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“Sansa,” Ned calls. “Come here, lemon cake.” He gestures toward a pretty brunette around Sansa’s age. “This is Margaery Tyrell. Perhaps you can entertain each other while we discuss business with Olenna.”

Sansa rolls her eyes. “We’re teenagers, Daddy. We entertain ourselves.”

Margaery giggles and winks at Sansa. “True, but we’ll play nice, Mr. Stark.” She links her arm through Sansa’s and tugs her along.

“Any idea what they’re talking about?” Sansa asks as Margaery leads her out of the building and down the street. “Mom and Dad have been uncharacteristically tight-lipped.”

Margaery’s cheerful disposition dims. “Tyrell Industries has been an import and export company on one side and a fashion mogul on the other for… well, quite frankly centuries. Up until the last decade or so that’s all we did.” Her expression dims even further as they settle at a patio table at a cafe up the block from the Tyrell offices. “My oldest brother, Willas… he’s about ten years older than us. He was in an accident, his senior year of high school. He essentially lost use of one of his legs.”

Understanding dawns on Sansa. “I read about that… last year, maybe? Not the accident, but Tyrell expanding into prosthetic research and development.”

Margaery nods and grimaces. “We kept his accident quiet. Gran was determined that he would be able to live a normal life. She wouldn’t let anyone see him as weak.”

Both girls paste smiles back on their faces and place their orders when the waiter stops at their table.

As soon as he leaves, Sansa lets her smile drop again. “My brother Bran… gods. There’s this awful old tower on our property that he liked to climb when he was little. He fell. Paralyzed from the waist down. When I read that article last year, it talked about the braces Tyrell was developing. I showed my parents, but… it’s been so many years, and we’ve tried so many things… I didn’t think they listened.”


The friendship sticks well enough that Sansa rooms with Margaery in college freshman year, and they get an apartment together the year after. Sansa Stark is studying for her Bachelor's Degree in Art Design. She takes the minimum twelve hour course load, split between Mondays and Wednesdays. She is vibrant and fun and unfailingly kind.

Alayne Stone is nearly done with her thesis for a double Master's in mechanical and electrical engineering. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays she runs from one class or lab to the next. Margaery is the only person who knows Sansa is both.


Sansa shakes her head at her roommate in disbelief. "Your brother, Marg, really?"

Margaery finishes touching up her makeup and pops her lips. "Yup. This way I'm not a third wheel."

"Get a date," Sansa suggests.

Margaery rolls her eyes. "Double dating with a girl's best friend indicates relationship potential. I don't want to give anyone any ideas."

Sansa rolls her eyes back. "Your brother is so gay even your gorgeous self wouldn't pass as a beard."

Margaery blows her a kiss. "True. But I'm not taking Loras. I'm taking Willas."

“Fine. But I’m still not sure I want to go.”

“You are going,” Margaery says, tone brooking no argument. “It’s summer break. It’s the weekend. This is the first day I’ve gotten you out of the lab in months. You are going to this music festival if I have to drag you.”

Sansa rolls her eyes. “Fine.”

Margaery beams. “Good. Now go put something other than sweats on. I swear…”

Sansa snorts, but obliges, reentering the bathroom five minutes later in cutoffs, a tie-dye t-shirt, and gladiator sandals.

Margaery nods approvingly. “Joff’s going to swallow his tongue.” Margaery braids Sansa’s hair up around her head in an intricate crown, finishing just as a knock sounds at their apartment door. She smacks Sansa’s ass. “That should be Willas. Go let him in. I’ve gotta pee.”

“Bossy bitch,” Sansa accuses fondly, even as she opens the door. She finds herself staring at a well-muscled chest. It’s not often she meets men that much taller than her, and she’s sure she’s gaping a bit as she looks up to a chiseled jawline, kind green eyes, and tousled sandy curls. “Um.”

Willas smiles. “Sansa?”

Sansa snaps her mouth chest. “Yes. Sorry. Willas, come in, please.” She’s still staring at him when Margaery comes out of the bathroom.

