Summary: Sansa slips downstairs to work on him, convince him to stay.

Note: Part of the A City series.


If You Still Want Me

Sansa closes the door behind her in a soft snick, holding onto the doorknob until she's certain the door won't give her away. Making her way towards the bed that is lost in the darkness, she walks on her toes across the floor, the cool of the basement making her skin prickle. She doesn't need light: she knows where it is almost exactly, and all it takes is an outstretched arm to keep herself from banging her shinbone into the frame.

"You shouldn't sneak up on me when I'm sleeping," a rough voice says, as a hand closes around her wrist, making her jump. "Rule number one of PTSD."

Jon's sleep can be troubled. He tosses, he turns, he jerks, but he usually quiets when she curls in closer and speaks his name.

She slaps at his hand with the arm not trapped in his grip. "Faker. You're not asleep."

"Can't sleep," Jon says, pulling her into the bed with him with a low grunt.

She splays out over him, tucking her head into the crook of his neck, where he always smells so good after half a night's rest. Or no rest.

She can't get any sleep either. Not when she knows he's leaving tomorrow. The time has gone by too fast. They barely celebrated his plea bargain and now he's leaving her. It's hard to feel good about anything again, hard to keep that cheery smile firmly in place, knowing what's coming.

If it wasn't for the dark, he would see how red her eyes are. She excused herself after dinner. There were tears to be shed in the privacy of her room. She's played the supportive girlfriend, but with the hours ticking by, she feels compelled to do something to stop him. Convince him he's made the wrong decision.

She runs her hand up his chest, through the springy patch of hair, over hard muscle, and the scratchy growth of beard that creeps down his neck.

"Delay your flight for a week."

She can feel the roll of his Adam's apple beneath her fingertips.

Daddy says they'll come out to Michigan in July in time for the fourth. She'll stay for two weeks, three if she can make it work with the internship. Michigan has internet access. That's the argument she plans on using with the editor in charge of her new project. Why can't a fashion blog be run from Winterfell? The images don't download as fast on the Wi-Fi there, but they're just as good when they finally do. She could even work an angle while she's there: how to apply New York fashion to every style in Middle America.

"Delay it a couple of weeks and we can all go out to Michigan together, hmm?"

"This isn't a vacation for me."

"I know," she says, pressing a kiss to line of his jaw.

His head turns, his nose bumping her brow, and she can feel the puff of his breath against her skin and hear his thick swallow. "If I don't leave now, I won't ever leave."

"Good," she says, pushing up to climb atop him.

With her looking down at him, he resettles against the pillow. They watch each other in the darkness, still enough that the tick of his alarm clock sounds loud in her ears, counting down what little time they have left. Anyone that caught her in the stairwell at this hour would know what she was up to, so there's no pretense about how she came down her dressed in nothing but a white undershirt she stole from Jon a few weeks back. It stretches over her thighs, where she straddles his waist, and his fingers toy there, tugging at the fabric, brushing her cool skin.

He's always so warm. It feels so good to bring her naked body flush against his hot one. If he leaves, she can FaceTime him to tell him about her day on the cab ride home or whatever, but she won't feel how gentle he can touch her even with the tendons in his neck standing out, when he's underneath her with his control fraying.

"We won't have this," she says, sliding no more than an inch against his body, "if you go."

"Believe me, I know." Her eyes have adjusted enough that she can see that lopsided thing he does with his mouth, half smile, half frown.

"I don't want to be away from you. Not for weeks and weeks." Or months? Years? There's an open-endedness to this plan of his that is terrifying, and she grips him with her legs, drawing them in tight to his sides to feel him solid and real beneath her.

"I don't want to be away from you either."

He pushes up the hem of her t-shirt and his fingers find the little lacy edge of her panties, rubbing there in a sweet tease. Her heart is already beating too fast, tripping on anxiety built over hours, and instead of begging him to take them off, her mind catalogues questions she's never managed to ask.

"Did they ask you to go?" she asks. "My parents. Did they ask you to go away?" She wondered ever since Jon told her he was leaving. While imagining that her parents were working to keep them apart brought her no joy, knowing that it was Jon who decided to put all this distance between them made her feel insecure and unwanted. It led down a path to other more embarrassing questions.

"No. No one asked me."

Sansa traces his navel and then lower, following the black hair there. His muscles contract under her light touch and she can feel him through his boxer briefs, but she can't even thrill in the effect she has on him with her heart constricting and panic flooding her limbs. She wants to ask again. Was it my parents? So he has another chance to give the right answer and put an end to all this uncertainty.

He could stay and they could be happy. It should be as easy as that. For other people it's got to be that easy. Girl meets boy, girl falls in love with boy, boy loves girl, paparazzi couldn't care less, and they live happily ever after. Sansa wants her happily ever after ending. She was promised it in every Disney movie. Every book. Every rom com.

"There's no reason we can't be together at this point, Jon."

