this is the reason we had children

Gloxinia: *kills humans for literally no reason besides they didn’t make ir in time, pretty much killed Escanor, almost killed King, fought against Meliodas almost to the death, sent the demon that almost kills Matrona’s children*
Fandom: he’s such a meme lol we love him, he had his reasons
Gerharde: *affirms that a human shouldn’t be a fairy king, injured Ban to ensure the well being of the forest, told Gloxinia about Ludociel’s plan late and without any real proof that she knew beforehand, thought she lost her brother during the war*
Fandom: wow she’s such a bitch, she deserved anything that happened to her, she’s just as guilty as Ludociel what a bitch, we hate her

“I feel homeless. Like this isn’t the place that I thought it was. I feel like I don’t understand where I am. Where we all are. Last week students started chanting ‘build the wall’ in the lunchroom of a local middle school. Some of the Hispanic children started crying. If you’re the principal– how are you supposed to stop that behavior? If the president can behave in a certain way, how are you supposed to tell a child that it’s unacceptable? How does that hold up? It breaks my heart. I’ve had friends reach out to me. They’ve told me: ‘I understand the reasons that you’re upset. But those aren’t the reasons I voted for him.’ And I’m just starting to understand that. I’m realizing that a lot of people wanted change more than they wanted kids not to cry. We all have our own code of ethics. My bottom line happened to be tolerance. Their bottom line was abortion. Or the Supreme Court. I guess we all have the right to choose our own bottom line.“

I dunno,” she said,
“I guess it’s just strange.”
“Strange to think that we had our entire future planned out. He was my future and there was a time when I was his, we knew our children’s names, the house we wanted to live in, we even knew how our wedding was gonna go. We planned it all, and even though I know it was just a bit of fun, reasons to smile and all that, and I know it’s inevitable that the boy you’re with when you’re 17 is not going to be the boy you marry in 10 years time. But I guess a part of me had always hoped that it would be him, I guess it’s just strange to know that you had something all planned out and then suddenly you don’t get any of it and suddenly you have a new future. It’s strange how fast and easy something can be taken away from you.
—  Changes //
Excerpt of a book I’ll never write

I had a dream last night that 90% of dinosaur media turned out to to all be  adaptions of 1 single gigantic children’s book about dinosaurs,  just interpreted differently (The Good Dinosaur, We’re Back!, and Theodore Rex were listed as “examples” of adaptions). The reason that all dinosaur movies rely on the same handful of dinosaurs/stock story lines was because they all arose from that 1 story.

In the dream I went on and made my own “interpretation” of the story, in which dinosaurs are a “ dying race” living amongst mankind, and a  of Dinosaurs that were raised by humans living in New York(?) get together to rediscover their roots

The group included:

-A humble, peace making T. rex ashamed of his thirst for flesh

-An angry velociraptor that compulsively pulls out their feathers like a pet parrot.
- A fully clothed, fat stegosaurus with high waisted pants and glasses

- A butch lesbian Triceratops who carried cigars on her horns (somehow)

- A vague hadrosaur named “Debbie” 

- Little baby T. rex who always “wears” it’s eggshell

My 6 yr-old son and 5 yr-old daughter halt their slugfest, because my son had to go potty. After he leaves the room, I find myself curious about my daughters amusement with play fighting (solid hits), so I ask
  • Dad: What reason do you and your brother for wanting to beat each other up?
  • Daughter: We're kids, and kids do stuff like that.
  • Dad: Ok, I understand that.
  • My son walks back into room, and she taunts him into getting closer. As he does, she attempts to give him a haymaker, accompanied by a funhouse laugh.
  • Now they've stopped kicking each other's ass (daughter doing most of the ass kicking), and my son is presently challenging his sister with random math problems.

anonymous asked:

In your FAQ, that men are not taught 'not to rape,' you imply that as men, we naturally seek an immoral and illegal activity, and that no one prevents it. As though we, as children, would say, "It's time to go do some rape," and our parents would have said, "Ok! No reason to stop what is natural! Go do your raping, son!" I've never been taught not to murder, but I was also raised not a sociopath, so I never had the inclination. Same with rape.

God you’re boring. As though there aren’t a million ways that rape is encouraged and excused.

As though many men don’t rape women and then are GENUINELY surprised to find out that it was rape because society does such a dirty job of teaching boys what rape IS.

As though young boys who rape aren’t looked on with sadness and we don’t hear things on the news about how sad it is that guilty verdict will ruin THEIR lives.

