Hi, everyone. So this is my first GoT fic- I had to start with a fic for my beautiful OTP for the show. It's to be continued, if I get enough reviews! It's set when Arya is around 15, and Gendry is about 20. I hope you like it. Set after/during ASOS, which is probably series 3 for the show. Hope you like it.
"So where exactly are we going? And how long will it take?"
Gendry was exhausted. He was also has extreme saddle-sore, sweaty, and ash and dirt clung to him no matter how much he tried to scrub it off with his hands. He huffed into the darkness of the forest, his breath creating a small cloud, and pushed his heavy dark hair out of his sleepy eyes. He yawned.
It was a cold, windless night, and the air was biting, raising goose-pimples on the back of Gendry's neck. The moon had just risen, a waning crescent, but you could still just see the thin, peach-coloured clouds on the horizon. The sky was clear, starless.
"I told you before, I have to get to the Wall before the moon turns, stupid." Arya, sitting astride her horse a few metres ahead, turned her head and pouted, then grinned that mischievous grin that Gendry knew all too well.
The pair had left for the Wall around a week ago, and still had around another fortnight's ride to get there. They had just reached the outskirts of Greywater Watch, a small county near The Twins, a place that could chill you to the bone after night fell.
"Is someone getting a little sleepy?" She chuckled, halting her horse. Gendry rolled his eyes, but didn't deny it. Arya sighed, pushing a hand through her knotted mass of hair. She rolled herself off the saddle, and gestured for Gendry to do the same.
"Come on, then, princess, you need your beauty sleep." She quipped as she knotted her horse to a nearby oak. Gendry harrumphed, wiping his callused hands on his supple leather jerkin, rough on rough.
"You're the princess, princess. I don't get as much sleep as you do, you know that. And we've been on the run for ages- why do you have to suddenly head to the Wall? You know how dangerous it is there." Gendry retorted as he dismounted his stallion, and began to tie it to the same tree as Arya's.
"It's my brother. He's…" Arya's face softened. "- he's been there for a while." She shook her head, and sat against the large, hollowed-out tree across from the horse's. Gendry sat himself down next to her, leaning his head against the tough wood, his heavy eyelids drooping.
"Which brother?" He'd heard about all of Arya's brothers, Jon in particular- apparently he and Gendry had quite a bit in common. Gendry rolled his head to look at Arya, who was hunched in on herself, causing her skinny body to become absolutely minute. Her grubby pelts weren't much better than Gendry's, but they hung loosely off Arya's limbs, disguising her slight body.
"It's actually two of them. One of them, Jon, is in the Nights Watch- he's on the other side. Another one, Bran, he's… well, he's lost, but I know he's near the Wall somewhere." She shrugged, and pressed her arm against Gendry's. She was shivering.
"Ah. Well, the Nights Watch are most likely all dead, y'know, M'lady. And Bran was the cripple, right?" Gendry struggled to keep his eyes open. Arya elbowed him hard in the side, knocking the air out of him temporarily. He coughed exaggeratedly.
"What the hell was that for?" He hissed at her, clutching his side. Arya crossed her arms.
"You know what for." She whispered.
"Oh. Sincerest apologies, M'lady."
Gendry lapsed into silence, and Arya knew he must've been asleep. His gentle snoring was a comforting sound that she'd adapted to since she'd been friends with Gendry. She looked up amongst the tall, dark trees and thanked the gods that she wasn't alone out here. Soon enough, she drifted off into unconsciousness.
When Gendry woke, the sun hadn't come up. The moon wasn't at its apex, yet it was still luminous. He'd been asleep for six hours, maybe seven, he presumed, which was the most he'd slept in the past month. Arya was leaning heavily on his shoulder, her mousey hair mussed up, and he smiled fondly at her, gently sliding her sleeping figure off him. Standing up and stretching, he heard a horse whinny. He strolled over to the horses and stopped.
One was missing.
Gendry could barely tell which one was left behind in the moonlight, but by the silhouette, his large stallion was still tied to the tree, which meant either Arya's horse had broken free, or had been stolen by outlaws. "Shit." He whispered to himself, as he ran back over to Arya.
He leant down and shook her. "Arya." She rolled over. Gendry sighed, and shook her more vigorously. "ARYA." He said, firmly. Arya stirred for a moment, and her head lifted, a dazed, lethargic look in her green-grey eyes. She rubbed her face, looking up at Gendry.
