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The little Bird and her Hound

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The Hound had seen many things in his days, but the obsidian halls of Dragonstone Castle was an ominous thing you'd never get used to. Though another entirely was the silver haired queen and her ‘babies’ flying around above said castle, he though with a discontent snort. 

 

Taken his particular ‘dislike’ for fire in consideration, the first time Sandor would ever see; not one, but three of these full grown dragons, would of cause be when they came flying in over his head in full on battle-mode. 

 

Fair enough, the mythical beasts did contain their fire breathing against the White walker alone, though Sandor still felt an acute need to jump into the freezing lake the moment he saw those enormous pyres of fire started to lit up all around them. 

 

Wasn’t this just his sort of luck? First, to band up with those damn fire worshippers and now to team up with a bloody dragon queen. He even got the ‘privilege’ some might say, to ride along side his companions on the mighty beast. Unless he’d fancied being left behind with the entire horde of those blue eyed demons. So on the dragon back he went, quickly choosing the seemingly more friendly evil of the two and fly away with his life intact. 

 

Now all that he had to content with was the the fear of falling to his imminent death, especially after witnessing one of his traveling companions nearly slide off the dragons back. Of cause there was also the very real fear (according to his mind at least) that their ride suddenly started to be’ feeling a bit peckish. 

 

Who knew if those overgrown lizards suddenly turned around mid-flight and tried to munch on one of them? Could the silver queen even stop beast on its lunch break? And more importantly, would she even want to? Knowing that cunt Cersei for years, queens didn’t care about the collateral damage of the commoners. So yeah, there was fear alright. 

 

However they made it safely to the wall and went by boat all the way to King’s Landing. That meeting could have gone better... could have gone a whole lot worse too, Sandor reasoned, but Cersei’s promises rubbed him the wrong way. He had worked with that bitch for more than 10 years and with her, Sandor didn't even need his normal ability to sniff out a lie... because she ALWAYS fucking lied. 

 

On their way back to Dragonstone to gather supplies for the journey north, The Hound tried to talk with the Imp, tried to mention in his own very political polite way that his sister was a lying cunt and we shouldn’t trust a word she said. Tyrion, the fool, had brushed him off, telling him not to worry. Sandor snorted, of cause he bloody well worried. Cersei might be without an army now but that didn’t make her any less of a threat. 

 

But then again, what did he had to be afraid of? With the army of the dead approaching and Sandor having nothing to return to, he would face a glorious warriors death against the White Walkers. Fear itself thought, was not in his vocabulary anymore, seeing as fire was his only true fear. Now that he had flown on a fire breathing dragon, nothing should be able to scare him anymore.

 

When they summoned to the meeting, the pup Jon talked about their plans. Sandor Clegane disliked most people, but Jon was straight forward, didn’t lie and didn’t seek fame and fortune like those perfumes, pompous knights did. The lad was a pretty boy, ay, but he was true to his word and his cause. Sandor could respect that.

 

He talked about their journey by boat to White Harbor, then the journey up to Winterfell and to stand ground there. The entirety of the north had gathered troops there. It all sounded good, great even, until he heard the words: “...at Winterfell, where my sister, Lady Sansa...” After that it all turned to white noise, his blood thundered in his ears and he was only vaguely aware of someone was still talking. Sansa, her name fluttered in his cold heart like a little bird. He had been sure she was gone from this world.

 

The room felt like it was tilting sideways with him, before there suddenly came a loud cheering from everyone in the throne room, causing him to break out of his mild panic attack. The hound turned, grumbling and quickly retreated to the room assigned to him. They would sail again within days when the ships had stocked op on supplies for the days long journey at sea and the road further inland to Winterfell. Right now, he needed time alone with his thoughts. 

 

-

 

Sitting on the bed, he could feel his heart thundered in his chest, threatening to give in. His little bird, he thought with a groan. He hadn’t seen her in years. Her beautiful blue eyes and fiery hair. The way she would look at him as a challenge, only to loose her nerve and meekly look away. He hung his head at his last memory of her. His little bird frightened by the battle outside, he had ached to just grab her and throw her over his shoulder and take her with him when she refused his offer to help.

 

Sandor shook his head in defeat. Who was he kidding. He had hoped the little bird would go with him. Not for her freedom but for the sake of choosing him for once. Not a pretty prince, nor a handsome knight like those in her songs and fairytales told her about, but to follow him. To choose him.

 

There was not a moment of his miserable life, where he didn’t want to gut that little cunt Joffrey for the despicable treatment of his little bird. Only, she wasn’t his, even if she infused herself in every waking moment of his day. Of cause it didn’t start off like that at first. First he only felt sorry for this young, naive girl finding herself betrothed to that sadistic little shit. Then somehow, somewhere along the route it changed. Somewhere along the way of protecting her in the discreet ways he could, she became a woman and damn it, if both his cold, blackened heart and his cock didn’t start to notice.

 

As if his job as royal bodyguard wasn’t hard enough with the entire city hating your guts and most of the castle wanting to see him dead too. Then Sandor would have the added torment of watching his little bird being plucked of her feathers by Joffrey. It would have broken his heart, had he had one left. As it were, Sandor was just the King’s dog. An ugly thing not worthy of such exquisite beauty and grace. It was a lost dream from the very beginning, until the day that the Blackwater Bay burned. 

 

His heart had dared to hope. Perhaps he could free his little bird, take her with him and together they would leave this forsaken place. And then she had turned him down. His emotions had boiled over, his cock had ideas of its own on how to make one good memory before he left, even ready to threaten her with his dagger to her throat. His little bird looked up at him, her eyes scared but her voice steady as she chirped ‘you won’t hurt me’.

 

Sandor buried his face in his hands. To see her again after so long. Would she hate him for turning tail. Her only shield against Joffrey, Trant and all the rest of the cunts who sought to make her life a living hell. He knew, had he stayed after his nightly visit to her chambers, that his neck would meet Payne’s sword, just like Sansa’s father. Had he not run from the battle, Sandor might have been able to stay, but the fire had been too much back then, so he had left Kong’s Landing behind along what was left of his heart in a locked chamber, with a scared little bird.

 

Damn him to hell and back. He just realized that when Sandor though he was dying, he had begged Arya to kill him. When that didn’t work, he had tried to provoke her, telling her about that night the Blackwater burned. How he would have wished he had fucked her pretty sister. Fucked her bloody, to at least have one happy memory on this cursed earth. 

 

If the little wolf-girl really was at Winterfell as Brienne had said... if the two girls had talked. Would Arya have told Sansa about his dying words? A threat or a wish of raping Sansa - or if Arya had realized it, below his words laid a dog’s twisted love confession to her pretty sister. Sandor  groaned miserably.. He just found a new thing to be afraid of. Facing the lady of Winterfell, Sansa fucking Stark.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

The two dragons were the first to reach Winterfell. They circled around the keep, roaring terribly and frightened the commoners and the soldiers alike. Arya was the only one who seemed to be excited for the upcoming meeting, Sansa however dreaded the silver queen and her cheep tricks. Something Lord Baelish had told her, stuck with her ‘it is said that the dragon queen is very beautiful’. If this queen really used her looks to get Jon to bend the knee, how would Sansa ever be able to advise Jon now? He hardly listened to her before. With this vixen having him enchanted... Sansa was entirely ready to hate her.

 

-

 

The greeting in the courtyard was as horrible as she expected. The silver queen had the audacity to pretend her title mattered here. Sansa gave her a cold smile and slowly looked her over. First then gave her polite reply. Daenerys’ smile turned to the same polite but strained smile, mirroring Sansa’s. They offered the rooms made ready for the nobles and most important staff of her huge entourage and the rest lodged in the tents they already had set up, made ready by the raven sent by Jon weeks ago. 

 

It was only when the short meeting was finished and people started to greet old friends and new allies alike, that Sansa spotted him, staring right at her. Sandor Clegane, in all his frightening glory. Her sharp intake made Jon turn to her, but Sansa quickly shook her head and excused herself. She quickly walked inside the keep and up to her chambers, finding Arya already waiting for her inside.

 

Closing the door behind her, Arya gave her a serious look. “You have to be careful with the Hound”. Sansa frowned, it had rattled her to see him after so long, especially when Arya in her tales of her years long adventure, had including leaving Sandor for dead. But now he was here. Very much alive and well. She often had thought of the kiss that night. When Sandor promised to keep her safe. She didn’t want to admit to being unladylike, but that kiss had been in her dreams more times than she could count. Though he stole the kiss, Sansa shook her head in dismissal of Arya’s warning. “Sandor Clegane would never hurt me”. 

 

Arya stomped up to Sansa and gripped her arms so much that it hurt. “Ouch, quit it, Arya”. Her sister shook her head and looked pained. “You HAVE to be careful. When I told you how he kidnapped me, then saved me at the wedding where... where they died. I never told you everything about when he died, or when I thought he died”. Arya released her arms and Sansa went to sit on her bed, worrying about what this could be about.

 

Arya took a seat on the bed next to her, looking at Sansa like she was the little one, one to protect and care for. If not for the glum expression on Arya’s face, Sansa might have found it funny. “When he was beaten and Brienne had left looking for me elsewhere” Arya sighed heavily “he told me, he wished that he had fucked you bloody”. Sansa gasped and was horrified “what?! That can’t be. I’m sure you remember it wrongly-“. Arya interrupted her and took her shaking hand in hers. “No, he said ‘I wish I fucked her bloody. At least I would have one happy memory before I died”. 

 

Sansa’s shock morphed into understanding, reliving her memories with Sandor in King’s Landing... His cloak to protect her modesty, his words to keep it after... the night Blackwater Bay burned he promised ... ‘I protect you, no one would ever harm you again or I’ll kill them’... When she refused, he had stolen a kiss and left... It would seem he had wanted more, but he didn’t. He hadn’t hurt her.

 

Sansa looked calmly at Arya, trying to calm her beating heart. “Arya, when you once told me this story, you said that he first had begged for you to kill him as a mercy kill.” Arya nodded and let Sansa continue, “then when that didn’t work, he tried to provoke you into killing him. You wouldn’t, because you were conflicted and choose not to, correct”. Arya, seeing her sister’s calm, slowly let go of her hand and thought back. “Yeah, he was in pain but I couldn’t do it. I left it to the God of Death and walked away.”

 

Sansa quirked a little smile to her sister’s confusion. “Arya, I think what you see as a threat of rape, is his way of unknowingly reveal his true feelings towards me.” Being around rapers, Sansa knew that the Hound may have acted like a dog, but he was a true knight when it came to her. Gallant and protective of her honor.

 

Arya was about to disagree, but Sansa held up a hand and continued calmly. “I know he won’t hurt me because, you see... that night he left King’s Landing, he offered to take me with him. To keep me safe. Back then I wanted to go with him but I was too afraid; too scared of his offer to be just a cruel trick set up by Joffrey. Sandor, he... he might have stolen a kiss from me that night, but he could have taken far more indecent liberties with me back then and he didn’t”. 

 

Arya stood in fury and indignation “he kissed you and ... he is IN LOVE with you?!?” Her face twisted in revulsion. “But, he’s OLD... and UGLY.” Sansa couldn’t help laugh at her sister. Aghast on her behalf like this, despite Arya never been one to discriminate on looks and hated the idea of handsome knights. How they both had changed.

 

Sansa reached for Arya’s hand and gave her a comforting squeeze. “I have been engaged to a pretty prince, married to a handsome looking Bolton and even my captor Lord Balish was somewhat handsome in his own right” causing the last sentence to give Arya a gag reflex and a shiver. Well, she could agree with her sister on that account. Balish had always been a creep, even if it took Sansa long to realize it.

 

Sansa stroke the back of Arya’s hand. “All of them beautiful in their own way and all of them more vicious and cruel than the next”. She could see Arya began to see the point. “Sandor tried to help me all he could as the King’s dog and despite what people though, I counted him as a friend, even if he was so un-gentlemanly to steal a kiss”. Sansa didn’t realized she was smiling when she said it, causing Arya to give her a wondering glance.

 

Sansa looked at her trunk where his king’s guard cloak still laid hidden in. “Truth is, where Sandor’s outer looks might be horrible to behold, his heart is beautiful, despite him acting like a gruff old hound.” Arya stood slowly and looked her over, considering the situation. “You’re sure he won’t hurt you?” Arya asked her. Sansa gave her sister a humorous smirk “yes,  I am sure he will not hurt me... But I am just as sure that you will threaten him with pain of death anyways, just to be certain”. Arya quirked a smile herself and nodded, then left Sansa in her chambers. 

 

 

Arya found the Hound in the forge. He acted the same as always, though she could see a small quirk on his lips, hidden under that scruffy beard of his. His eyes crinkled as he spoke to her, seemingly happy that she was alive after all. After her father died, the closest one to fill those shoes had been Yoren, the man who dragged her out of King’s Landing and saved her life. Later on it had been the Hound, however much Arya loathed it first, he did save her multiple times, even learned her how to kill a man and how to protect herself.

 

When the Hound told her about his older brother burning his face, that’s when it shifted inside Arya. That’s when she knew she couldn’t kill him after all. There was an unbreakable bond forming on their travels and she’d even been sad to think of him dead. 

 

Seeing him now however, being a potential threat to her big sister, Arya felt herself cold and distant. She indulged in a quick talk to Gendry first, Gods, it was good to see him again. But she had business to attend too and went straight off to find the Hound before tracking down Jon as well. 

 

Happy reunions with Jon would have to wait, even with her Stark heart singing in joy at the first sight of her brother in years, but Sansa’s safety had priority. The fancy lady she had turned into could fight with her wits like the best of them, but not when it came to defending herself. After all her sister had endured with Ramsey, Arya would go through the seven hells and back before she let someone like the Hound force himself upon her sister.

 

The Hound was chopping away on a training dummy, dismantling it completely with his skills and brute strength. Noting someone’s eyes on him he looked up and found her staring. Arya nodded towards the keep and walked down an empty hallway, while having an ear on the Hound’s heavy stomps behind her echoing off the stone walls. Arya stoped when she was certain no one would hear and turned around to face the large man.

 

Still Arya had to be careful, she wouldn’t be the reason that Sansa’s honor was besmirch by shouting out that the Hound of all people had kissed the Lady of Winterfell. Arya shivered, Yuck, kissed by the Hound and Sansa even smiled when she said that. They might be adults now but she sure as heck didn’t understand her sister any more than when they were kids. 

 

Sandor smiles as he followed her like an obedient pup. The little wolf-girl had been short with him at him at the forge and now summoned him like a dog to follow him down an empty hallway. He humored her of cause but Sandor didn’t know what the Hells this was about. In truth, Sandor was just so glad to see his little murder-baby safe and sound and all grown up now. He felt a certain level of pride by her, even if they had their differences.

 

Just when he was about to ask what this was all about, Arya turned and pushed him hard where he stood... Not that she managed to move him so much as an inch, but laughing at her was probably not the best response, seeing Arya utterly pissed. Still, Sandor couldn’t help himself. He was bloody happy to see her alive and well, plus teasing her had always been one of his favorite part time hobbies, so he kept on laughing. “What’s that shoving for, wolf-girl? Not dying?” Sandor laughed. 

 

Arya got up in his face, staring on her tippy toes and pointed at his face. “You just watch yourself around my sister”. Arya poked him hard in the chest and he growled back at her treatment. The little wolf-girl should be glad he was so fond of her. Others had their fingers broken for poking him like that, or worse.

 

“Why would I be around the Lady Stark?” He growled. Sandor didn’t know how much the sisters had talked, but he would be damned if his true feelings would implicate the little bird and unwillingly cause her harm. Arya narrowed her eyes and wrinkled her nose in disgust. “I know you kissed her against her will” she hissed at him. “And if I find out you did something like that again-“ 

 

Sandor grabbed her arms and lifted her up to face him directly, shocked and horrified most likely written all over his face for Arya to see. “What in the SEVEN HELLS are you on about!?!” The girl was clearly taken back by his sudden change in attitude, but gave the answer willingly, dangling off the ground like it was nothing at all. Squinting her eyes, Arya simply growled back “she TOLD me you stole a kiss from her that night when you left King’s Landing and-“ Sandor interrupted her with a rough squeeze on her arms, growling “I did no such thing, girl”. 

 

Sandor placed Arya back down on the ground, afraid to harm the girl in his frantic state of mind. His blood rushed in his ears and his body was shaking all over. It made no sense. Why would Sansa lie about something like that? “I didn’t, I KNOW I didn’t” He frantically said, more to himself than for the sister standing with her arms folded and a raised eyebrow. Sandor back and forth, shaking his head. It made absolutely no sense, he was pretty sure he would have remembered something like that! 

 

Abruptly Sandor turned towards Arya “where is she?” The girl looked at him, speculating something but then she willingly led the way through the keep till they stopped in front of an ornate wooden door. Wolf-girl gave him a look again and then promptly knocked on the door while still eyeballed him. Sandor didn’t appropriate her dramatics but nevertheless he waited politely for the door to be answered, feeling his heart racing and his entire body quiver with nervousness.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Arya left Sansa’s bed chamber to go find and threaten Sandor with pain of death, leaving her alone with her thoughts. Sansa pondered what to do when faced with Sandor Clegane again after so many years. Would they be able to talk like they used to? Circumstances had changed, as well as her. She had grown up, become more cold hearted; more realistic about the world. A feat the Hound often tried to teach her in King's Landing. 

 

It would be nice to talk to him again though. Sansa shook her head, it would be near impossible. She was the Lady of Winterfell and he was the grandson of a Kennel-master, his grandfather given a title and a bit of land as a reward for saving Tytos Lannister from a lioness, but nonetheless, in the eyes of most people the Cleganes were still glorified peasants. She could never entertain a courtship with such a man and been seen talking to him alone might be seen as insulting towards future suitors. Suitors that undoubtedly were in the great hall at the feast.

 

Sansa sighed defeated and slumped down. Perhaps she could get Arya to take him here, in the privacy of her chambers where they could speak unhindered. It would be catastrophic if they were discovered, yet she didn’t have her Maidens Gift any longer, so it would be difficult for anyone to prove that something indecent actually had happened... Not that anything would! Of cause not, they would just talk.

