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when there's no heir to spare

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“The gods are laughing,” Dany said, sinking into her chair. “And that is known.”

Rhaenys glanced at the circle of the lovers. Jon and Sansa were at Dany’s left and right, Margaery at Sansa’s side, Rhaenys herself, Yaya on the other side, Satin next to Jon, and Asha somehow between them.

Sansa’s face flooded with pink. “Dany, I would do anything for you, but the topic you raised was--”

“I am aware.” The famous silver-blonde hair shielded their queen’s face as she lowered her head into her arms. “I am blessed with my circle of you, and yet-- yet none of you are able to conceive a child together.”

Margaery laughed. “I have offered, time and time again to--”

“And Jon will never be interested.” Satin gave a quick smile. “And I have told you, I’ve played the whore enough time to women to know they don’t interest me in that way. Why, even Yaya--”

“And the gods won’t find it pleasing, so why worship them falsely?” Yaya protested lightly.

Asha stuck her hands in her coat. "Believe, I've tried, but your nephew's too young, and my other lovers too careful."

"Your moon tea helps," retorted Dany, a bare year older than Jon.

Asha spread her arms wide. "I've no desire for a squalling babe, which helps."

"No doubt," Dany said sourly. She pulled a face, and Rhaenys held back a laugh. "If I wasn't--"

"Your highness is overkind," Margaery said with a soft smile. "Your majesty wishes not to distress her lovers and their lovers."

"None of you has some bastard tucked away? Some trusted former lover with a bastard?"

Sansa-- with four former lovers in the past three years, the highest number of any of them--flushed deeper. "Randa and Alys are wed to their own respective husbands," she said, ticking them off on her fingers, "Harry's dead, but his natural daughters were made Arryns, and Mya's father was my father’s closest friend."

"You sicken me," Dany lifted her head, and sent an accusing violet stare towards her lover. "You worldly and cultured lady, with your beautiful and unfortunate tastes."

Satin grinned. "To list my past--"

"Lovers," Rhaenys said quickly. "True lovers, not customers, or we'd be here half the night listening to you and Yaya."

Alayaya raised a brow. "Dany, love of my lover, I have had few I would trust with myself, and even fewer I would trust to have parented your heir."

"Bastards in the family? Young ones, with-- with purple eyes, or light hair--" Daenerys tried.

"I believe Arya's lover Shireen might have a child with Devan Seaworth--" Sansa gave a sly smile. "Though Shireen Baratheon would like Cassana to be her own heir."

"My cousin Prince Trystane has married Myrcella Waters who has a child with golden hair," Rhaenys offered, grinning wickedly.

"You mock me," Dany responded. "I cannot give a child, Rhaenys loves women and refuses to, my lover Jon would consider it a dishonor, my lover Sansa has no taste for men and my lovers will not make me an heir--"

"We were raised brother and sister, in the light of the Old gods," Jon responded, well used to Dany's Valyrian notions.

Dany ignored him. "Their lovers will make no children, and it's no excuse for Margaery to make love to a Lannister again, Edric Dayne is refused by all in here besides Satin --"

The beautiful man gave a proud smile. "He was lovely, really."

"-- wet as he was with care for Lady Sansa--"

"He thought himself in love with Arya years ago and is with her and Devan now," Margaery protested. "My love's--" Rhaenys's elbow caught her in the side. "My Northern love, then, is far too kind for that."

"Far too prudish," Asha said in an undertone, avoiding a kick from Alayaya. "By the Drowned God, it was a jape, Yaya!"

"The lover of your lover's chastity is famed throughout the Kingdoms," Yaya responded. Mischief twinkled in her eyes. "Of course, they do not know that--"

"Enough about my lover, you're making her rather like a sunset," Dany cut her off. "As I was saying, there are no convenient natural children or any children to come from us, so I have no heir after you, Rhaenys and Jon-- officially," she added quickly as Rhaenys turned on her. "By the gods, my niece, I have sworn many times that you will never rule!"

Rhaenys lowered her eyes. "I dislike being your heir, aunt."

"Neither of your heirs wish to sit where you are, which makes them the best," Satin responded. "No backstabbing, no betrayal-- the lady of Summerhall and the lord of Dragonstone could never be used against you."

"That is well-known," Dany responded irritably. "And yet they will not let me title then as they ought to be."

"I believe that Princess Arianne," Sansa started slowly. "She might have had a natural child, did she not? Gerald Dayne, was it, or Aegon Falsedragon's? If neither, than Daemon Sand’s."

All heads swung towards the youngest of them.

"I've heard nothing," Rhaenys said slowly. "Surely, I would have known."

"Rella would have told me," Asha responded at once. "Arianne wouldn't have anyone else deliver a secret child."