“Earth to Sansa,” Margaery snaps in her face.

Sansa shakes herself back to reality. “How is it possible that your other brother is even more good looking than Loras?”

Margaery laughs. “Because Loras is pretty whereas Willas is quite simply gorgeous.”

A car horn sounds from the street.

Sansa groans. “And that would be my sweet boyfriend. Gods forbid he come knock on the damn door.”

Margaery snorts. “And risk parking his Land Rover on this street? I wouldn’t either.”

“This isn’t a bad neighborhood!” Sansa protests.

Margaery throws Sansa’s purse at her and pushes everyone toward the door. “No, but our street is narrow.”

“Whatever.”

In the end, Sansa’s glad she let Margaery talk her into the festival. She dances with Joff while an alternative group plays, lets Margaery drag her into a line dance when a country group comes up, and splits off from Margaery and Joffrey to watch a folk group with Willas while the other two venture to the other side of the venue for a rock performance.

“Not a fan of rock?” Willas asks, once they find a seat on the grass.

“Not a fan of the way Joff’s blood gets up when he listens to rock,” Sansa corrects.

Willas frowns.

Sansa looks down at the drink in her hand before slapping her free hand over her mouth.

“What do you mean?” Willas asks.

Sansa drops her hand and blushes. “Joff gets… rougher than I enjoy when he-”

Willas holds up a hand. “I understand.”

“Gods, we’re practically strangers and I’m telling you…” She tosses her drink. “I need to stop drinking before I scar you for life.” A slower song starts. Sansa stands and holds a hand out to Willas. “Dance with me?”


“Fumigated?” Sansa gapes at their apartment building.

Margaery groans. “Gods, they couldn’t warn us?”

“Where are we gonna sleep?” Sansa can’t help whining a bit.

“Call Joff?”

 “Doesn’t get back for another two days.”

“And let me guess, he still hasn’t given you a key to his apartment?”

Sansa shakes her head miserably.

Margaery picks her bag up with a determined huff and tosses it back into Sansa’s jeep. “Keys. We’re going to house crash Willas.”

Sansa’s tired enough that she doesn’t argue, despite the fact that inviting herself into someone’s home screams against every ounce of manners her mother has instilled in her.

Margaery drives them halfway across the city, then let’s herself into her brother’s condo and drops onto one of the massive leather couches in the front room. Sansa, with little other choice, shrugs and does the same on the adjacent couch. She wakes up to the smell of bacon and coffee with a soft throw draped over her. Margaery is still snoring on the other couch.

Sansa stands and stretches, then follows the smell of coffee.

Willas smiles at her over the stove when she walks into the kitchen. “Morning.”

Sansa grimaces. “Good morning. Sorry for inviting ourselves over.”

Willas’ smile softens. “I don’t mind.”

Sansa shrugs. “Still… we got back from our Spring break trip and our building was being fumigated. Joff’s still out of town… we didn’t know where else to go.”

Willas frowns. “How long have you been with Baratheon?”

Sansa bites her lip. “Since I was 15.”

“And now you’re…”

“Twenty.”

“I know you’re…” he waves vaguely.

Sansa remembers her slightly drunken confession and the music festival and nods, ducking her head to try and hide her blush.

“And you still don’t have a key to his apartment?”

Sansa shakes her head. “He couldn’t use it to cheat on me if I could waltz in at any time.” Sansa slaps a hand over her mouth and snaps her head back up, wide eyes meeting Willas’. “Gods, what is it about you? I never blurt these things to… gods, I am so sorry.”

Willas sets down the spatula he’s using to man a pan of eggs and limps around the island to set his hands on Sansa’s shoulders. “Sansa… we don’t know each other well, but I do know you don’t deserve that.”

Sansa blinks away tears. “Do we… can we not?”

Willas nods. “I won’t push. But if you ever do want to talk about it…” He reaches around her and snags a notepad, then hands her a scrap of paper with a number jotted down. “Call me, text me… hells, just come over.”

Sansa sniffs, and impulsively wraps her arms around his middle after accepting the paper.

