Of Bastards, Brothers and Mended Things (Game Of Thrones)



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Robb Stark stared blankly at Jon's shoulders. His bright blue eyes were filled with sadness, he could not trust himself to speak. Robb dug the toe of his soft leather boot into the wooden floor beneath him. While he and Jon were only half related, he felt more attached to Jon than Bran or Rickton. Robb worried his lower lip, like he did as a child and fiddled with the corner of his tunic. Clothes and boots were scattered all over the floor as Jon gather what he needed for his trip to The Wall. You will be the Lord of Winterfell, Robb told himself, blubbering like a boy wont solve anything.

Finally, Robb stepped forwards and spoke. "J... Jon." He started slowly, surprised at his wavering. "I do not want to disrupt you while you are so busy, but I..." And slowly Robb's voice trailed off for a moment. Jon had his sights firmly set on The Wall. After all, a bastard was of no use in Winterfell, but the Stark heir felt his heart grow heavy with each second that passed. Each second he would never spend with his half-brother. "I mean, Arya does not want you to leave." He finally said. Why Arya? His thoughts squealed in his head like a child, just switch out Arya for Robb. Please Jon! Just understand! Secretly, Robb Stark hoped that Jon would turn around and promise to never leave.

After all, Jon would be leaving to The Wall in mere hours and Robb would never see his face again.

On The Road To Winterfell:

"What's your name?" Hissed the boy. Rowen looked over with two golden eyes and frowned.

"None of your business." Rowen replied shortly, and reverted his gaze to the front. Rowen was travelling in a large group of men. They were bound for The Wall to take the black, but not before a stop at Winterfell. The group consisted of the lowest of the low. Criminals of all sorts, traitors, rapists, and murderers alike. While Rowen was no better than the rest of them, he still couldn't help but feel utterly disgusted.

"Didn't you hear?" The boy added, leaning over in his saddle. "We're brothers now." Rowen frowned and flipped out a short sword. In the blink of an eye, it rested centimetres away from the boy's throat.

"Not until we reach The Wall. And by then you'll be dead." And with that, he sheathed his sword and casually leaned back in his saddle.
The bastard felt his shoulders tense as the floor boards leading to his room squeaked with weight. He exhaled slowly through his nose, deciding to keep packing and let whoever stood behind him speak their peace at their own pace. He placed his modest belongings in his satchel, pleased to see that everything fit neatly inside. He had never went without, but Lady Catlyn had always made a point to ensure his belongings were never more than standard…something he’d learned to accept a long time ago. He set the bag down beside his sword and cloak, and turned to address his brother. Jon couldn’t help but let himself get a little hopeful, wishing Robb would ask him to say, ask him to go hunting with him or to take the dire wolves for a run. “Arya doesn’t want you to leave.” Jon stiffened his jaw, a motion uncannily like his father’s own habit when displeased. “Well Robb…Arya’s a young woman who wants to be warrior, she’ll have plenty on her plate without worrying after her older brother.” He smiled, a strained expression and moved forward, placing a hesitant hand on the other man’s shoulder. “I’ll miss you both…I’ll miss all of you.”

He retreated from him as quickly as he’d approached and slipped into his cloak, tossing one more forlorn look around his childhood bedroom, and took up his satchel. “The wall recruits will be arriving any moment, care to walk me out?” He smiled wryly, more like Jon and less like The Bastard Snow. He needed to track down the rest of his siblings and his father anyway and besides…a walk with Robb was never something he regretted. He smiled once more and headed towards the door and down the steps to take in the familiar sight of Winterfell.
In The Woods Surrounding Winterfell:

Arya winced as her hand wrapped around a particularly spiny pine branch, She made a little grunt of defiance, to the tree and the pain in her hand, and continued her slow climb up the massive tree. She was quick and springy, but Bran had overtaken her long minutes ago and probably sat waiting at the top of the tree like he was always did. Hmmph. He may be a better climber, but I split his arrow in two twice this morning. She smirked at the memory and hauled herself up into the next large branch, crouching on it for a moment to catch her breath. She cast her eyes on the icy road leading to Winterfell, She could see a few trader’s carts milling about far below her and the occasional mounted guard or huntsman returning to or leaving the city. All of these things were normal, mundane…except for the large caravan of men on foot approaching the city. Arya’s throat tightened as hot tears threatened to spill down her cheeks. So these were the people that would take Jon away. She eyed the tattered clothes and filthy skin of the travelers, feeling anger sting her throat bitterly. Why would Jon leave them for these fools? She felt a stab of anger towards her mother in her gut. Perhaps Jon wouldn’t leave if her mother and Sansa didn’t look at him like he was trash…The young girl angrily scooped up a handfull of snow and pelted it at one of the few men on horseback, a handsome young man with surprisingly long dark hair. She hadn’t expected it to hit.

