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Come check the place out at around 1, yeah? Would be wise to sort of interview you as well—just making sure ure not a serial killer or smtn, ofc. The address is 110 Red Keep bldg.

 

Gendry stared up in awe at the monumental building and glanced back at the text he’d received a few hours earlier.

 

The dark-haired boy had grown up in King’s Landing, but he’d rarely ever been to this part of town. Despite being next to each other, this place was worlds away from his home: Flea Bottom. Flea Bottom was the slums, and the Red Keep was, well, the place that people from the slums could only dream about. Thoughts of rent rates and bills almost had him running as far back as he could to his old apartment— but then he remembered how all the rooms were filled, and how any other surrounding apartments were either occupied or “this” close to being condemned.

 

He was fast asleep in his old apartment one night and, severely exhausted from work, he didn’t even realize that the toilet broke and some valve—or tube, or whatever (he never really bothered with the details anymore)— had burst. Water was vigorously splashing out everywhere. One can only guess how surprised he was when he woke up to his bed practically floating in water in the middle of his tiny room.

 

If his estranged (and bloody rich) asshole of a father, Robert, showed up at his doorstep offering him monthly allowance and a place to stay at his lavish mansion any other time, Gendry probably would have spat in his face and straight-out refused. But the blue-eyed boy was at his wits’ end, having had to drop out of uni and juggle two jobs since his mother passed, barely capable of paying rent for a god-awful rat-infested apartment that probably should have been condemned decades ago.

 

He refused to stay at his father’s place and receive guilt-money from him, but he did give in when his father offered to support him financially in finding a new apartment. Robert knew that Gendry couldn’t turn down his offer. Upon his visit, Robert had peered behind Gendry’s shoulder and caught view of the nearly flooded apartment— that and the water practically gushing out the door and onto Robert’s loafers as soon as the door swung open was a clear indicator that Gendry needed to find another place.

 

Desperate, Gendry also accepted a well-paying part-time job at Robert’s company: Baratheon Industries. God knows Gendry would never have accepted a monthly allowance meant solely to ease Robert’s conscience, but, given Gendry’s predicament, they had come to a compromise. The young man had yearned to get back to Uni and not have to double as a car mechanic by day and bus boy by night just to get by.

 

So Gendry was about to turn tail away from Red Keep Building when he remembered that it wouldn’t be him paying for it.

 

“If I’m going to accept money from the old man, might as well make it worth it.” he huffed as he ascended the glistening marble steps leading towards the entrance.

 

On my way up mate he texted “Arry”, his potential roommate. Gendry would have preferred to live alone but, this close to the start of the semester, all the apartments and dorms within 30 minutes of Westeros University were guaranteed to be occupied. He was lucky that, as if on cue the day after his father’s visit, Hot Pie called him up and asked if he was looking for a new apartment. His tubby friend was a staffer for the University paper and a friend of his had come in looking to place an ad in the paper for a new roommate.

 

Tough, gruff, and sarcastic, Hot Pie described Arry—someone you’d definitely get along with.

 

At this point, Gendry almost didn’t care who his roommate would be. All he could think about was finally finishing his degree and making a living as far away from his past as possible.

 

Hot Pie did mention that it was Arry who’d punched his stepbrother Joffrey Baratheon at a party one night. He’d heard of the incident before, but what he would have given to have actually seen it. If it truly was Arry who gave Joffrey a massive black eye, then he most definitely would get along with the lad.

 

107, 108, 109... Gendry followed the apartment numbers leading up to 110 on the wide and marble-lined corridor. He’d reached the end of the hallway with no 110 in sight.

 

“Huh.” He grabbed his phone to text Arry and ask for directions, but as soon as he turned, he saw another hall leading to a sole door.

 

110 it said in shining letters above a dark wooden door.

 

Its own hallway? Fancy.

 

He made his way down the hall and rang the door bell.

 

“Yes?” he heard as the door swung open.

 

Looking straight ahead, he found no one, and tilted his head downward to find the source of the voice.

 

His eyes met those of a short and rather pretty, he thought, girl.

 

“Sorry” he mumbled “must be at the wrong door.” He glanced up again at the number above the doorframe. 110.

 

“Huh.” he thought as he stared back at the girl with squinted eyes a few moments too long to not be creepy or awkward.

 

“You alright?” the girl asked. “If you’re just gonna stand there like a twat I’ll be going back inside then.” She moved backwards to close the door.

