Baths are a luxury in the North. The cold winds are unforgiving on the boiled water and the warmth barely lasts long enough to smooth out the tension in Bran's shoulders.

Baths are not only a luxury, but an annoyance. Bran must first be assisted in undressing, and then be lifted from his cart turned carriage and in to the chilling water. Then he must be carefully positioned up against the inside of the basin, or barrel, or other object passing for a proper tub, as to not fall in to the waters below. He then must be helped out of the tub once the water has become too cold to stand and redressed, only to be put back in his filthy clothes and in to the smelly cart—making the bath seemingly worthless.

A bath, while rare, useless and inconvenient, is the only thing Brandon Stark can think about as the cart bumps along the winding road of the North. Back at Winterfell he would bathe regularly, letting his shoulders fall beneath the steaming water, watching his hair swirl around his cheeks as he lets his lips touch the top—scalding his delicate skin. He would stay in their clawed bathtub until the fire in their bathing room went out and the tiles grew cold. Only when the coldness traveled up stone walls of the tub did he move. In the water, his legs floating above his body, he felt weightless.

His arms aren't as strong as they need to be. In Winterfell there was always someone to help him without him asking. There was always someone outside the door when he was done, and there were always fresh linens to change in to when he was toweled off. Out here in the unforgiving wilderness, he felt the years of pampering in his aching shoulders at the end of every long day.

Propping himself up in his cart, despite the burn of protest coming from his arms, he could see Jojen walking to his far right. His green eyes seeing where they would stop for the night long before Bran's blue. Wanting to turn to face forward, Bran dragged his body up and grunted in the effort. He felt a hand on his shoulder and a helpful nudge to fully turn his around. Bran glanced up to see Jojen looking down at him with a questioning glance. Jojen could see he was struggling with his movements and Bran grimaced at his concern—he doesn't like to be helped he can help himself.

Once Bran was facing North instead of South he let out of a sigh of relief upon seeing a ruined castle not too far in the distance. Even in ruin there was a promise of shelter from the biting winds and cover for a fire they were to build. A small smile planted itself on Bran's face, 'Maybe it will have a washing basin…' he thought wistfully. Still looking down at the little Lord, Jojen couldn't help but bask in Bran's happiness.

The idea that there was still a wash basin in this god forsaken place was indeed wishful thinking. The only thing left in the castle ruin was rocks, rocks, and more rocks. The occasional rat or roach would come out of the shadows and greet them, only to scurry back in to their rocky abodes. Bran's smile left his face as soon as he was wheeled in to the once Great Hall that was now rubble and dust. The ceiling was intact, that promised a fire at least.

In their months of traveling, they have only stumbled upon one wash basin, but it was Osha that found it and dragged it to Bran with a dirt-crusted smile. She knew he ached with the effort of supporting his crippled body and always sought to make him comfortable. The companions he had now knew nothing of his discomfort and he does not show weakness—he does not need help.

Jojen and Hodor always went together to gather supplies for the fires they build—Hodor came in handy when it came to carrying a large bundle of wood or a few chairs and other furniture. Jojen had keen eyes and a knack for building the wood in to suitable fires. Because Bran needed protecting, someone always stayed back with him and it was always Meera, being the handiest with weapons.

Bran did not talk to Meera; he was too embarrassed having to be protected by her all the time. He felt that he should be able to defend her, not the other way around. But with his legs sprawled out uselessly in front of him, he doubted he was going to do much protecting.

A loud, scraping noise was heard echoing through the empty halls of the ruined keep. The long, dragging screech chilled Bran and gave him gooseflesh. Meera was already standing, poised and ready in front of Bran's cart ready to strike whoever or whatever emerged from the dark entrance. As the noise became louder, it also became familiar to Bran in what way he did not know. He was worried about Jojen—whatever it was that was wailing through the halls might have found him first. And Hodor, the loveable giant must be so confused with the great sound.

