This Is How We Do It: Northern Remix
Lyanna Stark was a Northern girl through and through. She was in equestrian club, captain of the intervarsity rugby team, and vice president of the campus chapter of FMLA. Lyanna wasn’t a part of any Greek organizations, unlike her brothers. She had very little time to be part of what she considered a popularity contest. That being said, Lyanna could never resist a good game of beer pong or flip cup.
Unfortunately Delta Kappa always had the best beer pong tournaments around. Her love of winning and beer outweighed her annoyance of Robert “El Presidente” Baratheon, the President of Delta Kappa and lifelong thorn in her side, thank you very much, Ned. Favorite brother or not she wished he could finally get the annoying drunk off her back.
It was never, ever going to happen. Ever.
So with that in mind Lyanna went to the DK fall semester beer pong tournament that night with her best friends Dacey and Alys, fellow Northerners and rugby players. The frat house was set up the same as always with cheesy tinsel streamers and red cups scattered everywhere, loud party music blasting from speakers spaced out throughout the first floor. The usual crowd were all there of course, all the Delta brothers, Cersei’s Omega Iotas, and oodles of freshman whose only source of alcohol was from parties like these.
She recognized one freshman, a tall redhead with a naive smile, talking to some snotty looking boy who was flashing a Rolex way too freely. She’d been in Mya’s group at Orientation, and had lingered a bit at the FMLA table before joining the crowd at the OI table at Activities fair. She reminded her of Brandon’s girlfriend Catelyn, though without Cat’s no nonsense glare she’d frequent at Bran.
As she made her way to the back porch where the long picnic tables were set for the tourney she inspected her competition for the night. There was Sandor Clegane, the football player with the unfortunate facial burn. She’d seen him guzzling down beers last semester after finals, quite impressive, but not completely coordinated by the end. There was Jaime, Cersei’s twin, the pretty boy from the hockey team who seemed to be trying to convince a reluctant Brienne to join up.
Brienne was actually on the girl’s hockey team, though Lyanna was convinced that she could take any player from the boy’s hockey team. She was a shy one, that Brienne, but she seemed to get along with the Lannister pretty well. She’d try to recruit her for the rugby team if not for Brienne’s hockey scholarship.
Beric was the one she really thought would challenge her. He was practically a campus legend at this point. His friend, Thoros, the theology major, already seemed to be drinking. Lyanna wasn’t sure she ever did she him sober. If he wasn’t drinking he was smoking weed and staring dimly into bonfires claiming to see things. She usually stayed far away from that group of friends. A few too many fire alarms have gone off wherever they went.
In the darker corner Tyrion and Bronn were watching the rest much like her. Lollys was slumped cozily against Bronn, finding some peace before her “Big Sister,” Cersei came looking for her to do her bidding. Tyrion caught her eye and he nodded his head respectfully. Tyrion didn’t have the best reputation, but he was smart and never gave Lyanna any grief so she smile back in response.
“Stark,” Asha called from where she leaned against a pillar. “Greyjoy,” Lyanna replied back as she wandered over. Asha and Lyanna were roommates their freshman year, were friendly but went months without speaking, comfortably. “Four of us versus twelve of them,” Asha said as she nodded around the room. Lyanna smirked and gestured for Dacey and Mya to join them.
Asha was the president of the FMLA and a loud activist for women’s rights. She had interned in DC with her state’s senator over the summer. Lyanna had to admire that much dedication and wouldn’t doubt that Asha would be a good politician one day, heavens knows they needed good leadership if not now then definitely in the future.
“Hear ye, hear ye,” Robert’s boisterous voice called over the loud conversations and music on the back patio. He was wearing a sombrero and holding out a piece of paper like it was some kind of royal decree about to be read. Lyanna and Asha shared a look, while Dacey rolled her eyes at the frat boy.
“The Beer Pong tourney will begin shortly, my fellow brothers that are not participating will be judge and referee for all fairness. We have a roster of sixteen participants, so four rounds will see a winner. May the best man, or woman,” Robert leered at Lyanna what he thought was playfully she was sure. “Win!”
The group split up as brothers directed the first round’s pair to their tables. Lyanna smirked as she stared across the table at Tyrion. He returned it sincerely and without any patronization. Tyrion was known to be a heavy drinker, being able to recite poetry perfectly even after five rounds of straight tequila. But Lyanna had a better reach and lots of experience on her side, so she started the tourney with the confidence to see herself through.
