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If You Don't Bend, You'll Break

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Ned had hoped that Jon would take after House Stark, and not after the unnatural line of the Targaryens. So far, no one suspected anything, and there was no reason for anyone to. Ned hoped he would keep the secret to his grave, but this morning, he came into his solar to find Cat sitting uncomfortably with Jon.

“Hello, my Lady,” Ned greeted as he took his seat behind his desk. “Jon.”

Cat spoke before Jon, “Jon just presented as a submissive. I found him here waiting for you.” She obviously was displeased at Jon’s presumption to come find Lord Stark, who had many lordly duties to attend to. Ned paused. He looked over at where Jon sat, head bowed. Cat obviously dislike the situation, but as the Lady of House Stark, a switch as any lady of a noble house should be, she was still compelled to care for the subs under her protection.

Ned signed. His life was about to get significantly more complicated, and he only hoped Cat would forgive him. “Cat, Jon, I’m about to tell you something that will never leave this solar.” He looked very pointedly at each of them. “You are both to act as if you never gained this information.” Cat looked concerned, and side-eyed Jon, obviously believing he had no part in what Ned was planning to reveal. “Jon’s mother was,” Cat’s breath hitched; Jon’s eyes widened, both of them surprised that this was what Lord Stark was choosing to reveal, “Lyanna.” Both of them were shocked, expecting anyone but that. “Prince Rhaegar raped her, and she gave birth to Jon, charging me with his safety before dying shortly thereafter.”

Neither Jon nor Cat responded, so Ned continued, “I thought it best for everyone to assume Jon was my son. I hoped he would be safe, but now that he has presented as submissive, not only will that call into question the honor of House Stark, but some might look a bit too closely.” Cat nodded. Jon seemed to be stuck at the revelation of his parents, but was following.

“What will we do, then?” asked Cat, speaking in a non-hostile manner for the first time around Jon. Cat and Ned looked over to Jon, studying him for a moment.

“I don’t want to cause any extra trouble,” Jon said after a moment, uncomfortable with the attention of both the Lord and Lady of House Stark.

“We cannot leave this alone, Ned.” Cat turned for fully to face Jon. She spoke to him directly. “Jon, I realize it was awful to treat you as I have, but now, we need to ensure no one ever knows who you truly are. The Targaryens were known for being a very strong submissive line, able to withstand the dominance of the most powerful houses, giving them great power during their time as rulers. We mustn’t let anyone know that you are a sub. House Stark has never had a male submissive in its line, so people will question your parentage much more than before.” Ned nodded, glad Cat had jumped on board so quickly. He had hoped the revelation would ease some of the tension between Cat and Jon. Cat seemed to be taking everything in stride, taking charge of the situation with the ease of a highborn lady; Jon, however, still looked tense, unsure of this dramatic change in Cat.

“I had planned for this possibility in hope that we wouldn’t have to use these plans, but it appears we must,” Ned began. Cat turned back to Ned; Jon kept his head down. “Jon, I would like you to train with Cat and I to resist any dominant commands from doms or switches. This will ensure that doms and switches will not take advantage of you, and that you will not act like a sub anywhere that someone might see. Not only that, but if you must get away and drop or spend time as a submissive, feel free to come into the solar to get privacy to do what you must. I will likely not always be here, but I trust Cat to start you on some of the more basic concerns.” Jon looked up.

“Yes,” Cat agreed, seeing the sense in the plan. “That would be the best way to keep this a secret without harming Jon.” Jon’s head swiveled over to Cat, surprised that she agreed so easily.

“Very well,” Ned responded. “Jon, do you have any questions or concerns?”

“Not at the moment, my Lord,” he moved his gaze back down to the floor in front of him.

Cat glanced over, seeing the boy for the first time with her shroud of contempt.

 It was somehow easier to deal with Lady Catelyn’s harsh comments and dismissive tendencies when Jon was able to retreat to Lord Stark’s solar and get praise later. On the surface, not much had changed between Lady Catelyn and Jon, but 3 evenings a week Jon and Lady Catelyn met. Lady Catelyn taught him the basics of his dynamic and the other dynamics. Once he learned this, they practiced his control over his submissive urges. Only one in three of those evenings, Lord Eddard joined them, making additional comments about Jon’s progress and exerting pressure against Jon’s attempts to resist domination.

