After Yoren's death and their capture, not one word had been exchanged between the three of them.
Gendry was sure Hot Pie was still mourning Lommy in his own way, and Arya as usual, seemed lost in her thoughts. She was breathing and walking, but you could tell she wasn't really there most of the time. She was off somewhere else. The body that was curled by his feet just that. A body. Who knew where Arya had gone off to.
Wherever she was though, she was better off there than here.
Stay there Arya.
They had walked all night and day following their capture, but had finally set up camp for the night.
Arya was curled between Hot Pie and Gendry, her back to them, so Gendry couldn't tell is she was asleep yet. It was freezing. The nights were getting colder and colder, and Gendry wanted to tell her to lie closer to them, but after an entire night and day of not talking, he feared the sound of his own voice.
So he closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep, not knowing what awaited them in Harrenhal, and telling himself this might be the last time he would get any real sleep.
He lay there for minutes waiting for sleep. But sleep wouldn't come, so he finally opted to pull himself up against a tree.
Hot Pie was lying very still, and his eyes were closed, but Gendry was almost certain he wasn't asleep. He wasn't snoring and his mouth was set in a thin line. Gendry's eyes turned to Arya's back.
The youngest of the three, yet perhaps the bravest. Braver than Hot Pie, that's for sure.
He recalled the first time he saw her and how he had known within seconds, even before hearing her fierce voice, that she was a girl. But when he saw her point her needle of a sword at Hot Pie, he wasn't so sure anymore.
It was not until the day he had noticed her steal herself into the woods while Yoren barked orders as they set camp several days after they'd left Kings Landing that he'd known for sure. He had followed after her, gods knew why he had, and had seen her squatting over a small stream, trousers to her ankles, clearly urinating. He'd nearly tripped as he'd darted behind a bush right as her head snapped to peek over her shoulder.
Gendry rolled his eyes at the memory. She could be so clever, yet so stupid and careless sometimes. Had she not heard him tell her they we amongst murderers and rapist. And now gold cloaks. He'd heard more than one of the cloaked pigs comment on what a lovely, pretty boy she was. If they ever found out she was a girl...
Gendry kicked her leg gently and she looked up over her shoulder with wide eyes. He nodded once to the empty spot besides him. She crawled over without needing any further encouragement, giving her back to Hot Pie, who's eyes slit open a fraction at the sound of her scurrying.
Her hands clasped together and she tucked them under her head and set her gaze on the ground.
The night was growing colder by the minute, and Gendry could clearly see, even in the dim light of the moon, that she was trying to stop herself from shivering.
His eyes rested on her face, taking in her features. How could anyone think she was a boy?
As if she'd heard his thoughts, Arya rose her gaze and locked glances with him. Gendry felt a bit embarrassed that she'd caught him staring at her, but he couldn't bring himself to break eye contact. Arya was there tonight. Looking at him from behind those scared, cold, and tired eyes.
He was scared too. Scared shitless. Not two nights ago, Yoren had been murdered right before there eyes, and if it had not been for Arya, one of these assholes would have handed him over to the gold cloaks.
Gendry turned away then, laying himself back on the floor. Her eyes were closed now and her face was just a couple of feet away from his and he fought the temptation to crawl closer to her. For warmth, he told himself.
Instead, he reached out to place the tips of his fingers on the exposed skin of her wrist.
Her eyelids slit open a fraction.
"thank you." he whispered, watching his words steam up into the sky before disappearing.
She chuckled, closing her eyes again. Her breath too, clouded before her face.
"You would've done the same for me." she whispered with a smile.
Gendry could remember seeing her smile only once before.
Back when Lommy was alive, and Gendry saw himself as part of the Nights Watch.
The boys had been arguing about some stupid "battles" and "knights" nonsense. The memory seemed so surreal; and her smile then, just like the one slowly fading from her features now, was almost alien on her, more so on a night like this with company like the one they had.
"What makes you so sure?" he whispered. His fingers were still rested against her cold wrists.
She opened her eyes again and looked right into his. "Because you're different."