No Longer the Walls
So I wrote this to be an angry fic. A very angry fic. Go punch someone, get yelled at, lose a fight, and then come read this fic. Maybe you'll understand the anger and desperation and confusion in this story.
He was breaking, falling apart, all of his walls were crumbling and falling down and he couldn't handle it anymore.
Robb was always there, always right there, and there was nothing Theon could do to adjust that. There was no way he could close the distance, span the gap, stop his stupid idiotic traitorous brain from thinking.
Sometimes he wished he had never met Robb, he wished the boy were as despicable as the bastard Snow, as awful and condescending as the rest of the Starks.
And other times he just wanted to lock the doors and show Robb how different he was, how Theon appreciated the effort that Robb put in when he refused to give up on the surly, angry, freshly kidnapped child.
That boy. That man, that Stark, he did things to Theon. Things he could not name, emotions that made no sense, and all because of what? Because of brotherhood, of honor, of times spent laughing and forgetting themselves?
No, Robb never forgot himself. His Stark honor was always there, his duty to his family and Winterfell always first and foremost.
And Theon was not going to be anybody's second priority, dammit! That was one thing, at least, the whores got right: he was number one.
And that was why his shields were useless, made out of snow, around Robb. Because he couldn't be anything but second to him: he wasn't family (thank the gods) and he certainly didn't belong to Winterfell.
Every day, every meal, every time he saw him, Theon cursed Eddark Stark. Cursed him blind, wished upon him every plague, every torture in the Seven Hells, every painful thing he could thing of.
What right did he have? What right did Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, have to take Theon away from his family, from his home, treat him as though he was nothing, and introduce him to his eldest son? What right did Eddard Stark have to introduce Theon to this ache, this ache that he wasn't sure if it was from his almost-forgotten home or the lost possibility or Robb?
Robb saw, Theon knew, and Lady Stark caught glimpses, and the bastard rightly hated him, but from everyone else, Theon kept his feelings hidden. He smiled and flattered and played nice, all the while wanting.
Wanting what, he couldn't quite put into words.
Something that was Robb and the Isles and his proper glory and the Starks scared and submissive and repentant all at once.
But, if he at least had Robb... But he didn't. He wouldn't. He couldn't. Theon had to come first. He had to be recognized for what he was, what had happened to him.
He dreamed, oh, he dreamed and plotted and wished. He hand Robb would run away together and never speak of lords or nobility, he would run away by himself, his father would suddenly rescue him, he saved the Starks from some terrible danger and they welcomed him into their family... but that wasn't his nature.
He needed Robb, he needed a way to release his anger, he needed glory, fear, power, he needed someone to forgive, he needed to be forgiven.
Theon Greyjoy was a mess, and he was getting worse every day. If something didn't change soon, if he didn't change soon, if Robb didn't...
What was he even doing? Theon needed to focus on ensnaring Robb, not whining like Sansa, not wondering about the impossible future.
But he was a kraken, and the Starks were wolves, and seawater ran through his veins, not snow. He could never change, he could never be second, and he could never have Robb.
Then, when Theon was snapping at everyone in sight and full of anger and so alone, Robb stopped him with a touch to the shoulder. "I'm sorry," he said, and Theon saw. Robb's eyes said it all, everything that Theon wanted and needed and felt and wished and thought and yearned... and Theon's walls were gone.