AN: Well, this was supposed to be out sooner... Anyways, originally this was part of the previous chapter, but due to length I decided to cut it short and finish this up later so you guys at least had something at the time. That was a month ago... And sorry if it felt a but off this time. I'm bad at fight scenes. And if it wasn't clear, this is kind of the climax, so the story will be wrapping up soon. And thank you all the for comments and kudos you have left me, they remind me to get off my ass and finish this beast of a fic. Thank you all so much you lovelies!
When Ned had been taken out of his cell, he knew it was the last time he'd see it. Weather that was a good thing or not had yet to be seen.
The guards said nothing as they led him down the dark passageways of the black cells, but he knew where they were going. He was being taken to his trial. He wasn't a fool to think Robert would be there. He was certain Cersei had made sure his old friend was still abed, if not worse. He had little to no doubt it would her he would be facing. She would undoubtedly be one of the jurors or witnesses, along with whoever else hated the Targaryens or simply wanted more power. Littlefinger might be there as well, that damned weasel. If it were possible, he would break out of the chains restricting him and hunt that bastard down for what he had done to his family. For what he had done to Jon.
He wished he had never told Cat that Jon was in King's Landing. Then this whole mess would have been avoided, and he wouldn't be marching to his death.
But then again, if he hadn't then who knows what would have happened. Cat would have been out for Lannister blood. And while she wasn't wrong in her need for justice, he was sure her way of doing so would be a good way to start conflict. Raising tensions between two major houses wouldn't have been a good way to start off his position as Hand, and would have put more pressure on him. The point was moot now though, as he was currently in chains and accused of treason. But that was something that may have been a long time coming.
Is this you're doing, Lyanna? He thought to himself dryly. Punishment for not raising your son better? As humorous as the thought was, he knew she would never had wanted this. But it was suffice to say he could have done better. He had never shunned Jon or anything of the sort, but there had always been that distance between them. A distance he didn't have with his own trueborn children. Deep down, or maybe not so deep down, Jon must have known this. And it must have hurt.
Yes, Ned could have done better, but he hadn't. And now he was paying the price.
"Where could he be?" Jon hissed to himself as they turned down another corner. Ghost and Nymeria kept running on ahead, the noses to the floor as they tracked his scent.
"Don't stop now," one of Stannis' men hissed as he rushed past him. Jon grunted in acknowledgement and picked up the pace.
They had only encountered a few guards in their mad dash through the cells, but those had been taken care of easily. Now they were almost out of the cells entirely, as Barristan had informed them. Which wasn't very good for them, because if Eddard was back in the castle, there was no way they would be able to do anything. They would lose him, and everything Jon had worked to avoid for the past few months would have been for nothing. A frustrated snarl ripped through him and he pushed forward, desperate to make it in time.
"Jon!" he heard Barristan shout. He only had a moment to process it before a sword came swinging towards him from his blind spot.
Barristan's sword came between them, the sound of metal on metal ringing in his ears as Jon jumped back.
They had come to another corner, but instead of being met with an empty hallway this time, there was a group of men, all gold cloaks, who seemed to be escorting a prisoner.
Jon barely had time to see who it was before launching himself into the fray.
It was his father.
"Jon!" Ned cried in surprise.
Jon wasted to time rushing forward and dispatching the first guard, swiping low and getting his stomach, which was protected only by leathers, which his sword cut through easily.
The men behind them took that as their cue and rushed forward as well, swords raised ready to fight.
"Call for backup!" Someone shouted, and Jon watched in dismay as one of the gold cloaks bolted down the hall towards the keep. Damn!
They didn't have long then, Jon realized. They needed to finish this fight and get out before reinforcements arrived.
Ducking under a blade, he felt someone kick him in the back and he went sprawling forward onto the stone floor. Pepples scraped his cheeks and hands, but the pain was trivial and he pushed it aside, righting himself and turned to face his opponent.
This one wore a white cloak. Jon immediately recognized him for who he was.
"You're that Targaryen bastard, aren't you." It was Ser Jaime Lannister of the kingsguard.
Jaime growled, raising his sword. Jon gulped nervously, but followed suit. Ser Jaime was one of the best swordsman in the seven kingdoms. And despite how good Jon was, Jaime had much more experience.
"I suppose it doesn't matter," he continued. "You'll be dead soon anyway."
Jaime lunged towards him and it was all Jon could do to parry the blow. He was much faster than he'd anticipated. Jaime came at him again and Jon met him blow for blow. A sharp sting on his arm told him he'd been grazed by the knight's sword. Meanwhile, he hadn't landed a single blow himself. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was to get away, not to kill. As tempting as it was.
Jon raised his sword only to block another swing made by the Lannister. He was fast! Jon had of course heard the stories of his skill, but hearing about it and seeing it up close were two very different things.
He managed to just narrowly avoid what would have been a killing blow by backpedaling and parrying awkwardly, which resulted in his sword flying from his grip and him running into the wall. Damn, cornered. The Lannister smirked, realizing the same thing as Jon. He stepped forward and brought his sword up again for a finishing blow.
Only to cry out in pain as Ghost clamped down on his exposed knee.
"Damned beast!" He cried, kicking him away. Something snapped loudly and Jon saw Ghost's leg twist into a sickening angle.
Anger flared hot in Jon's belly as he watched what Jaime had done to his wolf. Without thinking he rushed forward while he was distracted and punched him square in the face. It wasn't tactical, but damn did it feel good. The man's head snapped back from the force, and Jon kicked him hard in the knee, the same one Ghost had just bit.
He fell to his knees, one gloved hand holding his swelling jaw, one still gripping his sword. He slashed out blindly at Jon, but the boy ducked under it, picking up Frostfang while he was at it.
"This is for Bran," he growled.
Then he rammed the pommel as hard as he could into the man nose, and he crumpled to the ground. Unconscious.
All was still for a moment.
Then Jon realised why as he looked around.
Everyone was dead. Or rather, all the gold cloaks were. Stannis' men however were fine. Or rather, as fine as one could be after a battle. Some clutched onto still bleeding wounds while others were leaning against a wall. But all around they were alive and didn't have any serious injuries.
The voice brought him out of his reverie.
He turned and saw in the dim firelight Eddard, the man who had supposedly been his father, staring at him. Alive.
"Father," he sighed, the word slipping out before he could stop himself.
There was a long moment between the two where neither spoke, just stared. He had saved his father. He had done it. He wasn't going to die! The realization made his breath catch in his throat. He could hardly believe it. Months of seeing his father's decapitated head rolling down steps and he had managed to stop the real thing.
He had really done it.
He didn't even realize that his feet were moving until he'd engulfed the man in a bone crushing hug. His nose was buried in the man's shoulder, the his scratchy clothing tickling Jon's cheek. He had dropped his sword somewhere along the way, the metal still ringing from hitting the floor. The man smelled like sweat and shit, but it didn't matter, because he was alive. Long seconds passed before anyone said anything. And thankfully, it was Ned who broke the silence.
"Jon." It was little more than a whisper, but he heard it as clearly as he would have if it had been spoken aloud. "It's good to see you."
Jon had to try hard to suppress the smile trying to split his face open as he pulled away.
"I'm glad you're alive," was his response.
He would live to see another day. To help them stop the wars that were coming. To ensure no red wedding would happen. To avoid everything Bran had told him about, all the horrors they would have faced otherwise.
They had successfully saved Eddard Stark.
But one question still remained. How the fuck were they going to get out of here?