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23 April 2012 @ 09:30 am
like the stillness in the wind before the hurricane begins, 4/4  
The first thing Jon sees when he wakes up is pale morning light coming in from the window. The road is empty. No news, and he’d be surprised to see a crowd in the streets that aren’t underground.

The first thing he’s aware of is Sam’s hand on his side. He can’t help smiling a bit at that, even if the previous night almost feels like a dream. In the sense that while he remembers what happened, there’s a strangeness to it, something that makes him feel as if nothing of that has happened to him.

It’s probably a side effect of being out and then staying up for too long.

He painfully turns on his other side, cursing the state of his back, and by the time he’s done he has shifted the weight on the bed enough times to wake Sam up.

Or maybe, considering that he looks quite alert, he had been awake for a while.

“Are you all right?” Sam asks, sounding slightly worried. “You look –”

“I’m fine,” Jon says, even if it isn’t entirely correct. He feels tired even if he has slept long enough, his chest still hurts everywhere and he carefully avoids thinking about all the rest, because he isn’t sure that he can deal with it right now. “I mean, as fine as it gets.”

“Do you want me to get you something?” Sam asks, his cheeks flushed, and Jon feels his body tense. As if he’s getting ready to bolt out of the bed.

“No. No, you should stay right where you are.” Jon should hate that it sounded just a bit needy, but he isn’t sure that he cares about it anymore. Not when he remembers enough of the previous night that his body almost aches to have Sam’s hands on him again.

It hadn’t been the same as with Ygritte, and Jon wants to cry just thinking about her, so he tries not to. But right now he thinks he’d really want to do it again. It’s not just that he had thought about it, back when they had just arrived here and they were just two green boys who didn’t belong anywhere in a place made for people that can’t have a home. It’s that Sam is probably the one person in the seven realms that will make him feel good at any given time, it’s that he did miss him in ways he had thought he’d miss only Arya or Robb or Bran, it’s that he’s always liked the way Sam smiles at him.

“I should?” Sam asks, his eyes widening, and then he breathes in and moves that hand up to Jon’s shoulder before receiving an answer. Jon weights the pros and cons of moving harshly, because closeness sounds like a good idea right now, but moving from his side will end up being hurtful whatever he does. Thankfully he doesn’t have to make that choice; Sam huffs for a second, crawls closer and moves so that he’s inches from him.

When they kiss this time it’s heated; Jon almost forgets about the dull pain in his chest the moment it collides with Sam’s, and there’s nothing refined in the way their tongues meet. Jon moans shamelessly into Sam’s mouth the moment Sam’s hand grips his shoulder before moving to his neck, and before Sam can have the idea to pull away because he wasn’t expecting it, Jon drags him back in.

The moment they part, Jon feels blood rushing down towards his groin – and he’s frankly surprised that his body apparently feels up for it, but then he feels Sam’s cock rubbing against his leg at the same moment.

Well, it’s two of them then. When he raises his eyes to meet Sam’s, Sam flushes slightly and Jon can’t help it – he has to laugh a bit.

“Sam, you slay an Other and you blush like a girl because of me?”

Sam scoffs, but it’s almost fond. “Well, I didn’t do much better when I was with a girl anyway. And the Other was an accident.”

“Whatever you say,” Jon agrees, but then Sam’s lips are on his again and before he can process it, Sam’s hands go to his arms and after some fumbling he ends up on top of Sam, Sam’s hands still grabbing his elbows.

“What –”

“Uh, I thought – since you can’t exactly lie anywhere and we’re both, well –” he trails after glancing at both of their crotches. “I thought it’d be more comfortable.”

Jon isn’t sure that he can come up with an answer that won’t sound ridiculous, and so he leans down, sighing when Sam’s cock brushes against his through their breeches. He moans when Sam reaches down with a hand, his shaking fingers working the laces of Jon’s breeches before pushing them down and trying not to jostle the covers too much – it’s still too cold to attempt to get out from under them. When Sam’s hand touches Jon’s half-hard cock Jon moans into Sam’s neck, and even if this isn’t ideal (other than Sam having to fumble without seeing what he’s doing the position isn’t great and he has to put a lot of effort into holding himself up) it’s good enough for his cock to harden faster than he’d have thought. He knows that he’s sweating everywhere, and Sam is too, but he can’t bring himself to care, not when Sam has such an earnest look on his face even if his pupils are slightly blown.

“Wait,” Jon says when he realizes that Sam isn’t providing any release for himself. “Just – push your breeches down.”

Sam doesn’t object and does, or at least enough that Jon can move and rub his own cock against Sam’s, who lets out a strangled moan against Jon’s shoulder as well. Jon closes his eyes, concentrating only on how good it feels. When Sam’s hand reaches between them so that it’s touching both of their cocks at once he groans so loudly that he wouldn’t be surprised if everyone in the house heard him. By now he’s fully hard, or as much as he can, and he knows he’s leaking over Sam’s hand, and Sam is the same as him; neither of them will last long, but he wishes that it wasn’t the case. He isn’t really feeling much pain anywhere right now, and Sam is looking at him with the eyes of someone who couldn’t be happier even if saying that the circumstances are bad would be an understatement.

When he comes, he lets out another moan that is just barely muffled by Sam’s large shoulder; he feels Sam jerk and come a moment later, his hand still loosely wrapped around the both of them. He says Jon all over again and Jon starts shivering all over again as his arms give out. He falls down on top of Sam, and he barely register that Sam’s free arm has wrapped around his waist so that he doesn’t fall off; he’s still shaking because his muscles are throbbing in pleasure, his limbs feel warm and loose, and when he closes his eyes and lets himself drift with his head still on Sam’s shoulder for the moment nothing hurts.


