sentential: (jon/robb (game of thrones))
[personal profile] sentential
title: a star that exploded
fandom: Game of Thrones
pairing: Jon/Robb
rating: PG-13
summary: In some worlds they get to be together. In some worlds there's only one kiss. In some worlds no-one says a word.
spoilers/notes: Written as an antidote to never tell the one you want that you do, a ficlet I posted yesterday in which Jon and Robb - as in the show - fail to get their happy ending. In this one, they get more endings than I can count and only some of them are sad. Title from that Lawrence Krauss quote. Alternative title is "the most poetic thing I know about physics". Warning for incest. 942 words.



There are worlds where Jon Snow and Robb Stark are sharing a bed at Winterfell, huddled close together for warmth. When winter comes, another human body, pressed to yours, is an invaluable heat source. In one world, Robb Stark snuggles up against Jon and kisses the space between his neck and his shoulders. In another, their legs are interlocked beneath the layers of wool and furs.

There are worlds where Jon Snow tries to run away from Winterfell. In every one of them Robb Stark tries to track him down. In most of them, he succeeds. In one world, he runs out of the gates after Jon and keeps running until he catches up with him than a mile from the castle. He wrestles Jon to the ground. He kisses him. He says “You can’t.” They walk back to Winterfell close together, shoulders bumping together, and they tell no-one about Jon’s attempt to run away and never speak of how Robb convinced him to come home.

There are worlds where Robb Stark finds his brother, dejected in the yard, and sits next to him in silence until Jon is ready to talk. There’s a world where Jon Snow never says a word. There’s a world where Robb takes Jon by the hand and leads him inside in silence.

There are worlds where Robb asks Jon what’s wrong and Jon kisses him. There is a world where Robb Stark pushes him away. There is a world where someone sees. There is a world where Robb Stark reaches up to tuck Jon’s hair behind his ear, looks into his eyes and kisses back and another where he pushes his brother up against the wall.

For every world where Robb buries his fingers in Jon’s hair when they kiss, there’s a world where Jon’s hand finds the back of Robb’s neck and pulls him in closer.

For everyone world where Robb doesn’t know what Jon means when he says “Robb, I—”, there’s a world where he knows exactly what Jon wants to say and why he can’t say it and he answers with actions instead of words.

There are some worlds where Robb Stark and Jon Snow don’t exist, and some where only one of them does. In worlds where only one exists, the other isn’t quite the same.

For every Jon Snow, there is a Robb Stark, but sometimes they are in different universes and sometimes they are just torn apart by chance and circumstance.

There is a world where Robb Stark finds out that Jon is out there somewhere, that his father had sent the boy away at his mother’s behest, and he searches him out. Jon looks just like Ned, only he’s beautiful, and he has this smile that Robb hadn’t expected. Robb takes Jon back to Winterfell and tries to offer him everything he has without saying that that’s what he’s doing.

There are worlds where they have different names. There is a world where Jon Snow does not have a bastard’s name. He is Jon Snow and he is not Jon Snow.

There is a world where Jon Snow is heir to Winterfell and lives to be the Lord of Winterfell. He is a good lord and just. When Robb visits him there, he tells Jon Snow this and wants to tell him other things as well - but doesn’t.

There are worlds where Jon Snow is a sworn brother of the Night’s Watch and then there are worlds where he is not. There is a world where he almost became one but Robb said “I need you by my side” and that was enough. There is a world where Jon went beyond the Wall to say his vows and Robb came after him, almost too late. Robb didn’t say anything when he reined up his horse near the heart tree but when Jon looked at him, he knew what Robb’s being there meant, and he didn’t say his vows.

There are worlds where Jon Snow is a deserter who leaves the Night’s Watch to fight at his brother’s side. There are worlds where Jon Snow is a deserter and comes to Robb Stark in the night and Robb sends him back to the Wall, says “we can’t, Jon, we can’t” but lets him stay until dawn anyway. There are worlds where they die, side by side. There are worlds where they fight the war and win. There is a world where Robb is King and Jon commands his armies and Robb doesn’t care that people look at them sometimes as if they know more than they should.