As though judges don’t blame literal children for “seducing” grown men.

As though what a woman was doing, wearing, or how she was behaving isn’t taken and used against her to try and suggest that she shares responsibility for her rape.

As though there aren’t movies that promote the idea of having sex with drunk girls and kissing girls without their permission, like there aren’t whole YouTube channels dedicated to kissing girls without their permission like it’s actually funny.

Like the police themselves don’t often make victims of rape feel so terrible that many say they would never report their rape if it were to happen again.

You are a part of the problem. You don’t want to look at a complex picture of how women are so often a gender that is targeted in a multitude of ways and how men are excused from having to learn while women are taught they need self defense classes, anti-rape underwear, date rape detecting nail polish, to not be alone, to not drink too much, to not be provocative.

You only want to see sometime saying that men should bare ANY responsibility for changing the awful status quo as an attack on you. You turn yourself into the victims, showing that you really and truly could not give a flying fuck about rape victims. You’re only here for yourself.

Overwatch headcanon time!

THe TL;DR: The UN are the bad guys, Blackwatch was based on Talon, Overwatch was a propaganda tool and the Swiss HQ explosion was assassination.

At the fair founding of Overwatch and Blackwatch where we lay our scene.
Gabriel, despite being more qualified to leading the organization, is bumped into the sister-organization Blackwatch to operate underground.

The UN does this for two reasons: 1. The real heavy lifting was always designed to be carried by Blackwatch, and Gabriel is more qualified and 2. Overwatch becomes a face for the UN, and while Jack is a capable commander, he’s mostly there for show. Their golden boy.

This is not to say that Overwatch isn’t actually doing work and genuinely risking life and limb. But they are shipped out to the higher profile areas, literally leading children out by the hand on tv. Overwatch had one primary function. ‘You are safe; We are handling this’.

I think that Talon (or it’s early form) had infiltrated the UN. Blackwatch was doing the grunt work, but was increasingly turned to more serving the sovereign wants of the UN and/or Talon. They make sure that Blackwatch is kept under control, and have an agent that works for them within their midst.
Jack is kept in the dark about this and Gabriel is under orders to remain silent.

This of course creates a schism between the two. Jack thinks they’re there to save the world and be the heroes and Gabriel thinks Jack is too naive and idealistic, and Reyes is angry that he can’t see that they’re being used.

Then Blackwatch gets exposed. The public goes in an uproar. But no worries! The UN is gonna launch a super good sekrit investigation, ya’ll. There’s nothing suspicious about investigating your own shit that’s circling the drain, is there?
I imagine at this point, that Jack demands information, which Gabriel cannot give to him freely.

McCree leaves Blackwatch right before everything goes up in flames (literally). Gabriel, the man with the most intel, the person who can effectively sink a whole bunch of higher ups, is successfully assassinated.

Instead of emerging as a victorious hero like he has so many times before, Jack fakes his own death. Which makes no sense unless he was never meant to walk away from that explosion and the hit was meant for him too. He goes out on his own, undercover, investigating something as the jaded Soldier 76.

Mercy gets ahold of Gabriel’s body and resurrects him, but he’s captured by Talon because of his strategic importance.

McCree meanwhile is on the run, with a bounty that could probably save the economy of a small country and OH BTW. BEING OVERWATCH IS NOW ILLEGAL. Any of you assholes get back together, we are gonna lock you up.

Everybody that could have information about this is effectively driven underground and outlawed.
Aint that a peach.

But hey, the UN said that the explosion was caused by infighting. That is, after they amended their story from ‘there was no foul play’.

And why shouldn’t we trust the UN?

Here’s my reason for wanting Even to be the protagonist of season 4 :
- we need to see how parents deal with their child being mentally unwell. We’ve see how children react to their parents being unwell (Isak finds it hard to deal with and Magnus embraces it really well). I feel like it will help so many people out there to see the tables turned around, to see how parents can enhance your life if you just allow them to. We’ve not had the best parent-child relationship (Noora and her parents and Isak and his parents both have had their fair share of troubles) but Skam needs to show that parents are not villains, that there are kind loving parents out there who will do anything to keep their children safe (imagine if Even has two dads or two mums? Like how awesome would that be?).
- also do I even need to mention that we still don’t know barely anything about Even. That boy has so many layers to him (get it… okay I’ll shut up). I still have a million questions that I need answers to and having it from Evens point of view would make things so much sweeter.
-and just to add to the mix… more Evak. Need I say more?

