A/N: When you have to cleANSE YOUR SOUL OF SIN with pointless fluff before you sleep because phew, I don’t want lightning to strike me while I’m out.
It was raining outside.
It was disgusting weather and by some miracle, a combination of whining from you, Noctis and Prompto convinced both Ignis and Gladio that today was a good day for a break.
You lay on the bed between the prince and blond, body lying across them both. Your head rested on the back of Noct’s shoulders while you had your legs bent over Prompto’s back with your feet resting on his other side. All three of you were playing King’s Knight on your phones. The strategist and guard had opted to run errands and replenish resources while the three of you were content with being lazy in the motel.
Honestly the boys were veterans at the mobile game and you had only really just started. They had also managed to convince you to spend a minuscule amount of gil on some in app purchases to get started. Honestly you thought it was to keep you playing a bit longer to get your monies worth, but whatever.
“Why am I even doing this?” You groaned and rolled to lie on your side with your cheek pressed between Noct’s shoulder blades. The boys squirmed beneath you as you shifted so they could get comfortable again. “What level do I have to be to team up with you guys again?”
“Umm 10 I think.” Prompto gestured for you to show him what you were up to in the game. “You’re nearly there! Half way through level 8, that’s pretty good.”
“Mm, I think you get a free character pack at 10 too.” Noct rolled over to lie on his back and you lifted your head for him to do so before you dropped your head back onto his chest. “What role did you pick for the packs you bought?”
“Um… Hybrid. Tank, healer?” The system in the game was a little strange, but you were getting the hang of it. “I think that’s what you guys said you wanted?” You opened up your character screen and looked over your team of one and two star characters. Their characters borders were either blue or green, indicating their tank and healer roles respectively.
“Yeah, I know we said that, but you could have picked anything to be honest.” Prompto looked back and grinned at you.
“Well technically no, because you dorks both chose DPS roles. You have to balance the team out.” You rolled your eyes. As far as you knew, Gladio had taken a solely Tank role and Ignis covered the Healer role whenever he was coerced to play. “Sooo typical. You guys always go for the cool looking types. Like—” You reached up and grabbed Noct’s wrist to forcibly turn his phone towards you. “Look, it’s all duel-wielding sword DPS. Standard Noct! So standard.”
The prince rolled his eyes. So what if he had a particular character aesthetic? “I’m highest ranked DPS out of all of us, so you can make fun all you want, but my shoulders are tired from carrying you all.” He chuckled as you and Prompto groaned at his shit-talking and you felt it through your cheek on his chest. His free hand brushed through your hair a couple of times before he yawned and dropped his arm. “Ah, I’m tired. I wanna nap.”
“You always wanna nap, Noct.” Prompto dropped his phone onto the bed and turned to lie on his side too. He gently held onto you legs as he shifted and gave your calf a squeeze. “But this weather is kind of perfect nap weather.” Honestly all of you had been working pretty hard the last few days, tracking down and successfully completing quite a few hunts in the area. It was nice to just chill.
“Alright, we’ll nap and you have to finish grinding to level 10 in King’s Knight.” Noctis declared as he poked you in the side before shutting his eyes with an easy grin.
“What? Noo, guys that totally isn’t fair.” You laughed, knowing you were kind of powerless to do anything. You were getting pretty drowsy too. After so many days of action, your body was ready and willing to rest whenever it could. It was likely how the boys were feeling too.
When Gladio and Ignis returned they witnessed the pile of you curled up together fast asleep and they shook their heads.
For @jonxsansafanfiction‘s Valentines Challenge! Day 4: Blind Date Summary: Modern AU: According to her flatmate, Sansa has been single for far too long so she sets her up on a blind date. Only when she gets there, the stranger she’s supposed to meet isn’t so much a stranger at all.
Five Years Ago
“I thought I’d find you out here.”
Sansa stepped onto the balcony, a cool breeze ruffling her dress, as she closed the sliding door. The noise from inside was now thankfully muffled by the double-paned glass. She walked across the small balcony to lean into the railing.
