I was originally going to organize this challenge in a logical fashion until I remembered how badly I’ve wanted an excuse to write Night’s Watch!Vincent because I feel like it would be a role that suits him really well, and it would probably be the only place in Westeros where he’d have a hope of being able to be a guy without being suspected/reviled/not taken seriously. idk the idea is that he isn’t actually a bastard, but he took Snow for his surname because he wanted to cut ties to the family that adamantly raised him as a girl and tried to marry him off before he ran away—better an unwanted boy than a desperately wanted girl.
“You know nothing, Vincent Snow,” she says, not unkindly. You have never met anyone like her, hair as white as yours is black, your breath intermingling in the air with hers. Yarden whuffles at her hand by your side, and the girl is wholly nonplussed by the sight of a direwolf.
Her name is Alice, a surprisingly normal name for a surprisingly normal girl. You walk with her because you have no choice, because she is somewhere else to run. You’ve been a ranger long enough to know the bare bones of wilding customs, and you can only hope she doesn’t mean to take you to husband because you tackled her into the ground in a fit of fear.
“I’d thought you were a brother,” you mumble by way of explanation. In her powder-blue cloak and white furs, she has the grace not to point out how lacking your excuse is. Still, when she puts a hand on your shoulder, you shift away immediately. She’s in for a sore disappointment—if there is one thing you’ve ever excelled at, it’s being a disappointment. “I swore an oath,” you remind her, a highly convenient oath.
“Was that before or after you turned your cloak?” Again, there is no malice in her voice, only a wholesome sort of curiosity that you would never expect from a wildling, even one as strange as her.
“They would tell you it was never my cloak to turn,” you say shortly.
“No? Did you steal it off someone else, then?”
“I earned it, same as any other man,” and you did—they were eager enough for you then, with a sword in your hand and bandages laboriously wound across your chest.
“So why run?” You have no answer for that one, save that it’s what you’ve always done. You are no soft southron lady (no lady at all), and so you went north solely because it remains the easiest way to convince those you’ve left behind that you’re dead. “Nobody will find you.” You stop there in the snow, frowning.
“How would you know that?” She glances skywards with a slightly exasperated pout, and you notice that her eyebrows and eyelashes are pure white as well, snowflakes across her face.
“You truly do know nothing,” Alice repeats, “You don’t think you came across me by chance, do you?” You wait, increasingly abashed by your continual hostility in the face of her unending patience.
“Perhaps I do know nothing, then.” She smiles.
“I was coming south.”
“To the Wall?” You’ve heard whispered reports not meant for your ears that wildlings were fleeing some cold beyond the power of any warmth, but it has never been anything for you to put stock in. At your side, Yarden whines, and you reach a hand into the thick ruff of black fur at her neck to soothe her. Alice shakes her head.
“For you, fool of a Sworn Brother—Anya dreamt it, and so I came to fetch you.”
“You came looking for a deserter based upon a dream?” It’s thin ice for her to skate upon, and you find yourself wondering if you’ve just opened a crock of wildling superstition. At least she doesn’t call you “crow”, for all that you look like one, black on black with red eyes.
“It was a green dream,” as if a tale you were told at some disapproving nanny’s knee explains everything perfectly, “She also told me to pass along that you should have no fear of being found by those seeking you.”
“You found me,” you point out wryly.
“Then you wanted to be found.”
That is that, apparently, and so you follow her without noticing that you leave no footprints in the freshly-fallen snow.