At the beginning, Jon spent most evenings in the solar. He dropped to his knees quickly at the first stern look from Lady Catelyn or Lord Eddard. But eventually he was able to spend entire sessions with Lady Catelyn and most of the sessions with Lord Eddard without submitting.

Lady Catelyn taught Jon about how he would need to drop deeply at least once a month, or somewhat regularly if it wasn’t a deep drop, in order to keep himself healthy and capable of resisting doms. Doms only looked to take pleasure from subs, so it was important for him to understand how to resist the urge to give in.

However, most days he came to submit were spent with him on his knees beside Lady Catelyn, basking in attention he had never gotten before.

Jon did well resisting the casual dominance that could normally be found around Winterfell. Soon, he was practicing his own acts of “dominance” alongside Robb, who had yet to present.

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4 years later

“. . . and all the wildlings came rushing to the heart tree to eat the hearts of the men that were praying.” Old Nan finished up her story as Robb left the room. He still spent time with Arya, Bran and Rickon, but he had many duties, being the heir and having presented the year before, so Robb only had a little time each day to spend with his younger siblings.

Robb headed to Lord Eddard’s solar, hoping to catch him and inquire about the next hunt. But when he entered the solar, Lord Eddard wasn’t there. Robb looked around the room, surprised to see Jon kneeling by a chair close to the fire.

Jon hadn’t looked up since Robb had entered, but that didn’t mean that he hadn’t noticed Robb. Robb walked over to Jon slowly. Jon remained on his knees, unmoving.

Jon had been having a difficult day, the first time in quite some time, so he decided instead of just dealing with it on his own, he would wait for Lady Catelyn or Lord Eddard in the solar for a drop.

He heard the door open after some time, and waited.

Jon startled when he felt an unfamiliar hand hesitantly settle on his head. Jon began to panic, his eyes flashed open just as the hand moved to the back of his neck. Jon was greeted with Robb’s face in front of his. Robb had crouched in front of him, entranced. Jon inadvertently relaxed due to the strong steady presence of the had on his neck. All thoughts fled his mind, and he went limp in the safety of Lord Eddard’s solar. Normally, if he had been found in this position, he would have tried to fight his submissive instincts, but he was having trouble even attempting to think.

Robb smiled, filling Jon with a swell of acceptance and appreciation he all to rarely got these days. Most days that he spent in Lord Eddard’s solar was merely on his knees, and even those days were few and far between. Having Robb’s undivided attention was heady. Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn were always so busy, Jon never wanted to impose or ask for more than they were already giving him. So Jon soaked up Robb’s affectionate gaze while he could, fearing that the attention would end far too quickly.

Robb was surprised at how easily Jon melted under his fingers. He hadn’t seen a sub so comfortable on their knees before. Robb found himself leaning in to kiss Jon, knowing Jon wouldn’t protest because he was too far down. Jon was beyond pliable and eager to please, bliss gracing Jon’s features even as Robb’s hand tightened in his hair.

Of course all that stopped the moment Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn walked in. Robb jerked away from Jon; Jon staying where Robb had left him.

“Robb,” came Lord Eddard’s harsh voice from the door. Robb hadn’t ever heard him this cold. “Follow me.” Lord Eddard didn’t turn around to see if Robb was following him, striding brutally down the passageway.

Lady Catelyn approached Jon, leveling a firm look at Robb as she passed him. Robb hastily followed his father to the heart tree, and stood there awkwardly until his father began speaking.

“Firstly, you must tell no one of what you have seen,” Lord Eddard faced the heart tree, not even looking in Robb’s direction.

“Secondly,” Lord Eddard turned now to face Robb, “did Maester Luwin not educate you properly in regards to how to treat submissives?”

Robb looked at the ground. “Yes, he did.”

Cat waited until Robb had left before kneeling in front of Jon. Jon kept his head down as Cat cupped his cheeks. “Sweet one, come here. Tell me what happened.” Cat pulled Jon’s head into her lap, and Jon went willingly. “Are you alright, child?”