Mama looks away whenever Sansa curls into Jon's side, but that won't always be the case. Sansa won't always have to sneak down here to be with him, testing out the creak of a floorboard before committing her full weight to it. She won't worry about whether Osha is going to rat them out if they get carried away in here, because one day they'll have their own place. One day they'll come to family dinners together as a couple and no one will bat an eye. Everyone will be happy to see them. There will never be any choosing between her family and his, when it's the holidays. There will be no splitting up family time in order to keep the peace with a boyfriend and his demanding parents, and everyone will see how it's better that way.

This is the perfect ending. This is her happily ever. It is for all of them.

"We are together," he says, low and raspy, as his hands slip underneath her panties, palming her ass and rocking her more solidly into the cradle of his lap.

She likes the sound of his voice. Loves it. It sends whispery jitters up her spine, lighting her up like a flip of a switch. Loves the way he thrusts into her, despite the underwear in their way. It's like he can't help himself. She can't help herself either. Her body begins a traitorous response, a low pulse that urges her to move over him, to chase that feeling. It threatens to sweep away all the persuasive words she planned to use on him, when she came down here, but his restlessness, his shifting body and grasping hands, reminds her that she doesn't need words.

It seems like a terrible way to spend their newly won goodwill and grudging acceptance as a couple, living half way across the country from each other, when they could spend their nights like this. Always. "I don't want to keep us a secret," she says, insinuating a hand between them, touching him over his briefs.

She's proud of Jon. What happened over the past few months with the lawyers and new spots and nasty blogs didn't change that. If anything, it made her more certain, because he could have deserted her as things got difficult at home and out in the world, but he didn't. Never even acted like that was an option. He showed her yet again exactly what he's made of. He's strong and good and dependable, and Sansa wants all of that, thinks she deserves all of that. While their relationship might be shocking to the outside observer, she doesn't really care about anything other than being happy. That's what Jon makes her: so very happy. She thought it was the same for him.

"Not a secret," he says, his tongue darting out to wet his lips. "I just can't stay here."

"Why?"

"It's like I told you, honey." He's motionless underneath her, putting a sudden stop to the progression of her seduction. Maybe she spoke too sharply. Maybe she's not as much of an enticement as she thought.

"Tell me again," she insists, pressing down with the heel of her hand. The crowds, he said. The paparazzi. I need to get away. But all she heard was,I'm leaving you and I need you to be okay with that. And she's not. How can she be? She needs him. He needs her.

"Because I'm messed up and you're young and this is the only family I have, Sansa," he says, smoothing his hand over her leg, moving away from the crease of her thigh, not closer, which should be her least concern at this moment, but it's feels like a rejection. It feels like confirmation of her most personal fears.

Leaving off touching him in a stab of embarrassment, she wraps her arm around her middle. "What does my being young have to do with it? That didn't matter three months ago."

He sits up. She's jostled by the motion, almost flops over off him, until he loops his arms around her to draw her into his chest. A big, warm hand runs down the length of her back, as he sighs into her hair, and he hasn't said a word yet, but some of the dread leeches out of her. Jon's too good to take what he wants and then be done with her. It's not like that this time. It will never be like that again.

His nose draws a line along her shoulder, disturbing the fabric of his shirt. "It's me, not anything with you. I can't afford to screw this all up. I stay here and I don't know what happens."

Sansa hasn't envisioned anything other than forever for them. With so much at stake, she wouldn't have ever started anything if that wasn't the case. It makes her cringe that Jon can imagine something different. She stiffens in his arms, pulling back to tip her face down, away from him. Looking down at her upturned hands, she finds her voice. "You do think this was a mistake."

"No." His hands slide into her hair, his thumbs spanning her jaw to tilt her head up. "God, no."

He presses his forehead to hers, waits, and then touches his lips to hers. He pulls back before she has a chance to part her lips, to let his kiss scatter her thoughts.

"Not for me it isn't," he whispers, and she forces herself to look him in the eye. They're big and dark up close like this without any light to soften the grey of his irises. "I don't want to give you any reason to regret this, Sansa. I gotta get better."

She wants him here, where she can wrap her legs around the narrow of his hips or chase away his nightmares, when he needs it. She wants to sit on the toilet to watch him shave, while the smell of shaving cream fills the shower steamed room, so she can run a finger over his freshly smooth face. She wants to make him his lunch every day. She wants to see stupid summer movies with him and share a popcorn. She'll even take butter. She wants him within arm's reach to pet and kiss. But if he can't get better here, there's no hope for the rest of it.

She gives a little nod, and his mouth is on her again, insistent and as needy as she feels with him leaving her. His lips, his teeth, pull at her mouth, burn a path along her jaw, and fix on her neck where it's most sensitive, biting hard enough that she gasps, until they're both panting and she can feel the fast rise and fall of his chest against hers.

"I want to make you feel good," he says, hot against her ear, making her back arch from the promise of it. His hands run along the bottom of his t-shirt, tickling the skin of her lower back, and she wants to wriggle free of the it and her panties and strip him of his black boxer briefs. "Okay?"

It's more than okay, but she still needs to hear what she feels unspoken in this desperate, handsy grasping. "We love each other, right?" she asks between exhalations.