“Arya what are you doing?” The girl frowned and glanced up at Bran, who was already climbing down to meet her. “We should go!” She shouted up at him and started down the angry pine tree, clumsily descending in her haste. It would be expected that slipped from one of the lower branches and landed heavily in the snow beside the group of wall-bound travelers. “Arya, bloody hell!” Bran cried as he jogged up beside her conscious but wincing form. The young woman cracked an eye and peered up at the horse above her, and winced.
“I’ll miss you both…I’ll miss all of you.” Jon spoke, as he tentatively rested a hand on his brother's shoulder. Robb let out a wavering sigh, and nodded firmly. "Of course." Robb said. "Who wouldn't?" And then everything fell silent again as Jon shied away and picked up his simple satchel. Jon was dressed in brown and green, and for a moment Robb closed his eyes and imagined Jon in black. It didn't suit him. “The wall recruits will be arriving any moment, care to walk me out?” Jon said, and Robb opened his eyes. The young Stark smiled slightly and followed his brother down the steps.

"Although Mother may not like it," Robb said as he took the steps one by one as slowly as he could, "Snow or Stark I will welcome you to Winterfell, even if The Wall becomes your new home." But Winterfell's heir felt as if his words were empty. Robb was well aware the conditions of taking the black, and the likelihood of Jon returning was slim to none. Robb pushed the large wooden door at the bottom of the steps open and squinted as the sun glimmered against the thin layer of snow on the ground. Robb's face lit up with momentary joy as he saw two direwolf pups chase each others tails. The albino wolf, Ghost, belonged to Jon, while the grey one, Grey Wind, belonged to Robb. "I think Grey Wind will miss Ghost more than anything." The Stark stated and chuckled.

“Arya, bloody hell!” A young boy's voice cried through the trees. From the corner of his eye, Robb noticed his younger brother Bran and sister Arya fly across the field. His eyes widened as he saw a black horse chase after them with a rather furious rider. The rider hollered as he came up beside Arya and picked her up by the collar of her shirt and dismounted his horse.

"What's the big idea, boy?" The rider, Rowan, hissed. His long black hair hung in his golden eyes as he sneered at Arya. "I should take those dirty little hands of yours. But I ain't got the time. Y'got that, pest?" His long nose nearly pressed against Arya's face they were so close. "Next time I see you're face you better hope you're running."
Jon bowed his head to his brother as they descended the stairs, feeling a small warmth enter his chest. “Thank you Robb.” He murmured, smiling despite himself. He glanced at the romping puppies and let out a hardy peal of laughter. “I swear if they weren’t both males I’d think they were in-“The bastard stared in confusion as his younger siblings dashed by, throwing a confused look to Robb before the rider entered the scene.
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Arya ran for her life, pushing Bran along in front of her as she fled the seemingly gigantic black stallion that was currently attempting to mow her down. Bran’s nimble feet put him far ahead of her far too quickly, and she soon found herself hoisted into the air rather roughly by her collar. She kicked futilely, holding onto to her capture’s wrist in fear of her neck snapping. “I’m a girl!” She growled, scrunching up her face as the much older man leaned into her face.
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“Hey, you! Let her go!” Without a second thought, Jon was storming towards the handsome young rider, having no image to worry after like his half brother. He shoved the slightly taller young man, relying on the brawn his father had so graciously passed onto him. Arya wriggled, still grasped in the other man’s grip, though a pleased smirk had stolen her features upon spotting the furious Jon. Bran ran stood beside Robb, panting even as a childish blood lust danced across his features. “Do you suppose Jon will kill him?” the young boy asked with feigned innocence.
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Jon growled low in his throat, his dark eyes catching a light of defiance. He took a hard look at the other young man, eyeing his long hair and the hawkish glint to his eyes. He felt his throat go dry when he met those eyes and wondered why for the brief moment before he shoved the young man again. “I don’t know who you are, but unless you want to cross the Starks, I suggest you release the girl.” He let his hand fall on his sword, and felt the cool presence of Ghost beside him. Somewhere behind him he heard his Father’s voice, but he kept his gaze steady on this mysterious young man even as Arya began to wilt in fear of facing her father’s wrath.
Robb held Bran back with one hand, as Grey Wind stalked around, it's bushy tail swishing with each step. “Do you suppose Jon will kill him?” Bran asked, Robb looked down at Bran nervously then back up at Jon and the stranger. "I hope not." Robb whispered. Robb's ice blue eyes watched the two circle each other like dancers. The stranger let Arya go, and he pulled out a simple short sword. Quickly Robb glanced around for his own sword. The last thing he wanted was to completely loose his brother. "Jon?" Rowen echoed, picking up on the Stark bastard's name. "It's a pleasure to meet you." He said, his gold eyes glanced over at the large wolf. The shape and size was unmistakable. Rowen quickly sized up Jon. "It would be a fair fight without the wolf." Rowen finally said, sheathing his sword and closing the distance between himself and the bastard in a few steps. "But I'm sure we'll have plenty of time to settle this on The Wall." Rowen whispered as he stood just too close to Jon Snow. "Nice dog." Rowen added casually, gnashing his teeth and growling at Jon. Rowen grinned and shoved Jon's shoulder playfully. "Next time you lay a hand on me, I'll kill your dog and then you, Jon Snow. Welcome to the Brotherhood."

Robb glanced back at his father, who seemed to be... smiling? "Boys will fight. It wouldn't have gone far anyways." Ned assured and placed a hand on Robb's shoulder. The Stark son sighed, relieved, and looked back at Rowen. "What's your name?" Robert called. "And where's the rest of the recruits?"