Jon relaxed into Cat’s lap, letting her slide her fingers through his hair. “Yes, my Lady,” basking in the attention that Cat was giving him, “only surprised.”

Cat waited a few moments before speaking again. “Ned and I have been very occupied. Perhaps you would benefit from being with a dom your own age. Robb knows now . . . . If you want, we might discuss it with Ned.”

Jon was quiet for some time, thinking about how little time Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn have had for him recently. Having someone else might be . . . nice.

“That . . . might be . . . good, my Lady,” responded Jon quietly. Cat smiled.

“I will speak to Ned. Right now, relax, Jon.” Jon spent the rest of the evening dropped with Cat, mind wandering regularly to Robb’s steady presence.

Robb was called to Lord Eddard’s solar. He had thought their conversation about Jon was over, but Robb guessed he was wrong. He entered the solar, surprised with seeing Lady Catelyn there as well.

Lord Eddard pointed to the empty chair. “Sit, Robb.” Rob sat in the empty chair. “It is time you learned how to properly handle a submissive. Your mother and I are too busy to take care of Jon properly. So Cat spoke with Jon, and he would like to see if you are both compatible before solidifying an arrangement.” Ned looked expectantly at Robb.

Robb was surprised, but a little relieved. He had enjoyed taking what he wished from Jon, and Jon seemed to like giving it. “I would be fine trying it out,” he responded. Cat looked content at his response.

“Good.” Lord Eddard leaned back in his chair. “We will all meet in my solar tomorrow evening. Your mother and I will join you so we can ensure everything goes well.”

Lady Catelyn had told Jon they would have Robb join them that evening, so Jon was fairly nervous as he settled himself in Lord Eddard’s solar. Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn were already there, so they were only waiting on Robb now.

“Remember, Jon,” Lord Eddard spoke quietly from his seat. “This doesn't have to be a permanent arrangement.” Jon nodded, settling onto his knees beside the only empty chair presumably for Robb.

Jon heard Robb’s steps approach the door

Cat and Ned had let Robb and Jon be on their own after a few nights with supervision. These sessions of supervision went better than anyone could have hoped. Jon soaked up Robb’s attention, and Robb quickly learned how to properly handle a sub in drop.

After the supervisory sessions finished, quite understandably, the sexual component of their relationship had time to flourish as well. Jon hadn’t experienced the sexual dynamic of a dominant and submissive relationship because up until then, Cat and Ned had focused on the drops, and how to deal with his dynamic. Exploring the sexual element of his dynamic with Robb was exciting and more fulfilling than either of them had thought, even if the focus was mostly on Robb.

Robb’s affection was infinitely better than the scraps of affection that Cat and Ned had been able to give recently. Dropping regularly helped Jon grow faster and strengthen his ability to resist weaker dominants. The Starks being one of the most powerful dominants in the Seven Kingdoms allowed Jon to build the necessary resistance to keep his dynamic a secret.

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To be honest, Jon hated being steward. He hadn’t hated being a sub at Winterfell: he had had Robb in the last few years, and Jon was getting pretty good at pretending to be a dom. But up at the wall . . . .

Jon wanted to hate Benjen for it. No one else on the wall besides Maester Aemon and Lord Commander Mormont knew he was a sub (Benjen had insisted on telling both of them). And Jon was sure that his status as a sub made them biased toward him. Jon was the best swordsman out of all the recruits (also the only sub), and they had made him a bloody steward!

Mormont didn’t often talk about Jon’s dynamic, concerned about more pressing matters, like the large wildling force, winter, rangers dying. But Mormont did pay attention when Jon acted out.

Jon stepped out of line maybe 3 times, and endured Mormont’s punishments, but Jon learned his lesson. Whenever Jon was antsy, he would find Lord Commander Mormont or Maester Aemon to kneel beside them for some time.

But the longer Jon was at the wall, the worse the situation became. Maester Aemon and Lord Commander Mormont didn’t have time for Jon to safely drop with them, so instead he just pushed away his needs and dealt with it like he had been taught at Winterfell.

