First of all I must apologize for the lengthy absence. I am so sorry you guys. I did not mean for it to take this long to get an update up, but RL got CRAZY when my favorite cousin decided to get married and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I barely had time to breath, let alone write! But you guys are AMAZING! I can't even begin to explain to you how honored I am for the following this story has accumulated. So, without further adieu I give you chapter 6 of Honor and Lies. I hope you all enjoy!
Disclaimer: I just realized I haven't put one of these up yet. So, basically, if you recognize it, it's probably not mine ;D
It was near midnight when Arya finally opened her door. Hesitantly she glanced around, making sure the hallway was clear before stepping out of her room; she had no desire to talk to anyone tonight. Hours earlier her mother had come to her room, but Arya had pretended to be asleep. She was sure her mother knew she was pretending, but Catelyn left her in peace nonetheless.
Now she slipped through the crack in the door. As silent as she could, Arya tiptoed her way through the dark hallway, wrapping her cloak tight around her body to ward off the chill in the air. Candles and torches flickered as if in greeting as she walked by, the shadows they cast danced eerily along the walls. She glanced at them fearfully but pushed on regardless, unwilling to let anyone or anything keep her from her destination.
Arya hesitated by the big oaken doors at the entrance of the Great Keep. She glanced around her to be sure she was alone before slowly pushing open the door. She peered through the crack, searching the shadows for any sign of movement. When her eyes found nothing amiss she opened the door wider, slipping out into the darkness.
The night air was a cold caress against her skin, promising another summer squall, but she paid it no mind. Cold was nothing to a daughter of Winterfell, and she had somewhere to be. Quiet as a mouse, Arya slipped along the courtyard of the stronghold, careful not to be seen by the guards. She avoided the main Iron Gate so as not to be discovered, and instead made her way to one of the wooden gates that marked the entrance to the Godswood.
As soon as Arya stepped into the wood she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Her fear and sadness were still there, of course, but they seemed lessoned somehow. She felt reassured, as if the gods themselves were telling her that everything was going to be alright.
The great branches of the ancient trees were woven together, creating a dense canopy above her that blocked out most of the sky. Moon and stars where hidden from her view, but it did not matter; she could have found her way blindfolded and it wasn't long before she reached the heart of the wood.
The face stared back at her, haunting and silent; red tears trailing down its trunk. She had been frightened of the heart tree as a child. The strange face and bloody tears seemed ominous and judging, as if it could see into her very soul, her faults and weaknesses laid bare. Tonight, however, it was almost comforting, as if it understood. And perhaps it did; her people believed they were the eyes and ears of the old gods after all. Tonight more than any other night she prayed it was so.
Arya knelt before the weirwood tree, head bowed low and hands digging into the soft dirt. She didn't know where or how to begin. As the youngest daughter of Ned Stark, Arya was no stranger to the rites and rituals of the old gods. She had been in this wood countless times before, but this was different somehow.
"Please," she began, and she hated how her voice trembled. She had always said her prayers just in case the gods were real, but the words were usually more an afterthought. But this was real, this was important, and for once in her life she prayed with her whole heart.
"Please," she began again, her voice stronger this time. She glanced up at the face, a trail of tears to mirror her own tracks. She felt a new determination flow through her, rejuvenating her. "Please help him. You can't let him die, you just can't!" Her voice wavered dangerously and she broke off, taking a breath to steady herself.
"He's my brother. He taught me to shoot an arrow. He helped me learn my letters and my sums. We sit outside at night with Robb and Bran and count the stars and he tells me stories and plays the best games and never ever tells Mother when I've snuck out on my lessons to climb trees or ride! He convinced Father to let us keep the direwolf pups!" She was sobbing now but she didn't care.
Countless images flooded her mind. Images of her and her brothers racing horses in the Godswood; Of Jon and her sneaking sweets from the kitchens; Of Jon holding her in the wake of a nightmare- she tried to picture the memories without Jon, but they seemed hollow and wrong. What would she do without her brother? How could she go about her life without ever hearing his laugh, without him mussing up her hair and calling her 'little sister'?
"He's my brother." Her voice sounded so small. She sniffled and wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. "He's my brother and you can't have him!" She glared at the tree, but the tears in her eyes must have softened her expression. Her vision swam before her, blurring the face until it was just a white smudge in the darkness.
