This is an A Song of Ice and Fire fanfic based on the following prompt:
Any/any. AU. They live in a world where love at first sight happens and when they meet their soulmate, a matching mark appears on both persons' right wrist. 5+1.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot, and I earn no money from this. ASoIaF belongs to G.R.R. Martin. It is a romance in a modern setting with a difference, for there's a little magic regarding the OTP marks. As it is too long a fic for a single post, I have split it in two in order to avoid everlasting scrolling. It will be updated in a few days.
Ned Stark was devastated. The car accident which had taken away both his father and brother's lives had brought up another collateral damage: his dear sister Lyanna had suffered from a miscarriage due to the shock at knowing the bad news. Thus, as she stayed in hospital fighting for her life, the only Starks left to attend the funeral ceremony and banquet were his brother Benjen and Ned himself.
The brothers tried to comfort each other and stay tall in front of the people who were arriving to give the condolences. Ned was lost in thought and grievance, missing Robert's support at his side—his best friend was also Lyanna's fiancé and had left for the hospital. So, Ned was left alone there with Benjen, a lot of persons whose faces didn't really recognize nor care of and his pain and misery. If only I had been there with them, maybe I wouldn't have passed out and I could have saved them from the explosion...The fire. He couldn't allow him to think much about it, how it might have felt to burn alive. He could only allow him to trust the voices that said that they might have fainted before the fire started. Might. He couldn't let him think that no one could really tell if it had been a must.
“My condolences,” a sweet voice full of grief said. “I can understand your pain. At least, some of your pain. I loved him. We were dating.” Then, the voice broke and something about it made Ned return to reality.
“Who...?” he started asking, but his question was interrupted by the vision of the woman in front of him. Long, auburn hair, clear blue eyes full of tears, an expression of deep pain on her beautiful face. He knew her face. He had seen it in photographs before, Brandon's southern girlfriend.
“Excuse me, you don't even know me. We haven't had the chance to meet before. My name is Catelyn Tully. Brandon and I have been dating for some months. Well, we had...”
“That's fine, there's no need to apologize. We knew, Ms Tully. He wanted to introduce you to the family next Christmas. He talked about you a lot and we were looking forward to meet you.”
Catelyn Tully smiled a little and held his hand in a reassuring way. And then, it happened.
Both Ned and Catelyn's right wrists started glowing and a sign appeared on each of them. The signs had the same blue-gray colour and an identical design. A mirror image. The love matching marks that made their appearance when someone met his or her soulmate.
They looked at their hands in astonishment, finding the situation inappropriate, finding it disrespectful.
But love and hope don't know of right timing, and life must go on.
Lyanna Stark lied down in bed, still in hospital, finding neither relief nor relaxation. She felt like she was rowing through treacherous waters; one mistake and she would drown in pain. The moment she had known about her father and brother's accident, the dreadful punctures in her belly had started and then blood had begun spilling down her thighs. And she had been sure what it would mean—the baby would die. Maybe he was never supposed to be born, a child of sin.
Sadly, Lyanna remembered how shocked her family had looked like when she had first told them about her pregnancy. They could barely believe that young, brilliant, talented Lyanna, who was attending her first year at university with an athletic scholarship, could have made such a big mistake. His boyfriend, Robert, had been shocked, too, but his surprise had changed into cheerfulness very quickly. He would do the right thing, he would sooth her family, they would get married, they would have a little Baratheon, they would be happy together forever and ever... And Lyanna, tired and hesitant for the first time in her life, had smiled with a smile that didn't reach her eyes and had let him do and decide.
He hadn't even noticed that their sexual intercourses had always been safe.
She had met him at the Harrenhal athletics competition several months ago.
The competition had been held in another campus, out-of-town. For some reason, neither Robert nor her family had accompanied her.
Lyanna had won three medals and, when she had seen the man who was meant to give them to her, she had thought him to be the most attractive man she had ever known. He had silver hair and fascinating purple eyes. He was tall and his muscles were well-defined. He was graceful and elegant and his facial expression was almost regal. And his voice had sounded like music when he had congratulated her.
“Congratulations, Ms Stark. You have been the champion and the Queen of the Tracks today,” he had said in a friendly manner.
