An undulating mass of people, horses, and tents surrounded the walls of Winterfell, the largest army ever assembled. Sansa felt that Winterfell was just an island in an angry ocean often waiting for the waves to crash over her. However, the sea had stilled and had turned eerily quiet. All eyes were turned to the spectacle in the sky. The dragons were dancing.
That's what it looked like to Sansa at least from atop the walls of Winterfell. Dancing, weaving, parrying, crashing into each other..all with mighty roars and quieter chuffs to each other. Drogon and Rhaegal with scales gleaming like jewels in the setting sun were eclipsing all the heavenly bodies in the sky with their performance. The display had started hours ago but was clearly reaching a fevered crescendo to what end she didn't know. The latest aerial acrobatics involved both of them flying up so high in the sky they became pinpricks of black and green (Like Tyrion's eyes Sansa thought) and plummeting to the ground. One of them would pull up at the last minute catching the other in an embrace of wings, most often Drogon catching the smaller Rhaegal. It was an enrapturing and bewildering sight and Sansa could not tear her eyes away.
"What are they doing?" she asked Tyrion breathlessly her hands clutched tightly to the railing. He stood on a stool beside her watching the two magnificent creatures. They were almost always together since he had arrived two moons ago with the Queen. Working so closely together and with a past forced intimacy, they had fallen into an easy friendship. Little had been said about their marriage, no time for dwelling on that with the long night almost upon them they had agreed. The fact is that there was just too much to say, too many emotions, too many literal and figurative bodies to dredge up the past. Sansa could barely keep herself together regarding more recent events then what had happened in King's Landing those years ago. Best to keep those emotions locked down safe in her armor, but like most things long hidden, they were surfacing unbidden threatening to break their way through.
"They are seeking solace in each other." Tyrion said. "As most of us do in the face of overwhelming grief." Grief of course for Viserion. The dragons' grief had been palpable to all especially Rhaegal who had cried a keening mournful cry and stopped eating for days. Drogon was often found with a wing over the smaller dragon with their Queen mother holding his muzzle, lost in her own grief.
"By Dancing?" questioned Sansa.
"Mating." replied Tyrion with an emotion in his voice she could not quite place. Longing maybe?
She stared back at the dragons studying them. "They are coupling?"
"No, this is the courtship display...foreplay if you will. I imagine the actual consummation is not done in the air. Drogon will lay her eggs before we march for the wall."
"Drogon is the female?" Sansa said with a start. "I just assumed that Rhaegal was the female."
"Why because he is smaller? I am smaller than you. Does that make me not a man?" Tyrion said this with a self deprecating smile that did not reach his eyes but she could hear the note of steel in his voice. "Don't answer that."
Sansa felt a tremendous wave of guilt surge through her body. She had grown so accustomed to him just being well just Tyrion in her mind that she sometimes forgot how much of his self-worth was wrapped up in his dwarfism. It was such a part of what made him the man he was but not something she much thought about when he was around. She was much more inclined to think of his sharp mind, his wit, his laugh, the way his blond curls and beard made him look every part the Lannister lion. She blushed both out of shame and something else, these unsettling emotions that had recently appeared when Tyrion was with her. She started to open her mouth not quite knowing what to say when he interrupted her.
"In many animals, the female is the larger gender. Dragons are apparently one of them. The Queen herself just figured out what gender they were recently, she has never thought them as sons or daughters-just her children." Tyrion continued. His voice had lost most of its usual warmth. He started to step down from his stool. "And if you will excuse me Lady Stark, I am going to retire to my chambers."
He had always called her Lady Stark since their reunion, never Sansa. She had never asked him why, afraid to upset their precarious new friendship. Once he had said "Yes, wife." when he was deep in his cups and she was upset with him over it. She felt his mind was too sharp to dull with casks of wine and more selfishly she felt bereft whenever he chose drink over her company.
She laid her hand on his not wanting him to leave upset. "Are you sure you can't stay a little longer?"
An unexpected surge of heat swept up her arm from their touch as his eyes softened. "Yes, just a little longer if it please my lady." he said quietly.
"It does." They stood in companionable silence for awhile, her hand still on his watching the dragon's courtship.
"I have a question for you my lord."
"Yes, Lady Stark"
"What is foreplay?"