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A Test of Endurance

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Armin had always known he lacked endurance in physical exercises since day one in cadet training all those years ago. Maybe even before that, with the bruises his bullies often gave him, proving his abysmal strength.

But that was then, this was now. He was nearing the ripe age of twenty-one and could be proud enough to say that he’d grown in height and even some strength as well. True, he was still a few inches shorter than Jean, though he surpassed Mikasa and Sasha at least.

But despite gaining muscle, he knew he would still remain with a slight figure rather than the burly muscle that was Reiner’s or Jean’s. At least whatever god out there had gifted him with the brains to save lives with his genius strategizing if his strength couldn’t.

But for the life of him, he couldn’t use his genius thinking to determine why Annie of all people had taken an interest one day him until they were in that hot sweltering training room.

Since the five years she’d awakened, been pardoned, and dedicated her time to helping humanity, her personality hadn’t changed as much. She still remained the taciturn girl everybody had known during cadet training.

Even though they were now veterans of the Corps, their lunch times were often differently scheduled. His day could be described in four parts: The first quarter of his day was spent at his desk strategizing or using his brain with Hange, (this included helping her with her experiments), and the other quarter was used in his actual titan training. Shooting steam from his body required more endurance and power than he had realized, and he was willing to go through anything if it would prepare them for what was to come.

The next part of his day meant free time. He would use this time to read or even do some weight training. Just because he held responsibility of a fifty meter power didn’t mean it excused him from his power as a human.

And of course, the last part would be used for eating and sleeping. A constant that reminded him he would wake up and repeat the cycle.

As usual, free time found him in the library looking for a new book to read when a book entitled Martial Arts: The Art of Body and Mind caught his attention. Strange. He wasn’t aware there were any books about the subject. He flipped through the pages finding complicated diagrams depicting pressure points, defensive positions, forms of all kinds to try on attackers and the like. His eyes lit up at it, imagining how much progress he could make in hand-to-hand combat that would make him different from the physically weak, defenseless kid everybody used to know. This was something Annie might have studied-no…most likely had studied with her father to make her the fighter she was now. He took the book from the shelf, holding it in such a way that it was difficult to tell what it said on the cover and made his way to the gym, hoping that nobody was using it at this time.

Thankfully, nobody was around.

Aside from him, he would find Annie in there training her abs or stretching. They rarely talked, except to greet one another before remaining silent and doing their own thing. But every once in a while when he would chance a look at her, he would swear that he could feel her crystal blue eyes on him when he wasn’t watching.

So when he found the room devoid of a certain blond girl, he felt himself relax. It’s not that he didn’t secretly enjoy her company, it was more that he wanted this to be his little secret. Privately, he felt he and Annie always had some kind of agreement or respect for one another that didn’t require spoken words. She always occupied a deserted table at lunch and would always end up sitting on the opposite end, saying a quick greeting before the silence would take over.

He opened up the first page which began with an introduction. But once he entered through the first chapter showing the defensive positions coupled with an almost faded diagram, he felt compelled to try them out on the spacious wrestling floor.

Defensive Stance #1: This is when your opponent is trying to make the wrist grab. If the opponent does make contact, a way to protect is to perform a clock-wise or counterclockwise position depending on which hand to grab their wrist instead. Speed should be needed to make this as it would catch them off guard.

Already, he felt foolish; this was guaranteeing you had a partner to try this step out. He was not about to ask anybody to be his practice partner. He flipped through the pages, finding to his dismay that some, if not the majority, required two people to test out. When he got to a different unit, there were complicated looking sparring positions that were worth to try out and in some drawn pictures, it was okay to try it out with a punching bag.

He got to work, the book open not far away as he did his own drills, not completely ignorant with how hand-to-hand combat and sparring worked since they was taught it at a young age. And even if he was bad at it, he did know it in theory.

