There were no false professions or promises made at the weirwood that night, only truth long known and never spoken out loud to each other. Being in the house of the old gods, she surprised him by reciting the vows and he by cloaking her with the only cloak he owned. No feasting meant no bedding ceremony, although that was a flicker of a thought as they pulled each other into, fittingly, the armory. The next morning, Sandor Clegane took one look at them and declared, "So the wolf girl is wedded and bedded. Good luck to you, you idiot."
No one ever said anything to Sansa when she was discovered with child shortly thereafter, other than her sister who declared that the size of the boy certainly from his father. In her own birthing, Arya screamed curses at her husband through the door that were loud and profane enough to send the most seasoned servants scurrying. Bannermen that had slowly trickled into Winterfell clapped Gendry on the shoulder and, again, wished him luck. Within weeks, the same bannermen fought shoulder to shoulder with him as the white walkers pressed south of the wall. In the game of thrones, battle winning dragons were withheld in a power play by their Mother who required submission of the entirety of Westeros.
Arya never saw her brothers again. Rumors found their ways to her ears that Bran had made it north of the wall and Rickon had sailed to, ironically enough, Braavos. Jon led men into battle and ended up on a funeral pyre. Sansa never hesitated to being the wet nurse to her nephew when Arya pleaded that she needed to go to war. In truth, Sansa knew Arya was going to find her husband. Arya found him and had days before she lit his body afire so that his eyes would never grow that ghastly shade of blue.
Sansa had given up hope of ever seeing her sister again until news reached Winterfell that the queen had changed her mind and dragons were sent to turn the tides. Months later, the white walkers were obliterated. Soon after, Arya returned to Winterfell and news reached their walls that the queen had gone mad and ranted on about being captive, someone taking her form and giving orders to the dragons. Reports of her madness spread as the legacy of her mad father was passed onto her mantle. Only Sansa saw the slight smile on Arya's lips at the news.
Back in the safety of Winterfell's walls, Arya felt hollow. She removed her gloves, the first night back, in the privacy of her own room and far away from prying eyes. Her burns had healed and left angry scars to remind her of Gendry. She had reached into the fire, in desperation, when his hand had flexed in the flames. Looking at her hands, the overwhelming longing for her husband allowed the always restrained tears to release. For over two years, she had found herself slipping back to No One in revenge. The return to Winterfell had started to remove her inner armor. The dark haired boy partially hidden behind Sansa's skirts, in fear, compelled her to let go of No One forever.
Curled into the bed furs later that night, she heard the door open slightly and small footsteps tentatively approach her. She slowly opened her eyes to a set of beautiful blue eyes just below the level of the bed. Arya snaked her hand out from the furs and offered it. He refused but clamored up onto the bed, wiggled under the covers and stared at her. Stubborn like me and thankfully looks like his… The lump in her throat made it hard to swallow.
"Mama?" His timid voice was so unexpected that tears pricked the corners of her eyes.
"Go to sleep," she whispered into the top of his curly hair. "Go to sleep, my little bull."
Thanks for the patience for this last chapter. We had an unexpected death in the family. This story ended up so much longer than I expected and I hope you enjoyed it!