Eventually, the ranging that the Lord Commander was leading took its turn south. Jon got taken easily by some scouting wildlings, but it was then he truly realized he was fucked. He might have been alright with the wildlings and playing his role as a deserter but he hadn’t dropped in months.

The closer he got to Mance Rayder’s army, the more everyone seemed to realize he was a sub. A magnar approached them as the scouting party reached the outskirts of the massive wilding camp. The magnar took a fleeting glance at Jon.

“Take him to Mance,” he said. Jon hoped they wanted him for his information on the Brothers, but as he and his escort moved further toward the center of the giant camp, the larger their group became. Jon had heard stories from Old Nan about how wildlings knew just by looking at someone what their dynamic was. Jon knew that a lot of the brothers were clueless when it came to guessing dynamics, but it appeared that this particular story of Nan’s was correct. Every dom that was vaguely stronger than average followed the scouting party to Mance’s tent.

Jon entered Mance’s tent feeling a bit better, knowing that all the doms had to wait outside the tent. Jon could concentrate on only resisting a few doms instead of a horde of them.

One of the wildlings from the scouting party interrupted Mance’s dinner. “Mance, we caught a baby crow.” Mance looked up from the fire to Jon. Jon could tell that Mance was a strong switch, radiating the same energy as Lady Catelyn did. He felt very relieved to realize this before realizing that Mance probably already knew that Jon was a stubborn sub.

“Hello, little crow,” Mance stood, smiling. “You’re going to have information we want.” Mance held up a hand to keep Jon from interruption. “Now, I know that anything that comes out of that pretty little mouth is probably going to be a lie.” Mance assessed Jon’s surprise. “Would you like something to eat?” he offered.

Jon looked at the food that the others around the fire were still eating. Jon looked back up at Mance, who was watching him very carefully. It couldn't be a trap, if Mance’s own were eating. So Jon took an empty spot by the fire and began to eat. While Jon was settling himself, he missed the entire exchange Mance had with the scouting party and a few of the doms that had followed the party into the tent.

It wasn’t long after Jon finished his food that a few wildlings began entering the tent, waiting by the entrance. Jon hardly noticed, feeling warm with the fire and fresh food, two things he hadn't had since leaving Castle Black.

“Now, crow,” Mance said, startling Jon out of his comfortably mindset. “I won’t be trusting your words, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have useful information that I need. So since you’re a sub, we will find you a good strong dom to keep you honest.” Jon froze. He knew he could resist strong doms, but he wasn’t sure how the time between the last drop and now would factor into his ability to resist. Well, he was about to find out.

Jon sat up straighter. “And if you can’t find a dom strong enough? What then?” Mance shrugged.

“Every sub I met has their match, you’re nothing special, crow.”

“Alright,” Jon grimaced, accepted his fate, but internally was fairly certain it wouldn't ever happen.

“I brought a few doms here to try it out. So if you kneel, we’ll know we can get the information. Now don’t go pretending crow. The dom and I will know if you aren't sincere.”

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So many doms had tried to get Jon to his knees that both Jon and Mance had lost count and were growing tired of these failed attempts. Jon was struggled resisting a few, if only because he hadn’t dropped in such a long time, but his training was paying off. His knees hadn’t hit the floor to Mance’s growing frustration.

The most recent attempt had just left, and Jon waited long enough before sitting down so that Mance didn’t think that the wildling who had left had been the dom they were looking for. Jon was missing what he had with Robb. It had been easy to go down for him, effortless and safe.

Another wilding came in, one kissed by fire, as the wildlings were want to say. Jon stood up, expecting the obvious dom to be there to get him to submit, but the dom completely ignored Jon and went over to Mance to give a report. Jon thought about sitting back down, but the dom glanced over at Jon, and Jon knew he had to stay standing.

The wilding’s presence was stronger than anything Jon felt before. He had to concentrate so as to not kneel with that mere glance. Jon stiffly looked over at Mance, hoping he hadn’t noticed, but the gods were not kind, and Mance had taken notice.

Mance interrupted the wilding mid-sentence. “Tormund, we have a baby crow here. He’s a sub that hasn’t submitted to anyone that’s tried. Have a go.” The wildling- Tormund – took a real look at Jon for the first time since entering the tent. Tormund slowly walked until he was standing directly in front of Jon. Jon in turn steeled himself. He called to mind everything he had learned, prepared for anything.