After Tyrion conceded with a perfect bow and cheeky grin, Lyanna went up against Oberyn, the campus smooth talker and lady’s man. Lyanna knew him very well from the shenanigans him and Robert would get up to with her oldest brother. She remembered the spring break before she started college when Stannis had dropped off her brother after the group had gotten arrested in Mexico.
Ned had been on a trip with Habitat for Humanity at the time so it was left to the middle Baratheon to rescue the motley crew. Oberyn had looked at her, hungover in the backseat with a snoozing Robert in his lap. “Hello, if it isn’t the Rose of House Stark,” he said smoothly in his Dornish accent. “Robert waxes poetic about you.”
Lyanna had rolled her eyes, knowing how “poetic” Robert could be, and give the lump a fierce glare. She had said something snarky she was sure, but couldn’t remember. Oberyn had laughed, “So you are as feisty as El Presidente says. I don’t think he could handle you if he had you.” “Oh he’ll never have me,” Lyanna scowled, crossing her arms and nodding to Stannis as he’d exited their house after depositing Brandon inside.
“Oh, of that I’m sure. No man can tame a shewolf.” They shared an amused look as Stannis finally pulled away. Shewolf, Lyanna kind of liked that. Went into college with that in mind and even had it stitched onto her rugby jersey when she made the team.
Ever since that day Lyanna had a certain sisterly affection for Oberyn; he was alright even if he was sort of a manwhore. He never hit on her or her friends, some light flirtation at most but always respectful. That’s why she decided she’d put him out of his misery early instead of her usual strategy of biding her time.
By the end of the second round Oberyn had only gotten two shots sunk and Lyanna was barely even buzzed. He conceded with a mock-serious expression, playfully winking as he less than gracefully traipsed over to his girlfriend.
By the third round everyone was pretty hammered, apparently along with the tourney there was a drinking game going on with some overly complicated rules that Littlefinger had made up. Even Brienne was getting pretty red in the face laughing under her breath at something Margaery was saying as they watched Jaime just barely win against Dacey. The golden haired twin kept glancing over to them before he’d sink his shot. Lyanna laughed as Brienne got distracted at the last minute by Tormund’s rowdy japes, making Jaime scowl.
Her round against Oberyn had been quick so she’d had to wait to see if she’d be facing Drogo, one of her fellow equestrian club members and boyfriend to Rhaegar’s little sister, Dany, or Sandor “The Hound” Clegane. It was pretty evenly matched, but Sandor eventually won. Drogo conceded silently with a nod then went off to find Dany who’d been sitting with Tyrion and Missandei.
Sandor was a good opponent, Lyanna was progressively getting more frustrated as he got the lead on her. But it turned in her favor eventually as Sandor seemed to get more and more distracted. As she contemplated her next throw she followed his glare to the dark corner of the porch where that pompous blonde kid from earlier had the redhead backed up. The whole of the party seemed to not notice as they focused on the final four competitors, but Lyanna could clearly see what was making Sandor scowl. The blond seemed to be getting a little aggressive, while the girl was weakly pushing at his arm. Lyanna frowned but used the distraction to her advantage, rationalizing that the faster she won the faster that Sandor could bounce that little creep.
As soon as the round was over the Hound barely gave her a glance as he stalked off. Lyanna watched him go, glad to see that the surely junior was helping the poor girl. Once the blond was scared off she saw just how pale the girl looked from across the room, her form practically shaking. Sandor shrugged off his huge leather jacket and draped it over her shoulders as he escorted her to Mya. Satisfied that the RA would look after the freshman, Lyanna turned to her last opponent.
Bronn, who’d just ousted Jaime, grinned lazily at her from across the picnic table. The underdog wasn’t a part of any fraternity, in fact he didn’t seem to be a part of any particular group except for being one of Tyrion’s friends. He was a regular at these parties and from Lyanna could tell he was one of those guys that liked to tell dirty jokes but was real sweet to his girlfriend, Lollys.
The raven haired Northern played it smart, assessing his strategy as best she could through the drunken fog that had started to finally penetrate her brain. But as far as she could tell Bronn wasn’t really trying too hard. He was sort of just lobbing the ball and somehow it worked for him. He even yawned at one point, winking at Lollys from where she was refilling Cersei’s wine glass.
