The crowd cheered. Glass tumblers and army-issue cups clinked as Sasha drunkenly poured Armin a shot of disgustingly hard liquor.
“Drink, drink, drink!” the group yelled.
Armin looked helplessly at the glass, his gaze flickering across to Eren and Mikasa at the opposite side of the loose circle pleadingly. Eren grinned widely, cheeks flushed and a little tipsy himself. Mikasa remained as stoic as ever – however, the five or so empty glasses in front of her revealed the amount of alcohol she had really taken. She smiled lightly at Armin in encouragement.
Armin groaned. “You people just want to get completely drunk, don’t you!?” he exclaimed at nobody in particular. Beside him, Connie hooted and replied with an excited noise in affirmative. Armin reluctantly gripped the glass and moved it closer to his mouth. He looked once more around the circle of Scouting Legion soldiers and upon finding not one ally, sighed heavily. “I bet none of you would do that dare either!” he cried out. In defeat, the cup inched closer to his lips. He could feel the burning sensation already!
“What are you betting, Armin?”
Suddenly, Eren’s voice permeated his thoughts. Eren! Thank goodness for his friend!
Armin hastily set the glass down again. All eyes were fixed on Eren now.
Eren sloppily pointed at Armin. “What was the dare again? I wasn’t listening.” he asked. “And what are you betting? I’ll do it if you do my kitchen cleaning shifts for the week!” He chuckled, voice slurred. “Hahaha! Kitchen duty is the worst!” Eren then proceeded to alight his gaze onto something at random, muttering complaints about dirty dishes and excess grease under his breath.
Armin’s eyes widened. He was about to reclaim his glass, because there was no way anybody was going to do that task and come back alive, but Jean’s voice stopped him.
“Yo, Eren. Armin says he’ll do it if you do the dare…” he paused, wicked smirk burgeoning on his face. “But you’re probably too much of a wimp to do it anyway, so I’m not telling you what it is.”
As expected, Eren bristled and stood up angrily, fists banging on the table as his drunken mind let his emotions run free. “What do you know, Jean? I’m probably ten times the man you are! So just tell me and I’ll do it, not matter what!”
“What did you say, you fre-“
Mikasa stepped in, pulling Eren back down into his seat and sending a firm glare towards Jean. Some things never changed. “Eren,” she said carefully. “Are you alright? Maybe you should take a break – “
“No, Mikasa!” Eren’s green eyes blazed, turning back to Jean. “Come on, then. Hurry up and tell me!” He laughed, ignoring how his vision was swimming. “Or are you so much of a weakling to even say it?”
Jean gritted his teeth. “You wish, Eren! Well since you asked for it, I’ll tell you!” His smirk reappeared and he leaned onto the tabletop smugly. “Bring Corporal Rivaille here and smooch him on the table.”
The whole circle scoffed at that point, some snorting in laughter at the absolute incredulity of the dare. The whole game was set up in a way that it was more about getting drunk as ‘punishment’, rather than complete tasks at all anyway!
The noise levels rose as people started to weep in laughter. “Ahahaha! Good joke, Eren! I’m pretty sure you of all people don’t want to die just yet!” someone commented.
Eren stood up and hoisted his legs over the wooden bench onto the floor. Standing tall, his glazed eyes stared down Jean who wore a look of absolute shock. Eren smiled victoriously. “I’ll be back!”
The sound of his footsteps across the stone floor of the mess hall accompanied the gradually dying laughter. People exchanged looks.
Armin trembled slightly, looking to Mikasa. “He’s not serious, is he?”
Mikasa didn’t say a word, only looked to where Eren had left.
“HUH?!!!” Jean shouted abruptly. “HE ACTUALLY WENT? HAHAAAHAHAHAHA!!”
Other voices joined in and soon the ball was rolling again, all but Armin and Mikasa forgetting about Eren’s surprising departure.
It was Sasha’s turn when footsteps accompanied by angry shouts filtered into the large room. All eyes (in varying stages of drunkenness) turned to the open door.
“Oi, brat! Remove your hand this instant or I’ll break your shitty neck!”
“Sorry, sir! But please bear with me for a little.”
“The hell I will. You’re drunk, Eren! Get your stinking breath away from my face, for fuck’s sake.”
“Ah, we’re here – “
Eyes widened at the two males at the entrance to the room. The Corporal – the Corporal, was firmly gripped in Eren’s arms, the younger man’s arms supporting the backs of Rivaille’s knees and his back. Rivaille was struggling angrily to no avail since Eren’s hold bit into his flesh punishingly each time, hard enough to leave bruises. It could also be inferred that the Corporal may have been somewhat curious as to why the titan-shifter had barged into his office, almost completely drunk and hoisted him into his arms almost immediately. However, upon spying the group of Eren’s friends, he froze.
“What…. What is this, Jaeger?” he hissed chillingly.
Eren shivered automatically at that tone of voice, but pasted a smile on his face and strode towards the group. Immediately, Rivaille tried to flip himself out of that grip, but Eren moved at lightning speed and slammed his superior officer onto the long table on his back, following him down to press their bodies flush against each other.
Rivaille’s head throbbed at the sharp impact, but his blind fury overrode all senses. “JAEGER….” He growled threateningly, a dark aura permeating through the room as his eyes narrowed and he readied his fists for retribution. The other soldiers merely looked on in petrification at the two sprawled across the wooden surface, close enough to touch.