Willas wraps his arms around her shoulders. “I mean it.”

“I know. Thank you.” Sansa’s stomach growling ruins the moment.

Willas laughs. “Breakfast is almost done. Mugs are above the coffee maker.”

Sansa nods. “Could I impose on you for use of a bathroom?”

Willas chuckles. “Right, of course. First door on the left down the hall from the entry. There’s spare towels in the cabinet.”

Sansa smiles and excuses herself, snagging her suitcase on her way through the living room. She lifts her phone and programs Willas’ number in, shooting him a quick text with her name, followed by a picture of Marg, drooling slightly on his couch pillow. She hears him laugh just before she closes the bathroom door.

They spend the next two days lounging around at Willas’ and Sansa can’t help but watch out of the corner of her eye as Willas limps around.

“I don’t usually wear my brace at home,” Willas explains when Margaery steps outside to make yet another scathing call to their landlord.

Sansa flushes at being caught. “I didn’t mean to…”

Willas smiles reassuringly. “It’s alright, Sansa.”

Reassured enough to continue, Sansa tilts her gaze toward him as he settles onto the couch next to her. “It makes mobility easier, right?”

“Worlds easier,” Willas agrees. “But it’s damn heavy. So yeah, I can walk easier, but the way the rest of my body has to adjust to carry the weight…” he scoffs a bit and drops his head against the back of the couch. “It makes everything hurt,” he admits quietly.


Sansa slips an envelope of gift certificates for massages into Willas’ mailbox two days after they get back into their own apartment.

A week later, she finds a gift basket, containing an assortment of massive, citrus smelling bath bombs, a vanilla candle, and a bottle of Moscato, along with a note.

If you’re going to force self-care on others, you ought to try some for yourself.

-W

Sansa laughs and sends him a text telling him that she’s not wasting a bath bomb like this on the tiny tub in her apartment. The next day, she finds an envelope tucked under the wiper on her jeep, containing a key and another note.

Sansa,

I’ll be out of town on business from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening. I wonder if I could impose on you to water my plants? And while you’re there, I would implore you to utilize the master bathroom. There’s a rather magnificent tub that doesn’t get used as often as it should. And I’m afraid I must insist you utilize the master bedroom as well. Can’t have you relaxing with a bottle of wine and then driving home, now can we?

-W

Sansa doesn’t let herself overthink it when she drives to Willas’ Friday after class, and turns her phone off as soon as she’s inside. She falls in love with Willas’ bathroom on first sight and falls in love with his bed the moment she dumps herself into it after a positively indulgent bath. 

Willas’ condo does not, she discovers, actually contain any plants. After re-reading his note Saturday morning she decides that Willas will not, in fact, mind her making herself at home for the weekend. She spends Saturday afternoon at a Farmer’s Market, then spends Saturday evening placing little succulents all over his apartment before baking a batch of lemon cookies. She indulges in another bath and Willas’ bed that night, then spends Sunday morning meticulously cleaning his already immaculate home. She washes the sheets she slept on and towels she used and puts fresh sheets on the bed. Before she leaves, she places a spray bottle and a little succulent on the counter next to the plate of lemon cookies, along with a set of simple instructions on how to care for the little plants that are now tucked away all over his house. 

The next week, she finds a vinyl record propped against her front door. She smiles when she flips it over and sees the song they danced to at the festival listed.

When Sansa finds she needs to test the alloy she’s creating for her Master’s on something with small, intricate parts, she makes a watch. Two, actually. One in gold, with a lion on the face, and one in a deep gray, with a rose etched into the back plate. She gets up ridiculously early one morning and sneaks into Willas’ condo, careful to be quiet enough not to wake him. She places the bag, the watch box placed carefully in the bottom under a hand-knit scarf on the kitchen counter, along with a plate of lemon cakes before turning to sneak back out. When she turns back toward the street after locking the door, Willas is leaning against her jeep with a grin.

Sansa huffs and plants her hands on her hips. “What in the hells are you doing up?”

