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Dare You to Save Me

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Robb’s been dead for a week when Jon comes back. He walks into the house only to find himself surrounded by tiny Starks, Rickon and Arya almost throwing him to the ground, and Sansa clinging to him in a rather uncharacteristic way. Bran pushes his chair all the way to the front door, and Jon presses a kiss to his forehead even with his arms already full of siblings.

Theon looks from his place on the couch.

Ms. Stark is nowhere to be seen, lost somewhere inside her grief, and Theon spies the relief in Jon’s features, somewhere in between the mask of strength he wears for his brothers and sisters and the Robb-shaped hole Theon can see in his gaze. He wonders, briefly, if he has a matching shape in his own.


Theon was serving coffee when he heard. Pyke’s, the coffee shop he’d worked his ass off to own, was bubbling with life, mid-morning sun shining through the windows and students lining up to get a quick fix. It was a good morning, the air smelled of good coffee and Ros was wearing a tank top that left nothing to the imagination. Theon had been smiling when the phone rang.

It was Rickon on the other side, the single Stark who had thought of giving him a call. He was crying, and Theon thought he’d heard wrong. But he hadn’t, and fuck Robb and his daddy issues that had made him become a cop and then get shot. Fuck him and the last memory he had of him, eyes bright and happy smile as they shared a beer. Fuck him for dying and leaving him alone in the world.


"Jon's staying," says Rickon some afternoon. Robb's been buried for two weeks already, and the younger Stark looks a lot older than his fifteen years of age.

Theon sets a mug of hot chocolate in front of him before asking, "At your place?"

Rickon shakes his head. "No. He rented some place nearby."


Of course he did, Theon thinks. He very much doubts that Catelyn Stark would go so far as to receive Jon Snow back into her house, no matter what. Theon remembers her, hair wild and features pained after Bran's accident, coldly stating that she wished it had been Jon. For all the warmth she was capable off, she could be the coldest woman in the world.


"How's everyone doing?" Theon asks. He knows there's no point, no good answer to that question, but Rickon looks so defeated, his eyes so old, that Theon needs to at least try.


Rickon just shrugs, and that settles it.


That night, Theon dreams of Ramsay. It's been months since he thought of him, and yet he wakes up in pain, close to the point of tears.


Jon Snow showed up in the Starks life when Robb had just turned seven. He was short and lanky, and his eyes showed nothing but sadness. He was the result of the only crazy, irresponsible night Ned Stark had ever lived, the walking, talking reminder of a mistake, and just for that he earned himself the hate of Catelyn Stark.

But Robb loved him. And he made Jon smile, cured him of his misery. Theon, ten years old and already the target of his father's fury, hated him on sight. Robb was his best friend, his safe place, and the Starks were the family he run to when the air in his house got too stifling. Jon, sad smiles and quiet demeanour, became a part of them in a way Theon could never be, and so he hated him.

By the time Theon was eighteen Robb had already gotten tired of stepping between them, and so he let them spar verbally against each other, and occasionally throw the odd punch. Jon was self-aware and in control, but for some reason, Theon always knew what to say or where to hit to make him let loose and be angry. He always got a secret thrill out of it, and Robb never stopped recriminating him for it.

Jon left the Stark house as suddenly as he had come into it. He packed a bag, kissed his siblings goodbye and through the years, made himself a bit of a nomad, travelling from country to country, to the deepest, darkest and hardest places in the world. His travelling books were a big success. Soon, he had become the odd sibling, showing up for a week at most and bringing strange gifts with him.

Theon, with a business degree and just the right kind of ambition, bought himself a local and created Pyke's. Robb, in the mean time, made himself a cop, the best cop in the force, dedicated to the point of paranoia, until one day he got shot.

And that's when Jon came back, and stayed.


One night, they all meet for a drink. There's Margaery and Loras, looking entirely too perfect for their own good, Sansa and Arya, old enough to have a drink with them but eternally children in Theon's head, Jeyne, staring at the bottom of her glass and Ygritte, the ex-girlfriend from hell, clinging to Jon's arm. It seems like ages since he saw some of this people, and they barely manage to have a conversation. In the end, they just drink.

