Okay, another season of The 100 came and I had to continue my post-apocalyptic AU – I do advise to check that out first, it's called "Missing Christmas" (it's on my profile). This is not really a "The 100 AU", there's almost nothing – it's mostly just grounder armour and picturing Arya with Octavia's sword.
Also this is a birthday present for the awesome Sandy! I really hope you like this! Happy birthday, dear, I hope you have a fabulous day and that you can celebrate with your family, friends and loved ones :) Really have fun and enjoy yourself! Happy Birthday once again! Enjoy this little present! :)
It was the coldest of the months now and Gendry had been freezing for weeks, but he still held her hand every afternoon in the park. Arya knocked her fingers with his as they waited with their hands opened.
"It's way past midday," she said, "We should go, you're already too cold."
"I'm okay, Arya," he said with a shiver. "We can wait a bit longer."
"Thank you," he said, resting her head against his shoulder, throwing her arms around him, hoping to warm him.
Arya still didn't find this too cold. She was used to the cold and it reminded her of home, which made her miss home so much more. Everyday she just wanted the photos to just work and to see them again.
She counted the clouds as she waited until a figure formed in the distance. She immediately got up with her heart filled with hope, knowing it was probably for nothing, but she had to be up in case the person wanted trouble. It had happened before, nothing too bad – a look at Arya's skill with her knife and Gendry's size put people off, normally.
The person wasn't big, around the same size as Arya, completely bundled up in a parka, as she got closer she sped up, and Arya readied her sword, knowing that her gun was loaded as well and one hand on it. Arya shared a look with Gendry, expecting him to be readying his bat, but instead he dropped it on the floor, the dust raising behind it, leaving dust stains on her legs.
Arya looked up and found that Gendry had run to the girl, hugging the person so strongly that the feet no longer touched the floor. Arya put her weapons back and picked up the bat, before walking closer and the face came into her eye field and it was Willow – she was alive. She was actually alive.
"Arya," Willow whispered as she came closer, "I saw the photos, Arya. I knew it was you and your family – you always talk about them and I vaguely remembered them. But I didn't know the park and I've been going everywhere and just you're here…" she said, letting go of Gendry and hugging Arya. Willow was crying now and Arya realized that she had tears falling as well.
"I'm glad you found us," Arya said as she saw Gendry squeezing Willow's shoulder, with pain on his eyes. Arya could read guilt in his eyes and she took his hand, hoping to let him know that nothing was his fault.
"You okay? Where have you been?" Gendry asked, pulling them to sit down on the closer bench.
"Yeah. I wasn't at work when it happened… I went back and it's all destroyed, Gendry. Everything we built."
"I know," he said, pulling her close to him. The Heddle sisters had dreamed of that small inn all their lives; Gendry had built shelves and counters and installed cable, and had bartendered and stayed up with them when they stressed over everything to do with the inn.
"I went back again and someone had actually stolen the watch – you know the wristwatch, Mom's…"
"I did," he said, pulling his four shirts up. "I thought you were there too and I didn't want anyone else to do it." He took of the watch from his own wrist and put it in hers.
"Thank you," she said, looking down at it, with new tears on her eyes, before standing up and cleaning her face. "But we need to go."
"You're coming with us. We have a secure shelter," Arya said. "We have a system for food. It's not great, but we will work it out for us three."
"Four. Lommy is alive."
"Lommy is okay too?" Gendry asked.
"He was hurt. His leg is really bad. We got help in the beginning – treatment, but now… No follow up – it's not looking good. He can't walk."
"Where are you?"
"His apartment. He had a job interview, I was helping him prepare. He could never dress himself, you know," she said. "None of you could."
"You and Jeyne picked our best clothes," Gendry said.
"Jeyne had a fashion eye to rival Sansa's."
"Sansa… did any of them came?" Willow asked.
"No, not yet. But it worked, you came. You're family too. Now let's go get Lommy."
Gendry was walking faster to finally get to Lommy as he held Willow close. Arya walking ahead, she told him she would make sure the way was safe, but it seemed Willow knew how not to get in trouble and the best way to get to the apartment.
"Arya, next street," Willow called out and Arya threw a thumbs up behind her. "So yeah, it's just been us for four weeks now."
"Her body?" Gendry asked about the old lady that had killed herself last month, the last of Lommy and Willow's companion.
"I pulled her out, some people helped me bury her outside. There were already other people from when we were more."
"Willow… you shouldn't have had to…"
"Lommy lives on a building of old people or kids like us just trying to make by. The kids took off and not all families came for their parents and grandparents. It's the reality of things, Gendry, you know it as well as I do."
