A Princess who was Promised @thecourier7
King's Landing

(Note: I changed Morran's name to Lewyn)

Beric woke up at dawn, just as he had been doing for years. He put his armor on and walked towards the Inquisitor room in the Red Keep. Ser Beric was the acting head of the Knights Inquisitor in King's Landing while the current head was captured. There were many squads of Knights Inquisitor, but Beric and a few others were required to stay in the Capitol to investigate internal threats. So far, Beric had determined the biggest threat to the King in King's Landing was the King himself. The King on the other hand, insisted it was the half Robert's Former Council and the North. He wasn't completely wrong, but he still underestimated the enemies he had. Beric looked at the reports again.
"It'd be easier to list people who aren't a threat to the crown" thought Beric. He did mentally have a list, which consisted of his mother, grandfather and siblings. The reports were mostly the same, smallfolk loitering around and/or vandalizing the walls of the Red Keep, a servant accused of thievery, ect. Beric had seen the graffiti, which was mostly crude drawings of Joffrey executing someone or Cersei and Ser Jaimie sleeping together. He couldn't blame them with the way Joffrey was ruling. Officially, the King had ordered the City Watch and Knights to execute any vandals found, but most just turned a blind eye and chased them away.
Things had only gotten worse since Joffrey ascended and killed Eddard Stark, and the Smallfolk the crown more than ever. There were food shortages and people were starving. It didn't take a maester to see those loitering around the Keep were hoping for scraps from the banquets Joffrey had. Seeing the amount of food he wasted didn't help people's opinion of him. People were starving and he was wasting food. Even the knights and Gold Cloaks were being fed less, something Beric often heard others complaining about.
"At least we're being fed." he would always think, but he refrained from saying this out loud. He was always an outsider, a Dornishman in the Capital, but his past as a former member of Rhaegar's guard haunted him just as much. Few confronted him directly about it, but he heard whispers from Smallfolk and Nobles alike. He ignored them most of the time, but occasionally he found himself wishing he had left with Lewyn. He couldn't say exactly why he chose to stay in Westeros, but he did. His siblings and his friends had fled, not to mention that he had sworn to protect the prince's family. Still, that night something inside him forced him to stay. He and many of the soldiers who surrendered at the Trident had been pardoned by Robert, but Lewyn planned on leaving the moment he was able. He remembered the night Lewyn begged him to go with him as if it had happened the day before. Beric had agreed to help him to the ship to Essos, as he still had trouble walking, even with the cane his family sent him. The Maester said his leg would get better over time, but his limp would never go away. Even with the news, he was determined to help the banished Royals. After helping him on the ship Lewyn grabbed him, his grip as strong as steel.
"Come with me." He asked gently, his golden brown eyes shining in the torchlight.
"I can't. Someone needs to stay and keep an eye on Robert." He replied. He leaned over to Lewyn, handed him some parchment and whispered "I'll send couriers."
Lewyn read the note, nodded and they embraced for the last time. The note had instructions for a code they'd use, as they both had lived in the Capitol long enough to know couriers could be intercepted.
As Beric remembered this old feelings for his old friend reawoke in him, feelings he thought he had grown out of. He pushed these feelings down and focused on his duty. There was a knock on the door. It was one of Varys' Birds. The child whispered the relevant information in his ear. Another cook had poisoned Joffrey's latest taste tester. Beric got up and walked towards the man's room. If he was lucky he would beat the Queen.
Beric didn't trust Varys, but if he wanted to keep his head he needed the Spider's birds. He had met the Spider when he was given his position by Robert, who figured the Master of Whispers and members of the Knights Inquisitor would work best together. The king was wise to have them work together, but it often felt like he was working for the Spider instead of the King.
"I probably am." thought the Knight as he walked to the kitchens.
When he got to the room the Spider was there. The taste tester was lying on his bed, motionless.
"What happened?" he asked Varys.
"He tested the food as he was paid to. Around a half hour later he began trembling and complained of dizziness. He was guided to his room and we were sent for when he stopped moving."
