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3 A.M.

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Title: 3 A.M.
by loveatfirstsight

Summary:

3 A.M.has been published into an original story of its own, if interested contact me on my tumblr l-e-v-i-ackerman

 

 

 

The story is about Levi: A neurotic man who suffers from depression, is successful at writing but unsuccessful at everything else. Setting: Breakfast (never in the morning) at his favorite diner, a record store that hasn't dusted its ceiling fan since the 1970's, a hole in the wall cafe to drink black tea and judge the terrible tongue tied poets on the shoddy ill-lit stage, a park with swings that are always annoyingly wet, and his immaculate apartment in the city. Levi is riddled with quirky traditions and struggles with anxiety, still battling childhood memories he can never completely forget. Then enter Eren Jaeger, the too loud and too passionate guitar player that takes the stage one night that just won't stop staring at Levi. Eren is full of hope and promise and everything Levi needs, but Levi can't have what's good for him. Right?

(I do not give my permission to copy or duplicate.)



End Notes:

 

3 A.M.has been published into an original story of its own, if interested contact me on my tumblr l-e-v-i-ackerman

 

 

 

 

 

 

My tumblr is l-e-v-i-ackerman. Thank you for reading!



Published at: 2014-04-16
Revised at: 2015-06-06 08:00:00 -0400

Chapter 1: A Friend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its always here, in the feet reddening bath, at 3 in the morning, that I realize I am a simply inadequate human being. I scrub madly away at my body, the filth of being worthless sticking to the swirled skin at my fingertips and the cracks of my body. I watch my black hair snake along the bends of my limbs and I faintly wonder if I'll be prematurely bald before I hit 40.     

I shouldn't have a name. I especially don't have one now, dripping in a wet porcelain coffin of my own making, sitting in this tub of loathing. Wishing I was smoking a cigarette right now but knowing it would only make me more piss in the pants frightened of the universe. Cancer is always ruining everything. I mean, I smoke anyways, because I am not a man that makes any sense. I give a fuck but I also don't give enough fucks. The eloquent struggle.    

You see, when good ol' Erwin, another friend I somehow managed to get stuck with, made me feel worthless, I mean, he wasn't mean or anything, I could just tell he just doesn't give much of a damn about talking to me at the moment and that made too many seams come undone tonight.    

I like people who don't find me important, I absolutely adore them.  Someone who finally understands how completely helpless I am makes me so sickly excited. Its like meeting the truth. My parents had one child, one socially inept sad child and they tried their very low class best to make me the worshiped fountain instead of a penny being thrown. But here I am. The useless scrap soaking in now dirty water. Two hours of a bath and a shower later, I slip a lint- balled blue towel, a shit excuse too small but at least clean towel, off the silver rack and onto my raw body.    

I was always stupidly understanding, even as a child. I could tell that the adults with their big toothy smiles were nothing but criminals and cheats, That's why their too sweet corn syrup words never tricked me. No one does. That's why I am a miserable person. Because I don't baby myself with feel good lies.    

After dealing with the fecal matter of high school I dropped out and got my GED immediately. I didn't have time for those fucking teachers who thought calculus  was more important than a kid's mental health. I became a writer. My pen name is Humanity's Strongest and isn't that the biggest fucking joke I've ever made up. But hey, I'm famous, no one knows what a terrible waste of space I am but somehow people like my gory adventure books.    

So why I am in this rat-hole apartment with a neighbor who is abominably obnoxious? Because I can't take care of myself.  I don't understand why she likes me, who would want to occupy the same spacewith a blue little man, typing his cheap stories too slowly and wandering over and over to the refrigerator just to return to his room empty handed. I'm just so particular about everything. I have to be in a mood. But if it absolutely must be done, it has to be in my very particular way.    

Oh but when it comes to getting on my hands and knees to rid every microscopic atom of fucking dust I can get that done no matter what. Hanji, a living dust mite herself,  makes sure I eat and tries to get me outside as much as she can. We've known each other since high school, she was a big clueless chemistry geek with a nose she hadn't grown into yet and big glasses that looked like mad scientist goggles. People were always making fun of her and it didn't even faze her. I respected that and made sure people would piss off when they would start tormenting her.    

 Kids were scared of me, an all black wearing loner, like they should have been. I was known for breaking bones if someone thought they had the chance of bullying me because of my short shit stature. Hanjistarted to hang around me, saying thank you and what not, of course I told her it was only because the snot nosed fucks were being too obnoxious but she knew better and she made us friends without my consent. Yeah and she's the one who hooked me up with an Editor, Erwin, and here I am.     

It's not that I'm in love with Erwin. Love gets thrown into the trash with all the other lies: Santa, The Easter Bunny, and Strippers with a heart of gold. Its just the maddening daydreams that plague me constantly, when he leans over to click away at my computer, and I watch those thick juicy biceps stretch, I can't help but want to sink my teeth into him with Dracula fangs and suck the sexy out of him. Lust is a powerful thing. Lust always triumphs over love. That's why  divorces and cheating are as bountiful as shit is in the sewer.      

I'm smart enough to know that I can't seduce him, a powerful and very straight man, to demean himself low enough to fucking me. Reality has so many impossibilities, that's why I find freedom in writing, I am the hero, and there are endless possibilities. Not that I write pretty bedtime stories for babies to drool all over, even in my dreams things can't be too happy.    

Happiness seems to go in the trash with love and all the others. Now that my hair is dried and I've slipped into my well worn grey silk pajamas, I can lay in bed and fall into a restless sleep with the sun rising and killing the night. I usually have nightmares, of them, I try not to think of their names because that reminds me that they were real, alive and breathing once upon a time, and that's too much for me to comprehend. Its either nightmares, bad dreams, or pitch black nothing. Nothing is the best I can get.    

 


 

 

I wake up with my head under my pillow and somehow I still manage to hear Hanji's wakeup call of breaking her fucking fist on my door and yelling my name in a sing song voice over and over,    

" LEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeevi ! Levi! Leaves Aye, oh leafy- I, Levi! Most people are up by 2p.m. ya' know! " She's like a woodpecker from hell that woman. I literally roll myself out of bed and start my morning routine. First and foremost I get Hanji to shut the fuck up.    

" Oi , I'm up already you foghorn so shut up already!" Ugh, it hurts to raise my voice, my ears start to ring as I slide my toothbrush out of its container, I wash out the bristles with just about boiling sink water because it could have collected bacteria over night, and then proceed to squeeze the minty green turd of toothpaste out of its tube then brush. I floss, I take a quick shower, I fix my hair just so my bangs hang above my eyes, so my hair is parted somewhat not in the middle, and so my undercut looks immaculate. I take out my carefully folded clothes and pull on a pair of black  pants and a plain black longsleevecovered in a thick grey cardigan. I near choke myself with a blue scarf and step into my too big blue rain-boots. I wear differentiations of this outfit everyday. Different shades of blue black and grey, but essentially, the same outfit.     

I step outside and Hanji has a smile big enough to hurt and I nod my silent hello, and we both turn at the same time to head towards her car. I wipe down the passenger seat because I swear to fat ass Buddha she could live in a garbage can, she'd probably make some grand experiment of it. So I always have to throw away her fast food bag left overs on her dashboard as well. I don't drive.    

  Routine is important. I have my messenger bag with me when I go outside at all times. Its like my survival pack on a deserted island, except this is unfortunately a city and its jam-packed with noisy filthy idiots. The messenger bag is filled with the following items: A to go little bottle of sanitizer, hand lotion because sanitizer dries the fuck out of skin, a 99 cent black and white composition notebook, two black inked pens (any other color of ink bothers me), cellphone, umbrella (this city rains as much as drunk men piss),  wallet, and a pack of cleansing wipes. Without this survival package of mine, I won't step out of my apartment.     

We go to Maria Diner for breakfast even though its already the afternoon and I wipe down the booth before we sit down. Workers always use the same used-to-be-white-but-now-is-grey wash rags to "clean up" after previous guests and that just isn't acceptable for me.  The place has the color scheme of red, black, and white. Its 50's themed and has a juke box in the corner. I get pancakes and fruit and drink some tea, the tea isn't as good as Rose Café's but its decent enough.     

I realize Hanji is still talking when she starts waving her hand in front of my face,     

"Shitty glasses if you still want that hand to wipe your ass with then you better get it out of my face." She laughs but then gives me a somewhat serious look,    

"Why is your pancake still a circle? Slice and dice that yummy thing." I sigh because I know she won't stop nagging me until I do so and begin the methodical process of making even cuts across the pancake.I pop the perfect cut outs into my mouth and soon my plate is empty. I never realize I'm hungry until I actually eat most of the time.     

Once Hanji's lunch break is over she drops me off at my place. Where I begin to procrastinate on writing my book series, "A Grim Reminder." I procrastinate by watching terrible foreign movies and eating cup of ramen with actual chopsticks, I can't enjoy noodles unless I have them, I keep  4  pairs of chopsticks in my cutlery drawer. Once my ass starts to hurt from barely moving for hours and my eyes are too lazy to stare at subtitles, I decide to take my usual late night trip to the 24 hour Rose Café. I grab my messenger bag and head out, thankfully its not too far of a walk. Public transits are far out of the question, its like an orgy of germs on every square inch of buses and trains and shit. No fucking thank you.    

The café is small and practically hidden since its at the edge of the city. Its filled with earthy tones and has artsy posters and paintings plastered all over its walls, little round wooden tables with scrawny wiry chairs and a big counter more suited for a bar than a café but I like it, A rather sweet red head named Petra runs the place. She keeps it clean and I appreciate that, that and her killer black tea which I now take a sip of sitting at a cushioned purple  stool at the counter. I close my eyes and relish the influx of warm flavor, Petra gives her usual greeting, just a "hello its nice to see you again Levi, the usual?" and she leaves me be. Leaving me the fuck alone is my idea of great customer service. I slip my cardigan and scarf off and place them in my bag.  

There's usually soft jazz music playing on the speakers and the murmuring of strangers in silly hats who consider themselves intellectuals. But they are relatively quiet so I don't pay much mind to them. Sometimes, like tonight, they have poetry readings, I kind of enjoy watching the adults or kids making total pretentious asses out of themselves, it makes me feel better about my writing. They read their work out loud like they are reading sacred shit from the  Holy Bible, which is amusing. Every so often someone says something good, which makes me feel like I can't write at all. Ah the beauty of insecurity.    

But after some chick wearing enough eyeliner to camouflage with raccoons steps off the stage, some kid steps on stage with a banged up acoustic guitar. He's wearing a green hoodie jacket, blue jeans (that fit him thankfully, I'm so sick of those saggy assed fuckers), sneakers with a hole somewhere in them no doubt, and a  plain white t-shirt. But its his bright god knows what color eyes that I notice first, teal maybe, turquoise? Bed head brown hair, he's kind of tan, tall and lanky, too cute for his own good, his music is probably shit. He looks like he's ready to perform live to millions of viewers when its only us few insomniacs at a barely known venue, if you could even call it that. He gets himself situated and sitting on a stool from the counter, and says a brief hello to the small audience. Our eyes lock. I hold the stare a little while  but then look away to sip more at my tea, what was that all about?    

I turn back to watch him and he starts to strum a melody , it doesn't start out slowly like most songs do. The song is swift and fluid, passionate, loud when it needs to be, and to my horror, its brilliant. Attractive people are already annoying enough, attractive and talented people are damn right repulsive. So when he keeps glancing at me, smiling like he knows he's good, I glare at him. Brat.    

The whole god damn night this twerp stares over at me, like he's a Casanova James Dean sonuvabitch . I of course don't pay much mind to it, I hate over confident shitheads, I scribble down ideas in my notebook instead. The music stops playing but I don't turn to see him leave. I notice the soft jazz music humming in the café's speakers again, but I don't stop writing.     

"Hey. Whatchya writing?" It can't be. Oh but it is. I turn to see Mr. Shitstain blinking at me with those infuriating green blue mystery eyes with his chin resting on a palm and his guitar in its case leaning against one of his legs on the ground. I better send this kid running far with my stunning social skills quick and easy.  

"Obituaries. Yours next if you keep talking to me." The fucker laughs and flashes a stupidly perfect pearly smile and replies with a snarky,  

"I'm still talking to you. Did I just die and go to heaven?" He didn't just.  

I gather my things , put on my cardigan and scarf  and make my way towards the exit. My tea has long been paid for so there's nothing holding me back. I hear the tapping of soles behind me,  

"Wait, I was joking, I'm sorry. I just thought you seemed pretty interesting ." His honesty catches me a bit off guard but I just face him and rebut with,  

"I'm boring so if you could just-"  I don't expect his face to be as red as it is and he interrupts me with,  

"C'mon just sit back down and give a starving musician some company?" His voice is wavering and I can't tell if his confidence was a charade before or if I'm just killing his ego. He starts to do this pout though, I can't tell if its intentional or not, but I just decide to make a decision I will regret the least.  

"You know they only serve drinks here right?" His face looks horrified and he scratches his head nervously,  "Shit."  

 Why isn't this punk eating properly. Though who am I to judge, since I have to practically be told to eat. I let out a long exhale of exhaustion and defeat to this clueless kid and say,  

"There's a 24 hour diner nearby." His face lights up like a Christmas tree and he extends a hand decorated with guitar calluses towards me.  

"I'm Eren by the way, thanks for being my guide this evening."  

 Cheeky brat. I grimace naturally at the thought of his grubby probably unwashed hands but I somehow can't refuse the offer and reluctantly shake it. I make sure to pull away as soon as possible and add,  

"... Levi." As soon as we finish our introduction I start to walk towards the diner and fish out my hand sanitizer from my bag and rub my hands together. Eren look at me oddly, but then asks,  

"Can I have some?" I let him cradle his hands together and drip some onto his hands, it feels good to share the cleanliness. He sniffs his hands and smiles,  

"Smells good! Like vanilla-y." I nod and try to remind myself why I'm still around him. The whole way there he is a never ending toilet flush of questions. I give him quick and vague replies to everyone of them. You go to that café often? Yeah. Live around here?  Yep. Do you have a job?  Yes. What do you do? Writer. The street lights flash un-needed, a silent light show of yellows, greens, and reds lighting up the dark windowed buildings around us.  

By the time we get there he's silent and he finally gets that I'm not a talkative person. I tell him to wait before he sits down and he looks confusedly at me, I wipe the place down then say "Sit." and he slowly sits down then tilts his head to the side with the same twisted lost expression.  

"I don't like dirty things." I state matter of factly and hand him a menu. "They have good pancakes here." He says okay and looks through the menu. The petite blonde waitress, Krista, who I usually see here gives me a warm welcome back and asks what we'd like. I say just a glass of water and Eren decides on getting pancakes, bacon, eggs, and a glass of milk. She beams a smile and says it'll be right up. We are in fact, the only customers here.  

"Wow its 3am already." Eren checks on his phone. He texts something to someone then returns his attention to me.  

"So, you come here often?" He grins and looks over at Krista who is calling out our order to the chefs through a kitchen window of some sort.   

"You ask a lot of questions. Yes, I do." Eren does this pathetic baby faced scowl and murmurs,  

"Well its not like you are much of a talker, I'm just trying to start a conversation..." He looks sort of down trodden and starts playing with the salt shaker making it go around in circles. He looks so pathetic I decide to go a little easy on him and ask a question I've been wondering about this whole time .  

"How old are you anyways? Shouldn't you be tucked in tight by now with a  night-light on or something?" Its hard not to laugh because Eren looks absolutely appalled and even stutters when he starts to reply, I don't laugh of course,  

"I-i'm 19! I have my own place and don't need to be tucked in thank you very much." He's all huffy and agitated and its almost adorable. He makes my teasing sadistic side flare, and I continue to poke at him nonchalantly,  

"Sure." I take a sip of my water and watch him boil,   

"How old are you then? You can't be much older than I am." I scoff and he looks at me with challenging blazing blue greens,   

"Au contraire you lil shit, I am 30." His hand stops playing with the salt shaker and he immediately nearly screams,  

"Are you fucking kidding me? Are you a vampire? Did you audition for Twilight? I mean you are pale enough - jesus , what the hell!" While Eren is gaping at me his plate is placed in front of him and he doesn't even look up at Krista when he says thank you.   

"Shut up and eat your meal kid. " Though I'm secretly sort of pleased that I look young, I thought my fucked up sleeping schedule had probably left me looking like a zombie but I guess not. Eren wolfs his meal down and I can't stop staring at a tiny piece of egg yolk that has latched itself to the corner of Eren's mouth.  

"Are you trying to choke? Wait a second you moron." He stops chewing and I dab a napkin at his lip then sit back down. He blushes and mutters a thanks,   

"Gross don't talk with your mouth full."  Eren rolls his eyes and finishes up his plate. I ask him if he lives nearby and he says he thinks he does. But I can tell he has no idea how to get back home. Krista comes around for the check and Eren starts to pull out wrinkly decrepit dollars out of a barely held together poor excuse for a wallet and I tell him to stop. I end up paying for him just so I can stop looking at the sight even though Eren argues with me vehemently, but he eventually gives up. Krista says thanks for stopping by and gives me her signature goddess smile and starts to clean and arrange other tables.   

"Wow she totally digs you." Eren winks and jabs a thumb in her direction. Now it was my turn to roll my eyes.   

"First of all I don't date kids, second of all she's not my type." Eren looks bewildered when I say she isn't my type and then sort of cautiously presses on,  

"Well jeez, what is your type?" Eren takes a sip of his milk and I reply subtly,  

"Cocks are my type." His mouth becomes a sprinkler and he sprays his milk out on the table and thankfully not on me and he starts to cough. I can't help but smirk at the sight. He turns a color red tomatoes would be jealous of. This kid is kind of fun to mess with. I start to wipe the table with napkins absentmindedly while Eren recollects himself.   

"Let's go." He nods fervently, still speechless, and follows me out of the diner. I flag a taxi down, open the car door, and turn to Eren to hand him a 50 dollar bill.   

"Get home safely kid." I just about shove him in the car and close the door. He's waving the money at me blubbering about how it's too much and I don't have to do that but I just shake my head and ignore his pleas. I start to walk away but then,  

"Can we at least exchange numbers?" He sticks his head out the window and I can hear the taxi driver complaining behind him, I walk back up to the window and he continues,  

"I mean it'd be nice to have a friend you know ,I'm pretty new to the city and all..." His fingers tap along the window rhythmically, I can hear an anxious thumping melody to them. He licks his lips and bites into his lower lip. Shit.   

Without warning, I start to say my cell-phone number out loud and it takes a second for Eren to realize what's going on and he hangs on to every number I speak. I then yell at the taxi to start driving and start to make my way back home. I look back over my shoulder and watch the yellow cab, carrying a very disgruntled teenager, disappear around a street corner.   

 

A friend, huh.  

 

 

   

   

 



Chapter 2: Funny Face
End Notes:

Things are not always going to be so sweet, next chapter will underline that. Thanks for reading by the way ~



  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm always living life like I have my neck in the wooden grasp of a guillotine. Any damn second that blade can drop and kill me quick and cruelly. Life is the guillotine. I could walk across the street tomorrow and some dumbass listening to bad music at an eardrum rupturing volume, thinking he's in The Fast and Furious- ly  Stupid could do a quick turn and not see me and I'm reduced to smashed dog turd on the sidewalk. Relationships are the guillotine. I'm always waiting for people to give up on me. Just like so many have. I push them away and when I do I make sure it hurts them enough to never want to come back. The final slice of a goodbye .  

I hate if people like me. It just doesn't make sense. I find most "nice" folk boring since most kindness is so blatantly disingenuous.  If people don't like me I feel comfortable and it's really when people don't like me and I like them that I'm content, actually -  I'm in masochistic heaven then. But even in that situation there is always a tiny rational part in my brain that is begging for the relationship to end so I can be free from the stress of being unwanted. So much complicated bullshit.  

So when I get home and start to pull my legs through my silk pajama pants and hear my phone on my night stand rattle twice like some city crushing earthquake has erupted, I wince. I know its Eren. By some miracle he actually got my number right. Dread starts to pool in me and this already seems too potentially serious.  

Unknown Number : Is this Levi?  

I don't answer, I don't know if I should, because I know what I saw in his young expressive face, I'm not conceited, far from it, but like I've said before, I can read people, and that kid must have seen me as some mysterious cool confident smooth mother fucker. Which I am most certainly fucking not. I set my phone back down and button up my shirt. I then open up the side of my pristinely made bed like one opens up a new book and curl up on my side. I feel lonely. I curl up even more into myself till my elbows touch my knees and stare at my phone, if I don't answer I save him from the disappointment of who I am. I save him from the inevitable pain that goes with caring about me, because I will make him insecure, I will reject him every step he tries to take towards any kind of intimacy.  

The phone rattles again and I squeeze my eyes shut. Moron. I stay in my position but let a hand swipe the thing back and see the new message reluctantly.  

Unknown Number: I must have gotten the wrong number. sorry.  

I set my phone back on the nightstand, he'll forget about me soon enough, this is for the best, I'm making the right decision because its not like I'm interested in him anyways. I still feel restless though, anxiety presses my lungs together like an accordion and I sigh and stretch over and pull a drawer out of my night stand and grab Vaseline and Kleenex.  

 The goal is to get relaxed enough to go the fuck to sleep and decide to forget about the stupid brat. I get my hands nice and slippery and decide I should try to cum as soon as possible. This isn't really for pleasure at the moment, its sort of just a way to burst the balloon of uneasiness that's growing inside of me. I think of an easy sexual image to close my eyes to, I imagine Erwin watching me jack off in that nice suit of his, he doesn't smile or touch himself in my mind, he just crosses his arms and stares as I whimper and finger myself for him like a slut. My hand slides up and down my shaft again and again, occasional  twists of the wrist and my other hand works my ass just as fast. It doesn't take long for me to let out a weak moan and cum...  I don't really bask in the aftermath of the orgasm and start to wipe the mess up with Kleenex. I have a little trash bin strategically set by the bottom of the nightstand and I toss the tissues in there. Putting away the rest, I finally sink into the unconscious.  

 


 

One Week Later 

 

I wake up to the sound of rain and darkness. I want to know what time it is but I also don't want to move a single fucking ligament of muscle to find out.  Curiosity is worse than any other nagging housewife though. Its 2pm and I am already so behind on writing but the world is a cruel place and my bed is warm and perfect so I pretend I am nothing for a bit longer.  

I make some salad with all the nutrition I'm sure I'm lacking and crunch on the bitter fuck you of vegetables. Healthiness tastes like ass crack. Hell I'm sure I'd rather have ass crack than this but I troop on, there's something soothing about how I washed all of the leafy greens and bright colored veggies and that its going to make me a " big strong boy ".  

I decide to get drunk to reward myself for doing something nice to my body. When I type out 21 pages like a mad man, I reward myself for getting actual work done by getting where-the-fuck-am-I-oh-wait-I'm-home drunk.  After I get some OCD fun cleaning done I sit down on the top of my kitchen island counter and feel terribly possibly fatally bored. So once I can walk in a sort of straight line again, I make my way outside, almost forgetting my bag.  

The sidewalks of the city are dark grey with the aftermath of rain, people hold their umbrellas at their sides, paranoid of the bi-polar weather looming silver over our heads. I walk and walk and watch children hold onto their guardian and I wonder how long it will be that way, how long they will hold onto their youth, their innocence, their loved ones. How long it will take for their life to fall apart with the complications that adulthood shits upon us all.  

I think of how I never had a hand to hold when I was a child. Only angry faces to run from as I ran with arms full of food from the rickety food stands in the slums with my two friends close behind. I wait for the white pedestrian sign to glow now and my eyes stray from the big red hand telling me not to cross the street with cars coming and going, the water underneath their wheels spraying out in all directions. Its dark outside now so the streetlights glimmer against the splashed water making it all look like  liquid fireworks. It would be beautiful if I wasn't thinking about how if I took a couple of steps forward into the busy street I would easily be shaking hands with the Grimm Reaper.   

The white signal goes off and the mob of strangers that need to go places start to bike or walk in front of me. Suddenly there are too many people, too many shadowed faces, people bump into me their filthy fucking arms and hands and the world is starting to spin and I see warm golden glowing letters on a store window front in front of me. "Garrison Records"   yes  music would be nice to settle down to right now and the golden neon title lures me in like a dumb moth.   

Its warm in here, I relieve myself of my scarf and stuff it in my bag, my black rain boots squeak a bit over their rubber welcome mat and I take the place in. Its small and cozy, there are some signed 70's band posters framed on the walls, and the walls are painted black. There is a big ceiling fan unmoving and probably hasn't been moving since those posters were signed, blankets of dust piling and nearly spilling over the edges of the fan .  I try to not think of the dust snowing over the whole damn place and start to look through the many boxes of records set out on tables throughout the space. The cashier is an older man with a weird mohawk-ish mullet and he has a pissy expression on his face. He looks like he is going through things and labeling them and lets out a firm "Welcome" towards me. Then he turns his head to keep doing whatever he's doing. There's a large gramophone roughly humming "Don't Dream It's Over" by Crowded House and I start to feel at ease again.   

The peace is interrupted by the sound of sneakers running and squeaking across that rubber mat and into the once peaceful establishment and I hear a familiar voice boom,  

"Sorry I'm late! There was just -"   

It's him. Eren. How the fuck did the universe manage to spit him out here in front of me, gurgling on his bad excuse wide eyed, not knowing what to say to his scraggly bearded co-worker or to the stranger that had blew him off.  He has his guitar strapped over his shoulder and he un-hoops the trap from his neck and slowly sets it down beside  the cashier counter.  

"Do you normally go to work and then shit your pants? " The words tumble out of me because my first defensive reflex is to be offensive.   

"No! Of course not!" Eren's face sort of twists in an offended but mortified pink expression.  

"Oh, so only on special occasions." I bitterly retort.  

 The mohawk man looks at both of us with the pool- table stick still up his ass and just gathers his belongings and tells Eren, "Make sure to finish the labeling and to change your pants." Then he squeaks across the mat and disappears off into the night. Mohawk man isn't half bad actually.  

Eren's jaw drops at the retreating co-worker and he looks like he has just been betrayed and then clamps his mouth shut into that baby pout of his, retreating  to the cashier defeated and with his eyebrows scrunched together. He's wearing a zipped up dark green hoodie, the same one from the night we met and the same blue jeans probably. The record stops playing and spins in its repeating crinkly end, Eren turns the contraption off and then looks at me with a barely contained anger I haven't seen on him yet.  

"Why are you here?" he nearly snaps at me. I realize I've just been standing in the same place holding the "Funny Face" Soundtrack with Audrey Hepburn's somewhat funny face printed on the cover. I hold it up over my face like a mask and calmly reply,  

"I'm a big Audrey Hepburn fan."  I set the record back into its place and watch his face slip from anger into confusion then into mild amusement. Maybe now he thinks he really did get my number wrong. Poor bastard. He looks off to the side and I can almost see a loving memory start to play in his eyes,  

"My mom was a big Audrey Hepburn fan..." He returns back to reality and gives me a sad smile. Those bright turquoise orbs of his dim and I notice he said "was" instead of "is" and I feel a kick to my heart.Its strange learning that people aren't just a name, face, and body. That things and someones have been taken from them, that they have been hurt and that they are their own fragile universe. Wonderful memories of someones who are no longer a part of a person's life leave the memories forever tinged with bitterness or melancholy. Nothing really fucks people up like other people do. If that even makes sense. I lick my lips and rub them together, trying to think of something to say. We kind of just stare at each other, me hopelessly mute and him nostalgic and waiting. The store mat squeaks and a customer walks in asking if the place has a restroom, successfully ruining this moment. I decide that this is a good time as any to make my escape and start to wrap my neck up with my blue scarf and make my way to the door. 

"Hey! I get off at midnight, want to hang out?" Of course the brat wouldn't just let me go. I look over my shoulder and say,  

"Gross why would you tell me when you get off?" He slumps his shoulders and looks up at the ceiling and groans,   

"Come on . You know what I meant." Fuck. I mean, it couldn't be that bad to hang out with the kid. Not like I'll have anything to do at that time, except there was that one marathon of those ninja movies tonight with those fantastically terrible special effects but... I mean it would be awkward to reject him again and then bump into each other another time. Whatever, if the kid still wants to hang out after what I say next then we can,  

"Alright well you have my number." I watch his expression carefully and he responds quicker than I expect,  

"I got the wrong number, I guess I didn't remember it all. I have a pen here?" He holds up a blue inked pen while chewing on his bottom lip (why must he do that) and I'm sure hundreds of customers and workers have all used that pen and its probably covered in unwashed handprints (its also blue inked.) Also, he chooses to believe I'm a better person than I am. Must be a glass half full kind of guy. I just shake my head at the grubby pen offer and take out one of my black pens, getting close enough to him to admire his light brown eyelashes. When I write my number down on his hand and I can nearly feel his blood pumping hurriedly throughout his body, what a spazz. I don't say another word and head out into the cold air outside. I find myself counting the hours till midnight on my fingers.

 


 

 

Midnight

 

I finish up scrubbing my bathtub with a bristled brush and let out a satisfied sigh. I was trying to take a shower before but I had noticed a smudge on the lining and somehow spent an hour crouched in the tub not only scrubbing the shit out of the smudge but cleaning everything else just in case. The smell of bleach is comforting and potent, I'm probably killing a fuck ton of brain cells but I try to minimize the damage wearing a handkerchief over my nose and mouth but eventually the scent bleeds through the fabric. I start peeling my yellow gloves off from the wrist with my teeth, and hear my phone vibrate on the sink counter.

Unknown Number: Levi?

Shit I never took a shower. Do I really want to hang out with him? I mean I could just text him and say I'm sick or something, the kid is definitely gullible enough to believe that. I don't really feel like going outside. I don't feel like making the effort to throw a decent outfit on and walking and dealing with the random events and life that happens outside of my home. I decide to add him to my contacts regardless.

Sent: I don't feel like going out tonight kid.

I step in the freshened up shower and turn the dial up so the water is hot enough to hurt slightly. Paths of water fall down my scalp over my chest onto my thighs to my toes, I feel my near constant anxiety subside a little bit. I only wrote a paragraph today. How can I even call myself a writer? I hear my phone clattering against the sink again and I lean out of the shower to dry my hands with a hand towel, then receive the message.

Brat: Oh that's fine i could like come over maybe? I could grab some Chinese on the way over 2 if ur hungry

Shit. Noodles. My weakness. Have I eaten today? I don't know how long I had sat at that empty computer screen with the unwritten text blinking on my opened document, I kept finding other important things to do. Like doing an in depth cleaning of my laptop's keyboard, amazing how crumbs and finger grime build up over 00.1 seconds. Okay maybe I need a distraction. I decide to text him my address and say yes to Chinese as long as there's a shitload of noodles. I now realize I've been standing outside of my shower long enough to leave a puddle on my tile. Somehow I have to cram my detailed showers into 30 minutes. Right. 

 

30 minutes later

 

Okay I have to make sure I scrub the back of my ears now, I don't want them to smell like prehistoric Parmesan cheese. Wait was that the door bell? Oh fuck. Shit shit shit fuck fuck fuck, okay, I got this, get out of the shower and dry up you are fine, OUCH MY FUCKING TOE, stupid corner what part of hell did you come from, why won't that kid stop ringing the damned doorbell. Does he think being extra annoying will magically open the door? Shit this towel is too small, why don't I ever go shopping for a new towel? Is that brat making a song out of the door chimes? He is, it has a beat and everything. That lil' shit.

I whip the door open and he's laughing, holding the bag of Chinese that smells oh so good and for some reason that jingling laughter now chokes up in his throat, his eyes are the size of saucers. His mouth makes a tiny "o" and his face goes rosy, his eyes doing a quick scan of my body. Is he checking me out? I look down and register that I have a scanty towel wrapped around my waist and nothing else. Well then, the oggling makes sense now. Eren is now staring intently at his Converse, rubbing the toe at nothing particular on the ground, and mutters,

"Uh, can I come in?" I simply nod and make a note to put some god damn clothes on my body. Eren starts to make a B-Line to the kitchen island and I reach and probably dent my fingers in his forearm to stop him before he takes a step further,

"Take off your shoes." Before those converse who have probably seen many spit out pieces of gum and leftover sewage puddles besides the curbs of streets gets all over my freshly cleaned wood floors. See I made sure I got a place that didn't have carpets because carpets are just forests of nylon that store all the putrid gunk of the world whereas hardwood floors are efficient and easier to clean.

He takes a look at me from instinct with my grabbing of his arm and then goes all schoolgirl flustered again and turns away and tucks his shoes/socks next to the door. I go to my room and adorn myself with grey sweatpants and a long white sleeve shirt, I figure the kid would appreciate some decency so he doesn't need to choke on his boner. Aha, who am I kidding though. I'm not much to look at. I hear Eren call out to me as I change,

"You have a very nice place, its so clean!" You're damn straight it is kid. I walk back out and Eren looks relieved that he can look at me now without being reduced to a sputtering mess. He's sitting down on one of the kitchen island's stools and is already slurping up noodles, he smiles up at me the dork while plowing through his little white take out box with his chopsticks and shoveling more orange chicken in his mouth.

"Mmf's really goodmf!" He waves me over and nudges a white box towards me. I give up on chastising him about talking with a mouthful of noodles and begin to make some tea, I hold a cup up and he nods in approval and I make my way to sit on the stool next to him.

"The tea is hot." Although by the time I say this Eren's tongue is already undertaking a 3rd degree burn by the way he spits the tea back in the cup and cries out. I sigh and get him a glass of water and carefully take a sip of my own tea, making sure not to be a total dweebasaurusrex like Eren. He gratefully gulps the cold soothing water and watches me drink my tea with a weird fascination.

"Why do you drink your tea like that?" He tilts his head to the side and starts eating his noodles leisurely like a normal human being. 

"I thought putting your mouth up to a cup and then swallowing the tea was pretty standard, but I guess I should start spitting out my tea and then drinking it." Eren rolls his eyes at me and then points at my hand holding my cup and continues,

"I've never seen someone hold their cup like that. Why do you do it?" People are always asking me this question and I don't know why its such a big deal.

"Why do people squat when they take a dump? Because it comes naturally to them." Eren shakes his head and laughs a bit, then finishes the rest of his noodles. Fast eater. I have barely touched my noodles or orange chicken. The kid looks a little too skinny and I wonder why he eats like its going to disappear if he doesn't eat it all in time. I think he said he lives at his own place but how is that even possible for some teen struggling musician? Though I appreciate the somewhat comfortable silence we've shared so far, I'll start with the basics.

"How did you get here?" Eren leans back and starts to halfway spin on his stool, going right and left again and again.

"Bike. I've been wondering, last time we hung out you walked home right? Why don't you have a car?" This kid is direct, I don't think he knows how to hold back anything. Emotions or invasive questions...

"I don't drive. Do you want to watch a movie? There's a ninja movie marathon on right now." The kid isn't bright enough to get my complete deflection of his would be 'why don't you drive' and he bunches his hands in fists and puts on a smile that makes me think I might need to wear sunglasses indoors.

"YOU MEAN CRAPPY QUALITY FLYING NINJAS AND INHUMAN FIGHTING?" I get up and find the remote and turn the flat screen T.V. on,

"I'm taking that as a yes." I go through my recording list and Duel to the Death starts to play. I take a seat on my dark blue couch and watch his giddiness start to deflate, he looks over at my barely touched meal.

"You didn't like it?" His eyes look too green or too teal fuck it he just looks dejected is the point I'm trying to get across. I sit up and find my messenger bag and pull a 20 dollar bill out and hand it to him. 

"Its great, I'm just not that hungry. This should cover the cost." 

"No no no no, not this again, you don't even have to pay me back you know?" He's still pulling that kicked puppy act on me and I shove the twenty in the hood of his jacket and snatch my box of Chinese and reluctantly sit on the couch. I pat the seat next to me and test just how dog-like he is and sure enough, he bounces over and gets himself tucked in the corner of the plushy couch. He pulls his knees in and starts rubbing his shins, I fetch us two blankets and he just beams that overly joyous grin at me and we begin to read the subtitles and hear the dramatic drumming begin the movie. He curls up like a dog beside me and I can't help but smirk. Have I taken in a stray?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 3: Shit
Notes:

End of the semester: finals/essays. Sorry for the delayed update. Thanks for reading ya filthy animals.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"So when am I going to meet this boy Eren that seems to be stealing you away from me?" Hanji giggles as she chomps on a piece of toast. There's a thick square of butter slowly sliding down the bread and its nerve-racking to watch.   

"This kid never leaves me alone, texting me everyday and always trying to hang out, it's tiring." I lift a fluffy piece of pancake with my fork and just kind of stare at it. Eren would tell me when his gigs at Cafe Rose would be and I'd watch him grow more and more popular each time. Then we'd sit at the counter and I'd order tea and Eren would order coffee ( I found out recently that he's quite the coffee crack head) and we'd talk a bit. Mostly it's him at my place with different kinds of takeout food. Though we seem to always get Chinese on Saturdays.   

"You seem happier." Hanji says while grabbing a napkin and cleaning her fogged up glasses then continuing her meal. She tries to pass that comment as casual but we both know that she's breaching my boundaries.   

"Busier does not mean happier." It wasn't like I wasn't still a sharp tongued asshole, I was still pretty mean with Eren but I don't see how a couple weeks of friendship (If you could even call It that)could change me. But he did make life a bit more interesting. Even though a lot of times I would ignore his texts when I started to slip into my conscious comas (when I'm awake but not really and I can't move and I'm not really alive because I'm numb and nothing matters) Eren wouldn't give up on contacting me.  

Hanji's ringtone that consists of weird ribbiting sounds and a corny melody scrapes at my ears. She has a fat grin on her face and answers the phone,   

"Erwin!" Hanji doesn't notice my jaw tense or that I start to actually eat to get my mind off the man on the phone. She's the type that doesn't know that when you are hanging out with people you don't  blab on the phone till the next Ice age farts snow on the world. You have to tell her to end the conversation for it to actually end. I'm surprised when she hands me the phone and tells me,   

"He needs to talk to you!" I nonchalantly grab the phone and hold it to my ear, Hanji still doesn't know about my pathetic pining for Erwin.   

"What is it." I say it more as a statement than a question.   

"Can I pick up the new chapter at 7 tonight? I'm going to be in the area." I try to avoid Erwin as much as possible so I give my updates to Hanji usually (she has a car) to give to Erwin. Now that I think about It, I was supposed to hang out with Eren around 7 tonight.   

"Sure." Then I hang up. Hanji fusses a little bit,  

" Heyy I wasn't finished talking to him Levi!" She takes her phone and shakes her head and then starts to dig at her hashbrowns. Hanji begins to talk about her newest scientific findings and I zone out and daydream about seducing my editor tonight. My phone buzzes in my pocket and I already know who it is before I even open the message.  

Brat: Hey do nachos sound good 2 u? Btw we should watch some cheesy zombie movies 2nite I think I saw some on Netflix  

"Is that  Eren ?" Hanji tries to swipe my phone from me but I swiftly hold it away from her. She grins at me smug and knowing, I stuff my phone back in my pocket and sigh out,   

"Brat just won't leave me alone." She laughs and then continues her mad scientist rambling while I try not thinking about the fact that I haven't texted  Eren  back and that I will ignore and ruin his excitement for plans that will never happen today.   


 


 

 

My fingertips are red and raw, my hands are sore, but everything is spotless so I don't care. Though I keep seeing little tiny fuckers of dust on random places,  I try to focus on what I should wear. It should be casual but appealing, making me look accidentally fuckable. I decide on a loose thin black longsleeve that shows off my collar bones and long neck. It's a wee bit big on me but purposefully so that it flaunts the said features. I brush my teeth three times, and just as I finish  recleaning  my bathroom because maybe I missed something,  the doorbell rings. Unlike Eren's it's one single strong chime, mature and..... That's right... Eren...  I start to take a couple deep breaths and then settle into my usual serious and bitchy self. Well. I'm trying to.  

"Hello Levi. May I come in?" His voice is deep and cheerfully polite. Unlike Eren's stupid usual stuttering and bashfulness. Jesus stop thinking about that kid, pay attention to the slab of hot man beef in front of you.   

"Yeah." I don't need to tell Erwin to take off his shoes, he does it automatically and I stare at the expensive well kept leather shoes laid side by side. So different from..  

"So would you like to show me the new chapter? Your admirers send hundreds of fanmail asking for more of the 'Grim Reminder' series." He chuckles and fuck yes he loosens that tie around that thick suckable neck.   

I hand him the neatly stacked pile of papers and set my kettle on the stove. I ask him if he wants tea but he declines with a "no thank you." I shrug and soon find myself staring and studying those hidden muscles beneath that business attire and stress over whether he likes the chapter or not. He has a black pen (he knows my tick) and occasionally makes marks where he should edit things and then finally sets the stack into his black briefcase and gives me his lovely gentleman smile.  

"Excellent. Though you should let the hero unable to save his squad in the end. It would make for a more dramatic story." I knew it wouldn't be perfect. Erwin always has a criticism for me which is a good for an editor but disheartening for me. Especially when he suggests a brutal twist like that.  

"But -" he interrupts me.  

" I'm your editor. I wouldn't suggest such a thing trivially." His face goes rigid with seriousness and I stay silent for a while. I sip my tea thoughtfully. He was right. Erwin goes on, "In the end. It would make for a more dramatic story." 

"I trust in your opinion. " I feel a sharp tug of remorse for my characters, they had so much potential, so much left unsaid, but wouldn't that be more honest? People usually don't get to complete their lives. Most are left at an infinite pause, never to be continued or finished. Life is cruel .  

"Good. Then I'll be on my way." He gets up and straightens his suit and my heart drops out of my ass and my lips quiver with an excuse for him to stay longer. He's now sliding his shoes back on and has his briefcase in hand, I reluctantly walk over to the door. Say something Levi, tell him that a tsunami will crash and tear down every building in the town if he leaves, that a freak hail storm is raging outside with hail beating down the size of a one of Pamela Anderson's boobs, that there are rabid street pigeons mauling random passerbys, anything.  

But I say nothing. Erwin waves goodbye and I watch him slip into a sleek black Jaguar and speed off where my sight can't reach. Fuck. Why would he stay?  This isn't some cheesy fucking gay porno where we just fall onto each others dicks. I look around my place and think about how much work I put into everything, how no matter what I do he won't look at me that way. Poor guy, having such a disgusting letch like me fawning over him. I wrap my arms around myself and the familiar feeling of acidic rejection burns through my stomach and lungs and throat. I need to get drunk, I need to not feel shit. I need to hurt myself.  

 


 

 

My head feels like someone mistook it for a piñata and grabbed a metal baseball bat and beat it a couple billion times. My mouth is hot and sticky and smells like alcohol mixed with dead animals. But I'm warm. So warm. I shift into my firm pillow and nuzzle my face into the smell of fresh pine. Smells so good. Did I get a new laundry detergent... I swear I got lavender... Did I grab the wrong one at the store... Happy accident I suppose. My pillow rustles a little bit and I think that's sort of odd because-  

Wait what the fuck  

My eyes snap open and I see the back of Eren's eternal brown bedhead and I notice my face is pressed against his back. There is a logo on the back of his black shirt that reads in gold cursive "Garrison Records." He snores softly and I'm trying to think of how this happened and I'm trying to not freak out because my head is probably internally bleeding from this hangover from hell. I check to see if I'm wearing clothes. I am. I sigh and start to slowly detach myself from his body and crawl out of bed. I'm in the same clothes I was wearing last night so - oh fuck - I'm  gonna  puke I'm  gonna  puke I'm  gonna - toilet - fuck why isn't the lid open - there we go -  

"Levi?" I hear Eren's voice call out too sweet and heavy with sleep. I vomit into the pristine white toilet bowl and my body tries to make me puke all of my internal organs out. I hear soft footsteps enter the bathroom and a hand rubs my back gently.  

"Man you were really shitfaced last night." I groan and continue to hover over the bowl, he gets up and continues,  

"I'm going to make you some toast, okay?" I don't even try to reply, instead I dry heave miserably.  

When I no longer have the need to be Siamese twins with my toilet I brush my teeth and limp over to my couch to flop onto my back. Eren walks over with toast in hand and takes a bite of his own toast. His forest green eyes are foggy with fatigue. Good, if he was an  up beat smiley- cover- model- for- a- cereal- box morning person I would have had to kick him the fuck out.  

"Why are you here. What happened." The questions I ask sound more like statements, he starts to chuckle and I grab the bread he offers and nibble at it as a lopsided tired grin sneaks up his bronze cheeks. He lifts my legs and puts them over his lap to sit down on the couch with me. He starts,  

"Well you called me at 3am yelling  about how the Moon was going to crash into the Earth if I didn't come over and how porn is just for lonely people  and that everything is a circle that you can't get out of but return to." I stop eating my toast and stare at him. He stares back at me. Its silent.  

He continues since he realizes that I'm 100 fucking percent mortified and can't speak, " You didn't really sound like yourself so I got worried and came over and you were watching Jeopardy and getting all of the answers wrong, waving a bottle of vodka around. So I took the vodka away from you and persuaded you to go to bed. You told me that I was the complete opposite of some guy Erwin... You mentioned that guy a lot actually... Who is he?"  

I wonder if I have a shovel anywhere. I need to dig a hole and then crawl in it and die. My headache is getting worse though and I don't know how I should react but I’m getting angry, he's getting too close to the worst parts of me and I'm pissed.  

"That's none of your fucking business." I hiss venomously at him. I should be grateful that the kid is taking care of me but I'm hideously annoyed instead. I don't need to be taken care of by some teenage shithead. His face looks hurt, his thin plump little lips pressing into a straight line and his brows furrow in pain. Good. He should know that he shouldn't get so nosy. My head is splitting in half from this hangover and I want to be alone.  

"Can you leave now." I dryly suggest.  

 Eren's button nose wrinkles up and his fists ball up and he throws my legs off of him and stands in front of me, he's practically vibrating from fury. He opens his mouth like he's going to say something but he bites down on his bottom lip instead and storms out of my place. He's so angry he forgets to put on his shitty sneakers... Is he just going to bike home with just his socks on? What if his socks get caught on something and he- fuck - god damnit .  

I get up quickly and swipe his shoes off the ground, I open the door and resist the urge to vomit and continue out my door, Eren's getting on his bike and I throw his sneakers at him.  

"You forgot your shoes you dumbass!" I don't wait for his response and go back inside. Guilt tries to creep up on me but I'm too tired and I just don't care about anything right now. I definitely don't think about Eren wiping at his eyes next to his bike, I don't think about him making me toast, and I definitely don't remember how warm he was this morning. I get back into my bed and go into my usual fetal position and mutter,  

"Shit."   

 

 

 



Chapter 4: Super Hero
Notes:

I know I just updated last night but I just couldn't leave the story alone, quick update but sort of a small chapter. Oh well.



 

 

 

 

 

 

Eren hasn't texted me for five days now. Its his fault I kicked him out that morning though, he knows I hate anything remotely personal. Our conversations so far have been  pretty one sided, mostly it was him talking about life back at his small hometown Shiganshina and how much he missed his sister and friends. When he did ask me questions they were nice and simple, where's the t.v. remote, do you want burritos for dinner, bad sci-fi movie or lame slasher horror film?   

I don't like missing people or places. I keep walking in front of me, unable to look back. Because once you look back, there's the possibility that there's nothing left to look at. Sometimes its like those horror movies and some poor schmuck is on the big screen with some psycho killer behind him with a mask on and you tell the schmuck not to turn around but they do anyways. That's how you get hurt. Reality is always right behind you, waiting for you to look at it, waiting to stab you with the truths that do more harm than good.  

I decide to text Hanji, I need to get out of my place as soon as possible. I feel like I'm inside a balloon and someone is slowly letting all of the air out of it. My chest is getting tight and I find myself forgetting to breathe, I jab my thumbs on my phone and wait for Hanji's reply.  

Four Eyes : Oh wow, Levi texting ME for once? I'm having lunch with Erwin right now! You should join us!  

God damnit. I swipe my messenger bag off the kitchen island and stomp out of my apartment complex and start to enter the darkening city. The clouds are swollen and plump with rain, it’s only a matter of time when they begin their thunderous bitching and moaning and drench us all. I'm not particularly hungry or thirsty so I decide to go to the local park.   

The park is pretty empty which satisfies my misanthropic soul and I admire the green grass speckled with dew and the bright red and blue of the children's playset in front of me. I walk over to a swing and wipe it down, seat and chains, then rest myself upon it. The park is so out of place in the city. Full of tall trees and little birds pecking around for food, quiet and isolated from the barking horns of cars and fast talking coffee holders. I feel my phone vibrate and my hands just about tear my phone out of my pants but I find myself looking at a self-made reminder that I need to buy new towels.  

My legs kick in and out and I start to swing, I think about who I thought that might have been. Why did I expect the word Brat to pop up on my screen? Why am I expecting anything? I mean I get a day or two of ignoring me but its been nearly a week now, maybe he lost his phone or something. I mean hell, he almost left his shoes at my place so why wouldn't he leave his phone somewhere else? Or did he just give up on me? Usually I would go with that idea but that lil shit is too stubborn to just quit me cold turkey, he's been begging for my attention practically the moment we met. Maybe something bad happened to him.  

I remember images that I wish I could erase.   

I see the blood spewing thick jagged line on her neck, bathing in a pool of red, her eyes forever unblinking. I see him beside her, with his hands pressed down on his torso, his hands coated in a thick layer of crimson, coughing up more and more red, eyes looking at me in intolerable agony.  

I now find myself running, sprinting, fucking leaping around pointy nosed strangers with angry stares but I don't mind. I see the sign now, big and golden,"Garrison Records", and I nearly slam into the door at the momentum I'm going at. My blue rain-boots squeak that familiar squeak on the mat and I'm huffing and puffing like the fucking wolf in The three Little Pigs. My eyes land on a long faced dirty blonde with a messy undercut, he's staring at me like he's not sure whether he should ask me if I'm okay or say Welcome. I decide he's going to say neither because I ask him immediately,  

"Where's Eren?" My hands are on my knees and I try to catch my breath. Longface scratches his head and says slowly,  

"Uhhh..... Um....He doesn't work today?" Even if this guy was twice as smart he'd still be stupid, I don't know why I thought he could give me any useful information. I decide that I had a momentary lapse of sanity and just nod and walk out of the store. That wasn't like me. Impulsive and pretending to be a fucking action hero? Yeah good job Super Loser, why don't you do the world a favor and just go back home and sit your ass down.   

I'm almost back home when the sky begins to cackle and piss rain down on me. I raise my middle fingers and flip off the heavens because why not, this day has been a total train wreck so I don't even bother fishing out my umbrella. I'm practically at my place now and I'm glad I don't have any stairs to run up -  

There's someone huddled up sitting down at my door, even if there is a green hood shadowing the person's  face I could recognize that stupid overused jacket anywhere. His guitar case and two  bloated duffel bags  of belongings are besides him and I just stand in front of him in momentary shock.  

He raises his head and I find watery piercing teal eyes gazing up at me, tear stains sticky on his cheeks and new tears bubbling up as he begins to speak,  

"I know that I'm nothing but a pain in the ass to you and that I'm annoying and I talk when I'm eating and I ask too many questions but I -" his face squeezes in pain and a sob breaks out of him, he wipes his nose on a sleeve and continues to talk through his sobbing, " I have nowhere else  to go and I'm scared,  I’m sorry I -"  He covers his face with his hands and is crying so hard he starts to cough. Suddenly I 'mon my knees before I know it with my arms holding him together, he stops crying, stops breathing, but then starts to wail and clutch onto the front of my sweater like holding onto me is the only thing keeping him alive. I begin to pet the top of his untamable chestnut hair and let him hold onto me, I feel his anguish wet and vulnerable against my chest and I wish I could take it all away. I hold him even tighter against me and gently mutter,  

"I'm sorry."    

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eren has calmed down now and is holding a cup of tea with both of his hands. He makes a little "O" with his lips and  blows  softly on the steaming surface. He sniffles a little bit and takes a tiny sip, he looks a lot younger like this, eyes stained bright with the aftermath of tears, nose a little red, weak and shaken. Not at all the usual boisterous lively hot head that I'm used to, he's sitting on the couch and I'm sitting up on a stool giving him the space he probably needs.  

In a way I envy the way he was able to let go like that, to completely cave in to the avalanche of emotions he had been holding up. As for me, I don't cry. I hate that I can't cry. Because it's like being extremely constipated all the time. Walking around feeling like I'm  going to fucking implode with so much shit stuffed inside of me like a thanksgiving turkey. But instead of my stomach burning and aching its my head and chest that is. My damned dry asshole eyes don't give me one salty water drop of relief.  

Eren breaks the silence,  

"I didn't have enough money to pay my rent. I've been getting more gigs lately but its not nearly enough. My asshole boss hasn't been giving me enough shifts at the record store and I've been applying to other places for work but no one will hire me." He takes a shaky breath in and I can tell he's trying hard not to start bawling again, "I can pay you for letting me stay her-"   

"No." I cut him off immediately. "Tch, you really think I'm going to try taking your money with the situation you're in right now? Plus I've got money coming out of my ass, I'll be fine. I'd be a shitty friend if I let you do that." Eren's eyes go large with wonder and that smile I was kind of starting to miss starts to creep up his tan cheeks.  

"Right. Because we're friends." He gives me a smile now that's so bright and holy that I'm almost certain that its a sign the Messiah is returning. I just run a hand over the fuzz of my undercut and roll my eyes, 

"I'm pretty sure at this moment even fanny packs are cooler than you. Dork." He starts to laugh and spills a little tea on himself, I sigh and walk up to him and command,  

 

 

"Take your jacket off. Actually take everything off. You wear that outfit too much kid." Eren's face goes scarlet with shame and he pouts,  

"I only have two outfits to wear, its not my fault!" I get a flashback of when I had only scraps to wear as a child, trying to keep what few things I had clean so people wouldn't judge me. My voice softens,  

"Yeah yeah, hurry up."  

He starts to unzip his jacket and I snatch it from him, he then starts to reluctantly take his white T-shirt off and doesn't look me in the eye. The way Eren's being so shy and how he's biting his lip, slowly revealing his taut tan smooth chest inch by inch, starts to make my heart beat funny.  

"Alright well the strip tease is nice but I'm just going to let you take a shower and you can just close the curtain and leave the rest of your clothes on the sink. Leave the door open so I can leave you a fresh towel." Eren gasps and whips me with his white T-shirt,  

"You are such a dick!" I can't help but chuckle at his cherry face and start to walk over to my room. Eren follows me and I just sit on my bed and rest my laptop on my thighs. My bathroom is connected to my bedroom so I get to see his flawless caramel back saunter over to the shower, he shuts the door behind him and I'm a little disappointed. I wasn't expecting the brat to look so good with his shirt off. Whatever, he's just a little brat, who cares. I hear the shower turn on and I set my laptop down and begin my silent freak out.   

"Okay you have a kid living with you now, he's going to leave a mess undoubtedly, your privacy is now limited, and he happens to look good shirtless" I stop pacing and start rubbing my temples with my index fingers, he has no where to go and not even I'm that fucking heartless to just let him go on his own. If there's anyone who knows how it feels to have nothing and no one its you Levi. He's just a teenager that you need to take under your wing, god damn it I knew this kid was going to be trouble from the very first time I met him. Having him stay here though is better than him out on the streets. I will regret having him here the least.  

My nerves start to ease and I accept my strange fate. I go over to the living room and grab his duffel bags and set them in the corner of my room. He probably has a bunch of filthy shit he never washed in those bags so I bend down and start to take out some of his clothes. I pull out a pair of jeans, his Garrison T-shirt, socks and boxers. Eren starts to sing a wordless song and "lada-di-dum" is what It consists of but, his voice is clear and beautiful. The melody is cheerful and I just shake my head a little and smirk "Looks like I've adopted a little song bird." I finish unpacking his clothes but my hand brushes over a hard surface at the bottom of the bag. That's odd.  

I pull out a tattered well read paperback book and it looks all too familiar. The title reads, " A Grim Reminder."  

With my signature on it.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 5: Blue
Notes:

I can't stop writing about these dorks. Help.



 

 

 

 

I stare at my chicken scratch "Humanity's Strongest" signature on the withered and faded cover. A flash of thoughts go through my head all at once. Does Eren know I'm the author, is that why he approached me, am I being tricked, why isn't the shower still going. His face peeps through the bathroom door,  

"Can I borrow some clothe- hey! Why are you going through my stuff?" His eyes fall onto the book I'm holding and I can physically see him hold his breath. I decide to test my suspicions and casually reply while shrugging,  

"I'm going to do laundry right now and since I'm sure you would probably shrink all of our clothes into infant sizes I'm going to handle laundry." I point at the book and eye him carefully, "you like this book?" Eren bites his lip and stares at me intently, its as if I'm being read now, I keep my face looking barely interested and tilt my head to the side when he starts to take too long to answer. Eren seems to decide on something and sort of sighs and smiles a little.  

