She wakes the next morning the same way she had the day before – wrapped up in Jon. Except this time, it's his arms around her, his legs tangled in hers, his breath stirring the little hairs on the back of her neck.
The other difference, of course, is that they're both naked.
She turns her face deeper into her pillow to block out the early morning sun peeking through the curtains, as well as to try and hide her smile, though Jon isn't awake and no one else is here to see it. She doesn't know why she feels like she needs to hide it, but it just seems like she shouldn't be allowed to be this happy.
Last night almost doesn't seem real, she thinks, squeezing her eyes shut to try and remember it as best she can, though it all feels like a blur. Going back to the ballroom, dancing with Jon and Rhae and even some of the other Martells until the DJ announced the end of the night. Stopping by the concierge desk to buy condoms, Sansa hiding her face against Jon's shoulder while he bought them.
She knows if she opens her eyes and looks out at the room, she'll see her dress piled somewhere near the door, and she almost feels bad for letting something that expensive sit crumpled up on the floor all night. Pieces of Jon's suit will be around, too. She almost feels bad, but not really.
The night is mostly a blur, but one that she has some definite, vivid memories of – the sight of Jon's head between her thighs, her hands dug into his hair. The way his voice had rumbled about her reward for winning their bet. How she'd bitten into her wrist to keep from screaming too loud. And sure enough, when she peeks through her eyelashes at her hand resting on the pillow next to her face, she can see little red teeth marks in the delicate skin of her wrist, and she has another memory of Jon's lips brushing against it, asking if she was alright, if she'd hurt herself.
Jon's arm is heavy around her waist, he's still asleep, and so she tries not to shift too much, though thinking about last night has made her hot and restless and very aware of the ache between her legs. She squirms a bit, trying to relieve that ache (and maybe, selfishly, trying to wake Jon up without being obvious about it). It works, and she hears him take a deep breath, his body tensing ever so slightly as he wakes.
“Morning,” he says after a moment, his voice deep and gravelly and sending a shiver through her.
“Morning,” she breathes, trying once again (and once again failing) to keep a stupid, giddy smile off her face. “Sleep well?”
He makes a humming noise that she takes as agreement as he nuzzles into the back of her neck, arm tightening around her waist and pulling her even tighter to him.
“I think you've converted me to cuddling,” he says against her skin.
“Is that right?”
“Mmhmm,” he sighs, lips pressing against the top of her spine. “But if you ever tell anyone that, I'll deny it. I've got a reputation to maintain.”
“You're secret's safe with me,” she grins, turning her head to finally look at him. His hair is an absolute mess and it makes her burst into giggles – the pomade he'd used yesterday plus his hands running through it and then hers... well, it looks ridiculous and she thinks in that moment that she might love him. Maybe not completely yet, but she can see it happening – and soon. Probably too soon, but she can't quite find it in herself to care. She's too happy to care.
“Are you laughing at me?” he asks, trying to put on a frown, but it doesn't quite work. He can't fight a smile, like he's just as giddy as she is. Just as happy.
“Your hair looks funny,” she tells him, reaching behind her to tangle her fingers in it as best she can from this angle.
“Your fault,” he murmurs into her ear, taking her lobe between his teeth and giving it a gentle bite that does nothing but send shockwaves right to her core.
“You messed it up first,” she gasps, eyes fluttering shut as his hand slides down her stomach to slip between her legs.
“I did no such thing,” he tells her, and then, giving up on the argument almost immediately, asks, “we still have one left, right?”
It takes her frazzled brain a moment to understand what he means, and she opens her eyes to look at the bedside table and the last remaining condom from the three pack he'd bought last night. “One left,” she confirms, already reaching out for it. “I guess it's good we're going home today.”
“Home,” he sighs, letting her go so she can reach for it and flopping onto his back. “Fuck, I can't wait to be home.”
With fingers that feel a bit shaky from the thudding pulse she can feel everywhere, she tears open the packet and turns to him, pausing to smile down at him – laying on his back, one arm flung across his eyes, smiling so wide she thinks he might pull a muscle.
“Just one more breakfast to get through, right?” she asks as she moves forward and rolls the condom on him, reveling in the groan he lets out as he takes the arm away from his face.
“Do we have to?” he pouts. “Haven't I suffered enough?”
“Poor baby,” she pouts back, hands on his chest to steady herself, swinging a leg over his hips. “You promised Rhae last night.”
“Let's not talk about-” Jon starts, then cuts it off with hiss as she lowers herself onto him.
“Talk about what?” she tries to go for a light and airy tone, as if she isn't effected at all, except then he moves and she lets out her own gasp, fingers curling and nails digging into his chest as he shifts inside her.
