Screams of pure agony came from within one of the tents in the Dothraki city.
Viserys sat back on edge, clutching his hands together, and nervously rocking back and forth as his boots tapped frantic beats against the dusty dirt below. He listened to his wife's screams, and twice she had screamed out, begging for him. Finally having enough, Viserys nearly shot up straight like a cannon, ready to charge straight through the entrance of the tent, and use his sword on whoever crossed him. Twice he had done this, trying to charge forward, before two of Drogo's bloodriders stopped him. The first time before he was even able to take his sword out it had been taken from him. He gritted his teeth, his eyes wide and mad, shouting at the two large men that they were nothing but savages. In the end, it was Daenerys who got him to sit back down and relax.
"You need to let the midwife do her work. Allow nature to take its course."
"If anything goes on wrong I swear I'll kill them all Daenerys."
"These are my people, and they are here to help."
"That is my wife. You may have your sun and stars in Khal Drogo, but inside there is my queen...my whole world."
Daenerys who was nearly towards the end of her own pregnancy frowned, her hand absently rubbing her swollen stomach as her son inside gave a series of frenzied kicks from inside her womb. She felt awful for her brother. A few months ago, Sterling came to her with concerns. Viserys was growing impatient that Drogo wasn't giving the army as promised. Viserys had been on edge since, his temper extremely short. Sterling came to Daenerys explaining her concerns, and Daenerys was able to let Sterling know that Drogo planned on not moving his army to help Viserys reclaim the throne until his son was born. Sterling perfectly understood, but she wasn't so sure Viserys would. Instead, the two women put their heads together, and in the end it was decided on a small potion they had bought in the market.
Here Sterling would sprinkle it into Viserys water, and almost as if it was magic. Two sprinkles, one in the morning, and one at night. Viserys' mood suddenly changed. He became calm, and much more relaxed. His snotty attitude seemed to settle down. He didn't say much, and besides a few eye rolls from being annoyed, he seemed perfectly fine. Daenerys had noticed her brother's change in attitude. He stayed close to Sterling, and the few interactions he did have with Daenerys were cold, but far from unpleasant. For the next few months the dragon wasn't woken, and a great relief settled around Daenerys and Sterling. Sterling constantly kept an eye out on her husband, making sure he didn't hear Drogo's men snicker and laugh about him behind his back. As the months crawled by, Viserys and Sterling made their own private special world. Most days they would spend inside their shared tent, soaking in cool baths, laying around, reading, and making love. Viserys almost seemed like a whole new man as he watched Sterling's stomach grow with his child inside. Constantly his hands were placed firmly on her belly, feeling his baby move inside of her.
"He's feisty, a true dragon."
Most nights he would make love with her frantically, always taking her from behind in fear of hurting his baby. There hadn't been one night during the rest of her pregnancy that they hadn't not made love. Even if Sterling was completely exhausted, she would find herself kneeling on the piles of blankets and soft silk pillows. Breathing heavy, she would grasp onto the pillows as Viserys knelt behind her, entering her roughly as he gritted his teeth, thrusting inside of her. When it was time to drift off, the two would lay naked beside each other, Viserys' hand draped across the tight skin of her stomach, gently rubbing, as he whispered and softly told her stories of the Targaryen, He had insisted that as soon as the baby was born, he wanted to send her back to Illyrio, so he knew for certain Sterling and his child was safe. The morning came where Sterling was walking with Viserys to the market when suddenly she stopped in her tracks, eyes widening before a gush of water came down from her onto the dirt road, showing that their child was ready to be born. The midwife was fetched, and now hours later Viserys and Daenerys waited outside while Drogo and his men were out on a hunt. Hearing Sterling's pain filled screams, he nervously rang his hands together tightly, the knuckles stretched out and white. He gently rocked back and forth before finally he had enough. Shooting up, he shook his head.
"This is absolute madness, they're killing her!"
Spinning around, he charged into the vent, letting his eyes adjust to the dim light. Instantly he saw Sterling sitting up, her hair still pinned up, but strands hanging down, plastered with sweat. Her face looked deathly pale, her perfectly round stomach showing beneath the black slip she wore. Two of the handmiads were sitting on each side of her, squeezing her hands. The midwife was kneeling, working between her two spread legs which were slick with blood. Outraged, he marched over, before Sterling laid back, exhausted, and gasping for breath.
