p class="p1"span class="s1"Apologies for the wait. I'll try to upload frequently, but again, I do have plenty of life stuff going on since the world perceives me to be an adult. Like I said, this fic is gonna take a long time for me to write. Anyway, I'll frequently be including quotes I like that relate to the mood of the chapter. There are some pretty great songs that I feel fit Dany's storyline (both in the good parts of the show and in this fic), and I've got a playlist that I listen to myself if anybody's interested./span/p
p class="p2"span class="s1"I'd like to point out, too, that while this fic will contain Joenerys eventually, please note that I have added the "slow burn" tag, and keep in mind, too, that this fic is not focusing on their romance. It's not a romance fic, and while there will be Joenerys content, it will not be the focal point. Romance is a secondary plot point here; this is because I'm not terribly interested in that aspect of Dany's storyline. That said, I won't give away the ending, but I will say that I am not one for unhappy endings, and I want our queen to be happy. She will be in my fic, and if you're here for the shipping and you're worried about whether Joenerys will be endgame (I'm a big shipping reader myself, trust me, just not as much for this specific fandom), I feel that you'll be pleased with the ending./span/p
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p class="p5"span class="s1"emI carry the weight of you in my heavy heart, and the wind is so icy, I am numb. I carry the weight of you heading back to start. With a thousand eyes on me, I stumble on./em- Cher Lloyd, Sirens/span/p
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p class="p5"span class="s2"Chapter Two: A Thousand Eyes/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"There were sores on the inside of her thighs, and her hands were rubbed raw from gripping the reins for so long. No matter how much better Daenerys had gotten at riding the Khal Drogo's gift over the past few days, most of her body was in pain by that point. To make matters even worse, the pain between her legs was worsened by the constant pressure of being on the horse. She was given no time to rest, no time to heal, no time to adjust./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"She supposed she could be one of those walking with the horde rather than riding. As she understood it, thanks to Ser Jorah, slaves and those of low standing amongst the Dothraki were expected to walk, whereas being allowed to ride was only a privilege given to those who had positions of importance. She wondered if these people saw her as important. They must have thought her foreign and strange. They were a dark people; their skin, their eyes, their hair, all their features were dark. With her unusual violet eyes, silver hair, and pale skin, now red and blistered from the sun blaring down on her, she was a far cry from all those around her, save Viserys./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"The line of the marching horde extended further than she could see on either side; she couldn't tell where it began or where it ended. The tall grass, too, seemed to go on forever. The further east they went, the hotter it became, and the less of a breeze there was during the day./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"It was these sort of thoughts she had as she sat atop her mare, watching the horde ride past her from the side. Her dress from her time in Illyrio's home had been brought for her, and it was tinged brown from the dirt of the ride./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""You need to drink, child," Ser Jorah approached her. When she sighed, he added, "and eat," handing her a piece of dried horse meat, her hand aching in protest at the movement./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Isn't there anything else?" she asked him. She had had nothing but dried horse meat since her wedding. She hadn't truly felt hungry since before her wedding, as it happened, and if she tried to force herself to eat more horse, she feared she may not be able to keep it down./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""The Dothraki have two things in abundance: grass and horses. People can't live on grass," Ser Jorah informed her as she reluctantly took a small bite of the tough meat. It was just as dry as she had known it would be./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""In the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, they say there are fields of ghost grass with stalks as pale as milk that glow in the night," Ser Jorah informed her, looking at the horde ride past them. "It murders all other grass. The Dothraki believe that one day, it will cover everything; that's the way the world will end," she looked at him, wondering if there were any truth to it./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Did her husband believe such things, too? As with everything, she had been unable to discuss his beliefs with him. He rode past her then as well, and she remembered the night before, and the one before that. She hoped he would not treat her thusly that night as well, but even she could admit that such a hope was in vain./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Ser Jorah saw where her gaze was directed. "It'll get easier," he promised. Who was he, though, to make such a promise? What could he know of it, never having been in such a position? Daenerys decided she wanted to speak of it no longer, and rejoined the horde, leaving Ser Jorah to follow her./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"It was a long ride before they were permitted to make camp, but with her hair whipping about her face, she couldn't see much of it. One of Khal Drogo's bloodriders, she had learned they were