Categories > Original > Fantasy

now that you're close i feel like coming undone

by peitho_x 0 reviews

The world had not been fair to Rhaenyra. Her own father had not been fair to her. The least Daemon could do was be fair to her. Daemyra oneshot

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Romance - Warnings: [X] [Y] - Published: 2022-10-26 - 2180 words - Complete

Daemon was walking down a crowded street in Maidenpool when a stall selling decorative hair combs caught his eye. They glinted in the sunlight, and he could immediately picture them nestled in long blonde hair.

“Is sir looking for a gift for a special lady?” the woman behind the stall asked as he approached it.

He smiled. “Yes, I am.”

“I have many styles that would suit a noble lady well,” she said, gesturing over her wares. “Do you know what colours milady prefers?”

“Red,” Daemon said without hesitation.

Soon, he was on his way, a simple but elegant gold and red comb tucked into his bag that had cost him more than it was worth, but he hadn’t been in the mood to haggle.

As always happened when he came across a gift for Rhaenyra, he began to think about going back to King’s Landing. He was not sure if the reason he always found the perfect gift right before leaving was coincidental or not. Perhaps he had already been thinking of going home, which was why he had been thinking of Rhaenyra. Or perhaps he felt he could not return home without a gift, and so now that he had a gift he could – and he had wanted to return the whole time.

He decided to not think about it too hard because that train of thought always led to feelings of guilt. Especially regarding Rhaenyra.

The world had not been fair to her. Her own father had not been fair to her. The least he could do was be fair to her.

But no.

Here he was, halfway across the country because he could not handle being around her for too long. In every interaction, he had to account for his feelings, his attraction, the ever-present pull. And he did not know how to deal with it all. So he would leave, he would travel, for months at a time.

And it was not fair to her.

He thought that was why he brought her presents. It was to assuage his guilt, to be sure, but also so that she would know that he thought of her when he was gone. That he always intended on returning to her.

He found Rhaenyra in the gardens, sitting at the base of the tree. She had a book open in her lap but was not looking at it. She had her head tipped back, neck bared to the sun, and eyes closed. He let himself just look at her for a moment, the gentle rise and fall of her chest, her features soft and relaxed in the warm light of the sun like she hadn’t a care in the world.

“Ēdrus?” he asked, leaning against the tree. Are you sleeping?

Her eyes snapped open, and she looked over at him in surprise. “Daor,” she said – No – tamping down on her excitement at his return. “And where have you returned from this time, kēpus?” Uncle.

He held out the comb to her. “What have your studies taught you about the resources and exports of the kingdom?”

She looked at him a moment before reaching out to take the comb. Before he could pull it out of her reach, she managed to grab it. He raised his eyebrows, slightly impressed. She rolled her eyes and turned the comb over in her hands. “The major gold mines in Westeros are in the Westerlands,” she said and looked up at him. “Are you satisfied with my education?”

“Everybody knows where our gold comes from,” Daemon said. “The Lannisters will ensure that we never forget it.”

She pursed her lips and stood up. She handed him the comb and then turned her back to him, waiting expectantly.

He couldn’t help but smile as he stepped in closer to her. He placed one gentle hand on the side of her head and with the other, he deftly slid the comb into her braided hair. It fit as perfectly as he had imagined.

“Gevie?” she asked, a sardonic tinge to her tone. Beautiful?

“Va moriot gevie iksā,” he said quietly. You are always beautiful.

He regretted saying it as soon as she turned around to look at him, searching his eyes for the meaning behind his words. A meaning he did not want her to see – one he could not let her see.

So when she didn’t, she pursed her lips again. “Kirimvose, kēpus,” she said flatly. Thank you, uncle. “For the lovely gift.”

As she walked away, Daemon murmured. “Biarvose… ñuha prūmia.” You’re welcome, my heart.

In Daemon’s more uninhibited moods, he considered quitting his distancing act and just marrying her. It was not as though it was unheard of; in their family it was practically expected. He watched Rhaenyra deal with one unsuitable suitor after another and thought he could put her out of her misery.

But when he came down from these moods, he knew it could never work. It would almost ensure her estrangement from her father and would likely solidify his poor relationship with his brother. He would see it as Daemon taking advantage of her admiration of him to get at the throne.

And he would be correct – at least partially.

Rhaenyra was a smart girl – and wise beyond her years – but that did not change the simple facts. She was a girl, a child.

Worse than the guilt of leaving her was the shame that drove him to leave.

Daemon was not a man often ashamed of what he wanted. He took what he wanted, and he enjoyed it. He liked wine and power and beautiful people, and partook of them all without shame. He could even look at Rhaenyra, her long hair, her arms strong from dragon-riding, her lips pursed in discontent, and be at ease in his wanting her. Even if he knew that others could see.

But when she looked at him in that searching hopeful way, it all crumbled. Because it was cruel to give her hope. And she deserved so much better.

It was the ever-raging struggle – fought between his need to be around Rhaenyra and his conscience that held him back. So, he wandered the Red Keep, not looking for her deliberately, but not avoiding her if he happened to run into her. Which happened quite often, as she seemed to spend much of her time wandering as well.