An impossibly large figure appeared in the doorway and Meera instantly lowered her weapon as to not scare the half-giant. Hodor stopped in the entrance, confused, but then quickly resumed his business of dragging a large, white basin behind him—the metal claws useless and broken on the bottom. Bran was in shock—a real tub in the middle of a ruined castle that wasn't demolished by stones? How lovely!

"Thank you Hodor, but not in here—in the next room." Jojen stepped in to the room next, instructing Hodor to continue dragging the perfect basin in to an adjacent room housing the only useable door in the entire keep. Jojen then dropped his findings of broken chairs and a large pot in the center of the room.

When Jojen looked up he locked eyes with Bran and smiled—it's been too long since Bran saw that smile. His green eyes lit up with excitement and his golden tresses caught the natural moonlight in a way that the reflection framed his soft features. Bran could not help but smile back, giddy at the proposition of a nice warm bath.

It took Hodor, Meera and Jojen together to gather water from the river, boil it, and then dump the scalding contents in the cold tub. The moon was highest in the sky when they were finished filling the basin and the steam rising off the water looked so inviting it took all of Jojen's will power to not jump in. Bran's first, he's always first in Jojen's mind.

When Jojen opened the door to the Great Hall, he heard Hodor snoring and the high pitch whistles of his sister's sleeping before seeing Bran. He was reclining patiently against the wall next to his cart, the wolf pelts strewn about him in a bed-like fashion. Bran heard the door squeak open and looked up in anticipation.

Jojen silently crept over to Bran and knelt down beside him. "Your bath is ready Lord Stark." He whispered in his ear, putting his lips against its shell. He felt Bran shiver has his hot breath caressed his face, eyes drifting to look at Jojen. Bran needed to be carried to the bath and Jojen was more than happy to oblige.

He leaned closer to Bran, settling one of his arms underneath his shoulders and the other picking up his frail legs. He felt Bran's discomfort as he picked him up bridal style and carried him in to the makeshift washroom. Using his foot he closed the door and placed Bran on one of the unbroken chairs he found within the ruins. With a singular mindset, he started undoing the many layers of Bran's armor, starting on his chest. However, once he begun a quick hand stopped his movements.

"I can do the top ones myself…" Bran mumbled his face flushed and hot. Jojen had to swallow, his mouth suddenly dry upon seeing Bran unsettled. Bran shifted in the wooden chair, using his hands to grab the edge of the chair and prop himself up. Jojen noticed him wince with effort and immediately began to help him situate himself so that he could remove his clothing.

"No!" Bran almost shouted at Jojen as his hands rested on the younger boy's arms. Jojen let go and took a step back, realizing there's a limit to the amount he can assist his little Lord and taking note he doesn't like to be touched by him. Whenever Osha helped Bran with his adjustments and normal shifting movements Bran accepted it and always thanked her for the help. That smile is replaced with a grimace and a discomfort that Jojen is ashamed he caused.

Jojen now a few steps back watched as Bran unlaced himself and slowly removed pieces of clothing. His mouth, which was once dry, began to salivate as Bran became topless in front of him. Lord Stark was a thin boy, but his upper body was becoming toned with the added strain of his own handicap. His arms were sleek and his chest had small formations of muscle dotting along his torso. His collar bone appeared the most pronounced and as he moved to undo his own breeches Jojen couldn't be patient any longer. He rushed forward, practically drooling and went for the rest of Bran's burdensome clothing. He could hear Bran stammering in protest, but nothing he could say not would keep him away from seeing his Lord fully naked. As Jojen started pulling down his final layer of bottoms, Bran steadied his breath and put both hands on Jojen's torso, softly pushing him away. Jojen's heart sank.

"I'm sorry Bran." Jojen spoke first, "I was only trying to help you…" He stopped talking when Bran shook his head.

"No. It's not that…" Bran's voice trembled as he grabbed the top of his breeches and bundled them in his hands. "I don't want you to see them…" He hid his face, looking down in to his lap. Jojen took a step forward and knelt in front of Bran so he could see his face. It was twisted in agony and shame.

