19

Sins of Remembrance

AN. Firstly: As anyone still reading this story as if its latest's chapter 'roar of the dawn' should know I'm introducing two ret-cons into the older chapters. The First and most important one of those are Arya and Gendry's ages. Arya is now 15 and Gendry is now 16.

The seconded ret-con is a time related one. In most basic terms, it took slightly over a mouth for King Robert's and Ned Stark's entourage to go from winter fell to kings landing. The first season of the kinds landing plot happens over eight mouths considering how long Danny was Pregnant before losing her child. Ned was captured at the end of this time period and spent nearly 2 weeks in the dungeon; Arya was on the streets during this time. It's nearly over three weeks since the night watch caravan left kings landing. Its nearly being a week since the white clocks came looking for Gendry.

I have also edited this chapter, the clean up some stuff and to generally make more sense.

This story was made for none profit, HPO and George R. R. Martin own Game of thrones. I know nothing but my own delusions.

Dreams of blood

The day's light was gradually giving way to night. Birds wheeled in the sky singing their twilight songs. The country side was thick and wild, untouched by the meddling hand of man. Plants grew in tick rampart castors reaching for the distant sun that was now dropping over the horizon. Many animals roomed freely in this wild place their numbers allowed to grow as the humans that ruled the land bickered or plotted adjust each other or killed each other in droves.

In the thick undergrowth a young dire wolf known as Nymeria couched low in the bushes, her dark eyes fixed on her prey. Her thick fur was an equal mix of steel grey and snow white. The prey she and her pack stalked since the setting of the sun were now milling around a small murky pond. Most of the prey where short and hairy creatures, they had four thick stumpy legs and compacted faces with large flat noise's and pointed ears, some had small tusks that protruded from their large fleshy mouths. They sniffed and lazily pondered around the pool of water unaware of their impending doom.

Hunger gnawed at her belly as she could practically teste the fresh meat already. It took an effort to resist the urge to jump out of the under growth and rip into the prey animals. She knew her mate and the others of her pack must have felt the same hunger that ached inside her. As none of them had eaten anything like this feast in days, with only rabbits and smaller game to take the edge of their collective hunger. If they didn't make this kill they would soon turn on each other.

They could easily over power the slow and fat prey, but that flesh would satisfy some of members of her pack, it would not feed all of them. She tore her eyes away from the fat clumsy 'boars' and 'pigs' to a much larger prey animal that was warily scanning the forest that surrounded the pond. The meat from this prey alongside the bores and pigs would easily feed the whole of her pack but they had to wait until he lowered his guard.

This animal was twice perhaps three times as big as 'boars' that shuffled around noisily in the under growth eating whatever bounty that hid under the carpet of dead leaves. This prey was tall and lean with long legs built for running and leaping. He had thick dark reddish fur and a small tail and a long neck and angled head with large horns that protruded from his head. She remembered seeing this preys likeness before.

She was lost to the world for a moment as she recalled the memory. It was when the fat man had come to her home of cold stone. He had come with great clothes that had this prey likeness on them, like those of her mistress's father had her kind's likeness on their clothes. Why the humans had these clothes were beyond her. She had liked the fat man; he would feed her and her sister and their bother's scrap's when her mistress's mother or the 'mean woman' was not around.

If only the fat human had not come with the 'wrong' boy and the 'mean woman'. They had ruined everything. The 'wrong' boy had not smelt right from the very beginning and she and her kin gave him a wide birth along with the 'mean' woman who reeked of her twin kin and their mating.

Her mistress's father, sister and many other humans along with the 'fat man' had taken both her and her sister kin away from her mistress home were they had left her brothers in that cold place made of stone. Why the rest her mistress's people did not also move south to escape the coming of the cold times was beyond her.

One day, many moons ago now, her mistress had been playing with a boy by a river when the 'wrong' boy and her mistress's sister had come. The wrong boy had threatened her mistress and her friend. She had defended her mistress without hesitation biting into the 'wrong' boys arm.

It had bought her much sadness to be sent away by her mistress latter that day. Her mistress had told her that the 'mean' woman would want to kill her for biting the 'wrong' boy. When they could have her they killed her sister kin instead. She had been many leagues away when she felt her sister kin's death. That made her angry and she longed to be by mistress's side once more so they could hunt and hurt the 'mean' woman and the 'wrong' boy.

Nymeria tore her mind away from the memory's, she could not show weakness to the pack.

She refocused her attention. Her mate and her along with a few others would drive the both the wild pigs and the large stag into the jaws and claws of the rest of the pack that waited, hiding in the long grass just beyond the edge of the clearing.

Nymeria grinned, her sharp teeth bared, the cooling air of the gathering night, filled her insides. She creped forward as quietly as she could. She looked to her mate. He was of her kin a dire wolf. He like her birth mother and brothers and sister had found a way past the great ice wall that the men in black guarded.

His eyes were silver and fur dark as twilight with patches of dark red fur covering much of his underside; he was leaner in his build dispute being three moons older. Though neither of them were, fully gown yet even so they towered over their lesser kin. What he may have lacked in bulk but he more than made up for in speed and skill. Even so he was still not fully recovered from his captivity.

Not long after she had been sent away by her mistress, she had found him along with a number of lesser wolf kin having been captured by a grope of humans, she had stalked them though out the day waiting for them to fall sleep. When they did she had suck in and killed the men one and all, freeing her future mate and pack.

Since then he had become her equal and together they were the alphas of their ever growing pack that now numbered in dozens strong, and more wolves and wild dogs joined every day. She knew if the pack continued to grow like it this then these hunting grounds would no longer be able to support their number and they would have to turn their attention to the elsewhere if they didn't want to stave, especially with the cold times coming. That however was a concern for latter.

She waited for what seemed an age until the stag finally lowed his head and he started to sip the water, drool now issued from her open jaws as she panted.