Rowen shrugged and glanced back at Arya. "You're Grace has the pleasure of addressing Rowen Snow." He stated sarcastically. "And if it wasn't for your pesky brother," He motioned to Arya, ignored her comment about being in fact female. "I wouldn't have to make an early arrival. He needs some lessons in manners. And that's coming from a murderer."
Despite the predatory stance the other man took, and the uneasiness of the canine beside him all piled with his own piled adrenaline, Jon found a smirk tugging at his lips. Normally, he’d already have made a confrontation such as this into a physical one, but something about the man across from him…and so very close to his face, made him think twice about it. He tossed a glance to Arya, who was brushing snow and dirt from her clothes while throwing the stranger a look that could have wilted flowers. Jon roughed up her hair and sent her scurrying along to her father’s side, probably to hide her shame over her less than graceful defeat.

Jon nodded to Rowen ,as he’d introduced himself. and extended a hand, cautiously albeit. “Jon Snow.” He offered before returning his hand to Ghost’s too-large ears. Arya glared once more at the other bastard as he referred to her as a boy yet again and had a sudden urge to hurl another snow ball at him…perhaps this time with a rock included. Jon heard his father’s quiet laugh, a rare sound as of late. “My only crime is being a bastard…though if I’m surrounded with the likes of you on the wall we may soon share more than one title.” He smiled with good nature and started back towards where he’d dropped his satchel. Arya tossed a look at Robb, dark eyes filled with questions. The look was short lived as Jon gathered both her and Bran up in a hug, crushing them in his embrace. The ever anti-social Bran squirmed in the grip, but Arya clung to Jon’s neck with abandon for as long as he let her before dropping back onto her feet with tears in her eyes.

Jon smiled at Robb with reserve and made a move to offer him his hand before gifting him a crushing embrace as well. “Keep an eye on Rickon’s sword arm, make sure he keeps building his strength. And Sansa…well try to keep her away from the boys.” He pressed a kiss to his brother’s cheek and pulled away before facing his Father. He nodded to the larger man and shook his hand firmly, and with one last nod at his family, mounted his horse and started after Rowen, Ghost’s pale form running alongside him.
Robb watched his half-brother wish his family goodbye. His curly auburn hair danced in the cool breeze, and his blue eyes stared at Jon with depression. Suddenly he wheezed as Jon wrapped his arms around Robb and squeezed. The Stark would have returned the embrace, but his arms were trapped at his sides thanks to Jon. Robb laughed and squirmed free, then nodded at Jon's statement. "Stay safe Jon." Robb said. The boy sighed and smiled wryly. "Winter is coming." He stated the words of his house firmly. I must be strong in front of Father, he told himself. While Robb's face was stoically smiling, inside the boy was breaking apart.

"You coming, Lord Snow?" Rowen snapped as he swung a leg over the jet black horse's back. The Wall recruit pulled the reins and turned the horse, slowly he began to depart. Rowen glanced back to see Jon shake his father's hand and mount his horse. It didn't take long for Jon to catch up, and once he did, the two spun off out of Winterfell to catch the group of Wall recruits. Rowen glanced down at the large wolf and frowned. That damn dog. It's not like I wanted to sleep tonight anyways, he thought to himself sarcastically. At a slow pace, it took Rowen and Jon about 10 minutes to reach the recruits. Rowen's horse marched next to the leader and he motioned to Jon. "This is Jon Snow. Now we can skip Winterfell." He explained shortly, his attitude dripping from his lips.