Willas chuckles. “Flying home today. But you knew that. Went for a run before having to sit through that gods awful flight. What are you doing sneaking about, Miss Stark?”

Sansa’s lips twist. “I wanted to make sure you would get your Sevenmas present before you left.”

Willas’ grin blooms into a full smile. “Well, let’s have it then.”

Sansa rolls her eyes. “I left it on your kitchen counter.”

Willas pushes off the jeep and herds Sansa back into the house.

Sansa fights the urge to fidget. They’ve never exchanged any of their gifts face to face before and something about the prospect seems… significant.

Willas steers her into the kitchen, flipping lights on as they go, then holds his hand up. “Stay.”

Sansa rolls her eyes and holds her hands up under her chin. “Woof.”

Willas chuckles as he vanishes toward his bedroom. He comes back a moment later and hands Sansa a box wrapped perfectly in shining paper covered in snowflakes.

Sansa snorts. “Who did you pay to wrap this?”

“The store,” Willas answers unrepentantly before shoving half a lemon cake in his mouth and reaching for his bag.

Sansa bites her lip, momentarily ignoring the box in her hands to watch Willas open his gift. He grins as he pulls the scarf - simple, black, and ridiculously soft - out and immediately wraps it around his neck. Then he pulls the box out and Sansa unconsciously holds her breath as he opens it. His expression goes still as he carefully pulls it out turning it this way and that to examine it. His eyes are wide when he looks up. “San…”

Sansa lets out a shaky breath. “Do you like it?”

“You made this, didn’t you?”

Sansa starts. “What? No. I - Well - How did you know?”

Willas smiles softly. “You left some of your lab notes out on the coffee table a few months ago. Well, 'Alayne's' notes, but I know your hand.”

“Fuck,” Sansa curses, then blushes. “Um…”

Willas reaches out and tugs her into his chest, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and dropping a kiss to the top of her head. “It’s amazing, Sansa. Thank you.”

Sansa hugs him back before stepping back. “Okay, my turn.” She tears the paper on the box, instead of unwrapping it neatly, just to see Willas roll his eyes. When she opens the box itself, she finds an intricate silver chain, with a few equally intricate charms hanging from the end. A clawfoot bathtub cast from what looks like dragonglass, an enameled wooden disk carved to look like a vinyl record, a tiny succulent of shimmering emeralds, and a lemon crafted from a perfectly cut yellow diamond and a tiny emerald. “Willas,” Sansa breathes.

Willas shrugs. “A token. Of our friendship… I don’t actually have many friends, you know.”

Sansa blinks away tears and goes up on her toes to press a kiss to his cheek, then turns her back to him and holds the necklace up with one hand, shoving her hair away with the other hand. “Help me?”

 

Joffrey’s smile is wan and his kiss to her cheek half-hearted when Sansa gives him his watch two days later, and the purse he gives her is nice, but positively pales in comparison to Willas’ gift. Something Sansa can’t quite name clenches around her heart.


"Oh, I love this song," Sansa sighs wistfully as Joffrey slumps into his seat next to her with a fresh drink.

He smiles and kisses her cheek. "I just got my drink, gorgeous. Ask Willy."

Sansa turns pleading eyes toward Willas.

He rolls his eyes, but stands and offers her a hand. He leads her into the floor and tugs her close before deftly spinning them toward the middle of the crowd, out of Joffrey's sight.

Sansa immediately lets out a shuddery breath and drops her forehead to his chest.

"Alright, San?" Willas breathes next to her ear. 

Sansa shakes her head against his chest. "He says the cruelest things when we're alone," she blinks away tears, "but then we come out on nights like tonight and he's so sweet."

 

Sansa can tell Joffrey’s blood is up when they leave the club, but she doesn’t think much of it until he leaves his hand clamped on her thigh when the cab stops in front of her and Margaery’s building. He nips at her neck, hard enough his teeth make her wince in the dark.

She waves Margaery on. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Marg.”

Margaery winks and waves at them over her shoulder.

Joffrey has his hand up her skirt before they’re even fully back on the road.

