wanted to stop at my trailer until you dragged me away."

 

"I have a present for you sweet sister." Vis bounded over, grinning, and offered her a little gift bag he no doubt had Doreah drag from somewhere. For all she knew the studio gift shop. He smiled, maniacal and clearly excited about something that would likely be related to tormenting her. He always had that look before he pinched her or hit her or made fun of her. Until she started fighting back.

 

She glowered and took the bag carefully. "What is this? Is it going to explode or bite me?"

 

"Depends on your kink Dany dear."

 

Oh gods. What the fuck did he... She shoved her hand into the bag and removed a box of condoms. Asshole! She yelled in frustration and threw the box at him. The prick just laughed. "You are such an asshole!"

 

He threw the box to her again. "We don't need a wolf cub in the dragon den!" He dropped a kiss to her head and flicked at her braid. "Although knowing you are getting laid in the regular does explain some things."

 

"Like what?"

 

"The pep in your step. Also, is the wolf really good in bed or are your standards low after Daario?"

 

"Not even deigning that with a response you dick."

 

Vis trotted after her. "Your little wolf was sulking around earlier."

 

"Don't call him that."

 

"Sulking?"

 

"Wolf." Although she did think of Jon as her wolf. She broke away from her brother, ignoring him when he called out for her. She knew she had to get to set but she wanted Jon. She walked out of the studio offices, snagging a cart and zooming to her trailer. She spotted Ghost sniffing around the steps. "Hey sweetling," she greeted, walking up and into the trailer. Jon was already there. She ruffled Ghost's neck, teasing at Jon. Her smile didn't reach her eyes, remembering his sad words before.

 

He looked up from his phone, sitting on the couch. He was thinner than ever but his eyes were puffy. He'd been drinking, she thought. Of course he was, if he was in a brooding sad place like it seemed he was, based on that conversation she'd overheard. She bit her lip and he stood. "You look exhausted," he said by way of greeting. He lightly touched his fingertips to her cheek, smiling briefly. "Saw you in the scene earlier, you're amazing."

 

"Don't muss the makeup and hair," she warned as he dropped a soft kiss to her blue tinged lips. Or what remained of them after her nervous chewing. He pulled back and she smiled, wiping her hand at his mouth to remove the stage makeup. "Okay Night King."

 

He adjusted one of the CGI markers that had moved from her nose when he kissed her. "When you break today that's it, right?"

 

"For two weeks until Iceland."

 

"I have to be there in a week."

 

That gave them an entire week, she thought, heart lurching in her throat. She reached to push a stray inky curl around his ear. His sunken eyes stared back at her. She smiled quickly. They needed to talk. They needed each other. It had been far too long. She stroked at his face, whispering. "What if we spend it all with each other, huh?"

 

The dim light in his eyes sparked. He nodded and kissed her palm. "An entire week of just you?"

 

"And Ghost, duh,"

 

"Duh," he laughed. He was still so sad. She wondered if it was about the pictures. Did he even plan on mentioning it to her? She kept her mouth closed on the topic. Not now. Or ever, honestly. He twitched and patted at his pockets. She tried not to sigh in disappointment.

 

"Cigarette?"

 

He shook his head and removed a cigarette, sticking it between his lips. "Lighter."

 

"I thought you were quitting," she mumbled. She grabbed a lighter she used for her candles when she needed to relax during scene breaks. She handed it to him and he flicked at it, looking ridiculous with a candle lighter as he lit a cigarette. She pushed him to the door. "Get out and mouthwash before you kiss me again."

 

He smirked, looking too delicious with his all black ensemble and wild hair and the cigarette between his perfect plump and oh so kissable lips. He shoved on sunglasses as he stepped outside, quickly disappearing off down the lot, Ghost trotting at his heels and terrifying extras. Smoke curled around and dissipated in the light winter breeze, contributing to his moody aura.

 

She sighed, taking a few minutes to collect herself. A week with him would be pure heaven. No one to bother them. They could just savor each other. She really couldn't wait at that point, hurrying out of her trailer and into the golf cart, speeding down back to set, catching up with him and zipping it around to cut him off. "Hey, you mean what you said, right?"

 

"About?"

 

As a group of stunt people walked by, she called out for their benefit. "Need a ride Snow?"

 

He leaned in, his boot propping up onto the dash of the cart. His lips were barely over her ear as he pretended to adjust the hood of the dry robe over her hair. "Well I've already taken the dragon for a ride, but I'm happy to do it again...and again..." He pulled back, growling slightly. Eyes as dark as storm clouds. "And again."

 

How did he still have doubts about them when he could behave this like with her? She closed her eyes and swallowed hard to control herself. "So our week?"

 

"My place."

 

"Of course."

 

"No movie talk."

 

She pursed her lips and grit her teeth. She had to prep for Iceland but... "Fine. No typewriter!"

 

That was his crutch and he knew it. He scowled. "Ohhhh....Kay."

 

"And tell your family you are in Iceland without cell service so they don't come looking for you." And so he could not think about them for once. They relied too much on him. She wanted him. All of him and maybe that was selfish. She didn't want him thinking of his sister, whatever that 3N talk was about. As much as she liked Arya, she was a distraction. Bran, she hadn't met yet, but she didn't want him to take up Jon's mind either.

 

It was just them and only them. Like a vacation. A Jon and Dany vacation for an entire week. Nothing but the cottage and the Highlands and Ghost and she was going to...relax? She wasn't sure what that even meant any more. She was curious to see what it entailed. She hesitated. "Are you sure no movie?"

 

"No movie!"

 

"Okay fine!"

 

They ended up at the stage and she hopped out of the cart, had a driver yell at her for just zooming all over without their permission to use the damn thing, and she jogged back inside, where Marg was snapping at someone. She glared over and threw her hands in the air. "Well hello Diva Dany! Nice of the Dragon Queen to grace us with her presence!"

 

She chuckled, rolling her eyes. "That's me, Diva Dany."

 

"Well now that the star is here, let's get this done in a couple more takes and I think we should have all we need."

 

With a laugh, she affected her best 'diva' voice, snooty and demanding, swinging her hips as she marched to her spot for the final scene of the day. Then it was a wrap and then...she stole a glance at Jon, smiling briefly at him. She saw the tiny smile back as he took a seat in the chair beside Marg and put on his headset, his glasses on his nose and his script in hand as he leaned to touch at the camera, to see what the frame was set for. He frowned and pointed to her. "Move to the left."

 

"I didn't notice that, good call Jon," Margaery noted.

 

Dany glanced at the move and scowled. It would mean she was behind of the others. She shook her head. "No, she wouldn't be in the back. She takes calculated moves and in this scene I think she'd be out front. They are forging ahead with Tallie in sight, she's going to try to take out the family so they can join her why would she be in the back?"

 

"Because she's testing the environment, remember, she wants them to join her why would she be out front?" Margaery challenged. Jon just glanced over in silent agreement with the director.

 

Dany glared at him. They had gone over this before. She scowled and grit her teeth. "No."

 

"No?" Margaery demanded, whipping her headset off and climbing from her chair. Her hazel eyes flashed with the anger she rarely showed. She smiled. Serene, a rose with sharp thorns. "Just do the take Dany, you're holding us up."

 

Holding them up?! She snapped the skirts of her character around, grabbed the ice staff so hard from the prop assistant the poor boy stumbled back and she was seeing so much fire in her eyes she didn't even think to apologize until it was too late. She growled for her line, her staff lifted for the beginning of the take.

 

"Mark!"

 

"Roll!"

 

"Action!"

 

She was so annoyed at Jon that she flung the staff around so hard she slammed it into the stunt guy, ducked the one she was supposed to avoid, and infuriated at how he just...sat there, after all his involvement, and she realized about halfway through that he was just doing what he was going to do. She was being s diva about it. Except...was he doing it to avoid appearances? She hissed, her teeth grit, and forgot the cue and her line, jumping forward onto the stone and throwing her arms out, yelling out her anger that she'd made such a rookie actor mistake.

 

"Cut!"

 

She wiped at her forehead; sweat mingling with the makeup. "Sorry," she mumbled as the makeup assistant ran over to retouch. She looked over at Jon and Marg, who were gaping. "What?"

 

"And I think we do one more and do that again Dany."

 

"Do what?"

 

"That thing you did." Marg made a ton of notes, hurriedly talking with another AD and Jon. She gestured for her to move back. "I say we have the ice come out then...I'll talk to effects."

 

"It's good," was all Jon said. He ducked his head at her sneer. "Nice job Daenerys."

 

Daenerys?! Since when did he...she tore her gaze from him, made a face, and stormed to the new cue. "Well let's go!" She snarled at Jon. "Wouldn't want to hold up greatness."

 

He didn't look at her when he marked on his script. "I think a dragon needs her beauty sleep."

 

"Fuck you!"

 

"Both of you shut up and knock it off!" Margaery yelled. She grabbed her radio, hitting the intercom, calling for the set, and then they were done. Dany fumed beneath the surface. She channeled it into her performance and once done, Marg called for the wrap. Everyone kind of applauded, but not too much, since well, she had just finished throwing a tantrum like the diva she had pretended to be.

 

She would make it up to the crew. She grabbed the robe and walked off with Irri and her friend Jhiqui, both of them chattering about their upcoming plans before they joined Wolf unit up in Iceland the next week. They didn't engage her, she was kind of glad for it. She let them take off all the makeup, wash out her hair, and she changed out of the costume, bundling up in a sweater and sweatpants and massive puffy jacket with her shearling boots as she hurried through the rain to her trailer.

 

Inside she planned to shower, a boiling hot one, change and then get her car and drive off to the townhouse where she wanted to have some quality time with her punching bag. Or she would call Jorah and have him drive her out to the middle of nowhere so she could shoot up a tree or set a bunch of trash on fire. Her entire mood had shifted from excitement at seeing Jon again to uncertainty to irritation and now to full blown rage. She wanted to kiss, punch, strangle, fuck, and cuddle him at the same time.

 

The trailer handle turned easily, increasing her irritation. She never should have given him a key. They would need to be more careful now that there we're already reports of him. It hasn't bothered her earlier, but now everything was setting her off. She stepped inside, whipped off her coat, and turned, preparing to shout at him, but her sweater was already over her head at the same time he had yanked his hand at the elastic waist of her sweatpants. "Jon?!" she yelped, but her eyes slammed shut immediately, a hoarse cry coming from somewhere in her chest, and she buried her fingers into his curls, yanking at the bun and ripping them free to tangle like ropes around her hand. "Oh gods you are so good at that."

 

Instead of greeting her normally, he had curled his fingers, still cool from the damp chill outside, into her heat, already soaked from their argument earlier and growing more so at the harsh difference in temperature between her body and his. Once his fingers were inside, he had covered her with his mouth, hot and breathy, his tongue spearing straight in after his fingers, and his thumb shakily circling at her nub, gathering over her slick folds and sliding messily across as he could decide what he want to do more— touch and stroke or lap greedily.

 

She honestly wasn't sure what she wanted either, fire burning though her, and her hips pushing for more, just more. He tore himself away for a brief moment, long enough to rid her entirely of the sweatpants and sling her leg over his shoulder as he settled on his knees before her. No man had ever loved to devour her like this before. He kissed the inside of her thigh, his beard scratchy, just like his words. "Diva Dany is my new thing in case you wanted to know."

 

"Kessa." She jerked his face up from where he had turned it back into her, gripping his hair hard, using it to lift his face to her again, before she smoothed her thumb across his swollen lower lip. She scowled. "Did you brush your teeth?"

 

He kissed the inside of her thigh again, except this time she sensed the cool mint on his lips on her quivering skin. She sighed. "Minty fresh."

 

She slumped against the wall, losing what little control remained over her leg muscles. She was exhausted, mentally and physically. She gasped, rising up slightly on the wall of the trailer, one hand breaking free of his hair to rake through hers, trying to hold on to something. Why was he so good at this? How was he so good at this? Oh gods she didn't care so long as he kept doing what he was doing. Her heel dug into his shoulder blade to give her a sense of balance but it was short lived as her other leg gave out. Thank all the gods that Jon had incredible upper body strength, her heel feeling the bunch of his muscles as he grunted and lifted her back up, placing her other leg over his other shoulder.

 

What happened next she honestly didn't know. Moans of pleasure from the both of them filled the trailer, the cheap wall behind her scratching at her skin. She ran her fingers over her breasts, pinching and rolling, occasionally forcing her eyes open to watch him as he drank from her. His hand moved to steady her, flat palm on her belly and she felt the heat build, the pressure overwhelming and her skin so sensitive she writhed beneath him, begging him to hurry, gods she was so close.

 

"Jon," she whined, high and desperate, fingers straining to pull him up. She cried out, unable to think. "Please." He tore himself from her; fingers and mouth, and she fell to the floor, just in time for him to rise on his knees, fingers fumbling to unzip his jeans. She lurched forward, grabbing his mouth with hers, groaning at the taste of herself on his tongue, helping him to free himself long enough to cover her in one thrust, hard and swift, forcing her up across the floor from the shock and force of it. Her cry came from deep in her chest, hoarse and guttural, the fill of him too much against her swollen and slick folds, but she needed it. That pleasure and pain was what both of them craved. His breaths panted in her ear as he planted his hands on either side of her head, leaning over her.

 

His forehead fell to hers, damp with sweat. He gasped for breath a few times, overwhelmed. She understood. It seemed like this each time. Her hands cradled his face, gentle in contrast to the frenzy of their coupling. He met her gaze; his gray irises disappeared in the black of his need. He opened his mouth to say something, but she wasn't sure she wanted to hear it, not now. So she kissed him and thrust her hips forward, sliding him in further, her body slick and ready. He drew out, slow at first, but her whimper at the loss of him undid him and he gripped her wrists with one hand, pushing them above her head.

 

There was a moment where Dany was not sure where she ended and where Jon began. Each thrust was more powerful than the last. His fingers burned into her hips, slamming her against him and she pushed as much as he took. She watched him, seeing it build, the way it surprised him like it did her. That feeling. This was bigger than what they may have originally set out intending it to be. She reach her fingers between them, brushing against where they were joined, just to give herself something more, because she couldn't get enough of the way her nerves sparked, fire on every ending.

 

"Dany," he gasped. She nodded, frantic, forcing herself up and pushing him back, the sudden angle change eliciting surprised cries from them both. His thrusts grew erratic and his eyes closed tight, body stiffening beneath her and her walls gripping him like a vice, fighting against the twitching inside of her, and his thumb moved to push against her clit a couple times before she was falling over the cliff with him, collapsing onto his chest, her nails leaving red crescent marks in his shoulders and she held on, riding out the waves that drowned her. He lay still beneath her, once he had finished spending himself inside of her.

 

This may have felt like a fuck after a fight, but Dany wasn't sure. She kissed across the scars of his chest, before turning his face to her, and both savored each other for a moment more, soft murmurs and kisses and aimless strokes. She finally got to her feet, when she thought she could walk, and pull him up, helping rid him of his jeans. "Come on," she said, tugging his hand in hers towards the small shower. "Help me clean up. We can talk about our week."

 

"I don't think I can talk ever again."

 

She turned in his arms, pulling his face to hers and reach around him to knock the dial on the shower, smiling wide. "Well lucky for you, I don't need you to say anything,” she teased. And she slammed the shower stall door shut with a loud rattle, drowning out any of Jon's questions or protests with a hard seal of her mouth against his.

 

 

~/~/~/~

"So where are you going?" Viserys stretched out on her bed, propping his feet on the wall above her headboard. At least he had taken off his shoes! She thought, annoyed. He scowled over at her. "You need to prep for Iceland."

 

"And I will."

 

"I'm trying to get you into the Oscars as a presenter this year."

 

"Don't worry about it, we will be there next year."

 

That did it, prompting him to roll onto his stomach, his lilac eyes brightening. "Really?"

 

If everything went the way she hoped it would go in Iceland, if the special effects did what they were paid millions to do, if Margaery's direction and vision came to pass and everyone kept pushing Jon's beautiful story...she really did not want to get her hopes up. It wasn't her ultimate goal, despite what people may think. All she wanted was to be taken seriously. Shiny trophies weren't her true desire. "I just don't want to have Princess Periwinkle be the first line in my obituary," she murmured. She threw another sweater into her bag. She really wasn't sure why she was packing all these clothes; she figured they wouldn't be dressed much. Besides, Jon's flannels were more comfortable than even the most expensive designer cashmere. "And I think it's going well."

 

"It will if I have anything to say about it." His eyes went to one of those dark places, hollow and vacant. The lilac turned dull, wilted and dead. She sighed, turning and kneeling onto the bed next to him. She pinched his upper arm. He scowled, but didn't fight at her.

 

She cocked her head, frowning. So unlike him not to fight back. "You take your meds?" she asked quietly. His doctor, a disturbing woman she thought was a witch, had changed his prescription when his moods had gotten darker around the holidays. They always got dark when they went back to Dragonstone. She was really young and didn't remember much of their father but he did. Viserys had been beaten, emotionally abused, and lashed out at her when she got old enough and Rhaegar was busy with his career as a means of coping. She knew he sometimes harbored resentment of her. Not only did her birth kill their mother, he had watched their father descend into madness and then watched Rhaegar fall to the demons as well. And still he had to take care of her. And no one took care of Viserys.

 

This had to be hard on him as well, the pressure to succeed. Sometimes he was just such a dick she forgot about it. Vis made it very difficult to love him. She pushed his hair from his eyes, frowning, trying to judge where his mind happened to be. "I took them," he muttered, tugging away from her.

 

With or without other drugs, she wondered. She leaned back against the headboard. Drew her knees up and stared out at her room. It was lovely, muted and clean, a zen-like space to relax. To be at home. Except it wasn't really a home. Nothing had ever been her home. Sets and location shoots. Los Angeles and London and Westeros and...she closed her eyes. The long braids she had woven together after she left the studio felt tight on her head. She idly tugged them back and flipped them together, knotting a couple into a crown of sorts in the back of her head, leaving the rest of her hair to fall free. She looked over at Vis, who was staring at the ceiling, his arms behind his head. She wasn't sure why, but she felt like she had her brother. Her real brother and she might as well ask, just to see... She licked her lips. "Hey Vis?"

 

"What?"

 

"Did you ever hate Rhaegar?"

 

It was interesting, she thought, thinking of what Davos had said about Sansa Stark when she'd eavesdropped on them. Hard to believe that was this morning. It was late evening and it felt like an entire year had gone by. She was going to take a late train to Edinburgh and Jon would meet her. He had already flown up there right after they left the studio. Easier to split their travel. Gods knew what would happen if someone saw them on the same train heading north. Despite the time it took, she much preferred train travel. Gave her time to work on her lines for Iceland before she buried her phone and script and everything else they had agreed on in the trunk of the car.

 

Jon loved his family but he seemed exhausted by them. She understood family obligations more than anyone, but...she just couldn't understand it sometimes, especially with how Sansa seemed to take him for granted. Arya was the only one who he seemed to genuinely love talking about. He rarely spoke of Robb and Bran was just in passing. Shd wondered about Viserys and Rhaegar. He had taken everything it seemed. All their father's attention, all the media attention...then she came along and where did that leave him?

 

Vis sat up. She suddenly thought they were back in her trailer during her teenage Princess P days, where he would be yelling at her about how many takes it took her to get a line right and how come she wanted to go to school instead of be famous and he was going to introduce her to a guy named Drogo who would make her career and launch Viserys back into the producing world. That's all she felt like to him sometimes. His way to glory. He stared at her for a moment and then shook his head, surprising her. He smirked at her surprised expression. "No I didn't hate him. I barely knew him. I don't think anyone did."

 

"He was so lonely, everyone said so."

 

"There were two women, Arianne's aunt...Elia, I think her name was. She died. Can’t remember how. He just went away and there was the other. She died too. Rhaegar...I think he died with them both. With Mother and..." Viserys paused. "I don't know if anyone knew him."

 

That was the most she had heard Vis ever speak of their older brother. She frowned, trying to remember him, but it was hard, because he disappeared every moment. A shifting image of silver hair, indigo eyes, and a quiet intense demeanor. She barely remembered how he sounded. They could watch his movies but it wasn't the same. She sniffed. "Did you hate me?"

 

Vis chuckled. "Kind of. I had to take care of a baby when I was twelve, Dany." He scowled. "And you were annoying."

 

She scowled back. "You pimped me out, remember?"

 

"And made you a star."

 

That was it wasn't it? He didn't get it, even now. "People still only think of me as a spoiled little princess and they still think of Aerys as a psychotic who drove our name to the ground." They were still fighting the fight. Rhaegar was the only Targaryen worth the history books. She just wanted to act. She wanted to be serious. This was her chance. She swallowed hard. Jon was her chance. She had to say it. Tell someone. It was eating her alive. "Vis can I tell you something?"

 

"Sounds like you might anyway."

 

"I think I love Jon Snow." I know I love him.

 

Viserys rolled his eyes and climbed off the bed. He opened her closet and walked in. She heard him rummaging around and then he emerged, holding a garment bag in hand. He stared at her a moment and unzipped it. She stared at the dress hidden inside. Her eyes lifted to his. He can't be serious. He smirked. "Dragon Queen and the King in the North, you know that's what they call him."

 

"Who?"

 

"The press. He's the King in the North because all his stuff takes place there, he was basically killed there, and his family used to be royalty there or some bull shit." He zipped the dress back up and folded the bag, placing it carefully into her roller bag. She frowned at it; it was a holdover from an event they'd done in the old Keep in Kingslanding a few years back. They were honoring Rhaegar, of course, an alum of one of the drama schools in the south and it had been themed for Westeros history. Viserys walked back into the closet and she heard drawers opening and shutting.

 

She closed her eyes. "Vis we are close but not that close if you are picking out my underwear..."

 

"Fuck no! We're not Cersei and Jaime "

 

"Gods I thought those were just rumors." The twins were very close. It always freaked her out.

 

Viserys returned, holding up a slim black velvet box. She knew it contained the dragon necklace that went with the dress. It was silver with ruby eyes and curled around her neck like it was resting there for a spell before taking back off to the sky. She briefly wondered what Jon would think of it.

 

She climbed off the bed and reached over, zipping the suitcase and setting it on the floor. She nudged her shoulder at Vis. "Thanks Vis."

 

He looked at her for a moment; the same blank stare from a moment before. Then his lip curled to a sneer. "You better be at the airport in two weeks for the flight to Iceland or I'll leak to the press that your hair is dyed."

 

Weak comeback even for him. At least the Vis she knew was still there. She smiled and rose on her toes, pecking a kiss to his cheek. "Avy jorregelon."

 

A brief flicker of...dare she wonder... love? It may have shown on her brother's stony, perpetually displeased face. He was always wheeling between manic and manic depression. Assisted with drugs, alcohol, and random affairs. She wished he hadn't fucked up with Arianne. It was ironically a setup between her father and theirs, a sort of entertainment-arranged marriage. Aerys would get Martell's major wine and gambling money for producing and the Martells could get Rhaegar to star in their movies. It ended up failing but shockingly Arianne and Vis got along. They were both fucked up in similar ways, had similar vices, and she had realized when she begun to fight back at Viserys abuse that he would cow slightly. He kind of needed someone to boss him around. She thought it sad. So did Arianne.

 

Their mother and Rhaegar would speak to them in the dead ancient language Valyrian. She loved it; she thought it a secret thing just for her. He smiled, just a bit, and she thought she could see the boy he used to be. "Yeah, well...” He suddenly glared at her and pulled hard on her hair. "Better get going for your whatever you are doing with the wolf."

 

"I trust this is between us?"

 

"No good comes from this coming out in the press, without control."

 

"No control, no leaks, no anything.” She shrugged into her coat and pointed a finger at him. "I mean it Vis."

 

He smirked.  "Of course."  He bumped his knuckles to hers.  "Targaryens against the world, Dany."

 

It was her turn to smile.  "Targaryens against the world, Vis."  She turned and he followed her down to the front door, where Jorah was waiting with the car.  She couldn't let their emotional moment go completely by the by without a bit of their usual pokes and prods, so she kicked him in the shin before she leaned in to peck his cheek. "See you in a week."

 

"Don't get pregnant!"

 

Jorah frowned, her old bear following her out to the car that would take her to the train station. She ducked her head quickly into the car, seeing someone on a motorcycle hovering at the corner. Probably just a neighbor but really? Motorcycle in January in London? She didn't trust anyone, so she studied it carefully, waiting until the motorcyclist sped away, before she returned her attention to Jorah. "Do I want to ask what that is about, khaleesi?"

 

She snorted. "Just Vis being Vis." The car pulled from the curb and she set her phone down, remembering something. Maybe it was what Vis had said. "Practically died..." She murmured. She remembered Jon whispering about his scars. A mutiny. Treason. The anger when he'd told Davos he wouldn't be returning to the Wall for some event. "Longclaw."

 

Her bear glanced sideways in the darkness of the car. His craggy face was lined in dim amber light from the street lamps, casting every scar on his face in extreme relief. She kept her eyes on his. "How do you know about Longclaw?"

 

"Brienne Tarth the armorer we hired. She mentioned Valyrian steel and knew your name." It was a twist of the truth. She hated lying to him but she wasn't sure what Jorah knew versus what Jon had shown her. She didn't want to betray him. "She said Longclaw was the ancestral sword of your house."

 

He frowned. "Yes. My father had it. He...he gave it to someone worthy."

 

"Not his son?" She knew Jorah had had a falling out with his family. Fathers and sons and all that, she wouldn't pry and he didn't talk about it. She lifted her thumbnail up and nibbled, a terrible habit that had always earned her a pinch from Vis. She closed her eyes at his silence. Damn Dany, this is not your business. She leaned over to squeeze his hand, apologizing. "I'm so sorry Jorah. I shouldn't have mentioned it."

 

"Has Jon spoken of his time serving my father?" She shook her head, cheeks warming that she had been found out. He nodded and peered out the window. "Probably should let him discuss the details it but I will say that my father made enemies. He was almost killed in an assassination attempt." He paused. "Jon Snow saved his life...and made enemies of his own that day."

 

A passage from Dark Wings Dark Words popped in her head. The main character dying for honor and wondering what started it. When he had a choice to make, to answer the age-old terrible question...save one or save thousands? She closed her eyes. "And after your father died, Jon took charge."

 

"He was young and foolish and yet the men wanted him over others. I don't know what you know of the Nights Watch, but it is an old unit in Westeros. Most other countries don't have anything like it. Maybe just ceremonial ones now. They still take vows that prohibit their marriage and used to be to the death until someone thought to change it." Jorah sighed. "My father died on a mission that went bad. The watch doesn't take their orders from the main Westerosi military. They choose. They chose Jon and from what I know, he made some choices that ended with him almost dead and retired, writing books and plays about the lore and tales of Westeros. "

 

Gods. She rubbed at her temple. There was so much Jon hadn't told her. And why though? Were they just friends with benefits? People who said they loved each other but...didn't think they meant it? There was a lot to discuss this week. Or he just didn't trust her. Didn't want to divulge. He told her of the scars. Just not the full story. She wasn't owed that, she thought shamefully. She glanced at Jorah and reached for his hand, squeezing. "Thank you."

 

"You should talk to Jon Snow, khaleesi." He smiled sadly. "I think he might talk more to you than to anyone else. I gathered what I know from the records my father kept and the military gave me after his death. A few news stories and that's it."

 

She nodded. Frowned. "Does Jon know that you should get Longclaw?"

 

"Khaleesi who do you think told me about saving my fathers life? Of course he made it seem like it was just his job but he sustained serious injury in doing so. He tried to give it to me after he retired, when he left Westeros. He didn't know I worked for you. It's funny how that works out."

 

"How what?"

 

"Coincidence but some might think it fate or whatever." Jorah sighed. "He offered me the sword and I told him to keep it. Pass it to his children. It is priceless and would do me no good. Besides, it wouldn't go anywhere but a museum or to a collector after I died. With Jon it can create a new family."

 

It turned her stomach briefly to think of Jon having a family. She stared out the window and in the rivulets of rain on the window she swore she saw a little boy with curls like Jon's and violet eyes like her. A little girl with the same look, maybe with silver hair and gray eyes,. She shook her head quickly, silently cursing herself. Get a hold of yourself Dany. It's been a few months of...something. She cleared her throat. "Thank you Jorah for your candor. I appreciate it."

 

"Anything for you khaleesi." He nodded. "We're here. I'll see you to the train."

 

"I got it. Don't worry. Thank you for arranging the ride and coming with me. I'll be back in a week." She climbed from the car, grateful for the nighttime and the lack of people buzzing around. She kissed his cheek. Gave him a swift hug and dragged her stuff inside, just in time for the platform to appear. She hurried by a new stand, seeing Daario and his latest fling on most of the mags, shaking her head with a chuckle.

 

The train ride was faster than it had been, or maybe she was just excited. She barely worked on her lines and practiced some of her sword movements in the loo. She almost flew from the train at Edinburgh, wanting nothing more than to get Jon alone and they could have their entire week of bliss and relaxation...she was unsure what else they would do, but she didn't care. Her stomach felt like there were butterflies in it. She positively shook, felt just like a girl seeing her boyfriend after college or some stupid thing. Ugh, Dany, come on!

 

She pushed out into the nighttime, seeing him leaning against his Land Rover. Ghost was in the back, head sticking out. She giggled; glad her braids were hidden under a beret, and ran to him. She jumped up at him, like she hadn't seen him that afternoon. Hadn't wanted to kill him either. Or question him relentlessly. She sighed into his neck, eyes closed. "I missed you."

 

"You just saw me," he chuckled.

 

"Hmm, yeah but you know, I missed parts of you."

 

"Oh?" The long smile pulled at his mouth. "Parts?"

 

Her hands reached around and grabbed his ass, squeezing hard and laughing at his yelp of surprise. She removed her hands quickly before anyone reported them for indecency— that would be fun for Tyrion to handle-- laughing and kissing him quickly. "So it is super late, are we still driving to Inverness?"

 

"Nah, I got us a hotel."

 

Oh." She climbed into the seat and furrowed her brow. "How are we going to do this?"

 

"Well you're the actor."

 

She snorted. "And you are the writer."

 

He smiled. "So we put our heads together."

 

 

~/~/~/~

"Daeron and Alysanne Blackfyre?"

 

He smiled, fumbling with the key in the room door. "I thought some famous Targaryens were appropriate. Blackfyre was Aegon’s sword." It randomly came to him when he signed in at the front desk, charging the room to the publishing company in lieu of actually admitting his identity. While he checked in, Dany had waited in the car with Ghost, her iconic silver hair hidden under that cute little French beret he wanted to tear off of her and then have her wear with nothing else.

 

"Hmmm, well I wouldn't know, I wasn't obsessed with my family history like my father and Vis," she laughed, following him into the room. He moved away, tossing their bags onto the bench by the desk. There was a fire in the fireplace, already roaring away. He looked over at her, wondering why she hadn't shut it yet.

 

She turned away, glancing down the hall for Ghost. “Where'd he go?"

 

"He's out for a walk."

 

"Your wolf is so weird."

 

Ghost was more like a strange roommate with four paws than he was a pet. "He has his moments." He shook out of his coat, throwing it onto a chair in corner. He let out a long breath, reaching back to rub at his neck. Gods, he was tired. There was just...too much. A knot in his neck clenched. He winced at the movement. He heard rustling behind him, turning carefully to not anger his tense muscles further. She had shed down to the skivvies, depriving him of one of his most favorite things- disrobing Daenerys Targaryen.

 

She must have picked up on the annoyance and smiled, her fingers skimming over his back, lightly scraping her nails between his shoulder blades. "Get on your stomach, but first..." She tugged at his shirt, peeling it off in one go. He frowned, wondering what she had he mind. He was quivering slightly like a damn green boy because he knew that she was going f to seek revenge for earlier when he'd grabbed her the instant she returned to the trailer.

 

How was he supposed to keep his mouth to himself after her little meltdown on set? He felt blood shoot straight south at the memory of her haughty attitude. The bossy way she told off Margaery, her frustration at forgetting her lines, and the incredibly sexy way she’d spun around in that Night Queen costume, with her ice staff in her hands, something out of a fantasy. He did as she asked, pulling off boots and socks. She relieved him of his belt but didn't do anything else until he followed her orders, lying on his stomach, chin pillowed on folded arms. He squinted, waiting for his next orders, all but shaking in anticipation. "Now what?

 

In one jump she was straddling his hips, knees lightly pinned against his sides. He groaned, not from the soft weight of her pinning him further into the cushiony mattress, but at the feel of her soft skin brushing against his, all warm and curvy. "Now relax,” she cooed, leaning over him and kissing beneath his ear. "Let me do all the work."

 

His voice muffled in his arms. "Dunno if you know Dany but I think you need my front..." He forgot what he was going to say when her slim fingers began to knead into his shoulders. He stifled a groan, his eyes clenching shut in agony and relief. Fuck, she was good at that. Groans turned to contented signs. He hadn’t realized how tense he really was, feeling the corded muscles give more with each press of her small fingers, a shocking amount of force actually behind them. "Gods, that's amazing."

 

"Among my many talents."

 

"Remind me to repay the favor."

 

"Consider this repayment for the favor you gave me earlier."

 

He smiled into his forearm. His eyes rolled into the back of his head when she targeted a tangle of knots in his shoulder blade. He bit back a groan that had nothing to do with the magic working on his muscles as she wiggled her ass in the small of his back, leaning forward, her breasts lightly brushing his skin. He sighed again. "You know on set..."

 

"We don't need to talk about it. Remember?" Her words had a bit of coolness to them. He wondered if she actually did want to talk about it. Seven hells, he had no idea anymore when it came to Dany. He was about to suggest they start the rules once they got to the cottage when his phone buzzed. It was still in his back jeans pocket. She hissed; it had buzzed right through the denim into her bare thigh. She dug it out, grumbling. "You were supposed to get rid of this."

 

"Who is it?"

 

She hesitated as the phone buzzed. "Um...it just says Lady Stoneheart."

 

Oh fuck. He spun so fast onto his back that he sent Dany flying to the side with a thud and squeak, grabbing the phone and answering before it went to voicemail. He stood, hurriedly grabbing for a shirt. There was no way he could have a conversation with Lady Stoneheart while not fully dressed. She might know. "Hello? Aunt Catelyn?"

 

Dany's eyes went wide and mouthed 'your Aunt?' He nodded and shoved his arms into his Henley. "How…um, how are you?" he fumbled, never sure how to speak with his aunt. She could be a truly kind person when it came to her children or a total raging cunt when it came to him. Sometimes she was…pleasant with him, for lack of a better word. Most of the time though, she was a total cunt. He still could not understand why she hated him so much.

 

Catelyn Stark's cold, slightly hoarse voice filtered through the phone into his ear, sending his blood to a chill. He stood in place, terrified of what she wanted. Dany sat on the edge of the bed, her hands folded in her lap, wondering curiously up at him. She wisely stayed silent; he wasn’t sure he wanted to explain her presence to Catelyn, who probably thought he should still be living like a monk but at the Wall. "Jon, I must go to New York for business. I am sending Bran to you next week."

 

Never a question, it was always an order. He closed his eyes. They really never did think about what he might be doing, as much as he wanted to be there for Bran. "I will be in Icelan89d for filming." He ducked from Dany’s frown. "Um, is Sansa available?"

 

She made a sound of annoyance. "Your cousin has a very busy and demanding job and obviously I would have exhausted all options before contacting you. Bran has had a setback and requires attention and for reasons beyond my understanding he prefers to stay with you. You will collect him at Edinburgh in a week."

 

There was no way around the fact that he absolutely had to be in Iceland. It was the beginning of filming and he had to make sure that the way he wanted things to be were…the way he wanted them to be. Besides, Margaery had all but ensured it was in his contract. He bit his lip and felt the overwhelming urge to punch a wall. "I can bring him to Iceland." Bran might enjoy that.

 

Catelyn scoffed. "He will not be going to Iceland. You will do this, it is the least you can do for this family that kept you and gave you the opportunities to get you to where you are. A third rate writer with a good agent." She paused and he steeled himself, awaiting the kill shot. "Everyday I wonder why it was Robb and not you. Goodbye Jon."

 

There it was. He closed his eyes, his hand dropping to his side; phone loose in his fingers. Robb. He waited a second. He took a few breaths. Opened his eyes. Stared beyond Dany at his reflection in the dresser mirror. The image that stared back was of someone he hardly recognized. Not that he ever really took stock in how he looked. Sunken cheeks, puffy eyes, and his hair was tangled from Dany’s fingers. He was the one still there. The bastard. The one who wasn’t supposed to be there. Taken in when his mother died giving birth to him. No idea where or who his father might be. Meanwhile Robb was dead.

 

Thanks for the reminder Catelyn. He glanced at Dany; she was so good. So kind and…he couldn’t even look at her right then. He grit his teeth, sucked in a few breaths, and with a wolf howl, he spun and hurled the accursed phone across the room, where it snapped into several pieces against the closed bathroom door. He heaved breaths, hands scrubbing his face. A warm body pressed behind him, arms snaking around his waist. He gripped her hands tight.

 

Fucking Cat. He tried to steady further, but it was so hard. He wanted a drink. "Well " Dany murmured, kissing up his spine. "That's one way to make sure no one bothers us." He laughed. Gods help him, he laughed. He turned, bringing her to crush against his chest, lips tracing over her hairline. She kissed him, mumbling as he walked her backwards, forgetting the massage she had been giving him. "What was that about?"

 

He shook his head. He couldn't think of Cat, Bran, his crazy family, nothing. Not with her in his arms, his distraction. He needed a drink, he thought again. He kissed her fast and tore away, opening the mini bar and removing a tiny bottle of Stark whiskey. He drained in, eyes watering, and marched to grab her roughly, hands plowing through her curls, lifting her up around him as she gave back what he provided. "Nothing. Now where were we?"

Chapter Text

x. 

January 2019

 

Day 1

“You know you get what you deserve,” Dany sang, emerging from the bathroom with a towel wringing out her silver curls, which had turned into tangled ropes after her shower. The purpose of the shower was to rinse off after she’d gone on a run, which had just been a necessary evil as she’d been remiss in her normal workout routine, but had turned into a competitive race down the estate’s slushy roads and ended with the two of them slipping and sliding in mud on their way back to the house.

 

So she wanted a shower to get off the grime, sweat, and mud, and Jon had decided he wanted something else when he climbed in after her, making up some story about conserving water. They had ultimately wasted a large quantity of water as they slid around in the shower. And now he was complaining about how his head hurt from where he’d banged it into the tile wall, trying to simultaneously take and give at the same time. Served him right, he should have waited until afterward.

 

He tugged on a t-shirt over his still damp skin, removing his perfectly sculpted body from her ogling gaze. It stuck in the right places as he whipped his towel in her direction, grinning when she glared at him, a finger up in warning. Although she couldn’t help the smile that tugged on her lips, since this side of him was the whole purpose of why they were hiding out for the week. She loved seeing him carefree and it was so rare. Seven hells, she’d let him whip his towel at her and deal with the sore skin later if it meant he would smile like that again.

 

It crinkled his eyes and if he really was happy his teeth would even show, revealing the slightly crooked bottom ones and the sharp glint of his canines, reminding her of the wolf he was. She let go of her towel, dropping it to the floor and sauntered to him, her arms wrapping around his neck and accepting the gentle kiss he bestowed on her. “Something got into you,” she teased. He’d been in an exceptionally playful mood.

 

“You.”

 

Gods Jon, you are something else. She nuzzled his nose, eyes fluttering shut as he dragged his lips from hers to skim across her jaw and find the spot behind her ear that sent little shocks through her system. She dropped her head back, sighing and savoring the feelings, wondering briefly about what they were going to do for dinner since they had spent the entire day in bed save for their run-around outside, perhaps maybe she could cobble together something…

 

A light crack of his warm palm on her ass had her eyes springing open and a yelp crying from her lips. She tore herself back, agape as he made his giggle sound, tearing away from her quickly and escaping in a blur around the corner. “You asshole!” she laughed, briefly rubbing the offending spot and also swallowing the spark of desire the slap had ignited. She pulled on one of his flannel shirts and shoved her feet into his boxers, running from his bedroom and to the living area, spinning on her heel when she couldn’t find him.

 

The house consisted of his study, the living room, a guest room, and his bedroom, plus a modern addition on the back that she knew served as Bran’s ‘wing’ when he would stay. There were only so many places he could be, so where did he have time to…

 

Ahhhh!”

 

A figure lunged from under a pile of blankets on the couch, tackling her into the overstuffed chair next to the fireplace. She shrieked, squealed, and made quite a few undignified sounds as fingers dug into her sides. “Stop!” She could hardly breathe and tears gathered in the corners of her eyes, her muscles straining as her smile broke across her face. Her cheeks downright burned. She kicked at him, but snorted as he pinned her into the cushions, his mouth latching behind her ear, sucking and swirling his tongue at the spot where one of her tendons met the back of her head and she whimpered, her knees falling open to cradle him against her.

 

This man, seriously. She tore one of her hands from above her head, his grasp weak, cupping his face and bring him to face her again. Gray eyes danced and desire pooled in her lower belly, pressure building just at the look of him. She kissed him, hard, swift, and gasping as he rocked against her. “Jon,” she sighed. Her lips quivered, his teeth nipping gently at her bottom one.

 

“You need to be more aware of your surroundings, Targareyn,” he teased. He rolled back, bringing her with him and the blankets, backing up and falling onto the couch, stretching her across him, their bodies molding perfectly together, pliant and soft, wrapped in the blankets and her overlarge flannel and the soft t-shirt he wore that had a faded Westerosi military seal on it.

 

She nuzzled into his neck, fingers tracing his clavicle. There were faded scars along it and she kissed them, something she found herself doing whenever she noted them, whether during their lovemaking or after. “You’re in a pretty fun mood,” she said.

 

“Hmmm, you just were standing there so haughty.”

 

“Well,” she huffed. She turned his chin towards her, kissing him fast. She really didn’t have an answer to that. Haughty was still a pretty strong word. She liked to think she was more affronted by his little snap of the towel than haughty. She propped her head up on her hand, her elbow resting on one of the cushions behind them. She was reminded of something that used to happen when she was little and she found herself smiling in memory.

 

He cocked his head. “What? What’s got that smile on your face?”

 

“You,” she replied. He beamed. She shook her head, whispering. “No, I remember when I was little. Rhaegar and I would play a game, basically Tag. Except I called it Dragons. I’d run at him and be the dragon and he’d chase after me as the other dragon. I would win when I could get around him to pull on his hair.” She hadn’t thought of that in a long time. Part of her ached. The other part was simply fond of the memory. Glad she had something good from her childhood to look back on as an adult.

 

Jon reached to touch his fingertips to her cheek, dragging them slowly over to her nose and over the bow of her lips and to her chin, before he settled them on her heart. Prickles of sheer happiness spread from where he touch to the rest of her body and she moaned quietly in response, eyes shutting. “You miss him,” he stated. She opened her eyes and nodded. The ache was no as painful as it used to be, just…there. He pressed his nose to hers, their gazes locked. “I miss my brother too.”

 

Robb. The one he rarely mentioned. She took a deep breath. Please don’t run away. “You never talk about him.”

 

“You don’t talk about Rhaegar.”

 

“Touche,” she murmured. They missed them. The brothers that died too early in their life. The good ones. She covered his heart, his warmth emanating through the thin cotton of the shirt and into her palm. He remained in place and she pressed forward. “You were really upset last night when you got off the phone with your aunt.” He’d taken her so hard and fast at one point she thought she was going to break. He’d expended himself so fast that she worried he wouldn’t come out of whatever had sent him into the frenzy he’d been in after that call. That their week would be ruined because of whatever his aunt had said to him.

 

Beneath her, he tensed, but she wrapped herself tighter around him and he relaxed slightly. I’m here Jon, please do not run away. He began to fiddle with her hair, damp and tangled, twirling it around his fist. She did not think he was going to respond, when finally his gravelly voice, the burr thick with emotion, broken the quiet. “My aunt has a way about her. She…she didn’t like that she had to raise me with her children. Robb was her favorite and he could do no wrong and that meant I could never…never take away from him.” He took a deep breath, pressing forward. “We were best friends. Not cousins or brothers even, just…he was my best friend. Even when I couldn’t win in a fight with him when Catelyn was looking. When I bested him in school, it was because I was clearly cheating. Robb was a great athlete, but when we played rugby I had to let him win. When I was goalie in soccer I had to step aside and let him kick the ball in. He hated it. He tried to tell her to stop, but she never did.”

 

Gods. That was no way for a child to grow up. “I’m sorry,” she breathed. Even with a family around him, he was still alone. Just like her. She kissed at his pulse. “She was a cunt.”

 

He chuckled, shaking his head slightly. “Yeah…that’s what Arya says.” He sighed, his breath rattling in his chest beneath her. “She knows how to hurt me. Catelyn. She does it a lot. I lost my brother, my cousin, my best friend, the good of the family…and sometimes it’s just easier to be the bastard orphan child that she had to pretend was as good as her son.”

 

It pained her. It hurt her so much to hear him use those types of words. “You are not a bastard,” she murmured. She raised up over him, slinging her leg across his abdomen, her mouth moving softly against his. He kissed her eagerly, his hands skimming beneath the blankets to rest on her upper thighs. She sighed. “Whatever she tells you, it comes from her issues, and has nothing to do with you. Promise me Jon Snow that you will remember that.” She pressed her thumb to his lower lip, smiling when he nodded, very slight, but it was there. She smiled. “Good. I love you. That should count for something.”

 

It was so fast, tumbling from her lips in a way it hadn’t before. She nibbled her lower lip, in case it was too forward of her. Please don’t run away Jon. After a moment, his face broke to a smile and she gasped in relief. He cradled her head in his hands. “I love you too,” he replied.

 

They cuddled together again, his heartbeat thudding beneath her cheek. Eyes closed, breathing even, she could have just fallen sleep then and there. Seven hells she probably could have just died there and be happy. She breathed deep, the warmth of the fire filling her lungs. She expelled it in a hard breath through her mouth, muscles slackening further around him.

 

After a long while in silence, the fire being the only sound, crackling and popping, the sky darkening beyond the cottage, and the glow serving as the only light, she stirred a bit. She had fallen into a doze but Jon was still awake beneath her. He kept at her hair, pulling and stroking, and it was hypnotizing. “You miss Rhaegar like I miss Robb,” he said, quiet.

 

She nodded. “Probably in a different way…Rhaegar’s death was…surprising but it also wasn’t. No one really knew what was going on with him.” She remembered what Viserys said yesterday. That no one really knew him. She sighed. “But yes, I do miss him. I have ways to remember him of course, more than you do with Robb. It’s different.”

 

A kiss dropped to her forehead. “You know I have something…no phones or internet but…” To her displeasure he extricated himself from her and she whimpered at the loss of contact. She felt cold all of a sudden without him around her, and watched from her little nest of blankets as he went to a case in the corner, kneeling and rummaging around in a bin of some sort. She draped her arms over her knees, curious. He exclaimed in discovery, coming back to his feet. He went to the study and a moment later returned with his laptop.

 

“No! No laptops!”

 

“Relax, it’s just to watch this.” He tossed her the case in his hand and she turned it over, mouth falling open at the title in her hands. Jon set the laptop on the coffee table, turning it on and reaching for the case, taking out the Blu-Ray. He grinned. “I have some movies you know.”

 

Tears threatened to fall, but they were happy ones, and she smiled, looking back down at the movie. “This was one of the only comedies he ever did,” she laughed, her finger running over her brother’s face, actually smiling as he looked over his shoulder at his costar, her hand tugging on his tie and pulling it over her shoulder, smirking up. It was a silly romantic comedy, but it was very clever and in the end it wasn’t as cheesy as it probably could have been. “It was an early one, before he got his reputation as the Prince of Darkness.”

 

Jon leaned back onto the couch, bringing the laptop to settle on his knees as the movie began. She cuddled against him, watching the screen, while he returned to playing with her hair. She found that she was crying, almost thirty minutes into the movie, but because it was so good to see her brother again. She couldn’t remember when she last watched one of his movies. Even at special events when they played clips, she always tuned them out and looked away, but this was different. Somehow this was different. This was Rhaegar in his element and he was enjoying himself and she was enjoying watching him.

 

A few minutes later, she sat up slightly and pointed to the screen, grinning in memory. “Look.”

 

It was a wedding scene and Rhaegar’s character was letting a little girl dance on his feet as the lead female watched in slight envy while her friends made fun of her for being jealous of a girl. “What am I looking for?” Jon asked. He had put on his glasses after the movie began and she ignored her stomach lip when he squinted at the screen.

 

“Recognize anyone?”

 

It took him a second, only until the camera zoomed in closer at the little girl on Rhaegar’s feet. He let out a laugh and hit the button to pause, unable to stop as his head fell back and streams of laugh came from him. She was so happy to see him like this. Especially after the night before. No drinking, no smoking, no brooding…this was a good thing, she thought, looking up at him with her smile breaking her face once more, giggling as he nuzzled into her while looking at the screen again. “I can’t believe it. Little Dany.”

 

Little Dany was only three years old when the movie was filmed and she was proud that it was her first speaking role. Then again, all she said was ‘Hey!’ when her brother stopped dancing to stare at the love interest. She pouted and stomped her feet and he kept dancing with her, laughing. She had no memory of filming it. “Yeah, Little Dany,” she laughed.

 

“You were so cute.”

 

“Now when you play movie trivia one day you’ll know what my first movie really was.”

 

They continued to smile, laugh, and before the movie was even over, he had fallen sleep beneath her, finally relaxed and so she removed the laptop from them and instead of waking him up and moving to the bed, Dany stretched further beside him, her head on his chest and found herself drifting off as well.

 

 

~/~/~/~

Day Two

 

He needed a cigarette. Or his computer. Or a drink. Or…gods. He had to do something with his hands. Something other than write or ravish Dany at every single opportunity. While it was kind of supposed to be that type of week, he found that he enjoyed just napping and cuddling with her as much as he did when they were fucking each other into unconsciousness. He tapped his fingers on the table, needing to just do something. He sighed and moved the notebook in front of him to the side, capping his pen and tucking it in the loop on the binding. Being with Dany as much as he had been in the last two days had been a rush of…something.

 

He glanced from the notebook, where he had been detailing the scene before him, what some might consider mundane—washing dishes—and yet he considered it something beautiful. There was no way Dany understood how gorgeous she really was, with her silver hair curled and tangled down to the middle of her back and her purple eyes drowsy and sated. She wore one of his flannel shirts with a pair of her jeans and thick socks. He tapped his fingers again, wishing he could sneak a smoke. He missed the feel of them, sometimes it wasn’t even the craving for nicotine, it was the process. The feel. It gave him something to do.

 

And when he’d started as a teenager it had been a way for him to escape from the house. Whether to smoke outside or go to the store or just have a bad habit that none of his siblings had. Gave him that edge they always thought he had anyways.

 

“You know Jon you’re staring.”

 

“Am I?”

 

She set one of their breakfast plates into the drying rack he didn’t even know he owned before she wiped her hands on a towel and turned, leaning back against the counter. Her violet eyes danced merrily; she was teasing. “Yes,” she said, flicking the towel in his direction.

 

He balled up the damp towel, throwing it towards the door to the laundry room, before rising to his feet, crowding her against the counter and placing his hands on either side of her, gripping the granite behind her. He heard her sharp intake of breath and reveled in the way she rubbed at him, a hiss escaping when her fingers slipped between to scrape at the zipper of his jeans. “Fuck Dany.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

As much as he wanted to throw her up over his shoulder and haul her back to the bedroom or better yet, take her right there on the kitchen counter like he had that morning while she surprised him in the process of making her an omelet—she had been complaining how hungry she was and then she went and distracted him and burned it—he also knew that once they had each other again they’d be dozing for a few hours and he would be back to needing something to do with his hands.

 

He glanced out the window over the sink. The sun was beaming, melting what little snow remained after the last storm. It was supposed to snow again that evening and he had big plans for them in the event the heat and electricity went out during the storm. “Want to go for a ride?” he said suddenly, an idea forming.

 

“Oh Jon, so cheesy.”

 

He chuckled, kissing her quickly. “You have such a dirty mind.”

 

“You love it.”

 

Absolutely he fucking did love it. He kissed her quickly, breaking away and tugging on her hands. “Come on, let’s go. The stables aren’t too far; they’re near the distillery. Hodor the stablehand is really kind, he’s been with the family for years.”

 

She gaped, eyes widening. He frowned; what was so surprising now? “You can ride a horse?”

 

He laughed. “Yes, I can ride a horse.” It was part of growing up in the North. He arched a brow. “I know we agreed no working on the movie, but I can give you some pointers for Iceland. The Night Queen does ride a horse after all.” An undead demon horse, but yes she rode a horse. He hadn’t heard about any preparation she’d been doing for that, but he knew in at least a couple of her movies she’d ridden horses. Same for Princess Periwinkle, but this was different. He’d help her out. “I even have a horse. Come on, let’s go meet him.”

 

“And you’ll give me pointers, huh?”

 

“Yes, it’s really not difficult, but takes some getting used to.”

 

“Hmm, okay then.”

 

About an hour or so later they were exiting his Land Rover at the stables, Ghost taking off running towards the thicket of heather and trees in the distance. They would catch up with him soon, he figured, bringing her into the stables and towards the stall where his Friesian stood, poking his great black head out as if he already sensed that he was there. He smiled at the sight; it had been some time since he’d been here to take out Shadow. He approached the horse, knuckles out for him to sniff, the stallion nuzzling at them. He clicked his tongue, reaching further to rub at Shadow’s muzzle.