So while aiming kick after kick and punch after fast punch to the punching bag and in different variations, his body perspiring after an hour made him strip out of his damp white shirt until he was left shirtless in his standard uniformed pants minus the gear. He never stripped out of his shirt in public when training with others. Jean, Connie, and even Eren would take theirs off, with no care if it got too hot. He didn’t want to admit it, but he envied their rippling bulky muscles. Yes, he had muscle as well, but with their size, it often came with strength which he could not compete for.

He must have been panting with the effort to regain his breath, or too focused on what he was doing, because he hadn’t been aware of a door opening from the other side of the training room until the slow footfalls rounded the corner and into his hearing range indicating that someone had now entered and just stopped short of seeing him.

He whipped around in alarm and trepidation; he did not want anyone to see him like this. Especially…a pair of icy blue eyes with loose bangs framing her mildly startled face at finding him here. Annie Leonhardt.

 

 

 

When Annie had decided to train just a little early today in the room, she was looking forward for a nice drill of weight lifting and stretching.

But she hadn’t expected to run into him at this hour.

She entered the room, the door barely making a creak as she turned the knarled knob, rounded the corner, before coming into view of the leaning backside.

Mainly, Armin’s backside.

She figured the only way he could not have heard her was because he was currently bent over, so intent on catching his breath or doing something that required focus, or coupled with the fact that she hadn’t this time, opened the door wide enough to elicit a loud creak from the hinges.

But she didn’t know what she thought when she was greeted with a shining backside with what must have been, several hours’ worth of sweat on said boy’s figure.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to her to find him shirtless and alone in the hot sweltering training room with his shirt off. This was a training room where one was most likely to work hard, and sweat, and strip clothing...

She had seen countless other men shirtless before, so seeing one more should have been no big deal, so why was she so startled to find him here like this?

When he finally heard her, his body stiffened, showing the brief power muscles contract before he half turned astonishment evident in those ocean blue eyes she would know anywhere, looking like a person caught doing something he didn’t want anybody to know.

“A-Annie!”

“Armin.” She said in polite greeting, pleased that her tone sounded calm.

Time seemed to have passed with the two of them staring at one another, though it must have been only a few awkward seconds. It took every ounce of willpower not to let her eyes wander to his shining chest, but instead on him, even when a certain strange leap was turning in her chest at the thought of his lean muscle bent over from the exertion, with shining corn silk hair strands stuck to the side of his face. His face had a deep flush to it, and she wondered if it was on account of his exercising or the fact that she had scared him.

“A-anyway, nice to see you, hope your training goes good. I-I’m just about finished. Good-bye!”

And before she could say anything else, he bent to pick up his damp crumbled shirt, offer her a quick closed smile that looked more embarrassed than in farewell, and sped towards the exit, the door slamming shut with the force it might have taken him to close it quickly.

As the slam echoed into silence around the spacious room, she stood rooted to the spot-alone.

What the hell?

Her gaze was drawn to something lying on the floor and which definitely did not belong in a training room filled with weights and other equipment: an open book.

She approached it curiously, bending down to pick it up and see what it was about. A glance at the bold print at the top of the page said Hand-to Hand Combat: Tips and Tricks for Defense and Offense.

So he was practicing this just now, wasn’t he? A smirk formed on her face as she remembered his deer in the shooting range expression. But why did he run in embarrassment over something such as this?

Unless…

Unless he was uncomfortable around her. But no-they had been in proximity with each other countless times, and she had never seen him as flustered as this. So what was it that made him like this?

Instead of working out, she decided to pocket the book and head back to her room to read what the nerd had found so interesting. She couldn’t help it, but this had turned into a mystery she was determined to solve.

***

He wanted to curse himself a thousand times over when he realized he left the book in the training room. How could he be so stupid so as to leave it lying around?

Would Annie see? He thought. What if he went back to go get it? He scratched that idea under the pretext she’d be there and see him again. He had just acted like a fool in front of her. And what’s more, she had seen him without a shirt-and sweaty.