Robb picked up Arya by the waste and swung her over one shoulder. "Now, now, Arya. What are we going to do with a trouble maker like you?" Robb chuckled, trying to keep his mind off of Jon's departure. He carried his little sister across the yard and eventually into her room, and plopped her down on the floor. Robb smiled half-heartedly as he noticed all the scrapes and bruises on her knees and elbows. "Arya," He said. "You've got to be careful. That rider would have killed you if it weren't for..." suddenly Robb felt his chest clench, and he paused. Then, the Stark forced the name painfully from his lips. "For Jon. Promise me you'll be more careful. I don't have the free time to chase your around Winterfell. That was Jon's job, but.... well... you know..."
Even though he swore he wouldn’t, Jon looked back over his shoulder at his family, and something in his chest broke. He bit his lip and turned his head forward, dark curls bouncing against his neck as his dappled mare slowed to a canter beside Rowen’s stallion. He cast a glance at the other Snow, observing the scowl he threw at Ghost, who was still too much of a puppy to return the aggression. He patted his mount and rode on for the next few minutes in silence, that is until they reached the long line of rag tag rejects that made up the Wall recruits.
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He greeted the leader briefly, waited around while his name was scratched off the list, and fell into step beside Rowen as the other young man seemed to be one of the only recruits with a horse. He glanced around him, dark eyes flicking from dirty face to dirty face. A cold settled in his stomach….would there be any glory to be found among these men? Jon chewed his lip and for a moment considered galloping back towards Winterfell and burying himself in Robb’s massive bed like he did when they were young. But no…the time for childhood had ended. He tossed his gaze to Rowen, deciding that this murderous bastard was the closet thing he had to an ally thus far. He shook his head at the thought. “Lovely bunch. ” He joked, running a hand through his dark curls, almost nervously. "What's your story, Rowen Snow?" His mare reached her graceful neck to the black stallion and sniffed his muzzle. Jon frowned, surprise by the affection she was showing…hadn’t Lady Catlynn given him this horse for her volatile nature? Ghost, as if finally realizing he was leaving his family, Grey Wind and Shaggy Dog(my favorite name ß x D) and all the rest, let out a long, mournful howl. Jon felt tempted to do the same.
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/ / / /
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Arya lay miserably across her bed, trying her best to ignore Robb’s gentle lecture, tears already flowing down her cheeks. She looked to him when he said Jon’s name and let a little sob escape as she buried herself in her brother’s arms. “R-robb why did he leave us?” She whimpered, hiding her face in Robb’s shoulder, much to Nymeria’s disdain. The direwolf jumped atop the bed and wedged her head between Robb and Arya, trying to comfort the young girl. The little Stark sniffled weakly, leaning limply against young heir. “I wish father would have stopped him.” She murmured, the tears having spent themselves for the moment.
Rowen laughed loudly and shrugged his shoulders casually. He seemed to like his hair to hang in his eyes, and was bundled up to his neck in furs. The horse beneath his thighs snorted loudly, as if to join Rowen's laughter. "My story? Normally I wouldn't do that kind of thing. But I think I'll let you in on a rarely told story." Rowen said, tossing his head to move the long hair away from his face. "My father was a lord, like yours. But of a small northern town. Just a bit south. It must've been a few months ago that I ran away because... Well, because I wasn't wanted. I travelled to King's Landing, thinking I could find some sort of work there. Instead of work, I found a girl. I think I liked her, and when I figured out she was married to some blob of a blacksmith, I killed her and her husband." Rowen explained. He glanced over at Jon and grinned. Jon Snow was far to tame, and far to goodhearted to be a member of The Night's Watch. "You'll find less in common with these men then you'll expect."


Robb held Arya close. He had seen his sister cry before. As a baby, and after falling out of a tree. But never had Robb Stark seen Arya cry because she was sad. “R-robb why did he leave us?” Arya asked. Robb closed his eyes tightly, as if in pain. There was no way he could answer that question when he wanted to ask it so badly. “I wish father would have stopped him.” She moaned. Her small shoulder rapidly rose and fell with each sob. With each sob, the Stark heir tensed only wanting to cry even more. But he had to be strong.

"I'm so sorry Arya... I should have... I should have just done something! I should have stopped him!" Robb said and squeezed the scrawny girl as tight as he could. Don't cry! He scolded himself. "I just wish there was something I could do..." He breathed.
Jon said nothing when Rowen was finished speaking, keeping his eyes between his horses ear, clearly deep in thought. The other young man spoke so casually of killing…not in a duel or a scrimmage but as a jealous lover. He swallowed and chewed his lip. It seemed that he’d chosen poorly for a companion. He looked at him out of the corner of his eye, watching the sway of his long hair and the almost haughty manner in which he held himself. “You must have loved her.” He decided. Surely a broken heart was a better excuse for murder than simply liking the girl. And he doubted somehow that any blacksmith’s wife would have the…A blush stained his face…skills for driving a man to madness by the thought of another having her. Surely.
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“My story is nothing so exciting. My father is leaving for King’s Landing soon and his wife has more or less ordered me from my home.” He patted his mount, his dark eyes turning with turmoil. “Did you know your mother?” Jon had not had a chance to wring that piece of information from his own father before departing. He would probably never know. And that killed him.
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Arya looked up at Robb, lip quivering as she struggled to control herself. She was glad at least to know Robb cared as much as she did…more than their own father seemed to. “Isn’t there anything we can do?” She whispered, wrapping her thin arms around Nymeria’s neck, burying her face in the soft fur. She loved her mother, but she was old enough to see the utter disdain she held for her oldest sibling and she was beginning to understand why. Unlike all her other siblings, save for herself of course, Jon looked the most like their father and bore no resemblance to her mother in the least. That with the fact that Jon had a different last name…she’d begun to figure it out. She wanted to ask if her father had had another wife, but something told her that wasn’t the answer. “Why can’t we just go get him? Can’t you order him to come back? Say you need him here?”
While Jon looked forwards distantly while speaking, Rowen stared straight at him. He was like a hawk, picking up every little noise and movement in conversation. But as soon as the topic of Rowen's mother was brought up, it was time for him to stare at his saddle. There was a long pause until he finally managed to work out a set of words, "Vaguely." He stated shortly. "But she died when I was young. I don't really like to talk about it." Rowen looked back up at Jon and shrugged his shoulders, letting the topic roll away. "And does the famous Stark bastard know his mother?" Rowen asked slyly. "I doubt it. Lord Stark isn't the type to expose secrets."


Robb's eyes widened at Arya's prospect. At first he wanted to scream, "That's idiotic!" But he checked his tongue and sat on the idea for a few silent seconds. If they left within a few hours, they might have a chance of finding Jon on his way to The Wall. They could wait until the party stopped and prepared for sleep, then silently wake up Jon and bring him back. Usually the Wall recruits were a large group, and Jon wasn't really sociable, or conspicuous. They probably wouldn't miss one bastard.