 

The soft movement of Dany’s boots on the stable’s hard-packed dirt floor pulled him from his greeting and he smiled in her direction, nodding towards the horse. “This is Shadow.”

 

“He’s gorgeous,” she breathed, removing her gloves to reach for Shadow, letting the horse sniff her before she opened her palm and stroked at his maw. She smiled and he stole at glance sideways, taking in her beauty. Her braids were bound into a single large one down her back, a black beanie on her head over her ears and matching black scarf wrapped around her throat. She wore a red corduroy shearling-lined coat and her slim legs were encased in black jeans and tucked into a pair of sturdy black boots.

 

Gods she was beautiful. Violet eyes alight with happiness, her soft pink lips pulled into a smile as she stroked the horse. He felt oddly envious of Shadow, to be on the receiving end of those beautiful smiles and giggles. He reached into his pocket and removed an apple, offering it to her. “I’d kiss you, but he’s a jealous fuck and seems he’s taken to you.”

 

“Oh he’s a big baby, aren’t you handsome?” She kissed the horse’s nose, stroking down between his eyes. “Jon he’s beautiful. How long have you had him?”

 

“Few years. Here, I’ll get your mount saddled up.” He left her to Shadow and went to find Hodor, the stablehand, greeting him with a brief hug, the massive man a longtime extended member of their family, despite the fact that he could only say his name Hodor, but he was strong and kind and a good worker. He let him know they would be taking the horses out and would be back soon, only receiving a “Hodor” in response.

 

He chose Silver, a young Arabian, thinking she would be appropriate for Dany given they shared similar coloring. Silver’s eyes were so deep blue they were almost violet. She was also very sweet and a good first ride. Even if sometimes she did like to take off for a good run once and awhile. They’d build up to that, he thought, dragging tack out of the room and saddling her up while Dany watched. He spoke while he did, buckling and tying straps, showing her how to make sure the horse was comfortable and not surprised as you adjusting the bridle, the bit, and the stirrups.

 

“Hmm,” she merely said. He wondered if she was overwhelmed by it all, but it was Dany. She’d let him know if she had questions. She approached the horse, taking the reins as he brought out Shadow and saddled him up. He helped her with guiding Silver out of the stables and to the side, figuring they could go through some simple practice commands and moves before heading out to the trails in the forest behind the stables.

 

He moved to help her up onto the horse, linking his fingers together to form a step, but she just smiled. He frowned; it was that I know more than you smile. He narrowed his eyes, about to open his mouth and ask what she was about to do when to his shock, she stepped one foot into the saddle, mounting the horse fluidly and with a click of her tongue and nudge of her knees, Silver was flying across the thick grass and kicking up remaining snow and slush, heading towards the forest.

 

What the…

 

“Seven hells!” he exclaimed, grabbing Shadow and mounting him fast, tugging on the reins and urging him forward, the cold breeze blowing back his hair, the bun he’d pulled it into coming loose as he raced in the direction of Dany, who was taking Silver in tight circles, alternating between taking her to a full gallop and slowing to a canter and then trot before speeding back up again, all the while having the horse turn and dart.

 

You slick dragon. “You lied to me!” he exclaimed, by the time he caught up to her, trying to sound annoyed, but he was simply stunned. She handled the horse like she’d been born on one. He scowled. “You can ride!”

 

“Oh I never lied about being able to ride.” She pointed at him, her violet eyes filled with humor and her smile pulled wide across her face. He found himself smiling as well, even if she had played him. “You assumed.”

 

He shook his head, feeling foolish. “But…how?” It was like she had been born on a horse.

 

“You know that Jorah calls me khaleesi.

 

Jorah? Her security guard? He shrugged. “Yeah, so?”

 

She walked Silver around him in circles, moving closer and closer until her horse was shoulder to shoulder with his and she could lean over to snag him in a quick kiss. Her mouth rubbed warm and wet over his; his eyes closed lightly at the difference in temperature, the cold surrounding them and the warmth she still exuded. “Hmm…khaleesi is Dothraki. Drogo’s family descends from them…I learned when I was with him, when I met Jorah, he used to work for them.”

 

Of course. He didn’t know much about Drogo, just what he’d barely heard from Sansa who moped about his death and Arya who complained about how shitty his movies were. He frowned briefly. “He taught you?”

 

“He was born to horsemen, grew up on horses, it was how he got into the business. He did horse stunts mostly before becoming an action star.” She tugged lightly on the reins, her eyes shadowing slightly as she stared off into the distance. He reached his hand to squeeze into hers, the leather of their gloves squeaking slightly in the cold. She sighed and released his hand, returning to her reins. She cleared her throat loudly, looking back at her hands. “I learned when I was with him. I don’t have a horse any longer, but I did enjoy it.” She smirked, finally glancing at him again. “Bet I can beat you to the edge of the forest.”

 

His eyes flashed with competition. “What does the winner get?”

 

She leaned in, pressing her nose against his and kissing lightly. “Umm…if I win…” she trailed off, eyebrows arching and her tongue darting to the corner of her mouth. He shifted in the saddle, feeling very uncomfortable all of a sudden. She glanced down at his lips. “I get your pretty mouth on me all night long.”

 

He swallowed hard. “And if I win?” he croaked.

 

“Then I get to ride the wolf all night.”

 

Did not sound like punishment in either scenario, so he grinned, wrinkling his nose and kissing her hard and fast. “Deal.” And before she had a chance to say anything, his heels dug into Shadow’s flanks and he took off, heading straight for the edge of the forest, but she was just as fast. Silver was built for racing, whereas Shadow wasn’t the fastest, but he was strong.

 

They were neck and neck until he eased up slightly; her victory would not be a hardship on him at all and he really didn’t care, so he let her win and she laughed, challenging him again. They ran through the forest, trotted down the trails, and for hours they simply rode in both comfortable silence and also spoke about…anything. Food, books, movies…it really didn’t matter. He could not even remember half of what they spoke about.

 

Just that he loved her and he really wouldn’t mind if they could stay here forever.

 

The scar over his heart burned when he knew that it wouldn’t be like that. They had two completely different lives, responsibilities, and…well…he wouldn’t drag her down the way that he would if it got out they were together. He wouldn’t have that happen to her. It wasn’t fair.

 

By the time they got back to the house, he was itching to get that bright red coat off of her and the black sweater she wore underneath. To tug her hair from the braids and see that moonglow puddle on his pillow, her violet eyes deep and unfocused on him. My Dany. He climbed out of the car, Ghost hopping out and running through the snow, some of it freshly fallen during their drive from the stables. He watched as she knelt, her fingers dragging in the snow and her gaze faraway.

 

There was a peace he had with her that he didn’t know if he had ever really had anywhere else. Even talking about Robb the day before hadn’t done what it normally did to him, hadn’t made him want to reach immediately for a bottle and push away those memories of his brother and his best friend. Gone too young, in a car accident that was pointless and stupid and yes…maybe he should have been there. He hadn’t gone with them. He had been too hungover, so he was going to stay longer, with Arya keeping him at the house. So Bran, Rickon, and Robb got in the car and were headed to the train station when they were hit by a distracted driver. And Bran was paralyzed and his other two brothers gone.

 

So maybe Catelyn was right, he thought darkly, hands shoved into his pockets. Maybe it should have been me.

 

Splat

 

A cold, wet, splash of snow hit him square in the face. He gasped, wiping at his face, blinking through the freezing slush, and stared ahead at Dany, who was standing a few feet away from him, already scooping another snowball together. He shook his head and glared in warning. “No,” he said.

 

Splat

 

Another right on his chest this time. He laughed—it was on.

 

Dany screamed as he chased her in the snow, shoving what he could down the back of her jacket and firing what he could in her direction. Ghost danced around them, eager to get in on the play, shoving his nose into the ground before pushing it straight up, sending snow falling over his face. It was cold, wet, and the sun was fading in the distance, but Jon felt warm all over as he finally grabbed her around her waist, spinning her around and reveling in her cries of glee.

 

She threw her arms around his neck, kissing him and he returned it with equal fervor, hugging her flush against him, warm and soft. He closed his eyes, savoring her. He found he didn’t want a drink or a cigarette in that moment. All he wanted was Dany. “I was so stupid to push you away in the beginning,” he murmured, wondering what he was thinking when he first encountered her. Thank gods he realized his mistake. He pushed his fingers through the strands of her hair that had escaped her beanie and her braids, cupping her face.

 

“I’m glad you didn’t,” she whispered.

 

He took a deep breath and felt some flakes of snow falling onto his face and reached to lightly brush one from her cheek. He held it on his fingertip, remembering something Arya used to say when they were children. “Make a wish,” he breathed, never breaking eye contact with her as she paused and then blew on his fingertip, sending the snowflake melting away. He pushed his nose to hers. “What’d you wish for?”

 

“Can’t tell you, or it won’t come true.”

 

He wished this would never end. “I love you,” he said. He felt his heart flutter at the words. He had only ever said them to Ygritte. It had been hard to admit and when he did it seemed that’s when their relationship had begun to break. Until she was gone forever and he wasn’t even really sure if she felt the same with him.

 

In his arms she twisted, moving closer to him, if it were possible, and stroked her fingers through his hair. “I love you too,” she replied, before he took her mouth with his in another kiss, long, slow, and drinking from each other, unhurried and content. They had nothing to worry about and nothing to think about but each other.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

Day Three

 

It had been shocking to her to find that Jon actually had enough ingredients in his cupboards to make chocolate chip cookies. She had a craving for them for some reason and that morning while she puttered about assembling their morning tea she had put together all the boxes and bags of flour, sugar, and other assorted pantry items.

 

He was focused on something in that notebook he always carried around, which she never was allowed to look at, and while he promised her it was not work related, she wasn’t sure she believed him. Although it definitely didn’t have him frustrated and scowling like she knew he was when he was stabbing away at his typewriter or angrily slashing at pages in the script book. So she let him do whatever it was he was doing with that notebook; sometimes he would just stare at her and then return to the pages.

 

They had thoroughly enjoyed their morning and she was hoping that that evening they might go into the town to grab dinner at the pub. It wasn’t like anyone really knew who she was there anyway and all she had to do was bundle her braids beneath a hat. Tormund might likely kill anyone who bothered they anyway. She rolled up her sleeves, Jon’s flannel the most comfortable thing she had ever worn, and reached around in a cupboard to look for a container for the first batch of cookies.

 

She pursed her lips, pouting, and finding nothing in the kitchen cabinets. “If I were a Tupperware, where would I be,” she wondered, kneeling and opening another cabinet. Nothing. Huh. She sometimes wondered what she might find in these cabinets; the Tonys were in the front hall and his Drama Desk Awards in the pantry. She might find a freaking Nobel Peace Prize hidden in the freezer for all she knew. It wasn’t any stranger than her keeping her awards in a bathroom, but at least she knew where they were. Jon had no idea where his were.

 

A cabinet in the laundry room might be the best place and so she went and opened the door, but instead of finding storage containers, she was surprised to find a guitar case. A flicker of curiosity crossed her face. Jon played guitar? She reached in and removed the strap, tugging it out and leaning over to look at the stickers that were plastered on the hard plastic. It was an acoustic, judging from the shape of the case, and the stickers ranged from provinces of Westeros like The Reach and the Iron Islands to silly cartoon characters. She even spied a Princess Periwinkle sticker.

 

Maybe it belonged to Arya, she thought, forgetting her quest for the storage container and carrying the guitar into the living room. She set it down on the coffee table, unbuckling the clasps and pushing the lid open with a soft creak. The guitar nestled in crushed red velvet was really beautiful. It was a Fender acoustic, rosewood fret board and shiny silver turning keys. The velvet kept it from gathering dust, but she got the sense it had not been played in some time.

 

The strap of the guitar was white with gray wolves running across it; she thought of the Stark direwolf symbol. A hollow feeling formed in the pit of her stomach and part of her mind said to put away the guitar and go back to making her cookies, but she itched to hear something from the gorgeous instrument. She slung the strap over her shoulder and settled the guitar on her knees, reaching around to turn the keys and push her fingers along the strings, listening closely as she tuned it.

 

A pick was tucked into a small pocket in the case; she lifted it up and strummed slowly, her heart lifting at the pretty sound from the strings. It had been ages since she had played or heard someone else play in front of her. It felt so good. She closed her eyes and began to strum, her voice soft, remembering how it sounded when her brother would sing it to her, his words melodic and melancholy, while her voice was clearer and higher.

 

High in the halls of the kings who are gone
Jenny would dance with her ghosts
The ones she had lost and the ones she had found
And the ones who had loved her the most
The ones who'd been gone for so very long
She couldn't remember their names
They spun her around on the damp old stones
Spun away all her sorrow and pain

 

She strummed and kept her eyes closed, barely hearing the click of Ghost’s claws on the hardwood and the creak of the door hinges. “ And she never wanted to leave, never wanted to leave…she never wanted to leave…”

 

As the last sounds of the guitar strings faded, she opened her eyes, and stared at Jon, who was at the edge of the living room, his hands fisted at his sides. She kept her gaze on his. He was upset, his eyes hard and jaw tight. Except it wasn’t directed at her. It was directed to the guitar in her arms. She shifted, looking away and reaching for the strap. “I’m sorry…I found it in the laundry room…I shouldn’t have…”

 

“You can play the guitar.”

 

The statement came out of nowhere. She tried to smile, but couldn’t, not when she sensed his distress, especially when he stepped closer to her. He sat on the coffee table beside the case, draping his arms over his knees, still glaring at the guitar, like it had offended him somehow. She dug her fingers into the fret board, pressing on the strings. “Yes, I can play. Rhaegar taught me. I haven’t in a while…I just…it wasn’t really my thing. Rhaegar was the musician.”

 

“So was Robb.”

 

Gods. She ran her fingers down the strings again and lightly stroked the soft wood of the guitar’s body, nodding in understanding. Of course he kept it hidden away. It was Robb’s. The Stark direwolf on the strap. She moved to put it away, but he stilled her hands, pressing it closer to her. “You sure?” she murmured, meeting his gaze again.

 

He nodded, his hand squeezing around her wrist, comfortingly. “Yeah. I just…it’s hard. Arya gave it to me, since I didn’t have much of his. Cat wouldn’t really let me.”

 

That fucking cunt. “You know if I ever encounter her I may have to smack her,” she said, trying to keep her tone light but the dragon blood prevented her from feeling anything other than hot rage in that moment. She looked at the case, with its stickers and markings. “Was Robb a musician?”

 

He shook his head. “No, not really. I think Arya put most of those on, or maybe Rickon. He liked to play at family events though. Figured the lessons he took as a kid should come in use sometime.”

 

You miss him,” she whispered, shaking her head and glancing at the guitar again. It was silly of her to think that this was anything other than a bad memory. Of course he kept his hidden away, she should know that much about him by now. She sighed. “I’ll put it away. I’m sorry I dragged it out…I shouldn’t have…”

 

He repeated again. “No…no please.” A brief smile tugged on his lips. It was rather sweet, she thought. “It should be played.” He squeezed her hand again. “As for Cat, well…I’d like to see you smack her. She’s just…she’s gone through a lot herself.”

 

Why are you defending her? She could see the strain that he went through for his family. The stress on his body and his mind. The way he would drink and smoke as though he had nothing else to drown himself in. He had been so good the last couple of days, just the two of them and the cottage. Their ride yesterday had been lovely; she hadn’t been on a horse in a while and it felt so good to shake out the cobwebs so speak, even if she was sore today.

 

It was their little getaway from their families and their lives. It was working. She didn’t want him to forget that and to go back into that dark space where he’d been before they got here. “What about your father?” she murmured. For all his talk of his siblings, she hadn’t heard much of the man who raised him, who allowed this Cat to treat his son this way. “Or do you think of him more as uncle?”

 

“He was my father in the way my cousins were my siblings,” he murmured. He ran his thumb over her palm, scraping at a stray scar on her hand. He sighed. “Cat grew cold after he died. More than before. Then she lost two sons and her other son broke his body and his mind…it’s been a lot.” He frowned briefly, whispering. “And I’m still here.”

 

Gods Jon. She leaned over the guitar, clutching at his hands, drawing them to her lips and kissing the cold knuckles. “I do not ever want to hear you say anything like that again,” she demanded. The dragon was desperate for blood. She growled, eyebrows slamming together. “Whatever pain she went through does not give her cause to hate you like she does or treat you that way. You are good Jon Snow. You are kind. You deserve wonderful things. Whatever she says is a lie.”

 

At least he smiled. Soft, not meeting his eyes, but it was something. He kissed her hands this time, rubbing them between his wider palms. His eyebrows lifted now. “And Viserys? He was cruel to you as well…we’re quite a pair.”

 

Viserys was different; he was never out of his way cruel in the way it seemed this Catelyn Stark was to Jon. He never rubbed her nose in the death of their family when he could very well have. Their mother died giving birth to her; all he had to do was blame her for that and it seemed he didn’t. “He’s got his issues, but…I fight back. He’s not as bad as he seems on the outside.” She nibbled her lip and glanced down at their hands. They hadn’t spoken much about her relationship with her living brother. She sighed. “Viserys has a mood disorder. He’s been traumatized. Our father was abusive to him in many ways and then Rhaegar died…he does the best he can, I suppose.”

 

She did not want to speak of their families; they were having a lovely time and she wanted to keep enjoying it. There was not much left of their week and if they spent the time dwelling on it all…she felt a pang in her heart. They were being more open with each other. Perhaps maybe she should…she bit her lip hard, enough to draw blood, and focused on the strings again. No, he doesn’t need to know, not right now. Or ever.

 

“You okay?”

 

“Fine,” she lied, pushing away thoughts of her own dark past. She forced a smile and glanced at the guitar. The strap pulled from her shoulder and she watched as Jon took it from her and settled it on his knees; he held it backwards, she noted, laughing slightly as he turned it so that his left hand was on the fret and his right on the strings. “You hold it odd.”

 

“Bad habit that started when I was younger. Robb would teach me after his lessons.” He strummed a couple of chords and then began to play a song she recognized from Westeros, a Northern song of blue winter roses. It was beautiful, she thought, waiting for him to finish before she applauded politely. He rolled his eyes and handed the guitar back to her. “I might know a couple songs but you can actually sing.”

 

“You don’t sing?”

 

“Only in the shower.”

 

She laughed. “I have yet to hear that.”

 

He leaned in and kissed her, wiggling his eyebrows and growling. She felt desire shoot straight through her system. “Well that’s because we’ve been doing other things in the shower.”

 

Yes we certainly have. She thought of another song she liked, she knew, and thought it appropriate, standing up and walking over to the window, leaning on the sill and drawing her knee up slightly to prop the guitar as she began to sing, husky and clear.

 

I'll be loving you, always
With a love that's true, always
When the things you plan
Need a helping hand
I will understand, always, always
Days may not be fair, always
That's when I'll be there, always
Not for just an hour
Not for just a day
Not for just a year, but, always

 

With the last bit of notes on the song, she finished with the guitar, her hand stilling the strings that continued to reverberate and her eyes lifting to meet Jon’s across the room. He was staring at her in a way he hadn’t before. Longing, lust…love. She felt self-conscious and adjusted the guitar in her lap, letting her foot fall back to the floor and standing straight. She removed the strap and set it carefully back in the case, closing up.

 

All the while Jon said nothing. She cleared her throat and tried to make a face, playing it off. “Oh come on, I wasn’t that bad…” Her words stuck in her throat as he moved fast, crushing her against his chest. She moaned, wanton and unabashed, his tongue plundering into her mouth to take hers and she grabbed at the collar of his denim shirt, pulling on it to give her room to spread her hands across his upper chest, greedy for more of him. Their mouths battled and he finally tore away from her, his fingers still stuck somewhere in a tangled knot of her hair, scrapping his nails lightly along her scalp and she shivered in anticipation of what would come later. “Wow,” she murmured. “I guess you liked it.”

 

“You’re amazing…you…sound perfect,” he managed to get out before he kissed her again, lifting her up into his arms. She slipped her legs around his hips, locking her ankles together so she was wrapped entirely around him and he began to walk her back to the bedroom. He mumbled against her mouth. “You should do an album or something…you’re so good.”

 

She laughed. “That was just for you.”

 

“Hmm…why?”

 

Because I love you. She pulled the buttons free of his shirt as he lifted the flannel off of her arms. She thought of the cookie dough still sitting out in the bowl on the counter and the cookies on the sheet needing to be placed somewhere. At least she had the foresight to turn off the oven. She supposed Ghost would be getting some sweets then. “Because you’re you,” she chose to say instead, falling backwards onto the bed and dragging him with her. She sighed. “We’re going to miss going to dinner.”

 

“Dessert first.”

 

She could only sigh in agreement.

Chapter Text

xi.

Day Four

 

Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it.

 

He'd found a hidden pack of cigarettes in his desk drawer while he was looking for another notebook to start to fill, his other three shoved deep into another drawer and when he would be allowed to return to his beloved typewriter, he would start to draft up the story in his mind. Was it a book, a play, a movie? He really had no idea, he just knew he had to start soon before the words strangled him and his fingers fell off from writing so furiously. Plus, he was eager to finally stop saying nothing when asked what he was writing so intently. Dany clearly did not believe him, but gods love her she did not question him. She understood, she was a creative person too.

 

And fuck he really wanted a cigarette. He called out, not very loud, taking the pack from the desk. "Daaaany, you here?" He smiled a little, mimicking her voice. "Oh no Jon I'm not, just use mouthwash." He had never been expressly forbidden from smoking, he just knew she didn't like it. So he'd chew gum or whatever. She had admitted the night before she didn't mind the smell of cigars, even partaking in them. He'd have to see about finding some of those, especially when she had said she could blow smoke rings. He'd almost lost himself entirely at the sight.

 

So he escaped onto the cottage's back patio, the primary entrance for Bran's little wing of the place, ignoring the cold and shielding the cigarette around his palms to light it. The trusty Zippo he'd had for gods knew how long did its job and he took a deep breath, inhaling the smoke and closing his eyes at the comforting feeling of holding the damn thing in his hand and giving himself something to do. Where was Dany? Come to think of it, he hadn't seen Ghost either. Maybe he'd been so involved in writing that he hadn't noticed they'd gone out on a walk.

 

It was so fucking domestic he could puke, but he loved it. He loved waking up to her in his arms and seeing her in his clothes and watching her cook and eat the shitty food he made for her too. Even the moments when they'd confessed about their brothers, the raw hurt both felt, it was just so freeing in a way. The teasing and the nicknames and the fact that she claimed he snored at night but that was totally her-- he'd even recorded it and she had huffed and said "Dragons do not snore!" Even seeing Baby Dany in her brother's movie the night before had been almost too much, he had laughed harder than he had in gods knew how long and even she was smiling, the tears in her eyes happy instead of sad.

 

They hadn't discussed anything beyond the week. He would be off to Iceland and then she would be there as well. They'd begin promotions and post-production and she would move on to other projects as would he. Then where would they be? He wasn't sure. He puffed on the cigarette for another moment, lifting his head at the sound of tires crunching on the driveway-- they weren't expecting anyone were they? He frowned; it wasn't Tormund. It was...son of a bitch.

 

He strode angrily around the cottage to the front of the driveway, where the silver SUV parked behind his Land Rover. "What are you doing here?" he snapped, not in the mood to have his blissful week with Dany destroyed by his family. Catelyn had already tried to do that. It was part of the agreement and he was holding up his end because she was holding up her end. He gestured to the road. "Get out of here Sansa."

 

The tall redhead unfurled herself from the driver's side, clad in dark blues and greys, her cool blue eyes reminding him of her mother in that moment and for a brief second he thought Catelyn was the one who had gotten out of the car. She slammed the driver's door, stalking to him. "You aren't answering your phone," she accused.

 

"Because I'm on a break. Take a hint."

 

"Mother is pissed, she doesn't want Bran to go to Iceland but if it's the only option then so be it. She's sending him to Edinburgh on Monday."

 

That was in three days, same day he was supposed to leave. He puffed on the cigarette and angrily blew smoke in the direction of his sister, who waved her hand in front of her face, scowling angrily. He flicked ash into the snow, not caring if it ended up on the toe of her shiny black boots. "Fine. You sent your message, now go away."

 

"Arya told me that you've holed up with Daenerys Targaryen," Sansa said. She arched a brow. "I suppose you still haven't thought about what this might mean for you."

 

He thought of what Davos had told him, the source he'd had at 3N, about Sansa's quest to take down Dany for some reason. He spit out his words, the calmness he'd felt over the past few days dissipating like the smoke from his dying cigarette. He threw the butt onto the ground at her feet and stomped on it, scowling, and his words a snarl. "I heard you seem to have made it your mission to get as much information about Dany as possible. When you were little with your head in the clouds going on and on about how much you loved Khal Drogo's movies it was kind of cute, but really Sansa? You're a growing fucking woman and you still have a grudge? Get over yourself."

 

There was still wolf in his sister, despite her Catelyn Tully looks. She bit back, lip curling up. "Oh Jon, come off it, this has nothing to do with silly girlhood crushes, at least for me." She smirked, arms crossed again as she leaned onto her leg, cocking her hip out. "I'm just looking out for the family. Since you've started working with her it's like we mean nothing to you. Not answering your phone, disappearing for days on end...Bran even said you wrote her a fucking fairytale! I mean honestly Jon, who is the one with girlhood fantasies now?"

 

He was going to kill Bran for divulging that bit of information. He glared at her, pointing to the road again. "Go away."

 

"I'm only warning you that she could be using you. That you can't see beyond your lust for this woman that she's taking advantage of you." Sansa put on a sympathetic look; she could get a job as an actress if she decided she didn't like being a biased news reporter, he thought, almost buying into it for a minute. "I'm just thinking of you Jon, it's not like after Ygritte you've been very trusting with women and you've just...this is so fast. You didn't want a thing to do with her and suddenly you're changing your entire movie for her. She's just using you."

 

Because that is what you would do. He knew her internship with Petyr Baelish would come back to bite them all in the ass one day. The harsh realities of the word she'd had to endure when she'd been in college and had gotten swept up in one bad relationship after another had disillusioned her. He was never close with Sansa, but he missed the girl who did think of one day marrying a prince. He sighed, shaking his head. "I don't understand why you hate her so much."

 

"I don't hate her!"

 

"Sure seems like it!"

 

Sansa shivered, arms tightening around herself. "Can we go inside? It's freezing out here."

 

"No, we're done." He wanted a drink. He hoped Dany and Ghost would stay away for another hour or so, just long enough for him to have a couple to take the edge off and maybe burn alive in the shower to wash off the disgust he currently had for his sibling.

 

She stepped towards him, trying a more sympathetic approach and he almost believed her, the way her voice cooled and softened. "Jon, I'm just thinking you should focus on your career and your family. Not this...whatever this is for you. It's distracting."

 

"Go away."

 

Maybe it was the anger in his words, the frustration emanating off him in waves, or the shakiness of his fingers as he lifted another cigarette up, just to give himself something to do because otherwise he was going to go punch something. Whatever it was, Sansa suddenly began to chuckle. He scowled. There was nothing funny. "You're in love with her," she whispered.

 

Of course I am fucking in love with her.

 

He felt a flush creep at the base of his neck and hoped it didn't fill his cheeks. He glared at her and felt anger instead of embarrassment as she smirked, like her suspicions were confirmed. "That's none of your business," he mumbled, smoking again. Else may say something he regretted.

 

"You're pushing away your family for her," Sansa snapped, turning away from him. She walked back to her car, swinging the door open so hard that it rattled on the hinges. She pointed a manicured finger in his direction, spitting her words. "She is using you and the sooner you get that through your head then the faster you can move on and do what we need you to do. The pack survives, Jon. We have to stick together. Don't go running off on us because of some pretty actress who sees you as a meal ticket to something greater than some stupid children's show she was in decades ago."

 

All he wanted to do was throw something at her car as she backed out of the driveway, tires squealing on the slush and gravel. He no longer felt cold, he was furious, and after another two cigarettes later, he saw Dany walking back up the road, Ghost trotting beside her, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth as she threw a stick that was hidden in her hand. He took off running, snatching the stick up and throwing it in the air before catching sight of him and running to him, bringing it with him. He reached down to take the stick, hurling it as far as he could away from the house and Ghost merely kicked off again in pursuit.

 

He reached for Dany as she hurried to him, her pale cheeks pink from the cold and her braids under that silly little beanie she insisted on wearing. Her corduroy coat was designer, but the shearling collar curled under her chin and she burrowed into it, reaching for him and placing her cool hands on his cheeks, giggling. "Ooh, you're so warm." She scowled, flicking the cigarette from his lips. "And smoking. Seriously?"

 

"Bad habits are bad for a reason."

 

She looped her arm around his neck, cocking her head and frowning slightly. He hoped that his smile was big enough, but knew it was hard for him to fake it. he wasn't the actor she was. She touched her fingers to the corner of his eye and he turned to kiss her exposed palm, savoring in the shiver from her. He gripped her tighter, needing her. "Jon? What happened?"

 

"Nothing happened," he lied. He realized he hadn't kissed her yet, so he pressed his mouth to hers, open and hungry, needing her. She scowled, pushing at him. He gripped her tighter, irritated. "What? I can't kiss you?"

 

Another push, this one much harder as she stormed away from him to the house. "Not after you've been smoking! It's a simple request Jon! Fucking do it or I'm out."

 

"I've been smoking since I was twelve!" he exclaimed, following after her into the house, pissed that he couldn't have one fucking thing that happened to be his. He made a face at her as she shucked off her coat, throwing it onto the couch. He affected a voice. "Oh I'm Daenerys Targaryen, I have no vices whatsoever, just fucking throw myself into my work." It was mean of him, but he felt mean. He threw the pack of cigarettes into the trash, his hands in the air, eyes wide. "There! Happy?"

 

"Fuck you!"

 

He turned away from her, rage coursing through his veins. his eyes slammed shut and he took a few deep breaths, trying to steady himself. it had been years since he had felt this type of anger. It was one thing when he was in the military and could just go whale on a punching bag or head to the range and shoot several magazines at a target and pretend it was a bad guy. It was another when he was trying to live a normal life. He scrubbed at his face. So much for that peace and calm he had been feeling. He felt her hand on the small of his back, sliding up to between his shoulder blades. "Dany," he sighed, eyes closing as she began to peel up the shirt. He pulled it forward over his head and tossed it onto thee ground, groaning when her lips began to follow the same path as her hand. He knew this wasn't the best thing in the moment. They shouldn't do this...they should...talk.

 

I don't want to talk.

 

"Jon," she murmured. She sighed against his skin, her breath hot and sending his blood rushing south. Her fingers began to fight with his belt buckle and he closed his eyes again, biting his lower lip when her hand, still cool from the outside, slipped beneath the front of his boxers and gripped him. It wasn't like he needed her help, sometimes just being in her presence was enough for him to turn into a teenage boy again. She pumped a few times, kissing at his shoulder again when he groaned, his hand going to wrist, showing her more of what he wanted.

 

When he thought he might lose himself completely just from the ministrations of her hand, he spun around and grabbed her under her thighs, hauling her up around him and swallowing her gasp of surprise, slamming her against the wall between the kitchen and the front room, knocking a couple of framed pictures askew. She tore her mouth from his, fingers tugging on his hair, her pupils blown completely black. He heaved his breaths, suddenly overcome with the need to just take. Mine, he thought, kissing her again, but not closing his eyes as he stared into hers, silently asking what she wanted. She tilted her chin up, her lower lip puffy and her slim, creamy white neck lifting for him. "Fuck me," she whispered, her eyebrows lifting. Her mouth had fallen open, her breath hot and heaving through her swollen lips. "Let it out."

 

Fuck. He let her go and spun her around, his fingers sliding up over her neck, grasping at her hair and digging into the base of her skull as he used his other to tilt her mouth to his, groaning as she ground back against him, her free hands reaching behind her to pull at him again. He closed his eyes, unable to stop the sensations coursing through him, all sides battling and demanding. She cried out when he removed his hand from her neck to tear the front of the flannel shirt she wore, buttons flying and his hand roughly squeezing her breast. He rolled her nipple, pebbling in his hand, between his fingers and she arched her chest into him, her hand multitasking behind him and he groaned, trying to focus on what he was doing but finding it almost impossible as her thumb stroked up and began to draw circles, dark spots forming in his vision. He bit hard on her shoulder, bruising her in the best way, claiming her as his. She mumbled something almost incoherently—maybe Valyrian—her neck rolling on his shoulder, his face turning into her hair, disappearing into the lemon-lavender scent of it.

 

Mouth anchored to her neck, he dragged her into the bedroom, both of them pulling at clothing, tangling in buttons and sleeves. Jon wasn’t sure exactly what he had planned for her, but maybe that was the point. Once he freed her of the shirt, he pushed her onto the bed and leaned down, and yanked at her jeans, groaning when he saw that her pale blue panties were practically soaked through. “I’ve barely touched you,” he said, husky and needing her.

 

With an arched eyebrow, she flicked her thumbs under the thin material at her hips, dragging them down and over her legs, tossing them at him with a smirk. With her knees drawn up, she wiggled her bottom slightly and the sight almost made him come right there. “Come here,” she murmured, her legs falling open to the side, revealing herself, puffy and pink and silky, waiting for him. Her tongue darted out, licking the corner of her mouth and he reacted immediately, shucking his jeans enough so that he could fall onto her, pulling her to him, angling her hips so he could nestle himself between her slick lips, dragging slowly, coating himself with her wetness. “That’s what you do to me,” she whispered, biting hard on his lower lip, blood drawing. She pressed her tongue against the brand. “That’s what fighting with you does to me.”

 

“Fuck,” he cursed. He’d fight with her for the rest of their lives.

 

“I told you to fuck me,” she murmured, grabbing his face, her nails digging into his cheeks. She grinned, her teeth grit. She was taunting him. Appealing to their deepest, most animalistic sides, the dragon and the wolf. “So do it.”

 

Well then. In a flash he had her flipped onto her stomach and was hauling her hips up, one arm wrapped around her and his palm flat on her belly, the other drawing her thigh up and angling it up over his hip while she whimpered and moaned, bucking against him, one hand going to guide him into her, already probing at the heat between her legs, needing to sheath himself into her and never come out, while her free hand went to between her folds, her fingers coated with herself and rubbing to bring herself further to the edge.

 

It was almost enough for him to explode, barely even into her. With one powerful thrust he was inside of her and she cried out, Valyrian flowing from her as she begged, his upper body straining as he held her atop him, mouth sucking on her neck and hand following the path of hers, their fingers tangling together as he thrust hard against her, all but slamming into her over and over again, battering her to the edge, which she hit and fell over swiftly, almost as soon as they began, but he wasn’t satisfied and pushed her hand away, using his to bring her back to the peak, pushing her onto her knees and holding her against him tighter, fingers branding into her hips, their skin damp with perspiration from the heat in the room and the exertion of their muscles as he tried to keep her on him and she held herself up.

 

It was almost painful, the need he had for her and the fight he was having with his body to hold off so he could savor the heady feelings and the sheer force of their coupling. It was angry and frustrated and both of them were trying to dominate the other. As he brought her back to the edge again in as many minutes, she had wrapped her hand around his neck, dragging his mouth to hers and plundered it, writhing and bucking beneath him, her walls tightening around him in a teasing and punishing rhythm.

 

“Fuck Dany,” he almost begged. He couldn’t remember what was going on before this; maybe that was the point. He bit at her neck, whispering. “Come for me.”

 

Avy jorrāelan nyke jorrāelagon ao gaomagon daor keligon Jon!”

 

Whatever Valyrian she was demanding of him, he got the gist of it as she slammed her hips back against his, and he felt her seize beneath him, her cries filling his head as she clenched around him again, the force of it sending him over with her, both of them a tangle of sweaty limbs and damp with each other’s desire. He kissed the back of her neck, arm around her waist, eyes fluttering shut. It felt like his arms and legs weighed a thousand pounds.

 

She turned her face up to him, kissing him, long and slow. He returned the kiss with everything he could muster. They could conquer each other like this but still maintain their gentle sides. She patted at his damp hair, her eyes still shut. “You feel better now?” she murmured.

 

Feel better might not have been the right wording, but he definitely didn’t feel what he had before. He couldn’t even speak, just nodded and hugged her closer, before both of them passed out into dreamless slumber.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

At some point after their angry, frustrated...fuck was all he could think of it as, he climbed from the bed and padded into the kitchen, knowing they probably needed to think about food, but he wanted something else. He tugged out a few bottles of various brown liquors and opened the fridge and grabbed the empty pizza box from the night before. He brought it into the bedroom, setting them beside her, the shift in the weight of the mattress stirring her awake. She sat up slightly on her elbow, her pale skin marred along her neck and chest with beard burn, bruises from his bites, and one beginning to form above her hip from his thumbs.

 

He felt guilty. He shouldn't have used her like that, even if she did say he could. "I'm sorry," he apologized, sighing and sinking beside her, his fingers lightly brushing over the forming mark on her hip. "I was too rough."

 

"Jon Snow if I wanted you to stop I would have said so and you would have, so stop it," she said, opening up the box and removing a piece of cold pizza, biting into it and wiggling her brows. She scowled at the alcohol. "You have something else?"

 

"Trust me, you're going to want to be buzzed for what I have in mind."

 

An eyebrow lifted, clear to her hairline. "Oh?"

 

He rolled his eyes. "Get your mind out of the gutter Targaryen." He got up and returned with his laptop, what he wanted already queued up, courtesy of his little sister and her childhood obsession. He set the laptop on his knees and opened up the bottle of Stark Whiskey, offering her some. She took it, shuddering and passed it to him and he took a long swig-- maybe a bit more than a swig-- blinking at the warm burn on the back of his throat, but he was used to it now. He waited until she had taken a few more pulls, smiling. "You ready?"

 

"Well I'm not buzzed yet, but I'll get there, you know you really do need to lay off the drinking."

 

The command was a snap, dragon jaws clamping on the words, and he glared at her. He only drank some more in response. First she was on him because of his smoking and now his drinking? Gods, leave me alone. "And if I don't?" he murmured in response. He was irritated. Family was shit, he couldn't work on his stuff this week, and now she was on him. This was supposed to be a relaxing week and while it had been, there had been the little snipes at his behavior. He could say the same for her. She wanted to change him.

 

She sighed, her shoulders deflating and her eyes widening on him. "Jon, please. I don't want to fight. Not now."

 

"I'm not fighting."

 

"Talk to me then. What is going on? You're just...there sometimes." She picked up the bottle of whiskey, shaking it. "And you're drinking more than normal. You aren't eating...smoking nonstop. It's not healthy."

 

It was his way of life, it was how he got stuff done and he really didn't feel like having someone else going after him for how he lived. First Sansa, now her. Davos could get in the way of things when he wanted and Arya was always up in his life. Catelyn couldn't say one word to him without it being an insult and now Bran was going to be coming with him to Iceland and he'd had to worry about that too. "Can I please just have one day without you on me about something?" he murmured, hitting his head back into the pillows. He took another sip, only this time it didn't have the effect he wanted. he closed his eyes. "Just...here, I thought this would be fun." He jabbed his finger angrily on the keyboard, the screen lighting up with the opening strains of the Princess Periwinkle title.

 

Beside him, the bed shook as she laughed, that beautiful melodic sound and she swatted at his chest, which had him smiling, his knee drawing up to let her cradle back against his chest. "Oh my gods, you asshole. First you make me watch that movie of me as a kid and now this?" She tilted her head back, still smiling. "I see now why I should be buzzed."

 

He smirked. "I'm just trying to find ways to entertain you Daenerys."

 

"You really do." She licked her lips and placed her hand on his cheek. "I love you Jon, I'm just looking out for you...I just want to make sure you're okay."

 

I'm fine. He tried to smile, but it didn't meet his eyes. Sansa's words echoed in his head at every turn. She's using you. He heard Catelyn too. You're just a bastard. it should have been you. Davos warning him about what would happen if it got out that they were together, the insinuations he better be prepared to handle, as unfair as they were. He wouldn't do that to her. He simply kissed her again, tasting whiskey and pizza. He broke away and pulled her closer, pointing to the screen. "I've never seen this, tell me the story."

 

"Oh it's just brilliant writing all around. She has flying dragons, a talking mushroom..."

 

"Is that like symbolism for LSD?"

 

"You'd think, but no," she laughed. She took another swig of whiskey, gasping and blinking. "Gods, I think I am getting buzzed. Now, this is the first episode where Princess Periwinkle is introduced, keep in mind they wanted this to be a drama. I won for comedy!"

 

A few hours later, both of them absolutely shit-faced on a combination of scotch, vodka, and some gross flavored alcoholic seltzer that Arya had left behind, Jon thought the show was probably the most brilliant thing he'd ever seen. They had moved into the living room and Dany was acting out scenes on the screen, to his shock she'd unearthed a pair of Princess Periwinkle crown, tulle skirt, cape, and wand, and was wearing nothing else underneath, the combination of both almost too much for him to take, laughing at her and both of them throwing popcorn and candy at the screen when the bad guys came on screen or when Princess Periwinkle's dragons did something naughty.

 

He tugged on the skirt that did nothing to cover her, exposing her completely as he pushed her back onto the couch. "You ever fuck while wearing Princess Periwinkle costume?" he asked, his words slurring and his eyes blinking owlishly at her.

 

As drunk as him, she giggled, tapping his nose with the wand. "Hmm...can't say that I have. Is that your way of asking if I want to fuck while wearing this costume?"

 

"Could be," he grinned. He latched his mouth onto her neck, groaning as she hummed beneath him, throwing the wand aside and moving to tug him up her. He sighed and turned to the screen, shaking his head at the silly exchange between Princess Periwinkle and the dull Ice Prince, who wouldn't let her pass through his kingdoms without a kiss. "You know this might be my new favorite show ever."

 

"Oh gods, it's horrible, I still cannot believe I won three Emmys."

 

"You should do a reunion movie."

 

She grabbed his hand, placing it under the tulle skirt, where he groaned into her neck, finding her slippery and waiting for him. She pushed his fingers into her, sliding with him and gasping, her back bowing. "Only if you write it."

 

"Oh I will," he vowed, forgetting the show completely as she began to rock against his hand, the drink and the silliness of the evening doing what he wanted and blocking out the darkness swirling under the surface.

 

 

 

~/~/~/~

Day Five

 

"It's freezing."

 

"It's the Highlands."

 

"And it's snowing."

 

"It's the Highlands."

 

"It's dark!"

 

"It's the..."

 

Dany made a face, wrinkling her nose and frowning and pouting, putting on an exaggerated burr like him. "Fook, it's the Highlands!"

 

In the darkness of the Land Rover's front seat, she could still make out his face from the backlighting of the headlights and the dull glow of the console lights. He was scowling, but couldn't hide the curve of his upper lip. "I do not sound like that!"

 

"Fook, yes you do."

 

"Well your poor acting of a Northerner aside..." That earned him a smack on the upside of his head, but she was still grinning as was he. "I was gonna' say that it's dark because it is evening." It wasn’t just evening, she grumbled, it was practically ten at night and she wanted to be back in his giant bed with a carton of ice cream watching stupid movies or generally being anywhere but freezing her ass off in the nighttime.

 

"And why the fook are we driving out to the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night?"

 

"Because little miss Princess Periwinkle--" Another smack. More ignoring. "I want to show you something."

 

Well fine then, but I don't have to like it, she thought, burrowing deeper into the large winter parka she'd borrowed from him, since he said her corduroy Miu Miu coat wouldn't suffice for the nighttime chill. They had bundled up, with him in a fancy parka, his curls hidden under a watch cap and his hands encased in thick fingerless gloves, while she had on mittens that he said belonged to Arya but would do for her. She puffed on her hands, the Land Rover's heater doing nothing for her, despite her dragon blood. Maybe because it was so cold her normally high internal thermometer was rejecting the outside chill. Treating it like she was freezing to death instead. She stomped her feet on the floorboards for extra warmth. She was even wearing a pair of long underwear like a lumberjack.

 

Gods if Viserys could see me. She smiled at the thought and reached for her phone, fumbling her teeth on the mitten so she could hold it up, making a face and taking a selfie of them, Jon scowling at the camera. "I'll send this to your sister."

 

"How do you have Arya's number?"

 

"Because I gave her mine," she chirped. That day at his house when his two sisters had arrived. Arya was sweet, funny, and she was genuinely a good person to hang around with. Since she also got her a job on set as a stunt person and an extra for the mass battle scenes, they had become friendly. Sharing funny texts and complaints over her brother was their favored pastime. She took another picture of his scowling face, sending it off with a text. Angry Mountainman or Jon Snow? coupled with I think your brother is taking me out to the wilderness to murder me. Burn all copies of Princess Periwinkle upon my demise.

 

The response she got was a series of laughing faces and then: He's taking you to see his favorite part of Scotland, he just won't admit it. Humor the idiot. Or else he might die brooding about your reaction.

 

What? She glanced at him again, at the focused concentration on his face as he rumbled the Land Rover through the moors, following some path only he seemed to know, because she certainly couldn’t see it. They had been driving for what felt like hours. It was probably only one hour, if she really thought about it. Ghost was in the backseat, silent as his namesake, looking out the window and occasionally placing his head on her shoulder for a head-pat. She gazed out at the darkness, trusting Jon knew where they were going and that they wouldn't accidentally go over some cliff.

 

The Land Rover came to a stop and he threw it into park. "We're here."

 

"And where is here exactly?" She tugged on her cap, climbing out and pulling the seat back so Ghost could jump out. She shoved her mittened hands into her pockets, trudging through snow over some heather and using a large boulder to steady herself when her foot slipped a bit in the snow that he'd just packed down with his movements. He had slung a pack over his shoulder and a bundle of firewood under his arm, leading her to a small clearing, in set between a few large standing stones. She paused, marveling at the size of them. The folklore of Scotland was lovely to her, it reminded her of some of the stories they told back in Westeros, the same ones that Jon sought out for inspiration in what he told the world.

 

She turned, looking back at the Land Rover, the entire clearing plunging into darkness when the headlights flicked off. Only a bit of fear crept into her, but she knew Jon was doing something and had a plan. His favorite place. She turned, watching him move in the darkness, face illuminating a moment later when he started the fire. He blew carefully on the little flame, flickering in the pit that she hadn't noticed was already there. It grew and she grew mesmerized with it. Fire was always comforting to her. It was in her blood, almost literally. She knelt, removing her mittens and reached for the flame, hearing Jon's sharp intake as she touched it.

 

"Dany...don't...what the..."

 

The warning caught in his throat, turning to curiosity as she played with the flames. She turned her hand out to him, smiling and seeing the intrigue on his face. It usually terrified people, but not him. "I don't burn. I don't know why, it's just something I've always been able to do." She watched him spread out a couple of thick plaids and she crawled over to settle against him, one of the plaids coming up to wrap around them. She pressed her cheek to his, basking in the warmth of him and the fire, eyes closing. Ghost came up beside them and settled at their side. The stone they were leaned against wasn’t cold and seemed to collect the warmth as well from the fire.

 

It was lovely, she thought, sighing in pleasure. Jon, Ghost, and the fire...she nuzzled against him, inhaling his scent. Pine, mint, and the faintest bit of tobacco from the last cigarette he'd puffed on early this morning. She sighed at the frustration she felt that he wouldn't quit for her. It was just a simple request, but she supposed as the sister of an addict she was being unfair. Especially since he'd had the habit for as long as he had, it wasn't fair of her to just demand he stop. She just wished he hadn't hidden it from her and had been more open. More open about a lot of things, she thought, frowning at the way he'd been yesterday.

 

Someone had visited, she hadn't recognized the car speeding down the road when she'd returned from walking Ghost. He hadn't been open about it. She could only guess it was one of his family members or maybe someone from the town. Whatever it was, he had been stressed and upset and she had been equally so. She'd been...mad. Mad at him for not telling her what was bothering him, mad at him for lashing out at her, and mad at him for not accepting her concern for his well-being.

 

Except she'd also partaken in his vices too, at least yesterday she had. She'd let him use her, escaping into sex instead of addressing the problem. It had been amazing sex, downright fucking incredible, but it had left her empty when he'd fallen asleep beside her. She hadn't felt good about it. Felt like how it used to be, when she used Daario and Drogo as means of escape. Then there was their little party with Princess Periwinkle. It had been fun, but he had been hiding again. She closed her eyes, sighing.

 

"What are you thinking?"

 

She smiled, lifting her face to look at him, her hand raising up to pat his cheek. He kissed her wrist in response, squeezing her a little tighter. "Nothing. Just wondering what you've brought me here for. It's beautiful Jon, but..." her voice trailed off when she lifted her face at a sudden light and stared at what he clearly had brought her there for. "Oh!"

 

It started almost instantly, the flickering in the sky, and she realized quickly why he had brought her all the way out here. The blackness that hid the sharp mountains, craggy cliffs, and soft snow-covered heather lit up in a rainbow of varying shades of greens, blue, and purple. They shimmered, a prism in the night, washing the snow in their mottled hues, and giving her the impression she had plunged headfirst into an entirely different world.

 

His lips brushed her ear, words husky. "The locals call them Mirrie Dancers."

 

"Shekhikh ki atthirar" She translated, unable to stop staring at the natural beauty above her. Her fingers tightened on his wrists, silently thanking him for introducing her to this sight. To this part of his world. "In Dothraki, it is the Light of Life...the Nightlands. Where their dead go to rest among the stars." She chewed on her lower lip, his arms comfortable around her waist, his hands warm through the thick wool of his gloves on her abdomen, seeping through the many layers of her clothing. She dropped her hand to slide beneath his. Press closer to her empty womb. Her eyes closed gently. "Jon, I have to tell you something."

 

He stiffened beneath her; she couldn't imagine what he thought she might say. Guess what I'm related to you She snickered; could you imagine? She ran her hand over his, comforting, reassuring him it would be alright. They had shared so much in there few months together and more than she could have dreamed sharing with another person again, in only the past couple of days. There were only three people in the entire world who knew what she would tell him. She had to tell him. This thing between them was the deepest she had felt for anyone in her entire life.

 

They were quite literally the same person. Despite their differences, despite the ice and the fire they both represented in more ways than one, they were the same and she loved him more than she could possibly love another person. She could only hope he felt the same and judging from yesterday, from the furiousness of their lovemaking, the conquering and the way they both fought the other, their bodies and souls intertwined, she suspected he did feel the same. Or at least his heart did. Maybe he didn't realize it yet.

 

Except he brought her here. Arya said this was his most favorite place. Except perhaps Winterfell. The north, the ice, the snow...it was all him. He was coldness but the wolf within craved the heat and love that she could only pray she could give him. She had to tell him everything. "Whatever you have to say Dany..." he began, but she stilled him, with only a light touch to her hand. He closed his mouth; silently encouraged her.

 

She turned in his arms and he brought her legs to drape over his lap, cradling her in her arms like he was going to cart her over the threshold of a home like a newlywed. She touched her cold nose against his, his pale face a canvass for the colors of the Mirrie Dancers above them. "The Nightlands," she murmured, lifting her gaze back to the colorful lights. They looked like horses galloping across the sky. She smiled at the image of her little boy up there, her little stallion. She closed her eyes and then opened them quickly. He had to see her face.

 

He gripped her harder, his thumbs bruising into her hip. "Dany you're scaring me."

 

"The Nightlands," she repeated, finally meeting his gaze again. He was scared, brow furrowed in nervousness. She smiled. "It's okay Jon. The Nightlands are where the Dothraki believe they go when they die. Everything in their culture is done in the open beneath the stars otherwise it never really happened. You make love beneath the stars, you give birth, you die, you fight...you burn. Your ashes rise into the sky and become the stars. The moon is the wife and the sun is the husband. My relationship with Drogo was young and stupid and I was too naive to realize what was happening to me until our first night together." She chewed her bottom lip, frowning. He needed to know. She sighed. "He raped me, Jon. Our first night. I thought it would be love, but it wasn’t. I was scared and realized I didn't want it. I'd never been with a man before. He was a giant and he was exotic and different and everything that I wasn't or had ever experienced."

 

He tightened up under her and she heard his throat constrict with a sound of distress, his hand all but burning against her. She kissed him gently, holding his face, assuring him she was okay. She was in his arms and she was safe. "Dany," he murmured. He sighed. "If he wasn't dead I'd kill him."

 

"I know my love." She kissed him again, gentle. She was okay now. "That was a long time ago. I didn't realize that I was loving him the way I was to protect myself. I was abused and thought I loved him, maybe I did, but it was more self-defense than anything deep and truly binding." Her hand covered his heart; she swore she could feel it racing beneath her mitten. She smiled and he reached to squeeze hard. "Not like how I love you."

 

"Why are you telling me this?" he murmured. He looked up at the lights again and back to her, confused. It was an adorable look on him. "Drogo is in the Nightlands? That's what they believe. not what I believe. The Starks follow the Old Gods of the Forest. My gods created the lights to show us the beauty of the world, not the beauty of death. They are there because when we marry we do it at night. When we die we bury at night. All things happen at night and the lights above are the way they guide us home."

