Chapter 1: Gray Eyes
“God dammit Cap, we have to go inside NOW!”
“Hold on Waters, let the SWAT team do their job and then we’ll go in”—
“And then we’ll go in? We’re not backup, this case is ours.”
“We have to follow protocol son”—
“I’m not your son” Gendry muttered, startled like everyone else aS large explosion detonated inside the compound. Immediately screams were heard, smoke and fire appeared from various spots. “Fuck protocol”
Gendry ignored the yells of his Captain and ran inside the building. Fucking kids were inside, innocent women and children. His partner was inside. And most importantly the fucker that they’ve been investigating for a whole year was also somewhere inside and you’d bet your soul that Gendry was going to nail his ass.
As soon as the rest of the police department and CIA saw their best man break the perimeter and run inside the compound all hell broke loose. Many followed him, others began to respond to the fireshots aimed towards them. All this while horrible screams of pain and desperation came from inside.
Gendry was a big guy but a fast one; an old glorified football career to show for it so he was able to move fast through the building. “Spread out! Case the building, take down the shooters!”—Gendry yelled putting a bullet straight through the head at a man who dared point a shotgun at him. “Make sure you get the kids out. Let’s find Old Man Frey alive boys; he’s mine!”
There was crazy people and then there where men like Walder Frey whom made Gendry happy he dedicated his life to the CIA. The guy had managed to avoid the authorities for years while dealing drugs, dangling in prostitution and laundering money under the disguise of a Holy Man that only wanted to make the world better. Finally after years of trying they finally managed to infiltrate his organization but the problem was that the very day that they were going to raid the compound; the mole’s cover was blown, so they needed to act fast. Gendry hadn’t heard from his partner for over 2 hours now and with the fire consuming all two buildings it was time for action.
Castamere Compound was made of two buildings connected by a small bridge - like corridor between them. From afar you’d think it was abandoned but that was because Frey had brained washed his followers to the extent that not only did they follow his every whim but that they never left the compound, some even refusing to see the daylight for years. The explosion was inside the second building which was where Gendry last heard from both his partner and Frey, unfortunately it was also where the children were.
“Well if you’re going to ignore my orders could you at least fill me in on what you’re planning to do?”—His boss, Captain Dondarrion yelled through the coms.
“I’m going after Frey Cap, he has Hot Pie”
“Waters I need you to focus. I know HP is one of us and God knows we need to catch Walder Frey but we need, I repeat; we need to get the children safe. There’s over 30 of em and I need them out, safe and sound”—
“Got it, Frey’s shooters?” Gendry asked, a mere technicality since he already had put down 11 and counting.
“Free range Waters, happy hunting”—
The police was getting as good as they were giving. Over the coms Gendry could hear that several officers were down and that some of the shooters were even using women as human shields. Free range… Ha, as if he needed any permission to kill any of those lowlifes. The world was going to be a better day after today. What worried Gendry the most was that there still were no eyes on the children which only meant they were still in the second building. The good news was that they were safe from the gun fire, the bad news was that the fire was reaching its high while more and more explosions were heard.
“Ok Hot Shot, how do you want to play this?”—Lem; one of his buddies from the agency asked as they finally reached the corridor that connected the two buildings. On the other side they were met with some heavy firepower. “This is a bulletproof vest not an anti idiot vest cuz that’s what we’d be if we go straight barreling right in front of them”—
“Yeah Waters, we need more manpower if we’re going to take them down”—Anguy; another colleague said.
“We can’t wait for backup. You can see the fire coming out from the windows, we have to get to the children. We have to search for Hot Pie!” Gendry said with finality but time wasn’t on his side. He was good but not that good and certainly not immortal to march straight ahead.
“We don’t need backup boys. We need pretty sparkling lights”—said a voice from behind them. “FIRE IN THE HOLE!”—With barely time for cover, the walls shook as a grenade exploded right in front of them solving the problem of how to overpower the shooters at the other end.
“Thoros you mad fuck!” Gendry yelled affected by the loud explosion. His hears were ringing.
“You can thank me later. Let’s go get Hot Pie, drinks are on him.”—
With gunfire still heard behind them and not willing to wait for backup, the four of them decided to run into the second building and it wasn’t looking good. It was a two story building, an old one too. So with the fire spread and no assurance that the walls would hold up they knew death was certainly an option. The children, Hot Pie and Frey. Those were the targets. Frey was holding Hot Pie as hostage and the kids were somewhere else. Gendry made a quick prayer before he barked his orders.
“Ok fellas. There’s four of us so that’s going to be enough to search out. Anguy, Lem; take the main floor. Thoros you’re going up with me. Take the first floor while I take the second. If you find the children call for the other two. Whoever finds Frey; remember the Captain gave the green light on our triggers but assess the situation. Hot Pie was alive and kicking the last time he spoke to us, let’s make it stay that way.” And they were off.
It was a shitty situation but Gendry was relieved that he had his brothers on his back. He and Hot Pie were the youngest in the department but had proven themselves worthy, they had turned around some pretty shitty situations in their line of work so Gendry hoped this was one of them. It had to be, Hot Pie was family.
Nobody had yet to make contact through the coms as Gendry made it to the top floor and started tearing doors down. It was nearly impossible to see let alone breathe with the smoke. No doubt the fire started in this floor. It had spread so much that Gendry was about to give up on the last three rooms when he heard a voice inside one of them.
“This will be my legacy. No one will have the satisfaction of taking my rein from me…”—Frey.
“Drop the weapon, step aside from the agent!” SHIT. Gendry panicked once inside the room. Walder Frey had a gun pointed to his head, no big deal. Gendry would help him pull the trigger, the problem was that Hot Pie was laying on the floor in a pool a blood alongside two other bodies.
“Waters, we found the kids!”—Lem’s voice broke through the coms.
“Good, I have Hot Pie.” Gendry said as he shot Walder Frey right between the eyes. Let Dondarrion deal with the politics, killing was Gendry’s job. “C’mon Big Guy, open your eyes. Please man, say something”
Gendry’s heart skipped a beat as Hot Pie managed to open his eyes “Took you long enough”—He said through slurred words a clear sign that he’d lost more than enough blood. He had two gunshot wounds on his stomach.
“Let’s go bud, let’s get you out of here” Gendry said trying to lift up his friend as quick as possible without hurting him even further.
“The girl Gen, you have to help her. She saved my life!”—Hot Pie pleaded with him before he passed out. What girl? Hot Pie was more dead than alive, how the hell did she save him?
“Not the best you’ve looked HP. Here, let me help you”—Thoros said running inside to help Gendry who still with an impressive set of muscle had a difficult job with Hot Pie’s sturdiness of body. A knife fell out of Hot Pie's hand, Gendry grabbed without hesitating and walked out.
By the time they made it to the main floor Lem, Anguy and a girl were taking the children outside of the building.
“Jesus! Is he alive?”—Lem asked as he saw Thoros drag an unconscious Hot Pie to the nearest ambulance.
“Barely”—Gendry said eyeing the young girl who was passing an infant towards Anguy. She was helping so he’d ask questions later. They started herding the children from the farthest side of the building. From all ages, teenagers of 14 – 15 years to babies barely 3 months old, all crying and screaming obviously not knowing what was going on. Gendry said a thank you to whoever was out there that they were all in the same place but the fire was still alive and by now he was sure the building was going to collapse any second.
“Here, take him!”—The young girl said handing Gendry a little boy who could barely breathe because of the smoke.
“Hey there Kiddo, it’s ok. Let’s get you over to the doctors so you’ll breathe clean air again” Gendry said running outside as the girl went inside of the building.
“No, go back. Go back!”—The little boy cried.
“I will buddy, we’re taking out all your friends. Let’s get you sorted first”
“No, I was the last one. You have to go and get Arry. She won’t come back!”—Shit.
Gendry handed the little boy to the first paramedic he saw and ran back to the building but was stopped by Thoros.
“Are you insane? The fucking building is collapsing!”—
“I have to go get the girl out!”
