Fandom: A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones
Word Count: 2935
Summary: Four places, three lives that were not led, two people, one story to be told. In France, a war threatens to tear Robb and Myrcella apart. In Winterfell, Myrcella discovers she has feelings for Robb Stark. In Riverrun, Myrcella helps him with the war in whatever way she can. In America, a picnic reunites the two after years apart.
Myrcella’s daughter is only three months old when her husband is called to fight in the war. She takes a deep breath when he tells her this over dinner. After the explanation, she turns to her daughter and picks her up, ignoring her husband. “Lya needs to be put down,” she says absently, “before she falls asleep in her food.”
Without another word, she walks away from her husband and shuts herself up in the nursery and changes the baby before sitting down with her in the rocking chair. Lya drifts off easily enough, but Myrcella is wide awake. After finally finding a home and a family, everything is about to be ripped away from her and the fear of things never being what they are again nearly cripples her. With her free hand, she wipes away the few tears that she couldn’t hold back.
Robb comes in late that night to find her still rocking the baby, staring out the window. “This is not how things were supposed to happen,” he says mournfully, apologetically, as he puts their sleeping daughter in her crib.
Myrcella understands well enough, just as she always has. The Starks have always been a military family, Robb was raised no different, but she hadn’t thought he would leave her and Lya for anything. “I know,” she whispers in answer to his statement. It’s who you are, she wants to say, but she can’t choke out the words.
Robb helps her up from the rocking chair and she makes her way over to the crib. She pulls the pink baby blanket tighter around the baby before leaning down and kissing her forehead.
The baby’s room is left open as they leave, because Myrcella doesn’t like risking the noise. The dim light from a candle in the kitchen the only light around this late at night—even the moon is hidden behind a thick layer of clouds. Myrcella wonders what Robb’s been doing since dinner, for everything looks exactly the same. The dishes are still on the table from when she got up. She vows to clean them up first thing in the morning, vows to be the perfect wife during the time they have left.
With little thought to her actions, she changes into her nightdress and takes down her hair, dragging a brush through it briefly before settling in bed next to her husband. She snuggles closer to him then normal—usually she resents the extra heat, but tonight she savors it. “I’m sure everything will be fine,” she whispers against his shoulder, more to herself than to assure him.
Weeks later, when she and Lyanna are watching him leave in his military uniform, she can’t find it within her to whisper those words to the crying baby.
Winterfell, 298 AL
Myrcella will openly admit to being in awe of Robb Stark from the very first moment she set eyes on him. To her, he looks exactly like she has always pictured the knights and kings from the stories her mother and septa would tell her.
Her mother often tried evoke pictures of knights that looked like her uncle Jaime, but Myrcella was so used to Jaime and the Lannister looks as a whole that they didn’t feel fit for such fabulous stories. Robb’s red brown hair, however, seemed mythical enough in her mind to fit her mind for the stories and songs of old.
She remembers the way her eyes had widened when she stepped from the wheelhouse and saw the Starks. Her eyes had stopped on Robb, and she had fixated on him. Her father had ordered Robb to escort her to the feast, and she remembers being too anxious at seeing the living embodiment of every beautiful song to present herself in a respectable manor. Luckily, Robb seemed to enjoy the attention, and she couldn’t help but cling to him as they walked forward.
She spends the whole feast watching Robb, hardly able to eat any of the meal the Starks had prepared for them all which, later, made her feel very guilty. It does, however, work in her favor, for late that evening, she wakes her septa so she can have an escort to the kitchens in search of something small to tide her over until morning. Coming back, they get a bit turned around and wander past the room her mother and father are sharing, and she hears her father’s loud declaration of his intent to betroth Joffrey to Lady Sansa.
Myrcella instinctively covers her mouth with her hand so her septa doesn’t hear the sound that tries to escape her throat. Joffrey cannot marry Lady Sansa—he shouldn’t be allowed to marry any woman, lady or not!
She doesn’t sleep at all that night, too busy is she planning what she will do next. First, she rises early enough to talk to her father before he’s had a chance to start drinking, but late enough that he’s had enough time to sleep off last night’s drink. She makes sure to capitalize on his adoration of all things Lyanna. “I think I may love him…like you loved Lady Lyanna,” she says sweetly, and watches the look of inattention on his face turn to sadness then determination.
Within a few days, her mother runs out of arguments, and Myrcella is told she will be staying in Winterfell even after her family departs. The leaving feast doubles as their betrothal feast, and Myrcella pulls Robb up from the table to dance to the tune of The Bear and the Maiden Fair.