"What did he eat?" asked Beric
"He had some wine, and a main dish, boar with various vegetables covering it." said a servant.
Beric walked up to the man and looked at him. Food usually was tested multiple times at different points of cooking in case of incidents like this. The poor man's breathing was slow, as well as his heartbeat. There was fear in his eyes.
"Get me the chefs and gardeners. He was poisoned with hemlock, so unless they used gloves whoever handled it should have rashes." said Beric. Varys nodded, then sent a few gold cloaks to the kitchens. Beric turned to the poor taste tester. "I'm sorry, but there is nothing that can be done."
"Ser, are you coming? There's nothing more that can be done" asked Varys
"In a moment. A man shouldn't have to spend his final hours alone." Beric said, grabbing the man's hand. He felt the man's hand tighten slightly around his. "Does he have a family?"
Varys shook his head. The two of them spent the remainder of the taste tester's life by his side, while the chef who poisoned the food was sentenced to death. Joffrey would've had his family killed as well, but he'd already ordered their deaths a fortnight prior.
It was dusk when the taste tester finally passed, and Ser Beric began to walk to his chambers.. When he got halfway there, he heard footsteps coming from behind him. It was Daemon. He was one of Littlefinger or Varys' spies, he was sure of it. He and a man by the name of Steffon had been spending time with him after he witnessed an incident involving the Kingslayer climbing down from the Queen's chambers one night a few weeks beforehand. They didn't do much, though they often made idle conversation. Beric had lived in King's Landing long enough to be able to spot spies with ease, though even then Daemon and Steffon didn't exactly make it hard. They worked for Littlefinger or Cersei, Varys had his birds and few others Gold Cloaks under their thumbs. Cersei especially would be interested in what he did or didn't see that night.
"Hello Beric." said Daemon, coming a little to close for Beric's comfort.
"Hello Daemon" replied Beric, forcing a smile and taking a step back.
"You were supposed to meet me at the Barracks at midday!" he said in a tone that reminded Beric of a disappointed lover. He looked coyly at Beric, clearly expecting an explanation. It was times like this Beric was reminded how much he hated how Dorne and people like him were viewed by outsiders. Daemon was acting out every stereotype in the book, and not even well.
"Sorry, I lost track of time. I had to take care of the most recent taste tester."
"Did you now? What happened to him?" Daemon asked with seemingly genuine interest.
"Poisoned with hemlock. We wouldn't have seen symptoms for at least a half hour after if Joffrey had eaten it." he said out loud. Beric knew this would be reported back to someone, Cersei being the most likely person.
"Is that all?"
As they walked back he began to talk about his day. After a few minutes Beric began to wonder which of them was the spy. When they got back Daemon excused himself and ran off. Beric wondered how long it would take for him to report back and who would be talking to him in a few hours. Beric often told Daemon and Steffon the truth in situations like this, as other spies would back up his information and often saved time.
As he walked past the Godswood he heard crying. He did not need to look to know who it was. The poor girl had been crying for weeks. Beric couldn't blame her losing a father was hard, but being forced to watch him executed by that shitstain of a king must have been awful. He couldn't help but notice that history was repeating itself. A Stark girl was missing, a father was butchered in front of his child, and a vicious king ruled the kingdom.
"Not that he's even a king" thought Beric. Rumors about the King's parentage spread like wildfire the moment the Hand lost his head. Even so, rumors of Joffrey and his sibling's true parentage were not new. They had been around years before Robert looked in Eddard Stark's direction. One saw and heard much when patrolling the Red Keep, but Beric had known the unfortunate truth since he first laid eyes on the twins. His suspicions were confirmed when he saw Joffrey for the first time. Beric had checked in on Robert's bastards from time to time, all of whom bore at least some resemblance to Robert. Not only was Joffrey all Lannister, he had inherited his mother's cruelty and his father's arrogance. It was present in his eyes from the moment he was born. Beric shook his head and looked in the direction of the Godswood.
