He watches as Dany climbs off of Drogon and helps a little body down as well. She carries their son, careful not to hurt the small bump that is growing while walking towards him with a tight smile.
“Daemon, say hello to Papa,” she says, but as he reaches for the boy, he moves away, refusing to be touched.
“No! Not Papa! Not Papa!” the little boy yells and Dany sighs in sad resignation as he himself is filled with hurt and sorrow.
“I’m sorry Jon, we can try again next year,” she says.
Suddenly a man appears in the clearing on top of a horse. He watches as Dany’s face brightens and a smile takes the place of her frown. His son also catches sight of the man and his entire demeanor changes.
“Papa! Papa!” the little boy yells out, reaching out towards the man.
As the man, who he now recognizes as the Prince of Dorne, dismounts he takes Daemon into his arms.
“Hello my boy, have you been good for your Mama?” the prince asks and his son nods. The prince then walks towards Dany and kisses her, softly caressing her abdomen with his free hand.
“And how are you feeling my dear wife?” he asks teasingly and Dany smiles back, lovingly.
“Very well, your child has given me no issues, my love,” she answers before the Prince turns to look at him.
“I thank you, my lord, for watching the North for my wife. And for giving me this,” the Prince holds Dany and Daemon closer. “You never did deserve them. How could a coward like yourself ever deserve a family like this?”
“Papa,” the little boy in the Prince’s arms says.
“Papa,” he hears again.
The crash of thunder wakes him, and he takes settling breaths, trying to tell himself that it was all a bad dream. He looks to his side and sees his wife laying on her side, her arm around her abdomen where their second child is growing. He smiles at the sight, knowing how hard it’s getting for her to sleep and glad that she can now.
Another flash of lightning brightens the room followed by a crash of thunder.
“Kepa…” he hears a familiar voice cry out. He doesn’t hesitate and quickly gets out of bed and goes through the door connecting the two adjacent rooms.
“Kepa,” the little voice whimpers, as he sees his little boy sitting upon his bed, shaking.
He scoops him up in his arms, immediately rocking him back and forth.
“Shh… it’s okay, I'm here,” he coos.
“Kepa,” he whimpers between his neck and shoulder and as he clenches his little hands against his back. Another rumble of thunder is heard and his son trembles again.
“Let’s go back to Kepa and Muña's room. I'm sure she’ll be happy to have you in there with us,” he whispers, and he feels Daemon’s head nod against his shoulder.
He hums the soft melody of the lullaby he and Dany would take turns singing to him since he was born. He laughs at the memory of the first time he sang to his son, believing that he sounded horrible. Instead, he was told by his wife that in reality, he had one of the sweetest voices she had heard. After their son had fallen asleep, she had revealed that his singing talent must have come from Rhaegar, as he was known to love singing more than he ever liked fighting.
When he walks into the room, he sees Dany sitting up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“Did the storm wake him?” she asks.
“Aye, who knows how long he’s been crying,” he says lowering Daemon onto the bed. Their son immediately crawls into his mother’s arms.
“Muña,” Daemon sighs in relief and he can’t help but chuckle at that before climbing back into bed. Dany kisses their son's silver tresses. He had all the traditional Targaryen features, violet eyes, silver hair, but Daemon’s hair curled like his and he had his facial features.
However, when he first laid eyes on his son, he knew he wanted to name their first child after Dany. She had accomplished so much in her life, had overcome all odds, and had made the impossible possible. If their child, any of their children, had her strength, her drive, her ability to live and love, he would be happy. So they decided to use an ancestral name that combined both her name and Maester Aemon's as well.
“Did his cries wake you?” Dany asks.
“No,” he admits with a sigh. He lays down as Daemon settles between the two of them.
“Nightmare?” she asks.
“Aye,” he says.
He can see the sympathy in her eyes. She knows about his nightmares, all of them. At first, he had been ashamed to admit what he dreamt about, how much his fears and insecurities weighed on him. But just like his metal armor, he soon learned that he was safe to be around his wife without that armor as well. She doesn’t press, instead, she reaches across their son, taking his hand in hers.
“I love you,” she tells him.
“I love you too.”
He waits until she closes her eyes and her breathing slows, before closing his eyes as well feeling peace at having his family here at his side.
He wakes in the morning with a three-year-old jumping on him.
“Papa!” Daemon shouts.
“Daemon!” he shouts back, grabbing his son and lifting him up above him. His son’s laughter fills the room before he lowers him to give him a big kiss. “Happy Name Day, my boy.”
“Thank you!” his son answers.