Viserys stared at his wife, and instantly knew something was wrong. Kneeling down, he saw the amount blood pooling beneath her, before he glared at the midwife.
"What's taking so long?!"
"My lord, your wife has lost a great deal of blood, she's too weak..."
Viserys bared his teeth at the midwife.
"You're a fool! You shouldn't be trusted, now get OUT OF MY WAY!"
He shoved her like a child would, causing her to cry out in surprise as she fell down. The handmaid's all looked surprised, before Sterling laid her head against Dora. She looked weak, her lips a grayish blue. Circles underneath her eyes, she weakly stared up at him.
"Cut him out...save the baby, please Viserys..."
Viserys took a deep breath, rolling up his sleeves, before tucking his long silver hair behind his ears. Leaning down, he slid his hands inside his wife and could instantly feel the baby. It was close, but he could feel the pressure of the cord almost wrapped tightly around its neck. He remembered all those years ago when his mother gave birth to his sister, dying in the process, he had seen the cord cut, and remembered the midwife had nearly lost Daenerys when the same thing happened with the cord.
"Get me a small knife. GO NOW!"
He snapped at the midwife, before he stared forward at Sterling. "Darling, look at me...stay with me!" Weakly she stared at him. Viserys knew he couldn't show how scared he was.
"Listen to me, I need you to push just three more times. Only when I say, you need to push as hard as you can...but only when I say."
Sterling nodded before she stared at him weakly.
"Viserys...if i can't do this promise me you'll save the baby...don't hate him...he's your heir...please..."
Viserys didn't want to listen to any of this. Instead, he reached forward, positioning his hands before he looked at his wife. It hit him right then and there, and he actually loved her. That he didn't just marry her for trust, or her magic...that she was more than a queen to his king, but the woman who believed in him and stood by his side through it all. He wanted to prove to her that he was worthy of her love, and child or no child he wanted her by his side. He hated to admit it, but months ago he would have chosen the baby to save instead of her. Kneeling there, feeling his child fighting to be born, and looking at his beautiful wife and her tired red eyes as he knew he would be damned if he allowed her to bleed out and die as his mother did all those years ago. Gritting his teeth, he leaned forward, a few fallen strands of his silver hair falling in his face.
"Okay my darling, look at me...look at my eyes. Remember it's just the two of us..." She stared at him weakly before he nodded.
"PUSH! PUSH MY LOVE! PUSH!"
Leaning forward, snapping her eyes shut she screamed, her face filling with color as she continued screaming and bore down with all of her might. She pushed as hard as she could, leaning forward as Viserys felt the child shift, being pushed further down out of her womb. Fresh blood soaked down, slicking his hands, before he nodded, knowing there wouldn't be any chance of her to keep up her strength if she waited. Instead he nodded, looking down, seeing the baby's head appear, bloody but crowning.
"PUSH! AGAIN STERLING! PUSH!"
Sterling screamed, squeezing the handmaid's hands as she bore down, her face turning bright red as she screamed until she was hoarse sounding. She leaned forward even more, letting go of the handmaid's hands, before placing her palms against her stomach before staring at viserys. Tears of pain rolled down her face as she stared at him. Viserys nodded.
"You can do this...one more time..."
He said, actually sounding scared. He stared at her, before she nodded and reached forward and gently stroked Viserys' sweaty pale face. Weaky smiling, she nodded.
"We can do this."
He nodded. Placing her hands on her stomach, she took a second before snapping her eyes shut and suddenly screaming at the top of her lungs as she bore down as hard as she could. Viserys took a deep breath, looking down as his wife pushed as hard as she could, before suddenly he felt the pressure of the baby sliding out, going straight into his hands, covered in blood and afterbirth, the cord almost wrapped completely around it's neck.
It was a boy...
