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The Best Part of Waking Up

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The entire six months he spent up in Alaska, he dreamed of home. Of drizzle and fog and blackberries in the summer, watery sunlight flaring to brilliance between bouts of cloud cover as it winkled on the surface of the Puget Sound. Now that he’s back in Seattle, however, Jon dreams of snowfall and the crunching sound it made underfoot, the slip of ice on deck and the smell of fish and the taste of bitter salt. He squeezes his hands reflexively in his sleep and can almost feel the bite of rope through thick gloves. There is a sudden jolt and he opens his tired eyes, blinking sightlessly through the backseat window before he realizes he’s arrived.

“I was wondering if you’d wake up,” the Uber driver says with a friendly smile passed through the rearview mirror before he pops the trunk and gets out with Jon. “You’ve been out since I got onto the interstate.”

Half a year of hard labor will do that to a man, even in his twenties, but Jon just smiles sheepishly and nods as together they pull out his two huge duffel bags.

“Merry Christmas, man,” the driver says as he slams shut the trunk door and walks backwards to the open driver’s side door. “Hope it’s a good one.”

Jon does too. He hasn’t seen a single Stark save for Robb in over a year and doesn’t, quite frankly, know what kind of reception to expect. “You too, man. Drive safe, it looks like it’s going to snow.”

He watches the car slide off down the suburban road before he reaches down, hefts his bags and turns to face the Stark house up on top of a frost-dusted sloping lawn. An excited sort of anxiety fights its way through his fatigue, acts like a sort of caffeine in his bloodstream so that by the time he makes his way up the walkway steps to the front porch, his eyes are bright and his blood is pumping. This is the home he basically grew up in, the mismatched sixth amongst five siblings he considers his own blood. Inside is the family he’s known all his life and better than his own. Jon Snow, the Starks’ latch key kid, he thinks with a suddenly giddy grin as he reaches out to ring the doorbell.

“Shit,” he says as he realizes how early it is, and instead of the bell, he goes for the doorknocker instead.

Taptaptap, light as he can while still trying to actually alert someone’s attention. Maybe Bran has been up all night playing video games, or Ned woke up early like he usually does despite being on vacation. Taptaptap, a little louder, because it’s cold this morning, still dark as it is, and because he was right, it is starting to snow. Tiny pin-prick flakes, white like stars, and he’s about to knock again when the door cracks and then flings open.

“Merry Christmas!”

She’s in soft pale pink pajamas with a lacey something peeking out from her partially unbuttoned top, cheeks flushed and eyes a snapping, vivid blue. There’s a bizarre sort of headband on top of her head, with a cluster of leaves and berries bobbing from a spring, reminding him of the people from Whoville in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.  He blinks once, twice at this woman, and if it weren’t for that fall of auburn over one shoulder he’d have no idea who this is. It can only be—

“Sansa? I thought I had the wrong house for a minute,” he says finally, watching how her smile turns to a beam.

“I haven’t seen you since before I left for college, that’s probably why,” and he realizes that it’s true. How long has it been, four years? Five? He wonders how old she is now. “Come on in, it’s freezing outside,” she says, leaning out of the doorway to grab him by his jacket and tug him in.

“No way,” he says when they’re both standing inside and she tries pulling one of his bags off his shoulders. “It’s heavy, and if I remember anything it’s that you like to peek at Christmas gifts.”

Sansa huffs. “That was Arya. I happen to like surprises,” she says, and then she gives him an odd little smile, something that seems off until he realizes it’s coquettish and womanly, that it makes her look, well, grown up. “I don’t mind waiting for the good stuff.”

Jon frowns, shrugging out from under the weight of one duffel bag and then the other, setting them carefully down in the foyer by the stairs. But when he looks back up at her she’s her usual perky, china doll self, girlish with enthusiasm.

