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H: do we meet today??

Before Sansa as a chance to reply, to even ponder her decision, the door opens. It's him, he's never late, six o'clock sharp he's always home, she doesn't know how to feel about that. He knows very well what's going on, he's seen her with the phone in her hands and it's not hard to guess to whom she's talking to, yet he never mentions a thing about it, he doesn't show anger, sadness, not even pity for the woman she turned out to be. Just like every day, Jon Snow simply doesn't care. Sansa doesn't either, she's tired of pretending.

"Hello, Sansa." He says her name but doesn't really acknowledge her presence, just takes off his work boots and heads for the kitchen.

It's better this way, at least he won't have to look in her eyes and see the truth, Sansa can lie with her words and gestures, but her eyes always betray her, just like his. Jon treats this matter with indifference when in fact it's killing him, that alone should be enough for her to stop, unfortunately it isn't. Sansa's been running for so long that she's grown used to it, even if she wanted to put an end to it, it would be impossible.

And why should I stop?

It's not like she and Jon are the same. Ever since that summer day two years ago, things haven't been the same. They died that day, now they're just existing, two creatures of cold, nothing but hate and sorrow running trough their veins. He blames her for what happened, she blames him for what happened, and in this game they've been playing for years they're always the ones who get hurt. Jon and Sansa, the happy and loving couple, the one that people so often aspired to be like, are gone. Now all that remains is the memories, and a desire to hurt one another. Sansa hurts Jon with her actions, he hurts her with the lack of his.

He's always quiet, sometimes it feels as if this house is haunted by two ghosts instead of one. Sansa can't even hear him arriving in the living room, only when he sits in his recliner chair, opening a beer and turning on the TV - mainly because he doesn't want to talk -, it's when she sees him.

"How was work?" Sansa asks, she doesn't really care about what he does when he leaves.

But this silence that by now should've been their friend is suffocating her, Sansa's not sure if she'll ever get used to it. Not when once laugher filled these walls, not when a sweet and energetic voice would breathe life into them. The day he left, he took all the joy, all the love, the best of them with him. All that remains are the demons they can't fight, the demons that both she and Jon allowed to take root in them.

"Winter is coming, so people are starting to prepare for it. But it's nothing we aren't used to." He doesn't look at her, whatever game on is definitely more important.

I hate you.

It's not the first time Sansa finds herself wishing he could fall from one of those roofs he works in. It makes her a monster, but so be it. Where there's love, there's room for hate, and Jon has given her plenty of motives for it.

"And yours?" He's still focused on that goddamn TV.

"We did inventory today at the pharmacy, nothing else."

"Good." He says. Jon's right, winter is truly coming.

This house has never been this cold. Liveless.

"I made dinner. It's in the oven." Sansa used to cook everyday, not anymore.

It reminds her too much of what they lost, of how that sweet little boy would always chase her around in the kitchen, trying to have a snack before diner time. Nowadays just thinking about cooking it's enough to render her to tears, the only reason she did it today is because Sansa misses him. In those two hours spent near the stove, she could pretend he was in his room playing, at any moment he would come and they would giggle and make a mess. He never comes, it's always quiet in here.

David isn't coming back.

"I'm...I already had something to eat on the way here." Jon's answer isn't new.

They haven't dined together in two years, it's strange to do it with just the two of them. It's almost like a betrayal to their son's memory. It's all that this house is now, a memory of all they've lost. Sansa still remembers everything about her little boy, she wishes she couldn't, it would be so easy, even now that there's no pictures on the wall - Jon keeps them in the attic, he did because Sansa nearly destroyed the house because they were just pictures and never David himself - she won't ever let a single thing about him slip trough her mind. His rounded face, skin pale as hers with a rose coloured tint to his cheeks. Small sapphire blue eyes that were lively, warm, and sparkled with bliss when he smiled, he was always smiling. Jet black hair with soft curls, slight buttoned nose that was just above his plump lips that would pout so often.

I miss you so much, baby.

He would've been seven already, her little man.

That's why it's so hard to look at Jon in face, she can't see her husband anymore, only a son they've lost. So, Sansa never stays in his presence for more than necessary, she can't and he can't either, David had his looks but her personality. One that Sansa hasn't anymore, she's numb. A shadow trying to roam in a world where her world was taken away from her.

Deep down Sansa knows it's not Jon's fault, what happened could've happened to anyone, neither one of them could prevent it, yet it's easier to find someone to blame other than herself.


 

He went to take a shower, hasn't come back since. Jon's probably in his bed already, or in the backyard smoking - he doesn't think she knows about that, it started right after the funeral -, ignoring her. She's sick of him, of of the silent treatment that she's been receiving for two years, she's sick of everything. This house is too big yet it's as if the walls are closing in around her. Without thinking twice, Sansa grabs the phone.

Sansa: meet me at the motel in twenty minutes.

H: your wishes are orders.

She doesn't reply to that. There's no point in flirting with the other man, it's all he is. Nothing more than a distraction, Sansa's using him but she can't find it in herself to feel bad about it because he's doing the same. It's part of the arrangement, it's just sex.

Quickly, Sansa takes a shower and then goes into her room to change, it's always hard to do that, mainly because everytime she has to walk in the room she once shared with Jon, she has to look at a wooden door with the name David glued to it, blue and red his favourite colours, he wanted to be spider man, the whole decoration in his room is inspired in that, it hasn't changed. Sansa hasn't been able to get inside, Jon does but never touches a single thing. It's their little museum, another painful reminder.

Sansa doesn't even bother with putting on something sexy and alluring, she doesn't even apply makeup. Harry, the man she's cheating Jon with, doesn't seem unfazed by that, if he did Sansa still wouldn't change. She gives her body to him, but everything else still belongs to Jon. It will always belong to him, Sansa can say she hates him, that he should be the one who deserved to die, she can ignore him and despise him, only because he's been doing the same for longer that her, but deep in her heart she cannot stop loving him, it's a curse. To love someone who doesn't know the meaning of the that word.

That's why she fucks Harry and not him. With Harry is just that, they fuck for pleasure and nothing more. With Jon, Sansa always made love, she doesn't know how to anymore, neither does he, David's death pushed them away from each other. So, she meets with Harry. Jon knows it, she's not particularly hiding it, another way she found of hurting him.

"You're leaving." Sansa nearly jumps, Jon's back in the living room.

He was probably waiting for her to leave to return there. He didn't ask a question, he was just stating a fact.

"Yes, I...I'm going..." There's no point in lying.

Jon makes that clear enough, "I see. Have fun." There's nothing in his voice. Hollow just like the man he is.

Once she's out of the door he'll do something, the glass shards and empty cans of beer she always finds scattered around the house are a testimony of that. For now he remains unbothered, it's not like saying something is going to change it. Sansa's still going to end up in bed with Harry.

"Don't forget that tomorrow we're going to the cemetery. It's our son, you should be there." Son of bitch! Jon did it, he finally fought back.

A part of her he's glad that's he's showing some fight, the other is mad that he's doing that by using their son's memory. Sansa will never neglect him that way, every Saturday she goes to the cemetery, rain or shine, she sits for hours with Jon looking at the picture of their little boy, arranging the flowers and hoping that one day they'll wake up from this nightmare.

Getting angry at him won't make a difference, Sansa won't let him see her tears, she won't give him that satisfaction. If she cries now she'll end up saying she loves him, and she doesn't want that, she can't do that. The wounds that were opened are now finally beginning to close, Sansa's finding some solace and peace against all odds, being with Jon again is all it takes for the her walls to start crumbling again.

I love you, but I can't give myself to you.


 

When Sansa parks her car in this crappy motel just at the edge of town, Harry's silver Audi A5 is already parked, he's never late. He likes it too much to ever leave Sansa hanging. Honestly, Harry might be handsome with those blue eyes and sandy blond hair, her body chiseled and his designer suits, but he's not her type, he's too cocky and arrogant, he's only looking for a woman to fuck for the night, it's what makes him perfect for her. Harry's the total opposite of Jon, that's what she needs. They met at a bar six months ago, the drinks started flowing and before she could realize what was going on, Sansa was in the back seat of his car moaning and jumping up and down on his cock like her life depended on it. She never put the brakes after that. Sansa doesn't know why she does it, it feels good but not that good, the experience is always tainted with the image of Jon flashing trough her mind, guilt comes after that. Yet, Sansa doesn't stop.

In here in this motel, there's no David, she doesn't have to be Sansa, she doesn't have to see the disappointment in Jon's face. She's nothing, that's the peace she needs. To forget who Sansa Stark was and what she is now, even if just for a few hours.

She leaves her car, and heads to room 14 — the same one as always —, with just one knock on the door Harry appears, he's already shirtless and barefoot, his navy blue suit pants are sliding down his waist, Sansa can see his v and the that trail of hair that descends to his pubic area, he's flashing her his usual grin, it doesn't really do much to her.

“I've missed you.” He says, already going in for a kiss, immediately Sansa places a hand on his muscled chest.

"Hi, Harry." She cuts him off.

Harry's forgetting the rules, no kissing, no more information than necessary — he doesn't know about Jon —, no text messages or phone calls unless they are for setting an encounter, no full nudity — Sansa always keeps her bra on, if she's wearing a dress then she just pulls it at waist —, no falling in love, that one is easy. She's a cheater, a horrible person but some things are sacred, kissing Jon is one of them, showing her body to any other man but Jon is wrong, she's hurting him badly enough as it is, giving her heart to a stranger would be the death of him. Of hers too.

“You look like a goddess, you know, the usual.” Harry's a player, however, Sansa hasn't fallen for his games.

Never.

She's anything but a goddess, her hair is in a messy bun, she's clean faced — not even a touch of lipstick —, wearing mom jeans and a white shirt tucked in with a gray plaid blazer, and ankle boots. Nothing out of this world, there's no need to dress up for what they're about to do, Sansa doesn't want to impress Harry. She doesn't give two shits about what he's thinking.

This small talk that Harry always engages in is unnecessary, he knows what he wants and talking about the weather isn't it, Sansa indulges him anyway. Despite looking every inch of the perfect gentleman, Harry is impatient.

Ten or fifteen minutes later, Sansa gets under the sheets with her clothes still on, Harry sitting on the corner sipping a glass of whiskey, only after Sansa's laid down she begins removing her clothes, leaving her bra on and much more to Harry's imagination, — they never fuck without the sheets covering them, Sansa's request of course — once that's done, Harry takes the hint and removes the rest of his clothing, his not ashamed of being naked. Afterwards, is like a routine already, Harry kisses and bites her neck, leaving a few hickeys on his trail, then his hands make their way into her cunt, Sansa has no trouble in getting wet and trobbing, sometimes Harry will tease her — he likes when she begs, which she doesn't —, but today he's quick and in a matter of minutes Sansa's cumming. After, she spreads her legs willingly for him, Harry puts on a condom and then without any warning thrusts into her — Jon's bigger but Sansa always pushes those toughts away —, it's not gentle, it's primal and almost animalistic, he leaves fingerprints all over her thighs, bite marks in her collarbone, and Sansa finds herself enjoying this, she moans and asks for more, harder, her nails dig half-moons into his back, she can feel his blood mingling with his sweat, he likes it rough but he never lasts long this way, and in the end when Sansa reaches her orgasm, when her body tightens like a crossbow ready to be fired, when her pussy clenches with a vice-like grip around Harry's cock, Sansa can't feel a thing, there's not that bliss she seeks for. And once her body resumes to its normal state, once the fire is put down, she's left feeling dirty, ashamed and guilty, yet she doesn't want to stop.

Why?

Harry is the first to leave, that's the part he understands best, he never lingers for more than five minutes once it's over. Puts on his clothes, kisses her forehead and it's out of the door, cuddles aren't an option Sansa gave him. She then goes into the bathroom, gets inside the shower and lets the boiling water that's running clean her from any traces of him, the droplets that run trough her face mix with her tears.

Sansa doesn't know how long it's been, hours, minutes, seconds, it could've been a lifetime. She finds herself sitting with her face buried in her hands — still in the shower —, a sobbing mess.

Her son doesn't deserve this, that's not how Sansa wants to honor him, that's not how she should mourn for him. Most of all, Jon doesn't deserve it either.

How can she do this to someone she loves?

Chapter Text

 

Jon Snow

2 years ago

Why are they here?

What difference will it make?

It's been exactly twenty seven minutes since it happened, since David closed his eyes. He didn't open them at home, in the ambulance, while he was being intubated, surrounded by more doctors than Jon could count. His eyes remained closed trough it all, and they'll remain trough eternity.

Jon should be hopeful, the doctors haven't said a word yet, but they don't have too either. They're probably the only ones who still have faith, they're in a room with David, trying their best to bring back, but he's not coming back. Those doctors weren't there, they didn't saw what Jon did, he always thought that a dead would be like sleeping, one couldn't even be able to tell the difference between both of them, he was wrong. For five years he and Sansa have tucked David in bed, alongside with his stuffed spider man, Jon would watch him sleep every night, sometimes Sansa had to ask him to come to their room, Jon always found that hard to do, it was so easy to become hypnotized by his son, there were days Jon couldn't believe he was real, that he and Sansa had created the closest thing to perfection this world could find, his boy, his and Sansa's. Jon was a father, something that not even in his wildest dreams seemed possible, something he thought he wasn't able to achieve, but he did, he met Sansa and they built a home, a future, a family.

It's gone.

David wasn't sleeping, he wasn't... there was nothing there. Not even his smile. Just emptiness, like the one which is taking hold of him right now. The one that makes him incapable of living, of existing. When David took his final breath, he took Jon with it.

Jon's sitting in one of the hospital chairs, there's so many people around him, strangers that come and go without knowing why or where, his family and friends who keep telling him to be strong, to have courage, for this will pass, it's not the end. If he wasn't so numb, Jon would've told them to fuck off, they weren't there. They have no idea what's it like.

It's not the end, it's already over. It's been over for twenty seven minutes. Now they're just fooling themselves, avoiding the inevitable. His mother-in-law has a rosary in her hands, begging God for the one thing he cannot do, his father-in-law keeps pacing around back and forth, talking to doctors and nurses as if they had the power to change a thing, Arya's nowhere to be seen, she's probably outside punching a wall until her knuckles turn too pulp — the physical pain masquerades the emotional one —, Robb, the brother Jon never had, remains as his side, he's not talking, he's stoic but still wants Jon to know he's here. They don't matter, Jon can't focus on them. Only on Sansa.

She's mere feet away from him, yet she could've been oceans away and Jon wouldn't be able to tell the difference. He wants to be there at her side, to hold her as her body trembles with the force of her sobs, but she doesn't want that. She can't stand his presence right now, Jon's tried and that's why there's five fingerprints marked upon his cheek.

“Wake up! Mommy's here! Baby... please! David, wake up! Wake up!” Her screams of despair still haunt Jon's mind.

He'll never forget the sound of it, her face, her tears that kept falling on David's face, joining the few droplets of water that still ran trough his cheeks. That was the only thing moving in that moment, or at least it was what it felt like. The moment his son came out of that pool everything stopped. Jon has been stuck in it ever since, Sansa however choose to forget it.

She's in denial, and Jon can't find the courage to tell her otherwise. While they were heading towards the hospital, while the doctors did everything they could to change that monitor that showed a straight line, all that Sansa kept saying was that they needed to go home, David had to have his stuffed spider man, his red jammies and the blue and red blanket Arya gifted him, when he woke up. He'll never forget the look that one of the paramedics gave him, Jon couldn't quite decipher what it was — pity? Sadness? Wonder at Sansa's hope? —, but it was all the conformation he needed.

And then it happened. The doctor, came into the waiting room.

“This is it.” Jon thought.

Knowing it isn't hard, you can keep it out of your mind and pretend for the rest of your life that it's not real. Hearing it, it's what makes it real. Once those words are out there, there's no force in this universe strong enough to take them back, they hit you and keep echoing until there's nothing else but that faint buzzer.

“I'm so, so sorry. We've tried everything.” There's real sorrow in the Doctor's voice. It's also something he seems familiar with.

How can anyone choose this career?

Somehow, Jon can't cry. He's mad but doesn't know who should receive his anger, himself? God? The world?

He's lost and won't ever be found. In a couple of days he'll be forced to put on a suit and march trough a graveyard, he'll have to take a fist full of dirt and throw it on top of a coffin, there's going to be flowers well, it's probably going to be the last time Jon sees them. Once they say they're goodbyes, nothing else will ever grow, the darkness is already setting in, the numbness takes over his every sens.

“No! You're a liar! Give me back my son!” Sansa's hysterical, Ned his trying to hold her but she keeps trashing her arms and legs, no doubt trying go inside where David lays lifeless. “I want my son! My baby... please...my baby...”

He doesn't recognize who is this woman. It's not Sansa, it's...is it even human?

She's crying so much, Jon's never seen someone shed this many tears, her gut wrenching wails that send shivers down his spine can be heard everywhere, she's screaming so loudly as if she thinks that's going to bring David back, she's shaking, all coherent sentences have left her, now she's just asking for miracles that cannot be obtained, he's never seen someone do broken as her, maybe that's because he hasn't looked in the mirror yet.