It was now or never. She and her mate leaped from the bushes fallowed by seven others of her pack, their teeth bared. Two of the other wolves tore into the closest of the pigs.

It squalled in alarm but it was too late as they tore into it ripping open its neck and spilling blood everywhere. Nymeria issued a low grow at them and they left the dying pig to join the rest of the packs assault. They could feed later. The pack came first.

They moved as one in a with wolves on either side of the pray herd with others a step or to behind there fellows to create a tight 'U' shape keeping the pigs and stag herded and preventing any of the panicking prey away from the thick under growth were they might escape. The pack pushing them faster towards were the other members of their pack that waiting just beyond the clearing hidden by the long grasses.

A few of the boars tried to flee back free the coned the pack had forged around them the pack pushed them back into place, they bit and clawed at the prey keeping them herding them to the towards the trap and the soon to be killing ground. A large boar closer to Nymeria managed to push one of her lesser kin away and tried to flee, she cut it off, in its desperation it charged her.

She may not have been fully grown but she was still much bigger than any of her lesser wolf kin. She was more than able to meet its charge head on. She let out a low grow and snapped at the pig, her jaws clamped around a part of its face, her sharp teeth ripping into it soft flesh. The pig squealed and tried to fight her, she was to strong. She ripped a chuck of bloody meat away for the squalling pig face. It learned its lesson and allowed itself to be herded back with the others. The pack finally chased pigs and the stag into the open grass field where the rest of the pack sprung from their hiding places and charged in to their prey.

Now was time for the kill.

Wolves and wild dogs of all shapes and sizes ripped into the boars killing many of them without incident. Some of the prey tried to fight back, but they were inevitable overcome by the sheer weight of numbers and in short order the last of the boars fell even as the wolves started to feed on the first one.

The stag however managed to kick one of the smaller wolfs in face, there was a loud crack sound of hoof on bone. The wolf that had been smacked by the stag fell to the ground and did not move. He was dead.

Nymeria saw this and felt anger boil inside her and leaving the pig she had just disembowelled behind, she charged at the stag. The stag saw her and ran as fast as his legs could carry him. She belatedly noticed her mate following close behind. The stag leaped away from Nymeria and her mate but they were able to keep up with it.

She ran faster, her four paws barley hitting the ground, her muscles burned with the effort but she would see this prey killed for taking one of her pack away from her. She leaped at the stag but only managed to latch on his side. Her sharp claws tore into the stag's flanks. She howled her rage before sinking her teeth into the stag's flack. Blood filled her mouth.

The stag bucked trying to unseat her but her claws and teeth held firm. Then the stag jumped over a fallen log and she lost her grip as she fell to the ground. As she shook herself from the force of the fall, her mate tore into the stag. He had managed to mount the stag, biting into the prey's neck, winded but still very much alive the stag bucked and her mate was unseated but managed to land on his paws.

The stag was half dead, blood pouring from his many wounds. He must have known his life was nearing its end. The stag turned and stared at Nymeria, their eyes locked. The stag hooted and brayed as he charged his horns lowered so to ram her. Nymeria held her ground until the last possible moment then she ducked out of the way.

To late the stag realized his mistake, he was heading straight into a nearby tree. The stag hit the tree with enough force to make some of the fruit a leaves fall to the ground. The stag was dazed and wobbled on his feet but somehow still remained standing upright.

Nymeria launched herself at the stag and in one swift movement she camped her bone crushing jaw's around his neck. Her teeth tearing into her preys flesh and with a twist of her body powerful mussels she snapped the stag's neck his blood felled her mouth. She let the stag drop dead to the ground as she howled her triumph at the moon that filled the night sky.

XXXX

Arya Stark awoke with a start, her hand immediate went to the hilt of her sword Needle that was sheathed at her hip, when she saw no threat she calmed herself. Slowly she blinked away the last vestiges of sheep. Her mind still addled from her dream. 'Had it just been a dream?' she asked herself silently. It seemed so real, more like a memory. She shook the thought form her mind, denying it, even as she did so she tasted blood in her mouth, a pounding head ach and it felt as if her guts where being compressed nearly as much as her own breasts.

The warm caresses of the dawns early did little to soothe the pain that lanced though her or the eerie recollections of her dream. It was only now that the distant sun banished the last of the drossiness from her system that Arya realized that she had a well-worn blanket wrapped around her. Surprise filled her as her hand drifted across the rough cloth blanket; she hadn't had a blanket yesterday night. Her dark grey eyes searched and found that bull headed black smith slummed up against a nearby tree without a blanket, when she distantly recalled him having one last night.

Gendry that idiot, how many times had she told him she didn't need any help! But no, ever since he had figured out she was a girl, much to her embarrassment she was a Stark, no less. He had been doing her favours. From giving her a little more soup or broth that Yoren dished out at meal time, helping her with cores like gathering fire wood or looking for fresh game so that they wouldn't have to eat the Night watch's poor exercise for food or like last night giving her blankets and such. Gods be good she was from the North, it's wasn't like the cold ever bothered her anyway!

She huffed. 'What did he get out of treating her like some high and mighty lady, who was content to stay in her lord's tower all day to do nothing but sew and produce babies? She shuddered at the thought. Hadn't she proven her metal? Hadn't she show him that she knew about as much, about been a spoilt lady as he did?' She more than pulled her weight around camp' irritation swelling in her heart and she slowly stood up, as she did do pain lanced though her guts, it felt like they were being squeezed like she was constipated, she dismissed the discomfit as she stood up slowly. She scrunched the blanket into a rough ball and stomped over to were Gendry slept, slumped up against a nearby tree.