“You want some coffee? I was just about to make a big pot,” she says, and she heads down the hall with a whip of hair over her shoulder and the bobble of that ridiculous thing on her head, with the sway of hips he never realized she had.

What was wrong with him? She’s like your sister, idiot.

“I would kill for some coffee,” he says with a relieved sigh. He’s been living off of instant for two months, and the crap he had in the airport tasted like pennies.

Jon takes off his thick coat and hangs it up in the hall closet before he follows her towards the fancy kitchen Ned affectionately refers to as the dragon’s lair, Cat loves it so much. Nothing much has changed. There is still schoolwork stuck to the fridge with magnets, though this time they’re marked with SEE ME AFTER CLASS and C- instead of Sansa and Robb’s As and Bs. Rickon certainly hasn’t changed then, he thinks. Jon watches Sansa turn on the coffee pot and reach up for two mugs, how even in thick pajamas it looks somewhat like a dance, all long limbs and graceful lines. Before he can help himself he thinks But someone else certainly has.

“So why are you up so early? It’s barely seven in the morning,” he says as he follows her inside the blessedly warm house.

“I was Skyping with Jeyne,” she says with a smile, coming to lean against the counter beside him, her shoulder brushing his. Sansa looks sidelong at him, half shy, half warm, and all mystifying to Jon this early in the morning. “She’s dating this guy who lives in London and is there for the holidays. Early morning for me was the best time for her.”

“I suppose that’s the reason for this, then,” he says, lifting his gaze from hers to the headband, and he flicks the cluster of leaves, making it bob violently back and forth.

“Oh my gosh, I completely forgot about that,” she says, flushing a pretty shade of pink and peach as she yanks the thing off her head and tosses it on the counter behind and between them. “And um, yes, it was. Ha, ha. Jeyne sent to me, and I sent her antlers, so we were wearing them during our Skype. Oh my gosh, I am so embarrassed,” she says with a tinkling laugh as she buries her head in her hands.

Jon can’t help but grin, watching her, even when she looks up from her hands and catches him. He swallows as she slow-blinks at him, her fingers sliding down her face, tugging on her lower lip before they drop away like fallen snow. The room gets hot, even more so now with the smell of brewing coffee permeating the air. She’s always been pretty, but when the hell did she get so—Don’t finish that thought, he thinks. Hastily he clears his throat.

“Hey, I got you something too, you know,” he says suddenly, pushing off the counter and turning away from her, away from auburn and the slightest spattering of freckles, like sprinkles on white frosting, sweet as candy. “From far, far away,” he says as if it’s exotic, as if it’s not just a simple handmade blanket he bought up in Juneau.

He knew how she’d love to curl up in the bay window seat and read romance novels in high school and figured it would be perfect for her to bundle up in. Suddenly he wonders why he remembered that, and he’s fighting a blush of his own as he walks back to the foyer to retrieve the gift.

 ***

“I smell coffee,” Arya muffles into her pillow, belly down as she is next to Gendry and under the goose down comforter.

It feels murderously early, and she’s about to shouta string of obscenities aimed at her sister for Skyping so goddamn early in the morning on Christmas day, but then she remembers who is supposed to arrive today. She gasps and lifts her head off the pillow, pushing a tangled mess of her hair up off her forehead.

“You gotta get out of here and get back to the guest room,” she breathes, elbowing Gendry in the ribs. “Jon’s here.”

“Ow. Dammit woman,” he grumbles, yawning and smacking his lips before he opens his eyes. Gendry turns his head to look at her. “Should I be jealous?”

Arya rolls her eyes. “Jealous? I’m not kicking you out of bed to let Jon in here, I just know everyone is going to be up soon, and if my folks see you wander out of my room, well. World War III, stud.”

They pull themselves together bit by bit, and she laughs at the way his hair sticks up in the back until he points out hers is doing the same thing.

“Seriously though, jealous?” she whispers as she walks him across the hall. “Jon’s like our brother, dude. Gross.”