Her strength seemed to melt away, along with her bravery and she lay on the ground. Shadows began to shift around her and she noticed the pups for the first time that night. Shaggydog and Bran's pup were fighting over a stick while Grey Wind watched. Nymeria trotted over to her, nudging her gently with her muzzle before lying down beside her with a soft whine. All of the pups, she noticed, stayed close to Ghost.
The albino pup lay in a tight ball in the center of the clearing. Grey Wind lay close beside him, watching his brothers play. After a few moments however, hesettled his head down against Ghost's shoulder, sighing heavily.
Arya snuggled close to Nymeria, burying her face into the pup's soft fur. She wondered if the gods had heard her prayers. The darkness closed in around her but instead of the oppressive, frightening darkness of the crypts, this was peaceful.
The wind whispered through the trees, rustling the leaves and tugging at her hair and Arya fancied the gods were speaking to her. She fell asleep to the music of the leaves blowing in the wind and the warmth of Nymeria beside her.
The demon's claws dug into Jon's shoulder, though he hadn't even seen it move. A putrid scent filled his nose and Jon fought the urge to vomit. The creature chuckled, deep and throaty and the sound sent shivers down his spine as the hairs at the back of his neck rose.
Jon tried to push the thing off of him, but it was too strong. Instead, the creature sank its claws farther into his shoulder. White-hot pain washed over him and an agonized scream tore from his lips. Black haze clouded his mind and the next thing he knew he was pushed against the heart tree, its bark pressing uncomfortably against the skin of his cheek.
Trying to breathe through the pain, Jon glanced around him looking for the creature before he realized it was still behind him. He tried to turn around and face it, but the demon held him fast against the tree, pressing his face hard into the bark. He could feel the sap against his skin; sticky and warm and wet.
The creature laughed again, a dark and chilling sound void of any mirth and it was then that he realized it wasn't sap that now coated his face, but blood. He glanced up and was met face to face with Robb's, a look of horror and agony forever plastered on his face. Jon recoiled as if he'd been burned but the demon held him in place.
"What's the matter, little cub?" It mocked. "Does a dead boy frighten you?"
"What have you done?" Jon asked the thing, trying to fight the terror that flooded him.
"A masterpiece." The creature replied, a hint of pride in its voice. "And this is only the beginning."
Jon closed his eyes, trying to block out the horror before him but the image of his brother's tortured face seemed burned in his mind.
"Why have you done this?" His voice quavered and he hated how weak it sounded. He opened his eyes and glared at the tree and the gore as if his gaze alone would melt it all away. "They've done nothing!" he snarled.
"Nothing? You would defend them as if they were your family?" The creature seemed puzzled by this, its grip loosened slightly.
"They are my family!" Fury was bubbling inside him, along with the horrible agonizing pain of loss. The demon snorted and slammed him hard against the tree yet again. The force of the impact caused the tree to shake and the bodies hanging from its branches made a sickening dance; whirling and twirling around one another in a gory waltz. Try as he might, Jon could not look away.
"Brave words. Sweet words." The demon tsked. "Yet hollow with their lies." Before Jon could inquire to his meaning the demon turned him so sharply his head was still swimming even as he met the creature's eyes. They were cold and dead, betraying not a hint of its thoughts and sending icy fingers down his spine. Jon tried to look away but the creature grabbed his face and held him in place.
"I wonder if you'd be so quick to defend them if you knew the truth of their feelings for you" Jon narrowed his eyes and the demon laughed.
"Your precious siblings were quick to betray you. Even before I began to flay them. They told me where to find you. Cursed your name. They wanted to watch me rip the skin from your face, begged to hear your screams call out in the night air." The monster's smirk showed its fangs; white and sharp and deadly.
"You're lying." Jon spat out but the demon only laughed harder.
"I read their thoughts; felt the hatred in their souls. This one was darkest of all." He reached out and pushed at Robb's face, sending him in a gentle circle, dead black blood dribbling and oozing in little trails on the forest floor. Jon closed his eyes.
He's lying, he thought. They are your brothers and sisters. They would never speak against you. But somewhere in the back of his mind Robb's words were echoing.
What would a bastard know of honor? The words had been dripping with anger and annoyance. It isn't true! Jon argued, shaking the memory back from whence it came.
"All these years the hatred swirled and burned, blackening his soul. He hated how your father forced them all to treat you as their own. Hated what you stood for; a black mark on his father's honor, the walking, breathing memory of how he turned from his vows and wife to bed a common whore."
