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26 June 2012 @ 06:01 pm
oneshot: this ship is taking me far away  
Title: this ship is taking me far away
Rating: T
Characters/Pairings: Robb Stark/Theon Greyjoy
Summary: Based on a prompt from the asoiafkinkmeme. Robb is hired by a selkie, Theon Greyjoy, to help him steal back his pelt from the sadistic Ramsay Bolton. But once Robb finds it, he's tempted to hide it and keep Theon with him. AU.
Spoilers: none



"Why are you still at work?"

Robb sighs, one eye on his paperwork and the other on the window. The moon is not quite at its highest, but he feels the change rattling in his bones nonetheless. He really shouldn't be here, not with so many humans wandering about.

"I'm up to my ears in cases, Sansa."

"That's not what you told Arya."

Okay, so he lied. The truth is that his in-tray has been dry for weeks. Being a werewolf allows him more freedom than his usual competitors, vampire private investigators, who utilize their admittedly powerful compulsion to interrogate suspects. He is free to wander the day and night, except nights like this one.

"I need the money."

Sansa scoffs. "What you need is a shift, and fast. I can hear it in your voice. I'm stepping out as we speak."

"Enjoy yourself."

Robb lingers in the office for another fifteen minutes, wondering if he'll see a client before he's gone gray. It's unhealthy to hold back the shift, dangerous even, and he's waited far too long. It's been ages since he's attacked a human, and he has no intention of doing it again. He fishes the keys out of his pocket, trades the blazer for a supple leather jacket, and locks up. All the while he wonders if he'll face financial ruin by the end of the year.

"Hey!"

The young man is lean, dark-haired, and distractingly attractive, but that's the shift talking, Robb assures himself. Still, he fights back a leer. "Can I help you?"

A black eye Robb hadn't noticed before narrows. "I'm Theon Greyjoy. Stark, right?"

"Yeah, Robb Stark," he frowns, squeezing the keys in his palm. "If you're looking for my services, it will have to wait until tomorrow."

"Look, I'll pay you extra," Greyjoy interrupts. "I need your help, now."

"Are you a supe?"

"Yes, but—"

Client or no client, he lets a tinge of irritation color his tone. "Okay, good. Then you'll understand that it's risky to prevent a werewolf from shifting on a full moon."

"Someone's after me!" Greyjoy snaps. "It can't wait until tomorrow!"

Robb all but shoves the keys into his hand. "Go into my office, lock the door, close all the windows. Don't rifle through my stuff, don't use the phone, just sit there until morning."

He can hear Greyjoy cursing as he flees into the woods. Robb runs for a long time before he leaps and lands on four paws, snarling. From there his night is all a blur.

———

"Took you long enough."

Robb has to admire this guy's nerve. Werewolves have accumulated a formidable reputation in the supernatural world. Admittedly, he isn't wearing his wolfskin at the moment, and it is daylight. Still, he's had his run and the rudeness doesn't bother him. Yet.

"I'm sorry about before," he begins, watching Greyjoy spin in his desk chair. "You caught me at a bad time, that’s all."

"Your time of the month, I get it."

Now he's annoyed. "You said you needed my help?"

"Right, yeah. I need you steal back my pelt."

"Your . . . " Robb motions for him to get out of the chair, but he doesn't move. "Your what?"

"My pelt? I'm a selkie."

"What's that?"

"A selkie. A sea supe? God, Stark, they told me you were smart."

Robb rolls his eyes. There's a supe database on his laptop, but before he can complete a search, Greyjoy groans. "Think seals, Stark. I need my pelt in order to swim, just like you need your wolfskin in order to kill bunnies and shit."

"All right, fine. But let's get something straight, Greyjoy. I'm not a thief, I'm a detective. I'm not going to steal . . . anything. I’m not like that."

Greyjoy studies him for a long moment. "Then detect where it is, because I need it. And lucky for you, I know who took it."

