never love a wild thing
The crow finds her because she wasn't being careful, but in her defense, she really had to make water.
He's pressing her into the snow before she can even lace her breeches, and it seeps through, chilling her to the bone like the north always does. His breath is sweet and hot as he says to her, "Got you," and she thinks, albeit begrudgingly that yes, he certainly does.
Red stares at her, hard and unyielding, and she has seen this before, in a dream of sorts.
"Your kind are sick," his eyes are a strange shade of crimson, and she knows that he is an Evans. A prince.
"And yours aren't?" Maka thinks of demon steel and scythes that swing too fast for her eyes to follow. "You don't know us, crow, so shut your mouth before I do it for you."
He doesn't say, "You talk proper for a wilding." Evans says, "And how would you know?" And bares his jagged teeth at her.
Soul, then. He was always the fiercer one. And she could never imagine that the crowned prince Wes would be allowed to take that black.
"I know more than you'd think."
"Call me Soul," he tips his head back and heaves a sigh at her. "My name is not crow, woman. Gods."
"Maka," she tells him, tipping her head and sneering. "Not woman, Maka."
Soul looks at her as if he can see right into her.
There is something to be said about the boy with white hair and eyes that bleed crimson. He is warm and magnificent and something astounding and Maka wishes she could hold onto him tighter, feel him closer. When he pulls her along, dressed all in black, with his gloved hands tugging on the rope keeping her wrists bound, Maka wishes to feel the heat of him again.
Out here, this far north, it's so cold. It's in her bones, her heart.
(She has no idea and probably never will how this crow, this southern prince can stand being in the cold. How he isn't affected by it, shivering and fingers burned black by the frost.
"The cold is easier to get used to," he tells her when she asks, but Maka can't entirely agree.)
"You stole me," she tells him as he pulls her through the forest. Liz would laugh, probably. High and loud, hair like sunshine falling down her back, and she would tell Maka that it was about damn time.
"I did no such thing, wilding." Soul snaps, pausing for a beat, feet turned like he plans to go west-
(And she knows where they're going, even if he does not)
-but he turns back north, shaking his head. She can no longer tell if it is snow in his hair.
"They do things differently where you are from, southerner. Here," Maka tugs the rope toward her, and Soul glares fiercely, but doesn't tug her back. "When you steal a man or woman, they're yours."
He sneers at her, but doesn't deny anything. Just says, "Let's find shelter before dark. I'd rather not be eaten by direwolves."
"Why join the black?" She asks, tearing into the squirrel he caught. Its meat is not as good as the snow rabbit Star catches, nor as good as the time they'd managed to kill the elk, but it soothes her aching belly. "Why father no sons, take no wives? Seems like a terrible life to live."
Soul stays quiet for so long that she thinks he may not have heard her. His face is alight with the colours of the fire, reds and oranges and yellows. So different from her own colours, she thinks, eyes shutting briefly as she remembers the feeling of a brush through her hair, or wearing the green gown her father had made especially for her name day. But it feels as though it was years ago, and when she opens her eyes, Soul is watching her.
"It was no better than staying in Kings Landing."
Maka wants to snort, wants to laugh, but she… she thinks he knows how she feels. "Why not come back to the village with me? We'll go together. You stole me, Soul."
His gaze stays on her, and his face doesn't change. It is solid and unmoving like the stone of the mountains, like the heart tree back home. "I'm no deserter."
She can see the Wall.
They chain her wrists to the wall in heavy shackles, cold iron. Soul doesn't come and find her.
"They might have sent a raven to your father once," the Lord Commander says, heavy shoulders worn down by years of servitude and duty. "But he died two years ago. A fever took him." The man gives her a smile that seems a thousand years old. "He never gave up on thinkin' you would come home, child."
Maka does not react, but inside, her heart breaks and she wails. Lord Commander says, "I want to know about this King of yours. I want to know his plans."
Maka says nothing.