He couldn’t understand why the thought of her seeing him like that made him more embarrassed than the fact he was trying to learn what she had mastered. Had she laughed at him? Would she think him pathetic with his physique?

Don’t think about that right now he told himself. Worry about it tomorrow.

He went to bed dreaming of her.

 

 

Lucky for him, today and tomorrow were both holidays: St. Maria’s Day (the completion of Wall Maria), and the date of the end of the Great Titan War, which meant soldiers would use the opportunity to go into town, visit family, or just relax- making it the perfect time for him to use the training room.

He was pleased to find it empty, but his heart did a nervous skip when he realized that the book he had left wasn’t in its usual place. Somebody must have taken it.

But the room was deserted, and he could find no better opportunity to work on hand-to-hand combat skills than now.

He thought he was making good progress, considering what he had started as. He did variations of kicks and punches from what he remembered in the book, going over in his head their mechanics and uses. Front snap kick…Backfist, punch…turn hook kick…flying side kick…

His eyes were centered on his target- the punching bag- imagining it was an enemy about to do him harm. The downside to all this practicing was the fact that there was no moving target. Following the book was good, assuming you wanted to learn it in theory, but he felt like something was missing from all of this.

“You know, there are better ways to learn, Arlert.”

The smooth voice of someone all too-familiar abruptly turned his insides to ice. Whipping around in the direction of the voice, he saw her sitting in the floor in the far corner, leaned back with her knees buckled and arms lazily dangling over them- just out of his range where he wouldn’t have noticed her, but in such a way where she could watch him without being spotted. She had been watching him with an almost curious expression instead of the usual look of boredom.

“A-Annie what are you…H-how long were you-?”

“Long enough.” She replied swiftly, getting up from floor in a graceful manner and making her way over to him.

He could feel his face turn pink and his stomach do backflips as she approached him, stopping in front of him- the perfect distance for hand-to-hand combat.

“W-wait what are you-?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?” she answered back, with just a hint of sass that he hadn’t heard from her. “You’ve been wanting to learn how to fight, right? That’s why you checked this out?” She tossed something at him and he reflexively caught it- the book he left yesterday.

He stared at it then back at her, confused. “I don’t understand…why?”

“Why what?” she raised her pale brows and giving him a considering look in those cold eyes.

“Why are you helping me?”

“What makes you think I’m doing you a favor at all?” she said, swiftly. “Honestly, you really think I’m going to sit back and watch you make a fool of yourself trying to master something that you’re only insulting? Your form looks pathetic, and I’m not going to sit around while you make my art form look like crap.”

Despite her harsh words, there came something in him that felt like…joy? No, more like pride. She was considering him worth her time. Worth her time to teach. He had never actually seen her practice out in the open her style anymore- not like the cadet days. He had begun to think that she had discarded them- maybe deemed them useless or a bad memory from when she used it against them all those years ago. It seemed he had assumed wrong.

“I-it’s okay I-I’m not worth your time.” He burbled, making to turn away. “I’m not as strong as you make me out to be, and I’ll only slow you down.”

He turned around and walked no more than two paces when he was grabbed by his wrist-forcefully, and felt his world spinning until he was on his back, staring up from the floor at a scowling Annie from his curled up position. The signature position reserved for those who often went on the receiving end of her throws.

She towered over him, blue-grey eyes narrowing. “Get up.” She demanded.

He got up, feeling disoriented from the mere fact that Annie had just flipped him over. “W-why did you do that?”

“You want to know how to do real combat training? I took a look at that book of yours…not bad, but utter crap when trying it out alone.”

“You read it?” he asked, looking astounded.

“Of course, nerd. Now, I want you to attack me.” She threw the dull wooden knife from her jacket pocket they used to practice back in training. He caught it, eyeing it uneasily and looked up with his nervous blue eyes at the girl he was supposed to be attacking who got into a defensive position. Her signature stance.

 He took a deep breath before charging- the knife aimed straight at her heart.