 ***

“What is it, what is it, what is it,” Sansa says with an excited wiggle from her perch on the counter once Jon returns and sets the soft, wrapped bundle on the counter by her hip.

“I thought you said you liked waiting for the good stuff,” he says, crossing the kitchen towards the coffee pot, pouring them each a mug. Memory serves him correctly as he doctors hers with sugar and cream, because she smiles and nods when he hands it to her.

“I already waited, Jon,” she says, mouth pursed like a kiss as she blows on the surface of her coffee.

He pauses when her eyes flick up to his, feels rooted to the spot here in front of her knees and crossed ankles and bare feet. A bizarre urge, wild and unbidden, comes creep-crawling in, and he sips his coffee to fight the desire to cup his hand around her foot and find out if it’s warm or cold.

“Okay, well, go on, Sansa, open your present,” he says after he swallows, heat flooding him from the rich flavor, and from something else, maybe. Maybe.

“Hmm,” she says, setting her mug down between her and the gift, and then she bites her lip. Sansa plucks the shiny foil bow from the present, and it is so cheap that the crappy adhesive doesn’t even rip the wrapping paper. She leans over and presses the bow to his chest, her fingertips a drift down his sweater before she straightens. “You’re my present this year.”

Her hand curls around the counter’s edge as she sits in front of him, and the silence is thick like honey between them, coffee scented and just as warm. He thinks of buttered toast and sleeping in late as he regards her, all wrapped in fleece like a present herself, all high cheekbones and pops of merry color. She tips her head to the side as she looks right back at him, tucks a loose lock of hair behind her ear, lets her gaze drop to his mouth, and suddenly he realizes.  

“I uh, huh,” he says, looking down until he realizes he’s looking down, and then his gaze flicks left and right to try and find something to distract him. “So hey, what is this even supposed to be,” he says, leaning into her to reach her headband, and he almost winces when he hears her inhale sharply at the nearness of him. Shit shit shit.

Sansa exhales, slow and languid like it’s a balmy summer evening and not a freezing winter morning. “Oh that,” she says, plucking the headband from his grasp, her fingers touching his. “What do you think it is?” she says, sliding the headband back into place.

Another realization.

“Mistletoe,” he murmurs, and he feels his pulse quicken, heady and confused, ignorance and knowledge a perfect mix, a Christmas blend.

“Mistletoe,” she affirms with a slow nod, sliding off of the counter just as he takes a helpless step forward.

What are you doing, what are you doing, what are you doing chases itself around and around in his head.

“I could be your present this year, too, Jon,” she whispers, tapping the bow on his chest with a finger. “Like a Secret Santa, sort of.”

Oh Christ. She is gorgeous and practically pressed up against him, she is like his sister but suddenly all those memories are slipping away to be replaced with this- this woman. How old is she again? 22? 23? Less like his little sister now, more her own creature to stand apart, undefined by his relation to her or lack thereof. We were never even friends, not really.

“Sansa,” he says, lifting a hand to tug on that sheaf of hair she had tucked behind her ear. It pulls the headband forward, makes the mistletoe sway. “What are we doing here, huh,” he murmurs.

“Making coffee,” she breathes, tipping her head back as he takes one more step towards her, and her mouth parts, and he realizes that’s for him, and he wonders what she’ll taste like, thinking of the sprinkle of sugar and the drizzle of cream. Oh God, what am I doing, he thinks as he inclines his head and closes his eyes.

“Jon!”

It’s a thunderclap, a jolt to hear his name shouted from behind him, and he drops the lock of auburn as he turns around in time to get the wind nearly knocked out of him as Arya, wearing a hoodie and plaid flannel pants, hurls herself in his arms.

“Arya, hey,” he wheezes, heart still pounding in his chest as he hugs her back.

“You came!” she says happily when he finally sets her down, and he can’t help but laugh.