There are worlds where they live apart for years and worlds where they live and die together. There are worlds where things are said and worlds where they are unsaid.

There is a world where Jon Snow writes a letter and burns it. There is a world where Robb Stark writes a letter and sends it but the raven never arrives.

There is a world where he almost says it. There is a world where no-one says anything.

There is a world where everyone in Winterfell knows and no-one says a word and one where it’s all anyone talks about.

In one world, Robb Stark and Jon Snow embrace so hard that it hurts and then Robb Stark walks away. In another, he looks back and sees the way Jon’s eyes have followed him. It’s enough to make Robb walk back across the yard toward Jon even though he has no idea what he’s going to say. He only knows that he can’t let Jon leave. In that world, Jon doesn’t leave.

Date: 2011-08-17 12:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youtoxic.livejournal.com
Omg, I'm getting all teary-eyed now. Really love this. Just read the previous one and this was a good antidote. <3<3<3

Date: 2011-08-17 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I'm really glad you liked it. One day, I will manage to write an unrepentently fluffy piece about these boys but, for now, this is the best I can do. Thanks for reading and commenting! ♥

Date: 2011-08-17 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachel2205.livejournal.com
Go then; there are other worlds than these. *hat-tip to the Dark Tower*

Oh, boys. This is what fanfic is, isn't it? We are like that time traveller who stands on a butterfly in prehistory and returns to find his world utterly changed. We see a moment and take it somewhere else, into uncharted waters. It can be as different as our frantic foolish AU Jon/Robb escapades or it can be as small as a world where Robb looks back. But with all of them, we rebuild.

Lovely, darling. Thank you. <3

Date: 2011-08-17 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I've not read the Dark Tower but I whole-heartedly approve of that quote.

It's exactly what fanfic is! It's all these possible worlds built on that one line in canon, or a look, or something that goes unsaid, and the urge to explore the what if that those things offer us a glimpse of. Sometimes the stories we see are legitimate possibilities for the life of the characters behind-the-scenes, and sometimes they become outrageous extrapolations about what would happen in another setting and the characters end up being self-indulgent LJers with ridiculous friends.

I'm really glad that you liked it. Thank you for your lovely comment. ♥

Date: 2011-08-19 11:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachel2205.livejournal.com
The Dark Tower is, more or less, amazing. The worldbuilding is just phenomenal. TBH I'm far more committed to DT world than to ASOIAF, but like many of the books I love most I'd never feel inclined to write fanfic for it... You should give it a try.

I'd love people to use this fic as prompts to write other Robb/Jon ficlets. Spilling ever-outward from the centre! :)

Date: 2011-08-19 11:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I may have to check it out at some point. I should probably start doing actual course-related reading some time soon though. Eek.

That would be so amazing. I already feel as though this fic refers back to a couple of things I've written. (Why am I now imagining some kind of mad hypertext of this fic with links to all these 'verses in it? Oh my brain.)

Date: 2011-08-19 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rachel2205.livejournal.com
That would be amazing! Your story could both be story AND wiki!! PROJECT ALERT.

Date: 2011-08-19 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
Now I am imagining writing a version of this fic which is actually just a set of links to every Jon/Robb fic ever. dflksgh. What is this project idea? What is it?

Date: 2011-08-17 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veritas-st.livejournal.com
Oh holy crap you madfe me cry...at work.

Thank you SOOO much for writing this.

I have no gif...

Date: 2011-08-17 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I'm sure I should be apologising for making you cry at work but I am mostly just so pleased that you were drawn into all the possible lives these boys might have together.

Thank you so much for reading & leaving such a lovely comment. ♥

There is no gif for the love of these boys - it transcends universes. (:

Date: 2011-08-18 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veritas-st.livejournal.com
Its ok...my desk has a divider around it so no one could see me, so I dont mind crying!

It really does transcend *sobs*

this though...THIS is gorgeous...