It sort of does hurt when he comes to, Sam’s arm still around his waist, but for some reason it doesn’t make his frame flare in pain.

He blinks twice, runs his mouth over Sam’s shoulder when he turns his head, realizing that the sign of his teeth won’t go away soon. He’s strangely pleased.

“Jon, uh, do you want to –”

“Not for now.” He chuckles then, wondering if teasing a bit won’t hurt. “You’re quite comfortable, you know.”

“Well, Jon Snow, I’m glad that finally my size was useful for something,” Sam says back, but he doesn’t sound resentful. And he doesn’t push Jon away, but still –

“Sam, you know that I don’t –”

“Even if you meant that, after talking my father into paying for the boat I had to take, I think that it hardly matters.”

Jon doesn’t ask further – Sam told him some details before but only them, and Jon hasn’t inquired any further. Some things you have to keep for yourself, and he knows about that well enough.

“Are you sure that it doesn’t bother you?” Jon would really avoid moving right now. Especially as the warm feeling slowly but surely leaves him.

“Jon, you used to weigh a lot more when you fell over me while we pretended to spar. No, it doesn’t,” Sam adds quietly, and there’s mirth in his voice; Jon doesn’t move for a long time.


One week later, they managed to find enough obsidian for twenty daggers or so, which means not nearly enough for everyone. Between the wildlings coming in every day after fleeing the Wall and their old group, they’re already more than the town can easily house. Twenty daggers is nothing.

They also intercepted a number of ravens, but the messages are all variations on the same theme – Marsh is asking for soldiers or help from any southron realm that he can reach and he’s denied every time. Jon would almost feel pity if the situation was different, but he had a solution for the lack of men and he almost died for it; he’s mostly worried because this means that the Wall won’t hold up much longer, but it’s not as if he had done nothing to prevent it.

He throws the messages into the fire and if his eyes burn as he does it, no one needs to know.


When he takes off the bandages for good, he can’t help hating the way the cloth feels on his bare skin. According to Sam his wounds scarred enough and taking away the bandages won’t hurt, and why shouldn’t Jon trust the only person among them with some sort of medical knowledge? And that was all his doing, too.

It’s not that it’s painful or strange, but having something touch his wounds makes it hard not to think about them being there.

At least he isn’t still struggling to keep himself up for more than two hours – by now he’s fine with walking around the brothel. He gets still gets tired easily, especially if he has to walk in the chilly air outside (even though it isn’t too bad underground – fires are kept going at any given time), but at least he doesn’t need to latch onto Sam’s arm in order to walk.

Not that Sam isn’t conveniently near whenever he goes out, but neither of them mentions it. If sometimes Sam’s hand reaches out and stays still on the small of Jon’s back, no one has anything to say about it.

Three days after the bandages are off, there’s another meeting in the whorehouse’s main hall. This time Jon isn’t huddling under too many blankets as he had before.

“The ravens aren’t bringing any news,” Melisandre says, sounding a lot less optimistic than she used at any given time when she was on the Wall. “The fires haven’t told me anything either.”

“You mean that everyone’s still refusin’ the buggering fool’s requests?” Tormund snorts. “Not that it don’t serve him right.”

“Except that if he doesn’t get any help we’re all going to die anyway,” Pyp chimes in. Tormund doesn’t contradict him.

“How many of us are here?” Jon asks. “It seems like it’s more every day.”

“I reckon around five hundred,” Val answers. “More of us have come since I escaped, though.”

“No surprise ‘bout that,” Tormund says under his breath. “I’ll bet that some crows’ll turn their cloak soon.”

And wouldn’t that be fun, Jon thinks bitterly.

“And I’ll bet that in a short while the new Lord Commander might change idea,” Sam says, more to himself than to anyone else.

“What did you just say?” Pyp presses.

“Well, the more people come here from the Wall, the worst they’re off. And if they aren’t getting help from the South… well, unless they’re really blind, they’ll ask us for help.”

For a second Jon thinks that he’d like it, if only to refuse, but then he silences his traitorous thoughts; he wouldn’t do something that might allow the Others to pass the wall just because of petty revenge feelings.

It would feel good, though.

Dolorus Edd informs them that they do have enough food stocked to survive for a while, even if there’s less game around than it used to be a month ago, and Jon figures that at least some good news are better than nothing.

The meeting ends there. They haven’t solved anything and they still have no real plan beyond hiding underground if the Others really do pass, but Jon doesn’t let himself think about that for too long.


That night, when Sam closes the room’s door softly before crawling under the covers, Jon can’t stop himself from asking a question that he has tried to avoid asking for a while.

“Sam, sometimes I wonder why you even came here.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean – Oldtown is relatively safe and I’m pretty sure that Marsh didn’t say clearly that I was alive. And a lot of people at the Wall knew or at least suspected that I became Lord Commander because you had a part in it – no one was going to be happy about you being back. Why did you come?”

Sam shrugs under the covers, his cheeks flushing slightly; then he looks up at Jon, obviously forcing himself to keep eye contact.

“If – I thought you might be dead, but I still would have done that even if I had known. I’d have wanted to pay my respects someway. And then I thought that you might not be, and then I thought that if the Wall fell the last time we saw each other would’ve been… well, when I left. And it wasn’t – it wasn’t how I wanted to remember you,” Sam finishes quietly, and Jon envies him for a moment. It takes a certain sort of courage to admit to yourself that you’re a craven and it takes another to leave relative safety to cross half of the world because there’s one chance on a thousand that a person you want to see isn’t dead.

And knowing that if it’s the case, you’ll most probably die with them.

“You know,” Jon says, trying to keep his words straight – he wishes he wasn’t so tired, but at least it was from standing for ten hours –, “the girl that I – Ygritte, she always used to tell me that I knew nothing.”


“I was just thinking that if I ever met your father I’d tell him the same thing.”