Sansa gently fends him off of everything but gnawing at her neck until they reach his apartment. The moment they’re through his door, he shoves her up against the wall, one hand roughly palming her breast, and the other wrapping around the base of her throat, not quite squeezing.

Sansa shoves his hand away from her neck. “What the fuck are you doing Joff?”

He nips at her neck again. “Reminding you of your place.”

Sansa bodily shoves him fully away. “Excuse me?”

Joffrey sneers. “You dancing like that with Tyrell tonight… how do you think that made me look?”

Sansa’s jaw drops. “You told me to dance with him!”

“And you thought I meant it?”

“You shouldn’t have said it if you didn’t!”

Joffrey shoves up against her again. “You should’ve known better. You’re mine.”

“I am not property, Joffrey,” Sansa grits through her teeth.

His hand goes back to her throat, and this time squeezes. “We’ll see about that.”

Something in his tone scares her, and she shoves at him. “Joffrey, stop.”

He squeezes tighter. “Mine.”

Sansa shoves harder, sending him stumbling back. “I said stop.”

Joffrey’s lashes out, backhanding her across her cheek and sending her stumbling back into the wall. He follows her, crowding her back until she’s trapped against the wall. The feel of his erection against her thigh actually makes her want to hurl. When he raises his hand toward her throat again, Sansa shifts her weight, balancing as best as she can in her heels, and brings her knee right up into Joffrey’s groin. He slumps to the ground, cursing, and Sansa wastes no time bolting out the door.

Once she’s on the street, she stops. There are no cabs in sight, and even if there were, she doesn’t have anything with her but the dress and heels she’s wearing. She’d left her purse at home, electing to stick her phone, credit card, and ID in Margaery’s purse. She curses herself for that now. She bites her lip, knowing it won’t be long until Joffrey is thundering down the stairs behind her. Her apartment is almost halfway across town. But Willas’ isn’t. Willas is less than three blocks away. Sansa stoops to remove her heels, loops the straps through her fingers, and runs.

She doesn’t stop until she’s slumped against Willas’ front door, tiredly reaching for the doorbell.

Willas opens the door a moment later, wearing nothing but a pair of boxers and his leg brace. “Sansa?”

Sansa closes her eyes, relief washing over her at the sound of his voice. A sob tears free from her chest.

Willas immediately steps forward and scoops her into his arms, carrying her inside and kicking the door shut behind him. He sets her gently on the couch, and brushes her hair back from her face.

She winces when his fingers brush her bruised cheek.

Willas freezes and his expression goes hard. “That son of a… he…”

Sansa nods, sniffling miserably.

Willas, though clearly seething, sits next to her and gently pulls her into his lap, holding her close and letting her cry. Once she calms, he puts her in the shower in the guest bathroom, and draws a bath in the master bathroom, leading her to it once she’s clean. He puts a pair of his sweats and an old t-shirt on the counter and leaves her to it. He’s sitting on his bed, head in his hands, when Sansa emerges again almost an hour later.

“I could kill him,” he says quietly, without looking up.

Sansa lets out a humorless chuckle. “I believe you. But quite frankly… he might look for me here. Please don’t leave me alone.”

Willas looks up then. “Of course not.”

“Can I…” Sansa gestures toward the bed. “I don’t want to be alone.”

Willas stands. “Of course. I, uh... I just have to take my brace off.”

Sansa tilts her head, curiosity shining in her eyes. “Can I help?”


Margaery starts dating Joffrey a month after Sansa leaves him, despite both Willas’ and Sansa’s warnings and protests. Margaery waves them both off, and she doesn’t bring him around the apartment, so they leave her to her own devices, despite sincere misgivings. Regardless, Sansa starts finding herself at Willas’ more often than home.


Sansa is curled up on Willas’ couch, bundled up in his favorite blanket, tears quietly streaming down her face when he walks in from wherever he’s been. He immediately drops to her side and pulls her in close. "San?"

Sansa blinks up at him. "She brought him home."

Willas' arms tighten around her as he lets out an extremely ungentlemanly stream of curses against his sister. Sansa’s quiet cries turn to full on sobs, and Willas pulls her into his lap, holding her tightly and whispering soothing nonsense into her hair.