"Is it the same woman who gave you that black eye?"

"His name," he corrects. "is Ramsay Bolton."

———

"Can you slow down?" Greyjoy yells. "I'm getting carsick!"

Robb lifts his boot a quarter of an inch from the accelerator. "Sorry."

No wonder Greyjoy was so terrified, Bolton is a madman. He was only seventeen when Roose Bolton tried to fuck over Stark Enterprises, his father’s company. A sleight of hand and a lack of evidence had saved the man from a prison sentence. Ramsay, on the other hand, has earned himself an awful reputation without his father's help.

"How did you meet Bolton?"

He shrugs. "The beach."

"If I'm going to help you, Greyjoy, I need more information."

"I took off my pelt for an hour to sleep on the rocks," he snaps. "And he stole it. Then he came back for me."

Robb pulls into the long driveway, frowning. He should be writing all of this down. Maybe later. "And you need the pelt to go back?"

"Whoever steals a selkie's pelt prevents him from returning to his true form."

Instead of scorn or anger, there's real pain in his voice. Robb glances at him for a moment, then away. Greyjoy really doesn't look like he belongs on land. His eyes are dark blue, no, green. The color changes, he thinks. Like the sea.

"Is this your house?"

Robb laughs. "No. I grew up here, though."

The Stark mansion is large and imposing to newcomers, but he thinks of the coziness inside, the home. His den. Greyjoy eyes it with a bemused expression, as if he expected something else.

It's Sansa who answers the door. He feels Greyjoy's gaze on them as she leaps into his arms with a delighted squeal. On his shoulder, her chin moves. "Hi, I'm Sansa. Robb's sister."

"Theon."

Sansa leans back, her arms linked around his neck. "Is he a client, or . . . "

"Of course he's a client," Robb mutters, embarrassed. She shrugs, sliding out of his arms. "Well, don't just stand there. Come on in."

It's Theon's turn to be embarrassed when Sansa insists on introducing him to their mother, sister, and brother. "Dad's working, Rickon is at the Manderly's, and Jon went to pick him up."

"We've got some work to do," Robb says after a lingering, awkward silence. His mother had turned away to face the sink at Jon's name, and he doesn't miss the tense set of her spine. "Let's go to the study, Theon."

He picks the comfy chair by the fire. "Why do you call me Theon around your family, but Greyjoy everywhere else?"

"I don't know. Do you prefer one or the other?"

"No."

"Well, all right."

Theon is silent while Robb moves about the room, pulling books from the shelves and rolling out maps. He peers around him to look at one of them, and Robb can sense his heartbeat. It makes him uncomfortable. "What are we doing now?"

"If Bolton hid your pelt somewhere, it has to be on this map."

"Why?"

"Because he's not going to carry it around with him, obviously."

Robb taps a pencil against the table. "My guess would be their manor, the Dreadfort."

Beside him, Theon stiffens. "I'm not going back there."

His bruise has not quite faded, and it's dark against the pale skin. Robb recalls what little he knows of Ramsay Bolton—he's been in and out of prison, bailed out by his father, and has wriggled free of at least a dozen convictions. As a private detective, he knows that gaining entrance to the Dreadfort will have to be barred by red tape. He doesn't have a warrant or a police force behind him. If he’s not invited, he’ll have to break in.

"Are you really going to storm that manor?" Theon asks, dragging the map toward his side of the table. He leans down to study it, brushing hair out of his eyes. "It was a real clusterfuck to get out of."

"I can imagine. How did you get out of there?"

Theon doesn't look up. "I need water to reach my full powers. I found one of his little tools to dig into the piping, then used the water as a distraction."

"Couldn't you do that in the first place?"

His eyes narrow. "He kept me in a near helpless state, Stark. I'm lucky to be alive."

"I'm sorry," Robb mumbles, knowing Sansa would have been horrified at his behavior. "And you're right, the Dreadfort is a clusterfuck. I'm thinking we go to Bolton Senior first."

