The Two Letters
There was a sharp rap on his door and Gendry looked up from the letter that a raven had just brought him. "Come in."
His servant Holin poked his head in and said, "Lord Tommen Baratheon is here to see you, Your Grace."
"See him in, Holin." Gendry said, stowing away the letter hastily as Holin stepped aside, allowing the young man to enter the King's chambers. A boy of only 15, Tommen had hit his growth spurt and now stood at a respectable 5'7", but he was still growing.
"Your Grace." Tommen said, bowing.
"There's no need for that, Tommen." Gendry said, deciding to be friendly with the former King.
"As you wish, Your Grace." Tommen said, giving the King a cheeky grin. The two men stared at each other for a moment before laughing.
"I'm glad they didn't have you beheaded." Gendry said, smiling.
"As am I." Tommen said, grimly. The two fell silent.
Gendry broke the silence, "What brings you here, Tommen?"
Tommen cleared his throat and seemed to be searching for the right words. "Given that the truth of my parentage has come out, I formally request a change of surname, if you would so graciously oblige, Your Grace."
"And what surname is this? Waters? As you are a bastard, Lord Tommen, you should not take the name 'Lannister'." Gendry said, leaning back in his chair. Tommen eyed him thoughtfully.
"May I speak frankly with you, Your Grace?" Gendry nodded; Tommen continued, "You have taken the name 'Baratheon', yet your father, King Robert, never acknowledge you. Meanwhile, my mother has acknowledge my siblings and I to her father before he died."
Gendry closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. Tommen had a good point and that upset Gendry greatly. He had taken the Baratheon name without being recognized by his father. But that was because he was required to as the King. He was Gendry of House Baratheon, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm.
Gendry spoke after several minutes, "I should have had you beheaded for being born of incest, Tommen, in addition to you having been the King under false terms." His voice was rising, leading the young boy to shrink back into his chair. Gendry's fist was clenched, he realized it and sighed. He relaxed himself and grabbed for his glass of wine. He drank it all then turned his gaze to Tommen again, who was practically shaking, likely regretting coming to see the King in the first place. Gendry said, "I apologize, Tommen. I should not have raised my voice to you." He took a deep breath and continued, "If you summon your father from Casterly Rock, and he acknowledges you as his rightful heir, you will be allowed the Lannister name."
"Thank you, Your Grace." Tommen said, smiling. The young boy rose to leave. He gave the King a bow and then left the room.
Gendry sighed and pulled out the letter again the second the door slammed shut.
I congratulate you on your Kingship and humbly offer myself to your service. The Boltons have had a shaky relationship with the Kingdom over the past years but as a fellow bastard, I find myself drawn to your Kingsguard. I'm aware that you have a position available. Please respond at your earliest convenience.
Gendry thumbed the corner of the parchment. He knew nothing of Ramsay Bolton. Gendry stood and strode out of his office. Holin ran after him as he walked down the hallway. Gendry said, "Gather the small council and have them meet me in the chamber."
"Yes, Your Grace." Holin said, hurrying off to alert all seven members of the small council.
Gendry beat everyone to the small council chambers, as he expected he would. His Lord Commander of the Kingsguard was the first to arrive. He had been chastised by the other members of the small council for his appointment of Brienne Tarth, but he saw her as an admirable woman who was a formidable fighter and well-deserving of the position as Lord Commander, despite her gender.
"Good afternoon, Your Grace." She said, taking the seat to his right.
"Good afternoon." He said, smiling at her.
The rest began to trickle in: Hand of the King, Ser Davos Seaworth; Master of Laws, Nymeria Sand; Master of Whispers, Varys; and Grand Maester, Theobald. Last to come in were his half-siblings, also bastards of the late King Robert Baratheon: Master of Coin, Mya Stone; and Master of Ships, Edric Storm. Gendry had been pleased to hear that other bastards had survived. He had sought out his half-siblings and invited them to join his small council, he was happy that they had obliged. They had only arrived the day before, Gendry hadn't met them yet. They both walked over to him and the girl, Mya, said, "King Gendry, it is a pleasure to meet you."
"It truly is nice to meet you, Your Grace." Edric said, bowing slightly. Mya did her best curtsy, bringing a smile to Gendry's lips.
