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The Long Walk

Chapter Text

Tormund’s tent smelled of incense.

 

Jon had no idea where he was getting the shit, and he never had it burning for more than a moment or two, it seemed, because Jon could never see the smoke, and it was dissipated -though still lingering- by the morning after.

 

Jon would lay in the pile of furs that served as his bed at night -better and warmer than any bed that he’d have with the Night’s Watch, for sure- and stare at the half giant while he slept on, not a care in the world it seemed, and curse that damn scent of incense while sleep eluded him for most of the night.

 

He was exhausted.

 

And he hated that damn scent.

 

Below the Wall, they used this exact incense to cover up the smell of omega in heat, so no wondering alphas would come and bother them -for it was a grave offense indeed, to harm an omega while they were at their most vulnerable to touch- though Catelyn had a tendency to burn the shite when they had important guests over, saying that anyone from the south would feel more at home with it, because the south had so many more omegas, you could usually find the scent lingering in places.

 

Though, she only ever burnt it in the hallway leading up to Jon’s room.

 

He hated that fucking stench.

 

“Where are you getting the incense?”

 

Tormund blinked at him a few times, before going back to helping Ygritte get a fox over the fire to cook. He had come back with the pretty little white beast, and said he’d make Jon a new pair of gloves with it in a few days when it was done tanning, since Jon had yet to let go of the black gloves that he had come into the camp with.

 

He’d tried a few of them on, but they all smelled uncomfortable, and he couldn’t bare the thought of a stranger’s scent on his hands. Tormund and Ygritte were at least familiar enough, that he wouldn’t complain if it smelled like them, and he hasn’t had new gloves in a long time.

 

“Mance’s wife gave it to me. She said it would make you more comfortable. Said you southroners use it all the time below the Wall.”

 

Jon scowled. “She was wrong. I can’t stand the smell of it.”

 

Tormund moved to sit next to the scowling omega next to the fire. “You seem to hate the stuff, don’t you?”

 

Jon was quiet a minute, before nodding. “My father’s wife burned it, as if the smell could make her forget I existed. It made me wish my scent was strong enough to get to her even through it.” He picked at a fingernail playing with it for a second, before shoving his hand back into his gloves. “She was a beta, but she had the strongest nose of anyone I knew. She said she used it so no visiting alphas would bother the omegas in the castle. She said it was to make the southern visitors feel more at home. That it reminded her of her own home. She lied.”

 

Ygritte moved to take the seat on his other side, and for a moment, he wanted to snap at them that he didn’t need them crowding him.

 

The only thing that actually kept him, was the fact that they both loved it when he got angry with him. They both laughed and called him a dangerous little omega.

 

And it angered him the most, because for the first time in his life, since coming to the Wall even, they weren’t using his gender to tease him. When they called him dangerous, they meant it, and when they laughed at his anger, it wasn’t to make him less dangerous than he was, it was because they loved the way that nothing could keep him from spitting fire at them, no matter how much they annoyed him.

 

He’s kicked them both in the balls several times over that one. Neither of them were laughing from the ground, and even Mance had laughed with the others while they all watched the two of them drop like rocks in the snow.

 

Ygritte hadn’t tried to scent his neck -her offending action- and Tormund hadn’t tried teasing him about being too rowdy for the southron alphas to handle -his- again. At least, not only a day later, when they both still remembered the pain.

 

“Why did she hate you?”

 

“She didn’t hate me-”

 

Tormund and Ygritte both snorted. “She sure didn’t love you. I don’t think she even liked you.”

 

Jon leaned a little bit against Tormund’s arm, looking at Ygritte out of the corner of his eyes. “She… I wasn’t hers.”

 

“But she married your father.”

 

“Which is why she hated me, because I was the constant reminder that he slept with another woman while they were married.”

 

Ygritte shrugged. “It’s still stupid. You were a baby, it wasn’t your fault.”

 

Jon shook his head. “But, I was still the reason she couldn’t get over it.”

 

Tormund looked down at him, a frown in place on his face. “That was her fault. Her damn fault if she couldn’t love a motherless child, and her fault for not being able to see you as innocent. No one is born guilty, Jon Snow.”

 

And suddenly, quite a bit of this made sense to him. None of the free folk were guilty for being born on the wrong side of the Wall.

 

Fuck, he’s starting to see things their way.

 

He got up on shaky legs, one hand coming up to press at the throbbing temple of his forehead, - the reason he hadn’t gone on a hunt with them after they had set up camp that day, his heat was far too close, and he was under too much stress to do anything but sit and nurse the ache there.

 

They’d given him some options for what to do during his heat. He would spend it in the hot spring caves along the wall of the valley they walked right now, and he could either spend it with an alpha -or alphas- of his choosing, or the other omegas who would be in heat at the same time as him.

 

He wasn’t going to spend it with an alpha, but he was close to accepting to spend it with the other omegas. Better than being alone, at any rate.

 

He frowned at the dizzy feeling in his head, and gave a sudden, thankful prayer that he wasn’t with the Night’s Watcch right now, because he’d most likely be back in Crastor’s keep - where any of the brothers, and happily, Crastor himself, would most likely rape him till he’d whelped them a pup.