"Poor child" he thought. Beric knew he should comfort the Stark child, she would be forced to marry that bastard and for someone of her status, surviving in the Capitol would be as complicated as it was dangerous, even more so when alone. As he walked towards the entrance of the Godswood, he noticed a figure lurking by the gate. Beric didn't need to guess who it was. The Hound glared at him as he grew closer, the same neverending flame of anger in his eyes. There was something else there as well, an emotion he could not put his finger on.
"What do you want?" he growled. Daemon took a few steps back.
"I'll wait by that tree" He told Beric
"Coward" whispered Beric once he was out of earshot. The Hound snickered. Beric turned to the Hound. "Lady Stark has been in the Godswood for quite some time. I wanted to make sure nothing unpleasant has befallen her." Beric told him.
"Her father's dead, her sister's missing, her remaining family is at war with the crown, and she's betrothed to a King who has her beaten after every battle her brother wins. Everything that's happened to her since she came to this city has been unpleasant. Why are you really here?"
"I heard about her latest beating at the Kings...guard's hand and wanted to express my sympathy." Beric began to explain. This wasn't completely untrue, he had heard the poor girl's latest beating was particularly brutal. Beric also feared what was in store for her if the rumors of where the Targaryen children had been hiding were true. Beric had managed to stop most of these rumors from reaching the wrong ears, but a few managed to get to Cersei's ear.
"She doesn't want your bloody sympa-"
"It's alright Sandor." said Sansa, walking out of the Godswood with a slight limp. Her eyes were red from crying, and her voice was shaky. She also had bruises and cuts on her arms and legs. She turned to him and smiled an empty smile. A quiet rage filled Beric, but he managed to quiet it.
"M'Lady I am sorry for what happened during your stay here. If there's anything you need, I am the head of the Knights Inquisitor. Ask For Ser Beric."
"Thank You, I appreciate your concern." she said, her voice filled with contempt as she and the Hound walked past. Beric bowed as they did. He didn't blame her for her coldness, as no one stopped Joffrey from having his guard beat her. Alas, few had the power to contradict the king.
"What was that about?" asked Daemon
"Is it any of your Business?" he spat back.
Daemon looked shocked and was quiet the rest of the way back. As Beric predicted, a few hours after they got to the barracks and Daemon ran off, the Queen had ordered him to appear before her. He was escorted by two White Cloaks, Ser Meryn Trant and Ser Preston Greenfield. The first thing he noticed when he entered the Throne Room was that it was bizarrely empty. Only the Queen, the Knights, a few servants, Littlefinger and the Spider were in the room. Cersei was in a seat by the Iron Throne, holding a goblet full of wine. Littlefinger was on her left, and the Spider on her right. As they approached the three turned to look at them. When Beric and the Knights stopped, Cersei began to speak.
"Do you know why you've been called here …?" Cersei began.
"Ser Beric" Varys reminded her
"Ser Beric." she continued.
"No, Your Grace." replied Beric. He didn't dare look her in the eyes.
"You talked to Sansa Stark earlier today, why?"
"I felt sorry for Lady Stark, that's all your Grace."
"Felt sorry for her? A traitor's daughter?" Cersei said slightly surprised.
"Yes. She has been through a lot ov-" Cersei raised her hand and silenced him.
"Why should you feel sorry for her? Sansa Stark is to be the Queen, despite being from a family of traitors. That's far better than she deserves, though then again few get what they deserve." Cersei said coldly. She then looked at him curiously. "Ser Beric take off your helm."
"Yes, Your Grace." Beric replied, doing as he was told. The Queen got up and walked towards him. When she got to where he was standing, she began circling and inspecting him, much like a vulture does it's prey. Suddenly grabbed his chin and forced him to look at her.
"You're not from King's Landing, are you?" She asked him, her emerald green eyes gazing into his.
"Not originally no, Your Grace." Beric responded.
"Where are you from? Dorne?" She asked.
"Kind of, Your Grace." The Queen looked at him puzzled.
"I am an Orphan of The Greenblood." Beric clarified.
"Ahh. You don't sound like it."