Jon wants to tell her it's all a lie, that it's nothing more than a sick joke that God as bestowed upon them, a test at their strength, but it's over. David will come back, they're going to go home, make him hot cocoa and pancakes, then they'll watch as many cartoons as he wishes, then they'll go to bed and start all over again the next day, until the end of their days. But Jon can't.

Lying can safe so much pain, in this case it's the opposite. David's not coming back.

He's probably the last person Sansa wants to see right now, Jon understands that and honestly he feels the same about himself, it's his fault, he was there and yet it happened all the same, just a matter of seconds and that was it, he was hit with a tidal wave of pain and guilt, now that it's settling down, anguish and a hope that should be dead are what stayed behind. Still, Jon walks towards Sansa, he can't comfort her, can't tell her what she needs to here, but he's the only person in this room who knows exactly what it's like, he's the only one who can share her grief.

“Sansa...” Saying her name is what makes the tears finally fall, “love, I'm here. Stay with me.” He tries to hug her, but fails.

Sansa slaps him again, this time he welcomes it. The sting makes him feel something, that's a good thing, it makes him feel human for the time being.

“Don't touch me!” If Ned wasn't there, Sansa would've done so much more than a slap. “You're a murderer! You did this! David trusted you and failed him! He died because of you!” Sansa's words tear him to pieces.

His heart was broken, now there's not even one. She's made sure of that. Only because Sansa's the only person in here brave enough to tell the truth, Jon did this. He should've been the one dying, he had only one task and he failed.

“Sansa, that's...it was an accident.” Catelyn says trough her tears, she's clutching to Robb who's doing everything he can not to cry. Someone has to be brave right now.

That someone isn't Jon for sure. It isn't Ned Stark either. Jon has never seen him cry before, he can't imagine what's it like for him.

Jon lost a son. Ned Stark lost a grandchild and a daughter.

Sansa's gone, she's with David. She'll always be with him.


 

Present day

It's been almost two years, yet it still feels like the first time. Jon hates it in here, it's not his room, it's the fucking attic. Cold and dark, like his house, his life, himself and of course his wife. Jon's not even sure if he can call Sansa that, they're just sharing a house, nothing more. He doesn't even sleep in the same bed as her, that ended a long time ago. Now he spends his nights alone, just like Sansa does, except when she doesn't. Jon doesn't know when this began. Sansa never told him to leave the room, Jon never chose to do so, it just happened. Like everything else in their lives, they lost control. One day they were sleeping together, they didn't cuddle or kissed anymore, but having Sansa at his side was a small piece of comfort that allowed Jon to close his eyes, when she was near him, there weren't any nightmares, now Jon not only has them, but he also lives in one.

When does it end?

He prays — it's crazy but after everything that happened, Jon still believes in God — every night for that. For normality, or even just a fraction of that. Of course, Jon learned the hard way that God doesn't give two shits about him, He has showed him that countless times before. Every time Sansa leaves the house is proof enough.

David isn't the only reason why Jon can't close his eyes and surrender himself to a cursed sleep. He can't do it when she's out of the house, he knows what she's doing, he can picture it vividly in his mind, sometimes it feels like an out of body experience of sorts. He has no idea who the other man his, he doesn't have a face or name, but Jon's imagination can be quite fertile. He'll see them together, Sansa and someone who isn't him, kissing like they once did, hands touching a body that once was Jon's and no one else's, he can always imagine the rest that happens in the dead of night under some motel bed, beneath the covers, Jon just doesn't dwell on it. It hurts too much, it leaves many questions behind.

Does she love him?

Does she whisper in his hear what she once whispered in Jon's?

Does he make her smile?

Is she happier?

Jon know there's no need to ask that last one. Sansa's miserable as him, ever since David left them they haven't allowed themselves to feel anything resembling joy. They haven't felt nothing at all in these last two years, really.

What hurts the most about knowing Jon's being cheated, is the fact that it comes from Sansa. The woman who once would tell him she loved him every day, who would kiss him every five minutes as if it was going to be the last time, she's the sole reason why Jon believes in love, before Sansa there wasn't much, he had a close family, plenty of friends and a good life — better than most at least —, but there was always that missing piece, it's like Jon and Sansa were born fractured and only became whole when they found each other almost ten years ago on his first day at work, while he fixed her parents roof. Jon can't say exactly when he fell in love with her, one day she was the shy daughter of the man who was paying him, the girl who would always bring Jon a cup of warm coffee and a slice of cake, the one who would blush so prettily; then one day Jon didn't want to know a life without Sansa in it, he couldn't love any other as he loved her, as he still does. He always will, even if it's not reciprocated anymore.

There's only two people who know the truth, his aunt Daenerys and his best friend Tormund. They both tell Jon the same thing over and over again.

Leave her.

Let her go. You're both hurting this way.

Move on. You can't keep fighting a losing battle.

A part of him begs to follow that, to get inside his truck and start driving until there's no more road left. Whenever that thought crosses his mind, a thousand others from sweeter days filled with love appear as well. Sansa despises him, she can't barely look him the eye, she hates him for what happened, for that day in the pool, yet Jon can't find it in himself to feel the same, there's nothing but love for her, a desire to rebuild, to forget and heal, to one day look at this period in their lives and see only a distant memory that no longer torments them. He wants that more than anything, almost as much as he wants David back, but it's hopeless.

And there's no one to blame but Jon. If most people where to find out what Sansa does once a week while Jon lays alone in an empty attic filled with traces of his son, they'll see Sansa as the villain, everyone will say she's a monster for what she did and keeps doing to her husband, her own family will be against her, she'll lose her friends, and they will say that's fair.

They don't know the truth. Only he does, Jon will take that secret to his grave. There's only one monster in this story, his name his Jon Snow.

After Davis's death, things were never the same. Jon had only one task and he failed, ten seconds, his son was out of his sight for ten seconds, that ended up by costing them a whole life. Everyone told Jon to stop feeling guilty, it was an accident, he was a good father, those words meant nothing to him because they never came from the person he needed to hear the most. After her outburst in the hospital, Sansa never called Jon a murderer again, she stopped mentioning anything about that dreadful day at all, she was silent but her eyes speaked volumes, every time she looked at his face, Jon was always brought back to the hospital, to the words that were said there. Jon felt the same way has Sansa, he never asked for her forgiveness because he knew it wasn't right to ask for something he doesn't deserve, in the end of the day no matter what people say or how many times they say it, Jon's irresponsibility and stupidity took their son's life. No wonder Sansa can't stand his presence, of course she can't love him, not after what he took away from her. So, Jon gave her space, it was hard and it still is, whenever she's around there's a lump in his troath, it's been building up for years now and one day it will explode, but that they won't be coming anytime soon. Jon will make sure of that, Sansa has a heart of gold, she has it in herself to forgive him, Jon only has to work towards that, he never does because it's unfair.

He killed his son, if Sansa slipped through his fingers, it's Jon's fault and no one else's. Even though it guts him to know she's happy with another, that she's moving on without him being a part of that, Jon never stops her. She deserves peace, he clearly can't provide that for her. Let someone else do that, he'll do a better job than him. Whoever Sansa spends her nights with, he cannot be worst then Jon.

That always brings him back to Daenerys and Tormund's words.

Let her go.

Let him be called a selfish pig, a coward, an unworthy bastard. But Jon can't let go of Sansa. He's bleeding for her, when that door opens every Friday night a small part of Jon dies — it's a miracle how there's still air in his lungs —, he's hurting badly. But it's a price he's willing to pay, Sansa's still with him. Even if it's just her presence and nothing more.

It's hard to accept that someone we once saw every day, someone who belonged with us is gone. It's still nearly impossible to accept that David isn't here, Jon refuses to experience the same with Sansa.

The worst thing about life is the ones you love the most, someday will go away.


 

Jon used to hate Mondays with a passion, it used to be comical to a certain extent, now he finds himself craving them. They announce the end of the weekend, God knows how gruelling those are nowadays. Saturday, Sansa left the house at dawn and stayed at her parents house until dusk, Sunday was no better, she stayed with him but always far away, they saw each other in the morning, she was folding laundry in the living room and Jon stayed for minutes sitting in the kitchen island just mesmerized by her, the grief took a toll on her, she doesn't smile anymore, melancholy is her companion, but there's still no one quite as beautiful as her, and Jon isn't referring only to her appearance, Sansa can't hide it as much as she wants, but the girl he fell in love with all those years ago is still there. Buried in the depths of her broken heart.

What he loves the most about his job is that it gives him an opportunity to forget, even if it's only temporary. Jon's a roofer, he started when he was seventeen and now with thirty five years old, Jon has his own company. It's not big, not even close, it's just him, Tormund, Edd Tollet and Arya's boyfriend Gendry - he started a few weeks ago -, there's also Sam who deals with the contracts, the finances and the clients. His job is already hard as it is, having to be responsible for three more people is scary as hell. Jon needs to keep a cool head at all times, even more now that Winter is approaching, he can't be working and thinking about his son and his life situation at home, in other words, roofing is a therapy of sorts.

One he never thought he was going to find himself doing. Jon's parents divorced even before he was born, Jon grew up with his mother but always had a good relationship with his dad, Rhaegar Targaryen is probably one of the richest businessman in the world, if it was up to him Jon would never be fixing roofs for a living, that's the only thing he and his father always fight about. Jon doesn't need the money, if he has what he has in his bank account right now, it all comes from his sweat. Sansa used to say that was one of the factors that made her fall in love with Jon.

"You're different from anyone I've ever met." That day Jon sneaked out of work to go to Sansa's younger brother treehouse.

They shared their first kiss that day. Their last was in the drive home, an hour before the beginning of the end.

"Boss!" Edd's mocking voice brings Jon to the real world, or at least to a version of it.

They're currently on their lunch break, Jon's working with Edd alone today, Gendry and Tormund are in another house. The business is going well for Jon, extremely well, it's a shame it's solely that.

"Yes, employee." Jon hates to be called boss. He's messing with Edd a bit because of it, it's their thing.

One of the few that bring him some sanity.

"Fuck off, commander." Jon chuckles, Edd can make him laugh most times, little does he know it's not genuine. "Anyway, the owner asked me if we could help with the pool. She wants to cover up that best." Pool...

It floods Jon with absolute dread, he's terrified of them. It must be showing in his face, Edd is looking serious, boarder line scared.

He's quick to respond, "Shit. I'm so sorry, man. I'll do it, or you know, Gendry's coming tomorrow I can wait for him." Edd is trying to help.

It doesn't help Jon at all, instead it makes him realize once more that he's messed up behind repair.

"Nonsense, if it's what the client want I'm not going to refuse." Jon's convincing himself, even to his own ears, his voice betrays him.

As soon as he sets foot on the backyard, just like a waterfall, it all rushes down on him.

That day... it's a déjà vu. The past is mixing with the present.

It was summertime, a Sunday when he and Sansa decided to go to the beach. They had so much fun that day, Sansa built sandcastles with David - she was a pro and their son was eager to learn - while Jon watched and occasionally joined him, he wasn't really good at it, luckily David loved to play soccer, that Jon was good. Better than good, he could've gone professional if he wanted. Like his father wanted.

The drive home was magic, the radio with the volume at the maximum, the three of them singing children folk songs.

At home all took a turn for the worst.

"I had fun but I really need a shower before my hair doubles it volume. You two boys behave." Sansa had left for the bathroom afterwards.

Leaving Jon and David in the living room waiting for their turn. David was watching another spider man cartoon, he was concentrated only on that. Jon who was sitting in his recliner decided to fetch a bottle of water and a juice box from the fridge.

"Daddy will be here right back." From the kitchen to the living room was less than ten seconds, because their house was all opened, Jon could easily keep an eye on David.

Less than a minute, it was all it took. David was most likely hungry so Jon was preparing him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He was working fast and every twenty seconds, he did it twice and his son was on the same place, the third time...

Panic took hold of him, everything was starting to spin and when Jon saw the backyard door opened - he had promised Sansa that he was going to fix the locked -, he swore his heart stopped beating  his and his brain didn't know how to be racional.

Despite the on going panic attack, Jon managed to be fast. Still not fast enough.

 It happened so quickly.

Jon was the one who found him, face down, in the deep end. He jumped in the pool at once, when he reached the surface again, with David, he wasn't responding. Skin cold as ice, lips blue with a hue of purple, his chest wasn't moving, yes closed.

By the time Sansa's screams pierced the air, Jon already knew continuing with the CPR would be in vain.

He always saw shows about these occurrences, Jon was never able to watch them until the end. He was left with questions that he was certain would never be answered by him.

How to parents go on when they lose a child?

Why do they keep waking up every morning?

How can they life?

What's life?

Now he knows.

Chapter Text



 

Sansa Stark

Whiskey, cigars and sex, all mingling in the air and assaulting her nostrils, it's so strong that Sansa's left dizzy and breathless, months ago the scent that now envelops her would've made her sick to her stomach, now it's familiar, a friend of sorts. Before she would've run away without looking back, now Sansa lingers for as long as she can. She's already breaking her rules, it's been less than four days since she and Harry last met, yet she's here again, despite what her heart tells her, Sansa's feet always drag her to this sleazy motel at the ends of earth. Maybe it's why she likes coming here, why it's beginning to look like an addiction, in this motel in Flea Bottom, no one knows a woman named Sansa Stark, they don't care who is the one who shows up every Friday in a red Ford fiesta, in their eyes she's just another person passing by, she doesn't have a past and the future doesn't matter. In this room, room 14, Sansa has built her own world, her bubble and in it she makes the rules.

When was the last time she was in control, before this?

She's not alone, though, she's never alone in room 14. Harry's here, sitting in the corner as usual, smoking one of his imported cigars, he doesn't speak but his eyes never leave Sansa, he's not looking at her face, only her body, that makes him smirk. No doubt he's enjoying the sight, it's the first time she's been this exposed to him, they've already been in bed where Harry marked her neck with bites and wet kisses, where he made her cum with his fingers. Normally if he gets up to do whatever he does when she's coming down from her climax, Sansa doesn't move yet today something changed and now she's sitting in the edge of bed wearing nothing but a black lacy lingerie. Harry was surprised at first for her boldness, now he's loving every second of it, he's lingering even more than he usually does.

“Let him watch.” Sansa thinks to herself.

He doesn't make her feel desired or sexy, his eyes glazed with hunger and lust bring no reaction to her body, she's attentively looking at him but Sansa might as well be looking at a wall, it's the same. The only reason she finds herself draw to those eyes are because they're showing something she craves her, normality. There's not the pity that so many are used to show, Harry is looking at a woman and only that, there's not the grieving mother or the cheating wife, not even Sansa Stark.

Then all of a sudden, he's not looking anymore. Sansa doesn't pay much attention to what Harry does, but she's been with him enough times to know there's something bothering him. However, she doesn't ask what is it.

“Why didn't you tell me you were married?” How?

Sansa's caught off guard, there's no way he knows that. The only thing she gave him was her name, the rest remains private. The same goes for Harry, who for Sansa is practically a stranger. This that they're doing can become dangerous if there's information, feelings might become involved, on Harry's part of course. Sansa can't love again.

Strangely enough, Harry doesn't seem concerned about what he just found out, he said it in the most casual of ways, as if he was talking about the weather or something equally boring.

Sansa's still not talking, but her face which is always impossible to read now gives her away.

With a smirk, Harry notices it. “You're a creature of habits, Sansa Stark. Before you leave the car you take off your wedding ring.” Cockyness coats his every word.

Sansa's always the one in charge, so for Harry to be now the one who has her in a corner must feel like euphoria to him.

“And?” Sansa asks as uncaring as him.

She's not going to let her mask slip off.

“Nothing.” Harry shrugs, his probably a cheater as well. “I'm not the jealous type.”

“And I'm not yours.” Sansa almost says it out loud.

But that will only make him more arrogant and self centered, so she remains quiet.

“Does your husband know about it?” One thing with Harry, he likes to make a lot of questions.

“We're not here to talk.” Sansa hopes to put an end to Harry's rambling, she won't say Jon's name in his presence.

It's not fair for her husband. This motel room is sacred, in here the real world isn't allowed in it, Sansa decided so. She won't bring Jon's name in the presence of another, it will shatter this illusion she created. It will shatter him. The man she once called her love, now she only does it in her mind.

I lost the right to say it to his face.

“No we're not.” Harry finally gets up, he's walking toward her. His white shirt unbuttoned showing off his muscled physique. “Let me just say he's a very lucky man.”

There's no more sounds after that, safe for the noise of the sheets getting crumpled and their heavy breathing.

Harry's hands are traveling her whole body, his lips follow their trail. He's already naked and with the condom on, Sansa's legs are spread and now it's just a matter of seconds before they fall once more into sin.

He's a lucky man.

Harry's kisses leave her squirming in bed, not with arousal but with disgust, his grip on her tights used to make her wet with anticipation now it hurts. When he finally thrusts into her, Sansa gasps in pain, it's sharp and it brings tears to the corner of her eyes, this sort of pain isn't physical.