Back at the table where Myrcella’s and Robb’s brothers and sisters sit, Sansa is looking at them with envy in her eyes. It is at this point that Myrcella realizes that Sansa must have been informed of her potential match to Joffrey and as yet does not see him for who he really is.
Someday you’ll see that this is for the best, Myrcella silently hopes, then preys to the Seven that she is right.
Riverrun, 299 AL
No one says the words when she is thought to be in hearing distance, but Myrcella knows what they all suspect. A growing part of her even believes the rumors. Looking back on her childhood, her mother was always more fond of her twin brother than her husband, and most of the time, Myrcella couldn’t blame her. Cersei never told her daughter stories about her father’s war—she learned that all from her septa—instead, her mother’s stories always had “a knight who looks like your uncle” and a bad man with dark hair.
Regardless of the rumors, she’s always been a lion in pride, and she refuses to bow to the Starks, for she is the wife of their lord. They were married three moons ago at the behest of Catelyn who told her in confidence that a war was likely inevitable and wished her to have the protection of a wife rather than a betrothed. Myrcella suspected other motives—mainly leverage against her family—but wasn’t going to object. She loved him.
She holds her head up in the camp in Riverrun, interacts with the few bannermen and camp followers who will acknowledge her, and sits in on the war counsel with Lady Catelyn at one side and Robb at the other. They do not speak much at counsel meetings, but Myrcella told Robb awhile ago that the bannermen needed to see that they were a family and were all going to be fighting this war for their families. He had smiled and said, “I just don’t have a head for war, Myrcella,” to which she replied softly, “Then you’re lucky that I do.” (She’s her parents daughter, after all—and it really doesn’t matter whom she’s referring to.)
She dreads the days of battle, for Myrcella is only too aware that war isn’t about the battles you win, fighting is almost luck when compared to politics, strategy, and simply knowing the enemy. With the enemy being her family, she knows them well, but that puts her in a difficult position, one she refuses to compromise either way. So she sits in their tent, pacing and worrying, a guard posted outside to inform her of any news.
Myrcella doesn’t need the guard to tell her when the battle is over, however, for she can hear the returning soldiers from what must be miles away. She rushes from the tent in order to search the returning soldiers for her husband, and cannot help the cry of relief when she spots him. She runs toward her and he meets her half way. Myrcella moves to wrap her arms around him, but pauses just before she does, taking note of his appearance.
Robb looks tired, but exhilarated. There is a somber expression upon his face, his face which is splattered with blood and sweat and dirt. With his heavy metal armor on, she realizes she’d not even be able to reach halfway around him anyway.
It’s the somber expression that keeps her attention. “What is it?” she asks with concern. “Did you win? No, of course you won, but then what has you looking like that? You should be happy.”
“It’s your uncle, Myrcella,” he begins tentatively, pausing then to let it sink in.
Myrcella gasps. “Is he—did he…?” she cannot even voice the question completely.
Robb understands and shakes his head. “He’s alive. We captured him; he’s on his way.”
She lets out a sigh of relief. Her fears put to rest, her mind works quickly to determine the correct course of action. While she would love to see Jaime, Myrcella knows her attentions must first be to her husband. “Come, husband,” she beckons, holding out a hand. “I can see him later, first we should get you cleaned up.” The smile he bestows on her tells her she made the right decision.
Myrcella leads them both back to their tent and tells him to sit. “I’ll be back in a moment,” she says, “I must fetch a bowl of water.”
On her way, Myrcella allows herself a moment to thank the Mother for keeping everyone she cares about safe for another night. She is content here, in this life she has chosen, because Robb is her knight from the stories—he loves and protects her. Even still, Myrcella hears her mothers voice in her head, telling tales of gallant, golden haired heroes and she is thankful for her mother as well.
Myrcella Baratheon wants nothing less than be at Baratheon Incorporated’s annual picnic. She loves her father’s company and has been training under her father’s guidance for years, but the annual picnic is not about how to better the company, it is about funding, finance, and shareholders. It is financial politics at it’s worst, and Myrcella hates being party to the show that gets put on each year in an effort to gain the backing for each year’s latest and greatest in-development projects.
Her father always saddles her with an idea she must pitch to the potential new investors who have been invited to the exclusive event. Her mother would insist that she be honored by this duty, but Myrcella is jaded enough to know that she is tasked with this because she is young and pretty, and Cersei always makes sure her outfits border the thin line between business professional and young seductress.
