Aemon Targaryen

The Kingswood, 301 AC

Darkness.

That was all he could see out of his once good eyes. When he had first started to lose his vision, it had been difficult. Yet now, he had come to appreciate everything so much more. Not only was he suddenly seen as weaker due to it which in turn meant people weren't as careful around him, his other senses had heightened massively. It was a debated topic in the Citadel. Archmaester's were mostly against the idea whereas some simply theorised that the other senses only seemed to have gotten stronger because they were being used for more than they ever were previously.

Where beforehand hearing was used for listening to people, it was now used to hear someone's breathing or how many people were nearby from the clicking and thuds of their boots and shoes. Where touch was previously simply fingers or skin grazing something, it was now to get an idea of the shape of something. Where scent was before used to determine which perfume a person was wearing or what their food smelled like, it was now to figure out where he was. The only one that never really changed was taste but that one wasn't much of a bother.

So whilst Aemon Targaryen could no longer physically see everything around him, he was so in tune with his other senses he had an idea.

They were in a clearing for where else was there large enough space to fit wheelhouses and at least ten horses? Not to mention the amount of people there were. Two sets of footsteps where there was more of a click and almost a jingle which confirmed these people were armoured. This allowing him to determine that Aegon also had a Knight with him. Whether the Knight was a Kingsguard he could not say though. The softness of the leaves under his feet was something he hadn't felt in a long time. Recalling times long past where he had played with his siblings in thickets of woods and forests before he had been sent to the Citadel to become a Maester.

He felt a slender arm loop around his own and despite her not wearing her signature fruity scent, he knew it was Margaery. His goodniece now, he had to remember such a thing. Either way she would've been a niece to him in some way. If her grandmother had wed his own nephew as decreed then she would've been a part of their family in blood and not simply by marriage. Realising why she was not wearing what she typically did. There was no need for excessive propriety here, and she was also nervous. It wasn't a secret she had married his nephew mostly for the position it would give her. Aemon knew that, Margaery knew that, Jaeron knew that, and Olenna certainly knew it. Yet they at least seemed compatible and didn't dislike one another. Mayhaps somewhere they would grow truly fond of one another and if luck was truly on their side they would grow to love each other.

It wasn't common. For an arranged marriage to bear fruit as such. The few that did usually had some scandal tied to it. Remembering fondly the story of Lady Samantha Tarly marrying her deceased husbands son who she had loved after he had died. Then there was the entire scandal with the Good Queen and the Conciliator. Even his own nieces and nephews had their own fair shares. Duncan absconding with Jenny of Oldstones, Jaehaerys and Shaera going against his brothers wishes by wedding one another secretly, Daeron and Olenna breaking their own betrothal. It was a good memory. Before everything had truly soured and the fruits that would go sour were simply only beginning to bud.

"Tell me, my dear. Are they doing anything?"

He spoke as he was helped to sit down and only realising then just how painful his joints were. Yet somehow, not as painful as they had always been. It was strange what was happening to him and he hadn't spoken it to anyone yet for fear of being considered senile. Ever since Lyrax had bonded with him, he swore he didn't feel as bad as he had before. Of course, he still couldn't see and he couldn't walk very far. But his joints didn't hurt as bad anymore, and it wasn't as difficult for him to take deep breaths. There was nothing in texts about such a thing from what he recalled but perhaps it was something that just wasn't shared outside of their family.

"They have not spoken since they introduced one another. What do those words mean?"

She asked curiously, inviting him to answer her question likely to keep her mind off of what was happening in front of them.

"Lēkia means older brother, valonqar means little brother."

He didn't doubt she was lying about not knowing those words. Yet if she was he couldn't be mad at her for attempting to make small talk whilst nothing seemed to be happening yet.

"The Princess?"

He asked timidly. He'd never met Princess Arianne of Dorne but he'd heard a lot about her. Distant kin she was too, a cousin a few generations removed through his grandfather Daeron and his sister Daenerys. His grandfather had married Princess Myriah and Daenerys had married Prince Maron. The move which had finally solidified Dorne entering the Seven Kingdom's. One of two which had not been conquered and instead chose to join. Ironic, he thought on it. That the two Kingdom's which often produced the most stubborn people were the only two to join peacefully in the end.

"Does not look pleased."

