The Pack Survives
Disclaimer: I don't own Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire or anything.
I hope you enjoy the very first chapter of 'The Pack Survives', please review and tell me what you thought.
Sansa knelt on the rough ground of the Godswood before the heart tree as she prayed. Though what she prayed for, Sansa wasn't too sure - after all, anything she had ever wanted was dead and gone.
Her family dead or missing. She had seen her father, Eddard Stark, get his head cut off by the bastard King Joffrey after being wrongfully declared a traitor.
Joffrey had took great delight in telling her how her mother, Catelyn, had had her throat cut to the bone before her body was thrown in the river and how her brother, Robb, had been slaughtered like an animal before his dire wolfs head was sewn onto his body.
Sansa felt her heart ache in her chest.
She had had even more heartbreak when she heard of Theon's betrayal and his murder of Bran and Rickon, though, Sansa thought as she looked up at the broken man who leant wearily against one of the old trees, Theon didn't kill them, and there was hope that they had survived.
She had long ago thought that she would never feel any semblance of pity towards Theon or any of those who had betrayed her family, but now as she looked at Theon, Reek, she knew that he had suffered the most for his actions at the hands of Ramsey Bolton. Her eyes softened as she continued to watch him.
Sansa would never dare call the man who used to be Theon such a demeaning name as Reek, but neither could she comfortably call him Theon without knowing that he didn't truly exist any more. He never would, not really.
It was just another thing stolen from her.
Theon, she could have hated, the real Theon. But she couldn't hate the man he had become thanks to the Bastard of Bolton.
Sansa turned back to the heart tree as not-Theon came and knelt beside her, leaning towards her slightly as he struggled to stay upright. She allowed it.
Sansa's thoughts then turned to her wild little sister, Arya, the eldest Stark daughter felt her heart clench as she thought of her. Oh, how she regretted how she had acted back when she was a foolish little girl dreaming of knights and crowns and honour.
A single tear fell down her cheek. The only tear she would allow.
Her thoughts finally turned to Jon. The bastard half-brother she had never appreciated. She regretted her actions towards him now, though it was far too late to remedy that. It was far too late for many things.
Sansa leaned into not-Theon ever so slightly as she thought of how things had gone so horribly wrong.
She thought back to that day, the last day, her family had been together. Father, mother, Robb, Jon, Arya, Bran and Rickon. All alive and well. Before Bran's fall. Before the Lannister's poison. Before Joffrey.
She felt arms wrap around her "I'm sorry, Sansa." She heard not-Theon whisper quietly in his broken voice.
What he was sorry for, she didn't know. He had already apologised profusely for his actions at Winterfell and Sansa had, for the most part, forgiven him. After all he had saved her life by throwing Miranda off the wall and helping her, helping them both, escape Ramsey and his father.
Sansa silently reached for his hand and squeezed it tightly for a moment before she released it.
Not-Theon understood. He had truly been forgiven, though he also knew she would never forget.
Not-Theon felt himself become more confident as he was around her, she would never strike or torture him as Ramsey did, or even as Miranda did. She was his saviour. It was because of Sansa that he had drawn up the courage to escape the bastard and his hobbies.
He felt himself tremble slightly at the thought of his torture and at the thought of what he would have done to Sansa. Though he was surprised to find anger welling up inside of him, anger was a part of himself that he had locked away tightly, for it had only made things worse when he was Ramsey's prisoner and plaything. He shuddered at the memory.
"I would swear myself to your service, Sansa…" Not-Theon found himself saying "Ask me anything and I will see it done." A promise they both knew he couldn't keep.
Theon had been strong, a fighter. Reek had been a Thing, a toy for Ramsey to torment and break. But now?
Not-Theon was unsure, though he knew his hands would never be able to shoot bow or hold a sword. He was missing too many fingers to fight effectively, not to mention any strength he had had, had withered away as he had cowered in Ramsey's kennels.
He grimaced as he thought of that. He remembered his sister, Yara, coming to free him. He had thought it a trick as he had drawn away from her, declaring himself Reek.
That was the day he truly became Ramsey's. The day he let go of Theon.
But then Sansa came along and ruined it. She came and saved him. Not purposefully, he knew, but she had all the same and for that he was thankful.
He was drawn from his thoughts as he heard Sansa's soft voice reply "I accept your pledge…" She didn't say his name.
He understood why. She couldn't stand Theon and Reek made her heart ache for his sufferings despite what he had done to her home and despite what she had said about doing it herself. Not-Theon knew that Sansa, though not as soft-hearted as before, still held some compassion. Though he also felt it would be better served elsewhere rather than on him.
