Life was simple, if not wholly satisfying. After running military ops north of the Wall before moving to King's Landing, Jon Snow was happy for the simplicity. Jon stretched out on the sofa with a book and sighed in contentment.
“I am afraid we are out of toilet paper,” came the hesitant voice of pudgy, Samwell Tarly as he entered the living room. Jon laughed. Having been roommates for over three years now, Jon thought Sam would be a little less cautious, but it had yet to happen.
“Is it my turn to buy it?” Jon asked, though he knew it was not. Sam stuttered as he started to answer. Before Sam could get the words out, their third roommate and toilet paper delinquent, Robb Stark, threw open the front door.
“Gentlemen, I think I’m in love!” Robb declared, striding into the room like that Lord of Winterfell. To which Jon supposed was not far off, as Robb would inherent his father’s business one day, and thus in a way become Lord of Winterfell. Robb was Jon’s cousin, and while they were the best of friends and had done everything together as children, they were as different as night and day.
“Who is the lucky girl this week?” Jon asked. Robb shook his head in incredulity.
“It’s different this time, Snow!”
“Is it now, Stark?” Jon teased, setting his book aside. Robb was a serial one-night stand, and Jon had very little confidence that Robb had actually found true love… if such a thing even existed.
“So…” Sam said timidly, “What’s her name?”
Robb plopped, unceremoniously, onto the sofa.
“Talisa,” Robb smiled like a fool, and Jon rolled his eyes.
“And where did you meet her?” Jon asked, “Some pub?” He had not meant that to come out quite so sharply, but Robb was un-phased.
“School?” Sam and Jon said at the same time. Robb rarely dated women who were incorporated into his real life.
“She is in med school,” Robb stood up and started stalking around the room.
“I think I need a cup,” Jon needed caffeine in his system before he had to listen to any of Robb’s romantic oratory, “Any of you lot want to join?”
“I’ve just come from Blackwater,” Robb said, and started toward their kitchen, “The two of you go ahead.”
“Um…. Perhaps… Robb,” Sam stammered, “Perhaps… if you were so inclined… you might purchase some toilet paper?
Robb grabbed his phone, and laughingly yelled, “On it,” as he dashed out the door.
Sam and Jon exited their apartment at a much more reasonable pace, and made their way to the coffee shop, called Blackwater, in the basement of their building. As they stepped out onto their street, Jon grimaced at the hordes of people. King’s Landing had always been crowded, full of tourists, noise and dirt. Jon longed for the crisp cool air of Wintertown, where he and Robb had grown up, but alas, for now he was relegated to living in King’s Landing. Granted, as he was a paramedic, he could probably find work in any town in Westeros or Essos for that matter. Perhaps, he could move back to Wintertown, but he knew he could not leave poor Sam to fend for himself with Robb.
“Have you heard from Gilly?” Jon asked his friend, as he opened the door to Blackwater. Sam blushed as he always did whenever asked about his girlfriend. Gilly had been Sam’s first girlfriend, and would likely be his only, and the two were sickeningly in love. If ever any couple could convince Jon that love was out there waiting somewhere it was Sam and Gilly.
“She’s doing well, will be back in about a week I expect,” Sam said as they sat down at the coffee bar. Sam’s phone buzzed, Jon glanced over and saw that it was Gilly calling.
“Go on, Sam, no need to keep her waiting on my account,” Jon chuckled. Sam nodded and scurried back out onto the street to take the call.
“Gods, the two of you are dull.”
Jon looked up and behind the bar, with her bright red hair pulled back in a cap and wearing her apron, was Ygritte Wilde, she owned Blackwater and declared vehemently at least once a week that she was going to sell everything and move back to the North. She never did.
“Is he coming back?” Ygritte asked, nodding toward Sam outside the window.
“Aye, but not anytime soon,” Jon said.
“He talking to Gilly then?”
“Aye,” Jon said, gruffly.
“Aye,” Ygritte mocked him, and laughed, “You are so serious, Jon Snow, gods, you are no fun at all these days,” She poured him a cup of coffee the way he liked it.
Jon thanked her, chuckling, “That’s not entirely true, Sam and I had a laugh just this morning.”
“It doesn’t count if you’re laughing at Robb,” Ygritte said.
“Robb has apparently found true love,” Jon explained, and it was Ygritte’s turn to laugh.
“Was he looking in the mirror?” She questioned.
Jon smiled but did not respond, as he swirled the coffee around in his coffee cup.
“Why don’t you get yourself a girl, Jon Snow?” She refilled his cup even though it was not empty.
“Haven’t got time.”
Ygritte rolled her eyes, “You have plenty of time, you are sitting here doing absolutely nothing.”
“And who do you propose I take out?” Jon said glancing around the café, that was half empty except for a group of teenage girls, an elderly couple, and a couple in their mid-thirties clearly about to break up.
“Look I know you have not got the best taste in women…” Ygritte started, but was completely interrupted by Jon’s uproarious laughter.
“You ought to be careful what you say, Ygritte, considering you were one of those women… in fact I think you were the longest running one of those women.”
“Then who better than me to know?” Ygritte’s freckled face grew serious, “I’ve known you a long time, Snow, and I know I hurt you back all those years ago, but we both knew it was not going anywhere. You wanted something I could not give you.”
Jon offered her a gentle smile, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t regret you breaking it off with me, if you had not, I don’t think we’d still be friends sitting here having this conversation.”
“Aye that’s true,” Ygritte topped off his cup again, at which he gave her a funny look, “Look, Snow, you are one of my oldest friends, in spite of our history, I just want you to be happy.”
“And what makes you think I’m not happy?” Jon crossed his arms over his chest and gave her a defiant look. Ygritte did not deign to respond, she only glared at him.
“I’ve got coffee to pour and other customers to attend, if you want over the counter therapy, go find yourself a bar tender,” She laughed loudly and left him alone.
Bright and early the next morning, Jon stepped out of the shower after returning from working the nightshift at the hospital. It had been a long night for King’s Landing, Jon’s ambulance had gone out twice as much as usual, and Jon was exhausted. He could hear Sam snoring loudly on the other side of his bedroom door. Jon could not tell if Robb ever came home last night, he did, however, drop toilet paper off before going wherever it was Robb went on weeknights. It was just after 7 a.m., and Jon could not decide if he wanted to eat first or sleep first. He opened the refrigerator, hoping it might provide the answers he sought. The ringing of the doorbell caught him completely off guard. Who would show up this early in the morning?
Jon trotted to the door and threw it open. No one was there. That’s when he heard it. A little cry. He looked down and at his feet was a car seat. In said car seat, was a tiny grey-eyed baby, with wisps of curly dark hair atop her head. Jon blinked in disbelief. Stepping out the door, he looked around, trying to see who had left this infant at his doorstep. His heart was racing. What the hell? Mounting panic began to grip him. He came back to the apartment and found that the baby was still sitting at his doorstep. He crouched down in front of the car seat, cautiously, and stared at the infant. She was so small. Jon did not really know much, if anything about babies, but from his medical training he could at least ascertain that this infant was still quite young. Who would leave such a tiny baby alone on a doorstep? The baby grimaced as if she was about to cry. Jon did not know if he should pick her up or not, and so he stared at her, his hand going to rock the car seat hoping it would soothe her while he regained his bearings. That’s when he noticed, tucked beside the baby in the car seat, was a note and on the front in swirling letters it said…. Dear Jon….