Oh my god, we're back again!

Sorry this took so long guys, but me and MissMac both had lotsa stuff going on in our personal lives, and our own stories, and this one kinda got away from us :(

So so so sorry it took so long, but anyway, here we are :D

PS, me and my dear Moony (MissMac) were talking, and we both thought Sam Claflin with black hair was a great face claim for Macon Bacon :D

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Chapter Four

Another blow landed on his shield, hard and heavy, and his arm shook with the thunderous jolt of it.

The Lordling Jast was a big, clamouring fighter, lacking any semblance of stealth or grace, and using all his power behind his blows. It's like he's hacking at a tree, the bastard boy thought with disapproval. Macon had seen many a time what strength and force alone gets a man in a fight, and if he fought against a stealthy man, more often than not, the stealth outmatched force.

It was only a matter of time before his opponent tired; already Macon could see the strikes coming a whisper of a moment slower. Dodging a blow, Macon was able to lift his shield high and use it against his opponent's helm. He'd seen a knight attempt this on Ser Loras in an attempt to gain the upper hand, to switch from defence to attack.

The shield met its mark and the lordling stumbled. It was not enough to win by itself, but in the time it took Jast to recover Macon had already swung his sword. Jast gave a growl of frustration, more out of the thought of losing to the King's bastard than to intimidate. In a rush of blind anger, Jast brought his sword around to clash with Macon's smaller blade.

It was not a blade made for it's beauty but instead Macon's blade was one made to fight. This was not the sword that would idly sit within its stealth, unused and beautiful like so many of Joffrey's swords. He'd picked wisely in the armory, he thought. It was his favorite sword to borrow and practice with. He knew its weight, its balance, knew how to hold it so his hand would not cramp. The hilt was simple, wrapped in worn leather that gave its wielder a solid grip. The blade itself was not of Valerian make, but it was sturdy enough to withstand a brute's strength—a fact that Macon had proven many times over the years within the walls of the Keep, when someone had challenged him and he borrowed this sword from the palace armory.

As Jast continued to hack away at Macon, the crowd's cheers grew louder, but Macon dared not hope any of it was for him. It seemed that although the lordling was not too well known, the crowd just would not cheer for Macon.

It was a shame, really, to have drawn a fight out this long and not have even one person calling out for his victory. Macon knew he shouldn't expect any encouragement but a small glimmer of hope, one that he could not be rid of, had remained shining. A hope that someone would look past his status as bastard and see the talents he possessed for battle.

He wanted to be more, wanted to a knight, fierce and respected. He wanted to be a warrior that men trusted. Like his father, before age and wine had turned him lax.

Pushing the massive form of Jast away with a rough shove, Macon spied his opening. He kept the glee from his eyes, so if his opponent were to look up, he would not see the victory through Macon's visor. Instead, he feigned panic to throw the lordling off.

It worked. Jast, feeling like the victor even before the battle had begun, lazily swung his sword now, with just a flick of his wrist more than anything. Macon waited until Jast drew his sword in an upwards sweep before quickly drawing his own blade high to clash with his.

With his opponent's eyes glancing upwards, Macon quickly dropped his shield to the ground before drawing his bare hand into a tight fist. With all his might and determination behind him, Macon swung his now free hand and landed a punch to Jast's exposed jaw.

Without giving him time to react, Macon made quick work of using his sword against the great lumbering oaf. His ears became deaf to the crowd and his eyes only focused on the task set before him. Bringing both of his hands together on the hilt of his sword and unknowingly mimicking his father's attack stance, Macon took the winning blow against Jast and knocked him down into the dirt, holding his sword at his neck.

"Yeild!" cried Jast as the tip of the blade pressed to his neck. "I yield!"

Macon half expected the crowd to erupt in cheers at his victory, but instead a murmur of silence met his ears. Macon turned his body towards the platform where his father sat, but the King was more focused on the woman pouring his wine than the climax of the battle before him. Standing before her seat, was the queen. When she had returned, Macon did not know. From what he'd heard, she'd not even attended because she could not stand to see her husband drunk next to her.

She's come all the way back just for me, Macon thought snidely. To see me fail, to see my shame. Sorry to disappoint you, you snide bitch.

"You dirty cheat!"

Macon did not turn to acknowledge that his opponent had spoken, instead locking his gaze with the Queen. The smile that Jast's words brought to Cersei's face was one that could only mean an ill fate for Macon. Macon learned long ago not to trust that woman's smile. He did not move, knowing that this crucial moment could define how the entirety of King's Landing viewed him. Cheat or victor. Raging twat, or chivalrous loser. He waited in silence, the seconds seeming to drag on for centuries.