It was one of the sons of a neighbour, the old lady that told everyone her son was a daughter, that came and first looked at Lommy's leg, but the leg had gotten worse the last weeks – the weather had made it harder for him to move his leg, the pain was constant and it did not look good.
"We're close," Gendry said.
"The yellow building," Arya said, "I remember."
Willow pushed forward taking a key out of her pocket. The window was broken, there was no sense or need for the key, but she opened the door like there was nothing wrong. While the building still looked mostly intact from the outside, inside the top had mostly collapsed – it would be impossible to now get into Lommy's third floor apartment.
"Come on, we're down here." Willow went ahead and Arya grabbed Gendry's hand as they followed down a single flight of stairs to what must have been a laundry room, before people started having a laundry machine at home and the need for that room became a thing of the past.
"I told you it was a waste of time," they heard Lommy's voice, "You keep hoping for something that won't happen. It's probably not even Arya." Arya took off at that, going into the room.
"How I've always loved to prove you wrong?!" he heard Arya say with a laugh and getting no response from Lommy. When Gendry finally came into the room, Arya had her arms around Lommy, their faces plunged on each other's shoulders.
"It's not as bad as it looks," Willow whispered coming closer. Gendry hadn't realized how he had stopped in his tracks, looking at the Lommy's pantless leg – Arya's movements had pulled the blanket down. His leg was black and yellowish around the cut, badly healed; Lommy was even paler than he normally was.
"Right," he said, stepping forward and kneeling down next to him. One hand on Arya's back and the other on Lommy's long wavy hair, making them both look up.
"Hey, kid," Gendry whispered. "I'm glad you're alive."
"As much as I can be with a lame leg."
"The girls look after us, don't they?"
"Yeah. Thanks, Willow."
"Gendry is here for less than a minute and you've thanked me for the first time."
"Not the first," he argued.
"Close to that."
"He's impossible to take care of," Willow said as she came closer and rested next to Arya, with her head on her chest, getting a pack of cards. Gendry sat straighter, next to Lommy, and the girls laid partly on top of each other and they got through a few games.
A few moments it was like everything was normal. Don't look down and you don't see the leg. How often had Hot Pie and Jeyne been cooking while they played cards or watched TV? Gunshots had never been impossible in Flea's Bottom. But then they never came. And his eyes would drift down. Or Arya's machete would catch his eye. Or the police sirens didn't come five minutes after the gunshots. Soon everything was obviously wrong.
Everything was wrong.
His family was hurt and he hadn't been there. Lommy could lose his leg and he hadn't been there.
"I need to… I need…" he said getting up too quickly, startling them and setting off Lommy's position. He wanted to go outside, but he didn't open the door, sitting down on the stair steps, laying his head on his hands.
"Hey…" he heard a voice some time after and the familiar hand on his back and a kiss on his shoulder.
"They're alive, Arya, and I didn't find them. Lommy is in pain. I should have come here – it's an obvious place to look."
"It's my fault. I'm their brother – I held them together. Jeyne and I… We pulled them out of everything. And I couldn't do it now."
"Gendry, it's not your fault," she said, taking his hand. "The fire fell and it's nobody fault. And we're here now and we're going to help them now."
"I should have been here before." Arya pulled Gendry into her arms, trying to soak his tears on her shirt.
"You're here now," she whispered, tracing her hands through the mess his hair was now – longer than it had ever been before. Arya didn't know what else to say, so she held him for as long as he needed. Gendry had been the one to often hold her as she missed her family and had nightmares about them, but she could do this for him too.
No one came to look for them and later on he finally raised his face from her knees. Eyes blood shot, but a thank you on his lips, before pulling her in for a kiss – need, desire and fear all thrown behind it. Arya responded in equal measure, this time herself climbing to his lap, each holding another – Gendry with a hand deep on her hair and another on his hip as she held his hair.
The need for air made them pull back, they rested their foreheads together, and then he laughed.
"Probably shouldn't have done that here."
"Probably not. But I don't really complain about your kisses."
"Me neither. Thank you, Arya, I shouldn't have-"
"We're in this together, Gendry. You rely in me, okay?"
"Okay," he said kissing the top of her head.
"Really, okay, Gen. You and me together. We will keep each other safe and we will keep them safe.
"He will be okay. You always said no to meds but we will do a run to the hospital and clinics this week, hopefully there will still be something."
"Right," he agreed. "We should get up."
"Yeah," Arya climbed out of his lap as she said it and then extended her hand to help him up.
"You're going to wear those words out," she whispered, before they went back into the room.
Lommy was asleep, his little snores could be heard; Willow was in bed too, three spaces between her and Lommy, with a blanket pulled over her and with a pillow.
