As usual, this story came to me in a dream and I had no choice but to write it. Enjoy!
"You must tell him, Your Grace," Missandei said as Daenerys studied her figure in the full-length mirror in the dim light of her chamber. Once upon a time, Ned and Catelyn Stark's, and now Sansa's. Dany didn't feel exactly comfortable there – especially after hearing about Jon's relationship with his late stepmother, but the young redhaired girl had suggested that she take the room, had insisted on it, in a way Dany could not refuse. So there she stood, in front of the damned mirror, analyzing every curve, every detail, looking for the slightest sign of change. Truth be told, this was not the first time she had done it. Every night, Missandei would observe the Queen's prying eyes as she helped her out of her clothes. And every night, the smallest glimpse of hope could be seen there, but not tonight. Tonight, Dany's eyes told a different story. Her violet orbs harbored not hope, but fear, oh so much fear. And as soon as the words left Missandei's lips, Dany's face grew emotionless in a stoic mask, one she would wear around her allies and her enemies, but never around her trusted advisor and friend.
"There's nothing to tell," Dany finally replied. There was no emotion in her voice, nothing in her eyes but a defiant glare. And yet, she refused to take her eyes off the mirror in front of her. Looking, surveying, analyzing. Trying to make sense out of the inconceivable.
"We both know this is not true," Missandei said as she turned to grab the Queen's evening attire. An uncomfortable silence weighted on the atmosphere as neither said anything else, but reflected on the unspoken realization of everything that was to come. Seconds, minutes, almost an hour went by. The Queen was ready for a dinner she knew she would be not attending, dressed in a stunning combination of a white dress, coat and fur. Her hair, though, was down, except for two braids tying a few locks of white-blonde hair in a small bun in the back of her head. Leave it, she had murmured when Missandei attempted a more intricate updo. Dany's advisor did as instructed and turned to leave, her hand on the door knob when she turned back at the sound of the Queen's voice, mumbling something almost incomprehensible.
"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and the mountains blow in the wind like leaves," it was no more than a whisper, one that Missandei would not have been able to hear were she two steps further down the corridor. When Missandei turned around, Dany was not looking at her, but rather standing in front of the mirror again, starring at her own reflection, right into her own violet eyes, not quite sure if she was reciting those words to Missandei or herself. "This," she pressed a hand to her navel, catching her friend's questioning eyes through the mirror, "is not… should not be possible".
"And yet, it was," the other woman said, a little more matter-of-factly than she had intended. "Talk to him, your Grace", she held the queen's gaze and continued with a ferocity that caught Dany off guard. "No one believed dragons would ever exist again, no one thought the Dothraki would cross the sea, any sea… No one thought – I… I never thought that I would be free. You did all this. You're stronger than a prophecy".
"I -," Daenerys stuttered, but Missandei shook her head and gave the queen an encouraging smile, clasping Dany's hand within her own.
"It'll be fine. Everything will be fine."
"You don't know that," Dany said, fighting against the tears that kept pooling in her eyes, but Missandei was already out of the door. The only sound to be heard was that of the sob the escaped her lips, despite her best attempts to keep her emotions at bay.
One, two, three knocks. Silence. And then, another knock, stronger, more urgent. One she could not ignore, as she knew exactly who was there, standing on the other side of her door.
Slowly, she stood up from her place by the window and made her way to the door. When she opened it, she was not surprised to find him there, but the sight of him took her breath away nonetheless. She yearned to touch him, to feel the warmth of his skin against her own, but she stopped herself from doing so.
"Missandei said you were not coming down, she said you were not feeling well," he spoke and the look in his eyes mirrored the worry in his voice. She didn't say anything to him, only taking a step to her side and allowing Jon to make his way into the room.
Much like on their first night together, they stared at each other for seconds that felt like an eternity until the door closed behind them. Tonight though, Jon didn't press her body against the door, his lips didn't find hers in a hungry search to satiate the electric tension that pulled at their bodies like magnets, gravitating towards one another. No, tonight, he stood back and looked at her. Really looked at her. She was stunning, still dressed in the white attire that she had no use for tonight, but she looked different. For the past few days, he had been observing her at a distance. She was pale – even more so – her movements were slower and restrained, almost calculated, and he could see that she had been tired. As he gazed at the dark circles under her eyes, he felt a pang of guilty. He had been so absorbed in his own problems, so distant, how could he have not noticed that she wasn't well?
"God, Dany," he pled, his gaze never leaving hers, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I… I have been talking to Tyrion." He wanted to ask her if she was alright, he wanted to know what was happening, but he needed her to know where they stood before anything. He knew he had neglected her, had led her to believe that Bran's revelation would be their ruin. He had told her that their blood relation didn't change anything, because it didn't. He had assured her that he had no interest in taking her place in the Iron Throne, but why should she believe him when he wouldn't even look her in the eyes?
"Jon," she tried to stop him. She knew what he was trying to say and she knew he meant it. But she didn't want any promises. Dany wanted to be a part of his life, she wanted him to talk to her. She wanted to help, if he would only let her. She was holding on to whatever he would offer, but she was slowly slipping away… She didn't want to be on the side of the road, waiting for him, she wanted to hold onto him, to be with him, to be a part of him... Like he was a part of her.
