He wakes drenched in a cold sweat as he once again has the same nightmare that he’s been plagued with for nearly a week.
He feels the body next to him begin to move and soon a pair of arms wrap themselves around his torso.
“Is it the same dream?” the angelic voice asks.
“Aye, the same,” he admits, running his hand through his dark curls.
“Maybe you should…” she starts.
“No, I’ve told you I'm not leaving you, especially now,” he says firmly, turning his body to look into her eyes.
The beautiful violet orbs staring into his own are full of uneasiness. They scream of the terror of the possibility of being separated, of losing each other. But there is also a hint of determination and fire that marks their shared heritage and blood.
“They’re your brothers,” she reminds him.
“And you’re my wife,” he says raising a hand to softly caress her cheek. “My duty, my place is by your side.”
“But if they truly are in danger, you have the opportunity to save them, she argues.
“It’s just a dream, love,” he counters, turning his body away to avoid her gaze. She however with a single tug makes him once again behold her.
“We both know it’s more than just a dream,” she says with a tenderness that makes his heart clench.
He knows she’s right and he hates that fact.
His brothers are in danger, about to be betrayed by the treacherous ward whom he had the misfortune of growing up with. He never trusted that imbecile, hating how arrogant he was and how he took every opportunity to humiliate him.
You’re just the bastard.
The memory causes his hands to clench, his way of suppressing the anger, of extinguishing the fire building within. But that seems almost unnecessary as a simple stroke of her gentle fingers washes it all away.
“You’re not a bastard,” she asserts, somehow knowing the exact thoughts going through his mind. “Your Uncle may have believed it necessary to raise you as such to keep you safe but you know the truth. You know who you truly are.”
“I do,” acknowledges with a smile.
“Then leave that bastard armor behind and be the King you were meant to be.”
“Jon?” a voice draws him out of his memory. He looks away from the flames and turns to find Bran at his doorstep smiling knowingly from his chair.
He strides towards his brother and pushes him into the room before promptly shutting the door behind them.
“You were thinking of her,” Bran states, not even bothering to disguise the phrase as a question.
“Aye but I assume your all-seeing self knew that,” he says with a chuckle.
“No, your lovelorn face spoke volumes, there was no need to look anywhere else,” his brother responds, showing as much sympathy as he can through the Three-Eyed Raven façade.
He feels his heart clench at the mention of his longing for her.
“How is she?” he needs to ask.
“Excited, anxious. She should be arriving at Dragonstone any day now and she’s eager to start looking for you,” Bran answers.
Two whines are heard at the door and he quickly moves to open it and allows the two direwolves into the room.
Ghost stays at his side while Summer makes his way to Bran before laying and placing his head upon his master's lap.
A soft smile forms on Bran’s face as he rubs the top of his direwolf’s head.
Summer is his brother’s humanity. The direwolf is what keeps him from only being the Three-Eyed Raven and reminds him that he is also Brandon Stark. And every time he sees that small smile he’s glad he managed to save the direwolf in that cave.
“All the Lords have arrived,” Bran reveals.
“And now all the cowards show up,” he grumbles and once again Bran smiles.
“Well not everyone can be as brave as Jon Snow,” Bran teases and he grimaces.
“You know I hate that name.”
“Which one? Jon or Snow?”
“Snow. She was right I need to stop being a bastard and start being who I’m meant to be,” he says.
“Are you going to tell them?” Bran asks.
“I thought you knew everything?” he teases.
“I see everything, past and present, the future tends to change, it's blurry. I also try to not look into a person’s mind, I learned my lesson when it came to that,” his brother answers sadly.
Another loss beyond the wall.
They had lost Hodor during their escape from the cave that had housed the remaining Children of the Forest and the previous Three-Eyed Raven. He can still remember former Lord Commander’s final words to him.
“Go and take it,” the man says as one of the Children hands him their ancestral blade. “Give it to her and make sure to never forsake each other.”
“We won’t I swear,” he vowed and he saw the man that was once Brynden Rivers give him a small smile before they were invaded.
After they escaped and Bran came to, he revealed what he had done to the past self of Hodor, since then he had been much more careful while in his visions.
“I'm not sure what to do,” he admits. “I don’t trust Littlefinger and his claws are so deep into Sansa that I don’t think I can trust her either.”
He runs his fingers through his hair which he has yet to tie back frustrated to be surrounded by vipers in the castle he grew up in.
“And you are right to be suspicious of them both,” Bran concedes.
“What should I do Bran? You’ve told me what is likely to occur when all of us gather. How am I supposed to accept that power if I'm not who they believe I am? How am I supposed to deny who I am when in doing so I deny her?” he pleads for some sort of guidance.
“I don’t know Jon, but if you are to become the King, it is time to start making these decisions yourself.”