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To See With Sound

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Eren POV

 

Even if Eren couldn’t see, his other senses made up for it. His hearing was incredible and he seemed to have a sixth sense of when something was about to hit him and he acted with fast reflexes. One of the things he enjoyed most was food, to taste every ingredient that was put into something. This, of course, led to his love for cooking. He could find ingredients by smell and touch, and regularly cooked for his family. It also led him to meet one of his best friends, Sasha. She loved to eat, and she was far more obsessed with food then he was. Thankfully her appetite matched her cooking skill as well. Every weekend she would come over with Armin and they would make a feast. Those were the best days of Eren’s life. Happy memories, happy family. Now, everything was different.

When Eren was seventeen his mother died. Yes, died. Not passed away, or joined God, she died. Brutally. Armin and Eren had been the ones to find her. Later, Eren forced Armin to tell him what he saw. The front door had been bashed in and things were broken and torn off walls, it looked like a tornado went through the place. She was in the living room, on her back with her throat slit open. There was blood everywhere, on the floor, on the walls, on the furniture. On her. The killer had also slashed at her chest and arms. But it was the throat cut that killed her. The cops concluded it as a robbery/murder and closed the case. Eren always thought it was something more than that, nothing was taken, just destroyed, and the way she looked and was killed almost seemed personal. No one believed him anyhow. "It's just grief."

One year later his Dad remarried. A woman named Mary who came out of nowhere, along with the wedding. She had a daughter named Mikasa who became Eren’s stepsister. He hated his stepmother because he couldn’t help feel like she was trying to replace his mother. He felt guilty about it, but he couldn’t help it. He chose to avoid her in fear of saying something he would regret later. His relationship with his father was a lost cause, it had been ever since his mother died.

However, after a few months, him and Mikasa grew really close. They clicked almost instantly. He tried to avoid her like her mother but she pursued after him relentlessly. She told him that her father was murdered when she was around ten years old. And, like Eren, she had found the body. Once her mother had grieved she trained and studied to become a police officer, which is what she is today. That’s how their parents met, when Grisha was brought in for questions after his wife’s murder. Eren felt sick after hearing that, thinking his father never really grieved at all. If he ever cared.

Armin and Sasha had stuck to him through all those months, keeping him from falling under. Now, he was attending college as a freshman two hours away from home, in Sina. Mikasa, Armin, and Sasha followed him there. Armin, being the genius he is, got a full ride scholarship. Mikasa got a half scholarship. Eren and Sasha had gotten partial scholarships and took out loans. Armin chose to study computer science, Mikasa chose athletic training, and Eren and Sasha, of course, chose the culinary arts.

Luckily Eren was able to room with Armin while Mikasa and Sasha had strangers. Of course, they were stuck in the freshmen dorms. Eren couldn’t wait until they got their own place.

They had just hauled all their crap up to the third floor and found their rooms. Mikasa was four doors down while Sasha was a floor above them. Armin had dragged Eren excitedly to their room. Armin threw the door open and ran inside. Eren was a bit behind, dragging his hand on the wall and counting the doors from the elevator. Seven. And the number on the door was 308. Eren heard Armin shuffling about the room.

“Eren, right or left side?” He shrugged.

“You pick.”

“I’ll choose the right, then!” Eren stepped forwards, leaning his walking stick next to the door. He hated the stick, hated it for labeling him. It did have its perks though, like people getting out of his way, or helping him around, or letting him cut in line, etc. Eren stretched out his hands the side and got a feel for the room and obstacles in his path. He had a bed, dresser, and nightstand with a lamp on it. On the back wall in the middle was a window. His hand found another dresser and he stopped, finding Armin’s side of the room. He counted his steps from the window to the hall and back to his bed. He found his closest which had no curtain, basically a hole in the wall. However, his closet jutted out farther then Armin’s. His hand rounded the corner to find another door.

“Armin?” He heard Armin come over.

“Surprise! We have our own bathroom!” Eren raised an eyebrow. “Most rooms share a bathroom, four people to one, but we are in the corner of the building so it’s just ours!” He clapped his hands excitedly. Thank god for no communal bathrooms, those would have been the death of him.

“I assume you had something to do with this?” Eren smiled.

“Well I might have hacked the database and changed the random room assignment a bit…” Armin chuckled. Eren shook his head.

