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May 2015

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jon snow

Fic: Between Wind and Water [8/10]

Title: Between Wind and Water
Author: luna_plath
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Theon/Arya, Jon/Arya
Word count: 1,600
Warnings: brother-sister incest, sexuality, dubious consent
Summary: For modbelle’s prompt, “All she ever wanted was to be with him.” Jon left Westeros to make his own way as a sellsword in the Free Cities. Five years later, he’s summoned to Winterfell for the marriage of his youngest sister to a childhood enemy.


The campaign north of the Wall journeyed for many days before their scouts found any wildlings. With most of the free folk following Mance Rayder to the Shadow Tower it left the Haunted Forest unusually deserted. Their company of three-hundred men made an awful racket to Jon's ears, but at night, when the men were mostly asleep, he could hear the cries of wolves in the trees.

"Direwolves?" Lord Ryswell asked, listening hard.

Jon shook his head. "No, but I'm sure they're out there."

Ghost left most nights to hunt, slinking back to his tent some hours later with a kill, but in the meantime Jon lay by himself on the cold ground. He thought of the countless nights he'd spent with Arya, tucked against her warm little body as they both fell asleep, or how before bed Hal always wanted a story about the Titan of Braavos or the giants who helped build Winterfell.

He wondered if Arya's other child would be much the same, and if her children would ever hear stories about their uncle Jon and his journey to capture the wildling king. He wondered if he would get the chance to tell them himself.


A light flickered in the corner of Jon’s vision, not from their camp, he was certain, for he had forbidden any fires or torches being lit this evening. The light was so small that he could hardly see it at the base of a lower ridge, but the longer Jon watched the bright pinprick in the darkness the more certain he was of what he saw.

Jory Cassel agreed that he saw something in the same location, and Jon decided to find one of the rangers to climb down and investigate. Ghost descended ahead of them, his white coat blending in with the frozen ridges of the Frostfangs. There was no path through the rocky tiers of the mountain, so they moved slowly, testing each foothold before taking another step. The night darkened even further during the climb, slowly making the light of a campfire more visible.

Jon loosened his sword in its scabbard, his eyes straining to see any moving forms in the dim light, but before he could close his hand around its hilt he felt something collide with him, nearly throwing him from his narrow foothold. He felt the brush of cold steel against his cheek but Jon was able to wrestle his attacker to the ground while Jory and the ranger entered the main camp.

It wasn’t until the attacker’s body was crushed beneath his that he realized it was a woman. His hand closed around her wrist, wrenching away the knife she’d surprised him with. Ghost pinned the struggling woman with one of his massive paws and her eyes grew round and fearful at the sight of the direwolf.

Jon drew his sword and climbed down after the others, only to find another woman with a bundle in her arms.

“We’re just two women and a babe, there’s no use in killing us,” the woman said, eyeing the swords they carried.

“What sort of wildling woman wraps her babe in a cloak patched with red silk?” Jory asked suspiciously.

Recognition dawned on the ranger’s face. “The mother to Mance Rayder’s child.”

He moved to grab the woman’s arm, but an unseen man charged into the camp, hitting Jory in the back of the head with an axe. Jon dove at him with his sword, blocking a stroke from his opponent's weapon and cutting at the man's side with the sharp edge of his blade.

The wilding man wore no armor, and the blow, while not deadly, surely hurt. Jory had rolled over on his side, clutching his head while the ranger questioned Mance Rayder's wife about other guards.

Jon took the axe from the wounded man and bound his hands together. The edge on his opponent's weapon was so dull that it hadn't broken Jory's skin, but it would leave a fearsome bruise.

"Can you stand?" Jon asked, bringing his arm around Jory.

"I'll be alright, but keep an eye on that one," he said, nodding to the bleeding wildling.

They allowed Mance's wife to carry her babe, but Jon made sure the bonds were secure on the man he'd fought before climbing back to the spot where Ghost stood over the first woman.

"Ghost," Jon said, "to me."

The direwolf retreated, his red eyes pinned on the woman in the snow.

"I suppose you're going to take us captive," she said. "Though you don't look like any crow that I've ever seen."

"I'm not in the Nights Watch," Jon said. "My name is Jon Snow, and you are being held hostage by order of the Lord of Winterfell."


Their return to camp was slow with hostages in tow, but they were met with great interest once they neared the line of sentinels.

"Lord Snow has returned with captives," the guards called, and Jon had to stop himself from correcting them. I'm no lord, he thought, but I'll let these wildlings think it all the same.

