It was about three months after Stannis had defeated the Lannister’s at Blackwater, and about two months after Stannis and Robb had met face to face, realizing that their realm was best served severed North and South with two kings, rather than united, that Arya had ridden back through the gates of Winterfell as if she had only been gone for an afternoon ride rather than for years now.
She was the last of the Starks to return home, to Winterfell. Bran and Rickon had never left, and Robb and Catelyn had ridden home as soon as treaties were signed with the King of the South, Stannis Baratheon. Sansa had taken a few more weeks, but she was given home as a sign of goodwill for the next year, with the knowledge that she must marry Willas Tyrell by her next nameday. Even Jon had returned from the Wall for a few weeks to see the family before he had returned North with more men, the prisoners of war who refused to bow to the new Kings in the North or the South, plus a slew of men who were just looking for more battle (or had nowhere else to return to). Winter was indeed coming, and Robb knew that him and Stannis would have to band together to face the winter walkers, if what his brother was telling him was true… but they had time to prepare, and prepare they would.
Robb had been in the practice yard with Bran, helping his brother hold the crossbow steady on his horse as he rode towards the target. Just because he was a King did not mean he could not make time to help his younger siblings completely able to defend themselves. He had just been giving Bran a tip on how to reload quickly when the complete silence of the yard had caught his attention, quickly followed by both Summer and Grey Wind howling, only to joined by a third howl that was not Shaggydog. He had looked up—right into grey eyes he had been told he would never see again, and felt his whole body freeze. Robb had searched for her, sent his bannermen out to see if they could find any sign of her—but there was none, and as the days had dragged on so did the hope of the remaining Starks of ever seeing her again.
Yet—it was her. The slight, lean figure on the horse, with the short cut, dirty, brown hair that might have hidden her sex if not for the fact that her breasts and hips were now rounding out, her long face no longer horse-ish but… Robb did not finish that thought as instead he had bolted towards her as she had slipped off the horse, arms wrapping around her so fast she had not even touched the ground before he was squeezing her, holding her to him to ensure she was not an apparition. He delighted in the oomph of pain she gave as he basically tackled her, even the unwashed smell she gave off—because it meant she was here. Robb grasped her hard, not wanting to let go, lest she disappear again, and only held her harder as both of her slender arms wrapped around him, tentatively hugging him back. He just gave her another crush, whispering in her ear, “We thought we had lost you.”
Grey eyes met his own blue ones, his only full sibling who did not have the Tully coloring, and he saw something there that froze him before she pulled back and smiled at him, a smile that did not quite reach those eerily vacant eyes. “Never that easily, brother. Never.” Before he could question why she looked so sad, though, they were joined by the rest of their family in the yard, and Arya was swept away from them into a hug with their mother, though Robb could not help but watch her face, looking for any hint of the little sister who had left in her face.
Instead, all he found were a pair of expressionless grey eyes, the bland grey Robb would later know was her way of hiding her pain and true self from the world.
She had not come alone. Arya insisted that the two boys (men?) she brought with her have places of honor in Winterfell, as they had been the ones who had helped her come home. Who had been with her when… well, she never finished those sentences, her grey eyes just getting far off and distant before she would leave the room. Robb had thought that he would be used to this, to having a sister who was removed, especially as it had taken Sansa weeks to smile, to come from her room and eat around the other men. Something about seeing Arya, though—the girl who would pull jape after jape on those around her, who was always looking to antagonize her older siblings—moving about the castle as if she were nothing but a shadow, as if she were no one, hit him hard in the chest.
The two she had brought with her, though she had insisted they did not have to, wanted to work. Hot Pie as he was known, only shuffled his feet and said that he only knew how to be in the kitchens—so Robb had placed him in the kitchens. Gendry, the tall boy who bore a striking resemblance to the late Baratheon king, had looked Robb straight in the eye and told him he was a blacksmith by trade, and he would work as their blacksmith. Mikken had been more than happy to take the boy on as an apprentice, though Robb wondered how long Gendry was planning on staying. Perhaps Stannis would want to know about what was most likely a Baratheon bastard? He had been good to Edric Storm, or so Robb had heard—maybe he would be to this one as well.
Though when Robb had breached the idea to Arya one day, she had looked him square in the eyes for what seemed the first time since she had come home, her eyes a steely grey as she said, “Gendry stays. He does not know who his father is, and all he wants to do is be a blacksmith. Leave him alone.”
