THE ARRIVAL OF SPRINGTIME
A Game of Thrones fic by Sandra Dermark (main ideas)
Yara Greyjoy marries Loras Tyrell of convenience, as agreed by Loras's older brother Willas, killed in action against Stannis Baratheon. Yara feels like a stranger in the Reach, wonders at everything... They can't have any children (she's too cold and he's queer). Suggestions to adopt children. A young orphan Robin Arryn (last living Arryn) is found and adopted.
They understand the meaning of their engagement. Ironborn navigation + Reach power on land = great alliance. Both decide to take part in the war. Truce breaks. Loras as "Renly" stabs Stannis in right side during battle for Storm's End, won by the Tyrell-Greyjoy alliance. Wounded Stannis and few survivors, Meli included, flee to Dragonstone.
War council amidst the heroes. Loras stays at Storm's End while Yara aims for Dragonstone, where the last stand is going to take place.
At Dragonstone, the Fury has landed already. Stannis dying (pneumothorax, described in detail, he's also weakened by enchantments Mel has cast) on Painted Table. Mel can heal his wounds... with blood from Shireen. Relevant dilemma: his daughter's life or his own?
Storm's End: Loras thinking of Renly and of what to do after the war.
Dragonstone: Stannis still dying, confronted by deaths of Renly and countless "heretics", faith crisis. No longer the promised saviour. Selyse left him (for parts unknown) due to his relationship with Mel. Shireen has not received any love or care. Arrival of a military surgeon, with distilled liquor. Fighting with Mel, the flagon falls: part of the liquor falls through Stannis's lips, part on Mel's skirt, the flagon shatters and shards hit both of them. For the first time in his life, he is intoxicated, and he smiles. Incensed, he demands that Shireen be spared. Throws candlestick at Mel: skirt catches fire, whole priestess catches fire, Stannis takes her for Shireen and dies suffocated before charred Mel.
Shireen in bedroom listens: "Should we warn the child?" "We have no time to drape the halls in black. The foes are coming".
Ironborn land, garrison surrenders, return to birthplaces (Essos, Stormlands, Reach). Prisoners in dungeons (Stormlanders and people of the Reach) freed. Ironborn warrior discovers Shireen "maybe the daughter of some officer". Pictures drawn by child confirm she's Stannis's daughter. Uprising: prisoners want to kill Shireen, prevented by Yara ("what would Loras do?"). Shireen arrives at Storm's End on the Fury, now captained by Yara. Encounter with Loras, who recognizes her Baratheon features. Shireen adopted and betrothed to Robin, both enjoy a happy childhood at last. Springtime has finally arrived in Westeros!