 

“Sorry. Spaced out a little there.”

 

“Yeah, no shit mate.” She let out a little chuckle. “Looking for someone? Something?”

 

“Is, um, Arry here?”

 

“Arry? My close friends call me Arry but we’ve only just met,” she smirked “Arya will do.” she said as she stepped to the side to let him in. “You must be Hot Pie’s friend Gendry? You’re interested in sharing the apartment, yeah?”

 

Gendry squinted at her a bit then realization washed over his face.

 

“Oh!” he exclaimed.

 

“Oh?” Arya raised an eyebrow at him.

 

“Sorry— when Hot Pie mentioned you, I thought you were a boy.” he paused for a second “He said that you punched Joffrey Baratheon so it didn’t really register that it was a girl who punched the little prick.”

 

Arya scrunched her nose up and eyed him with confusion and the slightest bit off annoyance. “Excuse me?”

 

Gendry waved his hands apologetically, clearly flustered. “I mean, not in a sexist way or anything like I didn’t think that you being tough meant you were a boy. Joffrey definitely had it coming, the twat, I mean—um— that was really cool by the way like girl power—shit that was stupid. No! Girl power isn’t stupid I— I— I just mean like I didn’t think a girl would be comfortable having a male roommate. Not that I’m like, a bad guy or anything, no I wouldn’t do anything to harm a girl— or a guy— I mean—“

 

Arya bit her lip then burst out laughing. “I get it, you can stop rambling now.”

 

She stepped backwards to let him inside. “Come on in.” she gestured towards the inside of her apartment. When he hesitated she raised her hands as if to calm him. “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna hurt you or anything,” she paused and shifted her gaze upwards to think “Physically, atleast— my sister tells me my words do have the tendency to sting.”

 

Gendry, still a tad bit embarrassed, made his way inside as his eyes widened at the sight. He was greeted by an enormous, almost penthouse like, apartment. His old and rundown one was hardly a fraction of the size of this one.

 

“Alright, Gendry, so before I give you a tour of the apartment, I sort of need to make sure you’re not gonna kill me in my sleep— or kill me with your personality, no offense. I mean, we will have to live together,” she joked. “Feel free to judge me all you want too.”

 

She tilted her head towards the couch. “Go ahead and take a seat, I’ll just get you some water.”

 

————-

 

“Favorite Avenger?”

 

“Thor. Yours?”

 

“Rocket Raccoon.”

 

“He’s more of a Guardian, isn’t he?”

 

“Fine.” Arya tapped the side of her chin. “Black Widow. I love trained assassins. Favorite Star Wars movie?”

 

“Attack of the Clones.”

 

Arya audibly gasped. “Get out.” She pointed towards the door.

 

Gendry laughed. “Kidding. Out of loyalty I’d like to say A New Hope, loved it really, but I can’t help but feel inclined to say Rogue One. Found it groundbreaking.”

 

“Fair enough. Mine would have to be, cliche or bandwagon-y as it is to choose, The Empire Strikes Back. Just can’t beat it.”

 

Gendry smiled. He and Arya seemed to be getting along well enough. She was asking him mostly warm up and preferential questions for the better part of 20 minutes. She didn’t shy from teasing or flat-out jokingly insulting him every now and then, but he didn’t mind. He even threw a few teases and insults back and she hardly even batted an eye.

 

“Alright, now to the serious questions, if you don’t mind.” She lifted her phone and seemed to be reading a list of ready-made questions. “Why are you looking for a new apartment and where did you used to live?”

 

“Ah—well, I used to live in Flea Bottom, honestly.”

 

He expected Arya to look at him in disgust, but she he was unfazed.

 

“My old apartment was a dump— funny story I’ll hopefully get to tell you soon— and my“ he paused a bit to raise his hands in air quotes “father found out and offered to help me find a new place. Probably would have died there tbh— if not eaten alive by rats then maybe crushed by my upstairs neighbors’ ceiling.” he timidly laughed as he rubbed the back of his neck.

 

Arya looked as if she were curious but didn’t pursue it. She merely nodded in acknowledgement and smiled at his attempt at a joke. “Have a girlfriend? Boyfriend? Anyone you might bring to the apartment?”

 

“Not at the moment, no. Might bring friends or classmates in the case of projects or classwork if that’s alright.”

 

She nodded. “Would be fine with you bringing anyone to hook up with too—as long as you let me know. Wouldn’t want to walk in on you on top of, or hell even under someone. Makes for awkward eye contact in the morning, believe me.” She grinned.