"That happens when you've lived in the Capitol for years, Your Grace."
"How did an Orphan of Greenblood become a knight in King's Landing?" asked Cersei.
"I'm sorry Your Grace, but that is a story I'm afraid we do not have time for." Varys piped in. Cersei looked irritated.
"If I may Your Grace, What is the point of this?" asked Littlefinger, his eyes fixated on the Knight.
"This man, Beric, looks familiar. Tell me Beric, when did you come to the Capitol?" asked Cersei.
"I came with Lady Elia, Your Grace. I was at the Trident when she and her babes fled." Beric replied.
"Your Spider should be able to confirm this." he thought.
"Ahh Yes, now I remember. You're one of the twins." Cersei recalled.
"Triplets, Your Grace, a brother and a sister."
"Tell me, where are your siblings?"
"I don't know, Your Grace. They left during the Sack."
"Why did they leave while you stayed?" asked Cersei. Beric had been dreading this question.
"I don't know why they left, but I vowed to protect the people of King's Landing, and I couldn't just abandon my duty." Beric replied, praying to any God who would listen. No one looked convinced.
"And you're loyal to Joffrey?"
"Yes, Your Grace."
"Hmm. I see." Cersei paused for a moment, and for a moment she looked almost sad. "If I remember correctly, you were close with your siblings?"
"Yes, Your Grace."
"It's hard, not knowing where your siblings are isn't it?"
"Yes, Your Grace." Beric knew where this was going.
"Do you miss your Sister?" She asked.
"There it is." thought Beric.
"Yes. My brother as well, but coming to King's Landing and meeting new people has helped me grow in new ways"
Cersei looked angry for a moment, before switching back to her Queenly demeanor.
"My son and I have talked things over, and he wants you reassigned."
"To where My Lady?"
"Guarding Lady Stark's chambers." Littlefinger perked up at this information.
"But the Hou-"
"The Hound should be guarding my son, not some Northern traitor's daughter." Cersei turned back to him. "Do you accept this?"
"Yes M'Lady" said Beric. Littlefinger was staring intently at him.
"My Lady, who will take on Ser Beric's Duties?" asked Varys. There was a mixture of panic and irritation on his face.
"Whoever Joffrey sees fit."
"Gods help us all." said a voice from the back of the room. It was Tyrion. Cersei looked like she was about to strangle him. "Why couldn't the King reassign this man himself?"
"He's busy." replied Cersei
"Still, reassigning a knight is usually done in front of court, not in private."
"My son did not want the switch known yet."
"How unlike him."
"Lord Tyrion, she is telling the truth. A little bird of mine heard them talking about it." Said Varys. Cersei glared at them.
"Littlefinger, you've been uncharacteristically quiet." said Tyrion
"I have had nothing to add." replied Littlefinger, still glaring at Beric.
"Very well then. Do Sansa and The Hound know about this arrangement?"
"Joffrey is telling them now. Ser Beric, they should be waiting at the Godswood, go there now." Cersei ordered.

1. Introduction/prologue 280 0 0 2. Winterfell 943 0 0 3. Jaehaerys 551 0 0 4. Hopes and Dreams 787 0 0 5. A gift fit for a Queen 442 0 0 6. Leaving Winterfell 383 0 0 7. Robb’s revalations 1016 0 0 8. Bran 234 0 0 9. Tower Troubles 500 0 0 10. The Princess’ Problem 467 0 0 11. Godswood 1071 0 0 12. Visions 839 0 0 13. Prisoner Blues 582 0 0 14. Shocking News 345 0 0 15. Awakening the Dragon 1086 0 0 16. Myr 411 0 0 17. Myriah 1573 0 0 18. Dusk's Dragon 717 0 0 19. The Hidden Spring 994 0 0 20. A Familiar Face 687 0 0 21. King's Landing 3037 0 0 22. A Change in Guard 1045 0 0 23. Stuck 1088 0 0 24. Starlight 1158 0 0 25. The Boys in the Tower 1514 0 0 26. Anu 465 0 0 27. Traitor 592 0 0