Hello! :D Us again. So, yes to clarify, it's a Sansa/OMC

Thanks soooo much for giving our story the time of day, and please leave a comment when you can ;D

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Chapter One

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Macon was grateful for the unusually quiet halls that day. He knew that his father and the royal party were expected to return at any moment, and he was already preparing to return to his regular activities. Ser Loras would be returning soon, from his family back in Highgarden with the arrival of the king, and Macon dreaded when he'd have to return to his duties as a squire. It had been his Uncle Renly that had assured the arrangement years ago, but Macon did not know why Loras continued to put up with him as his squire.

The Knight of the Flowers had left not long after the King and rode to Highgarden to visit his family, but had mercifully left Macon in the Capitol. Both Renly and Loras had known that Lady Dahlia was soon to deliver and gave Macon leave to stay by her side, knowing that Lord Godfrey would have nothing to do with the babe until it survived longer than a few days. Just another reason for Macon to hold hatred for his mother's husband.

Throughout his childhood, Macon had been shown attention from Robert, who would take him hunting, oversee his sparring lessons or even visit him and his mother's apartments a time or two. But Godfrey had always suspected that the attention was a ploy for the King to bed Dahlia once again. The Lord had said as much to Dahlia, to which she denied every accusation and lie that her husband yelled in his drunken rage. Macon had slowly come to realize that it was because of his own actions that Dahlia would be punished.

If he mucked up as a squire, or got into some squabble which ended in fists, or disobeyed Lord Godfrey, his mother would reap the consequences. Godfrey would never touch him, because who knew what they king would do if he beat his favorite son? Macon hated it, being stuck between wanting to prove himself to his father and needing to obey Godfrey to keep his mother safe. At a young age Macon was surrounded by the worst of men, leading him down a path of anger and hatred.

Dahlia had always said that was why Robert showed Macon any attention, to see the true nature of a Baratheon. She said he reminded her so much of Robert when he was young, a sentiment which Macon despised. Macon hated his temper, hated the fury that he had bubbling beneath his veins. It drove him to trouble easily, and he hated it even more when the taunts thrown his way would so easily drive him to anger. It was Macon's anger which led him to anger Lord Godfrey, and his anger would cause his mother's pain. It seemed that only his mother was able to tame his fury while nearly everyone was able to invoke it.

As Macon made his way down to the streets, his mind flashed back to his mother. She had been in the throes of labor when he had been rushed from the room, the old Septa telling him that he was too old to be at his mother's side. Macon knew the old woman's words to be true, but they still brought about a feeling of shame. Nearly a man and still Macon stayed close to his mother, never clinging to her as he would when a boy, but never far lest she needed him. Other boys made fun of him for that, would call him 'Mummy's boy' but he loved his mother too much to let their words bother him.

Macon kept his few coins in a little pouch in his hand, always clasped tightly in a fist because he knew how desperate, people could get in the streets of King's Landing. When he was about twelve, he'd been sent down here by Ser Loras on an errand to the smiths, and had ended up beating another boy bloody for trying to steal the money the knight had entrusted him with. That was his first real fight and even now he marveled at how much he liked it, the feel of power, of control. He'd never tell his dear, gentle mother about this, but he had a feeling she already knew.

The southern sun was hot as it always was and Macon felt himself sweat through his cotton tunic. He walked from the Red Keep farther and farther, not knowing where he was going, but not really caring. He'd learned when he was eleven that the birthing process was long, and although he wished he were back in the Keep with his mother, he had to waste time away from her until his little brother or sister came into the world. Screaming with strong lungs, he hoped.

He passed merchants and vendors crowing out their product, little children passed him, purposefully bumping against him in the hopes of stealing his purse. He saw a woman with a big spotted snake draped around her shoulders, and a basket for coin at her feet and a whore leaning against the wall of a brothel, her long smooth legs peeking out from her thin dress teasingly. Macon's mouth went dry.

"Hello, love." She purred when he passed. "Like some comp'ny? I'd give my time for free for a han'some lad like you." She smelled of dried sweat and faded spices when he passed. Through her thin dress he could see her nipples hardened and tantalizing and the generous curve of her breast. The boy felt himself stirring in his breeches. Macon walked past her, forcing himself to press on through the maze of people, although he was sorely tempted to take her up on her offer. Even as he was there to waste time until his mother gave birth, fucking about with a whore was not in his current interest.