He's a lucky man.

No he's not! Jon's nothing more than a victim in this vicious game Sansa designed for them, her need for revenge is so strong that she completely forgot she's not alone in this, she isn't the only one who lost a child that day. Yet, Sansa's here getting fucked to forget about how miserable her life turned out to be, she's looking for comfort in a stranger bed and an even more strange man, all the while Jon's alone in a house haunted with the laugh of their son, sitting in a dark and cold bed knowing someone else is keeping his wife warm.

How does that feel?

Sansa wanted to hurt him, she blamed him for the death of their son because it was easier than to accept that neither one of them could've done a thing to prevent it. Blaming Jon and anybody else she could find was the answer Sansa had when the doctors told her that there was nothing they could do to safe David, it was so final that Sansa couldn't just live with it. Thinking about the fact that if something had been done, David would still be alive was what kept her alive. Sansa always knew she was lying to herself, buying time and making excuses.

Now she knows the truth, she's known for quite sometime. And because she never came to terms with it, she destroyed the love of her life. Jon has a piece of her heart with her, he took it the first day they met. It makes sense that Sansa is as heartless as she is, after all she broke Jon's one and in consequence hers too.

She can't do this anymore. She was fine pretending things were alright, but things have gotten so out of hand that it's impossible to look away. Harry moving and grunting on top of her, make Sansa go face to face with her true self.

I'm a monster.

“Harry...” He's too immersed in his pleasure to hear. “Harry...” Nothing.

Sansa is left no choice but to push him away from her, out of her.

He looks clueless and even hurt.

“Am I hurting you?” For once Harry isn't acting like some peacock.

It makes Sansa realize that despite all of his flaws, Harry's still a human being with feelings and that deep down even cares for her. Sansa always seen him as nothing more than an escape from reality, a toy that like all others eventually will be discarded. It's a matter of time, the time has come.

Will it hurt him?

She knows the answer and that should have some kind of effect on her. The old Sansa would've felt something resembling empathy, this cold thing is only worrying about the explanation she'll have to give to Harry, and the fact that she's not really interested in it.

Sansa's scared of whom she is.

“Leave.” Sansa demands of him. She's too much of a coward to say something else.

“What... Sansa tell me what I did.” She won't give him that. No matter how much Harry asks for it.

“It's... I don't want to be dealing with this right now. Go.”

“Is this because of your husband?” Why don't you give up, Harry!

Why can't he just listen to her and go away for good?

She brought this on herself. She couldn't just fuck a man for six months once a week, and then leave him without a motive. But it is what she finds herself doing.

I'm already a monster, what's another bad deed?

“Sansa...”

“LEAVE!!!” Santa screams so loudly that her troath starts hurting. Outside people will wonder if there's need to call the cops.

It's enough for Harry to take the hint. Without a single word or glance at her, he starts getting dressed faster than he has ever done and then in less than two minutes finally walks out of the door with a loud bang.

Is his pride hurt or just Harry himself?

His eyes gave her the answer.

He too deserves better than this. They all would be happier if Sansa wasn't around anymore. That thought has crossed her mind many times in the past, even now once in a while it comes. There's so many ways of doing it, a rope in her neck, going to the beach at night at just let the waves carry her away, a blade against her veins in the wrist, a jar of pills and a bottle of vodka, a bridge or a skyscraper, there's so many to choose from, they all lead up to the same so it doesn't exactly matter which one Sansa ends up by choosing, anyway it's going to end.

Sansa never acts upon those impulses, sometimes they take hold of her, sometimes she locks herself in the bathroom and will hold a bottle of pills in her palm four hours, Sansa will go into the kitchen and take a blade, softly grazing it trough her wrist, feeling the cold steel running trough her body, she's even driven for hours one night just to look at the ocean. All of those times there was a person who stopped her, David Snow. Her son.

If Sansa dies she'll go to him, she'll see her baby boy and all is going to be well. At least that's what she likes to believe in, the truth is that she's not the mother David knew. If they ever meet again he'll hate her, from above he probably does already.

I can blame him, I feel the same about myself as well.


 

Sansa: I'm going to stay the night at my parents.

Sansa can't be with him right now, not after what she did.

Jon: is everything okay with them?

Of course, he's not worried about her. It's a relief that he doesn't have to see her again today.

Sansa: yes.

Jon: okay, give them kisses for me.

And nothing to me. It's unfair to feel a pang of jealousy towards her family — the family Jon loves the most — when Harry's smell still lingers in her body.

Jon: goodnight, Sansa.

Good night, Jon.


 

Sansa has no idea what possessed her to take her car and follow a different route from the one she's been taking for six months. Maybe because now it's starting to finally sink in the truth, that her true self has been exposed, it's impossible to go home and look Jon in the eye and see how much she's hurting him. It's hard when she leaves, it must be like taking a dagger in the heart when she returns, all Jon can see or think of is what happened in those hours she's been away, if he wasn't imagining them before, as soon as her key turns the lock it all becomes alive, Jon won't see the girl he fell in love with, the one whose eyes with sparkle just by hearing his name, no, Sansa's now the one who brought misery upon them.

He's a good person, a heart of gold in a cruel world. Some called it weakness, Sansa knows it's bravery. Jon could've had it all, the best houses and cars, millions in a bank account, but he turned his back on everything for the ones he loved. When he turned sixteen he was given two choices, go live with his father and his family and have all of his wishes come trough, or stay with his mother who was fighting cancer and drop out from school to take care of her. Jon made that choice without thinking twice, even now all the money his father sends him finds its way into a charity, he gives back to parents whose children died. Sansa found that less than a year ago and yet she still kept on blaming him, she went has far as saying that a check didn't buy a clean conscious.

Yes, that's the type of person she is.

And Jon's still with her. He always told her he loved her, he made her feel like the most important person in the planet. She once did the same for him. 

How long has it been?

Sansa loves Jon, she can't stop. It's the only thing she knows how to do, it's all that she is. She forgot and now it's pointless to keep going. Jon might love her as well, he'll probably even forgive her but Sansa can't accept it, she doesn't deserve it. He's better without her, he needs to be happy again and if he keeps living with her, Jon will keep getting lower and lower into the bottom of the pit that Sansa has digged for them.

She's not human, she'll never be that again. There's no more hope for her, Jon is different.

That's why she's going to her parents house, even if it's one of the places Sansa hates/dreads the most. After David's death, she can actually count with her fingers the amount of times she's been there, which is odd given that just two years ago no one could name a more close family than the Starks, only Arya and Rickon still live with her parents, Bran is in college and mostly comes only in the weekends, three years ago Robb moved out to Theon's apartment, yet that didn't change a thing, every Sunday as it was tradition they would all get together and just enjoy having the family all there, their pack. David used to be the star, her family would spoil him so much, it used to drive Sansa crazy now it makes her angry that not only her had a part of her life taken away from her.

They haven't been the same after that, Sunday roasts aren't a tradition anymore, they don't exist for Sansa, and she's certain that the atmosphere isn't the same for the others. The worst is what they say, how they're constantly asking her how she is, if she's happy, eating, if she already gave to charity the clothes and toys she promised she would - Sansa hasn't - , the way they look at her, just waiting for her to cry, the pity that they never seems to abandon them, Sansa's tired of having people around her walking on eggshells, afraid to speak their mind out of consideration. The last drop was when one Sunday Sansa went there with Jon and instead of finding her whole family, she found her mother and father sitting at the table with another woman at their side, Brienne Tarth who was a therapist.

“You need this.” Her mother had said with tears in her eyes.

“David would've wanted it.” Sansa never thought she would live to see the day she was going to be mad at her father, but she did.

And ever since then, ever since screaming at Brienne for her to leave, and then at Jon in the drive back home because he wanted to stay, Sansa hasn't set foot in her childhood home. Her parents visit her, so do her siblings but she's getting good at finding excuses as to why she can't, that, or her family has given up. Something tells her it's the latter.

By the time Sansa gets in driveway it's almost three in the morning, she has a spare key which gives her the opportunity to get in without waking anyone, she's as quiet as she can possibly be, not even the dogs seem to notice her presence, and in no time Sansa's back at her old room.

When she gets there she begins to realise why she doesn't set foot in here anymore, this was also David's room, the toys are still in the same place they were when her son was last here, the covers haven't even been changed, she's not the only holding on to something.

If it wasn't so late, Sansa would've throwned these all out of the window as she desperately wants, no, needs. She won't be able to sleep, not with all of these looking at her and mocking the failure of a mother she is.

What's the point of keeping these stuff? It's not like they're going to be played with. It feels as if her family does it on purpose, they keep reminding Sansa that's she's not a mother anymore, not to a living child at least. And then they expect her to come and visit, they keep telling her that she's pushing them away, of course she is! How can they ask her to stay in a place where everyone doesn't seem to care anymore, they don't care for David, they don't talk about him, the cemetery visits aren't as often as they once did, now there's only a picture next to some saints and a room that probably remains the same because neither one of them feels like cleaning it. They forgot, she will never do that. And that's difference, the only one that matters.

With all the strength, physical and emotional, Sansa has left she manages to lay in bed, just that. Sleep won't come, she can still smell David's scent on the pillows. Images of him wearing his favourite t-shirt on a small white coffin come to her, she remembers that the funerary asked Sansa to make him wear a suit, she couldn't do that, David hated suits, his little nose would scrunch up just hearing that word, he looked so cute when he was mad, he looked Jon. She never left his side during the wake, when the time came to bury him she didn't wanted to let go of the coffin, Robb had to hold her - she hasn't forgiven him for that -, once they all left she stayed with Jon for hours looking at the grave flooded with flowers, candles and stuffed animals, she had to fight the urge to dig the grave open and see if David was there, that her little boy wasn't trapped in a wooden box forever. 

Six feet under and yet so far away.

One of God's biggest crimes is take a child to His side before its parents. It's a punishment that Sansa still doesn't know why she received. She was good, she would pray, even as a little girl she loved spending her Sunday mornings in church, she raised her son to be the same. David would pray too, he would call God his friend. Maybe God liked him so much that he decided to keep him only to Himself.

Sansa doesn't believe in Him anymore. If He was as good and merciful as the Bible says He is, David would be here. His place is here, with her.

Come back to me, I'm waiting. I'll wait an eternity.

Somehow Sansa fell asleep, she was so tired. Even the nightmares that haunt her every night weren't enough to make her keep her eyes opened. Something else was, someone else.

"Don't you have any shame?" It was Arya, from the look in her face and her posture, she's been in here for a while.

Growing up their relationship always had is ups and downs, now it's inexistent. Jon has something to do with that, Arya cares for him more than she ever did for Sansa. Those two were thick as thieves, when Jon was working for her family, Arya used to be like his shadow.

“What do you want, Arya?” Sansa's too exhausted to be having this conversation.

Nothing good will come of it.

“I know what you're doing.” Harry, she's talking about him. It's clear to see. “Gendry saw you the other day, you're lucky he didn't told Jon. I reckon he already knows, doesn't he?"

"Know what?" Sansa's just playing dumb. Arya won't fall for that.

She's always been too smart for her own good.

"I'm not mom and dad, you can't play me! You're cheating your husband!" If looks could kill, Sansa wouldn't be in bed anymore.

Beneath that rage there's disappointment, no one expects Sansa to do what she's doing. She's not like that, she wasn't like that.

“Leave me alone.”

Running away from the truth is always the easiest thing to do.

"You're my sister and I love you,” you don't “but Jon's my best friend. Right now he's the one who's hurting the most, I won't tolerate it. He's always been too good for you, your a selfish bitch!” if Arya has to cry for someone, it will always be Jon.

Sansa feels like crying herself too, Arya isn't telling lies.

“That's right!” Arya might be right, that doesn't mean Sansa will keep her mouth shut. “It's easy for you to talk, you have no idea what's it like, you don't live with Jon and I, so don't make assumptions! You don't know what it's like waking up everyday wishing it was your last, knowing that at the end of the day you're going to a home where there's nothing there, it's all gone along with my son! My husband! I lost everything I ever cared about, Jon hates me, I hate myself too. What's left?" Pain, anger, sorrow, and so many she lost count already.

None of them know what they're talking about. Arya included.

“Then stop doing that!” Arya completely forgot there's others asleep, maybe she wants them to wake up and hear what she has to say. “We lost David, okay, we! Yet, you act like you're the only one who did! I know what's it like, trust me there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about my nephew, I loved that kid like he was my own! But he's dead, and I can't spent the rest of my life waiting for him to stop being dead! It's hard but life goes on, it has to otherwise will... will end up like you.” 

And what is me exactly?!

"Shut up! He wasn't your son!" Sansa loses it. Let everyone wake up, she wants them to hear.

“He's not your ghost either! Stop tormenting yourself, Sansa. Please...I miss my sister.” Arya's not mad anymore, just defeated. She couldn't even say that last part without having her voice crack.

It breaks Sansa's heart. She misses who she was too.

“Everyday I ask myself, will the pain go away? It doesn't no matter how much I try to forget, it never goes away. Everyone keeps saying that it gets easier...” This is who she is now.

Nothing.

“It does, it does Sansa. If it hasn't happened yet, it's because you don't want it to happen. Look me in the eye and tell me I'm wrong.”

She can do many things, lying to Arya isn't one of them.

“You're not. I... I like to think that he's with me, that we're playing, I can hear all the millions he would ask every five minutes, there are times where I can feel him, his smell is always near and even when I'm sleeping I can see his face. It's excruciating but I can't and I don't want to stop, because then it will be like he never even existed!” All those feelings that have been swept under the rug are coming to light.

Sansa's doing this on purpose, she has control of her life, but she acts as if she doesn't. If she sees a therapist, if she forgives Jon and make peace with her family, they'll go back to host Sunday roasts, they'll live again and then one day it will be as if David was never there. Sansa will have to admit he's gone and once that's done, it's done. There's going to be an empty space.

“You know that's not the truth. Letting go doesn't mean you're forgetting about him, it means you're forgiving yourself.”

Don't ask that of me, Arya.

Chapter Text



 

Jon Snow

Whiskey bottles scattered throughout the floor, blood splatters that have dried long ago in the white carpet, some of it stains Jon's clothes, most of it rests on his hands, there's no pain, however, Jon's too numb to even understand the meaning of the word. Honestly, it doesn't make sense anymore, none of it.

The only thing he knows is that she's not here, she hasn't been here in a while. It's been four days since they last spoke and even then they didn't even do that. A text was all Jon got, Sansa was going to stay the night at her parent's home, that was three nights ago.

Jon has no idea what she's doing, he calls but it's in vain, he's driven there but always loses his courage and goes back to this house, he knows that if Sansa is there and not here, Jon's the reason for it. She's finally grown tired of the man he's become, a weak piece of shit that doesn't even fight for his wife, she goes to see another once a week, Jon's well aware of that and quite frankly he's at a point where it doesn't hurt anymore. That's what Sansa's achieving, right?

This is revenge for all that he's done, for taking her son away from her. There was a time when if someone would've told him that Sansa was going to cheat on him, Jon would've punched that person without caring about the consequences, his Sansa was much too good for such thing, there wasn't a single bad bone in her, Jon once had the impression that God created angels using Sansa's image as reference, she was heaven on earth. When Jon came to her he was nothing, he had nobody, his father was an ocean away, his mother buried beneath the ground laying in a bed of roses, while Jon was nothing more than a wanderer yearning for what was next, running away from something that even until this day remains unknown, one day that road he had been travelling alone for years stopped being his. Sansa came and took Jon's heart, body, and soul, he was hers and as long as he stayed with her there was nothing in this dreadful world that could harm him, she was his lighthouse keeping Jon save from the darkness he had brought upon himself.

That was who Sansa used to be. She hasn't been that in a while, Jon doesn't know who she is anymore. What she is.

She pushed him away, created her own little world and in there Jon wasn't welcomed, he could've fought for it but instead threw in the towel before the bell even rang. He should've fought for her when the time to fight was here, he should've swallowed the lump in his throat carried with remorse and grieve, and be there when she needed him the most, instead Jon let the words she said that day in the hospital — words that he knows were spoken out of anguish — take hold of him. The day David died, Jon did something that he promised not to do ever. He let her go.

When she spent her nights locked inside their room, crying out and begging God to give David back to her, Jon stood still. He couldn't move, Sansa didn't want him there but he should've been there all the same. She had no right to be alone, no one deserves to feel that much misery without even the slightest touch of comfort, a comfort that never came, all because Jon was too absorbed in those words that even nowadays still plague him every second of the day, even in his sleep they always come. They like it here in Jon's head, and much to his shame Jon likes them too. He feels guilt over what happened to David, logic tells him that he's wrong and what happened couldn't have been stopped, yet the guilt somehow ends up being less heavy than the suffering, so Jon welcomes it.

