Summary: Sansa must shift away from Jaime's sleeping form to find her pleasure.
Notes: Written for gameofships' Hump Day challenge.
Sansa shifts just a hair away from his solid shoulder. It has been a long inner push and pull that has led to this tiny correction of her body in the straw stuffed bed of the inn, and ultimately it isn't displeasure that drives her to roll slightly to her right, but desperation.
It isn't the first time she shared a bed or a bedroll with the Kingslayer. They are glad enough to share the body heat, when they travel on the road—North, it was supposed to be North, and now we move in the wrong direction—and even in this inn, there is need of it, as they have no wood to feed a fire that might make the room warm enough to force him to the floor like a dog guarding her sleep.
No, it is not the warmth that seeps from beneath his skin that she shies from.
Nor is it unwelcome familiarity. They have enough of that after a rescue, flight, and abortive attempt to return her to the North, to her brother, the man they now say was reborn in flames. Familiarity is nothing new. They have even known each other better. Once.
It was the last time Sansa saw the Kingslayer with wine in his hand, holding it poorly enough with his cold, lifeless hand that he spilled nearly as much as he drank by the end. He complained of a headache the next day, but she thinks it wasn't so much the headache that has kept him from drinking since, but the realization at a watery dawn that the hair spread across his chest was red and not spun gold.
He took his pleasure in a drunken haze and regretted it afterward. She might have said no, but he was strong and insistent and it was easy enough to pretend the next morn that she had no choice in the matter. It was a comfort to think she had not betrayed her family with a Lannister just so that she might feel wanted and needed and loved.
He hasn't touched her since. He looks enough, she is always catching his green eyed stare on her, stripping away furs and scratchy wool and shifts and smallclothes with one narrowed drag of his eyes over her, but he will not touch. Even in this bed—a luxury for all its smell of stale bedding—he sleeps with his back to her, his chest expanding with each deep inhale, until the brush of his hot skin against her arm brings her to the conclusion that she must shift away, she must free herself from this relentless torment.
Just enough so that she can ease it herself without him knowing.
Mya taught her how with whispers and soft touches and throaty giggles, but she was a bastard then. Now it is something different. She is Sansa Stark even if only the Kingslayer knows it. Sansa Stark would never do such a thing and certainly not while Jaime Lannister sleeps beside her. This has been the source of her disquiet, the debate within herself whether to count sheep until her body gives up the fight and succumbs to sleep or slip her hand beneath the furs and relieve the ache she feels low in her belly.
If only he would roll over and cover her body with his own, she could convince herself as they rode back to front on his sorry mount that it was not her fault that the Kingslayer fucked her again. She can convince herself of nearly anything after all. But if she wakes him as her body begs her to, if she presses a kiss to his shoulder, if she insinuates a hand around his waist to feel if he is similarly aroused, it would be difficult to excuse, to wish away in a whirl of fantasy. Even for her.
She must do it herself. Quietly, she thinks, as her fingers touch herself through the rough linen of her shift. It would be better if she could bunch it up about her hips and have nothing in the way of the wetness already pooling there, soaking the linen with each pass of her fingers, but the movement might wake him, for he is always on guard, sleeping like a cat with his eyes barely closed.
After moons of controlling her passions, it takes very little to make her bite her lip. Her breath comes fast, her head bows back, and her fingers draw neat circles, precise as the stitches she once practiced, bringing her closer to her pleasure.
"You're doing a bloody terrible job of being quiet."
Her breath catches in her chest. Her body goes rigid with the need to be still, but her eyes fly open wide, every sense alive, as she prepares to express insult and denial or to feign sleep, anything to convince him that his complaints are unfounded.
The seconds tick by endlessly and she only just thinks, I might have dreamt his voice, for he has not moved, when he stirs, his body heaving onto his back, his head lolling to the side to meet her panicked gaze with eyes hooded from sleep.
"Do you need a hand, my lady?"
You don't have one to spare, she thinks uncharitably. But it's a cruel jape, so she keeps it inside, where it cannot hurt him. Besides, he did well enough with one hand; it is the remembrance of just how well that keeps her awake.
She meant to talk her way out of this, she is as good at spinning lies for others as she is for herself, but something about the weight of his stare pins her to the linens, rendering her mute, as he lifts the furs and peers down at her hand cupped over herself.
"You'll make yourself raw if you don't pull away this shift," he advises.
His tone is cool enough, but the taut muscles in his jaw make her wonder, make her wish she could force her hand to cup him in the way she cups herself to put an end to this game of misery.
"I don't need a lesson," she says, twisting away from him, putting her back to him as he has to her for so long.
Even if he is right, the flesh feeling warm and slightly abused, not in the pleasant way it did the morning after he forgot himself.
"And I wasn't planning on giving any, but you're shaking the damn bed," he growls, leaning close enough that his beard scrapes the back of her neck, where her hair has been plaited for the night.
She curls in tighter on herself, giving up any hope of easing the loneliness in a wave of pleasure. It wouldn't have lasted long anyway.
"I'm sorry for disturbing your sleep, ser," she mutters, hoping it will put an end to his teasing.
Except it's not quite teasing. It's more desperate than that, and she knows he is at war with himself as much as she is with herself. Only it is a battle she fears they would have to lose together in order to find peace if there is any peace to be had.
Far away, he keeps telling her, but how far away will they both have to go to escape their demons, which feel closer at hand than those that come from the North?
The rearranging of his limbs, longer and bigger than her own, moves the bed more so than she must have in her tiny moment of approaching ecstasy, until finally he grows still behind her. It is only his breathing that betrays to her that sleep evades him. Thanks to her, it might be a sleepless night for them both, and this the first inn they have dared stop in for almost a moon.
She feels it: his golden hand brushing against the small of her back, his words low and warm, full of regret. "I can't."
Can't sleep. Can't touch. Can't love.
His offer of assistance was completely hollow. He expected her to refuse it. Maybe if she had mustered the courage to accept.
Can't. Or won't.