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Arya Stark has clearly chosen

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The first thing she saw were the Unsullied as they moved in perfect step, soundless, then the Dothraki, who scream but made no sound as they too rode closer. Arya startles towards wakefulness. “John” the only word from her lips. But Arya didn’t see her brother in this twisted dream, it was only dead people colored by snow and the woman with dragons. Arya could see her so clearly “who are you?” She was an enigma, “was she dressed in wolf furs?” She was almost as white as them but she was burning them all. Bran is always rambling shit so similar. “Have I gone mad?”Arya wonders aloud.

 

Sansa had been livid for all of two hours before speaking with Bran and Arya about their brother’s decision. The maids got the worst of it having to suffer through Sansa’s pacing. She could have been dressed an hour ago. Bran could seem to care less, merely listening then heading into the Godswood. Arya on the other hand was confused and ready. Because John was coming home and he was bringing Her.

Bran settled under the fur Meera had taken along with them. He was ready to leave again but a water skin to the face broke his thoughts. “I’ll only be quite if you have some” she warned. “I’ll have what you leave, you just pushed a crippled through the snow.” He knew he had won before throwing the water back to Meera. Before Bran could take flight a water skin hits him in the face again “Deal.”

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When she saw them, Arya knew what she had to do. After all Sansa was much too ladylike to challenge anyone physically. “It’s Her” Arya can see her land on her dragon as the other one circles above. The woman is next to the Islander before Arya remembers herself. Missandei begins to introduce Daenerys “You stand in the presence of...” Arya takes her place front and center before she interrupts “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.” Missandei simply moves from the right to rear of the Queen. She’s met with silence from those at her front and no one behind her from the North kneels. Arya unsheathed Needle and that finally got John moving. “What are you doing?” he says blocking her path to the Queen when he reaches her. She only looks to his hand resting firmly on her shoulder until he removes it. “Introducing myself” Arya shoulders past him. “Don’t worry brother” she calls over her shoulder.

 

Arya every bit her own person attempts to walk straight up to the Queen. Several blood riders and Unsullied take personal offense. “They say you lost a dragon, beyond The Wall, saving my brother.” Arya states never taking her eye off the Dothraki whose hand is now residing on her shoulder. Daenerys has the sense that this interaction is more important than talks with the lords of the North. “Let her through” and her order was immediately followed but Arya didn’t move. She finally could see Daenerys once her men stood aside and she thought “this is it”.

 

She was counting on the Queen seeing through her and in doing so, indulging her. Never taking her eyes from violet ones “this man touched me without permission and I would like to address that, with him” she said pointing to the blood rider from before. Missandei translates into the man’s language. Daenerys almost looked bored when she flicked her hand, but Arya could see the amusement play in those eyes. Surprising the blood rider she tells him, in his own tongue, they will fight to first blood. The poor guy wants to cut his hair in a matter of seconds. Knowing she could gain favor with half Daenerys army, she stops him from cutting his braid at the last second, offering her hand “no, friend.” The closest Dothraki relaying what she said to the others. Their chest poking out at adding a strong fighter as an ally. The man cuts his beard instead shoving it into Arya’s chest before going to his guard post . Having proven her point she sheaths Needle and walks to the Queen “Thanks for saving my brother, come in. Any one who intends to harm you will meet me first.” If Daenerys is caught off guard it doesn’t show “I don’t know many North men but I believe they kneel before the Queen.” Still Daenerys enters anyway. Missandei and Tyrion sharing a look that says “she’s worse than the first one they sent” behind both their backs.

Considering no one knelt at the arrival, everyone was in the great hall with coiled bodies. Two Starks were seated at the high table, but Sansa stood when John walked in behind Daenerys. The Queen’s people sat once she did, including John, so those gathered almost seemed to show deference, but Dany knows better. She took the center seat and immediately someone stood. “What is the meaning of this?” some fat lord asks “a Targaryen, in your father’s seat!” John stood “take your seat sir” the lord stood until Arya looked up with a passive face that the man felt was most threatening.

