276 AC

A Dragon's Roar

By Spectre4hire

4: Introductions


"Will you stop pacing," Cersei complained, "You're giving me a headache."

Jaime looked over his shoulder to see his sister was glaring at him. An intimidating look that use to have him wilt to her commands, but not anymore. It only amused him now. He offered her a shrug and a smile, knowing that would further incense her.

It did. Her eyes narrowed upon realizing her stare did nothing to affect him. A look of irritation passed over her face before she decided to change her approach.

"I don't understand why you're so worked up over this," Cersei noted, "After all, we're waiting for the Dornish party not the royal party," She didn't hide her distaste for their pending Dornish guests.

"A guest is a guest, sweet sister," Jaime replied, silently pleased at how easy it was for him to get under her skin. She really was bad at this, he thought wryly.

"And we know what guest you have your eyes on, brother," Cersei's lips curved up, clearly pleased with herself, "Though, why you're so fascinated by this plain girl is beyond me."

"She's not plain," Jaime protested hotly, "She's beautiful!" he declared before he could stop himself, inwardly chiding himself for letting his sister get the better of him. He wanted to change that.

"And she's not a girl," he corrected his sister, "But a woman, unlike you."

He knew his words hit the mark by how his sister's face flushed in anger, green eyes glaring at him as sharp as daggers, her hands clenched at her side, a snarl nearly escaping her lips at being unfavorabley compared to the Dornish Princess.

"Cersei!" Tyrion came into the room, oblivious to the heated exchange that had passed between his siblings. He was smiling as he waddled to approach them, going to his sister first since she was closer.

Cersei's anger faded in an instant at the sound of her brother's voice, spinning away from Jaime and towards Tyrion, where her smile was bright and genuine as she carefully crouched down as to not dirty her new dress to greet her brother. "Tyrion," She replied with equal affection as she hugged him when he was close enough. "You look so handsome," she cooed, kissing his cheek before letting go.

"You think so?" He looked down at his attire.

"Oh yes," Jaime answered before his sister could, "It isn't fair you know," Jaime stepped over to greet his brother, sending him a mocking frown, "No one's going to notice me, now!"

Tyrion giggled, face lighting up at Jaime's words.

Jaime smiled down at his brother before picking him up, much to Tyrion's delight, and spinning him which only brought more laughter and cheers. Jaime too couldn't help but join in, finding his brother's mirth infectious. The threat of dizziness finally brought Jaime to halt in his spinning and to put his brother back down.

Tyrion didn't hide his disappointment, but his face remained red with mirth. "I'm ready to do my duty for House Lannister." He declared with as much seriousness as a three year old could muster.

Jaime smiled, looking over his brother to see a similar smile on his sister's face, who was looking down at Tyrion with unhidden affection. In that instant, he couldn't help but notice how beautiful his sister looked, golden hair that cascaded down past her shoulders, bright green eyes that now shined with fondness instead of hooded with annoyance which Jaime often found himself the reason or center of.

However, with that observation of her beauty, he felt nothing else. There was no stirring in his chest or his pulse quickening as it did whenever he thought about Princess Elia, or the knots that formed in his stomach when he corresponded with her where he worried over every word he put to parchment.

Those feelings for his sister were no longer there. As it had been when they were younger and they had spent all their time together. He could recall how he would do anything for her if it got him a hug or a kiss to his cheek. Or even that time when they shared more than brief kiss before their mother had found them and stopped them at once.

Now, thinking of that memory, Jaime didn't find himself elated but ashamed at what had transpired between him and his sister. No longer thought with fondness, but regret, it was now a secret he hoped would never be revealed.

Cersei must have noticed his gaze as her eyes shifted from Tyrion towards him, her smile which she had been directing at their younger brother, remained, though her eyes had a curious hue to them.

He smiled at her as well before sending her a wink and was pleased when she rolled her eyes at him. Even though their relationship had changed as they grew older and they were no longer as intimate as friends and confidants like they once had been, that didn't change Jaime's feelings for his sister. He still cared and loved her even if she could drive him crazy with her streaks of jealousy or her vain outlook.