 

Come to think of it, if knowing Arya like she was now, all fire and brimstone with her threats, perhaps coming here was exactly what Sandor would do. He always had quite the temper and being confronted and threatened by a slip of a girl might hurt his pride enough to demand an explanation as to why Sansa would unleash her little sister on him. Sansa grinned like a madman and rushed to her trunk to get dressed. This would be her chance to see him in private.

 

Sansa held up her new dress in front of her. She had made to impress (and intimidate) the silver queen and had been working tirelessly on that thing after she had received Jon’s raven scroll. Bending the knee like that. The man was an idiot sometimes. Going for a pair of pretty eyes and perky breasts, Sansa had been determined to show that woman, that she wasn’t the only one who could beguile people with looks and a pair of teats. Of cause now Sansa had an even greater target to gain attention from.

 

She undressed quickly, laces snapped off her corset in her hurry and rushed to get her dress on. It would be worthy of any Dornish or Tyrell’s so perhaps she had been a bit overzealous with her lace work. The black fabric of her skirt and then the entire see-through chest piece with intricate designs woven into the sheer fabric. It had taken her forever to get the details perfectly aligned to not show too much. Sansa smiled at the thought of Sandor’s reaction to her dress. 

 

Should she confront him about the kiss, she muses while lacing up her new dress in the back. No, that would be unladylike, even if he had been a lord and they had entered courtship. She sighed again at the thought, placed her pale fingers along her belly. Old Nan’s words rang in her ear. ‘A lady’s task is to always smile and be polite. She must do everything to further her house, honor her husband and to further his bloodline with healthy sons’. 

 

As soon as the Great War over and when the kings and queens of Westeros were done playing war, Sansa would have to wed someone who would either be a dimwitted man, a perverted old geezer or a sadistic monster, giving Sansa no choice in the matter. Especially now that Jon was smitten with the dragon queen, Sansa was sure she would have no say in her own marriage at all and Jon would simply bow to his new queen’s suggestions for whatever marriage alliance she saw fit for Sansa.

 

She really didn’t want to think about it, but unless Winterfell was stormed with White Walkers and she was killed, then marriage was an eventuality. Her solemn duty to marry and breed for her lord husband. Her past few years experiences left Sansa wishing more for death than she cared to admit. ‘The world is built by killers’ the Hound once told her. Tried to warn her and protect her in his own strange way, but back then she only found him cruel and harsh, like the naive little girl she was. 

 

Sansa shook off these dark thoughts and instead began to get ready for her potential visitor and later the feast to ‘honor’ their new alliance. Sansa looked at her reflection, her breasts was covered but just barely. Had this been four years ago, she would have been aghast to see a lady in such a dress but Margaery seemed to flaunt her... ‘talents’ all the same and with great success in King’s Landing. 

 

Besides, Sansa knew the reality of showing herself off like this at the feast tonight. Many of the noble houses would start to gossip about her beauty and without a doubt some more lecherous talk when she didn’t hear them and hence gathering more houses to the bidding table. Hence a better chance to gain the best possible deal for her house. It had absolutely nothing to do with how she hoped Sandor’s eyes would linger on her now. None whatsoever.

 

She only managed to lace her dress up and brush her hair with hands jittery with excitement, when there was a knock on her door. Her reaction was instant, grinning from ear to ear. Taking a deep breath, she calmly placed down her brush, put her mask of indifference on in case it wasn’t Sandor and opened. 

 

Standing side by side were her sister and Sandor Clegane. Both with their eyes bulge out of their heads. Arya nearly shouted “THAT’S what you’ll be wearing? Seven Hells. Have you lost your mind?” Sansa’s eyes flickered over to Sandor standing completely still with his mouth slightly open in shock. 

 

Sansa strained not to smile and addressed her sister. “Arya, when this war is over, Jon has to pick a match for me. Looking like this” she gestured at her half naked chest “may entice a better match to further our house”. Sansa had drawled this sentence over and over in her head but hearing it out loud, not even Sansa herself was convinced. And she guesses Arya saw right through that too.

 

Arya looked unsurprisingly unimpressed and quirked an eyebrow “yeah, good luck with that. If Jon tries that with me, he and I will have a serious talk” she snipped and grabbed the hilt of her thin sword. Yes, knowing Arya, it wasn’t likely Jon would be able to get away with marrying off Arya without serious injuries. Arya nodded to Sandor “this one wants a word” and walked away grumbling under her breath. 

 

Sandor couldn’t move or speak. The little bird had opened up the door in a new dress... if you could even call it that instead of undergarments. Her teats were at near full exposure, the fabric skintight and it was making him nervous to be this close and alone with her. He cleared his dry throat “may I have a word, Lady Stark” trying to remember his courtesies. 

 

It had been years and from afar his little bird was more a ferocious wolf than a chirping bird. She might not appreciate his nickname for her anymore. Why he bothered to be so courteous was beyond him. Sandor wasn’t courteous toward the whelp king in the North and the only reason he didn’t cross the dragon queen was because of her fire breathing lizards. Still, being this close to her again, it made him nervous. Mostly because he would have to try and look elsewhere than her magnificent teats but also because of the subject of the matter.

 

Sandor could swear he saw her quirked a smile before opening up the door entirely and let him inside. It would have been safer to talk in the hall but his body walked in on her silent command all the same. When the door closed again, he almost wish she would bolt the door too. If anyone caught him with her like this. Buggering Hells. He dragged a hand through his hair. How was he even going to breach the subject.

 

“Okay, this is hard” he stated, looking out the window and away from that dress. “So I’m just gonna say it. Why in the seventh hells would you lie and tell your sister I kissed you?” He hated lies more than anything, she knew this, damn her. Especially coming from a city where all the cunts ever did was lie, but from her? And about something like this? Buggering Hells.

 

When she didn’t say anything, his body shaking with suppressed anger and his mouth set in a snarl; the nerve to just ignore him. He turned around to face her and all of his emotions came to a screeching halt when he came face to face with a very angry Sansa Stark. “What do you mean, LIE?!?” Her fingers gripped her waist and her face was set in an angry frown. 

 

It took him completely by surprise, why was she mad? She DID lie. Sandor couldn’t make heads or tails of this. “Listen, I am pretty sure I would remember something like that. When do you even think that happened?” Perhaps he had kissed her once and he had been so drunk off his ass he didn’t remember. Watching her so pissed, he began to doubt himself. Wouldn’t that be just like him, that the one chance to get a taste of heaven itself and he couldn’t even remember it.

 

Sansa was furious. How could he not remember, was she really that forgettable?! He didn’t seemed that drunk even if he had smelled like an intoxicating mix of wine, smoke and sweat. She had recalled that kiss over and over on lonely nights and in her dreams. “When you asked me to come with you, that night when Blackwater burned. I was too afraid to go with you, so I refused and then you cornered me up against a wall and...” she swallowed. It made her moist between her legs just thinking about it, as it always did.

 

Sansa squared her shoulders and gathered her strength. She was a woman grown, a fierce northerner and she wouldn’t cower by such a little thing as a kiss. Sansa tipped her chin up in defiance “and then you kissed me!” Even now despite her little pep talk about being a woman grown, Sansa could still feel the warmth of a blush spreading across her face like a little girl. 

 

Sandor swallowed what seemed to be rocks in his throat. It was hard to concentrate with Sansa wearing that dress. Thinking of kissing her, Sandor was pretty sure he would never, ever forget that, but it was very interesting that she remembered a kiss that never happened. Biggest reason to why he would remember, was if he had kissed her, he would not have been able to stop with just that in his drunken state and they both would definitely would have remembered that outcome. 

 

Smirking, Sandor looked her straight in the eyes instead. “Little bird, I did NOT kiss you that night”. She was about to argue like an impertinent child, but he held up a finger to her lips, making her inhale a soft gasp. Gods, she was as enticing as ever. He looked down at her lips and to her eyes again. “If I would have tasted just an inch of you, I can assure you, little Bird, I would not have settled with just a simple kiss.” 

 

He almost felt compelled to remove his finger from her rosy lips and kiss her, but Sandor was already pushing it by being alone with her in her chambers. “Perhaps you mistake me for one of your pretty knights. Perhaps they can pretend to only want a kiss, but believe me girl; they all want you, just as I do”. Her ongoing praise about handsome knights always irked him, but it wasn’t a handsome knight or a pretty prince she imagined had kissed her, but him. An ugly old dog and somehow it made him swell a bit in pride to have caught her fancy like that.

 

His eyes were black with lust as he admitted that ‘he wanted her too’. Seeing that lustful look in Ramsey or Baelish’s eyes had always scared her. However, having Sandor look at her with lust and awe, it didn’t scare her at all. It made her feel powerful and warm all over. Where she had become harder, her Hound had become softer and much more willing to share his feelings with her. Though Sansa suspected it was more a slip of the tongue that Sandor confessed to wanting her.

 

Sansa gave the finger resting on her lips a kiss and stared up into his eyes, noticing how his eyes darkened and his jaw clenched to restrain himself. She didn’t know what possessed her to be so brazen. Perhaps it was the fact that they were alone. Perhaps it was the way he looked her or the fact that perhaps she did imagine that kiss, but she still imagined Sandor Clegane in all those lonely nights. All the handsome knights and pretty lords she had met in her lifetime, Sandor had been the one to find her in her dreams, to inspire daydreams about the gruff looking man finding her and taking her far away from the King’s Landing or the Vale.

 

Sandor licked his lips, trying to wield himself in. “Woman! You are playing with fire”. He ripped his finger from her lips, not daring to touch even the slightest bit of her skin. He should leave now, Sandor reasoned, before he did something unwanted. He had seen the fine ladies do this all the time in King’s Landing. Entice and lure men, kissing their cheeks and sending flirting looks, but they always refused their fine gentlemen when they tried to touch them back.

 

He really should go, but when Sandor tried to walk around her, Sansa moved with him, standing in his way and then simply smiled up at him, that little tease, making his cock strain in his trousers. “Little bird” he growled in warning. If he scared her, perhaps she would gain her wits about her. Toss him out or yell for a guard. A lady like her shouldn’t be alone with a dog like him in the first place. 

 

Had this been any other man, Sansa knew the likelihood of this going bad real fast, but this was Sandor. No matter how he growled at her and seemed threatening, this was the man who went looking for her during the Bread Riot. The one who yelled ‘ENOUGH!’ in court when Joffrey had her stripped and beaten and draped his cloak to protect her modesty. The one who tried to help a naive girl see the ugliest in the world to protect her. The one who she thought kissed her and always found her in her dreams.

 

Right now Sansa wasn’t promised to any man and had no maidens gift to protect either, so no matter how far she took this, it could only hurt her reputation if they were caught and her parents old bedchambers was as far from everyone else as it could be. Something she once overheard the servants giggle about ‘having privacy for the lord and lady of Winterfell’. She had yet to have a single good experience in the bedchamber, but according to Margaery, some women could be very loud. Perhaps Sandor could help her find out if she would be too. 

 

She trailed her fingers up his leather jerkin, enjoying the way his breath hitched at her touch. “If what you say is true, then it’s a shame that I only have a an imaginary kiss to remember you by”. Sansa could see him frown, trying to figure out what she was angling at. Did she really have to spell it out, Sansa thought smiling. Fine, for him alone she could swallow her pride and say the wanton words. 

 

She let her fingers glide over his lips, memorizing the different texture and then looked straight into his eyes. “Sandor Clegane, I want you to give me something real to remember you by”. His eyes widened with understanding and finally bent to kiss her. His lips pressing against hers passionately, his beard tickling her skin and his large shaking hands grabbed around her waist and neck, pressing her tightly to his body. 

 

Sandor groaned into her mouth, feeling himself shaking like a green boy getting his first kiss. He licked her lips, wanting to get a taste of the woman he had been dreaming of for years. And Seven bless her; Sansa opened her mouth willingly for him and flickered her tongue against his. The taste of everything so purely her overwhelmed his senses and was seized by the urge to toss Sansa onto her bed. To rip that delicate looking fabric off her chest and see those beautiful teats bounce while he fucked her roughly into her fine featherbed. 

 

But Sansa wasn’t some whore on Silk Street, nor a kitchen wench who wanted to experience just how big the infamous Hound really was. This was the woman of his dreams and she deserved everything an old ugly dog couldn’t give. Though his body wanted to take everything she offered and more, he just couldn’t do that to her. Thinking of the highborn ladies who always said no, Sandor wasn’t sure he would be able to stop himself if Sansa told him no, and forcing himself on her was something Sandor would never do.

 

Despite every ounce of him fighting his honorable decision, Sandor took hold of her shoulders and roughly pushed her away to put distance between them. Sansa looked confused and a bit offended. His breath came out panting, his words stuck in his throat, but she had to know it wasn’t her. “I can’t, little bird. If I don’t stop myself right now, I’m afraid you won’t get a say in how far this will go” giving her featherbed a glance and hoping she wouldn’t need further explanation. Sandor loathed himself right now, feeling like the lowest kind of scum with such a lack of control.

 

Sandor had swept her away with the most exhilarating kiss in her life (not that she had a lot of great experiences, but that was besides the point) and then he just stopped and pushed her away?! Sansa had been enormously offended and might even been wearing an undignified pout. 

 

Her first through was that she wasn’t  good enough and didn’t interest him after all, but a quick glance over Sandor’s shaking, heaving body, Sansa could see that was clearly not the case. His words hit her straight in the heart. Coming from a marriage where she was raped and beaten, having a man throwing himself away because he wanted to protect her no matter what, proved yet again that Sandor Clegane was not a rapist like his brother. 

 

Sansa looked him over “so you stopped, because you didn’t want to risk raping me” she stated outright. Sandor winced and nodded, looking down at the ground. He looked like a boy being scolded, miserable and lost and it broke Sansa’s heart to see him like this. “I’m sorry, little bird” he choked out and slumped down in a chair to hide his face in his large hands.

 

Sansa didn’t know what to do in this kind of situation. As a woman she no rights, no power other than her name and what Jon had bestowed on her. But Sandor refused to take that power, even if he easily could have done so. Just like in King’s Landing, he protected her even if he was coarse about it. Now he was more gentle, more soft around the edges and Sansa found herself drawn in. 

 

She walked over to him and his reaction was instant. Sandor jerked up his head to sit up straight, his saddened grey eyes meeting hers. To have a man so powerful, to bow down and tremble before her, to refuse his own needs and to only serve hers... It was unheard of and Sansa knew, seeing his devotion towards her, that she would never be able to tear him from her heart. 

 

His sad puppy eyes followed her fingers as Sansa reached to cup his burned cheek. Sandor closed his eyes and nuzzled into her palm with a small whine in his throat. To see this reaction, how much he truly cared for her, made her eyes water. “I am so sorry I didn’t say outright what I wanted from you”. Sansa took a deep breath. This was so hard for her to say. “but such lewd things are foreign to me”. 

 

Sandor looked up at her, his eyes gentle and his body relaxed with her words. “I would never hurt you” he whispered, his lower lip wobbling slightly. Both her hands cupped his cheeks then and she kissed him quickly and then looked into his glassy eyes. “I know. I know, Sandor!” She felt the tears falling freely now and her throat began swelling up.

 

“No matter how you growled at me in King’s Landing” she sniffled, “or how frightening others saw you, I always knew you’d protect me. Always! And... I’m sorry” her voice cracked and she let out a sob. His arms embraces her legs, his thumbs stroking her over the thick fabric as a comfort. Sansa hadn’t been this vulnerable in a long time. 

 

“Sandor, I’m sorry I made you feel like this. I didn’t just want a kiss... I wanted everything you would give me. I thought you knew that”. She shook her head, how could he not know this, the small ways she would look at him in King’s Landing, the way their unlikely friendship grew to something more. 

 

Sandor’s wet chuckle made her look him. He had a few tears rolling down into his beard, but he was at least smiling now. “I am an ugly old dog that fell in love with the most beautiful woman in Westeros, despite my better judgement. How you ever deemed me worthy to even look at you, let alone kiss you is so far beyond my understanding, that the only explanation is that you have either gone moon-crazy or that I’m asleep in a barn somewhere, drunk off my ass, having another a wet dream about you”. 

 

His thumbs still stroke her thighs gently, calming her hiccupping breath. She couldn’t help but smile when he stated this more likely was another one of his wet dreams. Smiling, Sansa looked down at her Hound. Honestly, that man had no shame, saying crass things like that to a lady. With their emotions all out in the open, Sansa felt relieved and absent-minded let her fingers glide through his hair while contemplating how they could proceed. 

 

Sandor sighed happily and arched up to her touch. No woman had ever touched him in such a loving manner and it soothed and calmed him. Just to have his little bird admit to wanting him back. That had been a dream of his but an unrealistic one at that. Sandor was well aware he wasn’t anyone’s dreamy knight or handsome lord. He had nothing but ugly looks, rough words and absolutely nothing good from the House Clegane to offer her.

 

Yet Sansa had looked downright heartbroken when he stood ashamed and disgusted with himself. Sandor sighed again, close to purring like a cat, with her fingers carting through his hair like that. There was the nagging thought in his mind saying that nothing of consequence could happen between them, nothing more than hasty coupling and Moon Tea for her the morning after. They would have to be careful, otherwise it would harm Sansa’s reputation and just like she had reasoned with her sister, she had to entice the whole bloody kingdom to gain a good match for when the war was over. 

 

He gave her legs a squeeze and looked up at her. She looked as content as he felt, her tears dried up and a soft smile on her lips. But that dress was killing him! The thought of her prostitute herself out like this, it hurt him in more ways than one. “Can you please not wear that dress” he groaned. He didn’t want anyone seeing her like that. She was a fucking goddess and shouldn’t have to dress up like a prized whore to gain a good match. Any man should consider himself the luckiest bastard alive being hers. 