"Liar!" but Robb's voice echoed through his head once again, filled with venom. 'What would a bastardknow of honor?'He squeezed his eyes shut as the demon laughed.
"What reason would I have to lie?" The demon asked as he dug his nails into Jon's shoulder. Jon bit back a scream and instead glared back at the creature, his own tone biting.
"What reason do you have to tell the truth?" The demon raised a brow at this and smirked.
"Clever boy" It said before it sunk its claws into Jon's side and slashed.
"Robb…" Jon moaned softly, tossing his head from side to side. Robb's head snapped up at the sound of Jon's voice. He rose from the chair to lean over his brother, his heart racing.
For what seemed like an eternity after Maester Luwin last stitched his wounds, Jon had been alarmingly still. It seemed as if his will to live had drained from himalong with the blood he had lost and Robb was beginning to despair.
"Jon?" He asked, afraid to hope. "Jon can you hear me?" Jon tensed in response, fingers clenching the sheets.
"Please, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Jon whimpered and the anguish in his voice broke Robb's heart. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me"
Robb blinked back the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes. He sat in the chair once again, taking Jon's hand in his own. The strength in Jon's grip gave him hope and he squeezed back.
"Shh, easy, Snow. I'm here." He whispered, hoping Jon heard. "I'm right here, little brother. I'm not going anywhere, just relax."
A knock sounded at the door, so softly Robb thought he'd imagined it at first. The heavy oaken wood creaked ominously at his acknowledgment and Bran stepped shyly into the soft torchlight of the room.
"Bran! What are you doing up at this hour?" Robb tried to sound stern, but failed miserably as his voice betrayed the weariness he felt.
"I couldn't sleep." Bran replied, glancing fearfully at their brother. Robb sighed heavily and waved him over to the bed. Bran hesitated for a moment, almost afraid. His gaze sought Robb's own, and Robb thought he saw anger flicker in his brother's blue eyes but it was gone in an instant. He finally moved toward the bed, sitting across from Robb.
For a long while neither brother spoke, both too intent on studying Jon. It was a heavy silence, but under the haze of fear and sorrow there was comfort in the knowledge that they were not alone.
"He used to sit with me like this. When I was sick." Bran's voice was soft but strong. Robb looked up at him but Bran was staring at Jon. "They would make me stay in bed all day; even if I told them I was better. And it would be so boring, even with Old Nan and her stories. But then Jon would come and sit with me. Sometimes he would sneak me up some sweets or something from the kitchens and he'd read to me."
There was a whisper of a smile on his face as the memories seemed to play in his mind, and Robb could feel his own mouth twitch at the thought of Jon smuggling treats from the kitchens. Bran took Jon's hand in his own, serious once again.
"He always came. Even when I was asleep I knew he was there." He gave their brother's hand a light squeeze. "Do you think he knows we're here?" He asked Robb.
Robb turned to study Jon's face. "I hope so" He said to Bran, but he wasn't sure. There were times that Jon seemed to respond to Robb's presence, when a touch or word would appear to sooth him, but Robb could never be sure if it was truly an awareness of him that eased his brother.
"Who would do this? Why would someone want to hurt Jon?" Bran asked, almost timidly. Fear and anger blended together in his voice mirroring the feelings that swirled in Robb's own heart.
"It could have been an accident." Robb stated, though it was clear from his voice to both of them that he didn't believe that. "He shouldn't have been in those woods alone and unarmed." But he was, and it's all my fault.
"Why was he?" Bran asked. It was such a simple question, so innocent, and yet Robb found he could not meet his brother's eyes. How could he explain to his younger brother? How could he tell Bran that he himself was the cause for their brother's current condition?
No a voice nagged inside him not the sole cause. You did not loose the arrows. And when he discovered who had, there wouldn't be a place in the world they could hide.
"Robb?" Bran's voice was soft yet effective in drawing his brother's attention, and as Robb looked into his little brother's clear blue eyes he knew he could not lie to him. He closed his eyes for a moment, drawing in a long and ragged breath. He met Bran's gaze and sighed.
"We had an argument," he began, his voice wavering slightly as the memory flooded him, "I said things I didn't mean but they upset Jon nonetheless and he ran off. I thought he had gone to the godswood, but when he didn't come back for supper I knew something was wrong."
He looked away for a moment, afraid of what he would see in Bran's eyes, but when he forced himself to look back, Bran was gazing at Jon. Robb had never seen the boy as intense before, and as Bran's eyes returned to his once more he could feel his heart stop.