Then again wasn't that the point of siblings, Jaime found himself realizing, to love each other despite our differences and frustrations.

"You're going to make House Lannister very proud," Cersei assured Tyrion, breaking Jaime out of his reverie.

"I will," Tyrion tilted his head up proudly.

"Speaking of Lannister pride," Cersei remarked, "I'm thankful you shaved that ridiculous moustache before our guests arrived."

"I liked it!" Tyrion piped up before Jaime could address his sister's teasing, "It looked like a fuzzy caterpillar was sleeping on your lip."

Cersei giggled madly at that description, and Jaime snorted in amusement before laughter followed at his brother's innocence. Tyrion joined in on the laughter, mismatched eyes shining bright, smiling widely.

That was how their parents found them minutes later to let them know the Dornish party had been sighted.

"You look beautiful," Jaime found himself saying as he escorted Princess Elia and her brother, Prince Oberyn to their guest chambers within Casterly Rock.

His excitement and nervousness had wrestled in his stomach like writhing, fighting snakes as he had waited for the Dornish Party to arrive. He had volunteered to escort them when they had been spotted, but his father had declined, giving the task to his brother, Jaime's uncle, Ser Kevan.

So, he waited. Jaime hated waiting. He didn't like the idea of not doing anything, finding it boring and frustrating. A waste of time, when he could be doing something, but instead he was forced not to. Another reason for his dislike of it was that, he had no distractions, allowing his feelings to stew in his gut as time stretched on at a slow pace, forcing him to confront his mounting anxiety at Elia's pending presence.

"You've said that once or twice already," Oberyn quipped, not bothering to hide his amusement.

"Oberyn," Elia playfully scolded her brother before turning back to Jaime where she smiled at him, a smile that made Jaime's heartbeat quicken and his stomach to do tumbles. "Thank you, Jaime."

He returned his smile, silently pleased at how receptive the princess had been to his words. A compliment that he didn't think could be understated, sneaking a glance at the Dornish princess who walked in step with him. Her hair was as dark as a raven's wing, cascading down her back. Her eyes were dark and warm, with a kind smile that only made her more alluring to him.

She was dressed in Martell orange in a thin fabric that clung to olive skin to reveal her womanly curves. It was not just the thin fabric that had Jaime distracted but the cut of the dress, short sleeved and a low cut that gave him glimpses of her bronzed skin. A golden necklace of interwoven suns helped to accentuate her long neck.

She had his full attention in that dress. Oberyn could be walking naked beside Jaime as far as he knew, but his eyes wouldn't leave the beautiful princess. He wasn't sure anything could distract him from her beauty.

She was a vision, Jaime realized, The Maiden made flesh.

Tyrion had giggled at Oberyn's jape, snapping Jaime away from his thoughts on Elia, as he looked to his other side where he was holding Tyrion's hand. His younger brother had been adamant in joining them when Jaime had offered to escort them to their chambers.

Elia had responded with a warm smile at Tyrion before declaring how happy she'd be at his presence.

She is the Maiden, Jaime thought, not just because of her beauty but the kindness she was quick to bestow upon others including his brother.

"How was your trip?" Jaime found himself asking when the lull of conversation seemed to stretch too long to his liking. He inwardly cringed at his own question, hoping it didn't sound as dull as he feared.

"Uneventful," Oberyn answered, a touch of annoyance in his tone to convey he was disappointed by that fact.

"Is that what you called that innkeeper's daughter?" Elia teased her brother.

Oberyn grinned at that, "Never," he feigned hurt at his sister's accusation, "She was a fun distraction in a boring place."

"With words like that, brother, no wonder you swept her off her feet and into your bed," Elia observed with a dark eyebrow arched.

"Nothing so amoral," Oberyn held up his hands in defense, "just a few kisses," he winked.

Elia rolled her eyes at her brother's antics, while an ignorant Tyrion smiled detecting the joking mood that had settled over the siblings even if he couldn't understand what it was they were talking about.

"I don't think I'm the only one with that on my mind," Oberyn whispered so that only Jaime could hear before elbowing him while he laughed.

