Theon took an occasional perverse delight in interrupting Jon when he clearly wanted to be alone.

Sometimes he would manage to wiggle out of it, usually by going to the godswood – Theon didn't like going there, it always felt oddly cramped to him – but often he didn't, or didn't bother, presumably out of some idea that what didn't kill him...


At some point Theon had thought that he and Jon could be friends – after he realized that he would never really be part of the family. Both outcasts, he thought he could get the younger boy to listen to him. But even then, Snow was too much like his father to glance at Theon without suspicion in his eyes.

"Good afternoon, Jon."

Snow looked up from from staring at his hands and examined Theon with his father's cool stare. It wasn't nearly as unnerving coming from him, though. "Greyjoy."

Theon grinned and threw himself down on the ground, sprawling ungracefully propped on his elbows. "What're you working on?"

"Something I can manage without your help." His little direwolf, the white one, bared his teeth and snarled, high and reedy. Theon snorted.

"Best keep an eye on that ferocious beast. It looks to be a danger." Theon pulled out a dagger and flipped it, once. "Perhaps I should kill it."

That ice stare said, flatly, 'you do, you die.' But a Stark, even a bastard Stark, would never say such a thing. "Ghost is mine, Greyjoy. If he doesn't have teeth yet, I do."

"And such long fangs you have, Snow. I'm positively terrified."

Jon grunted and stood up, scooping up his pup as he was at it. "The other little whelps are all playing together. Don't they want to play with yours? Or do they try to rip it to shreds for being the odd one out?"

Jon didn't dignify that with a look. "Ghost prefers to be with me, and I prefer to be alone just now."

"Do you think wolves have bastards too?" Theon was rewarded by seeing Jon's shoulders tense, then relax, and grinned a little to himself. Getting any reaction out of Snow was hard, sometimes. He considered that much of one to be worth at least a few points.

"Surely for a man grown, this is a waste of time," Jon said, coldly, marking it with a touch of skepticism. Theon was untouched, and snorted.

"Men grown still get bored. Entertain me, Snow. I thought for a while your family poor for lacking a fool, but perhaps they simply needn't find another…"

Jon turned, the little white pup clutched to his chest, red eyes glowing below flat, dark ones. "Leave, Theon. It would not be seemly for a bastard to strike a so called prince."

Theon flushed and opened his mouth to retort, but Snow had vanished again. Frowning after him, Theon kicked the snow and headed back to see if Robb would leave his whelp long enough to do something more interesting. Probably not, he concluded, scowling. It probably wouldn't be right. Honorable. Something like that.