"There's food if you want," she said, pointing to the shelves, "and blankets and pillows around the room. And please lock the door," she said, throwing them a key. "I was just waiting for you."
"Sorry," he said, locking the door.
"You needed time," she said. "But goodnight to both of you. And I'm really glad I found you today."
"Us too," Arya said.
Arya took off her armour then. It was the first time she took it out anywhere but their cave. She laid out the football shoulder pads and the leather corset and jacket she wore, leaving her only in grey cotton sweater; and then took the metal pads from her pants. Gendry only took out his shoes and got himself ready to bed.
They decided not to eat anything, it wasn't their day to eat, and got their bed close to Lommy and Willow too, they would be able to hear their breathing as they slept, which relaxed them, knowing they were okay. Turning off the lanterns and candles, they got under the blanket together, Gendry threw his arms over her waist and pulled her close, and they both laid their head on a pillow. He kissed her shoulder and she held his hand before dropping into a deep slumber.
Gendry was carrying Lommy on his arms as they walked to Arya and Gendry's "home". Willow and Arya carried most of Lommy and Willow's belongings and some things that didn't belong to them, but would be good to take.
"Arya," Gendry whispered and she turned to him, and he knocked his head to the group of people ahead. "I've seen them creating trouble around."
"I'll go ahead."
"You shouldn't go alone."
"I can take them, Gendry. Three guys, drunk, no armour – one bat, but I don't see anything else."
"They could have guns."
"That's why I use armour and I have a gun too."
"You're going to use the blade."
"Sure, I am. Stay," she said. "Willow would you be able to run if I give you the bag."
"I take it, Arya," Gendry said.
"Gendry…" she warned him.
"I will help him, Arya," Willow told her.
So Arya dropped her bag and checked on the gun on her back. She took a last look at them and walked forward, hoping for the men to ignore her, but ready if they didn't.
"Ohh… I thought you weren't coming in, babe. Were you appreciating our good looks?"
"We need to pass and we don't want any problems," she answered.
"Give us a kiss and you can go through."
"More than a kiss," another yelled. "And ask your other friend to come."
"The boy too. Not the hurt one, there's no need for people like him now. Only strong ones."
That was enough for Arya. She pulled her blade and cut the legs from under the guy closer to her, a small blade thrown to the hand that was reaching for the bat, and then her gun out of her hip and pointing to the third guy.
"Anyone makes a move, I shoot him. Head or chest, you choose. If you move," she said pointing to the guy with a blade stuck on his hand, "head. You move," she said looking down, "chest."
The men stayed in silent, trading looks, but then of course none of them took her serious and they moved, all of them. She shot the one on the other side of the barrel on the head first, and then she looked at the other two.
"You can let me and my friends pass or I can shoot you." This time they took it serious and made no sign to move, so Arya took the sword out of guy's leg and then moved to take the blade from the other's hand – they could bleed out for all she cared.
Arya gave them one last look as they tried to move to now help their dead friend, and walked back to her group. Neither Willow nor Lommy said a word, and Gendry only spoke with his eyes, giving her shoulder a squeeze; Arya couldn't deal with this now, so she got the bag back and they moved through the men now as they looked distraught over what had happened. They didn't run into anyone else of importance before they were at the old metro station, ready to go home.
"We're here," Gendry said, he put Lommy down, putting his arms around the girls; as he opened the door to their home. "How should you go down?" he asked Lommy, "Maybe if you hold on to my neck."
"Willow and I will go down first if something goes wrong."
They followed the plan and then all got down with their things, without anything going wrong. Gendry showed them around and then Arya pulled back, ready to go outside.
"I need to go out. It's midday and I need to get to the park."
"Make yourselves at home," Gendry told his family before he followed her out, and fell in place with her, as she took his hand. "You okay?"
"Yeah… just need space to think and breathe. I don't like doing it. And with Lommy and Willow… what will they think of me?"
"That you saved their lives, Arya. Nobody is holding it against you. It was us and them. And you were your strong self who I love with everything in my heart," he whispered, more words that he would normally say, but enough to put her at rest. They walked together to the park and this time, she sat near the lake, cleaning her sword, knowing she had done what was needed.
Arya and Gendry had left Willow home with Lommy, even after she pleaded to go with them; they finally convinced her to stay, when she put on her the job to go search for food. Gendry hadn't wanted her to go, scared that she could get hurt alone, even if she mentioned how many times she had done it before.
They were now covering a health clinic on the edge of the city. They had already checked the hospital and the Planned Parenthood clinic in Flea Bottom, but there was nothing in those two places anymore.
Five steps was the biggest space they left between each other as they searched the basement for something to help (that they still weren't sure what that could be), but they had been more lucky here, some painkillers and ointments had been found and those could always help.
