A/N: Well, I wrote this a few months ago, and only now do I find it again, buried within the black hole that is my writing folder. Dedicated to Evie, "nymeriaes" on Tumblr, for her flawlessness.
Arya Stark was not one to complain. That was Sansa's job, she figured.
But gods, did she want to.
After wearing a hole through her shoe, she had asked one of the men to help her fix it; he had laughed, gotten a needle and thread from an innkeeper, and thrown it at her. "Fix it yerself," he scoffed drunkenly. "Like ter see you try!" He and a few of the other men laughed again, drunk as all hells, and he took a swig of his beer, shooing her away.
So Arya had gone and hid in the tiny room that was hers and Gendry's for the night. Gendry, being the only one who knew her secret, had made sure they were bunking together. She didn't want anyone to see her stitching. Not that she was any good, of course; Septa Mordane used to constantly scold her on her poor, rushed needlework, and Sansa would simply look on and shake her head pityingly, garnering all the praise for her beautiful, precise stitches. It made Arya's blood boil.
She pricked her finger with the needle for the thousandth time and swore. Being around boys twenty-four-seven could get a girl in that habit, not that she didn't before from time to time—though the journey had taught her words she hadn't known existed before. She shook the finger to help lessen the pain, then stuck it her mouth.
This of course was the moment Gendry chose to walk through the door.
Seeing her, he raised an eyebrow in a mixture of laughter and mock confusion. His eyes flicked from the finger in her mouth to the shoe and needle in her lap. "Did m'lady prick her finger working on her needlepoint?" he asked, putting it all together and knowing full well she'd get mad.
Arya's jaw tightened. "Don't call me m'lady!" she insisted yet again, but it was no use. In her anger she poked another finger.
"Does m'lady want a thimble?"
Arya scrunched up her nose. "I hate thimbles."
"But then your thumb won't bleed," Gendry pointed out reasonably, finally dropping the nickname for the time being.
"They're stupid," she insisted. Gendry rolled his eyes and reached for the shoe.
Arya whipped her hands back. "What are you doing?"
"If I'm going to help you with that, you're going to need to give it to me." Grateful but curious why he knew how to sew, she surrendered the shoe and needle over to him. He leaned against the bed and sent the sharp needle through the leather, sticking his tongue out.
"Someone's gonna walk in," Arya said, watching curiously, staring at his surprisingly nimble fingers.
"My master used to make me sew," Gendry explained as he worked. "Said a needle was like a tiny sword—" Arya smiled at this, remembering her own Needle—"and that I should be able to wield one of these as easily as a blade." He finished and handed the shoe back to her.
"There, that oughta last you a bit, I reckon," he said. The stitching was still not great, but much better than Arya could have done herself.
"Thanks," Arya responded, slipping the shoe onto her foot.