Chapter Thirty Three::Rain

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A/N: I really enjoyed writing this chapter ;) hope you like it!!

The flames of melting candles flickered in the air, casting small shadows across the map strewn atop a wooden table within Robb's tent, which Raina had wasted a long while just looking at, not doing much else. Robb had been fiddling with figurines, that had been arranged atop the map, for quite some time, having Raina in his company and occasional receiving, when requested and when not, opinions of his strategies and plans for the war. Raina had not been in any battles yet, but knew a lot about tactics, something that she could aid Robb with if not the actual participation in the fight. However Robb had fallen silent, leaving the young girl sat quietly at the table, head resting against her arms as she watched the flames lick and twirl on their spires, their small embers illuminating sections of the table separately. She was bored. She wanted to go for a walk, or at the very least have a conversation with the man stood on the other side of the table, who had said nothing in several aching minutes. His glare remained fixated on the map in front of him, with his calloused hands resting in fists against the wooden surface, and with his lips pulled into a thin line as he frowned. He was clearly frustrated, and stressed, but failed to accept any help that might ease such things.

He allowed an aggravated groan to escape his mouth as he turned away from the table, a hand resting on his brow as he tried hard to think. Raina went to stand, wishing to comfort Robb in whatever way she could, but ceased to move. She decided it would be best to assist from afar, and not get in the King's way while he was thinking. He turned back around to her presently, looking just as tired and more annoyed than moments before, his eyes, instead of returning to their previous victim, landed on Raina. He gazed at her for a moment, something strange and unfamiliar lurking in his eyes before he bowed his head again, returning to the business at hand. Unaware of the breath she'd been holding, Raina stood shakily, before she stepped over to the tent's entrance, exhaling quietly and wishing to be distracted by the outside world, instead of the solitary confinement she had within the King's accommodation.

It was a cold day, one that had left the pair cooped up within the safety of the King's tent, in a futile attempt to protect against the winds haunting the Riverlands. The wind was not as strong as it had been in passing days, but was still cold enough to chill all the Stark soldiers to the bone. Raina included. Despite the cold, however, she still found serenity in the whirling breeze outside, that carried autumn leaves with it, and rolled the grey clouds further over head. "Horrible day?" The King inquired, his voice sounding tired, and less irritated. Raina turned around, spotting the King now hunched over the table, in the seat she'd just vacated, and a chalice of wine at hand. She couldn't blame him for needing a drink, it had been a hard week; it had been a hard war. And Robb needed something to take the edge off. "It isn't all bad," Raina replied cheerfully, stepping away from the open tent mouth, and into the warm glow of candlelight. Robb smiled harmlessly at her, his eyes lingering on her for longer than they had before, something different in his smile than Raina had seen recently. He seemed different as a whole. Something about the way he acted seemed like there was a constant pressure on him, except when around Raina. Whenever with her he seemed at ease, content and free of any stress; he looked at her longingly, a weird fondness in his gaze, and a genuine smile always upon his face when directed at her. He didn't even act this way with Talisa. Raina thought maybe it was due to them having been separated for so long, and Robb was merely embracing the company of an old friend, but it seemed more than just a friendly happiness, something Raina could not explain, or failed to recognise.

"You're unusually happy." Robb remarked, his smile broadening when she finally took the seat opposite him, at the table; the figurines had now been scattered to the side, giving the pair space to rest their arms, and for Robb to leave his now empty cup. "Perhaps you are just in the same, dull, mood." She retorted with a sly, proud, smirk, watching as Robb's face lit up with amusement, despite her insults. He nodded slowly, evidently agreeing with her statement, yet chuckled none the same. "I'm afraid being positive never settled as one of my traits, in the end." Robb replied coolly, fidgeting with his fingers like he always did as a child, a nasty habit he had gained that signalled when he was growing uncomfortable or anxious. As the conversation began to come to a close, the pair cast their eyes to the opening of the tent, which shivered beneath the harsh patter of rain that now pelted it continuously. The shower was not heavy, but abrupt, disturbing the otherwise peacefully grey landscape that had previously lay beyond the tent. Raina watched the ground grow wet, mud curdling with water as it landed on the trodden path, which now created small puddles and muddy indents that had not been there before. Raina always liked the rain, it came regularly in the North, and when lacking, Raina would always look forward to the next spell, when she could run outside and enjoy the cool air and relaxing feel of rain upon her face.

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