It’s been raining since they left Harrenhal, and Ghost’s been restless the whole time. He whines in the back seat, and scratches at the windows, wanting to feel the wind and rain as Jon navigates along the the twisty backroads they’ve been on since they left the Kingsroad Highway.
Val doesn’t blame him, since she’s starting to feel the same way herself. They’ve has some fascinating sites, and though they’ve pulled over to explore them, and spent the night in one little town after the other, with all all the rain, they’ve hardly been able to enjoy them.
But as they head along the old Gold Road turnpike into the Western mountains, the weather begins to the change and the rain starts to let up.
“Thank the gods,” Jon says fervently, his hands tight on the steering wheel, and Val realizes that she and Ghost weren’t the only ones feeling restless.
They’ve been on this trip for months now, Jon making good on his promise to show her all of Westeros (despite the near-daily emails from his folks, telling him in no uncertain terms to “come home. NOW”). They started out as friends, and they’ve fallen into something more, since that first night in the motel when she heard him moaning her name in the shower, and decided the time was right to make a few changes in their friendship.
Neither of them have put a name to it — boyfriend, girlfriend, lovers — and Val hasn’t been interested in defining terms. Neither, it seems, has Jon, since he’s never brought it up once. But Val would be lying to herself if she didn’t admit that whatever this is, she likes it. A lot. They’ve not been separated for more than a few hours since they left Black Castle University all those months ago, and really, she doesn’t want to think of the trip ending. Not just because it’s everything she’s every wanted — the chance to travel the country, and take in all the history and famous sites, recording everything with her camera — but because she doesn’t want to think of a future without Jon by her side daily. She doesn’t want to think of them going their separate ways.
She’s not one for big emotional declarations, never has been, but she reaches out her hand and pulls Jon’s off the steering wheel, threading their fingers together. “Thanks.”
“For what?” There’s amusement in Jon’s voice as he glances over at her. “I didn’t stop the rain.”
“For this.” Her gaze is fixed on the window, at the mountains rising up to surround them. “All of this. This trip. Asking me along. For just… for being you.”
She can’t look at Jon, but she can feel his gaze on her, and when he finally replies, the amusement is gone from his voice. “Val… thanks for coming along.”
That’s all he says, but she can hear the words hidden in that, just like she’s sure he can hear her hidden words as well.
Darkness falls before they’re out of the mountains and pull into the small seaside motel in Lannisport where they’ll spend the night. There’s only time to grab dinner and for a jog with Ghost, before they both collapse in bed, tired after the long drive. Not so tired that Jon can’t pull her close, kissing her hungrily as he slides a hand under her t-shirt, cupping her breast and thumbing her nipple. Not so tired that Val doesn’t tug his shorts down over his hips, taking his cock in her hand, stroking him until he moans. Not so tired that Val doesn’t roll to her back, spreading her legs for him, and not so tired that Jon doesn’t fuck her until she comes apart with a loud gasp, before he finds his own release, burying his face in her neck as he pants sweet words into her skin. Still, it’s quick, and it’s only moments after that they’re both sound asleep.
Jon wakes her in the morning with a sweet kiss and his hand slipping into hers. “Wake up, I want you to see something.”
Val grumbles and protests but it’s only a few minutes before she’s slipped into her jeans and pulled a t-shirt over her head, and follows him out the sliding glass door in the back of the room.
Her eyes fly wide open, all the sleepiness gone, as she gazes out onto the ocean. Val’s seen the ocean before, way up north along the east coast of Westeros, and then again when they stopped in White Harbor, but this… this is different.
The western ocean is different from the Narrow Sea. It seems wilder, the waves crashing against the cliff side below them. It’s a different color too, nothing like the grey-green of the northern waters. This is blue, bluer than any water she’s ever seen. Oh, she’s seen pictures of it before, but nothing could prepare her for the sight of it, right before her eyes. The crashing of the waves is louder than any she’s ever heard before, and she can smell salt, feel the spray misting over her face.
She’s so delighted, she laughs, and then Jon is behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and whispering in her ear. “After…” is all he says.
“After this road trip. After we’re done…” he pauses, and for a moment Val’s breath freezes in her lungs, but then he starts to speak again. “After we’ve seen all of Westeros, there’s still a lot of the world left to see.”
Val relaxes, leaning her head against his shoulder, and glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. His smile is as wide as hers and she knows, just from that, that there won’t be any separate ways for them. “There’s a whole ocean to explore, is what you’re saying.”
“I’ll trade my car for a boat, and we’ll sail the Sunset Sea.”
She turns her head, pressing a kiss to his collarbone, slipping out her tongue to taste the salt on his skin. “Sounds good to me. But first, I think we should swim in it. Which way to the beach?”