Jon smiled at her. “You caught me.”
“You know, it’s usually typical of the person the going away party is being thrown for to be inside with the partygoers,” Sansa commented. She rested her forearms on the cool metal and inclined her head towards the boy beside her.
“I’m not really a party person.”
Sansa chuckled. “You don’t say.”
“I just wanted a quiet evening,” Jon admitted, sighing. “Guess that’s too much to ask for, isn’t it?”
“You’re talking about Robb here,” Sansa pointed out. “There’s no such thing as a quiet evening in his world. You’re just lucky he didn’t invite the entire department.”
Jon rubbed his eyes and laughed behind his hands. “Yeah, you’re right.”
“I know I’m right,” Sansa smirked, and nudged his shoulder with her own. “How are you feeling?”
“Honestly?” Jon looked to her with a self-deprecating smile. “Terrified. I’ve never even been outside of the UK and now I’m going all the way to Brazil. What was I thinking?”
“You were thinking of adventure and… and doing something incredible!” Sansa enthused, knowing she didn’t have the courage for quite a big move herself. She wished but Jon had always been the brave one. “That’s admirable, Jon.”
Sansa placed her hand on top of his and squeezed tightly. “Of course I do. I believe in you. We all do.”
Jon held her gaze, turning her hand so their fingers intertwined. She wasn’t sure what he was doing but somehow she couldn’t look away. In fact, she could hardly breathe with Jon’s deep grey eyes staring at her like that. Her heart pounded in her throat. Sansa didn’t know if she wanted to throw up or throw her hands around his neck. But that was absurd, wasn’t it? This was Jon. Broody, serious Jon; her brother’s best friend.
“Sansa, I…” He paused and swallowed nervously. “I have to tell you something before I go. I…”
The sliding door clanged to the side as Robb poked his head through. “There you are! We’re about to bring out your cake. C’mon!”
“We’ll be right out,” Sansa told him, and once her brother was back indoors, she turned to Jon. Except he was gone from her. His hands were back by his side and he smiled, a distant look in his eyes. “Jon? What were you going to say?”
“Thank you,” he said with a soft sigh. “Thank you for staying up with me all those nights to study for my exams. Couldn’t have gotten this fellowship without you, Sans.”
Jon kissed her on the cheek and retreated into the party.
“Ma pupuce, you must go!”
Sansa crossed her arms across her chest and shook her head. Now that she was set to meet the man in less than an hour, she didn’t think she had the nerve. It wasn’t like her to go on a blind date anyways, so surely now was not the type to be straying outside her comfort zone.
“Sansa,” her flatmate said in that aggravatingly sultry French accent. “When was the last time you had a date?”
“Oui, not since Joffrey!” Constance cried out. “You deserve a good man.”
“And how do you know this man will be a good man?” Sansa cried out with equal amounts of dramatic flourish. “He might just be as much of a jerk!”
“No one, darling, is as much of a jerk as Joffrey,” Constance said. “Now, go. I did not waste a whole week with Marcos for nothing.”
Sansa didn’t move. She just sighed. “I can’t believe I’m doing this. You don’t even know what he’s like, Constance!”
Her flatmate waved a hand in the air as if Sansa had just said the most trivial thing in the world. “Nonsense. I told you, I sat with Marcos and went through all of his friends. It was a very… um, qu’est-ce que c’est… rigorous process.”
At least, Sansa could concede, that it wasn’t one of Constance’s male friends, who were all a little too colourful for Sansa’s tastes. Maybe if she had been nineteen again she’d be into that but at twenty-five, she was looking for more. The problem was Sansa just didn’t know what more meant. She supposed that was where Constance’s coworker Marcos came in. He was normal. Sansa could do with normal after her ex, Joffrey.
Finally ushered out of the door, Sansa walked the short distance to the restaurant where she would be meeting this mystery man. She hadn’t wanted to go further than walking distance from her flat just in case her blind date turned out to be completely crazy.
