AUTHOR'S NOTE: Chapter 2 is here! Thanks so much for the follows, favourites and reviews. They mean a heck of a lot. This chapter is quite a bit shorter than the first, but I found it harder to write from Sansa's point of view than I did Robb's. But I do expect that Sansa chapters should grow in length with the more I write.
There's a few things I'll address in the author's note at the end of the chapter, but for now, here's chapter 2. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Not mine.
The feast had been a splendid affair, although Sansa could scarely remember much about it. The duration of the feast had been spent with Crown Prince Joffrey, drowning in his startling green eyes and listening intently to his majestic voice.
Sansa had never experienced such a perfect evening.
Joffrey had been courteous and polite; everything a Prince of the Seven Kingdoms should be.
"Joffrey." Sansa loved the sound of his name as it escaped from her lips. Bowing her head to hide the blush that had crept onto her cheeks, Sansa attempted to once again focus on her stitches.
But it was no use; last night she had experienced her very own fairytale, just like all the songs she loved so dearly. Embroidery seemed like such a step backwards.
While Sansa's thoughts were consumed by Prince Joffrey, Arya was talking loudly about how she had spent her time at the feast.
"Robb was telling me all about King's Landing," Arya was saying. "But he says he prefers it here in Wintefell, and can't wait to go riding. He even said I could go, if mother let's me."
"Arya," scolded Septa Mordane. "You must not address the Prince by only his first name. It is not proper."
"But he said I could," Arya argued stubbornly. "Jon and Rickon and Bran call him Robb as well."
"Even so, you are a lady, and should practice the proper courtesies." The Septa spoke firmly, but Arya continued with her tales.
"I don't know why you spent all your time listening to Joffrey talking when you could have joined in with me and Robb and Jon and Rickon."
"Because Prince Joffrey is handsome and clever and all a prince should be," replied Sansa, seeing her gallant Joffrey in her mind's eye.
"So is Robb," insisted Arya. "And he doesn't look down on us and Winterfell."
"Joffrey will be King one day, Arya." Sansa spoke politely to her sister under Septa Mordane's gaze, but she really wanted to shout at her sister for being so silly. "He's accustomed to the grandeur of King's Landing. Winterfell could never match such a place."
Arya was outraged. "You're so stupid Sansa. You think I'm childish, but you're the one who thinks everything in life should be like a song. Winterfell is your home. The North is your home."
"Arya, that is enough. Apologise to your sister," the Septa ordered.
But Arya remained silent.
Finally, Sansa spoke: "It's quite alright, Septa Mordane." She spoke cordially, remembering her courtesies even now.
"Why can't you act more like your sister, Arya?" The Septa wondered, giving Sansa a rewarding smile.
With that, Arya threw her needlework onto the floor and departed. Sansa did not react, this was just typical Arya behaviour.
Septa Mordane sighed beside her. "I will have to inform your lady mother of this."
"Do not trouble yourself, Septa. I shall tell my mother of today's events." Even as she said the words, Sansa knew Lady Catelyn would never hear of Arya's departure, at least not from her. Arya may be a pain, but she was still her sister.
Sansa continued to work away at her stitches, all the while wondering about Arya. Sansa supposed she would be down in the yard by now, watching the princes and her brothers. Joff would be down there, Sansa realised.
How wonderful it would be to see her gallant prince wielding a sword. His tales at the feast the previous night had been remarkable. Joff would make a truly formidable opponent, for even Jon.
"Septa, I wonder, may I be excused? I would go and retrieve Arya. Perhaps if I can convince her to return to the day's lesson there would be no need to speak of this to my lady mother?" Sansa felt bad for lying to Septa Mordane, but her desire to see Prince Joffrey in the field far outweighed her desire to perfect her stitches.
Septa Mordane regarded her thoughtfully for a moment. "Alright Sansa, you may go. I pray you shall find your sister easily enough."
Ever the lady, Sansa rose elegantly and make her exit from the room. Once out of the Septa's sight, Sansa quickened her pace, eager to see her prince in action.
Sansa found her younger sister on the covered bridge between the Great Keep and the armoury. Arya could not have found a better spot, Sansa thought as she approached her sister.
Nymeria was lying lazily by Arya's feet, and it was the direwolf who first noticed Sansa approach. Shock clearly showed on Arya's face before a smirk formed on her lips.
"You left the lesson too?" she questioned.
"I informed the Septa of my plan to locate you and bring you back to the lesson," Sansa replied stiffly.
Arya merely raised her eyebrows. "Oh really? Well, I guess we better go back then."
Sansa certainly hadn't expected that. "Really?" she blurted before she could stop herself.