Theon finishes the night squished between the Tyrells, hearing some story about Marge's latest boy-toy, some kid named Tommen who is inappropriately young for her. The Stark girls have left the building, and Jeyne never liked him and doesn't look like she's going to start anytime soon. Jon, somewhere in the bar, speaks to Ygritte, standing entirely too close.

Theon wonders what they talk about, spying the movement of Jon's lips.

"He has cocksucker lips," Loras states all of a sudden.

Theon snorts into his drink, even as Loras nods eagerly.

"Really, he so does. I bet he's good at oral with the ladies, too. Bet that's what Ygritte is after tonight."


"You'd think he'd now better after she crushed his heart," Marge says on his other side.

Theon shrugs, keeping his mouth shut. The on-again off-again relationship between those two is something he doesn't want to know about, even if he understands why Jon is going to end up in Ygritte's bed tonight. Nothing like sex to reassure oneself of one's life, he thinks. He wonders if he'll be thinking of Robb, and then if they ever crossed the line and shared a bed. That Stark blood that made them so stoic and honourable must have been a bitch when all Robb and Jon had wanted was a tumble in each other's bed.


"She's pretty," Theon says after a while, and it's been so long that it almost seems like a non-sequitor. When Marge and Loras look at him, he points towards Ygritte. "I'd do her."

Marge snorts. "You'll do anything with a postcode, Greyjoy."

Loras laughs, and then they order more drinks.

Jon leaves with Ygritte on his arms half an hour later, and Theon walks home alone.


When he dreams of Ramsay four nights in a row, he goes to the Starks. He knows Robb's not there, he knows, but it remains the safest place in the world as far as Theon is concerned.

He sits with Bran and Rickon, chats with them easily and without the bite he reserves for older people. Bran's already in college, too smart for his own good and eerily quiet in that way Starks have, but his smile softens when he speaks to Theon, when he looks at Rickon. It could be almost normal, except for the part where it is not.

"Your mother?" Theon asks after a while. He hasn't seen Catelyn since the funeral.

"Out, driving," Rickon answers. "She drives a lot lately."

It takes a long while of conversation about her before Bran says, "There was a fight. With Jon."

"Of course," Theon answers. "Lord Snow does have a special talent for putting his foot in his mouth. What did the bastard do?"

Robb would have snapped at him for that remark. But Robb's not there, and his younger siblings don't feel like elaborating.

He leaves when the sun is setting, the sky a pinkish-blue outside. He knows Arya and Sansa have gone back to their homes and their lives, trying to move on, and he also knows what it must feel like for Bran and Rickon to be stuck in the house with the grieving mother and the memories. Before he leaves, he says:

"Come by the coffee shop sometime, I'll make you my special hot chocolate."


The impulse of making a visit to dear old dad comes from some place deep within Theon. If Robb and Jon have daddy issues, then Theon doesn't know what the fuck he's got, but it's enough to send him in the masochistic quest of sharing an afternoon with his father.

It doesn't go well. Balon has no respect for a son who was weak while growing, never quite strong enough to match his brothers, never quite as charming as sister, and capable of spending a year of his life trapped inside a relationship that left the worst of scars. The conversation is awkward and stilted, and yet Theon tries. He tries because he can't help it if he wants his goddammed father to show him a bit of love, to give him that sense of family the Starks share so naturally. Balon Greyjoy gives him nothing but a headache.


He rings the Tyrells and almost begs them to go out with him for a drink. When they insist they can't, he tries Ros, Sansa and everyone else on the very short list of people who don't completely despise him. When he's out of contacts, he tries Snow. He's surprised when he gets a positive answer.

They meet at some place close to Snow's newly rented apartment, and they share a drink quietly. It's not exactly awkward, but it's not comfortable either, and that pretty much sums up their entire relationship. The only reason they're here tonight is because there's a world out there that doesn't have Robb in it, and it's better to sit together than to spend the night staring at a blank wall.


"I saw Jeyne the other day," Snow says finally, his eyes downcast and his fingers touching the rim of his glass. "I think she was still somewhat in love with him."