"It brings me great pleasure to finally meet you." Gendry said, nodding to each in turn. He swept his hand over two seats at the far side of the table and said, "Please, sit, so we can get started."
They both made their way to their seats and Edric sat directly across from the King, Mya to his left next to Nymeria Sand. Gendry pulled out the letter from Ramsay Bolton and read it aloud.
Once he finished, Davos Seaworth said, "This, of course, cannot be allowed."
Gendry replied, "Who is this Ramsay Bolton?"
Varys was the one to speak up, "Your Grace, he is the acknowledged bastard of Roose Bolton, former Lord Paramount of the North. He is savage and flays his victims alive, a true Bolton. He is not a wise choice."
The King nodded and said, "Who should I appoint instead?"
"How about Lucas Tyrell?" Brienne asked, everyone looked at her.
"And who is he? Why should I add another Tyrell into my Kingsguard?" Gendry asked.
"Lucas is a man who fights courageously and with great speed and agility. He is an admirable fighter." Gendry nodded.
"Any other suggestions?" Gendry asked, opening the floor to all of them.
Nymeria Sand didn't hesitate. "Perros Blackmont." Gendry looked at her, waiting. She continued, "He is the son of Lady Larra of Dorne. He is a strong lad and has proven himself in tourneys."
"Any suggestions from you two?" Gendry asked his half-siblings.
Both shook their heads. Edric said, "We don't know anyone of great skill. We cannot advise."
Brienne Tarth chimed in again. "How about Ser Jaime Lannister?"
"Why would I want the Kingslayer, a one handed man known for incest, in my Kingsguard?" Gendry scoffed.
"If you heard his story of the night Aerys Targaryen died, you wouldn't view him in such harsh light." Brienne replied, her voice small and sad.
Gendry looked at her, pondering it. "Regardless, he should be with his son, Tommen, in Casterly Rock."
Brienne nodded and didn't say another word for the rest of the meeting. Gendry frowned at her silence as they continued their discussion.
Gendry finally spoke up after letting Davos, Nymeria, and Varys argue back and forth for half an hour. Brienne, Mya, Edric, and Theobald remained silent throughout the whole ordeal. Gendry spoke to the Grand Maester, "Send word to Perros Blackmont of his appointment to the Kingsguard. Tell him to depart for King's Landing immediately."
"As you wish, Your Grace." Theobald said, rising from his seat with difficulty. He hobbled out of the chamber.
"You're dismissed." Gendry said, waving them away. All six began to leave but Gendry called Brienne back. She stood in front of him, arms behind her back. "Why the silence, Lady Commander?"
"I told you, I'm not a lady. Never call me that, please, Your Grace." She said quietly. He nodded and waited for her answer. She frowned and said, "You had already shot down two of my ideas, I didn't think that any more of my input would be valuable."
"Your input is always valuable, Brienne." Gendry said softly.
Brienne nodded and said, "If that's true, here's some sound advice: watch out for Margaery Tyrell."
"She is Tommen Baratheon's wife. But she was married to the late Renly Baratheon and the late Joffrey Baratheon. She is insistent on becoming Queen." Brienne told him seriously.
Gendry was quiet for a moment then said, "If she is Tommen's wife, why should I have to be wary of her?"
"Tommen and Margaery never consummated their marriage. They can annul it and Margaery will be free to marry whomever she chooses."
Gendry said, "Ah, well Margaery Tyrell will be disappointed." Brienne gave him a blank look. "My heart belongs to another."
"Oh, who is the lady, Your Grace?"
"A story for another time, Commander."
Brienne nodded and began to back out of the room. "Of course, Your Grace. Good day."
"Good day." He replied, sitting down. He didn't have long on his own, the door opened and his squire walked back in, holding a letter. "What do you have there, Holin?"
"A letter from Lady Arya Stark." Holin answered. Gendry sat up straight and held out his hand for the letter. Holin deposited it and backed out of the room, trying to ignore the delight on the King's face.
Gendry took a deep breath before opening the seal.
Or shall I call you King? I leave Braavos tomorrow for King's Landing. The prospect of seeing you is too much to let pass by. I thought you dead for the past few years after the Red Woman took you away. I shall hope to arrive within a fortnight.
Gendry folded the letter and sat back in his chair, a small smile spreading on his face.