Publisher's Note: Hi, Will O'the Wisp here. Now that Full Fathom Five is essentially complete, it's time to publish this story written not by me but Exiled Immortal. So, I'd like to thank Exiled Immortal for writing this and it's an honour to know that my story has inspired someone else to write. Thank you!
Author's Note: Hi, I'm Exiled Immortal, the author of this piece. After poking around a bit I was surprised and disappointed to find that there aren't many stories centered on Bran and Meera, a really charming couple, and so I decided to write one myself. I enjoyed Will's Full Fathom Five saga so much that I was inspired to set it in that universe, although if you ignore some of the background details this is a story that could work in any timeline where both Bran and Meera survive. We figured it would be easiest for the readers to have everything in one place, and so this has been published under Will's account. This is a story about Bran and Meera's married life, and as such it contains sex involving the disabled. I hope I have handled the subject tastefully.
It still felt strange for Brandon Stark to think of anywhere but Winterfell as home, and yet that is exactly what Moat Cailin had become for him. Besides Robb, now the undisputed King in the North, he supposed that all of his siblings had or would eventually experience that same discomfiting shift. Sansa was already being fostered in Highgarden and would in time become its Lady. Arya had crossed the Narrow Sea to Braavos chasing rumors of her old water dancing master. Rickon was still young but already destined for Storm's End, as per his betrothal to Shireen Baratheon. Jon, of course, now sat on the Iron Throne in King's Landing.
As he reflected on it, however, Bran realized that he had never spent a day in Moat Cailin feeling like he belonged somewhere else, not since he had married Meera Reed and come down to take possession of the ancient ruins overlooking her ancestral swamplands.
They weren't really ruins anymore, for the most part. During the war King Robb had ordered Moat Cailin to be restored when the northern hosts had encamped there. The great basalt blocks, scattered remnants of the old curtain wall, had been painstakingly excavated from the marsh. These had been reassembled into the foundation of a new wall, topped off with fresh stone from White Harbor and the vacated Barrow Hall. Thousands of men had labored to build new barracks, and new towers as well.
It was already a worthy fortress when Bran and Meera first arrived, but not yet a proper dwelling. The new keep, where they would eat and sleep and live, was still a work in progress, constructed mainly from granite so that it would not rot away so easily as its wooden predecessor. The layout was to be broad, with floors that were perfectly flat and gently sloping ramps leading to the higher levels. This was all for the convenience of its new lord, for whom navigating stairs was still a great difficulty. Bran was now able to move himself about with the help of a wheeled chair, a gift from Tyrion Lannister, and a rather more dignified solution than the wheelbarrow he had once resorted to.
Lord Tyrion, still the Hand of the King, had also contributed generously from the coffers of Casterly Rock towards the further restoration and furnishing of Moat Cailin, as reparations for the crimes of his brother. King Robb had naturally paid for a large share of the work as well. King Jon had also pitched in with precious resources from the south. Publicly this was part of a push to encourage commerce between the two realms; privately it was a royal favor to both Bran and Meera. Bran would always be a brother to Jon, and Meera had herself formed a warm rapport with the future king during his stay at Greywater Watch. When the keep was complete, it would be a match for any of the great holdings of Westeros.
On clear nights such as this one, Bran and Meera could look up and see the stars through the open rafters and unfinished ceilings. Although Bran was capable of wheeling himself, he allowed Meera to push him gently along, the only person he didn't mind taking charge of him in such a way. They had married for love, of their own volition, and yet at the beginning Bran had privately worried that Meera, seven years his elder, would forever regard him as a boy, a child. He wondered whether deep inside she would think him as fragile and unworthy as he felt himself to be next to the lithe and capable woman who had protected and provided for him during their trials beyond the Wall.
Time had allayed those fears. Meera was as protective of him as she had always been, attending diligently to his every need, but it soon became clear to Bran that she did this not out of pity or obligation but because it pleased her to do so. Because she loved him. He could feel it in every caress on his cheek, see it in every warm smile she graced him with. It made Bran happier than he ever imagined he would be when he had first been crippled. He would never walk again, but life with Meera made him feel like he could fly without skinchanging.
"Let us go to bed, my prince," Meera said cheerily.
As she steered them towards their private chambers, one of the few complete rooms in the keep, Bran found that he felt none of the apprehension he'd had on their wedding night. It had been natural for him to fear that he would not be able to fulfill his husbandly duties, that he would never father heirs or please Meera in the way that she deserved to be pleased. Bran had heard others in Winterfell whispering about it, had seen the unspoken concern written on the faces of his own family. If Meera shared those doubts, however, she'd never once shown it.
In truth it had been awkward and fruitless at first. Embarrassing, even. But Meera was patient, kind, and determined. She had put him at ease, whispered soothing reassurances, and set about experimenting to find what worked and what didn't. Like all his other anxieties, this too Meera had managed to erase over time.
When they entered their chambers the air was already perfumed with scented herbs burning in a brazier. A bowl of wild berries and mint that Meera had collected herself rested on the nightstand beside the bed. These were some of the small bounties of the Crannogmen that Meera had turned to the benefit of her husband; though he could feel nothing below the waist, his remaining senses seemed heightened, and all of them contributed to greater stimulation. Meera helped Bran undress, and then tenderly laid him out on the bed, his head propped up with soft pillows so that he could watch what came next.
