A/N: I couldn't sit on this any longer spinning my wheels. I may add another scene or two, but this epilogue was always supposed to be just a couple glimpses into the future, not a long stay.
A Dragon's Roar
44: 283 AC: Outro
They love us.
She could hear them from outside her small carriage. Their gratitude, their devotion, she had earned it. She did not need to look out the window to see her people lining both sides of the narrow streets of the capital to know they were out there. Their cheers washed over her, she had worked to make their homes better, the streets safer, their city cleaner. It was not without setbacks, and she knew there was more work to do, but this, she allowed herself to enjoy.
The reason for her traveling stirred in her arms. Her precious prince, her handsome heir, was to be anointed in the seven oils, named in the rainbow of light at the Sept of Baelor by the High Septon. Cersei would make sure every corner in the city would celebrate this occasion, to celebrate their future king. There would be food and entertainment, let them see how blessed they are under our rule. In the midst of their jubilation, another feast would be held within the Red Keep, presided over by her and her husband, their king.
From outside her carriage, she could hear her husband's laughter, and her brother's voice. She was disappointed she could not ride in her usual carriage, there she'd have room for her friends, but in this part of the city, the streets were too narrow. A bump in the road nearly made her bite her lip. These need to be tended to, she thought, frustrated at these uneven roads. Her prince nuzzled against her, small and sweet, and perfect, she held him close.
It was too early to tell the color of his eyes, but he already had his father's coloring, curls of silver hair crowning his small head. She placed a few light kisses against his brow, her heart overflowing with affection for him. My son, she kissed him again, smiling when he garbled a response. "Do you hear them?" She asked him, giggling at how perfect he looked to her. "Those are your people, sweetling," she told him, "One day they will be your responsibility," she continued, "But that day is far from now, very far." Now, she wished she had not spoken of it, to broach this future because to dwell on her son becoming king meant to dwell on her husband's death. Her stomach turned, but she would not let this fleeting second of consternation ruin this perfect day.
The carriage finally came to a thankful halt. She heard the footsteps knowing who'd they be before the door to her carriage opened, her husband's head poked in, smiling. "Are you ready?" His eyes went from her to their son in her arms. The best of both of them, she thought, she hoped.
"We are," she smiled, his presence instantly brightening her mood. She took his offered hand, carefully cradling their child, she stepped out of the carriage into the sunlight to become the sole focus of the clustered smallfolk who had gathered outside the Sept. They were kept at a safe distance, but close enough to see them. A great cheer went up at her appearance, she smiled, and waved which only fanned their adoration for them.
Ahead on the steps, she saw Jaime and Elia waiting, more Targaryen guards lined both sides of the stairwell. Two kingsguard knights waited at the top, while Lord Commander Barristan was at her husband's elbow and Prince Lewyn and Ser Brynden came from behind to join them having ridden behind her carriage.
The white marble of the Sept of Baelor was always a sight to behold. It was built to impress, to humble nobility and smallfolk alike, to show the grandeur of the Faith, and the magnificence of the Seven. The seven crystal towers were pillars of light, dazzling in the sunlight. The large dome that capped the sept resembled a turtle's shell, made of glass with gold and crystal.
She turned back from the sept to see the sea of people looking out at them, calling to them. It was not the Sept they were admiring, she thought, It was us. She rewarded their fidelity with another wave, seeing her husband following her example. The two of them acknowledging them with Cersei clutching their son and heir brought the loudest cheers. When Daeron kissed her head, they got even louder, while being unaware of their king's hand traveling down her back. Tease, she wanted to admonish him since she was unable to reciprocate with their son in her arms. "Daeron," she warned him, but there wasn't any heat in her tone.
"Shall I take our son so you can have your revenge?" He winked.
Cersei rolled her eyes. She then turned her back to her people, to face him, moving up a step so her mouth was at his ear. "The sweetest revenge, husband, is when you least expect it." She kissed his cheek and began the ascent up the steps.
She smiled where she stood, between the tall, glittering statues of the Father and the Mother. Aware that nearly every eye in the packed Sept was either on her or their son. She had to perfect this sort of smile, needing to look pretty, but modest, warm, but not too inviting. This smile could be straining, but she was too strong to slip.
It did not help her struggle that the High Septon was droning on, reciting important verses from the Seven-Pointed Star. Looking out she saw the meek masks that so much of the nobility were trying to wear, earnest in their faith as if they were all captivated by the High Septon. There had already been songs sung, and prayers heard, and then more readings. Their son stirred in her arms, fussy at the noise, and likely bored by it all.