The force in her voice, the fervor behind her words had surprised him, and Robb, not for the first (or last) time, wondered just what Arya had been through. Though it was the first time that Robb had been taken aback, wondering just what the relationship between her and this older boy was. True, Hot Pie had been with them for the journey home, but that did not mean those two had not snuck off and—he did not let himself finish that thought. Robb had frowned, knowing that Arya was still young enough that she could wait a few years before he would have to betroth her off—but he knew as the King he would have to make a good match for her. Not just a by-blow of a King, or even a blacksmith. He would like to think as a brother he would have let her make whatever match she wanted… but the more he thought on it, the more he realized that as a brother and a King the last thing he wanted was for Arya to be with that Gendry boy.
It was an odd day, a warm winter’s day that had taken the castle by surprise (especially as the snow had started to fall thicker and thicker), and Robb had decided that today would be a day of rest for the castle. No business today—just play. Which is how he had found himself walking the Godswood with Jeyne, who was wrapped up tight in three different furs, despite the unusually warm, sunny weather. He had laughed at first when Jeyne had complained about the cold weather, comparing her to his own Southron mother, but lately… they had yet to conceive a child, and it was wearing on Jeyne. He could see that. He knew it was unorthodox, especially since she was yet to have a child, but Robb had been mulling over the idea more and more of Jeyne going south for a few months as the weather got colder so she could see her family that had not followed her up here. His resolve to send her south only grew when, after only ten minutes in the warm Godswood she had asked to go back inside where she could warm by the fire. Robb had frowned, but had let her go, and continued on with only Grey Wind at his side, strolling through the Godswood, deep in thought. He was pulled from his musings, though, as he heard the thwack, thwack of stick meeting stick, drawing him further in.
Robb had been perplexed by who else was in the Godswood with him, but not surprised when he had heard his youngest sister’s voice, “No, higher. You need to compensate for your low center of gravity. Come on, now try again.”
He had been surprised, though, to see that it was the blacksmith she was practicing with as he had come upon them in the clearing. Robb stayed hidden for a second, watching them, smirking as he saw Arya’s light-footed moves, versus the bulkier ones of the blacksmith (he would do much better with a hammer, Robb had thought), frowning as Arya had ended with her sword at his throat, Gendry’s knocked to the ground. Arya then surprised Robb by laughing the first real laugh he had heard from her since she had returned home, as she had said with a mirthful expression, “Dead.”
Gendry had smiled at her, and Robb felt something uncomfortable and hot twist in his stomach to see this bastard boy see Arya’s smiles, the ones she had hidden from the rest of Winterfell since her return. Robb could not say it was just an older brotherly urge that made him want to go out there and punch the blacksmith in the face, especially when he saw the boy reach for Arya. She evaded his touch though, a frown on her face (good), before she whirled around, picking up his sword and handing it to him. “Again. Come on, I need the practice.”
Robb had watched for a few more minutes, but feeling like a lurker, he had turned away, wondering what the tightening in his chest signified as he heard them continue to fight, even as he drifted away. Or even scarier, what the boiling in the pit of stomach was trying to tell him. Just what about the scene did he have a right to be angry about?
Later that night, Robb called Arya into his solar, alone. He sat, waiting for her in a chair their father used to occupy when he would lecture them, staring into the fire, his fingers steepled under his chin, when she had finally entered. Arya had been wary as she took him in, but had graciously taken the chair next to him when he pointed to it. Robb observed her for a second, this younger sister of his, now a young woman who was a complete stranger to him.
Though, to be honest, her and Jon had always been the one with a relationship when they were younger, whereas Robb and Sansa had been closer. He wondered if part of her sadness was due to the fact that she had yet to see Jon, who had left for a ranging expedition before he could be told of Arya’s return. Robb had no doubts that Jon would be back as soon as he heard of Arya returning home—but that odd boiling in his stomach he refused to categorize returned as he thought about how Jon would be more likely to get his sister to smile than Robb would.
He observed her as she sat, seeing that (unlike his wife) she was only wearing men’s breeches and a wool shirt, much like he was, the cold weather part of their blood. He had been surprised at first when his lady mother had let Arya wear these boys clothes, but Catelyn had just been so happy to have her children all still alive, that she had declared Arya could wear whatever she wanted—as long as she still studied with their new Septa.
She was taller now, thin and lean, not as rounded as Sansa or their mother, but it was definitely a young woman who had returned, not the girl who had left. His eyes strayed to where her hips rounded against her breeches, where her shirt grew tighter around his chest, and found himself cursing as his body stirred, his eyes snapping up to her face, guilty. She was looking in the fire though, and his eyes strayed there, watching her face. She was never as beautiful as his other sister—but there was something about the sadness on her face, and the way she was growing into her features. Arya would never be considered classically beautiful, but he could study her features for months and never grow tired of them, or the minute expressions that filtered across them.