"You think? I bet she spent her nights by the phone, waiting for him to call and tell her that it was all a mistake and that she was the love of his life."

When Jon looks up, mouth set in a serious line and eyes wide open, Theon almost has to look away. He stands his ground, and smiles when Jon asks:

"Why did they break up?"

Theon cocks his head to deliver the blow. "He was sleeping with me."

Jon says nothing, but Theon sees the hard line of his shoulders tensing, his hand clenching around his glass. He wishes he had it in him to tease Jon right now, to tell him how Robb never became more desperate than when Theon mentioned the possibility of having Jon join them, of letting them touch while Theon just watched. And how guilty Robb looked after, his eyes shadowy and conflicted in the same way Jon's were now.

In the end, Jon just deflates, getting them more drinks rather than forcing a confrontation between them. Theon is somewhat disappointed, wondering what it would be like to be under the force of Jon's anger, his hands heavy on Theon's body and his quiet focus burning him. Theon thinks of their fights as children, wonders how different they would be now.

They end the night half drunk and talking about whatever comes to mind. Jon tells him that he's found a job as a teacher, that he can write papers from his new home. Theon spies the itch under Jon's skin, the one that's begging him to pack a bag and start a new trip. Then Theon talks about Pyke's and about Ros the hottest waitress to ever be. They end up in the subject of Jon's siblings, Jon's mouth almost curving into a smile when he tells him that he doesn't understand why exactly Rickon likes him so much. When they breach the subject of Catelyn, Jon's shoulders tense again.

"Let's not," it's all Jon says, and Theon shuts up, because the liquor and their depressive moods are making him generous.

After they leave the bar, Theon follows Jon to his place, no questions asked. It's clearly rented, fully devoid of personality but for the Stark family photo resting on top of a small table. Theon stands close to the door, looking around, when Jon stares at him, not quite knowing what to do with himself. It's Theon who grabs the front of his t-shirt and pulls him in, kissing him languidly. Jon hesitates before pushing him against a wall, but when Theon murmurs yeah, come on, he presses hard and sure.

Jon tastes of cheap liquor, but he kisses beautifully, all focus and detail. Theon almost whimpers he's so turned on by the press of their bodies together, the wall behind his back. Jon's thumbs press at his waist under his shirt, skin on skin, before Jon kneels before him and pulls the buttons of his jeans open. He rests his forehead on Theon's stomach, breathing slow and quiet, and when Theon pushes his hips forward Jon pins him to the wall.

"Jesus," Theon murmurs.

For all that Jon's on his knees, there's nothing yielding about him, nothing that takes away his control. By the time he has Theon inside his mouth, Theon is already gone, his hands clenching and unclenching at his sides and his head spinning. He hates himself for wanting this so badly, for enjoying Jon's dominating streak as much as the wicked things he's doing with his mouth. Jon's hand pushing against his waist, his thumbs leaving reddish prints on Theon's skin and his tongue licking at the head of his cock are Theon's undoing, and he comes quietly, his knees trembling.

Theon pulls Jon up quickly, getting his hand inside his jeans and around his cock as fast as he can. Jon closes his eyes but Theon doesn't, looking at his face and studying his features slowly, reminding himself not to think of Ramsay. Snow looks beautiful like this, mouth red and open, soft dark curls slightly sweaty.

"Loras was right," Theon murmurs, low and hoarse. "You do have cocksucking lips."

Jon laughs, small and quiet, and it's such a strange sound coming from him Theon can't help but smile. After Jon comes all over his hand, he kisses Theon, demanding but soft, his hands roaming Theon's chest under the shirt he's still wearing. They finish the night in Jon's bed, naked and sweaty and kind of wonderful. Theon doesn't dream that night.


He met Ramsay at some police event Robb dragged him to. He was smart and witty, mysterious in a noir movie kind of way, and by the time Theon realized he was a psychopath he was already too involved. For a year Ramsay played his body like a fiddle, hurting him as much as he pleasured him, taking and taking and taking until Theon had nothing more to give. He gave him his body, his skin, his bones and his mental health, and for all that any sane person would have walked away, Theon couldn't. Ramsay read him like an open book, cradled his fears and the pain of never quite belonging and made Theon beg for punishment, or maybe for a blessing.

