chase chambers

give me haunting silence, a deathly quiet, a blanket of stillness broken only by the sticky creak of my feet breaking kiss after kiss with the floor. give me copious darkness, silken shadows to chase me around the chamber as my eyes glaze over. i slip into a trance, repeat my ritual like a ghost caught between the stars, wavering through dimensions, weaving in and out of worlds.

i am not a girl like you. i am like nothing you’ve ever known. there are secret realms within me dying even now, and some yet to be born.

—  stars within me
Jealousy Pt. 5

A/N: Super late axgweek update :)

“Don’t!” The blacksmith warned in a voice meant to be menacing that only came out wary and defeated.

“Too late.” Sansa’s younger sister lilted at him in a sing-song voice as she poured the muddy water over his head.

Gendry sputtered and shivered as the cold, dirty water ran over him.

“Arya,” Sansa began in a tone of warning that somehow also came out exasperated and defeated.

But her sister paid her no heed as she let the bucket fall too over the smith’s head where it came to rest. He was frozen at first, but when he spoke, his voice echoed from under the bucket.

“You have five seconds, Arry.” He held a large hand up to tick off the seconds with his fingers. He might look slightly ridiculous with the bucket on his head, but his obvious strength and size made clear he was capable of overcoming Sansa’s sister easily. Not that he would ever hurt her, of course. But Arya’s only hope of escaping retribution for the moment was her speed.

Sansa’s little sister laughed menacingly before scurrying off towards the doors of the great hall. Knowing her, she had more in mind for the poor unsuspecting smith. And, there it was, a large sack of flour hidden behind their younger brother Rickon, who was obviously in on the farce. The poor smith would stride out the doors after Sansa’s little sister only to be assaulted with a five kilo sack of flour.

Sansa had half a mind to warn the poor boy as he tore the bucket off his head to rush after her sister, but she knew Arya would never forgive her if she did. So she watched in half-amusement, half-exasperation as the smith walked right into the trap. With the cautious way he approached the doors to the hall, it was almost as if he knew what was coming, though it be inevitable.

Sure enough, moments later, the smith was cursing as the powder poured heavily over his form, blanketing him in thick layers of the white substance. As he was still wet from the bucket water, the flour clung to him and turned pasty.

Sansa stifled a laugh as he nearly fell in his attempt to trap her little sister between his arms. He succeeded and both of them went tumbling to the ground as Arya tried to escape.

Sansa prayed her mother was still at prayer and would not catch the two of them at their nonsense. Catelyn would be less forgiving of the smith then, Sansa knew, and the couple’s impending marriage.

Sansa shook her head and hid a grin as the bride-to-be attempted to bite the arm of her groom-to-be, so as to get him to release her, but the smith knew better. He swiveled his arm out of Arya’s way and turned her so her back was flesh to his chest, her head trapped between his own neck and shoulder, making it impossible for her to sink her teeth into him. That was when Gendry began to tickle Sansa’s little sister.

Arya began giggling uncharacteristically when he did so but then violently lashed out, and the back of her head smashed into his face. Suddenly, Gendry was groaning in pain, and there was blood running down his lips, jaw and chin, from his nose.

Gendry released his hold on Arya, who hadn’t seemed to have realized the damage she’d inflicted on her betrothed. She used her newly won freedom to hurt Gendry some more by slamming her elbow hard into his stomach. Gendry doubled over clutching both his face and stomach as Arya dashed away from him. It wasn’t until she was halfway through the doors again that she turned and looked back over her shoulder, seemingly expecting to see Gendry after her again. But she did a double take when she saw him bent over, blood streaming over his right hand.

Arya stopped in her tracks and turned slowly to study the situation, as if half convinced this was a trick Gendry was pulling on her. “Serves you right for tickling me,” Sansa’s little sister said only half-heartedly victoriously, but her smile was uncertain at best.

Sansa strode towards them, a handkerchief out in her hands. “Arya, you hurt him,” she scolded, but in a softer tone than she might have in the days before the war.

Gendry had shifted on the ground, groaning still, as he tilted his head to staunch the flow of blood from his face which now dotted his tunic and sleeves. Sansa leaned over him carefully and offered the handkerchief to him.

“Is it broken?” She asked softly.

He shrugged his shoulders in cluelessness and plucked the handkerchief almost delicately from her fingers with a “Fanks so much” since his nose was plugged up.

Upon observing Sansa’s earnestness at the situation, Arya had suddenly rushed to her sister’s side, her brow etched in uncertainty and concern.

She crouched next to the boy, her hand coming to rest on his thigh. “Did I break it?” And Sansa was sure she’d never heard her sister sound so worried before, nor so tender.

Gendry only grunted in response, as he dabbed at his nose with Sansa’s handkerchief.

“Here,” Arya spoke gently again, reaching her hand up to take the cloth from him, but when she dabbed at his nose for him, her hand was not as gentle as her tone, and Gendry hissed in pain.

“Don’t be such a baby,” Arya snapped almost crossly, but she was more gentle when next she touched his nose with the handkerchief.

“Here, Arya,” Sansa offered another clean, neatly folded handkerchief.

Arya swiped it quickly from Sansa’s hands with a worried look up at her and a hasty, “thank you,” then dabbed some more at the blood on the smith’s face.

Suddenly, the smith was snatching Arya back into his arms, trapping her own at her sides so she couldn’t escape again. There was a sly smile on his face. Arya, meanwhile, looked enraged.

“You tricked me.” She sputtered. Then she called him a name that made Sansa exclaim, “Arya!”

Gendry’s nose looked only slightly crooked but the blood was certainly real. “No,” he teased at Arya, his face close to hers. “You really broke my bloody nose, but…” He nuzzled at her face with his swollen nose without actually making contact. “You were worried about me.” He said almost tenderly.

Arya growled. “Was not. Get your bloody nose away from me or I’ll break it again,” she threatened. But then, Gendry was tickling her mercilessly again, and she was laughing and shouting for him to stop. Instead he began gingerly planting bloody kisses down her face to get back at her.