He deserved what Ramsey did to him.
He had betrayed the Stark's. Eddard, the man who had been more like a father to him than his own. Robb, his brother in all but blood. Jon, Bran, Rickon and Arya. Sansa, the girl he had initially though to be little more than an empty headed child who always told on everyone else and cared little for Theon or Jon.
Though Theon himself didn't much like Jon either, however that wasn't due to his Bastard heritage and more to the fact he was always brooding and held at least some relation to the Starks, which Theon had admittedly always been jealous of as his own father had seemed to care little for his heir who had been carted away from the Iron Islands.
"Thank you, mi'lady." He turned his gaze towards her and found her looking straight at the Heart Tree.
Sansa felt not-Theon's eyes on her and turned to face him "What do you pray for?" she asked quietly.
Not-Theon frowned "I pray that you find happiness…"
She laughed shortly, though it was humourless. There wasn't much real laughter for either of them anymore.
"I doubt that will ever happen…" She hesitates slightly before she says his name "Theon."
She had continuously told him when they were with the Bolton's that he was Theon Greyjoy. But now they were together she knew he was far too broken to be who he was. Though she was also far too broken to be the same girl who had left Winterfell after pleading with her father to let her marry Joffrey.
It's all I've ever wanted.
Her own words haunted her to this day. Perhaps if she hadn't uttered those five words, her family wouldn't have been ripped apart.
"It's my fault." She whispers to Theon "It's my fault all this happened."
Theon apparently knew what she was speaking of as he whispered back "It isn't a crime to dream, mi'lady."
Sansa shook her head, stopping any words he would speak to comfort her.
"No, it is not." She said firmly "But I told Joffrey father would confess, I promised his confession…"
Theon looked to the ground, he didn't know how to comfort her.
"I wish I could go back and fix everything…" Sansa finished "I wish we could just be Theon and Sansa again like we were before King Robert came to Winterfell, before my stupid dreams of golden haired babies and Joffrey…" She was crying now, the first time she had properly allowed herself to grieve.
It surprised Theon that she allowed him to see this side of her, though he supposed she didn't have much of a choice considering they were stuck together now.
"So do I…" Theon admits, his tears joining hers "I wish I never listened to my father, I wish I had stayed true to myself and Robb…" The way he says Robb's name is so full of grief and anguish that Sansa takes his hand in hers before she can stop herself.
"We are both fools, Theon." There was no hesitation in her saying his name now for which he was thankful. Sansa calling him Theon made him believe that perhaps he was becoming more worthy of the name now than he ever was before. Even before Reek.
"Two fools, mi'lady." A smile curved his lips upwards, a foreign expression on him ever since he had been in Ramsey's possession, perhaps since he had left Robb's side, "Though you are now hailed Queen in the North, the leader of the Stark banner men," he doesn't finish the sentence but they both hear the words like Robb.
Sansa feels her heart clench. The North would follow her, she knew they would, the Northmen -besides the Boltons- would always follow a Stark. They would even follow Jon due to him being her father's bastard if there were no other option.
But could Sansa really allow herself to become a Queen? After all she had been through at Joffrey and Cersei's hands, could she stomach being Queen in the North knowing the reality of what Kings and Queens could do. Could she take her brother's place knowing that she was responsible for his and their parents deaths?
"I cannot." She said to Theon, her voice so soft, he could barely hear her over the rustling of the leaves in the godswood.
He nodded "Perhaps not. But you will try, lest you want Ramsey to declare himself King in the North due to his position as your husband."
Sansa's eyes widened at the possibility, how had she been so blind as to not see that? Was she still the same innocent, naïve child that had left Winterfell, had she truly learned nothing from Cersei, Tyrion and Little Finger?
Theon gripped her hand tightly "We will avenge them."
Sansa looked to him in shock, she saw the meek, broken man he was bend away a little as she saw some of the fire that made him Theon arise in him.
"And we will find Arya, Bran and Rickon…" Sansa agreed.
They stood, still clasping each others hands, so they didn't notice as the trees of the Godswood seemed to encircle them, trapping them before the heart tree.
They didn't notice. Though they did seem to realise something was amiss when darkness starting creeping over them, Sansa stumbled into Theon slightly as her eyelids drooped before she collapsed into his arms, unconscious.
Theon then noticed the difference in the woods before he slumped down against the heart tree, Sansa held tight against his chest before darkness swam over his vision as well.
