Even as she had been tracing the London map, even as Jon promised he’d keep her safe, it hit her. She didn’t have much hope of getting out of London – only a little. Alys was clinging to a small hope, a speck. But looking for Jon’s family was more productive than waiting for the walkers to find them in the school, promised more a chance of living, of something other than death, than waiting to be found and torn apart in the hallways.
As she and Jon entered the boarded-up pub, she had dimly recognized the faces and then it came to her. Robb’s wife. And Greyjoy. She had never really interacted with Jeyne Westerling beyond small talk at some of the Stark events. And what she knew of Greyjoy was pretty much from reputation or relayed stories. Relief flooded her, that they had found some with a tangible relation to Jon, that Jon was with those close to his brother.
And now Robb Stark was dead. I killed him, and Jon’s expression was one of grief and horror and Alys wondered if that was on her face with Daryn’s death. Theon was still holding the gun, Jeyne still staring at Jon and they wore the same face. They had gone out looking for life and had been answered with death, more death, always death.
“Jon,” she took a small step towards him, “you didn’t know he was in there. It could’ve been anyone who did it. You didn’t know.”
Empty words, she thinks, useless words. But needed ones. The room is filled with static and she realized it had swallowed her whisper and spat it back loud, pain was reverberating off the walls.
He wasn’t sure why, but Theon couldn’t bring himself to relax his grip on the gun. He keeps it trained on Jon and Alys as if at any second, ice blue might begin to creep around the black of their iris, fill their eyes with cold, cold death. Perhaps it’s a madness. Perhaps he’s losing his fucking mind. He wouldn’t be surprised – the only thing, the only person that had kept him rooted to the earth, kept him sane, is gone, gone, gone. His mother, his brothers, his father, Robb, all dead, all rotting. Once he would have thought Asha too stubborn to die but in a world where the dead walked and tore flesh from the living, he no longer knew what he believed.
His head is fucking killing him. He’d only been able to drift to sleep the night before in a haze of whiskey and shame, and he’d only had two drinks this morning to take the edge off. His arms are trembling beneath the weight of the gun. Yet he doesn’t lower it.
Jeyne speaks to Jon and Theon thinks back to Sansa’s messages from the night before. He wishes in a way that it was her that had stumbled through the door, not Jon fucking Snow and some girl he hardly recognises. He’s sorry for how he told her, he should have been gentler, should have been kinder – he’s sorry for how he treated her, he’s sorry for everything. If he sees her again someday, he’ll tell her that, he vows. But it’s hard to hold that image in his head, picture that far ahead when he can no longer envision a future in a life devoid of Robb.
Theon’s attention is grabbed by Jon’s outburst.
“You what?” he hisses, fingers hovering over the trigger of the shotgun. That girl – Alys, a memory whispers – tries to intervene, tries to utter reassurances but Theon isn’t listening.
It’s a rage unlike anything he’s ever known.
He takes aim and his finger closes around the trigger.
The shot nearly drowns out the sound of the women’s screams but not quite.
Time: 5:22 PM
To: Robb Stark, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Bran Stark, Theon Greyjoy
Message: Sound off. Everyone accounted for? Where are you all? Has anyone heard from Dad or Catelyn?
Time: 6: 10 p.m
To: Jon Snow