Ned was furious. He had bought Arya a new truck for her 18th birthday on the condition only she drive it. Now the front was smashed in and the power pole that it hit would need replacing. Luckily she was not majorly hurt and her boyfriend Gendry was sitting in the back of the ambulance with her, having his arm wrapped up by the ambulance officer.
Ned was in the middle of a meeting when he received the call to say his daughter had been in an accident - but not to worry as she and the driver of the vehicle were being treated at the scene and he could come and pick them up. Arya and THE DRIVER.
"Why can't she just listen for once!" he grumbled as he went out to his car and made his way to the crash site. She was just 'popping out' to get coffee, it should have taken all of 5 minutes. Once he got there his anger dissipated as he drove past the smashed up truck, turning into panic as he realised perhaps his daughter was more seriously injured than they had claimed as he could not work out how anyone could have escaped the wreck unscathed.
Ned got out of his car and walked past the truck towards the ambulance . He could see the air bags had been activated and the passenger side one looked like it had exploded. His panic increased. "Arya!" he called, his voice desperate and choking back tears. "Arya where are you?!"
"Dad! I'm over here" she called from the ambulance. His tears began to flow as he could see her step out of the back with a split lip and a bruise forming around her left eye. She ran towards him, Ned caught her in his arms and held her tight. "Dad I'm so sorry I know Gendry shouldn't have been driving but he saved me Dad he really did if it wasn't for him . . ."
Ned held up his hand for her to stop. "From what I see he put you in danger Arya, he's just lucky you aren't seriously injured or nothing could hold me back from showing him a world of pain."
"He's already in a world of pain Dad, they said his arm might be fractured and i think he's broken some fingers. He also might have broken his nose when the airbag hit him." She started walking back to the ambulance to check on her injured boyfriend, Ned followed her feeling a little less angry with Gendry.
Gendry's eyes were filled with guilt when he looked up and saw Ned coming towards him. 'There's no way I'm going to be able to see Arya now' thought Gendry sadly.
"All done kiddo," the ambulance officer helped him up, "Nothing is broken but you will be sore for a few days. You will need to take it easy and use ice on it, some aspirin should help but if it gets bad go to the hospital and they will give you something stronger. The splints I have put on should keep everything nice and still until you heal."
Gendry stepped out of the ambulance and Arya threw herself to his chest, wrapping her short arms around him and staining his shirt with the tears she was fighting back.
Arya and Gendry had taken years to admit their feelings, both being as stubborn and wary as each other, but once they had shared their first kiss all bets were off and they couldn't stay away from one another. They were careful though, around Arya's family, as Gendry was not only 5 years older than her but also a good friend to her older brothers Robb and Jon. As much as they all loved Gendry, Arya was their little sister and no man was good enough for her. None of them liked the fact that Arya and Gendry flatted together even though they had separate rooms. Although these days the two rooms were more to keep up appearances and keep the wolves off their backs than anything else.
"May I have a word" the ambulance officer asked Ned, who was about to give Gendry a piece of his mind.
"We'll go get our things from the truck Dad" Arya threaded her fingers through Gendry's as they headed toward the wreck.
"He is quite an extraordinary young man."
"Extraordinary! He almost killed my baby! I mean could have killed my baby, i mean . . . he injured my daughter Ma'am I can think of a few words I'd use to describe him but right now that isn't one of them."
The officer looked at him, rather confused. "Didn't your daughter explain what happened?"
"Well no, all I know is he was driving and he crashed."
The officer smiled and offered Ned a seat as she began packing up the bandages and rubbish she had used to patch up Gendry. "Well apparently your daughter dropped her coffee on the floor and took off her belt to reach it. When she sat up she spilt it on herself and she overreacted and startled her boyfriend. He skidded on some loose gravel and lost control of the car. They hit the power pole and he threw his arm out to catch her before she was slammed into the front of the car. His arm smacked into the airbag as it deployed and broke the impact it would have had on her face, she is a very very lucky young lady, not many guys are strong enough to do something like that and I have never known anyone to survive a head on collision not wearing a seat belt and come out with only a few scratches."
Ned was silent as he processed all of the information he had just been given.
"Now, you will need to take him to the hospital if it swells up or the pain gets worse, but he should be fine so long as he takes it slow, he shouldn't do any further damage."
Ned let out a sigh, "Thank you officer, for everything." He got up and headed back to his car, where Arya and Gendry were waiting, stopping to give a police officer his details.
"Can you get in trouble for lying to an ambulance officer?" Gendry questioned.
