003. Deals and Spiders

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Aemma had always enjoyed spending time with Helaena. She'd never met such a weird girl before, always too absorbed with her insects to pay attention to much else. Aemma also liked the riddles that Helaena would mutter under her breath, and it always impressed her that Helaena could make up rhythms on the spot. 

"Have they ever bitten you?" Aemma asked, crouching beside Helaena as the white-haired princess handled a rather large black spider. 

"Yes," Helaena said simply, her eyes focused on the spider, "But only if they feel cornered,"

Aemma nodded, letting her eyes wander around the room as she rocked on her heels. Spending time with Helaena often meant spending lots of time in silence. Silence was something Aemma didn't deal with very well, and she only reserved it for Helaena alone. 

"This spider can hold its breath underwater," Helaena spoke up, holding the spider up for Aemma to get a good look, "If they fall into puddles, they'll be fine for a while,"

"How can they do that?" Aemma asked eagerly.

Another reason Aemma loved spending time with the girl was for all of the knowledge Helaena seemed to hold. Aemma was certain Helaena knew more about insects than any of the maesters in the citadel. 

"I don't know. It is beyond our understanding," 

Aemma frowned, changing from crouching to seated as she watched Helaena go about her insect appreciation. 

"Excuse me, princesses," A handmaid appeared by the door, curtsying clumsily, "Prince Aemond has summoned you, Princess Aemma,"

"Okay," Aemma said, turning back to Helaena. 

"Princess," The handmaid spoke again, confused, "Don't you want to know where he is?"

"Not really,"

The handmaid stood by the door, unsure what to do, as Helaena placed the spider in a box and pulled out a centipede. 

"I believe he wants to see you, princess," The handmaid urged, glancing down at her hands, "I'm not allowed to leave until I retrieve you,"

Aemma groaned, standing up in a huff, "Fiiine, take me to Aemond,"

Aemma could feel someone watching her keenly from the edge of the gardens. Pure white hair was not difficult to spot out of the corner of ones eye, and Aemond Targaryen was not as skilled at blending in as he thought he was. She turned on her heel, making her way towards Aemond, who was sitting just behind the Weirwood tree. Aemond hadn't noticed her yet, more preoccupied with plucking at the blades of grass around the tree. 

"So," Aemma spoke up, standing directly beside Aemond, "What do you want?"

Aemond rose to his feet, discarding the grass that he had gathered in his hands. 

"Will you take me to see Greensmoke?" Aemond asked, his eyes hopeful. 

Aemma looked her uncle up and down, an unimpressed look taking over her face. 



"No," Aemma shrugged, turning around and beginning to walk away from her uncle. 

Aemond hurried after her, grabbing her and turning her towards him. Aemma looked down at his hand clasped around her wrist. She tried to snatch it away, but Aemond's grip was tight. 

"Why no?"

"It's Greensmoke's day off," Aemma scowled, pulling her wrist towards her. 

"Dragons don't have days off," Aemond said dubiously. 

Aemma snatched her wrist back with one large tug, crossing her arms over her body as she scowled at her uncle. 

"How would you know? Do you have a dragon?"

With the killing blow landed, Aemond's shoulders sagged in defeat. Aemma stood victorious, giving her uncle one final victorious look before spinning around and beginning to walk off.

"Wait, what if I gave you something in return?"

Aemma stopped short, glancing over her shoulder with a confused look, "What could you possibly have that I would want,"

Aemond grinned, as though he had cracked a secret code Aemma had no idea existed. He walked up to her confidently, the power dynamic shifting ever so slightly. 

"I see how you constantly beg the Commander of the Guard to teach you to fight," Aemond told her slyly, "You aren't as sneaky as you think you are,"

"Neither are you," Aemma retorted immediately, before giving in to his statement, "I just think it'd be cool to know how to fight. I'd get to show it off to Helaena and the other girls. I'd know how to do something they didn't."

"Ser Criston Cole teaches us every day," Aemond told her, noticing a scowl form on Aemma's face at the mention of Ser Cole, "I could teach you whatever he teaches us,"

"He'd never let me join, even if he didn't have to teach me," Aemma pointed out, shaking her head, "And I'm not supposed to fight. It's not lady-like,"

Aemma stuck her tongue out at the last word, her nose crinkling. She'd been called unladylike many times, by many older men and women. She always felt hurt by the statement. She was ladylike simply because she was a lady. She didn't think she had to act a certain way to attain the status. She had the status because she was a she. Everything she did was ladylike. She could kill someone, and Aemma believed she would still be ladylike. 

"That's true..." Aemond paused, thinking, "I could train you at nighttime. In the dragon pit, the dragon keepers don't pay anyone that isn't a dragon any mind,"

Aemma paused, thinking through the plan. Learning from Aemond would never be as good as learning from a skilled swordsman. After all, he was still a learner. But Aemma knew she'd never get trained by the likes of Ser Criston Cole. 

"And all I have to do is let you hang out with Greensmoke?" Aemma asked suspiciously. 

Aemond nodded, holding out his hand for her to shake. After a few minutes, Aemma took his hand in hers and shook it. 

"Then it's a deal,"

Authors notes:

Man, I've just been making memes lol. Also, we love Helaena and my spelling check keeps trying to change Aemond to Almond. So, Almond definitely has a tiny crush on Aemma. 


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