"I was supposed to be a Queen," the dark haired girl says to Death, from where she lays on a blood soaked bed. "I wore a crown once, and he loved me, I know he did."
Death's hand touches her cheek, and she shivers at the cold touch. "I know, he told me."
The baby at her breast yawns and coos, his fist rubbing against her skin. His eyes are as grey as hers, his hair as dark.
"Will he live?" the girl asks, her pale fingers stroke his cheek, but Death does not answer, cannot answer, does not know.
Death circles when she births her son in the bogs of the crannogmen. She catches him in her hands, small like his father had been at birth, and she clutches him tight to her breast.
"Go away!" she yells to Death. "Not him too." The baby's breath is shallow, and Jeyne strokes his red hair, tears falling onto his face.
"You do not have to fear me," Death says, crouching next to Jeyne, a cold finger brushing over the baby's lips, and he breathes deep for the first time. "I am here at the beginning as much as the end."
He laughs when he sees Death, his hand curves over a hip, up to grope a breast. "It's been a good run," he says.
Death pours them both a drink. "Was it better this way?" asks Death.
"Better than a sword in my back? Gods, I should think so." Robert downs his glass of wine, and Death sips slowly.
"Is she waiting for me?" he asks, his voice is ragged, his breathing slowed down, his eyes flutter closed and he tries to force them to stay open.
"She's there," Death says, on his last breath, but doesn't say which one.
Death stands on the balcony of Starfall, a hand outstretched to a girl with long dark hair and sad violet eyes. "This is not your choice," Death says, the girl's wrist is just out of reach.
"Have you not taken enough from me?" she cries, the wind whips at her hair. "My brother? My child? Let it be my choice!"
She steps off the edge, and Death lunges, ice cold fingers wrapping around her wrist, dragging her back from edge. "It is never your choice," Death says, holding her back against the stone wall. "Not when it is like this."
There are many others that Death must go to that night, but the boy King is first, his blooding pooling wide on the floor under Death's feet. Death is not supposed to be biased, Death is not the one who makes the choice, Death is merely the the messenger. Death does not always agree.
"Not long now," Death whispers, taking his hand, cupping his cheek with the other, blood trickles out the corner of his mouth.
"Please?" the Young Wolf asks, and he cough, choking with his last breaths.
"Soon," Death says, and somewhere behind them Catelyn Stark is screaming.
"Please?" he begs, gripping Death with what he has left of his hands.
Death holds him, strokes his brittle white hair, touches the hollow of his cheek. "The world is not yet done with you, Theon Greyjoy," says Death, but he only looks at Death with confusion.
"My name is Reek, it rhymes with weak," he says it over and over, rocking in Death's arms. "Please?" he begs again. "Please?"
Death thinks of another boy then, of another boy who had begged for mercy. "What is dead cannot die," Death says, reminding him. "But one day we will meet again."
She covers her hand over her throat, "You look surprised to see me," she tells Death, and something that might have once been a smile graces her face, like they are old friends, which Death supposes they are.
"You seek to do my job for me," Death says, and Lady Stoneheart does not deny it. Even Death can see the revenge in her dead eyes, and who knows better than Death the injustice of those who seek vengence.
"Perhaps you should do it better and I would not have to." When she touches Death's face, her hand is unsurprisingly cold.
They stand together over the body of the novice, the one who's face Jaqen now wears. They've been doing this for so long now that Death forgets when they started.
"You've been lucky," Death tells him. "How many more times do you think to can escape me?"
Jaqen smiles enigmatically, "The man does not escape you, the man merely knows how much you enjoy the chase."
"At some point the man will grow weary and tired." There is no threat in Death's words, only facts which are often easily ignored.
"The man has been those things for many years now."
Death meets Arya Stark not at the tip of a blade or the point of an arrow, but in the belly of ship on its way from Volantis to Gulltown. Death knows this girl well, this girl of many names and many faces.
Death watches as she tosses and turns on the small cot, sweat drenched hair stuck to greying skin. "We meet again, Arya Stark," says Death.
Her eyes flash open, glassy with fever, delirium. "Do you come to taunt me?" she asks breathlessly, as she grips Death's hand in her own, hot like fire.
"Not today," says Death.
He lies in a bed covered in blood, leaving this world just as he came into it. Death remembers the grey eyes of the girl, sees them reflected in him and remembers the plea on her lips.
"Am I dead?" asks the boy who was once Jon Snow.
"Yes," Death has never been one to lie, though truths bend easily to those who do not know them.
"And now my watch is ended..." Jon whispers. Somewhere beyond the tiny chamber of the Lord Commander, a direwolf howls.
Death laughs, touches a hand to Jon's face. "You know nothing, Jon Snow."