 

The idea of it made him sick, and he nearly stumbled, if not for one of Tormund’s hand’s on his hip -and god, the man was nearly as big as he was sitting down, that wasn’t appealing at all- and started back off towards the tent him and Tormund shared, only a few yards off. “I feel ill. I’ll lie down till the food is ready, if you don’t mind?”

 

“Of course not. I’ll wake you when it is.”

 

“Thanks.”

 

Jon walked back that way without a glance back, wanting to be inside the tent and asleep.

 

Tormund never lit the incense in their tent again.

 

***

 

“When will your heat be coming?”

 

Jon paused, hands stilling on the white leather of the gloves Tormund had made him, before slipping them the rest of the way on again. He turned to look at Ygritte with a frown. “Why do you want to know? So you can know when to expect me to beg for you knot? Cause I won’t.”

 

Ygritte snorted, as if she thought otherwise, and leaned back against the mammoth bone holding his and Tormund’s tent together. She shared a tent with two other spearwives -Jon’s pretty sure the two beta women were married together, but he’s heard Ygritte… playing with them, at night- but she always made sure to set up right next to theirs, as if she couldn’t keep away from the omega.

 

He didn’t know why. Mance hadn’t asked her to guard him, and she owed them nothing. All Jon could assume, was that she wanted him.

 

He nearly kicked himself. All his life he’s been scoffing every time his father grew concerned about him being around strange alphas - especially southern alphas, who apparently, never cared one way or another about consent… at least, according to old Nan… she seemed to have a lot of stories about alphas that weren’t from the north.

 

Jon is starting to think that he shouldn’t put so much weight to her stories.

 

Ygritte snickered though, her hips thrust up just enough for Jon to see the slight bulge in her trousers. He thought about calling her vulgar, but the last time he’d done that, she teased him for a full day about her being too vulgar for this proper little southron omega , and he’d ended up bright red and hiding his face from the other alphas in the camp who laughed at him, till Mance had growled at them.

 

He still wasn’t happy about any of this, but he was at least thankful for Mance. For the first time since… since his father…

 

For the first time since Ned Stark’s beheading, Jon almost felt as thought he had a father figure looking out for him.

 

He’d thought he had that once with Jeor Mormont, but knowing that the man had turned a blind eye to the sacrifice of his alpha and beta children, claiming that he didn’t want anyone that couldn’t breed him children -and what kind of man was that, a man who breed children simply for the idea of taking them as husbands and wives later, it made Jon sick- well… the last time Jon had seen the Lord Commander, he hadn’t been able to look him in the eyes without it breaking something in his chest again.

 

It felt like that night, he’d woken up, having dreamt of his father’s beheading, knowing , in his heart, that it was no nightmare. It felt like that, all over again. He’d lost something all over again, and he didn’t think he could get it back.

 

Mance wasn’t a replacement. He knew, he could never replace his father, but Mance felt like a relief even still. He wasn’t exactly sure what for yet.

 

Ygritte laughed though, looking at him with too bright eyes while Jon sharpened Long Claw. “I don’t mean to ask for myself, Jon Snow. I ask, because you’ve refused the incenses protection. The alphas will be able to smell you loud and clear, and I need to know when me and Tormund need to be on guard so none of them try and have a go at you.”

 

Jon looked back at the girl with pursed lips. “I thought northern alphas could be trusted?”

 

She snorted this time, shaking her head. “Have you ever met a Then? I don’t trust them as far as I can throw them, and I haven’t yet met a Then I could pick up. You don’t want one of them to find you while you’re near you’re time.”

 

Jon turned back to the sword, thinking about how he almost wanted one of them to try, simply so he could use his pretty valarian steel on them. But she was right. He didn’t trust a Then either. The lot of them were all alphas, and he hadn’t seen a female among them yet. Something about them screamed danger to him. His every instinct telling him to run.

 

The last time one of them had come through their section of the camp, Jon found himself nearly hiding behind Val and Dalla, breath coming a little short as he tried to keep his wits about him and not let them see the fear. He’d been feeling particularly sick that day, head pounding and too faint to walk right.

 

He’d ended up riding on Tormund’s back for the second half of the day, wrapped around the alpha so he could be carried, dozing on and off as the day went by, warmed by the heated body underneath him and the furs wrapped around his own. Tormund had said he barely weighted enough to even notice it, but Jon had noticed him grunt once when he first picked Jon up, so he’s not sure how true that had been.

 

Mance strayed towards their little group more and more, the closer they got to it. Jon wasn’t sure why he seemed so worried about Jon, but he’d say that if they were below the Wall, Mance would be nesting; getting ready for his new little one, while trying to make sure everyone in his holdfast had what they needed. It was an omegas work to keep the household, but the closer they came to giving birth, the less the alpha would let them do, out of worry for the baby. Though Dalla was a northron woman, and she wouldn’t be held down by any alpha, -not her husband, and not even her sister,- Mance still wandered, trying to make sure everyone within his purview was well.

 

Jon thought it was almost amusing. It always made him laugh, to see a mighty alpha, brought low by their own babe.

 

He shifted once on the log he’d been sitting on, and looked back at her again. “A fortnight, I believe. Not so soon that you can’t leave me my peace, but close enough that you should be on guard, I think.”

 

Ygritte nodded, and left, going back to helping a spearwife skin an animal that Jon had never seen before, but they seemed to live underground near the caves, with enough meat and pelt to them, to make the kill worth it.

