When he visits her in her cell, she tells him of the stories and the songs she heard when she was younger. At one point, he thought she had fallen into a state of delirium, but there was a steadiness in her eyes - drowned in blue; a familiar sight that feels like a stab in his chest, running along the scar Brandon Stark left - that assured him she was lucid.
He realized then that this was how she held onto hope. He realized this when he noticed the stories and songs she talked of where of Winterfell.
The familiarity, he learns, ends with her red hair and blue eyes. Cat had enjoyed stories and songs, but never believed in them as Sansa did. Cat had grown much faster than Sansa, and found no time for such silly little things. Not like Petyr did. Petyr, who wanted to be the Prince of Dragonflies for Cat. Petyr, who never quite found a home in Riverrun. Petyr, who knew only of stones and dirt and wanting to be more. And hope.
Petyr, who was left near death at the hands of a Stark of Winterfell and never really returned.
He resolves then to harden her heart, to bury the Stark in her.
Because the familiarity ends with her red hair and blue eyes but begins again with her songs and hope. Because where the familiarity of a Tully ends, he begins to see similarities between her and a boy he once knew.
But that boy was gone, left changed forever by a Stark.
And Petyr Baelish would be damned if he let another Stark be the end of him.
A WHISPER OF A GUNSHOT, a superpowered modern ASOIAF AU