Author's note: I was struggling to come up with a second chapter that continued on with the last one, until I accidently came up with this. I figure I'll just tell you what I'm doing with it because it could be a while before the next chapter comes out (sorry, exams!). I've decided to switch in an out between Winterfell and Kings Landing. Kings Landing is the present, and each Winterfell chapter is a memory. There will be parallels between each chapter and memory.
If you have any ideas/requests regarding the story please don't hesitate to let me know. I need all the inspiration and help I can get! And advice, criticism and praise are all needed to get the story going. Thank you!
"Are you even fucking listening to me, you little bitch?" Spit launched from his thin and twisted lips, landing very nearly on her face, but she did not move an inch.
Sansa's stoic state only enraged Joffrey the more. She did not flinch, she did not cry, she did not answer, she did not blink. Her mind was elsewhere, somewhere the pain did not exist.
"Ser Meryn," the name spilled from his mouth with such ease, such practise.
The solid force collided with her soft cheek and as she was knocked from her reverie, Sansa let out but a breath, nothing more. As she lifted her head gradually, a sharp and intense pain ringing over her, Sansa glanced around at her wretched reality. Joffrey let out a snide scoff at her unresponsive behaviour and turned on his heels, leaving the room with his small entourage of Kings Guard following shortly behind. Not Sandor however, he must have been elsewhere.
Sansa could still see Joffrey's burning eyes glaring into her, his stark hair and his slender figure, slouched over as he fondled the handle of his sword, silently threatening to pull it from its holster at any minute. How? How in the seven kingdoms had her life come to this? All she could dream of in Winterfell was Kings Landing, now all she could dream of was home.
"We all want what we cannot have," she let herself say aloud, eyes heavy and head still burning from the blow.
"I could not have said it better myself," a gentle voice replied, and Sansa watched Shae from the corner of her eye, who was preparing a wet cloth for her to place on her cheek.
Shae pulled up a stool and sat in front of Sansa, placing the cool cloth gently on her reddened cheek with a loving smile. Sansa held the cloth in place while they sat in silence. There was nothing to say. 'Things will get better.' 'Not to worry, it will all be over soon'…Nothing to be said would be true. But Shae's silent consolation was the best thing in Sansa's life at the moment. If only she knew how to thank her.
Sansa spent the rest of the day dosing in bed to the golden hue that bathed her chambers. Lunch had already passed and she would not be needed again until dinner was served, so she lay in bed praying that her laziness would not be known and she could forget her duties as a lady for a while. She lay, listening to the soft breeze as it carried the distant sounds of the city in through her window in placid gusts. As her shade cloths moved inward with the force of the breeze, so too did the hums and echoes of the capitol.
Her eyes opened to darkness. The soft, calming voices of the city people had vanished, the breeze had grown cold and the warm and soothing golden glow from the sunlight had gone as if it had never been. Sansa felt completely disorientated as she awoke from her sleep confused, remembering why she didn't take naps. Sansa wasn't sure what day it was or what time or how long she had been sleeping. It was hard to tell anything at this point and she was dazed and unsettled, her head heavy. She rubbed her eyes and sat up, hugging her arms around her chest and trying her best to remember herself.
Putting a hand to her cheek, she slowly began to recall.
"Nobody called me for dinner?" She thought aloud. Perhaps she had already had dinner, but forgotten or perhaps it was a different day entirely.
Sansa pulled her feet from beneath the covers and let them settle on the elaborate fabric rug that lay beneath her bed before making her way to the window. It must be well into the night, she assessed. Then, in nothing but her white night gown and bare feet, Sansa made her way to the door and into the halls of the castle. She felt uncomfortable from her confusing nap and decided to walk around for a while.
What had I dreamt of? She could not recall her dream but it somehow lingered in the back of her mind, hiding just out of reach. Her steps were soft on the cold stone walkways, she did not have to worry about being quiet - it was in her nature already. As she moved around the silent castle in the night, she was numb to the cold, but the darkness was unnerving. Sansa had always imagined walking through the castle at night and how peaceful it would be, but it proved different to her expectations. It was decidedly more eerie and disconcerting.