The High Septon's crown was a gaudy ornament that sat atop his head. It was made of crystal and gold, taller and bigger than either her crown or her husband's. It was a needed decoration for this ceremony, but she didn't like it. She didn't show her distaste for it when he turned to her, where she greeted him with a smile that was bright and convincing.
He smiled and nodded, gesturing to one of his septons to step forward with the needed oils.
Cersei hid her relief behind that polite veneer that she often needed to wear as Queen. Their son was wearing a rainbow sash to reflect the Faith of the Seven and this momentous occasion.
He approached them. She could not help but notice his wrinkled fingers. "May the Father watch over you." With his finger, he lightly drew the seven-pointed star on their son's forehead to anoint him.
She was proud that her boy did not cry. He merely looked up at the High Septon with a curious gaze. More rites were followed, with him beseeching each of the Seven calling for their protection, their wisdom, their strength, their love. All the while Cersei was expected to stand still and look regal instead of bored. When the last one was done, he beckoned them to where the candle was waiting to be lit.
"With this flame speak your son's name," The High Septon instructed them, "Let his fire burn bright, let the rainbow of light fall upon him," he said, raising up his arms, "let us welcome him into our holy fellowship with the Seven bearing witness to your child."
Daeron was the one to light the candle, but together they spoke the expected words. "In the Light of the Seven, with the blessings of the Faith, we name you, Baelon Targaryen."
Daeron Targaryen the Third of His name enjoyed this moment of peace.
He was between his son's naming ceremony and the feast being held to celebrate said ceremony. He was back in the royal quarters having had to change out of what he wore at the Sept and into a different set of royal finery for when he played host to the nobility of the Seven Kingdoms. Many outfits, many expectations.
He had changed and had already inspected his new tunic and trousers, but still he made no move to leave his chambers to set out for the feast. No, he wanted to savor this brief rest. It was not that he was griping about his duties as king. The crown was his and he would not part with it. He understood what would come with it when he set upon this path. The second son with dreams only of Summerhall was gone. They had been buried that day at Harrenhal along with the bones of the men who had tried to ruin him.
The knock on the door stirred him out of his thoughts. He got up from where he was sitting to answer. Barristan looked apologetic when the door opened, he bowed his head.
"Your Grace," he said in greeting, "the nobles are being seated."
"We'll be out shortly." He replied, but Barristan's raised eyebrow showed that the Lord Commander wasn't fooled at his earnestness at getting to the feast quickly.
"What was that?" His wife's voice brought him away from the door. "Was that your mother?" She asked, a hint of worry in her voice. "Do I need to-"
He held up his hands to stop her fretting. "No, it was not my mother," he assured her, knowing how tense Cersei would get at leaving their son to others; neither his mother nor hers were immune to it. "It was merely Barristan informing me of our hungry nobles."
A wash of relief relaxed Cersei's stance from where she was standing. "They squall worse than our boy when hungry."
Daeron smiled, "They do," he agreed, stepping closer to his wife and allowing himself a long second to take her in. She was wearing a black dress, with glittering rubies spread across the bodice. The jewels gleaming against the black silk. She was wearing the golden dragon pendant around her neck. The sleeves were cut with red and black laces, slithering up her arm, exposing her pale skin. Inlaid on her shoulders were embroidered dragons and lions in red. Her hair fell past her shoulders, partially braided to allow her crown to rest comfortably atop her head. "You are as lovely as ever," he complimented, coming to stand behind her.
"You weren't here when I had to have this dress altered," The word brought a brief frown to her lips before she brushed it away, refusing to let any crack in her confidence linger.
"Well, I'll be here when it needs to come off," he promised her, kissing her neck. His fingers coming to rest on her shoulders, she was slightly taut beneath his touch. He tried to banish it with some light kneading. He considered it successful given her reaction to the ministrations.
"Your Grace?" Barristan's voice was never an enjoyable herald when heard in their bed chambers.
"We're walking to the door now," Daeron said without making any move to leave.
"Until this evening, Your Grace," Cersei promised him, before she reluctantly slipped away from him to leave their chambers.
Daeron smiled. He could hardly wait.
"Didn't you have a beard the last time we saw you, Your Grace?"
The official feast was over. The nobles had been thoroughly fed, entertained, and acknowledged for one long evening, but despite the late hour, Daeron still found himself not only awake, but enjoying himself. Most of his guests had excused themselves or had been escorted after too much ale, but a few still lingered. These were the welcomed few who Daeron considered his closest friends.
"I did," Daeron answered Ashara.
The two of them were walking through the corridors. The tip of their group of friends who were spread out around and behind them. They made for quite the sight. Roaming the halls of the Red Keep, laughing and talking loudly. The formalities of the throne room were behind them. Their armored escort surrounded them was a steel shell of black plated guards with two pairs of white cloaks, one in front, the other at their backs. They were heading to the godswood or that had been Daeron's intentions when they had set out on this little adventure.
