Disclaimer: Game of Thrones is D&D's property, after being GRRM's property. Or else, Lancel would be the happiest kid in Westeros, should it be mine.
Summary: It had started with a simple and harmless enough talk between those two.
WARNING! THIS STORY CONTAINS THEMES SUCH AS SEXUALITY, A MALE PAIRING ( A MAN LOVING ANOTHER MAN ). IF YOU DO NOT FEEL AT EASE WITH THOSE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SKIP TO ANOTHER STORY.
The power of words
Like so many people, Lancel adored the weekends. It allowed him to go back to his family home, to spend quality time with his growing baby sister, with his brothers, to help out his ageing father with whatever craft reparation he had decided to do, to cook and learn new recipes from his mother. This was his cocoon, his bubble out of everything mean-spirited the world offer.
And he knew he was about to shatter all of that.
If he had to be honest, he didn't feel like coming out at all. He felt it was no one's business, not even his family's, but he could feel how important it was for Theon. Lancel could understand that. Still, it didn't mean he wasn't a bit anxious. He knew his parents loved him, he never doubted it for one split second, but at the same time, he knew they certainly had dreams for him. He was their eldest child, born after sixteen years of marriage, thirteen years of disappointed hopes, of frustration, of tears, to end the war that was becoming a mom and a dad. For years, while they never asked him too, he had believed he had to be perfect, so they wouldn't regret him being the eldest, so their wait would have been worth it. He was slowly coming back from that, however, he couldn't help thinking they'd have expected him to marry a woman, have children. In that order. So, to tell them he was dating a man and that he hoped it'd be for a long time, meaning no biological children from him, unless they'd call for a foster mom to carry a child for them...
What made it harder was Joffrey's presence. True, things were way better between them. Besides, Joffrey was so anxious to be a good father for his upcoming child, to be someone decent for Margaery, it helped with his therapy. Still, Lancel knew how Joffrey felt about the LGBT+ community. Because once, to his shame, he had felt the same way. Not to the hateful extreme Joffrey could go up to. But he had felt it. He didn't want to spoil what his cousin and him had managed to build.
Also, on top of it all, Tywin was about to arrive to visit. Dorna had insisted he had been away from them for too long, he deserved a break and a cup of coffee with his little brother. It had always make Lancel smirk, how his mother, someone considered shy, of small stature, managed to have Tywin Lannister obey her.
"Well, she did save Grandma's jewels from Grandpa's venal mistress." He reminded himself "And she had been a close friend to Aunt Joanna."
His parents had first met when Dorna was twelve, her father having debts towards Tytos Lannister, Lancel's paternal grandfather. Dorna was there, attending the meeting, and her dignity had already made a huge impression on Kevan. He had felt this was no place for someone so young and offered her a tour of Casterly Rock's gardens while Tywin discussed the financial matters with Harys. In the end, Harys was left alone, he was paying back quite slowly, but he was paying back. And he actually wanted to pay back, to not abuse the kindness Tytos had for everyone. They reunited six years later, as Tytos' funerals. They quickly became friends and one day, as she was visiting, she had spotted Tytos' former mistress trying to steal his late wife's jewels. Her scolding warned Joanna, who threatened the woman to be shot at. That day, Dorna had won Tywin's respect. She strengthened it with the genuine love she had for Kevan as time flew by, the affection she had for Joanna. She earnt Tywin's friendship when his wife died. She was the one to have managed to separate him from her dead body. She had taken care of his children while Kevan managed the Lannister business in his absence. And when he confessed he feared he didn't love Tyrion because he couldn't help thinking he killed Joanna, Dorna didn't blame him. She told him the wound was fresh, he loved his wife, what happened was a terrible tragedy. Love would come later on, once he'd be more on his feet. Over the years, she was considered one of the pillars of the family, maintaining it together, reminding them that yes, the name was important, but before the name, there was the family and they had to enjoy each other while they still could. So, when Dorna Lannister, hands on her hips, told her brother-in-law, the richest, most influent, most powerful man in the country, he needed a break because he worked too much and it had been too long since he had a coffee with his brother, Tywin Lannister put down his pen and came over.
"How's Margaery?" Willem asked Joffrey
"She's good. No more scares."