 

Sansa’s fingers stopped and she shot him a smirk, seemingly taking it as a compliment instead. A fair estimate giving how Sandor had drooled over her when he saw her in that dress. Sandor grunted. This wasn’t going to go well, but he had and would always be honest with her, even if it kinda wrecks the compliment. “It kills me to see you dressed like a priced...“ Sandor stopped short and cleared his throat. “...Dressed like that”.

 

Sansa raised an eyebrow and Sandor took it as fair warning. No woman wanted to be compared to ‘working women’. He shook his head and gave her an apologetic smile. “You could wear a big flour sack and still be the most enticing and beautiful woman in the Kingdom”. He frowned for a moment, thinking perhaps his little bird was feeling threatened by the dragon queen. “You might be a little bird, but I and many others would rather have a beautiful song bird than an angry fire-spitting dragon”. 

 

He had a backwards way of giving compliments, she’d give him that, but when he finally decided to say something sweet and open his heart, Sandor Clegane could outshine any troubadour or poet. Sansa could feel butterflies in her belly and her smile wide enough to hurt her cheeks. Despite that Sandor almost called her a ‘priced whore’ he did say something truly sweet and coming from the Hound, that was more rare than jewels.

 

When she didn’t answer his request, his typical scowl came back “if you care for me at all, you will cover yourself up” he tried instead. She couldn’t help but laugh at him, witch only caused his scowl to deepen. Sansa kissed his nose as a loving gesture and tried to soothe him. “I do care, Sandor. I laughed because you were being your typical Hound-self”. 

 

He scowled a bit longer and then grunted at her, shifting a little on the chair, uncomfortable with this weird sense of wanting to apologize to her. Sandor didn’t think he had ever said the word ‘sorry’ to anyone besides his mother when he was a wee lad, so he felt out of place with admitting that perhaps... maybe! he was overreacting a bit.

 

Her giggling made his stomach swoop and a smile reluctantly tugged in the corner of his mouth. She resumed combing through his hair and he sighed happily. Sandor would let her get away with just about anything really and he'd always known that. And if Sansa would allow this old dog to lay at her feet, to bask in her presence, he would be the most grateful man in all of Westeros.

 

“I will choose a more traditional northern gown tonight” looking down at him to see his reaction. Sandor’s head looked up in surprise, clearly not expecting her to give in to his wish. Then he promptly snuggled his face into her stomach, making her burst out laughing and voiced a muffled “thank you, little bird” into her skin, causing Sansa to feel all warm and fuzzy. 

 

She bent down to kiss his head, still nuzzled into her belly. How soft and sweet her Hound had become. Sad to think of her own life making her more cold hearted but in her chambers, hidden from the world outside, she let her Sandor lift her spirits and warm her heart, if only for a little while.

 

With the feast on its way, Sansa would have to re-dress and Sandor would have to slink away in the shadows and avoid being spottet on his way away from her chambers. The chilling thought of the upcoming battle possibly taking Sandor away from her, made Sansa clench her arms around his neck protectively. 

 

Sansa refused to think about that, not willing to shred any more tears tonight. For now she would just stay here in Sandor’s calming presence. Feeling his breath on her skin and the way he made her feel loved for the first time in years. 

 

Just a little longer.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Sansa considered dressing up for the feast like she originally intended, however thinking back on Sandor’s eyes of adoration made her feel all warm and fuzzy. Instead Sansa picked up the dress she wore earlier, giving her usual powerful and unapproachable facade. 

 

Her mask of indifference was equally as much as her armor as her dress and redressing, Sansa felt the power flowing back to her from the insecurities she really felt wearing that too Dornish-like dress. That really hadn’t been the best idea, the result being essentially to push for a possible union with someone who would most likely diminish her, like all the men in her life had done. After Ramsey, she had sworn to herself never to let a man put her down again. 

 

And yet, in her jealousy to be tossed aside as family and trusted advisor to Jon, Sansa had stooped so low as to dress up like a pretty broodmare... or a pricy whore that Sandor nearly called her, just to prove to the dragon queen that Sansa was equally as beautiful and to Jon that Sansa could get other important men to listen to her. But her words would be heard until they say they said their vows. 

 

After years of learning, Sansa knew men would say or do almost anything to get what they wanted. Pretty words and empty promises. When the deal was made and the woman couldn’t escape, then they would show their true colors. She was a slow learner, true, but she learned! Blessedly Sansa didn’t feel the same unease with Sandor, in his eyes were only awe-filled worship. 

 

Sansa shook her head while fumbling with her belt. She had been acting like a child making that dress. Angry that her brother wouldn’t play ‘tea party’ with her and found another to play with. Honestly, she was embarrassed now that she had time to think about it and hadn’t Sandor stopped her, the ramifications would be too horrible to contemplate. 

 

Just thinking of how the lords and ladies would whisper about her, whoring herself out for everyone to see and on the brink of war. People would think she had lost her mind and on a single evening Sansa would have destroyed her good name and the reputation of her House. 

 

Slipping on her chain and furs and tossing her flimsy dress in her trunk, she thought of another good reason to dress back into this. If Sandor hadn’t been as sneaky as he thought leaving her chambers (the man was hardly difficult to spot after all) then being dressed in exactly the same garment would raise less suspicion, than had Sansa come out walking in a new, very Dornish kind of dress. 

 

Sansa went to her mirror, reliving Sandor’s kiss while brushing her hair. His hands around her, holding her so tightly. If it had been any other man, Sansa would have thought of Ramsey and her need to escape would make her reach for her hidden dagger strapped to her leg. But in her heart and mind, Sansa knew she would be safe with him.

 

There was a knock on her door. She placed her brush down and quickly looked at her reflection to check that nothing was out of the ordinary and then answered the door. A servant bowed and handed her a sealed raven scroll. “Arrived just now, My Lady” standing silently, waiting for a dismissal or another order to be carried out.

 

Sansa saw the sigil on the scroll and sighed heavily. Her experience told her this wasn’t good news. She walked a few stepped into her room to read the scroll without risk of wondering eyes and huffed under her breath. She really hated being right about these things. Sansa turned back to the boy, steeling her face into her mask of indifference. “Please ask my brother Jon to join me in my chambers. Tell him it concerns the war effort”. The young northern boy bowed and ran as fast as his legs could carry him to complete his task. 

 

It didn’t take long for Jon to show up. Of cause relaying the content of the scroll to the former king, all Jon could do about the bad news - and him being the catalyst behind such news - was his classical sad face, where he looked more like a kicked puppy than anything. Sansa had about enough of men thinking with their cocks first and worse, they all thought women didn’t realize what was going on around them. Like men was naturally smarter than women. 

 

She wanted to explode on him, to yell and curse him to the Seven Hells, but her first of a line of horrible teachers, Queen Cersei taught her that a cold exterior got things done much more, than a woman acting like men would expect. Sansa looked at Jon, ignoring the burning rage inside her and asked in a calmly matter “did you bend the knee to save the North... or because you love her?” 

 

His widened eyes and deafening silence was answer enough. Sansa shook her head and sat down at her desk. What a mess this all was and they didn’t even know if they would all be alive within a few days. Jon gave her a pitying look. “Sansa, you don’t understand” she was about to argue with him again, that if he hadn’t bent the knee, but that kicked puppy face stopped her. Honestly, sometimes she felt like she was the older sister of the two. 

 

Jon twiddled with his cloak, one of his many ‘tells’ to when he was nervous, making Sansa suspicious right off the bat. “When we traveled here, Daenerys and I, we... we talked about you” Jon held up his hands to her fiery eyes. “Just what our family had endured. I didn’t know much about Arya or Bran, but I wanted her to know you. To recognize your strength.” 

 

Sansa straightened her back in surprise. Jon had never complimented her like this and it was the most he’d ever admitted to. So despite whatever mishap Jon was about to admit to, Sansa still felt like a dog begging for scraps. She loathed to admit it to anyone, but Sansa wanted his respect, she needed at least her family to see her for who she was and what she could contribute to this family. Other than just being a pretty broodmare to be sold off to for a marriage alliance.

 

Jon amped up his sad puppy eyes. Here it comes, Sansa thought with a sigh. “I might have told her about Ramsey and how he treated you.” Sansa instantly saw red. Her opponent knowing that! She felt naked and abused all over. “That wasn’t your story to tell” she snapped at him. 

 

His hands flew out in defense, his eyes filled with guilt. “Sansa, I’m sorry! I only wanted her to like you, to see how strong and brave you are.” He lowered his hands and took a deep breath to steady himself. “To have been through all that and still be... you” his face was a mix of awe, love and sadness. 

 

The silence stretched out, Sansa looking at her brother and Jon looking at the floor, looking like he was waiting for Sansa to forgive him. Suddenly a thought must have occurred to him, because his face jerked up and transformed into a ‘happy puppy’ expression in an instant. Sansa couldn’t help the smile that tugged on her lips “what” she asked, curious what that face was all about. 

 

“When we grew up, we... the boys, were bred to fight in wars and you girls learned to be pretty ladies, to be wed off to some high Lord or a prince to further our House.” Sansa winced at the memory of Joffrey. Realizing his tactlessness to remind her of those days, Jon quickly blurred out “BUT!!” And his face shone in pure happiness. “Daenerys wants to break the chain of power. She hates the idea that the rich uses their power to trample down the lowborn and poor, so!” His hands came up in a flourish. Sansa raised an eyebrow and smiled, he really had a thing for theatrics, didn’t he.

 

“So, Daenerys wants to break that and by doing so, encouraging marriages between high and low born.” He let that hang in the air for a moment before continuing. “Don’t you see” his face was more excited than she’d ever seen before. Jon gestured to her with both hands. “That means that you don’t have to marry anyone ever again” he waited for her reaction, standing there with his hands out like a little kid going ‘tha-da’.

 

The idea was buzzing in her mind. Not have to marry, would mean she wouldn’t have to be a broodmare for some sadistic high lord, condemned to be yet another wife no one listened too. Her heart was pounding but she didn’t give anything away. This could all be a ploy by the dragon queen to get Jon’s affection by pretending to protect his sister’s future. 

 

“It all sounds well and good, but she isn’t in a position to declare that just yet. We might all be in the Army of the Dead within a fortnight”. Jon’s hands fell down in a dejected manner. “I will defeat the Night King. We have Daenerys and her dragons, not to mention two large armies.” Sansa took note in how Jon referred to the ‘we’ and didn’t account for his northern army. 

 

The silver haired queen really had Jon wrapped around her little finger, didn’t she. He saw himself by her side already, completely disregarding his family and not taking into account the northern army who would fight and die for him. It was sad really, what love could do to a person. 

 

Despite the powerful two armies and two enormous fire breathing dragons... and the icing on her lemon cake, a new law that would allow Sansa to wed her Hound if he would have her. Even with all that, Sansa was STILL weary around the dragon queen and her influence. Daenerys Targaryen might not be her father but Sansa’s experience with queens wasn’t exactly positive. 

 

Jon had kissed her forehead and given her a encouraging smile and left for other duties. Sansa smiled and shook her head when the door closed. Jon really was an idiot if he thought Sansa couldn’t figure out that he ran to her the moment he was out the door. With the feast already planned down to every detail tonight, Sansa had no more tasks to focus on for the evening. Even so, she went down to the kitchen and great hall to check up on everything. 

 

Most of her responsibility as Lady of Winterfell would be taken away, now that Jon was back, which meant less tasks for her in the foreseeable future. Sansa was also fairly certain that if Jon listened to any woman at all during war council, it wouldn’t be her, but rather the silver queen. 

 

Still, that left Sansa to plan out how to hopefully steal her Hound away and give her more time training herself. Only Brienne and Arya knew, since they were the ones training her what little she could. She wasn’t good but she had learned some tricks since returning to Winterfell, making her less vulnerable. 

 

Sansa walked along the empty seats in the great hall, looking absently at the rows of plates that adorned the long wooden tables. There was so many to feed now, Sansa thought worried. The army against the Undead had tripled or quadrupled since Daenerys’ arrival and the stores weren’t stocked for those kinds of numbers. 

 

Perhaps enough men would die in the upcoming battle, making the stores manageable with what was left come spring. It was cold to think like that but Sansa learned to be realistic rather than an idealist dreamer. The little girl she once had been in King’s Landing would be aghast if she knew this was how Sansa would learn to think. Just like the Hound would warn her, Sansa thought with a soft smile. He always tried to make her see but she was too young and too idealistic back then. 

 

Perhaps she should speak to Tyrion regarding the storage supplies tomorrow, despite her cynical yet realistic estimate of dying troops. Making it as an excuse and then perhaps dropping a hint about the new law regarding marriage, to see if the Queen’s Hand know anything about. Couldn’t hurt to ask, Sansa mused, again felt the ghost of Sandor’s fingers holding on to her. 

 

-

 

For a man like Sandor, who always stood guard during a feast and ate later in the armory or alone in his room, the feast thrown in the great hall of Winterfell was overwhelming. Stuffed with important people, pampered lords and perfumes knights rubbing shoulders, feeling important and then in the midst of it his little bird. 

 

In all the years he had known Sansa, Sandor had never been more thrilled to see her all buttoned up and hidden away in layers upon layers of clothes. To know the little bird deemed him worthy enough to give into his request and kept herself hidden from all the men in the room... It almost made him crack a smile amongst these old cunts.

 

That little twat Jon had come up to him earlier, craning his neck to look him in the eye, giving him that winning smile and a pat on Sandor’s arm. He had almost felt like growling at him, just to see that little cunt shake in his trousers. Slapping him like that, but he didn’t though. Sandor would be on his very best behavior for his little bird.

 

Somehow along the one way conversation with Jon, Sandor had gotten the honor to sit inside the great hall, instead of being with the rest of the armies. Something along the lines with ‘helped with the White Walker’ but not before that little twat thought it funny to remind him about the little mishap with a stone and solid ice that almost got them all killed. Sandor had growled then, only to cause Jon to laugh and step back, hands up in surrender.

 

He had grumbled all the way to the great hall. He wasn’t a bloody Fool for any king. Having the little cunt laugh at one of the most royal fuck-ups Sandor had ever done was humiliating. “Bunch of cunts” he grumbled and sat down as the servant showed him his place. It was close enough to see the little bird well enough and still far enough that people wouldn’t necessarily know whom of the Starks or Targaryen Sandor was looking at.

 

Sandor stared at the little bird while people were milling about waiting for the food to be served. Her polite smile towards the different lords and knight coming up to her to talk or lift their glass in her honor was miles away from the genuine smile he had been gifted only hours ago. 

 

The number of people lifting their cups in Sansa’s honor wasn’t staggering compared to greater feasts like those in the Red Keep, but compared to their former king who choose to abdicate and bend the knee along with his new dragon queen, who had yet to be addressed a single time, it was glorious to see his little bird get that kind of recognition from her people. Sansa was a goddess to be worshiped and obeyed and anyone not inclined to do so, would answer to him if she would let him. 

 

Gods, just the thought of her soft moan and her marvelous teats rubbing against his jerkin made his blood rush south. This feast couldn’t be over fast enough. The looks Sansa was given also made his blood boil but who was he to lay claim on her. He was a dirty ol’ mutt and she a goddess. He would take whatever scraps she would throw to him and lick it all up. 

 

Four close calls later, where Sandor nearly ran up and punched some fancy Lord in the throat for ogling Sansa in a lewd faction, the feast was finally coming to an end, along with his patience for these cunts. Sandor grumbled as he stood and trampled out into the courtyard, needing some air. 

 

Shortly after Arya came rolling with Bran in that fancy wheel chair. She stepped up and glared at him, most likely suspicious of what he and his sister had been up to. Bran noticed the looks Sandor was getting and answered the silent question with a dull voice “don’t worry. Sandor Clegane only cried and kissed her, with Sansa’s permission”. Sandor’s eyes widened and he stomped over to the little tattletale to threaten him, ignoring Arya howling of laughter behind Bran. 

 

“Listen, you little pervert, you keep those ogling eyes away from her bedchamber, you hear.” Then hearing Arya heaving for breath, his head snapped up and nearly yelled at her “AND I DIDN’T BLOODY CRY!” causing Arya to crumble into the wet dirt and rolling around laughing so hard she snorted in air like a pig. 

 

Sandor was just about to leave when the nosy brother placed a hand on his arm. “I know what you did for both my sisters. You are a good man, Clegane”. Everything fades into the background. The blacksmiths still hammering away in the distance, the wolf-girl’s laughing, how the wind howled in the night. Something in the young boy’s eyes looked so very old and what scared him the most, they looked like they knew everything, just like the rumor said. 

 

Sandor took a step back and cleared his throat. Changing the subject before he began to shred more tears. What was it with this bloody family and shredding all his defenses. “You shouldn’t be out here during the wolf’s hour. It’s not safe for you here”. Even with his sister trying to stand back up on shaking legs, still chuckling and drying her eyes, Bran Stark looked around. “No, an old friend is coming. I shall wait for him. There isn’t any danger this night, they will not be here yet, so you may go” nodding at Sandor. 

 

Arya’s chuckles died in her throat. “Go WHERE exactly?” she eyed him suspiciously. Sandor looked at the wolf lad, almost ready to beg him not to tell the sister. He didn’t fancy having to fight one sister before trying to bed the next. There was a ghost of amusement on Bran’s face “The Hound has obligations elsewhere. Please roll me over to that entrance, Arya” pointing to an archway and ignoring further questioning by Sandor’s whereabouts.

 

Thankful to not having to deal with an infuriated wolf-girl, Sandor nodded to the lad and took his leave, walking towards the armory instead of directly to Sansa’s bedchamber to throw Arya’s suspicion off. He would polish his armor, ready his sword and then be on his way. By then the night should be calm enough and most people below their blankets. 

 

-

 

Sandor had taken his time, making her wait what seemed to be forever in her bed with only her night-shift on, sans undergarments. The thought of his kisses and him sneaking over to her chambers made her feel like a giggling kitchen maid having a dalliance. Sansa squeaked and buried herself below her blankets and muffled her excitement into her pillow.