Arya grasped his shoulder and shook him geniality but he continued to keep snoring like the black headed bull he was. Letting out another huff as her guts contracted again, she was speared on to studied Gendry for a moment if only to distract herself from the pain. Gendry had pitch black hair and strong check bones he had a board honest face with the tinniest hint of stubble starting to grow on his chin and upper lip, for some reason he reminded her of paintings she had seen of the late king Robert Baratheon in his youth. He was only a year older than her. Even so Gendry was probably equal in height and build to her older brothers Jon and Robb perhaps even a little bigger, his muscles built from years of working a forge. She had seen him bathing with the other men nearly a week past. She hadn't wanted to stare but couldn't tear her eyes away from him much to her annoyance.

She had felt that mixture of fascination in his form and frustration at her fascination whenever she had chance to see him shirtless and despite her valiant efforts to resist her fascination it grew and grew alongside a far more primal feeling she could not yet identify but seemed to be far to pleasant and inviting for her to fully resist though she found more and more that she welcomed these warm pleasant feelings that came upon her with increasing intensity. She pushed these thoughts out of her mind as her irritation and replaced the warm feelings that were welling up inside her, she kicked him in the thigh. He awoke with a start much like she had a few moments early when she awoke from her 'dream'. His right hand absently clutched at the steel helmet that was shaped like a bulls head that he took with him were ever he went.

Gendry belatedly looked up to see Arya standing over him, looking quite annoyed which of course came as no surprise to him. She was usually annoyed about one thing or another; her grey eyes bored into his storm blue eyes. "Ary ... Arry …wha…what going on?" he said his normally deep voice waved with uncertainty as he awoke. The morning's light chose that moment to stream though the canopy of the trees that lined the road and strait into his still sleep heavy eyes. Arya was silhouetted against the morning light. For a moment all he could make out the outline of her figure the dawn's light which highlighted the womanly aspects of her body, they were more and more noticeable. No matter how desperately she tried to hide them away with her baggy well-worn brown pants, undershirt, tan jacket and belt.

Despite her valiant efforts to hide her true identity and gender, her body marched on words to womanhood. He wondered absently now much longer she could continue her masquerade? By the way her hips were starting to widen and the small mounds that indicated the swell of her breasts, her efforts to bind them and hide them away were proving more ineffective every day that pasted. She would likely have another month maybe two or three at the most to continue her masquerade as a boy before the other men in their caravan started to notice, it was the luck of the gods that they hadn't already.

When they first met before leaving Kings landing her disguise had even fooled him. He however was able to put two and two together faster than most of the idiots they travelled with, were able to. He was or at least had been for most of his life had been an armorer apprentice before his master old Mott had sent him away not long after the king Robert Baratheon and been hurt on one of his hunts and the madness that soon fallowed.

Gendry had interacted with enough ladies who were dragged to the armoury by their lord husbands or fathers to see past her act. Not that any of them every payed him any attention not that he was bold enough to try his luck. He was still able to see past Arya's act though. The way her hips moved when she walked. The way she held her self, not to mention the time it took for her to take a piss.

She had shed the last of her 'baby fat' around her face while they had be travelling, revelling a well-rounded, cute face that was emphasized by her brown hair that was growling darker as it grew longer , encircling her face and her steel grey eyes and small nose.

XXXX

Gendry shock himself of the thought, he couldn't think of her like that. She was a high born lady and he was nothing more than a common black smith and besides she wasn't what most men would call a classic beauty, though she may well be one day. Not that he would tell her any of this if he could help it. She would probably beat him up if he did and been beaten up by a five and ten girl half his size didn't help his self-esteem any. Even though she was a girl and a high born at that, she knew how to fight and was probably better at it then him. She had pulled his ass out of the fire when he had a disagreement with some of the older men in the caravan, of course that didn't make him feel any better about himself but violence was never his strong suit and he hoped it never would be.

"What do you think this is?" Arya said with a grumpy yet quite hiss shaking the blanket that she held in her right hand that was closed into a fist, at him.

"Have you lost sense?" Gendry muttered as he pulled himself off the cold damp ground. He now towered over her, despite nearly being twice her size but Arya didn't seem to notice the difference in height and build between them as she did not back down in the slightest. "You were cold, you'd looked like needed it!" He said grumpily.

Arya's glare intensified. "I'm from the north idiot, last night was like a midsummer day for me!" she said hotly, throwing the blanket at him which he caught. She put her hands on her hips as she looked at him with scorn in her eyes.

Gendry shook his head, disbelief filling his face "Not from what I saw last night, you were as cold as the rest of us... Shivering and such and you were even talking in your sleep" Gendry told her grumpily. It figured she would be ungrateful, he really should have just kept to himself like old Mott had told him when he'd been sent away and left with no were else to go but the Night's watch but he just couldn't let well enough alone.

"I was not" she barked at him than she thought back to her dream. "Was I?" Arya asked the sharp edge to her voice was lost in uncertainty. She crossed her arms around herself as she suddenly she felt very cold indeed, her guts twisted painfully. To distract herself, she absently looked up to the sky to see heavy clouds move across the blue horizon. Those were the same kind of clouds that had, for as long as she could remember hanging over Winterfell. A chill ran down her spine as her family's words 'Winter is coming' echoed in her soul. That doom laden prediction was going to become true sooner rather than later. She could already feel it in her blood, in her very soul in everything that made her a Stark. How long until the snows fell, how long before the long night? Months, weeks, every day that passed brought the cold closer. This summer had been nine years long and all she had known though out most of her life, however she had been born at the end of the last winter.

Arya could only recall the faintest of memories of the dark cold that never ended. She had spent the first three years of her life knowing only the cold. Unlike her two younger brothers, Brain had been born when the sun had already beaten back the night and Rickon had only ever known the summer.

Gendry saw the worry edge into her stance as she shifted uneasily from foot to foot, it was a strange sight to see her worried or fearful, Arya almost always portrayed an air of cold resolve that Northern peoples were famed for. Now though she looked was anything, but the stoic North lady he had gotten to know over the last few weeks, her fear also betrayed her youth making her look like any other girl or boy for that matter that was wise enough to fear the coming dark of winter. "It's nothing to fret over Arry, we will be all right... and you be with you family soon enough" he said kindly putting one of his strong hands on her shoulder.

