For my delightful and wonderful saltmate @baelerion
Trust and war paint
She stares at Jon, studying him carefully, his words not quite piercing her conscious. Jon fidgets under her gaze and flushes red, embarrassment now colouring his cheeks.
“You want me to do what?” She asks, laughter now bubbling within her voice. His offer seems so ridiculous and silly that she can’t do anything but laugh. Paint is for children and she is no child. She hasn’t been a child for a long time. Jon squirms and scowls at the laughter in her voice, now too embarrassed to even look at her.
“For the festival, I thought. It’s a wildling tradition.” His words fade into silence as he stumbles over what to say, his expression finally settling into that oh so familiar look of gloom. She bites her lip, something deep inside her, suddenly aching at the familiarity. There are many who say that Jon looks like their father and she guesses that they must be true. She cannot remember much of Ned Stark’s face, most of it has all faded into some faded blurry shape or the horror of her father’s head on a pike. She guesses that their bannersmen remember Ned Starks face more clearly than she does because most of the time she only sees Jon. Most times that is enough but sometimes it not and right now, right now she wants more.
She tries to shake her head and free herself of all her memories of her father but they root themselves deeply in her mind, wrapping themselves around each thought as if ivy. It shouldn’t surprise her; the Northern way has always been to remember. Jon is still looking at her, his eyes uncertain and gentle. She does not remember her father’s eyes but she thinks that he must have stared at her with the same gentleness that Jon does now. It is perhaps this, that forces her words out and laughter down.
“You want to draw paint on me?” Jon blushes and she blushes too. There is nothing truly wrong with her words but his reaction to them makes her flush.
“Yes, the wildlings, during the festival decorate themselves with symbols and war paint. I thought that you might like it, to be part of the festival,” he quickly explains and finishes at her raised eyebrow. She does not know where he must have gotten this strange thought. The Sansa of old would have laughed and wrinkled her nose at such a thought. Perhaps, he is mistaking her for Arya again. She knows that he sometimes gets confused.
“I don’t know, where would it even be painted?” She asks, suddenly curious. Jon relaxes slightly at her question, obviously relieved that she didn’t just laugh in his face or get annoyed.
“On your face and neck.” She stiffens immediately at his words and Jon’s eyes fill with panic. “Sansa?” But she shakes her head and he waits, just as he always does, for the fear to drain away. Jon isn’t Littlefinger or Ramsay or Joffrey or even the Hound. He is Jon, she reminds herself but her heart and body still ache. The scars that Ramsay had carved into her body have all healed but there are times like this where they ache. Fear and memories slipping through rough and newly-knit skin and burrowing its ways into her bones. Anger and frustration strikes her suddenly, it is not Jon’s fault but she can’t help but hate him a little for uncovering a new weakness and a new hurt.
I’m a wolf and wolves never bare their neck, she thinks to herself half-maddened by her weakness but mostly aching. She did not feel like a wolf most days, she felt like a sad little girl swept away in the storm. Jon’s gaze was kind and gentle, a rope and lighthouse. Ramsay, Joffrey, the Hound, they had all stared at her as if they were fighting a war and she had always been the victim. Jon though, his stare is kind and patient and good. There is father’s kindness and something more, something that takes her breath away and something that she hopes one day to explore.
“You don’t have to do this,” he tells her gently and her heart does a strange little lurch. She knows that he is waiting, waiting for something. It would be easy to bare her teeth and tell him to stop waiting and to turn away. It would be easy to pretend to be a wolf when she is nothing but a little girl. There is strength and bravery in submitting. Even wolves do it at times, she tells herself, calming the tempest that had slowly risen within her. There is so much that seems like weakness but is truly strength and right now, right now, she wants to be strong and weak all at once.
“I want to do it,” she says the word slowly, tasting each word, allowing herself to feel the weight of them upon her tongue. The words do not taste of weakness, they taste of hope.
Jon smiles a slow and bright thing that makes something warm burst within her chest. He goes to tilt her head as he wets his fingers in paint but she stops him, breathing in the air and breathing in the hope. Let me be brave. Let me be brave, she repeats the word as a mantra. Jon’s eyes do not leave her own and something in her chest loosens a little in the face of his kindness and patience and gentleness. The prayer must be heard by the gods themselves or perhaps it is the sight of Jon, filling her with more warmth and hope than a man has any right to give. She bares her neck before him, his gentle eyes in her mind. Bravery. Is the word that she remembers, long after he has painted her neck and face, long after the paint has dried and the quiet after the festival. Bravery and his eyes.
Nursey isn’t really sure what time it is, but he knows that Spring C is over and the sky is dark, so it’s definitely probably sometime at night.