 

He blushed a little. “Y-yeah. Definitely.”

 

“Would you say you’re a messy person? Or more on the neat side?”

 

“I’d like to think that I’m rather clean. And I always do pick up after myself.”

 

She nodded and took another glance at her phone. “Do you study at King’s Landing University? Year and course?”

 

“Well I stopped for a year. I should‘ve graduated last year but I had to work to support myself.” He mumbled the last part a little. “So yeah— I guess I’m in my senior year again right now. Still taking up Mechanical Engineering.”

 

“I’m a sophomore. Guess I’m your junior.” she said junior with a playfully sarcastic tone. “I’m an Economics major but I minor in History, by the way.” She paused.

 

“Have any siblings?” She asked.

 

“Step siblings. Don’t know them very well. You?”

 

She smiled. “I have six siblings,” she seemed to reminisce fondly. “Well, technically four. One adopted cousin and another adopted brother. Hardly any difference really— we love them all the same.”

 

“Alright Waters, last question” she stared at him with one brow raised upward menacingly.”

 

Gendry felt his breath get caught in his throat.

 

“Do you have any criminal record? Anything I should know about? My brother works in the force and believe me, whether it’s me or him who runs a profile on you, I will find out”

 

He smiled a bit. “None, Arya. Nothing to worry about.” he paused then jokingly threw back. “Do you?”

 

Arya only shrugged. “People piss me off, they pay the price.” she smiled at the taller boy. “That’s all I have to say about that.”

 

Gendry felt a weird combination of scared and slightly turned on.

 

“Alright Waters, so when can you move in?”

 

Gendry widened his eyes in surprise. “Oh!” He exclaimed. “So that’s it? I got it?” He knit his brows together in confusion. “So you, and well your family, would be completely okay with you having an older guy as your roommate?”

 

“My family?” She asked. “I’m an adult. I can make my own decisions.” She stated matter-of-factly. “Honestly, I was supposed to live alone since my sister moved out for her exchange in Dorne, but it got lonely since I had no one to bother,” she trailed of then looked at him with a grin. “But now here you are!”

 

“Bother?” Gendry confirmed.

 

“My sister says I can be pretty annoying. But I really just rather enjoy seeing her get pissed—“ she looked up thoughtfully. “I wouldn’t say I’m highly annoying per se, just, your regular amount of annoying.”

 

He smiled back at her.

 

“So, when are you moving in?” She asked again.

 

"Oh you really mean I got it? "You want me as your roommate?" 

 

"No duh." She shook her head. "Hot pie said you were a safe and nice guy— he really seems to like you. And I trust Hot Pie, you know?" She looked up and then back at him.  "The other two guys I interviewed sucked. One was some prissy and condescending girl- dont even remember her name, actually. She’s saved in my phone as the waif." Gendry let out a quick snort as he shared a grin with Arya. The other one was a guy who’d never even watched a single Star Wars movie. Can't let that kind of toxicity breed in here. Plus seemed like he only really wanted to get in my pants." 

 

"Oh yeah what a weirdo." He scoffed.

 

"Weirdo because he’s never seen Star Wars or weirdo because he wanted to get in my pants?" She quirked an eyebrow upwards at him.

 

Gendry replied almost immediately and clearly unthinkingly. "Clearly Star Wars, I mean you're beautiful who wouldn't want to— i mean what." Gendry's eyes widened as bright red flushed to his cheeks. 

 

Arya burst out laughing. "You're really funny when you're flustered. So again, when will you move in?" 

 

"You're sure about me? He asked again, still puzzled at her willingness for him to move in with her. 

 

"Geez do you really want the place?" She rolled her eyes. "Don’t worry Hot Pie was really vouching for you. Plus, I spent most of this interview stalking your social media." She gestured and showed him her phone on his facebook page.

 

"No gym selfies. No flex captions. No new kicks on your feed. No awkward shirtless posts. You check a bunch of non-asshole marks off so thats good, yeah?" She scrolled down a little bit more and shifted to his twitter. "And, you're clearly against the Lannisters in power so that is a huge plus." 

 

"Can't see how anyone would want to vote for those power hungry fascists." He shrugged.

 

"Same here." She shook her head. "So, when?" She asked for the enth time. 

 

"Well, um, next week?" He replied, slowly and cautiously. 

 

"See you then, Gendry." She smiled as she shook his hand.