Suddenly Robb's shocked face turned to a frown. If they did bring Jon back, Catlyn would be furious, and Eddard too. They couldn't keep him hidden inside Winterfell. But... maybe they could situation Jon in the forest out side of Winterfell. That way nobody would have to know. It seemed a little far fetched, but Robb Stark was ready to pounce on the first opportunity to get his brother back.

"We'll leave tonight. But you ought not tell Bran, or the stable boy." Robb warned, his voice barely a whisper. "I'll take care of an excuse. Say... hunting. We'll ride along the path to The Wall, and meet up with Jon's party just before they reach the Wall. We'll wait until night, and take him back. I'm sure we can find some place outside of Winterfell to keep him hidden, at least until I rule in place of Father while he's in the south. This shouldn't take more than a few days." Robb concluded and stared at Arya, hoping for a positive response.
Jon said nothing for several long moments, mulling over the other man’s reaction to his question. Must not have been a good death. He thought morbidly and then cursed himself for mentally pursuing a subject Rowen clearly did not want him to. He left it alone and thought now of his own mother, a woman who was like a ghost in his mind. He knew nothing about her, only that she was no one important and if anyone knew her, they refused to tell him anything. He wallowed in that fact, chewing his lip for a moment. He didn’t like being a famous bastard, like he was a smear on his father’s famous reputation of nobility…though in truth he probably was. He didn’t like the idea that his Father might have more secrets, and well hidden ones at that. “I never knew her. In fact I don’t know a single thing about her.” He stated with an unhappy expression, eyes dark and churning. He didn’t say anything for a while, simply watching the other recruits, occasionally glancing over at Rowen’s sharp profile, though he did catch the other man looking at him a few times. “Were you close to your siblings?”

/ / / / / /

Arya listened to her brother’s plan with stars in her eyes. She tackled him with a hug, though her skinny frame was unlikely to do more than startle him. If their Father had been there, he probably would have advised them not to be selfish, to let Jon find a destiny outside of being ‘The Stark Bastard’ but grief and sorrow were emotions often time stronger than logic. The young girl nodded and threw open her wardrobe, searching for the heavy furs Catlynn had gifted them all with a Solstices ago…except for Jon of course, but he’d made his own. Nymeria, clearly picking up on Arya’s pleasant mood, barked excitedly, tail wagging high in the air. Arya hoped her sister could hear the hound from wherever she sat, probably staring at herself in the mirror or sticking her chest out, willing a bosom to grow. Arya, personally, hoped she never got one…it would get in the way of her bow. "Nymeria, you'll have to help us catch a stag, we can't come home empty handed." She scuffed the dog's ears up and set about packing.
"You're better off not knowing your mother." Rowen stated sourly. "She might not live up to your expectations. Although I must admit, the woman who seduces a Stark must be something else." Rowen smiled perversely as he let his shoulders fall in a casual sigh. "My siblings?" He echoed in response to Jon's question. "Sure I was close." Rowen said, as if it was nothing. But as he continued, his words became awfully bitter and sarcastic. "Why you you think I ran away?" And with that Rowen's voice roared into laughter. It looked as though he was going to fall off of his horse he was bellowing so loudly. Apparently the black-haired bastard had a sick and melancholy sense of humour. Apparently nobody else found it funny.

"You seemed pretty close with your brothers there, and those sisters." Rowen said after his laughter had died down. "Although the little runt that pelted me with snow seems a lot less like a sister and more like a little rat." He added in a scornful mumble. "Is it common for Starks to teach their bastards manners and let their trueborns roll around in the mud and pick fights with people twice their size?"


AsArya began to tear through her drawers and pack a small bag, Robb stood up and ruffled the ears of Nymeria. He turned on his heel after kissing Arya on her forehead and left to pack his own bag. As he marched down the hall, he chewed his lip. Mother would be furious, and Father would probably take 'Ice' to his neck. Then Robb shook his head. They would never have to know. Robb sighed and pulled the heavy door to his room wide open. With eagerness, and nervousness guiding his hands, he packed a small bag with clothes, leaving plenty of room for food and supplied.

"Heading somewhere?" Called an unfortunately familiar and cocky voice. Robb turned his head and frowned. "I'm taking Arya out hunting." The Stark Heir replied, then turned to shove more furs into his bag. "Seems to me like two is a small party for hunting." The voice scoffed.

"Look, Theon, I don't need to answer to you." Robb hissed.