Her left hand moved and briefly touched his hand, a crooked smile filled Gendry's face. Her heart beat faster as a warm feeling started to grow with in her, she felt the begging's of a genuine smile start to pull at her mouth, the first one since…. that terrible day. As if conquered by her stay thoughts her smile was cut short as the memory of her father's death pressed into her mind.

XXX

The sun was bright almost blinding. The sky was the bluest she had ever seen, she was so hungry she hadn't eaten a full meal in days maybe closer to a week, resorting to stealing bread and half rotten fruit from merchants that were not paying attention to their wares or the odd rat or pigeon. She clung to the leg of a statue of some long dead hero or king. His name lost and irrelevant, she saw her father, all but dragged by the kings guards, still limping from his fight with king slayer Ser Jaime Lannister and his men weeks before.

So much had happened since then. King Robert Baratheon had been mortally wounded on a hunting trip and died soon after a leaving his 'son' that bastard Joffrey, king of Westeros, gods help the seven kingdoms. Something she didn't know nor care what had gone wrong not long after that. They had captured Sansa killed their reaming house hold guards and imprisoned their father. Her sword instructor and friend Syrio Forel had bought her time to flee to the streets of Kings landing helping her to escape the Queen's grasp with his life.

Now the Queen and her ass kissing toadies lied, they always lied. Joffrey lied about her and friend Mycah attacking him by the river months ago. Sansa lied to protect her precious prince and what did that get her? Nothing except the death her dire wolf, Lady.

Now they were lying again. They said her father was a traitor; he plotted against his old friend Robert Baratheon and planned to take the Iron Throne for himself. Lies all of them lies!

Her father looked so weak, so tired, he had never looked weak before. He shouldn't have looked anything but the strong; he was the lord of Winterfell. His face was fin and bruised; those bastards had beaten and starved him. Not one of them was brave enough to face him in at his best. Now they dragged in around and stood him in front of the crowd like he was some freak in a travelling show, the high lady's and lords including a distort Sansa stood behind him, for once Arya saw that Sansa was using her brain and saw the Queen and Joffrey and the rest of 'them' for what they were, too little too late.

Her father was no freak; nor was he a traitor; he was Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell and warden of the North.

The crowed was screaming for blood and yelled mindless obscenities. "Traitor" the idiots yelled. "Murderer" they screamed "liar, thief, Hoe son" the common folk brayed as they throw stones and rotten fruit at him.

Arya felt hate burn within her. How could these idiots not see the truth! How dare these sheep bray at the wolf! She wanted to kill them all. Man, woman and child. It was the first time she ever felt pure blind hate. Even the anger she felt about the lie's the Queen and Joffrey had told while on the king's road about Mycah, Nymeria and her attacking him was nothing compared to this.

Then her father started to give voice to the Queen's lies. She wouldn't repeat those lies not even in her own memories. He wanted to protect Sansa and her, and the rest of their house.

At the end of her father's 'Confession' Joffrey said the words that would live on in Arya's nightmares. "Ser Ilyn bring, me his head!" Joffrey sneered.

For Arya time seemed to fall away. She jumped from the statue and raced towards her father pushing screaming small folk aside.

Ser Ilyn took her family's sword "Ice" from its massive sheath.

Her hand fumbled for Needle, she had to save him. Time was running out.

Ser Ilyn held Ice high in the air, the sun's light gentling of the massive swords edge.

She had just managed unclasp her own sword Needle and was started to bring it out of its sheath. She would kill them all and take her father and sister back to Winterfell and everything would be all right and they wouldn't have to deal with the wretched liars and schemers of kings landing.

Less than ten matters away from where her father kneeled at the executioners block his face resolved. Sweat and tears poured down her face. She had to save him, she had to, strong hands griped her arm and she was yanked from her path. It was Yoren of the Nights Watch. He was a big man with dark brown hair and dark eyes; he wore a black leather jacket typical of the Night's watch. She faintly remembered him going to see her father some weeks ago "You don't what to see this boy" he told her.

"I'm not a boy" she cried starting to loss her strength, she was just so hungry, so tired. "Let me go I got to save him" she had cried but she knew it was too late but she didn't care. She struggled, she kicked and bite but Yoren's grip did not fail.

Yoren griped her face and made her look him in the eye "Look at me boy it's too late for him" he held her to his chest so that she wouldn't see what came next.

She felt hot tears run her checks as they poured from her eyes and a cold rage built in her heart but she knew at least for now it would do her no good. The screaming of the crowed was like the wailing of a great storm pushing all other noise out of the world. She saw out the corner of her eye, 'ice' fall in a great arc.

Then there was no noise. No pain. No tears. Only hate. She made a promise then that she would keep to the end of her days. She would make them pay.

Joffrey

Cersei Lannister

Ser Ilyn Payne

Meryn Trant 'the man who killed Syrio Forel'

Ser Sandor Clegane, the Hound 'who killed Mycah'

Somehow she would make them pay make them all pay.

XXXX

The memory fell away as Arya felt cold rage build with in her but she pushed it down, savouring it. Gendry must have seen that anger reflected in her eyes and gave her shoulder a sympathy squeeze. She gave him a thankful smile a half smile and took his hand of her shoulder but she knew her smile didn't reach her eyes. Shaken by the moment she scratched the back of her head before a grimace filled her face. Taking her hand away from her head and crossed both her arms over her chest before meeting Gendry gaze. "Well thanks…sorry about kicking you" she muted.

Gendry smiled at her but waved away her clumsy apology. "It an't nothing you'll probably end up kicking me again" he said with amusement filling his voice before scratching the dark hairs growing on his chin. "Mi-lady" he added quietly.