"It's my favorite. My best friend Armin recommended it to me when we were kids, I've never been too much of a reader but I loved that book the second I read the first line, 'On that day, humanity remembered, the dread that was a life under rule... the humiliation of being caged like birds.'" I look at him blankly and watch him shift side to side under the door as he looks down thoughtfully.  He has that memorized. He loves my book. I snap out of it once I hear the incessant sound dripping and see a puddle start to venture past the bottom of the door and set the book back in his bag and get up. I retrieve a towel from a cabinet above my dryer, then return to the room to reach in my drawers and hand him a loose grey sweater and black sweatpants,  

"These should fit you."  

 

 

 

He grabs the clothes and gives his thanks, then closes the door.   

When he's dressed I make sure to give him the conditions of living with me. He must clean the fuck up. No way I'm going to follow him around like he's a damn puppy, scooping up every stinking shit left behind. Also, he has to sleep on the couch. He agrees to everything and he looks so damn excited, he nods a thousand times to every detail eagerly and those sea greens sparkle at me. God, Buddha, Satan, whoever gives a shit, I'm going to need help with this one.  

 


 

 

Monday  

 

I didn't want this to happen.   

"HI EREN, I'M HANJI, VERY NICE TO MEET YOU!" Hanji shakes Eren's hand like she's trying to rip his hand out by the wrist. Eren looks mildly terrified and I sigh and scold Hanji ,  

"Shitty glasses he's not deaf, stupid, but not deaf." Hanji giggles and we get in her shit vehicle. Once all of us arrive at the diner Eren sits next to me and Hanji sits across from us in the booth.   

"Oh, have you brought him here before? He doesn't seem fazed by your wipe down tradition!" Eren laughs and I scowl and lean my chin on a fist on the counter.   

"Yeah, he really values cleanliness, but that's okay, better than someone who's a complete slob right?" Eren smiles at Hanji and she kind of holds her jaw open and looks in- between Eren and I for a second and then gives Eren a warm grin.   

"Much better than someone who is a complete slob." I point a thumb over at Eren and he rolls his eyes and elbows me lightly.   

Four Eyes gives Eren the whole workup, she asks what his dreams and aspirations are, she asks him why he wanted to move to the city, and why someone as cute as him would want to hang around a grump like me (which I make sure to give her an extra scalding glare for asking.) Eren says that he wants to earn a living off of his music and that Sina  city has a lot more opportunity than his hometown could shake a stick at. Our food arrives when he starts to answer the last question. I start to cut my pancake into perfect pieces and stare at the slices as he starts to reply,  

"Well he sort of reminded me of someone at first, but when I started to talk to him I just liked how honest he was. I hate two faced scum bags and people who just try to agree to everything you say because they want to avoid conflict. It isn't genuine." Eren leans over and stabs one of my pancake pieces with a fork and eats it. My mouth hangs open in shock and he starts to cackle in laughter.   

"I'm sorry, but if you aren't going to eat it then I will!" Eren stabs another piece and I grab the offending hand and growl,  

"Hey shitlord I was gonna eat that." Eren stops pulling back and starts pushing the pancake piece towards my lips laughing,  

"Oh were you? My bad. Chugga chugga chugga choo choo !" I'm about to slap him with my menu but I decide to teach this brat a lesson instead. I pierce him with an intense 'come hither' gaze and open my jaw slowly to accept the food. I watch that smug smile get pressed down and his eyes widen,  then I lean forward to slide the piece of pancake into my mouth ever so slowly, then lean back and lick my lips once I've swallowed it. Eren visibly gulps the dork.  

When Hanji clears her throat I realize the major league dumb fuck error I've made and realize Hanji will be pestering me about the kid for all eternity after my little performance.   

"Oh Levi you are such a bully. I don't think the poor thing will ever recover!" Eren i s now a rosy cheeked loser nibbling at his bacon and I can't help but smirk. His phone starts to chime again and again and it’s an alarm reminding him not to be late to work. Hanji bonks her head with a fist and tells me hurriedly,

"Ah that reminds me, Erwin wants to stop by Friday to collect your update since he's going to be in the area." Why is Erwin suddenly always in the area? Eren is about to open his mouth and I bet its to ask who that insufferable blonde tormentor is but is interrupted by our moody freckled waitress giving us our check. Eren tries to pay for his side of the meal but of course I don't let him and I tell him he's going to be late so he runs off to the record store unenthusiastically.   

"So..." Hanji looks at me and starts to wiggle her eyebrows. I know where this is going.  

"No."  

Hanji pouts and finishes signing her receipt.  

 


 

 

 Wednesday

 

 

 

 

 

I wake up sweating bullets and tangled in my bed sheets, I fight to get the blankets off of me frantically and sit up in bed with my silk pajamas damp and clinging to my skin. I peel my clothes off and stand next to my bed and catch my breath, there's a dusky glow behind my grey curtains which means its probably some  time in the afternoon. I must have had nightmares about them again, only they could make me like this. I try to catch my breath and cover my eyes with my hands. Cry. Just try to cry.   

But I can't.   

I wrap my arms around myself and feel my loneliness. I decide to take a 2 hour shower and let cold water burn my skin and jar my senses. I need to stop seeing blood on my skin when there's nothing there, I need to scrape away at my skin with my body sponge and watch my body grow red with anger. I need control.  

I write best like this. My fingers tap madly against the keyboard and I release all of the terror deep in my bones, I give in to the darkness that I've kept at bay, and its easy to  create a world of never ending bad dreams when you've never had good dreams. I hear my apartment's front door unbuckle and swish open, Eren must be back from work. I don't keep my fingers off of the keyboard for a second though, I continue the rampage of thoughts and twisted memories. My bedroom door opens,  

"Oh my god, Levi, I had the most annoying hipster snob customers today. It took a lot of strength not to bash a couple records over their heads, I mean they thought Billie Holiday was a boy - " He stops complaining uselessly and goes silent. I continue pounding my fingertips away on my laptop.  

"Why are you naked? Your bed is soaked..." He walks closer to me and I can hear the stupid care in his quieter voice, "Are you okay?" I stop typing and bring a thumb and an index finger to pinch the bridge of my nose.  I don't even look up at him,  

"Just because we live together dingus doesn't mean you can just barge into my room  bitching and moaning whenever you please. Now get out." Because this is what you should do to people who are just trying to help you , snap at them, and drive them away. I can't be bothered with anyone at the moment though. My blood is on fire and I am emotionally vacuumed. I start tapping away at my keyboard again and I can see Eren still standing next to my bed from my peripheral vision. Eventually he just turns around and leaves me be.  

When I am finally drained and can no longer squeeze another drop of imagination onto the page in front of me I lose my laptop and set it on my nightstand. There is no longer light filtering through my curtains. I'm numb and feeble, I pull on sweatpants and a T-shirt and roll my damp sheets up and throw them in the dryer. I walk into the hallway and stop just a foot before I enter the living room and hear Eren arguing with someone on the phone,  

"Mikasa I'm fine, everything is great, stop worrying about me. Yeah things have been alright at work, except for the horse face butt muncher at work who always mislabels shit. No I won't get into any fights again. Okay that was one time and he punched me first. Oh I got a gig on Friday at a pretty popular restaurant.  Hehe thanks. Mhm. Ok. Oh KAY. Love you too, bye."  I walk into the living room and find Erenin the kitchen cooking something that smells sort of edible.   

"What are you making?" Eren jumps in place a little and looks at me cautiously,   

"I'm making chicken soup. You seem kind of out of it so I thought this might make you feel better." I snort and he does that baby pout of his and I curl up on the couch and wrap myself in a fuzzy blanket.   

"I'm not hungry." I watch Eren stir the soup faster due to aggregation and he turns around to scold me,  

"You haven't eaten this whole time, I bet you didn't even eat breakfast either." I ignore him and turn the T.V. on and rich people with lap dogs with more bling on than a jewelry store start bickering on the screen. Why is skittle tits wearing so much pink and why is that dog wearing shoes. I look to the side and Eren is holding a bowl of soup next to my face,  

"I told you I'm not hun -"  Eren interrupts me with vigor,  

"C'mon just stop being a dickhead and have some, please?" Eren's eyes twinkle at me and I sit up and grab the bowl,   

"Fine." Eren beams a smile and plops on the couch next to me. I rest my back against the end of the couch and lay my legs over his and throw the remote towards him.  

"Find something good to watch." I swallow  a spoonful of the soup and shit its delicious. I start shoveling the soup down and Eren finds a movie about giant killer snakes to watch. I set my empty bowl down on the ground and look at Eren.  

"I didn't know you could cook." Eren takes his eyes off of the rampaging snake squeezing the life out of some curvy blonde on the screen and gives me a somewhat surprised look.  

"Yeah, I know how to make some things. My mom  taught me some family recipes and she used to make me that soup when I was sick." I stare at Eren's soft sad smile, the one that always seems to appearwhenever he talks about his mother. I sit up a little bit but keep my legs on him and lean over,  

"Sounds like she loved you... The soup wasn't bad."  Eren stops smiling and I realize our faces are close enough that I can see golden flakes of color in his eyes. He stops smiling and suddenly its as if the whole room is mute except for the sounds of our breaths. Eren looks all over my face, my hair, my lips, my eyes. His brows furrow and he takes a deep breath,  

" A year before she died my mom took me and Armin here to the city to get our favorite book signed. It was a long time ago but I remember seeing 'Humanity's Strongest' and I never forgot his eyes. They looked dark grey and scary at first but when you looked up close..." Eren's eyes flicker on my own and I can't think of anything as he continues in a whisper, "They were blue."  

 

 



Chapter 6: Watching from a Distance
Notes:

I can't stop writing for this fic. Oh and I hope you realize something about Levi at the end. I tried hinting.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"'Humanity's Strongest' is...  you isn't it?" Eren's eyes widen and his lips start twitching slightly into a big grin.  

You have to be kidding me. I get up and make a B-line to open the refrigerator and uncap a water bottle and gulp the cold down. I can hear the bad acting buzzing from the T.V. again and I set the bottle down on the counter with a thud. I clear my throat a little and run a hand through the fuzz of my undercut and collect my thoughts. I only did one god damn signing and this brat had to be there. The book wasn't even popular back then. Now Eren practically leaps off the couch and his eyes are blazing at me,  

"OH MY FREAKING FUCK IT IS YOU ISN'T IT? That's why you don't talk about what you write! I knew it I knew it I god damn freaking knew it, oh my god this is really happening."  

Wait.    

"So is that why you got close to me? Because you have a hard on for my writing?" I keep my voice dark but calm and watch Eren's happy excitement turn into a defensive bellowing,     

"I wasn't sure it was you! It was forever ago and I had only seen you once! Okay, yeah I had a hunch and that's why I approached you but then you ended up being interesting and funny and I wanted to be your friend!" I cringe when he says the word friend.The kid is breathing heavy and he looks desperate and pissed. Why is this infuriating little shit so honest? I press my lips into a straight line and look over at my stove and stare at the chicken soup leftovers muddled all over the place.  

"Ok." I sigh out.  

"Ok?" Eren's head tilts to the side and his face bundles up in wrinkled confusion. I simply nod my head to the response and feel exhausted. It isn't even that late but it seems no matter how much rest I get I can never feel rested.  

"Ok..." His voice is lower now and he looks less likely to have a god damn heart attack. I start to walk back to my room and then stop to point at the stove.    

"You left a giant mess. Clean it up. I'm going to bed." Eren doesn't argue and stands in the middle of the living room awkwardly. His face is turned to the side and I can't tell if he's smiling or frowning. He's probably disappointed in who his 'hero' turned out to be.  I don't need to see this. I get to my room and lay on my back. I keep thinking of how he must have expected that moment to have been life changing, like how romantic little kids picture their first kiss to be. That there is going to be this fucking glorious burst of doves pouring out of their asses and into the sky and there will be great things said and great things felt. But in reality it only ends in pain and disappointment.    
 

"Sorry I am who I am." I say lightly under my breath to the ceiling.   

 


 

 

Thursday   
 

Eren doesn't have work today so I tell him he's going to go shopping with me for new clothes. You think by now he would stop protesting about me buying him shit but nope, not this little lint licker, he argues until the very end.   

"Let's go on the subway at least, we can't walk all the way to the mall." He's right but that doesn't help soothe the anxiety from boiling in my veins as we start to board the filthiest petri dish of all transportation . I at least have gloves on so I won't have to hold onto the railing and immediately contract hepatitis. There's a lady coughing in a chair besides us and I start to panic as more and more people step on board, but I don't show it, no I keep my breaths steady and try to focus on anything other than the crowd of germs closing in on me.   

"So where are you from anyways ? Not used to subways?" I had almost forgotten Eren was standing next to me, his voice is uplifting but his eyes look concerned as he looks down at me. Shit why is this kid so tall? Annoying...  

"I didn't live too far from here actually, I lived in the slums so I guess I've always been surrounded by the smell of piss and people who don't cover their god damned mouths when they cough." I glare at the lady as  her mouth stretches open wide like a hippopotamus and she allows spit and bacterial debris to burst out of her throat a couple times. I watch in horror as her snot rolls down onto her lip and she sniffs it back up. Truly disgusting.   

"Do your parents still live there?" Eren is looking around us and his tone is merely curious, he doesn't know that that's a sensitive subject for me. So I decide to just cut the conversation short.  

"No." I say it low and firmly. Eren seems to catch the hint and segways to another topic, his voice thoughtful and subdued,  

" Do you ever feel like you are going to stay in the same place all of your life? That you won't ever see the places in the commercials and the movies, you'll only stare at photographs and never see or breathe in the place on your own?"   

I avoid his question by answering with a question,  

"Is that why you left your hometown, you were afraid?" Eren looks down at me and his face is weary and he smiles a little even though his voice is hollow,  

"I still am." I frown and find his emerald eyes searching my own for some sort of guidance, I look away and try to erase that worry ridden expression,  

"Where is it that you want to go?" I sneak a peek up at him and watch his features visibly brighten,  

"Somewhere by the ocean, I've never seen the ocean before. Armin says that it looks like an infinite blue and that when the sunrise or sunset hits the horizon of the waters, it’s the most beautiful thing anyone can ever see!" The kid is completely animated now, waving his arms about, and its somewhat endearing.   

"I haven't seen the ocean either." I fiddle with my scarf a little, its getting hot in this metal tent of a vehicle. Eren grabs my shoulder and I'm momentarily jolted,  

"We both have to see it then!" I snort and slide my shoulder away from his hold, jesus this kid so easily radiates hope. Its hard to look at his elated happy face when the thought of a 'someday' seems all too positive and naïve to me. Everyone seems to think that tomorrow is real, when really tomorrow is just a day dream.  

"If we have a tomorrow." I softly mutter and I'm not even sure if Eren hears me say it because the subway doors ding open and the speaker announces our stop just after I say it.   

We end up getting Eren a couple band t-shirts: Simon & Garfunkel, The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac, and  Led Zepplin.Then we get him an assortment of red, purple, and green hoodie jackets. He says he feels weird with sweaters because he's used to resting his hands in his front jacket pockets. I just let him get what he wants. I don't let him see the receipt, frankly I don't even remember how much I paid because I've got plenty of cash to blow.   

We board on the damned subway and Eren has his hands full of bags from our purchases, he looks a little embarrassed when he says, "Thank you for all of this." I just nod my head and try to grab onto the subway bar and some big man who reeks of alcohol bumps into me and curses at me with,  

"W-watch where you're going midget." He slurs and spits the short stature insult at me and I don't say anything. I'm used to assholes who think being taller than me makes them high and mighty but in reality I could punch them so far up the ass I could use their mouths like puppets to get them begging for mercy.  There's nothing good to gain retaliating against his stupidity.  Its Eren though who can't keep his mouth shut,  

"Hey watch your mouth you drunkard!" Eren is seething fury and his teeth are gritted together. This kid knows nothing of restraint, I watch the said drunkard turn around and flick out a switch blade from his pocket and my nerves turn to ice.  

" Whadid' you say you fucking punk?" The man has grease slicked hair and a sneer revealing corn yellow teeth. People all around us on the subway train are gasping and fleeing from the psycho with the knife but Eren keeps his eyes steely with conviction and stands his ground. Great, now I have to do something before this kid ends up sliced up like a  dinner special at a sushi bar. I step outside the line of danger of the blade to the right and grab the man's wrist swiftly and with all of the force in my body I push his shoulder down with my other hand. I twist his arm hard enough for him to let out a yelp and drop the blade, I follow the action by sending a fast kick to the man's ribs and send him toppling over the now empty seats next to us. The subway doors ding open and I pick up the knife and grab Eren by the armpitand pull him outside with me quickly.   

We aren't too far from my place so that's good, we run until we have reached a safe distance from the subway and start to walk. I throw the knife in a trashcan and Eren is breathing heavily behind me. I turn to check how he's doing and I’m surprised to find him laughing and staring at me in amazement.  

"Where'd you learn how to fight like that?!" Of course he would be impressed by that. He wouldn't be thinking about how he just risked his life by being a reckless dipshit, no, that wouldn't be like him at all.  

"Where'd you learn how to have shit for brains? I had to learn how to protect myself in the streets and did what I could to stay alive. I don't like meaningless violence, so refrain from being a volatile asshat in the future." There's nothing dashing or heroic about being terrified of walking home by yourself because there could be someone tailing you ready to rob what little you have. Or the boys caught up in gangs trying to bully their way around with broken beer bottles pointed at your face. I glare at Eren and hope that my  troubled expression stirs some remorse and reflection in the brat but Eren's fire hasn't completely gone out though,  

"But he insulted you! I just wanted to defend you... " I keep giving him the same intense and reprimanding stare and the fire in him finally goes out and he gives me his classic huffy baby pout. I sigh and we stop in front of my door to the apartment when I tell him,  

"Look kid, I could eat an alphabet soup and shit out a better insult than what that guy said to me. Don't worry about protecting me, alright?" I don't know why I felt the need to comfort the idiot, I turn the key in the knob and let ourselves in. We slide our shoes off and I sit on the couch and Eren rests the shopping bags on the kitchen island and joins me on the couch.  

"I can't help but want to protect you though, not when you don't even remember to eat properly." Eren's laughing a little and I kick him not too hard in the shin and command,  

"Order us some pizza dumb butt." Eren scoffs and gets up to go over and pick up the home phone and snickers,  

"Pfft. Dumb butt. Is that the best you got? "I send a pillow flying over to gently smack him over the head and he sticks his tongue out at me and giggles. I turn the T.V. on to find some cheesy foreign romantic comedy and wait for Eren to finish ordering our food.  

 


 

 

Friday  

 

I wake up to the vibrations of my phone on my nightstand and groan as I stretch over to see who the hell just woke me from my deep dreamless slumber.  

Four Eyes is calling...  

Who else would it be? I answer the phone and let out an annoyed and raspy,  

"What is it shitty glasses."  

I have to turn the volume down on my phone almost immediately from how loud her shrill laughter is and I close my eyes and sink my head back into my pillow with her on speakerphone now.  

"I just wanted to call and remind you that Erwin will be coming around your place at 7 again to pick up your update on the book!" Motherfucking fuck. That's today? I check what time it is on my phone and its 1p.m. Eren shouldn't be back from work till 5p.m so that leaves me plenty of time to go complete clean freak on my place.  

"Ok." I hang up and ever so slowly get up and roll out of bed. That's one of the good things about Hanji. She doesn't mind my terrible communication skills or more so my lack of them and doesn't mind if I abruptly end a call. Unless she thinks something is wrong that is, which is nice I guess but also annoying. My mood is sour and I prepare myself the heart ache of having to see the beautiful agonizingly straight man today. What's with every guy being straight anyways, even Eren seems to be straight now that I know that he was only intrigued by my possible title and not my ass. Gross. Don't think of Erenthat way, just get up and start cleaning you old pervy bastard.  

I get my cleaning get up on, white bandanna to hold my hair and bangs back, a bandanna over my face so I don't murder all of my brain cells breathing in all the clorox, and I get my gloves snapped on my fingers. Its particularly hot today so I decide to just wear a white t-shirt and short tight blue boxer briefs. I click on the radio and press the button for my Edith Piaf CD to start playing. Her strong vibrant voice streams through my apartment and I grab a sponge and start to use the coarse green side to rake across the kitchen counter. Eren did a surprisingly good job cleaning last night and I feel slightly pleased but my mood is still uneasy. Anxiety is like a spider,  it wraps webs around your ribs and bites a paralyzing venom into your system. Leaving you wide eyed and squeamish like a fly trapped behind a window. I try to squeeze the venom of uneasiness out of me and into the sponge, cleaning it out of my system by cleaning everything else around me. Time starts to slip by and I try to relax and sing along to the frenchsinger. "La Vie En Rose" is playing and I hum/sing along to the lyrics, "Il est entré dans mon coeur. Une part de bonheur. Dont je connais la cause' which roughly translates to "He has entered into my heart. A piece of happiness. The cause of which I know full well." I'm just about finished cleaning the kitchen island when I hear,  

"You speak french?" Eren is taking off his purple jacket and has a surprised but sort of smug grin creeping onto his face. I try not to act like he didn't just scare the absolute shit out of me and try not to act mortified over being caught singing and slightly dancing around cleaning like cinder-fucking- ella. I pull off the bandanna on my head and over my mouth and reply,  

"Yeah. My dad was a Frenchman who supposedly wooed my mother with the language of love and all that jazz." I shouldn't have said that. Now he's going to try milking more information out of me, I start walking through the living room to escape to my bedroom but surprisingly I don't hear a single peep from the kid. I stop before I reach the hallway and turn around. Eren's gaze was pointed at me but a little lower initially but snapped up when he saw that I'd stopped and looked at him. I look down and then notice: I'm in my booty poppin' blue boxer briefs. I'd forgotten I was wearing these. I raise an eyebrow at Eren and he blushes so hard even his ears turn red,  

"D-do you always clean the place in your underwear? Aha..ha ?" He's trying to play it cool when really he looks like he's been holding a fart for too long. I can't help but smirk and then casually jut a hip to the side and cross my arms,   

"Is that a problem?" I watch Eren start shaking his head fast enough to look like a dog shaking water off of its fur. His head abruptly pops up and his lips open like he's remembered to say something suddenly, 

"Come to my gig tonight! Its at a place that actually has a nice stage and its my biggest gig I've scored so far." He's smiling but his brow is furrowed with focus and motivation. Where does this kid get his energy from, he's like an damned energizer bunny I swear. I almost say yes looking into those engaging turqouise eyes but then remember Erwin is coming over tonight. Oh shit.  

"What time is it?" I rush into my bedroom and start pilfering through my closet and drawers for something decent to wear. Eren calls out from the living room,  

"6:45! Oh balls I have to go actually, wait so does that mean you can come?" I can't think of what to wear and shit I'm getting nervous and agitated and ignore his pleas. The door bell rings. No. No  no, no, why is Erwin early, I'm not dressed and I haven't brushed my teeth and this cannot be happening. I throw on a black and white striped sweater and black ass-hugging skinny jeans and fly into my bathroom and start brushing my teeth like a mad man. The door opens, no Eren just opened the door, what will Erwin think? Fucking fuck, great now he's going to think I'm some twisted sugar daddy gaylord or something and I hear Eren dumbly greet,  

"Uh hello ?" Wow kid gold fucking star on first impressions, I finish rinsing my mouth out and try not to sprint into the living room. I take a deep breath and leisurely stroll into the living room and sigh out,  

" Erwin, this is Eren. He was just leaving." Eren shoots me a hurt look and I look past it and at Erwin's lovely polite smile. I walk up to Eren and start guiding him out the door,  

"You don't want to be late to your important gig right?" I hand him his guitar case and watch him sling it over his shoulder slowly as he walks outside. He looks to the side with his eyebrows pinched together and his expression has darkened ,  

"But I want... I want you to come... I was going to..." He bites his lip and then shakes his head, I give him a questioning stare. When he looks at me again its angry and distant,  

"Nevermind. Have fun with Erwin." I glare at him and wonder why the hell he's so offended, what was he talking about before? What, am I supposed to go to every performance this kid gives? I watch him hop on his bike and start pedaling away into the city. I watch that messy mop of chestnut hair disappear far away into the bustling of cars and people then turn around and close the door.   

"Is everything alright Levi?" Erwin has set his things down already and loosens his red slick tie against that sinful neck. Hearing Erwin say my name is both painful and terribly arousing. Because he has no idea what the simple act of saying my name does to me and he will never know. I look up at his sky blue eyes and neatly combed golden hair and take a moment to just admire him. I'm just not the type of person who takes the risk of making myself completely vulnerable, I usually just watch what I want most from a careful distance.   

"Kid's just spoiled, I'll go get the update."  



Chapter 7: It was an accident

 

 

 

 

 

I wake up with my arms around a bottle of grey goose vodka and I briefly wonder if I will ever wake up with my arms around anything else. Anyone else. Blurry thoughts of last night with Erwin muster up in my vaguely throbbing mind. It was the usual routine. He walked into my life. He walked out. Each time leaving me a little less alive and a little more broken.  

My breath is so dry and rancid I hurry to brush my teeth and just clean myself up in general. I like to remind myself that I'm not lonely, I am just alone. I start washing my face with a clean snowy towel and rub the white material slowly up and down on my face, contorting my features as I stare into my graveyard grey eyes. I am alone.  

I stop self- deprecating and start to sniff the air, it smells like breakfast is churning in the kitchen.  That's right. I'm not alone, am I? While I walk out of my bedroom I realize I'm still wearing my striped sweater and pants from last night but I really don't give a damn right now and continue going. Eren is holding a spatula in one hand and I watch his head  sway back and forth rhythmically, god has this kid ever heard of a hair brush? That ridiculous mess of brown hair... I guess I don't mind it though. I take a seat on a stool and lean my arms on the kitchen island and wait for Eren to notice my presence. He's humming another one of his nonsense joyful tunes, "Hmm dah doo doo hmm dah dee doo dah hmm." What a weirdo. He's happy though, which probably means his show went well last night.   

"What are you so happy about you boob." Eren jolts up a little, his shoulders to his ears, and my hangover starts to disappear a little just at the funny sight. He turns around with a smile that's too bright this early in the morning, my chest tightens uncomfortably. He just about yells,  

"Last night was amazing!" I cringe and reprimand him with an index and middle finger on my right hand rubbing a temple,  

"Hey some of us don't like speakerphone mouthed brats this early." His enthusiasm isn't fazed as he nods sympathetically at me, he turns back around to focus on cooking the  food, and continues talking a bit more quietly but not a bit less excited, " Levi you should have been there, the crowd was so engaged, not too big but better than what I'm used to. They were actually listening to my music ya' know? Not just the usual jerk offs who talk over my music or something. And..."  Eren's face starts to go pink as he turns to face me again and I stop rubbing my temple, waiting with a strange sense of impending doom rumbling through my body. Eren sets two omelets down on two separate plates and sits next to me on a stool and slides my plate over to me, fork and knife resting on it. He's squirming around on his stool, his knee bouncing up and down nervously, he gives me a little sheepish grin,  

"I met a girl." He proudly states.   

My teeth clench down on each other and I take a deep breath through my nose. The hunger I once felt for breakfast smashed down and left with nausea. My throat goes dry and I just blankly stare at Eren biting his lip nervously. He, unfortunately, continues,  

"Her name is Annie, she was a waitress at the place I played at last night. She's blonde and blue eyed, really pretty. She said her dad was well connected with music in the city and could help me out! She gave me her number and everything! You know, she kind of reminds me of you. You both have that serious look about you." She reminds me of you. Eren  laughs a bit but then he realizes I am far from amused when he looks at me again.   

"Hey why aren't you eating?" I turn away from him and stare at the sad plushy yellow omelet sitting on my plate untouched. I can't think. I can't eat. I keep staring at the omelet as if it might start talking to me. Stupid damn omelet. Blank.  

"So who is that guy Erwin?" My head snaps up to look at Eren, he looks annoyed. Like he has any fucking right to be. I squint my eyes at Eren with deeply seeded aggravation,  

"My editor." I reply hollowly. Eren looks confused, which means he will probably ask more questions the bastard. His eyes are dark green and his expression cautious,  

"Just your editor?" Fuck. My lungs feel like they have solidified into two steel anvils, my face is stiff and I start to  tear apart the omelet in front of me with my fork.  I can feel him staring at me intently, I do the usual deflecting and answer with a question,  

"What are you implying? " I start to put pieces of the omelet in my mouth but I don't taste anything. I only eat to eat. I only feel that acidic churning of rejection eating away at me. Rejection? Why do I care if Eren has some chick throwing herself at him? These feelings must be because of Erwin, I'm just making everything about me and my own loneliness. I must be jealous that Eren has found somebody who wants him. Nobody wants me. Who would?  

"You always get drunk after you see him. You get all dark and moody n' stuff." And stuff. As eloquently said as a literal asshole. I scarf the rest of the meal down, barely chewing, just trying to get the act over with, and reply after swallowing the last piece of egg.  

"I'm always like that." He gives me the 'you are full of shit' look but I just pick up both of our plates and go to the sink. I grab a sponge and turn up the hot water from the faucet, the water burns my hands but it doesn't matter, the plates are clean now, but that doesn't matter. Now, I should have stayed silent, I already have the knife of truth stabbed in my gut, but I'm a masochist so I try to twist the blade of honesty further. Plus I don't think I can handle another question about Erwin.  

"So have you texted her." I'm only asking him this so that he gets distracted, I don't care about whatever he does with that blonde. Eren rests his back against the kitchen counter next to the sink and stares at my face, I focus on scrubbing the clean plate instead of reading his expression.   

"Yeah, actually I was wondering if I could maybe have her come over on Tuesday? I mean I totally understand if you don't want her here, but I was thinking we were going to go out dancing and then maybe watch a movie here? I don't know, I'm so awkward with girls so I'm not really sure what we should do for our first date." The word 'date' reverberates in my head horribly like nails on a chalkboard. People are out in the world living, doing things, trying to make real connections with others. While I stay shut away in my house writing the exciting lives of others, afraid of being an actual human being.  

"Its fine." I almost whisper. Am I supposed to punish him for his own happiness? I finally let go of the plate I'd been working on and set it in the dishwasher before I break the damn thing. I tear off a square of paper towel to dry my hands off and glance over at Eren. He looks worried, but he smiles regardless and says thank you. I decide to leave before he leaves to go to work, the need to runaway sings in my legs, I go in my room and sweep off the first jacket I see hanging in my closet. I pull my messenger bag off of the floor by the front door, Eren says goodbye but I close the door before I even have the chance to. I hate the fear I feel rising up in me  just because I didn't say goodbye, but the bitterness gives my childhood terror a middle finger and I continue along the sidewalk.   

I raise my collar up, its cold enough to freeze nipples off out here. I always just walk aimlessly until I end up somewhere. I find myself in one of those little gas station stores buying a pack of Djarum Vanilla cigarettes, they are illegal, but this particular shady little gas station I've known for a long time and they still supply them. I realize the jacket I grabbed is my old leather jacket from my rebellious highschool days. Its weird, you get older and you think that maybe the worst parts of yourself have been cured with time but then people or life find ways to reduce you to the kid you never wanted to be but were and still are. The sun has just set and the sky is purple but not quite black yet, the stars are still poking through the blankets of dark clouds rolling above me. I use my newly bought white lighter and flick the orange teardrop of fire on, lighting my cigarette. The smoke starts to kill my anxiety and I cough a little because it has been while since I last smoked.  

"Mommy  mommy, can I have a quarter?" I look over at a little kid pulling on the hem of her mother's shirt, the mom talks on the phone and pushes the kid off while yammering on. Successfully brushing the kid off in every way. The little girl keeps pushing her mom for that quarter though and eventually the moms smacks the side of her head and puts a big shooshing index finger to her mouth violently. Then the mother of the year continues her I'm sure very important conversation on the phone. The girl has big watery spheres of pain from what I'm sure is both physical and mental. I remember that pain, much worse, meaty rough handed slaps I took across the jaw from my 'adult guardian' after my parents... I drop my cigarette on the ground and smear ash and tobacco under a blue rainboot.   

I pull a quarter out of my grey messenger bag and hand it to the little girl. She's scared at first, I am not a doe -eyed sunshine emitting carebear fucker, but I just stand there holding it down to her and don't take a step further, trying to help her even though I know I'm scary. She sort of swipes it out of my hand, her little pig tailed hair bouncing, and she wipes her tears off with her free hand sloppily. Her voice is all high pitched and childish when she quickly says thank you and then she rushes off to the little quarter machines to get a toy. I decide to make my way back, maybe stop by Garrison Records to check up on Eren. Its still bothering me that I didn't say goodbye. Goodbyes either mean nothing or everything. The risk of regret is too high.  

I walk into the familiar golden glow of the store and my boots squeak loudly on the store mat as always. Eren has his hair pulled back with an elastic green headband and I can't help but just kind of stare at him a bit. Somehow he pulls that  look off, that dumb attractive schmuck. He's strumming on his guitar sitting behind the cash register and his head perks up. His eyebrows shoot up when he realizes its me and he sets his guitar to the side and strides over to me with that pearly great big smile of his.   

"What are you doing here?" Oh. I didn't think this through. I try deflecting his question, as usual.  

"You need to dust that god damn ceiling fan." That was weak. Eren is starting to pick up on my lame distracting questions and raises an eyebrow at me as he smirks,  

"You came all the way over here just to tell me that?" Shit, this little armpit sniffer has me caught. I look around the room for another excuse and my eyes land on the giant gramophone on the counter. I point at it and dryly mutter,  

"I'm buying one."  

 


 

 

It was an expensive lie. I ended up not only buying the gramophone but a shitload of records to go with it. Its not bad though. There's something charming about the old golden speaker and the record weaving music in endless circles. I set it down on the kitchen counter and then file the records away in one of my night stand drawers. Eren should be back in an hour, I left as soon as I went on my crazy shopping rampage, and made sure I did say goodbye. As I close the drawer for the records, I pull out the drawer with all my masturbation goodies. The tissue box and Vaseline sit on my nightstand and I get on all fours, I need a good wank, stress has been building up lately and I can't masturbate with Eren in the place so now I finally have time for myself. I slick up my hands and press an ear to the mattress as I slowly guide my left hand to my entrance and press a finger in. What should I think of this time, since I have all this time to myself it has to be something good, I try conjuring up different situations with my muse Erwin starring in all of them.

I finally stick to Erwin teasing me then fucking me doggy style. Not very creative but I'm pent up and impatient, I close my eyes and imagine his warm thick finger taking me nice and slow. He would purr my name in my ear in that sexy deep husky voice of his, I start to whimper and slip another finger in. I bring my right hand over to my erection and start to stroke it just as slowly, sliding my hand over firmly and rubbing my thumb over the slit, I start to moan openly. Then Erwin would get that nice big cock of his out and fuck me, I stuff a third finger in and start to aggressively fuck my ass with my fingers, imagining its him pumping his dick in and out of me. Him leaning over and desperately voicing my name.

His voice doesn't sound the same though for some reason, I look up at him behind my shoulder in my fantasy and its not Erwin but Eren pounding my ass into oblivion. His face is that school girl rosy red, his eyes bright turquiose and needy. I find myself loudly repeating his name over and over again, an intense pooling of heat like never before building up in my groin. I have to muffle my yell in the mattress when I come, and I'm left a hot sweaty mess, panting like I just ran a marathon. I start to wipe up after myself and I try not thinking about what just happened in my head. It was an accident.

I hear the abrupt shutting of a door and holy fuck Eren is home, I jump up and pull my pants up. I set my laptop on my thighs and try to pretend to look like I've been working for hours instead of the reality of me just moments ago screaming his name in a wild orgasm. Sweet dick turds I left my bedroom door open, no he couldn't have heard what just happened, he just got here, I'm in the clear. Eren walks through the hallway and does a big stretch of his arms going up with a yawn.  

"Work was so god damn boring Levi, after you left nobody stopped by so I left early. Not even some drunk assholes who needed a toilet visited. Zip. Nada. I'm going straight to bed. Goodnight." He says it all too animatedly, his yawn didn't even really seem genuine. Maybe I'm paranoid though, I convince myself that I am, even though I swear I thought I saw a slight blush staining his cheeks.

 

 



Chapter 8: a Kind of Daydream
Notes:

You need to either watch Breakfast at Tiffany's (which I highly recommend) or at least watch this youtube clip of Audrey Hepburn singing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOByH_iOn88) to fully engage in this chapter ~ Oh and this song by Nat king Cole later on in the chapter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GhkwYSj_-I) Please check them out, especially Nat King Cole, you definitely won't regret it. Thanks for reading



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 

   

Sometimes its hard just to wake up. Mornings always seem to be mournings to me. I lay here with my nose just peeking out of the covers, staring numbly at the tiny barely visible stitching of cloth that makes my white Egyptian cotton sheets. I slowly blink a couple times and that ghastly existential realization creeps in my mind like poison. That's right, I'm awake, I'm supposed to be living. My vision slowly moves over to my drapes, daylight glows behind the fabric, a solemn reminder that the day will go on whether I want it to or not.    

A vague collection of terrible thoughts swirl around in my head, Erwin saying he had to meet someone after he had finished reviewing and collecting my update at 11pm two nights ago. Eren's date with his possible future lover Tuesday. Then there's the emptiness of the dead looming around in my memories and the pain that would and has  filled  in their absence.    

Some days are better than others.Today would definitely be one of the shittier days. I stand in the shower and close my eyes, feeling the nearly unbearable hot streams of water travel down my scalp and around my shoulder blades. I never feel clean enough, I feel tainted by the ugliness of the world. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, I use them all meticulously in a desperate attempt to rid all of the bundled trash of feelings cramped inside of me. After my usual 1 or 2 hour shower I grab a towel off the rack and wrap myself in it lazily. I wear it around my shoulders like a long white furry cape and sit down on my bed. I try not to get my laptop wet as I bring it out in front of me, then I let the gruesome sickness of my mind leap out of my head and onto the keyboard, my fingers begin their mad dance of letters and I binge  20 pages. When I write like this my story starts to flash in front of me like those old - time films, frame by frame and fast. When I finish writing all of the struggle and terror out of me I realize I'm not cold. Did Eren get new towels? I didn't notice how large and new this one was...   
 

I start to get dressed,  slipping into a  black long-sleeved shirt and comfortable black jeans and I look out the window. I'm thankful for the heater in my house because the world looks white and deathly cold, the wind howls like a wolf outside. I go over to my nightstand and bend over to open the drawer storing my new collection of records. I grab two different albums, Famous  Classical Pieces & Nat King Cole(Eren insisted I get his album, apparently if I like Billie Holiday I'll like him too.)    

I go over to the gramophone that's sitting on the kitchen counter and decide to press the Famous Classical Pieces record into place first. There's a soft crinkling that begins but soon " Gymnopedie No.1" by Erik Satie begins to play. I get my tea kettle going and make myself a hot cup of Earl Grey black tea. I just stand in my kitchen and close my eyes, hearing the somber soft lullaby of piano chords pressing gently, breathing in the warmth and flavor of my tea.     

Leave it to Eren to barge into my quiet moment of peace.     

"Lucy, I'm home!" Eren jokes as he closes the door behind him and all the god awful cold stops pouring into my warm sanctuary. I pause the gramophone and take a look at him: he's wearing a grey zip up jacket and a plain white T-Shirt. He rubs his shoulders a bit and shivers, I snort and reply before another sip of tea,    

"Very funny, why are you back so early twerp?" I  turn around and start to pour him a cup of tea. I wait for his reply as I hand him a cup. He gives me a grateful little grin and walks over to join me in the kitchen, we both lean against the edge of the sink.  He holds the cup with both hands and blows lightly on the surface, just like the little kid he is.    

"Levi, its like, 6pm. I've been at work for 8 hours, not all of us are sleepy head genius writers who never know what time it is." I had begun rinsing off my teacup in the sink since i  had finished but now I don't bother drying my hands off so I can flick water onto Eren, he yelps and starts loudly laughing. I can't help but smirk a bit. Something about this kid is infectious.    

"So you wanna go out and do something? I'm not really in the mood to watch movies."  Eren sort of bounces around me and I wipe my hands with a paper towel and look up at the energetic lil' shit,    

"Maybe. You ever been to Trost Park?"     

  
 

 



 

   

Eren joins me on the swing set and rests his guitar in his lap. His face scrunches up a little unhappily and he mutters annoyedly,    

"Ugh, the seat is moist." I join him with a scrunched up nose in disgust,    

"I hate that word." I hiss while picking off a couple balls of lint that had gathered somehow on the side of my jeans. Eren starts to pluck at a couple chords on his guitar and twisting the metal tuners to adjust the sound of his guitar, he looks at me with a shit eating grin and draws out the word,    

"Moist." I elbow him in the arm not too hard and he laughs a bit, then I look over at the horizon. The sun is hovering over the end of day, burning the sky orange before it is shut off from our view. Eren plays a fast and valiant sort of tune, its uneven but not off key, he must be improvising. The sunset lays a veil over everything around us, everything looks golden. The light makes certain strands of Eren'shair glisten copper, his eyes are a radiant shamrock green. I remember something,    

"Hey. You said you wanted to show me something at your gig the other day." Eren looks up with a troubled face briefly wondering what I'm talking about, then when he remembers his face explodes with giddiness and joy.    

"Oh ! Yeah, okay, I'm gonna play it, if you don't get where it's from then I'll be pissed!" Eren takes a semi-deep breath and then closes his eyes. His fingers begin to strum gently, lovingly, at his guitar strings. The melody is familiar, soothing, and the kind of repetitive that's welcome to the ears.    

"Moon River, wider than a mile. I'm crossing you in style, one day... " I've never really heard him sing before. Sure some light hearted humming and sometimes a dumb action movie theme under his breath, but never actual singing. His voice is strong but unlike everything else he does, restrained. Its careful and soft when it needs to be, like now. He's... Not bad. His eyes flutter open and he looks down at his guitar a bit.    

"Two drifters, off to see the world. There's such  a lot of world to see. We're after the same rainbow's end. "  He looks up at me with those luminous greens and I take a sharp intake of air.     

"Moon River and me... "  His hand drops to the bottom of the guitar and he's done, yet I'm still completely dazed. He fidgets and taps his fingers against the wood of the instrument, glancing down then looking back at me.     

"Breakfast at Tiffany's." I unintentionally whisper. Eren's expression is wistful as he looks over the park's golden landscape. He sets his guitar back in it's case and zips it up.     

"It was my Mom's favorite. She liked movies and songs from the 50's and such. " He turns back to me and gives me a great white smile. My chest tightens like a fist. How does he do that? Turn all of that pain into something good?  

"Why don't you sing when you perform your songs?" I swing my legs back and forth and the squeaking of my swing's chain is the only sound now echoing in the park. It's starting to get cold as the sky begins to be diluted by dark navy blue. I wish I knew how to comfort him when he talks about his mom. But I don't even know how to comfort myself. Besides looking at -  

"I'm shitty at writing lyrics. I don't want to be one of those prissy artists who just make covers of everything, I want to pave my own path without having to cheat off others. I don't know, it just seems dishonest to me unless I create the music myself." Eren answers with his hands balled up in passion in front of him. He sort of nods to himself, agreeing with what he said. I lift my messenger bag up and pull a vanilla cigarette and my white lighter out. My thumb presses down the flicker of flame and I toast my cigarette end. Vanilla begins to blossom in the air and I take a drag and feel the deathly relaxation pour into me.    

"White lighters are bad luck." He points over at my hand, I laugh darkly and mutter,    

 "I don't believe in luck. What does that mean anyways? Some asshole up in the sky or down below in the armpit of hell is keeping score or something?" I scoff as I put the lighter  in my pocket and exhale a cloud of grey.     

"So does that mean that you don't believe in a heaven or hell?" His face is serious, his usual knit eye- browed intensity flared.     

I shrug my shoulders and breathe in and breathe out more poison before I reply,    

"If there is a heaven or hell, we already live in it." The smell of vanilla grows too strong so I walk over to the trashcan and twist the fire in the cigarette out, then toss it in the bin. I sit back down with Eren and put away my pack and lighter in my bag. He sort of stares at me in a curious and suspicious manner.     

"If you think too hard you might get constipated." Eren groans and then begins his little rant,     

"Why do you smoke? One, its bad for you. Two, I heard that kissing someone who smokes is like licking an ash tray. I mean it smells good, yours at least, but still. It just seems like an unnecessary and unhealthy thing to do." I can't help but smirk, this kid is actually scolding me. I decide to tease him to sort of put him in place for my enjoyment.    

"You want to find out of its true?" I lift an eyebrow and lean in closer towards him. The oblivious little turd that he is, tilts his head to the side and replies obtusely,    

"Uh, cigarettes are scientifically proven to be bad for you." Oh god, the kid thought he was being a regular smart ass. I lean in closer, close enough to smell the mint gum he'd been chewing earlier on his breath. His eyes widen owl-like as he starts to realize what I'm implying, I continue, setting my gaze on those sweet small but supple lips of his,    

"If I taste like an ashtray, dumbass. " I say it under my breath and I can hear Eren gulp, I look up at him and... He looks like he's actually considering  the challenge. The consideration flickering in those green orbs of his sends my heart racing into an unfamiliar panic.   
 

"Just kidding." I lean back and softly clear my throat. Eren is sort of stunned, he blinks a couple times, and then blushes hard enough that I worry he might pop a blood vessel. I get up and grab my messenger bag and throw it over my shoulder while Eren angrily sputters,    

"Not like I was gonna go for it, jeez, you just surprised me that's all. You dickhead!"  He starts to gather his stuff agitatedly and I snicker a little. That was weird, I have to watch myself around this brat. I can't let my loneliness trick me into thinking or doing anything strange. Not that I'm lonely, I'm used to being alone. Besides, he's not my type. On account of him being so damn determined, hopeful, not that those things are bad... I'm just realistic and a terribly down individual. Why am I still thinking about this. We're just friends, its okay as it is. I sigh and begin to walk,    

"Let's go back."    

 

   


 

 

Monday  

 

 

It was a mistake to go to Café Rose with Hanji instead of our usual hangout at Maria Diner. She's too loud for the home-y relaxed vibe here, but Petra doesn't seem to mind, she keeps being friendly and polite as usual, taking Hanji's order while a man who keeps biting his tongue inducing an explosion of blood afterwards recites incredibly boring poetry on the café's rickety stage. Hanji sips at her straight black coffee and snorts at my following complaint,  

"The kid sheds like a dog. The couch and pillows are all littered with wispy brown Eren hairs, and don't get me started on the shower Hanji. His hair decorates the tub on the sides like wedding suites decorate with fucking rose petals." Hanji laughs but she's giving me an odd smirk and I can already guess what she's thinking.  

"Well, with the way that you're talking about him right now Mr. Cleanfreak, you certainly do sound like a married couple." I squint my eyes at her in distaste and shake my head slowly,  

"Don't even say that." I take a sip of Petra's heavenly secret black tea blend and watch Hanji's smile start to lessen into a more serious expression.   

"You're more talkative. He's changing you." She says thoughtfully in a low voice. I rest both of my hands on the café counter and dramatically look at the ceiling and sigh.  

"Thanks Dr. Phil. So before you keep spouting shit out of your ass about my nonexistent romance, what about your love life four eyes?" Shitty glasses  was going a little overboard so now I try to direct the conversation elsewhere.The joys of deflection. Hanji starts to blush, which is completely abnormal. She only gets hot and bothered over her new science experiments, not over men or women.  

"OH goodness, look at the time! Its already 2:30 am! I have work early tomorrow so I'm already behind on sleep. Too-da-loo my dear  germaphobe !" Hanji avoiding a subject?  Hanji slams down a five dollar bill for her coffee and jets out the café's door.  

 I frown and try to think of why she would run away like that as I walk back home. It must be serious for her to react like that, with all of her previous relationships she would share details I would have to practically yell at her to stop telling. Whatever, she'll tell me eventually. Its probably her nerdy lab assistant Moblit that's always staring at her long-fully, he definitely has a crush on the mad woman. And here I thought I was a masochist.  

When I unlock the front door to my apartment I find myself watching Eren making a 100% jackass out of himself, his back is facing me and he's awkwardly taking a sidestep to the left and to the right. The Nat King Cole record I had left on the kitchen counter spins in the gramophone and sweet 50's slow dance music fills the place. He obviously hasn't heard me come in by the way he continues his horrendously tragic attempts at dancing, I'm not sure whether to laugh at or pity him.  

"Smooth moves, did Frankenstein teach you how to dance?" Eren hops up in the air and damn do I get a kick out of seeing his surprised mask of horror. The kid is just such a  spazz .  

"O-oh g-god  don't laugh, I know I look stupid." Eren covers his face with shame and I set my belongings down, I comment with a raised brow.  

"Stupid is an understatement." Eren groans in embarrassment and I take my jacket off, walking over to my room to hang it, then walking back to hear what he had to say.  

"Look... Ugh, I just suck at dancing and I'm going to a sort of nice place with Annie tomorrow where there will be slow dancing and shit and sweet jesus Levi I'm going to look like such an idiot." He starts to panic and paces back and forth in the kitchen with his hands holding his head. I calmly walk over to Eren and slap his shoulder,  

"There's no need to get a hemorrhoid over the matter doofus. I'll teach you." Eren rubs his shoulder but looks at me like I just saved his life. He starts nodding a thousand times per second and saying,  

"Yes, please, thank you." The song The Very Thought of You starts to play and we both stand straight and face each other.   

"Loosen up kid, let your shoulders relax. You look like a drug mule in an airport with a bag of coke crammed up his ass. Its just dancing." Eren takes a deep breath out and wiggles his shoulders down, then looks down at me.   

'I'm living in a kind of daydream '   

I grab his hands and set them on my hips, I try to ignore the way my skin tingles underneath his touch. Eren begins to blush slightly and his lips press into a straight line. I rest my hands on his shoulders and I feel his slight boyish muscle underneath, shit, okay Levi this is just your dick. Your dick does not have a brain. Therefore you shouldn't listen to it and focus on the difficult task at hand. I clear my throat a little.

'And foolish though it may seem, to me that's everything.'    

"Now move to your right, no, not onto my damned foot, wow I overestimated the number of your brain cells.Yes, like that." I guide Eren into swaying back and forth, a step to the left, a step to the right. Erenbegins to get the hang of it, soon he doesn't need to stare at his feet to avoid a mistake. So now its just him and I, dancing ever so cautiously, in the kitchen, not saying a word. I lean forward to lean my cheek on his chest, his chin rests on my shoulder, I hear his heartbeat thumping  maybe a little faster than it should be.  

'The mere idea of you, the longing here for you.'  

Eren  whispers not too far from my ear, I involuntarily shiver,  

"This is nice." For some reason I can't think of a witty biting remark to serve him, instead I sort of hum out a " Mhm " in agreement. I start to wonder how Eren's face looks right now, does he look nervous, is he relaxed, does he look uncomfortable? I start to lean back and Eren unhooks his chin from my shoulder, I look up at him as we continue to gently swing side to side. Its only when we are up close like this that I notice how much taller he is than me.   

Eren's face looks like he's trying to understand my own expression, that pink still on his cheeks. I look down at his lips, why have I been looking at them so much lately, why is he looking at my own? His hands tighten a little bit on my hips and I realize we've stopped moving all together. My chest and throat squeeze in an unknown trepidation, I lick my lips self consciously. I feel as if my body has realized something my mind hasn't quite yet.  

'It's just the thought of you. The very thought of you, my love.'  

The song ends and the record stops playing. It must have been the last song. I turn away from his hold and remove my arms from around his neck. I feel as if I have a hummingbird trapped in my heart, a foreign anxiety takes a hold of me. Eren's face looks a little surprised and muddled, as if he was also snapping out of whatever that was.  

I run a hand through my undercut and make sure to maintain my composure,  

"It's late." Beautiful, a masterpiece of an excuse. Not that it was an excuse or anything, I taught him all he needed to know and now I should get some rest. Not like he was dancing with me really, just practicing, practicing for a girl. I  now experience a sensation similar to dry swallowing a fat pill.   

Eren pulls out his phone to check it and sort of hazily mutters,  

"Yeah, its already 3am, we should go to bed." He slips his phone in his jean pocket and then he sort of searches my now deadening eyes, I don't know what I'm feeling, but its shitty. Eren bites his lip with a fretful appearance. I start to turn to walk to my bedroom but I'm stopped by a quick utterance of,  

"Thank you by the way... Um... goodnight Levi."   

I nod at the gratefulness and make it into my bedroom and close the door behind me. I lean back on the door and shut my eyes.

I feel scared.



Chapter 9: A Pair of Eyes
Notes:

I'm sorry for the long update, traveling + no free time. I should be giving this fic an update very soon though, I will finally have some free time. Thank you for being lovely and reading my chaos



 

 

 

 

Tuesday 

 

I don't know why I agreed to go over to Hanji's . Whenever I come over here, I end up cleaning the place, like I'm doing right now.   

" Hanji you are a pig, how do you survive living in this fucking barnyard of shit?" I grouse as I organize her fortress of knick knacks and the random array of chemistry equipment and beakers laid out all over. I mean she still has that creepy visible flesh anatomy model in her damn living room she named Bean from high school, she pretty much stole it from our science teacher senior year.  She giggles while ordering pizza on the phone, she makes it half pepperoni (for myself) and half pineapple(gross).  

"Hey captain clean freak you better find a movie to watch on Netflix by the time I finish this order." She waves an index finger at me and I give her a weak glare and grab the remote, I look for a dumb sci-fi movie to watch. Shitty glasses always keels over in loud barking laughter at those crappy glorious films, perfect, a movie about people being eaten by crazed piranhas. Hanji hangs up and joins me on hermaroon reclining sofa, her sofa has a habit of making fart like sounds whenever you sit on the damn thing.  

"Ooh this looks good!" Hanji reaches over on the side of me and pulls a lever that reclines the sofa, she crosses her legs and the flat screen T.V. on the wall starts to play over dramatic ominous music as the camera angle shoots underwater. I try not to clean the cracks of the couch, which of course are filled with hairballs and crumbs. Its not even 10 minutes into the movie when she starts to talk over it.  

"So why is this movie night happening here and not at your place? I know you hate my hot mess." She says while casually rubbing her glasses on the hem of her yellow t-shirt. I sigh and give her a quick to the point response while stretching my legs out,  

"Eren has some chick over and I'd rather not intrude." Hanji nearly snaps her fucking neck looking over at me,   

"And you're okay with that?" Her jaw is slack and her eyes practically popping out of her head, I  nod and continue watching the movie. There's a guy in ugly floral swim-trunks being mauled by 100 piranhas, he practically explodes blood in the water.  

"I told him as long as they don't get their rocks off in my place I don't give a shit. He said that she'd be gone by midnight, then Cinderella will be gone and I can get out of this cess pool." I expect  Hanji to laugh as usual at my crude humor but she doesn't. She just smiles and puts her glasses back on and stares intently at the T.V, I can tell she's thinking of something other than the dumb tourists being mauled on screen. The doorbell rings and I sit up, I pull my wallet out of my pocket. I start to fish the money out for pizza as I open the door, but when I look up at the pizza delivery person, I drop everything and stare up blankly.  

It's Erwin.   

He chuckles, "Oh I guess I surprised you, here let me help with that." He bends down in those nice black slacks of his, I briefly think of how nice his ass would look from the other side as I stare down at him. I take a sharp inhale of air even though there seems to be none left on the entire planet and fuck why is he here. Hanji pops up next to me and yells out a big welcome and says,  

"Oh I invited Erwin over, oh and Erwin, we ordered pepperoni and pineapple is that good with you?" She gets back in her seat and I press my lips in a thin line and stare at that accidentally sex god side grin he sports as he says,  

"Pepperoni will suit me fine, what are you two watching?" He shrugs off his crisp grey blazer and I watch his thick round shoulders roll back as if time was in slow motion. We both like pepperoni pizza. Shut the hell up Levi, about a billion other people like pepperoni too. Wait why is he here, did Four Eyes put the pieces together that I like him or something?  