"I've got silks! I got velvets! I got linens! All kindsa fabrics for all kindsa prices!" he heard a man shout from ahead. Macon walked forward, intending just to walk by and not pay the loud vendor any attention, but something stopped him as he prepared to press on. "I got blankets so soft, baby's skin can't compare!" Macon paused, and turned towards the cart eying up the neatly folded and rolled fabrics of all colours on the cart.

"Like some fabric, m'lord?" asked the vendor, a smile stretching across his cracked yellow teeth when he saw the lad's fine clothes. "I could get ye some pretty fabrics for ya lady to make a dress of, so fine she'll demand you return!" he laughed.

"I'm not a lord," Macon replied shortly. "And I have no lady. I need a...a baby's blanket." His voice was quiet, almost embarrassed as he said it.

The merchant clapped his sun browned hands merrily. "Ah! A new father! I've just the thing for you, m'lord!" He turned away. Macon opened his mouth to snap at the annoying man again, but a small child rushed past him and pushed him forward. And then another body bumped his. And another.

"Seven hells!" he cursed aloud. "What is this then?!"

"The king has returned!" someone in the crowds cried.

"The new Hand is comin'!" Cried another.

"King Robert! King Robert approaches!" Macon's face betrayed no emotion as he heard the common folk crowing about his father's return.

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Macon walked up the stone steps to his and his mother's chambers—he'd never think of it as Lord Godfrey's because he had moved in when he wasn't welcome, in Macon's opinion.

Gods, he prayed the babe was alright. His mother, for some reason, couldn't have another child after him, and every time she got pregnant, he prayed to the gods he never really believed in for the child's safety. It was like some cruel joke fate played on Lady Dahlia, because she would get so achingly close, and then fate would snatch it away, leaving her suffering and hollow. Why were the gods so cruel to the most innocent of people? His thumb rubbed the soft blue fabric in his hands, a silken blanket with yellow stars for his baby brother or sister. It was small, and they'd probably outgrow it fast, but it was soft and perfect for a babe just born.

The apartment was eerily quiet when he came in, his heart dropped low in his belly with worry. His mother was not screaming in agony any more, but neither was there a babe's cries echoing off the walls. Macon bit his lip, clutching the blanket tightly in his hands. It was alright, he told himself as he slowly strode to his mother's room. It's alright, she's just calmed him down or she's feeding him...they're alright, nothing's wrong. Nothing's wrong...

But as he quietly tapped on the door, and perked up as it opened by the attending septa, Macon's heart stopped for one singular second, and then broke as the maester turned around holding a little bundle covered with a plain white cloth. He heard his mother sobbing before he saw her, a sad, desolate, broken noise of nothing but pure agony. Why had this happened again? Why were the gods constantly punishing his mother? What in the Seven hells had she done to offend them so? And even if what she did was something ugly and terrible, which he doubted, losing one baby was enough punishment.

"Wait," he whispered as the maester prepared to pass him. The old bald man paused and looked at Macon with what he could only describe as haughtiness. Macon didn't acknowledge it, didn't feel any anger bubble up through the haze of heartsickness. He was too sad, too hurt for the sibling he had lost once again. The bastard boy unfolded the blanket and carefully laid it over the tiny little bundle in the man's arms. He didn't want the little body of the baby to be treated as though it hadn't been...loved, or wanted, as though it was just another baby. Macon closed the door behind the maester, not caring that the septa was still changing the bloodied bed sheets.

As he made his way to his mother's side, Macon saw the way her glassy eyes could not stray from that little bundle of cloth. That little, little bundle...it was only as long as the maester's hands as he carried it away. Dahlia began weeping then. He wouldn't let her see it, said it would make her go mad to see her babe lying so still and pale. But...she wanted to see it! Wanted to hold it, know what it had been...she wanted her baby.

"Mother," Macon murmured, gently gripping her cold hand in his. He hated seeing her cry, especially when he knew he could do nothing to make it better. Macon had been five when his mother suffered through her first stillborn, nine when she miscarried, eleven when his sister was born and died three days after and thirteen and fourteen when she miscarried again. "Mother, please don't cry," a woman's tears unmanned him, they always had. He felt as weak as a little boy when they cried. Give him blood, give him pain, give him fists and kicks and broken bones, and he could handle it all. Tears he could not.

Dahlia continued to weep. Too many times she'd felt this pain, far too many times.

Macon bit his lip, and squeezed her hand, wishing he could make her hurt go away.

Macon stayed like that for hours, simply holding his weeping mother's hand in his until her inconsolable sobs settled into sniffles. The windows had all been covered, and the Septa had long ago left Lady Dahlia in the dark, when Macon allowed a single tear to flow from his eye. That one tear sliding down his cheek held so much pain and anger and hurt and despair in it, that the boy did not need to shed another.