"Oh yes. I'm sure Septa Mordane will be awaiting our return."
"Well, yes, I suppose we had better go." Sansa hesitated before beginning the journey back to their embroidery room, and that was all Arya needed.
"I knew it! You didn't leave to come get me, you left because you want to watch what the boys are doing too." Arya's grin was unbearably smug to Sansa. But even so, she had the right of it.
Sansa moved to stand beside Arya in order to gain a better vantage point of the yard. Bran, and a boy who Sansa assumed to be Prince Tommen were currently sparing. Sansa looked on proudly as Bran landed hit after hit, although both boys were so thickly padded she doubt Tommen could feel a thing.
As Bran and Tommen continued to spar, albeit with their movement becoming slower and slower, Sansa began to scan the yard, wishing to find her prince.
First she spotted Jon standing with Theon and Prince Robb. The older boys were all smiling, evidently enjoying the sight of Bran and Tommen. While Jon shouted encouragement to Bran, Prince Robb was yelling eagerly for his own brother.
Sansa considered Joff's younger brother for a moment. While his siblings all took after thier mother with their blonde hair and green eyes, Prince Robb bore a startling resemblance to his father, King Robert. Black haired and blue eyed, his appearance could not have been more different to Joff's. Sansa tried to imagine him with the blonde hair and green eyes of his siblings, but somehow she could not manage it.
Suddenly, the black haired Baratheon shifted his gaze from the sparring and looked up to the window where Sansa and Arya were currently standing. Arya immediately waved down at the Prince, but Sansa dropped her head, blushing furiously; she had been staring and Prince Robb he had caught her doing so.
Taking a calming breath to regain her lady-like composure, Sansa once again began her search for Joff. It was a few moments before Sansa finally spotted her charming prince. He was standing well back from the rest of the boys. Sansa could only wonder why.
It was in that moment that Ser Rodrik called a halt to the sparring between Bran and Tommen. The master-at-arms voice carried clearly over the yard.
"Prince Joffrey, would you care for another bout?"
Sansa was surprised to see Joff's bored expression as he made his way towards the group. "This is a game for children, Ser Rodrik."
The old knight seemed thrown by the comment. "How so?"
"I am a prince. And I grow tired of swatting at Starks with a play sword," was Joffrey's reply. Sansa watched the scene below with wide eyes.
Jon stepped forward. "As I remember, you struggled to land any hits against me."
Prince Robb chuckled at that comment. Sansa was stunned; how could Joff's own brother laugh at such things being said?
"Joff, we are guests here at Winterfell. Ser Rodrik has allowed us to join his training, it's only right we train as he sees fit." Prince Robb spoke to Joff in such a way that it almost seemed as though their ages were reversed and Joff was being chatsized by an older, wiser brother.
Arya sniggered beside Sansa. "See that sweet sister? Joffrey looks upon Jon and Rodrik with contempt."
As much as Sansa hated to admit it, her little sister had a point. But she pushed the doubt to the back of her mind, Joff must just be having a truly awful day.
"I'm sure Joffrey is used to much fiercer competition, Arya," she stated simply.
"Robb and Jon were well matched, and Jon bet Joffrey easily," was her sister's reply. "He's not the fighter he told you he was."
"Why would he lie? Princes don't lie."
"Because he's a twit." And with that Arya ran off, Nymeria following at her heels.
Sansa could have went after her sister, but it would do no good. Instead she took a moment to take one final look at the yard.
Joffrey had disappeared indoors but Jon, Theon and Prince Robb remained. Theon had made some sort of jest, causing her brother and the prince to burst into laughter.
A smile came to Sansa's face then, seeing her brother getting on so well with at least one of their royal guests.
"Robb," she whispered softly, testing the name out loud.
Sansa found that she liked it.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I hope you all enjoyed that. Let me know your thoughts!
A few of you did address me making the choice to use the name Robb. Honestly, I can see your points very clearly, because you do immediately think 'Robb Stark' whenever he is mentioned with one of the Stark kids. Well, I certainly felt that writing this chapter.
But I'm sticking with Robb Baratheon, because this essentially is a bit of an AU in which Robb is born a Baratheon, not a Stark. I hope this doesn't cause too many problems for anyone reading.
Also, I'd appreciate everyone's opinions about something: Who should Jon's direwolf be? I'm not sure I want Grey Wind to be Jon's because Robb is associated with Grey Wind, but this is an AU. Should Grey Wind simply not exist? Should Ghost still be Jon's direwolf even though he is true born? Any other options? Thoughts/opinions are greatly appreciated, and I'll go with whatever is the most popular. PM me, or leave a review with your thoughts.
Until next time!