 I realize that I will be sitting next to Erwin in incredibly close proximity, he's so fucking huge that there will be no room on the average sized sofa Hanji has. I try not to shit bricks as he sits down next to Hanji and I have to try to squeeze next to him. He carries off a rich spicy musk, the expensive kind of cologne, not the cheap teenie bopper lil' boy spray that can be found in any department store. Our shoulders rub together and my jaw is clamped shut and I can't even see the T.V. my blood is rushing to my face so fast I'm getting dizzy. He's warm and I can feel the muscle through his tight white collared longsleeve, I feel his body vibrate from the small laughs he gives as Hanji explains the ghastly movie we are watching. I look up at him from the corner of my eye and he looks down at me with those lethal sharp blue eyes and he frowns with worry,  

"Levi are you okay? You look sort of feverish, you're even sweating." He puts the back of his giant hand on my forehead with an adorably concerned expression and all of the nerves on my forehead ignite and I actually start to cough because I haven't breathed in so long. Hanji leans forward in her chair and she looks just as troubled , she's so clueless,   

"Levi your cheeks are red, are you sick? I should have some medicine in my bathroom cabinet." Before she or anybody can get up or keep fucking yapping their mouths about my heart attack I sit up and stride towards the door.  

"I probably just need to shit, later." I rush to open the door and nearly knock heads with a boy with a buzz cut who looks about Eren's age. He begins to apologize madly but I just use all my will power to remain cool and as poised as I possibly can in this state of being. Of course the pizza is here now, of fucking course. I ignore the pizza boy and start to fast walk, nearly run to my apartment . 'I probably just need to shit', great job Levi, really attractive, you just had to make a poop joke didn't you. Idiot stupid dunce cap wearing motherfucker, he thought you looked feverish.  

 That was the first time you were that close for so long, touching, and you pissed all over it with nerves. I'm just not used to touching, period, I mean sure I had careless makeout sessions with curious boys in high school and that one time at that bar with Hanji when I was particularly hammered but I was always somewhat in control. Without that control, I can't function properly.  Letting someone have control over me sounds good in theory, but when it starts to actually happen I immediately create distance. I wipe my sweaty brow with the back of my hand and I am thankful that Hanji only lives two floors above me. I take deep breaths to calm down and the keys jump up a couple times till my hands are steady enough to hold them and snap the door open with them.  

I find a pretty blonde girl straddling Eren on the couch, their faces are an inch away from each other and they whip towards me when I barge in. Eren looks like he's just been given a death sentence he has turned so deathly pale, the girl who I'm guessing must be Annie, isn't even fazed. She gets up nonchalantly with her blonde hair up in a strangely styled bun, then pulls down her tight blue velvet dress and picks up her purse up off the kitchen counter. She looks at me with lazy icy blue eyes and says "hi" and then waves goodbye at Eren , then shuts the door behind her. I stay standing in the same place , having no idea how to feel . I look at Eren and he starts to stand up with eyes so wide and frightened, I think he expects me to beat the shit out of him.  

"Levi I can explain -" I don't want to hear his excuses, I don't want to hear anything. I interrupt him,  

"No don't explain. Clean, everything. Disgusting." All I can think of is their grime smeared all over the place, he told me they wouldn't do anything. My nose pinches in revulsion and I look at him in angry betrayal. He gets up and I can see his mouth open to spout more putrid bullshit and I just walk past him briskly, I don't look into those guilty green eyes, I just go to my room and try to refrain myself from slamming the door shut. God forbid I show anyone how I fucking feel.  

 That's what I do though, I run away from my feelings. The good and the bad, because if I acknowledged them that would mean they're real. I've learned that  good feelings are the most dangerous to have, because when they're gone, bad feelings hit you so much harder. I start to shed my navy blue longsleeve shirt and black pants off desperately, get off of me, I need all of this night,  these memories, off of me now. I slip into the shower, my safe haven, and turn the shower dial the temperature of hell. I try to erase the feeling of Erwin's shoulder rubbing against my own, his hand caressing my forehead, Eren'stroubled eyes off of my skin. I try to erase the image of Erwin's face carved heavenly with laughter, Eren's flushed pink face and that girl's hands staining his shoulders. Eren lied to me but how can I blame him. He's young and bright, girls must dance around him like moths. I can't be angry at him and yet the feeling of being deceived burns the way that ice burns inside my chest. I cover my face with my hands and wait for tears that will never come.  

 


 

 

Wednesday

 

I must have only gotten a couple hours of sleep. I don't know how long I've been standing here in the kitchen with a full cup of tea, staring at that couch, seeing if Eren did a proper job cleaning it. I still see the image of them on top of each other, it blazes in my mind like a bag of dog shit on fire. The filth is still there, I can feel it. The kitchen and living room is laden with a tawny morning light seeping through the kitchen window.  

 I nearly drop my cup of now cold tea as the front door opens, Eren is just as startled when he sees me, his small delicate lips forming an "O" and he questions immediately,  

"Why are you up? You are never up this friggin early." I don't answer him and look at his clothes, why isn't he in work attire? He's wearing a green hoodie and the Fleetwood Mac band t-shirt with the flower icon on it instead of his Garrison Records cursive work attire.    

"Why aren't you at work?" I ask him dryly then continue to look down vapidly at my cup, deciding to pour it back into the kettle and boil it again. Eren has been silent now for too long, he sort of just sits down on the ground and pulls his sneakers off one by one, rubbing his lips together trying to think of something to say. He then glances up at me and doesn't waver when he replies,  

"I don't have work till 12pm, I was having breakfast with Annie." I turn towards the kettle on the stove and just listen to the steady bubbly hissing it emits. So that's who his world revolves around now , it hasn't even been a day without them seeing each other. Why... did I expect him to stay fascinated with me? When all I am is an older boring man who can't go to sleep without seeing the faces of the dead. I pour myself a hot cup of tea and turn off the stove then turn back to see Eren. He's staring at me intently, he still looks like he has something to say, but I kill any chance of that something being said by sweeping an index finger over the kitchen counter and looking at non existent dust ordering,  

"Clean this place all over again. You did a shit job." I'm being spiteful, I hate myself for being this way. Eren seems like he wants to protest but he bites down on his bottom lip into silence, I can tell he's trying to please me. I watch him bend down on his knees at the kitchen sink and open the bottom cabinets for cleaning supplies, his caramel skin glowing under the morning light, he grabs wipes and a paper towel and then looks up at me. Him kneeling down and staring up at me twists something deep in my gut, his soft messy brown locks, parting slightly pink lips, those eyes that stare up at me in their magnificent emerald iridescence. He looks frightened and a little bit hesitant, like he thinks he's doing something wrong because I probably look frustrated as fuck right now.   

I wash my cup down quickly in the sink and then retreat to my bedroom, where I begin to start writing to forget all of this terrible anxiety pouring through me. I must have been on a writing rampage because before I know it, Eren has finished re-cleaning and I don't even remember when I had heard the front door shut. He must be at work now. I continue writing and writing, losing myself, forgetting myself, creating a world so atrocious and unlivable I forget about my own world. I type until the letters start to just turn into strange symbols and sharp little black lines in front of me and I know I need to rest. I glance down at the time on my computer and then pause when I look at the date.  

How could I have been so busy that I didn't even remember that today is the day when... I see her excited happy grin, red crazy hair pulled into two messy pigtails, she calls me older brother in that sort of high raspy voice of hers. I see him looking at both of us with his tiny reassuring smile of his, silvery blonde hair and citrine eyes warm with care for both of us. I get up stiffly to walk towards my closet, I stand on my tippy toes and lift the old wooden box down. I sit on the side of my bed and lift the gilded latch to reveal the only two things I have left of them. One of the  sparkly pink rubber bands Isabel would tie in her hair and the crumpled drawing Farlan drew of white and blue overlapping wings. I think of how he would make fun of my stick figure drawings, 'how can you screw up a stick figure?!" and Isabel would laugh so hard she'd cry. I try to smile, for them, I can do it can't I? Just today?   

The last time I saw them begins to stab my mind repeatedly and suddenly I can feel the blood all over my body again. The stilled eyes looking past me, I feel the tar of sticky guilt starting to envelope me and all of my surroundings. I can't clean it away this time, I can't get rid of it all, I start to curl up in bed, in the all too comfortable fetal position I've grown accustomed to, and stare at nothing.  

Someone is calling out to me.  

I'm in the middle of the street, there is blood everywhere, they are dead.  

Calling out to me.  

I'm under the bed, everything is blurry, my mother is screaming, I can't remember her face. There are gun shots.  

The calls grow louder.  

There are fists that fall down onto me in a never ending hail of bruises, I don't say anything, I can't. If I say anything he'll never stop. Don't cry, don't ever let him see you cry. Don't let the ones you are protecting see you hurting. You have to always be strong. 

"Levi!" I wake up to Eren's rough nervous voice yelling out my name, his hands are gripping my shoulders, shaking me out of the darkness that had overtaken me. My breaths are sharp and painful, its as if my throat has sealed up like a ziplock bag and I can't get any oxygen through. Eren looks so distraught, I don't think he really knows what do in a situation like this, his lips open and close like a fish, his faint light brown eyelashes fluttering down at me. Even with the dumb look on his face he looks angelic, the fear rattling panic in to my bones, the black despair that fights hungrily to keep me under, somehow he's pulling me out if it all with just his voice. Why has he ever cared about someone like me? In a last attempt effort to console me, Eren sweeps me into an overbearing embrace, my hands rest on his shoulders curled up like paws, I want to push him away. So I do, just like always.  

He doesn't let me.  

" Stop being so damn stubborn! Everything is okay, alright? " Eren pulls me in tighter and I push him away even harder, but he doesn't give in to my attempts to break free from his hold. My nose buries into the heat of his skin, he isn't wearing a jacket so my face hides into the bare crook of his neck. There's that deep pine scent of his again, I breathe more of it in, the forest of tiny blonde hairs on his smooth bronze skin rubs softly against my face. I breathe.  

My body slowly slumps into his, our chests expand and compress together in unison, I feel the blood pumping through his neck, he starts to speak and I can hear his voice quiver out like a plucked guitar string.  

"Was it a nightmare?" His voice is sturdy and earnest, one of his arms is wrapped around the middle of my back, the other bent so he can play with the velvety fringe of my hair with a tentative hand . I reply without moving my face, so the sentence is sent halfway out loud and halfway into his skin,  

"It was my life."  

Eren shifts back and his face is gathered into that fierce intensity of his, hands now clutching my shoulders,  

" What happened?" I let myself stay safe in the too hopeful light of his turquoise gaze for a while, but the discomfort of showing him the scars of my past, both literal and mental, makes my attention shift to a wrinkled grey pillow sitting against the headboard of my bed. I duck out of his grasp and sigh, replacing his physical comfort for the comfort that I've always known: solitude.   

I don't give him an excuse or a lie, I give him an empty script where there could have been but wasn't.   

"Really?" He half growls half yells, I let myself sink into numbness, I get ready for the absence after I have sent someone away. He glares at me, seemingly obstinate in waiting for some kind of response, any kind of response, and I keep giving him nothing.  

He throws his hands up in exasperation, he starts to slip away, and my mind starts to turn a familiar wheel of thoughts. Tell him that if he leaves music will just become a bunch of sounds and patterns, rain will stop falling out of clouds, the moon will crash into the earth, tell him something, anything.  

Instead I reach out and stop him by the wrist faster than I can think. Again, my body has realized something my mind hasn't yet. Eren looks the way people look when they have walked into their own surprise birthday party. My voice is low and weary,  

"Can you just stay here with me? I just... don't want to be alone right now."   

The fists he was wearing start to unfold and he gives me a relieved grin and nods his head once fast enough to make his russet bangs bounce gingerly. I curl up on my side, but instead of facing the desolation of a bedroom wall or closed window, I look to a pair of eyes that watch me tenderly until they give way to the sweetness of dreams I cannot reach.  

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 10: Teach me more
Notes:

I was meant to post this chapter 2 nights ago but mobile is being a pain so I had to wait to use a computer. Wow, already the big ol' 10th chapter, thanks for reading my madness ~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday  

 

"That's what's so great about Jimi Hendrix, he wasn't technically the most gifted guitarist but he was the best because he was so passionate about his music, you know? " Eren absentmindedly strums a little tune on his guitar sitting against the headboard of my bed while very seriously talking, no preaching, about the greatest guitarists that ever lived. This kid can talk about music longer than filibuster pros with titanium bladders.   

" Mhm." I lazily nod while I stare up at him with an ear pressed to my pillow. I'm still under the covers, I woke up this morning to the sound of him playing and singing Here Comes the Sun with a teasing little grin on his smug face, it was too kind a gesture to yell at him about. I did throw his pillow at him though, while groaning and smashing my face into my sleeping cushion. Eren now stops his mindless soft jamming on the guitar to look down at me, looking annoyed with that dumb baby pout on his face, "you aren't even listening to me, are you?"   

I turn to lay on my back and stretch with my arms above my head , lower back curving up, and toes curling in. Once I finish stretching I slip out of the covers and let my legs dangle off the side of the bed, " I sort of feel that way about Charles Bukowski. He was simple, vulgarly so, but even then he gave his poems a feeling and personality most pointy nosed big vocabulary slingers could never give their readers. He was a drunken misogynist prick though , so that ruined things for me. "Eren sets his guitar by the bed and follows me into the bathroom, grabbing his own toothbrush as I grab mine.   

"Gross, you haven't brushed your teeth yet?" I sneer at his irritatingly taller reflection in the mirror before stuffing my mouth with a toothbrush loaded with toothpaste. He mimics me with the same heap of toothpaste on his toothbrush and shrugs as he brushes," I jus' forgot to." Some foam dribbles out of his mouth when he finishes his sentence and I roll my eyes. As we brush our teeth I notice him zoning out looking at the marble bowl of the sink and occasionally glancing over at me with a furrowed brow when he thinks I'm not paying attention. Once we finishing gurgling and spitting I ask him while patting my lips dry with a towel,  

"Something on your mind ?" Eren flinches at the question but then sort of sighs, meanwhile I stroll over back into my room. I notice I left my wooden box on my nightstand and I go back to my closet to set it back up. I try to shut out the memories that box brings back and try to focus on what to wear. As I stare at my closet I hear the bed creak a little and I know Eren has sat down on it, he grumbles out,  

"I don't know. I feel like I'm already messing things up with Annie and I just... Oh shit I have to go to work, um, you know what? Why don't you swing by Garrison Records when I finish at 10pm? There's this bar that just opened a couple doors down from us called "Colossal" and we can get shit faced, yeah? I just really need to let loose or something." I look over at him while he places his guitar in its case with a raised brow, "Ok ?"  

 Eren smiles at me, all those pearly whites unveiled gloriously, then rushes to the living room, probably throwing his work outfit on, then slams the door as he dashes off to work. A strange bittersweet feeling passes over me, I don't enjoy the fact that Eren is stressed out but... I enjoy the idea that things between Annie and him might not work out.   

I am a despicable human being. After I gulp down some apple oatmeal for breakfast I go back to obsessing over my closets options. I grab a loose black long sleeve, the seductive one that shows off my neck and collar bones, my old leather jacket with the bobby pins and rock band patches sown( neatly) all over it and grey skinny jeans then lay them out on my bed. This looks sort of go-out-drinking-with-a-young-not-at-all-attractive-friend-ish kind of outfit right? Sweet jockstraps I should just stay home and blow him off.  

 


 

 

 I go into my bathroom and run a hand through my undercut nervously. It's been a while since I've gone out drinking. Hopefully it's not a bar/club, I despise places with sweaty mists and armpit stenches that make the nostril hairs singe. I look at myself in the mirror and wonder why I care about how I look tonight, why I'm sort of pleased that things are already going bad between Eren and Annie? I'm just bitter because I'm not getting all of his attention, I'm not his only friend here in the city anymore, and I'm certainly not his love interest. I've been through this before, just a cute boy with the toasted skin of a Greek god and emerald eyes that could melt clothes off any body. Shit, stop trying to makes this more than what it is, he's your friend and he needs someone to confide in, he probably looks up to you god damnit. I slip into my blue rain boots and wrap a scarf about the same color but a shade darker around my neck as I step out of my apartment.  

It doesn't take me long to squeak over the rubber welcome mat and into Garrison Records. I am welcomed by Eren having a screaming match with that one dumb looking kid I saw that one time working here. 

"Listen up you neighing motherfucker, I am not using Annie for her fathers connections! So stop bringing it up or I swear I will use your own fists to beat the shit out of you!" Eren has his teeth bared like a Rottweiler ready to shred someone to pieces. His eyes are a glaring blue green, the other kid, I think it was Jean, glares just as furiously back at him.   

"We'll she's a friend of mine, I don't want you taking advantage of her being socially awkward and using her as a stepping stone to fame! You made her feel really insecure so I'm just here  to say fuck off if you don't actually care about her!" Jeans molten topaz eyes blaze at Eren and I step in before these two hot headed idiots take a swing at each other.   

"Time to go."

Eren and Jean both shut up and seem equally surprised at my presence. They hadn't even noticed me walking in, Eren looks back and forth between Jean and I in a frenzy, unable to decide whether to follow through on his threat or follow my order. I make the decision for him and grab him by the forearm and drag his ass out.   

As we walk in a tense silence, I think about how wild and vicious Eren was acting back there. I've never seen him like that, is that how he acts when he isn't around me? Do I see a side of Eren nobody else receives? He's a lot more obedient and passive with me, unlike the fighter in the record store who I have no doubts now would exchange blows with the dirty blonde.  

I spot the bar, it's spells out COLOSSAL in giant bold red letters and has two grey doors underneath it, Eren seems to calm down a bit when the young nervous bouncer who shadows me with his height asks for my ID, a trace of a smile graces Eren's lips. The inside has strange fleshy tones and a sort of modern styled theme. The counters are a sleek black with circular red stools accompanying the sides, a bartender with crew cut yellow hair who looks like a bodybuilder greets us with a hearty welcome when we sit down in front of him.  

I order a couple shots of vodka and Eren follows suit. Once Eren has drained a few shots, his face twists into a mockable expression of someone who just sucked on something incredibly sour.  "Ugh I hate the taste of alcohol, especially vodka."  

I sort of smirk and droll out, "No one drinks vodka for the taste. Now explain to me why you almost had a cat fight with that dorky shit licker back at the store." I cross my arms and lean them on the counter, looking at Eren, unimpressed.   

He shifts uneasily under my scrutiny, he plays with a small vodka glass in front of him, making it swish around on the surface in slow circles.   

"Yeah it's great that Annie's dad got me a gig at a venue where people actually come just for the music and there will be important people there that could get me a record deal but... Annie is a really cool girl, she's mysterious n' stuff and is really blunt. I dunno ' I really like that n' a person." Wow is this kid already drunk? What a lightweight. I try to ignore the severe annoyance at him praising her and order myself another set of shots to get myself through this.   

"So what's the problem? What was all that Jean kid blabbing about you making her insecure?" I couldn't think of Eren saying something cruel to someone he cared about, sure he has a problem with being oblivious and maybe too direct but not enough to make a girl self conscious. Maybe she's the type that looks tough but is actually really sensitive, hell I don't know. The world starts to get a little blurry and brighter as I finish my round of shots, Eren's face gets a little more blurry and brighter, his eyes shining like gems.  

"Don' wanna talk about it. Too embarrassin'." His cheeks are red and not just from the alcohol either, apparently he made a royal ass of himself or something. But why would that make Annie feel bad? This is going no where. I slam down the required cash for the drinks and nudge Eren out of his stool.  

"C'mon let's jus' go home already." Shit now I'm pretty drunk. I let Eren slump against me and murmur his I'm sorry's and loudly rant about his 'horse face' co-worker. His silky chestnut hair strokes against my cheek, his arm laid across my shoulders, and I think about how ridiculous we must look to the public eye. Not that I give a rat's ass, I'm short but I'm strong enough to handle a lanky wobbly teenage boy. But with my current state of intoxication making this a shit load more difficult to deal with, I have a horrific decision to make.  

I flag down a cab. I begin to take millisecond inhales and exhales of breath as I am rammed into the bear trap of filth, Eren had stumbled not only himself but myself into the yellow infection on wheels.   

Eren picks up on my anxiousness and loudly mumbles our address to the bald intense looking goatee wearing Taxi driver, baldy thankfully understands Eren, probably used to drunken assholes such as ourselves. I start to pull wipes out of my messenger bag and start my cleaning rampage on the den of germs. I'm just about done sterilizing everything when Eren looks down at me with sort of wide slow blinking eyes, "Ya look really cool tonight" he pokes at my Sex Pistols patch on my leather jacket right over my heart, I ignore my body heating up from our now too close proximity and mutter, "You look stupid." Eren sort of smiles and won't unglue his gaze off of my eyes, his arm tightens against my smaller frame and time stops.  

Our taxi driver ruins the moment by taking a sharp turn out of the stiff traffic we'd been stuck in and I slam into Eren and Eren slams into the door besides him.  

"Going to take a short cut!" The terrifying golden eyed lunatic of a driver practically screeches. We start whizzing around cars and buses, entering the slums of the city fast enough for the bitter scent of burnt tire rubber to choke our senses. I start to sober up once I take a look at our surroundings and I think Eren does too, just a bit though.   

Plaster hangs off the buildings like painted shedding snake skin. The worn out shells of flyers and posters litter the walls and street poles like white fungus. Besides the street curbs are potato chip bags, used condoms, and broken syringes tinted the color of piss. "I used to live here" I say matter of factly, Eren looks at me wearily like he's not sure whether or not he should say sorry. But soon enough, thanks to the deranged old man with heavy dark bags under his eyes and a death wish, we arrive at the apartment promptly.  

Once we get inside we barely manage not to stumble onto our asses trying to slip our shoes off by the door. Eren then follows me into my bedroom and falls face first into my bed with a groan. I pull off my scarf and crawl into the bed and sit against the head board, the only light on in my grey room is the dim copper glow of the lamp on my nightstand. Eren rolls onto his back and looks up at me through his eyelashes, "Hey Levi?"  

I let out an abrupt hiccup and Eren laughs a heavy jingling laugh holding his stomach and I can't help but let a low chuckle past my lips. I clear my throat a little and then playfully murmur, " Hey  Eren?"    

Eren's rowdy demeanor softens and he gets up and scooches next to me, also resting against the headboard. He gets shy and plays with the strings attached to the hood of his jacket, looking down a little so some of his bangs fall a bit over those hesitant turquoise orbs.  

  "Did you runaway from your parents? Were they mean to you or somethin'?" His voice is curious but tense, like he's ready to back off if I bite at him for reaching through the bars of my privacy.  In almost any other occasion I would have changed the subject with a question, crude humor, anything, but the way he's looking over at me now with his tender determination , like I'm some damn lion with a thorn in my paw, makes me want to tell him more than what's safe for me to tell.  

"They were fine. Surprising isn't it? You probably think someone as strange as I am was raised by Satan and Kim Kardashian but no. My piss poor memory recollects sweet and stupid parents you'd find in any heart warming after school special. It was when I was adopted by Kaney that running away seemed like my only option... Man, I'm fuckin' drunk." But I'm not that drunk, maybe enough to have my inhibitions this low but... I guess everyone wants an excuse to say what they really feel so they don't have to blame themselves in the end. I just close my eyes a little and try to stay in the warm fuzzy intoxication of alcohol and being next to this damn brat. In a way I close off my vision to the possibilities of Eren's expression. I have no need to see any pity or concern over my torments. I continue to keep my eyes closed when I ask him,  

"Tell me about your parents." I feel the shift of his weight on the bed and the sound of a pillow being fluffed up and pressed against the headboard. I don't need to open my eyes to know he's now resting on his side, his voice turns raspy with hostility,  

"My dad was a piece o' shit father who left our family when he found out my mom got cancer. Not that it mattered, he was never home anyways, always workin', probably cheatin' on my mom." I pull up a pillow and rest on my side as well, keeping one hand under the pillow and one over it, now watching Eren's face cool from a grim scowl to a more pained and remorseful frown.  

"My mom was always naggin' me about doin' my chores, doin' my homework, and not gettin' into anymore fights." Eren sort of dryly huffs out a laugh at the last part of the sentence but then squints his eyes in an agonized thoughtfulness,  

"Even when she got sick, she'd be lying in bed with all her hair fallin' out and asking me n' Mikasa if we were eating well and doing well in school. I was always such a pain in the ass, arguing with her over the most STUPID shit... Damnit, I just wish I could have listened to her more. I miss that, havin' her always checking up on me... Weird how what I found most annoying is what I miss the most now." Our eyes connect, my sharp hollow grey against his soft burning green. He continues on, surprising me somewhat,  

"Have you ever been in love?" Eren stays completely still, luminous eyes unblinking, like he eagerly needs to know something. I sigh and stay wrapped up in his attention, nonchalantly saying,  

"I've never allowed myself to believe the lie of romantic love. I guess I know what love looks like, what it feels like, and I know how it can kill a person when it's taken away... I think I've been dead for a long time now." It's the truth. An unfortunate truth.  

 Eren rests a consoling hand on my hand that's resting on the pillow. His fingers are long and slender, smooth on the top, rough from the dedication to his guitar underneath. His hand is tan   and warm, a harsh contrast to my small deathly cold and pale hand. I hope he doesn't move it, my hand relishes the contact in a buzzing of happy nerves.   

People don't try to console me - but he is this strange exception that keeps slipping through the red lasered security I've set up for myself. This asshole ninja who continues to cross my barriers. I smirk and try to lighten the mood, I'm not used to seeing the kid so down, it's especially bothersome since its due to my incapability to be an unbroken human being.   

"So what are you so embarrassed about kid? Spit it out." Eren pulls his hand back, but I still feel the ghost of its warmth and weight, he curls into himself and covers his face with his hands.   

"Just d-don't make fun of me alright?" He moves his hands down just a little bit so he can peek at me, I nod and roll my eyes at his child like behavior. He sighs and puts half of his face in the pillow and half of his face out, so his confession comes out a little muffled.   

"I've never kissed anyone."

Now that wasn't anything I was expecting. Sure I thought he was a virgin but not to that extent, I raise my eyebrows a bit and Eren completely shoves his face in the pillow now, I can barely make out him hollering "Don't laugh!" I poke at his shoulder hard enough to get him to peek over at me and I give him a reassuring but nonplussed,  

"So what? Is that what this has all been about? You think Annie won't like you because you've never kissed anybody? " Eren looks relieved at my reaction, I'm guessing he's probably used to being made fun of for his inexperience. Eren now looks comfortable enough to stop hiding in the light grey cushion and makes that signature baby pout of his as he answers me,  

"Of course it is! I've been pushing her away because she probably wants a guy who knows all the moves n' stuff, if she finds out I don't know how to do anything then she'll think I'm a total loser!" I roll my eyes and try to console the brat, though I can't help but tease him a bit,  

"You're a loser either way," Eren punches me half heartedly in the arm for that, " But if anyone ever rejects you over being a total virgin then they can eat shit and fuck off. They should be excited, pissing their pants in glee that they get an opportunity to do a first with you. There are only so many happy firsts we get in life." Eren watches me in wonder, and by the end of my little speech it seems like he's reached a conclusion with the way he has this adamant gleam in his sea green eyes. Eyebrows pressed together in decision, a big breath before he asks,  

"Why don't you just teach me?"  

What.  

He continues talking like he's in a heated debate, "My best friend Armin taught me how to ride a bike ya' know, so you could jus', teach me how to... Kiss n' stuff...." At the end I can tell his persuasion is being interrupted by complete embarrassment, Jesus Christ on a pogo stick this kid must be drunk to ask me something like this. My blood pumps through me like the water that propels out of fire truck hoses, my mouth goes so dry I'm surprised my saliva hasn't turned into sand. Eren is seeking guidance, I am his friend, would it be so bad to just give him some guidelines? I take a gulp of air and try to be the mentor he needs, I put on my very well worn calm facade and begin,  

"Yeah, like when I taught you dancing, except it'll just be with lips and tongue." Eren lets out an anxious somewhat forced laugh, its short and muted immediately when I begin to inch by inch close the distance between our faces. My lamp flickers a bit, making Eren's eyes flash gold and green, I feel his quick breathing like tiny gales of feathery wind on my cheeks, I begin to shut my eyes as I feel the side of his button nose slide against mine. Then all of a sudden, I feel absolutely nothing. I open my eyes and see Eren's face turned to the side, jittery with panic with too wide eyes and nervous giggling. He stutters,  

"S-sorry I just, now that its happening I don't know, I kind of feel like someone lit a firecracker in my stomach and I feel s-sorta weird. Plus, I mean like, we're both guys right so that's extra - hey!" I have already started to get up from the bed, I don't need this 'no homo' bullshit , he's the one asking me for the damn favor  and now he's getting all coy.

Eren grabs me by the elbow and pulls me back in hard enough for me to bounce against the mattress, we are both sitting upright now, Eren's hair is extra tousled from laying down and he's looking at me like one of those sad puppies in those adoption commercials. I try to hold onto patience and try to become unattached, ignoring the slap of rejection that stings deeply throughout my body,  "Yeah this is something you should do with that special somebody." My jaw is clenched and I feel myself sinking into that void of self hate, all I want to do is run away.

Eren's voice is just an octave above a whisper when he utters,  

"But you are special."  

My head whips to the side to confront him and Eren is still holding onto my elbow, with a face the color of red roses and lips that are a quivering mess, he sputters,  

"t-to me and stuff I didn’t mean that-" I cup his face with both of my hands, stare him straight in the eyes, silencing his stupid babbling. I'm not sure what I'm doing, but I need to kiss this idiot desperately. I ease in again, I wait for his eyelashes to flutter down, watch his lips slightly pucker sweetly, close my own eyes, and dip into his lips with my own.   

His lips are supple and paralyzed, I stay against them for a while in a sweet chaste kiss, then I pull back but keep my hold on him. My eyes searching for his permission to continue. Eren looks completely dazed, as if our kiss alone intoxicated him, with a turquoise cloudy stare, Eren furrows his brows together weakly and sets his hands on my waist. His tightening grip seeming to urge me on. I let my hands fall from his face to his shoulders, my body shudders when I feel his thumbs start to trace my hip bones. I sink my lips into his again, breathing him in, lips meshing together like bubble gum, we taste each other again and again. Eren starts to hum in shy pleasure, whenever our lips separate he gasps like he's just surfaced from the bottom of the ocean. I hold his chin with a thumb and index finger, my voice hoarse and breathy,  

"open your mouth." Eren opens his mouth slightly, still self conscious and shaky. I let my tongue reach into his mouth and massage his tongue in spiraling motions, Eren tries to follow my lead, his tongue awkwardly but passionately going along with mine. Eren pulls me closer, hands rising to my ribs, sliding up and down my sides. I find myself straddling Eren with a hand running through his unkempt whispy chestnut hair and my other hand feeling out a collar bone and then the swell of a bicep. I can't help but whine a little bit at the repetitive delicious contact, Eren sort of growls after I do this, his lips pulling away just to hover over mine as he needily demands,

"Teach me more."  

 I push him down into the mattress hastily and run my fingers up and down his chest, annoyed at all the fabric keeping me away from that taut caramel skin of his. Our kissing has grown  aggressive, we plunge our lips and tongues together messily, needing the intimate feeling and sensation of each other as if we'd drown without it. It's like I've been starving and he's the only thing that can satisfy this innate and powerful hunger burning inside of me. The room echoes the sounds of lips smacking, heavy breaths, and muffled moans. His hands are a bit below my hips, thumbs kneading into the lines of muscles leading to my ass, and I can't help but start grinding into him. Eren's head snaps back as he mewls my name. Once I start to feel his crotch bulge and harden underneath me my mind returns from whatever the hell made me think this was okay to do to reality. I unhinge myself from him and step off the bed, my legs slightly buckling from the heavenly insanity and utter chaos that came with kissing Eren Jaeger. I wipe my lips with the back of my hand and allow myself a couple recovering breaths, and look over at Eren.  

He hasn't moved, practically tied down to the bed, his chest rising and falling like a ship above turbulent seas. His arms fall down flat, like he's ready to make a snow angel. I wonder why the ever loving fuck I'm still wearing this stuffy leather jacket and walk over to the closet and hang it up, I use the time doing this to think of something to say. Friends don't kiss like that. No. That was like letting something that had been pent up for too long loose. Things have changed. But for who?   

"Thanks... I think I uh... Learned a lot." I turn and find Eren standing up, scratching the back of his head, cheeks still flushed, and unable to return my gaze. Right, how could I have forgotten that I had just been a make-out tutor for him so that he could pass his real goal. Being with Annie. It was his first kiss, of course he was going to be into it, but just because his body was into it doesn't mean his heart was. I have no excuses for feeling this way, no kiss has left me as breathless, as boneless, as completely broken like this has. I reluctantly mutter, "No problem."   

Eren walks past me and stops at the bedroom doorway, his back facing me,  

"Good night Levi." Then he closes the door behind him and I listen to him go to the living room and fall onto the couch.   

My mind is a blur, I hang my clothes, change into my silk pajamas, brush my teeth, and then settle underneath the blanket on my bed. I reach over and turn the light off, my movements are mechanical, I check my phone and look at the time. I then lay on my back and allow myself to be engulfed by the room's shadow. I hear my heartbeat crying in my ears, I taste the leftovers of his kiss, I smell the ghost of his scent, and I feel the complete aching darkness of 3 a.m.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 11: Feels good?
Notes:

I was actually going to have "Saturday" in here too but realized that would make this chapter like 10 maybe more pages and I thought that was a bit much (idk) I am eager to write "Saturday" because.... drama galore ~ Anyways, thanks for reading my crazy shit ya filthy animals



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday  

When I go grocery shopping I have to go with Hanji. It'd be a pain to carry those fickle stretch and break plastic bags that come undone after a minute or two of carrying. So I just get what I need and pack it all in her trunk, trying to keep my groceries away from all her radioactive science junk rattling around in there.   

We are in the beverage section and I wince in my not- thick- enough grey turtle neck sweater at the cold fog of air that streams out of the door Hanji opens. She looks over the milk section and holds the door open with a shoulder.  

"Levi I always forget, do you like low-fat, 2%, non-fat ,whole milk, oooh and there's also chocolate milk!" Hanji pulls out a jug of chocolate milk and jiggles it in front of my face.  

I begin to rub my temples as I grouse, "Why the fuck are there so many kinds of milk? And why 2%?? What turd sucker thought that was a genius number to choose, why not 3% or 1%?"  

Hanji giggles and slides the chocolate jug back in and takes out two gallons of some other kinds of milk. She raises the gallon in her left hand, "Actually there is a 1%." I groan and watch her  lower her left hand and raise the gallon in her right hand, "But I think you'd prefer homo milk, oh sorry, I mean homogenized!" I send her a half-hearted glare for that while she cackles and puts the gay milk in my red grocery cart.  

After I finish ransacking the cleaning supplies section, we wait in line and I admire the new floor squeegee I bought to clean the wood floors of my apartment. My eyes drift over the greasy tabloid magazines, some chick got knocked up, he's cheating, the body guard screws a celebrity over, divorce, its all pathetic. The same sad cheap tales vomited on the public over and over again. I reach over in the mini candy section of the cashier lane and grab a pack of mint gum. Eren practically lives off the stuff so he'll probably like it if I bought some... Eren...  

"So what's going on with you and Eren? You haven't complained about him even once today, are things alright?" The devil's name is Hanji, how does she read my mind like that? Well I guess she's put up with my miserable ass long enough to know when something's irking me. Ugh.  

"Nothing's going on. The lil' shit is just pissing his pants over that girl." I hand my credit card to a smiley freckled brunette boy and grab my receipt. Once the transaction is over he wishes me a "great day!" and I nearly wince at his kindness. What if I was a serial killer, would you still wish me a nice day? I wonder how people can smile so freely. A complete stranger smiles at me and I can't give them anything back. My smile was lost a long time ago. Buried beneath the dirt of my childhood and I stand over it now as cold as a tombstone. I stop musing when Hanji blurts out,  

"So are you annoyed that he likes her?" Hanji helps me put the bags in the cart and then tightens the rubber band to her wild frayed ponytail as I push our cart out of the automatic sliding doors of the store. The thought of Eren and Annie on their lunch date right now hits me nastily in the stomach like food poisoning, I sneer,  

" Tch. Cut the crap, what are you really getting at Hanji?" We stop in front of her car and she clicks her trunk open, she adjusts her glasses on her nose then helps me lug all the bags in the back of her car. She sighs and eyes me wearily,  

"I'm just making sure that my favorite germaphobe is doing okay, you know you can always talk to me." I avoid eye contact and walk away to begin pushing my cart into the designated area for carts in the parking lot. I take first place when it comes to bitching about uncleanliness or about trivial annoyances but when it comes to talking about the things that are hurting me... I will put on a straight face and gift wrap myself with yellow caution tape.  

The rest of the ride home Hanji blares dubstep while drooling about her lab rat Sawney and the progress of her experiment. I have to tell her more than once, "Four eyes it’s a green light stop yapping your trap. " I suppose its nice that someone can be so in love with their work. For me, work is more of a distraction from reality than something I love to do.   

Hanji helps me carry some bags inside my place, I nearly drop a bag when I see Eren laid out on the couch in his Smiths T-shirt watching the movie Clash of the Titans. Eren jumps up and sputters out,  

"H-hey Levi, whatsup Hanji?" He stands at attention like some brain dead soldier, a slight blush burning at his cheeks. I thought he'd still be out with Annie, I still don't know what to say or do around the brat after... last night... I nod casually and Hanji sets her groceries down on the kitchen island quickly then runs over and gives Eren a big bear hug while saying her hello. While I set my share of groceries on the counter Hanji points at the gramophone and enthusiastically asks,  

"When did you get that? Amazing! Oh guys, this reminds me, I'm throwing a party tomorrow! Starts at 7 P.M. Be there or be quadrilateral!" Hanji invites as she starts to walk out the front door,   Eren starts to tap out a nervous tune on the kitchen counter while replying,  

"Is it okay if I bring a date?" Hanji pauses her leave and looks over at me questioningly, I answer for her, "Of course you can idiot." I open the refrigerator and see a bowl sealed in plastic wrap, I pull it out and see an abundance of Chinese noodles. Hanji waves her goodbye and leaves us be, Eren notices me holding the wrapped bowl and exclaims with a timid grin,  

"I got you some noodles, thought you might be hungry by the time I came back." Right. When he was on his lunch date with Annie. But he thought about me and worried enough to get me the damned thing. I need to be satisfied with our friendship and stop being such a fucking baby. I ignore the bittersweet sharp thoughts and set the bowl in the microwave to heat the noodles up.  Eren sits back down in his usual spot on the couch and continues watching the battle scene on the screen. I stare at the microwave disc spin my food in circles and grab a paper-towel to grab the steaming bowl when it finishes cooking. The atmosphere between us is a bit tense and awkward, but I try to cut through it with laid back conversation.  

"Is that movie any good? I never got around to it." I rest my back at the end of the couch and rest my legs over his as usual, picking at my noodles with chopsticks. But it feels different this time, my legs over his, what was normal before seems more... intimate. Especially the way Eren sort of goes rigid when I do this, the slight blush returning to his face, and the way my legs tingle in a strange warmth . I try to power through this, adamant at keeping things relaxed, trying not to think of us playing tongue hockey last night. Damnit.  

"Its okay, but I like the original more. How was your day?" Eren's hands rest on my ankles, he pats them softly with his fingers like he's playing on little bongo drums. I finish slurping some noodles and reply, 

"Just wrote a bit and went grocery shopping with Hanji, I think I twisted my stupid ankle on a curb though. It was painted black and camouflaged with the pavement the sneaky fucker." I grumble as I eat another mouthful of tasty ass noodles, I silently appreciate that Eren already knows my favorite food. Eren's face twists into a frown and he asks all puppy like and concerned,  

"Which ankle? Does it still hurt?" I point at my left ankle and sort of shrug, Eren then starts to pull up the left leg of my pants a bit and rubs at my injury delicately. I stop chewing and sort of stare at Eren, he brushes over the sore spot and I wince a little. He clicks his tongue and explains,  

"I used to massage Mikasa's sprains n' such when she'd get hurt playing soccer ." I eye him cautiously as he starts massaging from my pale toes upwards mid foot. His face is now quite red and he just kind of says more to himself than to me , "Wow your feet are so small..."   

I sort of sneer at him and he snickers a bit, both of us try paying attention to the movie now. But I can't. His thumbs rub in circles over the pad of my foot, then he skips over to the bottom of my shin, kneading his thumbs up the bottom of my leg. He doesn't even try to watch the movie now, solely focused on my care. His eyebrows are pressed together in distress, "Holy shit you are so wound up Levi, its like your skin is made out of steel."   

I run a hand through my undercut and murmur, "Its always like that kid... " Then those turquoise eyes cautiously gaze over at me , front teeth digging into that succulent lip of his in thought. Then he offers,  

"You know I could always just give you a full massage, Mikasa is sort of like you. You both have that kind of tense exterior n' what not." He's kidding. He has to be. But by that sort of focused can-do attitude he's sporting right now, I know he's not. I lift my legs off of him, put my bowl in the sink, and start to walk to my room. Yawning a bit then nonchalantly accepting, "Alright ." No, this is not alright . Miles, countries, continents, fucking galaxies away from alright . But the need for him to continue touching me grows rabid in me, and I pull off my turtleneck sweater then switch my jeans for sweatpants. Then lay on my bed flat on my stomach. I can hear Eren click the T.V. off and the sound is zapped, the door then lightly creaks open and he crawls onto the bed. Then --he  straddles my hips.  

Before I can wiggle out in protest Eren quickly excuses himself, "It’s a lot easier this way, I can put more weight into the massage." Then I feel those rough slender fingers meld into the dense skin of my smooth back, thumbs gliding deeply under my shoulder blades. A low hum stirs out of me, I'm surprised how good this brat is at this. Well, if he's good at playing guitar he is probably good with his hands in general. Crap. Eren's curious voice interrupts my trash mind,  

"So when is your new book coming out? I really want to know what happens to the captain's squad." Guilt rises up in me, pricking my insides like thorns. I don't want to tell him the sad truth about the squad, especially with this kid's attached fascination with my story. I simply answer,  

"Soon." Eren begins palming my shoulders in circular motions and I feel the kinks of my back subside into a wave of relief, the muscles soothed by his firm handling. I sigh a bit contently, the anxiety usually choking my body lessens, but is quickly replaced by a new sort of uneasiness. His thumbs begin to knead down my back, when they reach the small of my back I accidentally arch my ass into the touch, a soft whine betraying me, "Hnn.."   

Fucking shit balls, I couldn't help it though, my hips and the small of my back are sensitive. I smother my face in the mattress and for once, its me that feels my cheeks scorching with shame.  I notice Eren's hands have stilled at my back. He's probably going to leave now because of how disgusting I am, god damnit I shouldn't have let him do the kind gesture, I shouldn't have --  

His fingers melt strongly into the same sensitive area of my lower back, I unconsciously grind into the mattress, my teeth clamping down on my lips to muffle the husky moan burning in my throat. Is he doing this on purpose? I don't trust my facial expression to look back at him, and feel a stab of terror when I feel my dick twitching into an unwelcome hardening. It'd feel so great to have those hands grabbing and stretching my ass, it'd feel so fucking great. This bastard probably has no idea what he's doing to me.  

I try to keep my hips still as his thumbs dig away up along my back then all the way back down, my ass jolting up very involuntarily when he reaches the bottom. Eren's voice is sort of raspy and thick, "Feels good?" Of course it does you shit sniffer. I don't trust my voice to reply so I just sort of give him a grunt of approval instead. He begins to lean forward and really presses upwards into my back, I feel the exhale of his breath glide up along my neck and my jaw starts to hurt from how hard I'm trying to keep my whining down.    

I know I'll be found out if this continues so I try to hide my burning state of mind and body(mostly my dick), my voice hoarse and deep, "That's enough, I'm tired." I am not tired and my swollen cock isn't appreciating the fact that its being  smashed into the mattress either. Eren's hands pause on my skin, almost in a reluctant way, but then I feel his weight off of me and he mumbles, "Alright, goodnight then..." and I hear him close the door behind him. The strange thing is, I don't hear him walk into the living room. Whatever, fuck it, if I don't take care of the now painful situation in my pants I'm going to have an aneurysm.   

I pull out my nightstand drawer and pump out Vaseline on my hands and then slam the drawer shut. I decide to keep a cheek against the bed but lift my hips up so that I'm kneeling in a way, I hastily slip my sweatpants down mid thigh and my dick springs out from the terrible confinement. I release a shaky sigh and guide two fingers to my entrance, I imagine Eren's lengthy rough fingers massaging it, teasing it, and I bite my lip to stifle my whimpering. My other hand goes over my nipples, tweaking them, the sensation sending what feels like small thunderbolts to my groin. Then I plunge the two fingers in my ass and my other hand grips the sheets beneath me tightly. I don't waste my time finding my prostate and practically assault it with my fingers, in my fantasy Erens mouth is right at my ear with that raspy taunting voice of his, Feels good? I don't realize I'm saying yes yes yes yes so good into my blanket, and I need more, fuck I need more, and I slip in a third finger. Nnngh Eren, I can't stop the whining of his name, I put my free hand under my face so I can bite my thumb to contain as much needy noise of mine as possible.   

I imagine that huff of hot breath I felt up along my neck and my whole body quakes underneath the ghost of feeling. I practically squeal in my throat and I bite my hand almost hard enough to break skin. I faintly hear the door creak but I can't be bothered to care being so close to climax, My ass bucks into my fingers madly, somehow its not enough, I wish I had the real thing, oh fuck I wish Eren's nice fat cock was slamming into me, ErenEren, my body stammers into a brutal orgasm, the world shuts down, my mind shuts down, and my cum spurts out of my throbbing dick profusely.   

I lay there a bit, the high so intense I don't even mind the stickiness of my cum on my bed and stomach. Then I hear something, I'm so gone it sounds almost distant, but it sounds like footsteps going towards the living room. I open my eyes and see the door just barely open, a sliver of space between it and the wall. But no one is there.     

 

 



Chapter 12: Not Fair
Notes:

Do yourself a favor and listen to the songs I put in this chapter. Especially the second one.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday  

 

Its difficult living by a set of rules that seemed to have latched onto your being to the point where you can't seem to live without them. I cleaned the kitchen 9 times. Its strange. In the back of my mind I know the place is spotless, but there is this uncomfortable uncertainty that catches in my throat and I have to clean everything over again. Just a fucking Horton Hears a Who scratch that looks similar to a splotch of dirt and I cannot dream of resting until I've eliminated any chances of filth in the area.  

Eren has the day off so he's helping. Its kind of nice that Eren takes my issues with cleanliness seriously. He's never made fun of it, he just follows whatever task I've given him earnestly and looks sincerely disappointed in himself if he doesn't meet my standards. He wears a white bandanna over his head and around his neck like I do, embracing my strangeness without complaint. When he starts dusting the top of the refrigerator (which I asked him to do because it would be too embarrassing to bring out my stepping stool in front of the tall brat) I catch him mumbling words under his breath, he's been doing that for a while now so I ask him, "Why are you talking to yourself, weirdo?"  

His eyebrows pop up and he sort of laughs and squirms where he stands with a, "I'm trying to make up song lyrics." When I ask him what the lyrics are about he turns around quickly to probably hide his expression and mutters about them being a secret, then continues dusting the top of the refrigerator. I'm not the type who would push further if someone wants something kept private so I just continue wiping the floors down with my new floor squeegee. This was definitely a good buy, it efficiently gets the muck out of corners without getting caught on edges. Eren starts up again,

"Hey Levi... can I ask you something?" I can tell he's looking at me from the corner of his eye, checking to see how I'm responding warily. I continue cleaning across the wood floor, admiring the spotless streaks form in front of me. I unaffectedly reply, "You already did." Eren groans and although my reply seemed relaxed, I feel antsy waiting for the real question. He licks his lips then goes,

"There was a drawing in that little chest of yours, I wasn't snooping I swear, but the chest had fallen off the bed and it spilled so I picked it up to set it on your nightstand and couldn't help seeing it. Those overlapping wings, its the same symbol on the cover of your book..." He leaves it to me to fill the pieces of the puzzle for him. I pause and stare at a blurry reflection of myself on the shining floor. I dryly utter,

"I didn't hear a question." Eren glances over at me with a furrowed brow then mumbles a "Nevermind." I pretend like I hadn't stopped cleaning at all and continue to render the wood unblemished. I walk over and turn the gramophone on, I don't want to remember such things right now. I don't want to think of the faces I failed to protect. People seem to be so eager to tear open the scars of others just to know that you bleed. And for what? All too often people are curious not caring. But Eren doesn't attempt to bring it up again, and my chest tightens noticing his consideration. 

When we finish up Eren reminds me that we have to get ready for the party. The lil' shit seems to now have a habit of following me into my room and talking my ear off. I put away our cleaning equipment in the bathroom and lay down on my bed. The thought of having to deal with more than a couple of people already tires me. A self made gravity pushes me down, my mind tucks into itself like a dead spider, and I dread the thought of leaving the safety of isolation. Its not like anyone will miss me if I'm not there, Hanji has her friends and Eren has...  

"I'm not going." I sit on my pristinely made bed and briefly think of the wrinkles I just made on it from doing so. Eren walks over and stands in front of me, I can tell by the way his face has scrunched together in resolve that this is going to be a pain in the ass argument.  

Eren disputes, "Why not? You have to go!"   

My eyes squint at him in steely disapproval, "I don't have to do diddly shit. The party will be just as obnoxious without me. Have fun with your hot date." I then pull my laptop over and click the power on. Eren has his mouth open waiting for his brain to process some sort of response and I pretend like I have important things to do on my computer and click on Google. Because Google is the place you go to if you want to pretend like you're doing work. But Eren continues to stand his ground,  

"I want you to go." Eren looks angry and confused, looking me in the eye while biting his goddamn lip. What the fuck, why does he have to look so butt hurt when he already has Annie to slobber all over. It pisses me off, I want to yell at him, I want to kick him out and give him the bird. Instead I just bitterly retort,  

"Too bad." I don't even look at him when I say so, acting like I'm typing something important when really I'm just typing 'this fucking brat will be the end of me' in the search bar. Eren lets out a huff of frustration and turns on his heel, running his hands through his stupid messy chocolate hair and nearly slamming my door shut. Good, go out and see your future wife for all I fucking care.  

But the annoyance I feel at his unhappiness picks away at me like a bird of prey picking away at a corpse.  

 


 

7:45pm 

 

The suicidal bastard of a protagonist I have in my story begins to look more and more like Eren in my head. I keep glancing at the time while dripping words into my new chapter, unable to keep focus and running my hand through my undercut. Should I just go? For the hell of it. No, fuck no, Erwin is probably there... Plus it'd be annoying to see Eren all cozy with that Annie girl... I wonder how Erwin would look tonight, maybe I could keep my distance but stare at that sexy beef cake from afar. Not like Eren would notice with that blondie there to distract him. Damnit, I'm not getting any work done like this.  

Fuck it, I'm going.  

I rifle through my closet and decide on wearing a black T-shirt that says 'Fuck you', a dark blue cardigan, and ass-hugging dark grey pants. I stare at my blue rainboots and decide to wear black combat boots instead . I grab my messenger bag and begin to walk about the flight of stairs of the apartment complex to get to Hanji's place. I mumble outloud "I should not be doing this go back, everyone is annoying movies and noodles and writing is way better than drowning in peoples muffled farts and stale conversation and what about what you will even say, should I even say anything, fuck it I should turn around, but I've already walked this far, fuck, fuck, okay, just open the door, Hanji never locks it anyways, act cool, stay cool."  

I twist the knob and push, its surprising how quiet it seemed outside the door, because once I open the gate to whatever enchantment kept all this ruckus sealed, I am nearly tempted to turn back. Hell, I would have if damn Four Eyes didn't catch my entry immediately.  

"LEEEEEEEEEVI! Oh leaves aye, leafy eyes, oh I'm so glad you could make it!" My jaw nearly drops though when I see what she is wearing . No goggle glasses, eye contacts instead. No frumpy yellow collared shirt with some food stains on it (yellow is her favorite color, figures with how blaringly bright she is), but a tight yellow dress and brown heels. Maybe her theories about aliens existing are right, because I think the Hanji I know has been abducted. She runs over to me through the surprisingly big crowd of people cramped in her kooky apartment and gives me a stuffy bear hug.   

She brings her arm around my shoulders and guides me through the dancing in her living room to her kitchen, where I find Erwin, a guy with a moppy head of hair and facial hair, Moblit, and Eren withAnnie. I stare at Annie leaning into Eren , his arm comfortably linked around her waist. Fine, fuck you, I'm going to stand next to Erwin anyways. At least he knows how to use a fucking comb. I ignore Eren'selated smile to see me and go over to Erwin's side.  

"Hello Levi, its nice to see you." That oh so familiar heavy bronzed hand rests on my shoulder and suddenly I remember why I always try to run away from him. Any sort of greeting I might have said chokes at my throat and I gulp and simply nod. The hand stays and now my shoulder is humming with ecstatic nerves, he gestures over to sheep dog man and introduces,  

"This is my best friend Mike, Mike, this is the amazing writer I told you I work with." Holy shit did he just call me amazing? I begin to pout involuntarily in embarrassment and Mike laughs and says its nice to finally meet me. Erwin is wearing a sky blue (matches his eyes) tight collared longsleeve and black pants with black shiny oxford shoes. He somehow mixes casual with formal so well, his friend Mike and him are opposites. Mike wears a plain green T-shirt with a brown hoodie jacket and brown sneakers, Mike walks over to me and shakes my hand ( Ew ), fuck he's tall. He leans a bit forward and - sniffs me? A smug grin grows on his face and he gruffly states, "You smell really good."   

My eyes widen momentarily because this guy is just so weird how are they friends but then I recollect myself and say, "Surprised you can smell me from all the way up there, think you drank enough milk as a kid?" Mike sort of just grins and Erwin lets out a smooth warm chuckle.  His hand on my shoulder squeezes and I try to remember to breathe. I can feel Eren staring at me from my peripheral vision and I continue to ignore him. Hanji cuts in-between me and Erwin and sets down a bottle of whiskey and vodka with a loud clink. As I pour some vanilla hand sanitizer on my hands Hanji joyfully invites, "Choose your poison! Eren, Annie, come over and have some drinks!" Hanji's eyes are gleaming wild, she sort of stumbles into Erwin and he catches her while laughing. Man shitty glasses is already pretty shit faced drunk.   

I don't need to be told twice to drink so I find a suitable shot glass and pour myself quite a bit of drinks. I overhear Annie saying she has to leave in 20 minutes because she has to go somewhere or something work related but I honestly couldn't hear well over the ear numbing chatter and music pounding through my surroundings. As I become more and more intoxicated I look more and more over at Eren , who is now dancing like a complete lunatic with Annie in the packed living room. "Endgame" by Digits begins to play and it looks like Eren is sort of jumping around and bumping into smiling strangers, I see a smile creep onto Annie's stony expression and she sort of swishes back in forth in a sturdy dance pattern in her blue skirt, black tights, and white  longleeve. Even in those obsidian high heels she isn't nearly as tall as him, Eren catches me staring and I pretend like I was staring at Mike towering over a cute golden haired guy whose name I think is Nanaba. So Mike swings the gay way huh.  

Does that mean that... maybe since Mike and Erwin are such good friends... Erwin could also be traveling on rainbow road? I glance over at Erwin who is laughing at Moblit trying to keep Four Eyes from climbing the kitchen counter and dancing. His smile is white and grand, his jaw is so square and sexy, and I just want to stuff my tongue down his throat at this very moment. I glance over at Eren happily dancing without a care in the world, of course he'd be happy, he doesn't need me to be able to smile like that. I grab a bottle of vodka because fuck shot glasses and begin to chug it, tonight I might be able to seduce my god damn editor, the shitty stars have aligned , wow everything is sort of soft and spinning.   


 

 

8:45pm

 

Shit, what the actual fuck am I doing.  

"Get Low" by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz is playing full blast and somehow Hanji and I are dancing on top of her kitchen island with a giant crowd around us hollering and whistling. Hanji and I are back to back sliding our asses around and together, my hands slither down my own body suggestively, and I have lost control over my life. But I don't care, because everything is blurry and feels good. My hips go to the right and then to the left in figure eights, my hands now slide through my raven hair  as my head turns the directions my hips turn,  and I feel amazing.  

' Shortie crunk so fresh so clean' 

Everyone's faces smear across my vision, my vision focuses on a lusty Mike, who is standing below in front of me, being smooshed by other bodies trying to get a closer view. I turn so that my back is facing him and look over my shoulder with heavy lidded eyes and a smirk , my hips go in big circles, my lower back arching again and again enticingly, I have been possessed. I then bend my knees slowly, but keep my ass spinning in front of him, then I nearly shove my butt in his face flirtatiously.   

'LET ME SEE YOU GET LOW YOU SCARED YOU SCARED'

One hand of mine feels up my chest and the other feels downwards past my navel, my body rolls provocatively, and my neck tilts to the side as I close my eyes. It's getting so fucking hot now, my body is soaking in horrid sweat and I fling my shirt off in the crowd, I have no idea where my cardigan is. I look down at Mike, who is licking his lips like he's looking at a steaming hot slab of steak. No, this is the wrong guy, where is Eren, I mean, where is Erwin? I look for that luscious golden hair and find him watching Hanji, completely captivated. God damnit, so much for rainbow road, Hanji is a pretty good dancer though.   