Today is his third name day and the crown was to host a tourney in his honor. There had been so much reconstruction and reparations that needed to be done throughout the Six Southern Kingdoms, that they did not waste coin on things such as tourneys or even on their coronation or public wedding. Instead, Name Days had become days where they would give to the people, taking their time and going through the streets to visit the less fortunate. However, with the economy improving under Missandei’s watchful eye, Tyrion convinced them to host their first tourney to honor not just their child’s name day but their rule overall.
He hears Dany’s laughter join their son’s as she wishes him a Happy Name Day and he’s once again reminded how truly grateful he is for his family.
Their merriment ends with a knock on their door.
“My King and Queen,” Tyrion says entering the room, with a bow.
They both know this must be serious for Tyrion being the one coming to their quarters.
“What is it Tyrion?” he asks.
“Some ‘guests’ arrived late last night and were turned away by the Unsullied. They’ve returned this morning and demand to see the Queen,” one of their Hands explains. The fact that he has not revealed who it is, is not lost by either monarch.
“Who is it?” Dany asks.
“The Starks and the Northern Lords who have yet to bend the knee to you,” Tyrion answers.
When they had finally taken Kings Landing, they had sent Ravens telling the Northern Houses to come South to bend the knee. His cousins and many of the stubborn Lords refused, declaring themselves independent from the crown. Advisors from the other Kingdoms had told them to wage war against these “traitors” but both he and Dany were done with fighting, especially after Daemon was born. So instead they sent them all a warning. If they bent the knee, they would receive help from the crown for the upcoming winter, if they did not, then no help would be provided, and trade would occur as if it were a separate country taxes, interests and fees included.
Some houses went against the Starks and pledged their loyalty, thinking about their people and their families, but most clung onto the idea of an independent North. Since then, refugees have come pouring in from the North. People needing help were quickly relocated to neighboring towns of Kings Landing or Dragonstone or even other kingdoms just for their survival.
The people were suffering, they both knew that, and they hated it. They wanted to make a world where there wasn’t so much starvation, so much suffering by the innocent because of the Highborns’ whims. Now it appeared that the Northern Lords may have come to their senses, but he was hesitant to hope for that.
“Where are they now?” he asks.
“Outside the throne room,” Tyrion answers.
“They asked just for the Queen?”
“They did, I’m not sure they know who you really are and probably don’t want to deal with an unknown King,” Tyrion tries to explain.
“I’ll meet them,” Dany answers, “It will be a short meeting for I will not miss my son’s Name Day. Inform them of this, while I ready myself.”
“Yes, your Grace,” Tyrion says with a bow before leaving the room.
Dany’s handmaids quickly enter the room and help her get dressed. He also gets ready, not wanting her to be alone with all the Northern Lords. A Dothraki nursemaid, who tended to Daemon whenever they were busy, also quickly came in and took their son to get him ready for the celebration. He and Dany are quickly readied and make their way to the throne room.
“Do you want to sit with me?” Dany asks.
“I do, but I’m not sure we can get their true intention if they finally see who I am,” he answers.
“Alright then, your throne is there for you whenever you want to face them,” she says, stopping before the doors of the throne room. “Will you be alright?”
“Seeing them again will be hard but, you, Daemon and this babe,” he caresses her belly, “are my family, my everything. Nothing they say or do will change things.”
She kisses him before turning to climb the steps to her throne. He takes his time, hiding in the shadows, waiting to see what will happen.
The doors open and he watches the Northern Lords enter, followed by Sansa and Bran.
Tyrion takes his time announcing all his wife’s titles and he can’t fight the pride he feels every time he hears her achievements. However, that positivity leaves when he hears Lord Glover announce Sansa as Queen of the North.
“Ah, Queen… that’s what they call you now, Lady Stark?” Dany asks, her face completely passive, and all her subtle sarcasm lacing her voice.
“That’s what I am,” Sansa answers.
“Very well then,” Dany says, leaning back on her throne. “What is the Queen of the North doing here in my Kingdom, in my courtroom?”
“You are starving us. You are trying to starve us into submission and we came here to demand you stop,” Sansa says.
“I'm doing no such thing. You and your Northern Lords wanted your independence and to avoid unnecessary bloodshed I gave it to you. It is not my fault you did not realize or even consider what the consequences of that independence might be,” his wife answers calmly.
“The taxes, the interest,” one of the Lords points out.
“Are the same as the ones given to Essos and the Iron Islands,” Dany quickly cuts him off. “You claimed to be an independent Kingdom and you have and will be continued to be treated as such.”
“During Winter we have always received help from the South,” another Lord argues.
