The cut is not nearly as bad as Alicent is making it out to be.
It’s hardly even worthy of being named a cut. A scrape is all it is, grazed skin on the side of her stomach from where Rhaenyra had slid off Syrax’s back at an awkward angle—she’d been in a rush, the promise of an evening with her lady more than enough to have her practically jumping from her dragon—and really, it doesn’t even hurt.
But Alicent had seen the blood staining Rhaenyra’s clothes as her princess had entered her chambers (their chambers; Alicent sleeps in Rhaenyra’s bed far too often for her to not have at least something of a claim on the room) and had dodged the Targaryen’s greeting kiss—something that had displeased Rhaenyra greatly—in favour of furrowing her brows and demanding to know what had happened.
Which leads them here: Rhaenyra sitting on her bed with her shift raised to her ribs, huffing impatiently as Alicent inspects the injury on her side.
“It’s not that bad.”
“You’re still bleeding!”
“But it doesn’t hurt!” With anybody else, Rhaenyra would feel embarrassed by the juvenile whine that creeps into her protest; she’s a Targaryen, heir to the throne. Such childishness should be below her.
But Alicent has seen the worst of her. She’s seen the ugliest parts of Rhaenyra, the parts she feels most ashamed of, and Alicent loves her still.
Familiar exasperation clouds Alicent’s features at Rhaenyra’s words, though the fondness in her eyes is betrayed by the flickering candle on the window ledge—it casts her face in soft light, makes her look more beautiful than Rhaenyra thought possible.
“Let me clean it for you, at least.” Alicent asks, quiet but firm.
It’s a compromise, Rhaenyra knows. If Alicent had her will, she’d be in the infirmary, probably being poked and questioned by the Septa, fussed over to the point of frustration. If Rhaenyra had hers…well. There’d be no more discussion of blood or cuts or anything else for the rest of the evening, and she’d be fulfilling the fantasies that had sustained her as she landed Syrax and near-sprinted from the dragon-pit to her chambers.
Rhaenyra sighs. Makes a show of rolling her eyes. She’s going to let Alicent do it, because her lady is far too pretty when she’s determined, but first she’ll have her fun being as dramatic as can be about it.
“Fine.” She mutters, sighing once more for good measure. Alicent’s nose twitches triumphantly and it’s sweet enough that some of Rhaenyra’s irritation melts away.
It’s quiet between them as Alicent moves around the room collecting what she’ll need. From the open window, the sounds of night in King’s Landing are faintly audible—raucous laughter, street merchants still selling their wares, drunken shouts—but there could be a war brewing out there for all Rhaenyra would care, all her attention stolen by her lover.
The figure her lady cuts is enough to leave Rhaenyra breathless every time she lays eyes upon her—she counts her lucky stars even now, sitting back on her hands as she watches Alicent busy herself wetting a square of fabric. Moonlight dances across the nape of her neck, the backs of her hands, the curve of her jaw, and Rhaenyra’s heart feels like it’s soaring.
To have Alicent as her friend was a blessing from the Gods. But to have her as her lover is the closest thing to a miracle Rhaenyra believes in. To feel those lips against her own, those hands on her skin; to have the full force of Alicent Hightower’s love, her unrestrained desire, aimed solely at her…gods. Rhaenyra feels she could lose her status, her kingdom, everything that makes her a princess, and Alicent’s affection would still make her feel like royalty.
Everybody always says the Targaryen’s are closer to gods than men.
Rhaenyra thinks Alicent is the closest to divinity she’ll ever get.
She comes back to herself when Alicent returns to her, shaking herself from her love-struck thoughts as the other girl comes to stand in front of her.
“Sit back.” Alicent asks, though her tone leaves no room for debate as she settles on the bed next to Rhaenyra. The princess raises an eyebrow at the instruction, feels a tug low in her gut at the way Alicent blushes in return. She’s only teasing her; it’s not often the Hightower takes charge, in any scenario, and Rhaenyra must admit it does something for her.
Clearing her throat, Alicent blinks her flush away before pressing the dampened cloth onto the area around Rhaenyra’s wound. Despite all her earlier insistence that the cut didn’t pain her, Rhaenyra winces at the sudden sting.
“I thought you said it didn’t hurt?”
Eyes darting to her lover’s face, Rhaenyra finds Alicent smirking mischievously. She scoffs.
“It doesn’t.” A bald-faced lie, but Rhaenyra’s proud. Too proud, at least, to admit that her lady had been right.