"I don't think this was an accident, Robb." Bran stated, his voice sad and angry and afraid all at once. Robb held the gaze, feeling his own anger rise in an icy wave.
"No," He agreed, "No I don't think it was." He returned his attention back to Jon, trying to hide his anger so as not to frighten Bran. And when I find out who did this, nothing will stand in the way of my vengeance. They will suffer every wound they inflicted and a thousand more. I will have their heads for this. They will beg for mercy but they will not have it. They will never have it. And when I am through with them, I shall cut out their black heart and feed it to Ghost. I swear it, Jon. I swear it by the old gods and the new, this will not go unpunished.
"Sansa, I'll not ask you again. Gather your things and get ready to go!" Ned said with an irritated sigh. Dawn broke only an hour before, bringing with it news from Winterfell that Jon Snow had been attacked in the Wolfswood and was badly injured. He had given orders to his men to prepare to leave immediately, and had made his way to Sansa's pavilion to tell her the news and have her gather her things.
"No! Joff is my fiancé and I am staying!" It had not gone as he had planned. Sansa's jaw was set stubbornly in what Ned was sure was purely a Tully fashion, as she surely had not acquired it from his side of the family.
"Sansa…" he tried again, as gently as he could. Subconsciously he rubbed his temples; he could feel a headache coming on.
"No! I don't see why you have to go back anyways! He's just a bast-" Sansa stopped herself midsentence. Her anger had gotten the best of her, the look on her face told him she hadn't meant what she said, but Ned's temper flared regardless and he stood up and stepped towards his eldest daughter.
"He is your brother, bastard or not!" Though his tone was low it was by no means gentle. Anger dripped on every word and his rage must have shown on his face as well, for Sansa dropped her eyes and took a step back.
"I-I'm sorry, Father. I didn't mean…" she stammered, tongue tripping over her words and he was sure he could see tears filling her eyes, though whether they were born of shame, sadness, or anger he couldn't be sure. They were gone in any case when she met his gaze again, chased away by a quiet determination.
"I am sorry that Jon was hurt, truly I am, and I pray he recovers. But I can't go, Father! Don't you see? I am to be Prince Joffery's wife soon. His queen! My place is by his side now," Her cool blue eyes stared into his, determined and pleading. Ned stared back.
"Alright," he sighed, seeing the truth in her words. Robert would be cross enough with Ned leaving so abruptly, he did not want to think of the fight that would result in his taking Sansa back with him. Sansa's face lit up and she threw her arms around him.
"Oh thank you, Father!" She held him in a tight embrace; he squeezed her gently before pulling away.
"I will leave Jory and whomever he chooses with you. Behave yourself, or I will know the reason why. And Sansa," He made sure he had her full attention before he continued, "I pray you do not regret your decision. " Her grin faded away as she nodded, and with that Ned kissed her forehead and said his goodbyes. He left word with Jory about staying with Sansa before he went searching for his king.
He found Robert breaking his fast with Ser Barristan Selmy and a few other knights he did not recognize.
"Ah, Ned! Sit and drink with us and share us some stories of war!" The king bellowed, his voice echoing in the morning air.
"Would that I could, your grace, but I must speak with you." He glanced at the others. Robert nodded and stood, leading Ned to his pavilion.
"Speak your mind." Robert said once they were alone in his tent. "What could possibly be bothering you this early in the morning?"
"There was a raven in the night." Ned said, handing Robert the letter. Robert took it and read the words carefully, glancing back at Ned when he was through.
"So your bastard was attacked, what of it?" Ned stared at him incredulous.
"What do you mean 'what of it'? My son was attacked! I must return home!" Robert laughed, loud and booming.
"Whatever for? They didn't catch the assassin or the note would have mentioned it. There is no justice to be had, no heads to be taken, what purpose is there for you to return to Winterfell?" The king's amusement was apparent, and Ned felt himself bristle.
"My son is gravely injured, Robert" Ned tried to keep his tone even, but the rage inside him was building.
"A bastard son and you are the Hand. Your place is with your king, or do you need reminding?" There was a warning tone in Robert's voice, but Ned paid it no heed.
"He is my son, Robert, and I will go to him with or without your leave."
"And what would you do for him that your maester can not? What great power do you possess that requires you to leave your friend's side, your king's side, to sit by your bastard's deathbed?" It was meant as a jest, but Robert's words sent an icy chill down Ned's spine at the thought.