Suddenly- “What is the meaning of this?”

Ned Stark rarely raised his voice. It was usually enough to achieve order for him to speak in that somber tone of his they were all used to. Sansa’s lady mother stood next to her lord father in the doorway watching distastefully the two rolling around on the ground, covered in muddy water, flour and blood.

When Gendry released her, Arya sprang up to stand between Gendry and her parents. “I’m sorry, father, I attacked Gendry.”

Sansa was surprised at how quick Arya was to confess. Before the war, when they’d been younger, she’d either run off or keep mum about whose fault was what. Arya was taking all the blame, Sansa realized, so none of it would be put on Gendry. Sansa felt a slight twinge of envy as she remembered days before the war when Arya would put the blame for their fights on Sansa, even if it was only half true.

As Sansa knew he would, her father appeared more exasperated than anything. He would forgive Arya anything, Sansa knew as well.

When he observed the blood on his younger daughter’s face, his brow furrowed. He took her small, sharp face in his hands and tilted it up towards him.

“Are you hurt, sweet one?” He asked worriedly. Sansa’s mother was at Ned’s elbow, inspecting Arya’s face with care.

Arya only laughed. “Gendry’s the one you should be worried about.”

That was when Ned caught sight of Gendry’s bloodied and battered face. Ned circled Arya with an impatient shake of the head and a gentle squeeze to her shoulder.

“Arya, what did you do?” Their lady mother chided.

“It was an accident,” Arya protested.

“Is it broken, lad?” Ned pulled the smith to his feet with care.

The boy was cradling his nose with one hand, Sansa’s crumpled handkerchief wet with blood between his fingers still. “I hope not, m’-.” The smith caught himself in time. “I mean, I don’t think so, father.”

Sansa had started in surprise the first time she’d heard the smith call her father that. But she’d become so used to it by now, she didn’t even blink.

Ned removed Gendry’s hand gently from his face and tilted the boy’s face up so he could take a look at his nose. Ned prodded Gendry’s nose softly. Even then, the boy flinched. Ned sighed. “Doesn’t seem broken but…best have Maester Luwin take a look.”

Ned looked sideways at his wife for confirmation. She only nodded and took her own clean handkerchief out. “Here.” She told Gendry delicately. She handed the clean handkerchief to him, taking Sansa’s soiled one from him.

Ned began escorting Gendry out of the great hall and to the maester. Arya ran after them.

“You must be more careful, little one,” Sansa’s father was telling her little sister as they disappeared from view.

Catelyn shared a tired smile with Sansa. “Your sister is going to be the death of me,” she sighed.

Sansa linked her arm with her mother’s as they strolled out to the yard. “I hope the swelling goes down soon,” Sansa murmured. “They’re to be married in two days time.”

To Sansa’s surprise, her mother only laughed. “Married.” Catelyn repeated almost disbelievingly. “I thought I’d have to fight tooth and nail to get my little Arya to agree to a husband.”

Sansa smiled dimly. “Instead, she fought tooth and nail for this one.” They shared a chuckle.

“Whatever the case, they’ll be married in two days. Even if he has a broken nose and her a torn dress.” Catelyn referred to the night before when Arya had tried on her gown, only to tear it seconds later when she’d chased Rickon around her chambers for making fun of her in a dress.

Sansa’s lady mother looked worn from all the planning of the nuptials. Arya, of course, had been difficult every step of the way. She’d insisted that all she’d wanted were the vows in the godswood and her family present, but Catelyn and Sansa had insisted on much more since the family present would include the king and queen, even if it was just Jon and Dany.

Catelyn sighed. “Now all that’s left is to make a match for you, my love.” Sansa’s mother patted her hand gently.

Sansa tensed only slightly. “As long as I don’t have to leave home too soon, mother.” She replied.

Sansa knew her mother was looking forward to the day she could plan Sansa’s wedding. She’d hardly meet with as much resistance as Arya had met her with so far. Right after the war, Sansa had insisted she never wanted to marry again. Lately, she’d been thinking of the prospect more and more. Still, there was the feeling she had that insisted she never wanted to leave home again ever.

Then again, Winterfell would be Robb’s one day. Arya’s betrothed was officially the heir of Storm’s End, even if he didn’t want it, so they could both make that their home at any time. Even if they didn’t, Sansa knew those two could make a home out of anywhere, the way they’d lived together throughout the war. Bran would eventually marry Meera and join her and her brother at Greywater Watch. Jon, of course, was king. And Rickon…well, he’d marry too one day, and there’d be a place for him somewhere.

Sansa knew there’d always be a place for her at Winterfell if she asked, but she was getting that itch again to rule her own castle. She thought Gendry and Arya simply mad for not traveling south to take over Storm’s End. Then again, she knew the feeling of being homesick even when you were already home.

Sansa’s mother patted her hand again. “Of course not, my love.” And there was that sadness again in Catelyn’s eyes that came when she remembered too well everything they’d all gone through, and Sansa knew her mother might be happy too if she never did get married after all.

Still, Sansa thought, as she eyed her younger sister and her soon to be brother by law, if she could find a love like that, a husband who would abandon his claim to title and land, all for the love of a girl, a husband who would sacrifice all just to make her happy…Sansa thought she’d be more than willing to accept a marriage like that.

Two moons later, Sansa was helping her sister back into her ivory wedding gown, which their mother had mended.

Arya was uncharacteristically quiet. And clammy.

“You’re not having second thoughts, are you, Arya?” Sansa asked her sister almost quietly.

Arya scoffed then, but didn’t smile when she said, “No, of course not.” She paused, but Sansa kept silent because she knew her sister was on the verge of disclosing what was wrong.

“You don’t think-…” Sansa couldn’t remember her little sister ever sounding so unsure of anything. It was lucky they were alone in Sansa’s chambers, or Sansa was sure Arya wouldn’t have said a thing. Sansa was almost surprised it was her that Arya chose to open up to. Although, as of late, ever since they’d been reunited, they’d grown much closer than before. A family tragedy will do that to you.

“You don’t think he’ll change his mind?” Arya blurted out suddenly.

