Rating: M for sexual content
Summary: There are things worth celebrating.
Notes: Written for the gameofshipschallenges Hump Day prompt.
There was no guarantee that Queen Daenerys would give her approval to the match. There is some wisdom in choosing a bride from the North, binding the two parts of the realm together, but Jon is no Southroner, making the alliance less politically astute than it might otherwise be. Likewise, by choosing a Northern bride, Daenerys will lose Jon to the snowy North more than she would like, for Lady Sansa rules Winterfell and the North until Rickon reaches his majority, and therefore can't afford to be whisked away to King's Landing to live at the beck and call of Jon's aunt. Jon might be a bastard, but he is Daenerys' closest relative, next in line to the throne, and with the queen barren, whatever woman he takes as a bride will likely bear the next king or queen of Westeros. With his choice holding such import for the future, they both knew she might refuse to bless them, although Jon insisted to Sansa that all would be well.
She'll say yes, of course. She wouldn't refuse me my choice.
Though I am a Stark? And once a Lannister too?
Of course, a Lannister serves as Hand of the Queen and Jon looks more Stark than Targaryen. Daenerys might not precisely know what a Stark looks like—Sansa certainly does not resemble her father's house—but the queen has often enough remarked that only Jon's eyes sometimes resemble hers, when the winter sun is just right and otherwise he must be wholly Stark.
And so they wait for a response to the raven sent to King's Landing. The request was written in Jon's own hand in terms as complimentary as possible, Sansa standing behind his shoulder to help him choose the words to scratch upon the parchment with a freshly clipped quill, but still they wait with bated breath and count the days in between with growing disquiet.
The response is brought by Sam in the midst of the evening meal, the repaired hall of Winterfell echoing with noisome chatter, the clatter of wooden spoons and pewter plates, and the shuffling feet of wooden heeled servants. He hurries towards Jon, who sits at Lady Sansa's right—the place of honor reserved nightly for Winterfell's guest who has outstayed his planned sojourn here by three moons—with a roll of paper clutched in his fist.
"It's the queen's seal," Sam says, handing it over to Jon with a flick of his eyes to Sansa.
Maester Sam looks nearly as nervous as she feels, though she schools her face not to flush pink at the thought that she is either to be censored for casting her sights upon an heir to the crown, when she herself is traitor's spawn, or she is about to be given her heart's desire. Sam must know the import of this missive. Jon must have told him sometime after he sent the raven on its wing. They are like brothers, though vows no longer bind them as such. It is why he sent Sam to her, when there was no Night's Watch for Sam to return to and his training was finished at the Citadel. Sam was to care for her like a brother too. Only, if the parchment Jon shakily opens says yes, she will have more than Sam to look after her: she'll have a husband of her choosing, the man she once called half-brother.
"There shall be a wedding," Jon says softly enough that she's certain only she and Sam have heard.
Her hand flies to her chest, clutching her breast to keep her heart from beating out through her ribs. Thank the gods, Jon's gods, the Old Gods, for the Seven never did her any good and the Old Gods brought Jon to the Vale with an army of men trailing behind his fiery sword.
"She has given her permission, so long as I spend half every year in King's Landing."
He slides the parchment over to her across the rough wooden table, their fingers brushing, as their eyes meet. She picks it up and scans the small, tight hand she recognizes as Tyrion's. Perhaps the Dragon Queen could not bring herself to give her consent in her own hand. Her throat feels tight with emotion, as she lets the words sink in.
Despite Daenerys' undoubted displeasure at the prospect of such a match—there is the reminder of Robert's Rebellion necessarily about them both, they practice Northern ways, what with their massive direwolves always following after them and their Weirwoods and their coarse, unknighted bannermen, and Sansa is rather too good at court politics, making them potentially a dangerous pair to a queen who can't bear fruit—Daenerys has given her approval. It says that her gratitude and affection for her nephew have overcome any objections she might have.
Sansa smiles to herself seeing the relation in ink, when she thinks how Jon towers over the petite, silver haired queen and how more lines mark his face than hers, when he frowns and on the rare occasions he smiles.
"How eager are you to claim your bride, Jon?" Sam asks, clapping Jon on the shoulder.
Jon is naturally not the most expressive of men, but he has no real talent in hiding his emotions, once they stir him, and he colors brightly at the question, making the white of the scar by his eye stand out, as his eyes fix on hers. They could not be mistaken for violet in this light. They are black pools in which she could drown. He is eager enough by the looks of him, Sansa thinks with no small amount of secret pleasure.
