Kinda lost inspiration with this, so I mostly tried to have fun here, alot of things are probably not strictly canon compliant, or likely to ever happen, but, well not writing this for the accuracy so… just go with it. Thanks for reading.
This is the quiet hour… Gathered in their crowds, and steadily
The million lights blaze on for few to see, robbing the sky of stars that should be hers.
A woman waits… A somber man drifts by, and only we
Pass up the street unwearied, warm and free, for over us the olden magic stirs.
Beneath the liquid splendor of the lights we live a little ere the charm is spent;
This night is ours, of all the golden nights, the pavement an enchanted palace floor…
from Broadway by Sara Teasdale
She was not exactly sure why she'd accepted at first. Of course she knew the reasons she'd told herself, for the good of their people, for the realm, for her brother. Jon cared for the Queen that much she knew, and this issue had come close to breaking their still fragile alliance. Like it or not, they needed her, though Sansa wondered if it was her duty to give her happiness for his. Then she remembered, she did not believe in such dreams, of happy endings.
She knew notions such as love and honour, and all the things written about in song, were but a figment, to distract from the true nature of the world. Ser Jaime presented the same conundrum.
On the surface, he embodied these same ideals: a knight and beloved now (at least in the south), still handsome and strong, yet these things belied the darker truths to him, some that hit too close to home for comfort. Although she knew she'd never come to love him, she could not deny she rather liked the illusion he presented. In some small way, her girlish dreams would come true, and if she never found happiness, at least she'd have that.
And that was only if he survived the long night, if they all did.
She was not entirely surprised she saw very little of him in the days leading up to her brother's wedding. As her family home filled with both familiar and unfamiliar faces, as Lady of Winterfell and sister to the King, she was often busy receiving them, as well as handling the daily affairs of the castle and its people. She had the sneaking suspicion her brother had requested he keep his distance, or perhaps it was the clear regard the Northerners had for him, that inspired him to remain out of view.
This was the case with Theon after he'd arrived, whose reception had been even more difficult than the Lannister's, though she did not have to guess, she knew he kept himself hidden away, just not where exactly. He was as familiar with the castle as she after all.
The most interesting guest had been Lady Olenna of course, who was lacking her usual sharp tongue, though Sansa noted, only with her. The Lady had to know that she knew the truth about what had happened to Joffrey, and she had to have heard by now, what had happened to Littlefinger. Neither said anything about it of course, though it loomed over them as they spoke, but they found a measure of trust through Margaery's loss, and Sansa understood Olenna action's after all, to protect her granddaughter. Just as her mother had once tried to protect her, by setting free a Kingslayer.
Her Uncle arrived before her cousin did, which she was glad of in the end, as she got to spend some time with him and his family. Robin took a shining to their uncle almost immediately, and kept to his side. She was glad of it, her cousin needed a male influence, and though Edmure had made many mistakes, he seemed to have learned from them, or was trying to, and she knew there would be no one better save for her own brother, to help him become a better sort of man than he might be.
The Sand Snakes had been the last to arrive, and she was not sure how she'd felt about them, they were beautiful and strong, but untamed, and she knew the Queen likely worked very hard to keep them on their best behaviour. Their presence could not help remind her of Myrcella, who'd died while under their protection, as had been said, and she couldn't help but wonder if they'd played a part in her death, which in turn made her wonder if she could trust them. She remembered it'd been said that Prince Oberyn coated his blades with poison.
The southerners were all fond of poisons it seemed.
It was after Jon had informed her that he'd escort her to the wedding that she finally ran into him, purely by chance. She'd gone to the yard to find Podrick, she wanted him to accompany her to Wintertown, and knew he'd be there, only she was surprised to find Lord Bronn standing at the side, and Ser Jaime training with her former knight's squire. They stopped, both bowing once she approached, she faintly noticed Bronn approach and follow their movements.
"Ser Jaime, Lord Bronn, Podrick," She said formally, dipping her head slightly, though smiled slightly at the last.
"Lady Sansa," Pod and Ser Jaime both replied, almost in a chorus. Bronn said nothing, and she was not offended.
Her eyes found her intended for a moment and she hesitated. She suddenly felt strange asking for Pod's company in front of her soon-to-be spouse and her former husband's sworn sword. She knew Lord Bronn, somewhat at least, and was sure her words were bound to set his own afire with insinuation.
