He often turned away when the beatings started. He had seen this sort of violence before, but something about it made the rage that only came out during a battle bubble to the surface again.
Yet during one assault he glanced at her, not sure why, not sure what made him, and felt her eyes locked on him. It was a simple message 'please'. She wanted his eyes on her, she wanted his focus on her, as if she could hid from the pain in his eyes.
It was the only thing he could give her; it was the only way he could help.
From that moment on, he'd stare into her deep blue eyes, allowing them to swallow him whole, and wonder why it felt so good.
Perhaps she was already a woman, having had her moonblood, being forced to learn the harsh ways of life as such a young age. Yes, maybe she was already grown far beyond her tender years. But when he slides into her and he feels her tense under the sharp pain, her eyes burn into his and he knows, he knows she's truly become a woman. He lowers the scarred face she seems to adore and presses a kiss to her forehead.
It's been a long journey, a painful trek that bled and broke them. But here they stand, at the gates of ruined Winterfell. She is home.
He stands a few feet behind her, wanting her to enjoy this moment in any way she can. He knows this return is bittersweet, that memories of the dead swirl through her head and the heartbreak of loss is ever present, but she is home and that's all he can give her.
She turns back to him, blue seeking his grey and tears swim in her eyes but do not fall.
He stares down at her and takes a step forward, opening his arms to her. She steps in and tilts her head up, not willing to break their connection.
"Thank you," she whispers.
He nods, still staring, knowing he would live or die to see himself reflected in those eyes.
He stood by the window, staring at the snow falling, wondering if it would ever stop. Realizing it was the North, and just what that meant.
He had been telling her about the soldiers he was trialing when she stepped out from behind the screen, a harsh breath escaping from her.
He turned, confused, stepped forward. "Little-''
She held up a clean rag, "I'm with-''
He blinked in confusion, then meets her eyes and understood.
"I'm with child."
The smile that erupted from his face seemed to trigger hers, and in one step he engulfed her in his arms.
He let go of her only long enough to place massive hands on either side of her face. He wanted to see her, to remember that moment. Blue met grey and for the first time in years grey wept.
He couldn't speak, he couldn't hear, he could barely feel but he could still see.
He was holding on, gods above and below, he was holding on so tight. Yet when she appeared above him, his sweet little bird, his tender wife, her eyes filled with tears and he knew he could go.
He focused all of his strength and took a breath, happy that her eyes were the last thing he would see in life.