 

This was the first time she had ever looked forward to anything sexual and she had Sandor to thank for giving her this experience. The light tap on the door, made her poke out her head from the blankets, listening if it was yet another time she imagined it. When the knock came again, Sansa stumbled out of bed and hurried to the door.

 

She un-bared the door and opened it to see Sandor’s handsome face, his shining eyes and soft smile. She let him inside in a hurry and closed the door again, barring the door as carefully as she could. His groan behind her made her turn at once. Sandor staring at her nearly see-through shift, his hands clenching at his sides. 

 

Smiling, Sansa hurried back to her bed, jumping up and under the blankets, shielding herself from the cold stone floor. She peaked out and found Sandor grinning down at her, he still hadn’t said anything. “What?” She whispered shyly. “What would my Lady have me do” her hound answered just as softly in that deep gravelly voice. Sansa shivered and looked away with a blush. “I would like it, if my hound would join me in bed”. 

 

When he only took off his boots and was about to lay down, Sansa sat up straight “without so much clothes”. His eyes turned dark and heated, making her insides clench as he removed his leather jerkin, the shirt below and then stuck his thumbs in his waistband, raising an eyebrow at her, silently asking just how much she want off. 

 

Sansa licked her lips without knowing it, looking at his large hands. Her nod of approval was done almost in a trance and left Sandor in only his long undergarments. She folded back the blankets for him to join her, eyeing him up and down. His body was littered with scars, some small and others too horrific to imagine how ghastly they’d looked when he first got them. 

 

Sandor Clegane was the Warrior incarnate. Superior strength, oozing manliness and in all his muscles and hairiness, Sansa didn’t once flinch from him in fear. This body wasn’t going to dominate and hurt her but to protect and love her. Her heart swelled with a love she never thought would find her, closing in on his body.

 

Her first touch to his skin, made Sandor shiver. His little bird had been eating him up with her looks, eyeing him up and down as he undressed. He had never felt this kind of attraction from a woman, no matter how much he paid a whore, none had ever looked at him with such desire. Feeling wanted and loved alike, his heart was pounding out of his ribs. 

 

Sansa licked her lips again, the little vixen. Stroking her small hand up and down his chest. Gods, if he wasn’t careful he would come from this alone, seeing her looking at him like this and deeming him worthy of her fiery touch. “Sansa. Little bird” he could hear himself beg. “Please let me touch you”. He didn’t dare otherwise without her permission. 

 

The hand on his chest stopped and he opened his eyes to look at her. Fuck, she was beautiful. She looked surprised at first but then her face broke into the most wonderful bright smile as she uttered a simple “Please, Sandor”. He rolled over on his side, letting his great big paw roam over her shift. Fuck, her warm skin made his cock leak. He wanted to rut against her but he contained himself. She couldn’t have had many great sexual encounters if she would settle with him, so he wanted to make the most of it. Worship her gorgeous body as it was intended. 

 

Fingers tugged his hair and she whined a soft ‘Please’ again before Sandor realized what she wanted. He rolled her over on her back, kissing her down her throat, nibbling her ear to make her moan. When she was a panting mess, THEN he kissed her, pouting every dirty fantasy into his kiss, making his little bird know just how much he wanted her. 

 

Sansa had never thought a kiss to the neck of all places could make her gasp for breath like this. Her private place was throbbing and wet, her hands holding onto everything they could in desperation to get him closer. His kiss felt like drowning and flying at the same time, it was so good and not nearly enough. Not even close. “Sandor... please, this is great” she laughed breathlessly and corrected herself “REALLY great! But please.” Despite her newfound power in Winterfell, Sansa couldn’t say those dirty words to ask for his cock. The mere thought made her face blush like a virgin.

 

Sandor pauses and rose up on his elbows, frowning down at her. Did she mean... a grin spread on his lips. She couldn’t say it, could she. Despite him being very clear earlier about verbal consent, nodding would seemed to suffice with his blushing bride... wait, ‘bride’?! Sandor shook that thought, however lovely it was, it was unrealistic and would only cause him unhappiness to linger on. 

 

He leaned down and kissed her softly on her perfect lips and leaned back up again. “Please... kiss me??” Sandor teased her. Sansa frowned and shook her head. “No” then looked to the side, biting her lips. Oh, that wouldn’t do. He would love to tease her but not if she through this wouldn’t be happening. “Please... to coupling?” Her eyes squeezed closed and she nodded quickly. Sandor chuckled and started to kiss her down to her magnificent teats, unlacing the front of her shift to gain access to them. He kissed his way over them, mouthed the soft globs of perfection. “You asked the Maester for moon tea” he mouthed into her skin, kissing and licking his way over to the other teat. 

 

Sansa worried if she told the truth that he would stop, but lying to the Hound was the greatest offense you could do to him, so she hoped he was as desperate for this as her. “Well.... oh Mother’s Mercy that feels good!” Sansa swallowed and tried again, but it was hard to focus on anything with his mouth and tongue doing all that. Who knew a woman’s body had this many pleasurable spots. She was beginning to understand what Margery had been talking about. 

 

“The Maester had run dry, due to the many more soldiers we have... ohhh feels good”. Sansa almost didn’t recognize her own voice anymore, panting and moaning every other word out loud. “But I don’t want to stop, so if we just could...” To her great misfortune, that was exactly what he did. Sandor looked at her with a dead serious expression. “If you get pregnant...” he shook his head and Sansa nearly cried. “No moon tea, no cock”.

 

“Sandor, PLEASE!” Sandor’s hand managed to muffle half of her outcry. He was quick, thankfully. Sansa didn’t even expect in her desperation, that she would cry out like that. How horribly unladylike, when she wasn’t so horny, she was sure to be even more horrified by such actions. Sandor gave a warning glare, smart enough to know they could make noise but not THAT much noise. Sansa sniffles and nodded, letting Sandor remove his big hand. 

 

Sandor stroke her down her cheek to sooth her, thumbing her perfect lips. He would be sad to miss this opportunity, but he couldn’t risk getting her pregnant. She would suffer the consequences with a babe and that was something he wouldn’t forgive himself for. Her name would be tarnished and her house dishonored.

 

“Even if I can’t give you my cock, little bird, there are still plenty of things we can do”. Sansa perked up, like this was the best news she had heard all year. He couldn’t help a deep chuckle. Out of all the people in Westeros, he got to make her this excited. Sandor didn’t think he would ever do enough good in this world to deserve even one night with her, but he would take everything she would give... unless it would harm her, then he would protect her.

 

“Really, we can do... other stuff?” Sandor could see the desperation to get to it and as always, he aimed to please his little bird. “Yes, little bird, there is plenty of things that don’t make you swell with a babe” kissing her down her chest. When the shift got in the way, he rolled it up and over her head, taking in a shaking breath. 

 

“Seven heavens and hells, you are beautiful”. His voice in awe made her heart beat faster, but it was his lustful eyes that gave her wet center a promise. Sansa shivered to imagine what those things would be. Ramsey only did hurtful things and Sansa had hoped she would get to experience a coupling with love and adoration instead of hate and pain. But she understood what he meant. Not that she had cared at all in the heated moment his tongue was on her skin. 

 

Sansa shivered again and grabbed for him to lay skin to skin again. She almost wished she had the power to persuade him to couple with her, but no one could ever tell the fearsome Hound what to do. Alas Sansa would take whatever her Hound was willing to give and just be grateful. “Please” she begged again, the desperation for something, anything was mounting within her.

 

Sandor began kissing her breasts again, but his large hand shimmered down over her belly and down to... ohhh. He, oh, that was new. His finger stroking something above her slit and... a finger inside. Merciful Mother, how dirty, but oh so good. Sansa grabbed the bed linens and arched up, there was something coiling inside her. It felt like cold down her back and fire in her belly, the peak that was just out of reach, before...

 

Watching his little bird come with a soundless scream, surprise written all over her, was the best experience Sandor would ever be blessed with in this rotten world. He pumped another finger inside her, thumbing her little pearl above her soaking wet slit, watching her surprised face with every new thing he did. He kept a slow pace, didn’t want to overwhelm her but hopefully cause her to be content while he rutted slowly on her feather mattress. 

 

Her second orgasm was with little whimpers and despite her not being willing to say dirty words, Sandor hoped to the old Gods and the new that she would not deny him a taste. He slipped out his fingers and repositioned himself between her legs, kissing her up her thighs to let her know what was coming.  

 

His eyes were so intense and Sansa swam away in his eyes and his warm touch, floating a euphoric haze of whatever he made her body do. When his tongue licked up her private parts, she was not so far gone that she didn’t blush furiously. So dirty! But still... Sansa sunk down into her feather bed and gave him a happy smile, this was the best she had ever felt. She let her fingers glide through his hair, scraping her nails along his scalp like a kitten paddling. Sansa laid gladly and take everything Sandor would give her, with dreamt sighs and soft moans. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Sandor had never spent this much time between a woman’s legs and before Sansa; there had been only the whores he paid off. They certainly didn’t want to look at his ugly mug; many of them couldn’t even hide their winching or worse their horror when they looked at his burns. 

 

It had been better to just take them as the dog he was and spare them the sight and his heart the disappointment. But here, between Sansa’s thighs, worshipping her with his mouth, Sandor found a sense of belonging and his broken heart mended slowly piece by piece.

 

Sansa’s previous sexual exploits was as countless as the scars on her body and just as horrible. The candles in her bedchamber had all been blown, out so nothing but the vague moonlight that could reveal her ugly scars. A woman, especially a lady of her stature, shouldn’t have scars. That was for the men to have, to boast of their battles and duels, where ladies should be delicate and smooth skinned. 

 

Perhaps Sandor Clegane out of all people wouldn’t really mind the scars, but Sansa hated the reminder they posed. Every night Sansa would be faced with the evidence of all the things Joffrey and Ramsey had done to her. But Sandor’s loving caress and passionate kisses made her forget, made her feel like a woman again. Like she was all dainty and smooth, laid out to please her husband... lover! To please her lover.

 

Sandor’s tantalizing licks over her wet folds were measured and his large fingers had slowed down, showing less desperation to take her over that heavenly peak that she experienced twice now. Sansa sighed with closed eyes, letting the euphoria simmer and coil inside her, like small waves would roll up onto the beach and lazily retreating again. 

 

Whereas Sansa could have laid there till morning came enjoying all he would give, Sansa knew they had limited time. Despite her pleasure, Sansa wanted to do something for him too. That and her curiosity and desire for her Hound burned deep inside her. She wanted to find out how to make this magnificent Warrior’s body gasp and moan like Sandor had made her.

 

Sandor had drifted into a trancelike state of languid licks and slowly thrusting his fingers into her wet cunt. He was surrounded by her soft milky thighs; he could smell her mix of tangy juices and whatever fancy soap the ladies used now days, scented with flowers to smell all pretty. Sandor smiled lazy into her slick folds. His little bird always did smell nice, but nothing compared to her natural, tangy scent of arousal. 

 

After letting her come twice and blessedly being allowed to use his mouth on her cunt, Sandor slowed down from his more vigorous attempt to make her come. He couldn’t risk overstimulate his little bird. He was fairly sure that would only lead to Sansa trying to escape his grasp, from it being too much and then this wonderful dream would come to an end.

 

So instead Sandor took his time, giving in to the feeling her soft skin, hearing her soft moan and simply enjoying being at her feet until Sansa would tire of him and kick him out. He could only hope if he did a good enough job, that she would call for him again, to worship her with his tongue.

 

Sansa opened her eyes, determined to give back and looked down at him. He looked peaceful and almost as if he enjoyed the act itself with his face soft and his slow movements. Sansa frowned when she spotted the blankets move below his waist. Puzzled to what that movement was, Sansa tipped her head up to have a better look. 

 

Sandor was slowly undulating his hips into the mattress and Sansa couldn’t help her heart skipping a beat. He had pleasured her for a long time and without asking her for a single thing in return. By the Seven, she hoped they would both survive this war. Sansa wasn’t sure she would ever find a man as devoted to her as her loving Hound.

 

“Sandor” she whispered and sat up. His eyes blinked bleary, like he just had awoken from a daze and his face turned from bliss to a ‘kicked puppy’ face from being told to stop. What was it with grown men in her life and those puppy eyes, though given his sigil with 3 dogs and Jon’s Stark blood, wolf and dog alike could be considered a puppy, she supposed. Sansa gave him a warm smile “it’s my turn now. I want to feel you below me”. 

 

His eyes widened, she wanted to feel... Sandor swallowed thickly. He hadn’t thought she would, why would she? Sansa wasn’t obligated to do anything and she was a highborn lady on top of that. Being allowed to touch her and please her as a husband should was a gift enough in itself.

 

Taking into account the surprise on her face that Sandor made her moan with every touch, he was fairly sure Sansa didn’t have the faintest idea of what to do. But still, like a loyal dog, Sandor obeyed without a fuss, quickly laying down on the bed and looked up at her, shivering with excitement. 

 

Sansa looked him over, enjoying the warrior laid out like a feast for her to enjoy. First she wanted to kiss him again, to gather courage to touch him like a bold wife would. She bit her lip in embarrassment. He was so large, she couldn’t mirror how Sandor had laid half his body next to her and half of it over her. Well, the solution was simple, Sansa thought and straddled his firm belly like how some ladies rode their horses.

 

Sansa bent down to kiss him but as soon as she tasted his lips, Sansa jerked up in shock. The words left her mouth before she had time to think “that’s how I taste?!” Sansa instantly flushed red. Mother’s Mercy, she kept on talking like a whore. Why was that? Sansa had never been this bold.

 

Sandor gave her thighs a lustful squeeze and stroking her skin back and forth, grinning up at her. “Ay, little bird and you are more tasty than anything I have ever had the good fortune to eat” giving her a cheeky wink. Honestly, this man was the only one she knew who would so blatantly say such things to a highborn.

 

However, despite Sandor’s dirty mouth, it somehow made her belly coil with warmth, even if she blushed with a lady’s embarrassment. Sansa bit her lip and leaned down to kiss him again, ignoring how she tasted on his lips and remembering WHY he tasted like this instead. Before long her Sansa had gotten fairly used to the tangy flavor and deepened her kisses, tongue flicking inside his mouth to taste more of him.

 

Sandor groaned at her renewed vigor and his large paws began to wander up and down her body, trying not touch anything unwanted as much as possible. Her hips undulated above his stomach and what Sandor wouldn’t give to let her grind her wet cunt all over him. Mark him, claim him with her scent. Let all those cocky fuckers see the Lady of fucking Winterfell lay claim to him and him alone.

 

Sansa reluctantly ended the kiss, determined to get him writhing in her bed in ecstasy. That assuming that she could figure out how to turn him on. Sansa tossed her head to the side, her fiery hair flowing with her movement and ending to one side. With her hair out of the way, Sansa began to nibble his earlobe slowly, licking it and then continued to trail kisses down his neck, mirroring what Sandor had done with her. 

 

His reaction was absolutely wonderful to Sansa’s delight. Making this large man groan and moan deep in his throat, murmuring her name over and over like a prayer in the Sept. His large hand gripping Sansa’s hips more tightly when she licked down over his nipple to mirror that too. Sansa may have felt power as the Lady of Winterfell, but the power she had over the mighty Sandor Clegane, left Sansa more dizzy and elated than ever. 

 

By mistake over overbalancing, Sansa clawed down his one side to sit up straight again. The breathy moan that came from him, made it tingle between her legs and she looked at her fingernails and then back at him, giving his closed eyes an evil grin. Leaning up again, Sansa gave it her all, licking over his nipple, tonguing up his throat and biting softly on his ear... and then scratching him up and down his chest while praying no one would hear his loud moans and pleading. 

 

Sansa was high on this feeling, seeing her Hound finally wiggle and squirm around, pleading her for something... To stop or to give him more. She would assume he would not be moaning and whining so much if it was the former, so Sansa continued with the biggest most satisfied grin on her face.

 

Shifting her legs to go back to his chest with her mouth, Sansa’s feet came in light contact with Sandor’s clothed hips. He lifted up his hips repeatedly, like he was trapped or wrapped around some linen and tried to get free. Sansa stopped her tails of kisses down his chest and placed her fingers on his chest to lightly scratch him, still giving him her touch while helping him.

 

Of cause she wouldn’t have him uncomfortable and he must have been the way he jerked up his hips, so Sansa looked behind her, to remove whatever it was that restrained him. Sansa expected to find Sandor’s hips intertwined with the bedding or linen. But instead she got an eyeful of his enormous appendage, straining in his undergarments. 

 

Embarrassed first that she didn’t recognized the movement right away; she could only blink and stared down at the mighty ‘sword’ of her Hound in awe and shock. How could any man be that big? And Gods have Mercy, how could Sandor even fit inside a woman? It completely stopped any thoughts and Sansa could do little else than sit and stare at the weeping head that had escaped his undergarments.

 

When Sansa abruptly stopped touching him, it took Sandor’s mind a few moments to clear the haze of euphoria. Being touched by his little Bird like that had sent his mind and body into a frenzy. Every sane thought had left him as he soared drunk by her touch. Sandor wasn’t even sure if he had moaned too loudly or said anything to her in his frenzied state. 

 

Even with him reminding his little Bird of the dangerous outcome of coupling without moon tea, in that moment Sansa could have convinced him to fuck her no matter the consequences. Could have made him agree to do just about anything if she only kept touching him. Now that his mind was clear enough, he finally opened his eyes to see why she stopped. 

 

Sandor frowned, seeing her sitting twisted, staring behind her... His mind caught on. The ‘rats’ in King’s Lansing that nearly raped her... the whispers around Winterfell of Sansa’s former husband being sadistic monster... Ice-cold panic cut through his veins, realizing that she wasn’t about to convince him to fuck her but rather seemed concerned that he would force her in his state of arousal. 

 

The thought tasted like bile in the back of his throat and he slowly removed his hands from her hips and placed them onto the bedsheets so she wouldn’t feel trapped. Sansa had seemed a novice in all pleasure, so in her lack of experience, Sansa must have been afraid that a man would lose all reasoning when he was fully hard. 