She groaned. "What is it? I'm trying to sleep." She massaged her forehead, yawning. Gendry took her by the arm and pulled her to her feet, where she steadied herself. "What is so important you had to wake me up while it's still dark?"
"Your horse," Gendry led her over to the tree where Gendry's lone horse stood. "It's gone." He stood back, awaiting Arya's reaction. She stood there for a moment, still half asleep, before it sunk in fully. She let out a yell of contempt.
"WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?" She roared at Gendry, who raised his hands to protect himself as she threw herself at him. This was not the first time he'd faced the wrath of Arya Stark, no, but he still didn't know how to handle her rage.
"I DON'T KNOW, I woke up and wandered over to check up on them, and it… she was gone!" Gendry dodged a pebble that whizzed past his head. She gave a cry of distress and stormed over to the tree where her horse had been attached to.
"The rope's still here. How could she have broken the rope?" Arya screwed up her face in bewilderment. She squinted at the end of the rope, and gasped. Gendry tentatively walked up to her, leaving a meter between them. She whirled to face him, and he jumped back.
"It's been cut with a SWORD." Arya threw the rope into the dirt in anguish, and sunk down next to it, groaning. Gendry picked it up and studied it, trying to adjust his eyes to the darkness. The sever on the end of the rope was too clean cut to have been gnawed by a horse's large teeth. It could only be a swords mark.
"You're right, it has. What type of people would pass through these woods… simply to steal a horse?" The answer was beyond him. "Why not steal one from a cosy looking inn or a bloody stable, for god's sake?"
Arya sat in silence. "That horse was my favourite horse. Stupid thieves." She grumbled. Gendry sat down next to her and put his hand lightly on her shoulder.
"Tell you what," He said, his blue eyes softening. Arya didn't look at him. "You can share my horse. He's strong, and to be honest, I've carried heavier loads than you, you little stick thing." He poked her belly, and she had to giggle. He really did remind her of Jon, sometimes, except he was so incredibly different to Jon in other ways.
Their heads snapped to the left simultaneously when they heard a twig snap. Gendry put a finger to his lips and poked his head out from behind the tree, and stuck it back behind it when he spotted four or five shadows.
"Is it outlaws?" Arya whispered so quietly it could've been a rustle of wind in the leaves. Gendry poked his head back out again, only slightly this time, and narrowed his eyes at the looming figures. From what he could see, it seemed to him like a gang- he saw a tall, lean figure holding some type of weapon, a smaller, more muscular figure clutching something to his chest, and the rest were all so close together they all melded into one black shape.
"I think so. I can't really make it out." He whispered back. Gendry began to stand up, but forgot completely that his horse was still above him. His head collided with the neck of his horse, causing the stallion to let out a screaming whinny. They swore under their breath.
"Oi, did ya 'ear that?" a gravelly voice asked, and Arya and Gendry tried to make themselves as small as possible, sucking in their stomachs and flattening themselves against the tree. Arya caught Gendry's eye, and looked down to her belt, where her sword, needle was joined. Gendry nodded as Arya clutched it in her right hand.
"Yeah, I heard it, I ain't deaf. Oh- look there, men." A softer voice answered, and it was obvious he's spotted the horse. Gendry held his breath as he heard approaching footsteps crunch on the leaves that covered the floor of the forest. A silhouette appeared from across the horse, which was now nervously stamping its hoof against some bracken. The shadow was less than two metres away from Arya and Gendry.
"It's a sturdy one, too, lads. It'd take us a good way, and of course, give us a hearty meal for once." The soft voice chuckled, and soon the whole gang began roaring with triumphant laughter. Arya stepped one step closer to Gendry, and a leaf crunched beneath her foot. She held her breath.
One of the men began whispering something, and the sound of metal weapons being brandished filled the silent air. Arya grasped needle close, and Gendry drew his heavy sword from his side, grabbing Arya as they ran out from behind the tree. The gang spotted them and yelled incoherent words to one another.
"Go, run. I'll catch up." Gendry pushed Arya, who looked torn. Gendry nodded, and she clutched his jerkin tightly for a moment, and then began to run. Three of the men surrounded Gendry, two armed with flimsy swords, one armed with an axe. He couldn't win. But he could try.
