DISCLAIMER: All characters belong to George R.R. Martin and his amazing Song of Ice & Fire Series. I claim no ownership to any of this, even the parts I made up :) I'm just having my fun because all seven gods of the faith, the old gods and R'hllor know that he probably won't take SanSan where I want them to go :)
This was written for another sansaxsandor community commentfic prompt, as follows:
AU where Sansa has gone with Sandor during the Blackwater, so the events in ASoS play out differently but kinda close to canon since he has her with him now. They are taken by the Bro-hood w/o Banners still (I guess Arya and Gendry are there too if it's semi-canon) and Sandor has to duel Lord Beric, and wins just the same. How does Sansa react to the trial? To him getting burnt? Does he still cry "like a baby?"
*Just a quick note: I felt the need to kind of build up the SanSan relationship before throwing them in with Arya and the BwB…hence the fact that this is not a short fic, even though it started out as a commentfic. That said, timeline-wise there is approximately a month and a half between the Battle of the Blackwater and Sandor's capture by the BwB so I also had to gloss over some time in order for this to not become a novel in and of itself ;) Please remember that this *is* an AU and that I will do my best to make as much of it canon as possible, but there will be obvious and not-so-obvious differences :)
They had been riding for three days straight.
At times she was delirious with pain and lack of sleep. The Hound had looped her horse's rains to a ring on his own saddle and now she was often sleeping as she rode, hunched over in her scratchy uncomfortable clothes, draped in an too-large cloak with the hood pulled up to cover her hair. Or rather, what was left of her hair.
My beautiful hair, she could not help but think more often than not. A silly thing to be sad about in times like these, especially as she realized the necessity of Sandor's lopping it off with his dagger as they had readied themselves to flee the Red Keep and King's Landing. She had shocked herself by being less unhappy about the loss of her auburn locks than about the fact that she was forced to dress in awful roughspuns that the Hound had procured for her.
She refused to think about where he had gotten them. They smelled of stables and the musky odor of a man, were far too big on her slim form and when she had finally seen them in daylight, some hours after they fled King's Landing, she had decided that the many stains should remain a mystery as well.
As they traveled they avoided the kingsroad, but they were moving steadily north. Slightly west, as well, but when she had pointed this out to Sandor at sunset on their first day of riding he merely growled, "I'm no fool, little bird. We're not going to the Westerlands." He had not spoken to her since.
Sansa's hands were blistered and bleeding, her bum was sore, her thighs tender, and there was not a doubt in her mind that she smelled horrific. Funnily enough, when they finally stopped at dawn on their fourth morning and the Hound lifted her from the saddle, she found herself wondering if he cared that she was dirty and smelly and...ugly. But if he did notice, he neither did nor said anything - no raised eyebrow, no wrinkled nose, no curl of a lip. Instead, he barely looked at her at all as he said, "We'll rest for a bit in this grove. Can't have a fire; don't want to draw attention to ourselves. And no chirping from you, little bird," he snarled when she opened her mouth to speak. "You chirp, and they'll know you aren't who you say you are. You're to be a mute from hereon in. My squire, the mute. Understand?"
She could not help herself. "But if I'm you're squire, then you're a knight," she reminded him. At this his lip didcurl, and he wrapped one of his large, strong hands around her arm, pulling her close, causing her to let out an involuntary squeak - partly in pain, partly in fright.
"Mutes don't speak, little bird. You'd best remember that."
As the Hound pulled some bedrolls from his horse's back, Sansa snuck off into the trees to make water. As soon as she was out of his sight she let the tears fall. She had promised herself that just moments after agreeing to come with him - no matter what he said to her, no matter what he did to her, the Hound would not see her cry. She would be a lady, a Northerner, a Stark, a wolf. You are Lady Wolf, she told herself. And wolves do not cry.
But Hounds did. She knew that now, at least.
The more he thought about it, the less he understood why he had even offered to take Sansa Stark from King's Landing. Leaving the way he'd done was treason of its own accord, but stealing the little bird away from Joffrey...there was no turning back from this. And now that he had her, what in Westeros was he to do with her? He knew what he wanted to do, of course, and though he told himself that he pushed them for three days and three nights because they needed to get as far from King's Landing as possible, Sandor knew - deep down - that it was also because once they stopped he would have to face the fact that he had gone to her room and thought about raping her bloody.
Only he hadn't, instead he had asked her to flee with him, and she'd done so. Gods only knew why, but there it was and they were alone together. In the middle of nowhere. He could do anything he wanted to her, anything, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Finally he had no choice but to stop. The horses were nearly as exhausted as he and the little bird were, and he had caught himself drowsing in the saddle more often than he'd like. Really they needed an inn, but more than that they needed as many leagues as possible between themselves and the Lannisters before stopping and encountering more people. The battle-weary men and frightened women they had seen the first day or two had been bad enough, but thankfully as they traveled further and kept away from the kingsroad these meetings had become more and more rare.
Sandor lifted the little bird from her saddle, trying not to think about the way his hands nearly completely encircled her perfect, tiny little waist. Even with her hair raggedly chopped off, covered in dirt from their travels and dressed in the clothes he had stolen from a dead stable worker - at least I didn't have to kill that one, he thought - Sansa Stark was beautiful enough to make it difficult to restrain himself. So he avoided her eyes - her piercing, Tully blue eyes - and told her to keep quiet. When she wandered off to piss he unrolled their bedding - first placing the rolls right next to each other, just so, then thinking better of it and pulling them a bit more than an arm's length apart.
Close enough to be close to the little bird; but not close enough for him to touch her.
When Sansa returned some minutes later he saw her bite her lip at the sight of the bedrolls, but he had ordered her not to speak and like a courteous little law-abiding bird she kept her mouth shut and lay down on one of them, curling up under her cloak, the hood still covering the shock of red hair that was left on her head. Sandor felt himself make a noise that was something between a snort and a sigh. He pulled a wineskin from his pack and sat down on his own bedroll, taking a long pull of the sour red and trying to decide where exactly he would take this girl. A ship was the best bet, a ship to Braavos perhaps. Years ago he had met a Braavosi who talked of a house where a man could learn to change his face. The little bird would grow up - she would be taller, perhaps slimmer or perhaps heavier. Her face would change some, and they could color her hair, though he would hate doing that as much as he had hated cutting it off. But he was recognizable, too recognizable, and scars did not just go away with age. Especially not ones like his.
But if he could change his face...if he could learn to do that, they could go anywhere. Maybe even come back to Westeros, eventually.
He tried to tell himself that he wasn't really thinking about changing his face in hopes that Sansa Stark would finally look directly at him without flinching.