 

He hoped that Ygritte would at least give him a bit of privacy that Tormund wouldn’t, as his guard. He was starting to feel like Ygritte was trying to nest him as well.

Chapter Text

Heat was, like it had always been, a sticky sweet feeling that let Jon squirming in place, unsure if anything was really real, to be fully honest.

 

He just wanted to go back to sleep.

 

He whined when someone tried to wake him up again, and curled up tighter in on himself. “Stop.”

 

There was a loud sigh behind him, and suddenly Jon found himself being bodily pulled into a sitting position. It took all his strength of his mind telling him he’s an adult, not some sweet little omega going into heat for the first time and not knowing what to do about it, not to whine at them and demand to go back to sleep.

 

His whole body felt exhausted. Tormund didn’t seem to care though. “You’re going into heat, you need to go to the caves, Jon. You can sleep there, but you need to go before some thenn smells you and takes it as an invitation.”

 

It seems, neither Tormund or Ygritte trust the thenns, and with the way some of them look at omegas, Jon can see why. “Tired.”

 

Tormund grunted, helping the omega stand up off the furs and pulled him towards the entrance of the tent. It was a short walk to the caves, maybe a few minutes, but Tormund felt the cold by the time they got there. Jon was already starting to feel too hot though.

 

Ygritte was standing outside of the cave entrance when they got there. “I gave a set of bed furs to the omegas in the cave, told them to leave him alone till he’s awake again. He should be fine.”

 

The caves, at least, this particular cave -a large cave by far,- were some of the natural hot springs in the rocks. This particular cave, served as a place for omegas to go into heat with a safe space where no one could get to them.

 

Alphas were not allowed in this cave. There were other hot springs for the alphas to use on the other side of the small valley they had made camp in, and alphas who either weren’t attracted to omegas, or simply wanted to help out, would usually linger around the cave entrances, making sure to keep out anyone that shouldn’t be in there.

 

They were the only place warm enough for omegas who were too hot to wear clothes, and the rest of the free folk made sure the omegas had what they needed in them.

 

Jon just wanted to go back to sleep right now though. He let the two of them push him into the arms of an omega woman. She wasn’t in heat herself, but she might live in the caves. There were apparently, many heat caves in the north. Many of them, Mance has convinced to join his army, but many heat caves, were still lived in by omegas who would take in any other omega who needed their help to survive.

 

It… well, when he’d first been told of that, he had to look away from Tormund and Ygritte at the thought, tearing up a little.

 

His whole life, he’s been told that omegas cannot survive without the goodwill of alphas and betas to keep them safe.

 

You’re only good for breeding your alpha some pups, and if you’re not even good enough for that, a beta will take you for their fucktoy, and might even let you wetnurse his children when he’s not using you.

 

That’s how the south thinks. It had stopped his heart for a second to realize that he really didn’t need anyone else to live. He could survive, even in the coldest place, he could find a way to live and thrive as he stayed there.

 

It was becoming harder and harder, with every passing day, not to want to be with the free folk, as one of their own, not only their prisoner.

 

He let the omega woman take him into the cave, and found himself immediately consumed by the heat of it. He started scratching to get his clothes off, and she ended up helping him, her own fingers more nimble than his own right now. He whimpered once when she had him undressed, and she cooed at him a little, leading him over to a pile of bed furs, and he gratefully sunk into them, exhausted. He curled up again, feeling a little sick, and closed his eyes once more, falling back into a fitful sleep.

 

When he woke back up, there was another omega curled up on the bed furs near him, a young male omega. He looked young enough that this might be his first heat entirely, but he was curled up with his eyes shut, breathing even in sleep. Jon got up without disturbing the other exhausted omega and looked around for a minute.

 

He wasn’t wearing any clothes anymore, but he was still too hot, and he could see a lot of other omegas in the cave. The place was bigger than he thought.

 

There was a group of them lounging on the other side of one of the hot pools, and after coming closer, he could distinctly hear one of them let out a sweet moan, and turned bright red, realizing that they weren’t exactly laying around.

 

Omegas with omegas wasn’t exactly uncommon in the world, but up north, he as an omega, had been one of very few. There simply were too many betas in the north, though he had heard that the abundance of them in the south had made for many couples there.

 

He sat down on the edge of the hot pool, and felt around the edge of it.

 

He knew from the hot springs under Winterfell, that there would be jagged rocks in here, and he didn’t want to find them on accident . He eased into the hot water, and almost let out a moan of his own at the feeling of it. He failed to hold it back when he got fully in the water there, finally starting to scrub away the dirt and grime after a few weeks without a bath at all.

 

“He’s a pretty one.”

 

Jon’s eyes popped open, and found himself staring at one of the omegas in the group, a girl with long soft hair, and one hand lazily dipped into the water of the pool. She must be one of the cave people, because he rarely saw any of the other tribes willingly staying in the water in the caves after cleaning. Most others -Jon included, who had taken to the cold as fast as any true northerner- thought it would be too hot to stay in the caves forever.

 

He cocked his head to the side, and took her in. She was definitely a cave person, skin and hair cleaner than any other tribes, and she was looking at him like she found him fascinating.

 

“He’s a southron omega. He’s probably not even into other omegas.”

 

One of the other omegas answered with a scowl on his face. It seemed as though, many of the omegas are split, on whether or not to accept him yet. He supposes, he hasn’t given them much reason to accept him.

