You Don't Own Me
A/N: Okay, so I've seen the first five or so episodes of Game of Thrones – and quickly found myself addicted! Now, I haven't read the books, but I have been reliably informed of Joffrey's fate. This is a bit of an AU, I guess. For the purposes of this fic, Joffrey is nineteen, Sansa is eighteen and Arya is sixteen. Hope you enjoy! One-shot for now.
King Joffrey Baratheon sat on the Iron Throne with his chin resting on his hand. The expression on his face was one of utter boredom. Since his father's death and subsequent coronation five years ago, Joffrey had assumed that being king meant that he got to do whatever he wanted. Unfortunately, he had quickly been proven wrong. Joffrey's life had quickly been drained to a dull, colourless grey.
His mother, Cersei, had acted as his advisor. She had told him the brutal truth: if he did not live up the people's expectation as king, he would be killed just as Aerys Targaryen was. So Joffrey listened to his mother…until he was seventeen and started to get the knack of things, making decisions for himself. Then he told Cersei to shut up or he would shut her up. She was smart enough to know what that meant.
At his mother's insistence, Joffrey had selected his uncle Jaime as his Hand. Jaime knew well enough what to do without Joffrey's advice. Dragging out those who were disloyal was no hard task for a man like Jaime.
The problem was, life as the king was so terribly boring. The public executions, which Joffrey found thoroughly entertaining, were all too scarce nowadays. Tournaments only occurred when Cersei and Jaime saw fit to put their heads together and organize one.
Even the throne room was a dark, dreary place. The only reason Joffrey spent so much time there was because he enjoyed sitting on the Iron Throne, revelling in the fact that he was king. Of course, it didn't exactly mean much, but he was still king nonetheless.
There were hardly any prisoners to torture and those who were still alive in the dungeons were not worth their effort in their various states of insanity. Anyone who spoke up against King Joffrey was punished severely.
Perhaps the most restrictive force on Joffrey's life was his wife, Sansa. She had been so very besotted with him when they were younger, but now she knew all about Joffrey's sadistic tendencies and violent behaviour. Currently pregnant and sullen, Sansa was not a very interesting character in Joffrey's life. Perhaps once she'd given birth to their child, he'd kill her…it was a very appealing notion. She was most annoying.
"Your Majesty," Jaime entered the throne room, accompanied by several members of the Kingsguard…and half-dragging a dark-haired girl in with him. "We have found someone that has been missing for quite some time. We thought her dead."
Jaime threw the girl unceremoniously at Joffrey's feet. She hit the stone floor with complaint and when she raised her head to glower at the king with murderous hatred, it was those bright blue eyes that identified her. Clad in the clothing of a peasant, this was Arya Stark. Smirking down at her, Joffrey waved a careless hand towards Jaime and the Kingsguard.
"Leave us. I will deal with her accordingly."
Jaime inclined his head and marched out of the room, as did the others. Joffrey waited for a few moments before the clattering of swords and boots had faded to nothing but in echo in the corridors. He stood, clasping his hands behind his back as he observed Arya, who had clambered to her feet and wiped blood away from her lip.
The last time he had seen Arya Stark, she had been a pestilent eleven-year-old brat. She had escaped five years ago when Joffrey had authorised the execution of her father, Eddard Stark. In fact Arya had been missing for such a long time that Joffrey had presumed her dead. Even Sansa had not believed her younger sister would still be alive.
"So." Joffrey paced around Arya, making her feel as though he was the predator and she was the prey – which in essence was the truth. "You survived."
His cold blue eyes roved lazily up and down her slender frame, inspecting the changes five years had rendered. A young woman of sixteen, Arya could never be mistaken for a boy now. She had a woman's curves and as Joffrey inspected her defiant face, there was no doubting that she was beautiful, perhaps even more beautiful than Sansa.
"Are you disappointed?" she shot at him, her hands balling into fists, "I would have thought you would be delighted at getting to kill me yourself."
She had not changed from when they had been young. Arya had always been outspoken then and it would appear that fact had not changed. Joffrey still remembered, with growing anger, when Arya had taken a swipe at him for hurting the butcher's boy, how her direwolf had attacked him. He had not yet had retribution for that – and the promise of revenge tasted sweet on his lips.
"Oh, I'm not going to kill you, Arya…not yet."
Arya's sharp eyes remained on him the whole time as he paced around her. There was only anger and defiance in her expression. There was no fear of him, no fear of what he was capable of inflicting upon her. But that was alright…Joffrey was certain that he would make her afraid yet.
"Should you not bow?" Joffrey questioned, turning to face her, his eyes horribly cold and empty and his lips curved into a barbed-wire smile of amusement. "I am, after all, your king."
Arya's response was to laugh mirthlessly and spit at Joffrey's feet. "You will never be my king."
Joffrey wondered if she understood just how dangerous a game she was playing. Arya was about to step over a line that could earn her certain death. Yet for some reason, Joffrey did not want to kill her yet. First of all, he would stamp out her spirit. First of all, he would break her.
Joffrey took a step forward and backhanded Arya across the face. No sound escaped her mouth, which he found strange. Her own sister cried and pleaded whenever Joffrey abused her in such a manner. Arya's head cracked back with the force of the blow, but there was still that same fire in her eyes when she looked at him again.
"I said," he hissed, "Bow."
Arya observed Joffrey quite calmly. This girl infuriated Joffrey. While grown men would be reduced to weeping wrecks, pleading for his mercy, Arya Stark stood before him and dared to defy him, dared although it might mean her death.
