“Sam! Put that down and come back here. No. Sam, you little brat, you need to go upstairs and change into…SAM!”
With an impish laugh, the little boy finally dashed upstairs to his room, and Jon collapsed onto the nearest chair in relief.
The thing is, when Samwell Tarly (senior) had called him two days ago, asking for a favor, Jon had agreed immediately without thinking too much about it. That’s what people do for their friends, right? And he’d known that poor Sam and his wife were both down with a nasty cold for nigh on two weeks now; agreeing to take their son trick-or-treating was no big deal. One might even say it was small potatoes.
Jon looked down at himself and winced. Okay, that phrase was maybe too on the nose.
Jon had never before had cause to wonder how difficult it would be to chaperone a child on Halloween. The last time he’d gone trick-or-treating was when he himself was a child, traipsing around the streets of Winter Town with Theon, Robb, and the rest of the Stark brood. The last time, he’d been dressed up as a knight, waving a cardboard sword around and vowing to save all the best chocolate for his
redhaired fair princess.
This time, he’s dressed as a tuber.
With a face on it.
This…was a slight downgrade.
Little Sam was a sweet kid, really. It’s just…look, he’s six-years old, and he’s hyperactive to begin with, and they haven’t even left the house yet and Jon’s already had to run around chasing him around for fifteen minutes just to get him to go put on his costume, and oh gods, he’s going to be high on candy before the end of the night, isn’t he?
“Jon Snow, you are an angel and a saint,” said the hoarse voice drifting up from the bundle of blankets on the couch, under which his friend and his wife were huddled together in all their flu-ridden misery.
There was no denying that both Sam and Gilly both looked the worse for wear. Still, Jon expelled a breath so deep and melodramatic that the curls on his forehead fluttered in the draft. “No, Sam. What I am, thanks to you, is a walking, talking...potato.”
“Potato head,” said Sansa helpfully, as she came in from the Tarly’s kitchen with two large and steaming mugs of herbal tea. Her own potato - sorry, potato head - costume was as cumbersome as his, and yet Sansa managed to look graceful as always as she navigated her way around forgotten toys and discarded sneakers in order to deliver her bounty to the invalids.
“I’ve added a bit of lemon for the vitamin C and honey to soothe your throats,” she told them, smiling.
Jon felt his own face ease into a goofy smile as he watched Sansa fuss over their friends – fluffing cushions and making sure the box of tissues and waste bin were within easy reach – but he quickly schooled his expression when he caught Gilly smirking up at him.
Sam cupped both hands around his drink and took a careful sip. “Sansa Stark, you too are an angel and a saint,” he pronounced with a contented sigh. “Thank you both for agreeing to take Little Sam trick-or-treating.”
“I hope you don’t mind that I asked Sansa to join you, Jon,” Gilly piped up, her shrewd eyes still on Jon. “Little Sam can be quite a handful, and I thought you might want the company. Plus, we had the costumes already, and what’s a Mr. without his Mrs.?”
“Whose clever idea were the costumes?” grumbled Jon, even as his heart skipped a beat at her too-casual words.
“It was Little Sam’s idea, I’m afraid. Toy Story is his favorite movie, and he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear. But I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to be Woody, because his best friend is going to be Woody.” Sam looked so woebegone that Jon didn’t have it in him to continue sulking, so he nodded instead.
“Oh we don’t mind, do we Jon? We love Little Sam, and these costumes are adorable!” Looking at her reflection in the hallway mirror, Sansa adjusted the yellow bucket hat she was wearing to a jauntier tilt. “In fact,” she said, eyes sparkling as she turned to him now, “I thought your costume lacked one final piece, so I found something to complete the look.”
She reached into the bag that she’d brought with her, and with a flourish, she pulled out a bowler hat.
Jon stifled a groan.
“Now I know it’s an absolute crime to hide this gorgeous head of curls under a hat, but Mr. Potato Head needs his bowler, don’t you think?” Sansa ruffled the curls in question and Jon flushed slightly, embarrassed and pleased by the compliment. He stood still and allowed Sansa to position the hat on his head to her liking, basking as he always did in the warmth of her affection.
Theon and Robb would howl if they could see him now, but luckily that was never going to happen.
She patted his face when she finished, then turned them both towards the couch to seek their friends’ approval.
“An iconic pair,” proclaimed Gilly with a quirk of her lips.
“Hear, hear,” Sam agreed in a muffled voice as he blew his nose.
Behind them, pounding footsteps more suited to a stampeding elephant than a six-year old astronaut signaled Little Sam’s return.
“I’m ready, let’s go! I don’t want to miss all the good candy! Hurry up, let’s go!” Buzz Lightyear indeed. The kid was practically vibrating with excitement – and this was pre-sugar - but Jon was in a good mood all of a sudden, and so he smiled at him indulgently.
“Well, come on then, kiddo,” said Jon, making a move towards the door.
“Wait-” said Sansa, grabbing his hand.
“We need to take a picture! When he found out we were going trick-or-treating, Theon asked me to send one to the group! And Robb was the one who was nice enough to lend me the hat in the first place!”
Those rat bastards.
“I have a better idea. How about we don’t?”
But they did. Such were the extent of Sansa’s powers. She even got him to smile and wave to the camera, because of course she did.
Their phones buzzed immediately after the pic was sent.
Arya: what a spud
Robb: Sansa Starch and Jon Snowtato
Bran: You guys do look very a-peeling together
Robb: Truly a mash made in heaven!
Sansa: Very punny, you guys
Rickon: If you’re looking for potato puns, you can count on me to chip in
Gendry: Don’t mind me, I’m just a spec-tater
Sansa: Tuber honest, this is better than I expected from you lot
Jon: Alright, that’s enough
Arya: don’t be salty, jon
Rickon: Taters gonna tate
Robb: I think we’re frying Jon’s patience
Bran: We’ve really made a hash of things
Jon: You know very well that Sansa and I are only doing this as a favor to Sam and Gilly
Sansa: He’s right.
Arya: …ok, fine
Rickon: Sorry, Sans. Sorry, Jon :(
Robb: Yeah, we’ll stop
Theon: But…I haven’t even gotten to make a potato pun yet :(
Robb: Jon, you have to admit that you guys look ridiculous though
Jon: Sansa looks beautiful even when dressed in a literal potato sack
Arya: gross. now i'm definitely out.
Theon: Damn Sansa, how’d you manage to land such a sweet potato?
Theon: (AW YIS!)
Jon: It’s just the way I yam.
Robb: …I think we’re done here.