Supper was important.
His ave had drilled that into Müje's head countless times in his youth, and the youth knew that it was knowledge he would not forget any time soon, even if he wanted to. His ave had always made a point to sit all of them down for a meal at least once a day, a time set aside only for them in spite of how busy the Great Khal always was. So, when his father began to speak of him on how they would conduct their first dinner with the Targaryens, Müje was unsurprised.
Unsurprised, but wishing he could be elsewhere.
Preferably riding. With Daenerys.
Yes , he knew that the first dinner was important for his father's plans, for reasons he refused to say, but if that was truly the case, then why summon him away from his betrothed? Surely it could have waited a few hours?
Alas, I am a dutiful child, he lamented with a sigh- something that caught his ave's attention.
"What ails you, my son?" the Khal asked, breaking away from their old conversation, and Müje jerked at the sudden change. "Forgive me, a ve , it is just… my mind is elsewhere."
"Aah," his ave uttered, lips quirking upwards ever-so-slightly. "Your betrothed. I see." Müje's father nodded matter-of-factly. "She has bewitched you with her charms."
Müje blinked once, before his head snapped to look at his ave, indignation on behalf of his betrothed rising in him. "Wha- Ave, she is no sorcerer!"
His father grinned. "But she has bewitched you, yes?"
Müje opened his mouth to protest the claim, before an image of his wife-to-be rose from within his mind- silver hair crowned by pink sky, amethyst eyes reflected in a sea of sapphires, the kind beauty that radiated off her in droves-
The khalakka closed his mouth, covered his face with his hands, and groaned. Why must you torture me so, Ave?
Pointedly ignoring how he did not ( could not) refute his father's claims, the khalakka (reluctantly) pushed away the ingrained image before turning back to his father.
"And what if she has?" he muttered, voice hitched defensively, "Is that such a bad thing, to be taken by the moon of my-"
The khalakka stopped, blinked again, before his copper skiing flushed at the accidental term of endearment. He had not known his betrothed for a week already he was mooning over her, Mother of Mountains!
I truly am bewitched, Müje realized, before coming to the abrupt conclusion that he… did not actually mind that all too much. He supposed there were less enticing people too be enthralled by- because Daenerys was very enthralling to him. How had father even managed to arrange their marriage? Surely, for his betrothed, a dowry of silver and gold the size of Vaes Dothrak must have been paid.
Müje did not know, but he had the feeling he would forever be thankful for it.
Chuckling at his embarrassment, his father reached out to ruffle his hair, only for Müje to bat away the hand with another indignant look, and the Khal chortled again. "No, no. It is good that you are growing on each other," his ave replied. "A marriage takes two to work, after all."
Then his father's eyes grew sad, as they oft did on occasion, and the Khal fell silent.
"Cherish your youth, Müje," his ave spoke suddenly, suddenly somber. "You will not be young long, and war approaches on every horizon. It is known."
"It is known," Müje replied, wondering what his ave meant. The Free Cities had been silent for some years, the Disputed Lands once again in a lull, and the Sunset Kingdoms beyond the poison waters were dulled by peace. Did he mean to campaign against another khalasar again? Or perhaps he truly meant to cross the poison water and aid the Beggar Khal? The prospect of the latter did not appeal to Müje, seating Viserys on a throne.
And then the image changed to his betrothed sitting on said throne, draped in resplendent Yi-Tish silks and crowned by the sun, and the khalakka suddenly found the prospect much more appealing.
Shaking his head (and saving the image for another time), he set the thought aside. His ave would tell him if he needed to know. "Can I go now, ave? If we are to dine together, I need to seek out my betrothed."
The Khal nodded, seemingly distracted by his thoughts, and Müje took his leave, wheeling Chinggis around and beginning the journey back down the khalasar , just as lost in thought as his father, before shrugging and casting the errant thoughts of his father's words aside. Pondering on them would do him no good, so he did not bother to do so.
Instead, the khalakka's mind drifted to his betrothed, like it oft had in the past day. It was a trying task not to, given how enamored Müje was with her.
So beneath her grasp I am, the Dothraki youth noted, yet I know nearly nothing about her.