I always thought this scene was staged strangely.

By then we were already figuring out that the Washuu were running the Garden, but if it was really Tsuneyoshi, Ishida had no real reason to hide his face. I thought it could be a caretaker or mother, since Tsune has no time to be babysitting on top of everything else.

So yeah. I think it’s actually Arima’s mother. 

The garden was already creepy, but now the image of brood cattle  comes to mind and makes all the “working” Washuu children seem more and more like livestock in a field than anything else :(

I don’t know enough about DeVos to form an opinion on her personally yet and she may well be unfit for other reasons, but she doesn’t have to learn or teach in public school to know it’s not working anymore than I have to work at the dump to know it stinks. School choice reform has been an option we should’ve put on the table years ago because the reality is so many public schools are just failing and people should have a choice as to where their tax dollars go and how their children will be educated. We could’ve had reasonable school reforms years ago if the unions didn’t insist on blocking everything because they’re so afraid of losing their bottom line. It’s time to act like grown-ups have a real conversation about these things instead of just going “nee-ner, nee-ner stoopid lady no like public school she dum!!!”


I have posted before, at some point, how much I love our neighborhood for a variety of reasons (the pig walker–the pig’s name is Chorizo, our enormous wandering flock of guinea hens, the “urban farms,” the back entrance to the huge park where we hike and mountain bike), but the tons of Little Free Libraries are a big reason.  Sadly (for me), though, most of the books are either for children or are books that I’m not really into.  But, yesterday night as we were walking the dog, the husband pointed out a new library to me–I was in the middle of a reenactment of some work drama and didn’t even notice.  Oh my gosh!  This new little library had books in it that were actually on my to-read list and had a few I’d read and enjoyed!!!!  SO exciting!  So, I took these two books–I notice that one is the book @healthyontheinside is reading right now!  Today, I’ll bring over two of my books and drop a little thank you note in their mailbox!  SO excited to have found a kindred reading spirit in my neighborhood!  The husband is currently finishing the install of his custom designed and built air filtration and dust collection system for his garage shop, but once that’s done, I want him to build a little library for us, too (among a zillion other projects I’ve already lined up for him, ha!).

I’m grateful to be working from home today.  I have so much to do for this huge MLK Day project…and now there’s terrible weather predicted.  Getting to work on it from home while also taking care of some errands like getting my car inspected is nice.  And, anything feels less stressful when you get to do it comfortably and in your own time.  Happy Wednesday, friends! :)


for some reason
sixteen wasn’t what they made it on tv
I already saw what the world had to offer
better yet, the realities of my world
babies having babies
children harming children
at sixteen we would fiend for the green
our focus unfocused, we teamed for the greed

how old is sixteen really?

i can’t stop thinking about the fire at ghost ship, i keep imagining the warehouse building i live in catching fire and how impossible it would be to escape especially if we were having a show or party.

i can’t stop thinking about how our building is not zoned for living, how our fire escape literally leads to a pit with no exit and we’re on the 4th floor, how it’s stated in the lease that there is asbestos and lead paint present- so much so that pregnant women and children aren’t allowed to live here, and after experiencing a small grease fire earlier this year, we learned that none of the fire extinguishers in our apartment were working or had been inspected in 5+ years.

i can’t stop thinking about a show we had in our apartment last year with so many people you could barely move and you could actually feel the wood floors bowing. i can’t stop thinking about all of the shows in warehouses i’ve been to like that.

for some reason we all are very aware of how dangerous the buildings we live in and have events in are, but we just joke about it and compare horror stories. i’ve definitely heard the phrase “if anything ever happened, we’d all be fucked” said many times but it’s never really felt so real.

i don’t personally know anyone who was at ghost ship last night, but this one hit me really really heavy. i keep imagining being in the middle of a crowd at a show when i realize the building is burning and i’m completely stuck.

i don’t really know what else i can do besides encourage everyone i know that lives in a space like this to personally take responsibility for their own safety because the people who own these buildings don’t care about us. make sure you have working smoke detectors. don’t just take out the batteries when they start to beep like we did. make sure you have a fire extinguisher or even two and personally test to make sure they work. if you have an event, make sure there’s more than one exit. set a capacity limit. use this tragedy as an excuse to keep each other safe.