“Come home with me,” he breathes, looking up at her as she begins to rock slowly. “Come home with me today. Stay with me tonight.”
She can feel herself nod, eyes closing as she lifts up and sinks down on him, as his hands grip her hips so hard she thinks they'll bruise, as she shifts until he hits the perfect spot that makes her cry out.
“Come home with me,” he repeats, like he doesn't even realize he's still saying it.
“Yes,” she nods again, and then - “yes, yes yes.”
They're late again to breakfast, but Sansa doesn't care even one bit when they walk in and she can feel everyone's eyes on them. She doesn't care that she's wearing a pair of old sweatpants and another giant t-shirt, this time one of Jon's that she stole simply because she could.
Because he's hers.
“You're late,” Rhaegar finds them at the buffet as Sansa waits for her crepes to be hand made. At this point, she can't even muster up enough energy to be annoyed with how perfect everything is here.
“And I can't tell you how sorry I am,” Jon drawls, loading his plate with bacon (she may need to have a talk with him about how much bacon he ingests, if this is normal. She'll have to keep an eye on it). “You know how I live to make you happy.”
The words come out laced with sarcasm, but she can hear the bite of truth underneath – Jon has, in the past, lived to make him happy, and both of them know it. Rhaegar opens his mouth to say something and Sansa can feel Jon tense, like he's preparing himself for a fight, when another person joins them.
“Dad,” Rhae cuts in smoothly, “your date looks lonely, you should probably go pay some attention to her.” When he doesn't immediately leave, Rhae stares him down until his mouth twists into a frown and he finally goes back to the table where Cersei Lannister has somehow managed to procure a glass of breakfast wine and is downing it at an alarming, though somewhat impressive, rate.
“Thanks,” Jon sighs.
“I didn't do it for you,” Rhae says back, a small smile tugging at her lips – a lie. “I did it because I'm pretty sure Cersei will stab him in his sleep if he keeps ignoring her, and I don't think any of us are ready for Egg to be the head of the family this soon.”
“Is he coming down?” Jon asks. “I should probably say goodbye to him before we go.”
“You aren't sticking around for the luncheon?”
“There's a luncheon?”
Rhae groans, making a pathetic whimpering noise to go along with it. Jon kisses her cheek and says he'll find her again before they leave and Sansa follows him back to their table in the corner.
“Once again, being the bastard son really has it's perks,” Jon says casually around a mouthful of bacon. She doesn't laugh. It's not really a joke, anyway.
“I can't wait to go home,” she tells him, reaching over for his hand, and she watches him shift his eyes away from her and the tips of his ears go red.
“You don't actually have to come over. I know I asked, but...”
Something pangs in her and she hesitates for a moment. “I do have work tomorrow.” Why she didn't take the day off, she has no idea. It seems incredibly stupid in hindsight, but she thinks she didn't because she hadn't wanted to sit around on Monday and sulk about Jon. But now? Now she doesn't have to sulk about it. “I could call out.”
“You don't have to do that,” Jon says, though she likes to think she can hear a tinge of hope underneath. She knows he took Monday off, they'd talked about it on the drive up on Friday.
“I have so much vacation time,” she pokes at her crepe with her fork. “And you did beg so nicely.”
“I did not beg,” he huffs. “I asked. Politely.”
“You begged,” she teases, “over and over-” She cuts off at his glare, a giggle escaping her lips before she sobers again. “Unless you're sick of me already?”
Before she realizes it's happening, Jon tugs on their linked hands and pulls her forward and kisses her, hard.
“Definitely not sick of you.”
This is the most awkward interaction of her life, she decides. Definitely this.
“It was good seeing you,” Aegon says, doing a small half step forward, his hand held out, like once again he isn't sure if he should shake Jon's hand or hug him. Next to him, Margaery stands like a cold marble statue.
“You too, Egg,” Jon says and shakes his hand, as if deciding for the both of them that they won't hug. “Congratulations.”
“It was a beautiful wedding,” Sansa tries to ease the tension a bit, though she regrets it the instant Margaery's eyes turn to her. “Really lovely. I did try out the spa and it was really great and the food here was-” she's babbling, she can't quite help it with everyone looking at her. She's babbling about how nice the resort is so she doesn't blurt out something stupid like Margaery tried to seduce Jon last night. She doesn't think anyone in this little circle of discomfort would appreciate that. (And the worst part? She doesn't think Aegon would even believe her.)
Jon lets out a low cough of laughter and puts his arm around her, pulling her in to his side, which has the added bonus of making her shut up. “We've got a long drive,” he says, like the rest of them don't also have the same drive later. “We should get going.”
