A Song and a Kiss

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Quiet Souris, Dec 14, 2014.

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    A Song and A Kiss, blue
    "No." A shadow detached itself from the shadow of the wall, to become a tall man in dark grey armor. Sandor Clegane wrenched off his helm with both hands and let it fall to the ground. The steel was scorched and dented, the left ear of the snarling hound sheared off. A gash above one eye had sent a wash of blood down across the Hound's old burn scars, masking half his face.
    "Yes." Tyrion faced him.
    Clegane's breath came ragged. "Bugger that. And you."
    A sellsword stepped up beside him. "We been out. Three times. Half our menare killed or hurt. Wildfire bursting all around us, horses screaming like men and men like horses - "

    "Did you think we hired you to fight in a tourney? Shall I bring you a nice iced milk and a bowl of raspberries? No? Then get on your fucking horse. You too, dog."
    The blood on Clegane's face glistened red, but his eyes showed white. He drew his longsword.
    He is afraid, Tyrion realized, shocked. The Hound is frightened. He tried to explain their need. "They've taken a ram to the gate, you can hear them, we need to disperse them - "
    "Open the gates. When they rush inside, surround them and kill them." The Hound thrust the point of his longsword into the ground and leaned upon the pommel, swaying. "I've lost half my men. Horse as well. I'm not taking more into that fire."
    Ser Mandon Moore moved to Tyrion's side, immaculate in his enameled white plate. "The King's Hand commands you."
    "Bugger the King's Hand." Where the Hound's face was not sticky with blood, it was pale as milk. "Someone bring me a drink." A gold cloak officer handed him a cup. Clegane took a swallow, spit it out, flung the cup away. "Water? Fuck your water. Bring me wine."
    He is dead on his feet. Tyrion could see it now. The wound, the fire . . . he's done, I need to find someone else, but who? Ser Mandon? He looked at the men and knew it would not do. Clegane's fear had shaken them. Without a leader, they would refuse as well, and Ser Mandon . . . a dangerous man, Jaime said, yes, but not a man other men would follow.


    Her bedchamber was black as pitch. Sansa barred the door and fumbled through the dark to the window. When she ripped back the drapes, her breath caught in her throat.
    The southern sky was aswirl with glowing, shifting colors, the reflections of the great fires that burned below. Baleful green tides moved against the bellies of the clouds, and pools of orange light spread out across the heavens. The reds and yellows of common flame warred against the emeralds and jades of wildfire, each color flaring and then fading, birthing armies of short-lived shadows to die again an instant later. Green dawns gave way to orange dusks in half a heartbeat. The air itself smelled burnt, the way a soup kettle sometimes smelled if it was left on the fire too long and all the soup boiled away. Embers drifted through the night air like swarms of fireflies.
    Sansa backed away from the window, retreating toward the safety of her bed. I'll go to sleep, she told herself, and when I wake it will be a new day, and the sky will be blue again. The fighting will be done and someone will tell me whether I'm to live or die. "Lady," she whimpered softly, wondering if she would meet her wolf again when she was dead.
    Then something stirred behind her, and a hand reached out of the dark and grabbed her wrist.
    Sansa opened her mouth to scream, but another hand clamped down over her face, smothering her. His fingers were rough and callused, and sticky with blood. "Little bird. I knew you'd come." The voice was a drunken rasp.
    Outside, a swirling lance of jade light spit at the stars, filling the room with green glare. She saw him for a moment, all black and green, the blood on his face dark as tar, his eyes glowing like a dog's in the sudden glare. Then the light faded and he was only a hulking darkness in a stained white cloak.
    "If you scream I'll kill you. Believe that." He took his hand from her mouth. Her breath was coming ragged. The Hound had a flagon of wine on her bedside table. He took a long pull. "Don't you want to ask who's winning the battle, little bird?"
    "Who?" she said, too frightened to defy him.
    The Hound laughed. "I only know who's lost. Me."
    He is drunker than I've ever seen him. He was sleeping in my bed. What does he want here? "What have you lost?"
    "All." The burnt half of his face was a mask of dried blood. "Bloody dwarf. Should have killed him. Years ago."
    "He's dead, they say."
    "Dead? No. Bugger that. I don't want him dead." He cast the empty flagon aside. "I want him burned. If the gods are good, they'll burn him, but I won't be here to see. I'm going."
    "Going?" She tried to wriggle free, but his grasp was iron.
    "The little bird repeats whatever she hears. Going, yes."
    "Where will you go?"
    "Away from here. Away from the fires. Go out the Iron Gate, I suppose. North somewhere, anywhere."
    "You won't get out," Sansa said. "The queen's closed up Maegor's, and the city gates are shut as well."
    "Not to me. I have the white cloak. And I have this." He patted the pommel of his sword. "The man who tries to stop me is a dead man. Unless he's on fire." He laughed bitterly.