They all three seemed to stare fixedly at her waiting for her to speak and without much other choice, she only hoped he would have the decency to wait until she left to share his vulgarity.
"I did not expect to find you both here, I apologize for the interruption," She said then, not forgetting her courtesies.
"No apologies needed Lady Sansa, this is your home after all," Lord Jaime replied, his voice with the same careful consideration.
She wasn't sure if he meant anything by his words but said nothing, only turned to Podrick, her hesitation finally gone.
"Pod," She addressed him directly, "After you are finished of course, I was hoping you'd escort me to Wintertown, there are a few things I need."
"Of course, my lady," he answered dutifully.
It was not strictly the truth, she mostly wanted to get away for a little while, and go for a ride. She was not truly worried of course, that anything would happen, still she found she could not ignore the little voice in her head that insisted it would be much safer she take someone she trusted with her.
She was about to leave when Lord Bronn spoke, "I think we're done for today, milady. Podrick isn't much by the way of company, and I've not see this town, i'm sure Lord Jaime neither, perhaps you would allow us to accompany you Lady Sansa?"
Her expression did not belie her reaction, though there was something she had long since been meaning to ask the man she had somehow accepted, their company was the opposite of what she wanted. By Lord Bronn's expression, and the smirk he was not trying too hard to conceal, she knew he had some scheme afoot, of which she and surely Ser Jaime were the targets. She briefly wondered if he knew of the Queen's intentions.
"Safety in numbers after all," he added after a moment, his mouth finally straightening.
She intended to tell him it was not about numbers, but about the quality of person at one's side, when Ser Jaime spoke again.
"I'm sure the lady would be grateful for a moment to herself, she is surrounded by southerners as it is."
She looked at him surprised by his intuition, though he was not looking at her but at Lord Bronn, his face hard, as if escorting her was the last thing in the world he wanted. It was likely this, that made her speak, in part at least.
"Of course you are welcome, though I cannot promise there is much to see. Once, the town thrived but we are in different times now, and hastily preparing for a winter that's already come."
Lord Bronn finally had nothing clever to say, but it seemed Ser Jaime meant to save the day, or at least his friend from his big mouth.
"I'm sure neither of us has seen what true hard work and camaraderie look like my lady, no doubt we will be heartily impressed."
She almost smiled at this, until she remembered they were about to escort her, three southerners, on what was supposed to be a moment to herself.
"I will fetch the horses my lady," Pod said then, in the absence of her immediate reply and sheathed his sword.
"I'll help the boy," Bronn added, managing to keep his face straight, following Podrick before either could refute him.
Suddenly they were alone and Ser Jaime could not meet her eyes.
"Shall we head to the East Gate?" She said then, knowing it would be better to be moving than standing in the same spot, and that their walk together would be much easier to explain should Jon catch word of it.
He nodded solemnly, but did not move until she did, carefully keeping himself a safe distance away from her, far enough away it might almost seem as if he was not indeed walking with her. The tension of this carried over and they did not speak, not until they reached their destination, though they stopped before reaching the gate itself, and neither Bronn nor Podrick appeared.
She thought of asking him how he was enjoying his time in the North, but then immediately realized how stupid a question it was and settled for a lead-in towards her own curiosity instead.
"Do you miss Casterly Rock Ser Jaime?" She asked, keeping her voice casual.
He turned to look at her because he hadn't been, and he seemed wistful suddenly.
"In a way, yes I do," He answered simply, his earlier expression gone just as quickly.
Sansa wondered if it was because it reminded him of her, the Queen who'd tormented her, and just like that everything had become complicated in a way she had not considered.
"Not because it is my ancestral home, but because I've recently found peace there, or at least some semblance of it."
"And yet you are so ready to give it up, might I inquire why?"
"I think you know as well as I my lady, that peace does not always live up to its name."
She looked at him strangely, his words finally breaking through her carefully constructed mask, but said nothing as Lord Bronn and Podrick appeared in that moment.
After Pod gave Ser Jaime his cloak, they left, only the guard noting their departure. Thankfully they rode mostly in silence and encountered no one, though she did tell them a little about Wintertown when they arrived.
