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Maybe It Won't Be So Bad

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He almost backed out, he was so close to it. A road trip with all his friends was the best idea in the world, but even he had to admit it lost a bit of its shine when the majority of them ditched and made other plans. Connie was still up for it though, and so was Eren. Jean sighed.

It would be a long weekend.

He pulled up to Eren’s house at ten sharp on Saturday morning, honking the horn of his old Toyota pickup. He called it the rust bucket and he didn’t really like it all that much, but it was a good car and broke college kids couldn’t exactly be picky about what they drove.

Eren barreled down the steps and tripped, scrambling to find his balance on the bottom stair. Jean snickered, finding Eren’s usually aggravating demeanor amusing for once. Eren pulled open the door and tossed his duffel bag into the backseat, climbing in next to Jean.

“Someone’s excited,” Jean scoffed.

“You have no idea, man. A whole weekend without Mikasa up my ass.”

Jean couldn’t argue with that. Mikasa meant well, he knew, but having her around so much was sort of like having a mom around. A hot, really fit mom.

“Connie?”

“Connie.”

They drove off without another word, both boys grinning like idiots.

 

Connie didn’t bound down the steps so much as shamble out at the sound of the horn, still in pajamas. Jean and Eren just stared at him.

“Dude, you alright?”

“I’m sick as shit, sorry man. Doesn’t look like I’ll be coming.”

Jean groaned. “It’s all cool, but you gotta come along next time then.”

Connie nodded, bumped fists with Eren and Jean, and awkwardly shuffled back into the house he shared with Sasha.

“Dude, we got shit luck,” Eren said after a couple minutes.

“You pussying out too, Jaeger?”

“Nah, my shit’s already in your car. Looks like it’s you and me.”

Jean chuckled. What a way to spend the weekend. “Fine, but I get to pick the music.”

Eren laughed and relented, stretching his long legs as much as he could and rolling down his window.

 

All in all, Jean was pretty proud of his music taste. He groped around in the backseat, grabbing the first CD his fingers brushed and jamming it in the CD player.

“There’s a thing called an iPod, Jean,” Eren joked, flicking Jean in the leg.

“Like either of us could actually afford one,” Jean replied. “Besides, this car is so old it can’t play one either way.”

Music filled the car when Jean pressed play, and he almost started to sing along but decided against it. If he messed up, Eren would never let him live it down.

Everybody’s taking what they can, but they can’t decide
Lately what they want to, cause any kind of feeling’s alright
And don’t be talking maybe, your mama’s still high as a kite
You’re just like the next one, cause we’ll be walking lonely tonight, lonely tonight

The decision for snacks was unspoken, so Jean pulled into the nearest gas station.

“What do you want?”

Eren shrugged. “Beef jerky, Red Bull, and whatever else this’ll buy.” He took twenty dollars out of his wallet and handed it to Jean. Jean matched it with his own money and headed into the store.

He came back fifteen minutes later, arms laden with chips and caffeine. Eren grinned at the sight, and Jean hit him in the face with a bag of beef jerky through the open window. Eren countered with a playful punch as Jean climbed in, and it went on until both boys were red in the face with laughter. Eren ripped open a bag of jerky and Jean took a sip from his Dr. Pepper, trying to slow his breathing.

“Maybe this won’t be so bad after all, eh, Jaeger?”

“Dunno. I’m still stuck with your French ass for three days.” Eren’s tone was cold, but his eyes sparkled with mirth and a grin began to inch its way onto his face.

“Ah, shut up,” Jean laughed, reaching over and pulling Eren’s beanie off.

With that and two bags full of junk food, they were on the road again.

 

When it gets loud, I turn it up
Oh, shake it like a bad girl up in Harlem
When it gets too hot, I light it up
Lighting up the air, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

After half an hour in heavy traffic, Jean realized Eren was singing softly.

“Wait, you know this song?” Eren stopped dead, looking like a deer in the headlights.

“I mean, I-”

“Dude. This is my music. Chill, it’s fine if you sing.” Eren relaxed and Jean sighed. “This traffic can eat my ass. We’ll never get to Seattle.”

Eren was silent for a few seconds before a smile spread across his face. “Let’s give ‘em some entertainment.”