John seated again began to sling shit directly at the fan. “He wasn’t my father” at this everyone turns to him except Bran. “Maester Samwell Tarley has informed me that I’m the blood of Stark and Targaryen but Eddard Stark raised me as his own by request of his sister.” John continues “but before I learned of this today, I bent the knee to her Grace.” At that the room erupts “a bastard king gives the North to the mad king’s daughter, traitor” and other insults fly through the air. Lady Mormont stands at once and the room quiets. “You swore oaths and the North remembers...” a few men take their seats “where is the Maester?” Arya speaks quick, high Valerian to three Unsullied stationed where Daenerys and John had entered. One of them moves to look at his Queen and once she nods the soldier touches another that returns quickly with Sam. None of the North gathered can understand but Arya addresses Daenerys as Queen.

Sam admits he told John a few hours before the gathering and shows the Queen the records. “Thank you Lord Maester.” Sam bows and looks up confused “I’m no Lord your Grace.” Dany stares a second in hope she won’t need to explain further. “Your House was formerly allied with Lannisters. Now they fight with me.” Sam bows deeply “of course your grace” and walks away. Lady Mormont settled down and it was clear she wouldn’t object further. Arya steps forward “My brother has done what he said he would. Some of you act as though you want his head for keeping his word.” This prompts two more lords to sit. “He said he has to get help in the Great War and has returned with armies and dragons. The Dragon Queen gifted us a mountain of dragonglass, before he ever bent the knee. Now that she has committed to us, instead of seeking her throne, all she asks of us is loyalty. We would all die without the dragonglass because regular blades don’t work. And the only Maester alive to study, see and kill a Whitewalker is here by our side.” Now only Arya stands, pacing slowly across the front of the noble table. “John acts in the interest of the North. If anyone wishes to challenge the decision, do so. Right here and now in the old way. I will be champion of House Stark.” Sansa tenses, knowing your little sister can kill doesn’t mean you want her to have to. “Well Arya Stark has clearly chosen” thinks Daenerys. When nobody comes forward and his sister moves back to lean on the platform, John begins “We are here to celebrate our alliance with the Dragon Queen, Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen. The Queen has done great things and has been a good person. A worthy person to follow. She saved my life and I’m not the only one.” There are so many who say “Aye” it sounds like a low hum, including the Hound, Tormand and even Greyworm. Missandei looks directly at her Queen as she agrees. “And now The Queen has come North to save all the living, so let us feast in her honor” the room quakes with cheers. Arya makes note of every still body.

Now that people are fed and on their way to drunk, Daenerys can focus on whatever it is about this Arya. She noticed that the girl never took her place at the table between Sansa and Bran. A place occupied by a blushing Tyrion. “Lady Arya” spoken quietly but with authority. “I’m not a lady, your grace” turning immediately and giving her attention to the Queen. “No, I suppose not, regardless, will you not eat with me Wolf?” Without direction John takes his plate and wine to Tyrion’s abandoned seat by Missandei. “I’m where I need to be your grace, between all of you and all of them.” Eyebrow arched and lips slightly curling Daenerys calls Arya’s bluff “You can protect us all, sitting at my side.” The meaning of what she’s saying twofold. Missandei glances over from her conversation with John, still attuned to Daenerys voice, and offers Arya a smile. Ever so stubborn Arya barely moves before she is on the platformin front Daenerys. Taking fruit from Daenerys’ plate “Surely I will eat with you your grace.” Greyworm and Jorah stand behind the Queen, on either side, only grip their blades tighter in response. This time Dany is anything but amused with the person Arya chose to challenge. She plucks the same type of fruit from her plate and making eye contact as she eats it “Come sit”. Daenerys can see it, Arya’s eyes darken before she moves to comply with the command, Daenerys wonders if that look was what she was trying to figure out all along. Daenerys doesn’t miss the quiet “shit” that escapes the woman.

