Theon knew that coming to the bloody Westerosi mainland to make it in Highgarden was going to be an uphill battle, one full of typecasting and insulting Ironborn stereotypes.
He wasn’t some starry-eyed imbecile who thought that if someone just gave him a chance, he’d get to show the world that he was a serious actor and not just that cool snarky Ironborn martial artist who did his own stunts with the comedic timing.
He was proud that he was at least known for that, if nothing else, given how hard it was for Ironborn to break that glass ceiling in the mainland Westerosi movie-market. Even cousin Harras, of all people, couldn’t get farther than the stoic martial artist type before rage-quitting Highgarden and the Westerosi market as a whole for his more solid and versatile base in the Iron Islands, Tyrosh, Braavos, and even the one in Yi Ti.
Sure, he didn’t get as much exposure and the big paychecks of A-list, not necessarily good at their craft Highgarden actors with their worldwide reach, but at least the non-Highgarden movies didn’t insult him.
Such as how Theon’s new, contractually obligatedmovie did.
His eyebrow twitched while his smirk remained firmly painted on as he reread the terms for the new movie.
Playing the role of the Ironborn smuggler mook who knew at least fifty different ways to kill someone and had mostly fighting scenes and little personality beyond being under the villain’s employ? Insultingly stereotypical and something of a downgrade from co-leading in Harlaw Noonbut within the realm of what he expected.
Being the stunt double to Ashford Jones’ sequel surprise son that is totally supposed to replace him to keep a dead franchise going? The fuck do they think he is, a newbie just starting out who would take any fucking role for the exposure?
This wasn’t even for exposure, knowing the PR team they’d insist whoever plays sequel baby boy was probably going to insist hedid most of the stunts even though fucking Mainlanders were pussies about always using safety wires!
Theon took a breath, telling himself to keep calm, that having a fit would just get him blacklisted and all the asshole directors would tell each other that he was “difficult to work with” or a “Diva” for being rightly pissed at this insult of a job and the paltry salary was just adding salt—
“I’m really sorry,” the blue eyes on a very handsome freckled face did look sincerely apologetic instead of the typical soft sounding words with cold, uncaring eyes of soulless ADs who viewed actors as mere meat puppets that inconvenienced them.
“Look, if it was up to me I wouldn’t have put you in as a stunt double too,” Robb Tully the Assistant Director said, “But Lannister insisted.”
“You mean the man who shits gold is so cheap he couldn’t get an actual stunt double for his future star?” Theon sneered. He couldn’t help it, he’d seen faux-feel good “do it for the art and exposure” indie directors less cheap than this. “Or at least pay a proper stuntman’s salary for that?”
Robb winced, “It’s supposed to be covered by your actual role?”
“Was that supposed to be a question?” Theon said.
“Between you and me?” Robb said, “Yes. This is ridiculous and I wish I could tell you that you can say no to the stunt role, but…”
He had that sort of face that said he really wanted to say a few choice words about the film’s production company owner and overall bank that wouldn’t be too politic.
Theon sighed, resigned. This time, it really wasn’t the poor AD’s fault he had to toe the party line.
“I don’t suppose we can change the salary to something a little less offensive?” Theon asked.
“That, I actually can do,” Robb smirked, “Lannister can’t say anything about it if we do. I’m surprised you didn’t call SAG the second I gave you the contract.”
“Tempted, but I don’t want to lose my work visa SAG,” Theon said, “You know Lannister would make sure of that if I did.”
“Didn’t you do Harlaw Noon?” Robb asked as he made some notes on the margin and what looked like some quick calculations to adjust the salary and compensation, “You were really good, by the way.”
Theon blinked, “Ye-yeah, I was… Thank you.”
“Just being honest,” Robb smiled and… Theon knew he had a weakness for redheads, but it was ridiculous how that muscle twitch just lit his whole face up and made his already handsome face glow.
“But you’re good with the SAG visa, right?”
Theon snapped himself out of it, berating himself for finding him cute even if he objectively was. Fucking the crew was a bad idea.
“If you mean that I’m set to do three more movies for Golden Lions, sure,” Theon said, hoping the next one would be better use of his talents, “But one good movie at worst isn’t gonna be enough to expand my career here. Might as well pack it and go back to the Islands for that.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Robb said with a little chuckle.
Theon smirked, the looseness in his shoulders honest, “It’s a ten years later sequel and Baratheon’s gone to seed.”
