The soup steaming in its bowl on the table before her smells wonderful but Arya doesn't want to eat it. She made it. She's being stupid, Arya knows. There's little food to be found in the riverlands and she is hungry. Arya spoons a mouthful and hates her even more. The soup is delicious. Arya can roast a rabbit she's caught herself but that never tastes especially good. She bets she sews too and her stitches are straight. Arya doesn't know why she cares if Gendry wants some stupid innkeeper for his wife but she cares and not knowing why makes her angrier. Gendry can tell she's mad so he keeps his stupid mouth shut, just sitting across from her staring. Arya wants to punch him.
"Arya?" he finally asks uncertainly.
Arya practically growls at him, reminding herself of the Hound. "What?"
"How have you been? Where have you been? Everyone's been looking for you."
"I've been in Braavos, learning to see things and hear things and kill people." Arya grins fiercely at the shocked look on Gendry's face. She continues, "Anyway I'm back now and I'm going to make the Freys and the Boltons and the Lannisters sorry they killed my family."
"I've been helping," Gendry says hesitantly, "The lady. Your mother. I've been helping your mother. Mostly they make me stay here and look after the children but I've fought too."
Arya doesn't want to think about her mother now. She loved her mother so much and she'd wanted her to live so badly, but what had happened wasn't what she'd imagined. She'd sooner focus on Gendry and this girl Willow and them living together and raising the younger children like parents.
"I make swords too, and mail and helms. I could make plate armor too but we don't have enough metal. I could make you something if you wanted. A bigger sword. That one you've got is too small for you now."
Arya's hand goes to Needle at her hip, as if to make sure it's still there. Needle is too small now but her brother Jon gave it to her and Arya intends to keep it forever. She isn't ever going to let anyone take it from her again the way the Mountain's men had in the village by the God's Eye. Still she's nearly a woman grown and she should have a proper sword. "All right," she tells Gendry, "You can make me a sword."
"Are you mad at me?" Gendry blurts.
Willow returns from putting the younger children to bed just then and she joins them at the table, sitting beside Gendry. The kindly old man had told Arya to rule her face and she'd learned to, really she had, but she can't help scowling at Willow. Willow ignores her and begins to eat her own soup, and Arya wonders what she would do if she shoved her face into the soup. It's very hot and Arya bets she'd be burned as ugly as the Hound. Gendry won't want her then.
She means to say no, but she can't stop herself. "Yes," she hears herself shout at Gendry. "You were supposed to be part of my pack, you stupid. But you left me and now I'm back and you're part of her pack."
Gendry's as stupid as ever. "Part of your mother's pack?" He frowns. "But doesn't that make us part of the same pack?"
All of her soup's gone otherwise Arya might have flung it at him. "Not Mother! Her," Arya screeches, pointing a finger at Willow.
Willow calmly finishes swallowing her last mouthful of soup before she speaks. "You don't have to be jealous, m'lady. I haven't flowered yet and anyway Gendry's like my brother."
Arya feels foolish and it makes her mad, but she knows she's been rude to Willow and she should apologize. "Sorry," she mutters.
Gendry is just looking at them both with a stupid look on his face. "You're jealous of Willow?" he asks finally.
"No," Arya lies.
"Yes," Willow says. "She wants you, Gendry."
And Arya knows it's true. She's beaten street urchins and sailors and even the odd soldier for trying to kiss her but now she thinks she wouldn't beat Gendry if he tried. But he's probably too stupid to try so maybe she'll have to kiss him. "He's mine," she says.
"He's yours," Willow agreed. "Do you want more soup?"
"Yes, please," Arya says. Gendry is still looking like someone just hit him with his own hammer. She'll take care of him after she's finished her meal.