Sam’s cheek flush in the dark, but he’s smiling, and when his fingers close around Jon’s elbow the moment before he passes out, Jon thinks selfishly that he wouldn’t have this any other way.


Then the next day, finally, something goes right.

One of the spearwives manages to catch a raven without killing it, and it brings a message from Winterfell; when they bring it to Jon’s room, he’s sure that it’ll be signed with Ramsay Bolton’s name.

Instead, it says Stannis Baratheon.

Jon tries not to think too much about the fact that he risked death because he fell for an obviously fake letter. He reads the one in front of him instead. It says that while they have some men they can spare, differently from before (Jon doesn’t know why, but if Stannis has Winterfell then there’s been a battle and he might have needed men to secure the castle), they won’t send any until the Lord Commander explains exactly why there was a mutiny.

While Sam goes to take care of the raven’s damaged wing (thankfully the arrow had hit it marginally) Jon pens the answer. It pains him to use paper from a book that the brothel’s owner used to list payments, but there isn’t any other way. He writes that he’s still alive, tries to explain his failed plan in as few words as possible, adds that there are five hundred of them and that he waits for orders. After all, he isn’t the Lord Commander anymore – he can follow whoever he wants and right now he doesn’t think that he has it in himself to lead anyone.

The raven is able to fly six hours later; Jon gives Sam the letter and as the bird flies towards Winterfell, Jon tries not to get his hopes too high.

He doesn’t ask anyone whether they noticed that days are getting too short, even for the winter. He isn’t sure that he wants anyone to tell him that it isn’t his impression only.


Two days later, an answer comes.

Stay where you are and wait.

Nothing more and nothing less, but it makes Jon feel relieved. If they send some properly armed soldiers it will be more than enough, and if they come with an order to go back to Winterfell to protect it, he’ll be glad to accept it. If they intend to make Marsh reason, Jon won’t say no either – even if his days in charge are over. He doesn’t care much for being in charge anymore and he doubts he’ll ever be.

That evening he goes to eat in the tavern – after all, if he can stay awake for a normal time, he’s as healed as he’ll ever be and while before too much noise made him feel dizzy, he misses the dinner hall. He misses laughing with the people he shared a table with, he misses hearing laughter and screaming and singing, he misses people around him. And he thinks that it’s been enough time.

“I’m coming with you,” he tells Sam just before Sam heads for the tavern.

“We missed you,” Sam replies before waiting for him just out of the door. Jon grabs an extra fur and follows him out.

The tavern is packed with mostly wildings and a few men dressed in black; Pyp and Grenn clap him on the back when he comes inside it, and he’s almost touched when both of them don’t do it as strongly as they would have a long time ago. They’re given equal portions of a stew that doesn’t taste half bad and Jon eats it with pleasure. He doesn’t talk much but he listens to Sam as he tells them some story about his trip to Oldtown and about this strange girl he met in Braavos, he doesn’t express his opinion when Pyp starts teasing Grenn over five different things during the course of the entire dinner. For that hour he spends in the tavern, he can almost trick himself into thinking that the last couple of years haven’t happened.


He makes the mistake of drinking a glass of wine before leaving. A mistake because by now the fairly good kind has been drunk and cheap is the best thing you could say about the wine (or any kind of drink) that’s left at the moment. He hasn’t had anything to drink in a long while, and his body is still weak, and it only takes him that glass for his head to start spinning. Thankfully it clears enough while he leans on Sam as they walk back to the brothel, but he can’t help shaking away the thought that two years ago this would have never happened. Two years ago it’d have taken him a lot more than a glass for his eyes to lose focus for a while, or for him to feel dizzy after a couple of sips.

When he drops on the bed, his head is somehow clear but his tongue is loose, too loose.

“I’m sorry, you know,” he blurts, and when Sam sits down next to him, looking worried out of his mind, Jon thinks that his heart swells just a bit.

“Jon, what –”

“I am. About a lot of things, but – mostly about you.”

“About me?”

Jon laughs, looking down at his hands. They’re slightly shaking. “Sure. First I send you away just when it’s plain that you like it where you are, and to do something you hate, and then you come back regardless? Here? If the Wall falls tomorrow and we all die here it’ll be my fault.”

“Jon, I don’t – I don’t think you’re thinking clearly,” Sam tries, but Jon shakes his head. He’s thinking clearly enough.

“Oh, I am. And I also know that maybe if I hadn’t sent you away you might have stopped me from doing things without consulting anyone else, and maybe I wouldn’t be like this and I wouldn’t have put the safety of the entire kingdom at risk. I haven’t taken one right decision since they elected me,” he keeps on, unable to stop himself. “And your father thinks that being handsome and a skilled warrior is everything. He knows nothing. I know nothing.” And he’d keep on, he knows he would, but a moment later he feels the back of Sam’s hand connect with his cheek and the sharp bout of pain makes him stop.

It takes him a second to realize that Sam just slapped him in the face, and then he looks at Sam again and he looks even more worried.

“Sorry,” Sam mutters, “but I didn’t know how to stop you. You’re talking nonsense.”

“You know I’m not.”

“Yes you are. Your plans were good – it’s not your fault if the others couldn’t see it. I didn’t want to go, fine. I won’t lie. But I saw why you did it. And if I hadn’t met you, I’d have stayed a recruit for the rest of my days, and you know it.”

“You’re not half as craven as you think you are,” Jon replies.

“Maybe, but I’d have never known that if I hadn’t met you either. And if the Wall falls is Marsh’s fault, not yours.”

“It isn’t that easy.” Sam makes it seem so, but it isn’t.

