And Then There's Three
It has always bothered Ned Dayne that the two most important people of his life hate each other.
Note: This is a super overdue prompt requested by AuroreMartell (queensansahardyng on Tumblr). I'm sorry for the lateness of this. :(
"Where are you going?" Gendry asked after their soccer practice.
"Arya," he answered. "She needs me. She's flunking Calculus."
Gendry rolled his eyes, "Can't she count?"
Ned sighed, "She can but, you know her. She hates Math."
Gendry grumbled something about not finishing their The Walking Dead marathon because of Arya needs this, Arya needs that. But Ned didn't listen. He's been wanting Arya since ninth grade and now that she's finally his girlfriend, he can't let anyone blow this off. Not even his bestfriend.
"Where are you going?" Arya asked.
"To Gendry's," he answered. "He's having a hard time with Shakesphere."
Arya rolled her eyes and Ned felt and bit of déjà vu. "Tell him he's stupid."
Ned sighed, "Why do you hate each other?"
Arya said something how Baratheon boys generally annoy her, that Gendry is just a stuck up jock with marshmallows as brains. Ned playfully reminded her that he's also a stuck-up jock. Arya retorted, "You're different. You're decent. And your brain is actually made up of muscles. Small muscles."
He laughed at that. She always makes him laugh.
"Gendry is decent too. You just have to get to know him."
Arya looked like she's considering it.
"What is she doing here?"
"What is he doing here?"
They both said it simultaneously.
"Okay stop!" he said. The two stared at him, like he did something unusual. Maybe it's because he spoke too loudly, him, Ned Dayne, who never gets angry. But enough is enough. "Enough is enough! I'm tired of you two bickering, calling each other stupid, telling me to stop hanging out with the other one!" He breathed through his nose and looked at them. Gendry's blue eyes were worried and apprehensive; Arya's grey is also worried though annoyance was still evident. The space between them is big. "I want the two of you to resolve your issues. To actually get along. I'm tired of this fighting. I want peace."
"You want us to resolve our issues," Arya's hands waved around her. "In a library?"
They're outside Maester Sam's Books. He nodded, "Yeah. Maybe you Arya can teach Gendry a thing or two about Hamlet. You Gendry might want to teach Arya how to count."
"I know how to count," Arya said stubbornly.
Gendry coughed, "Oh really?"
Arya looked like she's going to kill Gendry.
"Okay stop it. I know you two needs a ride back home and there's no bus ride that can save your asses." The bookshop is far away from the places they live. "I'll be back in one hour. Sort your shits out."
After an hour he returned to the bookshop. He grinned when he saw his bestfriend and his girlfriend. Then it went away when he realized that they're still bickering. Ned sighed. I guessed I just have to live with it, he thought as they drive off to the road.
When he's about to drop Arya off to her house, Gendry surprised him.
"When you need help on your Calc assignment, just bark," Gendry said while grinning at Arya.
"If I need any help, I'll call. Okay?" Arya answered slamming the car door behind her. As she walk backwards towards her house, she gave Ned a flying kiss and gave Gendry a middle finger. Gendry guffawed at that.
Everything was going smoothly. His bestfriend and girlfriend are now getting along with each other.
Ned no longer needs to say "I'm sorry but I have a date with Arya" or "Gendry and I are going to hang with the boys. Maybe some time later". Arya can now hang out with him, even if Gendry was there and vice versa. No more petty fights and other shits. But of course he always makes sure that the other one won't feel like the third wheel.
It was finals week and of course everyone was busy reviewing or cramming. Arya still hates Calc and Gendry still can't get anything in World Lit. Ned is okay with his subjects which made Arya a bit on edge. She hates that he's okay with everything.
"Look. Why don't you Gendry tutor Arya with her Math issues and Arya will tutor with Lit?"
He solved the problem again.
After the finals, the three met up at the caffteria.
"I got a B minus!" Arya said while jumping a little bit.
"I got a B plus," Gendry smiling from ear to ear to Arya.
Arya nudged Gendry, "I'm a better tutor than you."
"Nah, I'm just better in absorbing knowledge."
Arya kept on punching Gendry on the chest. Gendry just laughed, while trying to catch Arya's hands to stop her from her blows.
For the first time Ned felt like the third wheel.
That's not the only time that Ned felt like the third wheel.
Arya and Gendry have a lot of common. It so happened that the two both love indie music, the kind that no one has ever heard of. They keep on passing each other new songs, while they make fun of Ned's hip hop choices. They also love bloody Tarantino movies, quizzing each other on their free time.
Ned ignored the feeling of isolation in their little trio and kept on telling himself that he's happy he made these two friends.
The three were at the diner near their school. Ned asked Gendry if he's doing anything this weekend.
"I'm going to see the Brotherhood Without Banners on Aegon's Hill."
Arya's eyes snapped, "How the hell did you get tickets? They're fucking sold out!"
Gendry shrugged, "I'm a Baratheon. I have resources."
Arya mumbled about the bourgeoisie and all other Marxist stuff she learned in her political science class. She seemed really sad that she's not going though she hided it very well. Ned tried to consolidate her. Arya left the diner and Ned was not alone to look at her as she walked away.
On the weekend he called Arya. She told him that she's busy and that she's going to the concert at Aegon's Hill. He asked her where she got the tickets. She said someone left a ticket on her locker. She thinks it was her fellow indie lover, Waif.