When Theon left Ramsay, after Robb talked, punched and fucked his care onto Theon so hard he felt branded, he couldn't use his right hand properly, his back looked like a macabre painting and he felt as weak as his father had told him he was.

Robb would get angry when he asked to be taken harder, to be tied, to be hurt. Theon would threaten with going back to Ramsay, who knew how to give him what he wanted. As far as their sexual relationship had gone, it had never been strictly stable or peaceful. But Robb had kept making his point, had been so gentle that he'd almost broken Theon with it, and had gone down a dark path with him, confessing his own faults and guilt, the way he still thought of Jon sometimes.


Theon finds that fucking Jon is easier than talking to him. There's something almost religious in the way he controls Theon's body, bringing him to the brink and pulling back before he can get there, learning his sweet spots by trial and error, understanding that Theon likes having his weight on top, his hands restrained in Jon's iron grip, the shape of Jon's fingers etched into his skin.


"Are you fucking Jon?"


Theon laughs at the exchange, Sansa's reproach always funny when directed at her younger sister. Rickon's blushing and Bran's toying with his coffee cup, content to let this conversation happen without his intervention. It's clearly the reason all the Starks siblings have come for a visit at the coffee shop, rather than just Rickon.

"So what if I am?" Theon wonders, lifting his own cup to his lips.

Arya is giving him that wildly protective Stark look, which she unabashedly reserves for Jon, and apparently Jon's honour. They never quite clicked, Theon and Arya, and she seems almost happy to have a excuse to scowl at him.

"Well, you better-you better-" she's seething, looking for the best menace.

Sansa cuts her speech, looking at Theon straight in the eye in that way she has. Many men have made the mistake of thinking Sansa girly, sweet and weak, and oh how surprised they might have been when presented with her steely look.

"I'm pretty sure Theon knows how much we love Jon, and what kind of behaviour we expect from him in this regard."

Arya scowls, this time at her sister. Theon studies them curiously, wondering if it's Robb's death what has pushed Sansa to cherish Jon as much as her other siblings. She had always been partial to her mother and her hatred, after all.

"I'm pretty sure Snow can take care of himself."


At the next family dinner, Sansa sits them together. Theon wants to point out that just because he happens to share a bed with Jon on occasion doesn't mean they are anything to each other, but the air is awkward enough as it is. This is the first time ever dinner happens without Robb, and Catelyn is staring daggers in Jon's direction, clearly upset his children set this up without her knowing.

Theon is almost curious about this kind of hate coming from such a rational woman as Ms. Stark, but any kind of question would probably end up with some kind of jab in Jon's direction for daring to be alive while Robb is dead and buried. For the first time ever, he masters some sadness for Jon, and feels tempted to touch him in some kind of reassuring way. He does nothing of the sort.

The night does end up in some kind of fight. Catelyn and Jon are quiet, sparring in the kitchen where no one can hear anything but snippets of some old conversations. This is my home. And those are my siblings. Theon and Sansa direct everyone to the garden, where they can pretend they are a happy and wholesome kind of family, instead of a pack without their father and brother and some boy that attached himself to them once and never let go.


"What does she want me to do?" asks Jon later, pacing and seething inside the living room he still hasn't managed to make feel as part of a home.

"Nothing," Theon answers, shrugging. He's sitting on the couch, watching Jon go left, then right, then left again. "Go away. Die. Bring Robb back."

Jon throws his hands up, and the pain is unadulterated tonight, the way it sometimes is. He gets intense when Robb fills his head too much, touching Theon as if he was drowning and Theon was his only salvation. They're becoming strangely co-dependent like that.

"I'd die if that'd bring him back," Jon says after throwing himself on the couch next to Theon.

"You would too, you fucking fool."

Theon rolls his eyes at the same time he perches himself on Jon's lap, straddling his thighs. Jon grabs at him in a possessive manner that has Theon trembling, his hips rolling almost of their own accord.