"They won't let him down," a man they call Kid tells her one night, while he's spooning some sort of vile soup into her mouth. She wonders not for the first time how deep in the ground she is. "He's been raging and screaming, begging them not to hurt you. They think he's mad."
"Will they kill him?" She wants to know if his mistake of turning down her offer will kill him in the end. If his honor and his duty are what cost him his life in the end of it all.
Kid stares at her with his unnerving yellow eyes, and Liz would like him, Maka thinks with certainty. Liz would like him very much. "They will."
"He asked me to tell you that he's sorry."
Maka doesn't know if she should feel sad or angry, so instead she feels nothing.
Soul finds her in the dead of night, and the man he kills had blood like shining black ichor. It spills across the ground and shines in the light of Soul's torch. "What you want, crow?" She says it with a raspy voice and it has little to no venom behind it.
"Want to know why they didn't kill you?" He snaps, shoving the key into the iron door, coming forward to unlock the shackles around her wrists. "You are an Albarn. "
"No, I'm Maka," she tells him, allowing him to help her stand. She kicks the dead man as she walks out with Soul's assistance. The bastard deserved what he got, always spittin' at her and calling her names. "Just Maka. Only Maka."
Soul breathes deeply, slowly.
(In a year, he'll tell her that he was not a deserter, that he left because he wasn't a crow, wasn't a prince. He left because he wasn't a crow and he wasn't a prince. He left because the wild called him; filled him entirely and he could feel it in his bones the same way he could feel her in his soul.
In two, she'll tell him that she was Maka Albarn, daughter of Spirit Albarn, and that she was unhappy and contained, and she dreamt of something beyond the wall. A face in the trees, someone dancing through the forests. She'll tell him that she knew he was coming before he took the black, that she saw a crow by the fire with dancing red eyes. But now she is just Maka, only ever Maka, and she cannot see things in her dreams any longer.)
Maka presses her lips against his cold and chapped ones, feeling hers rasp against his. It is dry, but his mouth is wet and hot, burning like flames, and she allows him to press her into their cloaks in the cavern. She is his as surely as he is hers, and she loves him in every sense of the word.
Later he whispers that if she had stayed, if she had not run beyond the wall, they may have been betrothed. His father had always liked her mother, thought her honorable, and only good things were whispered about the lady Maka.
"We heard very different whispers, it seems," Maka breathes into his shoulder, wrapping his heavy bearskin cloak tighter around her shivering body. "The Lady Maka was childish, you see. Nothing like a lady should be."
Soul kisses her brow and holds her closer, tighter. "I enjoy you this way."
Maka inhales, exhales.
Her belly is beginning to swell when Chrona and Ragnarok find their camp. She bleeds when Soul does, a large slash down his chest, slicing through his hastily thrown on cloak, his thin shirt beneath. Maka remembers the way his blood seemed to shine in the snow as the sun hit it.
When Ragnarok presses her into the snow, knee pressing against her belly, Maka screams and something liquid and hot wets her thighs. Her nails rake across his face, drawing blood, and it is Star's spear that breaks through the crow's skull, but Maka's stomach that screams when he falls heavy and dead over her.
She says nothing to Soul about the child. Just kisses him and gives him leaves to chew on that will help the pain. They'll get back to the main villages, she'll show him how the Free Folk live. She will.
They settle down in one of the few villages far from the Wall and no one say anything about Maka's crow.
By the time she births her son-
(her second, though the only one who knows this is Tsubaki)
-Soul's chest is healed as nicely as Stein said it would, and he kisses her with the same passion as he had that first night.
"I love you," he says between kisses and breathes. He presses it into her body, those words. Brands them into her skin, her bones, her soul, and gods, she believes.
The snow is cold, biting, unforgiving. But she is free, wild, untamed, and he warms her to the very center of her being.
A/N: I've had this idea in my head for a while now. This is for Lue, who is always pushing me to write and wanted this Game of Thrones AU since the summer.