It started because of Arya, which if she wanted to be petulant, then she would blame most of her life’s problems on her sister. Strangely enough though, the argument didn’t end up as most of her fights with her sister did. With hair pulling and name calling and wide bloody scratches across her arms and a feral look on Arya’s long face. Usually Septa Mordane or her mother would interfere and the two would be forced to apologize to each other before being sent to their respective rooms.
Sansa hated these confrontations. It always made her feel like less of a lady and more like the wild beast she accused her sister of being, but Arya had a way about her that always made the wolf’s blood that flowed in her veins boil to the surface. In those moments she would rage and scream and debase herself in such a way that she would cry about it hours later in the privacy of her room. Her mother would always look at her in a manner that spoke of her silent disappointment, of her embarrassment, and Sansa would color red in her shame.
This fight was different, or it ended differently in any case. At this moment she couldn’t particularly tell. The blood was still pounding in her ears and muddling her thoughts.
She was stitching in their mother’s solar, Arya sitting a little ways across from her, grunting and hissing and generally just making a mess out of her work like she usually did. At that moment Septa Mordane sat at her side and cooed at the sight of her nimble fingers weaving what should’ve been a new handkerchief for her father. The Septa called her handiwork beautiful, said her talent was something all young ladies should revere and envy in equal measure. Sansa smiled at the compliment. She always did love pleasing others.
Arya looked up from her attempt at her own handkerchief, something like contempt shining in her wide luminous eyes, and although Sansa would never admit it, her sister’s eyes were always very lovely. She stood slowly and set down her work at her chair before crossing to stand at her sister’s side. Arya’s eyes followed her movements, narrowing slightly at Sansa’s presence beside her. “Are you here to insult me, Oh Great Lady Sansa?” Arya spit at her mockingly, her hands fisting around her needle. Sansa bristled slightly at her tone, but she steadied herself. She was a lady like her mother and she would not relent to her sister’s taunts.
“No,” Sansa said in a calm, cordial tone that only a lady could use. “I’m here to help you, Arya. I see that you have been struggling and I have decided to assist you in your feminine endeavors.” Arya raised her eyebrows in suspicion and peered at her sister through narrowed eyes, as if assessing whether she was teasing her or not. “Wow,” she said slowly, “I never thought I’d see the day where my sister would deign to help me with my sewing.”
Were Sansa not so insulted, she would’ve been impressed with her sister’s usage of the word ‘deign’. After all, Arya was never very studious. She breathed a sigh through her nose and kneeled to make eye contact with the girl in front of her. “Arya, I am sorry if I have insulted you with my desire to help, but it’s time that you start to take this seriously. What are you going to do if Father or Robb come back injured and need our help? It’s not a useless pass time,” Sansa said passionately, imploring her sister to understand, to learn.
Perhaps it would come more easily to her if she understood what they could do with their sewing needles.
Arya looked down for a moment, as if she was considering what Sansa said, and then returned her gaze to her older sister. “Well then why do I have to this?” She cried and pointed to the sloppy stitches on her handkerchief. Sansa slightly winced at the handiwork, realizing once again how hopeless her sister was at this. Arya caught the exchange and shrieked in anger, throwing the handkerchief across the room.
Septa Mordane gasped in outrage and stood suddenly, ready to scold Arya, but Sansa beat her to it. “Why are you such a beast?” She cried, “I attempt to help you and you act like a wild thing! Is this how you thank me?” Sansa asked, though she was not truly expecting an answer. A part of her screamed that she was losing her composure. That a lady would never yell at her sister the way she was, but she was past the point of caring. She had the wolf’s blood too.
Arya turned her furious gaze to her sister. “I’m not a beast! You, however, are a spoiled little brat! Why in the seven hells are you always so condescending?” Arya said, and Sansa, in her frustration, nearly grabbed her own auburn locks to yank. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Septa Mordane making calming gestures in order to placate the two girls but so lost were they in their fight that the Septa was ignored. “I’m not a brat! I’m a lady! Like Mother! It’s not my fault you’re so useless at it!” Sansa screeched.
Her sister’s face scrunched a bit as if she was about to cry, but then a look of total rage overcame her pretty face. She looked to the side where the Septa stood, where Sansa’s work was, and before Sansa could plead for her to stop, Arya lunged at the handkerchief and tore it straight down the middle. Sansa felt numb for a moment and both sisters stood in total silence as they watched the tattered cloth fall to the floor. Arya looked up at her older sister, eyes wide and guilty, watching as Sansa’s face contorted in a feral rage.
With not even a thought casted as to how her mother would react to this, how disappointed and upset she would feel, Sansa barreled towards her younger sister. She grabbed the dark ringlets of Arya’s hair and yanked harshly. Adrenaline and a dark satisfaction unfurled in her chest when she heard Arya screech in pain. Her sister, never to be out done, reached up and scratched down the sides of Sansa’s porcelain cheeks, leaving behind bright red lines of blood running down. Sansa’s sky blue eyes watered at the stinging agony she felt and she could hear Arya’s enraged growl below her.
Under the blood pounding in her ears, Sansa could hear Septa Mordane screaming for assistance. "The girls have gone feral!" She cried, but Sansa ignored her in favor of the rage she felt. For a moment she understood why her sister was the way she was. Acting like a beast and giving into her darker desires gave her a freedom that being a lady restricted her from feeling. Before she could linger on the thought for much longer, two strong arms wrapped around her small waist and dragged her away from Arya. Sansa fought and howled at the action, her fingers reaching to her sister, her hands aching to draw blood like Arya had done.