Finally, he spoke, his voice drawing her gaze, “I saw you and Gendry fighting in the Godswood today.”
Arya stayed silent a moment, before she nodded, looking back to the fire, “I know. I saw you watching us.” She flicked her eyes back to him, smirking as she said, “You are not as quiet as you thought, especially not with Grey Wind at your side.” The smirk caught him off guard hitting him low in the chest, though it disappeared quickly, as she only continued with a sigh, the smirk gone, “Do not be mad at Gendry. He was only doing what I ask. I want to continue my work with Needle.”
What or who Needle was confused Robb, but he continued on anyways, “I did not call you in here because you are in trouble. It’s just… you are not going to get better practicing with a boy like that. He is no swordsman.”
Arya’s eyes met his own in that instance, and he was pleased to see the usually vacant look gone, even if it was replaced by steely resolve and insolence. “So what do you suggest I do? Challenge your bannermen to fights? I hear the Greatjon is good with the sword.” She stopped, looking into the fire again, and he heard her voice shift when she spoke next, going somewhere he could not follow as she said, “I had a Braavosi teaching me the Water Dancer style once… back in Kings Landing, before… well… just before.”
She did not turn to look at him, but it was the most she had opened up to him since she had come back, and Robb gave her her silence for a few minutes to see if she would continue. When she did not, he only sighed before he declared, “I will find you a Water Dancer teacher again, if that is what you desire. On one condition.”
Arya looked at him, those grey eyes now shining with curiosity and the faintest bit of hope that had him already pushing getting a Braavosi swordsmen here as fast as possible to the top of his list of duties. When he did not continue, she prompted, “Yes?”
Robb swallowed hard, but went through with the next bit, desperately wishing, not for the first time, that his father was here to have this conversation with her. “You will no longer fight Gendry, I know he is your friend, but you are a princess and he is not a suitable fighting partner for you.” She frowned at that, looking as if she wished to disagree, but her eyebrows shot to her hairline when he continued, steamrolling over her, “You will fight with me instead.” Robb waited a beat before he added, almost as an afterthought, “Okay?” He was a King now, and he found himself getting too used to demanding things, rather than asking for them. But he knew from past experiences with the women in his life, and the stubborn little girl that Arya had been before she had left, that it was better to ask than command sometimes.
Arya studied him, and he got the sensation that she was really looking at him, not through him as she did with everyone these days, for the first time since she had gotten home. She studied his face, and Robb grew uncomfortable under her stare, though he did not show it as she softly nodded, saying, “Okay.”
Her eyes were a steel grey then, a color Robb came to know spoke of her defiance and anger.
They did not fight every day; they could not, especially as Robb was not only the Lord of Winterfell but also King of the North. His duties, which he took extremely seriously, came first. But even his duties could not stop him from finding Arya every two or three days so that they could practice. He was true to his word and he had found her another Braavosi teacher, who Arya found great delight in learning from. He expected his mother to complain, but as with the boy’s clothes, Cat had taken one look at her smiling daughter, and declared that ‘dancing lessons’ would be added to Arya’s daily schedule.
Robb was hesitant to really fight with his sister at first, since she was close to six years younger than him, but he learned quite quickly to never hold back with Arya. Their fighting styles were as different as night and day, Rodrik’s Westeros style of fighting versus the Water Dancer’s lighter movements—but it was the most fun he had working with a sword since before Robert had ever asked his father to come to Kings Landing. Though, to be honest, it was not just because of training with someone who was an actual challenge and not afraid to hit their King—it was simply being with Arya that made all the difference. She was a different person when she was fighting—it was like she came alive again when she had a practice sword in her hand. Or even better, Needle, the small sword she had gotten from Jon that she clearly adored. In fact, it was the first story she had told him about, in their third or fourth meet-up for fighting.
It would be three times after that when she would reveal the story of how she had lost it, but it would not be until another five times after that that she would reveal how she had found the man who had taken it from her. They had been sitting, facing the Godswood as they often did when they spoke, side by side on the grass, and it was a memory he long carried with him, recalling everything perfectly. The smell of Arya’s sweat mingled with his own, the taste of salt from his sweat, the feel of the grass—even the color breeches and tunic she was wearing (brown and grey) as she looked at the tree, repeating her story about how she had come upon the man in an inn and… she had paused, before looking him in the eyes, “I stabbed him with Needle. Over and over. Repeating those damn questions of his back in his face, screaming at him. I could not help it. It felt like all of the rage of carrying his name around with me, of what had happened burst out in that instance, and I just stabbed him, long after he was dead. Jon had told me that I could poke someone full of holes with Needle, and… well, he was right.” Robb was silent as she grew hushed, just watching her, knowing with her it was never better to pry—Arya would talk about what she wanted to when she wanted to. Her eyes caught his own again, the gray darkening now into that steel grey he recognized, and she stared into his gaze, defiant, “He was not the first man I killed.”
