Little One - Chapter 1 - AverageLucas (2023)

Chapter Text

"He is…"

Whatever Rhaenys had to say, it was lost within the whirlwind raging inside her. The Targaryen paced up and down the tent. A frown of both frustration and concentration creased her forehead, and her lips pursed into a thin line.

Visenya looked up from Dark Sister, which's steel she had been oiling before her sister had so brazenly interrupted her. The Valyrian Steel had no need for oils, as it did not rust as ordinary metals did. But the meticulous practice had become a treasured habit, a routine to clear her mind and hone her discipline.

The elder Targaryen carefully set the sword down and quirked a brow toward her younger sister. Visenya said nothing and simply waited for the tempest to pass. Rhaenys paced around the tent some more before coming to a stop in front of her older sister.

The young woman cocked her head, her lips splitting with what resembled a petulant pout and an irritated scowl in equal measure.

Visenya inclined her head in wordless question.

"Aegon he -" Rhaenys threw her hands in the air, her features changing into ones of bafflement. "He is in one of his moods," she spat out.

"Aegon tends to brood," Visenya answered with a measured shrug.

"Not like this," the younger Targaryen looked away. "He won't speak to me," a glint of worry and frustration passed through her eyes. Her younger sister was ever so proud. Torn between the worry she had for their brother and the irritation at admitting there was something she could not do.

The warrior gave a soft sigh.

Give it time, give him space, was what Visenya wanted to say. But she knew it was an answer her sister would not take too kindly to.

For her sister was an impatient and capricious creature. Always the precocious child, Rhaenys' endless curiosity – and flights of fancy – were both humored and nurtured by Visenya and Aegon. It was no surprise that she had become the brightest of the three. But such brilliance and doting had come at a cost. Seldom was there something Rhaenys' quick wit and intelligence could not swiftly grasp, rare the whim that was not catered to by her older siblings. Rhaenys was too eager for the result that repeatedly came without much effort and had no patience for the process that preceded it. It left her frustrated and irritable once things did not resolve as swiftly as expected.

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And Aegon… Once Aegon got into one of his moods, it took tenacity and commitment to take him out of them. It was process, and Rhaenys had no stomach for the tedium of it. Her sister expected her comfort to be instant; Visenya did not begrudge her for this, for it usually was.

"He tends to brood," Visenya repeated, though she softened her voice.

"I told you; it is different. He will not listen to me," the barest hints of desperation laced her tone. Rhaenys bit her lip. "He listens to you; he always has."

The older Targaryen leveled a soft gaze at her sister. Her worry did not concern Visenya, for Rhaenys had always been of the dramatic sort. One of the traits he shared with Aegon – although his tantrums were of a different kind.

"I will speak with him," the warrior conceded, slowly standing up and fastening Dark Sister to her hip. It is not like she could deny Rhaenys. She never could.

"If you manage to get a word out of him!" the younger woman complained with a scoff, throwing her arm in the air. Her worries now eased; it was easy for the petulance and irritation to seep out.

Visenya gave a quick nod sister and walked out of her tent. The walk through the war camp was not long, even with all the hosts they had gathered to their side. The warrior quickly found herself standing before his brother's tent. The guards gave her an apprehensive side-glance and shifted with anxiety.

"His Grace wishes not to be disturbed," muttered one of the guards, mirthlessly and obviously hesitant.

Visenya simply raises an eyebrow. The guards visibly swallowed. They scuttled quickly but clumsily to the side, opening the way to the tent and allowing her through. Slow and lazy, Visenya thought. Something would have to be done about it in the future.

She walked into the tent. It was dark except for a modest fire at the end of the tent. Her younger brother sat on an austere chair and still wearing his simple chainmail. Blackfyre, the legendary swords, rested against one of the feet of the chair. He had his eyes closed and rested his head on one of his hands.

The older Targaryen said nothing and walked toward the empty chair beside Aegon. Once seated, she wordlessly took his mailed hand within her own.

Aegon was not a somber man, but he was prone to occasional bouts of melancholy. Moments in which he was only comfortable with himself. Her younger brother would then retreat into himself to take the time needed to parse through his thoughts.

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They vexed Rhaenys, these spells of solitary contemplation. Their measured and slow method, so anathema to the instant resolution she was so used to, became a defiance against her. It irritated her to see her attempts at bringing him out of his state fall into an ever-expanding pit. For Aegon was the most stubborn of the three and seemed to take her younger sister's efforts as a personal affront. He would sink deeper into himself with a grim determination. His own efforts as if coming out of simple spite.

Aegon's gauntleted hand tightened around hers, the slight pressure coiling around her mailed hand. The barest of acknowledgments. It was enough, permission. And Visenya's thumb began circling the back of his hand, slowly.,

It need not be this way. Aegon could communicate his need to be on his own. He could make an effort to meet his younger sister halfway rather than take offense. Similarly, Rhaenys could show a little patience. She could stop seeing her brother's mood as a personal challenge and simply let him be. Then, Visenya would not need to trouble herself with mending the situation.