Sansa almost dropped the silver jewels, early wedding gifts from the queen and king, she’d been putting onto her sister in surprise at the question. “No!” She exclaimed indecorously before she could stop herself.

“I mean…” Sansa took a deep breath as she placed the jewels onto Arya’s ears and around her neck. “Of course not,” Sansa let out the breath with the statement, as she rested her palm over the jewelry on her sister’s neck. “He loves you so, Arya.”

Arya seemed to breathe out a sigh of relief, then frowned again. “Yes, but…” She seemed unsure how to continue. “I mean…only…” Arya stomped a foot in frustration. “What if he’s only just realized he wants to marry a lady after all? Like you?”

“Me?” Sansa blinked in surprise, then laughed out loud, only to receive a glare from her sister for it. “Arya,” she nearly chided. “He knows you’re no lady. I’m sure that’s one of the reasons he loves you.”

Arya’s glare receded, but the furrow in her brow stayed behind. “Yes,” she repeated stubbornly. “But what if what he wants has changed?”

Sansa delicately arranged Arya’s gray and white family cloak over her sister’s shoulders then huffed. “What’s got this idea into your head?” Now Sansa was nearly frustrated. Here was the closest thing to a true knight, other than Barristan Selmy, they’d ever both encountered, and Arya was questioning his love and loyalty.

Arya looked only sad now, so Sansa softened. “It’s just-.” The words seemed to come in difficulty to Arya. “I’m not beautiful like you,” Arya blurted all of a sudden. “Why would he want me when he could have someone else, someone beautiful, as beautiful as you?”

Sansa blinked in surprise yet again, then felt terribly, terribly sorry at the memories that came rushing to her, of her or of her and her childhood friend Jeyne making fun of Arya and calling her names.

“Oh, Arya,” Sansa sighed. She took her sister by the shoulders and guided her to stand in front of the looking glass.

Instead of looking at her own reflection, Arya looked painfully at her sister through the mirror.

“You can’t be that dense, Arya,” Sansa muttered.

Arya glared again now, but Sansa jerked her chin toward the mirror.

“Look, Arya. You are beautiful.”

Arya was doubtful as she looked at her own reflection.

“Arya…” Sansa was the one struggling for words now. “I’m sorry…for everything. I know we’ve apologized to each before about it all but…” Sansa tried not to cry. She could be so emotional sometimes. “Jeyne and I only teased you because…well, we were jealous.”

It was Arya’s turn to blink in surprise. “Of me?”

Sansa smiled sadly now at the dubious reflection of her sister. She nodded. “Not exactly in the way you think.” She paused. “Well, it’s just…you were always father’s favorite, you know?”

And it was true. So true that even Arya didn’t try to deny it.

“Well, you were everyone’s favorite. And it was always you they were comparing to Aunt Lyanna. And father loved her so.”

That was true too. Only Ned ever called Arya as beautiful as their aunt. But everyone else was just as quick to compare Arya to the Stark woman who had ended a dragon reign of hundreds of years, if only by being so beautiful and fierce as to make the dragon prince fall in love with her. Arya sounded like her. Arya spoke like her. Arya’s temper was like hers. Arya rode as well as her. The comparisons were endless. And Sansa had half idolized her aunt, growing up, thinking stupidly how romantic it was that the beautiful Rhaegar had fallen for the lovely Lyanna like that. It had irked her to hear Arya compared to Lyanna when Sansa had always been taught she was the beautiful one, the true lady.

Of course, Sansa had grown up now. And though the truth was closer to what she’d believed as a child (the two truly had fallen in love with each other), it was more tragic still. And Sansa had suddenly understood why Arya was Ned’s favorite and why everything she did always frightened him so. Arya truly was like their aunt, and Ned had always been worried Arya’s story would end the same. Only it hadn’t. She’d chosen the Baratheon over the Targaryen. Because the match had been worthy. And Sansa had almost seen her father sigh in relief at the knowledge.

Sansa tried her best to explain all of this to Arya, whose face took turns looking surprised and grumpy and even a little pleased.

Arya looked at her reflection again, then back to her sister with questioning eyes. “You really think I’m pretty?” Her voice small.

Sansa smiled her brightest, truest smile then. “No, Arya.” She shook her head. “You’re beautiful. Believe me.” And she took her sister’s chin so she was once again facing her own reflection.

Arya smiled brightly then too, and she was back to her old self, rolling her eyes. “Not that it matters. He’s going to marry me whether he wants to or not.”

Sansa couldn’t help the smile that came to her face as she joined Arya in rolling her eyes. Suddenly Arya turned swiftly and threw her arms around Sansa who was so surprised it took her another moment before she returned the embrace.

“Thank you, Sansa,” and Arya’s words were heartfelt.

Sansa squeezed Arya back and felt at peace finally with their childhood fights, most especially with the way Sansa had treated Arya.

Sansa led her sister towards the godswood where everyone waited to see the wolf marry her bull. Sansa was not surprised to see their father waiting at the entrance of the godswood. He would be walking Arya to Gendry and handing her hand to his. Sansa was, however, surprised to see Lord Tyrion Lannister of Casterly Rock, her former, or was it current, husband. Sansa was also surprised that the sight of him brought her pleasure instead of hate or disgust, as she might have expected. He really had been, after everything, the only one who’d been kind to her in King’s Landing.

“My, you make an absolutely exquisite bride, Lady Arya,” Tyrion bowed deeply towards them. “And my Lady Sansa. As breathtaking as ever.”

Sansa found herself slightly breathless. The little lord, himself, never looked handsome, but Sansa found she liked his smile, scar and all, and the bright way his eyes rested on her form. He really might have been one of the only good men she’d known in King’s Landing.

“You’re looking well, my lord.” Sansa responded demurely, curtsying slightly, her head bowed.

Sansa looked to Arya to make sure she returned the courtesy but forgot pleasantries when she saw her sister had tears in her eyes. Arya was looking at their father who also had tears in his eyes as he gazed on his youngest daughter in her wedding gown.