 

He’s not even sure if he wants to be accepted yet.

 

He frowned. “I like other omegas.”

 

The first one gave him a little smile. “Do you?”

 

Jon nodded decisively. He did, actually. His first ever crush had been on an omega back in Winterfell. He was a pretty thing, a common boy. But one day, a passing house had come to stay with them on their way towards the east, and a serving girl with them -an alpha- had ended up wooing him into going with them. He’s only seen the omega once since, but the last he saw him, he had a baby on his hip and another on the way.

 

The crush had turned to jealousy, faster than Jon had thought it could. That was right after he had found out that his father would be marrying him off to a beta.

 

He turned a little pink though, when the girl slipped into the water with him. Closer now, he could smell, she wasn’t in heat, but she did want him. He found himself backed up against the rocks. It didn’t hurt, he wasn’t dumb enough to press further back into them, but he did gasp when he felt one of her small hands giving a light touch to his thigh. “You like omegas… that’s good. Would you let me help bathe you, then?”

 

Jon nodded, a little dazed, and feeling too hot from the water and how close the other omega was. “Alright.”

 

It wasn’t until he was relatively clean and pretty much bent over the edge of the pool with her still behind him, that he knew exactly how she wanted him.

 

“You should get him out of the water. I want to see if his pretty little mouth is as soft as it looks.”

 

He let out a desperate gasp, arching back against two fingers in him while the other omegas started taking a notice of him. Fuck.

 

He’s never actually spent a heat with another person before, and he’d always assumed that the first would be with a nice alpha, after getting married.

 

But this… well… this was better.

 

The rock ground was cool against his back, and he found himself eagerly reaching for the omega that put a thigh on either side of his head. He gasped against the male omega’s thigh when he felt more than two fingers being pushed in his own hole now, leaking slick and fluttering, desperate for a knot.

 

Or something…

 

It took him a few seconds to realize that it was four fingers now, and he let out a little sob, back arching when he clenched down on them, coming too fast and too soon.

 

Fuck, he loves this. Maybe this is the reason to stay loyal to the north.

 

He closed his eyes for a few seconds, just reeling in the feeling of his first release before he opened them again. The omega right above him was dripping from both his cock and hole, looking at him like he wanted Jon more than anything, and he could feel several of the other omegas reaching for him too.

 

Yeah, let’s all pretend that this is what he loves so much about the free folk. Denial is all we have sometimes.

 

***

 

After three days in the cave with the other omegas, Jon sort of understood why quite a few of them didn’t want to leave. He could tell now, that quite a few of the cave people were only attracted to other omegas, and a few of them were even bonded.

 

But, even still, he bundled himself back up in the white furs that he had, and left them anyways, back into the cold outside.

 

That was a bit of a shock at the change.

 

Even still, he felt cleaner than he had in weeks, having washed so thoroughly in the cave.

 

He immediately found himself walking into a hard alpha when Tormund and Ygritte both appeared in front of him like they had been summoned.

 

“You’re back!”

 

Ygritte immediately turned a little red at how eager she had sounded, and looked away. “I mean… not that we were waiting or anything…”

 

Tormund gave her a look like he was wondering how she got so dumb. Jon looked at her with a slowly spreading smirk. He felt better than he had since he’d gotten here. He wasn’t sure if it was a post-heat daze, or if he really was that relaxed now, but he liked it. He felt a little bit less like he wanted to attack anyone here.

 

“Sure about that?”

 

Ygritte scowled, still not looking directly at him. “Yes.”

 

Jon grinned to himself, making Tormund make that stupid sigh he always got whenever he saw Jon do something appealing, and Jon gave her a light kick in the leg, making her frown at him.

 

“You don’t have to look out for me.”

 

“I wasn’t, it’s just that we were bored without you. No one else is as much fun to tease.”

 

Tormund thought that the both of them were idiots. “Well, I’m not as dumb as she is. I missed you.”

 

Jon smiled a little, looking down some. “Thanks.”

Chapter Text

Jon came barreling into Mance’s tent -the one he held meetings in, that is- and looked behind him to see if he was being followed through the crack in the opening, before letting out a big sigh when he realized he was finally alone. He heard a voice clearing behind him and nearly jumped out of his skin.

 

“Can we help you?”

 

He whipped around, looking at Mance, who was talking with a woman from the same tribe as Ygritte. He’d seen her talking with both Ygritte and Tormund before.

 

Thank the gods, they both looked amused , and not upset. He still cringed though. “Uh… Tormund and Ygritte won’t leave me alone.”

 

He cringed even harder now, feeling like a little kid, tattling to his parents.

 

There was silence for a beat, and then the spearwife and Mance both laughed at him. He scowled at them. That’s not helpful.

 

He crossed his arms at them. “What?”

 

The woman shook her head, a fond smile on her face. “Tormund was never so possessive with me. Hovering, of course, but never treated me the way he treats you. It’s nice to see he has the capacity for it.”

 

It took Jon a second to catch up. “Uh… you and Tormund were once… together?”

 

She smirked once. “Together, in a physical sense. I am Karsi, leader of the spearwives. Tormund and I were never together spiritually, but I carried two daughters of his.”

 

Jon blinked at the woman a few times. His face turned into a small scowl. “If he has children with you, why isn’t he with you?”