Robb kept her gaze, seeing the play of emotions there—she was full of hidden strength that surprised him, and he was considering himself on the way to becoming quite a Maester when it came to reading Arya and her anything but ordinary grey eyes. As the silence continued, Robb saw the dark grey changing, and he realized that she was afraid of telling him that she had killed a man. Afraid that he would reject her, which was why her chin was raised so high in the air, why she was trying to look so strong. Gods, she could not be further from the truth. She was his younger sister, and an amazing young woman at that. He cared for her, and all he wanted to do was go back in time and erase any of this from happening. She was not supposed to have gone through what she went through, and he could not help but blame himself. He was the eldest in the family now; it was his job to ensure that no one ever went through a tenth of what Arya had gone through. Sansa’s story of abuse at Joffrey’s commands had horrified him enough, but with Arya….
Robb kept his gaze steady as he softly said, “The first man I killed was in the woods outside of Winterfell. He was one of the wildings I came upon threatening Bran in the woods. He was older than me, and I charged towards him, and, whoosh,” he motioned with his arm, a sweeping move she followed with those eyes of hers, “When I looked back, he was dead.” He frowned, before continuing on, “That was my first kill, and it was easy to justify afterwards, since he had been wearing the black of a man from the Watch. He had betrayed the Watch and his oath, and I would have had to kill him anyways.” He sighed, running his hands through his curls as he looked away from her, before continuing, “The next was in the Battle of the Whispering Woods, a man was about to stab one of my men from behind, so I rode up to him, and,” another motion of his arm, “this time, when I looked back, his head was gone from his body.”
Robb looked back to her, though he moved his arm as if there was still a sword in it, moving it as he spoke, “The next thing I knew I had killed another, and another… I did not count after the first few, as I knew I would go crazy with it. It was not even until after the battle that I let myself think about the blood on my hands, the deaths I had caused.” He sighed, looking down, shaking his head as he wrung his hands together, “I would like to think that those men were not good people, that they had no families… but I know the truth.” He looked back up then, towards the Godswood tree, with its sap tears, “But the more I killed, the more I forgot who they were, and what kind of people they might have been. All I knew was that they wanted to hurt me, to hurt those that I loved and—I couldn’t have that. They were no different than the man in the woods who threatened Bran.”
He reached for her hand then, keeping his eyes on the Godswood. Her hand was warm and slender under his own, and he held it tight, surprised when she turned her palm up so they could be lace their fingers. He felt a warmth travel from where their hands were joined, straight to his heart, though his heart contracted as he felt how rough and calloused her hands were. He grew angry then, knowing that she was the daughter of a lord—Arya should never have had rough hands, her hands should be silken, like his lady wife’s or mother’s. But, Robb mused, then she would not be Arya.
He waited a few moments before he spoke again, waiting for the anger to subside, and it did when she began to rub her thumb in a circle along the back of his hand, soothing him. “I would kill every single man who mistreated you on the road, who gave you grief, who looked at you funny Arya, if that is what it would have taken to get you back. I would kill every false king, every real king, every manipulating queen—I would kill them all if it meant that we could be here like this.” He stood then, and she followed, their hands still linked, and he put another hand on her shoulder, looking down into her face. He was surprised to see her eyes were silver, and a watery silver at that, though no tears fell from her eyes. “Death is a gift, the Faceless Men are said to say, and we should not be ashamed of what we had to do in our darkest moments. If it is them, or us then, dammit Arya, I was glad it was them. You could tell me you have killed hundreds, thousands of men, and I would only say good, because you’re here with me, now.” She gave him a real smile then, genuine for reasons other than when they were fighting—and then completely surprised him by throwing her arms around his body and gripping him to her tightly.
Robb stayed still for a moment shocked by the way she touched him, shocked by her warmth, and the tenderness in her arms, before he let himself melt into her hug, as she pressed her face into his chest, his hand going around her slender waist, the other into her thick brown hair as she stayed there, against him, just holding her back. They stayed like that for a long time, him just rubbing her back, offering her all the comforts that he could. Robb would like to think that it was the hug of a sister to a brother, but that night, as he reached for Jeyne, it was not her slender feminine body he was imagining as he slid into her, but rather, that of his lithe, athletic younger sister.