“My love,” he said in a hoarse voice and held his arms out.

Arya released Sansa’s hand and rushed into their father’s arms, crumpling, to Sansa’s distress, Arya’s gown. But Arya paid no heed to the creases being made in her gown or the way some of her hair fell from the updo Sansa had put it in. Arya held onto her father tightly, and Sansa felt that twinge again as she saw her father’s form shaking slightly. She had never seen her father this emotional before, certainly not when her marriage to Joffrey had been announced.

A soft touch at Sansa’s elbow. She looked at Tyrion who stood at her side.

“Shall we join the others?” He asked in a soft tone so as to avoid interrupting the father-daughter moment.

Sansa smiled shyly down at him and took his offered arm as best she could. “Yes, my lord.” She whispered as well and let him lead her.

Sansa and Tyrion joined the queen and Sansa’s lady mother near the front of the crowd gathered near the weirwood tree. Robb was there too, along with the rest of their brothers. Sansa noted the absence of Prince Aegon and remembered hearing Jon tell Gendry, in almost a pleased tone, that Aegon had insisted on remaining behind in King’s Landing to help the Hand, Davos Seaworth, manage the realm’s affairs.

The godswood itself was breathtaking. A light layer of frost covered the trees and ground from the earlier fall of snow. Spring was struggling to arrive. The pond near them was frozen over in shiny grays and whites and silvers. Sansa felt like they were living in a portrait; she’d never seen a setting more romantic for a wedding.

The groom was standing near the weirwood tree beside his friend and king, looking uncertain, but his eyes were searching behind the crowd for Arya, Sansa knew. Sansa noted that his nose, if the slightest bit red, was no longer crooked at all; Maester Luwin had fixed him up nicely.

Soon they approached, father and daughter, on the path between the lanterns that lit their way to the tree. Both Arya’s and Ned’s eyes were red-rimmed from their tears, though that didn’t diminish Arya’s beauty whatsoever. If anything, the tears made her gray eyes sparkle the more.

Sansa watched Gendry now who looked like he’d just taken a strong blow to the chest. He had sucked in a long breath as he watched Sansa’s sister approaching him. A lone tear found its way down his cheek. It was as if he had forgotten the rest of them existed.

Arya too, her arm wrapped around her father’s, only had eyes for her very soon husband to be. He looked dashing after all. Sansa had always thought the smith handsome, but in the colors of his father’s house, the black and gold doublet and cape, with his jet black hair and ocean blue eyes, combined with the look on his face he reserved only for Arya, he looked, at that moment, almost more a king than Jon beside him.

Soon enough, the two were joined again.

“Who comes before the gods?” Jon asked somberly.

It was Arya who spoke, though traditionally the father was supposed to say the words. “Arya of House Stark, grown and war-tried, a wolf and a warg.”

Sansa almost gasped at Arya’s butchery of the traditional words. But it should have been expected. Small smiles played on the lips of Arya, Gendry and Jon.

“Who comes to claim her?” Jon asked next, his hands folded in front of him seriously.

“Gendry,” the smith spoke. “Of…” Here, he paused, unused to the title they’d insisted he use during the tradition. “Of House Baratheon. Lord of Storm’s End.” He seemed to have difficulty speaking the words.

“Who gives her?” Jon asked lastly.

Sansa smiled softly, remembering her father’s joke the night before at the idea of anyone giving Arya. She’d never had consented to being a gift, but it was no matter today as she gave herself willingly, and took the smith equally. Still, the words were tradition.

“I do.” Ned whispered, so Sansa barely heard him, and she noticed the way his arm tightened over Arya’s instead of letting go.

Before placing his youngest daughter’s hand in the smith’s, Ned used one arm to give Gendry a gruff hug and kissed his forehead. Then it was just Arya and Gendry in front of the weirwood tree and the king.

Ned joined Sansa and Catelyn in the crowd. For a brief moment, Ned cupped Sansa’s face with his hand and looked at her lovingly and sadly. Then he was enveloping Cat in a hug as they watched Arya and Gendry marry.

“Arya,” Jon smiled lovingly down at their little sister, and Sansa pictured him ruffling her hair like he used to when they were younger. “Do you take this man?”

Arya tilted her head at Gendry teasingly, as if debating whether or not to say yes. The smith smiled sheepishly, and Sansa could imagine the insults and japes they were holding back trading with each other.

“I take this man,” Arya said finally, in that lilting and teasing voice she saved just for her smith.

In front of the weirwood tree, Jon had stepped aside, so Arya and Gendry were facing the tree directly. Hand-in-hand, the two kneeled and both bowed their heads. They were given a few silent moments to pray if they wished or reflect on their choice of spouse.

“Rise.” Jon said finally. This part of the tradition was new, Sansa knew. Jon had suggested that the two speak vows of their own.

Gendry and Arya faced each other, smiling almost timidly at each other, Sansa noticed.

“What promise do you make each other in the sight of the gods?” Jon asked now.

Gendry spoke first, but released one of his hands from Arya’s to caress her face as he spoke.

“I promise to always keep you safe and warm,” he said, his voice low and husky, and Sansa knew he only meant for Arya to hear the words. “And guard you with my sword.”

Sansa watched as her baby sister cradled the smith’s hand over her face with her own hand. She looked intently at him, more intently than Sansa could ever remember her looking at anything.

“I promise to always keep you safe and warm,” Arya whispered back, in a voice so unlike her usual brash, commanding one. “And guard you with my sword.”

Then it was time for the changing of the bride’s cloak. Arya turned obediently to let Gendry unclasp her cloak from around her shoulders. He draped the gray and white cloak over one arm and swept the black and gold one from around his own shoulders and over his bride’s, the golden stag gleaming brightly in the growing dusk.

What he did next surprised everyone present, including Arya. As she turned to face him once again, he swept around and fell to one knee and held the gray and white cloak out behind him as an offering to Arya. Only a beat passed before the girl realized what her new husband wanted her to do. A wolfish grin overtook her features as she grabbed the cloak almost excitedly from him and clasped it onto his shoulders. Behind her family, Sansa could hear the scandalized murmurs and whispers. But the queen hid a small smile, and the king smiled widely at the smith, as if all his hopes about who the man truly was had been realized. Ned chuckled, and Catelyn pursed her lips, though her eyes were smiling.

