She hated that her initial reaction was to freeze up. She hated that he felt her do so. She hated that he had to, and yet loved, that he reacted immediately to calm her, whispering softly against her lips that it was him, and that she was alright, WITHOUT stopping his affections and drawing attention to her knee jerk reaction. He had promised to make it up to her, that he had yet to kiss her ‘properly’. He had even said that he would do so in front of everyone, and that he would be dramatic about it. And she kind of loved that he did, even if it was mildly embarrassing that he would put a pin in his excitement over his sister in laws adorable little baby bump, allowing only one quick, squeezing hug, before he stepped up before her and actually dipped her in his arms to lay a loud, smacking, passionate kiss to her lips, only to turn the tables completely because of her panic, making it an affectionate and infinitely loving greeting by righting them again and whispering to her as he held her to himself, and peppered soft kisses against her lips. He was utterly ridiculous. And she more than liked that he was, because it was for her.
“Am I forgiven for neglecting to kiss my girlfriend properly now?” She huffed an embarrassed laugh and cupped his incredible jaw with her good hand, and pulled him in to press one last hard kiss to his stupidly perfect mouth, before pushing him off and away a bit. “You are ridiculous... But yes. You are forgiven.” She blushed heavily and scrunched her face up at the sounds of bitten off laughs and throats being cleared behind her. “Good. Now I just have to work on that whole - getting drunk and passing out like an asshole bit hmm? Did YOU know I apparently was still drunk enough to have missed that my sister is rather obviously pregnant?” She snorted a laugh at his dramatics and shook her head. Of course he would slip some joke in there to take away from the fact that apparently he was not willing to accept that she did NOT mind that he had gotten drunk with her Dad rather than coming to bed and worrying himself silly all night. If anything? It had been preferable to her, because she didn’t have to weather any guilt over his having a kinked neck from sleeping on a chair rather than beside her, or something equally as stupid! Nor did she have to feel guilty that he was still so completely focused on what had happened. Clearly he did care though. So she would let him have that, never mind that she found it unnecessary.
“I did notice that, yes.” His excitement was shown clearly with his waggling eyebrows, and his need to pull her back into his arms again as he turned them to look at the family members all gathered around the kitchen island together. “Mmm. It should have registered when you called me UNCLE JAIME I suppose! And I’ve decided to let it slide that my brother did NOT tell me! But rather left it for me to find out in my own. He’s lucky that I’m too happy about it to care hmm?” She pulled a face at the exasperated looking man seated at the counter and rolled her eyes. “As you should. Clearly Tyrion and Shae wanted to enjoy their news together for a time, before sharing with their family.”
“Again with the logic interrupting my dramatics! Ugh! Just for that? I’ve decided that my NIECE really does have to be a teeny, tiny replica of her beautiful Mama! Because she’s my favourite right now.” Sansa grinned at the snort Shae let out. And at the way he sulkily dropped his chin to rest of her shoulder.
“Mmm. Until your Father arrives and hands you the gift wrapped, severed hands that thought themselves allowed to touch what was not theirs to touch! And then he will be the favourite for us all. And then once your thirst for blood is slaked enough, that beautiful woman you are pawing at like a fool in love, will once more be your favourite. As she should be, no?”
“Oh! I LIKE YOU! Sansa? I like her.”
Of course her sister would like someone who spoke so casually about such things! Personally, she was just grateful that THAT was clearly what the little wildling had focused on, instead of what she had called her lover! “Ordinarily, I would not find the idea of SEVERED HANDS at all appealing Shae! But in this case? I’ll make an exception! And of course YOU would appreciate such a thing you evil little gremlin!” She was also grateful that her boyfriend had weighed in with a dark joke of his own, to fully dismiss it! And for the laughter his words had received also, meaning that everyone else had allowed the distraction from it! They HAD only been together a week, and regardless of what they had weathered, and the feelings that were bubbling between them? They did NOT need to give voice to WHAT those feelings were, just yet. Even if she suspected that that was exactly what she was beginning to feel for him. Even if she suspected that she might have been feeling exactly that, right from that first kiss he had stolen. It was too soon to speak to it.