Macon had shown his tears once to Godfrey, just a boy of six years, one evening after another round of painful words had been thrown his way. 'Bastard Macon, the King of Bacon', the stable boys had called him, chanting until the scrawny, black-haired boy could no longer hold his tears. He had run back to his rooms, to his mother, but instead found a drunken Godfrey. "Skin yer knee, little girl? Dropped yer needle?" Godfrey had said, always cruel, always finding ways to turn words into weapons that burned Macon's skin. The young boy had tried to explain, to tell Godfrey that it wasn't his fault but the older, bitter man would hear none of it. Because of this, instead of tears Macon found anger. The next boy who chanted an insult in Macon's direction had quickly found himself with a broken nose.

A gentle knocking at the door pulled Macon from his thoughts, his painful memories of his youth, and he looked to see his mother had drifted into sleep. He pulled his hand slowly away and made his way to the door, his booted feet quiet against the stone floor. He opened the door slowly, at was surprised to see a familiar face staring back at him. He opened the door wider and stepped fully into the hall.

"Lord Varys?"

"Macon, forgive me for interrupting you in your mother's hour of need, but I am in need of a pair of strong arms and a youthful back. Would you indulge an old man by giving your assistance?" the Spider's words were slippery, so oddly spoken that Macon knew there was deceit in them, but knew not where to find it.

Macon would have said no, would have slammed the door in the man's face and returned to his mother's side had it been anyone but Varys. The boy had learned long ago that Varys rarely said or did anything without careful planning. Each move the Spider made was only one part of a bigger plan. For the Lord to arrive at his mother's door and asking him for help was not out of need...it was out of want.

"Am I the only boy in this city with strong arms and a youthful back, my Lord?" Macon crossed his arms in front of his chest, leaning his shoulder against the door frame. "I could give you five names of boys that are stronger than me." Varys gave a small smirk, nodding his head slightly as he brought his arms up in front of his stomach, his hands disappearing inside his large sleeves.

"Must we always play this little game, my Lord?" Macon snorted at the title. "Does being called that bother you? Are you not the son of a Lady?"

"I'm also the bastard son of the King. I will hold no lands and I will not be a Lord held up in a Keep." There was no use in hiding the truth of the matter. This he'd learned long ago.

"Of course, Macon. But only the Gods truly know what our futures will hold." Varys paused for a moment, letting the silence fill the space between them. Macon did not meet his eyes, but Varys hoped that the boy would someday learn to listen to not the words that were spoken, but the meaning behind those words. "The hour grows late as we stand here, the King will be riding through the city any moment. Will you help an old man, Macon Lord of no Lands?"

"You are not old; you just don't want to ruin that pretty tunic you've got on."

"Oh, do you like it? I thought the shade fit the day nicely." Varys showed no signs of humor on his face as he spoke. "Come along, Macon. Your mother will be well taken care of in your absence." And just like that, a maester appeared at the Spider's side, a chain full of medallions around his neck.

Macon was curious as to what Lord Varys wanted, but was loath to leave his mother. And a bastard could not refuse whatever his better asked of him. Roughly, he grabbed the maester's chain in his hand, and gave it a hard yank to pull the aged man closer. "If anything happens to her, you'll be chewing your food with a nice set of wooden teeth." He growled.

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There was a good amount to clear out, but thankfully someone had the mindset to pack the things away before Lord Varys called on him. But he liked the work. It kept his mind from...other things.

Chests of papers and scrolls, books so thick he had to move them one at a time, and, of course, Jon Arryn's clothes and other personal items all had to be packed out and sent to the Eyrie, after Jon Arryn's widow. Strange woman, Macon thought. She'd left with her sickly son mere days after her husband's death, hardly waiting about for his body to begin rotting.

Macon handed the last of the trunks off to a steward not long before the sun began its decent in the sky. Was there a large absence of young able bodied stewards, why Varys had to bother him with moving things which should have been moved out long ago? Jon Arryn died near three moons ago; it was disrespectful of the new Hand to have the old Hand's things just moved out the day he arrived.

Stepping back, Macon surveyed the rooms in quiet fascination. It was odd looking about the fine rooms which were bare of any sign another family once lived there. For Macon, this had always been Jon Arryn's tower, him and his half mad wife and their sickly little boy. He had died so suddenly, so quickly, Macon hardly believed the whispers until he heard it from his own mother's mouth. The Hand had always been kind to him whenever he saw Macon and it had been him who first suggested his name to Renly when Loras Tyrell sought a squire.