“Yeah, just about,” he says, glancing over at Sansa where she’s still high blush and wide eyes, and he’s almost sorry now to see her drag the headband off her head and set it back down on the counter. Whatever the hell that was, he’s more than a little curious now.  

“What?” Arya says with a frown of confusion as she looks between them both. “What’s the matter with you two?”

“Nothing,” Sansa says breezily as she brushes past Jon, the knuckles of her hand a graze against the back of his thigh, and it feels deliciously, wickedly naughty and somehow, somehow, perfectly right. “I made coffee, Arya. Want some?”

Chapter Text

Sansa:  So I know you're probably asleep but I think that mistletoe headband may be my good luck charm

Jeyne:  Oh yeah? How so?  

Sansa:  You're up! Jeez it's like 1am

Jeyne:  Beric <3

Sansa:  ANYWAYS

Jeyne:  Hahaha! Okay so tell me your news

Sansa:  Remember who we were talking about when we skyped this morning?

Jeyne:  How could I forget? Jon was all you gushed about for like ten minutes

“Damn, Sansa, you type fast.”

Sansa gasps, closes out of Whatsapp and spins around with her phone pressed to her chest, just in time to catch the smooth way a sly grin slides its way across Jon’s mouth as he regards her with his arms crossed over his chest.

“Fastest fingers in the west,” she says with a breathless wisp of laughter, and those fast fingers tremble when she waggles them in the air with something that tries to be flirty  but dances closer to spastic.

“Not too fast, I hope,” Jon says, and she’d be floored at his uncharacteristically gutsy implication – It has to be an implication, right? Like that’s flirting, right? – if it weren’t for the pink flush that creeps into his cheeks above the dark of his scruff.

Ah, she thinks with a thrill of victory. He’s nervous. And that makes her look at him with a huge nerdy grin on her face.

They’re standing in the kitchen, which is blessedly quiet and calm after the frantic hustle and bustle of getting Christmas dinner out to the dining room, where their mother and father are shouting for various children and family members to get their butts to the table. It’s the first time they’ve had a chance to be alone since this morning when Sansa was convinced he was going to kiss her. I could be your present this year, too, Jon, she’d said, her heart pounding like a jackhammer on Red Bull as she worried it had been too much, but then he’d grasped a lock of her hair, stepped closer and closed his eyes.

But his eyes aren’t closed now. They’re open and gazing right at her, a lovely tingling mixture of serious and mischievous, a rare shimmery sparkle added to the iron grey. And the look he’s giving her, with his sleeves pushed up to his elbow, with the messy tousle of his hair and the smirk that downturns just the one corner of his mouth, oh. It’s nearly enough to make her knees buckle. Sansa realizes she’s not breathing and takes a sudden suck of breath like she’s been underwater her entire life.

Jon frowns.

“You okay?”

One of those delicious steps towards her.

“Rickon!” her mother shouts from the dining room. Both of them jump and glance towards the dining room entryway behind Jon. And then she’s staring at the twist of his torso, the shape of his shoulders, the way he slowly returns his gaze to her. “Get off the dang phone and get down here!”

The pouring of water from Cat’s prized Tiffany crystal pitcher, the clinking of tableware as her father fills everyone’s glasses.

“I’m not on the stupid phone, okay?!” her youngest brother shouts from upstairs, or rather, the stairs themselves, judging by the sudden sound of feet pounding down them.

They grin again at each other, Jon shrugging while Sansa rolls her eyes.

“So who were you texting a minute ago, with those nimble fingers of yours?” Jon murmurs, stepping towards her again, and his arms unfold from across his chest, and his hands tuck into the front pockets of his jeans, tugging the waistband an inch or so down.

If it weren’t for that damned sweater he’s wearing, she thinks. And now she’s thinking of him shirtless. Good lord, it’s hot in here. Sansa just barely resists the urge to fan her face.

“Was it a boyfriend?”

Another step.