Sansa turned beet red. "There's speculation, my lady Rhaenys, that Princess Arianne gave the child to her--and your-- cousin, the Lady Elia Sand of Hellholt. Those who do not say Quentyn Estermont is Lady Elia's, at least."

"Quentyn Estermont," Daenerys mused. "I thought he was Sylvia Santagar's so-called trueborn son?"

"No," Rhaenys responded. "Quentyn Estermont is the natural son of Lady Santagar and Garin of the Greenblood. Or if he is not, and Lady Santagar is truly not his mother, I have heard it is a possibility that it is Lady Tyene who is his mother, my cousin Tyene and a-- Vaith, was it not? Or one of Princess Arianne's other friends. Dalt, it was, or the bastard of Godsgrace." At Sansa's querying look about how this has not reached the ears of her informants, she gave a shrug. "I've heard it from Jennelyn, who may have heard it from Nym."

"Well, of course," Margaery responded. "Arianne and Tyene are lovers, as well as cousins and Elia is Tyene's sister as well as Sarella. Lady Sylvia is one of Arianne's closest friends, and Sarella would never betray Tyene or Arianne. None of your cousin's friends or lovers would betray Arianne or Elia. . .but to a fellow cousin. . . " Her expression turned thoughtful.

Sansa picked up where Margaery trailed off. "Tyene is closest to Nymeria out of her sisters; Tyene would surely have known if Arianne or herself had a babe, and might have let it slip to Nymeria, or Elia might have turned to Nym as the daughter of Volantene nobility and a prince of Dorne, who might have an idea how to handle her delicate situation. . . "

"So Quentyn Estermont has four mothers?" Danys queried, sounding exasperated.

"Five, really, there's the slightest possibility that Quentyn is the natural son of Prince Quentyn Martell on a Yronwood maiden, and Lady Sylvia took him as a favor to Princess Arianne--"

"I've heard enough," Dany rasped. "Quentyn Estermont will be my heir, all right? If his father is Quentyn, it is my apology to him. If his father is Aegon Falsedragon, then his mother is Arianne or Elia, and Aegon was at the least, royal. If his father was Garin Dayne--"

"Gerold Dayne," Jon corrected lightly.

"Darkstar, then, his mother was Arianne, and if Elia could be my brother's wife, her great-nephew can be my heir. If his mother is Lady Tyene, Oberyn Martell has a grandson on the Throne though his own royal blood. My namesake surely would be pleased, and we could have not taken Westeros without Dorne." Dany gave a small shrug. "Asha's fleet was not full, the North and Riverlands were bleeding, the Tyrells were bruised. Rhaenys was not claiming the crown, and Quentyn had died for me." Her lips pressed tight. "I owe Dorne."

"If Lady Sylvia is the mother?" Yaya frowned. "You put the cart before the horse, lover of my lover."

"Then we start anew," Dany said firmly. "Five mothers, though? And seven fathers?" She shook her head. "The odds and the gods are in our favor. Quentyn Estermont-- Quentyn Targaryen, let us say-- will be our heir, unless Lady Sylvia is indeed his mother."

"Sansa can find that out well enough," Asha said, eyes glimmering. "I've seen you with Elia Sand enough, the both of you soppily wet-eyed and wet with--"

"You said her crowning you was to tease the North!" Margaery accused.

Dany's eyes turned cool violet. "Another lover, Sansa? I can't begrudge you, Margaery and I share Asha--"

"Nothing has happened!" Sansa defended herself.

"Yet," murmured Yaya. "But you'll find out, won't you? Walk into her bed, and--"

"I'm leaving," Sansa turned her back. "Mark it well, how I ignore you low-minded rabble. Lady Elia was simply being kind, something none of you will never know."

"Oh?" Dany's voice was deathly soft. "So I am not kind when I let you take me and--"

"Daenerys!" Sansa flushed crimson, and Rhaenys laughed. "We are-- my brother is in this room!"

"I wouldn't know kind," Margaery added, grinning widely. "Especially when I make you--"

"Enough about how you bed my sister." Jon, Rhaenys noticed, looked extremely uncomfortable, and was grasping an oddly silent Satin’s hand tightly as the other man kept his face smooth. Margaery looked gleeful, Daenerys aroused, and Sansa studiously refusing to meet a smirking Asha's eyes, or to look at a openly laughing Alayaya.

"Bed her, then," the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms decided as Margaery nodded in agreement. "Bed her enough times to find out who our heir will be." A smile broke across her face. "We've all seen how you look at her, and she at you. Perhaps it's time to formally add another paramour or two to our arrangement." She turned to Asha. "Will you tell Sarella I am in need of a discreet Maester of sorts, as well?"