And then the luck ended.
A sound was heard through the entire room, to be overpowered by their hearts beating louder. Gendry's long legs covered the three steps to Arya in record time, standing behind her and reaching for the gun on her waistline, stuck on her jeans, and readying it for a fight.
"Behind me," he suggested.
"You stay there," she said, with her blades ready – both the sword and the throwing blades.
Ready to move quickly like she always did. She was always the faster and she would throw the knives, before he could shoot his gun, and then she would be there with her sword.
A guy appeared across the corner, he had blond hair with fading traces of blue, probably from before the end. Gendry was waiting for Arya to lead, she normally spoke first, a warning to the man, to know if they needed to fight, but instead she lowered her weapons immediately and then laid her arm on Gendry.
"I know him," she whispered, just loud enough to startle the man who still had his back to them, he only turned then, with his hands up ready to punch someone – stupid, Arya thought, that wouldn't do anything against a bullet or a blade, so she told him.
"That wouldn't do any good against us. Pretty much useless."
"Arya?! Arya," he asked, looking at her like he had seen a ghost. And then he turned his back to them and went around the corner again.
"Aegon, where are you going?" she asked, ready to follow him, but Gendry held on her arm. Arya could know him, but that was before, people changed and that was enough suspicious behaviour for Gendry not to trust him.
"Stay there. Don't move," he said from wherever he had run to.
Arya traded a look with Gendry, who shared his worries with her,
"Arya, I don't like this… This could be a trap… Who's he?"
"Family friend," she answered, "Actually more than that, I suppose. Jon's brother."
"His dad's family?"
"They don't look anything alike," Gendry commented with his usual face full of mistrust.
"Neither do Sansa and I and we're still sisters." He couldn't argue with that, so he answered with a nod, but obviously not fully convinced. Arya was getting ready to respond when she heard a gasp behind her and turned around. Then she went flying across the room.
Gendry recognized the woman as well and walked after Arya, picking up everything she had left behind on her hurry to get to the woman's arms. Arya had her arms thrown around her waist, having a head buried on her shoulder.
No words were spoken for a long time. They just stayed there and then someone else appeared – another familiar place. He noticed Gendry first and quickly realized the situation, pulling his daughter and wife together into his arms.
"You must be her boyfriend. I think it was Gen, something, or is that another boyfriend."
"Gendry," he answered. "Arya said Aegon."
"Aegon," he agreed, putting his hand forward, "and Rhaenys, my sister," and then pointed to the girl crossing the corner.
"Hi," she greeted with a small wave, "Is it really Arya?"
"And you are?"
"Gendry – her boyfriend. Your brother said Rhaenys…"
"What are you doing here?" Gendry asked.
"Our mom is almost out of meds – asthma, some allergies," Rhaenys answered and then asked him the same question.
"We're trying to look for something that can help with a really bad leg. A friend got hit in the fires-"
"Fires?!" Aegon asked.
"Yes, what do you call this… to what happened?"
"The end – I think," Aegon told him, sharing a look with his sister.
"Gendry," Arya called back from where she still stood with her parents. Her dad still had his arm around her and her mom was holding her hand tightly.
"You remember Gendry," she said, turning to her parents, "I've been with him, since it happened – we went home but there was nothing…" she whispered.
"We went there too… Destroyed," Ned agreed.
"We've been staying with Elia," Catelyn added. Catelyn worked with Elia at the school, Jon probably even saw her more often than he saw his own father.
"Rickon is okay, Gen. He's okay," Arya whispered with tears with her eyes, but happiness and relief in her voice. Gendry wanted to pull her into her arms, but her father did it first. And then Arya's mother hugged him and thanked him for taking care of her daughter.
"Arya can take care of herself. We helped each other always."
"Still deserves a thank you, boy," Ned said, shaking his hand, "Being alone sometimes is the hardest. Having someone reminds of who you are."
Arya came close to him at those words of her father and Gendry pulled her for a hug.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Yeah, more than okay," she said, caressing his cheek. "I want to go with them, Gendry. Rickon is in there and I can't not see him."
"Okay, you go with them, Arya," Gendry answered, "I… I can't, Arya. I need to go home. I can't not come back after everything – they would be scared if we do not show up." They knew that was the truth and the reality of what they had to do, but they both dreaded the idea of going their separate ways and spending a night apart.
"And Lommy, I need to get there, hopefully some of these things will help with his leg."
"I know…" she repeated, resting her hand on his arm.
"What's wrong with his leg?" Rhaenys asked, coming closer, breaking their small bubble.
"Infection," Arya said. "It was cut and broken when the fires fell. Some doctor set it back together then. But there was no follow up, and I think it didn't heal properly, and there's clearly an infection."