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” she says quickly, and then she winces because it comes off as desperate. She wants sultry and smoky like the women from black and white classics she used to watch with her mother.

“No? Well,” Jon says slowly, looking down at the tile floor, “what about a Secret Santa? You have one of those?”

Sansa’s heart leaps like a rabbit, leap-leap-leap, and she bites her lip and shakes her head when he finally lifts his eyes to hers, and she grins like a fool when she sees the slow way that makes him smile. Jon takes his time but eventually he’s standing toe to toe with her, hands in his pockets though she wants them on her, and she’s glad she’s all dressed up for dinner in a cream silk blouse and the black denim capris that make her ass look amazing. Touch me, she thinks.

“I don’t have one yet,” she says instead. “What about you?”

“I got an offer this morning that I uh, I think I’m dying to accept.”

“Well, then,” she whispers, and that’s when he slides his hands out of his pockets, and that’s when Sansa lets go of that breath, a low and slow tendril like the furl of smoke.

And then—

“Sansa!” Cat calls out as she briskly steps into the kitchen, pulling an oven mitt off her hand so she can toss it amongst the dirty dishes on the countertop.

Jon instantly takes a step back while Sansa gasps and drops her phone, making her mother look over where they’re standing in the far corner of the kitchen near the pantry door. Jon squats down and picks up her phone.

 “Oh! There you are,” her mother says, the militant tone of her voice turning bright and cheerful like tangerine and honey. “Come sit down, you two, you’re the last ones I needed to round up.”

“Sure, yeah, okay,” Sansa says to her mother’s back as Catelyn heads back into the dining room.

She stands there breathing like she’s just had a workout, closes her eyes briefly to calm herself down before sitting in front of her parents in a state she can only describe as seriously aroused. But that’s when she feels Jon’s hand on her bare ankle.

It’s the lightest touch but is all electricity, and when she inhales a shaky breath and looks down at him, she sees it’s the back of his index finger that’s touching her, the slow drag of a single knuckle that is apparently going to be her downfall, considering how acutely she’s aching for him right now. He rolls his wrist and turns his hand once he hits the cuff of her jeans, does so in such a way that now he’s loosely grasping the back of her leg, his palm a light scuff of callouses she wants to kiss and to lick.

“Jon,” she murmurs.

“Sansa!! Goddammit, the stuffing is getting cold, and mom won’t let us eat until you and Jon get your asses to the table!” Arya shouts.

“Arya,” sighs their father. “Please don’t swear at the- no, you know what? I don’t even care. It’s Christmas. Knock your socks off.”

“Does that mean I can too?” Rickon says.

“No,” their mother and father say with unison.

“Stop sexting guys from school and get in here!” Robb hollers.

Jon snorts a soft laugh.

“You know what, you’re lucky you’re an only child,” Sansa says with a whimpering groan.

He still has his hand around her ankle though the drifting roam of the touch has stopped. Finally he sighs, chuckles, gives her leg a brief warm squeeze before he stands.

“Most of the time I’d disagree with you about that,” he says at her side, taking her hand and upturning it to place her phone in it, here on her palm where she’d rather have the feel of hi instead, but still, in a way they’re still holding hands. “But right now, I think I have to agree with you.”

 

There you are,” Margaery says with a gust of laughter, all rich relish and just the way Robb likes it, and she steps into the guest bathroom where he’s been standing with his shirt off for ten minutes now.

The manly man in him forces himself to stop shivering now that his fiancée is here.

“It’s about damned time you found me,” he says, pushing off the bathroom counter once she’s pulled her soft stretchy dress up and over her head. “I figured this room would be a dead giveaway.”

She squeals when he puts his cold hands on her waist.

“To be honest, it’s the last place I would have guessed,” she says with a gasp and the swatting away of his hands, though she simply squeals again and holds onto him when he grips her by the hips, turns her and hefts her up onto the counter.