 

Karsi looked at Mance with an odd tilt to her head. “You are right, my friend, the southroners are a strange bunch. I asked him to father my children when I wanted them. He gave me children, and that was that. He’s not a bad father, he loves our daughters, I know that, but I never asked him to give up his command to do it. I wanted children, and he was generous. Why do you look so upset?”

 

Jon uncrossed his arms, looking away with a slight flush to his cheeks. He wasn’t envious of the beta woman, in fact, he’d be a hypocrite to think about it, but his whole life, he’s been taught that an alpha’s worth is in how he treats his family.

 

“I assume, learning that Tormund has a family he does not live with, would show most southron omegas that Tormund is not an alpha worth seeking.”

 

Jon flushed even brighter. “I would not seek him, or any alpha from the north. You are a fool if you think me that easily swayed, Mance Rayder.” But… even so. “You really are pleased with him as a parent?”

 

Karsi smiled. “He’s given me more as a parent, than I expected or asked for. In the north, we may not do things the way everyone else does, but I never asked for his heart, and neither of us want that. Our daughters belong to the spearwife tribe, where they’re being raised to be warriors like the other wives. Tormund loves his daughters enough to respect that that’s where they belong.”

 

It was a little easier on him than it would be for many other sires though, with all ninety clans together, there was no reason at the moment for any of them to part again.

 

He was startled out of his thoughts when he heard a noise at the entrance of the tent, and moved to hide behind a mammoth bone a few feet away, just as Ygritte came in.

 

“Did Jon come in here?”

 

Mance shook his head. “He was here for a minute, but he left.”

 

Ygritte narrowed her eyes at him for a moment, but said nothing against him, turning around with a huff before she left again. “Tell him he needs to eat something at least.”

 

It was quite obvious that she didn’t believe him. She’s a lot smarter than most give her credit. John thought she had too much thought of breeding on the brain, when she wasn’t trying to get in a pretty omega or beta, she actually had enough brainpower to think.

 

Karsi turned to look at Jon, holding out one hand for him to come join them around the fire. Her voice was kind when she said, “the spearwives who share her bed, will most likely bare her first born children along with it. They want children, just as much as many other beta women have, but they cannot make them without a man or an alpha. I know their thoughts on men are not so favorable though.”

 

Jon let her pull him down into the place next to her at the fire, nothing that it was at least more warm here. Mance got up and made him a plate of food. Mance was like no other king Jon had met or heard of, he didn’t have servants to pour his wine -or, goat’s milk, as it was- or even insist that others do things for him. He was kind to those that served under him, and he was kind to those that were only here to get below the wall like he was.

 

He looked out for those too young or old or weak to look after themselves, and he showed an honest love for those who gave him their fealty.

 

He was kind to Jon, even though Jon still refused to serve him. Every time he said it, Mance replied with the same kind tone to his words, ‘I don’t ask you to serve me, I ask you to show freedom to your people.’

 

‘These aren’t my people.’

 

‘You were born as northron as I was, they will be your people, whether you want them to or not.’

 

It was frustrating. Jon wishes he could fight and snarl, that they would treat him horribly and lock him up like the prisoner they had made him to be. Then, maybe he would have less of a hard time falling to their whims.

 

Because he was starting to fit in. He could feel it. He was starting to feel more at home here, than he ever had in the halls of Winterfell.

 

It was like watching pieces of you slip away, and you’re not sure if you should let them go or not.

 

Mance gave him the plate with what Jon would call a stern look. Ever since Dalla’s been getting close to giving birth, he’s been paying more attention to making sure the omegas around him have everything they need. Nesting.

 

“What do I care if Ygritte has children?”

 

Karsi leaned into his side, running one hand through his curls, and for a moment, Jon felt as young as he was. It was strange, he’s been in the Night’s Watch for a year now, and his father had been planning to marry him off for years before that. It was strange feeling young again.

 

“Ygritte and Tormund could give you children if you asked it of them.”

 

Jon would have liked to have said that line had shocked him. That he had choked at the words found them appalling.

 

One more thing that was changing up in the north it seems.

 

He rolled his eyes instead. “You only want me to have northron children so I’ll stay.”

 

Karsi shrugged. “It’s Mance who wants you to stay, little crow. If you want to go back to your flock, makes no difference to me, but Mance insists you’re important. I only know, that more children could never make the world a worse place.”

 

Karsi was nice. Nicer than most of the other leaders that Jon had met. Maybe she was right.

 

***

 

Jon could no longer say he was holding up to his vows. He could no longer say that he’s never laid with a woman… or a man… He could no longer even say that he wasn’t entirely loyal to the Night’s Watch.

 

Because, what crow would do this now?

 

He’s been thinking about Karsi’s words too much. He’s met Tormund’s little girls with her -Johnna and Willa, both beautiful little things, one beta, and one omega- and he’s seen Tormund interact with them.

 

And he’s started to agree with Karsi that he was a good father.

 

One of the beta women that Ygritte shares a tent with, is pregnant.

 

He can’t help but feel that ugly pit of envy in his stomach right now, a little painful, and eating away at him, like when he’d first found out that the serving boy he’d had a crush on, had the children that he might never have.

 

If she had gotten her way, Catelyn Stark would have seen him barren, without children and miserable for the rest of his days while her own had the perfect lives they always wanted.