"Don't want me to see what…?" Jojen places his hands over Bran's as tears fell from his eyes and hit lap. Jojen could feel his chest constrict with the pain his Bran was feeling. He heard Bran's breath come slow and shallow as he tried to calm his emotions. Bran was never one for showing weakness and in his state it took a lot of willpower and control to everything he was feeling, but the one person he can't hide from is Jojen and his piercing green eyes.

Bran calmed himself enough to stutter out, "M-My legs…" He closed his eyes hard against the confession, willing it to go away. "They're disgusting…" He gripped the tops of his breeches harder and pulled him up his torso. Jojen had never thought of how Bran's legs would become after they had gone useless. The curiosity alone pursued him to gently stroke Bran's arms until the younger boy looked up at him, pleading at him with blue eyes to not go any further. Jojen went against Bran's internal wishes and brought his hands up to cup the sides of Bran's face, bringing his lips closer to his.

Jojen could feel Bran's breath ghost over his lips as he said, "Nothing about you could ever disgust me Bran." The older boy leaned forward slightly to close the gap between them. Bran's breath hitched in his throat as his eyes fluttered shut. The warmth of his friend's lips on his own brought out his confidence and he released the tight hold he had on his bottoms. He instead opted to wind his fingers through Jojen's hair and press his face harder in to own. Jojen chuckled lightly in to their kiss and took this opportunity to take Bran's mouth fully.

Their tongues swirled around deep in each other's mouths, tasting their want for one another. Bran moaned as Jojen took control of his mouth and proceeded to lean his head back further to gain more access. Bran feverishly grasped for Jojen's neck as his own head was tilted back and Jojen placed one hand behind his head and the other was slowly pulling down Bran's breeches.

Bran didn't notice his own pants were off until Jojen lifted himself off the chair bridal style yet again and carried him to the tub. He abruptly broke the kiss to stammer out, "N-No my legs—you can see them stop!"

Bran leaned forward in Jojen's arms in a feeble attempt to cover up his exposed bottom half, but Jojen lowered his arm that housed Bran's upper half, making Bran almost fall backward, and whispered, "Don't. I want to see you."

Bran's blush never left his cheeks as Jojen lowered him in the still warm water. Properly placed in the tub, Bran was finally able to look at Jojen as Jojen admired him. He saw the way his eyes traced down his body, stopping every so often to appreciate certain curvatures. As his eyes wandered down, Bran flinched, afraid of his reaction to his small, boney legs just barely supporting a pitiful layer of muscle that has not yet atrophied. However, as his eyes continued down, Bran was surprised that his appreciative smile never left his face.

Jojen walked behind him, placing himself at the head of the tub where Bran's shoulders and arms rested against the sides. He placed his arms on Bran's shoulders and began to rub the warm water in to his muscles. Bran moaned at the touch and leaned forward, allowing Jojen more access to his knotted muscles. He felt hands and lips kiss his skin as Jojen continued to work, following every long massage with hesitant kisses trailing across his shoulders and down his spine. He didn't know how to tell Jojen how good it felt, so Bran kept moaning and gasping, loving the release of his tension. When the rubbing stopped, Bran turned to see Jojen reappear at the side of the tub, his breeches strained over his arousal, but Bran couldn't look away.

Bran watched as Jojen began taking off his own clothes. "What are you doing?" Bran asked in a small voice, still watching as Jojen skillfully undid his own laces and knots. His question was soon answered as Jojen stood naked before him; his body fit and muscled from their years of walking and hunting in the harsh unforgiving North. Jojen was much more toned than Bran was and he felt subconscious again as he noticed that Jojen's own legs were strong and whose muscles were in the places they were supposed to be.

"Joining you, my Lord." Was all Jojen said before stepping over the lip of the tub.