“Thanks.” There was a knock on the door followed by heavy pounding.

“Come on guys, I’m hungry!” Sasha pounded the door harder. It fell silent suddenly.

“Guys, I’ve got her! Hurry up!” Mikasa called from outside. Eren retrieved his cane and let Armin open the door. After not hearing any tackling he went out as well. Sasha was whining nonsense.

“I didn’t know someone could get so excited for school food.” Armin remarked.

“No, college food! And plus, it’s food! Gotta try everything! Right, Eren?” Eren followed their voices, his hand again trailing from door to door.

“Yes, we do have a rule to try everything. But I’m sure after one taste you will be running to the kitchens.” Sasha grumbled but fell silent. That’s one thing he hated about the freshmen dorms, besides the fact they were freshmen dorms, is that they have only one kitchen per floor. And everyone shares. Eren, of course, brought all his own cooking ware, but he dreaded to find what state the kitchens would be in if he dared go and cook something. He had made a pact with Sasha that every time he went she would come as well.

“Speaking of cooking in kitchens, do you want to do something each weekend and hang out?” There was a tentative silence. After his mother died their weekend cooking stopped. Eren smiled.

“Yea, I would love that.” He heard a sigh of relief but didn’t know who it came from. It was Thursday and they made plans to go grocery shopping the next day and cooking on Saturday.

They ended up eating at Chick-fil-a and vowed to never return. They headed back to the dorms and Eren could hear Sasha skipping joyfully beside them.

“I don’t know how you can move so much Sasha..” Armin groaned. “I’m afraid if I let go of my stomach I’ll barf…” Sasha cackled.

“That was only the first! There are so many other places!”

“Count me out.” Mikasa chimed in.

“Ugh, me too. What about you Eren?” Armin wove his arm with his. Eren’s mouth twitched into a smile at his friends antics.

“Maybe that one place was just bad.” Sasha cheered and grabbed Eren’s other arm.

“You and me buddy, we will explore college food together!” Eren folded his cane and stuck it in his pocket. He didn’t need it since he had his friends guiding the way. It was almost routine for them; at least one person would hold his arm and lead Eren around anything in his path and towards their destination. He trusted his friends completely and let himself be led. It made him feel normal sometimes.

“Oohh! Look, a coffee shop!” Sasha crowed and began pulling Eren off to the right. Armin had stopped and Eren found himself in a tug of war.

“Sashaaaaaaaa, let’s go back…” Armin whined, pulling Eren the other direction.

“I’m up for some coffee.” Mikasa chimed in.

“Traitor…” Eren laughed at Armin and tugged him along as Sasha led them over.

“What’s it called?” He asked. He inhaled the smell of coffee beans and sighed. He lived for coffee.

“The Corps? What a strange name…” Sasha read the name but mispronounced it, causing Eren to think she called it something else.

“The Corpse? What the fuck?” Armin busted out laughing.

“Nono The Corps, c-o-r-p-s. Sasha said it wrong.” Armin corrected.

“Not my problem it’s not pronounced the way it’s spelled…” Sasha huffed. Eren heard the bell above the door as they entered. Armin was still giggling and muttering “corpse” under his breath. Eren elbowed him in the side making him shut up. He could still fill tremors through the other boys arm on his. Eren inhaled deeply again.

“It smells good in here.”

“Uh-huh.” Mikasa agreed. They led him to the counter and listed off their orders, Eren going last so someone could tell him what was offered. He leaned over to Armin.

“What’s the special?”

“Caramel Macchiato.”

“Yuck. I’ll just have a coffee frappuccino then.”

“Mmk.”

They were told that their drinks would be up shortly. Mikasa and Armin went to reserve a table while Sasha and Eren waited for the drinks. Eren didn’t like to be handed things but he was fine with carrying them over, and he would have two free hands as long as Sasha showed him where to go.

He crossed his arms and leaned against the counter where Sasha left him. She had squealed something about pastries and muffins a couple feet away and ran off. He could practically hear her drooling from where he waited.

He heard movement from behind the counter and turned his head towards it. The person said nothing so he looked forwards again. A deep, velvety voice spoke behind him.

“Hey, brat. These drinks yours?” He turned his head again, feeling a frown form on his face.

“That depends. What are the names?” He heard a snort.

“What, can’t read?” Eren, used to this, didn’t take offense. He merely raised his eyebrow, still looking in the direction the voice came from.

