Prologue: the Ripple
"So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny."Thanatopsis
by William Cullen Bryant
3rd Person Limited Pov
Prince Jaehaerys of Houses Stark and Targaryen third of his name and the Bane of Westeros was being led to his death. While he did not exactly like all of the titles that he held and called himself Jon whatever he called himself would not change his fate. His father, King Rhaegar Targaryen, had always seen Jon as a failure or mistake at best and a blight on his name and house at worst. Of course his father wouldn’t dream of outright hurting a prince, despite everyone hating him so much they called him the Bane of Westeros, he didn’t exactly hide away his dislike and neglect of Jon either.
However Jon had foolishly believed that his father would have made his death sentence at least a tad more subtle than putting him next to Dorne. The land of his father’s first wife Princess Elia and if his elder sister Rhaenys was to be believed, a land where everyone blamed him for their beloved princess’ death and would seek out his blood in retribution for the crime of being borne.
His only companions where a few guards, the gruff Ser Oswell Whent, and a bastard of Robert Baratheon named Gendry of whom Jon was good friends with, they were in a similar situation of being hated for their parents’ sins. However while Whent was honor bound to ‘help’ the prince, the other guards weren’t and they would have little trouble holding off one man to their twenty.
On the bright side Summerhall was a beautiful castle. It was understated and well suited to its surroundings and most of all lacked the large amount of sycophants that resided in that eye sore called the Red Keep.
Jon wouldn’t mind dying in such a tranquil place. He rather liked it here.
Jon was shown to some rooms that were sparsely decorated with only a few things that betrayed his Targaryen heritage. He liked that such little decoration was used so that he could make it his own space. It would probably be filled with his training gear and books soon enough. If he lived long enough that is. However he could only wish that his friend Tyrion was here to jape and make Jon feel better about finally getting away from his father. Alas it was not too be due to Lord Tywin calling his friend away to do something at the Rock so that he wasn’t seen with the disappointment of the Targaryen family anymore that Tywin wanted him too.
He went to find Gendry who wasn’t all that far from and they were then greeted by the maester. While the man seemed happy to see the prince and his bastard companion Jon and Gendry knew better. Jon let the man keep up his charade just to make the old maester feel better. Now all Jon had to do was waiting for the Stranger to come. Not that Jon worshiped the Seven he saw them as hypocritical and obnoxious.
A Fortnight Later: Summerhall
Jon only had to wait a fortnight for death to arrive at his door. He was up late at night reading through a tome about North of the Wall and the wildlings when he felt a knife at his throat. He heard an accented voice he remembered from a young child hiss.
“You killed my dear sister-”
“Ah, Prince Oberyn, it’s nice to finally meet you.” The man has a sharp intake of breathe. “You should have sent a raven.”
“Are you daft boy?! I came here to get revenge.” Jon rolled his eyes.
“May I have the honor of speaking to your face my prince? I feel like an idiot speaking to air.” The Dornishman savagely yanked him onto his feet and facing the angry prince. Jon barely flinched as his back made savage impact with the table. His face was blank and unconcerned.
“I asked if you are daft boy?”
“Daft, no, I just would have rather had some good conversation before my death. Maybe a good meal before I was skewered.”
“You knew about my attempt?”
“Not your attempt per say but I am far from father’s grudging protection and in a land that my dear elder sister claims wants my death. Let’s not forget that the old hag Olenna Tyrell will probably try to kill me as well, and the Storm lords aren’t exactly fond of me either. I had my suspicions that I would die here. Really my father could have been a little subtler but I guess he’s just tired of dealing with me.” Oberyn seems surprised that a boy of 10-and-1 was so blasé about his own assassination.
“Why not beg for your life?”
“Let me ask you this prince, what does the future have in store for me? Oh, I know the same hatred and stupidity I dealt with on a daily basis in King’s Landing. I also will most likely not make it to my 10-and-6th name-day. You see between my loving uncle Viserys, my dear sister Rhaenys, and the darling step-mother Cersei they all have a lot of power and gold, much more than you need to kill one man much less a boy.”
“You want to die?”
“No, I’m not suicidal in any way, but I, after my entire existence, have come to the conclusion that fighting my young death will do no good to anyone. So I implore you take your revenge remove my stain upon this accursed continent and become a hero, and let me die with some dignity left.” Jon opened his arms and relaxed his body. He knew that tensing was only going to hurt him more.
“Surely this is not true-” Oberyn begins but Jon interrupts.
“I am a blight upon my father’s name and house along with being a disappointment due to not being his prized Visenya. I am an obstacle for Cersei and Viserys in their idiotic quest for power. I am a reminder and bringer of death to your sister and my other step-mother. I have few friends that would miss me, and I am not an integral part of anyone’s lives except for maybe Gendry. My other uncles can do nothing for me as one is far away in the North, and the other is a hostage in King’s Landing. I am not close with them as my father ripped me away from them when I but a babe. I haven't been defended by anyone except for dear sweet Daenerys and Uncle Ben. Both of whom I have hurt because they defended me.”
“You’ve thought this out.”
“Every time I was alone which is a lot of my time. No one wants to associate with the Bane of Westeros. So please I implore you to give me a fast clean death and at least allow me that.” Jon was holding back his tears because while he had come to terms with dying young he was going to miss life. However, Oberyn is quiet and seems to be contemplative. He then says.
“I don’t think I will kill you.” The childish, hopeful part of Jon sighs in relief, the pragmatic side takes over and says.
“Well that’s rather disappointing. I’ll call the staff to get a room for you-”
“No, I’ll just stay at the inn that I was supposed to be staying in. I’ll be in on the morrow.”
“I’ll be sure to get the staff ready for you my prince.”
“Of course Prince Jaehaerys-”
“Call me Jon, I hate that name.”
“Jon, I’ll be sure to break my fast with you.”
“I’ll hold you too that Prince Oberyn.”
The Next Day: Summerhall
Jon sat at his table in his solar with a large amount of food in front of him. He looked out of the window and saw Prince Oberyn entering the front gates and he could feel the palpable shock of the staff. When the Dornish prince made his way to the solar and sat down in the empty chair the serving maid was flabbergasted.
However, she still wasn’t as flabbergasted as his attendant this morning. Jon was not at all surprised that the staff was involved considering their Dornish blood.
She then surpassed his attendant when the Prince addressed him by his nick name.
“Prince Jon, it’s nice to meet you under better circumstances.”
“You as well Prince Oberyn. Now please join me in breaking out fasts.” He then turned towards the serving maid. “May I ask what poison you put in food and drink?”
“N-no-none my prince.”
“Please don’t insult my intelligence. What is it?”
“J-je-jeyne my prince.”
“Thank you Jeyne your dismissed.” She nodded and practically ran from the room white as a sheet.
“I don’t know what she’s so scared about. I’m not going to punish her.”
“You think such a nervous woman would do that of her own violation? No, I’m going to find out who put her up to it and then I’m going to cut off their head.”
“Usually people would use an executioner.”
“My mother’s family follows the old way Prince Oberyn, and I always felt closer to them than the family only a few doors away. I am the only one who worships the old gods in King’s Landing. So I will always follow their way. Now, I must ask do you have the antidote to Nightshade?”
“Good I thought I would have to rely on my immunity.”
“My dear lady grandmother would give me small doses of poison to build up my immunity. She was one of the few that didn’t want me to die. She died drinking poison meant for me when I was but eight.”
“So that’s what happened to her… and yes, I do have that antidote.”
“Good, then let us enjoy this breaking of our fasts.”
The two begin to eat not knowing that this is the beginning of a partnership that will change the fate of many forever.