The last day of this AMAZING Gendrya week, and for today, the prompt is "That's Not What I Meant", I really hope you enjoy this one too :) And thank you all for reading this and thank you so much for organizing this spectacular week every year :D
After six years underground, something like this had been hard to imagine. The green and the sky, so blue, were beautiful – Arya still didn't understand how this place survived the end of the world, twice. Then there were the laughs – people were laughing… she had missed that sound, people being so carefree and light.
"Hey," Gendry greeted her, dropping next to her, as they looked towards the path in front of them.
"I didn't think this could be real," she whispered, tears threatening to fall – how long as it been since she dared to cry.
"We're okay…" he said, pulling her close to him. "We're alive, we're in the valley. We stopped the war."
"Ashara and Rhaenys stopped the war," Arya hadn't been able to do anything. She had tried to negotiate with the blond and purpled eyed man, who led Eligius, but Arthur hadn't wanted to talk with her. Now there he was on the ground walking around with Ashara planning the future.
"You wanted peace, Arya. You were preparing us for war if it was needed, and you agreed to the compromise when the time came."
"Was the compromise enough? After everything we had to do to survive, is it acceptable to not expect everything to be ours?"
"Those people fought too, Arya. They came down to everything they knew destroyed." There were completely broken looks in some of their faces, Arya's eyes focused on Lysa – she had tried to stop the surrender and the merger between Arya's people and Arthur's crew – and now she stood, still in chains, talking with Brynden (nobody knew what they would do with her after her and Arthur's baby was born). But Arya couldn't look away, something about that woman reminded her of her mother – something she couldn't place.
"I never want to lead again," she admitted, "Leave that for Elia, Ashara, Brynden, even Arthur – he's taking the position. Let Rhaenys and Robb be leaders again, even Asha if she wants – call her Queen Asha, I don't care anymore."
"You don't need to rule anymore, Arya. If you don't want to, you don't need to." Gendry would make sure of that, he would help her carry the weight – it wasn't hers alone. The bunker was over… Arya wanted to be Arya. She didn't want to be anyone's commander.
"I want to get to know my siblings again," she pleaded. Her siblings and Jon had been in the sky for too long, and when they came Arya still pulled away – she still needed to be here to lead wonkru, not to be a Stark; and there was Rickon, they had wanted to see their baby brother, who Arya had raised to a teenager, more than being with her.
"You will, Arya."
"I don't know how. I don't know how to be around people that aren't you," she whispered.
"You will learn, Arya… We will make it through," he said. "Your siblings changed too." Gendry whispered of things Arya still couldn't notice… she could only see how Robb and Rhaenys had become the leading pair they were before, how he had accepted Rhaenys' child and had protected Ballerion… What Arya didn't see was how he make decisions less rashly now, he thought of more than the people he loved.
She didn't notice how Bran and Sansa were accepted now, no longer they saw themselves as the kids under the floor. But Gendry noticed how comfortable they were with the people they had gone to space with – Sansa always relying on Jeyne or better Jeyne, who as a kid had been expelled from her clan because of the deformations on her nose, had found a sister in Sansa and had learned to trust in people besides Theon. Gendry noticed how Jon had become a leader on his own, no longer following Robb blindly.
Gendry knew Arya would find out these things soon too, but now she was too close. Her pain too raw… So he kept her thinking ahead.
"So what if we go enjoy ourselves?" he suggested, not accepting a no as an answer, so picking on her hand and taking her to show her where Ashara was planning to build the houses and the village – Gendry had heard her plans and dreams and told them to Arya.
"She wants to build a well in the middle so people can meet and talk. She's building a medical center for Elia too," he said with a smile, "Hopefully they will let Jeyne use it too; if not, it's going to be a very empty one." Arya let out a smile at that and Gendry took that as a good sign and continued the tour.
"Do you know where they will be building the houses?" Arya asked.
"All around… You should talk to your siblings. See where they are setting, so you can be with them."
"I don't know if they want me, Gen," she said, "Will you stay with me?"
"Arya…" He didn't know if he could ask that of her, he wouldn't have, but she did.
"You and Jeyne can live with us, near us, whatever we end up deciding…" she pleaded.
"I… I would like that, I would like that very much," he said with a smile. "Talk to them and let me know what we're doing."
"I will," she said, with a smile now, she took his hand, and moved them away.
When they stopped walking, they were deep into the forest, hidden behind trees and bushes, and Arya pulled him in for a kiss, surprising him; Gendry wondered if it was the right time to kiss her, when she was still in so much pain; but he gave in and kissed her back, before pulling back and murmuring.
"This was not what I meant when I said we should enjoy ourselves."
"I know, but this is way more fun," she said and smiled, and then kissed Gendry again and he kissed her back – maybe it was okay to enjoy the happiness.
I hope you enjoyed this! It was fun to do these little drabbles, covering such a large period of time, and to finally put some things about this huge AU that exists in my head onto paper! I have three other drabbles in this universe on tumblr and I'll probably post here in another collection. If you want something in this universe, sent a prompt or a character from either show :)