As the Triumphant King rode down the road to his city, he had the feeling of ease. He had everything he could want, and had a long and fulfilling life to look forward to.
Most of the Royal Host dispersed along road from Lannisport to Kings Landing; the smallfolk of the Westerlands disbanded and returned to their homes, the smallfolk of The Reach headed south so as to do the same once they reached Highgarden, the Smallfolk of the Vale headed north-east at Harrenhal, and the smallfolk of the Riverlands disbanded at that same ruined fortress. So now the only Smallfolk left in the host were the crownlanders (who would disband at Kings Landing) and the smallfolk of The North and of Dorne (who would be sailing to White Harbour and Plankytown respectively).
The mid-to higher ranking nobility did not return home just yet however, as King Robert decreed that he would hold a great tourney at Kings Landing. It would be even greater than the infamous Harrenhal Tourney, and unlike this one Lyanna will be in the arms of a knight who actually loves her.
I'm coming home Lyanna. And I've got a surprise for you as well ...
While Stannis was still in The Iron Islands, Lord Eddard is still staying for the feast and was even riding to Robert's Left. Riding to Eddard's Left was another Stark Boy; one who had rode down to join Robert's host after sailing to Gulltown, and who was wearing a simple black cloak.
He addressed the King now, "Your Grace, I appreciate the invitation to your tourney, but a I am a member of the Night's Watch-"
Robert finished Benjen's sentence, "and Lord Commander Mormont will be pleased when I send you back from your recruiting mission with the pick of my dungeons as well as twenty swords of fine steel. And last I recalled, you're vows did not include the words 'have no fun'."
Benjen thought for a long pause before speaking, "I would like to see my sister Lyanna again."
Eddard nodded, "She misses you."
Benjen is not the same green boy he was when he attended his sister's wedding. The Wall has made him tough, made a man of him. Just like the war against the tyranny of the Mad King made men of Eddard and I.
Robert remembered those days of his youth. Sparring with Eddard in the training yard of The Eyrie, riding through the woods of The Vale, receiving a hunting knife from Jon Arryn, listening to his mother tell stories to him and Stannis as children. Listening to Eddard describe Lyanna's personality was, and slowly falling in love with her. Most transition from youth to manhood slowly and do not know when: not so for Robert. His youth abruptly ended when Lyanna went missing; he picked up a hammer to rescue her.
Lyanna is the love of my life. If she died, my life would not have been worth living.
Robert let these thoughts drift about like a wooden twig thrown into a stream. He thought and took in the scenery during the ride. Eventually, his host reached the city he came to call home.
Once again I enter Kings Landing a Victorious Hero.
The guards at the gate raised the portcullis as soon as The Crowned Stag banners came into view. And waiting on the other side was Lyanna Baratheon.
Robert moved his horse into a gallop, and once he was close enough to her he dismounted and removed his helm. "Lyanna, I-"
That was all Robert was able to get out before Lyanna leaned in and kissed Robert with a deep desire that had been building since he left for the Iron Islands. Indeed, they both felt this hungering burning since they first parted: Robert as sure that had he been married to anyone else he would not have been able to have remained faithful.
But they were in a public street, so Robert pulled back after a few minutes. Lyanna, who still had her arms wrapped around his neck, smiled at him. "I'll race you back to the Red Keep."
There was a grant tourney that night, so grand the entire city was drunk on the festivities (except for the a tenth of the Goldcloaks, who were chosen by lots to stay sober and keep the peace).
Robert and Lyanna missed the first six hours of the Grand Tournament, as they were in their bedchamber making up for lost time.
When they finally left the Red Keep and made their way to the Kings Box to watch the tourney, Robert and Lyanna found Eddard and Benjen there telling young Richard Baratheon about The Night's Watch.
Before I raced Lyanna to the Red Keep, I told Eddard and his brother to keep my son distracted for the next six hours. It seems they did a good job.
"Did you see any Forest Children there?" Richard asked, his eyes wide with curiosity.
Benjen chuckled in good humor, "Not quite, but you never know. The Lands Beyond the Wall are a mysterious place, and the Lands of Always Winter are stranger still."
"Have you seen any wildlings?"
"Were they scary?"
Benjen smiled, "A little bit, but Rangers are stronger than wildlings."
"What about giants?"
It was at this point that Robert decided to make his presence known. "Nights Watch Rangers are better warriors than Giants too."
Seeing his father again after so long, Richard practically jumped into Robert's muscular arms.
"Father! You came home!"
Robert hugged his son back in response, "Aye, I'll always be with you. You're my Storm Prince."
After they finished hugging, they sat down. Richard sat on Uncle Eddard's shoulders, Lyanna sat in Robert's lap, and together they all watched the first tilts in a three month competition of excellence.
Benjen called over to his sister, "It's a good thing I swore a vow to win no glory, or else I would be sweeping the floor with these Southron Knights."
Lyanna called back, "That just depends on how you spin it. It's not winning glory, its 'inspiring other knights to Join the Watch'".
Eddard quipped in responce, "Sure, and if Benjen visited a brothel on the way he could write it off as 'creating future Black Brothers'". This caused Benjen, who was still a virgin, to turn red of cheeks.
Harrenhal may have been where all the smiles died, but Lyanna waking up must have been when they began to come back to life.