He has to clear his throat to respond. "Very."
"As I am. Shall we tell them, Jon?" she asks, rolling the parchment back up with nimble fingers. "Keep this someplace safe," she adds, holding it out to Sam, for while she intends on seizing and immediately acting upon the queen's permission, she wants proof of it at hand, should the temperamental woman decide later that she has had a change of heart and denies having ever given it.
Jon glances down the length of the table, where no one seems much bothered by the maester's mysterious, delivered message. "Would you have me announce it?"
"I will," she says, pushing back her heavy wooden chair with a scrape of wood on stone.
The room goes quiet at her movement, as cleared throats and cups being placed on the table signal to those who might not have first seen her come to her feet that their attention is required. She has earned their respect, and now that she won't be sold off to the highest bidder, taken from her home to live among strangers, she can rest easy knowing she may stay here until the end of her days among those who respect and love her.
"I have good news to share." Their faces look back at her expectantly. It wasn't so long ago that there was precious good news to be had, but she's certain this will make her people happy. She's certain it will please Rickon as well. If she had any doubt of that, she would have waited to share the change in her circumstances with him first, privately, before announcing it to everyone. "Lord Snow and I are to be married."
It begins as a general happy murmur and turns to hearty applause, but soon the din in the room rises with the pounding of boots on the floor and fists on the tables. She turns to Rickon, whose face is split by a smile so wide she can see two missing teeth, and she reaches over to ruffle his hair. She was right in thinking he would be happy. He so loves Jon that he's easier to handle, to direct along the correct path, wanting to please the brother he barely remembers from before, but who must remind him of the father he sometimes speaks of as if he is alive somewhere waiting to return to them.
Jon rises to his feet, raising his cup high. "To Lady Sansa and the North."
They clamor to join him in his toast. Some shouts ring out, threatening to turn Sansa's ears beet red. Their crude words spark an answering pulse low in her belly, as she casts her gaze over his broad chest, trim waist, and thickly muscled thighs just visible over the edge of the table.
She is no maid. Her second marriage did not go unconsummated unlike the first. Indeed, Jon already bedded her two moons ago after a long day spent working with Rickon in the yard and an even longer night of trying to make sense of Winterfell's accounts. Sansa watched him at work below from the window of her solar and then again at his side by candlelight, and she knew she did not want to be parted from him. This was the partnership that she had come to fear was only possible in songs. But it was possible. Her parents were like this once, she mused, as she rested her hand on his thigh and surprised him with a kiss to the corner of his mouth. Her soft request, Don't go, had meant more than just that one night. She'd meant forever, but he hadn't left her when the candles were blown out and her shift lay in a heap on the fresh rushes. Since then it has been many long nights of seed spilled into his hand and moon tea when he didn't quite manage to heed the signs of imminent release, but they are to be married and there will be a welcome end to all such precautions.
While neither Jon nor Sansa have a tendency to overindulge in wine or ale, there is something about being made to wait to be alone to celebrate this heady news that makes them smile across the table over their cups at each other like children. It leads them to allow those cups to be filled more than once or twice or thrice by the servants who hover behind them until Sansa feels herself grow tipsy, her cheeks warm, her lips loosened, and her eyes ever fixed upon Jon's handsome and comfortingly familiar face. His gaze, however, cuts regularly to the iron bound door, and Sansa can guess at his thoughts. As happy as these celebrations are, he wants them at an end. So does she, and yet, she can't deny her people a moment of joy.
It is the wee hours before Sansa sweeps from the hall, and more than one man lies sprawled beneath the tables, passed out from fatigue and drink. Sansa is not quite falling down drunk, but her head feels light and her feet unsteady, as she heads towards what was once her mother's chambers, where she hopes Jon will find her.
She isn't far from it, when she hears her name, as she trails her hand along the walls for balance. It's Jon. She knows it, recognizes his voice, though it is lower than usual and rough. She turns slowly, and he's upon her, his hand splayed against the wall beside her head. She can smell the Arbor Gold on his breath, as he dips his head close to hers.
"She said yes," Sansa says, slipping her arm around his neck and dragging him down.
He tastes of wine too, she realizes with a smile, as his lips descend on hers—emboldened by wine and the freedom of the queen's permission, for he would have never been so careless to kiss her out in the open like this before.
"You're drunk, husband."
"Not your husband yet," he says, pulling back.
The little furrow that develops between his brows signals his uncertainty that what they are doing—brazenly—in the corridors of Winterfell, where anyone might happen upon them, is wrong. She saw it first when she lay atop his chest that first night, their breathing still unnatural from effort and ecstasy, and she feels moved as she did then to soothe it away with a kiss.