Arya noticed how John looks at her then at his plate like he’s swallowed more than a forkful, before he leaves his seat. It’s a direct command she has no choice but to get close to Daenerys again. Arya walks slowly to stretch time and figure out why that troubles her. Excusing herself as she takes her empty plate from in front of Tyrion, along the way. When she sits, she smells it again fire,leather, grass and something else. Arya decides to serve herself some portions and asks if Daenerys wants anything. “Your Grace honors me, to invite my presence” Arya says in high Valerian knowing only Jorah, Greyworm, and Missandei would understand. “I tried to request, you seem to need to be told” responds the Queen in her native tongue. John has no idea why Missandei’s eyes truly go wide in that moment but can feel the intensity of whatever his sister and Queen are speaking of. “You seem to have discovered something you were not to know so soon” Arya smirks into her food. “And what might that be Wolf?” They lock eyes for a moment, Arya’s voice lowers considerably “based on what I said earlier and the challenge I made, well...that you’re the only person who can tell me what to do.” Now Dany can place it, that look but refuses to acknowledge what it really is. Only acting on its lowest form she ask “is that all I have discovered?” She leans into Arya’s side a bit “or is it that you like that fact more than others? Is that what kept you on the other side of the table, even after the feast began?” Now Arya’s, Jorah’s and Missandei’s faces are red. Sipping her wine, she allows and a girl to become calm “I told you why I stayed in my place.” Silence and the burn of eyes greet her. “Look at me.” Suddenly Arya stomach aches because Daenerys eyes, they say everything while the Queen lips mouth “and I told you where I want you.”

Arya Stark hasn’t frozen since becoming no one but right now she doesn’t even know where she is. She doesn’t stop her laser stare at Daenerys’ lips until the woman giggles. Dany places a hand on Arya’s arm “Are you ok Wolf?” she asks, one eyebrow raised. “Yes, sorry your Grace. I just need to go relieve myself and I’ll return shortly.” When Daenerys only tilts head in response and Arya realizes the innuendo of what she said, she stumbles in haste to get away from the woman. The guards outside the door look at each other strangely when she goes to lean on the wall, and slides to the floor, but they remain silent. Greyworm turns the corner and immediately asks “what is wrong Wolf Stark?” She speaks true before she knows she spoke at all “She’s beautiful.” “I mean nothing,” she corrects. Greyworm nods and moves to the door of the feast but stops, Arya hears, “inside too” before he goes. Arya decides she needs to play this game as no one would and not as a girl being smiled at by a Queen. So she returns and sits next to Dany again after she grabs an arm sheath with throwing daggers, she starts her game of faces. “Your grace, the man I sparred with earlier...what is his name?” Speaking in common tongue so northerners could also understand. “My blood guard Jarako.” Dany almost sighs at how the girl pulled her chair away a bit before sitting. “Would you mind if I give him something?” Daenerys just shakes her head in response. “Jarako” one word has everyone on edge. All the Dothraki looking to each other, the entire hall silent. The blood guard heads to the platform stops just short, and says nothing. Arya reaches into her coat pulling out the gift. The man looks to Daenerys for permission, before he opens it to expose three throwing knives. “They are to throw at tiny, fast people like me, before we get too close.” When Missandei translates Jarako laughs, the rest of the Dothraki then joined in with the drunk northerners already in pieces.

The smile she sees on Daenerys’ face is genuine but her eyes now hide something. Arya thinks she may be annoyed. “Are you planning to marry my brother soon?’ Oh and now Arya knows she’s hit a nerve. “What makes you think I want another husband?” Dany snaps. “You two seem close is all” Arya won’t let it go. “That may have been but earlier today we learned that your brother is actually my nephew.” Daenerys says in finality. Arya doesn’t know why that answer pleases her but it does. Arya feels like the test is passed and smiles at Dany, only to catch John staring at her. Only then it dawns on her that the Queen has been with her the entire time, Arya stands to leave the hall. Stopped by a really warm hand wrapping around her wrist “Y-Yes, your Grace?” The opposite of a smooth escape, and in her periphery Arya can see people who subtly pay attention. “Do you know where my quarters are?” Arya is stunned but it doesn’t show as she nods the affirmative “yes, your Grace, I escorted Greyworm there earlier to have it inspected and guarded.” Then in an instant Daenerys is all in her space. “Good” she chastises herself for being distracted and not grasping that the Queen had risen. After a second too long Arya steps backwards next to Jorah, head bowed in respect. Since everyone else is already standing Dany starts “I will retire for the night but feel free to stay and celebrate our alliance. Do so tonight, on the morrow I will meet with the North and collect statistics. After which holding a war council to discuss our enemy beyond the wall.”