The knock at the door was enough to draw all of their attention back to the matters at hand, or rather, away from their amusement. “Speak if the boogeyman and he shall appear. Ty? Can you let Father in please?” She swallowed hard and gave the short man a quick, not very convincing smile of encouragement as he slipped off the stool to do as his brother had asked, and cuddled herself back into her lovers arms as they tightened around her just a touch. “Alright Sweetheart?” She swallowed thickly again and nodded. She wasn’t DREADING seeing Tywin again! Far from it. She actually found that she quite enjoyed the mans company - he was an intense person, he was also an interesting one! But she definitely was NOT ready to revisit everything about the evening before, that they were all, sort of, pretending didn’t happen. And now she would have to, because Tywin was coming by, so that they could discuss how best to handle everything. - And it definitely had to be Tywin at the door, because no one else would have made it up to The Penthouse without Jaime being notified, but for he and Tyrion who was already there. “I’m with you, Baby. If there’s anything you don’t want to go over, or think about? You just say the word and we can leave it, alright?”
She didn’t hesitate, at his sweet promises, she turned in his arms and wrapped her own around his neck as she pressed herself flush against the safety of his warm, hard body. “I’m really glad that you looked up before sending me away in that bar, Lannister.” He chuckled darkly and nuzzled his face into her hair, and gripped her tight in those incredible arms. “Mmm. Me too Stark! Even if there was only HALF as much crazy in each of our lives before that!” She sighed sadly into his neck and held just a touch tighter herself. “I’m sorry I’ve brought so much drama into your life. Why can’t we just run away again?” He scoffed lightly and nudged at her head until she took the hint and pulled back enough so that he could rest his forehead against hers. “Yes. Because there was absolutely no crazy person induced drama in my life before you up and parked that sexy little ass next to me in that bar! BUT! If you want? We can run away. Say the word Little Wolf, and I’ll book us flights. Sweden right? I have to actually object to that, by the way! Can’t we go somewhere where I can comfortably walk around naked all the time?” She giggled softly at his cocky grin and shook her head.
“Sweden... AND! You CAN walk around naked there if you want?”
“Cold weather is NOT very flattering for a mans naked body Stark. I thought you said you liked my balls where they are!”
“So we will stay in, by the fire, when you want to get naked? How’s that?”
“That’s far LESS nakedness than I was hoping for... BUT! I’m good with it if you can be naked too?”
“As amusing as this is to witness? Cut it out! You pair are even making the pregnant chick blush! And I’m fairly sure that you have scarred Dad for life!”
Sansas mortification over her sisters words, and the fact that she and Jaime had apparently forgotten all about there being others in the room, and within hearing distance of them, when they spoke as they did! Was thankfully, short lived. Not that Jaime had been embarrassed at all! The idiot had found it hilarious, that her Father, and BOTH of their sisters had heard them speak of such things! But it had been put on the back burner for her entirely, as she watched in fascination, as Tywin Lannister - The Great Lion. The Boogeyman of her childhood! Had actually SMILED! And willingly embraced the beaming Shae Lannister, without a word, as his eyes landed on the small protruding belly, that housed the much anticipated baby Lannister! It was a sweet moment. One that shocked everyone, barring only Shae herself. Even Jaime gaped a little, before smiling happily and tucking his chin into her neck and shoulder, where she stood with her back to his chest, in his arms once more. In that moment, Tywin Lannister was just a man. A proud Father, and an pleased Grandfather. And she didn’t even think her Father could see him as anything else, or even continue to hate him - at least in that moment.