Though Theon disagrees (and loudly), the next morning finds them on the road to Bolton, Inc., a company only two blocks from Stark Enterprises. Roose Bolton thought it'd be funny to set up shop so close to the organization he tried to destroy. Robb remembers how angry his father had been that day, how harshly the betrayal rippled through the business world.

The receptionist waves them through without looking up. Theon refuses to sit down, instead pacing the office with a manic, frenzied look. Only when Roose enters does he sink into the farthest chair, eyes wide and watchful. Robb clears his throat.

"Mr. Bolton, we don't want to take up any of your time—"

"You already have, Stark," Roose says, bent over a correspondence he's correcting himself. "Unless you have information for me, I'm not interested."

"It's about your son. He's taken something from my client and we want it back."

"Feel free to visit my home and talk to him," the older man replies. "Men who try to control my son always fail. If he's participated in something illegal, by all means, take him away. But I have work to do."

Theon buys them lunch and they eat in the car, thinking about their next move. Walking into the Dreadfort guns blazing is a terrible idea. With Theon's escape, Bolton may have moved the pelt to a secure location until he can find him again. But not going to the manor leaves them with little to no idea where he might stash it.

"Well, now what?"

Robb ignores him, reaching for the phone. “I think we need help.”

Sansa answers on the first ring, though he can hear someone talking on the other end. He decides to ignore that, though he knows she’s been seeing Harry Hardyng behind their parents’ backs. “Two phone calls in two days, I’m so lucky!”

“Sansa, can you have Margaery meet us at the library in an hour? It’s important.”

Margaery Tyrell hugs and kisses them both when she arrives. A strange sort of relief surges through him when he sees Theon stiffen in her arms, pulling away in clear discomfort. Unperturbed, she plops down between them both, grinning.

“Sansa said you needed my services.”

Robb smirks. “Not us, per se. We need you to distract a few guards. We’re going to break into Lannisbank.”

Theon raises his eyebrows. “Even I know that bank belongs to Tywin Lannister. What’s in the bank that can help us, Stark?”

“When Roose still worked for my father, he tried to hack our servers,” Robb explains. “Only we got a glimpse of his information by mistake. I know that the Boltons have three safe deposit boxes in Lannisbank. If we can access all three of them, maybe we can find where Roose hid your pelt.”

———

“Are you sure we can’t see the vault?”

“Succubi,” Theon mutters, watching Margaery flatter the bank manager. “They could take over the world.”

“We could,” she agrees, while the middle-aged manager smiles in a dazed sort of way. He finds the keys and waves them forward, explaining to security that they have authorized permission to be there. Robb glances behind them, ever wary of small spaces and traps. Margaery’s seductive powers are legend, but Ramsay could have already been here, expecting a breach.

While Theon rifles through the boxes, Margaery keeps the manager entertained. Robb paces the tiny room and worries. She charmed the guards to let them pass with a weapon, but a handgun won’t kill a supes like Ramsay or Tywin Lannister.

Margaery files her nails. “What kind of supe is Bolton, anyway?”

Robb frowns. “He’s a kitsune. Looks like a werewolf, but smaller, foxlike. Their claws are their primary weapons.”

She whistles. “You have your work cut out for you, then. That one nearly took Renly’s ear off two years ago, but Loras frightened him off with knife. If you’re going to fight him, pack silver weapons.”

“It’s not here!”

Theon kicks the last box closed, his face flushing with rage. “My pelt isn’t here! It’s just a bunch of coordinates.”

Having studied the maps before, Robb knows them immediately. “Then I was wrong. Your pelt has to be somewhere in the Dreadfort. He’s trying to lure you back.”

———

“I’m not paying you enough for this,” Theon murmurs, watching him load up a shotgun. Privately, Robb agrees. This is one of the riskiest things he’s ever done in his line of work, and due to the complex nature of the Dreadfort, he is forced to employ two other supes.