See while Arya was playing whatever little game she was playing, Daenerys’ game was completely different. I mean if Arya didn’t really get what her true intentions were with all that bravado at the greeting was about, Daenerys definitely did. She had single handed, with a tiny blade no less, made a declaration to the Queen and all her army. That she, Arya Stark was just as good if not better than anyone in Dany’s army. That she speaks their language and understands their ways. That she understands the great game. Understands how families disappear in a flash. She may just understand Daenerys too. Those birds of the Spider’s already sing a cold song of House Frey. “The North remembers.” Songs that sang of Stark vengeance.

John had proclaimed so honorably for Daenerys so he couldn’t quite understand why he had been indirectly asked to move aside for Arya. At first thinking the Queen just wanted to grill his sister a bit. Seeing the Queen giggle while getting closer to Arya had made him queasy. He was missing something. Thus once the Queen had effectively dismissed herself he approached “My Queen, I will show you to your room.” Only to be rebuffed “No need Lord Snow, enjoy this time before war, besides, the Wolf is also calling it a day.” He bristled, The Wolf, nicknames imply familiarity. He had bedded her and she still calls him Lord Snow. John decides to ask Arya once the feast ends exactly what they talked about all evening. Tormand ,a few feet from Sansa and Tyrion’s teasing of Bran, greets Lady Brianne with “I thought she was fucking the Crow?” “She’s the Queen. She fucks who she wants.” John is too thrown off to hear them.

She could hear the noise of chairs and chatter as the doors closed behind them, and pauses at the end of th corridor “Arya, my men don’t know your castle...” Arya knows she’s just told Dany that Greyworm knows even if Sir Jorah doesn’t. Going to the front of the party Arya begins to lead without response. At the door the Queen and Arya are left alone, save the four guards outside the door and the other twelve guarding every other entrance to this wing. After Greyworm clears the room again Daenerys’ order to Sir Jorah to “only let the Greyjoys and Martells inside the harbor afternoon” sends him away quickly. Landing her right where she didn’t want to be, alone with Daenerys Targaryen.

 

Daenerys has all her pieces in perfect position. “Join me for a glass.” She knows she’s won because Arya stiffenes before she moves to close the door and move further into the room. She takes the glass Arya offers her and points to the lounges “Sit with me.” This is just a drink ten minutes tops and she would be far away from Daenerys. Right? “So tell me, what made you draw your blade before you walked directly to me and my army, alone?” “You had only dealings with John, a good person, fighter, and a true leader. John knows we need you here but Winterfell belongs to House Stark. The people around here whisper of our former enemies. I didn’t want to whisper to an army of that size, my Queen. I’m the only Stark left who could speak clearly.”

That’s obvious but Dany wasn’t deterred “I find it hard to believe it was just a warning. You could have asked for a duel. You even interrupted Missandei, she likes you by the way.” Arya blushes behind her glass. Only to notice the Queens glass is empty and refill it. When Arya passes it back there’s that heat again against barely brushed skin. “Not many women like me your Grace but she seems to have experienced enough to be among them. And if I had asked for a duel, I would have killed one of your people in front them all. I’m sure that’s not how alliances work, at least they don’t for long.” Dany decides she needs to work around this because Arya was only giving logical answers. “Yet when you approached me originally you claimed to want to protect me but tried to stay as far from me as propriety allows. Tell me why and I want the whole story.” Ok Arya is dead inside, but her face betrays nothing as she glances at the door. Daenerys says nothing “What would you have me say my Queen?” Ok, Arya thinks,I shouldn’t have drank the wine Daenerys poured me but it’s not like I could have refused. She’s not drunk just extra hot. Daenerys is staring her down silently. “You smell. I mean your scent. I couldn’t figure it all out and didn’t want to do anything offensive accidentally.” Subtle you’re not Arya Stark, Daenerys giggles a-bit “No I suppose not. Is that also why you left abruptly to avoid offense? Only to ask if I’m bedding your brother when you returned?” And check mate Daenerys knows while Arya removes wine from her windpipe.

“I don’t, my Queen I didn’t mean... John left here King in the North and returned with a Queen. I just, I apologize.” Dany doesn’t miss this glance to the door neither. “Is it something you do all the time, lie with truths?” Arya starts “When it’s necessary, it can save or take life.” Okay this face is nothing other than positively pissed. Arya goes to continue only for Daenerys to raise a hand, effectively silencing the Stark.

