A Lightness


Chapter 002





Birds. There were birds chirping. The lazy flapping of heavy curtains in a light breeze. The hum of a familiar tune close by her ear. A hymn. A hymn to the mother. The voice was familiar as well, but she just couldn't place it.

Sansa opened her eyes, slowly. The room was bright, windows open and curtains pulled back to let in the sun. The sun. How long has it been since she'd seen the sun!

Her eyes took in the rest of the room. A bedroom. One she had never seen before. She was tucked into soft, white sheets on a large featherbed. Sansa's eyes followed her ears to the sound of the familiar hymn. The woman's eyes were down cast, watching her hands as they busied with some embroidery work. She noticed the shape of her face, such a pretty complexion, but riddled with cracks and valleys that only age or stress can carve into a woman's face. Her hair, long, down, half braided in the northern fashion. The color wasn't as she remembered, too much grey. But still so like her own.


Catelyn's hands froze and her sewing fell into her lap and then onto the floor as she stood and rushed over to her daughter.


The Lady Stark climbed onto the bed and wrapped her arms around her beloved daughter. Neither woman could help the tears that fell shamelessly from their eyes. They stayed there, holding onto one another for what seemed like an eternity, but even when Catelyn let go, Sansa felt that it was nowhere near long enough.

"Tell me. Everything." Sansa begged of her mother.

How could she cover two years within one moment? She tried as best she could. Sansa learned that Robb had returned to Winterfell after Theon had taken it. After he cut off Theon’s head, he regrouped at Winterfell. After the tireless searches, there was still no sign of either Bran or Rickon. Robb and his men took the time they needed to plan the swift attacks that would pummel the Lannister armies once and for all. They came south, stopping at the twins for Robb's wedding to Roslin Frey. He left his wife there, safe, and with child. Robb and his men quickly fought their way to King’s Landing. The siege hadn't lasted nearly as long as they were expecting. Only about two days, which explains the length of time Sansa was locked away. Robb was now waiting on word from Daenerys Targaryen. Catelyn claimed that Robb had no desire to rule over all seven kingdoms.

“We’ve heard news that things are not going well for Daenerys in Meereen. She may be willing to accept Robb’s offer to come and claim the remaining six kingdoms for her own. It could take weeks for a reply, and even longer for her to come, if that is what she decides.”

When her mother finished telling her all, Sansa was aware of a few things; her brothers and sister were still lost. There was no stark in Winterfell, and Robb was now the only King in Westeros.

She still had so many questions. "Tyrion? My husband. What has become of him?"

"His body has been found amongst the slain in the battle." Catelyn was smiling.

The news hit Sansa harder than she thought it would. She immediately felt an ache deep inside her chest. Her husband was dead. One of the only few here who never did her any harm, who actually seemed that he cared for her well-being at times. She supposed it didn't matter now that she was safe, but still, this was not something she was necessarily pleased to hear.

Catelyn must have noticed.

"This is a good thing Sansa, no? You are widowed. It is easier than an annulment would be, assuming… you are no longer a maid?"

Sansa looked into her mother’s eyes. "I am still a maid. Tyrion never..." She trailed off. Catelyn seemed to notice her confusion.

"It's alright Sansa. This can all be figured out later. Now should be a happy time. I'll call for Robb. He's come in to see you too." She moved to get off the bed and Sansa grabbed her wrist as she pulled away.

"I'll only be a minute. I'll be right back I promise."


Robb burst into the room, his face was a mix of concern and shock. He quickly strode up to the bed, but stopped abruptly. His hands were at his sides, palms open, toward her as if waiting for permission.

“Your grace.” She said, unsure. Twenty one years old and he looked not a day younger than thirty five.

“Don’t call me that. Not you.”

“Robb.” She smiled and opened her arms.

When her brother smiled back at her, his entire face lit up. He looked like himself again, if only briefly. He stepped forward to take the embrace she offered.

Neither sibling said anything to fill the silence after they parted. Robb looked as if he did not know what to say, but Sansa felt that it would be his place to say something. Catelyn seemed to notice the awkward tension and quickly began chatting again. It wasn’t complete, nor totally comfortable, but Sansa was just happy to have at least part of her family back together.

“Sansa,” Robb finally said. “Tomorrow, if you are well enough, I would like for you to join me in the throne room. I will be sentencing prisoners from the battle. “

“Alright. What about Margaery? The Prince?” She suddenly wondered.

“Margaery and her son will return to Highgarden. Never to leave. The child is a Lannister. His father is a bastard. Neither has any claim to the throne.”

Sansa nodded, pleased that they wouldn’t be hurt. “And Joffrey?”

"I have yet to deal with him." A slow smile spread across his mouth. "I thought you might like to be there when I do.”