He felt his whole world topsy-turvy as she flipped him in exactly the same way as when he had his back turned.

He could hear her clicking her tongue in disappointment. “Too slow, try again.”

He got up, now feeling an ache in his back. Great. He had probably set himself up to have bruises for tomorrow.

He tried again. Using her signature move, Annie did a sudden sidestep and sent him flying to the ground, nearly knocking the wind out of him. While on the ground, she pinned him using her arm with her grip on the blade he was holding. He was pleased to see he was putting up a better fight than what he would have made years ago, but he was still no match for her prowess.

“What the hell was that?” she hissed at him, and for the first time, she looked cross. He just wasn’t getting it, was he? “Was that really the best you could do?”

“I told you, I’m no good at this stuff.” He protested. “This was why I was learning on my own in the first place! I-I’m no match for your level.”

“Don’t give me that! You’re the tactician- you think strategizing and fighting are two different things? Use your brain- what did you learn from this encounter?”

Armin thought a moment, “Using the same technique in a row doesn’t work.” He said finally.

“Correct.” She released her grip on the knife which he held, then stood up before resuming their correct positions. “Try again with something else.” He looked at the way she was holding herself. Her right leg was held in a tiger stance while her left leg was slightly bent. Had she hurt her leg? That meant, he could approach from the other side then attack her from behind…

He stepped forward, trying to make it look like he was going for the right, but changed direction the other way.

She only just realized his trick and managed to bring up her hands in defense, but they both came crashing to the ground with Annie managing to get the upper hand.

She pinned him again, leaning over him as each struggled to gain advantage of the knife. He tried flipping her off him, but she kept a firm grip, twisting his legs with hers so that she was on top of him.

When Annie finally swiped the weapon from his hands, grunting with the effort it took, she felt herself falling over him.

Armin could feel himself turn red- and not just from the exertion it took to struggle- with seeing Annie nearly inches from his face. He could feel his heart beating through his chest from all the energy it took to fight her.

“Not bad, much better than last time, but it seems you need another lesson,” she said, panting a bit herself. It seemed Armin had indeed improved in strength during the gap period she was in her crystal stasis. She had tried not to become aware of the way her heart was thumping through her chest as she held him down. It sent too many weird thoughts to her head which she was failing to block out, and she hastened to get up.

They tried again and again, with Annie occasionally pointing something out, or with her scolding him about something after having flipped him for the umpteenth time. Each time she would flip him to the ground, she expected him to call it quits or lose his temper. But he would pick himself right back up and try for a different tactic, shining face and eyes furrowing in concentration with the effort to keep up. And sometimes, she felt he almost nearly overpowered her, but she was fast enough to prevent it.

Perhaps this what had always made her interested in him since day one. His lack of strength should have made him a quitter- a person who wouldn’t last long in the military. It was a wonder how he had survived all these years where others so much more adept than he, had died. But no matter how many times she saw him in the throes of danger, he was always the first to sacrifice himself or put himself into danger so that others wouldn’t. He was a paradox all on his own- his lack of physical strength had not once deterred him from joining the ranks.

In some ways, he was more stubborn than even Eren in spirit.

And yet, he had not once sent her below him in hand-to-hand combat.

“Come on, Arlert, even Jaeger wasn’t this terrible- and even he went up against Reiner,” she drawled as he was once again, found beneath her, struggling. But the more Armin tried to overpower her, the more he ended up on the receiving end of her kicks, no matter how close he came to throwing her off him.

“What? You give up already?” she taunted at him, though not unkindly.

“N-never…I’ll…n-never…back down…” he panted.

Something in Annie’s gut swelled at hearing those words from him. Like a rush of pride and relief. Here was the Armin…her Armin she had always known and loved.

It’s no use, I can’t find a single opening through her defenses! He thought. She truly had not held back with her punches and kicks. They were as every bit as lethal as the wooden staffs they practiced combat with.

But why does it feel like I’m the one holding back?