 

Beautiful, she thought. She had an image of marrying him in the night, beneath the lights above. The way the purple would bring out the gray in his irises and the pale green lit on his face, giving him an otherworldly glow. She continued, breathing her confession. "Before Drogo died I found out I was pregnant." She hurried, knowing he would have questions and his eyes widened, bright white and shocked. "I was five months when I began to go into labor...I was scared, I didn't have anyone...Jorah was there though. he had come back from a business trip and he was there. Drogo was filming in the Middle East, in the damn desert and I was out there with him, we were so far from the closet hospital and by the time Jorah got me there, by the time the studio could send out their doctor, it was too late."

 

"Oh gods Dany."

 

My gorgeous little boy, my little Rhaego. She sniffed, warm tears turning cold on her cheeks. Her breath came in puffs as she gasped, the pain no longer fresh but a dull ache, an old wound reminding her of the time when it was bleeding freely. "He was so tiny. They called him a micro preemie. The doctors say sometimes it just happens. He was never supposed to live, he basically had one or two breaths in my arms and he just went away...his father died two days later." She was still in the hospital in Dubai and Drogo hadn’t' even gotten the news of his son's death before he was racing off in the rani without a helmet and then he was gone too. She hiccupped, still thinking of her little boy, with his not yet open eyes and the tiny wisp of dark hair on his head that might have gotten thicker had he lived longer inside of her. She took a deep breath, forging ahead. "I did something stupid though. I was so angry and sod distraught that I went to a local woman who claimed she could heal me faster. I was upset, Drogo was in a coma a thousand miles away and my son was in a coffin the size of a fucking shoebox on his way to Dragonstone for burial...I drank teas she gave me and thought maybe...maybe I could at least bring Drogo back, but it was just...stupid."

 

She was young and naive and bought into the words the woman was telling her. Jorah found her in her hotel room, bleeding out and almost dying, and when the doctors in Dubai told her that she had drunk herbs that were designed for miscarriages, damaging her and possibly rendering her sterile, she had screamed to the gods and wanted to die. They had hidden her away when she got home, Viserys tending to her as she raved around Dragonstone, a mad woman, frustrated and terrified and angry. She continued, so he didn't interrupt, which she knew he was desperate to do. "If you want to know why you haven't heard anything about this, it is because while you think Tyrion might be good at his job, Viserys is better."

 

"What?" he murmured, and she laughed a little at his surprise.

 

"Oh yes, my dear brother can terrify anyone into submission. He calls it 'waking the dragon.' He is no dragon, of course, but people don't know that. They fear me, not him. Viserys kept it quiet, he bought off everyone. I was in the hospital in a private suite under a fake name. My hair had been dyed at the time for a role, Jorah making sure that no one sensed who I was. Private hospitals are good at keeping secrets, they're paid to do it and Dubai was full of them. I was on a leave of mourning, they called it, because Drogo had died. I made an appearance at his funeral and then went into hiding. Viserys let them talk about that. Let those rumors continue about why he was off on his bike and why I wasn't there. It was better than the truth." She sighed, shaking her head, murmuring. "My son would be six if he had lived."

 

The way he held her was as if he were holding a fragile doll. I do not break. He knew it of course, knew how strong she was, she was the dragon after all. He brushed his lips over her forehead, murmuring how much he loved her, how she was his and no one else's, how it was just them. She believed him. She believed it but she wasn't sure where they went. They were in such a strange debacle, their love fore ach other and their love for their jobs making it very difficult. She didn't want the world to see her as a user, but that was what they'd think.

 

Fuck them. Fuck what the world thought of them, but she didn't think it would be so easy for Jon. He wasn't used to this. He had enough in his life, he didn't need her to bring the paparazzi and the press and the sparkling fake world of movies and being a Targaryen into it. She gripped him and closed her eyes, drawing strength from him beneath her, blanketed by the cold and the woolen plaid and the bright colored lights in the sky. 

 

"What was his name?"

 

Tears fell, but she smiled.  "Rhaego.  After Rhaegar."  He kissed her tears and nodded in understanding.

 

An eternity passed, but she did not feel cold. She thought she may have fallen asleep, but perhaps it was because she was so content. Jon stroked her hair, tugging on the strands that had fallen out of her braids, coiling and uncoiling them in his hand. "You said three people," he murmured, glancing down at her. "Who?"

 

"Jorah, Viserys, and Missandei." Of course Missandei would know, she had told her almost immediately. The woman was her closet friend, her sister before she was her friend. They may as well have been blood related. "And now you."

 

"And now me."

 

"Daario was my coping mechanism," she sighed, shaking her head at that mistake. At the time it had been fun. Someone to distract her from her flagging career, the negativity surrounding her in the press, and in a way it was a public relations hookup. Pair her with her costar in a big budget action movie and maybe they could start a franchise. In the end it had been a bloody nightmare. She rolled her eyes. "He was a distraction from the pain of losing Rhaego, of everything else...now he just wont' go away. Like a fucking STD."

 

Jon snorted beneath her. "That's one way to put it."

 

"Well that's what he is in a way." She sighed. "I don’t' want anything to ruin what we have Jon." Even if this may not last as long as we want.

 

It seemed he thought the same, saying nothing underneath her. There were so many factors at play in this relationship than she had ever experienced in her life. Careers, families, trauma...she bit her lower lip and looked up at the sky again, at the beauty of the lights. He kissed her temple, murmuring. "One day I'll take you to Winterfell. The real Winterfell and we'll do what you said the Dothraki do."

 

"Oh?"

 

"Except in the Old Gods religion we believe that everything done before the hearttree is sacred."

 

The hearttree, It was the great white weirwood with the carved smiling face. Or laughing or crying or screaming, depending on the moment, she supposed. He had a beautiful painting of one in his cottage, he said his brother Bran had done it. Bran had really focused on the Old Gods after his accident, a way to process, and he often used art to commune with them, Jon explained once. She nodded. "And what will you do with me there?" she murmured, smiling as he tilted her head back, drawing her up towards him.

 

He brushed his lips to hers, his voice a growl. "I'll make love to you under the stars in front of the tree, we'll be blessed by the gods. You're practically one already."

 

"A god?"

 

"Yes. Daenerys Stormborn, the goddess of fire." He kissed her, beginning to place them over her face and neck, hauling her tighter up into his arms, punctuating his words with a kiss. "Of ice. Of the stars. Of the sun. Of the moon....of me."

 

Gods Jon I fucking love you. She whimpered and began to tug at his parka, needing him closer to her. It was so cold she thought she might freeze to death, but beneath the woolen plaids and in his arms, in front of the fire, she felt heat surging through her and she began to tug at him, her voice breathless as he deepened their kiss, pouring their love into it. "Here, beneath the stars, beneath the lights," she begged. She didn't care that he had ravished her so much that week she was sore and tingling everywhere or that at this point she could hardly breathe unless he was beside her. She wanted him. She needed him.

 

Without another word, he did as she asked, as she demanded, murmuring she was his queen and she sighed that he was her sun and stars.

 

 

~/~/~/~

Day Six

 

It was there, if he looked close enough, and he couldn't believe he hadn't noticed it before, given how often he mapped her body, whether with his eyes, hands, or lips. He was at the base of the bed, tangled in blankets, studying the flatness of her abdomen, his fingers tracing the faintest of white lines at her side. He wondered what she had looked like, her belly swollen with a child. The information had shaken him, but not because she hadn’t told him, but because she had told him. That bit of information could have been emotionally damaging if it had ever leaked. People were cruel and they would have used it against her.

 

He knew Dany was strong, but she took things to heart. They could say what they wanted about her; he had seen that firsthand when they had met in London and gone over the script. That was only their second meeting. it seemed like a lifetime ago. Jon couldn’t believe a world where he didn't have Dany in it. He must not have been living. Fuck, I know I wasn't living.

 

No wonder she did things for children, no wonder she was a molten puddle when it came to the likes of Lyanna Mormont or the children that people brought with them on set. She hugged and kissed babies and she cradled them like they were her own. The day in the hospital he had seen that side of her. He could see her, his silver-haired goddess, sitting with those little kids, smiling and grinning, in that ridiculous costume of her youth, the shell she wanted to shed, but wouldn't for them.

 

it was stupid of him to think, but he pressed his cheek to her skin, feeling her shiver under him and he wondered if his face was cold; she ran as hot as a furnace, sometimes he had to throw the covers off of him when she was all burrowed into him she was so warm. He touched one of those faint white lines, eyes closing, and using his writer's imagination. The way her hand would smooth over her belly, round and ripe with their baby, and he would talk to it. He would tell it stories of White Walkers and Night Kings and direwolves and dragons and krakens. All the stories he'd heard as a child from Old Nan.

 

That won't happen Snow, so stop thinking it right now. That wouldn't happen because they might love each other more than he thought they loved being alive and having the ability to breathe, but he wasn't worthy of her. His family would never let him go and he couldn't let them go. He closed his eyes tight at the pain of Sansa's words, the way she'd snapped at him about the pack. He'd told his father before he died that eh would help keep the pack together. Ned had had a heart attack, but they'd known he was sick before.

 

And he was sick too, still recovering from what had happened to him at the Wall. The medical discharge, the therapy-- mental and physical-- he'd had to attend nonstop, and trying to help while Robb was working on the family business, Sansa was working with the family news company, and his younger siblings were just trying to understand what was happening to their father. He would help with the pack, but they were all part of the pack. You may not have my name, but you have my blood, Ned told him. It was the archaic belief in Westeros that bastards were less than their trueborn families.

 

It was part of why he didn't live there anymore. He imagined that was why Dany hadn't lived there either. She preferred Dragonstone in London to Dragonstone in Westeros. Same as he liked Winterfell Scotland's estate over the one back in their shitty home country. Besides, his history with the Westerosi military and the Night's Watch soured him on ever returning there again. That place was a cesspool of greed and power. Dany got out because her family was so wealthy and powerful. he got out because he died and used what little severance the Night's Watch gave him to get out and help self-publish his first book.

 

He dragged his finger down the curve of her abdomen, a taut muscle quivering under his touch as he traced along the elastic of her lavender panties. She was wearing one of his t-shirts, worn and soft and it clung to her in all the right places. Her soft, silk spun hair, clouds of silver cascaded over his pillow and over her shoulders and her hands, which might look small but were strong and slender, were curved up under her chin. She arched a little against him when he dipped his finger beneath the elastic and dragged over the silky silver he knew lay beneath the lace and satin.

 

"Gods you're already wet," he murmured, following his finger with his lips, light at first and then pressing harder kisses as he moved beneath the sheet draped over her legs. She moaned into the pillow, a breathy sound that sent him into a dizzy spell. He dragged at the material with his teeth, pulling it away as he closed over her, sighing like a thirsty man in a desert coming upon water, beginning to lap at her, teasing and taunting, his tongue and fingers swiping and gathering, reveling in the sounds she was making, the tug of her hand in his hair and when he brought her over the edge--- not before he had her writhing and sobbing in his hands-- he smiled, satisfied, when he heard her breathy Valryian and eventually the drawn out "Jon", so many syllables in his name as she rode the waves of pleasure.

 

And when she was almost done, still quaking around his mouth, he took the opportunity to rise up beside her, lifting her thigh and watching as her eyes flickered open on him, her smile languid and lips pink from biting on them. She opened her mouth to say something, but he didn't wait for her to finish before he slid slowly into her, bracing one hand on her side and the other gripped around her knee, angling her as he sat on his knees, his eyes focused on her as he began to thrust.

 

They were lazy and erratic, her moans short and soft, their fingers searching for each other as he leaned down over her, changing the angle every so often, reaching each inner part of her. Her fingers tangled in his eventually, pressing his palm to her center, grinding against it as she grew closer. He felt her walls tighten around him, slick and hot, knew she was close, and increased his tempo, riding her through her orgasm and straight into another until he was falling too, focusing on her soft words as she brought him over with her.

 

There was nothing quite like this, he thought, falling beside her and reaching to drag her against his chest, their skin slick and legs tangled, unsure where the other ended the next began. "Good morning to you," she breathed, finally kissing him when he stretched beside her. She patted his cheek. "And to what do I owe this greeting?"

 

"Just saw you there. Thought it was appropriate." He wouldn’t tell her it was because the images of her ripe with their child were enough for him to need her in that moment lest he die of never being fulfilled.

 

She smiled again, her thumb grazing his lower lip. "Well I like it." She glanced over his shoulder at the alarm clock, sighing and falling back to their shared pillow. "It's early. I don't want to get up."

 

"No one said you have to my queen." It was their last full day. They didn't need to remind the other of that. They had today and then tomorrow morning he would be leaving for the airport, driving to Edinburgh to catch a flight to London to fly off to Iceland. There would be meetings and discussions and final read-through. The script only was in a rainbow of colors, each change getting a new colored page. It was only because he'd changed up the roles. He was actually excited; filming in the winter in Iceland would give the film exactly what he wanted. The wintry despair of the night fights and the icy stillness of the first few scenes where the family was one functioning unit.

 

There would be two scenes in particular that he was dying to witness. He knew Dany was nervous about them. one was her death scene. Where the Night Queen died at the hands of her little sister, just for Millie to return long enough to see them happy and disappear. The other was the scene where the Night Queen rallied her armies, where she taunted her former family, and where she killed the Lion Knight. Jaime was not happy about his death scene, but Jon was excited for it. Dany was going to be amazing; he could feel it. She was going to become the Night Queen.

 

Dany sighed and looked over at the foot of the bed before she poked him. He grumbled, not wanting to open his eyes and get up. "I think someone needs to go outside."

 

He threw a pillow in the direction of the end of the bed and heard a thunk before the covers were ripped off the bed, the cool bedroom air hitting his naked body like a shock of water. he jumped up. "Seven hells Ghost!"

 

The pissed off wolf dropped the blankets and dare he say-- smirked?-- before prancing out of the room. Dany devolved into a fit of giggles, but of course she would find it funny, she still had on a shirt. He hit her with a pillow and climbed out of the bed, shoving on a pair of black workout pants, the drawstring so worn away that they hung dangerously low on his hips. They were soft though and Dany liked them, so he kept them. He walked Ghost to the side door, flung it open, growled at the shock of freezing air from outside, and slammed the door on the wolf when he marched out to do his business.

 

Dany was puttering in the kitchen when he turned around, at home in his things. She opened the cupboard and plucked out one of his Tony Awards. "American Theatre Wing Tony Award." She turned it to look at the backside of the gold disc atop the smooth black resin. "Best Play The Long Night Jon Snow."

 

"Hmm," he mumbled, moving by her and into the cupboard, pushing by the other Tony Award he'd received for Best Revival of a Play when he had agreed to help produce, during his time writing The Long Night, the American play True West. He hadn't done much to help produce beyond assist with finding and casting the actors. Since one of the actors had won for his role, Jon thought he hadn't done as shitty a job as he thought he'd done.

 

While he set about making them their morning tea, since she really couldn't bothered once she'd gotten her hands on this awards, she pulled out a couple of the Drama Desk ones he'd received. She shook her head, grumbling something about could have put them in the bathroom like me and then yelped, grabbing for the award in the far back and dragging it out, gaping. "Jon Snow!"

 

"Yes?" He licked the spoon he'd removed from stirring his tea, wondering what she was so bent out of shape over. He blinked at the Olivier Award in her hands. "Yes?"

 

"This is an Olivier Award."

 

"I see that."

 

She shook it in his face. "It is the Holy Grail of theatre awards and you just have it in your cabinet!?" She held it like you would a donated organ, carrying it gently from the kitchen to the living room and placing it on a shelf above the fireplace, lovingly gazing at the rectangular object. She sighed, reverent. "It is so beautiful."

 

You'll have one, one day. He thought of the work he was doing, the story he was writing. Maybe he could turn it to a play. He'd cast her in it. He'd make sure she got it and she would be brilliant and she would win all the awards and if she didn't, well he'd go find those people who voted the way they did and knock sense into them until they just gave her all the awards.

 

Although he knew what they would say if he did write her a play, just for her. He also knew what would happen when they found out he changed his entire movie for her. Especially after they had started sleeping together. “You know,” he murmured, picking up her teacup and handing it towards her, walking into the living room where the never-ending fire still raged. “We should maybe talk about…what happens next.”

 

“No,” she said, sitting back into the corner of the couch, sipping at her tea. She glanced at him over the top of the cup, violet eyes blazing in the firelight. It was rather dark outside still, likely overcast. That was fine with him; they could stay in bed all day long. Maybe watch more Princess Periwinkle, he was still on season four and needed to finish. She shook her head at his silent question. “No we’re not going to talk about it.”

 

He understood what she meant, but he just didn’t think they should leave it at where it was right now. “Fine,” he murmured. He smiled, reaching for his cup. “You’re right. We have one day left. What should we do?”

 

Instead of giving him a suggestion, she suddenly spoke. “I’m not going to be known only as Princess Periwinkle when this movie is over and it is because of you.” He frowned; that was a simple way of looking at it. He was about to say so, about how no it was all her, she was the reason that no one would think of her as a comedy character again, except she continued over him. “I know what they’re going to say and I know that is how it will be and I’m so happy for it, but I just wish that they aren’t going to tie it completely to you. I just wish that it will be because of me and not because of anyone writing a part for me. They’re going to find out that we’re together and they’re going to say that you wrote the part because I asked, because I’m the vicious dragon queen who sucks men into my path and destroys them and takes and uses them.”

 

He knew she was joking, he knew she was making light of it, but he also knew she was telling the truth and it hurt her. It hurt him too. “It doesn’t have to be like that,” he murmured. Except it would.

 

She laughed, sipped her tea, and set the cup back into the saucer with a clink. “It’s cute that you think that way Jon. You haven’t been in this world long enough to see it like I have. Men see women with a pretty face and a nice body, they don’t see me as anything else. If I do well in the movie it will be because of you. If I don’t, it will be because I was too strong for you. Because you couldn’t handle me. If they find out about us I will have slept my way to the part. Everything will be tainted and I just don’t want that…but it will be that way.”

 

They had to find a way around this. There had to be something. He felt panicked. He looked to the door, growling in frustration as Ghost scratched at the door. He set his cup down, allowing her to gather her thoughts, and got up to go get his wolf with terrible timing. He gestured for him, the great white beast walking in and shaking show off of his fur. “Welcome my lord, can I get you anything? A stag on a plate? A lion’s mane?”

 

Ghost simply hopped onto the couch and took a place beside Dany, placing his head in her lap and closing his bright red eyes, curling into a ball to fall asleep. He rolled his eyes and Dany laughed. “Oh Jon, you can’t be mad at him.”

 

“I’ll skin him for a nice rug.”

 

When he sat down, Ghost kicked out at him. He grabbed for the giant foot, squeezed it and let go, smiling and burying his hand into Ghost’s flank. He loved the wolf more than he loved most people. He propped his feet on the coffee table, letting the fire’s warmth wash over them and feeling the couch heat up from Ghost, a living and breathing blanket. Dany stroked the wolf’s massive head, fingers lightly scratching his ear. “They don’t have to find out about us, but I don’t…I don’t think that is fair,” she whispered.

 

But it means we will be together. “So we keep it quiet,” he whispered. He didn’t know why he was pushing this.

 

“Are you okay with that?” she asked. She frowned. “I don’t want to put pressure on you Jon. I don’t want you to think that this has to be anything other than…than just two people who…”

 

Two people who love each other. That’s what they were. They shouldn’t have to be anything less. “I don’t want anything to ruin what we have,” he said. They were doing okay. Minus a couple of skirmishes of course. He hesitated and frowned. “We can just keep doing what we’re doing.”

 

A heavy weight hung between them. He wasn’t sure what it was and it seemed neither did she. They were both tired. He wondered what she wasn’t saying. She narrowed her eyes on him and he silently stared at her. There was nothing else to say. He tried to smile, but she spoke, changing the subject, smiling instead. “I would like to go out with you though. Like in public.”

 

“So let’s do it.”

 

“What?” she laughed.

 

He grinned. They could do that. It was really easy. “Tonight, we’ll go out. Dress nice.”

 

“Jon Snow, what are you planning?”

 

“It’s a surprise.” He’d make it happen. If she just wanted to go outside then they’d go outside. They’d go on a real date. He got up and took her empty teacup, bringing it to the sink and reaching up into another cabinet to take down a bag of flour. He spoke loudly so she could hear in the other room. “I can only make a few things, but one of them is pancakes and since this is our last day, you get them.”

 

“These are the famous pancakes Arya told me about?”

 

“They’re only famous because I can’t screw them up.”

 

“She said you made them in the shape of a wolf once.”

 

It was more like a blob but she was four at the time so what did she know. He flicked a little bit of flour at her, tapping her nose when she came to stand beside him. He dropped a kiss to her waiting pursed lips. “Get me the milk from the fridge, make yourself useful.”

 

“What rank were you when you left the military?"

 

He scowled; he left the military as a broken man was what he left the military as. He cleared his throat, trying not to let her see the pain that suddenly filled the scars on his chest as the thought. “Um, well I was a Lieutenant but then became the Lord Commander. It’s a separate rank.”

 

She kissed his cheek, grabbing around him for a bowl off the shelf. “Well then Lord Commander, I am one of your recruits, so order me.”

 

There are so many places that statement could go. He smiled. “Lord Commander sounds a lot better from your lips.”

 

“Lord Commander,” she drawled, leaning into him, her arm going around his waist. She rose on her toes, her lips brushing against his ear, breathing it again. “Lord Commander Snow.

 

The pancakes were forgotten.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

It wasn’t like it was anything fancy; all he’d done was call Tormund and request that he kick people out of the pub and give them some damned privacy later that evening. Since Tormund owed him from their time in Westeros and he never called in on the big red man’s favors, he figured this was the one time that he could do as he asked, and sure enough Tormund agreed wholeheartedly, saying he’d kick everyone out and he’d bring in food from one of the fancy gourmet places that “you prissy fuckers love to eat from” but Jon just said don’t worry about that, they’d eat whatever the pub offered which was shitty roast that tasted like it had been overcooked and chips that were soggy and he knew Dany wouldn’t want anything else different.

 

He paced around outside of his room, Ghost watching him from the couch, probably annoyed that he wouldn’t stop moving. Dany had kicked him out the moment he’d finished getting dressed—black jeans, black sweater, black boots—easy enough. She had been in there like an hour and he had no idea what she was doing. Did I not think this through? He wondered if maybe he should call Tormund and have him bring in food from one of the fancy restaurants, but there really weren’t any fancy restaurants in Winter Town. It was basically the pub and the pizza place.

 

Just when he was about to call his friend to get a pizza and just put it on fancy plates, his bedroom door opened. He turned, about to tell her that he was going to be another moment, but his voice caught in his throat. Oh fuck, it’s a queen.

 

They called her that, made fun of her for it, saying she was the Dragon Queen or the Queen of Dragonstone. They said she was West Eros’s Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and the Silver Princess. He didn’t think much of those names, they were mean comments from the press because she was strong and fierce. Except they were also right. She was a queen. She was a princess.

 

She was the most beautiful woman in the entire world.

 

The dress she wore clung to her every curve. It was storm gray, off-shoulder, and bell-like slit open sleeves hung from the shoulders, almost like a cape behind her. The bodice had a cut out ‘v’ in the front, revealing the slight curves of her breasts and held together with a silver ornament like a blade. The skirt fell over her hips, fluttering to the floor and he could see she wore leather leggings underneath with black knee-high boots. The shoulders of the dress had jeweled dragons, sparkling onyx and rubies encrusted in the fabric. Around the slim column of her neck rested a silver necklace in the shape of a dragon, snarling and scowling at him from where it rested on her chest, diamonds and rubies in its eyes.

 

The braids that were haphazard and messy through the week were tight and snaked through the crown of her head, cascading and twisted and he couldn’t tell where one began and the next ended. There were small braids and larger ones and they were blended together to hold the remainder of her hair together, the rest falling down to the base of her shoulders.

 

“Oh fuck,” he whispered. I have never seen anyone as beautiful as her.

 

Her violet eyes shined and she stepped towards him, speaking quietly. “I thought you might like this. I wore it to a gala last year. I didn’t know why Viserys chose it for this week but…mmpfhh

 

Whatever else she was going to say he didn’t care. Jon swept her in his arms like she queen she was and kissed her, clinging to her and lifting her off the ground. Her arms went immediately around his neck and she sighed against his mouth, his lips firm on hers, never wanting to let her go. She was the most perfect creation, he thought, and so fucking beautiful. She felt so good in his arms and all thoughts of going to the pub meant nothing to him, but she did dress up and he did promise he’d take her out.

 

Once he dropped her back to her feet, she opened her eyes, smiling wide, her hand on his shoulder to steady herself. “You are something else Jon Snow. Now, take me to dinner.”

 

He bowed, exaggerated. “As my queen commands.”

Chapter Text

xii.

February 2019
Iceland

 

Dany didn't think it was possible to be colder than she was, but then she'd never come to film in Iceland at nighttime. In the winter. Wearing almost nothing.

 

It was one of the final scenes, the Night Queen facing off in final battle, and she was wearing tatters, essentially, her costume almost a representation of how the Night Queen's mind was also unraveling, how she was returning to her truest form, as she fought a losing battle against those who used to be her family. She found it beautiful and symbolic and maybe if she wasn't the one wearing rags and freezing to death when everyone else got to wear heavy cloaks and furs she would have really savored and enjoyed it.

 

"Cut!"

 

"Fuck!" she exclaimed, jumping in place, arms going around her and the ice staff falling to the snow, a prop assistant grabbing it before she broke the thing. She muttered an apology, hurrying off and grabbing for the heavy robe and parka that Jorah offered her, shoving her arms into the sleeves so fast she feared she may have torn at the delicate material draped over her shoulders. She winced, hoping that wasn’t the cast or Irri might murder her, and huddled into the fiery warmth of the coats, stomping her feet and gratefully accepting the hot mug of tea Jorah provided her. "Thank you my bear," she said in Dothraki, choosing the language that he had helped teach her all those years ago when she was living with Drogo and his followers.

 

He wrapped his arms around her, briskly rubbing at her shoulders. "Anytime khaleesi."

 

There was a reason he was here, she suspected, but she needed to keep focusing on the scene. Margarey was being extra ornery and she hoped it wasn't because she and Yara were fighting; their relationship had clearly progressed beyond just director and assistant director, and Yara was often rolling her eyes at Maragery when she had outrageous demands, arguing with her over what Wolf Unit had been doing in the weeks leading up to the merging of the two for the final few weeks of filming. Then it would be back to the studio for some more, but she knew she likely wouldn’t be needed unless they had to do reshoots and she prayed that wouldn't be the case.

 

She sipped the tea, a hot mixture of cinnamon and honey and some sort of fruit, hoping it would also ease the sore throat she'd developed from all her screaming in the fight scenes. The Night Queen was mostly silent until she wasn't and it seemed that’s when Jon had her bellowing out speeches, orders, and confronting the other characters. She had been so terrifying in one of her scenes earlier that week poor Lyanna Mormont had almost burst into tears, but the strong girl had overcome it, shaken her hand, and said that if she could scare her then she'd scare everyone else.

 

Guess that's the plan. She glanced at Jorah, who was walking with her towards a series of portable heaters set up for the actors while they reset and blocked the scene. He was hiding his face from her, not looking her in the eye. There was something bothering him. She lightly touched his wrist, guiding him away from the hoard of extras and to a far heater, hoping she could have this conversation as quietly as possible, lest someone hear. "What is it?" she murmured.

 

All it took was his eyes glancing away from her, the light blue of them finding the surly writer who was the only one barely dressed for the elements, huddling with Margaery and Yara, discussing the next scene they'd be filming to get the stage directions clear. Jon, of course. Jorah hadn't been pleased with the progress of her relationship, mostly because she had enlisted him to help her sneak away and help Jon sneak to her as well. He sighed heavily, his warm breath a visible stream as he looked to Jon again. She knew that he was seeing what she was seeing. Jon had never been without his travel mug of coffee, but she knew it was also whiskey. As filming grew more intense and demanding, he grew more sullen and irritable.

 

More often than not his gaze on her was glassy and his cheeks puffy as he fought insomnia, over-drinking, and his smoking had turned almost into a pack a day habit. His hands shook whenever she saw him and he wasn't eating, his ribs more visible than ever, not that he much weight to lose. "I know," she said, answering his silent question. Jorah had seen her through it all. "He's not doing well."

 

"I just do not want you to be dragged into his personal problems."

 

"I know," she said, stressing. She sighed, reaching to pat his arm, comforting. "Jorah you are the longest serving member of my team and my oldest friend. I understand, but...he's going through things." Whatever they were, he rarely shared them with her. His family's pressures were growing more intense, especially since Bran had ultimately decided to move to live with him and Catelyn blamed Jon for the rift between her and her son. Sansa had shown up here and there on set, icy glares and whips of her fiery hair over her shoulder each time she made eye contact with his oldest sister. If it weren't for Arya threatening to smack Sansa at every opportunity, Dany wasn't sure how she'd have dealt with the frustration that she felt, let alone Jon.

 

Jorah didn't seem convinced; she knew she wouldn't convince him. It was quite literally his job to protect her. He took it very seriously. Plus he's in love with me. She had known that since almost the moment he met her. He kissed the top of her head, as best he could given that she had two giant hoods up over it, shielding her from the wind. He sighed, meeting her eyes again. "I am just protecting your heart khaleesi."

 

But that isn't your job, she wanted to say, except she didn't and she smiled again. "And I thank you, but I will be okay. Jon and I are...figuring things out."

 

"I just want you to know that there have been some inquiries regarding your recent travel to Scotland." He turned his cell phone to her, an email brought up, a casual inquiry from a researcher at 3N about Daenerys Targaryen's recent sightings at Winterfell Estate, also reminding Jorah that 3N was a news organization dedicated to the preservation of Northern Westerosi ideals, values, and mission, and if a Targareyn was interested in the Winterfell product lines, perhaps she might want to meet for an interview?

 

Fucking Sansa Stark. It had to be her. She glowered at the email, handing the phone back to Jorah. "Tell them no comment and that my travel wherever is my concern only."

 

"I told you I did not like you taking the train as much as you have up there. Too easily noticed."

 

"It's fine Jorah, we're in Iceland now," she teased. Iceland, where they were all holed up in the same hotel, where if Jon decided to come find her or if she decided to go find him, it was both easy and difficult. Easy in that they just took the elevator up and down from his room on the third floor and hers on the fifth. Difficult in that they were surrounded by nosy production staff. Plus Jaime Lannister was irritating her, asking her nonstop how come she hadn't been dating anyone recently, was she considering heading to a nunnery? She'd punched him in the balls the last time he'd brought it up. Cersei had lodged a complaint with Viserys.

 

Viserys's response to it was that perhaps then she wouldn't have anymore incestuous children with her brother now. Cersei hadn't liked that at all, but she knew she couldn't fight Vis on it.

 

Dany wondered where Vis was hiding; he hated the cold. He was probably in a trailer somewhere. She sighed hard, hearing the horn and the call for the scene to begin again. She rose on her toes and kissed his cheek. "Thank you Jorah, but I can handle this. Leave Jon to me."

 

"Just be careful, you guys aren't hiding out in a big city anymore," he warned.

 

She simply smiled and returned to the set, shedding off the layers of warmth and taking her prop staff back, using it to knock Jon on the back of his head when he wandered over, not paying attention to where he was going. "Hey, White Wolf, watch your step," she teased.

 

He glared up, but softened only a bit on the edges when he saw it was her. "Hey," he greeted, holding his script, his travel mug, and his phone. He shot a look over his shoulder at Maragery who was tapping her watch, irritated. "Better get over there. The Thorny Rose isn't happy we're running late."

 

"And whose fault is that?" she asked.

 

"Well it'd be yours of course."

 

She scowled. "Oh fuck you."

 

A wry smile pulled on his lips. They kept up the charade of diva behavior on set, both for the distancing it had with people around them and also because she knew whenever she got back to her hotel room and he dropped by, it would mean a good time. "No Queen Dany, fuck you."

 

She hit him with the ice staff again and he pushed it back. She glowered, slipping a little in the ice. "Hey! I could have fallen!"

 

"Well then don't."

 

"You are such an asshole." She stepped towards him, her voice dropping slightly. "Please tell me that's just coffee in there, huh?"

 

After a pause, too long she thought, eyes closing sadly, he replied. "It's just coffee." Now he's lying about it. He nodded to Margaery. "You better go. I've got to get back to the hotel."

 

Without saying anything, she stalked to the set, letting them touch up her makeup and hair one more time before she took her mark. She was sad, she thought, eyes closing slightly as a tear trickled down her cheek. She knew it wasn't part of the scene, but she idly wiped at it and then heard Margaery scream "Cut!" and start shouting about how that was beautiful, she had to do it again. She nodded and laughed a little; life imitates art, she thought wryly.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

"What took you so long?"

 

"I had to get away from your head of security."

 

She groaned, hoping Jorah hadn't threatened him too much. She made a mental note to talk to Jorah again; he hadn't indicated at all in their discussion earlier on set that he would talk to Jon about anything. She pushed the irritation away, stumbling backwards into her suite, her fingers tugging on Jon's sweater while he shook off his coat. She giggled, stumbling in her leggings as he also moved to pull them down at the same time as her, the two of them tripping over each other like damn teenagers on prom night. "Did Jorah yell at you?" she mumbled, sticking her lower lip out in an exaggerated pout, her brows wrinkling in a fake frown. "Poor baby."

 

He made a face, faking his own pout. "Just told me to keep your reputation in mind." He paused in his attempt to undo her bra while also taking off her shirt. She growled and reached back to help him. "You know he really loves you. I didn't think he was telling me as a member of your team."

 

"No, he wouldn't." He stiffened under her and she kissed him assuaging his unspoken worry. "Jon, you have nothing to worry about. Jorah is my oldest friend. He's practically the brother I didn't have in Viserys."

 

"He doesn't see himself like that."

 

"And he loves me, yes, but I don't love him like that." Her breath quickened, her heart thudding in her ribcage, a heavy beat against his own, her hands rising to his face. Her eyes fluttered shut when he lightly brushed his lips to her temple. "Not the way I love you."

 

He said nothing, simply kissed her again, and their fingers returned to searching and pulling, getting off his sweater and t-shirt and the two of them stumbling against the wall separating the living room from the bedroom. She turned, not looking where she was going, and hissed in surprise when her bare back hit the cold length of the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the harbor below. "You okay?" he laughed against her mouth, their teeth clicking as they urgently kissed each other. He moved down her neck, knocking her hair away and she sighed, turning slightly and holding his face against her chest, his tongue dragging across the bumps of her clavicle and along her chest, planting hot open-mouthed kisses in his wake.

 

She sighed, swaying slightly and digging her fingers into his scalp, untangling the strands of inky black hair that sprang from the tie he used, and she slipped the elastic band around her wrist, mussing further as he tracked his path towards his final destination. Her previous two experiences with lovers had not been all that satisfying for her; Drogo she didn't know what to do and had to only do what she had to do to keep from getting hurt and he only ever wanted his pleasure, not hers. Daario was almost too selfish, thinking of her as an afterthought, and he'd preferred to pay attention to her breasts. It was so freeing then, she thought, as Jon paid attention to them but his preferred area was farther south. All he seemed like he wanted to do was give her the pleasure and he enjoyed it immensely.

 

Anything for you my wolf, she moaned, eyes closed and her head falling back, turning away from the window and falling against the wall once more, her legs unsteady. She was still cold, no amount of heat from the furnace and the gas fireplace helping to thaw her, but the warmth of Jon and the flame that built inside of her was doing a good job of melting her. "Please," she murmured. It had been so long. Only a few days, but given how frequently they were seeing each other since she arrived in Iceland after their time in Scotland, a few days felt like years.

 

"Tell me what you want," he husked, lifting his eyes, pure molten black staring up at her. He smiled, dark and foreboding. "And maybe I'll give it to you."

 

"Fucking tease."

 

He was about to say something else when there was a loud knock at her door. She froze and he whipped his head to stare at it, both of them still, willing whoever it was to go away. Maybe it was just housekeeping. She held her finger to her lips, silencing him, and waited, but the knocking grew more insistent. She closed her eyes, groaning, when she heard the voice that began to accompany the frustrated pounding on the doorframe.

 

"Daenerys Targareyn open this fucking door!"

 

Tyrion. "Godsdamnit," she cursed.

 

"And we'll explain this how?" Jon demanded, grabbing for his sweater and shoving his arms into it, yanking it hard over his head. He fought at his hair but then realized she still had the tie and he gave up, reaching next for his boots. He jumped into them and jumped in place a couple of times. She wondered if maybe she could get him off in a few minutes and just keep Tyrion waiting, but he was already making his way to the bathroom to hide.

 

"Not there," she said. Tyrion might want to make himself a glass of something from the bar and he'd probably try to go in and use the sink to splash water into his cocktail. She opened the closet, shoving him inside. He glared at her, but she didn't care, pushing his coat in after him and shutting it. "Coming Lord Tyrion!"

 

She didn't think, putting on a t-shirt and pulling a robe around her, until she got to the door and groaned, realizing it was Jon's shirt he'd been wearing under his sweater. Well, Tyrion didn't know the full extent of the relationship. Nor did he have to know, it wasn't his business. She took a deep breath and opened the door, revealing her publicist on the other side, obviously perturbed he'd been kept waiting. He marched into the room, bundled up in a parka and clearly as pissed about being in the frozen tundra as she was. He had his ever present folio under his arm and his phone in his hand. "What took you so long?" he asked.

 

"I was in the shower."

 

He looked her up and down and then called out, not breaking eye-contact with her. "Hello Jon Snow."

 

There was a muffled curse and bang from the closet and Jon emerged, glowering. "Hello Tyrion," he mumbled, his cheeks flushing pink. His embarrassment was downright adorable, she thought, rolling her eyes at Tyrion who turned his irritation on her. She said nothing to him and simply walked over to join Jon, kissing him softly. He frowned a bit against her mouth, saying nothing. A loud throat clearing from behind her eventually forced her away. "I'd say get a room, but that was clearly why you both were here, so I'll say, wait until I leave," Tyrion said.

 

Jon turned pinker, if it was possible, and she chuckled, giving him another quick peck. "I'll see you later," he murmured, sidestepping her and nodding to Tyrion. "Lord Tyrion."

 

"Oh not you too."

 

The door closed behind him with a soft click. She waited for Tyrion to start talking, but he said nothing. Just stared at her. She rolled her eyes and turned around. "I need to have a drink if you are going to start lecturing me on my sex life."

 

"Turning into your boyfriend, huh?"

 

Her hand froze on the mini-bar door. She turned quickly, her hip bumping into the cabinet hard. She rubbed the offending area, staring over at him and narrowed her eyes in simultaneous concern and question. And worry. "What are you talking about?" she whispered; she knew that he knew she was feigning ignorance. They both knew that Jon's drinking had gotten worse and was noticeable to just about everyone on set. Except maybe Jon.

 

He opened his folio and went to sit on one of the chairs facing the fireplace. She was no longer interested in a drink, her stomach turning at whatever Tyrion was going to show her or bring up. His visits were never good. Tyrion only ever brought bad news, usually of his own making. She sat across from him and took the folio, looking at some of the printed off blog headlines. The Dragon Tries to Tame a Wild Wolf was one not clever play on her nickname and Jon's preferred topic of his literature. She bit her lip, scanning the quick article, but it was mostly garbage. It talked only about how they were a source of irritation on the set and Margaery had just about had it with both of them. To be fair it wasn't completely inaccurate, but was filled with "unnamed sources."

 

Tyrion handed her another, this one discussing Jon in particular, noting that he was causing disruptions on set with his drinking and outrageous demands for the production, the recalcitrant author's first foray into filmmaking waking the dragon in Viserys Targaryen's production company Three Dragons Films. "That one didn't get far, it was only in the local trade papers," he said. He sighed. "But the fact is Daenerys, your boyfriend is on the radar. Jon is no longer just a writer, he isn't talent, but he's got a name now. Whether it's because of his family back in Westeros or his sister working for a news outlet, I don't know. You need to be careful."

 

"I know," she whispered. She felt ill all of a sudden. They had talked about this. They'd done what they could to avoid it. The papers had already wondered about the "man in black" that had been seen with her a few times in London. Thank the gods they all had a short memory and didn't seem to put two and two together that it was Jon who was the "man in black." She folded her hands in her lap, looking down at them, watching the blood drain from her knuckles as she clutched them together. "Tyrion, I mean...would it be so bad to come out publicly with this? Say that I am in a relationship with the screenwriter of my new movie? I mean...let's face it, most actors meet their significant others on set. Where else will be meet people? It isn't like we can just go online dating or something to find the loves of our life."

 

It was a stupid statement and she knew it. She didn't have that luxury. Not in her predicament. Not with her career being where it was and her past when it came to engaging with costars. She closed her eyes tight, fighting back tears. She couldn't do this, not in front of Tyrion. She had to be strong. She had to be resilient. She opened her eyes, now dry, and stared straight at her publicist, focused and intent.

 

She had to be the dragon.

 

She channeled her fear, her pain, and her worry into her hands, clasping them tight in her lap, and kept her back ramrod straight. This was merely another part to play. She blinked at him, knowing he was going to say something, the way he furrowed his brow and the way he tried not to look her directly in the eye, always worried she might lash out, always fearful of how she would take his suggestions. I hired you for your intelligence, Tyrion Lannister, do not fail me. She lifted her chin slightly, waiting. "Well?" she finally murmured.

 

He lowered his head, shaking it, imperceptibly. "You can't, Daenerys. Not if you want this to be what you are known for. Not if this role will do what it could do for your career. it's either the Night Queen....or it's Jon Snow. It isn't both."

 

Fuck this world and everyone in it. She nodded, keeping her face smooth and unaffected. The greatest role she could play. "I understand."

 

"If it gets out that you are in a relationship with him, regardless of the truth of the matter, and I know you love him-- " Tyrion chuckled when she arched an eyebrow. "Please Daenerys, we all know it. You escaped to Scotland with him for an entire week and refused to answer your phone. Jorah keeps very good care to protect you, but even I know that he's been working overtime to make sure that you are coming and going from Scotland, London, and wherever else as easily and quietly as possible, so as not to draw attention. Viserys even has made comments."

 

She rolled her eyes. "Yes, well Viserys is nothing."

 

"Viserys has made comments in that he has told me to mind my fucking business when it comes to your sex life." That had her smiling, before she even realized, and Tyrion laughed, his hand curving around the pen from his polio, clicking at it nervously. "Viserys is never one to tell me to mind my business, if anything he's trying to get into everyone's business, especially yours. Plus this could affect his bottom line and he would never tell me to mind my business regarding your love life it affect his bottom line unless there was something else at play."

 

Sometimes she really hated her older brother, but then there were times when he surprised her. She tried to smile again, except she couldn't. She was too nervous about how this would go. "I understand Tyrion. I'm the slut, the whore, the woman who used a brilliant author to get my glory and awards and erase my childhood claim to fame."

 

"Daenerys..."

 

She held her hand up, stilling him, before returning it to her lap. "No, don't lecture me otherwise. I've told Jon this. We've discussed it." Not as in detail as we should have. "And he knows."

 

"But does he though?" Tyrion whispered. he shook his head again. "Dany he's got his own pressures, his own career, and clearly demons inside of him that could drag at you if you don't think about how they will affect you. His drinking and his temper notwithstanding."

 

"I pay you to be my publicist, not my shrink," she snapped, allowing herself the moment to be pissed at him for presuming their relationship was anything other than employer and employee. She squinted at him, her voice cool. "Know your place Tyrion. Tread carefully."

 

He nodded briefly. "I apologize. I am only trying to impart the importance of maintaining appearance of professionalism. Otherwise you will be known as the actress who slept her way to the top. You already had the appearance that Rhaegar got you the job on Princess Periwinkle, then Drogo, then Daario, and now this? Especially when it is already out there that Jon Snow changed the premise of the entire film for you. It's unfair and I know you know that, but it is what it is. You want this to go away? You need to stop whatever it is you have with Jon Snow, at least until this film finishes, is released, and we go through the awards circuit. Then we can quietly put it out there that you both met while filming and after all this time are finally deciding to move forward with a relationship."

 

That would make the most sense, she knew itw ould. She bit her lip. "And Jon's drinking?"

 

"I'm not his publicist, that is Davos Seaworth's problem."

 

"But I want to help him." Perhaps she could try to convince him to seek some sort of treatment. It was interrupting his life. Their lives.

 

Tyrion shook his head, pointing his pen at her. "And that Daenerys is your fatal flaw. You want to help. He is not yours to save anymore than you are his to try to save." He sighed hard. "I also understand that his sister Sansa Stark is a journalist with 3N. She's heavily involved in politics in Westeros, but she learned at the knee of Petyr Baelish and sadly she was in a terrible relationship with my horrid nephew Joffrey. Which means my sister got her claws into her at some point. This is not someone to trifle with, you know this and I know this, but does Jon?"

 

I don't know. "What would Sansa Stark have to do with anything with me?" she murmured, but she knew. She remembered Davos's warning to Jon in the offices a couple months before. She knew Sansa wanted Jon to stay focused on the family. No one could take away his attention from that. She sighed and nodded. "Fine. Anything else?"

 

"Yes, the hotel was leaked to the press. Paparazzi are camped at the gates trying to get pictures of you and Jaime. Of course my sister is pleased, wouldn't put it beyond her that she leaked the information." He rubbed his temple. "So I don't need to tell you that if you want to keep things quiet you need to be careful. Jon Snow cannot be hiding in closets in your room in the middle of the day. Cease the relationship Daenerys."

 

No. It was foolish of her. Except she knew she had to do something. She closed her eyes. "Fine."

 

"Keep your blinds closed. Those fuckers have telescopic lenses and your room faces direct to the street. We'll have you moved to a different suite, I'll talk to Jorah and the hotel manager."

 

"No," she sighed. She didn't want to create any issues. They already thought she was a diva on set, they didn't need to get wind of her moving people from their rooms to make way for her. She was on the floor with the main actors, she didn't want to change and make it look anything different. "I’ll be fine."

 

"We can have Jorah sweep the room for anything else."

 

Would anyone seriously think that I am that important? She shook her head, fisting her hands in her lap again. "No, I'm the washed up Princess Periwinkle remember? The only reason there is interest in this film is as you said, Jon Snow and his mysterious past and his crazy imagination about ice zombies and wars of the dead as metaphors for life. Plus your sister still trying to make your brother relevant."

 

He laughed. "Yes, well we can blame Cersei for everything."

 

"It's fine Tyrion."

 

"My father used to say that 'fine' was just a nice way of saying 'shit.'"

 

"Your father died on the toilet."

 

Tyrion shrugged. "Doesn't mean he was wrong."

 

They were done, she decided, coming to her feet again. She led him to the door and held it open, gesturing for him to depart. She glanced down the hallway and as if he were timing it completely, Jon emerged from the elevator. She waved Tyrion away. "I will speak with you later." She leaned against the doorframe. "Jon Snow."

 

"Daenerys Targareyn." He held up the script. "You wanted to talk about the notes for tomorrow's call?"

 

"Yes thank you for making the time." She ignored Tyrion's eyeroll. He said nothing, thank the gods, when he walked away to the elevator. She waited for Jon to enter her room before she simply shot Tyrion a warning look and stepped into her room again, closing the door on his silent judgment.

 

When the door shut, she skirted under Jon's arm and went to the window, peering through the gauzy curtains at a few paparazzi milling about, probably waiting for someone to exit. They'd do that if they were desperate, otherwise they'd leave and just wait until they got a tipoff. She looked down the street a couple of times and then over at the hotel opposite them, tingling feelings creeping up her spine. She took a deep breath and pulled the heavier curtains together, heeding Tyrion's advice.

 

Once they were closed off from anyone's prying lens, she pounced into Jon's arms, smacking a kiss on his mouth. "I love you." She ignored the overpowering taste of mint-- at least he brushed his teeth this time. She groaned when he kneaded his fingers into the back of her thighs, carrying her into the bedroom. "Hey Jon."

 

"Hey Dany."

 

"I was thinking..." She fell onto the bed with a light bounce as he leaned back on his knees, pulling off his sweater again. She allowed her attention to deviate to his lovely chest, her fingers raising up to touch at his various scars and the beautiful way his ab muscles contracted under her featherlight attentions. "Have you ever thought of...talking to someone?"

 

His hands had gone to her wrists when she went to unbutton his jeans. He stilled, hooded eyes focusing on hers. "Talk to someone?" he murmured. They were on a knife's edge right now. She was going to get cut and she knew it. He cocked his head. "Like what do you mean?"

 

Just say it Dany. She took a deep breath. "Like someone about your drinking. About why you have to have whiskey to get through every single day."

 

"I don't," he snapped. He drew back and away from her. She closed her eyes, wishing she had waited. He reached for his sweater, clenching the bottom of it in his fists, glaring over at her. "That something Tyrion talk to you about? My drinking? My smoking? Newsflash it isn't illegal. Not like I'm snorting cocaine every day. Oh wait, that was Daario!"

 

White hot rage overtook her. All she could see was blinding white and she let out a sound akin to a dragon roar, lurching forward and standing on the edge of the bed, before launching at him and trying to hit him. "Fuck you!' she shouted, forgetting where they were. How dare he bring up Daario?! She punched at his arm and he blocked it, wrenching her fists from him and pushing her away, both of them breathing heavy, squaring off like boxers in a ring. "Your drinking is just as bad as cocaine snorting at this point Jon! Why won't you talk to me?"

 

"And what should I talk about, huh?" He laughed, but it was almost a sob. He flung his hands into the air. "The fact that I'm so fucking in love with you but that this isn't going to go anywhere?"

 

Tears began to fall. The ones she had kept at bay during her conversation with Tyrion. She sobbed, covering her face with her hands and turning away. "It can go somewhere!"

 

"Yeah if we lie. Face it Dany, you're going to do so well with this movie. You don't need me dragging you down." He paused. "Especially not someone with my past."

 

The past he wouldn't really talk about. The past that resulted in his medical discharge, a priceless sword as payment, and so many scars and wounds. She turned and reached for him, burying her face into his chest, her nose pressing against the awful sickle scar on his heart. She kissed it, not thinking, and knowing he was spiraling out of control. She knew addicts. She knew he needed help. She had to provide it. She couldn't keep doing this. Gods help her, she couldn't do this, she begged herself, her mouth moving across his chest and his finding her face, both of them kissing to each other, finally pulling at each other, pouring love and pain from one to the next.

 

But I'm an addict too. She was addicted to him. She was addicted to what they had. The way she felt when she was with him. The trust and the support he gave her that no one else ever had. "Jon," she begged, tearing her lips from his. "Please Jon, you have to get help, you can't keep doing this to yourself it isn't healthy."

 

"I will," he murmured.

 

"Promise?"

 

He nodded and kissed her again. "I promise...I...I don't know..." He made a sound like a sob and she wrapped her arms around him, holding him. She pulled him around to the side of the bed so they could stand by the fire, crossing before one of the windows that she hadn't remembered to close. She made a note that she should do that, but she couldn't let go of him. He was breaking in her arms and she had to be there.

 

She whispered Valyrian to him, words he didn't understand but that comforted her. Things Rhaegar would say to her when she was sick and alone. She kissed his tears and he kissed hers and she realized the following morning, as she woke up alone in bed, a note from Jon that he had to get going to a meeting with Margaery and would see her on set, that they hadn't even discussed anything of substance at all.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

March 2019
London, England

 

"Two packs of Mayfair." Jon threw down a couple packets of gum to go with the cigarettes and scotch purchase, reaching into his back pocket to remove his wallet. He thumbed out a couple tenners to pass over to the store clerk, catching something out of the corner of his eye. His eyes had been hurting him of late so instead of his contacts he had been mostly wearing his glasses. He pushed at the bridge of them, blinking as his eyes adjusted.

 

The clerk passed over the cigarettes and frowned at him. "You look familiar," he said.

 

He said nothing, grabbing the cigarettes and gum and shoved them into the pockets of his worn bomber jacket. He didn't do many interviews, so he wasn't sure how the clerk would know him unless perhaps the young guy was interested in West End productions. Even though Stannis Baratheon, his publisher, had all but kicked and screamed in his boring Stannis way, Jon had gotten his way and did not have an author photo on the back jacket of his covers. Davos had been able to spin it as a mysterious author gimmick and the books sold more copies.

 

The clerk slowly picked out the change from the drawer, still frowning. "You famous, mate?"

 

"Not that I know of," he mumbled, wishing the clerk would give him his change and be done with it. He began to feel pressure rising in the back of his neck. The same feeling he used to get on patrol. I'm being watched. He turned his head and saw two kids staring at him. He frowned and stole a glance at the stand of trashy magazines and tabloids, but didn't see anything that had his face or Dany's on them. It had been relatively quite of late on that front. He sighed. Maybe Sansa had shown a family photo on her news programme or something, but he doubted it. She had strict instructions to never include him.

 

Not that Sansa would ever fully listen. He shifted his weight and finally one of the kids broke free, calling you. "You that famous author? The one with the princess actress?"

 

What the fuck? His mouth fell slightly, unsure how to respond. The clerk laughed and pointed. "Yes! That's how I know you! Magazine last week was talking about that movie you two are making."

 

"I'm just the writer, I'm not famous," he said, flushing red. He had to get out of there. He turned, but it was too late, his eyes widening at the sight of three guys rushing towards the door of the small market. How the seven hells did they find me? coupled with the blaring question of why me? He was the fucking writer. Not the main star. He grabbed at his phone, sending a furious text off to Dany, demanding to know how the paparazzi had found him and telling her that he wouldn't be able to see her. He planned to go straight to her house, but not if he had a tail from them.