“Yeah, but we’re not supposed to admit the fans are right,” Robb said. He gave Theon the contract with some annotations, “Is this a bit more acceptable?
Theon’s eyebrow went up, “A lot more than I was expecting.”
“Compensation for the stereotype,” Robb shrugged. He wasn’t fooling anyone.
Theon couldn’t believe it, he actually liked an AD.
“We’ve got ourselves a deal,” Theon said.
“Good,” Robb smiled, “Because I’m pretty sure you’ll want to run after the first day.”
“If I could’ve, I would’ve,” Theon chuckled, “As shitty as the movie’s gonna be, still not worth the multi-million crown lawsuit.”
That possible multi-million crown lawsuit by a man who used to be a Casterly Rock highflyer?
All of a sudden was looking like the lesser of two evils.
It wasn’t just that Robert Baratheon was every single former action star gone to seed that wants his comeback cliché come to live.
It wasn’t just that Cersei Lannister (never Baratheon, not even during their ill-fated but lucrative through tabloids marriage) was the nightmare former sex symbol leading lady wanting her comeback from the Storm God’s dungeon.
It wasn’t even that Director Ned Stark was back to direct the franchise that made him and his old buddy famous and wasn’t even bothering to curb the drama and now they were all behind schedule.
It wasn’t even that Renly Baratheon got the role of Ashford Jones’ son through nothing short of sheer nepotism because the man couldn’t act in anything else outside of a romcom.
It wasn’t even that poor Myrcella Baratheon now Oakheart, who was actually pretty good at least for this role, was avoiding her parents like the plague and hiding behind her manager cum father figure whenever one or the other tried to get her to take a side in one of their arguments.
No, he could live with all of that. Even find some morbid humor out of the drama, pass the popcorn with his colleagues whenever Cersei and Robert fought or Renly couldn’t do a simple line reading to save his life.
The most unforgivable thing about this whole circus production, with a budget of 200 million crowns…
The stunt choreographer sucked ass.
No, he wasn’t exaggerating, he was horrible.
He didn’t even have the excuse of needing to make it simple for the very out of shape Robert, as Tywin Lannister had the good sense to hire Illyrio Mopatis as his stunt double and tolerated precisely zero arguments against his decision.
There was no way in the Drowned God’s water-filled Planetos that Osney Kettleblack got the job on his own merits.
He was either someone’s relative or fucking someone important.
He didn’t understand how camera angles worked, didn’t have the slightest about how the 180 degree rule, he had no idea about anything involving props…
Theon didn’t know anything about the director’s chair, but even he had picked up on some basics.
Osney certainly didn’t know anything about fighting properly, stunt fighting or otherwise.
Half of the steps would leave them all grasping for balance and didn’t move the action forward. There was no real way to make a proper impact when they punched or kicked each other.
From the frown on Ned Stark and Robb Tully’s faces, Theon would bet that it didn’t look good for the camera either.
Theon and Illyrio shared wry looks of disgust at the amateur hour. Ashara Dayne, hair dyed a golden blonde to match Cersei’s, looked like she was seconds from tearing Kettleblack a new asshole.
Rosamund Lannister, her naturally pin-straight tresses curled to look like Myrcella’s, had that look of a newbie who knew they were in a shit set but couldn’t say a word about it.
Bronn drank from a flask that he would bet had more alcohol content than was necessary, but the man had made a lot of money in his career as a professional stunt mook that he knew when it was safe to indulge due to delays.
Theon was proven right when he saw many other flasks come out from his many other colleagues.
Excellent, another wasted day.
Theon rolled his eyes skyward, knowing there was nothing he could do about this mess even though he could probably come up with a decent fight choreography while they all fought it out.
He didn’t have the clout to step up and do it himself, if it was the Iron Islands or even in Yi Ti it’d be a different story after Sea Krait in the Shark’s Shadow.
But this wasn’t Yi Ti or the Iron Islands, so the lucky amateur was what he had to deal with.
Theon took the advantage of the reprieve to scratch at the spot near his temples where the black, shorthaired wig left an ungodly itch. Of course they had to go for the cheap brand, Theon snorted in derision.
At this point, Ashford Jones and the Mother of Skulls had better have The Chronicles of Demern levels of really good special effects, because frankly no one was that nostalgic for Ashford Jones or dear old Bobby B that they’d watch a movie with shitty action scenes and shitty production values.
Illyrio stroked his black dyed and styled to look messy beard, eyes going from the director and AD to the imbecile arguing that he knew what he was doing.