“No, you really aren’t,” Sansa nods, slapping Margaery’s hand away from the radio. “My brother is a bit . . . down on his luck financially. I would pay him more.”

“Just drive, Sansa.”

Margaery twists sinuously in the passenger seat, studying them. With all the heavy artillery Robb insisted on bringing, there’s little room to move in the backseat. He’s shoulder-to-shoulder with Theon Greyjoy, and he’s trying really hard not to show how much he likes it. But being a succubus, Margaery can sense that sort of thing.

“What is with all the sexual tension in this car?” she groans. “It’s driving me insane.”

“It’s not coming from me,” his sister shrugs. “I’m not seeing Harry again until tomorrow. It must be Dumb and Dumber back there.”

“Must be Wolfy,” Theon scowls. “It’s not me.”

“Don’t look at me like that, I’m not doing anything!”

Margaery frowns. “No, it’s the both of you. How long have you known each other? God, it’s like an oven in here.”

“You’re so full of shit, Marg. Quit distracting us from the mission.”

Robb thanks the gods for Sansa, who had been watching him squirm in the rearview mirror. He’ll have to explain all of this to her later, that much was clear.

They abandon the car in the woods for now. It’s another two miles on foot before they reach the manor, and Robb forces everyone to be armed for safety. He’s checked ahead; all the Boltons are out for the night, but there’s no saying when they’ll return.

The doorman succumbs to Margaery’s will with no resistance. Further examination of the property proves that he is the only one present. Robb decides they need to separate, but in pairs.

“Let’s split up, gang,” Theon mutters, but takes one half-step in his direction. His face darkens when Margaery intercepts him, leaving Sansa as his partner. Rolling her eyes, she grabs his arm and they venture toward the south end of the mansion.

“And he said it wasn’t him with all that sexual tension. Jesus, what a fucking liar.”

“Marg—”

“Selkies are typically drawn to those dissatisfied with life,” she muses. “Are you dissatisfied? Eager for some adventure?”

Robb pokes a cabinet with his gun. “I don’t want to talk about this, Margaery.”

“Later, then. But if both of you don’t do something, I’ll explode.”

The parlor, kitchen, and front hall are empty, the pelt nowhere in sight. On the second floor, they find Ramsay’s bedroom. Margaery wrinkles her nose.

“This psycho needs to be put down.”

Because she won’t, Robb flattens himself on the floor to peer under the bed. Underneath a Playboy magazine, he finds a small, wooden knob.

Before he can find what it hides, Margaery snatches the shotgun and flees the room. Downstairs, a howl pierces the silence. He knows that Sansa has taken her wolf form, and there’s only one reason why. His bones shake at the thought, as the shift tries to take over. Robb fights it back, tugging the knob upward to reveal a tiny hiding place below.

Glass shatters on the staircase, and he wonders if the battle has moved from the starting point. Ramsay will have the servant on his side, but Sansa is a formidable opponent. Margaery has a shotgun, and Theon has his mysterious water powers. If anything, the fight will be even.

There’s something soft in the compartment, but he knows what it is at once.
The pelt is raven-black, a coat of smooth fur. Ramsay hid Theon’s pelt under his bed like a child hides candy. In any other circumstance, he’d find that funny. Robb crawls out from under the bed, pelt in hand.

An odd feeling washes through him. It takes a minute to identify, but he realizes that it’s doubt. There’s power in this pelt, he can feel it. Crashing, roaring waves, the bitter smell of salt.

Ramsay hid it to prevent Theon from returning to the sea, and for a long moment, Robb considers doing the same. It’s foul, and he recoils from the thought, but it lingers on the edge of his mind nevertheless. He always thought he was better than scumbags like the Boltons. Apparently not.

A floorboard creaks and he looks up. Theon is there in the doorway, covered in blood, but otherwise unharmed. His broad smile falters for a moment, and Robb’s fingers tighten around the pelt. He knows Theon that saw that expression in his eyes; his face burns.

