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дейенерис пишет: Неожиданная ухмылка веселит её. Она старается спрятать улыбку, но губы совсем не слушаются, потому она чуть наклоняет голову, сухо кашляет и снова выпрямляется. Предложение Геральта звучит дельно, если отбросить все шутки. У неё хотя бы будет имя — и это уже что-то. читать дальше

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когда все дороги ведут в никуда

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когда все дороги ведут в никуда
sansa stark ✦ jon snow
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... настала пора возвращаться домой


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It's freezing and is only getting worse every moment but Sansa cannot tell whether she is shivering of cold or of fear. She is a daughter of North and must be used to cold, but not like this, not when you keep running day and night in wet clothes and nowhere to hide and nothing to eat.

"I will not go back there alive".

Seems like this is the only thought that keeps her going. When she gets tired or weak or her feet felt freezed, she clenches her teeth, grabs Theon's hand and tells herself "if we could go this far, we might go a little further, just a little".

When Ramsay's hounds find them she thinks it is the end. She takes the small dagger hidden in her skirts and just stands there trembling, not ready to cut her own throat, when Brienne comes to her rescue. After the fight is over and Sansa is covered with Brienne's cloack, riding on the back of her horse, only then she can let go of the dagger and put it back where it was hidden.

She hardly remembers the rest of the way to the Wall. Theon leaves them to sail home and although Sansa does not want him to go, she realises the consequences he would have to face meeting Jon. He still is a traitor, and even though Sansa knows now what price he has paid for his treason, it still does not change a thing.

"Your brother is Lord Commander of the Night Watch, he will keep you safe".

"Half-brother", - Sansa would always call him when they were kids. She feels a pang of guilt. Will he help her after how terrible she was to him in the past? Will he even recognise her after all these years? She is so deep in thoughts and doubts and fears that she does not hear what Brienne says.

- Almost there, my lady. You can see the Wall from here, - the lady knight repeats, pointing at a huge construction a few miles away. - We'll have rest there, and then decide what to do next. Where to go to keep you safe.

"Safe" - Sansa says to herself. She has been running for years to be safe and seems like never was.  The only place for her now is on the Wall, at the end of the world. How far she'll have to go to be safe again? Her parents, her sister, her brothes, and now her home - everything was taken from her and destroyed.

(Ramsay took and destroyed more than her home but she will not think about it, not now)

Brienne looks at her with worry, as if she wants to ask, if her lady is all right. She knows it's a stupid question - none of them is.

When the gates open, Sansa dismounts and walks into the yard. Her leggs feel wobbly, and she is so nervious seeing the men in black staring at her and Brienne. She feels lost again, and thinks if Jon is still here. He might have gone on raid, he might be in East-Watch, and what will she have to do then? She looks back at Brienne in doubt, but then hears the steps towards her and turns around. It's her brother, her only brother left for all she knows, and he is here, and he looks like he has been through hell and back and now sees a ghost. Sansa is sure she looks the same, but it is suddenly very hard to find any words to say.

Отредактировано Sansa Stark (2021-09-18 21:47:35)

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He felt so strange now.

In times past, he even thought he’d belonged in the Wall and Castle Black. Not anymore, though.

Maybe it was his entire fault. He betrayed his own black brothers and they betrayed him back. He let the wildlings come through the gates and the free folk was the only enemy The Night Watch had known for too long. Jon thought saving their lives was the right thing to do but he failed.

Did it make any difference now?

‘My watch has ended’, - he told them, heading directly off the black brothers. He didn’t want to see nor hear them; he was too tired for that. Jon felt knackered to explain his reasons to Dolorous Edd whilst gathering his things. Yet he had to do it. The only thing Jon was sure about – from this day on, he wouldn’t spend a single day fighting. That’s enough for him. Eddison didn’t think the same way though.

A random member of the Night Watch interrupted their quiet argument. The lad looked at Jon Snow:
- Lord Commander, there are two strangers in the yard. Women.

That was the last thing Jon expected him to say. What kind of woman would come to the Wall?
There used to be no women on the Wall once… There used to be no wildlings on the Wall, too.
Yet here they are.
Times were changing, because the young black brother didn’t look surprised at all.

- I’m not your Lord Commander anymore, - Jon’s voice sounded harsh and grumpy. He gave a short glance to the guy, then looked at Dolorous Edd and went out. He shouldn’t really care about what he was going to see there, because the Castle was not his responsibility. But still somehow he did. Seven hells! Why can’t he do it the way all the others do? Why can’t he just quit and go?

Jon saw the answer to these questions the next moment and he suddenly stood frozen.
He didn’t believe his own eyes.

Sansa Stark. His sister. Right here, in Castle Black. How come?