"We can't bring him back," Theon says, resting his forehead against Jon's as they rock together, raw and unsteady. Theon thinks they should be naked, but there'll be time for that. "We can't bring him back," he repeats, and Jon clutches at his hips harder, contained anger getting lost somewhere in Theon's skin.

Theon doesn't know why he suggests it, or maybe he does and doesn't want to acknowledge it, but he says:

"I think you should tie me up."

"No," and it comes out of Jon's mouth as a near growl. He opens his half-closed eyes fully, staring at Theon from under his stupidly long eyelashes fiercely. His hands tighten even more around him, and Theon shivers his way into an orgasm.


They meet Margaery, Loras and Ygritte for a drink later that week. Jeyne doesn't come and doesn't offer an explanation, and Theon guesses that she only ever put up with them for Robb's shake, anyway.

"Ooh, Ygritte attacks yet again."

It's almost midnight when Loras crowds next to him and points at Jon and the ex-girlfriend from hell somewhere near the bar. Theon tenses almost immediately, and then curses inwardly. Just because he happens to spend half his nights in Snow's bed doesn't mean that he can't fuck whoever he wants, even his bitchy ex-girlfriend.

"Hah! I knew it," Loras exclaims, and Theon stops looking at the couple to look at him. "Sister, pay up," Loras says, pulling his sister closer and presenting her with his empty hand.

"Shut up, they're not," Marge retorts, looking at Theon.

"Yes, they are. You should have seen him glare daggers at her." Loras looks his way. "Really, you should just go there and stake your claim, Greyjoy. I wouldn't mind some hot kissing action."

Theon snorts. "That's sad, Tyrell."

"Well, but are you two a thing, or not?" Marge insists, poking him in the chest.

Theon just looks at them, eager and joyous in a way he hasn't been since Robb decided to get shot and die. "Fuck you both," he says, walking outside with soft laughter behind him.

He's wishing he was a smoker when Jon appears next to him, sans bitchy redhead. He rubs his hands against his sides while looking at him, and Theon just stares, saying nothing.

"I thought you'd left," Jon says.

Theon doesn't know if he's angry or not, doesn't know if he wants to be. The last thing he can do is admit that he'd rather walk home alone that see Jon all over his ex-girlfriend, that'd he'd probably think of her next time he kissed him, that he'd try to search for her taste and eliminate it. He thinks he might be getting dizzy, and he steps forward and launches himself at Jon.

The kiss is a little bit too much on the side of desperate for Theon's liking, but Jon's carding his hands through his hair, keeping him still, right where he wants him, and Theon can do nothing but hang on and moan his way through the pleasure.

Later that night, he tells Jon harder, make it hurt, and that only gets him the slower and most excruciating rhythm Jon has ever managed. It drags for what feels like hours, and by the time Theon comes he feels raw and open wide, entirely too vulnerable laying by Jon's side. He can't sleep afterwards, and ends up sitting on Jon's couch and drinking milk straight from the bottle, just because he knows it bothers the bastard. He' feeling particularly annoying as a matter of fact, wondering why Jon won't give him what he asks for and yet still manages to control him in a way that untangles him.


It's a rainy Thursday afternoon when Ramsay walks into Pyke's, stony expression and strong walk. Theon tenses, his back arching of his own accord and his right hand throbbing with the memories. Ros stares at them from where she's serving coffee, glaring daggers their way.

It's something he likes, coming here occasionally and making his head spin. Theon would like to scream at him for being a sociopathic bastard, but it's almost as if he still has some power over him, as if that year Theon spent begging in their shared bedroom is enough to always make him a fun toy to play with.

"I heard about the Stark kid," is what Ramsay says.

And of course he has. Robb's been dead for eight months now, and Theon's been fucking Jon for five. he hangs onto that knowledge like a lifeline, hoping Ramsay says what he has to say and leaves.

"Sorry," is what finally comes out of his mouth, and Theon snorts. "No, really. I hate to see you deprived of your little friend. But," he stops there, looking up, taunting Theon with a creepy smile, "if you ever feel, say, lonely, I changed my phone number. So here." He puts a card on the counter, and says nothing more before stepping out of the coffee shop.

