Chapter Eight::The Twins

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The view was utterly gorgeous from where Raina sat, high up upon a nearby hill, gazing at the Twins. It was most beautiful, despite the building's crumbling walls and dull exterior it was still quite a sight to behold. And Raina was almost there. This was further south than she had ever ventured before and so far she had loved every moment of it. The King had made it more enjoyable in that he had saved her from travelling this far alone with no rations or any means of survival. For that she was forever grateful, it only stung to think she would have to continue with her facade, even now being so far from her father and so close to her once beloved friend.

Burying her head in her arms, Raina breathed in the fresh, evening air, enjoying the serenity of her current location. They were about a days ride away from The Twins but Robb had ordered they rest for the night, which had proved to be a good move as most of the men travelling were tired and restless from the long journey. Raina was merely grateful to have a chance away from all of the men, surprisingly being around so many had taken it's toll, and being alone for one evening was a blessing. She was weak in their eyes, because she wasn't tall or because she didn't have bulging muscles, but that hadn't mattered to her, she knew her strength but the consistent torments had grown to be quite enough for one girl to handle. Thus why she now found herself upon a lone hillside somewhere far from the camp, enjoying the quiet she had found. She had  begun thinking about how to tell Robb, how to tell him everything. She was sure it would come as a surprise, but not entirely unbelievable going by her size and potentially recognisable features. But thinking about such things had her conflicted, and soon such thoughts had been expelled from her thoughts with the snap of a twig.

Twirling around on the spot, Raina found that she now had some new company. Stood not too far away was an even familiar face, his mountainous build and shaggy blond hair also proved to be fair too familiar for Raina to have forgotten. She had seen him several times since her first night, but not once had they dared speak, or him having shown any signs of recognising her. But that had been alright with her. She hadn't made any effort to speak with him, nor had she spent any particularly long amount of time near him, so there had really been no reason for him to know her, at least not from a distance that is. Smiling softly at his presence, Raina found she was only greeted with a stern nod as he approached. "Ray," He stated, his northern accent seeping through his words, "The King wishes to speak with you." He said bluntly, barely looking at her. Nodding slowly in understanding, Raina stood slowly, eying the man in front of her with curiosity. How long had it been? She could remember the last time she saw him so vividly but she hadn't the slightest idea as to how long ago that had actually been when it felt as though it were yesterday. He hadn't changed much, save for the stubble growing on his jawline, and a small scar across his cheek. He must have acquired it during battle, but it did not discourage her, she knew who he was. She knew he was her brother. Finn. It had almost come as a shock to her that he beared no emotion towards her, but it was then she realised why. Ray, he had called her Ray, and that had only registered now. They all saw her as a boy, not just the King, but her own flesh and blood as well. That stung too, at least the King was equally as friendly towards her despite not knowing her real name or origins, but her brother of all people should recognise her at the very least.

Ray had been the name Robb and Jon had given to her when they were very young, Jon had said it sounded better, and suited her more, as well as being easier to say than Raina. She had stuck with it since then, demanding her siblings call her by it as well. Her sister, Esme, had never conformed, saying that it was too boyish, but her brothers had played along, finding they agreed with the bastard in that it was easier and suited her better. She had found herself hurt that her brother hadn't remembered that, or at least recognised it somewhat. Instead nothing about her phased him, instead he was as stone cold as he was with any other soldier. None of them were his little sister though, none of them had spent countless nights curled up together underneath beds swapping stories and sneaking treats from the kitchens. None of them had played jokes on their other siblings together, and hid in the trees surrounding Deadwood Motte when people came looking. None of them had tricked their Septons and Maesters and helped one another skip classes in order to practice sword fighting when they weren't supposed to.None of them missed each other when they were far apart. None of them were concerned for the other's safety each night. None of them had read to each other, or shared beds when they had bad dreams or couldn't sleep. None of them had cried together, laughed together and fought together, in the course of one day. None of them were brother and sister. Not like these two were. Or at least they were supposed to be.

Following Finn back towards the camp, neither one said a word to one another, only listening to the crunch of leaves and twigs beneath their feet as they headed towards the blazing light coming from several lit fires around the camp. Finn continued on through the range of tents, leading towards the King's own. He left not long after reaching it, not acknowledging Raina before walking away, instead leaving her all alone. She wasn't sure what she was supposed to do from there, finding she could not knock on the flimsy fabric, and was afraid of barging in, in case it would be considered rude. Deciding on the latter, she simply entered, finding the King lent over a large table in the middle of the tent, a map strawn across it. The map was clearly of Westeros, and on it was little figurines with different emblems, some of which seemed very familiar to Raina. "Your Grace," She stated quietly, standing in the entrance, hoping not to startle him. Robb looked up slowly, smiling slightly at his new company. Ushering her in, Robb moved from the table, standing up straight in front of Raina who had now moved further inside. "Ray," Robb nodded, before continuing to speak at a slow pace. "I was wondering where you'd gotten to," He chuckled softly, easing into whatever he clearly wished to say. "I stepped away for a moment..." Raina said quietly, hoping that she would not be in trouble for it, though considering the King's light-hearted mood she highly doubted that she would be. "I don't blame you. I merely wish to ask something of you and then you may go," Robb stated sharply, returning to the business as hand.

"You are a good fighter. I have seen it first hand," He laughed, "And i would be honored if you would ride at my side tomorrow morning, on the road to The Twins?"  Turning to face Raina, he must have been greeted with a slightly stunned expression. Robb wished to have her at his side. Raina tried not to think too much into it, but she struggled. Robb, the King, wanted little old her at his side on the way to The Twins. She couldn't quite piece together why he would wish for her company, but decided against questioning it. Instead she simply nodded, speaking small words, "Your Grace, it would be a pleasure," She smiled brightly, proud of herself and thrilled at the prospect. Beyond their brief fighting sessions, this would be the only time Raina would spend with Robb in the weeks to come, and any moments like that she wished to cherish. Even if they weren't meant as anything, or didn't mean anything to Robb. They meant something to her.

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