Because of it, he's an empty shell of the Jon who once occupied this house. He's a coward, no wonder Sansa seeks another's embrace. Whoever the other man might be, he's done things that Jon hasn't been able to do in years. It torments him, a scar that keeps spreading and ripping open, no matter how much he begs himself to forget, to look away, the images of Sansa smiling with someone else always come unbidden.

Jon knows for a fact that Sansa hasn't been with him since that night she left, Arya talks to him every day over the phone, she tells Jon that everyone is scared for Sansa' sake, she doesn't leave the room and refuses to eat, she's disappearing before their eyes, the only person who can talk to her isn't there. He isn't in this house either, Jon's away. In rock bottom.

He hasn't shown to work in days, his phone must be filled with a thousand phone calls, there are deadlines to fulfil, employees that need their paycheck, people who are counting on him, yet all Jon can seem to do is drink and break things, the house looks like a crime scene with the all the blood and glass shards there are on the floor, there's a mountain of dishes pilling on the sink even though Jon hasn't eaten, he hasn't showered or put on clean clothes either, his beard looks disgusting and his hair is all in knots, the worst is that Jon is sad but can't cry, he's miserable but doesn't know why, there's something breaking inside him but it can't be his heart, it's no longer there.

There's no one he can open up about it. His aunt Daenerys despite living in another continent calls him every day, but Jon doesn't answer her, if he keeps on with this it will only be a matter of time before Daenerys gets inside a plane and comes here to slap the crap out of him — as if Jon could feel a thing-, his friends have also knocked on his door several times but are always greeted with absolute silence, Robb and Theon somehow managed to get themselves a spare key but the moment they set foot inside, Jon almost hurt them.

He doesn't want to see people, what's the point?

They'll all say the same speech, just different words.

“Don't despair.” He's already beyond that.

“I know how you feel.” They can all go and fuck themselves, there's no way they know what's it like. Jon doesn't either.

“It will get worse before it gets better.” Jon's been waiting a lifetime for the better part, it hasn't come and it won't anytime soon.

“Have faith.” He does, God just doesn't care about it.

They can all talk as much as they like, they can give their hollow opinions and make all the suggestions in the world, still, it won't make a difference.

Sansa was the nail in the coffin. When she was in here Jon had to keep it together for their well-being, he never allowed himself to properly mourn because Sansa still was doing that, it was already so hard for her to deal with this punishment as it was, having Jon sobbing in every corner he could find was only going to keep the flame burning her, so he kept it all bottled inside, it wasn't the first and it definitely wasn't going to be the last time Jon did something like it, when his mother was fighting cancer he did the same thing, someone had to keep on smiling, someone had to be brave and that burden fell on his shoulders, Jon always thought that he was capable enough of handling it, for years he lived in that lie. It ended four days ago.

He's isolated, there's no more need to put on a brave face to the world, no one is looking, no one is expecting something Jon is good at pretending he can give. In here, in this wrecked house, Jon can finally cry. And he does up, until now Jon had no idea a human being could shed these many tears, feel this much pain — no matter how many times he punches the walls to distract himself from it, that pain never leaves his side — but apparently is possible, especially if you kept it hidden for all of your life. Jon's not only crying for his dead son anymore, he's also crying for his mother, for the family he hasn't seen in years, for the wife he lost, for the man she found to replace Jon, most of all he cries for the life that has been assigned to him.

What a cruel and pathetic joke.

It's too late to fix a thing about it right now, he had thirty-five years to do something and Jon wasted them, it's best if he just accepts the truth. It won't get better than this.

It's only going to get worst.

Because Jon can't seem to do it willingly, much to his fortune there's plenty of bottles to keep him asleep.

They can be my friends.


 

The floor is cold — it burns as if ice —, Jon's back is aching from spending countless hours laying on it, yet that's not what forces him to open his eyes. There are voices, they're faint but whoever is speaking can't be too far, at least Jon knows he's not hallucinating. He recognizes those voices, they sound familiar, yet Jon can't attribute the sound to the person, and his body has a mind of his own because as hard as he tries, Jon can't seem to move.

“What a fucking mess.” It's Edd, isn't it?

What is he doing here? Who gave him the key? Why does he bother?

Edd didn't come unaccompanied, there's someone else. That one Jon knows well enough.

“What have you done?” Tormund...

He's Jon's best friend, another reason to why he likely can't open his eyes. There'll be plenty of disappointment in Tormund's ones, Jon's not sure if he can deal with it. That's not how he wants people to think of him, a drunken fool, a loser.

“I know what he needs.” It's Edd who's speaking.

After that, Jon can only hear footsteps. Relief washes over him, his friends have given up, giving Jon the peace he dreams of or so he thought...

It's been less than a minute since they spoke and now all that Jon can feel is cold water rushing through him. It's all it takes to make him alert, it's already so cold and Jon is wearing nothing but his dirty jeans, the water hits his chest and it's like getting a hundred tiny needles pierced onto his skin, goosebumps rise all over his flesh and Jon can't do anything but shake and chatter is teeth. It's so fucking cold, even more than him.

“Rise and shine, pretty boy!” Edd's practically singing at the top of his lungs.

The bastard thinks this is a joke, that Jon's doing this on a fancy. Once again, he's crowded with people and yet all alone. They don't get it, no one does.

“Edd! That's enough, he's going to get ill!” Sam's here as well, he's the first person Jon sees.

He's also the only one who at least looks worried, the other two are just mad. Jon most likely will end up with a black eye by the end of the day. Good, I need it.

Abruptly, Tormund opens the goddamn blinds and all Jon can see is white. After days spent in the dark, the light is now becoming his biggest enemy, it makes his head throb, Jon's mouth goes dry and the urge to be sick all over the floor is much too big.

His anger overshadows it all.

“Leave me the fuck alone! Piss off!” Jon scarcely talks like this towards his friends.

Right now, they're mere strangers. Strange people that Jon wants out of his house.

Is it too much to ask?

All he wants his to find some measure of comfort, something that has been lacking for two years. Jon just got hit by a fucking large truck, metaphorically and almost literally, everything hurts.

“We won't! Look in the mirror, you look like shit. Wake up, man!” When Tormund's mad is accent tends to stand out even more.

He's so pissed that Jon can barely make up all the words he's mumbling. This isn't good.

“Leave me alone!” It's all Jon can say.

It's all he can be right now. Lonely.

“That's not going to happen, lad. While you're here moping around, we're not getting paid!” Is this about the money, Edd?

It hurts, to know that this is why his friends are here. Then again, what else would make them want to be here?

It's not like they care. Jon's probably just the boss, not the friend. He's not sure if he ever had one of those, maybe in a different life.

I suppose.

“You're not helping!” Sam nearly yells, perhaps for the first time in his life.

Sam, goodhearted Sam, crouches on the floor and grabs one of Jon's hands. “Edd's not being serious. We're worried about you, what happened?” Sam's voice... there's something there that reduces Jon to pieces.

There's hope and Jon doesn't know why, there's affection and Jon doesn't deserve it. There's no judgement and it's what he needs, yet it's not what he gets. Sam's staring at him and he's seeing past the man who now lies on the floor coated in blood and alcohol, the man who smells of filth and shame, Sam's close to him completely unfazed by it, he doesn't care about what's in front of him currently, only what there once was and what can be. Sam's searching for the good in Jon but he won't find it, there's not. He's letting down everyone, the people he loves are hurting because of him, that's what Jon does. Everything he touches turns to ash, wherever he goes all joy vanishes. These men that are standing here have families of their own, people who need them but they're not there, rather, they're with Jon. A person who has no right to that. Days ago, Sam, Tormund and Edd were cracking jokes, planning fishing trips, dates, relishing all that life has to offer. They're not smiling anymore, Jon has made sure of that.

“I don't know!” It's all Jon has ever known, nothing. “It hurts! Please make it stop!” He's begging, almost on his knees.

He tried so hard to be in silence, go through this trial on his own but that's impossible, Jon cannot ask himself that. He's not tough enough, he's fallen hard and fast. It was so easy to do that, surrender to the pain and let it become one with himself, getting up it's where it gets tricky. Jon has no reasons to do so, he has no son anymore, Sansa isn't his Sansa, and Jon isn't Jon either.

What am I?

Why does it hurt so much?!

Why is it like this?

Jon had a plan, one that never came through.

He was sixteen when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, for months on end Jon had to see her suffer as a disease was eating her whole, slowly taking her away from him. One day it stopped being slow and Jon's all world opened beneath his feet. He made a promise that day, he would never enable himself to experience that all over again. That's why a family was something he didn't look forward to having, because then there was going to come a time when he had to say goodbye for good. Nothing can ever prepare you for that, no matter how many times you witness it.

Along the lines, something in Jon changed. Someone came.

The moment Jon saw Sansa, he remembers thinking to himself, “why would I say no to this?”. How good it felt to love and be loved in return, to watch that love grow each day and eventually even create life, David. All of a sudden the past was gone, the future that was reserved for the three of them was all that existed, all that Jon wished for. Sooner or later, Jon had to be reminded why he made the decision of not loving all those years ago, in the end, people die and we stay behind.

Everyone always says that the ones who leave us are in a better place, but you don't ever hear them ask where we are. How we are.

Life goes on.

This that Jon finds himself in isn't life, not even close.

All he can do right now is sob. It doesn't stop, it doesn't stop for a while. They never leave, his friends stay here.

“When does it end?” Jon implores to no one in particular.

They're all sitting on the floor now, Edd and Tormund already have a bottle in their hands and a cigarette on their lips, Sam doesn't drink often but takes a sip when Edd offers him one. If Jon decides to forget for just a few seconds, he can even believe this is okay. There's simply a man spending time with his friends.

Jon was wrong, he's not just the boss.

“I suppose it's all up to you.” Sam, who's grimacing due to the strong liquor, says.

He's not mistaken.

“Aye, Sam's making sense for once.” They all laugh at Edd's comment, the sound foreign to Jon's own ears. “About the money, I didn't mean it that way. I was just trying to say that we need you, you're the captain of this ship, God knows we would be lost without you. If this company is the way it is, you're the one who deserves all the credit for it.” In his own way, Edd apologizes.

Jon needs to snap back, he has duties and people who need him. He can't let his grief consume him. He can't be a monster for any longer.

After that the mood changes, Jon still feels like shit, he still cries occasionally but with Edd making them laugh, with Tormund telling stories from the time when he lived in the mountains with his family, and Sam blushing every five minutes because they're talking about his love life, Jon feels like he used to before David's death, before his mother's death.

It's a joy that it's cut short. There were four men in these four walls, now there are two women standing in the doorway as well.

“Jon...” Arya says his name and maybe something else, but Jon can't hear.

All he can do is look at Sansa and those blue eyes already filling with tears.

Chapter Text

Jon Snow

If Jon didn't know what transpired in his house days ago - if he wasn't responsible for it -, he never would've guessed by the look on Sansa's face. She saw him and his friends drinking, she saw the glass shards throughout the floor, ripped photos, the blood, the walking dead that Jon was and still is, yet Sansa did nothing, only the tears in her eyes were letting Jon know that she was feeling something, most likely disdain. After days away from home, the first thing Sansa was greeted with was a bunch of intoxicated fools and a house that looked like it had been hit by a hurricane. And Jon still wonders why they're beyond hope.

Sansa didn't even bother with acknowledging him, or even his friends for that matter. She walked past them, head held up high, and headed straight to the room where she stayed the rest of the day and the better part of this one.

Once Tormund, Edd and Sam left, only Arya stayed. Jon couldn't have been more relieved for that, Arya is the little sister he often dreamed of having, she comprehends Jon better than most, and doesn't talk about what doesn't need to be talked about. Both a blessing and a curse.

Jon was expecting that Arya could tell him something about Sansa, why she was acting this cold, or why she left for four days in the first place. He wasn't lucky, apparently Sansa locked herself in the room and not even her mother was allowed inside, Arya explained to him that she and his wife fought the night she arrived at her parents, she didn't give away all the details but Jon was clever enough to know that whatever was said between those two was a big influencer in this behaviour that Sansa's displaying. He also knows that David's name was involved, as the man Sansa sees every week as well. By now everyone notices or at least suspects, what's going on. Sansa doesn't actually mind about that, it almost looks like like she wants them to know that she's cheating on Jon, that the sweet and caring person all knew is not there anymore.

At first, Jon assumed it was revenge, now he's starting to realize that maybe it's a cry for help. Sansa needs it, Jon wants to provide it. He just doesn't know what to do to help, not when she build her walls so high.

They're presently having dinner together, Jon and Sansa on the same room.

Together, for more than five minutes.

Together, since... Jon can't even remember.

Nowadays, they just share a home and memories. They never stay too long in each others presence, Sansa can't stand him, and Jon can't stand that.

Yet today, when he went into the kitchen to have dinner - Jon's always the first -, minutes later without even much of a word, Sansa sat in front him. They're still not talking, none of them mentions what happened. Jon doesn't ask Sansa why she left and in return, she doesn't talk about what she came face with when she returned home. They're both eating their meals in silence, sitting opposed to one another but both their eyes focused on something else entirely different. They don't eat together anymore, Jon was looking for to this change the moment Sansa appeared, he even permitted himself to be happy about it, but now he realizes why it's best eating all by himself. Sansa isn't actually dining, the pasta he made half an hour ago, continues untouched on his wife's plate, she's not even holding a fork or anything, just sits there in absolute stillness, judging Jon. She's a terrible liar, always been, even if Sansa doesn't say it out loud, Jon can hear all the phrases that die in her throat.

I hate you. That's what Sansa's thinking, it's louder than anything Jon has ever experienced before. It aches so bad, and it's all his responsibility. She's right here, seeking something, begging for Jon to react but he simply doesn't. What can he say?

Will it change anything?

Change has to come from within, and right now, neither one of them seems to want it.

They've grown used to what they are. They don't know how to be anything else, deep down they enjoy it. 

Jon won't talk about what needs to be said, he's still much of a coward for that. But this silence is swallowing whole, he can't take it anymore.

"San-" Saying her name is enough.

"I'm not really hungry, Jon." She cuts him off with an excuse. Dropping her napkin on the table with a force that wasn't really needed. "I'm going to take a shower and then I'll go to bed. Goodnight, Jon." The last part came choked.

Sansa was already crying when she left him. He does nothing else after that.

Jon doesn't even worry with putting the dishes on the sink, he doesn't care if the food will go bad if he doesn't put it in the fridge. He has much more on his mind than to fret over dirty dishes or spoiled food. What's that compared to this marriage?

It's hell and Jon can't help but wonder why he keeps doing it. It's more than evident that Sansa and he are over, she's made sure of that months ago, the same way Jon did two years ago in the hospital, or during the burial in which Sansa had to hold on to her father, because Jon simply couldn't do it. He was barely keeping himself on his feet.

What goes around comes around.

As always, Jon let out his frustrations on the shower wall. His knuckles won't ever be the same, not when Jon doesn't allow his old wounds to heal.


 

Normally, Jon's always the first one to leave the house to go to work, but because the house he's working on is near his own, Jon lingers a bit more in bed. Most of his tools are in the truck, so there's no use to go to the lot. This morning when he came downstairs to prepare a thermos with coffee, Jon noticed Sansa's key still in the rack, which is odd given that by now she should be already on her way to the pharmacy to avoid traffic.

Jon totally forgets about the task at hands and goes looking for her, she's likely in the room that Jon hasn't dared to enter in two years, Sansa has created her sanctuary in it, Jon has no place in there. He's the one who brings her torment, the one who should go away.

How can he leave the one he loves the most?

It's perhaps for the best if Jon just finishes what needs to be done and walk out the door, it's not like Sansa will even notice he went looking for her, she's gotten good at pretending Jon's not around. He wishes he could do the same, out of sight out of mind.

Jon cannot, it's his cross to bear. Loving someone who no longer loves him back.

Just as he predicted, Sansa was in her room. At least that was what it looked like to an outsider. To Jon's, unfortunately, knowing gaze, all there's to see at the moment is a broken human being whose will to live is long gone. Sansa's soft whimpers fill the air and Jon's ears, every single one of them brings Jon to his knees, powerless to function, to move and go to her as he should have a long time ago. As always, Sansa's alone.

Jon's right there! She's so fucking close! Yet, Jon never makes a move even though he desperately wants to, he made a vow in the eyes of God, in front of their family and friends, most of to Sansa herself. Jon swore to protect her, to be Sansa's shelter, in his arms, there was always a home.

Rain or shine, I'll be there.

Rich or poor, I'll take care of you.

Saint or sinner, I'll love you.

I'm yours and you're mine. That's plenty for me.

Where are those words now?

Deep down Jon's holding back for a reason, he's scared. He already was rejected by Sansa once, every day that goes by, Jon keeps being repudiated by her. It's not a good feeling, it's impossible to accept, so much easier to forget... so forget is Jon's way. Going to Sansa, giving her what she doesn't want...not from Jon at least, will only take those memories back from the grave.

Still... he's never seen Sansa like this before. Not even after David's death, and that's saying something. Jon remembers hearing somewhere that once hope is lost so are we, every person has a limit and once that's been crossed, not even God himself can fix that.  Today's the day, Sansa finally snapped. All the fight and defiance she was demonstrating - matter how small - is gone. Now all that remains is... what precisely?