called, held her horse's reins while Ser Jorah helped her dismount it./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Khaleesi!" called one of her handmaidens as the three ran towards her. She gasped with both relief and discomfort when she was set on the ground, spikes of pain shooting up through her feet and into her legs. "Your hands," her handmaidens examined her hands with concern. She found she had difficulty walking after having been on a horse for so long. Her legs ached and each step was worse than the last./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"She had precious little time to rest before her husband came to her that night. Their tent was the largest by far, and it may have been the most comfortable. The furs were soft, the fire warm. No warmth could keep her husband from her, however./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"He had been rougher with her since their wedding night. She grasped the furs, trying to breathe through the pain. She whimpered and gasped as he took her. Since he seemed to not mind her pain overmuch, she no longer made as much of an effort to hide it from him. He treated her no better or worse for it, so why go through the effort?/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"She stared at the dragon eggs, tightening her grip on the furs beneath them. emI am Daenerys Targaryen,/em she told herself. emI can survive this. I can survive anything./em With that thought, she endured the rest of her husband's attentions, imagining herself becoming one with the flames./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"The following morning, she said with her handmaidens surrounding her. Irri and Doreah cleaned and dressed her hands while Jhiqui washed her feet. She was still getting to know them, these young women who were not so different from herself. It felt strange having people addressing her as a queen, a khaleesi, having people attend to her every need. She wanted them to understand that she wanted them to be her friends rather than her slaves./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"She stared at the dragon eggs, surrounded by candles. The Magister had been right; they were beautiful, each individual scale a slightly different shape and hue, but she often wondered about them./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Have you ever seen a dragon?" she asked, turning to Irri./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Dragon gone, Khaleesi," Irri's Dothraki accent was strong, and it took Daenerys some time to understand her Common Tongue./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Everywhere? Even in the east?" Truly, gone? An entire species of great creatures, how could they all be gone?/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""No dragon," Irri reiterated. "Brave men kill them. It is known."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""It is known," Jhiqui smiled up at her with a nod./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah, who had been silent during their conversation, said, "a trader from Qarth told me that dragons come from the moon."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""The moon?" Daenerys looked down at her in mild surprise. She'd heard many stories, to be sure, but this one was new./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah looked up at her, smiling, "he told me the moon was an egg, Khaleesi," Daenerys turned her gaze to her own dragon eggs as Doreah continued, "that once there were two moons in the sky, but one wandered too close to the sun and it cracked from the heat. Out of it poured a thousand thousand dragons, and they drank the sun's fire."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Moon is no egg," Irri giggled. "Moon is goddess, wife of sun. It is known."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Jhiqui looked up again, "it is known."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Daenerys turned towards the two Dothraki women, however. "Leave me with her."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah reached for the bandages as she finished cleaning Daenerys' wounded hand; it didn't sting as much, for which she was grateful./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Why did the trader from Qarth tell you these stories?" Daenerys had her suspicions about Doreah's past, but had never confirmed them./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Men like to talk when they're happy. Before your brother bought me for you, it was my job to make men happy," Doreah told her, wrapping Daenerys' hand./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"So she had been correct, then. "How old were you?"/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah didn't look up from her task. "I was nine when my mother sold me to the pleasure house."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Nine?" Daenerys was astonished. Astonished anyone could do that to a child, could do that to emtheir/em child./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""I did not touch a man for three years, Khaleesi," Doreah said with a laugh. Even so, twelve is hardly better than nine. At least Daenerys had the luxury of being a woman by the time such things were expected of her. "First, you must learn," Learn? A thought occurred to Daenerys then. This had been Doreah's profession, after all. She likely knew what she was doing./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Can you teach me how to make the Khal happy?" she wondered./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Yes," Doreah told her, looking up with a smile./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Will it take three years?" Daenerys did emnot/em want to endure her husband's attentions thusly for three more years./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""No," having finished wrapping Daenerys' hand, she shook her head./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"When Doreah agreed to teach Daenerys how to please her husband, she had not been entirely sure what the lesson would include. She wasn't sure what she had expected, but having handmaiden sit atop her on her and her husband's bed was certainly not it./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""No, Khaleesi," Doreah told Daenerys, gently turning her face. "You must look in his eyes always. Love comes in at the eyes," Doreah leaned back and took Daenerys' hands, interlocking their fingers. "It is said that Irogenia of Lys could finish a man with nothing but her eyes."