When she calms and turns toward him, he drops his head to rest his forehead against hers. “Alright?”

Sansa sniffs. “Alright. Sorry. I didn’t know where else to go.”

Willas rolls his eyes. “You know you’re always welcome.”

A throat clearing from the entry draws both their attention. A woman -  short, brunette, pretty - in a dark cocktail dress is glaring at them.

Understanding dawns on Sansa, and her gaze whips to Willas, eyes wide. “Oh, gods! Date! You had that date tonight. And I- oh, gods!” She scrambles off his lap, nearly tripping over the blanket she was wrapped in. Willas reaches out and grips her hips, easily steadying her. She bats his hands away and turns to the woman. “This isn’t what it looks like, I swear. I was just. Oh, gods, I am so sorry. I’ll just go.”

Willas reaches out and grabs her wrist as she tries to pass and tugs her back down next to him on the couch. “You’re not going anywhere, San.”

“She’s not?” His date’s eyebrows rise nearly to her hairline.

“I’m not?” Sansa echoes.

“She’s not,” Willas confirms, then looks down at Sansa. “You’re not.”

“But…” Sansa trails off and waves helplessly toward the other woman.

Willas tugs on the end of Sansa’s messy braid. “But nothing. Nya was a blind date set up by a coworker. Our dinner was pleasant and hopelessly boring.”

“Excuse me?” Nya crosses her arms over her chest.

Willas ignores her and continues to focus on Sansa. “I would much rather have spent the evening here, with you, watching House Hunters and killing a few bottles of the Arbour Gold in the fridge.”

Sansa can’t help but laugh.

“You could have just said you have a girlfriend,” Nya snaps.

Willas frowns at her. “Sansa isn’t my girlfriend.”

“Could’ve fooled me,” Nya scoffs as she stalks back out the door.

Sansa winces as the door slams. “Sorry.”

Willas shakes his head. “I’m serious, San. I was bored out of my mind.”

Sansa slumps into his side. “We’re a bit of a mess, aren’t we?”

Willas hums something vaguely affirmative sounding as he slings his arm over her shoulders.

“What am I gonna do, Will?”

“Move in.”

Sansa looks up at him sharply. “What?”

Willas meets her eyes. “I mean it. I’ve got the room. And if Marg isn’t going to respect your need for distance from Joffrey…” He shrugs. “You’re over here more often than you’re there anyway, and I like having you here.”

“You’re serious.”

“We’ll get your things tomorrow while Marg is out.”

Sansa smiles shakily. “Thank you, Willas.”


"Sansa?" Olenna actually looks surprised.

Sansa smiles sheepishly. "I didn't want to get this position on the merit of my name or our families’ connection."

Olenna chuckles. “You’re a pretty thing, dear, and I like that you keep my granddaughter grounded, but without this,” she holds up Sansa’s Master’s thesis, “I don’t care if you were the godsdamned queen. You wouldn’t have walked through those doors.” She sets the stack of papers back on the conference table between them. “My scientists and engineers tell me this is some kind of genius. If I don’t hire you, at least three of my department heads have threatened to quit and start their own firm so they can hire you. And I’m sure you realize I can’t allow that to happen. I do, however, have one question.”

Sansa barely resists the urge to bite her lip. “Yes?”

“Why?”

“As you know, my brother-”

Olenna holds up a hand. “Stop. As I know you, Sansa… the truth, please.  Your parents would fund anything to help you brother. This could help your brother, yes, but… that’s not why you’re here, is it?”

Sansa huffs. “Gods, I love you, Olenna, but that’s annoying.”

Olenna just looks smug.

Sansa looks down at her hands. “Did you know Willas’ brace hurts him?”

Olenna looks at her sharply.

Sansa looks up, meeting the older woman’s eyes. “He wouldn’t ever say anything. He knows what you’ve put this company through for his sake.”

“The point,” Olenna says tightly, “was for him not to be in pain. Why wouldn’t he say anything?”