But not as good as I am.  

'BEND OVER TO THE FRONT TOUCH TOES BACK DAT ASS UP AND DOWN AND GET LOW (GET LOW)' 

I decide to get low, my hands slide down my thighs and my butt swishes side to side and my eyes look over my shoulder again and lock with shining bright green orbs glowing in the crowd. I know who they belong to, I hold onto them with my leering sharp metal gaze. My hands slither down my shins now I'm getting so low I do touch my toes and I wiggle my ass to the crowd. I shake it so indecently I feel my ass cheeks quaking. The green orbs vanish and my surroundings start to dim, the music gets soggy in my ears, voices swirl around me, and everything starts spinning.  

I feel arms pulling me down, off the kitchen island, and I let them take me in. That familiar youthful brash voice says my name, everything is dark, my legs feel like butter sliding across the frying pan ground. I let this soft fresh pine scent envelope me in its embrace, my feet lifting off the ground as someone carries me on their back piggy back style. I hear the slam of a door and fresh air hits my nostrils like a whirlwind, it soothes my spinning mind a bit.   

I think this familiar person is grumbling about how surprisingly heavy I am, but I don't really care. But I know this annoying but comforting voice, I know this pleasant home-y smell, and I blink my eyes open a little bit. I see some messy strands of chestnut hair and caramel smooth skin, ah, its Eren. My eyes begin to close again and my mind wanders in darkness until I feel my back fall onto the familiar plushy bounce of my mattress. Did he carry me down two flights of stairs all the way here?  

My eyes slowly take in color and sight again, Eren looks so warm and bright, he looks like he just ate a shit sandwich though. He is properly pissed, sound starts to unwelcomely come back, I hear him half-yelling at how stupid I was acting or something, why is he blushing so much, hm... My pants are so uncomfortable, get them off, why aren't my hands working, zippers are so fucking annoying. Eren sighs his bratty sigh and helps me take them off by pulling at the legs of the pants, successfully sliding them off of me.   

I sit on the side of my bed now, my feet slightly dangling over the bed, in my tight black boxer briefs. Eren goes on and on, scolding me with a raspy voice and blushing face, how I 'shouldn't have acted like a slut, shaking my ass in front of that sheepdog haired fuck' and I chuckle at that. Eren gets more mad at my low laughter but I can't help but find him amusing. I gaze up at the towering Eren and watch that supple small and inviting mouth of his go on about whatever rant he's on. I want to kiss that mouth. The heat of alcohol starts to churn downwards to my groin, my body throbs for contact, and I utter his name in a low commanding voice that nearly sounds like a moan.  

"Eren."  

I wrap my legs around his and my eyelashes flutter up at him darkly, Eren seems like he's forgotten how to speak, his irises shrink in shock. I grip the front of his jacket with a fist beckoning him to get his pretty boy face closer to mine. I watch Eren's Adam's apple bob in his neck, and all I can hear is both of our deep erratic breaths. As i bring him closer my eyes flicker from his eyes to his mouth. Eren's turquoise eyes begin to cloud over, and before his mind can snap him out of my enchantment I lean up and capture his sweet minty lips.   

I still don't have a handle over my own equilibrium so when I lean up to kiss him I nearly fall, but Eren catches me by the waist. His protective instincts seem to have awoken again and he tries to guide me down to the bed with his head away from mine. But I don't want any of that, and I hold him by the scruff of his hair and pulls his face in front of mine, messily mumbling his name as I sink my kiss into him.  

Eren's expression is a smoothie of guilty, angry, and flustered as he gives in a little to my lips. My tongue delves into his mouth, hypnotizing his own as I massage it sensually. I shift my head back a tiny bit so that we begin to french kiss, Eren is still so sloppy and inexperienced, but he is filled with such a vehement fervor it makes up for it completely, his tongue following mine in the messy wet circling. His eyes are barely open, a darkened green from the onslaught of guilty pleasure. His hands tighten on my waist, those thumbs rubbing up and down, I whimper into his mouth. Eren growls at my whimper and sets a hand on each of my ass cheeks, aggressively pushing my crotch upwards and into his own. My hands slide down to his chest and my head hangs back as I let out a shamelessly lewd moan at the friction and contact he gives us, I enjoy the wonderful feeling of my ass being stretched and groped by those wonderful long talented powerful  fingers of his. But then his hands are gone.   

I fall back onto the bed with the loss of support and blink around looking for Eren, he's a couple feet away from me now with a hand covering his cherry red face. His lips quiver out a gruff bothered voice,  

"N-not fair. I c-can't do this Levi. I can't." and then he nearly stomps out of the room and closes the door behind him hard.

I stare at that door. I stare at that white rectangle for a while. My jaw clamped, my hands squeezing the covers beneath me, and I want to cry. Cry. Cry, just fucking cry you idiot. But I can't, and the world is a cruel place that shows you dreams that can't come true for you. But I love this pain don't I? I love knowing that I am alone, that the suspicions that are always devilishly sitting on my shoulder were proven correct. But I'm tired of being proven right. It would be nice to be wrong, to have everything I believe in thrown away like dirty laundry, just so that I could have a chance of happiness.

But I don't deserve happiness.  

My eyes wince from the pain of rejection and I feel so fucking stupid. Stupid  stupid fucking bastard you are so stupid. I lay down on my bed and turn the light off with a lazy arm. I stuff my face in my pillow and hope it suffocates me. Sleep is the only thing that puts me out  of my misery though. 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 13: Microphone
Notes:

....(sigh)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is that one second of ignorant bliss when I wake up. The next couple of seconds remind me that yesterday happened and now today the dark joke that is my life must continue. And if I've learned anything is that life never lets you in on the joke. A few more seconds and the hangover kicks in like a jackass's heels into my stomach. This is my cue to run to the toilet and practically barf my intestines.  

Its hard to think of anything when the cold sweat of alcohol induced sickness rolls over you again and again like an unforgiving steamroller. Last night comes to me in murky flashes of memory, my headache pounds my skull, making it even harder to remember. There was a party at Hanji's. There was music. Was I dancing? I was on Eren's back... Did we... kiss?   

I flush the toilet and let myself lean against it for a while to gather my thoughts. Memories begin to come up like vomit, an unstoppable flood of terror, wait and actual vomit is coming up as well. As my body tries to make me regurgitate my organs I can see Eren backing away from me, looking so hurt, what did he say? Fuck. No no no no no no fucking no. I will never drink again from this shitty day onward. (Though I probably will.)  

All I know is that Eren truly rejected me. I shakily get up, flush the toilet again, and wash my face with cold water from the sink. Here I go again, wanting what I can't have. Why would Eren want an older pathetic excuse for a man when he has a bombshell blonde babe?  My eyes go from the marble bowl of the sink, to the bottom of the mirror, to my neck, and then. I look back at myself. The pain is there and constant, a grey and overwhelming darkness, but I can't let them see it, no one can ever see.   

Isabel. Farlan. The only time you two could ever see it was when your eyes could no longer see. Blinded by the absence of life. And Kaney. My teeth automatically grind together in fury, my body wincing, remembering the violence I couldn't return as a child. I take in a lingering long breath of calming air, and look at myself again. There we go. The steel is back in my stare. The gates are up again. I don't let myself think of how shameful last night was, I don't let myself think of the past at all. This has always been my strong suit, moving forward, even if I have to trudge through with more of these deaths, rejections, goodbyes, weighing me down, I keep going.  

It's all I know.  

The numbness I've grown accustom to begins to drown the fire scalding my mind and body. I hear a faint stringed melody though the walls, he must be awake, of course he is. After I get ready,  wearing grey pants, a black wool sweater, a dark blue scarf, and fuzzy grey gloves, I walk into the living room and pass Eren casually, who is sitting on a stool at the kitchen island in blue jeans and that familiar worn out green hoodie with his guitar in his lap. From the corner of my eye I see Eren go stiff, unable to even continue his guitar rift. I set my well used black kettle on the stove and get my tea started, accenting just how relaxed and perfectly okay I am with a yawn. I decide to get the awkwardness over with, rip the band aid off.  

"Didn't mean to make such an ass of myself last night, Hanji always brings out the worst of me when I get drunk. Oh and if I kissed you, which I think I did (I know I did), don't get constipated about it. I do that all the time when I'm drunk. (No I don't) So don't worry about feeling unfaithful to your girlfriend or whatever." I pour myself a cup of tea and lean my back against the kitchen counter.   

I watch Eren avoid my stare, his fingers fiddling with the strings of his guitar, then those light brown eyelashes blink up at me. His voice is slow and cautious, "So you don't really remember anything?"  

Its sad how quickly I lie to those forsaken green eyes,  

"Nope."  

I expect a big exhale of relief from him, maybe a smile, hell I'd expect a tap dance more than the - (frustrated?) sigh that spills from his lips. His eyebrows knit together and a raspy, "Alright then." ends the topic of conversation. It nearly sounds angry, does he think I'm lying? Impossible. This brat gobbles up everything I say without hesitation all the time. What could it be...  

I sit on my couch and flicker on the television, taking careful sips from my smoking black tea. Eren sets his guitar down and starts fishing though kitchen ware and bangs some pans together and asks me "Do you want a breakfast burrito? You need to eat something considering you probably have a wickedly bad hangover right now." God how can he care so much this early in the morning. Ah. But I'm just his childhood hero with a bad habit of throwing myself at others to him. He's just a fanboy trying to please me, I feel a feverish distaste at that thought.   

Eren begins to make breakfast without my permission, he's so used to my nodding and silent treatment by now he just does things instinctually. I'm not really paying attention to the T.V. that buzzes at a low volume ( playing something stupid no doubt ) as I stare at the caramel strip of skin of Eren's neck. The profound longing in my gut to lick and bite at that strip of skin burns through my body like melting wax, it hurts this  annoying, unneeded, longing. I hate it. Eren's wistful somewhat somber voice breaks through my pathetic trance,  

"I remember the first time I saw you drunk, I was so surprised. The strong silent Levi that I admire was talking to me so much, confiding to me the frustrations of work, your bestfriend, your... editor... " At the last bit of the sentence I stop sipping my tea and soak in nauseating dread. Eren doesn't pause as he works on our breakfast burritos, continuing,  

"It was the first time you invited me to hang out y'know ? I was so happy, you spoke to me how you write in your books. So poetic, blunt, brutally, unguarded, and you showed me that things do effect you, I felt so honored. So I -- " Eggs sizzle on the frying pan and Eren stands still for a moment with his spatula in hand, never once turning back to look at my alarmed harsh stare. His voice is softer as he goes on,  

"So it sort of hurt when you didn't remember anything the next day, then -" he laughs dryly, a pained little laugh, "you kicked me out. I thought, 'what the hell, had it all been a dream?'" Eren mixes some vegetables in the pan, meshing the eggs alongside them  with the spatula. I remain mute. I can't tease him when he says shit like this, with that seriousness out of him, that sincere verbal diarrhea of his. He begins heating up two tortillas in the microwave and continues the god awful rant of his, his voice hideously hesitant like someone who is about to break up with someone,  

" I don't know I - I'm so grateful that you haven't kicked me out again I guess. Living with you has been like a dream, but I feel like I'm taking advantage of you. I live here for free and I'm so thankful but I feel guilty, you've been such a great friend." The word friend shoots through me like a bullet. "Annie told me that there's a cheap place I can rent that I can actually afford, its not so bad either." Eren's voice descends to almost a whisper. My voice is dry, I can barely get the question out of my throat,  

"You've already been there with her?"   

Eren sets the omelet mix in the burritos and begins to fold them up. His answer is quick, like a crappy excuse a kid hastily says when he's been caught doing something bad. "Well uh yeah, she showed me the place n' stuff."   

He's running away from me. I've scared him off. He wants to get away from me as soon as possible. He'll probably end up moving in with Annie and become a famous musician and have fifty blubbering disgusting snot nosed babies. I have no desire to drink the rest of my tea, it might as well be leaf piss in my eyes. I want to tell him I'm sorry, please don't fucking leave me, don't leave me here alone with all the screaming ghosts breathing at my neck, I don't want to wake up without hearing your obnoxious happy guitar melodies or humming, I want my legs on your legs when we eat breakfast or lunch or dinner on the couch, don't go,   

I need you.  

My lips press into a tight line, holding all the begging words at bay. I bury my feelings alive. Eren turns around bringing two plates to the couch, he hands me one and I take it out of habit, holding it in one frozen hand.  

"Cool." The word is calm and quick, and I hate myself for that. I hate myself for not being able to reach out to people. Eren's face becomes a little less tense after my very cool response, and we end up watching some crime mystery show where everyone is all sleek and polished and these square jawed detectives pull one liners out of their tight asses. Eren flops down in his usual place instinctually pulling my legs over him as we settle on the couch, my legs feel like they are wooden, I don't want to touch him, or be near him but pulling my legs away would show that I'm bothered. I pick at my burrito like a bird, only nibbling at it when Eren looks over at me. Eren grumbles about the main character being a cheese ball and how its so obvious the killer is the delivery man, mean while, not only is my breakfast burrito falling apart on my plate, so am I. I need an excuse to leave, I can't let him know that I care, I shouldn't care, god damnit. But I do.  

"I'm going to go pick up my clothes I left at Hanji's." My legs slither out of his hold, I rest my plate in the sink and grab my messenger bag, already heading out the door. Although I do need to pick my clothes up... I don't plan on coming home until the sky matches my heart. Black, cold, and filled with tiny holes that seem infinite.  

"Okay!" Eren gives me a big goofy kid smile , his smile wavers just a tiny bit, his turquoise eyes sparkling with life and something else, he must think everything is fine now. He turns his head back to the T.V. screen and watches the climax of the show, cops chasing after killer, he loves to see justice I've noticed. In any show or movie we watch, if the villain ever wins or gets away, he  gets furious and will rant about how that isn't fair and what should have been done, yada yada yada. He really is like a protagonist in this unfair world, and I, I'm just an extra lingering in the background wandering about aimlessly.   

 


 

 

I start walking up the apartment stairs to Hanji's, no need for the elevator when she's this close, and I think I need to vent to her. Admit that he means something to me, whatever that is, that he will move away, carrying away all the life he gave me. Hanji has always been there for me, even if she is fucking crazy and always smells like a burnt science experiment gone wrong, I like that I can be mean/despondent with her and that she laughs at my stupid crappy jokes. She's probably the only person that has always been there for me. If someone still tries to be near you, even after seeing you at your worst and at your strangest, that person is important. Stupid, but important.  

I knock at her door in one lazy continuous knocking, "Shitty glasses stop wasting my time taking a sweet long dump and hurry your ass over here." I drone out, surprisingly, the door is locked, and I hear footsteps approach and the locks clank open, and the door opens.   

"Oh, Hello Levi, Hanji is taking a shower at the moment. Can I help you?"  

It's Erwin. Shirtless. With one of Hanji's yellow shower towels wrapped around his waist. I stare up and briefly down at him blankly. His voice is a bit raspy, friendly, his hair unbelievably sexy and ruffled from sleep. I've pictured this image of him more times than I can count, I notice raspberry splotches on his neck, hickeys, and he tilts his head to the side adorably as he waits in my long silence. His body is so built and rugged with pleasantly bulging muscles everywhere, slightly tanned, the body I've been picturing for so long, and I look up into those powder blue eyes and I almost convince myself with how calmly I say, "Its nothing. Nevermind ."   

He gives me that sexy side grin and nods his head, "Alright then, have a nice day Levi." And I don't watch him shut the door, I'm already walking down the stairs, walking out of the apartment complex, walking into the city. The full gravity of what just happened weighs heavy over my head like a piano that's about to fall from 50 stories above me. My eyes are strained open and empty, I can't blink, my lips clamped down over themselves like a closed zipper, I feel as if all the blood has drained out of my body and I stagger through the endless strip of sidewalk in front of me. The sun laughs at me, bright and cheery, it burns my skin and sight, judging me like a single hellish eye.   

My lungs are made out of sandpaper, scraping my insides as they try to work. I walk through a sea of people, scum bags and dreamers, they have a destination, and I am just an invisible man. I look at my reflection in a glassy store window, my face looks pale and horrified. The last time I saw myself like this was after they had died, the police were trying to talk to me, holding me up softly like a cracking porcelain china doll, I saw my reflection on the police car's window.  

I don't remember how long I've walked now, I've watched the shades of day pass by, and I've stared at the clouds moving slowly, going nowhere, and thought of how similar we are. Maybe clouds are sad creatures like I am, so far away from everyone and everything, lost in an endless empty space, meaningless pale untouchable things.   

I don't wait for the pedestrian crossing signs to give me the OK to cross, I hear drivers yell out their window at me, cars honking like mad geese, but the sounds don't mean anything, the words are just loud distant sounds, I don't really care if a car hits me. It doesn't sound so bad, actually it’s a relieving thought. I shiver anxiously.  

Bitter laughs scratch out of my throat likes bats from a cave, I can't hear my coarse laughter over all the crackling noises of the city. I was such an ass licker, even when I was avoiding Erwin, I was hungry for his attention and touch. Maybe I had really liked Erwin, how he's careful with me and my neurotic tendencies, but also straightforward and opinionated. He's always so damn confident and composed. He flourishes socially, a natural born leader, a lot of things I'm most definitely fucking not. But I wanted him to respect me, trust me, like...me.  

That's how life works. You think about someone every night, every day, for so long, and you get nothing in return. You don't get any of the moments you dreamed of, sometimes not even the nightmares you feared, most of the time you get nothing.  

I end up stumbling into Rose Café and find a stool, Petra at first approaches me with her usual teaspoon of sugar smile but it disintegrates when she sees my grave expression. I ignore my cell phone's incessant buzzing and hurriedly take out a cleaning wipe from my bag and scrub my stool harder than I should, sit on it, then clean the surface in front of me like my hand is undergoing a seizure. Petra cautiously offers to throw the used cloth away, I let her. My hand wildly searches for my black pen and notebook in my bag, the second I get a page open my pen slices along the skin of paper, only stopping when I have to flip a page, I only breathe when I flip a page.   

The unreasonable betrayal I feel from Hanji brands my stomach like a hot poker, Erwin was the one she had fallen in love with. Right under my nose all along. She doesn't know about my feelings - what was left - I had for him, I have no right to feel so nauseous. But I do. Now Eren will also be a thing in the past, the only person who could have saved me, will be gone.  

Some nasal-y guy with a black bowl cut and a serious demeanor drums out the rest of his poem on stage, it wasn't bad, but he thought he was all justice. Plus with the mood I’m in, he could have said the most ass clenching amazing shit and I still would hate it to pieces... and he has a black unicorn tattoo on his shoulder and what the fuck that’s weird. He marches off the stage and some news-boy-cap wearing idiots clap softly in the audience, the stage is now empty except for a microphone and a stool.  

I stare at that stool and I can perfectly picture Eren sitting there in his battered green hoodie, the one he was wearing today, and that smile he gave me, he thought he was such hot shit. The grip on my pen tightens to the point where I know there will be a blotchy red imprint of the utensil on my palm and fingers. I squeeze my eyes shut and writing isn't enough right now, I need to get it out of my chest, I get off of the stool and make my way up the stage, I don't look at the turning heads in the audience, I don't hear the small chatter humming in the crowd, I only feel. I feel pain.  

I adjust the mic to my height with a certain scowl deeply lined on my face, then I look at the back of the room, my death grip now on the microphone, and I clear my throat so my voice actually comes out. Its now dead silent in the darkened café, the single stage light circles around me, and I begin,  

" Do you ever wish you didn’t let someone say goodbye to you? You knew things were going to end, but you stuck around to see it happen. Do you ever wish you had stayed in the train station instead of hopping on the train you knew would crash? Is this a house or a home, could it ever be the latter if you're always alone.   

The innocent committing sins blindfolded, the victims unable to blame. The body you can't touch, the feelings you can't tame. The bullets that never miss, the bruises that never fade. The nightmares you keep having, happen during the day.  

What's the difference between death and absence? When you and your stupid smile are somewhere I can't see . When I can't hear the way you say my name like it means something . When I can't taste the fury and hope on your tongue, when I can't feel your riddled eyes inside my own.   

But you can't belong to someone who belongs to someone else and you can't keep what was never yours -- "   

Its then that I see Eren in the audience, how long has he been standing there in the entrance? Fuck. I do an abrupt turn away from the mic and walk off the stage, I don't pay attention to the clapping and cheering, I don't pay attention to Eren's broken face, I brush past him and out the door. Its cold and miserable outside, my chest could combust from all the hot acidic adrenaline scorching through me. I slip into an alley right next to the café and hide, Eren will undoubtedly search for me when he's awakened from his shock. As if on cue I hear Eren calling out for me, unable to see me here hidden like a back stabbing mugger. I watch him run after no one, his loud clumsy foot falls echoing along the sidewalk. I should just get a hotel, I can't go back to the apartment, what would I say, I can't deflect this, I can't hide it away.  

I know I have to go back.  

 As I get out of the hobo piss alley I try and figure out an alternate route home, pausing at a street corner when I feel my phone buzz twice in my pocket. A text message. I pull my phone out and click the screen on, an unopened envelope blinks on it. Shit. I take a deep breath and open it,

Brat: I'm back at our place, I'll wait all fucking night if I have to for you to get back. 

He's mad. Now I feel my own frustration at its boiling point, why is he the one who's angry, he has everything going for him while I'm the one losing everyone. I always always fucking lose everyone I get close to, or rather, who gets close to me. Tch, wallowing in self pity, just get your ass home Levi. When I finally get back and unlock the door I expect to see Eren sitting on the couch expectantly, but I open up to an empty living room and kitchen. I look down next to the door where his sneakers would sit, but they aren't there.

Is he... gone?



Chapter 14: Dangerous Bliss
Notes:

I've been disgustingly busy with friends and family, plus my wifi connection has been horrific so writing has been hard to do this week. Trust me, I was as antsy for this update as you guys. (I love to write after all, especially about these dorks.) Anyways. sorry for the wait! I'll make sure the next chapter is up wayyyy faster than this one was. And thank you for reading/commenting/kudos-ing lovelies ~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My stomach clenches and a dizzying queasiness undertakes my whole body, the room is blurry and my blood pulses through me like boiling water. He's gone, he really left, why didn't I come here sooner, fuck. I hold onto the door frame for support as my mind reels in panic as if I'm about to jump off a plane without a parachute on. I try to keep myself calm although my hands start to go shaky, I slip my shoes off and try to keep my balance while being overwhelmed by terror. I call out for him as if I've already lost him, its barely in a questioning tone, "Eren?"  

I hear thundering footsteps and Eren appears from the corner of the hall, he stands there across from me with white knuckled fists at his side. The cold rush of relief I feel lasts a mere second until I look down and find him still wearing his dirty sneakers, his jaw is hard set and his eyes glow green with a livid anger scorching behind them. The panic I felt turns into fury and I roughly scold him with a low slicing voice,  

"You should know by now to take your fucking shoes off before you drag in mud in here like a brainless pig." Eren now bares his teeth he's so furious and marches right up to me, completely ignoring my reprimanding, the little shit-stain, and yells,  

"What the hell was that? ' But you can't belong to someone who belongs to someone else'? Is there something you need to tell me Levi?! " Eren's simmering turquoise flames flicker at my eyes looking for answers. My lips part momentarily and its as if I've been punched in the throat by a heavy weight boxer, then I hiss through my teeth,  

"It wasn't about you, you narcissistic shit-tard." I raise my chin up and my eyes squint in cold indignance, his face inches closer to mine as he barks out his response,  

"Oh yeah? Then who the fuck was it about?" I step back because being too close to this infuriating turd-pancake is bad for my health and my back hits the front door. I make sure not to raise my voice because losing your cool means that you are losing an argument, but I keep the grit and severity in my tone,  

"I caught Erwin sleeping with Hanji." Although I hate admitting my feelings for Erwin, nothing could be worse than Eren thinking I have feelings for him instead. Because that part of the poem was about Erwin wasn't it ? My mind fogs with anxiety, denial thick and as suffocating as cigarette smoke. Eren continues stepping forward and his face is close enough that I can smell his rich minty breath when he gives me a disgusted sneering,  

"So he's not just your editor right? I fucking knew it. So what, you caught him cheating on you?" I cringe at the words packed with venom, my eyes darting away and my lips press into a tight straight line. My chest aches and the tears I can never cry burn in my skull. When I respond my voice is hoarse and at a much quieter volume,  

"Why do you care?" I collect my wavering resolve and give him a judgmental cutting look. "Why were you even looking for me? You're going to be leaving soon anyways."   

Eren keeps at the same distance but turns his head to the side, pursing his lips and letting out a heated sigh of frustration.   

"I thought you were going to disappear. I had this... this feeling I had that was similar to the one I felt when my dad said his last goodbye. It was casual and no one else could sense it was, but I could for some reason. I thought -" I cut him off,  

"I'm not your fucking Dad okay? You don't have to worry about me running off or who the hell I sleep with." I admit it was a low blow, and I regret it immediately when watching what I said seem to hit Erenphysically. He flinches and his lips pinch into this sad miserable little pout and the pain I see in his eyes makes my heart skip a beat. It doesn't last for long though, his face reverts to an even more enraged scowl. He then grabs me by the front of my sweater and raises his other hand in the air in a raised fist. Eren huffs with a wild seething stare and his pupils begin to shrink. I don't even glance at his shaking raised fist, and I want him to punch me, I want him to hate me, because its what I deserve.  

"Go on. Do it." His breath is hot and rushed, his jaw quivering, a silent storm rages in his head, I continue to goad him because I feel an intense need to be punished, I lock eyes with him and whisper,  

 "Do it."   

I suddenly feel my mouth being pummeled by an urgent softness and the back of my head slams into a hard surface, a tongue invades my mouth ferociously and my wrists are pinned against the door. I blink a couple times before I fully realize that Eren is kissing me vigorously, I wince in weakness, my body crumbling to his intensity and my mind goes numb. But I want to lose control over myself, I'm tired of holding back, I'm so fucking sick of the pain and the fear that has shackled me down for so long. So I kiss him back, murmuring pitifully into his baking mouth as our tongues collide. We make-out so fervently we practically breathe through each other. I suck on his upper lip and his lower lip, interchanging the angle of my head so I can kiss that wet succulent mouth in every way possible, reveling in the sweet minty sensation of it all.  

My knees turn into jelly and I begin to slowly slide down the door, my hair trailing up and my arms going limp. Eren follows my gradual descent eagerly and he lets go of my wrists and cups my face with his hands, breathing me in with his sloppy warm kisses, his teeth occasionally scraping against my lips purposefully. My hands hold onto Eren's forearms feebly, my body fine wax melting from his heated passion. Eren is like a famished animal, and pulls back to bite at my neck, hard. I hiss then let out a shaky, "Nnn " at the mix of pain and pleasure, he licks at the inflicted wound on my neck and my nerves spike in a terribly wonderful way. We are both sweating at this point and Eren seems to have already noticed because he begins to pull the bottom of my sweater up as he sharply sucks at one of my collarbones, I make sure to help him get me the fuck out of this sweater. Soon he's unzipping his jacket off like it's on fire, then hoists me up before my ass can hit the wood floor.  

I wrap my legs around his waist and my arms around his neck, he carries me through the hallway to my bedroom and I begin to madly kiss and nip his jaw, throat, ears and lips whimpering with neediness at his skin. My hands scramble all over his body, feeling the firmness of his chest through the damp fabric of his T-shirt, the delicious swells of his developing biceps, and the velvet feel of his caramel neck under my fingers.  

Eren kicks my bedroom door open and throws me on the bed, my back only bounces up a few quick times on the mattress before Eren is already clambering over me, straddling my hips and peeling his shirt off of his glistening heavenly fit and bronzed body. I gaze hungrily at his boyish but well defined muscles, I don't have long to look though because Eren has eclipsed my view with his looming shadow, hovering over me dominantly. He grabs me roughly by the chin and nearly snarls against my lips,  

"So what does Erwin do when he has his way with you?" His face trails down as he begins to assault my skin with delicious heavy kisses that end in skin throbbing bites, I try to snap back at his question but then his mouth clamps over my left nipple so all that comes out is,  

"You asshole he hasn -- Nnngh!" and my head tilts back and my eyes widen from the sharp pleasure, he responds with a husky and hormone drunken,   

"So even when you're a guy you're still sensitive here ... Sexy..." His mouth bites and sucks again while his other hand pinches and twists my other nipple hard enough to make my mouth hang open in speechless elation. My fingers slide down his back and grip into his skin, his free hand begins to undo my pants and once its unbuttoned and unzipped Eren sits up and gets off of the bed.   

"Take them off."  

I'm not used to this side of Eren, but the command sends a sultry shiver down my chest and straight to my groin. I accept this challenge and tuck my knees in, rolling my pants down in one fell swoop. All the while, maintaining eye contact that makes my face burn and leaving a very visible tent in my tight navy blue Ralph Lauren boxer briefs. I prop myself up by the elbows and Eren may have a blush on his cheeks but he looks just as pissed and leering , even more so when he thunders,  

"All of it."  

This perverted fucking teenager... if he thinks he's going to so easily seize the power in the situation, he has another thing coming to him. I first crawl over to my nightstand and plop Vaseline in the middle of the bed, I can tell where this is going and I'm glad at least some part of my brain is thinking rationally. I then get up and kneel on the mattress, my knees spread wide apart, then I turn around and hook my thumbs in the sides of my boxer brief's waist band. I slide my underwear down slowly, looking over my shoulder to watch the way he salivates over the pain stakingly gradual way I slide them down over the sleek round curves of my lower half. Once the briefs reach my knees Eren growls,  

"Now fuck yourself with your fingers."   

I can hardly believe what this kid is saying, but he's always had this strange powerful exuding confidence, ever since the first time I met him. And I would sure as hell be lying if I said this rash racy behavior wasn't making my dick achingly hard in approval. I turn my head to begin reaching over for the Vaseline but Eren snaps, "Don't you dare look away Levi."  

Shit. I gulp and my breathing becomes rushed and deep, I gaze back at him and raise two fingers to my lips and I slowly engulf them all the way to the knuckle. Eren is starting to look absolutely wrecked with want, he begins to unbuckle his pants,revealing a tasteful faint very happy trail to the bulge in his red plaid boxers. I soak my pale fingers in my mouth and take the sight in hungrily. I then lean over, arching my lower back, and support myself with my other hand on the bed as I guide two fingers to my twitching entrance. I decide to just plunge both fingers in immediately, my body growing impatient with foreplay, and I grit my teeth, " Hnnngh ..." as my fingers slide in and out slowly, stretching myself lewdly in front of him.  

Eren is already dryly stroking himself, biting his lip with a face pained in frustration, and then he hastily approaches me muttering, "fuck it." pulling me up by the back of my hair with one hand and kissing me ardently, the other hand rubbing and squeezing my ass. We both moan into our kiss as Eren and I grope myself, he then pulls away to grab and twist open the Vaseline. He takes out a giant wad of the lubricant and lathers his dark pink swollen cock, I reach over and apply some on my own pinkened erection as I eye the a-little-more-than average sized length soon to be driving into me. My body begins to tremble with excitement, and I lay on my back and make sure I'm well lubricated on the insides as well. But as Eren begins to tower over me in all of his tan glossy glory, settling between my open legs, I begin to tremble with a different brand of nerves, alarm starts to trigger in me and I cover my face to hide my weakness.

"Levi?" Eren's voice has changed, its back to its sweet and usual bashfulness, except this time tinged with concern. I remove my hands but look away from him, shit, I'm acting so uncool but I can't help it. His hands are gentle as he leans over and caresses my face, those rough familiar musical fingers soothing me down a bit. His hand is quivering, hell he must be just as nervous, so I just decide to give him the sheer, embarrassing truth straight on.  

"I've never done this before." I reluctantly look at him, I search his expression for a response warily, gripping the sheets beneath me. Eren's  eyes go owl-like, his mouth a little O and his caress pauses on my cheek. But then he smiles, this brilliant, unfairly accepting beautiful pearly smile and says,  

"Me neither."   

I roll my eyes but can't help chuckling a bit, Eren actually starts to laugh pretty hard, his forehead on my chest as his body rattles with giggling. I give him a light smack on the head and he just looks up, still blessing me with that stupid perfect smile of his, and he dips in for an earnest soft kiss. Eren pulls back just a tiny bit and those un-name-ably green vibrant eyes are filled with pained adoration, he murmurs in a nervous voice that exudes inexperience, "...Can I?" His hands rest at the sides of my head, his chestnut bangs hang down wispy and swaying subtly like willow tree leaves.  

My dead blue eyes begin to feel a warmth they've never felt spark in them, my hands reach around his back and hold onto his shoulder blades, I nod my head and try to hide my timidness with a romantic breathless,  

"Just fuck me already."  

Eren goofily smirks and adjusts himself with a hand, my legs hook around his lower back for support, I take deep breaths as I start to feel him push his hot length inside of me. My eyes squeeze shut and my head whips back as I feel myself being so thoroughly pried open, my ass being filled to the brim with his throbbing cock, my fingernails dig into his shoulder blades, "Mnnn!" I try holding in my whining with barely sealed lips.  

Eren hisses "Tight..." and once he's completely seated in me, he leans over to cover my lips with a slow tantalizing kiss. We gasp and whine into each other's mouths as he begins to pump into me at a tentative pace, his dick stretches me out in a somewhat painful but mind blowingly pleasurable way. The pain in fact, makes it that much more satisfying. Fuck is this better than my fingers. Good good so good, I realize I'm saying this out loud as Eren growls restlessly and pulls my legs out from around him and spreads my thighs further apart by holding my legs up from under the knees. He sinks over me so that I'm completely stuffed and his face hangs over mine, my eyes can barely stay open it feels so wonderfully filling, his eyes are half lidded and hold a tint of sadism in their dark lusty turquoise state.Then. He begins to jack hammer into me at such a world shattering pace, my eyes begin to water, my toes curl up and my legs spasm. I practically begin screaming out in euphoria ridden pleasure. Eren, Eren, Eren,"Eren!" I blubber his name mindlessly.  Eren moves his mouth right besides my ear as he begins to rant raspily between sizzling breaths,  

 

 

 

"Do you know how hard its been to keep myself away from you?" His pace goes even faster, his voice even more thick and syrupy, "Hearing you call out my name when you thought you were alone?" My eyes just about snap open at the shameful revelation , he lifts my legs higher so that my ass lifts off the bed, now pounding into me so roughly I feel his balls smacking against me, the sounds of slapping skin echoes in the room lewdly. "S-s-sorry, s-so sorry! Ahn !" He hits me directly in the prostrate as I sob, everything goes white as I squeal loudly in delirium. Eren sounds close to climax with his stuttering pace and urgent needy, "- and not being able to say your name back?"

 

 

My fingers hold onto the pillow beneath my head for dear life, Eren's confession and actions are just too much now, a tsunami of boiling nerves pool and roll over my groin, my lower back arches off the bed and I begin to cry out in a nonsensical, "Cumming, cumming, Eren! Eren!" and I hear Eren yell out my name as an intense darkness consumes and quakes my brain and body. I think I temporarily black out my orgasm is so extreme, because when I come back to my senses Eren has already stopped and is resting his head in the crook of my neck. I knew neither of us were going to last very long, and I sigh shakily as my eyes begin to flutter open again. He kisses my throat messily and lovingly for a little while, his caramel back raising up and down from heavy breaths, shimmering with sweat. I unglue my hands from my pillow and rest one hand in Eren's thick messy, damp (gross), bistre hair and let my other arm lay uselessly on my side. I breathe in the pleasant pine musk of his burning skin, feeling his eyelashes lightly tickle my neck. 

Eren hums contentedly into my skin, laying dog tired on top of me, and finds my useless hand with his own, intertwining our fingers as we lay down in a dangerous bliss.  

 

 

 



Chapter 15: Vanilla
Notes:

This isn't a reincarnation AU, just a FYI. And thank you for the kudos, comments(you guys have given me such great ones lately thanks for that), and support as always. Sorry this is a short chapter, I'm going to be updating again pretty damn fast though.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Jesus christ Levi, that’s way too hot! Are you related to Satan or something? I’m surprised the water isn't boiling! " Eren  rants after dipping and burning his toe in the bathtub.  

I lean forward and turn the shower knob to let cold water lower the bath’s temperature with a smirk on my face.   

“There, that should be better for his royal pain in the ass. Now get in the damn tub already.” I lean forward in the spacious porcelain tub and lay my arms on the outside rims, glaring half heartedly at him to sit behind me already.  

 After we had sex there was no way In hell I could sleep with all the sweat and cum drenched on our bodies so I demanded we take a bath. The elephant in the bathroom hasn't been addressed yet, his relationship with Annie and what our relationship is currently. But I happen to have my PhD in avoiding shit so I don’t bother bringing it up yet.    
 

Eren does another testing toe dip in the water and nods his head in approval with a little satisfied grin. He then gets in and settles behind me, I rest the back of my head on his chest and he puts his arms around me. Both of our feet rest at the end of the tub, my heels barely reaching the end, and Eren has to bend his knees just to fit in. His tan big dumb feet rub my small pale feet in an up-and-down pattern, and he rests his chin on my shoulder humming some random gleeful melody. I listen to Eren's soft murmuring , the wordless music makes my ears tingle and fills me with the kind of melancholy contentment sunsets can give . We don’t talk for a little bit, the bathtub faucet trickles out its leftovers and with Eren singing softly, everything sounds like music. I hold onto this moment, savoring it like the last bits of a good meal. You know the plate will be empty soon, so you scrape up all you can get.  

 

“Feet are gross.” I grumble as I grab a pleasingly new fresh bar of vanilla scented soap from its holder and wash Eren’s left arm. I admire the small sun bleached blonde hairs on his arm as I make my way down to the hand, successfully ridding the dirt beneath his nails. Eren doesn’t stop his little foot on foot massage and murmurs,   

“Most feet are but I like yours. They’re really cute. Like white cat paws.”    
 

I snort and start cleaning his right arm and change the subject, “Is this a birthmark?” I hold up his right hand and examine the maroon marks around his thumb. Eren kind of snickers and confirms,  

”Yeah, isn’t it weird? I think it looks like someone bit me or something. My Mom would always forget I had it and would scold me for getting into fights with other kids. Can't blame her though, I'd always have bruises and cuts from after-school fights.” Eren snickers a little bit and then slips out of my grasp and holds my right hand up now, bringing it closer to his face. “I thought I saw something, how did you get this scar?” His thumb traces a thin old white line that stretches from the inside to the outside of my right hand’s index finger. I sigh as I settle my head back In the crook of his neck and explain nostalgically,   

“Its a dumb story really. .. When I was a kid and still lived with my parents we lived next to this pawn shop that had this nice tea set in a glass case by the register. You see, my mom always made black tea, It was her favorite, but we only had these shitty old hand me down glasses that didn't even match. We were piss poor and I guess I always dreamed of having new clean teacups to drink from, you know, the nice fancy kind they had in the pawn shop. So my dad noticed I always stared at that tea set and told my mom about it or something, they ended up working extra hours to get me a kettle and a tea cup for my birthday.” I let myself breathe for a little bit, it’s been a long time since I’ve even  thought about this memory. “I…couldn't believe they'd gotten it for me. I wanted to use my present immediately so my mom whipped up some black tea but then I got too excited and picked up the teacup roughly by the damn skinny handle and it broke. When I tried putting it back together the fucker sliced my finger open and I cried the rest of the day.”   

Eren lets go of my hand to wrap his arms around me and squeezes me tight, “That’s so sad!" I shrug as he holds me, Eren then continues. "Wait a second.” His bear hug loosens a bit in realization, “ Is that why you hold cups so weird?” I watch his feet excitedly tap at the bottom of the tub and I grouse,   

“Shut up.” Then I raise his right hand up to my lips and softly bite over his strange birthmark playfully. Eren sort of purrs at the action , he laces his left hand's fingers through my own left hand's on the bathtub rim and begins to kiss and lick my neck.   
“Mnnn ” My eyes roll back and I close them to enjoy the given sensations for a while. I soon feel something hard pressing into my lower back.   
“Tch, seems like somebody is getting too excited.” I taunt Eren in a low nonplussed tone. His lips trail up to my ear and he bites the bottom of it, sending a hot shiver down my chest. His voice is raspy when he whines,  

 “can’t help it, it’s all your fault.” I roll my eyes, but then slowly grind against his erection with my ass, leading his right hand on top of my chest, wordlessly asking him to touch me.   

His grip on my left hand tightens and he uses it to anchor our bodies, he thrusts against the sensitive small of my back and I bite my lip to not so successfully stifle a moan. His right hand teases my nipples, twisting them hard enough to make me whimper, and then his fingers splay out and go downwards, feeling the tight ripples of my wan body till his fingers brush through my small black patch of pubic hair. His hand timidly grabs at my cock, stroking and twisting his wrist around me experimentally. This time its me who squeezes his left hand tightly. “Fuck” I begin to pant as Eren breathes heavily at my ear, I feel his dick drag up and down eagerly against my back and ass and I wholeheartedly help his arousal by leaning back more so I can slide his length between my lifted asscheeks. Eren groans appreciatively at my effort, the water in the tub becomes turbulent, some spills over the edge. Shit, what a mess. I tap Eren’s hand, annoyed, and he lets go of my hard-on.  

 “Get up.” I hoarsely command, then I lean forward to unplug the bathtub so it can drain and get up to close the shower door. Eren follows my lead and stands, I activate the shower switch and soon the shower head sprays us with warm water from above.  

As I adjust the shower head Eren gets close behind me and grabs me aggressively by the hips, his tongue sweeps up a delicious line up the back of my neck and through my buzzed undercut. My eyes flutter to a close as he spoils me with touch, his nose nudging into my raven hair, he takes a deep breath through his nose then mutters,  

 “You always smell like vanilla …” I turn around, his hands hover for a moment but then go back to my waist, and I look up at him.  

I watch shower droplets roll down his shaggy wet darkened hair and handsome boyish face. I gaze at the droplets outlining his button nose, his round soft chin, his adorably thick eyebrows, and those glazed big green eyes that look back down at me hungrily.  

His voice is almost a whisper, “I think you’re the kind of person people write songs about.” Eren smiles down at me with sincere half lidded eyes. I reach up to cup his face with my hands, leading a thumb along his bottom lip as I gently sneer,  

 “Cheeseball.”   
 

He pulls me in closer by the waist, and tilts his head to the side as he swipes me into a sharp kiss full of longing. My hands settle on his chest, moving up and down as I lean up on my tippy toes to fully wrap my mouth around his greedy lips. And like every needle in the haystack moments of happiness in my life, fear creeps in like a bad habit. There is this hidden belief, trapped in my mind , that I have to be punished for the good moments I get with countless future moments of tragedy and loneliness. But I don’t want to be punished for this.  

 I wrap my arms around his neck selfishly, desperately, kissing him like he’ll disappear instantly if our lips disconnect. Eren growls at my escalation of passion and hoists me up against the tiled wall. The wall helps alleviate my full weight on him as my back rests on it, his tongue stays inside and rolling against my own as he lifts me up. I secure my legs around his hips and our embrace leaves almost no distance between our chests. I momentarily think about the fact that I let a boy quite a few years my junior, have his way with me as he tries to press his erection inside my entrance.  

But then I don’t think of anything, as he splits me open with that pretty cock of his, and my head leans back on the wall, my heels digging harshly into the arch of his back as Eren loudly moans into my neck. Soon he’s pumping up into me so that I’m bouncing up and down his dick, I let out a resonating litany of " ah ah ah ahn ” as water and sweat roll down our merged bodies. But we soon realize this position is too difficult to stay in due to our slippery surroundings, and he slips out of me, I sigh shakily when he does so. When I steady my footing in the tub he turns me around and pushes me against the wall roughly. My cheek presses against the wall and I watch my heavy breaths fog the tile, my fingers try to grab at the squared texture to keep me balanced.  

 Eren then envelopes me with his body, hands over mine, teeth sinking into my shoulder, his length inching and sliding back in with a heated vengeance. I mewl at the re-entry and my nails grip at the cracks in the tile as I’m teased with slow firm thrusts, that make me feel every bit of his thick arousal. Then he begins to hammer into me from behind and I wail his name as my limbs quiver from the intense stimulation. "Does it feel good, Levi?” Eren gruffs out in a more eager-to-please sort of way rather than a taunt. I want to tell him he’s stupid and should just keep focusing at the damn task at hand but all I pathetically manage to blubber out is “O-of course you i-diot n -nnngh !” This position allows his dick to brutally beat into my prostate, and I can’t manage to think of anything other than the extreme joy of being fucked this hard and this well. I feel my chin grabbed by one of Eren's hands and I'm forced to look back at him, he soaks in my expression as he drives into my ass thoroughly, I want to turn away from the shame I feel from the absolutely filthy moans escaping me and the way my face must look as he fucks me. Panting, pink faced, and nearly drooling from the pounding pleasure I'm receiving, but I let him do what he wants. I'm just too turned on to give a shit.  

" Mmn Levi, I'm gonna..." Eren lets go of my face and grunts as his thrusts become sporadic and even harder than I thought imaginable. I grab and rapidly stroke my leaking length to try to join him in a soon to be severe orgasm. I can feel the delicious hot bubbling of nerves in my groin act up, but what sends me over the edge is Eren's thumbs rubbing into the two dimples of muscle on the small of my back, the savage bite he delivers that burns strikingly into the crook of my neck, the way his cock begins to pulse, and how hot his release feels when it slicks up my insides. My back bows, my body ignites, I look up and see nothing but feel everything. I nearly slip in the tub my legs shudder so much, everything goes dark and there is nothing other than him and this splendor.  

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

When I wake up the next morning, I almost believe none of it had happened. He's not there, his warmth, his arms around me, nothing. I turn over where he had (or maybe had never) been. The sheets and pillow smell like him though, that sweet pine musk... I let myself drown in the scent for a while, sleepiness still shields me from consequences, I hide under the blankets from reality. Then the thoughts of awareness begin to sting me.   

Where is he?  

When I just about stumble out of bed I notice I'm buck ass naked. I remember with a cloudy mind that we were too tired to worry about things like clothes, getting clean (again) and drying off was hard enough. I throw on a baggy black sweater that's long enough to cover past my hips and wince at the soreness I feel all over my body. After I brush my teeth and get rid of a bad case of bed head, I walk over the kitchen to find a note on the kitchen island. 

"I'm meeting up with Annie. I shouldn't have done that to her and she deserves to know the truth. I'm sorry.  

- Eren "  

I stare at the note for a long time. I re-read the words 'I'm sorry' over and over again. I want to vomit blood, I want to scream until my lungs snap, I want to cry until my eyes are swollen and burning. I can't even touch the piece of paper, I lunge towards my messenger bag and fish around for my pack of vanilla cigarettes with jittery manic movements. My thumb punches the white lighter on and I stop abruptlybefore a flick a flame can singe a cigarette pinched between my lips. I hear his stupid motherfucking voice haunt me, 'You always smell like vanilla.'  

I throw the whole pack away in the garbage. God damnit. This is what happens when you let people in. The memory of them begins to stick to every single fucking thing around you, suddenly your favorite foods, your favorite songs, favorite places, are all covered in their messy fingerprints. So when they leave, like they always do, you can't runaway. There is no way out of this agony.  

I notice the Nat King Cole disc is in the gramophone, I set the disc to start playing and I put away my lighter. I try not to think about the time Eren said white lighters were bad luck, I try not to think at all. I take small steps over to sit on the suddenly too empty couch and continue to shakily breathe in and out, my palms grinding into my eyes. The crinkling of the record begins to play,   

 

 

'It's just the thought of you. The very thought of you, my love. '      

 

 

  
 

  
 

 



Chapter 16: Flaws and Virtues
Summary:

(Before anything I say, I have to state that the unbelievable sweet and intelligent support and comments you guys shower me with make me believe that maybe I'm not such a useless person. Maybe I am a real writer.)

This chapter was painful to write.
 
I finished this chapter at 3 A.M. ironically

I'll be updating soon, but I wanted this chapter to end where it did so, anyways.

Thank you for reading.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I barely manage to hear the knocking at the front door over the ruin of my mind and the gramophone's gurgling scratching noises. I don't know how long I've been sitting here like this, or how long it's been since the record ended. I scramble off of the couch and practically leap towards the door. I whip it open and my breath gets caught in the back of my throat. I want it to be Eren so badly, so fiercely, so I can yell at him, so I can hold him, so that it's just him here in front of me.  

"Levi! I thought you'd never answer!" Hanji looks uncharacteristically distressed, her frayed ponytail messier than usual and her collared yellow shirt buttoned improperly. Her copper eyes widen as she scans my own disheveled appearance quickly and stops whatever apology/rant she was about to go on. I'd forgotten completely about the fact that my best friend had slept with my former infatuation and current editor. She rushes inside and puts her hands on my shoulders gently, "What's wrong? "  

 I step backwards hastily out of her comfort, first things fucking first, "Why didn't you tell me Erwin was the one that you were seeing." My voice is sharp and controlled, my senses automatically begin to freeze over to protect myself. My arms crossover my chest as my eyes squint judgmentally at her.  

Hanji sighs and her fingers comb through her long brunette bangs as she starts, "Logically, someone as prim and proper as Erwin would never be attracted to a messy braniac like me. Then again studies have shown that opposites attract because the couple gives each other what the other lacks and such. But yes, I wasn't expecting things to become intimate between Erwin and I. I'm sorry I never told you how I felt about him, but I swear we were only friends until... Well... the party actually. When everyone left he offered to help clean up... and alcohol tends to decrease inhibitions and fears, so I confessed, thinking I'd be rejected but  - turns out Erwin felt the same way." Hanji searches my eyes for forgiveness, her lips moving left to right nervously. I let her feel the burn of my deciding glare, but let out a long exhale and uncross my arms.   

She never knew how I had felt about him and she never will. There's no reason for me to be angry at her anymore, she apologized and told the truth. Shitty glasses is a terrible liar so I'd know if she hadn't. When she does lie its over the most  idiotic arbitrary things like, 'I'm not throwing a surprise birthday party for you this year' and 'I'll remember to vacuum behind my sofa.' I should be happy for Hanji if anything, she hooked up with Mr. Tall Blonde and fuckable. But I'm not that good of a person . The best I can do is mutter a consenting,  

"Alright."   

Hanji's glasses nearly fall off her face as she jumps up and down joyfully, she settles down and sets her frames back into place and gives me a giant dorky smile.   

"Thank goodness. I hate when my precious clean freak gets mad at me." Her smile fades a little bit, she glances around the kitchen and living room and investigates,  

"So where's Eren ? Did you two get in another fight?" I reflexively look over at the note sitting on the counter and Hanji's gaze follows my own. She walks over to it and mumbles "what's this..." and her brow begins to furrow as she absentmindedly scratches the side of her head while reading the note. Then her spine snaps up straight and her eyes turn to saucers, she finally fucking gets what happened, and she doesn't even try to hide her excitement when she blurts out,  

"Did you two finally get it on??? Is that why you're only wearing a sweatshirt and hickies? Why the flying Fahrenheit would he go see Annie then?" I turn around and walk over to the kitchen to make some tea, I make sure my back faces her so she doesn't see how sick and twisted my face is thinking about Eren choosing her even after everything that happened last night. As I wait for the kettle to finish preparing black tea, I let Hanji fidget in silence. I make sure I swallow some spit to clear my already clamping throat before I speak,  

"Why wouldn't he see her? After making such a dumb fucking mistake, of course he'd want to fix things and be with someone he has a real future with." I pour the tea into my cup, spilling a tad of the steaming fragrant fluid onto my trembling fingers. I slightly hiss, scrunching my face at the searing sensation, but it feels good somehow, it distracts the agony screaming red in my heart to a physical controllable pain. Hanji is quick to give me a booming reply, 

"Don't you think you are jumping to conclusions?! You're too negative Levi! Hasn't Eren always been crazy about you?" Hanji frustratedly turns the gramophone off and I can hear her nails tapping impatiently on the kitchen island. I turn around and feel the smoke of tea burn my palm as I hold it in my usual manner, waiting for it to cool. I look into her eyes and my lips part as no reply leaves my lips.  

I want to believe her. I want to believe that things don't turn out for the worse and that wishes come true when you throw a scrap of metal into a filthy fountain or that marriage vows mean something when people say them but its always a lie. Wishes don't come true just because you throw a round coin with some pinched face on it into an artificial pond of muck. People get sick and leave their 'truly beloved'after putting up with their shit for too long. But. 

 Doubt climbs inside of me like a black shadow. Clawing anxiety runs rabid throughout me, there is no leash, and it gnaws at my crumbling clarity every chance it gets. I let him in my life and the fiery pushy brat made damn sure I did. I let him open me up like my book he likes so much. He read my middle finger of a preface, he read the deep intimate memories and vulnerability I slipped over time, and he read me till the very end. Then he threw me away. And it makes me sick that he can hurt me, and I want to push him out of my life like a splinter in my toe.  

"I was his childhood hero. Of course the kid would shit himself stupid over me. I've seen too much and experienced too many things to be with anyone. I can't keep dragging him down, because you're right Four Eyes, I am a sour mother fucker who will always see the wine glass half empty." I take a sip of my tea and let the warmth of it spread inside my body. I settle into my specialized numbness and realize I have to help Eren make his decision. Before Hanji begins to argue with me again, I walk over to the door, open it, and stand there giving her the silent message of: Leave me the fuck alone.  

She groans and eyes me sadly, then adamantly states, "Promise me you will listen to him if he wants to be with you. Because you are worth being with Levi. You might think people prefer sunny days over rainy ones, but I happen to love rainy days and I also happen to love you." I can tell she wants to hug me but she knows enough that I only become more distant if others try to get closer when I'm like this. She settles for giving me a lingering caring look with freckled brown eyes on the verge of tears before she leaves. My jaw tenses achingly at her kindness and friendship, it should make me feel better, but it makes me feel worse. Because I don't believe I deserve any of it. I barely pass as a friend, a C- at best.  

I slam the door behind me and lock it, then begin to organize all of Eren's belongings, I don't know how much longer it will be until he comes back, so I don't have much time to do this. I fold all of his clothes neatly into his backpack, I pluck his toothbrush away from my own in the tooth brush holder, and I get a spare messenger bag to hold everything else that didn't fit in his original backpack. I go through all the motions mechanically, fold the shirt in half, fold the sleeves in, but I nearly malfunction once I get to putting away his tattered and signed "Grim Reminder Series" book. Then, like a cherry on top of a chocolate sundae of pain, I set his guitar in its case along with all of his other possessions lined up besides the door.   

I start cleaning in the kitchen and living room first, I don't bother putting my usual cleaning outfit on, my mind is whirring and everything looks too bright and defined. I start seeing grime and creeping filth everywhere, the corners with lurking dust hiding like malicious phantoms, and I equip myself with wipes and nostril burning detergent in both of my spastic hands. I wash and I scrub and I scour and I scrape away at all the microscopic atoms that could even be considered dirt. My hands twinge with dried out bleeding rosy cracked palms and fingertips. I outdid myself this time.  

I walk into the bathroom now and I see the plushy white towels Eren bought, I see his small wispy brown hairs scattered around, and I can hear the memory of him humming softly fill the room like a ghost. Then I look at myself in the mirror, raven hair in disarray,  hickies branding my pale skin like scarlet letters, and eyes lost in a thick fog of grey. I haven't even properly dressed yet, but I hear new knocking on the door, the door knob being twisted around from the other side. I didn't leave the door unlocked for him.  

"Levi, let me in!" His voice is tired and impatient, he begins to press the doorbell button repeatedly, other than the lack of energy in his voice, he sounds normal. Was it not a big deal to him? Does he really think that I'm that strong, that cold, that unfeeling?  

I make my way over through my room, through the hallway, slow hesitant barefoot steps till I'm in front of the door. I wrap my right hand around the doorknob, it makes a slight creaking noise, but I don't unlock it. The door bell ringing stops, and Eren's voice is now troubled and more shrill,  

"Levi?" I can hear his worried breathing just outside the door, "Are you there?"   

Do I let him in again? Do I want to see the words of rejection form on those soft plush lips, do I want to hear him say goodbye for the last time? Do I want to feel the familiar panging loneliness of dismissal, another bad memory to crawl into the battered cage of my mind? Do I want the possibility of him to see me raw, vulnerable, and - 

feeling?  

If this isn't a real metaphor, I don't know what the hell is.    

I open the door, I let him in.  