The restaurant was a small, quaint little bistro on the corner of the high street. It had little adorable white wrought iron chairs and tables outside. A sign in glittering gold spelled out, ‘Chez L’Ami Pierre’. Inside, the decor was a deep burgundy colour mixed with accents of gold and black. It was truly one of Sansa’s favourite restaurants in Paris but as the prices were not necessarily kind to a teacher’s salary, she could only afford it on the very special occasions. A blind date was one of them, though truthfully, she just wanted to be somewhere she knew.
Once seated, Sansa began to wring the hem of her dress with increasing agitation. The nervous energy that had nearly rooted her to her flat was now coursing through her veins, pulsing to its own drumbeat.
What was she doing here? She must be insane. Totally, utterly insa–
Her heart leapt to her throat. She opened her mouth to speak but no sound came out. Sansa tried again and managed a weak, “what…”
“I… You…” He seemed to be at a similar loss for words. Sansa watched as he struggled to regain his senses, taking note of his familiar curly, unruly black hair, those deep grey eyes and those sinfully full lips. But he was different, changed. He was no longer the boy she had known all those years ago. He was…
“I haven’t seen you since –”
“Your going away party,” Sansa filled in.
“Has it really been five years?” Jon breathed out with wide-eyed surprise. Sansa nodded quietly, and in turn, he sighed, a sound so regretful she felt it in her chest. “I’m sorry… I’ll leave you to your dinner.”
“Jon, wait,” Sansa said, noticing something in his hand. “That’s… Why do you have a yellow rose?”
Jon paused and abruptly started laughing. “God, this is…”
“Yeah, something like that,” Jon nodded. He settled in the seat across from her and chuckled again. “Five years and now this.”
Sansa smiled faintly. Her heart was still beating wildly in her chest. She could hardly believe that it was Jon sitting in front of her right now but as that began to settle around her, something else niggled at the back of her mind, a feeling she had pushed away for so many years.
“Why didn’t you call?” Sansa asked. “Or email? Or even text? I know we weren’t exactly good friends or anything but…” She trailed off again. It seemed to be a recurring habit around Jon. He made her lose her train of thought.
Jon sighed and rubbed at his eyes. “Fuck,” he murmured to himself. When he looked back up at her from behind his hands, those deep grey eyes bore into hers, imploring her to understand, but she didn’t. She didn’t understand anything.
“At first,” Jon started, sighing. “Well, at first, I couldn’t. Trust me that I wanted to but I couldn’t. It was hard enough to be away from you and I knew if we started talking, I’d just want to fly straight home.” He chuckled softly. “Didn’t help though, you know? Still wanted to fly straight home.”
“What are you talking about?”
He moved his hands as if to grab for her but stopped himself midway. Jon then dropped them back on his lap. “I was in love with you, Sans,” he said quietly. “But the fellowship was two years long and I needed time to move on. Then when I did go home, you were away and we just kept missing each other that way.” He shook his head sadly. “After awhile, I made peace that whatever I felt was never meant to last.”
Sansa inhaled deeply, trying to pull in oxygen to quell the pain running through her veins. It didn’t work. The pain was still there. All of those years of feeling betrayed, feeling like she had been dumped and not understanding why she had a right to those feelings when Jon and her weren’t anything to each other, suddenly made sense.
“You didn’t even bother to ask me though, did you?” Sansa scowled. “How I felt? You just assumed you were doing the right thing. God, Jon, you’re so…” She struggled for a word strong enough. “So thickheaded!”
Jon blinked, startled by her accusation.
“Did you think that maybe I loved you too?” Sansa asked him. “And you disappearing out of my life for five years would’ve killed me?”
“I didn’t –”
“No, of course you didn’t know! Because you never asked!” Sansa all but spat out “Well, that’s fine. See you in five years, Jon.”
She stood up suddenly, scraping the chair across the ground in a piercing squeal. Several of the other patrons turned and stared at her but Sansa was past caring at this point. All she wanted was to crawl into bed and not emerge for the next month. Maybe have Constance spoon feed her ice cream as they watched some cheesy, stupid chick flick.