 

He had traded that life for a vow with the night’s watch, and for a moment he felt good about it.

 

Now, he thinks about his father -whose head they took- his elder brother Robb -who was fighting with Catelyn at his side to retake the north- his sisters -who are prisoners in the capitol- and his brothers -who were burnt to a crisp in Winterfell- and Theon, who had been raised as his brother -who killed them- and he feels sick to his stomach.

 

He had gotten that smug moment of getting one over on Catelyn Stark, for the shortest, most bitter of moments, and now he wonders if this was the gods telling him he’d fucked up.

 

“Jon, what’s wrong?”

 

Jon let out a painful little sob, sitting around a dying fire outside in the cold night. He should be in a tent, sleeping, but the nightmares that had once left him, were back, but now all he sees is burnt corpses, and Theon’s look of pure dread at what he’d done to them.

 

“My brothers are dead. I watched my father’s ward kill them.”

 

Tormund let out a rough breath of air, and took the cold seat next to him around the low fire. “When did this happen?”

 

Jon shrugged. “Sometime between now and when I last slept. I dreamt it tonight, I watched him hoist their burnt bodies above the gates of Winterfell, and it felt like part of me died with them.”

 

Tormund closed his eyes for a long moment. That was hard , and he knew that what Jon saw in his dreams was true, because a warg’s nightmares, were always real. He pulled the omega into his side while they sat, and curled over him, like he could keep the painful images at bay for a moment. He knew he couldn’t, but all he could do was try.

 

“I’m so sorry.”

 

Jon felt numb, and the sobs didn’t come, not in this cold, but he could feel tears slipping down his cheeks. “They were only little boys when I last saw them. Bran can’t walk.”

 

“That is young-”

 

“He’s not that young. A boy of nine now… then… he fell out of a tower, before I left for the Wall. He survived, but he was crippled, couldn’t walk. And they burnt his body.”

 

Tormund wasn’t sure what to say about that, so he just held Jon close until he could pull him back into their tent to lay down.

 

There was nothing he could say to make this better.

 

***

 

Jon wondered, even as he followed the inviting omega into the heat caves, planning on a hot bath and a rough tumble with whoever wanted him there, what it would be like to bed an alpha.

 

Not because he particularly wanted an alpha more than an omega, but because an alpha could give him children.

 

He’d wondered, what a knot would feel like, inside of him, when he had pushed an omega male to the floor and straddled his hips, sinking down onto a much more smooth cock, and he wondered if an alpha would feel too big in him, if it would hurt. He could take it though, he’s sure of that, but he wonders if it would satisfy him, even as he shook and clenched around the other omega, making too high and too satisfied noises.

 

He wondered what it would be like to have a life inside of him.

 

He couldn’t imagine, at the moment, getting rid of this, the satisfaction of feeling an omega inside and out, the way it smelled, completely ripe and willing, the way he didn’t have to deal with an alpha growling at anyone who might touch him after.

 

But he wondered what it might be like to have children.

Chapter Text

Jon hadn’t thought about it when he was in the moment of happening. He hadn’t thought about it when he’d finally snapped, and done what he had been thinking about for too long since talking to Mance and Karsi.

 

They had been bothering him again. Tormund and Ygritte wouldn’t leave him alone, and you know what? He’s finally decided to do something about it.

 

There were caves on both sides of the valley as they moved along towards the wall. They were closer now, but not nearly as close as if they didn’t have a hundred thousand strong in their army.

 

The caves on one side were mostly heat caves, since they were the biggest, and heat caves were generally controlled by the cave people, but there were caves on the other side. Like most omegas, Jon stuck to the heat caves, to keep away any unwanted alphas while bathing, but Ygritte and Tormund used the other ones.

 

He didn’t think much before grabbing both alphas by the hand while they had been bothering him, and dragged him off towards the other caves.

 

If they’re going to be there, bothering him, he might as well make use of them.

 

The caves here were just as warm as the caves on the other side of the valley -though a bit of a longer walk to them- and Jon didn’t waste a moment stripping down.

 

It barely took Ygritte and Tormund more than a half a minute of staring at the stripping omega, to get with the program and get rid of their clothes as well. Jon snorted. Alphas were pretty dumb.

 

***

 

Dalla had gone into labor an hour ago.

 

Jon almost rethought his decision to have children himself at the screaming. A little late for that possibly though. He’s not actually sure yet.

 

Mance was with her, and Val seemed to be the only one of them with any experience helping omegas give birth, so she was in the tent too, though a lot more free folk than expected, were gathered around the tent, waiting for the King beyond the Wall to present them with his new baby.

 

Actually, Jon was a little eager to see the baby as well. He heard another scream though, and he winced.

 

“Rethinking having kids?”

 

Ygritte and Tormund weren’t dumb. They knew Jon liked them, but if he really hadn’t wanted something from them -in this case, children- he would have stayed away from laying with them.

 

Ygritte seemed torn between Tormund and Jon, and the pregnant beta she had sired a child for. The beta women had encouraged her to be with Jon and Tormund until he had a baby as well, though she seemed reluctant to leave the woman she knew was having her child, for the omega she hoped was having her child.

 

It could be either of theirs really, and they didn’t know there was one at all yet.

 

Jon shook his head. He was sure of it. He really did want this baby, but they were all right, the screaming was a little loud.