She had not truly planned on coming here after all, but she did still need a few things for the dress she was making for her brother's wedding, and the fur for the cloak she was making for Queen Daenerys. They had agreed to skip the cloaking, and instead Sansa offered to make one, in Northern style, for her to wear to the ceremony.
So she led them to the small market, where Bronn took off on his own, leaving Ser Jaime and Podrick trailing behind her as she looked. Unsurprisingly, she was well recognized, and she spent half her time greeting those who'd approached her, though she didn't mind.
It was in a rare moment alone that he spoke to her, "Perhaps you might let us help you find what you seek, otherwise i'm not sure you'll find it today my lady."
Because his concerns weren't entirely unfounded she relented, "A fur for Queen Daenerys, for a cloak."
She'd found everything else, but could not seem to find one that would suit her brother's soon to be wife.
"I see," He answered, a smirk hinted at his lips.
Strange that in the end, he'd been the one to find it, perhaps because as a Lannister he understood the need for flare, in any case it was perfect. Dark grey near black but not, the tips lighter so it almost had a white sheen to it.
As they made their way back to their horses, she sent Podrick to find Lord Bronn. Luckily they did not have to wait long, both mounting before they reached them. There was a devilish glint in the older man's eyes, and she knew nothing good was going to come from it.
"Lady Sansa, apologies for my disappearance, it seems there is much to see after all. There's a quaint tavern i've just found, if it's not too much trouble, might you allow Podrick to serve as my company?"
His request seemed innocent enough, only when he glanced over at his friend, the opposite was suddenly evident as he spoke, "As long as Ser Jaime will not mind escorting you back to Winterfell?"
The aforementioned tensed, and she could not help the sigh. Men, she thought irritated.
"Yes alright," She answered before the Lannister did, deciding she didn't need his escort in any case. Besides, if they were to be married, she ought to get used to being alone with him.
"Do not forget you will be needed in the morning Podrick," She added though, knowing nothing good would come from whatever the once sellsword had planned for their evening.
"Of course my Lady," Pod bowed nervously.
Then she spurred her horse on, without so much as a glance at the other two. Once she reached the outskirts of the town, she gripped the reigns tighter and pressed her mare to move faster, knowing she would not get the lengthy ride she'd hoped for, at least she would feel the wind in her hair, and she was alone, at least for a time, as she soon felt Ser Jaime's stead galloping behind her, though he never quite caught up with her.
She slowed her horse to a trot before they reached Winterfell, and finally he fell in at her side.
After a long moment he finally spoke, "I've never had great love for Casterly Rock. I grew up there of course, but I spent little time in the castle after I left it, until recently."
She was about to look at him but stilled when he continued, "There is still time Lady Sansa, to back out, your brother would surely support your decision."
If he truly believed this then he knew nothing.
She finally did turn to him then, and only remained silent caught by his expression. Eyes desperate, as if this was his last chance, and her his last hope, at putting an end to it all, and she wondered how he could not see that it was not so simple. Suddenly feeling frustrated at his ignorance she frowned, and let out a deep breath, though it was more grumble than sigh, before she turned away once more and spurred her mare forward deciding it was not her responsibility to make him understand.
If she was a slow learner, she wondered what that made him.
Her handmaiden had done an excellent job on her hair, small intricate braids woven together held it back, so it cascaded in waves down her back. The dress she'd made herself, in a rich dark blue well suited to her complexion. It was fairly modest though the neck was wide so the skin between her neck and shoulders showed, but in the end she wore a sheer fine silk scarf to cover the exposed skin.
She held the pearls gifted from the Queen to her neck, and decided she rather liked the effect they gave; the transparency of the silk thread made the pearls look as if they floated midair, so she unknotted it and had her handmaiden retie it. She chose her warmest cloak, it was made of a heavy wool in a dark grey, with a thick fur collar, and wore leather gloves.
As she'd been getting ready she sipped on an Arbour wine to settle her nerves. She could picture their faces in her mind, her uncle's in particular, when they saw her at Ser Jaime's side, could imagine the heavy looks shot their way, and she knew it was going to be a long night.
By the time she left her chambers, her cheeks flushed from the alcohol or the nerves in her stomach, she was not sure which, she'd come to the decision that she was going to attempt to enjoy this evening for what it was meant to be, regardless of the Lannister escorting her, and the scorn that would surely follow his every move.