Sansa can’t help but roll her eyes. “He doesn’t want to be a burden, Olenna. He just wants to live his life.”

Olenna holds up the papers again. “What does this have to do with that?”

Sansa takes a deep breath. “I haven’t had the funding to thoroughly test it, but the trials I have conducted have been successful. I created a new alloy. It’s nearly as strong as Valyrian steel, but it’s light, and it’s flexible. My parents did fund one of my trials. I recreated Bran’s brace, based off the Tyrell designs, with my alloy and a few tweaks. Not only can he walk,” Sansa shakes her head, “he climbed that damn tower again.”

Olenna blinks. “So let me see if I’ve got this right… you scrapped your first Master’s thesis, nearly two years into it, and created this alloy, which you tested on your brother, because my grandson is uncomfortable?”

Sansa shifts in her seat. “I didn’t scrap my first thesis. I just… set it aside for later.”

“Exactly how long have you been in love with him, then?”

 

Sansa is halfway through a bottle of wine when Willas comes home that evening.

He drops his briefcase and jacket near the door before joining her and stealing her glass. “Are we wallowing or celebrating?”

Sansa frowns. “I’m not sure.”

Willas raises a brow. “Did you get the job?”

Sansa smiles. “Yes.”

He raises the glass and takes a swig. “Then we’re celebrating. Why are you wallowing?”

Sansa bites her lip. “Willas, the job is with Tyrell.”

Willas chokes on his next drink of wine. “Gods, no wonder you didn’t tell me. But you got it?”

Sansa nods. “Your grandmother hired me herself.”

Willas sets the glass aside and turns to face Sansa as much as he can on the couch. “Then why in the name of all the gods are we not straight up celebrating?”

“She asked me how long I’ve been in love with you.”

Willas blinks, then picks her glass of wine back up and finishes it off. “Right, and what did you tell her?”

“Longer than I should have been,” Sansa whispers.

Willas reaches out and gently lifts her chin. “Come again?”

Sansa smiles helplessly. “I think I’ve been a bit in love with you since that first time you were standing on the other side of our apartment door.”

Willas falls back against the arm of the couch, laughing helplessly.

“Will?” Sansa looks at him, concern clear on her features.

Willas reaches out and snags her hand, then tugs until Sansa sprawls over him. Before she can question him, he threads his fingers through her hair and guides her face to his. When he kisses her, she melts against him.

“Oh, thank the gods!” Margaery’s voice exclaims.

Sansa pulls back from Willas dazedly. “What?”

Margaery has her hands on her hips, but she’s beaming. “Took you long enough.”

Willas turns his head to glare at his sister, tightening his arm around Sansa’s waist when she tries to scramble off him. Sansa settles back against him, scooting down his tall frame just enough to rest her head on his chest.

“What in the hells are you on about, Margaery?” Willas demands.

Margaery rolls her eyes. “The two of you! I only started dating the prick to push you two idiots together, and gods, you’re slow on the uptake! I mean, really, how  stupid do you think I am? Why in the hells would I date the douche who messed up my best friend’s pretty face?”

Sansa winces guiltily and feels Willas flinch under her.

Margaery’s jaw drops. “Oh gods! You assholes! You really thought I was that stupid!”

Willas heaves a sigh. “Marg?”

Margaery shoots her brother an exaggerated pout. “What?”

“We’re sorry, and we promise to make it up to you later.”

“Good,” Margaery nods, satisfied.

Willas sits up with a groan, keeping Sansa firmly in his lap.

Sansa flushes at the feel of his groin against her. “Marg?”

Margaery grins at her. “Hm?”

“I love you.”

“Love you too.”

“Please leave.”

Margaery frowns. “What? I jus- oh!” Her eyes go wide. “Right,” she snickers. “Uh, gone.” She spins on her heel and vanishes.

Sansa buries her face in Willas’ neck, trying to contain her laughter.

Willas smiles against her hair.

She raises her head, eyes shining, when she collects herself. “Will?”

His eyes shine back. “Hm?”

“Kiss me again?”