I rarely write anything personal. But I wanted to share this. I know I’ve alluded to the fact that 2016 has been a difficult year. The reason is on July 26, my 12 year old nephew was playing bocci ball on the beach with friends. He was hit in the back of his head with the ball and immediately suffered a traumatic brain injury. He had to be medevacced to the nearest trauma center. Over the next 20 hours he suffered heart and lung failure and flatlined 3 times. He was then transferred to the magical place known as Alfred DuPont Hospital for Children the following day.

Around 2:00 we were brought in to say our final goodbye.

A few minutes lately. My parents and I were with a minister when my sister entered the room. The neurosurgeon had been to see Ronan. He looked in his eyes and said “He’s still in there.” A decision was then made to take extraordinary measures to save his life.

Yesterday. 4 months and 20 days later. After a series of medical events described by one doctor “as part science. But absolutely a miracle.” That included heart surgery. Life Support (Ecmo). A subsequent aneurysm that bled. Surgery to break the arteries to kill the aneurysm. A subsequent stroke. Surgery to insert a shunt. Extensive rehab.

Ronan walked out of the hospital. Something his neurosurgeon broadcasted to every medical professional who had been a part of Team Ronan.

As they reached their neighborhood last night, the family car was met my a police escort and outside the house were about 200 well wishes to welcome him home.

He still has a long recovery ahead. Months if not years of rehab. Right now, he needs assistance 24 hours a day. But the prognosis is hopeful for a near full recovery in time.

Yesterday I truly experienced a Christmas Miracle. Ronan is home.

Really lovely walk tonight, telling my children the stories of how our favorite cultural Christmas traditions started.

They had no idea that along with Christmas Carols, there also used to be Christmas Fredericks, but they weren’t strong enough to survive. (There’s a reason no one sings Christmas Fredericks. They have all been forgotten, lost to the savagely inescapable Christmas Carols.) My kids were bothered by the injustice of only Carols being allowed to create memorable Christmas songs, but that’s the a reminder of one of the true meanings of Christmas: Life Isn’t Fair.

We also talked about how, before trees were domesticated, wild trees would break into homes for warmth during winter. Looking for warmth, but also food. Flesh, if nothing else was available… Thus popcorn and candy canes and oranges were offered. Wild trees are a distant memory now, but at Christmas we still line domesticated trees with “flames” to remind them the consequences of eating our children.

Anyway, I think it’s important not to lose sight of how, at one point, all these symbols really meant something. So here’s to the colors red and green: may the fields of snow soaked in the blood of Christmas Fredericks be always covered by hungry evergreens.

Puppy Love

Philip x Reader
Prompt: 14 “But the carnival is just down the street! Can we please go?”
Warnings: None

Y/N: Your Name
Y/L/N: Your last name
Y/N/N: Your Nickname


Playdates were something you always looked forward to. At the age of 6, interaction with other children was an important and pivotal thing for this stage in your development. This particular reason is exactly why your mother set you up on playdates with your neighbor, Philip Hamilton, so often.

Once again, like almost every weekend, the familiar sound of erratic knocking on the door filled the room. The only difference of course, being that there had not been a playdate planned for today, and it was also 6pm and close to your bedtime.

You watched your mother leave from the kitchen and walk towards the door, muttering something bad timing. You walked after her, leaning around the corner just in time to see her open the door, revealing a familiar face, with a cheeky gap tooth grin.

“Hello Mrs Y/L/N!” He chirped at your mother, clearly caught off guard by the lone 6 year old who had walked to her house in what was coming close to dusk.
“Hello Philip. Is your mother with you?” She asked. Philip froze, looking around nervously. It was clear that he hadn’t planned this far ahead.

“Uhm… No.” He tried a smiled, and you erupted into loud giggles as your mother sighed. Upon hearing the laughter, Philip peered through your mother legs, and excited grin appearing on his face.
“I want to go to the carnival! With Y/N/N!” He said eagerly, trying to push past your mother’s legs. Your eyes lit up, and you ran over to him, looking to your mother pleadingly.
“Mummy can we go? Please?” You said, grabbing onto her trouser leg, she looked at the two of you helplessly.
“Philip, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to call your mum. She’s probably worried.” She said, moving to her pocket to pull out her phone. Philips face fell, and his eyes went big and watery.

“But the carnival is just down the street! Can we please go?” He put his hands together, -something he probably learned off the T.V- and pouted. You copied his actions, entering a staredown with your mother who seemed to be struggling with refusing the toddlers. She pinched the bridge of her nose and groaned in defeat.