    "Why did you come here?"
    "You promised me a song, little bird. Have you forgotten?"
    She didn't know what he meant. She couldn't sing for him now, here, with the sky aswirl with fire and men dying in their hundreds and their thousands. "I can't," she said. "Let me go, you're scaring me."
    "Everything scares you. Look at me. Look at me."
    The blood masked the worst of his scars, but his eyes were white and wide and terrifying. The burnt corner of his mouth twitched and twitched again. Sansa could smell him; a stink of sweat and sour wine and stale vomit, and over it all the reek of blood, blood, blood.
    "I could keep you safe," he rasped. "They're all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I'd kill them." He yanked her closer, and for a moment she thought he meant to kiss her. He was too strong to fight. She closed her eyes, wanting it to be over, but nothing happened. "Still can't bear to look, can you?" she heard him say. He gave her arm a hard wrench, pulling her around and shoving her down onto the bed. "I'll have that song. Florian and Jonquil, you said." His dagger was out, poised at her throat. "Sing, little bird. Sing for your little life."
    Her throat was dry and tight with fear, and every song she had ever known had fled from her mind. Please don't kill me, she wanted to scream, please don't. She could feel him twisting the point, pushing it into her throat, and she almost closed her eyes again, but then she remembered. It was not the song of Florian and Jonquil, but it was a song. Her voice sounded small and thin and tremulous in her ears.
    Gentle Mother, font of mercy,
    save our sons from war, we pray,
    stay the swords and stay the arrows,
    let them know a better day.
    Gentle Mother, strength of women,
    help our daughters through this fray,
    soothe the wrath and tame the fury,
    teach us all a kinder way.
    She had forgotten the other verses. When her voice trailed off, she feared he might kill her, but after a moment the Hound took the blade from her throat, never speaking.
    Some instinct made her lift her hand and cup his cheek with her fingers. The room was too dark for her to see him, but she could feel the stickiness of the blood, and a wetness that was not blood. "Little bird," he said once more, his voice raw and harsh as steel on stone. Then he rose from the bed.

    Sandor Clegane, grey

    She was so afraid. He could see it in her eyes and she was always afraid. Everywhere her eyes looked, they were afraid and though his thoughts were clouded with the drink and the fear, he could still see that fear. The little dove, in her cage of woven lies and secrets so entangled it was a wonder she could see her world clearly.

    "I could keep you safe." His voice was rough, slurred as the drink loosened his tongue. "They're all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I'd kill them." He was a man who knew little of the feelings or the hearts of others, unless they were on the other end of his blade. He knew even less his own heart, crippled and afeared and burnt beyond all recognition that it was. For at times, he surmised, his heart was more deeply scarred than the wax-waved scars of his face. He grinned savagely, the tip of his scarred mouth twitching ever so slightly as it did at times.

    "Come with me. I'll take you North. I'll take you home, to whatever is left of it and you'll be safe. You cannot stay here. The queen is a cunning fox and it is she who you must fear. Fear for your honour and your heart when with Joffrey but it is your life that Cersei Lannister will strip from you. You are a little bird, trapped in a cage." He glanced away, into the sky lit green and the whites of his eyes still shone from the fear of the wildfire. "Are you going to wait for the cat to eat you or fly through an open door?"

    He had to leave- and soon. The gates would open for the white cloak but if news travelled of his desertion, he'd have only his blade to get out with. Even as the Hound, he would need more to 'entice' the guards to let him slip past. Her auburn red hair was spread like a wave around her and there were many things his brain demanded in the moments. Kiss her.Fuck her.Kill her.Possess her.

    He did none of those things but instead rose from the bed, swaying a little from the drink but standing firm on his feet, cloak drawn across his shoulders and the dried blood across his scars juxtaposing the desecration of his face. He needed an answer and soon. "Little bird?" His voice demanded an answer, now. For he would leave, with or without her. Stranger could carry two or one, it would not matter one way or the other.

    #1 Quiet Souris, Dec 14, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
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  2. Lady Sansa of House Stark, lightskyblue Reality slapped her porcelain cheek with the weight of a steel gauntlet, and there was nowhere to hide from its irrevocable force. The words Sandor Clegane, spoken with a harshness and a dark depth stung in every corner of her withered spirit, from the memories at Winterfell to the skeletons in King's Landing. She had made a life for herself here. She had risen from the clutches of treacherous depravity and made herself into the bride for a king, forever to be remembered as the queen who turned from home. But that was a page in someone else's history book, the firewood for some other jester's song. Hers was a darker tale, a simpler one. And Sandor Clegane had provided the perfect incentive to take control of that saga. He looked at her with ruthless desperation, one that could rip her in half and cradle her all at once, and she knew not whether to bend under the force of fear or rise to the opportunity of escape.

    I must be brave, she soothed to her heart. Brave like Robb.

