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she holds the key to the missing gold

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SANSA

Sansa is studying at the library when Jon Snow comes to approach her. It takes a second to make sense of it, but he’s staring at her. Arms crossed on the table as he waited for… something.

Sansa blinks in confusion. “What is it?”

For some odd reason, the way he’s staring so intently at her makes her feel self-conscious. She doesn’t think they’ve ever been alone like this before, never really had a reason to be.

He takes another moment before saying anything. “The Lion Prince is competing for the Band Slam.”

Joffrey’s band. It’s probably the only thing Joffrey loves more than himself. Sansa, of course, knows that Joffrey wouldn’t miss an opportunity to show off.

“Everyone in school knows that,” she replies.

Jon nods. “My band is competing, too. And we’re going to win.”

Now that’s something she didn’t know. While Jon’s band is arguably better than Joffrey’s, they don’t usually partake in school events.

Still, she doesn’t know why he’s telling her all this. “Okay..? I’m still not sure what it has to do with me.”

“I want you to join my band,” he tells her simply.

His words take her by surprise. She’s been to a few of The Crows’ gigs before and she thought they were incredible. They have great songs and very engaging performances. They don’t need her at all.

“Why?”

Jon lifts a shoulder. “Don’t you want to see the look on Joffrey’s face when he realizes he lost to you?”

So he’s doing this for her. For some reason. Maybe it’s out of a sense of loyalty to her brother or maybe he just feels bad for her –

“You don’t have to decide right now,” he tells her, cutting into her thoughts. “We’re playing tonight, if you want to check us out.”

“Where?”

“At The Outlaw,” he tells her. “7pm.”

She nodds “Okay.”

“Okay you’ll come?”

“Yeah. I’ll be there.”

She’s not sure if she’s ever seen him smile before, but the one he gives her now is stunning. His smile brightens up his entire face, skin wrinkling prettily at the corner of his eyes. In that moment, there’s no trace of the brooding vocalist of The Crows at all – there’s only this boy. Beautiful and magnetic, and she finds it so hard to look away.
She takes a deep breath and turned back to her book, abandoned until a moment ago. She tries to go back to the page she’s on, desperately trying to retain her focus on what she’s doing.

But a moment passes. Then two, then three –

Jon Snow doesn’t leave. He stays seated right in front of her. When she hazards a look, she finds him staring at her, head on the palm of his hand and a smile instantly erupting on his face as soon as he finds her looking.

She swallows. “Was there… something else you wanted to say?”

He frowns, a cute little crease on his forehead. “No?”
A beat.

“Don’t you have anywhere else to go? To prepare or something?”

He shakes his head. “I’m free until the gig. I figured it’ll be easier if we head over together. Unless you don’t want to, that is.”

“Oh.” She thinks about it. “it’s fine. Just… It’s distracting when you stare.”

He gives her a sheepish smile. “Noted. I’ll stop staring now.”

He drops his head on the table and covers his face with his arms, but only until he thinks she’s gone back to doing her assignment, then he’s back to full-on staring.

She pretends not to notice, biting down her own smile as he continued working. This is a side to him she never knew existed.

Sometime before seven, they grab a bite at a diner nearby, at Jon’s insistence. He pays for her meal too, going as far as arguing with her about it until she finally relents.

“You really want me to do this,” she notes in surprise.

He lifts a shoulder “Maybe I think you’re the key to beating Joffrey.”

That can’t be true; his band is great as it is, she’s seen enough of their performances to know this. He can’t fool her.

She shakes her head. “I don’t believe that.”

“Well, the alternative explanation would be that I needed a reason to spend some time with you,” he says simply, giving her a smile “You can choose what to believe.”

She stares at him for a moment, a mixture of surprise and confusion written all over her face. He can't be trying to... - no, that's not it. He wouldn't be interested in her. He's probably just teasing.

“You’re not cute at all,” she tells him, but it’s more of a lie to herself, really.

He actually is cute. It’s probably one of the first few things she thought about Jon Snow when she first met him at age twelve.

*

The band’s performance is incredible, just as she already expected, but the way her heart skips a beat each time Jon looks her way is new.

“What is happening,” she mutters to herself when Jon directs yet another smile her way, hand clutching at her chest.

Her heartbeat is quick and erratic, beating almost as hard as Grenn hits the drums. Still, tells herself it means nothing. 

After their set, Jon leads her to a table, twining their fingers together as though it’s only natural. She sucks in a deep breath and convinces herself that it’s only so he doesn’t lose her in the crowd.

“So?” He asks with the biggest smile she’s seen on him thus far. “Did you like it?”

The longer the night goes, the bigger his smile gets, and she’s almost afraid that seeing his smile in its complete form might make her heart burst.

“I did, yeah.”

“Do you think maybe you’d want to be up there, too?”

“Okay. I’ll do it,” she tells him.

She’s had a few drinks in, properly tipsy, but she’s pretty sure this isn’t a decision she’ll regret in the morning.

Jon Snow offers her another smile and he really needs to stop doing that. “Yeah?”

“But – I get to change my mind if it turns out that it isn’t for me.”

He nods dutifully. “Of course.”

She offers him a hand and he stares for a second before shaking it. “That’s a deal, then.”

 

JON

Jon wakes up the next day feeling as he always does after a gig. Hungover and with aching bones.

The smile on his face is a new thing.

“You seem happy.” Jon twists on the couch to find Sam on the love seat, feeding Sam Jr. with a bottle of milk. “Last night went well?”

Sam’s question only makes him smile wider. “It did, yeah.”

He let his head fall back down on the pillow, mind already replaying the events of last night.

He’s had a crush on Sansa for years and he never even imagined that he had a chance; it took Arya knocking some sense into him to realize he’d been an idiot all this time. The only reason he never had a chance with Sansa was because he didn’t put himself out there, never let her know he was even an option.

“You can’t cry to me about not dating my sister if you’re not even doing anything to make it happen,” Arya told him a week ago, whacking him on the head with a pillow as she did.

He wasn’t even crying about it; in fact, he’d been playing a video game at his apartment when Arya burst through the door and immediately tried to beat him up.

“Arya, what the hell,” he exclaimed, trying to get away from possibly the most frightening of the Stark children. “What did I even do?”

“Nothing. That’s the fucking point.” Arya scoffed before flopping down the couch. “I just hate that all the guys who ever makes a move on my sister are absolute assholes.” Arya whacked him again. “And I’m stuck with you whining about it.”

It took a second to start making a sense. Sansa’s only ever been with Joffrey. “Someone’s making a move on her?”

“Yeah. Harry fucking Hardyng.”

It’s not exactly what spurred him on to finally approach Sansa but it ddi make him start considering it. Then, two days later he heard Joffrey Baratheon badmouthing Sansa to his friends and something in Jon snapped.

He came up to Joffrey and punched him in the face.

That’s when he decided Arya’s right; all the guys who’s ever approached Sansa were assholes who never knew how to treat her right. If Jon lets one of them hurt her again, he might actually have to punch himself in the face.

So he came to Sansa with the intention of asking her out, except he couldn’t really ask because it felt too out of the blue. He was sitting there right in front of her and he realized he’d never even really had a conversation with just her.
Whenever he’d spoken to her, her siblings were always around too. It was never just the two of them.

He figures he owes it to her to remedy that before asking her out. So that when he does ask her out, she can be sure of who he is as a person before deciding whether to risk her heart with him or not.