“Let me call your father’s, the both of you. Then we can talk about maybe taking you to the carnival for a few minutes. Maybe.” She said, pressing call on her phone. Philip cheered gleefully and have you a hug, which you happily accepted.
“I’m gonna do the pin game and win a big teddy!” He said, stepping back and throwing out his arms as if he were receiving the prize then and there. You giggled at his antics and nodded.
“Well, I’m gonna win a fish!” You said proudly, placing your hands on your hips. Philip smiled, his cheeks gaining a dusting of pink.

“W-well I’m going to win you a love heart.” He mumbled, fiddling with his clothes shyly. You tilted your head, as, being the 5 year old you were, his words went completely over your head.
“Where are you going to get a love heart?” You snorted, so intrigued by his statement you completely missed the stifled laughter from your mother. Philip sighed dejectedly, shrugging.
“I dunno…” He mumbled, as your father walked down the stairs.

“I thought I heard the giggles of the devil.” He joked, coming up behind you and tickling you gently. You giggled and tried to shove him away gently as he laughed.
“Oh, hello Philip! Does your mother know you’re here?” He asked, putting you down and ruffling Philips hair.

“No. She doesn’t. Philip wants to take Y/N to the carnival.” Your mother sighed, and you dad have her a look.
“If we call Alex and Eliza I’m sure we can take them.” He pushed himself up, taking his car keys from a bowl near the door. Your mother gave him a look.
“Darling it’s nearly half, six.” She said, but it was all in vain as your father lifted you two over his shoulder.
“I’m sorry darling, I can’t hear you over the children! I think the only thing i can do is drive to the Hamilton’s and then drive to the carnival! I’m sorry honey it’s the only way!” He yelled, halfway down the drive as you and Philip roared with laughter.

Your mother groaned, but made no attempt to stop them. Simply watching as her husband clicked you and Philip into booster seats and started up the car. She sighed as he drove away, her phone starting to ring. She answered it with with sigh.

“Yes? Eliza? Calm down, we have him. He’s on his way home now.” She said, grabbing the house keys.
“Oh trust me, you have no idea what you missed,” She laughed. “You’ll never believe what Philip said to her.” She said, glancing outside once more, and then shutting and locking the door.


A/N: This was such a cute one omg! Also guess who had passed their NCEA Level 3 and now qualified for university!!! Woo!!!

that one moment

when i went riding a carousel on a fair with my nieces and nephew. 
we don’t see each other very often, so whenever we meet we enjoy the time together very much. of course the kids where keen on riding the carousel that day. so was i - for photographic reasons ;) i took some nice pictures out of the turning seat but after a few rounds i felt sick and stepped out. the kids went on and on and on again. in some situations children are just unbeatable. i love them and we had some wonderful days in 2016.

Thank you for sharing “That one moment” 2016 with us

PWS - Photos Worth Seeing

Goodbye Mr President! You were a fundamentally good man but a politically flawed president! After Bush we had every reason to trust your message of hope, before Trump you left us no reason to trust the goodness of the office you left behind! After you we will never see a national leader strong enough publicly to shed tear for the loss of an innocent American child to gun violence, nor will we forget how you watched with wanton cruelty as Palestinian children were slaughtered and went ahead and replenished the Israeli ammunitions to kill them more!

There is a way you can redeem yourself of the sustained record of your cruelty, Mr President: stop mincing words when you see how American bombs kill Arab and Muslim children as American guns kill American children! Like President Carter you can be an infinitely better ex-President than you were a president! Admit to yourself what a calamity was Hillary Clinton that you and your wife so enthusiastically endorsed at the colossal cost of sabotaging Bernie Sanders’ campaign and giving us Donald Trump, lend your vast popularity and political weight for a radical transformation of the Democratic Party to prevent two term Presidency of Trump, stop blocking Keith Ellison’s leadership of DNC and let him lead your party back to political prominence! Learn from your mistakes that were partially responsible for giving us this dangerous inanity called Trump and do your best to prevent his second term by leading your party part ways with Clintonism and corruption (but I repeat myself!).

You still have plenty of time ahead of you to determine how history will remember you: stop being such a fanatical centrist when the center of American politics has resulted in a Neanderthal like Trump! Move to the center of sanity and reason when speaking on domestic or global events!

Will you? Please? Mr President? Godspeed!

—  Dr. Hamid Dabashi on President Obama

anonymous asked:

You think Furuta is going to die? And too.. What does Rize feels for Furuta? idk, but i think she seems Furuta like a toy or something, I feel her playing with him since her childhood, maybe Rize manipulating him for help her run away, yes I mean, playing with his feelings. (Sorry for my english) I hope you have a nice day!