    And so, she rose.

    "P-Please," Sansa stammered, gathering her skirts and holding her body close. "Only take me North. Home, I want to go home." She swallowed the growing lump in her slender throat. She had never been so homesick as she was in that moment, standing before a man of great height and intimidation offering to serve her for the rest of his godless days. He may not have used those words, she thought, but he meant them all the same. "Winterfell. You've been there before, when you visited my father with King Robert. Take me there or to my brother Robb, wherever he is, and I'll go with you."

    I don't want to marry Joffrey. I don't want to be pulled by the queen's strings. I want to help my brother and rise for the North, and bring back to my keeping what once was there.

    Sansa stepped forward through the flashes of lime and chartreuse glimmering against extravagant stone, threatening to burn it down with nothing but a shadow. She clutched the porcelain doll resting against the mirror of her vanity, her father's final gift to her, one she had ignored and labeled a child's toy until the moment of his death. She had no intention of looking upon Winterfell with such insatiable foolishness.

    Slowly, she turned to face her fears, her trepidation in the form of a man.

    "Lead me," she choked out. "I'll follow you."
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  3. Sandor Clegane, grey

    He would deny it for the rest of his days but his heart leapt for a moment, though he ignored it, as she rose. Her frame trembled, whether from the cold or fear or some unknown frisson of emotion he knew not but it was a gesture that belied her courage. She was afraid. Her wide eyes in a milk pale face, lit intermittently by the harlequin shades cast by the wildfire as it painted the bruised purple skies. Each green flash had him holding in a flinch but he was certain it was apparent in his eyes.

    "P-Please,"Her voice was stammering, flighty and breathy like her heart was trying to escape her chest like a bird longing for freedom. "Only take me North. Home, I want to go home." And he would. He would take her but could he ever give her up? For honey was sweet but it attracted the beauty in the world. Beauty was a concept that was foreign to Sandor's own concept of himself, for ugly he was and he knew it. There was little to do with beauty left in the ragged crags of his face. He was only twenty nine, bordering on thirty but he never considered family. What good was family, when his own had taken everything from him?
    But this auburn beauty, who would never look upon him the way he did upon her? She was who he would follow.

    "Winterfell. You've been there before, when you visited my father with King Robert. Take me there or to my brother Robb, wherever he is, and I'll go with you." He nodded, as she stepped forward and clutched the porcelain doll that seemed so childish in a woman's hand. But he remembered his own toy, sitting abandoned on the ground as he played by a fire with another's property. He had kept the childish sentiment, a deep reminder of terrible days and terrible things. Perhaps this too reminded her of something, for her shoulders straightened and her build quivered only in minuscule tremors as she turned to him.

    "Aye, I'll take you. Birds should fly free after all. We'll go north... Then we'll go by your orders, little bird." He watched as she face him, the fear in her eyes like the steel gauntlet of challenge. "Lead me... I'll follow."

    He took her hand, the tiny fragile hand like a baby bird in his own hand and led her out the door, through the corridors, half dragging her. The constant sound of battle and the green of wildfire was sending shivers down his spine and panic into his gut.
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  4. Lady Sansa of House Stark, lightskyblue I have no choice but to trust him, now.

    The unlikely duo of beast and beauty traversed through stone corridors flashed with the greens and blacks of fire and night. His large hand remained clasped around hers and he half-dragged her throughout winding steps that led northward, out from the mouth of the tower and across an arching bridge. She could see the Godswood in the distance and wondered briefly if they could commandeer a boat by the water, but no doubt that would mean sailing through the Blackwater which was no true option at all, considering it was bathed in the wraths of emerald flames. Their only way of escape was to burst through the main gates and travel along the Kingsroad for a ways, before parting paths with such an obvious route as Queen Cersei would offer a lordship to anyone who found them.

    Assuming she lives through the night, that is. Assuming Lord Stannis doesn't plant her head atop a spike. Sansa wasn't sure which alternative pleased her more; knowing that Cersei and Joffrey would perish, or knowing they would live in some sort of servitude.

    It doesn't matter. As long as I never see them again.

    When the pair met the breath of a warring breeze, Sansa turned her head up to the stars to see them twinkling through clouds of thick and billowing smoke. Still, there is beauty. She followed the Hound along the trail which led to the outer stables, thankful that neither of them had encountered conflict with the City Guard or some other opposing force; all of them had been called to fight, and their path to escape had been wiped clean. Sansa was incredibly grateful to be spared the horrors of combat, for a time.

    The stables to which they ran held a massive horse by the name of Stranger, a stallion with a coat as black as the night sky and eyes even darker. At first there was hesitation, a sense of fear that had replaced the courage at the base of her stomach that had bravely led her this far, but the horse seemed to pay her no mind and she had no intention of offending the creature that could lead her to freedom. Sansa looked to The Hound, knowing the horse was too tall for her to mount by herself.