Yeah, right, Ned Stark was not a professional stuntman, but he had directed enough action movies to have an idea of what was good or not, Theon wagered.
“If you’ll pardon us,” Illyrio said, that pleasant smile of his dripping with honey, “But if we are not going to shoot any time soon, I don’t suppose we could cool down?”
Stark and Robb seemed to talk with only their eyes in eerily similar facial expressions.
“Oi, listen you lazy—”
“I don’t see why not,” Robb interrupted Kettleblack while giving him a look that said he was on thin ice as it was.
“Thank you, Robb,” Illyrio smiled, then turned to his colleagues with a very knowing look on his face.
What are you up to, old man?
Theon was pretty damn sure he wasn’t the only one thinking this.
Illyrio smiled and nodded at both Theon and Brienne of Tarth, “You know katas 3 to 7 for first dan black belts in Aikido, don’t you?”
Theon cocked his head to the side. Even though he preferred Capoeira, Koppojutsu, and Baguazhang, he was a second dan in Aikido.
How did he know that? And how did he know Brienne was at least a first dan in Aikido?
“I do,” Brienne said, though it was more of a question than an answer.
“Why don’t you two get started,” Illyrio said and it was not a question.
Brienne and Theon turned to each other, hearing Illyrio instructing Ashara to pair off with Balon Swann, unfortunate name there, and for Rosamund to double up with Rolly Duckfield.
Brienne put her fists together and bowed.
Theon couldn’t help the quirk of his lips, but he joined his fist with his open palm in a bow all the same.
Theon jabbed first, Brienne moved in a Tenkan, spinning so his fist couldn’t touch her stomach while holding on to his wrist, then she used the momentum to spin him off balance. As she was about to sweep him down, Theon struck out at her face.
Waza ari for him.
He didn’t punch full force and instead tapped her, but if he had Illyrio’s plan right, all they needed to do was show how unnecessary the idiot was. Illyrio could step up as choreographer, the Drowned God alone knew he had the actual experience.
He heard a thud and saw Rosamund fall from a sweep in his periphery and control it.
Brienne swept back with a nod.
Theon smirked, seemed like his partner got it.
It didn’t matter that he ate the dirt half as many times as Brienne did, and he now wanted to schedule a proper spar, not when Stark himself handed Kettleblack a check for what little he did until then and promoted Illyrio as the fight choreographer.
Tywin Lannister has no faith in this movie.
If Theon was the only one that did double stunt and casting, it could’ve simply been waved off as a way to skim some money from the production.
But when Ashara Dayne and Illyrio Mopatis were also doing double stunt and casting?
Either someone was stupid enough to think they could have their cake and eat it or they had to make a new Ashford Jones movie before Golden Lions lost the IP.
Ashara nodded at him with a twitch of her eyebrows, confirming his suspicions.
Drowned God, this was going to suck.
“Don’t suppose you know any good indie directors who need a leading man for black comedies?” Theon asked his colleagues.
He needed something serious to counteract this movie if he wanted to have any sort of career in Highgarden.
“I’d say try Tyrion Lannister but he might tell you no out of principle,” Illyrio said as he flexed his bandaged wrists and hands over the really bad parody of a grey Braavo training outfit with a faux-bronze belly-guard.
Theon’s smirk sharpened, “He have a problem against Ironborn?”
“No,” Ashara glared at Illyrio from behind the yellow demon contact lenses, “He simply hates his father and sister. He probably won’t hold it against you.”
“Tell that to Osmund Kettleblack,” Illyrio shot back while twirling the empty flask his drunken fist master character used all the time.
“Kettleblack?” Theon’s head snapped to Ashara’s direction, his long raven hair whipping like a scorpion’s tail within the confines of the high ponytail.
“That’s because he wouldn’t work with any of Cersei’s minions,” Ashara said, lightly tugging as the dusty dark fuchsia facemask that was bundled up at her neck. It was creepily sexy how good those prosthetic monster teeth near her cheeks at the sides of her mouth looked on her. “Yes, that amateur’s brother.”
“By minion do you also mean?” Theon leaned in, despite the almost obscene look of his leather corset that barely covered his pecs and the little sleeveless red jacket that didn’t reach his waist and definitely wasn’t long enough to cover his chest.
“They’re fucking,” she confirmed, twirling the sai prop in her hand covered in armpit level fuchsia leather gloves with the faux-bronze knuckle and close to the shoulder guards.