And then the answer came to him in a sudden revelation: he didn’t want Annie as his enemy.

He would watch her at times during lunch, paying attention to the little bits and quirks about her. She was like a fascinating puzzle all on her own. Like one of the labyrinths that were described in the fairy tales he used to read- filled with twists and turns, and loops and dead-ends in unexpected places, that you were never sure what you would run into. Unpredictable, but a fascinating thing to study.

He found himself watching her more often than not- and came to know that she would do the same, though quickly averting his eyes when it looked like she caught on.

But almost every night before he fell asleep, when his mind would grow tired with theoretical tactics or political agendas, or experiments, he would find his mind wandering over to the way she would look in training, to her lemon hair dancing in the wind…

Now’s not the time, you idiot! He told himself- but in vain, when the real object of his secret affections was right in front of him. He needed to come up with a way to overpower her, but even through his haziness, he couldn’t think of anything.

I have to catch her by surprise he chanted in his head. But as to what that surprise was, he didn’t know.

She had him now pinned in this time, a different position, so that she was straddling his waist. Rather than try to swipe the wooden knife from her hand like she expected him to, he leaned forward all the way so that he was instead locking his hips into hers.

It was a tangle of limbs as they both fought. Now, he was giving it his all, locking his knees with hers so that she was forced to look up at his brilliant blue eyes. Those intelligent eyes that had always seen her. There seemed to be a change in the air around them, as though they were suddenly aware they were close- closer than she had been so far. And under him.

As Armin looked down, struggling breaths circulating with hers in that sweltering heat of the training room, his eyes locked with hers- so clear, so pristine that you could swim in them, he realized at that moment, the reason he had always been captivated by her- and why she had taken great lengths to try to teach him.

She swiped her tongue across her lips, just a quick motion to relieve the dryness, but he saw- and was drawn to them instead. He felt his body leaning in to her…

But she met him instead.

The smoothness of her lips caught him in surprise, their softness engaging his own- and suddenly he could hold it no longer. He ravaged her mouth, feeling her lips like soft fruit and the fact that she was kissing him vigorously in return, her hands dropping the weapon to instead wrap around his shoulders.

“A-Annie…” he moaned in her mouth, inhaling a part of her and feeling fascinated by it all. This was Annie. Annie Leonhardt he was kissing. And she was kissing him back with everything, as though she too had been waiting for him.

“Y-you better do…ahhh…something…about…ohh…that door.” He pried his lips from her, and for moment she could see him- his dreamy blue eyes dilating with some desire that made her feel implausibly wrecked with want. He shifted a bit, obeying her words, but just before he got up to lock the doors, he turned, catching her lips in his own in another bout.

 

“Save…it…for later…” panted Annie, hands circling his shoulders before reluctantly drawing away from his mouth. “Someone...might...come…”

“Good point,” he breathed, releasing her and giving her a small smile.

He wasted no time, making sure to lock it before sinking back down to the ground to latch his mouth back on hers, pressing deeper into her hot mouth, with his hands circling her waist and lingering where her pants were.

“This…comes…off.” She struggled to say, eyes staring pointedly at his shirt. He looked down, and it was then she caught the uncertainty and inner struggle in his eyes. She stopped kissing momentarily, as did he. “What’s wrong?” she asked, a little pocket of panic worming its way to her throat. Was he too scared to proceed any further?

“It’s just that…” worried blue orbs looked at her, then down to his chest which was still covered. “You…you might not like...what if you don’t like me?”

And then she understood. Was he…self-conscious about his looks that he didn’t want her to see?

“Really, Arlert, you think I’m superficial to really think about?” she scoffed in good-humor.

“I’m-I’m not as strong as other people...” he trailed off.

“You’re deluded into thinking physical strength is everything.” She felt herself saying. “From the moment I met you, I never thought you were a weak person.”

They stood, nearly inches from each other’s face, and through his eyes she saw the tiniest flicker of emotion pass through.