Sansa raced from the restaurant as fast as was appropriate. She began her walk back down the high street towards the flat. She didn’t think he’d follow. She hadn’t expected him to – after all, he hadn’t reached out so much as one tweet in the past five years – so when a hand wrapped around hers and tugged her back, Sansa nearly screamed.
“Sansa,” Jon said, exhaling loudly from running after her. “Shit, Sansa, I’m sorry. I fucked up. I royally, wholly, irrevocably screwed this up. And I am more sorry than I can tell you.”
The street light bathed Jon in an amber glow, highlighting the changes in his face that she hadn’t been around to see over the past five years. She sighed. “It’s five years too late.”
“I know. I understand that,” Jon said softly. “And I have no right to ask anything of you. I just needed to tell you before I lost the chance again… Sansa, I never once stopped loving you. Not in five years and probably not in the next five years.” He smiled then. “I tried to move on once and it failed miserably. I don’t think I have the energy to try again.”
“Was this what you wanted to tell me that night? Out on the balcony?”
“Yes,” Jon admitted. “But I chickened out.”
“Huh,” Sansa murmured. She wondered if he had told her then, would things have been different? Would they have been together all this time? Or would she have still pretended to move on and date Joffrey for a year?
As epiphanies went, this one slid into her consciousness like a well-worn jumper. It was warm and comforting, and her anger melted away at its first touch. Sansa knew with such resounding clarity that even if Jon had confessed that night, nothing would have changed. She would never have been happy with a long-distance relationship and she would never have asked him to come home for her when she knew this was what he had wanted since he was a young boy. Likewise, Jon would never have stopped her from traveling the world to teach English.
“We’re both idiots,” Sansa finally said, smiling at him. When he only stared back at her, confusion evident in his grey eyes, she laughed. “Because I still love you too.”
Throwing her arms around him, Sansa kissed Jon for the first time, thrilled with the knowledge that this wouldn’t be the last time. She kissed him knowing that there were a million more kisses to come and each one would have a different meaning, a different part of their love that they hadn’t discovered yet. And god, she kissed him because she could and because she had wanted to for nearly a decade.
But the best part of it all was that Jon kissed her like no one could ever love her as much as he did, and in that moment, and many moments to come, Sansa believed that.
write about barb in her final moments thinking about nancy or whatever because I like pain
When they were small, they would go to the beach. Play in the water. Barb had been scared. She hadn’t liked the way the waves seemed to reach out, ready to grab a person.
“If you put your feet in the sand,” Nancy had told her, doing so, “and you let the water touch you, you sink a little. This way, you stay put.”
Barb had tried it. She’d grinned toothily when it worked. By the end of the day she and Nancy were down to their mid calves, laughing, and splashing water at one another.
The sun had set. But night never seemed to come.
Then they got a little older. Lost all their baby teeth, started using tampons and talking about boys at night. Barb thought no one could ever like her, and everyone liked Nancy. All of the boys asked her out to the Snowball, but in the end, Nancy turned them all down and went with Barb instead.
“I’m sure they just forgot,” Nancy had said at the end of the night, when Barb had broke down crying in the bathroom. For a moment, she allowed herself to believe it. Allowed herself to sit on the counter with her best friend, resting her head on her shoulder, listening to the loud music playing from the gym.
That was the best part of the dance.
Now there was this. This place of dank decay and death and cold. This place where her bones seemed to shiver with her body. Where she had to bite down on her tongue, make it bleed warmth, to keep her teeth from chattering.
After a while it didn’t matter. Her skin grew so numb that she couldn’t feel anything anymore. Her lungs were coated with frost, she was convinced of it.
Two days after she disappeared into the Upside Down, Barbra Holland died. She lay on her back in what should have been Nancy’s bed, and for a moment could swear she smelt her perfume, heard the voice of some boy (probably Steve, but something told her no).