This is my fill for the first day of Ned/Catelyn Week 2018, for the prompt "Snowed In" :) And I'll continue having fills for a few more days :)
Originally this fic was supposed to be a fill for the "Matchmaking trope" prompt, but then my computer stopped working in the beginning of November and I lost what I had written, and I didn't have the time to rewrite everything, so I had to change my plans. It's still the same idea, but less developed and with less world building, picking five moments and filling the prompts with small drabbles
Also this idea came to me when reading the fic Inked by NorthernSerpent on AO3, and really if you're a FP and Alice fan (Riverdale) go check it out - it's amazing! I just wanted to make that shout out, even if it's a super weird inspiration, because they couldn't be more different... (only thing in common is that they all love their kids). The title is also inspired by the ship, something the actors said in an interview at Comic Con :)
After all this, I just want to say I'm so happy we have another Ned and Catelyn week and I hope all of you have a lot of fun this week! Enjoy this fic and enjoy the week! Have fun!
The last four days had been a nightmare. The last four days they had been snowed in.
Ned didn't mind staying at home, even if it wasn't his own. He had brought books with him and could be kept entertained. But handling a cooped up Robert and Brandon was tremendously tiring.
He was definitely tempted to just stay in bed, to not have to deal with them, but he had always been the mature one, so he got up, pulled some pants over his boxers, and left his room, making the way through the hall of rooms to the cafeteria. He got a bowl with milk and cereals, before getting a seat on one of the tables at the back; he was already eating, when Brandon came to the table, making Ned look up immediately.
"You're up early," he greeted, knowing the torture was about to start early.
"I haven't gone to sleep yet, brother," Brandon answered, "I tried to get you and Robert last night, but he was sleeping and you didn't answer the door," he continued and then looked at him. "What the fuck, Ned?! What happened to your face?"
"What? What's wrong with my face?"
"You're kidding me, right?"
"Ned, you have a black eye."
"No, I don't."
"You do," he said, before disappearing from the room, running away, coming back later with a mumbling Robert barely awake, and only in his boxers.
"Why the fuck did you wake me up?!" he complained, rubbing his eyes and trying to hold his hair back.
"Ned has a shiner. And do you know anything about it?"
"No, Brandon, we all went to our rooms at the same time," he said, mouthing each word.
"Actually I went to a party after."
"What? You didn't get me?!" Robert exclaimed, finally sparking awake, and then finally looking at Ned, "Oh, wow, Ned, that's bad."
"What's bad?" he asked, and Robert got the spoon out of his hand and ate the cereals, cleaning it up, and giving Ned the spoon back.
"I have a black eye…" he whispered, looking at himself on the spoon. Ned Stark at twenty-two had gotten his first black, sleeping, in his own room…
"How did that happen?" Robert asked, sitting down, "Man, I would have your back on a fight."
"I was not in a fight. I was reading and then sleeping."
"Did the book fall on your face?"
"No, Brandon, that didn't happen."
Before they could continue their conversation, someone came up to them and reminded Robert he couldn't be almost naked on the communal rooms.
"I'll go change," Robert answered, "I'm gonna go now, Ned, but you can't lie."
"Okay, you're not lying," Brandon admitted with Robert gone, "There's another option, Ned."
"Gods, boy," Brandon said, running his hand across his face, "Put the bowl aside," he ordered, "And come with me."
Ned did as he said, and Brandon took him back to Robert's room, they knocked on the door multiple times, at least Brandon did, and Robert finally threw it open.
"What the fuck do you want? I was going back down. We're snowed in, it's not like I'm going to run away. We actually have time to figure this out."
"No, we don't," Brandon said, pushing Ned in, dropping on the bed. "Ned, take of your clothes now, before I fall asleep."
"Why is your brother getting naked here?"
"To see if he has gotten more bruises over night."
Ned did as they said, dropping his clothes scared of what they would find. And they found something, his back was full of bruises as well, some looked old, others new, all seemed to have been done by quick punches to where his kidneys were, and then turning around, they found more bruises on his stomach.
"Ned…" Brandon whispered, and then no other words, which was a rare thing.
"Dude, you have a soulmate!"
"They're hurt…" Ned realized.
"Yes, they must be," Robert said, "My body has looked like that, that's someone who has been in help of a fight… That can only be a guy, right?"
"Women can fight," Brandon argued.
"They legally can't," Robert corrected him, women weren't allowed to do much since Westeros survived the Long Night and it became something else completely. "And more than that, they are not stupid enough to be that badly hurt."
"Or she's being abused, by her father or husband or boyfriend or whatever partner they have. Or they were just caught in the streets walking home…"
"Ned…" Robert whispered, standing up and pulling him to his arms, "You're spiraling… Calm down."
"I'm scared… I don't think it could be a guy… I've never really… been attracted to a guy…" he asked confused, "I just don't know… but they could be hurt, whoever they are."
"It's going to be okay, Ned," Robert whispered once again, pulling him for a hug, and to the bed, where Brandon was lying now, close enough to to falling asleep, it seemed. "You have a soulmate, Neddy boy, you should be happy."
"After this awful snow stops and we get out of this hell hole, we're going to find her, or him. We're going to find your soulmate," Robert told him. "Now get off my bed or lie down here with me and your brother, because I'm going to sleep again."
Ned wasn't going to sleep now, so with his clothes back on again, he sat by the window, looking at the snow, wondering about the future, while his brother and best friend slept on Robert's bed.