Title: To Watch the Stoic Squirm
Author: Connecticut Junkie
Summary: The girls get into the wine. Only one ends up in the Hound's bed.
This was in answer to the commentfic meme on sansaxsandor, 'AU: Drunk!Sansa passes out in the Hound's bed', and in order to fill it differently from the other response, I went severely AU. Also went way too long for a comment reply.
Rating: R, nothing hardcore but just being safe.
Warning: Underage (although that should be a given with this pairing) and Sitcom Contrivances, because sometimes they're just fun.
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to GRRM, if they were mine there would be a lot less dog and horse eating.
Here is a list of liberties I took, because every time I research I end up getting distracted by discussion posts for hours:
-The geographic details of the Red Keep and where Maegor's is in relation to anything else, and where anyone's bedroom is.
This AU is post Blackwater Battle, pre-Joffrey's wedding, but the Hound did not leave. I have a terrible memory and everything runs together so I can't remember what came before what, so for this, Margaery is engaged to Joffrey but Sansa isn't engaged/married to Tyrion. Presumably, Joff is just keeping her around because it amuses him.
Must be strangely exciting
To watch the stoic squirm
-'Uninvited', Alanis Morissette
Her head feels like it's full of lemoncake icing and she pinches her cheeks repeatedly to ensure that yes, they are quite numb. Margaery catches her pinching herself and begins to giggle, her own cheeks much flusher than usual.
"What are you doing, Sansa?" she asks between giggles, and the other girls turn to look.
"I can't feel my cheeks," Sansa explains, although she is annoyed because isn't it obvious? Besides, it was Margaery's own fault for giving her so much wine, she tried to stop after the second glass but Margaery insisted.
"Don't worry. They're still there!" Margaery assures her, and then giggles again, only to stop when Elinor lets out a squeal.
"My cheeks are numb too!"
Soon all the girls are poking at their faces, at each other's faces, and Sansa tries to keep her eyes on them as they swoop into and away from each other, but her eyes are so slow to follow, and soon Alla trips over a pillow, tumbling into Margaery's skirts and bringing both of them to a crash.
Elinor laughs so hard at the sight of them drowning in all the fabric that soon she too loses her footing, and joins them in the pile, leaving Sansa agape at the very, very unladylike situation a soon-to-be-queen and her ladies have gotten themselves into.
She feels like she should be the voice of reason, she should point out that good ladies don't drink four glasses of wine and roll around on the floor in their nice dresses but Margaery is nice. Margaery talks to her when no one else will, and invites her to spend the evenings sewing like she used to do back in Winterfell with Jeyne.
So she decides she won't scold Margaery, because poor Margaery will soon have to marry that horrible worm-lipped brat and Sansa should not begrudge her these last few moments of happiness.
Instead, she picks up a pillow and tosses it at the pile, and soon the girls are up again and chasing each other around the room. Sansa gets hit with a pillow in the head, but it's alright, because she picks it up and swats Alla and Alla yelps and bounces off Margaery and somehow they all end up back in a pile on the floor, only this time Sansa is with them and Alla is crushing her belly.
They all laugh and gasp for air, eventually finding the strength to sit up, although still not properly at all. Elinor is even sitting cross legged and her skirts are wide open, just like Arya used to do, and Sansa wishes her heart were as numb as her cheeks when the pain runs through it at the thought of her sister.
"To girlish fun!" Margaery toasts, and passes another flagon of wine around. Sansa is horrified to see her drink straight from the flagon as she's only seen men do, but Alla follows suit and so does Elinor, and Sansa thinks it would be rude and so she does it and it thrills her somewhere deep inside to be doing something so wicked.
This wine is the strongest yet and she can barely choke it down. It fills her chest with fire and she's afraid it will never fade and wonders if this is how he feels all the time.
"No wonder he's so angry," she murmurs, and Alla looks at her and asks whom, and Sansa shakes her head and hides behind the hair that has fallen out of its pins, embarrassed. She is so terrified now as her head fills with thoughts of him, and her tongue is so loose, what if oh gods she can't help it and she tells them the story he only told her, and he finds out and she can't have the only person who protects her turn on her too. Her fear is enough to pass over the wine the second time around, and the third, and luckily they have finished it all by the fourth round.
The other girls are growing tired, and if Sansa's own head feels like a large rose bloom on a too thin stem, then they must be feeling even worse than she is. They curl up with the pillows that are strewn on the floor and talk and gossip and do all the sorts of things Sansa always dreamed girls at court do when she was still in Winterfell.