“Well now! THIS is certainly the proverbial ‘light’ at the end of the dark tunnel, isn’t it! Congratulations My Dear! I’ll allow a pass over my not being informed before this - in light of it being a reality, after all of the heartache it took to get to this point hmm?” She grinned happily and patted her mans good hand, as he unconsciously laced his fingers into her own, around her cast, where it rested against her ribs. “Thank you. I won’t apologise for not having told you before this. It was our hope that we ensure that it would become a definite thing first, before we got anyone else’s hopes up.” Tywin patted the woman’s arms in an almost awkwardly affectionate manner and turned to his younger son with a cocky, arrogant and VERY Jaime like look. “An acceptable reason. Congratulations son. Welcome to Fatherhood.” Tyrion flushed slightly and smiled in bashful disbelief before clearing his throat, clearly uncomfortable. “Ahh. Thank you, Father. But I’m not technically a Father YET.”
The older man scoffed dismissively and waved a hand as he stepped around and into the kitchen proper to flick the coffee maker on, and search out a cup. - A curiously domestic act, for a man whom she assumed would expect to be waited on? “Don’t be asinine Tyrion. You became a Father the moment your wife conceived and that child took, inside of her. Wouldn’t you agree Stark?” She grinned at her Father as he blinked slightly over being dragged into, what was most definitely, a family discussion. “Aye. He’s right Lad. It ain’t the birth of a baby that makes a man a Father.” Her friend blushed even more and nodded his thanks to her Father, and his own, but held his tongue. Which for Tyrion, was quite the feat. So it was rather obvious that he was touched by the things said.
“Now! Sansa? How is your wrist? Jaime! For the Gods sake! You are NOT in Flea Bottom! Unhand that girl!” She snorted a laugh and blushed, while Jaime scoffed indignantly and straightened, WITHOUT letting her go at all! Even going so far as to hold her a little tighter, as his arms flexed deliciously - possessively! Around her. “No! We are not in Flea Bottom! Mores the pity! BUT we are in MY HOME! I’ll hug my girlfriend if I damned well want! And I WANT.” She rolled her eyes at his childish antics and bit down on a laugh as the mans Father ALMOST did the same, but settled for an exasperated sigh and a head shake instead. “My wrist is fine Tywin. Thank you for asking. Can I trust that you slept well?” The man hummed quietly and finished making his coffee, efficiently. Stirring the hot brew quickly and placing the spoon in the sink after rinsing it. She found it curious that he would drink coffee. She didn’t really know WHY - just that it seemed unusual for a man such as Tywin Lannister to partake in something so NORMAL. “I did not sleep. But I did have a productive evening all the same. Which was of superior import, My Dear. I do hope that YOU slept well, however?” She nodded deftly and gave a small, albeit confused smile. Surely he didn’t mean that he stayed awake all night to ‘DEAL’ with things?
“Productive in that Sansas presence at the police station is no longer necessary, Father?” She blinked in surprise and almost shuddered at the way Tyrion nonchalantly implied SOMETHING that she wasn’t terribly sure she wanted to think too much on. “Not quite. Though I’ll thank you to not imply that I am some sort of... MOB BOSS or something equally as tasteless Tyrion. She WILL need to submit a formal report, as Clegane asked of her last evening. But I can and WILL happily inform you all that Giles Rosby WILLINGLY turned himself in before daybreak... If he did so with a few broken ribs, and an unrecognisable face? I would know nothing about it. IF her Father or my son, wishes to be beside her when she IDENTIFIES him as her attacker, and they wish to... Get a closer LOOK at the potential bruising he MAY now sport? I would know nothing of ensuring that they can do so.” Her eyes nearly fell out of her head at the wicked and satisfied gleam in the mans moss coloured eyes. And at the disbelieving laugh that both her Father and sister let out. - At the almost pleasured hum that rumbled in the chest pressed against her back, and the matching smile that she just KNEW he was wearing on his stupid, handsome face. It shouldn’t surprise her at all! She KNEW what the man was capable of. And she KNEW that he was not a man to insult, especially when it came to thinking to harm his family in anyway. What surprised her was the lengths he had apparently gone to for her! Sure! She was Jaime’s girlfriend - but she had only been his girlfriend for A WEEK! But apparently that didn’t matter at all. Apparently she was under the protection of The Great Lion now too.
