She expected the call, since the first day that she noted her moon blood was late, she knew that Alicent wouldn't wait a single second to see the haircolor of Rhaenyra's new child. Rhaenyra was surprised that the queen wasn't behind the door of her chambers waiting for the babe's cry, but of course she had to look that superior, asking to bring the child to her, as if she was that loving step-grandmother.
The maid had said that she could take the baby boy to the queen, as if Rhaenyra would just leave her newborn child with Alicent without supervision. No, she would do it herself, would go and stand in front of the green queen and look her right in the eyes while she feigned care about the baby. The princess asked the help of the maids to get dress into a more sophisticated dress, she would make Alicent wait longer, but Rhaenyra knew not to test Alicent's patience more than necessary. Her hair had to do the way it was, only half combed.
Luckily she found Laenor on her way out of the chambers, just as lucky, baby Joffrey was already showing to be a calm child. Those two things helped to calm Rhaenyra's nerves a bit. The pain wasn't as helpful. It hurt to walk, and when they got to the steps of the long stair to the queen's chambers it downed on her just how much effort this task would required, but she's a Targaryen, dragon blood runs in her veins, and she sure as hells won't give Alicent the satisfaction of showing off as weak.
"Princess… Lord Laenor." It was Daemon's voice, surprised at the beginning and cordially by the end. It seemed like he had just arrived, taking off his dragon riding gloves.
Rhaenyra stopped, just short of hissing tiredly, they were half way into the first set of stairs. Laenor looked at her worried before addressing Daemon, who seemed parts of confused and curious while looking at Rhaenyra.
"Daemon, what brings you to the Red Keep?" Laenor knew for a fact that the prince was in Hightide the day before, he received a letter from his sister telling him that her pregnancy was being harder than the twins', but she would prevail like in everything.
"Laena wanted me to be sure that everything went well with Rhaenyra's labor." His words addressed Laenor, but his eyes were locked on the princess' face. One step more and he talled over both of them. "Where are we going?"
"Queen Alicent asked to see him." Was the first thing Rhaenyra said to him.
She was touched that Laena and Daemon care for her to the point to make him travel to the Keep instead of waiting for a raven. She wished she could do the same for Laena soon.
Daemon's voice had sounded like his face: Concerned, but open, just seeking to understand what could probably have happened to make Rhaenyra leave her chambers with the newborn in her arms. The princess' simple explanation made his face turn into a mask of anger. It all made sense then, why Laenor was close to carrying Rhaenyra up, her protective arms around the babe, and the stern expression, like she hadn't just pushed the same child out of her body.
"We shouldn't leave her waiting then." His words were almost spitted between his teeth. He made his way towards her other side.
"You're kind, uncle, but we're in no need of company."
"I insist, after all I came to see you and the babe." He took a hold of her arm, the same way as Laenor, and they both began to support her way up the stairs.
Rhaenyra decided to not protest, she would need that strength when faced by Alicent. Laenor tried to establish a conversation with Daemon, just as he did with Rhaenyra, but her uncle was far less interested in indulging. His face was back to the angry one. He would stop and look at her worried when she encountered a harder step, the same as Laenor, though instead of his worry longing moments after, it seemed to make him even angrier.
Daemon just didn't know if it was a good thing or not that he wasn't bearing Dark Sister, the image of the Green Bitch impaled on his sword seemed to soothe his temper. He couldn't believe that woman would make Rhaenyra pass through this, she herself having given birth to three children, knowing what Aemma went through and how it had affected Rhaenyra. And all of it only because of her damned puritanism, like Rhaenyra's children had less blood of the dragon than hers because of their father.
"Come." Alicent's voice was hard, like addressing a servant. It made Daemon's blood boil.
He didn't even notice that they were facing her chambers' doors. Rhaenyra looked even paller, but a pull of her arm forced him to let go of her. It was her fight, and he could give Alicent even more reason to contest Rhaenyra's honor. He let them go in first, but he was the one to close the door, the slam of it making his presence clear.
Neither of them couldn't tell if Alicent was more surprised to see Daemon or Rhaenyra, a flash of worry passed through her face, and the prince felt some satisfaction to see guilt in her eyes.
"There was no need for you to come in this state, Rhaenyra, I only wish to give my blessing to the babe, a handmaid could have brought him to me." She pointed to a chair, but Rhaenyra stood her ground, even when Laenor moved to help her; she seemed to tremble, almost bending. Alicent didn't seem amused by her generosity being denied.
"I understand that, my queen. But I enjoy the company of my children, and would rather walk the whole castle than leave my newborn in the hands of another." Rhaenyra meant to hit hard, she remembers how Alicent seemed all too happy to hand her crying children to the care of a servant.