She’d changed a lot. She looked older and a way more untidy than usually, so a big journey must have been behind her back. Jon paid no attention to the second woman, running down the ladder and staring on Sansa. He couldn’t say a word.   

Her eyes were the biggest change. Jon remembered them being always cold and unfriendly to him, bringing memories of Lady Catylin and her thin lips. Now they were completely different. Sansa looked at him as Jon was the only close person to her, and it felt so right. They were all alone and the only ones to live. Jon knew just that he should protect his redheaded sister no matter what.
He made few huge steps to her and hugged Sansa. As hard as he’d never done it before.

- What are you doing here? Are you cold? 

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She hides her face in the furs of his collar, wraps her arms around him and finally cries, feeling that the knot of fear and pain and shame inside her has untangled.
- I'm sorry, - Sansa manages to say. - I had nowhere else to go. I...
Gods she hasn't been hugged by someone who cared for her in years. It feels warm and the fuzzy and like home.
Home none of her or Jon have anymore.

She lets go of Jon and wipes the tears from her cheecks, then nods. Of course she's cold. It's almost winter and they're in the North.
- I escaped, - they are walking inside, to the kitchen, where it smells like boiled cabbage but so warm and there's food and Sansa can sit by the table with her brother, have wonderfully hot soup.

And explain what happened, of course.
- Littlefinger hid me from Lannisters but sold me to the Boltons, made me marry Roose's son Ramsay Snow, - she talks fast, so as not to get into painful details. - He owns Winterfell now and he is a monster. I don't... I... Just believe me on this, if it wasn't true, I wouldn't be here, - she inhales and pushes the empty bowl from her. - Theon was his... kind of servant. More like a slave, actually. And he helped me escape. I know he's a traitor - it's him who gave Winterfell to the Boltons in the first place, who lost Bran and Rickon, i know it, but if it was not for him, I'd die there.

Sansa stops for a moment and bits her lip holding back the tears - she's cried enough already, and Jon needs to know everything so that they could make the right decision. She'll cry later, alone, when she'll be able to rest.
- Ramsay holds the North in fear. He killed his own father, fed his stepmother and her babe to the dogs. He might come looking for me, because he knows you're here and you're Lord Commander. I'm sorry I dragged you into this but I really have nowhere else to go now... - she speaks quetly, so that none of other black brothers would hear them. Sansa doesn't know whom to trust anymore, so now there are only two people in the whole Seven Kingdoms she can actually rely on, Jon and Brienne.

Отредактировано Sansa Stark (2021-09-19 00:03:02)

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Jon didn’t understand what she was sorry for. Nothing could be better than having a part of your family by your side. No doubts, this would change all his plans, but he didn’t have a real one anyway, so…

- Don’t, - he looked into her eyes, holding her shoulders tight. – Don’t, Sansa. I would welcome you anywhere, no matter what. Even here, on the Wall, - Jon looked around, squinting his eyes, - not the best place for a lady, but… - he’d be glad to say the Wall was safe for her but he knew that there was no safety anymore. Anywhere. The Others would come and…
- Of course you are. It’s freezing, - he nodded, - let’s go inside. We’ll get us something hot.

They were sitting inside the kitchen, where Jon made sure Sansa had something to eat. They both were trying to get warm whilst other brothers got Sansa’s companion inside, too – just in the opposite side of the room.
Jon was listening to his sister’s words and they made him feel horrible. Even worse than that.

As she finished, Jon was staring at the table. His soup stayed untouched and seem to lose all its warmth.  Snow just couldn’t think about food after story he’d heard from his sister. A strange mix of anger, hate and lust for a revenge was filling him up.

- So it’s true, - he considered, still not looking at Sansa. His voice was low and quiet; he seemed calm yet he was furious as hell. – I have heard some of this… Rumors, I thought… hoped it was not true. I never thought they could really get you, - he rose his head suddenly, looking into her eyes. – Did he hurt you? – stupid question. Of course he did. Why would she run from him if not?       

The name of Greyjoy made him even angrier. Jon made fists and glanced at his hands. Even though Sansa said Theon had helped her, Snow was full of anger. He knew he would beat his face off if he sees him one day. Because that was what a traitor like him deserved. 

Suddenly Jon thought – for a very short moment – that he had been a traitor, too. For Night Watch, for Ygritte. And he died for it later. He got what he deserved – and he never asked anyone to bring him back.

- I’ve told you already, you have nothing to be sorry for, - shaking his head, Jon screwed his lips up. – It’s me who needs to ask you to forgive me. If I only knew… - than what, Jon? Would you leave the Wall then? Hard question. Anyway, it didn’t matter at the moment.