“Ahh! That is news and ‘potential news’ that I, for one, am happy to receive. His turning himself in, saves the worry of awaiting his arrest. But THAT is NOT what had you awake all night Father. And in light of your letting my failure to inform you of my impending parenthood, go - I will NOT point out that THAT is very MOB BOSS like news to give.” The man hummed quietly in affirmation of his younger sons words, and sipped at the coffee in his long fingers, apparently willing to allow the ‘Mob Boss’ dig go unanswered too, which was rather curious to her mind! And rather terrifying, in truth!
“It was a PART of it. But you are correct. It is not ALL that had me awake. Some of what I worked through is not up for discussion, BECAUSE it is of little consequence, to the current circumstances, not because there is even a lick of merit to your ridiculous assumptions upon my character!” The severe look delivered with those words, was enough to make even the strongest of people shudder, but Tyrion only grinned in outright amusement over it. Apparently the man was NOT so willing to let it slide after all! Apparently his son also did not care! Which was rather amusing!
“I do, however, have information regarding that text, including details on the procurement of that photograph. I have also ensured that as many ‘NEWS SOURCES’ as can be contacted directly in the city itself, have been advised AGAINST releasing such disgusting and defamatory words, and word on that will continue to spread. I also advised that any and all words speculating upon last nights events were to be kept respectful and in line with what can be PROVEN. Lest they earn my ire. Unfortunately, I can not silence EVERYTHING in relation to what occurred, as it did take place in public. As a result, I HAVE advised that I will make a public statement pertaining to it, and Stark? I would ask that you willingly do the same.” Her Father nodded deftly, not even needing a moment to think in it.
“If we appear united, more obviously, in Sansas defence? And ONLY in relation to the assault? We may have some hope of containing the situation enough that our people can get to the bottom of both threats. The public do not need to be made privy to the attempt at blackmail. Nor the fact that there are those who would seek to create issues between Jaime and Sansa, to maintain the ‘FEUD’ between our families.”
“Aye. I can agree to that Lannister.”
“Good. Firstly, however? I would speak with my sons privately. Unless you need Jaime’s continued presence Sansa? In which case it can wait until you venture to the police station. I have men both outside the door and downstairs, who will be available to any and all of you who need to head out. You may rest assured that these are men who have been heavily vetted and work directly under Jaime’s command. So you may TRUST, that they are no threat to any of you. And while I think of it - Tyrion? Might I advise that you take a page from our lovely She wolfs book, and make some sort of informal announcement of sorts online? It seems to function well as a means of STEERING public image for her? I believe it would be appropriate that we utilise it for the current circumstances also?”
She didn’t know what to do, or say, or think. She had never thought to hear the man speak so much at all. Let alone in one single setting, or in a single speech either! Yet there she was, agape, struggling to process all that he had said, apparently missing all that was replied also, as her chuckling lover handed her a phone open, with images of them all standing around ‘chatting’, she and Jaime cuddling, and a selfie of both Tyrion and Arya with faux shocked faces. She smiled in confusion up at her boyfriend, only to find him grinning wickedly and nodding at her to go ahead and read the caption.
‘MEETING’ (renewing the acquaintance with?) the new in laws - some of them at least! Has resulted in an unholy alliance of APEX PREDATORS! Isn’t it funny - what LOVE can invite? #asmalllannisterandasmallstarkwitnesshistoryinthemaking #toloveandprotectthatswhatfamilyisfor #therearewolvesinthelionsden #itallstartedbecausealannisterandastarkwalkedintoabar
She wanted to cry, and she wanted to laugh too. If for no other reason, than the fact that Tyrion Lannister, her once dearest and only real friend, was very much, back in her life. And with him, came so very much more. Including the protective presence of quite possibly, the scariest man in the world. Including the presence of a new and hopefully, wonderful female friend, in the form of his seemingly lovely, wife. Including the man she LOVED. Even if she wasn’t willing to admit it yet. Never mind that she only had her friend back BECAUSE of the man she refused to admit that she had fallen for! Still. After everything, DESPITE everything! She was happy to have them in her life.