Theon clears his throat. “Where was it?”

“Under the bed,” Robb says gruffly, passing him the pelt. His hands are cold and empty without it, and he realizes it was radiating energy, warm and fizzing. He moves around Theon to get out of the room, shoulders strung tight around his ears. “What happened down there?”

Theon follows him downstairs, his excitement doubled. “Well, Bolton comes home, then sees me and your sister snooping through his back room. Now, I only saw you shift from a distance, but holy shit. Sansa fucking leaps over my head and attacks him. I ran around for a bit to lure him into an open space.”

That open space is actually the foyer. The tiles are wet and sticky with blood. He finds Sansa nursing a dislocated shoulder and Margaery playing with a silver knife. The servant is nowhere to be found, while Ramsay isn’t really Ramsay anymore, only a dead supe with half his brains on the wall and his heart cut open wide. Theon spits on the body.

“Take that, motherfucker.”

“Please tell me you found it,” Sansa hisses, then screams when Robb sets her shoulder back in place.

“We did.”

“Good, let’s get the fuck out of here.”

Theon slings the pelt over his shoulder. “Shouldn’t we do something about the body?”

“I think it’s high time Roose dealt with his son’s mess,” Robb shrugs. “He can clean it up.”

———

Dawn finds the two of them at the beach, watching the waves crash against the pier. Theon hasn’t let go of his pelt since last night, and Robb doubts he will again. His eyes seem to glow with the rising sun, and he looks more alive than ever.

“I guess this is it, then.”

“I suppose it is.”

For some reason, Robb can’t look at him. He clears his throat. “My sister really wanted to be here. You know, to say goodbye.”

“I’m sure Margaery wanted to be here, too,” he chuckles. “Probably more to comment on the sexual tension.”

“She likes to get a rise out of people.”

Theon’s hand lingers on his arm. Strong, Robb muses, though his heart is beating too fast to think of much else. When he kisses him, it’s rough and chapped, a woven knot dragged across skin. Though moonrise is far off, a growl ripples through his chest.

“Selkies have short memories,” Theon says when they pull away. He’s not quite tall, but there’s power in his lean frame, fire in the green-blue eyes. “But I think I’ll remember you, Robb Stark.”

His smile is sad. “Me?”

“You know what they say about selkies.” His heels touch the edge of the pier now. “If you ever need one, shed seven tears into the sea.”

“Will that work?”

“Of course,” Theon grins, then leaps gracefully into the water. He disappears beneath the waves, but his next words are clear. I won’t forget.

“Nor me,” Robb murmurs, long after he’s gone.

Perhaps he was dissatisfied, but no longer.

She answers on the first ring. “So he left.”

“Yes.”

“Marg was right.”

He sighs. “Yes.”

“Will you run with me tonight?”

“I will.”

If Theon belongs in the sea, then I belong on land, under a full moon.

Funny how often those three coincide.
 
 
Current Mood: boredbored
 
 
 
brighterlovebrighterlove on June 27th, 2012 06:47 am (UTC)
This was beautifully heartbreaking, and sweet and funny. very Dresden files esque. This needs a sequel
everybody's starry eyedglass_queen on June 27th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
thank you so much! :D
sweetwintersong: pic#117712196sweetwintersong on June 27th, 2012 12:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, I adore this! I love the entire supernatural aspect of it all, and how each person's power is related to their personality/house - you won me over with succubus!Marg. I like the way you played out Theon and Robb's relationship, Robb and Sansa's brother-sister relationship, etcetera. Great job.
everybody's starry eyedglass_queen on June 27th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it :D
heartlesskidsheartlesskids on June 27th, 2012 01:53 pm (UTC)
I LOVE YOU ALSJADHKSAGKJAHFG
everybody's starry eyedglass_queen on June 27th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
:D YAYYYY