"I'll go with you," Rhaenys spoke, looking at Gendry, "I was almost finished with my internship when this – whatever this is – happened."
"Rhaenys…" Aegon warned.
"Their friend needs my help and you need to get to Mom."
"Gendry will protect her," Arya said, "Take the gun," she told him, as she finally took the blades that he was still holding.
"Arya!" Catelyn exclaimed, seeing what was happening in front of her.
"Mom, Dad has a shot gun on his back. Are you really questioning this? I can handle a handgun – I rarely use it. I favour blades."
"Mom, it kept us safe. I'm okay."
"Were you attacked?"
"Sometimes, but we're okay. I guess Dad has a gun, because…"
"We don't leave often," Dad said, holding his wife.
"Our father had a well stocked pantry. You know how he was with conspiracy theories – it helped this time."
"Jon?" she asked, looking between her parents and Jon's siblings.
"Robb? Sansa? Bran?"
"Bran was with the Reeds," Mom said, with a sad look, "Your father believes he's safe with them."
"They have better survival skills than anyone else I know. They could protect him."
"Sansa and Robb?"
"No news. We don't know where Robb was and Sansa was at college. There's nothing coming from the Eyrie."
"Can I take Gendry to go and search for something for your friend?" Rhaenys asked, interrupting their conversation, "And Aegon, I still need something else for Mom. Arya stay with your parents."
Arya accepted the suggesting, with a squeeze of Gendry's hand, and then sat on the floor with her parents
"What happened when… you know?
"I was still at work and we all got under our table. My class was already in the mess hall. We stayed there for a long time," Catelyn said, "I was praying that the school would hold on."
"It didn't, I saw it," Arya whispered, "We looked there."
"And never have I been gladder that your brother broke the rules. Most of his class went down, but he had run off to come and find me."
"Your students were okay?"
"Yes, thankfully. I stayed there until all the parents came."
"Which means that when I finally got to the school, your mother was still there."
"Did every parent come?"
"My class, yes. Not parents always, but family or friends came."
"Were kids that didn't find anyone?"
Catelyn nodded at that, before continuing, "Police and child services intervened. They're okay."
"We went home after that," Ned said, "Everything was destroyed – some things had already been taken."
"Gendry and I went there immediately, we waited for awhile. And then took a few essentials and took off."
"Where did you go?"
"First to check on Jeyne's Inn," she said and her voice told her parents what had happened, before she said he words, "It had all burned down and it was lunch time so…"
"Heartbroken, but trying to be strong for me," Arya answered. "We found Willow and Lommy last week."
"Lommy is the one hurt…" Ned asked and she nodded, "He's the skinny guy with long hair, right…"
"By his shoulders, yeah," she confirmed.
"And Willow is okay?" Mom asked and then murmured, "Poor girl, loosing her sister…"
"Physically, she's okay," Arya answered. "You think Sansa is okay, right?" Catelyn pulled Arya closer at that, but truly didn't give her a clear response.
"Sansa is strong," Dad said, setting a comforting hand on his wife and daughter's backs.
Arya was still scared for Sansa. Her sister was strong but not the same way than Arya, what if she was left in the streets – she had never wanted to know how to fight, and now there were things she couldn't get out off with talking.
"We have everything," Rhaenys said as they came back.
They got up together and walked outside. Arya was not ready to leave Gendry and let him go on alone, but she needed to go with her parents. But before that, Arya took Gendry's hand and stepped away with him, holding his hand together and tightly, and looking up, she asked,
"You have the gun, right?"
"Yes. And you should take it," he tried one more time.
"Not again, Gen. I have the blades and Dad has the shotgun. You take the gun and the bat. You need to look after Rhaenys – she's awesome. Try to talk. She's shy and she won't trust you if you're your moody self."
"You trusted me."
"I pushed you to talk from the time I met you and you opened up. She won't push you, she will be nervous being only with strangers."
"How well do you know her?"
"Not that well, only that she's smart and can be pretty cool. She came to Jon's parties and that's about it. And I know she's shy."
"I'll try my best and then I will introduce her to Willow."
"Willow will like her," Arya said. "Keep her and yourself safe. Okay?"
"Okay. You too?"
"Yes," she said pulling him for a kiss, ignoring that her parents were mere steps away.
"Tomorrow," he promised, resting his head against the top of hers.
"The Park at midday," she whispered, "Promise?"
"Promise," she said as he last kissed the top of her head and then they entwined their little fingers. And then Gendry turned his back too her and walked home with Rhaenys.
"He's gonna keep her safe, isn't he?" Aegon asked.
