My father is dead, or worse. My father is dead, or worse. My father is dead, or worse.
The words pounded in her head until she felt she might fly apart from their pressure, until she felt she could no longer hold the cracks together. She sat on the floor, the couch towering over her, knocking back glass after glass of bitter scotch, barely looking up when the door banged open.
“Arya?” If she didn’t know any better, she’d have sworn his voice was timid, almost afraid, and she gazed up at him and laughed, the sound ripping from her chest, raw and hollow. “Arya,” Gendry said again, looking like he didn’t know what to do, dropping his knife to the floor with a clatter. “Arya,” he breathed, kneeling down and cradling her in his arms, a touch of uncertainty still in his eyes, like he wasn’t sure if this was what he was supposed to do. His phone blinked in his jacket pocket, and Arya realized that he knew.
“It isn’t fair,” she wailed, screwing her eyes shut to keep in the tears, digging her nails into Gendry’s arms. “It isn’t fair it isn’t fair it isn’t fair,” she chanted, kicking her legs uselessly at the ground.
“It’s okay,” Gendry whispered, looking for all the world like his universe had just exploded. He moved a hand to stroke her hair, and Arya turned, sat up quick as a flash, moving her body against his and kissing him with a fierceness that surprised them both.
She kissed him like a wolf, all bites and scrapes and jabs. There was no room for softness in her world, not now, not anymore. Gendry moved underneath her, trying to sit up and shift her, but she locked her legs around his sides, pinning his shoulders down. Her hair tangled with his, a mess of dark curls on the scuffed floor, and she dipped her tongue into his mouth, rocking back and forth on his hips.
Their clothes were torn off in a matter of seconds, a flash of crumpled shirts and frayed jeans, and Arya dragged her nails across his chest, Gendry thick inside her, his hands skimming her hips, tightening around her waist, bringing her closer to him. Her heartbeat was frenzied against his, and she reached up to push her hair out of her face, to tangle her fingers in his hair, nails dragging across his scalp until he gasped into her.
His skin felt feverish against hers, and their movements became hectic, uncontrolled, and Gendry bit down on his lip to keep from crying out her name. Her hips thrust into his, desperately, trying to drive him deeper, trying to drive everything away.
Catelyn. Robb. Jon. Sansa. Bran. Rickon.
She buried her face in his neck, the tears falling now, cold and salty against his skin, the words twisting like a prayer in her mind.