"Almost," he agrees, the line lessening some.
"The almost doesn't matter. You're as good as mine," she says, taking his hand in hers and pulling him towards her chambers. She trips over her own feet, and he catches her under her arms, the both of them swaying, as she laughs and he lifts her back onto her feet. "I intend on celebrating our marriage tonight, though the vows can wait for tomorrow."
She moves forward, her chamber in sight, promising a celebration of a more private sort.
"Tomorrow?" he asks, while attempting to both kiss her neck and follow after her, which only succeeds in making them stumble once more.
"Would you make me wait any longer, my lord?"
It would seem that he doesn't mean to, for he bends, scooping her up into his arms. The sudden change in perspective when he straights up makes her dizzy, and she leans her head against his shoulder with a muzzy headed sigh.
"If you drop me, Jon Snow, I shall be very cross."
Her statement lacks conviction even though she kicks her feet feebly for emphasis.
"I have no intention of dropping you," he says with a grunt, as he reaches her door and pushes it open with his boot heel. But they are only just behind her door when he sinks to his knees. "I don't think I can make it to the bed though."
Whether that failure is due to eagerness or drunkenness, Sansa is unsure, but it makes no matter to her. She will happily dally with him here on the rushes. Her head spins, as he lays her down, his hand cradling the base of her head, preventing it from stinging as it meets the floor. She peppers his neck above the collar of his doublet with hot kisses, her hands pawing to unlatch it and free him from it. His hands are equally busy, sliding up and over her shoulders, tracing the arch of her neck, and then over her breasts, as he bites the flesh of her lower lip. The wool of her gown is thick and she can't feel enough.
"Off," she begs, her legs fighting beneath her skirts and his solid weight to spread wider, so he might be held closer, their bodies compressed more assuredly together, fitted neatly together in imitation of congress.
He releases the string at her bosom that holds her shift closed and her breasts spill over the tight drape of her bodice, allowing her to draw breath more fully. His fingers dance over the swell of them, circling one darkening nipple and then the other, and she is nearly as distracted by his hypnotic, purposeful motions and light touch as he appears to be. She wants his teasing to stop, needs his mouth on her, and thinks for a moment to twine her fingers in his dark curls and push his head to her breast, so that he might use his lips, his teeth, his tongue, and wind her tight, pushing her towards the edge of release. But there are other things she wants as well, so she works to free him of his black quilted doublet, for she desires to feel his chest against hers in the pleasant shock of coming together, the shock that precedes the similar awareness her body succumbs to with a needful shudder, when his cock nudges between her legs.
When his doublet slides off his shoulders as she undoes the last latch, she breathes a victorious, "Yes" that coincides perfectly with the tug of his mouth on her nipple. The warmth of his soft mouth, the tension of the pull, and the drag of the flat of his tongue bows her back up off the floor. It's delicious and yet not enough: she still longs for the touch of his hot skin against hers.
"Off, Jon. Take it off," she insists, her fingers twisting in his shift.
He hauls the shift over his head, pulling it free of his breeches and bunching it up as a pillow that he slides under her head. Her Jon might be in his cups and lacking in his usual restraint, but he is ever thoughtful of her. The proof of it makes her desperate for more, and she tows him down. It is not a complete connection with her dress rumbled around her middle, but when he settles over her, the touch of him to her still elicits a reaction from her body. The wiry hairs on his chest tickle her nipples, making her dig her nails into the muscle of his arms and nip at his lip.
"Shewolf," he taunts, as his hand scrambles at her skirts.
She reaches down to help him, grabbing a fistful.
"Unlace your breeches," she says, as her fingers hook in her smallclothes and she attempts to wriggle free of them.
The wine has made her bold too and perhaps a little bossy, but Jon's eyes are unfocused and he doesn't seem put off by her panted commands, as he hurries to comply. With his breeches unlaced and his smallclothes pushed down over his hips, his cock springs out, hard and ready. It isn't a revelation that he wants her, as a lord husband should want his wife, but it is always a welcome sight.
He runs his hand over himself, stroking his length, and then her, drawing her arousal out and over the center of her pleasure, making her whine with need. His fingers are not as sure as usual, and when they slip inside of her—one and then two fingers—his movements are stiffer, as if all his muscles are tensed too tight to properly function, but she rocks into the pressure of his fingers curling inside of her, trying to create something more of the intrusion that is not quite enough. She needs him inside of her.