Elinor thinks this knight is handsomer than that knight, and Alla thinks she has no brains nor eyes for obviously that third knight is even handsomer still. Sansa lets their words flow through her ears and out again, words are wind, it does not matter which knight is the handsomest. All of them will end up beating her, each fist is the same. Except for him, which was okay, because he wasn't a knight.
"And you, Sansa? Which knight is your favorite?" Alla asks in a whisper, and Sansa is afraid again, afraid of her tongue and the heart in her chest that is beating so fast she is sure they all can hear it when she lies and says Loras Tyrell.
Margaery snickers, but not rudely, as she is probably used to all her ladies finding her brother so handsome.
"He gave me a rose once," she hears herself say, as if she has to provide proof, as if a flower could be better than a cloak when there is nothing on her body but air and eyes.
The girls giggle, and the conversation revolves around and around, and when it is Sansa's turn to answer what she would do if she had a million dragons to spend and no obligations to birthright she says she would open a store that sold nothing but lemoncakes, although of course she wouldn't make them herself. But she would sample them every day to make sure they were still the best in the land, and there would be songs sung about the taste of Sweet Sansa's lemoncakes for ever.
Elinor laughs and from the bawdiness of it, Sansa can tell there was a second meaning to something she said but she's not sure she knows it. Still, it was better than telling them the truth, that with a million dragons she could hire all the catspaws in the kingdom and from across the sea until one finally succeeded and Joffrey was dead and she could go back to Winterfell.
When sleep finally claims them, Sansa sits up and a glance around the ruined room tells her she should not be here when the mess is discovered. A traitor's daughter could easily be blamed for the debauchery and Sansa's last bruises have finally healed and she does not want more.
She picks her way as quietly as possible through the hallways, but the wine has made her head fuzzy and there are so many twists and turns that soon she is lost, and she hates to admit it but she feels so stupid. She's been here for so long and she still can't remember how to get back to her own room. She decides to head down, maybe if she can make it outside she can go back through the entrance she usually uses. It's not seemly to be wandering without an escort, and Sansa hopes no one sees her and tells the Queen.
As she exits Maegor's to look around and orient herself she manages to walk face first into someone. Instinct tells her to be courteous and apologize, but if they recognize her they might tell the Queen and so she panics and spins away, hoping they didn't see her face.
Large hands seize her around the waist and lift, and she's relieved because she knows those hands, and terrified because those hands are his.
"The little bird looks like she fell out of her own nest," his voice rasps at her ear, and she can feel his words through her back as he holds her against his chest.
"Pardon me, I was going back to my room."
Of course this isn't explanation enough, she hears her voice tremble because she's scared and she's so sick of being scared, and why does he always laugh at everything she says?
"At this time of night? Were you out meeting a stable boy? Good little birds should be in bed by this hour."
Her face burns at his insinuation and she is suddenly mad at him, for being so mean to her and kind to her and for almost taking her the night of the Battle because she knows he wanted it, she could see it in his eyes, she hasn't forgiven him for that yet. Maybe because she can't stop thinking about it herself, and sometimes she's excited instead of scared, and she wants to know what it would feel like to give him more than just a song. Her shame eats at her, burns her like Margaery's wine, and she sobs and wonders how she has so many tears so quickly.
As sudden as a lightning strike he changes, sets her down and spins her and shushes her and tries to get her to stop. "Fuck, no. Just… don't cry." He looks around the yard nervously, and she realizes he could get in trouble, and then he'd be gone and one day Joffrey would have her beaten to death. Her tears dry quickly and she takes his hand and stumbles away from the doorway and around the outer wall of Maegor's until they are hidden from the main pathways.
All she wants to do is ask him for his assistance but instead it all comes pouring out of her, how Margaery kept giving her wine and courtesy wouldn't let her refuse, and the more she tries to explain how dire her situation is, the more his horrible face distorts into a grin, until she just wants to kick him in the shin like Arya used to kick her.
"What?" she demands. "What do you find funny about this, my lord?"
"That you are drunk."
"I am not."
His hand is a blur near her face. "How many fingers do I have up?"
"Two," she guesses mostly because his hand is too close and her eyes hurt when she tries to focus.
"Close enough." He grabs her chin and tilts her head up, and she's got nowhere else to look but right back at him, and his face gets closer and closer. She can smell the wine on his breath and her knees are suddenly weak but it is not romantic like the songs, he should not be trying to kiss her when she is not in her full mind.
But his face stops in front of hers and he sniffs, just like a dog, and she realizes he was checking her own breath, and she curses herself again for being stupid.
"You're in trouble now, girl," he tells her, and she wants to cry some more but truth be told she is sick of crying and the wine has seemed to make some of her numb and some of her over-sensitized.
