A/N: A oneshot inspired by pre-season two speculation and spoilers surrounding the meeting of Robb Stark and Jeyne Westerling. Borrows from both 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and its televisual counterpart 'Game of Thrones' (but probably more so from the series). Kudos to the George R.R Martin, who would undoubtedly hate this sort of thing, and the HBO creators. Whether it actually has any legal implications - I don't know - but regardless, I don't own anything (and I definitely don't profit from it).
She is far from home and tearing small pieces of cloth, soothing gaping wounds, when her eyes rest on his silver shoulders.
She should not have been surprised.
She had heard whispers of the Wolf King.
The Tully colouring (he echoes the brashness of his mother, the pretension of their house, they say), the Stark build (solid, muscular, they spit, but nothing), the Northern pride (arrogant, foolish, weak).
It is what she expects, what she is sure of, just as she was familiar with the herbs and trees that grew wild beyond her castle's crumbling walls.
But they become little more than clever quips sung from a jester's mouth when she glimpses him from across the bloody field.
It is certain that he possesses the stiff stature of the Starks and the quiet fire of the Tullys: he walks, or rather paces, in a carefully weighted manner, all ashen red curls plastered to his forehead and blue flecks contemplative under lidded eyelashes.
But the nature of these descriptions added no truth to who the young King was. Nowhere did she see a man drunk on his own glory – though she could not attest that the bloodshed and energy of war played no motivation in his actions, because, knowing the ambitions of men, it almost always did – it was an admittedly thankful prospect far from the golden self importance of the Lannisters. Whatever pride the northmen supposedly cherished, appeared hidden. His mouth set in a thin line – more grim than displeased.
He did not appear to display any visible impediment, his steady gait showed no flightiness. His stature, so commonly whispered as underwhelming, hardly feeble. He stood straight-backed: tall, unbending to the wind. Though she could not tell for certain underneath the leathers and armor of the northerners, he appeared slim and muscular.
He carried a sword well, his body curving knowingly into its contours. She knew already that he could kill a man and watch the blood seep from dismembered limbs into hardened earth. The remnants of the battle, strewn at her feet and burned into her hands, a storm of steel, flesh and bone, were testament to this.
Yet his physicality shrouded a greenness; a naivety. She watched briefly, – the soldier she tended, shuddered - his gloved hands fold carefully onto one another, betraying a thoughtfulness that sparred with his kingship. A flash of hesitancy mirrored in the slight tilt of his head towards his counsel. The counsel themselves surround him, great oaks observing the fledgling sapling.
Holding a clean knife in the palm of her hand, she recalled the memory of dying trees, stifling air and rusted steel that sliced the branches clean from their body. She remembered the sap bleeding, heavy and sticky, drawing rivers and vines along the contours of the rotting bark. The image tinged with a redness that drew the breath from her lungs and the sound of a distant scream.
She knew he had not been born a king; a boy meant to sit a throne of molten steel. She knew from the build of his body and the set of his jaw that he had been birthed a lord. A man sworn to take a sword, defend his keep and leave the world assured of his house's survival. A man bound to an inescapable fate.
He did not appear a king.
But, as she tightened the cloth around the soldier's leg and the Wolf's eyes found hers, she knew that he was no mere soldier.