I own nothing.
They go by his suggestion, and rebuild. He tells her that she did whatever she did, but it doesn't change fact that he wants to wake up beside her every day, until his last day.
They meet up most days during their lunch breaks. And they tell each other that they love one another every day.
For a while, it seems that they are simply drifting. They go out, stay in, he stays over at hers, she stays at his. It just seems to happen, and as long as they encounter no qualms, he doesn't mind.
She was apprehensive, the first time she saw his apartment, but seemed to be making a point as she stepped over the threshold. He showed her around, and left her in the living room as he went to fetch something from his bedroom, and when he returned she'd made herself comfortable- thrown off her shoes and stretched out on the sofa, and seemed completely at home.
He gets texts from Robb at the same time as Dany- he tells Jon how happy he is, having gone to dinner with her last night, and she tells him that's he's a bit clumsy behind the bedchamber door.
They're walking down the street one-day during their lunch break, hand in hand, and despite the biting cold of the early spring air, she's too proud to ask him to warm her up.
Their arms swing back and forth, and for the first time since the initial leg of their relationship, he's relaxed like a fair maiden on a summer's day (part of the long, rambling and complicated metaphor that Gilly had used in her vows the day she married Sam, that nobody but the happy couple seemed to quite able to follow).
So when they see Robert Baratheon walking towards them with the swell of the crowd, the way he hardens to a man like steel is obvious, and she curses under her breath when the old fat fool spots them.
"Didn't think you had it in you, Snow!" he remarks loudly, and laughs heartily.
"To what?" Jon asks, cautious and confused.
"Ter… you know." He gestures to her, and indicates a transaction of money, rubbing his fingers together.
She watches as his eyes flit back and forth between the portly man and her, and her breath leaves her for that eternal moment, waiting for him to figure it out.
It's known that Robert is a big fan of financial knob wobbling, and she can see the horror rising in his eyes as he looks to her. She can't bear for that realisation to become revulsion, or disgust, so she leaps the question that has yet to form on in his mouth.
She licks her lips and rocks back on her heels, pointing to her feet.
"Boots." She tells him as resolutely as she can.
She can almost see it unfurling inside his brain: the winter she had no shoes, the winter she was broke, the winter she was almost evicted, the winter the plumbing was shot, the winter she needed money quickly and urgently.
"I-it's how I did the first pair." She curses her deteriorating ability to speak.
"Seven hells." He breathes. Robert is looking at them in confusion, but all she sees is Jon's face, the urge, the need to be close to her.
He does. He strides forward and pulls her into him, gripping her tightly and burying his face in her neck.
"Why didn't you ask me for help?" he whispers. Shame and embarrassment battle each other, and she feels as if she could vomit a great big jumble of words as she tells him the awful truth.
He does not let her go, but he pulls away, and his face is like a shattered mirror.
"You ridiculous woman." He names her, in that unreadable tone.
She almost thinks he's going to throw her away, like any man would, like he should, but instead he starts crying as he kisses her.
She's horrified to find that she is sobbing, too.
She can't believe that they're still afloat. She us not some abhorrent affliction, and his kiss is not one blackened with hatred. Somewhere, in the staggering depths of her head, she calls to mind how fantastic he is, and that she doesn't deserve him.
When they resurface into the street again, Robert has cottoned on to what is happening, and apologises profusely to his best friend's son, for buying his girlfriend. At work that afternoon, she's distracted and can't focus, and in a thick black marker writes 'WHORE' on her arm, and on the other one to match.
It doesn't wash off properly, and the next night before they meet up she's scrubbing so hard that her skin is red raw and almost bleeding and when he lets himself in, he finds her in the bathroom, rubbing her own self-loathing into her body.
He says nothing, initially. He moves around her to turn off the tap, and she watches his arm tense as he twists it as tight as he can. He then takes the face washer from her hand, and kisses both of her arms before pressing her against the same sink, and whispers in her ear, "You're perfect, Ygritte. You're fucking perfect."
"How can I be when I did that?" she asks him. She is weak; she can hear it in her own voice. She hates it. "You know nothing, Jon Snow."
"I know some things." He tells her. "I know that I love you. And I know that you love me. And I know that what happened in the past can damned well stay there, because we're going to be happy, from now on."