Jon's not sure if they came up with a term to describe what he's staring at right now. He's never witnessed something as tragic as this, someone so overcome with all that's wrong in the world like Sansa is right now.

Despite that, Jon tries.

"Shouldn't you be at work?" His voice is steady, the rest of him is not.

There's a long pause, quiet greets him like so many times before

"No. I took a few days off." Sansa speaks, though Jon's not sure if it can qualify as that.

It's more like a plea to be left alone. A prayer.

"Okay then." Jon knows when it's time to stop. "Do you want me to bring you something to lunch, or we could go out to eat if you prefer." Why he asked that Jon will never know.

The answer will always be the same, Sansa will just figure out a different way of saying it.

"Arya already invited me, I accept it." Jon doesn't know if it's truly Arya she's talking about.

Maybe she'll see the other, perhaps his company is more welcoming than Jon's will ever be. A small part of him has already come to terms with that. The coward in him is okay with that.

"Enjoy your lunch." It's hard to hold back the tears.

Jon never imagined one day it would come to this.

After that, he leaves her, without even seeing her face. Sansa never turns, she doesn't get up, she will once Jon's gone. That's the way it is.


 

It was safe to say that Jon's mood soured, and prevailed that way throughout the day. No matter what he did, Jon couldn't take his mind off Sansa and that showed. What he usually accomplishes in an hour ended up by being three hours, Edd had to be frequently fixing up Jon's mess, and his friend was undoubtedly not happy about it, there are only a few weeks left before the real cold starts settling in, in no time it will be snowing, Jon has to follow all the deadlines otherwise he'll not only lose clients, he'll lose cash. Only a madman would get on top of a ceiling in the middle of Winter, during those months Jon and his co-workers do insulation work. The way things are going, Jon won't be able to do either one of them. He used to love his job, even as a boy he already strived for it - odd, right? - but now Jon couldn't care less, not even the money seems appealing anymore, the fact that there others who rely on said money should make Jon care a bit at least, it doesn't. There's not much nowadays that gives Jon some measure of happiness.

Sansa used to be enough, after David's birth Jon was beaming, nothing could ever make him stop feeling that way, or so he thought. When David died, Jon learned that happiness was gone, that if it ever came back it wouldn't be similar, Jon never thought it would be like this. All despair and agony, a dark cloud constantly hovering around.

During lunch break, Jon found himself with his phone in hand texting Arya, trying to find out if Sansa was indeed with her or somewhere else. Maybe it's wrong, but then again, Sansa hasn't really given Jon a lot of reasons for him to trust her.

Arya: I'm with Sansa. She didn't want to leave, I'm cooking for us.

Sansa was telling the truth, she's with Arya. How come that does nothing to ease his mind?

She's with her sister, family.

That's right... Sansa is with Arya and not Jon. Never him.

He's the husband only on paper, the once lover. Now...is just Jon. Without Sansa, he can't even be that. She's part of him.

"What's up, boss?" It's Edd. Ever since what occurred neither him or any of the others leave Jon on his own, they're always hovering around.

Walking on eggshells, afraid of what his next move is going to be. Fearing that one day it will all be too much and Jon puts an end to it, God knows that it's an option.

"Not much, just trying to eat my lunch in peace." Jon hopes Edd can hear what was left unsaid.

"It's funny, giving that your lunchbox is good as new."

"And? I'm not that hungry." Jon's not making sense anymore.

"I can tell." Edd's being cynical about it. It's all over his tone.

"Leave me be, Edd." Jon almost begs for it.

"Davos Seawhort."

"Who?" Jon asks, completely clueless as to whom Edd's talking about.

"He's a priest." That doesn't give Jon an answer. "Believe it or not, I've had my fair share of trouble in the past. That man has helped me through most of it, I'm sure he can do the same for you."

Who knows... maybe God's the answer.


 

When Jon got home, at night, Arya already had left. Sansa was in the living room wearing her pyjamas, absentmindedly reading one of the books they keep on a shelf near the TV, she at least looks up to see Jon getting inside but that's it, not even much of an hello or how are you. Jon reciprocates her behaviour, neither one of them is in the mood for chatting that much is apparent. Jon takes off his work boots, goes to the bathroom to have a quick shower and then into the kitchen to have dinner, Sansa or Arya left some food in the oven for him, though Jon hardly touches it, nothing tastes good these days. Once that's fulfilled, Jon against his better judgement heads to the living room to watch the news or at least pretends that's the plan, his eyes always find themselves lingering on Sansa. She took a shower as well, her hair is still wet and her cheeks rosed, perfection made flesh.

If only he could hold her like in the past. If only they could snuggle for hours in the couch not paying attention to anything, just watching the world turn and turn while they were on their own, with David sitting on the mat playing with his toys, occasionally calling them just so they could see what he was doing, he had such a fertile imagination, Jon and Sansa would be fascinated for hours on end, most times they would find themselves sitting with him, playing whatever game their son invented. All with an ear to ear grin plastered on their face.

They can't do that anymore, they don't have children and it's obvious neither one of them wants it, it's unfair to bring a child into this world only to fill a void in them. So, Jon has to settle with only staring at Sansa from the corner of his eye.

The news is nearly over, Sansa's book continues the same way it did when Jon arrived, she's not reading it, those pages that once served as an escape from reality no longer have that purpose. It's hard to say what Sansa's doing, what's she's thinking. She's just there, unmoving, uncaring, a dead thing who still breaths. They have so much in common.

It was all quiet for a long time, save for the TV and now Sansa's phone. It sits on the coffee table completely forgotten, Sansa's not paying attention to it, nonetheless, Jon can't take his eyes off of it, particularly because of what's going on.

H: please talk to me.

H: are you there?

H? That's vague but gives Jon plenty to speculate about. Harper? Henry? Hayden? Hector? Harry?

How does he look? How is he? Why?

Doubts and more doubts, there's all there is. The phone which keeps on buzzing, bringing shivers down Jon's spine, doesn't fucking help!

H: I'm so sorry about the other night. It was never my intention to hurt you in any way.

H: I do care for you, Sansa.

That was the last drop. Jon became somebody else, red was all he could see. For the first time in his life, Jon Snow had enough and was going to make sure everyone knew that. Before he could even register what was going on, Sansa's phone was already flying against the wall, the screen breaking in pieces, the sound reverberating around the house, not as loud as Sansa's gasp, she was already on her feet making her way towards him, the book nowhere to be seen.

"What the hell is wrong with you?!" Sansa pushes Jon, he barely moves.

If things weren't so messed up, Jon feels as if he could laugh for days, it's over. There's no more robot like sentences coming out of Sansa, she's finally speaking her mind. Giving Jon a chance to do the same, it's the wrong way, shouting and throwing whatever comes in their way will make things even worse than what they are, but right now Jon actually pushes for this sort of reaction because it's more than he's received in two years.

"H! That's what's fucking wrong!" It's not, Sansa's cheating it's nothing compared to the rest.

"I'm not seeing him anymore." Sansa must think that's a comfort to Jon. She's so wrong.

"Is that supposed to make it better?" He never thought his wife could become this dissatach from reality. "Do you think it's going to erase all the times you were with him?! It won't, Sansa!" He despises yelling at her, but she offered him no other alternative.

"My body was there, the rest was... there was nothing."

"And yet you were there." While Jon was here all alone, knowing exactly what she was up to.

Why can't Sansa see that?

"Yes! You know why?" It's not a real question, Sansa isn't going to back down either. "Because Harry's the only person in the world who doesn't make me feel like shit like all of you do all the time! He doesn't talk about David or forces me to. He lets me forget about the fact that my husband can stand looking at me! With him, I don't have to feel a thing." If the goal was to hurt Jon, Sansa succeed. The way she said it, with hate and repulsion, was what got to him the most.

Jon should be the better person and leave, he doesn't. She lives to hurt him, doesn't she?

Why should he be any different?

"But you did, didn't you?!" Sansa frowns, she's genuinely confused. "We haven't had sex in two years, Sansa. Two fucking years! How long did it take for you to fall in bed with Harry?"

Jon feels the pain first, then he hears the sound. A slap, so strong that he brings out blood upon Jon's lips. Yet, Sansa's the one who looks beaten. Jon harmed her with his words more than her actions to him.

"Fuck you, Jon!" Sansa never curses. "You don't know what you're talking about. Take a good look around! Everything is different."

"You're right! David's dead, and yet we're the ones who act like it. I'm tired! I'm tired of seeing you walk through that door and pretend you went shopping, I'm tired of feeling tired! I lost my son to that day. You make it all about yourself." It's so hard to keep his temper in check, Jon will never raise a hand to Sansa. He's incapable of that.

Keeping his mouth shut is the real challenge, in his experience, a word can hurt a thousand times more than any blow.

"And why did that happen, huh?" Jon stays silent, mainly because he has no idea what to say. "You left me when I needed the most, you gave up on us. I needed you so much and you weren't there, you left! Why did you leave?" Sansa's crying, her anger has vanished.

Her pain stayed behind. Yes, she cheated but Jon pushed her in that direction. She's right, he gave up. He had a reason to do so.

"You told me I killed our son! And I believe it! How could I look at you after? How could I..." His tears make an appearance at last. "I lost, that's the truth. Once I fell on the ground I told myself I wasn't going to get up anymore. I'm sorry, Sansa."

"I'm sorry too, Jon." It only takes a few seconds for Jon to understand why Sansa's apologizing.

It's not a long time, just enough for her to make for the door. That night Jon sleeps alone again.

Before he goes to bed he does something.

"Am I bothering you?" It's the first thing Jon does. It's too late to be calling anyone.

"No more than usual." The voice that comes from the phone is coated in sleep. "What can I do for you, boss?"

"I need to speak with Davos."

Chapter Text

 

Thank you, for coming. Have a good night and a steady recovery." Margaery practices her speech with yet another customer, thankfully, it's the last one of the day.

And today is Friday... thank the Lord!

Her body isn't cut out for this job, being in a pharmacy eight hours (occasionally more) standing up should be forbidden, Margaery's back is imploring her for relief, so is her brain. Now that there's one less member working in here, things have been hectic, to say the least. Frankly, working in a local pharmacy was never in her plans, Margaery wished to be a model (she had everything to be one) and travel the world, however, her family (apart from her grandmother) never really got on board with that idea, they weren't totally against it but they expected Margaery to stay in school and graduate because it was good to have options, by the time she went to college that dream faded way, now that she's much wiser and mature Margaery knows that pursuing a successful modelling career was a shot in the dark. So currently, she works in here and she's actually not as unhappy as she thought she would be, it's not the most thrilling job in the world but the money is good and she's able to be independent, which deep down was her dream to start with.

The fact that she gets to work with her best friend only makes things better, the thing is, she's not working with Sansa anymore, is she?

Her friend is going through a rough patch at the moment, for years actually and it appears that Sansa finally had enough. She hasn't turned up to work today and if her own words are to be believed, she won't be showing up anytime soon. As her friend, Margaery feels terrible because she knows that what Sansa is going through is so much more than just fatigue as she said, it goes beyond human comprehension, beyond anything Margaery has ever witnessed or experienced in her whole life, making it almost impossible to be there to help.

Sansa said she needed space from everything and everyone, so that's what Margaery will do. Her friend will look for her when the time comes, Margaery just hopes she can provide comfort when comfort is needed. Deep down she knows that's a lie.

In the meantime, all that Margaery can do is leave this place, go home and order over caloric pizza and maybe get herself a nice bottle of wine and hibernate the rest of the weekend, the nights spent in clubs and bars hooking up with strangers are long gone, she's too old for that. It would be quite pathetic to resume it again. She had a good run, though.


Once she's done with the cashier, Margaery goes in the back to retrieve her purse - not without checking if everything is in order, she's the supervisor after all - and head home to her turtles and Netflix. As she gets there, Margaery notes she's not alone, Lindsay and Eva - two of her co-workers - haven't left yet, they're getting ready to do so and much to her anger, they aren't quiet.

"I don't buy Sansa's excuse, at all." Eva says, she really has an irritating voice.

"Me neither." It's Lindsay's turn to speak. "I heard Jon's asking for a divorce. That's why she didn't show up for work."

"Yeah, I heard that too. I mean, he's as dreamy as they come, a man like that deserves much more than an ice queen." Eva's tone is coated in pure malice.

Two-faced bitch! Just yesterday she was wishing Sansa well, now she's talking behind her back and Margaery won't have any of that shit, she might even lose her job but no one will talk about Sansa the way they are, especially after everything her friend went through. The fact that they know about, about David, only makes Margaery angrier.

Instead of making a scene as it was her wish in the first place, Margaery just starts banging her locker door hoping they can hear her, they do. The moment those two realize they're not alone, their whole facial expression changes from one of amusement to one of pure mortifications, they know with just a word Margaery can make them go back home for good, there's plenty of people out there looking for a job who are far better skilled than them.

"Oh! Margaery, we didn't see you there." Eva's quick to say, she's trying her earnest to maintain her composure.

It's too late for that.

"I've noticed." Margaery can be sarcastic as well.

"So...any plans for the weekend." Lindsay's the one who at least tries to break the tension in the air.

As if that was possible. Margaery just dismisses both of them and proceeds with to what she was doing, her whole mood ruined. If she was younger things would've been different, so much different, back in the day she would've slapped them on the face and make a big scandal, everyone who works in this street would know what was going on, she would make sure of it. She can't do that anymore, she's not sixteen and Sansa would be fuming if she found out. She doesn't like when people get involved in her life, even if it is to defend her. If Sansa were to discover what Eva and Lindsay were whispering about her, she would likely let it slide, it's been a bit since Sansa cared about anything. It kills Margaery to see her like this, deployed of emotion, not living. Just there, watching the hours tick by, wishing that one day it'll be over. Margaery fears that the day it ends will be at Sansa's own hands. Margaery doesn't believe in God anymore, she hasn't in a while, yet she finds herself praying every night for the friend she lost, in the hopes of getting her back.

Her words said in the dead of night are like the wind. They aren't heard, just a vain try at something that cannot be achieved.

Twenty minutes later, Margaery's in the parking lot making her way towards her car, Eva and Lindsay aren't that far behind. They live close to one another so only Eva brings her car, which is parked right across Margaery's BMW M3 (her birthday present from her grandmother), but before she got inside Margaery had something stuck in her throat and for sure it wouldn't go home with her.

She slowed down on purpose and permitted Eva and Lindsay to walk past her, as they did that Margaery spoke.

"The next time you talk about Sansa, it's the last time you set foot in the pharmacy." She almost sounded sympathetic as she said it, her words still weren't to be taken lightly.

Like two rats trying to escape a sunken ship, Eva and Lindsay all but ran away, Margaery had no choice but to smirk.


Margaery was in the mood to get a freshly baked pizza, she was just too lazy to get it and she didn't want to order knowing she had to wait for it to be delivered, she just needed to get in the shower and be in her robe the rest of the night, luckily because she had no idea how to cook, her fridge was stocked up with all kinds of frozen foods, a lasagna doesn't sound too bad either.

After twenty minutes or so, her apartment building finally came in sight, Margaery stationed her car and went inside to catch the lift that would take her to the fifth floor. As she got out of it and started walking down the hallway, she noticed someone sitting at her door, it was woman and she had her face buried between her knees, as she got near Margaery realized right away who was it, that hair couldn't be mistaken.

The greater question was, what is Sansa Stark doing here?

With all the consideration Margaery could muster at the moment, she kneels next to her friend and placed on hand on her shoulder, even with her jacket on Sansa was freezing. Margaery didn't even got a chance to speak.

"Can I spend the night in here?" The look in Sansa's eyes brought tears to her own.

What happened to you?

"You don't have to ask."

Margaery helped her out of the floor and brought her inside after that Sansa sat on the couch, her eyes concentrated on the floor, her hands trembling, so was her chin, it was taking all of her strength not to cry, that much Margaery could tell. Sansa stayed quiet for a while, a big one, Margaery did the same because she was at loss for words, even if she tried to speak it was going to take a miracle to get a response out of Sansa. She's known her for almost seven years now, and one of the things Margaery knows best about her friend is that the armour she dons is unbreakable. Sansa will forever be the one to speak first, sometimes it can take a long time, it's been approximately two years now.

Not knowing exactly what to do, Margaery went into the kitchen and started preparing her frozen lasagna.

"If you want you can go into my room and take a shower, you know where the clothes are." She softly recited to Sansa, who had her back turned.

If she listened to or not it remains a mystery, a few minutes later her friend got up and headed straight to the room, moving on trembling legs, shoulders sagged in defeat never once bringing her eyes off the floor.

The phone who was in the kitchen island seemed so tempting, but who was Margaery going to call?

It's evident that Sansa and Jon fought, otherwise she wouldn't be here, and the fact that she didn't go to her parents only makes calling them unwise if Sansa wanted them she wouldn't be here. Still... she'll probably hate Margaery for this but it has to be done, at least that's what her heart tells her to.