A fact he would do his best to rectify, Müje decided, assuming Daenerys was open to such a thing (he hoped she was). He would not pry where she did not wish, however, not unless he truly thought it to be for her own good.
For a split-second, Müje thought of his father's tales of mad kings across the sea, and wondered what truth there were to them.
Then he shrugged, pushed the thought aside, and continued on.
Müje would not have to ride far.
As dusk fell upon the slowing khalasar, and the sun began to dip beneath the distant Narrow Sea, he saw in the distance, to the khalakka's mild surprise, his kos and and kha s riding in his direction- and with them came a silver steed, upon which, his betrothed rode. And, once more, the sun crowned her as she and his kos (hers now as well, he realized abruptly) road up the road.
The Dothraki youth pitted his friends, for they would never have a betrothed as beautiful as his.
Then Daenerys' head perked up, having spotted him, and from the distance between them, she raised a hand in greeting. "Müje!" his betrothed called out, and almost in a blink, she is before him, a tentative smile on her face. "Davra shekh zohhe, " she murmured in greeting, evidently having learnt more Dothraki, and the khalakka had to actively remind himself to stop focusing on her (violet, vibrant, beautiful) eyes and return the greeting,
"A-anna jalan," Müje blurted back, unprepared to face Daenerys' beauty after hours of separation- only to immediately regret his hastiness when his kos and kas start chortling at his slip, his second of the day, but who was counting?
(Müje. Müje was counting.)
"Have you ever seen him so tongue-tied?" Kaddako chortled, only for Irri's cuffing him in the ear ("Quiet, Kadakko! Stop embarrassing him!" ) and Müje's embarrassed glare to silence him.
The khalakka wanted to scream into a pillow. His only consolation was that his betrothed could not yet fluently speak Dothraki, nor knew their customs well enough to understand the meaning of his or his ko's words if she had somehow managed to translate them.
Shifting his gaze to his friends, Müje glared at them until they ceased (though not before noting who ceased giggling last- he would pay them back for that later, preferably by shoving them into the lake near Vaes Athjikari the next time they passed it by), before returning his attention to Daenerys, a smile unconsciously conquering his face. "I, um, missed your presence today," he continued, his heart once again speaking before his mind could move to counteract it, and his betrothed's eyes widened, as if surprised. "Oh..! I- I missed you too, Müje."
He missed me?
Being around Müje was pleasant. Daenerys knew this. She did not exactly know wh y she felt this way- perhaps it was the way his dark curls shifted in the breeze, or how his copper skin shone like burnished bronze in the sun, or how he had never once looked leering his way like she had observed many others had over the years, or how kind he was, how gentle his voice rang-
(...Or maybe she did know.)
She'd never truly known many children her age, what with her and Viserys moving from one city to the other, always barely ahead of the Usurper's cloaked daggers, and rarely had she found the opportunity to make acquaintances outside Viserys oor whomever happened to be hosting them that moon.
So having her presence missed, by someone, by Müje, who made her feel like a girl her age- not a small child with little understanding for the world of men, nor an adult upon whom the lecherous stares of greedy Magisters cursed… It was a foregin feeling. An unknown.
Daenerys was starting to like the unknowns these Dothraki kept showing.
Yet, her betrothed's words were so abruptly surprising that she did not have time to even think to filter her words, so she told him the truth- that she had missed him as well,
She had very much missed him. Daenerys wished she had been able to reach him sooner, so that they might have spent some of the day together.
But, her mind supplied, there will be many more days to come- all the rest in our lives.
The thought made her happier than she dared admit out loud.
"My father means for us to dine together, tonight, when the khalasar makes camp," her betrothed continued, and Daenerys wondered what to make of it. She'd not yet been to a Dothraki feast before- then again, she supposed, few her age who were not Dothraki had. Daenerys felt a small amount of tradition at the thought- "A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair," she'd heard before departing Pentos. Would the same be true for this?
"I see…" she replied, before smiling tentatively again. "Are you to take me, then?" she asked. When attending banquets and feasts, Lords and Ladies always came in pairs, did they not? And she would not be loath to be a pair with Müje.