Suddenly the apartment door was pushed open but it wasn't a soft looking servant come to order him out before the Starks came to settle in. No, instead it was a stern looking man with an aged face and greying hair, his clothes were too thick and less extravagant than he'd ever seen a man in the Capitol wear. He took no notice of Macon at first, his steel grey eyes were too focussed on the little golden badge in his hand.

At once, men behind him carried in crates and chests and took them to the bed chambers, and they noticed Macon, but knew servants could not speak out against someone higher born than they. He was a bastard, legally as low as they were, but they didn't know that. The bastard boy saw the wolf's head pin clasping his cloak up and knew it must be the new Hand, Lord Eddard Stark. Lord Stark tore his attention away from the Hand's pin in his hand, and immediately took notice of the young boy standing at the center of the chamber.

"And who are you?" he asked with a frown. "I wasn't told there'd be a steward in my chambers upon my arrival." he said. He knew the lad wasn't a steward, his clothes were too fine, and looking at him, he could almost swear it was Robert as a young man. But, Robert's look-alike or no, he didn't trust him. He didn't trust anyone in the Capitol.

"I'm not a servant my lord." Macon paused, not sure what title he should use. "I'm Ser Loars Tyrell's squire." Lord Eddard was about to reply, his mouth opening to respond, when a voice echoing through the hall distracted both men.


Macon cringed at the word spoken so sweetly and with such love. He had never said to word in that way, never addressed anyone as 'father'. Only speaking of Robert as 'Your Grace' and Godfrey as 'my Lord'. He saw the smallest of smiles fall on Lord Stark's face, giving the man a younger, less serious look about him. Macon turned to face the direction of Lord Stark's gaze and saw what had made the new Hand's change in demeanor.

She looked as sweet as her voice sounded, with her innocent eyes and delicate features. Her dress wasn't southern, but a rather simple blue cotton and wool. He bet she'd look pretty in anything though. Macon had seen many women come and go through court, most of them Robert's conquests, and hoped that this girl would not fall prey to his father's lustful ways. She was the most beautiful creature he'd ever seen, and suddenly her lovely blue eyes were on him. Macon had to look away, embarrassed that the young Lady had caught his stare before she turned her eyes back to her father. Macon backed away from the Hand as her sweet voice filled the room once more.

"Forgive me, Father. I-I didn't know you were...with someone." He thought he could almost hear the distaste in her voice, even if it was imagined.

"Sansa, is there something you need to tell me?" Eddard moved closer to his daughter, Macon falling even farther away as he had been already forgotten. Ned put his hands on Sansa's shoulders. "What has happened, child?"

"It's...It's Arya." Macon heard the change in Sansa's voice just as he heard the sigh coming from Lord Stark after Sansa had spoken. Macon looked upon the scene, watching with a hidden jealousy as Sansa was comforted by her father. True, he had his mother, and Lady Dahlia was an excellent mother to him, but Macon had always longed for what he would never have...a father.

"Go back to your room, I'll be along shortly and we can talk there, hmm?" Sansa nodded slowly, her eyes catching Macon's as Lord Stark pulled away from her. Eddard saw his daughter's glance over his shoulder and remembered the boy that he had been about to question further. He addressed his daughter once more, the dismissal hidden in politeness with his words. "Sansa, find Septa Mordaine and have her send for anything you need. Tell your sister to behave."

"She won't listen to me."

At the word 'sister' Macon's mind turned back to the small bundle that had been carried away from his mother only hours ago. He started to return back to his task, so that he may be by his mother's side once more, when a knock sounded at the Hand's door.

"My Lord Hand, King Robert requests your presence in the council chamber."

"Of course he does. Sansa, I'll speak with you later." Eddard turned towards the forgotten black-haired squire, "Boy, you are dismissed."

Macon did not speak in return, only nodded his head as he wondered why Varys would put this man in his path. Wondering what the Spider could gain by exposing him to the new Hand. Macon willed his gaze to stay down as he passed by Sansa, but his traitorous eyes would not obey. She did not seem to notice him as he left, but for some reason Macon had already memorized everything about the Hand's daughter.

Macon had seen plenty of beautiful ladies before, but they had all been ruined by the games played in court, they'd been broken, ruined or otherwise. This girl, the one with the hair like fire, was so untainted that she shone in Macon's eyes like no other before. The boy shook his head, clearing his mind of the romantic thoughts that would lead him nowhere. He was only Macon, King of the Bacon, bastard of the King and Lord of no Lands...Sansa Stark was a lady, and ladies as pretty and highborn as she, would never even dare speak to a bastard, let alone look his way.

