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Not a Normal High School Crush

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“You have got to be kidding me.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I got Mr. Ackerman as a teacher,” Eren gasps loudly as he scans over his school schedule for the new year. He grips the paper tightly and reads the schedule over and over again to make sure he read it correctly the first time.

Currently, Eren and his group of friends sit at a round table, reading their new schedules at their favorite diner. It’s called “Titans Corner” and they spend most of their time there. Everyone currently scans over their classes, swapping schedules with one another to see what they all have.

“HA!” Jean cackles. He’s sitting across from Eren with a large grin on his face.
“For what class?”

“Quantitative literature,” Eren sighs, placing his schedule down to pick up a fry from his plate. He pops it in his mouth.

“What the hell is that?”

“It's statistics, probability, and all that other fun stuff,” The brunette rolls his eyes. Just thinking about that class made him sick to his stomach; to make it all worse it had to be a teacher he’s deeply afraid of.

“What’s wrong with Mr. Ackerman? I thought he was popular?” Annie murmurs before sipping on her shake.

“Of course he’s popular. Popular with the girls at least,” Armin states, putting his schedule down on the table. Eren makes a face of disgust at him.

“He’s very strict from what I’ve seen and heard from. He has specific rules for his students and never gives any warnings. I've heard stories of him last year from students… Apparently, he gives out a lot of detention slips, and yells at students. He swears a lot too,” Eren tries to remember from what the students from last year told him, “he seems very mysterious?”

“Like Mikasa,” Connie jokes, wiggling an eyebrow. Mikasa shoots him a glare before continuing to eat. Eren sighed, leaning his head back against the booth to stare at the ceiling. At least most of his friends are in most of his classes. Jean was in a lot of them. Armin, Reiner, and Bertholdt are in his history class while most of the guys here are in his gym class. The best part is that everyone’s in his lunch. One class isn't going to stop him from having a good last year of high school.

“Wait, Eren,” Sasha interrupts his thoughts. “You have him 8th period, right?”

“Yeah,” He hums at her sitting up.

“I have him too,” She smiles; her smile brightens up with a glance at Connie. “So does Connie.”

Eren’s face enlightens, but a loud laugh catches their attention.

Jean smirks. “Good luck surviving that class.” Mikasa grabs Jean’s schedule to look through it. She nods, a small smile playing on her pale lips.

“I would quit laughing, Jean”

“Huh, why?” He turns his head to look at her questionably.

“Look here,” She points a long finger at the paper, lightly tapping on it. Jean snatches his schedule back with a pout. His face grows white as soon as his brown eyes meet the bottom of the sheet. Eren knows exactly why he was pouting and gives him a cheeky grin.

“No way! I have him too!” Jean growls. Connie snickers at him while Eren crosses his arms,

“Well, Jaeger, I guess we will both be struggling,” Jean utters through clenched teeth.

“Who said I would be struggling?”

“Eren, I know you. You aren't good at math,” Jean snaps back.

“Hey! I’m good at math!”

“Oh, yeah? With Armin’s help you are!”

Armin looks around and ignores the comment. Their table must be loud since a few adults start to glance their way. The two loudest of the group continue to argue over a useless topic which incites the third loudest to meddle in their debate.

“Guys, calm down. Everyone is starting to stare,” Ymir says lazily staring at her nails. She leans back in her seat without a care.

“Yeah, Jean, calm down. Your voice is too loud,” Eren says.

“So is yours!” Jean throws a fry at him. Eren slips out a laugh.

“Okay, okay, quit it,” Mikasa pushes Eren back in his seat since he started to lean in closer to the table. She shakes her head at them, already tired of their little fights.

“Sorry,” Eren mumbles as he plays with the hem of his shirt.

“You guys have been at each other’s throats since we got here. What's the deal?” Mikasa questions showing concern on her face.

“I think Jean is just angry that Marco won’t be with us this year,” Eren smirks at Jean. Marco’s entering college now, leaving them all behind. Jean shakes his head at him and looks away.

“He said he'll visit us so I'm not angry at all about that.”

“Yeah, right-”

“-anyways!” Armin pokes in and sits up in his seat. He places his cupped hands on the table. “Annie, where’s Reiner and Bertholdt?”

“They’re at the gym right now. Probably prepping for football,” she shrugs.

“Already?”

“Reiner really wants to join the team this year.”

“He seems too eager,” Eren scrunches his nose. The whole summer, Reiner had been “preparing” for football. He’s backed down from too many plans made by the group of friends with an excuse to go to the gym. It feels as if Eren’s hardly seen Reiner at all over the summer.

“Well, it's senior year,” Annie mumbles as she checks the time on her phone. Mikasa does the same and sees that it’s almost nine o’clock. They have to be home soon.

“Well, we gotta head home,” Mikasa starts to clean up her surroundings.

“Yeah, same. My mom will kill me” Connie scurries up from his seat and grabs his phone as everyone starts to clean up their mess.

They all say their goodbyes out front and enter their vehicles. The owners of the diner watch them all drive away and sigh a sigh of relief once the last car exits the parking lot.

Armin, the only one that has a car within their little trio, drives Mikasa and Eren home. It was a small, grey car with leather seats inside. Eren sits in the back and lets Mikasa sit up front.

The two siblings live together in a two story house that sits in a quiet neighborhood mostly filled with older people. They aren’t blood related considering Mikasa’s past. Grisha took her in as a child to live with them due to certain circumstances and since Eren’s mother passed away a couple of years ago from cancer, Grisha was hardly home. It was mostly the two of them alone in the lonely house. Eren sees Mikasa more as a roommate and friend rather than a sibling, although she did care for him like an older sister. They never get lonely together. In fact, Eren doesn’t care much if his father isn’t home anymore. He’s gotten used to him disappearing from time to time although he doesn't know where he goes since Grisha never tells them where he’s going. Eren has tried to enter his secret office every now and then but it’s always locked so he’s never prevailed. He doesn’t like how secretive Grisha is but there’s nothing he can do about it.

He leans his head back in his seat, breathing in the fresh air blowing through the cracked window. His thoughts are everywhere. School starts in a few days and he doesn’t feel ready. Last year meant he had to really figure out what he wanted to do after he graduates, which seemed scary at the time. He was lost and had no idea what he wanted to pursue after high school. He secretly didn't like the idea of becoming independent in less than a year and felt as if he wasn't ready at all for the big world.

He still feels this way and he shouldn’t. Being a senior means having it all figured out. Why doesn’t he have it figured out yet? What does this mean?

“Would you keep it quiet back there?” Armin asks out of the blue which snaps Eren back to reality.

“I wasn't saying anything?” Eren asks more than states, looking at Armin through the rear view mirror.

“Your thoughts are too loud,” Armin laughs. Eren shakes his head with a smile. Armin knows when panic starts to corrupt his thoughts because Eren tends to get very quiet.

“What are you thinking about?”

“Just school.”

“Are you still upset about having Mr. Ackerman as your teacher?”

“What? No, no. I'm not... I was thinking about other things.”

“Well, don't think too hard. I don't want you smoking up my car,” They both laugh at the little joke and talk some more during the car ride home. Soon, they reach the house and say their goodbyes. Once Armin drives off, he leaves the two siblings muling in silence. Luckily, He lives nearby so his ride home in the dark shouldn’t take too long.

The duo enter their home, kick off their shoes by the door, and then settle in for the night.

“Dad?” Eren shouts. No answer.

“Guess he’s not home,” Mikasa shrugs off toward the couch. She sits on it with a huff.

“Liar. He said he was gonna be gone for three days... It's been a week!” Eren grumbles as he walks toward the kitchen to satisfy his hunger.

“He's full of surprises.”

“Yeah, really,” Eren comes back, stuffing his face with a bag of chips. Mikasa shakes her head at him with a confused expression.

“You're eating again? You just ate!”

“Stress eating,” he simply answers. He tosses himself on the couch. Mikasa reaches for the remote sitting on the coffee table sat and turns on the tv. She scrolls through channels upon channels, leaning her head on the side of her hand.

“Wanna finish your show?”

“Yes, please” Eren lays himself on his stomach, tossing chips into his mouth with a smile. Mikasa clicks on his favorite show and they both have an impromptu tv show marathon till sunrise.

....

In a clean, organized, and modern styled apartment sits Levi in his living room scrolling through his laptop to check who would be in his class this year. Hanji lays on the floor as she does the same for her class. She teaches science while Levi teaches math, making their friendship a match made in heaven. She hums a song as she clicks through her students’ profiles.

“My students all seem cute!” she giggles, clicking on another profile. “I can feel a good year coming!”

“Another year of royal pains in my ass,” He mumbles the student’s names to himself. He liked to memorize them all before the first day of school so he didn’t have to waste class time having them introduce themselves.

“Oh, come on! This year will be so much better than the last!”

Levi had a pretty shitty year prior to this one. Most of his students clowned around and didn't take the class seriously. He plans on being even stricter with the rules this year. They didn't treat him with much respect before so he plans on enforcing respect on the very first day. He also got annoyed with the hormonal girls in his class always flirting with him so he plans on shooting them all down this time around so he didn’t have to go through the motions again.

“I doubt it,” Levi picks his laptop up and places it down on the cushion next to him. Afterwards, he makes his way to the kitchen to make himself some tea.

“Well, it's a new generation! Who knows! They just might respect you this year. They’re just trying to get through their last year of high school.”

“And I'm trying to help them not fail their senior year yet some kids still think it's all fun and games,” Levi grabs a cup from his cupboard to begin making his tea.

“Don't forget that you used to act like this when you were their age,” a big goofy grin sets on her face as she taps her pen on her chin. Levi didn't even want to remember his teen years. He’s young, still in his twenties, but he’s more mature than men his age. Sure, he acts like a college kid at times from what Hanji says, but he’s changed over the years. He finishes making his warm cup of soothing tea and brings it back to the couch.

“So... Did you memorize your students names yet?”

“Most of them. I don't really know some of them at the moment,” Levi blows a bit on the tea to cool it down.

“Let me take a look,” Hanji scurries over to Levi and takes his laptop, placing it on her lap. Levi didn't seem to care as he lays back, sipping on his tea. She scrolls over the long list, the brightness of the screen reflecting on her glasses.

“I know her! I had her during her freshman year! Oh! I know who he is! Ugh, such a sweetheart. I know her, her, and him...” She mumbles to herself. Levi hardly listens as he muses to himself about what rules he’ll give out on the first day of school.

“Oh, yeah! Watch out for these two, they fight a lot”-she laughs as she remembers back to something-“you have such good students, I'm almost jealous!”

Levi rolls his eyes as he sits up in his place. He downs his tea and pulls his laptop back onto him.

“So, are they all good students?” He asks annoyedly.

“Most of them are! You’re very lucky to have them!” She pats his shoulder before returning to her previous sitting position.

“You spend way too much time with students.”

“That’s ‘cause I get involved with coaching sports. This year I'll be coaching baseball in the spring. Maybe you should, I don’t know, have a bit more fun?”

“No thanks, I'm good,” He returns his attention back to the list of names again.

“I'll convince you when the time comes,” she whispers. Levi doesn’t hear her yet still gives her a frown.

“Whatever, I need to focus and prepare myself before the big day,” He runs his hand through his raven hair and sighs.

“It's going to be a good year,” Hanji repeats herself, “I can feel it.”

I hope so.

Chapter Text

Eren’s first day of school did not go as disastrously as he thought it would go… Except for the morning portion that is. He woke up late because he forgot to turn his alarm on last night, which was his fault, and it made him late to his first class. What a first impression that turned out to be. The rest of his classes after that went by smoothly. His teachers seem fine. He didn't quite care much for them. The students in his classes were annoying as always.

The bell rings, ordering everyone to leave for their last class of the day. The hallways are loud, smell of sweat since it’s about 90 degrees out, and are crowded. Groups of people stand in the middle of the hall and chat amongst themselves while creating traffic as others try passing through. Jean and Eren push people aside to make it to Mr. Ackerman’s class. The thought of having him as a teacher makes Eren’s stomach turn. He almost forgot he’d be his student this year.  

“God,” Jean grits his teeth in annoyance, “people don't know how to walk in the hallways at this school.” He shoves a freshman’s elbow out of his way and doesn’t care that the student glares at him in retaliation.

“No kidding,” Eren struggles to keep up with Jean as the ocean of students sweep him away. This wasn't helping the anxiety that started to rumble in the pit of his stomach. If he barfs during class he'll blame it on the cafeteria food for handing them out garbage. He thought they might have stepped it up after three years, but no. It is still gross and nauseating.   

The two boys run up the stairs knowing they had about a minute left of passing period to argue with each other about taking the long way.

“I told you we should have taken the other way!” Jean yells at Eren.

“I didn't know the hallways were going to be that crowded!”

They both make it up to second floor and the hallway that's starting to clear up. They both dash down the hall to reach their destination.

“Hurry! You run like a toddler.”

“I do not!”

They both come to a halt when they see the door number “241” printed next to the door. They both share a glance before entering the room. They’re immediately hit with a gush of cold air and eyes staring back at them. The class wasn't big, but wasn't small either. No posters hung on the walls, there was a chalkboard up front along with a desk, and the air smells clean as if someone dumped a bottle of Clorox all over the floor.

Eren mouth pops upon realizing how amazing of a view this classroom has. The windows are gigantic, clear, and has a view of the distant city they live nearby. Eren notices the lake out front and how it glistens in the sunlight. Jean follows his gaze and his jaw drops to the floor.

“I want that seat,” Eren mumbles as he eyes the perfect seat. It beckons to him as it sits right next to the window, the perfect place to sit and zone out. They both look at each other before darting out to the open desk.

“Get off asshole, this is my seat!” Jean growls as he fights Eren for the desk which just so happens to be the only seat open in that row. Connie and Sasha have a front row view of this sight. They snicker and some of the students stare at them while shaking their heads.

“No way! You can't claim it already!” Eren nudges hard into Jean’s stomach, “I claimed it before you even saw it.”

“I'm taller than you, Jaeger!” Jean tries to pull Eren’s body away as the brunette hovers over the desk, protecting it for his dear life, “that means I should get it!”

“That doesn't even make sense and you know it.”

Levi was about to stroll into his room to start the class for the seemingly 100th time today. His head lifts up as he hears two voices arguing from what seems to be his classroom. He stands in the doorway with an annoyed look on his face. He lets his bag slide off his shoulder and onto the floor as he sees something he’s never seen before.

So these are the idiots that will be in my class. What a fantastic year this is going to be, Levi thinks to himself as he watches one of the fighting students tug on the others waist. He clears his throat loudly, catching the students attention as they start to quiet down, and pulls them away from their pointless conversations. Levi’s call for attention falls on deaf ears as the two fighting boys continue to fight for the desk.

“Get off of me! You smell!” Eren barks out and puts all of his weight down on the desk.

“Don't act like you don't!”

Levi arches a brow at their odd behavior.

“Oi! Enough fighting and just pick a seat already!” Levi shouts at them. He saunters to his desk and notices out of the corner of his eyes that the two students are frozen in their place. It was kind of funny to see, in Levi’s opinion. Once at his desk, Levi turns to the class (but mostly the two students) and crosses his arms over his chest. Eren’s breath hitches.

Great, they’re in trouble on their first day of school.

“You know what, Eren,” Jean whispers, “you can...you can have this seat,” he pulls away and rushes to take a seat next to him instead. Deep down, Eren was proud to have won the battle, but the glare his teacher gives him forces his butt down onto the cold, plastic seat. Connie covers his mouth to try and keep from laughing.

Levi pulls his laptop from his bag and sighs. “Jesus, you guys are seniors so act like it.”

The students stare at their teacher as they sit idly in their desks. Some whisper to their friends and continue on with their previous conversations as others sit dead silent. Eren turns his head to look at a group of giggling girls. They squeal once their teacher runs a hand through his dark, raven hair that glistened under the ceiling’s white lights. Eren turns back and gags to himself animatedly.

“Well, that was another way to make a first impression, you idiot,” Jean whispers harshly as he leans back in his seat. Eren stares angrily at Jean with an elbow propping his chin on the table.

“Whatever. It was your fault.”

“Alright,” Levi starts off, “it's your last class of the day. Congratulations, you’ve made it this far,” Eren zones out as he stares at his teacher blankly. He's just staring at every feature his teacher had. It was impressive to him that this man’s expression hardly changes, and his slight deep voice didn't match his short stature at all. From where he was sitting, he could tell the man had to be shorter than him. It almost made him laugh. Eren glances at his teacher’s dark undercut. Eren found it a bit unusual to see a teacher have one, most of his past teachers were plain and bland, but something about Levi stood out.

“-and no eating in my classroom. I'm pretty sure you’ve all had lunch already so you can wait till you get home,” Levi starts to walk through the rows of desks as he talks, “and let's get one thing straight. I take things seriously. So if you start behaving like fucking kindergarteners I will kick you out of my classroom.”

Jean coughs, shocked about the fact that his teacher swore so nonchalantly. Eren rolls his eyes at him.

Levi goes back to the front to lifting himself up to sit himself on top of his desk. He grabs the attendance sheet and starts to take attendance. He traces his pen down the list and mumbles to himself students names. He stops his pen at a certain area taking a glimpse at Eren. The brunettes heart drops down to his stomach.

“Oh, on top of that,” Levi looks back down, “please don't be tardy. It gets annoying at times.”

Jean turns his head slowly at Eren while tapping his fingers on his desk. A mischievous smirk appears on his face. Eren briefly gives him the finger to which Sasha shakes her head at. Jean chuckles quietly to himself knowing he meant no harm and turns back to the teacher.

...

Students walk out after the dismissal bell chimes. They laugh and come up with after school plans amongst themselves as they rush off to the unknown. The group of girls giggling at their new teacher’s rather attractive appearance wave goodbye to Levi and sing out farewells in unison. Eren scrunches up his nose at them. They all are just desperate for attention. Since the male population here is stupid they have no choice but to target the younger male teachers. Eren picks up his school bag and swings it onto his back.

“Want to hang out after school?” Connie asks.

“Can't. Mikasa and Armin want to shop for supplies.”

“Bummer. Maybe another day?”

“Yeah.”

“I can stay after,” Jean jumps in, “where should we g-”

“Jaeger, Kirstein, come here for a moment,” a disembodied voice interrupts. Why was their teacher calling for them?

Eren shoots Jean a distressed look and they both quickly gather their stuff before making their way over. Sasha walks by them whispering a “good luck” as Connie pats Eren on the back. Levi sits on his chair, typing away on his laptop abruptly, not bothering to give the boys any eye contact.

“The whole situation you had earlier… Is that going to be a problem in the nearby future?“ He questions. He didn't want any of that freshman crap in his classroom since it's burdensome, especially to him.

“No sir,” Jean and Eren both say at the same time. They both were equally shocked over how obedient they were being. Eren unblinkingly watches Mr. Ackerman’s nod of understanding as a response. They both leave the classroom with hurried feet.

As they both flood out the door they catch Armin standing and waiting for them whilst holding a random stack of books. “You guys got in trouble already?” Armin quizzes the two delinquents. They don’t answer, they just continue to walk with the blond boy as their friends catch up with them one by one.

“How did it go?“ Mikasa adds in as they begin to walk down the hall.

“It was boring. All he did was talk and talk and talk. People were right about him being strict, that's for sure,” Eren stuffs his hands in his pockets.

“But why was he talking to you guys?”

“Jean and I got a bit carried away.”

“Of course.”

“Hey!” Jean shrieks, “It’s all because Eren wouldn't give up his seat.”

“That's stupid,” Armin states, “You two fight over the dumbest things.”

“That's how we roll,” Eren shrugs. The four walk out of the school, parting away from Jean to go on heading home.

Levi sits back in his chair and lets out an exhausted huff of air. He had a long day of dealing with brats and only now gets a break from it all. Being a teacher is incredibly hard. It sucks even more that they hardly get paid for all the shit they put up with. His earlier classes were fine but if those two dumbasses are going to continue this odd behavior then there’s going to be a problem.

“Oh, Levi!” A sing song voice breaks his thoughts. He grumbles back a response.

“Great.”  

“How was it?” The owner of the annoyingly chirpy voice known as Hanji pops her head in through his clearly closed door to see Levi at his desk. A smile grows on her face as she walks into his classroom and rests her hand on one of her hips.

“It was fine,” Levi mumbles as his eyes fix on his laptop, “first hour was really quiet, second was fine, fourth annoyed me,” a giggle slips out of  Hanji as she listens, “7th was quiet as well, and 8th was fine except... “ he stops.

“Except what? Did something happen? Ooo, tell me!” She gasps and hops onto the edge of his desk to sit. He doesn't bother to swat his hand at her to get off. She never listens anyways.

“These two idiots were fighting over a fucking chair.”

“Were they?” Intrigue fills her voice as she asks who these mystery students were.

“Jean Kirstein and Eren Jaeger,” as the name ‘Eren Jaeger’ smoothly jumbles out of his mouth, his mind immediately recognizes it for some weird reason. Why did it sound so familiar?

“Oh geez, Levi! I know those two knuckleheads! They fight, like, all the time! I love them both to death! They’re such good kids!”  

“Good kids, my ass,Levi mumbles as he shuts the lid of his device. He sometimes wonders how many students Hanji remembers. He could never remember names and faces. Maybe faces on a good day, but names he had trouble with.

“Give ‘em a chance! Anyways, you gotta hear what happened today,” She waves her hands in the air in an exaggerated way. Levi lets out a breath. He always had to listen to the crazy stories she said but there were times he didn't mind. Today happens to be one of those days… Especially after the shitty day he’s had.

...

“Ugh! I hate this! This is another reason as to why I hate going back to school. The whole shopping part!” Eren groans out loudly as he pushes the cart lazily through the rows of notebooks and binders. The store’s filled with millions of parents and children shopping for school supplies.

“Quit complaining and find what you need,” Mikasa promptly says as she goes through a bin to find a folder for her English class. Eren frowns and parks the cart as he goes to an aisle to start looking for crap he didn't need.

“Mikasa, does Eren know that Mr. Ackerman is your cousin?” Armin asks while reaching for a notebook. He glances at her and sees her lips forming a straight line.

“No, and I'm not going to tell him. He can figure it out himself,” She crouches down to look through another bin. “He should be able to tell by our last names.”

Armin nods in agreement. Why hasn't Eren found out yet? It is quite obvious.

“Understandable, but what if he doesn't find out soon?” Armin questions after a moment. The raven haired girl stands up and crosses her arms at him.