Her betrothed nodded "If you wish it," came his quiet reply, and though her heart near-leapt at that (because she did, in fact, wish it so) Daenerys felt her smile fall slightly. "Do you wish it?" the girl asked in return, only to be pleasantly taken aback when her betrothed immediately nodded.
"Very much so," came his reply, equally as quiet as before, and Daenerys could do little to stop the beam spreading across her face.
Then, nudging Rhaemarr closer to her husband-to-be's own mount, she gently took his hand in hers. "I too, very much wish it so," Daenerys told her betrothed, and was nearly blinded by the tentative, but genuine way Müje's smile grew wider.
Her betrothed looked away from her, then, squinting at the fading sun before turning back to her. "We have yet some time before supper is had," he announced, before wheeling his mount around towards the head of the khalasar. "I-if you wish, we can converse as we ride. I… I know so little of you, Daenerys. If I am to be a good husband to you-" and oh, how her heart fluttered at that- "should I not know your wants, your dislikes? We are to be wed, and I would like to make you happy, if you will let me."
Not for the first time, Daenerys wondered who had made the first overture for her betrothal to the boy before her. One day, I shall learn who, so that I might thank them with all my heart.
"Then I shall let you," she replied with a smile, "on one condition. If I am to be a good wife to you, should I not also know your wants and dislikes? I want to make you happy, too."
And, suddenly mortified at her boldness, Daenerys turned away, and Rhaemarr broke into a canter. Then she turned her head, looking back to her betrothed, who simply… stared at her with a mixture of… awe and relief and something else that she could not identify- another unknown.
Like all of Müje's unknowns thus far, Daenerys knew it to be a good one.
(Daenerys suddenly pitted all the Dothraki women who had no doubt vied for Müje's hand, for they would never have a betrothed as wonderful as hers.)
"Are we to converse, my betrothed, or do you find this place comfortable?" she called to him, and the khalakka blinked, before urging his mount after hers.
Then the two of them, side by side, rode up the khalasar, followed by the kos, kas, and her handmaidens.
And, looking at her betrothed, kind and caring yet carefree in the wind, Daenerys came to the conclusion that there was nowhere else she would rather be.
The final tents had been lain down. The food had been drawn. His son and his betrothed had been sighted not five minutes away from tonight's feast grounds- and where the Targaryen Princess was, the Beggar King would follow.
From his seat on the raised dais overlooking the feast ground, Khal Drogo called for two servants. "Bring me the chest," he commanded, and they went to do his bidding. And, when they returned with what he had asked, he opened it, and from it, withdrew two things.
The first was a magnificent goblet of silver and gold, woven patterns of crowned dragons burnished onto it, the words KING VISERYS III stamped into the goblet's base, for its intended recipient.
The second was a bottle from Arbor Gold, purchased in Tyrosh.
Two more items lay within the chest- a small, empty glass vial, and a vial of , though the Khal took neither. The first has served its purpose, and the last, he hoped, would never have to be used.
So, raising the empty goblet in a false toast, the Khal spoke, his words going unheard amidst the many others buzzing about the khalasar.
"Here is wine," he said, "fit for the crown of a king. May he drink his fill, and know satisfaction. Hail, King Viserys."
And here, the Khal smiled grimly.
"Long may you reign."
A/N: Aaaaaaaaaand timeskip! The next time you see this, the khalasar will be a few days ride from either Vaes Dothrak or Vaes Athjikhari, where we can start to get to the meat of the plot. Apologies for the long hiatus, everyone. My muse burning out, other plotbunnies, school exams, etc, there were a lot of reasons why this took so long.
I'd have done the dinner scene if I thought it important enough, but it isn't, so y'all get a Drogo tidbit instead.
I'd also apologize for the amount of fluff, and I'd try to tone it down if I could if not for the fact that Dany and Müje keep screaming at me to keep it.
All I wanted to do was write about Discount-Mongols and now I have to deal with YA/Teen subplot lmao.
(Also, if any of you want to see what I imagined Müje looks like, check out the Ao3 version of this chapter.)