"No, wait," he interrupted. "I need you to listen to me and I need you to believe in me." He took her hand and guided her to the bed. Sitting in front of her, he lifted her chin with his index finger, making sure she was looking at him. "I don't want the Throne. I think we should tell our people about…" he faltered, "about Rhaegar and Lyanna, but I don't want the Throne," he repeated, emphasizing the last part. "It's yours. It's always been yours. I am going to abdicate in your favor."
She was taken aback by his confession. She couldn't say that she didn't see it coming, but the reality of those words was much harsher than she could have imagined. What should she be feeling? Should she be happy? Thankful? But she wasn't either. In fact, a pang of sadness tugged at her heart as she looked at him, vowing herself to hold his gaze, holding onto whatever his black orbs would offer her.
"Do you think this is what's between us?" she asked in a low, but unwavering voice. She wanted to shake him, to slap him, but her mind and her heart could only conjure one question. "Jon", she said again, this time in a quiet, ever so soft whisper, almost impossible to hear. "Before we came to Winterfell, you said to loved me. You held me in your arms and you told me that you loved me. Has that changed? Has your love for me changed?"
Part of her was afraid of what his reaction might be. Her instincts told her to look away, but she didn't. At that moment, what she saw warmed her heart, even if just a bit. Jon looked almost offended at her question, hurt that she would question his love for his Queen, even after all that had happened since their arrival in the North.
"Of course not! Daenerys," it was one of the first times he had called her by her name since that night on the boat. Tonight, she was not Dany nor his Queen, but the honesty in his gaze, the intensity with which he said her name, and the resolution in his voice reverberated through her entire body, shaking her to the core, "I love you. I loved you long before I realized it. I will love you for as long as I live."
She let out a small cry and squeezed the hand clasped within hers, pulling him closer to her, but he didn't follow. Instead, Jon stood up, turning his back to her and staring at the moonless night. "I love you," he repeated with the same conviction, before faltering again, "but how can I be with you when I don't know who I am anymore? I just… I need time."
"We don't have time," she said firmly, but the tears that she had been keeping at bay finally found their way to her cheek.
"Do you think I don't know that?"
A turmoil of emotions tugged at her heart. She felt for this man, this man that she didn't expected to love, but whom she loved with all of her being. At the same time, she was frustrated and wanted nothing more than to shake him, to scream at him and hit him in the head. He turned to face her again and they both remained silent for a moment that felt like a lifetime.
"I'm going to ask you again," she closed the space between them, she was so close now that she could hear his heart beating against his ribcage as his breath caught at his throat. "Do you want to be with me?"
"Yes!", he shouted in frustration. Of course he did. He wanted nothing more than to hold her in his arms for the rest of his life. He knew he could not stay away from her, not anymore. As that realization dawned on him, Jon closed the space between them and enveloped her in his arms. For a brief second, holding her in his arms, he felt like nothing else in the world mattered. Nothing but the two of them.
"Then be with me. And let me be with you," Dany said as she her body dissolved into his arms. Resting her head against his chest, she took one of his hands and placed it on her still-flat-belly. "Be with us," she finally said.
Her words hit him with full force. Us, she had said. But it was impossible, wasn't it? At that moment, all air left his lungs and he tightened his grip on her. He needed to hold her, feel her against him, hear the sound of her heartbeat. He needed to know that this was real, that she was there and that she was his as much as he was hers.
"How?" he finally found his voice, but that was all he could muster. His ability to speak temporarily lost amid shock and confusion.
"I don't know," she replied honestly, taking a step back and pulling away from his arms so she could fully see him. Confusion, fear, surprise. She looked into his eyes and recognized the same emotions she had seen in her own every time she would look at her reflection. And much like Missandei had seen in the Queen's gaze earlier that night, Dany noticed the moment when all those emotions shifted into love. A love so strong that Jon felt like he couldn't breathe, that he couldn't move, that he couldn't speak. But words were not necessary as Dany could see through him the moment their eyes met.
"A child… It complicates things," the Queen continued. "Winter is here, the army of the dead is marching our way, Cersei won't accept the truce. How are we going to handle a child?"
"We will," he said coming out of his trance. Taking a step forward, he closed the space between them again and lightly touched her cheek. He took a deep breath and allowed his lips to find hers. It was slow and painful and desperate. It was passionate and hungry, a quest for relief and hope. "We will make it work," he whispered against her lips when they finally pulled apart.
"You don't know that," Dany replied.
"No, I don't. No one knows what's going to happen," Jon said. His voice was low and firm, but his eyes betrayed him. As much as he tried to hide it, Dany could see fear beginning to cripple his will. A battle between agony and hope threatening to rip him apart. "But I have faith. Faith in you… in us."
A sad smiled tugged at the corner of her lips as she remembered what she had told him on their first encounter. That faith in herself, in Daenerys Targaryen, had kept her going even when everything seemed lost. Now though, that same faith was rapidly crumbling.
"I don't know if we're going to survive," he continued, "but we will fight and we'll do it together. God, Dany… I'd give my life for you. Lord help me, but I won't let anything happen to you… to either of you".
"Jon," she sighed and rested her forehead against his. Their eyes closed as a silent understanding loomed over them.
War was upon them. A battle bigger than men, bigger houses, titles or thrones. A fight of life against death.
Amid the heavy silence of the night, they made their way to the bed, laying entwined, as close to one another as they could possibly get. Allowing their hands to find her belly, they made the same promise.
They would fight for life.