Sansa and the Sellsword
Sansa Stark, now Sansa Lannister, was quiet in the first few days after her wedding to Lord Tyrion. He hadn't taken her on their wedding night and, because of that, she had a new found respect for him in a way that she had never expected. However, she found herself wandering alone through the gardens quite often because, as the Hand to the King, he was sufficiently busy throughout his days, and now that she would no longer be a member of the Tyrell family, her association with them had been cut off, leaving her to her own devices, as she had no desire to spend any time with her new husband's serpent of a sister.
Every day that she took a stroll through the garden, however, she was never truly alone. She soon discovered that she had a shadow in the form of Bronn, who had apparently been following her from a safe distance every time she spent any time on her own outside of Shae's or her husband's presence.
That was the one thing that she hadn't expected.
The sellsword was strictly sold out to Tyrion, so why would he bother to protect her? Unless, of course, Lord Tyrion had asked it of him?
She honestly wasn't entirely comforted having him follow her simply because of the fact that he was a sellsword. If someone came along with more money who happened to hold a grudge against her and her family, he would be in the ideal position to kill her, and so her uneasiness of his presence persisted. It wasn't until over a week had passed that she managed to find enough wits about her to actually speak to him.
She had just walked around a corner of tall hedges, so she stopped and waited, knowing now, after ten days, that he would appear approximately three seconds later. She wasn't disappointed.
Bronn practically ran into her, nearly causing her to fall, but placed a strong hand on her shoulder to keep her from doing so and gave her an almost apologetic glance.
"My Lady…pardon me. I'll follow at a further distance."
Seeing him prepare to do just as he'd said, Sansa spoke quickly, saying, "Wait, no, don't. I…I was hoping to talk to you, Ser Bronn. If…if that's alright?"
He stopped and turned back towards her, his left hand resting on the pommel of his sword, an eyebrow arched. He was obviously suspicious of her words, but he nodded and stepped closer, giving her a cursory bow, which she could tell was unnatural for him by the awkward way he kept his hand at his side, ready to pull his weapon at any given moment. A habit, she guessed, that had come from years of working as a sellsword completely alone.
"What does my Lady wish to speak to me about?" he asked, keeping pace beside her as she started walking once more. At hearing the question so politely put towards her in a manner that was not typical of the man, she actually found herself floundering. She hadn't entirely thought about what she wanted to say, only that she wanted to get to know him a bit better.
At her silence, he smirked, and Sansa knew that it was because of the fact that he'd taken her off guard with his civil words.
Finally, she managed to say, "I was…hoping to get to know you a bit more, Ser Bronn, as you have apparently been tasked by my h-husband," she nearly tripped over the word, which still felt foreign on her lips, "to keep an eye on me when I am neither in his nor Shae's presence."
His eyebrow lifted again, but he nodded and replied, "Makes sense. After all, as the saying goes, 'know your enemy'…"
She stopped walking, and he halted beside her.
She stared at him, tall enough that her eyes were nearly level with his, and tried to understand what he meant by that. He stared straight back at her and, as strange as it was, she felt that he was the only person that she'd ever met who didn't seem to see anything but her. As a sellsword, he knew how to see through hidden agendas and lies, and in that moment the only thing that she honestly wanted to know was why he had said yes to Tyrion to guard her.
She thought about his words for a moment longer and then said, "Is that what you think I think of you? That you're my enemy?"
"Why not? You and I both know that my protection is only as good as your husband's money…and every sellsword has his price."
That took her off guard, so she started walking once more, trying to wrap her mind around it, and he dutifully followed, his hand still resting on his weapon, his sharp eyes dutifully scanning the gardens around them, making sure that he was still doing his job. As they walked, Sansa finally thought of what to say and said it, deciding that brutal honesty was called for in this situation, as she was dealing with a man who had seen and heard it all, so a little brutal truth wasn't uncalled for.