 

She should have known that he would never... that he would worship the very ground she walked on. But how could she? With the lack of love and only cruelty to teach her, then how would she know that not all men are like that? He had to tell her, to calm her and pray to all the Gods that she would believe him. 

 

Sandor cleared his throat from the lump forming. “Little bird” he tried softly, almost lifting his hand to stroke her arm in a soothing gesture, but refrained; again scared that she would feel trapped by him. But Sansa ignored him and when she then proceeded to crawl off him still eyeing his weeping cock like it would attack her, Sandor had never been this terrified. 

 

Was this how they would part ways? Sansa screaming for guards any moment now and letting them drag him away. Her last thought of him, that Sandor had been no better than the rest. A simple lustful swine that nearly got away with... with... He couldn’t even think it, too horrible to envision. His heart ached painfully inside his chest and his eyes began to burn. 

 

He sat up slowly now that she was off his body, struggling to keep the wet sobs clawing to escape his throat, out of his voice. “Sansa, I could never hurt you. You know that! Please-” Sansa held up a hand and he clomped his jaw shut, swallowing around the rocks in his throat. 

 

Finally after an excruciating long moment she looked up at him, her hair followed with her movement and removing the curtain of red locks that had shielded her face. She thankfully didn’t look scared or mad at least; more just perplexed, which in turn got him utterly confused. 

 

“HOW have you fitted into women before? ...I mean, does it even fit?” eyeing his cock out of the side of her eyes, like it could jump fully out of his undergarments any moment to attack her. Sandor blinked a few times. Wait, what?? “You looked at my cock, because you were curious???” When she answered with a smile and a nod, he visibly relaxed. “So you weren’t afraid that... you weren’t afraid of me?” 

 

Sansa’s face went from smiling to dead serious the moment he said those words, taking his hand and giving it a squeeze. “You won’t hurt me” Sansa replied with honesty and kindness shining in her eyes. Thank the Gods, she knew that he would never hurt her! Sandor could have cried in utter relief.

 

Sansa looked at how Sandor blew out a relieved breath and sagged down in relief. He looked so scared when she finally had looked up at him. Had her sweet Hound really been scared that she misunderstood his intentions? Just because his lower body part had reacted to her touching him? 

 

Sansa may not have known how much pleasure, but even Ramsey didn’t just become a frothing beast and attacked her as soon as he got big. Of cause not nearly as big as Sandor (not even close) but he still managed to make it hurt, a lot. With Sandor’s size, she couldn’t imagine that any woman wouldn’t scream of pain with that monstrosity inside, which saddened her a bit because she had really looked forward to it once she could get some moon tea.

 

“Gods, little Bird, I was so scared. Didn’t know what you knew and...” he cut himself off and smoothed his shaking hands over her hair. With a kiss on her forehead, he smiled in relief to himself, thinking of the power Sansa Stark held over him. Sandor never pegged himself as a soft boy, crying over a girl rejecting him. She hadn’t even done that, but he still felt the tears sting in his eyes at the mere thought. 

 

Sandor huffed out a laugh and looked down. “With you sitting there all silent and scared-looking, my poor cock shriveled up to half his size in fear” he jested, to lighten up the mood. Sansa did notice the deflating size while she had been staring, but had simply thought it was due to the lack of touch. Her Hound smiled but his eyes still looked troubled, perhaps her stopping like this had scared him more than she could imagine. 

 

Sansa slowly tugged the string of his undergarments, hearing Sandor swallowing as she dragged off his last piece of clothing. His cock reacted, slowly starting to fill out again, bobbing up in the brisk air of the bedchamber. Sandor sat shock still on the bed, his heart pounding in his chest while watching Sansa toss his clothing on the floor and straddling him. Okay, they were both naked now. Completely naked. Skin to skin, embracing him lovingly. 

 

Sandor drew a shaky breath. Control yourself Clegane! No babies! Fuck, with his mind not reeling in panic, he finally noticed the enticing smell of her wet cunt again. But still, he would be good for her. She couldn’t get pregnant, not when she had to marry a fancy Lord after the war. But she was here with him. Out of all the lords and knights in Winterfell gathering for the Great War, his little bird chose him for company. 

 

He drew his arms around her, hugging her tightly to his chest. Sansa shivered and kisses his collarbone, slowly began to nibble up his throat again. Did her sweet Hound really think she didn’t notice how he tried to curve his manhood away from her wet folds? That wouldn’t do. They had enough misunderstandings between them and in the light of the impending doom, Sansa would put aside her embarrassment and let him know what was on her mind. No more misunderstandings! 

 

Her nails raked down his back, making him groan and it became increasingly difficult to steer his cock away from her inviting cunt with a discreet tilt of his hips. Sandor wasn’t entirely sure if she needed a hug and comfort or more and he would be damned if he screwed this up now that she was back in his arms. 

 

Sansa shifted and looked to the side. Okay, she could do this. She had demanded loyalty from hundreds of men. She could tell Sandor this. Sansa swallowed, okay perhaps if she didn’t look him straight in the eyes. Letting her head rest on his shoulder, she gave his neck a kiss before taking a fortifying breath. 

 

“Okay, so. I don’t want to talk about what Ramsey did to me, but I can tell you this much... I never gained any pleasure from it” she winced and shivered. “Far from it.” She waited a little, gouging his reaction, but all it did, was make his strong arms tighten around her waist. His protective instinct towards her always did make her happy, now more than ever. 

 

“That thing you did, with your fingers...” letting it hang in the air. “I have never felt anything like that before”. She could feel his body tense up, one large hand came around and with a gentle finger, tipped her chin up. Sandor had a disbelieving look on his face, his eyes wide in shock. “You mean to tell me... that I made you come for the first time”. His lips spread in a cheeky grin “and second time” he added.

 

Sansa couldn’t help the lightness in her heart, seeing him this happy and proud. It made her not even care that she probably still was blushing to admit such things. “My last time I felt even a remotely tingle in my body was when I had a little too much Dornish wine with Margaery one afternoon.” 

 

Sandor’s head was going to grow too big for his own good. The girl had never known pleasure, ever! And he gave it to her, him. “I’m telling you because...” she licked her lips nervously, hoping he wouldn’t take offense. “Yours is so big. Far bigger than his and... well, it seemed like if the smaller size hurt, then..” Sansa cut herself off. She couldn’t say it. Even in her own mind it sounded like ‘I’m afraid you will hurt me’ despite what her earlier proclamation had stated.

 

Sandor frowned, a heavy feeling settling in his stomach. Her former husband must have done a colossal shitty job or taken her raw with the intent of hurting her. It fit the rumors he had overheard but it still was like a knife between the ribs to hear it from her. Sandor took a deep breath and pushed the murderous thoughts away from their loving embrace. His little Bird needed him calm and not to get angry and spout curses and threats of vengeance on her behalf. 

 

He calmed himself and focused on her bright eyes. “I have never had a complaint in that department” he answered truthfully. The unsaid complaint about his face was a whole different subject, the look of horror from every new whore that saw him, even if they knew the rumor about his size. “Whores use something to coat their cunts with if they aren’t slick enough to begin with and... well” he scratched his neck.

 

Sandor was mildly embarrassed to sit and talk about his previous visits to whorehouses while having not a single piece of clothing between them, but what the lady asks, her hound would answer. “They always seem very encouraging for me to go harder or faster when I would take it slow to begin with.” Sandor chuckled wryly, “even had a whore once who turned around to snarl at me when I didn’t dare to take her hard enough”. 

 

Even with only the pale moonlight to light up the room, Sansa was pretty sure that they both were blushing now. This was beyond embarrassing, so far from her upbringing and all her power and confidence during the day was swept aside. In truth, Sansa felt like an excited virgin with a lover for the first time, figuring out all the exciting new things to explore with each other. She looked to the side and smiled “well then”. 

 

Sandor was beyond happy that she didn’t scold him for going to a whorehouse or seemed jealous over some meaningless tryst in the past. When she pushed his chest, he willfully followed her silent command, lying down on her feather bed. He took a deep breath, calming his nerves. “Do whatever you want with me, little Bird. I am yours to command”.

 

She really wanted to touch it. It looked so smooth and... well, it looked dangerously large but Sandor had eased her mind about that part at least. Sansa slowly moved down the length of his legs till her face to face with his cock. Sansa trailed a finger up the shaft, gasped at how soft it was. Sansa snapped her head up to look at Sandor, like she just discovered some hidden secret. “It’s so soft.” 

 

Sandor contained his outburst of laughter and gave a snort instead, hoping it would offend her less. She was so adorable in her enthusiasm. “That it is, little Bird”. He was nearly at wits end here, being this hard for hours and with her touching him again even the slightest, set his body on fire, slowly trailing a single fingertip up and down his cock. “Sansa, please have mercy and touch your loyal dog” he nearly whined, begging for more of her touch. 

 

Sansa would always think of him lovingly as ‘her Hound’ but hearing Sandor calling himself a dog caused Sansa to frown. It was more likely because he thought so little of himself; to put himself down in the muck where he thought he belonged. It stung her that Sandor couldn’t see just how much she admired his many traits and his heart above all. How much she loved him for exactly who he was and she couldn’t ignore it anymore.

 

She finally took him in hand, remembering how Ramsey would have her bleeding on the floor and then rip furiously at his ‘appendage’ before that white goo came splurging out. “Not my dog” she stated with a finality that made him look up. Of cause he would misunderstand that, giving her the same sad puppy eyes from before. She gave him a smile “not ‘my dog’, but ‘my Sandor’!” 

 

How she loved when his eyes smiled like that. To see him this happy filled her heart and made her feel closer to him. Two broken people finding each other. “I never want to hear you put yourself down again” giving him a hard squeeze around his cock as a warning. However it had the opposite effect, having Sandor moaning deep in his throat. 

 

Her voice cut through his mind repeating ‘my Sandor’ over and over with sheer elation. “Sandor, tell me you understand this” Sansa slowed down seemingly to make sure she caught his attention. Sandor groaned and hid his face with his arm. His little Bird was preforming torture on him now. But Sansa waited for her answer. “I will try not to, little bird” he removed his arm and slowly sat up defeated.

 

His sanity was threatened if they kept stopping like this, but if Sansa demanded him to think himself worthy, she hadn’t thought it through. Just like with the coupling without moon tea would be risking her becoming pregnant; asking him to never think of him as low as he was, was to disturb the way the world worked, because he was that low compared to her. Including everyone would think this coupling was utterly ridiculous if anyone ever found out.

 

Sansa felt the mood shift and she removed her hand from his member as discretely as possible. Sandor sat up fully, towering over her in the bed and with sad eyes stroke her hair. “You must admit, me being here with you.” He held her eyes and slipped his knuckles down her cheek. “It’s hard not to see the difference from an old dog to the most gorgeous woman in all of Westeros. Social standings aside, no one would ever accept you being with me”.

 

Sandor had told her how he felt about her several times. Fair enough it was more likely unintentional than anything but she clearly hadn’t made him aware how she felt, just how far she would want to go to be with him. Sansa swallowed and looked into his sad eyes. “Like I told Arya, all the pretty princes and handsome knights and lords, they were all ugly on the inside. Hurting me, tormenting me, and then there is you”. 

 

Flinching away at that last comment, Sandor guessed that it would be followed by a ‘but you are the ugliest of them all’. Sansa turned his face back to look at her, her soft fingers touching both sides of his face. “Sandor, I know you think you look ugly”. His face twisted, ready to sneer at her if she would dare lie to him, but Sansa simply tipped her head to the side and smiled sadly.

 

“I did find you ugly at first. That is true. You were a frightening sight”. Sansa stroke her thumbs over his cheeks, his burnt flesh hardly feeling anything, while his other cheek felt everything. Warm and gentle, she caressed his marred flesh without showing any disgust on that beautiful face of hers.

 

“Time slowly passed and you allowed me to see who you really were, to see your heart. You protected me, Sandor, whenever you could and helped me understand how cruel the world was... in your own gruff manner, but I soon learned that when it came to me, the Hound was all bark and no bite”. Sansa’s grin at her small jest, made Sandor crack a reluctant smile. 

 

She ran her fingers through his long hair and looked him over. “I thought I knew love when I was younger, but it was all an empty infatuation of a pretty face. The love like I have for you is stronger, deeper. You alone hold my heart, Sandor. No one else could compare to my brave protector”.

Sansa remembered what Jon had told her about his queen’s new directive with marriages between low and high-born. It would be a gamble to ask Sandor outright in case he wasn’t the marriageable type, but Sansa knew she had to confess. To let him know just how much she loved him. Sansa kissed him to muddle her mind with loving emotions, to overrule her nervousness and how truly unladylike this would be. Her septa would surely disapprove of a woman asking a man about marriage.

Sansa held herself close to his warm body, sitting face to face even if her nerves wanted to hide her face in his neck. Sandor needed to see her face, to see the honesty in her eyes and her smile. “Jon had told me something about the dragon queen’s new rule. She wants to encourage high-born and nobles to marry lowborn or poor alike, to avoid the chasm between the poor and the powerful”.

Sandor eyed her, but she couldn’t determine what he was thinking. Her heart was beating so fast and the blood was rushing in her ears. Sitting naked together if this went wrong was perhaps not the best idea but Sansa had to trust her instincts and trusted in Sandor’s affection. “As the Lady of Winterfell, it would seem like the perfect opportunity to set an example, don’t you think?”

He frowned and nodded slowly, seemingly not following or not daring to hope where she was going with this. Best get it over with then. “Jon though I would never have to marry then, since marrying to secure more power would then go against his queen’s new directive”. Sansa pauses and took a shattering breath of nerves, closed her eyes and rushed the words out “butifyouwerewillingIwouldliketobemarriedtoyou”!

Sandor blinked at her owlishly. Slowly her rushed words sunk in and a wide smile stretched over his face. “You would spend the rest of your life with me” his voice breathy and disbelieving, despite his smile. Sansa could feel her blush warm her face. “Yes” she whispered with a smile and then hid her face in his neck, causing Sandor to rumble a laughter and hugging her tightly. “Little bird, you make me so buggering happy, I feel like a bloody poet”.

He kissed her neck multiple times before answering her. “I would be honored, Sansa… My little Bird” he purred. Sandor kissed her neck again and then continued to plant small kisses up her throat and jaw till they met in a heated kiss. No more words needed to be said in the lovers embrace.

Sandor smiled into her kiss, heated emotions trying to overrule his sanity. He didn’t dare couple with her on the eve before the huge battle, in case his seeds would take root and then only to die the very next day. Sandor wouldn’t be that careless. However he could give her something else than her hand on his cock. Something that would get them both to come.

He lifted her a little and Sansa felt his smooth member glide off where he had trapped it between their thighs and back to her moist center. He slotted her against him and gave her a push against her cunt. Sansa shivered at the feeling, Gods it felt good! Her fingers trailed over his shoulders, causing a delicious groan from him.

Sansa clawing him like that caused him to groan and her whimpering for more friction made his cock jump. Sandor held on to her hips with his large paws and slowly began to slide her back and forth, causing her to gasp and moan into his mouth. The exquisite feel of her wet cunt sliding over his cock was making him dizzy with want, rubbing her faster and faster.

“Sansa... little bird. Oh fuck...” He removed his hands from her hips, letting her control the rhythms and hugged his arms around her back, his breath coming out in ragged pants. Being hard for hours was making every movement pure bliss to the point of almost being too much. It was the closest thing to the Heavens he’d ever felt.

He buried his face in her neck, mouthing kisses along the slender neck, whispering his love and adoration in her ear. “Little bird, I will be there... for you, for as many pups you want. I will guard you and protect you... oh Sansa, don’t stop. Don’t stop!” His clenched his arms around her, so close!

His admissions made her heart sing and her Sandor panting and moaning deep in his chest set fire inside her body. The same build up was coming, it was so close. The way he squeezed her, she suspected he was close too. Sansa was grinding her hips into his, biting down on his shoulder to muzzle herself as waves of ecstasy flooded her entire body. Her nails clawed down his arms and then wet spurts squirted up between their sweaty skin.

Sansa continued to slowly rock back and forth, her mind kept repeating ‘a little more, just a little more’ while shivering with overstimulation. Sandor’s hands came down to stop her hips, his deep rumbling laugh in her ear filling her inside with joy. “Still thirsty for more, little Bird?” Sansa hummed and leaned up to give him a lazy kiss.

“I could get used to this, I admit” Sansa gave him a bright smile and he sighed happily. He leaned over the bedside and grabbed his undergarments to dry off his seed from her pale milky skin and his own hairy and scared belly. Such a difference between them and yet she had blessed him with her love. Something he would spend every day of his life to be worthy off.

Tossing the soiled clothing on the floor, Sandor hugged her tired body to his and gently laid them both down on the feather bed. He tugged up the blankets, making sure his little bird wasn’t cold. It would seem like Sandor had exhausted her. He smiled fondly and kissed her hair. His beautiful little Bird.

Sansa had placed her head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat. Something seemed to amuse him with his huff and a kiss to her hair. She smiled into his chest, ‘her Sandor’. He had agreed to marry and if they both survived this war, she couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful than to run her home with Sandor as her husband and perhaps a few little pups, she thought with a shy grin. Somehow, despite the wars to come, Sansa somehow knew it was all going to be okay.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

His hand stroke up and down her soft arm, soaking in all he could from her presence. Her face nuzzled into his chest hair and she sighed happily. “Sandor, I can’t tell you how happy you make me, by being here with me”. Sandor looked down at the crown of her hair. It would be just like her to say something sappy like that. Romantic notions and whatnot; Even if he had been annoyed by it in King’s Landing, it was nice to see the idea of love hadn’t been completely beaten out of her.

 

“Ay, little Bird. You make me happy too” he grunted and winched. He didn’t exactly sound convincing but he felt it. He felt so bloody happy he could cry but to say it, to admit it out loud was still something that didn’t come natural. Sansa chuckled and leaned up on her elbow, giving him a peck on his lips before smiling down at him.