Then, he had put the medals on her and Lyanna had felt a sudden heat in her right wrist. She had looked at it and had understood the meaning of that glimmering grey and purple mark. A twin one was shining in the handsome man's wrist. Lyanna's heart had leaped.
That night, there had been a dinner to celebrate the end of the competition and, after that, there had been a party. That night, Lyanna had learnt the man's name, Rhaegar, had learnt that, despite his youth (he was in his twenties), he was a family man. She had learnt that he was the heir of an important company as well as a lecturer on high-performance sports at the same university she was attending and that he loved music. And later that night, she had also learnt the taste of his lips and his skin and she had known she would fall.
They had been keeping a secret relationship since then, though none of them had really finished their former relationships. Lyanna had tried to split up with Robert in several occasions, but she was fond of him even if he wasn't the most faithful boyfriend himself. Besides, she cared about what her family would say about it, and she wasn't sure of Rhaegar doing the same. She was, in short, too young to sort it out. And then, she had got pregnant and everything seemed to turn into a downward spiral.
And now, tragedy had struck her life.
Someone's voice interrupted her stream of thought. She recognized the voice and faked she was asleep. A gentle hand caressed her face as words were poured down on her.
“I'm sorry, my love, I'm so sorry. Your father, your brother... the baby. I should have come before, but my family, too...” the voice shivered. “It was my father, the driver of the other car. He is dead, too. He had been suffering from a mental health disease for months, he was under treatment. He shouldn't have driven after taking those pills. I cannot find the words to express my regret.”
Lyanna opened her sore eyes and stared at Rhaegar's sad expression.
“He was yours, not Robert's.”
“He shouldn't have paid for his father's sins,” he said.
“No, he shouldn't. Neither should you,” she replied.
This is wrong, this is a mistake.
But love and hope don't know of common sense, and their sins will keep on.
Elia, née Martell, a Targaryen nevermore, sipped her cocktail and laughed at someone else's joke. She felt relaxed and happy - the kind of feelings that she had nearly forgotten under the burden of the past hard years. She was at a nice club, surrounded by friendly people. Her brother Oberyn was dancing on the floor with his beloved Ellaria. Elia could see an amorous look in their eyes even from where she stayed. They had the love matching marks that bounded them. It had come as a surprise to the whole Martell family that Oberyn had finally found his soul mate; it had taken him dozens of girls and four indiscretions to finally find her. Elia felt glad for them; Oberyn was her dearest brother and she wanted him to achieve happiness.
It was because of Oberyn that Elia and her children had finally returned to the town she had been living in when still married. Oberyn had business there and he was going to spend at least a year and a half in his new job post. Elia had decided to move with him and sell her remaining shares in her erstwhile spouse's former company to its new owners, Robert Baratheon and his father-in-law Tywin Lannister. The dealt had been closed two days ago and now she felt like she was completely freed from the Targaryens. At last.
To think about her ex-husband made Elia frowned.
He had left her and their children Rhaenys and Aegon overnight five years ago. She found a farewell note in which he apologized for that, but where he also stated that he had fallen madly in love with some undergrad and had decided to elope with her. At least, he had had the decency of leaving behind some bank accounts and savings, as well as the shares in King's Landing Company.
Nonetheless, he would never be able to pay back the months of anguish that followed his departure, the searching about who the heck that bitch was (Lyanna Stark was her name) and where he might have gone to. He could never repay her children's tears and questions, her own despair, the years of depression that might have broken her if not for her family's aid and support. He could never repay her desperate phoning his mother, who had also moved with his siblings somewhere overseas, in a pathetic attempt to know about his current address. He would never compensate for having forgotten about her children.
Anyway, the years of desperation were over. She had got divorced and recovered her maiden name. She had taken care of her children and, currently, the only thing she really wanted was to not know about Targaryens ever more.
We never had the love marks but our marriage was a happy one, at least at the beginning. Love with a little l was enough for me. I presume it wasn't enough for him.
But the night was young and full of joy, and Elia put those thoughts aside.
But the night was young and full of joy, and Elia put those thoughts aside.