The bluntness of her words coaxed a laugh out of him. Hearing someone shuffling nearby and the lightest chuckle from a man who's voice he'd come to know well. It was rare Ser Arthur cracked, but the few times he did it was always amusing.

"They're coming this way."

Margaery didn't even need to say those words for he already knew. The footsteps in the leaves was steadily getting louder and soon he was able to hear the breaths of the others who had come up to see them all.

"Gods, how old is he?"

Many people would find words as such insulting, but Aemon welcomed it. Having grown up with flattery everywhere he went was tiring and it was warming when people didn't. The voice that spoke having an obvious accent that was difficult to pinpoint. It wasn't as high pitched as Braavosi accent yet not as sultry as a Lyseni or as gruff as a Volantene accent. Clearly from travelling often and it was obvious who this was. Raising his hands as he heard him kneel in front of him and whisper a single word which gave him consent to reach out. Fingers grazing over his soft skin. To where the cheekbones were, how sharp the jaw was, the slight curvature of the traditional aquiline nose that was common in their family, the shape of the lips. Warmth spreading through him as he knew those features, he knew them well.

"You have a face alike my nephew Duncan. Your colouring?"

"Silver hair and dark violet eyes that sometimes appear blue."

So that was where the similarities ended. Rhaegar had taken after his granduncle in features but not in colouring, and it seemed to have passed on to the next generation too. Hearing a few shuffling feet before a few soft thuds which confirmed they had all sat down on nearby rocks because it was clear this was not going to be a quick conversation. If all went well a King would leave the Kingswood with a loyal brother, or a King and a King Claimant would leave the Kingswood. Aemon knew which of the two he wished for, their family was so fractured and there were so few of them.

Aegon Targaryen

The Kingswood, 301 AC

It was awkward.

That was all that was on his mind. The entire ride to where they were to meet he'd planned everything he wanted to say, everything he wanted to discuss, possible solutions to the issues. Yet the second their eyes had connected, everything had disappeared like it were simply smoke from a fire disappearing. The best he could manage was a single word greeting followed by many moments of silence where neither knew who should speak first.

Eventually, it had been broken by his wife introducing herself which seemed to break them out of whatever stupor they were in. His brother smiling warmly her way which confirmed there was no distrust of her or if there was, it was minimal. Arianne hadn't done anything to him, why would he be distrustful of her? Yet they had good reason to be distrustful of one another. The Iron Throne by rights was his. He was the older brother, he was the son of their fathers first wife, he was the one who had been introduced at court. Granted, he was only a babe at the time and didn't remember any of it, yet it happened. Whereas for Jaeron? That hadn't been the case. He was the second son from a second wife. A second wife which was kept mostly secret and he didn't doubt there were people surrounding him who whispered of him being a bastard from a mistress behind his back.

Or mayhaps not, as he recalled the size of the silver dragon that had flown overhead. Speaking of dragons, a sound of scuttling was heard followed by small wings beating hard. Having to fight his face from turning into a grimace at feeling Vēzos' claws clamp into his shoulders and hips to perch on his back the way a monkey did. Momentarily seeing an alarmed look on his brothers face as he quickly introduced those he had brought with him as they all made their way to sit at the rocks that were exposed. Seeing a man who by all accounts should be dead. More than one hundred name-days he was.

It had been emotional. His own violet eyes were clouded from blindness, yet he still immediately seemed to know who he was. Biting his lip as he knelt down and hoping his dragon wouldn't snap at his very old uncle. Was he perhaps the oldest person alive in Westeros? If he wasn't, he wasn't far from it. Grandson of a King, son of a King, brother of a King, and uncle to another two. Technically three considering his brother by rights held the Iron Throne currently.

It was a bitter taste on his tongue. Lord Jon may have been adamant he hadn't yet he knew it deep down, just hadn't spoken the words aloud. By conquest Jaeron had successfully taken the Red Keep and had been recognised by many as the King. As much as Aegon wished to deny such a thing, there was no way to deny it for it was true. It was one of the many issues they would need to discuss in detail. With luck an agreement would be reached over the coming days for as much as he wished to be the head of the family as blood dictated, he did not want to take up arms with his own blood.

"What's its name?"

A young woman spoke, knowing immediately this had to be Margaery Tyrell. His goodsister now considering they had wed not long before. His brother taking a seat on the rock beside her and straightening to be in a position which screamed authority.

