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Hysteria

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One Year Later

 

“That was my Mom,” Sansa said as she entered the living room where Jon was holding their daughter, Tess, on his lap and shaking a rattle that Tess was trying valiantly to grab.

“What did the formidable Catelyn Stark have to say?” Jon asked as he looked up at his wife. His wife. A year later and he still couldn’t believe she was his. All his. They shared the same bed every night, ate at the same table every day. His car was next to hers in the driveway. They’d bought all of Tess’s things together, changing Sansa’s office into Tess’s bedroom, and currently they were working on finishing the basement so Sansa could have a home office again.

Jon was still going to go school and he was still working at the coffee shop. He paid his own bills, which pretty much amounted to his car insurance and phone, and then pitched in everywhere else when it came to groceries, diapers and food for Tess, the cable bill – he was determined to help Sansa as much as he could. Over the summer he worked more hours and was able to help out more.

“She wants me to help her with putting out the centerpieces,” Sansa said as she came over and sat down next to him. She caressed the side of Tess’s face, who looked like a mix of both of them with Jon’s inky black curls (no wonder she’d had so much heartburn during her pregnancy), and her blue eyes. Though Sansa knew her daughter might not always have her blue eyes. She rather hoped she kept them though, and she knew Jon did too. Jon had been hoping from the moment it was confirmed that they were having a girl that Tess would have red hair like Sansa.

Benjen had dug out his high school biology book at that point and opened up the chapter on genes. Jon had refused to listen.

Jon frowned as he looked over at his wife. (His wife. Would that ever get old?) “She does realize the party starts in an hour and since it’s our very belated reception and first anniversary, you should be here with me and our daughter getting ready?”

“I will be. It won’t take me long. Besides, it’s understood that we’ll be a little late.”

Jon’s brows lifted and his expression turned hopeful. “Really? How late?”

Sansa laughed. “Forget it. I know exactly what you’re thinking. We don’t have enough time for that.”

“Come on. You have to change, I have to change… we get undressed together and we’re already halfway there.”

She laughed again. “Tonight. After little one is asleep.”

Jon sighed. “All right.”

She leaned over and kissed her daughter on the cheek and then got up. “I’ll be back.”

“Uh…San?”

She looked down at him. “Yeah?”

“You forget something?”

She smiled and leaned down to kiss him. He attempted to deepen it, and Sansa broke away, laughing.

He smirked. “I love you, Mrs. Snow.”

“I love you, Mr. Snow,” she sing-songed, and after grabbing her purse near the door, she was off.

Smiling, Jon got up to change his daughter and carried her against his chest into her room. He laid her down on the changing table and proceeded to undo her onesie. “Do you have any idea how much I love you, little one?” he cooed at his daughter who gurgled at him.

He smiled and quickly cleaned her up and changed her diaper. After dumping her wet diaper in the diaper genie, he picked his daughter up and held her against his chest. “I fell in love with your Mom as soon as I saw her, little one. Your Mom is easy to love.” Jon carried her into the living room and settled back down on the couch with her.

“It was hard work getting her to admit she loved me, and then getting her to trust that I’d never leave her.” He tickled his daughter’s feet and she kicked her feet and squealed. Jon laughed softly, thinking that he had never really gotten over the high he felt when Sansa had given birth to Tess. He’d been with her the whole time even when she told him to shut up and get the hell out.

He’d been involved in every aspect of Sansa’s pregnancy, even convincing her to take a Lamaze class so he could learn what he had to do as her coach.

“But I would never leave her,” Jon murmured. “Or you. The both of you are my entire world.” He sighed. “It wasn’t easy there for a while. Your Grandma Stark was difficult. Your Grandma Snow had her moments. And your big brother Benjen wasn’t very happy with Daddy.”

Tess giggled and Jon smiled. He and Benjen were in a better place now, though they had never quite got their friendship back. Now, Benjen enjoyed teasing him because his mother was dating Robb. The day he and Sansa had gotten married, they’d gone out to dinner with everyone to celebrate and Jon had caught Robb kissing his mother outside the restaurant.

He had been shocked by it, and worried – Jeyne and Robb hadn’t worked out after all, and Sansa had told him once that her brother had commitment issues. His mother had told him he had no room to talk about anything she did considering all he’d done, and Jon backed off after just telling her to be careful.

It turned out that Robb and Jeyne just hadn’t been meant to be. A year later and Robb and his Mom were still dating and she was the happiest Jon had ever seen her. Jeyne, for her part, was dating some nice doctor that Jon found boring, but Jeyne gushed over.

But still, Jon didn’t want to think too much about confusing family dynamics if Robb and his mother got married…

“Benjen loves you though,” Jon told his daughter. He sighed, thinking of how hard things had been there for a while for Benjen – for all of them – when he and Sansa had gone public. And then, of course, with Joffrey.

“Daddy would do anything to protect you, to protect your mother, and to protect Benjen. Mommy doesn’t even know what I’ve done to protect her…”

It hadn’t been that hard to kill Joffrey. He’d planned every step carefully and executed the murder without any snags. He’d even managed to convince Ygritte and Val that he’d been at that party the whole time when he hadn’t been. He’d been there at the beginning and when everyone had been good and drunk, he’d left. When making them his alibis, he’d made sure to “remind” them that he’d been there the whole time.

“I am sorry it hurt Benjen,” Jon murmured to Tess, who now gripped his thumb and attempted to suck on it. “But I did what I had to do to protect him and your mother. There was no way he was going to get away with hurting them like that.”

Truth was, he’d started plotting Joffrey’s murder after Joffrey had choked Sansa. When he’d hit Benjen, that had sealed the prick’s fate.

Benjen was doing better now anyway despite the fact that no one had ever been convicted for his father's murder. He was getting good grades in school, he was dating, and he was hoping to live with some friends on campus the next semester.

Jon heard the sound of a car door close and he grinned. “Mommy’s home. That means you are going to go in your swing for a bit, little girl.”

He got up and crossed the room to where Tess’s swing was and was just finishing buckling her up and getting the swing cranked when Sansa came in. She smiled. “See? Didn’t take long.”

Jon reached out and snagged a belt loop on her jeans and dragged her to him. He wrapped her up in his arms and kissed her soundly. “We have plenty of time,” he murmured.

She laughed softly. “Yeah…I suppose we do after all.”

Scooping her up in his arms, Jon carried her to their bedroom, intent on starting the festivities that night by making love to his wife.