“Humor me.” There was a stretch of silence and Eren sighed. He turned a bit.

“Sasha! Come ‘ere.” He heard a “Oh goodness!” And the pattering of feet.

“Armin, Sasha, Mikasa, and Eren.” The voice said sarcastically. Sasha was at his side seconds later.

“Yay! Coffee!” She pressed two drinks, one hot and one cold, into his hands. Before they could leave the barista stopped them again.

“Oi, brat. Can you really not read?” Eren felt Sasha stiffen beside him.

“Hey, listen you jerk-” Eren cut her off.

“Sasha. Forget it.”

“But-” He raised an eyebrow again and she grumbled, lacing her arm with his. “Fine, fine.” Eren chuckled and followed Sasha to the table.

 

Levi POV

 

He was insanely bored. Or insane. Most likely both.

“Damn this job.” He muttered to himself. It was a slow day in The Corps Café, which was surprising since the first day of college would start up soon. The filthy brats were probably still moving in. He looked around the empty café and the work space. He had cleaned everything more than ten times in the past hour already and couldn’t find a speck of dirt. Which was unfortunate. He sighed and sat on a stool behind the counter and pulled out his phone. At the moment he unlocked it he heard the bell above the door and someone giggling. Cursing under his breath he stood and stepped forwards. He scanned them over without really looking. Four people, four drinks, assuming everyone ordered. Once they paid he turned and made the drinks, waiting until all four were done before setting them on the counter. There was a brunette leaning his filthy ass on his counter, his back to him. Levi grimaced. At least I have something to clean now…

“Hey, brat. These drinks yours?” The kid turned his head, frowning at him. Levi frowned back.

“That depends. What are the names?” Are you fucking serious? He snorted and glared at the brunette.

“What, can’t read?” Levi quipped. The boy just cocked an eyebrow. That’s when Levi noticed his eyes. He paused and really looked at him. Brown hair, ruffled in a semi styled, semi just-got-out-of-bed way, emerald eyes, a simple black tee, and dark jeans. But it was his eyes that stood out the most. Levi had never seen eyes that green or that shone so bright. Only, something was off. The kid wasn’t really looking at him. It was odd, it was like he was looking at Levi but also at the same time wasn’t. Levi shrugged it off and pushed it from his mind.

“Humor me.” Levi intensified his glare. You have got to be fucking kidding me. He wasn’t in the mood to play with the brat. So Levi remained silent, his arms crossed. The brunette finally sighed and subtlety rolled his eyes. He turned around again and called out to the store.

“Sasha, come ‘ere.” A girl looking at the desserts ran over with an apologetic expression on her face. But before she reached them, Levi "humored" the brat.

“Armin, Sasha, Mikasa, and Eren.” he listed the names off sarcastically. Who else would they be? There were only a few people inside and no one came after them. Was the kid pulling a prank on him or intentionally making his day worse? His thoughts were interrupted.

“Yay! Coffee!” Levi frowned at the over exuberant girl who reached and grabbed two drinks, pushing them into the kid’s hands and grabbed the other two. The brunette didn’t even look at them. They were about to leave and for some reason Levi didn’t want that. He wanted to look at the brunette more. So he blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

“Oi, brat. Can you really not read?” The effect was instant. The boy looked amused but the girl froze. Sasha if he remembered correctly. Sasha turned and sent him a glare. But Levi, the king of glares, wasn’t affected by it at all.

“Hey, listen you jerk-” The boy looked even more amused and cut off his feisty friend.

“Sasha. Forget it.” Levi glanced over in surprise. The brat didn’t seem insulted at all. Levi was tempted to ask why on earth he was on a college campus if he couldn’t read, but decided to bite his tongue instead.

“But-” The girl protested. The brunette cut her off with a raised eyebrow and a pointed look. “Fine, fine.” She conceded and proceeded to weave her arm with the kid’s. They left a bewildered Levi behind them.

He shook his head and returned to his stool, his phone in his hand once more. His phone didn’t hold any interest to him anymore. His eyes were constantly being drawn to the brunette. Not long after they were seated at the table Sasha got into a heated discussion and was gesturing his way. The brat looked amused again and reached for her arm, almost missing. The other two at the table were a black haired oriental girl and a petite blonde boy. The girl turned and sent a rather impressive glare his way. He responded by raising his brows.