Slowly, her memory came to and she began to remember, giving Sansa some reassurance to her gradually distressed state. The night tricked her with its shadows and its sounds and she was not sure whether she was alone any longer. Unintelligible images from her dream flashed in her mind, calling on her to remember, but Sansa was never good at recollecting her dreams.
Sansa began to think about her day, recalling each moment; waking, dressing, breakfast, Ser Meryn's hand, attending the court, Ser Meryn's hand, lunch, a walk in the gardens, writing a letter, Ser Meryn's hand. A thought from earlier in the day circled in her mind. Not to worry, it will all be over soon. It will all be over soon. It will all be over. Of course it wouldn't, but the tormenting words revolved in her mind and Sansa expected herself to cry. She waited for the despair to take over as she thought about her never ending hell. She waited for the feeling of a trembling lip or tears in her eyes. She waited, but they did not come. Sansa was truly numb, she felt lifeless and hopeless all in one.
She looked around for a familiar sight, but wandering the castle in the dull of night had cost Sansa her bearings. Everything seemed unfamiliar and the shadows felt closer and the noises in the dark felt louder. There was an archway ahead which lead out to a balcony overseeing the gardens. She darted through the archway, soaking in the fresh air and the rustling of the garden leaves.
Pressing her hands onto the stone balustrade, she leant over letting her long auburn hair fall by her head as she surveyed the garden below. Sansa could feel her heart pumping in her chest and with every few beats, the vision of her dream drew closer, beckoning her.
"Winterfell, Lady, darkness," she recalled of her dream, "Joffrey's menacing eyes. The tall turrets of Kings Landing towering over me. A ledge." Sansa appeared unnervingly motionless and serene, though on the inside a storm was brewing. She raised one leg and then the other onto the smooth stone of the balcony barrier, swinging them round until she was sitting on top, completely exposed to the land below. Sansa tipped her head back absorbing the fresh night air and breathing in the freedom of the world ahead. It will all be over soon.
Calmly, she slipped her feet down onto the tiny bit of balcony poking past the barrier. As she stood dreamily with her back leaning against the stone that her hands gripped onto, she felt another hand on her shoulder, surprising her into letting go and falling forward - but not as she had planned.
Before she could drop, a hefty arm wrapped itself around her waist and she was dragged back up again.
"Trying to fly Little Bird?" a voice echoed as she was pulled backward.
Sansa looked shamefully back up at Sandor, knowing he would disapprove of her obvious agenda.
She was sure she had heard him say those words before, exactly as he had said them then. Perhaps I had dreamt them.
His hands were strong and gentle and they guided her back into the dark walkways of the castle. He said nothing and didn't seem to be disappointed in her after all. Sansa still didn't feel like crying, but the tears came nonetheless, ignoring her internal pushes and pleas for them to stop. She choked and sobbed as they walked and his hand remained gently on her back even as he knocked on the wooden door they eventually arrived at.
As they waited for an answer, Sandor looked down to her.
"It's alright now, Little Bird," he consoled her quietly, "You'll be alright yet."
Sansa blinked up at him with burry eyes that, from his point of view, were shining with tears.
Thank you. She meant to say, but was mute for the time being. She was thankful for the comfort, she knew that, but pulling her back - for that she could not yet discern if she was truly grateful.
The door inched open slightly and tired brown eyes stared back at them suspiciously before the door opened wider. Shae, clutching a blanket to herself peered back at them worriedly.
"Found her on a ledge. Maybe she was just sleepwalking, I don't know," Sandor stated in a hushed tone.
Shae instantly took Sansa by the arms and looked comfortingly into her eyes before removing her blanket and wrapping it around the shivering girl in her night dress.
"I wasn't really going to," Sansa's voice was almost inaudible.
Shae stared up at Sandor with concerned eyes. Eyes that were speaking to him, begging him.
"Look," he reassured, "I won't tell if you don't," and with that he turned on his heels with a final nod of goodbye and walked away into the shadows, leaving Sansa in the loving arms of her Handmaiden - the only thing in Kings Landing that reminded her of home.
Author's note: If this was shit and disappointing, anticlimactic or you didn't like it for other reasons, please tell me!