"It was a handsome beard everyone thought so," he flicked his eyes to where his wife was walking on his other side, "Except for my queen."
"They didn't have to kiss you."
"Too coarse for your lips, Your Grace?" Oberyn inquired without a trace of innocence. He slipped his way into their conversation, and in their path appearing on Cersei's other side.
"Her thighs," Daeron mouthed with a wink over his wife's head.
"Ah," Oberyn's dark eyes glittered in amusement. He then dragged a finger across his goatee, "Mayhaps, it's an acquired taste."
The next morning Daeron found himself overseeing a large and loud table. He stifled a yawn, feeling the early hour a bit more on this particular morning. His wife's revenge had kept him up for much of the evening once they retired and parted ways with their friends. Despite still feeling tired, he wasn't going to complain about how they chose to spend their night. He felt her eyes on him, turning to his left to where she was sitting, looking as bright and warm as the rising sun, unperturbed by any lack of sleep. They shared a knowing smile before his eyes drifted to their son, whom she was holding.
Baelon, he thought with a rush of pride. His son had handled yesterday's events with the poise expected of princes. Not wishing to be a bad host, he turned from his boy to look around the table to see every seat was filled with his friends and their children, idle chatter and babbling babes swirled around the room. Robert was talking to Oberyn about a brawl that had occurred at a tavern last night, speaking on the matter as Daeron's Commander of the Gold Cloaks and Master of Whisperers respectively. The two men exchanged the information they had collected over eggs and bacon.
Ned and Lyanna sat together, their children on each other's laps. The siblings were sharing stories while the cousins seemed more interested in each other than their food or their parents. Cersei was tending to Baelon while talking to Elia about her latest planned project, the construction of new fountains that would provide more fresh, drinkable water for the city. Jaime with Tyrone perched on his lap was listening and grinning to a story Ashara was telling him from last night's feast featuring a River lord whose name Daeron didn't catch.
"Your Grace?" a servant appeared at his side, head bowed, "Is there anything else you need?"
"No," Daeron answered, seeing his wife, their son, his friends, and their family, "I have everything I need."
The A Dragon's Roar vague, incomplete Appendix.
King Daeron Targaryen, the Third of His Name,
-his wife, Queen Cersei, of House Lannister,
-Baelon, The Crown Prince of the Seven Kingdoms, heir to the Iron Throne,
-Valarr, Prince of Summerhall,
-Rhaella and Joanna, twins,
-Daeron, a dwarf*
Either Baelon or Valarr will marry their cousin, Rhaenys.
They may have other children. They may have fewer children.
*Daeron had no plans to name a child after him, but upon hearing the court's cruel gossip about his newborn dwarf son, Daeron gave him his name so there could be no doubt his love for him.
Jaime Lannister, Hand of the King, Heir to Casterly Rock,
-his wife, Princess Elia, of House Martell,
-Tyrone Lannister, heir to Casterly Rock
They have at least these two children, maybe more.
-Tyrone is betrothed to Asha Greyjoy.
-Their eldest daughter may or may not be betrothed to Robert and Lyanna's eldest son.
Robert Baratheon, Lord of Storm's End,
-His wife, Lady Lyanna, of House Stark,
-Jon**, heir to Storm's End,
Their eldest son may or may not be betrothed to Jaime and Elia's eldest daughter.
They have at least these three children maybe more.
**I guess R+L=J is true after all.
Eddard Stark, Lord of the Rainwood,
-His wife, Lady Ashara, of House Dayne,
-Robb, the heir to Rainwood,
They have at least these two children, maybe more.
A/N on the appendix:
This little appendix was to just show a potential future for these characters and their relationships. A reminder that these names/plans aren't set in stone. This also means the order of their births could change. That's why I didn't give any ages.
So forgive me that poor R + L= J joke, I just couldn't help myself.
In short, I didn't want to be beholden to any names or ages in case I changed my mind.
Author notes on this epilogue:
I'll be honest I have no idea what the Seven's version is of a baptism and/or christening. Borrowing heavily from other faiths while also taking liberties and twisting them to try to fit this setting. Is it perfect? No. So sorry about that.
There was no intended beard slander or beard shaming here. Twas a harmless joke.
Final author notes:
I just wanted to take this time to thank you all for reading this story. A lot has happened since I started "A Dragon's Roar," all those years ago, but your constant support has meant so much to me, especially when real life and writing struggles cropped up.
P.S: And with that I mark this story complete and I hope you enjoyed it.