"How many times do I have to tell you?" she spate her words trailing of as she saw his grin widen he was trying to get a rise out of her or make her feel better, the idiot. Her face bunched up in restrained anger and she gave him a mighty push but hitting him was like hitting a stone wall. Gendry started to snicker. "Shut up!" Arya commanded before playful punching his shoulder. Gendry pulled an exaggerated pained expression while he made a show of rubbing his shoulder.

"What you, two going on about this time?" Hot pie asked as he absently, wondered over to them from where he slept hear the fire where some of other men and the older boys had set up to warn off the night's cold. He had light brown hair and watery brown eyes, he was heavy set and short, his dirty well-worn cloths barley contained his girth. Both Arya and Gendry were amazed that despite their small groups lack of prober food that Hot Pie was still as fat as the day they all met. "Can't you see some of us are trying to get some sleep?" he said with a heavy yawn.

"Sorry Hot Pie didn't mean to wake you" Gendry said with a shrug as Arya brushed some of her brown hair out of her face. By now most of the other 'men' where beginning to stir either as a result of his no so quite augment with Arya or because of the sun that was even now rising in the sky.

XXXX

Gendry, Arya and Hot Pie chatted as they slowly walked up and fell in line with the other men and boys taking bowls of soup Yoren was dishing out from a large pot. It was left over's from the night before, kept warm during the night by the fire that he and his fellow night watch men had kept going throughout the night, keeping an eye out for any night time predators or any sign of the gold cloaks that had approached them about a week back on the kings road looking for Gendry of all people. Which was why Yoren had them slogging through these back roads for the last few days, to avoid attention even though he knew it wasn't for his sake. Gendry still wondered what the gold cloaks could possible want with him? No doubt it was the bad luck the Gods had seemed to cruse him with was striking again.

Gendry knew nothing about the games the high lords and ladies played nor why the gold cloaks wanted him, all he knew was if they got him they would also find Arya. That would not end well for the North, though why he cared about the fate of the North was beyond him. Arya was his friend and despite her manners, or lack thereof, Arya didn't deserve to be held ransom by the Lannister's and that idiot boy king. He shook these thoughts from his mind as it came to his turn to take his bowl of soup, then came Hot Pie's turn. When it came to Arya's turn Yoren pulled her a side.

Yoren griped Arya's arm and pulled her away from the line drawing the, attention of those still waiting for their soup. He pulling her to the side of the muddy road where they were out of ear shoot of every one "Gir ..Boy what in seven hells you think yar doing? Getting close to that?" Yoren asked her quietly gesturing with his hand at the Gendry, Hot Pie And Lommy whom had joined them having woken up later than the rest of them.

Arya tried to pull out of his grip but he was to strong, she caught Gendry's eye as he started to walk over to her, worry filling on his handsome face. She dissuaded him with a shake of her head "What does it matter to you who I get close to?" Arya asked with an anger hiss as she wondered what got his underclothes in a note all of a sudden.

"It matters because if they find out, who you are! I can't stop them from yammering to every folk we meet on the road as well as this lot." Yoren told her waving his free hand in a wave indicating the rest of the men and boys that milled around their camp. "Before you know it we got Gold and white cloaks looking for you as well as that boy and next time they'll bring more than two men. Your lord father gods rest him, was a good man and your family have always been good to the watch but they an't worth me or this lot meeting the Stanger before our time!"

She glared at him, what was she supposed to do? Not talk anyone in till they reached Winter fell and she could slip away without anyone noticing? Others take his eyes, she'd go mad before then if that's what he intended "Maybe I should just leave than, if those piss stained gold and white cloaks make you wail like a girl" Arya said returning his hard glare. "Unless you don't want the gold and favour my brother and mother will give you and the rest of the nights watch for getting me safely to Winterfell?"

Yoren gave the girl a hard glare, she currently had her family's spirit in her alright perhaps even more than her late father he had always been a quiet soul or so said his brother who served as one of the watches best rangers had often told him. Life on the road had a way of Harding folk. "Oh nice try Arry you wouldn't last more than a week out there on your own" he said his voice mocking "Just make sure you watch yourself… boy." He left her go. "Oh before I forget take some soup to that scum in the cage." He said loudly so everyone within ear shot would just assume that he was just telling her to do more around the camp.

Arya gave him a cold glace but nodded. Yoren might have been a bit of arse but he was no fool nor was he a coward he was just trying to look out for her in his own way. She went back to the large soup pot. There wasn't much left and what was had gotten cold during her conversation. She took the three of the remaining rough wooden bowls and using the large wooden ladle that had sunk into the brownish mass of soup. She scoped the soup into the bowls. She felt her guts twist in revelation as the smell of the soup hit her nose. It had a thick rancid smell the kind she recalled smelling from the kitchens of kings landing when she had being forced to live on the streets after her father had been betrayed.

XXXX

Having filled the bowls nearly to their brim she walked over to the cage that held three men, two were scum through and through, the kind that if they were to meet with Needle's pointy end, no one would miss them. The third man however the man called Jaqen H'ghar…. He was something else.

She approached the cage pushing down the tiny morsel of fear that tried to worm its way into her heart when dealing with the scum. The two gutter scum had threatened her many times over the last few weeks. Balancing the three bowls in one hand she carefully put her free hand around the hilt of the small knife she kept hidden in her pants, most people in the caravan believed that her only means of defiance was Needle. That was fine with her as the knife wasn't particularly sharp but it would give any would be attacker reason enough for pause.

Luckily for her the two ass ugly gutter scum were still a sleep despite the noise of the camp and the bright morning sun. Jaqen H'ghar however was very much awake, he smiled at her but the smile looked wrong as if it didn't belong on his face. 'He's a strange one' Arya thought as she approached the cage.