“Do you…do you really think so?” he almost whispered.

“If I didn’t consider you worth it, I would’ve quit being interested in you.” She joked, but he could tell she meant it. She began unbuttoning his shirt in an almost frantic manner, annoyed at how many buttons were needed. But she was too exhilarated to complain about that now as she felt something within her gut swell at the sight of him, pleased with the result.

“God, Arlert, what were you so scared about? You have an eight pack! What’s so weak about your body?” she stated before kissing him again.

Taking initiative, he swiped her shirt over her head, throwing it behind him, but she could care less, when the real center of attention was right in front of her.

He was about to reach for her pants when all of a sudden, he felt her grab his arms, and, with surprising strength, switch their positions, so that she was the one straddling his hips instead.

“You let your guard down, Arlert.” She smirked, “In fighting, always take advantage of your enemies’ weakness.”

For one wild moment, he panicked, thinking this was all some horrible tactic of hers in which she would get up from the floor, laughing, and leaving him with a full boner straining in his pants and a nervous wreck. But then, the logical part reasoned that Annie would never do such a thing, and anyway, her hands had begun to settle on his hips, playing with the waistband before slowly releasing the zipper, freeing some of the confines. His hands found themselves roaming higher until they were feeling her pale excited mounds, the most protected part of her skin from the sun. With each hand, he couldn’t help but feel their smoothness in his palms, fascinated by the way her pink nipples would perk up when in contact with him. Annie gave a gasp, catching deep breaths as he stroked her gently in a circular motion, the job of ridding his pants put on hold, (though, he doesn’t mind).

Sitting up, he met her lips in another kiss, taking his hands off her breasts just long enough so that she was awoken from the throes of ecstasy and worrying about his pants. With her help, he shucked them off till they were inside out. Through his black boxer briefs she could clearly see he had been hard for quite some time, making her in turn, feel a thrumming of excitement. Armin wanted her. Wanted her as much as she wanted him. For a while, she stared down at him- his well-sculpted, lean figure set with cords of muscle on his arms, to the thin trail of gold hair on his abdomen disappearing down past his briefs…

“What is it?” he asked. Annie realized she had been staring at him for a good while, taking in the sight of him, that she had forgotten what she was doing.

 

“S-sorry, I was just…”

“Like what you see?” he half-whispered, half-teased when he noticed the definite blush forming on both her cheeks.

“In your dreams, Arlert.” But she smiled, as did he, triumphantly meeting his lips in her own and cupping her face, even as his mouth was doing a small torturous journey from her lips down to her neck, not once removing them from her skin. Up close, he could smell her in full now: the scent of soap mixed in with the sunshine of perspiration which only seemed to drive him more.

Annie gasped, closing her eyes shut and forming barely noticeably whines as he made his trek down her skin, pressing his nose unto the sensitive curve of her flesh where her shoulder met her neck. She gave a particular loud moan when she felt his teeth graze her, feeling him apply a pressure that sent the very skin where he marked her, aflame.

And then suddenly, she felt herself tipping forward from with the strength of two powerful hands hoisting her back from under her armpits so that she was instead with her back to the smooth mat while he towered over her- one hand on either side of her chest on the floor.

“Oops, looks like someone let their guard down.” He smirked through her lips, his eyes nearly a midnight blue from her vision.

Inside, she was brimming in some excitement she could not put down. He was now on top of her, hands roaming past her collarbone before meeting her round supple breasts, hands cupping each. From his mouth’s trek from the curve of her shoulder, he sank his head lower, licking a strip as he went, until it was nestled in the valley between her breasts. His mouth closed over one mound, and she threw her head back giving a moan, all while he teased her relentlessly- not once taking his eyes off her even as she closed them and tried covering her flushed face.

Releasing her left breast with a small pop, he grinned at her-like actually grinned at her as if pleased with her reaction, rolling his tongue on her pink nipple which was hardened from his ministrations. He grazed his teeth over the sensitive nub, earning himself the loudest moan from her that he so wanted, before closing his mouth on the other one, giving it the same desired attention.