Jaime felt heat come to his face at the Dornish prince's insinuation. Looking down at where he walked so he didn't have to face Oberyn's teasing eyes and smug grin or Elia's inquisitive gaze, curious at what had been shared between them.

Was he that obvious, he worried, upon Oberyn's remarks, wondering if the Prince could detect Jaime's obvious infatuation with Elia did that mean she could as well?

That thought caused his stomach to lurch, anxiety bubbling within, as he wasn't sure he could take Elia's disinterest or worse pity, when it came to her feelings for him.

"Here we are," Tyrion's words brought Jaime's attention back to their surroundings to realize they had arrived at the two guest chambers where the Dornish Prince and Princess would be residing throughout the tournament.

The servants of the Dornish party had already begun to move their trunks and belongings into the chambers where the Prince and Princess would be staying, silently bustling back and forth as to avoid and not to interfere with the talk of their masters.

"Wonderful," Oberyn sounded pleased upon reaching his room, going to the doorway and looking inside where he let out an appreciative whistle, "I should stay with you Lannisters more often."

"Hardly," Elia injected, "You're an acquired taste, brother."

Oberyn laughed, shrugging at his sister's observation. "I suppose you're right." He admitted, not looking the least bit put out by his sister's jest. "But still, I could appreciate this sort of hospitality."

"We're your hosts," Tyrion declared happily, "If we can help we will."

Oberyn turned towards Tyrion with a smile, not one made to mock, but a genuine one, "And we are honored," he bowed his head.

"Yes, we are," Elia happily agreed to her brother's words, looking down at Tyrion with a smile, before she bent down and kissed Tyrion's cheek much to his surprise and delight. "Thank you."

"My lady," Tyrion responded, bowing his head, but Jaime caught a bit of red on his brother's cheeks from the kiss, not that Jaime could fault his brother for that. Who wouldn't react in such a way when kissed by the most beautiful woman in Westeros? He squashed the small sliver of envy that decided to grip his heart at the kiss Elia had given to Tyrion.

She then turned to Jaime, still smiling, being the center of that smile, Jaime thought it appropriate that her family's sigil was the sun, given the warmth and beauty that seemed to resonate from the Dornish Princess.

"Thank you, Jaime," without hesitation she moved and placed a similar kiss to his cheek.

"My lady," he replied, feeling a soothing warmth from where her lips had touched his cheek, her kiss had lingered with him, he thought or hoped. Ignoring the tumbling of his stomach, he reached for her hand and kissed the back of it, "Until evenfall," he was silently pleased when he thought he detected a faint coloring of her cheeks from his gesture.

"Until tonight," she echoed, her eyes locked on his.

That wonderful moment passed between them for another heartbeat or two before it was broken by the Dornish prince.

Oberyn snorted, "where's my kiss?"

"Few are that brave," Elia japed at her brother earning a chuckle out of him.

"My lady," Tyrion wanting to mimic Jaime, stepped forward, trying to reach for her hand.

Elia indulged him, placing her hand within reach of him where he kissed the back of it, looking pleased with himself.

Jaime withheld the chuckle that threatened to slip from his lips at his brother, instead settling for tousling his hair when he came to stand beside him once more.

"Elia," Jaime called back to her when she had moved towards her chambers, she stopped and turned to him, "I would be honored if you'd let me escort you to the feast tonight."

Elia answered him with a bright smile. "I would very much like that, Jaime." She curtseyed to him, sending him and Tyrion one last friendly smile before disappearing into her room.

Jaime stood there quietly pleased with how that had turned out for him. His confidence further bolstered by their interactions no matter how brief, had him feeling hopeful that she could very well be feeling something similar towards him as what he felt for her.

"My, oh my," Oberyn's voice pulled Jaime's attention towards the Dornish prince who was leaning in the doorway of his chambers, his arms crossed, and grinning, "It looks to me I may be getting another brother." He chuckled at that, clearly amused at the situation, "And if that's the case," he sobered with his next words, "I cannot think of a better match for my sister." With that, he bowed his head to Jaime and Tyrion before retreating into his chambers, closing the door behind him.