He was already waiting when she reached the front hall of the great keep. He was dressed complete in Lannister colours and black armour, his cloak a dark crimson with golden detailing.
"Lady Sansa," He said when she reached him, his voice low, after he bowed his eyes finally found hers.
"Ser Jaime," She kept her voice steady.
He might be years older than her, and a Lannister, but he was still handsome, denying it would be a lie. Of course she knew looks were deceiving, but there was something in his gaze, something broken and achingly familiar, she was grateful when she realized she did not see Cersei nor her son in his eyes.
He hesitated a moment before he cleared his throat and spoke, "Shall we?"
He did not extend the crook of his elbow rather motioned her forward with his golden hand. Perhaps it'd been their last conversation, or because there was no real reason not to, she stepped forward and took his arm, and waited for him to lead her out.
He was her escort for the evening, whether he liked it or not.
He looked down at her hand briefly before finally moving. They walked into the courtyard in silence, and she was sure Ser Jaime was relieved when Theon appeared just before they were about to enter the Godswood, as if he'd been waiting for them.
She smiled at him warmly tempted to take his arm but didn't, thinking it might push her brother over the edge, though he fell into step beside her. It was Theon who held the torch as they entered, and she could not help the memories, unbidden, flit through her mind, of another night. Another wedding.
Unconsciously her grip on Jaime's arm tightened, she only noticed when she felt his hand cover hers, the touch gentle, as if he meant to comfort her. She looked up at him, the thrashing of her heart slowing in the calm sea of his expression, and though he meant it as a kindness she tore her gaze away without a word, embarrassed he seemed to understand her thoughts. She loosened her hold on his arm but did not let go, and was grateful when he dropped his hand from hers.
They found their spot near the heart tree, and little by little, others trickled in, and though she'd already felt it, she could now see it with her own two eyes, the various tensions held between each guest and house, now that they all stood together.
As expected Ser Jaime drew the most scorn; from Lady Olenna, to her Uncle Edmure, and even Gendry, though Ser Jaime in turn tensed when the Sand Snakes entered. As for Theon, the northern lords glared daggers at him until Jon arrived.
As for her brother, she wasn't sure how she hadn't noticed earlier, but he seemed frazzled, darkness rimming his eyes as if he had not slept well in many days. He glanced at her then, his expression sorrowful, she worried at its appearance since she could not find a reason for it. He looked away quickly, as if he did not want her figuring out what had caused it and turned to Ser Davos instead.
She had long since let go of Ser Jaime's arm, but she turned to him, to see if he'd caught what she had but he was still scowling at Ellaria, though there was something mournful in his eyes. Suddenly the truth was glaringly obvious, they were guilty of Myrcella's death. She felt a momentary stab of hatred for the Sand Snakes, because despite being a Lannister Sansa had liked her. And Tommen as well.
Sansa did not have time to dwell on it though as all eyes turned, and she knew Queen Daenerys had arrived. Though her closest kin should have escorted her to the tree, she entered the Godswood as she had entered the North, alone. Jon had not refused Daenerys' request though such an entrance had never been done, not as far as Sansa knew.
She understood the reason of course, as the queen had no living family and none in attendance came close save for perhaps Missandei. She was not sure how the Northern lords would take such an entrance, but considering the old god's wedding ceremony was much simpler than that of the Faith of the Seven, she did not think it would create too much of a stir, but in any case, no one would soon forget this night.
She looked beautiful of course, with her silver hair trailing down her back, held back by intricately woven braids, and small silver bells tinkled as she walked. Her cloak was the perfect combination, creamy white wool with the dark fur trim, the grey and red of her gown peaked through as she walked. When she looked to her brother once more, his gaze was fixed on the bride to be, and even from afar, Sansa caught the warm smile that filled his face as his eyes caught hers, the worry she'd seen earlier completely gone as if it'd never been there in the first place. Daenerys had eyes for only him as well, and a matching expression on her face.
When she finally reached the Heart Tree, Ser Davos spoke first.
"Who comes before the Old Gods this night?"
And the Queen answered for herself, "Daenerys, of the House Targaryen, comes here to be wed. She comes to ask the blessing of the Gods. Who comes to claim her?"
Jon stepped forward then, and came to stand across from his intended, though the grin had slipped. "Jon—" He hesitated a moment before continuing.
"Snow. King in the North, in the Trident and the Vale. Who gives her?"
