Theon is a Greyjoy. Salt and iron are in his blood, and he is the last of Balon Greyjoy’s sons.
The sacking of Seagard is easy enough; Theon’s father is rarely wrong about this things. They raid the castle and prepare for the true challenge that lies ahead: the Twins, the second choke point that Balon has deemed necessary to cementing their control over the North.
It is a great adventure, one that Theon is sure the minstrels with compose songs for. His Ironborn march from Seagard, and with grappling hooks and ropes they scale the walls of the Twins.
It is a slaughter, and the stone underfoot is slick with blood. Theon captures what Freys are left and settles in to wait.
It is only a matter of time before Robb Stark comes, and when he does Theon intends on showing him how Greyjoy vengeance tastes.
Robb Stark’s forces, when they come, are no match for Theon’s Ironborn. Jamie Lannister had routed the Young Wolf’s forces at Riverrun, and the only way back to Winterfell was through the Twins.
When Theon first sees Robb Stark, blood dripping down his face from a cut on his forehead, he laughs.
“Should I take you as a salt-wife, Stark?” Robb’s face is pale, and that will not do. Theon wants him alive; he is no good to Balon Greyjoy dead.
“I’d rather die first,” Robb spits, face flushing high with color. He is chained and surrounded by Ironborn, helpless to save himself.
“That could be arranged, but I’d much rather keep you alive.” Theon’s fingers tighten around the silver and jet brooch that pins Robb’s tattered cloak closed. He tears it free, staring hard at Robb as he tries to gauge his reaction, but when he finds none Theon grins. “Clean him up. I don’t want him to die on the way back to Pyke.”
Robb’s eyes widen slightly at that, and Theon feels an immense sort of satisfaction.
His father will wear the Driftwood Crown again as king of the Iron Isles and the North, just how it was always meant to be.
Robb is kept as a prisoner at Pyke, always under the close watch of guards and more often than not, Theon himself.
“Esrel, I told you Stark is to have fresh water every day.” The water bucket is down to dregs, and the guard shrinks back from Theon. “Go fetch him some.”
“Why are you even bothering?” Robb stares at him hard, eyes narrowed, from his spot on the floor of the cell. “I am of no use to you.”
“On the contrary,” Theon says, half-turning at the sound of Esrel’s boots on the steps. “You’re everything. Your lady mother would do anything to have you back at Winterfell.”
Robb sits up straighter at this, and Theon knows he’s hit a nerve. The Starks have always been close, but they have also been weak--they are not Ironborn, reavers and raiders. This is Theon’s advantage, and he intends to use it.
“What of my mother?”
Theon picks at his nails lazily, a smile turning up the corners of his mouth. “Nothing that concerns you, only that her efforts to treat with my father will go nowhere until she bends the knee.”
“My mother would never--”
Theon frowns at him, somewhat in awe that Stark could be so blind. “You underestimate a mother’s love. To save you and your siblings she would do just about anything--up to and including betrothing your sister Sansa to me.”
Robb is to his feet so quickly that Theon barely manages to shove him back. One moment quicker and the slack chain between Robb’s manacles would have been wrapped around his neck.
“Hit a nerve, did I?” Theon tightens his grip on Robb until he stills, slumping in defeat. Satisfied, Theon smirks. “Would you rather I take you as a salt-wife if it would save your sister? I could, you know, and no one would raise a hand to help you. I am a Greyjoy, and we take what we please.”
Robb stiffens as Theon’s hand settles at the front of his breeches, but he doesn’t say a word, merely observes Theon with a guarded look. He knows it’s true, and this is what spurs Theon on.
He presses down on Robb’s shoulder and Robb goes to his knees before him, expression grave as he stares up at him. Theon splays a hand across Robb’s jaw, the pad of his thumb brushing across Robb’s bottom lip, and presses in. “You’ve got a mouth made for this,” he whispers, feeling the blood rush to his cock as Robb dutifully sucks when he adds another finger.
Theon scrabbles at his laces and lets out a sigh when he tugs his cock free. “Go on,” he says, one hand tangling in Robb’s curly hair as the other guides his cock to Robb’s mouth.
He does so with little protest, tongue flicking at the head every time he draws his head back. It’s enough to drive Theon mad, and he snorts a quiet laugh, hand tightening in Robb’s hair. He doesn’t push, instead letting Robb set his own pace, and before long Theon is gasping quietly and spilling into Robb’s mouth.
