Dragonstone 300 AC.
Lyanax soared over the island, her black scales making her practically invisible against the night sky, he lay down tight on her back feeling the wind blow through his hair irritated as it lashed against his face and yet he was glad he'd not tied it up. He directed her down to the cliffs, further away from the keep than he wished to walk but he needed to be sure she was unseen Should people realize that there was an actual living dragon then it would create not just envy but fear. Especially as said dragon was not being held by the king or crown prince but a man whose very existence already provided fear enough.
As she landed, Daemon unhooked his pack containing his swords and armor, while a part of him wished to be dressed for battle he relished the freedom of being clad in normal clothes while on his dragons back. He leaned forward and looked into her black eyes, feeling the warmth of her gaze as she stared back at him.
'Be safe 'he heard the voice say in his head and he smiled, she was protective to a fault and he feared what carnage she'd bring about should he be harmed, 'you too' he thought and she snorted, as if she could be harmed. He laughed loudly then and strapped his swords to his back, carrying the armor over his shoulders he began the long walk to the keep. It had been over eight years since he'd last stepped foot on this island and he was excited to be back.
Eight years in which he'd traveled the length and breadth of the known world and beyond. He'd danced among the shadows in Asshai, had wept at the great gates of Yin, he fought a Khal on the Great Grass Sea and walked the streets of Old Valyria while flames burned around him. Yet it was still here on this island that Daemon felt happiest, felt more relaxed and at peace and he was glad finally to be home. When he made it to the entrance he prepared for the inevitable conflict, the war one of words and not arms, he had thought about sneaking in but it would probably be better this way.
"Halt who goes there?" he heard the first guard say."
"A visitor to see the queen." Daemon replied.
"The queen has no use for you, begone stranger."
"I beg to differ. I think you'll find the queen most pleased to see me." Daemon japed though he was the only one who laughed.
"Who are you Ser?" one of the clever of the guards asked.
"I am the queens grandson, Daemon Targaryen."
He heard it then, the same words he'd heard when he was a boy, Bastard, Blackfyre, The Dark Prince, he had many names though he found the one he liked most was the one he'd been given in Essos.
"The Rogue Prince has returned." he said with a laugh.
He stood outside the queen's door alone, he missed his brothers but had welcomed the appointment to the queen mother, serving Rhaella was his greatest joy though he could have dealt with going to the capital more, or even at all. Ever since her grandson's disappearance she refused to set foot in the capital, she barely spoke to her son the king and even then only in public and often bitterly. Her other children had stopped visiting years ago and her grandchildren came but twice in the last five years. Though given the letters she received and he had been fortunate enough to read, perhaps that wasn't a bad thing.
How Rhaegar had allowed his children grow up that way was beyond him, how he had allowed his sister and brother to behave how they did even more so. All his life he had wished to serve a true and noble king, he had been lucky with Jaehaerys though the king had not lived long, as for Aerys the less said the better. When Rhaegar had taken the throne he had thought that finally he had gotten his wish and while on the face of it he was a good king, it was behind the scenes that Barristan had become disillusioned.
When Arthur had brought the babe back Rhaegar's reaction had stunned his best friend and the Kingsguard themselves, when he'd allowed the boy to be scorned, to be mistreated he had been aghast. But it was Rhaella who stepped in then and Daemon had been raised more here on Dragonstone then he had in the court of vipers that Kings Landing had become. The Kingsguard had loved the boy, he and Arthur especially, for unlike his brother he was dutiful and wished to learn and so they had trained him despite being told not to.
"Ser, the guards, they've a man Ser." a young servant said rushing towards him.
"What, what are you saying?"
"A man Ser Barristan, claiming to be Prince Daemon, they've taken him to the tower." the servant said and Barristan gasped.
"When was this?"
"I've just come from there, Ser Alliser is seeing to him personally."
"Find me five guards, now boy quickly." Barristan said as he turned to the door and knocked.
It took a few moments before it was opened, the queen mother was as perfectly presented as always, had he not knocked himself he'd have never believed she'd just woken up. He wondered what to say, how to say it, could it even be true and if so why now after so many years? But he needed to tell her, just in case and so he took a breath as she looked at him impatiently.