In the following week Jon pushed his men in their journey through the Frostfangs. They were forced to take longer, more inconvenient paths through the highlands, but he refused to let that delay their party. It was clear that a large host had come through the same passes shortly before them, assuring Jon that they were on the right path to take Mance's forces from the rear.

The closer they got to the Shadow Tower the more restless the men became. Their sentinels captured any man who wandered too close to their camp, and those numbers increased by the day as they drew closer to the Wall. Jon forbid any fires from being lit for fear that they'd draw attention to themselves.

They drew as close to Mance's forces as they dared, but they didn't have to wait in hiding for long. A fierce battle erupted at the Shadow Tower, with Northern forces fighting from the heights of the Wall.

With his host armed and ready, Jon gave the order for his men to charge the wildlings. Their numbers cut through the disorganized band of fighters, but there was no avoiding the countless women, children, and elderly who had followed Mance in hopes of crossing into the Seven Kingdoms.

The battle wore on, with the Northern forces making short work of their opponents. Jon fought until his arms felt leadened at his sides. Ghost tore out the throat of a man who wore a shirt of bones, terrifying the wildlings with his red eyes and muzzle dripping with blood. He saw Daryn Hornwood take a cut to the temple before ramming the attacker through with his sword. Jon fought a man in bronze armor whose men called him "Magnar," the two of them locked in combat for what felt like an eternity to Jon's tired muscles. The fighting was nearly over, he could see Ser Rodrik and his men approaching them, but it mattered little to Jon's opponent.

"Yield and your men will be sparred," Jon said, pressing the edge of his blade along the wildling's neck.

The smell of blood and death was overpowering. Women screamed as their men were cut down and those who were less brave ran, only to be pinned by Jon's forces. Any organization that had been in the wildling army was lost.

The Magnar yielded only once Jon's boot was pressed over his throat, a wound visible in a weak juncture of his bronze armor.

"Yield," he said. The frostbitten hole where his ear should have been was bleeding profusely, staining the snow around them a vivid red.

Jon called to some of his men and had the Magnar of Thenn bound and led away. A few pockets of fighting remained, but most of the wildlings had surrendered when they saw that the battle was lost. Ser Rodrik rode over to him, assuring Jon that Mance Rayder had been captured.

"Your Lord father made the journey with us," Ser Rodrik said. "He'll be glad to see that you're unharmed."

Jon looked at the bloody mess they had made just at the base of the wall, with the snow stained red in many places. He’d dismounted from his horse sometime during combat, but the wiry garron his father had given him had not strayed far, loping back to Jon and Ghost as he discussed strategy with Ser Rodrik. The North had pushed the wildlings back and restored order to the Shadow Tower, though Jon could not help but wonder what would become of the wildlings who had followed Mance Rayder on the promise of a warmer, safer home. Many of them had lost fathers, brothers, or husbands, and with an early winter coming they were sure to suffer for it.

“Lord Stark wants to see you as soon as possible,” Ser Rodrik said.

“I’ll meet with him as soon as I’ve talked with the men.”

Jon knew his father would understand. He could not let his men think he was deserting them just after some had given their lives to protect the North.

The process of collecting the dead had already begun. Those who were mostly unharmed gathered the bodies for a pyre; the frost was too complete for burials. Others tended the wounded, dressing injuries or dispensing food and drink.

Jon had only received a few small wounds during the fighting, but the same could not be said for many of his men. The wildlings were fierce but outnumbered, making them desperate foes and resulting in more casualties than he'd hoped for. His body felt sore from fatigue and his skin was half-frozen, but Jon had duties to complete. His father was waiting.


I've caught up. I've liked these last two chapters with the Wilding plot. I liked the mention of Rattleshirt and the magnar. I just wish Jon had some familiar faces as a Ranger escort. :)

And you almost killed me with worry about poor Jory there.

Just think if Ned hadn't gone south something like this might have really happened. Ned was already considering raising his banners to fight Mance at that start of aGoT.

And we have a Val. Looking forward to where that leads.
It's crazy that this fic only has two more chapters left. I was thinking about Arya and the Hound when I wrote that bit about Jory. And I was thinking: how likely are the wildlings to have whetstones and good steal? Whatever weapons they have probably came off dead rangers so, by now, I'm guessing they would be super dull after so much use.

There will be more Val before this fic is over, but more of Arya too ; )