lavivi: scan from Hellsing manga of Integra and Alucard (Joffrey is a wicked boy)
lavivi ([personal profile] lavivi) wrote2009-04-10 11:05 pm

A Blind Wolf Still Has Teeth (ASoIaF exchange fic)

Wrote this earlier this year for my first ASoIaF ficlet exchange.  It was a struggle to get it in the word count (actually, I was over by more than a hundred); it requested a meeting between Arya and Jaqen H'ghar.  Something I would like to see very much myself, so I had trouble fully executing it.  I like the first half, anyway.

{A Blind Wolf Still Has Teeth}

Arya walked the streets of Braavos.

They were her streets. Certain corners had their markers, whether they were something for her fingers or the voices of shop owners. Braavos' canals and alleys were linked together in her mind by the markers - thin white lines, with the occasional bright points, on a field of black.

Sounds - the many, many voices, raucous laughter or shouts or grunts - painted her world in vivid colors. Arya had gotten good at reading voices as well (better, she often thinks) as she once read faces. She thought that voices weren't as disguised as appearances could be. She could tell friendly ones from the ones who were only pretending and looking to take advantage of a little blind girl. That was their mistake.

She could run, sometimes. In certain allies, when there were no sounds in front of her. She might stand before it for several minutes, listening for a step, a breath, a rustle against stone. Occasionally she tripped over something, rolled back to her feet, and kept going. She had gotten good at that too.

When she walked down the harbor, she hardly bumped into anyone. Sailors and merchants never kept quiet, and she moved around them, while the silent ones stepped out of her path. 

Arya stopped, turning to the sound of the waves against the ships and piers. The air was cooler, and she could no longer feel the sun on her face. Besides, it just felt like dinnertime.

The Happy Port drew her feet, and she arrived without hardly thinking of her map and markers. Meralyn gave her bread and a piece of fish, and Arya handed her coins in return.

The fish was better than usual, and Arya was absorbed with it in her hands, so it was her fault when she tripped over a stick and fell flat on the ground, the food tumbling out of her hands, gone.

Laughter exploded to her side, and she immediately rolled back, reaching. Her hand found the stick and she pulled, heard someone stumble, drew her leg back and kicked. Her foot made a satisfying connection; he gasped - "Little bitch!" - and Arya scrambled back, jerking the stick. It suddenly came free, and she rolled back onto her feet, into the water dancer's pose. 

She could hear their breathing. "You think I can't see you?"

A footstep, and she pointed the stick (Needle, she could imagine it) slightly to her right. Silence again; then with a yell she lunged forward and stamped, and there was a burst of footsteps - retreating.

Arya kept her stance a minute longer, listening for any who might have stayed behind - but when they ran, they all ran together. She dropped her hand, the stick just a measly stick again, and broke it in two over her knee. She wondered if there was any use looking for her fish. But the one thing she hated was looking blind.

"A girl has learned much."

Arya jumped, nearly stumbling backwards - always dangerous when she didn't know how close the canal was. She twisted wildly, searching for the sound of the voice - that voice. Her heart pounded, and she wondered why she broke the stick, and then how a stick would help her anyway.

"A girl remembers." She couldn't be misremembering it, but there wasn't any direction it came from. "A man remembers too."

It had been a long time since she had hated being blind so much. For a long minute she was rigid, staring at nothing, in no direction - then she relaxed, hands dropping to her sides. "Jaqen," she said, into the darkness.

"Come, little wolf."

[identity profile] 2009-04-27 08:24 am (UTC)(link)
i saw your comment at [ profile] pojypojy's and it had "jaqen" and "arya" in the same sentence so here i am now. i love it to pieces - even when their interaction happens only in the last part, i think you managed to condense all the fascination and tension their scenes had in A Clash of Kings. and i agree with the original reviewer complaining about how short it is and your GRRM-like cruelty ;)
ext_14783: girl underwater (Default)

[identity profile] 2009-04-27 11:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh! I'm so flattered you went and sought out this entry, ha, and even more pleased that you like it. Yeah, I know it sucks that I cut it off right when they meet again, but I honestly have no idea what they would do next. I hope it's something Martin shows us eventually, though. But honestly, I didn't think my cut-off was quite paramount with the woe Martin inflicts. :)

Also, nice icon! It's always rather amazing to me to see such nicely done icons for smaller fandoms. (Actually, I have no idea how small ASoIaF is, I haven't been in the fandom for very long...I guess I was going by the lack of official art.)