"My queen, your grandson..." he started but she interrupted.
"You woke me for that, I care not what misdeeds Aegon has gotten up to now, nor do I wish to hear of them." she began to close the door.
"No my queen, Daemon, there's a man claiming to be Prince Daemon in the guard tower." he said and almost had to catch her as she leaned heavily against the door.
"It cannot be." she said her head shaking and her breathing heavy.
"I do not know my queen, I was going to look, I just wished you to know." Barristan said and she nodded.
"We're going to look, I shall be ready momentarily." Rhaella said turning to walk away.
"My queen are you sure?" he asked worriedly.
"I need to know Barristan, I need to see for myself."
Barristan watched as she entered her bedchambers and for the first time in almost eight years he prayed.
"Blessed father let it be true he said softly."
She dressed quickly and together with Ser Barristan and five guards she made her way to the guard tower, the winds howled as they walked from the Stone Drum Tower and across the bridge. As they entered the tower and made their way down the stairs she was glad they had the good sense not to bring the man to the dungeons. While she was hopeful the man was truly her grandson she was doubtful too and should he prove to be false he'd rest in those dungeons tonight. However the idea of her grandson being treated like a prisoner, if even for the briefest amount of time was something she wouldn't accept.
"My queen I should enter first, just in case it's an assassin or some plot." Barristan said and she nodded.
When they reached the room she felt her heart race, as Barristan opened the door she resisted the urge to look over his shoulder but when she heard the gasp she could bear the wait no more and so she rushed in. His hair was longer now and reached below his shoulders, he had a scar over his left eye which ended just by his cheek and he was smiling at her, those dark indigo eyes she had missed so much glistened with wetness as they stared back at her.
"Daemon." she said as she grabbed him and hugged him tightly.
"I'm sorry grandmother, I'm sorry." he said and she just held him tighter.
"How? Where have you been? Why?" she said and as she looked at his smile she grew a little angry, she couldn't have stopped herself if she tried as her hand slapped his face.
"I deserved that." Daemon japed and she slapped him again before hugging him once more.
"Ser Barristan." Daemon said as she let him go, his hand reaching out to shake her knights own offered one.
"My queen, my men didn't harm the prince and they treated him well, is that not true my prince." Ser Alliser said a note of worry in his voice.
"It is grandmother, Ser Alliser and his men have been most courteous and most diligent." Daemon said and she nodded.
"I thank you Ser." Rhaella said.
She grabbed her grandson by the hand and they walked from the room, Ser Barristan looking closely at the blades her nephew carried on his back. She could see the curiosity in his eyes and so did Daemon who unstrapped the blades and handed them to him. She looked on as Barristan removed them one was a longer sword a so called bastard sword while the other was a short sword. The swirls in the dark steel though were what caught her eye and Barristan's' too given how he looked at them.
"These are Valyrian steel, how did you get them my prince?"
"It's a long story Ser Barristan, a long story indeed."
When they reached the Stone Drum Tower she heard the rumble of her grandson's stomach and immediately sent the servants to fetch some food, they sat down and awaited the servants return. When she did so Daemon devoured the meal and so she sent for another which he ate just as quickly, though she was happy to see he seemed sated after it. They sat quietly for a while, she was eager to ask him to tell her everything, to know all he had done and seen since he'd disappeared.
Though mostly she wished to know just why he had left those many years ago, what reason had he for leaving and was it his choice?. She could see he was thinking over what to say and she smiled to see those same little expressions on his face that she remembered so well, how his brow would crease or his eyes would twinkle.
"I'm sorry I left grandmother, I had to, they didn't want me there and they wouldn't tell me where you'd gone, so I tried to find you." Daemon said.
"I would have returned Daemon, had they not sent me to speak to Dorne I'd have never have left you alone" Rhaella said guiltily.
"Grandmother, this had nothing to do with you, please don't ever think that, it was them, they wished it, not you, never you," Daemon said jumping from his seat to go to her.
"I know, it's just, I left you there and then you were gone." she said tears falling from her eyes.
