A Time of Fracture



Sansa Stark was in her room at King's Landing, admiring the necklace that Joffrey had given her. She had seen an ugly side to him when he fought with her sister, but now she was sure that he was a gentleman deep down. Arya kept calling her a fool, as had a few other people. Joffrey wasn't well loved in King's Landing. They just didn't see what she saw.

There was a knock at the door. It was Ser Barristan Selmy.

"My Lady, your Grace requires your presence. There is a meeting of family importance." He left the room the moment those words were spoken, and she followed.

She arrived at the council chamber, where they were all gathered. She looked among the faces she knew. There was Lord Baelish, Lord Varys, Grand Maester Pycelle, Joffrey, Cersei, King Robert, but...her father was missing. She took her place beside her Joffrey. Varys was impassive. Baelish was smiling, though even Sansa could tell it was a false smile, practically a frown. Cersei was even worse; she looked like a scared and cornered lion. She looked dangerous. She looked around some more. Joffrey was bored and slightly confused. He did not know why they were here, and didn't look to care much. Pycelle really wasn't happy with the situation. He was openly frowning. King Robert looked impatient and uncomfortable. He spared her a quick glance, and she knew from his face that he pitied her for coming here. The door opened, and her head snapped straight forward, attentive.

Renly Baratheon, the King's brother, entered, carrying several tomes and parchments, which he laid on the table. Renly was said to have looked a lot like Robert. Looking between the fat king and his lean, some might even say muscular brother, Sansa guessed that they had meant back in Robert's heyday, and not now, after the years of ruling had spoiled the King's figure.

"You may be wondering why I insisted you all be summoned here." Renly began. "I understand that Lord Eddard approached the King and Queen earlier today, accusing Joffrey of being a born out of wedlo..."

Renly didn't even finish that sentence before Joffrey stood up, anger on fury on his face, but before he could speak, Cersei pulled down on his tunic. He looked down at her, his piercing blue eyes trying to pierce a hole through here, but she shook her head, and tugged on his tunic again. He reluctantly sat down, but his mood was soured. The King had found some wine and was drinking it right now, but he missed something Sansa saw; Cersei and Pycelle shared a glance as he drank. Sansa found this odd, but thought nothing else of it. Renly continued talking.

"As I was saying. I know what I'm about to say might come as a shock, but I hold proof that Joffrey was born of Incest between Cersei and her brother Jaime Lannister!"

The room was soon in uproar. Joffrey started shouting at his own mother, who grinned and took it, though it clearly pained her to do so. Robert sprang straight up to examine the proof. Pycelle pointed to Renly and accused him of lies, slander and heresy. Varys sighed, and Baelish was gone from the room completely. Sansa just sat there, scared and confused by all the shouting going on around her.

"ENOUGH!" bellowed the king, as he coughed. "I cannot and will not let incest go unpunished in MY OWN CASTLE!" He pointed at Cersei as he coughed again. "We all know the punishment of the perversion and dishonour you have brought upon me, woman." He spluttered. "Take her to the dungeons. Tomorrow, she will be...she will be..."

Sansa knew the punishment for incest was death by the laws of the Seven Kingdoms, but she was wandering why the king was hesitating to issue that order. That's when she saw the blood coming from his mouth. He collapsed on the floor. Renly called in the Kingsguard who were standing outside, but they could not save him as he choked to death.

Sansa looked to Joffrey, who was more furious than ever, but there were tears rolling down his cheeks. Sansa had never seen him cry before. It was a shocking sight. She looked Cersei dead in the eye, and the Queen smiled back. Sansa knew. Sansa now knew what that look shared with Pycelle meant. Cersei had poisoned her own husband, before he could sentence her to death.

"You did this! You killed him!"

The words were not Sansa's, but Joffrey's, pointing at his mother with such a deep hatred that she couldn't take it. She couldn't take her own son looking at her like that. She started to stride out of the room, but Renly blocked her path, and two Kingsguard grabbed her by the arms and took her away. Pycelle, too. Robert's body was carried out, and Renly followed it.

Soon, Sansa, Joffrey and Varys were the only ones in the room. Sansa tried to put her hand on Joffrey's shoulder, but he shrugged it off, stood up and walked out without a word. She understood. He needed to be alone, just as she did the day her father's knee was injured by Jaime Lannister.

She sat there for what seemed like hours. Varys had tried to get her to leave but she refused. Eventually, her father stood at the door, resting on his cane, looking far sadder than she was. Without a word between either of them, she got up and hugged him. Without even willing it, she wept into his chest. He patted her back, and held her all the way to her room, wincing as he had to hobble up the steps. Finally, once they reached her room, he spoke.

"You shouldn't have had to witness that." He said softly. She looked up at him.

"I'll be seeing much worse things in my life, won't I?" She replied. He paused.

"Yes, love, but I am very, very proud of you for coming through it."

"What happens now?" She asked. "With Joffrey I mean. I still want to marry him."

"I don't know what happens now, Love," he replied quietly. "I don't know."

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