Bran picked up his legs and placed the pads of his feet on the floor of the tub the best he could, making room for Jojen's entry. The task was awkward and in the end his feet pointed inward and his knees knocked together, but it was enough for Jojen to slip in and properly place Bran's legs atop of his own, the water lapping at their shoulders with the added body. It was still warm and Bran could feel his tension go down in his shoulders, and then come rushing right back as the situation dawned heavily on him.

Jojen, a boy he found interesting and intriguing, yet annoying and persistent, was now sharing a long awaited bath with him in the dark room adjacent to Hodor and Meera. It was impossible to enjoy the soothing sensations of the water with the look Jojen is giving him from across the basin. He sees Jojen's hands run up and down his legs, grasping the skin there and sliding up and down. He can see it, but can't believe he is witnessing someone willingly caress the dilapidated bone he calls legs. The useless appendages look ugly in comparison to Jojen's firm legs resting beneath him. He can see that without Jojen's hands, his legs would float up and leave him off balance.

His hands move faster, and higher up as Bran relaxes, trying to take in the temporary luxury and ignoring the sweet nerves pooling in the center of his stomach. No one has ever touched him so intimately and he approves of the attention, even it's on his disfigured legs. And that kiss… The warmth still lingers on his lips, making the bath water seem cool by comparison. He's never been kissed before, but the skill Jojen showed in it made him suddenly bashful again, crossing his arms across his bare chest. His eyes locked again with Jojen's and the smolder was obvious in the older boy's eyes—he wanted Bran and Bran didn't know how to feel about that.

He felt good when he was being kissed, he felt good in the water, he felt even better seeing Jojen climb in with him, but where does the feeling good stop and the torment of the next step begin. Jojen's stroking was settled on Bran's thighs now. Bran hadn't noticed how high he'd gone or how dangerously close he was to his arousal—or the fact he was aroused. His erection was visible under the clear water and the tip leaked pre-cum in to the shared tub. Seeing Jojen stare at it hungrily made it twitch and beg for Bran to touch it.

Jojen went to work bringing their bodies closer, moving Bran's legs to his sides and hooking them around his back, bending the knees and placing Bran's ass firmly on his own thighs. Bran could feel how hard Jojen was now as their cocks rubbed against one another in the warm water. Bran's breath hitched as the sweet friction radiated through his body and he put his hands on Jojen's shoulders for more purchase in the slippery basin. Using Jojen's shoulders, he carefully rocked his own torso back and forth, trying to create more friction between their lower halves—to repeat the same feeling. Jojen couldn't stop himself from helping, thrusting upward in to Bran's grinding motion. Bran tilted his head back, their members slipping over one another in a lazy pattern of two boys sloppy and inexperienced with their own sex. Jojen reached down in between them to grab both of their members firmly in his hand before thrusting up again, whilst pumping them together. Bran whined in the back of his throat, the feeling was too surreal and too vivid—too much for his body to handle on its own. He looked back down at Jojen, who was looking up at him, lips parted, hair wet and sticking to his forehead, and their cocks entwined together in his fingers. He leaned down and captured the golden haired boy's lips in a heady kiss. The older boy returned the kiss with more enthusiasm and pressed his chest in to Bran's, trying to get as close to the little Lord as possible.

Their kiss smacked and echoed through the room, the basin sloshed and with the water becoming waves, their breathing erratic and labored. The sounds they made together were mixing together in an orchestra of lust and passion, of which neither had any idea the origin. Bran's lips were melded with Jojen's; their tongues knowing nothing else than the others; their teeth clattering together in the frenzied fashion of their heated kiss; all while Jojen strokes and pulls at their manhood's. Neither had experienced anything like the other, the feeling of their bodies together, the touch of their skin against one another, the intimacy within the basin—it felt right and both moaned and groaned in to each other's mouths indicating their own satisfaction. Jojen broke the kiss to look at Bran, a fresh sheen of sweat covering his face, the embarrassment gone, his dark Stark locks against his beautiful pale skin, and that smile that left his face too soon when Jojen stroke hard at their members. He couldn't stop himself from pleasuring Bran—he wanted to please him and this has been the happiest he's seen his Lord in months.