"Joffy, how are babies made?" Janei questioned him, her head rising from her colouring book
Joffrey didn't blush but looked away, clearly embarrassed, stuttering something Lancel couldn't catch.
"It's the Gods, Janei." Lancel intervened with a smile. "When a boy and a girl love each other very much, sometimes, the Gods send them a baby. But he's too fragile to be out yet, so he's growing in Margaery's belly until he's strong enough."
Joffrey was grateful.
"Wow, Mommy and Daddy must love each other very much, the Gods send them Martyn and Willem at the same time!" The little exclaimed
"That we do!" Dorna cheerfully replied
Lancel took a sip of the tea his mother had brewed. He took a short and discrete breath.
"I have something to tell you." He said
"A friend of yours is pregnant and you are going to be a godfather to at least three babies now?" Martyn tried
"Nope. That would have been awesome though."
"You are entering a new bike competition Arya organized." Dorna suggested
Having broken her leg, Arya would not organize one before months.
"The suspense is killing us, just shoot already!" Willem declared
"I... I'm dating someone." He revealed but before his parents' grin spread too quickly, he added: "I'm dating a man."
"Well, it was bloody time you told us." Kevan said, his expression unchanged
Facing his son's confusion, he laughed.
"You can't hide anything from me, I know you too well. I don't know who your Romeo is. But I definitely know this isn't something new for you. You have looked both ways for years. And before you ask, no, you didn't really give anything away. But when I looked at you, I saw Gerion when he was questioning himself. So it wasn't that hard to guess."
"But, you dated a girl!" Joffrey suddenly spoke. "You like girls!"
"I do." Lancel admitted. "And I like boys too."
He had an anxious feeling rising in his chest, feeling Joffrey's inquisitive eyes on him. The young man sighed.
"You really are a piece of work, Lancel. I would have never accepted someone like you before. But it's you. So... I guess it's okay. Besides, I wouldn't want my kid to fear my reaction if he comes out one day."
The relief Lancel felt was beyond words. The pride he had for Joffrey as well. He really was trying. And he had come so far already!
"Who's the lucky man?" Dorna asked "Boy or girl, whoever dates you gets to have dinner with us one day!"
"Theon... Theon Greyjoy."
He looked at his parents exchanging a glance.
"Well, I can't say it's a complete surprise." She said. "You two grew close."
"And if we accepted Amerei, we'll definitely accept Theon, reputation or not." Kevan continued. "I have to say it's a bit more surprising for me. But while Theon has quite a past, he definitely cares for you. I saw that at the hospital."
"And as we told you when you dated Amerei, if he breaks your heart, we break his privates." Willem joked
"Do you want me to break the news to your uncle?" Their father carefully asked
"It's something I have to do myself."
The sound of the doorbell sounded like the bells of the Seven Hells for the young man.
Well, it's done. As expected, my parents and my siblings were a-okay with this. Mom definitely wants you to come over for dinner. Joffrey won't annoy us. And as for my uncle, he simply said I could have chosen worse. In his mouth, it's literally his blessing. Break a leg for tonight.
Theon smirked as he read Lancel's message. He could almost picture the family reunion. He had visited them only once at their family's house, but he had felt this was a home. If he had to be honest, his own family's house felt far from being a home. It never really was. His father, while he had never raised a hand on him, definitely hurt him on another level. Theon even doubted Balon's love for him. To the old man, he was a mere copy of his brothers, better and idolized because gone. He also couldn't forgive Theon for what he called his betrayal: his exchange program. When he entered high school, he wanted to spend some years in another area. Balon didn't really have any objection, quite the contrary in fact. When Winterfell had been imposed on him, Theon had been unsure of how to react. His father and Eddard Stark couldn't stand each other. The first weeks there had been awkward and Theon definitely reminded of his culture in hurtful ways. But none of it mattered or hurt as much as it should have:
He had been welcomed with opened arms by the Starks.
Eddard treated him the same way he treated his sons and daughters. Catelyn was a bit more distant but she wasn't an ice statue, when he was homesick once, she ordered a full Pyke dinner for the family, so he'd have a taste of the Iron Isles in the North. Bran and Rickon looked up to him, impressed by his archery skills. His banters with Arya definitely reminded him of his own with Asha. Sansa tended to be like her mother, though she definitely was warmer. And as for Robb...