"Please, Robert. For the love you say you bear me, let me go to my son."
Robert looked like he wanted to strangle him, but Ned refused to back down. Finally Robert waved his hands in the air in defeat. He fixed Ned with a hard stare.
"Damn your honor and damn that bastard of yours. Fine. Go. I'll give you a month, Ned. Go to your son, bury him, and be done with it. But if you have not returned in that time, I will send out my legions and have you dragged back to me by your hair." Ned had to laugh at that.
"As you command, your grace." He gave a mock bow and turned to leave. "Thank you, my friend" he added when he was at the entrance. An angry grunt was all he heard when he exited the pavilion.
Birdsong filled the air with a wild music. Soft, pale morning light glittered through the leaves above, dancing along the forest floor with every fluttering of a leaf. A warm sensation stirred Arya awake and for a moment she didn't know where she was. It wasn't until Nymeria whined and licked her cheek again that Arya remembered.
"I fell asleep." She realized. Nymeria yipped and danced around excitedly at Arya's sudden signs of life. Arya reached out and scratched the pup behind her ears. Nymeria nipped gently at her wrist and bounded away.
Shaggydog suddenly appeared from behind the weirwood tree and leapt on top of his sister, tugging on her scruff. Nymeria kicked him off with a playful growland the two chased one another around the clearing.
Arya laughed as she watched them play, the first real laugh since Jon had been injured she realized. Bran's pup, still unnamed, trotted over to Grey Wind and Ghost, biting at their paws playfully. Grey Wind yawned, swatted at his brother with a paw, and nipped at his muzzle but stayed where he was. Ghost didn't even look up.
After a few unsuccessful attempts at rousing his brothers, Bran's pup trotted away and joined Nymeria and Shaggydog in their play. Arya watched them roll around and jump on one another for a few moments before turning back to Grey Wind and Ghost.
Grey Wind had rested his head against Ghost's neck. He watched his brothers and sisters play longingly, yet he refused to leave his pale brother. It reminded her of Robb and how he refused to leave Jon's side.
'I should be there too' she thought with a pang in her heart. She moved to sit up, stretching slowly and trying to work the knots in her shoulders and back caused by a night of lying on a hard ground. Nymeria trotted over to her and nuzzled her side, whining softly.
"I'm sorry, Nymeria. I have to be somewhere." She gave the pup a scratch under the chin before standing. Nymeria walked over to where Grey Wind lay with Ghost, touching noses with her brothers before snuggling beside the white pup. Arya smiled at the pups before turning and making her way out of the wood.
It was turning out to be a beautiful day. Birdsong filled the air and the sun shone merrily through the few fluffy white clouds that sauntered casually across the blue sky. Sansa led Lady quietly along the bank of a slow moving creek, stopping under the shade of a low hanging oak branch.
She leaned against the rough bark for a moment and watched as a leaf floated gently down the stream, soaking up the sun. She had spent most of the morning in the queen's wheelhouse, sharing tea and sweets with the princess Myrcella and the young prince Tommen. It was pleasant enough, but Sansa found that she was not nearly as elated as she should have been.
If truth be told, Sansa was in a dark mood. A black cloud seemed to hang over her and not even a morning with the queen and her children could shake it from her shoulders. The wheelhouse seemed stiflingly hot and when it came to a shuddering halt so the king could hunt, Sansa thanked the queen and politely took her leave.
The cool breeze kissed her skin and she inhaled deeply, savoring the smells of grass and wild flowers. Sansa sat on the mossy ground beside Lady. The direwolf pup attempted to crawl into her lap, but Sansa gently pushed her away.
"No, Lady, you're too big!" she giggled. The pup sniffed as if offended and Sansa kissed her nose in an attempt to make amends. Lady contented herself in laying her head on Sansa's knee while the girl scratched her behind the ears.
"Father is afraid" she told the pup. Lady twitched an ear in response, watching her from half closed eyes. Sansa smiled softly and settled against the tree. Lady always listened.
"Jon must really be hurt for him to have raced off so quickly." The thought weighed heavily on her mind, along with her father's warning to her. "But he'll be alright, won't he? He has to be alright." She tried to reassure herself but the darkness that had lingered over her all morning crept back up her spine.
But what if he isn't? The thought startled her so fiercely that her breath caught in her chest. Life without her half-brother? She couldn't imagine it! They had never been close, not since she was a child. Ever since she learned what he was and what that meant she had treated Jon with a cool courtesy, never showing more affection than was required.