 

His phone pinged almost immediately. Say nothing. Get out of there. I'll see you at your place.

 

He shoved the phone into his pocket, ignored the curious stares of the clerk and the two kids who were immediately taking out their phones, and pushed outside. He wished he'd had his sunglasses, but he didn't have a prescription pair. Fuck I should have worn my contacts. The three photographers had been joined by a few others, immediately shouting and trying to take his photo, but he lifted his hand, shielding from the bright flashes and also trying to fumble with his car keys, cursing that he hadn't parked closer to the small sidewalk shop.

 

His heart thudded in his chest, still wondering why they were targeting him and what could he possibly have that would be of interest beyond his relationship with Dany. He kept his face as impassive as possible, hearing things shouted about his connection to the Northern separatist movement in Westeros and what exactly happened when he left the military.

 

"I thought those vows were for life, did you desert Jon Snow?"

 

"The Long Night seems awfully familiar to a recent HBO show, did you steal the idea?"

 

"What do you say to rumors of meltdowns on set with Daenerys Targareyn?"

 

"So Snow you manage to get a taste of the dragon? Can you tell us if the carpet matches the drapes, huh? She all natural?"

 

Rage flushed through him and he spun on the one who called out the crude comment on Dany. "Get the fuck out of my face!" he shouted, knocking one of the cameras aside. That only got him more flashes and he cursed his amateur mistake. He growled at them when another began shouting about how his sister gave an interview recently about how he was the rock of their family and she was so proud of his work.

 

The photog shouted at him, getting too close to the car as he went to open the door, wishing he had his Land Rover when he was in London instead of the space-age style black Audi SUV he drove. He blamed Arya for the car purchase, she had been with him and thought it was the coolest of the ones they'd seen. He tried to muscle his way into the car and away from the camera, knocking the car door into the device, the photog shouting that he'd pay for that if it was damaged. "Fuck you!" he shouted back.

 

The one who had quoted Sansa called out. "So would your sister still be proud of your work if she knew you changed it all for a talentless hack like Dany Targaryen?"

 

What the fuck? He slammed the door and started the engine, grateful that the fuckers moved out of the way as he sped off. He blew through a red light, but honestly could have cared less if a police officer went after him. His skin was clammy and his hands shaking. He fumbled with the cellophane on one of the packs of cigarettes, but he couldn't get it open since his hands were still shaking. He roared in frustration, throwing the pack aside and falling back into the seat, staring ahead and trying to focus on the road before he killed someone.

 

With a few glances in the rearview mirror, a few dummy turns here and there, he knew he’d lost any tail if someone tried to follow wherever he went. He didn’t even want to think about how the paparazzi knew where he was or how they had the allegations of his relationship with Dany. Someone was bound to talk from the Iceland set. He didn’t become an author or sell his script to create a movie for the purposes of becoming famous. It was a byproduct of his desire to share his stories with the rest of the world. It was also part of his contract that he’d stupidly signed with Stannis Baratheon’s publishing company.

 

Davos as his manager hadn’t necessarily helped, the crusty old man managing to convince him to branch beyond his novels and into the world of entertainment. Especially when Stannis refused to publish The Long Night as a novel, claiming it made better storytelling as a script. So he’d turned the fucking thing into a script. Paparazzi didn’t follow around authors and playwrights and screenwriters.

 

Unless they hook up with the talent.

 

He felt cold at the idea that they would look into his family. If they got their hooks into Catelyn. She already blamed him for everything that went wrong in the Stark family, so that didn’t bother him, but what did was if they dragged Bran or Arya into things. If they tried to drag down the memories of Ned, Robb, and Rickon.

 

If they went after him about Ygritte.

 

Or the Night’s Watch.

 

His scars burned; the mutiny. The release of his vows since he technically did die. Nonononononono.

 

The car came to a stop in front of his house and he leaped out, desperately needing to get inside and open up the bottle of scotch he’d bought. He stormed into the house, slamming the door and throwing his keys aside, shakily unwrapping the package of cigarettes, the bottle of scotch under his arm. He shoved one into his mouth and flicked the lighter over it, relieved when the felt the smoke fill his lungs.

 

It calmed him, the process, and he took a few more puffs before he went outside. Ghost followed and he heard movement at the front of the house. “Out here,” he called, turning slightly to see Dany hurrying through the kitchen and out into the small yard. He turned away from her, scowling. “Better back away, I’m smoking. I know how you hate that.”

 

“Do not lash out at me,” she snapped.

 

They’d been fighting a lot more since Iceland. He knew it was the stress of the film for both of them. The frustration at not being able to see each other and hiding away from each other to avoid getting caught. The so-called ‘meltdowns’ on set had become more frequent. At one point Margaery had banned him from the set because he was distracting the cameramen, who were terrified they were going to screw up a shot.

 

He threw the cigarette into the rubbish bucket he kept next to the door, filled with sand and tons of stubbed out butts. He pushed by her, noting that she looked exhausted, wearing workout clothes and her silver locks tied back in a messy braid. He went straight for the scotch bottle, but stopped, pushing it aside. He didn’t want to fight with her about his drinking. He took a few deep breaths and turned to face her, trying to find the words. He furrowed his brows. “They said things about you,” he whispered.

 

“Oh Jon,” Dany sighed. She placed a hand on her hip and leaned back, her other hand going to pinch at her nose. She closed her eyes, screwing them shut. Her voice was hushed. “Please tell me you didn’t say anything.”

 

“The guy wanted to know if the carpet matched the drapes, I couldn’t just let that slide!”

 

She waited a second and then spun around, hitting the wall with the flat of her palm, roaring in frustration before she rounded on him, pushing at his shoulders and knocking him back into the kitchen counter. He gaped, his hands going out to the side. She glared at him. “You aren’t supposed to say anything! I told you that almost a year ago Jon! When we were at the coffee shop and those people tried to accost me. They got a reaction and now they’re going to want more!”

 

He probably shouldn’t tell her about hitting the guy’s camera then. He sighed, closing his eyes. “Well this isn’t my world, Dany! By the way, how did they k now where I was anyway? I didn’t even know I was going to stop there!”

 

“I’ve been talking to Viserys, he thinks someone tipped them off when you left the studio, they probably followed you.” She closed her eyes, shaking her head and whispering. “This is not what I need right now. I have a series of interviews in a few weeks and I can’t have this be part of it.”

 

Yes of course, her career. He rolled his eyes and walked by her. “Yeah I know, they’ll think you slept your way to the part.”

 

“They will Jon!”

 

“You’re so paranoid about it!” he exclaimed. He knew it was true, he understood it and he understood her fear, but she was just so damn good in the part that maybe if she just…if she just…fuck he couldn’t even finish his thought he was all over the place. He pushed his hands through his hair. “Dany I don’t know what you want from me anymore.”

 

She stood across from him, frowning and arms wrapped around herself. “What I want from you?” she murmured. She shook her head, a bark of a laugh coming from her. “I don’t want anything from you Jon. I want you to just trust me on these things because I’ve been doing this for a lot longer than you.”

 

“Well maybe you should cut your losses,” he murmured. He wasn’t sure what he meant by that. He was angry and tired and didn’t like that they couldn’t seem to figure out this situation.

 

Dany gaped. “Cut my losses?” she echoed.

 

“Yeah. You know, go back to your life before me.” What the fuck was he even saying? He smirked, hands out to his sides. “I’m just dragging you down. The writer who was living a perfectly nice fucking life until you showed up in it and you got what you wanted. Just let me go.”

 

She stared, her mouth falling open slightly. “Just let you go?” she murmured. She smiled, shaky but it was still a smile. Until she laughed, high and tight. It was almost maniacal and for a brief moment he wondered what he’d tapped into, her amethyst eyes going glassy, vacant and unseeing. “You fucking dick.”

 

He said nothing, his throat tightening. He swallowed the lump forming. It was for the best. “I can’t do this,” he whispered.

 

“I told you…” her voice trailed off and she laughed again, before her mouth snapped shut. She shook her head and marched towards him. He knew what was coming and didn’t bother to block it, accepting the slap she bestowed with his eyes simply closing slightly, coppery taste of blood in his mouth from the cut she left on his lip, her mother’s ring catching and tearing. He licked at the blood, his fingertip touching it and he shrugged. It was for the best.

 

Dany’s face was a mask, but he knew he hurt her. He didn’t even want to know what she was going to do in response. “I hate you,” she whispered, her voice thick. She was holding back the tears. She laughed again. “Fuck you Jon.” And she pushed by him, her feet silent as she left the house, slamming the door as loud as she could, the front window rattling and Ghost whining, running from him and to the door, scratching anxiously at it to get back to her.

 

He turned and slumped against the wall, sliding to the floor and burying his face into his hands. What the fuck did he just do?

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

Did they just break up?

 

Jon sat silent in front of the fireplace, barely focusing on anything other than the growing emptiness of the tumbler of whiskey in his hand and the smothering feeling of barely consumed rage at everything he couldn't control. He didn't know what happened, just that they were fighting and then she was sobbing and he wasn't sure what she said, he was filled with so much loathing and frustration.

 

He knew Arya had come over at some point; she was in the kitchen cleaning up broken glass. Did I throw something? He wasn't sure anymore what was reality and what was the foggy image of reality. He sipped the whiskey, annoyed it hadn't done what he wanted it to do, which was drown out the feeling of anything. He wanted to go into the blackness and return to the world where he thought he actually knew what was going on with his life.

 

The Wall. The Night's Watch. At least there he had a purpose. Such as it was. He knew what he was doing. He had met someone he loved. Ygritte may not have loved him the same way and he may not have even loved her the way he probably thought he did, but it was something. He'd been young and inexperienced and stupid and thought he could help save the world. Then he lost it all. He became what he was now. Whatever that is.

 

"Jon."

 

"Hmm?" He leaned forward, stumbling slightly when he pitched forward more than he thought he had meant to, his hand shaking as he poured more whiskey into the glass. He gave up when it sloshed over and just took the bottle, slumping further into his misery, hugging the damn thing like a child would a bottle. "What?"

 

Arya came over and sat across from him, her hands folded between her knees. She had that steely expression she got when she refused to change her opinion. She was resolute and determined and he knew whatever she was going to say he probably wouldn't like. She glanced at the whiskey and then at him again. "Your drinking has gotten out of control," she murmured. "It's scaring me."

 

"You too?" he snorted. "First Dany..." He couldn't even finish the statement, screwing his eyes shut as a wave of pain washed over him. He missed her already and it hadn't even been a few hours since she left. Was it just a fight? Would he be able to call her later and apologize for whatever stupid thing he said and they could be done with it? There was too much in the air, too many factors and uncontrollable things and for once in his fucking life he wanted control. He blinked over at her, trying not to break down too much in front of his little sister. He couldn't do that, he had to be strong. Always strong for them. "What?"

 

"You're in love with her," she whispered, a smile tugging on her lips. She chuckled, cocking her head and continuing to smile sympathetically. "Jon it's so obvious. Don't even try to fight it."

 

He wasn't going to fight it. "I am," he said. He laughed, but it came out like a sob and he felt the couch shift as Arya went to sit beside him, wrapping her arm around his shoulder. He sniffed and hit his head on her shoulder. "You shouldn't be doing this. It's not supposed to be you."

 

"Oh fuck off and let me you big baby."

 

He laughed. Typical Arya. He sighed, continuing to stare into the fire. He closed his eyes; fire made him think of Dany. "We had a fight."

 

"I gathered."

 

"I love her...I just don't know why it has to be like this."

 

"Like what?"

 

"The press, her career..." He trailed off, frowning and thinking back on all the things he'd ever been called in his life. Dany was finally on the cusp of something big for herself. She was finally going to be free of the chains that dragged her down. This was all her and only her. No other man would be tied to her success, no terrible tragedy. Just her. Except he didn't understand. Sometimes he really didn't understand her singular focus on it, the paranoia that crept in about what people thought of her. She shouldn't care, he wanted t shout. He knew she had a heart, a good and gentle heart, but right now he wondered if there was something else in its place.

 

He hated thinking like that. Especially with what she'd shared of herself. About her son. Things she'd never told anyone but had trusted in him. Gods what is wrong with me. "I'm a bastard," he whispered, shaking his head. "And she doesn't need that."

 

Arya growled, reminding him she was as much a wolf as him. "Jon i'll smack you if you keep saying those things. I've told you time and time again. You are not my bastard brother, you are not my cousin, you are my brother. Seven hells! You are more my brother than Sansa even is my sister and we share the same set of parents!"

 

At that he had to smile. There were times when growing up Arya had gone to him and wondered if she was his trueborn sister. It was a dream of course, his mother was Lyanna Stark and she had been dead since two hours after his birth. He had never been interested in learning who his father was; if Lyanna didn't tell anyone and his birth certificate was empty then he wasn't interested in knowing either. He just didn't understand growing up why even as her nephew, Catelyn Stark couldn’t handle him. It wasn't like her husband had cheated on her and brought home a babe to care for as her own.

 

"It's because you look like her and if there was one person my brother loved more than Catelyn Stark, it was Lyanna Stark", his uncle Benjen had said once. "And because you look more like a Stark than her sons. She's just bitter."

 

He closed his eyes again. "Fine then, but that doesn't change things Arya. She's always going to want her career more than me." Was that really true though?

 

"Will you give up all this?" Arya suddenly asked. She gestured to the tall ceiling, the spartan environment of the house he only used as a dorm room when hew as in town. She scowled. "All the money, the awards, everything...would you give it up for her?"

 

She had to know that he was never interested in the trappings of fame. "Of course," he whispered. It was not even a question. If he only ever lived the rest of his life in her arms he would. If she'd let him. If it didn't mean that the world would look at her as anything other than what she was, which right now they would. It was so fucking unfair. He laughed, scrubbing at his face, feeling Arya hug him a little closer. "I would give up everything for her, you know that."

 

"Even us?"

 

He turned his face to hers; she was deadly calm. Her gray eyes, not as dark as his, were unblinking. The poker straight hair she'd always hated as a girl was tugged from her face in a severe braid, best to be kept away when she was doing her insane workouts and martial arts. He wondered if she was done in Iceland, if she was back in London and hanging out with Gendry again. He hadn't talked to her about things going on in her life recently. He was a bad brother in that regard. "Even what?" he asked, seeking clarification, although he knew.

 

Arya wanted to know if he would give up the pack for Dany. He hesitated. He'd told his father he wouldn't. He couldn't, not after everything that had happened. They were his family. She lifted her slim dark brows, eyes widening. "You know what I mean Jon, don't play stupid."

 

"I'm not."

 

"Yes you are. I want to know if Daenerys Targareyn means so much to you that you would give up the pack for her." She continued. "Because you should. Because I'm tired of you always being miserable for us. My mother treats you like nothing when she can afford the best care for Bran when she's too busy or too emotionally fucked up to deal with it. Bran can handle himself too, I think she forgets that about her baby boy. He's sick of living with her anyway." She grew fierce, slamming her brows together and growling. "And don't you fucking say a thing about me. I'm more invested in you and Dany at this point then I think you know. You forget Jon that I actually talk to her too. She loves you. You love her. Fuck everyone else."

 

"Even Sansa?" It was said mostly teasing, because he knew what her opinion was of their sister.

 

"Gods especially Sansa. She can't handle it because Mom puts as much pressure on her as she does you, except she also makes sure that Sansa knows that it is all on her. The distilleries, the investments, the real estate, and the news company. All Sansa wants to do is play in her little political world back in Westeros and she can't because she's stuck flying back and forth and all over the place." Arya sighed, a sad look crossing her face. "She got hurt so bad. She just wants to hurt others too."

 

That was fairly wise of her to say. He nudged her shoulder with his. "Since when did you get so smart?"

 

"Since everyone thought I was stupid."

 

"I never did."

 

"No," she laughed. "You didn't." She waited another moment and glanced at the spilled scotch on the coffee table, her voice quieting. "You're not well Jon."

 

He knew that. He closed his eyes hard. he was so fucking tired. "It's not a big deal, he murmured."

 

"Except it is." She squeezed his hand. "You'd give up everything for us Jon. You already have. You'd give up this world for her. Do you think she'd do the same with you? Do you think she already has in a way? She's risking a lot."

 

The fight they'd had wasn't the other skirmishes about things. It was two people who were at different places in their life. He thought about him and Ygritte. Sometimes hew ordered if they'd have made it really work. If it could have been the whole husband and wife and house and kids thing. They loved each other, so what was the problem? The tiny voice in the back of his head answered almost immediately. The problem is that she loved the wild part of him, the dangerous Jon Snow who climbed the Wall with a pickaxe on a dare. The one who didn't tie her down or try to question her insane decisions. Ygritte never even read his books, but Dany had them memorized before she even knew who he was.

 

He'd mentioned children once to Ygritte; kids with red hair and freckles and her bright green eyes. She'd made a face and said that she didn't want rugrats, not when she still had things to do. Whatever that was supposed to mean, wasn’t like she really told him. Then she'd gone off to climb a mountain and she'd died. He supposed he'd always love her because that's how he felt when she'd died, but it hadn't been anything beyond that trappings of first love.

 

Dany though...he loved her so fucking much it hurt him. Tore at him and made him sick. "She's risking so much," he agreed. He frowned, thinking of her confession about her son. "She's got a lot she...she's kept hidden. I'm the only one she's told."

 

Arya, to her credit, didn't pry and he was grateful for that, chiding himself internally for his loose lips, not wanting to spill Dany's private secrets. They weren’t his to share. She'd confessed them because she loved him and trusted him and he had to do that with her. "My mom and Sansa have taken advantage of you for too long and I'm sorry that I let it. I'll talk to Bran. We can deal with things on the Stark end. You need to move on and let us go. Start a life Jon. Something other than hiding in your books and imaginary worlds."

 

"And where does that leave you, huh?" he asked, only slightly teasing. He smiled sideways. "What about your growing movie stunt career?"

 

A pink tinge hit her cheeks. "That was just for fun, I'm not taking it seriously."

 

He nodded, but his thoughts drifted back to Dany. "I need to talk to her. Before she thinks that...that this really is over and done."

 

"You better be prepared to grovel, from the sound of it, you were the one who freaked out."

 

"I know." He just didn't understand why they were going after him. He squeezed her hand tight. "Thank you Arya."

 

"Don't thank me yet. You two have a lot of shit to get through."

 

Understatement, he figured. He kissed her temple and waited for her to get up and walk out of the room. He sighed. Waited another moment and frowned, hearing the door shut twice. That was strange. Maybe Arya forgot something the first time she walked out. He got up and stumbled a little, blinking through the fuzzy drunk feeling, reaching into his pocket for his cigarettes. He made it to the back door, kicking it opened so he could lean against the frame. He cupped his hand around the flickering light of the Zippo, hearing footsteps behind him and turned.

 

Arya was coming towards him, her backpack on her shoulder. "I'm heading out."

 

"I thought you already left."

 

"No, I had to get my bag from my room." She frowned. "Why?"

 

Because I heard the door shut already, he thought, shaking his head and sighing. "Nothing, I'm drunk I guess." Was there someone else in the house? He didn't hear anyone else. Dany, maybe? No, she would have said something if she'd come back to yell at him some more.

 

"Well sober up White Wolf. Go get your Dragon Queen."

 

"Get out of here," he laughed, pushing at her. He waited for her to leave before he removed his phone from his pocket, holding his cigarette between his fingers as he brought up his text messages, taking another long drag a moment later and staring at the one he'd received an hour ago.

 

I hate you. But I love you too. Give me some time.

 

He tapped back a response. I'm a fucking idiot. I love you too.

 

The little dots appeared a second later. Come over.

 

On my way. He threw the cigarette into the bin and went back into the house, gathering Ghost and sending Davos a message. About an hour later his manager had sent a car and he was in the backseat, eyes closed and fighting off the headache forming. Ghost whined at him, no doubt irritated at all the shouting back and forth.

 

The car pulled away from the curb, a block away from her house, and he trudged in the light drizzle of rain, going around to the back gate of the large townhouse's plot, finding that it was already open. He stepped inside and up to the back door, the wide expanse of glass already pulled open, where Dany was standing, bundled in one of his sweatshirts, a pair of flannel pants, and thick socks. Her braids were wound at the base of her head in a knot. Her eyes were red and puffy and her smooth skin splotchy. He kicked himself for doing that to her.

 

He walked into her arms and she molded against him. "I love you," he mumbled into her hair. "I'm sorry for being a dick."

 

"I'm sorry for putting this on you," she cried. She buried her face into his chest and he felt her nails digging into his shoulder blades, clutching him. "I wish I could be normal sometimes."

 

Don't we all, he thought, swaying slightly with her as they stumbled backwards into the house and towards the stairs leading to her room, falling into the thing they knew how to do best and pushing aside all the rest.

Chapter Text

xiii.

March 2019
New York City

"Just a few more minutes."

 

Dany glanced up in the brightly lit mirror of the makeup artist's chair, smiling warmly and nodding in acknowledgment. "Thank you." She tugged off the white tissue paper they used to keep her designer outfit clean of stage makeup, her pores screaming at the mountain of matte foundation to keep the blinding stage lights from shining on even one bead of sweat. She adjusted the collar of the crimson leather blouse she wore, shifting a bit and crossing her legs, bobbing her sky-high heel up and down as she tapped a text to Jon.

 

About to go on. She smiled and flew her thumbs across the screen. Should I kick Petyr Baelish in the balls for you after what he said when he saw The Long NIght on Broadway? He'd called it the longest night of his life and an even longer bore. She bit her lower lip and waited, exhaling in relief when the dots began to dance on the screen.

 

The phone buzzed in her palms. Don't waste the effort. Just be you.

 

A warm smile pulled on her lips, wishing he was there with her but knowing of course he couldn't be. They were lucky that his New York trip happened to fall at the same time as the first vestiges of her press tour for The Long Night. She would do a few shows and couple interviews, as well as a photoshoot for Vogue that had been planned for some time, and then it was back to Iceland to finish filming, wrap up everything, and she was in the clear for the post-production. She planned to take a very long vacation, perhaps even venture back to Westeros and stay in Dorne, known for its ability to give someone complete and total privacy when they wanted. The Martell family would never allow anyone to disturb their guests.

 

A knock echoed in the dressing room and she glanced up, a PA leaning in, moving their microphone from their mouth. "We're ready for you Ms. Targaryen."

 

"Thank you," she chirped, hopping out of the chair. She took one more look at the phone, which buzzed in her hand again, another smile on her face as she look in the picture of Ghost staring forlornly at the camera. Her finger touched lightly on the image, zooming in. She could see Jon's hand trying to turn the wolf's massive head up to look straight ahead. The caption was simply. He loves you.

 

No, you big oaf, you love me. She secured the phone, shoving it into her purse and setting it on the dressing room table, getting up and smoothing her skirt-- also crimson leather-- hoping her braids were still smooth in the twists they'd been tugged into at the back of her head. She walked out, following the PA to the waiting area, knowing that Petyr Baelish had already been informed by Tyrion about what was and was not on the table for discussion, but she knew that he would ignore it if he felt like it. Littlefinger was notorious, his "news" show running the gamut from entertainment to politics. She didnt' trust him, she never had, but even more so now knowing that he was the one who trained Sansa Stark.

 

She heard heavy erratic steps behind her and turned, frowning at Tyrion, who seemed out of breath. "What are you doing here?" she asked. He had gone to another floor to discuss the next interview, in the same building. She crossed her arms over her chest when his gaze darted away from her gaze. She snapped. "Speak!"

 

"I had no idea."

 

"No idea what?" she demanded, teeth grit.

 

Tyrion closed his eyes, words tumbling quickly from his lilps. "Daario. He's scheduled for the next taping after yours. They moved it from tomorrow to today. He's going to be here. Any moment. He..." He closed his eyes, sighing. "He's also staying at your hotel. I'll see about getting you moved."

 

The dragon stirred inside of her, rumbling and fire building in the back of her throat. Violet eyes turned to amethyst-colored ice chips. Daario Whenever she thought she was free of him, he somehow found a way to get back in her sight.

 

"Why do I even pay you what I pay you?" she demanded, her spine rigid. She was attempting to maintain some comportment of control, but it was increasingly difficult, the longer she stood in the presence of her publicist, who probably should have been able to see this coming a mile away. Of course Daario would be hocking his newest film. Of course it would be at the same time as she was in New York. Of course Petyr Baelish would maneuver it to have them encounter each other in the same space.

 

There were times where she seriously wondered if she only hired Tyrion because he hated his sister and Cersei had attempted to make her life a living hell in the early days of her career, focused on trying to do anything to take down the Targaryens after Rhaegar had spurned her advance and Aerys had attempted to trash her father and their family name. She could no longer look at him and turned away, but it was too late. She turned around, just in time to see her ex-boyfriend emerge from around the corner leading to the dressing rooms.

 

Daario was handsome if you looked at him a certain way. Not classically so, not necessarily rugged, but also not really even pretty. She supposed it was his swagger and attitude that did it for most women. He was decent with stunts, which probably was why he'd been able to become as famous as he had, since he did shoot-em-up bang-bang type of movies that always did well enough and production studios knew would sell for a quick buck. He had a stupid series of films for the same character, a mercenary in the deserts and they always had gratuitous violence, sex, and nudity.

 

Dany detested anything with 'sexposition.' Naked women just laying around while someone talked out the plot. It was gross and unnecessary. She was nota verse to removing clothes for a part if it was for the advancement of the plot or showed her character in a strong light, but with Daario's films she'd always been pushed to trying to take her top off; she'd done it once and had regretted it immensely. She wrinkled her nose at the sight of him, wearing a halfway unbuttoned shirt, his thick dark hair swept from his face. She thought he might have been trying to emulate Jon if he'd known who Jon was. It didn't work for him.

 

What was I thinking with this man? The little voice in the back of her mind, with the voice of the child she used to be, carefully reminded her. You were sad and alone and you wanted someone to make you feel good. Daario had been that person and now he just never seemed to go away. She was going to kill Tyrion. And Petyr Baelish.

 

Daario of course knew she was there, had planned it no doubt, and walked towards her, stupid smile on his face and arms out to try to hug her, but she sidestepped him, trying to maintain a polite look, but it was so difficult. "Daenerys!" he exclaimed.

 

"Daario," she greeted.

 

"It has been too long! I didn't know you were going to be on Petyr's show today."

 

She turned her cheek, accepting the air-buss he gave her, but only because she turned fast enough to avoid his lips on hers. She made a sound, not agreeing or disagreeing, simple acknowledgment. "Yes."

 

He smiled, this time closer to her, more feral. "So you seeing anyone?" He cocked his head. "Because we had some good times, yeah?"

 

When I was a crying mess over the death of my husband, my child, my career, with no family really to speak of because Viserys was in the hospital for overdosing on painkillers and the rumors about Rhaegar's death were at an all-time high? Yeah, good times. "For you," she simply said. She turned away, a PA coming over to help mike her up.

 

"I thought your movie wasn't even done yet and you're already doing press? Must be terrible."

 

"Like all of yours?"

 

He scowled. "Mine actually make money."

 

"And mine will win awards," she said, hoping she wasn't being too presumptuous. Or arrogant. She scowled at him and smiled at the PA, stepping away, Tyrion following behind her. She glared at Daario when he moved with them. "You can go now Naharis."

 

"Hello Imp," Daario said, greeting Tyrion, who just glared at him.

 

Tyrion cleared his throat loudly. "So clever, did you come up with that yourself?"

 

"Daario!" an assistant called out. "We need you in hair and makeup!"

 

"Shouldn't take too long," Daario commented, smirking at her. He leaned in a little closer, voice quiet. Only for her. "When you get tired of the writer, you know where to find me." He wiggled his eyebrows and kissed her cheek, before she had a chance to stop him, winking and sauntering off.

 

The dragon had fully awakened.

 

Tyrion was saying something to her about how he had no idea, just go do the interview, they'd talk later, ignore whatever he said, answer the questions, and then she could return to Iceland and wrap up the film. She had no idea what else he may have said, it was like she was in a fugue state.

 

All she could see was black as someone turned and pushed her towards the stage. An echoing voice like in a dark tunnel shouted for the audience to welcome the next guest, Princess Periwinkle herself, the Dragon Queen, Daenerys Targareyn! She felt someone nudge her and she walked out, her heels clicking, each one like a gunshot in her ear as she turned the corner and walked out, waving and smiling for the cheering studio audience. She stepped up onto the platform where Petyr stood next to his chair, another pushed far too close for comfort so it was like they were having a fucking little fireside chat.

 

If she looked back on the interview she had no idea how she had kept up the face she made, beaming and eyes crinkling, waving to the audience, taking a seat and smoothing her skirt, crossing her legs and folding her hands in her lap, thanking Petyr for inviting her and being so excited to be there in New York, shame they couldn't have done this in their native Westeros, my how far they've come. "And for you Petyr, so very far," she said, eyebrows lifting as she landed her backhanded compliment, turning to the audience. "For those that don't know, Petyr is from a little peninsula in Westeros we call The Fingers, not many people manage to escape out of there, unless they fall into the rocks and emerge in another world." She grinned. "Did that happen to you Petyr?"

 

An awkward titter filled the stage and Petyr smiled, enigmatic as always, his index card with his notes tapping on the armrest of his chair. "Yes," he said, drawling elegantly. "I fell into some rocks and ended up in the same world as you Daenerys."

 

"Oh stop," she laughed. She reached her hand over, nails digging into his forearm, hoping she drew blood when she saw him flinch.

 

Petyr grinned. "So tell me Daenerys, it has been so long, I understand you are filming a new movie. Sounds like it will be quite fascinating, an adaptation of the play The Long Night."

 

"Yes!" she exclaimed, sitting up in her seat and continuing to grin. "A beautiful adaptation if I say so myself by the amazing play written by Jon Snow." The audience cheered and she nodded. "Quite a brilliant writer, absolutely brilliant, novels and plays and scripts, I mean his imagination knows no bounds while also discussing issues and feelings and things we all face as humans. It's quite something."

 

"Yes so I've heard." Petyr continued his little smile, his eyes twinkling. She set her jaw. They were supposed to be discussing Rhaegar's Song, an award that she would be receiving on behalf of the charity, and a beautiful exhibition of his artwork that she would be auctioning off for proceeds to the charity in her brother's name. The film was supposed to just be a tease, but her heart beat heavy in her chest, knowing that with Petyr springing Daario on her and already mentioning the film that things might be getting flipped on their end.

 

And she was so angry she could spit fire. Not a place she should be in for sparring with Baelish. She gripped her hands in her lap, thumbing at her mother's ring, twisting it on her index finger. She beamed again. "Oh you've heard already? That's marvelous, we'll be wrapping filming soon and it should be in theaters at the end of the year."

 

"Speaking of filming..." Petyr removed a card and studied it for a moment, before he landed his vacant gaze on her. "What do you say to the rumors of onset fighting? You are the dragon after all and they don't call Margaery Tyrell the Thorny Rose for no reason."

 

"Actors and directors often have disagreements, nothing but professional with Marg," she said, narrowing her eyes on him.

 

"And what of the more...ah...dare we say...passionate ones you've been having with the writer Jon Snow?"

 

The amethyst in her eyes melted to flaming indigo. "Rumors," she answered with grit teeth. "You do realize that actors and writers are passionate people? We have passionate arguments. Jon Snow is a brilliant writer as I have already said, he often solicits opinions to make it even better." Lies, he hated people critiquing his work. She shrugged her shoulders. "My brother Rhaegar often argued with his director and writer for most of his movies and he won three Oscars. He was also heavily invested in encouraging the arts among young children, which is what I thought we were here to discuss?"

 

It was a subtle jab at him, attempting to change the subject, but Petyr was good at his job and she knew it was going to take more. He chuckled. "Of course your brother Rhaegar Targaryen, brilliant actor in his own right, what do you think he'd think of this film?"

 

"I think he'd be proud of it, my brother Viserys and I worked very hard to secure the rights to Jon Snow's play as well as rights to two of his novels, we're hopeful the success of the current film will propel us forward into a mutually beneficial partnership," she chirped.

 

Petyr smiled, a bit wider. "Ah yes, partnerships, so your partnership with Daario Naharis then, that's over?"

 

"It's been over," she said, trying to maintain her smile. She winked. "Unless you know something I don't know Petyr!"


"Well we all know how that one turned out, huh?" Petyr laughed, the audience going along with it. He shrugged his shoulder and reached to lightly tap at her hand, which she tried not to jerk away, lest the cameras or the audience pick up on her immediate discomfort. She was an actor and she was playing a part, she thought, her face frozen in a smile. "Daario said in an interview recently that working with you was the highlight of his carer and life, dare we think Jon Snow might say the same?"

 

"You'll have to ask Jon Snow."

 

"Oh well I must be mistaken, I thought you were close?" Petyr cocked his head, faking sympathy. "What about those that say you've been seen coming and going from each other's homes? I think I saw somewhere that Jon Snow almost hit a paparazzi for mentioning you to him."

 

"Jon Snow is a private writer, I don’t know him anymore than anyone else on set," she said. She shrugged again. "And some of us don't like our photo taken nonstop."

 

"But you are an exception to that dear Daenerys are you not, lest we forget your last photo-shoot?" Petyr gestured and she faked a hard laugh when her last photo-shoot, a sexy spread for Maxim came up onto the screens, the audience catcalling and whistling. She had been trying to do anything at the time to distract from the headlines about Daario and her, so she'd taken the PR exposure of "Sexiest Woman in the World" complete with the risqué photo-shoot. She'd been drunk for most of it and could barely remember what photos they'd even chosen to use.

 

That's all I am, she thought, still smiling although inside her heart was breaking. She licked her lips and quirked her lip. "Well I've got an upcoming shoot with Vogue, so we'll see if I can't give you all something a little more, huh?" She wiggled her shoulders, pretending to go along with it all.

 

"Or maybe these ones, huh?" When the images came up, the audience continued to catcall and she almost lost herself. Almost. The smile only flickered as her brain processed the images on the screen, before she grinned again. They were pictures of her in Dorne, from a couple years ago, holding a book over her chest as she posed, her braids piled on her head and the filmy skirt around her hips doing little to shield her ass, and it was obvious she wasn't wearing underwear. Another one came up beside it and she bit her lower lip, realizing it was from Iceland, standing in front of the window of her hotel room. If you didn't know that it was from a telescopic lens, you would think it was from a photo-shoot, the image clear as day and her stare vacant as a dark image loomed behind her.

 

Jon It was probably one of the first days there; she had a sheet up over her chest, clearly looking like she was thinking about something important, staring off and daydreaming, something that she probably would have been okay with if it were for a professional photo-shoot and not what it really was. A voyeuristic shot someone stole. Someone who wasn't a paparazzi; the picture was just too good.

 

She licked her lips and kept grinning. "Well you know I don't show it all." She paused. "Unless the script is good enough." It was weak adn cheesy and made her sound like she would do anything if the pay was enough, but she was not prepared. Her palms sweat and her heart raced. She wanted to burst into tears and also burn the set to the ground. Change the topic Dany. Change the topic.

 

With a flick of her braid over her shoulder, she propped her head on her hand, eyebrow lifting. "So Peytr, are you going to ask me about my charity work with Rhaegar's Song or will I have to go talk to Renly Baratheon?" Making mention to his competitor, who focused far more on the political aspects of things than the entertainment side, had his smile flickering. Good, I got you.

 

So Petyr began to ask about the charity, which she spoke about, pleased she'd managed to get the conversation back on track, while also feeling the bleeding in her chest at the very real issue in her life. She was just a sexy exotic actor, that's all they saw her as. Princess Periwinkle turned into the bad girl of crappy action films and the arm candy of Daario Naharis. The one who drove Khal Drogo to his untimely death with her insane demands and her dragon like nature. The world was too slow for the likes of Daenerys Targaryen and she would never be happy until she saw it all burning around her. They called her the Dragon Queen, the Mad Queen, all those awful things and the photographers played it up when she did these shoots with them.

 

Even winning awards for Rhaegar's charity wasn’t enough to change the narrative. Talking about the film still brought to light the rumors of her and Jon. It was why they couldn't do anything right now, she thought, standing and unhooking the mike once they broke filming and Petyr finished with her. She flicked off the little power box, knowing the sound person would likely have a fit with her for messing up the equipment, but she wanted to make sure no one heard what she was going on say.

 

Petyr did the same, but she was still careful, leaning in to pretend to give him a hug and kiss on the cheek, her fingernails-- claws-- digging into the skin exposed above the collar of his shirt. She hissed between her teeth, eyes flashing. "You may have tried to throw me off with Daario but I know you Petyr. Don't think your little games are going to take me down."

 

"I have no idea what you are talking about," he drawled. Except he did, his smile almost obscene as he cocked his head innocently. "Tell me Daenerys, have you met my protégé yet? I don't normally take on interns but Sansa Stark was so eager to learn the ways of journalism that I brought her under my wing. First at the Falcon's Nest in Westeros and then here in the States. She's quite an astute learner."

 

Sansa Stark. She felt her smile break, unable to hide her surprise, so she swallowed the immediate dry patch in her throat, which choked her. "She's a lovely young woman," she merely said. "I met her recently. Quite smart." Quite stupid too.

 

"Loves her family more than I think she loves anything else, poor dear has been hurt."

 

"And you hurt her," she whispered, pushing back from him, glaring and dropping off the platform, PAs hurrying to set up for the next interview. She lifted her finger in silent warning, saying nothing and turning from him, walking off and tossing the microphone box onto the waiting cart, forgetting to apologize and feeling bad about it as she stalked to her dressing room, Tyrion already intercepting her with her bag and coat. She would clean the makeup off then in the car, she couldn't be here any longer than she had to be.

 

Once in the car she was fully prepared to go full Mad Queen on her publicist and Tyrion knew it. He was unable to look her in the eye as she snatched her coat from him. She knew she should have placed Missandei as her spokesperson, not him, but her best friend loved working for the charity more than trying to play games with the press. Tyrion used to be really good at it, but he'd been lacking of late.

 

She shoved her arms into the sleeves of the Burberry overcoat, taking the bag from him as well, but it was too late. Daario was waltzing over. "Give us a minute," she snapped at Tyrion, her eyes on Daario. He led her over to his dressing room and opened the door. She followed him in, waiting for it to close before her arm came out and she swung, cracking him with a loud clang of her ring against his teeth, the backhand something she'd learned during stunt training years ago and it was probably her most effective weapon besides her temper.

 

Daario yelped, glaring at her through the fringe of his hair. "Fuck Daenerys!"

 

"Don't you ever fucking talk about our sex life in public again, you piece of shit!" She made a move to kick him, but her leather skirt hampered her, so she simply decided to try to hit him once more, but she was so angry that she missed. She huffed, gathering herself as best she could, her temper threatening to rage out of control. "That photo in Dorne was not yours to share! How did you even get it?" She had had one of Drogo's security guards, he called them his bloodriders, a Dothraki named Qhono go in and wipe Daario's phones after Dorne.

 

He laughed. "That's what you're mad about? Oh I made copies of the pictures before your little pet went in and got rid of them."

 

"Delete them all," she hissed.

 

"Or what?"

 

Dany narrowed her eyes. She approached him slowly. Pushed him back onto the couch. She hiked up her skirt and slowly pulled her knee up. Daario's eyes immediately went to her leg, eyeing the way her calf muscles flexed as she stretched her leg out. He made a move for it, but she pushed him back down. With her high heel. On his crotch. Hard.

 

His eyes bulged for a second and the sound he made was almost inhuman. She smiled, sweet and gentle. "Or I ensure every future girlfriend of yours is forever disappointed. More than they would be anyways." She cocked her head again. "And don't forget Daario. I have photos of you too. Oh not sexy ones, not risqué ones from the bedroom. The coke photos. The partying in Pentos photos." She arched a brow when his face flickered nervously. "And your little private investigator that got those pictures of me in Iceland?" Because that was the only way the photo was that clear of her was if it came from a professional. She shook her head. "Well he'll work for me."

 

He gasped as she pressed harder with her heel. "You never cared before!"

 

"Because before you didn't go this far. Before it was just you being a dick and whining and crying to the press and I honestly thought ignoring you would make it all go away." What a fool I was. She laughed. "But this is too much Daario. Keep playing your innocent little act, I'm the bad guy, I'm the one who ruined your life, but you start following me, you start stalking me, and we're done. That picture from Iceland..."

 

"That's not my picture!" he exclaimed.

 

She cocked her head, frowning. What? He shook his head quickly, trying to get her foot to move, but she kept it in place, her fingers tugged in the leather of her skirt to keep it high enough to give her better movement. "Excuse me?" Her blood began to thrum in her ears at the implication.

 

Daario laughed, shaking his head again. "You're mad for no reason Daenerys! That picture isn't from me! Baelish got it some other way. I didn't do shit! The only thing I did was talk about us and post that Dornish pic on my Instagram ages ago!"
What? She hated being caught off guard. "You did?"

 

"Your publicist isn't much of a publicist if he didn't catch it," he spit out, glaring at her. He laughed. "Then again you always did have a soft spot for him. Cripples, bastards, and broken things, that’s' what he always said, huh?"

 

So stunned, she let go of him and he rolled forward, clutching his crotch and groaning. She stumbled backwards, staring at her ex-boyfriend like she hadn't quite seen him before. If Daario wasn't behind it... She swallowed hard, turning away and ignoring his shout that he wasn't going to let her get away with it, like he was some sort of Scooby-Doo villain at the end of the show. She hurried away and to Tyrion, grabbing her bag. "We have to get out of here," she muttered, unable to look at him.

 

Except people wanted autographs and photos. She obliged, smiling wide and chatting with the production staff about all things from Princess Periwinkle to the movie to the charity work and to the visit in New York. How excited she was for the film, thank you for their support, all the stuff she tried not to make sound like a script but personalized to each fan. She managed to get away, security staff for the studio helping them down and out to the waiting SUV.

 

More fans and photographers, waving and taking pictures as she walked through the throng to the open car door, her sunglasses shielding her eyes, which she knew the fans really wanted to see, asking her often if they were contacts and her having to show them that they were in fact legitimate. She climbed up into the SUV, slid across the seat and waited for Tyrion to join her, the door slamming closed a moment later. Once they were away from the curb, pulling into Manhattan traffic, she hit the button to bring up the security partition from the driver.

 

Tyrion glanced at it and then sideways. "Daenerys..."

 

"Those photos," she whispered. She now had the opportunity to feel as disgusted as she was by them. She rubbed her arms. She wanted a shower. She wanted to get clean. She shook her head, staring out the window. She couldn't even look at him. She wiped at a tear that managed to escape, frustrated that she had allowed it to happen. Crying was not the answer right now; blind anger was. Her voice cooled. "You allowed the one of me in Dorne to go by."

 

"That was on his private instagram, we couldn't just have him take it down."

 

"You didn't tell me!"

 

"I made sure that the news outlets knew that republishing it would only harm them in the long run," Tyrion explained. He was scrambling. "Daenerys you pay me to be your publicist. I have to handle these problems for you, it is my job to deal with them before you need to be included."

 

She whipped her head around, eyes wide and brows to her hairline. "Then how about we make a new agreement Tyrion that if any photos of me mostly naked that aren't professional photo-shoots that I agreed to for public release, you tell mea bout them, okay? Better yet, tell me how he got that photo of Iceland."

 

"That was Iceland?" Tyrion furiously began typing on his phone, shaking his head and muttering. "I knew it."

 

"Knew what?"

 

"Knew that you were going to ignore me when it came to Jon snow and someone was going to start getting curious!" He was as frustrated as her. He jabbed his phone in her direction. "I can't help you if you don't tell me things either Daenerys. Your personal life is your personal life, but we need to get ahead of these things."

 

"That wasn't a paparazzi photo! That was a professional surveillance photo, a private investigator or someone paid to take it!" Gods knew how many more there were. She closed her eyes, shuddering at the thought that someone else had taken photos of her and Jon together. At least he wasn't in the shot. Just a shadow. People could guess. She sighed. "At least it looks professional. People will probably just wonder what magazine it was for."

 

"I'm working on it."

 

That meant he was consulting The Spider. She did not like engaging with Varys anymore than was necessary. The knowledge the man contained in his head or had access to would probably terrify most governments. She tugged on the end of her braid, still staring outside. "Daario is going to go after mea gain."

 

"Why?"

 

"I may have stepped on his dick trying to intimidate him."

 

"Daenerys!"

 

She laughed; this was what he was mad about?! "What else was I supposed to do? I thought he'd leaked private photos of me. I threatened him with things I don't have." She may have had a couple of pictures of him he didn't want the world to see but nothing as scandalous as he imaged she had. Daario had done some pretty dirty things in his life. She sighed. "You're not the only one who is clever Lord Tyrion."

 

"And you're playing with fire."

 

"I am a Targaryen." She shoved her sunglasses back onto her face, looking down at her phone. No messages from Jon. They were staying at the same hotel, preferred by Three Dragons Studios for its privacy. Bobby B's Steel Axe Productions also preferred the hotel, which she suspected probably had an agreement with Bobby B himself not to leak or allow anyone to find out just what he did when he wasn't pretending that he was married to Cersei Lannister.

 

She tapped the phone in her hand; Jon would find out soon enough of the photos and he might do something reckless. Their relationship had been...tense to say the least, of late. Ever since the blowup they'd had a few weeks before in London it was like they were dancing around each other, avoiding each other in some cases, and downright pretending that nothing was wrong when it was painfully obvious something was wrong.

 

To Jon's credit, he had lessened his drinking. It wasn't near as bad as it was before and she suspected that might have had something to do with the heart-to-heart that he admitted he'd had with Arya. His acknowledgment that he had to let go of some of the responsibility he felt he owed his family. She said she'd lessen a bit on harping on him-- he wasn't perfect and fuck neither was she. They still didn't talk about the upcoming end of the filming, the fact that they would then have to return to their lives, which were far away from each other and how trying to stay together would likely mean full blown acknowledgment.

 

And with that came the innuendo and the rumors. The accusations of impropriety. Right now she had to admit Tyrion did a somewhat okay job of quelling what was out there. Jon's skirmish with the paparazzi barely made the lowest of low blogs. It seemed a broody writer who had limited ties to an exotic but washed-up actress only good for selling some magazines here and there wasn't worth much money so the paps had backed off on him. Now though with this Petyr Baelish interview, Dany suspected things would intensify on her.

 

They had to be more careful, she thought. They had to keep quieter. Maybe we need to take a break. Jon could return to Scotland, hide out and keep writing. She would stay in London and work with the charity. She'd do the rounds. Viserys had sent her a script for a guest arc on a well-respected television show he'd managed to get her. It filmed in Ireland, so she wouldn't need to go too far. She was supposed to play a mysterious woman from the main character's past, subject to recur for more than the two episodes she was slated for. She was looking forward to it; it seemed finally the tides were turning.

 

Because of The Long Night. She took a deep breath and stared out the window, fire in her eyes and in her heart, unable to think or see beyond that.

 

"I know you don't want to hear anything more, but we need to talk about this photoshoot. They've sent over some concepts before we get there." There was a light push of his phone into her hand and she took it, staring at the outfits and the sketches that the Vogue fashion editor had sent through. She nodded idly; they were really tasteful, avant garde suits and dresses set against a backdrop of a warehouse, the difference between the feminine and the strength...she was fine with it. She pushed the phone back and closed her eyes, needing to blank out for just a moment before she climbed out of the car.

 

Her phone buzzed just as she was drifting off and she opened her eyes slowly, swiping at Jon's text message to see that he'd sent her a simple one-line message.

 

Fire and Blood.

 

So he must have seen something, probably already been leaked online. Or Davos showed him, as they were meeting to discuss his new book with the publishing company. She felt her smile tug on the corners of her mouth, whispering to herself. "Fire and blood."

 

~/~/~/~

 

"Stark 25."

 

The bartender arched an eyebrow, backing slightly from the polished oak bar and reaching up for the expensive bottle of scotch. "Celebrating something?" he asked, pouring a finger of the golden liquid into a crystal tumbler and eyebrows doubling up higher when Jon held out three fingers to indicated how many he wanted in the glass. The bartender whistled under his breath. "Okay."

 

"I'm good for it," he said, taking the glass and not even letting the young guy set it on the fancy linen napkin before he pulled from the glass, eyes closing as the familiar burn tracked down his throat. He sighed, setting the glass down and took out his phone, noting a new text from Dany. He was trying not to lose his mind over what had happened to her earlier that day, knowing she would either tell him or not tell him when they met up in her suite for dinner.

 

All he knew was that he had to have a drink before he went up there, just to take the edge off. They'd both be on fire, her temper exploding over the events and his feeding off of her. He had gotten the initial notification from Arya, who must have had a freaking alert set up on her phone or something, because the Raven messages she was sending from Westeros were barely minutes old, talking about how someone in the studio audience at Petyr Baelish's talk show said that he was trying to get Daenerys Targareyn to spill about any new love interests and that Daario had been there too. He was pissed. She hadn't told him about Daario.

 

She especially didn't tell him that she'd gone into Daario's dressing room and had come out adjusting her skirt. According to unnamed sources. She wouldn't cheat on him, he knew that. They loved each other. It was the fact that something had gone on in there that she hadn't thought to tell him about, even if just via text. He fumed silently, letting the ire boil within him. The wolf's blood, Arya called it. They had it. His mother apparently had it. The other Starks were calm in the face of conflict before rushing head on. Arya and him, the wolf's blood,it let the calmness in at first because they were thinking of ways to rip out the jugular. To kill and attack and maim. Like the wolves they were.

 

He opened the text message, unable to stop the smile that tugged on his lips. It was from her photo-shoot. He felt the stirrings of desire deep in the pit of his stomach, the boiling blood rushing through him and he sipped the scotch, trying to quell the initial urge to throw everything aside, run up to her room, and conquer her. The image was of her leaning against a fence, wearing a sharp satin suit, her index finger dragging down the front, which was cut strategically to cover her breasts, the lovely swell of one revealed from the angle of the camera and her other hand on her hip, a giant bauble ring shimmering. Her silver hair was gleaming, finger waved from her hair and she resembled an old Hollywood starlet. The backdrop was of some sort of warehouse and she looked positively sinful, strong and teasing and completely in control.

 

Fuck. He had to get upstairs to her. Screw the drink. He moved to get his wallet out to pay for the scotch, the bartender perking up slightly as he served someone who looked an awful lot like Margaery's model brother Loras Tyrell, who was sitting rather close—practically in the lap-- of Renly Baratheon. Shocker, Jon thought with a small smile. Everyone knew Loras was with Renly. At least they were happy, he figured, removing two hundreds from his wallet to pay for the drink and the tip.

 

"You get a girl with that drink too? Otherwise why pay that much, huh?"

 

He didn’t recognize the voice, but knew the speaker was directing the snide remark directly at him. Jon frowned, shoving his wallet into the pocket of his jacket, turning on the bar stool and coming face to face with the man he most wanted to punch into absolutely oblivion-- Daario Naharis. And Daario was clearly drunk. Fan-fucking-tastic. “Do I know you?” he murmured, returning to the bar only to finish off the remainder of the drink.

 

Daario smirked at him, arms crossing over his chest. “You should.”

 

“Oh?”

 

“You’re Jon Snow.”

 

“Yes, doesn’t answer who you are.”

 

“Of course you know who I am, stop playing stupid.” Daario stepped in front of him, preventing him from leaving. He grinned, lightly pushing at his shoulders. That had Jon stilling, his fists bunching at his sides. He glared, gray eyes flashing in warning. It didn’t seem like Daario got the message. “You working on your next book? You know those who can’t do and all that.”

 

“You mean actors who can only do the same movie over and over?” he retorted.

 

Daario scowled. “So first-time screenwriter manages to get Daenerys Targaryen and Jaime Lannister in his film. Who did you fuck for that?”

 

“Back off.”

 

“I suppose I should audition for one of your films then,” Daario continued. He smiled briefly. Voice dropped. “But I guess I won’t get a part, unless you’re gay too.”

 

The insinuation was all there with that statement. Dany got the part by sleeping with him. He knew he shouldn’t say anything; it was the same as with the paparazzi, maybe more so now. He couldn’t help it though. The wolf’s blood rose to the surface and he wanted nothing more than to see Daario’s perfect teeth caved in. “Move,” he ordered.

 

The other man clearly had a death wish. He continued. “They call her the Dragon Queen. She may not have real dragons, but she definitely has something dragon-like in her. And she’s nothing without it. When she does things like hook up with the help and all that. She just becomes a washed up child actress trying to make it.”

 

He couldn’t hear anymore. They were getting an audience, the bartender was watching and he could see Loras had his eye on them, moving a bit from Renly and coming to his feet. He moved to get around Daario again, but this time the other man reached out, grabbing for his upper arm. Daario was taller than him, not by much, but he was. He was heavier in a stockier way too, but Jon was former military. He was a Night’s Watch Ranger too and he had grown up with an older brother and foster brother that both loved to taunt him and try to beat him up.

 

So he whipped around fast, ducking under Daario’s arm, twisting it and forcing the other man to let him go with a gasp of surprise and pain. “Don’t touch me,” he warned. He stepped towards him when Daario made a move to step to him again and he snarled, jerking Daario by the front of his designer silk shirt. He was glad that they were in the only hotel in New York where he was fairly certain none of the staff would ever say anything, lest Robert Baratheon or the Lannister family would see them dead.

 

His lip curled over his teeth, all feral wolf. “You can go after me, but leave her out of it.”

