The Lightning Chaser:
He ran as fast as his feet could carry him, but he still wouldn't make it on time. The men were all in their rows already, and Barry was late.
"Allen!" The field commander shouted. "Where the hell is Allen?!"
"Here!" Barry shouted as he arrived to his place, his chest heaving for air.
The field commander was a grizzled old man, with scars along his jawline from where a wolf had long ago clawed at him. His eyes were lit with fury. "Allen this is the fourth time you've arrived late in the last fortnight. Do it again and you'll be on the front lines in the next battle."
The field commander had little to threaten. The Northerners were in the South waging a war against the Lannisters for killing Eddard Stark. This meant the Umbers, Karstarks, and all of the other men who called themselves loyal to House Stark had a burning passion for being here. Barry however was but a simple bookkeeper in Riverrun. He spent his days sifting through the many tomes and scrolls in the castle's library, but had never so much as picked up a spear. Now he stood, forced to ally with the Northerners all because Lord Hoster Tully's daughter was Lord Eddard's wife.
Barry was brought back to the realm of reality as their king approached. King Robb Stark was a boy of seventeen, and had barely begun to grow his beard. He was tall for his age, and had curly brown locks atop his head. But it was plain to see, the boy was still far from a king. The way he rode atop his horse, how he gazed out to his loyal soldiers, it all appeared as an act, to Barry in the least.
Through his readings he had gained quite a skillful hand in seeing into people's minds, determining what they would do in certain situations or with certain people. It was a fun little game of the mind for him. His skills at detecting deception also had proven useful. Lord Hoster had used Barry's knowledge and skills seven times to find the killer in cases of murder within the lands Riverrun ruled.
To the left of the recently titled "King in the North," was his direwolf. It was still less than a year old, but already stood as tall as an adult wolf. It had a dark gray coat with white belly underneath. It was as kind as a pup to the boy, but in the Battle of the Whispering Wood it was told the wolf had killed a dozen men and twice as many horses.
Behind the king rode his mother, Lady Catelyn Stark, and the reason why Barry stood here now. In truth, she was the reason all of them stood here. Had she not kidnapped Lord Tyrion none of this would have happened. Her auburn hair was tied into a braided tail, and her face could not hide the exhaustion she surely felt. After kidnapping the dwarf and the mess of trouble she caused in the Eyrie she had proven to be adept at stirring matters that were best left unstirred.
The field commander raised the call of "King in the North!" to which the whole lot of thousands of soldiers replied in force. As their small procession finally passed, Barry let out a sigh as they were disbanded.
He slumped back into his cot, running his fingers through his blonde hair in thought. He thought of one of the books he had last read before Lord Hoster had sent forces to join up with his grandson's army. It was of lightning, and how when a bolt strikes sand at the right angle, it can create glass.
Suddenly, an apple flew through the air and hit Barry right in the temple. Reeling back, he glared up at his attacker.
It was one of the other Riverrun smallfolk that had been sent here with him. "Your turn to watch tonight. Try not to daze off into your little dream world and let him escape."
Barry sighed. He was famous, in the castle, among his family and friends, for being what they called a "daydreamer." Always lost in thought, thinking of things he had read or trying to piece together stories and clues in another case of murder that Lord Hoster had sought his help on.
One of the worst duties in the camp was standing guard over their most infamous prisoner. There were two each night, but one stood at the front gate to the makeshift, outdoor cell and the other walked a perimeter around it. And every night, Jaime Lannister would sit at its center, chained to a post, and taunt them. Sometimes it would be about sexual themes or positions, sometimes on faith or beliefs, sometimes just annoying sounds. One soldier had made the mistake of attempting to argue with him, just giving the Kingslayer more to use for his harassment. The guard was forcibly relieved of his post after trying to kill Ser Jaime where he sat in chains.
As Barry arrived to Jaime's makeshift cell, the Kingslayer was roused from his unrestful sleep and greeted him. "Ah, Ser Barry, it's been too long."
The Kingslayer's hair was slick with sweat and grease, and his beard had begun to grow around his jaw. To the common farmer, he just appeared another dirty prisoner of war.
Barry turned silently and stood at his post, his back to the japing knight. Jaime called once more through the wooden bars of his pen, "Oh come now Barry, silence doesn't suit you."
"Must you always talk?"
Jaime chuckled, "If I didn't, well one would surely go mad from boredom without even a little companionship."