"Better than you, I'm sure," she said with a smile. "But really, he won't let anything happen to her."
"Are you really okay, Arya?" Catelyn asked, resting a hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah, it's just hard to be without him."
"You would have called that nauseating," Dad commented, with a smile forming on his face as well – Arya had uttered those words enough times, to her parents or to Sansa and her idiotic boyfriends.
"Your dad means that it's good to see that you had someone to get through this."
"We should go," Arya said as Gendry finally disappeared.
Dad took the lead and Aegon closed the group, it seemed to Arya that this was how they normally organized themselves. And then Arya fell in place with her mother.
"Are you armed, Mom?"
"A knife," she said, pulling it from her belt. The knife was familiar and her mom read that thought on Arya's face, because she gave her an answer. "Dad's hunting knife – not that he ever hunted. It belonged to the Stark family, for generations. We got it from the house. He thought I should keep it," she said. "And I've actually been hunting unlike your father."
"Have you heard anything from Uncle Brynden or Edmure? Grandpa Hoster or Aunt Lysa?"
"No. I'm sure Uncle Brynden is okay, hopefully he got Daddy if not..."
"Mom, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked," she apologized as tears build on her mother's eyes.
"There's nothing wrong in asking, dear. And the truth is that a Home is probably not a priority. Brynden would have to have gotten him."
"I'm sure he did," Arya said and she hoped he had, as she thought of the old people in Lommy's building. Mom only nodded and then continued,
"I saw your Aunt Lysa. She said Petyr had figured something out and had a safe place, somewhere north of here."
"She didn't want you to go with her."
"Yes, but they wanted me to leave your father behind. Ned actually wanted me to go, like I could ever do that."
"I bet it was creepy Petyr who said that." Catelyn laughed at that and then murmured,
"Too much like your father you are."
"See what I mean," Mom told her, laughing again, this time really hard.
"You okay?" Dad asked, looking over his shoulder.
"Yeah. Good, very good," Mom said, pulling her daughter closer.
They continued talking, Mom had a lot of questions about Gendry and their life together – she seemed to be asking everything but if they had had sex.
"Be quiet now," Aegon warned.
"We're near the house," Catelyn said, "Sometimes there are uninvited guests at the door." So they walked around the house, prepared to enter from the back of the building. But from their position, Arya was still able to see at least ten people knocking on the front entrance.
"Is it always like that?"
"Sometimes more, sometimes less. Since the beginning – this is a big house. While in part destroyed, it's only in part."
"Every so often they turn violent."
"More often now," Aegon said, and they made their entrance through the bushes in the back of the house. Aegon did some special knock and the door was opened and Arya immediately run ahead – noticing her little brother, who was now quite a few centimetres taller than before.
"Arya!" he exclaimed, running to her arms. "Arya, you brought Arya home," he told their parents with a smile as he pulled himself from her for a few seconds, and looking up at her, "It sucks being an only child."
"I'm happy to be back," she whispered, kissing his head.
"Where's Rhaenys?" Elia asked, coming to the door.
"She's okay, Mom. She went with Arya's boyfriend to help with something."
"We have a friend in bad shape – his leg looks really bad – she offered to help," Arya answered, still holding Rickon close, "Gendry will keep her safe, I promise."
"She would want to help. I hope she can," Elia said, before inviting Arya in.
Rickon took Arya's hand and took her to what he had named his room, it was a small part of the basement – right in the corner with multiple bean bags. Arya sat down on the green one and pulled Rickon to her arms.
"Where were you?"
"Remember Gendry?" she asked.
"Your boyfriend. He's cool, he taught me how to pass level 5 on that game you gave me when I turned 8."
"Yeah, that Gendry."
"I stayed with him, we hid under the floor. We fought for our lives and for food."
"You were out there?" She nodded. "I haven't left since we got here. I can't even go to the gardens when there are people out there."
"Are the people dangerous?"
"There were there a lot in the beginning and then they disappeared mostly. Some would appear occasionally. And now they have come to stay, with guns. I have heard Mom and Dad say that they should be breaking in soon."
"I need to see Mom," Arya said, leaving Rickon with a kiss, but the kid got up and immediately followed her. "Mom, Rickon said people are about to get in."
"We've been trying to figure it out."
"You need to come with me," Arya said, "stay with me and Gendry. I'll take Rickon with me to see the place and to make arrangements."
"Arya, it's not safe for your brother."
"Mom, you can't keep him forever. I can take care of him. You can come with me too. I just have to be at the park at midday."
"What's at the park at midday?" Ned asked.
"You," she answered, "I had been looking for you. I put a photo of us around the city, telling you to meet us at the part we went on Christmas."
"We never saw it."