In the morning she'll regret.

Jon: Sansa is with me. She's spending the night here.

Catelyn: Miss Stark,

There's really no need to disturb Sansa's parents, perhaps they don't even know she left the house, Margaery won't upset them in vain, they already have too much of that. Truth is, David's death didn't only affect Jon and Sansa, they were the ones who suffered the most but they weren't alone, even now the Starks are stuck on a lie because has much it hurts to confess, David's not real anymore. He's a ghost, somebody who left this world to join whatever comes next, it's something that hurts but should be regarded as part of the cycle of life. People die, that's the only sure thing in life, Margaery might even be viewed as insensitive for thinking this way.

She doesn't want them to neglect or remove David, Margaery herself hasn't or will ever. David might not have been her real nephew but every time that sweet little boy called her "auntie" rather than feeling old, Margaery could only be proud of herself because if somehow that kid deemed her worthy of that honour it was because maybe Margaery was indeed decent. She got praise all of her life, the only ones that left tears in her eyes were David's.

It's so easy to hold on to him, to make sure he's always there, surrounding every part of us, creating a home deep inside of our existence, taking control of all we are. It's so easy to stumble into a fantasy, to fall asleep and stay in the dream, to somehow make all the unanswered requests come to life. So simple to join David, to become a corpse and nothing more. That's what Sansa's doing, Jon and pretty much anyone else who knew David, they all say they've moved on yet just the mention of his name makes them become something else, a dark shadow.

Margaery's pain will never reflect Sansa's one, she lost someone dearly while her friend lost a part of her, the better part of her, it's ridiculous to give advice on something unknown. Yet, that's not what Margaery's doing, far from it. All she wants is for all of them, mostly Sansa, to see that it's okay to laugh again, that going to the beach and build sandcastles isn't a crime, that living after David's passing isn't a sentence, instead it should be considered as an honour, a mission to make his name marked upon the heart of many. It's time to take those broken pieces and throw them into the sea, it's time to let love come in again.

If she says it out loud will it work?

When she gets into the room holding up a trail with two plates of lasagna and two cans of coke, Sansa's already under the covers. Her hair is still wet and she's wearing one of Margaery's flannel pyjamas. Even though she heard the door opening and Margaery's footsteps, Sansa hasn't changed positions, not even when her friend sits on the bed making the mattress sink.

"You need to eat." Silence, but Margaery's not a quitter. "Please, Sansa. We don't have to talk."

That appears to do the trick. Gingerly, Sansa sits up and takes one of the plates from Margaery's hand, for some foreign reason she looks ashamed. There's no motive for that, Margaery will never judge her.

"Wanna watch some cheesy movie on Netflix?"

"It's your house." Sansa eventually talks.

It's not long before they resume to the quiet once more. The only sound source coming from Margaery's laptop. They stay like that for a time, Sansa's plate untouched and her can of coke still full, the movie is practically at the end and Margaery's getting crazy. She's not used to this, this stranger sitting next to her makes her mad and she can explain why, probably because Sansa's totally different from whoever now sits here, maybe because Margaery knows that this is permanent and that her friend is gone. Or maybe just the quiet, she never appreciated that.

"I understand I said we didn't have to..." Sansa left her no other choice. "but, do you wanna talk?" Margaery tentatively asks, already foreseeing the outcome.

What Sansa says next takes her by surprise, not in a good way. "I hate myself."

And Margaery despises the fact that she allows her friend to even think such a thing. Sansa's good, anyone can see that, or could, what matters is that whatever Sansa is right now, it will never correspond with the reality, with the Sansa they all know and love. Margaery arrived here in this city with no one, she left her family behind in the prospect of making a life of her own, it took less than four months for her to fall into a depression, she was all alone and without support, she had never been in that circumstance before, she had no idea how to get out of it. She didn't have, Sansa came into her life and with that so did the Starks, and for the first time in a long time Margaery wasn't alone no more, she had a family in here as well, all thanks to Sansa who always let her in. If that's not being good than Margaery doesn't want to know what being bad means.

"Don't say that ever again!" Both of her hands are now cupping Sansa's cheeks, making her see clear.

"Why?!" Sansa pushes both of Margaery's hands way. "Isn't it the truth?!"

"No, it's not! Sansa...it's all in your head."

"You didn't say what I did. Jon, he... Jon wants to help me even though I don't deserve it and all I keep doing is abusing him. Literally abusing him!" Sansa yells, thrashing her arms all over the place.

Margaery presumes she's talking about Harry, everyone knows about him. They just never talk about him.

"I'm sure whatever went on, you two will fix it." By now, Margaery's just throwing in haphazard words, what she thinks will work best.

It's awful but it wins against being silent and letting Sansa be in pain all by herself.

"I don't know what's wrong with me!" Sansa says, specifically to herself. Margaery's in the background. "I'm not... I can't keep doing this anymore. I just want it to stop."

"Do you?" It's not precisely meant as a question, it's more like showing Sansa what's been in front of her for years.

The right help.

"Of course."

"Then go see Brienne, then go home to Jon because that's where you belong." After telling that, Margaery envelops Sansa into a hug.

Ultimately, Sansa falls asleep still with her head resting on Margaery's shoulder. Her slumber doesn't last long.

"What if she can't help me?" Sansa asks, outside the sky is pitch black. Margaery lost track of the hours.

Taking a deep breath and considering what to say, Margaery speaks. "You can go and see Brienne or any other therapist you want, they can talk and talk, show you a ton of books and flood your mind with advice, and I can ensure it won't work." Sansa frowns at her. "It won't, not until you take the first step, not until you decide you're ready to move on."

"Will you..." Sansa can't complete the sentence.

Margaery does it for her, "I won't be anywhere else. "Tomorrow it's the beginning of the end."

Let this chapter close itself.

Chapter Text

 

“Where to, miss?” Asks the taxi driver.

“Here, please.” Daenerys hands the piece of paper that contained Jon's address.

Her life is so crazy that she hasn't been in here for precisely two years, the moment that she was needed the most. That's in the past now, Dany's back, and she's going to make things right.

“Okay, miss. If you wish to stop or take a detour to eat or anything just say so.”

“Thank you, but it won't be required.” Dany politely declines, she has something else entirely different up to her sleeve.

She's not going to quit now, not after what she found out. Not after wasting her nights sobbing in her pillow, not when her Jon is suffering. He's family, and he needs her.

That's why when Tormund phoned her telling about what was going on, how Jon was plunging into a depression, cutting himself off from everyone and everything, how he was drinking more and more every day, that her nephew didn't care about his job anymore, his life. Seemingly, Sansa is no better which makes sense given that she and Jon used to be one — are one — and now that it's gone, that bond that Jon would sometimes get lost for hours babbling about, everything else is gone. That's the motive why she's here, Dany feels responsible for Jon but it goes beyond that, helping Jon is so much more than a duty. It's vital, otherwise, Dany won't be the same either.

People never comprehended their relationship or the depth of it.

Jon and Daenerys only have a few months apart from their date of birth. Her father died days before she entered this world, leaving only her mother and brothers as company, at that period her older brother Rhaegar was already a married man but that didn't last long, he and his wife Lyanna got divorced but before that happened they had a son. Even though they were no longer together, Rhaegar wished to be a good father and Lyanna wanted Jon to have a good connection with the Targaryens, so both of them compromised. Two weeks during every month Jon would stay with his father and by consequence of Dany. Fatherhood was an entirely new world to Rhaegar so it's safe to say that Dany's mother was the one who practically educated Jon, all while she raised Daenerys as well.

She and Jon grew up together, he was never seen as the nephew — because of their age that often confused Dany-, he was the brother she constantly asked Santa for. Rhaegar was old enough to be her father and worked nonstop, Viserys...well it was best to stay away from Viserys. Her family was frequently travelling on business and most times Dany would go with them, she was homeschooled because her mother deemed that appropriate given their social status — she didn't want Dany to find out her father wasn't a good man and that the family had many enemies-, meaning having friends wasn't something Dany could afford to have, most kids seemed afraid of her (Viserys would say it was because of the purple eyes, and silver hair).

That should be awful, right?

Being so young and all alone, without anyone there to lean on, without a friend. Truth is, Dany was never lonely, not when Jon was around. Those two weeks a month with Jon were the best, Dany still has in a box all the calendars she used to mark the days to see Jon, she recalls he has his too. Jon wasn't too different from her, he was in a public school but his shyness held him from forging friendships with his classmates. In other news, they were each other best friends, the only ones they would ever desire. Dany likes to think that despite the events and the distance, Jon still feels similarly about her, she certainly does.

As kids, they would make the most out of living in a mansion, they would waste hours exploring a thousand rooms, it's nuts how at the time they had the capacity to turn a deserted guest room into a fighting pit or a frozen wonderland, how they would make the cats turned into three fierce and scary dragons. To the outside world, Jon and Dany were the weird kids who minded more about fantasy stories, than cars and Barbie dolls, which was insignificant.

They had their own planet, a universe actually, it got to a point where they even had their secret language, that would drive the maids crazy and her mother as well, Rhaegar, however, would just grin and tussle both their hair, he would sometimes sing for them or play the harp too, he was the sole person who had the password to their private room, which was just a room her mother allowed them to paint and decorate it as they liked. Jon loved ice, Danny loved fire and that was their theme.

Dracarys...the password.

Teenage years was when it got tricky, as soon as Jon turned sixteen he got a job as a roofer's apprentice, which meant he couldn't come to visit her in Dorne as he used to. Initially she was mad but that scarcely lasted a week, Dany was also being groomed to be part of the family industry so her time wasn't hers as she wished, still they would bring about the best out of what they had, there were months they were worried about their parents discovering the phone bill, and then there were the times when Lyanna would invite her to spend the weekend — that would turn into a week - with her and Jon.

Dany couldn't be anymore grateful for that, puberty is an unpleasant thing, being all isolated while undergoing it only makes it even more excruciating than normal. Because she was home schooled, Dany lost a lot of opportunities to experience the real adolescent phase, but she did go through heartbreak, she fought with her mother and her brother, she broke down in one of the malls changing rooms because her hips were getting wider, she had her face covered in pimples and oil, she did get drunk and regretted.

And through all that, that uncertainty that being a teenager was, Dany always had a thing she knew would never change, somebody who would never fail, Jon. He would stay up all night on the other side of the line while Dany wept and argued of how unfair life was, he was the one who would give the death glare to every boy who said hello to her, he was there with a pint of ice cream and a cheerful movie when the days weren't so funny, when the burden to be perfect was too much, Jon was horrible at giving advice but his presence was always a peaceful one, and Dany didn't need many words, just someone she knew she could rely on.

The same way Jon knew he could always count on her.

He never needed much guidance, he had his all life puzzled out already even if it wasn't what Daenerys and the rest of their family wanted, Jon was responsible and a good person, always willing to help, always there through good or bad, he was unquestionably one of a kind, one of the few people in this world Dany looks up to. Jon was also a brooding every given second of the day, he knew many things but having a good time wasn't clearly one of them, that's when Dany came in. The first time they got drunk she was there, she watched Jon's first speeding ticket, followed by his hangover. She also went with him shopping for an outfit to wear on his first date with his “friend”, little did she know that years later she would accompany Jon to buy a wedding suit to marry that same “friend”, Sansa Stark.

That one, Jon's wife... she's something else that's for sure. She's an incredible person, Dany can't refute that, or anyone else for that matter, it's also more than apparent that Sansa loves Jon more than anything, they were made for one another and that won't ever change. She and Sansa's relationship isn't good, but it isn't bad either, in existent it's probably the right word for it, they've been in the same room over and over again, yet, they never really found that one thing in common to bond over, and Dany has tried so hard, she's always trying to talk to Sansa, she even went as far as to comment on her social media posts only to be rejected, that's the problem. Sansa doesn't seem to care for anything with her, it's not hate or disdain, just... Dany doesn't even know actually what.

Is she jealous of Dany's relationship with Jon? Of how Jon always laughs around her? How they talk about their childhood stories for hours on end?

Daenerys as scraped that idea a long time ago, there's nothing to be jealous for. Sansa is reasonably mature to know that Jon and Dany act this way it's due to the fact they probably only see each other face to face once a year during Easter.

A few years back things took a turn for the worst. That's why she stepped back a bit, looking back she was a coward in leaving when Jon needed her the most, but what else could she do?

She promised Jon to always be there. Dany never once imagined the implications of such promise. She pretty much asked herself to support someone during the worst time of their life, all the while she was on her knees. That was the only thing Dany could never do for Jon. Until a week ago she had no idea how bad things were, how close of giving up Jon was, Dany couldn't lose him, so she swallowed her fear and took the first plane to Kings Landing. A few hours ago she was confident, now that she's halfway Jon's home, Dany's frightened that seeing him will make her fail once again.

_____________________________________________________

“We're here, Miss.” The driver says after almost an hour in silence.

Dany was so immersed in better days that hearing that young man with long hair and blue eyes speak, makes her jump a bit. He laughs and she has no other choice to giggle either, mostly at how her whole demeanor has fully shifted, all in a matter of hours. The time of getting on a plane and departing Essos and her charities to come back to Westeros, and reminisce.

“Yes, we are.” Dany's buying time, nothing else. “Thank you so much.”

“Just doing my job, but...” The man pauses for almost half a minute, searching for what to say. “Look, Miss, I have no idea what's going on or where you're going, but don't be that nervous. Something tells me there's no need for it.” He kindly says, though beneath all that there's a certain cockiness hidden.

 

“Oh...” Dany was really lost after all the driver wasn't telling any lies. She's always been bad at disguising her true feelings. “It's hard to sometimes speak, you know exactly what you want, what the purpose is but it's all in vain because die and too can't prevent that from happening. You know what I mean?" She asks, at this point Dany will follow any advice.

After all, she's expected to do that. And she doesn't know how.

“I do.” He says, in a voice that proves just that. A man whose life's older than he himself. “I wish I could tell you exactly what to say...”

“But you can't.” No one can, Dany has to do this on her own.

Jon would do the same if it was her. Jon was also always tougher than her. If he can't act right now, how is Daenerys expected to?

It's been a while since she last saw this house, not much as changed though. The inside, of course, everything else is something completely new, in a way that makes one shake with fear rather than excitement, there's no expectation ahead of her because Dany already knows that nothing good will welcome her on the other side of that door.

For a while, things have been bad.

“I'm going to be a father, Dany! Can you imagine that?” She'll remember that day vividly until there's life in her.

Jon was so happy, he cried. Something Dany had only seen him do twice, and never out of joy. If someone was meant to be a parent, it was Jon and of course Sansa, it was written all over their face whenever they saw a toddler, she used to joke and say that one day Dany would offer Jon a bib. When Jon finally had a child his own, all of Dany's suspicions came to life, Jon was officially that dad. The best kind there is the one who no matter what will never hurt his child, as long as he's around there's nothing in this world strong enough to let fear in. And also the one who will make all the dad jokes in the book, or embarrass his kids in front of their crush. Dany couldn't wait to see Jon do that, she expected to be there to help as well, to be the cool aunt and to teach her nephew all the games and schemes little Dany and little Jon plotted a summer years ago. She always thought they were going to have a lifetime for it, that the years would be kid upon them.

What a wicked world they live in...the clock only gave them five years. It wasn't enough, it will never be enough.

He took five years to lose that boy who reminded her so much of her nephew, of Jon's toothless smile and messy hair, five years was all they got, such a short amount of time compared to all the years that there are still left for them to endure. For Jon and Sansa to keep perishing a little more every day.

There was so much pain when David left, there's still so much pain now that he's gone. Will it ever go away?

How can it go when Jon keeps it alive?

Because that's exactly what he's doing, he's not allowing himself to go through all the stages of grief, he hardly even knows what that means. He's okay with the pain so is Sansa and while they keep going on like this, nothing will change.

Dany came hoping to help with that, she's doing this without fully knowing why. She's tried before and it hasn't functioned, but she won't cease her efforts. This is for Jon, even Sansa despite everything, they're Targaryens. In blood and name, they have to take care of one another.

She just wishes Jon would let her in. He kicked her out the day David was laid to rest, ever since that, all the phone calls have slowed down, the laughter vanished. At points, Dany will look at her childhood photos with Jon, both of them outside surrounded in mud and without their front teeth, and she'll think about the past. She always comes to the conclusion that the people on those photos couldn't be any more incompatible with the adult versions of them.

Dany bangs on the door but no one answers, there's only one vehicle on the driveway and it belongs to Jon, it is working pick up truck but Dany knows it's not his only ride. It's probably the only thing Dany and Sansa agree with, Jon shouldn't have a motorcycle. It's too risky, especially in the snow or at any other time of the year. Jon probably bought that damned thing only to get on their nerves, if that was the case then he was successful. Jon bought his motorcycle seven or six years ago, when David came he almost sold it but had a change of heart, yet, he never touched it while David was alive, that was a promise he made to Sansa. Now that David's...