“Then he is truly an idiot.” They both exchange smiles at each other.

“Well, he’s special in his own way.”

“He's a dork,” they both put their supplies in the cart and walk off to the next section which smelled of pencil lead and new supplies. Definitely giving off “first-day-of-school” vibes. “Where did he even go?”

“Uh, not sure.”

“Here,” Eren returns and dumps a whole load of stuff into the cart, “I got pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, binders, and all of that other stuff,” he sighs out, swiping non-existent sweat off of his forehead.

“Did you find everything you need?“ Mikasa asks as she adds more to the ever growing pile of supplies in their cart.

“Yes, Mikasa, I got everything. I got all the stuff that will most likely never be used.” Armin can tell by the tone of Eren’s voice that he’s annoyed. Not sure why, he said his day went well.

“What's up with the attitude?” Mikasa takes the words right out of Armin’s mouth, “you seemed fine earlier?”

“I'm just tired, and I hate shopping.”

“Lucky for you we’re done. Let's go check out,” she pulls the cart out of the aisle. Armin pats Eren’s back in a kind hearted manner and Eren returns it with a weak smile. Armin pulls away to glance around at his surroundings. Kids whining to their mothers, adults rushing out with groceries, groups of families listing out what to get, and Mr. Ackerman standing in line to check out… Wait.

Armin does a double take.

Mr. Ackerman is standing in line for self checkout, which was where they were going. He’s on his phone, lazily dragging his finger across his touchscreen. Armin twists his head around to check whether or not Eren has noticed. Luckily, Eren is too busy on his phone to even notice anything at all.

They wait in line for their turn. Armin watches Mr. Ackerman go up to check out.

“Ma'am?” A worker taps Mikasa on the shoulder, “that check out is open.” She points a finger to one nearby and it just has to be the one next to Levi.

“Thank you!” They roll to the open register. Eren detaches his face from his phone to start helping out with scanning.

How is he not noticing that his teacher is right next to him , Armin wonders to himself. Levi isn't noticing as well. He grabs a can from his cart and scans it on the machine to bag it.

Maybe if Eren doesn't see it's a good thing?

Armin thinks everything is going a bit too smoothly. Just as he thinks this to himself, a can slips out of Levi’s hands and drops on the floor… and rolls right up to Eren’s foot. Eren quickly bends down to pick it up in one swift motion. Once he’s upright, his body freezes. Levi looks up at Eren and curses internally. He absolutely hates seeing his students outside of school. He just feels so awkward. Armin stares at the two frozen individuals in amusement but also worry for his friend.

“Uh, h-hello, Mr. Ackerman,” Eren smiles at him, the can still in his hand.

“Hello, Eren,” he raises a thin brow. The two stare uncomfortably at each other until Eren finally hands him back the can.

“Here!” Levi takes it and gets a slight feel of the teens hands which are surprisingly soft.

“Thanks,” he gradually says before going to scan it. Eren steps back to go help Mikasa, but after seeing the multiple bags in the cart he could tell she didn't need any. Armin trots to Eren’s side with his hands behind his back.

“This is weird,” Eren mumbles. They both look back to see Levi finish up by paying.

“Definitely.”

Levi grabs his receipt, shoves it into one of his bags, and pushes the cart away. Eren watches for a few moments before opening his mouth.

“Eren, what are you doing?” Armin asks worriedly.

“Have a good night, Mr. Ackerman!” Eren waves at him. Levi looks over his shoulder and gives the teen a slight nod. He cringes to himself because being called by his teacher name outside of school is so odd to him. He likes being called by his name, but Eren was his student, so he had to call him by his last name.

Eren smiles to himself and puts a hand on his hip.

“He seems so quiet out of school.”

“Well, there's not much to say. It's an awkward situation,” Armin asserts.

“Yeah, but he seems like a shy person… kind of like Mikas-”

“-alright let's go” She pops into the conversation already pushing the cart on the go. Eren shrugs to himself and follows the two out of the store.


Chapter Text

The weather started to cool down in the midst of September. Warm tones paint the trees with fallen leaves that blanket over the streets. Everyone wears jackets and hoodies to school with their colorful shoes attached to their feet. The weather becomes known as “sleepy weather”. It makes it hard to wake up in the morning. They now have to drag their bodies to the school like zombies.

The students are tired, but once afternoon rolls by everyone hypes up. This week is different than any other week so far: It’s homecoming week. That means every day is a themed spirit day. Today is pajama day, which is everyone's favorite.

Of course Eren participated. He’s currently wearing an old t-shirt with a band name printed on it matched with red plaid pajama pants. It isn’t cute or “fun”, unlike the other students that wore unicorn onesies, but it is comfy… so comfy that it’s starting to make him sleepy in Mr. Ackerman’s class. His eyes hazily stare out the window with the gorgeous view. He was lucky to have claimed this seat since it is indeed the best seat in the house. The massive lake hypnotizes Eren with the glittery rays of sunlight dancing across it. It’s a sight you can’t tear your eyes away from. Nothing could interrupt him besides a smack on the back of his head.

“Ouch!” Eren hissed as he rubs his head.

“Sorry-” Jean whispers as he shrugs his shoulders innocently “-you were daydreaming.”

Eren shakes his head. He might as well get back to work. Perhaps that could make time tick faster. He looks down at the worksheet covered with numerous types of math problems. It's been half an hour and he hasn't gotten one problem done yet. He taps the end of his pencil on his desk. He can’t concentrate. He looks over at Jean to see him almost finished with the front page. Is he really the only one struggling? He’s starting to feel like he may be the dumbest person in this class. Mikasa once told him that he’s just a slow learner. He can’t get things right on the spot even when they’re explained at an easy level. Why isn’t his brain functioning fast enough? The sound of scribbles from pencils echoes through his ears and the sound of the ticking clock seemed to get louder and louder. The tapping of his utensil gets faster. He grits his teeth in anger. He stares at problem one with his lips pressed together.

Stupid brain. Why don't you fucking work.

“Why are you daydreaming?”

“Huh?” Eren looks over at Jean.  

“You got a crush on someone?” A grin appears on Jean’s face.

A crush?! Why does he think he has a crush on someone? Not once did he have a crush on anyone, from freshman year to now. Not even a relationship! No one in this school seems to interest Eren, not even the girls catch his eye.

“No, I don't!” Eren frowns, “Why do you always think I have a crush on someone every time I daydream?”

“I don't know. You could have been thinking about them.”

“That's gross.”

“Jaeger, I hope you’re close to being finished since you're talking so much,” Levi states lowly, not looking up from his desk. Eren bites the bottom of his lip as he quickly looks down. He wasn't even close to finishing. Jean snickers next to him with a hand cupped over his mouth. Eren looks over to give him a sharp glare.

“Stop talking to me. You keep getting me in trouble.” The brunette aggressively says to him.  

“You’re getting yourself in trouble,” Jean takes a look over at Eren’s blank paper. He clicks his tongue while shaking his head, “You aren't even done with the first problem.”

“Stop looking at my wor-”

“Eren,” his teacher’s voice sets a warning tone that makes Eren immediately shut his mouth. He could see Jean trying to hold in a laugh from the corner of his eye.

A hand gently rests on Eren’s shoulder. He looks over his shoulder to see Sasha smiling at him.

“You need any help?”

“No, I'm fine, thanks.” He smiles back at her.

It’s moments like these that make Eren glad to have friends like them. Sure, they can be jerks, but there are times that they actually show that they care about him. He’s thankful to have found them since he has trouble making friends. Out of all his friends, he feels closest to Armin. They’ve been friends since they were five years old. Armin is the only one that understands him. It feels like Armin can read him like a book, even if Eren is hiding something. Eren always goes to him for anything. When Eren has fights with his father he just goes to Armin’s house. Armin’s grandfather always lets Eren stay there with open arms. They’re his second family. He can go to them for anything. Armin always knows what to do. Eren suddenly stops drawing random circles on his sheet.

Armin always knows what to do.

If he’s having trouble with this class maybe Armin can help! He would know how to do all of this crap! He couldn't fail this class. He really couldn't. This class is his ticket to leaving this school. His dad is already on his back concerning his grades and Eren didn't want to disappoint his mother up above. He can easily just go to Armin to ask for help and BOOM, he’d be the smartest in the class. He’d probably get straight A’s before Jean since the moron seems to know what he’s doing.  

Levi stands abruptly from his chair. ”Alright, listen up, brats.”

The class stops what they’re doing to look up at their teacher who strolls over to the front of his desk. “We are starting to get back to the school schedule and I see some of your grades already dropping. I am opening my classroom doors during lunch periods for tutoring. I’d consider dropping by before you start to fail this class.”

“Hey! Hey! Do you guys need some tutoring? I bet you two do,” Connie chuckles while nudging Jean’s side.

“No, I don't need stupid tutoring. I'll figure it out on my own,” Eren says looking back at his paper with determination.

“Alright, Jaeger, if you do need help you can come ask me. I actually know what I'm doing” Jean smugly grins at Eren.

He can’t be serious.

Jean sucks at math and this is a hard class. There’s no way he’s getting this already! The chatter in the room grows loud which is Levi's cue to go back to his desk. Eren lets out a heavy breath and looks up at his teacher for the hundredth time today. Maybe it’s a good idea to ask for help.

The class ends with the annoying ring of the school bell blaring in the background. Sasha and Connie head out their usual way since they’re going to be hanging out together. It drives Eren, and probably all of their friend group, crazy that they aren’t dating already. They obviously like each other. Jean and Eren walk out to meet Armin and Mikasa which has become a routine now.

“How was class?” Armin asks as he holds a chemistry book against his chest tightly.

“It was fine, a bit boring though. All we did was work on our homework,” Jean answers. Eren turns his head to the side to see two students talking to Mr. Ackerman, most likely about tutoring. He glances back to see his friends starting to walk without him. This was it, the perfect opportunity to go talk to his teacher without his friends scrutinizing him. He turns on his heels. Mr. Ackerman seems to be writing something down for someone. Eren passes the two students leaving the class and forces his steps to quicken toward the man.

“Jaeger, I didn't expect you to come. I was hoping you would.”

Hoping… Eren‘s face starts to heat up for some reason.

“Your grades are dropping drastically.”

“O-oh...are they?”

I'm afraid that if you don't get any help your grade will drop to an F. You have time to raise it, but it's better to get help as soon as possible,” Levi starts to spin the pen between his fingers.

“Y-yeah, um…”  Eren can’t stop his stuttering. Why can't he just ask the simple question? Levi raises a dark brow at him as he sees how hard of a time he’s having. Eren’s mouth starts to open but no words come out. Levi lifts his chin up to look at Eren as the words that Eren starts to ramble out of his mouth gets lost to the silent hallway. He had to admit that the kid had some bright eyes. His eyes practically glowed in the now dim lighting of the room. It’s almost like a mirror, he can see his own reflection in them as well as the ever growing panic.

“I-I just don't want to fail!” Eren continues off to whatever he was saying. Levi finally tunes in. Why’s he stumbling over his own words this much? He isn't the only one that talks like this in front of him so it isn’t that unusual. He watches the teen start to rub his hands in nervousness. He looks as if he’s going to breakdown.

So this is the guy Mikasa lives with… Eren Jaeger. He’s heard that she moved in with the Jaeger’s. Does he even know that Mikasa is his cousin? How clueless is this kid.

“U-uh Mr. Ackerman?” Levi breaks out of his thoughts and realizes he had been staring at Eren for way too long.

“I'm sorry, what were you saying?”

“I would like to… get tutored,” he gulps. Levi nods immediately and puts his name down on the list he’s holding.

“When's your lunch?”

“6th hour,” Eren answers. He watches the older scribble something down on the list. Eren’s eyes roam up to his face and looks at his features more closely now. He had an incredibly sharp jawline that could probably cut his finger if he dared to touch him. Wait… Why is he even thinking about his jawline?

“You are all set,” Levi peers up at him.

“How long will it take?”

“Depends on how badly you need it,” Levi half smirks at him. Eren’s ears grow a bit red seeing a different type of expression on his teacher’s face. Afraid to stutter again, he nods and steps back.

“Uh, thanks.”

“See you tomorrow,” Levi stuffs the paper into a neat folder then stands. Seeing how short Levi is brings a smile to Eren’s face.

“Have a good day, Mr. Ackerman,” Eren says before leaving the class. Levi stares dumfoundly at the door. He has no idea where that confidence suddenly came from. He goes back to placing papers in folders and sorting them out neatly. Hanji trots in with a bright smile on her face.

“What was that about?” Hanji points her thumb over her shoulder to indicate that she was talking about Eren. “Did he get in trouble again?”

He jumps a bit once he hears her voice. “How many times do I have to tell you to knock on the door before you come in, shitty glasses?!” Levi bickers back, “and no, he did not. He asked to get tutored.”

“Starting so early, don't you think?” She sits at the corner of his desk and pulls a leg over the other.

“They desperately need it.”

“Ah, gotcha!” She leans back and starts to tap her nails on the desk which makes Levi stare. “He's so stubborn. I'm glad he asked for help. He really is a good kid,” Levi had forgotten she had him in a class.

“You know Mikasa is living with him, right?”

“Is she? No wonder she's so close to him,” she stares off into space. A hum starts to play in her throat.

“A bit too close,” Levi awfully curious as to why Mikasa likes Eren so much. She had a chance last year to come back and live with him since he was the only Ackerman here, but she simply ignored the offer and stayed with Eren. Why’s Eren so special? Even Hanji adored him.

“Good afternoon, guys!” Erwin walks in, “how was your day?”

Hanji smiles up at him. “Hello, Principal Smith! Mine went incredibly well! I love my students so much! My classes this year are so fun!” She rambles on.

Erwin chuckles at her. “I'm glad, Hanji!”

“Why don't you two use your proper names? Isn't it fucking weird to say your name out loud with students around?” Levi questions while slamming his bag on the desk.

“Oh, someone's grumpy,” Hanji whistles out.

“I'm not… What’s the point in arguing with you. I'm heading home.”

“Ah! Don't forget to wear the school colors this Friday… Oh, and don't forget the football game is Friday at seven!” Erwin reminds Levi as he begins to walk out the door.

“I can't go. I have stuff to do” Levi crosses his arms.

“Like what? Cleaning your apartment again ? Come on, Levi, it’ll be fun!” Hanji exclaims. Levi angrily stares at the both of them. There are so many things he could be doing instead of going to a stupid football game. The football players here sucked anyway.

“Come on, Levi. Let's all hang out like we used to in high school. Mike will also be joining us.”

Levi gives a loud sigh, “fine, but I'm not staying long.”

“That's fine with me!” Erwin chirps.

“Alright I'll be in my office if you need me. I have to answer emails.” Erwin waves at them before dashing out. The two sit in silence as Hanji taps her nails on the desk and Levi packs his things.

“So,” she breaks the silence, ”when are you tutoring Eren? What period is he coming? Will he be alone? I think he learns best when he’s alone. How long will he be in here?”

“Hanji! You are asking too many questions!”

“I'm just wondering,” She drags out, “I want to know~”  

“Get out of my classroom.”

“But Levi~”

“Get out!” He drops his bag on the floor to start pushing her out the door.

“No fair! Why can't we chat! I'm just as curious about him as you are!”

“I'm not… Okay, off you go!” Levi uses all of his strength to push her out the door, Hanji pleads him to let her stay, but he ignores it.

“I'm tutoring him 6th period tomorrow. Happy? Good,” he slams the door on her face. He leans his back on it rubbing his temples. He really needed to go home and try sleeping again.

...

“So… you're telling me that Mr. Ackerman and Mikasa are cousins?” Eren buzzes as he slightly tilts his head like a lost puppy. He’s sitting with his legs crossed on Armin's bed that’s pressed against the wall. Eren decided to go to Armin’s place to do homework. They always do this whenever Mikasa is at tennis practice.

“Yeah, Mikasa didn't want to tell you, did you not notice that they have the same last names?” Armin asks as he sits at an old wooden desk. Eren takes a few seconds to think before facepalming himself.

“Ugh! How could that slip past my head? I'm so stupid!” Eren groans. Armin laughs at him and goes back to focusing on his chemistry homework assigned by Mrs. Zoe.

“It's fine, Eren.”

“But why would Mikasa not want me to know? I wouldn’t have gotten mad about it.”

“She doesn't want to leave you. She got an offer to go live with him last year but declined. She wanted to be with you and Grisha. She told me she didn't like her cousin because of what he’s done in the past...” Armin glances at Eren who’s punching numbers in his calculator. He sees that his homework has a bunch of scribbles on it. With a quick motion Armin snatches Eren’s homework from his lap and looks over it. He could tell right off the bat that his friend is struggling as in the past few hours they’ve been together, he’s gotten nothing finished.  

“Want to tell me what's going?” Armin shakes the paper as he holds it up in the air.

“Like what? That I'm struggling with it?” Eren shrugs his shoulders as he leans his head against the wall.

“I know that, but is there something else that happened? You weren't with us while walking back downstairs,” Eren’s eyes widen. He knew that they'd realize he was gone eventually.

“Yeah, about that...” Eren scratches the back of his neck and darts his eyes to the side. He knows that he could tell Armin about his tutoring session but he’s still worried.

“Tell me, Eren,” he crosses his arms and his eyebrows rise.

“...I asked Mr. Ackerman to tutor me. Please, I am begging you to not tell Mikasa. Please? I don't think she would like that very much!” Eren pleads as he snatches his homework away from Armin. His eyes fill with panic and embarrassment. Armin starts to laugh at him.

“There’s nothing to hide. I think she would be fine with you getting tutored by him. There's nothing wrong about getting help, but if you really want me to keep it from her then I will even though it's wrong…”

“I don't care if the others know, just not her,” Eren’s shoulders slump as he sighs in relief.

“But what would I tell her if she asks me why you’re missing?” Armin supposes.  

Shit.

Eren didn't think about that. He could say he wanted to study alone in the library but that was so not like him and Mikasa would want to go with him. He could say that he got detention but Mikasa would want to know what he he’d gotten in trouble for.

“I-I’ll think of something” Eren stares at the first question on the worksheet he’s still working on and blanks again.

“You better think of something, Eren, before Mikasa finds out. They’re cousins after all,” Armin adds as he finishes up his work and pulls out a book to read. Eren starts tapping his pencil on his worksheet.

What was he going to do? Mikasa will eventually find out. Speaking of her, Eren pulls out his phone from the back pocket of his jeans to see a text from her.

To: Eren

From: Mikasa

I'll be back in about an hour, tell me if your home.

Eren lays himself flat on the bed and breathes in and out slowly. He stares up at the ceiling, counting each of the cheap star stickers attached to the chapping white paint. They’d been there since they were little and seeing them still there surprised him. Armin hasn't taken them down yet and it’s been years…

“Armin?” He turns his head to meet his blonde friend’s expectant eyes.

“Yeah?” He puts his book down to look at Eren. 

“Is it okay if I stay here for dinner?” Eren felt flushed with guilt. He didn't like the idea of his friend’s grandpa making extra food for him.

“Of course, Eren!” Armin smiles, “I'm sure my grandpa would love to know you’re staying.” Armin’s grandpa adored Eren in every way. Eren has to admit, Armin is definitely the best out of all of his friends.  

Chapter Text

Eren couldn't keep still in his seat. His left leg bounces up and down on the floor continuously while he twirls his pencil between his fingers. Cyan eyes anxiously darting over to the clock from time to time. His anxious behavior was obvious to Bertholdt, Reiner, and Armin. Reiner looks at the two and then back at Eren who sat in front of them at a roundtable in history class.

Armin gently places his hand on Eren's to stop him from aggressively spinning the poor utensil around. The brunettes head snaps to Armin immediately confused of his actions.

“Why are you so fidgety, Jaeger? Are you going on a date tonight?” Reiner asked grinning up at him. Eren slips his hand out from Armin’s to lay back in his chair, trying his best to not look so worrisome.  

“Fidgety?” He scoffs, “I'm not fidgety, I'm just excited to leave this class,” Eren forced a smile out ignoring the fact he couldn't keep his leg still.

Armin frowns to himself, History was a good class.

“Eren, I think there's something else going on, you can tell us,” Bertholdt affirmed.

“It's nothing guys, seriously!” Eren replies swatting his hand in the air, “I'm fine,” but Armin knew exactly why he wasn't “Fine” it's all because next hour was lunch, which meant that it was his first tutoring lesson with Mr. Ackerman. Eren has been acting like this all morning.

“Well, I should be the one acting all nervous,” Reiner starts off.

“I'm not-”

“-I'm on the football team and the game is this Friday,” He continues, “I really want to prove myself that night, you know? Reputation!” They all exchange looks,”Anyways, you guys going? I know Bertholdt is,” He places a heavy arm around Bertholdt who sat there smiling shyly.

“I guess I'll go, Armin you want to come with?” Eren asks looking over at Armin who buried his face in the packet they received to work on. He looks up at him and nods then going back to focusing, “I'm pretty sure Mikasa will go. I'll just have to ask her,” Eren adds in as he turns his head to the side to look at the clock, only ten minutes left before the period ends.

“Good! Maybe we can all grab something to eat afterward, yeah?”

“Y-yeah, sounds good.”

 

 

Levi sat on a grey leather couch with one leg across the other, his signature position. He was with Hanji and Mike at Erwin's office. It wasn't a meeting though, they just wanted to talk and have lunch together. Sometimes it was nice that they all worked together. Hanji and Levi being teachers and Erwin becoming the principle with Mike being the vice principal. It was a perfect job for the two since they've gotten closer over time. The two men were busy discussing upcoming events for the school.  Hanji was on the floor grading quizzes and Levi was just enjoying a peaceful moment of silence on Erwin’s couch until the larger man speaks.

“Just a heads up, the emails you gave your students to contact you is only for school purposes, and that I can see what you wrote to them and what they wrote to you,” Erwin announces as he is scrolling through his laptop with Mike at his side observing.

“Wow, stalker much?” Levi lifts his eyebrow as he takes a sip of his green tea. Erwin just laughs at his comment.

“It's the school board telling me to do so.”

“I feel like every year the school board gets stricter,” Mike says, taking a seat next to Erwin.

Hanji nods agreeing in her head. Levi shoots a glimpse at the clock and sees he had five minutes left, he stands up from his spot swiping off dust from his dress shirt.

“Yeah, they are getting harder to talk to as well in meetings,” Erwin sighed locking his eyes on the screen of his computer.

“I have to start heading back, “Levi interrupts,” I have to tutor some students next,” Hanji smiles behind his back knowing Eren was one of those students.