He hugged her tightly then and she couldn't help but notice how much he'd grown, how much time she'd missed with him and she cried even more. Ser Barristan seeing this was causing her distress subtly left the room leaving her and her grandson to deal with it alone. It took some time and when she was finished she took comfort in the fact that Daemon too seemed just as upset as she was.
"They wanted me dead grandmother, thought me a threat to Aegon and felt it better if I just had an accident. That's why you were sent to Dorne, it was the one place I'd not be allowed to follow, I think."
"The Martell's I think, though I can't be sure, but who else would consider me a risk to Aegon?"
"And you heard this?"
"I did, I was hiding in the tunnels and I heard someone talking, so I snuck closer, they said with you gone now was the time and that it would happen that night, so I left."
"Why were you hiding in the tunnels?" she asked and Daemon just shook his head sadly.
"Oh Daemon, my boy, my sweet boy, I'm sorry, I should have done more."
"It doesn't matter grandmother, none of it matters, besides had I not been hiding then it could have been much worse." Daemon said smiling.
They spent most of the rest of the night laughing and japing together, catching up and though he didn't tell her much about his travels and he kept whatever hardships he faced to himself, she knew he'd faced some tough times by the look in his eye when he spoke. Eventually they both yawned and she chuckled at the embarrassed look on his face. She ordered his room to be made up and asked Barristan to handpick the guards before walking with him to the family wing.
"Good night grandmother," he said leaning forward to kiss her cheek,
"Good night my sweet prince." she said smiling as he entered the room.
They would need to talk more and she would need to speak to Bonifer on his return, if there was one man who could find out exactly who it was who planned to kill her grandson it was her love, her most faithful knight. But that could wait until the morning, as she walked to her room she turned to Ser Barristan who followed closely behind her.
"He looks well does he not Ser Barristan."
"He does my queen, it's good to see him back.
"Yes it is." she said as she entered her room.
He'd been back almost a week when the raven arrived, his grandmother had been furious and demanded to know who had informed the king, when the Maester admitted it was him she had the man removed. He had broken her trust and Daemon knew his grandmother, she would never allow the man set foot on Dragonstone again. They ignored the raven and the demand he come to Kings Landing, instead he had sparred and beaten Ser Barristan much to the mans delight.
He had spent his evenings with his grandmother telling her tales of where he'd been, he had left out his more gruesome of adventures and had told her nothing of Lyanax yet, there'd be plenty of time for that. But just spending time with her and with Ser Barristan and Ser Alliser who had been Castellan here for most of Daemon's life was a boon to his spirit. Unfortunately like all good things in his life it could never last and as he looked out on the ship he wondered who'd been sent.
"Looks like my father isn't taking silence for an answer Ser." Daemon said as he looked to Ser Barristan.
"No my prince it does not, perhaps we should go see the queen?"
"Of course Ser lead the way."
He followed the knight up the steps of the long winding pathway which was as he remembered and still seemingly never ending. By the time they reached the top the ship would probably be already docked and it would be no more than an hour or two until it's passengers reached the castle. A small part of him hoped his father would come himself, but he knew it wouldn't be him, instead it was probably Viserys or maybe even Aegon he'd send and so he prepared himself for the inevitable drama.
After making their way through the keep they entered the throne room to find his grandmother already waiting, she too had no doubt heard of the ship by now and he could see her angered expression. He walked to her and kissed her cheek before smirking and rolling his eyes making her slap him lightly on the shoulder, but it did also force a smile to her face and for that he was grateful.
"You don't have to go with them Daemon."
"I know grandmother, lets see who they've sent."
She nodded and took her seat on the throne while Daemon and Ser Barristan took a place either side, it didn't take long and he was disappointed to see his father hadn't even bothered to send family. Though looking at Ser Arthur as he walked forward did at least bring a smile to his face, something the famed knight returned warmly.
"My queen, my prince." Ser Arthur said and Daemon nodded while his grandmother scowled.
"What brings you here Ser Arthur?" his grandmother asked her voice short.
"My queen, his grace has sent me to see if rumors of his sons return are true and if so to bring him to see his father."
"And should my grandson not wish to accompany you Ser Arthur, will you take him by force?"