“We got the kids, we got Hot Pie. Leave her, she’s probably one of Frey’s groupies.”—
“I can’t!” Gendry yelled already running inside. Groupie or not she saved Hot Pie so that was worth coming back for.
Inside it was worse by the second. Gendry had to actually walk over parts of the ceiling that had fallen to get to where he assumed the girl was; inside the room the children were being held. She was at the far end, huddled up in the corner. Knees up to her chin, with her eyes wide.
What. The. Fuck? Did she have a death wish? Maybe she was one of the women that shared Frey’s bed, those were so fucked up in the head that many would give their lives for him.
“Frey’s dead, you don’t have to sacrifice yourself for him”
“He’s dead?”—The girl said. A flash of relief…? Quickly passed through her eyes before she froze again. Pretty eyes, beautiful; Gendry thought.
“Yeah so, you need to get out of here. Come on”
“I can’t. I have to stay!”—
“If it’s the children you’re worried for they’re all safe but we need to get out NOW”
“I can’t leave, he won’t be able to find me!”—The girl cried.
‘For fucks sake’; Gendry mumbled. She was one of the crazy ones. Sure; a crazy pretty one but crazy none the less who was going to get him killed. The girl zoomed her eyes on his belt.
“The man? Is he alive?”—Gendry noticed she was looking at the knife Hot Pie had dropped. Gendry had secured it inside his belt.
“Hot Pie? Yeah, he’s my friend… Is this yours?” He said taking the knife in his hands. The girl nodded. “Thank you for saving him”
“I… I need that back, please give it back”—
“Ok, I’ll give it back once we’re outside”
“I can’t go outside. I can’t leave!”—The girl screamed. If they weren’t about to die under a burning building Gendry would have laughed at her little bratty outburst.
“Ok… so here. Come and get it” He said placing the knife on a near shelve. Only one girl would go after a knife inside a burning building: a crazy one. But a crazy one that Gendry needed to save. So when she finally stood up, walked across the room to retrieve the knife Gendry grabbed her by her arm and hoisted her up running outside for his life.
The girl kicked, screamed, bit and hit Gendry but he didn’t pay attention. “No, please no, let me go. I need to stay. Please, please”—The girl screamed with desperation. Something in her voice tugged at his heart. Something that didn’t cream crazy. Once finally outside she was having a full manic episode making the rest of the children who were all waiting for her to come out start to panic as well. Gendry didn’t think twice as he breezed past the ambulances, past the police squads out far of the compound to a little pond surrounded by trees. He dropped her to the ground and gave her a firm shake on her shoulders. “Stop it, stop it right this instant”. He said silencing her instantly. It was a dick move considering this was a clearly traumatized girl but he needed her to shut up.
“See those kids over there?” He said gesturing towards where the children were being taking care of. “Look, I don’t know who you are but you care for them and they clearly care for you. I need you to get your act together so...” Gendry stopped mid-sentence.
A bust lip, a swollen eye and purple marks on forearms weren’t consequences of being inside a burning building. “The girl… she saved me”; Gendry remembered his partner’s words as he really got to see the girl in front of him. Gray eyes, melted silver gems looked straight at him filled with tears and she wasn’t pretty, she was beautiful! She was slightly malnourished and wore ill-fitting clothes but Gendry could recognize a stunner when he saw one. He backtracked his wayward thoughts as he remembered not only that she was a victim in one of his cases but that she looked positively… under aged.
“Is he dead? Is he really dead?”—She asked with a small voice that Gendry was sure was going to haunt him to his grave.
“Yes” He replied caressing her cheek. Her skin was soft and what he could see behind the rust and debris of the fire was white as snow. A cough interrupted their moment. It was one of the paramedics.
“I’m sorry Sir, but we need to check her out”—
“Of course…” Gendry said, not noticing when the girl got behind him while he himself shielded her as if someone was going to harm her. He shook his head, his mind was all over the place. “Yes, of course” Gendry felt absolutely like dog crap when the girl refused to leave him. At least he wasn’t imagining things. They had some weird type of connection between them but he knew the protocol. First she had to go to the hospital and since he bet it was the first time the girl stepped outside of the compound and into the real world; that the next step would be child services if she really was as young as she looked.
“Arry? That’s your name right?” Gendry remembered that was what the little boy had called her. “Here… this is my card. It has my phone number on it. You can call me if you need me ok?” Stupid, unnecessary and totally outside protocol but Gendry needed to reach out to her. Make sure that she’d be safe.
She nodded and followed the paramedic stealing glances back at him.
“Who are you?...” Gendry thought.
“Waters get your ass back here”.---
Back to business.
Chapter 2: Just Standard Follow Up
Tick – Tock
Tick – Tock
Tick – Tock
Hollywood. One hundred percent Hollywood. That was who Gendry blamed as he listened the clock tick away. All armed forces and police movies were glamorized, you never got to see how lost you felt after dedicating an entire year of your life on a case. How it didn’t matter that you rescued your partner; in the end he was fucked up, beaten up badly and you were left with the consequences. But what movies didn’t show were the hours, hours, hours and godforsaken hours of paperwork that you had to fill. Interviews from Internal Affairs (the Judah of all organizations) disarming your play by play, making you second guess every choice you know was the right one. The could’a, would’a, should’a of life. It sucked and Gendry very much hated it since Hot Pie; who was the one fucked up, was normally the one who filled out the paperwork.
At least there’s an upside to being stuck in his desk; Gendry thought as he squared his shoulders to shield whoever passed his desk from what he was reading. It was her file, the girl who saved Hot Pie. Ariadne Gibbons. Pretty name, fake but pretty. Her papers were faker than the girl Lem was supposedly banging but since she posed no threat no further investigation was required but Gendry thought otherwise.
He’d heard the story from Hot Pie himself and the rescued children. Hot Pie said that once his cover as another stoned out follower was blown; that Frey had villainized him, immediately ordering his execution. Hot Pie didn’t sugar coat anything, he said he was a sure thing, dead meat if it wasn’t for Ariadne. She was summoned by Frey to gather up the children, initially Frey’s plan was to use the children as human shields but Ariadne or Arry as she was called as well; flat out refused and took quite a beating of her own before she could escape, gather all the children and lock herself in a room. While she was being roughed up Hot Pie tells how the girl managed to slide a knife over to him so he could defend himself; that was how he took down at lest of two of Frey’s men before he shot him in the stomach. He was still in the hospital, had experienced permanent damage to his liver but he was alive and Ariadne was to thank for it.
Ariadne Gibbons. No middle name.
Height: 5' 1" .
DOB: 06-2000-. Gendry bristled, definitely jail bait.
Parents: Father (not registered) Mother: Rosalind Gibbons
And that was it. That was all they could find on her, surely they could dig a little deeper right? Considering the fact that they already found another Ariadne Gibbons on the system very much dead 15 years ago.
“Damn that’s a pretty little toy. We’re you’d get it?”—Anguy asked eyeing Ariadne’s knife.
“Evidence” Gendry shrugged not wanting to draw attention to Ariande other than his own.
“Remind me to ask around who’s guarding the evidence room these days. That baby has to be at least worth my lucky number seven”—
“Hundred?”—Gendry asked eyeing the knife in his hands. Anguy smirked.
“Try thousands! That’s valyrian steel right there and that looks like a precious stone on the handle.”—
Where the hell did Ariande get ahold of this knife? It clearly meant something to her enough that she refused to part ways with it. Someone had to get it back to her right? I mean, he was free. He could do it. It had nothing to do that for the past two weeks; every time he closed his eyes he say gray eyes. He saw Ariadne crying, helpless in front of him and all he wanted was to hold her and make it all go away.
Firsts thing first. The mother; Rosalind Gibbons. That was someone he needed to check out if he wanted to know more about Ariadne. She was being held at the Kings Landing Police station for prostitution, apparently once the raid was over she took it to the streets to pay for her various addictions. Gibbons was tied to Frey’s organization for ten years now, so that meant that what? Ariadne was 7 when they joined in? Since then Rosalind was considered one of Walder Frey’s many wives but specifically the one in charge of the girls tricking themselves out.