“Okay, Levi, have fun!” Erwin shouts out watching Levi leave the room, “Remember to be nice to them,” He chuckles.

 

 

Students exit out into the hallways to crowd the place. Eren starts to head to Mr. Ackerman's class with Armin on his side. He needed Armin to walk with him for support.

“I just want to get this over with,” Eren sighs, pushing some people out of the way.  

“You know, Eren, I'm proud of you. It's going to help you a lot!” Armin chirps. Eren looks down at him and smiles, glad to have someone proud of him.

They reach the classroom out of breath from the flight of stairs they had to encounter. They stand to the side since Eren’s butterflies in his stomach were going wild. Armin stares awkwardly at Eren waiting for him to enter the classroom. He really wanted to go to lunch before the lines got longer, not because he didn't want to witness the awkward meet up of Eren and his teacher.

“Well...” Armin begins to say, “Good luck in there. I'll meet you at lunch...or at gym...bye!” He quickly walks off leaving a sad Eren behind.

Let's get this over with .

He hesitantly drags himself in the classroom to realize he was the only one there.

Fuck

He takes a seat in front of his teacher's desk, dropping his bag onto the floor with a thump. He wanted to leave, he just wanted to forget this whole tutoring thing and run out. He rather eat and joke around with his friends at lunch. This was all for a competition...with himself. Why was he such a hard head?

“Ms. Zoe, you can go back to your class now!” Eren hears the familiar voice approaching. He watches Mr. Ackerman with Ms. Zoe bickering at his side enter the room.

“Hello, Eren!” Hanji rushes over to him grinning, she grabs his hand shaking it while dropping her stack of quizzes in the process, “It's nice to see you again!”

“Hello, Ms. Zoe,” Eren greets back smiling. Eren thought weirdly of her to shake his hands, She sees him all the time in the halls.

“Aren't you just adorable!” she giggles letting go, “Levi you're so lucky to have him,” Eren blushed at that comment. Levi glares at Hanji while putting his laptop down onto the desk.

“Did you just...” Levi stares down at Hanji. She slaps a hand onto her mouth to realize what she had just said out loud. A titter slips out from Eren’s lips that shifts Levi’s attention from Hanji to Eren.

“What's so funny, Jaeger?”

“Nothing,” His face drops.  

“Oh, Let the guy laugh!” Hanji lays her arm around Eren, “Besides, I bet he knew your name already since Mikasa is your cousin.”

Eren mentally shrugs, he didn't know that was his name since Mikasa never wanted to tell him after the many times he begged her to. The whole situation of them being related was still new to him. Though Eren could definitely see it, but now he wondered what kind of stuff did his teacher do in the past that could make Mikasa hate him? He seems...normal.

“So!” Hanji plops a seat on the desk placed next to Eren, “What are you going to help him with?” she smiles innocently.

“...math...Ms. Zoe, I think you should get going,” Levi promptly picks up the leftover pile of quizzes to shove it in her arms. He pushes her off the desk to the door.

“Aw, come on Leviii! I can't stay for just one time?” She whines, trying her best to catch any falling papers. He drives her out the door ready to close it when she sticks her foot out in the crack.

“No, get your damn disgusting foot out of the way and go to your fucking classroom!” Levi slams the door on her with a sigh as he rubs his temples. Hanji just chuckles on the other side saying she'll be back, her footsteps fading away.

Eren sits there with wide eyes at the choice of words, was he even allowed to say that in front of a student? Levi stands in front of his desk looking straight at Eren with arms folded.

“So, I guess you're going to be the only one getting tutored by me this hour.”

“Yeah…I guess so,” Eren mumbles, forcing his eyes to look away from those silver orbs.

“What is it?” Levi asks.

“It's just that, you swore,” Eren points out as he sits up in his seat.

“I said fuck, so what? I'm human you know, I can say those things. I also say damn and shit a lot so get use to it,” Levi’s eyes grow dark,” I'm pretty sure those words come out of your mouth as well.”

“I guess you're right...”

“Did you do your homework last night?” Levi starts off asking. Eren looks up at him. He had to admit the black dress top that his teacher wore did look nice on him.

“Um, well-” Eren takes out the homework that was assigned today. Levi grabs the sheet and sees that the kid really does need to be tutored, he only got two questions answered.

“Then let's work on this for now,” He sits in the desk right next to Eren, moving in a bit closer.

A strong aroma fills up Eren’s nostrils, It smelled of pine. The kind of scent that made you feel at home or when the holidays were arriving. He realizes it came from Mr. Ackerman. The scent was making him feel comfortable.

“Alright,” Levi clears his throat, “Tell me what's holding you back, is the equations making you struggle or something else?”

“Well, yes, I do get confused with the equations since there's multiple,” Eren responds as he pulls out a pencil from his bag.

“Is there something else?” Levi could tell there was another reason. The look on Eren’s face made him think he was holding something back, “Every time you're working on your homework you have these expressions on your face”.

Eren was astounded. Was his teacher always watching him during class? Teachers are supposed to watch their students anyways.

“Well, I get distracted easily. It's just… there's just so many thoughts running through my head and I have so much pressure on my shoulders,” Eren confesses looking at his teacher. He didn't think this was going to be a counselor meeting.

Levi was somewhat interested. This was common for students, but none of his students in the past went up to him for help.

“What's pressuring you?”

“I feel like I'm always the dumb one...like, my friends are all smart, my family is very intelligent. I feel like I'm just disappointing my father,“

Shit Levi thought to himself. He nods understanding.

“Let's start working,” Levi scoots his chair closer to Eren, the scent of his getting stronger.

“Oh! I have a question actually,” Levi leans back in the chair waiting for him to continue,”First, why didn't you tell me you were related to my sister, Mikasa?”

“Sister?” an eyebrow shots up.  

“Oh crap, sorry! I sometimes call her that,” Eren gives out a chuckle,”I see her as one since she's been living with me for a while. Well, now she's more like a roommate.”

“Yeah, I can see. She really likes you,” He didn't know how to feel about this situation. It was sort of hard to even talk about, “I didn't know it was you that she was talking about.”

“Oh,” The brunette tilts his head,” So... your name is Levi, right? Sounds French to me. Never heard of it before. Is it French?”

“Oi! You are getting distracted,”He barks out, ”Enough of the damn questions. Stop calling me by my first name also.”

“Okay, okay, I'm sorry,” Eren laughs at the frustrated man. His teacher didn't seem so bad at all, “Please help me learn, Mr. Ackerman” Eren gives him a dorky smile in return of Levi rolling his eyes.

“Okay.”

 

 

“I. Can't. Do. It!“ Eren slams his head onto the desk forming his hands into a fist. Levi stares at him dumbfounded from his desk.   

“What is it, Eren?” Levi places a glass bottle full of water down.

“The last question,” Eren groans,” My mind isn't working it's just blank!” He lifts his head up to rub his forehead that now have formed a red mark, “I'm trying to remember how to do it but I just can't.”

“First of all, calm the fuck down,” Levi gets up from his leather seat to rush over to Eren. He has never seen Eren react like this in class before, usually, he was quiet. The raven places a hand on Eren’s shoulder to feel how tense they were. A shock went through Eren as he felt the coldness on him. He lets go of his fists and stares at his teachers hand.

Why were they so cold?

“Don't start panicking just cause you can't remember, take deep breaths,” The tension in his shoulders relaxes,”Does this happen a lot?”

“Yes, it does” Eren sighs In frustration.

“Why don't you stop for now and take a break, eat something,” Levi turns back to check the clock.  

“Oh, I buy from the cafeteria,” Levi felt a bit bad for keeping him this long. The hour was already almost over.

“Shit, sorry.”

“It's fine, Mr. Ackerman!”

“I'll dismiss you early for now on. If that's fine with you?” he asked quietly.

“Yeah, that's perfect,” Eren beams at him. Levi wasn't use to this, Eren was being so...kind to him.

“Alright.”

 

 

Mikasa stirs a wooden spoon in a huge pot of noodles, the steam burning her face off. She was making pasta for Armin and Eren, along with herself. The boys didn't want Take Out so they decided to make something instead. Mikasa tagged in on making pasta for them, it was easy to do and she knew the two would cause a fire if they even tried cooking.

Armin and Eren sat lazily on the couch doing their own thing. Armin was busy doing chemistry homework while Eren was playing a cheesy game on his phone.  

“Come on!” Eren grumbles, Armin looks over to see his friend glaring at his phone, ”How hard is it to just jump over these obstacles!” He starts to tap aggressively on the screen.

“Eren, calm down, will you? it's just a game,” Armin calmly said not wanting him to break the phone, but secretly he found his rage amusing, “why don't you play that word game?” He suggests, “that's much more calming.”

Eren takes his advice exiting out of the game and going into an app called “Word Bank”.

“Your right Armin, this is much better,” Armin smiles and brings his attention over to Mikasa.  

“Do you need any help, Mikasa?” He hollers over.

“No thanks, the food is about done,” She responds back. She opens a cabinet grabbing out three shiny, grey, plates.

“Seriously?” Eren starts up again, What's the freaking word?” Armin shakes his head trying to hold back a laugh.  

“Well, Eren, why don't we put that down,” Mikasa comes over plucking his phone from his hands,” and go eat” She places his phone on the coffee table before making her way to the kitchen.

“Yes, mom,” Eren jokes, jumping off from the couch and into the kitchen. Mikasa rolls her eyes at the playful smirk he had on his lips. They sit around on an old wooden table preparing to eat. They talk about their day, any drama at school, or random off-topic questions. They mentioned how homecoming was coming up and how the three of them didn't want to go. Of course, that type of stuff didn't interest Eren.

“Last year it was boring, we even ended up leaving early,” Eren reaches out for a napkin from across the table. He dabs it on his face to get rid of any sauce.

“Yeah, we did. A lot of people complained about it too,” Armin said, “Besides, my classes are piling my homework up. I wouldn't be able to go.”

“I wish I was like you, Armin. I can't even do one question on my homework,” They all laugh. It got terribly quiet afterwards between the trio and Armin didn't like that one bit.  

“So, Eren,” Mikasa starts to speak up. Eren hums as he pokes his head up to look at her.

“Where were you during lunch?” Armin stiffened in his seat.

“I was in the library,” Eren casually lies at her. He looks down at his empty plate, cursing to himself when he felt the tips of his ears heat up.

“You were?” She quizzes, “Why didn't you tell us?”

“I-I wanted to be alone, there are times when I actually want to be alone…”

“Yeah but still,” The tension in the air grows, “you should have told us beforehand.”  

“I don't have to tell you where I go all the time. You can trust me.”

“I know, Eren,” She twirls a string of her hair, “I just was worried if you were-”

“-Fighting? I don't do that anymore, Mikasa! You can trust me,” Eren argues back,”I thought we went through this already! I'm done with that stuff, I've gotten better. I went to the library just to get away and do homework. You don't have to watch over me anymore, okay? I can handle myself now!”

“I know you can. I was just..” She couldn't finish. She was just doing her job. Grisha told her to watch over him like an older sibling. After Eren’s mom passed away he started having a hard time controlling his emotions and needed someone to help him, which was her.

Eren sees the mix of emotions on her face. He felt bad for going off, was it even going off? He didn't know, he blanked out. He didn't like the way he acted, it made him dislike himself. He sighs running his hand through his brown locks. Armin looks down to bite his lip.  

“I'll be in my room,” Eren mumbles. He pushes himself off the chair that squeaks from it’s old design, grabs his phone and runs up the stairs. Armin watches Mikasa boil her eyes in her clear plate.

“Mikasa, Eren is just very stressed right now,” Armin speaks lowly.

“Stressed?” She looks at him, “About what?”

“Just with school. I'm sure he'll work it out himself,“ He places a hand on hers, giving it a little pat, “He's a senior now, I think it's best to let him figure it out on his own, he needs to learn anyways.”

“Yeah, I know,” she restrains, “I just don't want him to go overboard.”

“Maybe one day he will, but he can learn from that,” He gets up to start collecting the dirty plates. Mikasa joins along with him. She dumps them in the sink for Eren to clean later on.

“He's such a brat,” Mikasa softly shakes her head.

Armin smiles, “He is, I sometimes wonder what goes on in that head of his,” they both giggle, feeling better from the heated argument.

Mikasa knew Armin was right. It's time to just let him go. She wasn't on his back 24/7 like she was a couple of years ago. She had gotten better but, Eren’s emotions seemed to start acting up again which of course made her a bit worried. But Armin is right. Eren could teach himself to control his outbursts.

They put everything away, wiping down the table and pushing in chairs. Mikasa walks Armin out of the house since it was his time to go.  Before she does let him go she grabs onto his arm carefully.

“Do you know if...my cousin has talked to Eren yet?”

“Uh, about what?”

“Me, of course.”

“Nope!”

“Oh,” She nods,”Goodnight then.”

“Goodnight, Mikasa!” He waves at her while he walks,”See you tomorrow!”

“See you tomorrow.”

 

Chapter Text

Eren has had two lessons with Mr. Ackerman that went surprisingly... well. He was getting the help he needed and that was that, although he still struggled in class. He felt as Mr. Ackerman was going through the lessons quickly, but that wasn't the case. Eren was just a slow learner and he had to accept that.

Since he was now released early from tutoring he was able to go to the cafeteria and chat with his friends. They ask him where he has been disappearing off to and he answers honestly that he was getting help. When Mikasa was around he would lie to her and say he went to the library or had to print something out.

It was now Thursday which meant that the next day was the homecoming game. Eren was looking forward to the game mostly because it gave him a chance to hang out with his friends. He even looked forward to Saturday which he planned on having a marathon of his favorite TV show besides getting ready for the dance.

Eren starts walking down the halls to head to his tutoring lesson for the day. A small smile appeared on his face without knowing so. He had to admit he was feeling good, confident even. The nervous feeling he use to get was long gone. He was starting to admire Mr. Ackerman or as he could say, Levi. Eren had no idea why Mikasa disliked him so much. Nothing seemed off about him. He was just a high school teacher teaching senior students, nothing to it. Did she not like his attitude? Did he do something in the past? Why couldn't she just tell him? Eren grips onto the straps of his backpack journeying through the hall as he gets lost in his thoughts. His eyes land on two familiar students heading his way. It took a fat minute to realize who it was.

“S-Shit!” Eren hisses. His body reacts fast running toward his classroom that was luckily nearby,shutting the door behind him without getting caught. He starts to pant peeking through the small window on the door to see Mikasa and Annie walk pass in deep conversation. He sighs in relief to himself, chuckling a bit at how crazy he must have looked.

“If you wanted the door closed you could have just told me,” An amused voice jumps Eren. The brunette snaps his head to his teacher sitting on his chair with a stunned look. Eren’s cheeks go red and he scratches the back of his neck.

“Oh, uh, yeah, sorry about that,” Eren shuffles to his seat, “I didn't want Mikasa to see me.”

Levi’s eyes trail up and down at Eren before he starts to stroll over to the front of his desk to get closer.

“Is there a reason why you don't want her to see you here?”

“The fact that she doesn't like you, yeah,” Eren blurts out. Levi’s eyebrows shot up and Eren immediately notices how rude that must have sounded, “Ah, Sorry! I didn't mean It, I-”

“-It's fine,” Levi abrupts.

Eren sighs in his seat, “I just don't want her to get mad that I've been with you. She told me to stay away from you…”

Levi had to let out a snort at that. How was that possible if Eren was his student.

“Sounds like her,” He leans his arms back on his desk, “How long will you be keeping this from her?”

“I don't know,” Eren shrugs at him, looking down at his own feet, “Until how long this goes I guess.”

Levi twists his body back to grab his cup of warm black tea, taking a sip after. Eren notices the way he was holding the cup, it was a way that Eren never saw anyone do before. He wasn't grabbing it by the handle at all, he was holding it from the top. He cocks his head to the side curious with questions. He wanted to ask but decided to hold it in.  

“It might take a while,” Eren continues to speak, “I am a slow learner after all…”  

“Eren, you're not dumb,” Levi interrupts him, putting his cup back,” I'm pretty sure this stuff will get through your head soon. Everyone has a different style of learning,” Eren didn't know if that was a compliment or not but he takes it as one anyways.  

"Well, now that we are past that,” Eren brings his hands out on his desk, cupping them together, “Why aren't Mikasa and you close? You are cousins after all.”

“Why don't you ask Mikasa what happened. I'm not here to tell you about my past, I'm here to fucking teach you,” Levi frowns at him. How could he ask such personal things?

“She won't tell me!”

“Well that's too bad,” He motions to Eren’s half-open backpack, “Did you do your homework?”

“Yeah! I actually did,” Eren grabs his backpack scrambling inside to pull it out. He proudly shows it to his teacher with a toothy grin. Levi skims over it before nodding.

“Good, we will be going through that in class today.”

“Yeah, I'm good with that, but yesterday the new lesson threw me off.”

“Oh?” Levi looks up at him, “How so, was I going too fast?” Eren catches the slight worry in his voice.

“A bit, but it just threw me off, if you don't mind I would like to work on that,” Levi was gladly to provide Eren help, that was his job. He steals the chair that belonged to the other desk, dragging it next to the student to sit on.

“Before we get started, I have another question.”

“If it's about Mikasa, I don't want to hear it,” Levi warns.

“No, It’s about your hair,” Levi gives a questioning look, “Why did you get an undercut? I just never seen a teacher with a hairstyle like yours. It looks good on you,” Eren said, smiling. He realizes his teacher looking a bit frustrated, or was he uncomfortable?

“Why not? stop getting distracted. This is why you don't finish your homework,” Levi stammers. His eyebrows knitted together creating lines in the mid of his forehead.

Eren pushes himself back in his chair, “Why can't I ask you questions? I'm just trying to get to know you more!”

Levi felt taken aback. He never in his few years of teaching had a student that wanted to get to know him . In all of his years of teaching, he never had a student nice enough to even ask those questions about himself. The students each year were always afraid to go up to him because of some shitty rumors that they made up to make him sound like an asshole. By now Levi was use to it so he wasn't hurt, but for some reason what Eren said made him feel...good.

“Uh, Mr. Ackerman?” Eren's voice echoes in his head. He looks at Eren who stared at him with concern,“You alright?”

“Yeah, I'm fine,” Levi scratches the roughness of his undercut, “Sorry what was that?”

“Are you going to start helping me with the new lesson now?”

“Oh yeah, let me get the notes,” Levi mumbles as he gets up to his desk opening the top drawer that was filled with stacks of pencils, paper clips, and notes for other classes. He searches for the right one, pulling it out with delicate fingers.

He starts carrying it back when suddenly he runs into the corner of the desk making him drop the notes all over the floor.

Eren shoots up to the sound of scattering paper, seeing Levi grip his leg.

“Shit,” Levi hissed at the pain. He crouches down to pick some up, Eren immediately jumping out from his seat to go help his teacher.  

“Are you alright, Mr. Ackerman?” Eren asks as he gets on his knees to pick some up.  

“I'm okay, thanks, Jaeger,” his silver eyes quickly flashes up at the teen then goes back to focus on picking up the notes.

“Is it me?” Eren starts to ask, hesitant, “Am I stressing you out with the questions?”

“No, it's not that. I told you I'm fine,” A course it was that. It was scaring Levi. Maybe it was just because it was hard for people to get close to him. Whatever it was the kid better stop making him so damn nervous. He wasn't use to people taking an interest in him, it was pretty obvious that Eren was.

Seeing that one paper was left the both of them reach for it at the same time, fingers brushing against the other. A strange shock runs through both of their veins making them flinch back.

“S-Sorry,” Eren chuckled, Levi just yanks it out of his hands avoiding eye contact with him.

What the fuck was happening

“Let's hurry up and go over this before you get any dumber,” He says in a rush as he gathers all the papers together.

“Hey!” Eren whined out, “Was that a jok-”

“-LEVIII,” A wild Hanji appears bursting through the door with a wide smile. She stops dead in her tracks as she takes a look at the situation, “Sorry, did I interrupt something?”

“No! I just dropped my damn papers,” Levi and Eren both stand up, a bit of color on their cheeks. Eren returns to his seat feeling awkward about that whole situation.

“Anyways,” She claps her hands together,” I need your help. I need to carry some chemistry books back to the storage room in the science department and they are pretty darn heavy. Could you two be gentlemen and help me?” She smiles at both of them with hope in her eyes.

Levi sighs and turns his head to look at Eren who was staring out the window of the glistening city in the distance. Levi had to take note of that to ask later, he has found that Eren has always been staring at that city every day.

“Oi!” The male barks at Eren who jumps in his seat, “Do you mind helping Ms. Zoe out?”

“Oh, I don't mind!”  

“Thank you so much!” Ms. Zoe leads them to her classroom right across the hall to pick up as many as they can. Eren struggles to carry the heavy books in his noodle like arms. Levi had to grab some so he wouldn't have to see Eren fall to his face from the heavyweight.

 

 

They enter the small cramped elevator that had flickered dim lights.

The three of them squeeze In awkwardly. The elevator was very small and old, needed some fixing. Eren didn't trust it himself, in fact, he was getting a bit of anxiety. Hanji stood in front of the door humming to herself an upbeat song that Eren tried to focus to instead of the rattling of the elevator.  Levi leaned against the wall while Eren took the other side, both of them facing each other. The two helplessly try to avoid eye contact.

The trio exist out, entering the science department that was only a few steps away where a couple of teachers sat at their desk eyeing Eren. The air condition felt nice in there and much stronger than the other classrooms. The department was also neatly done with plants that hung around and organized stacks of books along with folders. Hanji pulls out a small silver key from her back pocket to jab into a lock twisting it open.

“And there we go!” They walk inside placing the heavy books down. Levi scrunches up his nose at the sight of spider webs and dust resting on some of the books.

“This place is disgusting,” He snarls in a complaint.

“Maybe you should report that to Mr. Smith,” Hanji says, counting down the number of books in her head to make sure she brought them all.

“He's not going to do anything about it. I swear that man is deaf, it's like he has hair in his ears.”   

“Hair in his ears?” Hanji bursts out a cackle, making a teacher who was in the mid of biting into their sandwich look over, “Your so funny, Mr. Ackerman. He does have some...hairy eyebrows,” Eren chokes out a laugh.

“He lets them grow and grow. Soon they will overtake his face,” from the jokes Eren and his friends shared about their principal being “hairy” he couldn't keep hold of his laughs. Levi glances at Eren with some pride. He was pleased to have someone laugh at his jokes, even though it wasn't necessarily a joke.  