They had a son. Without a second thought, he used the pocket knife and cut the cord from around his son's throat, before holding up the baby in utter amazement. The baby squirmed, before screaming, his lungs filling air, heavy and strong. He held the baby in complete disbelief, before he laughed, tears of joy filling his eyes. Looking up, he stared at his wife, collapsed against Dora, still bleeding badly, exhausted, but happy. She sat there smiling, as Viserys smiled, leaning down and kissing his son's head.
"He's perfect...and he shall one day wear a crown...a crown for a king."
Sterling blinked, as if she hadn't heard right. Sitting up slightly, still drained and exhausted from difficult birth. Weaky, she stared at her husband, holding their newborn son who was already starting to settle down, strongly wriggling and kicking his tiny arms and legs. This had been the worst pain she had ever experienced, and honestly didn't think she could survive it. Still, watching Viserys hold their newborn son, a tired yet thrilled glimmer in his eyes. Viserys' hair hung down, his sleeves still pushed up, and her blood smeared all over him. He suddenly looked so happy, a relieved look spreading over his face as he gave a thin smile, in fact it looked to be the happiest she had ever seen him. Here he had saved her life, delivering their son, his heir, the prince. Suddenly she heard Drogo's voice somewhere in the distance, sounding as if it was lowly growling like a wild animal.
"A crown for a king!"
Sterling blinked and then her eyes widened in horror as she laid back and watched her husband and newborn son suddenly get covered in liquid steaming hot gold. It appeared out of nowhere, pouring down on the two of them, covering them in just a matter of seconds. Sterling was there, in complete horror as she heard Viserys give the same unhuman shriek of pain, as the baby made a gurgling sound, as the gold covered them like a blanket, burning away at flesh, hair, and their faces.
Sterling snapped awake. She had nodded off while riding her horse into King's Landing. Jerking awake, she grasped onto the reins, nearly falling off. Her heart hammered in her chest, as her large red eyes stared around, taking a second to see exactly where she was, and that she had simply suffered from the same horrifying nightmare, she usually had whenever she suspected something awful was about to happen. Gathering herself, she blinked, looking around before knowing she would tie her horse up soon, there were woods and she figured he would be safe there.
Sterling had arrived, spotting several others she remembered from Winerfell. The soldier named Bronn had taken them to the meeting. She had tied up her horse, following the others, dressed in her black horse hair leggings and laced up blouse. She had left her coat, but had her dragon glass flail hooked up to her belt. She wore boots, and walked with the others, noticing the looks her red eyes were getting. Bronn had smirked at her as they walked, before taking her hand and kissing it.
"And you are?"
Sterling smiled back, knowing a fool when she saw one.
He raised an eyebrow.
"My marriage, my husband is dead."
Bronn smiled even wider.
"What a shame..."
Still smiling and shaking her head, she walked forward, joining Jon Snow's side. He actually looked relieved to see her.
"I expected to see you, how was your journey."
"I sometimes forget how long riding takes one on two legs. Still, it was pleasant."
"I returned from Dragonstone myself."
"I have sworn my allegiance to Queen Daenerys."
Sterling nodded, still walking ahead. Jon nervously eyed her.
Sterling shook her head, her flail gently swinging against her body.
"No. I expected such. She has three dragons, as well as all the dragon glass you can use. I helped myself just enough to a weapon I've grown accustomed to..."
She showed the flail as she continued walking as she continued.
"You are a good man Jon, all I ask if for you to be careful...that is all."
"She has two dragons now...Viserion, the gold and cream one was killed by the night king beyond the wall. Seeing the undead convinced Daenerys to help us."
She smirked again, shaking her head as they continued walking. Jon sighed seeing this expression before he cleared his throat.
"No...as I said Daenerys lost both husband and child, same as me. My business is done with her. If she's willing to fight and use her remaining dragons very well. We have a common threat, that is all I'm interested in..."
Sighing, she stared at him just one last time before she decided to pick up the pace and walk even further ahead.
"Just be careful Jon Snow...a woman who burns people who don't follow her to ash, and stands back watching a man who was not just her brother, but mother and father as well..."
She sighed staring down at her golden wedding ring.
"Well...I would be careful. The coin lands where the coin lands...just remember what I said. I've been married to a Targaryen. I know the look...I just hope you won't ever see it."