One of the men, the skinny one, advanced in on Gendry, a cruel, ugly grin plastered on his face. A snarl of laughter escaped his throat. He and Gendry raised their swords at the same time, and the man chuckled.
"Ready to die, boy?" He growled, thrusting his sword forwards, then stopped as a wet gurgle escaped his throat. Blood, black in the night, poured from his mouth, as he fell to the ground with a sickening thud. He was dead. Arya stood behind him, needle in her hand, her lip curled.
"No. But you are." Arya whispered. Gendry was angry with her for not running, but he could hardly complain now. He ran up to her and they stood back to back, as the men circled in on them. There was only four of them now- two each to fight.
Gendry swiped at the short man in front of him, cutting through his thin shirt with ease, blood oozing from the slash he'd left on his chest. The man hissed in pain, and feebly lunged forwards, drawing his sword through Gendry's jerkin. The attempt was so weak that it didn't even reach his skin, let alone draw blood, and as the man stepped forwards, Gendry plunged his sword through the man's heart. He fell to the ground, his front drenched in blood. The other man he was fighting approached him.
Arya had already killed another gang member, but another one, bigger than the last, grabbed Arya off guard and covered her mouth. He pushed her to the ground on her stomach, and as she tried to wriggle away, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to her knees. She ground her teeth together to keep from crying out in pain.
"Oh, what's this? A little lady? Well, little bitch, are you ready to become a woman?" He growled into her ear, and all of Arya's courage left her for a second. She then remembered who she was. You're a Stark. A wolf. You can do this. Arya tried desperately to break free of his iron grip, but he was already ripping off her over clothes, and she could feel his sweaty, slippery fingers touch her skin. She couldn't break free. Needle was out of her grasp. This was the first time in a long time she'd ever felt so vulnerable.
"GENDRY!" She cried. She couldn't escape, and she could only just see Gendry in the darkness of the woods.
Gendry heard Arya's cry and turned around to see on her back, a gigantic, balding man kneeling over her. He completely forgot about the quarrel he was in the middle of right now with the other man, he had to save her, save Arya. He turned and ran for her, and bowled the huge man off her. The monster roared, rolling Gendry onto his back, his blade drawn. As he brought it down, Gendry kneed him between the legs, and stabbed him in the gut.
Just as Gendry was rolling himself off the huge man, he felt a surge of agony shoot through his shoulder. He gave a yelp of pain, and looked down to see the man's blade covered in hot, wet, scarlet blood. Gendry wheezed and got unsteadily to his feet, and staggered over to Arya, who was kneeling on the ground, next to the corpse of the thin man with the revolting smirk.
"We did it. We actually won." Arya was in shock, and an amazed smile crossed her face. Her eyes were wide and shining, and the sun had just begun to rise. Her face was covered in dirt and dried blood, too. Gendry just had time to return the smile, when he fell to the ground, convulsing. Arya's eyes widened further.
"Gendry!" She crawled beside him and put his head in her lap. His blue eyes were closed tight in pain. Arya spotted his shoulder, grossly mutilated, a deep crimson gash. She bit her lip and tried to think of what to do.
"It's alright, Gendry, you'll be alright." She wasn't sure who she was reassuring, Gendry or herself. She tore a piece of cloth from one of the dead man's shirts and tied it around his shoulder like a bandage. He hissed.
"Sorry, sorry." Arya mumbled. As she stroked Gendry's rough cheek, she was unaware of the tears that had started to form in her eyes, and was shocked when she felt the wetness on her cheek. She touched it in wonder. Arya hadn't cried since… well, since her father had been beheaded by Joffrey's men… She then snapped out of it when she heard Gendry moan.
"Alright, come on, we need to get back to your horse. He's still here." She put her arm around his waist, helping him up. She grunted- he was pretty heavy, and Arya was very small. She let Gendry put his weight on her, though, and they limped back to the horse, where she had to gingerly help him mount. She got on after him, and let him lean on her. She dug her knee into the horse.
"I'm going to take care of you, okay? You're not going to die. Not on my watch. I'm taking you to get help- and I'm going to get you looked at. Because you are not going to die, you're not going to die, you're not going to die."
Once again, she wasn't sure who she was reassuring.