"Are you afraid I'm going to tell your mother?" Theon Greyjoy chuckled, and leaned against the doorway. "Oh, don't worry Robby. Your mother wont hear about you and Arya's little outing. But I'm sure that when you arrive back at Winterfell with Jon she'll figure out. I have to say Robb, this is the most idiotic thing you've done." Robb refused to reply. He got up with his bag and shoved past Theon, slipping a letter into his hand. It was addressed to Catlyn, explaining Arya and his own fake alibis. With that Robb set out to gather Arya and Grey Wind.
Jon winced at the other’s words, looking away from him as though he were interrupting something…personal. “I suppose you’re right.” He spoke quietly, not really interested in talking about his father’s sexual ventures. Jon glanced to the side in time to hear the other’s raucous laughter, which sent a shiver straight down his spine and oddly…around his groin. He swallowed thickly, chewing his cheek as he struggled to understand this rather odd reaction to another man. He let out a little nervous laugh of his own when the other man brought up Arya. “Trust me, she inherited her attitude rightly. Between her mother’s stubborn attitude and my father’s energy…she’s a handful at times.” He felt a twinge of sadness in his words. “I had to behave. I grew up as the Bastard…I refused to be one that got in the way.” He swallowed thickly and patted his horse.

“So what do you think—“ Jon turned in his saddle in time to see a fight break out between several of the rougher looking recruits. The rest of them gathered around, cheering and laughing for the most part, though Jon could see a few of them hurrying past the drama. The Stark bastard watched for a moment and then glanced to Rowen. “Should we interfere?” Somehow, Jon got the feeling that Rowen had done his share of fist fighting.


Arya secured her pack on her shoulders before tying on her heavy cloak. Nymeria wagged her tail, eager to be out of the keep. Arya smiled at her and pushed open her door, planning to meet Robb on the stairs. Sansa had other plans. The fire-haired girl walked swiftly towards her younger sister, the ribbon clad Lady trotting behind her. “Arya where do you think you’re going?” The dark haired girl growled, noticing her sister seemed to be on an authority kick…she must have been sitting with mother again. “I’m going hunting with Robb, Sansa. Not that it’s any of your business.” Sansa scoffed and folded her arms under her modest bust. “What kind of girl wants to go hunting with her older brother? Honestly I don’t know who would want to marry you.” Arya sneered at the other girl, Nymeria copying the expression. “Hopefully no one, I don’t want to grow fat having babies like you.” And with that Arya hurried away, far out of reach of Sansa’s angry hands.

Arya found her brother in the hallway and smiled at him, gesturing for him to lead the way. They soon found themselves in the stables, Robb’s horse and Arya’s pony ready to head into the wilderness. Arya’s spirited little mount, a Northern native with shaggy fur and curious black eyes, seemed as eager as Nymeria to head out. Arya stroked the handsome pony’s snout and mounted up. “I can’t believe Mother hasn’t come storming out here yet!” The girl remarked with glee.
“Should we interfere?” Jon asked, but he was only talking the the crisp cold air around him. Rowen slid off his horse and casually swaggered towards the now rather large circle of men cheering "Fight!" He could feel the blood pump through his ears and his adrenaline course through his veins like heavy liquor. Rowen was always itching for a fight. He pushed through the crowd, reaching down to pick up two sizable rocks that he held in fists. "Now, now boys. We wouldn't want to spoil such a pleasant afternoon." Rowen chuckled and stepped in between the two men. "I thought we'd all like to have a little fun. Don't spoil it for the rest of us. I'm hurt I wasn't given an invitation." Rowen grinned and tossed his hair away form his eyes.

Now the two men had shifted their anger towards Rowen for interrupting the soon to be fight. The short one on Rowen's right made the first move. He charged up, throwing a wide punch towards Rowen's face. Like a panther, Rowen ducked down, letting the motion of the fist send the short man off balance. He was almost under his attacker now, and shot up, driving his fist (with the rock inside) straight into the short man's jaw. There was a crack as the bones broke and dislocated, and a hiss as the other opponent chased after Rowen.

The black haired man kicked the injured recruit off the the side, and instantly turned his golden eyes to his new attacker. Rowen charged straight at the recruit in return, dropping the two rocks in his fists and slipping out his knife. As soon as they collided Rowen snatched the man by his hair, and drove the knife through his throat. The recruit gurgled and spat out blood then fell to the ground. Rowen merely smiled and cleaned the bloody dagger on his pant leg. "Rowen!" A voice roared. Rowen turned around to see the Night's Watch member in charge of the recruits standing with a length of rope. "For the last time, keep your hands to yourself." Rowen frowned childishly as the rope tied his hands behind his back and the Ranger spoke, "No dinner. But you alreday knew that."


Robb laughed nervously at Arya's comment and mounted his horse. "Yes. It's like she'll never know." Robb mumbled, hoping that the Greyjoy heir would not reveal their little secret. "Let's go Grey Wind." Robb chirped and spurred his horse on wards. The two direwolves chased after the riders and snapped at each other playfully. They reached the woods much faster than Robb had expected, but they still had a long ways to go. In the North, most of the paths and roads were nonsensical, or just in a perpetual state of disrepair.