"What does that mean?" Tyrion scrunched his face, trying to figure out what the Dornish prince was alluding to.

"Nothing to concern yourself with, brother," Jaime then picked up his brother without warning, confidence soaring through him as Tyrion squealed in happiness. "Come, let's go find mother and father."

With that Jaime carried Tyrion back towards their family wing, feeling lighter than air and with a smile that he couldn't lose.


"Finally," King Aerys the second of his name, groused as the royal party had finally arrived outside the great golden hall of Casterly Rock. "What a maze," the king continued with his complaining.

Daeron on the other hand had been disappointed that they had finally arrived at their destination. He had been in awe at the sight of Casterly Rock from the first time he had seen it on the horizon. He had read tales and history of its size, how it stood taller than either the Wall in the north or the Hightower in Oldtown, but to see it with his eyes was a distinct experience entirely.

There was no dispute that this was the largest, wealthiest, and most formidable castle in all of Westeros. Taking in its size and fortifications, Daeron understood now why this castle had never been taken in a siege. He wasn't certain that it could be done by the hands of man. How could one topple such a behemoth? It loomed over the city of Lannisport like a large, skulking stone beast.

Once they were inside, Daeron found new ways to be impressed with how rooms, halls and chambers had been carved from the mineshafts. The walls were awash with the red and gold trappings of House Lannister. Roaring lions, proud and tall looked down on them from cloth and stone alike, as they moved deeper into the seat of House Lannister where its lord and family were waiting for them.

While Dragonstone was cold, wet, and gloomy, Casterly Rock was bright and warm and had its own life which Daeron admired.

Ser Tygett Lannister, younger brother of Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, and Hand of the King took the king's words without reaction, instead signaling to the guards to open the doors, which they did.

Glimmering gold greeted Daeron's eyes once the doors opened revealing how the Golden Hall got its name. Daeron's head turned this way and that as he tried to take in the great sight before him.

A large, cavernous hall that had been dug out centuries ago by past Lannister kings to serve to entertain and impress foes and friends alike. Tall pillars gilded in gold lined the room, up above golden chandeliers hung resembling clouds of gold each one holding hundreds of candles. Tables and benches were scattered about with so many years, Daeron thought this room could probably hold a thousand guests if needed.

Red tapestries of golden lions hung proudly on the walls, none bigger than the one behind the lord's table where it stretched down more than twenty feet, the golden lion emblazoned on it was as large as a giant.

There standing beneath the towering lion was another such lion, Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, and Hand of the King. The man stood tall and proud, short blonde hair rested atop his head like a golden crown. His tunic, doublet, breeches all in red, a golden lion pendant clasped at his collar to keep his gold colored cape in place, around his neck was a chain of golden hands, the finger of each clasping the wrist of the next.

"Your Grace," Tywin Lannister greeted them cordially, bowing as he spoke, his wife and children followed his example where they stood behind him. "It is an honor that you accepted our invitation."

"Yes, yes," Aerys waved off Tywin's greeting with an annoyed hand, his eyes moving from his Hand to the Hand's wife, where a smile spread across his face, "Lady Joanna," he beckoned her closer, "You are a vision."

Joanna Lannister moved towards the king. "Your Grace," She curtseyed. "You are too kind."

"Pah," Aerys dismissed her tone, "We're friends, Joanna," his eyes not shying away from her figure, he then took her hand which she did not offer, placing a kiss to the back of it. "Your sight is a refreshing reprieve to a tired traveler."

Daeron noticed how Lord Tywin's green eyes flecked with gold were staring at his father, his mouth pressed so thin that it looked like it may disappear. While Daeron observed the Hand's anger, he too experienced his own at his father's disrespect of their mother.

A scene that did not go unnoticed by the large noble crowd that had come to Lannisport for the tournament, but here in the Golden Hall only the most powerful and richest nobles were given a seat. Not to mention the Royal party and part of the court his father had been inclined to take with him.

"Let me see the children," Aerys ordered.

"Proudly," Joanna answered smoothly, taking in stride his father's tone and demand. "Jaime and Cersei, who you've already met."