"I know. Willow did, that's how she found us – she visited every park," Arya answered. "I need to go. Sansa, or Bran, or Robb could come. I need to wait."
"Everyday, since Christmas. We copied the photo then," she said, taking it from its safe place.
"Ohhh… Arya," Catelyn said pulling her for a hug. "I'll go with you tomorrow. Ned, you should stay."
"I can protect them both, Dad. And then we'll meet Gendry."
"Yes. Mom will help to see what you will need to bring with you home."
"Okay, but can we think about this tomorrow," Ned said, "I just got you back."
"I know, Dad," she said, "Will you sit with me?" she asked as they went to Rickon's corner as well. The four of them sat there, and Rickon spoke for as long as he could until he got too tired and fell asleep between Arya and Catelyn, and then Arya knew that while this was good – they had things to handle and for that she couldn't only be their child.
It was hard leaving the house she had lived most her adult life, where she had raised her two children. But everyone else agreed that it was probably safer to leave this house, new attackers were coming to the house every more often and for the last two days they had brought bombs and explosives – they were getting to the entrance.
"Elia, are you okay?" Catelyn asked, resting a hand on her shoulder.
"I will miss this home – I raised my kids here. Their heights marked on the walls, and the finger painting that wouldn't come off no matter how much I scrubbed."
"I know, Els. But those memories will always be here," she pointed to her heart. "The house is not everything – you have Aegon and Rhaenys."
"I know, Cat."
"We'll be safe in Arya's place until we'll find another. It will be small, but safe."
"I know." Elia took Catelyn's arm and walked outside, to the backyard. Everyone was already ready, holding multiple bags, and Catelyn and Elia went for the others. Ignoring the pounding coming from their front door – things were definitely getting worse – and then they heard a shot, into the air.
Elia trembled at that and Aegon took her hand, as Arya's boyfriend took the lead.
"We need to move now. That's probably a warning shot."
"I'm gonna see," Arya said.
"Arya, let's just go."
"They could be creating a distraction for something. Since it seems they're pretty close to breaking in."
"Arya…" her boyfriend warned, at the same time Catelyn argued for her not to go either.
"Rhaenys, take Mom. Gendry, take them. I'll follow Arya."
"I'm just going to look. I don't need a babysitter."
"It's not a babysitter. But four eyes are better than two."
Aegon moved away with Arya just in front him. It was obvious Gendry wanted to wait for her but they pushed forward, leaving her house in complete silent.
They got out of the house and they were on their way, when they heard Arya and Aegon yelling for them to stop. They turned to see a smile larger than life on Arya's face.
"Jon! Jon is here," she yelled.
"Aegon?" Elia asked, looking at her son.
"He shot the gun, Mom. Jon is here!"
"I need to go get him," Ned said, immediately going back.
"Ned," Catelyn whispered, holding his arm.
"Dad, I will go get him, no problem. I just wanted to let you know that I'll meet you back in the house," she said. "I'm okay, Gendry. Just get them home safe."
Nobody else was able to utter another word as she pulled Aegon back, this time directly into the middle of crowd, her eyes searching every person, for a man with hair as dark as hers and a voice as familiar as her mother's.
"Jon," she whispered, when she only wanted to yell, but she had finally frozen, so close to touch him, that she was afraid it wasn't real. She had been alone with Gendry for so long and now in just a couple of weeks, she had found Willow and Lommy, and then her parents and Rickon, and now Jon was so close – the Gods weren't this sweet and fair.
"Jon!" Aegon yelled, noticing Arya's state, and taking over. And then Jon turned and froze as well, until a blond girl with her hair pulled on a ponytail pushed him forward. And then Arya started to run, but the weight of the bag held her down, until Jon had his arms around her.
"Arya," he whispered to her head, "Arya…" She cried to his chest at his words and squeezed his back, not letting go. People had stopped to look at them as well, reunions were rare but appreciated.
"You're okay," he whispered. "You're here…"
"Breathing and alive," she whispered too, "And so are you."
"I am." They finally pulled back, but Jon still kept an arm around her.
"I've found my mom and dad and Rickon is okay too. I've been with Gendry."
"Good, very good. I came with news from Sansa."
"Your sister is okay – she's safe. I found her and then I came to look for you, guys."
"Your sister is okay too, Jon," Aegon said, speaking from the sidelines.
"Brother," Jon said, not wanting to let go of Arya, but wanting to hug his brother. Aegon reading that, came to him and hugged him.
"I'm glad you're alive, brother," he whispered.
"Me too," he said, finally taking his hands from Arya, to fully hug him back. "Your mother?"
"Mom is okay. Your aunt and uncle stayed with us."