He also knows that the team is having an after party at the Haus, and he doesn’t really know where any of his friends are or when he lost them, but that’s pretty much on par for every other Spring C he’s ever attended, so he doesn’t worry about that too much. Instead, he just heads for the Haus and, sure enough, he arrives there to find that a party is in full swing.
There are people on the grass and the porch and he can see people inside as well, and there’s music playing and laughter filling the air, and Nursey curses himself for thinking in cliché’s, but he’s also just a bit too drunk and a bit too excited to care.
He’d been tired before but, just like that, his second wind hits him, and then Nursey stumbles inside. He waves to a few people he knows and fist bumps a few others, and then he does his best to head straight for the kitchen.
He knows that, realistically, he’s definitely at least a little bit drunker than he should be and that, because of that, he should probably have a glass of water or a slice of pie or something to counteract the hours’ worth of alcohol he’s drank today, but he also feels good and he doesn’t want it to stop.
He feels light and kind of dazed and he feels like the night is just beginning, and he doesn’t want sobriety to get in the way of that, so he opens the fridge and grabs a PBR, and he fumbles it a bit before he gets it opened but then it’s opened and he goes to take a sip, when-
“Do you really need another drink, Nurse?” Dex asks, and Nursey pauses, but he doesn’t lower the can. Instead, he turns with the can still mid-air and sees Dex leaning against the doorframe, at which point Nursey meant to finish the sip of beer in defiance, but he gets momentarily caught off guard by just how good Dex looks, and then-
And then he spills at least a quarter of the beer onto his shirt, and he’s not entirely sure how it even happened, but he says, “Oh fuck,” and then he jumps back and spills a bit more on the floor, and then he gets hold of himself and looks up just in time to see Dex hiding a smile. The cold beer and the slight embarrassment both hit Nursey at once and they clear his head a tiny bit, so he mutters, “I definitely need another drink,” and then he actually does take a sip of the beer.
Title: who are you to make me feel so good? Rating: M Warning: Smut, jealousy, and getting it on in a natural spring. Yeah, this escalated quickly. Character: Keith Alford Alternative Moment: Main Story, Chapter 6 Song:cardiac arrest Summary: His country’s economy is on the verge of collapse. His father sent him away like a child to play nice with the other princes. And now, he’s stranded on a goddamn deserted island with no way to contact a rescue party. There are bigger problems to deal with than how his butler’s flirting with her, so why can’t he stop thinking about it?
Requested By: The two anons that wanted to see a jealous Keith, and something to do with the plane crash. Enjoy!
He has to admit, and oh my is he utterly loath to do so, but the island is beautiful.
The sand is a crystalline, off-white hue that contrasts starkingly against the hypnotic blue of the sea. The trees are full and green, the underbrush peppered with colors of the natural flora. The sun is hot but the ocean breeze is crisp, making the weather humid but not unpleasant.
Had he been here under any other circumstances, it would have been a nice vacation spot. But no, instead he is forced to sit idly while they desperately try to make contact with a rescue team.
It shouldn’t be taking this long, he thinks. He’s been missing for nearly sixteen hours now, he can’t imagine they aren’t at least curious as to where he’s gone.
Even at gunpoint, he would never admit how overwhelming he finds this entire scenario. He’s powerless, hopelessly so, and in his weakness he is panicking. He’s never felt so vulnerable in his entire life, and that doesn’t sit well with him.
He notices movement out of the corner of his eye, and is greeted by the smiling faces of his useless butler and the woman who doesn’t seem to know when to shut her mouth.
They’ve spent a majority of the day off searching the west side of the island. And though he got curious enough to wander after them initially, just in time to catch her stupidly trying to climb a tree and catch her before she broke that slender neck, he quickly conceded defeat. He had done his part, by getting the fruit from atop the tower branches. But no, those two were determined to scour as much of the island as they could before sunset.
She’s beautiful, he notes not for the first time, when her face is alight joy. Hell, even when she’s insulting him and giving him a piece of her unfiltered mind she is stunning. The way her eyes flame up and her indignant stare burns into him makes his heart race and gives him the same adrenaline rush he gets from athletics.
But she’s never smiled at him like that. He’s only ever seen the annoyance, up until now. And that bothers him more than he’d care to admit.
God, if she isn’t the most infuriating woman he’s ever had the displeasure of meeting.
I graduated from uni in October and tomorrow (February) I start my first real job. ‘Wow, that’s a big gap!’ you might think, and, well, it kind of is but - I wasn’t searching for a job the whole time. In fact, the actual job searching (from sending out the first application to accepting an offer) took only 2 weeks. But let’s start with some basics:
(Please note: What I’m describing is true for Germany, where I live and did the whole application process. It might well be different in your country, although I’m pretty sure it applies to more countries than only Germany.)