"He's called Vēzos."

At least the claws weren't digging into his skin anymore, he thought to himself. Instead having curled them so they were solely in his clothing and head resting on his shoulder. Not that he could do anything, he was a hatchling still. The sheer size of his brothers had been not only humbling but confusing. Recalling from Ser Torghen how quickly they had grown and how Lord Howland suspected it was due to the amount of magic there was in the Neck. Whether there was any truth to the theory was unknown though.

"Shall we begin?"

The Maester spoke, breaking the silence that had surrounded them like a thick fog. Neither of them wanted to speak currently, but they had to do so. That was why they were here. Deescalate the situation before it began to take root and spread throughout Westeros.

"I was supposed to be the one to help raise you, you know?"

The other armoured man removed his helmet and from the sword at his hip he could only be one person. Aegon did know, he'd been told the story dozens of times. The plan had been for himself and Rhaenys to be snuck out of the Red Keep where they would catch a ship to Sunspear and eventually make their way to the Tower of Joy. Three Kingsguard, three royal children. One for each child. It was a fair plan, yet it had gone sour when Lord Tywin began sacking the city and blocking off all other means of escape other than the tunnels only known to a handful of people. Neither himself or Rhaenys remembered being in the tunnels for the few days after the sack, Mychelah waiting on confirmation from Torghen he had found a ship yet he had ended up exiled for refusing to bend the knee to Robert Baratheon. She didn't wish to be separated from her brother and so the plan had changed and they were taken to Essos.

"Aye. Ser Gerold for Rhaenys and Ser Oswald for Jaeron correct?"

The entire time, he felt bright violet eyes seemingly burning a hole through his body. It unnerved him but he managed to keep his body from betraying how he felt over such a thing.

"Indeed."

That immediately ended the conversation again. Clearly they were going to go in loops if they didn't get straight to the matter at hand. Biting the inside of his cheek and finally breaking the stare down and thinking deeply on what to say.

"I do not wish to fight you, brother."

No one spoke again for a few seconds before Jaeron also looked down like he had a moment ago. The stance he was initially sitting in disappeared and allowing just how he really felt to be on show for a singular moment.

"Nor do I. There are so few of us, and histories prove that opposing sides in the family never ends well."

No, it didn't. Whether that be Maegor the Cruel and Aegon the Uncrowned, or the Dance, or the many Blackfyre rebellions. The latter of which he had capitalised on for a long time but it had all come crashing down when they found out he was not who he was claiming to be and was instead their sworn enemy. It was a miracle in itself they hadn't slit his throat before abandoning the camp. At least that had been cleared, feeling some of the hesitance he had beforehand disappear.

"By all rights Aegon is King- "

"Ser Rolly!"

He spoke, voice snippy and raised slightly as he heard the sound of a sword being unsheathed and his brother also telling Ser Arthur to hold his blade. Things would definitely not end up well if they shed blood so soon into the meeting. Only once everything seemed to calm somewhat did his brother finally begin.

"Aye, tis true. You are the eldest and the law is clear in that regard. The issue is I had no idea you survived which meant everyone was of the belief that I was the only remaining son. Due to that and due to the fact I did take the Iron Throne and multiple Kingdom's have sworn to me as their King. This means by right of conquest the law states that it is also true on mine own end."

What his brother spoke was indeed the case. Both sides were lawful and both sides could be argued well. There was no usurpation at play for how could his brother have usurped him if he did not know he was still alive?

"Had I reached out sooner, before you made your claim, would you have followed me?"

"Aye."

The answer was immediate, with no signs of falsehood on his face. Of course, it was a distinct possibility that he had gotten good at hiding all emotion behind a mask. If it weren't for Torghen backing up the words whom Aegon trusted implicitly he might've immediately assumed such. Yet he didn't know, he wanted to believe the words but he also didn't believe them wholly.

"I wish to know the answer to one question, Aegon. Why was my sister taken to Qarth?"