In the end Lyanna wasn’t sure how she won cause Bronn just seemed to be a natural with dumb luck. But he lost gracefully, giving her a lazy grin before sweeping Lollys away smoothly much to Cersei’s furious sputtering. Lyanna laughed at the beautiful twin’s fury, which was lost to the drunken cheers and wolf calls as everyone finally swarmed their champion. Lyanna drunkenly fell in step with the crowd as they all migrated as a group into the fraternity’s front room.
Lyanna lifted her gold spray painted “chalice” in triumphant, turning to see the entirety of the room. “And now the Champion must crown hi-er… her Queen of Love and Beauty,” Oberyn announced drunkenly. He was leaning against Ellaria with his arm wrapped snugly around Margie’s older brother, Willas. He looked distinctly amused and sober as Oberyn sloshed his drink. Ellaria and he shared a look over his head while Oberyn drunkenly ranted.
The raven haired beauty hmmed to the crowd’s amusement while searching the room for a blonde head. First she saw Ashara, flirting shyly with Ned who was sporting that awkward-cute smile of his. It was so rare to see her brother interested in anyone that she was wondering if he’d drunk a bit himself.
Next she saw Cersei, sipping her wine from her bejewelled glass, feigning boredom as she surveyed the room critically. Their eyes met for a split second before Lyanna’s eyes shifted to the blonde she was looking for. Rhaegar. Student Body President, the governor’s son, classically trained musician and number one on Lyanna’s “I’d tap that” list.
She made her move, skirting just past Cersei to where a clearly intoxicated Rhaegar was nodding blankly to whatever Doran, the SGA vice president, was going on about.
“My Lord,” Lyanna announced to the crowd, exaggerating her Northerner accent with a wicked grin. Rhaegar jumped slightly at her loud and slurring interruption of the homecoming budget and focused blurry violet eyes towards her. Once his attention switched to her she dramatically got down on one knee, head bowed, offering the shiny plastic crown with outstretched arms.
The whole crowd laughed and cheered drunkenly, most being a fan of Rhaegar, known for his relaxed and patient personality. Except for a few grumbles from Robert, who’d surprisingly fallen to Dacey in the first round. “Ah,” Rhaegar eloquently voiced as he slowly assessed the situation. A slow smile curled across his face as he looked down at Lyanna’s jet black hair.
“Thank you, I gladly accept,” Rhaegar managed to hiccup, bowing his own head with an amused snort to let her crown him. Lyanna’s cheeks burned and she happily if not sloppily perched the crown on his head, laughing as the whole room cheer once again.
Soon the focus was lost and most of the party migrated back to the many rooms of the massive DK House. Doran had wandered off, probably to check up on his brother, so Rhaegar and Lyanna were alone. She finally collapsed into the nearest lounge chair, sinking into the well used cushions. Rhaegar stayed standing where he was gazing out the window where the moon was full and bright. “So,” Lyanna broke the silence, heart up ticking as Rhaegar’s violet eyes switched back to her. “So,” he echoed back in amusement, his drunk state making him even more laidback than usual.
“Homecoming? Should be huge,” Lyanna blabbered trying to fill up the space. Her mind was too foggy to be her usual cool headed self. “We have a great chance this year,” Rhaegar parroted back, clearly not up for much talking in his current state. “The afterparty should be fun, it’s supposed to be a luau, complete with a pig roast and all that,” Lyanna continued, nervously glancing at him. Rhaegar simply hummed in answer, focus already drifting again. “Would you, I dunno, wanna go. With me?” For one long painful moment Lyanna thought he’d say no, their conversation so far going less than swimmingly.
But Rhaegar froze and finally seemed to sober up enough to look her in the eye. They stared at each other until he finally cracked a smile. “Uh, yea,” he said, smiling awkwardly. “That’d be nice.” With relief she smiled back, uncaring even when Dany broke the moment by calling for Rhaegar. He gave her an apologetic look before wandering off to join his sister.
Lyanna let out a breath and chuckled a little to herself, still smiling stupidly when Dacey finally found her and urged her home. She had a date to look forward to. With her Queen of Love and Beauty!