That was the day he discovered that Arya’s eyes turned silver whenever she was sad, learned that his sister did indeed have weaknesses no matter how much she pretended not too.
Jeyne had written him, a month into her journey, with the good news that she was pregnant. Robb, the King, was delighted. Robb, the man, on the other hand, felt conflicted. Especially when he announced the news to his family and bannermen that night. Though everyone else went straight into congratulations mode, and he was hugged and backslapped and such, he did not miss when Arya quietly slipped from the room, not even meeting his eyes.
The next few days, he could not find her. She did not meet him in the Godswood, and when he saw her at suppertime, she came late, ate quickly and slipped from the room before he could follow her. Even when she tried to summon her, she flat out refused. Robb grew more and more frustrated, thinking of how far they had progressed in the months since he had started fighting and how they were pretty much back to day one now. He felt guilty for all of the wrong reasons, guilty that he was the reason she had retreated back into herself, guilty that he had a wife who he had gotten pregnant with his heir, guilty that he even had to think like this! She was his sister!
He tried to ignore it all, but even the rest of the family members noticed the change in her and every time one of them asked if he knew what was wrong with her he felt just that much worse. Finally, after Rickon had come to ask why Arya did not play with him anymore, it got to be too much, and so Robb had finally set out to find her. She was not in Winterfell and every minute he searched for her was one he grew more worried. His uneasiness only grew when he heard from the stable boys that her and the blacksmith had gone for a ride about an hour past.
Robb saddled his own horse posthaste, not bothering to wait for their help and stampeded out of the keep, following his instincts into the woods. He did not have to ride long until he got to a clearing him and Jon used to fight in as boys, unsurprised to find Arya there with Gendry, whacking at him with her wooden practice sword. Even in his brief observation before he was seen, Robb saw how ardently Arya was attacking the poor boy, and for once, Robb felt a brief flare of compassion for him.
Robb rode into the clearing, shouting, “Arya. Stop this!”
She whirled, looking at him, as he dismounted in a fluid movement, spitting onto the ground in front of her as she wiped at the sweat in her eyes. Her eyes were dark and stormy, eyes, which reminded him of a night he had been at sea in the middle of a storm. Gendry, smart lad that he was, took a step back, as if to disappear into the woods themselves, though Robb addressed him first, turning to face him. “Get back to Mikken.”
Gendry flashed a look to Arya, clearly concerned for her, which flared Robb’s own anger. He waited for Arya to defy Robb easily, telling Gendry to stay, but was surprised when Arya gave a nod without acknowledging the boy. Gendry looked as if he wanted to say something, but he was a smart lad, so he only gave a bow, “Of course m’lord.”
Robb and Arya’s steely eyes locked, waiting, and Robb did not move as he stared at her, sweaty and exhausted, her cheeks flushed pink with exertion, waiting until he heard the beat of the horses’ hooves grow far off and distant. Only then did he speak, his voice strained with his anger, “What in the hell are you doing? You told me you wouldn’t fight with him anymore. I haven’t seen you for days and the first time I find you, you are fighting with that boy?!”
Her lips grew thin and she spoke in a voice that sounded soft, though he could hear the steel underneath it all, the steel that matched the flashing in her eyes, “What do you care? I know you were just fighting with me because you feel sorry for me, Robb. That you were just trying to stand in for dad or even Jon, befriending me because you’re my brother, and you have to.”
Robb took a step back, as if she had struck him, stupefied into silence for a moment as he saw her look down, crossing her arms over her body. He was incredulous though, his voice harsh as he questioned her, “What? Is that what you think? That I’ve only been fighting you because it’s my duty?”
Arya looked at him for a second before turning her head defiantly, her jaw muscles working. “You always were such a dutiful son, and brother, and husband.” She hissed the last word, then spit again, before she brought her gaze back to his, her sword up. “Come on, do your duty, brother, fight me.”
Robb stared at her, lost, “I only have my real swor—.” She took a swing at him, her wooden practice sword moving fast as she hit his left arm, and Robb let out a hiss as he felt the sting of pain. “Dammit, Arya, what are you doing?”
She moved back a step, twirling to parry a thrust at him again, but he sidestepped, and she growled at his retreating form. “What you expect of me. Now come on and fight.”