“Do you want to know something? When I was – when I was in Oldtown, sometimes I thought that I’d never manage to forge that chain. Mostly when it was my turn to, uh, dissect corpses. I thought I’d throw up the first time I saw one. But I didn’t. Because – I always thought – that if I could forge that chain then I’d go back here and we could have – well. You know. You’d have been like the Old Bear, and I’d have been like Maester Aemon, and we’d get to grow old at the Wall, and – I know it’s stupid. But it was nice to imagine it.”

Jon can’t even begin to wrap his head around it – mostly because he had thought that Sam had been angry with him for sending him away. Surely not that he’d force himself to go through that stupid training just so that they could grow old together at the place he had come to think of as home.

“I’m sorry,” Jon whispers then. Someone else might have joked about it, because Sam is right – it’d take little to think of it as a stupid fantasy. But Jon knows it isn’t. “Apparently that’s not going to happen anytime soon.”

“You’re still alive, aren’t you?” Sam replies softly, and Jon doesn’t think anymore – when he kisses Sam it’s all heat and urgency and need, and when Sam gasps before kissing him back, Jon thinks that he won’t be happy with only Sam’s hands or with his own. Stannis or whoever he sent will be here soon, and they could be dead a week from now.

From the way Sam is reciprocating the kiss, Jon thinks that he isn’t the only one who wants more.

He doesn’t resist it when Sam slowly pushes him down on the bed, and he doesn’t protest when Sam throws away both furs covering them and opens his shirt; it’s cold, damn cold, but Jon thinks he can endure that.

He gasps when Sam runs his fingers over a gash in his shoulder. Jon shudders then, unable to keep his eyes open and look at the mess of scars on his once smooth chest, and then he doesn’t think anymore because Sam has leaned down and kissed that scar he had been touching before.

“Sam, what –”

“I think you’ve talked enough for this evening,” Sam replies before kissing the one below it.

Jon would like to object, but then Sam moves to the next one and Jon loses capacity for coherent speech. He shivers while Sam’s lips or fingers go through all the scars covering his chest, both deep and shallow, and when he runs his tongue almost shyly over the one on his hip that had almost killed him Jon can barely recognize his strangled voice as he speaks Sam’s name all over. When Sam is done, Jon barely feels the chill – there’s sweat breaking all over his face, and his hands are stuck on Sam’s shoulders, gripping maybe too hard, but he can’t bring himself to care. When Sam’s hands reach up and brush his neck they’re sweaty, too, and the brushing becomes touching only when Jon slams his lips against Sam’s. His back, which is pressed against the wall, hurts because of the pressure, but Jon doesn’t really mind, not when everything else feels so good. From the way Sam’s hands touch him to the way Sam’s tongue feels against his own, everything is making him shiver in pleasure rather than pain, and when one Sam’s hands moves down and Sam runs his fingers again over that red, angry scar on his hip Jon feels his blood boil.

They’re both panting when they part and Jon doesn’t lose time – his hands go towards Sam’s breeches, unlacing them with trembling fingers (even if they don’t shake as Sam’s had the first time they did this). When he palms Sam’s crotch through his smallclothes he’s pleased to find him half-hard, and he feels his own cock stir, too.

Hands won’t be enough this time, definitely not.

“Jon, we don’t have anything –” Sam starts when Jon pushes down his own breeches and gets rid of them. He’s feeling slightly colder now, but that’s no issue. He knows he won’t be cold for long.

“Sam, get to the point.”

“I should – we don’t have oil or –”

Jon shrugs, not as if they could have stolen it from the tavern. “Then we’ll have to make do,” he replies before nodding towards Sam’s mouth.

Sam’s cheeks are beyond flushed as he spits on his finger before leaning down – though not enough to crush him – and Jon hisses when it Sam pushes it slowly inside him. He might have been too optimistic – it’s going to take a lot of it and Sam won’t hear that after forty people stab you at once your idea of pain tolerance changes, so he stays still while Sam’s fingers work on him. It’s painstakingly slow, and it takes what seems like hours before Sam puts a second finger in (and it’s obvious that he’s somehow read about how this is done – he’s doing this too carefully to be second-guessing his actions). At the beginning it’s mostly painful, and when Sam pushes in past his knuckle he’s glad that Sam is taking his time after all, but then he starts to get adjusted, and while it’s not exactly pleasurable until Sam manages to push two full fingers inside it becomes bearable. Then, before Sam tries to put three fingers in, Sam’s other hand closes around Jon’s half-hard dick and Jon moans out loud, and he’s distracted enough that while he feels some pain, it isn’t enough to pull him out of the moment. And then Sam’s fingers bend just a little and Jon thinks that if his chest wasn’t still hurting he might have arched off the bed.

“Gods,” Sam is keeping on saying all over again, as if he can’t believe that this is really happening. “I’m – I’m not sure it’s enough – I don’t want to –”

“Sam, you out of everything in the world won’t – won’t be my death,” Jon manages to say before sitting up a bit, his frame against Sam’s. He wishes he could unlace Sam’s shirt, too, but he’ll need one hand for other things and he can’t keep himself propped up without one arm. Then Jon spits against his hand once, twice, and wraps it around Sam’s cock. Sam groans out loud, and considering that there are some people patrolling on the outside Jon won’t be surprised if the time of the lady love jokes comes back.

Not that Alliser Thorne would have imagined that Jon would have been the lady love, technically, but apparently he knew nothing either.

He gives Sam’s cock a couple of strokes until it leaks against his palm, and then he takes his hand away before he can get carried away.

“I think – you can try,” Jon manages, and Sam gives him a jerky nod before pulling away his fingers and replacing them with the tip of his cock.