With that she walked forward, marching into the arena with the others. When Daenerys arrived on her massive dragon, Sterling sat back not even looking the slightest bit surprised. She sat beside Jon, and the moment Daenerys and Jorah saw her, she could see the stunned expressions on their faces.
"We've been here for some time."
The queen said. Daenerys tore her look away from Sterling, and calmly looked at the queen.
They began speaking, and all the while Sterling sat still. Her red eyes staring ahead, not looking at Daenerys, or Jorah, or really anyone at all. Instead she simply stared ahead and listened. When The Hound revealed the undead soldier, she saw how absolutely terrified the others were. She watched as Jon explained how to destroy them, and watched as the newest leader of the Iron Island claimed that he was leaving with his fleet. She sat back listening. She watched as the Queen got up disgusted, before her dwarf brother who was the hand to Daenerys insisted on meeting with her. While everyone went their own separate ways, Daenerys approached Sterling, who simply stood near a wooden pole, leaning against it, while absently playing with her flail. She had suspected that Daenerys would wish to speak with her, and wasn't even the slightest bit surprised as she watched her walk over.
Sterling raised a dark eyebrow, before she stood up straight, and nodded.
Jon looked uncomfortable before Daenerys gave a strained smile staring at her.
"You look well. It's been..."
"Years, yes. I see your dragons have grown. They are truly beautiful."
The largest dragon flew overhead in circles, it's large wings swooping and causing a gentle breeze over them. Daenerys gazed up lovingly at them before she gave a thin smile, looking so much like Viserys at that moment before turning back towards her.
"Jon informed me you would be here. I heard you assisted in him reclaiming his family home. That was very brave."
"I just happened to be flying in the right place at the right time."
"You came here..."
"To oversee the queen's reaction. I believed Jon and the others telling tales of the undead, now I was able to witness it with my own two eyes. We have a common enemy, I'm here to help fight."
Daenerys closely stared at her, before she dropped her eyes for a moment.
"One of my dragons was killed by the undead, I named him after Viserys..."
"He would have liked that. In fact, I'm sure seeing them hatch and fly through the skies would have been quite something for him to witness."
Sterling shook her head.
"My husband was cruel and weak, I'm sorry I didn't do more to stop him. He was terrible to you and used you like property. Still, he did raise you, and keep you alive all those years. That Viserys that taught you how to walk, talk, and learn about your family's legacy was the man that I grew to love. Nevertheless, he was a fool and it cost him his life, plain and simple. What's done is done. You are the last of the Targaryens, do what your brother couldn't."
"Dead, yes. I heard, as is your child. It seems as if we both lost sons and are widows. I just want to do what's right and fight up North. I wish you the best Daenerys..."
With that she nodded before catching Jon's confused looking stare before turning and walking away. She could feel her hands curl into tight fists, wanting nothing more than to turn her hands into talons and rip her sister-in-law's throat out. Instead she just continued walking, feeling the rage bubble up over her knowing if they did survive the battle of the undead, she had unfinished business with Daenerys.
That night Jon insisted she charter the same ship that would be taking them up North. Not wanting to transform again, she accepted, having tended to her horse down below deck, before wearing her coat, putting up the fur hood, and gazing up at the sparkling stars. The wind was howling, and she heard footsteps. Glancing over, she saw Jon approaching her.
"Something on your mind Jon Snow?" Jon Snow sighed before shaking his head.
"If we survive this...Daenerys will be your queen..."
"You're bending the knee to her?"
Jon sighed, his breath coming out in tiny clouds.
"She's the right choice, you saw King's Landing..."
Sterling sighed, turning and blinking her bright red eyes at him.
"I have seen Daenerys stand back as his brother was murdered, watched from afar as she murdered people who crossed her, or burned them down to the ground. I know I'm not the only one who has seen this, or knows the Targaryen madness. I am no fool, I know how my husband was. There's no excuse for what he did, but I've said it once and I'll say it again...he didn't deserve to die like he did. Daenerys once was the breaker of chains, and I do believe perhaps years ago she very well could have been the Queen we all needed. Now, I'm not so sure. The coin continues to flip in the air, and I'm afraid I can sense it landing on the madness side. She'll be of great use with her dragons, but I'm afraid afterwards when it comes to taking the Seven Kingdoms she will show you what I've seen."