 

“It’s kind of you to say, but I know it’s awkward for you, Sandor” her free hand stroking his cheek and her eyes dancing over his face. “Now that I know your heart, you don’t have to say it if it feels uncomfortable for you”. Sansa tipped her head to the side and gave him a small grin “well perhaps once every new moon would be nice, but otherwise you can just show me”. Sansa’s cheeks flamed up in a beautiful blush and Sandor leaned forward to kiss her soundly.

 

“You’re making my head grow too big for its own good, little Bird. Never had known pleasure before and now I make you thirsty for it. The Seven couldn’t design a greater blessing in my life, than being able to make you this happy, little Bird” kissing her again, this time more softly.

 

Sansa sighed into his kiss and parted from him, looking at him with a dreamy look in her eyes. He remembered every look she ever gave Joffrey from sweet to resentful in the end; every sideways glance and shy smile at the ponce Loras and never had he seen such adoration in her eyes like how she now looked at him. Buggering Others, to know that Sansa bloody Stark loved him. Him! He didn’t deserve her love, neither her hand in marriage but he would be damned if he wasn’t greedy enough for her, that he would do just about anything to protect and love her for the rest of his days.

 

He would be her sworn shield or husband, whatever she desired or required of him, not giving two shits about what the people might say about this reversed power dynamic in their relationship… Hells, they could even call him Sansa’s fucking bed slave if they wanted to. He didn’t give a damn, as long as he was allowed to be at her feet and worship her for the remainder of his days.

 

Sansa smiled up at her Hound. Her brave and loving Hound, with his face so handsome when he smiled at her, her own private moments with the fearsome Sandor Clegane. The Bane on the battlefield, the name alone that strikes fear in most. Here in her bed, he was her loving husband to be, hers for all of her days. He said yes. He wanted to be with her just as much. Just thinking of his disbelieving smile after she had rushed out her nervous proposal, made her heart flutter.

 

Sansa sighed, feeling floaty and happy staring into his eyes so deep with emotions. She could feel a part of her old self come to life again, her heart thawed up by his smile, his caress and his love pouring into ever action. The part of her that never thought she would have the happy life her parents had and now thanks to Sandor returning to her side, they would get that. They would take their shitty, shitty past and turn their lives into something beautiful and healthy. She could get a life again, with him. The one man who had ever put her needs before his own, the one who always protected her.

 

Sandor leaned over, kissing her nose “you look like a fool in love, little bird” he said smiling. Sansa’s beaming grin lifted his spirits, her soft hand taking his gruff one in hers. “well, I am, just as I suspect you are, my love”. Okay, so Sandor wasn’t much of a crier, never has been, but saying stuff like that made his eyes prickle a bit. But he didn’t cry. Sandor sniffled and looked away, clearing his throat. “My love, huh” he tried carefully; she may just have said that nickname by accident, but he sure as Hells liked it.

 

Sansa laid down beside him and smiled, kissing his shoulder “yes, ‘my love’. Do you mind?” Sansa looked at him a bit unsure. He had to clear his throat again to be sure his voice didn’t crack. “No, little bird, I like it” taking her hand with his and kissing her soft milky skin. Sansa stripped him for every barrier and defense he had ever put up and these days he had been crying more than he had since before he was a young lad. It was bloody embarrassing but lucky for him, Sansa didn’t seem to mind one bit.

 

They laid there caressing each other, just enjoying the company. Both of them knew he couldn’t spend the night. If her ladies came to the room before they woke, it would be catastrophic for his little Bird. That would be a way to start rumors before they even had a chance to survive the terror marching upon Winterfell. He could tell by the way Sansa glance over at the door and then the window that her thoughts was probably not far off from his own.

 

Sandor didn’t want his fleeting moments with Sansa to be clouded by the White Walkers, so instead he tried to think of something to talk about. Sandor cleared his throat yet again and looked Sansa in the eyes. “It was nice to see your sister had survived”. The topic about family was sure to divert both  their minds from the looming threat.

 

Sansa’s face lit up and  gave him a beautiful smile. “yes, well, at first when she arrived back, we didn’t exactly see eye to eye. We sort of clashed like we always did as children. Both her and I had had some life changing experiences that molded us into who we are now, but as you can tell how close we are now…” Sansa played with his hand, her smaller ones taking it, caressing the surface, studying his scared and coarse skin. That or simply trying to avoid to look at him while speaking of this. He assumed the latter and he was pretty sure what name was about to pop up in the conversation.

 

Sansa cleared her throat. She was unsure what Sandor would do once he found out the truth about the slimy predator of a man. “It turned out to be Littlefinger who pegged us against one another.” Sandor gave a snort “yeah, go figure, never trusted that man. A weasel in human clothing”. His little bird smiled at that and he took her fingers in his big bear paw and kissed her dainty fingertips, assuring her that he knew what had happened and wasn’t about to go on a rant about death and destruction. She and the little wolf bitch had tag teamed nicely to deal with that threat and he was damned proud of them.

 

Sansa looked up at him and sighed relieved. “Well, when we finally came together, we went to see Bran in the dark of night where Littlefinger and potential spies wouldn’t see us” Sansa might have said that with a hint of pride in her voice, but seeing the adoration and proud look in Sandor’s eyes meant more to her than all the lord and ladies opinion combined. She absentmindedly kept caressing his big hand as she continued her tale.

 

“Bran told us a lot of things. Things about what we both endured and one of the things were before Arya warmed up to you on your trip north, you had told her about when you saved me during the riot in King’s Landing.” Sandor peaked up, he didn’t think that the boy would delve so deeply into the days and years apart but this should be interesting. He had never lied to her; except for when he tried to make the wolf pup kill him as a mercy. Then his words had been cruel and crass, but to no end.

 

“Ay, she thought I was the worst of them out there. Didn’t mind screaming it at me either” he grumbled. “Somehow I took offense by that. Perhaps because she was your sister” he gave a shrug. “Heck, might even been that fact that I had to wait for days to see if she would run. Could have made me wait for nothing at all.”

 

Sandor recalled when he waited in those woods; had planned where it would be most likely for the little wolf bitch to run if she managed to escape and still be able to spot if she ran in a different direction. “Didn’t sleep much nor ate for that matter. Something told me I needed to get her safe. That you, my little bird” he tugged a lock of hair behind her ear “would appreciate that I took care of your family.” 

 

Sansa could feel her lip wobbling. Even when she had refused him in King’s Landing, he had thought of her, even extended his compassion enough to save her sister from murders and rapists in those woods. When Bran had told Arya who else had been hiding in those woods, her face had turned white. Sansa tugged herself to his warm hairy chest, inhaling the scent of him, enjoying being surrounded by his arms and feeling safe.

 

“Bran could see there was a small band of renegades in those same woods where you waited” Sansa whispered into his chest. “If you hadn’t gotten to her, she would most likely ended up raped repeatedly and chained up like they did with a farmer´s daughter they caught instead.” Sansa shook her head. Her chosen escape route would have taken her directly towards those men and the thought was too horrible to contemplate.

 

“Arya was white as a sheet when Bran told her”. Sandor hugged Sansa a little closer. It was a horrid thought but it made sense why he then had felt something more than him at stake when he waited in the woods. He had never been able to explain it, but now he knew. And when she was just a pup there wasn’t much if anything she could have done against a band of renegades. Even Sandor involuntarily shuttered by the thought, he was glad that she had been saved. If only he could have done the same for his little bird. But those rumors weren’t something he would bring into her bed between them here.

 

Sansa kissed his chest and reclined back again to look at him. She was relieved yet again of how wonderful he was handling what she told him. Whether or not he wanted to admit it, Sansa knew her Hound had a soft spot for her sister, perhaps like an older brother or a father even. She remembered what Bran had told Arya… Telling Sandor how Bran explicitly told Arya just how much Ramsey had done and how horrible it had been for her wasn’t necessary. It would only cause alarm for him and wishing he could kill an already dead man. Besides, that sort of horror wasn’t something she wanted to talk about in their most intimate moments, lying naked in each other’s arms. Those words would have to wait if he decided to ever want to hear her say them.

 

-

 

Sandor had left her room when the sky outside the window slowly broke with morning light. Sansa had been burrowing herself deeper into the sleeping pelts and almost purred contently as he stroke her back. After a while there came a light snoring from her that had made him smile. Sandor softly kissed her hair and tugged the sleeping pelts over her shoulder, making sure Sansa was snuggled warm and safely under them before he dressed and silently left out the door. He may have forgone his longsword for this visit, but his trusted dagger was still at his side, should anyone need a threat or two if they spotted him.

 

To his luck no one did. The kitchen staff was most likely to already be finished with the first batch of bread, so he walked down a fairly round about tour in the castle to be sure no one would spot from which direction he could have come from. The kitchen staff looked nervous at the sight of him, but he tried his best not to scowl at them and snatched a small bread and a wine skin. With the amount of mouths to feed, he couldn’t very well be greedy and take as much as his body normally would devour. No, that wouldn’t do.

 

If Sandor was to stay here at Winterfell at Sansa’s side, he had to refrain from his normal scowling and growls at people. So he gave the kitchen staff a somewhat stiff nod as a ‘thank you’ and he quickly walked away from the perplexed staff. Perhaps he could get a little sleep before the rest of the armies woke up, Gods know he didn’t get any this night, he thought smiling. A little food and some sleep would do wonders for his mood if he had to play curtsey to the entire staff at Winterfell but it was all to please his little Bird so he did it gladly, even if his face seemed to stretch oddly when he wasn’t at his natural scowl.

 

Sandor took a bite of bread and a swig of wine. He wasn’t a fool to think that they all escaped from the upcoming battle but he could hope. Sansa made him want to hope for the first time in all of his miserable existence… ever since… Sandor stopped abruptly. His brother! If the news about his marriage to Sansa… Sandor could feel the air became constricted in his chest; disturbing details of Gregor’s victims hitting his consciousness. He would… he could…

 

Leaning up against a stone wall, he looked up at the sky. The Gods were cunts if there ever were any. In the midst of their happiness and declarations of love, the one thing Sandor hadn’t accounted for, was his monster of a brother. The mountain of a man, with a bloodlust for killing and raping would… he swallowed again. He couldn’t even say it in his mind. The few rats he killed before they could hurt a younger Sansa would be nothing compared to be faced with Ser Gregor Clegane.

 

If Gregor survived the war and somehow heard of this union… Sansa would never be safe! Any pups they may have in the future would never be safe either! Sandor swallowed around the gravel in his throat. Sandor had to kill him. He had to survive this battle and go and kill his brother. It would be the only way to keep them safe. Sansa, their pups and even the rest of her family from the shattering grief of losing the beloved Lady of Winterfell. Sandor tipped himself up from the wall and walked back to get some much needed sleep.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

All the happiness from this morning was carefully hidden away behind a mask of cold indifference, when Jaime Lannister was presented in front of them. He stood contrite and told them how Cersei wasn’t planning to send her troops to the North to fight. Sansa did tell Tyrion that, but did he listen? No. Funny how none of the men in her life ever listened… all but one. Her Hound.

 

Sansa sifted minutely on her chair and schooled her expression to hinder the smile tugging on her lips. It wouldn’t do to let her mind wander to him. The Lady of Winterfell needed to convey strength and authority, not a giggling girl in love that wouldn’t be taken serious at all.

 

Focusing on the conversation at hand, Sansa hadn’t expected Cersei to send her forces North, but hearing it affirmed still left a sour taste in her mouth… And then the dragon queen went off the deep end! Droning on and on with her family and the need for revenge… like she wasn’t aware that they needed every soldier counted in the upcoming battle, especially one as trained as Ser Jaime, who could help ease the burden with training the Northern farmers and bakers who’ve never held a sword in their life.

 

Sure, Sansa may not have liked the man herself; could even give a very good reason (about half a family worth of reasons) as to why they should ship Ser Jaime to the stockade, have him tortured and getting revenge for both their families. BUT Sansa’s need for revenge came second to her fellow Northmen. Plus alliances come and go; one of the things she learned from Lord Baelish. The dragon Queen herself had a Lannister in her service.

 

Sansa took note of the mood in the room, calculating her words and actions before speaking up. Ser Jaime, though filthy from the road and tired from the long journey, had a glint of his own righteousness in his eyes and she could see he wouldn’t bow down. If Sansa had to guess, she would assume the dragon queen was about to see Ser Jaime spit his own verbal ‘fire’ at the dragon queen.

 

Glancing over at the woman, Sansa regretted her frosty welcome to the dragon queen now, seeing as a more soft approach was needed to placate her. It was almost like experiencing a mild version of Joffrey and if the dragon Queen suddenly decided to roast Ser Jaime alive, then Sansa nor any other abled body would be able to anything about that, hence costing her Northmen one less seasoned warrior to aid them.

 

Sansa strained herself to not sigh openly. She needed to placate the dragon queen and steer the murderous intent elsewhere. She had survived with one sadistic, vengeful royal, Sansa could deal with this one too… hopefully. Of cause Tyrion would also interfere when sensing the dangerous road this conversation took. He was a good man, but to throw in his lot with this mad woman? That, Sansa would never understand.

 

The dragon queen looked more and more agitated now, almost ready to snap and Sansa knew she was running out of time. She may not care what ill fate awaited Ser Jaime after the battle, but seeing how pained Tyrion looked, Sansa felt softness inside her, to protect him from his queen’s madness. Straightened her back, Sansa cast a glance at the dragon queen. “You are right, we cannot trust him. He attacked my father in the streets. He tried to destroy my house and my family, the same as he did yours”.

 

Ser Jaime widened his eyes. “You want me to apologize?! I won’t!” he stated, clearly annoyed to be on trial for long past crimes. Sansa was taken aback… The idiot! How could he not see where this was going? He had to be clever enough to know a bit of growling would placate the mad queen enough to let him live. Had the man no sense?! One would think he never had to placate his own nephew… or son, as it were.

 

Ser Jaime went on about words of honor and how this was about survival for all. He stood unapologetic and facing this high table of powerful men and women had to take courage. Sansa could respect that at least, but it still didn’t placate the dragon queen. Sansa was almost at her wits end, scrambling in her mind of a solution, but when Jaime didn’t want to corporate and being as childish in his stubbornness as the Dragon Queen, what was Sansa to do?

 

Thank the Gods! The Crone answered her prayers when Brienne stood and spoke for Ser Jaime. First Sansa didn’t know what to expect. Brienne never talked much about her time with Ser Jaime, though from the far away glances she often had, Sansa could only assume that feelings had evolved, perhaps even without the woman’s knowledge. It almost broke Sansa’s heart for her queen’s guard, knowing how Jaime’s heart in all likeliness still belonged to Cersei.

 

Brienne stood tall by Ser Jaime’s side and told the story of how Ser Jaime lost his hand. Horrific memories of rape made Sansa fight not letting her emotions show. Being raped was something women unfortunately risked, living in the world of men and from Jon’s tales about his new queen; she too had not been spared. Brienne had been one of the few lucky ones to escape that fate.

 

Brienne looked straight into her eyes. “Without him, you wouldn’t be alive… because he swore an oath to your mother”. So losing his sword hand, Ser Jaime saw fit to arm this fierce warrior woman and sent her out to save Sansa. He did that, despite what Cersei would have done in retribution if found out. That knowledge, of how loyal Ser Jaime had acted towards her mother, touched her deeply.

 

Sansa blinked a few times, gathered her strength and tried to steady her voice. Despite the direct route of growling would get the dragon queen off Ser Jaime’s back, Sansa had to acknowledge the honorable sacrifice on Ser Jaime’s part. So she molded her words carefully, trying to turn the whole room instead, so the dragon queen would be foolish to act out her revenge plans.

 

Sansa bowed her head, looking more like she had no choice in the matter “I trust you with my life…” The soldiers had seen the level of skill Brienne had trained them with; how she walked, talked and trained with confidence and loyalty towards the Stark name, therefore Sansa counted on her fellow Northerners would respect her enough to trust Brienne’s judgement as a respected soldier. 

 

“If you trust him with yours, we should let him stay”. She sat unmoving, the lump in her throat getting bigger and her voice dangerously close to cracking. She couldn’t show any weakness now. She had to respect the loyalty Ser Jaime had shown her mother, even if she now forced the dragon queen to accept him too. Sansa would have to placate her some other way later, but first things first was getting out of here before she broke down crying thinking of how her mother was looking over her from the grave.

 

The silver queen, as anticipated, didn’t like getting her hand forced. Sansa tried with all her might and push her mother’s memories aside, to stay strong. It was a childish move of the dragon queen to drag Jon into it, knowing he would follow ‘his queen’ like an obedient puppy. Sansa was already going ten different directions on how to keep Ser Jaime alive (one more risky than the next) when her brother’s voice solidified his loyalty towards survival and not just pleasing his lady love.

 

Sansa was both surprised and proud of him. The power dynamic between her brother and his queen was apparently also strong enough the other way around, that the ice queen didn’t risk rebelling against his word. Perhaps deep down the dragon queen saw reason, but the terse jaw-clenching “very well” from her, warned Sansa to be cautious, but as of now, this meeting was over and Sansa needed to get away. Preferably to her room to reign in her flood of emotions.

 

-

 

Sandor had watched the trail from the back of the room. Sansa was indeed a woman grown now; a bird with sharp talons and a ferocious wolf to boot. He was damn proud of how she handled the dragon queen, especially when Jaime went above and beyond being too bloody daft for his own good. But with this result, it added one more seasoned warrior to train the sorry lot of Northerners and it was more than welcome.

 

Sandor walked out from the great hall, a nagging thought in the back of his skull. He should try and get some grub before the training began again, but there had been something in Sansa’s voice he didn’t like. He wanted to make sure she was alright before he did anything else so on he went getting to her chambers through the same pathway as this morning to hide where he was going.

 

-

 

Sansa finally got away from rows of questions from her advisors after she tried to all but flee the great hall. She nearly ran back to her chambers, bared the door and took deep breaths against the cold wooden door. “Sansa” her name spoken behind her and she turned around, battling the tears more urgently. Her fury from finding an intruder in her own chambers vanished when Sandor stood with his arms wide open. His worried look made her choke out a sob and stepped into his arms, letting him hold her while she finally allowed herself to weep.