"You've only been here for just greater than three months. I would feel the time away from your sister and shit of a son would be a welcome break," Barry fired back with a smirk.
"Yes it has been refreshing, but a man does have needs. Waking up hard between the legs alone is one of the worst feelings imaginable. And I can't even use my own hands. I just sit there, picturing what it would be like to feel a woman's touch down below, and I just begin to lose my mind. It may even drive a man such as myself to seek out the companionship of more questionable women upon my release, the sort my brother is well acquainted with," Jaime groaned as he shook his wrists against his chains.
Barry rolled his eyes. "Perhaps you should distract your thoughts with other matters rather than a woman's touch on your cock."
Jaime burst out in mock laughter. "Yes, like what wood the bars of this little cage are made of, or what I'll be having for supper this night, which of course is rancid soup with bits of gods know what meat and shit in it."
"Or you could focus on striving not to look appealing to a massive direwolf. I hear royal Lannister tastes rather delicious to them," Barry japed. Word had spread through the camp of how the night before Robb Stark, King in the North, had made a rather impressive display of power over the Kingslayer, bringing his direwolf to but a breath's distance away from the prisoner. Rumor was that the Kingslayer had shit himself, but no one dared to check as the pants were coated in weeks' worth of waste anyways. For once, the Kingslayer had actually shown fear.
Jaime quickly replied, "No, I've lost a bit of fat since my imprisonment, I'm more bone and skin than true meat now. He would do best to feast upon my father if any Lannister. We're not a very fatty family, the wolf would have a greater meal with the Manderlys surely."
After a few minutes of silence, Jaime decided to press further. "You have a rather bright blonde shock of hair on that scalp, are you sure you're not a descendant of my family?"
It was true, Barry had the same golden blonde hair of the Lannisters, and had since his birth. A few japes had been made since he had joined the Northern forces about him truly being a Lannister spy, but they never bothered him. Barry wanted no part in the war to start, no matter what side.
"What was it you were rambling about the other night, lightning in the sand, was it?" Jaime spoke, attempting an earnest conversation after his pokes and prods failed to rouse Barry.
"Yes, men put metal poles in the sand and when lightning strikes it will travel down the pole to the sand and freeze it into glass," Barry said, striving to hide his enthusiasm in the subject.
Jaime snorted, "Sounds like witchcraft."
"Magic is only science that man cannot explain yet," Barry affirmed.
"Then tell me the science of dragons," Jaime quipped.
Luckily, his watch went quickly, and now he was in the comfort, if it could be called that, of his cot. He was not able to enjoy it long, as rain soon began to pound against the walls of his tent, and a weathered, old soldier slid through the entrance.
His face was streaked with creases and his eyes gave away the many ages he had spent fighting. His hair was light silver and he had the kind of pleasant smile that Barry hadn't seen in a long time. His chest plate and the rest of his armor was pale red, almost as if he had stolen it from a Lannister corpse. His trousers were a dark, dirty blue. Queerly, his helm was brightly reflective silver, as if it had been polished daily while the rest of his dressings had been left to ruin. Two small wings were attached to each side of the helm, raised as if the metal were to fly right off his head.
"You busy soldier? I could use some help securing the main flag post," the visitor said cracking a pearly white smile.
Barry sighed and followed the old man back out into the rain.
"I didn't catch your name," he posed as the two neared the towering flag pole standing at the heart of the massive camp.
The pole stood the height of five grown men, and held the silver direwolf of House Stark firm as the flag was buffeted in the storming winds. Lightning cracked somewhere above them, with thunder roaring less than a blink after.
The old man chuckled, "Name's Jay Garrick. You grab the pole, I'll wrap the line."
The metal pole was about as thick as Barry's forearm, and was beginning to rock as the wind changed direction and pushed stronger with each passing moment.
"Why are we doing this? What's it matter if the flag pole falls over? Isn't there more important things we could be doing?" Barry shouted, trying to overcome the deafening sounds of the thunder and rain.
Jay laughed, "I don't know Barry, you tell me! Is there something more important that we could be doing right now than this?"
Barry stood staring at the old man puzzled.
Jay tightened the rope and came over to clasp Barry on the shoulder, leaning in. "Is there something more important that we could be doing? Warring over gold, and land, and who killed who, whose children are whose, is there nothing greater?"
Barry blinked, confused immensely. "I'm not sure.."
Perhaps the old man was mad. Generals in war generally did not care what the mental state of their soldiers were so long as they could hold a spear.
