Red and gold. Never ending fields of red and gold flooded Sansa's vision wherever she went. The castle weavers had just finished Joffrey's new standard, and crowned stag and lion on a crimson and black fields respectively, in battle.
Sansa thought it strange that Joffrey would change his standard. He was a Baratheon, was he not? What reason was there to include the Lannister lion of his mother's house? Sansa could have dwelled on it, but there were more pressing matters at hand.
Yes… pressing indeed. So important they could not wait. In the days following her father's death and Joffrey's parading of her father's head, she had rarely seen him. Sansa had shown up in court as the King required, but he spared her no more than a passing glance each day, and Sansa was quick to depart at each session's conclusion.
In fact, not a single member of the royal family, nor the small council had benigned to speak with her. The gold cloaks that shadowed her every step were Sansa's only reminder that they remembered her existence at all.
Sansa was not without entertainment in her solitude however. The royal family had thought to give her a few spools of thread and some embroidery hoops to pass the time, and pass the time she did. Sansa's days were spent frivolously. She woke well after the proper time for a lady each morning, and lazed about in bed for a good part of the day. And when the mood struck Sansa to become active, she often remained in her night clothes for sometimes even the day's entirety.
It wasn't until nine days after her father's beheading that Sansa spoke to Joffrey, and she remembered it well.
Sansa stared intently down at her chosen embroidery hoop. She had selected a lily pattern for the day, it's meaning of foreboding and death fitting her dower mood. She was about half way into the flower when a sound cracked through the still air of her concentration.
A knock on the door.
How peculiar. Sansa thought. A few days ago she would have felt a stab of fear at the sound, for then she had still awaited the force of Joffrey's residual ire, but that fear had abated on the fifth day. Though none were there to witness it, Sansa gently placed down her embroidery hoop, lifted her skirts slightly, and stood up,all elegance and grace and everything that she had been taught growing up in Winterfell. And even though there were none there to witness the act, something about the familiar twinge in her lower back at the odd angle gave her some comfort in the routine.
"Who is it?" Sansa called as she neared the door, resting one hand on the wood itself and one of the shiny brass knob.
"It is your King." A rough voice said from the other side of the polished oak. "Open this door immediately."
Sansa could hear the razor sharp edge in his voice and she had heard it enough times to know that arguing with him now could prove fatal.
Sansa wretched the door open quickly and stepped to the side as Joffrey barreled into her room. Sansa stood stalk still before dipping into her usual curtsy.
Joffrey perused her room slowly, eyeing the embroidery hoops scattered about, and the bits of unfinished embroidery clothes laying strune about the space. Sansa blushed lightly, embarrassed at her messiness.
Joffrey Baratheon's piercing green eyes landed on her last, those emerald orbs almost glowing with intensity. He bowed to her stiffly. "You look well Lady Sansa."
Joffrey stepped closer to her, stretching out his arm. Sansa jumped back startled. The King gave her a harsh look before closing the door, proving to Sansa that that was all he had meant to do in the first place. She breathed a sigh a relief.
Joffrey's eyes narrowed, as he stepped toward her. His overextended movement had him almost standing on top of Sansa, and despite their height difference, the King looked directly into her eyes, snaking a thin limb around her back to keep her pinned to him.
A flush immediately took over Sansa's cheeks, unaccustomed to their close proximity, in all parts the maid.
"Is it so hard to imagine my touch My Lady?" Joffrey questioned, his thin lips brushing against the shell of her ear, tickling her slightly. Sansa's whole body felt warm.
Sansa looked anywhere but his eyes.
"N-No my prince- I mean your Grace." Sansa trembled with fear. They were alone in her chamber. Joffrey could do whatever he wished with her, and Sansa would be unable to refuse him.
Sansa felt Joffrey's eyes burning into her body. His arm suddenly released her before using both hands to clasp her upper arms. Sansa winced, he was strong.
"Where is your necklace?" Joffrey asked, his voice leaked thinly veiled contempt.
"M- My what your G-Grace?" Sansa stammered, fearing Joffrey's wrath.
He released her quickly then, pushing Sansa away in the process. The maid stumbled at the sudden movement before catching herself on a small table usually used for tea. Sansa looked up to see Joffrey faced away from her, pacing the length of her room like a caged lion.
Joffrey stopped, half facing Sansa, and half facing the window, one hand on his hip, the other rubbing over his mouth as if trying to wipe away the scowl that tightened his features into a mask of rage. He pulled his hand away from his face and extended it quickly, a lone finger pointing in her direction.
"Your necklace! The one I gave you. Where is it?" Joffrey questioned, coming closer to her. Sansa crouched back against the wall again, face lower, trying not the meet his eye.
"Well?" He questioned sharply, invading her personal space again, roughly grabbing her face. Sansa whimpered, refusing to meet his eye. She wanted to respond to him, to whisper and to murmur, anything to calm her fierce lion of his anger, but no words would leave her lips. This angered him.
Sansa felt his next move, a swift hand descending onto her face, colliding with her flesh and emitting a sickeningly sharp sound. The force of Joffrey's blow knocker her off her feet, and in her fall she took the small table with her, both crashing to the ground in a flurry of silk and wood.