Internally, he winced. He had not ordered they sail for Qarth. The plan was for Rhaenys to meet up with him and sail to Westeros together and he would use Sansa as leverage to try and keep them from doing anything rash. Yet a Shadowbinder he'd heard of and met a couple of times convinced his sister to go farther east than ever before. It was strange that Jaeron openly called Sansa sister considering they were cousins in truth, clearly that was something that would never change. Had they gone east solely to meet with Daenerys? Or had there been more of a reason? The last communication they received was from Volantis two moons passed that they were finally sailing for Westeros so if the winds and the Narrow Sea were kind, they may even be docking on the shores right this very moment.

"I cannot answer that for it is a question I too have. Rhaenys and myself planned to meet up and sail together yet something changed on her end and she instead sailed for Qarth."

"You planned to use my sister as leverage?"

His voice heightened slightly, clearly trying to force down any rage he was currently feeling. Noticing Margaery reach over and squeeze his knee ever so slightly and only then noticing Arianne was doing the same with his own hand. When had she reached out? Or had he been the one to reach out?

"Aye."

Bright violet seemed to flash for a split second before he breathed deeply and thought for a few moments.

"Clearly we are not getting close to a resolution this night. We should reconvene on the morrow. I extend my greatest apologies, Princess. For your father that is."

What? Confusion whirred in his mind as he turned to his wife and his Kingsguard. Waiting on someone to answer his silent question of what had happened with Prince Doran. Clearly their reactions confirmed something for his brother as he pinched the bridge of his nose and muttered a few words under his breath that were too quiet for him to hear.

"You should both sit for this. I knew there was a possibility you weren't aware of everything but it is clear you know nothing of what has happened."

Aegon felt a knot beginning to form deep inside him at the words as he helped Aemon up and took him to their own tent for the night. It felt odd that they were going to be staying in tents so close to one another yet with full grown dragons nearby he supposed there was no need to feel apprehensive.

"Prince Doran passed in his sleep, goodsister. Your brother Prince Quentyn has been proclaimed the Prince of Dorne."

What?! Immediately he got to his feet and he felt his fists clench into tight fists. Desperately wanting to punch someone or something at the words. How had something as such not reached his ears? How had it not reached Arianne's ears? The Dornish followed Rhoynar laws of succession, she was the rightful Princess of Dorne, not her younger brother! Only recalling then men were supposed to be coming to his aid but if Quentyn had indeed been claimed the Prince of Dorne the men accepted him, he would not send aid his sisters way because it would give her men. Had it been him who outed the truth to the Golden Company? The timing of it was too coincidental for him.

"What about Prince Oberyn, Prince Tristayne, and Myrcella Waters?"

He asked after calming down somewhat, Arianne's silent anger was enough for both of them currently.

"All I know is they do not stand for such and they have left Sunspear. Where they are heading or what they plan to do, I do not have an answer for."

That was something at least. Now not only had he lost the Golden Company he had just lost Dorne solely because his wife was the rightful ruler of Dorne and she had been usurped by her own damned brother. All he could do was nod as they made their way to their own tents and only once they were alone and out of earshot did she yell. Yelled so loud it caused him to wince and his ears to pop uncomfortably.

"That fucking shit! He's hated me for years, he's had the damned Yronwood's whispering in his ear for years that he's better because he's a man and not a woman. Now he's done this?! I'll take his damned head myself!"

She began to pace in circles around the tent, chewing on her nails as she done so which he'd come to realise was a nervous habit for her. He wanted to help her, he wanted her to have what was rightfully hers. Yet most of his army had dwindled into nothing and he mayhaps only had a few thousand total sworn to him now. Quentyn's rule of Dorne would never be stable unless Arianne was dead, and he wasn't stupid enough to do the deed himself. Even in Dorne it was seen as the biggest sin to slay ones own kin. Likely why Prince Oberyn and Prince Tristayne had left. He didn't doubt they were going to try and meet up with him so they could scrap together as many men as possible, but where would they meet up? He couldn't go back to Storm's End, and he now couldn't go back to Dorne-

"Aegon!"

He blinked and only then noticed his wife was stood in front of him with eyes so enraged they looked like flames. Clearly she'd been there for a while and he had drifted off into his thoughts.

"This ends now. It is obvious you have been beaten, husband. I know you feel it is your duty yet the rulership of Dorne is my duty and I cannot abandon it. We cannot have it both ways. Either you support me in taking back what is mine by right, or we will annul our marriage."

She wasn't serious, surely? But the more he looked into her blazing eyes and the way her lips were curled in anger he knew she was indeed serious.