He was a slight, tall man with long hair the colour of rust save for a steak of white braking up the paten, he had a handsome if unassuming and oddly generic farcical features. His eyes where pale blue, 'they were kind welcoming eyes' she thought ideally but she saw something within them a strange kind of darkness dwelled there. As if he had long ago had embraced violence but found no joy in it, his stare always made her uncontrollable. It seemed to her that Jaqen also that same effect on all those around him. It was as if most people even those two gutter scum he shared a cage with, only partly acknowledged his presence yet somehow she was all too aware of him. She shook the thought from her mind.

"It seems the man is most fortunate that the boy has not forgotten his friend" Jaqen H'ghar said in his foreign ascent was gentle like silken sheet or honey and but never left a lasting impression.

"So are we friends now are we?" Arya asked quietly so not to wake up Jaqen H'ghar's cage mates.

Jaqen H'ghar raised one thin eye brow "One in the Boy's position could use as many friends as he could get. This land is a dangerous one no?" Jaqen said waving a hand around indicating the camp and the surrounding woods. "It is only a pity that the boy could not help the man out of this cage, the man's company is less than adequate" he said with a subtle edge of annoyance to his silken voice as he looked at the two men he shared a cage with.

Arya glanced at the two other man and nodded in agreement, she couldn't tell which one of them was uglier, one was fat with hair swarming with lice, his face was a mess of blisters and welts that fat fly's buzzed around. The other one was skinny as a rack and had a face that looked like it had been kicked in by a horse and had rotten teeth and even through the cage he smelt like piss. "Maybe a man should have thought of that before doing he ever did that got himself, locked up!" she surged "Then the man would not have ended up stuck in that cage with those two!" she told him mocking tone.

Jaqen's smile broadened but it was the same smile a cat would have before catching a mouse. "The Boy has some wit but he speaks truly enough, the man deserves this cage, at least for the time been." He said then his smile faded into a warm grin "It would seem the many faced god does indeed have a sense of humour" he said quietly his voice almost a whisper

"Many faced god?" Arya asked a frown forming on her face. She had never heard of that god before.

Jaqen looked almost surprised that Arya had managed to over hear him. "It's seems the girl is better at listening than most, that is a rare skill in these times" he said quietly his interest peaked "Tell the man, Girl how she come to here?" Jaqen asked quietly.

Arya's face fell and her heart quickened, how could he have known? It was impossible that he could of paid enough attention to her comings and goings to see though her as easily as Gendry had. Had the story that she and Yoren's that had cooked up as he got her out of kings landing, hiding her among the other boys and men destined for the wall been so see though? That both a black smith apprentice from flea bottom and Jaqen H'ghar, who she had barley talked to over the last three or so weeks, could have discovered her secret, what else did he know? Had he also somehow found out she was a Stark? Her free hand griped Needles handle, if he knew she would have to kill him. Her heart raced in her chest her breath caught in her throat. Beads of sweet started to pore form her face. She would have to do it, she didn't want to but she would have to so he wouldn't expose her.

Fortunately his line of questioning and her doom laden thoughts were cut short when the two gutter scum that shared the cage started to awaken. As they did he gave her a look as if to say her secret was safe with him as his face became once more calm and disinterested.

XXXX

The fat one was the first to wake up "Look-y what we got here, looks like the little shit had bought us some food" the fat one said nudging his friend in the ribs.

"Give it here you little rat" the skinny one commanded in a croaky voice.

Annoyance briefly flowed across Jaqen's face at been interrupted "Now is that's no way to thank this kind boy for bringing us food?" he said his voice a gentle the last breath of a corpse.

The fat man sneered. "What business of it is yours you foreign bastard?"

"Ya don't yar go try and pretend you're any better than us, the way I heard it yar killed a man, some bustard lord or knight wasn't it?" the skinny man asked his fat friend absently, the fat man only surged.

Arya took a step back from the cage "You killed a lord or a Knight who was it and why?" she asked Jaqen.

Jaqen "The man may have the one to give the gift but the name of the one that received the gift was spoken by another and will not be spoken by The man" he said cryptically "The man regrets that the gift was not as elegant as it was meant to be.." Jaqen said trailing off looking completely unperturbed by admitting to murder. The way in which he had admitted to his crime it sounded as if only thing that Jaqen H'ghar was regretful for was that, the kill was not elegant.

Troubled by this revelation Arya wordless opened a part of the cage that had a small tray attached to it, put the bowls on it. Distracted as she was she had no time to yell out or draw Needle or the knife hidden in her pants as skinny man lunged forward griping her arm and pulled her toward the cold metal bars, so fast that her head smacked against cold iron leaving her dazed. The fat man then reached forward and started to take Needle out of its sheath. The fat whispered in her ear "ye should of given us water a few days back when ye had the chance now I'm going to sick…" his voice tailed of as he got a closer look at her chest. "Look-lee here looks like the little gutter boy is really a girl" he said licking his lips. One of his big hands reached forward as if to touch the slight mound in her clothing that was in reality the out like or her right breast.

In a flash of movement Jaqen H'ghar hit the inside of skinny man's arm that was holding Arya close to the cage with enough force to it to send him rolling backward coursing him to bang his own head on the metal bars with a loud twang of metal on bone. Then Jaqen H'ghar wrapped one of his arms around the fat man's neck and produced a small knife from what seemed out of nowhere and pocked into the soft flesh of the fat man's throat. "You will let the girl go and speak of her true gender to no one or the man will skewer you like the pig you are, slowly so the pig feels ever drop of blood that he loses until he is claimed by the black"

The fat man's eyes went wide "Why do you care foreigner this little bitch has done you know favours'!" the fat man choked as he swallowed the knife dew a bead of blood from his neck. Jaqen H'ghar didn't answer he only tightened his hold on the fat man's neck. "…..fine… ye… foreign fucker I let her…him go and I won't tell a soul I swear to the Seven" the fat man choked out and he let her go.

