Nothing Can Keep You Here

Something a little different, I guess (in that it involves sex, but nothing explicit). But it still has angst and feelings and whatever, so I didn't stray too far.


He was in his tent, alone, as usual. All the men were fighting and drinking and grabbing whores, filled with adrenaline after a small skirmish, but not Robb Stark. Never Robb Stark. After every battle, he disappeared into that gods-cursed tent and brooded, going over his actions, the casualties, the losses.

Frankly, Theon was sick of it. Robb needed to let go, sometimes, get over the fact that some men died, and celebrate the overall victory. Robb sometimes didn't understand how war worked.

The men needed to see him out there, enjoying himself and laughing. They needed to be congratulated and joked with. Robb was too far gone in his own head to give them that.

He pushed his way into the eldest Stark's tent (not that anyone even tried to stop him; a general really should have guards). "Stop." He said firmly, stepping in front of Robb. "You need to go out there, relax-"

"I can't relax!" Robb hissed, throwing his hands in the air. "I'm the leader of this army, and the men look up to me, and I can't even think about possibly letting them down." He continued, his voice edged with desperation. "People died out there, today."

Theon snorted. "If anything, you'd be a better leader if you relaxed. You think too much, you overanalyze and can't make spur-of-the moment decisions with confidence. You're wearing yourself out. People did every day, and these did it for someone they believe in."

Robb looked at him, wounded. "I can't make spur-of-the moment decisions?" He whispered, deflating.

Theon rolled his eyes. "You're a good general, Robb, we all know that. But you can't just go straight to your tent after every fight and second guess yourself!"

The Stark didn't respond, still pondering Theon's earlier comment. Theon grumbled, walked over to Robb, and kissed him. Hard. (Harder than he deserved, probably, but Theon was a little fed up.)

This was a familiar rhythm to them, this hurried yet languid symphony. Robb easily understood Theon's angry mumblings, and they soon lost themselves to the fury of sweat-slicked skin and tugged hair and pleading moans.

This was the only way Theon could calm Robb down, after long, hard-won battles and quiet, desolate graves. This was the only place Robb allowed himself peace, now, in Theon's arms, after he had taken the title "King of the North." And, really, it was the only way Theon felt needed by any of the Starks, part of something that embraced him willingly with no qualms.

Robb shifted. "We both have curly hair," he murmured into Theon's chest. Theon chuckled, a pleasant vibration that Robb could feel in his heart. "Yes, good eyesight, oh mighty king," Theon whispered back, his voice laden with sarcasm (that was quickly thrown away as the front it was when Theon pressed a kiss to the top of his Stark's head). "Maybe it's a sign from the gods," Robb continued, but knew it was a mistake as soon as he felt Theon stiffen.

Theon barked out a laugh, years full of confusion and longing and anger. "A sign of what? Of favor? Of destiny? Of what, Robb? All the Starks have curly hair, is that it?" He lashed out, a lifetime of pain giving his words more weight than they deserved.

They lay in silence for a while, Robb waiting for the tension to dissipate. He never meant to hurt Theon, never meant to remind him that he wasn't a true Stark. But how could he say that this, what they did, never relaxed him? It just made him think of what a waste this war was, how dangerous and useless and foolhardy it all was.

There was no time for love in a war, there was no time for him and Theon and the joy Robb felt when they were together. Because with this war, Theon had changed. He had become more restless and flighty, looking more and more towards the sea. Robb had noticed, and despaired. Theon, stay with me, he wanted to say. I'll convince my mother that this is good and right and OK, and even if she doesn't like it, she'll give us her blessing, because you have curly hair. I need you, Theon, and you know it, and sometimes you need me to. Please, stay with me.

But instead, as always, Robb simply said, "I'm sorry." For what his father had done. For his mother's treatment. For Theon being a Greyjoy, not a Stark. For everything.

And Theon, as always, relaxed and said back, distantly, "I'm sorry, too." For what, Robb wished he'd never discover. But he knew that eventually, he would have to.