But both her youngers were dreadfully dramatic. They loved their tantrums. And Visenya loved them so.

Visenya closed her eyes and lent leaned back into the chair. She did not know how long they remained that way. The room darkened as the fire slowly turned to embers. The silence became so entrenched it appeared eternal.

It was like a place out of time. Aegon delved into himself, and Visenya had followed; a quiet shadow, a companion that offered reassurance yet was ephemeral enough to be ignored if so desired.

It was their penchant for this theater that allowed her to have these personal moments with Aegon; and different but similar ones with Rhaenys. So, perhaps her acceptance of her sibling's nature was nothing more than a selfish desire of the oldest to be needed.

But that did not matter when she was allowed this intimacy.

Visenya felt a light tug at her hand. She opened her eyes to see the dark violet orbs of her younger brother calmly peering at her. He had come out, or she had been allowed in. Yet, she noticed a strange glint in them.

Perhaps Rhaenys had been correct, and this was not one of his moods. Mayhap something was troubling him more than usual.

She lightly squeezed his hand.

"Anything amiss, little one?"

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Aegon gave a small smile and looked away, appearing bashful at the endearment.

Visenya could feel a small smile tuck at the edges of her lips. His embarrassment would not stop her, for Aegon would always be her "little one."

"I…" he began carefully yet stalwart. Visenya expected him to stop then, to turn back inwards in search of whatever concerned him. But he did not. "Sometimes, I am overcome with the magnitude of what we are accomplishing," he stated, shrugging with an uncharacteristic uncertainty.

Visenya understood.

Aegon the Conqueror. That is what they had begun calling him. As Aegon – the three of them – left their indelible mark on history, the epithet would overtake all. Every other facet of her brother would be lost to history and memory, subsumed by the stoic, disciplined warrior-king that was "the Conqueror."

Who would talk of his dry wit, his sardonic comments, how it annoyed him when they went unnoticed, his rare yet ever-welcome playfulness and mischief, and the tantrums he threw in tandem with his younger sister?

Who would remember her little one, her sweetling? Her little brother that was oft skittish when troubled and would burrow when not handled with enough care. Who needed and gentle hand to coax him out of himself.

And what would happen to Rhaenys, to herself? The sisters whose equal contribution in this endeavor was already being lessened by the Westerosi. How would history speak of them?

It was a daunting prospect.

Her brother noted Visenya's silence, and a small cynical but knowing smile split his lips.

Doubt was unbecoming of them, of what they were trying to accomplish.

Her hand grew tighter around his as a low and soft chuckle left her lips. Aegon's smile quickly turned thankful, and he squeezed back. He smiled, and his shoulder slumped with ease; now unburdened, Aegon simply basked in the company of his sister.

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There was no more to be said. Aegon was not entering the mire of his worries but leaving it. He had only needed someone to be by his side while he waded through them, and Visenya had fulfilled that role dutifully.

So, they remained in silence, simply clasping each other's hands. It was one private, fleeting moment between them, unknowable to the world beyond the tent. Perhaps, that was one of the things that made it so special. That it did not last, for it could not.

Soon enough, a soldier awaited beyond the veil.

The Realm demanded the attention of the Conqueror, and the Warrior King obliged. It cloaked her younger brother within itself once more. It did so not a mask but an aspect, as much a part of Aegon as all other facets of his character.

"Enter."

Aegon did not relinquish her hand when the knight entered the tent. The westerosi glanced with a side-eye at their clasped hands and thinly veiled apprehension.

They were husband and wife. That they engaged in physical intimacy should not have scandalized this man so. But these people had small minds and could not comprehend the notion that their love extended beyond its familial bounds.

If she were in a worse mood, Visenya might not have let the westerosi off so lightly. But she did not want their moment to end just yet. While they held hands, it remained - even if fading.

So, she simply hardened her glare. Her husband seemed of the same mind as his eyes narrowed in an unworded threat. The knight visibly swallowed and straightened.

Visenya cared not for their opinions. Had no need for them to accept or acknowledge their bond. But the disrespect she would not tolerate. These people could seethe as their hearts desired, but they would do so in silence and unnoticed.

"Your Grace, my Queen," the knight inclined his head. "We have received word from King Torrhen. He is ready to bend the knee."

Aegon remained silent momentarily, one hand on his chin and the other still on Visenya's. She could feel it twitch for a second as he gave her one last squeeze.

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"Good," he said as he stood up and fasted Blackfyre to his belt. "Let us finish this."

He sounded every bit the King he was and would become. Nevertheless, Visenya noticed the slightest of weights lay on his shoulders. Perhaps it was merely the fanciful notions of an elder sibling.

But at that moment, all Visenya saw was her little one.

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