Country: United Kingdom
August 05, 2018
06/03/2020 07:08 PM
a mother's love.
A Mother's Love
( C ) ▬DRAKANIA
Until this night, the world had never known cold. It bit into bone. Snow fell in heaps, swallowing all sound save for the clangs and cries of battle. Until this relentless dark, the world had never known night. It tore into the soul, ripping all hope from the heart. It bore down on the shoulders and bowed the heads of even the great and the proud. It wore on and on. How long had it been? A day? A fortnight? Nigh on a year? Time held no meaning anymore when the sun did not rise.
It would rise again, even if she did not live to see it. She knew it.
The dead swarmed Drogon. They clambered up his tail, his sides, and his legs, scrabbling with boney fingers and staring up at her with unseeing eyes. They held fast to his wings, pinning them to the ground to deny him flight. He bellowed his rage and shook his great body, sending the scrabbling wights tumbling back into the snow, only to start their climb again. Her gloved hands tightened around his horns and clung with all of her strength. It was all she could do not to be flung off with them.
They should never have landed, but even a dragon needed to rest weary wings.
“Sōvētēs! Drogon! Now!” She urged, but not even the whip held sway over the stubborn beast, not when dozens of knives stabbed at his flesh, though they bent vainly against impenetrable scales.
Not even the largest of her dragons could withstand such an onslaught for long. He would not budge. He would not take her airborne, knowing that to rid himself of his attackers would mean to send his mother hurtling to her death. There was only one way. The Gods had taken Drogo, Rhaego, Jorah, and only they knew how many others this endless night. They would not take Drogon. They would not have her children.
Dany let go. She rolled down a leathery wing and into thickly packed snow with a jarring thud that forced the breath from her lungs. Her dragon’s wings flared, and he vaulted skyward, rising ever higher until the darkness swallowed him whole, leaving her alone in the unforgiving dark and pelting snow. For a moment, in the stillness, she lay on her back and stared after him, seeking the stars, but there none. Even their light had gone out.
A quick, jerking movement in her periphery forced her to lower eyes full of dread from an endless black sky to an earth plagued by white winter. Piercing hues of crystalline blue, the eyes of nightmares, met her own. They glowed in the darkness, an unsettling contrast to the dreary lack of color that surrounded them. It reached for her. With a strangled cry, she scrambled backwards, frantic to escape its clutching hands. First, there was a feral, rumbling growl, and then a blur of white that barreled into the threat as if into a pool of water. Ghost was there, tearing the wight to pieces with fang and claw. Then there was the whir of steel.
Jon. Jon was alive.
Relief so fierce it would have brought her to her knees had she been standing bloomed at her breast, her tears freezing in place on her raw, red face.
Jon and the direwolf were as one. They fought as one, moved as one. But they would not fight alone.
Clambering to her feet, she waded through waist-deep snow to the half-buried corpse of a Northman. She stared into the stranger’s face as she rummaged about his person for his weapon, wrapping her fingers clumsily around the hilt of a dragonglass sword that he still held in a stiff, cold hand.
I am Daenerys Stormborn, she told herself fiercely. I am of the blood and seed of Aegon the Conqueror and of his sister-queen Visenya, who wielded Dark Sister and rode the dragon Vhagar. Of the valiant Prince Rhaegar who died on the banks of the Trident. I will not die easily. I would not let the Gods have Drogon, and I will not let them have Jon either. .
Jon was overcome. Just as his sword swept one away, another two lunged for him. One leapt on his back, wrapping arms with strips of frost-covered skin hanging from bones around his shoulders and nearly sending him toppling over, but Dany plunged her blade deep into its neck. It fell, lifeless, into the snow. For a heartbeat, soul met soul when her violet orbs found his gray, acceptance and agreement flashing wordlessly between them. Together, they laid waste to the wights in the small clearing with the weeping, bloody eyes of the Heart Tree watching over them.
“Dany!” Drawing her near with one arm, he crushed her to his chest. She wrapped clinging arms around his middle, and breathed deep, dragging the scent of him into her lungs and holding it there. Her violet hues lowered to the sword at his side.
Of a sudden, the world was awash with clarity. Of a sudden, she knew she could delay no longer. It was their only chance, their only hope. The only way.