Ned thinks otherwise.
"Willow is looking at you, again," he said to Gendry.
Gendry just shrugged and sipped his beer.
"You're not going to do anything?" he asked.
"Not my type."
That's weird. Gendry is known for being known to the girls. He's surprised. It's been two months since Gendry hooked up with anyone.
Then Arya showed up to the party with her older sister Sansa. She's wearing a green dress with weird patterns of some fruit. But nonetheless the dress showed off her flawless legs and hugged her body tight.
"You look beautiful," he said to her then kissed her. He can feel her lips underneath and it's cold and yielding. But he ignored it.
Gendry was staring at them, his blue eyes were cold. He addressed Arya, "You look like a girl."
Arya stuck her chin up, "I'm always a girl. And this dress made me look like a fucking tree."
"A nice though. A nice tree," Gendry answered quite hoarsely.
Arya blushed and Ned could not know how the adjective nice made Arya Stark blush. Not the word beautiful.
He and Arya made out again later. She's still yielding but he wanted her so much it did not bother him one bit. They stopped when Loras Tyrell called them, "Horny shits!" from afar.
When he looked around to give Loras a friendly middle finger, he saw Gendry staring at their direction. His bestfriend abruptly looked away.
Gendry, the guy known for being the life of the party, left very early.
The Westeros High Dragons soccer team lost to the Khalasar Prep Stallions.
That doesn't mean there's no after party. Ned attended the party, drowning his sorrows of losing with tons of alcohol. He's drinking his beer when Gendry sat beside him, patting his back.
"We sucked today," Gendry noted.
He nodded, "Yeah. Have you seen Arya?"
His bestfriend stiffened, "No."
"You two are awfully close. Are you sure you don't know where she is?"
"I'm not her fucking babysitter. How should I know?"
"Why are you angry? Did you two fight again?"
"I'm not angry."
"Good. 'Coz Arya is the best girl ever and whoever treats her shit will be killed by me," he's slurring. He's drunk already.
"You're right," Gendry whispered. "She's the best girl ever. You're lucky to have her. Very lucky."
He's not sure but Gendry sounded hurt.
Later, he passed out on one of the couch. He can no longer move. He's very dizzy and uncomfortable and cannot do a thing about it.
A girl's voice. Arya.
"Babe," he chuckled. "You're late."
"Come on, Ned. Let's get you home."
"I wanna sleep."
"You can sleep at home."
"Can I sleep with you?"
She did not answer. Instead, she's talking to someone else.
"Help me get him up," she said.
Ned got lifted and carried. He's sure that he's at the backseat of some car. Arya didn't have a car.
In between his drowsiness and his drunkness he heard a conversation.
"You didn't watch the game."
"I'm busy. Sansa wants me to help her with her Algebra."
"You? Teaching Algebra?"
"Oh, shut it. I hate Calc but I'm decent with Algebra."
"Are you and Willow dating?"
"Where did you hear that?"
"Is it true?"
"Why not? She's hot."
"Don't tell me you're going all lesbian on her."
"Don't worry Willow is still single. You still have a chance."
"Sadly I'm not."
A pause again.
"You know I think we need some music-"
"I love you Arya."
Ned wants to fight off all signs of drunkness just so he can flip on whomever this guys that is confessing love to his girlfriend. Arya is his.
"Don't say something you don't mean," Arya said quietly.
Not a freaking no. Not a fucking slap to make the guy see sense. No. Arya Stark is quiet.
"I know. I know you think I'm stupid and a happy go lucky and sometimes insensitive. And I know you're with Ned. But this is killing me. I can't hide this anymore."
"I'm in love with you, Arya Stark. And this time I mean it."
A pause again. This is a funny dream, Ned thought. He knows Arya doesn't love this somebody. He's sure that this pause means that she's already punching this mystery guy.
Arya said something he could not comprehend. Then a long pause came in.
"Don't do that again!" Arya shouted.
"You're a selfish bastard who plays around people's feelings," Arya screamed. "I am done."
"Arya, please I'm sorry."
"Do you really think I have feelings for you? Do you really think that you had a chance?" Arya asked bitterly. She even laughed. "I can never love you. And I'm not sorry for that."
Ned completely drifted off to sleep.
Ned cannot remember everything that happened on that party except for that dream. It kept on boggling his mind throughout the whole course of the weekend. He's glad that Arya pulled the shit out of the guy. Even if it's just a dream.
Monday came, he met with Gendry at the locker room.
"Had a great weekend?" he asked.
"Nope," Gendry answered.
Ned noted through the whole practice that his bestfriend was not in a good shape. Gendry ran into Sandor Clegane and almost got into fight with the said guy.
"What's eating you?" Ned asked.
"Nothing," the Baratheon boy answered.
"Did you have a row with your Dad, again?"
"Then why are you acting all shit up?"
"Just shut it, okay?"
"Hey, I'm just trying to help."
"You're not helping."
Ned changed the subject, "Hey do you know how I got home after last week's party?"
Gendry's blue eyes darkened, "Yeah. I brought you home."
"Was Arya with you?"
Ned saw his bestfriend flinch when he heard Arya's name, "Yeah. I dropped her home. We don't want the little lady to go home all alone, right?"
Out of nowhere, Ned punched Gendry.
Hope you guys will like this. Reviews are loved! :D