It hurts. It could be worse – it’s not completely dry and since Sam is keeping on spitting in his hand and touching himself every time before he pushes in, and he’s going slow, it’s definitely not the unbearable kind of pain. Still, Jon has to remind himself to breathe and relax, breathe and relax, as Sam moves painfully, inch by inch, and Jon thinks that singers should write odes to Sam’s self control. He hasn’t let himself fall down once, which means that he isn’t crushing Jon to the bed. Considering that his eyes are more black than soft brown, Jon can easily figure that he’s holding back; a lesser man would have just thrown him down onto the bed and had his way.

This until Sam curses under his breath and pulls out without a warning.

“What –”

“’m an idiot,” Sam mutters before grabbing the one oil lamp they have inside the room from the nightstand. It wasn’t even lit, and maybe it’s why they didn’t even think about it. Sam takes the cover off. A moment later, two fingers coated in oil are pushing their way inside Jon again, sliding in a lot more easily, and then Sam takes them away and plungers them inside the lamp again.

And then Sam’s cock is sliding inside him again, and it’s nowhere as painful as it was before.

“You’re definitely not an idiot,” Jon manages before Sam buries himself inside him and the rest dies on Jon’s tongue. When Sam pulls back and pushes in again, touching that spot that his fingers had reached first, Jon wraps a leg around Sam’s back, his nails digging into Sam’s shoulders. Sam is muttering his name all over, his lips against Jon’s neck while Jon’s hips thrust forward. Sam starts slow but then he obviously can’t hold himself back anymore and Jon is fine with it; when Sam starts going faster, his cock hitting that spot all over again while Jon’s erection is trapped between the two of them, Jon thinks that he won’t last much longer. The friction is just perfect and he doesn’t think that he’ll need to touch himself, not when he thinks that he wouldn’t even remember how to move his hands if he tried. His mouth finds Sam’s again in a messy, open-mouthed kiss just before Sam’s entire body spasms and Jon feels Sam coming inside him with a last, deep thrust. That’s what sends him over the edge, too – he shudders in Sam’s grasp before spilling all over Sam’s stomach, his forehead plastered to Sam’s, his body shivering all over from pleasure. His grip on Sam’s shoulders has to be painful but he’s beyond caring; he can’t, not when his blood is singing and boiling and then he’s gone. He’s feeling too much and when he realizes that he’s not shaking because he reached the peak anymore, his grip on Sam’s shoulders goes a bit more lax.

He really isn’t surprised when it ends with Sam half on top of him a few moments later. He knows that it won’t help his back if they stay like this, not when he has half of Sam’s weight on top of him, but if not for that he wouldn’t have cared and he isn’t even sure that he wants to.

His back can hurt as much as it wants tomorrow, he thinks before closing his eyes again. They should clean up – they’re filthy, the both of them – but he can’t bring himself to care about that either.

If he sighs out in almost contentment when Sam manages to roll them over and their frames are pressed against each other, it’s not as if someone else but Sam knows.


The morning after, Jon is grateful that whoever brought him the pitcher full of water that he usually finds at the bottom of the bed left it outside the door. They manage to clean up fairly decently, but the sheets aren’t salvageable.

“I’ll bring them down,” Jon says.

“I can do that,” Sam offers, but his cheeks are flushed, again.

“I don’t mind,” Jon cuts him short.

He brings the sheet down to a makeshift laundry room – people take turns there. Today it’s a spearwife’s who obviously isn’t too happy with it, but when she sees the sheets she laughs and asks Jon whether there’s been some stealing going on in his room.

Jon doesn’t answer. He runs into Pyp on the stairs, and while Pyp flushes the second he sees him, he doesn’t comment or start with the lady love jokes, and Jon is grateful for small favors. Not that knowing for sure that the entire house heard them is something he couldn’t wait for, but then again they all might become wights in days. He doubts anyone would care.

Sam has changed the sheets when he’s back inside the room.

“I had thought about that, you know,” Sam says, looking down at the bed rather than at him.

Jon wraps his fur closer around himself and goes to stand next to Sam. “Who says that you were the only one?” he answers.

Jon had thought that he had been selfish, while being glad about Sam being here rather than in Oldtown, even if it meant more risks. But from the way Sam is looking at him right now, Jon thinks that maybe it was the two of them.

He doesn’t find the thought as scary as it should be.


Hours later, Jon is in the main hall, Ghost at his feet (the direwolf had been out hunting and for once Grenn had been glad that he had brought some game along), looking at one of the few maps that they managed to scrounge up when Val strides inside the room.

“Lord Snow?” she asks, and her tone is mocking enough that Jon doesn’t bother telling her that he doesn’t really liked being called like that anymore.


“Some people who were hunting came back saying that your precious king is on the way. He’ll be here in maybe one hour – I reckon he’ll be expecting you outside.”

“Did he bring anyone with him?”

“Some fifty men, or so they say.”

She leaves after that, and Jon is half-sure that they won’t see her around for a while. Not that he blames her, considering that she had to live with the man’s wife berating her traditions and trying to force some husband on her.

Sam, who had been writing something on the back of a page torn away from the brothel’s accounts book, moves in front of him.

“So he’s come in person?”

“It means important business,” Jon sighs. “I doubt I’ll like it, but she’s right. I have to meet him – I might as well go out and try to clear a couple of tables at the tavern.”

Which will be hard, since it’s full at any given time.

“Do you want to come with me?” Jon asks then.

“What – to talk to the king?”

“Why not? He knows good advice when he hears it.”

Sam folds the paper in four and it disappears into one of his pockets. “The last time I talked to him, I was scared out of my mind,” Sam remembers, moving closer to Jon’s side.

“You don’t have to –”

Jon stops talking when Sam shakes his head. “I’ve met worst people than him since,” Sam says. “And he’s nothing in comparison to my father.”

He sounds remarkably calm as he says it. Once upon a time he couldn’t even say that word without flinching, Jon remembers.

“You never told me how it went exactly,” Jon says then, feeling a bit guilty for not having inquired more.