It was a fast but welcomed ride out of the office and into the police station. He called in a quick favor so that Rosalind was situated in one of the interrogation rooms when he arrived.
“Now this is what I’m talking about. Roll out the big guns”—
“Miss Gibbons, sorry for taking some of your time this afternoon. I’m Agent Waters” Gendry said taking a seat in front of her on the interrogation table.
Rosalind licked her lips and eyed him suggestively “Honey; with those eyes you can take from me all you want”—
“Perfect. I want information, on your daughter” He stated. Immediately Rosalind’s demeanor changed from flirty to annoyed.
“What did the little brat do now?”—
“Nothing Ma’am just standard follow up on everyone involved in the case. Now tell me Miss Gibbons…”
“Ross… please call me Ross. Miss Gibbons makes me feel like my mother”—
“Ok… Ross” Gendry corrected himself “It says here on the report that you’ve yet to visit your daughter and that you’ve resigned to your rights as her parent and legal guardian”
“Can I ask why?”
“Sure. Why not? She’s better right now in a shelter instead out on the streets with me. You don’t let me make money with what I do best and you’ve destroyed our home. That clear enough for you Muscles?”—
“Miss… Ross; May I remind you that your daughter is just seventeen years old, and she will remain like that for various months. She is too old to be considered for adoption and once she reaches legal age the state won’t be responsible for her either”
“So? She’s clever, God knows she has a smart mouth. She’ll figure it out”-- She’ll figure it out? What the… some people just shouldn’t be allowed to breed. Gendry tried a different approach.
“Ok… what about the father?”
“There is no father.”—
“I can see that, what I also see is that Ariadne’s birth certificate is fake. Is he even alive? Can we contact him?”
“Legal papers cost money, I already was up to my neck with medical bills after my birth. No fancy lawyers, no father. That’s what you get”—
“During the raid she refused to leave the compound, almost dying waiting for someone. Does she have other relatives?”
“That girl has no living soul to take care of her.”—What a bitch; Gendry thought. How can she do this to her own daughter? But what Gendry did pick up was hesitation, it was quick but he saw it in her eyes. There was someone. He didn’t even say goodbye, he just stood up and walked away.
“Hey Hotbuns…”—Ross called at him before he closed the door “That list you guys put out. About every member of the compound, alive, shoot dead, in shelters or whatever. Are you sure that’s all of them?”—
Gendry made a quick mental note, he didn’t personally make a follow up on each and every member of Frey’s organization but it’s not like the agency did things half assed. They put out a list of the members so their relatives could find them if they wanted to “Yes, I’m pretty sure of it”
“Oh… ok. Good.”—Ross had a thoughtful expression on her face for just a second “Yeah, tell Arry that I’m sorry for such a crappy life. Shit happens”—
‘Shit happens’… damn Gendry was happy that he was an orphan, not that growing up in the system was a walk in the park but Gendry was a guy who accepted things as they were, he embraced them. If he didn’t have such a crappy childhood he wouldn’t turn out to be the bad ass that he was now. Not that he liked to brag but a lot of lives were saved because of him and he had the medals to back it up.
Gendry purposely rode slowly. He both wanted and refused to go see Ariadne. She was in a halfway house in Flea Bottom, that alone screamed danger. Add the fact that she was a young, hot pretty little thing she was automatically the soup of the day. He tried to review all the rules of engagement in his mind but he couldn’t think of any that he was violating, well his therapist would have a field day with his thoughts but screw him. It was nothing more than an agent catching up on an innocent victim.
The file on Ariadne read that Old Man Frey not only took Ross as one of his wives but Ariadne as his daughter, but that wasn’t a good thing. Witnesses said that she was never allowed to leave the compound, various people assured that the poor girl barely saw the sun but the kids loved her. They felt safe around her and wanted to be near her. She was shunned from the rest and other than Frey’s handpicked trustees Ariadne wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone without his permission and that she was close to Frey’s son Elmar.
Jesus he hated Flea Bottom! It was considered Kings Landing’s ass! He should know it, he grew up there as well. It was the town that froze in time. It was the same people, doing the same petty things, living their same shitty life. If the Red Keep represented luxury and high society then Flea Bottom was filth and poverty and Ariadne was stuck right in the middle of it. Great.
The halfway house was a shithole, not that he expected more. He was sure that Ariadne ended up here because of her age. It’s not a secret that the younger you are the better the chances of finding a good home so with so many young children from the compound Ariadne was surely bumped to the back of the list. To the ass, hence; Flea Bottom.
He got out of his car and walked inside of the building, no check in, no security, no nothing. Once inside Gendry started to sweat, the building had no internal air conditioning and the smell rivaled that of a closed gym from 1970. No one sat in the reception so Gendry wandered inside, some rooms had doors open, some closed, hell; some didn’t even have doors! Nope, this was unacceptable. He was going to get Ariadne out of here. He heard a commotion on the top floor.
“Well this isn’t your home anymore Princess. This is all you get”—
“This isn’t about what I get. I’m not even asking it for myself. He needs it for his leg aches.”—
“Then he better wake up earlier when hot water comes out”—
“He did but some guys wouldn’t let him inside the bathroom. The janitor said that it was restored at some point in the afternoon”—
“You were lied to, get on with your life”—
“We’re supposed to be under your care, not neglecting us”—
“I wanted to take care of you last night sweetheart but you refused to open your door”—
“Is there some kind of problem here?” Gendry interrupted the little give and take between Ariadne and who he assumed was the security guy of the halfway house.
“And who the fuck are you?”—The man spat. Gendry only had to square his shoulders and flash the badge he had in his belt for the man to shrink ten sizes back.
“I asked if there was some kind of problem here” He asked looking directly at Ariadne who was looking back at him annoyed…? She stood with her arms around the same boy that Gendry had saved last from the fire in the compound. ‘It’s him’; the little boy whispered with wonder in his voice while Ariadne shushed him.
“Nothing sir. It’s just the normal crap these little punks try to pull everyday”—
“Whatever…”—Ariadne huffed turning away “Let’s go Mycah, I’ll figure something out”—
Wordlessly Gendry followed her to what he assumed was her room. Four walls, very close to each other, no windows. A single bed, a pillow that needed to be confiscated by sanitation with no blanket in sight. There was a bed table with no drawers and that was pretty much it.
“Why did you do that?”—Ariadne spat finally acknowledging him.
“Uh? Did what?” He was taken aback with her hostile tone. Had he imagined the connection he’d felt between them?
“Come here and be all authoritative. People are going to talk, it was bad alone having the security guy on my back every day.”—
“What do you mean ‘on your back’?” Gendry seethed. Don’t for one second think that he’d let the ‘“I wanted to take care of you last night sweetheart…” comment the security guy had made. He just didn’t want to lose it in front of her and the kid who decided to speak up tugging on Gendry’s jeans.
“He’s mean. He treats me bad so Arry can be nice to him. I don’t mind, my leg doesn’t hurt that bad”—
When Gendry was thirteen years old he had a pretty crappy social worker. He didn’t give two shits about the children, Gendry was almost sure he did the work out of some court mandate but somehow he was the one that stuck with Gendry the most. ‘You’re a scary kid, scary kids don’t get adopted’; he had told him once. And as he grew and got kicked out of more and more foster homes by the time he was eighteen and fresh out of the system the social worker handed him an army brochure. “You’ve got pent up anger for years and a death wish. Either you make something out of it or get what you want and check out of this world, your choice”. Best thing anyone had ever done for him. He was good at that, at being scary, at getting things done. Ariadne was not staying another night here. Gendry schooled his features into a false sense of calmness.
“Hey kid” he said kneeling down so he was at eye level. “What’s wrong with your leg?”
“Nothing”—Ariadne seethed from behind but he ignored her, urging the little boy; Mycah, to talk.