 

Daario pushed him off, laughing. “Touchy.” He glanced him up and down. This wasn’t the end of it, clearly. “So does she still have the same move, still do that thing with her hips or…” He cocked his head. “Did she change for someone shorter?”

 

Say nothing. Do nothing. He repeated the mantra, moving away from Daario and walking from the lobby bar into the main lobby area, all gold and marble and lion décor. He was heading to the elevators, somehow proud that he’d managed to keep his anger under control when Daario called out, louder now so others could hear, something about how he didn’t think wolves were game for dragon pussy, too wild and harsh, but maybe she’d turned weak and he was fairly certain he said something about Dany’s being the best he’d ever have before she was done with him and returned to the “good stuff.”

 

“Face it, you’re just a bastard, just a nobody and she’s having fun with you before she gets back to the world she’s supposed to be in.”

 

He had no idea what it was supposed to mean, just that he was done. He spun around and his fist came out first, before the other and he grabbed Daario around the neck and tugged him forward, jabbing his knee into his chest before flinging him onto the marble ground, roaring and seeing nothing but blackness in front of him as he pounced, a wolf with its prey, tearing his jaws into Daario. He didn’t know how many punches he managed to get in, just that his knuckles were raw and someone was hauling him off, shouting to let him go it wasn’t worth it, and he blinked a few times, laughing as Daario shouted about pressing charges and he was going to have him put in jail.

 

Jon just laughed. “Go right the fuck ahead!” He shook off Loras and Davos, who must have just arrived, still wearing his coat. “I’m fine, let me go!”

 

“You are not fine,” Davos hissed, grabbing for him. “Come on, cool off.” He tugged him away, as security got Daario under control and Loras went to make sure that nothing was recorded. He made a note that he’d have to tell Margaery to thank her brother for his concern. Davos tugged him away and into an alcove off the main lobby, tugging at his jacket collar and sighing. “What’s gotten into you?”

 

“Nothing,” he muttered, blinking through the vestiges of rage. He shook his head, whispering. “He was saying things…”

 

“You’re not a teenager anymore lad. You’re a grown fucking man, you can’t go punching out dicks like Daario because they say something about your girlfriend,” Davos said, sympathetic but firm. He gripped at his shoulder tight, pointing into his chest. “You need to get some fresh air. Take a breath.”

 

“I need a drink.”

 

“We both know that will not help.”

 

He wasn’t sure why he was so angry at Daario. Maybe it was because he’d been with Dany earlier that day. That she hadn’t told him and he had to find out from Arya. He wasn’t jealous. He trusted her. He was just so angry. He felt the craving in his gut, the way his brain felt foggy and needed something to clear it. He wanted a drink so damn bad. He sighed and turned away from Davos.

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“Home,” he mumbled, heading into the elevator and idly punching the floor for Dany’s suite. He didn’t even care if people saw him, but the elevator was empty and didn’t pick up anyone along the way. His eyes hurt, his knuckles were bleeding and his chest burned. All he wanted was something to drink and all he needed was Dany. He was a fucking mess and she always made him feel better. He pinched at the bridge of his nose, walking to her door and knocking hard.

 

It opened a moment later and she stood, surprised, in the doorway. She grabbed his arm, pulling him in. “Someone could see, what are you doing?” As she dragged her fingers over his hand, she flinched, looking down and touching lightly at his scraped knuckles. “Oh my…what did you do? What happened to you?” She stared at him like she hadn’t seen him before. Maybe she hadn’t, he thought. This was an entirely different Jon.

 

This was the Jon that she wouldn’t want anything to do with, he thought. He shook his head; no sense hiding it. With no preamble he blurted: “I punched Daario.”

 

“You…” Dany’s eyes widened, violet saucers. Her mouth formed a perfect ‘o.’ To her credit, her reaction wasn’t what he was expecting. Part of him thought she might hit him too. Although this was out of nowhere. She furrowed her brow and cocked her head, whispering. “You punched Daario?”

 

“He said things about you.” Jon moved to her, pulling her into his arms and covering his mouth with hers, feeling her tense slightly before she gave into him, her arms snaking around his neck and her fingers starting to tug at his hair. He sighed, relieved, and fell into her pillow-like softness. He began to pull at her braids, needing the silkiness of her hair, still shining from whatever they’d put in it for her photo-shoot. I need you. He groaned into her mouth. “Dany.”

 

She nodded and pulled back, whispering. “I didn’t tell you about him because I was embarrassed.” Of course she would be embarrassed, he thought, but that still didn’t explain why she hadn’t told him. Who are you to judge? The voice that sounded an awful lot like Catelyn Stark sneered in his mind. Through the fog of the pain in his knuckles, the rage still boiling at Daario, and the creeping foreboding of how this was not the life he should be living…this was not what he should even be allowed to have.

 

She loves you. That voice sounded like Robb, it sounded like Ned, and it sounded like Arya.

 

The other filtered over, loud and shrill, Sansa and Catelyn. You are dragging her down.

 

“Jon please, say something,” she begged, pressing kisses along his face, stroking and pulling, trying to claw into his soul, where she’d already made residence and had already destroyed what was there.

 

He shook his head. “I don’t care about Daario and you. I don’t fucking care.” He did care. He tried to kiss her, but she pushed him away, concern and fear in her beautiful face.

 

“Jon…Petyr had…there were photos…I think someone is watching me.” She bit her lower lip, tears beginning to trickle down her face. “I don’t even know what’s what anymore.” She cried. “And you aren’t there.”

 

I am here! He wanted to scream. His head hurt, his heart hurt, and he wanted to tear and conquer. Someone was watching her? He shook his head, still in wolf-mode, the rage building again. “I’ll kill them.” He didn’t even process what she was saying; he needed her. She needed him.

 

“Jon we can’t…someone…” She sobbed again, but he pulled her into his arms, aware suddenly that the room was dark. She said something about how they had to talk, they couldn’t keep doing this, she had to be careful now, it was them or it was her reputation…

 

I thought she cared about me, but she only cares about her career. He didn’t know what was truth anymore. He knew it was irrational, he knew he was being unreasonable, but he was so confused.

 

Maybe we need to take a break.

 

Was that what he said or was that what she said? He heard her somewhere in his mind. “Jon, come on…we have to…” she whimpered, folding closer to him. “We always do this, we have to stop…things are out of control…you’ve been drinking.”

 

He silenced her, hands on either side of his face, diving into that softness of her hair that undid him, groaning when she gave back, her fingers pulling harder than normal on the elastic holding back his curls. “Dany,” he murmured.

 

She made a sound—a sob? A whimper? A whine?—and jumped into his arms and kissing him again, both of them falling against the walls of the hallway as they made their way to the bedroom.

 

When her hands began to tug at the buttons of his shirt, Jon remembered suddenly that she’d said something about how they had to talk and he knew that he wanted to talk to her, and he wanted to know why she hadn’t told him about Daario. “Dany,” he murmured.

 

“Shh,” she silenced. She was crying, her tears trickling onto his face. He had a strange thought that this might be the last time, but he couldn’t understand why he thought that, and she kissed him again, desperate. “Just let’s have this one night. Please.” He nodded and made a move to protest though, that maybe they should try to discuss things, but then her mouth began to move across his chest and he closed his eyes, fingers sliding through that glorious mane of hair and he forgot why he even cared.

Chapter Text

xiv.

March 2019
London, England

 

The film was over, she thought.

 

It was done, the entire thing wrapped. Final scene in London had been that morning, a quick reshoot of an early scene before she turned into the Night Queen. Dany wasn’t sure how she felt when they had shouted that it was a wrap for Daenerys Targareyn on The Long Night. She’d thanked everyone profusely, both in Iceland and in the studio. She’d cried, accepted flowers, given out wrap gifts to everyone.

 

Lyanna received a gorgeous watch with the Mormont family motto Here We Stand engraved on the back. She’d gifted Jaime with a bottle of wine, because she really had no idea what to get him and since he’d gotten her a gift card to Harrods she didn’t feel guilty at all. She’d raided through everything and found what she’d wanted to give Brienne, a dragonglass dagger as payment for all her help with the sword work. Brienne had practically cried at the gift. Margaery gave her a silver frame with the Night Queen’s epic battle scene story-boarded and she’d given Marge a crystal rose vase.

 

It was not surprising to her anymore that Jon hadn’t gotten her anything or even that he’d shown up. He’d been more distant than ever since they got back from New York City and she was no longer angry about it. It was expected; Jon was in some sort of world only he understood and she wasn’t a part of it. The distance between them was a chasm and she knew they needed to take a break. There was too much; the movie was over now. The buzz was just beginning around her performance.

Their paths had converged and were now going in opposite directions. Dany couldn’t let his issues get in the way of what was becoming all she’d dreamed—her chance to break away from her sordid beginnings and become something she’d always wanted to be. She had said goodbye to Jon in New York. A few text messages exchanged and that was it for now.

 

If he didn’t trust her about Daario and he worried about people watching them that was his problem. She was also concerned about the photos, disgusted even, but Tyrion had assured her he was getting to the bottom of it, for now though she was back in her home territory, surrounded by her security and in her element. Tyrion hadn’t said it out loud, but she knew what he was implying when he said that. Away from Jon.

 

Viserys was livid when she’d gotten back. He wanted to set fire to Petyr Baelish’s studio. “Arson is not the way,” she’d said, reminding him that their father had tried to burn down his studios to get insurance money and look where that got him. Viserys wasn’t entirely convinced, but Dany really didn’t think he’d do something so foolish as try to get Baelish’s set burned down.

 

She was three days done with filming when it happened. When everything went up into flames. Dany had been waiting for it to happen, so when it did, she wasn’t entirely surprised, but she was sure her heart had never been more trampled, her trust never been more broken, and in the end it should never have surprised her.

 

Viserys had left her in the house, saying he needed to get to the studio for some production meetings. “It’s all you today, then we have to start thinking about this new show,” he said, pushing forward the script that had arrived the previous day for the HBO show she was supposed to guest star on. He scowled. “I think it’s typecasting.”

 

“I think it’s great they want me on this and I don’t even have to audition,” she said. It was something that most actors dreamed about having occur—name and reputation recognition. Invitations to perform rather than auditions. She took the script, smiling at her name stamped across it and set it down. She poked her spoon into the bowl of granola and berries she was eating. “Anything else?”

 

Viserys clicked his pen, bringing it up to his ear, his gaze narrowed. “No. Anything you want to tell me.”

 

“Like what?”

 

He shrugged, dropping the pen onto the table with a final loud click. “Oh I don’t know. Like why you haven’t seen Jon Snow in the two weeks since you got back.”

 

Trust Viserys to notice when it came to her sex life, she thought, carefully selecting a blueberry from the bowl and bringing it to her lips, munching slowly. She made a show of selecting another berry, just to annoy him. He blew out a hard breath from his nostrils, flaring and glaring at her to speak. She sighed, the bowl setting down softly on the table. She knew her knees up and wrapped her arms around them. “I think we’re over.”

 

It hurt to say it like that. Her heart ached. She hadn’t properly grieved the relationship. Maybe because it wasn’t done yet. Not really. They were just taking some time to themselves. Trying to wade through what happened in New York City. “You think?” Viserys whispered. He moved towards her, his arms falling over his knees. He cocked his head. Concerned. She leaned towards him and he took her hands into his, surprisingly gentle for someone who could be so cruel. “Or you know?”

 

The tears that she’d kept at bay for two weeks threatened to fall. She fought them, battled them back and won the fight. “I don’t know. I just…I don’t know Vis.”

 

He dropped a kiss to her forehead and brushed some of her hair back behind her ears, thumbing at her cheeks. “Well you let me know when it is. So I can kill him.”

 

The laugh came out before she realized, more of a snort, and she wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging her big brother and sent a thanks to the gods or to the universe or to whatever it was that had helped him his broken mind come back to being the brother she loved and not the one she feared. She hoped this Viserys was here to stay for a bit. “I love you Vis.”

 

“Whatever,” he mumbled, pushing her away. She saw his loving smile before he hid it, glowering. “I have to go. I’ll be back later.” He waved his finger at her face in a circle, still scowling. “I put some of those masks up in your room. Maybe try one, your eyes are all puffy. We should also think of some Botox.”

 

“Oh fuck off.” She threw a blueberry in his direction as he gave her the finger and left, front door slamming behind him. It felt good to have her brother back. She had missed being away from him for so long, surprised she felt that way as normally being away from Viserys was a relief, a brief respite from a constant bombardment of insults, taunts, explosive behavior and arguments, and never-ending fear the phone call she’d get from him would be him needing bail money or from the hospital saying he’d finally done what he had been working towards for years and ended in a coma.

 

Or else she feared she would get the call she knew Viserys had received, the serious voice of a police officer or detective, she couldn’t remember, saying there had been an incident he needed to come down to the station to discuss. The incident being that the housekeeper had found Rhaegar in bed, believed him to be sleeping, only to discover he had died at some point in the night.

 

She worried for Viserys, but he worried for her too—perhaps together their worry for each other would keep them alive. She set down her bowl, pushing away from the mid-century modern kitchen table, taking a moment to observe the clean lines of the chrome and fiberglass. It was all Viserys, he detested anything he did not consider to be clean. She crossed her arms over her chest, shaking her head at the décor. “This place sucks,” she murmured.

 

She missed the coziness of the cottage, the ever-roaring fireplace, and the way the pipes squeaked and groaned when you turned the heat to full-blast. The granite counter and the old-fashioned fridge. The brick walls, the rough-hewn hardwood floors, and the warped panes of the thick glass windows. It had more character to it than this place ever would.

 

The doorbell rang, an irritating buzz. It sounded like a game-show buzzer. “Viserys if you forgot your key I’m not opening the door,” she called. They were not expecting anyone. If it was Tyrion or someone with the production studio they usually came to the back door. “Go away.”

 

Except the buzz went on again. She rolled her eyes. Guess he just wants to piss me off. She padded barefoot to the door and stepped into the foyer’s antechamber. It was a security alcove Jorah had demanded they get. She studied the monitor. A man in a black trenchcoat stood outside the gate, a hat on his head, but she could tell he was bald. He waved at her. There was a lavender scarf around his neck. Fuck.

 

What did he want? She hit the button to give him entry, forgetting she wore black silk pajama bottoms and a large faded gray hoodie she’d stolen from Jon and had never returned. It had lost his scent, but she imagined she could still smell the leather, pine, and smoky smell of him. I don’t miss him. It was a lie she continued to tell herself. To keep from crying. She glanced at her reflection in the huge mirror beside the front door. At least her braids hadn’t lost their form from the previous day. She could have looked worse.

 

Not that this individual would care, she reminded herself, opening the door and stepping aside as he walked in without a word. She closed the door with a soft snap of the handle. “Can I get you anything?” she asked. He was already removing his coat and hat. She led him through the front rooms to her study in the back of the house.

 

Out of the corner of her eye she spied the same blanket she had tried to hide behind, the first time Jon had visited and they’d…her cheeks warmed at the memory. She closed her eyes. Perhaps this was not the best place. She pinched her nose between her index finger and thumb. “What is it you want Varys? I believed you were in contact with Tyrion, not me. Unless you were looking for Viserys? He just left.”

 

“I came to see you Daenerys.”

 

The Spider had a very calm and deceptively soothing voice. He used it to draw out information. To twist his ‘little birds’ into giving information they may have seen but not realized. Varys set his hat and coat on one of the tables beside the study’s door. She leaned against the couch, her arms and ankles crossed, waiting. He stood with his hands folded in front of him, in a strange way, holding his wrists instead. He blinked at her for a moment. “You should know that I have not told anyone else what I plan to tell you. Not yet.”

 

“Not yet?”

 

“No.”

 

Dany took a deep breath. This could be anything. She tried to keep her face a mask; Varys didn’t need to see her fear. It could make things worse. She paid him the most out of anyone, but one day there could be someone who comes along to pay more. She had to be careful. “Well? What is it then?”

 

Varys studied her sympathetically, eyes blinking slowly, head cocked just so. She almost believed his concern. He took a deep breath. Exhaled and gave her the news quickly, before she could worry any further. “There is a story I have heard will air soon, on 3N news, that Daenerys Targaryen obtained a role inappropriately, trading sexual favors with Jon Snow to obtain a role in his new film, in exchange for giving him the opportunity for two of his other works to go to film for Three Dragons Productions.” He continued, before she had a chance to process. “And the leave of absence you took after the death of Khal Drogo and your brother Rhaegar Targaryen was because you had given birth to a stillborn child and were in the throes of a significant depression, to include suicide attempt, and remained hospitalized.”

 

The breath in her throat ceased to travel to her lungs. It sat there, stagnant. Minutes could have passed, instead of seconds, when she finally struggled through an inhale. The exhale was harder. It was killing her. The rush in her head and the panic smothering her. She was looking at Varys and then she wasn’t. She was leaning against the couch until she was stepping to the window, unseeing the gardens and the tarp-covered pool in the distance.

 

The voice from her lips may not have been her own it was so cold and calm. “And where did you hear this?”

 

“Little birds, Daenerys, will speak to me because I do not divulge their names.”

 

“Hmm, convenient.”

 

“I will obviously not release this information.” He sniffed. “It is distasteful, to bring such personal things to light. There is no proof regarding the allegation of you and Jon Snow.”

 

“That doesn’t matter.” It wouldn’t. People would believe it anyways. She squinted against the sunlight reflecting off the silly dragon wind chimes she had hanging from one of the garden trellises. “Who has this story?”

 

“No one yet.”

 

“And the one of my son?”

 

Varys paused. She knew that meant what he said next would likely hurt worse than what he’d already said. “Northern News Network.”

 

3N. Sansa Stark. Petyr Baelish. She tried to smile. Of course Jon would betray her. They always did in the end. Everyone hurt her. She nodded and waved her hand behind her. “You can show yourself out Varys. Thank you for this information.”

 

“I will say nothing of course.”

 

So long as you are paid handsomely. She would ensure Viserys transferred a large sum to Varys’s bank accounts. She said nothing to him. She could not see anything. She waited until the door had shut after him and she was alone in the house before she let the dragon fly.

 

Hours later, her study destroyed, the blanket they’d used burned, the mid-century modern chairs in the kitchen turned to tangles of metal bars and splintered wood, and her hands bleeding and her hair wild and stringy, tears of rage rendering her eyes puffy, she finally picked up her phone and summoned Jon Snow to the dragon’s lair.

 

He had to burn, she thought, staring into the fire, holding her phone against her chin. The Dragon Queen had to take what was hers with fire and blood and no wolf was going to stand in her way.

 

~/~/~/~

 

A few hours later the back door opened and Dany didn’t need to know who it was before she stood carefully from her desk chair. She was doing her very best acting, if she did say so herself, trying to keep the tears at bay as she made her way through the back of the house and into the back living room. Jon stood in front of the fireplace, on his phone, and droplets of rain clung to his tousled hair and the shoulders of his black leather jacket. He did not look up when she walked in; she was grateful. She wasn’t sure what she would do if he said anything right then.

 

The room pulsed with tension, which ordinarily they would dissipate by clawing at each other and rutting like animals in heat. Today though they both knew what was going to happen. The inevitability of what would happen between them that they should have acknowledged up front, when she felt those first stirrings of attraction to the obstinate man standing in a snow bank pretending he had no idea of whom she spoke, just to get a rise out of her.

 

Was that truly a year ago? They loved each other; she was quite certain he had not falsified the feelings he felt for she knew she could not bear if he had. No, he did love her, he just loved his family more than her. He loved the family who by all accounts used and abused him. She kind of understood it; look at her and Viserys after all. Except Viserys and her were interdependent and had shared the same abuses and they were equals—didn’t make it right, but she liked to think at least they could exist without the other.

 

It seemed like Jon’s family would fall apart without him, yet they hated him and refused to let him go, and he allowed it. It made her sick, after all he’d told her he’d been through, and he still let it happen, and he’d dragged her into it and she was done with it. “Jon,” she said.

 

The name sounded like a stranger speaking. He did not look up from his phone. “Daenerys,” he drawled.

 

“Put your phone away when I’m speaking to you.”

 

“I was unaware you gave me orders.”

 

“In my home I do.” She pulsed with dragon fire. They had compared the Targareyns to ice, a long time ago, because of their cool looks. The ice-like silver-gold hair and crystal violet eyes and milky white skin. They were ice sculptures made flesh, a profile had said when Rhaegar first came on the scene, when they first made their name. Except it became quite clear as Aerys came to power and Rhaegar’s temper made itself known—rarely but it was there—and the stories of Viserys’s explosive tantrums and the little girl who loved to play with fire emerged. Some were planted and some were discovered, but it was clear to everyone the ice-like Targaryens were actual fire made flesh, their family crest and affiliation with dragons was not wishful thinking. It was downright terrifying sometimes how true it was.

 

Jon, to his credit, understood and put the phone away. He was the ice, she thought, seeing it in his gray eyes. The Starks were wolves, they were the ice, hard and jagged and unfeeling. She felt deeply and passionately; Jon felt coldly. He had his defenses up, his shields of steel and she swore the temperature had dropped since she walked into the room. He curled his lip over his teeth. “So we’re finally doing this, huh?”

 

“Finally?” She laughed. It hurt her throat. “I wish to the gods we didn’t have to but you leave me no choice, do you?”

 

“Leave you no choice?” he repeated. His brows went up and it was his turn to laugh. He shook his head. “Dany what would you have me do? You aren’t talking to me! I had to find out about your fucking ex-boyfriend from my sister!”

 

“And you would think that I’d go back to him, would you?” she snapped. She was disgusted in his lack of trust. She grabbed a stupid metal object from the table behind the sofa, some art deco object an interior designer no doubt overcharged for, and chucked it at him. Jon dodged it, turning and gaping as the piece crashed into the wall behind him, shattering into pieces. Dany heaved her breath and reached for another, screaming, the fire burning. “You fucking betrayed me!”

 

Jon strode towards her, only two long strides across the room and grabbed her hands to prevent her from throwing another decorative piece. “Betrayed you?” he exclaimed. Hurt flowed from him, but she couldn’t focus on that. The vice grips of his fingers on her wrists were shackles keeping her in place. “And how did I betray you Dany when you betrayed me first?”

 

Betray you?! “I would never,” she hissed. She sneered, pulling from him, but he kept his clutches into her. “You told them about my son. I can never forgive you.”

 

His eyes narrowed and he released her immediately. She rubbed the redness away and he stepped back, unseeing. He shook his head, whispering. “I would never…you thought that I…” The steel returned. “You really don’t trust me.”

 

“And you don’t trust me, so I guess that’s it. Let’s not forget that you would rather cuddle a bottle of scotch than you would me,” she said. She scowled. “And I can’t have you dragging me down. You’re a threat and a risk. I would be with you Jon, I would love you and I would be with you forever if I could, but it just can’t exist like that right now and I thought you understood that. You won’t give me time!”

 

“And your career and reputation mean more to you than anything, you don’t have a heart,” he whispered. He removed his phone again and brought something up while she reeled from what he’d just said. I don’t have a heart? She had more of a heart than Jon Snow ever could. He threw the phone at her and she grabbed it quickly, staring at him in horror. He nodded to it. “Betrayal hurts Dany.”

 

She stared at the phone. An email from his sister, detailing how she’d discovered that a rival media company planned to release information about just how the upcoming epic film The Long Night and all its accompanying books were the ramblings of a madman writer, who died and came back to life, and spoke about how he had a broken heart, he’d lost his girlfriend in a tragic accident, maybe she’d committed suicide even because she couldn’t deal with living with the shell of a man. There was even a link to Jon’s military file, his photo and everything out there. Breaking news it was not, but it was just another thing to try to drag down the film because she was attached to it. Even if they couldn’t pin the two of them together.

 

The email from Sansa said she was doing what she could to quash it, to protect him, and included insinuations that who else would know about this and want to betray him like this? “Your sister,” she murmured. She threw the phone back at him, laughing darkly. “How convenient that your sister finds this out. Just like how 3N was the news organization that found out about my son. She dug into my past and found out and you told her!”

 

A strange realization crossed his face; his gaze tore from hers and the wheels worked in his mind, but whatever he was thinking or processing she didn’t know or care. The tears she’d kept at bay for so long now began to fall. She was too tired to keep up the charade. She sobbed, her fingers shaking and coming to her forehead. “I hate you,” she cried. He whipped his head up, face crestfallen, but she couldn’t care. If she did she’d try to talk herself out of this. “I wish I’d never met you. This was supposed to be the best thing for me and it’s turning into the worst.”

 

That did it for him. The wolf temper came out, his tongue lashing into her after he’d bitten, jaws snapping for blood. “You are so obsessed with your fucking career, your birthright you can’t see beyond it.”

 

“And you can’t see beyond your horrid family.” She threw her hands out, lifting them up and down, gesturing. “You’re sick Jon, you’re an alcoholic and I know them, I live with a drug addict who goes in and out of rehab and therapy like revolving doors but Viserys at least knows he has a problem and at least he tries. You can’t even realize that you’re sick and unhealthy and you need help and I can’t be that person. I can’t because it’s your family that is doing this to you, not me.”

 

“My family at least cares about me,” he said; it was such a cop-out, she thought, rolling her eyes. He couldn’t acknowledge anything. He shook his head, whispering. “I have nothing Dany, but them. You can’t understand that. You have nothing compared to it, just a sick as fuck brother and the memory of a dead one. No wonder Rhaegar killed himself.” The kill shot came then, the wolf jaws closing over her neck and snapping it with a twist. “And no wonder everyone you ever loved is dead or feels like they are.”

 

Rhaegar didn’t kill himself! He may as well have taken a knife and plunged it into her heart. She lifted her brows, voice a hoarse whisper. “You should have stayed dead. No wonder they mutinied against you. You’re a fucking coward Jon Snow and I want nothing to do with you. Get out.”

 

“Gladly,” he whispered. He shoved his phone into his pocket and walked by her, stopping at the door. She couldn’t see him; she didn’t even want to look back at him, so she closed her eyes tight, refusing. The anger had gone, replaced with pain. Pure anguished pain. “I know we still have a business contract, so I hope for my sake this entire thing falls apart, so I don’t have to work with you ever again. You think that I destroyed your career?” He chuckled. “You did the same with me.”

 

Get out, just get away from me, I can’t even think.

 

“And the fact you think I would tell anyone about your son is fucked up, I would never do that, shows just how little you care about me.” With those as his last words, he flung the door open, the white oak flying backwards and crashing into the wall. The hinge gave out and the handle cracked into the wall, but Dany didn’t care.

 

She fell then, unable to stand, collapsing into a pile and sobbing, her heart bleeding over the floor from the knife he’d left in it. She hoped he was miserable for the rest of his life; she hoped he never found anything and wandered into nothing. She fell backwards and sobbed and sobbed, until she had nothing left inside of her, heartbroken and dead and begging the gods to just make it stop, make this hurt stop, because she thought she’d felt pain before but this was the worst. She had lost the only man she thought she had truly loved, any hope of a future with him, and all because of something as stupid as his inability to trust and see beyond his own issues.

 

At some point she managed to find her phone, to call Missandei and with only a sob into the phone, her friend knew exactly what she needed. She waited until Missy showed up, falling into her arms and letting her carry her upstairs for a hot bath and when she was curled in bed, in heavy flannel pajamas and thick woolen socks, her silver hair in a messy braid and eyes sunken into her head, she wrapped her arms around her friend, closing her eyes at the soft feeling of Missy’s fingers stroking at her hair.

 

“I need to focus on work,” she murmured. She knew it was wrong, but it had to be done. The only way to get over someone was to drown yourself in something else.

 

“Daenerys…you still love him. You can’t just move on easily, you need to process,” Missy whispered.

 

That was the problem, wasn’t it? It wasn’t like they fell out of love, they did still love each other, and they just couldn’t be together. Betrayal and lies and mistrust and family…Dany closed her eyes, tears somehow still falling from somewhere deep inside of her. She clutched her friend and focused on pushing everything away, burning it inside of her.

 

Just letting it burn, it was all she could do right now.

 

~/~/~/~

 

All the journals, the notebooks, the typed up pages, he threw them around the office, unable to read or look at them. Every single time he’d taken a moment to write down an image, a thought, and a dream, it was worthless. It meant nothing now, the ramblings of a lovesick madman who thought something as stupid as a love story could mean anything to anyone. Jon hurled one of the notebooks against the wall, watching it hit into the bookcase and knock some of the copies of his books aside.

 

The one she’d given him, her copy of The Night’s Watch with all its little notes and post-its and questions, it fell open onto the floor, the spine already split from overuse. He laughed at it; she was the only one who understood what he meant and it didn’t matter. He glared at Ghost, who was staring at him with disgust. “What?” he demanded, slurring as he stumbled a bit, grabbing for his cigarettes. He shook his head, trying to light one, but the Zippo wouldn’t catch; or maybe his hands were shaking so bad he couldn’t get it to light. He threw the lighter across the room and the cigarette onto the desk. “Fuck off Ghost, I can’t deal with you not believing me.”

 

Ghost bared his teeth and snapped his jaws, red eyes glowing ominously. He grit his teeth back at Ghost, but he couldn’t fight with the wolf. He was exhausted, he was drunk, and he needed to be drunker, because he could still see the pain in Dany’s eyes and he could still feel the guilt he felt at the words he’d said. He loved her so fucking much and this was what was happening to them? The world sucked and he hated it and he wanted it to end.

 

He staggered to his liquor cabinet, opening it up and rummaging for something—anything—only to come up with just a shitty bottle of gin Arya had left. “At least its something,” he mumbled, popping the cap and not bothering with a glass. It was fire in his throat; appropriate as a dragon had already burned him.

 

A door opened and slammed shut. He didn’t even care who it was, he didn’t want to see anyone, so he guzzled some more gin, hoping he could pass out into nothing; he’d stop feeling what he was feeling. Regret, throbbing regret and guilt and the overwhelming urge to call Dany and fall to his knees apologizing. Except he couldn’t apologize because he was still incensed over the truth of the matter—she couldn’t be with him because of her career and while he wanted her to be successful and while he had changed his entire story for her, because she was so great, he couldn’t understand why she didn’t just accept that they would say those things and be done with it.

 

And he’d said things he was sorry for, but… “I would never talk about her son,” he mumbled to himself, his stomach lurching into his throat. His head was killing him. He scrubbed his face, turning and falling backwards into the cabinet when he saw Sansa standing in the kitchen, holding a grocery bag. He gestured to her with the bottle. “How long you standing there?” he slurred. He blinked hard, gods his head. “You got any aspirin?”

 

“You do, in your bathroom cabinet.”

 

“Oh.” He’d get to it later. Maybe he’d just pass out. He took a heavy step towards the kitchen, tripping on the rug and falling hard into the granite counter, jamming his wrist. “Ow! Fuck!”

 

“You’re drunk.”

 

“You’re observant,” he snapped. He glared at her, the image of Catelyn swimming in front of him instead of his sister. He pointed to her with the bottle. “You showed me that email. Did you know about…about her kid?”

 

Sansa pursed her lips, her cold blue eyes dead. He thought of the Night Queen, of how he characterized her in the script. The vacant empty hollow of her gaze to represent the nothingness that remained in her heart. He wondered if there was anything where his sister’s heart should be. “I did what I had to do to protect this family,” she whispered.

 

The implication was hard to process through his alcohol-fueled mind. “You…you what?” he stammered. He tried to open his eyes more, to see more, but the light burned his brain. He groaned, heels pressed to his eye sockets. “Fuck!”

 

“You have what you need Jon.”

 

“She betrayed me,” he mumbled. She told someone about his past, she…he didn’t understand why anyone would care about him. He was just the writer, he was nothing, and he remained hidden for a reason. Was it because she was attached to the film? Was that why suddenly everyone wanted to know about him? He thought of the things he’d said about Rhaegar. It was probably an accident but he’d lashed out, said the things that they had said about him. He sniffed. “Where’d you get that information?”

 

“What information?”

 

“About me.”

 

Sansa fiddled with the strap of the reusable grocery tote. Her nails were painted red. Like blood, he thought. Wolf claws after tearing into their prey. “I told you, my sources. Just like how I found out about her son.”

 

“Yeah how did you think to look for that?” he whispered. He had been thinking of it the moment Dany brought it up. He would never have told a soul about her child, not after how she had broken down, how she’d told him no one knew but less than a handful of people. It was none of the world’s business, to think that he would share that? He couldn’t get over it. All he could think of was who he told, if he told on accident, but he didn’t. He’d only mentioned the secret to Arya and Arya would never have said a word.

 

The door opening. Closing. No one there. Arya appearing. Not Arya. Then who? He lifted his head to meet her gaze again. “Sansa,” he whispered.

 

“What?” She took out a couple of groceries. Healthy food and stuff. “You aren’t eating right Jon. I’ll bring you some more food the next time I’m in town.” She opened the fridge, scowling. “You have nothing in here. No matter, as I said, I’ll bring by some more food. I’ll send Arya too. Also, Bran really wants to come to London to stay, he said he had a great time in Iceland…I don’t understand why he wants to leave Mother though, it’s so unfair, after what she’s done…”

 

“And what’s that?” he spit out. He hated Catelyn. Maybe it was time to let one of her favorite children know. He shook his head, glaring at Sansa’s surprised look. “You and your mother…”

 

Sansa drew her head up, imperious. The Northern Queen, he thought, thinking back to one of his stories. He’d used her for inspiration. She wore a severe black turtleneck with a black leather dress, resembling armor. What happened to her? He was never close to her but this was someone else entirely. “You are drunk, I’m not going to have this conversation. I’ll just say that it is good that you and Dany are separating. You can focus on what is important.”

 

“And what’s that?” he snorted.

 

“Your career. The family.” She cocked her head. “Jon you were giving it up. The pack—she was making you choose. You just didn’t see it.”

 

Was she? She was friends with Arya, she was exchanging messages with Bran even and giving him books…she wanted to learn about Robb and Rickon and Ned and not let their memories fade, bringing out Robb’s guitar and laughing about the few stories he had of his youngest brother. She understood loss and pain more than anyone he had ever met. “Sansa how did you know to look for her son?” It was staring him in the face, he just couldn’t see it. The pieces were moving slowly but crashing into each other as they tried to match. Gods I’m so tired.

 

Sansa folded up the empty bag, stuffing it into her tote. She smirked. “You were lost to us Jon and now you’re found. Think of the pack, it’s what matters the most in the end, because we will be there for you.” She scowled, waving her finger up and down at him, disgusted. “Clean yourself up. You’re a mess.”

 

I am a mess. He wiped at his face and watched her leave. He didn’t feel good. It never made him feel good. He could see Dany’s face, the hatred in her eyes. The times she’d yelled at him about his drinking, the smoking, and commenting on his exhaustion and what resulted from it. Sluggish movements, paranoia…he had to stop. He had to stop because it wasn’t helping. It was making it all worse, he couldn’t think and he couldn’t breathe.

 

My head hurts, I just want to sleep. He managed to get to his bedroom upstairs and wished he was back in Scotland in his cottage, where he was comfortable and happy and where he only had good memories. Memories of Dany…he sobbed into his palms, hating everything about himself in that moment. I need help.

 

The ibuprofen fell from his shaky hands, scattering across the sink and floor. “Fuck,” he cursed, throwing the empty bottle down and reaching for the next one in the cabinet. He stared at the label. Without his glasses he couldn’t read the fine print, but he knew it was the sleep medication he’d always had prescribed after he got out of the hospital. He rubbed the heel of his hand on his scar, his heart hurting in memory. He twisted off the cap and took two…then a third. He needed to sleep.

 

Ghost whined and scratched at his feet, but he swiped away at the wolf, not thinking as he fell to his bed, crashing into it and burying his face into his pillow. It smelled like Dany. He couldn’t remember when she had slept at his London home, they usually stayed at hers. It only just served to remind him how she had crept into his life and buried herself there.

 

Everything began to fade and darkness approached. He was floating somewhere. Back on the Wall. In the cold and snow and felt the blood pouring from him. He hadn’t had this dream in a long time, he thought, staring at his body in the snow, stab wounds gaping open in his black uniform. He heard Ghost whining and scratching, wishing that he could bark to alert people. He thought he heard Davos yelling for him; Davos hadn’t been at the Wall…or was he?

 

Dany was there, staring at him with pity and fear and sadness. Those gorgeous lavender eyes swimming in tears and her lustrous silver-gold hair dull and limp around her face. Dark shadows beneath her eyes and he heard her say that she loved him, please get better, just get better. Then she was gone.

 

Arya was there. Arya wasn’t at the Wall, he thought again, and she was trying not to cry and telling him she was going to kill him herself when he came out of whatever it was he was in. The red woman—that’s what they called her—she was at the Wall and she’d brought him back to life on the helicopter to White Harbor.

 

There wasn’t a red woman here, but doctors fussing over him and he heard someone say that he was going to be fine. He was going to be fine, just go to sleep, and when he woke up, he’d be much better. Okay, he thought, nodding. Okay fine. Then he fell back into nothing.

 

Except it wasn’t the dark expanse he’d come to equate with deep sleep. Dany was there, smiling and loving him and saying how much she loved him. Until she was shouting about his betrayal and her career and he was livid. Robb showed up, telling him that he was too hungover to drive, so he’d take Rickon and Bran and meet up with him later. Ned showed up, sad eyes and quiet steady voice, telling him that he wasn’t his son but he was his blood and he loved him and to keep the pack together.

 

His eyes sprang open, blinding white light forcing him to blink hard, focusing. He had his glasses on—when did he put his glasses on? He was sitting up, his head on a hard pillow and his arms pinned at his sides. He stared down at one, watching a tube curve around from his elbow and another in his hand. There was some sort of monitor on his finger and he heard the steady pulsing beat of a heart monitor. Cold sweat tracked down his spine and pooled into his chest, fear of hospitals and doctors and the pain he equated with them after the mutiny. He gasped out, his chest and stomach burning.

 

A rustling from the chair beside the bed forced his head to turn and Davos came into his vision, his hazel eyes hidden behind his small round glasses and his bushy mustache twitching as he frowned. “You’re awake,” he said, softly. He sighed, disappointed but still concerned. “You gave us quite a scare.”

 

“I’m in the hospital,” he whispered.

 

“Your sister found you. Ghost was losing his mind. The EMTs thought you were dead for a minute, but you’d taken too many of those sleep pills with far too much alcohol.” Davos frowned. “Anything you want to talk about?”

 

Dany’s gone. I’m a mess. Everything I wanted to keep hidden could spill out in a given moment. My family fucks me over each chance they get but I can’t stop choosing them. He stared up at the ceiling, whispering. “Was Dany here?”

 

“She came for a moment, poor girl was a mess, Arya called her. She said you two are over though and she left.”

 

He nodded, licking his dry lips and continuing to focus on the ceiling. He had to get help. Dany was right; he had a problem and he had to get help. “Davos,” he whispered. He turned his head slightly, meeting his manager and friend’s gaze. He took a deep breath. “I need a break…I can’t…can’t keep doing this.”

 

Davos knew what he was saying, but couldn’t put in words. Maybe it was whatever they were putting in his system or maybe it was because he couldn’t admit it just yet, but thank gods for Davos, who was like a second father to him, and who nodded, reaching to pat his hand. “I’ll make some calls. There’s a center in the Reach, back in Westeros, I think it will be best.”

 

He nodded, closing his eyes. “Just do it.” He needed to sleep. He drifted back off, with his last thought being of Dany and how his heart jumped in both anger and want for her. Maybe a break was what he needed. To disappear and when he came out of it he hoped finally he’d be free of…everything.

 

Chapter Text

xv.

Six Months Later

November 2019

London, England

“That dress is doing nothing for your figure.”

 

“Fuck off Viserys.” Dany was already stressed out enough about this evening for some reason. She suspected it was because this was the night. There had been a trailer drop a couple of months ago, a teaser about a month before that, and several dozen photoshoots with the cast in preparation for the marathon of press interviews and junkets, some of which she’d already been a part of.

 

She’d just gotten back from two weeks in New York City and two weeks in Los Angeles, meeting with reporters, playing games on late night talk shows, answering stupid questions in hotel rooms about what her favorite color happened to be and speaking in Valyrian just for a couple of sound bytes. Games played included sparring with ice swords on a comedy late night show, playing a game of The Long Night RISK with Jaime on a morning show, and trivia about Westeros for a website.

 

The New York City premiere had been fantastic; she’d enjoyed her time with Margaery and Yara, the two women back together and dancing it up with her at the afterparties. There had been interviews on the red carpet—the ice carpet they called it since it was glittering blue and silver—none of them had even mentioned He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named or her ill-fated filming relationship. Just that it was a beautiful tragic script and she was getting tons of positive reviews for her performance.

 

The London premiere however…Dany swallowed hard, doing her hardest not to lick her lips, since Irri was already giving her a dark look for smudging the smoky dark gray and navy eye shadow she’d already applied. “Sorry,” she mumbled, pushing her lower lip out for the makeup artist to dab on some more lip-gloss. She ignored Viserys complaining some more of her outfit choices. When he mentioned again how they should have gone with the Dolce&Gabbana, she whirled, snapping. “Shut the fuck up Vis or I’ll tell everyone the tuxedo you’re wearing is a recycle from the New York premiere!”

 

His pale lilac eyes surged with ire. “You wouldn’t.”

 

“I would!”

 

“This is custom Givenchy! I do not rewear anything!”

 

“Well the world doesn’t need to know that!” She loved the slinky Valentino spaghetti strap she was wearing. It was sparkling navy ombre and with her silver gold hair, countless braids twisted and tugged from her face to cascade down her back, half of it left to hang free to her shoulder blades, with tiny silver sparkling clips scattered within the braids, tear-drop Ceylon sapphire earrings, and a statement matching ring, she looked like a column of ice.

 

That was the point.

 

She thanked Irri, patting her shoulder as the woman puttered off to gather up some bits of makeup for the touchups throughout the evening, placing them in her navy clutch, dyed to match the dress. The Jimmy Choo platforms she wore were the same color as well, but the polish she wore on her finger and toenails was a stormy gray to offset the blue. She was beautiful, she knew it, and she was counting on it to make a statement, for it to be what they spoke about. It might very well have been for other reasons, but she refused to acknowledge that thought.

 

This is for me and me only.

 

Missandei entered the living room, Grey not far behind her. She squealed and clapped her hands. “Oh Dany! You’re a vision!”

 

“Thanks,” she laughed, unable to close her mouth lest Irri’s hard work be ruined. She reached for them both, her closest friends, the people who would never let her down, and hugged them both in turn, giving Grey a peck on the cheek. He would have flushed, if he weren’t still so disciplined from his former military training. “You both are gorgeous of course.”

 

They were in matching black and dark gray, looking like the power couple she knew they were. It was refreshing to see a healthy, happy couple, Dany thought, giving her best friend another tight hug. She did not need to mention why she felt like this, because Missandei knew, and the reassuring squeeze she got back was all she needed, relief coursing through her. It will be okay.

 

“Tyrion is here,” Vis announced. He scowled, shaking his head at her again. “I just don’t know about that dress.”

 

“I don’t know about your hair,” she retorted. He’d pulled it into a low ponytail, with two small braids on either side threading through to twist around the clear elastic tie . He narrowed his eyes on her and made a face, but she felt perverse satisfaction when he stood and stole a glance in the mirror, idly touching the side of his head, making sure not a strand was out of place.

 

Missandei reached to squeeze her hand, walking with her to the window, gazing out as Jorah stood on the stoop, calling for the car to be brought around. They were on time, but she knew how he worried for her. Especially tonight; even Jorah could understand her nervousness. “I know you aren’t reading the reviews, but I wanted you to know that each and every single one of them only has marvelous things to say about your performance. I am very proud of you Daenerys, I’m so happy to say you are my friend.”

 

Oh my sweet Missandei. She rested her head on her taller friend’s shoulder, sighing and savoring the moment. “Oh Missandei, it is I who am so happy to say you are my friend. You truly know what exactly to say in the exact moment to reassure me.” She wanted to bite at her fingernails, but if she did, Viserys would swoop down like a crow and peck out her eyes. Followed by Irri for messing up the makeup.

 

The soft squeeze of her friend’s hand in hers again had her lifting her gaze back up, concern reflected back in Missy’s dark eyes. Her brows wrinkled, marring her smooth face. “It has been six months, you have been very good. Things will be okay. This evening will pass and it will be just one more day to put behind you.”

 

It will be fine. She nodded, saying nothing, because she would have to speak about it in a moment, already spying Tyrion walking into the room, followed by his assistant Podrick who helped out on big event evenings like this. They would need someone ferrying things back and forth, leading her down the carpet and pointing out interviews and stalls to stop at, photos to be taken, and usually it was Pod who would take up the main role on the carpet, helping her along, so Tyrion didn’t have to use up energy keeping up with them and could stick to his phone off to the side, orchestrating it like the fucking Wizard of Oz.

 

Tyrion spotted her immediately and gestured for her to come over to him, where he’d hopped into a chair next to Viserys, who was still fussing over his hair. “Daenerys, we need to talk, Jorah says the car is almost here.”

 

“Fine.” She hugged Missandei one more time; she’d see her in the theater, since Missandei and Grey would take a separate vehicle and bypass the cameras and carpet for the theater. They were afforded the family seats up front with her, since they were her real family. Viserys was flirting about with Arianne again, she hoped the domineering head of the Martell family would be there that evening; she needed Viserys distracted. He was less likely to be a total cunt if he had someone stroking his ego and an outlet for his need to please.

 

Her ankles already felt a little wobbly on the six-inch heels, but she wore them for a reason; she was so damn short and when on doing interviews it was a bit of a power upset if she could at least look the interviewer in the eye and not feel like she was at the bottom of a ravine peering up at everyone. “What is it Tyrion?” she asked. She already knew the agenda for the evening. The interviewers to avoid and the ones to meet with; it was the same as the New York premiere.

 

The staff had cleared out; Irri and the other stylist and makeup artists leaving, Pod showing them out. Grey and Missandei had gone into the kitchen to give them privacy. Once they had some sense of quiet, Tyrion leaned forward, keeping his voice soft. “It has been six months Daenerys. I haven’t gotten word of anything but tonight is different. He’s going to be there.”

 

“Yeah I know,” she snapped. She didn’t need reminding. Tyrion had broken the news to her a few days before and she thought she had ample time to prepare. There was nothing to be said. They had broken up, they hadn’t spoken in six months, and it had been peaceful. As peaceful as her life could be, she thought. “He’s just an ex-boyfriend Tyrion. I’m not going to lose my mind or anything.”

 

“No, but with the two of you in the same proximity there very well could be reminders of the rumors that existed during filming. Between myself and Varys and your brother—“ Viserys smirked and she scowled at him. “—we have quashed everything. I’m still concerned we haven’t located the source of those Iceland photos Baelish had, but he’s been sitting on anything else which makes me think he doesn’t have any.” Tyrion tapped his pen on his portfolio. He furrowed his brow, already in a permanent frown, and peered at her with concern. “I just want to make sure there’s nothing else I need to prepare for.”

 

“She’s been as celibate as a septa,” Viserys said. He smirked. “Just her vibrator for company.”

 

“Oh fuck you Vis!”

 

“What?”

 

She rolled her eyes at the mention of her vibrator; yes, it had been an empty six months, but she was not interested in sex at the moment. She probably wouldn't be for a very long time. “I’m done with this conversation. My personal life is dead and we can thank Jon Snow for that. He won’t say anything, if he shows up at all.”

 

The Jon Snow she’d seen last, the angry one standing in her destroyed study, had been the one she’d wanted to see last. Except with the tearful phone call of Arya, which in and of itself had been terrifying for the young woman did not seem like someone who could be brought to tears easily.

 

~/~/~/~

 

”Dany something’s happened, Jon’s in the hospital. He won’t wake up, they’re going to pump his stomach or something…I don’t know what’s going on with you two but please call me back!”

 

She’d run down the hallway, scarf over her noticeable hair and eyes still puffy from crying over him; now she was crying over him again and she didn’t know why, stopping in front of a trauma room with Arya running for her, staring at the prone man lying on the gurney, his skin deathly pale and both eyes so surrounded by shadows and sunken in it looked like two black eyes. They were putting monitors on him and Davos was on the phone with someone, waving idly at her when he saw her. She couldn’t stop staring at what had become of the man she’d met over a year ago, at what he’d become.

 

At what they’d become.

 

She was crying over someone who had put themselves in this position because he couldn’t acknowledge his own issues and she was sobbing over a man—again—wondering what had become of her life. She wasn’t going to do this again. I won’t do it again, I’m done .

 

With a kiss to his brow, a whisper that she hoped this was a wake-up call for him, and the suppression of any guilt her mind thought she would feel over this, and she turned away, walking out of the hospital and vowing to never think of Jon Snow again.

 

~/~/~/~

 

Viserys and Tyrion knew very well to never mention his name. Things were done. This was the last time they would mention him, she vowed, turning away as Tyrion tried to speak one more time about the strategy for the evening—thank Jon Snow for the script but do not acknowledge anything else—like she was a first timer at this. She’d been doing this since she was twelve and she had her first role as Rhaegar’s younger sister in one of his films.

 

They climbed into the SUV, Tyrion wisely keeping his mouth closed for once in his life and Viserys yammering about his hair again—she now regretted saying anything he was so annoying—Jorah sitting beside her and providing his constant silent strength. She patted his hand, knowing he worried over her, and thankful he wasn’t going to say anything. She removed her phone from her purse, smiling at the text message from Missandei with a selfie of her and Grey, in the SUV that was ahead of them.

 

She decided it was probably worth posting a photo on her personal Instagram, something she enjoyed using from time to time to share selected elements of her personal life with the fans—it kept them off her back otherwise. “Vis come here,” she ordered.

 

“No.”

 

She crawled across Jorah to sit between him and Viserys, her head knocking into her brother’s, his sneer perfect for the photo she wanted, making a face and ensuring that the camera had Vis’s silver three-headed dragon lapel pin in the center of the shot. “Smile,” she said, but he continued to sneer and she grinned, snapping the picture. She fell back into the leather seat, tapping away at the phone, adding several long hashtags she’d become known for. #thelongnighthasjustbegun #doesvisknowhowtosmile? #targsagainsttheworld #werollin #nightqueenordragonqueenyoudecide

 

Viserys rolled his eyes, pushing his finger onto the image once it came up onto her feed. “That’s so irritating. How can anyone know what you’re saying?”

 

“Maybe that is the point.” She shoved her phone into her purse, but not before she saw the first ‘like’— @noonestark—unable to stop the small smile from tugging on the edge of her lips. Arya was still someone she heard from once and awhile, the only connection to her time with Jon Snow. It was the only thing she afforded herself from that time. She snapped the clutch shut and settled into the plush leather seat, eyes closing to take a brief rest before the “long night” actually did begin.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

“Dany! You look beautiful! Who are you wearing!?” the reporter from one of the entertainment channels gushed, shoving the microphone into her face without any warning.

 

“This is Valentino,” she gushed, making an exaggerated model pose for the camera, unable to stop smiling; partly because Vis had made her rub Vaseline on her teeth, an old trick to keep the teeth glistening but also prevent her from dropping her lips, which were cramping. The other partly because she honestly felt excited to be here. The London premiere was different, this was where they filmed the movie, most of the supporting cast and crew had skipped out on the other premieres but had been invited to this one.

 

Margaery and Yara were also making their red carpet debut, which she was silently grateful was detracting from any other on-set romance that had developed during filming. Yara was resplendent in a black suit with a gold Kraken embroidered throughout the collar and lapels, while Margaery was living up to her nickname as the Thorny Rose, dressed in a red gown with strategic cutouts that resembled thorns. The stiletto heels she wore had spikes on the heels and coming off the platforms; Dany was slightly envious of them, they looked like works of art.

 

She was showing off her jewelry to the camera at the request of the host, when she saw movement out of the corner of her eye; a black flash and another of silver. It was something that drew her head to turn to it, to block out all the cameras and flashes and the yelling from the fans lined up to watch and the news outlets that all were shouting questions.

 

He wore a black suit, without a tie, and she could tell that it was tailored specifically to him, cutting and clinging him in all the right places. The black unruly curls she had last felt sliding through her fingers in a tangle were cut back and while they were still wild, there was something more put-together about him with short hair. His glasses were black, round-rimmed and camera flashes glinting off them, hiding the gray irises from her view.

 

As he stepped closer, she noted that the jacket he wore had velvet lapels and collar, his black shirt buttoned to his neck. There was no smile on his stern face, just a crease in between his brows as he focused on something a reporter was asking. He had Arya at his side, his younger sister beaming in a silver jumpsuit, her tiny frame balancing on platform boots, a wolf necklace shining around her neck. She cleared her throat and broke away from looking at him, hoping the reporter who proceeded to have her model her heels for the camera, continuing to ask about what she was wearing versus the film, didn’t notice it.

 

As me something else. She was sick of how the men always got to talk about their roles and the filming, but the first thing the women had to answer was how they looked for the evening. Dany stepped aside, Pod hovering in warning to move on, and stepped backwards to the tall screens behind her, Jaime coming over to stand with her, the two stars of the film. She glared at him, as he stepped in front of her for a better shot. “You really do love the camera, don’t you?”

 

“Cersei does,” he answered.

 

“Where’s Brienne?”

 

“Would you know she found someone else?” He scowled, walking with her a few feet to take another photo, speaking through grit teeth so no one could read their lips. “Some redheaded bartender. Giant man. Met him at one of the wrap parties.”