Jon dropped his eyes before she sighed, tilting her head to the side.
"You love her?"
Jon looked ashamed, but nevertheless met her eyes. Sterling nodded, disappointed, but not angry.
"They claim I can do magic, but it is she who can cast the spells. Have a care Jon Snow, I hope to the Gods I'm wrong...I truly do. I hope she can be the leader I know my husband could never be, but I sense once this battle is over, she will start eliminating anyone who she sees as a threat...I'm sure I'm on that list."
"And what will you do?"
Sterling sighed, smiling and staring up at the stars.
"You can't threaten someone who believes their loved one is waiting for them on the other side. Ever since Viserys gave his last scream I've been half here, simply going through the motions and doing what I swore I would do."
"To fight, help the ones who deserve to be helped...and tie up any unfinished business I once had."
"You're aren't thinking about doing anything stupid are you?"
Sterling smiled and shook her head.
"You won't have to worry about me Jon Snow. I just hope I'm wrong about her."
"My sister Sansa feels the same way about her, it worries me..."
"You're sister will be fine, just do as I said Jon Snow, keep a watchful eye, and remember...you're here for a reason."
"All in due time Jon Snow...all in due time..."
Patting her friend's arm, she ventured further down the deck, before glancing back and watching Jon walk down below deck. She knew where he was going, and wished him the best. Daenerys was beautiful, and as she said could cast spells to make these men love her and follow her. She sensed Jon Snow in the end would make the right choice and see her for the monster she was, but also figured it would come at a price. She knew she would die trying, but she wanted one of the last things Daenerys heard was that she was the one that made the witch take her beloved Khal Drogo away as well as her child.
As she walked the deck, arms crossed, warmly inside her long fur lined sleeves, her boots clicking, feeling the boat roll against the waves, she stared up at the star lit sky and thought of her son Dacre. She knew he was with people who would raise him right, never knowing he was a true Targaryen. Still, she wondered if he had silver hair like his father? Smiling, she continued walking, feeling the cold winds of the North hit her face like a thousand little knives.
Several days later...
It was over. The Long Night. Sterling had met Gendry who was a blacksmith, and was very impressed with her flail. She armed herself, meeting Jon Snow's family, as well as everyone else. That night she fought the hardest she had ever fought in her entire life. She found herself running around Winterfell, dressed in her horsehair leggings, her hair pinned up, as she swung the flail around, whooshing it above her head, knocking into the undead. She helped several soldiers, and nearly got killed herself twice, before suddenly all of the undead exploded like glass. The Night King was dead.
That night she stood with the others laughing and toasting Jon Snow, all the while watching from a far as Daenerys glared. She knew that look, she had seen that look before, and knew how dangerous it was. So she knew her business was done here. Several of the soldiers tried asking her to bed, instead she laughed, and smiled, showing her wedding ring, before venturing outside. Jon Snow joined her, holding his ale, before she turned and smiled towards him.
"Until we meet again Jon Snow."
"Must you be going?"
She nodded, before handing him her flail. Swallowing her wedding ring, she sighed, before taking her coat off, then her blouse, and leggings. Standing back, Jon looked away embarrassed, before she stood naked before him. Feeling the cold winter air, she took a deep breath before she smiled.
"I'll be near, watching if you need me."
Reaching forward, she gently stroked the side of his face, before she stood back, and transformed. Within seconds, her bones cracked, her body shrunk, and within seconds black feathers popped out before a raven appeared before him. Crying out, shaking it's feathers it flew off into the darkness while Jon Snow watched, sighing. Flying, Sterling figured now that the undead army was gone, the last place for Daenerys was King's Landing.
It might take some time, but she knew that's where she would be headed. She also figured, that's where it would happen, where she would die trying to stop it. Yet, before she flew South to face Daenerys, she decided she would fly over the farm one last time and see her son. She wouldn't transform, but she wanted to see him one last time. Out of her entire miserable life, he was the one good thing that had come out of it. She wanted to say goodbye.