“Huh?”

Eren didn’t respond, only reached over and cranked the volume as loud as Jean’s rickety sound system would allow. He rolled down his window, and Jean did the same. Eren started the song over and started singing along.

I spend my money on the regular miracles
Just like you, like me, like everybody else
Up on the sun looking sad and beautiful
Just like you, like me, like everybody else

Jean got the message and joined in on the chorus, rich tenor voice blending nicely with Eren’s baritone. They sang off-key and at the top of their lungs, earning a few annoyed looks from the drivers around them. They only sang louder.

The song ended and the next started, a song Eren wasn’t as familiar with. Jean was halfway through the first verse when he realized Eren was staring at him. He broke off and scoffed.

“Something up, Jaeger?”

Eren flushed the tiniest bit, and it wasn’t unnoticed by Jean. “You just…um. I don’t know the song. And you have a decent voice.”

Jean just laughed. “Don’t get gay, man”

“Easy for the straight one to say, Jean,” Eren chuckled. Jean just shrugged and turned the music back up, singing the chorus when it came up. Eren joined in this time, knowing that much of the song.

 

It was almost one when they pulled into a McDonalds for lunch, both too hungry to put it off any longer and a little sick of chips and Red Bull.

It wasn’t very busy, but they took their food outside anyway. They poked fun at each other between bites, punctuating remarks with playful slaps.

“You always open your mouth that wide, or is it just for me?” Eren asked when Jean took a particularly large bite of his Big Mac.

“You shut your mouth, Jaeger,” Jean replied, picking a fry from his bag and throwing it at Eren. It hit his face and slid into his lap, and he stared at it silently for a few seconds before laughing and throwing it back at Jean. Within seconds they were running through the parking lot, throwing fries at each other and hopping over curbs and trash cans.

A few minutes later, they were bent double trying to catch their breath, laughing and weakly flipping each other off.

“You know,” Jean said after he had regained his breath, “You’re not half as bad as I thought.”

“Oh, who’s getting gay now?”

“Ah, shut up.”

They walked back to the car laughing, Jean climbing into the driver’s seat and Eren going around to the other side.

 

“What’s it like?”

“Huh?”

“You know, being…” Jean trailed off.

“Gay?”

“Yeah, that.”

Eren shrugged and took a sip of his drink. “I guess it’s just like being straight, but with dudes.”

“So you just like…think they’re hot or cool or whatever and just go for it?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

Jean hummed, processing that thought before speaking. “You got anyone you wanna go for?”

“Dunno, I think Erwin’s pretty hot. I could get behind that. Or in front of it, actually.”

Jean nearly choked. “Erwin? Professor Erwin?”

“Yeah, why not?”

“Because he’s like forty!” Jean was wide-eyed.

“And I’m twenty-three. Is there an issue?”

“N-not really, he’s just, uh…you know. Old.”

“Well, who would you go for?”

Jean spluttered, flustered and red. “I’m not gay!”

“Well, if you were gay, who would you go for?”

“I-I don’t know, Marco? Armin? They’re nice enough, I guess.”

Eren just laughed. “Jean, you wouldn’t go for a nice guy.”

Jean didn’t really know what else there was. He certainly wasn’t going to go after someone like Connie, and Bertholdt and Reiner were just plain scary. Also, probably fucking, if Jean was honest. That left…Eren. No. No no no no, that’s a dangerous thought. He pushed the idea out of his head the second it formed.

“Well, I’m not gay anyway so it doesn’t matter!”

Eren chuckled and shrugged. “Whatever you say, man.”

They dropped the subject, going back to eating their food in silence. Jean didn’t think about it any more. He didn’t wonder what being gay would be like. He didn’t imagine what being with Marco or Armin would be like. He definitely didn’t look over at Eren and wonder why he hadn’t noticed just how attractive he was. Not at all. Because Jean definitely wasn’t gay.

 

“Think you could drive for a bit?” Jean called through the open window as he finished pumping gas into the tank. “My legs hurt like a bitch.”

“Yeah, totally,” Eren replied, sliding over the seat until he was behind the wheel. “Princess needs her catnap, right?”