“It’s all wonky. I fell from a tree and it broke”—No shit; Gendry thought. He had a pronounced limp and his hip bone poked out in a way that you didn’t have to have a medical degree to know something was not right. “Hey Mycah, wanna get out of here and get some fresh air? It might do your leg some good”
“Sure… I mean, can we Arry? Can we go with Agent Waters?”—The devil was in the details.
First, the boy knew his name. Arry not only must have told him but also after Mycah’s initial excitement at Gendry’s arrival it showed that they had talked about him in a positive way and also how Arry looked at Mycah showed she had nothing but love for him. Gendry wondered what he could do to make her look at him that way… He shook his thoughts in order.
“Of course we can, but we have to get back before nightfall”—
They started walking in a slow pace letting Mycah take his time, each of them flanked him and Gendry couldn’t help but sneak a glance or two at Arry. She still wore crappy clothes, clear hand-me-downs and three times her size. She had short air that she kept trying to comb down. He liked it, it looked cute on her although he didn’t know what she was trying to comb down since it was really close cut like a pixie. She constantly bit her lower lip and that made Gendry hungry… Seventeen, seventeen, seventeen; remember it dumbass.
“You know the drill, empty pockets.”—The security guard said once they reached the front desk that the guy wasn’t supposed to leave in the first place. He was definitely going to have a little talk with Ariadne about what exactly had happened these two weeks. “Not you sir, only the minors”—
Mycah pulled over his empty pockets while Ariadne hesitated not wanting to look at Gendry.
“Hiding something?”—The guard sneered.
“No”—Ariadne said out flat and emptied her pockets as well. Nothing there other than a little white card. It was crumpled and somewhat dirty but as she showed it to the guard and quickly took it back but it was too late, Gendry has seen it. His card. She kept it, after two weeks she kept it. He tried to smile at her but she refused to look at him.
Gendry walked further to help Mycah down the stairwell and into Gendry’s back seat inside his SUV, only then did he turn around to see that Ariadne was still next to the door looking around like she was in another planet.
“It’s ok Arry, come down. Agent Waters will take care of us”—Mycah said pulling his window down. Tentatively Gendry walked up the stairs a few steps lower than her but he still towered her. She was so little.
“It’s a crappy neighborhood but I was thinking heading up town a bit. There’s a nice park where Mycah can play while we; I don’t know, talk or whatever” He said shrugging trying to go for aloof but his heart was beating fast. What was it with this girl?
“Why are you here?”—She said narrowing her eyes at him.
“Why. Are. You. Here?”—She enunciated each word as if he where stupid. “What do you want from us? I already told the police everything I know. I don’t know where Elmar is”—
“I’m not here to ask you questions. I just wanted…” What Gendry? What is it that you want going after a clearly damaged seventeen year old? Agents who fuck around don’t get a nice retirement home in Dorne.
“Arry pleeeeease. I’ll take care of you. I promise”—Mycah pleaded from the car making Ariadne’s expression soften.
“Just… let’s go out for a bit. I think you both need it. Please?” He was a bastard, through and through. He knew he was a good looking son a bitch so he turned up his panty dropping smile and zoomed his blue eyes on her. She blushed. Bingo. He extended his hand towards her, she hesitated for a few seconds before she took it but when she did? Gendry made a mental note to schedule a session with his therapist ASAP. This was not normal. Sparks and butterflies and shit like the ones he was feeling only happened in Disney films.
He took her back to the car, buckling her up in a poor attempt to get closer to her. She said nothing.
As they rode in silence (Well at least Gendry and Ariadne; Mycah was babbling and pointing to everything he saw) he noticed that Ariadne was tense. She gripped her seat belt, her knee was bopping up and down and she kept biting her lips. She wasn’t looking at the scenery, she was accessing it. Taking mental notes of landmarks and looking, as if searching someone in the crowd.
He took them to a small park uptown. It was safe, clean, filled with children and had small little business for passersby; bakeries, a flower shop, a gift shop. It was surrounded by some trees and a small pond. Time to shrug the lovesick puppy and into professional CIA agent. Gendry had no shame to dig around a child for information.
“So kid… you’re pretty close to Arry uh?” He asked. He volunteered to help Mycah around the playground while Ariadne sat close to them to keep an eye on Mycah but far enough not to hear Gendry snooping around.
“Sure, I’m her favorite”—Mycah beamed as Gendry pushed him on the swing. He lowered his tone as if to let him on a little secret “She says she loves us kids all the same but I know I’m her favorite. Me and Elmar… although Reggie doesn’t like it when she talks to people”—
Ok… Elmar was one of Frey’s sons which already annoyed the hell out of Gendry since the intel they had on him was that he wasn’t in the compound when the raid was made, he was still missing and that the old man was grooming him as his successor. What annoyed him was that many said he had a sweet spot for Ariadne. The question was what did Ariadne feel for him? And who the hell was Reggie?
“That’s what Arry did? Back at the compound?” He continued with his questioning.
“Yup, Pastor Walder didn’t like Arry talking to grownups so she was in charge of us. He’d get mad if she did so Reggie was always with her making sure no one got close to her”—Mental note: Search through the file case and find who the hell Reggie was.
“Wanna go to the monkey bars?”
“Uhmm I can’t, if I fall I don’t have enough strength on my leg”—
“Oh shit, I mean shoot. Sorry” Gendry said embarrassed.
“It’s ok. Can I go and see the ducks by the pond?”—
“Sure thing… just stay near the shore were we can see you”
As Mycah walked to the pond Ariadne was already on her feet about to follow him but Gendry walked over and took her hand to stop her.
“Let him relax, he seems to enjoy being out”
“I know, I just…”--- She wanted to say something else but stopped herself. It was time to put her into the interrogation seat. He had to put her at ease first.
“So… what happened to Mycah? Is it a birth thing?” Smooth Waters, smooth.
“No, he fell from a tree two years ago”—She bit her lip and Gendry bit his as well to prevent him from biting something else. “That was his thing, climbing trees. But one day he feel and it was bad, really bad. Outside people weren’t allowed inside the compound so…” Shame washed over her face and Gendry squeezed her hand. He was still holding it. “I did the best I could, putting pressure, making casts but he needed a doctor and didn’t get one. The damage is permanent now”—
“You? Really? That’s cool. Some people barely know how perform CPR”
“I’m not stupid you know. I can read!”—Ariadne huffed letting go of his hand.
“I know, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that it’s just that I know you didn’t leave the compound so I wasn’t aware you went to school”
“I didn’t”—They kept on walking, Gendry wondered if Ariadne missed the connection of their hands as well. “I was home schooled. I get bored easily and I like to read. I wanted to know what was behind the walls so I read anything I could get my hands on. Elmar managed to convince his father to get me an online tutor. I got my high school diploma and all”—She beamed making Gendry smile as well. It was rare to see her smile, Gendry wanted, needed to see it happen more.
“And medicine? Is that something that interests you? Like taking care of Mycah?”
“I’d like to become a nurse. Take care of kids, something with direct contact with the people”—
“You can study to be a pediatrician”
“I should, I want to but now that I’m actually in the outside world… I just… I don’t know what to do”—
“Something tells me that whatever you want to do you’ll achieve Ariadne Gibbons” Gendry said making her look up at him.
“Arry”-- She said to him.
“Arry, call me Arry, not Ariadne. I don’t like my name”—She whispered and suddenly it was as if they were alone in the park, no noises, no living creature around, just them. He took her face in his hands and God she was gorgeous, the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen! A gust of wind moved a tree above them making little rays of sun shine on Arry’s hair.
“Your hair’s not black” Shit, Gendry didn’t mean to say it out loud. He was transfixed just looking at her. At first he thought she had black hair but out in the daylight he could see it was a dark, chocolaty color. But on direct contact with the sun you could see red highlight on her cute little head. Red like her mother’s hair… Gendry decided not to let her in on his visit to her mother. “You’re sweating” He said, tenderly running a hand over her forehead. Arry seemed to snap out of it and took a step back from his touches. Clearly the smarter of the two of them.