Arya still dazed almost fell on her back but rallied quickly checking herself for any serious damage. Thankfully she was more or less unharmed expect for some scrapes and bruises, even her weapons were let un-touched. Shaking the last of the dizziness she stood up and glared balefully at the two men whom had tryid to defile her however befor she could do anything rash a strong hand found her should, she turned to see that the hand belonged to Yoren, his expression thunderous with an undercurrent of concern. Undoubtedly he had seen or over heard the conformation.

"Are you all right boy?" Yoren asked gently. Arya nodded wordlessly fighting a sudden erg to wrap her arms around him until her nerves pass, be she couldn't not only would it make her look weaker to the lost souls that made up the band of unlikely brothers and the ponding in her head and constriction of her guts were killing her. Yoren turned his gaze toward the men in the cage, his face like stone. "Men of the nights watch or those promised to the watch do not attack their own but you three are not men" He spat his voice like thunder "you are all un-worth of joining the watch..."

Arya realised what was about to happen and she had to stop it, she knew Yoren meant well but he wasn't thinking straight. "Yoren, stop" she said in her best commanding voice dawning his attention back to her "I'm ok" she lied. She wasn't and they both know it on some level both they both needed to save face. "There's no point in punishing them feather...it might bring about more questions than either of us are willing to answer" Arya told him with as much certainty as she could muster, hoping he would see what she was getting at without having to explain the obvious. That while the two, scum in the cage wouldn't be missed but it wasn't as if they had hurt her too badly and taking that into account the others in the band might get to wondering why Yoren was so over protective of her.

"You have a point" Yoren grumbled in agreement "but any brother of the black that lays his hand on another derives some punishment. Those two will be put on half rations for two days, that'll make them think twice about biting the hand that feeds them" He said loud enough for everyone in the caravan to here. Yoren turned his baleful gaze onto Gendry, Hot Pie and Lommy had rushed over to check on their friend, loyalty and concern things he held in high regard. He made a mental note to point them out to the trainers when they got to the wall, they where the kind of men the wall needed more off. "You three take Arry to the steam get him washed up and something to eat" He ordered as he stalked off.

XXX

Arya started quivering as the adrenalin that filled her system flooded out again, leaving her weak at the knees and feeling like her guts were about to fall out of her rear as the realisation of what had nearly happened to her finally sank in. All the while she dry heaved.

Gendry seeing his friend in distress took off his sleeveless jerkin and draped it around Arya's slight form, he briefly considered striping his half sleaved undershirt and leaving his torso bare but thought better of it. He cast the men in the cage a baleful glare and felt his heart tremble with rage, he was not a man that normally allowed anger to take too much hold in his heart but he was sourly temped to smash those men skulls in for what they did to Arya. However Arya was in no state to be left alone so fallowing the task Yoren had set him and his own desire to help which currently outweighed his desire to make those men in the cage into red past. He held her close and carefully gilded her to the tree line at the edge of the road and the small river that had paralleled the muddy path that had travailed these last few days.

"Gendry...I think something is wrong...I'm hurting real bad" Arya stated her words barley a whisper as she hissed in pain and clutched at her groin.

Gendry nodded in understanding "Don't worry well get you to the river, and I'll see what's wrong" he whispered and caught Hot Pie's mystified gaze. He couldn't blame the younger boy's confusion Arya was usually the strongest of their group fierce like a wolf but she had been shaken by those two scum bag's attacks and maybe something worse but he didn't want to think about the possibilities at the moment. "Hot Pie, Lommy go, and see if you can rustle up some food for Arry, and try not to eat it before s...he can!"

For a moment Hot Pie looked offended but realized that Gendry wasn't trying to be hurtful he nodded and wondered back to the camp to look for any spare food that may have survived, the morning meal.

Arya felt like she going to be sick her guts were twisting and she felt pain shoot though her body. "ugg… Gendry it feels like my guts are trying to come out" she hissed as pain lanced tough her. 'What's wrong with me? I've received worse betting's from horses tossing me'. Fear lanced though her as Gendry brought her to a small fast flowing stream. Her eyes absently travelled down to centre of her hips and saw a dark strain forming under the cloth. "No, no, no!" she said her voice full of panic. "It can't be, not now!"

Gendry addition was drawn by her panicked words "What are you talking about?" he asked as he filled a small water pooch with the clear water of the stream and was about to hand her the water, when he saw the dark stain, in the centre of her pants. "God's, be good please don't tell me that's what I think it is?" he more stated then out right asked.

Arya nodded barley hearing his words as the pain seemed to intensify she felt hot and cold spasms run though her. She pulled at the hem of her pants and undergarments and pocked a finger into speeding stain; she pulled out a finger covered in blood. "Oh gods, oh gods oh gods" she exclaimed tears running down her face,

Seeing his worst fears confirmed Gendry's, mouth flapped uselessly for a few moments like a fish that was stolen from the water "fuck...fuck... Fuck the gods..." He stammered "we got to clean you up fast before Hot pie and Lommy come back"

"Don't you think I know that stupid?" Arya hissed as she culched her guts. "I never thought it would hurt this much"

"Oh fuck, don't tell me this is your first?" Gendry inquired the colour draining from his face when she nodded. "But aren't you like five and ten...you said you're a two years younger than me when we first started to talk..." He babbled as his brain felt like it was a wagon wheel spinning in place. As he was uncertain of what he could say to comfort Arya.

"My mother often said that both Sansa and I might be late bloomers...as she and her sisters where when they were our age" Arya explained through gritted teeth. "And apparently my Aunt Lyanna was too"

Before he could respond or even formulate a plan Gendry heard heavy footsteps approach and in a moment of panic he shoved Arya in the stream. It was only a foot or so deep but the water would wash away her blood and make sure who ever approached would not discover the truth about Arya.