Robb doesn’t swallow, but turns his head and spits after Theon has backed away to give him room.
“That’s a good look for you, Stark.” Theon grins at him, lazy and sated. “Perhaps I’ll keep you after all, but my salt wife wouldn’t sleep in a cell like this and neither will you. Father wants you moved to a room in the Sea Tower. After all, we wouldn’t want your lady mother to think you were being mistreated.”
Theon runs across the last rope bridge because he can, sure-footed even in the pelting rain, and before long he stands in Robb’s room, dripping water on the rush-covered floor.
“Stark,” he says in a manner of greeting, tugging off his water-logged cloak and hanging it close to the fire that crackles in the hearth. “I see you’re settling in fine.” Robb stares at him like he’s grown a second head, and Theon smiles. “Don’t look so happy to see me--people might get ideas.”
They already have plenty of ideas, and none of them good, but Theon tugs the book from where he tucked it into his belt. He lays it on the small table, a sort of peace offering, and it is only then that Robb speaks.
“I don’t know what you’re playing at, Greyjoy, but it’s not amusing in the slightest.” Robb looks angry, mouth set into a thin, stubborn line. “Bringing me books isn’t going to make me enjoy this. For all I know, you’re just putting on a ruse to fool my lady mother.”
There are ruses, but this is not one of them. Theon frowns darkly and jabs a finger at the door, at the storm raging outside. “Do you know where you are, Stark? This is Pyke, not Winterfell, and plenty of people are baying for you to be sacrificed to the Drowned God. My lord father can only do so much to sate them, and if your lady mother wasn’t so stubborn--”
“You’re protecting me?” Robb’s voice sounds choked, and Theon can’t look at him. “Why would you do that?”
“Contrary to popular belief, Stark, not all of us Ironborn are thirsty for blood. Your lord father was part of the force that quashed the first Greyjoy rebellion, not you, and he’s dead.” Theon shrugs, and catches Robb’s eye. “Besides, you’re worth something to me: a Greyjoy-Stark marriage, and our houses joined to prevent the South from ever ruling here again.”
Robb quirks an eyebrow at him and Theon feels the blush spreading up his neck, over his face. “Is that all then? Not because I have a mouth made for sucking cock?” His expression is smug, and Theon feels the sudden urge to hit him.
He doesn’t. Theon crosses the room in four long strides and crushes his mouth to Robb’s, hand curling in Robb’s hair to anchor him there. Robb’s mouth opens for him, and he kisses back like he wants to claim Theon for himself.
“It sweetens the deal, I’ll give you that,” Theon says, grinning, when they part for air. “I’d heard so many stories of you, you know. I was curious.”
Robb rolls his eyes, but he’s smiling. “I wondered why you kept sending things. Books, better food, and the like--it didn’t seem like something your father would do.”
“I’m not my father,” Theon admits, the bitterness a familiar taste in the back of his throat. “Lucky for you, I suppose.”
They meet when Theon can get away, and Robb leaves finger-shaped bruises in the hollows of Theon’s hips just as much as Theon sucks purpling marks into the skin of Robb’s shoulder. It’s a heady adrenaline rush, to be sure, but Robb is a Stark, and Theon is a Greyjoy--it was never meant to last.
The news comes by raven on a day that is dreary and overcast, and Theon finally is able to slip away after supper. The journey from the Bloody Keep to the Sea Tower has never felt so long, and the sight of Robb’s door makes something twist deep in Theon.
“Robb,” he says, voice low. “There was a raven from your lady mother today. Your sister Sansa...” Theon pauses before he can catch Robb’s eye again. “The Lannisters killed her when they got wind of the proposed marriage between our houses. They said it was treasonous that she would break a betrothal to Joffrey to marry a traitor.”
Robb’s eyes fill with tears, and Theon reaches for him, dragging him close. He shakes in Theon’s arms, clinging to him, and this is the worst part of all.
Theon kisses him even as he slides his dagger between Robb’s ribs.
“I’m sorry,” he says, voice cracking, and Robb’s eyes are wide with surprise. “Your sister is dead; my father has no--” He breaks off with a strangled gasp, and when he looks down a shard of ceramic protrudes from his chest.
“I knew. The guards...” Robb wheezes, blood darkening the corners of his lips. “They say what is dead may never die--look at you now.”
Theon can feel it now, a haze settling over his consciousness, and he leans forward to press his mouth to Robb’s. He inhales Robb’s last breath, tastes the the blood on his lips, and collapses.