“Ugh… yes, I hate the heat. Outside is overrated”—She exclaimed making Gendry chuckle and relieved deep down inside. She was sheltered but not traumatized of being locked down. Actually, the more he knew about her he could see that she was a pretty level headed girl. He just needed to find out why the hell she was willing to stay inside a burning building to begin with.
They talked a bit, nothing heavy. Mostly about the news, Arry wanted to know about everything. Politics, economics, fashion, sports. Eager to know more about the outside world and Gendry complied as much as he knew. But as the sun was dying Arry began to fidget, it was time to go. Only that Gendry refused to take her and Mycah back to that shithole.
“Arry… do you have any possessions? Something that you need back at the halfway house? Does Mycah?” He whispered as they got back inside the car. Mycah was dead to the world in the back seat.
“What you see is what we have”—She said with her shin up. She had punk and pride. He liked that.
“I was just asking because I don’t want you to go back to that place. I made some calls and there’s another shelter nearby. I’d like to take you there.”
“Are we allowed to move?”—That Gendry didn’t know but he also didn’t give a fuck. He was sure he had to have some kind of clearance from child services but taking them back to that seedy house was not an option.
“I’ll make sure of it.” He lied…
Mediocrity had its advantages. Gendry only had to flash his badge and scowl at the security guard to take them out of there. Earlier when Arry was playing with Mycah at the park he’d made some calls and found them a spot in another halfway house. He’d knew the girls running it and that some of the children from the compound were also there. As soon as they arrived 5 little children, boys and girls ran and clobbered Arry to the ground in excitement.
“Hey Jeyne” He said giving a quick peck to Jeyne Heddle. A former flame and the one in charge of the shelter. “Everything’s set up?”
“Don’t be mad and don’t make a scene”—Jeyne said in a calm voice that did nothing to Gendry.
“What’s wrong?” He growled making Arry take notice. He’d walked Jeyne further down a hall. “Tell me”
“I know I said there was enough space for the girl and the boy but after you called we had to take in other kids. An orphanage caught fire so child’s services sent them here”—
“Shit…” Gendry muttered. He knew he already was asking enough from Jeyne and that she would never purposely drive anyone away from under her roof.
“I have one spot left”—
“Do you have experience with disabled kids?”—Arry asked startling them both. Jeyne quickly answered.
“Of course. My sister and I are familiar with standard therapy”—
“Do you have hot water?”—
“Yes, we do”—Jeyne smiled. Obviously knowing the troubles of an orphan and the little things they value.
“It’s ok Gendry. Mycah can stay here, it’s what’s best for him and he knows more people. I can go back to Flea Bottom.”—
“Absolutely not. I…”
“Mycah, come here”—Arry called Mycah kneeling in front of him “You’re going to stay here from now on. You’ll have a nice comfortable bed and hot water for your leg”—She said pinching his cheek.
“But what about you? We are you going?”—Mycah asked already with tears in his eyes. Arry shuttered.
“I’ll come back as soon as I can”—Her voice quivered and Gendry had enough. He scooted down beside them and hugged them both quickly ruffling Mycah’s hair.
“It’s ok Kiddo. I’ll take care of her” Arry mouthed ‘thank you’ to him with tears in her eyes as well.
They said their quick goodbyes and before they left Jeyne gestured Gendry to talk. “It’s ok, go inside the car” He told Arry, he waited her to be inside.
“She calls you Gendry”—Jeyne said as if trying to figure something out.
“Uhm yeah. It’s my name”
“Not Agent, Mister Waters, Sir… she calls you Gendry”—
“Jeyne if there’s something you want to say to me just say”
“Gendry what the hell are you doing with that girl? Is she part of a case?”—
“Yes” What? It wasn’t a lie. It was a sealed case but Jeyne didn’t ask for specifics.
“I don’t like how she looks at you. What is she, fourteen?”—
“Seventeen. And she doesn’t look at me in whatever way you think she looks at me”
“Ok, then I don’t like the way you look at her. What the hell is going on Gendry?”—
“It’s just something I’m working on, ok? I promise I’ll explain later” He said already heading for the car.
“Wanna get drinks on Friday? My treat, it’s been a while seen we hung out”—Jeyne yelled.
“Sure” Gendry said in a non-committal way already starting the engine. His mind was focused on Arry. On Arry alone in that hideous halfway house. In Arry alone with that security guard. His knuckles turned white from gripping the steering wheel. Ross Gibbon’s words came to mind; ‘you destroyed our home’. This was Gendry’s fault, it was his fault that Arry was stuck in that seedy shelter. She didn’t belong there, they would eat her up. No, he needed to protect her. She was his responsibility.
And what the hell did Jeyne mean with ‘the way he looked at her’? Pfff, not to be an asshole but that just petty jealousy. It had been a while since they hooked up and the last time she was pushing for something more than a one night stand. She was just imagining things. Gendry was just a government agent doing his job in concern to a young and quite pretty citizen.
So what if Arry called him by his first name? ‘Be personable, get people to like you’ Wasn’t that what they told them in the academy in regards to the general public? So? That’s what he was doing. Well… he did have to admit that his name sounded glorious coming from her mouth. That little, plump, red, full mouth.
“GENDRY!”—Arry shouted shaking him out of his mental rambling.
“I’m sorry, what did you say?”
“I said; you passed the halfway house a couple of blocks behind”—
“Uhm, well. It’s late. Where are we going?”—Arry asked fiddling with her hands on her lap. Yup, a concerned government agent. That was all.
“You’re staying with me”
Like where this is going?
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Have an awesome weekend :)
Chapter 3: Dirty Little Secret
“Knowledge is power. Peyton Manning is the smartest quarterback in history. The man can dissolve your whole formation in the blink of an eye”
“And Tom Brady has how many superbowl rings? That’s right, 5. How many does the savant Manning have? 2. Dos.”—
“Tom Brady along with the Patriots organization are responsible for deflategate. They literally won by cheating, that’s common knowledge.”
“What is known is that sports are basically a game of facts. You get the win no matter what. A man can do whatever he can to achieve that”—
“Even cheat? Resolve to smoke and mirrors?” Gendry asked. The other man shrugged. “You’re a strange man Doctor H’ghar”
“I’m just open to anything. Hence why I am here discussing football with a young man who books an emergency session with me, spends 45 minutes talking about sports when clearly something is on his mind”—
“Who says that something is on my mind?”
“You only come here when you need to discuss something that’s bothering you”—
“And who says that I don’t enjoy your company as a friend?”
“We’re not friends, I’m your therapist and I’m pretty sure that at some level I annoy you considering how you came to my practice to begin with”—
Dammit. He was right.
Gendry had a love/hate relationship with Jaqen H’ghar. Why? Because he was a therapist. Weak people saw therapists and he wasn’t weak. Initially Gendry sought him after the corps mandate he got help. PTD they said, Gendry only said lack of sleep and women but in the end he ended up here. At first like a good little soldier he was, five sessions, once a week for a month, then somehow he got back every time he felt stressed. It could be months in between to being on first name basis with the receptionist but the fact was that he always came back to the couch. He wasn’t exactly a people person and sometimes there were things that he couldn’t tell Hot Pie. Hot Pie wasn’t damaged, Gendry was…
“I think I fucked up”
“Think or know?”—
“Both… but it’s more a matter of interpretation” Jaqen lifted his eyebrow. “Ok… say you had a patient. And that patient needed help. Would you deny that help?”
“No, it’s my job. I help people”—
“Exactly. I help them too. You help the mind and I help the body, I keep people safe, guard their wellbeing. That is exactly what I’m doing”
Jaqen looked at him and crossed his arms over his chest, stretching his legs out in his chair and just; looked at him.
“Aren’t going to say anything?” Gendry asked.