Mother of dragons, daughter of death, bride of fire, slayer of lies…, the voices of the undying ones had rasped in her ears.
The visions they had sent her in their House of Undying were rife with riddles and nuances. They had ignored her pleas for explanations, and she had run, and run, and run, ever seeking the red door that would offer shelter. Home lay on the other side of it. It was the first thing she had ever wanted. The only thing she had ever truly wanted. She knew now it was never to be. She knew now it was time to stop searching, to stop running.
Daenerys Stormborn was born to die.
"Mother!” they, her children, her people, had cried in her visions. "Mother, mother!" They were reaching for her, touching her, tugging at her cloak, the hem of her skirt, her foot, her leg, her breast. They wanted her, needed her, the fire, the life, and Dany had gasped and opened her arms to give herself to them . . .
She would give herself to them. She was their mother. Mother to dragons, mother to her people, mother to all. Was it not a mother’s purpose to give life? To bring light to chase away the shadow? To give hope when there was none? To provide warmth in the heart of winter? Was it not a mother’s duty to die for her children?
She brushed the pads of her fingers over the steel. Valyrian steel. It would be quick. It would be simple. Slowly, painstakingly, she freed herself from the last embrace that she would ever know. It was only fitting that it should be his. He was to be the last. The last Targaryen. Gripping the blade between her hands, heedless of the danger to her palms, she drew back one step, and then another, lifting it until the tip slid up over her belly and to her heart.
Jon’s eyes went wide and wild, flooding with silent appeal.
“No.” He near growled. “I can’t. I won’t.”
“You must,” she whispered over the howling wind. “You don’t understand.”
But he did understand. He had always understood, but together they had fought against it. They had denied it with all their hearts, cast away all thoughts of a future devoid of each other. It had not seemed worth the risk until now.
The gray eyes that she loved so welled with tears. He reached for her, but she stood her ground. The sword pierced the thick fabric of her white coat, and the black of her tunic beneath it, until it pressed into her flesh. It should have been cold, but it was not. It seemed to hum, to vibrate, to come alive. To whisper, to beckon to her to give herself. To give it her fire.
Her gaze remained steady on his as she tightened her grip on the blade, blood beading at her breast.
“What did you see? When you died? Where did you go?”
“Nothing,” he said desperately, his hand hovering in the air. “Nowhere. Dany, please. There’s nothing. You’ll be nothing.”
“I have never been nothing. I am the blood of the dragon. Do not fear for me. It is you. It has always been you and you have always known.”
Jon shook his head rapidly. With her free hand, she cradled his stricken face, just as he reached for hers again. This time, she let him. She titled her head into his palm, covered as it was with smooth leather, her gaze sweeping him and committing every inch to memory.
“Now. For Winterfell. For the North. For your sisters. For all of our people. For the world. You must,” she commanded him, curiously calm.
There was no choice but to surrender to inevitability before more lives were lost. Before the dead swept the Seven Kingdoms and destroyed all that was good, all that was living. The both knew it. There was no other way.
“Now,” she said again, more gently. “Do it now.”
With a hollow scream, Jon Snow plunged Longclaw into Daenerys Targaryen’s breast. She did not hear his wail, but his whispered declaration of love floated to her as if on a warm spring breeze. It was the first time he had ever said it. The first time and the last.
There was no pain. There was only a cry of anguish and ecstasy as heat akin to a firestorm burned all that was Daenerys Targaryen away. It built and built until her chest was near bursting with it. She welcomed it. She embraced it. A world of vibrant color formed around her, a promise of what was to come. There was blinding sunlight and endless green. The scent of spring flowers was heavy in the air, mixing with that of the salty sea. The people sang. The people were safe.
Blood filled her mouth. She felt it trickle over her chin and freeze as she looked down at the blade, gasping. Jon's fingers threaded in her pale, silver-gold hair. As the man she loved slowly withdrew it, the sword of heroes, with his eyes on her face, it blazed with fire hotter than even a dragon’s flame: it was that of a mother’s love. His face, framed by black sky, was the last face that she saw before her world was extinguished as the wind might snuff out a candle.
There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world. In this dread hour a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.
He who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.
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