Title: Harsh Words and Gentle Bloodies Hands
Characters: Sansa, Sandor
Rating: T for language and blood
Word Count: 986
Summary: He was wrong to think that he could come here, sling her over his shoulder, and spirit her away.
Harsh Words and Gentle, Bloodied Hands
When he finds her, he expects that she'll be hiding, cowering from the siege that has brought that bastard Littlefinger's dangerous reign to an end. But once he has limped down the hallway, his thigh smarting more than usual from the exertion of spilling blood, and entered her chambers, he finds her boldly sitting atop her bed with Littlefinger's head cradled in her lap.
Her face is serene and a smile blossoms on her face that makes him grip his sword more tightly. The little bird looks as if she is happy to see him. He expected her to be grateful and courteous as ever, but to avoid looking him in the face, as she had done before, disgusted by his scarred face. Instead, she looks at him as if she has never been happier to see someone before in her short life. He's sure no one has ever blessed him with such a smile.
The realization is so overpowering that for a moment he fails to recognize that Littlefinger's neck is slit from ear to ear in a bloody mummer's smile. Her grey skirts are bright red with fresh blood pooling beneath his head. Littlefinger is dead, and if the delicate, jeweled dagger at her side and bloody hands indicate anything, the little bird is the one who saw to it.
"Hound," she says sweetly, softly. "I knew you would come."
"Did you now?" he rasps.
"When I heard of the Queen's death, I knew you would come for me," she explains, as she turns her gaze on the dead man in her lap.
"I would have done that for you," he growls, as he stalks forward. He would have saved her from having to do something so beneath her. A dog kills for its master, and he came to kill for her, having given up on a life of silence and contemplation, having killed his brother with a blow that severed dead tissue and sliced through bone. That the bitch Queen, who had threatened the little bird, found her death as a result was just an additional boon.
He stops at the foot of the bed, watching in fascination as she gently brushes back the dead man's hair, leaving red streaks on the pale of his forehead. Being jealous of a dead man does not bother him, for he's had stranger passions, but this man is dead at her hands. The thought stirs queer feelings he can't name. Not so queer that he doesn't look at the length of her neck, a wash of lust making his pulse quicken. He wonders not for the first time what it would be like to take her delicate chin in his hand not for scolding, but to tilt it so he might see what she tastes like there, where he skin looks so soft and unmarked.
"I was tired of keeping my hands clean," she says, a new edge to her voice.
His dented armor clanks as he shifts on his feet, considering what to say now that she is before him and so different from what she was before—and not just grown, not just with her hair too damn dark. He intended on coming here and just taking her away, protecting her as he had once offered to do, but now she seems a fearsome thing, not someone who can merely be spirited away.
"Stupid little bird," he mutters, anticipating that she might have idiotic notions of staying put, that he might need to argue with her, instead of slinging her over his shoulder and striding out of here. This time she must come with him. Aegon or the Dragon Queen will eventually reach this place, and he doubts either of them will spare Lady Sansa of Winterfell, daughter of a rebel.
"Not so stupid," she says, looking up so that he catches the flash of anger in her eyes. "His kisses were not fatherly."
Her statement causes the bloodlust to flare in his stomach and the muscles in his jaw to jump, but you can't kill a dead man. Except his brother: he had had that satisfaction at least. "I would have killed him for you, little bird. Gladly," he grinds out.
"Thank you," she chirps with renewed courtesy. "You are very good, and I had no doubt of it. But I couldn't wait. He had plans for us—to slip away before your forces breached the walls. He came to prepare me for our flight." Bracketing his face, slack with death, with her delicate hands, she peers down at him once more, a soft smile quirking her lips. "And I confess it: it was satisfying to dispatch him myself. He did not see it coming. I lie very well now," she boasts with unconcealed pride.
She has been remade. She is no longer untouched, unmarred. She is more like him.
He goes to one knee, intending it to be a motion of submission to the woman before him—girl no longer—but in his exhaustion, killing not as easy as it once was, it is more like collapsing.
Her eyes are fixed upon him, when he vows, "I am yours, my lady." As her sworn shield or whatever else she might want from him.
He was wrong to think he could come here and demand that she heed his warnings and carry her away. He will take her over the Narrow Sea, where they might disappear in anonymity. He will carry her north and fight whoever holds the shell of Winterfell, so that she might claim it as her own, as queen or mistress. He will stay here and face whatever comes their way.
Anything she has in mind. So long as he might be at this woman's side and follow her command.