“So there’s a good chance he’ll give me a fair shake?” Theon asked, very conscious of how he moved his legs. The large holes with the medium stripes not really covering so much as showing skin at the sides of his legs wouldn’t bother him too much if the red pleather wasn’t so flimsy.
“I’m going to audition next week for his new project,” Ashara shrugged, the faux-bronze breast and neck armor with the fuchsia half gi moving with the shoulders. “Want to come? I can introduce you.”
“I’d like that,” Theon grinned, sincere, “Thank you, Ashara.”
“You’re welcome,” Ashara smiled, a lot prettier than Cersei in Theon’s not so humble opinion.
“Places, everyone!” Robb yelled.
“Once more into the breach, dear friends,” Theon smirked as the villain brigade stood.
“Please, don’t insult the bard,” Bronn said as he passed him to get his mook character weapon props.
“Point,” Theon said as he got the serrated daggers Helya wielded, he should count himself lucky they didn’t make them serrated axes even if they unknowingly or not gave his character a woman’s name, “This doesn’t deserve the dignity.”
They all chuckled as they took their places, Rosamund staying in a copy of Myrcella’s costume waiting for the stunt shots, as her cousin had insisted that Rosamund was not going to do double stunt and casting for shoddy pay, thank you very much.
Personally, Theon thought she could’ve negotiated for higher pay, but she was young still and wanted to prove that she could make it without the Baratheon or Lannister name.
Given that Joffrey Baratheon became synonymous with drug-addled ex-child star and Tommen Baratheon quit the industry altogether and even changed his name to have something resembling a normal life, he’s say that she was doing remarkably well.
They all got to their places with Renly tied up and gagged at the makeshift altar in the Dornish desert setting.
Theon made sure to get close to where he was marked so he would stand right where he could guard Renly’s character but not get in the way of the camera’s view of him.
“Act 3, Scene 14A. Take One!”
Ashford Jones, Elyana Coldrin, and Arecel Coldrin stumbled all muddied towards the clearing.
Ashford held his war hammer aloft, his manly beard glistening with sweat as his robust physique bathed in the desert sunlight.
Elyana in her high-heeled boots and very low-cut midriff baring leather vest showed that her beauty had not diminished with age or state of disarray.
Arecel, in her sensible combat boots and jacket, with the nice white midriff baring top in reminiscence of her mother, held her wind blade steady with green eyes focused on the enemy.
“What’s the plan?” Arecel hissed, hiding from the enemy as her eyes tracked them all, especially the abomination that was Nysterica.
She had him. She had Ash, the half-brother she never knew, all trussed up like a pig waiting for the slaughter. It was almost surreal, like looking into one of mom’s old photographs of her father when he was young, same Henley and khakis and fedora, all that was left was the war hammer.
She scowled as that nefarious Ironborn pirate Helya made his rounds, always leaning in for some horrid taunt to her brother with his daggers on hand and his free black strands playing as a curtain when his face got too near Ashford Jr.’s.
The drunken Braavosi Myrmello was sleeping but she knew better than to underestimate the foolish seeming fat blond.
Ashford hesitated for a bit, “We—”
“You are not going to make up another plan on the go again,” Elyana said. It was not a request.
“They work!” Ashford insisted.
“By the skin of your teeth,” Elyana snorted.
“Better than yours,” Ashford said.
“Really?” Elyana arched her brows, “So my plan to have the boat ready didn’t save our lives? My plan with the idol—”
“That was fifteen years ago!”
“And your best was also fifteen years ago!” Elyana growled back, “I can’t believe I ever took you back after—”
“You leave Jessamyn out of this!”
“Mom, Dad, would you both shut it!” Arecel hissed at them and then blanched.
“Did—” Ashford glowed with pride, “Did you just call me dad?”
“That’s…” Arecel blushed.
“Oh no,” Elyana said, “You don’t get to play at being a father after 15 years!”
Arecel and Ashford looked genuinely surprised at this and a pregnant silence dominated the clearing.
“It’s not that we are not enjoying the spectacle,” Helya said from behind all three as his dagger rested deceptively gentle but oh so close to Ashford’s jugular. “But your shrieks are bothering my Lady.”
Myrmello’s bear-like hand wrapped around Elyana’s neck, ready to snap it and looking more sober than he had a right to.
Arecel jumped back from them, wind blade in front of her in a defensive position even as her eyes were wide with fear.