“There was no need to. And – well. It was terrible, while I was doing it, but the moment I left – I was glad I could see him again. If only because I realized that I really don’t care what he thinks of me.”

“You shouldn’t care.”

“Well, I’m half-sure that I couldn’t have gone back there for any other reason.”

Jon swallows, and now he’s the one sure that he doesn’t have an answer worthy enough.

But maybe he doesn’t need to have it at all.

And even if nothing looks good right now (Stannis could bring bad news, his sister is still married to Ramsay Bolton or missing, as far as he knows, the Others are closer than ever, he’s still hurting all over and he isn’t looking forward to more fighting, more scheming and more suffering), he figures that it’s not too much to hope that they somehow all survive this.

(He’s also tempted to hope that someday that fantasy of Sam’s about the two of them growing old in a place that they both love might come true, and that it might happen in a world where somehow both his presumed dead brothers were found, however it happens, but he still doesn’t go there. It would be too much luck.)

“Jon?” Sam asks, and he realizes that he had been staring without saying anything. “Are we going then?”

“We are,” Jon replies softly, and when they step out into the pale, weak morning sun he doesn’t feel as cold as he should.

feeling: okayokay
Little Miss Badass: redlipsladyamaly on August 6th, 2012 11:10 am (UTC)
First of all, hello!

I've been meaning to read this for a while now - I had it bookmarked and while I started reading a couple of times, something always came up before I finished. Well, I finally read it now and I just couldn't let such a wonderful story go without a comment!

Sam and Jon are both precious babies, and it's such a shame people don't write more fic about them. When I comes to Sam, I usually just want to hug him and pet his head, and Jon - especially Jon in A Dance with Dragons - needs all the love he can possibly get [as a sidenote - up until the final half of ASOS, I didn't really like Jon as much as I liked Jaime or Robb or any other male character I love in ASOIF, but by the time I finished A Dance with Dragons I was mostly in love with him. And then GRRM happened, of course.]

Weirdly, I think that, even thought I loved the whole thing, my favorite part in this was having nice!Melisandre, no matter how briefly she appears. I kinda loved her in A Dance with Dragons, but she's mostly regarded as awful and someone-please-strangle-her by the people I've talked to, so having her as something other than a villain always puts a smile on my face.

So, thank you so much for the awesome story. Also, I just gotta love you - because you ship RobbxTheon, SamxJon and DeanxCas./ creepy moment over.

Ama XD
the female ghost of tom joad: asoiaf >> jon/samjanie_tangerine on August 7th, 2012 10:40 am (UTC)
Hello to you! :)

and thank you so very much, I'm so glad that you liked this! It was fun to write and yeah, this ship is so underrated, I figured I'd write them a nice long fic just because they deserve it. ;) and while I always liked Jon I'm pretty much agreeing with all your statements here. Also I'm really glad you liked what I did with Mel here! in ADWD it seemed to me that she was at least well-meaning even if I'm not hot on her religion at all, but that said I figured that she isn't the embodiment of evil or anything and I went with that approach. Also: your shipping preferences are made of win. ;) thanks again for reading! <3333
Little Miss Badass: that'swhyyoulovemeladyamaly on August 7th, 2012 11:39 am (UTC)
Religion in general seems highly twisted in a ASoIaF. You have R'hllor who thinks it's fine that his Azor Ahai drives a hot sword through his wife, the Drowned God who is supposed to drown you before you can be part of his pack, and while the Seven seemed pretty chill, along came the Faith Millitant and now they're torturing people. XD

Yeah, Sam/Jon deserved a long fic. Their whole bromance is a thing of beauty and who says otherwise is cleary blind. And yeah, I ship like a boss. ASoIaF is a strange fandom, though - there is so much brilliant long fic for completely random pairings, but I only ever found one long JaimexBrienne. Am I cursed to forever ship things that don't get much fic?

Well, not true - I still ship SanSan and Destiel, so I guess I have to settle and at least there's a lot of porn for RobbxTheon. XD
the female ghost of tom joad: asoiaf >> robb/theon 3.0janie_tangerine on August 8th, 2012 02:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the only ones that seem decent enough are the Old Gods but GRRM still has two books to twist them ;) though R'hollor and the Drowned God have to be the worst imo, mostly because of the whole HEY LET'S DROWN PEOPLE OR BURN THEM ALIVE! sometimes I'm convinced that they're the same entity tbh ;)

I knoowwwwww Sam/Jon deserves NOVELS ABOUT HOW PERFECT THEIR BROMANCE IS, but sadly there isn't near enough of it around :((( *sadface* and yeah with you on the brilliant fic for random pairings and not much long ones for not-random ones, but then again at least if we're talking about Dean/Cas or S/S we're covered. (Also at some point I'll write something indecently long Robb/Theon just because, but my love for that ship and the angst it provides knows no bounds. And at least there's porn for it, let's rejoice. ;) )
Little Miss Badass: lulusuzieladyamaly on August 8th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
I think the Drowned God is the worst, though. R'hollor does burn people alive from time to time, but let's not forget that if you want to worship the Drowned God, you gotta drown first. I remember reading Damphair's first chapter in AFFC and he was all like "Well, it's normal to lose followers while drowning them, it means their faith isn't strong enough." And I had no idea whether I wanted to laugh or not at how blase he was about the whole thing. Iron Isles, man. I think the Greyjoys deserve some kind of prize for making the Lannisters look like a nice, sane family. Ah, Theon, baby, you were never going to be even slightly well-adjusted, were you?