"I don't care," she answers, and it's true, at least at this moment in time. Let the Queen find out, let them punish her; once her head was on a pike she would be beyond the daily torment of this place.
"Bugger that. It's not the Queen you should worry about, it's those arseholes that would take advantage of you if you stumble across them while in your cups."
Her stomach roils with fear because she never thought of that, but she doesn't want him to think her so naïve. Sansa shrugs. "Joffrey's going to make me his concubine anyhow. A King's whore is still a whore."
His mouth is a grim, harsh line and she can see the anger seething beneath his skin, because she is right and he knows it, and his one chance to change that is gone, failed. He couldn't escape anymore than she could; she remembers the wildfire glow and how he stole a song from her, and then a second, until his eyes closed and he'd passed out in her bed and even though she couldn't say yes or no to leaving with him, in the end there had been no choice to make. He'd been dead to the world from battle fatigue and wine, and as the dawn spread she'd left him in her room to pretend that she had spent the night elsewhere should anyone ask. Joffrey had kept him as a swordsman, glorified battle fodder, but stripped him of his white cloak, which left him little opportunity to cross paths with her and deflect the King's viciousness.
"We should have left," he says, quietly, as if he can see inside her mind.
She cannot answer him one way or another. She wants out of this prison so badly, but she knows eventually he would have taken more than a song. The palm of his hand is hot, burning her skin through her dress, and she thinks it might not have been so high a price, he has gentleness inside him that he does not even know of yet. But her mother is gone and no one has explained much to her about the ways of men and women beyond the basics and so she cannot even imagine exactly what he might do to her. Surely some of the things she's heard of could not be true.
Her silence stretches on, and he seems to notice the hair that has come loose and Sansa thinks he might try to fix the pins but instead he starts taking them out one by one, tiny thin filaments of metal that look like doll's pins in his fingers. When all her hair is down, he hands them to her and she wordlessly takes them, not sure what in the Seven Hells is happening.
"You look like a wildling," he smirks, and tries to comb her tresses with his fingers. She burns, embarrassed at being so unkempt, no one should see her in this state besides her chambermaids and her future husband.
"I must look as terrible as I feel," she finally answers, and clutches the pins tighter in her fist. "Will you please take me back to my room?" She has to use the privy, but is not going to admit that to him.
"I can point the way, but if your maid is there I can't be seen with you in this state. If word comes out I plied Joffrey's pet with wine and took advantage he would not spare me again."
"But you didn't take advantage!" Sansa cries, and maybe it is the wine but her voice sounds almost disappointed.
She barely hears it when he nearly growls out, "Not yet," and feels a shiver down her spine as his hand moves from her lower back to the swell she now has at her hip. But it seems like he was saying it to himself, not for her ears, so she tries to ignore it. An idea comes to mind, and she has Arya to thank, Arya who was so very good at saying she'd been at one place when she truly was at another.
"I told my maid I would be staying with Margaery for the night, perhaps if you let me freshen up in your chambers I can return to my room early in the morrow when my head is clear."
"Taking you back to my chambers is an even worse idea," he scoffs, as though she is a dim-witted child.
She almost starts crying again, it isn't fair, she has to make water very, very badly, and it hadn't even been her idea to drink the wine, and why did he have to be drunk too? If he'd stayed sober they'd be better off, but he was useless, just like the night of the Blackwater.
His thumb brushing her mouth shocks her enough to stop the tears before they fall, and she feels a strange fluttering in her belly but also between her legs. "Hush," he tells her, and she wants to point out that she hasn't even said anything, but he hasn't moved his thumb and she likes the way it feels. "Do you have a shift under there?"
Sansa blinks in confusion several times before nodding. His other hand, the one still at her hip, slides up her back and soon her dress is unlaced and falling to the dirt and in her shock and disbelief she finds her voice and hisses at him, "What are you doing?"
Instead of an answer he kneels down and gives her feet a tap. "Lift," he commands when she stays unmoving, and she steps out of the dress and watches as he rolls it into a ball. She looks down at him, still searching for an answer and he looks up at her, and she realizes his head is almost level with her lady parts and her shift is so thin she thinks she can feel his breath through the fabric.
He hands her the balled up dress and she hugs it to her stomach. "I can't be seen like this."
"Sansa Stark can't be seen like this. You're now just a common whore I'm taking back to my bed for a tumble." He sweeps her up and tosses her over his shoulder, and she's dizzy from the sudden motion and the hand he places on the back of her thigh to steady her feels like a brand and she wants him to slide it higher and press it against her center to ease the ache she feels building.
