She was exhausted. Completely and utterly bone weary. A fact that she could only attribute to her ‘home sickness’. She had had far busier times than the last week. Not that she hadn’t been busy of course! It was just that she was always pretty busy anyway, yet she was feeling it. Really feeling it, in a way that she never had before. She had even decided - without any real hesitation or guilt, to simply quit her part time job The Tuesday after arriving back in The Vale. She didn’t have the time to be covering other girls shifts, even as a call in casual anyway. But what time she did have, where she wasn’t working through final fittings and making final adjustments and tweaks as a result, as well as steaming and or pressing, all of the garments once that was done, and then organising the final points of her part of the overall show? Plus helping her family organise their accommodations and transport and whatever else. AND catching up with her friends and making sure they were as ready as they could be too? She was moping - or sleeping. And her girl was moping right alongside her - even more dramatically than she was.
Lady hadn’t stopped sulking from the moment Jaime shut the door behind her once she hopped into the back of her truck, until that very moment, laid out on her bed staring out the window oh so sadly - not even hugging her stuffed toys. They weren’t cuddly and warm and ALIVE like her ‘pups’. So she didn’t want them. Truthfully? She had been rather dour company the entire time. And the only time she had even shown a lick of excitement, was when Sansa walked in the door of an evening, and when Jaime was on either speaker phone, or the single video call they had shared, in a bid to perk the heartbroken wolf up. Otherwise? She was a miserable Debby Downer who missed her Daddy and her babies, and her melancholy only served to make Sansa feel even more wretched.
Not that she could fault her at all. She was hardly the best company presently either. Even Margs ribald jokes at her expense only served to make her smile sadly and shake her head. Much to her crazy friends chagrin. Though it did amuse her a little to withhold the details that she positively KNEW Marg was thirsting for, she hadn’t actually managed to drag her out of her own sadness entirely. So she wasn’t about to expect Lady to cut it out. Not when in her wolfs mind, she was also separated from her surrogate babies/little sisters. With no apparent correction in the universes cruel shift of fate. Lady didn’t know that The Vale and their little cottage rental WAS NOT home anymore. She didn’t know that in just over two weeks time they would be heading out and not returning.
Of course that STILL did NOT mean that they would be actually ‘going home’ permanently either. And perhaps that was contributing to Sansas exhausted state? The not knowing. She should have brought up the possibility of her staying with Jaime, on a potentially more permanent basis. At least as a ‘home base’ type situation? Where she would go back to, after the working week was done if she had an internship or potentially decided to still travel. Of course she hoped to maybe do all of it with him, and just never ‘leave’ for work. In her mind, his house was already HOME. He was home. And in Lady’s too. That was where their little family was. That’s where they both wanted to be now. But she hadn’t brought it up and nor had he. Not as an actual point of discussion. They had both HINTED at it, numerous times. But the closest they actually got to ‘stating’ it, was when she had thought to hand him the spare keys back, and he had snorted rudely, replaced them on her keychain and kissed her nose without a single word.
Being away, even for only those days through the week? Would be too hard to maintain on a regular basis. A point she had learned this week. It had only been four days - there was only the one left to go! And it was miserable. It would be all that much worse, if she didn’t have every weekend to look forward to! But that wasn’t conducive to either of them having a life outside of work and each other either. Not when she knew that they would both want to spend all of what little time they had together - with only each other and their fur babies. And as they had this last week, they would focus all energies on their work and count the days - possibly hours, until they were together again. Whereas if they were together on a more regular basis - namely, every single night potentially? Making time for others wouldn’t be such a big ask. Because they wouldn’t miss each other.
It was curious, that such a small period of time, was so much harder than their initial separation had been? Though? That had been awful enough! But their relationship had quite simply EXPLODED out from the tentative ‘long distance romance’, they had endured after their first weekend together, with their week and a half ‘honeymoon’ period together. The relationship was real now - not just a future reality that they were getting to know each other and working towards. And time apart was now more hindrance than help. Going slow was no longer necessary. They had processed and moved beyond as much as they could apart. And YES they had done that, as they had everything else - at lightning speed. But it was what it was. They were better together. And she missed him, her baby fluff balls too. So much so that she was more than willing to plan her career steps around their relationship. As crazy as THAT was. She wouldn’t give it up of course! And he would never let her either! She just wanted to have both. Him and a career built on her merit and talent. It just didn’t really matter how she got it now. So long as it was on her abilities and she had him at her side.
