title: last night I dreamt I'd forgotten my name
summary: it starts with letters from the Vale and the sound of a dynasty dying - JonSansa
dedication: Moirail, because Holden/Allie and strep throat and steamed pork buns.
last night I dreamt I'd forgotten my name
The dawn comes and Jon's fever does not break.
Sansa can feel the heat radiating off his skin as she scrubs him down with a cold rag, slicking water gently over his arms and face, his bare chest.
"Sansa," he murmurs, caught in the depths of a sleep that is obviously hot and uncomfortable and unhappy. He calls out for Arya, too, and Robb and Bran and Rickon. Sometimes there is even a plea for Father.
Because she does not doubt that to Jon, Eddard Stark will always be Father. Prince Rhaegar is a phantom of history, a ghost of legend that little boys grew up to, and he never even laid eyes on his last born child. She thinks of the stripling Jon was when she was growing up, all long, awkward limbs and sad grey eyes – the only piece of home left to her, even as a man grown.
"When you wake up, Winterfell will be ours again," she whispers against his hair, before she takes her leave, Old Nan staying behind to tend to his wounds.
She'd stay here and watch over him all day if she could, but Sansa is not a little girl anymore, she is a Queen and she has an army to command.
"Begin," she says to Harry, and it goes like this: a secret tunnel, the gates opening, her men storming in. They do not sack the castle; this is not a siege, this is not plunder, this is not stealing.
The drums pound, and the Bolton men die, and Ramsay is still fucking his wife when Sansa enters the room with fifty men and Harry drags him off the girl called Arya Stark by his hair.
"I am the Lord of Winterfell," he screams at her, spittle flying everywhere, his breeches gathered around his ankles. There's a knife at his throat and she thinks that he is a mad dog, rabid and feral and inhuman. "I married the girl, I married a Stark, this castle in mine you mewling cunt!"
Sansa regards him with a stillness she learned in Kings Landing; quiet steel and smooth lake surfaces. "I am Sansa Stark," she says, quiet, quiet and soft like the falling snow. "And that is not my sister. You are no Lord, Ramsay Snow, but I am a Queen."
The world has been ripped out from under her so many times, but this – this is turning things back to rights, this is pulling the lie out from underneath one of the monsters that destroyed everything she knew.
Lord Royce hands her the dagger, dragonbone handle and gleaming blade. It feels foreign in her hands, blades will never be her weapon of choice, but she is the Stark in Winterfell and the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. Even if that man is a Lady, a Queen.
Sansa stabs him in the chest, feels it lodge in his blackened heart and twists. Harry lets him drop to the floor and Sansa steps across the rapidly growing pool of blood to the bed where Jeyne is still sobbing hysterically.
"Sansa," she cries, little girl, broken, broken –
"You're safe now," Sansa tells her, wrapping her arms around the childhood friend she thought dead, thought gone, and rocks her gently. She places her own thick furs around Jeyne's trembling body, taking silent note of the whip scars on her back, the bite marks on her thighs, and thinks that Ramsay deserved a much more horrible death than the one she gave him.
"You're safe now," she repeats, motioning for her men to remove the body from view and mayhaps feed it to the dogs. "No one will ever hurt you again."
She's not sure if she's speaking to Jeyne or to herself.
"Burn the bodies," Jon tells her, half-conscious and still feverish as she settles him in her bed. Sansa has taken the room which once belonged to her mother, but there is nothing remaining of Catelyn Stark here. Only the warmth remains the same, the only thing House Bolton couldn't eradicate. That and the memories.
"Jon," Sansa admonishes him, concerned for him, primarily for him, when there is so much else that needs doing. His hand grasps her wrist, fingers close around her skin tight. Her heart skips a beat.
"Sansa," he insists, and in the firelight his eyes are almost silver. "Burn them."
They find Theon Greyjoy hiding in the Godswood, hardly recognisable as the handsome boy who served her Lord father. Her men think nothing of him, this white-haired, broken man who trembles at shadows, barely look at him.
"He says his name is Reek," Harry tells her, as this ruined shell of her almost-once-upon-a-time brother is hauled before her.
The banners of House Stark are fluttering from the battlements once more, a grey direwolf running across a white field, and Sansa sits in her father's seat. The throne that would have been Robb's, if he'd lived to return.
Beside her, Jeyne stiffens and Sansa recognises the feel of terror on behalf of someone you love. She wonders if Theon stood by and let Ramsay abuse Jeyne, the way the whole of Kings Landing stood by as Joffrey abused her. She wonders if, just maybe, Ramsay broke Theon long before he took Jeyne to wife.
Sansa rises from her throne and extends a delicate hand to the prince of the Iron Islands, teeth missing, fingers missing, hair falling out. He cannot even look her in the eyes as he takes her hand.
"A bath, I think," she says quietly, leading him away from her men. "And then you will tell me everything."
"Yes, m'lady," Theon whispers, mouth muddying the words like a commoner, tripping over the words.
"None of that," Sansa replies sharply, once they are out of earshot and have left the hall and the crowd behind. He limps with every step. "You are Theon Greyjoy, not a lowborn peasant."
"Did you think I would not know you? Or did you hope?"
He fumbles for words, and she sees the expression on his face as shame and disgust and bitter, bitter regret.
"I wanted only to die," he replies at last, shaking like so many leaves. "I should have. At his side."
"You caused the death of one my brothers," she says, "but I know you did not kill Bran and Rickon when you tried to steal our home from us. But that's the only thing I can absolve you of, Theon."
When night falls, Sansa locks herself in her mother's old room and cries into the door. Everywhere she looks, she sees echoes of what once was and it hits her over and over again –
Robb is never coming back. Her mother and father are never coming back.
She doesn't hear Jon rise and make his way over to her on unsteady legs, but when his hand settles delicately on her shoulder, Sansa turns and buries her face in his chest.
They sink to the floor, grief leaking from their bones into the cold night air. Her forehead is wet, and she realises with a start that Jon is crying too.
notes: pretend that you want it, don't react. the damage is done.
notes2: when it's so cold in your house you can see your breath on the air.