Daeron hadn't seen the children of Lord Tywin and Lady Joanna since he was a boy no older than five or six. And then he had barely made their acquaintances. The Hand of the King kept his family at the Rock while he resided in King's Landing.

Jaime was a year younger than Daeron, but stood tall like his father and would probably only continue to grow. His hair was gold and curled. He had bright green eyes, an easy smile which complimented his handsome features which were sure to make girls swoon.

When their eyes met, Jaime bowed his head before offering a friendly smile which Daeron found himself returning, thinking he could find a friend in Tywin's son and heir.

Daeron then shifted his attention to Jaime's twin sister. She had long golden hair that fell past her shoulders, emerald green eyes, fair skin, slender. She was cute and he had no doubt that she'd grow into a beautiful woman. She felt his eyes on him and turned to meet his stare, a challenging gaze but just as quickly she looked away. He followed her gaze to see she was staring at his brother, Rhaegar with undisguised affection.

Like my brother would notice, Daeron snorted in amusement. He looked to see Rhaegar take in the introductions with his typical detachedness that Daeron had grown accustomed from his older brother.

"They've grown," Aerys' eyes barely took in their appearance before they shifted to the small boy that stood between the twins, "But it is your new son that interests me." His tone not hiding his glee, "Step forward, little one."

Daeron had overlooked the youngest son of Tywin and Joanna when inspecting the twins. He saw a boy no older than three or four who when standing straight still came to a height below the knees of his siblings. He was a dwarf, with a jutted forehead, mismatched eyes of green and black, and pale, coarse hair.

He shyly stepped forward, "Your Grace," he said timidly, giving the king a small, clumsy bow as he did.

To Daeron's shame, Aerys looked delighted. "What a Lannister," His father proclaimed in a mocking tone, "I can see the resemblance of your father."

The Golden Hall filled with snickering and murmuring of the king's veiled but obvious insult of his host.

Daeron stood awkwardly, quiet and still as he was unsure how to address his father's words without earning his wrath. He looked to see angry looks coming from Jaime and Cersei being directed at the king before the latter had Tyrion return to their side. The poor boy who was innocent and ignorant of the jape being directed at him.

"Your Grace," Tywin said stiffly, "Let us break bread and drink," he gestured to the lord's table, "And let this feast commence with your blessing."

Aerys met Tywin's stare with a scowl as if he was about to protest at being dictated to before the king changed his mind, and acquiesced, "wise words from my wise councilor," Aerys announced to the gathered crowd, "Let us enjoy this bounty provided by the Lannisters but made possible by your king."

"What do you think of our home, Prince Daeron?"

Daeron turned to see Tywin's youngest son, Tyrion was the one to have addressed him. The young boy sitting on some sort of wooden block that had been added to the bench that allowed him to sit above the table like the rest of them.

The table he found himself sitting at was one closest to the lord's table, where Daeron sat with all three of Lord Tywin's children as well as the Dornish Prince and Princess, Oberyn and Elia. While the Lord's table was occupied by Aerys, Rhaegar, Tywin, and his wife, Joanna.

Daeron couldn't complain about the company enjoying his time with the Lannisters and Martells. As he was already familiar with the latter as they had come to King's Landing on more than one occasion. The only person who wasn't joining in on their friendly conversation was Cersei who had taken a seat at the table that looked towards the lord's table and there she sat, barely eating, watching Rhaegar, who seemed oblivious to her stares.

"It's wonderful, Tyrion," Daeron answered, "Surely a castle worth boasting of."

"It is," Tyrion was all too happy to agree. His inquisitive and mismatched eyes remained on him. "Is it true about the dragon skulls in the Great Hall?"

"Yes." Daeron confirmed, "they line our Great Hall."

"Including Balerion?" Tyrion didn't hide his enthusiasm. "It was said he could plunge towns in darkness since his wings were capable of blocking the sun!" Tyrion said excitedly, "Or that he could swallow an auroch whole!"