Sansa moaned slightly as awareness returned to her, she frowned suddenly. This wasn't right. She was lying on a soft bed, the warmth of furs and blankets engulfing her.
Had Theon betrayed her?
She shot up at that thought and a mixture of horror and yearning flooded her entire being as she examined the room. It was her room.
The room she had had when her father was alive, when everything was good in Winterfell and there was no plots or deceit or betrayal.
She tried not to cry. This was too cruel, even for Ramsey. She had been a fool to trust Theon, no Reek, she should have known he'd stay loyal to that, that monster.
Sansa threw the covers off her, but that was when something else caught her eye.
Her leg was smooth. There was no scar or any trace of injury on her upper thigh where Ser Meryn had struck her with his sword on Joffrey's orders. It hadn't been a deep wound but it had left a scar all the same.
Sansa felt confusion at that before she noticed a mound of white fur mixed in with her blankets that appeared to be breathing.
The first death in the war between the Starks and Lannisters.
Sansa tentatively reached out a hand and place it gently on the soft fur of the dire wolf.
Lady poked her head up sleepily, her tongue lolling out of her mouth lazily as she licked Sansa's hand, almost comfortingly.
Sansa screamed then. A terrible heart-wrenching scream.
This couldn't be real. This was a horrible, horrible nightmare. How could her own mind taunt her with this? How could she think of Lady and Winterfell when all she wanted was to avoid the subject.
Her door shot open and Sansa scrambled to the end of her bed fearing Ramsey or even Joffrey would come for her.
Lady shuffled up with her, curling over her mistress protectively.
Sansa gasped as her brother practically flew into her room.
"Jon…" She breathed out his name like it was a prayer. She supposed it made sense that Jon was present in her wonderful nightmare, after all it seemed she was dreaming of all that she had lost.
Jon looked shocked at the way she had said his name, even more so at the way she was staring at him, as though she had been starved of the sight of him for years and was now taking her fill as she drank in his form.
"Jon…" She said again, her voice stronger this time but still with a hint of disbelief.
She slowly climbed off the bed, Lady staying obediently by her mistress.
Sansa placed her hand against Jon's face, cupping his smooth cheek. The way it had been before King Robert arrived.
She stroked his cheek tenderly before pulling him to her tightly in a hug.
"Don't leave for the wall." She whispered in his ear.
Jon had tensed at the initial contact Sansa had made, after all she had always taken after her mother and regarded him as little more than a glorified servant or worse, like a stain on her families name that was merely tolerated.
He slowly wrapped his arms around her as she showed no signs of letting go.
He made to release her when he heard another person enter her room. He knew who it was the minute he felt glares boring into his back. Lady Stark.
"Sansa…" Her mother, Catelyn, whispered as she glared accusingly at her half-brother "What's happened?"
Sansa's nails dug into Jon's shoulders as she heard her dead mothers voice but she let out a choked sob when she heard her father say.
"What's the matter, Sansa?"
She pulled away from Jon's embrace then and threw herself at her father.
She hadn't believed her ears when she had heard her mother's voice, but when she had heard her fathers she couldn't help but look up.
Her arms were locked around her father's chest as she buried her face against him. Ned wrapped his arms comfortingly around his eldest daughter as he silently wondered what had gotten into her. She had never really shown such strong signs of emotion. Never to him or Jon anyway, she had always taken Cat's example and ignored him or looked at him in distaste, though that was better than Cat's barely veiled hatred.
"Hey, hey…" He whispered against his daughters hair, as he squeezed her tightly "It's alright, Sansa."
She didn't respond other than to cry into his chest.
Robb, Arya, Bran and Theon had also been woken up by Sansa's scream. It had sounded so terrible and awful and they had all rushed to her room only to see her sobbing into Ned's chest as Jon and Cat looked on in bemusement.
"What's wrong with Sansa?" Arya asked loudly.
Robb and Bran were both relieved someone else had asked the question they hadn't wanted to break the silence with.
Robb, Bran and Arya stood by Cat as Theon joined Jon and they watched Sansa cry against Ned.
"What's wrong, Sansa?" Robb asked softly.
Sansa turned towards her elder brother slowly, her face streaked with tears and her eyes red.
"I had a dream."
Arya almost rolled her eyes at this but she knew something else was the matter by the anguish in her elder sisters eyes.
"I saw father's head get cut off by the King's Justice…" Her mouth was dry as she spoke, she felt silly explaining her families own deaths to them but she felt that she had to. It all felt alarmingly real, though she knew it couldn't be.