"Your Grace, the bastard cheated." Jast spat, jumping to his feet and stabbing an accusing finger at Macon. "There is no other way he could beat me. Never in a fair fight!" Macon's fists clenched, knowing that his bastard status was again about to bring him to ruin. Had he been true born, Jast might have just been seen as a petty loser, but alas, the nature of Jast's birth somehow made him a truthful man, while Macon's made him a cheat. Jast removed his helmet fully, throwing it to the ground along with his sword in a perfect imitation of a child in the midst of a tantrum. "He dropped his shield and used his fists!"

"Never would a true warrior resort to tactics seen in a tavern brawl." Cersei's silky voice rose up above the clamour, and all the spectators hushed to hear her words but the crowed stirred once to life once more when she was done, all of them agreeing with the logic. Macon felt his ire rising, the temper he still worked to control just boiling in his veins. He wanted to punch Jast again. Or even the queen. "By default, Lord Jast is the winner. Do you agree, Your Grace?"

"Yes, get on with it!" Robert had barely finished the words before rising from his chair, never sparing a backwards glance towards Macon.

It should not have hurt him. But such an abrupt, unthinking dismissal from the man, who'd ordered him to fight, cut him more than he could say. It hurt more than losing the melee in front of noble spectators. He fought back the burn in his eyes.

Macon suddenly wished that he hadn't fought at all.

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The day was late, the sun just beginning to set behind the trees, and beautiful purples, blues and oranges coloured the sky. Sansa felt light, she felt like her feet floated from the ground. Never had she been to a tourney before, and she couldn't wait for it all to continue tomorrow.

As she waited for her father to stop talking with an old bristly noble near the stands, she slowly made her way around the field where the jousting and melee's had been fought and somehow found herself near the pavilions where the weapons were stored. Just behind were other tents where the knights donned and removed their armour.

It was in the archery tent that he caught her eye, the king's bastard, shoving arrows into a bin in preparation for the archery competition the next day.

She'd watched his fight with young Lord Jast in as much fascination as she'd watched any of the others. He had worn no colours, and no favor, which she found odd—even a little sad. Wasn't anyone cheering for him, or wishing him luck?

Sansa had seen him swing up his sword at the end, and had not expected anything more, so her eyes had followed the gleam of the steel, and did not see what Macon had done. She heard others groan and whisper about it, how he'd struck Lord Jast in the jaw, knocking him off, and thereby gaining the upper hand.

She thought to cheer for him when the bigger man cried "yield!" but at once the nobles in the stands called him "cheat." Sansa didn't know much about the rules of a melee, but after thinking on it a little, she decided that Macon's deception was a bit of a dishonourable trick. Still, she had gained no pleasure in seeing his victory stripped from him.

Looking away from the bastard, she made to leave him, but her eyes looked to the dais, where her sweet prince still stood with a few high lords, his younger brother Tommen standing small next to her golden lion. Suddenly, she recalled the rumors about the castle, and the bruise which Joffrey had sported for a few weeks.

Irritation flared through her and she turned back to Macon, his hair black as a raven's wing tousled and wet with perspiration, his clothes befouled with mud and sweat. Her nose wrinkled. Her sweet prince would never look so common, even if he'd participated in the tourney, he could never look so dirty. But then, her prince was not a base-born squire.

"Did you strike the prince?" she asked as she walked towards him, the other lords and ladies continuing on around her as she moved closer to hear his reply. Sansa was unmindful of the scandal, speaking to her betrothed's hateful bastard brother did not seem, to her, to be subject which would ignite gossip. After all, she'd spoken to Jon Snow, her own bastard brother, many times.

Yet, as Macon looked up to see who had spoken, a few other nobles looked on, and wondered, how does Sansa Stark speak so boldly to the king's bastard? Macon did not appear effected as they were to have her speaking to him. He seemed nearly indifferent.

