All That You Conquered Was Already Yours, Part 1/??,
for my bb’s Vassiliki, Steph, and Dev. Enjoy, bb’s! I love you three sfm for your hand-holding and squeeing with me over this pairing!! <3! (Title comes from the lyrics of Halou’s The Ratio of Freckles to Stars)
It is not as cold as it used to be, but she supposes that the coming of spring will do that, even up here in the chilly north. Still, she is bundled in several layers of fur (not for her safety, but rather for that of another).
Her brother is taking another turn in the training yard with her. While the rest of the men are busy eating dinner in the hall, she and her last sibling link their elbows and reminisce. It has become something of a daily routine now, and Sansa finds that she looks forward to it (one of the highlights of her day, but not the highlight).
“I should bring you back to Winterfell,” Jon is saying. “It won’t be long now until the fighting is done, and then I must-”
She shakes her head. “I can take care of myself, brother.”
He turns to her, eyes observant. “I know that, Sansa. But the road is no place for you to be traveling alone.”
Sansa places a protective hand over her stomach. “I will not be alone, Jon.”
He gives her a look of patient exasperation. “You know what I mean, sister.”
“Very well. If it pleases you thus and the men don’t complain about their Lord Commander being absent, then-”
He beams at her, as though she has granted him some sort of special present. “Thank you, Sansa.”
She realizes then how much both of them have missed Winterfell, more than they have been able to say, and thinks of how she cannot wait to set it back to rights and see it restored. “We are fortunate that Queen Daenerys has-“
“Lord Commander!” Dolorous Edd rushes towards them. “Lord Commander, we have visitors, sent from King’s Landing. They-”
They both stopped short. “What is it that they want?” Jon asks, a frown on his face.
Edd’s eyes flicker to her and then back so quickly that Sansa might have missed it if she hadn’t been paying attention. “They are inquiring as to whether the claims that-”
“What do they want with me?” Sansa straightens, her eyes cool. She might have been afraid, once, but those days are gone.
The two men share a glance, and Jon inclines his head. Edd opens his mouth. “My lady, I am not sure if you would like to be present-“
Sansa can hear the bustle - men shouting and horses neighing - and knows that the visitors will be upon them soon enough. Besides, she will not longer be a frightened lady who runs away in terror. “Bring them here.”
Jon squeezes her hand, as though to give her strength. “You are sure about this, sister?” He will only ask her once, for he knows that she will be angered if he is to inquire twice.
“A Stark of Winterfell does not run, Jon. Come, take another turn with me while we wait.”
They have made two and a half turns around the yard (not that she’s keeping count), their back to the large doors, when a familiar voice calls out, “Lord Commander!”
Sansa’s face betrays her panic for a moment, but Jon notes that it is gone almost as quickly as it has come. He feels a rush of pride go throughout him. This is my sister, and we are of the North. “Whom am I receiving?” he replies, although he knows very well who their visitor is.
“You have the pleasure of speaking to Jaime.”
“Jaime?” Sansa has an amused expression on her face.
“Of House Lannister, Lord of Casterly Rock and Warden of the-”
“Lord Jaime?” Sansa turns around, her smile widening. “Not Ser Jaime?”
Jon wants to ask what game Sansa is playing at - she knows very well that Jaime is no longer a knight of the Kingsguard (she more than anyone, especially since she wed him) - but he thinks that he knows, so he says nothing.
Jaime stops in his tracks, the snow crunching softly against his boots. His green eyes flicker to Sansa’s face, as though he cannot quite believe what he is seeing. “It is true, then. What they have said.”
“Yes, it is quite cold on the Wall, is it not?” Sansa smiles again, but Jon can see that she is not the least bit amused. She looks as though she wants to hurl something at Lannister. “We must always take care to dress in plenty of furs if we don’t wish to freeze.”
Jaime is walking towards them, and she ignores how resplendent his cloak looks as it billows behind him. Do not look at him too long, she tells herself. Do so, and you are lost, for your eyes will betray you.
“Is there a reason that you have come?” Jon asks, breaking the silence.
Jaime’s eyes are cool, and his face is hard. “My lady, I am afraid that the tasks I have been given by the queen-”
Sansa laughs then - light and airy, one that makes Jon think of the simpering ladies at court (it does not sound like her, and she is putting on yet another mask). “Oh, but why should what the queen dictates to you be of any concern to us, my lord?”
“Sansa,” Jaime says, his voice soft (and perhaps a bit sad, too, she notes), but she cannot bear to look at him (the snow, her brother, the fires - anything but him). “Sansa, what are you doing here?”
She tenses (only slightly), but Jon’s elbow, interlinked with hers, tightens in reassurance. She look at her lord husband, and her eyes are cold. “I am sorry, my lord. I do not believe that we are acquainted.”
“Sansa,” Jaime’s brows are furrowed in concentration. “What game are you playing at, my lady?”
She puts a gloved hand on Jon’s arm. “Lord Commander.”
“I do believe I have grown weary. Be generous and escort a lady back to her chambers, will you?”
He looks at his sister, sees that she is trying her best not to smile (and it makes him want to smile, but he can’t, not now), and nods. “As my lady commands.”
“Sansa,” Jaime says, and Jon can hear the strain in his voice. “I am your lord husband, and would ask that you return with me to-”
“I do despise men who try to order me about.” Sansa gives him a frosty glance. “It is rather rude, don’t you think, Lord Commander?”
Jon nods at the men who have just emerged from the hall, and they come rushing forward. “Come, now. Don’t bother the lady-”
Jaime’s own men start forward as well, but Sansa pays them no heed, for she is already making her way inside.
“Let her be,” Tyrion says as he walks up to his brother, nodding at their men to restrain him. “Let her be, Jaime.”
“Sansa!” Jaime is shouting now (Tyrion notes that there is anguish in Jaime’s voice, but then again, his brother has never been very good at concealing his passions), not caring what kind of spectacle he might cause. “Sansa, what have they done to you-”
I am of the North, my lord husband, Sansa thinks to herself. They have done nothing to me, it is you and yours in the South who have made me this way.