“Do you take me for a fool or child? I’m not, half truths can be more dangerous than full lies, for a Queen. I’ve given you every chance to be honest but you won’t, so I will.” Arya gulps the rest of the glass in one go. “Come here, I want to play the game you played earlier.” Arya leaves her couch and stands until Daenerys looks up. She’s standing over the Queen and takes a knee when Dany’s eyebrow nearly disappears.

“See you’re playing a game within one, but you seem or pretend not to know. When you’re brother blocked your path to me you didn’t look at him, only his hand. You had no interest in challenging him but Jarako you stared into his eyes, in clear defiance. Then asked my permission to harm him. Arya if you were a man I’d say you were waving your cock in all our faces.” Dany’s full laugh has Arya’s red face towards the floor again “I didn’t think of it that way.” Daenerys hums “maybe not but when you offered me your protection, you inhaled deeply. It may have gone unnoticed if you realized you were doing it. Arya” Dany’s fingertip under her chin raises her head. “In defense of John’s actions you named yourself champion of your house. A house that bent the knee to me, effectively naming yourself my champion.” Arya joining Daenerys on her seat when she touches the spot beside her. “As curious as you were, you could only find out what I smell of by washing clothes or by proximity. And you are afraid.” Arya huffs “I’m not afraid of you.” Dany’s scoff indignant “I even explained it to you and you flead from me. You are not afraid to fight me Arya, you’re afraid to be close to me.” Dany’s next statement floors Arya “You came back asking questions about John and I not for information sake but because you hoped it wasn’t true.” (Anyone order a mic drop?)

“So tell me Arya, have I won our little game or am I a liar?” Defeated Arya sighs “No Daenerys you have not lied.” Daenerys just smiles at the use of her name “There’s no need to keep your distance from me. I prefer if you don’t.” Ok Arya takes a second to wrap her head around everything. She must take too long, Dany’s telling her to “come back to now.” Looking to Daenerys lips she whispers “I should go.” Dany’s warm grip on her arm “I want you here, do you want to stay?” If Arya looks at the fucking door again Daenerys is going to leave it be. “Yes, I want to stay but you’re the Queen and I’m a killer. There’s no way you would keep me if I stay.” The response are a warm hand on her cheek and thumb tracing her lips. Arya doesn’t pull away when Dany’s finally kissing her. The reaction is slow but soon Daenerys can tell the girl has passion for more than one type of fighting.

Dany is in Arya’s lap before reality catches up to the girl. She knows what this is or at least what it is for others. She took a name from her list in a brothel. “Your Grace, I don’t know...” only for Arya’s eyes to flutter as Daenerys does what Doreah taught her. Still rolling her hips Dany takes advantage of Arya’s neck. “Daenerys, please.” This is not the tone Dany wants to hear. Arya is shaking and she doesn’t open her eyes. Daenerys nearly jumps up but Arya’s hands at her hips keep Dany grounded. “I don’t understand, you’re the Queen and this doesn’t feel like a game. I..it doesn’t feel like a lie.” Dany kisses Arya’s cheeks then eyes and waits for them to open before she speaks. “I won the game earlier, Arya.” With a hard grind downward “You can feel my heat, it doesn’t lie.” It’s hard to argue with, the searing fire wherever they connect. “Arya do you not want me?” Incredulously then embarrassingly Arya exclaims “of course I do, I just have no idea what to do.” That has Daenerys attention “You should do whatever you desire and I have no problem telling you what I want.” A girl loses to Arya Stark yet again when Dany steps from the dress pooled at her feet.

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John decides to find his sister-cousin a hour after her departure. He only finds Sansa,Tyrion and Missandei chatting in their wing of Winterfell. “The Queen May tell me what the hell happened.” He thinks, not finding his sister he makes his way to the Queen’s section of the castle. As he approaches Daenerys quarters two Dothraki step out a few feet from Dany’s door. “I’m here to see the Queen.” John states like it isn’t obvious. “Queen busy” is all he hears before the sound of something shatter comes from behind the guard. It’s Daenerys’ voice next “Fuck!” then a small thud. Still unaware John starts “Why aren’t you helping her?” The man says something in Dothraki that results in his comrades laughing. Dany’s voice rings out again “Fuck, Arya. Harder.” A filthy moan follows closely behind. Seeing recognition cross John’s face the guard says “no help the Wolf.” The guards slick grin and finger pointed to Dany’s room end John’s plans for the night and likely the future.