"I saw mother get her throat cut before her body was dumped in a river… I saw Robb get cut down like an animal before Grey Winds head was sewn on to replace his own… I saw Jon die at the Wall… I saw Bran fall from the tower… I saw Rickon burn… I saw Arya hunted down…" Her voice was steady as she said everything, exaggerating Rickon and Arya's 'deaths' a little as if doing this would effect her dream.
Sansa let out a sob "I watched everything fall apart the minute father left for Kings Landing and Jon went to the Wall."
Jon looked up in shock as she mentioned him, he had still been puzzling over her dream of death and pain.
Robb, Arya and Bran were also staring at Sansa in shock as Ned and Cat exchanged a worried look over Sansa's head. First the stag's antler in the dire wolf's throat and now this. These were not good omens, perhaps he shouldn't accept Roberts offer.
Theon was the only one in the room aside from Sansa that understood.
"I had the same dream." He said quietly "Of death, torture and betrayal."
The Stark family turned to him, but his eyes only saw Sansa.
"I watched as my father burned Winterfell to the ground after Robb left to avenge Lord Stark… I saw…" Theon couldn't finish as he thought of his betrayal to the Starks. He couldn't speak of it, he wouldn't. This was his second chance, he chance to redeem himself to the Starks and to Sansa. The only one who knew of his crime.
Sansa looked Theon dead in the eye, she tilted her head slightly. I wont tell if you don't.
Theon relaxed slightly. She was giving him his second chance and he wouldn't fail her, the true Queen in the North.
"F-forgive me, I cant…" Theon stuttered and Sansa saw an appearance of Reek in the once proud boy.
Sansa almost smiled at seeing Theon as he once was, she felt none of the hatred for him that she had expected but perhaps that was because he had paid his penance, as she had and now they both had their chance of redemption.
Ned nodded understandingly though he didn't understand at all, his mind was telling him to press for answers and details but his heart couldn't do that to either his daughter or his ward.
Robb and Jon exchanged a confused look at Theon's hesitance. It was unlike him he was so confident and arrogant, he would never admit to any weakness especially not when that same weakness was shared by a girl of no more than eleven.
"Why don't we all get some rest and we'll talk about this tomorrow, Sansa?" Cat asked gently as if she didn't want to spook her eldest daughter.
Sansa looked around her family. Theon looked understanding. Ned, Cat and Robb looked worried. Bran looked scared and Arya and Jon looked bemused.
Sansa stared at them, wanting more than anything for this to be more than just a dream that would eventually fade away. She looked at Robb, when she had been younger she had snuck into his bed when she had had a bad dream or when she had been upset but as she had gotten older her Septa and mother had informed her that she was above such acts and she had stopped but now she yearned for nothing more than the comfort he could bring her.
"Robb, stay with me…" She asked softly, her voice weak and shaken from her grief and her eyes red and puffy from tears.
Robb couldn't deny her despite the warning look of his mother this isn't appropriate. Robb almost scoffed at the thought, perhaps it wasn't appropriate but Sansa needed him now, whatever nightmares had plagued her she needed him to comfort her. His heart warmed at the thought that she still needed, no, wanted, him to hold her as he had when they were children.
He nodded smiling at her, he walked over and wrapped his arms around his delicate sister as she gave him such a relieved look as though she had been denied comfort for so long she had forgotten what it felt like.
He rested his chin on the top of her head as she buried her face in his neck.
Jon and Theon looked awkward at still being in Sansa's rooms when her attention had turned to Robb.
"We'll just be going." Theon said as he put a hand on Jon's arm as he guided the other boy from the room and away from Cat's venomous gaze. Robb frowned slightly, it wasn't like Theon to spare Jon from embarrassment or any other situation they may be thrown into, but the eldest boy had appeared to take pity on Robb's half-brother for once.
In fact Robb saw a sort of empathy in Theon that he had never thought existed when he had looked at Sansa as he admitted he had had a similar dream. What Theon was playing at he didn't know, but Robb would make sure he wasn't playing on his sister's grief stricken emotions although something told Robb that that wasn't the case.
Arya yawned loudly then "Well, if Sansa's okay can I go back to bed now?"
Sansa giggled at their youngest sister then "Yes, Arya, I'm fine."
Ned, Cat, Bran, Robb and Arya saw a smile playing on her lips, something they had never seen when it came to Arya and her impropriety as Sansa so often called it.
Ned thought the dream must have affected her more than they had thought as he nodded to his eldest son make sure she's okay and guided Bran and Arya out of Sansa's chambers.
