Cold is deep within his bones, and the ice has turned him from iron to stone to steel.
Her coronation feast is a joyous occasion in the eyes of any onlooker, although Theon knows the truth. There is no joy to be found in this affair - half of her kingdom is dead and dying, a war still rages outside their hallowed halls, and winter has just begun to rear its ugly head, showing no sign of departure any time soon. They are part of a dying race, these Northmen, and although they know this, although everyone knows this, they still continue to drink and fuck their way to an early death, never looking to the future (or, if they are, they fool themselves into believing they still have a chance; he knows better. None of them have a chance, not without Robb).
It would appear, clear at least in Theon's eye, that the Queen in the North knows this too.
Although an ever-present smile rests upon Sansa's lovely face, he can see the weariness that lies beneath it. So tired, she looks, so old beyond her sixteen years. They will wed her soon, he knows to Aegon or some high lord, someone with money and power and strength, but if anyone believes that would help then they should all be dressed in motley. Theon knows better - he's seen it with his own eyes. For if Robb Stark cannot survive this war, Robb who was power and grace and strength and goodness and light, if Robb's flame can be extinguished, then all these niggardly little candles whom trap themselves in shadows do not stand a chance.
He knows it. And he can see in Sansa's eyes, those crystalline blue eyes so sad and tired and sharp and familiar - yes, he can see she knows it too.
(She will tell him she knows it soon enough, though not in tears as he expects. She will tell him she knows it with a fury in her eyes unlike any other, a passion he has seen only once, and he will call her his Young Wolf, and when she bares her teeth for him he will know it to be true. But not yet, not quite.)
The feast is long and drawn out, with dancing and drinking and celebration, and although the food is hardly edible and the drink is so sub-par he can hardly choke it down, the small folk seem happy. It is a small victory they have won in this hall with their Queen, a little safe-haven they have created here, and although he thinks them fools, Theon cannot help but be pleased they have found their happiness. It is such a rare gem to be found in war, a spark of joy, and he prays they find a way to hold on to it.
"Theon," he hears his name, and realizes that Sansa's eyes, so sharp and blue and so like Robb's, are staring directly into his own. "I grow weary. Will you escort me to my chambers?"
Yes, he will, for she is a Queen, and as of late he has found it hard to deny those who wear an iron crown.
"You used to smile," she says to him as they walk, arm linked through his, and he blinks in surprise at her words. Words of another time, another place, a time he cares not to speak of. But she continues one, ever persistent, and he cannot find it in him to change the matter of conversation. "Have you forgotten how, my Lord? Or has war made a new man of you?"
"War has made a new man of us all, Your Grace," he says solemnly, and does not think he has said a truer thing in his life. "I once knew a man who said I smiled at the wrong things. Now it seems that everything is the wrong thing, so I do not smile at all." They have reached her chamber door, but she makes no move to enter, and he makes no move to leave her. It has been so long since he has had a woman's company, and although it is an obscure notion, that this Winter's Queen would take him into her bed, he cannot help but wish it true.
(Another time he has shared a bed with a Wolf, a Wolf who wore a crown as fierce, but that was another life, another place, and he dares not think of it. He thinks he might die if he does.)
As if she had seen though his steel walls into his mind, she reaches out and grabs his hand with her own, and he is shocked to feel the icy sting of her soft skin. "We are all lonely, Theon. But we do not have to be, if we do not wish it."
And then they are tearing off clothes, ripping off his breaches, and she is devouring his body with her own, slender and pale and shining in the moonlight. He sees her smile in the dark, teeth glistening like the fangs of a wolf (he once bedded another wolf, long ago) and in the winter's glow she is lovely and cold and strong and his for the taking. Propriety and courtly ways have been abandoned, this is no time to worry about manners. Not here, not now. They had passed that long ago.
He enters her before they make it to the bed, her back against the cold stone wall. Sansa claws at him, tearing strips down her wolf's paws, and as she growls into his throat, harder, more, more he marvels in her beauty, more animal than woman, more wolf than queen. It is beautiful and terrifying and arousing, and he obeys her commands with no concern for her well-being - her back scrapes against the wall, and he stops for nothing.
It is not long before he finishes, Sansa following a moment later, and as they lie he plays with he red curls, red the color of lust, red the color of blood, a smile like a wolf, sharp and strong and cruel, and blue eyes the color of ice and sorrow and grief, and he thinks that if he focuses on those, makes them his world, the only thing he can see, she may be close enough.