Gendry rose and turned once more to his wife who leapt into his arms and kissed him full on the mouth. Sansa chuckled along with the rest of those present. That was it. They were husband and wife. Now for the feast.

Sansa started in surprise when she realized she was still holding Lord Tyrion’s arm. She’d been so engrossed she hadn’t realized. Not only that but as the ceremony had gone on, she’d clutched him tighter with emotion. Sansa was also surprised to realize how comforted she felt by the gesture. When she looked down, Lord Tyrion was holding his handkerchief out to her and only then did she realize that she had tears streaming down her face.

“My lady,” Tyrion was saying as she took the cloth from him. He sounded breathless. “Even weeping, you are a sight to behold. I am honored to have once called you my wife.”

Sansa smiled demurely once more, though the smile was a true one. “Thank you, my lord. Shall we follow to the feast?” She gave the gentlest tug to his arm so as to lead them behind the procession toward the great hall where Arya and Gendry’s marriage would be celebrated.

“Strange,” Lord Tyrion murmured as they watched the retreating backs of the bride and groom. “That a Baratheon should finally marry a Stark.”

“You think it a strange pairing, my Lord?” Sansa breathed.

Tyrion glanced curiously up at her. “On the contrary, dear Sansa, they make the perfect pairing. This time. That’s what’s so strange, I suppose.”

Sansa mulled it over as they crossed the courtyard. She supposed it was strange that Arya, who looked and acted so like their aunt, should end up marrying King Robert’s son, a boy who looked exactly like his father but acted nothing like him, when Lyanna and Robert’s own betrothal had always been so doomed to fail.

“Sansa!” She heard her sister shout as her and the little lord of Lannister entered the hall. Arya was waving her arms wildly and indicating towards the seat beside hers. And Sansa realized that the seat to Arya’s left, usually reserved for Jon, had been saved for Sansa instead. Jon and Daenerys sat on Gendry’s right, and the rest of the Stark clan and other honored guests at both tables to the direct left and right of the high table. Sansa couldn’t help the pleased smile that came to her lips.

Tyrion started to unravel his arm from hers so as to let her join her family, but she tightened her arm around his instead. “Join us, my Lord.” She spoke. “There’s room enough for you as well.”

Tyrion looked surprised but pleased and followed her up to the high table. Sansa sat daintily next to her sister who was laughing and making her new husband drink deeply from a mug of mead. Sansa let Lord Tyrion push her chair in for her before he took the seat next to hers.

“If you don’t finish the whole mug, our marriage is annulled,” Arya exclaimed from where she stood over her poor husband, holding the mug up to his mouth.

Gendry, grinning madly from ear to ear, was gulping the mead as fast as he could without spilling, though some splashed onto his previously clean tunic, and Sansa cringed when some almost got on Arya’s dress, which was still clean and not torn but for the very bottom where Arya had not taken enough care while walking.

Both husband and wife shouted and pounded their fists on the table when Gendry had drained the cup. Sansa rolled her eyes but smiled anyway. Gendry had stood and gathered Arya in his arms in a celebratory hug. Sansa nearly choked on her wine when Arya kissed her new husband embarrassingly full on the mouth, her hands roaming his torso inappropriately. Tyrion was chuckling at Sansa’s left.

“They’re their parents’ children alright.” Tyrion told Sansa politely.

“Did you know my lady aunt?” Sansa asked her, well, husband, in surprise.

Tyrion took a long swig of wine and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand before answering. “I didn’t, really.” But he had seen Sansa’s expectant gaze and the way her shoulders had drooped at his answer. “Well, I mean to say, I met her only the once and so short was the encounter, but I also had the opportunity to observe her from afar on more than one occasion, though I was then quite young.”

Excitement rose in Sansa at his words; even today, still, she loved to hear tales about her now long dead aunt. “Can you tell me about these encounters?” She asked breathlessly, raising her glass to her lips for another sip of the sweet wine.

At her side, Arya and Gendry were being rowdy still. This time, much to Catelyn’s disapproval from the side table, Gendry was holding the same mug to Arya’s lips and goading her to finish it in less time than he’d finished his cup. Sansa was genuinely not surprised when her sister did so before letting out a belch that made Sansa elbow Arya gently.

Meanwhile, Tyrion was telling Sansa tales about her aunt. “I remember that she seemed quiet and reserved when surrounded by others of court,” he told her gently, offering her a platter of sweet figs and goat cheese on toasted slices of bread before taking one for himself. “But when alone with her brothers, she was loud and brash, wild you could say.” He eyed Arya, who was perched on Gendry’s lap, her chair next to Sansa abandoned, tossing food towards Gendry’s face; the latter tried to catch the food, but Arya was intentionally throwing it so as to miss his open mouth and get him in the face. “Much like your beloved sister.”

“What else?” Sansa had forgotten her manners, asking the question with a chew of bread still in her mouth. Remembering herself, she apologized hastily and swallowed wine to clear her mouth and palate.

Tyrion was chewing thoughtfully on a bite of boar seared in peach juice and eastern spices. “I remember she was challenging…it was your father, I think, to a duel, in the courtyard. Jokingly, of course, but when she took your Uncle Benjen’s wooden sword from him, it was clear she was a match for them both, though your father was older, of course.”

Sansa smiled joyfully. “She really was like Arya after all.” The thought made her think back on all the times her father had said so, Arya’s grimy defiant face staring up at him in confusion.

“She was,” Tyrion took another small sip of wine to wash down a bite of food. “But,” he paused here. “She was also very much like you, my Lady. If you’ll permit me to say.”

Sansa blinked sideways in surprise at Tyrion. “Like me?” No one had ever said that before, not even father. “How do you mean?” He was only trying to be kind, she thought. He must know she’d idealized her aunt, so must know the comparison might please her.