For every world where Robb buries his fingers in Jon’s hair when they kiss, there’s a world where Jon’s hand finds the back of Robb’s neck and pulls him in closer.

Date: 2011-08-18 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
That's alright then. (:

Those boys. It's enough to make my lip tremble and my eyes mist up.

I actually added that line whilst I was editing so I'm really glad it didn't feel out-of-place or anything. I think what I wanted to convery was that there's this equilibrium there, a tug of desire which is equal in both directions and a shared agency, too.

Date: 2011-08-19 09:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veritas-st.livejournal.com
No defo doesn't feel out of place, it works perfectly, just slots nicely in there like it had been there the whole time.

Date: 2011-08-17 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devymel12.livejournal.com
Fffffuuu tears in my eyes, this is flawless.

Date: 2011-08-17 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading & commenting. ♥

Date: 2011-08-17 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mlekopijca.livejournal.com
And here I am, crying again. The angsty part is still winning with the happy part.

I thought once about a fic, where Jon was Ned's heir, and Robb was son of Catelyn an Brandon Stark. Even prompted it. I love many-worlds, good old Everett's theory. Even if there is a world, where Jon deserted and Robb had to kill him for it.

Will be back, now work to do.

Date: 2011-08-17 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I'm so sorry for making you cry again!

I think I saw that the fic got written during the [livejournal.com profile] hbo_gotfiction challenge. It would definitely change a lot of things but I think that, somehow, the boys would still be the same. I want to hope that, if Jon deserted, Robb would make him go back to the Wall rather than kill him because Robb having to do that just breaks my heart more than I can bear.

Good luck with your work. Thank you so much, again, for reading & commenting. ♥

Date: 2011-08-17 07:10 pm (UTC)
ext_128890: (Richard Madden)
From: [identity profile] fluffygremlin.livejournal.com
These were both just gorgeous. This one beautifully underscores everything I love about fanfiction.

Date: 2011-08-18 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
That is such an amazing compliment. Fanfiction definitely gives us the power to trace all sorts of possible lives for the characters and that's why I love it so much, too. Thanks for reading and commenting. ♥

Date: 2011-08-18 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] between-2-lungs.livejournal.com
this was unbelievable. so perfect. i got teary eyed just reading it. you are so talented

Date: 2011-08-18 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I am so glad that you liked it & so flattered that you think I'm talented. My apologies for the teary eyes - I think this ship does that to a lot of people. (: Thank you for reading & commenting. ♥

Date: 2011-08-19 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] midnightblack07.livejournal.com
omgosh this is so beautiful and touching and just all the things I want in a fic <33

You have such a wonderful grasp of the two of them and their context and just--I'm kinds speechless right now tbh lol =|

In another, he looks back and sees the way Jon’s eyes have followed him. It’s enough to make Robb walk back across the yard toward Jon even though he has no idea what he’s going to say. He only knows that he can’t let Jon leave. In that world, Jon doesn’t leave.

THIS IS THE WORLD I WANT TO SEE =( </3

Date: 2011-08-19 11:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sentential.livejournal.com
I am so, so glad that you liked the fic.

THIS IS THE WORLD WE ALL WANT THEM TO LIVE IN. ALL THE TIME. </3 Thank you for reading & leaving such a lovely comment. &hearts;

Date: 2011-09-20 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] loneohone.livejournal.com
In a few sentences you have almost all the AU's we could hope for. My favorite is "There is a world where everyone in Winterfell knows and no-one says a word" In that world Robb could marry and have heirs, and still have Jon. Very nice.

Date: 2011-11-25 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamclx.livejournal.com
I read it before I went to sleep so I slept with a wet pillow. It's so beautiful and touching and sentimental and... I don't know. I just read it again and again with tears in my eyes. The two boys broke my heart. I love this fic so much.

I really want to share it with those who cannot read English. I wonder if I can have your permission to translate it into Chinese and post the translation in a private forum?

In any case, thanks for your gorgeous work!
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