After awhile, however, her duty is done, for there are only so many potential investors invited each year, and Myrcella is free to do that which she wishes, so long as she is still on display. As she does each year, she grabs a bottle of champagne and a champagne flute and makes her way to one of the sprawling hills on Baratheon Inc.’s well kept lawn.
She keeps her eye out for Margaery, who usually joins her, but she doesn’t spot her anywhere. Holding the glass carefully, she leans back and stares at the sky, crossing her legs in the process to protect the virtue her mother harps on about. If her mother saw her now, she would probably throw a conniption. Of course, that would require her to stop trying to make Joffrey out to be a prodigy as opposed to a screw up long enough to make a scene, and Myrcella is gambling on her not being willing to do that today.
She doesn’t know how much time passes while she lies on the grass staring at the sky, for the constant distant chatter from the picnic never ceases, but eventually a shadow passes over her just before she hears the sound of movement in the grass near her. She doesn’t move as she calls to the person she assumes to be Margaery. “It’s about time you got your ass over here, I was starting to get bored.”
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Princess,” a voice too low and too masculine to belong to Margaery drawls humorously with the slightest touch of sarcasm. “I didn’t know it was my day to entertain you.”
Myrcella’s eyes widen in surprise and she sits up quickly, turning to face the intruder. A smile quickly works its way onto her face as she stares at the man walking toward her. “If I recall, I told you long ago not to call me that. My father is a business man not a king, Robb Stark.” She finishes the champagne in her glass and sets it down delicately before turning her attention to him.
As he walks closer, Myrcella takes note of the changes since she last saw him. He was three years ahead of her in school and she had always been in awe of him as a teenager. At fifteen, she had thought him the most handsome boy in the world, but looking back, he was no more or less handsome than any other boy of that age—still growing into himself and prone to the occasional bout of acne. Now, the acne seems to have disappeared completely and, she notes while trying to hide her flushing cheeks, he has certainly been working out.
He laughs at her retort and sits down beside her in the grass. He doesn’t seem worried about ruining the expensive outfit he’s donned for the occasion, and Myrcella is not about to remind him of that fact. “Where have you been?” she asks, curiosity getting the better of her. After he graduated, she had been unwilling to ask Sansa about where he was going because she had hidden her crush that long and wasn’t about to be found out when it didn’t seem to matter any longer.
Robb shrugs, “Went to study finance at UPenn; graduated this past spring.”
“You don’t seem all that thrilled about it,” she replies.
“Well, it was expected that I’d take over for Dad when he retires from BI and that is what I’m planning on doing, but he doesn’t seem ready to retire anytime soon, so I went and got a legitimate degree before coming back to learn the ropes.”
Myrcella does her best to mask her excitement. “You’re staying then?”
“Yeah, and from what I hear, we’ll be working closely together; what with you working under Robert and me under Dad.” He smiles as he says this and she curses herself for reacting just as teenage-Myrcella would have. She thought she had matured since then.
Silence stretches between them for the longest time before Robb stands up suddenly. “It’s nice to know these picnics haven’t changed since I’ve been gone—just as boring as I remember. Do you want to get out of here, and sneak into the back gardens? I imagine Mom’s been working on making them even more over the top.”
Myrcella nods and places one of her hands in his outstretched hand. He pulls her up and she turns her head to face the party. “But quickly,” she says, “before my mom sees me and tries to make me talk to Walder Frey again.”
He visibly shudders at that and she nods, her face scrunched up in disgust. She bends down to grab her empty glass and nearly full bottle of champagne. She refills her glass before handing him the bottle. He takes it without question, and reaches for her free hand as they set out on the path to the gardens.
She squeezes his hand tightly and moves closer to him as they walk and he smiles down at her. “I’ve missed you; you know that, Princess?”
This time, she lets him see the way the blood rushes to her cheeks. “You shouldn’t say things like that, Robb,” she advises. “You don’t want me to get ideas, now do you?” She attempts to divert his attention by talking about the new flowers Catelyn had commissioned for the gardens, but she doesn’t get far in her list before he stops them by a bench and pulls the champagne glass out of her hand gently, setting it and the bottle down on the bench.
He brushes back a few loose strands of her blonde hair and whispers, “Maybe I should have done this years ago,” before pulling her close and kissing her. Myrcella assumes he meant for the kiss to be gentle and chaste, but she’s waited too long for this and demands more than that. Her arms wrap around his neck and she bites at his lip to get him to open his mouth.
“Yes,” she tells him later, after they finish making out in the gardens, “you should have done that years ago.”