I evade him by heading over to the middle of the living room and I go into my guarded state, crossing my arms again, gritting my teeth and sharpening my glare daggered and deadly. Eren just about stumbles in, he must have been leaning on the door. Before the shit to my constipation can speak, my voice slices through the air,  

"Pay attention you shit eating klutz, I've decided to make your life easier. If you stop falling over your own damned feet you will notice I've already packed your junk besides those said feet."   

Eren's shocked expression makes it seem like someone just slapped him across the face, he looks up at me then down at his belongings next to the door and stares at me for one long moment. He's wearing his infamous green jacket again god damnit, The Smiths T-shirt I bought him peeking out underneath. His face scrunches up in a mix between furious and hurt, he sputters blatantly,  

"W-what the hell do you think you're doing?" His emerald eyes are filled with such scorching self righteousness they melt my barely held up calm and I begin to quake,  

"What the hell am I doing? What the fuck are you doing?" Each stomping step I make towards him I half hope cracks the smooth  wooden floor beneath me, now its my turn to ball my fists knuckle white, my eyes feral and honing in on him, 

"So you thought you could just fuck me and throw me away the next morning like a god damn Kleenex tissue? That you could leave me to wake up alone in bed like I'd lost my fucking mind and imagined it all? That I'd be okay with you going right back to her right after I'd given you everything I had?" My voice begins to break at the last sentence, Eren's brow isn't furrowed with anger any longer, but with heavy guilt, his lips parted, his eyes a tremulous light turquoise. Those eyes begin to widen in panic as he looks down at something and gasps,  

"You're bleeding!"  

I look down at my bleeding hands, they make perfect crimson circles as they drip down on the ground. My hands are trembling violently, I spin on my heel and hurriedly walk away from him. I'm falling apart I'm falling apart don't fucking see me don't fucking see me fall apart. He follows me urgently into my bedroom and I interrupt him when he calls my name frantically,  

"Can't you fucking tell I'm trying to get away from you? Body language 101 you fucker..!" I'm seething, but I can barely look at Eren, my vision blurring and unfocused as I see the maroon liquid spattered on my hands. Its just like back then, their faces, Isabel, Farlan, the blood on my hands, the blood always on my hands. The loneliness I will always have to bear. Eren's alarmed scratchy voice cuts through the reality altering horrific memories,  

"Levi Please listen to me ! I --"  

"So tell me Eren, do you hate me now? Are you disappointed in who ‘Humanity’s Strongest’", I sneer when I utter the dark joke that is my pen name, "really is?" A pathetic man made out of a list of excuses, bad memories, and a cracked psyche. That's who I am.   

Eren looks me straight in the eye with that damned insane determination gleaming in him as he retorts,  

"I broke up with her. Its you Levi, its always, always, been you."  

The hands I hold out in front of me begin to drop. Someone could tell me that everyone else in the city outside had vanished into thin air, that my apartment had split from the earth and was floating into the starry sky, that there was no longer any gravity pinning us down, and I would believe them. But someone choosing me? Not a fucking chance. I am not the person someone chooses. I am not the second glance, I am the second choice.  

As if reading my torn up cynical mind Eren continues with a compelling voice clear as a bell, his eyes never once leaving my own,  

"You don’t lie in your book, you show the ugliest parts of humanity clear as day in every page. You also inspire the willpower to continue even after you've lost the ones you care most about" his voice wavers at the end of the sentence and streaks of wet sadness begin to pour down his eyes but he continues, "You've shown me that the flaws everyone possesses is a virtue of their own that can be used to do good in the world. Your flaws, your virtues, are not something you should be ashamed of."   

He starts to slowly walk towards me and I start to back away at the same pace. He continues more softly now, "Your flaws, your virtues, are beautiful to me." I scoff out-loud at his too good to be true sincerity. This kid is fucking crazy to think that I am anything other than pitiful and abusive. My stomach is getting queasy and my mind flashing with stinging nerves on high alert and I don’t want him near me, I don’t want him to touch me or tell me anymore of this sappy bullshit. A heavy grimace digs into my expression and my words drip with venom,  

"Are you a masochist?" My eyes squint at him in patronizing ridicule.  

"Maybe." There’s that wistful melancholy smile again god damnit, why is he always pulling that smile up against me. I continue my verbal slashing of offense,  

"So you’re just stupid." Why isn't he leaving, why won’t he just leave me the fuck alone. My back hits my bedroom wall and I shudder in fear as the gap between him and I begins to close. Those emerald orbs consume me whole, his light brown eyelashes not even fluttering when he hushes me with, 

 

 

"I’m not stupid for loving you."  

 

 

 



Chapter 17: Acceptance
Notes:

I'm sorry this update took so long, I was pretty sick and just couldn't muster anything out onto the keyboard. Its a bit short but I like focusing on certain moments and such, didn't want to force more onto something that felt complete. I've just started a new semester of school as well so things have started to get busy again for me. Long updates might become a thing, sorry. (I'm not very good at keeping up with school so it will definitely delay with my personal writing time) Anyways, thank you for reading/commenting/kudos-ing. I appreciate it~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm dazed. His lips feather over mine, then press ever so delicately. His eyes fluttering to a close, his long musical fingers wrapping around my shoulders gently and -- I don't kiss him back. I stand there in complete denial as motionless as a mannequin.  

The word love shot through me like a bullet, I can feel the blood drain out of my face as I stand still in terror. But the terror all too easily shifts to rage, because love is a lie made to patch things up like band aids. But the gaping wound inside of me isn't a fucking paper cut you can cover with a band-aid called "love."  Most of all, no one in their right mind would love me for who I am.

My hands press into his chest and I roughly shove him away. His eyes momentarily widen, but then they sort of harden into an unwavering teal gaze, he's realized something and now carries himself with tight lipped conviction. He reaches out to hold me and I push him even harder this time hissing,  

"Don't fucking lie to me. "  

He lets me slam my palms into his chest again and again, I leave scarlet handprints on his favorite shitty green jacket but he doesn't even look down. He just keeps walking back towards me, cornering me like I'm a wild animal. My breathing is rapid and frantic and I hate him, I hate him, I want him to leave me just like he promised he would. I weakly growl at him as he regains his close distance as my strength fades,   

 "Don't try to console me with your piss poor lies you piece of shit...!" I bring my fists up and try to slam them into his stupid bloodied chest but he catches them, at first with force, but then they soften as he pulls my quivering body into his.  

He lets go of my hands and wraps his arms around me like rescuers wrap warm big blankets around survivors. All I know is fear. I try to back out of his hold but he stays vigilant and keeps me in the harbor of his embrace. My fists slowly unclench and my face buries itself in this familiar pine scent, Eren rests his chin on my shoulder and whispers,  

"Its okay, you can cry. I'm sorry. "  

At first I don't understand why he says that. A smothered scoff escapes my throat, although its scratchy and barely resembles a laugh. It seems comical, me crying, me being comforted, I don't need any of those things. I'm strong enough to swim in the high tide that sweeps in. But then. Why does it feel like I've been drowning. The way that my hands desperately cling to his Smiths T-shirt like he's a buoy I've found while I've been lost in a current that's too tumultuous for too long. Like I'm a kid who just can't make it back to shore this time.   

I take a breath of air as if for the first time in my life. Its ugly. My throat finally unclogged from all of the held back sewage of messy feelings I've failed to express. The tears finally come, my blue heart beating, the water leaving my lungs, my breaths thick and stuttering. It feels pathetic. So pathetic I just want to crawl out of my skin. But Eren holds me together as I feel something digging its way out of my heart.  

He leads me over to the bed, never once letting me go, and we lay down together. My face is glued to his chest, my tears sticky, my nose running, I try my best not to think of what a disgusting mess I'm making and let the sobs shake me by the shoulders. I'm halfway laying on top of him, my torso over the bottom of his, he lays on his back, his left arm encircling my waist, his right hand petting the fuzz of my undercut.  

I let my mouth drop open ,my lips curl down to my chin and I weep into the fabric with a pulse. Its Eren's pulse. I let myself feel the loss, I let myself feel the memories forced into seclusion avalanche over my senses at last. I gasp dearly for breath and try to just focus on breathing for a while, its as if I've forgotten how to. But I let him teach me how to breathe again, his chest rising up then down slowly like serene waves... Maybe he'll teach me how to float. Satan only knows up until now I've only known how to drown.  

Mouth quivering, body exhausted, eyes mushy and strained. My ear now rests against his open cage of bones with a red bird singing only for me inside. Once I've calmed down Eren gingerly helps me get up, and I let him. Everything in my body throbs and feels heavy, I am docile and compliant because I'm just too fried from feeling to give a shit anymore.   

He helps me rinse the blood on my hands and finds my first-aid kit under the sink in my bathroom while I blow my nose into a sheet of Kleenex. Then we go back in the bedroom and he unzips his jacket and shrugs off his T-shirt. I sit down in a kneeling position and he is sitting criss-cross apple sauce in front of me now. I numbly stare at the bronze angel-face purse his lips as he methodically wraps my palms with white bandages. Oh...He has tiny freckles on the bridge of his nose, so faint I have never noticed them before. I sniff a little and Eren nods his head once when he finishes wrapping my hands. Its getting harder to open my eyes every time my damp eyelashes settle down to blink, I look down at my neurosis beaten hands blankly. I am broken.   

But then Eren lifts my face up gently by the chin and I let myself sink into the loving turquoise of his stare. He brushes the leftover tears at the edges of my eyes with the pads of his thumbs, my brows furrow at the tenderness and sympathy, but there is no familiar insecure urge inside of me willing me to pull away from it. Only the insatiable need to be closer. I bring those healing hands together with my own frail ones, and kiss them softly at the fingertips. We don't talk. He just understands and I tell him with my actions, because words seem meaningless now. He leans in to kiss me, one sweet dipping kiss with his head tilted to the side as I hold his hands. 

I don't bother changing into my pajamas and simply slide into bed, still in my too-big black sweater. Eren takes his pants off and snuggles under the covers in blue and green plaid boxers besides me, I catch a rosy tint on his cheeks when he realizes I'm not wearing anything beneath my sweater.   

Eren acts as big spoon and I feel an arm strap itself across my chest like my own personal safety belt, I scooch back into him and enjoy the abundance of warmth he gives off. I've noticed this kid is like a damn portable heater, its especially nice on cold nights like this. I hear him breathe through his nose, my hair flitters from above, Eren hums in satisfaction. Ah, the little shit likes how I smell hm? A foreign comfort settles over my drained body and brain. 

"Farlan and Isabel." I say my two long gone friend's names as Eren reaches over me to turn the bedside lamp off. He tucks his arm back over me and waits for me to continue, and I do.  

"They were like your Armin and Mikasa. Its her rubberband and its his drawing in the box. He was going to be an artist, and Isabel always had her hair done in childish little piggy tails. She was always changing her mind for her visions of fame and fortune. One day she wants to be a world renowned actress, another day she wants to be an astronaut because she wants know how it'd feel like to do fifty backflips in a row without gravity to worry about." A  somber smile is tempted to burden my lips, but it never shows. "But now she's just dead. They both are. Just like my parents. That's why... I can't... get close to people . I can't deal with that amount of grief again. I just fucking can't. " I shudder the last sentence out under my breath. Eren comforts me with a kiss on the top of my head, the thumb on my chest tracing consoling circles. But then his body tenses up and he gushes,  

"Is that why -!"  

 His voice starts out too loud. I wince at the overbearing sound and I think he does too with the way his body recoils. Eren corrects himself with a cleared throat and a lowered voice,  

"Is that why you said 'If we have a tomorrow' that one day on the subway? I always wondered what you meant by that."  

I'm surprised, I almost don't remember what he was talking about it seems so long ago. I don't expect people to pay attention to the little things I say. Most people instantly erase anything that isn't what they've said out of their mind. So when the blue moon moments happen and someone finds something I've said important, holding onto it like a nostalgic photograph in a wallet I... it makes me feel like I'm important. Or more so, that I'm important to him. And that's all that matters.  

"...Yes. Everyone seems to think that they have tomorrow, that time is merciful, and that the only expiration dates are on cartons of milk. But they are on people too. Decisions can never be changed.Once you've put your trust in someone, you've put your trust in the world. One moment you think its okay to leave your best friends outside waiting for you, so you can get your book published, the next moment a random drive-by shooting happens and your bestfriends are caught between a gang related crossfire. The deaths of the ones you love kill the idea of immortality. Death teaches you that 'tomorrow'doesn't exist." I close my eyes as the shadows of memory start up again, I see my dear friends bullet mutilated bodies drench the ground beneath them in crimson.  

I feel Eren tense up again and he fires back passionately,  

"I'm so sorry you lost them Levi, it must have taken a lot of strength to keep going forward after that terrible day. I can only imagine how horrible it'd be to lose people so precious... But not all of what you said is true though. You forgot hope. That's something nothing, not even death can take away from you or anybody else. You're allowed to dream, you're allowed to love someone, even if those dreams or love might have an expiration date. Tomorrow always happens, with or without us. It’s the embodiment of the possibility of second chances, new beginnings, and we can't ignore the nearly ever present opportunity for happiness. I..."  

His voice drops a pitch lower, he calms down but the intensity and truth remain in his demeanor,  

 "I want all my tomorrows to be with you. "  

My breath gets caught in my throat, the heartfelt meaning behind the sentiment swallowing my being in a great wave of sparkling nerves. I bend my elbows so that I can hold onto his arm and feel completely protected , like somehow his presence can shield me from the terrors of reality. It takes me a while to answer but when I do, I let my silken voice show the faint subdued vulnerability of ignoring my previously unbreakable self-made rules,

"Okay." I accept it. I accept that love exists and his love exists for me. I wear his love uncomfortably, trying to get used to something that I thought was only coughed up in the brainwashing of popular movies and famous pop songs. 

Weird how life turns out, you think you've been taking care of someone when all along its been the other way around. Or maybe we both sort of sustain each other like pissy bees and flowers. I guess I'd be the pissy bee and Eren would be the flower...   

A deep yawn escapes me. Sleep sounds good now. Eren's naturally raspy voice temporarily interrupts thoughts of slumber as he whispers,  

"Goodnight Levi."  

My hands make a quick squeeze on his arm when I answer in a low grumble,  

"Goodnight... you better be here in the morning you lil ' shit..."  

I expect him to giggle but instead he pulls me in even closer to his body and mutters softly into my hair,   

"I will."  



 

Chapter Text

Chapter 18: Apron
Notes:

I've been busy with school, in a mood that conflicted with the joy in this chapter, so overall it was hard to get this update done. This chapter is short and a bit indulgent haha, I promise actual plot will happen the next chapter, but for now, please enjoy ~



 

 

 

 

 

I wake up listening to fleecy long warm snores, cocooned in cotton and arms, and a room glowing with the special gilded shine of morning. The heat and feeling of home in my skin, like soaking in fresh laundry out of the dryer. The ceiling fan spins in a lazy whirring hum above us, I hear Eren smack his lips a couple times slowly, murmuring slumber garbled nonsense and then returning to a metronome of relaxing airy breaths.   

My eyelids are a bit sore, I weakly stretch my back and legs as I foggily blink and a short yawn flows out of me, Eren faintly complains at my wake-up-stirrings in sleep- grumbles. At some point in the night we shifted positions, I notice my cheek is resting against toasty caramel skin, barely seeable blonde peach-fuzz adorning it all. I lift my head lightly and look up at Eren, I slept just above his stomach, his arms cross at his wrists over the middle of my back, his head is tilted to the side resting on a white plushy pillow.  

I watch him in awe, like when a butterfly lands right besides you and you watch it with gentle intent, trying to get closer without disturbing the beauty. His eyelashes are thick and hot cocoa brown, fluttering faintly, his lips parted and tinted pink, moist with drool. I soundlessly chuckle for a second, remembering our conversation on the swings about how much I detest the word 'moist.' I inch up ever so carefully to hover over his face, my bangs falling in front of my eyes like falling thin black dominoes, and I feel his hands slide down limp to the arch in my lower back.  

This face, this person, he's mine.  

The peace in that knowledge overwhelms me, my hand cautiously goes to caress his cheek like when there's a chance a surface might burn the fuck out of your hand but you gamble and try to touch it anyways. But no his cheek doesn't burn my hand, its perfect and baby smooth. Still such a kid... I brush his messy bistre bangs back a little, admiring the every slope and curve that makes his endearing face... He's frowning, smacking his lips a little still... My hand goes back to his cheek and my thumb goes back and forth feeling the velvet of his bronze skin.  

His frown begins to melt, his deep huffs stop and then turn into slightly faster tranquil breaths, and a little grin blossoms on his lips. The slumber weak hands on my lower back come to life, sliding up and down my sides lazily, he half opens his eyes and I get to see fuzzy turquoise peek at me.  

" Mmornin'." His lips stick together, gummy and still numb from sleep. I pinch his cheek and snort, tilting my head to the side in amusement. Damn. I've got it bad. His grin stretches to a full smile as he winces, a husky giggle as he whines groggily,  

"Mm-oww ..."  

And I would kiss him, but I probably have eyebrow singing morning breath and I would rather not kill Eren Jaeger.  

"Good morning." I murmur, unable to hide the smirk on my face.  

And I settle for kissing him right where I pinched his cheek, earning a pleased hum from Eren. He then fully wraps me in his arms and gives me a gentle squeezing hug as my hands curl-up on his shoulders. I shudder as feel his love, I tuck my chin in the crook of his neck and then squeeze my eyes shut.   

Waking up has never been a happy occurrence for me. Mornings were mournings, a cold dreary dawning of truth. Where I would have to face an empty room and a mind filled with nothing but impending doom. But waking up to real arms around me, to someone who smiles when he wakes up to my touch, to someone with bedhead so ridiculously adorable that cowlicks crown his head like flowers...    

I discover what a good morning is.  

 


 

 

"Shit load of shit...!" I snap as I burn my finger on the stove trying to make a massacre of over-medium eggs, Eren snickers as he puts bread in the toaster,  

"Are you sure you don't want any help? Its so weird seeing you cook something!" He leans against the kitchen counter elbows back, his hair still dark and damp from the shower , wearing grey plaid boxers and a black and white winged-man Led Zeppelin T-shirt. He doesn't even try to hide the fact that he's checking me out, elevator eyeing me, shirtless in my tight black boxer-briefs and pink apron... It was a mocking house warming gift from Hanji from when I first moved into this place, I gave her a mountain of shit for giving me an apron in this pastel Barbie- bitch color but I never actually got rid of the abomination.  

" I already told you dick-monkey, I'm going to make breakfast today."  

Eren throws his arms up in defeat, playfully piping up a,"Yes sir!"  

My brows furrow as I try to carefully slide my spatula underneath an egg, I mutter to him,  

"Make yourself some coffee or something -- pissballs...! " I puncture the top of the yolk of an egg as I unsuccessfully try flipping it with the spatula, Eren is cackling as he begins to take coffee mix out of a cabinet.  

"Screw it, scrambled eggs it is." I grouse as I smash the eggs around in the pan, then I sigh as I check on a couple of sausages sizzling in a pot behind the eggs. Soon the only sounds are eggs and sausages hissing and coffee bubbling as it brews. The silence is nice but... now there's so much more I want to learn about the lanky brat. Okay, social skills, come on Levi you total shitwad, make a decent conversation.  

I sort of clear my voice then ask, "What's it like playing the guitar? I make instruments sound like cats being neutered so I was wondering what it feels like to make actual music."   

Eren kind of blinks at me for a second but then smiles to himself as he pours a cup of coffee, "So Relaxing. Instruments are like something that can say all of the things you can't say. Sort of a filter, where the ugly things you feel sound beautiful."   

Its weird, sometimes this guy yells at T.V characters or chokes on his own spit but then there are times when he can say things like this. I stare at him, his wistful emerald eyes  daydreaming, and I immediately dart my attention away when he turns to notice my gaze. I begin to set the eggs and sausages down on our two plates when they finish cooking, then I put the pot and pan in the sink to wash them down. Suddenly, I feel an airy mouth besides my ear, eager hands encircling my waist, and hear a suggestive murmuring,   "You sure I can't help with anything?" 

"Tch. Get your filthy hands off of me you lil' shit..." But I don't fight him off, a shiver rippling up my lower back when his thumbs start to do that fucking gypsy magic rub on the dimples right above my assthat drives my body wild with want. His teeth nipping and sucking at my ear...then at the sensitive slope of my neck... My hands start to slow down on the sponge scrubbing of the pan in the sink... His long guitar roughened fingers start to snake up underneath my apron and twist and tease my nipples like flipping switches to turn me on.   

"Mmmn do you have a thing for aprons, pervert?" I raspily taunt him, I begin to dry my hands off on the bottom of my apron, an urge to reach up behind me and have a hand dive through Eren's chestnut hair fulfilled.  

 Eren huffs a laugh and then in a sultry growl of a response,  

"I think I have a thing for you in aprons..."   

He leans over my shoulder, bending over me, and licks up my jaw, a skin igniting invitation for a kiss. I turn to accept it, my hand in his hair tightening in a lustful pulling fist. Our kiss is hot and breathy, mostly lazy tantalizing tongue, lips smacking onto each other as we stare into each other's half lidded wanting eyes. I let go of his hair and reach down to cope a feel, he's hard and throbbing, I smirk as he whines impatiently into my mouth. I make sure to get him off with a strong fast sliding grip, then thumbing the head of his cock in circles to drive him insane with need. He hastily shimmies my briefs down, they fall to my knees, and I tease him with a hoarse low voice,  

"The food will get cold..."  

He snaps at me, this kid and his temper, "Fuck the food, I found something way better to eat. " I faintly wonder how I ended up dealing with such a corny loser... but somehow the statement makes my body yearn for more. 

He lifts me up by the waist and sets me down roughly on top of the kitchen island, he irritably yanks my briefs off that were hanging at my ankles and spreads my legs apart without warning. I lean back on my elbows as the apron slides down a bit on my chest, my nipples being revealed in their excited rosier state.  

"I want to taste you..." He lifts me up by thickest part of my thighs, bringing my ass up to meet his face, my back hits the kitchen island surface, my hair sliding across it. I feel his hot breath at my entrance and muffle my whine with a bit lip, my voice betrays me with its raspy high pitched arousal, 

"S-stop that you idiot, that's fucking disgusting!" I wiggle uselessly, his blazing wet tongue already lapping at me, "Nnnnngh!" Oh fuck it feels so good, my ass cheeks twitch spastically from the savory tingling sensation. But I have nothing to worry about, satan only knows how thoroughly I clean myself. His tongue twists inside me now, swirling around heavenly, my toes scrunch up and my teeth just about chatter from the intensity of it all. When Eren pulls away he leans over to the right to start fishing through my messenger bag on the side of the kitchen island, he pulls out a tube of hand lotion and squeezes a hearty amount on his fingers.  

I wait in a mix of embarrassment and exhilaration with my legs sluttily opened wide for him, he licks his lips in an unconsciously provocative way as he takes in the wanton sight with impure forest greeneyes. He then drives his guitar rugged fingers in my now impatient pinkened asshole, letting two fingers stretch the hungry mouth, preparing it for something so much bigger, and I moan through barely sealed lips. He pushes my apron back behind my rosy painfully hard length, then tentatively licks up my arousal, holding one of my convulsing thighs with his left hand, his right hand working my ass.  

My taut alabaster thighs shiver for him, he's at three fingers now, I throw an arm over my face to hide my miserably pleasured expression, loudly whimpering as he pries me open and suckles the tip of my erection to the bottom, his nose brushing against my sparse trimmed black pubic hair. My pale body ripples uncontrollably from his actions, at this rate I'll come without him inside of me, which just sounds terribly unsatisfying to my conscious darkening mind.  

"Hurry...up...!" I command brokenly through my teeth, Eren seems very much relieved to pull away and free his pent up dark pink dick from the restraints of his boxers, he brushes the head of his cock against my longing entrance, groaning as my hole slowly swallows his burning arousal. Eren finally fully plunges his nearly too big length into the tight puckered lips of my ass, my body bows for him shamelessly, my quivering arms slithering tight around his neck, my eyes going wide as my heels dig into his lower back. As he throttles deep inside of me, fucking me so well and hard, my eyes glaze from the over-stimulation, my tongue just about hanging out as I pant heavily, and I buck back into the cock hammering abuse like I'd die without it. 

I relish the pained with overwhelming desire expression on Eren's bronze face that gleams with sweat, his forearms flexed and alluring as his hands handle me at the hips. My erection bounces back and forth, the squelching sound of his length and balls slapping into my perky ass is almost too much. I squeal his name at an ear crinkling volume, the neighbors would be deaf not to know that I was being fucked, but I don't care as I enjoy every propelling inch of his cock. 

 He sinks his teeth onto and around my nipples, my crisp manicured nails slice into his caramel back, leaving bloody wings across his shoulder-blades as a naughty memento. He electrifies my reddened buds with ungodly elating sensations, leaving scarlet halos of teeth marks around them, he makes damn well sure he doesn't leave the stretch of my vanilla neck untouched. I need this mind shattering ecstasy, and he gives me everything, he makes me feel everything. 

He grabs me from under my creamy thighs, lips at my jaw, breathing into my ear, making me listen to how hard he's working to fully ravage me with syrupy grunts, and he finally drives into me at the perfect angle. Tears puddle at the corners of my half lidded lost eyes, my mouth hanging open, lowerlip trembling as I sob his name, and he makes sure to say mine back earnestly. I let out an endless litany of 'fuck' and 'shit', shame there but losing as I surrender to his sin melting touch. I'm so close, I whine to him, "Harder Eren, fuck me harder...!" His face hanging over mine then at my neck, hips unveiling an uneven pace that he's close too, and Eren promises me with a husky strained hormone dripping voice,    

"Don't worry baby, I'll make you come."  

And I just about scream his name at that.  

My whole body accepts him, I embrace him so tightly my chin hooks over his shoulder as my fingers scramble madly for purchase on his back, and my neck tilts back as I wail my conscious crashing white of an orgasm. He sucks my neck purple as slick milky fireworks scorch in my ass, his whole body quakes as he finds his release, a guttural shout of my name at my throat. Then we are left slumped on the kitchen island, both a salty wet slop of heaving chests and paralyzed limbs.  

"..Hey..." Eren whispers with a smile in his voice as we both wheeze from the spiritual experience.  

I smirk a little then make a great dramatic sigh, responding in a mocking whisper of my own,  

"What?"  

Eren's chest shakes from laughter on top of my own, the kid is getting heavy, and he answers in a more breathless but normal tone of voice,  

"I'm so fucking late for work." 

After we clean up, Eren eats my terrible cooking, lies to me about how good it was, and rushes like hell to throw his Led Zeppelin T-shirt off (which I put on after I'd taken my dumb fucking apron off) and puts his Garrison Records T-shirt on with a pair of jeans, he halts at the door and turns to me to say,

"Shit I almost forgot! Clear your schedule for Friday night, I'm performing at 'The Legion' and I'm going to actually sing! You have to be there alright? It won't mean anything if you aren't there." 

 Wow, this kid has really been rising up in the city of music. Hanji and her friends occassionally go there for concerts, its a small venue, but its pretty popular. And it has been a while since I saw the mystery color eyed wonder perform, to hear him sing and play would be quite the experience... Plus... he says the special moment won't mean anything without me... How can this guy be so embarrassingly honest? Yet it seems to be my fucking kryptonite.

A sudden knock at the door interrupts me and causes Eren to bolt upright in surprise, he turns around to open the door and lo and behold, there's Erwin. He's in a bright blue collared long-sleeve that goes too well with his eyes and beaming gracious smile. His golden hair combed precisely, muscles modestly hinted behind it all, grey dressy slacks and leather loafers. His voice is deep and charming,

"Ah why hello Eren, I forget that you're Levi's roomate sometimes." He chuckles warmly, he holds a briefcase in his hand, so I know he's here for business. I'm thankful I slid on sweatpants earlier or else it would have made things even more awkward, I walk up to the door besides Eren, I stare at the completely clueless handsome man of my previous dreams as Eren begins to sneer,

"I'm also Levi's boyfrien--!" I cut him off swiftly,

"This kid's a joker, just your regular kick in the balls. Hey Eren, you need to get to work before they actually fire your ass." I handle the almost catastrophe completely composed, and what the actual fuck. Why was Eren acting so jealous for? I told him Erwin and I never fucked and yet he's being a total douche-cake right now. And already putting a label on our chaotic relationship? It makes bitter bile threaten to rise at the bottom of my throat and makes me want to push the kid far far away from me instinctively.  But he shoots me a betrayed hurt glance that makes guilt sound plausible to feel, lip pinching into his classic heart wrenching pout, and then he brushes past Erwin, not saying sorry when he not so lightly bumps into his shoulder on the way out.

What the hell. Dejavu hits me like a bucket of vomit over the head. 

 



Chapter 19: It's not that Simple
Notes:

Kinda short. I know, school/social events have been crazy. Thanks for being patient, I'll try giving a fatter chapter next time haha, kudos to you for reading my sad but kinda happy weird mumbo jumbo, as always I love your awesome comments ~



 

 

 

 

I can hardly pay attention to Erwin as he elaborates on the chapter I've written. It starts out with me listening to a couple words, not even in the right order, I'm that out of focus. "Levi --okay---but this part---maybe-- instead--" and so on. I stare at the paper he's pointing at, the squiggly angry black lines, the ink carefully chosen as always to ease my neurosis, but I'm not really staring at anything.  The movie theatre in my mind starts to play over the reality in front of me. I see Eren's hurt face again and again, his words on repeat like a glitch in my memory's film. I give Erwin non-committal grunts, "Mhm-yeah-ok", just enough to get by.  

Sometimes its too fucking difficult to tell who's wrong or right. The "maybes" catching fire in my head, I replay the situation in my head and think of all the other outcomes that could have saved me from my tormentful present. I'm stuck with the shitty questions I don't want to answer: why didn't I want Erwin to know Eren and I are intimate? Why does  the label 'boyfriend' make me automatically scowl  like I just licked dried dog shit?  

I look at Erwin and all his wet dream glory, but its not the same now. Its strange, to see someone you once desired almost unwillingly, like a disease, and to see them again completely cured. Being immune to those unique  charms that used to give you that special kind of heart burn that never went away, the pain you were once addicted to, and to be numb and free from it all. Its not a pleasant  feeling. It’s a bitter pill of nostalgia.  

A  slap of a moment snapped  me out of the happy dream I  had  fallen into. The joy from this morning now draining out of me, that quick sand sadness pulling me down by the ankles. When I get like this all I want is to be aching alone. I hear an echo, the echo finally breaks through the dark fog clouding my mind,  

"I'm leaving now, Levi?" Concern wrinkles Erwin's brow, I can tell this isn't the first time he has  said this by the slow and uneasy pronunciation of each word. I simply nod and open the door for him, he says good bye and I lift up a bent arm  in an attempt at being polite. Not that I am polite  by any means, I just want him to get the hell out.    

I grab a couple wipes from under the sink and do a quick wipe down of all the surfaces in my home. I then close the door to my gloomy grey glowing  bedroom and position two pillows atop each other on the headboard and lean back on them, bringing my laptop to rest on my thighs. More people die as usual in my story, my fingertips click away mercilessly at the keyboard, and I torture the green-eyed protagonist with the harsh realities of his world. Am I taking my frustrations out on my main character? Fuck yes. And it doesn't take long for the light grey light of the room to darken into night time.  

I tilt my head all the way back to crack my neck, then arch my back for the same effect, I need fresh air. Realizing  I'm still wearing sweatpants and Eren's Led Zepplin T-shirt, I decide to change. I slip on a grey turtle neck sweater, black cardigan & pants, a navy blue scarf, and my very worn big blue rainboots. I can hear rain complaining outside, battering the urban landscape with tiny raindrops, I shiver when I open the door to a face full of dick crushing coldness.  

As I walk with an umbrella hanging over me through the sidewalks that are hued bright by the green, red, and yellow of street lights and passing cars, I ponder over the idea of visiting Eren at Garrison Record's, but I end up crawling into the safety of Café Rose instead. The familiar sweet scent of earth and tea welcomes me as toasty and inviting as always. I settle down at my usual stool at the front and unwrap the scarf around my neck, wiping down the seat to my liking then sitting down. Petra's ginger hair bobs against her shoulders softly as she hurries over in front of me, "Hello Levi, nice to see you as always. Your performance from last time was amazing by the way, I never got to tell you that!" A blush dusts her cheeks, her pink cat-print sweater cozy on her, and she tells me all this as she works on my usual black tea behind the counter. I give her a mumble of thanks.  

I think Petra has always had a thing for me. I stare at her slightly chapped peachy lips, shy batting long eyelashes, her careful glances. If she does, I feel sorry for her. I am not someone to fall for, because the fall is skyscraper high and I've never known how to catch people after they've gone over the edge, I only know how to drop them. Is that what I'm doing to Eren? I can't help but think there's something wrong with him for liking someone like me. Usually, I would despise someone for saying that they want to be with me, because most of the time they barely know me. I listen to them ramble on and on about their daily stirrings, sometimes they share their deepest thoughts, and that's kind of okay with friendship, Hanji comes to mind, but relationships are a whole truck ton of shit different. It sounds deceiving and shallow, usually, when confessions are made to me. They don't even know the depth of my disturbed psyche, hell they don't even see the tip of the fucking iceberg most of the time. But Eren. This ridiculous accident of an exception, somehow gets me to open up with the subtlety of metal priers, and even after witnessing all of the debilitating tragedy that plagues me, he wants to stay by my side. I stare into the white cup of tea slid over to me on the smooth wood counter, the sweet smoke hugs my face. Garrison Records isn't far from here.  

That bowl cut guy, Marlowe I think, is up on stage rambling some dramatic morose drabble about the light and dark of the world. The light and darkness in us all,  I smirk cynically to myself as I listen to the bag of turds he throws at the audience. The darkness in me seems to only know how to smother light like wet fingers pinched over the lit wick of a candle. And the light in Eren... is a fucking exploding star consuming anything and everything around it in a blinding display of emotion and impulses.  

I slap five dollars down on the counter and snap  my blue umbrella open as I make my way back into the streets. There are kids walking on the sidewalks, drunk on booze and youth, giggling like hyenas as they trip on their feet like 2 year olds, there are looming buildings all around, black-eyed windows stare down at me. I walk faster. As I wait for a crossing sign to signal an OK to cross the street I realize the rain has stopped harassing me and close my umbrella and stuff it in my bag. I look up at the cleared brand new sky and think.  

All those stars up there. People are like them. You can see a crowd of people in a city but there is this vast stretch of space between us all. All slowly burning out alone, even though we’re surrounded by each other. Although. Sometimes, you get just close enough to someone, and you sync into an unstoppable intricate dance of fate. Circling around each other endlessly, your world only revolving around theirs and their world only revolving around yours.  

I cross the street, the golden shine  of "Garrison Records" invites me in, I try to think of an excuse to be here as I open the black handle of the door, but all excuses dissipate like an escaped fart as I hear the violent slamming of bodies and raspy yells of testosterone the moment I walk in. As I squeak across the annoying welcome mat, I look upon Eren slamming his knuckles into Jean's face repeatedly on the ground. Crimson  gushes out of Jean's nose, Eren sports a split lip and bruised jaw himself.  

"What in fuck's name is going on here?!" I rush over and pull Eren roughly away by the shoulder, Jean stays on the floor coughing, his body rattling as he curls up on his side. Eren shakes with anger, his pupils shrunk and barely visible, his teeth bared like a wolf,  

"HE PUNCHED ME FIRST, ITS HIS FUCKING FAULT, THIS IS YOUR FAULT YOU FUCKING BASTARD!" Eren lunges forward again but I push him towards the door with enough strength to make him nearly stumble and face-plant. My voice cuts through the air, not an ounce of fuck-with-me in my cold tone,  

" Go outside. 

Eren shakes his head with a heavy grimace weighing his face down, but then gives up with thrown up hands and pushes through the front door with a bang. I bend down and help Jean up onto his feet, letting him lean on the cashier desk as I get a napkin out of my messenger bag to stop the scarlet rivers streaming from the boy's nostrils. I tell him to tilt his head back and hold the napkin to his nose, he complies in weak low grunts.  

I check his nose, I'm surprised it isn't broken, he'll be fine as long as he gets its bandaged and gets some rest. Some blood gets on my fingers and my body stiffens, disgust kicking me in the lungs, I hurriedly pour vanilla hand sanitizer on my hands and get rid of the vile feeling and sight. I warn Jean placidly,  

"Look kid, I don't want to hear whatever shit you have to say. You could both get fired, so it'd be best just to keep your mouth shut." He doesn't nod or verbally agree, he sneers a little but I can see the sense there in his eyes looking back at my own, and I know he won't bring this to surface to the higher ups of the store. I then turn on my heel to exit the store, facing a pacing and red-knuckled Eren outside.   

Before I can even ask him what the dildo he was thinking of when he risked losing his job over punching the lights out of horseboy, Eren shouts with a hand holding his sore jaw and waving his other hand around dramatically,  

"He sucker punched me that asshole! It was none of his god damn business and he just kept pushing Levi, he just wouldn't stop about Annie and -- fuck my lip's bleeding!" Eren looks down at his finger dripping crimson, he hisses under his breath at the sting of pain at his mouth. I take out another napkin from my bag and walk over to him, about to blot the blood for him but then - I feel a hand push me back pretty damn hard on my chest. My eyes widen momentarily at the defensive action, Eren looks a little guilty but he grumbles through grit teeth staring at the ground.  

"So now you want to act like my boyfriend? I'm still pissed at you for this morning you know..."  

Rain begins to drizzle down on us in a sort of obnoxious mist, I take my umbrella out, open it, shield my head and  sigh  as I stare at the tall lanky kid bleeding all over his uniform. My voice is sharp when I scold him,  

"Idiot, you were just jealous and rushed things too fast because you were feeling insecure. Now use this napkin you stubborn little shit." I extend my hand towards him clutching the napkin I had tried using before. Eren squints his blazing teal eyes at me in childish distain and looks down at my napkin... then at me... and then finally snatches the napkin with a big huff.  

We start to walk back home side by side, though Eren makes sure to keep the distance between us as far as possible. He nearly trips over restaurant signs with menus on them he walks so close to the buildings, I walk beside the curb as I try not to smirk at him being a total petulant dork. He throws the napkin away once his lip dries into a fresh scab,  then zipping up his blue jacket and stuffing his hands in its pockets. The temperature dips enough that we can see our breaths cloud in front of us, and it doesn't take long for Eren to start arguing with me again,  

"Well, I'm not afraid to say that I'm with you, ok?! I got slapped by Annie, punched by Jean, but you can't even tell that dumb blonde beefcake that you're my boyfriend! Because that's what we are, boyfriends! God damnit!"Eren kicks a stray empty soda can in front of him so that it soars over the street and next to the sidewalk opposite to us. Apparently that angered the rain gods because suddenly a piss-load of rain showers over us afterwards and Eren looks like a wet dog now. His messy bangs sticking to his forehead, blue jacket nearly turning black from dampness.

Eren pulls his hood over his head and shivers with his shoulders hunched together as he freezes, I decide to finally reply with a big exhale of breath prior,  

"Its not that simple. You're still so naïve." I stare off at a car waiting at a stop light ahead of us, the silver lights of the car and red from the traffic signal blur on the lake of obsidian asphalt and everything else. The water reflecting it all like a great show of colors, green taking over the red now, the car echoes its rearing engine into the city. Eren stops walking and turns to face me so fast his hood falls down,  

"It is that simple! When two people  want to kiss each other, want to be near each other, always think of another, and they both know this, that means they're together! I might not be the best with words but I'm smart enough to know that you have feelings for me and I have feelings for you, so why are you trying to hide that?" His voice is filled with scratchy emotions  almost washed over by the near deafening sound of rain pouring over us. I barely hear him when he lowers his voice to a scared and reluctant pitch,  

"...Or...Do you not have any feelings for me?" His eyebrows scrunch up together, his teeth chattering pitifully from the ice-age weather, water rushing over his features as a river does through a canyon. A warm fragile green gaze  reaches out to me in this storm, the storm I feel in the tunnels of my bones, the storm embracing the city in a thundering hum of suspense.   

I take timid steps in front of Eren, lifting my umbrella so that it protects us both from the onslaught of rain, looking up at him as a few leftover raindrops drip from the tip of his nose onto my right cheek. My voice is soft enough so that it can only be heard if we were standing this close in these conditions,  

"That's the problem. I do have feelings for you... " I look at his poor beaten lip and raise my free hand to lightly graze my thumb over it, then slide my palm over his corpse cold cheek in an affectionate manner. He stares down at me in confusion, I've soothed his fury but an earnesty to understand has replaced it. My heart flutters fast like hummingbird wings,  if the humming bird was on crack that is. I fight against the fear that screams in my muscles, my legs telling me to run immediately, but I persevere against it all. He puts his shivering hands on my hips gently enough so that he doesn't get my jeans too wet, his eyes fog up with innocent desire. I pull him in closer, slipping my free hand to the back of his head and reeling him in by delicately grabbing a fistful of sopping chestnut hair.  

We kiss, the rain roaring around us like a grand cheering audience, the thunder going off above our heads like blasted fire works. It could be the great apocalypse, but we wouldn't know as we lose ourselves in two private worlds connected by two pairs of lips.   

I pull back and chastise him playfully,  

"Let's go home before you get hypothermia dumbass."  

 

 



Chapter 20: A Hand to Hold Onto
Notes:

IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED SPIRITED AWAY WATCH IT BEFORE YOU READ THIS. I don't want to spoil the movie for you and such. Anyways, sorry the update took a while, I've been drowning in English essays. As always I love your comments/kudos/support. Thank you for reading ~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday    

"AAachoo!...... Ughh ..."  Eren groans and sniffles as he lays in bed on his back. He's in grey boxers and a plain white tee, I'm in violet boxer briefs and a black The Cure t-shirt that only has the band logo on it. I tuck the brat in and pluck the thermometer from his lips,  

"101 degrees. Congratulations loser, you have a fever. An umbrella, have you heard of it? It rains more than it shines in this damn city." I set the thermometer down on my nightstand as Eren grumbles with a soft furrowed brow and half lidded weary teal eyes,  

" Mmmgh Levi leave me alone... Pfft... Levi me alone..." Eren lazily grins at his stupid play on my name and I tilt my head to the side and give him a mock-glare. Eren then raspily groans, " Fuck... My head feels like an oven trying to cook my brain right now... Be nice for once... please?.. " He blinks up at me with a pained expression and a little baby pout. Eren then turns to the side towards me and buries his face in a pillow, bringing an arm up to hide his head under the blankets. He now peeks out, a single eye appearing out of the covers to check my response. He's probably expecting me to do the exact opposite of being nice to him. This kid is just so... so... fucking adorable.  

I let out a big dramatic sigh and ask him with a sassy arched brow, "Where's your phone doofus?"  

Eren gives me a quizzical blank look and slowly asks, "Why? And uh... shit I think its still in my pants. Its probably broken now from the rain... ugh god damn...it.." Eren completely hides himself with the blanket now. I start to walk over to the laundry basket and reply,  

"You need to call in sick for work dipshit. " I find the phone in his left back pocket of his jeans, I smirk at the fact he has a prehistoric flip hone, and click a random number to see if the screen and phone still works. It does. "Hey Eren, looks like lady luck gave a fuck today. Your phone is working." I crawl on the bed and sit behind Eren, who is still a cocoon of cotton, and I poke his ribs to get his full attention.  

"Agh! Okay okay I'll call in, just don't poke me again, I'm ticklish and dying." He peels back the covers with a childish sour face and paws at his phone I'm holding in front of him, I roll my eyes and lay down on my side as well.  I also take note that he's ticklish. Why do people tell others they are ticklish though? Honestly, its like tattooing 'tickle the shit out of me' on your forehead.    

Keeping my head up with a fist at my cheek, my other hand begins to comb down the cute cowlicks that have sprung up like daisies on Eren's already impossibly messy bistre hair. Eren blushes a little at my action and I hear the phone begin to ring as Eren licks his lips to speak, he gives his notice and hangs up, then he texts something to someone and stares up at me with a tiny grin in silence. My hand leaves his hair and pinches his button nose, he sort of groans and giggles as I release my pinch. I mutter,  

"You hungry?"  

His head slightly shakes in a 'no' signal and then I get out of bed and stop at the door and reprimand him,  

"It's already 1pm, you have to eat something. Especially since you're sick." The words feel funny coming out of my mouth, usually its me being told to take more care of myself. Eren continues to shake his head frowning, big sea green eyes squinting in distaste, he grumbles,  

"Not hungry."  

I spin on my heel and matter-of-factly-state over my shoulder,  

"Too bad. I'm going to make chicken-noodle-soup-for-the-soul kid and you are going to eat it whether you like it or not." I start to look through my kitchen cabinets and spot two cans of chicken noodle soup.I open them up and pour them into bowls and hear Eren gruffly yell,  

"I'm not gonna eat it! M' not hungry!"

I look up as if I could look directly at god and ask him why this guy is such a pain in the ass and then I put the bowls of soup in the microwave and set it to two minutes. I nonchalantly reply loud enough so that the tiny turd can hear me,  

"I don't care if you're not hungry, I'm making sure you eat this chicken noodle soup, if you aren't shitting noodles by the end of this day pigs will fly." I grab two spoons from a drawer and soon the microwave chimes its completion signal. I grab a tray stashed in the kitchen island and set the soups  down on it. Then when opening up my steel refrigerator I spot a couple cans of Sprite and place two on the tray as well. Isn't a Sprite and chicken noodle soup like the magic get-well formula or something? Humans and their weird fucking rituals.  

I carry the tray back like a regular 4-star restaurant waiter and gently place it on the mattress besides Eren, he sits up in bed, back against a pillow and the headboard of the bed, rubbing an eye with a fist like a toddler. I cross my arms defensively when explaining the meal, 

"Look, I don't have some kick-ass recipe for soup like you do from your mom so... Voila, soup de can."  

Eren picks up the tray and sets it in his lap, giving me one of his blindingly beautiful but modest smiles,   

"Alright... I will... You should go grab your laptop and we can watch a movie or something while we eat 'soup de can'" He wiggles his eyebrows goofily and I roll my eyes yet again but this time with a smirk on my face.  

We both get positioned in bed so that we can lean back against a pillow and see 'Spirited Away' begin to play on the laptop screen in front and between us. We've both seen it quite a few times so we point out our favorite scenes or add clever commentary. Eren likes to call Yubaba 'Bitchbaba' and about halfway through the movie we finish eating and I set our finished meals on the tray and then reach over to set everything on the ground next to the bed.   

Eren lifts my arm up and puts it around his shoulders, he then leans into my chest and rests his hand on my stomach as the train in the movie goes over the ocean. He sighs and sniffs a little, I look down and see a tear going down his golden cheek, I wipe the tear away with a thumb and ask him lowly,  

"What's wrong?"  

He laughs a little, his finger begins to trail around aimlessly on my chest as he explains,  

"It's just, the music and meaning behind it all y'know? I remember watching this with Armin as a kid and I was usually just dazzled by the imagery but Armin really helped me notice the details. The train is going over this endless stretch of ocean, the strangers on the train only seen as shadows and silhouettes, because that's exactly what strangers are.These shadows and characters we always see in everyday life, the business man, the child. We look out the window with Chihiro and see people waiting on a bus stop in the middle of no where, because so many people are just waiting, never leaving their own specialized nowhere. The distant house on an island, how each individual home is its own island and universe that no one can see from the outside. But Chihiro, she's on the train on the ocean, she's going somewhere..." Eren sniffles again as a couple more tears escape down to his lip and chin. I lift his chin up with a hand and lick a tear hanging from it, then I kiss the tears on his lips. I can hear my thundering neurosis in the back of my mind, 'he's sick and covered with germs. Wash your mouth now before you're infected', but I try my best to mute the sharp queasy thoughts and clench my jaw. Eren is more important.  

I still hold his chin softly as I stare down to question him,  

"Are you afraid you'll always be waiting to get on the train on the ocean?"   

He nods a little with a sad small grin and I nod with him, giving him another chaste kiss afterwards. He nuzzles even closer then, the top of his head against my cheek. Come on Levi, say something, fucking anything, comfort the poor bastard. I think at this point we are kind of just talking with the movie as background noise. I still continue with a velvet quietness regardless,  

" You're already on the train dummy, you've already gotten so many gigs and now you're playing at The Legion tomorrow. Are you scared you won't get signed up with a music company or is there something else bothering you?"   

Eren reaches back and draws a blanket to cover him and I, then begins to talk halfway outloud and halfway into my T-shirt,  

"I want to make and play music no matter what, I don't need any corporate assholes to help me do that... Its just..." He sighs and I adjust my arm that's holding his body so that my hand cups the shape of his shoulder underneath the covers, "My mom never wanted me to be a musician. She said that it was an unstable career and wanted me to go to college, but college was the last thing I needed. All those numbers and essays seemed so fucking stupid. I can't waste another second of my life sitting in a chair and listening to some old man rant about finding the circumference of an asscheek anymore, that's why I went to the city. But what if my Mom was right Levi ? What if I end up just playing at mediocre little venues and working at Garrison Records for the rest of my life barely able to get by? Did I make the right choice or should I have actually listened to my mom before she..." His voice begins to break at the end of the sentence, I press my lips to his hair and wait for him to calm down.   

It's hard to know what's the right thing to say or do when people are falling apart. Because sometimes there isn't a damn thing you can do to help someone, a million words can mean nothing to them when it feels like there's no room left in their mind to feel anything other than sadness and fear. Even when you hold someone sometimes its like trying to hold water with your bare hands, you can feel the person slipping away through you no matter how tightly you hold them.    

But Eren reminds me of Isabel, she would feel down sometimes because she only had a ratty brown bag to carry her lunch in while all the other girls in her grade had pristine metal pink lunch-pails. I can go dry mouthed when it comes to sharing my feelings, so I would just pat her head and that's all it would take to get her smiling again. Because it only matters how the people you love see you.  

I'll try to use words now, even when my social skills always seem as tactful as death metal music soothing a baby to sleep.  

"You made the choice you thought you’d regret the least. You also have way more fucking passion than those boy band wannabees that radios keep pushing out like held in farts. Real music isn't something that is easy to achieve kid, but you've got the drive that genuine music thrives on. I think in the end, you'll have no doubt that your mother would be proud."  

Eren takes slow heavy breaths in and out, I can tell there's still something bothering him and I decide to wait for him to reply. He's trying his best not to cry and he clears his throat and answers raspily,  

"My dad was never proud of me. He didn't even care. He'd come home and I remember being so small, back when adults all looked like giants y'know, and I'd look up at him waiting for him to say hello to me. To give me --"  Eren loses the fight against tears and sobs into my chest for a moment, it's a quick faltering though, he takes in a couple quivering breaths to recover and then continues shakily,  

"He'd never pay attention to me. Even when I'd get into fights and my mom was trying to get him to scold me he'd just... brush it off. 'Boys will be boys' and all that shit. When Mikasa blurted out that I didn't want to go to college and wanted to make music instead he just sort of shrugged it off. Almost as if... It didn't even surprise him. And it makes me so angry Levi, so fucking angry that he never cared about me, Mikasa, or my Mom. He had better things to think about than us I guess." Eren laughs bitterly, his tears already soaking through my T-shirt. Seeing him in pain like this stirs my own fury, I comfort him with a strong yet calm tone,  

"I think a lot of people think that their parents are these somewhat godly beings, but they shit and piss just like their children do. Your father was a fucking fool to not pay attention to you, you deserve every ounce of care people have to offer. There isn't anything more important than taking care of your family and those you care most about." Eren just cries and hides his face in my shirt, his body trembling from the pain that childhood always leaves within us. I squeeze his shoulder and ask him in a serious firm reassurance rich with protectiveness,  

"Do you understand that? There isn't anything good that you don't deserve you lil' shit."  

He giggles softly as he calms down, nodding continuously, hiccuping with the aftermath of tears. My hand, not the one holding his shoulder, but the other one that had been resting on my thigh, now guides itself to Eren's hand that has been gripping my T-shirt. I link our fingers together and feel that warm roughness I've grown so pleasantly accustomed to. His breaths eventually begin to smoothen out, he sniffs a little bit, and then mutters before he seems to fall asleep,  

 

"I love you.."  

 

I take a steep  piercing breath, my eyes strained open in shock, Eren begins to snore then, his nose stuffy from sickness and from crying. He must have said it without knowing, what he'd been thinking slipped out as his unconscious took over him in slumber. This is the second time he's said it technically. This rush of euphoria showers over me in a sparkling haze, but my anxieties and doubts hide behind it all in shadows. Am I really capable of this word I'd thought was as real as the loch-ness monster, love? Will he want to stay with me even when I'm suffocating by the waves of depression that roll over me like rogue waves over the ocean? Does he have the endurance to keep afloat in the dark tremulous seas I'm trapped within? Could I take it if he left me to drown? 

I notice it’s the ending of Spirited Away now. Chihiro holds onto her mom as she leaves, not able to look back, only forward. This part of the movie is the part that gets me the most. Because that's how I've lived my life, leaving people behind, only staring blankly ahead of me. But this time I'm not alone in the tunnel, I have a hand to hold onto.  

 

Eren's phone buzzes and I glance over at it, it's a new message from his sister Mikasa, it reads on the screen:  

Mikasa: We will be there tomorrow.  

 



Chapter 21: I'll be there
Notes:

I'm so happy to finally post this chapter. I hate being too busy to write, sorry for the wait. Its a pretty lengthy and important chapter (for me at least) so yeah, thank you for all the comments/kudos as always. I really adore you guys.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eren was out cold like he'd been smashed over the back of the head with a metal baseball bat. He looks like such an angel when sleeping though, the snoring dork... I stare at him for a while and try to gather my calm. I then slowly sit up and let him slide into my lap, bringing the laptop closer I decide to work on a new chapter for my book. I'm almost done with the sequel now, but my vision for a gruesome and heartless ending is changing. I'm changing. Or rather... I look down at Eren's soft sun-kissed face, eyelashes fluttering but closed, enthralled inside his dreams... Someone is changing me. Once I finish the uplifting chapter I shift Eren's head from my lap to a pillow ever so delicately, careful not to disturb his sickly slumber.   

My legs tingle and burn from sitting still for so long, the nerves all waking back up and uncomfortably jittery. I need to clear my mind, so I grab my cleaning gloves from under the sink and white bandanas to pull my hair back and cover my nose  and mouth with. I stare at my hands before I tuck them into the gloves, the palms are starting to heal but are still a bit withered from my neurosis. I think of when Erencovered them with bandages so softly, like my hands were made out of thin glass. I should get him some medicine for his fever at the nearby shopping center, he needs to be healthy by tomorrow damnit.  

Instead of my usual intensive cleaning I just sort of do a once over, if I can see dust on anything an itchy awareness kicks in and I just can't leave my place till I've gotten rid of all of it. Once I finish I approach my room cautiously, its weird sneaking into my own bedroom just to get dressed. Eren stirs a little as I slip on black pants and a black collared button-up shirt, but he doesn't wake up. I wrap a grey scarf around my neck and lead my arms through a dark blue baggy cardigan while I look at him. I keep waiting for the feelings of disgust to nauseate me, as it usually comes up when I know people have profound feelings for me... But all I do is smirk at the little pool of drool he's left on the pillow(I'll have to wash that pillow later.) Its a different feeling this time, an unnamable fear rising up in me like a zombie from the grave, its so fucking familiar but I just don't understand it. Not yet.   

I grab my messenger bag and head outside, making damn sure to lock the door behind me. My nerves are prickly and I need to get what Eren needs as soon as possible. Damnit I need a car. The next best thing would be to hop on a bus and be dropped off at the shopping center but all of those sticky fingered people huddled together like vermin... I just fucking can't... I shudder in distaste as I think of stepping onto one of the black plague transporters, remembering when Eren and I had to use the bus to get to the mall. But I did it didn't I? I survived the disease infested close quarters and grimy surroundings, Erenhelped me get my mind off it all. Maybe this time... for him... that insufferable but amazing brat...  

I take deep breaths as I stand at the bus stop, putting my hands in gloves and covering my nose and mouth with my scarf as I wait for the vehicle of death to arrive. Then the blue monster hisses to a hault in front of me, the doors slide open like some kind of paranormal activity and I take my reluctant steps on board. I try not to glance at anybody and find an open seat right by a window covered in oily handprints and smudges. I wipe my seat down with purpose, the crumbs and hairs still sticking to it makes me grit my teeth, it takes a while but I finally get the human leftovers off. I know people around are judging me, maybe thinking that I'm some nut job, but I don't have any fucks to give them. I sit down begrudgingly and cross my arms, trying to make myself touch my surroundings as little as possible. I can do this, I want to be able to see Eren sing tomorrow.   