“Why? This is where we usually do it,” he says against the skin of her shoulder as he kisses his way around her. “It’s the most neglected room in the house.”

“I just figured Jon and Sansa would have holed up in here.” High gasp in the back of her throat, the arch of her spine, her fingers in his hair. All lovely things he adores, but then her words sink into his lust-addled brain.

Robb freezes with his open mouth above her breast.

“What do you mean, like, holed up in here like this?”

“Didn’t you see them at dinner? I haven’t experienced so much sexual tension since the first time I met you.

Part of him wants to be flattered and say Aw, baby, that’s so sweet, but the other part of him is still digesting this new information. All he saw at dinner was Rickon text Lyanna with the phone he had under the napkin on his lap, was Gendry and Arya play thumb war for the last helping of mashed potatoes, was Bran talk to Benjen and Sansa smile at Jon while – Hmm –  while Jon smiled back. In the way Jon smiles at the girls they chat up in bars. In the way he smiled at Ygritte, at Val, back in the good old days before both relationships soured.

Robb frowns and lifts his head.

“But Jon’s like a brother to me.”

“Yeah, but I don’t think he’s like a brother to Sansa,” Margaery says with a laugh before she squeezes her hands into fists in his hair and tugs him back to her chest. “Now hurry up, baby. I still want a chance to win Cranium, and you haven’t even gotten started yet.”

 

When she wakes up it’s in the middle of the night in the middle of her childhood bed, and it’s in the middle of a dream that’s an awful lot like the miserable evening she just had.

Well, not miserable. Agonizing, in both the good way and the bad.

Good, because she and Jon were last to the table and therefore sat side by side. Good, because twice he reached out under the tablecloth to squeeze her knee. Good, because she kicked off her high heel and slid her foot over to hook her ankle around his. Good, because he scooted his foot closer to her so it wasn’t such an uncomfortable stretch.

Agonizing because then everyone wanted to play Cranium in the living room around the glass top coffee table which provided exactly zero footsie protection from prying eyes. Agonizing because Arya plopped down next to Sansa and Gendry sat down on her other side so she couldn’t even curl up next to Jon and blame the closeness on expensive red wine. Agonizing because of how kindling-hot Jon’s eyes were, whenever his gaze met hers, which was often enough to make Sansa squirm, often enough to make her lose the game, miserably.

Agonizing, because for one reason or another, they couldn’t get any time alone together.

Good now though, because in her dream the evening ended much better – warmer, sweatier, stickier – than it did in reality: A lame wave goodnight to Jon before Sansa drifted off upstairs, discouraged by Arya and Gendry deciding they’d like to marathon Skins even though Jon’s makeshift bed was the sofa right behind them. In reality, Jon had frowned and shrugged behind their backs as Sansa sighed and turned to climb the stairs.

In her dreams, though. In her dreams, oh.

But she’s awake now, and she’s wondering why until the bedsprings creak behind her.

“Sansa?”

“Jon!” she whispers breathlessly, incredulously, delightfully, and she immediately turns onto her back and sits up, blinking owlishly in the darkness of her room.

She has the pale, wan, winter moon to thank for the spray of light coming in through her window, and it speckles Jon’s face and shoulders, here where he sits on the very edge of her bed, eyes shadowed by the late hour and the blue-black of her old bedroom.

“I didn’t scare you, did I?”

“No, not at all,” she whispers, scooting to the far edge of her bed to make room for him, to hope he takes the hint, but in case he doesn’t, and because the entire damn night was full of almosts, Sansa takes a breath. “Do you want to get under the covers? It’s kind of cold.”

Even that sickle moon seems to smile along with Sansa, because the entire room seems to brighten when Jon says, “I gotta be honest, I crept my desperate ass up here hoping for something like that.”

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Sansa says, two fists to the counterpane as she makes an excited face to the ceiling and sinks back down so her head’s back on her pillow.