Obediently, Macon left the Hand's tower and went back to him and his mother's apartments.

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The moment Macon entered the apartments, he wished he hadn't left. The beautiful Sansa Stark was forgotten as he stood by the door. He could hear his mother weeping from her chambers, and briefly he wondered where his little brother or sister was now. They were probably being prepared, cleaned so they would be ready for the journey to Gallowsgrey in the Storm Lands, where Lord Godfrey's family seat was located. He hoped his mother got to say goodbye properly. She would like that.

Then he wondered where that bloody maester was so he could knock out his teeth for allowing his mother to weep so brokenly.

Macon looked at his feet in shame. His mother needed him, and he'd left her to aid some shadowy Spider he didn't even like. The young man took a step forward and his eyes caught dark boots lying in a pile by the balcony. He almost groaned. Lord Godfrey was back, from a tavern or brother no doubt. The thorny sod had never been tender with his mother, even when she desperately needed tenderness when she was wounded.

He doubted mother's husband would be very kind after yet another 'failure' as he called it. Macon had no power to stop it either; he was weak, powerless when it came to Lord Godfrey's treatment of Lady Dahlia. He was a bastard, and even a king's bastard had no power over his mother's husband. Husband's had authority over their wives, allowed to do with them as they wished and every time he heard Lord Trant drunkenly rage at his mother, heard her cry as he hit her, Macon would clench his fists so tight it hurt, and desperately will himself not to attack the man.

Hesitantly, fearful that Lord Godfrey would be on the other side, he approached his mother's chamber door. The smell of lavender oils made his nose burn immediately. It was so strong that Macon snorted and sneezed as the powerful aroma assaulted his poor nose.

"Smells of death in 'ere," he heard his deep voice mutter from his left. Macon would have scowled if he could. Blinking, he turned towards the lord's voice, scratching his burning nose over the sleeve of his tunic in an effort to expel the itch. "Blood all over the sheets...I told that bloody maester, if it came between the two, save the boy." Macon hated Lord Godfrey far too much to notice that even through his cruelty there was a vulnerability there which only came when a man loses his child.

"Macon," his mother whimpered, sniffling her sobs and clutching the bed linens desperately. Her eyes watered up anew as her only living child entered the room. Gods but she was lucky to have him. Only her sheer absolute love for him could compare to the ugly, blackened despair she felt almost every day.

Her son rushed to her side, ignoring the gangly man sitting despairingly in his chair far from the bed. He touched her arm, wincing as she broke into sobs again. Yes he should have stayed with her. "Mother," please don't cry, he wanted to say, but the words lodged in his throat as she wept.

"Get out," Lord Godfrey muttered, so quietly, Macon thought he'd misheard him. He looked towards the lord, and found he was glaring straight at him. "Get out!" he shouted ferociously, springing to his feet. Macon didn't move. He couldn't. He was too shocked at the sudden aggressiveness of the man when he wasn't even drunk. He'd never expected this of Godfrey when his breath was untainted by the stink of wine or ale. "Get out, bastard!" Suddenly, Lord Godfrey rushed him, slamming his hands so hard against his chest that Macon might have fallen if the older man wasn't gripping his tunic so tight. "Get out! Get out you urchin!" he roared in Macon's face, shoving him towards the door.

The bastard boy's wits came back to him, and he shoved back, nearly dislodging the old Lord but not quite. "I won't leave my mother!" he cried back. He wouldn't, not like this, not when she was...but a shell.

"G-God-Godfrey, pl-please, le-leave him be...pl-please, my lord. Let him s-stay..." his mother's fragile voice begged from the bed. Her sobbing had stopped for a moment, but looked ready to start up again at a word.

Godfrey took a look at his wife, and looked back at her bastard. Why did all his babes die, when the king's bastard lived on? He'd resented Macon before, for simply reminding him day after day that his bride had been soiled when he took her. But he loathed him now for surviving when all his children languished. He shoved the boy back in disgust. "It's because of him, y'know?" He shouted at his sniffling wife. If he loved her better, he might have felt ashamed, but he didn't love her any more than he did. "Because of your bastard! You favored him all these years and so the gods have seen fit ta take away all my babes!" With that, leaving his weeping wife and her fuming bastard behind, Lord Godfrey stormed from the chamber.

More to come soon my loves ;D

Also, Sansa's age has been bumped up a teeny bit, to about 15