A/N: This might just be the fluffiest thing I've ever written. Usually it's fluff laced with angst, but this is just short and sweet. The prompt, by the42towels on tumblr, was "dancing." The title is from "Let's Dance" by David Bowie.
Spring is coming, Sansa thinks. The wind blows against her cheeks, softer than it has in years. Perhaps in the south it's already come. She pictures purple crocuses pushing their way up in the ruins of the Red Keep, reaching towards the sun.
Winter still holds Winterfell in its jaws, albeit loosening ones. Snow piles against the walls beneath her tower window, far below, its surface crusted and dirty. She can hear the rumbles and heaves of stones being shifted and set, and the shouts of working men. One sits on the ground near jagged shards of a broken wall, the pointed end of a wooden pipe wedged between his teeth. King's man or outlaw, she cannot tell. At this distance, his face is indistinguishable, and his clothes and bearing give no hint of where he hails from. After all this time, the garrison of Winterfell is all in patched cloth and old bits of armor, some of it culled from the dead to shield the living.
The ragged piper's music floats on the thawing air, the notes dancing in her ears, featherlight and bittersweet.
Sansa closes her eyes, swaying back and forth in time with the beat, toe tapping the ground. The scarred leather of her boot makes a dull sound against old stone floor.
Footsteps make her open her eyes. War and troubles have made her uneasy, and she whirls around to face the door, her braid hitting against her back.
Sandor leans against the door, watching her. He's smiling, just barely, the sort of awkward tender smile that never looks right on his fierce face.
"What were you doing?"
She glances down, shy. What if he laughs at me?
"Dancing. One of the builders is playing a pipe—do you hear?"
He laughs, but it's a softer sound, not harsh and mocking as she'd feared. The hints of spring in the air have gentled his rougher edges for now. Perhaps a change in the weather will briefly smooth what time and peace could not.
"I think the stones themselves could hear it. He's really wailing away down there."
"There hasn't been music here for a long time," Sansa says. "I'd wager even the stones are surprised."
"Let's hope they don't decide to dance too. I've almost pulled my back out hauling boulders too many times to have my work undone by an avalanche."
She tilts her head back, laughing.
"I'd think someone as absolutely huge as you couldn't complain about a few small boulders. They're barely heavier than I am."
"You bloody liar," Sandor grumbles. "Unless you've been eating a hell of a lot more than the rest of us are rationed."
Forcing back a laugh, she darts forward to slap at his arm playfully. He grabs her instead, his large hand folding around hers easily, and swings her close to him, her hips bumping against his legs.
Sandor's hand hovers near her waist, almost as a dancer holds his partner. He looks down at her, his grey eyes widened by the sudden intimacy of their not-quite-embrace. She nods her consent, and he slips his fingers under her cloak, curling them just above her hip bone. He brings his other hand to the same position, his tight grip digging into her stomach, even through the thick wool of her dress.
When he lifts her, her breath leaks out of her, soaring to the ceiling even as he hoists her body high. Torn between giggling and gasping, she curls her toes, pointing her feet to the earth.
"See? You're not heavy at all."
As if to demonstrate, he spins her around in midair, her skirts swirling as if caught in a wind. Sansa looks down at him, the loose strands of his hair falling across both sides of his face; the plain and the hideous. His eyes are full of light and awe, though, and for a moment she feels as if she is flying.