“Not bad.” He muttered to himself. Her glare intensity nearly matched his. But not quite. After a while they seemed to calm down. The black haired girl kept sending occasional glares. But the brunette didn’t look his way. At all. And that pissed Levi off.

He was tempted to go over to get his name, but when he stood another customer walked in. Levi sent a glare at the new person who faltered in the door. They ordered and Levi made it as fast as possible. Once the customer left Levi looked over to the table. It was empty.

“Fuck.”

 

Eren POV

 

Saturday came fast and early. Sasha was pounding on their door at the crack of dawn. When Armin finally opened it she rushed in and jumped on Eren’s bed.

“Ereeeeeeeeeeeeen! It’s time!! Let’s go make food!” Eren groaned and rolled over, rubbing at his face.

“What time is it?”

“It’s nine!” Eren heard Armin groan and get back into bed. He sat up groggily.

“Nine in the morning? Seriously? We don’t need to make dinner for another couple of hours…” Sasha bounced up and down on the bed.

“But Ereeeeeeeeen, we need to plan on what we are going to make!” He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. Might as well.

“Fine. I’m up, I’m up.” He grumbled. “Wait outside the door and then we can go to a study room.” Sasha squealed and ran back out, slamming the door behind her.

“She’s crazy.” Armin muttered sleepily and yawned. “Wake me up for dinner.”

“’Kay.” Eren stripped and changed into clean boxers before stepping over to his closet. He didn’t know what color looked like, but he had requested dark colors. Mikasa said she got him blacks, browns, and a few blue shirts. Armin told him the ocean is blue. Eren wants to go to the ocean one day, breathe in the salty air and feel the water and enjoy the wind in his hair. He rarely wears the blue.

His hand trailed across the shirts at the hem, where a tag covered in braille rested. It told him whether it was black or brown and what was on the shirt. He chose a black tee with the Daughtry band logo on the front. His favorite band and one he was lucky to attend the concert of. Hearing them sing live and feel the beats in his bones was one of the most thrilling experiences he’s ever had.

Next he threw on the nearest pair of jeans and grabbed a notebook off his desk. He left his cane and found his way to the door. Sasha was impatiently waiting for him outside. She grabbed him right away and dragged him off down the hall.

They made a list of ingredients they bought and planned out a simple dinner. Crispy Italian Chicken with juice or soda and a side of mashed potatoes. They finished in an hour. Eren managed to keep Sasha contained by planning out the next two meals, what ingredients to buy, when and where to get them, and how they were going to get there. It was painstakingly slow until it was the afternoon. Eren almost cried in relief.

“Sasha.”

“Hmm?”

“It’s time.” She gasped and shot out of her chair, the legs screeching.

“FINALLY!”

By the time dinner was finished a bunch of curious students were drawn by the “heavenly smell”. No one minded the extra people but soon enough all the food was gone and many people were turned away disappointed.

However, Eren and Sasha agreed to make more next time if people RSVP’ed with them before hand as well as chip in for the ingredients or bring drinks, desserts, etc. People eagerly agreed and wrote their names and numbers down on a scratch piece of paper.

One boy, named Jean, stuck around after the meal to hang and talk. He seemed like an ass to Eren for some reason.
“You guys are becoming quite popular around here already.” Jean remarked. “Or, your food I should say.”

Sasha chuckled. “The people aren’t so bad either.”

“Definitely not…” Jean had a husky tone to his voice. Eren heard Armin snort beside him and leaned over.

“What’s going on?” He whispered in Armin’s ear.

“He hasn’t taken his eyes off Mikasa since he arrived.” Armin whispered back. Eren frowned. He didn’t like the idea of Mr. Pompous flirting with his sister. Armin seemed to notice and he leaned over again. “Don’t worry. She’s been mostly ignoring him.” Eren frowned even more. “She hasn’t smiled at him once.” He felt his face smooth out and he sat back, relieved. Mikasa is careful with displaying her emotions, she thinks that listening to someone’s voice is the better way to figuring out their emotions. Armin had told him that she keeps her face carefully blank at all times and only smiles when she is around their trio of friends.

Eren thought Mikasa was very expressive, but then again he could pick up on emotions through voice far easier than most people. He heard footsteps stop behind him and he tilted his head.