 

Things went silent, and from his place, closer than most to the tent, they could hear a baby’s cries. He let out a little smile, and knew that yes, he really did want this, no matter what Ygritte said. He wanted that.

 

***

 

“You don’t smell pregnant.”

 

Jon was actually startled by Dalla for the first time since he met her, and looked up so fast it actually hurt his neck a little. Normally, the scent of pregnant omega would follow her, so strong, that even betas could tell. She was right though, Jon didn’t smell like that.

 

“We don’t know if I am yet. It’s only been three weeks, it might not have even taken. We might have to try again.” Not that it would be too much of a hardship though, to be honest.

 

Dalla smiled a little, and took a seat next to Jon around a roaring fire. It was early, still light out, but for once, Jon had a moment of peace from Ygritte and Tormund. They would be ushering him off to eat soon enough though. Dalla had the baby in her arms, looking down at him so lovingly.

 

“Does he have a name yet?”

 

The little beta -a surprise to both his parents, but no less loved- was small and his face sort of squished up, with Mance’s dark hair, and his eyes would most likely follow later. He didn’t look much like his mother, but he smelled almost exactly like the omega. They didn’t know if that would change later on though.

 

“The free folk keep calling him little prince. Every time I try to think of another name, that’s all that comes to mind. He is, though. His father’s little prince.”

 

Jon leaned in and gently moved a bit of the edge of the swaddle so he could see the baby better. He really did look like a little prince, and by that, Jon means, a prince doesn’t have to have a specific look. Though, if he followed in his father’s footsteps, he would be an amazing king one day.

 

“Mance said to me once, the reason he came to Wintefell that night, was because he was inspired by another King beyond the Wall, Bael. That Bael had come into Winterfell and wooed the only daughter of the Stark family. Growing up, I heard it told another way.”

 

Dalla looked interested, though she’s most likely heard the tale as well. “How did you learn it?”

 

“A wildling once climbed the Wall, and stole away with the Stark heir. He raped her and forced her to bear his child. I never believed that it was rape. She wouldn’t have cried when her son brought her his head if it was. She flung herself from the highest tower that very night.”

 

Dalla was quiet for a moment, before looking back down to her babe. “And if you child brought you Tormund and Ygritte’s heads?”

 

It took him a bit to answer. “I like to think I wouldn’t fling myself from a tower. I also like to think they’d be ready to fend for themselves at that sort of thing.”

 

She smiled gently at him. “You’re not ready for when they find out you’re actually pregnant. You complain about their coddling now, but you’ll never have a moment’s peace then.”

 

It was true. Even violent alphas had a hard time harming a pregnant omega, it was the smell. They couldn’t fight past the smell. It made them all dumb and sluggish most of the time.

 

They say, down in King’s Landing, with so many omegas and heat, you smell it everywhere. That betas are the only violent people down there because of the scent of it, and even betas could smell it in the air, though it didn’t effect them the same.

 

He wondered how his sisters faired there.

 

But then, he had to turn those thoughts away, too painfully clutching at his chest to continue on. He looked at the woman again, glancing down at the baby. “Is it really worth this all? A child, worth the pain?” He choked once, thinking of Arya’s fighting spirit and Sansa’s harsh glares. They were so so strong, and now they were someone’s captives. “Worth knowing how defenseless children are, wondering if they’ll make it…”

 

She gave him a knowing look. “Sometimes, it’s the only thing worth it. Just because children are defenseless, doesn’t mean you can’t protect them. It’s why we want below the Wall so much, Jon.”

 

Jon nodded once, feeling sick. He thinks he understands now. This little prince, this child of less than a full moon of age; he wasn’t guilty because he was born behind the Wall, though Jon knows that many people would take any opportunity to execute him because of who his father was.

 

He felt a hand trail down to his stomach and he pressed down a little. If he had a child in him, it would be born here too, and his child deserved to be behind that wall just as much as any other.

 

***

 

When Jon slept that night, it was fitfully. He woke up with a pain in his chest and visions still in front of his eyes. He sat up with a shudder, mind reeling at the visions in his head. He hated them, he could never make any sense of them.

 

Tormund wasn’t in the tent with him when he got up and pulled on clothes, which he was thankful for, because he had to pause at least once to just stand there while silent tremors went through his body. He didn’t want to think about what he’d seen. He pulled on an overcoat, and moved to look out the tent opening, wondering if Tormund or Ygritte were anywhere near.

 

As luck seemed to have it -not a thing he had much of lately- neither of them were nearby, so he got away with sneaking out of the tent without either of them accosting him. Really, they could be annoying sometimes, but right now he wasn’t much into the idea of talking to either of them.

He wasn’t sure how he found himself in Mance’s tent, but the next thing he knew, he was blinking down at blurry hands clenched in his lap while sitting next to Dalla, who was feeding their son.

 

“What did you see, Jon?”

 

Jon blinked again and started untangling his hands from the painfully clenched position in his lap, and looked up at Mance. “I don’t want to say.”

 

“Obviously you do, or you wouldn’t be here.”

 

Jon scowled. He didn’t know how he got here of all places, so that was an unfair assessment. “It was a dream, I don’t remember much.”

 

Mance gave Jon a hard look, stern. It was rare for Mance to get stern with him of all people, and it made Jonn looked back down. “If you don’t remember much, then you better tell me now before you forget any of it. What happened?”