"You don't own me," she told him.
Joffrey's booted feet clacked across the stone floor towards Arya. She took one wary step back after another, until something solid hit her heel and she realized that she had backed up into the wall. Joffrey smirked in triumph and placed his arms either side of her head, effectively trapping her.
"Not yet. But how do you think you stand a chance, Arya? Your sister is my wife, your brothers are cowering in the north and your father is dead."
Arya rolled her eyes in disgust and attempted to turn her head, but Joffrey gripped her chin and forced her to look him in the eye. There was just something so horribly empty about him, so terrifying about the cruel smile that played about his lips.
Joffrey was frustrated and yet intrigued. He had always been spoilt when he was younger, getting what he wanted. Now what he wanted, to his utter astonishment, was Arya Stark. He enjoyed the way she pushed back and although he reluctantly admired her spirit, he would relish breaking it.
"I'm not afraid of you," Arya snarled at him, her eyes flaming with rage, "You might have torn apart my family, but I know exactly what you're like. Sansa couldn't see it, but I always did. You can throw around your weight all you want and use your power as king…but you're still a cowardly little boy underneath it all."
Joffrey bared his teeth at the force of her words. How dare she speak to him in such a manner! He was the king, dammit, and he would make her show respect. Joffrey's hand moved down to grip Arya by the throat and she grimaced but still said nothing.
"I could hurt you," he spat at her, gripping her throat even tighter so that Arya struggled piteously in his grasp and clawed at his arm, attempting to pry him off, unable to breathe. "I could kill you with my bare hands. Does that not frighten you?"
Arya laughed, a hoarse sound but a laugh nonetheless. "I will never fear you, because I know what you're capable of."
Joffrey wanted to vent his anger, but he knew better than that. If Arya could play the calm card, then so could he. His hand relaxed around Arya's throat, but he did not release her. With his free hand, he traced a finger down Arya's cheek and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. He smirked as her eyes widened in shock.
"Do you fear me now?"
Arya's eyes told Joffrey what her mouth would not. She did fear him, because this was Joffrey behaving in a way in which Arya did not comprehend. He was dangerous and now she wasn't sure what he was capable of. Joffrey reached out to touch her face again, but Arya smacked his hand away with sudden violence.
"Don't touch me."
"Or what?" demanded Joffrey, grabbing her forcefully by the upper arms and slamming her into the wall so hard that her head bounced and she winced. He laughed in an almost deranged manner. "Or what, Arya Stark? What power do you hold over the king? Your father thought he had the power to create change. Do you remember what happened to your father?"
He was deliberately taunting her now. Arya felt the tears pricking at the corners of her eyes, but refused to let them spill. She was strong now. She would not let Joffrey have control over her. Instead she narrowed her eyes and looked brazenly up at him.
"What do you want?" she whispered, genuinely unsure. If Joffrey wanted her dead, he would have killed her as he had her father. If he wanted her tortured, he would have got Jaime to toss her in the dungeons.
"Power," Joffrey replied, his grip tightening like a vice around each of Arya's arms, "Power that you will grant me, Arya, for I am your king. Power that comes from having the loyalty of the people."
"You expect me to bow down before you as my father did before yours?" Arya asked incredulously, "Respect must be earned. That seems to be something you haven't learned yet."
A muscle twitched in Joffrey's cheek and he raised a hand as if to slap her, but Arya was quicker. She curled her hand into a fist and punched him in the face, an offense that would no doubt cost her life. Yet somehow, she no longer cared. Joffrey stumbled backwards and Arya broke free of him, knowing there was nowhere she could run, nowhere she could be safe…because Joffrey would find her.
"You little bitch," Joffrey spat at her, marching towards her. Arya stood her ground, knowing that this was different from when they were young. Joffrey now stood at nearly six feet tall, towering over her. She braced herself for his violent vengeance. "You will pay dearly for that."
Joffrey grabbed Arya and threw her to the ground. He was angry, because he didn't want whinging, moping Sansa, but her younger sister. He wanted Arya and he shouldn't. Of course Joffrey knew it was perfectly feasible for him to go to the brothels if he wanted pleasure…but he wanted someone with fire, someone who would fight back. That way, he would enjoy breaking them even more.
Joffrey crouched down beside Arya. She was dazed and she struggled to get up, but Joffrey grab a handful of her dark hair and forced her back down. She gritted her teeth and kicked at him, but he swung his head out of the way just in time.
"Let go of me," Arya insisted, sounding on the verge of tears. "Throw me in the dungeons or kill me…but I've had enough of your sick games. You're just like your mother."
Joffrey chuckled darkly at that. "My mother once told me if I wanted to fuck painted whores, I would fuck painted whores, and if I wanted to lie with noble virgins, so be it. But I don't want them. I don't even want your sister Sansa. It's you, Arya. I don't know why, but it is you I want."
"It's me you're not going to get," Arya quipped.
Joffrey sneered as he pulled her to her feet, the clacking footsteps alerting him to the return of Jaime and several other soldiers. He dragged Arya over to Jaime by the hair and shoved her unceremoniously from him.
"Lock her up," Joffrey instructed, then he turned his attention to Arya, "You would do best to think on what I have said. Never fear, Arya; you haven't seen the last of me. When I come to you next, I expect you to have made a decision."
Arya was puzzled as to exactly what Joffrey meant, but she shook her head vigorously.
"I think I'll be content to rot in my cell, your Majesty."