"You're asking me to give up what is mine by right!"

"Aye, I am. I have never been quiet on my distaste for being Queen of the Seven Kingdom's. Everyone around us knows such a thing. You're my husband and you're family and due to that I have supported you every step of the way. Yet now it is I who needs the support. My scheming cunt of a brother has usurped me and betrayed you in one fell swoop. You cannot stand for that!"

Her voice was beginning to raise, hoping the breeze outside would be enough to hide their words from the other tents on the opposite side of the clearing. He agreed with her, she was right, but he couldn't just give everything up when he had worked so long for it. He'd be spitting on everyone who had done so much for him and that was the last thing he wished to do. Vēzos was remaining ominously quiet, bright golden eyes darting between both and refusing to intervene. Dragons were smart beasts, that was a known fact. The fact he wasn't interfering meant he didn't disagree with what was being spoken on either side.

"And I do not stand for it!"

"Then support me."

A long time passed where he had so many words he wished to shout her way but he did not. Taking in her words and really thinking the situation through. By the time the moon had disappeared from the sky to envelop them in utmost darkness outside, he had his answer.

Jaeron Targaryen

The Kingswood, 301 AC

He did not sleep that night. How could he? Not only had he finally met his brother by blood for the first time, but there was a very real possibility that things would sour between them. His recent realisation that he didn't wish to give up the title of King weighed heavily on him. It was a difficult burden to carry, yet it was one he felt he was carrying well despite everything. For so long he had been pushing it to the back of his mind but now he could not do such a thing.

Margaery stayed up with him for a while but eventually tiredness overcame her and now she was curled up into his side and his arm was numb from her leaning on it. Not that he was going to disturb her because it was one of the few times where there was no hiding herself. She snored lightly, had a habit of kicking and tossing, and her hair was always splayed across the pillows which ended in lots of knots to be brushed out the following morning. He was one of only a handful of people who got to see her in such a way, and he relished in such a thing. There was no denying she was beautiful, and it was still odd to think that she was his wife.

The morning came sooner than he would've liked. Arthur walking into the tent to confirm that dawn had broken a couple hours before and the sun had now risen enough to penetrate through the thicket of the trees surrounding the clearing they were in. Stretching and wincing at hearing his shoulder pop loudly which startled Margaery from her sleep as she also stretched and got up to get ready for the day. The second day of the meeting where a resolution would hopefully be reached.

He hadn't wished to bring up what had happened in Dorne so quickly, but the opportunity was there and he was done not taking the opportunity when it was right in front of him. The shock and anger on both Aegon's and Arianne's faces was clear enough that he had just thrown an axe in their plans and torn it to shreds. Now, they would have to remap everything which would give him time to think on everything. Could he give it all up? He knew it was the right thing to do because by law it was Aegon's by right. He was not going to deny such a fact. No one could deny that fact.

He took his time in making himself as presentable as possible before walking outside to see a boar on a spit which momentarily confused him but Arthur responded that one of the dragons had dropped it in the clearing not long before. Seeing the white and orange dragon that belonged to his brother scuttling around their tents but confusion whirred in his mind that no one was there. The flaps were opened but no one was inside. Where were they? He got his answer soon after with loud huffing from someone along with a dragging sound. Aegon and Ser Rolly if he recalled correctly dragging a man bound and gagged into the centre of the clearing. Wondering who this was for he did not recognise him. Looking him over before his eyes locked on the golden lions embroidered on his tunic which confirmed he was probably a Lannister.

"We brought you a gift. We caught him in Pentos just before we left."

Aegon spoke as they threw the man down who fell face first into the dirt. A part of him wanting to say that wasn't honourable but what did honour matter now? No matter what he would be breaking some form of it, there was no way around that.

"May I know who this is?"

Aegon had a grin on his face now, one full of malice which confirmed whoever it was, was important.

"That is Ser Kevan Lannister. Brother to Lord Tywin."

Immediately, Jaeron's eyes widened as he stared at the man who was glaring at him with a hatred so strong he felt like he was about to combust on the spot. Having to use every ounce of control he had to not falter under the stare.

"Why are you handing him over?"

"As a sign of good will."