In a reversal so fast she barely has time to worry about the delay in his answer, he clutches her to him and flips them over. "Yes." He says it with eyes wide and voice firm. He says it as he's already sliding down her body.

He kisses her over her panties—an open mouthed, obscene thing that brings her hips off the bed—before hooking his fingers in her panties and tugging them off. Kissing along the inside length of her thigh, he nudges her legs farther apart. There's no mystery to where those kisses are headed, and where inexperience once made her restless, now it's anticipation that sets her squirming. Her legs swirl against his bed, her toes curl to the accompaniment of Jon's softly voiced, filthy compliments.

His tongue is on her, and he starts out so slow and gentle that she likes to imagine they could stay like this for hours. She could spend the rest of the night, luxuriating in the purposeful drag of his tongue and the feel of his naked back underneath her heel. Maybe they could. Jon probably wouldn't mind. Has sworn in the past that he wouldn't, which makes her turn pink all the way to the tips of her ears.

But then he slips a finger, two inside of her, curves them just so, and she knows she won't last. Humming at the thrust of his hand, she watches the outline of his dark curls. The first time he did this, she couldn't bear to watch. She squeezed her eyes shut, tipped her head back up towards the ceiling, and covered her eyes for good measure. Only peeking through slit fingers every once and a while, she was overwhelmed by the intimacy of it and eventually something shockingly, deliciously intense. Now she's bold enough to stare, to thread her fingers through those curls and move her body with him. She's hardly aware of how hard she pulls, as everything coils inside of her.

There's something almost cruel about doing this here, where she can't shout, for fear of being heard, where throwing her head back in a silent scream is her only outlet for the roll of pleasure that leaves her senseless. Still she'd forget or even willfully disregard discretion if it wasn't for Jon's soft shushes, vibrating against her.

Finally, when her body sinks into the bed, boneless and pleasantly heavy, while he calls her his sweet girl and wetly kisses her hipbone, she finds herself succumbing to the most embarrassing need to cry again, here where she can't hide it. Tears roll down her cheeks and a sob catches in her chest, making her gasp in a untimely mockery of the release that made her world a field of stars.

"Sansa?" he asks, as he sits up between her legs.

She wants to stop before he fully grasps what's happening. Jon doesn't need her hysterics. She doesn't want him to think she's trying to make him feel guilty. It was wrong of her to come down here with the intention of convincing him to stay, so she would feel more secure. These tears must seem heavy with incrimination, but they don't stop, and she curls into her side, balling up to try to hide them. It does no good of course. Jon is quietly observant, and he certainly couldn't miss this bizarre post-orgasmic display. He curls around her, his hand shakily following the path of her bent arms, until he stops at her hands wet with tears she failed to hold back with pressed fingers.

"Sansa, honey," he speaks against her shoulder, where the neck of his t-shirt exposes her skin to the cool air of his room.

She doesn't trust herself to speak, to assure him that she's just hormonal or exhausted or something. Her voice will give her away. His implied question hangs there unanswered, allowing him to imagine any number of possibilities.

"Christ, I fuck everything up," he says, as he stretches out towards the bedside table. He's probably searching for a box of tissues that isn't there, something to hand her, since she won't respond to him. He only manages to knock his television remote to the floor with a clatter. Sansa winces, as she wipes at the corners of her eyes. Osha will have heard that. So much for discretion.

"Shit. Damn it," he curses. He runs a hand through his hair, making the curls stand up even more than her grasping hands did. "I'm sorry. I obviously shouldn't have done that."

He's flustered. He never curses in front of her like this. Except maybe sometimes when he doesn't know what he's saying, when he's inside of her.

"It was an accident," she says with a pathetic shrug of her shoulder.

"No. That," he says, resting his hand on her hip.

She huffs out a shaky laugh. "No, that I like," she says, grabbing for her discarded panties and balling them up in her hand. "A lot."

Margaery always went on about how phenomenal oral was, and Sansa pretended to agree. With no experience to back up her agreement, she used her reticence to speak in detail about sexual things to cover for her lie. Marg is the only girlfriend who ever broached the subject with her. Jeyne wanted to know what kind of kisser Jon was, bugged her about it for days, when she found out about them, but Jeyne wouldn't ever ask about anything more personal than that. So maybe it's always excellent, but Sansa likes to think it's so good because it's Jon. Everything with him is better.

He gives her a strained smile. "Well, that's good." He pinches the bridge of his nose, kind of squinting at her like he can barely stand to look. "You like it so much that I made you cry."

"I'm sorry. Maybe if you were less talented, I wouldn't be so upset about losing you," she says, biting her lip around a smile, but he doesn't laugh. He looks back at her with that serious frown that makes her want to kiss away all his worries.

"You're not going to lose me." He gives her hip a shake. "Do you understand? Never."

"Okay."

His thumb circles low over the flat of her stomach, where her panties would end if she was still wearing them. "It's hard for me here. I can focus on getting better away from the city, somewhere a quieter. And then if you still want me…"

She covers his hand with her own. "I'm always going to want you."