With Game of Thrones coming back soon, I figured I could dip my toe into a what if scenario concerning the idea of Jon finding out the role that Littlefinger played in his father's death.

Quote of the Day:

Hougen: Go on, do it! Start crying for help! If you do, I'll put you out of your misery faster!

John: Nobody...nobody would ever beg to lowlife scum like you. I refuse.

Ginga Densetsu Weed

It was Yohn Royce who came to walk him to his execution.

Petyr Baelish supposed that part of him should have been grateful that they had allowed him one last night in a feathered bed with one last decent meal and a bottle of Arbor wine to wash down his final night of troubles. It couldn't end like this though. All those years of scheming and dealing, crawling his way from being the smallest of small Lords to having the Knights of the Vale ride on his command, and all the people he stepped on, all the people who had to die? All of it gone, on the word of Ned Stark's bastard.

Lord Royce's face was as stoic and proud as one could expect, but as the old Lord placed the irons around his wrists, Petyr saw a familiar glint in the other man's eyes. It wasn't the look of a High Lord who looked down on a lesser Lord with a younger name and a smaller holdfast, though Petyr had seen that look often in his life. Instead, the momentary shimmer in the eyes of Yohn Royce was a look that Petyr himself had given to many throughout the years. Yohn Royce was too honorable to mock him before his death. Still, that fucking look was insulting enough. You lost.

Littlefinger knew the Game well enough. His life was forfeit. His one comfort was that maybe so too would be the life of Yohn Royce. "When Robin Arryn finds out the part you played in my death, what is going to happen to you, Lord Royce?"

Royce was quiet for a drawn-out moment, before the Vale Lord turned away from him and began walking, leading Petyr to his doom. "Lord Arryn has declared for the North, Lord Baelish, and Jon Snow is the King in the North."

The walk to the courtyard of Winterfell was the longest walk of his life. Petyr Baelish was no brave man, but out of sheer defiance he refused to give Jon Snow and the fools who declared him the King in the North the satisfaction of seeing him as a coward. Instead, the man who they had once called the smallest of small Lords stood tall, wondering what he would be remembered for in the years to come. It was a somber thought, but one of some solace at least, that no matter what happened today, no matter what the so-called White Wolf said, that he would be remembered long after his death, for one reason or another. Would they would remember him as the man who brought the Seven Kingdoms to the brink of Oblivion to achieve his ends, or as the traitor whose head was cut off by Ned Stark's bastard? Either way it did not matter. They would not forget his name.

When they brought him to Jon Snow, he was flanked by his two Lieutenants, one being Ser Davos who had once be Hand of the King to Stannis Baratheon, and the other being a wilding named Tormund Giantsbane, who was apparently the new Lord of the Last Hearth. Petyr almost smirked at the thought. Tormund had slain Smalljon Umber during the Battle of the Bastards, and now the Umbers were traitors and oath breakers to House Stark. The Smalljon had played and lost the Game of Thrones.

His almost smirk was quick to vanish however when he realized that Sansa was nowhere to be seen. Looking around at the Lords and the pockets of smallfolk who had gathered to watch him die, Petyr searched for the familiar shade of red that belonged to the girl he had once wanted to make his Queen. When he saw that she was gone, Petyr let out a bitter laugh, Jon Snow refusing to give him even the small luxury of getting to see Sansa Stark one final time.

"Where is Sansa?" he asked, not caring about anything else in the world at the moment.

"She has nothing to say to you, Lord Baelish," Jon Snow replied after a long pregnant pause, unsure whether to be impressed or disturbed about Littlefinger's dedication to his sister.

Although he knew that the bastard King would never tell him the truth of it, Petyr couldn't help but wonder about the validity of his words. For all these years he had protected Sansa and had made sure that she was safe, or as safe as she could be anyways in the kind of world that they lived in. The truth of the matter was that if it wasn't for him, Sansa would have never escaped the wrath of Cersei. If it wasn't for him Sansa would still be in King's Landing, either in the black cells of the Red Keep facing whatever horrors the Queen could come up with, or as a head mounted on the pikes of the ancient castle for the crime of killing Joffrey. Sure, he had stolen a kiss or three from the girl, but at least she was alive to have those kisses stolen in the first place.

For the first time, Petyr looked at the crowd that had gathered in the courtyard of Winterfell to watch him die, on the off chance that perhaps Sansa had snuck off from wherever the so-called White Wolf had hidden her so that she could see him one last time. The crowd was an eclectic assembly of the kinds of people who had and were apparently willing to acknowledge a bastard as their King in the North. In the crowd he saw wildings, small folk, Northern Lords, and even Knights of the Vale, brought together for one macabre purpose. Frowning at the thought, the one person he hadn't been able to find was Sansa.

Glancing back at Jon Snow, defiant as ever, Petyr couldn't stop himself from laughing bitterly. "You would be dead if it wasn't for me, bastard. Ramsay Bolton would have Winterfell, and your sister too."

