When Dany meets Jon Part 8
Ghost came up to Jon as Jon stared at the fireplace in his chamber. He licked Jon’s fingers then slid his head under Jon’s hand. “I’m all right, boy.”
But they both knew that wasn’t true.
Jon was not a Stark.
His whole life, Jon had said that, but he had never truly believed it. His fath–his uncle–had always said he and Arya looked more Stark, more of the first men, than the rest of their siblings, more than Sansa or Robb or Bran or Rickon with their Tully red-brown hair and blue eyes. That had been a point of pride, the one thing that always gave Jon comfort whenever Lady Catelyn unleashed her wrath upon him. That and Ghost. For who but a Stark could call such an animal their companion.
You may not have my name, but you have my blood.
Ygritte had told Jon his heart was of the north, the real north. She knew nothing. Had he been raised in King’s Landing, she would’ve called him a flowery southron prince, lords-in-waiting always at the ready to service his every need.
The door swung open, and Ghost whined and rose in anticipation of the touch of another set of familiar hands. “Jon,” Sansa said, stroking the direwolf, “if you talk to Davos about abdicating one more bloody time–what are you doing? Are you sulking again?” Jon kept staring at the fire. Sansa sat down beside him. “You can’t keep doing this. You have to talk to me.”
Had she been Arya, Jon would have already. Arya understood. She had seen his tears when they were children. Arya knew how badly Jon had wanted…had wanted…seven hells, had wanted Lady Catelyn to…to love him. She would know how much becoming a Stark and not just Snow meant to Jon. “Go away.”
“You’re still father’s son.”
“I’m not. Not unless Starks have been behaving a lot more like Lannisters this whole time than anyone’s realized.”
“Look at me.” Sansa forced him to. “Father sacrificed everything. For you.”
“Lot of good it did him. What did he get for his trouble?”
Sansa put her hand on his chest. “This. The heart that restored his house, his family, that united his bannermen in saving countless lives of his people during the Evacuation to Skagos and the Battles of the New Gift and the Grey Hills.”
It was the kindest thing she’d ever said to him. Sansa had never thought much of Jon as a politician. He was fine with that. He never had any desire to be one. Receiving her praise for his military acumen, however, was important, especially after his showing at the Battle of Winterfell. He needed to redeem himself in her eyes. Why that was so important he did not know.
A knock on the door thankfully pierced the intimacy of the moment. Sansa took her hand off Jon and said, “Enter.”
“Sorry to interrupt, my lady,” Podrick said. “But there’s been a raven from Lord Manderlay.” He handed Sansa the message.
“What news?” Jon asked.
“A parlay. With Tyrion Lannister and Olenna Tyrell. They wish to discuss…an alliance.”
Sansa and Jon had been hoping to broach that very topic with the Targaryen queen via Samwell once she was further north. Her dragons and her army could turn the tide in their fight against the Others. Letting her and her army come up the Kingsroad unfettered, to see what the Long Night was doing to the north and its people, was a gamble. If it had failed, they would’ve been hard-pressed to defeat her. The armies of all the northern houses put together were not enough to fight a two front war.
But better to bend a knee to the dragon queen then become meat in the army of the dead.
Jon said, “What are the terms of the parlay?”
“We meet in White Harbor. Two representatives each, no more than fifteen escorts for either side.”
Jon said to Podrick, “The small council is to convene in the Great Hall immediately. Have Arya and Bran join us.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
Once there, Sansa relayed the news, which was welcomed by all. Their plan had worked, or at least, for now it was working. Arya said, “Clegane and I will lead the escort.”
“I will join you, my lady,” Brienne said.
Their eagerness put Jon at ease. He would not let another one of Ned Stark’s children be tricked or harmed. Not for anything. His uncle had bled for him. Now he would pay that back tenfold. He told Davos, “You will be my sister’s second.”
“Begging your pardon, Your Grace,” Lord Baelish said. “But I had hoped that I might take up that duty. I have no doubt Ser Davos would do a fine job, but I am better suited. For I am far more familiar with these manner of negotiations.”
Jon did not trust him further than he could throw him. And unfortunately Jon had questions about his father and mother that only Lord Baelish could answer. “No,” Jon said. “I would have you stay behind so that we might speak.”
Bran said, “I don’t think–”
“Not now.” Jon was still upset with him. And he would not be undermined by his little brot–cousin–in front of his small council.
Sansa said, “I would have Lord Baelish accompany me. No offense, Ser Davos.”
“None taken, my lady.”
“No,” Jon said. “You will take Davos.” It was her turn to listen to him.