Now that it's different, Jon rides his bike to breathe. Dany doesn't know how often he does it, but she knows it's an old ritual of his. Whenever there's something troubling Jon, he goes away for hours. That's a Targaryen thing, Jon most likely pick it up from her.

It hasn't been a long time since she arrived at Jon and Sansa's house, the driver is still there for some reason, maybe he was lacking faith as well. Upon seeing, something flashes through Daenerys mind, she knows exactly where Jon is. Every year after David's birthday party, Jon and Sansa would always take him to the same place.

“Hi again, can you give me a ride?” Daenerys asks as soon as she reaches the driver's car. Daario, that's what it says in his name tag.

He chuckles, “well, it's my job.”

“I'm sure I'm costing you a lot of money.” Daenerys is in a rush, however, she refuses to sound rude or impatient.

“It looks important.” This time, Daario looks a little more serious. “Get inside, it's on the house.”

__________________________________________________

Somehow, she manages to persuade Daario to break few traffic rules. Daenerys can't help that sensation of dread that has settled in the pit of her stomach, almost like a premonition of something yet to happen. It has to do with Jon, he's in trouble. By his hands or someone else's it remains a mystery.

“Can you go any faster?” Okay. Dany's definitely pushing it.

“Sorry, this is the fastest I can go without alerting the cops,” Daario says but Dany cuts him off with an imploring look. He budges. “I guess I can be in Blackwater Beach in two minutes.”

“Thank you so much.”

As promised, two minutes later the pier was finally coming in sight. As they got closer to the parking lot, Jon's motorcycle was there but no signs of its owner, night was already gathering and the longer it went, the more nervous she was becoming.

“Is everything alright? Want me to call someone?” Daario is not showing any signs of leaving, thank God for that.

Dany can't be alone. She's nervous and doesn't know why.

In less than a minute she finds out the source of that anxiety. All of a sudden, the sound of a gun being fired erupts in the air.

Chapter Text

“Jon! Jon!”

The last thirty minutes or so will forever remain mysterious to Jon, everything is blank. He's in a beach, The beach; the one who for years brought him nothing but joy, this was once Jon's little paradise on Earth, his and Sansa's home for hours throughout the years they've spent together, he proposed to her in here in this beach, and it was in this same place where she gave him the best news any man could get.

“I'm pregnant. We're going to be parents, Jon.”

Blackwater beach. It's a sick joke, this place was once happiness, now it's sorrow. Maybe because that's the only thing that Jon can feel, that's why he's here.

Why? That part he doesn't know, maybe he'll never know.

“Jon, stop! Jon!” It's her voice that brings him back to whatever this place is currently. 

Dany's here, his best friend. Once that would've drawn happy tears to Jon's eyes, he would've run to her and twirl her around, they would laugh and commemorate for no apparent motive, just because they could. That was in the past, now Jon can't have her here, Dany's presence somehow only enhances the pain, another piece that makes the tale, not a tale, and yes the real world. All Dany ever received from Jon was smiles and drunk laughs after midnight in some rooftop with friends, all she knows is a little boy who would chase cats around the family mansion with her, the one who would steal pastries from the kitchen before supper. He's not that person, Dany doesn't need to see who he became. 

She doesn't need to be another one who'll leave disappointed.

“Please, Jon...” He hasn't seen her face, only listened to her voice. She's crying. “Drop that gun.”

He remembers now.

He purchased that gun when David was born, Jon knew there was no need for it, their neighbourhood was stable, so was their house but somehow that didn't prove to be good enough to put Jon's concerns to rest, he had to buy a gun. Even if it ended up being forgotten with time, it would always stay there as a testimony at how far Jon was willing to go for his family, there was nothing that he wouldn't do for them, good or bad. As long as they were safe, all the rest didn't matter. The gun never saw the light of day until today, Jon ignored all about it because, in the end, Sansa was right, it was ridiculous to have a fire weapon at home. Yes, maybe he overreacted when he bought it, but Jon couldn't deny that knowing he had one, gave him some kind of protection at home was comforting.

A superficial one, Jon acknowledges.

“It's me, Dany. I'm here.” She is and he can't turn around and look her in the eye.

Jon drops the gun, it collapses on the sand mingling with a million grains of sand and many more stories. He can't hold himself any longer either, Jon falls on his knees. Just like that gun, Jon's nothing more than an object. All life is gone from him, or that's his biggest wish. 

Jon made a decision last night, that same exact moment he picked up his gun. Thirty minutes ago, Jon arrived here at the beach, five minutes ago a gun was fired, currently, Jon's breathing. That was never the plan. 

He didn't want to be him anymore. Jon's shattered beyond repair, he's broken people beyond repair, has hurt people beyond repair, Jon's a trigger. He didn't want to be that, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. Pulling the trigger.

Which he achieved. The result, however, wasn't the one he had initially foreseen, all that Jon attained was splinting a small rock in half. All because he saw Sansa's face on his head moments before the last moment. 

I saw my life flash through my eyes. Now that's something Jon's heard often enough to understand, today he finally got to experience it. In those brief and yet longest seconds of his life, Jon saw everything. The joy, the scraped knees, grass-stained pants, graduations, meeting Sansa, coming here to propose to her, having a newborn baby boy placed on his arms, promising the world to him, losing him, heartbreak and sorrow, the last thing Jon saw was Sansa. He knows why and that's why he's still here.

Sansa's not dead, she's not hopeless, despite everything that's happened Jon will never stop loving her, deep down he knows Sansa feels the exact same way. All flames start with a spark, even as little as it might be. Even if what's left of the old Jon and Sansa is barely there, a flicker of nothing, it's still worth battling for. Jon will fight, he has no other choice. He doesn't want to love if it's not her, doesn't want to be happy if he can't see her smile, if he's going to move on, Sansa will do the same. They have to stick together.

You're a fool!

He is, it's all a wish. All it will ever be, Sansa made that much clear. Jon is fighting a losing war, he can't stop so his only option is to keep getting hurt. How much more can he take?


“To the same address?” It's a man who speaks.

“Yes... I mean no. Just drive around, I'll tell you when to stop.” The man agrees with that and the taxi starts moving. “Thank you, Daario.”

“Don't worry about it.”

Jon's fucking ashamed of himself, from seeming so weak in front of someone who once saw him as a hero, her guardian. Dany's the one who's doing that now, she came all the way from Essos just to see him, this mess, it's almost like she knew things were so fucked up as they are. Jon knows Dany better than she does herself, she has a heart of gold but will be the first to give you the hard and cold truth, not really caring if you'll accept it or not, Jon's certain that her plan when she got inside the airplane that brought her too Kings Landing was to give Jon a lesson, to pull at his ears and tell him to snap out. Instead, Dany's crying or trying her best not to look like she is, while they're inside this taxi that she assisted Jon in, he couldn't even seem to get up on his own. He hasn't shut his eyes for nearly two days, water has been his only source of nourishment, his body is starting to pay the price for it.

Dany sees this, of course, and decides to leave Jon just for a bit. It doesn't take long sleep to claim him.

By the time Dany is gently attempting to wake him up, Jon can tell that they're not driving anymore, it's getting dark and cold, night is almost gathering and they haven't gone home or anywhere, they're wandering around with no purpose or prospect, just making their journey as the minutes go by. Jon couldn't be more grateful for it, Dany really knows him. This, being away from the pressure is what Jon needs, even if it's the coward thing to do. Jon's beyond caring, honestly.

“Jon...” Dany softly whispers, her gaze doesn't hold any sort of pity. Hope and trust, only that. “I got you something to eat.” Dany lays a paper bag in his hands. There are burgers and fries inside.

She didn't have too, but this is Dany. It shouldn't be, Jon knows how important they are for each other and how much they mean to one another, still, that doesn't excuse leaving their life on hold for one of them. That's precisely what she's doing, she's putting her life behind to fix one that isn't there anymore.

“Thank you.” It's all he says, voice hoarse. Jon sounds almost like a starving animal.

He's looking more beast than man too.

“I'm sorry, Dany.”

“Don't be, not to me at least. Someone else should hear it, though.”

There's a great number of people that come to mind.

“Who?” He asks, not staring at Dany. Jon pretends to be focused on his meal, he's still humiliated.

“You.” The set in Dany's jaw and the fire in those violet eyes makes it sound like it's the right thing, like Jon actually deserves an apology.

He has no other choice but to laugh a dry and humourless laugh.

“Don't do that Jon.” Dany grabs his hands, both of them are trembling, this is difficult to face on both sides. “Don't be this hard on yourself, don't... I thought I lost you today, it was horrible. And it's all because you blame yourself for something that wasn't even a crime, Jon it's ti-”

“Stop, Dany. Don't go there.” Jon can't go there, he forbids himself from crossing that line.

“Sansa. Leave her.” He should've expected that already, Dany always asks the same.

She should know the answer by now.

“Daario!” Jon recalls the taxi driver's name from before. “Stop this car!”

“Don't! You're not going anywhere Jon, we're having this conversation whether you like it or not!” In moments like this, Jon can truly say Dany's a Targaryen. There's no stopping this from happening. 

Anyone would half a brain would see it. Not Jon. He's a Targaryen as well after all.

“What's your problem with Sansa anyway? She did nothing to you?!” This conflict between the two has been going on for years, Jon finally exploded about it.

He hates taking sides, even more, if it involves is family.

“To me? No, I don't think so.” Dany's mocking him, she always does it. 

“Daenerys.”

“Have you looked in the mirror? In case you haven't noticed you have a busted lip. Must've slipped, right Jon?” She resumes, this time Jon has no answer.

“Stop this freaking car!” Jon screams at Daario, he ignores him. 

This man is getting on his nerves, he's not doing a thing. Just fulfilling orders from Dany, money speaks values here in King's Landing.

“Jon, I'm trying to help you two.” This time when Dany touches Jon, on the shoulder, he moves away.

He shouldn't have done that. 

Dany shouldn't have said that either.

“Us two?! You hate Sansa with a passion.”

“I do not! By the contrary, I want to help. That's why I'm telling you to leave her.” If Jon wasn't so mad, if his rage wasn't overwhelming him, he would've caught sight of the pure sincerity in Dany's eyes.

“I won't.” Never. Jon cannot do that.

It's something he has no power over.

“Instead you rather almost commit suicide, or get drunk and maybe someday kill yourself while doing it.” These are all real problems in Jon's life. “Damn it, Jon! Can't you see that this that you and Sansa have will be the death of you?!"

Jon chooses not to reply. He can't argue against facts, can he?

“I know you love her, I've known since the moment I saw you two together. The moment you allowed yourself to have the one thing you promised you wouldn't, “ a family, “and you did it for her. That's love.” Dany states yet another fact. This one's a pleasant one. One of the few that still remain.

Is it the same for Sansa?

"And yet you ask me to leave her, even after knowing that.”

“Especially after knowing that.” Jon frowns and Dany gives him that stare she used to give him all the time. The one that says, you're as clueless as they come. “It might not look like it, but I'm rooting for you two to be together. A love like the one you share only happens once in a lifetime if you're lucky enough, all that cames after are just poor imitations.” Tears fall on Dany's cheek, it's so obvious what she's thinking about.  

You're an asshole, Jon.

He's so self immersed in his grief that he forgets that Dany once loved someone too, that she lost that someone. 

“I'm sorry, Dany.” 

She seems to ignore it, despite wanting Jon to open up about his problems, Dany hasn't spoken Drogo's name in years. No one knows what truly transpired that night when Dany called announcing that her husband had passed away, Jon didn't even know she had one. Whatever arose in that desert an ocean away from them, changed Daenerys Targaryen forever. It's subtle, almost imperceptible to everyone who knows her, but not Jon. There's something missing in Dany., as Sansa gets farther away Jon is beginning to realize what that might be. 

“When he died,” Drogo, she's talking about him. However, you won't ever hear his name leaving her mouth. “I wanted to get hurt, as long as I was feeling pain, I was feeling just that, there was nothing else and no sensation felt better. Along the way, I hurt others with my actions without even becoming aware of that. You know why, Jon?”

“Why?”

“Because you and our family kept making excuses for me. For months I was a monster and never once was accountable for my actions.” Dany wasn't a monster. It's been years and she still thinks otherwise.

“Then you left.” It's starting to make sense for Jon. Unfortunately.

“And became a better person.” That she did. She's changing the world. “Don't give up on Sansa, don't ever do that. But right now, she needs to be alone. Both of you.”

Chapter Text



Sansa Stark

[3 years ago]

Night had gather long ago, darkness surrounds this room, a comforting one nonetheless, Sansa's home and with that she's happy, in here in this dark room laying beside the one she loves the most, Sansa's world is a good one, one worthy of stories such as the ones that one day served as aid for the nights her sleep was troubled with nightmares as a child. It's Winter, the cold outside can make its way into our bones, yet, Sansa's warm and it's all because Jon's there, he's not going anywhere anytime soon, he'll be there until the last night that God allows him to, and Sansa will always pay back the gesture. It's crazy to think of going to bed without Jon nowadays, it's even crazier to think that one day she did, for many years Sansa was lonely, now she understands why she never felt like she belonged, he wasn't there. He is now and for Sansa, that's all that matters, he and their son are all that matters. For a time, Jon's heavy breathing was all that she could hear, over the years that and David's voice has become the sound Sansa craves the most, but now Jon's breathing is not all Sansa can listen to, there's a faint knocking and in no time it's accompanied by something else, someone else.

"Mommy?" If Sansa didn't know that voice by heart she would guess that she's dreaming, it's so quiet, so small.

In the blink of an eye, Sansa's wide awake and sitting upright in bed, her baby calling for her it's paramount, not even the loss of warmth it's enough to bother her. Not when her son is in need of her, not when he sounds so fearful.

"Jon! Open the door." Sansa almost pushes Jon out of the bed.

She can't be the one opening it, because she's naked and her robe is nowhere to be seen. 

"Are we expecting visitors at this hour?"  Seriously, Jon!?

Jon can't function after midnight, that's a fact, still, it doesn't stop Sansa from wanting to strangle him with her bare hands. She's exaggerating, but when it comes to her little boy, Sansa can't help it. She's a mother hen and David's only four.

"Our door!" She all but screeches. Why is it locked in the first place, anyway?!" It's been less than a minute since David spoke, Sansa's freaking out already.

"I think you know" Jon grins - his eyes pointing at their bathroom, where their night began - unaware that there's someone on the other side waiting for them. Despite everything, Sansa blushes. Until...

There's someone on the other side waiting for them!!!
 
"Mommy?!" His voice is louder this time, loud enough to make Jon aware.

Her husband is even faster than her in getting up, despite saying Sansa spoils David and worries too much, Jon's the one who always gives in, the one who buys a whole pharmacy whenever he hears David sneezing. It makes Sansa love him even more, Jon was born to be a father even if the beginning was hard, especially because some of his insecurities that never left due to the divorce of his own parents, but the moment David was placed in his arms that all vanished. For four years, Jon has been nothing but the man Sansa always dreamed to share her children with, a man so much like the one who raised her, a good person and a better father. All she ever hoped for.

Quickly Jon puts on the shorts he had put on earlier that night for bed, and all but stumbles is way into the door, finally unlocking it. David finally comes in sigh and it stores Sansa's heart into a million pieces, her baby has tears streaming down his cheeks, his hands clutching his teddy bear close to his chest and has he gets closer as Jon walks with him on his arms, Sansa can see that David's pyjamas are wet, that's when she really gets scared. Children wetting the bed is one of the most normal things in the world, they all do that at one point in their young lives, however, Sansa knows her son too well and this only happened before once, when he was really frightened as he must be now. 

Jon tries to calm him down but his efforts are in vain, David's so restless, his whole body trembling. Sansa can't take much more.

Wrapping a sheet around her, Sansa goes in search of her robe which turned out to be in a loveseat that they have in the room.

"Oh, baby. Come here, tell mommy what happened." Sansa's arms are already outstretched and Jon quickly takes her hint.

As soon as David falls in her arms, he starts crying even more than before. He loves Jon fiercely, but Sansa will always be mommy, not to mention that Jon works day and night, meaning David spends more of his time with her.

"There's a monster in my bed! It's huge!" Her son makes sure to show emphasis with his arms. 

Sansa doesn't even doubt a word he's saying. Of course there's not a monster in his room, but there's definitely something there, David's going through a phase where he feels as if he's already a big boy that doesn't need mommy and daddy around at all times hovering over him, so the fact that he came to their room is saying something.

As David sobs with his face buried in Sansa's neck, Jon just stands there unsure on what to do next. Something not surprising at all, he's a great dad but dealing with nightmares at two in the morning will always be Sansa's task, one she gladly takes on for herself.

Soon enough Sansa assigns Jon his own task, she doesn't say it out loud not to scare David who's still crying, but Sansa adverts her eyes to the door, signalling Jon to find the monster that David fears so much.

It takes a while, Jon sometimes (even more if he's nervous) will freeze under stress, even if there's nothing to stress about as they found out not long ago. Apparently, David's just a little bit shocked due to seeing what most likely it's some bug that got in through the window. 