"I would rather think of you as an asset, Ser Bronn," she stated, taking great care to keep her voice steady. "You and I both know that Lord Tyrion's money will always be more than what can be offered in nearly any circumstance, and since he's tasked you with keeping an eye on me, than I hope that we might form…an alliance of sorts."
He let out a small sound of disbelief and something akin to respect shone from his glance in her direction and she felt herself flush when he replied, "An alliance, eh? Does the little lord know that you've taken it upon yourself to try and befriend his killer for hire?"
She chanced a look up at him, and noticed that he was being completely serious, no smirk on his face to be seen.
Finally, she said, "No. He does not. And I'd like to keep it that way, if you don't mind."
As she walked forward, she held her head a little higher and her shoulders straighter, feeling more confident than she really was, but considering whom she was dealing with, she knew that she had to have more resolve and steady confidence in herself. If he saw any sign of weakness, any sign of faltering, he would not hesitate to point it out and to exploit it. Sansa honestly would not be surprised if the newly knighted mercenary went straight to Tyrion himself if he saw her waver in her stance.
He had stopped as she'd walked away, but she inwardly smiled to herself when she heard him pick up his pace to fall into step beside her once more. She then allowed her smile to show when he said, "It seems that you still have some Stark wolf in you, after all, my Lady; your claws are showing…"
She stole a glance at his face and saw that he was actually smiling at her, and not just smirking, and it made him surprisingly more approachable.
At hearing his praise, she smirked.
She then stared straight ahead and said, "Thank you, Ser Bronn. It's nice to let them out once in a while…"
He chuckled at that and then asked, "So…an alliance, eh?" She nodded. "Having an alliance with a sellsword isn't exactly the safest of alliances, my Lady, if I do say so myself. I mean, I'm not discouraging you in any way, of course; I only think that you should carefully consider just what you want out of our alliance. Protection? Secrets?" He glanced at her as he added, "Revenge?"
She let out a small laugh of her own and shook her head.
"Nothing so trivial. Actually, though, the protection would be a part of it," she quickly added, making sure he understood that she would be the one dictating the terms of their alliance, and he nodded, seemingly alright with her request. "Also, I was hoping for one or two more things." He gave her a sign to continue, so she did, slowing down her pace as they made their way through the garden. "Besides protection, from enemies within and without the walls of the kingdom, I expect that you treat me with less formality when we are alone. Call me Sansa, please."
He seemed surprised by that, but he nodded, and she continued.
"The other thing that I ask, Ser Bronn, is that you talk to me."
At that request, he stopped walking, and she noticed after she had already moved ahead a few steps. She turned on her heel to look at him, and saw an obvious look of confusion over his almost handsome features, and she knew that he was taken aback by her last request. It was an odd one, to be sure, but Sansa was getting desperate to have someone to talk to. Someone that she could count on to not go running their mouth to every person that they met. Because he was in her husband's employ, he had certain obligations to keep the secrets of his employer. Which now included her, as well, and she was going to take as much advantage of that fact as was possible.
He finally managed to say, "You mean you just want someone to talk to?"
She wasn't going to be embarrassed of her request, so she straightened her spine and nodded.
"Yes, Ser Bronn."
After a moment, he grinned and replied with, "Well, in that case, Sansa, I request that you call me Bronn."
At hearing that, she knew that their alliance had been made and a silent understanding fell between them as he stepped forward and took her hand in his. In an almost gentlemanly manner, he touched his lips to the back of her hand…and then smirked. She blushed, not knowing why.
"Thank you, Bronn," she said, bringing her hand back to her side and walking down the pathway once more. He followed beside her, his smirk still on his face, and then said, in voice that no one but her could hear if anyone else happened to be nearby, "I think this is going to be the most interesting alliance I've ever made…"
Yes, it would be interesting.
A.N. - I noticed that there was no serious fan fiction for these two, so I decided that it was up to me to write it! Tell me what you think. :)