She sniffs slightly.
"What do we do now- fuck?"
She feels disarmed for a moment, but he amends.
"Let's make love."
She can't help but let a teary laugh explode from her throat.
"You sound like a sugardaddy!"
"You've caught me out- I have they second life, you see."
They laugh, a lot and loudly, and, for the first time, they make love.
She knows he's surprised when she asks to meet his family. He's naked, but for the sheet that lies around his waist like something from a Renaissance fresco, as he sits on the edge of their bed. She agrees anyway, and his large, winning smile is back as he moves over her and they do it again before work (and are half an hour late).
That weekend, they catch the train on the Friday afternoon, and she sees the Winterfell that Jon knew as a child.
His family are dubious of her- Sansa, Arya, Ned and Robb especially, because they know what she did to Jon, but Catelyn and the younger boys seem to like her well enough after some conversation.
Sansa comes around with a gentle heart and maternal sympathy, and Robb does the same with Jon's encouragement.
They've been there an hour when Jon's flawless, pale ex walks in, and Ygritte thinks she's about to choke on her own heart (but while the woman might be pretty, she could snap that princess like a twig). She's trying to find some sort of reassurance or explanation from Jon, but he just hugs the woman in greeting and she then kisses his brother.
Jon looks over at her and roars with laughter at the expression she's sure is on her face, and she wins Ned's approval when she hits Jon with a wooden spoon after he manages to choke out that she had no idea about Robb and Dany.
It seems that while Daenerys is perfectly groomed and manicured and created, she's quite a nice person and a lot of fun, and they soon earn each other's friendship. Jon's favourite sister still gives her combustion glares, which she meets as steadily as she can.
In the morning, as the family sits around the breakfast table like Ygritte hasn't since she was eight, Bran remarks how nice it is to see her with her clothes on.
Jon drops a baking tray in the kitchen with an indelicate crash, and she raises an eyebrow as smoothly as she can, echoing Dany's fluidity.
The boy enjoys the bafflement for a moment, before speaking again.
"Only, you're the girl in the paintings hidden in the bottom of Jon's wardrobe."
"Thank the gods…" she hears Ned mutter in relief, and Catelyn laughs anxiously.
"Bran, what are you doing, going through my things?" Jon hisses over the bench, and the boy shrugs.
"You don't really think we respect your privacy, do you?"
Ned and Catelyn are crazed with worry, but Bran waves it off and tells them in a tone of assurance, "They're much nicer than the girls in Theon's magazines."
Ned has to perform the Heimlich on Robb's friend, who begins to choke on his breakfast.
During the day, she sees Arya texting a lot, and come the night, she bursts unexpectedly into her bedroom to see the pyjamas she'd been pointedly seen in discarded on the floor, exchanged for tight jeans and a shirt that revealed a lot of bra.
"Don't tell Jon- he'd never let me leave like this!" Arya begs quietly. Ygritte leaves her hanging with tension, for a moment.
"What's the name?" she asks, fondly.
"Gendry." Arya confides, colouring slightly. "We were just friends, that's all my brothers think it is-"
"Bullshit." Ygritte murmurs. "They're both ready to smash him if he so much as breathes on you."
Arya tightens her lips, and looks as if she's about to start threatening, but Ygritte simply takes a foil wrapper from the back pocket of her teal coloured jeans and passes it to the girl.
"You're your own person. Just be safe- c'mon, I'll cover for you."
She checks the corridor for signs of life, and Arya follows her to the front door. As Ygritte hurries her through, she lingers.
"You're okay, you know." She whispers, "but if you hurt my brother again, I'll kill you with my bare hands."
She nods, and accepts the condition, before they share tight smiles and Arya leaves.
That night, she climbs into bed wearing a t-shirt and her underwear, and he waists no time in pulling her on top of him, trailing a finger down her side. She'd always found him to be incredibly attractive, but now she sees him with a tinge of gratitude. They both know that something has changed, but they're too stupidly in love to care. The admiration and desire for her still lives in his gaze, but it's not the same. He used to look at her as if she were the moon.
"I'm afraid I don't own silk nightgowns-"
"From Tralalalaleeday?" he reminisces, and they snigger.
