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We Set Fire to the Sand

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For as long as she could remember, Daenerys Targaryen dreamed of a world covered in sand, lit by twin suns.

For as long as she could remember, she dreamed of a girl – a human as young as her, with blonde hair more golden than silver and hands which could mend broken things as if this was her brand of magic, just like Daenerys’s own ancestors had known to bond with dragons and speak to them. Some of the fancier stories even said they had been dragons. Daenerys thought these stories silly but Ani never tired of hearing them.

As Daenerys grew, so did the girl.

Long before she became Khaleesi of the greatest Dothraki fleet, Ani had escaped a slave’s life to become a Jedi. Daenerys had cried that night, cried with longing, cried at the unfairness of it all, cried at the injustice of light years keeping her from this girl on a planet covered in sand. She wanted to learn her strange Jedi magics along with her and be with her friend in the waking world, where they both were desperately lonely.

Many years passed before Daenerys stepped out of a funeral pyre and cradled her own magic against her unburnt body.

Daenerys’s birthright did not come with a lightsaber – hers was dragons, real dragons, not the ordinary krayt dragons Ani would know from Tatooine but dragons which could cross the vast distances of outer space, dragons whose fiery breath could lay waste to entire worlds.

They learned, and struggled, and though everybody she confided in tried to convince Daenerys that her visions of the girl with the gifted hands were but the product of a lonely child’s imagination, she clung to her belief that she was real and that one day, they would meet.

In a galaxy which once more knew dragons, nothing was impossible.

But that was a hope for a faraway day; for now a newly crowned Targaryen Queen traveled from planet to planet making an enemy of Hutts and Zygerrians alike – always hoping that one day, she would be met by a blond woman who had also made it her life’s work to right injustice wherever she went.

Ani’s fame grew and Daenerys first saw her outside her dreams on the Holonet: the Hero With No Fear.

Yet it wasn’t until Daenerys Targaryen first set foot on the world covered in sand, lit by twin suns, that she knew destiny had finally caught up with her.

On Drogon’s back, she crossed deserts and mountains until land she had never set foot on looked familiar to her. Until she felt the same tug of destiny that had once urged her to step into a funeral pyre with three dragon eggs, felt it lead her to the entrance of a cave like any other, except she knew this to be the one a far younger Ani had run to when she didn’t want to be found by anyone but Daenerys.

She wasn’t surprised to see the small dark dot reveal itself to be a person as she flew closer, wasn’t surprised to land and make out a young woman clad in dark Jedi robes, sporting untamed blonde hair and the brightest blue eyes Daenerys had ever seen. Neither dreams nor the Holonet could do them justice.

“I knew you would come,” were the first words Ani spoke to her outside of dreams.

Daenerys smiled, feeling all the tension and doubt melt away and leave behind quiet happiness and an overwhelming sense of rightness she didn’t quite know what to do with. She dismounted Drogon in a smooth, practiced move, maybe showing off the smallest bit, just maybe. Her feet sank into soft sand, still loose from having been stirred up by a sandstorm.

“I always knew you were real,” she said.

“So did I.”

Later, Daenerys would learn of Ani’s mentor, the Republic’s Chancellor, who first insisted that Ani’s visions were false and then, once she had found evidence of Daenerys’s existence, that they were meaningless. She would tell her of the apprentice of her own she had taken, who convinced her to trust in the Force and what she knew to be right, and to follow the pull of the Force when it guided her back to Tatooine.

For now, this was enough.

Daenerys met Ani halfway between Drogon and the cave’s entrance and tilted her head back to meet her eyes, almost dwarfed by the far taller woman.

“I have been waiting for you a very long time,” Daenerys said, as if that could even begin to encompass a child’s yearning for her only friend or a grown woman’s longing for the one whose lips she ached to taste outside of dreams.

Ani made a strangled noise and reached for her, reverently brushing a loose curl of silver hair out of Daenerys’s face.

“It has been a very long time.” Ani’s jaw clenched with determination. “But I knew. I always knew.” She paused, looking at Daenerys with such intensity, such fervor, that she felt a shiver run down her spine. “I know you.”

Again, Daenerys found herself smiling. It was easy to smile when she was with Ani, she was learning – or remembering, rather; for in her dreams, she had always been aware of this truth.

“And I know you.” Daenerys reached for the face she knew almost as well as her own, tracing the arch of her brows and the curve of her lips. Her fingers were softer than Ani’s. Daenerys wasn’t afraid to fight when need be but she preferred to rule. They were different, yet even in their differences they were familiar, they were as known and beloved as the woman herself.

Ani, her wild, reckless Ani who never loved by halves and put all her heart into every battle.

Together, Daenerys knew, there was no wheel they couldn’t break. The Force would not have brought them together simply because it took pity on two lonely little girls.

“If I had simply dreamt you into being I wouldn’t mind, but…” Ani stopped herself, looking abashed. “But I’m glad I didn’t have to.” She exhaled in a puff. “I’m just glad you’re here now.”

“Ani?” Daenerys interrupted, taking pity on her fumbling and the blush that accompanied it.

“Yes?”

Daenerys smiled and kissed her.