“You're coming to Sara's birthday, right?” Rhae asks.
“Wouldn't miss it,” Jon gives her a hug, and Sansa can't help but watch the way Aegon watches them, the expression on his face, something sour and sad.
“You're coming, too, right?” Rhae turns to Sansa, which pulls her attention from Aegon. “Jon's not allowed to hide you anymore.”
“Definitely,” Sansa says, glancing over to where Elia stands, a bit away from the group (a bit away from Rhaegar), holding Sara in her arms as Tycho holds a little toy in front of her to grab at. Jon lets go of Rhae and heads over, a bit hesitant, until Elia gives him a small smile and he approaches and takes Sara from her, who squeals in delight.
“I'll see you in a few months,” he tells his niece, who makes incoherent noises back at him and reaches out to try and grab a fistful of his beard.
“We'll see you then,” Elia nods, taking Sara back from him.
Jon walks back and picks up both of their bags before giving one last wave to everyone and heading out the front doors of the resort. Their car is waiting, the valet standing ready with the keys.
“Home?” Jon asks.
“Ghost, Ghost, Ghost, Ghost,” she chants in the passenger seat of his car, almost bouncing up and down in excitement.
Jon had dropped her off at her apartment so that she could drop off her things and pack another bag for tonight. He'd gone to return the rental and grab his own car, saying he couldn't go pick Ghost up in the gaudy sports car he'd had for the weekend, because Ghost wouldn't fit.
He comes to pick her up later in a mid-range SUV, just like he'd said. It's not as fancy as the rental had been, but she feels infinitely more comfortable in it. It fits Jon, in a way the sports car hadn't. His simple jeans and t-shirt fit him, in a way the tailored suits hadn't. He's relaxed in a way he hadn't been all weekend.
They pull up in front of a neat little row home and she follows Jon up to the door, which opens before he even gets a chance to knock.
“I think Ghost sensed you were coming,” a female voice laughs. “He started pacing in front of the door the minute you texted Sam.” They're lead into the house and Sansa is introduced to Gilly, who immediately says, “I've heard so much about you!” before giving her a hug like they've known each other for years.
Ghost is bigger than she could have imagined, even after seeing his pictures, and he winds happily about Jon's legs, silently begging for attention. (It's true, she realizes. Jon had told her Ghost doesn't bark, but she hadn't believed him at the time.)
“Hey buddy,” Jon kneels down and lets Ghost headbutt against him, tail wagging excitedly. “This is Sansa.”
Sansa holds out a hand for Ghost to sniff, which he does for barely a second before seeming to decide he likes her, and he headbutts her in the hip so hard she rocks back on her heels.
“Whoa, bud, let's not scare her away this soon, huh?” Jon sighs, reaching out and bringing Ghost back to him.
A man walks out from the kitchen, wiping his hands on a towel that he has thrown over his shoulder. “You're Sansa,” he says, half a question and half a statement. “I don't think I quite believed it when Jon said he'd be bringing you.” There's a warm smile on his face, one that his wife matches as they both look at Jon, knelt on the floor. Jon doesn't seem to notice, too focused on giving Ghost scratches, completely unaware of the fond looks both of his friends are giving him. “I'm Sam.”
“It's nice to finally meet you,” she says, and she isn't even surprised when he hugs her, too. They're those kind of people, she decides. Her kind of people – huggers. Jon is outnumbered.
“I'm making pasta,” Sam gestures to the doorway he just came from, and when she peeks over, she sees a kitchen where, sure enough, Sam is making pasta from scratch. Her kind of people for sure. “You guys want to stay for dinner?”
Jon looks up at her and before he can even say anything, she finds herself nodding. “I'd love to,” she says, and Jon's face lights up with a smile so big she feels like she might drown in it.
Sam makes a noise of disgust as he heaps a serving of pasta onto Sansa's plate.
“I could've gone my whole life without ever thinking of Cortnay or Martyn ever again.”
“You and me both,” Jon laughs.
“Why do those names sound familiar?” Gilly asks.
“They're the ones that used to dump food on me at lunch,” Sam says, and Sansa's fork pauses above her plate, but neither Jon nor Gilly seem to be surprised by this statement. That rage she'd felt back at the rehearsal dinner flares to life again, and she tries to tamp it down.
No, Jon doesn't seem surprised, but she does watch his jaw tic, like he's barely controlling his own anger.
“Ugh,” Gilly mirrors Sam's earlier noise of disgust. “Wait, are those the ones Jon beat up?”
“What?” Sansa interjects, looking between Sam, Gilly, and Jon, whose anger seems to have morphed into embarrassment.
