title: and what of my wrath
chapter title: the almost queen
summary: Westeros is where women disappear. A story about the ladies of ASOIAF and how they do not get enough credit.
dedication: Emily, my precious pimpernickle. Happy Birthday!
And what of my wrath
Aerys cradles her son in his arms, long nails pressed against soft baby flesh and it takes everything Elia has not to scream.
"A beautiful boy," the King tells her, watching her expression with those haunting amethyst eyes her husband shares. Targaryen eyes, she thinks.
Mad eyes, Oberyn whispers. She wishes her brother were here to keep her children safe, the way he always protected her. Even Doran would be welcome, with his little Arianne.
Elia hasn't seen her family in a year; Ashara is the only thing of home she has in Kings Landing.
"Thank you, Your Grace," she says and forces herself to smile. "I do believe he looks like you."
No matter what the court may whisper about her frailty, she is no fool. Her body might be weak – weaker still since the births of her children, precocious Rhaenerys and sweet Ageon – but her mind is as sharp as a whetstone, as sharp as the pointed spear her brother Oberyn uses in battle.
"I need another child," Rhaegar tells her, in the quiet of their shared room. The moonlight turns his pale hair to bright silver, eyes to pale amethysts. He is hauntingly beautiful, her husband.
Targaryen to the bone, she thinks, and fold her hands delicately over the silken quilts of their bed.
She thinks of Aerys and his growing paranoia, the way his nails left bloody scratches on his granddaughters arms. She thinks of Queen Rhaella, screaming in the night.
Rhaegar will be a better King by far. With Elia as his queen, how can he not be? She is a princess of Dorne and she knows the way the game is played.
The maesters have told her she will bear no more children; Ageon will be her last. She hears the words her husband will not say; he is too fond of her for that, too gentle a soul for hard truths.
"Then," she says at last, "I suppose you had better find another bride."
The Stark girl is both daring and beautiful, and Elia watches her husband admire both of these qualities.
"She is strong," she tells him, quietly and he offers her one of his rare smiles.
Better the Northern girl than Tywin's daughter, Elia decides. There is something about Lyanna Stark – a wildness which defies convention – which she likes. There is a hunger there, but not for power.
You will share our bed, but not my crown.
"She is betrothed," Rhaegar adds, like this is something to be considered. Her husband is far too good a man for politics, too honourable – too weak.
Elia will put her husband on the throne where he belongs and with Lyanna Stark as his second bride, the North will clamour to put the crown on his head themselves.
"You are the Crown Prince of Seven Kingdoms," Elia reminds him, wrapping her arms around his waist. "And she does not want to marry the Storm Lord."
More importantly, perhaps, she does not want to be Queen.
A week later she watches Rhaegar crown Lyanna Stark the Queen of Love and Beauty. The whole world turns on its head.
Elia very carefully does not smile.
notes: I really like the idea of Elia pulling Rhaegar's strings
notes2: short but hopefully sweet. more to come!