Eren grinned cheekily, completely oblivious to the danger he was in. “Corporal~” he chimed happily, hands pawing at the neatly tucked shirt at Rivaille’s waist. It was when Mikasa shifted carefully, ready to tackle the Corporal, his slowly sobering mind reactivated.
Green eyes widened even as his pupils dilated. The older man sprawled messily beneath him quickly noticed the shift in awareness and smirked darkly.
Rivaille’s fist flew at Eren’s face, landing straight onto his cheek with a sickening crunch. The titan-shifter literally flew off Rivaille, stumbling clumsily as he tried to regain his balance while clutching his throbbing, bleeding face.
“Rivaille~!” Eren whined. “That hurt!”
And it was then that the dark aura increased significantly. Eren’s mind worked slowly, but on realising his error, he blanched visibly. Eyes darting from his irate superior officer hopping off the bench to the group of absolutely horrified group of soldiers sitting frozen at the table.
“I – Uh – uhhhhhh…” He muttered, backing away slowly.
“Don’t touch him!”
Eren’s head whipped over to see Mikasa vaulting over the table towards the Corporal, ready to intercept him or attack him if necessary. “Don’t hurt Eren! He’s intoxicated right now!” Mikasa pressed.
A bead of sweat rolled down Eren’s cheek from his temple. Sure, he was a little drunk, but his Titan physiology meant his body digested and negated the effects of foreign substances extremely quickly. At the moment, Eren was almost completely sober, although he couldn’t say the same for minutes prior. Perhaps fear also played a role in it.
Mikasa slid to a halt between the Corporal and her friend, moving into a cautious stance. The other soldiers watched the situation wide-eyed – humanity’s strongest against Mikasa? That would be a fight they would want to see… exactly how strong was the Corporal?
Rivaille narrowed his eyes at her before flickering his gaze to the young man behind her. He glared intensely at Eren. Slowly, he stepped forward. Tap, tap, went his shoes. Mikasa grew increasingly wary with each steady step towards her.
On the other hand, Eren was watching the situation carefully. There was no doubt that Mikasa would really attack the Corporal, and the Rivaille… wouldn’t hesitate to beat Mikasa up before he reached Eren and beat him to a pulp as well. A thread of worry for the Corporal’s well-being also wound through his mind, because even though the older man was almost indestructible, it was unnecessary for him to use energy for useless reasons. Eren quickly strode forward, pressing a hand against Mikasa’s shoulder to calm her. Even as her dark eyes turned up towards him, Eren’s gaze was solely trained on the Corporal’s face.
Worriedly, he glanced over the shorter man’s body to check for any damage he himself might have caused by slamming the other man against that table without a care.
However, the Corporal’s gaze was not amused when he caught Eren’s eyes lingering too long on areas that shouldn’t be stared at with such intensity. “Oi, eyes up front. Come with me.” Rivaille intoned, voice flat and irritated. “You’re going to pay for wasting my time.”
Eren gulped and nodded.
They left the room silently, the resounding quiet and weight of all eyes boring into Eren’s back. They all had one thought – Eren was truly in deep shit.
To their collective surprise, Eren reappeared twenty minutes later with nothing but a huge fist-shaped bruise on his left cheek, a large throbbing bump on his head and his shirt somewhat askew.
“Whoa, you’re alive!” Jean slurred, now significantly more drunk. The mood lightened considerably, since they had been downing shot after shot in memory of their soon-to-be-ruthlessly-beaten friend. “Welcome back.” He slapped Eren’s back in an uncharacteristic display of companionship, urging the other male to sit beside him.
“You have some balls, Eren!” Connie piped up. “We still can’t believe you actually brought the Corporal here and flipped him onto the table!”
He laughed. “Even though you didn’t complete the dare, you’ve got my respect! And who knows, now that you’re still alive, maybe that means any of us,” he pointed at the others at the table jokingly, “can go grab ourselves the Corporal and smooch him for dares without dying, hahaha! Think of the money I could ma - ”
Connie’s eyes widened in shock as the table fell silent. Eren’s fist lay curled into a ball on the table top, the wood creaking in protest. Large green eyes with dark intent lurking within, pinned Connie where he sat.
“Don’t you even think about touching him.” Eren said calmly, quietly. The soldiers gaped.
Armin laughed nervously, trying to dispel the odd mood. “Come on, Eren! We’re kidding! There’s no way we would do anything like that to the corporal.”
Eren’s demeanor relaxed again. He smiled, causing everyone to wonder if they had imagined the whole episode. However, Eren’s reply had them twitch nervously.
“Yes, I know. Because if you lay a finger on Rivaille, he’ll only have a chance to beat you up after I do it.”
Armin’s voice squeaked, “R-R-Rivaille!? Eren? What are you talking about? You meant to say Corpo-”
“I meant what you think I meant,” he said casually. He reached for a shot glass. “Now, let’s get drunk!”
Rivaille wondered whether the itching feeling in his gut was correct because some of the soldiers from the 104th Training squad started to give him a wide berth whenever they were even remotely nearby.
His eyes narrowed and lips pressed into an irritated line. His teeth gritted in annoyance – that possessive, lovesick idiot must have said something embarrassing.
“Jaeger!” he called, drawing Eren’s attention. Sure enough, the others glanced nervously at them both as Eren jogged towards him with a stupidly blinding smile on his face.
Fuck it. Lover or not, Rivaille was going to commit murder.