“Mhm.” Alicent hums, still grinning, though taking care to swipe more gently at the blood drying on Rhaenyra’s stomach. The affection with which she does it has Rhaenyra crumbling.
She hooks a hand around the back of Alicent’s neck and tugs her down until she can press their lips together; a fumbling mess of a kiss at first due to Alicent’s unpreparedness and Rhaenyra’s enthusiasm. But then Alicent relaxes into Rhaenyra’s touch, lets herself sink into the flow of the embrace, and it all clicks into place.
Alicent’s kisses are a lot like riding Syrax—exhilarating, breathless, exiting. A miracle Rhaenyra likes to think only she has been and ever will be blessed with. Brilliant. Awesome. Perfect.
This one in particular is especially good, heightened by the moonlight, the solace and the fact that Alicent’s hand comes to rest across Rhaenyra’s bare stomach, the pad of her thumb stroking across the faint line of muscle there. The touch lights a fire in the princess, makes her want more, want Alicent, so she opens her mouth and flicks her tongue out against the seam of Alicent’s lips, trying to deepen the kiss.
But her lady pulls back before it can go anywhere. Rhaenyra’s eyes flutter open, a pout forming on her lips at the sudden loss of Alicent’s touch, confused as to why she stopped. She takes a little pleasure from the fact that Alicent’s eyes are visibly darker, her breath a little shorter, but she still wishes for an answer as to why the interruption.
Alicent smiles at her pout, presses a consolatory peck to her lips before smiling and leaning back, one hand pressing into Rhaenyra’s shoulder to stop her following.
“Sit still and let me clean you up.”
An aching kind of fondness lodges in Rhaenyra’s chest at the care masquerading as cajoling in her lover’s tone, and she nods in acquiescence.
(She’d do just about anything if only Alicent asked it of her.)
“Later, then.” She says, soft enough to show her agreement, but with just enough suggestion that Alicent knows how she intends to spend the evening.
Alicent huffs out a chuckle, murmurs “you’re insatiable” with a tiny smile, and Rhaenyra feels she’s won the grandest of prizes.
It doesn’t take long for Alicent to finish wiping the blood away. When she’s done, she spreads a fresh piece of dampened fabric over the cut so that it sticks to Rhaenyra’s skin, covering the wound and soaking up any further blood that would fall. Then, she sits back, admires her work for a moment, before nodding and tugging Rhaenyra’s shift back down to cover her.
If Rhaenyra had been paying less attention, this would’ve been the moment she’d recapture her lady’s lips and start tugging at her dress. But years of loving Alicent have taught her to recognise any miniscule change in demeanour, and she spots the anxiety in the other girl’s eyes clear as day.
“What is it, my love?” She asks, voice soft. Alicent turns her head away, looking down at her hands, which have begun fiddling. Rhaenyra knows she’ll start tearing at her nails if left unchecked, so she reaches over to pry her hands apart, holding them gentle as sunbeams in her own.
Alicent doesn’t speak for a moment, gnawing at the inside of her cheek as she intertwines their fingers, squeezing gratefully. Rhaenyra doesn’t rush her to answer; she knows Alicent needs the time to find the words, then find the courage to say them. She will wait, as long as need be.
Finally, after a few moonlit moments, her lady turns to face her again. There’s a painful vulnerability in her eyes, highlighted by the glow from the candle, that cracks something in Rhaenyra’s chest.
“I wish you’d be more careful.”
Alicent sounds small, sounds fragile, and though Rhaenyra doesn’t quite understand her words, she understands the emotion behind them. Understands that this is Alicent opening herself, letting herself be honest, and so she squeezes her hands again. Waits for her to elaborate.
“It’s just…” the brunette begins before trailing off, sucking in a deep breath. “I know you ride Syrax all the time, and I know you know what you’re doing, but,” she shuffles closer to Rhaenyra on the bed, “please, just be careful. A scratch is one thing, but what if next time it’s a broken bone? Or worse?”
Her voice is pleading, almost begging. It chips away at Rhaenyra’s heart and hits her right in the chest. She doesn’t quite know where Alicent’s going with this, but before she can ask, the other girl continues.
“I don’t ever want to lose you.”
Rhaenyra’s breath catches in her throat at the rawness with which it’s said, at the sheer impact the words cause, the weight of them bearing down upon her. It almost makes her want to cry, the fact that Alicent feels so susceptible to the loss of her, how much pain she’s clearly in just thinking about the possibility. But Alicent is looking at her with glimmering eyes, squeezing her hands so tight it nearly hurts, and Rhaenyra’s never been the best at comfort, but gods damn her if she isn’t going to try her hardest for her lady.