No, he doesn't make her wait. Kneeling before her, he needs his hand to guide himself between her folds, but as he sinks inside of her, the disjointedness of his drunken movements fades with animal instinct and her temporary satisfaction. Even though her release isn't nigh, she feels content stretched and filled by him, and she lets her eyes slip shut, as he pulls her arse higher up on his thighs, dragging her body a few inches down the floor.
"Don't close your eyes."
His voice sounds far away, but she fights through the dark, disembodied feeling that wine and the slow thrust of his cock has sunk her into and opens her eyes. A watery winter moon illuminates his pale face. His jaw is tight, his eyes narrowed, as his hand settles above where they meet. His thumb presses right where she needs him.
"Look at us."
He disappears inside of her until their pelvises meet, and she groans her approval. What she wants to say is, You're mine, but perhaps that's what he means, what he wants her to see, as he moves inside of her. All she can say is his name, her mouth refuses to articulate anything else, and she realizes with each thrust of his hips and answering rub of his thumb over her that even if she needed to forestall her shouts, she could not.
She's numbed from the wine, almost too numb to find her release, but when she does fall apart, her head rolling against the stone floor, her fingers fighting for purchase in linens that aren't there, it is like being stretched very thin, the world going black, and then snapping back with a jolt, as Jon falls forwards over her and his cock brushes her overly sensitive flesh. One hand slides under her body, holding her close, and the other seizes a hank of her hair, tilting her head slightly to the side.
"Fuck," he says with a sharp snap of his hips that stirs another lingering flutter deep within her.
She gasps at the forcefulness of his movements, claiming her and anchoring her to consciousness though boneless pleasure paired with wine seeks to draw her under.
"No, perfect," she assures him, stroking down the length of his spine, feeling the flex of his muscles and the dampness of the sweat on his skin.
He smells of leather and wool and horse hide and something sharp and clean like pine, a remnant of the day's hard ride. It's so perfectly male, so familiar and welcome that she wishes she could make her home inside of his chest, where she would be close and warm and secure in his presence, as much as he finds shelter inside of her.
He pants, shifting against her, restless and jerky, and she angles her hips, attempting to keep time with him and meet his forward stab. But without a rhythm, there's no way her body can fall in sync.
He exhales heavily, squeezing his eyes shut tight. "Gods, I'm drunk. I don't know if I can…"
She doesn't let him finish, cutting him off with a bite to his shoulder that makes him hiss.
"I want you to spill in me," she says, crooking one leg up over his hip and grabbing his arse with her hand. "Roll over."
If he is as numb as she is, it is no wonder he is somewhat rough with her and uncertain of his release, but she can draw it from him, as he has drawn one from her. It's her duty and her pleasure—the first time the two have coincided in many moons.
He slips free of her and they roll together until she is atop him, her thighs straddling his boney hips. He fumbles with her dress, tugging it down further to cup her breasts in his work roughened hands, and she takes him in hand, guiding him inside of her. It's a relief to have him ther again, she thinks, sighing through gritted teeth. Balancing herself with her hands spread over his chest, she leans forward and rocks her hips hard. It isn't easy to tighten around him—her body feels like melted butter ready to slip between his fingers and she doesn't seem to have perfect control over herself—but when she manages it, he groans, his mouth going slack.
"I want you to spill in me," she repeats. She touches her lips to his, though he is too distracted to properly kiss her back. "Spill inside of me and I'll give you sons and daughters."
His eyes pop open, looking all too alert, and she sees anxiety floating behind the arousal that fattens his pupils. "Only half the year, Sansa. Just half."
She smoothes her fingertips over his wet lips, letting them dip into his mouth, as he sucks lightly at them. She has delayed his leave-taking through manipulation and gentle persuasion driven by fear of losing him. She can hardly imagine the ache she will feel when he mounts a horse to ride for King's Landing or the pain of having him say goodbye to their children—children the queen will eventually want in the Red Keep, a fight for another day—but knowing he will return and that he is hers even when she can't reach out to him will be enough to keep her during those moons, when he is away.
"A little distance won't separate us."
Nothing will separate them again, not truly, for while neither of them can stay forever buried in the other, she's certain that she's a home in his heart as much as he has one in hers. She places one hand over her heart, the other to his, and rocks, setting a quick pace, their bodies coming together, slick flesh on flesh, and his hands settle on her waist over the wrinkled fabric, raising his hips to meet hers. And when he comes with a growl, his fingers pressing hard enough to bruise, she knows with just as much certainty that before he returns to the South, her belly will be thick with the child they make tonight. Something worth celebrating.