The hissing sound of Nysterica’s laughter behind her veil came at Arecel’s back, making her jump.
There she was, the Mother of Skulls dragging the too lively and bound Ash.
Arecel flinched as her gloved hand rose—
Renly crashed to the ground when he tried to do some odd move that was most definitely not in the blocking and made Ashara almost lose her balance on the studio clearing.
“Cut!” Ned yelled.
“This is a disgrace!” Cersei cried as Illyrio moved away from her, she whirled at Theon with fury, “What were you thinking, coming in early like that!”
“Sorry,” Theon’s professional smile was falser than any whore’s, he was very calm and would not bite back at the actress who could break his attempts at making a career here, “But there was that long beat after that new line.”
“It’s called improv!” Cersei said disdainfully, “Perhaps you might not have heard of that in those waterlogged rocks but serious actors know how to adapt.”
He was not going to bite back, Theon took a deep breath, he was not going to react….
“Stop it,” Myrcella yelled at Cersei, who had the gall to look betrayed. “That was just foul.”
Theon made a mental note to get the kid something nice as a wrap up gift.
“And the last thing we need is to change the script at the last minute when we are doing a long take,” Robb said with a glare at Cersei, “If anything, he tried to save your scene.”
“Excuse me, you little nepotistic—”
“And what do you mean I don’t get to play father when you were the one that pushed the kids into—” Robert chimed in.
“Oh, so now it’s my faultyouwere too busy with your whores and drugs to pay attention to Joffrey—” Cersei forgot about her previous targets and roared at Robert.
“I never let him into my—”
“You were a horrible example—”
Their bickering had gotten to the point that the director had to go play mediator instead of telling people what to do so they could do that long take properly.
Theon felt a twinge of guilt…. But then lost it when he recalled that the ridiculous woman started this shit fest.
“I’m so sorry about her,” Myrcella said to him.
“Don’t be,” Theon said, “It’s not your fault. But thanks.”
Drowned God knew it took him a long time to internalize that.
Theon shook his head as he saw that Robb was telling Renly to at least act like he was weakened and not to change the blocking again, thanks. He went to the trailer under Ashara and the rest of the stunt team’s sympathetic looks.
“Hey,” Robb came up to him, “Are you ok?”
“It’s fine,” Theon said, “Thanks for telling her off when I couldn’t.”
“Believe me,” Robb snorted, “I’ve been wanting to give her a piece of my mind for weeks now.”
“That I can believe,” Theon smirked, not as strong as usual but a bit more sincere.
Why he was letting that woman get to him, he didn’t know. Not like she out and out went and called him a salt drinker or worse.
“Are you ok?” Theon asked him.
“Me?” Robb asked, almost squeaked really, it was rather cute.
“She did basically accuse you of getting your job because of your father,” Theon said.
Robb fidgeted, “I… kind of did?”
Theon smiled at him with a shrug and a snort, “As opposed to her?”
Robb looked at him with a sort of soft look in his blue eyes that made Theon feel fuzzy.
“Well, when your father is a… known director, it’s a lot easier to get the good gigs,” Robb shrugged, almost ashamed.
Theon wanted to shake him and tell him that he would have killed for those sorts of connections
“That why you’re going by your mom’s name?” Theon asked.
Robb’s eyes snapped to Theon’s green ones with alarm.
“I did my homework, Robb Stark,” Theon chuckled.
“Since when?” Robb asked.
“A few weeks ago when I noticed you and our fearless director looked uncannily the same,” Theon said, “Though I should’ve done that earlier instead of assuming I could figure it out through the scuttlebutt.”
“You wouldn’t have,” Robb said, “Mom always kept a very low profile and I really didn’t want to make it on dad’s coattails.”
“Doing a good job, so far,” Theon said.
“You’re just saying that because I got you a better deal,” Robb joked though the fear behind it made it a bit hollow.
“Please,” Theon said, “A movie with pissed-off and underpaid actors won’t get very far no matter how much money you throw at it. Drowned God knows it needs all the help it can get with Renly and Cersei in the mix, now there’s some real nepotism at work.”
Robb laughed, “Thanks for saying that.”
“Just because you won’t say it doesn’t mean the rest of us won’t,” Theon said.
Robb smiled and his face glowed again. Dammit, he needed to stop being so kind and handsome.
“I don’t suppose you’d want a drink next week after 3?” Robb asked, odd since an AD and an actor’s schedules tended to be incompatible and it was going to be the wee hours of the morning…
Theon grinned, “Call me the Reverse Cinderella.”
