She was nine. Gendry must have been about Robb’s age. He didn’t look like Robb, more like Jon. Dark hair, and strong, but his eyes were blue, not the stormy grey of the Starks. Gendry was a bastard, too, like Jon. In some ways she would pretend that Gendry was like Jon, like her brother.
It wasn’t long before Arya found that Gendry was not one of her brothers. Not because he wasn’t nice to her, or because he didn’t tease her like Jon or Robb, but because he was Gendry. He was the stubborn, bull-headed bastard who followed her on faith, and kept her secret when they were traveling with Yoren and the others. There had been many nights when she would curl up into the curve of his back to keep warm.
When they were taken to Harrenhall, Gendry was given quarters in the smithy, which was generally warmer due to the fires. On a particularly cold night, Arya crept from her bed in the night to find Gendry. She nudged the side of him gently with her hands, the way she would when she needed space on the Kings Road. He rolled slightly and groaned in his sleep. She crawled into the open bed space, and pulled the cover over her. She curled into the small of his back, her own back cracking as she stretched.
He was as warm as she was hoping, his bare skin against her cheek. Arya pressed her cold fingers to his back, not trying to be mean, just seeking warmth. Gendry hissed and rolled over before she had time to think, and soon she was trapped under warm, solid muscle. Arya pushed at him until he rolled onto his side again, but now her back was to his chest, and he had an arm wrapped around her. It almost reminded her of the way she and Sansa would sleep when it was cold or when there were thunderstorms and she got scared. Almost. The major difference being that Gendry was not Sansa, and the fact that he slept naked.
Arya pulled her knees as close to her chest as Gendry’s arm would allow and settled into the warmth, ignoring the not-brotherly-like-dress-situation Gendry was in. No doubt when he woke up he would push her out onto the floor and blush like a maiden. It made her wonder, but no, she wouldn’t think about that. Now she would try to sleep and let the warmth at her back soak through her clothes to warm her.