The feast had indeed been boring. Tyler had sat close to Jon and the man had given him information about the Stark family as they drank. Telling him all about his brother Robb and the Greyjoy ward, he explained his close relationship with his sister Arya and how they both felt like outsiders. Tyler could tell that no one in the family besides Robb and his uncle had been particularly close with him and he knew the boy craved to have someone like him close by.
When everything had become messy and out of hand Tyler and Jon had slipped out and were drinking in the courtyard. Jon resented not being seated with his brothers and sisters and Tyler could tell, but Jon also knew that he was in no position to complain.
"Do your brothers and sisters know you exist?" Jon asked bluntly.
"One does now and I don't think it will be too long before the other finds out but my half sister is being kept out of the loop." Tyler shrugged. "I have no desire to become close with any of them."
"I had no choice." Jon said looking down at his feet.
"You always have a choice. You're not a slave." Tyler pointed out.
"That's one way to look at it. Did your father acknowledge you?"
"Lord Tywin did the best he could as long as the reputation of his house was not at stake." Tyler said, he chuckled suddenly. "That's all that matters to him, making his family important and powerful. But I'm a human being, I have wants and impulses. But even a bastard Lannister can help the family apparently, so here I am forced to stand guard for my fathers preferred son just because the man who sired me is too ashamed to show everyone I exist." Tyler sighed and realised his voice had been raised. "I'm sorry."
"There are days when the best thing to do is go somewhere quiet and just shout. Shout about nothing but shout as loud as you can. It gets the poisonous feelings out." Jon grinned. "But its always better when there is someone to yell with." He shouted loudly.
Tyler laughed and was about to speak when a rider came storming into the courtyard and practically jumped from his saddle. Tyler knew a northerner when he sees one, the man was bearded and had a long, hard face that reflected a seasoned warrior. Tyler saw Jon's face light up and his mind clicked, Benjen Stark the first ranger, Jon's uncle. The two men hugged halfway and Tyler hung back. Benjen's eyes flicked to him after a minute or two and Jon beckoned. Tyler was hesitant but hated being rude.
"Benjen Stark." He thrust out a gloved hand and Tyler gripped it strongly.
"You here with the King's lot?" He asked, sniffling.
"Afraid so. Kind of the Lord Commander to allow you out for such occasions." Tyler commented.
"Aye the Old Bear's a good man. The Stark's have been generous patrons of the Wall for generations." Benjen smiled. "I'd best go save me brother."
Jon watched his uncle stroll away with a frown on his face and Tyler could tell that something they had talked about was troubling him. "Bad news?"
Jon looked at him and hesitated but Tyler just smiled. "I've decided I want to go to The Wall. My uncle doesn't think now is the right time." He looked over at the practise dummy and Tyler knew what was going through his mind. Plenty of times a good whack on something with a sword can cure all frustrations. Jon moved to walk over to the dummy, when he got halfway Tyler drew the sword at his hip and unclipped his thick black coat. Jon stopped and Tyler heard a chuckle.
"Are you sure?" Jon queried. "I have size and reach over you, most likely strength too, no offence intended."
Tyler gave his sword a few swings and stretched his body. "Just draw your sword Snow."
Jon drew his sword and smiled. "First blood?"
"As long as there isn't too much of it."
As he finished speaking Jon darted forward and swung his sword in an upward diagonal backhand slash. Tyler shimmied ho his right and just avoided the blade, as Jon went past him he jarred his shoulder forward and connected with Jon's chest sending him off his feet and straight to the ground. Tyler took two steps back and swung his sword in an arc. Jon was on his feet quickly and this time he approached slightly more carefully. His steps were small and in a soldiers fashion, as if he were part of a shield wall. Tyler saw his back ankle twist and he ducked under a mid section slash and did a half spin to his right whipping out a right back handed slash to Jon's rib cage. Jon swung his sword side ways and only just managed to knock Tyler's sword away. Tyler rose to his feet and slapped away a thrust to his arm with his forearm on the side of the blade. Tyler whirled and laid his sword on Jon's neck gently and he drew it towards him drawing a little blood on his shoulder.
"You're too fast." Jon said laughing.
"Your master-at-arms is too slow, I learned how to be a fighter, you learned how to be a warrior." Tyler said laughing and handing Jon his handkerchief for his shoulder.
"Very impressive I must say." Came an unfamiliar voice from the darkness. "Although it would not strictly speaking be true if I said I had never seen anybody fight like that. You remind me very much of my brother Jaime whenever I see him enter in sword tourneys."
Tyler finally looked down and saw where the voice was coming from. Tyrion Lannister had arrived through the courtyard and was heading to the feast. The Imp tried to make eye contact with him but Tyler looked away and scowled. "You are gracious to say so m'lord."
"You know you look rather similar to he did at your age. Curious." He stated, and in that instant Tyler knew that he had figured it out. But he had expected this, Tyrion Lannister was known for drinking above his weight, whoring beyond his league and knowing too much for his own good. "Well boys, thank you for the show, it was most enlightening. Now I must endure a Northern feast. Good night." He waddled away smugly.
A sudden fear gripped Tyler's heart, he blurted out. "Cersei can't..."
"...Can't know, yes you have nothing to fear brother." Tyrion turned and winked just before he went inside.
Tyler breathed out heavily and Jon chuckled and slapped him on the back.