Hey Anon :) Don’t worry your English is fine! 

About Furuta, I really can’t say right now, though logic and fiction rules would be to have him dying considering that he’s the reason Kaneki became a OEG and he is a villain. But it’s hard to say when for now he’s in position of power. :/

As for Rize… hm, well, I can’t really say for sure either but I personally believe she and Furuta were close as children…

And considering the two flashbacks we had on this subject, it looks like that even he as a child knew what Rize being breeder would mean in the future…

So unless it’s an unreliable narrator type of plot twist, I’d rather believe Furuta when he said he helped her escape because he was afraid of her being raped by men like Tsuneyoshi. 

I really don’t think Rize played with his feelings though. I mean, it would be hard to imagine this of children considering how young they seemed to be in those flashbacks + with what we’ve seen of Rize’s behavior with men as she was living in different wards shortly before she met Kaneki, to me she seems rather honest about her feelings…

So I really don’t think she played with Furuta’s feelings.

Don’t forget that Furuta’s life in the garden was probably very sordid and by helping the girl he loved escape, he was probably left all alone afterwards, which is why he has this idyllic vision of his childhood with her (as it was a happy time for him) and why he probably couldn’t take it when he realized that she was enjoying her freedom without even thinking about him (him who loved her so much).

TL;DR I think Furutat’s obsession is entirely on him because his time with her in the garden was the happiest time of his life which is why he just can’t let go of his feelings from back then. So besides living her own life after he helped her escape, Rize is not responsible for Furuta’s deranged obsession about her (as in, she didn’t play with his feelings). 

I hope I answered your question! Thank you and have a very nice day yourself :))

Jon x Sansa Week: Day One

I. Children

There are no illusions that they are marrying for any reason other than love of House and good of kingdom, but Sansa still appreciates that Jon makes an effort to appear both devoted and solicitous. It’s why she’s not completely surprised when, the night before the ceremony in the godswood, he offers her a way out.

“We’re a good match Jon,” her thoughts on the social climbers already circling the restored Targaryen monarchy, currying favors with the Starks. She had every intention of taking advantage of this interest to rebuild the North and no allusions that it was anything more than politicking. “And I’m not letting anyone else think that they can use me to gain Winterfell.”

Jon’s eyes were dark in the shadows of her private solar, but the stubborn set of his jaw was easily read, “You might find someone you could love one day, who you’d want to spend your life with. Marrying me could stop you from finding happiness.”

“Who’d want me after I’d been set aside by the hero of the realm?”

There were several things he could have said, and by the tension that now radiated through him, more than one remark of indignation on her behalf had occurred to him. Still, “We were raised as siblings. We could both be pardoned for not being able to move past that.”

“We’re much closer now that we are cousins than we ever were before,” Sansa tutted, thinking of the guests and the wedding feasts, of Harry Hardyng sending her covetous looks across the hall, and of the hours of labor she’d personally put in to outfitting them both.

“Sansa -”

“Jon,” She knew he understood that this was the best course for them both, but she knew he was also fiercely protective of all his former siblings and had been struggling to mesh the two impulses. “I - I don’t know that I have it in me to love a man like that anymore. After everything that’s happened, I’m not sure I even want to try, and you - you are already family. You won’t undermine Bran or Rickon. Winterfell is as much yours as it is any of ours, and it’s home. Not power or status.

“I trust you and I feel safe with you. Don’t underestimate just how important that is for me.”

“You deserve more than that,” His Northern accent is thick with emotion.

So do you, Sansa thinks. Jon could fall in love with a clever, beautiful warrior woman who adored him and desired him. There were more than a few here in Winterfell now that would only need a word or two of encouragement to pant after him. If she were kinder, maybe Sansa would step aside. Jon could be happy.

“I don’t know that I can ever love a man as a woman should. I know too well how different life is from the songs, but… I do think that I could love my children the way a mother ought to,” Jon stilled at the mention of children, and she wondered if he’d wanted to remain chaste in their matrimony. “I know I could love our children Jon. I could at least have that.”

The silence stretched between them, expectant with something left unsaid. Sansa couldn’t pinpoint what, and so she fidgeted - taking in the angle of their chairs before the hearth and the space between them and the bed and the door to the hall.

Jon longed for a family of his own, Sansa knew. Perhaps he thought she was manipulating him? Would he resent it when he found her cold and stiff in their bed?