She trashed in the water for a moment letting out a stream of curses and swears that would make a dunk sailor blush, he saw Hot Pie and his skinny blonde headed friend Lommy walk through the line of bushes. They were both caring a bowls.

Out the corner of his eye he saw Arya raise from the water her gray eyes full of fury, she looked like a drowned rat, her brown hair was plastered to her face and water trickled down her body. He could see she was seething with rage. "Arry I can explain…"

"You Bull headed arrg!" she yelled as she pounced on Gendry before he could so much as utter a peep, despite the weight and size difference between them. The sheer speed and fury of her attack lent her the strength she needed to knock him to his back side as he had being squatting. She started kicking and punching him with all her might. It was all Gendry could do to try and protect himself from her attack.

Lommy shot a bewildered look at Hot Pie who was snorting like a pig; barely able to keep bowl full of soup he had brought from spilling. "Shouldn't we break them apart or something?" Lommy asked his quite squeaky voice was filled with uncertainty.

Hot Pie shorted "Are you joking? ..." he said laughing even harder as he saw Arry try and punch Gendry in the gut. Gendry now started to fight back but it was obvious that he wasn't putting his heart into it. "Any way, do you what to get in the middle of that?" Hot Pie asked as Gendry managed to flip Arry on 'his' back and the small boy was now trying to kick the teenager's man hood. "And besides they look too busy to eat this, more or me, I mean us!" he laughed and he and Lommy walked back to the camp.

XXXX

Gendry belatedly realize that he and Arya were alone but he couldn't get a word in edge wise as she fought like a rabid animal. While they fought his clothes had become soaked though as they wresting. He finally managed to pin both of Arya's wrists with his left hand while pinning her legs with his own, almost mounting her. She stopped trashing about then and looked up at him, her steel eyes wide and a slight flush filled her pail face. It took him longer than it really should have to realise that his right hand was gently pressing down on her right breast.

His heart beat like a war drum in his chest, blood flushed his face how did he not realize, his right hand was groping her budding right breast. He let go immediately and looked away from her. What in seven hells was he thinking? He got up and sat down on a nearby rotting log looking away into the middle distance as he cursed himself.

Arya let out a series of short quick panting breaths, her blood felt as if it was going boiling in her veins, like she was being cooked from the inside out. Her senses exploded drowning out all offer sensations, lighting fired along her nerves and into ever limb and cell. The pain in and around her women hood seemed to pass for a moment and all due to Gendry's touch. She rose slowly from her prone position pushing the sudden ache for Gendry's touch to the back of her mind while her pail face remained flushed.

She had never felt anything like that before. She was partly furious at herself for the reaction her body had to Gendry's touch but also she found herself longing for it slightly as the pain in her guts and women hood returned making her which as pleasure was replaced with pain and a desire that had being gathering fuel in the very back of her awareness began to smoulder.

Dusting herself off and doing her best to ignore her now damp cloths her eyes fell upon where Gendry sat on a rotting log his face cupped in his hands and looking rather like he was fit for a hangman's noise. She approached him slowly as if he was a wounded animal and put one of her hands on his shoulders when she was sure he wouldn't lash out. He didn't acknowledge her "Gendry?" she asked her voice quite. Again he didn't respond. "Gendry look at me!" she commanded in her most authorize voice. Again he didn't meet her gaze. Fed up she pulled his ear.

"Aww" Gendry shouted, he glared at her as one his hands went the shield his ear from any, feather attention. "What in seven hells is wrong with you?"

"I could ask you the same thing!" Arya asked trying to squeeze water out of her clothing.

Gendry looked thoughtful and a grimace formed on his face "Look Arya I don't we should be friends anymore"

Her face went from pink flush to crimson red in a second, her steel eyes narrowed and filled with anger "WHAT?"

A grimace filled his face at Arya's response. He had always known she was quick to anger and quicker to vent that anger and turn it to action but even so the full force of his young friends fury put him of Balance. "You're a girl Arya…not only that but you're a lady." Gendry told her at length explaining the blinding obvious. However instead of seeing reason or understand what he was getting at he saw her anger building turning her small face turning red as her hands clutched into fists. Un intimidated he pressed on to explain feather "I know you don't like been called that... but it is what you are and if anyone found out what I just did…"

She punched Gendry in the shoulder as hard as she could making, him fall of his rotten log. "Now you listen to me right know Gendry Waters or by all the gods I will kick you so hard in the balls that I won't be the only girl in this caravan any more, you get me?" she asked seeing him swallow and nod she continued. "You didn't do anything wrong and in case you forgot I was the one who attacked you and high born or not you don't let people get away with hurting you." She said taking her foot of his broad chest and offered her hand which he took. He stood up and dusted himself of. "You fight back"

"But I touched you're…" Gendry swallow nervously as he trailed off.

Arya shrugged but looked away to hide the blush filling her pale face. "So what if you did? As long as you don't make a habit of it…" she said trailing staring at the ground at her feet, she couldn't let him know that she liked it…even a little. "So no more silliness?" she asked looking up to stare at him.

Gendry scratched the back of his head as his mouth formed a grin. "Yar sure… I mean if I didn't say agree you probably kill me right?" he asked a chuckle in his voice.

"Let's just say your prospects for survival without agreeing looks grim and besides you're the only one besides Yoren and me in the caravan with half a brain. Who else am I going to talk to?" Arya asked.

"You bring up a good point mi-lady" Gendry said laughing he saw her cute face turned red and he started running back in the detraction of the camp Arya close on his heels, her laughter filling the morning air like music.

Next chapter, On the road to nowhere.

AN: this is the completion of my first re edit for the first chapter of this story. I'm going to be start working on the 2ed chapters re edit soon but I also want to start work on completing my star trek flick soon. So i don't know what I'll finish first.

For those of you new to this story and my fine self, welcome and please review. Those whom have stayed on my crazy train you are all wonderful beyond words.

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