All she can see now is the ground and a curtain of red hair. She feels him moving forward and he's headed back to the main pathway and it's late but she's certain there should be others out who will recognize her. She keeps her head down and prays her hair hides her face enough. There are voices but the Seven hear her prayers because no one calls out to the Hound. His hand pinches her thigh lightly and he whispers, "Act like you're enjoying it. It looks like I'm taking a corpse to bed."
Sansa tries to giggle like the whores do but the noise catches in her throat.
"You asked for it," he rasps, and his other hand digs into her ribs and tickles her the way her brothers used to when they were children.
She's unable to stop the peals of breathless laughter and she squirms and twists but he's got her too tightly. The torture continues for a few seconds more, and something changes in her and she's no longer scared but truly exhilarated and she continues to giggle even after he's done until he suddenly drops her.
She lands on a mattress stuffed with straw and looks around at the small hovel. "You live in the kennels?" she asks, although the answer is obvious.
He shrugs. "Can't live in the White Sword Tower any more. Fitting punishment, he says. It could be worse."
There are two doors, one to the outside and one to the kennel proper and he closes both so the sounds become muffled, and hangs her dress up on a nail in the wall.
"More wine?" he offers, and she's sick to her stomach at the thought and shakes her head.
"I have to use the pot," she blurts out because she can't hold it anymore and he laughs so hard she fears he'll wake up half the keep. When she shushes him he grins his twisted smile.
"No one can hear us over the racket of those dogs."
Something shoots through her from her chest to her nethers and she's trembling but it's not from fear, at least not all of it is fear. He can do whatever he wants to her and she can scream and no one will hear. It's just like the stories where the princess was locked away! Except in the stories the person who locks her up is evil, and there is a gallant knight who will save her. Could there be a story where they were one and the same?
Her thoughts must have been plain on her face because he snorts with derision. "Bugger that, little bird." His voice is the harshest she'd heard all night, and his eyes glitter with anger. "If I wanted to rape you it would have been done already." He opens the door to the outside. "Knock when you're done," he barks, and slams the door behind him.
Sansa rushes to use the pot, and when she is done, takes a few extra moments to slow her trembling. He is so angry, so quick to flare, but he'd promised to keep her safe, except he also held a knife to her throat, and her head hurts from trying to figure him out. She gives a small knock on the door, and he enters quickly. He no longer looks so angry, just like his usual stoic self.
"I'll wake you at dawn, and you'll go back to your room, and if anyone asks you went to the godswood to pray like the good little northern bird you are." She nods. "Does your maid wake early?"
"No." Her maid is a lazy, loose lush.
His chuckle has little humor. "Finally, we have some luck."
There is a small washbasin and he wrings out a cloth and hands it to her. It's cool on her face and when she's done wiping the tears and the dirt of the day off she feels so much better she almost forgets she's sitting on the Hound's bed in nothing but her shift. Almost, because she catches him staring at her and his eyes are glittering again but not with anger.
His hand catches in the snarled mass of her hair and he wraps a finger around a strand. She steels herself for something unpleasant but instead he continues to run his fingers through it, loosening the tangles, and between his fingers and the wine she is ready to fall asleep. He must have noticed her lethargy, because he stops and rummages around until he finds a waterskin. "Drink, and you might not feel so bad in the morning."
She does as told and the water tastes better than anything, even lemoncakes, and she thinks of Elinor's laughter. He would tell her if there was anything unseemly, he was not one for manners.
"If I said there was a song about how sweet my lemoncakes taste, what would be so funny about that?"
The eyebrow on the good side of his face shoots up. "What?"
"I told Elinor that I would have the best lemoncakes around, and singers would sing of how sweet my cakes tasted, and she laughed at me and I don't understand why."
The Hound shakes his head. "Bugger this," he mutters, and Sansa gets the feeling that he might be ruing the day he ever met her.
"I don't like not understanding! Everyone knows more things than I do, and I have no family left to teach me anything!"
Her plea brings a hint of a true smile to his lips. "I won't just tell you, girl. I'll show you." His eyes rove from her face down to her legs, which her shift leaves far more showing than appropriate since she's grown so tall. Her breath hitches as she realizes there indeed was a bawdy meaning and she has trouble swallowing her excitement. It would not be so terrible to let the Hound claim her, she decides, and knows he would be far kinder to her than Joffrey. His face is not even as hideous as it used to look, and she might not even need to close her eyes. This revelation breaks something inside her, and now her mind is a torrent of images and ideas of an entirely new future for her, one that is no longer bleak and hopeless. After all, he's won a tourney before, he could win one again, and of course he would crown her Queen of Love and Beauty, and with his winnings and prestige he could get in the King's good graces again and bargain for her freedom so they could be wed.
