It takes Arya a moment to place the identity of the handsome young man who brushes past her -- a little too deliberately for accident -- in the alleys of Tyrosh's great bazaar.
It's the snow white lock amongst the burnished red waves falling to the collar of his fashionable jacket that sparks recognition in Arya.
That and the bemused expression in his hazel eyes makes it clear that he somehow knows it's her -- Arya -- though she looks nothing like Arya Stark would ever look, either by birth or by breeding.
She finds him later that evening in her chambers, wearing the same flashy outfit and borderline outrageous hair. It's clear he's observed her for some time now, to have tracked her here -- she wonders which face in the crowd she's passed by and not noticed several days running. "Jaqen H'ghar," she says, hands on her ample hips, eyebrow arched.
He laughs. "Well, no, not at the moment, but that name is as good as any other, not-Arya."
Well, no, not quite. No matter what she does, some part of her never quite ceases to be Arya and they've never been able to figure out exactly why in the House of Black and White. Attempts to divine the results produced an answer about Arya's being more and less than herself. At any rate, it's certainly not from lack of trying that she can't change who she is. It doesn't stop her from serving ... as all mortals must.
She sets aside her bag and asks, "What brings you to Tyrosh, outside of good pear brandy?"
His smile shifts into something radiant. "You."
"Me?" she scoffs.
He nods. "You."
But he doesn't say anything further, just leaves.
Arya figures it out three days later.
Three days of outrageous slight-of-hand tricks, and stick dancing across the rooftop of her tenement, and filching a bottle of finest 100 year old pear brandy, and unlocking the cage filled with street urchins destined for the auction block practically under the Watch's eye.
Three days of Jaqen the handsome young dandy, before Arya figures out the reason behind this reunion.
He's here to reunite with her.
(He wants her.)
She's a woman grown now, and Jaqen ... well, what matter years to a man who can be any age he chooses, and he has so clearly chosen an age and appearance he thought would be pleasing to her.
Arya sends him off on an errand to fetch a little pear blossom honey so she can drizzle it over the soft cheese she picked up earlier, and when he returns, she greets him as she is.
An 18 year old woman, with a skinny, rather muscular body, barely any hips to speak of, utterly common straight dark hair, slate colored eyes, and eyebrows like caterpillars in her long Stark face.
Jaqen stammers as he sets the honey pot aside. "I w-wasn't expecting you to be naked."
Naked? She's wearing a chemise -- granted it hangs on her body now -- trimmed with a little Myrish lace on the bodice.
He gestures at his body, "Do you want me to --"
"If you want to. It's all the same to me. I thought -- is this --?"
He smirks, but it's kind. "Be a wart nosed hag or a plump shopgirl for all I care."
"You first met me when I was a child. It just seems best ...."
He smiles and nods. "I understand." But after a bemused snort, adds, "It's what I like best about you. Once you've made up your mind, you're so direct."
Arya has seen and heard the physical act of coupling more times than she can count: as commerce, as friendship, as rape, as drunken fumbling, and even as love.
And it's not like she hasn't pleasured herself, or even had erotic dreams.
None of that, however, is anything like having a pair of soft warm hands gently cup her breasts, as first his thumbs, followed by his tongue, tease her nipples to stiff little copper-pink peaks, making her gasp and shiver-shake as micro jolts of static race up her spine.
It's also one thing to see a stallion's, a bull's, a dog's, a ram's, and yes, even a man's erect cock, but another thing entirely to reach a hand down past that silky-crisp thatch of hair and touch one, to discover for oneself how surprisingly hot (Of course it's hot, it's swollen!) it is. It's still yet another thing to gently wrap her hand around it and feel how it pulses in time to the beat of his heart, to hear Jaqen's sharp intake of breath, to feel him shiver-shake against her the way she did -- and does now, as his fingertips trace the very edges of her wet neither lips with the most tender, delicate, baby's-breath touches.
It's one thing to know that sex has a smell (and it's not always a reek, either), but Arya never expected it to have a taste: Jaqen's lips, the cilantro from dinner in his mouth, the salt and something more of the skin on his neck (and, oh he likes what she does with lips and tongue), the salty-bitter-earthy taste of that clear drop welling from the tip of his cock, and he's eager to taste her, too. Arya's heart nearly pounds out of her chest and the words tumble from her mouth in a torrent when he goes at her cunny like it's a ripe peach or something.
His entry pains her a little (like she expected), and it's certainly an adjustment having anything up in there, but it brings with it a sensation of stuffed to the gills fullness that she quite likes.
She's always been Arya, self-contained, and sure of herself, and not like the others, but now, as Jaqen's breath haffs against her neck and in her ear and her own wordless cries and gasps make a counterpoint, as they surge and surge and surge and suuuuurge against each other, climbing towards what Arya is sure will be an ecstatic starburst that's going to tear her apart ....
She's not just Arya anymore. She's Arya&Jaqen, doing this incredible thing --