“Are you alright?” Mikasa said in his ear, concerned. He smiled at her.

“Yea. I just don’t like the tone Jean is using with you.” He heard her laugh.

“Don’t worry about that dunce. He’s so stupid he hasn’t realized you’re blind.” Eren was surprised at that but, again, not offended. Most people noticed after a half hour. “He keeps sending glares and haughty looks your way.” Eren chuckled.

“Why?”

“Probably because I’m leaning over you and whispering in your ear. Also, you made a horse comment earlier.” Eren furrowed his brow in confusion.

“Why would he be offended?”

“He has a long face.” Armin, who was following the conversation, leaned over and whispered.

“He has a horseface.” Eren tried to hold in his laughter, he really did. He failed. He broke out in giggles, Armin joining in soon after. He heard Mikasa huff quietly behind him. She leaned in close again.

“A smile and a kiss for you, brother.” He felt her soft lips on his cheek and he grinned. Armin was still giggling beside him.

“Ohmigosh his face… he’s turning purple!”

People left soon after that, Eren and Armin returning to their rooms.

 

Levi POV

 

Three days. Three fucking days. The green eyed brat hadn’t come back to the café. Levi sat in his apartment, trying to sketch. He was far too pissed to really accomplish anything. For the past couple of hours he had been trying to draw the brunette but he could never get his face quite right.

Levi owned a nice apartment in a secluded place not far from campus. He was a junior and he had a car. Oh, the privileges. But there was no way he was staying in a filthy dorm infested with germs. He always shuddered at the thought. It wasn’t too expensive, either. His mother had left him a large inheritance. He didn’t need to work but he chose to because he wanted the account to last a long while. That, and art supplies were damn expensive.

He grumbled and regarded his failed attempts. He gave up and closed the sketchbook, deciding to spend some time cleaning. As he sprayed every inch of the kitchen with disinfectant, he heard his phone go off. He only looked at the text once he was finished.

From Hanji
6:33
Have you seen the cutie again yet?

Levi frowned and typed back a reply.

To Hanji
6:54
No.

From Hanji
6:55
OMG WHY NOT? Let’s go out tomorrow and hunt him down!

Levi rubbed his forehead grumbling.

To Hanji
6:55
I really should not have told you, Shitty Glasses. I work tomorrow so shut the fuck up about it.

From Hanji
6:56
OOOH PERFECT! I’ll go to work with you tomorrow! I’ll keep an eye out for him too! If he doesn’t show I’ll come with you the next day too!

To Hanji
6:57
You are NOT coming to work with me. Ever.

From Hanji
6:57
AWW Come on Leviiiiiiiiii!! You know I’ll come anyway!

Levi ignored the latest text and sat back on the couch. His phone went off. And again. And again.

“Fucking glasses…”

From Hanji
6:59
I’m stll coming Levi. What time do you work?
Levi?
Levi?
Levi?
Levi?

To Hanji
7:04
I’m taking a shit, leave me be.

From Hanji
7:04
What time Levi?
Levi?
Levi?
Levi?

Levi gripped his phone and nearly threw it across the room, cursing under his breath.

“Fine!”

To Hanji
7:08
3:00 in the afternoon.

Levi turned off his phone and grabbed the remote. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.

Chapter Text

Eren sighed and dragged a hand down his face. He was in some boring class he had to take for his basic requirements. Psych 101. The only good part of it was that Armin is with him.

Eren sighed again and shifted lower in his seat. There was constant noise that was covering the professors voice: music, whispers, bags of chips crunching, snoring, etc. Armin chose the sit near the front, as always, so Eren couldn’t take a nap. The professor didn’t really seem to care about what students did in his classroom, he was only there because he had to be. Eren felt a finger poke his side.

“You should pay attention.” Armin whispered in his ear. Eren groaned.

“Why?? The quiz questions are straight out of the textbook.”

“Don’t you want to ace this class?”

“You don’t have to put in effort to ace this class…” Eren muttered. There were barely any quizzes and everything was online, so that meant open textbook, open notes, and open internet. Easy peasy. Eren’s eyelids dropped and his head began to drop forwards. He felt another finger poke his side.

“Armin…” He whined.

“If you pay attention I’ll buy you coffee.” Eren sat up eagerly.

“Coffee??” Armin chuckled quietly beside him.