“It depends, are you going to start telling me why you’re really here or are you going to tip toe around hypotheticals?”—
Gendry sighed “So, there’s this girl…” Of course there is; Jaqen muttered. “And she’s seventeen…”
“STOP!”—Gendry complied while Jaqen stood up. “You’re a law man, I’m a doctor. We both know what doctor / patient confidentiality means but help me God Waters; seventeen? Have you ran out of women to sleep in Kings Landing that you have to go for the underage?”—
“Whoa Doc. Hold up! I’m not sleeping with her”
“Thank God… tell me everything.”—So that’s what Gendry did.
He told him everything. The investigation on Walder Frey, the raid of the compound. How he met Arry, how he rescued her both from the burning building and the halfway house, about Mycah and how for the last three days Arry had been living with him in his apartment.
It was weird to say the least. He got up in the morning; she was asleep. He went to the gym and then to work; she was asleep or at least the door to the guestroom where she staying was closed. Then at night he got home and she was asleep. That was it. Except for light noises in her room at night Gendry would believe he was alone as usual.
“Interesting…”—Jaqen said scribbling in his notepad. “And what have you done about the situation?”—
“Well, I’m here aren’t I?”
“I know… but in terms of your job. Have you found a place for her in another shelter? Contacted her social worker? I’m not familiar with protocol but I’m sure living with a minor from a case you worked on is not exactly politically correct.”—
“I feel good…”
“I feel good knowing she’s safe. Right where I can see she’s safe”
“Interesting…”—Jaqen said, still scribbling away.
“Would you please say something other than ‘Interesting’?”
“What do you want me to say?”—
“I don’t know, help me on what the hell to do?” Gendry began to space around the office.
“I already told you what to do; call child services and get her to another shelter. What you want however is for me to tell why it is that you’re doing what you’re doing”—
“I’m sorry, was I paying for you to be a wiseass?” Gendry muttered while Jaqen chuckled.
“Ok… what do you want to discuss first? The fact that for once in your life you are experiencing empathy towards a victim and not seeing them as just collateral damage in your eternal quest for justice or your lack of social skills towards women when you’re not sleeping with them”—
“Come again?...” Gendry said standing cold where he stood.
“The normal issues we’ve discussed millions of times Gendry. The root of the problem is why now? Why this girl?... I’d like to meet her”—
“Why not? I do believe that under child care she’s supposed to be seeing a therapist. Is she seeing one already?”—
“She was in a deadbeat shelter, harassed by the security guard. I’d go on a limb and say she wasn’t on any kind of therapy”
“Gendry she’s a young girl, a young woman who was stripped off of everything she held dear, pushed into another world and who is now living with a grown man she barely knows”—
“She trusts me. I know that”
“Which is not recommendable. She’s probably holding you up to the Olympus status of a hero when she obviously knows nothing is basic social interactions. She’ll form an attachment, develop feelings that are not there and with you being who you are that can be disastrous.”—
“I’m not a monster. I would never hurt her” Gendry exclaimed appalled that he would even suggest it.
“You’re a good man Gendry, I meant more about your inability to form a relationship with women without factoring sex.”—
“Jesus Doc… you sound like every woman I’ve dated. Just because I haven’t found the right girl doesn’t mean I’m this what? Serial ladies’ man?”
“I believe the current term is fuckboi”—
“I care for her, she’s… different”—
“Of course you do. You can’t have her. We crave what we can’t have. I want to meet her. If you’re not willing to do this through the proper channels then bring her here and see how we can assess the situation”
“Can I ask you a question?”
“I thought bartenders were supposed to like talking with their customers”
“I’m a retired cop who needed to spend his retirement money and opened a bar. I’m not a bartender”—
“Well it’s not like I can talk with anybody else” Gendry said gesturing towards the empty bar. It was three in the afternoon.
“Where’s your fat friend?”—
“He’s still in the hospital”
“Well, that sucks”—
“Yeah…” He guessed that was all the conversation he was going to get from Sandor.
With a slow day at work, internal affairs still on his back do to ‘unnecessary casualties’ with the Frey case and thoughts of Arry flooding his brain, Gendry needed a break and went to his usual hangout: Clegane’s. A well-known bar in the middle of Kings Landing owned by Sandor Clegane; a man who had spent 30 hard years in the force hating every minute of it and lived in a city he despised. He was a ray of sunshine.
“Did you ever had that one case that you couldn’t shake off? That stayed with you no matter what?—Gendry asked while Sandor cleaned the bar. He stopped and rolled his eyes.
“Waters I don’t do girl talk. If you want a shoulder to cry on go and find one of those bitches that are always willing to fuck you”—
Gendry cringed, is that really the general perception of him? I mean he slept around but no more than the average guy right? Jesus this was a mess. He couldn’t go to his home because he was scared of a seventeen year old girl. He couldn’t be this infamous lothario if he didn’t know how to act around her right? He literally hadn’t seen her since he brought her home with him and three days all alone by yourself in a new place must be depressive. But Gendry still felt like a shit, especially after what Jaqen had told him. He wanted her because he couldn’t have her and damn if he didn’t want her. With all the shame in the world he had to admit that he got a hard on the second he saw Arry in nothing but one of his t-shirt he gave her to sleep in that first night. What little he saw; because the shirt swallowed her up, he liked. Creamy, milky skin and toned fit legs that he instantly imagined around his waist. Oh yeah; with Internal Affairs breathing down his neck this was just what he needed right now. They’d have a field day if they found out, especially that blond fuck Dayne whose sole mission was to make Gendry’s life miserable.
“You go blind into an underground fighting ring with only your gun and your gut and you can’t go inside your own apartment because of a girl? Ridiculous” Gendry spat. Grimacing after chugging down his shot of jack. He took some money from his wallet and stood up.
“You learn to live with your ghosts”—Sandor said before he left. He didn’t even turn around as he spoke. “Every cop has that one case Waters. You just learn to live with whatever left you marked”—
“How do you cope with it?” He asked, Sandor scoffed and flipped him off.
“I retired and opened a bar”.
Gendry had been standing in front of his door for the past 27 minutes. Groceries and take-out in hand after deciding to have dinner with Arry. He still didn’t know what the game plan was but he needed to man up because he kinda wanted to just talk to her. She was cool in her own reserved way, he also had a surprise for her.
“When are you coming inside?”—Arry said from behind the door. Great. Smooth Waters, real smooth.
“Uhm… I just got here, I can’t find my key”
“You’ve been standing there for half an hour. I can open the door for you”--
“It’s ok… I’ve got it” He didn’t move.
“Are you coming inside?”—
Gendry sighed. Here goes nothing… He finally got inside the apartment and the first thing he noticed was that it was clean, I mean, he wasn’t a slob but it was spotless, it even smelled clean like the disinfectant isle at the supermarket.
“Hey uhmm… I brought some Mexican. I thought you’d like it and we could talk over dinner”
“I’ve never had mexican”—Gendry flinched. Of course; confinement in a crazy cult. Gotcha. “Sorry. I didn’t mean it…”
“It’s ok, what does it taste like?”—She asked eyeing the food with curiosity.
“It’s spicy. Do you like some spice in your food?”
“Uhmm I don’t know. I prefer anything sugary but I’d like to try it if you want me to”—
“Of course, I bought it for you” Gendry said smiling at her. As she followed him to the kitchen which was clean and spotless as well he noticed that her hair was wet. She must have just had a shower, also that she was wearing the same clothes she was three days ago. Shit, she doesn’t have any clothes. Dammit, I knew that. Pick it up Waters. “So… looks like you discovered my home skills and decided to clean?”
“Does it bother you? I mean, I’m so sorry, it’s just that I have nothing to repay you for all that you’ve done for me”—
“Arry… it’s ok. You don’t have to repay me anything. I’m just doing my job” Arry made a face but didn’t say anything “Sit down, I’ll serve the food” He knew he needed to buy himself time to talk with Arry, not only because she was the type of person that you needed to pull her teeth out for information but because he was way over his head. Damn H’ghar and his mind fuckery! He wasn’t a ladies man, he just got to the point. Forever a loner Gendry only indulged in the physical contact with women. The only pull he felt towards Arry was like any normal person with morals would do, she needed help, and he could provide it. End of the story. “Ok, I’ve got tortillas, enchilada, guacamole sauce, tamales, the whole lot. Want me to fix you a plate?”.
