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Near Miss

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It’s not the first time Arya has seen him, but today is the first day she’s had the opportunity to really look at him.

His eyes are closed, so she can stare away.

It’s really too bad they are closed because they are such an amazing blue. She’s never seen such bright blue eyes. But it gives her the opportunity to study his tousled black hair, the strong line of his jaw, and the obvious strength in his shoulders, chest, and arms.

He dresses simply, mainly wearing jeans and t-shirts. Mostly black t-shirts. The one he has on today has a silhouette of a large bull’s head that stretches attractively across his pecs. She likes this one and has come to think of him as like a bull: large and strong and surly.

That may be the most intriguing thing: She has yet to see him smile.

He’s big. He’s strong. He’s gorgeous. She regularly sees him on the train she takes to work each morning. He’s on before she is and gets off on the stop before hers, in an area of town called the Street of Steel. The street itself isn’t made of steel, but back in King’s Landing’s early days, there were a lot of blacksmith shops in that neighborhood. Now it’s kind of an artsy, hipster area.

He doesn’t look terribly much like a hipster though. The only thing hipster about him are maybe his boots, but they aren’t pristine and shiny. They are worn, like he bought them for function rather than fashion.

Arya’s gym is one stop later than his, at River Row. She shifts in her seat, readjusting her gym bag at her feet. It’s heavy today because she has a load of fencing equipment in it from the weekend. She silently curses her youngest brother, Rickon, as well as her softness towards him. She wouldn’t have agreed to visit a class on a Friday afternoon to give a fencing demonstration to a room full of semi-disinterested teenagers for anyone else. So now her bag is heavy and bulky, just adding to the stereotypical unpleasantness of Monday mornings. She kicks the bag.

Her movement must have startled him because his eyes open. He looks straight at her and she immediately turns her face, coughing into her elbow, to avert her gaze.

He’s grumpy. She doesn’t want to know what would happen if he caught her staring at him.

Or maybe she does want to know.

She sneaks another look at him and finds his eyes are still open and they seem to be looking at her bare legs.

She definitely does want to know.



Gendry is tired this morning. Stupid cats in the alley behind his flat were either fighting or fucking – or both – at 3 a.m. and it kept him awake until it was time for him to actually be awake.

He is so tired that he doesn’t even notice when she boards the train. Barely notices the train is even moving. It’s dangerous ground, he knows, because he cannot let himself fall asleep and miss his stop. He’s got too much to do.

Reluctantly, he opens his eyes and is immediately rewarded with the sight of her seated directly across from him. And she’s looking at him. For about a second. Then she coughs into her elbow. It’s clearly a fake cough.

Fuck, she’s got those shorts on again, he notes, his eyes dropping to look at her smooth legs. She’s short, but those legs seem longer than they should be. She’s always dressed in workout clothes, figure-hugging garments that show off her tiny toned body. Since the weather has turned hot, that means a lot of shorts and tank tops.

Once or twice he’s felt compelled to pummel some unsavory twat who was ogling her, but he quickly learned that she has a killer glare and has come to realize she is very likely capable of defending herself if the need arose.

Still, if anyone tried anything, he would be the first to step up and start throwing punches.

She pulls out her phone and keeps her eyes trained on the screen, so that gives him more of an opportunity to surreptitiously watch her. Tank top and shorts in navy and gray. White trainers on her small feet. Her hair is dark and blunt cut just past her chin, with fringes skimming her expressive eyebrows. He hasn’t been able to figure out what color her eyes are, but he thinks they are hazel or possibly gray. He’s never seen a color like them but knows it would be super creepy to try to get close to her just to see the color of her eyes.

Even if it wasn’t, Gendry’s not that outgoing.

Her tops often bear the wolf’s head logo of a popular gym on River Row, and he’s not sure if she works there or just goes there to work out every day.

She’s such an interesting puzzle. The fact that she’s beautiful doesn’t hurt either. He keeps hoping she’ll inspire him creatively, but she’s too much of an enigma to be a decent muse thus far.

And he’s too much of a reclusive hermit to try to change that, no matter how much he might wish to.

His stop is next, and he automatically straightens his posture in anticipation. As he stands, he is treated to the sight of this little wolf stretching her arms over her head, revealing a strip of toned stomach.

His mouth goes dry and his fingertips rub together, imagining what that flawless skin would feel like under his callused hands.

The train squeals to a stop and he nearly bolts for the door, just in case she caught him looking.