"Hey. What are you smiling about over there?"
Mya's voice pulls Sansa from the little world she slipped into, staring down at her tumblr app, as she sipped her frozen mocha frap over the lunch break she's taken at her desk, so that she can catch up on the fashion blog side project her director has suggested she pursue. Doing a good job on that is more important to her than getting away from the office for an hour, but that doesn't mean she didn't want to sneak a peek at her phone to see if anyone wrote her. There's usually at least one text or PM that she'd hate to miss, and waiting until after work to respond sometimes feels like a lifetime, no matter how much she enjoys her new job.
"Oh, nothing," she says, letting the phone rest in the hammock of her skirt, Jon's reblog with added comment staring up at her.
Her fellow intern gets a wicked gleam in her eye that Sansa knows means trouble, but it's not warning enough. Mya is quick and brash and likes nothing more than to tease, something Sansa learned not long after her internship started in the winter. They might both be interns, but Mya is older, she's been at this job longer, and she's not afraid of anyone or anything. And this time Sansa isn't quick enough. There's no chance to lock her phone to keep its secrets hidden before Mya leans across the narrow walkway space between their desks and snatches it up with a triumphant grin.
It's not her prettiest smile, all teeth and a wrinkled nose, but Mya really is lovely. Sansa would love to dress Mya up in something from her own closet, because she thinks she'd be a real knockout in a dress and a pair of heels, something blue to match her eyes, but she doesn't really need a makeover. Mya's style just runs rather counter to her own. It's all buttoned up, tailored menswear with Mya, but it suits her, as much as her pixie hair cut and thick rimmed glasses do. She doesn't need to dress like anything but herself to come back on Monday morning with a handful of blush worthy stories to share from Saturday night. There are guys that go for that look and that kind of boldness. Sansa thinks she probably knows at least one.
"Tumblr?" Mya asks, her dark brows drawing together in a v, as she lets the hand drop that she was holding out to thwart any attempt to take back the phone. The blue light of the screen casts its light on her face, as she brings it closer to her nose in puzzled disbelief. "You've been smiling at tumblr like it's the light of your life for the last five minutes?"
Had she been? She's usually more guarded than that, but she lost herself for a moment.
Sansa wets her lips and shrugs. "I was just checking up on my dash."
Checking up on Jon. She follows back every person that is nice enough to follow her, which means her dash is full of television shows and movies she's never seen, dogs and cats looking cute and being silly, and song lyrics from every song in the top 40. It's too much to ever keep track of, but she always checks in on Jon. They didn't spend every single day together before she started her internship. But there were plenty of long days and more late nights when they were together, most of which has dried up with their schedules not being copasetic anymore. Even her weekends are full with fashion events she's happy to attend, and that only leaves the occasionally shared family meal and sometimes a haphazard Saturday night spent in, watching movies.
She misses him. Or them. Or whatever. Enough that sometimes she can't fall asleep at night and considers texting him to come up and keep her company, because she knows he's awake too. But anytime she thinks of telling him that, she remembers that weird feeling from Christmas, when everything went topsy-turvy between them alone in the kitchen, and she wonders if a little distance isn't what they both needed.
"I thought it was a guy," Mya says with an exaggerated pout, as she moves her finger slowly down the screen.
"It's not. There's no guy. I am so single. I would tell you if I was dating someone."
She would too. Mya has become one of her best friends. With things kind of weird with Margaery and Jeyne away at school, it's really nice to have a girlfriend around again. They're different, but they clicked, mostly because Mya made such an effort to make her feel welcome here and show her the ropes, which she really didn't have to do. She's not just a work friend, she's a real friend. Sometimes they go out for drinks and Mya takes her to hip places she'd never be brave enough to go alone.
"Good. You better. Although, stick with being single. A little harmless flirtation is where the fun is." Mya's recommended that tactic before, but Sansa's no good at flirting in bars. She feels too exposed when strangers approach her, and she ends up being frosty and reserved. "Boyfriends are useless. They're all liars, you know. Or they end up leaving you," Mya says, swiveling her chair around to face Sansa's desk.
Sansa's about to object, because while she might have agreed a year ago and given up on men as a species, the last year has made her rethink her uncharacteristically negative viewpoint. There are good guys out there. At least a few. But her objection dries up when Mya goes uncomfortably still, the bounce of her foot stopping.
"Who's The Ghost of Jon Snow then?"
Mya puts air quotes around Jon's tumblr username with one hand, and Sansa reaches for her frap, so as to avoid Mya's pointed, You're Busted look.
She could flip out. Or she could act totally unfazed, which seems like the wiser choice if she wants to avoid further teasing. "I've mentioned Jon."
It's stupid to feel this creeping embarrassment that makes her body feel twitchy and her cheeks hot. It's not as if she's been caught doing anything wrong. But she still misses her straw with her mouth and has to try again before taking a too big sip that goes straight to the brain.