WHY IS THERE NO SAMxJON? Oh, I think I know why - probably because Sam is fat and Jon is hot. :( Can't have hotness mix in with fat, can you? /*forever bitter*

Yeah, we're good DeanxCas and SanSan, but...but...RobbxTheon, man. They're like the most tragic ship ever, and that's saying something considering that all the ships I ship tend to break my heart to bits. But RobbxTheon is angstier than all the others and gorgeous for it. <3

And there is a lot of porn, which is all fine and well, but I want feeeeeeeelings and plooooot. Porn does not satisfy my shippy little heart of long. As a side note, what do you want me to pay you with for a long RobbxTheon? Do you want money? Slaves? My first born child? [I'm sorta currently writing a long fic with them, but it's not the saaaaaame thing.]

Also, I only now noticed you like Bruce Springsteen, Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaiman. If you tell me you also like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Vladimir Nabokov, I just might ask you to marry me. XD
the female ghost of tom joad: asoiaf >> jon/samjanie_tangerine on August 8th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
Yeah, my theory is that Theon was actually too well-adjusted in comparison to the Greyjoy standard, but the moment he tried to live up to said standard he just totally lost it. Sigh. Seriously, the only other Greyjoy I actually do like is Asha, the others are too insane for my tastes. But yeah agreeing on the Drowned God being the worst of the lot :/ there's a reason why I hate Aeron's guts - he scares me a LOT XD

Pffff yeah the whole 'Sam isn't exactly the standard kind of hot' explanation is the only one I can find that explains the lack of fic with Sam ships in general :/ as if being fat means you can't have a sex life, ugh. As far as I'm concerned, he should get laid a lot more often. Also I'm totally sure Jon loves him the way he is ;) ;)

Haha I know re Robb/Theon being the angstiest ship that ever angsted? They make my heart twist just thinking about them XD aaaand well I meant 'long fic that is actually shippy and where shit ends well', but if you're interested I have a WIP going on at AO3 that is a total canon divergence where Robb survived ASOS and met up with ADWD!Theon which is a) long as fuck and b) far from over, but idk yet if anything strictly shippy is going to happen or if I'm keeping it platonic. Idk if you want a link I can provide it, but I can't assure that it'll be shippy in the strictest term...

Also can I tell you that you have excellent taste? ;) and well, I'm not familiar enough with Garcia-Marquez to say that I love him like crazy but Nabokov is totally one of my favorites. ;)
Little Miss Badass: mesmerizeladyamaly on August 8th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Asha I totally love and adore. She's exactly the kind of warrior chick I want to see all the damn time, but I never get the chance to. There are many awesome women in GRRM's work, but while I love Brienne and her brand of noble knightly-ness, Asha is just <333

Most chicks that fight are usually placed into one out of two categories, I noticed: they;re either Evil Seductresses or Ice Princesses - one category is usually hypersexualized and mostly regarded as fap-material for nerds and the other usually has about zero personality and is mostly blank-faced all around. And then there's Asha, who's all sexy, sexual and in-your-face about everything she does, kicks ass and doesn't apologize and she still has softness to her.

[there is also the "Most Girls are Stupid" brand of warrior chick, a la Show!Arya or even Talisa, but my reaction to them is to mostly bash my head against the wall.]


RobbxTheon are totally the most angsty thing ever. Robb and Theon as characters are the most angsty worthy things ever, especially poor Theon in ADWD. ;____; My feelings for him were mostly "God, you're awful, but I STILL LIKE YOU" in ACOK, but then George Martin did what he does best, gave us ADWD and my poor little heart just cracked. I just can't with Martin...

...I went to check it out and I realized I read that one. XD I remember thinking Davos was awesome in that fic and everything. At this point though, I don't care if anything shippy happens between them or not. I just want fic that focuses on them.

Hah! God, Nabokov. I just bought Ada or Ardour today. I read it a while ago, but it was always too expensive to buy. I found it today and it was so cheap it was practically for free so I jumped my chance. Nabokov has the best writing style IMO.

So, I'm totally friending you because you're awesome. *brofist*
the female ghost of tom joad: asoiaf >> theon 2.0janie_tangerine on August 8th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
YESS about Asha. She's also remarkably saner than pretty much all her relatives (Theon included - sorry darling *pets*) so she's win-win all over as far as I'm concerned. I vote for Asha ruling the world and her uncles sucking it, tbh. ;)

(also pfff Talisa? WHO IS TALISA? TALISA DOESN'T EXIST, there's just Jeyne Westerling as far as I'm concerned. *nods all over*)

EXACTLY. HE LOVES HIM BECAUSE HE'S CUDDLY AND ALSO FOR HIS BRAIN, BECAUSE SAM'S BRAIN >>>>> 90% of the brains in Westeros if we don't include Davos. *cough* looks aren't the issue! ;)


Hahahah well glad you like it so far! I should update it again fairly soon... and good to know you liked Davos, he's getting more to do at some point. (Let's not get into my headcanon when Davos should totally adopt adwd!Theon *cough*)

Nabokov is just amazing, I love his writing so much. *high fives* and I'm totally friending you back! ;) <3333
Little Miss Badass: Franceladyamaly on August 8th, 2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
Asha, man. If she doesn't become Queen of SOMETHING by the end of the books, I'm gonna hex Martin's beard so that is falls off. Asha's uncles are all awful. As for Balon...good God, I remember while I was reading AFFC, I was like..."So, there was the War of the Five Kings. Joffrey, Renly, Stannis, Robb and...and...who the hell was the other guy?"

Seriously, though. BabyKrakens Asha and Theon are wonderful, but all the older Greyjoys can suck it, as you so wonderfully put it. I think I hate Euron the most, of Damphair is the most annoying and Victarion is a bit like a James Bond goon.

Talisa is just one of those characters that really has no business in ASoIaF, because she's all special snowflake and Totally Missing the Point. I'm not even going to touch the fact that Robb marries her ~*~for tru lurve~*~, like the most Hollywood-esque thing ever. I bet the writers thought they were being so clever with that twist.