Meera had learned how to make a show of disrobing before Bran, humming a soft tune to set the mood, her voice musical like the tinkling of bells. She let her gown slip from one shoulder at a time and gave him a smoldering stare beneath lidded eyes. Bran swallowed in anticipation, his skin already tingling with desire as she bared more and more of hers. Meera's body was lean and muscular, not soft like pampered southern ladies, evidence of the regular foraging parties she led into the swamps of the Neck and the myriad labors she undertook on her husband's behalf. Bran often boasted that his wife was warrior enough for the both of them, and never was that clearer or more attractive than when he saw her like this.
At last, when they were both naked, Meera climbed onto the bed and crept over her husband like a swamp cat stalking its prey. Her moss green eyes glinted in the torchlight. One hand trailed down his body to a place he could neither see nor feel, but he knew from experience that it would respond to her touch nonetheless. Meanwhile she lowered her head, planting kisses on his belly, up his chest, and on his neck. Her free hand came up to tease a nipple. Husband and wife were already breathing heavily with desire.
Meera reached over to the nightstand and retrieved some berries and mint. Crushing them between her teeth, she bent down and kissed Bran, transferring the juices to his mouth. The intimacy of the act combined with the sharp stimulation of taste elicited a moan from the young lord. Meera happily nibbled at his ear, clearly enjoying his reactions. Bran's nostrils flared as he breathed in deep of her scent and of the burning herbs. The assault on his senses was overwhelming. He closed his eyes, tilted his head back, and let out a deep sigh of ecstasy.
It was time. Meera's hand, so nimble with a net and a frog spear, had never ceased their ministrations. He didn't even have to look to know that he was firm, that he was ready for her. She gave him an encouraging smile as she mounted him. His hand found hers as their fingers intertwined, locked together. She rode him then, with slow, deliberate strokes. Bran's head felt fuzzy, like it was all a dream, but he knew dreams and this was so much better. Meera was beautiful in the torchlight, her skin flushed with pleasure. Idly Bran thought that it was a good thing that she was short and slim in the manner of the Crannogmen, for what they were doing would be rather more dangerous were she much heavier.
His heartbeat grew heavier in his chest until it throbbed in his head and his vision swam with stars. A loud cry from Meera, equal parts satisfaction and triumph, signaled that Bran had successfully spilled inside her. Breathing heavily, he looked up at his wife, who was a mess of dark curls and green eyes as she met his gaze, appearing perfectly contented. She slowly leaned forward until she was nestled against him, her head under his chin. Bran reached down to play with her hair. Amidst his delight, he felt a twinge of guilt that he had not been more proactive in pleasuring Meera, but they both knew of ways that he might do so and there would be time for such on another night.
When they had first announced their intentions to wed, their families been ecstatic. Jon had sent his enthusiastic congratulations from King's Landing. Robb decided on the spot that Moat Cailin would be perfect for them. Howland Reed had been delighted, and expressed his certainty that Ned would have been as well. After the trials they had endured together, the losses they had suffered together, the trust they had shared and the tears they had shed, no one who knew Bran and Meera would have denied that they belonged together like two halves of a whole.
Even so, Bran knew that there were many among the noble houses of Westeros who believed that, cripple or no cripple, the King in the North's brother had married below his station by wedding a Marsh Lord's daughter. They were wrong, of course. In that blissful moment, with their arms wrapped around each other, Bran knew that he had married the single most wonderful woman in the Seven Kingdoms. He would give his apologies later to Queens Margaery and Daenerys.
"Gods, Meera," Bran breathed. "You deserve so much better than me."
Meera raised a lazy eyebrow. "Really? And what has prompted this latest foolishness from you, my prince?"
"There isn't another girl in Westeros who would look at me the way you do."
"Just as well. I would hate to share you."
"I love you so much it hurts."
"Mmm. Show me where and perhaps I can find a way to make it better."
It was not the first time they had done this with such success, and already it had become something for their mutual enjoyment rather than a vexing puzzle to be solved. Indeed, Bran no longer had to worry that he would never father an heir. Unlike Greywater Watch, Moat Cailin already had a Maester. Barely a week ago the man had confirmed that Meera was pregnant with their first child. They had wept with joy at the news. It had not been easy; even after they had unlocked the secrets of the bedroom, they had prayed to the Old Gods and each taken herbs and concoctions to encourage Bran's seed to quicken. No, it had not been easy.
But there would be an heir to Moat Cailin now, whether boy or girl, for they had agreed that any sons and daughters of theirs would be raised the same, as Meera and Jojen and generations of House Reed had been. Their mother would teach them to spear fish and frogs and ensnare foes with a net, to skip across the marshes on their doorstep as if it was flat terrain, even to find their elusive matrilineal birthright of Greywater Watch. Their father would educate them on the honorable traditions of House Stark. A master-at-arms would teach them the sword. They would bear the burden of bridging two cultures and adopt the best traits of both.
That was all for the future, however, and right now in a warm bed with his lady love in a castle on the edge of a swamp, the young lord had never felt more content. They had left the door slightly ajar, and sure enough Summer soon came trundling in to curl up on the rug. As he gazed again into the green eyes of his wife, Brandon Stark understood why he did not miss Winterfell in the way he'd thought he would.
For him, home would always be wherever Meera was.
Publisher's Note: Thank you for reading. Once again, this isn't my story. So, if you have a minute, please drop a review for Immortal Exile.
Finally, I'd like to thank Immortal Exile once more for writing this lovely companion piece.