He eases in and slides in, a nice sweet Jon letter into an envelope of flannel sheets and goose down, and before she knows it they’re side by side in her double bed, the bed where she dreamed of boy bands and actors before she knew better and started dreaming of more rugged musicians and boys named Jon Snow.

“So, I’m not in love with you,” Jon says.

Startled, stung a little bit because come on, the conversation leading up to the wild night of her dreams is supposed to start with something a little more seductive, Sansa tosses her head against the pillow like she’s a prized Arabian and glances at him.

“Gee, thanks. Next you’re going to rub it in my face that I lost at Cranium.”

“No. San, no,” Jon says, and the bed moves and she looks at him in time to see him twisting on his side so he can face her. “I just meant, you know, I um, I’m not falling in love with you, but this entire goddamn night, I haven’t been able to keep you out of my mind. Just like the past when I uh, when I haven’t been able to think clearly. About girls.”

“You’re talking about other girls right now?” Sansa asks, alhalf grin, half panic, trying to play it cute, trying to play it cool, trying not to play it all oh my god-oh my god-oh my god. He’s in my bed, she thinks. And he’s thinking about other girls?

“No,” Jon chuckles, and that’s when he turns from his back onto his side so they’re facing each other. “I’m thinking about one girl I know. One girl I haven’t really seen, not until tonight.”

“Oh yeah?” Sansa asks, and hey, it’s not that big a deal, to wriggle a little closer towards him.

It’s cold, after all.

It’s Jon, after all.

“Yeah,” he says, and then there’s another one of his sighs, and the soft resting of his hand on her cheek, the slow push of his fingers into her hair behind her ear, as they look at each other in the dead of night under the thin wash of winter moonlight.

“And who might that girl be?” Sansa whispers after another wriggle towards him brings their bodies flush together, a sweatshirt and a flannel nightie, the world’s worst sexy ensemble that still somehow still makes her heart race and her thighs squeeze themselves together.

Jon chuckles, low and rolling here where it’s dark, where it’s warm, where his hands are starting to do exactly what Sansa’s been dreaming about. And then a thumb to her lower lip, the flex of muscle that pulls her into him, brings her mouth to his.

That kiss.

That kiss.

The lick of his tongue and the rub of his beard, the way his hand slides from her cheek to the back of her head and down, where after a tangle of arms it finally finds her ass and squeezes. The way they roll together, the way he sucks in a breath when Sansa nips his neck or sucks his lower lip into her mouth. The way his body feels under his sweatshirt and the smooth of his skin.

All that lovely.

“I’m so tired, but I don’t think I can get to sleep,” she whispers hours later, after they’re exhausted from kissing – so much kissing, her chin will be scuffed red for weeks – and cuddling and talking and making plans.

“I don’t think I’ll ever sleep again,” Jon chuckles behind her where he’s got her wrapped up in a seriously awesome spooning situation. “Not if you’re next to me.”

The rapid fire beating of her heart from earlier that evening – technically yesterday, considering the time – has subsided somewhat since her thirst has been so wonderfully slaked, but at his words it starts to flutter like leaves on an aspen tree, and she smiles in the dark.

“Are you saying this might happen again?”

“I’m saying I’m hoping it does,” he says against her shoulder, here where he’s dragged her nightgown away from her neck so he can kiss her skin whenever he wants. “Hell, I’d beg for another opportunity, especially if it’s not in your parent’s house.”

The idea of Jon on his knees does sound appealing, but she’s basically in the same boat here.

“I’d like that,” she murmurs, and then she grins. “Maybe with enough practice, we’ll figure out how to actually sleep.”

He laughs, a slow roll chuckle that soothes at the same time it rouses, and he cinches her closer to his chest with the flex of the arm he’s got draped over her, kisses her shoulder again before tickling her by resting his chin on top of that kiss. A low steady exhale that makes Sansa close her eyes despite all this talk of never sleeping again.

“In that case, you’d be the best part of waking up.”