. . . Except what Tormund did next. He sat on the first directly in front of Jon, and looked up at him. Where Jon previously had iron solid resolve, his insides now squirmed with rebellion. No dom should be so below a sub like this. It felt so wrong, but still Jon fought his dynamic to remain standing.

Tormund locked eyes with Jon, and simply said, “Come.” No dominant coercion, no firm tone, only that word.

Before Jon even knew what was happening, he found himself in Tormund’s lap, head being stroked, his submissive more content than he could ever recall. He stiffened as he realized what he had done, but before his thoughts could take him too far, a hand rested firmly on the back on his neck, and Jon relaxed again. His world narrowed to the hand on his neck and the warm lap under him.

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Most of what Jon could remember from that night was comfortable warmth he hadn’t experienced since leaving Winterfell. There was the calming lull of conversation above his head, the hand carding through his hair, occasionally making detours to stroke his face. Part of Jon knew that he should be listening, and felt guilty for being so distracted but being dropped let Jon easily let go of the guilt and slip back into bliss. It seemed like Tormund talked quite a bit, from what Jon could tell (his stomach had a nice vibration to it when he spoke). He caught a few words (“black”, “fist”, “dead”), but for the most part, Jon’s focus was nonexistent. Before he even realized it, Mance and Tormund finished, and Tormund was helping Jon to a tent, where he promptly passed out on the furs.

Jon woke, his source of warmth trying to escape from his side, leaving him exposed to the chilly air. He whimpered, rolling in the direction of the body, hoping to find it before it got any smart ideas about moving any further.

Tormund chuckled softly, and Jon felt like a bucket of ice had been poured over him. He froze, stopping himself from following the warmth, and sat up stiffly. Tormund looked wide awake.. “You sleep well, little crow?” Tormund asked, not unkindly.

Jon snapped, “What’s it to you?” hastily getting to his feet, confused as to why he wasn’t dead, or bound. He looked around the tent to make sure they were alone, that there wasn’t anyone there to witness his weakness.

“Well,”Tormund began going through what appeared to be his morning routine, “Mance put me in charge of you, considering I’m the only one who can dom you.” Jon’s jaw dropped. He thought back to the previous night and everything began to come to him slowly and fuzzily. “Looked like you needed it, too. You were practically purring after you submitted,” Tormund smiled.

With no preamble, Jon turned and left the tent.

“Stupid wildlings,” Jon muttered under his breath, careful to make sure no one heard him. He found some of the group that had taken him captive, and they all grinned like they knew. “None of their damn business,” Jon mumbled while looking for food and a way to make himself useful. The army was moving camp to go south in a couple of days, so Jon found several tasks to keep him busy. Even though he was a Brother of the Nights Watch, the free folk had a lot to do and could use all the manpower they could get. Jon thanked the gods he didn’t see Tormund for the rest of the day.

Jon found himself surprised that none of the wildlings cared he was a sub. If the brothers knew, he would have been sent back to Winterfell, but with the wildlings, they didn’t even ask where his dom was, or if he had permission to help.

Jon shed his black cloak quickly enough. Better to blend in , he told himself. Even if all the wildlings knew he was a crow, at least it wouldn’t be because he wore black.

So Jon lost himself in the rhythm of the wildling camp, and he went several weeks without seeing Tormund (he had made a special effort to find other sleeping and living accommodations) and no one said anything about it at all. But one evening, Mance called Jon into his tent for supper and to get more information about the watch. Mance took one look at Jon and asked a wildling at the tent’s entrance to get Tormund.

“Crow, I know you aren’t going to tell me anything but lies. You need some incentive. I thought you would have known to come with Tormund,” Mance chatted casually. Jon bit his tongue. He didn’t mention that he hadn’t seen Tormund since that first night, or that he could already feel himself losing control of his submissive side. It wasn’t Mance’s business, or Tormund’s for that matter.

Tormund entered the tent after some time and, without even acknowledging Jon, sat next to Mance acting like nothing was wrong. Jon kept himself standing, rigid. He hadn’t adequately prepared himself for Tormund’s presence, or how much he would miss the bliss of drop Tormund had given him.