 

“Why do you even care?” It came out as a little mumble, unsure. He didn’t want to think about what he’d seen, couldn’t Mance accept that?

 

“Because anything about the future of the Free Folk needs to be considered, and whatever it is that you’re so scared of, needs to be discussed, so we can either know to avoid it, or let it happen. You’re shaking, I don’t think it was a good thing.”

 

Jon looked away from him, to his left, and started down at Dalla and the baby instead of Mance. When he spoke, it was quiet, concerned, but nowhere near the fear of what he’d seen. “Where is everyone going to live, below the Wall? What are they going to do down there?”

 

Mance seemed to consider that for a moment, sitting across from Jon with a thoughtful look on his face. “...well, the last I heard it, the Night’s Watch doesn’t have many people in it. They can only sustain three castles out of nineteen.”

 

Jon thought that over for a half a minute, considering. “It’s been a long time since any of them were manned, a lot of them won’t be habitable, but in an emergency, I guess even the most damaged of them could provide accurate protection. Besides, everyone in this army is used to living in tents, it won’t be much of a stretch to use temporary fortification.”

 

Mance nodded. “Will there be lands that we can eventually settle on? I know the north is big with lots of empty area.”

 

Jon frowned. “It’s empty because wildling raiders climb the Wall and kill people. People are afraid to settle there.”

 

“So it should be safe for us.”

 

Jon took another long breath, finally looking back up. “Alright, fine, yes, there is land to settle there. But first, we need to get below the Wall. How are we going to get below the Wall with over 100,000 people? My only ideas involve climbing it, which many people won’t survive, or boats, which we don’t have.”

 

Mance nodded. “Well, as I said when you first came here, my original plan was to have as much of my army as possible go over, and attack Castle Black from both sides. That’s still an option. We need a tunnel to get through.”

 

Jon thought about that for a moment. “You know, Castle Black might be the only tunnel out to the other side in use, but there are other tunnels. They’re flooded, but they can be dug through after their gates are opened. If you can send workers over the Wall, they can take the gate off it’s hinges and start digging. It’ll take a while, but they can do it.”

 

Mance looked interested at that, and Jon knew he was definitely going to try it at least. “Long? How long?”

 

Jon shrugged. “Months. Maybe longer.”

 

Mance was all for this idea. “It’ll be over a year before we reach the Wall. If I can find the right Castle now, send out workers, and they make it over, we can have a tunnel to go through.”

 

Jon nodded, suddenly looking a little unsettled. “Wait, it’s not that easy. You need to find a castle with enough protection to keep them from being spotted too. This includes being able to spot guards on the top of the Wall. They need to be stealthy, and quiet , because the Night’s Watch does have enough men to take out a small group of workers, even if they can’t take out an army of over a hundred thousand.”

 

Mance nodded, looking like that might be a minor setback. “I’m sure I can find the right workers for the job. It will take a bit of time, but I’ll find them.”

 

Jon nodded. If worst came to worst, they’d have to attack Castle Black, but they wouldn’t stand much anyways. He felt horrible about it… but there were so many children here…

 

It was the right thing to do. They all deserved to be below the Wall.

 

“What about the army itself? We need to all be together below the Wall when we get through. If the North decides they don’t want us there, we’ll need to find. I can’t imagine many of them fighting though, but we’ll still have to. We can’t have the Thenn’s going off to cannibalize people. That’s another thing, they can’t be doing that either. They need to follow the laws of the land, and murder is punishable by beheading.”

 

Mance nodded with an unsettled hum. “I’m working on that. I’ll take care of it. I’ll make sure they all know we might need to fight when we get down there.”

 


Mance turned to him then, that same stern look as before back on his face. “What did you dream?”

 

Jon looked away, distinctly uncomfortable. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

 

“You need to. You might forget it later, so tell me now, before it’s gone.”

 

Jon sighed. “I saw a great battle. It was terrible.”

 

“At the Wall?”

 

Jon shook his head slowly, looking sick. “No. It was at Winterfell. I could see my childhood home beyond the battlements, the bodies were as high as twenty feet in the center, covered in blood and filth. And beyond that, I saw the place I was raised in, standing tall, rebuilt, and with Bolton banners hanging down. I don’t know if we were winning or not, but I saw many of us there.”

 

Mance nodded just as slow, looking sad. “I know that must be terrible, Jon, I’m sorry. Do you know when this might happen?”

 

When they might finally be below the Wall . Jon shrugged. “Years from now, I think. Not many, but a few at least.”

 

Mance nodded, and finally, stood up, picking something up from it’s place near the bedding area. When he came back, he dropped a single, dusty white fox, into Jon’s lap. It was less than a pup, tiny with it’s eyes barely open. “What’s this for?”

 

Mance shrugged. “You miss that great beast of yours, I bet. His mam didn’t make it very long after her kits were born, but we try to raise them to adults anyways. They’re good for hunting, keeping kids busy.”

 

“So you’re trying to keep me busy?”

 

Mance shrugged. “You’ll be busy enough soon, I’m just trying to keep you happy. Or, as close to it as you can get right now.”

 

Jon looked back down to the kit, sinking his fingers into the soft baby fur while the little thing chittered up at him. He didn’t mind that, really.