“I'm shocked that you find that funny, Jaeger.”

“Yeah, well anything makes me laugh.”

“Nice to know.”

 

 

After the help, Levi and Eren go back to the classroom to go over the lesson. Eren decided that this time he would stay the whole period. Levi had no problem with that and let him. After a run through of yesterday's lesson, Levi gave Eren some practice questions. While Eren worked on a problem alone a question pops up in his head.

“Tomorrow is the homecoming game,” Eren starts to say, “Are you going?”

“Yeah I have to,” Levi answers going through folders from a cabinet at the corner of the room, “Are you?”

“Yeah! One of my friends are in the game so I have to go support him.”

“Are you going to the dance on Saturday?” Their conversation sounded as it was meant for two students to be talking about instead of with a teacher.

Eren shook his head, “No, I don't want to. It's not my thing,” Levi tilts his head up to indicate he was listening since he was across the room from him, “I got asked by a girl to go, but I declined.”

“You declined?”

“I declined in a kind way! She didn't get upset or anything,” and if she did Eren would have felt like a jerk. Levi on the other wasn't surprised by him getting asked. He had to admit, Eren is good looking. He looks down at his watch that was wrapped tightly around his wrist.

“Eren, you did a good job today. We actually got work done,” The dark haired man closes the drawer shut, heading back to his desk to prep for the incoming class.

“Thanks! and it was all because of you,” Eren grins. The period ends, interpreting their conversation. Eren quickly packs up, saying bye to his teacher on the way out.  

A pain shoots down Levi’s chest. What was this? Why was his heart beating so...aggressively? Was it Eren? The kid was being so...nice to him. Too nice. What is that about?

Calm down Levi, maybe he is just respecting you, unlike the others .

Respecting? In what world would a student at Titan High be respecting a teacher like him?

He was overreacting. Levi sighs in his seat, ignoring the students walking in.

No wonder Mikasa wanted to stay with him.

 

 

“Hey, Jaeger!” Jean yells over as he pushes Eren against a gym locker.  

“Ow!” He yelps out, “What was that for?” Eren struggles to push Jean off of him, but he couldn't get him to budge.

“How was tutoring?” Jean starts teasing, “You took the whole period!”

“Get off of me!” Eren cries out, trying to use all of his strength to shove Jean.

“Hey! What's going on here?” Their gym coach who was old as time peeks his head out from his office with a glare.

“Nothing sir!” Jean let's go of Eren to wrap his arm around him as if nothing happened. Eren rolls his eyes far back into his head. If he could punch him he would.

“Alright…“ The gym teacher retreats back into his office. Jean chuckles pulling back.

“Sorry.”

“Yeah, whatever.”

“Jaeger!” it was Reiner’s turn to take over, setting his heavy arm around the brunette, “What took so long? We missed your ass.”

“Like you guys care?” Eren huffs out, pushing the others arms off of him. They walk to their row of gym lockers to start undressing. The others start walking in doing the same. Armin approaches his side, shooting Eren a smile.

“How was Mr. Ackerman?” Reiner asked, pulling his own shirt off that Eren looked away from.

“Fine?”

“Why did it take so long?”

“Cause I wanted to stay longer! Get your head out of the drain cause nothing happened!” Eren shouts at him. He was annoyed, very annoyed. It was obvious to Jean and Armin with the way Eren threw his stuff into the locker.

“Hey, Reiner, we should chill with the teasing,” Jean insists. Connie behind him agreeing.

“Why? I think he's fine,” Eren didn't want to hear the rest so he scurries on pulling on a shirt and stomping away with Armin catching up to him.

“Just ignore them,” Armin said breathlessly. Eren was walking a bit too fast for his liking, “Give it a few weeks and the teasing will stop.”

Eren slows down in his tracks, “I know. It's just if they keep talking like that, word will go around and Mikasa will find out.”

“How long are you willing to keep it a secret from her?”

“I don't know,” He shrugs, “As long as I can.”

Armin just nods. He had a feeling Mikasa would somehow find out soon.

Very soon

 

Chapter Text

“Next time, I should just pour the milk inside.”

“Eren, that's gross!”

“But it's just cereal on the go!” Eren shakes the plastic bag he was holding that was full of lucky charms. “Since I don't have time to sit and eat breakfast I might as well grab a plastic bag, fill it up, and pour some milk in it and voilà! Cereal on the go!”

Mikasa shakes her head at him with a dumbfounded look on her face.

She sighs, “Only you, Eren,” and the brunette just smiles at her before popping a rainbow marshmallow into his mouth. Armin runs up behind them and squeezes in between the two.

“Hey, guys-” the blonde pants “-you didn't tell me you were walking to school!”

“Sorry about that, Armin! It's a nice day out so Eren and I decided to walk,” Mikasa pats his shoulders as an apology.

“You could have at least shoot me a text.”

“I did!” Eren exclaims with his mouth full of food.

“I didn't get any.”

“You sure?” Eren reaches his hand into his back pocket to pull out his phone, he quickly types in his password to look into his messages.”Shit, I sent it to the wrong person. Sorry, Armin,” Eren gives him an apologetic look.

“It's okay, I'm here now! I needed the run anyway,” Armin grins. He takes a deep breath through his nose and out from his mouth. It’s a nice day out. The sun was shining through the trees, a cool breeze blowing gently onto their faces, it even somehow smelt like fall. Eren could smell someone burning wood in the distance. It’s one of his favorite smells along with pine which reminded him of Levi’s scent. He still couldn't figure out if that was his teacher's cologne or just his natural smell since everyone had one to himself. For example, Armin smells like honey while Mikasa smells like lavender. It’s strange how he can pick up details like this, which lead him to wonder what he smells like. Chestnut? Maybe even caramel? How could you not be curious what you smell like to others? He could ask but that would just be plain weird.

“Eren!”

“Huh?” He lifts his chin up only to have his eyes paired up with Armin’s. He waves a hand in front of Eren’s face.

“Do you want us to walk with you to English?” It took him a few seconds to realize that they had made it to the front of the school.

“Yeah, sure,” He really needs to stop zoning out.

They rush inside the school only to find banners and decorations for the homecoming game tonight which shoots excitement down Eren’s chest. Cheerleaders walked in packs and giggle to themselves as the football players hooted and hollered through the halls. The hallways aren’t as bad as they usually are, which made it much easier to get to Eren’s English class. Since he’s early, they stand outside the door and talk.

“I had a huge headache last night,” Eren starts off while crumbling up his breakfast bag in his hands, “it was hard to fall asleep to.”

“That's what you get for eating those cookies so late at night,” Mikasa smirks, “I told you it was going to happen.”

Eren rolls his eyes playfully at that. “Yeah, I know. I should have listened to you instead of being stubborn.”

“Yup,” She ruffles his mop of brown hair, She knows he doesn’t like getting touched but she still does it anyway. Eren pushes her arm away and fixes it.

“Hey hey hey!” Jean appears, smiling brightly, “it's homecoming weekend, any parties happening?”

“As if I know,” Mikasa shrugs her shoulders.

“Really? I thought Annie told you.”

“Annie doesn't tell me everything.”

“You and Annie are pretty close, though.”

“...are we?”

“Yeah! It's obvious that you ha-” Eren blocks out the conversation as his attention is taken away by a certain raven-haired man walking in the halls with a frown, his bag slung over one shoulder as per usual.

“Good morning, Mr. Ackerman!” Eren gushes out, his friends stopping their conversation. Levi turns his head to the side to see who had called for him. Once his pale eyes meet Eren’s cyan ones, an unfamiliar feeling sets in his stomach. He gives Eren a lazy wave before walking off, gripping his bag with both hands. That was the first time a student has ever said ‘good morning’ to him; it was making him feel all strange inside.

Eren smiles to himself before turning back to the others. He was met with a skeptical look written on Mikasa’s face. Armin even gave Eren a bewildered look.

“What?”

“Last time I checked you were scared of him?” Mikasa states with her arms crossed against her chest.

“It doesn't hurt to say good morning to him,” He copies her, setting his arms across his own chest, “just ‘cause you don't like him doesn't mean I can't at least be nice to him. He is my teacher after all, not just your cousin.”

Jean whistles awkwardly, scratching the back of his neck. He gives out a small “see you later” before trailing pass them to his classroom.

“I gotta get to class. The bell is about to ring,” Eren says before he walks to his classroom. Armin leaves shortly after, He pats her on the back before moving toward his own destination.

 

 

“Everyone please sit in your correct places. Seniors should all be sitting next to each other!” Mike announces into the microphone. It makes a shrieking noise after that echoes throughout the entire gym, most likely because it had been used so frequently throughout the class period. Mike sighs under his breath as the students continue to not pay him any attention. He disliked prep assemblies as much as the other teachers in this school.

Eren sat next to Armin at the edge of their row of bleachers. He greets Mikasa who’s on the other side of Armin as well as the rest of his friends who sat around. They mess around until their principal starts walking toward the middle of the gym. The group starts to snicker at their jokes about their principal pops up in their heads.

“Damn, his eyebrows are so big,” Jean mumbles.

“Yeah,” Connie adds in with a chuckle.

“Hey, don't make fun of him,” Ymir whispers behind them, joining in on the fun, “I think they make him look so on fleek,” She spits out an old meme that even makes Eren laugh to the side.

“Attention students of Titan High!” Erwin’s voice roars into the microphone that was handed to him not too long ago. He knows everyone had their eyes on him judging from the tone of his obnoxious voice, “How are you all feeling about it being Friday?” Which was a mistake to ask when the whole gymnasium starts to get chatty and loud again.

“God, you guys are so fucking loud,” comes a voice next to Eren. The teens face glows when he sees Mr. Ackerman step down next to their row.

“Mr. Ackerman? I didn't think you'd be here!”  

“Neither did I, kid.”

“Did you not want to come?”

“And hear you guys scream into my ear and make them fucking bleed? No.”

“Is Mr. Ackerman swearing in front of students again?” Levi sets his eyes on the grin Eren held on his lips.

“Don't you dare start acting like Ms. Zoe, Jaeger,”

Mikasa glances at them to see Eren laughing out loud. She starts to feel anger boil inside of her. Not because her cousin was talking to Eren, but because he looks so innocent after the things he had done in the past. Armin felt the tension from Mikasa and pretends to ignore it while enjoying the rest of the assembly. The others continue to sneak peeks at how well Eren is acting toward Mr. Ackerman. Didn't he say he was afraid of him when school had started?

“What's up with those two?” Krista asks.

“I have no idea,” Jean mumbles.

The assembly was like a blur to Eren. He hardly watched as the band performed and awards were given out. He spent most of his time just asking Levi questions. Levi didn't mind, it made the time go by much faster. The assembly ends with a short message about the game that everyone ignored and rather scrambled to their feet to leave. Eren bites down on his bottom lip, upset that it was over. He wanted to keep talking to Levi since he enjoyed it so much.

“Will you be at the game?” A question accidentally slips out. He didn’t know if it sounded too friendly… Or if he even wanted it to sound friendly.

“Yeah.”

“Good. Maybe we can see each other,” and with that, Eren leaves with his friend group. Levi watches the teen walk down the steps with his friends packed around him. Eren Jaeger was definitely something else for him to be getting so close to him.

 

 

Eren couldn't help but feel disappointed not seeing Levi at the football game. It left him feeling bored throughout. He was hoping he would be able to talk to him like he did at the assembly, or at least bump into him. Now he was currently stirring his straw around in his chocolate milkshake, frowning.

“So, yeah, that's what's going on in college now. It's alright, but it’s a bit stressful,” Marco finishes his story about college. The group was back together, sitting in their regular booth at the back of the 50’s style diner that played oldies music softly through a jukebox in the background.

“Sounds stressful,” Connie replies. Bertholdt nods while eating some French fries that they had piled in the middle of the table.

“I mean it's not that bad once you get the hang of it.”

“Marco, I'm really glad you could make it,” Krista says and gives Marco a cute giggle, “We all miss having you around.”  

“And it's all thanks to me,” Jean gloats. It wasn't really that hard to get Marco over here. He’s had his phone number since forever ago and his college isn’t too far from where Jean lives.

“Have you two been hanging out?”

“Yeah! Jean always calls me telling me how bored he is so I always have to drive over and do something with him,” He chuckles. Jean, on the other hand, gets a little red from that statement. Eren notices and starts to smirk. Now feeling a bit better.

“Aw, so cute,” Eren coes.

“Shut up, Jaeger,” Jean grabs a fry and throws it at him.

“We are not starting this again,” Annie mumbles, but the two boys ignore her, and cause a loud commotion at their table. Armin had to apologize to a worker for their table being loud once again.

 

The bell of the door rings as another group of people walk in. The others don't notice Levi, Hanji, Mike, and Erwin enter the joint. Mike sniffs the air, acknowledging how good it smells.

“Does everyone know what they want?” Erwin asked and readies wallet. It’s all on him tonight. They nod and look around since it’s their first time trying out this specific diner (all because of an argument they had over not knowing where to go). A burst of laughs makes Levi look over to the table where Eren is sitting with his friends. His heart drops dead into his stomach.

Small world .

“Levi! Look!” Hanji points at the table, “Who knew they would be here!”

“Shitty glasses, don't make it so obvious!”

“Aren't they cute? Just hanging out with their friends?” Levi wouldn't call that ‘cute’ seeing how loud they’re being. It’s odd to see them all outside of school. His eyes lay on Eren as he laughs and jokes around. He looks so blissful and more alive then he is in school.

“We should go say ‘hi’ and embarrass them!” Hanji snickers as she stares them down maniacally.

“Hell no! If you even think about it I'll shove my foot down your throat!” The comment was supposed to warn Hanji but all it did was make her laugh.

“I love how hard you try to scare me, Levi!” she pats his head, which earns her a smack on the arm. “Don't worry. I know you don't want to be seen.”

Damn right, he didn't want to be seen. Especially outside of school. He never wants to go through that awkward situation again.

Levi and his small crew sit at the other side of the diner and eat their meals. At times he would look over to Eren’s side of the restaurant, usually whenever Eren’s laugh or giggle would float down towards his side. Hanji grins at him and he ignores it, avoiding her dumb face. How could he not look over, they’re so loud.

Half an hour arrives and the two parties finish at the same time. The owners of the diners were quick to shove them out shortly after.

The younger group gives out their goodbyes as they head to their cars to leave for the night. Mikasa and Armin already sit in the car and wait for Eren to finish up talking to Marco. Marco was always there for Eren when he was present at their school, so the younger brunette respected him and missed him dearly.

“See you soon, Eren!” Marco waves to him before getting into the rusty, run down truck Jean owns. Eren smiles at him before turning on his heel to go meet up with Mikasa and Armin. Not too shortly after is when he bumps into a certain someone.

“Oof, Sorry!”

“It's fin-” Levi stops to look up, “Eren?”

“Hey! I was expecting to see you at the game not here!” The student chuckles. Levi swears he sees a glint in his eyes.

“...Same, actually.” The raven watches the smoke escape their mouths as they talk.

“I was looking for you,” Eren trails on and avoids the look he’s receiving from Mikasa not too far away, “I thought I'd see you there.”

“We ended up missing half of it so I was barely there.”

“Ah, okay. Did you have a good time anyway?”

“It was boring and it was so damn cold that my ass was starting to freeze,” He could feel Hanji’s eyes on him from the car.

“You sure do have a potty mouth,”  Eren chuckled, sliding his hands into the pockets of his jeans. It was amusing.

“Yeah?” Levi raises his eyebrows at him,” well get used to it,” Levi snakes his hands in his coat to hide from the cold.

“Oh, I am...” Eren giggles. He wants to talk more, but seeing how impatient Mikasa is being sends him an alert that he should be going.

“I gotta go, it's already ten. See you on Monday, okay?” Eren waves at him as he paces over to Armin’s car.  

Levi stands there and watches the kid disappear into the vehicle. He has to collect himself after what just happened. He blinks twice before walking toward Erwin’s van. He hops into the back next to a bubbly Hanji.

“What was that about?” Erwin asks while rolling up a window. Levi knew they were eavesdropping the whole time.

“He was wanting to say hello, nothing else,” Levi mumbles as he puts his gloves on. His hands started to freeze up while the two were talking but he waited until now to put them on. Shortly after, he shuts the door and sits up in his seat, pulling the seat belt over his chest.

“You know, Levi?” Erwin begins as he was backing up the car. “I'm glad that a student is warming up to you.”

“Yeah… Can you put the heat on?” Levi changes the subject. Mike does so and the blast of heat makes his aching fingers better.

“It is really nice to see,” Hanji sighs dreamily. Levi looks out the window. He feels confused. Confused as to what he’s currently feeling. He didn't know how to feel about a student warming up to him. Last year he would see all these students visiting their favorite teachers which he felt out of place since he never was particularly favored by the students he’d taught. He had a lot of girls fawn over him, to which he never paid much attention to. It’s normal but he just never felt very happy about it. It would be nice to have a student that was decent enough to respect him.

Perhaps it would be nice to have someone like Eren Jaeger to talk to. The reason he stood next to him at the assembly was that Levi himself was starting to warm up to Eren with all of the tutoring lessons the two shared together. It’s hard to form a bond with a student, but Eren is making it easy for him. For some reason, the damn kid is making him want to open up to him and he could tell Eren wants to know more about him as well. Hell, Levi doesn't even mind knowing more about the brat, too. Maybe being close with Eren wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Maybe this is what Levi needed all along.

Chapter Text

Eren’s body is sprawled over his couch with legs up in the air and crossing over each other as they sway side to side. His bedhead is getting more tangled by the minute.

Half-lidded eyes were glued to his phone typing away in a group chat that his friends made a few months ago. The group chat is always active which is the reason why Eren’s phone always has listed notifications from the app they use. It’s always interesting with all of the crazy topics they talk about but it isn’t the case this time. Eren’s friends have brought up the topic of the homecoming dance tonight. Since he isn’t going he decided to keep talking with them and leave options of what to wear and where to eat after. He isn’t upset about not going, in fact, he’s relieved.

He starts to stretch when he feels his muscles start to ache. He raises his arms above his head and reaches as high as he can which makes the old band t-shirt he’s wearing show a patch of caramel skin underneath. A chill runs through his body with his stomach being exposed to the cool air. He pulls his shirt down after his stretch that felt so good. He hears footsteps coming down the stairs that indicates that Mikasa has come down from her room.

“Hey, what should we have for lunch?” She asks while tying her hair up into a ponytail, “I can make something.” Eren must have lost track of time, like he always does. This is the primary reason why he hardly ate three meals a day.

“It's okay, Mikasa. I'll find something,” He mumbles. He feels bad that she always has to cook for him. Maybe he really should start learning how to cook so he can start making meals for her instead. Mikasa joined a lot of sports so she comes home late tired a lot of the time. It’d be right to make her something after she gets home. If his stupid father were here he wouldn't be having this problem at all.  

“Alright,” she shrugs, “I'm gonna go make myself a sandwich, want one?”

“No thanks, I'm not that hungry right now,” he woke up not too long ago so his stomach isn't exactly awake at the moment. Mikasa nods and leaves to the kitchen to start making her lunch.  

It’s so quiet in the small house. Even with the windows open, it’s still dead silent. Their neighborhood isn’t that active since it’s pretty small with hardly any children around. Eren kind of likes it. He’s used to it but he doesn’t like how it’s so quiet in the house. It once was lively, it isn’t the same anymore.  

He sighs out of boredom. He want s to go hang out with Armin today, but his blonde friend had to go to the city to visit some family. Eren had to admit he was a bit jealous of that. He’d always wanted to visit the city. He heard that there was so much to do there. His mother was going to take him but tragedy struck and she never got the chance to.

Mikasa strolls back into the living and sits on the other side of the couch with a plate filled with small, clean-cut sandwiches. He feels lucky to have her around. Without her, it would've been so damn lonely here.

“It's getting a bit cold in here, do you want to close the windows?” She picks up one of the sandwiches to start chewing on. Eren shakes his head because he likes it. The air smells like burnt wood and it’s making him get the autumn vibes.  

“Mikasa?” She turns her head to face him, ”why don't you tell me what happened with you and Mr. Ackerman?” He whispers hesitantly out of fear that she'll go off at him again. He sits up partially with his elbows propping himself up.  

“I told you, Eren, I don't want to talk about him,” She simply answers. She looks away to focus on her lunch.

“But you two are cousins! I should know about your history, Mikasa,” He isn’t lying. She sighs and rests her plate down on the armrest. She isn’t going to tell him everything that had happened. She doesn’t feel like giving details.

“My family wasn’t fond of him because of the stuff he’s done in the past. I'll admit, I don't necessarily know exactly what he’s done, but it made the family very upset. After his mother passed, he went to live with our uncle who we all don't trust very much either. I guess Levi made some wrong choices that caused the family to… ‘disown’ him. I was told never to go near him no matter what the circumstance. Yes, I realize that he’s changed and seems better from what I’ve heard, but I still don't trust him… We’ve tried getting along but it didn't work out,” She explains while staring at her feet the whole time. When she looks up, Eren seems lost.  

“What-” He starts to say. She scoffs in disbelief. Had she not explained it clearly enough? “He did things in the past? Like what? Steal from a bank?”

“No, he didn't steal from a bank, Eren,” She shakes her head, “he just did some things that disappointed the family.” Eren can’t imagine his teacher as that type of guy. Now he wants to really know him. “That's all I'm telling you. Please don't go blabbering to him about this...or to anyone.”

Eren nods and holds a pinky up to make her know he promises dearly. He doesn’t want any unnecessary rumors about Levi going around. He respects the man fully.

“I wasn't expecting that,” He mumbles as he checks his phone to see all of the missed replies from the group chat. “I wasn't expecting that at all,”

“Yeah, well, Levi was an unpredictable guy,” She brings her plate onto her lap to continue eating.  

“Levi,” Eren draws out the man's name. He likes the way it rolls off his tongue. Mikasa turns to Eren, a bewildered look to her face as to why he said it out loud like that.

“What?”

“Sorry, it's just weird to me that my teacher's name is being said here. Like it's becoming normal. I feel weird about it.”

Mikasa shrugs, “Yeah, he is an Ackerman so his name will be said more ofte-”

A door slams open and startled the two midway through their conversation. Heavy footsteps arrive inside as well as the slams of doors behind them. Hung photos on the wall shake. They both sit up in shock once they see it’s Grisha finally home. Eren frowns at the father he doesn't want home. He should feel glad to get to see him as the last time they had met was a month ago, but Eren was too upset with him. His father is still keeping the reason behind why he’s constantly disappearing a secret.