The Tambourine wasn’t anything, but that was exactly why Robb had chosen the place.
It wasn’t a nightclub or pub where celebrities and wannabes were “discovered” and “stalked” by the paps like The Skinny Countess, it was a legit hole-on-the-wall where normal people could go and drink until the wee hours of the morning without being bothered.
On the one hand, Theon’s pride and vanity was pouting that he wasn’t recognized and it wasn’t even an exclusive pub like The Frog where the whole point was that the movers and shakers could have private business meals together.
On the other hand, he was so done with bullshit that if he saw any paps or industry people, he was bound to bite someone’s head off.
“Fries?” Robb pushed some to him.
Drowned God, it was unfair how perfect he was.
“Can’t,” Theon said, “Those pants are unforgiving.”
“You look perfect as you are,” Robb then winced, scrambled for a new response, “What about a beer?”
“That I actually can drink,” Theon smirked, oddly proud. “To finishing this hellbeast of a movie?”
“And better prospects,” Robb clinked his bottle with Theon’s.
“Weeeeeelll,” Theon purred, “I do have a possible supporting role in Tyrion Lannister’s new movie.”
“Really?” Robb asked, genuinely happy for him, “That’s great!”
How women weren’t clawing themselves over him, Theon didn’t know.
“Eh, if this’ll pay the bills, the new gig is at least going to give me something to sink my teeth into,” Theon said, “Even said I could do my own stunts and might have a melee fight scene, even if that’s not really his usual thing. He might be looking into having an AD who is good with those…”
“You know,” Robb chuckled, blushing beet red, “I should be the one that gets you gigs, what with my dad and all.”
“Consider it a repayment for Cersei and the salary that paid for the year’s rent,” Theon smirked, eyes dark with desire.
This was such a bad idea.
“How about instead being the leading man in my own movie?” Robb asked.
Theon started, “Really?”
“What, just because I get paid with the blockbusters doesn’t mean I don’t do my own time in the indie circuit,” Robb smiled.
“What’s it about?” Theon asked with a smile.
“I’ll do you one better,” Robb took out a manuscript titled Bells of Insanity from his satchel.
“Ah, now I’m starting to see the real reason you asked me for a drink,” Theon chuckled.
“I do need a leading man I can trust,” Robb said.
“You need me to kick ass and look good,” Theon said, reading the first page.
“That’s a nice bonus but I was hoping more Nagga’s Bonesthan Drunken Master,” Robb said.
Theon’s head snapped up, black strands flying like a wave and pushing the blue shine in the light, “You saw that one?”
“You’re not the only one that did his homework,” Robb said, pleased.
“Yeah, but,” it was easily one of his best, most nuanced of performances, “it’s not…. Really seen outside of the Islands.”
“Shame too,” Robb said, “My sister made fun of me for crying.”
Theon blushed, and he did not blush, this was exactly what he wanted, being taken seriously as an actor and not just as a comedian martial artist.
He should be boasting and talking himself up, dammit.
He instead felt warm all over and suspiciously teary eyed and oh dammit, he had a rule about chick flick moments.
“That’s… good to know.”
And if Theon busied himself reading the (admittedly very good) script to avoid looking into Robb’s gorgeous eyes and warm smile, that was no one’s business but his.
Until it became Robb’s business.
“I don’t usually do this,” Robb blushed, and it was damned unfair that the beast in the sheets that left him aching and panting could still blush like a schoolboy.
“Wreck people?” Theon purred, cuddling up to Robb and rubbing his face against the red fur of his chest until his hair was a silken black pool against the red.
“Sleeping with a possible future employee?” Robb’s voice cracked.
“Eh,” Theon shrugged, “Always knew I was going to sleep my way to the top.”
“No you won’t,” Robb’s arms tightened around him. “You are amazing and soon everyone will see just how bright your star will shine.”
“Aren’t you a poet,” Theon nuzzled against him.
“I’m serious,” Robb said, “Are— what are we? I mean, cards on the table? I’d like to be a couple but… I mean…”
“Aside from one of the top ten fucks of my life,” Theon smirked when he felt Robb puff up his chest in pride no matter the chastising, “I…. wouldn’t mind something more steady…”
Robb’s embrace tightened, “Really?”
Theon’s smirk turned to a smile, “Yeah.”
They kissed and it was as passionate as their congratulatory private kiss when Bells of Insanity starting winning its first slew of awards.