There was once a time in Sansa Stark’s life where a wedding felt like a fairy tale—the epitome of all things good. Yet now, pressed into the corner of a crowded limo with 8 other women, she can definitively say her opinion has changed.
It’s not that she dislikes her future sister-in-law, quite the contrary, actually. It’s just that the sugary sweet wedding traditions she’d once held in high-esteem have lost their shine. And the last thing she wants to do on this forced “vacation” is craft a wedding dress out of toilet paper or guess how many children Robb and Jeyne may have (she’s hoping for three - personally).
No, her post-Joffrey, post-engagement life looks quite different.
She has only two goals: survival and inebriation.
“How long are we stuck in this thing?” Arya asks from beside her, dislodging an arm from the fray of limbs long enough to tug a bottle of Fireball from her purse. Sansa arches a brow at it, but decides not to comment.
“10 more minutes?” Her phone is trapped somewhere beneath her, so it was anyone’s guess.
The whole thing had started over 5 hours ago, when they’d been herded out of the Westerling estate for a bridal party breakfast. Bleary-eyed and pre-traumatized at the prospect of compulsory camaraderie before 9 am, Sansa had taken comfort in the fact that Robb’s best man and her wedding-date-of-choice, Jon Snow, would be more than happy to lurk with her in corners. That was until she found out that he and the other groomsmen were going somewhere different.
She’d been mid-text to him for a location update when Jory Mormont had leaned over to ask her who she was messaging that made her smile so stupidly—she’d frantically shoved her phone under her then and hadn’t touched it since.
The awkward guilt thing was a new development—albeit an unsurprising one.
As the maid of honor, it was her job to keep to schedule and stay abreast of where all the members of the bridal party were located, groomsmen included. And the easiest way to do that was through the best man. But at some point over the last two days, the regular check-ins had evolved into legitimate conversations and now Sansa couldn’t stop. She’d been texting Jon all day.
“Did Jon say where they were?” It’s Jeyne this time, shifting around her younger sister, Eleyna, to smile in Sansa’s direction. Feeling her cheeks heat slightly as she avoids looking anywhere near Jory, Sansa wrests her phone from where it’s slid into the seat-back
Jon has indeed sent her another update: At bar #3.
She winces internally. It was only noon.
“Uh, at a new bar,” Sansa states, hoping her face is doing something positive.
The plan, as it currently stood, was for the bridal party to meet back up with the groomsmen at a restaurant on the outskirts of the city once they finished their wine tour. However, Sansa was starting to wonder if anyone was actually going to make it till then.
Returning to her phone, she types back Please drink water , then suddenly hating how motherly she sounds, adds I’ll drag your unconscious body with me tonight if I have to.
Even well on her way to sloshed, Sansa knew another evening surrounded by wedding cheer without backup was going to go down about as well as the cinnamon whiskey her sister was chugging. And despite Arya’s insistence on keeping her company, Sansa wasn’t about to entrap her sister for hours on end while Gendry Waters was present and existing.
Arya had never quite taken to their mother’s etiquette lessons the way Sansa had, she wasn’t as good at pretending she was having a good time.
Sansa, on the other hand, had turned it into a fine art.
Still , she thinks, eying the chattering women around her before staring back down at her phone, even I get tired.
Two years ago when Robb had first proposed to Jeyne, Sansa’d been knee-deep in planning a wedding of her own, clinging to the last shards of her rose-colored glasses. It had lasted about as long as it took for Robb and Jeyne to set a date.
When things with Joffrey Lannister disintegrated, they disintegrated quickly.
Since then, everything in her life felt tenuous, the ground beneath her seemingly taking forever to even back out. Which was maybe part of why she’d been so adamant about not attending Robb’s wedding alone, surrounded by reminders of her own aborted life-plans.
Her friend Margaery had suggested she “crowd source” live at the wedding, but Sansa wasn’t fond of mindless hookups - nor did she have full confidence in separating her emotional baggage long enough to actually enjoy one. She’d thought instead that she might be able to convince Margaery’s brother, Loras, to go with her as a buffer. However the Tyrells were vacationing in Croatia for the rest of the summer, which meant Sansa’s circle of “safe” men was left depressingly small.
Then, 3 weeks ago, Robb had informed her that Jon Snow would be going to the wedding stag and Sansa had seen salvation in the distance.
Jon Snow, the gangly, quiet boy she’d grown up with. Jon Snow, the boy she’d watched ghost between peripheral groups at parties and play DD for her drunken brother in high school. Jon Snow who’d spent the last 2 days coming to save her when her perfected facial expressions and social graces began to lag.
Sweet, safe Jon Snow.
Sansa felt like an idiot.
Jon may still have been the ever-present gentleman, but after spending hours with him in an incredibly close vicinity, Sansa was starting to worry her womanly virtues weren’t quite as intact (and the bits of herself she’d thought long-dead were screaming back to life). Her knees were beginning to do that wobbly thing when he said her name, and she could hear the increased lilt in her voice when she spoke to him. If it wasn’t half-humiliating, Sansa was sure she’d be doodling his name into her day planner - as it was, the constant texting seemed to be enough.
Her phone buzzes, alight with an image of Jon’s sad water glass and Sansa feels her mouth tilt up.
Full permission, you can drag my body wherever you want.
Sansa feels her stomach clench. Damn you, Snow.