Robb basically adopted him as his big brother.
Theon was truly happy in Winterfell. He shared his feelings with Asha. He never knew how she saw the thing herself. She was supportive, as always. But Balon rejected him straight away. Their already fragile bond was almost shattered. And his mom...
His mom wasn't really in the best of shape.
After the death of her two oldest sons, she had suffered from hysteria and a huge depression she had a hard time to beat. She was still very weak mentally speaking and nowadays, her condition had worsened, as she was developing Alzheimer. The only start of an answer the doctors could give them was that it was her brain's way to protect her from the fact that she'd have to live without her four children by her side.
Theon was bluntly honest with himself:
He had lost his parents already and the only family left was his sister.
Of the three uncles he had, none had a true relationship with them and that was for the best. They were all bonkers! Euron was the psycho one, Victarion was a fucking wife abuser (and he had actually beaten her to death!) and while Aeron was the best of the three, his love for the Drowned God cut him away from them. His mother was still alive, he loved her and she loved him, but she didn't fully realize who he was by now. And his father, while he hoped they could be a true father and son to one another one day, he knew it would certainly never happen. Especially not after today.
"So, Theon, rumour has it you have a new salt wife?" Asha teased him as she took a bite of her apple cake.
"I don't get why you have your women one at a time." Balon argued
"Well, you are faithful to Mom, always have been." Theon answered back
"Do I know the lucky one?" Asha kept going
"Oh, I know that look. You hope she's going to be a rock wife."
She was no fool, she knew already. She had understood that her baby brother was in love with his precious Lancel. The way he had been so anxious to lose what they had, how he cared, how grateful he had been... While he clearly had affection for Robb, the way he had reacted with the Lannister boy was another level. He was in love. She saw his gaze change. Things were about to get serious. And she had her best lines ready, in case Balon would screw things up, because she knew he would. She loved her father but he would not bring Theon down.
"I hope he's going to be my rock husband." He declared
"I beg your pardon?!" Balon barked
"You heard me. My current relationship is with a man."
Strangely enough, his father didn't seem that upset. He shook his hand away, as if a fly was bothering him.
"You're just being like Asha. You test the other way, so you won't die like an idiot, not knowing what it's like. You'll come back to women soon."
"I don't need to come back to women. I never left them. I like both ways. And my current way is with a guy. I'm not ashamed of it."
His eyes were ice cold.
"So you mean you actually plan a life with a man?"
"Yes. Whether you like it or not. I'm letting you know because you should know it by me. But that's all there is to it."
Balon put down his cluttery.
"Then you pack your bags and you leave at once."
"You heard me. No son of mine is a sodomite."
"Dad! Theon's still your son! How come you accepted my own sexuality and you can't accept his, it's the same!"
"You went back to men. And you didn't befriend the enemy. You are a true ironborn. He isn't. I have no sons anymore."
"Whatever." Theon spat. "I've been fatherless for years until Eddard Stark showed up."
He rose and left the table, going to his room to pack. Asha followed, but not before dialling Robb's number. She handed her cellphone over to a confused Theon.
"I'm on speakers, do I have to change that?" Robb asked
"Nope, actually... I..."
"Theon, you're scaring us, Asha calling me, it's the first time in years, what's going on?"
"Balon is kicking me out of the house because he can't deal with the fact that I'm bi..."
Catelyn had to put down her glass of wine, under the shock. Eddard rose up. It was silly, he knew that, but it had been a reflex.
"Theon. You still have your room here. Blood or not, name or not, you're one of us. Pack the essentials and come over. You are staying with us. For as long as you need. We'll take care of the furniture later."
"Dad's right." Sansa added. "Besides, the more, the merrier! It'll be just like when you came for your exchange program!"
"I assume your sister can hear us." Catelyn continued. "Asha. If you want to visit Theon when he's on college break, you are more than welcomed. I'm sure you'd fit in just fine here. Besides, I feel Arya and you could be friends."
"Mom, I know my crew is the cliché of the losers' gathering but I'm not friendless!" Arya argued "But, you're right. I'd love to meet you, Asha."
Theon didn't come back to college the following Monday, taking some days off to properly move and change the legal papers. And when Lancel knew why, he felt his heart shattering into thousands of pieces:
His mere existence had broken up an already fragile family.
To Be Continued