- I promise you, Sansa, I will never let this happen again. Father would never forgive me if I left you on your own, - Jon stayed silent for a while, - and maybe I’m no Stark, but you are my sister and I will protect you. – he glanced at the woman Sansa’d came here with.

- Who is she? – perhaps he should thank this woman for helping his sister.

- As long as we are together now, you must know that we can’t stay on the Wall for a long time. I was just going to leave, so we’ll be leaving together. The only thing we need to decide is where we'll be going, - and it was the hardest part. Seemed like there were no place for them.

Отредактировано Jon Snow (2021-09-19 01:01:59)

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He looks even more like their father now, and Sansa is not sure whether it's the beard or the grey Stark eyes of a man with an old soul or this gloomy and brooding expression on his face. She used to see Ned like this, calm yet deep in thoughts sitting in the godswood all alone.
- Did he hurt you?

She blinks and looks at her knees, nails digging into her palms. That's something that will haunt her for the rest of her life, the scars will remain not in her tender heart, but on also on her skin as a memory of those months. She stays silent. After all it's not something Jon can help her with.

- Maybe I’m no Stark, but you are my sister and I will protect you
Half-brother. Poor John, not allowed to sit at the table with his siblings and father. The one Sansa politely ignored, thinking her mother was right to despise him, the one thing Cat could not forgive in father's past. His eldest son now and the only chance to Sansa's survival. The gods do love irony.

-  Brienne of Tarth, - she got so dixtracted with the family reunion that completely forgot about her knight. - She is my sworn shield and one more reason I'm here alive. She made an oath to my mother to protect me and Arya. She also needs hot food, and rest. And the horses are hungry and exhausted, so can you...

"Make arangements", - she wanted to say, but went silent and confused at Jon's last phrase.

- But you swore an oath. I thought you could not leave.
She realised she'd only be talking about her and never asked how he had been. Judging by the look of him, these were far from the best years of his life. Each of them fought their own battles, and though Sansa always thought the Wall was at the end of the world, a place where hardly anything happens now, something dark and gloomy was in the air. Only now she could notice the traces of recent battles and wildlings, here, in the Castle Black.

- What's going on here?

"And where will we go, if we leave", - was another question she was eager to ask. The options were limited: flee somewhere to the Free cities or...
Or do what their father would do. He'd sooner die than leave the North in the hands of a tyrant. He would fight back, because there must always be a Stark in Winterfell.

Отредактировано Sansa Stark (2021-09-19 11:54:51)

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— What's going on here?

So many things, Sansa, so many things...

Jon didn’t want to talk about his resurrection, as far as he didn’t know how he felt about it yet. It was something too weird to accept; it was so much easier to avoid all the thoughts about what’d happened. Yet Jon knew that there was no way to leave Sansa without answers, so…

- It’s a long story, Sansa.

- Well, yes, I did, - he nodded. – I swore in the godswood, in the face of Old Gods, - Jon raised his eyes, - this oath is for life. The reason I can leave is that my life has ended. And so has my watch, - he was trying to detect his sister’s emotions, because he was telling strange things. Jon wouldn’t be surprised if Sansa didn’t believe him.

- I’ve seen many things here on the Wall, - well, on the other side of the Wall, mostly. Never mind. – Things I never thought could exist. Things Old Nan used to tell us about, - Snow looked gloomy, - the Dead, Sansa. The Others. Do you remember those stories? – He raised his eyebrows, - so they are real. They are coming for us, - Jon made a deep breath. – I’ve seen them with my own eyes. I’ve fought them. They are… - he signed off, starting to talk again after a short while.

- Being a Lord Commander, I let the wildlings come here, to this side of the Wall. If I didn’t do this, they would be all dead soon enough. My brothers didn’t like it. They… - it was extremely hard to say it aloud - … murdered me. I was dead for a day or two, - Jon’s voice became lower. – Until some kind of magic brought me back and… and that’s it. Therefore I must leave. I can’t stay here anymore as long as I can’t lead these people. That must sound mad, I know, but it’s true, - Snow closed his eyes for a moment and then shook his head.   

- Don’t worry about your companion and horses, they will get everything needed. And after that Brienne of Tarth will get my sincere gratitude for saving my sister’s life, - he looked serious as always. Not even a hint of smile.

- I suppose we’re going South. I have no idea where exactly, but it seems the only option we’ve got so far. Will your shield join us?

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  - Wh... Your life is what... they what... - She's so confused but tries no to interrupt, looking at her brother with wide eyes. Seems like all of the time that she was surviving in the South Jon was in completely different world, almost fairy-tale, with White Walkers and magic and bringing back from... Did he actually die? How can this be possible?