"No my queen I have no orders to do so, nor would I follow them should they be given to me." Arthur said and Daemon smirked while his grandmother raised an eyebrow.
"Then I shall leave it up to my grandson, Ser Arthur."
"I have never refused my father or my duty Ser Arthur, today will not be that day." Daemon said and Arthur nodded.
Red Keep 300 AC.
The court was abuzz with rumor and innuendo, apparently something big was to occur in the Throne Room today and Myrcella wondered what it could be. Her mother was certain that Aegon's betrothal was to be announced and Myrcella hoped it would be so, at least then she could be certain her grandfather wouldn't keep pressing for the match. Her mother had long since given up on the idea, finding Aegon to be too much like his namesake the unworthy not the conqueror, which always made her giggle.
Considering how many bastards the prince may have already though it was not too far off and her mother was far too proud a lioness to allow her daughter to be dishonored so. Her brother preferred to tease her over not being pretty enough, not being good enough for his friend the prince, but he only did so when their mother was absent. The truth was in some ways she wasn't, at five and ten she was still only coming into herself as her uncle Tyrion would say, her courtly experience was far lesser than others.
She also wasn't willing to throw herself at Aegon's feet like some did, but more than anything she was perhaps too naïve for the vipers nest, too trusting with her friendship as she'd found out to her cost. So as she, her mother and uncle made their way to the Throne Room she hoped it would turn out to be exactly what her mother said it would and then perhaps she could return to Casterly Rock.
"Is it to be the Tyrell harlot?" her mother asked.
"I would imagine so." her uncle said.
"Then they are a perfect match for neither would ever keep to the marriage bed." her mother said and she hid her chuckle behind a small cough.
"My love are you ill?"
"No mother I am well, just my throat was a bit dry."
"As is mine own." Tyrion said smirking.
When they entered the Throne Room though it was clear that it was not the announcement they expected, given the placement of those around the room. The Tyrell's were not in a place of prominence and in fact their own placement was far better which made her mother look questioningly at her and Tyrion. Up front all of the royal family was present, something she couldn't remember seeing since she'd come here two years earlier.
Viserys and Daenerys had bored expressions on their faces and were both more intent on looking at the women present than anything else. Aegon had a face like thunder which was matched by his sister while Elia looked perturbed. The king's expression was one she'd not seen too many times before either, he looked almost excited, while to the left Prince Oberyn looked ready to strike which given his reputation was probably not far from the truth.
She heard the footsteps to her left and turned as Ser Arthur Dayne walked in accompanied by a man wearing the most incredible armor she'd ever seen. It was a deep black until the light hit it and then it seemed to change color almost at will, red, blue, gold, it was hard to see which it really was. She heard gaps and the whispers of Valyrian Steel being said around the room but the loudest gasp came when the man removed his helm.
The Dark prince
She heard it all, her uncle beside her whispered that it couldn't be while her mother looked on with intrigue and then all the room quietened and she looked at the man as the king began to speak.
"My son you have returned."
"It's customary to kneel before a king is it not?" she heard Aegon's voice and the room quietened even more,
"I kneel only before the gods and I don't see any of them here." the man said with a chuckle as the king glared angrily at Aegon who stepped back.
"As is your right as a prince my son." Rhaegar said with a small nod.
"Indeed father, but if it pleases my brother so, then perhaps we can both kneel before our king." the man said and Rhaegar actually laughed while Aegon and Prince Oberyn looked angrily at the man.
"It seems your travels have loosened your tongue my son." Rhaegar's voice soft and almost japing,
"They have father, but not my britches," the man said and this time there were laughs around the room and even Myrcella found herself giggling.
The king got up from the chair and walked to embrace his son, before he turned him around and Myrcella got her first look at the man. She felt her breath catch as she did so, he was handsome, beautiful even and for second their eyes met and she felt a flush when he winked at her.
"My lords and ladies, I welcome back my son, Prince Daemon Targaryen," the king said to cheers and hers was louder than most.
A/N: Hope you like this new story, it'll update once a week on Saturdays, the next chapter will be on 11th and then weekly from there.