trillianastra: (#winter is coming)
[personal profile] trillianastra
Title: and now I am sure my heart can never be still
Fandom: A Song Of Ice And Fire
Disclaimer: So very, very not mine.
Rating: PG
Characters: Meera Reed, Rickon Stark, Arya Stark.
Spoilers: nothing specific, if you're up to the end of book/series 1 you're good.
Summary: Future-fic. Twelve years after she left, Arya Stark returns to Winterfell.
A/N: I'm using the book ages (i.e. Rickon was four in the first book, and so is sixteen now).
A/N 2: I... have no idea where this came from. I think it has something to do with the Mumford & Sons song Dust Bowl Dance, which is kind of my ASOIAF themesong now.

~~

Fresh snow lay in drifts piled against the walls. She looked up at the sky, saw only clear blue, and sighed. At least there would be no more snow in the night. Looking back down, she frowned when she saw something moving in the distance. Instantly alert, her first thought was of the white walkers. The figure grew slowly closer, until she could see the breath of the rider and their horse forming clouds in the air, and at that moment she allowed herself to relax a little.

She turned back towards the tower, and cried out, “Rider!”.

Moments later, a boy appeared, wrapped in so many furs that his skinny form was hardly visible.

“What?”

She rolled her eyes at him. “We have a visitor, Rickon. They’re almost at the gates now.” Meera looked down from her sentry post, and called to the rider, “Who’s there?”

“Is there a Stark in Winterfell?” came the reply.

Meera looked at Rickon. The boy – though he was sixteen now, hardly a boy any more – shouted back, “I’m Rickon Stark.”

“Let me in,” the rider called out.

They ran down to the gates and, as quickly as they could with aching hands in stiff gloves, eased the gates open just enough for a single horse and rider before pushing them shut again.
The rider was swathed in furs, not a single patch of skin was showing. They dismounted first, then turned to face them and pulled off the thick muffler. Underneath they saw a young woman’s face, though it was lined with worry and a hard life. Her eyes were the grey of steel, but they seemed to hold the promise of warmth. Rickon opened his mouth, found he’d lost what he wanted to say, and blinked.

“Rickon?” The woman said. “Don’t you… it’s me. It’s Arya.”

“Arya…” Rickon looked at her, puzzled.

“Your sister, Arya. I.. I came home.”

Suddenly he seemed to remember. “You left. You and Sansa and Robb and Father and Mother and Jon. You all left. Bran said you’d come back, but you never did.” He glared at her, hatred in his eyes, and ran off.

Meera looked at this woman, this Stark daughter they had thought long dead. “Where have you been, all this time?”

“You wouldn’t believe me,” Arya said with a tiny smile.

“Give him time. It’s been hard. He was half-wild for a long time, you should be glad he even spoke to you.”

“Where’s he gone?”

“Probably to wherever Shaggydog is.” Meera said with a shrug. “He’ll reappear when he’s ready. Why are you here, Arya?”

Arya looked at her. “Who are you?”

“Meera Reed. I’m the one who’s been keeping your brothers alive.”

Arya nodded. “All right. I came here looking for my brothers. We heard rumours that there were people in Winterfell… I had to find out if they were true.”

“We?”

“Sansa and I. She’s Lady of the Vale now. I came north to find the boys, and bring them back south. You…” Arya looked awkward, “you too, if you wish.”

“Come on, let’s get out of this wind. We might even be able to rustle up some hot food, if you’re lucky,” Meera said.
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wordsandshadows

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