"Yes. Jon," Sansa says, swirling her straw between pinched fingers, while blinking back the brain freeze that crowds into her vision and up the back of her skull.
"Now I know why you were smiling to yourself. He thinks very highly of you," Mya singsongs. "Oooh, you should run the company, Sansa."
When she saw that Jon said in that comment that she should be running the company, it make her smile even though it's not the first time he's said as much. It's just one of those too sweet things he sometimes says, which he probably believes on some ridiculous level. Ridiculous or not, it always feels good, making something warm spread throughout her chest.
"Not that he's wrong. At least you're not an insufferable bitch with terrible taste," Mya adds with a wink.
Sansa shushes her, afraid someone might hear Mya's commentary on their executive editor and not take it as it is playfully intended, and then holds out her hand. Hopefully Mya has grown tired of her little game of playing iPhone detective. But she ignores her and Sansa wiggles her fingers in a vain attempt to draw her attention.
"It's nothing, okay? He's just teasing me."
"Have you got a picture of him on this?"
Mya sits slightly forward in her chair, hunching over the phone, her finger sliding from left to right. It would probably end in an inelegant and unprofessional struggle, but Sansa feels the urge to lunge for the phone. There are pictures of Jon on there. Several. Including a couple of goofy selfies of the two of them in which he is doing his best to appear put out by her insistence to capture the moment. She doesn't want Mya to find them. She doesn't know how she'd deal with an inspection of what suddenly feels very private.
Instead she acts bored, pulling back her hand and examining her fingernails with a sigh. "You don't have to go hunting. His picture is his blog icon."
"Oh, duh," Mya says, but then immediately frowns as her finger hovers. "It's too damn small to tell anything."
"What are you trying to tell?"
Mya kicks one leg out, pointing her shiny, oxford shoe toe at Sansa. "Is he a preppy fashion plate like you? Bow ties and seersucker pants or what?"
"Hardly. Jon rocks a hoodie and t-shirts. That's about the extent of it."
"Pants too, I hope," Mya says without inflection. "Otherwise that could be really distracting."
Sansa doesn't rise to the bait, reaching for her mouse and opening up a file she has going of some inspiration pictures for the blog, all refreshingly cool or warm and sharp for summer.
"Does he have curly hair?" she asks, squinting at the phone.
"Shit. That's not good."
"Why is that not good?" Sansa asks, knowing she sounds just shy of annoyed at Mya's pronouncement.
First her mother and now Mya. Jon has nice hair. It's soft and when it's rumpled in the morning it makes her smile.
"Because curls," she says with a pitiful groan.
Maybe Mya doesn't hate the hair either, which makes more sense. Her taste in fashion is flawless. Her taste in men shouldn't be totally suspect either. Superficially it's all aesthetics.
"You gotta find someone else to swoon over. That would be a Grade A mess, honey."
"I wasn't swooning. I was checking up on my dash like I said."
"Oh it was a swoon." Mya circles her hand in front of her face. "You had this stupid look on your face. All lovey-dovey."
Arya would stick her tongue out if Sansa ever dared suggest her sister's face was anything other than stony while reading texts from her friend Gendry, but that's not really an option here at work, where Sansa really wants to be seen as professional even with a good friend like Mya. So she types nonsense on her screen, moving her fingers quickly, making as if she's so very busy.
"Everything you've told me about him sounds really sweet and all, but I'm going to tell you something I learned the hard way: don't hook up with somebody you live with. I shared this apartment with a bunch of people, and I ended up hooking up with my roommate Mychel. Huge mistake."
"Why?" Sansa asks, though she can guess why. But there's a pause, while Mya stares back at her expectantly, and she knows her response is required for Mya's older, wiser reveal of sisterly like advice.
"He ended up with another girl, some rich girl from uptown. It sucked. Hook up with someone you live with and when it flames out, you have to see them every damn day until the lease runs out. Since you live at home that would be one hell of a wait."
Mya doesn't know the half of it. Jon isn't some lodger, someone she shares an apartment with along with five other people. He's family.
"I'm not hooking up with Jon."
"Not now you're not, and if you're smart, not ever. Curls or no," she says, finally relinquishing the phone, by sliding it back to Sansa over the slick glass surface of her desk.
"It never even crossed my mind," Sansa insists.
Not even in her daydreams, when he offers to kiss her only the once for fun or something, some nonsense explanation she buys into way too quickly so she can see if his lips are as soft as they look or what his hands would feel like threaded through her hair.
Mya points at her. "You listen to what I say, missy. If you feel itchy, we'll go out and find some curly haired hottie for you to mess around with, but you don't go there. Understand?"
Sansa turns, eyes wide, head tilted, the picture of overstated sincerity. "Yes, Ms. Stone."
Yes, she understands all too well. A little distance. A little distance is good for them all.