“I have Five Kingdoms and cities in the East that need to be fed. Why should I sacrifice their food, for an independent Kingdom which has shown nothing but hatred towards myself and my people and complete ingratitude for my sacrifices? No, my dear lords, we will not carry the burdens that belong to the North and the North alone,” Dany answers regally, never wavering or faltering.
“So, you would let people starve for your pride?” Sansa asks and he watches as his wife’s anger ignites instantly. She keeps her composure, but he can see the fire burning in her eyes.
“The North is starving not because of my pride but yours,” she says in a stern voice. “I gave you all a choice, you were informed of the consequences but your desire for independence and your inability to swallow your pride stopped you all from seeing it,” she says standing from her throne and taking a few steps towards them. “Day after day we get refugees from the North, begging for food and shelter, while you all sit in your castles and prideful boast about not bending a knee to me. Tell me? Whose pride is killing the most people?”
Someone opens the door and an Unsullied soldier hurries to Dany’s side and whispers something in her ear.
Her face turns pale and panic fills her features.
“Is he alright?” she asks, grasping onto the Unsullied soldier with a desperation that nearly brings him out of the shadows.
“Yes. Stopped intruder. Brought her here.”
The doors once again open and he watches as his other cousin is dragged in by some Unsullied soldiers.
Things begin to come together in his mind. The Unsullied soldier, Dany’s reaction, Daemon, Arya…
“Let me go!” Arya yells out before she is thrown onto the ground. She looks up and glares at his wife. “Where is my brother?!”
The glare Dany throws at his sister would make the strongest knight tremble but his stubborn cousin, to her credit does not cower in fear.
“What were you doing in the royal wing? What were you doing near my son?” Dany growls.
“Looking for my brother!” Arya shouts. “And that boy is my brother’s! Where is he? I demand to see him.”
“You had no right to enter those quarters. Only those authorized by my husband or myself can enter there,” his wife says, ignoring Arya’s demands.
“Your husband. You mean that Aegon, we’ve heard of?” Sansa sneers.
Dany raises her eyebrow.
“Yes, even up North, we’ve heard that you married your nephew who turned up out of nowhere,” Sansa says smugly.
“Who I married, is none of the North’s business,” she answers coldly, not giving anything away.
“It is our business because Jon followed you,” Sansa says, “you seduced him like the foreign whore you are, used him and when he was no longer of use you threw him away.”
He’s had enough. Stepping out of the shadows he makes his way up the steps towards his throne.
“Enough!” he announces, stepping next to his Queen.
“Jon!” Arya exclaims, trying to get close to him, but the guards immediately stop her.
“You stand in the presence of Aegon Targaryen, Sixth of his Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Realm and the Five Kingdoms, son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark,” Tyrion announces with a smirk.
He enjoys watching the reality sink into the lords before them and into his cousins, but makes sure to hide it.
“Y…you’re the King?” Sansa stammers out.
“What are you doing here?” he asks, ignoring her.
“Jon…” Arya starts.
“I asked you a question,” he interrupts.
“We…we…” one of the girls stutters.
“Congratulations,” Bran interrupts, drawing his and his wife’s attention. “On your son’s name day. I apologize in my sisters' behalf for intruding and interrupting this day."
Dany smiles at Bran and so does he.
“Thank you, Lord Stark,” Dany says at the same time he speaks.
“Thank you, Bran,” he answers, before turning to look at his cousins. “You all have arrived here on my son’s name day, the first one that is actually going to be celebrated after all the reconstruction that has been done throughout our Kingdoms, uninvited and hostile. Not only have you arrived making unfounded accusations and demands but also hurling insults towards my wife. Unless you bend the knee right now this audience is over.”
No one moves, no one speaks and so he takes his wife’s hand and guides her away.
“Jon, please! We’re your family!” he hears Arya shout out.
He freezes hating the fact that they’re once again trying to manipulate him. He turns around and looks at them again.
“It’s Aegon, my name is Aegon, it’s the name my mother bestowed upon me and the one I carry with pride. No amount of your begging or crying is going to change the fact that I gave you all a chance, more than one in fact to respect me and my wife, but all you’ve done and continued to do is try to manipulate the love and respect I had for Ned Stark to your convenience,” he practically growls at them.
“Our father protected you, you owe the Starks your life!” Sansa exclaims.
“And you owe me and Daenerys yours!” he yells back. “I saved you all without me and the Queen you all would have been part of the army of the dead! Never forget that! I owe you all nothing!”
There’s a roar outside the keep and he feels Dany’s hand trying to calm him.
“Now if you excuse us, we need to attend to our son’s celebration,” he says.
Turning and finally leaving the Starks behind him.