Somebody complimented her. She smiled lovingly -she found herself beautiful that night, indeed. She was wearing a silky red dress that suited her perfectly and a sun-shaped necklace as for only ornament. In fact, though she had just abandoned her twenties, she considered herself far prettier than before. Prettier and healthier. She had been suffering from bad health for years. Fortunately, doctors had given her the right treatment for the pernicious anemia and now she felt stronger than ever, able to take the reins of her life again.
Her glass was empty and she left her friends to get another cocktail. While the bartender was shaking the drink, someone greeted her.
"Pleased to meet you once again, it seems like fate wants us meeting," someone said.
Elia turned and took a look at a drunken Robert Baratheon. People said that he had been a very handsome man before, but he had grown fatter and rougher. She couldn't find him appealing by any sorts.
"Mr.Baratheon..." she started.
"Just call me Robert! Mrs Targaryen, isn't it? That Rhaegar's ex-wife, aren't you?"
His breath stank of alcohol and she grimaced.
"Ms Martell now, and don't mention him, if you please."
Robert laughed a sour laughter.
"Martell! Of course! Excuse me, madam. Who could ever want to be reminded of such a bastard? He stole my precious fiancée Lyanna from me, you know. Of course you know. That asshole! How could he do that to my sweet Lyanna?"
She being a bitch must have helped it for sure. However, she didn't answer because it was clear that Robert's wounds hadn't healed as hers had.
Robert stared at her body with a lustful look and went on speaking.
"Wouldn't it be funny if we had our own kind of revenge? I mean, you and I could have a little fun together."
"Aren't you a married man, Robert?" Elia replied intently.
"Fuck my wife! I bet she's being as unfaithful as I am. That stupid cow! If it wasn't for her father's wealth... But let's forget about her."
He put an arm around Elia and put her closer to him.
"I don't think that's a good idea," she warned.
"C'mon! It'd be a shame to get this chance wasted!"
Elia was considering the fact that he would grope her and she would have to slap him when another man's hand took Robert away from her.
"That's enough, Robert. You're drunk and I don't think the lady is pleased with your behaviour."
Both Robert and Elia stared at the man's serious face. His face reminded Elia of Robert's, somehow. The man was not really handsome, as well, with his dark hair growing thin, his cold blue eyes and his stern expression, but something about him threw shivers up Elia's spine.
Interesting, she thought.
"C'mon, Stannis! Don't be such a spoilsport. The lady and I were just having a good time."
"I don't think so," Elia replied.
Robert looked at her in disbelief and finally surrendered.
"Ok, I understand. Sorry for the inconvenience, madam. I'll go get myself something to drink." With these words, Robert left. The other man sighed.
"Could you please excuse my brother? He turns sour and reckless when he is in his cups."
Robert's brother. So, this Stannis might be younger than he looked like.
"There's no need to apologize, Mr Baratheon. My name's Elia, by the way."
They shook hands and there they were: dark and blue designs flashing on their wrists, the ones Elia had never known before. Both looked at them in confusion and Elia found herself amused by the horrified expression that appeared on Stannis' face. Suddenly, she felt like teasing him.
"That wasn't necessary," she said.
"Beg your pardon?"
"That charade, it wasn't necessary. If you wanted to approach me, there was no need to make your brother act like a fool so you could appear like a knight in shining armour."
"Oh, please, stop pretending," she laughed. "I know that I'm looking irresistible tonight and that you were ogling me. However, it has been surprising; you didn't look like you were into older women, Stannis."
"What? No, I weren't... I am not..."
"Please, you don't have to be so shy," she almost purred. "You know, experience comes with age. Besides, we can't deny the love marks."
Stannis Baratheon ground his teeth and Elia hid a wicked grin.
"Excuse me, madam, but I don't believe in such a foolish thing. I just can't believe."
Elia noticed the fear and the awkwardness and she finally decided to be merciful.
"My apologies, I was only joking. Of course we are not silly teenagers. Don't bother, I'll survive," said she, blinking an eye.
"Well, I'm relieved of hearing that. Now, if you excuse me, I must go now, Ms Martell."
Stannis stared at her with his freezing blue eyes one more time and then he left in a hurry.