YES. Sam. One of the very, very few actually competent people still alive in the books.

Davos is an interesting character for me in the books - I never really got to feel VERY attached to him, not like I'm some of the other POV characters, but I think that his chapters are just so damn interesting and exciting.

T__________________T Remember somewhere in ADWD where Theon actually says he was supposed to die with Robb, I can't even...

God, I remember a time when I thought that Dean was the saddest thing ever. How clueless was I?


I don't think I've ever read a book with a more brilliant opening than Lolita. Seriously, that just grabbed you neck and refused to let you go until you read it all. XD

What are your thoughts on Scott Fitzgerald? XD
the female ghost of tom joad: asoiaf >> robb/theon 3.0janie_tangerine on August 8th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
I want Asha queen of the world tbh, but I'll settle for iron islands if I can't have the rest. But yesssssssss the young Greyjoy generation is galaxies better than the old. Can I just subscribe to everything about the living older Greyjoys? XD balon just needed to die before he did tho, I blame the entire mess that Theon became later just on him XDDD

I still want to throw up re the robb and talisa thing DDDDDD:

Hey, I'd totally go for Sam and his brain would be a good part of the reason. COMPETENCY FTW thanks.

Haha I admire Davos if only because he survived this long while being honest and always saying it like it is. #godavos and yeah Theon did say he wanted to die with Robb DDDD: my heaaaaaartttttt DDDD: (and yeah get a nice guy with BEING A GOOD DAD experience to adopt him D:

Lol, Robb/Theon makes Dean/Cas look like a HAPPY SHIP. If only because they're both alive.

Aaaand about Fitzgerald.. Well, I loved The Great Gatsby but I haven't read anything else of his so I can't judge with more knowledge, but that one book I really liked.
Little Miss Badass: redlipsladyamaly on August 8th, 2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
Asha can totally be my queen of everything. And Balon, I was just...HOW did you manage to raise an awesome, badass daughter Balon? HOW? It's still mind-boggling! and yes, most of Theon's later issues are because Balon is the King of the Dick Islands. Daddy issues, man. Theon should really have a beer or five with Dean.

From this day forth, the Robb/Talisa thing shall be known as the One That Must Not Be Named. I will never get over how they butchered Robb's character with that. /*forever pissed*

God, you're right. They make DeanxCas a happy ship. Can you just imagine the whole new level of shippy-angst we have reached with that statement alone? [putting TheonxRobb and DeanxCas in the same conversation so many times makes me think of the four of them together in same room. XDDD]

Ah, well. Might I recommend Tender is the Night? XD It's a great book and I found his writing style there so much more wonderful than in Gatsby.
the female ghost of tom joad: asoiaf >> robb/theon 5.0janie_tangerine on August 11th, 2012 05:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, how ASHA was the product of Balon's parenting is something that I can't fathom either. That much awesome can't have come from THAT. She was probably born awesome and nothing could have spoiled her *nods*. Also oh gosh Theon and Dean would make awesome 'let's get smashed' partners. Let's not get into the part where I think that Theon and Castiel have dangerously similar storylines in the basic elements.....

Pfffff that was the worst character assassination ever DDDDD: ROBB WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU (and why did they hate Jeyne Westerling so much DDD: she was miles better than Talisa could ever be DDDD:)

Lol having those four people in the same room would bring interesting consequences..... that said yeah, if you're so angsty that YOU MAKE DEAN AND CASTIEL SOUND LIKE A HAPPY SHIP then nothing can be angstier than you.

And sure! ;) I've had it on my to-read list for ages but I still haven't gotten around to read it - I'll definitely give it a go soon though. :)
Little Miss Badass: that'swhyyoulovemeladyamaly on August 11th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
Asha probably burst out of her mother's womb cursing and shouting, with an axe in her hand and a smirk on her lips. Like Miley, she just can't be tamed.

Oh, yes, Theon and Dean would be fine drinking buddies and the amount of dirty jokes they would tell would be epic. You know, I never thought about Theon and Cas parallels, but now that I think about...yeah...you're right. The thing is, to me, Cas will forever be season 4!Cas, I'm the one that gripped you tight and raised you from perdition!Cas and anything else just doesn't do it for me. *Sighs* Still mourning over the perfection that was season 4.

You know, on a book vs. show basis, for a long while I thought that no show could screw up its characters better than Gossip Girl did [This is the moment where I confess to being a fan of the Gossip Girl books.] And even today, Gossip Girl remains the prime canditate for that, because they totally disregarded EVERYTHING the books set up. BUT! I think Game of Thrones does something worse than that. The point of Gossip Girl was always 'fun, light read with loads of fashion', but ASOIF is all about subverting stereotypes and deconstructing tropes. And they play them all straight.

I loved book!Robb and his relationship with Cat and I just loved Cat to bits. But I find it very, very, VERY hard to like show Robb - and I tried, believe me, but by this point, not even my insane attraction towards Richard Madden can save his character. I'm not even gonna touch the subject of Cat.

Oh, Talisa. That whole mess of a plot-line. Jeyne was actually sweet and I liked her, but she's too GIRLY and not BADASS enough to deserve a fan-favorite character, of course. But I say something like..."Well, I don;t like Talisa", everyone goes "OMG, you don't count! HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE HER, IT'S BECAUSE YOU'RE SEXIST!" GAH! I NEVER WIN! [nevermind the fact that my favorite moment in AFFC is when they bring Jeyne in front of Jaime and she's all wonderful.]

When you get around to reading it, tell me what you thought about it, will you? I've been reccing that book up and down to anyone that would listen in the vain hope that I'll have someone to talk about it with. :)) [Hahaha, I'm not pathetic, not at all, really.]

~note to self - get ASOIF icons.