"If Tommen was struck, then no. I'd never hurt Tommen, he's a good lad. But if it's the other one—"

"The 'other one' will be your king." She cut him off indignantly. She abhorred the resentment in his voice when he spoke about Joff. The rumours said that Macon the bastard had struck her prince when he'd only been expressing his sympathies for Macon's mother's latest loss. They said that Macon had struck the Crown Prince without warning, and fled like a craven. Why had he done something so foul and wretched? He must be jealous of Joff's title and privilege, whilst he was confined to the ugly title of bastard and squire. Her own half brother, Jon Snow, had endured much resentment from her mother. She imagined a queen's wrath a thousand times fiercer. He must be strong and brave or stupid and mean to survive under the queen's eyes, she thought. By the way his eyes narrowed at her and his mouth twitched, she favored the latter.

"And he will be your husband. Sorry about that."

Sansa's eyes widened. "Ah—how dare you!" she hastily stuttered. "You cannot speak to me in such a way! You're a squire—haven't you learnt any courtesy!"

"I have. I've apologized haven't I?" he replied cockily. Sansa was baffled. She'd never met anyone so arrogant before.

"You insulted your prince—"

"And he's insulted me hundreds of times." She didn't believe that. Joffrey was kind and good and noble. He was a prince. Macon was a lying base-born squire.

"The prince was only expressing his sympathies, you didn't have to—"

"'Sympathies'?" he murmured to himself, breaking his stare. He shook his head and met her eyes again. He seemed almost amused, some bitter sort of smile on his lips. "Is that what he told you?" he gave a short laugh, looking back down at his barrel of arrows. Another poor soul deceived by his "brother's" lies. He pitied poor Sansa Stark, for if the rumours could be trusted, she would become Joffrey's queen. She didn't even know the snake she defended would one day turn on her. "No one ever believes the bastard." He mumbled to himself. Sansa didn't hear, and still looked at him with hard eyes. Straightening, he gave her a courteous smile. "Forgive me, my lady. I've upset you."

Sansa did not think he was sincere. She knew he was not. And yet there was no malice behind his words, none that her ears could detect. There was only a sort of sadness, something sullen and she couldn't help but wonder why he suddenly seemed so dour.

Perhaps she ought to accept it and move along, but he'd insulted Joffrey, and he had to know that he mustn't ever do it again. Liar or not, she had no wish to see him hurt.

"You're just a boy, but when Joffrey becomes king, he won't tolerate insults from you." She meant to say more, to advise him that bastard brother or not, her sweet Joffrey would not be able to play favorites once he ruled. With her beside him as his queen. Her heart fluttered.

But all her words flew away because in the next breath, Macon closed the distance between them, starling Sansa into silence. He's so tall, she thought dazedly looking up at him with startled eyes. He was so close that she could smell the stink of perspiration on him, and stifled another wrinkle of her nose. When next he spoke, his voice was deeper, no soft tones of gloom or mockery dancing through his words.

"Boy? I stopped being a boy long ago." Suddenly she recalled how Robb had bristled when the prince's Hound called him a boy when the king visited Winterfell. All boys must hate being told the truth, she figured. "If the prince doesn't have me killed when he ascends the throne—him or his mother—I might well be one of the only boys around who would keep you from the pain your king is likely inflict on you."

The northern girl blinked owlishly, too stunned to spit venom back. He was a liar. A cruel, vicious liar. Joffrey would never be so terrible as to murder his own brother, bastard and a cheat and a liar, or not. And she would be Joffrey's queen. He would never hurt her. Even though they were divided now because of what happened on the road, he wouldn't hurt her. It still bothered her to think of that awful day, when she'd lost the favor of her betrothed and her wolf, Lady. She couldn't tell which hurt worse.

But she didn't need or want anything the bastard of the king had to offer. Not now, not ever.

Macon took a step away from Sansa, his eyes hard as their eyes locked. Her eyes looked frightened, but there was a spark of defiance there. He knew his father's legitimate son would not like that. Joffrey would want her docile and submissive, and would beat out any semblance of strength if she became his queen. He could see the innocence in her and knew that she would never belong in the lion's den—for the Red Keep was a pit of lions, where his father was the only stag. She'd never truly belong to Joffrey, and if Joffrey ever managed to have her, it would be a shadow of who she once was. The prince was too rough to preserve a pretty bird—he'd snap her in half or she'd fly away before long.

He hoped she flew. He'd rather know she was happy and safe, than to see her wither and wilt.

Macon did not stay to bid her farewell like a good, chivalrous knight would have. I'm not a knight yet anyway, he reasoned as he stalked away, leaving a red faced Sansa Stark behind.

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So what'cha think!? We worked really hard on this, and we're super proud, but we'd love love love to hear from you guys, let us know what you loved, what you hated, what you need more of :D