Elia took her new cocktail and smiled to herself. That was an interesting man, indeed. With a sigh, she came back to her friends, wondering how such a cold gaze had been able to make her feel so warm inside.
But love and hope don't know of coldness, and the icicle will melt.
Renly Baratheon sat down on the bench for a little rest. He was tired because he had been training in the basketball yard for over an hour. However, exercise was the best way of being tired, for it eased his mind. It had been a troublesome fortnight and he wasn't sure if everything had finally been sorted out.
It was the coming prom which could be blamed for his unrest. It seemed like every girl at school wanted to go to the prom ball with him. He could understand it; he knew he was a really good-looking boy, no doubt, and a charismatic one, but it didn't mean that he was an easy prey. He wanted to go to the celebration with someone special; and he just couldn't find any girl special. Besides, to make things worse, he had also had to deal with the love declaration of some silly girl called Margaery, who had been definitely after him until he had had to be serious about it. It seemed that everyone had become crazy -that Margaery was only in her first high school year!
With a sigh, he thought that maybe it was his eldest brother's reputation the reason for his current misery. Everyone said that he looked exactly like Robert once had, and his brother had always been a ladies' man. Ironically, Robert hadn't had much luck with his lovers. He was still longing for a girl who had left him several years ago and his current wife was...well, his current wife was simply annoying. Beautiful and stylish, she was, but vain, cold and arrogant, too and it was clear for everyone that they couldn't stand each other and that they were still together just for wealth fare and their children's sake. Anyway, people had assumed that he would be some sort of a new Robert and that he had to fulfil the role of a womanizing Baratheon. And Renly knew deep inside that he could never be a womanizer, no matter how hard he tried pretending.
His lack of interest towards girls hadn't been remarkable before, thanks to Stannis' similar disposition. Nevertheless, and against all odds, the dullest, most boring and less attractive guy in the family had become the luckiest one, as he had married a charming woman. Renly adored smart, witty Elia as much as he disliked Cersei. The most surprising thing was the fact that she had once been married to the man who had stolen (Robert's words) his eldest brother's long-missed girlfriend and she had already come into her new marriage with two children. In spite of that, Stannis and Elia had built quite a strong bound and they had recently had a child of their own, sweet Shireen. And they seemed to be happy together; god, Stannis even smiled from time to time!
Renly grinned. No doubt Elia had that kind of power over his brother, considering her brother's own power over Renly. His doubts about his preferences had started the first time he saw Oberyn Martell. Renly had never seen anyone so gorgeous and hot before and he felt like he could melt under his dark gaze. That had been the beginning of his doubts and Renly had started suspecting that no girl would ever make him feel that way.
His infatuation would go nowhere, he knew it for sure, but it had opened the doors to his, maybe, real self. Renly still had some doubts about it, nonetheless, and he also felt a little ashamed and worried about what his brothers would say if his preferences weren't finally straight. Thus, he had made up his mind and decided to choose a girl for the coming prom. He had chosen one of his friends, Asha Greyjoy, a tomboyish girl who, though younger than him, was bold and funny so he could have a good time at the ball at least.
Lost in thought, it took him a while to come back to reality and realized that someone was shouting at him.
"You! What do you think you're doing to my sister?"
Renly looked at the angry handsome boy in awe.
"What do you mean?"
"Don't dare playing the fool! You broke my little sister's heart and you're going to pay for this!"
And suddenly, the boy was on him, trying to beat him. Renly ducked and avoided the punch in the last moment.
"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about!"
"Of course you do! My sister, Margaery! She has been crying for days because of you!"
"I didn't mean to hurt her. I just don't like her that way!"
But the boy didn't want to understand and tried to punch him once again. Renly caught his arms, enraged, and all of a sudden he felt his right hand burning. Both of them stopped to stare at the bright cyan and golden marks that had begun appearing on their wrists. Yes! I was right, I knew it!
"I knew it! I knew!" Renly said happily as he hugged the other boy, who was still frozen in place. But Renly didn't mind; the boy looked pretty with his shocked expression, his dishevelled brown curls and impressive honey eyes.
What would my brothers say?
But love and hope don't know of gender, and prejudice won't prevail.
To be continued...