His words of love still spin in circles in my head gleaming like a carousel, I try to shut it all down though. It's too early in -- whatever our relationship is -- to think of something so serious. He was delirious for piss-sakes, he didn't know what he was saying. Grey people like me never get the sweet red words of I love you. It just isn't possible. Once you get used to seeing a monochrome world, colors become blinding. He's blinding.    

The bus wheezes to a stop and I try to escape as soon as possible, thankfully I come out unscathed by the regular bump-into-a-stranger phenomenon. The shopping center is kind of like an outdoors mall, the pharmacy should be close to the Lock and Key store from what I remember. As I walk I realize I will be meeting his step-sister tomorrow, shit, Eren will probably want to belch out the words 'Levi's my boyfriend' on the god damn stage microphone. She'll probably think I'm some creepy old asshole taking advantage of her brother. I sigh as I notice Lock and Key, on its store window is a great big bold sale sign. "Key copies are 40 % off!" Now that I think about it... Eren still doesn't have a key to our home.  

I stop breathing for a moment. I wonder when I started thinking of my apartment as our home. A nervousness crawls through my veins like wriggling black centipedes and I continue walking to the pharmacy next door without looking back. Once I'm inside I make a B-line straight to the medication aisle and fish through all the syrup medicine till I find one that fits all of his symptoms. I make sure to get the grape-flavor because in my experience it’s the only flavor that doesn't taste like liquefied shit. When I turn around I see Petra with some guy with a crappy version of my haircut (I think I've seen him at Café Rose before) at the shortest cashier line. If it was only Petra I wouldn't really mind being forced into casual talk, but with that sour-faced-butt-clencher besides her, I decide to stay hidden behind a mini wall of cheap plastic sunglasses and wait for them to leave.  

I hate being introduced to people I already know I won't like. My first impressions are dealt with as much finesse as an elephant performing ballet. I stomp through the usual bullshit and end up insulting the new comer one way or another, so its better to just avoid the whole train wreck all together. I think about what a pain in the ass meeting Eren's sister tomorrow will be as a brunette cashier girl eating a bag of potato chips on the side packs my purchases into plastic bags. I never really learned how to 'play nice' so meeting Mikasa will probably turn out horribly. Hopefully she's a ditzy sister who has a permanent smile plastered on her face all the time. Those types are easier to deal with, they kind of just laugh at my brazenness and shrug off my stares that come off as glares.   

As I leave the pharmacy I almost pass Lock and Key but stop right after walking by the front door. I mean, I might as well get a key for him right? Just to be prepared, though Eren will probably lose the damn thing he's so careless sometimes... I walk in the store and it smells like old wood and rusting metal, a sort of old-school antique feel to it. But the moment I see Mike at the counter, chin lifting up as he seems to sniff the air (seriously what the fuck is with that guy and smelling) I nearly throw a nearby chair through the glass window to make my escape. But he already notices me, giving me a small smug grin and a relaxed wave of hello. I grit my teeth and try not to recall what I may or might have done to completely humiliate myself at the party I last saw him at and wear my mask of stoic calm as I approach him.  

I get my keys out of my messenger bag and hand them to Mike, thankfully Mike isn't much of a talker so we sort of just cut to the chase and he grabs my keys and goes to the 'employees only' section behind the counter. It sort of surprises me how fast it was to get my keys copied, after I pay I sort of nod and nearly choke on spit when Mike winks at me. I keep it cool and ignore it but I definitely make a mental note not to mention that moment to Eren. I definitely know now how jealous that guy can get.  

I get on the damn bus again and do my previous wipe-up strategy, when reaching the bus stop by the apartment I almost think that I'm safe from any gross interactions with germs, but then when waiting in line to get off the vehicle a kid with a red nose and watery eyes sneezes directly on me. No covering of the nose to shield any of the gust of boogery debris, I take 99% of the shit-nibbling-child-of-Satan's sneeze on me. I give the kid a glare that makes him start to cry, and before his head-in-the-clouds dad turns to evaluate the situation, I push through everyone and make my way back home.  

My lungs can't access oxygen, they seem to have collapsed in my chest as I struggle to jam my fucking key in the door-knob. I make a run for the bathroom, throw my purchases stuffed in plastic bags on the couch, and shed my clothes off just as someone desperately tries to get spider-webs off of themselves when I finally make it to the bathroom. I end up waking Eren up with the sound of the shower turning on and me cussing in a garble of French and English. I hear a weak, "Levi? As Eren staggers into the bathroom, I have a glass door for the shower so he can see me manically scrubbing my skin off practically with a bar of soap.   

"Wha's wrong?" He asks in a tired apprehensive tone while rubbing an eye with a fist. My blood is racing and I pant queasily as I try to remove every molecule of filth remaining on my body, god damnit can't he just give me a fucking second of private time? I hiss at him through a fence of teeth,  

"Just get back to bed and leave me alone."   

But I was crazy to think this head strong dingus would just give it up and take care of himself. He kind of stumbles closer and sets the toilet lid down so he can sit on it while asking me with a scratchy voice,  

"No! I wanna know what happened, jus' come out n' talk to me okay?" I can see him gazing at me adamantly through the heat-fogged glass door. Blurry greens that won't waver till they've won. My hands ball up and thud on the tiled wall in front of me. I watch water drops stream from my bangs to the bottom of the tub and try to calm down with uneven breaths through the nose. I don't like to lose control in front of anyone, I fucking hate to. But Eren... he's already seen me at my worst. He's still here, wanting my imperfection all the same. I adjust the shower knob to stop the water-flow and take one last big exhale through the nose then slide the glass door open.  

I slip a plushy white towel off the nearby rack and tie it around my hips, and turn to face Eren with two palms on my forehead. His brows are furrowed, lips pursed, cheeks feverishly and maybe not so feverishly flushed on account of me being mostly naked. He reaches both his arms out to me staring up with teal worry, grabbing my hips and pulling me in closer to him softly but with enough force to get me to comply. He sits with his knees far apart so I stand in-between them now, placing my hands down on his shoulders and sighing as I let myself surrender to his care.   

Eren presses his lips to my navel, eyes squeezed shut in a sincere and heartfelt kiss. He lingers there a little, thumbs on my hips rubbing soothing little circles on my skin, licking the leftover shower water on his lips when pulling his face back. His expression is still tense with seriousness and he questions with a tilted head looking back up at me,  

"Feeling better?"  

My eyes momentarily widen and my lips pinch together at his puppy-like sincerity. Sweet hairy Jesus sometimes I cannot believe just how endearing this stubborn airhead can be. I put a hand in his chestnut hair and ruffle it up tenderly, he winces with a smile on his face as I mutter,  

"Let's just worry about your dumb-ass right now..."   

I get Eren back in bed, he sits against the headboard with pillows against his back as I bring him a tray with a square of toast, a small glass of water, and the syrup medicine on it. He has his guitar in his lap and is softly going through his lineup of songs for tomorrow, sometimes he goes over a section of a song more than 5 times, trying to get it just right. I didn't bother telling him that he should be resting, there's that glimmer in his eye that I know by now is impossible to distract or disturb. I fill the little cup that comes with the medicine with the required purple amount and hand it to Eren. He sets his guitar down momentarily and then puts on a petulant scowl as he brings the cup near his lips, I chastise him,  

"Its not going to shrink your penis I promise. Drink up." Eren grins a little and downs it in one gulp, there is no moderation with this kid. His eyebrows shoot up in surprise afterwards he mumbles,  

"S' good. Really grape-y."  

I'm satisfied that I chose the best tasting medicine for the twerp and then watch Eren take slow bites of bread, still a messy eater, his eyes hazy from his fever. I press the back of my hand on his forehead and grumble,  

"Someone sneezed on me."    

Eren stops chewing and stares up at me, he just blinks and waits for me to continue, he doesn't laugh, he doesn't judge, a pang of appreciation resides in me. I sit on the bed with him in sweatpants and a black tanktop, running my fingers through my undercut, my fingers slightly dampened from my post-shower hair. I continue in a lowly,  

"I went on the bus. Pharmacy was too far to walk from here. Some unfortunately snot nosed brat on the way back used my face as a tissue." Eren puts his guitar to the side and the tray on the nightstand. He opens an arm out for me and I shake my head, I just don't feel like being touched right now. Thinking about what happened earlier just makes me want to dash back to the shower and melt my skin off with boiling water. Eren nods once, looking a little hurt, but then his face relaxes and he asks me slowly,  

"Hey Levi?"  

Habits die hard,  

"Hey Eren?" I retort with a weak smirk.  

Eren rolls his eyes and groans, smiling a bit but then he whines waving his hands up and down,  

"You always do that !... Seriously though... " His eyebrows scrunch together and lips part, he waits a vile few seconds as I tense up. Whenever someone has to wait a while to ask something, its most likely going to be serious. I hate waiting in that silence, my guard rises up like wolf teeth, sharp and threatening as I back up in the corner of my mind.   

"Why don't you have a car? I mean I'd get one if I could.. but I know you have more than enough money to get one so, um, why is that?" We both avoid eye contact afterwards, he taps his fingers on his thighs nervously.   

I knew this question would come up eventually, he had tried picking at it from the very beginning but it was easier to fence him off back when we were these tangled strangers. But now... answering this is unavoidable in a way. I look at the darkening curtains, it must be night time by now. The memories aren't hard to recall, terrible memories always seem to be the easiest to find after all.  

"I used to have a car." I clear my voice quietly, unable to look away at the darkness soaking through the curtains. Eren is a blur in my peripheral vision, but I can tell his head has lifted and his teal gaze bores through my face. I go on,  

"I was... happy back then. Not your dentist commercial smiling idiot dancing around like I was in a fucking musical but... Content. I had this shitty car that would stall pretty much every time I'd start it, I didn't have much so it was all I could afford. I'd take Isabel and Farlan on rides to school, I slept in that car in parking lots so I wouldn't have to go back to the foster-fuck-up I'd been paired up with. My life had never been a Monet painting but at that time I thought it was close, maybe more along the screwed up earless lines of Van Gogh and his 'Starry Night.' And then it happened." I give myself a break from the memories, for at least one minute, just one minute not to feel torn apart. Reluctantly, in a rigid recalling I dig up more of the pain,  

"I almost had all I needed. Isabel and Farlan, my book being published, I could have taken care of them and given them everything that they could never have... So a month after it had happened... when I was driving in the city one day, I drove by where it had all taken place and it was as if I could still see their blood dried up under my fingernails again, my shirt still stained with their deaths, I couldn't see what was in front of me, I didn't want to see anything anymore. I had been pretending to be alive for long enough, I wanted to stop pretending."  

I feel Eren shift on the bed and it snaps me out of my reverie, I hadn't been looking at the curtains anymore, I was reliving that day, I had been there in that car again, feeling the incoming traffic, hearing the glass shattering in an explosion of impact. The sirens off and on like an alarm I couldn't turn off.  

That's how depression works. The good feelings begin to be eaten away by the infestation of fears and doubts teething and tearing away sanity like parasites. The good is so easily diluted by the bad, like a glass of water that gets stabbed by a paintbrush globbed with black paint. The darkness spreads so innately, so hungrily, it consumes the clear waters entirely. Its as if sleep will never cure anything again.  

But I feel Eren's hand on my own, the hand I've memorized the feel and warmth of, and I let him pull me out of those dark waters , I let him pull me into his arms, saving me again.  

"I'm glad you're alive. So don't ever give up, because I'll never give up on you."  

 We lay in bed like that, bodies facing each other, my head hiding under his chin, his arms swaddling me like a baby, his fresh pine smell diluting the agony in my blood. My lips are next to his collar bone, and I give it a gentle kiss in thanks. His open hands rub up and down on my back, he rubs tranquility into my skin like magic.  

The room is in complete shadow now, the lamp had never been switched on. We hear a soft symphony of crickets outside and the occasional strong wind humming in its passing. I ask him in a velvet tone,  

"Are you nervous for tomorrow?"  

The rubbing of his fingers stops, he holds me closer, and he sleepily whispers,  

"I just want you to be there, make you proud..."  

I think about his relationship with his father, always feeling like he has something to prove. The loneliness and burn of rejection still inside of him like a crying child lost in a crowd. A sense of fierce protectiveness activating in my bones I push against his chest and he releases me from his hold. I look him directly in the eye and promise him,  

 

 

"I'll be there." 

 

 

 



Chapter 22: Pancakes, mental illness, and blue rainboots
Notes:

Holy shit this is a late update, midterms/drama, things have been rough. Sorry for the wait,oh and the next chapter will be a big one! (importance and probably size wise.) But yes I was happy to get the other shingekis introduced in person finally. Stay tuned my precious weirdos ~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday 

 

 

A door bell ring.  

Maybe it’s the neighbor's. They better shut the fuck up now. I snuggle closer to the everlasting heat of Eren Jaeger, my nose burying into the cotton fuzz of the back of his T-shirt. His pine musk rich and soothing to the nose. I let out a thick tired growl of a sigh and rub my clammy feet against his toasty feet, bringing the blanket up over my face to block out the morning light.  I start to bury myself deep in the peace of unconsciousness - but another motherfucking door bell ring whines loudly like a crying child in a movie theatre. God damnit its probably Hanji, though she hasn't done this ever since Eren moved in with me. Eren doesn't even stir, the damn hypersomniac.  

I wiggle out of bed like the unearthed worm I am and my eyes perpetually squint from the tiredness moaning in my bones. I grumble "morning people are so fucking annoying" with a mouth full of toothpaste in the bathroom. Then I begin my walk of the dead to the stupid door and the bell rings yet again. I call out venomously,  

"I'm fucking here and awake already four eyes, calm your tits."   

I unlock and swing the door open with a scowl so fierce I think I am momentarily reincarnated into Medusa, ready to turn Hanji into stone with my snake eyed glare. But. A momentarily startled hard ass looking Asian girl and a short blonde pipsqueak currently turning his underwear a new shade of brown are there instead. Oh. Eren's sister and bestfriend.   

Way to go Levi. A+ on that first impression. You dumb dickwad.  

I open the door wide enough to signal that they are welcome to come inside and turn around to walk towards the kitchen. I take one deep breath in and then smoothly begin,  

"Eren is still asleep in the bedroom, the medicine he took for his fever has him zonked out. Shoes off at the door. " I get the kettle out and onto the stove then hear them scuttling in place, the sound of shoes being yanked off, soft sock wearing footsteps, and the gentle closing/locking of the front door. I set up some tea before I turn around and ask (more like state),  

"You are Mikasa and Armin."  

Armin presses on a shy and somewhat squeamish smile, Mikasa doesn't smile at all, in fact, she looks aggravated and tight jawed when she speaks,"You must be Eren's roomate Levi."   

Armin chirps besides her politely, "Nice to meet you  finally! Lovely place you have here..."   

The step-sister doesn't take a second for formalities and admits  with a concerned frown,  

"I didn't know Eren was sick, I'm going to go check up on him." Her guarded dark eyes are strong, the kind of strength you get through tragedy. Well, she certainly is a far fucking cry from the ditzy sister I had sort of been hoping for. But she seems to really care about Eren, which is fine with me. The tea finishes and I grab an extra cup for Armin and lift it, offering a cup of tea silently, Armin nods softly and grins,  

"Yes please, thank you." I stare at him search for a conversation starter in his mind  as I take a sip of the freshly heated tea, feeling the pleasant burn of steam underneath my palm as I hold the cup to my lips. Armin holds his teacup by the handle and takes a seat on the couch. I can practically see the topic for conversation light up in his baby blue eyes when he begins to talk,  

"It must be nice living in the city, plenty of places to see. I heard there are a lot of interesting museums around here. I haven't really been to a city like this before in my travels. " I remember Eren saying something about Armin studying abroad on scholarships. After a long sip of tea, I reply,  

"Not really. It smells like piss most of the time and the people are usually pigs, but the museums... they aren't bad. They make sure to keep things clean and taken care of." Armin first winces at my negative commentary on the city but brightens up like a sunflower when I talk somewhat fondly over the museums. The museums in the city are mostly art museums, which is good. I don't really give a shit about historical happenings and old geezers that invented shit a couple hundred years ago. Both of our heads turn when we hear Eren noisily complain stomping from the bedroom,  

"I'm fine Mikasa, can't we just be happy to see each other? Jesus."    

Mikasa scolds him with utmost seriousness,  

"How are you going to go to work today and perform tonight when recovering from a fever? You need to take better care of yourself. You should call your work and ask for another sick day."   

Eren walks over in my direction and rolls his eyes when he thinks Mikasa can't see him, Eren actually looks shockingly much better than he did yesterday. To the point that I don't even think he's sick anymore. Eren grouses in response,  

"I can't do that Mikasa, I already took yesterday off and I need the money. I'm going to make breakfast now because like I said, I'm fine." Eren then gives me a grin in a mute hello and his hand lightly slides on my hip. I try to conspicuously slap his touch away, then he presses his lips together in a displeased and offended expression. Though my skin ached for more of his touch (it's been a while since... ), it's not like I want to be lovey-dovey-shit-tards in front of his family. Why does he not fucking understand that I want our strange relationship under the radar? I look at him from the corner of my eye and point out,  

"You look better, kind of weird how much better actually." Eren takes out a pan besides me and starts up the stove, Mikasa takes a seat on the couch and Armin laughs,  

"Eren has always been a quick healer, he's got a first class immune system." Well at least sunshine kid isn't as intense as Mikasa, Eren nods when he goes off what Armin said,  

"It's true, my bruises go away in a day and my broken bones would heal in a month or less sometimes. Oh, do you like banana pancakes? Because not gonna lie, my banana pancakes are the bomb. Another thing my mom taught me. I always make them when I'm having breakfast with Armin and Mikasa." Sometimes I wonder what his mom looked like, but I don't want to ask him and see that specific pain torment his features. Whenever he brings her up (like right now), he sort of stops talking and it's obvious he's thinking about her absence and the hole it left in him.   

"Gross, you're like a lizard. And yeah I don't mind pancakes or -- " I grab a banana from the refrigerator and hand it over to him, staring up at him with a sultry stare as I somewhat playfully hand him the banana for his pancakes, "bananas.." So much for keeping our relationship incognito, but I highly doubt his family noticed the slight sexual innuendo, and even if they did they probably thought it was nothing more than a joke. Eren's cheeks go pink and he bites his lip to keep his laughter contained as he pours the pancake mix on the pan. Armin gasps and I stop looking at the way Eren is biting into his plush bottom lip to look at the blonde,  

"Is that a gramophone? Grandpa used to have one of those but it broke. I think it was Emile Berliner who created them, yeah, she was the first inventor to start recording on flat discs or records. " Sweatyarmpits this guy is like an encyclopedia, Eren wasn't kidding when he said Armin was smart. I bet ol' Hanji and him would be all 'buddy buddy' in seconds if they met.   

I nod with a simple "yeah" and set my tea in the sink and wash it down before putting it in the dishwasher. Mikasa and Armin eat on the couch and Eren and I eat on the kitchen island on the stools, facing them with our plates in our laps. As I cut perfect squares out of my pancake I watch Eren in complete awe at the stories Armin shares about his travels. About the oceans and lakes he's dipped his toes into, the humid mountains he has climbed with other students, and he enthusiastically talks about his future plans to venture desert sands. Mikasa briefly mentions her success in soccer in college, apparently she's a prodigy in the sport and is also a scholarship kid. She's silent, like me, but Mikasa has this tender motherly quality about her, wiping maple syrup off of Armin's chin thoughtlessly with a napkin and the pleased look on her face when both of the boys get excited about their dreams. Eren nudges me with an elbow with that pout of his and I realize I haven't eaten anything yet. God this kid is fussy, but once I take a bite I can't stop eating this toasty delicious banana foodgasm of a pancake.   

As I watch them all interact so naturally, a lonely poison enters my blood stream. I'd forgotten what it was like to be around a family. Sure I have Hanji, but she's my best friend. There's a subtle but important difference between good friends and family , a level more comfortable that only family can reach. But I'm here as this cold outsider now, outmatched by memories and history, only able to observe the scene like a viewer of a warm family sitcom on television. I get up and collect everyone's plates and utensils to wash them down in the sink , I hate feeling this way. Farlan and Isabel flash in my head, I try to smother the despair leaking through the suppressed images. Why can't I just be happy for Eren like any other normal person would be?   

"Oh balls, I have to go to work now!" Eren exclaims as he rushes to pull his Garrison Records T-shirt on and slings his guitar case over his shoulder. Mikasa questions with a suspicious brow,  

"You have a car already?" Eren shakes his head and lets out a big sigh,   

"I have a bike, my job is pretty close by so it's no big deal -"Mikasa interrupts him with compelling straight faced conviction,  

"No. It's too dangerous for you to be bicycling in such a busy city, we're going in Armin's car." Armin looks between the two, Eren contorts to a grimace like he's about to start stubbornly arguing with Mikasa again but Armin cuts in pleasantly,  

"Well technically it was my grandpa's but, c'mon Eren this way we can catch up more right?" Eren grits his teeth but then rubs his forehead with a palm and reluctantly agrees with a,  

"Okay, okay, fine." He then looks over at me expectantly with an eager smile, "Are you gonna come with us?" He grabs my hands with his own and his teal eyes go bright with a pleading gaze. I unintentionally jerk away instictively, feeling despondent already, and fuck Eren looks sad again, wincing when I push him away yet again. I keep making him sad god damnit but I just can't help being the way I am. I take a quick deep breath and apathetically dismiss him,  

"I'm sure you all have a bunch to catch up on like Armin said, I'll see you tonight." I give a goodbye nod to the others, Armin waves, Mikasa glares at me for my frigid treatment of her step-brother, and I don't give Eren another glance. The guilt already pinching my insides. Eren's voice is down trodden and rough before he closes the door,  

"Uh... see you tonight then.."   

 


 

I pick at my closet's clothing with frustration and Hanji lays down on my bed like a house cat and wipes her glasses down with the hem of her deep V yellow dress shirt. She muses,  

"So when are you going to start talking about what's made you all stingey, shorty?" Shitty glasses only calls me shorty when she is trying to rile me up for answers, I don't give in to her teasing though and groan,  

"I have all of these clothes but nothing to fucking wear, how is this even possible." Hanji giggles and gets up, fixing her crazy brown patterned long skirt and then joining me at the door of my closet. She sighs at my segue but then points at my old Sex Pistols Leather Jacket from my teen years,  

"You wanna look sexy right? Wear what makes you feel sexy grumpy- gus." She grins as she takes the jacket off it's hanger and hands it to me, I smirk at her for a second but then go back to hating myself as I get a plain black T-shirt to put underneath it and grey jeans from my bedroom drawers. Hanji begins to poke at my arm childishly after I've gotten dressed, I lightly smack her finger away and then give in,  

"I was a total asshole to Eren in front of his step-sister and bestfriend. But Eren kept acting way too clingy and mushy in front of his family and fuck... I can't be the person Eren needs. He wants a boyfriend, a lover, someone who gets along with his family without shitting on their positive parade." I slip on the jacket over my shoulders, then make sure to check the band pins on it are still in place. Hanji sits on the edge of my bed and twirls her index finger in a circular motion quietly telling me to spin in place to show her the outfit. I do, she nods her head approvingly and then goes on one of her famous Hanji lectures, 

" It takes time, this is your first serious relationship and you lack experience in this particular section in life. If you want to be good at anything, knitting, walking on the moon, being a good lover, then you have to practice. Take little steps with intimacy, not the sweaty skin on skin type, but the holding hands in a park type of intimacy. Its okay to feel scared or anxious about this all, scientifcally events occuringin the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness! " She gives a big hearty laugh at the end and tightens the rubber band to her ponytail and pats my shoulder before I can protest to the big L word,  

"We are going to be late Levi, let's go to your boyfriend's big shindig!"  

Ugh, he's not my boyfriend... he's my...   

"Tch." My comeback fizzles in failure and I don't say another word as I slip into my big blue rainboots and leave my apartment with her. Hanji smiles as she looks down at my shoes and ponders softly as we step into her car,  

"I can't believe you still fit into those boots..." She revs the vehicle up and begins to drive in reverse to leave the apartment parking lot, turning on the radio to her usual tireless dubstep music low volume. I grab a grocery bag and start packing all of the clutter of trash everywhere into the bag to clean things up a bit, then throw the tied and stuffed grocery bag in the back for future disposal. I sigh,  

"Isabel got them two sizes too big for me in the first place."  

The night sky is naked, no clouds to hide the overwhelming presence of space. The moon's light is faint but inescapable, the stars seem to have huddled in a great blinking cluster over the city. The dubstep is turned up high now, the drilled in fast paced song rattles my senses, I start running my hand through my undercut, reach in my messenger bag and nervously squirt some hand sanitizer on my palms. The car slows to a halt at a stoplight, the red light tinting everything and everyone. Hanji's tinted face turns and goofily grins at me,  

"Tonight is going to be a special one alright, I can feel it."  

 



Chapter 23: It's 3 A.M.
Notes:

Eren finally performs ~ Thank you for reading, as always I love your comments and questions so don't feel afraid to reach out. ( I was excited to finally write this chapter tbh)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Legion is thick with the sparkling, fashionable, and sweaty bodies of youth.  Metallic walls and floors, and edgy haircuts fill the decently sized concert venue. I hate being around this many people, it gets on my nerves, and I feel like I'm just inhaling the dirty breaths of others. But my nerves are completely occupied with seeing Eren on that glittering stage, and Hanji grabs my elbow as she excitedly drags me along to push through the crowd of people huddling in front. A familiar neatly combed head of blonde hair comes into focus as we reach the first row, my stomach drops momentarily, but I suck it the fuck up and keep my face of calm.   

"Erwin! Man this place is packed tighter than a hydrogen bond!" Hanji and her fucking science jokes. Erwin turns towards us in his white collared long-sleeved shirt and nicely fitted dark blue denim jeans, he greets us with a shiny smile,     

"Ah good to see you two. Yes it is quite crowded, glad I could reserve us all seats in time." His right hand gestures to the chairs besides him. Ultimately, Erwin sits between Hanji and I. Shitdick, Eren isn't going to like this, why couldn't I have at least sat next to Hanji instead of the fucking German super model. I wipe down my chair, sit down, and breathe out an anxious sigh setting down my messenger bag underneath my seat.  

I glance to the side and notice a couple seats down from me are Armin and Mikasa talking to each other. Armin has a blue blazer on with a white button down underneath, and a disposable camera in his hands ready to snap pictures of his rising star of a friend. I overhear them saying that Eren is opening for a pretty well known indie band called "The Wall." Armin quickly notices me and gives me a friendly wave, Mikasa turns to see the source of commotion, in her satin strappy red dress she recognizes me, and then dismisses me immediately as she turns to look forward. She doesn't like me much, not that I really give a shit, but... I have to try to make peace with her for Eren's sake.  

The lights in the room start to dim and three platinum stage lights join together in the middle of the stage to create one big circle around the microphone perched by itself. I'm used to the buzzing chatter of a room going silent when these sort of things happen, used to the respect of Café Rose, but here the crowd becomes more twitchy and mental, loud female shrill screams pierce through the air and I wince in annoyance. Hanji decides to join in the eardrum-torture of cheering, I cross my legs and cross my arms, and cross my heart and hope to die that the brat doesn't point at me in the crowd and embarrass me. No he wouldn't do that... but now that I think about his bashfulness earlier today, his carefree gestures, his hurt confusion, and I grimace realizing that the probability is high.  

Eren comes out from the side through black curtains, he's wearing that green jacket, and he doesn't look afraid at all. Everyone gets up from their chairs now, the venue is bubbling with enthusiasm. His emerald eyes burning with determination and an exhilarated wide grin on his glowing gold face. In fact, he's wearing the same outfit he wore the day that we met at Café Rose. He has his beaten-up guitar slung over his shoulder with a ratty brown guitar strap and his eyes scan the crowd urgently. His eyes fall on Armin and Mikasa first, his smile opening up to reveal those pearly whites of his, but then his eyes fall on my own. His smile dropping, a seriousness settling on his face, and then he gives me a small uneasy grin. It lasts what seems to be one second, then he returns his undaunting attention to the general clapping and yelling audience, holding the microphone to speak.  

"Uh hey guys, how are you all doing tonight?" Eren awkwardly but at the same time charming-ly welcomes, the crowd 's cheering gets louder to answer his question. Eren laughs a little and replies,   

"I'm Eren Jaeger and I'll be opening for the awesome band 'The Wall' tonight, thanks for having me!" The audience hollers ecstatically in response, supporting him with their deafening "Woohoos " and what not. My ears nearly start bleeding from how much noise Hanji makes alone. Eren holds his guitar now, microphone bent at his mouth, and the crowd finally hushes a little in anticipation.  

He doesn't give a moment of hesitation before he strikes the chords of his guitar, playing a catchy and upbeat tune that has everyone swinging side to side to the rhythm. He goes through a couple of songs, each song better than the previous, it's easy to tell that the audience loves him already by the way they applaud at the end of each song. Eren taps his right foot to keep in tempo in his worn-out sneakers, head going right and left as he gets into it. But he hasn't sang yet and I begin to think he's chickened out - but then when he finishes a tune he licks his lips and leans forward announcing,    

"This last song is called 'In This City, With You" His eyes fall onto mine, the stagelights hitting them make them glow turquoise, my heart beat shoots out blood like a machine gun, and I hold my breath as those fingers I know so well begin to strum at strings. I expect the usual lively and brisk melody to play out, but this one is different from the rest, cautious, soft, and lovely. His voice is raspy, in a good way, but its strong and demands to be heard,  

" It was late at night in a quiet café. I found my past in the eyes of gray. I was lost in a city but I was brave. You didn't give me a smile but you sure showed me the way.  

 Your words were like vodka, almost too strong for me to take. You seemed bitter but you smelled like vanilla , I'd learn in the end that it was all the same.  

 You sent me home in those dirty taxis you hate. I watched you walk home looking at traffic lights as I was taken away.  

I thought I'd never see you again, since I never saw your reply light up my phone. It hurts to be in a city full of people but still be alone.   

But you wandered back into my life, with a record album on your face. You remind me of my mom, but in the best of ways.  

 And you scare me with your truth that knows no mercy, and you scare me because I never knew I could want someone to pay this much attention to me.   

You make me feel like a kid again, the silent need for approval, but never getting much. But you're different, there is no bite to that bark of yours and you've taught me how to touch.   

And I'm sorry that I rush into everything and that I'm stubborn to a fault. And I'm sorry that when I try my best I usually just fuck things up.  

I've realized that anger is just a way to hide all of the pain. And I've realized that anger can be killed by a kiss in the rain.   

 It's just I wish I knew what you're thinking about and how you really feel. Instead of hiding behind jokes or insults, to know what is real.   

But before you I could only hear the song but never hear the words. Falling for you was the only way I could ever learn.    

And I'm still just a kid, clueless and not full grown. But I think that maybe that's okay now, because in this city, with you, I've found my home."  

 

The song ends almost in a whisper with a sweet gentle ending that lingers into silence. It seems I've finally taken a breath of humid air now, unable to leave those loving greens that stare at me so earnestly. My mouth open in awe at the beautiful performance and at everything he said that I had never known. The first thought that comes to my mind is quick and potent and the unfortunate powerful truth,  

I love him.  

The crowd roars all around me, many hands smacking together in appreciation, but I can't hear it all anymore, my heart so much louder than everything around me. I simultaneously want to run up onto the stage and hold Eren and never let him go, and simultaneously want to run out of The Legion and run away past the city limits, and run  past everything recognizable. Eren lets go of his gaze on me and says something like "thank you for having me" and doesn't look back as he walks offstage through black curtains.   

The crowd fluctuates as people take bathroom breaks or go over to the bar to grab a drink before "The Wall" performs, but I just stand in place. Not running anywhere, shocked  at a stand still and shitting my pants. I could face 10 men the size of trucks, machetes in each hand, and not break a sweat. But love? That scares me more than death.  

"LEVI!" I snap back to reality and Hanji shakes me hard by the shoulder, her eyes wide and expression thrilled. She barks a laugh as she continues, "I'm glad you've returned to this planet! My goodness, your boyfriend was amazing!" as soon as she notices she's said boyfriend she covers her lips with a hand. Erwin raises an eyebrow, icy blues surprised and locked on me. And the need to bleach over Hanji's messy slip up with excuses or denial boils behind my lips, but I don't say anything, I don't deny anything. I simply pick up my messenger bag, and walk away.  

The feeling of being watched itches on the side of my face, I glance over and see Armin holding Mikasa by the shoulder. Her lips pinched, eyes shadowed by rage, ah fuck.   Armin and her must have put the pieces together at the end of Eren's performance, she must think I'm some kind of homo-predator that's snatched up her adorable step-brother. Well, I kind of knew this would happen. I just don't feel like explaining that her brother's dick has been up my ass.  

Eren...   

I start to break through the crowd, brushing against neon sequins and scratchy hipster tweed jackets, and finally break out of the stuffy metallic cage of 'The Legion.' It's late, most of the windows on buildings are black with inactivity, mostly the shuffling hermit-crab homeless on the streets now. I'm not sure what to do, a liquor store and its buzzing red open sign lures me in. I grab a handle of Grey Goose Vodka and make my way to the cashier, a honey haired man with a thin aggravating shit excuse of a mustache greets me, his employee badge reads 'Hannes.' He gives me a gurgling chuckle as he checks my vodka out at the cash register, he snorts,  

"Wouldn't believe your age if it wasn't for this I.D. here, you're one lucky bastard. Have a great night!" Lucky bastard. Right. People thinks its so fucking hilarious stating the obvious, my height, my age, as if I hadn't heard the same jokes enough times to make me sick. But I just brush them off, I've learned that nothing kills things quicker than silence. As I walk along the cement squares of sidewalk back to my apartment I uncap the handle of vodka and take one long throat sizzling swig of alcohol. I wonder if Eren stuck around for 'The Wall' to play, if he's searching for me in the crowd, if Mikasa is talking him out of the doomed relationship of ours.  

I take more and more tongue burning gulps of vodka, looking up at the moon, cut in half, one side dark, one side luminous and white. I am terrified, because love is to be lost, because when love leaves its cost is just too much. I look down at these blue rainboots, taking Isabel with me everywhere I go. I never drank back then, seemed stupid, Farlan would drink just enough so that his smile could not leave his face. Isabel would be a complete mess, giggling and stumbling, I'd carry her on my back when she couldn't stand upright. Farlan always wanted me to let loose and have fun, he knew I was a loner by nature, but didn't care. He'd make me open up, unlike others, wasn't afraid to tell me when I was being a total ass-wipe. I chug more alcohol to incinerate the pain of their loss, I miss them so fucking much.   

My jean pocket vibrates, shit, how long have I been outside walking? I notice my familiar park, I must be close to the apartment now. I slide my phone out,   

Brat is calling...  

I can't believe I still haven't changed his contact name, but I can't get myself to ever change it. I accept the call and put the device to my ear and immediately hear his rough loud boyish voice holler,  

"Where the fuck are you?!"  

I start to walk unevenly towards the swings at the park, pulling a wipe out and cleaning a swing down, then answer, my words strange as the alcohol fogs my mind.   

"Moon River... " I mumble lowly as I sink into the swing seat, my head leaning against a chain, I can hear Eren talking to people in the background...his family... something like 'I'll see you tomorrow, it's fine.' Then the kid's voice get's clear and deadly serious again,  

"God damnit, you're drunk aren't you?! Okay well I think I know where you are, just stay still okay? Jesus christ..." and then he hangs up. I put my phone in my bag and let my legs go back and forth on the swing, taking me higher and higher up in the air. Everything in the park looks like its been painted silver, I think about how I must look out here in the park in the middle of the night, in a leather jacket and blue rainboots, and I chuckle dryly. Maybe this is how the Captain in my book feels like when he's soaring through the air though, away from the stench and sanity crumbling routine of the city. Maybe I am the Captain, maybe I've been him all along. Maybe.. the hope of humanity, my hope, has become Eren. Coincidence or fate, I now see Eren running towards me, eyebrows furrowed together, out of breath, looking so beautiful under the silver light of the moon. I jump off the swing mid-air, I see Eren's eyes widen in sheer panic, and then I land perfectly like the black cursed cat I am. Eren doesn't make a sound at first, too in shock and panting from running over here, the only sounds around us are distant zooming cars and the swing's chains rattling behind me.   

I break the silence, I need to, but my mind is just so blurry,  

"You and I are a Half-Moon."  

Eren's perplexed fury begins to surface as he snaps,  

"What?!"   

I run a hand through the fuzz of my undercut as I try to stand straight, my face tightening with seriousness as I look at his grand verdant and vexed eyes,  

"Even though you are so bright and I’m so dark, we go in circles, unable to get away from each other even though we are so different..." Eren at first softens at my drunken stupid poetry, but then he throws his hands up irritably at the end with,  

"Freaking hell Levi, again with the circles?!" He just shakes his head and then grabs me by the arm while raving, "Do you even know what time it is??! It's 3am Levi. 3 fucking A.M." He begins to pull me back home, that's right, it's our home isn't it... He said it was... I need to tell him, I need to tell this angry shit finally, my chest feels like a woodpecker is trying to break through it, maybe that woodpecker is my own damned red heart, I yank away from his arm. Hard.  

Eren stiffens up and turns around abruptly, looking down at me in a alarmed way. The silver world is spinning, but Eren isn't, his mystery eyes, his parted lips that belong to me... my words are pained and worst of all true,  

 

 

 

"It's 3 A.M. and I love you."  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 24: Guilt and a leather couch
Notes:

It's 4am, but I finished the update. Fuck yeah. Sorry for the wait, it's been rough for me up until recently. Anyways, thank you for reading ~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't remember hearing "I love you too."   

 

 

I do remember the moon, vodka , and how bad I had to piss by the time we got home. Other than that - I remember jack shit. Oh and I'm trying to ignore the fact that I blurted out my true feelings, thinking that somehow that was the decision I'd regret least, and that I'm hugging a greasy white toilet bowl this morning instead of Eren.   

When I've finished retching, not able to puke at all, I decide to rinse out the bitter taste of alcohol and rue out of my mouth with slops of toothpaste. I venture back to bed now and Eren's not there. Only messy sheets and three forlorn white pillows in slight disarray. I make my bed, noticing that the sun shines like a police flashlight through my window's drapes, my lips tightening to a grimace as I stand still in grey boxerbriefs and a big black T-shirt.  

I look down at my feet, hearing the T.V. murmuring in the living room, my feet starting to purple from the cold, autumn leaving like a bad parent as the unavoidable death of winter sets in. I reach down to the sock drawer and slip on some white socks that fold above the ankle, then tread the hallway and face Eren. He lays on the leather couch in a white T-shirt and plain blue boxers with a red blanket over him, the missing fourth pillow behind his head as he takes up most of the couch vertically. His darkened forest green eyes look up at me, bronzed jaw tightening, my too keen instincts were right. Things are not fine, not fine at all.  

"Hey." Eren weakly replies, eyes going back to the movie 'Gladiator' on the television screen. His teeth chew a little on his bottom lip, seems like he wants to say something, but there is this tense reluctance keeping his words at bay. I'm used to seeing him cooking breakfast in the morning and sitting on the couch, everything seems backwards. I ask while scratching my hip and opening up the steel refrigerator,  

"Did you already eat breakfast?"  

Eren turns off the T.V. with the remote and sits up, nodding slowly as he states,  

"I got breakfast with Mikasa and Armin earlier, I told them you were sick..." I stare at nothing in particular in the refrigerator, yogurt cans, cartons of milk, and random fruit blur together in front of me. I replywith my usual round about cheap humor,  

"Yeah I think my mouth thought it was my ass when I woke up, I wanted to vomit but all that came out was air." Eren smiles a fake trembling dim smile. He coughs out a couple coarse laughs,  

"Ha..ha .."  

He looks at the wood floors and I go into my routine of making black tea, the silence so thick I feel it burning like hot wax in my ears. The tea kettle simmers on the stove, I lean against the closed refrigerator waiting, but not for my tea. Knowing Eren, he can't keep his thoughts quiet for long. His voice is rough with mixed feelings,  

"...Do you really not remember anything after you've been drunk?"  

My grip on the tea-kettle handle makes my knuckles go white, my throat turning into sandpaper. I think there comes a moment in everyone's shitty life where you can choose to be who you've always been or you can choose to be the person you need to be. Maybe I will never be the person Eren needs. I could dismiss him, protect myself as I always have. Even with Farlan and Isabel I could never really tell them that I cherished every second we'd spent together. Although they already knew and would tease me about it - but this kind of love is different.   

"No."  

I don't even try to lay it on him easy, the words coming out of my mouth like hard blocks of ice. Eren's breathing is audible, a crescendo of anger, some sharp arid laughs cut through the air, then it gets terribly quiet again. Like the wind sucked in before a tsunami crashes.    

" Why... why did you have to get drunk to tell me you loved me? "  

From my peripheral vision I can tell he's looked up at me now, but I look straight ahead, not blinking, my lungs stretching and shrinking like a strained accordion. I sigh frustratedly through my nose, crossing my arms as I lowly retort,  

"Not all of us can serenade love sober in front of the whole world."   

This really sets Eren off, he just about jumps to his feet and stomps over to the kitchen island and slams his open clawing hands on the surface. I slowly shift my stare to the sneering grimace and shrunken pupil-ed intensity of Eren. He yells savagely, a couple small dots of his spit dirty the kitchen island,  

"And where were you after that stupid serenade of love?! Huh?!! I looked everywhere for you, had to run around like an idiot to find you shit-faced on park swings!!!" A punch of shame hits me in the gut, my tightened lips parting to calm him down, to say something to salvage my love for him,  

" Eren... -" He interrupts me, slamming his fists on the kitchen island again, shaking his head with his teeth bared and eyes closed in exasperation,  

"I hate how calm you look, like you're looking down on me for feeling this way, like I'm so fucking little kid throwing a tantrum!!! Is it so wrong that I fantasized about that moment so many times and you just --! That I didn't think it would bother you so much just to say --" his voice begins to break completely and that impenetrable green glare he had locked on my broken grey falters as he turns around and runs his long worn fingers through his messy chestnut brown locks. Fuck, the look on his face. The way his lips went tiny into a trembling hurt pout, the wet agony in his half-lidded gaze.  

I approach him, his back quaking with the waves of a silent sob. My right hand cups his shoulder gently, but I am swiflty smacked on the hand with an enraged sniffing Eren whipping around to face me. I'm somewhat shocked, I never expected him to hit me, my hand vaguely stings from the slap. Guilt and fear strike Eren's features immediately, he grabs the hand he smacked and holds it with both of his hands. Eyes wide with terror, tears, and remorse. Does he really expect me to hit him back? Am I really such a scary fucking person?  

I frown as self hatred floods through me, of course I am. Throughout my life I've needed to be this unapproachable to survive. I don't want him to hate me though, I'm so sick of the distance that's been growing between us. I need to take a leap towards him before it's too late. I use my other hand to fold over his two hands and my own, and pull him towards me. I begin kissing the toughened tips of his fingers, my brows furrowing in sincerity, the kisses smooth like satin. I glance up at Eren, my sober lips unable to tell him, I suffer in the cell of my fears, hoping the kisses left on his hands reach his heart. Eren's whisper is scratchy and exhausted as he gives in with a face fading into passionate misery,  

"God damnit..."  

He leans down and tilts his head to the side, the sides of our noses brushing, his mouth a centimeter away from my own. He continues under his breath as our eyes begin to shut,  

"I can't fight if it's you."   

Eren's mouth sets on mine, hot and relieving. He slips his hands away and digs his fingers into my waist, reeling my body in against his own desperately. We take our time, wet lips strongly reaching and tasting each other relentlessly, my left hand gliding up the firmness of his chest to his shoulder, my right hand sliding up the nape of his neck to fist at his hair. But suddenly my sense of gravity shifts, he turns me around and pushes me onto the leather couch. My back hits the sofa with a thud. Maybe Eren has changed his mind? I start from stunned to pained panic, watching him disappear into the bedroom.   

I put my hands on my knees and try to force an apology to mind, but I can't think of anything, can't feel anything but the furnace of rejection in my chest. But then I see Eren rushing over with the fucking Vaseline in his hand and I nearly grab it from him and bash him over the head with it for making me worry. He throws the Vaseline to the corner of the couch and his hands reach back to pull off his shirt quickly, I scan that sleek tan rippled with abs body of his. The sultry small path of light brown hair leading down... and I'm already panting slightly just viewing all the glory of shirtless Eren.   

I somewhat hear the tea kettle starting to hum on the stove as Eren begins to kneel down in front of me, teal eyes ablaze as he looks up through his dark eyelashes. My hands are at my sides as he grabs the waistband of my boxerbriefs and peels them off my body, I decide to take my own T-shirt off as he does. Then I lift my lower half so he can completely get rid of the article of clothing, a heated thrill boltingthrough me as Eren licks his lips at the sight of my naked wan body. My pinkened dick starts to twitch to a stand, my eyes heavy-ing with lust as Eren pushes my legs apart aggressively, like he owns this accepting body of mine, leaving open mouthed kisses on my inner thighs. But right before his lips reach my arousal he backs away and takes a seat besides me.    

His pupils are dilated, expression hungry and serious, he now pats his moderately muscled thighs, beckoning to straddle him. This fucker... I scoff as I stand up momentarily, realizing I still have my socks on, but take a seat on top of Eren's blue boxers, roughly rubbing my bare ass over his clothed erection in a teasing manner. Enjoying the sight of Eren's long neck stretching back as he moans at the rubbing contact, I lean forward and lick up his caramel throat, sucking at the bottom of his ear. His hands slide up the porcelain of my hips to the rosiness of my nipples, his thumbs rubbing the nubs in circles.  

 I begin to whine as I am defeated from pleasure, he takes over as his left hand begins to pinch and twist, and his teeth replace his right hand as he leans forward. I hang my head down, shivering from the jolts of titillating touch he gives me, my hands holding onto his biceps as his right hand reaches to grab the Vaseline next to him. He pulls away to get his reddened cock out of the confinement of his boxers, it springs out curved and ready, and I quiver because I know it'll be inside me soon. Shit... I'm so horny it hurts.  

He squirts Vaseline on his cock and sighs when he finally gets to stroke his length. He's grown impatient, his eyebrows pressed together, his breathing labored with hormones, a hint of his anger towards me still there in his darkened eyes. He rests his back on the couch and demands,  

"Ride me."   

The dominance he exudes makes me smirk, but at the same time it excites me to the point where I'm flushed and just as eager to fuck. I coat two fingers with Vaseline and begin preparing my entrance for his length, "Mmnn..." I can't help but hum from the sensation of prying myself open for him. He just observes me, his teeth biting into that bottom lip, I get that much more aroused from him watching as my panting grows louder and louder. Eren can't wait any longer, his hands grabbing my waist, his right hand trailing down to rub at my asscheek, then giving it a juicy spank that has me letting out a startled "Ahn!"  

How fucking embarrassing, I grit my teeth and lightly smack Eren over the head, feeling my face burn from humiliation. But Eren barely feels my hit, eyes still determined and incredibly turned-on, his dick looking painfully hard. "You lil' shit..." I say nearly out of breath as I grab his arousal and place it underneath me, we both wince from the sheer greatness of him starting to stretch me out with his cock. He grabs me by the chin and we make out, tongues whirling around eachother sloppily as his thick length fills me to the brim.   

He leans forward as he steadies himself at my hips, my arms circling his neck, I break our kiss with a whine as he thrusts up into me suddenly. My hands go down to rest on his chest, his skin glimmering slightly from the heat of our sexual transaction, and I take a moment to lock eyes with him. I begin riding him at a seductively slow pace, feeling all of him pumping in and out of me as we both moan in bliss. My ass bobs up and down, Eren squeezes my ass with both hands,"Fuck, Levi..." he groans as I lewdly spread myself wider, dipping close to kiss him deeply, then leaning back to hold onto his knees for support. This position allows both Eren and I to thrust into each other faster and faster, until we are fucking wildly with our eyes barely staying open.    

I then feel my whole body light up, the intense elation makes my mind go blank,"There!Eren! Nnngh...!" Eren pulls me forward vigorously by the forearms, then stabilizes ourselves by handling me high enough on my hips that his thumbs are over my ribs. He pounds into my sweet spot mercilessly, grunting my name frantically against my collarbone as I tighten around him. My nails cut into the flesh of his shoulders as I whimper my delirium in his ear, my chin in the crook of his neck. I hear my familiar tender Eren murmur,  

"S' Good?" He drives into me rapidly, sucking at my collarbone hard enough to hurt in a good way, then Eren stretches to mark my neck as well. Soon he goes back to his labored breaths at my skin as his pace quickens unevenly, he's close. I answer, barely  able to think of anything other than this maddening pleasure and the feeling of him so deep inside me,   

" Sh-it , so good... I'm gonna ... " Eren flips me onto my back and takes me missionary style, pressing his lips messily over mine as he agrees,  

"Me too...!" He grabs my dick and jacks me off as his hips start stuttering, his left hand now holding one of my legs from under the knee. The tea kettle now starts to whistle furiously, but its deafened by the sounds of our skin slapping sweaty against another and our shameless moaning. I bite my right knuckle as my left hand squeezes the white pillow behind me, blood boils at my groin, my length throbbing uncontrollably, I start to lose my consciousness in a white rapture,   

"Eren! Cumming cumming ahhn...!!!" My eyes scrunch to a close and I feel threads of hot cum on my stomach and soon inside of me as well. I feel Eren's forehead on my chest as he shivers with a silent yell of elation. Then he heaves from exhaustion, shifting to the side of me, and we just barely fit on the couch as we catch our breaths and soak in the filthy afterglow of sex.  

 I feel him part my drenched black bangs to the side a little, the loving gesture makes me turn my head to the side and sleepily blink my eyes open at him. A bead of sweat rolls down his bronze jaw, his lips parted and still panting from our sex-ercise, he looks troubled though and the sparkling leftovers of my orgasm begins to dim. His eyes a mesmerizing turquoise as he mumbles,  

"I feel so confused... I don't get how we can do..." Eren blushes a little then continues, "that. And how that's okay, but you can't explain how you feel and what you're thinking to me?... Its so... damn frustrating..." He pouts and I lazily reach over and trace my thumb against those petulant lips that belong to me. A blue sadness begins to soak through my bones. First I apologize,  

"I'm sorry." I search his gaze and find forgiveness there, he nods sympathetically. But then I ask after a moment of quiet,  

"Did anything I say yesterday mean anything to you?" My lips make a thin line anxiously. Eren looks away, jaw clenching,  

"Ugh... It... You could have just been saying those things because you were drunk for all I know. I don't want half-assed feelings. I mean, you can take your time and stuff, just don't mess with me like that." My breath gets caught in my throat, my lungs now balloons being filled with too much air, about to burst.    

He didn't believe me.   

Does he honestly think I don't love him? Even if I had been drunk, it still took a fuckload of courage for me to tell him that I - that I love him. A mixture of resentment and guilt spikes in my veins, but I nod softly regardless. Then I turn away from him and get up carefully, still lightheaded, and casually say,  

"We both need a fucking shower."   

I go over to the stove, turn it off, and place the now mute and bubbling tea kettle over in the sink. I still don't hear Eren get up so I turn around to face him. Eren looks uneasy, tapping his fingers in a nervous rhythm on his stomach, like he just remembered something important. I question lowly with concern,  

"What?"   

Eren scratches his head and mutters,  

"By the way... I told Mikasa and Armin you'd join us for dinner tonight."   

 

 

Shit.  

 

 



Chapter 25: God or Fate
Notes:

I'll be updating the next chapter soon, I can promise you all that. Also, thank you rebe-chan-vk for the amazing fanart you posted on tumblr, you can all see it here.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Hey Levi?"  

We stand in the artificial rain and mist of the shower, my eyes opening to the porcelain squares of my bathroom, the squared-wall pearls with condensation. Eren scrubs my back with a purple body-sponge,stopping the cleaning massage to poke a finger at the nearly invisible scar underneath my shoulder blade. I hope this isn't what I think it's about.  

"Hey Eren?"  

I smirk a little when Eren groans at my traditional 'hey eren' reply to his 'hey levi.' But then I hop up in place with a surprised "Ah...!" when Eren spanks me in playful retaliation. I whip around with a half-hearted glare threatening with my hand out while Eren is laughing and jumping back against the tiled white wall with his hands up in surrender. He's still holding the body sponge as I growl at him,  

"Oi, what's with you and spanking today? Spank me again and see what happens you lil' shit." I walk menacingly a little closer to Eren as he crumbles against the shower-wall with his little purple sponge. He can barely keep his teal eyes open he's laughing so hard, yelling,  

"Okay okay! I'm sorry, your butt is just so cute I couldn't help it! Plus... I swear you like it." He sort of mumbles the last sentence with his lips pursed. Water droplets trickle down his smooth tan skin and I feel my heart stutter in my chest. I won't ever admit it but - being spanked by him definitely isn't a bad feeling...  

I flick his nose and he yelps with a smile and more snickering and I snatch the sponge away from him muttering,  

"Cocky brat... now turn around."   

 It's nice that the mood between us has lifted again, I try not to think about the fact that he thought I was merely drunk last night, not meaning any of my love. But anyways, I hope that Eren's forgotten about the scar hiding on my skin, the scar hiding in my memories. Don't ask Eren don't ask, I think as I squeeze some body-wash onto the sponge. I'm about to change the subject, but sure e-fucking-nough,  

"So how'd you get that scar? It looks kinda deep, did you get into a fight or something?" His voice begins to rise at the end of the sentence, he sounds thrilled. Eren loves a good action story. He goes all wide eyed and child-like when he watches heroes on the screen or when he talks about my book...   

"Are you gonna ask me about every damn scar I have on my body? I got it from boxing with a bear in the mountains, no wait, I got it from wrestling with a shark, or maybe it was that one crazy hooker with long hot pink nails? Tch. Who cares?" I grumbleas I scrub down Eren's finely sculpted back, noticing he has three little brown freckles next to each other like a triangle on his shoulder.  

Eren whines a little like the puppy he is, replying,  

"I care because it's about you! And now I'm all curious so..." My chest heaves from a defeated sigh, the dark memories crawl out like childhood monsters under the bed. But in my case, the monster in my childhood was real, and I was the one under the bed, always hiding, scared shitless once upon a time.  

"It was a belt buckle." I say it quickly and matter of factly, making sure to clean Eren's mark-free taut lower back well. I want to get this conversation over with. Eren's voice lowers in enthusiasm, he asks,  

"Someone hit you with their belt buckle? What kind of coward does that?" His tone starts to grow more rough and irritated by the end of the sentence. My washing starts to slow down on the sides of his sun-kissed arms. I respond nonchalantly,  

"My Uncle did."  

Eren goes still. I continue up to his neck, the sponge going in small circles. The shower hisses over the silence between us. The water temperature starts to chill due to the long ass time we've spent in here already, so I turn around to adjust the shower knob to a hotter setting. I drone out the rest of the petty sob story,  

"I could usually avoid his vicious drunken escapades but that time I couldn't. In time Farlan, Isabel, and I rented some one-room shithole with sleepingbags so we could all get away from our foster-home-fuck-ups." When I turn around Eren is right in front of me, frown buried deep into his features, gaze focused with fury. He sneers fiercely with those clenched Jaeger fists of his,  

"I'm so sorry Levi. I hope that bastard rots in hell. He should have been trying to protect you from harm, not causing it."  

 I am momentarily dazzled by the sincerity and violent vigor seething inside him, watching him close the gap between us. But then I shrug it off with,  

"I learned early on how to protect myself from trash like him, from everything really." Eren is unsatisfied with that, the veins in his neck still strained from the clamping of his jaw. He hates injustice so much, though naive in many ways, it's also amongst his dumb endearing qualities I've grown too fond of. Wanting to lighten the mood again I trace the triangle of freckles on his shoulder with a delicate index finger, tilting my head to the side with a raised brow as I taunt him,  

"Well now I also have to protect a certain shithead from punching the piss out of co-workers and almost getting himself stabbed by strangers on a train..." Wait for it... I search for the happiness to bloom on his beautiful bronze features. Murky dark greens finally clear to turquoise and a tiny smile relaxes onto his face. There we go. Eren softly says with his scratchy young voice,  

"Shut up..." Leaning down, he angles his face to align with mine, eyes hazy with infatuation, biting my bottom lip tenderly. I chuckle lowly as I grab a handful of his hair from the back and take a proper kiss from him. I enjoy the way our lips melt into a messy massage and the way his thumbs start to rub along my hip bones. His heated tongue enters my mouth and rubs sensuously at the roof inside and... I pull apart before things get too hot. I mean fuck, I don't need any more hickies to hide from his family. At this point I already have to wear a scarf tonight from the sex we had earlier. Eren seems pretty content with the kiss though, his smile broadening as he starts a little story,  

"Y'know, when we were little kids Armin would like to say that those three freckles symbolized Mikasa, him, and I. The three amigos and all that." He giggles as a cheerful nostalgia overtakes him, but then he looks me in the eyes with a more serious expression and tone of voice.  