 

Sounds like Tormund. She smirked, hand on her hip and cocking her head to his shoulder as someone shouted for them to turn to the left. “Well I’m sure Cersei is happy.”

 

“Hmpf,” he muttered, letting go of her and moving forward on the carpet.

 

They took more photos, she was crushed in between a shot with Margaery and Yara, and little Lyanna Mormont in a black leather suit, looking fierce as always, and she kept answering questions, the same ones about her outfit, the same ones about how beautiful Iceland was to film, how fun it was to make a movie with her brother producing, and how flattering it was that there was so much buzz and positive reviews about her performance.

 

At one of the final stops along the carpet, with a question about the Oscar buzz—“So flattering, I cannot tell you what it means to me, I mean I was Princess Periwinkle and now I’ve got Oscar buzz? It’s so flattering, truly.”— she heard a voice call out, clear and strong throughout the loud hum of activity surrounding the venue.

 

“Daenerys what do you say to the rumors that Jon Snow changed his entire movie just for you?”

 

I know that voice.

 

She turned and saw Sansa Stark standing with a 3N microphone, a cold look on her face, and she kept her smile on. The taller woman stood on the other side of the barricade separating the press from the carpet, wearing a navy gown with severe long sleeves and high neck, her red hair pulled from her face in a tight ponytail, which hung over her shoulder, poker straight. There was an embroidered wolf in beads on the bodice of the gown. The eldest Stark daughter was quite beautiful, there was no denying it, but it was the ugly smile on her face that detracted from the beauty.

 

Or so Dany thought, as she stepped up to the microphone, ignoring the “No, no, no, Mr. Tyrion will be so mad” whispered hastily from Pod behind her. She kept the smile she’d had on the entire evening, only with a practice twist of her upper lip and narrowing her violet eyes, she knew she had the look she wanted, when she saw the flicker of regret cross Sansa’s stone pale face. Oh yes Sansa, you better be afraid, you started this. “3N?” she echoed, looking at the microphone and grinning. “I was unaware that your news organization put stock in anything beyond the plight of the Northerners of Westeros to trifle with silly things like films.”

 

It was a jab at why Sansa was standing there interviewing her vice trying to advocate for Northern independence. The woman tilted her head imperceptibly. “Well as you know Daenerys my brother Jon Snow is the writer of this film that has garnered you so much attention, I’m merely curious at what you say to those…rumors.

 

She knew very well they were not rumors, they were the truth, and she wondered just what Jon would think of his dear sister playing these games. He doesn’t care. That’s the point. He was naïve and blinded by whatever sense of loyalty he felt to the family that had dragged him through the seven hells. Dany hoped her smile didn’t come off too fake as she reached her hand over the barriacade and lightly squeezed Sansa’s wrist, her nails digging into the other woman’s skin, hoping she was getting her warning across. Eyebrows lifted, an expression of incredulity at the statement about Jon writing a movie for her. “Well you’ll have to ask Jon Snow that, he is your brother after all, I’m sure he will tell you. I am however absolutely grateful for this opportunity to take Jon’s play to new heights with this film and I like to think that as good as the script is and as much as Jon has put into this film that my performance as the Night Queen and the character he did create but that I spent so much time learning and performing, well…” Dany beamed when Sansa glared at her, knowing she’d been had. “Well that’s what’s made this film as beautiful as it is.”

 

Sansa grit her teeth. “Thank you Daenerys.”

 

“No Sansa, thank you.” She leaned in to kiss the woman’s cheek, whispering into her ear. “Don’t think I don’t know what you did.” She let go, laughing and stepping back, waving as a few people took her picture, not bothering to check Sansa’s expression as she walked over to where Vis was waiting, the two Targareyn siblings squaring off for the cameras.

 

Vis leaned in and whispered, his breath tickling her ear. “That was dangerous.”

 

“You would have done it.”

 

A dangerous glint in his eyes had her only slightly concerned for Sansa Stark’s welfare. “Fire and blood, darling sister.” He kissed her temple and the cameras went wild as they turned to look back, lifting their hands, the last Targaryens against the world, she thought.

 

As she stepped inside, Tyrion waiting to help escort her to her seat in the main theater, she turned, the feeling of being watched overwhelming. It wasn’t the creepy hair-on-the-back-of-her-neck feeling she got when she was out and about and fans were trying to take her photo without her looking, or the familiar yet intrusive feel of the red carpet or photoshoots. This was someone who was memorizing her every movement from afar, someone who knew what was beneath her shimmering gown, someone who knew what was hiding under the fake smile and dead eyes she put on for the crowds.

 

With the barest turn of her head, she saw him watching her. He was with Arya and she knew Arya’s boyfriend Gendry, Margaery talking to them and waving her hands wildly, recounting some story. He was not listening to any of them, he was just watching her. She nodded to him, barely, her heart pounding in her throat. They were quite literally on display, there was nothing she could do unless she wanted to undo all the hard work that had gone into the last six months of wiping her entire life clean of Jon Fucking Snow.

 

Except her battered heart still beat for him and she hated herself for it. She hated how she was noticing his skin was a little pinker and his eyes less puffy. If she really focused she’d see that his short hair was just as comely as his long unkempt rat’s nest. The suit he wore only made his eyes grayer and the glasses were her damn weakness.

 

Stop it Dany, he broke your heart, what the fuck is wrong with you?

 

She finally had headlines about her performance not her personal life. Despite the few that suggested the changes to the script may have been because Jon Snow was taken with her, the majority of all the reviews and articles about the movie had been that any changes to the script were because the writing and direction of the film had dictated it based all on her. She was the reason it was changed, she was the reason it was so good, and it was all she could do to not scream for the world I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO.

 

“Come on Daenerys, it’s starting. Margaery is going to say a few words about the film before it starts.” She knew the drill, following after Tyrion into the theater and taking her seat towards the front, wedged between Jaime and Viserys, who immediately ignored all theater rules of decorum and began to type at his phone. She had seen the film only once in its entirety—no one ever stayed for the full event at these things, so many actors hated seeing themselves on camera and she was one of them—but she did not want to get up.

 

She did not want to turn around and look three rows back and to the right, where Jon was sitting in an aisle seat, smiling at something Arya said to him. She was not sure why she even cared; he broke her heart, his family had betrayed them both and he was too stupid to see or care. He looks better though. She hadn’t heard if he’d gone to get help. Although she knew alcoholics and she knew addicts and even Viserys could fake looking healthy.

 

Rhaegar certainly did, she thought darkly, looking up at the front of the theater when Margaery began to talk, thanking everyone for all their support and being there and this was a special occasion because the crew and the entire cast was there to celebrate. “We did it!” Margaery yelled, throwing her arms in the air in success, laughing as everyone cheered and called out. She pointed to the second row. “And we could not have done it if it were not for the entire cast and crew, for my Night Queen and my Lion Knight and all the rest, I love you and you should all be so proud, and last but not least…where is my King in the North?”

 

The theater laughed and Arya pointed obnoxiously to Jon, who was slouched in his seat, pink rising over his beard in embarrassment. “Here!” she shouted. “He’s hiding!”

 

“Typical,” Margaery laughed. She pointed to him. “You did it as well Jon, your script is brilliant and I am so glad you let me help bring it to fruition. But the person I most want to thank is my beautiful Night Queen.” She held her hands out and Dany stood, grinning as she walked up to join Margaery, her arms wrapped up in the other woman’s, the floral scent of her perfume watering Dany’s eyes. “You make this movie, Daenerys Targareyn and whatever you get as a result is a testament to you and your performance. Thank you.”

 

Tears pricked the corners of her eyes at the kind words; she hadn’t prepared anything, so she simply said ‘thank you’ and pointed up to the screen, which had began to darken, the lights dimming. “And without further ado,” she announced. “The Long Night!”

 

Margaery walked with her towards their seats, kissing her cheek and squeezing her hand. “Sorry I put you on the spot,” she whispered. “But I thought you needed it.”

 

Needed it? She kissed Marg’s cheek. “I’m fine, thank you.” She sat back down next to Vis, grateful, as her feet were beginning to cramp in her heels. She leaned back, trying to focus on the screen, as the first beginnings of the lovely haunting score filled the stereo system.

 

Except she kept darting her gaze backwards and she knew he was doing his best to avoid looking at her too. She wanted to go over and yell at him. Punch him, hit him, scream at him, and then kiss him. What the fuck Dany, let it go! Except her body was drawn to his still, wanting nothing more than to take off that stupid suit and skim her hands over his scars. She wanted to kiss his pouty lips and wondered what the feel of his short hair was like in her hands.

 

The dress she wore was clinging to her like a second skin and she’d avoided wearing anything underneath, now realizing that was a mistake as she shifted in the seat, wishing she could bundle under a dozen sweatshirts to hide how she no doubt was on display. Although it was doing its job, if he was lusting after her, she thought with a smirk. She glanced at him again, at him watching the movie, his chin propped in his hand.

 

A blinding rage flashed through her system. How dare he? She scowled, trying not to judge the way she was acting on the screen, in her first scene. It was filmed last, she’d been exhausted at the time and it had been towards the beginning of the end of them. Somehow it didn’t show in her performance. She bit her lower lip, drawing blood, and glowering. He was sitting there like nothing was wrong. Like he hadn’t said things that hurt her to her very soul and made her question her judgment and her choices. That he hadn’t gone and done the very thing that her brother had done, the accidental combination of medication that killed Rhaegar but had somehow saved him.

 

She hated him. She loved him. She wanted to kill him. Burn. It was unfair. She may have been getting the accolades, but so was he and his fucking cunt sister was still out there trying to take her down. “Excuse me,” she murmured, pushing at Viserys to climb out of her seat.

 

At the same time she got up, she saw movement on the other side of the theater. They both walked up the parallel aisles, each one taking the opposite door. Dany did everything she could not to look over at him as she walked through the lobby and down a secluded hall. Heavy footsteps followed behind her. She wasn’t afraid, she was trying her damndest not to trip on the long skirt of her dress. She finally stopped, at the end of the hall, facing a dark dead-end and the bright light of an emergency exit sign.

 

One could argue that I need an emergency exit right now.

 

Except she was Daenerys Targareyn, the Dragon Queen, and she did not need anyone to help her out of this. She turned on her heel, glaring at Jon, who was still standing behind her, his face impassive. He’d removed his glasses, they were tucked in the pocket of his suit jacket. “Stop following me,” she snapped.

“You followed me.”

 

“And how is that? You followed me.” Except he did get up first; she saw him move to stand before she decided to climb out of her seat. She scowled, pissed when she saw his head duck; he wasn’t looking her in the eye. Good. “You can’t even look me in the face after what you did.”

 

“And what did I do?” Suddenly his eyes met hers; they were so bright. Almost blinding. She glanced over his shoulder, not wanting anyone to see them fighting in a dark hallway. There was a door to the side; she pushed his shoulder towards it, knocking him off his feet as she crowded him closer to the wall. “You betrayed me.”

 

He snorted, leaning back against the doorframe, his hand fighting with the handle behind him. Their gaze never broke, the fire beginning to glow in her as the ice froze inside of him. “I betrayed you? You don’t trust me—I would never say or do anything like what you accused me of.”

 

“I don’t believe you.” She reached around his hip and their hands brushed, pushing at the door and stumbling backwards into the closet. It was a spacious storage closet, room for both of them to press into each other and she kicked the door closed with her heel while at the same time his hand went around her, his thumb brushing the exposed skin between her arm and side, her dress dipping suggestively on either side. She shivered, tearing her gaze from his and lifting her head up to the ceiling, hearing the lock click loudly behind her.

 

There was nothing except the heavy breathing between them and hearts pounding, straining to reach each other. “Don’t believe me,” he finally murmured, his breath tickling the strands of hair pushed behind her ear. She closed her eyes, shuddering against him, her hand going to press on his chest, finding it as hard as ever, the velvet lapel soft on her palm. “I don’t ever want to work with you again.”

 

“Gods you know nothing.”

 

His chuckle in her ear was hot and she moaned softly, unable to stop herself as she pressed against him, her body trapped between the shelving unit behind her and him. This is a mistake, what are you doing? “You have no idea, that’s me.” His lips traced the shell of her ear and she gasped at the sensations coursing through her, the heat rising in the pit of her stomach, and the warring feelings inside of her that this was a mistake and she had to stop it and the lust she still felt for him. “You don’t feel anything.”

 

“I’m the Dragon Queen,” she hissed, pulling her head back to face him, her fingers digging into the sides of his face, gripping him tight. His mouth dropped open slightly and she pushed her thumb on his lower lip, wanting to hurt him. Like he hurt her. “Don’t you know?”

 

He kept going, his words cold. “It’s a game to you, you want to win and be on top and who cares who you have to step on to get there. To burn.”

 

“Maybe so, but I don’t throw people I love aside for my family.” She sneered. “Your fucking awful family. They hate you.” There was a light in his eyes; she hit him where she wanted. He said nothing and she continued, drawling and only gasping once when he drew her thumb in between his lips, sucking lightly on the tip. She teetered on her heels, needing something to keep her upright. “I’m a Targareyn, I’m always on top.”

 

What are we doing? She closed her eyes, fighting to pull away. To stop whatever was happening between them. She was so angry with him. She was so furious. She was still so in love. And dare she think he felt the same? He made a growl in the back of his throat and whipped around, throwing her back against the shelving unit, his wide palm hot on her thigh, burning through the thin material of the dress. “You don’t trust me,” he murmured, his lips brushing hers. “You didn’t give me time.”

 

“And why should I? Your sister betrayed you. You betrayed me.”

 

They stared into each other’s eyes for just a moment, just one more moment, and before she knew it she was groaning as she fought with the collar of his shirt, needing to feel his skin beneath her and he was tugging at the bottom of her dress. He lifted her up and she gasped, her legs wrapping around his waist and ankles locking together for support, the heels of her stilettos digging into his ass, forcing him to pull away from her and hiss in pain.

 

“Good,” she growled, ripping at his hair, pissed at how short it was because she couldn’t hold on. She told him so, biting his lip hard when he pulled at her braids, yanking her neck up to his mouth so he could suckle at her pulse. It was going ot leave a mark, but she couldn’t care, she needed him. Needed him inside of her, it had been so long. She whimpered, his fingers finding her beneath her skirt, the designer material bunched up around her waist and she tried to get around his wrists to his belt buckle, but he pushed her away, still trying to get inside of her. “Jon.”

 

He covered her mouth with his, swallowing her cries and his fingers were rough, pushing through her folds, already slick from their arguing—they were always good at fighting and fucking—she managed to tear her mouth from his, mewling as he curved his fingers into her, finding the spot where she wanted him the most, wishing it was his mouth instead of his hand, but she didn’t have much of a choice. “Jon,” she whispered, shaking her head. This was wrong. They shouldn’t be doing this. “Stop.”

 

His hand stilled immediately. He pushed his nose to hers, their breath mingling as they panted together, minds attempting to catch up to where their bodies already were. How did they get here already? He bit her lower lip again, sucking on it, eyes on hers, neither one giving in. All she had to do was rock her hips, push back against him, and he’d do what she wanted. Her body quivered in anger, a taut bow ready to shoot the arrow. “This means nothing,” she managed to get out; trying to come to terms with it. She couldn’t though. “I just want you to fuck me.”

 

A wry smile tugged on his mouth. The corners of his eyes crinkled slightly. She noticed the deep grooves in his forehead and temples had smoothed since she last saw him. There was a vibrancy she hadn’t seen since she first met him. Was it the time apart? Or was it because they were doing what they did best? “You want me to fuck you? That’s it?”

 

She pushed her hips into his hand, unable to stop the groan that came from her chest, wishing it weren’t his fingers filling her. She wrapped her fingers around his wrist, pushing them harder against her, while at the same time she pulled at what little strands of his hair she could reach. “I can’t forgive you.”

 

“I didn’t do anything!” He laughed, teeth gnashing at the column of her throat, while she struggled against him for his belt, the hard length of him pressing against her belly, straining to get to her as much as she tried to get to him. He hissed in her ear, disgust in his words. “Your career good enough now?”

 

“Shut up.”

 

They said nothing, huffing, puffing, and rebelling against each other, both of them trying to be on top, with her digging her heel into the small of his back, forcing him to turn when she let go of him and sank to her knees, needing him in her mouth more than she thought she did, positively watering at the thought. Except he didn’t want that, because he was soon under her skirt, his skilled tongue bringing her to her first climax, her desire damp on her thighs, soaking at the designer gown and her body sobbing for him to fill the emptiness inside.

 

They kissed, unable to stop each other, trying to avoid it but they craved the other more than air at that moment. It was violent and angry, a dragon and a wolf tumbling through the void. She felt tears on her cheeks, unable to tell if they came from her or from him, his hands still absurdly gentle on her face despite the hostility of their coupling. “I missed you,” he breathed, hitching her thighs farther up around his hips, angling into her with one smooth, hard thrust, groaning into her shoulder to muffle the noise, but she had already cried out before she stopped herself. His hand shot up to cover her mouth and she bit at his palm, tasting the remnants from her first orgasm.

 

She shook her head, eyes screwed closed, not wanting him to miss her. “I hate you,” she sobbed, her breasts bouncing against his chest, his shirt askew as she touched his scars, anchoring herself to the present so she didn’t fly off into the darkness. She was still so angry at him, so she locked her teeth on his clavicle, furiously holding on as he plunged into her, her channel tight and slick, squeezing around him like a vice.

 

At one point when she was so close, she could see it, the end in sight, her eyes glassy with need, managing to look over at him and seeing the same mirroring her. The wolf reared back, roaring and withdrew so fast she didn’t have time to register, before he had spun her around and pushed her knee up onto the shelf, her skirts back around her waist and she reached behind her, arm wrapping awkwardly around his hip as he slammed back into her, bottoming out to the hilt, battering at her womb and she choked on her cry, his mouth coming back around to cover hers, swallowing the sound, her back bowed against his chest and his hand still tangled with hers between her legs.

 

“Please,” she whispered, managing to lock onto him again. She forgot, for a brief moment, what had happened, just for a second, and it was like they were back in the cottage, tangled in each other. Or stealing moments away in her trailer. It was just them, Jon and Dany, and the rest of the world was gone. Her hand lifted, cupping the back of his head, his mouth searing against hers once more. Her lashes fluttered on her cheeks. The request tumbled from her lips. “Don’t stop, Jon don’t stop.”

 

His tongue slid along hers, teasing, suddenly gentle despite the furious pace with which he returned to taking her, gripping her hip and her skirt bunched in his hand, switching the angle of their bodies so he could reach more of her, if that were possible, and the pleasure to the point of pain was too much for her already sensitive body, crying out again as he finally reached his breaking point, her lips capturing his again to take his shout of release, smothering it before someone heard, and bucking her hips as best as she could to encourage every part of him to fill her, his movements slowing, erratic as his body fell from the high.

 

They remained in place—she had no idea how long—long enough she supposed to feel their coupling leave her body and hoping Valentino didn’t ask questions when they got the dress back completely destroyed. Oh gods. She looked down at herself, at his arms still around her. She closed her eyes, turning carefully, dislodging him and wrapped her arms around his neck, unable to look him in the eye as she kissed him.

 

Without a word, they held each other, the kisses gentle and longing, and she felt him lift her carefully back up to sit against the shelf, shielding her as he covered her again. She dropped her hand between them, her fingers circling him, slowly sliding and gripping, and he was ready again, their want still there, drowning them as she dropped onto him again. She refused to open her eyes; if she did she’d see him and she’d see the regret and the pain and she’d feel it too. If she kept her eyes closed they could be back when things were happy and when they could pretend there was nothing else out there in the world to take them from each other.

 

Except Dany there is, you live in different worlds, and your love can’t survive it. He stuttered against her with the second release and she followed after him with a few tired strokes of his fingers against her, exhausted. She slumped into his chest, his heart beneath her ear, and she idly kissed the scar there. Finally, after an eternity, she lifted her head, her eyelids lifting, dreading what she might find.

 

Violet met gray, his expression stony, and no emotion there. He was always so good at hiding his emotions. She was about to say so, to distance herself again so she didn’t get hurt, when he smoothed his thumbs over her cheeks, smearing her tears away. “I love you,” he murmured, shaking his head. He sighed, defeated. “But we can’t do this.”

 

And you say I have no heart. She stood, straightening up while he righted himself, re-buttoning his shirt and securing his belt. She hoped that her braids weren’t too frizzy from his hands. The closet was dark, but with just enough light from under the door and around the edges, for her to see that it may not have been her tears he was wiping away. His eyes were shining; what did he have to cry for, she wondered, he was the one who hurt her the most.

 

“No, we can’t,” she agreed. She smoothed her hands back down over her dress, shifting on her heels, bringing feeling back into her legs. She touched his chest lightly, wanting to push him away, to break him like he’d broken her. She shook her head, glad she couldn’t see his face. “We can’t because I don’t feel like fucking your family in this relationship and we both know they have to be involved.” She sighed dramatically; Dragon Queen present. He stiffened under her touch. Good. “That was nice Jon, it’s good to see you can still do it when you’re not fucking wasted.”

 

It was cruel, but he was cruel to her. She refused to look at him when she unlocked the door and opened it, stepping back into the darkened hallway and striding to the bathroom to take stock of her appearance, shocked that she did not look entirely like she’d just fucked in a storage closet. A few dabs of a wet paper towel on the corners of her eyes and a quick wipe under her skirt and she thought she would be able to get away with it until she could get to her makeup before the afterparty.

 

She left, saw Jon’s dark glare at her from the corner of her eye as he went back into the theater and she went in after, ignoring the feeling of him watching her, the wolf hunting its prey as it were, and sat down next to Viserys. She took a few steadying breaths, clutching at her purse, something to hold so she didn’t start biting her nails or resorting to other bad habits.

 

The scene she’d returned to was a Night Queen speech; she was shocked that she’d been able to get out the words while she was freezing to death in Iceland. She took a few more breaths, when she felt Viserys lean into her space. “What?” she hissed. She rolled her eyes when he took an exaggerated sniff at her neck. She smacked his hand, forcing him back a little. “Stop it.”

 

He reached into the pocket of his suit jacket, removing a foil-wrapped stick. He passed it to her, tsking quietly and leaning so she could hear him. “You stink darling sister.”

 

Fuck. “Of what?” she mumbled, taking the gum and shoving it into her mouth, to take away the taste of Jon. The minty, cinnamon, and warm taste of him. She frowned; it wasn’t cigarettes or whiskey. At least that was something.

 

Viserys sighed, the disappointment palpable. “Of wolf.”

Chapter Text

xvi.

January 2020
London, England

 

For the last couple of weeks she had woken up every single morning to overwhelming dizziness and nausea, which she attributed to the nerves that she had never really felt before in her life, but things were different. The movie had been a box office success, something that could not be said for many of her other films, and she had already been nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award. She already had a GG for one season of Princess Periwinkle but this was something entirely different.

 

There were so many things happening, but she’d won a BAFTA—how?—along with the Westerosi equivalent, named for one of her ancestors, a Daenys the Dreamer award. Rhaegar’s name was only invoked so often, not in comparison to her performance but often with reverence, saying he would be so proud of his little sister, and it was not a fluke, there was something special inside of Daenerys Targaryen, it just took the right film for them all to see it.

 

Damn fucking right, she thought, lying in bed, hoping the pain would pass over so she could finally climb out of bed. It had been hours of laying among her thick blankets and pillows, refusing to acknowledge the source of the constant illness. She pushed her face into her pillow, wanting to disappear back into a dreamless slumber, but unfortunately duty called. Her phone had buzzed itself off the nightstand, tons of texts from Tyrion and Missandei, but she couldn’t bring herself to look at them.

 

The night before she’d stupidly been reading up on herself, something she never did, and while there was more good stories than bad ones, she still ran into the ones that reminded the world she was just the silver-haired slut who broke Daario’s heart and drove Drogo to death. Targaryens were mad, didn’t you know, one blog said. She was mad as well.

 

And there was one lone little story out there mentioning her lack of dating life and whatever happened to that dark curly-haired hipster guy she’d been seeing during filming? Was he still around or did she drive him into oblivion as well?

 

She groaned into the pillow. They had a photoshoot later at an art museum; she was not in the mood to get dressed up like a doll and moved in various positions. “I want to sleep,” she mumbled to no one. To the stuffed dragon she still kept in her bed, despite the fact she was in her early 30s. She grabbed it, tapping the ratty nose. She still called it Drogon. Just like she did to one of the dragon tattoos on her wrist. She rubbed her thumb over them, watching as the skin movement made it seem like they were flying.

 

The nausea hit her, a truck running straight over her without stopping, and she closed her eyes tight, pressing her thumb at the pressure point in the web of her thumb and index finger, cursing the gods. “Oh fuck, what now?” she mumbled, lifting her head slightly.

 

The stairs rumbled beneath footsteps, a stampede of horses had somehow found their way into her hall or else Viserys was in a manic episode the likes of which she hadn’t seen in years. He was shouting her name—screaming more like—banging on the wall and then on her door, a barrage of fists that resembled gunfire. “Dany! Daenerys Stormborn! Fucking open this door! DanyDanyDanyDanyDany!

 

“It’s open you lunatic!” she shouted, forgetting her choice of words, but Vis didn’t care, barging into the room with a massive smile on his face, his naturally pale lilac eyes several shades deeper with happiness, and to her shock he was not even wearing a perfectly tailored suit or outfit but was in a no-doubt designer silk button-down that was wrinkled and jeans, bouncing barefoot into her bedroom. Her eyes widened, unable to process, but she forgot her nausea, staring at him with a tiny smile when he flipped onto her bed, jumping up and down on the end like he was a child. She laughed, her heart lighting in her chest at the sight of her brother so happy. So naturally happy, no chemical inducement about it. “What has gotten into you?”

 

He kept jumping on the bed, his phone in his hand, silver ponytail bouncing on his neck. “You. Got. An. Oscar. Nomination!”

 

A what? Her mouth fell slightly ajar. “An Oscar?” she whispered. She didn’t have time to process what her brother was repeating, over and over again as he jumped on the bed, before her stomach surged into her throat and she was fumbling with the covers, leaping out and away to her bathroom, the toilet seat already up in preparation.

 

She coughed up whatever remained in her stomach from the night before, when she had barely even eaten anything in preparation for the morning. “Gods, you hate me,” she mumbled, her head on her arm, draped around the rim of the toilet bowl. She could still hear Viserys, yelling through the room that she had to call Tyrion, he was going to get her on a couple of the morning LA and New York shows to talk about how she feels with the nomination.

 

“And I got one too, and I got one too,” he sang.

 

“For producing?”

 

“No for costume design, yes of fucking course for producing!”

 

She rolled her eyes, coming to her feet when the wave of illness abated. She turned, her toothbrush and toothpaste at the ready, cleaning up and splashing some water on her face. She lifted her head, staring in the mirror. The Night Queen really had gone through the wringer, she thought, rubbing at the shadows beneath her eyes. She pushed away, stepping carefully—the room was still spinning—to her bedroom. She leaned on the doorframe, her arms crossing over her chest. The movement pushed at her breasts and she winced; they had been so tender she had almost strangled the assistant at the dress fitting the other day.

 

Viserys was sitting on her bed, holding Drogon. He wiggled the dragon animal at her and scowled. “You still have this thing?”

 

“Do I need to go into your bedroom and look and see if you still have Balerion?” The stuffed dragon from his childhood was probably hidden in his nightstand, which meant she’d have to sift through gods-only-knew what, but since Rhaegar had gotten them each a stuffed dragon when they were born, she knew he still had the thing somewhere.

 

He threw the stuffed animal aside in response. “So Tyrion is going to call you, answer your phone.” He looked down at his, scrolling through. “I’ve got meetings as well, I need to laugh at Cersei, Jaime got a nomination but it’s such a pity vote. Also Margaery is up for Best Director…”

 

“Jon Snow?”

 

“Yes,” he said, still scrolling. “Adapted Screenplay.”

 

She frowned. “Adapted? It’s an original story.”

 

“Adapted from his play, schematics.” Viserys snapped his fingers, glaring up at her. “Oh and Valentino called Ellaria, who left a message on my phone forgetting it wasn’t yours, I guess we need to take out a bit on your gown for the Golden Globes? They’re on Sunday, we don’t have time. Go on a fast.”

 

Going to be a little hard to do that if it’s what I think it is. She tried to smile, but she wasn’t in the mood. “Anything else Vis?”

 

“Yeah, you’ve been sick for awhile.” He studied her suspiciously. A heavy silence dropped in between them. He stretched out on the bed, languid, like a cat in the sun, and sighed. “You better not be contagious.”

 

“I’m not.”

 

“Because I can’t get sick.”

 

“It’s nothing, get out of my room.” She wanted to throw up again. Mostly because Viserys was currently rifling through her nightstand drawer, complaining about how she didn’t have anything fun to partake in the celebration with. She grabbed a candle from the table beside the bathroom door, chucking it at his head. It bounced off his shoulder instead, rolling under the bed. He squinted at her, silently judging. “Go away.”

 

He cocked his head again, still squinting. Please don’t say anything, she begged. “You are a sure thing for a Golden Globe and a SAG, sweet sister.”

 

All the more reason for my nerves, she thought, although she knew better. She crossed her arms over her chest again, forcing back the gag reflex that the pain in her chest triggered. She carefully swallowed, trying not to make her green face obvious to Viserys. He was looking at his phone again. “Go away, I don’t want to repeat myself.”

 

“Or what?”

 

“I’ll throw up on your feet.”

 

He darted a lilac glance in her direction. “You wouldn’t.” Since he was a germaphone, she took one step towards him and mimed her head lurching forward and he squealed like a pig, jumping off her bed and rushing to the door. He turned back around, pointing his phone at her, his uncharacteristically happy smile pulling at his thin face. “We’re doing this thing Daenerys.”

 

The fact that she did get an Oscar nomination, after all the pain and the sweat and tears and…and heartbreak…it sparked something inside of her, washing away the nausea from the forefront of her mind. She no longer would have Princess Periwinkle Daenerys Targaryen as the first line of any introduction. As honoring as it was to also have Emmy Winner attributed to that title, this was something else entirely.

 

She took two steps towards him and paused. The dizziness was almost too much and Viserys completed the distance, his arms wrapping around her, hugging tight. It was so strange; Viserys hated any sort of affection. “We’re doing this,” she murmured into his shoulder.

 

“Targareyns against the world.”

 

Eyes closed tight, tears leaked out, and she nodded. In more ways than one. “Promise you’ll always be there for me?” she murmured, thinking of the almost certainty of what was also happening to her. She’d need Viserys, as terrifying as that was, to be at her side. To help her, because she was absolutely certain she wouldn’t be able to do this alone. She was strong enough to know she could, but she had to have someone else there. Some sort of family.

 

He dropped a kiss to the top of her head. “Fire and blood, I’m always there.” He studied her again, still unsure, but whatever he was thinking he actually kept to himself, turning and leaving, closing the door behind him.

 

The phone on the floor buzzed again. She knelt, blowing hard breath out to fight the urge to vomit again. You really hate me, don’t you? She still didn’t know if it was positive, she had yet to confirm, but she knew. She knew in her heart. She picked up the phone and sighed at the message from Tyrion: CALL ME DAENERYS OR I WILL SIC VISERYS ON YOU.

 

“Too late,” she mumbled, tossing the phone aside.

 

She returned to the bathroom. There were three awards already on the marble vanity for The Night Queen. Festival awards, but awards nonetheless. After that weekend it was likely a Golden Globe would accompany them. Three weeks and a SAG. Six weeks and an Oscar. Maybe. Try not to think too hard on it, she thought, turning away from the vanity and opening the cabinet, removing the box she’d purchased three days before but hadn’t had the nerve to actually open.

 

Now or never.

 

She flicked open the top of the box, not bothering to check the instructions—they hadn’t changed in the near six years since she took her first one—removing the plastic wrapped test. She sighed, staring at the blank little window and shook her head again. “This can’t be possible.” She was supposed to be barren. The stupid things she’d done after Rhaego died had ensured it. There were so many times she’d forgotten her birth control when she was with Daario and nothing had happened.

 

The entire year with Jon…she’d been hit or miss with it. It wasn’t like they really cared, even though they hadn’t talked much about it. He hadn’t pressed her when she’d told him it didn’t matter if they used condoms or not and ultimately they hadn’t mattered. Nothing occurred. Until that evening at the premiere. A storage closet, unbelievable, she thought, pushing away from the vanity.

 

~/~/~/~

 

The test sat untouched on her dresser while she answered congratulatory messages from former costars on Princess Periwinkle to crew from the movie to Margarey to Yara to Irri to her stylist Ellaria. There were more people blowing up her phone than she thought she even knew had her phone number. She smiled at a sweet message from Lyanna Mormont, who had received a nomination as well.

 

Congratulations Dany!!! You deserve it, you are my favorite costar and that’s not because Cousin Jorah works for you, followed by a bear emoticon.

 

Her phone rang again, it was Tyrion. She answered, knowing he had to hear her voice at least once. “Oh look she’s alive,” he said, before she even had a chance to speak. “I know you haven’t been feeling well which is why I only scheduled some call-ins. I’m sending Pod over to set it up, you’re doing two morning shows in Los Angeles and three in New York. That should be enough. You have a statement for me?”

 

They usually had her write out her statements and he edited them before releasing. More often than not the statements looked nothing like what she wanted. “Yeah just the usual. I’m humbled by the nomination, I share it with everyone, congratulations on all the rest of the movie’s nominees.”

 

“Fine, shouldn’t take me but a few minutes. You feeling better? I’ll send over a doctor.” There was actual concern in his voice, so Dany smiled, trying not to think about the stick sitting on the dresser.

 

She glanced at it in spite of herself. “Yeah. Fine. I’ll be fine.”

 

“Nerves don’t usually hit you.”

 

“This is different.”

 

He chuckled. “Yeah, I guess it is. Viserys is beside himself, I gather?”

 

“Throwing a party in his wing of the house I imagine.”

 

“Well be prepared for the questions on the red carpet at the Globes this weekend. I’ll send along your flight information in a couple days, you better do whatever you need to do to feel better. Can’t have you collapsing on stage when you win.”

 

She listened to Tyrion remind her a few more times about the call-in later, her gaze focused on the ominous white stick. It consumed her entire mind, which she supposed it should, and she found it quite ironic that the greatest moment of her career, the moment she’d been waiting her entire life for oddly enough, and it meant absolutely nothing compared to what that stick might reveal.

 

All she ever wanted was a family. Now she might have it. When she couldn’t get that, she’d wanted her career to mean something. So many missteps, so many failures, and now here she was. The very pinnacle of it. The greatest role she thought she might ever have had the opportunity to play, the best script…there would be nothing that could compare, of that she was certain.

 

Especially now.

 

She stood and walked over to the dresser. Her phone was still in her hand and as she approached, it buzzed. One glance at the smiling faces on the screen and she lifted it to her ear. “Hey Missy.”

 

“Congratulations! I was shocked you didn’t respond to my messages earlier. Are you still feeling unwell?”

 

Due to a childhood illness in his youth, Grey couldn’t have children, and she knew Missandei was trying to process whether she might want to adopt or not, but they were working through it on their own terms. It wasn’t something that she and her best friend discussed, since it hurt both of them deeply to discuss the prospect of children in their lives. Missy because she wasn’t sure how she would go about having them with her husband and Dany because she’d fucked up in her youth and was paying the price for those fuckups. Or so she thought. Missandei was always sympathetic and understanding, telling her it wasn’t her fault what happened to Rhaego.

 

It wasn’t my fault, she repeated, the mantra she’d focused on her entire life since that day when Jorah broke the news to her. Rhaego wasn’t her fault and neither was what happened afterward. It was a sad girl who wanted something, trying to find that thing, desperate and alone and someone took advantage. She took a deep breath, speaking quietly. “I’m fine, just feeling a little odd you know.”

 

“Of course! This is the one thing you’ve wanted for so long.”

 

“Hmm, yes.” She tilted the stick towards her. The tears flooded her vision before she even had a chance to process what the result actually was. She took a deep breath, but her tearful hiccup escaped before she could stop it. She pressed her fingers to her lips. “Sorry.”

 

Missandei mistook her emotion for the overwhelming feelings of the Oscar nomination. “Oh Dany, don’t apologize, you’re going to be emotional. This is a huge moment for you. I’m sure Viserys is more obsessed with his nomination than yours. I’ve got some meetings today but I’ll be by later for wine and pizza if you want.”

 

She laughed, as absurd as it was. No more wine for me. “Oh don’t be silly, we don’t need to do that. You spend the evening with your husband. I’ve got a lot going on, I’ll be doing interviews and things. Don’t worry about it, we can meet before the Globes.”

 

“Grey and I will definitely be watching.”

 

“Yeah.” After a few more minutes, she hung up, the phone going on the dresser beside the stick, with its two lines, screaming up at her the new future she would have. She found her stomach with her fingers, digging in slightly, wondering if she could feel the baby, but that wasn’t possible. It was too soon. It had only been six weeks since that moment in the closet.

 

Jon

 

The phone buzzed once more; she was going to burn the fucking thing if it kept ringing, she thought, grabbing it before she had a chance to see who was calling now. “Yes?” she demanded, hoping it was Tyrion so she could hang up on him for being such a nuisance.

 

“Hi.”

 

A chill went down her spine; it had nothing to do with the sinking feeling in her stomach as the nausea reared its ugly head again. Her fingers pushed into her belly. How did he know? She cleared her throat, hoping she didn’t sound like she’d been throwing up all day long. Her voice was still hoarse. “Hi…Jon.”

 

There was silence. She had no idea what to do or say. This was unprecedented. “I wanted to say congratulations,” he whispered.

 

“You too.”

 

“You finally got it.”

 

“I did.” She wanted to scream. Scream out the pain and the joy she felt in that moment. The words were on the tip of her tongue, some irrational part of her brain thinking it was a good idea to just shout Congrats! You’re a father! Except she couldn’t, because she couldn’t even voice it out loud to herself. She bit her lower lip, trying to maintain the coolness she wanted to feel. “That all?”

 

What softness might have been there, whatever possessed him to call her to offer his congratulations when he could very well have ignored her—should have ignored her—disappeared and his voice was cool as well, icy even. “No, that’s it. You finally got what you wanted. Just felt like saying you’re welcome.”

 

Why are we so mean to each other? She warred within herself, the other voice shouting that it was because he broke her heart. Because his family used him and hurt her for no reason and he couldn’t see it and because he couldn’t understand. So she snapped back, dragon teeth gnashing. “No you’re welcome Jon, without me you’d still be putting on plays on the West End, your nomination is mine too. Goodbye.” She hung up before he could say anything else and threw the phone onto the bed; the pillows would muffle any sound it made.

 

And she sobbed, falling into a heap on the floor, cradling her flat stomach and wanting nothing more than to disappear from the world. She didn’t know how long she sat there, leaning against her dresser, her fingers stroking over the taut skin of her abdomen, dreaming of the life that hovered within.

 

When she stood, hearing Viserys coming to collect her and shouting that Podrick was there to help with the interview, she had made a decision. One she knew would adapt and evolve over the coming weeks and months, but she was certain. This was what she wanted. The child that relied on her now was what she wanted. The nomination was one thing, her career was another, and as bittersweet as it was—the destruction of her relationship with the child’s father was because she didn’t want her reputation damaged with thoughts that she used him for career advancement—she was done with it all.

 

Daenerys Targaryen had had her last movie, she thought, walking into her closet to change out of her sweats and into something more work appropriate. She smiled happily when the skinny jeans she’d tugged over her slim legs didn’t feel quite as loose as they had been over her belly and she hummed at the prospect of buying new clothes to accommodate her bump.

 

This was going to work out, she vowed, catching her reflection in the mirror, smiling at the woman who stood there with bags under her eyes and stringy silver hair. She patted her stomach. “You and I will be just fine,” she vowed. She chuckled, spinning n her heel and instantly regretting it as dizziness smacked her. She patted her stomach again. “Okay then, no spinning.” She laughed, gathering her phone and walking into her adjacent sitting room to pick up her portfolio. “Perhaps I’ll name you Oscar.”

 

The surge of nausea told her the baby wasn’t thrilled with that choice at all.

 

~/~/~/~

 

What was he thinking?

 

He should never have called her. It was a stupid mistake, born out of confusion and lack of sleep and…fuck. He had no idea. He popped another piece of gum into his mouth, chewing frantically, his jaw aching from the sheer amount he’d been gnawing like a cow with cud.

 

The other option was cigarettes, but he was two months off the things and as much as he wanted to feel the smoke in his lungs, the comfortable weight of it in his hands, and the steady routine of removing it from the pack, lighting it, and that first inhale…he sighed. He wanted to live a little longer. He was able to breathe better, sleep better, and somehow he’d been writing better. More focused.

 

Arya kept saying, “Told you so” whenever she saw him working, with that annoying smirk on her lips. He would crumple and throw a piece of paper at her, but he knew she was right. He knew that…that she was right. About so many things. Gods, about everything, he thought, hitting his head against the back of the armchair, draped over it like a blanket, roasting in front of the fire, but he didn’t want to move.

 

He’d been awake for hours, keeping to the routine he’d gotten into since rehab. The place in The Reach, back in Westeros, liked to call itself a treatment center but it was a rehab center. It was a place where you went to dry out, to figure out why you drank or did drugs or relied too much on your vices, and then they sent you home with strict instructions to keep lest you relapse. Instructions that included therapy.

 

His therapist was terrifying. He was certain he’d met her before, you didn’t always encounter a red woman and his first interaction with one resulted in him somehow coming back to life in a helicopter rushing to the hospital, even after being dead for a couple hours. Dr. Mel as she preferred to be called, had some strange sayings and approaches to therapy, but somehow it worked. Or at least, Jon thought it was working.

 

He scrubbed his hands over his face; he should never have called her. It had been weeks since that moment in the storage closet at the premiere. They were animals, there was no other explanation for it. They had sniffed around each other on the carpet—he knew she had been watching him from the moment he got out of the limo with Arya—so the next thing that happened was of course them finally coming around to each other. He was still so infuriated with her.

 

Dr. Mel said that he was hurt. “You don’t think she trusted you, it taps into your inferiority complex,” she said in their last discussion on the matter. He thought that was total bullshit. Except it was true too.

 

She didn’t get what he saw in her, she was so consumed with thinking about what the rest of the world thought. Torn between the feelings that yes, he was a bastard and he was nothing for her. He would drag her down, she didn’t need that, so yes, she was right and he was lashing out at her for it. He knew it. But…he didn’t understand how she could think he’d tell about her son. That was it. He would never have said a word to anyone. How could she think that?

 

He clicked the pen, hooked in the loop of the notebook, and returned to writing. He had been working on something since that second week in rehab when he’d finally been thinking clearly, his body rid of alcohol, and one of the therapists there told him it would be good for him. The stress, the anxiety, the exhaustion he felt, he needed to focus on something that could clear his mind and what cleared his mind? Writing. Stories. They always had, even at the Wall.

 

The pen scratched across the paper, but he couldn’t think as he wrote. “Why did you call her?” he mumbled, to no one in particular. His stupid brain. His dick. Whatever the hell had been thinking when he’d picked up the phone and hit her phone number.

 

Davos called him when the nominations came out told him he had it in the bag, but he didn’t care about that. He wanted to know about her. Davos told him and he’d been so relieved he’d just hung up the phone, forgetting about anything. She got it. And then he’d been pissed at himself because why did he even care?

 

The things she’d said to him had been deserved as the things he’d said back to her. They’d been so fucking cruel to each other, but what else was he supposed to do? He had to keep her away. Dany was the only thing in the world he had ever truly wanted and he was willing to give up everything and everyone for it. So why don’t I?

 

He looked up when the side door opened, grateful to see Arya. His sister had taken it upon herself over the last six months to check up on him from time to time, do a sweep to make sure he wasn’t confiscating anything—he wasn’t—have a cup of coffee with him, watch some stupid movie, or kick his ass on a run or go for a horse ride. Anything to distract him, he suspected, from the silver dragon that still haunted him.

 

“You are a genius!” Arya exclaimed.

 

He smirked. “Mark the day and time, that’s the first time you’ve said that.”

 

She threw a croissant at him from the box she’d opened. “Shut up. I just mean that my brother, my stupid stupid stupid brother actually got an Oscar nomination! It’s insane!”

 

“You didn’t care when I actually won two Tony Awards.”

 

She waved her hand. “This is different.” She munched on a croissant, watching him for a moment, before swallowing dramatically and pointing at him with the mangled half of the pastry. “Daenerys got one too.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“I sent her a text message.”

 

“I’m sure you did.” Arya was still in communication with Dany; he didn’t even try to fight it. It would do no good.

 

Arya dropped the rest of the pastry on the floor, where Ghost swept it up in one lick of his tongue, walking over to sit next to him on the armrest of the couch. She stared at him for a long time; he had grown used to her studying looks over the years, so he just kept scribbling in his notebook, no idea what exactly he was even writing. She finally sighed, dramatic. “Jon when are you going to tell me what happened.”

 

So this is what we’re going to do, huh? He’d been wondering when it would come up. Despite the fact she was still in communication with Dany and despite the fact that she hadn’t separated from his side for longer than a few days since that fucking awful day in March when she’d found him unresponsive. It had been Arya who had saved his life, he thought, reaching to squeeze her hand. He knew he owed her something. She’d been so quiet about it all since that day, when he’d left for Westeros, vowing she’d deal with The Pack.

 

Aside from Bran, he hadn’t heard much from The Pack. Sansa had wisely stayed away; he still wasn’t sure what to do with her, since she’d shown him the story that she had that would take down Dany—regardless of how untrue it happened to be. He didn’t forgive her, but he also hadn’t completely alienated her. He still wasn’t sure what else Sansa might know or have access to and he wanted to make sure he could figure it out before anything worse happened.

 

Catelyn had of course been vile as ever, but Arya handled her. Jon had ignored any call or text from her. He didn’t owe Catelyn anything, he’d come to accept and understand. She would never like him no matter what he did. All she ever did was bring pain and he was tired of being her punching bag for when she felt like shit. It had been liberating.

 

He kept his hand in Arya’s for a few minutes before he withdrew it, returning to the notebook. “I don’t think it matters anymore.”

 

“I knew you would do something like that.” She huffed. “Come on Jon! I’ve waited long enough. I saw you both at the premiere…there’s still something there, I’m not an idiot.”

 

“You don’t understand.”

 

“What about relationships and sex?”

 

Jon had taken a sip of coffee and spewed it out, coughing. She thumped a hand on his back and he stood, shaking his head, glaring over his shoulder at her. He got up and walked to dump the coffee down the drain and get a paper towel to wipe off the drops of coffee clinging to his beard. “What? I don’t ever want that word to come out of your mouth.”

 

“Relationship?” she smirked.

 

“The other one.”

 

Arya rolled her eyes, hopping off the couch and stepping over Ghost to join him in the kitchen. “You’re an idiot. I’ve been having sex with Gendry for years now.”

 

“Ahhhhh!!!” He covered his hears, loudly yelling to avoid having to discuss the topic or even remotely think about it. “I don’t know what you’re saying!”

 

She grabbed his wrists, yanking his hands from his ears and pushing at his chest, knocking him back a step. She scowled. “You’re an idiot.”

 

“Noted.”

 

“I’m serious Jon.” The joking was gone; what little there may have been. The same gray eyes as his stared back at him. Filled with concern and worry, he hadn’t seen it this bad since those first few days he was back after getting out of rehab. He knew she wanted an explanation. He should give her one; she was the only person closest to him that could even remotely understand.

 

He just didn’t know what to say.

 

Because he honestly wasn’t sure himself.

 

Things were still so muddled from those weeks leading to the end. The fear that had really manifested in Iceland of people finding out about them. The worry with his issues and his indifference. There was still so much he was trying to piece together. The story she revealed that he still wasn’t sure who ultimately had written or discovered. Then there was the stuff Sansa had shown him, about his past, that she’d dug into and had obtained, claiming it was coming from Dany’s camp.

 

Somehow all roads pointed to Sansa. He just wasn’t sure what part was her or what part was her concern, her rather obsessive concern, for the family. He never denied that she loved him; she did in her own strange way. She loved them all. He just didn’t know where it stopped. Or what line she might draw. Or if she would draw a line at all.

 

He glanced at Arya again. “I don’t know, that’s the truth.”

 

“You do though.” She frowned. “You were in love with er Jon. You are in love with her. She loves you too; don’t tell me she doesn’t. I still talk to her. She doesn’t ask about you. She doesn’t mention you.”

 

He shrugged. “So? She hates me.”

 

“You both are hurt, she isn’t going to say a word about you. It hurts her too much.”

 

That was a cute thing to think, if it were true. He was tired; he wanted to take a nap. There had been too much talk that morning, people texting and congratulating and wanting to know who he would thank and what he would do if he won. He wasn’t going to the Golden Globes that weekend, so the Oscars were going to be his only trip to the States to collect any award in person if he won. He reached to hug Arya, kissing the top of her head. “It’s too complicated Arya.”

Arya pulled her head back, peering up at him, still not giving up. “You know what I think?”

 

He sighed. “Does it matter? You’re going to tell me anyway.”

 

“You’re right.” She poked his chest with her finger, hard enough to cause him to flinch. “I think you both said things that you didn’t mean because you were hurt. I think you’re both so in love you can’t even see straight. I think that you’re going to keep doing stupid shit to each other until you finally admit that you love her and she loves you and whatever happened doesn’t matter.”

 

Except it does. He shook his head, focusing on Ghost, who hadn’t moved from his spot on the floor. “It’s more complicated.”

 

“Why?” Arya laughed, shaking her head and scowling. “Because she’s famous? Because you’re basically famous? It doesn’t matter Jon.”

 

“Sansa may have done something, I don’t know.”

 

“And you’re protecting the family? You don’t want to believe whatever it is she did?” The questions were hypothetical and rhetorical, but Jon wasn’t sure if they were true. He didn’t say anything, so she continued. “Jon I know you love us, I know you have hurt and bled for us, but you loving someone who could take you away or whatever the fuck Sansa thinks doesn’t mean you will. I don’t know what she did or didn’t do…”

 

“There’s stuff Arya.” He didn’t want to get into it, because he still wasn’t sure what he said or hadn’t said. He frowned, wishing he could remember some of those days, hating himself for being unable. He didn’t want to ask Arya if she remembered, in case he didn’t tell her about Rhaego. He was pretty sure all he’d said was there was a secret and left it at that. He still didn’t know how Sansa could have found out otherwise. If that was her; he didn’t think…she couldn’t be…he shuddered. He didn’t want to think someone could be so cruel. Especially someone in his family. Gods, Dany was right. He loved his family more than her. He could understand it. He scowled; he wouldn’t have said anything though. He was sure of that. His mind was all over the place.

 

The stupid closet at the theater came back to him. He told her he loved her. He wasn’t lying. He wasn’t lying either when he said he couldn’t do…whatever it is they wanted to do. Not with her fears, not with his either…it was too hard and hurt too much. Arya seemed to realize that she wasn’t going to get much out of him anymore, so she kissed his cheek and patted his chest. “I love you Jon, you’re my stupid big brother and I love you, but I’m not stopping this. I’m going to find out.”

 

“There’s nothing to find out. Her career, my career…it’s done.”

 

“But Jon…”

 

“I said it’s done Arya!” His head hurt. He walked away from her and collapsed onto the couch. Ghost ambled over, jumping to sit beside him, head going over his knees. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Thanks for stopping by. You are of course invited to the Oscars.”

 

She laughed. “Well thanks for that.” Another pause. “Jon you were happy with her. Don’t forget that at least.” She gathered her keys and backpack. “I’ve got to go back to the estate. Bran has decided that he hates the entire bottom floor and somehow got people to come in and change it up. It looks disgusting, like we’re living inside of a tree or something.”

 

He chuckled, arm draped over his eyes. “Go then. I’ll see you later.”

 

“Later.”

 

The door shut, clicking loudly in his head. His eyes opened, feeling like that was an important part of this mystery. Doors opening, closing, talking, people listening…he shook his head, still unsure. The photos—how did anyone know where they were or get that picture from Iceland? He sighed, turning as best he could on the couch, Ghost preventing him from moving his legs very well. He hugged a pillow to his chest and closed his eyes, dropping off into a heavy sleep.

 

Where he dreamed of silver hair and violet eyes and future movies with her that he did not want to come to pass; he couldn’t bear it if they did. Maybe if they lost the awards they wouldn’t have to work together again. So he kept dreaming of that, but he wasn’t sure if he ever wanted it to come true.

 

~/~/~/~

 

February 2020
Dolby Theater
Los Angeles, California

 

“Hey, quitter, look alive, it’s the writing category,” Viserys said, poking her in the side. She didn’t need to pretend her excitement, she was genuinely nervous about what the envelope said. It was not her category but it might as well have been, Dany thought, clutching the armrests of her seat and staring up at the stage, watching the presenters go through some banter, namely playing on the wondering if snow might be falling on this long night.

 

It was becoming an annoying gag she had to wonder if the show writers were more interested in finishing up the jokes for the Oscars because they had to go write something they thought was more important, like Star Wars or something. She politely smiled when a camera ended in her face, knowing they were zooming over her shoulder to Jon, but with so many focused on her she knew it was a risk to even look like she wasn’t interested.