"Yes, Balerion's skull resides in the Great Hall, an impressive sight," Daeron confirmed, "his teeth are as large as swords," Daeron revealed, noticing the look of wonder on the boy's face. "You know your dragons, master Tyrion."

Tyrion beamed in pride, "I've always wanted to ride one," he admitted. "Then when it flies I'll be taller then everyone!"

The table sobered at the young boy's honest confession. Princess Elia looking at him with pity, but a reassuring smile, Oberyn had a pensive look, Jaime who was sitting beside his brother, patted him on the shoulder, even Cersei who had been gawking at Rhaegar and hadn't said three words to them had turned her attention to her youngest brother, who sat across from her. She gave him a sympathetic look before patting his hand.

"You would make a fine dragon rider," Daeron declared with an encouraging smile.

"It would be quite the sight," Elia added.

"Indeed," Daeron agreed, looking to see their words had the desired effect on the boy.

"How goes your training, Prince Daeron?" Oberyn asked.

"Better," Daeron answered, "But far from great."

"We should spar soon," Oberyn was grinning, "I never get tired of besting you."

Daeron took the playful ribbing with a smile, "That's because of that blasted spear you wield." He had yet to find a way to beat the Dornish Prince the few times they had sparred when the Dornish had visited the capital.

"My spear does have great reach," Oberyn winked at him.

"Really Oberyn?" Elia sounded resign at her brother's attempt at innuendo.

Daeron took it with a laugh, "We most certainly should spar but only when it doesn't take away from my duties as squire."

"Who are you squiring for?" That had gotten Jaime's interest.

"Ser Barristan Selmy," Daeron couldn't help but savor the reaction his answer had gotten from Jaime, the heir to Casterly Rock took it with equal parts disbelief and envy.

"Barristan the Bold?" Jaime repeated, "He's the greatest swordsman in Westeros!"

"He is," Daeron agreed, "And I am."

"I could only hope to squire for such a knight," Jaime's tone turned wistful.

"You could join one of my sessions if you like?" Daeron offered.

"Really?" Jaime's face brightened, "I wouldn't miss it."

"Good," Daeron was pleased that he accepted. "I'll have someone send for you tomorrow after the tournament."

"Thank you," Jaime replied sincerely.

Daeron took his thanks with a smile. "It's my pleasure." He then turned to the Dornish Prince, "what say you, Oberyn?"

"Pass," he declined, "I have other ways of occupying my time then watching men fight," he grinned, "But do let me know when you're ready to spar."

"I will," Daeron assured him. "I'll beat you this time."

Oberyn took his confidence with a snort of amusement. "Doubtful, but even princes have their delusions."

"Who do you think will win the tournament?" Jaime asked.

"Ser Barristan," who else could Daeron pick?

"Only because of his helpful squire," Elia teased.

Daeron chuckled, "Mayhaps."

"It's Rhaegar," Cersei answered, surprising them all by joining their conversation when all evening she showed no desire to speak with them instead settling for sitting and staring at the Crown Prince.

"You sound confident," Daeron pointed out.

"He is the best," Cersei answered in a tone that conveyed it was the most simplest thing to understand,

"Is that so he can crown you his Queen when he wins?" Jaime smirked.

Cersei scowled in her brother's direction, but not before her eyes glazed over briefly at that thought signaling how enticing she found the idea.

"I hate to disappoint you," Oberyn injected, "But the winner will be Ser Arthur Dayne."

"Ashara would be pleased," Elia sounded to be in support of her brother's prediction.

Jaime looked at them in amusement, "Picking a fellow Dornishman?"

"Why not?" Elia raised a dark eyebrow, a challenging smile on her lips. "We are the best."

Oberyn laughed at his sister's declaration before nodding, "My sister speaks truly."

Daeron too chuckled along with the Dornish Prince and Princess as did Jaime, who while laughing wouldn't take his eyes off the Dornish beauty. Tyrion joined them, oblivious to the joke, but not wanting to be left out. Cersei however, didn't look too impressed at Elia's playful declarations, giving the princess a once over with a disapproving look, before settling her focus back on Rhaegar.

All in all, Daeron couldn't have imagined a better start to his time at Casterly Rock.