It was a sign indeed. Whilst not great leverage it was leverage. If they were able to meet up with Prince Tristayne and Myrcella Waters they would have even more leverage. He'd be in a position where he'd be able to at least make a dent in the Lannister forces which may allow him to free Robb. Even now, where he had been taken to was unknown. But he had to find him, hopefully alive and unharmed. He was too valuable a hostage but Joffrey and Tywin were known to be vicious. He could see either of them harming his brother to try and break his resolve. If anything, the more time that passed the more his resolve stiffened.

"I wish to make an offer."

Aegon spoke, this time clearly and projecting it so everyone could hear. All moving to sit down on the rocks again after he ordered Ser Arthur to secure Ser Kevan to a tree so he couldn't escape. Once everyone was comfortably seated, he began.

"We have already discussed neither of us wish to back down nor do we wish to fight one another. I propose a temporary truce until our sister and aunt are back in Westeros to discuss then."

A council? It was a possibility but he knew how the council would likely go. It also wouldn't end the fact there was another claimant out there who had the entirety of the Westerland's behind him.

"Say I agree to this proposition, what do you wish from me?"

This was where he noticed both Aegon and Arianne were biting their lips. He had a solid idea what was about to be asked but it was words he needed to hear himself.

"We wish for aid to instil my wife to her rightful position."

There it was. A bold ask, but one he had concluded alongside Margaery before she had fallen asleep to be possible. They'd also discussed doing so for if they did instil Arianne as the Princess of Dorne, it would be a step to getting Dorne under him. It was risky, mayhaps too risky for many to take. Yet they didn't have the same weapons that he had. Looking to his wife and waiting on her to continue as she had been the one to confirm a solution.

"I shall write to my eldest brother upon our return to the Red Keep to gather an army. This army must only be used against those who are against the rightful ascension of Princess Arianne. If they are used for anything else- "

She trailed off as she looked up to where the trees parted above them to see Lyrax overhead. Continuing on for her.

"Sansa Stark must also be handed over unharmed."

A part of him wished to tell him of Allyria too yet she was still coming to terms with everything and he had agreed he would not tell anyone until she had decided. For so long it had just been him, Aemon, and Daenerys half a world away. Now there were six of them, and six dragons if the stories of their aunt in Essos were to be believed. His were the eldest though, and that was a fact that would not change. They would outlive them all most like, they could live to be easily two hundred. More words were shared and more agreements were made. Only once they had exhausted everything was it officially documented and signed by everyone in attendance so no one could claim falsehood.

The boar was carved not long after, yet no further words were shared. Neither were happy by the result but at least it was something. They would not fight one another and the succession issue would be handled with their other family members so it was fair for everyone and not just for one side. There was no need to remain after this as the wheelhouses were prepared to take himself, Margaery, Aemon, and Arthur back to the Red Keep. Horses were brought untied and were being saddled on the other side and both simply looking to one another and nodding slightly. Things could've gone a whole lot worse for them, and for that he was pleased.

"Brother!"

Aegon called, causing him to turn before stepping within the wheelhouse. A struggling Kevan Lannister already being forced within in chains. Now, each side had time to consider and discuss in detail. Jaeron had offered to give him more men on top of the men Willas would be gathering which he could tell was appreciated. Arianne deserved to have what was hers by right, and he would help her. Even if it was more for the political side of everything rather than her being his goodsister. Walking away from the wheelhouse to speak to Aegon one last time. Noticing he seemed a little nervous about what he was going to say.

"I know for good reason you despise Ser Torghen- "

He opened his mouth about to argue back but the white and orange dragon still attached to Aegon's back snapped his way. Biting his tongue and breathing deeply to try and calm down at the mention of the name of the man who had betrayed him so badly.

"I don't expect you to accept or even so much as look at him, yet there is something you can use him for."

Now, he was intrigued. Leaning in ever so slightly waiting on whatever was about to be spoken.

"Use his mother. Not as leverage, but to get into Lannisport."

What? What did Torghen's mother have to do with taking Lannisport? Clearly the expression he was wearing answered the obvious to his brother that he didn't know.

"Torghen's mother is Tarena Lannister, Jaeron. She's the only remaining member of the lowest branch of Lannister's there are and she hates her very distant cousins. How do you think word got to my mother to get both myself and Rhaenys out? She was tipped off by Tarena. She probably won't be able to get you near Casterly Rock, but she will be able to get you into the city undetected."