“Hello,” the man grunts out to his children, “How is everything?” the older places his heavy suitcase by the door and takes his shoes off.

“Everything is fine. We started school already,” Mikasa answers first since Eren is too busy looking away.

“Oh, did you?” He stomps over to the fridge to pull out a water bottle. He twists the cap open and gulps it down, “When was this?” He heads to the recliner that sat next to the couch and faces them.

“It was last month,” Mikasa finishes the last piece of her lunch and places it on the armrest. She grabs a small pillow to hug to her chest.

“Oh, okay, sorry I wasn't there for that. I've been busy.”

“Like always,” Eren mumbles quietly. This earns a nudge from Mikasa.  

“Tell me, then, how is school treating you two so far? Liking your classes?” Grisha finishes the water and starts to compact it with his hands.

“I like it, all of my teachers are very nice toward me. Also, I think I'm placed well in each class. It's a bit more challenging than last year but I can definitely handle it,” Mikasa says with pride. All of her classes were higher level which is enough of a challenge for her to take.

“Aw, that's my smart girl,” He chuckles out. Eren notices he smells like smoke, and certainly not wood burning smoke. It’s more like cigarette smoke and it grosses him out.

“How about you, Eren?” He doesn't answer at first since he’s too busy on his phone.

“Eren…” Mikasa urges her busy brother. It causes him to look up.

“Sorry, school is okay, I guess,” He replies back. He notices his father wants to hear more so he continues. “My teachers are fine, I got Mikasa’s cousin as one.”

“Oh, really?” He gives out a raspy laugh, “That's funny, I'm pretty sure Mikasa isn't too happy about that.” The girl shakes her head.  

“But, in all seriousness,” the volume of his voice lowers a pitch. Eren knows that this means he has to pay attention, “you better keep those grades up if you want to graduate. I’m a bit worried about you from your previous behaviors...”

 

Here we go again.

All the pressure starts coming back to pin Eren down. Yes, he gets that his father is just caring for him, but it’s upsetting that he doesn’t trust him anymore. Hell, he can’t even trust his dad anymore. He knows he doesn’t have a job so where the fuck is he going all the time? Also, why the hell would you leave your children alone for five weeks?  

“I know, dad! I didn't forget that! I'm a senior this year and I'm trying my best!” He blurts out, “I can't believe you still don't trust me. I've changed! I'm not my same old self like last year.”

“Eren, you really need to learn how to control your anger!” How dare he say that… “Mikasa, has it been getting worse?” Eren is starting to get pissed. One outrage and his father thinks it's uncontrollable. Just one outrage!

“First of all, father , I haven't even been that bad. You should be the one teaching me how to control my emotions instead of having to figure it out on my own! You should be teaching me a lot of stuff right now, but no! You've been running off without us, leaving your kids behind!”   

“Eren, calm down, ” Mikasa warns him.  

“I'm trying my best to be here for you two. I just have very important business to attend to.”

Eren’s had it. How could a father be lying through his teeth in front of his children?  

“Business? What kind of business? Why don't you ever tell us!” Eren shouts out, “I'm starting to believe it isn't business .”

“Because it's personal, okay? Calm the fuck down!” He stomps his foot hard onto the carpeted floor. The house is now echoing with both of their voices. “I'm sure you guys can handle being on your own for a little while longer, you two are old enough, anyways. I'm pitching in to support us, all three of us. Don't you see that I'm doing enough?” he says through clenched teeth.

“Stop babying about, okay Eren? You are going to be 18, you should know how it is to live alone!” Grisha stops as soon as he sees tears start to form in the crystal eyes of his son. Guilt hits him like a truck. The house goes back to being silent. Mikasa sits there speechless and tightens her grip on the pillow in her arms.

“I wish mom was here,” Eren mumbles out the words that Grisha knew would come out one day. Eren’s bottom lip starts to quiver. He’s trying hard to keep it all in, “She would know what to do,” He croaks out. A pain shoots all three of them in the heart. The crying boy gets up and runs up the stairs. They hear a slam that indicates that he’s gone to his room.   

Grisha pinches the bridge of his nose. His son was right. He wished Carla was here as well. He misses her as much as Eren does and seeing his son hurt from missing her made him regret yelling at his son. He’s putting a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Especially on Eren's.

“Sorry,” Mikasa speaks in a weak tone, “He's just stressed right now.”

“I know he is. You can see it clear as day in his eyes,” Grisha gets up and cracks his back. He goes to throw the empty water bottle away and brings along Mikasa’s empty plate to wash, “I know how he gets. He’s just like me. He takes on all of the pressure so easily which causes him to explode with emotions,” He turns on the faucet to wash the plate, “He's always been like that.”





Mikasa slowly opens Eren’s door. The creaking noise it’s making causes her to cringe. It’s around 6 o'clock which means he’s been in his room for about five hours now. The burnt orange sunset pours through his open window. It makes the teen boy’s room glow.

She sees Eren laying on his bed with headphones screwed into his ears. He’s on the phone most likely watching a YouTube video or something. As soon as he notices her presence, he pulls them out and sits up.  

“You okay?” She questions softly as she takes a seat at the edge of his bed.

“Yeah… I’m fine,“ Eren’s voice comes out muffled. He turns to look at the sunlight’s rays on his carpeted floor. Mikasa could see that his eyes were red and puffy so he must have been crying.  

“Eren, I know you're not,” She sighs and continues, ”look, I understand you're mad at him for leaving us all of the time but you don't have to go and yell at him like that. Especially about mom… “ As soon as “mom” comes out of her light voice, Eren starts to sniffle. He wraps his arms around his knees that he pulled against his chest. He’s starting to cry and a blush appears on his cheeks. Mikasa gets closer and puts her hand gently on his shaking shoulder. She isn't the type of person to comfort others with physical contact.

“Why are you crying Eren?”

“Isn't it obvious?” He breaks out in sobs, “I miss mom.” More tears run down his sun-kissed cheeks. She nods because she already knew.

“I miss her so damn much,” He whispers, wiping the tears away. He breathes in a shaky breath as he tries to calm himself down.  

“I know you do, but you gotta be strong for her, okay? She wouldn't want you crying for her. She would want you to be happy and enjoy life.” Eren nods and looks away. He rests his chin on his knees then looks out the window. He thinks about how he would think of her every single night. He would think back to the times where they always got along. They had a very close relationship and Eren cherished it so much. His mom was always there for him and he was always there for her. They had each others backs through thick and thin.

“It just hurts to come home from school every day and not see her,” Mikasa nods again. Their relationship was beautiful, “And I know right now she's probably not proud of me.”

The raven haired girl’s eyes widen as if she were slapped across the face.

“What do you mean? Eren, don't put yourself down, she's not disappointed in you! Stop putting yourself down...” Is this the reason why he was so stressed out? Even if it is, this doesn’t explain his disappearances during lunch.

“I know.”

“You keeping that smile on your face makes her smile too,” He digs his nose deeper into his knees. The cool breeze flowing around his room gives him goosebumps.

“I do see her sometimes.”

“What do you mean?” Mikasa quizzes. She takes her hand away and relaxes it on her lap.

“Every time I look in the mirror... I see her in me,” a lazy smile appears on his face.  

“You do look like her… A lot like her,” Eren looks at his ‘sibling’ and smiles a bit wider now, “Now hurry up and dry your face off. Dad wants to take us out for dinner soon.” Mikasa gives him a nudge on his arm which causes a chuckle to slip out of him.

“You really do act like a mom.”

“Shut up,” She rolls her eyes. She’s glad things were lightning up. “Now go get ready,” they both laugh after a moment. She really did act motherly, so she doesn’t mind the comparison. Once she slips out of his room, he gets off the bed to go put on some jeans instead of the lousy sweatpants he’s wearing.

It didn't really make him feel better about his mother being gone, but his new motivation is to make her proud. He has to try hard in school and graduate so his mother can smile down at him without worries. He has to make his last year the best, just for his mom and for himself.

 

“Did ya get the email about the Halloween party?”

“The what!?” Levi barks as he lifts his head up from the pile of papers he was grading to glare down at Hanji. It’s a Sunday afternoon and the two are stuck grading homework at Levi's apartment.

“Calm down, short stack,” She cackles, “Erwin sent the staff emails about the Halloween party last night!”

“I didn't get an email about a stupid Halloween party,”

“Maybe he doesn't like you,” she grins, obviously joking around with him.

“Whatever, what about it?”

“Well, on Halloween the school is hosting a party at seven! There’s gonna be music and everything!”

“The school?” Levi arches a brow. There’s no way in hell this is happening, he already knows what’s about to come up.

“Mhm, and he’s asking us to help out!” And there it is.

“He can't do that! I don't want to help out,“ he grumbles, “I don't have time to stand around with some noisy brats.”

“Well, that’s too bad cause Erwin and Mike already assigned us jobs!”

“Fucking unbelievable,” The man rolls his eyes so far back they probably reach the back of his head.

“Yep! And you know what the fun part is?”

“What?”

“We all have to dress up!” She exclaims as she jumps up and down in her seat.

“I don't want to waste my money on some shitty costume that I'm only going to wear once!” He snaps.

“No problem, I got you covered!” That’s never a good sign. “I’ve got a vampire costume just for you since you look just like one !” She smiles hugely. Levi doesn't even bother to yell at her. There’s no way out of this.

“I hate you.”

“I know!”

 

 

“Um?”

“What is it, Jaeger?” Levi asks as he looks up from his book. He’s sitting at his desk, like usual, and has his glasses resting on the bridge of his nose.

“I think I'm stuck. I need your help!” Eren whines out.

“You think?” He looks up to see the student give him a nod.

“I told you to try it on your own,” Levi slides his glasses off his nose to place them on the desk, “You can't be asking me for help every five seconds.”

“I did try! I just keep getting lost!” Eren stares down at Levi and waits for him to come over and help. Levi raises a brow at his behavior. The teen is currently giving him puppy eyes and seems almost to be begging.

“Hey, you're supposed to be the teacher here, so come tutor me!” Levi slams his book closed and lets out a loud sigh. He stands up from his chair and heads over to Eren who smiles since he got what he wanted. He isn’t trying to annoy him, he just likes to mess around with him and Levi’s noticed.

“What are you stuck on?” He asks. He moves behind Eren and leans over to look closely at his work. He can’t help but immediately notice Eren's terrible handwriting.

“This one,” Eren points with his finger at a problem. “I can't figure out the pattern.”

“Try using that method I taught you guys yesterday. Do you remember the shortcut or were you too busy staring out that window?” A blush makes its way to Eren’s cheek as he stiffens in his seat. “Hm, that's what I thought.”

“I-I do remember it.”

“Then try that,” Eren begins to use the quick shortcut his teacher taught in class. His hand is shaky from being stared down at by his teacher. He can smell the heavy cologne rubbing off of him. His teacher’s breathing also seems to be slowing down as it ever so slightly brushes against his cheek.

“Wait,” Eren flinches when the older man’s voice startles his thoughts.

“What?”

“Do this step over again, you messed it up,” Levi taps his finger on the problem, “Get rid of the two, you don't need it,” Eren goes to erase his mistake when his hand accidentally rubs against his teacher’s. He jolts back as if he’d just been shocked from plugging a cord into an outlet. Levi turns to look at Eren. Confusion is evident in his silver eyes.

“Mr. Ackerman, your hands are freezing,” Eren tilts his head up to look at him, “are you cold?”

“No?” Levi consciously rubs his hands together. They do seem cold.

“Really? They’re freezing,” He points at them again. Levi looks down at his hands and then at Eren.

“So?” Levi tsks and stashes his hands away, “get back to the problem.”

Eren doesn't budge.  

“You know, Mr. Ackerman...” Eren wonders, “they say that if a person's hands are cold, it could mean they have a warm heart.”

Levi looks at Eren with disgust. What is this kid talking about?

“I don't believe in that,” He leans back against the desk behind them and stares down at Eren once again.

“I do. I think you do have a warm heart,” Eren smiles. Levi looks away and a short laugh stammers out of him.

“Why do you think that?”

“I don't know,” Eren turns back to his desk, “you just seem like that kind of person. You seem to have a cold exterior but I know that deep down inside, you’re truly warm and passionate.”

“Passionate? What are you going on about?”

Eren laughs. “You asked me why!”

He picks up his pencil to get back to working on the problem.

“Thanks for helping, Mr. Ackerman. I got it.” This seems to be Levi’s que to go back to his desk. He gives Eren one last glance before shaking his head and heading back to his book.

Sometimes it was nice to have him in his company, and he’s surprisingly okay with this thought.

Chapter Text

The mop slaps against the hardware floor creating a puddle of suds. Levi grips the pole bringing it back and forth to let it scrub his kitchen floor. It has been some days where he went without cleaning and since today he had no papers to grade he thought he would start.

Cleaning was his way of letting any frustrations out. It was something he could do to relax. What's not relaxing about cleaning any dirt away and having a clean house afterward?

He rubs an arm over his forehead to wipe off the sweat dripping down his face. He finishes up mopping an area to lean his mop against his countertop. He needed to get a drink of water to cool off. Levi paces to his cupboard to pull out an empty glass, suspecting it first before washing it down in the sink. Staring at the glass closely he sees a strange speck. He rubs a finger over it hoping it would disappear, but instead it stays and seems to be glittering. Levi brings it to his face to find the speck a glow. That's when something catches the corner of his eyes. What was making the glass cup glow was his toaster. He puts down the cup to look at the object that sat nearby. It is almost a cyan color and it shone under the lights of his kitchen, difficult to rip his eyes apart from. He couldn't quite remember when he got this toaster and why that color, but the color sort of reminded him of a certain someone. A certain student he should say.

A buzz snaps him to reality which causes him to groan in annoyance. He looks at his table to find his phone screen lighting up. He quickly dries his hands with a towel before grabbing his phone to pick it up Without looking at the caller I.D.

“Hel-”

“Hello Levi!” a shriek bursts out from the small electronic that causes Levi to pull away, ”Are you doing anything this Saturday night?”

“For fucks sakes, Hanji!” Levi brings the phone back to his ear, “What did I say about screaming every time you call me! and yes, I'm free Saturday night, why?” He sighs out loud.  

“Because Mike and Erwin were talking about hitting the bar!”

“I don't drink. He should know that.”

“You don't have to drink, just to spend time together. Besides, we have a lot to talk about!” she exclaims, “It’s the last day of September which means the holidays are on the way!”

“Wow, I'm so excited,” a hint of sarcasm in his tone.  

Hanji ignores it, “Anyways, they will have bumper pool there and I know you like playing that!” She is correct, he did enjoy it and it catches his attention.

“Fine, I'll be there,” a giggle escapes from the other line, ”what time?”

“Eight!” She jested out, “and don't be late!”

“Eight? Why do you guys make it so damn la-”

“Bye Levi!” she hangs up immediately. He rolls his eyes as he puts his phone down.

Putting the mop away in his closet he takes a seat on his couch releasing the tension from his back that started to ache. For once he felt extremely tired considering it is hard for him to fall asleep. He feels his eyes starting to close, his whole body starts to relax with a gentle heartbeat. Every sound mutes out and the only thing that he could hear is the soft breathing from coming from himself and then he was out to a gentle slumber.

 

 

“Jean, make sure you don't knock your drink down or else we'll get our asses kicked!” Eren grits his teeth at him. The class had to do in class assignment that allowed them to pick small groups. Connie, Sasha, Jean, and Eren all put their desks together in a circular way so they could all see each other.

“Calm down, Jaeger. It'll be fine,” Jean shrugs off, ”I'm careful, unlike you,” he moves the cup of hot coffee closer to himself on his desk.

“Anyways, how was homecoming?” Eren begins the next conversation.

“It was kind of boring,” Sasha answers, “They didn't even have  great food, the music wasn't the best, and everyone was busy grinding on each other.”

“True, and the majority of people left early,” Connie responds next.

“Oh, what a bummer,” Eren frowns to himself.

“Reiner snuck in some drinks,” Sasha starts again, ”Of course we didn't have any, but he did. He ended up getting drunk and poor Bertholdt had to take him home.”  

“That idiot,” Jean mumbles, “Sounds like him.”

As they continue to talk some more about off topic subjects, Eren starts to get distracted by his teacher.

Mr. Ackerman and him kept sharing ‘accidental' glances. Cold eyes would meet vivid ones from time to time. When Mr. Ackerman walked around to check if students were on task they both would look at each other subconsciously. When he was at his desk, Eren would do little peeks and catch his teacher doing the same. It was very weird, but Eren wasn't exactly feeling uncomfortable about it.

“Wake up sleeping beauty!” A hand waves in front of his face “Hey! earth to Eren here!” Sasha calls out.

“Wha- Huh?” He blinks back at them, ”Oh, sorry,” He responds quick as he sits up in his chair.

“I was afraid that you were sleeping with your eyes open, that would have been hella creepy.”

“Oh no, I was just daydreaming again!” Jean looks at Eren before taking a look over his shoulder at Mr. Ackerman.

“Do you have a crush on Mr. Ackerman or something?” Jean had to ask. He suspected something going on.

“What!?” His eyes widen, ”That's gross! Why would you even think that?” He scrunches his nose in disgust.

“Don't have to scream in my face! I was just messing with you,” Eren sighs, slumping in his seat. Seeing the brunette act this way had a grin perform on Jean’s face, “But seeing the way you are acting is starting to make me think you do.”

“Well, you're wrong cause I don't have a crush on him! He's a teacher!”

“It doesn't matter if he is, there's a bunch of girls at this school that drool over him, literally.”

“Okay, but you have no evidence that I do, asshole, I'm not gay.”

“Keep telling yourself that,” Eren opens his mouth to argue some more, but Connie holds up a hand in between them.

“Don't start you two! The class is almost over and we haven't even written anything down yet!” He was right. They all turn their heads to look at the clock and groan.

“Now what?” Jean slams his pencil onto the table.  

“Uh, Jean?” Eren mumbles.  

“What are we going to do? I don't want to get an F!” he continues to slam his hand on the desk out of anger.

“Jean.”

“So far I have a B in this class and I don't want that dropping down to a D!”

“Jean!” Eren speaks a little louder, trying to get his attention. Watching the cup of coffee slowly slide down his desk.

“It's all because of you guys! Now I'm gonna look dumb!”

“Jean!” Eren repeats once more, “You are gonna spill your co-!” like expected, the cup of coffee spills on to the floor and the girls sitting around them squeal.

“Nice going!” Sasha yelps heading to get paper towels.  

A groan was heard from the front of the classroom, “Make sure you clean that up, please!” Levi commanded. Jean nods frantically at him before looking back at a done Eren.

“You know what?” Eren mutters, staring down at the worksheet, ”I'll just ask Annie for the answers.”

 

The tutoring lessons were getting harder as the week was passing. Eren often struggled and it ended up with Levi having to sit down with him and talk it out. One day from that week an idea pops up in Eren's head as he was staring out the window. The weather was starting to cool down and it was starting to feel nice. He decided to ask Levi if they could take tutoring outside to the tables out in the back of the school. Surprisingly, Levi agreed to do it which made Eren a blissful mess. They picked Friday as the day to do it and here Friday was where Eren sat in his history class taking a test.

He had tests all morning and it was honestly making him stressed. He wanted time to go by fast, not just cause he's taking a test, but just so he could go spend lunch with Mr. Ackerman outside. He is starting to get hungry anyways, but since Eren woke up late today he forgot to bring lunch and money.

Eren turns in his test that he guessed on most of them. He returns to his seat with a sigh.

“You okay?” Armin whispers over to him.

“I'm tired.”

“Says the one that slept In for a half hour,” Armin quietly chuckles. “Hey, how're the lessons?”

“Oh, it's fine,” Eren props his head up, “I like the extra help, I'm still struggling though, like always.”

“I'm still proud of you,” Armin smiles. It's been about a few weeks of Eren getting tutored. He hopes that Eren keeps up with the secret from Mikasa considering how much help Eren was receiving.

“Yeah, she hasn't really talked about him much.”

“Well, that's good. More time to avoid any questions.”

“Mhm.”

“So how are you with Mr. Ackerman?”

“I'm good, I think I'm finally starting to warm up to him,” The bell abruptly rings and Eren starts to pack his supplies up.

“That's good!” Armin does the same, gathering his supplies, “I'm glad you feel comfortable with him. It must make him feel good to have a student like you.”

“Yeah, I guess!”

They walk out saying their byes when Eren runs down the halls after.

His stomach is fluttering with butterflies at each step closer. He rushes through the door that leads to the back of the building and scurries down steps to the tables outside that were empty except one which Levi is at.

“Wow, your early,” Eren spoke breathlessly. He puts down his bag on the table taking a seat across.

“No, you're just late,” Eren beams at him. He takes a minute to look around at his surroundings. They are sitting under a tree that created shade. The sun is out which made Levi’s eyes stand out more. He had to look away a few times to avoid them.

“How has your day been?” Eren asks while he brings out his homework that he didn't do last night, again.  

“Honestly, It's been shitty. Had a meeting this morning which was useless,” he explains, ”One of my classes had an argument that I had to deal with,” Levi rubs his temples, “How about you?”

“I had tests all morning, it was really stressful.”

“You're stressed out?”  

“A little bit, I'm just glad to be taking a break now,” Levi just nods at him. He looks down to see Eren didn't bring any lunch out with him.   

“Where's your lunch?”

“Oh, I woke up late so I forgot it at home… “

“I knew you weren't going to bring something,” Levi reaches down to slide something out of his leather bag. Eren raises an eyebrow at him. He sees his teacher hand him over a small sandwich that is wrapped neatly. He stares at it, quite taken back. He felt a feeling in his stomach that wasn't hunger. He couldn't even explain what the feeling is.

“Take the damn sandwich already,” Eren grabs it quickly at Levi’s command.  

“Thanks, Mr. Ackerman, How did you kno-”

“I just had a feeling,” Eren smiles and starts unwrapping it.

“Thank you. Can we eat first before working?” Levi nods, taking out his own lunch which was also a small sandwich, “So… “

“Are you going to be asking questions about myself?” He barges in.  

“W-well is it bad to ask questions? You can ask me stuff too!” Levi piercingly stares at Eren.

“Fine,” He skims the place to make sure no one was around, he is glad that these tables were hardly used.

“How old are you?”

“I'm not telling you that.”

“But we are outside the school building!” Eren whines.

“It doesn't matter, I'm still your teacher.”