Sansa wasn't entirely surprised when he didn't say 'of House Stark' as it had been agreed, and though she'd said it many times, that he was a Stark, it seemed he still didn't entirely believe it.
Daenerys gave him a quizzical look before she answered, "As the last blood of house Targaryen, I give myself."
Ser Davos was of course expecting this response and didn't hesitate, as he spoke.
"Queen Daenerys, will you take this man?"
She reached out then, before answering, and took Jon's hands in hers.
"I take this man," She said then, her eyes shining and her voice soft.
Breaking tradition for his part, Jon leaned in then, and pressed his lips to hers for a gentle kiss. Sansa smiled as she realized that though their marriage had been arranged for the good of the realm, there was true affection between them still, despite all that had happened since they met.
Then they knelt before the tree and the silence of the night filled the air for one long moment, until Jon and Daenerys finally stood, and made their way out of the godswood, hand in hand.
"Shall we, my lady?" Ser Jaime said to her then, and she finally looked away from the newlyweds and shifted her gaze to him.
He was already turned towards her, the expression on his face indecipherable though it left her wondering how long he'd been watching her. He dutifully offered the corner of his elbow, and though she took it, her expression remained serious.
Theon took to Jaime's other side instead of hers as they made their way to the Great Hall. As they walked in silence, she felt the small flutter of wonder in the pit of her stomach, if maybe her own marriage wasn't as doomed as Jaime and her brother seemed to think, though she did her best to push such nonsense out of her mind.
As there were far too many high lords to sit comfortably and so as not to offend any of the Northern lords, Jon and Daenerys sat on the dais alone, the rest split between the tables below them.
She sat across from lady Olenna at Jaime's side, Theon unsurprisingly next to him. The Great Hall was almost brimming, and though some tensions still festered, they were at least subdued by the distance between the participants in the seating arrangements, and there was almost an air of festivity in the room.
Thankfully the meal was served promptly, leaving little time for awkward silence between her and her escort. The wine arrived shortly after, of which she drank two cups with her meal. The usual round of toasts filled the air as they ate, along with the soft distant sound of music playing from the gallery. The room had been cleared to transform it into a small dance floor, two chairs for the King and Queen, set up across from the musicians. She was glad Daenerys had requested it, since it had been ages since she last danced, and a lie if she said she wasn't eager for that part of the evening, even if it meant dancing with Ser Jaime at least once.
They did not speak much as they ate, likely as there were very few topics for them to discuss, but in any case, the silence was without tension. Ser Jaime did ask about the ceremony, and she told him that there had been a few adjustments to which he only raised his brows as a smirk played on his lips for a moment before he replied, "I see."
After the meal was cleared, and gentle murmurs filled the hall, Daenerys stood, Jon following shortly behind her. The hall quieted quickly before her brother spoke, his voice sounding slightly unsure.
"The Queen and I will now share a dance."
His new wife took his arm as if she had not noticed, and together they made their way to the gallery, the high lords and ladies, herself included, rising to follow. She turned to look at Ser Jaime, who had not yet stood, but finally did when he caught her staring down at him expectantly.
He offered his arm dutifully, and though she sensed his sudden hesitation, she decided to ignore it.
The King and Queen took the floor first, the melody soft yet bittersweet and she wasn't surprised to find her brother a fair dancer, despite having never seen him do it.
Her uncle Edmure and Roslin were the first to join, followed by Ellaria and a man of her party. There would not be much dancing among the high lords and the northern ones she knew, though Lord Glover soon joined in with his wife, for what would likely be his only dance for the night, as well as Lord Manderly with his own spouse.
She was about to move forward, knowing they too would have to take the floor, when she felt him drop her arm. Startled though she made no sign of it, she turned to him and caught by the stiff way he stood, and an unfamiliar look of uneasiness on his face, her own expression finally shifted into a confused frown.
"Ser Jaime?" She said then, her voice low.
He cleared his throat before answering, "I'd really rather not."
She could not force him of course, but she would take a turn with or without him, though before she had a chance to find a better alternative, a steady voice spoke suddenly at her other side.
"It would be an honour to be your partner Lady Sansa."
She recognized his voice of course, having known it since she was a girl, and with a deliberate disregard for Ser Jaime, turned to Lord Cerwyn. He bowed ostentatiously to which she smiled politely and offered a nod of her head.