Theon looks at the small thing. It's plain and boring, just as Ramsay can be if you don't really stop and look. Theon curses under his breath, and puts the card in his back pocket.


That night, when Jon has him pushed against the wall by his door and is kneeling in front of him, Theon's cock in his hand and mouth on his hip, Theon says, "You should tie me up."

Jon looks up at that and stills his hand. He looks and looks and then stands up, rubbing himself against Theon as he does so, hard body close and warm.

"I should?" he wonders, pressing his forehead against Theon's and breathing into his mouth.

Theon nods, and Jon's forehead presses harder against his.

"And what else should I do, huh?" Jon's tone is low, somewhat dangerous.

"You should," Theon swallows, closes his eyes and then opens them up again, looking into Jon's, so close. "Just tie me up, hard. Have your way with me, rough and nice."

"Yes, yes," Jon answers. "Tie you up until your wrists are raw and close to bleeding. Maybe spank you, huh?" he grabs at his ass, squeezes. "Make sure your arse is red and nice for me. And then, if I'm not tired, maybe I should just draw my nails down your back, or maybe a knife if they're not enough, is that it? Is that fucking it, Theon?"

Theon is shivering, as if cold. He can't stand it, the push and pull inside his own chest, Jon's words a temptation all on their own, his back throbbing with something in between fear and anticipation.

"Jesus, Greyjoy," is what Jon says when he steps away completely, out of Theon's reach.

Theon misses the contact immediately, Jon's body and his forehead pressing into him, his hands roaming and squeezing, his breath on his face and his mouth so close. He can't look at him, can't bear the idea of finding pity or disgust in Snow's eyes of all people.

"You're more fucked up than I thought. You might be an jerk half the time, but you deserve better."

And that, that he can't take. He scrambles inside his jeans and searches blindly for the jacket that Jon threw carelessly to the floor just minutes before. Then, he leaves. Jon doesn't run behind him. When he gets home, his hands are trembling.


Theon dreams a lot after that. He pointedly doesn't see Jon, doesn't think about him or the possibility that he might be fucking someone else now that Theon's not warming his bed. He shows up in his dreams, though, as much as Ramsay and Robb do.

Theon dreams in red, he dreams in anger and heartache, and he wants it to stop but he walks towards it inexorably, unable to stop. He pushes and pushes, and no matter how much Robb and Jon pull back, he always gets there, to the place where he's begging for the searing pain that lets him know he's still alive.


Three weeks after he leaves Jon's apartment, he hasn't gotten a full night of sleep.

"You look awful," Rickon tells him, mug of coffee between his hands and eyes already too Stark-like, wise beyond their years.

"Been busy," Theon says.

"I'm fifteen, I'm not an idiot."

Theon snorts, and really, he fucking loves this kid.

"Drink your coffee, kid. I don't want your mother on my ass because you got home late."


Two days after that, Balon Greyjoy drowns while on vacation, after thoroughly insisting that he wasn't scared of a few little waves. It's Asha who comes and tells him, the sister he never learned to love and who has nothing but contempt for him.

The funeral is a sad affair, full of people who barely knew their father and who probably think that the world is better without him. Theon tries to muster some tears and he can't, but something dark twists inside his stomach. He thinks of his mom, who lived and died crying, of his brothers who don't care and his sister who acts as if she's the only member of the family that matters. His aunts and uncles are almost as disapproving as his father was, and he feels them whispering behind his back, talking of how his father probably died of sadness because he was such a disgrace. Theon wants to tell them to go fuck themselves.

Something hard and constraining sets itself in his throat, and a sob escapes him, finally. Crying hurts, because his tears are not for his father but for the kind of person his father never was, and the kind of relationship they never had. He's somewhere in between angry and sad, and the feeling claws at his chest, hard and unrelenting.

He's been carrying Ramsay's card around ever since his last visit, and he can feel it burning inside his pocket. After the funeral, he takes off and starts running.


