Sansa fell to the floor from her seated position, feathers flying all about- Rickon laughing as he hit her with his pillow. Sansa played along, “Oh no.... my delicate head! Who will save me from Rickon the Terrible? Ahhhh-“
Rickon let out a great roar before picking his chosen weapon up again, ready for another round of ‘Pillow Pillaging’. A game that had recently come to her- something she wasn’t sure if she was only now coming up with, or a game she had played with the boy in the past. Sansa was letting Rickon climb all over her, when suddenly the door burst open.
“Woman, I have good news-“ Sandor came through and looked for her on the bed, knowing she was in here with the boy- yet not seeing her at first. Finally his eyes came upon the duo playing on the floor.
It was Rickon who came flying towards him, with a pillow in hand and a grin stretching across his face.
“My lord! I did not know you were coming, I apologize for the mess-“ Sandor couldn’t help the grin that came to him when he saw her sit up- feathers were sticking straight up in her hair.
“No, it is I who should apologize, little bird. I dinna think to knock in my haste.” Her face screwed up in confusion as she watched the giant man pick up little Rickon and toss him in the air. Little bird? Sansa couldn't help but wonder what he meant as Rickon squealed his delight, so she asked him as much.
“Little bird, my lord?”
As the big man looked back down at her, there was a hint of pink- and Sansa might have thought it could have been a blush, except for how ridiculous an idea it was that he might be blushing around a girl like her. “Umm... it’s yer hair. There’s some feathers,”
Now it was her who was blushing- except this wasn’t some small dainty blush, this was bright red to match her hair in her embarrassment. She cursed the stupid game, before trying to walk as calmly as she could to her mirror- where her embarrassment grew as she plucked the feathers out of her head. Like a freaking chicken.
“But that’s besides the point, woman. Ye will be calling me Sandor, and we will be calling ye by yer name....” the statement at first going straight over Sansa’s head- her mind only choosing to focus on the fact that he asked her to call her by his name.
“You wish me to call you by your Christian name?”
Sandor nodded his head, “Aye, I want ye and the boy to feel welcome here- as my guests,” Sansa furrowed her brow, thinking how his own people still called him ‘laird’- but figured it must be some southern guest rights that she didn’t know about.
“Lass, you dinna hear what I had to say about yer name?” It was at that moment Sandor saw that bit of confusion leave her face, and a spark was lit behind her eyes.
“My name? What of my name?” Rickon was wiggling to get out of Sandor’s arms by that point, wanting to keep playing as the adults talked.
“It’s why I came runnin in here, girl. We have good news- when I found ye... there was a plaid nearby, me men figured it was yers and picked it up. I had me washerwoman clean it, and old woman found a name embroidered in the corner!” In his excitement his southern accent was more and more evident, hoping this was right.
“Embroidered? I think... I think I can sew! Well, what is it?” She was smiling right back at him, ready to fit another piece into this puzzle that was her life.
“Yer name is... Sansa!”
Her smile faded just a bit- the hope that she would just recognize her own name immediately as she had with Rickon, was squashed when he said that name. “Sansa... Saaannnsssaa? I am Sansa. Hello, my name is.... Sansa?”
Sandor saw her excitement deflate in seconds, “Ye dinna recognize it? Do ye, girl? It’s a bonny name.”
Sansa saw him reach out to her with the plaid in hand, giving it to her to inspect herself.
“No. I thought.... I thought I would just know, ya know?” She asked him, but didn't wait for answer- instead she just kept going, “Sansa.... I am- Sansa. Well- it’s better to have a name, rather than just ‘girl’ I suppose. I will be Sansa. I must be.” Her blue eyes looked up at him and he saw so much- so much that reminded him of himself.
After he’d been burned, there were so many days he wondered why God let him live, why God would let this happen? Why did this have to happen to him? What purpose could this possibly have?
And Sandor saw something similar in her.... in Sansa- he saw a question, one that he had asked to no one in particular many times.
He wanted so much to give her an answer, to tell her he would avenge her, to rip the man who had done this to her to shreds- instead all he could do was reach out to her. Sandor put his hand on her shoulder, hoping she too would see that he understood.
“I’m sorry, gir- Sansa. I will do everything in my power to see this put to rights. I’ll find yer attacker, I’ll find yer family- I won’t let this go unpunished, little bird.” And despite what she just said, about wanting to be called by her name- Sansa wasn’t too mad about being called little bird.
So long as Sandor was the one saying it.