Jonerys Week: Day #3 - Ice and Fire
Note: Again, this is a very dark one, so be warned. My seven days will be linked chronologically, and the first two can be found on AO3 here
She didn’t want to tell him, to burden him with it…but Bran had known.
Dany had stepped away from everything, just for a moment; the planning, the cold, the constant aching and exhaustion that was slowly breaking her down, all of it, and found a place under the godswood tree where Brandon Stark so often spent his days. She sat in the snow under the tree, too tired to even mind the cold, and let her back to rest against the sturdy trunk. She couldn’t help but let a hand drift over her stomach over her coat. Over the few weeks, since she’d known, she could see herself getting a little bigger. Barely noticeable, she hadn’t gotten very big the first time either, but if someone really looked they might suspect. She’d taken to wearing one of the heavy northern cloaks at all times. She’d been so sure she would have been killed by now, but the Others were making slower progress than it had been predicted. It didn’t matter now though. They’d made it as far south as the Dreadfort, and the line that the living held was slowly being pushed back, even as they did thin the army of the dead. They had to keep burning their own dead, watching their own men go up in flames. Drogon needed his rest, but the next morning she would go out and fight again. She’d had to bring Jon, Ser Davos, Grey Worm, and three of the Dothraki back to Winterfell after the battle the day before to hold a council meeting, and they would all return again to the front lines as soon as the sun came up over the horizon again. It had set hours ago, but Dany couldn’t sleep without dreaming of an undead soldier ripping Jon apart until he was nothing but a red stain covering the snow, or an ice spear impaling her where she stood, killing her and her baby just like it had Viserion. Maybe that is how it would happen, in the end. She could feel a few soft nudges against her belly, and just couldn’t help but let the tears fall. At least when death took her, Jon wouldn’t know. He would knowingly lose an ally, an ex-lover, maybe even a friend, but not a son or a daughter. Yet she would know, she would know as she died that her baby would die with her.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered, her voice so thin she could barely hear it herself. “If I could birth you right now, send you away to Essos to be raised away from this war, I would do it in a moment.” She could see it in her mind, sending her baby east along with Missandei. A boy with white blonde hair that curled wildly behind his ears and wide grey eyes like his father’s climbing up the trunk of a lemon tree to pick a ripe yellow fruit. A little dragon, and a little wolf. A little ice, and a little fire.
“Hello to you, Dragon Queen.” Dany quickly wiped her eyes and stood up straight at the voice of Bran Stark. He was being pushed through the snow by the girl, Meera, to his usual location. She cleared her throat, determined to become the Dragon Queen again, to lock Daenerys away. Meera halted when Bran was situated in his spot, and Bran thanked and dismissed her. Dany turned to leave as well, but then he spoke again, this time to her. “You have to tell him, Jon. He does much better in battles when he has something to fight for, and the realm needs him at his best.” She whipped back around to stare at Jon’s strange adoptive brother. She hadn’t told a soul, and yet somehow she didn’t doubt that he could know. It seemed he knew everything, saw everything.
“I can’t let him lose yet another member of his family. When I die, our child will die with me, and he will lose only a woman he used to…” she trailed off. Had he loved her? She had loved him. She still did. She ached to be held in his arms again, to be loved as she loved him. She had loved him desperately despite their shared blood and she had never stopped.
“He still does love you,” Bran said, he looked like he was hundreds of miles away, and yet here he was talking to her. “The news I brought him upset him deeply. Jon has always admired our Lord father, and to be told that he was not the blood of Eddard Stark cause him great pain. I see him, standing in the crypts, looking at his statue, and then Lyanna’s. He’s sure that they would not approve of his fondness of Rhaegar Targaryen’s sister.” She didn’t know why Bran would tell her this. She knew he was hurting, and she knew that she was part of the problem. She didn’t want to hear about it anymore. She didn’t want to listen to how Jon was suffering.
“And you believe he would desire the presence of that sister,” she said coolly. These wounds were fresh enough, painful enough, without Bran picking them open one by one.
“My revelations have not stopped him from desiring you, Dragon Queen. I spoke with him before he went to the council. He’s beginning to understand his role in this. The dragon has three heads, and without them, the dawn cannot come.” Bran Stark spoke in cryptic riddles she was not quite sure she understood, and it both fascinated and frustrated her, but she knew this boy knew more than she ever would.
“Must I tell him, for the dawn to come,” she asked quietly. Her duty was first to the people, but if there was any way she could spare Jon any more pain, she would do it. Bran actually turned his eyes to her, and for the first time since she had met him, he seemed to be looking at her and not past her.
“Yes,” he said simply, “you must,” and with that, he was a thousand miles away again.