“Let me go! Release me! Do you even know what she did?” She cried as the arms around her waist reached up to hold down her searching arms. Sansa felt someone’s mouth at her ear, felt lips moving against her hair. “What in the seven hells were you doing to her? What came over you?” It was Robb’s voice at her ear, Robb’s arms around her. It’s Arya she wanted to scream, it’s always Arya, but she found no words.
After a few moments of her struggling and Robb fighting to keep her in his grasp, she suddenly stilled and looked to where Arya was. Their half-brother Jon Snow held her in his arms with no great effort even though Arya continuously tried kicking at him. Theon stood off to the corner of the room with Septa Mordane beside him, amusement and shock playing across his handsome features.
“You little monster! That was for Father and I worked on it for weeks! You tore it apart and ruined like the cretin you are!”
“I’m not a monster, Sansa! Stop calling me that! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!”
“But you are! You’re the worst kind there is! My life would be so much better if you were born a bastard like Jon!”
Arya shrieked again in outrage before melting into Jon Snow’s embrace, tears dribbling down her face in earnest. Sansa could hear her whimpers from where she stood, and if she listened harder, she could hear Jon’s quiet assurances. "You’re not a monster," he whispered. "You’re not a bastard, not like me, never like me," he said to her.
Robb was frozen behind her, his arms growing slack around her body in his shock at their younger sister’s tears. Septa Mordane came beside Arya, her features still stern but softer in the face of her crying. Sniffling quietly, Arya was lead out the room by the Septa who cast Sansa a look that spoke of how strongly she felt about her recent behavior. At the moment, she could not say that she cared that much, her pride was still smarting and her face stung with every tear she shed. Sansa looked over to where Jon stood and watched the soft, comforting look on his face transform into rage the moment his grey eyes met hers.
He stalked closer to where she stood, Robb no longer holding her and standing just a few steps away. “How dare you, Sansa? How dare you make our sister cry like that?” He demanded, his face just inches from her own, the heat in his gaze burned like dragon fire. “Don’t speak as if she’s the victim, Jon Snow. You know nothing about what happened. You didn’t see what she did," she said fiercely. Jon cast his eyes towards the handkerchief that lied at their feet, torn and tattered and insignificant in his eyes.
“Are you fucking serious? This is over a handkerchief?” He demanded. Sansa wanted to say how it was supposed to be for Father, as if it would make all the difference, but even then she knew that was a weak argument. Instead she stayed silent, her lack of a response speaking for her.
Jon turned his furious eyes back on her and she felt frozen under the command of his smoky gaze. His eyes were like Father’s. “Why are you mean to her?” He asked lowly and Sansa nearly scoffed in disbelief.
“Mean? You should’ve seen her earlier. She refused my help and went wild over the fact that I’m more of a lady than her!”
“A lady? You mistake yourself, Sansa. You were the one who attacked her and caused her to burst into tears. Does that sound very ladylike to you?”
Sansa wanted to hit him she was so angry. “What do you know of what being a lady entails? You’re nothing but a nameless bastard.” Sansa said coldly, her tone haughty and superior, like how her mother sounded when she spoke to Jon. His eyes widened for a fraction of a second, his nostrils flaring in indignation before he moved closer to where she was. The space between them was scarce.
Jon reached out and grabbed her wrists, pulling her to where he stood. She could hear Robb demanding Jon to let her go, but they both ignored him in favor of their anger. “I may be a bastard, but I love Arya, which is more than what I can say for you. I would never speak to her that way,” he hissed, his breath skimming across her lips. Sansa almost said that she loved her too, more than he did probably, for she was her trueborn sister and not him, but she did not. “But you would speak to me that way, Jon,” Sansa said lowly, her voice so soft it was nearly a whisper.
Jon shivered slightly and pulled her flush against him, chest to chest, and were she not so distracted by her anger, she would’ve cried at the impropriety of it. His hands clutched her wrists tightly, hard enough to bruise. She wanted to rage at him, shriek that he was nothing but a jealous bastard, but a strange sensation bubbling from within her held her in place. The lack of distance between them thrilled and petrified her equally. His eyes were near level with hers because he was stooped slightly, and their noses were a hairsbreadth apart. Something about the position, about the anger churning in her breast, and the wrath that shone in his eyes left her feeling breathless. There existed an ache from somewhere within her that was born out of this moment, and she found no relief from it the longer she was held in his arms.
Sansa wanted to curse him, and punch him, and hold him close so that he may stay in her grasp and love her as fiercely as he did Arya, but even the thought of that kind of love did not satisfy her. But that wasn’t right wasn’t it? It couldn’t be. He was Jon and she was Sansa and they were so far out of each other’s orbit that even existing in the same space felt like foreign territory. She tried not to think too deeply on the implications of that, horrified at the direction where those thoughts would take her.
They stood silently, the only sound between them were their respective pants. Jon’s gaze was focused on her own before his eyes flickered to her open mouth and she followed his gaze as they landed on her heaving chest. His eyes darted to hers again, smoky and heated in a way that was not unlike hunger. Suddenly, as if her touch burned him, he pushed her away from him and into Robb. He spared her one last heated glance before rushing away, muttering a quick apology as he went.
Theon and Robb looked at her, both of their eyes narrowed in confusion as she continued to stare where Jon once stood. She could still feel where his hands held her. The touch burned through the sleeves of her dress and settled into the spaces between her skin and bones. Sansa felt hot and hungry and restless, and she felt like clawing at her skin until she could feel satisfaction. But there was none to gain.
Without sparing a glance to the two young men still in the room, Sansa left with a dramatic sweep of her skirts and headed to her room where her mother would no doubt be waiting for her. She blamed the pounding of her heart to the fear and shame that her mother would bring out of her. But there was no fear or shame. Only Jon’s scorching touch still lingering on the surface of her skin, and the hunger that sung in her veins.