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Song of Ice and Fire drabbles and small things

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Catelyn glanced over the children gathered around the low table. Arya's hands were filthy, she noticed, and her dress was stained, and Rickon had a smear of something on his cheek. Also, there was an empty place. "Bran, where is Robin?"

"I don't know. He didn't want to play knights with me and Arya." Well, that explained Arya, at least, she thought.

"He's a stupid." Arya said.

Catelyn sighed. "Children, I know that Robin is young for his years-"

"He called Rickon a baby," Bran said. "But he's a bigger baby. I didn't hit him hard at all, and he cried and cried."

"Even Bran hits harder than Robin," Arya added. "And Bran is a big girly girl."

"Am not!"

"Are too. Ow!" Arya said.

"Bran, don't hit your sister."

"But she said-"

"Enough," Catelyn said firmly. "You were playing at knights with Robin."

"He didn't want to be a knight, so we made him be the monster," Arya said. "But he wasn't a very good monster. When Bran hit him with his stick, he just sat down and cried. He wouldn't do anything, so we went to play in the Godswood."

"He probably went to find Aunt Lysa," Bran said.

It was a tempting thought, but Catelyn was sure that if Lysa had heard about this, she would already have come to complain to her about it. She was getting used to daily, or even twice-daily tirades from her sister about her 'wild, dangerous children' and their mistreatment of Lysa's darling little boy.

"He must have," Arya said, "because when we went back to get Rickon he was gone."

Catelyn turned to her youngest. "Did you see Robin go somewhere, Rickon?"

Rickon considered the question. "No."

"Do you know what happened?"

"He cried and cried," Rickon said. "Me and Shaggy aren't hungry. Can we go?"

"Shaggy and I aren't hungry," Catelyn corrected absently. "And no. What did you eat?"

"Nothing," Rickon said. "He was crying and crying."

Catelyn sighed again. Well, Robin was sure to turn up eventually. "Rickon, don't burp."



Chapter Text

"Ow! Wait, the forge is hot. That's the first thing I tell my apprentices. The forge is hot."

"Do they listen?"

"More than you ever did."

"That's because you were stupid, stupid... Oh."

"Was that stupid?"

"No. Mmmm... do that again."

"That? Or... Ahh."


"Mmm. Wait, what is that?"

"A knife. You've seen a knife before, right?"

"But why is it in there?"

"In case I need it."

"I nearly cut my fingers, Arya."


"If you're naked, I won't have to worry about hidden weaponry."

"That's what you think."

"Arya- Oh."

"Shut up and kiss me again, stupid."


Chapter Text

The crypts are broken now, open to the sky and the spring snow which drifts down on stone and bone and the rusted swords of the Lords and Kings of the North. No one comes to steal from the dead: Winterfell is truly the home of wolves now, great direwolves who patrol the ruined walls, the courts and hot springs, the great trees of the Godswood. They do not hinder her, of course. Nymeria knows her, whatever face she wears.

Her father doesn’t have a tomb like all the rest, but Arya knows that this is where his spirit rests. She would have brought his bones here if she could have found them, when she returned to King’s Landing. She brought Queen Cersei's head instead, and left it before the shattered gate of the crypts. That night her father came to her and brushed his fingers through her hair. He told her she was beautiful, and he told her he loved her. She never wanted to wake up; she could have lain down in the leaves and never risen again. But she woke in the morning and stared at the ruins around her, and the world was full of Ironborn and Boltons, Freys and Lannisters.

The next head she brought was Roose Bolton's. She wore her own face then, but he did not know her until it was too late. She left his body for the leeches and was out of the Dreadfort well before dawn. Nymeria killed a hunting dog on their way home.

She should go back. She has heard stories of the young Lord Bolton, and she would like to see for herself the man she supposedly married. His hounds track her back to the Wolfwood but no further: her pack takes care of them. She heads North instead, to the Wall. Jon is there, or was. Might still be there. She is wearing her own face still, and he might know her, if there is anything of Arya left to recognize.

She makes it within sight of the Wall itself before she turns back. But it is so high, so white, so untouchable. If Jon is still there, he won't need her. He can't need her, not like the dead do. So she turns back, south to shattered Winterfell, to sleep in the door of the crypt and feel her father’s fingers in her hair. Someday she will sleep there forever, when she doesn’t have so many people left to kill.