Instead of coming closer though, he pulls away. "Not now. You're still a hatchling."
"I'm flowered," she points out, and he grimaces and she swears his breeches look tighter than before, she is making him swell and it makes her excited to finally have some sort of power. She's not quite sure how it all works, unlike Arya she used to avert her eyes when the animals would rut, but now her mind is busy figuring out what his thing would look like. She's only seen babies and small boys naked and surely it must get bigger, and he is one of the biggest men she's ever seen, so…
She must be staring because he curses and stalks away to the other side of the small room and makes a show of rummaging through his things until he comes back with an old hairbrush. His breeches don't seem as bulgy anymore, she notices with a pout.
"Turn," he orders, and she does, facing the wall while he sits on the edge of the mattress and begins to work the knots from her hair. Before long her hair is smooth, but he continues to brush it, much to her pleasure. It reminds her of her mother, although only a little, because he has one arm around her middle to support her and there is no denying it is anyone other than him touching her. She's half asleep when she feels lips graze the top of her head and is sure she must have imagined it, but then she feels them again and now he's just resting his head on her own and instead of strange it is nice.
It is comforting in an odd way and she's afraid to even breathe as it might break the spell, it's been so long since anyone held her like she was precious and she tries to think of the last hug she's had and it was from her father, so very long ago before everything went wrong.
Without permission her hand has found its way to the arm around her and she traces over his skin. The muscles of his forearm are like hard cords beneath her fingertips, but the coarse hairs are surprisingly soft and she watches in fascination as they stand on end and goose bumps rise. As if in retaliation, he brushes her hair to one side and runs his nose along the nape of her neck, causing her own flesh to do the same. He is sniffing me, she thinks, just like a dog, but then remembers how the dogs in Winterfell would sniff each other's rears and decides maybe not quite like a dog.
His other arm wraps around her as well, she feels herself being pulled closer, and his breath is warm on her neck but his lips are even hotter as they lightly brush over her madly racing pulse point. Her breasts tighten and the light fabric of her shift is almost too much to bear, and she can't help but tighten her hold on his arm when he catches her earlobe between his teeth. Somehow, she's flush against him now, and she can feel his hardness against her lower back and decides to push herself further into him, which makes him groan and rasp her name, not little bird but her actual name, and the need in his voice makes her blood rush faster until she is tingling in a hundred different places.
When his hand moves to cup her breast the shock that travels from her nipple to her core makes her lose all her noble upbringing and she gasps and moans and cries out for more, but instead of feeling his other hand she is suddenly bereft of everything, he has released her and fled to the other side of the room as though she were made of fire.
She trembles now from the sudden chill and is too scared to look over at him, but the curses falling from his lips would be enough to shock even the oldest sailor, and so she waits until he falls silent to glance. His back is to her but she can see the tension as he clenches and unclenches his fists, and she is sure he would be able to rip off a man's head with those hands at the moment.
She wants to calm him, but fears every courteous title will enrage him, and so she settles for his name, whispering, "Sandor?" in a small and timid voice. It is too personal, but she takes the liberty because after all, he's had his hand on her breast and she is in his bed.
"Go to sleep," he growls, and does not turn around.
She reluctantly stretches out and pulls a blanket over herself. The bed is a bit lumpy but she can manage, and she rolls a bit until she is on the edge. He still has not moved.
"I left space for you," she finally says after many, many seconds have passed without a change.
The only answer he gives her is a harsh, bitter chuckle and she knows there will be no convincing him. His hands have stopped clenching although his shoulders still look tense, and she's not sure if he's angry at her, or at himself, but it is strange to realize that she has done what other's swords could not do, leaving him disarmed and vulnerable. Though she is awed at her newfound power she does not wish him to blame her. She cannot lose him, so she works up enough courage to say something else.
"I want to."
His answer is a barely audible groan, and he finally looks at her over his shoulder. "And I can't."
This time he is the one who can't look her in the face, and he blows out the candle so she can't stare at him any longer. In the darkness she hears him settle on the floor, and as she drifts off to sleep she thinks she hears him rustling, hears his breath quicken, hears a moan, but then there is just silence, except for the occasional muffled bark of a dog, and she must have imagined it, she thinks, before she succumbs.
A/N: Do I really think Joffrey would spare him? Possibly, since Joffrey does like to humiliate people. But he also likes cutting off heads, so it's a coin toss. While there are lots of really, really good fanfics that are more realistic as far as setting, I kind of miss the King's Landing interactions, and like to ruminate on what would have happened if they were not separated. (Although the answer involves Pedobear probably).