“Hope you like it” Gendry smiled as they both sat down to eat in comfortable silence. “So? Does it taste good?”
Arry pondered while taking small bites “It’s different. We ate simple back at the compound. I guess that after days of eating only crackers my stomach has to get use to food again”—
“Shitty food at the halfway house?”
“Yeah, and that’s all you had here so…”— Gendry’s chocked on his taco quickly standing up to drink a glass of water but first he went to the fridge. Shit. It was freaking Alaska; all ice. There was the old Chinese takeout that quite frankly he didn’t know what year it was from and beer, that was all. Then he went through what was supposed to be the food cabinets but they were just cabinets, no food in sight.
“You’ve been going on crackers and water for the past three days?” He asked sitting down again and Arry just shrugged nibbling on a tamale, she also didn’t seem to like Mexican all that much. Fuck; he muttered.
This was a mess, this whole thing was a mess. Jaqen was totally right. He was waaaaay over his head with Arry. There was a reason Gendry was a field agent, he didn’t stay for the aftercare with the people involved with an investigation. He got the culprit by whatever means and washed his hands. How in the world was he going to take care of a seventeen year old he was mildly attracted to… ok, strongly attracted to but you don’t have to rub it in. He lowered his head to the table with a thud.
“It’s ok Gendry. You’re a busy man, you’ve taken care of me and honestly I’ve felt better here with you than all my life at the compound”—
“Crackers and waters Arry. You’ve been eating crackers and waters for the past three days… and I don’t even see crackers around” He grumbled face down not even wanting to face her, he was supposed to be the adult.
“How long have you lived alone?”—
“All my life. I wasn’t exactly mister popularity while in the system”
“Are you an orphan?”—Arry asked and when did her hand start caressing his hair? he didn’t know, he just didn’t want her to stop.
“Yeah… No mother, no father. My fair share of foster families till I reached eighteen. Then I joined the army and it’s all been structured armed forces for me after that”
“Navy seals. Two tours, going on my third in a couple of months from now”
“You’re comfortable… with guns. You’re good with them, you know how to use one”—Arry asked with a frown that Gendry saw once he turned his head so he could see her. They remained seated at the kitchen table. The food long forgotten and Arry’s hand still in Gendry’s head.
“It’s my job. My weapon of defense. Does it make you uncomfortable?” He asked. Arry remained silent for a couple of minutes before she spoke again.
“I don’t think you’ll hurt me. I trust you”—
“You can trust me”
“I shouldn’t trust you but I do”—Before Gendry could plead his case she continued. “We’ve… I been warned all my life against men. That they’d only want one thing for me and it’s between my legs. Back at the compound things were mapped out you know? Call it plan parenthood to the extreme; this girl belongs to this boy and so and so. You were literally the first person I’ve talked to outside of the family and even back there I wasn’t allowed to talk to everyone. But still… I trust you. Honestly back home other than the kids I only talked to Elmar and Reggie, both kind of a necessity but with you? It’s refreshing I feel like…”—
“Like…?” Gendry gave her an encouraging smile for her to continue.
“Like you don’t see me as the weird girl from the crazy cult, as if even with all my background we were supposed to meet. I don’t know… just forget about it. It’s stupid”—
“It’s not stupid Arry. I feel the same” Gendry said taking her hand in his and giving her a gentle kiss. She smiled at him and blushed.
“Gendry… what’s going to happen now?”—
“Honestly? I don’t know”
“Am I allowed to be here with you?”—
“I’m not breaking any rules per se but I’ll be damned if I let you go back to that hellhole children services put you in. I’ll just play it by ear but you’re safe with me here and you can stay for as long as you want to.”
“Thank you”—She said and Gendry had to stand up in a hurry so he wouldn’t kiss her. He started to put away the food.
“Can I ask you a question?” He said washing the dishes.
“Sure”—Arry said sitting up and standing next to him. “You’re really big and tall you know that right?”—
Gendry made her squeal in surprise as he grabbed her and seated her in the kitchen counter as if nothing. “Better?”
“I’d prefer not being manhandled than you very much but yes, better”—She had a smile behind her little scowl so Gendry just winked at her and continued talking.
“What you said just now; that every girl belonged to someone in particular. Were you…? Did you belong to anyone?”
“Frey’s son right?” She nodded but didn’t say anything else. On the pissed off scale Gendry went from 0 to 300 but he needed to school his feelings and keep on asking. “So… how does that work?”
“You marry once the girl reaches eighteen. That’s about it. You had to even if you didn’t want to, Walder didn’t give you much choice. I like Elmar but I’m glad I don’t have to marry him anymore”—
“Did he treat you right?” He’d hunt the motherfucker if he laid a finger on Arry. She scoffed.
“Elmar is… Elmar. He wanted to marry me but he’s not his father. He’s really smart and has great ideas. He left the compound so he could get a job. He was my friend before anything else.”—
“Did you want to marry Elmar?” Gendry asked while he washed with force a very unparticular and already clean dish. He was surprised when Arry slugged him in the arm. She was little but she could pack a punch.
“Don’t be stupid. Having to do something and wanting to do something are two different things”—She didn’t answer his question but he’d let that one slide. For now. He changed topics.
“There’s a grocery store five minutes from here. You need to eat and this place is a wasteland. Let’s go shopping for all your favorites.”
“I don’t have any money”—
“I can’t repay you unless you let me clean your apartment while I stay here”—
“It’s not like I’m charging you and you don’t have to clean my apartment. I’m doing this because I want to help you, not charge at all”
“I don’t feel comfortable with this”—
“You don’t feel comfortable living with me?”
“No stupid. Stop putting words in my mouth. I meant you spending your money on me”—
“Ok… let’s go and buy some stuff and we’ll work some kind of an arrangement later ok? And don’t call me stupid”
“I don’t know… It suits you. Stupid”—
They laughed all the way walking to the grocery store were Gendry was quick to find out all of Arry’s favorite food. From vegetables, to fruits and lots and lots of candy, his girl definitely had a huge sweet tooth. His girl; he smiled. “Chocolate or vanilla?”—He asked lifting the ice cream pints but Arry wasn’t there. He heard her voice a couple of isles to the left.
“I don’t know… it sounds disgusting”—
“You can’t say that if you haven’t tried it”—
“It’s meat but it’s not meat. Then what is it?”—
“Where have you been hiding that you couldn’t possibly know what beef jerky is?”—
Of all the people in Kings Landing she’d have to find the little shit. Gendry always wanted an excuse to knock his teeth out. Maybe he’d finally have one…
“Ramsay” Gendry said making his presence known. He stood right between them minding that Ramsay was way too close to Arry to begin with.
“Waters. What a surprise! Wait, hold up. Is the store some kind of a front for something illegal? Is this a stakeout? We have to run right away!”—Ramsay said in a mocking tone trying to grab Arry’s hand. She turned away from his touch although it wasn’t necessary, Gendry had already shoved her behind him acting like the Berlin Wall. “And how do you know this fine young lady?”—
“She’s with me” Gendry said crossing his arms in his chest. But Ramsay paid no attention to his hostility. He was stupid like that.
“Isn’t she a bit young for your age? Although can’t say I blame ya’. Sweet looking little thing isn’t she?”—Ramsay said wiggling his eyebrows.
“She is right here and can hear and speak all by herself”—Arry huffed from behind Gendry.
“Of course you can sweetheart.”—
“Don’t call me sweetheart”—
“Then what shall I call if you I don’t know your name?”—
“Don’t call her. Period” Gendry growled grabbing Arry by the hand and going over to the cashier to pay for their groceries.
“Is he your friend? He just started talking to me back there”—Arry asked while they walked back to the apartment.
“I’m his neighbor. Waters doesn’t have any friends”—Ramsay piped up catching up with them on the way back with his own groceries.
