We Can Heal Together

Drowned

Stannis

Like everything else in his life, Stannis put up with this marriage and did his duty. Though internally Stannis felt he had a lot to complain about.

Stannis did not like that the wedding was in Dragonstone, as he would have much preferred to have been Lord of Storm's End. Apart from that, there was the in-laws. Doran Martell was amiable enough, but Oberyn ... Stannis and Oberyn did not seem to have any commen ground, and in fact could not be more different. Only time could tell how their relationship would pan out.

The only thing Stannis knew for sure he liked about this whole thing is his bride. Practically, Elia's fertility is proven and she is healthy enough to bare more children (after examining her, Maester Cressen wondered aloud how Grand Maester Pycelle could possibly have gotten his silver chain link). Attraction will not be a problem; Elia is downright gorgeous and this olive-skinned bride did not seem to be displeased with Stannis's appearance. As for personality, Elia was likely to be faithful and had a kind enough nature about her that Stannis suspected they could get along.

Rhaegar must have been truly mad if Elia was not enough for him ...

Needless to say, Stannis was not exactly happy to be talking to the woman for whom his brother dragged him into a war. Especially considering they were talking about Stannis's childhood. His teeth were grinding already.

When they made their way to the Solar, they walked past everyone's rooms. Most of the doors were closed, as it was still early and time to sleep.

There's Oberyn's room. When he and Lord Uller's Bastard that went to bed last night half the serving girls were following them. If my goodbrother keeps this up he will probably catch the Lycini Disease, if he doesn't already have it.

After they reached the stairwell, they headed up to the solar. Stannis pulled a chair for himself and one for his brother's wife.

He got strait to business.

"Why do you want to know about my parents, and why didn't you ask Robert?"

"When Robert was drunk last night he said something about your parents eing on some sort of voyage. I went to ask Maester Cressen because I did not think he would like to talk about it, but also because it is easy to talk to him. After all, he cared for me when I could not wake up."

Stannis nodded in understanding and agreement.

Maester Cressen has always been gentle and kindly. He raised the three of us after we lost Mother and Father.

"You married Robert, so that makes you my goodsister. You're family now, so I'll tell you what happened."

Stannis exhaled, unclenched his teeth, and told his tale.

"When I was only eleven years old, King Aerys Targaryen decided that he wanted to find a wife for his son Rhaegar. He wanted her to be a noblewoman of pure Valyrian Blood."

Stannis saw how Lyanna flinched when he said Rhaegar's name. This is not the only song of trauma Stannis noticed Lyanna showing; the first sign was the hollow look she sometimes has in her eyes.

Still, Stannis continued.

"Normally this job would be given to the Hand of the King, but instead King Aerys sent Steffon Baratheon, Lord Paramount of the Stormlands: My Father. He, my mother, and about a hundred loyal men sailed to Essos. They searched in Lys, Volantis, Elyria, Tolos, and Mantarys for a suitable wife. However, he could not find a woman who met all the requirements. They were either not high enough of birth, not healthy enough, not young enough, or their parents would not agree to it. I know this because my Mother sent letters back home detailing their voyage. All my parents found was that mad fool you saw entertaining at the feast."

They said it would teach me to laugh. I do not think I ever will.

"They were sailing back, and we thought it would be a good idea to see them return. We went up to the walls to see the ships sailing into docks. Well, just Robert and I; Renly was still a baby. In the morning there was just an overcast, but by midday there was a full storm. We watched helplessly as the waves smashed the ships to splinters against the rocks of Shipbreaker Bay."

Lyanna listened to Stannis's story with worry, but by the end if it her face turned pale with shock and horror.

"You ... you watched your parents die!?"

Stannis's voice raised with anger, not at Lyanna but at the world that was so cruel.

"Did Robert and I watch him die? Yes, we watched them die! I saw the windproud crack into pieces and the crew spill out. I saw them struggle for their lives against the merciless waves and get pulled under. I heard their screams, Gods be good even when I grow old and have trouble recalling the faces of my parents I will still remember perfectly their drowning screams!"

Stannis slammed his fist on the desk, this display of emotion being uncharacteristic of him.

"But of course that is wrong: there are no Gods! At least no good ones anyway, otherwise they wouldn't murder two loving parents and force their children to watch. No Gods that would do that will ever get my worship!"

Stannis stared at the table, letting his anger wash over him. He looked up when he heard Lyanna speak, almost in a whisper.

"That's what Robert's nightmares are. He sees it in his dreams."

This was news to Stannis.

He also has nightmares about Mother and Father. He misses them too.

Stannis was silent in thought for a moment, then Lyanna spoke. "Stannis, thank you for sharing this with me."

Stannis just waved it off with his hand.

"As I said, we're family now."

Lyanna grabbed his hand and held it in hers.

"Even so, I want to be your friend."

Growing up, Stannis never had friends. This was due in part to social awkwardness. The concept of friendship was almost alien to him. So Stannis just shrugged.

"You should probably head back to your room."

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