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Until Death Breaks Us Apart While Dreams Keep Us Close

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It always happens in his dreams.

Different setting and backdrop but it’s always just the two of them.

Himself and… Jean.

Jean is a name that he shouldn’t know but he does and he never forgets it once he wakes up.

Eren remembers more (can easily recall later in the day when he’s calmer).

He remembers a silken, husky voice that calls his name like that singular word is the most precious thing. Like it singes the tongue but tastes oh-so luscious. And every sentence that falls from that mouth thereafter is laced with a fond adoration. He recalls keen topaz corneas that trap and enrapture him like nothing else –hypnotizing beyond belief. Seductive and expressive and all consuming.

There’s still more.

So much more…

Memories of being embraced- those will never be forgotten.

Being pulled against a hard chest, into a warm hug before lips meet and a greedy mouth subdues him with ease, expertise, and a undeniable familiarity. That same mouth that makes him pliant and needy and- and Eren remembers loving that mouth. He remembers loving what follows those mind halting kisses. Being flayed open and plundered. Gasping and murmuring Jean’s name as if it were the answer to everything (Every. Thing.) as he clutched at sheets or strong shoulders while arching off of the bed. Contorting his body in bliss. The slap of skin against skin and the heady scent of their love that encases the room. Something intoxicating and noxious and sinful.

The declarations of love that spilt from Jean’s lips and the acceptance that Eren took in the form of every thrust-

Eren remembers.

Eren remembers Jean.

Yet, he’s not supposed to remember.

No one is supposed to have memories of the dearly departed as it is the crystals will.

But Eren does.

Every dream is filled to the brim with memories of a love so fulfilling, it was suffocating. It was the sort of love that he physically ached for and the yearning… it was addictive. Corrosive. All consuming.

Having those memories- having memories of a love like that-

It’s the worst torture he’s ever been forced to endure. And he’s a soldier.

But that’s why the memories are snatched. Elimination of grief, of sorrow, of that sort of pain… Eren completely understands because he hurts.

He feels like he’s being gutted and left to hang –left to rot and wither- with every morning that he’s forced to open his eyes and then he has to realize all over again that Jean isn’t there. That Jean existed but he doesn’t anymore.

Life lacks so much meaning without him.

Means nothing.

But that bastard… Jean cursed him.

The memory is as clear as all of the others: Jean on the battlefield, Eren’s not paying attention to what’s behind him, Jean shouting his name, an explosion, a wail… He’ll never forget running to Jean’s side and dragging him into the brush. He’ll never forget telling Jean that everything will be okay and he loves him and “it’s not that bad, it’s not” –he just needs to find a healer. To find someone who can cast cure because Eren’s never been one for healing magics. There’s this recollection of Jean laughing- of blood and spittle dribbling fom the corners of his mouth. Down his chin. Trembling hands that take Eren’s face. Eren starkly recalls there being tears –his. Jean’s. And then a kiss laden with crimson.

And the words that curse and bind him to the memories: “ I’m a selfish asshole so I don’t want you to ever forget me. I don’t want you to ever forget how much I love you.”

Eren tells him in earnest (eyes wet and lips quivering as he rakes his fingers through Jean’s hair), “I could never forget you, moron.”

He does forget. The instant Jean dies, Eren forgets all about him. He looks down at his arms and wonders who he’s holding and wonders why his chest aches but attributes that to the battle. He snatches dog tags off a cool neck and then he gets up, wipes his eyes. Gets back to work.

Helps defeat the empire.

But, when he falls asleep that night, he has his first dream. His first memory of Jean. He wakes up gutturally sobbing and folding in on himself and wishing that he can forget while wanting to cling to those precious memories of a love so strong it built him up and now it’s ripping him to shreds. His world cracks like glass and shatters just the same.

Every night and every day are more of the same.

More recollections.

More pain.

More…

Eren never wants to wake up.

He wants to stay with Jean -even if only in his dreams.