“But you're a cousin of someone I'm close too, it'll be okay!” Levi crosses his arms.

“You can guess my age then,” Eren clasps his hands together.    

“Are you fifty?”

“Oi! You little shit!” The man shouts out, ”I'm not that old!” Eren lets out a laugh.

“Okay okay, are you in your early twenties?” Levi shakes his head, “You're not?“

“I'm twenty-seven,”

Eren drops his mouth, “I knew it!”

“Did you?” He begins to eat his lunch hoping Eren would too.

“Yeah! You look so young so I knew it was in the twenties range,” Eren looks at him in awe making Levi uncomfortable.  

“You better eat that before I give it to the birds,” He points at Eren’s sandwich.

“Oh, yeah,” he picks it up to give it a bite.

“Do you and Mikasa live alone?” Levi asks bringing a napkin up to his lips. He was awfully curious at what situation Mikasa lived in.

“Yeah, basically we do,” He says slowly, “My dad isn't home most of the time.”

“Why not?” Not knowing if he should really ask. He scans the boy’s face to see him looking down. In the lighting that they had it really made Eren’s features stand out. Like before, he thought Eren is good looking, and it wasn't wrong to think so. He even finds himself noticing Eren had small freckles across his nose.

“It’s a bit complicated,” Eren bites his bottom lip not knowing how to explain, “He disappears a lot.”

“Oh,” He stops not wanting to make Eren upset, obviously this topic is heavy for him.

Eren looks away. He did miss his dad, but he missed the “old” one. The one that wouldn't go out all the time without telling where, the one that would help him with his homework, the one that would walk with him when he wasn’t in the best mood, the one that would teach him how to play baseball at the park. He missed those days, but now he feels as if his father is just a stranger to him.

“Eren,” he feels his teacher gently place a cold hand on his, “don’t think about it, okay?”

Eren looks up to see the calm look on the man, he could finally see what emotion the other was showing. It seemed to be a mix of concern and something else that he couldn’t put his finger on. The hand laying on his is giving him tingles up his arms, to his neck, and down his back. It is an odd feeling, but it sort of felt good. Levi pulls his hand away and immediately Eren wanted it back.

“Yeah, you are right.”

“Are you thinking of joining any sports?” Levi starts to change the topic.

“Sports? I'm not sure.”

“Okay then, do you have a job?”

“Uh, No,” He trails off hesitantly.

“it's your last year here, you should at least join an after school activity.”

Eren groans, “Yeah, I know…maybe I'll join a sport in the spring.”

Levi glances down at their half-eaten sandwiches, “Why don't we take a break from tutoring today.”

“R-Really?”

“Yes, It's Friday and both of us had a crappy day.”

“Thank you!”

 

 

The group walks out from the parking lot of the school to head back. They all went out to a fast food place to eat and now just returned.

“Let's go through the back doors, it's closer to our next classes,” Reiner says making Armin who was in front lead the way with Mikasa behind him, chatting with Annie.

While they walked to the back Armin’s heart drops dead as he catches Eren sitting at one of the tables with Mr. Ackerman. They seemed to just be having a conversation.  

“W-Wait!” Armin holds the group back with his arms held out, “Let's go through the front doors! I just remembered that I have to drop something off at the office!” He quickly panics. They all stare down at him perplexed. 

“Alright, Armin. No need to get all worried,” Jean chuckled.

“Well if it's important let's go!” They turn around to head back. Mikasa nudges Armin's arm to make him look at her.  

“What's it for?”

“It's just something I need to grab,” she just nods.   

Armin had to think of something quick on the way. When he reaches the office, carefully stepping inside he catches Mr. Smith walking by.

“U-uh Mr. Smith?” the blonde croaks. Erwin slowly turns around to see the little student approaching him.

“Yes?”

“Could I, uh, get an extra copy of that college fair information packet?”

“Of course!” Erwin turns the door handle leading to his office. Armin stays at the doorway observing the place. It sure did look cozy with a the couches placed at corners and the small plants scattered everywhere. Erwin grabs a copy and hands it over to him gently.  

“Here you go!”

“Thanks, Mr. Smith! Have a good day sir.”

“You as well,” Erwin exclaims with a smile. “Oh! Before you go! You are friends with Eren Jaeger right?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you know where he is? Mr. Ackerman and him are not in the classroom when I went to drop off some papers.”

“I saw them outside at the tables.”

“That's nice of them to do that! I'm glad.”

“Y-yeah it is, I didn't know you could do that.”  

“Of course you can!  As long as they are working it's fine.”

“Oh, okay, well, bye Mr. Smith!” Armin rushes out of the office to meet with the others.

“I thought you said it was important?” Annie asks as she looks down at the packet Armin is holding.

“It is important, Annie! This is your future.”

“Whatever.”

It didn't matter. He saved Eren from Mikasa and he felt relieved. Once he sees Eren he'll just have to throw questions at him on why the heck he is outside with Mr. Ackerman and to tell Eren to thank him for saving his butt.

Chapter Text

The blaring old school rock music coming from the speakers at each corner of the bar didn't help with the pounding headache of Levi. To add on to it, the bar is pretty damn crowded. It fills with all sorts of people creating numerous mumbles around the place. There are the old guys that sit around tables drinking their life away, middle age women waiting for some fun, young couples shoving showing off their love and then there's them. A couple of teachers just enjoying the weekend ahead with no students to watch for.

Levi is over at the pool table that is in the back of the bar, away from the large crowd. Hanji and him are in a middle of a game. Levi hunches over the table with his cue diagonally above the surface. He lowers his head to eye his target of one of the glass balls. He brings an arm back to prepare for his shot, even with the excruciating pain in his head he was still in focus. Hanji eyes him from the side, standing her cue up so she can lean her cheek against the stick. She sighs out dramatically, loud enough for Levi to glance over.

“What is it, Hanji?” he asked with a sigh of irritation.

“Well, isn't there something you would like to explain to me?” Levi straightens up his back in annoyance, a crack along with it. He knew Hanji had something on the tip of her tongue the minute they arrived here.

“Let me guess,” he places the cue gently flat on the table, “is it about Eren and I having lunch outside?”

“Yeah! It is…” her face drops immediately at how Levi knew what exactly has been on her mind, “Wait, how did you know?”

“Because Erwin told me earlier a student saw us. Can we get back to the game?”

“Levi!” She slams her hands at the edge of the pool table, causing the balls to move from their position, “How did this happen?! Was it Eren’s idea!? I didn't know you could do that?” Her words jumble up with excitement along with her hands circling around in the air, “This is amazing! I'm so happy for you!”

“It was just a lunch…” Levi raises his brow, not getting why she is excited about it, but then again, this is Hanji, “I don't get the hype.”

“Levi! He asked you to go out for lunch didn't he?”

“It's not like we actually went to a fucking restaurant! Lower down your voice, would you?” He suggests by the amount of stares they are getting.

“But Levi!” Hanji grabs on to his shoulders, “You know what that means?”

“...No?”

“It means he really is warming up to you!”

“Hanji, you are acting stupid,” He pushes her hands off of him, “calm the fuck down!”

“What's going on over here?” Erwin walks into the situation with a drink in his hand and of course with Mike behind him observing.

“I'm just saying how happy I am for him, but he's being grouchy like usual,” She rests on a hip.

Erwin chuckles, “About the whole Eren situation? Ah yes, we are glad a student is close to you with the bad past you had with them.”

“Don't remind me,” Levi grumbles, fingers squeezing the bridge of his nose.

“Look, we will stop talking about it. Go back to your game.”

“I can't. Hanji ruined it,” Levi glares over at the brunette who looks away whistling, “ I got to get going anyways, it's getting late and my headache is growing by the minute.”

“Aw, already?” Mike pouts his bottom lip out before bringing up his glass to drink.

“Yeah,” Levi walks over to the coat rack by their table. Pulling his trench coat on. The weather outside is starting to freeze during the nights so it is officially now coat weather. He brings out his keys from the pockets and gaits to the front door.

“Have a safe drive!” He hears Hanji yell over from across the bar. He raises a hand over to them indicating a “goodbye” before pushing the door open to the outside world.

“Sometimes I worry about him and his attitude,” Hanji shrugs her shoulders.

“He'll be fine,” Erwin pats her shoulder, “This is how he has always been.”

“But recently he's been even more grouchier than usual. I wonder if something's bothering him!”

“Knowing him, he won't tell us.”

“Yeah.”

The crisp air blows on to Levi’s face while walking over to his vehicle. The bar was fun, but the awful music and the disgusting stench of alcohol created a pain in his head. He needed to go home to make some warm tea for himself and search for a movie on television.

He unlocks his car door and steps inside to inject the key in to start his car. Once he hears the roar of his engine he felt the relief that he is finally going straight home.


“Great,” Eren hisses at himself checking the time on his phone that read eleven. His dad is going to be pissed off at him for coming home late and what's worse is that he didn't tell his dad he was going to a party at Reiner’s. He sticks his phone down into his pocket and breathes in the air. It felt nice to finally be able to leave that house. After the commotion that happened back there, he decided to just leave early. He has no ride back and rather than call Armin and bother him he decided to just walk home. He isn't minding it one bit, he missed having walks late at night like this, too bad he had no headphones with him. But maybe it is a good thing he didn't have them. Sometimes it's nice to unplug and listen to the natural surroundings.

He isn't the kind to be so down to earth and enjoy his surroundings, but tonight it is different. The stars in the sky shone bright and the roads are clear from any cars giving it an eerie feeling. He looks over at the cookie-cutter houses lined up on the side and wondered what kind of family lives inside. Were they going through family issues? Or are they that one perfect family? Did the father stay by the other parent's side or was he leaving all the time too? Was the mother caring and kind? Or was she sad and struggling? Was any of the parents happy? Was the kids happy?

Eren could predict many possible situations in what kind of family there is living inside each house. You think by seeing a perfect house there would be people living in it who had their life put together but that's not always the case. Every house has a story.  

He wondered why he hardly took walks anymore, maybe it was because thoughts like those sometimes scare him. Deep thoughts scare him cause then they consume him and instead of sleeping, he'll just be analyzing even more.

He scatters across the street to get to the other sidewalk. By car Reiner's house was about five to ten minutes but by foot, it was more than that. He stares at his feet now not knowing what to do. Maybe he should have brought his headphones. He jerks his phone out of his pocket to check for any missing messages and of course one of them is Mikasa's. He swipes the screen to quickly type in his password before responding back when he hears a car slowly pull over to his side. He whips his head around to see the black vehicle and his heart immediately babbles in his chest. The window rolls down to reveal a familiar face.

“Oi! Jaeger, what are you doing out here?” Levi yells out the window with one hand on the steering wheel. Eren smiles in relief and walks up to the window.

“I just came back from a party,” He responds back, “I didn't have a ride so I decided to fuck it and walk home,” He realized the swear word slipped out but it didn't seem to faze the male.

“You are coming back from a party at this time?” Levi asked while briefly checking the time in his car.

“It's Friday! And I should be asking the same thing about you!” Eren teasingly states, “What are you doing out this late?”

“I'm old enough too.”

“Well, that is true,” Eren chuckled.

Levi stares down at Eren with a question in mind, not knowing if it is right, but it is something he should be doing.

“Do you want me to give you a ride home?” He asks with hesitation.

“R-Really?” Levi gives him a nod and his face breaks out to another smile, “Thank you so much!” Levi unlocks the door so that Eren could enter the other side. As the teen pulls on his seat belt over his chest he informs Levi his address and Levi starts to press on the gas, rolling up the window and putting the heat on low.

“You know, Eren, that's a ten minute drive from here and you were able to walk that far?”

“Yeah, I had no choice anyway. Besides, it's nice to just take a walk and have a break,” Levi just hums in response.

Eren lays back into the leather seats feeling the heat blow onto his face. He starts to observe around in Levi’s car since the two fell into silence and he didn't want to feel the awkwardness of being inside a teacher’s car besides the fact that outside of school he will only try to see him as just a person and not a high school teacher. Eren could point out right away that the car is very tidy and clean. No stains were left and no crumbs were on the carpeted floor unlike the car his dad owns and Mikasa’s. The windows were so clear it felt as if the windows weren't up at all, but what he really caught on the second he got into the vehicle was the musky smell of the pine scent Eren grown to love. The smell hung thick in the air with no escape to it, he didn't mind one single bit though. He searches for what could cause the scent but it seems it truly is from Levi. Cyan eyes travel to Levi to only figure he had a nice side profile and a really sharp jawline. He looks away soon enough when Levi angles his head at him.

“Eren, what's that on your face?”

“What do you mean?” He looks off straight ahead to avoid him. He thought in the dim car he wouldn't notice and hopes of no questions about it.

“Your eye,” Levi takes turns on watching the road and turning to Eren, “Look at me.”

Eren slowly faces him with teeth chewing on his bottom lip.

“Shit, Eren. You have a black eye. What kind of a party did you go to?”

“It was just a regular party. You don't have to worry about it! I'm fine, everything's fine.”

“You're not getting into any fights are you, kid?” Eren cringed at the nickname.

“No, I don't!” leaning his head on the car window with an elbow holding him up, “I use to but not anymore,” He mumbled and Levi nods his head.

“I knew you were that type of person.”

“Wow, I didn't know you were the type to stereotype people, Mr. Ackerman,” Eren gasps out dramatically with adding a smirk at the end. The man shoots a glare at him but not one to scare him off.

“Or should I call you Levi instead,” He says with a sneer, “We are outside of school so I can call you by your first name.”

“Smartass,” Levi shakes his head and the faint smile on his face gives Eren some pride. Another break of silence falls instead of it being awkward but rather comforting. Eren wasn't so tense about the idea of his teacher driving him home. They turn to a corner that connects to a road where Eren’s neighborhood is located and he felt kind of dismay at having to leave soon.

“Hey, Levi? Why are you out so late?”

“I was at a bar with some friends.”

“Friends meaning other teachers?”

“Yes. They are the only ones I talk to really.”

“Oh, well sounds fun.”

“Have you ever been to a bar before?”

“No, but I see them in movies!” He chuckles. He looks out the window watching them pass after streetlight after streetlight. He wondered what kind of a place Levi lived at. He bet it is just like his car. The pine scent is probably stronger over there. As he ponders he hears a hiss of a curse next to him and looks over at Levi.

“What's wrong?”

“My gas is low.”

“There's a gas station right by my house. You can stop there, I don't mind,” He really didn't mind at all. The presence of Levi is nice and talking to him more after with their lunch earlier made Eren more laid back with their conversations.

 

They pull into the gas station soon enough with only one other car being there. Levi brings out his wallet and heads out, telling Eren he'll be right back. The teen pulls out his phone to spend the time to check any miss calls from his father. He knew that he was going to get yelled at when he gets home and he prepared himself for that before he snuck off to go to that party. What he did worry about is the fact his dad could catch the bruise on his eye.

Seeing no missed calls he puts away the electronic and looks at the rearview mirror to check out the gross marking on his face. It is definitely noticeable and will most likely not heal in time when school starts again Monday. He sees Levi arrive back after paying to go fill up the gas tank. He views behind his shoulder to look at Levi standing there while waiting for the tank to be full. He is dressed in a casual white shirt that is loose at the top, peeking his chest. His bangs fell perfectly over his forehead and the lightning of the gas station made his skin glow.

Maybe it is wrong to think like this about a teacher. To find how handsome Levi really is. He should really stop himself before any other unwelcome feelings occur.  

“So when are we going to start dating, Huh?” A feminine voice corrupts his thoughts. He looks out the window to see Ymir and Krista walking out of the gas station with bags around their wrists. His heart drops and his blood runs cold.

He unbuckles his seatbelt to duck down to the bottom floor so they wouldn't see him. They can obviously see Levi outside so If they catch Eren in his car there would be rumors spreading throughout the high school and if the rumors get to Mikasa then he is screwed. He listens for the voices to disappear when the car door opens revealing Levi.

“What are you doing?” Levi questions, standing there with a bewildered expression.

“My friends just past,” Eren peeks his head up to see if they left already. Levi sighs and takes a look around.

“I think they are gone now,” He gets in the car slamming the door close. Eren gets back on the seat, still glancing out the window.  

“Your friends are everywhere.”

“Yeah.”

“You know that my windows are tinted right?”

“...Of course, I did,” He forgot.



The rest of the car ride was silent. It didn't take long for Levi to reach Eren’s house.

“Alright, there you go,” He stops the car right outside his driveway, ”try to keep out of trouble this weekend, okay?” Eren laughs at him while unbuckling his seatbelt.

“Thanks for the ride, Levi,” he looks over at him to find him unusually quiet, “Sorry, do you not want me to call you by your name?”

No, it's fine,” It looked as if he wanted to say something but instead just puts off. Eren opens the car door to exit out of it, stepping on to his driveway.

Way to end the conversation in another awkward silence.

He closes the door and turns on his heel to leave but he hears the window roll down.

“See you in school, Eren.”

“Oh, bye! Have a good night!” The brunette responds to him, giving him what Levi starts to call the “Signature Eren smile”. He waits for the boy to enter his house safely before driving off.

 

 

When Eren entered he finds all the lights are off around the house which is a good sign. He quietly tiptoes upstairs to run inside his bedroom, closing the door gently and throws himself on the bed. He couldn't help the growing grin on his face. He didn't exactly know why he is in a smiling mess, but he enjoyed their small conversations and he honestly wished he could still be in that car with him. He felt so safe and being next to Levi comforted him in a strange way. When leaving he felt so cold and empty without the strong scent wrapping him up like a blanket. He didn't know what was going on but he can say that they are creating some kind of friendship that Eren started to love.

Not only teacher to student but person to person.

 

Chapter Text

“Mikasa, you've been acting weird all day.”

“How so?” She lifts her chin up from busying herself at watching her feet.

“Well, you didn't talk to me during lunch and on the way home from school,” Eren responds with a frown. The two continue on strolling through their neighborhood. After having dinner they came up with an idea of taking a walk to the park to ease their minds. It is the perfect opportunity to ask Mikasa about the way she has been acting.

“I just been focusing on my studies,” She shrugs, “And thinking about...some stuff,” Eren sighs at the word “stuff” he disliked when she used that word. It could mean anything!

“Stuff? Really?” A brow tilts up, “Mikasa, I thought we made a promise not to keep any secrets from each other,” easy for him to say.

“Yeah, I thought so too,” Mikasa stops in her tracks to pocket her hands into her jean jacket, “You didn't mention to me about who gave you a ride last night.”

“What?” he chuckles nervously, “How did you know I…”

“Armin told me.”

“Armin!?” Eren shrieks out, “What do you mean he told you?” He watches Mikasa start to walk away. He hurriedly catches up to her in a sweaty panic.

“He said he woke up to his dog barking and saw you coming out of someone's car from his window.”

“It was just someone from Reiner's party,” Eren explains to her, but she still wouldn't make eye contact with him, “I don't get why you are upset about that?”

“I'm not upset about that . I'm just upset about how the fuck did you get a black eye?” She stops again to finally look him in the eyes. Eren's mouth shuts immediately, “Don't think I didn't notice the makeup on your eye and the fact that it's my makeup!”

Shit.

“Oh, yeah, that,” Eren thought it didn't look noticeable but nothing gets past Mikasa. Because of this, they swore to look out for each other since they are essentially living alone.  Maybe that's why everyone was giving him strange looks today, they probably noticed it too. His dad didn't notice so that was a plus.

“Eren, you aren't getting into any more fights, right?” She leans her weight on a leg.

“No, it was just an accident that you don't need to worry about.”

“Was it one of Reiner's friends from the football team?”

“Mikasa-”

“Tell me and I'll tell you what's been bothering me.”

“Fine,” He sighed, “It was one of his friends from the football team, but it was actually an accident,” They start to walk again. Eren realized they must have been walking pretty slow since the sky started to darken and the streetlights around lit up.

“Thank you, but you need to stop messing with them. Now what's been bothering me is Annie. She is the one acting weird and I'm trying to figure out why.”

“Maybe she has a crush on you,” He earns himself a playful push from Mikasa.

“Shut up,” Eren begins to laugh at her. He is relieved that they are back to speaking terms.

They reach the park to only just sit on the swings and talk about nonsense, but Eren couldn't help think back to the night when Levi took him home and the way Levi seemed relaxed to talk him. After that night Eren's mood suddenly has been the best it has been today.

He even made Jean laugh at a joke he told today without getting called names about him “trying” to be funny or it being lame.

“Eren, you blanked out on me.”

“Sorry,” a habit of his, “What did you say?”

“I asked if you have homework today.”

“Yeah I do,” He gets off the swing, “Probably should go do that now,” Mikasa as well jumps off the swing. She holds out a hand to feel a drop of water hit her palm.

“Yeah, it's about to rain anyways, but who do you have?”

“Mr. Ackerman.”

“Of course you do,” She rolls her eyes.

Eren chuckles, “He doesn't seem bad to me so far!”

“Whatever. Let's just go,” They leave the park in a hurry of hopes of not getting rained on, but since luck didn't play nice they ended up having to run home while it poured.

...

Study hall is boring when there is nothing to do. No homework, no test to study and no earbuds to watch videos on your phone. Instead of just sitting there counting down the minutes on the clock, might as well take a walk around the school. And that is exactly what Ymir is doing right now. She had to be on her second round of walking around the school already. So far she has talked with a few people and stopped at a vending machine for a snack. She needed something to do and this was her only option, that is until it got a bit more interesting.

She has caught Eren walking down the music hall. He didn't have any classes that she knows of that involved music, so why is he here? She decides to spy on him since there was nothing better to do. Ymir keeps a long distance between them so he wouldn't know that she is following him. She watches Eren stop in front of the choir room, peek inside and then enter.

“What the hell?” she muttered to herself.

Being the sneaky bitch that she is from what everyone calls her, she hurries to the other side of the choir room to observe out of the windows of the door. The room is big enough to have two separate doors on either side and the one she picked out is the one hardly anybody goes through since there was a big object in front of it which must have been some kind of tall drawer for music sheets or anything a choir class needs. Luckily, Eren won't be able to see her but she can see him.

Eren lazily drops his bag from his shoulders onto the floor. He is thankful that this class is empty and that he had a place to just take a break. He walks around the room, reading at what is written on the board to what the songs they are singing. Since Halloween is this month the songs obviously had to deal with that. He continues to stroll around when he is met up with the piano. The one thing he was hoping was available. He takes a seat in front of the instrument, running his fingertips with a light touch on each key. It has been a while since he played the piano. It was his mother's favorite instrument to play. when he was younger, he would always wake up to her playing lovely music on the piano in their living room. He would jump out of bed, run down the stairs and sit next to her. Watching her play a musical tune. Every day it was a routine to watch her play. The only days she didn't was if she was sick or busy. The beautiful mornings of splendid songs soon came to an end when she passed. Eren thought he could continue on with her music and tried to play on the piano and remember which keys to press, but each day without her it got harder for him to even look at that piano and soon his dad put it away from sight forever.