The first half of the meeting consisted of Jon attempting to lie about something Mance asked about, only to be “encouraged” into telling the truth. By the end of the evening, Jon was on his knees across the fire from Mance and Tormund, eagerly giving accurate information, much to his own internal frustration. Mance wrapped things up and Tormund made to leave. Just as Tormund set his foot outside the tent, Jon whined.

Jon had hoped Tormund would come over to him, play with his hair, praise him a bit for doing such a good job, but even after Jon knelt, Tormund stayed next to Mance. It hurt, but Jon figured it was for formality’s sake. But when Tormund made to leave - ignoring him - Jon felt abandoned.

At Jon’s whimper, Mance stopped and looked at him. Tormund came back to the fire, standing too far away for Jon’s liking. “Little crow,” Tormund said. Jon risked looking up from Tormund’s feet into his eyes, pleading. “Do you want something?” Tormund prompted.

Jon couldn’t hold back a sob. Had he done something wrong? Was that why Tormund was punishing him?

“Tormund,” Mance interrupted Jon’s thoughts, “he’s spiraling.” Tormund looked over at The King-Beyond-The-Wall, then back at Jon. He took a step closer to Jon.

“Do you need something, baby crow?” Tormund asked more kindly than the last time. Jon nodded his head, afraid that if he didn’t respond quickly enough, Tormund would leave. “Come here.” Tormund sat down by the fire, gesturing to his lap. Jon scrambled on all fours to get over to Tormund as quickly as possible, making himself quite comfortably situated in Tormund’s lap. “Little crow, I need to know what you need,” Tormund probed again.

Jon took some time before he found his voice. “I’m dropping hard, again.” Tormund seemed to understand enough of what Jon was trying to convey, and carried him back to his tent.

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Jon and Tormund entered the tent, and Tormund situated them on the furs. They had a lot to talk about. Tormund waited for some time, thinking on what to say.

“Jon,” he started, getting his attention. “We need to talk.” Jon raised his head from where it had been resting on Tormund’s shoulder. “I need you to be in your mind, little crow.”

Jon straightened up. “I’m here.” He looked into Tormund’s eyes, his own eyes clearing from the sub drop. “What is it?”

“You didn’t ask for what you needed in the tent with Mance,” Tormund said, head tilting to the side. “Why?” Jon looked confused.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“In the tent with Mance, you needed me, and you didn’t ask. You just stood there on the other side of the fire.”

“Why would I need to ask?” Jon’s brows furrowed, eyes hardening.

Tormund stayed silent for some time, pressing his lips together, eyes searching Jon’s face for some joke. He sighed. “Jon, little crow, am I supposed to read your mind? Are doms in the south mind-readers?” He chuckled.

After a moment Jon spoke up, a smile creeping onto his face. “No, Tormund, doms can’t read minds. But they’re supposed to take care of their subs. They decide what the subs need.”

“But, how are they supposed to know? How does a dom know what their sub likes, that they’re sad, hungry? You, you know yourself. You know your likes and dislikes, when you’re dropping or content. Maybe they do things different down south, but while I’m taking care of you, you have to tell me what you need when you need it.” Tormund paused. “Now, you’ve had a long day. Are you ready to sleep, or do you have somewhere else you want to go?” Jon shook his head, thinking about what Tormund said. They both settled in for the night.

Jon couldn’t spend all his time with Tormund, even after their conversation. So he joined a group of wildings to help during the day, going back each night to see Tormund. Being with Tormund each night provided a some reassurance to his submissive side, but Jon still didn’t really talk with Tormund mostly using the tent as a place to sleep.

Evidently the wildlings could tell because one afternoon a switch came up to him.

“What’s yer problem, crow?” she asked unkindly.

Jon looked up. “What’s it to you?”

She smirked. “Well, if yer dom ain’t satisfying ya, you need someone whose on the same page as you.”

Jon rolled his eyes. “Oh, so you just want a sub for yourself.” He smirked back, having figured out her game. When she didn’t respond or leave, he looked up surprised at the harsh look that had taken over her face.