"If you could change it, would you?" Jay asked.
Barry was taken aback. This morning he was just a regular soldier who didn't want to be there and had slept in, but now he was in a terrible storm being asked confusing questions by an old stranger in mismatched armor.
"Uh, I...I don't know. I don't know how I would?" Barry stuttered.
Jay smiled again. "Would you?"
Barry held tight to the pole as the wind buffeted hard from the north. Change it how? You can't make people not greedy or hungry for power. The world is deeply flawed, but it's impossible to change it. But if I could…I would have to try.
"Yes, I would, but what does it matter? There's no way to change the nature of man!" Barry said shouting over another boom of thunder.
The old man gave one last chuckle before offering his hand. Barry reached to shake it with his free hand. "Good to meet you, Barry. And you'd be surprised how far a little hope could go."
At that moment, as their hands clasped, the sky above them lit up. A serpent of lightning crackled down from the dark heavens above and kissed the pole. The bolt traveled down through the metal, and before he could withdraw his hand, his world had gone dark.
Harvey: Chapter 3
"Your Grace, you summoned me?"
Queen Cersei gave a small smile and nodded, gesturing to the seat across from her. Harvey moved to sit. Between them sat a large oak desk, the same one that Robert would sit at when he summoned Harvey.
"Wine, Officer Dent?" She offered, sounding almost pleasant.
Harvey's worry was peaking, and he preferred his senses not hindered when dealing with a deadly serpent such as the queen. She was more dangerous now than ever. Her husband was dead, her shit-eating son was upon the throne as king, and her maligned brother Tyrion had arrived the day past to take up the mantle of Hand of the King in their father's stead. She was both at the height of her power and unmistakably furious.
"No thank you, Your Grace. I'm afraid wine doesn't agree with me this early in the day."
The Queen took a sip from her cup, "Very well."
As she continued to drink, Harvey grew anxious from the silence. The Queen had never summoned him to the private chamber before. The practice was common for King Robert as he rarely went farther than one hundred paces from his bed chambers down the hall.
"What would you require of me, Your Grace?" Harvey asked, not wanting to be here any longer than necessary.
The Queen finished and gave a grand smile. "Officer Dent, how does your wife fare?"
Taken aback, he stuttered, "Uh, very well Your Grace. She enjoys her quilting and baking. She seems much happier here than she was in Gotham."
"Grand. I trust you feel the same?"
Harvey nodded. "Yes, Gotham was a rather bleak place that grew darker with each passing year. It is refreshing to be by the sunny shores of the Narrow Sea."
"Ah yes, and did you find the city in better condition when you recently visited?" The Queen was remaining aloof, but Harvey feared more malicious intentions would soon bare their teeth.
"Well when I visited it was besieged by your father and his army. Dead littered the streets and total chaos had ensued."
The Queen gestured to one of the guardsmen standing by the door to come and refill her glass. There were two of them, Kingsguard. Ser Mandon Moore and Ser Meryn Trant. Their flawless white cloaks and armor couldn't hide the spineless, vermin of men beneath them. Knowing they were present made him very uneasy.
"And why were you there?" The Queen retained her calm, regal demeanor but Harvey could feel the angry, caged lion within roaring to be set loose upon his carcass.
"Business our departed King Robert sent me upon. To question Ser James Gordon of the City Watch whether Batman and the other masked criminals were threat enough to the kingdom to warrant intervention from the crown."
Cersei's brow piqued. "And did he find the merry band of freaks to be too much for him to handle?"
"No. Even now, Batman has not been sighted in months, Joker is in chains, and the heads of the most infamous crime families are dead. The city is rebuilding."
"It matters not, once my father is finished with the Northerners I'm certain he will return to Gotham to bring it to heel. The city is full of rogues and rebels, and needs to learn to fall in line and join the rest of the world," the Queen chimed as she swirled the wine in her glass.
Harvey bit his tongue. He knew better than to tempt the Queen, as hungry for power and deadly as she was.
"Yes well, every city and every man has his time I'm afraid," he calmly replied.
"This kingdom is in shambles. The smallfolk hold up figures like this Batman and his little squire as heroes. They view them in a higher regard than their own king. It's madness. The Batman is nothing more than a vigilante. First he only defied his own City Watch, but it was not enough for him, before long he chose to go against my father and the crown."
"I suppose a man either dies a hero or lives long enough to see himself become the villain."