"Would you rather she just told my Dad the truth right now or the lie we told her?" Arya looked at him with a knowing look.
"Good point, if your Dad knew that you took your seat belt off to lean over and unzip my pants he wouldn't be walking this way with a smile on his face now would he?"
"Oh I'm sure he would be smiling, but it would be because he was plotting how to kill you."
Gendry looked at her with worry, "let's keep all bedroom activities to the bedroom from now on, just to be on the safe side."
Arya grinned at him "you know I'm seriously attracted to you when you are tough and macho but there's something to be said about when you are cowering and scared - it's kinda cute."
Gendry looked at her with a pained expression, "I thought that was it, I thought I was going to lose you and it would have been all my fault. Please Arya, promise me you won't do anything like that again."
"What try to give you a blow job?" Arya joked. Then she looked up at Gendry expecting to see him grinning only to find his eyes brimming with tears. "Oh god Gen I'm so sorry I didn't mean to joke about it! Of course I'll never do that again I'm so sorry it's all my fault, I was trying to make up for dragging you out of the house when you didn't want to go, I'm so sorry!" She threw her arms around him and buried her head in the crook of his neck. "I love you" she whispered.
She felt Gendrys sharp intake of breath. He looked at her with adoration in his eyes. "Wow and I always thought I'd be the first to say it," he grinned. "I love you too Arya, so much it hurts, or that could be because you are crushing my arm."
She jumped back off him and grinned, "well we might just have to play doctor when we get back home then, I'm sure I can find some way to take your mind off the pain."
Ned hopped in the car and they drove off, not saying much until they got back to the flat. He gave his daughter another hug, "Thanks Dad, and I'm sorry again."
"It's okay sweetie, I'm just glad you have someone who loves and protects you like Gendry does." Ned patted Gendry on his sore arm, Gendry winced in pain, "and Gendry, if you ever put my daughter in danger like that again you will not be able to hide from my wrath"
Arya grabbed his hand and dragged him inside. "Bye Dad!" Ned shook his head as he climbed back into his car and headed back to work, hoping for a very uneventful afternoon.
Chapter 2: What isn't there
Gendry and Ned clean out the truck. Ned makes an unsettling discovery and has to deal with the consequences of asking questions he doesn't want the answers to.
Okay here comes the completely unplanned, unexpected chapter 2!
The truck was a write off but they towed it back to the Stark house to empty out what they could save. Ned and Gendry spent an hour emptying the glove compartment, under the seats, and everywhere else Arya had managed to cram things in the three short months she had possessed the vehicle. They started off steadily, carefully clearing out bags, shoes and random packets of gum Arya bought and then lost straight away, they finished up with a vengeance, waging war on the truck and throwing everything they could in a pile on the lawn to sort through later.
"This reminds me of the time your Dad and I bought this old hunk of junk and planned to spend the summer doing it up" Ned reminisced. "It took us half the time just to clear the garbage out of it before we saw all the rust that was hidden and the hole in the floor!"
Gendry burst out laughing "So how did the restoration go?" knowing his Dad and Ned didn't have a mechanical bone between them.
"It sat on my parents lawn until they gave me an ultimatum . . either the car went or I had to, so we put it on the back of a truck and took it to the scrap yard. It was sad to see her go but I guess I had the hot meals and free room and board to help me get past my sadness."
The two men looked at the pile in front of them, eager to start throwing junk into the skip before Arya finished work. She was a hard worker but such a hoarder and the one reason Ned was happy she didn't live in his house anymore was he didn't have to constantly nag her to clean up. "I swear my daughter was raised by wolves"
"Wolves! Oh Arya would have killed me if I had forgotten it!" Gendry hopped back in the truck and unwound the wolf pendant Arya had wrapped around the rear view mirror, he had just managed to untangle it when he heard Ned call his name. He did not sound happy.
"Gendry, what is wrong with this picture?" Ned held up a floor mat from the pile just as Arya walked up the drive, looking exhausted as she had come straight from work.
"Um. . . I'm not sure I get where you're coming from Sir " replied Gendry hesitantly as Arya wrapped her arms around his waist, not gauging the weight of the conversation she had just entered.
"From the fact that my daughter dropped her coffee on this mat a few days ago and there is no trace of it now."
Gendry went pale and started stammering, trying to come up with an answer. Arya, always thinking of excuses in the moment, started off with "Wow those new water resistant mats I got really did wor...."
"Stop it Arya" Ned growled, using the tone so familiar to her from her wild youth. "Now why are you lying about what happened? Was Gendry drunk?"