“Well,” he took a small nibble out of a piece of stewed fish wrapped in bacon. “She was also very good at being a lady, when need be. She could be polite and demure and pleasant and could always say the right thing at the right time. She knew when to be herself and when to put on her mask.” He looked sideways at her with the slightest smile. “That guile does remind me of someone I know.”

Sansa thought on this for a moment, her gaze resting on her wine glass. At her side, Arya and Gendry were finally getting more food into their mouths than into their hair, though Arya threw the occasional bite at Gendry still. Nearby Catelyn seemed to have given up on trying to get Sansa’s attention so as to indicate with her eyes that Sansa should calm her down. What was the point of trying? Arya wouldn’t listen and, besides, it was Arya’s wedding day. She should be free to celebrate as she pleased, even if it was humiliating.

Finally, Sansa turned back towards Tyrion whose gaze was quizzical. “I hope I did not say the wrong thing, my Lady.”

Sansa swallowed with difficulty and shook her head. “Not at all, my Lord.” She paused. “I never knew. I mean- that’s not a side my father talks of often…that is to say, even still, he hardly speaks of Aunt Lyanna at all.”

Tyrion gazed knowingly at Ned Stark then took another sip of wine. “No, he wouldn’t have. He loved her fiercely.” Tyrion’s gaze found Jon now, who was laughing riotously at Arya’s gimmicks, which included taking ice chips, meant for the wine, from the frozen platter before them and shoving them down Gendry’s tunic. The latter was taking the ice away from his skin and returning the favor. “He loved her more than his honor. Who could have known?”

Tyrion looked back to Sansa. “She loved her family fiercely as well.” His gaze bore into hers, and Sansa felt tears prickle her eyes. She tried hard to swallow but could not without another few swallows of wine. He meant that as a comparison as well. Sansa looked around, a teary smile taking over her features, as she watched her family and gulped down the sounds of their joy and laughter.

Little Rickon flicking food across the tables toward the bride and groom, just like Arya used to, managing to get a large bite of potatoes into Arya’s lap. The latter only scooped the potato up and made her husband eat them. Quiet Bran speaking passionately with Meera and Jojen about some grave matter or other; despite his legs, he looked as happy as any time before Winter. Noble Robb, cradling his first child in his lap, and gazing lovingly at Jeyne, the Westerling girl he’d taken as a wife. Her lord father and lady mother, the first watching the newly married pair lovingly, the second disapprovingly. And then there was Arya, shouting about some lie Gendry was supposedly telling about their time in Braavos. He was remembering it wrong, she insisted. When he wouldn’t give in and Arya realized he’d only been mocking her severity about the matter, Arya smacked him but he caught her up in his arms and flooded her with kisses.

Sansa loved them all so fiercely too, even the new additions.

Sansa’s face was equal parts happy and sad. There had been a time when she’d never thought they’d all be back together like this, sure Joffrey was going to murder her before she ever got to hug a one of them again. Despite her and Arya’s constant bickering throughout childhood, Sansa would have killed back then even just to see her wild, bratty little sister or her sullen, distant half-brother Jon.

Tyrion was looking at her curiously. “Are you well, my lady?” He asked, genuine concern evident in his tone.

Sansa nodded, wiping her eyes with Lord Tyrion’s handkerchief, the one he’d given her earlier in the godswood. “I’m very happy.”

“Yes.” He said softly. “I can see, and I’m very glad that’s so.”

She smiled waterily at him. “Thank you being so kind, Lord Tyrion. Now and…” She paused. “Then.” Referring to King’s Landing.

Tyrion looked grave. He shook his head now. “No, my lady. Do not thank me.” He took a larger gulp of wine than even before. “I should have, could have, done so much more. And I did not.”

He put his cup down heavily. “Your aunt…was a kind soul, as well, not at all unlike yourself. That day,” He paused. “That same day…I couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years…and a group of older boys, maybe eleven or twelve, decided it was a good time to bully the dwarf child, the freak. She caught them across their backsides with her stick several times, though she was smaller than the biggest of them, and they scrambled away crying. For a long time, that was the only kindness anyone had shown me. ‘As long as you remain good and true,’ she told me, ‘you will always be a bigger man than any one of them.’”

Sansa had never before heard this story, wasn’t sure it was even one her father knew. She’d never have guessed. “She was brave.” Sansa’s voice shook.

Tyrion nodded gravely. “It runs in your family, I dare say.”

Sansa smiled and nodded gratefully but said, “Arya’s the brave one.”

Tyrion smiled grimly. “Very brave, but there are many different types of bravery, my Lady. There’s the kind that makes you defy kings by picking their cups up for lesser men.” He referred to the time at Joffrey’s wedding when, knowing it might anger Joffrey, Sansa had done Tyrion a kindness by picking Joffrey’s wine glass up from beneath the table and handing it to Tyrion.

It was Sansa’s turn to feel sorry. “He was the lesser man. I should have been kinder.” She apologized.

Tyrion shook his head. “No, you should not have been kind at all. My family hurt yours, and badly. We had no right to your kindness and yet you gave it anyway. You may not look like your aunt, though you’re just as beautiful, in the Tully way, but you possess her kindness and her bravery, I promise you.”

Sansa did something very Arya-like then and leaned over to kiss Lord Tyrion chastely on the cheek. “Thank you, my Lord.”

By this time, Arya and Gendry were, if not drunk, very close to it, and both hooted her way upon sighting the kiss. Having taken notice of her sister, Arya became relentless in tossing food her way, aiming specifically to get it down her dress.

Sansa, herself, was also almost drunk, both on the wine and her lord husband’s words, and didn’t mind. It pleased her actually that Arya’s attention could shift so easily from the smith to her sister.

Later, the dancing begun, and while Sansa was asked to dance by many of the men of her father’s court, it was Tyrion Lannister she danced with most. They were both drunk enough and happy enough that the height difference was more of a small nuisance than an obstruction.