She never asked him what he was doing, in the library, or an empty guest room balcony, or wherever she found him, but he knew she wanted to. She would just look at him curiously and then guide to conversation elsewhere.

Every day, he remembered more things he liked about her: she was clever and stubborn, and obsessed with the female warriors of old. She had gotten much better at card games that involved bluffing since he had last played against her.

And with every passing day, he knew that the likelihood of crossing that line he had drawn for himself grew. There would come a time when his eyes lingered a moment too long, when his hands would not be able to resist touching her skin, when his lips would let words pass through them before his mind could stop them. He had to leave before that happened.

One night, he had a dream so vivid he thought it was real. Rhaenyra had come to his chambers late at night, upset, and begged him to let her sleep in his bed with him so she would not feel so alone. So that she knew he could not leave in the middle of the night as he had so often done. And he had not been able to refuse her.

As they had laid down together, she had curled up beside him and murmured sleepily, “I know why you think you have to leave, and it isn’t true.”

Then Daemon had woken up, half-convinced he could still smell her scent on his sheets. He sat up, overcome by the sudden urge to flee, to leave under cover of night.

Which would not be fair to Rhaenyra, of course.

But he did have to leave, of that much he was certain. If anything, this dream was an indication of how close he was to crossing that line.

He soon had a bag packed and made his way over to Rhaenyra’s chambers to say goodbye. Ser Criston stood guard at the door.

“Your highness,” he said. “The princess is sleeping.”

“I am aware,” Daemon said. “But I need to speak with her.”

Ser Criston looked down at his bag. “She won’t be happy about you leaving again.”

“Thank you for your unsolicited opinion,” Daemon said, passing him by and pushing open the door.

Rhaenyra lay on her side, her back to him, when he entered. He dropped his bag at the entrance to her bedchamber and quietly made his way to the other side of her bed.

He found himself unable to disturb her peaceful slumber. Just like in the gardens, her face was soft and relaxed. Even at her most content, when she was awake there was always a touch of tension or sadness on her face.

He sighed, thinking of delaying his departure for tomorrow when she stirred. Her eyes opened blearily and then she shot awake when she saw his figure in the dark.

“Oh,” she said, relaxing when she recognized him. “Uncle.”

“Princess,” he said softly.

She squinted at him, rubbing her face sleepily. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Not long,” he lied. “I… came to say goodbye.”

He had expected her to be upset or angry, and while those emotions did flit over her features, they quickly settled into resignation.

“Well, I suppose I should be grateful I didn’t have to find out from father at breakfast tomorrow morning.”

Her unwillingness to fight him made it all so much worse.

“I do not leave to hurt you,” he said sitting on the edge of her bed.

She sat up, crossing her arms over her chest – over the white nightgown that he imagined did not leave a lot to the imagination. “Then why do you leave?”

He sighed again and shook his head, either unable or unwilling to come up with an explanation.

She frowned at him, first in frustration, but then her expression crumpled, and tears sprang up in her eyes. She reached out and took one of his hands in both of hers.

“Kostilus, kēpus,” she whispered brokenly. “Daor.” Please, uncle. Don’t.

His heart ached to see her in pain – pain he had caused her – and he reached out a hand to cup her cheek. He wiped away her tear with his thumb. She closed her eyes and leaned into his hand.

His resolve was fraying with each moment in her presence and was replaced with growing uncertainty. If he couldn’t leave, then what was he to do?

He looked into her pleading eyes and knew that soon there would be no going back. The line had not yet been crossed but if his resolve snapped now…

Cheeks still wet with tears, Rhaenyra surged forward and kissed him. Daemon was so surprised he froze for a few seconds before he held her face in both hands and was kissing her back. He tasted the salt on her lips and felt an aborted sob heave in her chest as he held her close.

Against his lips, she murmured, “Henujagā daor. Henujagā daor.” You will not leave. You will not leave.

“Dōrī,” he vowed between kisses. “Dōrī arlī.” Never. Never again.

She pulled him into the bed with her, not to couple, but just to hold onto him as she fell asleep again. He stroked her hair as her breathing evened out. For the first time in a long time, being in her presence brought him no guilt or fear or shame. All of his previous reasons why this could not happen were still true, to be sure, but they meant next to nothing if Rhaenyra was happy. He could face the judgement of every family member and noble house if he had to.

If things were different, he would have encouraged her to search for a suitor who would be good for her. But things weren’t different, and he was the best she had. So, if she wanted him, he was hers.

Daemon was the first to wake up the next morning. Rhaenyra’s back was pressed against his chest, and his arms held her close. Light trickled in through the curtains and he closed his eyes, inhaling deeply. He was nearly falling asleep again when she shifted.

“Good morning,” he murmured into her hair.

She turned her head to look at him, and the utter relief in her eyes was all he needed to know he had made the right decision.

“Good morning,” she said. “You’re still here.”

“I am,” he said, and kissed her sleepy smile.
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