She lunged for him again, and Robb’s instincts took over as he rolled with the motion of the sword, seeing it go right past his face. He took another step back, but still, kept his hand away from the hilt of his sword. Arya was angry, he could see that, and the last thing he wanted was to bring his real sword out, as she was reckless enough that he could actually hurt her by accident. Gone were the light movements he had come to expect from her—she was angry, and her emotions were bleeding into her swings. Arya took another thrust, and Robb moved again, another step back. She got even angrier then, her steel-colored eyes flashing silver as she yelled, “Come on and fight me dammit!”
Her swings became wilder, though every now and then they would hit and Robb would be left with a sharp pain wherever she had gotten him, and he cursed repetitively, though he refused to draw his sword. Finally, he felt his back bump into a tree, and he was not fast enough to move out of its way as Arya leveled the practice sword at his throat. Her eyes met his, and he was surprised to find the sheen of tears in her silver depths, as she softly told him, “Dead.”
The stayed like that, both of them panting, breathing hard, only a practice swords length apart, their eyes locked. It was eerily similar to how he had first found her fighting with Gendry, but Robb ignored that thought, instead staring into those watery, silver eyes of her. Her hair was in wild disarray, her cheeks now stained red, as his eyes were drawn to her lips he saw that her mouth was parted as her breath came out in heavy pants, matching his own shallow breaths.
Robb could not say who moved first, but he did know it was him who reached for her, grabbing her to him and twirling so she was the one against the tree, as he pressed into her body, their lips meeting, furious and fast. It was an angry kiss, one full of hatred, vitriol and passion—and was turning Robb on more than anything ever had before in his life. Arya was wildfire in his arms, kissing him back with everything she had as she twined her fingers in his hair, tugging him down, closer to her. His hands found her hips, and pulled them against his own so that his already hard arousal was pressed into her stomach. She groaned as she felt him grind into her, and he used the opportunity to thrust his tongue into her mouth, tasting every sweet part of her, exploring her mouth, thrusting in and out of her like he wanted to do with his cock.
Her own tongue met his, fighting him for dominance of the kiss, and Robb felt his arousal grow even harder. With Jeyne, there was heat, there was no doubt about that—but it was not like this. It was not like it was with his Arya, this all consuming, fiery passion that was bound to drive him insane. Jeyne did not meet him step for step in everything, did not challenge who he was or what he knew like Arya did.
He could not stop in that moment, not that he wanted to stop—already his hand was moving up from her hip, skimming her waist before palming her breast through her clothes. She let out another moan, and started to circle her hips, pressing closer and closer to him. As he found her erect nipple through the shirt, he gave her a pinch through her clothes, and Arya threw her head back, letting out a loud moan. Robb heard some distant voice in his head, trying to remind him who she was, who he was, how what they were doing was wrong (you’re not Targaryen’s for seven’s sake! You’re not even Lannister’s!) but he could not care. They were not brother and sister in this moment, they were man and woman. His lips skimmed her upturned face before latching onto the soft skin of her throat, tasting the salt of her sweat, the flavors of her flesh, as his hand continued to fondle her breasts.
She let out these breathy little pants and moans as he tortured her with his hands, and Robb knew that it was not enough. His hand skimmed from her breast, to her flat stomach, to the top of her breeches. He used both of his hands to unlace her, as he sought her mouth again with his own, and she kissed him back, even as he continued to undress her. As his hand slipped in, past her smallclothes, to find her center already warm and slick for him, Robb groaned. He wasted no time in thinking then, only going off of feeling as he slipped a finger into her warm heat, finding the nub at the top of her sex and pressing, moving in circles.
Arya broke away from him as she let out the groan this time, leaning against the tree, moving her hips against his hand, erratically at first, before she found a rhythm as he brought her to a fast, but furious climax that had her gasping his name, clawing at his back, before she slackened against him for a second. Gods, he could watch her like she was right now forever, so wanton and desperate looking, making all of these sounds that would drive any man insane. She recovered quickly though, fisting her hands back in his hair, bringing their mouths together so she could kiss him again, catching his lower lip with her teeth, tugging at it, nipping it like an animal.
It was that bite, that animalistic, primal bite, that ripped right through any and all of his defenses, and before he could rightly say who had unlaced his own breeches, he had her pants shucked off, her legs wrapped around his waist, and he was guiding his stiff erection into her as she moaned into his ear, “Please Robb, I need you, I need this.”