It's raining and he's soaked to the bone, his dark suit a mess and his hair plastered to his head. He hesitates before knocking on the door, but when he finally does, he thinks the puttering of the rain must almost cover the sound. Jon opens the door after a beat, and he looks annoyingly perfect, dry and handsome, with his full lips and his dark hair incredibly soft-looking. Theon wonders how weird it would be for him to just bury his hands in it while he stares.

"You're soaking," Jon says finally, and if Theon wasn't so rattled he would have something biting to say about the obviousness of the comment.

Jon opens the door wider then, grabs his wrist and pulls him in. Theon just goes with it. He feels unsettled, and he can do nothing but stare. He thinks if he tells Jon he almost ended up at Ramsay's door he may punch him.

"I've got company. You'll behave?"

Theon spies three people in the living-room, recognizes him as the rag-tag band of losers Jon used to hang out with back in high school. Theon had always thrived on insulting them and seeing if he could make Jon strike him for it. Right now, he simply nods.

"You should take a shower."

Theon does, and then he wears the sweatpants and t-shirt Jon lends him. They smell clean, of soap, and they're just a sigh too wide for Theon. He likes them, he decides, and honestly, if he gets any more girly about this he's going to end up writing poetry about Snow's eyes or something equally ridiculous.

Jon reintroduces his friends to him - Sam, Pyp and Grenn, as weird looking as they had been a decade back - and Theon sits down and doesn't say a word, barely listens to what the others are saying around him. Jon settles a hand on his knee, squeezes occasionally, and doesn't let go.

After his friends are gone, Theon goes to Jon, kisses him and puts his hands in his hair just like he wanted. He's slightly desperate, his skin feeling itchy and uncomfortable, and Jon gives him a whole minute before he stops him, hands on his cheeks and forehead against his in that way he likes so much.

"Relax, Theon, dammit."

Theon doesn't know if he can, if he can let himself stay still for long enough. But Jon guides him in that way he has, slightly possessive and definitely dominating, but soft and slow. They kiss for so long that by the time they make it to the bed Theon's so hard he feels like he's going to burst. Jon still takes his sweet time, rimming him as if he'd never wanted to do anything else with his life and making Theon pant hoarsely, beg to be taken.

It's nice, and it's good and sweet and it's not what Theon does, not the way it should be. He's pretty sure Jon's trying to break him with kindness or something equally stupid when he starts mouthing at the scars on his back, tracing them with his tongue while he fucks him. Theon would tell him that they're ugly and well-deserved, but that would piss him off, so he just lets go, lets Jon lavish him with attention and drag him down into a hazy pool of pleasure.

Later, laying side by side, Theon's arm on Jon's chest and face on his shoulder, Jon says, "I missed you."

It's low and broken, and if they weren't so fucked up and so entangled together, Theon might tell him that he loves him.


A year after the day, they visit the cemetery with the Stark family. It's a sad affair, and Theon can almost feel Robb's ghost hanging between them, ever-present and unyielding, a constant pulse somewhere in the back of their minds. Sansa and Rickon are the only ones with tears in their eyes, but they're certainly not alone in their pain.

They have lunch together and it's an awkward affair, with Catelyn still a brick of ice when it comes to Jon and the missing presence of Robb heavy in the air. Jon and Theon leave together with a smile from Sansa and a glare from Arya, not before Theon promises Rickon and Bran to let them be the first to taste his new chocolate-coffee extravaganza.

When they get home, they kiss, and on their way upstairs they almost trip over a pair of Theon's shoes. Jon glares and Theon smiles, because he's slowly conquering Jon's apartment, and has almost managed to make it look lived in.

Jon pushes him against the mattress on his stomach, covering him completely and fucking him so slow Theon thinks he's trying to kill him. After, naked and looking at the ceiling, Theon yawns. As far as homages go, Robb couldn't have done better.

"Hey, Snow."

Jon hums, looking his way through sleepy eyes.

"I think we actually are like, a thing, or something."

Jon snorts, turns on side and lays closer to Theon, throwing his arms over his chest. "Go tell Loras he won that bet from his sister."

"I'll do that, yeah," he answers, his hand carding slowly through Jon's hair.