“Will you steal Sansa?” Rickon asks simply. His wide eyes regard the menacingly tall man in front of him.
“Steal Sansa… the Seven Hells are you going on about?” is all the reply the little lord of Winterfell receives.
Rickon sheathes the practice sword he’s been using all morning. He leans against the post with his skinny arms folded across his chest, emulating the way he’s seen his companion stand. “I see how you look at her. If you want her, you should try stealin’ her.”
Sandor Clegane crouches to be eye-level with the boy. “I’ve no designs on stealing your sister.”
“She told me that you wanted to one time,” Rickon points out.
“That was a long fuc—“ Sandor starts. “That was a long time ago. When she was in danger.”
“Osha wasn’t in danger when her husband stole her.” Rickon explains. “She was sleeping.”
“So you want me to kidnap your sister from her bed?” This is one of the more baffling conversations Sandor Clegane has ever had, he’s sure.
Rickon frowns. “Don’t kidnap her.” He places a tiny hand on his retainer’s pauldron. “Steal her.”
“She’s not a horse, you can’t just steal a woman without her fighting you back.” Sandor rationalizes.
“She’s kissed by fire,” Rickon says, as if it justifies the deed. “And I guess you are, too.”
“Those wildlings you ran with are as fanciful as your silly sister was,” the big man snorts. “Kissed by fire,” he mutters to himself.
“It means she’s lucky,” Rickon says with an eyeroll. “You kneelers don’t understand. A woman doesn’t allow just any man to steal her. Freefolk choose their mates based on strength, an’ you’re the strongest person I know.”
“Your brother thinks I should steal you,” Sandor tells Sansa that evening. They’re on their nightly pilgrimage to the godswood.
She glances over her shoulder at him, coppery hair cascading over her back. “Does he?” She asks. A curt nod is her confirmation. “A wildling custom, surely. What did you tell him?”
Sandor shrugged. “I told the boy you don’t just steal a person.”
Sansa smiled and knelt by the weirwood . “You tried to, once.”
“I didn’t try,” he argues, kneeling beside her. “I offered. You refused.”
Sansa removes her gloves and sets her hands on his face. “Then mayhaps you should have tried harder.”