 

Memories of her mother flooded her mind while Sansa clung to him. When her mother would tug the sleeping pelts around her young daughters in for the night, singing them a lullaby; how her mother on rare occasions would join Sansa in the sitting room and do needlepoint side by side. Those precious moments with her mother made her cry helplessly into Sandor’s chest, the loss of her family completely overwhelming her, after years of suppressing her emotions.

 

Sansa didn’t know how long she had cried for and Sandor, the blessed man, had only moved them to the chair when her legs started to tremble. His arms scooped her up and there he sat, cradling her and letting her get it all out. He hadn’t rushed her; he didn’t silence her or seemed irritated by her tears. He just sat silently and letting her grieve while he held her close in his comforting arms. 

 

When the little Bird’s tears seemed to have dried out, she looked up at him with red puffy eyes. Sandor gave her a gentle smile “feel better?” He might be a rough bastard, but womenfolk apparently had a need to cry from time to time and if Sansa deemed him worthy of lowering her guards in front of him, he would do his damned best at comforting her… even if he more likely was shit at it.

 

Looking up at Sandor, his eyes gentle and his brows furrowed. She answered his question with a nod. She did feel better, but also like something had clawed her bloody from the inside out. Sansa, for all her might, still couldn’t close off her emotions completely and when it finally broke through, she was deduced to a little girl again, scared and alone, a sobbing and embarrassing mess.

 

Sandor seemed to accept her silent answer, thumbing her tears away. If Sansa hadn’t just cried her eyes out, his softness might have started her again. Always feeling her raw emotions just on the surface, Sansa opted to just stay silent for now, enjoying the warm safe embrace from Sandor. Despite how gruff he could be, he handled her grief exceptionally well and for that she was thankful.

 

As a lady, Sansa was well aware that she should never let down her guard, especially towards men and a man that was courting her or was her husband in particular. Most women learned early on to oppress their emotions (and opinions), since men didn’t care for such ‘outbursts’ and ‘hysteria’. If one were to make a good match, such things should not be shown, but as always Sandor Clegane showed her just how kind and understanding he could be.

 

Sansa smiled weakly and straightened her back. “Thank you for being here” giving him a peck on the lips. His large hand engulfed the back of her head, guiding her gently back to his lips. His kisses didn’t turn heavy with lust, more with a heavy kind of affection; like he tried to convey all of his comfort to her through his kissing.

 

They kissed for a little while, without rush, until Sandor parted them. His eyes looked saddened though he tried to smile for her. She knew he was thinking of the battle and so Sansa stroke his cheek and gave his lips a soft kiss. “We will both live and then you get to show me how amazing coupling is”. Sandor grunted a laugh and his lips quirked up “just be sure to relieve yourself before the battle, little Bird”.

 

Her eyes widened in shock. “Sandor, that is hardly-“ he shook his head and silenced her with a finger lightly ghosting over her lips. “I know you, Sansa. You have never seen a battle and I doubt your father have told tales of how men shit themselves during battle or at least when they die” giving her a quirked eyebrow.

 

Sansa blushed at the crass conversation but shook her head.  A Lady should never ever speak of such things so naturally this was new to her. Only once did she hear of her brothers complaining of the beheadings as ‘smelly business’. Now she knew why.

 

Sandor looked with kind eyes at her “I know my little lady bird would never live it down if she wet or shat herself in fear amongst the fine ladies in the North”. Sansa shook her head, blushing at the image. A horrifying thought it was indeed. Meekly she thanked him and hid her face in his neck. Sandor just chuckled, kissed her hair and hugged her close. Right now, this moment was all that mattered.

 

-

 

Later on when Sansa was alone and looking over some paperwork, Arya came barging into her chambers, her face furious when she slammed the door shut. Sansa got up and frowned. What in Maiden’s name… “Arya, are you quite alright?”. Arya stalked over to her and fumed “no, I’m bloody well NOT alright”. Her little sister took the nearest thing on the desk and threw it into the wall with all her might.

 

Sansa’s jaw fell, looking at her sister acting like that. “What in the world has gotten into you?” It was so unlike her sister to act violently. Even when she killed, it was with cool precision and without emotions. Arya scowled up at Sansa, slipping out of her pocket one of those creepy faces she once found in her room. “You remember how these work, right?” her sister asked through clenched teeth. Sansa nodded, she remember a wine filled night after they had killed lord Baelish, where Arya had indulged Sansa’s curiosity on just how much a slip of creepy skin could change ones whole being.

 

Arya slipped it back into her pocket and walked like a caged wolf back and forth. “I went through my routine to check through the camp if anything was amiss and I came across some soldiers talking. Seven hells she’s such a BITCH!” Sansa sensed that now would not be a good time to correct Arya’s excessive use of language so she silently sat down again and folded her hands politely and waited for her sister to continue.

 

“I weaseled my way into their conversation…” Arya kicked the wooden desk with a frustrated growl. “That damned woman has sunk her claws so deep into Jon… I can’t even begin to…” Arya then turned on Sansa and looked straight into her eyes. “They joked about how the Dragon Queen had Jon on a leash. How when she threatened YOU, he didn’t say anything!”.

 

Sansa straightened her back, surely with a threat on his family’s life he wouldn’t... “perhaps they misunderstood-“. Arya tugged on her hair in frustration “don’t you see? She had stated out right to Jon ‘if she can’t respect me’ and left the rest to hang in the air”. This was indeed cause for concern. The ‘suggestions’ of threat was a well-versed use of intimidation in King’s Landing, so if the dragon Queen really had said that to Jon and he didn’t respond even the slightest…

 

Standing up, Sansa folded her hands demurely in front of her. “I will deal with this” she simply stated and left the room, both sisters nodding in understanding. Had this issue been dealt with bloody, the task would go to Arya, but they both knew with the Army of the Dead on the move, a diplomatic approach was needed. For the time being at least.

 

-

 

The servant came back to Sansa in the library, bowing slightly and looked up nervously. “Beg your pardon my Lady, but the servants outside her chambers said that the dragon Queen was indisposed at the moment with her advisors”. Sansa nodded in understanding and looked down at her scrolls. “Please let Lord Royce know I have need of him” giving the boy a nod for him to go. The lad bowed again and hurried off. Poor kid, her servants must have snapped at him or scared him some other way.

 

Sighing, Sansa intended to make good use of her precious little time of planning before the battle. She had to check up on the blacksmith on their progress; the kitchen, for wine as a sedative and to clean wounds after the battle. Sansa looked over the scrolls and hummed. The washing room still hadn’t sent up an update either, for how much clean linen they had ready for when the wounded would needed them.

 

Yohn Royce joined her and they spent a good while planning as much as possible for the Keep and its thousands of inhabitants before the dragon Queen herself sought her out. This was to be taken advantage off. Sansa nodded Lord Royce away and sat down with the silver haired Queen. Playing like Cersei, Margaery and Baelish would have, she smiled and gently lured out what the dragon Queen’s true intentions was with the North.

 

Just like Sansa had been afraid off, it was ruling everything or nothing. Sansa held her tongue and played her part till the woman realized she slipped up and revealed her cards. The Targaryen was certainly not pleased. Before it escalated to threats about dragon fire, they were interrupted. Good thing for the dragon Queen, because had she uttered a genuine threat on Sansa’s life, both women knew that Jon would choose his family first.

 

Walking to the great hall Sansa spotted him. The last ‘brother’ she had, that was still alive, had come home! He kneeled before his Queen but when asked why he was here, he looked at Sansa, pledging himself to fight for Winterfell, if she would have him. The shell of a man known as Reek was gone and here stood her older brother, contrite and loyal to once again fight besides his family. With all the emotions Sansa had gone through these last few days, seeing Theon again, seeing the real him, made her eyes brimming with tears.

 

She rushed over and hugged him close, trying desperately not to sob out loud. Her last living family was home! They were all together now and Sansa let herself go for a moment to simply revel in the joy of her family.  It would only be later when she would realize how Theon had unintentionally disregarded his Queen. A great offence that had not been reprimanded nor punished for. It must have thrown the silver Queen off to have her most loyal men turn to Sansa. Even if this secretly pleased Sansa, she knew that this wasn’t good compared to the Queen’s very Joffrey-esque temperament these days.

 

-

 

Sansa walked along with Theon to get supper with their people. The war council had been a somber affair and the mood dampened more than before. They had only a slim chance to beat the Night King and his army. Only a small chance that they all survived till the morrow and the thought was indeed a depressing one. Nevertheless, speaking with Theon again and hear his tales served to take her mind of the impending doom.

 

-

 

Sandor took a swirl of his wine sack. He was a bloody coward and he fucking hated himself for it. He had all the opportunities to tell her about Gregor and how he needed to kill his brother before they could have a real chance at a life together. Sandor felt like punching something… hard!! Bloody coward, he scowled at himself. He should have told her but fear got to him. What if she wouldn’t let him leave? What if she changed her mind then and didn’t want to marry him anyways?

 

All sorts of depressing scenarios went over and over through his mind, making him damned miserable. He should have told her but the little voice that cowered in the dark corner of his mind reminded him, that if he did die, then he never would have to tell her and she would never have to know. Only that line of thinking made him think of his little Bird and how she would be left alone in this world, if she even make it through the night herself.

 

Fuck. Tears prickled in his eyes but he refused to cry. He would bloody well survive and grow a pair and tell her. The most perfect woman in all of Westeros wanted to marry him of all people and he would survive and survive his brother and they would bloody well live a whole fucking lifetime together and if any of the Gods tried to claim him, he would bloody well kill anyone of them that would dare keep him from his little Bird.

 

Sandor clenched his teeth and nodded to himself, focusing on the upcoming battle instead. Fighting he knew how to do and according to the Stark boy, the Night King and his armies wouldn’t be here for at least a few hours. Still, he couldn’t go back inside. The only one he wanted to snuggle up to was having her farewells with family and only a few other people he could even tolerate in his emotional state, so solitude it was.

 

Besides, he and Sansa had agreed that morning to say their goodbyes then, knowing a later goodbye would cause stress amongst preparations and with stakes this high, they would both prefer to focus in the evening before the battle. He had trained and warmed up his body, the wine kept his body warm and ready (and smoothed the edges of his fear), while Sansa made sure everything off the battlefield was as ready as the soldiers were.

 

She was so brave, even in her farewell. The raw emotions when he kissed her on last time... Sandor swallowed a mouthful wine and a sob along with it. He wouldn’t cry again. He would make sure that the army didn’t reach Sansa, even if he had to take on the bloody army himself. She had to live. She had to. He couldn’t bear the thought of her dying and end up as an undead slave.

 

A noise caught his attention. Ah, the little wolf pup. One of his proudest moments to see Arya fucking Stark alive and kicking. She had taken his advice back then it seems and found herself some even better teachers, making herself out to be an efficient little killer. He was damn proud off her.

 

Sandor handed her the wine sack as she reached for it and then proceeded to slump down next to him. Sandor wondered if it was too cold for her up here. Perhaps he should scare her inside again. Wouldn’t want her to catch a cold on the eve of a big battle. She didn’t say anything at all though. No insults, no nothing and it got his hackles up. “You never used to shut up and now you’re just sitting there like a mute?” Somehow he felt insulted. Didn’t he mean anything to her anymore?!

 

“Guess I’ve changed” she said after a little while. Then she turned and countered “what are you doing out here”? Odd question but he was glad she was snapping at him at least. Meant she cared and Sandor almost smiled. “What does it look like I’m doing?” How he missed their friendly banter and how she managed to make every word sound like an insult. He’d imagine if he and Sansa had a girl, she would be much like her aunt.

 

Clearly the girl didn’t realize just how much he actually did. Perhaps bantering with her alone wasn’t enough, so Sandor chose to guide her. Letting her figure it out and remember just how much he did for her. “I fought for you, didn’t I?!”

 

Then that cunt Beric showed up and ruined their lovely family moment with his presence.. But Sandor perked up when he greeted the wolf pup with an apology. He looked with perhaps a little too much hopefulness at Arya “was he on your list”? “For a little while” she replied passively. Aw bugger. Would have been epic to see her spear the fucker… especially when the man thought he could turn this into a church meeting. Sandor snapped at him to get him to shut up with that fucking shit. Bloody fire worshipper.

 

They lapsed into silence for a breeze before the little pup stood and walked off. “Where’re you going?” he spoke before thinking. He always wanted to make sure she was safe, but as long as she settled for inside the warm keep, he would have to accept that. She wasn’t a little girl no more and sooner or later Sandor would have to let go of his protective instinct. Let her stand on her own two feet, grow and kill and whatnot.

 

-

 

Sansa stood on the battlement with Arya, waiting for the Undead army to arrive, while the soldiers made ready and the women and children walked down into the crypt. Sansa knew it was a risk, but when Tyrion suggested it, she imagined if Winterfell fell to dragon fire, the tons of heavy rubble would crush anyone inside. The crypt was not only built as the Stark’s last resting place but also to function as a vault to be safe from destruction above during war times.

 

The small winding stairs giving the enemy no view of what’s inside and not in line of sight for archers, hence giving the people hiding a better chance of survival. The old gate was fortified by the blacksmith and with that, Sansa had to hope that the coffin’s stone walls would also keep the dead inside their final resting place in case the Night King did raise the dead within range of the Keep.

 

Despite her anxiety, a little voice inside said, it would all work out. Sansa couldn’t explain how, but somehow, or despite her fear of the army approaching, Sansa trusted in the Gods. They gave her back the rest of her living family, her home and her Sandor. With the thousands in their army now and two dragons in tow, they would – somehow – prevail.

 

 

Chapter Text


The dragons took off with their riders, Arya and Sansa looking through the dark night to follow them for as long as sight permitted. Once their brother was gone into the night, they both turned their eyes towards the enemy, hidden behind the thick blanket of night, with no sound carrying over the field towards them.

 

It gave Sansa chills up her spine knowing something terrible was out there waiting. Her faith however got filled with the sight of the Dothraki rode into battle with magically infused weapons of fire. They would stand a much better chance like this.

 

The winds blew softly around her, no sound coming from the troops below the wall. Everyone stood silently and watched as more and more flames died out in the distance.

 

Her faith that the Gods were with them and would see them through the battle was thorrowly shaken, when all that came back were a few lone riders.

 

No other survivors... No sound... no nothing...

 

And then , they came.

 

A frightening wall of squirming, screeching… THINGS, that all but swarmed their troops when they clashed into them. Battle cries and horrific snarls carried in the wind all the way up to the battlement where they stood. Sansa never felt so terrified. She couldn’t move; she could hardly even breathe. The sounds and image of carnage and death was too real, too violent for her.

 

Then out of nowhere pyres of blazing fire lit up along the ground, followed by the two dragons. The undead victims screeched in agony and Sansa felt her body began to tremble with fear. Such horrible power, it could go wrong SO fast.

 

They only managed to see Jon and his dragon disappear into a wall of ice and snow before Arya quickly turned towards Sansa and tried to usher her down into the crypts.

 

Sansa’s mind was in roaring conflict. She knew how important her being on the battlements was for her people. It gave them hope , a sense of their leader being there right in the thick of it. However looking at how scared her sister looked, Sansa could feel the panic rush through her limbs.

 

Every fiber of her being screamed at her to run, however the words tumbled out of her before she thought of them. “I’m not abandoning my people” she said in a less than sure voice. She had to stay. Her people had no choice but to stay their ground, so she should too. No matter how frightened she was.

 

However Sansa could feel the way she trembled and how her voice gave away her fear. She knew it was only a matter of the smallest of shoves before Sansa would give in and run towards the crypts. Arya took one of her Dragonglass daggers and gave to her “take this and go”. Sansa knew she couldn’t conceal the very real fear or the shaking of her hand as she took it.

 

“I don’t know how to use it”. Arya saw Sansa’s disappointment in herself as she looked at the dagger. Both Arya and Brienne had tried to teach her, but her Lady of a sister was such a girl when it came to knives and swords. Arya looked at her big sister “stick ‘em with the pointy end.”

 

Knowing Sansa’s many failures during their secret training, there really wasn’t any more to it. However complex the fighting styles and situations could be, this was all the advice Arya could give now and hope to the God of Death that he would not take her sister away from her this night.

 

Sansa took a deep breath and nodded. The first fighting position Arya taught her came to mind. Arya who took her teaching job very seriously, walking with crossed arms back and forward, watching her older sister wielding her dagger. ‘ Thrust out… Arm stretched… Gather the strength from your entire upper body and hips ’. Sansa nodded once more to her sister as a way of farewell and hurried down to the crypts.

 

-

 

Frozen stiff, Sandor leaned against a stone wall. His body wouldn’t obey him. His mind flashing from reality to his childhood. He saw hundreds of Gregors with snarling mouths and icy blue eyes, every single one of them coming to burn him, to kill him. His breath strained.

 

He had looked around him, trying to grasp at reality, to escape this living nightmare but all he kept seeing was the bodies of his mother and his baby sister laying dead on the ground... and then his father. Standing in the distance, looking away… always looking away. Never lifting a finger to help them.

 

Sandor tried desperately to reason with his mind, to grasp the straws of reality. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real, he had to fight. Sandor chocked on a sob. He just wanted to curl up in a ball in his little bed and cry and hide from all his nightmares. He wanted to rip the hair out of his head.

 

NOTHING helped! Sandor still felt his own flesh burning in the crackling fire, his chest feeling too tight to breathe properly and still seeing all the Gregors in the corner of his eye, snarling his name “ggglllaandorrr”. He was feeling so small and helpless and he just KNEW they were all going to die. Nothing could beat death once it came for you.

 

The cunt Beric was shouting at him. Needing him in battle... bugger that. He couldn’t. His legs stood their ground, the panic kept him rooted on the spot. Sandor might have shouted something back but he couldn’t be sure. All that was going through his mind was the feeling of melting skin and Gregor evil eyes staring at him, always staring.