Arya danced only with Gendry. Until he accidentally stepped on her toe. Then, in a slight drunken fit, she demanded that Sansa trade her much more graceful partner, Tyrion, for the ‘stupid, heavy footed bull.’ Sansa obliged with a smile. Tyrion was much more hesitant and looked almost frightened of Arya, whose mood could grow rabid, though she was only mainly joking now.

Gendry was gentle as he put one hand high on Sansa’s waist, taking her hand in his. They circled the dance floor smoothly, but Sansa was surprised to find that she missed dancing with Tyrion. Back when she was a girl, she would have given anything to be swept away by a handsome, strong, young lord like Gendry. She knew so much better about the world now, and while Gendry was gallant and kind, he was not Tyrion Lannister, who was cleverer than any other man she knew.

“You make my sister so incredibly happy, Lord Gendry.” Sansa told him genuinely.

He looked surprised. “Call me Gendry, my Lady.” He insisted.

She laughed. She really had drunk an awful lot of wine. “Only if you call me Sansa.” Then she smiled kindly. “Or sister.”

He inclined his head gratefully and smiled back, still shy, she could tell, with everyone but Arya, Jon and Ned. “You honor me, sister.”

And the title pleased Sansa. For Gendry was, and truly had been for almost two years now, her family.

“And no more happy than she makes me.” Gendry addressed her earlier point. “I don’t know what my life would have been without Arry.” He always used his pet name for her, borne, she knew, out of their journey from King’s Landing.

“Yes,” she agreed, feeling cheeky, “you’re a very lucky man. My sister is one of a kind, you know.”

He agreed fervently.

They swept past Robb and Jeyne. “I hope you’re not tormenting the poor boy,” Robb exclaimed over his shoulder to his sister before disappearing across the floor and behind another couple.

Gendry and Sansa only laughed at that. Suddenly, Arya was sweeping between them out of nowhere, glowering at Gendry.

“I was calling your name.” She growled, punching him, albeit softly, in the gut.

Then Gendry was sweeping his wife up into his arms and apologizing, Sansa forgotten in front of them. But not for long. Looking amused, Tyrion had trailed behind Arya across the hall.

Without needing to say a word, Sansa and Tyrion joined arms and walked back to the high table. From there, they watched as Arya chased Gendry across the hall while holding her shoe for tickling her yet again. Then as Gendry intentionally got berry from the wedding pie all across Arya’s face and, to both Sansa’s and Catelyn’s horror, on Arya’s gown. Later, Arya unsheathed a sword when someone suggested a bedding. With Arya’s sword at his throat and Gendry’s fierce glare on him, the man quickly shut up.

Later that night, the feast over, Tyrion escorted Sansa over to the tower that would lead her up to her family’s chambers. Arya and Gendry had disappeared there hours ago, and Sansa didn’t want to know what they were up to, though it being their wedding night (and what with the raunchy jokes told ‘round that hall that garnered glares from Ned, Robb and Jon), Sansa could guess.

“Good night, my lady.” Tyrion turned to stalk off towards the guests’ quarters when Sansa called out his name.

She was unsure of what she even wanted to say, knew only that matters between her and the little lord had changed that night. He turned curiously.

“Will you break fast with me tomorrow?” She settled on, politely.

Tyrion beamed. “I would be delighted to, my Lady.” And he approached her again, took her hand in his, and kissed it, before walking off once more.

Sansa felt strangely giddy as she ascended the stairs to her bed chambers and knew the feeling had little to do with the wine.

“There you are!” Sansa’s sister exclaimed suddenly from down the corridor.

Arya was rushing toward Sansa and Sansa’s bed chamber in naught but her dressing gown.

“Arya,” Sansa said in surprise. “You’re still awake?”

“Yes,” Arya growled, pushing Sansa into her bed chamber. “The stupid bull is asleep, and I’m bored. I need to talk to you.”

Arya joined Sansa in her large four poster bed, and they snuggled together the way they had long, long ago when they were but tiny children.

Sansa was shy to ask but got it over with. “How was it?’

Arya frowned, but wiggled her eyebrows playfully anyway at her sister until her sister got the hint.

“Oh.” Sansa looked scandalized at the idea that the two had coupled long before the wedding. “Father would kill him if he knew.”

“No, he wouldn’t.” Arya flipped onto her back, looking dreamily up at the ceiling.

Sansa bit back a smile, rolling her eyes at what she knew to be the truth. “No,” she agreed, “he really wouldn’t.”

She knew now that Gendry was the man Ned Stark wished his best friend, Robert, had been. He looked upon him fondly, truly as a son. And, now, as the husband of his favorite child (a husband who loved that child more than life itself), Sansa was sure there was little Gendry could do to garner Ned’s disapproval.

“It was still good.” Arya said argumentatively with a crooked smile.

Sansa couldn’t help but giggle.

Arya glanced sideways at her sister. “You’ve never…” Arya raised her eyebrows curiously.

Sansa looked scandalized again. “No!” She breathed.

Arya rolled her eyes. “You don’t need to be married to.”

Sansa scoffed. “You would say that. And what would you have done if you’d come with child?”

Sansa couldn’t picture Arya as a mother. Not yet anyway. Though she supposed that was a likelihood now. It’d be nice, she supposed, to have a little wildling child, half-Arya, half-Gendry, running around Winterfell, causing all sorts of havoc. Maybe ‘nightmare’ was the word she was looking for, she thought, instead of ‘nice.’

Arya’s turn to scoff and grin wickedly. “Have you never heard of moon’s tea?”

Sansa couldn’t help but redden. She was no good at these sorts of things. Leave it to Arya to be so crass about it all.

“Anyway,” Arya continued sleepily, yawning. “I expect it won’t be much longer for you.”

Sansa rubbed her eyes, fighting sleep as well. “What do you mean?”

Arya grinned crookedly again. “Well, you’re already married, aren’t you? And quite taken with your husband too. If not as taken as he is with you.”

Sansa turned red again, but her smile was pleased. She slapped Arya’s hand. “Shut it.”

Arya blinked in surprise. It wasn’t like Sansa to say something like that, even to Arya. Then they were both laughing hysterically.

This is nice, Sansa thought then, as they quieted down and murmured some more about their husbands, respectively estranged and new. This is very nice.

