۞ (the temptation was too much to ignore and i apologize)
Winterfell was in ruin, Sansa no longer had a home. The memories of what the castle used to be like flooded back to her whenever she stood in the godswood. Her eyes glanced up towards the sky, and the leaves around her still whispered their secrets to each other as they always did. Closing her eyes, she let Winterfell come to her in the escape of her mind. One day, when I’m free of this place, I’ll return. Even if it was only a ruin, she wanted to see it for herself. Mayhaps, if she had enough resources somehow, she could return it to its former glory, one day at a time.
How long she had been standing there with the paradise of her imagination, Sansa didn’t know. But as always, she eventually drifted back to reality. This time, the reality wasn’t being betrothed to Joffrey, it was that she was being held hostage by King Stannis. Sansa wasn’t educated in the ways of war, but she had enough common sense to know that to have your opponent’s sister under a thumb was an advantage too useful to ignore. Truthfully, it wasn’t as bad as being the hostage of House Lannister, but Sansa rued the fact she was constantly being used as a pawn against Robb. Still, Stannis Baratheon had saved her from the claws of the Lions, and for that she couldn’t help but be grateful. The night was like no other, she’d remember it until the day she died, the night the wildfire danced outside her window in sickening tones of green, and the light of Stannis’ sword chasing the darkness away from her room after the dreadful fire had tired. I thought him my hero, Sansa remembered, a knight in shining armor. Though he had neither shining armor or knighthood, but he had a shining sword, and he was now King. It was the closest Sansa would get, and since that night, he had shown her neither kindness or maliciousness either way. It was only sometimes, but sometimes the sternness of his face and the stubborn look of his eyes reminded her of her father. Though her father had a more gentle look about him most of the time, she thought, there were times when his stern but stoic expression would be enough to make you know you were in trouble, without him having to say a word. Whenever those thoughts slipped into her mind, she told herself, Stannis is nothing like my father, and she meant it neither unkindly or kindly, but just a matter of fact.
The conflicting thoughts made her feel ill of the idea of staying in the godswood any longer, with only the sounds of the wind and leaves to distract her from the unrest of her mind. No, I need to go somewhere where I’m not left alone with my thoughts. Turning on her heels, she made a move to start making her way out of the forest, but as she stepped forward, the sound of fabric ripping under her feet filled her ears. What—, looking down, she saw that the bottom of her cobalt blue silk dress had caught on a root sticking out of the ground. With the weak fabric of silk, the rip now snaked all the way up to her knee and back down, and when she tugged the skirt free, a patch of the dress hung low from her knee and dragged on the ground when she continued walking. I need to get out of here. The ripping of her dress had given her an distressing feeling, like the Old Gods were trying to tell her something. Did they not want me to leave? Or were they cursing me for my thoughts? She didn’t want to dwell on her thoughts any longer, and she began to pick up her pace, eventually breaking out into a run to sooner escape the godswood.
The last thing she had expected to see on her way nearing the end of the forest, was a person. Stannis Baratheon. But she was running, running much too fast a pace to slow down now, and he had stepped into her view so suddenly— The sound of her dress ripping again broke the silence of the forest, her foot having got caught on the loose section of silk and tearing it from her dress entirely. However, the smooth fabric had caused her foot to trip, and the inertia of her running propelled her forward into the King.
Not even a gasp could escape her before they collided, his body bearing the brunt of the fall to the ground. Leaves were pushed into the air by the force of the fall, and as they had begun to settle again, Sansa also began to regain her senses. Tully blues had remained wide open out of sheer shock, but it took her a few blinks to finally realize her lips were pressed against the Baratheon King. What—, she repeated to herself, embarrassment beginning to flutter madly in her stomach, with a hint of fear. How—, it was an bizarre sensation, having their lips meet, but it was a sensation she did not think she wanted to extend any longer than had already been.
Breaking the kiss, she sidled off his body somewhat awkwardly and hastily, feeling the hot flush of her cheeks beginning to come into motion. Pausing beside him, Sansa tried to gather whatever lady-like courtesy she could muster in the moment, though her flustered reaction to the kiss was all too obvious, “I— I’m so sorry, Your Grace. It was an accident, I swear it— I swear it on the Old Gods.“
It felt fitting to say that, with them both being in the godswood, but saying it also sent shivers up her spine as the wind blew between them in response. So badly did she want to get up and run away, forget this had ever happened. Perhaps if she ran fast enough Stannis might not get a good enough view who it was, just some mysterious auburn-haired maiden in the forest who fell on him and kissed him, like in a song. He doesn’t seem a man of songs though, Sansa admitted, he’d probably know better in any case.
All Sansa could do was sit beside him and wait for his reaction, or his punishment, if need be. He was married, she knew, to kiss him was an extremely inappropriate action in her mind, she scarcely believed she had just done it. It was out of my control, she reassured herself, but there was little else to reassure her. Even after the matter was to be settled, she would never be able to look at the King in the same way. Before, she had compared him to her own father, but now… There was no way he could relate to a father in her mind, not after she had kissed him. Her mind reeled at being introduced to even more conflicting thoughts to keep the others company.