"I'm glad, Aegon," he said, pulling back.
"We need to go, Jon," Arya said, "They are waiting for us."
"Joy," he called back and a blond woman came closer. "This is Joy Hill, she was one of your sister's ladies."
"My sister's?!" Arya asked.
"She's a great leader." Arya looked confused at this, but they had to continue moving so Jon whispering that they would talk later appeased her worries.
"Come on," Aegon said. Arya moved away from Jon and took the leader position – she was the one who knew the way there.
Jon looked from behind at her cousin taking charge, and worried about everything around her. She even had a blade in hand. Aegon was behind Jon, keeping them safe there. And Joy fell in place with them.
"We accomplished the mission," Joy whispered, "We need to take them home."
"I know. I'll tell them tonight."
"When we're back…" Joy started.
"I'll have to leave again – Bran and Robb are still out there."
"I will go with you then," she said, taking his hand.
"They will let him in, Jon."
"You know the rules, Joy. Sansa vouched for me, so did Mya and Jeyne, and I stayed. Only Sansa and Jeyne vouched for Theon and he stayed out."
"They could vouch for Aegon," she suggested.
"They won't. Sansa will for me. Neither Jeyne nor Mya will vouch for him. Margaery would have to be in a forgiving move. And Obara hasn't vouched for any man."
"He comes with us, then, and maybe he will earn a sit on the bunker," she said trying to comfort him. The bunker lived by hard rules, all women and children were allowed in, no questions; men were at the start, until attacks started happening and women didn't feel safe anymore, and now the Five chose the fate of any man who wanted in.
"I won't tell him now. When we're closer. His mother and sister won't come if she knows and she should be safe."
"Okay, I'll stand by whatever you choose," she said, squeezing his hand.
"Halt," Arya told turning her head to them. And then she moved forward with her blade fully ready, "Who's out there?"
Someone came out with their hands up, a kid, probably twelve or thirteen, speaking easily to Arya.
"It's just me. Looking for food."
"Sorry. I didn't mean to scary you," Arya answered, lowering her blade and ruffling the boy's hair, "No problems, right?"
"No, not since you handled it."
"Okay. Go on. Anything, come to me or Gendry."
"See you later." The boy disappeared after that, into another row of broken buildings.
"Who's he?" Jon asked.
"A boy, he lives around here. He had some trouble with some guys that wanted to take over the place, I handled it."
"Arya, how?!" he asked.
"How I needed to, Jon," she said, "Now let's move. I don't want Gendry to worry."
They didn't walk for much longer and soon they had stopped in what seemed to be a dump, with Gendry waiting near a bunch of cars.
"Arya!" he exclaimed as she ran to him.
"You got them home safe?"
"Yes. They are down there, making a home for them," he answered, getting up, "Jon, it's so good to see you," Gendry said, pulling him for a hug.
"Good to see you too," Jon said, pulling back. "We should go down."
Gendry pulled the door opened and they let Jon go down first, knowing that he couldn't wait any more. And this time he wasn't frozen as he hugged his Uncle close with tears in his eyes again.
"Kid, I'm okay," Ned said, "I'm so relieved you're good, Jon." Looking into his nephews eyes, exactly like his sister's, who had been long gone.
"Rickon," he whispered as his littlest cousin squeezed his legs and Jon ruffled his hair.
Rhaenys was next with another hug – it was clear how his cousins were more his siblings than his actual ones. Aunt Cat was next and he was surprised to notice how much like her Sansa was looking – he had still not said anything else about her.
And then finally Elia, his stepmother hugged him tightly and then took his face on her hands and apologized. Jon knew what it meant in that moment. He knew, and the looks from his siblings confirmed it.
He shook his head to focus on something else and then he noticed the other people in the room, one of them a boy – Lommy, he had met him before, he looked around to see if Hot Pie was here too, but nothing – and he didn't know how he would fare with the Five.
"You should sit down," he said, taking a seat with Joy next to him, "I came here for a reason. I was sent here by someone," he started, waiting for everyone to sit down as well.
"Sansa sent us," Joy added, "You are to take you home."
"Where's that?" Gendry asked.
"Sansa?! She's okay?! Where's is she?" Catelyn asked at the same time.
"She's fine. She's in the Eyrie," Joy said.
"She's safe," Jon said, "I promise."
"Tell me about her," Catelyn pleaded.
"I will," Jon promised. "But first we need to come up with a plan. I promised Sansa I would get you to her."
Full disclosure, from that first story I knew Sansa was in a bunker safe with Mya in the Eyrie. But now how it's run was probably influenced by this season of The 100 – I think before I was picturing it as the SHIELD control center in Avengers
But I hope you enjoyed it!