“Shut up, Jaeger.”

Eren chuckled and handed Jean a twenty, saying he’d pay for the gas. Jean couldn’t complain.

“You don’t have to, you know. I can play for my own shit.”

“Nah, it’s cool. Just buy me dinner.”

Jean shrugged and didn’t argue. Eren pulled out of the gas station and headed back towards the freeway. He was a good driver, even with a car he wasn’t used to. Jean leaned back and closed his eyes.

He dozed for a bit, not fully asleep but nowhere near coherent. He felt himself slipping, leaning, falling, but he thought nothing of it.

It wasn’t long before he was asleep, head on Eren’s leg.

 

There were fingers in his hair.

Jean blinked his eyes open, but his body was too heavy to respond. He had a moment of disorientation, thinking he was in his room and wondering who the fuck would be running their fingers through his hair in his own room, but soon remembered Eren and the road trip.

Wait.

Eren.

Those were Eren’s fingers.

Jean tried to sit up, but his limbs were too heavy with sleep. Maybe he’d just stay there a little longer. He closed his eyes again, not sleeping but relishing the feeling of Eren’s deft fingers on his head.

He’d regret it later, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Not when it felt so nice.

He didn’t know how long he stayed there, listening to the soft music (had Eren turned it down so he wouldn’t wake up?) and basking in the feeling of Eren. Probably half an hour, maybe more.

Eventually, though, his leg started to cramp and he was forced to sit up. Eren’s hand shot out of his hair the second Jean began to move. He almost missed the feeling, but of course he’d never admit it. Not to Eren, not even to himself.

“You good?” Eren’s voice cut through the music and Jean’s hiss of pain.

“Yeah, just - ah - a cramp, I’m fine.”

“Think you can drive again soon? I hate driving in the dark.” Eren got paranoid when he had to drive in low light, and the sun was already beginning to sink below the horizon. Jean glanced at the clock. Seven. How long had he slept?

“Yeah, no problem.”

Eren visibly relaxed, and Jean bit back a laugh. He looked at the upcoming freeway sign. “We’re almost to the state line. Want to stop for dinner?”

“Only if you’re buying,” Eren teased.

 

They pulled into a small restaurant a couple miles before they hit Oregon. It was nearly empty, the only other car in the parking lot most likely belonging to the waitress on duty, seeing as the restaurant seemed deserted.

They walked in and took a booth near the back, the waitress coming over to give them their menus. She flashed a winning smile at Jean, something that didn’t go unnoticed by either boy.

She was pretty, Jean mused, with caramel hair swept up into a messy ponytail and a pretty figure. Her name tag read Charlotte. She was exactly the type of girl he would normally go for.

He couldn’t have been less interested.

“There was a motel a couple miles back if you want to stop in this town,” Eren said, jerking Jean out of his thoughts and back to reality. Eren shot a pointed look at the waitress. “She’s your type, isn’t she?”

Jean shook his head quickly, choosing to ignore the look Eren gave him. “Let’s make it into Oregon before we stop.”

Eren shrugged, looking confused. He looked pleased, too, but maybe that was wishful thinking on Jean’s end.

Charlotte bounced back with another grin on her face and a notepad to take their orders. Jean spoke quickly, not looking up from his menu. When they were finished she stalked away, seeming more offended than put out.

“Dude, that was harsh.”

“I’m not into her”

“You would be.”

“So why aren’t I?”

“I…I don’t know.” Eren fell silent, poking at the table with the butt of his fork. Charlotte returned with their food, placing it on the table with pursed lips and not so much as a glance at Jean.

They ate in relative silence, both too hungry to do anything but stuff their faces. About fifteen minutes later, a perky girl with blonde hair around her cheeks came up to them.

“Charlotte’s shift ended, so I’ll be your server for the rest of the night. Let me know if you need anything, alright?” She walked away and Jean looked up to see Charlotte leaving, looking peeved. The second the door shut behind her, Eren started chuckling.

“Did you see how pissed she looked?” Eren’s laugh was infectious, and it wasn’t long before Jean started laughing along with him.

“She looked like she could have stabbed me!”

“D’ya think the new girl knows what happened?”

