Arya has heard Old Nan say it's never been a proper Northern wedding if there isn't drunken brawling in the middle of supper and at least one wayn being set on fire.
On the eve of her parent's wedding, Arya's great uncles Brandon Stark and Brynden Tully dueled with blunted, wooden swords over a full platter of honeyed, roasted chickens, knocking over a torch and nearly engulfing Winterfell's granary and the stables to the flames.
The smoke had been so thick that Winter town took notice and sent them aid in the dead of night — farm boys and swine herders with buckets of water, fearing the worst.
Or so Old Nan swore that's how it happened, coughing on phlegm and her laughter.
Arya misses her. She misses Jory, Rodrick, Maester Luwin. Even Septa Mordane, who caned her for dirtying her skirts, who tutted about Arya's bloody fingers over needlepoint.
There's new faces in Winterfell now, including Sansa's new husband. He's a southron knight from a well-known House — a seasoned warrior who has never broken a vow. He's not exactly the knight Arya imagined Sansa would marry: Podrick's a bit of a stumbletongue; he's lacks confidence and brawn and assertion.
But he's benevolent and mild-mannered, and dotes on her sister like Sansa's a princess. Arya doesn't worry about her older sister's virtue or her happiness, not anymore. Podrick stares at Sansa like she's created of dawn's light, precious, good.
The ceremony takes place on mid-morning. The snow-fall grows lighter, capping the red, weirwood leaves nestling within the highest, outer branches of the heart tree.
Arya shivers and keeps her distance within the crowd of onlookers, sneaking up behind one of the men. Gendry pays her no mind until she gleefully slides her hands under his tunic and doublet, basking in his warmth. "Seven hells," he curses loud enough for a maid-servant to glare at him, jolting in the smaller circle of her arms. "Don't do that—"
"Stop whinging," Arya mutters, snuggling up against his back and grinning at his protest. She hasn't grown much taller, complaining about it occasionally after her eighteenth name-day.
Gendry's stomach muscles harden up and shudder under her palms flattening. "How does a little Northern girl like you get so cold?" he asks, taking the fierce smack to his ribs gallantly, stifling down a laugh as Brienne sends them an obvious disapproving look.
Arya leans up on her tiptoes, brushing her opening, smiling mouth close to Gendry's ear. "This little Northern girl can get plenty warm without you then…"
She smiles wider when Gendry turns around abruptly, those blue eyes roaming her with a ferociously admiring light. "You're a pain in my arse," he says quietly, grasping her arms to pull Arya's wriggling hands out of his garments, comfortably entwining their fingers.
It's not a wedding without a bedding — and everyone clears out of the Godswood, except for Sansa and a flushing Podrick, heeding the tradition of Old Gods and their decision for privacy. The guests march into the Great Hall for a feast of suckling pig and applecakes and a boar with its skin seared to a delicious, meaty crisp and ale overflowing in their goblets.
Arya drains her cup of sweet, milky cider, elbowing the person on the bench next to her to move out of her way. She hops off and ducks from the noise and hollers within the castle.
There's bound to be an argument and teeth loosened by dusk.
She squawks, yelling and hitting her fist to the top of a dark, shaggy head when the world lifts her suddenly off her own feet, cradling her onto a muscular, broad shoulder.
"Arry, it's me," Gendry says, chuckling and skillfully dodging another hit. He heads for a more secluded area between two, huge stone walls, dropping down her carefully.
"You're fortunate I didn't have my sword," Arya says bitingly, narrowing her eyes and refusing to kiss him back when Gendry presses their lips together. It doesn't last. She can feel her irritation thawing, her jaw relaxing and her tongue sweeping to the rim of Gendry's mouth.
He bunches Arya's hair into his fingers, kissing her deeply, holding her against him as if she would vanish into smoke. "I'm very fortunate," Gendry breathes out, mouthing to her upper lip.
The absurdly happy and boyish quality of his smile heats Arya's chest.
Where there's heat, there's a fire — or so Old Nan said.
Everything's proper and right.
Game of Thrones isn't mine. Time for a little break from the Stranger Things fandom! I planned on posting more of my GOT fics I had laying around before I fell into some chaos and personal stuff and then with the Stranger Things new season distracting me, so here we go! This is a fill for the asoiafkinkmeme and I hope you guys enjoy this! :) I cannot wait for next season! Any thoughts/comments appreciated!