With a deep breath in and out, he holds his shaky hands above the keys and gently presses them. The sound of the piano giving him a rush of memories of his mom. He tries again, scrunching his nose up at how awful it sounded, it wasn't even in pitch. He wanted to play the exact song his mother played. With another try, he presses his fingers into the keys with confidence. It sounded about right. He continues playing the song with memory. Remembering what note to play and which pitch is correct. He had to go back a few times to try again at any mistakes but as he moves on he starts to remember clearly.

A small smile at his lips and his exotic eyes lighting with joy and not the feeling he once had when he tried playing years back. Stress was off his shoulders and he felt the music take over his body until he hears a door creak open.

“Eren?”

“Oh, uh, I was just…” Eren turns his head to see Levi approach him, “Mr. Ackerman?”

“What are you doing?” The older looks over at the piano then Eren, “Don't you have a class right now?”

“Well,” Eren fiddles with his hands. He got out of class to go use the restroom but ended up coming here, ”Yeah, I do.”

“Then why are you here?”

“I just wanted to play the piano,” He looks away, not wanting to get yelled at by someone he was slowly getting used to, “And I saw this class was empty so I thought I come in here an-”

“Move over,” Levi demanded and Eren does so.

Mr. Ackerman?” Eren's eyes widen at the sight of Levi sliding next to him, “But,”

“Don't speak.”

He closes his mouth when he sees Levi take a deep breath and start to hover his fingers over the keys. Eren's eyes immediately begin to focus on his bony fingers. With a struck of a pitch, he begins to play a melody. A melody that is soft but striking at the same time. Eren watches, memorize at how Levi's fingers dance across the black and white keys, not missing a note and not making any simple mistake. Levi is playing beautifully, just like how his mother did and once he found out the song he was playing was his mother's he swore he felt a splotch of wetness on his cheek.

Fuck, I'm crying.

He felt that the music made them the only ones in the school and maybe even the whole planet. Whatever surrounding them Eren ignored and only focused on everything Levi is doing. The way his fingers pranced, the way his dark eyebrows furrowed with concentration, the way the two sat so close next to each other. It could just be the moment that they were in that made a feeling in Eren grow. Was it closeness? Comfort? It could be anything.

Levi strikes down onto the piano with the last note. His eyes glued to his fingers. He probably has gotten carried away but damn it felt good to play, but hearing sniffles next to him made him remember where he was at again.

“Eren?” He looks over to see tears sliding down Eren's tinted cheeks, “Are you...are you crying?”

“That was beautiful,” Eren whispers, not looking away from the piano.

Levi's words get caught in his throat. Thanks were the only word his brain could let him say. He really made Eren cry from his playing. He never made anyone feel like that with his music.

“It was so beautiful. You play so beautifully,” Eren repeated, “How do you know that song?”

“As soon as I heard you trying to play it I remember that song being the first one I learned how to play when I was younger.”

“My mom use to play that song a lot before she passed,” he says between sniffs. Levi felt a hit of pain in his heart. He didn't know if he should hug the poor kid or not. Eren looked like a mess. His eyes were starting to become red and his face is full of tears. Instead of giving him a proper “I'm sorry” hug he gets up from the chair to go fetch a tissue and hand it to him.

“Thank you,” Eren mumbles before blowing. It was an awkward situation to be in since Levi didn't know how to comfort others. He didn't want to say anything that would upset the student even more. Seeing Eren in a crying mess made him he wish he was good at it. He honestly didn't like seeing Eren like that and rather see his usual smiling self.

“Eren, I'm so-”

“HELLO!”

“Fucking hell, Hanji!” The familiar roar of a laughter echoes the classroom. Levi shots up with a pissed look to see Hanji walking inside. 

“Sorry, not sorry!” She sings out, “I didn't mean to cause a scare!”

“You almost gave me a heart attack,” Levi grumbled.

“Please, you're not even old enough to get one,” After the laughs have calmed down she focuses on Eren who is still blowing his nose. A dramatic gasp fills her lungs, “Mr. Ackerman! What did you do to him?” She runs over to hug Eren, mostly his head, up to her chest.

Levi rolls his eyes, “I didn't do anything.”

“Then why is he crying?”

“I'm fine, Ms. Zoe,” Eren chuckles, whipping down the puff of his eyes.

She gives him a another squeeze before letting go.

“I swear Levi if you hurt this kid I will- wait a minute. Why are you two in the choir room?”

“We were just about to leave,” Levi pushes Eren's backpack to his chest knocking the wind out of him, “Come on.”

“That didn't answer my question,” She places her hands on her hips. Eren gets up to follow Levi to the door, wishing he could talk with Levi more and ask about his history of playing.

“We weren't doing anything important, let's go,” He pushes the door open for Eren to walk through. Hanji shakes her head at him before following along.

Gladly, Hanji was fine with the idea of them in the choir room after an explanation from Levi and didn't find that quite much shocking, but what they didn't know who has found it shocking was Ymir who stood at the window with a gaped mouth.

 

Chapter Text

“Get in Jaeger we're going shopping!” Eren hears a yell from outside his house as he pulls his hoodie over his head and reaches his arms through the sleeves. He rolls his eyes when he hears another yell and a car horn beep. He quickly slips his shoes on, grabs his phone along with his keys and then heads to the front door. He opens it to see Jean's familiar silver car waiting for him along with Connie and Armin. Eren closes the door with a twist of the lock and dashes down his driveway to head to the car.

“Hey, Eren!” He is greeted by Armin once he enters the backseat.

“Hey,” he responds back as he pulls the seat belt over himself, “What's the agenda for the evening?” He looks up to see Jean start the car and Connie next to him chewing on some gum.

“Just going out to eat I guess. We should discuss what we should be for that Halloween party,” Jean says, lowering down the radio a tad bit.

“Right,” Eren sighs, ”Forgot about that.”

“How could you, everywhere you turn there's a poster of it on a locker,” Jean chuckles.

Eren smiles at him. He then turns his head over to look out the window. It is Friday which meant Eren could sleep in for two days. School to this point is getting tougher so weekends started to become even more of a blessing than it was at the beginning of the year.

Although today wasn't so bad and most of the teachers didn't give him too much to work. Even Mr. Ackerman didn't give everyone much to do. When the bell rings for class dismissal Eren tried so hard to talk with him after class but everyone kept getting in the way of asking him questions about an upcoming assignment. Instead of waiting he left since Armin and Mikasa were waiting for him by the door. Sure Eren felt gloomy at the moment for not being able to talk to him about what happened in the choir room the other day. Even during tutoring, he wasn't able to slip in that question as he seemed to be avoiding it. That left an unsettling feeling in Eren's stomach. He hoped Levi didn't feel disturbed about him crying in front of him. Why is he thinking so much about the situation anyway? And why is he so upset about not getting to talk with him after school. Seeing everyone crowd around his teacher with many questions created a pout on Eren's lips. He shouldn't be feeling that way as Levi is a teacher and should be focusing on other students that had better questions about school than him.

Eren reaches over to roll down his window just a crack. He shuts his eyes liking the feeling of the cool wind blowing his face.

It is Friday, he shouldn't be dwelling over not being able to talk to Levi today. He should be enjoying the freedom of hanging out with his close friends.

They head to their favorite place to chill out and eat at Titans Corner.

They take a seat in a booth and order their meals from a preppy waitress. When she leaves they all start to talk.

“The plan was originally to buy something at the Halloween store but I'm guessing not all of us brought enough money for that,” Jean comments.

“You could have told us beforehand,” Connie said before drinking his milkshake, “Besides, we still have a couple of weeks.”

“That doesn't matter. All of the good costumes will be gone!”

“There are a lot to choose from,” Armin asserts, “I'm pretty sure you will find something.”

“Yeah,” Eren sighs out. He stirs the straw around through the thickness of his shake.

“What's up with the frown?”

Eren looks up at Jean and shrugs, “Nothing.”

“Nothing? I caught you gazing off a few times in the car.”

“I guess I'm just tired,” Eren leans back.

“Understandable,” Armin pitches in, “Seems like teachers have been on our backs the whole week.”

“Speaking of teachers,” Jean looks over at Eren, “How are your tutoring lessons going? I keep forgetting you go to those.”

“It's been fine.”

“Have you been getting along with Mr. Ackerman?”

“Oh yeah,” Connie barges in with a hand raised, “How is he? Must be hard to be alone with him in a classroom.”

“He isn't that bad,” Eren sits up as soon as he starts talking, “Mr. Ackerman isn't the grouchy person you think he is.”

“Yeah, but he seems very intimidating. How do you do it?”

“What do you mean? You know the rumors aren't true, right? He doesn't yell at everyone all the time. He only acts like that cause everyone treats him like shit. If you actually respect him and start making a decent conversation with him he is really just a…” Eren looks away from them to stop himself. He wanted to say that Levi is just a charming guy. He really is.

“Didn't think that would offend you,” Connie mumbles. They all stare at him in an awkward silence. Armin looks down into his lap feeling the tension from Eren.

“Someone is a teacher's pet,” Jean hummed under his breath. If there weren't so many people here Eren would've jumped over the table and strangle him but instead, he behaves himself.

“I'm not a teacher's pet. I have just been seeing how he really is during our tutoring sessions.”

“I mean explains it.”

“Explains what?” Eren spits out. He crosses his arms glaring at Jean from across the table.

“Well, Ymir said she caught you two in th-”

“Here are your meals boys,” The waitress is back with their plates of foods. Instead of carrying out the conversation they just drop it. They continued on talking about other things while Eren avoiding any eye contact. He regretted lashing out on them over Levi, but he should be protecting him. He wished everyone knew what he is like as a person. He didn't like that Levi had people talking bad about him behind his back. He even wishes Mikasa would just give him another chance. Whatever he did in the past he seemed that he is a better person today. He grabs his fork to start on eating. Maybe after some food in his stomach he would start to cool down.

...

Instead of heading home at sundown they decided to hang out at the park for a few minutes. Eventually, Eren calmed down from their heated conversation and he is back to being normal. They hit the swings to carry on chatting whatever has been on their minds.

“Don't sit in that,” Jean warns him, “ You're gonna get your ass stuck,” Jean watches as Eren gets in one of the baby swings.

“No, I won't,” He sits all the way down in the seat, pulling up his legs to rest his knees against his chest. He sticks his tongue out at Jean for showing him that he could indeed fit.

“Whatever you say.”

“So what time does the Halloween party end?” Connie asks as he lays on his stomach on the swing.  

“Ends at midnight I think,” Armin answers.

“Midnight on a school night?”

“Yeah, seems crazy to think the staff is letting us stay there till then.”

“I'm going to be twinning with Sasha. She wants to and I decided why not so we've been coming up with some ideas.”

“When are you two going to start dating?” Eren asks, “You two are really close.”

“Like how Mr. Ackerman and you are?” Jean smirks.

“Shut up! Why do you keep bringing that up?”

“Because it's just so obvious!”

“Right. We don't go walking through the halls holding hands like Connie and Sasha do!”

“I can definitely see that happening with you two,” Jean gets off the swing to head towards Eren, “I bet you have a crush on him.”

“I do not! What makes you think I do? I never talked about him before so why are you suddenly bringing this up?”  

“Because of what Ymir told me!”

“Ymir?” Eren scrunches his nose, “What did she say?”

“Jean, stop,” Connie says getting off his swing to stop him.

“Tell me what she said!” Eren demands. He sees Jean look over to Connie and then shake his head, “That's it. If you're not telling me then,” Eren starts to rise up but his bottom wouldn't budge, “...then,” He grips the sides to pull himself up but it doesn't work.

Fuck

“I…”

“What is it?” Jean asks. Eren starts to struggle with getting himself out.

“I...I can't get out!” panic raises in his voice.

“I told you not to sit in the swing, you dumbass!” Jean facepalms. Armin and Connie rush over to Eren.

“Just get me out!” The three start to pull him up by his arms to try and slip him out but it doesn't do them any good. They even flip the swing thinking it'll work but it just leads to Eren screaming.

“Fuck! What now?!” Eren tries again on lifting himself up by wiggling his hips but when it doesn't help he starts to chew on his bottom lip.

“Oh gosh, you're actually stuck!”

“Should we call the emergency?” Connie suggests.

“No! Don't do that! That's embarrassing.”

“They will get you out!”

“No! Do something else! I don't want to end up on the news,” Eren begs out loudly which only made Jean crack out a chuckle.

“Should we just call Mikasa?”

“No!”

“Your dad?”

“Hell no!”

“Wait, Reiner lives around here! He is stronger than all of us,” Armin pipes up.

“As long as it isn't Mikasa or my dad I'm fine with it,” Eren sighs.

Jean pulls out his phone dialing Reiner’s number. Seconds later Eren could hear a deep voice on the other end.  

“Hey Reiner, we need you to do a favor… Yeah, Jaeger got his ass stuck in a swing at the park,“ A loud laugh was heard making Eren groan, “Yeah so could you help out? Thanks, Reiner.”

“There ya go!” Armin smiles, patting Eren's shoulder.  

“This would only happen to you Eren” Jean shakes his head, leaning against the pole.

 

In just a few minutes later Reiner arrives and a puff of air escapes Eren’s mouth.

“Alright, I'm here with some butter.”

“Butter?” Jean raises an eyebrow, “I mean that works.”

Reiner steps in front of Eren holding up a plastic bag, “Wow look at Eren here, all stuck,” He heavily laughs, “This is seriously funny. Hold on let me take a picture.”

“Please don't! Just hurry up and help me out!” Eren screams out.

“Alright alright I will,” Reiner rolls up his sleeves after placing the bag down. He starts to lift up Eren’s shirt but the brunette wails his arms around stopping him.

“Wha-what are you doing?”

“Well, in order to put some butter on you we gotta take the shirt off dude.”

“I rather not take my shirt off,” A blush fills his face, ”I'll just lift it up a little,” He lifts the fabric up a bit sitting up straight, Connie and Jean hold down the swing trying to keep in their laughs at how stupid they all looked. Reiner takes out a bar of butter and starts swiping it on the swing and above his hips to make it slippery. Eren hisses at the cold sting. He wanted it over already. He really should have listened to Jean.

Armin stands behind Eren, calming him down by rubbing his shoulders. At least they are alone at the park or else this would be embarrassing as hell.

“Alright, are you ready?” Reiner asks.  

“Yeah, just hurry.”

“Okay, One...two...three!” They lift him up finally getting him out from the baby swing. They place him down on the ground which Eren’s knees start to give out which makes him collapse. They all start to clap out for Reiner who had pride written on his face.

“You alright, Eren?” Armin asks, kneeling down next to him.  

“Yeah, but now I smell like a fucking lobster dinner,” Eren responds with a flushed face.

“Next time think twice before you do something stupid,” Reiner takes a quick snapshot of him before walking off, “See you in school.”

Eren moans out as a reaction to the picture. He truly felt like an idiot and now Reiner has a picture of him that he probably would be showing off to his football crew which would just increase the teasing.  

“Hope you learned your lesson.”

“Whatever.”


Eren is being awfully quiet today Levi thought. Usually, during their tutoring session Eren is always chatty, but at the moment it is dead silent.

“Eren,“ He gets no response, “Eren?” He lifts his head to look over his laptop. He sees Eren's head is down so he gets up to go check on him to make sure of anything. With each step closer he sees Eren’s back slowly rising and then falling. He could hear small hums coming out of his mouth and nose.

The student is asleep in his classroom. Unbelievable.

He raises his hand above Eren to wake him up but he is held back. Levi watches him sleep for a bit seeing how peaceful the teen looked. His hair is out of place and something tells Levi to fix it but he doesn't cause that would seem weird.

The sun reflects down on him, showing off his long dark eyelashes that fall on his tan skin. Levi gently places his hand on the brunettes back, debating if he should wake him up or not. They only had a couple of minutes left and there wasn't really nothing to do. Levi was going to start a new lesson in class anyways which lead them to not having any work to do.

For some odd reason, he wanted to comfort him, keep him safe and warm. He gently starts to rub small circles on Eren's back. He really shouldn't be doing this but why couldn't he stop?

His student is asleep during tutoring and he should be scolding him for doing so instead of letting him sleep.

But it seemed so nice. Hearing the faint snores and seeing him peacefully sleep made him feel guilty that he would have to wake him up.

But unfortunately, it had to stop. The bell rings which Eren groggily wakes up to. Levi pulls back and pretends to not have been rubbing his back and stands up straight.

“Mr. Ackerman?” Eren whispers as he rubs his eyes while sitting up.

“You fell asleep.”

“I'm so sorry,” He widens his eyes. He didn't remember him dozing off.

“Don't worry about it. We didn't have much to do anyway.” Levi says while watching Eren nod and start to collect his things.

“I just been so tired lately and I'm very sore right now,” Eren gets up from his chair swinging his backpack on.

“Yeah, I know.”

“Huh?” Eren looks down at Levi with a questionable look. He doesn't even acknowledge the fact at how close they stood.

“I saw you.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was driving by Friday with Ms. Zoe and saw that you got your ass stuck in a swing.”

“Oh...yeah that did...happen,” Eren's face heats up, “I looked like an idiot didn't I?”

“Yeah, you did.” A smile appears on Levi's face and that does it for Eren. The closeness of them two become more aware to him and the smile on Levi's face sent a rush to Eren's chest. He hurriedly grabs his leftover stuff knowing his face is as red as a tomato.

“Well I-I have to get going. See you later!” He leaves the classroom and Levi stares at the door that closes behind him looking uncertain, but he goes on to prepare for the incoming students.


Chapter Text

“Eren, no.”

“Please?”

Eren.”

“Aw come on! I'll study when I get home,” Eren gives out his best begging look to Levi but the man's glare doesn't budge.

“No. This is how you keep getting distracted from work! Report cards are coming soon and I need for you to bump your grade up,” Levi speaks as he moves over to the front of his desk.

“I will bump my grade up. I just thought I'd take a small break. You know? So I don't over work myself?”

After seconds of Levi staring into puppy dog eyes he gives in, “I spoiled you, didn't I?”

Eren gives him a growing smirk on his face which makes Levi smile through pale lips, and it makes Eren's heart jump that he is able to do that. He's been making his teacher smile often and it seems to be unnoticeable for Levi.

“Fine, but only for five minutes.”

“Five?”

“I'll make it four.”

“Five is great,” Eren chuckled.

“And don't use it up drooling all over my damn desk. That was a one time thing.”

“Oh, yeah sorry about that,” He rubs the back of his aching neck, “I've been trying to get myself to sleep earlier so I wouldn't ruin your precious desks.”

Levi raises his eyebrows in a bit of surprise. Eren has been getting sassy lately with him during their lessons. It is probably just a side of him that he is getting to see.

Levi doesn't pay much attention and walks over to the window to start spraying down the windows with a Windex bottle that he always kept in the classroom in case of any accidents. Eren watches from his desk Levi soaking up the glass and wiping it down with newspaper. Out of curiosity, Eren gets up to stand next to him for a closer look.

“Why are you using newspaper?” Eren asks with a scrunch of his nose. Something Levi took notice of that Eren did often when he asks a question.

“Because it cleans the glass much better than an old rag,” He answers, using his arm to wipe up and down with a balled up newspaper.

“How?” Eren's eyes glaze over his teacher's arm repeatedly spraying and then drying it down.

Levi shrugs, “My uncle use to teach me this way. Since the paper is thin and smooth it wouldn't leave scratches on the window, and,” He brings up the newspaper to his students face, finding amusement as Eren's face twists with disgust seeing all the dirt attached to the bottom of the paper, “It does a good job catching all the dirt.”

“That's gross,” Eren mumbles while pushing the newspaper away from his face, “Go back to cleaning,” and Levi indeed does.

“See how the window is much cleaner?” Levi steps back to admire the shine. The sunlight that poured it really made the window stand out.

“It's amazing how much dirt there is on your windows considering you like to keep everything spotless.”

“Well it's not my fault it's like that. You damn kids don't know how to keep hands off of anything.”

“Mmf,” Eren nods agreeing. He couldn't argue with that as he has touched many windows at this school from trying to get someone's attention from the outside or just simply tapping on it when he's bored. As Levi is cleaning one area Eren looks over at his favorite view. At the buzzing city away and the colored trees lined up below. Autumn is certainly beautiful but Eren preferred the warm weather and being able to swim down at the pool instead of having to layer yourself in coats and scarfs.

“If you're not going to do anything here, “Levi slaps a ball of newspaper in front of him, “You might as well clean then.”

Eren had no problem with that. He grabs the newspaper and the bottle of Windex to start cleaning up. An unheeded smile plastered on his face somewhat enjoying cleaning with his teacher.

“Are you looking forward to helping out at the Halloween party? I heard the staff has to volunteer.”

“You're asking me if I'm looking forward to being stuffed inside that sweaty gym with you all?”

Eren laughs, “Come on, let loose.”

“You're saying I'm not fun?” Levi glances up at Eren.

“No...maybe. I mean you go to bars but…”

Levi just shakes his head from hearing his nonsense. He throws away the used newspaper in the trash before grabbing more from the pile on his desk. When he returns to Eren he couldn't help seeing him lazily wiping down the windows or at least not doing a good job in his eyes.

“No no no, what are you doing?”

“What do you mean what am I doing? I'm cleaning like you told me to do.”

“Well, it doesn't look like it.”

The student is being pushed back as Levi takes the paper away from Eren and gives him the new one he gotten. He then squirts out the Windex over the window in front of the two and takes Eren's hand that has a good grip of the newspaper and places it on the window to slide it up and back down with the right amount of pressure.

“See? Like this, you're doing it sloppily. You're not going to get any work done with those useless arms,” Levi comments and it only makes Eren smile. The closeness again runs electricity shoot through Eren's veins and instead of freezing up like last time his body melts into the touch. With Levi looking over his shoulder and technically holding his hand creates a sort of content feeling. His cold hand against his makes Eren want to hold on tighter to his to warm them up from his heat. The two must have looked silly and Eren couldn't help but start to laugh. Levi drops his hand and crosses over his chest from the reaction.

“What?”