"I love you." She tells him, as she has every day, and he replies in kind.
There a children and parents all through the house, and he wins the argument regarding sex when he reminds her of her screaming.
She doesn't mind that much- she goes to sleep happy.
They like to piss off Mance, so some days they go the diner for lunch. It's a baking summer day, and it's so busy that Mance is working the register himself.
He's drawn her that day already, in her turquoise fitted linen blouse, he admires the way the strap reaches from atop one breast, around the back of the neck and down to the other, like a trail, her long ginger plait hanging down over the neckline.
To him, she's lost the ethereal glow that used to follow her, but the familiarity of her image seems to make her even more beautiful.
He's tracing the smooth skin of her shoulder lightly with his thumb when he speaks, and he doesn't even realise that he's spoken until she reacts.
"What?" she mutters, rolling her eyes.
"What?" he repeats, confused.
She knows he was lost in his thoughts; she's familiar with the process, so she informs him.
"You just asked me to marry you."
"Did I?" he asks, surprised, as they move up a place in the line. She nods in affirmation, and they stand in silence for a moment.
But now he is curious.
"Will you, though?" he blurts, "I mean would you, anyway?"
She turns around, eyebrows raised in astonishment.
"Now- you're actually asking me to marry you?"
This draws the attention of some of the people around them, who gape in anticipation. He has to think for a moment, before nodding.
"Yes, yes I am."
He has nothing to use as a ring, because he had no idea he'd be doing this, so he just gets on his knee and gazes up at her. She looks around the room, embarrassed.
"You're seriously doing this?" she hisses, trying painfully to bite back a smirk. He nods.
"Ygritte - you make me crazy enough to randomly give me cause to ask you to be my wife in this diner where we met-"
"Oh, hells, no." They hear Mance groan behind the till, and the thud as he hits his head on the counter in defeat.
They pay him little heed, and he continues,
"-and gods help me, I love you with all of my stupid, wasted heart."
She laughs, and he thinks she looks softer, in that moment, like they're making love and she's teasing him and scrubbing words off her arms and they're crying together on the street all at the same time.
"Would you- would you marry me?"
She pauses, as the occupants of the restaurant watch in anticipation.
Finally, she speaks.
"Only if I'm the husband and you be the wife."
The spectators look on, unsure as to what that means, exactly, but he is lit with a sudden joy that blazes like a roaring fire.
He leaps up and laughs with happiness, and she's grinning from ear to ear and they embrace with a forceful, and public, kiss.
Somewhere in the irrelevant space that isn't between either of them, Mance begins a slow clap and shouts at them about their intelligence levels and keeping their love life out of the damn diner, but old woman shushes him and brings a menu down on his head.
"I'm yours," her breath is hot in his ear, "and you're mine."
They tumble back to his apartment and they make love furiously, and afterward, they lie in intimate silence.
She's resting on his chest, the skin of her back pressed to his, and her arms are resting by his sides, clasped with his. If they could stay in that bed forever, she would commit herself to the moment without a single thought, each wrapped in the other's lingering smell.
The phone rings, and he exhales sharply, blowing her hair out of his face, and wriggles sideways to pick up the handset.
There's a pause, and she can hear his father ripping into him on the other end of the line, and she sits bolt upright, looking at the clock.
He's three hours late for work, and his father won't even let him stutter out the reason why as he demands that Jon come in the office immediately, and he's already going to sit up before he can hang up the phone.
She groans and rolls over, climbing on top of him and pinning him to the mattress, snatching the phone from his hand.
"Ned?" she asks.
"Ygritte, now's not a good time-" he begins, but she cuts him off.
"Look, some things take priority over your son playing Tetris on his phone under his desk, and buying his fiancée- who I hear is a pretty awesome girl- an engagement ring is one of them."
She hangs up and tosses the phone across the room, where it lands on a chair.
He's laughing, and gently strokes her hair.
"I'm so happy." He remarks, before concluding, "I love you."
She smiles and presses her lips to his.
So that's it! I hope the crazy-cliché proposal was… not to repulsive XD
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed or followed or supported this in any way!
Any final feedback (I'm just excited to have finally FINISHED a story) will be much appreciated! Xx