There's a hint of moisture in the air, ripe with frost and the odour of juniper. Summer's nose picks it up so effortlessly, as Bran slowly guides himself into his direwolf's mind.
Osha and Meera argue softly to each other, over the glowing, blood-red cinders of their fire, and keeping guard of their nearby surroundings. Hodor cradles a sleeping Rickon against himself, drooling and snoring open-mouthed himself. Shaggydog must have left to hunt on his own, using his dark coat in the night-time shadows to conceal himself against his animal prey.
Under a big, leafless oak tree, Bran spots Jojen dozing upright, arms crossed. He occasionally blinks his moss-green eyes and looks drowsily towards the fire.
Summer's paws tread under abandoned twigs from the woods and dried, crunchy leaves. Bran approaches using his direwolf, snuffling Jojen's knee covered in lambskin breeches, then staring as Jojen wakes again, turning his head against the bark and smiling thoughtfully.
Bran feels himself — and Summer — loosen all of those muscles wound-tight, dropping Summer's creamy-colored muzzle against Jojen's thigh comfortably.
The other boy chuckles, low and deep, running his grimy, long fingers through Summer's fur.
With a sudden start, Bran jumps back into his own body, tensing and gasping as if winded from physical exertion. He forces himself up on his elbows, gazing down the way as Summer loses interest and trots away — and as Jojen, smiling and unfazed, climbs onto his feet.
Feckless, stupid, so stupid, Bran repeats to himself with hot, flushing cheeks.
He avoids Jojen's studious look as the other boy joins him near the pile of thick, warm skins.
"Is everything alright over there?" Osha shouts, narrowing her eyes.
Bran's cheeks flush deeper. "S'alright! Had another dream is all!" he calls back, mindful of emptying his tone of his quick-cutting humiliation, squirming. Bran doesn't need to meet Jojen's eyes to feel his quiet, purposeful curiosity.
"If you wanted me to sit with you, all you had to do was ask about it," Jojen whispers, tempering his amusement and folding his legs to his chest. "I wouldn't have said no."
"How did you know it was me?" Bran whispers too, hands clenching.
"Summer tolerates me as an outsider. He doesn't go looking for an excuse to curl up with anyone who isn't you or Rickon or Shaggydog, my prince."
Bran glares up at the other boy, forgetting his previous blunder. "You need to stop calling me that," he says, frowning. "I've given you permission to use my name."
Jojen's lips press together, but his smile remains enigmatic.
"Of course you have. Forgive me, Bran."
A new rush of heat cascades into Bran's stomach, when Jojen moves down next to him, his golden-brown curls flattening, his weight sinking against Bran's shoulder. He stares, faintly astonished by how Jojen's fingertips seek his, wrapping their hands together.
"I'm not," Bran tells him firmly, determinedly. "I'm not." A gust of Jojen's breath hits him, as the other boy chuckles a little louder and pushes their foreheads together.
Most of the time he feels helpless — a weak, helpless cripple boy. Other people treat him like a babe. Jojen speaks honestly with him, fairly and with regard. He isn't fearful of laughter and whimsical, impossible thoughts with Bran.
He touches Bran like an admirer, like…
"Rest," Jojen breathes out, sliding his thumb gently over Bran's jaw. The sensation leaves a scattering flock of warm, phantom-light tingles across his flesh.
Bran shuts his eyes, imagining Summer prowling by the river and taking a cool drink, but grounded to his own consciousness, to every movement of Jojen shifting closer to him and their palms kissing, and… kissing wouldn't be so bad, would it…?
"You're not resting…"
"S'rry," Bran says, peeking his eyes open and now grinning. He doesn't mean it.
Not at all.
GoT isn't mine. I used the prompt from asoiafkinkmeme "Bran/Jojen, cuddling" as the fic summary! This part of the fandom is a little dead, but I hope some fellow Branjen shippers out there find this little fic! I hope you all love it and if you love them too, lemme know! :) Any thoughts/comments appreciated as well!