“Nah, she was too nice. Probably thinks we’re on a date or something,” Eren said.

“Well, aren’t we? I’m buying your food.”

Eren choked on his food, coughing and flushing. He was at a loss for words, it seemed. Jean started laughing harder.

“Dude, your face is hilarious. You should see it.”

“Shut up!”

Eren returned to his food, pointedly ignoring Jean. The tense air between them had lifted, and Jean couldn’t have been more thankful.

 

It was a run-down motel, the kind of sleazy joint that Jean figured should have been closed down years before. They got odd looks from the girl behind the counter, but if she had wanted to say anything, she never did. She handed them a weathered key and pointed down the hall in the direction of their room. Jean heaved his duffel bag over his shoulder and followed Eren.

They had gotten a room with one bed, which both of them would have complained about if they hadn’t been so tired and hadn’t agreed to save as much money as they could for Seattle. It wasn’t easy, being a broke ass college kid. It was a wonder that Eren could afford to share a house with Mikasa and Armin, and Jean didn’t even have a clue as to how Sasha and Connie managed. Jean couldn’t afford to live anywhere but the dorms.

Eren tossed his bag onto the sole chair and announced he was going to take a shower.

“I’ll be a while,” he tossed over his shoulder. Don’t wait up.”

“Not like I’m going anywhere anyway,” Jean retorted before sitting down on the bed. He stripped his shirt off as Eren shut the bathroom door, grabbing a shirt from the mess that was his bag and changing into it. As he put on a pair of sweatpants, he thought about how Eren had acted at the diner.

Jean didn’t have any problem with being gay, he just wasn’t. He couldn’t deny Eren was attractive, no one could. He also couldn’t deny that Eren was idiotic, irritating, cocky, and loud.

All of which applied to himself, too.

Shit.

In all honesty, Jean couldn’t really figure out a valid reason to dislike Eren. Maybe he just couldn’t dislike him.

The girl from the diner flashed through his head.

“I’m not into her.”

“You would be.”

“So why aren’t I?”

Why didn’t he go after her? In any other situation, he would have.

Eren had looked happy when he had turned down sleeping with Charlotte. Was it because he wanted to get back on the road, or was there something else to it? Jean sighed.

“Jean, is that my shirt?”

Jean’s head snapped up at the sound of Eren’s voice, only to be met with the sight of a very tan, very shirtless boy. His sweats were slung low on his hips, and Jean flushed bright red as he took in just how attractive his friend of ten years was. Then Eren’s words registered.

Jean looked down at the worn out Fall Out Boy tee he was wearing and realized Eren was right. “Shit, must have gotten mixed in with mine when the bags spilled,” he said, the only plausible explanation for why Eren’s shirt could have ended up on his chest. He pulled it off like it had burned him, not missing the way Eren’s eyes followed his movements. He walked over to his bag slowly, relishing the subconscious look Eren was giving him. Eren watched him as he pulled a shirt from his bag and changed into it, before picking up the discarded shirt and slipping it on. He didn’t meet Jean’s eyes.

He shouldn’t have been able to look that nice in a ratty t-shirt and sweatpants.

There was no conversation as they climbed into bed, both too tired to say or do anything. Jean was asleep in minutes, the exhaustion of driving for hours finally catching up with him.

 

Jean blinked and groaned. He glanced at the bedside clock. 12:48. There was something pressed against him, and he looked down to see Eren curled into his side.

Wait.

Eren?

Jean was struck dumb, torn between ignoring it and going back to sleep and bursting out laughing at the fact that Eren liked to cuddle, of all things. Eren shifted in his sleep, relaxing a little, and Jean realized he sort of liked the feeling of Eren next to him.

He’d never admit it, though. Not to anyone.

Then Eren moved. He sat up slowly, blinking sleep from his eyes and rubbing a palm over his cheek. He looked at Jean for a couple seconds, then something clicked in his head. His eyes went wide and he scrambled backwards faster than lightning. Jean couldn’t help it, it was one in the morning and everything was just so hilarious to him. He started laughing.

“Didn’t know you liked to cuddle, Jaeger.”

“Shut up!” Eren was slowly turning red, from anger or embarassment Jean didn’t know.