“I was fifteen,” he shrugs, stabbing a piece of pasta with his fork. “I had anger issues.”
“It was both,” Sam answers his wife with a small laugh.
“No,” Jon corrects, “I punched Cortnay. Martyn punched me. I'm a victim here, too.”
Sam lets out a snort of laughter. “Yeah, you were real innocent.”
“I was defending your honor!” Jon puts a hand over his heart, like he's offended, but Sansa can see him fighting against a smile.
Gilly leans over and whispers, “sometimes I think they're married, not me and Sam,” as Jon and Sam keep bickering over who punched who and who started the most fights.
Later, in the car on the drive back to Jon's house, as she watches the street lights out her window and Ghost sleeps in the back seat, she asks, “did you ever get into a fight with Aegon?”
“No,” Jon says after a bit of silence. “No, Egg didn't fight. He was too good to fight, he mostly just... I don't know, he never started anything. He never did anything that could get him in trouble, but he'd just sit back and watch it all happen. He'd watch his friends bully people. Sam. Me. Others. But he never did anything. He never called me a bastard. Not once.”
She can feel the implication behind it – that Jon feels like he has no right to be angry with Aegon for it all – and she remembers what he said last night. I wish I could have a real relationship with Egg, but that was ruined long before we even knew we were brothers.
“Don't be,” Jon sighs. “You know, I don't know if Sam and I would be friends if I hadn't punched Cortnay in the quad that day. We'd had classes together, but I was so convinced everyone at that school was a stuck up prat that I refused to talk to anyone.” She looks over at him and sees his lips quirked up into a grimace. “Martyn wasn't totally wrong. I was a downer back then. I didn't talk to anyone and I'd convinced myself they were all terrible and I was such a little shit about it all. Until we all ended up in detention and Sam and I got assigned to mopping floors together. We've been best friends ever since. We're brothers.”
She doesn't know what to say to that, doesn't know what she can say, so she just reaches over and rests her hand on Jon's on the center console and watches as he threads their fingers together.
“Aegon doesn't know what he's missing out on,” she finally says around the lump in her throat.
“You know what sucks the most?” Jon asks, eyes on the road, other hand tight on the wheel. “I think he does know. Not... I don't mean that like knowing me is...” he sighs in frustration, like he's not sure how to explain it. “I just... sometimes I think he wants it, you know? To be a good brother, he just can't figure out how. With Rhae. With me. I think he wants it.” And then, after a steadying breath, “he just keeps fucking it up, because he wants dad's approval more.”
Something slides into place in Sansa's mind and she says, almost in surprise, “you pity him.”
“I want to hate him, I really do. For the way he was at school, for Margaery, for not listening to any of us; but mostly I just feel sad for him. Because I got out, I got away from dad. He never will. And he'll never get away from Margaery either – they're stuck with each other. They're stuck making each other miserable now and I hate how sad that makes me. How angry that makes me. I'm not explaining this right.”
“You're explaining it fine,” she whispers, her hand tightening in his, making sure he knows she's here.
In her periphery, she sees Ghost raise his head up and give a massive yawn. Jon watches in the rearview mirror and he lets out a small laugh and says, “we're almost home, bud.”
The next morning, she calls her boss and fakes a cough while Jon shakes his head at her from the stove.
“That was terrible,” he teases after she hangs up, sliding a spatula under the pancake and flipping it. “Did he actually buy that?”
“I'm a great actress,” she sniffs, coming to sit at the kitchen island to wait for her pancakes. She'd been thrilled to find he had all the makings for chocolate chip pancakes and maybe she had given him her best puppy dog eyes until he agreed to make them for her while she called out of work.
Not coming in today. If anyone asks, I'm sick, she texts Mya.
Sure, 'sick', Mya texts back, along with an eye roll emoji. Don't worry, I'll play it up real good, so if you need tomorrow off too, the groundwork is already laid.
Have I mentioned how much I love you?
She'd told her friends (and Arya) last night about what happened with Jon, so Mya probably isn't totally surprised by this. She hadn't read their responses at the time, but she does now, skimming through the messages until a word catches her eye: Tinder.
Without even thinking about it, she opens her app and notices that Jon's account is deactivated, which makes her smile. And then she deactivates her own – something she has never done before, she realizes. In the years she's had it, she has never once deactivated it, even when she was dating someone. It had always sat there, on her phone, like it was just waiting for her to be single and bored again.
She deactivates her account and then uninstalls the app.
“Everything good?” Jon asks, sliding a plate in front of her with her pancakes, his eyes on her phone.
“Everything's great,” she beams. “Everything's perfect.”