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Title: As Good a Place as Any
Fandom: Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire
Wordcount: 768
Prompt: Jon/+Sansa (can be shippy or platonic), it's as good a place to fall as any, we can build our altar here..., for December Meme of Doom
For: [livejournal.com profile] midnightblack07
Spoilers: A Dance with Dragons
Summary: Future!fic. Sansa visits her King once every few years.
A/N: I'm terribly sorry for the delay with your Downton Abbey prompt :(. It's proving more difficult than I thought it might be. I'll try to catch up as soon as possible! But the GoT fic is here, and I hope you'll enjoy it. Winter is coming! Happy December, my dear :).

Huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] idrilka for beta-reading.


As Good a Place as Any

Jon never comes to Winterfell.

He probably wishes he could, but that's not possible, not for many years: the journey is long and terrible, and even if he ignored all the dangers, there is no way he could leave King's Landing for two or three months. It's always her who visits him instead, and he doesn't even have the luxury of meeting her half-way (“I am your Warden of the North now,” she wants to tell him when he apologizes for the first time. “You shouldn't single me out.”). Sansa always enters the castle on her own; she holds her head high and smiles gracefully. There is something wolfish in her steps that leaves everybody mesmerized.

“I know you hate being here,” says Jon after the ceremony is over.

“Do I?”

“It must bring out all sorts of memories.”

“It's just a place, Your Grace. It doesn't bring out anything.”

(“The Tower of Hand is not here anymore, Jon, and I remember it all the same.”)

***

Sansa visits her King once every few years; Jon is not Robert, he likes to be well-informed, and ravens can only carry so much. Winterfell is peaceful enough, but there are other matters of state he wants to discuss with his sister, even though his Hand doesn't really like this idea. Sansa knows it all to well, and sometimes she wonders if Jon remembers the last time he kept ignoring his own council for too long.

“You shouldn't trust me, you know,” she tells him once. “You don't know me any more.”

“Who do you suggest I trust instead?”

It makes her laugh, and for a split second Jon looks at her as if her smile was his reward, but they don't take it any further. They have work to do.

***

Ghost likes her; he puts his head on Sansa's lap just like Lady used to, and he demands her undivided attention. The guards look at them in awe when Sansa sits on a cushion and slowly pets the wolf's enormous head; nobody dares to come any closer.

“He never does that,” says Jon when he sees them for the first time. “Not even with me.”

“I know.”

When Jon reaches to scratch Ghost's ears, the direwolf snarls at him angrily, and it gives Sansa chills she can't explain. She doesn't understand this bond between the wolf and the master; long ago she had to learn not to believe in guardians. Or at least not in her own guardians.

“He hates it here,” explains Jon lightly. “He's been snapping at me ever since we came to King's Landing.”

“He must have gotten used to freedom,” she offers kindly, but Jon shakes his head.

“Direwolves aren't meant to live this far south. We should've learned that by now.”

“I wouldn't know.”

(“When Robb went south, Grey Wind got so violent he had to be kept away from Robb's own men, did you know that, Jon?”)

“Do you ever think of Lady?”

“Hardly, Your Grace. I can barely remember her.”

***

Goodbyes are always terrible, but nothing Sansa can't handle. She's grown to like Jon; she feels almost at ease in his company, and it's exhausting for her. The urge to speak to him openly is unbearable, and yet she manages to resist it every single time. Sansa Stark is not one to forget her lessons. Sansa Stark never forgets anything.

“You know, sometimes I wish I could wed you and keep you here. I could use an ally like you,” says Jon when they're parting for the fourth time.

“It can't be done, Your Grace.”

“I know. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell.”

(“You know nothing, Jon Targaryen.”)

Sometimes she lets herself dream that she really does it; that she weds Jon and leaves everything behind to start anew. She never loved Winterfell that much, and King's Landing is as good a place as any to build a new life. It would be enough for her to make one small step, and she could have everything she dreamt of as a little girl. She could have a friend by her side, good, honest and faithful, and that very thought scares her to death.

“Goodbye, sister.”

“I am not your sister, Your Grace,” she reminds him if she can't hold her tongue.

“Yes, you are. I might not be you brother, but you are the only sister I have left.”

Well, that's fair enough for her.
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