A/N: just a short little drabble I wrote for robertarryn on tumblr. I'm posting it because this pairing deserves all the fic it can get.

From the top of the Wall, Stannis can see further than he ever could, even from the tallest towers on Dragonstone.

He forces himself to stop thinking about the future, to let his mind unravel, and stares out on icy wastes and thick tangles of trees, on the mist-shrouded mountains in the distance. Stannis has enemies to the north, the relentless marching dead, and instead he leaves to go south. But he has enemies to the south too, and he owes these battles to living men and dead. It is not only the Lannisters who know how to pay debts.

Her feet move through the matted-down snow, silent as a child's, nothing like the heavy crunch of his own boots. He does not notice she is there until she is close enough to put her hand out and touch his cheek. He flinches in surprise, then relaxes, tilting his head to fit her palm.

Flakes of snow have tucked themselves into his close-trimmed beard, but the heat of her fingers, almost feverish, melts them. Water trickles down the side of his neck. She leans forward, putting her mouth to it. Her lips are soft, and he shivers, but not from the cold.

She pulls away from him, and moves to face him, hands firmly clasping his shoulders, her bright red eyes gazing into his. She is almost as tall as he, so she has to lift her chin a fraction of a measure.

"Lady Melisandre," Stannis says, his voice quiet as a whisper, quiet as the softly falling snow. Even just yards away, the wind would carry his words away, the snowdrifts muffle them. Not that there is anyone atop the Wall to hear.

"Did you come to give me your blessing?"

Her eyes narrow, perceiving the slight edge of mockery in his tone.

"I came to bid you farewell. And, perhaps, send a blessing with you as well, yes."

Stannis glances away from her.

"Forgive me, that was ungracious."

Melisandre nods, still looking at him steadily.

"You are nervous."


The single syllable punches the air harshly. He wishes he could say more, but the words stick in his throat.

Melisandre smiles, a ghost of a smile in the gathering dark.

"You have every reason to worry. And none at all."

Stannis raises his eyebrows, skeptical.

"The Lord of Light will watch over you. As I will."

Stannis has little faith in the Lord of Light, but much and more in Melisandre.

So when she steps forward, her toes nudging his, and kisses him, he returns her farewell and her blessing, feeding off of her fire.