More times than Robb could count, the dirwolves would disappear and take an easier route, while he and his sister were forced to dismount and lead their mounts through lightly frozen rivers, and along small paths. The Wall Recruits took a slightly different path, but Robb assumed that their intentions would be easily revealed if they took the main roads. After crossing a small clearing, Robb Stark looked to the sky and noticed a pink-ish hue ignite the clouds. "We should dismount and see if the party is near by. Then we'll eat and wait for night fall." He suggested, turning to Arya in his saddle.
He’s insane. Jon felt the blood run from his face. He’s absolutely daft. The Stark bastard swallowed thickly, watching the blood run over the snow as the man died in front in the center of the crowd. His father would have finished the man off, not let him squirm and writhe and bleed out like a stuck pig. He sat there, trying to absorb what just happened in front of him. Rowen, the closest thing he had to an acquaintance among these murders, rapists and sodomites had just interrupted a harmless fistfight, beaten one man senseless and slit the other’s throat. For no reason other than blood lust from what the bewildered Jon could tell.
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He heard the leader before he saw him coming and quickly pulled Rowen’s stallion out of the way, though the beast seemed unhappy being directed. Most of the men dissipated when Rowen was bound up and it seemed to Jon that this had happened before. He said and did nothing for a moment, feeling something similar to numb that comes from falling through ice. The line started moving again around him and he was forced to nudge both horses forward. He glanced at the Night Watch Member and asked in what he hoped wasn’t a trembling voice “Is this a common occurrence on the wall?” He glanced at Rowen, reddening slightly at the spray of blood that covered his handsome face. His eyes flicked over him, pausing at the way the muscles in his chest and abdomen were pulled tight by the bindings. He quickly looked ahead, though between ghost and his horse there was really no reason for it. “Will you spend the night in custody?” He asked, tossing his eyes around him at the other recruits. Despite just witnessing murder a man, he still preferred Rowen for a sleeping mate above any of other men he observed.
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It was odd for Jon to say the least. He didn’t have much romantic experience…alright so he had no romantic experience beyond touching a stable girl’s breast when he was thirteen. So it was no small wonder why he was confused by the blushes the other man had managed to bring on in just a few hours of knowing him.
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Arya was exhausted by the time they stopped, her eyes feeling heavy even as they walked. She was a spry and sturdy young girl but hours on horseback and hard terrain was trying on anyone not used to it. She rubbed at her eyes as Robb informed her of the plan and it was all she could do to nod. “Alright, Robb. I hope Jon’s alright. I’ve never seen him really fight.” Arya hadn’t, but others around the keep could vouche for both the Bastard’s swordplay and his raw strength. To Arya though, he was her sweet big brother much like Robb was. She walked along with Robb until they came to an elevated rise of land that gave them a good view of the valley below. She searched the barely visibly winding road until she spotted a mob of black. “There they are!” searched the mod of men until her eyes landed on Jon’s dappled horse. “I see him Robb!”
Rowen shrugged his shoulders, and shook his head viciously. His hair fell over his face and he looked like something from a horror movie, but his hands where tied tight behind his back and he had no choice but to make a fool of himself. "The night?" He echoed. "If I'm a good boy, then yes." Rowen grinned and licked his teeth. He glanced to the right, and grinned when he saw the Night's Watch Brother wasn't looking. Rowen scrunched over, and dipped his bound hands low. Gingerly Rowen stepped over his hands and continued to walk, a bit more comfortably now that his hands were bound in front of him. It seemed impossible with his hands bound, but Rowen swung himself up onto his horse's back and sat as neat as he pleased. "Don't worry puppy, Walter doesn't care."

Rowen sighed, pleased with himself and looked to the trees slowly passing them. Suddenly, his molten gold eyes widened as he saw to familiar faces. They were the siblings of Jon Snow. Rowen scoffed and turned his attention back to Jon. The bastard grinned, 'Tonight's going to be good.' he thought. From the corner of his eye, Rowen stared at Jon, until he became restless. "The blood's beginning to dry and turn itchy. Be a doll a lick it up like the good little puppy you are."


Robb followed Arya's gaze until he also saw Jon, but frowned as he noticed he was talking to the long-haired delinquent that they collided with at Winterfell. "Good." He said. "We'll follow them until they stop. When they sleep tonight, we'll find Jon." Robb spurred his horse onward and they followed the troupe. Robb glared straight at Rowen the entire time. He felt his chest grow hot with anger... or jealousy as the recruit tossed his hair, grinned, and chuckled. His thoughts drifted to the dagger on his belt. He deserves to learn a lesson, thought Robb enviously.