 

The presenter, a comedian that Dany didn’t know, who had won the category the year before for a rather entertaining comedy satire film, flicked open the envelope, speaking into the microphone. “And the Oscar goes to…”

 

She held her breath, her hand clutching the chair and her seat all but pitched forward as she stared at the stage. No amount of wishing would make it happen if it wasn’t meant to be. Gods if it wasn’t him, she had no idea what she would do. There was nothing in the category of nominees that he was up against that had anything remotely close to what he’d pulled off with the script. It was his to win, his to lose, and she wasn’t sure what she would do if he didn’t…

 

He. His. Jon. She was already so possessive, she was more nervous about this than her category. Her career even. It was all for Jon. Not that he cared. He could win, lose, or not even be here and he wouldn’t care. She bit her lip, ignoring Viserys’s hiss that she was ruining her lipstick and she swatted at him, all of time coming to a standstill as the presenter paused for effect and then leaned further into the microphone.

 

“Jon Snow, The Long Night.

 

The cheers that came up were so deafening, Dany wasn’t sure if it was all from her. She stood, applauding and keeping the beaming smile on her lips. It wasn’t fake, she thought, tears filling her vision. A few rows back he climbed from his seat, hugging and kissing Arya who was with him and Bran, still seated beside him. He gave Margaery a huge hug and kissed Yara’s cheek. Lyanna Mormont sprang out of her seat and flung her arms around him and he was grinning, stepping away and walking to shake Bobby B’s hand since he was the producer of the film. She stepped towards him, when he made his way around the corner, skirting close to her, buttoning up his suit jacket as he followed the path to the stage, thinking perhaps he was coming close to her, but he was just going to shake Vis’s hand, since again—producer—someone must have told him what he had to do.

 

Their eyes met, just for a brief moment, and she awkwardly reached to hug him. He kissed her cheek, but said nothing. Dany wasn’t sure what she would do if he did. Their shared words on the red carpet still rang in her head. The façade they still put up for each other, or at least, in her case. She wasn’t sure what he felt. She licked her lips and lightly touched her fingers to her stomach, wondering if the life inside of her knew that his father was as close as he’d been just then. “Sit down,” Vis warned her and she nodded, sitting beside him, still applauding with the rest of the audience, the noise dying down as Jon took the envelope and the fake Oscar used for the show from one of the assistants.

 

The big screens on either side of the stage changed, an image of the front of the script filling them, along with the category name and Jon’s name. It was official, she thought, blinking through her tears, her hands pressed together and staring as he studied the gold statue in his hand for a moment. “Come on Jon,” she murmured, although he couldn’t hear.

 

He cleared his throat and pushed his glasses on his nose nervously. “Ah…I’m not good with words.” The audience politely laughed, thinking it was a joke. He literally just won an Oscar for writing after all! Except Dany knew what he meant. The people who knew him would know what he meant. He looked at the statue again, his voice oddly soft in the stereo system, blaring through the massive theater. “I don’t write for awards or anything like that. I write for my family, for me, and so this is for them. Arya, Bran, even Sansa…for Robb and Rickon and…” He paused, taking a few breaths. You can do it, she thought, her fingers pressed to her lips. “For my father and my mother. I suppose I should thank Davos, my manager for not throwing me off a cliff after putting up with me as long as he has. Also all the people in the movie and who did the movie. Margaery for one.”

 

He stopped again and then finally lifted his head. He turned it slightly and she saw the exact moment when his gaze landed on hers. It was probably blinding up there, all the lights and the teleprompter no doubt counting down to zero. The entire world was watching, millions of viewers and the hundreds that were in the theater with him. Except he was looking straight at her.

 

And gods help her, Dany was looking straight at him.

 

“Thank you to the person who made this all possible,” he said, his voice oddly strong. He blinked quickly. “They know who they are and I love them very much. I’ll always love them. Thanks.” He turned, the orchestra playing and the audience applauding, walking off the stage with the presenter and the assistant.

 

Somehow she felt more broken than before. Her heart hurt. She wanted to get up and run out of there, keep running and never look back. Except there was a camera on her again. So she smiled, waved, blew a kiss and got up, going over to speak with Lyanna, to ask her how excited she was, since she hadn’t had a chance yet. Eventually Jon would come over, with his gleaming gold statute, and she couldn’t face him just yet. So she busied herself with talking to others, knowing her photo was being taken at every turn.

 

The writing categories would give way into the actor categories. They’d already gone through most of the technical ones, the costume design, and soon it would be Best Female Actor, Best Male Actor, and then the final two. Best Director and Best Picture. Dany hoped that Margaery would win, especially off the heels of winning the Director’s Guild of America prize. Jaime would no doubt lose, he’d lost his category in every single award show leading up to the moment. The movie would likely win too. Viserys probably threatened to murder anyone in the Academy if they didn’t.

 

After the commercial break she knew that her category was up next. There was movement behind her, everyone getting up to give Jon more hugs and congratulations. She couldn’t look at him; she wasn’t sure what would happen if she did. She wanted to scream at him for saying what he said up there. She wanted to hug and kiss him and whisper to him that she was pregnant and they were having a baby and what did all that happen between them matter then?

 

Except Viserys was fussing over her hair and pressing her purse into her hand. “Touch up your makeup, you’re up next, I won’t have you going up there splotchy,” he said. He made a face, wrinkling his nose and shaking his head. “Ugh, we don’t have time. You really need to start on the Botox, this line…”

 

She smacked at his hand, knocking it from where he wanted to worry over the perpetual crease between her brows. It was because of him, she wanted to retort back, but she couldn’t. Her heart was in her throat. Jon had said he’d loved her in front of the entire world and she could barely think about anything but that. She was irritated with herself, she wanted to get up and hit him and demand to know what it was supposed to mean. He couldn’t hurt her like he had and then do what he did. It didn’t work that way.

 

The commercial break gave way and Viserys nudged her again. A camera was in her face, swinging around from multiple angles and she put on a polite indifference, hands folded in her lap, watching last year’s Best Actor winner stride up to the microphone. There was no laughter as he spoke about the nominees and their amazing performances, beginning to read off the names as clips of the performances showed on the side screens.

 

When it came to her, the last one, the audience cheered louder than the rest. Dany waved at the camera, her smile real, and turned her attention back to the stage. This is it. This was all she’d worked for. All she’d wanted for so fucking long. Her fingers clutched into her stomach; the world would think it nerves, but she wanted the baby to know that this was their moment too.

 

Because without this movie I wouldn’t have you, she thought, smiling at the idea that she would tell them that one day, maybe even show them the film. She was still thinking about that future when the crowd screamed and stood and people were pushing her on all sides, Viserys hauling her up under one arm, shouting that they did it. Margaery was crying and hugging her, Lyanna Mormont was making a war cry sound, and even Arya Stark had stood on her seat and was screaming.

 

I won. I won an Oscar.

 

It wasn’t possible her feet were moving, but they were, and she wiped at her eyes, reaching for her skirt and hoping the tape keeping her breasts enclosed in the fabric strips down her chest stayed together—she couldn’t have a wardrobe malfunction at a time like this—somehow walking up the steps on her giant heels. She couldn’t think, couldn’t see, and couldn’t move. The statue—it was very cold—pressed into her hands. She managed to hold it from the bottom so she didn’t drop the heavy fucking thing and laughed, still processing the fact that everyone in the theater was standing and applauding.

 

“Oh gods,” she laughed, looking down at the object. It was real, she thought, shaking her head, remembering those days as a little girl in Rhaegar’s trailer, watching him prepare and wanting to be just like him. She remembered being his date to his second Oscars, when he won for the first time. It had been something else entirely. So she knew exactly what to say. “This is for my brother,” she sobbed, her eyes closing tight as people cheered quietly. “Rhaegar was a brilliant actor who taught me everything I know and I miss him so much. So this is for him and I hope he knows what he means to me, even after all this time being gone.” She pressed her hand to her forehead, laughing again. There was a ticking clock on the teleprompter. She didn’t want to get walked off, so she spoke fast. “I was a teenager in a periwinkle costume and thought that’s all I would ever be known for and all I wanted was to be known for something else, but I also wanted a family and the people on this film became my family more than they will ever know.” She sought out the grouping of chairs, seeing Viserys’s blinding silver hair first. “Thank you to my brother Viserys and Tyrion and Margaery Tyrell, Yara Greyjoy, Lyanna Mormont, Jaime Lannister, all the people who were part of this production…” she trailed off and her gaze looked for the one person she needed to find.

 

There he was, she thought, seeing him in his seat, the gold statue of his sitting on the floor. He stared straight at her and to her he was the only person in the arena. Despite the words they’d shared earlier, the shields they kept putting up against each other, she knew she had to do this. She didn’t care. Gods help me, I don’t care. She lifted the statue, her arm straining at the weight, pushing it up as she spoke, tears filling her voice. “And this would never have been possible had it not been for the one to make it so. I love him with all of my heart and I will be forever indebted to him.” Her fingers sought her belly, pressing. “He gave me not just this opportunity but my family. Avy jorrāelan issa zokla.” She knew someone would translate the Valyrian quickly and know she said the word ‘wolf’ and that could only mean one person.

 

With the rumors that had already leaked, the photo as well, it was going to be time. So she would be truthful.  It didn't matter in the end, not when she was already choosing to leave this world behind.  She reached to hold the Oscar to her chest and nodded to the audience, whispering, and the microphone catching. “Thank you.”

 

She tore her gaze from the crowd, but she knew that the one person she wanted to see was still watching as she walked off the stage to the thunderous roar of the audience.

Chapter Text

xvii.

Dolby Theater

Los Angeles, California

 

"More pictures!"

 

"Oh come on Vis," Dany sighed, standing from the couch where she'd been chatting with Margaery, deftly avoiding the free-flowing champagne by mimicking a tiny sip before swapping the flute for another she'd had the bartender prepare her of sparkling water. Her feet ached in her heels-- she'd have to take them off soon but that would make photos a tad awkward. She also wasn't sure that Maison Valentino would like her dress returned with dust and dirt all along the bottom from tripping on it.

 

She grinned for the camera, holding up her Oscar to tap against the one VIs got for producing the film, which had of course won Best Picture. Three Dragons was already making deals left and right for acquisition of new films, based off the wheeling and dealing VIs was doing. Or threatening, she supposed, as he had taken to wielding the Oscar like it was a damn club. She preferred to keep her little gold man front and center on the table in front of her. She had been a beacon for just about everyone at the after=party, actors and writers and producers all clamoring for her attention.

 

And she never forgot that these were the same people who refused to act with her because of her films with Drogo and Daario, who talked about her behind her back and whose faces were filled with apology and hope that maybe she'd advocate for them to be in her next movie. Yeah right.. There would be no movies. She couldn't wait to tell Tyrion the news, he'd been beside himself, because not only had his brother lost the Oscar but Cersei had thrown a temper tantrum when in the media room after someone had asked Jaime about whether he had heard the news that Brad Pitt had beaten him for a role in a new movie. He didn't care of course, but Cersei took it personally.

 

Viserys had conveniently forgotten her news that she was no longer going to be acting, but that was to be expected. He hadn't done anyd rugs that she was aware of, but he was drinking nonstop and she'd even seen him making out with Arianne Martell before another interview. He deserved it, she thought, turning away from some more pictures of brother and sister matching Oscars to sit back down, but the photographer had caught sight of a black shadow moving towards the exit behind them.

 

"Oh perfect! Let's get a shot of the writer and the star!"

 

Oh shit. She had done quite well avoiding Jon Snow throughout the evening; she didn't' even think he'd stay this long. He froze, looking over and trying to smile, but the disappointment was clear. "I don't think Jon Snow wants a photo," she said, trying to get him out of it. Well, trying to get her out of it.

 

Arya bounced over, pushing him towards her. "Yes! Pictures! The guy that created the Night Queen and the Night Queen herself! Come on Dany, it'll be great!"

 

Damn you Arya. She sighed and went to stand beside Jon. His arm came out, carefully wrapping around her waist and she shivered at the touch of his warm fingertips against the bare skin of her exposed midriff. The dress had been a strategic choice in the beginning, to show everyone that Daenerys Targareyn was fire made flesh and to remind the world just who exactly they were playing games with. She was silver-hair and red lips and the reveal of her skin was supposed to drive people crazy at what she was teasing underneath, the tasteful display of her breasts from either side but not giving away the farm-- she was comfortable in her skin and in the dress but now with Jon so close she wished to all the seven hells she'd chosen something that covered her like a potato sack.

 

The softness of his silky jacket pressed against her other side, the conflicting feelings sending her nerve endings haywire. She licked her lips and smiled, beaming as best she could, holding Mr. Oscar up at the same time as Jon, who of course was not smiling, just the bare hint of curve on his lips. She couldn't help it when her head moved towards him and realized his forehead was touching her temple in a soft bump. Her eyes fluttered shut and before she knew it she was looking up at him, her eyes opening to catch the look he was giving her. It was the same look she had seen on his face hundreds of times. Thousands, even. It was pure love, nothing hidden or mean or pretending about it.

 

He meant what he said up there; she didn't know what possessed him to say those things, to broadcast to the world that he loved her the way he did, but he did. She knew it had given her the courage to say what she said. Tyrion had already tried to snag her to say that people were already wondering if Jon Snow was in fact the 'wolf' she'd thanked in her speech. Coupled with the articles that were already out and the photo of them together, they may as well just announce they were fucking getting married.

 

And having a baby, she'd laughed inwardly.

 

It was so funny how it all worked out, she supposed, continuing to grin at the flashing cameras while at the same time she wanted to turn tail and disappear in a cloud of smoke. She heard someone-- maybe Vis?-- say that was enough and she broke away, setting down Oscar with Margaery's Oscar. She excused herself and picked up her clutch, sliding by Jon and out of the ballroom. She made her way into a hall, turning a couple of times and trying to catch her breath. She needed a moment. She wasn't sure to do what. Throw up, scream, hit someone, who knew, she just had to get out of there.

 

She smacked her hand on the wall behind her, hitting her forehead against it and taking some cleansing breaths. "Hey."

 

She turned and saw Jon, holding a glass of something in his hand. "Hi."

 

"Here." He gestured with the glass towards her, but she pushed her hand away. He frowned and looked at it, the bubbles fizzing at the top. He pushed it to her again. "It's sparkling water."

 

"Oh." She took it, grateful for the couple of cold sips that tracked down her throat. It felt better almost. She handed the glass back to him, whispering, trying not to look him in the eye. How could she, after what they'd done on that stage? "Thanks." She glanced at the water and then up to him again. Now that she was so close, without the cameras or the people around, she saw that he looked...so much better. The bags and puffiness were gone from his eyes, his cheeks were thinner but not gaunt, and he was holding himself better. He was healthier. Guess getting away from me will do that to a guy. "You're not drinking," she whispered.

 

He flashed a quick smile. "I'm eight months sober."

 

Oh gods wow. She smiled, eyes crinkling from the force, almost blurring her vision of him. "Wow. You...congratulations."

 

"Thanks." He shifted on his feet and sighed, at the same time she made some sort of sound, unsure what it was, both of them stepping towards each other and embracing tightly. Her face pressed against his shoulder, eyes closing tight, not caring if she got makeup on his suit, while at the same time she felt his breath hot on her bare back, hands wide as he pressed her against him. He was so warm, she thought, his body a rock against hers, propping her up as she rose on her toes, her heels barely putting her to his height.

 

Her stomach flipped in her abdomen, fluttering through her. Did the baby know? "I'm sorry," she mumbled into his chest.

 

"Me too."

 

She wasn't even sure what she was sorry about at this point. There were so many things, so many cruel things they had both said to each other. In hurt and anger. She bit her lower lip. "I'm not heartless?" she murmured, thinking to what he'd said only hours ago on the red carpet.

 

He tensed beneath her and she felt him shaking his head. "Gods no, you have the...you have a good heart. I'm sorry."

 

And he meant it, she knew that, because he'd gone up in front of everyone, something he never did and hadn't even done for all the other awards he'd won in his career, and he'd told the world that he was in love with someone. Then she'd gone up there and done the same fucking thing. It was almost an apology to the other, she thought, biting her lip so hard she drew blood. She could tell him. She could tell him right then and there but then what would happen? They were at the Governor's Ball after the Oscars. This was not the time or place.

 

They still held on to each other, not wanting to be the first to let go. He mumbled into her shoulder. "I'm sorry for...everything."

 

"We both said things we don't mean."

 

He finally tore away, just enough for their eyes to meet. "You weren't wrong about some of what you said about me."

 

"Doesn't mean I should have said them," she whispered. She wasn't even sure about what he was talking. She sighed, closing her eyes around tears. "I love you Jon Snow. I meant what I said up there." Tell him, just tell him.

 

He nodded, his lips ghosting across hers. She felt her skin prickle and a soft gasp escape her, but he didn't push forward. His hands still gripped her hips, not wanting to let go. He sighed and their foreheads bumped. "Timing is everything."

 

And ours is the absolute worst. "Yeah." It was time to say goodbye. She blinked through tears and gripped him tight, one last time. She gasped, breath escaping her from the force of her emotion. "I love you."

 

"I love you," he breathed. He pulled back and framed her face with his hands, their lips meeting in a soft, tender kiss, just long enough for her to want more, but know that they couldn't have it. Not right now. Maybe not ever. She bit her lower lip again, positively chewing it to nothing, her stomach turning with the knowledge she was keeping from him. Not yet, I can't tell him yet. But when? He thumbed her bottom lip, smiling. "Viserys is going to hate you for what you've done to your makeup."

 

She laughed, blinking back the tears and tearing from him, one last squeeze of his hand as she walked by. "Yeah, well, I'm leaving anyway."

 

"Goodbye Daenerys." He said it, with such sadness. She nodded, saying nothing, and hurried away, pressing her hand to her mouth to keep from sobbing, and did not turn around, even when she heard the hard smack of a fist against a wall.

 

~/~/~/~

 

March 2020

Dany's House

London, England

 

Dany studied the statement she had gone over and over again, repeating each word multiple times to ensure there was nothing else she could say. She had shown Viserys, who went into full denial mode and slammed his office door in her face. She'd smacked a copy of the statement onto it for him tos ee later when he finally came out of denial-- no telling when that would be but he wasn't changing her mind. She had called Tyrion to the house for a meeting and had prepared herself accordingly. Silver braids immaculate in a crown around the back of her head, tendrils framing her face and some of it also hanging down her back, a dragon brooch on the lapel of her black blazer, fitted dark jeans and low-heeled boots.

 

She'd decided to forgo the overlarge sweatshirts and t-shirts she'd been wearing to hide her bump when she left the house, which wasn't' often. Paparazzi had decided to track her down nonstop after her Oscar win, wanting nothing more than to see if she was really with Jon Snow, more photos leaking of them in Iceland together. They turned her stomach, the long lens giving the pictures a seedy gleam. They were better than traditional pap pics, which was why she knew someone had paid a private investigator to gather them.

 

Dany hadn't spoken to Jon since the Oscars, too tired to deal with anything relating to him. Besides, she thought wryly, they were over. It was clear in how he'd dealt with her and she didn't want to derail him from any progress he'd made emotionally and physically. Jon had his family, he'd made that clear to her in the beginning, and she had the beginnings of her family. She would of course tell him about the baby in due time. Right now she wanted to close the door on one part of her life before she stepped through to the next.

 

The photos had made the rounds a few days after the Oscars, a few days after the comparisons of their speeches, everyone and anyone in the entertainment industry concluding they meant each other. It was enough to drive her into hiding anyway-- it was just like she thought would happen and she felt exactly like how Jon told her she'd feel. She was confident and aware i knowing her Oscar was earned by her and only her. There were some that said any changes he made to thes cript were done after filming began and it became clear there had to be adjustments because of her skill.

 

Something told her Margaery or someone on set was responsible for that. Maybe even Viserys, although she thought he was working another angle. Either way, the headlines blared that she got her role by fucking the writer, she got him to change the script for her, and her Oscar should also belong to Jon Snow. Thankfully there were a lot of comments out there that simply said Jon didn't cast her, what role did he have in any of that? He barely stepped out of Scotland long enough to grab an award or make a deal for his scripts and then it was back to his life as a hermit.

 

It was the other stuff that bothered her. The photos of them in private moments. Nothing too scandalous, just a couple of him kissing down her chest, another of her standing in the window in her bra, and a few where he was behind her and her hands were clearly doing things behind her as well. She closed her laptop, not wanting to look at them any longer. Viserys was on it, he said, and he had a lead.

 

Dany wondered if it had something to do with the news story that broke the night before regarding the alleged denouncing in the Westerosi Parliament of any Northern separatist movement and passage of a bill that suggested should the North secede they would be subject to incredibly high taxes on any goods traded with the remainder of Westeros. Viserys had a lot of contacts in the government there. She thought it was entertaining, especially if vicious Sansa Stark was behind any of this. Same with the critique that came out on 3N's biased journalistic coverage of their favorite son's movie-- Sansa had been painted as a sibling who was jealous of the attention her brother was receiving and perhaps that's why she'd been so filled with animosity towards Daenerys Targaryen.

 

It didn't matter, she thought, pushing her laptop aside and climbing to her feet from her chair. She ran her hand over teh swell of her stomach, knowing the instant Tyrion walked in he was going to see what she'd been hiding beneath the bulky clothing. The doctor told her she was about 17 weeks and because she was so tiny it was possible that she would look much farther along than she was as the baby grew. "Gonna' be a big one!" the doctor had proclaimed, passing her the sonogram photos. "I can always tell."

 

"Is it a boy or a girl?" she'd wondered and before the doctor said so, she'd changed her mind. She wanted it to be a surprise. She also wasn't sure she wanted to know if Jon was having a son or a daughter before he did. They should find out together. Means you have tot ell him Daenerys, better get on that. She sighed. She was still trying to figure the best way.

 

The statement should probably be the first step. She stared at it again, printed out and ready to hand to Tyrion. She began to read aloud. "The Long Night was one of the greatest joys and experiences in my professional acting career and I thank anyone and everyone who was a part of the film for the opportunities it provided me, including my Oscar win. None of it could have happened without them and I am forever grateful. It is with humble heart and great affection for the film industry and acting that I announce today The Long Night will be my final film for the foreseeable future. I do not step away from this world I have loved since I was a little girl and the world my family has been involved with for so many years. I wish to take this break in my upcoming schedule to spend more time with my family and discover Daenerys Targaryen without the pressures associated with acting. I respect the media and public's privacy as I pass the torch to other talented young actors and hope they will one day experience the joy I feel to have been a part of something so great. Thank you."

 

She took a deep breath and pressed her hands to the side o f her belly, glancing down at the bump on her waist. "How's that my little dragonwolf?"

 

"Shocking."

 

The sound of Tyrion's quiet voice had her head whipping up from the paper. He stood in the doorway, dressed in a dark suit with his ever-present lion pin on his lapel. She swallowed hard, wishing that she'd had the opportunity to truly convey the cool Dragon Queen the world always wanted her to be. Or she hoped to be in that moment. She drew back, her hands going to her hips, pushing her blazer back. The red silk blouse she wore had a pussy-bow tie at her neck but was snug over her belly and dropped delicately to her hips. She hadn't gone up a size, preferring to show off the reason for her retirement in all its glory.

 

He looked first at her stomach and then finally to her. The door closed behind him. "I need a drink," he announced, gesturing to her. "Especially if we're going to discuss....that."

 

"That has a name."

 

"Already?"

 

"I've taken to calling it Dragonwolf."

 

"Well that answers my question about the father." He sighed, pouring himself a glass from the wet bar in the corner of the study. It was only ever for his use anyway. She made sure to keep it stocked with his favored Dornish red from Westeros, even if when she had wine she preferred French whites. Tyrion made a long drawn-out show of getting his drink. She rolled her eyes and took a seat in one of the two chairs that were placed before the fireplace, folding her hands under her belly. She wished she could feel the baby kick; it was too soon. She had only a few weeks to go before she was at the point where she lost Rhaego. The thought hurt her terribly, but something inside her heart told her that this would be okay.

 

She cocked her head, waiting for Tyrion to finally sit across from her, deftly hopping backwards into the seat and setting his glass on the table between the chairs. She kept her eyes focused on him, squinting and wondering how long he would drag this out. "Tyrion," she finally said.

 

"Hmm?" He turned a page in his folio.

 

"I'm not changing my mind. I don't' know how much yuo heard, but I'm not changing it."

 

He sighed, closing the folder and turning to look at her, mixture of sympathy, confusion, and annoyance. "Daenerys you have been in this world since you were a child. You have seen it all. You can have a baby and still be an actress, this isn't a death sentence, not like the 1950s."

 

"It has nothing to do with me being pregnant," she snapped. She drew her chin back, her voice soft, serious. There was no talking her out of it. "I have what I want Tyrion. It's done. This baby is a surprise and a blessing and I'm not going to squander it by continuing to act and miss out on what I think is important. I'll take a role in the production company. Acting isn't everything." It just took an accidental pregnancy and the worst heartbreak of my life to realize it. She took a deep breath, setting her jaw and fire flickering in her violet irises. "My childhood was on display. Every time I acted out or dared to show off my new figure or whatever thing happened to me, it was out there. Rhaegar only ever wanted to sleep, Tyrion. He only ever wanted to just take a moment and breathe and with all that was going on in his life, he took too many sleeping pills, just to take a nap and he never woke up." Tears choked her at the mention of her brother's death, but she knew that's what it was. It couldn't be anything else. "And I almost lost the man I love to the same thing. The same pressure and I won't do it. I won't have that be this child's life. Cameras in its face wondering who its mother is fucking on a daily basis or what it's father's been doing hiding away in the middle of nowhere. My baby won't have to worry about that because I'm not going to give it the opportunity. This baby is going to grow up in as normal a life as I can possibly provide it." She paused and smirked. "Having the Dragon Queen as a mother, of course."

 

Tyrion dropped his gaze to her, voice quiet. "And Jon Snow as a father."

 

There had been no hiding it. She smirked. "Yeah, that too."

 

"And he doesn't know, does he?"

 

"No and I would appreciate it if you keep it that way." She paused, studying his face. Tyrion liked to think he was clever, more clever than anyone. She supposed it was a defense mechanism, growing up in his twisted family where he, the dwarf, was always the smartest and most adjusted. His father was a tyrant, his twin sister and brother were fucking each other, and his mother died giving birth to him. She liked to think they understood each other in that regard. She had a complicated relationship with her siblings, her mother died in childbirth, and what little she knew of Aerys he wasn't called the Mad King of Hollywood for no reason. He was a mess.

 

Except Tyrion's over confidence in his own cleverness occasionally bit him in the ass. He had more failures on his resume than he did successes. She always felt like she was winning every battle but losing the war when it came to Tyrion's PR strategy. He had done very well in hiding the Jon Snow story for as long as he had. Except he'd also failed in not stopping the first hotel photo from going public on Baelish's show. He hadn't been able to figure out the information Varys had obtained...come to think of it...

 

She narrowed her eyes on him, quiet. "Tyrion."

 

"Yes."

 

"Before we discuss my retirement--"

 

"Let's discuss it," he interrupted. He gripped the stem of his wine glass between his fingers so tight she wondered if it was going to snap in half. He glared at her. "I kept the Jon snow story quiet. I did what you pay me to do and it was silent when he was going to rehab and spiraling out of control. I pushed down the fact that there were more photos of you two in Iceland after I warned you to watch yourself."

 

She felt heat pulsing in the base of her spine, threatening to shoot straight through her. "That is your job," she snapped. She arched her brow. "And you should have told me about the rest of the photos. You should tell me before you start messing around in things when it comes to my personal life because I may pay you to push them aside but I need to know about them before you do!"

 

Tyrion glared at her and suddenly it went away. he hung his head, his voice quiet. "There's something you should know. Someone has betrayed you."

 

"Yes," she whispered. She rubbed her stomach, quiet. "Jon Snow." He told his sister about Rhaego. As much as she loved him, as much as she wished...she wasn't sure she could get over that.

 

He shook his head, lifting his head again, quiet. "No, not Jon Snow. It was...me."

 

Her eyebrows arched clear to her head. She felt her breath hitch in her throat and part of her wondered if the baby had finally kicked or if she had just dug her fingers so hard into the side of her belly that's what it felt like. Her mouth dropped, stunned. Tyrion!? She stared at him, unseeing, trying to process. It was sludge through a gear, her mind unable to put it together. Tyrion was my closest confidant. Tyrion knew me. Tyrion knew....everything. She frowned. But he didn't know about Rhaego.

 

"You couldn't," she whispered, lifting her eyes up to him and shaking her head, whispering. "You couldn't have known about...about what Varys knew. The story that didn't get out. There's no way."

 

"Varys knew because I told him." His voice was oddly calm. "Because Sansa Stark somehow heard that there was a secret and she wanted to know. She said that she would go out there with nothing if she had to, but she wanted you as far from her family. She was upset and worried for her brother's health. Thought you were dragging him down and encouraging his bad behavior..."

 

"That fucking bitch I didn't--"

 

Tyrion cut her off. "I don't know what else her reasons were, but she put the private investigator on you. She was the one who got the photos from Iceland. Sansa Stark knew if she did anything with it her brother would never speak to her again, so she gave them to me. She wanted me to know what she had. Called it professional courtesy. I don't know what her endgame was, I don't even think she knew." He paused and sighed. "I grew to know her when she was with my nephew. My sister hurt her badly and my nephew even worse. I think she trusted me. I think she thought I would understand her motivations. Try to separate you from her brother, because I was looking out for you as well. Not wanted you tied to him."

 

Dany felt tears prick her eyes. "And you did exactly what she wanted. You gave it to Varys." She laughed. “Except Varys didn’t tell anyone but me.”

 

"I wanted to confirm the information,” Tyrion stressed. He honestly seemed to believe that what he did was good. He was apologetic, but she didn’t care. She had trusted him. “All I did when I told Varys was trying to see what else he knew. I know you pay him enough to keep him quiet.”

 

“Until someone else comes along with more money!” she exclaimed. She laughed. “Viserys pays Varys more than anyone until someone comes along and one-ups him. Anyone could pay him for that information. You found out about my son and you didn’t come to me! That in and of itself is a betrayal!”

 

Tyrion pinched his nose, shaking his head, whispering. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

 

“Well you didn’t! No, you let me believe that Jon betrayed me!” She wiped at her eyes, forcing herself to her feet, her arms wrapping tight around her. She held back her sobs, not wanting him to see her like this. Jon didn’t tell anyone. It was Sansa. She shook her head. It was too late. Jon always chose his family over her. He always would. She stared out the window at the fluttering leaves of the rose bush beside the window. The buds would bloom soon. Springtime was coming. Change in so many things, renewal and rebirth. She looked over her shoulder; Tyrion was standing now by her desk, unsure and waiting. Waiting for his sentence.

 

She stared at him, unable to see beyond this immense failure. Her eyes closed tight, turning back to the window. The things she and Jon had said to each other because she thought he betrayed her. He was right. Except she was right too. Sansa had tried to take her down. It just didn’t work out the way she thought it would. She looked back at him, whispering. “You will do one thing for me before you leave his house and never return.”

 

His eyes closed. “Daenerys…”

 

“No. Give me this. The only reason I will not fire you outright and destroy you is because Varys actually took the high road and maintained secrecy on matters of my dead child.” She continued to look at him, whispering. Her eyes widened slightly with the overwhelming quiet rage within her. “You are going to only speak to Viserys and when he finds out what you did, it’s up to him.” Tyrion gulped. Good. “Because you know what I will do if it is only up to me. There is only one dragon in his family and it isn’t Viserys.” For all his talk, he was not the dragon that people feared to wake. She continued. “You will call Sansa Stark and I don’t care what you have to do or say to the wench, but you will ensure that Jon Snow knows what his sister did. It is up to him to decide what to do. It’s a matter for their pack.” Pack justice.

 

He sighed, whispering. “And how do you expect me to ensure she tells him?”

 

“I don’t care. Just do it.” She rested her hand over her belly, cupping the small swell. It was about half the size of a melon. Her little dragonwolf. She put all the fire she could think in her voice and gods help Tyrion Lannister if he defied her. “If you even breathe a word to Sansa about this child, I swear to the gods Tyrion Lannister…you will wish I burn you alive after what I do to you.”

 

His head hung, almost to the floor and he nodded slowly. “I know.”

 

“Good. I’m done Tyrion. I’m done with this world and it’s because of shit like this. Because of the games people play, trying to be on top. Trying to destroy he other.” She grabbed the statement from her desk, thrusting it to him. “Issue this. Make no changes. No one is to speak to me or disturb me. If Petyr Baelish or anyone gets wind of this child before I am ready for them to know, I will blame you. Now go.”

 

She didn’t even look to see if he heard her before she strode away, out the door and to the staircase. She wanted to sleep. She wanted to just close her eyes and sleep away these next few weeks, to get beyond the stage she was when she lost Rhaego. She wasn’t sure what she would do if she lost this baby. She’d already lost its father.

 

Dany curled in a ball on her bed, not even bothering to change, and hugged the stuffed dragon to her chest, one hand on the baby and the other curled around under her chin, unable to stop the tears that began to fall.

 

~/~/~/~

 

Jon’s House

Inverness, Scotland

 

Ghost was bothering him.

 

It wasn’t on purpose; Ghost was just breathing heavy, staring at him with unblinking red eyes, like he knew exactly what absolute trash the new screenplay was. Jon glanced at him and nodded. “Yeah it’s garbage.” He ripped out the paper and crumpled it, throwing it into the overflowing recycle bin at the door. He spun back in his chair to the typewriter, sighing and pushing his hands through his hair.

 

He’d chopped it all off after he got out of rehab, thinking that maybe a new look would help with his new life. He was growing it back out because he hated how the curls went all over the place with nowhere for him to really put them and because when he was frustrated he couldn’t just yank at it like he did before. He closed his eyes, thinking through the scene he was trying to write, but it wasn’t working. He couldn’t get the character right. He couldn’t get anything right.

 

The notebooks stared at him, piled up in a corner of the desk. He grabbed one and flicked through it. He frowned and looked over at Ghost, who was still staring. “What?” he demanded.

 

Ghost dropped his head onto his paws, but did not bother breaking his gaze. He sighed, reaching for the first notebook. He scanned through the shaky words, smirking at how stupid he was. He glanced at the date. Hard to believe it was almost two years ago. Two years since Daenerys Targareyn showed up in his life. Two years since she asked where Jon Snow lived and accused him of messing with her. Of throwing that book back in his face because she could quote it word for word.

 

He set the notebook down and stood, walking voer to the bookcase and picked out her copy of The Night’s Watch. The little notes throughout hit him hard. He remembered how much she loved his books. He ran his thumb over the note she’d made, noting that the character inspired by Ygritte might have been a real person. She was the only one who caught that. She was the only one who caught how real he wrote about the Lord Commander’s death scene, because he’d actually lived it.

 

The unfinished book she’d found about Ygritte, that he’d started writing before he realized that she would never read anything he wrote about her. So he would make a movie, because otherwise Ygritte wouldn’t bother reading or watching. Then she died and he had missed her, but nothing compared to how he felt now. How he felt about losing a woman who was still alive, somewhere in the world, but no longer his to have.

 

He carried the copy of the book over to the desk and set it beside him, staring at her neat cursive writing, with its loops and swirls and the cute way she spun off the endings of her ‘y’ and ‘g.’ He picked up the small notebook he’d been using to make his first notes, unsure at the time what he was going to do with them. It wasn’t until notebook number two did he realize that he wanted to write about her. He smiled and glanced at Ghost again. “I’m going to write a play about her,” he announced.

 

The plays weren’t easier to write, he just liked to see that his stories could be acted out. There was something so pure about the stage. Making The Long Night had been intense, almost too intense, and he wasn’t sure if he could do another film. Not without…without her. So he’d work on a play. He glanced at the notebook and then began to type, staring at the letters as they punched out onto the paper. Ghost seemed to be okay with it. He reached for his coffee mug, making a face when he took a gulp of frozen sludge. “Ugh. Why didn’t you warn me?”

 

Ghost made a face and got to his feet, ears perking at the sound of the side door opening. He walked out of the study, holding the cold coffee, and frowned at Sansa sliding into the kitchen, barely looking him in the eye. Ghost whined and his ears went back. He frowned; that was an odd behavior, Ghost didn’t really care about Sansa but he’d never been irritated by her before like this.

 

Sansa set her keys on the counter and looked over at him, her voice quiet. “Am I bothering you?”

 

This was really weird. He shook his head and walked over to the sink, dumping the cold coffee and moving to make himself another pot. “No. What are you doing here?” He was still unsure how he felt about her after everything that happened with Dany. He wasn’t sure why he was so put off by her or why he should be so wary, but he didn’t put it past Sansa to have done something wrong.

 

There was something off about Sansa. Something he couldn't place. Dare he wonder it was...guilt? No that couldn't me, Sansa never felt guilty for anything. She was as cold as her mother could be. The horrors she'd dealt with had twisted her into an angry, vengeful woman and while Jon accepted her help when he forgot to go to the store to get food or somehow clothes just showed up on his doorstep or he received reminders to go to the dentist or take Ghost to the vet, he also hadn't forgotten how bitter and angry she still was at the world.

 

And so seeing guilt in her eyes was jarring, to say the least. She looked like she hadn't slept either, faint lines in the corners of her eyes and bags hanging lank beneath the dull blue irises. He frowned, forgetting his coffee and walking to stand across the kitchen island from her. When it became clear she wouldn't speak first, he tried not keep his voice even. "What is wrong with you?"

 

"I did something," she whispered.

 

A chill went down his spine. That could be so many things. "You did what?" he asked, careful. His fingers found the edge of the counter, gripping tight. He continued to stare at her and try not to jump to conclusions. Deep breathing filled the space; his to keep him calm and he suspected hers to prolong the inevitable confession. His eyes widened slightly, chilly and demanding. "Tell me."

 

"I just wanted to protect you!"

 

Aw fuck. "What. Did. You. Do."

 

"You went through so much at The Wall and so much helping us with Bran and after Rickon and Robb died and Mother being so cruel and I just wanted to keep you from getting dragged down into her mess! I mean, the things that she did with Khal Drogo and Daario Naharis and..." Sansa rambled, no longer the solid put together wolf matriarch she liked to think she was. She fretted with the edge of her blue scarf; he knew she had knitted it herself after their father died. "Um...I...I overheard something."

 

The door. Opening. Closing. Arya. Secrets. His head began to swim. For the first time in eight months he felt his blood crave for alcohol more than they ever had since he went sober. He would throw it all away in ten seconds if he could, but he forced down the urge, forced himself to focus on what was being said by his so-called sister. He could no longer look at her and focused on a whorl in the oak flooring. "What did you hear?" I pray to the old gods and the new that I didn't divulge anything about Rhaego. Please, please, please...

 

"You told Arya something...you said she had secrets and...and Arya didn't want to hear but you didn't say anything and I...I knew I had to find out."

 

No....nonononononono.

 

"It was you," he concluded. He finally met her gaze, tears falling down her porcelain face. Sansa had a cold beauty that he wished someone would find and try to warm, just to make her happy, happy like how Arya was with Gendry or even Bran could be when he had his books and art and someone to treat him normally. Sansa seemed like she only ever wanted to be miserable. Like the only thing that would ever make her happy was control and power. His voice cracked. "You found out about her child."

 

She nodded, head bobbing quick. "I...I hired a private investigator through 3N. They call them Faceless Men, they're good at getting information."

 

"I know. Arya worked for them for a minute." Until she didn't like using her catlike skills to catch cheating husbands and wives or corrupt businessmen and quit. He shook his head, trying to process, but he couldn't. It just stuck there, the knowledge that his family had betrayed him. Betrayed his trust and his love and done this to him. All in the name of protection. "You found out about her child and you did what with it? Threatened her? She thought it was me! She thought I betrayed her!"

 

"I told Tyrion Lannister. I don't know how she found out."

 

"And what did you think Tyrion Lannister was going to do with that information?" Her own publicist knew. Somehow she found out. Did Tyrion tell her? He couldn't think about that right now. He could only think of how his sister did what he could never have imagined her ambition to do. He shook his head, whispering, trying not to spit out his words with the disgust he felt. "You eavesdropped on my conversation with Arya, you found out personal information about her that had nothing to do with me or you and you used it to separate us." He couldn't look at her; couldn't process the sobs she began to emit, muffled in her scarf, pressed to her lips. He spun around, still holding the counter for balance. His eyes closed. "You did all of this and for what? To protect me?"

 

"To protect the family. You would have left us!"

 

"Well now I will!" he roared, spinning back around and laughing at her. He couldn't believe this. He jabbed his finger at her. "I was in love with her and she loved me and we had enough problems without this to add to the fire, Sansa!" There was more. He could see it, the hanging in her head. "What else did you do?"

 

"Pictures."

 

The photos in Iceland. He wanted to be sick. "Oh gods. You didn't."

 

"I didn't know they'd get you in them. I just wanted something to hold against her...to get her to back off." She sniffed. "She was using you, she was taking you from us and she would have ruined you Jon. You would have become just like Drogo and Daario."

 

He grabbed his phone and with shaky fingers he typed in his name, bringing up one of the older gossip blog websites with him and Dany on it, throwing the phone at her. She caught it before it could smack her in the face and he laughed when he saw her eyes close, tears falling out. "Congratulations Sansa! You didn't need to do anything, this shit was already going to be out there. I'm already the guy that fucked her to get my movie out there and she's the one who fucked me to get the part!" He turned away from her; he couldn't look at her. He still had no idea just what she expected to get out of all of this. "And the pack breaks up anyway."

 

She cried. "No Jon, please!"

 

"I don't know what happened to you because you won't say and I can only imagine." He'd heard things about Ramsay Bolton and Joffrey Baratheon and the rest. He knew that Petyr Baelish was her mentor when she was in college and Cersei Lannister no doubt helped her along when she was with Joffrey. He wished he could have helped her get over the trauma. She didn't want anyone's help. "But what you did was beyond anything I could think of Sansa. Father would be ashamed."

 

That was it, the invocation of sacred honorable Ned Stark's name. She sobbed; shoulders wracked, and pressed her hands into her face. "Please Jon."

 

"Just go Sansa."

 

"Jon, no!"

 

"Just go," he whispered. he couldn't think right now. He had betrayed Dany in that he'd brought her into his insane, fucked up world. Where honor and family claimed more importance than love. She had hurt so bad because of him. He hurt because of her too, but for different reasons. He stepped away from the kitchen and went into his study, closing the door as Ghost scooted in after him, not wanting him to be alone.

 

He wasn't sure how long Sansa remained in the house. He couldn't think. He sat in the chair by the fire in the study, unable to see beyond the flames. He clutched the piece of weirwood tree that Bran had gifted him after rehab, saying it helped him when he was in his darkest moments after the accident and hoped it would bring him strength too. It wasn't a chip; he kept that in his pocket, but this was something else. He closed his eyes and while he was not religious, not in the way Bran had become, he prayed to the old gods through the piece of weirwood and sought strength. Sought guidance, because he was floating in a world he didn't understand.

 

At some point Arya showed up, her eyes puffy with tears and he knew Sansa had confessed to her too. She crawled onto the chair with him and hugged him. He hugged her back and while she said she wasn’t sure she could forgive Sansa for this, she was still their sister and they still had to be a family. He nodded, but he knew he had to do something else. He had to talk to Dany. He had to apologize for this. To let her know he didn't betray her. She could believe what she wanted, but if she hated him because of this, she needed to know. She could still hate him, for bringing his family into her world.

 

Arya sniffed and wiped at her nose. "What are you going to do now?"

 

He glanced at the typewriter, all the books that were open around him. He shrugged. "I'm going to move on."

 

"And Daenerys?"

 

He thought of the sad goodbye they'd shared at the Oscars. He shook his head, whispering. "She's moved on Arya. All I can do is try to make things right, but we're done." There was no more for them anymore. He got out of the chair and sat back down at the typewriter and began to work on the script. A play, he had decided, about a dragon queen and her King in the North, and maybe in this story the Dragon Queen would win all out.

Chapter Text

xviii.

April 2020

Dany’s House


London, England

 

 

"Come on Daenerys!"


"No!"

 

"It's for Rhaegar!"

 

That wasn't going to get her to change her plans of laying in bed all day ordering baby clothes, reading her baby books, and watching the video of her sonogram on countless rotation on her phone like a mad woman. A woman posessed, even. Dany was quite possible she had fallen in love with her baby and nothing was going to change her mind about sharing that love with the rest of the world. If she went out now it would undermine her announcement she was retiring and give people pause and thinkt hey could keep attacking her or trying to get her photo.

 

So far she'd been able to leave the house relatively undetected. It was growing a bit warmer now that springtime had landed in London, but she could still get away with massive bulky cable-knit sweaters and long scarves that hid her bump from the world. She usually just sent Jorah out for things or Missandei would arrive under the auspices of bringing her dinner for a girl's night but she'd also drag in groceries or other necessities. Including purchasing her prenatal vitamins for her.

 

The thing for Rhaegar was a local London theater's honoring of her brother on some anniversary of him playing Hamlet, one of his first leading roles on the West End. She was appreciative of the world's attempts to keep her brother's memory alive, but sometimes it was just too much. Viserys would gladly go to every single one of them though, he never wanted the world to forget the Targaryen name, especially now that she had decided to renounce it.

 

Viserys went into her closet, rummaging and coming out with a flowy empire-waist dress. He jabbed a finger at it, scowling. "this is the only thing I can find in there that will hide the weight gain. I mean honestly Dany, this whole woe-is-me is getting ridiculous."

 

She rolled her eyes; Viserys had barely noticed the weight gain. She was now happily ensconced in her second trimester. The weight gain-- the baby-- had settled in a tight ball right in the center of her pelvis. You couldn't tell she was pregnant from the back, which helped her with disguising herself. Save for a little bit of roundness in her cheeks and yes, the glow, she was sure Viserys had no idea what he was talking about. "I'm not woe-is-me."

 

He threw the dress-- a Prada creation from last season-- onto the chair by the closet doors and bounced onto the end of her bed, grabbing for the bag of chocolate bars she'd been steadily eating. The baby had quite the sweet tooth. He made a face at the chocolate; the man wouldn't eat sugar but he'd snort cocaine, she honestly had no idea what went through Vis's mind sometimes. He pushed it away from him and propped his head on his hand. He narrowed his eyes on her, studying. She drew her knees as best she could to her chest, keeping a pillow over her belly. She still hadn't told him yet. "You're being weirder than normal."

 

"As are you, but that's beside the point."

 

"You win an Oscar and then immediately retire." He scowled. "You basically fire Tyrion, not that I'm complaining." He pointed at her, his voice cool. "And you're keeping things from me."

 

That was not a lie. She was. She took a deep breath and reached over to her nightstand, withdrawing the envelope that housed the sonogram photos. She removed the pillow and inched towards him, lying across from him and placed one of his hands on her stomach and then nudged the pictures to him across the bed. Viserys stared at her stomach, his hand still atop it, and then drew back quickly, almost terrified. "What the fuck."

 

She giggled; the baby had been moving a little of late. "I've gained weight, yeah." She made a face, taking out the pictures and showing him. She sat up and he joined her at the head of the bed, leaning back against the tufted headboard, pointing out the baby. "I'm pregnant you dipshit. You're going to be an uncle."

 

He stared at the photos for a moment, flicking through them idly. She knew he was pretending to not care, but she could see the fire in his eyes, the excitement that the Targaryen line would continue. He certainly wouldn't carry it on. "Jon Snow," he stated, without looking at her, still surveying one of the recent pictures.

 

"Yes."

 

"That's why you retired."

 

"One of the reasons." She sighed, her hands going around her belly. She shrugged out of her oversized sweater, the tank top she wore under stretchy and conforming to her new shape, which had Viserys recoiling slightly when he saw her bump in all its glory. She giggled. "You're such a baby. It won't bite you."

 

"It's like a parasite." He poked at the side and shuddered. "Ugh. Just feeding off of you." He squinted at it. "Tell me, with a wolf for a father does it have a thirst for blood? Just curious."

 

"It's not a vampire!"

 

He wrinkled his nose; waving his hand at her dismissively and dropping the pictures back onto the bed. "I bought you condoms and this is how you repay me? Getting pregnant? Honestly Daenerys."

 

"Well it wasn't like I planned this."

 

Viserys made another face. He looked at the pictures and shrugged. "So how far are you?"

 

"Five months, close to six. I'm due early August."

 

"But you've been broken up with him for like months..." He trailed off and she felt her cheeks turn pink as he figured it out; understanding alighted in his eyes. He laughed and then gagged. "Ugh! Daenerys! Public sex at the premiere! Oh sweet sister, you're such a slut for the wolf dick aren't you?"

 

"Fuck you!" she found herself laughing though, instead of being upset, and pushed him hard enough to knock him off the bed.

 

He popped up from the floor, glaring. "If you get this shirt dirty..."

 

"Oh let me guess, it's one of your vintage Hermes?"

 

"Gucci."

 

She rolled her eyes, patting her belly and pursing her lips to it in a kiss. "We'll not let Uncle Viserys be mean to you, will we sweetling?"

 

"Oh gross you're talking to it? I'm out of here." Except he didn't make a move to get up. He just propped his head on the edge of the bed, eyes narrowed on her. She tore her gaze from him, resting it atop her belly, wiggling her toes and wondering how long it would take before she could no longer see them. He sighed. "You love him, don't you?"

 

There was no question of whom he meant. She nodded. Her voice was a tiny whisper. "Yes."

 

"Hmm."

 

She reached for her brother's hand, squeezing hard, reminding him whom he was dealing with. She wasn't a shrinking violet or a delicate little glass figurine that needed his protection, nor would accept his bullying or attempts at such. She was a dragon and she was more than capable of handling herself and her affairs. "Viserys," she began, keeping her voice even, hoping he understood her completely. She focused her attention on him, their purple eyes matching. "You will do nothing to Jon Snow, do you understand? He doesn’t know about the baby." She raised her voice when her brother opened his mouth to speak, cutting him off. "I don't want to hear it. Whatever you’re going to say or do, I don’t want it. I will handle this my way and on my time." She paused and smirked, fire flaring slightly in her chest. "Although if you want to go after 3N somehow, please do."

 

He scowled. "Fucking northerners." He waved his hand. "I've already had my fun with them. Their news network has been painted as xenophobic and out of touch with reality." He stared over at her again, remaining quiet. "Although you should talk to Jon Snow. I'm just saying. Probably should know he's going to be a father."

 

That was sweet of him. Where was her real brother? She quirked her lip and her look quizzical. "Oh?"

 

"Well he should know he's going to be a father before I cut his balls off."

 

She sighed, shaking her head. "Enough, it’s going to be fine."

 

"When are you going to tell him?" He sat back up and she delicately touched his fingers to the side of her belly again, where she could feel the slight twitching that told her the baby was awake. He shivered again, disgusted and intrigued. "So strange. Like an alien inside of you."

 

She wasn't sure when she was going to tell him. She had to, that was for sure. He'd learn somehow. "Not yet. I don't know." Right now this was her secret, her little perfect baby, her dragonwolf. Allowing Tyrion and Viserys and Missandei and Jorah to know was one thing. Letting Jon and his family in was another step, one she wasn't ready to share. It would all change when they knew. Maybe for the good, for she could already see Arya's excitement. Also perhaps for the bad, she thought, thinking of his cold aunt and his colder sister.

 

Viserys patted the top of her head like she was a dog sitting for a treat and jumped off the bed. "I'm done with you. I'm going to change for this thing. Do not contact me tonight, Arianne will be there."

 

"Ooh, sexy times with the Dornish snake?"

 

"No comment." He waved his hand, graceful and aloof, marching out of the room and allowing the door to slam behind him. Dany smiled, knowing that was all she was going to get from Viserys, who could be so open with his drug use, mood swings, shopping addiction, and all the rest, but some parts of his heart he kept deeply locked and shuttered.

 

She hit her head back on her pillows, dancing her fingers along her stomach. "Just you and I," she sang to her stomach, humming a lullaby she remembered Rhaegar used to sing to her. She sighed when she felt a quick pressure on her bladder, pushing to her feet and hopping to the bathroom, complaining that she wasn't even that far along for this nonsense to start, so the baby better get their act together and not treat muñnykeā that way.

 

When she finished, she changed into an overlarge super soft Celine sweater, a pair of jeans, her treasured combat boots, and slipped on a large shawl, escaping downstairs and taking a set of her car keys. She could have called Jorah, but she wanted to get some fresh air. It would be fine. The small grocery store near her house was accustomed to her presence and with a set of large fake glasses to hide her violet eyes and a baseball cap over her hair, she'd get out of there pretty quickly.

 

She climbed into her SUV, glad she didn't have to purchase another vehicle once the baby came along, and drove off towards the store, taking the long way since it was a nice day for a drive. Maybe she'd even put the sunroof down, she thought, listening to classical music—one of Rhaegar's favorite pieces—along the way.

 

The store was blissfully empty and she quickly strolled through and grabbed what she wanted. More chocolate, strawberries, other assorted fruit, and since the baby seemed to have a horrid craving for meat-- like the dragonwolf it was-- she reluctantly got a couple steaks. The vegetarian she had been for most of her life was still somewhat nauseous when she cooked up the burgers, steaks, and bacon the baby desperately wanted. She was still nervous about fish-- she made a note to talk to the doctor again about how much she should be eating-- as well as cheese, so she avoided that aisle and knocked a couple boxes of sugar cereal into the cart.