He could feel himself being pushed over the edge, but the need to wait for Bran was stronger than his need to come. "You always come first." He whispers, his voice deep and husky in Bran's ears. He hears Bran moan and the soft keening sound convinces Jojen to keep going, "Come for me, Bran." He continues, licking the outer shell of his ear. Bran comes hard—he can feel him pulsating in his hand and can feel the warm, sticky wetness making its way through the once-clear water. The feeling of the younger boy coming sends Jojen over as well with two hard thrusts he comes, their seed mixing together in the dirtied water.

Bran rests his head against Jojen's shoulder, both breathing heavier and faster their chests rise and fall with one another and they can feel the wetness of their skin against each other. The feeling sparks a fire in Jojen that he can't deal with quite yet. Jojen holds Bran tightly, not caring about the filth in the tub or the numbness in his legs—he could hold Bran as long as he would let him. He cared about this boy so much, and would do anything for him, and after this night he would not be able to part himself from his side for many nights to come.

The bath had run cold many minutes ago, but Bran couldn't will himself to peel away from Jojen. The older boy was like a rock to him, an island in the middle of an ocean. He felt attached to him, drawn to him, and the idea of leaving their basin made him sad and lonely, like he had been for years. This green eyed boy had helped him without pitying him and looked at his legs and accepted Bran even with his disfigurement. He came with him in a heat of passion unlike Bran has ever known. The very idea of this boy existing boggled Bran and the idea that this boy existed and had been right beside him for as long as Jojen had made him even more unbelievable.

When Bran pulled back from the iron grip he had on Jojen's shoulders, Jojen also released Bran's torso, looking up at him expectantly. Bran leaned down once more to kiss Jojen, their bruised lips joining together once again, wetting their chapped skin with fresh, moist kisses. When Bran violently shuddered in the cold water, Jojen jumped to get him out of the freezing liquid. The basin was like ice and the tile was no different. Jojen stepped out of the basin and on to the tile with a wince, Bran watching his face and keeping a wet hand on Jojen's cheek. Jojen set his Lord down on the same chair, setting his legs in front of him in a proper fashion, and quickly threw one of Bran's pelts on his torso before dressing himself. Bran laughed as the seemingly confident boy fluttered about the room gathering up his discarded clothing and hurriedly pulling them on before the cold seeped in to his bones.

Jojen took a moment when fully clothed to laugh with Bran and hit him lightly on the shoulder for making fun of his misfortunes. Bran blushed at the contact and watched again as Jojen gathered up his clothes and began to dress him. Bran let Jojen dress him fully this time, relishing the touch of the older boy in the cold room. His skin was turning warm once more and the feeling of his fingertips against his bare skin made him shiver in want.

By the time Jojen finished dressing Bran, the younger boy was already aroused again and wanting to touch Jojen in a close, intimate, warm bed. The older boy picked Bran up once again bridal style and carried him back out to his makeshift bed of pelts. Bran expected Jojen to go and join his sister and Hodor at the other end of the room, but instead the older boy shifted them so Bran was laying on his side and snuggled himself right up against Bran's back.

"Jojen, what are you do—" Bran asked, but was cut off by Jojen who tipped Bran's head back and took his lips with his own. It was a soft, slow kiss with slow rolls of tongue and light, caressing touches. Bran took the attention and drank in Jojen's affections towards him as he returned them three fold. When Bran's heavy breathing turned in to soft moans, Jojen pulled back and situated himself so he leaned away from Bran's face. Bran whined and Jojen chuckled.

"That's enough for tonight, Bran." He smiled down at his new lover and stroked the back of his hand down Bran's cheek, "You need your rest." He gave him one more chaste kiss before lying back down amongst the pelts. Bran could feel his hand on his stomach, his breath on his neck, and his arousal rubbing against his back. Bran felt he loved this boy Jojen Reed, and was excited for this night and the many nights that were to come.