Gendry fucking hates parties. Specifically, university parties in someone's cramped student house with cheap beer and at least three people throwing up before 9. Loras and Renly are sat in a corner with their tongues down each others throats, and he saw Margaery drag Sansa upstairs as soon as she walked through the door.
He's not entirely sure whose house this; he thinks maybe Hot Pie's, but he's only here because Arya forced him to come. She disappeared five minutes after they arrived, lost in the swarm of people filling the house. He's ended up shoved in a doorway, barely able to move for fear of stepping on someone. It's way too dark, the owners of the house apparently relying on the cheapest Christmas lights possible to provide lighting, and he feels like he can't breathe. Truth be told, he would have left a long time ago, or at least gone out for air, but there's too many people between his position and the nearest exit. He's big enough and strong enough to force his way through, but he can't really be bothered.
Really, a night like this is his idea of a nightmare. He doesn't mind going to a bar, having a couple of drinks with friends, but he doesn't understand how anyone can enjoy sweating like a pig and getting plastered in someone else's house, surrounded by strangers. He sighs and takes a sip of lukewarm beer, grimacing at the taste. He'd much rather be at home - heshould go home, he's only miserable staying here, but there's Arya to consider.
Arya. It's not like he's the only one responsible for her; a few other people from their house are here, but, well. He's probably the only one of them who's likely to end the night semi-sober, so there's that. Still. He could leave. But he won't.
Someone crashes into him, and his beer spills down his shirt. He swears, ineffectually trying to wipe it off. He gives up eventually and lets his head drop against the wall, closing his eyes and groaning. He really, really hates parties.
He's not sure how long it's been when he feels someone tugging at his sleeve. He cracks his eyes opens, then jerks his head up when he spots Arya staring at him somewhat impatiently.
"What's up?" he asks.
She says something, but he doesn't quite catch it. But there's a gleam to her eyes and something in her smile, and he knows that she's not here to get them to leave. She's well on her way to drunk; Arya would never admit it herself, but she's a complete lightweight. She doesn't drink often, owing to the amount of sport she does, so it's never usually long before she staggering her way back home, usually supported by Gendry.
Arya pouts at his frown, then stands on her toes so she's more level with him. "This is a shitty way of asking me to kiss you, you know that, right?"
He stares at her; she has to be drunker than she looks to come out with something like that. He shakes his head, confused, so she sighs and points up. He looks where she's pointing and... Oh. Oh. Gendry thinks he has to have the worst luck in the world, because only he would end up standing under fucking mistletoe at a party with his best friend who he has totally not-platonic feelings towards.
"Arya, I, uh, I didn't, I mean, uh, this wasn't..." He trails off, shrugging hopelessly.
Arya sighs again, then leans up to him again. "I knew that, idiot."
He shakes his head; he's still got no idea what she's talking about. He doesn't even know how Arya knows about how he feels; he's aware that she doesn't feel the same, so he's done everything he can to hide it all. Arya rolls her eyes at him, then reaches up and yanks him down to her level.
"Because you're apparently too bull-headed to figure it out yourself," she murmurs in his ear. "This is my shitty way of asking you to kiss me."
Gendry's mouth goes dry, and he's suddenly struggling to breathe in a way that has nothing to do with the closeness of the air. He turns his head towards Arya and they meet eyes for the briefest of moments before hers goes to his lips and she's kissing him. He wraps his hands around her, pulling her closer, and she seems to be doing the same. He smiles into the kiss and lets out a quick laugh when they break away for air.
Maybe this party, at least, isn't quite so bad after all.