“I’ll see you on the morrow, my lady,” He murmured, the words as loud as a shout in some guilty corner of Sansa’s heart.

It would be enough for both of them, their marriage, it’d have to be.

* * * * * * *

And it seemed to be. Jon was as gentle with her in their marriage bed as he was outside of it, and Sansa found pleasure there before she first found she was with child.

Their first babe is a daughter, with dark hair and indigo eyes, and they call her Lyarra, after her great-grandmother.

Sansa loves her more than she has ever loved anyone. It is a love that makes her fierce, and yet fills her with the sweetest ache. She will try to protect her from everything, and she will fail. And it is that knowledge that whispers through her and leads her to the godswood to pray. To pray that her daughters trials are softer than her own, that the happiness she finds can be sweeter and longer. And she says little prayers for herself now too - she has a reason to go on now, to be her daughter’s mother for as long as she can.

It is a different sort of ache that clenches her heart when she finds her Lyarra with Jon, giggling at the faces he makes for her and laughing as he bounces her on his knee. A different ache altogether when she wakes in the middle of the night to find father and daughter sleeping together in a chair by the fire.

Parenthood, family and friendship they can manage, Sansa tells herself when she finds herself in Jon’s bed a handful of moons after Lyarra’s birth.

* * * * * * *

Their next babe is born three moons after Lyarra’s second name day. He is silver haired and grey eyed, and they give him the name Jon was born to but never worn. Jaehaerys is as serious a babe as there ever was, thoughtful and melancholy where Lyarra was impulsive and joyful. It is perhaps the only silly thing about him that they call him Grey - for his Stark eyes, for those who whisper that he is the Silver Prince reborn, for the direwolf and the brother whose name Sansa doesn’t know if she can give any of her children.

Benjen comes two name days and 10 moons later, and Lyarra is disappointed that he comes to late to be her name day present. His eyes are a Tully blue, but the rest of him is pure Stark. It is a secret that only Jon knows that his name was to be Eddard, that in his first hours she had whispered it into his hair as she pressed kisses to his face. It is only Jon that knows she cried uncontrollably after, when she had rocked him to sleep. So they announce a different name for him at the feast, and Benjen grows up without as many ghosts and with a longing for adventure.

Rhaelle comes nearly four name days after Benjen, and Sansa comes close to dying in the birthing bed. It is nearly a moon before she is strong enough to hold her, and three more after that before she begins to feel anything like herself. The Maester warns against more babes, and Sansa mourns the thought that she will never again carry a child, and worse that her last will not nurse at her breast. Indeed, this second and last daughter is nearly a stranger to her - silver haired and violet eyed and always in her father’s arms. And still Sansa loves her, this ethereal moonbeam of a child who thinks her father can defeat all the monsters and that her mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.

* * * * * * *

Lyarra is 10 when the first mention of a betrothal is made, but this is easily set aside. The realm is at peace and she is still too young, and it isn’t only Sansa who holds on a little too tight in the moons after.

Still, the murmurs begin again at 12 and more strongly still at 13, and not even peace and the edge of Jon’s blade will stop them now. It is to be expected of all nobly born girls, and more so of royal ones, so it is good that Starks and Targaryens have learned much about the pretty lies that hide ambition and betrayal.

If Sansa sometime dreams of Joffrey and King’s Landing, then it is a reminder she will gladly bear so that their daughter will not have the same scars that she and Jon do.

Lyarra is too old for Sansa to brush out her hair, or so she says often and with great conviction. But the night before the feast for Grey’s name day, Sansa insists. These quiet moments between mother and daughter will come less frequently than the changing of the seasons in the coming years, and opportunities like this must be grasped with both hands.

“What would you like in a match, Lyarra?” Sansa murmurs, her eyes on her daughter’s hair thick and long and shining in her hand. Even from her pragmatic daughter, she expects enthusiasm and talk of handsome knights.

“I’m not sure, really,” Lyarra is uncertain as she never is. Sansa’s eyes meet her’s in the looking glass, a gift from an admiring, would-be suitor. “I suppose I should ask for someone handsome and charming, and I know you and father won’t let me match with anyone who doesn’t come from a good family, but… I just wants someone who loves me, who’s good. Is that silly?”

Sansa presses a kiss to the top of her head, and it is her father’s voice she hears when she says, “Someone brave, and gentle, and strong.”

“Yes,” Lyarra’s face is beaming, even in reflection her relief about being understood in this is tangible. “Some who is brave,and strong, and who is gentle and likes to smile and laugh, and who doesn’t care when I am improper, and who will worry when I am upset, and who will take to heart when I am cross… And not just because Father is important.”