- I'm... I have so many questions, - she responds slowly, processing what she's heard and trying to find the right words. - But we can't just go South. The Boltons are looking for me. And... Seven hells, they must already know where I went. We'll have to go hiding... And Brienne will go with us, of course, as she swore...

Sansa stands up silently, so many thoughts in her mind at the same time. One of them is louder than the others, but Stark is afraid to hear it. Now that he is really free of his oaths...
- Jon.

She has no right to ask him about it. Yet it's their home, their legacy and their land. And it seems like they're the only Starks that's left and that can do it. Try to do in at least.

- There's only one place we can go. We can take back Wintefell. Call the banners - not all of them are loyal to the Boltons. And fight back. If you say the dead are coming - we might need something more than Castle Black to defend ourselves, right?

It's no exactly a plan yet, but it's something Sansa comes up with after not knowing what to do and where to go, now that she is not alone anymore. And she's terrified of it, but one thing she remembers - "stop running", Baelish used to tell her. And Gods know she will, but it will be on her and Jon's conditions.
- Look, I know it souds like a lot, but we can ride to the houses that did not bend the knee to the Boltons. We'll convince them to join us. We'll take back what's ours and then figure out what to do with the White Walkers.

"If they really exist and are not a part of your hallucination', - she thinks with doubt. Jon would not lie about such things, it's just that this story seems far too unreal.

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9

I’m a soldier, wounded, so I
Must give up the fight
There’s nothing more for me
Lead me away or leave my lying here
Bryan Adams – Sound the Bugle

- So do I, - he responded quietly, almost under his breath. Jon still didn’t understand why or how was he alive but it didn’t make any difference now. 
Seven hells? Had she just said it for real? Jon had never heard Sansa swearing yet here she was. He would even smile if there weren’t some other things to be concerned about.
 
- Hiding? – raising his eyebrows, Jon looked at his sister. Yet he didn’t have a chance to say anything else as Sansa stood up and…
Jon closed his eyes for a short moment. His mouth became a hard line. He was listening to Sansa’s words, beginning to feel uneasy. Not because of fear but…

- It is a lot, - unexpectedly his voice sounded harsh. – Boltons have the North now, and you want to ask innocent people to start a war and die. The dead are coming, and killing more people – even Bolton’s – wouldn’t help it.

Somehow deep inside he realized that Sansa was right. And Edd was right, giving up was the least thing Jon should do now. But it was just too much for him for now. He had lost everything – father, his half-blood brothers, black brothers in the very moment they’d betrayed him. He’d lost the woman he loved, he’d chosen the Night’s Watch over her and that was what he’d got for it. And, what was most important, Jon had lost his faith. He had no more will to do anything but to go South and live the days left for him and the rest of the world before the winter would come for it.

It looked like he was ready to give up. And could you blame him for that?

- We don’t have any men. And we won’t have them, as only few houses did not swear to Boltons, - Jon said after keeping silence for a while. – What can we offer them? Nothing, Sansa. It is impossible. I’m tired of asking people to give their lives in vain.

Jon wasn’t looking at Sansa because he knew what she would tell him. That if the dead were coming, people would die anyway. But seven hells, he’d tried to save them. He’d tried so hard and yet he failed. What else he could do?

Отредактировано Jon Snow (2021-10-03 16:15:48)

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Sansa sighed heavily and frowned at his words. Of course she knows there are no men. No arms, no horses. She is not as stupid and naive as he might still think. But with all Sansa has been through, she has learned to remain true to herself and to what is right no matter if she'll have to pay for it. And now fighting back is right. The price is increadibly high, but it's their home they are talking about.

- Jon...

This is probably the longest conversation they ever had. Sansa honestly cannot remember if they ever talked about something serious one on one back when they were children. It makes things harder - she feels like she never really knew him and now, with all his past, with his wars, wounds and losses, he is a complete stranger to her. She is trying to convince a tired stranger who has given up on everything. If only he could see. If only he tried to listen.

- Please, - she grabs him by the hand to make him look at her and talks slowly, without any anger, but trying to make him understand. - A monster has taken our home. The people are already dying there. The people you used to know as a boy. The North hates Boltons. Those who bent the knee did it because of fear. And because there was noone else. There were no Stark to protect them. Now there's two, you and me. If they see that, they will have hope. They will remember their oath to our father. If you say the night is coming, the dead are coming, we'll have to meet them united. Or we can at least try.

And die trying, she thinks letting go of his hand. Still it's better than be brought back there as a prisoner again. Or than hiding, knowing what is happening in Winterfell, who is calling himself the protector of the North now.

- You know exactly what father would do, - she goes on quietly. - He'd keep on fighting even if it meant to lose. What do you think he'd say now?

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