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Finish a man?" Daenerys questioned. Her handmaiden said nothing, merely raised her eyebrows to get her point across. "Oh."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Kings traveled across the world for a night with Irogenia," Doreah went on with her story. "Magisters sold their palaces. Khals burned her enemies just to have her for a few hours. They say a thousand men proposed to her and she refused them all," Doreah leaned down towards Daenerys, who wondered if this Irogenia was someone Doreah looked up to. She wondered how Irogenia earned such respect with her profession./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Daenerys, though, had never been in a position the likes of which she was currently in, and it made her somewhat nervous./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""Well, she sounds like an interesting woman," Daenerys said. She had never seen her husband when he took her. "I- I don't think that Drogo will like it with me on top," she told Doreah, eyes fluttering and wide./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah, however, was unconvinced. "You will make him like it, Khaleesi. Men want what they've never had," Daenerys supposed that Doreah likely knew better what men liked than she did. "And the Dothraki take slaves like a hound takes a bitch," Doreah continued. "Are you a slave, Khaleesi?"/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"The use of her title, the reminder of the station she had once had, in a way, and still felt as she did… it truly spoke to Daenerys. Doreah was right: she was Daenerys Targaryen, the last surviving daughter of dynasty hundreds of years old. She was a princess. She was not a slave./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Daenerys shook her head in response to her handmaiden's question, looking away again. She was unused to the idea of participating in her husband's attentions, and didn't quite know what to do with herself./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah pulled back, placing Daenerys' hands on her hips as she moved them back and forth. "Then don't make love like a slave," Doreah told her, raising her eyebrows again./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Rising to the challenge in her handmaiden's eyes, Daenerys flipped Doreah around so that she was sitting atop her, leaning forward. Doreah laughed at that, saying, "very good, Khaleesi. Out there, he is the mighty Khal, but in this tent, he belongs to you."/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1""I-I don't think that this is the Dothraki way," Daenerys said nervously. What if Khal Drogo became angry with her? What if he hit her, as her brother did?/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Doreah sat up, propping herself up on her arms. "If he wanted the Dothraki way, why did he marry you?" Doreah brushed Daenerys' wild hair out of her face with the question./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"She had a point; Daenerys was quite clearly not Dothraki. She didn't look Dothraki or speak Dothraki. She could barely ride a horse until quite recently. Khal Drogo must have seen this, seen her. He chose her anyway, though, didn't he? Perhaps there was hope for her situation./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Daenerys sent Doreah away, thanking her for her help. She waited in the tent for her husband, resting her body on the soft furs. The flickering of the candlelight soothed her nerves, the dragon eggs reminding her of who she was, where she came from./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"When her husband entered the tent, he was already naked. She pushed herself up onto her hands and returned his gaze. He approached her, clearly wanting to take her. She stared up at him unblinkingly as he kneeled down beside her on their bed and made to lift up her dress./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"Daenerys turned towards him. "No, she said, placing a hand on his chest. Undeterred, he turned her around and once again attempted to lift her dress up. "No!" She told him again, firmer this time. As he tried to force her into submission, grasping her wrist firmly, she said, "ajjalan anha zalat vitiherat yer hatif," which she knew roughly meant 'tonight I would look upon your face.'/span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"He allowed her movement of her hand, and she touched his face, then placed her hands on each of his arms, guiding him to lay down so that she could climb atop him. When she was permitted control of things, she found that it hurt her less. Once she grew used to the sensations, in fact, she found that she rather enjoyed it. He stroked the length of her body through her dress, watching her gasp softly. He sat up abruptly, and they continued to move together, their lips almost touching./span/p
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p class="p6"span class="s1"It felt better than she expected, better than she had known it could./span/p