“Yes. I will buy you coffee if you pay attention.” Eren slowly smiled, leaning in closer to his friend.

“If you buy it for a week.” He heard Armin huff.

“Three days.”

“Five, including today.” There was a stretch of silence.

“Fine.” Eren silently cheered, raising his arms but quickly put them down, worried about drawing the professors attention. Eren leaned forwards in his seat and listened for the rest of class.

Eren has excellent memory when it comes to something he has heard, kind of like taking notes in his head, since writing them down is nearly impossible. Of course there was technology that could type in braille and whatnot, but it seemed to much trouble and effort to Eren. So he trained his mind to retain information he’s heard, but only once he has gone into a certain mind set.

Half an hour later and class finally ended. Eren bounded up from his seat, waiting for Armin. He bounced eagerly on his feet.

“Coffee?” He heard a sigh next to him as Armin took his arm.

“Polly want a cracker?”

“No, Eren want a coffee.” Armin laughed and led Eren out of the classroom. They took a shuttle to the edge of campus. “Where are we going?” Eren asked.

“To the coffee shop we went to last week.”

“The Corpse?” His sarcasm earned an elbow in his side.

Eren heard a familiar bell jingle above his head as they went into the café. He smiled and breathed in, slow and deep. Armin snorted.

“You know you look like a pot head when you do that?” Eren shook his head with a smile on his face. He was about to reply but paused when he heard a loud, unearthly squeal somewhere in front of him.

He heard an“OHMYGAWD” which was followed by a rather loud smack and a yelp of pain. Eren leaned sideways.

“What the fuck is going on?”

“The barista has a female friend behind the counter, she was the one who squealed, and the barista was the one who smacked her.”

Eren cocked his head, confused. “She’s staring at you like she wants to eat you while the barista-” Armin paused.

“The barista what?” Eren frowned at him. Armin started giggling.

“The crazy lady wants to eat you limb by limb while the barista wants to eat you in a different way entirely.” It took Eren a few moments. Then he felt his face flush and warmth spread from his face to his ears and neck.

“Armin!” Eren elbowed his friend in the ribs. He pulled Armin forwards a step to give him a hint. Well, this is awkward. While Armin rattled of his order and Eren’s, Eren really only got one thing, he fell into thought. It’s been a while since anyone had been interested in him romantically. He had a girlfriend his freshman year of high school, but it didn’t last more than a month. There wasn’t much emotional attachment, both were just experimenting really. Both called it off on equal terms with no hard feelings. After that, rumors went around that Eren was gay and most people avoided him like the plague. The girl felt bad, thinking it was her fault somehow and offered to pretend they were still dating, for appearances only. Eren turned her down. He didn’t mind being called gay, but he was upset with how people treated him. Eren didn’t like only girls, or only boys. He liked whoever he wanted to like based on their personality and who they are as a person. One of the things he can proudly say is that he doesn’t judge someone by their looks, for obvious reasons. Therefore, looks and gender really have nothing to do with attraction in his opinion.

Armin led Eren over to the counter to wait for the drinks, ignoring the whispering and not so quiet growls of “shut up” coming from behind them.

“Well…” Armin started, a peculiar lilt in his voice.

“Armin…” Eren warned, having a feeling he already knew where this was going.

“I’ve got to run to the bathroom. Grab the drinks when they’re ready?”

“Armin!” Eren snapped, reaching for his friend. With a laugh Armin evaded him and his footsteps began to fade. “Fucking…” Eren muttered, not finishing the sentence. Oh, he wanted to. He really did. But the sound of soft footsteps and a throat being cleared behind him caused him to pause.

 

Levi POV

 

Five days. Levi was almost giving up on the brat. But every time he heard the damn bell he jingle his eyes would shoot to the door, only to feel disappointment crash through him when a stranger walked through. There was a lull in customers and Levi found himself leaning against the counter, arms crossed, and fingers tapping impatiently on his arms. He heard a giggle and sent a glare.

Hanji was sitting on a barstool on the other side of the counter. Her head was propped in her hand and it was tilted, a huge grin on her face as she regarded him. She giggled again.

“You have it baaaaaad, Levi.”

“Shut up.” He muttered. His gaze went to the floor, the perfectly clean floor. He sighed. He remembered two male names from the cups. So the brunette was either Eren or Armin. Strange names… He sighed again. Which fucking name?