His apartment complex was small. Only six units and unfortunately Gendry ended up with Ramsay Bolton right across him. He was a college student that apparently was majoring in parties, alcohol and girls since Gendry had never seen a book in his hands. He was a hot shot, trust fund baby and all around pain in the ass. Gendry hated him and Ramsay returned the sentiment but if anything they had in common was women (both with different views of how to treat them), he had his eye con Arry and the last thing he needed was Ramsay Bolton sniffing around while he worked all day.
“Ariadne; Ramsay. Ramsay; Ariadne” Gendry said in a quick and inevitable introduction. He was glad when Arry ignored Ramsay and scooted closer to him. He put his arms around her shoulder and continued walking.
“We didn’t get the ice cream”—She pouted.
“I have! You can come across the hall anytime you want to”—Ramsay replied with his saccharine smile that fooled no one. The walk back home was quick so Gendry shoved Arry into the elevator so he could have a quick talk with his neighbor.
“Plain and simple Bolton, fuck off. Arry is my business and my business alone”
“Have I done anything otherwise that convey my neighborly services? Is she living with you?”—
“Down the drugs a little Ramsay, I already told you she’s my business. I’m not going to tell you again” He said turning around calling the elevator again.
“Sooooo is she special or something? Guys like us don’t let women stay the night”—
“I’m nothing like you Ramsay. For one I don’t treat women like shit”
“Kicking one naked woman out of my home in the middle of the night because she was being a little bitch doesn’t make me a bad person, it makes me considerate. We wouldn’t have made it in the long haul. I won’t settle for anything less than my ‘happily ever after’”—
“Cute Ramsay, save it for people who like to swallow your bullshit” The elevator arrived and they both went in.
“I’ve seen 3 women leave your house the same day.”—Gendry ignored Ramsay. “So?”—
“Are you banging her? If not? Can I? It wouldn’t be the first time I pick up someone outside of your door. I’m really not picky.”—Just the thought of anyone touching Arry made Gendry’s blood boil. He turned around and smashed Ramsay so hard against the wall that the elevator shook.
“Listen to me you little shit. You deal drugs, hire prostitutes and don’t for a second think I don’t know you do a little shopping with Miss Holly’s pension check when you go through her mail. Not my problem. Even look at Arry and you become my problem. Do you want to be become my problem?”
“Jesus Waters, I was just messing around”—Ramsay tried to get out of his hold but Gendry shoved him back, his head bouncing from the wall. “Ok, ok… I’ll keep my dick on my side of the fence. Happy?”—
“I’ll be happy the day I don’t see you again” Gendry muttered giving him another quick shake just for fun and got out of the elevator.
The clock read 3.47am and Gendry was wide awake. He really needed a game plan with Arry. He already made a mental note to make sure to go grocery shopping every week. Also he needed to make an appointment with Jaqen, if he was going to take Arry with him was still up for debate. She needed clothes, toiletries and personal things Gendry couldn’t even imagine. Should he buy them? Give her money so she could buy them? No, that wasn’t an option, she’d made it clear she wasn’t comfortable taking his money so what? Should she get a job? She did mention the possibility of studying. How much time was she going to live with him to begin with? Gendry turned around yet again in his bed. Sleep was a foreign concept for him. His mind refused to shut down since he was a perfectionist and everything Arry was unresolved. To make things worse his nosy neighbor had seen her and he was…
A piercing scream filled the apartment.
Gendry took his gun from under his pillow and ran straight into Arry’s room. She was trashing in bed, screaming bloody murder. She was having a nightmare.
“Shhhh Arry, it’s me. Wake up baby, you’re safe.”
“No, no, no, no please Reggie I don’t want to go”— She batted his arms away as he tried to hold her.
“Arry wake up it’s just a dream.”
“Please, don’t make me leave. I don’t want to leave. Please Reggie”—She began to cry and finally stopped fighting so he enveloped her in his arms as she cried for a very long time. By now she was awake but Gendry let her pour her fear out. He sat in bet with Arry in his lap as he soothed his hand over her back, whispering sweet nothing to her ears.
“Could you please put your gun away?”—She asked in a small voice. He had put the gun over the bed table so he quickly stashed it inside a drawer. “They don’t scare me, they just… they make me nervous. I know what they can do”—
“It’s ok… you wanna talk about the nightmare?”
“I’m sorry I woke you up”—
“If you’re in pain; even in a dream state, in here for you Arry. Please know that.” She cuddled even further in his arms. As he felt her breath in his neck he leaned against the bedpost, mostly because he needed the support. Gendry started to shake like an eager 13 year old.
“I’ve always had this dream since I was little. It comes and goes. I can’t exactly explain it”—
“Who is Reggie? Where does he want to take you?”
“Reggie is… he’s my friend. He keeps me safe”—
“You were kicking and screaming Arry. Don’t blame me if the guy sounds anything but friendly.”
“I’ve known Reggie all my life. He knows what’s best for me. He takes care of me, like you”— She lifted her head and her eyes looked like liquid silver, her mouth plump, red, kissable. Without knowing it his face inched closer to hers, so close that you couldn’t tell who was breathing. She froze while Gendry gently moved her away and got off the bed as it was on fire.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that” He blurted but Arry was looking at him with curiosity or was it something else? She was eyeing him up and down and Gendry knew that look, she was checking him out. He slept with no shirt on and pajama bottoms or shorts. He slept nude really but he felt like the ultimate perv with Arry right across the room so he decided to put something on for the time being.
“I trust you…”—She whispered. Her fingers ghosting over her lips as if he’d actually kissed her.
“I don’t trust myself with you” Gendry replied with all the honesty in the world. This was wrong. She was a kid. He was an agent of the government. “I want you to come with me tomorrow and see someone. A therapist”
“You think there’s something wrong with me?”—
“No, of course not! He’s my therapist. I see him as well. I just think… talking to him will help us both with whatever this is” He said gesturing back and forth between them.
She seemed resigned and her shoulders slumped “Ok… if that’s what you think is best I’ll go. I really don’t have a choice”—
“Hey… don’t speak like that” Gendry was quick to reassure her. He knelled down in front of her and held her by the chin. “This is my home, yes. But you call all the shots Arry. Please down feel obligated to follow my orders. We can do whatever you want, whatever you need just say it and I make it happen”
“Do you mean that?”—
“Of course I do”
“Good”—She said, too quick for his own liking as she scooted closer to give him a quick kiss on on his cheek “Now stop apologizing and scowling. You look like a constipated bull”—
This time it was Gendry who froze. She kissed him. Yes, it was an innocent kiss on the cheek but still, he was now officially screwed. He groaned, landing flat on his ass on the floor.
“Ariadne Gibbons you will be the death of me, I swear”
“Stay with me…”—He was no longer frozen. He was hot, scorching. He needed a cold shower pronto.
“I, I don’t think that’s a good idea Arry.”
“Don’t get your hopes up mister. I meant just to talk. After I get my nightmare I barely sleep and you look wide awake as well. Let’s just give each other company.”—Him, Arry, in a bed… bad idea.
“I don’t think that’s very wise”
“Pleeeeease Gen” She said batting her thick eyelashes at him. He was a goner.
“Don’t whine. It doesn’t suit you. And don’t turn your gray eyes on me like that. Don’t play dirty” He said already getting into bed. She scoffed.
“Please… as if you don’t do the same to me and probably with the rest of the female population”—
“Stupid”—She laughed as she cuddled next to him as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
That night with Arry’s head on his chest, his arms safely tucked on her hips while their feet were a tangled mess; Gendry had the best sleep he’d ever had in his life.
Yup… he was screwed and Jaqen H’ghar was going to have a field day.
“Gendry had a love/hate relationship with Jaqen H’ghar. Why? Because he was a therapist. Weak people saw therapists and he wasn’t weak.”
I wanted to clarify this line right away. I don’t see reaching out and going to therapy as weakness, quite the opposite. It shows courage and strength. I just wanted to portray Gendry's macho mentality coming into the story.