“Awwww, its okay. I’ll even let you!”

“I said shut up, Jean!” Jean didn’t listen, just continued laughing. Eren stiffened, glaring at Jean.

And then there were lips. Jean’s mind went blank for a few seconds, only processing the feel of Eren on his mouth and Eren’s hands on his shoulders and Eren pressed into him.

The feeling was gone far too quickly for Jean’s liking, leaving his mouth cold and his cheeks hot. He stared at Eren, who was refusing to meet Jean’s gaze and turning redder by the second.

“It shut you up, didn’t it?” Eren fidgeted, looking anywhere but at Jean.

Jean snapped.

He lunged forward, claiming Eren’s lips again. Eren stiffened at first, but soon enough he was soft and pliant once again. Jean brought his hands up to Eren’s hips, licking along Eren’s bottom lip and coaxing his mouth open. Eren kissed passionately and ignorantly, just like he did everything else in his life. Jean, for once, didn’t mind one bit. He craved Eren, craved the feel of touch on his skin, realized why he had turned down that waitress.

Eren’s fingers found his hair, not nearly as gentle as they were in the car. Eren tugged and twisted, knotting his fingers in Jean’s locks and pulling as Jean kissed his way down to Eren’s neck and sucked hard at the sensitive spot where his neck met his chin. When Jean licked a stripe across the red patch of skin, Eren groaned and suddenly Jean was very, very hard.

Jean’s hands wandered down and played with the hem of Eren’s shirt, silently asking permission to remove it. Eren pulled it off in one swift movement, reluctantly breaking the kiss to toss it on the floor. He tugged impatiently at Jean’s shirt, and Jean was more than happy to oblige.

Hands roamed over skin, mapping out the planes of toned chests and smooth stomachs. Jean pushed Eren back gently, shifting to straddle him and oh Eren was definitely enjoying this.

He teased the hem of Eren’s sweatpants, tracing the v of his pelvis and barely brushing his cock through the thick fabric. Eren groaned and thrust his hips upwards, seeking more of the contact Jean was denying him. Jean looked down at the panting, blushing mess underneath him and realized that while he wasn’t gay, he definitely wasn’t straight. Not when he found Eren so fucking beautiful.

He finished off the thought by leaning down and pressing a kiss to Eren’s chest, pulling down Eren’s remaining articles of clothing and taking his length in hand.

Eren moaned as Jean finally touched him, and the sound went straight to Jean’s dick. He pumped faster, kissing Eren and swallowing all the little noises he made.

“Ah-ahn…..Jean! Jean, s- stop….”

Jean pulled back, thinking he had somehow hurt Eren. Seeing Jean’s worry, Eren shook his head and smiled. “I wouldn’t have been able to last if you kept up like that.”

Jean nodded and reached for Eren again but Eren stopped him, leaning up and pulling off his sweats and boxers. Jean was so hard it was painful, and he needed to be touched.

“Eren…Eren, please…”

Eren reached between them and took both cocks in his hand, pumping slowly. Jean gasped as the feeling of Eren overwhelmed him, and he fell forward and buried his head into Eren’s neck as he picked up the speed.

Jean was babbling now, strings of prayers and curses and Eren, oh god Eren don’t stop falling from his lips like water over a cliff. Eren wasn’t much better off, gasping Jean’s name like it was the only thing keeping him alive.

Neither of them could last very long, Jean knew, not like this, and it was only moments before he was thrust into bliss, coming in thick spurts over Eren’s chest and hand. Eren followed shortly after, moaning Jean’s name like a prayer, and Jean briefly thought he had never heard a sweeter sound.

There was no strength left in Jean’s body, and he rolled over and collapsed next to Eren. He reached over to the bedside table and took a few Kleenex wipes from the box and handed them to Eren. When Eren was finished, he tossed the soiled tissues into the trash can a few feet away and curled back into Jean’s side. Jean didn’t laugh this time, instead choosing to turn and face him, draping an arm over his shoulders. Eren smiled and tangled his legs between Jean’s. Both boys were snoring softly in minutes.

And if their hands were linked on the seat as they drove further North the next day, neither one had a problem with it.