A Dangerous Game
A/N: I hated the last chapter I wrote so I'm re-writing the 4th chapter. So this could be considered a sequel or a replacement for that chapter. This completely disregards the book and future TV series.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
It's been ten years since you were last here, nine since you had boarded a ship to Braavos. The passing years have been harsh on you but good too. No longer are you the scrawny little Arya Underfoot. Gone was the reckless, foolish, barely trained little girl, replaced now with a woman who bestowed death upon the battlefield.
You had proven yourself skilled enough that the Dothraki had gifted you a ridiculous name. To have earned such a name was an honour, but the problem lay within the fact that it was ridiculously long when translated. They had taken to calling you the equivalent to "She-Who-Kills-With-Deadly-Grace-Of-Large-Cat" which was a bit of a mouthful in your native language. But you wasn't going to complain, it was quite a bit better than the first one they gave you, Daenerys, after getting you to promise not to do anything to retaliate, had offered you the least insulting translation back when you had first joined. Apparently, they didn't appreciate that you didn't treat their Khaleesi with the proper respect. They respect you now, and your reputation among them is well earned.
You move and the bodies seem to fall around you. It took five years of training in Braavos but you now understand why your father called Syrio a dancing master. An additional three years under the No-Face men. Now here you are, two days ride from Kings Landing. And as you gaze across the plain, you can't decide if it's fortune or just your family luck following you around because the army opposite can only be led by a single man, Tywin Lannister.
You meet him on the battlefield. Among all the bodies, all the people you end up meeting him. He's recognizable but it's clear that the years had not been kind to him, his lines were more defined and he looked far older than the ten years that had passed by. But that didn't make him any less deadly, he moves with calculated grace and purpose, no more muscle is exerted than what was needed. Bodies from both sides surround him, but he's doing the most damage to the army than any single person. Neither Gray Worm, Ser Barristan, or anyone of them with honour will interfere. They know he's yours and you make your way toward him.
His eyes widen in recognition the moment steel meets steel. The surprise doesn't last long and he's good enough that you can't take advantage of it. Soldiers from both sides try to take the each of you by surprise but there seems to be a mutual unspoken agreement between you two as you wait for the other to dispose of their attackers. You trade steel back and forth; it's frustrating matching his experience against your youth, and neither of you can get a proper blow in. Your duel rages on and he's moving more slowly. It's one mistake he makes, one, but that's all you need to take full advantage of it. You disarm him, he's a split second too slow to prevent it. And slam the hilt of the sword into his face causing him to fall backwards.
You level your sword at his throat and ask the question that's been burning in your mind for the last nine years, "Why?"
He meets your eyes, and for just a second it's just you and him. Then he moves, more quickly and smoother than his aging joints should have allowed, and you react. You know the feeling of steel against flesh well and you aim to wound not kill. But when you turn around to view your work, it doesn't matter if you didn't hit or went for the kill. There's a sword through his stomach, one of his soldiers was coming up from behind to attack you, and he protected you. There's a dagger sticking out the side of the soldier's neck, and it's yours. You feel your belt, it's only then that you register that it's gone. He tears out your dagger from the young man's neck and drops it as they both fall. You manage to catch him and lower him to the ground.
"Why?" You repeat. That one worded question was more complicated than he had time for. You ask it anyway but you know that there are so many questions that will go unanswered. He laughs, it's cut short by the blood that begins to spill from his mouth. There is no doubt that talking is becoming more difficult for him as time passes by.
He coughs, it clears his throat enough to say, "Ironic, a Lannister dying for a Stark." You want to shake him, but you don't. It would only serve to make him bleed out faster.
"You don't get to die old man, you have too much to answer for."
"Girl." Ten years and lying on the ground dying, and somehow, he still manages to make you feel like a little girl again. "What do we tell the God of Death?"
"Not today," the response is automatic, it's the words you've lived by since Syrio taught you the dance. Your answer brings a small burst of fire to the fading light in his eyes. It's short lived.
He nods, his eyes closing, his hand clasped around yours, and utters one word, "Go." You don't need to check, you've already lost him.
You weave through his army, what's left of it, cutting through their ranks. They fall quickly, but they're alive. You're avoiding the kill, rendering them unconscious, the more dangerous are crippled, and you know that Daenerys will show mercy to most. Just for today, this is how you will honor his memory. By sparing as many of his Banner-men and family as you can, this will be Tywin Lanninster's last legacy that the world will never know. After all, the Lannisters' aren't the only ones who pay their debts. And above all, the North never forgets.
Later, if you do grieve, it will not be for him. If you do shed a tear or even tears, later they will not be for him.