My sweet, summer child, Sansa thinks, if we can get you a man who is half of that then we are lucky indeed.

With the confidence of someone who still believes in people’s goodness, Lyarra continued, “I think - well, someone like Father. Someone like Father, who would love me the way Father loves you.”

And gods help her, Sansa almost corrected her.

Of course, Jon didn’t love her. Or, of course he did, but certainly not in the way Lyarra meant, the way a man loves a woman. She was his sister turned cousin, a childhood companion turned battlefield confidante. She was the woman he married to secure both of their claims and home. The mother of his children.

There was a nuance here, wasn’t there? Something Lyarra was missing, as a maiden sheltered from the ways of men.

The idea chased her to her bed. To the bed in the chambers she shared with Jon, where he was waiting with a cup of spiced wine to share before the fire.

Sansa tried to keep her mind on the day’s events, on what the next morning would bring, but her mind kept coming coming back to it, picking at it like a snagged stitch in a line of precise embroidery. His eyes were always this kind and warm. He smiled like this for all of his close friends. His voice was rough from the conversation of the day. It was only familial affection that moved him to tuck a stray hair behind her ear. Only the intimacy of their shared children, that kept him from turning away as she dressed for bed. Only human nature that lead to him pulling into his arms, to then tumble back into the furs on the bed.

And after they had lain together again in the morning, when Sansa drank the Maester’s tea that kept her from getting with child, when she had finished again her fantasy of carrying another of Jon’s children, Sansa allowed herself to believe that maybe Jon loved her, truly.

The thought felt right, and that filled her with a sudden rage. How had she missed it? Had he loved her when they married? Had he grown to love her since? Surely, he loved her by the time Rhaelle had been born, because hadn’t she noticed even then that he stayed at her bedside far more often than he should have?

“I told him that I would never love a man, not as a woman should,” Sansa told the spaces in between the life they had built together.

But when Sansa forgives Jon this betrayal, the guilt remains deep in her heart.

* * * * * * *

It is when the babes Sansa holds are her own grandchildren - when they have the names of relatives that her children never knew, and the ache in her heart is still sharp as she watches them play as these babes too become children - that Sansa realizes that Jon is getting old.

Her own age was something that had long since occurred to her. She felt it in the lingering stiffness of her hands, in a certain disdain for niceties and propriety that had long been her shield against the world. She saw it in the fine lines of her face and the gray of her hair; in the passage of time, and how time was something that was getting away from her.

Somehow it never occurred to her that time was escaping Jon as well. But Jon was slower in the training yard than he had been last year and, if he was still the best swordsman there, he wouldn’t be for long. His hair was shot with silver, and he felt the cold more deeply.

They had both of them outlived their parents, Sansa realized. The oldest Starks in generations, and someday Jon would join their ancestors in the crypts, a dragon raised as a wolf.

“I don’t forgive you,” Sansa would tell Jon later, when they had their cup of wine before the fire, his fingers laced with hers. “For getting old.”

She felt him laugh more than she heard it, and wasn’t that an improper thing for an old woman to be in a position to notice. “I tried my best not to.”

“I still don’t forgive you.”

“So should I retire to some hermitage to spare you the sight of me? Leave you to take up with a younger man?”

Whatever Jon read in her glare made him laugh harder still and, whatever indignation Sansa had been able to summon, melted away as it rolled over her.

There had been a time or two when a galant knight had come for meat and mead at their table, and had had a charming smile and quick wit and Sansa had let herself linger in a flirtation. It was good to be admired, to looked after and lusted for, and she had trusted none of them and indulged none of them past propriety. And yet there had been a time or two when she had wondered what it would be like to have one of these other men in her bed. And she sometimes daydreamed about chasing that fluttery feeling to see where it lead.

Infatuation, she would have told all of her children and she would have been right.

Love, well, love she had never been able to describe for them, though they all seemed to have found a measure of it.

Now, in the comfort of the chamber she had shared with Jon for as long as she cared to remember, Sansa thought she might be able to. Love was what remained when everything else was done. Love was in the gaps between pretty words, and tokens of affection. Love was in knowing someone so well that time didn’t change them at all. Love was wanting to see them in the faces of your children. Love was being willing to lose yourself in them, and trusting that you would always be found.

And later, in Jon’s arms, counting the beat of his heart like a promise, Sansa would put into words for the first time the truth their marriage was built on.