Alicent got closer looking straight at the infant in Rhaenyra's arms. The queen smiled, a smile that could fool anyone in the court or the realm, but not Rhaenyra.
"He's a true blessing." Alicent said, and then looked at Laenor who was smiling proudly and caring at Joffrey. "You should keep trying, Ser Laenor, soon or late you may get one who looks like you."
Rhaenyra took a deep breath while looking at her son, he did help to keep her calm. Laenor gave the queen an amused laugh, he couldn't care less about who gave the seed, Rhaenyra's children are his children. Daemon on the other hand didn't care to hide his eyes rolling at the queen's jab, he started to get closer to Rhaenyra, but Laenor was quicker to respond.
"I can assure you, your grace, it does not bothers me the looks of my children. Rhaenyra gave me three beautiful and strong sons, and I don't wish it was any other way." His gaze went from the baby to Rhaenyra and the love between them couldn't be denied, their partnership was something that few could see in other marriages. Rhaenyra had to hide her smile when Laenor mentioned the strength of their sons.
"I couldn't agree more, brother." Daemon finally made his statement, showing that he wasn't there just to watch. He went to Rhaenyra and took the infant from her, the princess didn't seem too kin of the idea at first, but decided to let her uncle have it his way, she knew he would never do something to hurt her or her sons. "My own daughters are the spitting image of my beautiful wife, and I couldn't be more grateful for it. Their looks matters not as soon as you see the fire in their eyes."
He brought the baby to eye level and smiled, like he had just witnessed something marvelous.
"This is the proof that they are true children of the dragon, and are destined to great things… That is something no silver hair can grant, your grace." He, then, addressed Alicent completely, almost sneering, wishing she would take the bait and take offense on what was being said. The little boy, now comfortable in his arms, was completely unaware of the tense room.
"Your visions never cease to amaze me, uncle." Rhaenyra seemed to share her son's relaxed posture, now fully supported by her husband's arms while she smiled proudly at the child in Daemon's arms. Her children always fit well with him.
"It is, indeed, a beautiful view. If that was all, your grace, I believe it would be best if Rhaenyra and the babe get some rest for now." Laenor expressed what was in his heart since the moment he first saw Rhaenyra leaving her bedchambers.
"It truly would, Laenor; our princess is a truly strong woman, coming all the way, climbing all those steps, after just giving birth, all to respond to her queen's call and be close to her babe. A true example of a woman and mother." It was clear that Daemon's only purpose was to annoy Alicent for summoning Rhaenyra and the baby so soon after the labor, and if guilty downed over the queen for it, then it was a great bonus.
The rogue prince made his way to the door, the child still in his arms, Laenor, who was no fool, followed him while helping Rhaenyra.
"Of course, they should rest. But Rhaenyra…" The trio stopped, not happy at all by it. Alicent went to her, her stupid smile in her face. "You haven't told me his name."
Rhaenyra exchanged a look with Laenor, who smiled, caring and encouraging.
"His name is Joffrey Velaryon, your grace."
Alicent looked at the princess confused.
"Joffrey?" She didn't remember of any Targaryen or Velaryon named Joffrey.
"Yes, after Laenor's good friend."
Just then it downed on Alicent, the man that Sir Criston murmured on their wedding feast. The man who, according to the rumors, was Laenor's lover. As if bastard children weren't enough of an offense to the crown.
"Very well…" The queen said, trying to keep her smile in place, and then got closer to Daemon.
The prince filled his chest and almost responded with a step closer into the queen's space, the arms around the boy going stiffer.
"Shall you have a blessed and honorable life, prince Joffrey Velaryon." Alicent said to the baby, but didn't dare touch him, or didn't want to.
"Thank you, for your blessing, your grace." Laenor said before getting the door open and helping Rhaenyra get through it. The princess was reluctant to go without her son, and waited for her uncle to come out as well.
Daemon stayed in place until Alicent looked up to his face, he hoped his face expressed well the rage he was feeling.
"I wouldn't disturb her or her family's peace again, you grace. I know of some dragons that are very protective of them." He hissed low, and as soon as the last word was out of his lips, he turned and left the room, not minding how the threat would be received.
He gave Joffrey to Laenor, passed an arm through Rhaenyra's lower back and took hold of her arm with the other hand, he was close to carrying her on the way back. Daemon had some hope that his niece would finally take her place on Dragonstone and be free of the Green Bitch, Laena for sure would be happy to have her friend, brother and nephews closer, even more now with their new baby coming.