Sansa smiled tiredly and wiggled around onto her side, where she was laying on the sofa, making herself comfortable as she hit the screen of her phone to answer his call. “Hi.” She sounded breathless and sleepy. But she didn’t care. “Hiya Baby. You sound sleepy? Did I wake you?” She hummed negatively and cuddled into the cushion more fully, holding her hand out in invitation to her girl, who had perked up at the sound of her phone. Very obviously recognising that it meant she might hear him. “I’m sleepy, but I wasn’t SLEEPING.”
“Still exhausted huh? I thought you were going to try and take it easier today, so you could get some rest?” Gods she loved him. And the way he cared for her and looked after her - even from so very far away. “I’ll take it easier tomorrow. I only need to move my gear into the prep area of the showroom tomorrow once the work is finished on it. And then I’m sleeping the rest of the day away. It’s so frustrating that I’m this worn out Jai. I have things to do!” His exasperated scoffing and muttering actually made her smile more than anything. It was clear that he thought her ridiculous for being so annoyed about feeling burnt out. But she also knew him better than he realised too. Had he not gotten up at some ungodly hour, after only a couple of hours sleep and gone back in to work, to oversee others doing the job he had help train and prepare them to do?
“See that you do have a nap at least Red. Or I’m putting you to bed TO SLEEP the second I get there tomorrow night! AND I’m telling your mother and father and MY FATHER, that you’re overdoing it.” She pouted, but he couldn’t see it anyway, and she couldn’t exactly maintain it for any length of time around her giggling at his threats to dob her in! It was more than a little bit hilarious that he would threaten to dob her into BOTH of their parents. Especially when she was just a bit more tired than normal! She was hardly over doing anything. But he was too adorable in his ridiculousness to take to task for it. “On my honour as a Stark, Ser Jaime, I vow to nap the day away so that I am bright eyed and bushy tailed for when my sexy man gets here.” She grinned at his snort of laughter. “I shall hold you to it My Lady! And how is our big girl tonight Mama?” She smiled softly and patted her slighter happier looking girl gently, where her head now rested on the cushion of the sofa before her. “Happier now she’s heard her Daddy’s voice. She misses you Jai.”
“I think she misses the devil twins actually. They miss her too - though not nearly as much as me! They’ve discovered the way into our bedroom Baby. I woke up with Grace the shithead purring where she wrapped herself around my neck! She was like a tiny scarf. I need her to come home, so they can sleep with her instead!”
She couldn’t help but laugh at how put out he had sounded. His relationships with the kittens was still VERY MUCH an amusing little thing for her. He cared so much, making sure he fed them the correct amounts and only things suitable to kittens, cleaning the litter daily without too much complaining, he even double checked their appointments with the vet for all their shots and organised for Tommen and Myrcella to take them along with their kittens because he’d be at work. And she knew full well he was affectionate with them. Yet he still maintained his stance on NOT actually CARING for them. Pretending that they were a pain he endured for love of her and his niece and nephew. “Maybe She should come home with you when you go back? I’ll be busy packing up and getting ready for graduation and stuff? And you run most mornings anyway?” She bit her lip nervously. There were heavy implications there. Plus it just kind of slipped out. Even if it did make sense? Although she would miss her company herself - her Mother had stated her intention to stay and help her sort her life out, so that once the Graduation ceremony and following dinner party was done, she could move on to ‘wherever’ without needing to finish everything up after everyone left again. It would be the best thing for Lady too. At least that way she would only be missing her?
“You won’t be lonely by yourself? I don’t mind at all, if you think she’d be happier at home with you being busy Baby. But I don’t want you being lonely by yourself either?” She smiled widely at her girls curiously cocked head and sighed. No. That was absolutely what was best. At the very least it gave her just another excuse to ‘go home’ herself once this next few weeks were up. “Mama will be here Baby. She’s staying to help me get everything sorted so once I graduate, I’ll be done here in The Vale. You don’t mind?” He let out the most curious and adorable, excitement laced and very poorly concealed purr of contentment. And it had her heart racing in anticipation. Now would be the perfect time to broach the subject she was desperate to talk about. But that she was so damned tired and she really didn’t think it a good idea to discuss such important things when she was so, because her mind was already so overwhelmed. “Of course I don’t mind Sweetheart. This is her home too and if you honestly believe it would be better for her to come home? I’ll take her back with me. It’s not like it’ll be forever anyway! You are done and dusted in two weeks or there abouts anyway. Hey? I was thinking? Did you want to maybe take a few days when you do finish up? And we will go to Ruby Fort? Just us?”