Cersei smirked, "As happened to poor Eddard Stark. A hero, so honorable and loyal throughout his life until the end, when he took up the mantle of traitor."
Harvey did not know Lord Stark personally, but he knew the Queen's words were lies, and that everything that had happened was a result of her workings. It was enough to make Harvey's blood begin to boil.
"You still have yet to tell me, Your Grace, what it was you summoned me for today?" He pressed on, ignoring her attempts to goad him into arguing.
Her pleasant smile disappeared as the murderous lion beneath came into view. "Why did you truly go to Gotham, and who for?"
"Y-your Grace? I'm afraid I don't understand. I just told you, I went on the orders of King Roberts to see if-" He was cut off by Ser Meryn grabbing his shoulder briskly and slamming his head down into the desk in front of him.
"I will ask one more time, Officer Dent. Who sent you to Gotham and what for?" She posed again in the same calm voice.
Harvey struggled against the knight's grip, but it was of iron. Ser Meryn had his arm pinned behind his back, and his face pressed hard against the wooden desk's top. Harvey felt his shoulder beginning to strain.
"Your Grace, I'm afraid I do not understand. I-" He was cut off again as the Queen nodded to her pawn and he in turn broke Harvey's arm. Harvey shouted in pain as his arm lit up in fiery agony.
"One last time, who sent you?"
Harvey groaned. Forgive me, Lord Stark. "Lord Stark, he sent me to speak with Batman. He wanted to know if the men running Arkham Asylum could be trusted." Harvey barely managed to get the words out between his gritted teeth.
The Queen nodded again, and Meryn let loose his iron grip quickly thereafter.
As Harvey leaned back into his seat, gripping his broken shoulder in pain, he gazed at the Queen. She looked as pleased as ever, knowing she had the power of life and death in this castle.
"Thank you, Officer Dent. Now for the matter of your betrayal to the crown. You assisted a known traitor of King Joffrey and enemy of the kingdom. How do you plead?"
Fuck. My arm feels like it's attached by strings and this bitch wants me to say I'm a traitor. But what will happen to Gilda…?
"I will plead guilty, so long as no harm comes to my wife," Harvey desperately tried to make a bargain. His head for hers.
"Oh Officer Dent, we are not those barbarians of the North here. No more harm shall come to you or your wife, so long as you agree to work for me from now on," she stated with a dangerous smile. Harvey at last saw her scheme in its entirety.
Knowing he had no other paths before him, and that this would be the only way to save his wife, he nodded. "I swear, Your Grace."
The Queen looked delighted as ever. "A wise move, Officer Dent. I would have you be my spy upon your next trip to Gotham."
"Next trip to Gotham?" He groaned.
"Why yes of course. You will go to Gotham and tell me of their defenses. You will speak with Gordon as if nothing has changed, and will report back to me how many men they have left, and you must speak with Hugo Strange, he has not reported back to my father nor I in far too long. Ser Meryn take him to Grandmaester Pycelle to get that arm looked at." Her smile said it all. And as Harvey was lifted to his feet and roughly taken from the room with his arm in pain, he felt sick to his stomach, feeling like the fair world he had believed in for so long was dead, or rather, had been dead long before he ever came into it and he was only just now made aware of it. The coin in his pocket, the one that he used to let fate and fairness guide him, weighed a thousand times its weight that day.
So originally I planned to follow the books more but as time went on and my time to research and write lessons I've decided to just make the lore of my story the same as the show. In the first book I had the Stark children all at the ages of their book counterparts, so Robb would be 15 and so on. Now, he'll be 17 as he was in the show and the appearances will line up with the actors of the show, at least for me. You all can picture whatever you'd like in your head of course! I know it's not a huge deal but some of you are surprisingly astute with changes and pick up on changes even I forget about including early on in the story. Saying that, I hope you liked this upload! I know it wasn't as action packed as the last few but I promise this slow burn is going somewhere! All reviews welcome!
And as a final note, recently my story was included in an article listing the ten weirdest/most extreme GoT fanfics. Most of the ten were homoerotic pairings or pairings with other fanfics that featured heavy smut it seemed. The author seemed to have nothing but nice words for my story and if he's reading this now thank you for the kind words! I don't do any form of advertising for this story or posting it in any forums or things like that so it's nice when people stumble upon my story and like it enough to share with others. They specifically cited how awesome the three way war for Gotham's soul between Joker, Batman and Tywin was, and if everyone liked that, all I can say is you ain't seen nothing yet ;P.