“Is that what all this is like in the South?” she asked icily.

Jon shrugged. She deflated. “No wonder you’re having problems. Look, crow, any dom or switch would be lucky to be your companion, I won’t lie. But you know nothing about how the free-folk do things.” She got up and left the area they had been sharing. And, that night, Jon stayed awake long after Tormund had falling asleep.

The following day, Jon didn’t see the switch, but just as Jon was going to look for dinner, she grabbed him. “Crow, come on, we got a fresh deer.” Jon followed to a somewhat secluded fire. Jon and the switch sat for some time eating before she broke the silence.

“I’m sorry for yesterday, crow, not my place to say anything,” she said quietly between bites.

Jon looked across the fire, thinking over their conversation. “Ya know, if we’re going to keep doing this, you should call me Jon.”

She smiled, “I’m Ygritte.”

“Crow!” Ygritte still didn’t use his name to get his attention. Jon walked over to where she was fiddling with some arrows. “You still having problem with Tormund?”

Jon plopped next to her, grabbing a knife to sharpen. “Yeah, but he insists I do all the work. It doesn’t work like that in the South.” Ygritte seemed curious enough, so he continued. “Doms and switches are taught to take care of subs and switches, and we learn to obey.”

“That’s some shit,” Ygritte said through gritted teeth. “Here, us free-folk talk. You know, speak words. What we like, what we don’t. No wonder Tormund hasn’t done anything.”

Jon furrowed his brow. “We talk in the south… just not stuff about dynamics.”

“That’s the most important thing to talk about.” Jon shrugged. “Well, crow, you seem to talk fine with me, so if you ever get it into your pretty head to leave Tormund, I’m more than willing to help you down.”

The look she gave him would consume him before she ever got a chance to touch. He didn’t respond, instead, thought about Tormund. Yeah, at the beginning Jon only tolerated Tormund when necessary, but he could be with anyone. No Southron conventions held him back. And if Ygritte had been right, about anyone wanting him, why was he still enduring Tormund. Jon walked back to his tent earlier than usual, resolving to talk with Tormund.

“Tormund,” Jon got his dom’s attention upon entering the tent. He knelt on the furs and Tormund’s usual mirth faded. “I want to ask some things of you.” Tormund nodded, settling a little closer to Jon. Jon worked up his nerve for a moment, surprised that he was holding all of Tormund’s attention. He hadn’t really practiced what he wanted to ask from Tormund, having only really discussed these things briefly with Robb. He took a big breath and let the words rush out of him, “I want you to throw me around, be rough. Feed me, make me kneel when I’m with you. Tell me when I’m good, choke me with your cock–”

Tormund hooted, laughing so hard he began tearing up. Jon’s eyes began tearing up for an entirely different reason. He’d just laid himself bare, and Tormund wasn’t even taking him seriously. Jon made a move to get up, but Tormund’s hand shot out to grab him and keep him still while he settled down.

“I’m sorry, little crow. I just didn’t expect all that. What’s got you so upset?” Tormund asked. And with that, Tormund had opened the flood gates. All Jon’s unvoiced emotions came out, spilling between them. Jon didn’t even know when Tormund had grabbed him again and had begun soothing him. This was beginning to become a common occurrence. Jon calmed down well after when they would usually go to sleep.

“Little crow,” Tormund whispered, hoping to not break the quiet that had settled over them both, “you’re precious to me now more than ever. We’ll talk more about what you want tomorrow. For now, sleep.”

Chapter Text

Having found a place where he feels he belongs has been nice. At Winterfell and the Wall, he had to hid what he was, and that always left him a bit closed off from everyone else. Having a public relationship with Tormund was grounding, and even the causal relationships he made with people like Ygritte was comforting. Maybe this is part of why they’re called the free folk, he thought one night sitting around a fire eating with everyone, while Tormund had his arm around him. Yeah, they’re not kneelers, but it’s more than that. They’re free to be themselves, too.

“You’re looking happier, crow,” Ygritte broke the silence on their way to get firewood. “Yer dom treating you right?” Her tone was carefree, but Jon knew she really was worried.