And she thought she’d been crazy for ever wanting someone as a sister who wasn’t Arya.

“I’m sorry.” Sansa said suddenly.

Arya blinked in surprise then. “For what?”

Sansa felt true remorse then. “For not seeing what the rest of you saw, that Joff was a monster. For choosing him.”

Arya’s mouth formed an ‘o’ of surprise. “You couldn’t have known, Sansa. Not really.” She shook her head adamantly. Thankfully, all the animosity they might have borne to each other all those years ago, for so many things, little and small, they’d managed to let go of.

“And I’m sorry.” Arya blurted.

Sansa’s turn to be surprised.

“For leaving you behind in King’s Landing. I should have tried harder to rescue you.”

Sansa pulled her sister into a tight hug. “Oh, Arya. You couldn’t have.” Sansa was glad to see that there was nothing awkward about the hug.

Things were finally as they should be.

“So when do you think you and Tyrion are going to…” Arya was waggling her eyebrows suggestively once more at her sister.

Sansa reddened again and buried her face in her pillow. “Well, we are still married, so…” Sansa said in a voice, muffled by the pillow, implying she could lay with her husband at any time.

Arya gave a shocked gasp that sounded forced and comical.

Suddenly, from the hallway, came the voice of the smith, in a shout. “Arya.” He sounded grumpy and groggy.

Arya stifled her giggle with one of Sansa’s cushions, then hopped out of the featherbed and tiptoed toward the chamber door, one finger to her lips indicating Sansa shouldn’t give her away.

But Sansa was feeling mischievous, and as Arya inched the door open quietly, Sansa shouted next. “She’s in here, Gendry!”

Arya only had time to turn and glare before there was a flurry of commotion and giggles from the door where Gendry was tackling Arya in a hug, while simultaneously tickling her.

Arya swore loudly and cursed Sansa for tattling, promising to get her back.

As the commotion made its way up the hallway, back toward Arya and Gendry’s chambers, Sansa clutched her belly, which hurt from laughing so hard at the bemused look of shock and betrayal on Arya’s face just then.

Sansa settled down finally, staring up at the intricate designs of wolves in the wood of her four poster bed. She was home. And she was happy. She could ask for little more from life. Except perhaps for a loving husband. Sansa fell asleep with a smile on her delicate lips.

Sorry this turned out super long; I just really hope I did Sansa’s character justice, because I’ve never written in her pov before, and I really really hope I did Arya’s and Sansa’s relationship justice (I’d love to think they would grow closed after growing up and after all their ordeals, despite their spats as children), and I certainly hope someone likes the idea of Sansa and Tyrion. I’m also a slight Sansan shipper, BUT there’s just something about Tyrion and Sansa that seems so romantic to me too.

If you liked this, you can find the other parts and other gendrya fanfic here!

The Princess and the Frog Sentence Meme
  • "There is no way in this whole wide world I would ever, ever, ever I mean never kiss a frog. Yuck!"
  • "I would kiss a frog. I would kiss a hundred frogs if I could marry a prince and be a princess."
  • "A gift this special just gotta be shared."
  • "You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces."
  • "When I open up my own restaurant, I tell you, people are gonna line up for miles around just to get a taste of my food."
  • "You wish and dream with all your little heart, but you remember that old star can only take you part of the way. You got to help with some hard work of your own."
  • "Congratulations on bein' voted King of the Mardi Gras parade."
  • "My mom always said that the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach."
  • "I'm gonna need about five hundred of your man catchin' beignets."
  • "Tonight my prince is finally coming."
  • "I got to make sure all that hard work means something."
  • "We are going to be late for the masquerede."
  • "For someone who can't see his feet, you're very light on them."
  • "Tarot readings, charms, potions. Dreams made real."
  • "When a woman says later, she really means not ever."
  • "I swear, I'm sweatin' like a sinner in church."
  • "Did you see the way he danced with me? A marriage proposal can't be far behind."
  • "You know I was startin' to think that wishing on stars was just for babies and crazy people."
  • "Aren't you just as pretty as a magnolia in May?"
  • "Seems like only yesterday we were both little girls dreaming our fairy tale dreams."
  • "Look, besides being unbelievably handsome I also happen to come from a fabulously wealthy family."
  • "You know if you are going to let every little thing bother you, its going to be a very long night!"
  • "How do I ever get tangled up in all this voodoo madness?"
  • "Fun fact about voodoo: I can't conjur a thing for myself."
  • "You and I both know the real power in this world ain't magic. Its money."
  • "Your little slip-up will be a minor bump in the road so long as we got the prince's blood in this."
  • "It serves me right for wishing on stars. The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard-work."
  • "Once you two are married, you are gonna keep your promise and get me my restaurant, right?"
  • "The Bayou's the best jazz school in the world. All the greats play the riverboats."
  • "She is the voodoo queen of the Bayou. She got magic and spells."
  • "When you're next in life for the throne, you're poised like a panther, ready to expect the unexpected."
  • "Keep that life flowin' and them lights a glowin'."
  • "I need his heart pumpin'...for now."
  • "Listen here mister, this stick in the mud has had to work two jobs her entire life while you've been sucking on a silver spoon chasing chamber maids around your ivory tower."
  • "When you are living in a castle, everything is done for you."
  • "You sure this is the right blind voodoo lady who lives in a boat in a tree in the bayou?"
  • "You blind to what you need."
  • "I will do whatever it takes to make all your dreams come true because I love you."
  • "All my years, no ones ever done anything like this for me."
  • "Just because you wish for something don't make it true."
  • "My Daddy never did get what he wanted but he had what he needed. He had love, never lost sight of what was really important. And neither will I!"
  • "My dream wouldn't be complete without you in it."
  • "All my life I read about true love and fairy tales and you found it!"
How Chevy Chase’s Bad Attitude Led to Home Alone
History could have changed completely if he‘d only been nice to Chris Columbus.
By Katey Rich

Thanks to Chevy Chase we can all enjoy these GIFs

In Conclusion…