    "Is there another horse, ser?" she asked cautiously, clutching her father's doll close to her chest. "If not, we'll have to ride together atop yours..."

    Sansa didn't like the idea, but there were few choices left and they were running out of time.
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  5. Sandor Clegane, grey

    This was all fucked up, fucked up beyond all recognition.

    Sandor was drunk and afraid and so damnably off his rocker, to even consider dragging the porcelain doll along with him. But he was a dog, meant to be a guardian and a bodyguard. Even if he abandoned his post, he truly could not abandon his duty. And as much as his logical, sane mind -what was left of it at least- protested and ached to abandon the girl, the rest of him defied that voice of reason. The fibre of his being was death and pain and gleeful joy in death but somewhere, a voice stronger than his logic and his reason has arisen. He knew not what it was but it was terrifying. It was foreign and he didn't like it.

    They made it without incident, mores the pity, straight through the halls and trails that led to the garrison's stables and stockpile. Stranger was a-waiting for him, the intelligent gleam of darkened eyes a sure sign of his eagerness to be gone. For the green chartreuse of wildfire lit the sky alight and the sound of dying men echoed from the water's and he couldn't not even spare pity for them. As the Lady viewed his horse with trepidation, he saddled the fiery stallion and packed the saddlebags from the stockrooms, packing both water and wine skins to last them out of the capital so that they would not stop until far ahead they had traveled.

    At the young woman's query, he shook his head and smiled, though it was likened to grin off sharp teeth than anything. "No, little lady. We can't take another horse and you aren't the horse worker your spitfire sister was. We'll be harder ta spot with one horse." With no warning and with little patience for such inane questionings, swept her up and onto the saddle pommel of the large horse, making sure she sat right in the position, before swinging up behind her with a long known ease. He always had enjoyed the sport of horse riding, even as a young boy. "You'll just have ta put up with me. And if advice is needed? Hold on tight."

    Sandor geared his heels forward and struck firmly, though not harshly and held the reins in light control, either side of the auburn lady pressed against his chest and keeping her steady as Stranger worried at the reins, before lunging forward and out of the stable yard at a fast canter, no holds barred as they began their mad dash for escape into the night. The white cloak was stained and tattered but white it remained in majority, a fact easily seen by the lone gateman. He saw only the white cloak and passed them through without a second glance, as the thundering of hooves struck against the stone pavers and then against the soft dirt of the Kingsroad.
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  6. Lady Sansa of House Stark, lightskyblue "I--wait!--"

    Any protest was immediately cut off as The Hound wrapped his blood-stained, armored hands around her waist and hoisted her up on Stranger's back, sideways so her feet dangled helplessly off his side. An instant later saw her pressed against the knight's breastplate as he mounted the dangerous stallion, offering her less than what she needed to feel safe again and words that would stick with her for hours to come.

    "You'll just have ta put up with me. And if advice is needed? Hold on tight."

    There was no warning as the heels of steel-toed boots dug into the side of the ebony stallion, sending him barreling forward like an explosive, trajectory unknown, forcing northward as if eminent death awaited them at their backs. Much to their misfortune, it did. Sansa's instinct was to wrap her arms around the monster at her back, who stunk of wine and blood and sweat and the unfortunate tides of war. She clung to him in fear she might fall from the horse's back and shatter as her body collided with stone streets and tumble southward, the same streets where the people of King's Landing had sung her praise and tried to rape her in an alley off the main roads.

    It was The Hound who saved her then, and The Hound that saved her now. He deserves more than my fear.

    Two guards, the sole remaining soldiers to the Lannister cause atop the main gates shouted upon the sight of the future queen escaping with a deserter. "Stop!" they cried, "Stop now, or we'll have your heads!" But Stranger was too fast, gravity worked too well to his advantage and the three of them bolted through the nearly closed gates and forward along the Kingsroad, out of sight from the men who would undoubtedly live to tell the queen of her betrayal. Sansa stayed attached to Sandor Clegane's torso and remained so for the many miles to come, constant trotting and running and walking, all to spare the horse from fatigue. Occasionally, she would spare nervous glances behind them to see if they were being pursued, only to find their safety and realize that the Lannisters were too occupied with a siege to come searching for Joffrey's bride-to-be. But I was more than that. I was a hostage, too. Sansa had no doubt that a "rescue" mission would be commanded in the near future, whether by Joffrey or Stannis or some other opposing force, but for now they were safe with the cloak of battle shielding them. The pair continued their well-executed escape through the night, neither able to catch a wink of sleep until the dawn rose like a bruise upon the horizon, bringing with it the promises of freedom and captivity all at once.

    Sansa looked up to The Hound, swallowing hard before casting her eyes out to the swells of the rising sun. "We need rest," she stated after hours of silence, her voice a light chirp compared to his. "You need rest."
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