It was not a gentle thrust with which he entered her, and Arya’s head snapped back as he pushed himself into her fully, letting out an anguished cry that was part pain, part pleasure. Robb let out his own moan, as he was completely enveloped in the warm heat of her body, and they stayed frozen like that for just a moment, a perfect moment of wholeness, her forehead resting on his own, the two of them panting heavily. Gods, she was warm, and tight, so tight—and they fit together perfectly—Robb never wanted this moment to end. But then Arya gave an experimental shift of her hips, and Robb sank even further into her he was lost. After that, his body took over, and as she held onto his shoulders, her legs squeezing around his body, Robb thrust into her, over and over again, uncaring of the way she was pounding against the tree.
He held her hips with his hands, guiding her, moving her so she met him thrust for thrust. Her hands were gripping his shoulders, clawing into them as she rode him as well as she rode any horse, his own hands moving to the smooth skin of her firm backside, adjusting them so he could hit the spot inside of her that made her moan the loudest, saying his name over and over again, driving him insane. Arya’s moans became louder, her nails pinching into his skin even through the layers he was wearing, her legs squeezing them closer together. As he began to suck on the place where her neck met her shoulders, he felt her began to tighten around him, moaning, “Robb, oh Robb….”
Her release, and the way she was breathlessly saying his name milked his own climax from his body, and Robb held her to him as he shuddered inside of her, feeling as if the whole world was exploding into wildfire around him, nothing but heat and sensation and that crackle of thunder he had never truly felt before in his life.
They held each other, just simply holding each other for a few moments of stillness, letting their bodies drift back down to Earth, their breathing slowing, their hearts getting back to a normal pace, his forehead resting on her own, their eyes open. The grey eyes were quicksilver then, changing and flashing, before she simply closed her eyes, breath slowing down. And then she loosened her legs from his hips, and the spell was broken. They did not meet eyes as they dressed, Robb righting his clothes, tucking himself into his pants as she turned her back to pull her own clothes back on, though when she turned back to him, he forced himself to look her in the eyes, finding them still quicksilver, too mercurial to name. A thousand voices were in his head right now, asking him what kind of fool he was—she was his sister, and, looking at the blood that had been on her thighs and his cock—a virginal one at that too.
Robb looked at the ground, trying to find that sense of honor and decency that he was famed for, for that level-headedness that made him a good King, a good leader in battle, and instead he found none. He might be disgusted with himself for what he had done, but he did not regret it. In truth… it was the first moments of peace and calm he had found since… well, forever. With her he was not Robb the King, Robb the Lord of Winterfell, or even Robb, the patriarch of the Stark family—he was just Robb, the man. He looked up at her, his breath hitching when he saw the way she was looking at him.
There was no disgust, no shame on her face, only a look of wonderment that belied her true age, and the little girl she once was. Robb felt something constrict in his throat at that, something tight and hot, something other than the jealousy he has been feeling towards the Baratheon boy, and he suddenly had an affinity to Jaime and how he must have felt towards Cersei. He would do anything to keep her looking like she did in that moment, to keep her grey eyes quicksilver, no matter what the Gods said.
Gods, did he ever think he would understand the Kingslayer? Let alone, sympathize with him?
Arya was still watching him, and Robb took a deep breath, knowing what society dictate he should do in this moment, even if it was the last thing he wanted to do. “Arya—”
She cut him off, her voice unwavering as she quietly told him, “If you apologize to me right now, I will never forgive you.”
Robb shut his mouth, relief flooding him at the same moment despair did, though he was careful to keep the emotions off of his face as he nodded at her. Without another word, Arya turned, walking to the horse she had tied up on the other side of the clearing, mounting, and without so much as a backwards glance, she rode away. Not long after that, the grey wolf he knew as Nymeria came from out of the edge of the clearing, looked at him with eerily familiar grey eyes, before she turned, following the route Arya had just taken.
Robb could only hope that he would see that irresolute shade of quicksilver in her eyes again, and soon—especially if it meant desire and contentment like he suspected it did.
It was later that night, and Robb was in his solar, drinking heavily of the wine he had asked to be brought up to his room. Arya had not been at supper, claiming she felt unwell, and Robb was not much better. It was not until he was back under the roof he had grown up under, the same as her, that everything really hit him. Just what in the hell did he think he was doing? She was a fourteen-year-old girl, for one, and his sister at that! What kind of madness had gripped him to take her? And take her so ruthlessly and uncompassionately against a tree like that? She was a virgin, and he had rutted with her like they were nothing more than animals!
Though, Robb had to admit to himself, the biggest guilt he felt was that he did not feel very much guilt at all for what had happened earlier. He knew he should care more, he should know that his own father above was looking down at him in shame—but… but this was his Arya.