Sansa cradled her cheek, already feeling the tingling painful sensation that she knew would soon be accompanied by a blue and purple bruise. Sansa looked up at her king then. He stood in such a way that his golden hair and jewels were caught by the falling sun in the window, casting him in a warm light. Joffrey seemed almost lit from within. Striking her seemed to have calmed the worst of his rage, and now he just stood there, looking half the boy with his fair skin and youthful frame, gazing at her with an unreadable expression in his icy cold eyes. Sansa's world came to her then, her hand still cradling her bruised cheek.
"There, my King," Sansa pointed with her other arm to her wardrobe, or more exactly the mahogany box trimmed with silver and mother-of-pearl that sat upon it. Joffrey looked at Sansa for a moment more before quickly striding across the room, his long legs eating up the distance in just a few strides. Joffrey wasn't careful and he wrenched open the lid of the box. Grabbing it with both hands, the King overturned it quickly, watching with a vacant, searching expression as the contents spilled along the wardrobe's shelf. Sansa watched mutely as Joffrey rifled quickly through the pile, retrieving the pendant.
It was beautiful really. Pressed gold, embellished with vines and leaves and crowns. The pendant itself was roughly the size of a golden dragon, with more of the thickness of a silver stag. It proudly portrayed the slightly raised image of the King's crest, a crowned stag and lion halved by a tall scepter, in combat. It would be hung high on Sansa's pale neck by a wrought golden chain, almost as heavy as the pendent itself.
Joffrey clenched the pendant in a tight grip as he stalked back to Sansa. The maid cowered closer to the wall, wishing that she could melt into it, anything to save her from Joffrey's wrath. But no matter how tiny she got he would always be able to find her.
Sansa yelped as her hair was captured in his iron grip, and her body was hauled forcibly into a kneeling position, her back facing the King. Sansa visibly flinches when his other hand came to brush her neck, across her collar bone, and up her tilted cheek. Sansa allowed herself for a moment to image Joffrey's touch as that of a lover's filled with passion and gentleness. But Sansa knew Joffrey's hands well, and those hands could meet out punishment and pain just as readily as they could caress.
Joffrey's hand left her hair then and Sansa had no inclination of his presence other than the warmth that enveloped her body wherever their skin touched. Sansa gasped at the feeling of cold metal hitting her skin. Joffrey's warm hands provided a soothing counterpoint as he fastened the chain about her neck. His hands came to rest on both her shoulders then. Sansa felt Joffrey's breath tickle her ear.
"Never take it off again," Her King ordered. Sansa could hear the veiled threat in his command, and shuddered at the thought of what would happen to her should she choose to disobey.
Sansa stood with the help of Joffrey's hand, his chivalrous upbringing showing through for the first time in this particular encounter. She met his icy blue eyes with some hesitation, and was started at the warmth she found there. There was something unreadable in the King's remote expression, but it looked remarkably similar to regret, and longing.
Joffrey's hand rose once again, now that the two were at eye level, and Sansa had to force herself not to flinch away from it. His touch was remarkably gentle as he stroked her face, one calloused thumb brushing over the apple of her cheek bone. His eyes darkened at the cut still prominent on her lip from the assault of his guardsman.
"I'm sorry, my Lady," His words were soft, "I didn't want to hurt you but you gave me no choice."
Sansa nodded hesitantly, a small, accepting smile graced her lips as her hand reached up to clasp her love's, holding it still against her face.
"Next time I will listen, my King." Sansa said softly. It was true, she hadn't listened to Joffrey and that was why she had been struck. Her King had given her ample time to respond to his request and still she refused. It was amazing to Sansa that he even gave her as much time to answer as he did before commanding his soldier. Sansa sighed inwardly. As always, her King was merciful beyond measure.
Joffrey gazed upon her for a minute more, before turning on his heel and leaving the room, table still overturned and beloved still terrorized. Sansa mourned his leaving. She felt… wrong without his there, hollow, like she no longer cast a shadow without her King's radiant light. And in his absence, her necklace felt strangely like a collar.
Sansa reached up to touch the pendant that now forever graced her skin. As Joffrey had commanded those many days ago, Sansa hadn't removed the pendant, not even once. She did, however, long for her King. Day and night Sansa toiled in her chambers, reliving her father's death in every dream and every nightmare, waking up in a terror some nights to find her necklace strangling her with its heavy golden weight. Her subconscious sometimes likened to cold metal to Joffrey's hands, but that mirage was dispelled every morning when she remembered the rough warmth of those same hands.
It got harder everyday to live without him. Locked in her tower, there wasn't much to do but think. Her father was a traitor, Sansa knew, simple as that. Joffrey had done his sworn duty to the crown and the kingdom by removing a veritable threat. She was sure he would have spared Lord Eddard for her, but with the whole kingdom watching, and the small council breathing down his back, Joffrey had done what he could. And Sansa just had to reconcile with that, and understand that her Joffrey was not the Joffrey Baratheon that the country saw, and her Joffrey was not the one that killed her father.
And now she just had to wait for her Joffrey to come to her.
Tah-duh! Behold the first chapter of my own story line. I'm going to be completely honest when I tell you I have only the vaguest idea where this is going, so expect sporadic updates. I hope you all enjoyed Sansa's blatant denial and Joffrey's hot and cold behavior, I do my best to channel their characters into my writing and I hope it showed through for you all. As always, rate and review, I would love to hear from anyone.