 

She was not even paying much attention when she checked out, her eyes never landing on the newsstands by the register lest she see something she didn't want, but she heard the camera click before she knew what was happening and turned her head quickly, eyes wide at the young woman who was walking around the counter by her. "Oh," she said softly, placing her large tote in front of her, grateful for the cart to hide her belly. She scowled. "You could have asked me you know."

 

The woman flushed pink. "I'm sorry! I just wanted to say..." Dany braced herself, prepared for the attacks about Drogo, Daario, or how her movie was shitty. How she fucked her way to an Oscar or she ruined some poor screenwriter's heart and now he'd never have another hit piece again. The woman turned pinker, if possible. "I wanted to just say that I thought you were really good in that movie. With the night queen."

 

What? She blinked. "Oh, the Night Queen?"

 

"Yes! I really liked it."

 

"Not Princess Periwinkle?" She blurted it out before she had a chance to think and the other woman shook her head, making a face. She laughed. "Oh, wow, well...thank you!"

 

"That other show just seemed too dumb for me. I liked you in this movie. It was so real." She cocked her head slightly, disappointment evident. "I heard you are retiring? That's a shame. You're not doing anything next though?" The fan seemed hopeful.

 

Not right now. She'd done the part for the HBO show but had declined the recurring guest star offer they gave her. She was done. So she shook her head and took the bags of groceries from the clerk, placing them in her cart. "No, I'm taking a vacation. A nice long one."

 

"You deserve it. Can I get a selfie with you?"

 

Dany obliged, grateful the selfie was neck-up and also signed the girl's receipt, waiting for her to walk away before she thanked the clerk and left. There had been no one else really interested in the exchange and she didn't need to deal with a crowd of people, thank the gods. She hurried away from the store and placed her things in her car, turning and staring off as a few more people took her photo, this time with nothing to block the straight shot of her stomach. She bit her lip and did all she could not to touch her belly, spinning quickly and climbing into the car.

 

After a few minutes she hit her head against the steering wheel, her eyes closed. She hoped like hell that they didn’t post the photos online, but whom was she kidding. “It’s nothing,” she mumbled to herself. It’s nothing, they’re just kids, you aren’t that big yet…

 

That evening she was in the middle of her nightly ice cream tuck-in, Jorah sitting beside her as they watched an old classic movie together, when her phone went off. It was her brother’s snarling face on the screen. “Pause it,” she said to Jorah, who reached over for the remote and hit the button, looking over at her curiously. She pushed the phone to her ear. “What brother?”

 

“I’m sending you a link. You need to talk to baby daddy.” He hung up immediately.

 

What? She held the phone in her hand, not realizing it was shaking until Jorah lightly touched her forearm to still it. “What is it?” he asked, frowning and ever worried about her. Even more so since she told him she was pregnant. He’d been very attentive to her and the baby. “What did Viserys want?”

 

“Hold on,” she murmured, staring at the empty screen until Viserys sent the link. She hit it immediately, waiting again, her heart thudding in the cage of her chest, trying to escape. She knew what it was. That was fast.

 

The blog came up and sure enough, there were the photos those kids had taken of her at the grocery store. Putting her groceries away and her hand on the side of her stomach and finally turned directly towards the camera. Even with the bulky sweater it was obvious. The swell of her stomach and the curve of her hips gave it away, even if she didn’t have her hand protective atop the bump. She was definitely pregnant in the pictures; she couldn’t even try to lie and said that it was just a large lunch and tons of carbs.

 

The headline was blaring: Dragon Queen Expecting a Baby Dragon!? Daenerys Targaryen’s ‘Retirement’ Makes So Much Sense Now! Is the Baby Daddy Jon Snow or Someone Else!?

 

There was many ‘no comment’ from her ‘representatives.’ Probably Viserys just hanging up on them, since Tyrion was currently on ice at the moment. She set the phone down and hugged her arms around her stomach. Jorah reached over and rested his arm over her shoulders and she closed her eyes, finding herself turning into his chest, crying as she realized what she had to do. She had to talk to Jon; she had to tell him. The little bubble of her happiness was going to pop.

 

“Do you want me to call him? Bring him here for you?” Jorah asked quietly, several minutes later as she dried her eyes, but still kept her head against him for comfort. “Because I can.”

 

And you’ll probably kill him, she thought wryly. She shook her head, looking down at her stomach. “No, I have to do it.” But how?

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

April 2020
Jon’s House
Inverness

 

"Fuck!"

 

Jon crumpled up another piece of paper, tearing at it as he did so, pissed that he couldn't seem to get anything out that he wanted. He hung his head in his hands, eyes closing, resigned to his fate. He couldn't write. There was something blocking him and he had no idea how to stop it. He pushed away from the desk, grabbing the basket of overflowing paper, carrying it to the recycle bin and dumping. He didn't even care if someone wanted to go through and read the bullshit he'd been trying to write for the last two weeks. It was impossible.

 

He threw the basket to the side when he went back into the house, Ghost popping his head up from his paws, tail thumping. "Let's go," he said, nodding towards the door. The wolf didn't need telling twice, jumping off and rushing over. He pulled on his running shoes, already wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt, and snagged a running zip-up from the hook in the coatroom as he stepped outside.

 

Usually he ran with music, blaring screamer rock so he could drown out his thoughts, but lately he'd needed the quiet and to hear the blood pulsing through his muscles. He barely stretched, wanting to get out of there as fast as possible before he kicked off. Ghost whipped his head playfully, bouncing at his side, eager to get his muscles stretched as well, taking off down the drive and to the road.

 

He ran forever, he thought. He didn't understand what was preventing the script from going forward. It was what he'd been thinking of for the last two years. The Dragon Queen, the story of an exiled princess who took what was hers with fire and blood. So what was the problem? It should have written itself. It was all there on paper. Two years of random scribbles, observations, and general ramblings. He just wasn't sure why he couldn't get it out.

 

It was because ofa ll the shit with his family. He was losing his mind. Bran had come to visit after the Sansa debacle. Arya hadn't really left his side either. They must have thought he would relapse. He thought he would relapse but he fought the cravings and the urges. He had no idea what he was supposed to do now. Arya wanted him to apologize to Dany but he didn't think it would matter; she hated him and had every right to hate him because she was right. He had trusted his family more than het rusted his love for her.

 

His feet screamed, angrily pounding the hard-packed ground, sweat drenching his shirt. It must have been hours. His watch would tell him later when he checked. FUck where am I, he wondered, coming to a slow jog before stopping, gulping fresh air and giving his muscles a moment to catch up with him.

 

Sansa's absolute stupidity, immaturity, and desperate need for therapy to deal with her own shit had destroyed what he had with Dany. No it didn't, it just helped ita long, you destroyed it. He did. It was his fault. He didn't trust her, he locked her out, and as much as he loved her he knew it wasn't going to work out. He let his own insecurities get in thew ay. He let his love for his family trump anything Dany did or said. It was his fault.

 

But I didn't betray her!

 

Yes but your sister went after her. She was right all along.

 

"Fuck," he cursed again. he glanced at Ghost, who was standing beside him, tail wagging. He scowled. "Why are you so happy?"

 

Ghost made a high-pitched sound, one of the only ones he could make, and opened his mouth, almost smiling. He danced in place before running off, back towards the house. Jon rolled his eyes, but turned, jogging after the wolf. He must have run far, he thought, realizing the cottage was still a couple miles off. He was thinking of just walking back when a car rumbling behind him caught his attention. He turned, walking backwards, realizing it was Arya. He stopped and waited for her to approach, slowing when she realized it was him.

 

She rolled down the window, glaring. "What are you doing this far out?"

 

"Went for a run. Lost track."

 

"Get in." She unlocked the doors and watched as he went around to the passenger side. "Is Ghost coming?"

 

"He'll make his way back."

 

"You stink."

 

"I was running for the last two hours you idiot."

 

"Don't sweat on my car."

 

He rolled his eyes, but smiled. "What are you doing here?" he asked, buckling his seatbelt and leaning back, drawing his knee up slightly to flex his foot, the muscles already cramping at the cessation of movement.

 

Arya opened her mouth to say something, but snapped it shut. She smiled tightly. "Just checking on you. How is the script coming?"

 

He let her obvious hiding of information go; she'd tell him eventually. "It sucks."

 

"Writer's block?"

 

"Something like that." He stared out the window, not wanting to discuss it any more. His eyes drifted shut, lulled by the bumping of Arya's piece of shit Audi over the hard-packed dirt road and the silence they settled into. He woke when they came to a stop, blinking and sighing at Ghost, who was seated in front of the door, waiting. "He was fast."

 

She laughed. "He was racing the car."

 

He smiled, climbing out and clapping his hands at the wolf, who bounced up and jumped onto him, paws going to his shoulder. He kissed Ghost's head, giving him a tight hug and silently thanking him for being there. Soemtimes hew asn't sure what he'd do if it wasn't for his silent white shadow. He stepped inside and let Arya do whatever she wanted to do, escaping to hsi room for a shower.

 

When he finished, he rooted for one of his favorite shirts, a soft ripped thing from his military days, but he couldn't find it. He frowned. It had disapepared along with his Night's Watch hoodie. He walked out into the kitchen, tugging on a black t-shirt instead. "You seen my Night's watch hoodie?" hea sked.

 

"Why would I want to wear that disgusting thing?"

 

"I liked it."

 

Arya pushed a glass of green juice. "Here. I brought you some healthy stuff. You need brain food or something."

 

I need Daenerys Targaryen.

 

The thought jumped into his head, but he was too tired to push it away. It was true. She was quite literally his muse. Even writing about her didn't seem to help. He gulped the disgusting green stuff down and made a face. "You make Gendry drink this crap?"

 

"Yes. Helps with his art."

 

He rolled his eyes. "Gendry fuses metal together and calls it art."

 

"He just sold a piece to Cersei Lannister."

 

"My point exactly."

 

Arya smirked. "He called it the Lion's Cunt. Of course she didn't know that when she bought it."

 

He snorted. Gendry could be funny sometimes. "Nice."

 

"Well he at least is working, which cannot be said for you." Arya turned away, carrying their glasses to the sink. She puttered in the kitchen for a few minutes, not saying anything. Until she finally dropped the dishrag in her hand adn spun around, exploding in a fury of curses. "I could fucking kill Sansa! I cannot believe what she did, I just..." She was about to say something else, but snapped her mouth closed again, shaking her head and muttering. "Nevermind."

 

He hung his head. "Yeah, I know." He hadn't spoken to Sansa since she'd come and relayed her betrayal to him. It wasn't for a lack of trying on her part; she'd called him nonstop, sent messages, and just kept apologizing. It seemed her efforts at 3N were not welcome, she'd lost her television show and was getting the bottom of the barrel stories. He supposed that's what happened when you fucked over your own family in quest for power. He still didn't now what possessed her to do what she did. In what world did she think he could forgive this? He closed his eyes, whispering. "I just don't get it."

 

"I was thinking of it," his other sister said, soft. She hopped up onto the counter, swinging her feet and looking at them isntead of him. "I think Sansa likes power and control. She always has loved being the best at everything. You were the easy one to control."

 

Yeah, he'd learned that the hard way. Dr. Mel said so too. His insecurities and his thoughts that he owed the Starks everything for helping raise him. The things Catelyn Stark said to him that resulted in his being in that mindset. He sighed. "Yeah."

 

"And someone else came along that was taking you from the family."

 

He scowled. "No she wasn't."

 

"In Sansa's head she was. She was powerful and beautiful and she had everything Sansa ever wanted and in Sansa's eyes she didn't have to work for it." She held her hand up as he was about to interrupt, his fur ruffled at the insinuation that Dany didn't work for what she'd received. Of course she did! She had all but died for it! "Yeah I know, I'm just saying in Sansa's head."

 

He was still ruffled. "So you're defending her?"

 

"No!"


"Sounds like it."

 

Arya grumbled. " She's my sister, Jon. At the end of the day we can't let the pack completely die, but that doesn't mean I forgive her for what she did. I don't know if I can. She hurt me too, I loved Dany too." She sighed, staring at him, her voice quiet. There was still something there. he coudl tell, but she wasn't saying. She bit her lower lip and her brow furrowed. "So what are you doing about this?"

 

What am I doing about what?

 

The question must have shown on his face, because she scoffed, irritated and hopped off the counter. She walked over and pushed at his chest. "I'm asking you, what are you doing about getting her back?"

 

He blinked. "Getting her back?"

 

"Yes you asshole, getting her back. You are doing something about that right?"

 

She doesn't want me back. He shook his head, his voice quiet, and his fist clenching at his side, a nervous tic or comforting mechanism, depending on how he was feeling. He turned away from her and went into his study. The open notebooks all around him, the stacks of papers, and the pile of crap pages that he'd managed to get out. He had an outline on a board next to the desk, but it was just as bad as the rest. He sighed. "She doesn't want me."

 

"She does," Arya whispered. She hurried, speaking over him when he opened his mouth to ask her how the seven hells she knew that. "I haven't spoken with her about it or anything, I just...trust me on this. I think she wants you back, she doesn't know how to talk to you. Especially if she knows about this Sansa crap." She sighed. "And I think she does because if Tyrion was behind this on her end of things she's as confused as you." She reached for her phone, but stopped and frowned. "And I really, really, really think you should talk to her."

 

Was there something his sister knew that he didn't? He couldn't focus on that. He was so sick of family mind games. He pinched his nose. "I didn't win her over."

 

"You did. You were a dick to her. Remember?"

 

Yes. He groaned, dropping his hands toh is sides and tilting his head back. "I don't know Arya!"

 

"Well I do!" She grabbed at his books and threw them onto the floor, along with one of the notebooks he'd written through. He lunged towards it, but she tossed it aside as well, shouting now. "You thought she was an airhead actress and she put you in your place! You liked that, remember? She knew your books, even the crappy first ones and she could quote them and she loved them and she fought you, Jon! She fought you in ways that Ygritte never did." She sighed, her gray eyes wide. "You guys hated each other. Until your ealized that she was smart and kind and..."

 

"Funny," he breathed. he remembered those first few meetings. The meeting in the coffee shop. The ones at her house. He began to see flashes. They smothered him. Memories drowned him of their time together. The first time he'd tasted her in front of her fireplace, the sounds she'd made as she'd writhed beneath him. The first kiss, gentle and sweet and searching. Their first real 'date.' The time in her trailer when he gifted her with her 'fairytale' and the look of happiness and pure joy that someone woudl do something so sweet and meaningful for her. Or the time he'd gone, apologizing again, to her house in LA just for them to finally understand what it was to love another person. The feelings they evoked as they showed each other just how much they loved each other, without saying the words. The fiery passion she exhibited when she got upset or frustrated, the dragon breathing fire and the bright violet of her eyes.

 

The softness of her braids under his fingers as he held her head in his hands. He missed her so much it hurt him. It felt like his heart was screaming for breath, but he also didn't want to breathe again unless she was beside him. He missed her so much; he had been so angry with her. The absolute stupidity of their situation and the anger she couldn't seem to understand when she accused him of loving his family more. The hurtful words. The way she sobbed in his arms over her child. The awe in her face at the Northern Lights. The giggling when they were drunk and stumbling over each other like lovesick teens.

 

Or the honor she'd felt when he wrote the script for her character and her acting alone. The vow she'd made that she wouldn't screw it up, that she would bring the Night Queen to life. She had, she'd brought her to life and she was so real the rest of the world finally saw it too. Finally saw Daenerys Targaryen. Except he also remembered the woman on the stage, acting as Rosalind in As You Like It, exhibiting acting chops he didn't know she had since he didn't watch the stupid comedy about a princess and her talkign dragons and crazy adventures.

 

Daenerys deserved a love story, he thought. She deserved the whole thing, cheesy and filled with tropes, and he could give it to her. He had to show her loved her, but how? How did I do it the first time?

 

I wrote her a fairytale.

 

I wrote her a movie.

 

I wrote her. He grabbed for his notebooks and flicked through them, realizing the thread through it all. It wasn't a fantasy epic about a Dragon Queen and her Kign. It was something else. He felt realization land on him, the understanding of what he needed to do. It seemed ARya did as well, her mouth shut in a tight line, vibrating beside him, awaiting what he might do next.

 

"I need..." he began. He looked aroudn the room, touchng the stack of paper, the keys of the typewriter, and the pile of books. He snapped his fingers, pointing to the door, barking orders like he was back in the Night'S watch. "I need coffee, tons of coffee. Food every two hours, I don't care, just make it quick. Let Ghost out when he needs to and don't talk to me." He grabbed his chaira nd fell into it, snatching a piece of blank paper and shoving it into the typewriter, his mind racing and the words tumbling so fast from his brain to his fingers the entire thignw ould be riddled with typos but he didn't care.

 

Arya nodded. She whispered. "You're okay though?"

 

"Fine. I'm fine," he laughed. He was a madman possessed. He had to do this for her. To show her. If this didn't work then nothing would. It was how he won her over the first time and by gods he woudl do it again, he vowed.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

Three Days Later

 

It was three-hundred pages.

 

It was the longest he'd ever written. He wasn't sure what day it was. He wasn't sure what his name even was, honestly. His fingers hurt and his nails were almost bleeding, blunted from jabbing at the typewriter. He'd run through all his typewriter tape, he'd had to replace two keys, and he'd even gone back to the recycle bin for paper, using the other side of his shit script for this piece.

 

For all he knew it was garbage. It was riddled with typos and plot holes and poor characterization, but Jon did not fucking care. all he cared about was that it was done. His eyes burned, scratchy and dry from staring so long. His lungs burned, desiring fresh air and gods help him he wanted a cigarette. He wanted a drink. Except he didn't. He guzzled water as though he'd run a marathon in a desert. He sort of had.

 

The pages were tucked in a box. He'd found it buried under the couch. It was from an online pet company where he bought Ghost's favorite rawhide bones. He didn't care and he set the manuscript in gently, folding the box up and carrying it out of the room and into the kitchen, where Arya was seated at the table, Bran at her side. They both looked up, stunned. He couldn't imagine how he looked.

 

"Here," he croaked. His arms felt like jelly, quivering and needing rest. He set it down on the table and nudged it towards them. He blinked. He probably should take off his glasses now. "It's probably shit."

 

Bran looked at the box and then to him again. "What happened to you?" he asked, incredulous. "You look awful."

 

"He hasn't slept in three days."

 

Maybe a couple hours. He waved at the box, whispering. "Take it to the mail. Send it to her. I need to sleep."

 

Maybe he slept for a couple hours. Or maybe a couple days. Jon had no idea. He woke up and went to Arya. She was on the couch, drinking coffee and scanning her phone. She closed out immediately from whatever she was looking at. he thought there might have been a photo of Dany on it. "Hey," she greeted. She bit her lower lip and nodded to the kitchen. "You want some food? Real food?"

 

"Day?" he managed to get out, scrubbing through his hair.

 

"You've been out like 48 hours."

 

Fuck. He looked out the window; it was raining. Figured. He took a deep breath and returned his focus to Arya. Things began to look sharper to him. "Anything?"

 

She shook her head, knowing what he was asking. "No."

 

Well then. He waited a moment. He frowned. Anger surged in his chest. He wanted his hoodie back. He spun and stormed into his bedroom, shoving on boots and grabbing his jacket. He ran out, keys in hand, and blew through the front door, a storm of gray and black and Ghost running after him, not to be left out.

 

"Where are you going!?"

 

"I'm going to go to her house," he shouted, stompign through puddles and ignoring the warm raindrops splashing on his hair and down his face. He was awake and clear-eyed and more aware of anything than he'd ever been, he was sure of it. He swung open the door and whistled, Ghost leaping into the front seat. He leaned on the door, glaring at his sister, who had a proud smile and bright eyes. "I'm going to find her and I'm going to bang on her door until she opens it."

 

Arya laughed. "Oh you are?"

 

"And I'm going to stand there and I'm going to bang on the door and I'm not leaving until she takes me back." Jon slammed the car door, smiling as his sister whooped and jumped in the air, waving as he jerked the steering wheel and spun tires, speeding away.

 

 

~/~/~/~

 

Same Time
Dany's House
London, England

 

"Dany! Creepy delivery for you!"

 

"Put it on the table." She was in the middle of picking out paint samples, studying her options for the baby's room. The interior decorator she'd hired had been positively useless, mostly because she couldn't function with Viserys hovering in the room, pointing out all the flaws and issues, so she'd quit. Dany had just figured if she couldn't handle critiques then maybe she shouldn't be working in such a subjective industry. So now she was saddled with deciding between a pale yellow that Viserys said looked like piss and a soft green which he called "baby vomit."

 

She swished her lips back and forth, deciding that the pale yellow might be softer for her eyes and for the baby. The green seemed too much. Viserys wanted black and red, their house colors. She had spotted a stuffed dragon in a bag in the front seat of his car, but had done nothing but smile. He might eb bitching up a storm over the career ramifications of her having a baby and leaving acting, but he was excited.

 

Viserys came in, scowling at the pictures she'd torn from magazines. "Woodland creatures? Oh Daenerys. So basic. Dragons, dear sister. This child needs to know its heritage."

 

"Well I was also leaning towards fantasy characters." They included dragons. Also wolves, she thought, but said nothing. It was partly why she'd been drawn to the idea of little foxes, owls, and bears for the decor. She could put up a photo of a wolf and no one would be the wiser.

 

The box thumped hard beside her elbow. It had been sent express. She frowned at it. "You didn't want this screened at the office? What is it?" They never received packages at their residence. All her fanmail was looked over at the studios before she got it. She touched the edge of the box, cocking her head and frowning further. "This is a dog toy website. Viserys, you're disgusting, this is not mine."

 

"Well it isn't mine!" He pointed to the label. "Says Dany Targaryen."

 

Dany. The public only ever used her real name. Her family and friends only used Dany. Even they were so few. She tugged the box closer and stared at the postmark. "Inverness," she murmured. Oh gods. She pushed everything out of the way on the table, knocking swatches and samples over to the tile, scattering across. Viserys yelped, complaining immediately, bbut she ignored him and tore into the box.

 

Papers fluttered up, disturbed by the sudden force of the top tearing apart and she grabbed the top sheet, staring at the shaking, crooked handwriting. She sobbed, fist pressing to her mouth.

 

I didn't think you'd answer the phone if I called so I wrote you a book instead.

 

"What is it?"

 

"Shut up," she whispered, lifting the second page up and staring at the 12-point typewriter font, ink smeared from the force it probably came out of the machine. She bit her lower lip, unable to really focus on anything but the page.

 

Untitled Daenerys Targaryen Love Story, by Jon Snow

 

You stupid fuck I hate you, I hate you, she sobbed, grabbing the book and rushing to her room, ignoring Viserys. She slammed the door and fell into the chair by the window overlooking the backyard, wishing she had a fire going and Ghost at her feet, but the stuffed Drogon animal at her side and her hand on her--their--unborn baby would have to do. She lifted the heavy sheaf of papers from the box, using her bump to help support them as she began to read, the letters blurring with tears and pain, realizing what it was.

 

Shakespeare once said 'all the world's a stage' but only Daenerys Targaryen knew how true those words really were...

 

The asshole had the nerve to demand she audition?! Dany had never been more annoyed-- or attracted?-- in her entire life...

 

Jon Snow was a complete dickhead, she thought, storming away from the restaurant...

 

Gods I am a fucking asshole, Jon Snow thought as he banged on the door of her house, demanding she open up, needing to apologize...

 

His fucking family, he thought, unable to bear the pain he'd caused her, and praying to the gods that he could take it back...

 

She won, his Dany won and he would do anything in the world to only ever see her this happy, beaming on the stage as everyone stood, holding the one thing in the world she wanted, and he stood too, unable to stop the smile that broke across his face, finding the one thing in his life in that moment he loved...

 

He loved her and she loved him.

 

All the words blurred. She sucked on paper cuts as she tore through the pages, dropping them to the floor with each one she finished. She had never read anything more tragic and upsetting,, shet hought, seeing their love story on the pages, the way he wrote them. He remembered everything. It was so clear in her mind. Down to the clothes they wore in each moment. He knew everything, because he'd marked it down, she realized, coming to a part where Jon wrote about the notebooks he filled with thoughts and musings about her, for future works. He wanted to write a story about her, a play, about the Dragon Queen, but it became something else, because the King in the North fell in lovew ith her and he fucked it up and now he needed to fix things.

 

She came to the end, to the very last page, where Jon Snow sat down to write a book for Daenerys, to show her how much he loved her in one of the only ways he knew how. She blinked, realizing the story wasn't done yet. The pages ended with him doing just that. Writing the book. There was more handwriting and she turned the page to read it better.

 

I have the ending but I don't know if it's what you want. It's up to you.


How long had she been sitting there reading? She couldn't move, her muscles frozen in her cramped position in the chair. The baby was screaming at her, needing her to move and fuck she really had to pee! She jumped up, stumbling on her sleepy feet, tripping a bit on the pages, her mind blank and swimming in the words and emotions she'd just poured through. Nothing made sense to her and everything did at the same time.

 

He loves me. He never stopped loving me. He's sorry. He never stopped being sorry. The baby. He needs to know about the baby. Unfinished ending...up to me...

 

Somehow she made it to the bathroom to relive the baby off her bladder, pushed her fingers through her hair and knocking braids askew. She took a glance at her reflection, horrified at the red eyes and tear-stained cheeks. In awe, she touched her face, unaware she'd been crying. Her chest burned. She needed him. She had to find him and talk to him...

 

The gong throughout the house sounded, banging on the door. What? Someone got through the front gate, she thought panicked. She hurried down the stairs; it was downright dark outside. How long was I even reading? She knew it had to be someone with the gate code, so it wasn't paparazzi, but she was still worried as she checked the camera, her heart leaping into her throat, a cry mangling in her throat.

 

Jon. Jon Snow stood on the doorstep, in pouring rain, looking horrified, banging his fists on the door. "Dany!" he bellowed. "Dany open up! I have to talk to you!"

 

What in the gods had possessed him!? She flashed to another camera angle, horrified to see a paparazzi hangout at the corner, but thank gods they hadn't recognized Jon's Range Rover...his Range Rover!? He had driven all the way from Inverness!

 

"Others take me!" she exclaimed, pushing away from the security station and slamming the alcove's door behind her, hurrying to the front, the banging increasing with each step. She unbuckled the locks, managing to kick the last one free and flung it open, glaring angrily at him. "You stupid wolf! Get in here before a pap sees you and we're all over the news!" She noticed how awful he looked in person, his hair stringy around his face from the rain and his eyes sunken. She shook her head, immediately pitying the creature. "Gods save you Jon Snow, you're going to catch a death."

 

"Call a red woman they'll just bring me back to life again."

 

She rolled her eyes, unable to stop herself from pulling him by the hand into the house. He was dripping water all over the fancy carpets and rugs. She didn't think, leading him to one of the guest bathrooms and pushing him inside. "There's towels in there." She closed the door before he looked up, hugging her shawls and the hoodie around herself. He might not know about the baby, she wondered, feeling a soft nudge inside of her. Yeah sweetling, I know. It's Papa.

 

Her feet dragged her into the living room and she sank onto the sofa, her hands between her knees. After a few minutes the hardwood creaked and she turned, her body hidden by the sofa. He stood in front of her, hands at his sides, his jet-black curls wild around him and his beard unkempt. He looked exhausted, of course he would be from driving all the way down from Inverness. He looked like he hadn't slept either. He wasn't drunk though; his eyes were clear. Blood-shot and red-rimmed but they were clear, gray and sparkling. "I haven't slept," he confirmed.

 

"Okay," she whispered.

 

He continued, not hearing her. "I drove all the way here. In the rain. I didn't sleep for three days I think...then I slept for two but it wasn't enough."

 

"You're mad."

 

"No," he laughed. He shook, his feet shifting in the rain puddle under him. "No I'm not mad, Dany I think I'm sane. I think I'm finally thinking."

 

Her jaw set; he couldn't just do this. "What was that book you sent me?"

 

"My lame attempt to get you to love me again."

 

Her brows wrinkled, her eyes instantly welling with tears. "Jon," she managed to get out, her hand gripping tight at the top of the sofa edge. Under her shawl, her other hand gripped the baby. He doesn't know. "Jon I never stopped loving you. That's the problem."

 

He nodded, anxious, falling to his knees in front of her, reaching to grab at her hand. His figners were still warm, despite the chill of the rain emanating from him. Wild eyed, he laughed, his other hand coming to cup her face, brushing the tears away. "I made a mistake. I know I did...I fucked up so many times and you kept coming back to me and you don't have to come back to me now. Sansa overheard...she told Tyrion she found outa bout ....about your baby." Dany laughed, unable to stop herself. He frowned briefly, but kept going. "She was jealous and upset and so stupid and I was stupid. I should have trusted you, I should have believed you and not them...not my dumb sister and all the rest."

 

Somehow she found her apology falling out. "I shouldn't have put my career on you like I did," she whispered, touching his face, her thumb dragging over the scar that crossed his left eye. It forced his left eyebrow to drape rakishly. "I should have talked to you and I shouldn't have made you choose secrecy."

 

"I love you," he whispered, kissing her hand. He looked up, hopeful, but still wary. "I..." He stood and fumbled in his pocket, removing a folded up heap of papers. He gestured towards her with it, not lookign at her, staring at the pages. "I wrote an ending...if you'll have it."

 

She bit her lower lip. "What does it say?" she breathed. She had to tell him. Get up Dany. Show him. He hadn't said one word about her being pregnant. he hadnt's een the photos. The news blaring all over the world that she was completely hiding a baby from them, like they deserved to know. The gossip blogs playing "Who's the Daddy?" She kept watching because she was waiting for Daario to pop up and try to claim some sort of extra B-level fame fof of her sudden skyrocket in the press.

 

He smiled, nervous, as shy as a boy asking a girl out for the first time. "It's...I know you're retiring. I know you're leaving and I don't understand why because you're so good, but we can talk about that, its just..." He set the papers aside, his hands lifting up, shrugging. His northern burr was so thick with emotion she strained to hear his words. "I love you Daenerys, I think I have since I met you. More than I've loved anyone and it isn't like I've loved a lot. I want to marry you."

 

She pressed her fingers to her lips, tears streaming, her smile broadening. "Okay," she whisepred, taking a deep breath. "Go on."

 

"And I want to have..." His breath hitched and he laughed. "I want to have babies with you..."

 

The sob that came out of her was almsot too much for her to take. She bent forward, nodding and he stepped to her, concerned. She waved him off. "Go on," she cried. "What else does this ending have?"

 

"And we can do whatever you want. Write whatever you want act in whatever you want, I don't care, we can just go somewhere and live a thousand years where no one will ever find us." He picked up the pages and pushed them to her. She gingerly accepted the wet heap of paper, looknig to the last page. He smiled, whispering. "And we can live happily ever after."

 

That's what it said, the last page. With a question mark. She set them down and turned to look back at him. He still hadn't moved from his position. SHe nodded. "Well Jon Snow," she whispered. She couldn't help the tears that flowed, the numbness in her limbs as she moved to stand, to reveal herself to him, in more ways than one. She unraveled the shawl around her, getting to her feet. "You should probably have all the information."

 

He cocked his head; he reminded her of Ghost. Ghost, who had appeared in the doorway, silent as his namesake, watching the proceedings. "What information?" he whispered, nervous. He pointed. "Hey, my hoodie."

 

The Night's Watch hoodie she'd stolen from him from their wonderful week away last year was the only thing she'd been wearing of late. It still harbored his smell, even after all the washings. She carefully slid her arms under it, knowing that its bulk-- it was gigantic on him and dwarfed her-- hid the baby belly, but once she removed it, he would see everything. She slipped it over her head and dropped it to the floor, her hands going to either side of the baby, the tight camisole she wore clinging to every curve of her breasts and stomach, even showing off the little push of her belly button out. She'd been ecstatic when she realized she finally had an 'outtie.'

 

He stared at her stomach, his gray eyes taking up his whole face. A muscle ticked in hsi jaw. She feared he might run off, he might get angry, and she opened her mouth to start issuing her reasons for not telling him-- she was scared of a relapse, she thought he was still drinking, he didn't want her, his family, her career, all the easy escapes, but the one important reason was-- she was scared. She was scared but now she couldn't be because he'd put himself out there in the most beautiful way and oh gods what was he doing?

 

He walked around the edge of the sofa, still looking at her belly and finally his gaze lifted to hers. His eyes were wet and his hands shaking, coming to lightly touch. She shivered, the weight of him comforting as he pressed, and the soft flutter that only she could feel right then hitting back. "It was the premiere," she whispered. She began to stumble her words, crying and touching at his hands lightly. "I was so scared to say...I didn't know what to do or how you would react and...mmpff"

 

Any words were swallowed by his kiss, his mouth crashing against hers, taking her hungrily. She moaned wantonly, unabashed as she arched into him, finally feeling him after all this time. Her skin grew damp from holding him, the rain-soaked coat chilly under her, but she returned his hunger with her own, both of them needing each other and everything they could take. She reveled in the feeling of his hands spreading over her stomach, her nerves fried, and a desire she'd never felt consuming her, needing him to touch more of her. She couldn't stop herself as she tore at his coat, pushing it from him and wanting more of him, her fingers beneath the collar of his t-shirt, spreading along his upper chest, her thumb grazing across the top of the sickle scar on his heart.

 

They managed to finally break away, the need to breathe preventing them from truly falling into the other and never emerging again. She sobbed as he fell to his knees, his lips brushing over her belly, smoothing hands and sheer awe in his eyes. "A baby," he murmured.

 

"Our dragonwolf," she whispered, one hand covering his while she used the other to push his curls from his face. She cupped his chin in her palm, her thumb skimming his lower lip, smiling when he kissed it, before returning attention to her belly, stroking and skimming, pushing up the bottom of her camisole to reveal her skin, stretched tight over the life they'd created in those moments of sadness and desperation. She smiled through the tears, her exposed skin prickling with the touch of his rough fingertips, lifting her face up to meet his as he stood, kissing her again, fingers delving into her hair while he kept firm on her side. She pressed her nose to his, eyes clenched shut, drowning in the feel of his touch and his warmth and the soft puffs of breath mingling with hers. "Take me Jon Snow," she begged, gasping as he swung her up into his arms as if she weighed nothing.


He grinned, wolfish, before kissing her again, gripping her tight. "As my queen commands."

Chapter Text

xix.

Dany's House

London, England

 

There was a real-life baby inside of Dany right now. He couldn't comprehend although he understood the biology and the mechanics of it. He hadn't been sure when she'd begun to tear at his clothes when they made it to her bedroom, not wanting to hurt her or their child— their child, gods-- despite his blood coursing hot and heavy for her. She'd mumbled it would be fine, she needed him like he needed her, it had been so long and she just wanted to feel, she just wanted to love him and show him at the same time he wanted to do the same for her.

 

They were basking in her giant bed, filled with pillows and soft comforters, he was always reminded of a cloud when they were here together. She had her back against his chest, their skin still damp with sweat from their lovemaking, and his hands were spread over her belly, his favored t-shirt—also stolen by her—drawn up under her breasts to expose it to him. He couldn't stop touching it, marveling that there was an actual baby, a piece of each of them, inside of her. He'd never entertained the idea of having kids; he didn't want anyone to go through what he'd gone through without a family name to call his own, even though the rest of the world didn't adhere to Westeros's fucked up moral compass.

 

The Night's Watch, being that it was also part of that fucked up moral compass, had vows that went for life and prevented the notion of having children and marrying. You could screw around all you wanted, but no marriage and no kids because your duty was to the country and no one else. Family tended to detract people from that mission. He didn't think much on it after he'd been released from his vows, after legitimately dying and Ygritte had never wanted kid. She said they weren't part of her plan, something she never even shared with him.

 

Even when he was with Dany he hadn't thought much of it, although now the notion that there could be a little baby with her silver hair and violet eyes, he couldn't believe he'd been so stupid to not think about it. Her confession about her son and the ramifications of his early birth, tragic passing, and her brittle psyche afterward had made him wonder, ever briefly about it, but she'd said she couldn't have children. That's what the doctors told her.

 

"This was supposed to be impossible," he murmured, voicing his thoughts. He dragged his knuckles over a ripple of muscle on the side of her belly, smiling when she quivered beneath him. "What?"

 

"The baby liked that," she answered.

 

He pouted. "I want to feel."

 

"Soon, it's too early for you yet I think, maybe a few more weeks. But here." She touched his palm to her lower right side, towards her hip, but he didn't feel anything. Just skin, not that he was complaining over that. She tilted her head back and kissed his jaw. "Push a little."

 

"I don't want to hurt you."

 

"Jon Snow you have thoroughly made love to me into a heap of nothing over the past few hours, you aren't going to hurt me, now here." She pushed his hand harder on the side, giggling when he jumped back at the soft push on his palm. She grinned wider, beaming, her face as bright as the moon that glowed through her bedroom windows. "There! You felt it!"

 

Gods I did. He felt the baby move! "Fuck," he murmured, moving so that she was stretched out across the bed, his body curving over and down slightly so he could tangle his fingers in hers, but his ear and lips could touch her belly when he wanted. He closed his eyes, humming in contentment. Their baby was in there, after all this time, and that was what the gods had granted him. He was never going to complain of anything again. Nothing seemed more important than making sure Dany was happy, healthy, and their baby was as well. He'd do anything.

 

She moved to the side of the bed, rummaging. "I cannot believe I forgot to show you these."

 

He sat up a little more, drawing her against him again, needing to feel her as close to him as possible. He couldn’t believe it had been so long; they did have an exact date of how long ago it was, he supposed, his hand spreading automatically on her adorable little baby bump. He flicked open the envelope she hand in her hands, carefully removing several black and white photos, eyes widening in realization.

 

“Oh,” he gasped, seeing the first image, just black and white lines, a digital arrow pointing out something in the center of the image. He felt tears rise in his eyes again; he was getting misty-eyed over everything it seemed. Maybe it was channeling some of the pregnancy hormones that Dany had already complained of a few times that evening.

 

She turned the picture correctly—he was holding it upside down—pointing to something he couldn’t quite make out. “That’s the baby,” she whispered. She brought his thumb towards the speck. “There’s the head and the feet…here, this one is clearer.” She took another from the stack. “This was from my last appointment. Couple weeks ago.”

 

The image still confused him, he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be looking for exactly, but when she guided his finger over the curve of a black shadow, he realized he was staring at a head, a hand, and even a little mouth. There were feet and…he sniffed. “Gods.”

 

“The doctor knows the gender, but I want to be surprised.”

 

He narrowed his eyes on what he imagined could be the baby’s leg and pointed. “Well that could mean it’s a boy.”

 

“Jon that’s the foot.”

 

“Oh.”

 

She giggled, tucking her head in the crook of his neck, her belly pressing into his abdomen. He couldn’t believe how solid she was, how she didn’t seem at all unbalanced by the change in her body. Gods, he couldn’t believe how fucking attracted he was to her. Everything about her was perfect. From the top of her head to the toes on her feet, currently wiggling in the comforter as she situated herself her back against him. “So you really didn’t know, huh?”

 

He shook his head, chuckling. “I’ve been living in a bit of a blind state for the past week.” He frowned. “Why?”

 

“Oh no reason.” She grabbed for her phone, chuckling. He continued to frown, unsure what she was doing, until she showed him a blog site with photos of her at the grocery store, her belly evident, and the list of possible fathers beneath them. Along with speculation that that was why she’d announced her retirement. He scowled at some of the pictures of them that had managed to get through, including one of them at the Oscars.

 

Gods we look so miserable. Even with smiles on their faces and arms around each other, on what should have been one of the happiest nights of their lives, even the gleaming gold statues in their hands didn’t make them smile. He looked awful, he noted, and even though she was a bombshell in her dress, it was quite noticeable that there was something weighing heavy on her shoulders.

 

He took the phone from her and clicked it off, setting it on the nightstand away from her reach. Whatever the world said about them didn’t matter. They didn’t need to think that way. It would be hard for her, he knew, to get out of that mindset when she’d been worrying about it for most of her life. “Fuck them,” he advised. He drew her into his arms again, his cheek resting on the top of her head. She wrapped her arms around his and he cuddled her close, allowing the cloud of pillows to envelope them.

 

After a long time, in which he’d all but dozed off, she moved against him. “Jon.”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“I have to pee.”

 

He snorted, eyes lifting to see her gazing shyly up at him. “Well okay fine, I’ll let you up for that.”

 

“The baby thanks you.” She extricated herself from his arms, sliding off the bed and walking into the bathroom, calling over her shoulder. “We should think of what to call the baby beside Dragonwolf.”

 

“Sounds like a good enough name to me.” Her phone buzzed and he glanced at it, rolling his eyes at a text message from Viserys that was in all caps, bitching about whose Range Rover was parked in front of the house because he was going to key it, it was blocking the driveway. He got out of bed, hearing a light scratch at the door and opened it, Ghost waltzing in. “You better get in here before Vis sees you.”

 

Dany emerged, tugging the t-shirt down over her thighs, but it wouldn’t go, it was already stretched tight on her belly. He sighed in happiness. It was incredible how that morning he’d been losing his mind over never being able to see her and wondering if she had accepted his apology and here he was pulling her—pregnant—into his arms. She smiled up at him, glowing like the moon. “Hi.”

 

“Hi,” he murmured, kissing her softly. She chuckled against him and bumped into him, her breasts rubbing teasingly across his bare chest. He groaned. “Dany, you need sleep.”

 

“You know in the second trimester all the energy comes back that you lost in the first,” she mumbled, her tongue darting out to snag his, tugging him closer for a deeper, messier kiss. He hadn’t heard that, but whatever she thought or said in that moment, he was game. He backed up carefully to the bed, his knees hitting the mattress. She pushed him lightly, breaking the kiss long enough to hike the t-shirt up a bit so she had room to straddle his hips.

 

Gods woman you will be the death of me. He was exhausted, the emotions catching up to him, along with the practically ten hour drive. It seemed she recognized it as well, breaking and falling off him to the side, her legs still tangled in his. She danced her fingers along his collarbone, her eyes meeting his. He smiled apologetically. “Raincheck?” he murmured. He skimmed his hand on her thigh. “Or I could give you something in return…”

 

“Hmm, tempting.” She nuzzled his nose. “But I’m fine right here with you.”

 

He glanced over his shoulder at her phone again. It was buzzing angrily. “Viserys is going to hit my car with his.”

 

“No way would he damage his Aston Martin. He’s all bark, no bite.”

 

“Surprised he hasn’t figured out it’s me and come storming up here to take my head off.”

 

“He’s all bark.”

 

Not that he cared, but he was curious about her brother. “What’s his opinion on the baby?” Viserys didn’t seem like he cared much for living things. Jon wasn’t sure if he was going to be okay with his future brother-in-law being cruel to his child, but Viserys always did seem to have a strange relationship with Dany.

 

“Oh he’s thrilled. In his own way of course. Calls the baby a parasite.”

 

“Parasite!?”

 

She patted his hand reassuringly. “Don’t worry. Whatever name we pick, he’ll stick with it.” She didn’t seem convinced, Jon thought. Her fingers pulled at the t-shirt hem. “We could call the baby Night King.”

 

“Or Night Queen,” he laughed. He didn’t care boy or girl, whatever child she birthed would be beautiful and brilliant. Even if it was fifty percent him. He hoped the gods were good and gave the baby her gorgeous smile and eyes…her lustrous silver hair and her giving personality and her good heart. He frowned slightly, realizing something. “Does anyone else know?”

 

“Hmm…Viserys, Missandei…Jorah…” Relief washed over him. Good, all trustworthy people. She scowled. Her shoulders tensed with obvious irritation. “Tyrion.”

 

He closed his eyes; he supposed they’d have to address that particular lion in the room, so to speak. He gripped her tighter and she hugged him further, his chin resting in the crook of her shoulder, focusing on the feel of their child under his hands and the very real truth that no matter what anyone had tried to do to them, they were together and nothing was going to prevent them from living their lives the way they intended. No amount of behind-the-scenes machinations, bad press, or family drama. He closed his eyes, his nose nuzzling the spot under her ear that tended to get him a soft moan, which it did, a second later, her breath quickening. He kissed the spot, enjoying the ripple of her pleasure through her body seep into his. “You fired him,” he murmured, more of a question than a statement, which was confirmed with her tiny nod. He sighed; Tyrion had been with her family for a long time. “I’m sorry.”

 

“It wasn’t your fault. He should have told me everything that happened but he didn’t.”

 

“Maybe he thought he was protecting you.”

 

“Well it could have backfired and it wasn’t the first failure. He used to be clever and the best in the business, but not anymore. I don’t know what did it, but no more.” She tapped her fingers along his wrist, her thumb running over a scar on top of his hand. “Where’d you get this?”

 

He frowned, trying to remember; there were so many scars it was hard to remember sometimes just exactly when they showed up. Sometimes it seemed like there was a new one each day growing up. He smirked in memory. “Oddly enough Sansa. I was twelve. She slammed the door on my hand.”

 

Dany tensed again. He ran his hands over her shoulders, reassuring her with slight pressure along her upper arms and to her neck, kissing softly. There was nothing his sister could do to them now. Whatever goal she thought she had in driving them apart, it failed and she did not achieve it. She relaxed again, finally turning in his arms. He shifted, accommodating her when she straddled his hips, her knees pressing to the mattress on either side of him and her feet draped over his thighs. She rested her arms over his shoulders, leaning forward and kissing him softly. He savored the weight of her on him and the warmth of the belly pressed against his abdomen. His hands skimmed over her sides and cupped under her bottom, dragging her closer.

 

She sighed against his mouth, smiling. “I cannot believe I’m going to say what I’m going to say,” she murmured.

 

“So don’t.”

 

Her mouth smiled again, pressed to his. He meant what he said, tilting his head to the right, angling his lips against hers to trail soft kisses along her jaw and find that spot again behind her ear. Gods he loved this woman, he thought, strong arms holding her to him, supporting her. “I think she was protecting you too, she loves you in a twisted sister sort of way…you don’t need to forgive her. Gods know I probably won’t, but we can’t let her stain what we have and if we keep harboring this resentment and anger to her…it will.”

 

That was the risk of letting the anger fester, he knew that, he understood it more than most people. He hated the men who had stabbed him and he had seen them executed for their crimes, but even after he had let it sit within him. He couldn’t do that with Sansa. She was part of his family and his family was part of him. “Not right now,” he whispered. It was still too fresh. Sansa’s petulance and power games were too much for him to focus on, not when he had his family in his arms right now. The family that mattered more than anything in the world to him right now.

 

She nodded. “Fair enough. Just think about it.”

 

“When do you want to get married,” he wondered, changing the subject. He hadn’t even proposed, he just assumed it was a given.

 

She giggled, pulling her head back and framing his face in her hands, the violet in her eyes shining. “Well not when I’m as big as a house. I want our child to be part of the ceremony.” She poked her finger in his chest, rather hard, and he grinned. “You also need to get me a ring. A real proposal too.”

 

“Whatever you want.”

 

They sat together for a few minutes more. Until she slipped off of him and he turned, curving her back against him, a pillow under the baby for extra cushioning, and his fingers skimming over her thigh, drawing random patterns on the soft skin exposed to him. He still couldn’t believe it. This morning he’d been a mess and while he was still a mess, he had her in his arms again. The force of it all had him almost to a point of collapse, unable to truly process she was his and he was hers and they were here. All the awful things they’d done and said were still there, just in the past, a door closing on them, a new chapter of their story beginning.

 

He pressed his nose against the back of her neck, whispering. “I’m sorry for all I said,” he murmured, eyes shut. The nastiness at the Oscars had been the worst, he thought. He was still so hurt then. So was she. “I was hoping you’d win, I didn’t want you to lose.”

 

“I’m sorry too,” she whispered. She turned her head, craning her neck so she could softly accept the kiss he dropped to her lips. She touched his face, stroking at his beard. “I’m sorry I thought you betrayed me. I’m sorry for all said and for not being there for you…”

 

“You couldn’t be brought down by my mess.”

 

“Even so. I’m here now, I promise, I will be forever.” She blinked through tears shining in the corners of her eyes. “I want a do-over Jon Snow. We start over, tonight, just you and me and the baby.”

 

“And Viserys,” he laughed. No way her crazy brother was going to stay out of their lives.

 

Ghost scratched at the floor as he turned in his sleep, reminding them of him too. “And Ghost,” she made sure to say, for the wolf’s benefit.

 

He nodded, an eyebrow lifting. “That’s the beauty of being a writer.” She quirked her lip in question. He brushed his lips to hers, answering. “I can make up whatever I want.”

 

“I want you. I want the Jon I fell in love with.”

 

“And who is that?”

 

“The irascible, honorable, stupid idiot who forgets to eat because he’s so involved in whatever he’s working on,” she answered. He rolled his eyes; that Jon was an idiot. She laughed. “The Jon who took me to see Northern Lights and who changed his script for me and who told the whole world he loved me when all seemed lost for us.” She blinked harder. Don’t fight the tears, he thought, kissing them away. She sobbed. “The one who saw me for who I am.”

 

They sought each other again, turning and moving so they could press hearts and bodies together as one. There was no part of each other they couldn’t reach, love overflowing in each kiss, touch, and movement. The pace was languid, they had all the time in the world, and even as she tilted over the edge, fingertips digging into his hands, tangled between her legs where they were joined, he kept moving, not wanting it to end, not wanting to stop giving her all the pleasure in the world or stop showing her just how much he loved her.

 

Her breath quickened again and body tensed, voice strained. “I love you,” she whined, face buried into his upper arm, cradling her head against him. “Gods I love you so much.”

 

“I don’t deserve you,” he whispered, kissing her when she sought him again, his pace stuttering as he felt the pressure building in the base of his spine, but not wanting it to end, wanting to bring her back over that crest again.

 

She shook her head, gasping. “Then I don’t deserve you.”

 

They both fell over the cliff together, his weight pressing her gently into the soft pillows surrounding them, cushioning each other as their arms wrapped around any piece of the other they could reach. He turned his head from hers, both of them searching for air, kissing each other lazily, content. He cradled her belly in his hands, whispering. “You alright?”

 

“Always alright with you.” She reached her arm back to fiddle her fingers in the tangle of his curls. Her eyes were shut, chest rising and falling with each deep and increasingly even breath as sleep began to take her. “My Jon.”

 

He rolled onto his back, bringing her with him, falling into deep sleep, her name a loving whisper on his lips. “My Dany.”

 

~/~/~/~

One Year Later
West End
London, England

“So, returning to the stage for the first time in almost a decade, how does it feel Daenerys?”

 

Dany kept her smile polite, hiding the actual nerves she did feel over her return to the sage, her teeth flashing with the quick tug of her bright red lips over them, casual. “Oh, it feels positively wonderful. The stage was always a peaceful place for me and I feel you have greater opportunity to connect with the audience and I am so excited to share my return with a new group of fans and to honor my brother whose first love was acting. All proceeds from this production of As You Like It will be donated to Rhaegar’s Song, to encourage arts education and opportunities in the arts for all children.”

 

Renly Baratheon, the interviewer she had chosen for this one-on-one sit down before she went out on stage as Rosalind, smiled and leaned forward, as though it were just the two of them speaking. “And speaking of children, is there any difference in returning to the stage post-retirement and now being a mother?”

 

It was an allowed question; they’d already gone over what she would answer; it was partly why she’d selected Renly for the exclusive over anyone else. He actually respected the divide between private lives and public lives. She beamed; this was no acting and lifted her hands, the lights from the cameras glinting off the large diamond, ruby and sapphire wedding set on her left hand. “Being a mother is, as cheesy as it sounds, absolutely indescribable. For most of my life, acting was the love of my life and acting led me to the true love of my life. My family is supportive of this return and the cast and everyone here with the production have been so amazing when I needed to stop rehearsals to nurse or just go be with my daughter. It’s really incredible.”

 

They continued talking for a few minutes more, questions about the production, her future plans, and the charity. She also spoke about how she would be working to establish a new charity, to help with addiction and recovering from traumatic stress. She caught movement out of the corner of her eye, Viserys waving his finger in a circle to wrap it up. A few more questions prodding her about whether she was absolutely sure she didn’t want to return to movies—yes she was absolutely sure--Renly finally wrapped it up, thanking her for her time and wishing her good luck with that evening’s performance.

 

“Thank you so much,” she beamed.

 

The cameras stopped rolling, the blinding lights turning off, and Renly folded up his prop piece of paper, since he didn’t need notes on what to ask. “Are we still set for the interview in a couple weeks?”

 

She nodded, her stomach clenching. It would be another exclusive. She was going to talk about Rhaego for the first time ever. It had been a long time coming, a lot of talking with Jorah, Missandei, and of course, Jon, to come to the mental headspace she needed to be in to announce to the world what happened to her and to share that personal loss with them. It wasn’t for her though, she was doing it to help others. To announce to the world what she’d gone through and establish another area of her philanthropic work to fight for more healthcare and mental healthcare for families who lost children. “Viserys and Missandei will be in contact with your office.”

 

“So glad you finally got rid of Tyrion, I never thought he was a good publicist.”

 

“Yes, well Missandei is my best friend, so that helps,” she laughed. She thanked Renly again, took photos with some of his production staff, and stepped out of the spare dressing room at the theater with Viserys, walking through the backstage, the theater workers preparing for the opening scene, which by her count was in a couple of hours.

 

She had to get into her costume and into the hair and makeup chair. She wrapped her arms around her body, nerves barely sparking. She never got nervous before a performance. It was something that had bothered her many costars over the years, but she was confident in her abilities and she knew her lines. The onl