He’d never had a little sister.
But she had brothers, big and little. One was a bastard named Snow. Her favorite brother, he could tell.
Her eyes – winter's eyes – would flicker with a candle’s flame and the corners of her mouth would twitch and tug upward. A look reserved only for Snow. (She didn’t talk about her father).
It was stupid. Bull-headed and selfish and stupid…he was jealous of that look. Her special smile for the bastard named Snow. He wished he were someone’s best brother. He wished he could be special to someone, be someone to someone, anyone to someone.
He’d never had anyone. He wasn’t anyone. He was no one.
The strangest thing about her was the dress.
Not her spitfire eyes with her obnoxious, demanding little mouth and razor-sharp tongue.
Not castle-forged Needle at her belt, or her exaggerated tales of pet direwolves.
Nor her water dancer’s grace when he’d spied her hacking desperately at an unseen list of faces in the godswood.
(Even her gods don’t seem all that strange, when he thinks about it).
Those all fit.
This dress just didn’t fit.
It was a far cry from her special look for Snow. But it was a look.
A look that tells anyone with eyes that he is someone. A look that whispers, but you were part of my pack. WERE. Just like that other bastard. The one who’d chosen the Wall.
Confusion-disappointment-resentment-hatred-RAGE flash into defiance, and just like that she’s gone. Running. Away from him.
He was someone to someone. He wasn’t no one.
No one ever found her body, so he never believed her to be dead. They found Lady Stoneheart. And the Hound. Never her.
What he believed even less was that she’d ever submit to that other Bastard Snow’s bed. Her name was Arya, not Lady Bolton, and Gendry knew with a certainty that she would have escaped tooth and nail, with or without her own head, leaving that Bastard in a pool of his own blood.
The North cannot be held.
He mourned for the girl whom they called Lady Arya. Whose wails were rumored to echo the halls of Winterfell.
He refused to mourn for Arry.
It’s the first thing he notices about her when she unceremoniously reappears, unruffled and smooth, offering up little more than pretty details of pretty canals.
Everyone else can’t shut up about how tall and beautiful she is. “A woman grown,” they rattle off, one by one, some less innocent than others.
But what he sees is the blank grey of her eyes, with none of the sparkle and magic of winter that he still recalls in dreams. He sees the way her features almost seem like they no longer belong to her. He sees the falseness of her expressions. Too perfect.
He’d once wished for her to look at him with that special look reserved for her best brother, the bastard named Snow. With a candle flickering warmly in her eyes as her lips twitched into a fond smile.
Now he just wished for her to look at him like anyone.
She looks at him like no one.