"Would you allow me the honour Lady Sansa," He asked then, extending his hand, his body still slightly bent.
Irritated by Ser Jaime's refusal, she considered taking his hand, though every rational thought in her mind told her to refuse, knowing what the implications could mean and what Lord Cerwyn's true intentions were. Just as she opened her mouth to speak though not entirely sure what she planned on saying, though somewhere inside of her it felt like a sort of 'consequences be damned' yes, she felt Ser Jaime's hard gold hand brush the inside of her other arm before she had the chance.
When she glanced back at him, his expression both irritated and apologetic, she decided not to stir the pot, so to speak.
"After I have danced with Ser Jaime, I would be delighted Lord Cerwyn," She answered as courteously as she could muster, hoping he knew it was not personal and mostly a matter of proper decorum.
He bent his head and stepped back, but said nothing. She smiled politely before turning away.
They stepped onto the dance floor and before anyone could make a note of it, she felt her hand in his and his gold one at her waist, and they were moving in tandem with the rest.
She waited a moment before breaking the stiff silence that had followed them.
"I thought you said you'd rather not."
She turned to see Cley Cerwyn watching them with a dark expression. When she looked back at Ser Jaime, she realized he'd followed her gaze, as he too glanced at the Northern lord. His eyes found hers before he answered.
"I meant it, but you didn't really give me much choice did you?"
She had the decency not to pretend she didn't know what he meant, and said nothing. He was as much pawn as she in all this, despite the difference in their positions. They danced in that silence at first, neither looking at the other, and though she was sure he could feel her tension she felt his as well, and couldn't bring herself to care or do anything about it.
By the time the song was done, she was ready to return to the glass of wine at her table, and likely endure a painful conversation with Lady Olenna over how beautiful her Margaery looked at her own wedding. She saw Lord Glover and his wife retire, as well as a few others, when she meant to follow their lead, her arm dropping from his shoulder, she felt his own grip tighten as the music started once more.
"If you don't object, Lord Cerwyn can have the next one."
The song was much more lively than the first, and before she knew it, he was leading her forward, she decided not to contest it. She kept her gaze on the others around her, noticing Lord Manderly had not left, and Ser Davos had joined, escorting none other than the Queen's closest confident, Missandei.
She smiled at that, watching them for a few moments before she let her eyes roam, feeling her earlier tension fade away as he twirled her around the small dance floor. His right hand dug into her waist at times, and though she was sure there'd be a bruise by morning, it wasn't all bad as he was graceful and held her with strong but gentle arms.
As the song ended, the compliment slipped from her lips before she knew it.
"You're a very good dancer Ser Jaime."
She dropped her eyes away from his, and hoped her face had not betrayed her, though by the rush of heat she felt on her cheeks, she was sure it had.
"You're not bad yourself Lady Sansa," He replied, his voice playful.
She finally looked at him once more, unsurprised by the smirk playing on his lips, but said nothing. They stood near the edge of the floor and she was suddenly unsure whether to leave or stay as the music began to play.
He extended his left hand then with none of the flourish Lord Cerwyn had given her, and spoke, "Would you care to dance another?"
She said nothing, but the corners of her mouth raised slightly in what could be called a grin if one looked hard enough, and took his hand. As they moved about the room, she vaguely realized it was the first time she had directed a smile at him, even such a small thing as it was.
When the song had ended, Ser Jaime let her go, but lingered a moment.
At Ser Jaime's hushed request, she danced with Theon. He held her so lightly there were moments when she was sure he was not touching her at all. She took a turn with her Uncle after, and though it was written in his eyes, he said nothing of Ser Jaime only told her how lovely she looked, and how much she reminded him of her mother.
It was then, that Cley finally found her, and not wanting to offend the northern lords, dutifully danced with him, though excused herself after she had.
Jon had long since sat down, in the free chair next to the Queen and his new wife. The furrow had returned Sansa saw, and though it had lessened, the reason for it worried her. There was nothing she could do about it now, so she made her way back to the Hall.
Ser Jaime was not at their table, but she found his golden head quickly enough sitting at a table much closer, along with Lord Bronn, Podrick and of course Theon. She was momentarily tempted to join them but in the end decided against it, and made her way over to her seat, to her primary target, her glass of wine. Lady Olenna seemed to be berating Lord Royce and a serving girl who stood awkwardly in front of them a pitcher still in hand.