She could barely think straight- not even becoming aware that he had now stripped off her pants until the cold chilly air hit her. It was a strange thing to be feeling naked. This feeling of vulnerability should have evoked a sense of uneasiness, not a wild thrill in her stomach which what she was feeling now. Not once had she been under the gaze of a man, much less in this position. But as she looked up into those eyes, she found him staring at her with the same thoughtful, mesmerized look in those orbs as she did.

“Like what you see?” she smirked, throwing his words back at him.

Even though the straps of the 3DMG gear left lesions and marks along her bare legs, he couldn’t help but stare at how beautiful she looked. Noticing his mouth was left open amid his stare, he closed it, swallowing hard, managing a nod before sinking his lips to hers.

He crawled atop of her, and she felt herself sliding against him- eager for more friction, but vastly disappointed to find that he was going incredibly slow - and still incredibly clothed in that region.

While they made out eager to explore each other's mouths, one hand cupped her cheek, while the other was kneading her breast, she took the opportunity to sink her hand until she gently massaged his clothed erection.

This caught him by surprise, and he gave a low keen of longing as he detached his mouth from hers.

“I don’t want to be the only one fully naked, you know,” she pointed out.

He seemed to think this justifiable. After all, it was the best course of action, wasn’t it? He slid out the final article of clothing, kicking it far way, most likely into the pile of rumpled clothing.

His erection stood tall, pink, and already shining with precome, and she gave it a long stare, admiring its girth and length. Her heart seemed to beat much faster than usual out of her chest, thinking of the prospect of having him like this, and so close to her.

“Wait.” She said.

 

Allowing her to get up, she reached from where her rumpled jacket was discarded, almost searching frantically for the bottle of oil that she usually kept on her. Every soldier had some on him or her- oil in case of skin chaffing against the leathers of the straps, which was a very common thing. She fished it out of the pocket and retreated back to him, showing him.

“Good thinking,” he smiled, about to take the bottle.

“Wait.” She repeated, her voice almost strained.

“What is it?” he questioned, looking towards her again, in that adorable innocence she just couldn’t resist.

“I…” here, she felt herself turn red, unable to say what was on her mind when he was looking at her like that. “I…I want to be the one to do it.”

It took him a few seconds to process what she was saying, but when he caught on, he gave a nod, trying not to appear too eager, before sliding off until he was sitting before her in a kneeling position.

Opening up the bottle cap, he watched her lather some on her fingers, watching the way her fingers rolled it around like viscous honey. She was now looking straight at him, so close, he could see the iciness of her orbs darken in lust as she took one look at her coated hand then back to him, as though considering, before lowering it unto his erection.

With a groan, he leaned forward, eager to feel the warmth of her hand slide over his shaft as she leaned towards him, up into the savory chafed lips. He was finding it increasingly hard to keep it together as she steadily worked him from base to tip. He found himself thrusting up against her, panting slightly and moaning a bit into her mouth as she kept up. She was working him at a faster pace now, but in the haze, he could feel himself becoming undone sensing the need for that release. If she didn’t stop now, he was going to-

“W…wait…p-please…s…stop, Annie. I need you to stop.”

She ceased her motions when hearing how he called her name and released her mouth from his. He could just barely sense the apprehension within the blue hues, worried that she might have done something wrong.

“If…if you keep going like that, I-I’m going to explode. I just need a minute…” Her eyes caught on what he was saying, and she shimmied a bit back.

“For a moment, I thought you were saying you wanted to stop.”

He gave a weak chuckle “I could never say that.”

Once he was calm enough to continue, his mouth met hers, and she took the opportunity to push him forward, roaming his hands down his lean chest until she was between his legs straddling him. He gave a moan of longing, wanting to gain more friction.