"I really want them to see what an awesome person you are Levi." He searches for the blue in my eyes, the suggestion to try getting along with his family, to get along with Mikasa, all very evident in what he just said. I run my hand through the fuzz of my undercut and nod once with a deep breath in and out.   

"Yeah yeah, I get it. I'll try not being an asshole."  

 


 

Eren practices some of his songs on his guitar as I search my closet for something to wear. I grab ebony jeans, a pewter longsleeve, and a nearly black navy blue Mcgyver jacket to place on the bed. I stand in only striped grey and black boxerbriefs, pulling my  longsleeve over my head. Once I get the shirt on I catch Eren checking me out, his fingers barely strumming at the guitar's strings with a faint blush deepening on his face when he's realized I've noticed. I tease him as I pick up my jeans and begin putting my legs through them,  

"Keep your dick in your pants pooptard, we have to be at Maria Diner soon." Eren does his baby pout as he probably hides his boner behind his worn-out guitar. He chose to wear a grey hoodie, a Black Sabbath T-shirt underneath, and dark blue jeans. He grumbles,  

" Ugh, just - just hurry up so we can leave already... " I can't help but smirk a little at the horny sulking kid playing his tunes on the bed. I pull my arms through the sleeves of my jacket and then wrap a thick violet scarf around my neck. I check the mirror to make sure the scarf is covering my hickeys, then grab my messenger bag and order,  

"Let's go."  

 

The wind outside is an unforgiving bitch, my bangs flutter back and forth on my forehead ceaselessly. I honestly have no idea how Eren can just wear a T-Shirt and hoodie in this weather and be okay, then again, he has this freakishly warm temperature at all times. The sun has just dipped out of sight, the city skyline is brushed with foamy clouds, and a deep red hue bleeds into the invading plum of night.  

Sidewalks are infested with citizens of the young and old, the fat and skinny, and the annoying and obnoxious. We wait at a street corner for the pedestrian white GO sign to light up. So far Eren hasn't taken a breath without talking about the performance he did last night. He has his hands tucked in his hoodie pockets when he gleams,  

"Levi it was just so amazing. I can't wait to play in front of hundreds, no, thousands! Man, there just isn't anything like the city. Back in Shiganshina we would only have little bars to play music in, and the bars were just filled with rude geezers and douche-y jocks. Aha, Mikasa would always have to keep me from fighting them all after my performances. She might be my stepsister but she's so much like my mom. They could both be terrifying when they're angry or when they get protective. Mikasa's sort of been a mother for both Armin and I . Ever since Armin's Grandpa, they were very close, died. Andsince my mom... you know.." Eren sighs and scans the little crowd of pedestrians around us. There's that sad smile of his and the faraway green eyes. He continues,  

"Isn't it weird to think that everyone around us has their own story to tell? Like, look at her. " He points at a lady in a pantsuit with glasses and grey hair (even though she looks young), nodding her head to a rhythm from her I-pod ear-buds. Eren asks,  

"What do you think about her?"  

This kid is so strange, but I decide to entertain his whimsy and take a look at the woman. The street light turns on with it's white GO signal and we all walk across, only to wait at the next street corner. As we wait again, she sort of bends her knees a little and picks at the side of her pants. I click my tongue and murmur,  

"Looks like she's trying to fix a wedgie secretly, and failing to do both."  

Eren rolls his eyes like the dramatic teen he is and puts his right palm to his forehead exclaiming,  

"Not that you weirdo, I mean, what do you think her story is? Maybe she has five siblings and she's the oldest, so she always feels like she has the most responsibility out of everyone. Like she works as a lawyer at some famous law firm and she actually wants to be in the military or something. But her strict parents want her to have a 'respectful job'." I nod slowly and then add,  

"Yeah and her hidden sidejob is being a dominatrix because that's the only time she feels alive, kicking the shit out of grown men who call her 'Lady Leather'." Eren busts up and shakes his head back and forth, holding his belly as he hunches over in a fit of giggles. He looks up at me from his bent and snickering state responding with,  

"You would say that... " After his laughter has faded he straightens up and lets out a big contented exhale of breath, it's so cold that his breath is a visible cloud. Another gust of dick- shrinking wind blows by and I shiver and cross my arms to maximize my heat. Eren blinks down lovingly at me as he mumbles,  

"When it's cold like this your nose always gets pink. " Then he leans down and kisses my nose softly.

I take a big dry gulp of air, burying my face a little into my blue scarf as I reply with a grumpy but pleased sigh of,

"Whatever..."

When we get to cross the street and go along the sidewalk, I notice the trees in the city have golden holiday lights circled on them, damn, it's already the time of year where messy pine trees and oily Santa fakes are starting to appear everywhere.  

As we walk along the sidewalk, Eren checks his phone in his pocket and then puts it back in his jeans. His hand at his side, very reachable. It's so easy for Eren to show his feelings, he's not afraid to say what's on his mind, whether it's his annoyance or affection. My nose tingles from the leftover warmth of his kiss, I stare at his hand intently, Eren oblivious as he babbles about how excited he is for Christmas. Come on Levi, if you can't tell him you love him sober, at least hold his fucking hand you loser.  

My lips straighten into a line and I take a quick inhale of chilly winter air and let my impulses take control, reaching forward and slipping my icy pale fingers through his toasty tan ones. Eren's gaze darts in my direction, mouth in a surprised 'O', but then it turns into a happy soft grin. His eyes sparkling emerald down at me, far greener than any of those fucking Christmas trees. My shivering blue heart begins to rosily settle behind the nest of bones in my chest.   

As we get closer and closer to Maria Diner, Eren starts to talk about his friend and step-sister again. I like that he's not the kind of person that can blab and spit about themselves for hours. Eren would rather talk about music or the ones he cares about.   

"It's crazy to think how much Armin has grown as a person. He'd get bullied a lot as a kid, he has a smart mouth like you wouldn't fucking believe, and Mikasa and I would always have to rush by his side. But now he's traveling all over the world on his own, the places he would show me in his grandfather's dusty old travel books, he's going to all of them. He's gotten so brave Levi..." His tone goes gentle, and I watch the first signs of rain sprinkle onto his messy bistre hair.    

I briefly wonder how much Isabel would have grown if she was still alive. Isabel, Farlan, and I used to sneak to the top of this abandoned hospital in the ghetto and look over the city limits. Isabel also wanted to see the world, the way her eyes would brighten when she talked about her grand dreams of being famous. While she spoke, Farlan would just sort of look at me and chuckle silently at how sweetly childish and spirited she was.  

 I pull out my umbrella that just about matches the color of my rainboots from my messenger bag, clicking the button on the handle that makes the umbrella shoot out and burst open. I cover both of our heads with the circle of plastic protection, Eren has to lean down a bit to get underneath. The subject of conversation turns slightly, his voice still as tender,  

"Mikasa on the other hand, it's like she's always been so strong. But that's the thing, just because someone is strong doesn't mean they don't have cracks in their armor, y'know?" His voice starts to thicken with anger," After the home invasion, her parents were killed by some pretty sick fuckers, my Dad and I picked her up from the police station. You know that red scarf she was wearing when you met her? " I nod and then he sustains, " I put it around her neck when my Mom and Dad were signing the adoption papers, it was the only thing I could think of to comfort her, and it's become her constant safety blanket ever since." Eren squeezes my hand and looks down at me with a dire pleading behind his stare,  

"You two are kind of similar to me. It's so damn hard for you two to express yourselves... and I care about both of you very much."    

He keeps looking into my grey gated eyes, almost waiting for an answer. I feel myself wanting to give him the key, but I just don't know how to. All I can do, is squeeze his hand back. Eren laughs a tiny ghost of a laugh, his modest smile reappearing on his face. He then looks forward, we both notice we are right across the street from the big curvy maroon lettered sign of 'Maria Diner.'  Eren's eyes light up as he exclaims,  

"Look! That's them in the window in the front!" He points at the small blur of blonde hair and black hair, a bit of red at the neck of what seems to be Mikasa. He abruptly let's go of my hand, smiling from cheek to cheek, and begins to dash across the rain glittering charchoal road. He waves crazily at them, soon they turn and notice him through the window. I see Armin's hand shoot up and wave merrily back at Eren. I sort of snort a breath of a laugh, and begin to walk after the excited idiot.  

 

Honking.  

 

The umbrella drops out of my hand.  

My chest stiffens like dried concrete.  

I see the truck like a red meteor.  

Eren hasn't seen it.  

It's as if I have wings and I start to fly towards him.  

I can't feel the cold winds, I only feel the agony of cold beating blood.  

Eren sees it now, the terror awakens.  

Please.  

God or fate,

you fucking bastard.  

 

Let me reach him first.  

 

 

 



Chapter 26: Promises
Notes:

I wanted to give an early update but ended up being incredibly busy, but at least the update is on time. Thank you for reading/commenting/kudos-ing, you crazy kids are the best, seriously.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My body is weightless, mid air.  

Both arms encircling Eren, using all of my human might to shove him away  

From certain death.  

The headlights of the truck so bright against the night  

A glimpse of the all-consuming terror of heaven.  

The impact of my body against his, I feel the meat in my ankle sickly twist.  

I can't hear anything but my gurgling heartbeat in my ears.  

Our bodies collide and smash into the ground, we roll like torn ragdolls into the curb of the sidewalk.  

Everything seems glitchy after that, like strobe lights or grainy camera snap shots.  

I hear the desperate running footsteps of his friends, my breathing ragged  

as if I'm drowning, fluids burning like acid, clogging my throat as I gasp for life.  

I grab Eren's face, his eyes are closed like an angel,  

 you stupid fucking angel wake up.  

I shake his face roughly, my teeth crunch together in mortal fear.  

Please  

Please wake up.  

He does, his green eyes saving my soul, if I have a soul, and I let go of his face.  

I fall back away from him, almost crawling away, distancing myself from the moment  

I almost lost him.  

I hear panicked yelling, my pupils the size of pinholes, Mikasa is inconsolable as she  

squeezes his trembling body against hers.  

Armin threads his fingers through Eren's after, globs of tears simmer down his miserable face.  

I can see Farlan and Isabel now,  

they aren't there, I know that.  

But there they are, the nightmare of my past, fresh and bloody.  

My instincts kick in, the numbness begins to fuel my body, my mind too used to the  

horrors of this world.  

"Mikasa, call 911. "  

My voice is severe, liquid nitrogen seething. Mikasa's wan expression is shocked and hysterical, I know that shock and confusion, I try again,    

"He's your precious friend, right?"  

Her face fades into deadly focus, our eyes locking, the respect between us born. Three high pitched beeps of the phone dreadfully chime, and I glance at Eren and then look away.   

Unable to bear the thought that he could die without knowing  

 that I love him.  

 


 

Most people don't like hospitals. I am not most people. The latex gloves that retain the filthiness of fingers, that pungent sterile smell that exudes cleanliness. It makes sitting on this creaky mini bed withfreshly rolled thin paper sheets on it tolerable. But I never touch the fucking magazines, I might as well lick the bottom of my shoe while I'm at it. The mere thought makes me sick. Green eyes that don't open. 

"Levi, the doctor said to keep your ankle elevated. You should lay down and rest your foot on the stack of pillows like Dr.Zackly told you to - if we are going to stay here." Hanji's voice is cautious, which is uncomfortable to hear. When she's stern, not spastic and annoyingly witty, it's only because something terrible is happening. Blood stained clothes.  

"Why should I listen to a man who looks like he's constantly sipping on a diarrhea sundae?" I snap at her, but in low pitch of voice. Hanji stands up from her lumpy blue hospital chair and snaps right back at me, voice not at all leveled. The morbidly contorted expressions, so afraid of death.  

"Why haven't you seen Eren?   

His green eyes, opening, just barely.  

 I look away immediately, as if she'd slapped me with her hand and not with words. I stare at a poster on the wall that shows statistics on why smoking is evil, a giant fat cigarette centerpiece with black background and white eerie text. The thought of having a cigarette right now is like a wet dream. I try to slither away from her question with an indifferent response,  

"I'm sure he's preoccupied with his family right now."  

Hanji scoffs a single vexed screech of a laugh, gesturing to the door with an open firm hand. Her outfit looks thrown together, her bathrobe on, her yellow ducky pajama T-Shirt that says "What does a subatomic duck say? 'QUARK' ", sweatpants, and socks with pink fuzzy slippers. She must have been at home and dropped everything for me... Her tone is grave and does not believe an ounce of my bullshit, the way only good friends can,  

"You and I both know he's been waiting for you."  

My mouth shrinks, the bitter taste of truth making me recoil inside myself, I hold onto her unwavering stare. But finally I just take a deep breath in and exhale the rest of my words as I point to my temporary crutch in the corner of the room.    

"Just give me the damned thing."  

Hanji grins a little, not hiding the relief she feels at all. Hanji isn't the type to hide her feelings. A tiny sting of envy stirs inside of me.  

The hallway is crowded with nurses in itchy looking cyan scrubs, the floors and walls pristine white, besides the occasional 'relaxing' paintings and plastic plants. Room 323,  Hanji says, the door at the end of the hall. I stop in front of the beige door, hand twitching over the greasy metal handle, hearing his voice, the only voice that matters, brash and alive inside with his family's. Hanji opens the door for me.  

The room is coated in a white glow, the windows adjacent to Eren's hospitable bed (nearly identical to the one I was sitting on earlier), and the light-grey draped window closes  off the freeze of November. Eren stops noisily arguing with Mikasa mid-sentence to turn and look at me. He sits with his back facing the window, his jacket off and in his Black-Sabbath T-shirt, a navy blue cast securing his right arm, and a black boot cast on his left foot. I catch a vulnerable flash of teal, then look away swiftly at the grateful grin Armin wears for me. Armin sits at the end of Eren's bed while Mikasa sits in a chair next to Eren. Mikasa doesn't smile, but her face has eased with my presence, I notice for the first time a tint of blue in her eyes.   

Hanji introduces herself like a giddy talk-show host,  

"Hello everyone, so glad to see you well Eren. To those who don't know me, I'm Hanji! I claim the rightful place as Levi's best friend!" It's nothing I'm not used to, I don't even roll my eyes (though I do internally ), so I don't protest. Armin is in a brown tweed blazer, blue collared shirt, denim jeans, and brown combat boots. He gives Hanji a great sunshine-y welcome,  

"I'm Armin and this is Mikasa, I'm their best friend." Armin points a thumb towards Mikasa and then Eren, Mikasa slowly nods in agreement to the statement. She's wearing a cream wool sweater with matching leg warmers, dark denim jeans, auburn buckled boots, and her usual red scarf. She looks weary of Hanji 's exuberance, but is still polite and gracious.  

"I'm Eren's sister, nice to meet you." Hanji gives them both a giant toothy smile, making sure to shake their hands in her usual overly enthusiastic way. I break the feel-good introductions with an austere manner and question,  

"Any news about the pig that was driving the truck?" I can see Eren's hands start curl up into fists, I guess he can still move his fingers in his right hand. Mikasa's eyes squint into a razor sharp glare, she replies lowly,  

"We couldn't find him."   

Eren blurts out angrily before anyone else can respond,  

"That fucker almost kills us and then keeps on driving apparently, he isn't even human, just a beast in disguise!" Mikasa turns around to scold Eren,  

"Eren stop straining your hand, the doctor said you need to rest all of your arm to heal quickly."   

Armin sighs sadly and whispers, "Not again..."  

 I'm guessing this was what they were fighting about earlier, before me and Hanji stepped inside the room. Eren squeezes the bed for support with his left hand and then stands up, which in turn makes Mikasaget up instantly in worry. Eren yells frustratedly,  

"There's no way in hell I can go a month without playing the guitar!" The statement puts my breathing on hold, it's true, that guy just can't go a day without touching his  battered instrument. I continue thinking about the disabilities he will have to face, christ, with that boot cast he won't be able to bike to work either. I need a car. Honking that sears through the eardrums.  

Hanji interrupts my nightmares of the fresh past and also Mikasa, before they all start a major commotion.  

"Hey hey everybody, it's been a very traumatic day and you all haven't eaten yet. My lab assistant Moblit and I were going to celebrate a successful experiment tonight, but I think that we should all get together at my place and have pizza!" How the flying-fuck is that supposed to help? But apparently Armin is eager to join in on the plan because he raises his hand (what is he, in grade school?) and pipes up,  

"I think that's a great idea! It's not healthy to keep stressing out after everything that's happened. We all need time to recuperate. " Then he turns to both fuming Eren and chilly Mikasa with sweet big sky blue puppy-dog eyed stare, pleading silently to them. Slowly Eren begins to cool down and Mikasa warms up to their cherub persuasive friend.  Mikasa nods and Eren lets out a sigh and replies,  

"Alright."  

He keeps trying to catch my Antarctic gaze with his fragile greens, but I never let them stay on my own for longer than a second. Though my body only suffered a minor injury, my insides are scattered and torn. Nauseatingly strong feelings still rattle in me, they are nameless and almost unbearably frightening, rampant masked killers of my mind. It's nearly impossible as it is to keep my demeanor collected, especially with all of these bystanders, I just can't face Eren right now. I have a pathetic tendency to lash out at him when I'm crumbling.  

Hanji squeals in delight, clapping her hands together once. She announces,  

"Let's head on out then, comrades!"  

 I swear to Satan, that woman will never change. But - it's not a bad thing. Usually when people change, it's not for the better anyways.  

 


 

Mikasa unloads a stack of paper plates out of a plastic bag. Armin, Hanji, and Moblit are talking and chuckling about the chemistry behind pizza (properties of cheese?) as they all help serve pepperoni or pineapple onto plates in the kitchen. I knew those nerds would get along, shitty glasses gets so creepily excited the more complicated the science.  

Hanji's sofa has those pullout feet rests, you just crank a black handle on the side of the couch and the leg rest pops up on that side of the sofa.   

I try my best not to fuss over the crumbs in the cracks of my seat probably leftover from the mesozoic era as I try to sit down and get comfortable. Eren is already propping his boot-cast wearing left foot on a couch pillow and leaning back with his cast-ed right arm on his arm rest.   

I can tell by the way his left hand's fingers tap on his thigh to a complicated rhythm that he's feeling anxious, probably waiting for the right moment to talk about whatever is on his mind. We haven't talked to each other since...the red truck scalds my mind, I see Eren's eyes widen, his mouth opening in unspeakable dread.   

I take a deep breath and shake the memory off, Eren watches me flick out the muck in my seat now. I just couldn't help at least getting most of it out, my mania is all that saves me from being crushed by anxiety. I watch his plush lips open and close undecidedly like a small fish from the corner of my eye. His voice is soft but scratchy due to nerves,  

"You could just rest your foot on my lap, just like you always do." He pats his thigh with his left hand and gives me a tiny grin. I only give him a glance then shake my head, only saying,  

" Just worry about yourself. You're the one who's half idiot and half plaster now." I grab a pillow behind me and finally prop my wounded foot up, hating the strained and insecure breaths of a laugh Erengives. I know I shouldn't be acting like this, I should be even more loving and supportive since the incident. But I'm under the bell jar, unable to reach past the glass walls around me, suffocating slowly in the stifled stale air. I don't want him to touch me in any way, he'd shatter the barely held composure I have to spare. I notice Mikasa observing us as she gets ready to give Eren and I slices of pizza, she's expressionless, like me I guess. But her eyes are on Eren, her caring stare tells all. I watch him lick his lips from my peripheral vision, a hesitant child-like earnesty spilling out of him,  

"Levi I... I'm sorry... I didn't think-"   

My voice is deep as it cuts through, strict and mercilessly underlining,  

"That's right, you weren't thinking. This is a big ass city Eren, you have to constantly look around you. If you don't think, you die." Mikasa hands a shaken Eren his plate of pineapple pizza, and looks me straight in the eye as she gives me a plate of pepperoni and defends him,  

"You're being too harsh on Eren. You know he never meant for any of that to happen." Eren has his head down, his finger tapping has ceased into a clenched fist. He gets up haggardly, reaching out for his crutch besides the sofa, mumbling,  

"I'm gonna go to the bathroom..."   

Mikasa whips around and tries to help him walk by stabilizing him with a hand on the shoulder asking fretfully, "Do you need help?"   

Eren rips his arm away from Mikasa, grumbling as he walks with his back turned to her,   

" 'm Fine, jesus."  

I watch her shoulders slump in dejection as he disappears around the corridor corner. Armin senses the conflict and leaves Hanji and Moblit's intellectually stimulating bullshit and Hanji's uncanny highschool anatomy mannequin, joining us at the couch. He puts a hand on Mikasa's shoulder, a sympathetic smile added on for the maximum comforting effect. Fuck. Why can't I be like that with Eren? The things I've been through have warped me into this abnormal socially stunted misfit, unable to comfort people I care about.  

Armin and Mikasa now face me, of course it's the sincere braniac that starts the conversation. His nose scrunches up a little as he seriously begins,   

"Mikasa and I are very thankful that you risked your life to protect Eren. I know you must still  be emotionally and physically exhausted from the events of today, but please understand that Eren really is sorry. He talks about you a lot, doesn't he Mikasa?" He gently nudges Mikasa with his elbow, her input is a single nod. He continues, "I must confess, both Mikasa and I know that you are 'Humanity's Strongest.' Besides music, you're all Eren can talk about. He really admires you, I've never seen Eren act this way about or around someone like this before. I was skeptical at first, but after seeing your selfless act of risking your life to save Eren's, I have no doubt that what he sees in you is real... and um, your books are amazing by the way..." The pensive blonde gets pink cheeked at the end when he mentions his appreciation for my book. 

I expected that Eren would tell those close to him my secret, so I'm not offended in the least. I wish I could blush and swoon over everything he's said about Eren and I, but I can't. It just weighs on my conscience, making me feel more like the despicable toilet-scum I am. I thought Armin would be a sort of a hippy  wimp from all of Eren's descriptions of his travel and childhood, but he's definitely a sharp kid whom I didn't expect to be so insightful. I sigh and lock eyes with both of them as I respond genuinely,  

"Understood, thanks." I'm not good with compliments. Responses to compliments seem to make one either sound like a conceited prick or like a disagreeing ungrateful dick. I try to go for something in-between. 

 

We all end up watching "Alien vs. Predator", Hanji loves those sci-fi action films and always has a hundred recorded and ready to watch. Mikasa sits inbetween Eren and I, she's still a little protective, as a stereotypical father is protective over their daughter, but it doesn't bother me. Armin sits on the rug with Moblit and Hanji, sprawled out with pillows and blankets with blasting cartoon rocket-ships on them. Mikasa and Armin decide to sleepover with much convincing of Hanji, the reason behind it was that they could be closer to Eren if he needed help or anything. I can't focus on the movie, it seems that Eren can't either. The explosions and savage aliens blur on the screen. I only notice Eren's pained forlorn glances over at me, the stench of pizza residue, and how much I want to be alone at home.   

I get tired of it all, finally getting up and leaning over to grab a crutch and declaring brazenly,  

"I'm going home."   

Hanji jumps up and questions, her glasses crooked on her nose,  

"Are you sure? It's only 10pm!"   

I shrug and then begin my trek to her front door. Stopping to give a simple wave to everyone as I leave,  

"Goodnight guys."   

I don't wait for their replies, I don't wait at all for Eren, hearing the smudged farewells behind me as I shut the door. I start to limp towards the elevator two doors down from Hanji's apartment, no way in god's green armpit I'm going down stairs with this damned crutch and strained ankle of mine. I'm almost at the elevator when I hear a door abruptly open and shut, I hear Eren holler annoyedly over his shoulder,  

"I'll be okay, goodnight!" He groans and starts to hurriedly creak over in my direction. I press a thumb to the elevator button and wait for the steel doors to open, not necessarily waiting for Eren. But with that stubborn determination of Eren's, he makes it by my side before the doors open, nearly panting. I mutter,  

"You shouldn't put so much stress on your foot, dumbass." But Eren doesn't choke on a fake laugh this time. His tone huffy and fierce,  

"I'm sorry okay?! Yes, I didn't think, I could have gotten us both killed, and I'm sorry! So please, stop giving me the cold shoulder and look at me!"  

The elevator doors separate, we both wobble inside, and I click on the button for the first floor. I let him stew in silence, not on purpose, but out of reluctance. Though with my stiff demeanor, Eren takes it the wrong direction,  

"Why are you so fucking mad? It's all over now okay?" He faces me, demanding my full attention, and I press my lips together guardedly. I hold my breath, using my crappy crutch to turn towards him, finally really looking at his soft astray chestnut hair, the slight rosiness of his lips, his smooth golden skin, and the blinding green of his impassioned gaze. He must see the suffering adoration revealing itself in my expression, because the furrowed fury in his face begins to fade into a lonely distress.   

The doors open but we don't even react to the occurrence or ring of the bell, his left hand slowly reaches up to caress my cheek with a feather-like caress. I close my eyes, trying to focus on the sweet roughness of his musical fingers, the warmth only he can give me. Trying so desperately to block out the images of Isabel's unblinking eyes, Farlan's wretched red wheezing, and Eren's horridly blank un-awaking face.   

The doors close and we stand still in the metal room. I let myself look up at Eren, grabbing and leading his hand, gingerly pressing it over my heart. Letting him feel the song of my body, the way it beats so fast for him. I grimace as I tell him,  

 

"I've learned that it only takes a couple seconds for your life to fall apart. I'm strong, but I'm human. And - It seems that a life without you wouldn't be much of a living."

 

 Eren's eyebrows furrow slightly, lips parting as he fully recognizes my agonized endearment. He starts to bend down, his inviting kiss impending and artless. He whispers fervently,  

"I won't ever leave you."   

The statement sickens me, the spell broken, and I pull away from him and begin to make my way out the elevator doors, pressing the open-button. I lowly state as I step through the elevator's threshold, pain burning my voice,  

 

"Don't make promises you can't keep."  

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 27: Normal
Notes:

Holy shit I'm so so sorry for the long awaited update. Finals were brutal and I was just too stressed out these past two weeks. Updating will be a hell of a lot quicker from now on now that I'm on break. At most to one week of a wait. Anyways, thank you for reading and for being so patient~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Ooooh how about that one?" Hanji points at a green convertible as we walk through the endless rows of metal on wheels at a car dealership on the edge of the city, a great blue icy sky hovers over the landscape. I shake my head and scowl,  

"Shitty glasses, are you trying to make me look like I'm some tasteless old man with a mid-life crisis?" This makes Hanji burst out in a fit of giggles, nodding her head with a toothy smile stretched on her face. She wears a yellow turtle neck sweater with a dark grey cardigan, dark denim jeans and atrocious cowboy boots. I wear 2 layers of a grey sweater, a thick black scarf, and black jeans and the usual big blue rainboots. Hanji noisily teases me,  

"You ARE an oldman with a mid-life crisis! I mean, you've taken up a young lover and now you want a shiny brand new car..." I begin rubbing my temples with the tips of my fingers, wondering why I chose her to bring along my car shopping torture. I’m taking a while to respond so Hanji continues poking fun at me in a mocking slow seductive tone,  

"And I thought you might like the car because it's green... just like Eren's beautiful eyes!" she puts her arms in the air with open hands and wiggling fingers. I turn to glare at her, her lips pressed together in a faltering serious expression as her arms go down, her laughter quivering behind her clamped mouth. I grumble as we start to walk and browse again though the asphalt lanes.  

"What I would like shitty glasses, is if you would stop the bullshit and help me find an efficient car that won't end up being a flaming shit of a death trap. Tomorrow night Mikasa and Armin are going to be leaving, which means Eren, the crippled turd, won't have a way to get to work or his gigs. So now I need a car to drive the kid around and to avoid having to rely on your weird-ass all the time." Just as I finish my sentence I stop in front of a 2013 Ford Focus SE Sedan. It's the shade of gunmetal, sturdy, and sleek. I soon see a saleswoman with a wavy bob of honey hair begin to bounce over.  

She's wearing a white collared long-sleeve and an annoyingly thin red tie and dress-pants. There's a sly grin on her face and brown eyes that exude mischievousness. Her voice rings an overly welcome greeting,  

"Why hello there lady and gentleman, my name is Hitch. Can I be of any service?" I nod, my eyes sharp and focused. I know how to get my point across with the conniving con-artists that call themselves 'salesmen.' My voice is firm and straightforward,  

"I need a car that will keep a stupid teenager from turning it into a metal coffin. Think you can help with that?" Hanji smirks at me and rolls her eyes, Hitch's eyes momentarily widen but then go back to their clever squint. Its her heavily lip-glossed pink lips that widen afterwards. She makes a huge guffaw of a laugh, then winks at me as she points a corny thumb to the 2013 Ford Focus SE Sedan.  

"It seems you've found the right car then sir! Also earning it points as one of the best cars for teenagers is a healthy amount of technology as well as a cabin that is both well-made and comfortable. It's top of the line safety for any first time driving teenager! You here with your big sis or something?" Does this chick honestly think I'm a fucking teenager? I sigh with my teeth grinding together and glance at Hanjiwho is already shivering with held back laughter, her eyes hidden by the glaring light hitting her glasses. I  nearly hiss,  

"I'll take it."  

 

 


 

After clearing the constipation of paperwork to get the damn car, Hanji and I begin to walk towards the new deathwagon. I take out my disinfecting wipes from my messenger bag and begin to wipe the new car key, it's spotless but I clean it anyways to calm myself down. The last time I drove a car was after I couldn't handle the fact Isabel and Farlan had been shot as causalities to gang violence in our piss poor ghetto of a neighborhood. I made the mistake of thinking I could have it all, that I could publish a successful book and have a family. That I could be happy. Then I tried to punish myself permanently for being so ignorant.  

As we get closer and closer to the car I am hyper aware of my breathing, my anxiety suffocating me like a plastic bag over the head. I can feel the paralyzing lack of oxygen grip my muscles, like when you can't run in nightmares and your bones seem like they are melting. Even though my expression is the perfect picture of boredom from the outside,  Hanji notices my nervous tidying and prolonged silence. She softly tries to sway me from the blackhole of my mind,  

"How have things been with Eren? You seem to be spending more time with me lately, and of course I love having my clean-freak, but I'm sure Eren would appreciate you being around him more." She gives me a tense tight grin, her eyes crinkling in sincere concern. We stop in front of the driver's door of the Sudan. I put the wipe away and press the unlock button on the key control. Two mechanical echoes pierce through the air, the car now unlocked, and I see Hanji's grin fade in the reflection of the car window. She reaches forward, ready to open another door for me, but I stop her with a husky muttering of,  

"I can do it."  

I open the door and shut it with a resounding thud, feeling the cold leather burn into my back, my fingers clench onto the round of the wheel, and I stare ahead at nothingness.  Hanji gets in shotgun, strapping her safety belt on and then tapping on the belt to remind me to put mine on as well. I strap myself in, the belt across my chest further branding my tightening chest, my lungs go dry like pink raisins. I stab the key into the ignition, twisting it in to hear the car roar to life, then I clamp my hands back on the wheel. Breathe. Just keep breathing.  

"I can't stand to be around him anymore Hanji." The words erupt from my mouth, the bitter truth invades the atmosphere like toxic gas. Hanji fiddles with her glasses, adjusting them needlessly on her nose. I can tell she's waiting for me to go on, and so I do. I let the pent up fury burn out of me,  

"What if I hadn't been there in time? The thought makes me so fucking sick, like a stomach flue that won't go away, seeing him or talking to him just makes me feel like I've got the shits from food poisoning. The idiot didn't even look both directions, what was he thinking the stupid fuck head..." I wince, trying not to picture what would have happened had I not saved him. I fight back images of spraying blood and broken glass, I squeeze my eyes shut for a second, to wipe it out with blackness, then open my eyes again to the brick wall in front of the car.   

"You're being too harsh on him. " She puts her hands down and looks directly at me from the side and continues, "Don't blame him for your fears."  

 I snap my head towards her, Hanji looks dead serious, her amber eyes shining with tough love. I can't deal with compassion I don't deserve, so I slowly turn my head back and look down at the steering wheel. I dig my thumbnails into the leather circle, I watch the bones in my hands protrude out from the tension. She continues, in a much softer tone,  

"So what's scaring you now? The worst has happened and you both survived. You know, increased stress levels commonly affects the immune system, musculoskeletal system, circulatory system and digestive system and -" She stops herself, which is very fucking rare for four eyes, usually she can talk someone into a damn coma. I appreciate her once in a blue moon tactfulness. We sit and listen to cars growling in the surrounding parking lot, and the far away chatter of sales-hunters and sales-prey. My brows furrow as I let the pain I feel reach my eyes, and I admit the growing virus of distress in my mind.  

" I was once again reminded that nothing belongs to me. It all belongs to a faceless god or concept that doesn't give a shit, that isn't afraid to show me that at any second it can take everything I love away from me. Just because it can. He said he'd never leave me, but that's not his choice to make. Tomorrow is a lie. His love for me, my love for him, is a lie." The volume of my voice goes down to the point of barely being audible by the end of my confession. I don't check for her reaction, I only regret letting my emotions spill over the cusp of my pale lips. Emotions are such dirty things.   

A silence floods the car, slowly starting from our feet, to our chests, and to our ears. Until I can no longer hear the mundane happenings outside our enclosed space. Then Hanji releases it.  

"That's where you're wrong. Because the important things, the feelings, the memories,  those never really go away. Do they? It's the only thing distance or death can never take away from us human beings. Because the ones you love and the ones who love you, a part of them, and if you're lucky, all of them, will always belong to you. " She puts a light hand on my shoulder, not the condescending kind, the type that is trying to link their comfort physically to you in the most considerate way. I face her again, accepting her comfort, and letting her finish.  

"It's up to you whether you want to truly give all of yourself and most importantly, if you want to accept all of someone else."  

We wade in the moment of friendship, her smile surfacing like a sunrise, my face calming after the storm. I nod and then look forward with passionate purpose. My hand takes control of the gear and shifts the car to reverse, before I begin to defeat my demons I mumble a quiet,  

 "Thanks."  

A soft chuckle breezes through her and her grin stretches to a devious width,  

"No problem... 'Little brother'"  

I scoff as my right foot hovers over the gas pedal, Hanji has bursted into belly holding laughter, and I simply reply with,  

"Shut up Four-Eyes."  

 

 


 

 

I somehow find myself parking across the street from Garrison Records. Hanji drove herself home in her own car, I could tell by the way she was checking her phone constantly, probably to meet up with Erwin. Stale memories of Erwin's smile or the way he says my name pass over me quickly, but then they are gone. The feelings for him are gone.  

I step out of my brand new Sudan and lock the car, making a point to look both ways across the street, I try to not think of the incident, I try very fucking hard. But there are always glimpses of gruesome 'what ifs" that silently terrorize my mind. The thoughts begin to dissipate once I've entered the store, hearing my boots squeak the usual squeak across the rubber welcome mat, and I glare at the dust threatening to fall over the edge of the ancient ceiling fan. A big black stereo plays at a low volume, I read the song title and artist on the small scratched screen: ' Your Love Means Everything Part 2'by Faultline.  

"Levi?" Eren's voice jingles, he sounds pleasantly surprised, I begrudgingly turn to see him. I need to shut down the nightmare I keep reliving in my head, and accept the sweet breathing reality in front of me. His eyes are teal and wide, he wears a grey jacket, blue denim jeans, and New Order band T-shirt with the flowers on it. His small lips are parted and plump, waiting for my reason why I've given him a random visit. I haven't kissed those lips in a long time it feels like. Eren now looks down in a somber and insecure way, his left hand going through his messy chestnut hair and grabbing at it. His right hand goes back to rifling through business papers stiffly, it's still difficult for Eren to manage basic things with that cast on his arm. His voice is raspy and trying to sound unconcerned but failing to do so, a hint of anger seeping through.  

"What are you doing here?" He keeps his head down in the papers, subtly ignoring me in a way. I'm relieved that there is no one else other than us here and I set my bag down by the side of the cash register.It's strange not seeing his guitar case laying down next to his ratty sneakers. Not a good kind of strange either. At home I've been avoiding him, working tirelessly on my near finished book, secretly missing the sound of his guitar strings strumming in the living room as he practices. Now I only hearing movies on the T.V., or a new record being put on our gramophone, or worst of all hearing absolutely nothing. He's been out with Mikasa and Armin a lot.   

I pull up a stool and sit down besides him at the cash register, I stare at the many faces on music posters on the walls staring back at me. My gaze focuses on a poster of David Bowie with the famous orange and blue lightning-bolt face-paint on, his eyes are closed. I don't have to glance at Eren to notice his anxious fidgeting, his quick looks towards me as he grabs a pen and scribbles something down work-related. I mumble as I stare at David Bowie's dumb sleeping face,  

" Why does anything we do here on this stinking earth matter... Is it because we want everyone to know our thrown-up name, our fat face, the sound of our fake aching voice,  or what we've done to help the ungrateful human kind? So that maybe, we might have our picture on a wall in a dusty-ass record store?" This thoughtless rambling of mine makes  Eren drop his pen and look at me with big blinking green eyes. Eren scrunches his eyebrows in slight confusion, pursing his lips then saying,  

"You seem talkative today..." I've been so listless and mute lately, it's no shock that he's wondering why I've sat down with him to... I don't know... talk or something. I myself am not so sure why I am here. I dryly reply,  

"I'm always talkative." It's obviously not very true, but I say it sort of out of useless spite. I don't really like being reminded of what a malfunctioning human being I am, I already know the things I say are warped and ugly. I reach down and grab one of my own personal black pens from my messenger bag and begin to doodle on a scrap piece of paper on the desk. I'd probably be better at playing golf with my asscheeks than drawing anything decent on a piece of paper. But that doesn't stop me from drawing a piece of shit stick-figure-gingerbread-man-thing. The music fills in the stillness of the room, but then Eren faintly answers,  

"In the grand scheme of things I don't think anything we do really matters. I guess what's important is doing what matters for yourself, leaving the mark behind that makes you personally satisfied. Though sometimes I think that I'll never be able  to do that, that I'll end up disappointing myself and others. One fuck up after the next." He glares at the cast at his right arm, his fingers squeezing into an incomplete fist.   

It's odd. I myself am deeply cursed with self-hatred and doubt, but when I see the ones close to me begin to suffer from the same ailments... I am able to find a powerful strength inside of me that overrules all the gloom I bear. Especially with him. I quickly scribble on the paper for a couple more seconds and then point at the paper with a stern expression explaining the picture to him,  

"This is you. " I point at the stick-figure-glob of Eren holding a guitar that looks more like a giant piece of bologna than a guitar, "You're on a stage and this is the crowd going bat-shit crazy over you, there are probably girls whipping their tits out for you. Which of course you will totally ignore because my tits are so much better but that's not the point." I point at the uneven square of a stage and a bunch of circles that represent the heads of fans in the audience below stick-figure Eren. Eren's eyes have gone giant,  his lips pinched, and I think he's not sure whether to laugh or be terrified at my horrific drawing skills. I continue, "The point is, if there's anyone who is going to have an impact on this pissy world, it's going to be you."   

I check his face for a smile, any sign of joy at all, hoping that my deadpan humor has reached him and isn't a complete miss. He giggles that warm bubbling giggle of his, biting his lip and looking at me with fond teal eyes. He's sitting closer to me now, I can smell the refreshing mint in his breath, and subtle whiffs of his natural pine scent. A deep yearning reemerges in my chest, I forgot how fucking wonderful it is when things are nice and relaxed between us. Hanji was right, I can't blame him for my fears, he doesn't deserve that.  

I reach over cautiously to touch the material of his cast on his arm, my fingertips gliding over the rough blue gingerly until they dip down to his fingers. I lay my own wan fingers over his scratched up tan ones and murmur,  

"It must be pretty hard to take a shower, having to keep that filthy bionic arm of yours dry... We could take a bath tonight or something..." I sigh as I feel the heat of his beating blood coarse through his hand, warming my ever constant frigid one. It always seems to be Eren who revives my deadening pulse. I am Icarus, wanting so much to be by the blazing light of the sun, but my wings aren't real, wax melting the second I get too close.  

His hand pulls away, his gaze ripping away from mine, eyes squinted in turmoil, and he grumbles annoyedly.  

"What so everything is suddenly okay for you now? First you go from ignoring me like I'm some homeless beggar or some shit, not caring if I sleep on the couch at night, not wanting to hang out with my family, and as if everything that's happened is my fault, and now..." He laughs bitterly, turning to look at me with a pained sneer on his face, scoffing, "You're acting like nothing even happened! I'm getting serious whiplash Levi! I know that you've never... loved... me..." his voice starts to get hoarse and low, eyes wavering and looking away. The thin words slice into my chest, my jaw clamps in frustration, the agony of not being understood by him nearly intolerable. He continues to cut into me with his fragile glass-like despair, "but you being so cold after something so terrible, it's left me feeling like you don't give a shit about me!" His eyes pierce into my own like shards of jade, " Like it would have been better if I'd just! If I'd --!" I stop him from saying anything else, unable to bear what he'd say next, the tears that began to fall over his trembling golden cheeks, and that excruciating shattering of his voice and strength.  

 Sometimes you love someone to the point that their pain is your pain, and your pain is not important. It's about healing their wounds as you stand bleeding. This is how I know I love him.  

"You know that's not true, I would never fucking want anything bad to happen to you. Don't be an idiot. " My tone is harsh and unrelenting, I bring a thumb up to gently wipe away the tears that have left glistening stains on his smooth skin, and Eren begins to calm down. But not by much.  

"Well I'm tired of always waiting for you to tell me what's wrong or to start pretending like you give a crap about me. Like I understand that might have brought back bad memories, and I'm sorry you know? I really am. But you need to let me know, so I can try to help or do something! Anything at all! I just wish you were more - you were more -!" Eren closes his eyes in vexation, his left hand going through his bistre bangs and then holding onto them tightly. I begin to stand up and grab my bag, the gates of my heart begin to rise up, Eren opens his eyes to the sound of the stool screeching back into place, his expression bewildered by my sudden distance. My voice is cold and factual when I finish the statement, blankly looking back into his gaze, comfortable behind the metal walls of my mind.  

"Normal."  

Guilt blossoms onto his face, Eren shakes his head as he argues with a grimace etched into his features,  

"That's not what I meant and you know it!"   

The door rings, the welcome mat begins to squeak, I turn around to find Mikasa and Armin walking in. Faces coiled up in worry as they notice the tension in the room, but then I note that another person follows behind the two. That blockhead co-worker Eren fights with, who wears a head-in-the-clouds expression at the moment of uneasy infatuation, a blush stamped on his cheeks. He doesn't even see Erenand I, in some sort of trance with the back of Mikasa's head. What a complete ass-cake.   

Eren glances over at me apprehensively, trying to convey a kind of complicated message I'm not understanding in his look, and then forces a timid grin on his mouth greeting his family.  

Mikasa somewhat glares at me, undoubtedly thinking that I may have to do with Eren's frazzled state, affirming the obvious,  

"We're here to pick up Eren."   

I nod once, acting as if Eren and I had merely just been talking about the last time we took a dump. Unaffected and detached. But I don't want to leave Eren alone anymore, I want to learn how to properly love him. I need to stop using my ability to separate myself from problems, attachments, people, to stay safe from creating any real and positive change. I reach my hand in my pocket, grab the new car key and dangle it in front of everybody. I say more so to Eren than to anyone else,  

 

 

"Funny, so am I."  

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 28: Surprise
Notes:

The holidays and planning for my Japan trip have dominated my entire life, sorry for the wait guys. Tonight I leave to Japan and will be away for about 2 weeks. I think I'll just write on my notepad on my phone, just so that I at least have some writing done by the time I get back. I adore you all, thank you for your amazing support! See you all in approximately 2 weeks! (So glad I got this done before my trip holy shit)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eren's jaw hangs open in astonishment, his expression fluctuates between disbelief and joy. Mikasa and Armin look at each other uncertainly, Armin is the first to speak up.  

"Did you just buy one today?" It almost comedic how Eren's head turns dramatically between Armin and my face, waiting speechless for my reply. I nod while casually putting my car-key back in my pocket, like this wasn't such a huge monumental fucking deal, like I hadn't been having a near panic attack driving after so long.   

Jean stays silent in the back in his black 'Garrison Records" T-shirt and hideous brown khaki pants, still unable to wipe the drool off his lip while memorizing Mikasa's raven hair . Mikasa dips her nose underneath her signature red scarf and glides over to Eren in a beige wool sweater, blue jeans, brown leg warmers, and chubby UGG boots. She stands behind  Eren  in  the corner of the room, and sternly stares at me leaning close to Eren's ear. Mikasa is bad at whispering,  

"Are things okay between you and shorty? Was he being mean to you?" Her eyes begin to squint at me in a near lethal way, god damn this girl is protective over Eren. But I can understand that, the protectiveness, and I merely blink in Mikasa's direction and then stroll over to Armin and Jean. Armin's wearing dark denim jeans, an ugly Christmas sweater with snowmen on it and a black collar peeks out from underneath. From the corner of my eye I see Eren shaking his head, probably telling her everything is fine and what not.   

I ask Jean loud enough to sound calm, but loud enough to be heard by everyone in the relatively small store,  

"So have you and Eren gotten into a fight since I last saw you two morons together?"   

This makes Mikasa stride back over, Eren gets up from his stool and walks over with a big nasal-y sigh, he walks with a slight tilt to the right because of the boot-cast. Jean doesn't seem at all frightened by Mikasa's intense marble eye-d stare, his eyes just go down and stare at her boots, a dorky smile twitching on his face. He stammers,  

"O-oh of course not, we're good now. So uh," he looks up at her and anxiously itches his cheek with an index finger, "You have really pretty hair..." Mikasa's features relax a little, but she definitely doesn't seem like the type who would take her panties off and shove them in a boy's face over some flattery. Especially at lame ass nerd flattery like Jean just gave her, and she simply gives a soft,  

"Thanks."   

I feel my phone vibrate in my messenger bag and pull it out to see who's bothering me, it's 6p.m, and its from Hanji. Before I read the text I notice Eren pinching a strand of Mikasa's long jet black hair, a twinge of green jealousy nips at my chest, Eren grumbles.  

"You should get a haircut soon, this length might be bad for soccer." I know it's just him being a protective brother, annoyed that some chump co-worker is hitting on his sister, but I still get slightly uncomfortable at their intimacy. Her eyes glow in warmth, happy that Eren is showing her some concern, and she nods her head in agreement. Apparently I'm not the only one being bother by the green monster of envy, Jean's facial expression has taken an Olympian dive into the toilet. His head hung back and jaw dropped in a "oh come on" way. I notice Armin giggling with a hand cupped over his mouth, he then turns to Jean and asks,  

"I hope Eren didn't stir too much of a fuss, he can get a bit carried away sometimes..." He smiles his little sunflower smile at Jean. Jean rolls his eyes and crosses his arms scoffing,  

"Jaeger can be a dick sometimes but it was no big deal." Jean smirks as he tries to look laidback and cool, and Mikasa is quick to defend Eren (of course.)  

"Eren wouldn't hurt a fly."  

We all just kind of stare at Mikasa, not believing one ounce of the bullshit she tries to serve us. Not even good ol' pony-boy Jean is falling for that one, an eyebrow raised in pure disbelief. I think she might be joking actually, but her level of dead-pan humor might be so advanced that not even I, the king of shitty dead-pan, would be able to tell. Eren presses a palm to his face in sheer humiliation and grabs my hand, a tequila shot of adrenalin spikes through my veins at the hungered for contact. Eren blurts out,  

"Okay Levi and I are gonna go now, I'll just call you two later tonight 'kay? Jean make sure the new records get organized and try not to be such a loser! Later guys!" He doesn't even wait for their responses, and begins to sprint out of the store, with me jogging a long with him, his left hand laced with my right. I hear Jean holler 'screw you!' as we make it through the door with Eren huffing a satisfied snicker.  

A gush of winter wind bursts in our faces, I'd usually complain but, my hand is warm. I'm holding the hand I want to hold and that's all that matters. I see Eren scanning left and right, he turns and questions me excitedly, his eyes a breath-taking spring-green.  

"So?? Where is it?! " I had completely forgotten about my freshly bought vehicle, and have to lick my dry lips to ponder just where the fuck I parked it. I point across the street, and Eren whips his head around to stare at the sparkling Sedan. I watch from his profile as his smile stretches across his face, his eyebrows raised and eyes shining like the gems they are.   

"Wow! Levi I'm so happy for you, your car is freaking cool!"   

I feel his hand begin to unclasp from mine, the glass cup falling from the edge, the ghostly tornado rising from the dead earth of my mind, and I squeeze his hand, pulling him back by my side. Catching the glass before it shatters on the ground again. Eren sort of pops up in place, a little startled as he looks down at me as we stand still on the sidewalk. I can't look back into Eren's stare, my brows pinch together and my nose dips under my scarf. I can't seem to say the words, 'I won't ever let go of your hand again, I won't ever let you go.'  

So all I do is squeeze his hand and lean into his arm, closing my eyes so I don't imagine the possible terrors of the future, closing my eyes so that I can stay with him in this moment. Forgetting the future, remembering the present. I open my eyes, staring at the white puffs of my breath in the chilly air, hearing a couple cars hum through the ashen street, and murmur lowly.  

"Stay by my side."  

We begin to walk together across the street when it's empty, his grip against my hand is sweaty, and I can't help but fall into the cat's trap of curiosity. I peek up from the corner of my eye at Eren, his face is tinted red, he's biting his lip with a grin escaping underneath his front teeth, and his eyes crinkle from the overflowing happiness radiating from them. Before we separate to enter the front of the car from the sides, Eren mutters gently,  

"Always."  

 

 


 

 

Driving with Eren is worse than crapping out painful shits, the road rage on this maniac makes volcanic eruptions look like puppy sneezes. And he's not even the one driving.   

"So help me god if that fucker continues tailgating you..." Eren keeps glancing back at the driver behind me, his teeth bared like a pissy chihuahua. I roll my eyes as I take a right towards our apartment, the city around us is strung up with white gold Christmas lights, making the diamond landscape glimmer in a warm holiday spirit. I tease Eren as the car halts at a red street light, my right hand turning the nob of the radio for a good tune to distract him with. (Although finding decent music on the radio is just as easy as finding a dildo in a haystack.)  

"Or else you'll beat him to death with your crappy cast? Write a song about him and call it 'The Ass Sniffer'?" I kind of snort and finally find a tune that will cheer up my testosterone charged idiot. Eren is about to haughtily rebut my playful taunting but he is soon paralyzed by the song that begins to sweep his mood away."Regret" by New Order begins on the radio, the heavenly synthesizer making our spirits float up, the guitar and voice taking us away in a vibrant stream of early 90's magic.  

The distraction definitely worked, Eren takes a big kiddy gasp and begins poking himself a thousand times on the chest eagerly blubbering,  

"Oh my god I'm wearing a New Order T-shirt right now too! How fuckin' awesome is that?!" His happy expression shines brighter than all of the holiday lights surrounding us, and he starts dancing like a shameless nerd soon afterwards. Two gentle fists pumping up and down in the air as his body sways left and right, giggling as he darts a look at me now and then. A look that seems to say both 'I don't care if I look like a giant dweeb" and 'you should join me in my loser-dom.'  

I smirk at him as the car starts up again and I drive through the now available green light, ever so slightly joining him in the musical madness as my hands pat the wheel and my head slightly bobs in beat to the rhythm. It's funny how now the fear is losing, driving doesn't seem like the mental-torture I thought it'd always be. As I break for another red-light I take a moment to watch Eren completely lose himself in the gleeful melody. He begins to air guitar, fingers strumming to invisible chords with his eyes closed and lips puckered.    

I don't have to pretend to feel better. I don't have to try to ignore the silent horrors that jump into my mind. I might be the rainy day but when I'm with him, the sun, I can be the person I want to be. This person, with all his simple but fierce way of living, makes everything clear and bright naturally. Maybe not all the time, because love can break someone , can ruin the mind, drive a person fucking mad basically, but love can also help heal the leftover wounds everyone bears. Sometimes the sunny person isn't always the best either, their fiery passions burning over reason, but I'm also here to cool him down with wet words of wisdom. I've never tasted the sweetness of love up until this point in my life, I guess love is an acquired taste.   

"Hey Levi look!" Eren's voice rings pleasantly, I am stirred out of my reverie and glance towards the direction of his pointed finger. A bunch of Christmas trees are in a parking lot being sold, silver and goldholiday lights encircle the area of children skipping around and parents lugging giant pine trees. Eren cheerfully exclaims,  

"Holy crap, Christmas is tomorrow and we still don't have a tree. We have to get one now before it's too late!"  Eren bounces up and down in his car seat so much the seat belt locks and he starts to struggle behind it, I grouse as I try to hide a budding smirk from this brat's ridiculous enthusiasm.  

"All Christmas trees do is shit pine needles all over the floor and it's a pain to clean it all up."  

Although I say this, I start slowing the car down to turn into the parking lot, Eren doesn't seem to have noticed I'm doing this though with his heated counter.   

"Then I'll clean everything up, I promise! Every year ever since I can remember I've had a tree. My mom let Mikasa be the first to turn the lights on and I always got to put the star on top. Please, I know you are probably a total Grinch because we don't listen to any holiday music or decorate but -- we need to have a tree!" I can imagine tiny Eren jumping up to get the star on the top of the tree, maybe Mikasa would help him up. I bet Eren's mom would have the same kind of smile he has, there's a gut feeling I have that he's probably a lot like she was . Looks aside, not that I know how she looks like, though I still wish I did.  

When Eren realizes I'm pretty much already parking by the end of his rant he gets this devious little grin on his face, turquoise eyes that look determined to find the perfect tree even if he has to go through every single damn one of them. I get out of the car while Eren starts to ramble, his words heavy with what he deems to be profound concerns,  

"How large can the tree be? We can't have a flimsy tree, oh, and it has to be even so that there are no gaping holes ruining everything." We begin going through rows, the ground is covered in twigs and green, families wearing over-bearing holiday hats are everywhere. Elf-ears, santa-hats, reindeer antlers, jesus christ I'm glad I got to skip that embarrassing part of a childhood. Eren finds a patch of trees he thinks are worthy of his attention, then begins to go through them one by one, bashing their trunks against the ground to see how they look like un-flattened. I mutter looking at all of these trees taller than Eren himself,  

"Look at all these big ass trees... Why don't we get something smaller? I bet we can't even fit that turd through the apartment doorway." Eren blinks twice and assesses the pine he can barely hold up, then reluctantly nods his head. We begin to go to the smaller patch of trees, Eren does his same routine, spinning the trees around, inspecting them with a humorous stern furrowed brow. Grumbling things like,  

"Too skinny" or "not thick enough" and shaking his head and putting the rejects away on his left side. I decide to poke some fun at him,  

"Are you talking about dicks or trees? Hurry up. Its cold as a snowman's asshole out here." My teeth slightly chatter at the end of the sentence, I bury my nose in my scarf again. Eren giggles a little bit and turns around to question,  

"Haven't you ever gotten a Christmas tree before? It takes time!" I sigh heavily through my nose and run out of patience, I'm tired of waiting for this picky little shit. I grab the first wrapped-up-with-string tree I find and shake it out. Then I raise a brow and wait for Eren to see if the tree is 'deserving' of staying at our household. Eren pauses as I get his attention, his focus switches from to the tree and then to me several times, then he begins to cover his mouth and snicker as he walks closer.  

"Levi... you're the same height as the tree. It's perfect." As he says the words through his snickering, I look to the side and he's right.... This stupid tree is my height. I let go of the tree and it gracefully falls against a wooden fence, and I cross my arms in bitterness. Eren obnoxiously goes, "Awee" and rushes up to me and holds me firmly by the shoulders, giving me a big hug. I want to knee him in the stomach at first, but he's just so warm, and it's him. I open my eyes a little as my nose rests on his shoulder, I see flakes of ice delicately begin to shower  onto all of the pine trees and into the deep muddled chestnut of Eren's hair.  

"It's snowing." I murmur into the cotton of his jacket, but instead of pulling away from him, I slip my hands up and onto his chest, leaning into his lovely heat. Eren's head pops up, but he stays locked in place with me, eyes darting all around us as he breathlessly proclaims,  

"So beautiful, everything's so beautiful right now..." He tilts his head back, and I decide to tilt my head back as well. We're in a world of our own. The red, blue, green, and gold Christmas lights making everything glow in their collage of hearty colors. The nearly transparent sprinkles of snow getting caught in Eren's dark-brown eyelashes, his tender gaze more verdant than all of the trees here combined. We hold each other in this snow-globe world of ours, a moment unbound by time. Our faces inch closer and closer till my chilled nose brushes against his button-nose, my slightly winter-chapped lips pressing slowly into the plush of Eren's. We kiss once, the kiss filling me up like the first gulp of hot cocoa or tea, and then pull gradually away.   