When she drew near the group as she had to in order to reach her seat, her eyes found Ser Jaime's, his expression serious, yet questioning. This was the moment of course, as all the formalities of their evening together were fulfilled, there was nothing now that forced her at his side. She was free to go as she pleased, and in that slight arch of his brow, she knew he knew it too.
it was Lord Bronn who spoke then, loud enough she knew it was directed at her, and she tore her gaze from his.
"Lady Sansa, would you perhaps do me the favour of settling a little dispute we're currently having?"
She did not reply at first, only glanced back at Lady Olenna for a moment, before deciding which the lesser of two evils.
Why not? She thought before finally making her way over, whether she was answering herself or Lord Bronn, she wasn't entirely sure.
"As long as it isn't a pissing contest, I would be happy to oblige," She answered with a smirk.
Though she knew it wasn't a tone she often used, it was clear she'd caught them all by surprise as they sat frozen for a moment staring at her. It was Lord Bronn of course, who broke the silence by laughing heartily and Podrick who followed though his voice was lower, even Theon grinned.
When she took a seat next to Ser Jaime she knew the answer had been received as his hand trembled a little when he served her a cup of wine.
Lord Bronn spoke then, "Besides we could use a lady's opinion on the matter."
"Of course," She answered, though she certainly doubted it, and took a sip of the offered wine.
When Gendry appeared, she realized enough time had passed that her brother sent someone to find her.
"Lady Sansa, the King requests your company," He said then, shooting dark looks at everyone at the table save for herself.
"Of course," She answered, standing, surprised when she saw Ser Jaime follow her lead, though she didn't get the chance to address it as Gendry did for her.
"Just Lady Sansa," He sneered.
Ser Jaime of course, in what she was beginning to realize was the mask he hid behind, smirked playfully.
"Of course," He answered, his voice charming and courteous though there was the faint undertone of cheekiness, "It is only my wish to take her to him, I am after all, her chaperone for the evening."
Men, she wanted to sigh.
"Suit yourself," Gendry replied with a shrug, turning away.
At first she wasn't sure whether to follow his lead or not, but as he headed towards the gallery, she imagined he was so she followed him, Ser Jaime on her arm.
When they reached Jon, he stood, hardly reacting to the Lannister at her side, though he did give him one long look before turning to her.
"Sansa," He said simply, extending a hand.
He'd only said her name but she understood what he wanted, so she let Ser Jaime go and took her brother's hand.
Neither spoke at first, and she found her eyes wandering about the room as they dutifully took the floor. She saw the Queen sitting in one of the empty chairs, talking with Missandei though her eyes veered towards Jon for a moment. Sansa locked eyes for a second with Ser Davos then, and smiled warmly. Gendry stood next to him nursing a flagon of ale, looking bored.
In that moment, she and Jon switched places, and her eyes very suddenly found Ser Jaime's. She intended to smile at him, like she had with the Onion Knight, only he'd already looked away.
"You look like you are enjoying yourself," Her brother said then.
She turned to Jon once more, and though she knew why he'd said it, she answered simply, her voice composed, "I am."
He hadn't seemed to have noticed what had just happened, as he continued to speak.
"I know you've already agreed, but I want you to consider it, truly. What it will mean. Not for the realm, but for you."
He paused, turning momentarily towards his new wife before his eyes found hers again and he continued.
"You do not need to marry him. Father would have wanted you to marry for love."
Sansa smiled genuinely at him, "Father would want me to marry a good man, but he would also have accepted whomever I chose."
She glanced over at where Ser Jaime had been standing, but was nowhere to be seen. Somehow she was not surprised by his sudden departure, and she turned to her brother once more.
Her first husband had been a good man but forced on her. The second she'd consented to, but he'd been a monster, she still had the scars to prove it.
"In this case, Ser Jaime is both. A good man, and my choice," And though she had mostly said the words for Jon's benefit, she knew them to be true.
When the dance was done she excused herself, barely noticing Queen Daenerys approach Jon taking her place, and finally left the dance floor. Fairly certain he was no longer in the gallery, she turned to look for Ser Jaime only to find him standing before her again.
This time, she gave her hand before he extended his.