It didn't take long for the pink sky to turn dark blue and the large group of Wall recruits to stop. Robb theorized that it would take them over an hour to set up camp, eat, and settle down. It would take a little longer for the men to settle down and sleep. Robb veered his horse deeper into the woods, then they stopped and he began to set up a small fire. "Grey Wind," He whispered to the direwolf. "Bring us back a rabbit or two, then find something for yourself." Then Robb turned to Arya and explained to her that they needed to set up camp, then they would return for Jon.
Jon tried not to stare as the other man as he swung himself up onto the horse, but his eyes couldn’t help but examine the amazing show of…pelvic strength Rowen displayed. Puppy? He thought, staring at the other man for a moment before giving him a curt nod. What else did one say when called such a thing? “Walter? You know him by his first name already?” He couldn’t help but shake his head and chuckle, staring down at his saddle as their horses continued along. He was too busy casting glances at the murderer to notice his family hiding in the woods and it was likely for the best. Ghost howled suddenly, barking soon after with a wagging tail. Jon cast a glance at him, a confused frown showing on his features. “Shush Ghost.” The direwolf seemed a bit insulted by the answer and trotted ahead a bit to sniff an interesting patch of dirt.
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The blood's beginning to dry and turn itchy. Be a doll a lick it up like the good little puppy you are. Jon stiffened, wondering if he’d heard correctly or if the wind had simply paid a trick on him. He flicked his eyes sideways, and knew instantly that Rowen had indeed just asked him to lick dried blood from his face. Jon blushed so hard he fears the snowflakes in his hair would melt. “W-what?” He felt almost…faint as he thought of what that would be like, putting his mouth anywhere near another man’s face let alone his tongue. But somehow…with Rowen anyway, it seemed…plausible. “Y-you’re out of your mind.” He looked away quickly, feeling something like a twelve year old. <o:p></o:p>
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Ahead of them the Brother called to set up camp in the large clearing before them. Jon sighed in relief and dismounted, though he stuck close to Rowen to get an idea of how the camp-life worked.<o:p></o:p>
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Arya watched Robb with curiosity as they sat beside the fire eating rabbit and drinking snow-water. “Robb, why are you so sour? We’re getting Jon back tonight.” She wiped the grease from her face on her sleeve and leaned back on against a tree, eyes growing heavier by the minute. “Wake me up when it’s time to go.” She managed before falling into the deep, red-cheeked sleep of a child. It wouldn’t be long before she lost that though. Nymeria lurked at the edge of the camp site with GreyWind, ready to move.
Rowen chuckled, perfectly pleased with Jon's awkward response. He loved to see the way Jon's brow scrunched up, and the way his cheeks flushed red. But Rowen wasn't fully satisfied. He wanted to make Jon squirm. But his chance to continue dirty talking was cut short as he realized the men were setting up camp. "So soon?" He pouted childishly and shimmied off of his horse, his hands still bound, as if it were a well honed skill. "Usually the men gather firewood, and we begin to cook. We don't put up any tarps, mostly 'cause we don't have any, but most people claim a soft mound of dirt to sleep on. Usually I'm not a part of this evolution." He explained, holding up his bound hands.

Rowen raised his shoulders, and slumped at the base of the tree. Everybody seemed fairly busy, save those who were lazy or sneaky enough to get away with sitting around. "Why don't you stick around, Lord Snow. They don't really need your help." He chuckled. "Besides, those weak little muscles probably aren't much help." He scoffed and rested the back of his head on the tree. "Tell me, Lord Snow, if your family showed up to take you home, would you go with them? Or would you stay with me?" Rowen flashed his white teeth and glared up at Jon. It was just a little test.


That damn guy, Robb thought, staring at the low burning fire. Who does he think he is? First he threatens to kill Arya, and now he's probably tormenting Jon. In hindsight, Jon did look a little bit tormented, and shocked. Red-face and eyes wide, the only time Robb had seen that reaction from Jon was during a rather intimate experience with a stable girl. Mostly by accident, but it was the most sexual experience Jon had in his life. Suddenly Robb flushed red. That makes that damn Rowen even more suspicious! He grabbed his curly auburn hair and nearly yanked it out of his scalp with utter frustration.

Robb took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. He could see small fires beginning to light up between the trees. That mean the Wall recruits were beginning to eat. By the time the fires burned low, it would be time for Arya and he to move out. But for now, he could only wait. Wait and brood over his current situation.
Jon watched the going-ons of the camp, though he was sorely disappointed by the lack of organization. An observer would think they were a huge group of bandits rather than one of the most important military groups in the land. He glanced at Rowen when he spoke, and indeed it seemed many of the men were finding places to curl up. “Good way to lose your toes.” Jon commented and after setting down his pack and heavy cloak (Rowen had no hands to steal his things and he suspected none of the recruits would go anywhere near the other bastard) removed the large hunting knife his father had given him when he was eleven or twelve. He reached up and cut a sturdy branch from the tree his companion leaned against. After slicing notches into the branch at various places he drove it into the ground across from Rowen. He ignored the other man's comment on his muscle, figuring he would speak with his actions.“I suppose I could cut your bindings.” He commented, considering it. Some of the other recruits were already looking at him jealously. Hadn’t their fathers taught them to survive? He retrieved a compact length of water-proofed muslin and with the help of a few lengths of string, built a tent right over Rowen’s head.
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Pleased with his handiwork, he built a fire outside of the tent just in time to spy Ghost trotting over with what appeared to be a large beaver in his mouth. “Well done boy!” He roughed up the direwolf’s ears and sliced the tail and feet off for the wolf to chew, which he did happily. Within a few minutes he had a skinned and spitted beaver. Glancing over his shoulder at the other man, he thought on the question. It was a bit odd that he added in the last part, as though Jon had felt Winterfell for the sole purpose of being with the other man. He chewed his lip and answered as best he knew how. “I wouldn’t go back with them.” He poked the roasting meat, checking its rarity. “If I went back, I’d just be run out again and this time without any honor.” He shrugged his shoulders and removed the meat from the spit, splitting the meat into two halves, the latter of which he pushed towards Rowen. “I’m untying you, but you’re handling supper tomorrow.” He cut the bindings with his knife, cleaned the blade, and returned it to its sheath. “Eat.” He was going against the superior's orders, but the man would probably thank him for keeping Rowen out of trouble...mostly.