Title: They Wouldn't Remember Their Names
Prompt: Picture of a dig-site with two human skeletons entwined like they're holding each other.
Characters: Theon Greyjoy, Jeyne Poole
Warnings: Implied character death.
Spoiler: Book 5 - A Dance With Dragons.
His body was numb as he trudged through the snow, each move slower, each step harder than the last. He could feel the shiver of his lower lip and the pain in his leg that seeped past the numbness as he kept moving. He might not have known what was before him but he did know what was after him. That thought made him take each agonising step forward. He couldn't go back; not now, not ever. With each step he thought of the life he had led before Winterfell: the shouts of men, the sound of the sea and the smell of salt. He was an iron islander who was meant for rocks and water, not a Stark whose home was the snow. As light as it was, it was his enemy, as pretty as it was, it could only bring him death.
With far less hope in his chest, he trudged through the heavy snow as he tightened his grip on the hand he held. He only stopped when he felt his load lighten. He turned to see her on her knees, arms surrounding herself as she shivered tears into the white snow.
"I can't…" she whispered as her head shook and her grip tightened on her arms. "I can't go on."
He bent down towards her, his own hands—broken, bruised, torn and covered with gloves that burned—clutching her shoulders tightly. "You can." He shook her. "You must."
"I can't." She sobbed louder, the tears freezing on her cheeks. "I'm tired."
"We must go on. They're close. I know it." He tried to lift her, but couldn't. The cold had made him weaker than what he was, close to what strength he once had as Reek. "Please. We must go." He would not have begged once. He would have demanded. But now he held her and begged only to feel her collapse further into the snow.
"I'm tired," she whispered. "Please. Let me rest. I'm so very tired." Brown eyes—not Stark grey—looked up at him. "Aren't you?"
He was. He was just as tired. But rest in the snow meant sleep of a different kind and he wasn't sure if he wanted that. But she wanted that, he could see it in her eyes.
He fell to his knees beside her, a gloved hand gently clutching her face. "We must go. We can't rest."
Her lower lip trembled, fresh tears burning her eyes. "No one would ever want me."
"That's not true."
She shook her head, for she knew he spoke only words. They held no meaning, just like the title he had once given himself.
"You must go," she said through her sobs. "You will move faster without me."
He would have laughed if he could. A cripple move faster than a young girl. Who would even think it? "Come." He took her by the arm and pulled. "We can't stay here. He will find us."
"He won't. Not in this storm." She pulled away from him and sunk lower into the snow. "I want to rest."
After everything he had done for her…
"We are close. I know it," he said meekly.
But she lied down on the snow and curled into a ball. "There's nothing for me." She tightened her arms around herself as she shivered. "There never was," she said sadly.
He thought of the father he once had, the sister who openly despised him and the captor he had once called 'Master'. He thought of the friend he had betrayed and the men he had believed to be his own. He thought of the names he had been called: Hostage, Turncloak, Reek, and Theon, the name only the dead called him. Then he watched the girl who had suffered as he had, sold, bruised, battered, raped, and he found himself unable to see her shiver. He lied down beside her and surrounded her with his arms.
"You're not leaving," she said against him.
"Not yet." He tightened his hold and watched as her eyes closed. She looked peaceful in her slumber, and Theon realised how long he had wanted to feel such peace, even in such cold.
Her name is Jeyne, he remembered. It rhymes with pain, it rhymes with chain, it rhymes with slain.
He thought of his names; some he would never want to be called again. What would they remember him as, when he was no more? Would he be Turncloak, the Betrayer? Would he be Reek, the Tortured? Or would he be simply Theon, the saviour of the girl named Jeyne? He hoped he would be called Theon, he wanted to be called Theon. And, he wanted her to be called Jeyne.
With that as his last thought, he hugged her tighter, kissed her forehead and waited for peaceful slumber.