“Yeah, we’re doing good. I feel kind of stupid thinking everything the free folk do is the same as in the south.”

“Even yer doms are kneelers, no wonder no one uses their heads down south.” They both laughed, following the group further and further from the camp. None of the skin changers had seen crows for weeks, so there was only a handful of wildlings in their group.

“They wouldn’t know the sharp end of a spear from a woman,” yelled back one of the free folk, who had just found a good stash of dried branches. “I’m surprised they can figure out how to –” the wilding’s words were cut off by a sword through his throat. And the little group was slowly torn to pieces.

It didn’t take long for the crows to cut through Jon and his friends, considering they didn’t bring any weapons, and the Black Brothers, as poorly skilled as they were, still had steel. In the end, only Ygritte and Jon were left.

“Little Crow,” she said while they stood back to back, “I won’t let these monsters get a sub unless I die.”

“Ygritte,” he tried to warn through a clenched jaw, “I won’t let you die for me here.”

“Just burn my body when I’m gone.”

“So we’ve got a deserter on our hands, boys,” one of the brothers said. “I guess we’ll take him back alive to be killed at the wall.”

Another brother stepped forward, “We can’t do that. You heard the wilding cunt. He’s a sub. Let’s take him to Castle Black, maybe have a bit of fun along the way.” Ygritte moved even closer to Jon. It was comforting, but Jon knew there was no way that she was going to survive outnumbered like this.

The 2 weeks it took to get Jon back to Castle Black were a blur. Jon was immensely grateful that he had had time with a dom as strong as Tormund, otherwise, he might have snapped. Jon spent the majority of those 2 long weeks in his head, trying to distance himself mentally from his former Brothers and what they did to him. They weren’t too creative with their use of him. Most had never had a sub before, and the rest, well, it was much too cold for them to do anything that they wanted. For that, Jon was grateful. 

Jon, also, was holding out hope that Lord Commander Mormont would be waiting at Castle Black to shield him from the worst of the treatment Jon suspected he would get. Jon’s luck, however, seemed to be getting worse.

Upon their arrival at Castle Black, the brothers found out there had been a mutiny and the Old Bear had died. No new Lord commander had been chosen, yet, so the officers of the orders decided that, especially since there was no precedent, Jon must be locked away, for his own safety, so he wouldn’t try to desert again.

Jon had expected much worse treatment, but he supposed that depended on who was chosen as the new Lord Commander.

Several days later Ser Alliser Thorne came to his room, not unusual due to Jon’s time with the free fold and his valuable intel, but Jon could tell that something had changed. Ser Alliser swaggered into the room, some men waiting in the door’s threshold, guarding or eavesdropping.

“Sub,” Alliser stated, “come here and kneel.” Jon resisted easily, instead remaining standing where he was. Alliser’s forehead popped a vein. “Well they didn’t tell me you’re a strong one, but no matter.” Alliser paused, sizing Jon up, looking a little disappointed behind the obvious contempt. “I’ve been chosen as the new Lord Commander.” Jon focused on him more intently. “I got to decide what to do with you. I’m presuming the Old Bear knew, but that was rather cruel of him to let a sub up at the wall, although your swordsmanship is above what you might expect for a sub.” Jon tried not to let the words effect him; he no longer had any respect from any of these men. “Well have you go back from where you came. We can say you were wrongfully coerced into saying your vow, forced by the Old Bear.” Jon looked up, opening his mouth. Alliser brought his hand up to silence him, “I don’t care if you really meant it. The wall is no place for a sub. My decision is final. You’ll make for Winterfell tomorrow, carrying my letter to the Lord, asking for some real men to replace you.”

Jon couldn’t deny, he wished for better circumstances for his return to Winterfell, but he was happy he was going home. He longed to see his family, have that permanent residence that didn’t exist beyond the wall. The only thing that would be missing would be Tormund, but Jon supposed that nothing could be perfect.

He didn’t realize how right he was until later. Jon’s arrival at Winterfell went unnoticed, as did he. He didn’t recognize anyone, and the castle looked out of repair, and he only realized why when he saw the flayed man banner. His escorts didn’t let him pause, taking him straight to the Lord of Winterfell.