His thoughts finally drifted from the green eyed brat to his upcoming assignment. He had to paint some sort of landscape. Pretty simple, no special requirements. He had the supplies. The only problem? He had no motivation or inspiration to do it.

He was so lost in his thoughts that, for once, he didn’t hear the bell jingle. But he heard Hanji’s squeal. By God, he heard it. Levi jerked his head up to send her a glare but he froze half way. Standing in the entrance were two more customers. It’s him. His heart jumped in his chest, causing him to frown. Shut up! He thought to his heart. You’re not some love sick puppy!

As Levi gazed at the boy a gust of air left his mouth that he didn’t realize he was holding. Hanji gasped and ran around the counter, throwing her arms on his shoulders. He smacked her upside the head.

“Is that him?!” She whisper shouted in his ear. He flinched away from her, shoving her off.

“Shut up!” He hissed.

“Is it?!”

“Yes! Shut up!” He shoved Hanji again. “Get back around the counter! You’ll contaminate the place!” Hanji was no longer paying attention to him. She was gazing at the brunette, a wild grin stretched across her face. A low chuckle started that only Levi could hear. He rolled his eyes and shoved her one last time before giving up.

His eyes went back to the two standing at the door. The brunette was leaning over whispering to the blonde with a frown on his face. The blonde was giggling and looking their way. Suddenly, the brunettes face flushed red and his eyes went wide, Cute… Levi couldn’t help but think. He shook his head. Get a hold of yourself!

Hanji was still chuckling like a mad man beside him. He elbowed her over to stand in front of the cash register. They moved forwards and placed their order, again with the names Armin and Eren. The blonde ordered so Levi was still unsure about who’s name was what.

Levi turned to make the drinks and Hanji sprawled herself across his back.

“Leviiiiiiiiiiii!” She drooled in his ear. “He’s so cute…”

“Shut up.” He growled at her.

“Look at dem eyes… And dat ass…”

“Hanji… Shut up!” She leaned in even closer, making his skin itch.

“Did you see his hands…” Levi whirled on her, spraying whip cream into her face.

“Shut.Up.” Levi glared at her. Cackling she raised her hands and backed off around the counter once more, giving Eren an obvious look over as she passed. Levi smacked a hand to his forehead. Thank God the boy didn’t notice. Hanji stretched over the counter and whispered, a little more seriously.

“Did you notice something about his eyes?” Levi frowned over at her.

“The color?” Hanji raised her eyebrows and smirked, shaking her head.

“Oh Levi… Maybe you should use that brain of yours sometimes.” She frowned and put a finger on her chin. “Or maybe the paint fumes killed it…” Levi sighed and turned his back, electing to ignore her. I can’t understand half her ramblings anyways…

The drinks finally finished, Levi brought them over to the counter. The boy was alone and not paying attention. Levi set the drinks down and cleared his throat.

The brunette jumped slightly and turned around.

“The drinks done?” Levi stared at him. Seriously? Obviously they are done idiot… Levi paused, searching his eyes. They were looking a bit to the left of Levi and they were unfocused. Levi brought a hand up slowly and waved it slightly. No reaction. The boy shifted, uncomfortable with the silence. Levi lowered his hand. No way. No fucking way. He heard Hanji begin to giggle once more behind him.

“You can’t read.” He bluntly said, finally putting the pieces together. The boy looked amused.

“Ah, you again.” Levi’s eyes widened.

“Did I say that out loud? Oh shit.” The boy laughed and held out his hand.

“I’m Eren.” Levi froze, his breath catching in his lungs. Finally. He had a name.

“Eren.” He rolled the name off his tongue and grasped Eren’s hand, not even thinking about the germs that could be on them. “I’m Levi.” Eren nodded and crossed his arms.

“So the drinks are done, then?” Levi couldn’t stop staring. Why hadn’t he seen it before?

“You… You’re… I mean, you can’t…” Levi paused, unable to actually ask the kid. Eren just smiled.

“Yes. I’m blind.” There was no bitterness in his tone but Levi felt guilt rush through him.

“Ugh, shit, jeez… I mean, I’m-” God he couldn’t even speak anymore. Eren chuckled.

“Took you long enough.”

And with that the tension broke and Levi felt himself relax. He grabbed the two drinks and held them out.

“Here are both the drinks.” Eren stretched his hands and Levi pushed the cups into them, their fingers grazing for a second. Levi held his breath until Eren pulled away.