Against his lips I mutter,  

"You smell just like Christmas trees..." Eren's face goes from dazed and heavy lidded, to squirming and mildly embarrassed. He stutters,  

"O-oh really?" He looks pleased, not so much about what he smells like, but I think that I've noticed these little details about him. I separate our embrace to grab our perfect 'me'-sized tree and begin to lug it to the cashier, Eren begins to rifle through a cardboard box of ornaments as I wait in line. He grabs a chunky glass canary-yellow star to crown our tree with, and not-so-stealthily slips his left fingers through my right ones.   

"I've never gotten one before, you know, what you asked before..." I stare at the melting frost on my blue rainboots as I wait for his reply. Eren doesn't give me pity though, instead a pearly smile and a soft,  

"We only get so many happy firsts, right?"  

I snort and elbow him a little in the ribs as he chuckles, Eren whines a merry "hey!" as I lightly nudge his side in retaliation to his perfect cheesiness. But then as we watch our tree get trimmed and suited for our home, I lean into his shoulder quietly.    

 

 


 

 

"I'm sorry Levi, I didn't really think about where we would have to put it..." Eren apologizes with that baby pout of his, I grit my teeth as we start to pull into the apartment driveway. Once we settle to a stop, I take the keys out of the ignition and turn around to access the damage.  

God damnit. Pine needle vomit everywhere, my brand new stinking car is abso-fucking-lutely littered with Christmas filth. Eren has his head down as he gets the satan-tree out of the back seat, waiting at the front door somberly. It's hard not to slam the door, but I keep my neurosis in check and decide to just ignore the problem now but scour the car later with a handheld mini vacuum-cleaner I have stored away in the laundry room. At least now we can just put the tree in the corner by the couch and watch some bad movies, finally able to relax with each other... and maybe we can do some other things too...  I sigh as I begin to unlock the door, looking up at Eren as I try to take it relatively easy on him,  

"You owe me big time." Eren nods excessively, but the tension in his face begins to uncoil as he realizes I've decided not to unload my clean-freak fury onto him. I swing the door open and suddenly our ears are assaulted by a chorus of high-pitched ecstatic voices and our sight blinded by rainbow confetti.  

"SURPRISE!!!!"  

Eren automatically threw his arms up in a defensive fighting position, knuckles up, eyes huge like saucers. I have a vague idea about how I probably look right now, my lips sealed in shock, catching the tree Eren had dropped from his battle-mode reflex, my eyes slowly adjusting to just what the hell was happening. But then, of course I know what this is. I see Hanji with all of her friends, acquaintances, Mike, and Erwin, all laughing and clapping at our two spazz reactions. I squint my eyes at Hanji with scorn deeply fueling them, my heart beat beating out of my ass, and hiss.  

"Really? Every single year shitty-glasses?"  

Hanji has tears in her eyes she's been cackling so hard, she begins to rub her eyes with a fist as she holds her glasses with her other hand. Then she beams at me with a horribly sincere,  

 

 

 

"Happy Birthday Levi."  

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 29: The Words That Must Be Said
Notes:

Honestly, I would advise to just to read from the first chapter and work your way into this new chapter. To give it a more fresh feeling, considering I made you guys wait so long like a big ol' dick. But do what you want, I truly adore you guys. Sorry for the wait, hope you enjoy the chapter~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birthdays are not happy days for me. Redundant. I am alive everyday, I might be dead the next. Who cares about the day I happened to pop out of my mother? Astrology tricking the many thirsty mundane-crazed population into thinking that their life is significant, that the alignment of some dead stars in the sky some how signify reliable hocus pocus horoscopes about whether they wear orange tomorrow they'll get that pay raise or get laid that month. Age is a cage we sign ourselves up for, numbers tattooed under our skins that society has ordered us to keep.   

Death does not care if you are an infant or some balding senior in a stale retirement home. I guess if there's anything I really believe in, it's the old reliable Grimm reaper. So birthdays, a repeated event of melted wax on cake, deflated balloons, and party streamers that always get tangled in all of their fucking surroundings, I don't enjoy them. Or the presents I never really use or want thrown at me. But Hanjidoes it every god damn year, and every year I have to clean up the after party leftovers of the celebration of my continued breathing and shitting.  

"Its... it's your birthday today?! And you didn't even tell me??" Eren barks, turning his whole body towards me at the doorway. I pinch the bridge of my nose as Hanji rushes in-between Eren and I, the human cock- block. Damnit, I really did want some alone time with Eren... I grouse in exasperation,  

"It's tomorrow but it's Four Eyes' tradition to ruin my life every Christmas Eve."  

Hanji puts her arms around Eren and my shoulders, guiding us into my household like it was her own damn home. She gabs excitedly,   

"Oh come on you two, no squabbling on this special day! How about we loosen you two lovers up with some liquor to cheer things up quicker?" She thinks she's so clever, well, technically she is. That killer I.Q. of hers and everything. Ugh, I guess I can't complain much if she brought some alcohol to make this annual torture more tolerable.   

Eren purses his lips at her public 'lovers' announcement, eyeing me and tensing up for the verbal hit of my rejection of our relationship. But I don't deny it in front of him, I don't deny it at all. Instead I admitwith a sigh,  

"A drink or two wouldn't be so bad."  

The birthday crowd around us cheers, and my old stereo starts to play music I don't recall either Eren or I buying a C.D for. Eren's lips make a small 'O' at me, the quickest inhale of breath, he wants to ask mesomething... But now his attention is directed away from me, his jaw practically dropping when he sees Mikasa, Armin, and his nemesis Jean approaching him. Armin greets happily,  

"Happy birthday Levi! We can't stay for too long because we have to go back to our hotel tonight and pack for tomorrow morning, but we wanted to come by to celebrate and make our goodbyes." He's wearing a brown plaid blazer, blue collared shirt underneath, denim jeans and his usual loafers. Jean is still wearing his Garrison's Records work outfit, and Mikasa wears a nice magenta dress that has 3-quarter sleeves with black heels. She says a low,  

"Happy birthday. Sorry we didn't get a present." She's still weary about my presence, in general and in Eren's life. But she seems sincere in what she says, giving Eren a hug and walking behind us to help lug in our nearly forgotten Christmas tree. She picks up the whole fucking thing like it was the weight of a lint-ball. Eren points a long vicious finger at Jean as he sneers,  

"What's this jerk-off doing here?" Jean squints his eyes at Eren in disdain, but then takes a deep sigh and gives Eren a big shit-eating grin. He shrugs and drools,  

"I was invited by your sister and Armin, they were invited by Hanji, Hanji said to invite anyone they'd like. Oh err... Happy birthday dude." Jean raises wiggly gloating eye-brows at Eren but then shifts his attention to me at the end. I just nod my head at douche-cake and then grab Eren by the hand, lacing our fingers, a modest way of showing Eren that I no longer care about who sees us in public. Eren'seyebrows go from furrowed to raised at my gesture. He transforms from ferocious wolf to quivering puppy almost faster than a snap of the fingers basically. Jean's pupils go big as his head turns down to stareat our hand holding, before Eren blushes into a coma I begin to drag him away from his equine friend. I give my thanks to the acquaintances wishing me a 'happy birthday' as I take Eren along with me to the kitchen island to get some drinks. I turn to look at Eren mumbling,  

"What do you want to drink kid?" My hand automatically starts to reach towards the bottle of grey goose vodka, but I let my fingers shrivel back into palm, and then pull back to grab two bottles of cheap beer. I don't think I need alcohol to forget anymore, I don't think I need much alcohol at all. Eren snatches the second beer away from me, aggressively twisting the lid off with his baby pout. His gaze goes intense into mine, fired up green eyes flickering into my melting wax grey. He leans close to me in our far too crowded kitchen, his lips murmuring soft against the skin of my ear,  

"I'm not a kid anymore..."   

My gulp would have been audible if not for the music blaring inside the apartment. Our moment is interrupted by Hanji guffawing,   

"Hey now, secrets are no fun, unless you tell everyone!" Erwin is at her side with his hand resting casually around her waist. Eren and I separate immediately, I decide to take a thick gulp of beer now, bottoms up and all that shit. I ridicule Hanji swiftly,  

"It wouldn't be a secret if everyone knows Four Eyes. What's blasting out of my stereo right now anyways?" I segue the hell out of that conversation. I actually am curious as to what band I'm hearing, it's a rare occasion when Hanji plays party music that doesn't give me a headache. Hanji holds her hands in front of her in little happy fists, bouncing a little as she explains enthusiastically.  

"Oh do you like it? It's my birthday present to you, I made you a playlist! ' Shyness' by Thieves Like Us is on right now. The next song is 'Air Supply' by Sweet Trip I believe. You needed something a bit more lively to your sleepy  music  collection!" Hanji rants besides Eren and I at the kitchen counter as she leans over to take a bottle of beer. Armin and Mikasa join us, Mikasa adds dryly,  

"Do you have One Direction? That's Armin's favorite band." Armin can't seem to uncap his beer, so Mikasa reaches over and snaps the lid off in one twist, her forearms flexing in brute force.  

I snort at Armin's eyes going giant at the accusation, he stutters before he takes a dainty sip of alcohol,  

"She's lying! I only like classical music and The Beatles.. " He now laughs a little bit, giving Mikasa a grin and a light nudge with his elbow. Mikasa's expression stays as stiff and unmoved as ever, my theory about her intense dry-pan humor confirmed. Her face melts a little though when Eren nearly snorts beer out of his nose laughing at her joke. A ghost of a smile warming on her face. With the way she looks at him, it makes me think that their might be something more than just sisterly love, but I catch myself from overthinking about it. Jealousy is Eren's thing, not mine.  

Moblit takes out a big box of the game 'Twister' and Hanji and Armin cheer with their arms up. Erwin chuckles and takes a hearty swig of a bottle of beer and then rolls his sleeves up.   

"You have to be kidding me, so stupid.." I snort as I lift an eyebrow at Erwin. He gives me a pointed sky blue stare, his game face solidifying in an almost eerie expression. 'Air Supply' begins to boom out of the stereo speakers.  

"It's only stupid if you lose." A devilish smirk rises ever so slightly on the man's clean shaven face. I never thought I'd see my serious editor get down on his hands and knees for a child's game. But I can tell he's challenging me, he puts his hand on my shoulder, his meaty palm exceedingly eclipsing the circle of my shoulder. He dismisses me playfully in a low voice,  

"You can spin the dial if you'd prefer, birthday boy."   

Then his touch is gone, he walks over to Hanji besides the Twister mat, waiting for my decision. There's this numb wretched feeling spreading over that absence, I think about just how hard I tried to win that man's affection. All those days I scrubbed my house raw, itching around in a outfit in front of a mirror to look good enough for him. Always failing. I feel a sharpness twisting into the side of my face, I glance at a wound-up Eren, ah he's the jealous one that's right. It's in my nature to fail at being with who I want to be with, isn't it?  

I press the cold glass circle of the beer to my lips, I down the bottle, then pick up a shot glass and fill it to the brim with vodka. It's my damn birthday, I'll hate myself if I want to. I take three shots, people in the room encourage my alcohol abuse with thrilled hollering as I down one by one in a rapid sequence. Eren grabs my arm at the end of the third, I look at those Christmas green eyes and feel the fear. The ripe fear of losing him because of who I am. That's the fun thing about depression, no matter how much someone says they love you, it'll still make you doubt everything they've said.  

I pull away from him, a forced half-grin fueled by pain uncoiled on the side of my face. I mumble darkly,  

"Let go Eren, I'm going to go play some stupid ass Twister." I can feel the orbs of my eyes deadening, like lead balls locked inside my skull. All of the negatives start trickling into my mind like a gas leak, each drop potent and filled with bad intentions. I stumble over to the Twister mat, notice Mikasa had set the Christmas tree next to the couch, and then I stand next to Mike as Moblit spins the little Twister wheel. Right hand blue. I put my hand there, all the music and chatter in the room start to blurr into a bad song.  

I'm getting older. Eren is still so young, why should he waste his precious time with me? Left foot red. He'll get tired of me, he probably thinks all of the sadness stained in my mind will fade away eventually. Right foot green. What if-  

Mike fucking crushes me as he falls over, its as if a polar bear has belly flopped on the side of my ribs. His odor is thick like the smell of old books. Sounds start to normalize again, there is laughter and a Hercules-like strength lifting me up by my armpit. My mind reels back into focus, focusing on Mike's grizzly mustache stretching with his smile as we both stand away from the game. He gives me one of those playful smacks on the arm that guys do, and laughs a gruff baritone laugh,  

"Didn't see you there." He looks down at me in an exaggerated way, nose pointed straight down at my face, accentuating my short as shit height. I can feel the alcohol working it's devil's magic, warm confidence buzzing in my brain. I flick the middle of his chest as I tilt my head to the side replying,  

"How does it feel to be the giraffe in the zoo? You getting a nice breeze from all the way up there goliath?" Whenever Mike smiles you can barely see his eyes the way they crinkle, but you usually can't see his eyes regardless because of his long ass blonde bangs. He scratches his thin beard with a thumb and stares at me with a curious twinkle in his eye. He asks with a lifted brow,  

"So Levi... who did you give the key to?" I go on my tippy toes to smother his blabbing mouth with my hand, the booze makes my legs fickle though and I fall into him. Mike puts his arms around me to steady me, though his hands get too comfortable and linger on my hips, and I swear I hear a sniff or two from above. I mumble in irritation,  

"Let's keep that a secret between you and me, okay? You beanstalk-bimbo..." Before Mike can swear his secrecy I feel a vice grip on my forearm and get tugged away from him.  My back thuds against someone's chest, I glance over my shoulder and sure enough, there's my short-tempered lil' shit getting all wound up and sharp-eyed. I lean back against him, sure I could stand perfectly on my own, but he smells so good... just like those fresh cut trees... Eren's rough questioning laced with very precariously held back anger ruins the moment,  

"What secret?" I watch Mike simply grin at Eren and casually walk away to grab some more refreshments in the kitchen. I hear Eren shakily release his pent up breath, he turns me around by my elbow, mouth opening up to badger me, but halted by his two friends suddenly at his side.  

"It's about time we got back home." Mikasa has an arm around a very sleepy and drunk Armin. Armin smiles with his eyes closed whispering,  

"Left hand yellow... heheh.." Then he goes back to snuggling against Mikasa's boob innocently as he slumps into her support. Eren bites his lip, sends me a quick glare, then focuses on their well being. Damn, I'm going to be chewed out later, that was definitely a we-are-definitely-going-to-talk-when-they're-all-gone look. Eren asks Mikasa with clear concern,  

"I don't want you driving if you've had too much to drink Mikasa." Mikasa's face relaxes with quiet joy. Then she replies with a hand fiddling with her beloved scarf,  

"I only had one beer, you and I both know that's just about water to me. We'll see you next month maybe?" Eren opens his arms wide to hug both Mikasa and limp Armin in one big embrace. I hear his voice muffled inside their hug,  

"Of course."  

A slow and sensually hypnotizing beat begins to play on the stereo, I give a quick wave to Mikasa as she makes her way out of the apartment with Eren by her side sending her off. A rush of wind goes by me as Jean hurries to Mikasa's side, helping her support Armin's limp figure like your regular idiot gentleman. I wander over to the radio and look at the song playing, 'So Many Details' by Toro Y Moi fluctuatesthrough the black speakers. People in the living room dance against each other, like sex with clothes on, people have definitely moved on from Twister. Gross...   

Hanji visits me with Erwin's arm around her shoulder, her glasses are about to fall off the bridge of her nose but she catches it with a sloppy hand and slides it back into place. She chirps,  

"Don't worry buddy, we are going to send this party over to my place. So you can have some alone time with Mr. Huffy-and-Puffy over there on the couch." We all take a second to see the moody teenager sulking on the couch, he plucks at his guitar forlornly with his left hand. Suddenly I feel a great urge to kick every party-goer  out of here. It hurts to see him like that. He deserves better.  

"LET'S KEEP THE PARTY GOING AT MY PLACE UPSTAIRS EVERYBODY! WOOHOOO!" Hanji screeches merrily, Erwin and I wince but I'm surprised to see Erwin smile at Hanji after with suchsincere tenderness in his eyes. He really loves her, huh? I think that... that's okay. I'll be okay. Sometimes people aren't meant to be your completing puzzle piece, no matter how hard you try to cram them into your heart. Unfortunately there seems to be about a million pieces missing from mine.   

The room erupts in staggering liquor quenched hooting, and eventually all of the fools trickle one by one out of the apartment. Hanji gives me a big stifling hug, Erwin gives his usual shoulder squeeze, and it's just Eren and I left with a fuckload to clean up and 'So Many Details' carrying on in the background. I try to ignore the slimy shoe imprints on my once spotless wood floors, making my way to sit down next to Eren on the couch. He puts his guitar on the side and puts his hands on his knees, not sure where to start his bitter rant I'm sure. His bronze face is glowing and the room seems to slightly spin around him, the music flutters like audio butterflies through my ears, in my chest. I watch his light brown eyelashes shift over like wings as he looks at me from the side of his vision. He's angry and beautiful, the passion lit up in him like exploding stars, twinkling dangerously in his eyes. Eren just about bursts, he's not the kind of guy to give silent treatment that's for sure.  

" What the hell Levi. One moment it's like, it's like just you and me. Like we are the only people in the world or something. Then all of a sudden it's your birthday, that you didn't even tell me about, and you're flirting with every guy in the freaking room." He pouts, the curve of his bottom lip so tempting and supple, it's hard to pay attention to what he's saying. I make a big exhale through my nose, I comment as if what he said was the biggest bore,  

"Ugh calm down, don't get your damn boxers in a twist over nothing. Birthdays aren't that important anyways. " I start to scooch over closer to him carefully, the tune twists something hot in my body, I feel an intense need to be closer to him. I want to fix my wrongs with wrongs. Maybe two wrongs can make a right.  

"And what was the deal with you taking all those shots?? And what secrets do you have with sheepdog-ass-face??" I roll my eyes and finally get tired of fighting with him, I straddle his hips in a blink of an eye, grabbing him by the chin and staring deep into his now very wide emerald furnaces.   

"You can't be so fucking jealous all of the time." His state of shock is now blown away by my harsh words, he glares at me with such a fiery rage I nearly get hard from it. He barks back with the veins in his neck protruding like a cat with raised hackles,  

"Yes I fucking can! I don't want anyone else having you! Feelings are not meant to be ignored, they are there because they are supposed to be felt god damnit!" I kiss him hard, the second he finishes that last word I silence that fervid mouth with my own as I hold him in place by the chin. We both breathe in through our noses as he sinks into the couch, his hands gripping my waist possessively, I can feel his left hand's fingers printing into my nerve bubbling skin.   

I get up abruptly, the bravery of love and alcohol a most lethal combination, and start walking through the hall and to the bedroom like a deranged mall shopper in a store of goodies. I lick my lips with the leftovers of his kiss and I hear him holler out in a terrible state of heated confusion,  

"Where are you going?!"  

I pull over one of the two grey sweaters im wearing off of my body as I answer loud enough to be heard, but low enough not to be shouting,  

"Get a clue, you moron."  

 

I hear him speedily hobble off of the couch with his cast- boot, the sounds of the erotic melody echoing off the walls, and all of the words I know must be said in my head.  

 

 

 

 

 

 



Chapter 30: What Stars Need
Notes:

I love writing for these two so much. But I can feel the story ending, this fic will soon be finished. I don't want to leave this, but I don't want to force the story to continue, especially when I feel such a natural ending in my heart. I just wanted to give you all a heads up, and a thank you for reading this far ~ I hope to update the next chapter much sooner, but life has kept me busy.

I dedicate this chapter to Rachel.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eren sort of hops towards the bed, helpless and wanting. I push him down on it then walk around to the foot of the bed as he accommodates himself nervously. His mini mane of brown lion hair pushes into a pillow half on the mattress half on the headboard, wiggling up so that he's somewhat sitting and laying at the same time. I'm not going to let him have the reigns this time, I know he's comfortable enough with sex now so that I don't have to go easy on him.  

 I take my sweater off slowly, the cotton fibers trail off my skin leaving my nerves tingling behind it. I slip my pants off as I dip my knees into the bed as I crawl over to Eren, the sounds of the erotic electronic beats of "So Many Details" has transformed his anxiousness into immense longing, his brow ever so slightly furrowed, lips wet from licking and biting them nervously. His hands raise to touch me but I hold his wrist and cast down with my hands forcibly, leaning over him, then roll my hips to rub our groins together in  sync with the music.   

"We wouldn't want you to hurt yourself..." I let my right hand's index finger trail up the already ragged blue cast on his arm with my head tilted to the side, frozen eyes going half lidded as I look at my sexually quivering prey. I lean forward as I roll my hips once more melodically to hear him feverishly whimper again. I place my lips on the skin of his neck just below the ear, feeling the golden peach fuzz on his delicious caramel skin to whisper, "would we?" He instinctively shakes his head right and left under the heat of my orders. My ass's weight grinding against his budding hard-on underneath his now too tight denim jeans.  

I give his sensitive neck an open mouthed kiss, then bite at his neck like one would out of a sweet apricot. Sucking the sweetness of his smooth skin, with all the humid fervor and juiciness of summer, I even lick my lips after the long awaited treat. I lift my head back up to look down at him, those gems glimmering up at me full of eagerness, the stars of faint freckles hidden on his button nose. The song begins to end, our home filled with nothing but our heavy breaths. Our home.  

My next kiss is deep, no tongue, just the intimate connection and communication of how much I feel for him. Our lips roll over and against each other, I breathe in his minty tinged with beer breath, let my right hand begin to explore down from his chest, to his navel, till its under his jeans. Our eyes are both closed, we only focus on the experience of intertwining with another, I taste the shivering soft moan that Eren makes as our tongues begin to twist along another and I begin to massage his length over his green/black plaid boxers.   

I smirk as his hips begin to jerk up into my touches, I rub the tip with my thumb and feel the satisfaction of making him wet enough with pre-cum to have it seep through his underwear. Eren's voice is hoarse and gritty with need, my name uttered against my lips weakly,  

"Levi."  

His vulnerability makes my groin pulse with satisfaction, I can't help but smirk. Aligning my body perpendicular to his, I roll his pants down just to his mid thighs so that it further immobilizes him, and he helps me eagerly by lifting his lower-half to quicken this process. Eren's erection is now a proud tent, the boxer material sticky and darkened at the top. So being the clean freak I am, I think I'll just keep his underwear on and please him from the outside. I begin to suck at his dick's silhouette, watching Eren's head tilt back into his pillow, his eyes clenched with those thick brown eyelashes, his adam's apple bobbing from swallowing more moans.  

I cup his balls under the fabric, palming into them while sucking at the outline of his cock all the way to the tip, savoring Eren's struggle for breath as he groans from pleasure. I taste the saltiness of him, his underwear so rich with his intoxicating pine scent, I start to pant myself with hazy vision. I slip out of my boxer-briefs and reach over to the nightstand to grab my trusty Vaseline from the bottom drawer. Erentries to sit up but I push him down with an immediate flat hand to the middle of his chest, he begins to whine,  

"Levi please, I need to touch you, please!  

I simply shake my head as I begin to unveil his curved pink length, my ass hovering just above his wavering golden hips to mock his begging state. I coat his dick with Vaseline with a firm grip, giving it an extra squeeze at the base to make his jaw go slack and eyes roll back. All the while I finger myself with my left hand's fingers, stuffing myself with two then three fingers to hurry up and get him inside of me.I begin to lead the head of his arousal to my entrance, I rub it around the red ring of muscles and I begin to hum from the sweet sensation. Eren's face is miserable with want, biting his lips from the impatience of not being buried deep in me.   

"Please....please..." Eren murmurs deliriously, his lower lip trembling as he looks up at me with turquoise passion. I give into his pleading  finally, cramming his cock into me in a gradual descent. My brow furrows, my eyes nearly shut, my teeth grit, my tight ass swallowing his length hungrily. My muscles tighten around him, the euphoric feeling of being connected with Eren so great my eyes go watery.  

" Nnnnnnnnngh " I finally squeeze my eyes shut because the feeling is just so overwhelming, but my eyes snap open when I feel Eren rut up into me. It sends sparks of gratification to ignite wonderfully inside of me, the impatient little shit. Since he caught me off guard I gasp lewdly, my cheeks automatically heating into a blush. I lean forward and grab him by the chin, my nose brushing against his, taking back control I pump myself full of him a couple times and we moan in unison. My voice is airy but stressed,  

"You belong to me. Understand?" I notice Eren's face start to soften at my stern statement, his pupils dilating, lips parted in understanding surprise. I brush his brown bangs to the side of his face, then trace the bottom of his lips, I think of how his kiss is mine alone. He leans forward very cautiously, I let him kiss me, and its so tender and completing. We breathe each other in, like we were are one human being, like being apart is unimaginable. He whispers as our lips separate just a centimeter away from another,  

"Always."  

I still feel the unstoppable fear of losing him, but I feel the fear and accept it. I turn my back on death and fall into the arms of love, because death can't help you live, and I want to fucking live. The urgentrealization makes my limbs gooey, my breathing huffy, the pain reveal in my melting blue eyes. Eren embraces me, abandoning all of my rules, seeing through my boundaries and saving me. He's sitting up now, my nails dig into his skin, soon to leave little pink crescent moons on the wings of his shoulder-blades. The head of my wet dick rubs against his stomach, making my lower body tense up in hot bliss.We look into each other's eyes as he thrusts up into me, he rubs the spot inside me that makes my whole body feel like lightning, I cry out and try my best to keep my eyes open as we bounce sweatily in place.I want something to be mine, I want to be human and let myself believe the invincibility of love.   

Its too much, too good, my head hangs back as I mewl senselessly, I'm consumed by the essence of Eren. His warm radiating pine scent overtaking me, the athletic curves of his biceps and abs working hard to please me, the sounds of his rough moans being sent into my neck from his kisses. He grunts out,  

"I'm close - !" So I begin to stroke myself sloppily and fast, my overflowing pre-cum enough to lubricate my jerking off. I can't tell whose moan is whose anymore, the darkness of orgasm begins to rise from my groin all the way over me until I'm enveloped by thought-destroying ecstasy. I feel his lips close over my own as we whine into each other's mouths. I've never felt so complete in my entire life. This time we made love. I can tell, it was different, our hearts finally synchronized into a fluttering strong mess of emotion.  We just stay seated into another for a while, holding each other, the side of my jaw laying on his shoulder, his chin hooked over my shoulder. Eren's guitar callused thumbs lazily rub small circles over my ribs, I switch from hugging him to sliding my hands to rest them on his chest.   

 

I then hear him say I love you so gently in the fog of our desperate breathing that I wonder if it was just my imagination. But knowing him the way I do, I'm sure he did.  

 

 


 

 

"The water is going to go cold!" Eren impatiently hollers over at me as he sits in his lonesome in the bathtub. I go on my tippy toes in the nude to reach the old wooden box on the high shelf in my closet, I call over my shoulder,  

"No it won't, don't be such a brat." I don't need to see Eren's face to know that he's pouting at that nickname, but I knew it'd make him shut up. I open the box slowly, staring  down at the sparkly pink hairband resting in an oval, the slightly crumpled drawing of overlapping wings that I've tried flattening countless times, and the diamond-headed gilded key in the middle. I glance over at the right at a see-through plastic box holding some of my memorabilia from my highschool goth days, setting the wooden box back onto its place on the shelf, holding the key in my palm.   

Rifling through the plastic box, I find a long thin string of leather and snatch it up. After I slip it through the key's diamond-shaped head, I shut the closet door. I walk into the bathroom, the marble floor is cold beneath my bare feet, I clamp my mouth down and breathe in some bravery. Eren has his cast safe from the water resting on the outer-rim of the porcelain bathtub, his boot cast removed and placed on the toilet seat. He blinks up at the key and string dangling in front of his face, squinting he blurts out,  

"A necklace?" His left hand grabs the key and I release my grip, I bend down on my knees and lean over the tub to help tie it around his neck. After I've tied it into a relatively loose double knot, I get up and begin to dip a toe into the smoking toasty water. I sit across from Eren, his knees bent in the water like small bronze mountains, my pale feet relax onto his muscled tummy. I admire the way the key glistens over Eren's bronze wet skin, the string laid over his defined collar bones. Eren peers at the gift, fiddling with it with his left hand, then letting it go to massage my right foot. My eyes stay on the key, on the secret symbol, and I mutter,  

"I made it into a necklace so that you wouldn't lose it. Like how you always lose the damn T.V. remote, leaving it that one time in the refrigerator like a real genius." Eren's jaw drops as he laughs and drops my foot to splash a bit of water at me, I snort and hold my hands up to shield myself. Eren yells dramatically,  

"THAT WAS ONE TIME!"  

  I smirk and bring a silencing finger to my lips, shushing him with,  

"Shhhh, god damn your voice can really be a fuckin' speakerphone sometimes. We have neighbors you know? " Eren starts to pick my foot up again unconsciously to massage it, he grumbles under his breathpeeved. He's such a cute fucker... Eren plays with my toes, lifting my foot up and pretending to nibble at them.  

"I swear to god I'm just going to eat you, no one will ever find you, because there will be nothing left." He says in a grumpy but playful manner, I can't help but chuckle at his teasing, he grins finally and gives my foot a quick kiss and then sets it back down on his stomach.  

"Ew." I teasingly sneer at him, Eren shrugs without a care, used to my taunting. He then steadies his eye contact with me and says,  

"Thank you for the present, I don't know why you're giving it to me considering its your birthday. In fact I might be the worst boyfriend in the history of the world at the moment,  jesus I seriously suck. Anyways, thank you, this is awesome. " His left hand's fingers feel out the edges of the key, this is the moment I think. This is when and where I tell him.  

"It's a key to this apartment. You, staying here, that's my birthday present." I gulp softly, trying to keep the conviction in my stare and not falter to stare at the squares of the tiled bathroom walls instead.   

"Levi..." His face relaxes, his little modest smile peeking out onto his cheeks, emerald eyes glittering and unblinking. I clear my voice a little and rub the back of my neck, fingers brushing through my undercut.  

"This was the secret I was keeping from you. Mike works at the Lock and Key so he made me a key for you when you were sick with a cold." Eren replies with a perplexed question,  

"But why... I mean, shit, I'm so happy, but... why now I mean?" His smile continues to grow wider and wider, pearly whites radiating, the full impact of what I said spreading pure joy along his brightened expression. My chest shudders into a miniature earthquake, the beginning of my sentence rattled by the importance of what I have to say. I force my throat to unclench the panic, and I open my rib-cage like a wardrobe and bare my all too mortal heart.  

"It's because you accept me. But you aren't afraid to tell me when I'm being an asshole. I didn't think that it was possible for someone as blue and dark as I am, to be accepted . When I see you, this brilliant explosion of light, this catastrophically beautiful star that has burned into my life and forced me to see light in its entirety, it pains me. All of who I am believes I do not deserve acceptance, that I deserve the loneliness of darkness, that you are wasting your extraordinary time on a person who drowns in obsession and grief. But I've learned that I cannot resist you, you stubborn idiot, and that I no longer want to. That I never really wanted to resist you, you and that smug god damn Casanova smile of yours and those eyes that wouldn't let me go. That I was afraid of letting go of the impossibility of happiness. That I was afraid that someone, that you, could give me the dream that transcends reality." Eren's  eyes wince in loving exasperation at my wounded words, he links his left hand's long warm musical fingers with my right hand's snowy thin fingers. Although his expression is feeble, his voice is compelling.    

"You're the idiot, Levi. Sometimes I'm afraid that I'll burn out, that I'll blind everyone with my impulsiveness and the way that I can't fucking say the right thing and often say the wrong things loudly. With you I feel like I can take the time to ask and say whatever I want, because you see me and my passions. You can snap at me, push me away, but I need you just like you need me." He doesn't wait for my response, he leans over fast in the tub, the water ripples slightly spilling over the bathtub's edges. He cradles my face with both hands,   

"You need darkness to see the stars in the sky." He states with all of his being, the firm line of his pressed lips, the assurance in his black hole pupils that suck out all the worry out of my mind. I kiss him and I feel my response branded and burning in my mouth, more than ever I want to confirm my love for him, but I let it simmer on my tongue.  

"Let's finish taking a bath before the water actually does get cold." I murmur at his shoulder as we hold each other in a nest of luke -warm water and porcelain.   

 

 


 

Christmas Day 

 

I wake up with arms around me and a purring snore at my ear. Mourning doves coo outside the bedroom window, the fan whirs in circles on the ceiling, and its so quiet and peaceful I can hear the sound of my eyelids blinking. The side of my face rests on his chest, I close my eyes and feel myself rise and fall, the sea is still. I've found a ship I can finally rest upon, I don't have to stay afloat against waves anymore... 

I fall back asleep and dream of the ocean.  

When I wake up again, it's to the sweet aroma of pancakes and the banging of pans in the kitchen. I bend up and rub at both eyes, then get up and throw a big over-sized black sweater over myself, completing the lazy morning outfit with blue boxer-briefs. I brush my teeth groggily and feel a slight panging head-ache from a mild hangover, brush my hair with my fingers, then head over to the kitchen to see what the hell Eren is up to. My stomach imitates a dinosaur growl and I feel the excitement for pancakes rise in my belly as I turn out of the hallway into the living room.   

"What's cooking good looking?" I dead pan as I see Eren jump in place at my arrival, seems like he just finished putting a second pancake on a second plate. There's a slight blush toasting his cheeks and his eyes are wild and green, lips sputtering,  

"WAIT A SECOND I'M NOT DONE YET! GO BACK IN THE HALLWAY!" I roll my eyes and wait in the hallway for whatever Eren is trying to get done doing. He was wearing a white shirt with patches of pancake flour on it and green and brown checkered pajama pants. Damn I wouldn't have minded if he had just stayed shirtless... I look at the Christmas tree sitting in the corner and realize I have to sweep under the tree soon before a pile of pine-needles begins to collect under it...  

"Ok! You can come now!" Eren shouts excitedly, I sigh and wait for the 'surprise' he has in store for me. I go out and see him holding a plate with a pancake on it and a tiny pink candle unlit in the middle resting on the kitchen island. Eren flicks a white lighter to life and sets a flame on the candle, leaving the lighter besides the plate and then reaching down to hold his beat-up guitar. It's then that I notice that he doesn't have his cast on anymore, his proud smile bursting on his face, and he begins to strum and sweetly rejoice .  

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Levi, happy birthday to you!" The melody was played jubilantly, a lively performance as expected from the loud dork. I cover my face with a hand and hide my smile from him, then un-fluster myself to look up at him and good-naturedly jab,  

"Sweet armpits you are a dork." Eren giggles as he sets his guitar down and rests his elbows on the kitchen island, he bounces up and down excitedly and exclaims,  

"And Merry Christmas! Oh and I don't know how to make a cake so I just thought I'd make a pancake instead, I mean it has the word cake in it right? Now make a wish!" I raise an eyebrow at him as I stand in front of the pan-'cake' and I can't help but kind of grin at his child-like exuberance. I mutter cynically,  

" Why does it matter if I make a wish? Why is everyone so obsessed with a person's number anyways?" Eren makes a frown that's near comical, but then steadies his gaze on me as he replies with utter seriousness.  

"Because it means you've survived for this long. You and I both know how precious each year, each month, each damn day is. Your age is something to be proud of. Now make a wish sleepy head."  

I just admire him for a while, quite in awe at my hopeful little turd, and then look down at the wiggling fire on wax. I close my eyes and begin to brainstorm wishes, something I can't remember the last time I've done, maybe when my parents were still alive. Maybe.  

I wish that I can make Eren truly happy.  

 I briefly wish for a new vacuum as well.  

Then I blow out the candle and watch the grey wisps sizzle above it. Eren claps a couple times and then I reach over and grab the white lighter. I examine the smooth bone colored thing and then squint my eyes at Eren.  

"I thought you said white lighters were bad luck." I tilt my head and hold him under my teasing scrutiny. He squirms a little, scratching his recently cast-freed arm and shrugging. He responds with a soft,  

"I've been thinking that it might just be the opposite." I saunter over to him and gently grab his right arm, I bend it at the elbow so that I can drag his fingers against my lips delicately. Eren's breathing hitches a bit, I breathily ask him,  

"Your arm is already healed?" Eren just nods his head, at a loss of words at my intimate gesture. When he does say something, it’s a gruff mumble of,  

"Your lips are chapped..." I smirk and kiss his fingers, stepping closer and gazing up at him. I watch Eren's eyes pool with dark green desire, his lips parted and waiting. I rub a thumb along his bottom lip and murmur,  

"So are yours..." I blink up at him for a while longer then whisper, "Thank you."   

Eren's generic cellphone ringtones goes off snapping us out of the enchantment of the moment. He stays in my trance for a couple more hot seconds, then takes a deep lung filling breath of air and reluctantly turns away to fetch his phone. I pull a kitchen drawer open and set forks on our plates and carry them over to the couch, I wonder expectantly if there are any terrible movies to watch right now. I glance over at Eren to check how his phone call is going and my eyes begin to widen at what I see.  

He has a hand over his mouth with giant teal saucer-ed eyes, when he un-glues his hand from his mouth he runs it through his unkempt chestnut bangs and nods over-eagerly repeating,  

"Yes! Yes, that sounds great! Thank you so much! I'll see you then!" He then hangs up and throws his phone on the couch, his mouth open and breathless with a giant smile to greet me with. I set the plates on the couch and brace myself as he leaps towards me and sweeps me up into his arms, he spins me in crazy circles, and then squeezes me at the forearms and tells me, no, hollers,  

"Someone wants a record deal with me! They say I need to have 10 songs ready to show them but holy fuck, TITAN Records wants to make a mother freaking record with me! I can't believe it. I think I might pass out. I'm going to faint. I'm going to throw up. Oh my friggen god Levi."   

I know he's been anxious because he thought he wasn't making any progress with his music career, it's about time someone realized how much talent and drive this kooky teenager has. A fuzzy warmth builds up inside me, I let myself smile for real.

 

 

So this is what they mean by 'Happy Birthday."

 

 

 



Chapter 31: Getting on the Train
Notes:

You guys might as well re-read the story since I took so long, sorry for the wait nerds, I adore you all.



End Notes:

This is it. Thank you. This has been a beautiful ride, I appreciate you all following me to the end. I loved writing this story and I hope you loved reading it. A lot of you told me you can relate to Levi, if you do, know that things get better. It's all about being brave enough to try. Whether its being brave enough to open up, to love, or to ask for help.

You can reach me on tumblr, my username is l-e-v-i-ackerman and I follow the tag "l-e-v-i-ackerman"

And leave me comments damnit, I'm gonna miss talking about these dorks~



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couple of weeks later  

 

 

 

Physical wounds take time to heal, they scab, then they scar, and sometimes they disappear. Mental wounds are like that too I think. Sometimes scabs of bad memories get ripped off and bleed their pain again, I just have to wait for mine to scar once more , and only hope that they can fade away.    

 And with Eren by my side, it's pretty damn easy for everything to fade away.  

His album is coming out next month, "In This City, With You." The camera is facing Eren's back as he stands defiantly in the middle of the street, looking out at the walls of a giant city. You see him holding someone's hand but you can't see who it is. He's wearing that god damn green jacket too. I had smirked when he practically shoved the picture into my eyes when he came home yesterday from Garrison Records with rockets blasting from his feet he was so thrilled about it. His producer is excited about the album's release, apparently Eren is the best artist he's seen in a while. Damn straight he is. Though it is pretty amazing how fast he's progressed, soon he'll probably have paparazzi buzzing around him and fans salivating at the mere sight of him. Gross.   

Anyways, he's not the only one who's been busy getting shit done. I'm finishing the last chapter of my book today. I never thought it'd have a happy ending, because back then I didn't believe in them,  but here I am writing the protagonist smiling as he looks at his surviving comrade. Their fight isn't over, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel of hell they have been through.  

Erwin is coming this afternoon to look at the final chapter before we make steps towards publishing the final book of my "Grimm Series." But I have big plans tonight, so I won't be sticking around.  Eren's shift ends at 7 p.m., then we are celebrating the completion of his album tonight in Rose Café, where it all started. I do a light cleaning of the apartment, but I spend most of my time standing in front of my closet in frustration for what to wear tonight. I grab a black and white striped loose longsleeve to throw over my undershirt  and decide to wear my big blue rainboots. A blue lined sheet of paper folded neatly in a pocket of my dark-grey denim jeans.  

Rose Café made a special exception and allowed us to have the place to ourselves, Hanji is a sort of an amateur DJ tonight, Petra is going to handle the catering at the venue (Hanji and her have become buddies  somehow ), and of course Eren decided he wanted noodles and pizza for the event's main food entrees. To others, two random-ass fucking mixtures, but Eren and I know better.  

 I finish doing the pants dance, the whole jumping around like a monkey-moron trying to get your pants to your hips ordeal, and hear the door bell ring a single eloquent time. Erwin's here.  

 

 

 


 

 

 

  
"Asleep at a Party" by Memory Cassette plays, a fat banner that says 'Congratulations' on it is on the left wall of the café, and I think everyone I've ever met is in here for fuck's sakes. I guess it's okay though, besides Hanji running around with her arms up, shots of tequila spilling over sticky all over her hands. Hanji and her heart-broken geeky chemistry colleague Moblit (he recently found out Hanji is all lovey dovey with dream-boy Erwin) set up erratic colored lights above the stage, Eren's friends Mikasa and Armin helped clear the café's tables to the sides so people could dance in the middle. People have taken full advantage of the newfound space. Hair whips around, condensation of heated gyrating bodies is at its maximum capacity, and fancy shoes pound at the sweet innocent floors of Rose Café.  

Sitting by myself at one of the stools on the side, I observe life play out before me. Eren's previous nemesis Jean spills beer on hi s Garrison Records T-shirt (does that kid ever wear anything other than his uniform) while leaning onto a table, trying and failing to hit on Eren's sister. Mikasa is in a purple sequin top with a tight black skirt and little black boots, to my surprise she sports a tiny grin at Jean making a fool out of himself, the smile reaches her eyes. That's an unexpected pairing.   

Armin is wearing a baby blue paisley button up with tan slacks and brown oxford shoes, he's laughing bashfully while getting pulled into the dance floor by a charming Mike and coaxing Nanaba who are both in bright casual T-shirts and pants . That kid better look out, apparently gay is pretty contagious in this city. Then there's Petra in her orange frilly dress, who dances with her ridiculous boyfriend Auruo, his eyebrows keep wiggling around when he strikes horrid dance moves in an Elvis-Presley-knock-off sort of outfit because he thinks he's hot shit.    

Why do great girls choose horrible guys to fall for? It's probably that whole you-don't-know-him-like-I-do bullshit. People shouldn't let the fear of loneliness trap them in bad relationships. Though with the way he looks at her makes me think that maybe he's not so bad, embarrassing and down-right awful at dancing, but he has never been anything but respectful with her so I hope he's a good guy.    

'Party' by El Perro del Mar begins to play and I feel a tap at my shoulder that reels me out of my mind. I twitch my gaze at my left and find Eren with a fist pressed to his cheek, elbow leaning on the counter. He sits besides me on a stool, with fox-squinted eyes and a lopsided grin that emanates mischievousness. It's strange how I can get so immersed with my surroundings, but only as an outsider, always as an outsider. My eyes binoculars taking in the landscape, swallowing the detail in my mind and not letting anything escape. Able to see everything but myself in the big picture.   

I turn in my seat to fully face him as he fully faces me with that smug-ass look on his face, Eren begins to taunt me with the ancient pick up line born from pure idiocy.  

"Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?" A soft snicker puffs out of him but that alluring stare of his continues to burrow inside my own. I roll my eyes and then smirk with sinister sarcasm,  

"How did you know? Nice to meet you, my name is Satan."  

 Eren hangs his head back and his body bounces from rippling laughter, he covers his mouth as he giggles, shaking his head left and right slowly. I lean forward and pull his hand away from his lips, murmuring,  

"Hey, I like that stupid smile of yours. Don't hide it."  

'Your Arms Around Me' by Jens Lekman starts to trickle it's melody into the café, Eren pouts with a cherub pink face, now covering his face with both of his hands in embarrassment. I chuckle slightly, tilting my head to the side and flicking him once on the arm. I taunt him with a little snicker,  

"What did I just fucking say? For a musician, you sure have shitty hearing."   

He looks up at me and gives me a mock glare, then grabs me suddenly by the wrists and pulls me into the black hole of bodies that is the dancefloor. His ever present confidence swelling up and taking me into its stream, that devious smile spreading wide on his face.   

"Just shut up and dance with me!" I roll my eyes dramatically, shaking my head in reluctance, though my feet still take me forward towards him. Jamming acquaintances split out before us, soon I find myself in the middle of all the sizzling action and streaming blue lights. Eren rocks his hips roughly twice left then right, arms bent, hands in fists, head tilted where his hips go. He lets himself go and dances likesome kid in the 'Breakfast Club.'  

"As always, I'm impressed by your stellar dance moves, nerd." Eren laughs loudly, flipping me off boldly, probably remembering the first time we danced together and his tragic coordination. He doesn't care though, the music sweeping away all insecurities, and I decide to let myself be swept away as well. My body sways, shoulders wheeling circles, my neck flowing to each side like grass in gentle crosswinds.   

 Mikasa swerves her hips and has Jean stumbling in place trying to impress her with his own hip moving, though its kind of painful to watch, he doesn't fare too badly. Armin bobs up and down in place, rigid and trying his best to fit in with the free-styling bean stalk that is Mike and the sweet Blonde Nanaba. Hanji is nearby, Erwin is a good sport and tries to dance with her as she spirals and twists and turns wildly in her flowy yellow and pink dress matched with mary-jane heels. Her glasses fall down and he picks them up for her, rubbing the glass with his soft royal blue cotton sleeve. His collar open and not afraid to show of his thick collarbones, which are soon covered by her jumping up and hugging him. I can't help but grin and think that he must have hurried to finish editing so he could make it in time for the party. We all dance and dance until I know subconsciously it's very late in the night and the moon is hanging heavy over the city, but I can't be bothered to waste one moment trying to check the time.  

 The song "An Anniversary Away " by Reverie Sound Revue is now blending into the scenery, and I finally begin to look for Petra, remembering the square of paper in my pocket.  

I find her at the food table fork-feeding Auruo some steaming noodles, his face contorts into a hideous mask of pain as he bites his tongue and then yelps out,   

"ITS TOO HOT! Christ Petra, are you trying to kill me?" Petra pats him on the shoulder in sympathy but can't help but chuckle at her dunce of a boyfriend. She turns to me and I nod, her eyebrows shoot up and her honey eyes begin to sparkle.   

"I'll be right back love!" She chirps as she saunters past me, a hand waving over her shoulder beckoning me to follow. We go up on the stage, behind the curtains she climbs up a ladder and starts adjusting the lights until the dancefloor goes black and a single white patch of light is on the quaint stage. She gives me a thumbs up, and I go through the curtains, grabbing the microphone and adjusting it to my stunted height. I curse lightly to myself for not adjusting it before I was up in front of everybody, then Hanji turns off the music and the room has started to ease to a hush as I tap the microphone to check the volume.  

 I grip the microphone-stand hard enough to keep my hands from visibly shivering, then focus on the still crowd in front of me and get ensnared in those mystery eyes that seem to glow in the darkness. Hiseyes.   

Taking a dry gulp, my whole body vibrates with cold nerves , and making sure I keep my gaze on Eren's, my lips hovering above the black bulb, I start my poem.  

 

" There was no light to hope for, just a  pending purple Alaska  

in a nest of my toothpick bones.   

You spoke to me,   

sweet copper sentences chipped into my wishing well.   

I wished well, dreaming on words coughed up by you,   

embellished phrases that caught fire in my head.   

You only hear from the heart, rhyme and reason torn apart.   

I found a blue moon on your tongue,  

I like to starve though.  

Drop by drop,   

my illness ached a pitch deeper.   

I stood so naked, fine china trembling in your wake.   

You spoke the confused words of a hero,   

this was all a mistake.   

Turned on your heel, leaving with the silence of flames.   

Finding your chaos beautiful, I let myself burn.   

I caught you and told you the worst.   

I told you the truth.  

I said,  

' If I caught you at the end of a whisper.  

 Traced my breath along your green veins, pumping, rivers endlessly trying to find the ocean.  

 Held your past against my chest, and hushed and put my lips to its hair, it 's alright go to sleep.   

If in every kiss we connected held a dying star.  

 If in its eternal death, it's infinite need, it would take us with it.   

Because you, this idea, this forbidden sickness, its better than destruction,  

 its better than those burning buildings, those street corner stabbings,   

its a gamble between a light and this unforgiving world.   

  
It's love.' " 
 

 

The only sound in the café seems to be my own light breaths against the microphone, Eren's eyebrows are twinged upwards with happy pain, lips shuddering with countless thoughts unspoken. Then it hits my ears like thunder, applause and whistling bursting out in the open. Eren doesn't clap though, in shock and numb with the word 'love.' I step down from the stage, dancefloor lights go blue again, Hanji starts up the song 'The World At Large' by Modest Mouse as I make a path through the crowd to face Eren. The crowd thins out around us, we are inside our own circle, our own universe again. Though others are dancing once more, they watch us with smiles, my friends and his friends. Well... our friends.   

Eren puts his arms around me, his hands placed familiar and friendly on my waist. His eyes wells of blue and green, indecipherable from the stage lights cast upon them, but still as uncomfortablyentrancing. Eren bites his lip and looks down at our feet as we slow dance, though the lights above us are blue, it doesn't hide the extreme flush on his cheeks and ears. Licking his lips, and darting glances down at me, he babbles,  

"So that poem was about me right? Just making sure y-you know? I need to know exactly how you feel or else I'll just-I'll just go fucking insane okay?"

I hold my breath like an anvil in my chest, daring to stare up into that crazy sky of green, I finally tell him with stinging eyes and a sure voice.  

"It's 3A.M. and I still love you."  

I cup his face with my hands, we stop moving as everything else around us moves. He holds onto my hands with his own, turning his face slightly to the right to kiss my left palm, closing his eyes and blurting out a couple quiet laughs. He mumbles,  

"I didn't know it was possible to be this happy. Is it even healthy to be this happy? Is this why people say they are so happy they could die? I love you so much I just want to fucking yell it on rooftops. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU - !" Eren starts hollering wildly like the freak he is, waving his head around with scrunched up eyes and a wide smile. My hands go from cupping his face to smothering his god damn mouth, we both laugh and hold each other, and I start to understand what Eren was talking about. Being this happy feels lethal.

 

 


 

 

 

 

One month later  

 

 

"Over here." Eren calls out, he wipes a couple beads of sweat off his brow as early summer toasts us on a cloudless blue day. On Eren's land over in the small town of Shigashina, we push past the giant bright yellow headed flowers, their bodies bent and worn from an old pathway Jaeger kin would tread through. We walk through a field of sunflowers swinging their green necks gently from the sweltering wind. There's a clearing in the middle, a headstone waits for us gleaming from the sunlight. The stone is paved brilliantly, "Karla Jaeger" reads on the dusty frame. Eren walks over, kneeling at the foot of the grave, and rubs his sleeve over the face of his mother's name. I immediately shut out thoughts of the dirt on his sleeve. He looks back at me with a sad smile saying,  

"She'd always take me here, these fields have been on our property for as long as I can remember. She used to take me here when I was a kid, back then the sunflowers seemed as tall as the buildings in the city. She'd tell me that I was growing so fast one day I'd be taller than the sunflowers themselves. My mom would carry me and tell me that her grandma taught her how to take care of them all,  now Mikasa is the one who tends to this field. My mom would always tuck my hair behind my ears, she would always tease my about my messy hair... Sometimes I'd like to hide here because I knew she'd always find me. " His voice breaks off at that point, his lips puckered and his eyes wincing. Eren waves me over, I take deep breaths and then kneel in the dirt with him, watching his right hand rest against his mother's name tenderly.  

"Hey Mom. This is Levi. He's really special to me, I wouldn't have been able to make it in the city if it wasn't for him. Look - " He reaches into my messenger bag and takes out his very own CD case, placing it at the foot of her headstone. "I did it mom. I know you wanted me to go to college, and I'm sorry, but look, I did it.  I even did a cover of Moon River, your favorite. You don't have to worry anymore okay?" He sniffs as his nose begins to run from the consequence of crying, I pull out some wipes out of my bag and hand one to him. He cleans his face up and gives me more of his sad smile. My protective instincts flare, I pull him into my side, letting him rest his head on my shoulder as we kneel. Voice thick and groggy, he confesses to me.  

" It's been 11 years now since my mom died. I feel her voice fading into my own version into what I think she'd sound like. I feel like there should be so much more memories, memories that let me hold onto her better. But I only have a couple to hold in my mind, and I have her only in remnants. These leftovers of her life that had touched mine." Eren's hand finds my own, he desperately seeks strength from me, because he's lost all of his. I lace my fingers through Eren's, leaning my head against his, then I try my best to comfort him with my own known truth.  

"Death leaves so much pain. Only the knowledge that you love them can soothe it. No one is truly gone. They leave pieces of themselves behind for us to hold onto."

He nods solemnly, we sit there for a while, our dried out hands gripping onto another, gold against porcelain. Listening to the rustling of leaves and petals being played by the wind, listening to the peace that finds us both.  

Eren clears his throat a little, then finds a bit more conviction to speak,  

"Thanks for staying with me. Even after knowing all the bad stuff." He wipes his nose again with a wipe then shoves it in one of the pockets of his denim jeans. I sigh in content,   

"They aren't bad things , just agonizing truths. I think you're beautiful, always know that."  

Eren huffs out a tiny smile, one being drained of it's sadness bit by bit. I'm not sure how long we stayed there, but eventually Eren got up stringing me along with his lingering hold on my hand, and he stated with a newfound fortitude,  

 

"We have to get on the train soon so we can board on time."  

 

 


 

 

 

After I wiped down the grey plastic seats on the train, we sat in a comfortably desolate booth. No one to glare at for coughing and then wiping their germs everywhere. Just Eren and I sitting next to each other. He reads my last chapter of the Grimm Reminder Series avidly, he occasionally gasps or drops the book in his lap to scrutinize me for killing one of his favorite characters and I smirk at his entertaining anger. Meanwhile I work on a new story in my journal, black ink quickly filling up page after page.  

Eren takes a break from reading to peer over at my journal, he grumbles,  

"Jesus, I can't read a single word. Are you Egyptian or something? Your cursive might as well be hieroglyphics." I snort as he crosses his arms in frustration, I click the top of my pen with my thumb and take a moment to rest as well. I ask him with a raised brow,  

"You want to know what it's about?"   

Eren nods his head eagerly, like a puppy waiting for his bowl of food to be put in front of him. I hum as I try to think of a summary for the new book I'm writing. I close my journal and face him, explaining to my excited pupil.  

"The story is about a neurotic man who suffers from depression, is successful at writing but unsuccessful at everything else. Setting: Breakfast (never in the morning) at his favorite diner, a record store that hasn't dusted its ceiling fan since the 1970's, a hole in the wall cafe to drink black tea and judge the terrible tongue tied poets on the shoddy ill-lit stage, a park with swings that are always annoyingly wet, and his immaculate apartment in the city. The writer is riddled with quirky traditions and struggles with anxiety, still battling childhood memories he can never completely forget. Then enter a young brat , the too loud and too passionate guitar player that takes the stage one night that just won't stop staring at the writer. The boy is full of hope and promise and everything the writer needs, but the writer can't have what's good for him. Right?"   

Eren just sits there with a huge goofy grin plastered on his cheeks. He leans forward, captures me by the chin, and gives me a hushing kiss that makes my head buzz with endorphins. When he pulls back he just gazes at me with half-lidded mystery eyes, a gaze that reminds me of just how much I love him and how much he must love me.  

Suddenly his eyes avert and his jaw drops, he jumps off his seat and stands at the window, pointing at the trains window so frantically his index finger bangs at the glass. At first I'm horribly startled, but then shift my attention not at Eren acting like a bumbling buffoon, but at the breathtaking expanse of water beyond the window. Looking back at Eren and the ocean, the mystery gets solved, his eyes are the same color as that breathtaking expanse. Undecipherable teals, greens, blues, and the glittering white of light in them.  

 

 

Death is just too big a concept to comprehend. Just like how our eyes can't see all of the ocean all at once. I'm glad I got on the train with Eren, because sitting still at the station would have never gotten me anywhere. I want to go places, with him at my side as far as my eyes can see.