And there she went. Falling headlong, hard and fast, in love with this foolishly perfect man all over again! Gods! Whatever she did to deserve someone so wonderful? She would never know. But she would absolutely do it all over again if she did and had to, to have him. “Can you take the time? Graduation is on the Friday and the dinner that night? If you are coming? So we could go Saturday if you are? Or I can meet you there if not maybe? I would just have to make sure EVERYTHING is done beforehand? But if you wanted more than one night there, you’d need to take more time off work?”
“I’ll be at your graduation Red. It seems like a pretty important event in My GIRLFRIENDS life doesn’t it?” She flushed awfully and beamed at her girl, suppressing her squeaks of excitement as best she could. But she could almost hear his cocky, arrogant lions smile. So she knew he had heard her anyway. “It does. I WAS actually working up to asking you to come... I have been so excited for you to see my dress! So YES. Please come and please take me to Ruby Fort for the weekend or whatever after it? Maybe it’s ME that should be inviting YOU to Ruby Fort?” Her cheeks hurt from smiling! And considering how down she had been these last days, even when talking to her love, smiling so freely felt so good. “It SHOULD be I suppose? I am not REALLY in a position to invite you to your families holiday home! So let me rephrase hmm? My darling, beautiful, incredible, sweet Baby girl? After I watch you Graduate, will you take me to YOUR favourite place in the world for a romantic weekend of MY suggestion? To celebrate, before we go home and have to go back to reality a bit?”
Gods! How she loved her man! “Yes! Absolutely! Oh! Now I’m all excited!” He laughed, and it was the best sound in the world. “Alright. I’ll organise time off. If you can work on sorting everything out beforehand, I’ll even call Tully and get him to stock the kitchen for us if you want?” She giggled and shook her head. So much for her sleepy, exhausted state! Now she was full of beans and just wanted it all done so she could be back in her tower with her incredible fairy tale knight. It was going to be the longest of long weeks because of it. But she was SO excited. “I can call him. And I promise I will be all done. I might even try to have it done beforehand and we can just stay in a hotel that night and head straight out after breakfast with my family maybe?”
“Whatever you want Baby.”
“I just want you Jaime.” She smiled sheepishly at his soft, breathy laugh. “And I just want you too Sansa. Always. Forever.” She hummed happily and let herself melt back into the sofa again. She was happy. This was what true happiness felt like. HE made her happy. Even when she missed him like crazy and had had a miserable and exhaustingly busy week and when she felt just a little bit crappy? He made her happy.
“You need to get that beautiful ass in bed and get some rest Red. Firstly, because I am worried about you. And secondly, because I will be there tomorrow, and I would very much like to not have to turn my insatiable girl down because she’s too tired to engage in copious amounts of rigorous sex that will leave one or both of us incredibly sore by the end of the weekend! I say it with as much love as possible Sans? Shower wanks just don’t cut it like they used to after I’ve been so spoiled.” She shrieked with laughter and covered her face - even though he couldn’t see her. Gods! He was ALWAYS so damned incorrigible. And she LOVED him for it! “Did I not leave you with enough memories in that shower Daddy?”
“Mmm. You absolutely did my beautiful girl. But in no possible world, is my hand going to feel anywhere near as good as your sweet cunt, or that hot, hungry little mouth of yours.” She whined pathetically and sighed. “Now you are being mean Daddy! I’m too tired to play tonight.” He hummed arrogantly. “My point exactly Red. SLEEP. I am genuinely worried about how tired you’ve been. So let Lady out for a bit, and then lock up and get into bed and get some rest. Please Baby?”
“I will. I am. I just wanted to talk to you before I did. Otherwise I’d have been in bed already.”
“Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Let me know where you are and what time you head off and stuff?”
“As you wish. I love you.”
“I love you Jai.”
“Good night. I can’t wait to see you.”
“Me either beautiful.”