“It's just…you have a passion for cleaning,” he says while giving out some kind of hand gesture.

“Damn right I do,” Levi mumbles.

“Shouldn't you be teaching me math instead of how to clean a window?”

“You don't want to study on your upcoming math test so I might as well,” Levi says when he fetches another newspaper and starts cleaning on another glass square. After repeating of spraying and wiping Eren brings down his hand, stopping himself from continuing it on.

“Mr. Ackerman? About what happened in the Choir room you said that song you played was the first one you learned right?”

Levi pauses, “Yes.”

“Why?” His voice now soft.

“Because I wanted to impress my mother,” He brings his working hand down, “She was always working and gone from home so I thought if I start playing the piano it would catch her attention…”

Silence hung in the air. Eren then places his hand on Levi's shoulder. Feeling bad for having to bring up a touchy subject while the two were just having a sweet conversation.

“I'm sorry, you don't have to talk about it.”

“It's fine,” Levi looks down and Eren felt that maybe he had just ruined their good mood.

“I guess it's a sensitive topic for the both of us.”

“Yeah...look, Eren, let's not bring up what happened in the choir room, okay?” He says taking Eren's hand off of his shoulder. The brunette just nods in response.

“Now...why don't you go study. It's been more than five minutes.”

Eren puts down the newspaper and returns back to his desk. He couldn't bring himself to study without feeling shitty inside. They both seem to have familiar backstories over the piano and it was something they could both bond over of, but Levi pushing it away and asking to just pretend it didn't happen upset Eren in a strange way. The situation that happened with the piano did affect Eren but not in a dismal way. Figuring out that Levi knew the song his mom used to play made him not feel so alone. They could help each other or at least try to overcome it, but since it's affecting his teacher not the way Eren had been only made him feel worse.

The rest of the session was silent and Eren left with no goodbye. When he returned to the gym he didn't feel energetic enough to play basketball and his friends caught on but didn't say anything. In class, Eren tried avoiding eye contact. Was it a childish thing to do? He just felt bad for bringing it up and thinking it was okay too. Why should he feel so sensitive about this? He should respect Levi's decision instead of being selfless.

Levi did note Eren ignoring him and he didn't forget the way Eren was dead silent earlier, but he didn't want to show how he was feeling. Levi is known to shut his feelings away from people. Even to the ones he is close with. He is very emotional and it annoyed him how he could be, so he panicked and had to push Eren away.

“Eren,” His voice stops the younger from walking out of his classroom for the end of the day. The student looks over to his friends waiting for him before stepping forward to the front desk. Levi waits for every last person to leave before persisting, “Did I...upset you?”

“No, I just felt bad for bringing up the topic. Don't have to apologize.”

“Okay, good,” Hearing a feminine voice call Eren's name the teen starts to exit when Levi says, “Oh Eren.”

“Yeah?”

“I was looking over the window you cleaned and you did impress me.”

“So I passed your cleaning lesson?” He asks with a smile.

“Yeah, I'll let you pass.”

Eren hisses out a “Yeah!” along with a little fist pump and Levi couldn't help feel the grin on his face.

“Have a nice evening Mr. Ackerman!”

...

 

Walking home from school Eren had to lie to Mikasa about why Levi asked for him after class. He told her he simply just asked if Eren was struggling with anything and luckily Mikasa just nodded and left it alone. Shutting the door behind they enter their house that is surprisingly lit up with lights on from the kitchen. They both share looks before walking in to see Grisha stirring up something in the pot.

“Hey you two,” He greets them with a wrinkled smile before grabbing a towel to wipe off his hands.

“What's this?” Mikasa is the first to ask as she examines the stacks of plates on the table and the oven light on.

“I'm making something special that a friend has taught me back in my younger days,” He chuckled.

Eren sniffs the air at that and it did smell quite pleasing.

“How was school?”

“Good.”

“Fine.”

Grisha looks over to his son.

“You okay?”

“Yeah, I'm just tired,” an excuse he uses all the time, “I'm going to take a little nap. Wake me up when dinner is ready,” He mumbles off to his room.

Grisha looks over at Mikasa and she just shrugs.

“I don't know what's going on with him this time.”

“I'll...go check on him,” He takes off the apron he wore and treads his way out of the kitchen. Mikasa would have said it was a bad idea since Eren has been trying to ignore his father for the past couple of days but lets him anyways due to them needing a talk with each other.

He reaches to Eren's door and slowly opens up finding his son under the covers with the blinds shut.

“Eren, talk to me.”

“There's nothing to talk about.”

“What's going on with you? You've been quiet,” He watches movement under the covers and Eren's head popping up.

“I'm just tired from school.”

“What I meant was,“ He kneels down on the floor to get a better look, “You've been quiet around me. I know you're angry at me.”

“Of course I'm angry at you, you disappear so much that it doesn't even feel like I have a father around,” He sits upon his bed.

“Eren, I'm trying. I'm trying to be here more for you two. I don't want you thinking I'm leaving just to avoid you two. I've been...off trying to support us so that we have food on the table and that this house is kept well,” He said as he gives Eren's arm a squeeze. His hand is cold but not pleasingly as Levi's is.

“Why don't you tell us where you go?”

“I...can't tell you that, you have to understand that.”

Eren just bobs his head up. Not wanting to start an argument on why it is dumb for him to keep it a secret. He loves his father, he does but he is starting to lose trust in him. He does have to think that his dad is also suffering the same thing he is.

“I understand.”

“Good,” He ruffles the top of his head messing up Eren's bangs, “If something really is bothering you come to me and I'll be willing to help you,” He stands up cracking his back in the process before exiting out.

Eren just groans and throws himself back on his bed, curling up into a ball. The only thing bothering him right now that he could no way go up to his dad about was Levi. The weird feelings he has at nights just thinking about it sends a panic in his body. Every time he closes his eyes he sees his face, his daring eyes burning into his soul and sometimes if he thinks about him way too much he swears he could smell his scent near him. It drove him crazy and he hates to admit what this is leading to. It is definitely leading to something he was afraid of. This is a big problem and shouldn't even be needing to be a problem. How is he going to go on like this? How he is going to even tell Mikasa if worse comes to worse.

Being the inexperience idiot that he is he had to even look up online what the signs were. When he did he is left speechless because they were all true.

If his father wanted him to go up and tell him what's been bothering him he certainly cannot do so as he is officially falling for his Quantitative Literature teacher known as Levi Ackerman.

 

Chapter Text

Levi walks through a mess of fog with the swift of his black cape hovering behind him. His fangs shine in the light that casts over his face as he walks toward a table. He could have felt badass and thought it was actually nice to be in a vampire costume with his hair slicked back if it isn't for the cheesy Halloween songs playing in the backyard as well as a bunch of teenagers scrambled up in costumes with him. Halloween night came in a heartbeat. All the staff including Levi rushed to decorating the gymnasium all morning. It didn't look bad to Levi's taste.

He arranges the cups full of red punch on the table. Hanji and he are on punch duty for the night. Doesn't seem too bad as it doesn't involve socializing with others besides with Hanji, but Levi can handle her if she doesn't bother him too much.

“Levi you look amazing!” Hanji shouts out at him with arms waving out, “I did such an amazing job!” Levi turns around to be met with not her usual face but a pumpkin head instead.

“What the fuck?” Levi steps back to take another scan, “Hanji, what the fuck!”

“You know we can't swear in front of students, right?” She crosses her arms and leans on a hip.

“Hanji, what are you- There's a pumpkin on your head.”

“Well duh, I'm the one that put it on.”

“But it's a fucking pumpkin. An actual pumpkin,” He raises a hand to feel it but she swaps it away.

“Yeah! I wanted my costume to be more realistic,” She points at herself revealing her white lab coat which is the only costume she's wearing. Levi couldn't keep his eyes away from the enormous pumpkin that her head is in.  

“How did you get your head inside?”

“Measured. It was a big mess to clean that's for sure.”

“You went through all that trouble just to slide a pumpkin on your head?”

“I take Halloween very seriously, Levi. You should know that by now.”

She is right. Even when they were younger Hanji went out of her way to make her costumes phenomenal. She was the one to choose who was going to be who for Levi and Erwin. He has to think she did have some...unique ideas.

“Anyways, ready to give out punch?” She grabs a cup to have one for herself. Levi would have snatched it away saying it's for the students but instead he has one for himself as well. He is oddly in a good mood at the moment and he hopes it lasts the whole night being stuck in a sweaty gym.

Moments later Mikasa enters the gym in a deep red dress for a  witch costume with laces as sleeve up her pale arms. Her eyes search the crowd for any known faces of their friends. Her dark lips turn into a small smile when she sees someone walking her way to her.

“Annie,” She crosses her arms when the blonde approaches her, “Great minds think alike?” She looks down at Annie who is also a witch but with a purple gown and high waisted boots that made her look taller than she really is.

“Hey, guys!” Jean runs up to them holding onto a hat. Connie and Sasha join along. They were twinning which was very much expected. They came in wearing egg costumes with devil horns. A very punny joke.  

“Where are Eren and Armin?” Sasha leans on Mikasa's shoulder. Careful not to rip her sleeves apart.

“Armin is not doing so well with the crowd so Eren is calming him down,” She sighs, “They will be here soon.”

“Have you seen the others yet?”

“Not yet, but I can see why Armin isn't enjoying this,” Jean fans himself with his straw hat, “It's hot as hell in here.”

“Nice pun,” Sasha chuckles.

“It wasn't supposed to be but thanks.”

“We are here!” They all turn at the familiar voice to see Eren running to them with Armin's hand in his.

“You guys look so cute!” Sasha squeals jumping up to see their costumes more closely.

The costumes were last minute as they had a tough time finding one they favored. Armin is a scarecrow which they stuffed straw up his flannel that is the likely reason why Armin's face is all red. Mikasa was the one to find the straw and when Eren asked where she got it from she never answers his question and moves on.

Eren, on the other hand, decided a few days ago what to be for Halloween that took lots of time going to store to store just to find what he needed. He dressed up as a character from his favorite childhood film, Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. He has on face paint of a Skeleton that Mikasa did well on along with the iconic outfit over his slim body. His hair is sticking out on different places but Armin said it honestly made him look more attractive. He felt confident in it as well. It's better than what Connie wanted his costume to he which was a skimpy costume they tricked Eren to buying.

“Thanks,” Armin breaths out.

“What are you suppose to be?” Eren looks over to Jean.

“Isn't it obvious? I'm a farmer,” He smirks running a hand through his hair before placing the hat back on his head. He wore run down overalls that Eren died to make jokes about.

“Why are you a farmer?”

“Cause Marco and I are matching!”

“Marco is here?” Eren peaks behind Jean to see the freckled man in somewhat of the same outfit walk towards with a giant smile. Everyone except Jean runs up to him giving a group hug. Eren careful not to smear paint on his outfit hugs tighter against Marco's chest. It felt as if he hasn't seen him for years.

“You guys all look amazing,” Marco finally speaks through the mini crowd around him. They all pull back to only pile him with questions about life in college.

But right when Eren was about to ask he gets pulled by Armin away from the gathering.

“Armin, are you alright?” Eren places a hand on his forehead feeling how hot he is, “You need a drink?”

“Yeah, that would be nice,” Armin nods frantically. Eren takes his friend's hand before informing Mikasa where they are heading. He enters the crowds of students standing in groups talking over the loud music. His cyan eyes wonder for the table where they sell fruit punch. There has to be one as they always leave them out at every school party.

“There's gotta be a fruit punch stand somewhere.”

“We are going to that instead of a water fountain?” Armin calls out.

“Armin, the table is closer than going out to the hallway to find a water fountain,” Eren says with a bit of irritation. With no one stepping aside when asked politely to move got Eren boiling inside. He holds Armin's wrist tighter when swerving past large groups. Unfortunately, he has to have run into a certain group of people that boils his blood even more.

“Oh look here,” Eren's chin is being lifted up suddenly to be face to one of the players of the football team. One that has been getting on his last nerve and no matter how many times Eren has complained to Reiner about stopping him, he never gets around to it.

Eren smacks the hand away, “Can you please move?”

“Where are you going?”

“Eren,” Armin crawls up next to him, “Let's just go.”

“Oh hey guys,” Reiner comes up to lean an arm on his teammate. Brad, a name so simple but held disgust to him.

“Why aren't you guys dressed up?” Eren examines the team which only wore their usual uniforms.

“We are! We are football players.”

“Halloween is for dressing up as something you're not.”

“Well, it's better than whatever you're supposed to be,” Brad pokes a finger to Eren's chest.

“At least I put effort into mine. Now, will you excuse us?”

“Sure, I guess, but,” He leans down to the brunette’s ear to whisper, “I have a very important question.”

Armin watches Eren's face soon turn into anger once hushes are said. Whatever it was that was said must really have done it to Eren as he pushes the other away and pulls Armin with him.

“What did he ask?” Armin asks but Eren just shakes his head.

“It doesn't matter, I'll talk to Reiner about it later.”

“Okay.”

...

Armin is chugging down his fourth cup of fruit punch. Eren stands in front of him sending Mikasa a quick text that they found their destination. Armin throws the empty cup into a trash bin nearby, wiping his mouth away.

“I still don't feel so well.”

“Hm,” Eren looks up at him after putting the phone away, “Maybe it's your...maybe it's this,” He pulls out a straw that stood out from Armin's sleeve, “This is probably what's making you hot. I think Mikasa went a bit overboard.”

“You think?”

“Let's just take some out,” They both start pulling out some from Armin's flannel. A small scatter of it piling the floor underneath.

“Better?”

“Much better?”

“Excuse me? What's with the mess?” Eren shots up and Armin's head snaps to see Levi standing behind the table.

He wasn't there before? Eren has thought to himself.

“Mr. Ackerman?”

“Yeah? I don't look that much different.”

“Oh no, it's just…” Eren shyly looks at him. He looked different in a way and it could be how his hair is slicked back with one strand of a bang dipping in the front. He looked good, but more than good.  Eren could stare much longer but something inside him stops himself. He couldn't...it's definitely something he shouldn't be thinking or doing.

“Yeah?” Levi asks.

“Nothing. You look good as a vampire,” Eren quickly complements. He turns to Armin finding his sleeves less filled of straw, “You feeling alright?”

“Yeah, I'm alright.”

“What happened?” Armin looks once again to Levi noticing the question is aimed at him.

“I got a bit flustered from the amount of straw up my sleeves.”

“Who's idea was that?”

“Mikasa,” Eren answers for him, “She thought it would look...cool.”

Levi shrugs. He grabs the bowl of fruit punch and starts filling up new cups and lining them up in rows. Eren is acting weird. It only has been a few seconds of him standing in front of him, but Eren seemed to be not feeling himself.

“Found ya!” Mikasa arrives from the crowd, “I found a way to get through the crowd. Just step on their toe and they'll move out of the way,” She says with a smirk, “It works with heels definitely.”

“That's nice, Mikasa,” Armin fans himself.

“You seem better? We found a place to stand away from the crowd. Let's go,” She drops an arm around Armin.

“Uh, Yeah,” Eren glances back at Levi filling up cups. Another bang of his slips out to the front of his face as he leans down more, “I'll catch up with you guys later.”

“You sure?” Mikasa asks with confusion. She goes to Levi's face then Eren's.

“Yeah, I'll be over there in a couple of minutes.”

“Alrighty.” She moves over with Armin at her side. Eren knows they were now talking about him but he could care less.

“You don't have to be here, Eren,” Levi speaks up, “I can handle it myself.”

“Actually, I'm just here to keep you company!” 

“I'm okay, go with your friends,” His eyes find his way to Eren. Even behind the face paint they seem to stand out even more.

“I feel bad though. You're alone.”

“Well, Hanji is supposed to be here but she got called out for a different kind of duty.”

Eren nods at him and Levi just knows this kid will not budge

“So, what are you supposed to be? a skeleton?”

“Don't tell me you don't know who I am?” Eren gasps, “I thought you would know since...well you know?”

“Are you calling me old? I already told you my age and I'm not that old.”

Eren laughs, “No, I'm just a bit shocked you don't know who I am!”

“Well, can you tell me then?”

“Have you seen The Nightmare Before Christmas?”

It takes a second before Levi nods, “Oh, you're that skeleton, right?”

“So you've seen the movie?”

“No, but I heard of it?”

“Gosh, that kind of hurts.”

“I read more than I watch.”

“Figures,” Eren turns around to lean his back against the table. Levi gives him a stare down at the back of his head.

“Are you judging me?”

“No, not at all,” Eren answers between a smile that Levi could hear clearly. He grins shortly shaking his head.

...

Students come and go out of the gymnasium. Messes of empty cups and streamers from above are poured out all over the floor that every staff member in the building is dreading of cleaning up.

Without track of time, Eren has spent most of it talking to Levi about unnecessary topics. It happens so often that Levi is use to them and follows along. In all honesty, Levi thought it is kind enough of Eren to stick around but at the same time, he felt bad for taking away Eren's time. He should be with his friends not him. Many times Levi has asked Eren to leave but he wanted to stay. He lets him without wanting to create an argument.

The time spent with them being together, Levi has noticed something off of Eren. Whenever they stop talking he would wander off, not physically. He would stare down at his feet or either just stare at the decorative lights above. Levi even notices the flush color on his cheeks and a rush of worry fills in his stomach. He's a teacher so he should be looking out for his student.

“Eren,” He asks, waiting for the teen to look at him, “You look awful. Are you coming down with something?”

“I do feel kind of dizzy…”

“Why don't you step outside then? Or go to your friends.”

“I'll be fine.”

“Don't be an idiot. Go step outside,” Levi keeps pushing him to start walking.

“Then will you come out with me?” Eren turns quickly to face him. Levi looks over at the table where most of the cups are taken, but since the party is slowly dying down he sighs.

“Yeah, let's just go before you pass out on the floor.”

The two walk out of the building into the crisp night. Levi requires Eren to sit on a bench at the side of the building as he leans against the wall. Eren leans the back of his head on the wall behind him, sliding in more into the wooden bench. The air felt nice and cooled down his cheeks. Usually, he is quick to become cold, but not right this instant. He takes a deep breath in and out filling his lungs up with the typical fall scent. It smelled like burning wood and it certainly calms him down even more.

“You smell that?” Eren sniffs the air one more time before letting out smoke from his mouth.

Levi turns his attention to Eren.

“Smells like fall doesn't it?”

“Yeah.”

The pounding of music is heard on the other side of the wall faintly, but along with it comes with the ruffle of trees every time a wind blows over which makes the scent grow stronger.

“Mr. Ackerman?”

“Yeah?”

“You should talk to Mikasa.”

He looks away, using his cape to wrap around himself.  

“I know I shouldn't budge into your business but… I can tell it hurts her,” Eren leans over to rest his elbows on his knees, “We may not be blood-related but I still care for her like a sibling. I know it's affecting her, she just doesn't want to admit it.”

“I thought she didn't want to talk to me.”

“That's what I mean by her not wanting to admit it.”

“I...I don’t know.”

“It's okay. I understand.”

“Thanks,” Levi spoke under his breath.

It's silent between them but it is a comfortable silence. Levi would catch Eren closing his eyes and his head tilting to the side. He swore this kid is always sleepy near him.

“Don't fall asleep on me again, Jaeger.”

“Sorry,” He slurs out, “I just haven't been sleeping well.”

“Still?” Levi walks to him only to sit on the other side of the bench, “Are you...alright?”

“Yeah...just been rough the past couple of days,” Eren looks down to his shoes, “Just the usual.”

“If it's affecting your sleep…” Levi stops himself. He as well shouldn't be getting into his problems but...it is the right thing to do, “Eren, what's going on?”

“Levi, it's fine.”

“It's obviously not fine. Every student I come across saying “it's fine” is definitely not fine. And you used my name.”

“It's just the usual struggles of school.”

Levi leans forward to get a look of Eren's face. His eyes were full of tears.

“Home...has been rough and then...just dealing with school drama.”

“School drama?” Levi doesn't recall seeing Eren get picked around at all, but then again he only sees him in the classroom and occasionally in the halls.

“It's nothing...just nothi-” He breaks down into a small sob. Another worry and panic erupt in Levi's stomach so he does what needs to be done. He hesitantly lays his arm across Eren's back giving him a side hug. The brunette leans in closer for comfort and Levi's body goes stiff. The shakes of the other's body actually breaks his heart apart. He has seen students cry before and there were times where he felt awful about it, but this time Levi felt horrible. Could it be because of how close they've gotten?

He pulls Eren in even closer and gives him a squeeze.

“It's...okay,” Not the right thing to say but he is officially lost of words.

He sobs some more but with every passing minute it quiets down to just sniffs. Levi pulls away to tug the cape off of him.

“Here,” He wraps it around Eren hoping it would work.

“Thank you,” He hears him whisper.

“If you really need to talk about it I'm here for you, Eren,” He slowly rubs small circles on his back like he once did back when Eren felled asleep in his classroom, “Don't be afraid to come to me.”

Eren nods, “Thank you,” He wraps the cape tighter around him.

“I'm so glad to have a close relationship with a teacher,“ He uses his arm to wipe his nose, knowing his makeup is smeared,

“The teachers in the past were so terrible. I was even afraid to ask to go to the restroom,” He chuckles breathly.

This does something to Levi. He can't describe it but having a student trust him felt great. As many times he's mentioned in his head he still finds the feeling amazing.

“I'm glad,” He comes up with not knowing what else to say. He feels a vibrate in his pants and searches for his phone to see a text from Hanji about asking where he was. Feeling bad to interrupt they had to be inside soon.

“Eren.”

“Yeah?”

“We have to go inside.”

“Oh.”

“We can talk when we return back to school, but go spend time with your friends, okay?”

“Yeah.” Eren gets up with Levi and follows him to the front of the building. Before entering he stops when realizing he still has Levi's cape wrapped around.

“Wait, don't you want your cape back?”

Levi faces him, “You can keep it. I won't be needing it again.”

“Ah, okay.” They walk inside through the main entrance and down a hall to the gym. Before they could make their separate ways Levi places a hand on the boy’s shoulder.

“Happy Halloween, Eren,” He speaks gently before walking off.

Eren smiles to himself as he tugs the cape closer to his body. He starts to travel through the crowd to his friends knowing there will be many questions having to be answered, but he didn't mind.

Now he'll just focus on having fun before panicking in his room tonight. Breaking down walls between Levi and his left Eren respecting him more and more. Levi really is just an amazing person once you get to know him. He even is starting to look up to him.

He just hopes this stupid crush would soon vanish before it leaves a mess.