He didn't seem to mind much anyways; Arya was his favorite after all- Arya and their brothers, though her sister acted more like a boy anyways so she supposed it was only natural. Still, despite what he was Sansa could not imagine what life would be like without him. The very thought frightened her more than she could have ever believed, more than she would ever care to admit even to herself.
There was a time such matters of parentage had never been an issue, before childhood innocence melted away in the wake of understanding. Once she had been blissfully unaware of what Jon was, and he had simply been her older brother whom she loved with all her heart. Back when it had been only her and Robb and Jon.
She remembered how he would smile at her, and how excited she felt whenever he paid her even the slightest attention. How he and Robb would sit with her for hours telling stories or playing games. How they would sing and dance with her at feasts.
It all seemed so far away now, and his smiles were now reserved for Arya. She tried to ignore the pang of jealousy that oozed in her heart whenever she saw them. It had been she who turned from him after all.
She would never forget the look of hurt on his face when she began to pull away from him. But she could no longer look at Jon and not see how his very presence proved her father's betrayal. It had been a terrible moment, when everything came into place and the blissful childhood ignorance was shattered forever. Nothing was ever the same after that.
Yet there was a moment only a few months passed when she almost forgot all that. She had been shaken awake from a nightmare. She could not remember what it had been about, but it was so terrible it had taken nearly an hour for the terror to fade. She had sat straight up after being awoken, desperately clinging to the form before her before even realizing who it had been.
Jon had held her tight as she sobbed into his chest, stroking her hair and murmuring words of comfort. When she finally calmed down she had been almost afraid to break the contact. For those precious moments, time stopped and she was a child again finding comfort in her brother's arms.
All too soon it had ended. Jon pulled away first, meeting her gaze with an understanding smile before kissing her on the forehead. Sansa could do nothing but watch him go. She wanted to scream at him, to run to him, to hug him and tell him she was sorry. Instead all she could manage was a whispered thank you as he walked out of the room. She never knew if he'd heard her or not, and things went back to the way they had always been.
Lady licked her hand, startling her from the memory. Sansa took a shuddering breath and gently massaged the pup behind her ears. Her hands were shaking and she glared at them angrily. Again her father's words echoed in her mind.
What if he was right? There were so many things she wanted to tell Jon; how sorry she was for being as foolish as to blame him for something that he had no control over in the first place. What if he died before she had a chance to tell him how much she cared about him?
"But Father will be with him soon. Everything will be fine once Father is there." She told herself, and with all her heart she prayed it was true.
Ned had been riding all morning. His mare was tiring quickly but he could not let up. The royal procession had left Winterfell more than a week past, but they had traveled at a lumbering pace to accommodate the queen's massive wheelhouse. Ned hoped that as a single rider he could make better time and be home in two or three days.
His thoughts drifted to Jon and the dream from the night before. He remembered the way the demon had laughed as it tortured his son, remembered the look of agony on Jon's face and his rage and fear sparked anew. The dream had felt so real-unlike any he had ever had.
His father had told him stories as a boy; legends of the First Men and their secret powers. Their blood flowed through the veins of the Starks and many of his ancestors claimed to have the Sight. His library was full of accounts and memoirs of how various forefathers dreamed of things yet to come, predictions of wars or tragedies a great great grandfather or uncle had dreamed up. But surely they were no more than stories. Magic no longer existed in their world.
Yet the nagging in the back of his head was still there, and it grew with every passing day. The nightmares and his son's accident were a strange coincidence even he could not deny. Something in his heart urged him faster; he had to return home soon or he risked losing his son forever, though he wasn't sure if it was the fear of a worried parent that spurred him on or something else entirely.
He raced across the plains, his homeland nothing more than a blur of green and brown. His horse leapt across a narrow creak but it barely registered in his mind. All that Ned could think of was reaching Jon in time.
Hold on, Jon. I'll be there soon, just hold on.
This chapter was originally going to be longer, however my muse and I have been at odds and I wasn't happy with where it was going. I also felt that this was as good a place as any to end it. I hope you guys enjoyed it! Again you are so amazing! I love hearing what you all think-and the more detailed the better-so please review! Also please let me know if you find any typos/formatting issues. I think I found them all, but the site and I had a little spat and I've been having issues with the formatting. Hopefully the next chapter will be up soon, but it all depends on my muse's cooperation. Check my profile page for updates. I try to post what's going on at least once a month.