Jon Snow was nothing if not a man of principle. The young King's face gave nothing, remained unrelenting even in the face of this black truth that everyone knew, and the King of the North remained still, considering the words of Littlefinger (Jon having already considered his actions since the moment he put Petyr Baelish in chains). He would not be King without the aid of Lord Baelish. He would be dead, and his sister would be too. Still though, the White Wolf clutched the hilt of his sword.

Drawing Longclaw from his side, the Valyrian Steel blade cut through the noise all throughout Winterfell. The murmuring of the crowd disappeared the moment he drew his ancient sword, and even the dark sounds of the Wolfswood in the distance seemed to disappear. His father had taught him that if a Lord sentences a man to death, it is only right for a Lord to carry out the execution himself. Jon would not give out the dishonor of having someone he condemned die at the hand of a butcher's blade. The same proved true for even Littlefinger.

Watching as a block was set down by one of his men between Lord Baelish and himself, Jon Snow felt his soul become heavy, as it often did whenever he took a man's life. "You killed my father."

At the sight of the Valyrian sword, Petyr's face paled, and his knees began to buckle. "Ilyn Payne killed your father, after King Joffrey commanded him to do so."

"Ilyn Payne killed my father," Jon Snow admitted, but unyielding all the same, "after you betrayed him, my Lord. Janos Slynt was at Castle Black. He confessed your role in my father's death before I executed him."

"You're executing me on the word of another man you executed?"

With Petyr's words, everyone who had gathered to watch him die then turned to look and see what kind of reaction their new King would have. The Starks were known for nothing if not their honor. It was this famous honor however that had led to the almost certain destruction of their House. Lord Eddard had been honorable with Queen Cersei, and it was because of that honor that King Joffrey had been able to take his head. King Robb had once had that same kind of honor as well, and had dealt with Rickard Karstark as justly as he knew how. The traitorous Lord had died, but so did Robb's chances in the War of the Five Kings.

Now they were at another turning point in history. The King in the North could spare the man who saved his House and his Kingdom, but doing so would be at the price of that King's honor. It was often said in Westeros that bastards were treacherous by nature, 'born on the wrong side of the bed'. The same had even been said of Jon Snow, but no matter what his name was, no matter which ghost of Ned Stark's past his mother was, Jon had the blood of the Kings of Winter flowing through his veins. As the people of Winterfell watched him, Jon's fist tightened around the hilt of his sword. There had never been another option for him.

"Have you met Ser Davos, my Lord? He's sworn to be my sword. He's helped me a great deal, as have you, Lord Baelish, but we all know what you did to my father."

Spitting to his side at the sound of Jon's words, Lord Baelish refused to die like this. He would not cower before this bastard. He would not beg for his life. "Ned Stark died because he was an honorable fool."

"Without your help I would have never defeated Ramsay Bolton," Jon said after a long quiet moment, acknowledging for all to hear the black truth that everyone gathered at Winterfell already knew, "but as a wise man once told Ser Davos, a good act does not wash out the bad, nor the bad the good."

"Lord Manderly said that you were the one who avenged the Red Wedding, but all you did was kill another bastard." Petyr said, standing up straighter and taller with a more villainous flavor of valor than Jon Snow was used to, "I was the one who killed Joffrey!"

The King in the North watched him for a long moment taking in his words, perhaps deciding what value there was in executing him if what he said about Joffrey was true. Littlefinger did not hold out any hope however. His fate had already been decided. True to what he already knew, he felt two of Jon Snow's soldiers force him down to his knees, the dreaded block set before him as one would set a feast. Looking up at Jon Snow Petyr could see a fire in the young King's eyes that the more romantic part of him once held inside himself so very long ago. At the very least, this boy King had more passion in him than Ned Stark ever did.

"Do you have anything else to say, my Lord?"

"I loved Catelyn Tully with more passion than Ned Stark's cold Northern heart could ever muster. It was her greatest fear that one day you would usurp her children and take Winterfell for your own. Now she's dead. Ned Stark is dead. All their sons are dead, and her youngest daughter hasn't been seen in years," Petyr paused for the last time in his life, looking up at the man he had made King, all the while wondering what Cat would think of him now, "And you're the Lord of Winterfell."

Although he would never know it, Petyr's words cut deeper than he ever thought they would.

"I had nothing to do with what happened to my family. I never asked to be King."

"Together we could have won," Lord Baelish said after a long moment, realizing the truth of his own words, unsure if Jon Snow would be able to win without his help.

Perplexed, King Jon stayed his hand for just a little bit longer. "Won what?"

It was then that Petyr Baelish actually laughed, that laughter tasting sweeter in his mouth than almost anything else ever had. The finest wine in the Arbor was nothing but Flea Bottom swill compared to this. The sweetest peach in all the Reach had nothing to them except for the bitter taste of ashes. The Lord of the Fingers smiled as he lowered his head, this King in the North not knowing just how important he actually was. He decided he would deny Jon Snow this simple truth, grinning as he remembered the sensation of Cat's lips dancing across his own in the hopeful memories of his boyhood.

"The Game of Thrones," Petyr breathed out, content with his choice of final words.

Probably not gonna happen, but it's nice to dream.