Jon leaves them and with that Sansa moves to the bathroom where she starts preparing a bath for her son. As David sees that Sansa's is struggling a bit with the faucet because he's clutching to her, he lets go and sits close to her, attentively watching in silence for a while. He's clearly embarrassed with what happened.

"Hey, come here." Sansa opens her arms as an invitation.

David doesn't even think twice.

"Feeling better?" Sansa asks as David plays with her hair, one of his favourite things to do.

Her son just shakes his head, not really looking Sansa in the eye. 

Sansa lets go of it for the time being because the tub is already filled and it's getting late, David just had a nightmare and needs comfort - Sansa will never deny him that - but she doesn't want to disrupt his sleeping schedules that much. 

"Come on, let's get you clean and after you can cuddle with me and daddy." David smiles a bit.

About ten minutes later, the time it took to get David bathed and dressed, Jon returns to their room holding a folded napkin on his hands. He's panting and sweating as if he ran some marathon, in the morning Sansa's sure she'll find David's room a mess.

All because...

"I found the monster." Jon's proud of his achievement, his chest clearly can't get this more puffed up.

He didn't really do much but Sansa will give him this victory.

"What was it?" She carefully asks.

 It's just some kind of bug, deep down she's still scared of them.

"A roach, a big one too." Jon tries to show her what's hidden in the folded napkin, with a glare he changes his mind.

It's too cold to sleep on the couch, Jon is no fool.

"See, there's nothing to be afraid of, daddy took care of it," Sansa says as Jon goes into the bathroom do discard himself of David's monster.

"I'm strong too!" Her son insists, almost crying again.

That he got from her, more exactly her family, the Starks are a proud bunch.

"Of course you are, I never doubted that for a second." Jon is now making his way into the bed. 

Sansa manoeuvres a bit and pulls David to the middle of the bed so Jon won't be going to work with a backache in the morning.

"Come here, buddy." Jon pulls David closer to him, "you know who's Superman?" It's a pointless question. 

At four years of age, David can already recite by heart every single little detail about Superman or any other superhero. He likes them all but every year he chooses one to idolize, depending on the movie Arya shows him on Christmas eve in their parents' house.

David just nods his head eagerly, there's not really many words he can use to describe Superman anymore, Sansa and Jon probably have heard all of them by now. 

"You know kryptonite too, right?" Again, there's no need to be asking.

Sansa is pretty sure where Jon's going with this. All she can do is watch at the scene unfolding in front of her, trying her best not to start crying or snapping a picture, because she's that type of mom, and both of her boys hate it. 

"Kryptonite is silly! I don't like him." Both parents can't help but giggle at their son's words.

Why does he have to grow up?

"Oh, it is. It's also the only thing Superman is afraid of. Still, he's strong."

"Stronger than you, daddy." Okay, Sansa laughs way too loud at that.

Jon's a grown man, married and with a son, none of that stops him from pouting like a child who was just told no. Oh, Sansa wants to kiss him so bad right now, no one should look that cute.

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, okay? Not until I see what Superman can do on top of a roof, at least." Both mom and son nod, though David appears to be confused with what Jon just told them. "Anyway, everyone is scared of something, even Superman. The strongest of them all."

"What are you afraid of daddy?"

"Honestly," Jon pretends as if he's thinking very hard on that. "mommy." 

Sansa's not laughing anymore, she's fuming actually. Not in a bad way, she's not going to fight Jon, she's not going to let it slide either. He wants to be funny, Sansa can be funny too.

Everything about her right now screams "no more sex for a year" and Jon reads her like a book, already apologizing. All for nothing, Sansa will give him a run for his money.

"And you mommy?" All eyes are on her, Sansa doesn't talk.

David doesn't need to hear this, doesn't need to know that the world is not as simple as Superman makes it out to be, that putting on a cape is not the answer for every problem, that superpowers aren't the ability to fly. He's too young to know what keeps Sansa up at night, she prays that day will never come. If only she could stop time.

"When you're around I'm not afraid. You protect me and I'll protect you, deal?"

"I love you, mommy." And with David hugging her, tonight Sansa will sleep peacefully.

She's happy. The happiest woman in the world.

"I love you too baby, so much."


[Present day]

"Are you ready?"

It's Margaery the first one who cracks, who breaks the silence that had enveloped this car for the past...how long exactly?

That probably will forever remain unknown to Sansa, she doesn't even know what day is it today, if it's getting late or getting early, she doesn't even know who she is, her eyes and everything else are focused solely on one thing, a door. The door, the one that for many months Sansa always choose to ignore, to bury in the depths of her mind and never think about it again, she never thought one day she would need this, the woman who sits on the other side no doubt wondering where Sansa Stark might be by now.

Life's nothing more than a scattered breath, a faintless whisper in a stormy night, a boat without rows, and just like that, no one has any control over it. Everyone wishes on something if they truly came through what a beautiful world this one would be.

"Are you going through with this?" Margaery still hasn't had the time to process that this is actually happening.

"I have to." She was sent here with no other choice.

"Well, I'm proud of you." Margaery is too good for her. Naive enough to look for something Sansa can't no longer give. "No matter what happens today, you'll always have my full support."

"Thank you. I'm so thankful you're here." When did Sansa become so cynical, so fake?

"I'm always here, especially in a day like this." Her friend makes it sound as if they should be shooting confetti and hiring a marching band.

Sansa Stark Snow is about to go to her first therapy session, what's special in that?

She doesn't want to, doesn't need to, but she has to. There's so much more on the line than just her sanity, there's Jon's life and the one around her too, her family and friends need this. Sansa might be a monster, a cold thing with an empty place in her chest where her heart used to be, but beneath that darkness, their names are still engraved deep in her bones, in her soul. Therapy won't help her, Brienne won't say nothing Sansa hasn't heard before from some wannabe therapist, it's a waste of money and time, this hour should be used with someone who's actually willing to change, to better themselves, just like Sansa should wish for herself which she doesn't of course. There's nothing good about her, there never was.

Her mother doesn't believe in her one bit, yesterday hearing her cry through the phone saying she missed the little auburn haired girl who would practice ballet in the middle of the living room, the loving girl who Sansa Stark once was, was enough to make Sansa pick up the damn phone and schedule this appointment.

Sansa doesn't need peace, the chaos that has now become a friend of hers is the best Sansa will ever achieve in this dark path she's not so slowly threading. Her family is a different story, they're not used to the storm, they never asked to be a part of this horror movie that Sansa's life is, they deserve so much better than what she's been given them, so does Jon and her best friend Margaery, who has been offering Sansa a place to sleep in these last couple of days, while her husband sits at home all alone. Well, he's not exactly alone since the other one is there too, Daenerys his precious aunt, no doubt already judging Sansa for leaving Jon all by himself in that haunted house. It's not like she's wrong, after all, Danny adores Jon and whoever hurts him is dead on her eyes, still, it hurts, all the same, to be judged by someone like her, someone Sansa wanted to be a long time ago. Daenerys overcame demons of her own, she came back a better person from her personal hell, unlike Sansa. 

Nowadays, Sansa doesn't want to be someone else, she's fine with who she is, even if that's a lie she's learned to live with it, with herself. Danny - as Jon calls her - apparently hasn't picked up on that and insists on showering Sansa with pity and remorseful speeches.

"Sansa Stark, Dr Tarth is ready to see you." The secretary speaks and with that, the walls start to close in around her.

There's nowhere to hide.


Everything about this office was designed to soothe Sansa and so many more who seek it, Sansa, however, can't feel anything but apprehension, maybe because she knows why she's here, to move on. To do the one thing she promised she would never do.

There's so many white, the walls, the tables, the sofas, the chandelier, the frames, the decoration, all of them white and pristine, perfectly organized to give a sense of calm and quiet, a little paradise for those who look for peace and themselves. In this case, it only gives Sansa anxiety and disgust, it's so cliche, so predictable. 

In the middle of the room sits Brienne, she hasn't changed one bit. Her hair in a pixie cut, her clothes light and simple, modest even, her face still kind as Sansa remembers.

For some reason, the candles are what Sansa hates the most, it makes her think of churches and the last time she was at one. She's turned her back on it all, the rosemary in her room hidden in some drawer is Sansa's last and only reminder of faith.

"Hello, Sansa. Take a seat." She really has no other choice.

This is already paid for.

"Want some coffee, tea, wat-"

"Can we just move on with the pleasantries? It's not like we're strangers." She's being a brat, rude and obnoxious. It's better than to succumb and actually dig in into the root of her problems.

"Okay then." Brienne is truly a great therapist, she's still not mad, hasn't snapped. It's supposed to be good but it isn't.

People like that, patient and understanding are the ones who never leave. Like the ones, Sansa loves the most. She keeps pushing them, keeps building walls and they remain through it all. Even Jon, the one she needs to leave the most.

Many may think it's hate, when in fact is love. One day Jon will understand why its best if Sansa stays away, she loves him too much to lose him.

"What are you here for, Sansa?" She suspects Brienne is reciting some book, with all the patients the woman has it must be hard to keep track of all the lies.

Because that's all they are, sweet lies designed to appease tainted minds.

"Why are people in therapy in the first place?" Sansa wonders, making sure Brienne knows exactly how she feels about this. "To get help."

"I suppose. Still, that doesn't answer my question. Sansa, in order for me to help you, you have to be open to help. Are you?" It's clear her therapist already knows the answer.

She wants to hear, to have proof of who Sansa really is.

"Why would I be?" A bitter laugh escapes her, this isn't new, the help everyone craves to offer her. "I'm beyond that. Trust me, you're wasting your time."

"And yet you're here." There's no smugness in that sentence, just a confirmation of sorts. Wich tells me that you don't believe in that, that deep down you want it, you need it." 

Sansa doesn't reply, she won't say another word. This woman is already getting to close.

"Tell me about yourself, what do you do?"

Chitchat, that's what this is. Well, that Sansa can't do, at least they're not talking about what needs to be discussed. If she's speaking, Brienne might give her some clemency about everything else.

"I work at a pharmacy."

"Was that your dream job all along?" Is being a therapist your dream job? Sansa almost retorts.

How's that supposed to do anything?

Not that Sansa wants to, of course.

"I wanted to be a nurse, in college I studied for it but during my internship in the hospital I changed my mind." Sansa still has clear pictures of those days, in truth, she barely speaks of it anymore.

Not even to her family, not even to Jon. That internship in the hospital when she was nineteen is one of Sansa's biggest regrets, it gave her knowledge on how cruel life can truly be, how death and life walk together hand in hand, how in the end there's a crossroad in front of the two and only one will cross, most times its death who's allowed passage. In a world as wicked as this, dead is a king amongst mortals, one who's been ruling over Sansa for years. 

In a matter of seconds she's hit by a flood, her biggest secret out for the world to see it. Sansa now knows what deja Vu really means.

"Sansa? Sansa?" Brienne looks worried, afraid that Sansa probably lost her mind for good.

Most likely the answer is yes. 

"Sorry?" Sansa was lost, her mind stuck on faces that aren't part of us anymore, people who left. "I... I was somewhere else."

"We don't have to talk about it. Time is often the greatest healer, this is only our first appointment."

She knows that too well, it was her initial plan when Sansa set foot in this building, when she entered this office, she came with the prospect of buying time, of using therapy as the only place where she can seek refugee without digging into the past and all the pain that comes with it, but now she has a whole other plan, a need almost. David's not the only ghost that torments her, in fact, he only torments her this much because of something Sansa witnessed long ago, something she never thought she would experience herself, a door that opened and she never was able to close it, her judgement day.

Her son isn't her only David either. 

"I was nineteen when I first started working in a hospital," Sansa starts, unsure if she really wants to keep going. "I was still a student, just there to gain experience or whatever you wanna call it, I... I was assisting for another nurse, I didn't do much but follow her around and learn the ropes of the job, one day..."

"Take your time, you don't have to finish today." Brienne senses all that's left unsaid, even she is unsure if Sansa should keep going.

This goes beyond her breaking point, this is her breaking point.

"I want to!" She does, if Sansa is actually going to move on she has to go back to the start. 

To that hospital, to him.

"Go on, then." 

"On my second week I met this patient, he was a couple years younger than me, still in high school. His name...he was named David, he had stage four pancreatic cancer, at that point, there was nothing the doctors could do, nothing but make sure his last days weren't in pain." they were never able to achieve that, though. "Despite the brutal treatments and the disease, David was gorgeous, he had green eyes and dimples. Every morning he would greet us with the biggest smile, sometimes he would even sing, even in his worst days his smile never faltered."

"He seems like a good person." Good person doesn't come close, still Sansa thanks Brienne for that.

"He was and funny too. He knew I was dating and yet he would flirt with me at all times, he would say that one day when he got discharged he would steal me away and together we would travel the world, a modern day Bonnie and Clyde." Sansa finds herself smiling.

Brienne does the same, it's not hard really. David was joy made flesh, all good in the world. He was Sansa's best friend and she never said a word about him to anyone, he was her little secret.

"Cancer sucks, but I get to see you every day so I'm not pissed." Sansa would always try her earnest to be mad at him, he shouldn't say those things. She never managed to keep a straight face.

There was nothing romantic about them, Sansa needed a friend and David was seeking an illusion, amidst needles poking his skin, diagnosis breaking his spirit and pity stares, Sansa was the most normal thing in that young boy's world, she was the closest person of his age that he had for a long time, for a while Sansa and David were two teenagers talking about some silly sitcom, instead of Sansa the nurse and David Rhodes the dying patient.

"What happened?" Brienne doesn't look like a therapist anymore, more like someone hitching with curiosity to know how the story ends.

It might even be unprofessional but Sansa can't blame Brienne for that, everyone deserves to know about that green-eyed boy. 

"Being around him was the hardest thing ever, it was hard getting out of bed just thinking about it. It was physically painful to do so."

"Why?"

"How could I smile to him knowing he was going to die? How could I say yes when I knew that his next travel would be to the other side? How could I be hopeful towards someone who's hopeless? I was a coward" Sansa's crying, just like she did in the past.

There were nights when she had to stay in the night shift, in those nights she would hear the truth. David Rhodes was lying to them, during the day he was happy and goofy, full of hope and making plans for all the tomorrows to come. At night he was a helpless boy begging for someone to kill him, screaming as a way to numb the pain that would curse through his body, the pain that not even the drugs could numb, the pain that would make its way into Sansa's ears, mind and body, she could actually feel it as weird as it might seem. In those nights, she would escape where she was assigned to be and would go to his room, yet, Sansa would never get inside, she would stay in the other side so he wasn't alone crying, there was two instead of one. It makes her a monster, she knows that only too well, but Sansa never had the courage to get inside, she wanted to remember her friend as her friend, not sick.

"It's called love Sansa. Love demands sacrifice, you did just that. You could've cried, instead you showed your friend hope when he himself had none. That's courage, the biggest example of it, I would say." It's not, far from it. Somehow, Sansa's tempted to believe in it.

"The last day I saw him was the first day he didn't smile, I could barely recognize him. He wasn't talking, his eyes were far away, in that moment I knew the time had come and no matter how much I had prepared myself for that moment, our goodbye, nothing could... I had never seen so much pain before in my life. All people want is to live, right?" Sansa doesn't think she can finish. It's almost time to relieve it again.

"It depends."

"Exactly. He was so tired, so sick that his biggest wish was most people biggest fear. The last thing he told me was to help me as if I had the power to do so, he gave me a choice and I failed him. All I did was kiss his forehead and whisper that he was going to be okay, I lied!" She does get up this time, ready for the door but without the strength to carry on.

This is exhausting.

"You didn't." Brienne takes Sansa's hand in hers. "Sansa, he was desperate for help that you couldn't possibly have given him, something that would've put your whole life at stake."

"I know that. That possibility you speak of never crossed my mind, I failed him because he wanted me to be there and I wasn't. Next morning when I came back it was to an empty room like so many there were there. He died in his sleep, alone, without a family because as I later found out didn't have one." Alone, he died alone, no one mourned him, no flowers were ever placed in his grave.

Sansa was the only person who cared, the only one who acts like it didn't happen too. She won't go back, he's going to hurt her if she does. This is his revenge.

"Breathe." Brienne is there to guide her through this. "Come back, it's gone. It can hurt you anymore, only if you allow it."

"It hurts so bad! But I don't want it to stop, not when I deserve it."

"You don't, Sansa. You didn't ask for it, you didn't have a choice, and you certainly didn't deserve it. There's only a handful of things we are in control of, and believe me, death isn't one of them." Another playbook sentence.

This one Sansa knows too well.

"I would, believe in you I mean if it was true."

"Why shouldn't it be?"

"I'm a terrible person. I was born to be alone," Brienne just shakes her head in disapproval. "everyone that gets close ends up hurt. You can ask them, the ones that are still alive of course."

They'll all say the same thing. She's a loveless monster. It's a curse, to love but not be worthy of love.

"That's why these sessions won't ever work. Like I've said, I'm broken beyond repair. Not even Brienne Tarth, one of the most repute therapist in Westeros can fix this mess, so don't even try."

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