The little girl who had left Winterfell was gone forever, he knew that now, and this young woman who had replaced her—she awoke so many feelings in him that he did not know where to begin. Feelings of pride of what she had grown into, feelings of surprise at how she challenged him constantly, forcing himself to grow, feelings of nostalgia as she reminded him he was still only a nineteen year old man and did not always have to be a king, feelings of jealousy whenever he saw the blacksmith look at her, feelings of lust with the way she met him blow for blow on and out of the Godswood where they practiced….
Robb sighed, standing, abandoning his wine glass as he moved from the solar to the Lord of Winterfell’s bedroom, praying for sleep. Maybe he would call Maester Luwin and get some dreamwine off of him. He needed to rest tonight, he knew that—then he would talk to Arya first thing in the morning. If she let him, that was. Gods, the part he felt the worst about was how this might have damaged her. She had finally been opening up to him, finally showing him those smiles he had never thought to see again, and—
His thoughts froze as he moved towards his bed, seeing that his bedroom shutters were open. That was odd, he kept them closed during the—
His thoughts were once again cut off as he heard the door behind him close, the latch locking as he whirled around, finding Arya standing there. He gaped at her as she slowly moved closer to him, stopping until she was in the dim glow of the only two candles in the room, mere feet from him. His eyes grew even larger when he saw that she had a dagger in her hands, one which she was casually flicking up into the air, twirling, then catching, as she stalked closer to him. He found his voice, wondering why desire was coursing through his veins just as quickly as adrenaline was, his heart thumping loudly in his chest. “Arya, what are you doing here?”
Arya arched an eyebrow as she caught the dagger, tossing it between her two hands, before her eyes caught his own. As she stepped into the light, he felt his heart pound faster as he saw her eyes were quicksilver at the moment, her voice low and husky as she said, “You will allow me to travel through the North with a small retinue whenever I want.”
Robb’s confusion grew with his desire, even as she stepped closer, tracing the point of the dagger down his tunic, “I do not want to have to give up dancing lessons, ever, no matter how improper other’s say it is.”
Her eyes were following the blade before she met his eyes again, using her free hand to gather the material of his tunic so it was free of his pants. “And I will not be sent from Winterfell, ever. Even to be married to some high lord.”
The blade traced lower, the muscles in Robb’s stomach jumping as the flat of the blade pressed against his muscles there, before she pulled the shirt taut with her other hand, “When your wife returns, she will know nothing of this. Nor will anyone. Even a hint of a rumor and we stop.”
With a flick of her wrist, she cut through his shirt from the bottom to the top, where she grabbed with her hands and tore it off of him, exposing his body to her greedy eyes, “If I ever have bastards, you will not try to legitimize them, as Jon Snow is one of the most honorable and worthy people I know.” Robb’s breathing was becoming more labored as he watched her, watched the way her eyes greedily took all of him in, wishing she would touch him.
She was not done though, the blade catching his laces, carefully avoiding the straining of his cock before his pants fell loose as she smirked up at him, “And we will continue to practice sparring as we have been.” The dagger was thrown behind her, catching in the wood of the floor, as she smiled at him, tugging his trousers off with his smallclothes, leaving him completely nude while she was fully clothed.
“Do I make myself clear?”
Robb tried reaching for her, his whole body thrumming alive with his need for her, and Arya caught his hand and pushed him down to the bed, landing on him so she was straddling him, his cock nestled against her ass, holding his wrists above his head. Her face was inches from his own, but even as he strained up to kiss her, she reared back, tightening her grip on his wrists. “I said, do I make myself clear?”
It was hard to think with her body flushed against his like that, even clothed he could feel her and smell her, and he wanted to taste and touch all of her—but he managed to give a nod, knowing that in that moment he would have agreed to anything she would ask of him. She smiled then, her grey eyes dark in the shadows of his room, and lowered her head so it was only a hairsbreadth away from his own, their lips touching as she told him, “Good.”
With that, her hold on his hands slackened, and Robb flipped them, using his weight to pin her down, as he looked her in the eyes, not kissing her yet, as he said his one condition, “You have to keep talking to me, Arya. I want to know everything. Never be afraid to talk to me.”
Arya’s hand came up to touch his cheek then, and uncharacteristically a soft smile lit up her face, as she ardently told him, “I won’t.”
With that, Robb lowered his head, making sure to watch the changing grey of her eyes, one second slate, the next iron, and then finally settling on quicksilver before they closed as he kissed her. Even as he kissed her, Robb wondered if he would ever come to know what exactly all the changing colors of her eyes meant—but then she thrust her tongue into his mouth, and all thoughts were gone for the rest of the night.