"We'll talk about your… dream in the morning, Sansa." Ned said softly to his eldest daughter who had turned her head back to Robb's chest.
Sansa nodded her agreement against Robb's chest.
She didn't care about the morning all she cared about was that her family was alive in her dreams. That her father wasn't dead, her mother was living, Jon wasn't at the wall and Robb was whole and here and comforting her, as he used to.
Sansa suddenly remembered whispers that had surrounded them, the whispers of the maids and other servants of Targaryens. Her parents had been furious and her mother had silenced them at once, that had been when she had demanded Sansa never stray to her brother's room again.
She hadn't understood back then, but now she knew what they meant. They had thought that her and Robb had… Sansa couldn't even think it, though the thought wasn't as repulsive as it once may have been.
She had grown a lot since the days she would have shrank back from his touch for fear of any rumors but now she no longer cared. Let them whisper and talk of rumored lust and secrets.
Sansa didn't care because in reality she understood why one might choose their brother to lie with, though she hadn't desired Robb in that way before she knew even her younger self would prefer to take him to her bed than have any sufferings wrought upon her family.
Though perhaps that was wrong, Sansa no longer felt repulsed at the thought of her brother taking her to his bed, she knew he would never hurt or belittle her as Joffrey and Ramsey had done. And there was no doubt that she loved Robb, it was no secret that Robb was her favourite sibling. He always had been.
Sansa sighed against Robb's chest. He had always been her protector, but she had pulled away from him before they left for King's Landing and she had regretted that ever since. More so when she had heard of his death.
Her arms tightened around him and Robb wondered what she was thinking. He hoped that her thoughts would not linger on her terrible dream but perhaps that was too much to hope for.
"Come, little sister." He said finally, taking her hand in his as he lead her to her bed. He lay behind her, pulling the covers up around them both before he wrapped his arms around her from behind pulling her against his chest.
She sighed happily "I love you, Robb…" She whispered sleepily "I'm sorry I listened to mother, and stopped coming to you when I needed you."
Robb chuckled warmly "Sleep, Sansa, talk in the morning."
Sansa nodded wearily as she relaxed against him.
Grey Wind and Lady jumped on to the bed curling around their master and mistress as Robb followed his sister into sleep.
That night Robb dreamed of his beautiful little sister as he had done for the past couple of years, guilt always consumed him after but it had never stopped his desire for her. He had confided in Theon once, when Sansa had stopped coming to him for comfort. His father's ward had been shocked but he laughed it off and claimed Robb just needed a good whore.
Robb didn't think so. He had paid a visit to the brothel Theon had so often frequented and paid the whore Ros for the night, he had only just managed to stifle his cry of Sansa as he had climaxed in her. He had felt dirty afterwards as though he had defiled his sweet sisters memory by fucking the whore as he thought of her.
He told Theon he was right though.
After all, he too was aware of the whispers of Targaryens that had followed him and Sansa around for years until their mother put a stop to it.
Robb just hoped that Sansa wouldn't fall the pretentious little prick he knew the Prince was going to be. She had always liked pretty, chivalrous knights and princes from her stories and songs though perhaps her dream, as awful as it was had rid her of those notions.
As awful as he felt for even thinking such thoughts, Robb knew it would be best if Sansa stayed far away from knights and princes and lords, he hoped she would remain by his side. Forever a maid in Winterfell, as unrealistic as that thought was, it was his dream.
I hope you liked the first chapter of 'The Pack Survives', my favourite charcters are the Starks though I also have a soft spot for Theon and Daenerys, so expect to see the Silver Queen pop up eventually.
Quite a few of the characters in my story may be OOC and I am sorry for this but I haven't read the books, in fact I've only managed the first chapter of the first book so far and I'm only on the 8th episode of the first season, I just cant bring myself to watch Ned die.
Though I do know roughly what happens if there are any mistakes in my work, please let me know and I will see if it can be corrected. If there is any constructive criticism that would be most welcome.
I also believe in the R + L = J theory as well as the hope that Tyrion and Jon will be the ones to ride Viserion and Rhaegal. I wont be including Aegon, at least I don't think I will be, and if I do it will only be as a minor character to stir things with Dany.
I am a big fan of the Tyrells and I love Loras/Renley so that may be included as well as a bit of Jaime/Brienne as I don't particularly like Cersei however the twincest will, obviously, be a part of my story for quite a bit.
I also apologise for my writing style which sometimes mixes tenses however it is how I write and I cant at the current time change it.