The End of an Age

The Night that Lacked Sleep

“The eyes of a raven will always be better than yours, and when you fail, the raven will poke them out until you either bleed to death or learn to see.”

Piper wanted to be able to see. She was trained to see, to perceive, to discern. But not recently. Her eyes failed her. Her wits failed her. And as she laid in the darkness, even her dreams failed her.

The scene played over and over in her mind. She was bold and reckless. Some of Robert’s traits were rubbing off on her. Perhaps they were always there, but he just brought them out more. Not necessarily a bad trait to have when you are faced with battle and told that the fate of the world was on your shoulders. But still… she should have waited to send Quark to distract the idiots. And they were just that: cowardly idiots. And yet her overconfidence blinded her vision. She knew Robert and Ned were far away. She knew she and Gavin could not take on the three men, no matter how small their intellect may have been. Maybe she put too much faith in Gavin. Gavin was talented; there was no doubt, but still just a kid. And as she found out, she too was just a kid. Just a stupid, little, brash child that would not listen to reason. Just a “low base, idiotic spawn.” The venom Tierion spit at her that night still festered in her mind.

She shifted in her sleep. He kicked her in the back. She made more room.

The archer knocked the arrow at Quark. Piper’s heart stopped. No matter how much she hated Quark because he reminded her of Tierion every day, Quark saved her so many times. No matter how annoying his constant demand for corn became, Quark was there for her as she trudged through the North alone after Tierion left her. She missed the North so much. To not even acknowledge its existence was the hardest part. No one knew how gorgeous the snows were. How beautiful the valleys were. How fucking stubborn the people were.

She shifted in her sleep. He kicked her in the back. She made more room.

She has done so much to these friends: it was amazing they even still tolerated her existence. Within that tolerance, Piper came to realize how weak she was. Ned with his never failing honor and loyalty. For some reason, he still talked to her. For all the injustices she did in front of his eyes, he still found room somewhere in his heart to forgive her. No doubt his honor sometimes was his weakness, but he was the reason she stood alive today. When the oaf held the sword to her neck, it was Ned’s honor and courage that saved her. Why he even still tolerated her, she will never understand. Now the book and the breastplate were gone because of her. Just a “low base, idiotic spawn.”

She shifted in her sleep. He kicked her in the back. She made more room.

Robert. Without him, she wouldn’t be with them, or even alive. His honor and loyalty to her was just as fierce as Ned’s was to the realm. Perhaps that is why Ned and Robert were best friends. No matter how many times they fought with each other, no matter how many times one became frustrated with the other, they both held honor and loyalty high, but in different regards. Robert was more like her. Willing to take the risks to get what was needed. She saw the fury in his eyes as she kneeled there helpless. She saw the madness that overtook him as he chased after the idiots. Not only did she lose the breastplate, she thought she lost him as he galloped away, Canis nipping at the horse’s heels. Her heart broke, as it did when he fell the day she stole the book. “And that is why, Piper, you will be the best Northern Warder, perhaps even greater than me, when you decide to pull your head from your ass.”

And Gavin… she was still so unsure about the boy. She saw so much of herself in Gavin it was frightening. “That’s right you stay silent, child. Speak when you’re spoken to. Words are sharper and much deadlier than swords in the right situations. In this situation, your words brought the sword. You are the stupidest child I have ever known. Must be that fool of a father of yours.” And now he was the Speaker. The voice of the Jarl. Such a weight for such a child. And yet in a way they were all children, and she was no exception. And yet, she held nothing but confidence in Gavin. Contempt at first, as he turn and ran as the men surrounded her. ‘He’s leaving me to die,’ she thought as he fled. But it was Gavin’s fast thinking, and even faster feet, that saved her in the end. Just a “low base, idiotic spawn.”

“You think the men will follow you just because you say you are the leader of the Northern Warders? I’VE been fighting alongside of them! You’re still just that stupid little girl I left crying. You’re still a failure.” I never cried. Not once did I cry. A true woman of the North would never cry. But yet there she was, in her dreams, huddle in the corner crying as Tierion stood over her, shoving venom down her throat. But she was a failure. The Jarl made Tierion’s words sting even further. Gavin was given the honor of being the Jarl’s new Speaker. Ned became the Jarl’s Thane and protector of his realm. Robert, the “Bloodless,” the brash and the bold, given back his prized manticor egg in order to raise it. And Piper? Ned ASKED what should be her gift. The Jarl ASKED what she wanted from him. The Jarl did not give her anything at first because she earned nothing. She was ashamed upon Ned’s request. She was embarrassed. She asked for nothing because she did nothing. Yes, she successfully trailed the idiots after the drug drop off, which in turned lead to the former Speaker’s demise. But what did she do in reality? She stole a priceless book for money, for a group she so desparately wanted to create and then promptly abandoned to come to this forsaken place, off of the only true friends she ever had. She got herself caught. Her head was not worth the price of that breastplate. Gavin had every right to leave her…Ned should have killed her a long time ago… and Robert should have let her die… She caused them nothing but trouble. Just a “low base, idiotic spawn.”

She shifted in her sleep. He kicked her in the back. She made more room as she left.

Comments

I havent read this yet, but I’m totally gonna punch you for the title. =P

The Night that Lacked Sleep
 

=[….i cried.

The Night that Lacked Sleep
 

I don’t have words for how awesome that was, Becky. I honestly keep yelling at Dakoda to hurry up with his so he can read it. :] Erick has a rough act to follow.

The Night that Lacked Sleep
 

Way to god mode and decide what Mike’s character did for him….

Just k. That was incredible. I had no idea Piper was so torn! I just desperately want to see that emotion come out in game! But I know that’s almost exactly the point, that she, like Ender, will only ever cry silently by herself when no one can here (Battle School Ender, that is)

The Night that Lacked Sleep
Becky1337

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