She takes a deep breath and schools herself. Sits up and shuffles close enough to the other girl that she can reach out to tuck a stray lock of hair behind her ear. She leaves her palm resting against her cheek and Alicent nuzzles into the touch. Her heart beats for this girl she loves.
“You won’t lose me.” She starts, soft but with such conviction she could sway kings. “You won’t ever lose me, Alicent.” She runs a thumb over her lover’s cheekbone as Alicent gazes at her.
“You can’t know that—” Alicent protests, brow furrowed, but Rhaenyra interrupts, “Yes, I can.”
The certainty in her tone seems to stun Alicent into silence, so the princess takes another breath and carries on. She needs Alicent to hear this.
“It would take more than any injury Syrax could give to take me from you, my darling. More than any power known in the Realm.” Rhaenyra pauses, measures the gravity of her words against the adoration in her heart and decides that no combination of letters would ever be a match.
“Not even the Gods could rip us apart, sweetheart.” Alicent smiles at the pet name. It warms Rhaenyra’s already burning heart. “I have loved you since the moment I met you, and I will love you until the world goes up in flames. I will love you for the rest of my days, and then I will love you after that, too.” Her lady giggles at this, leaning further into Rhaenyra’s palm, and it gives Rhaenyra the courage to say the thing she’s been holding back.
“I would marry you if I could, Alicent Hightower. Declare my love for you to the entire world and burn it down if they protested. But since I can’t, I swear to you now that I will spend the rest of my life by your side. I will fight to be yours every second of every day. You will not lose me, my dear, because I will never allow myself to be lost. You are the home to which I shall forever return.”
Their foreheads are resting against each other as Rhaenyra’s speech comes to a close, a warm point of contact that keeps the princess steady—still somewhat trembling under the weight of her own words.
Silence settles for a moment as they lean against each other. It feels momentous, what just passed between them, and words would only detract from the moment. So they sit, staring into each other’s eyes, holding hands and touching heads and loving each other so much it nearly hurts.
After a while—who can say how long—Alicent leans back slightly and grins.
“That sounds rather wonderful.” She breaks the quiet in the loveliest way, and Rhaenyra smiles so wide her jaw aches.
“I wholeheartedly agree, my love.” And then she’s kissing her and the moonlight hitting their faces feels like a distant dream of the ethereality they create.
What starts soft and chaste quickly becomes heated, Alicent’s hands tangling in Rhaenyra’s silver hair as Rhaenyra’s palms smooth over Alicent’s sides. Their tongues slide together like water, like blood, like a roaring flame that won’t be tamped out, and Rhaenyra relishes in the quiet moan she gets when she nips at Alicent’s bottom lip.
She pulls back from the other girl when breathing becomes an issue, but quickly refocuses her attention on her lover’s neck, raining open-mouthed kisses down the column of her throat, sucking and licking like she wants to mark Alicent for the world to see (an impossibility in practice, but a delicious fantasy). Alicent gasps and uses the hand buried in Rhaenyra’s hair to keep her head there, letting the princess bite down until she draws a whimper that has heat flooding to Rhaenyra’s gut.
Once she’s finished her work on Alicent’s neck, she draws back. The sight that greets her is heavenly.
Alicent’s eyes are impossibly dark, pupils wide, and her lips are a glorious bitten-red. There are faint pink marks littered across her throat—marks that will fade in an hour or so—and she’s nearly panting, staring at Rhaenyra with such hunger she almost falls to her knees.
“Is it later now?” She quips mischievously, though the joke is somewhat lost in the coarseness of her voice, the roughness of her want.
Alicent doesn’t respond, merely waits for her to make a move. I’ll take that to be a yes.
They crash back together, furious kisses and desperate little sounds that have Rhaenyra’s hips bucking, have Alicent groaning. The princess pushes and they land on the bed, Alicent on her back with Rhaenyra atop her. Their dresses are in the way, and they’re kissing with absolutely no finesse, but Rhaenyra feels like a starving man at a feast. Alicent is tugging at her hand, urging it under the materials of her skirts and between her legs and Rhaenyra whines at the hot slickness she finds there.
“You took care of me,” she mutters against her lover’s mouth, Alicent moaning beneath her as she slips inside of her with two fingers, “now let me take care of you.”