She rocked her hips against him, causing a delicious feeling of friction between them. Slightly out of breath, his hands wandered her body, landing on the supple smooth flesh of her buttocks, kneading them while her hands spidered their way down her chest.

And then amid the symphony of skin and hazy desire, he felt her grasp his member gently, sliding it tantalizingly close to her entrance slicked with her wetness. He could feel his heart pounding through his chest; the scent of her all around him, coating him in a mist of lust.

“This…this might hurt…” he breathed, staring up at her, the worry evident on his face even though he was very much enjoying the dual sensations.

“Not if we go slowly,” she assured him. She had not had any experience with this sort of thing. Hell, even with initiating feelings and kissing, and all that. But she didn’t care, because it was Armin she was doing it with, and she would have no other.

And damned if she wasn’t up to having all of him.

With a shook breath, she angled her hips, spreading them wider, feeling him brush her entrance- this time a little deeper than before. He groaned, feeling her wetness even if it was shallow, and it took all his will power not to thrust straight up into her inviting warmth.

She adjusted a second time, slowly lowering herself though his hilt. Then taking once last breath to prepare herself, lifted her hips so he was out of her, before slamming herself down until he was fully inside her.

 

The effect was immediate- he nearly slammed his head back against the mat, giving his loudest moan as he struggled to come to terms with the indescribable feeling. He knew that there would be warmth, but never had he expected this…this overwhelming heat of being in the tightness of her body. Of being inside Annie Leonhardt. He wanted more than ever to ram up into the warmth of her, eager to gain that…that something that was missing, but he exercised control, knowing to do so, would mean more pain for her, so he steadied his hips, gaze drawn back at her shining face, squinting through the pain.

“S-sorry, i-it’s just…”

“Don’t be…” he breathed back, finding it just as difficult to talk. “J…just let me know when.”

It took a few seconds for her to fix her face back, nostrils dilating with the effort it took to breathe. It was painful…and yet it wasn’t. Like a very very good kind of pain.

She took a deep breath before she felt comfortable moving again. Slowly rocking her hips to a rhythm, she felt him reciprocate the movement, tying it with hers. She could see him below her, brow furrowed with the sensation as he rocked against hers, creating so much more friction, it nearly drove her insane.

“Y-yes oh…like…ah…that…” was all she could muster.

But she never needed words with him. With Armin Arlert, because he could read her like no other person, had always been there when no one else would give her the time and day, and he knew what she desired most at this moment when he picked up the pace, gyrating their hips to find that sweet spot she so craved.

And then their positions were switched as he leaning over her, pressing sloppy kisses to her mouth and all around her face- any inch he could reach while their breaths mingled, all while moving at a faster pace than ever done. He could taste her sweat on his tongue, but he was far too overcome with feeling all of her to care except find that pace that would make them reach that spot.

“A-Armin…” she moaned, barely finding the energy for anything except breathing.

“A-Annie I…I lo…” he struggled.

And then there was a white flash through her half closed eyes, and she felt something within her break as he rode her out to completion, feeling incredibly wet and incredibly alive in that whiteness. He pulled out, releasing himself onto her stomach, panting out her name as he stroked every last second to completion and searching her mouth with his, their vision fogged of all else around them as they collapsed…even when it seemed the whole world around them crumbled. He felt her slowly start to relax, her muscles unclenching even as he collapsed next to her, panting and feeling completely undone.

He turned his head, and she finally met his gaze- that wondrous look in her eyes that didn’t need spelling out, as she took his hand in hers, giving it a squeeze. He wrapped his arms around her, and she returned the embrace, digging into his warmth as their breaths gradually evened out, finally finding the peace after the storm.

 

 

 

It was a while before either of them spoke; his arms wound around her in a protective cradle as they basked in the afterglow

“Hey Annie?”

“Hmm?”

Does this mean I won?”

In response, she sent a punch to his bicep, a weak one from her exhausted state. But he only chuckled, the vibration of his laughter felt with hers as they presently fell asleep in each other’s arms.