 

Sandor could feel the tears prickle in his eyes, wishing the world could be silent but that persistent cunt screamed at him again. Sandor was ready to snarl at him to fuck off till he followed to where Beric was pointing. NO! Little wolf! His feet moved on their own, his hand gripping his axe ready to fight his way to the little pup.

 

The living dead had gotten their own rotting faces back. No more Gregors, no more feeling of searing flesh on his own face. Seeing the army of the dead overwhelm the castle still almost had him shit himself in fright but he kept fighting through them. He had to get to the little wolf, he  had to save her!

 

When they caught up with her, she was cornered. Sandor felt the protective instinct flaring up inside him and he propelled him forward, his sole focus her, while everything around them faded into the back ground. The little pup needs to be safe, she’s family. I have to protect her. His years of protecting the little shit king with his own body took over, even if his fear hadn’t been silenced, she had to be saved, even if it cost him his life!

 

His mind was strangely disconnected with his body. He saw his axe cut through the dead while Beric and he fought their way through the keep, but it felt like his fear was trapped in his head and his body fought to protect the small precious cargo next to him. His body was a honed weapon, primed for battle and bloodshed. So his body kept swinging his battle axe and mowed down the enemy. He could die once Arya was safe but not a damned moment before that!

 

When Sandor had hastily fortified the oak door, to keep the undead horde out, then Sandor felt like he could finally breathe again. Beric, the idiot sacrificed himself and now he watched silently as the little wolf pup kneeled down, watching the life drain out of the man. It was a damned shame.

 

The Red priestess came up to Arya to talk to her, however she had survived the dead army swarming the castle. The woman looked her deep into her eyes and told her how the Lord brought him back for a purpose and that that purpose was now fulfilled. Sandor was about to argue about the damned preaching but one look at the little wolf pup and Sandor thought if the Lord of Light kept an eye out for the little wolf and hopefully his little bird too, he would be a believer for the rest of his bloody life.

 

While they talked, Sandor raised his axe, the sound of the undead coming stronger from the other side. He had to be ready even if his nerves began to creep in, even if half Arya’s rescue team was now down, Sandor would stand his ground. The little wolf however had a different opinion, running past him with a steely determination on her face.

 

Sandor stood left behind with bewilderment, a warm feeling blooming in his chest of her being invincible, that severely contradicted the battle all around them and his sense of reality. The red woman smiled at him “you feel it too, don’t you, Sandor Clegane”. He looked down at the woman, puzzled and fighting the urge to run after her, leaving the red woman to defend herself.

 

She held up a hand “no need to go after her, she will succeed in what she must now do. The Lord wills it”. She looked at the heavy oak door cracking open and pointed her hand towards the undead pushing to get through. He raised his axe ready to fight them, when a pyre of blazing fire emanated from her hand, setting the unfortunate ghouls ablaze till there were nothing left but crumbled black husks.

 

Slowly, Sandor turned his head towards her, meeting a smiling face and eyes filled with mischief. She bloody KNEW he hated fire, he could tell from the way she looked at him. He snarled at her but held back screaming at her... since she did kill them and all. Still, a heads up would have been appreciated, he huffed to himself.

 

“You will see a lot more fire before your journey ends. The Lord isn’t done with you yet, Sandor Clegane”. Sandor huffed at her cryptic words, raised a chair and sat down to catch a moments rest before the battle began again. “Enough with the fancy words” he glared at her. Those damned priests always tried to sound so bloody important without really saying anything.

 

She smiled and walked over to stand in front of him, then held out a hand to touch his head. Sandor flinched away at first. What in the bloody hells... but she simply followed him and placed a feathery light touch on his head. “The Lord has chosen you as His champion. He bestows his blessing upon you for your quest to rid the world of your brother. Your sacrifice will deem you worthy to return to your…” she looked down at his stunned face, he hadn’t even told Sansa about Gregor yet. “to your… bird?” The woman looked puzzled, but faithfully delivered the message nonetheless.

 

Sandor swallowed hard and nodded slowly. There was no way she could have known He had been sure it would be his death to face Gregor, but now Sandor felt like a small child again, filled with the same hope and faith as he did when his mother took him to the little town’s church, teaching him about the kindness of the Gods.

 

From his vision in the flame so long ago, coming from something otherworldly, to the continuing revival of the man finally laying dead a few feet away, Sandor knew that there were some Gods up there, somewhere. He just assumed they hated his guts. But now. Now, he had hope.

 

-

 

When Sansa first had entered the crypts, she felt like a coward. Watching her people see her hide was shameful for her. She should have put up more of a fight, should have argued with Arya some more, but in the back of her mind, Sansa very well knew she would be dead within minutes had she stayed.

 

She found a place to sit, close to the staircase to keep an eye out for anyone entering. She might not be able to do much if the enemy should breach the door affixed with Dragonglass shards, but Arya and Brienne still had taught her a little. At one-on-one combat Sansa wouldn’t immediately die at least and if she could create a barrier for her people down here, at least she could do that.

 

Vary’s voice cut through the silence “at least we’re already in a crypt”. Sansa looked over and held her tongue at the macabre jest. Honestly, the timing of this man, but she mused he was most likely just as scared as the rest. He just handled it with a very dark humor instead of somber silence like the rest down here.

 

Tyrion was still moping around over being left out of the fight, standing in front of the staircase, arguing that they – as the cleverest men and women – should be up there, to perhaps make a difference. Sansa felt for him, she knew he was at least decent in a fight and he wanted so desperately to be of use, but he wouldn’t be against this enemy. He would die and she told him as much.

 

“There’s nothing you can do” she told him with a hint of sympathy, knowing he would catch onto it. Only a few clever heads would catch the subtle details in her face and change of tone. The subtleties she learned from the King’s Landings elite.

 

Granted Tyrion had been drinking from stupid-juice these past months, but Sansa wrote it off as Tyrion’s last desperate hope, that in the hour of need even the Lannister siblings would come together for the good of the whole Realm. Hope can be such a devastating thing when it doesn’t live up to ones expectations, recalling her time in King’s Landing as a hopeful and naïve little girl.

 

Tyrion huffed at her reply and shot her a look, though he thankfully gave up standing at the staircase to join her side instead. “You’d be surprised at the lengths I’d go to, to avoid joining the army of the Dead. I can think of no other organization that is less suited to my talents” he smiled and took a sip from a wineskin.

 

His witty remarks brought back pleasant memories of him, though Sansa knew him well enough to know he always covered up his true emotions with humorous jests or the occasional inappropriate comments. “Witty remarks won’t make a difference” Sansa countered.

 

Sansa looked away, feeling the shame of ‘hiding’ in the crypts and shrugged. “It’s the truth” the moment she said it, Sansa knew the heavy burden that fell on Tyrion’s shoulders, so she continued to speak, trying to lighten the burden for him however she could. “It’s the most heroic thing we can do now… look the truth in the face”.

 

Tyrion molded over her words and her meaning. We are all good at something, but we have to brave enough to admit when we are bad at something else too . There was a hint of awe on his face, she could tell. They hadn’t had much conversation since he got to Winterfell, but she knew the proud look on his face when she saw it.

 

She had indeed come a long way from the naïve little girl he had known back then, who tried to lift the spirits of the women during the siege of Blackwater Bay. Singing hymns and praying like a good little lady should, instead of staying alert like she was now. Now Sansa used her mind instead of prayer, not keeping herself passive but alert and at the ready instead.

 

“Maybe we should have stayed married” he offered. Sansa smiled at the underlying compliment to be a worthy companion to one as clever as him. Returning the compliment, Sansa spoke the truth “you were the best of them”. Not that there could ever be a competition between Joffrey and Ramsey.

 

Tyrion looked devastated on Sansa’s behalf “what a TERIFYING thought” he jested. Sansa couldn’t help a smile but it soon died on her lips. It hurt to know that this was how little Tyrion thought of himself. To put himself in line with some of the most horrible and sadistic men in the Realm.

 

To further her troubles, Tyrion putting such an offer out there, because it was an offer; of that Sansa had no doubt, it would hurt him when she refused. Tyrion must have figured out that after the war, Jon would marry Sansa off and here he was, stretching out a helping hand for her. To save her from another possible horrific marriage by offering up a friend to stand by her side for the rest of their lives.

 

If Tyrion would come to her rescue, that would also mean that his queen had decided not to tell him about her plans to chance the custom of marriages. It would seem that the Queen’s trust in her advisor had reached an all-time low. It was a shame really, even if Sansa understood why the woman wouldn’t take advice from Tyrion with the failings of late, Sansa still wished for him to snap back into his old and much more clever self.

 

He stood there waiting for her answer, knowing full well what he put on the table. It would be unwise to let anyone to know about her plans to marry Sandor before the law was set in stone and with no other suiters thus far, Sansa really hadn’t an appropriate reason to reject such a fine offer, or at least entertain the prospects and offer a talk with her brother as it should be done.

 

Still, if Sandor heard the rumors from the gossiping ladies around them, that she would consider the offer of marriage to avoid a suspicious decline, Sandor would still be devastated. So Sansa straightened up and flat out refused Tyrion with a short ‘it wouldn’t work between us’.

 

Of cause Tyrion would give her the most heartbroken of looks, even if he tried to quickly cover it up. “Why not” he asked overly casually, looking up at the ceiling to avoid meeting her eyes. His insecurities written all over his face and it hurt her to see how he would assume any rejection was first and foremost a rebuff on his character.

 

With this many people around, Sansa could not begin a conversation of such private matters, so she was bound to the subtle changes in her tone and leaning on his intelligence to convey her true meaning. There really was only one other reason for her rebuff if Sandor wasn’t in the picture. “The Dragon Queen” she told him somberly, hoping he would understand the underlying: ‘ this rebuff is not of you , however I cannot accept ’.

 

It was relief that crossed his face at first; however it turned somber just as fast. Sansa was aware of his undying loyalty towards the Targaryen queen, but she would rather be caught dead than pledge her allegiance to her, like Jon did; to give up the North, when they all had fought so hard and lost so many win it back.

 

Sansa was firm in her tone of voice but still covertly tried to show Tyrion her gratitude towards his offer to help her in marriage. “Your divided loyalties would become a problem” giving him a meaningful look, I know you care for me and would be loyal to me, just as you once were . Sansa would never forget how much Tyrion fought for her, in Kong’s Landing, even against his own family.

 

Missandei interrupted their conversation without knowing what deeper meaning Sansa’s words carried between the two. “Yes… Without the Dragon Queen there would be no problem at all… you’d all be dead already”. She gave Sansa a dirty look and rose to sit elsewhere, insulted on behalf of her queen.

 

Sansa honestly wanted to snap back but she knew there was no helping it. The queen’s followers were truly mindless fanatics. So blinded by their devotion that they could not see that without the dragon queen, they would all be very much alive!

 

Without Daenerys and her dragons coming to Westeros, the Night King would never have gotten his hands on a dragon that – according to the red-haired wildling – destroyed such a large piece of the Wall that it allowed the Army of the Dead to walk right through. The Wall that had stood there for centuries on end before Daenerys came to Westeros.

 

 

It wasn’t long after their conversation that the sounds of war breached the Keep above them and men screaming at the locked door upstairs; begging and pleading them to open the door while ghoulish sounds drew closer till the men’s screaming died out. Everyone was as silent as the tombs surrounding them, knowing that even the slightest of sounds would draw the undead army towards them, like a bloodhound catching their scent.

 

Just when they thought the danger had passed, then what Sansa had feared most in the crypt happened. The Night King raised the dead and her ancestors along with them. However the old coffins holding them inside their final resting place did not last long, the material porous over the hundreds of years in the damp crypt. Horrifying corpses breached through and began attacking everything in sight; women and children screaming in fright all around them.

 

The flight or fight response had both Sansa and Tyrion immediately honing in on the nearest intact and therefore safe coffin and taken shelter behind it. Her heart was pounding in her chest and her mind was fighting to take over, to fight, to stand between the enemy and her people, but the horrific sounds immobilized her in fear.

 

Sansa couldn’t imagine how Sandor would cope in the midst of hundreds of thousands of these things, when she was frozen in fear with only a few dead ancestors down here. And… oh Gods in the Heavens above. The dragon fire! Sansa closed her eyes to control her breathing. How could she not have thought of the fire with Sandor being one of the first in the battle formation!

 

A sinking feeling of it already being too late seeped into her bones. Perhaps he was already gone for this world. Sansa shook herself out of such thoughts. Right now, Sandor would fight above for her as she would fight below for him. Be brave and survive for him and her family and her people!

 

With her Dragonglass dagger in hand, Sansa looked over at Tyrion, almost glad to see him with her. She would have spared every one of her people and her loved ones if she could, but having him here, however frightened they both were, was a relief to her. If she were to die, it would be with someone she cared for instead of at the hands of Joffrey or Ramsey.

 

No, thoughts of them had no place in her final moments… or did it. The anger slowly bubbled up inside her, overflowing her and let her fear slowly melt away into only a subdued whisper. Yes, this was good, this was the strength and anger she needed, the one Arya kept talking to her about. Finding that one thing that would let out her inner Direwolf and snap open her enemy’s throat.

 

Resolve fortified her and she took a final moment to look at Tyrion, hoping that her resolve would give him strength. He kissed her hand, squeezing it tight in a heartwarming farewell and then they stood. Walking around the coffin, scanning the area for weak spots and defense opportunities, their world almost seemed to come to a standstill.

 

Sansa spotted the few undead ghouls and how they mindlessly attacked everything around. She quickly saw who was in most danger while Tyrion ran wordlessly towards some kids screaming behind another crypt, Sansa used the element of surprise to quickly slip up behind an undead attacking a woman on the ground. She thought of Ramsey the moment her fear was about to take over, in the dreadful close proximity and then rammed the weapon down with all her strength.

 

The Dragonglass dagger crushed into the undead’s body and shattered it into thousands of icy fragments. Tyrion rounded up beside her, herding the few scared children back behind them to join the rest of the frightened flock.

 

The undead ghouls that were left came out from where they had attacked and killed others. Sansa examined the situation quickly. One missing a leg and half an arm. Someone - now dead - must have kicked the bone out of its socket. The other one came wailing at them, while somewhere else a chomping sound still echoed through the crypt. So at least three left!

 

With the one running towards them, Sansa and Tyrion fell into a natural fighting symmetry. Sansa went for the head and upper torso and Tyrion swiping at the legs or lower torso. The undead screeched when Tyrion hit its thigh and the flailing bony arms scratched at her face and cloches, while she desperately tried to get her dagger past the arms, but she couldn’t get a way in to stab it hard enough.

 

Tyrion suddenly left her side and for a moment Sansa felt hopelessness sink into her body, thinking he ran. Before the creature could do any more harm, Tyrion stood in front of her in a rain of icy fragments, giving her a nod. Sansa’s eyes went wide, lunging around him and falling on top of the crawling undead nearly chomping Tyrion’s foot. Sansa’s dagger gripped firmly and sinking it into the dark blue torso with her whole weight, shattering the dead body below her.

 

Sansa felt relieved. Neither one of them turned craven and fled. They had stood next to each other and they had prevailed. Tyrion helped her to stand so they could stand sentry in front of the rest of her people. Guarding the weak and frightened from any danger that could befall them.

 

Only once before had Sansa felt this strong… with a pack of hounds unleashed, watching her enemy die at her behest. Thinking of Sandor above her, fighting to stay alive, she vowed that her enemies would die tonight and she would live on. Live for her family, for Sandor and for her beloved North.

 

-

 

Arya followed her instinct, running along the upper levels of the keep until a high pitched screech shattered the windows from the outside. She stopped, spun around and ran towards the high windows, using a chair, then a table to jump up to shattered window, holding on to the ledge and looked down to see Jon pinned down by the ice dragon.

 

With her dagger at the ready, Arya jumped out the window without fear, screaming with all her might as she drove the Valerian steel dagger deep into the scull of the dragon. The icy beast shattered, Arya tumbled to the ground and got up just as quickly to her feet, ready to fight again. Jon’s face overcome with emotions; showing shock, relief and then determination.

 

They shared a look and nodded. They both knew what to do. Already running away from her, he shouted “Dany, beyond the wall” and disappeared into the Gods wood, his Valerian steel sword at the ready. Arya sprinted towards the broken portion of the wall, weapons in both hands to fight her way to her objective.

 

No matter her dislike for the dragon queen, Arya had to follow command. A lesson Sansa had tried to teach her, about not only ‘cutting people’s heads off’ but listen to the chain of command and other nonsense she would rather forego. But if she were to stick with her family, she couldn’t undermine the authority. It would create chaos and Arya couldn’t help a soft smile at the thought. Who knew what positive impact her Lady sister could instill in her of all people.

 

Arya just barely managed to find the silver haired queen, where she was sitting on the ground, bent over, before Arya thought herself to be too late. With lighting fast reflexes, she managed to throw one of the sides to her dragon glass staff at an undead standing above the queen. The sniffling woman turned with a gasp, watching as the undead landed right by her side with a thump and then looked up at Arya now at her side.

 

“Jon sent me” Arya stated in an almost bored tone. She really didn’t want to save the queen, but she poised the other half of her Dragonglass staff and her valerian steel dagger in each hand and then started to kill every undead coming their way.

 

The battlefield was almost empty when the final few ghouls shattered before reaching them. Arya felt a big grin spreading on her lips and she ran towards the Gods Woods. He did it. Jon bloody well did it. The queen could morn on her own now. She was safe and Arya needed to see her brother.

 

She found Jon laying on the ground, clutching his leg with a big grin on his face, similar to her own wide smile. Arya ran to his side, looking him over to determine his injuries. A gaping wound in his leg was pumping out blood, so she hurried to take off her belt and bind it till medics would come.

 

Arya smiled at him as she tightened the belt over his thigh. “Of cause you would get yourself hurt like this” she smiled. “Couldn’t you have settled for something less dramatic”. Jon laughed and winched, clutching his ribs, but the smile never left him. “You know me” then pointed at her face. “You look a bit worse for wear yourself”. Arya smiled “yeah, you know me” she echoed, seeing his eyes crinkled with pure joy.