"NO!" they both yelled defensively. Gendry's father may have been Ned's best friend but his love of the bottle had won him no parenting awards in Gendry's eyes. It was the one thing he wished he could change about his childhood and he always swore he would never end up on the same path.
"Well then what is it? Drugs? Whatever it is Arya I would think you could confide in me, I'm very disappointed in you."
"Well prepare to be even more disappointed." Arya turned to Gendry and gave him a peck on the cheek, "I'll meet you at home, Dad and I need to have a chat and it's important that you are very very far away, preferably behind a locked door in a room where no one can get to you."
The colour had still not returned to Gendry's face and he was not keen to stay around for this particular conversation.
Arya led her father into his study and poured him a scotch.
He sat in the chair nursing his drink and looked at his daughter. "Okay young lady, you have managed to sufficiently worry me, you can't possibly have anything to tell me that is worse than what is already in my head so let me have it."
Arya took a deep breath, "I took my belt off so I could lean over to Gendry."
"Okay, I'll ask the obvious question - why?"
"Well he didn't want to go out and get coffee so I wanted to give him a gift to say thank you."
"Well I don't see why you need to take off your seat belt to give him a . . . ." Ned's eyes went wide and his skin resembled the shade Gendry had been sporting earlier. "Arya Lyanna Stark how dare you!"
"Dad I'm an adult now and Gendry and I are in a committed relationship, you can't be so surprised that we are having sex."
Ned was slightly surprised at her comment. "Okay so there is no world in which I would be at all comfortable with this discussion, but I was referring to the fact that you felt like you had to give your boyfriend a . . .a. . . "
Oh god I can do this, pull yourself together Ned!!
". . a blow job just because he drove you to get coffee! I thought you would have more self respect than that Arya, I never thought you would be the one who felt like she had to lower herself to that level."
It took Arya a second to process what Ned had said to her, "I do have respect for myself Dad. Gendry respects me too, he would never push me or guilt me into doing anything I didn't want to do. I love him so much and when he looked over at me with that grin of his my sense went out the window and I just had to have him right there . . . "
"I'm going to be sick, Arya stop talking I can't take it, thank you for your honesty but I just can't hear this anymore." he downed his scotch, gave her a kiss on the forehead and sent her home.
Gendry was snoring on the couch when she got home, she woke him by nuzzling her nose into his soft black hair, kissing him gently as he groaned and stretched his arm to wrap around her.
"So how long do I have to live?" he asked as he flashed that grin at her again.
"I wouldn't worry too much, I don't think Dad will be able to look either of us in the eye for a while."
"You did that thing where you overshared and made the other person so uncomfortable that they stopped the conversation didn't you?"
She snuggled into his strong chest and closed her eyes. "That's why I love you Gendry, you know me so well."
"Yeah well don't expect your Dad to forget this, I'm still going to sleep with one eye open" he yawned.
Two weeks later they arrived at the Stark house after Ned had promised no harm would come to Gendry only to see a new truck in the driveway and Ned leaning on the bonnet holding a set of keys with a wolf pendant attached to them.
"Wow Dad the insurance money came through quick!" Arya ran over to inspect her new vehicle.
"Actually it came through last week but I had them add in some new features, jump in."
"What did you do Sir, add ejector seats?" Gendry grinned, feeling braver at the thought that Ned had forgiven Arya and perhaps that forgiveness extended to him as well.
"Only on your side Gendry," Ned replied with a smirk on his face.
"He's only teasing Gendry," Arya said, not knowing if he was or not.
"Just put your seat belts on straight away," Ned warned, "trust me."
They climbed in and put their belts on. "Dad we dont need belts on in the driveway, the key isnt even in the ignition." Arya un clicked hers and instantly regretted it. The car alarm blared and Arya quickly clicked her belt back on to make it stop.
Ned grinned at the pair, "sensors under the seats can tell if someone is sitting there and the alarm will sound if the seat belt is un clicked for more than 5 seconds. Also I had cup holders put in so no more accidents now ahe kids." Ned headed back towards the house tapping away at his phone, quite happy with himself. Arya and Gendry looked at each other, "We really are confined to the bedroom now aren't we?" Gendry sighed with annoyance. "Don't worry," she replied, "there's more room there anyway and for what I have in mind were going to need all the room we can get."
"There's also a hands free phone system young lady," Ned's voice boomed from the speakers. Gendry held his head in his hands then looked at her with a smile. He mouthed "Road trip?" "Your car," Arya mouthed back with a grin. And they both headed inside to have lunch with a much happier Ned.