“Thanks.” He grinned at Levi and turned. His blonde friend, no doubt Armin, appeared a second later as if by magic. Levi narrowed his eyes at him. Armin turned and sent him a wink.

“Didn’t realize you were so obvious, eh Levi?” He hadn’t even heard Hanji sidle up behind him. Delivering a heavy blow with his elbow he turned to wash the counters. Hanji looked smugly at him.

“So. Eren.” Levi nodded, his mouth twitching. He recalled her comment earlier and looked over.

“You knew he was blind?” Hanji grinned.

“It was rather obvious if you actually looked.” Levi frowned at her and resumed scrubbing the counter tops.

“I don’t think it was that obvious. He doesn’t have one of those walking thingies.”

“Of course you didn’t notice right away. You were distracted by his ass.” Levi groaned.

“Hanji… Shut up…”

After finding nothing else to clean or stock Levi resumed his post at the counter. Now that he knew Eren was blind he could stare away with no guilt at all. Levi looked at his ruffled hair and traced his strong jawline with his eyes before moving to stare at long fingers that were wrapped around the cup. Levi felt his face flush and he looked away. He caught Hanji scrutinizing him.

“What?” He hissed at her. She grinned.

“Go get his number.”

“No.”

“You know you want it.”

“Of course I want it, Shitty Glasses. Does he even have a phone?” Hanji looked thoughtful at that one.

They were interrupted by a tap on the counter. Levi looked over to see the blonde boy, Armin, with a smirk on his face. He pushed a napkin over to Levi. He grabbed it and looked down. A number was scrawled in the corner under the name Eren. Levi glanced at Armin with his eyebrow raised.

“It didn’t seem like you were going to ask so I figured I would help.” Armin grinned at him, glancing over his shoulder to make sure Eren wasn’t listening. Eren was waiting in the booth still, a phone in his hand. Levi frowned looking to Armin. “He texts by speaking to the phone and having it read to him the message.” Levi nodded. Technology. He looked at the number again, suddenly unsure. Armin leaned in.

“Just tell him I gave it to you, he’ll be mad at me. Plus,” Armin shrugged, stepping away, “He could always use more… friends.” Armin turned and went back over to Eren, grabbing his arm. Levi’s eyes followed them out of the store. His hand tightened around the napkin and Hanji laughed at him, enjoying herself far too much.

I’ve got it bad.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

Beeep. Beeep. BEEEEEEEEP. BEE- Eren’s hand slammed down on the alarm clock effectively shutting it up. With a groan he rolled back over. After a couple minutes he sat up and reached around for his phone. Finding it, he slid open the lock screen, prompting it to tell him it was:

“Eight o’ three in the morning” in an annoyingly cheery voice. He groaned at the inanimate object.

“Email.” He muttered to it.

“No new emails.”

“Damn.” He could always hope a professor would cancel class. Like that would ever happen. He sighed and began getting ready for school. He heard Armin snoring softly across the room, being able to sleep in since they didn’t have psych today.

He had to take some anthropology class comparing food to culture. It sounded interesting but the professor had a low droning voice that had the effect of putting the entire class to sleep.

Eren dressed simply, grabbing a random tee but covering it with his hoodie. Armin said it had their school logo on it; a forest green color with blue and white wings on the back and the name on the front. Whatever.

Still half asleep, he left his room, his walking stick in hand. He took this class alone, Sasha refused to wake up early, so he had to use it.
He arrived to class fifteen minutes early. He pulled out his phone and raised it to his mouth.

“Mute.”

“Phone muted.” He would turn it back on afterwards. Eren folded his stick and tucked it away, pulling out a book from his backpack at the same time. His fingers skimmed over the braille as he waited for class to start.

He had already visited all of his professors to explain why he would not be taking notes and be staring off into space. Most of them were very amenable, offering extra services and later due dates. Eren had declined them. Just because he is blind doesn’t mean he should get special treatment in everything. He didn’t really think it was fair. Plus, he liked a challenge.

The professor came in and Eren was forced to put his book away. Not that he was really focused on it anyways.

The rest of the day crawled by and Eren was exhausted by the time he was back in his dorm room. He fell down on his bed face first, groaning into the pillows and causing Armin to laugh.

“Rough day?”

“Yes…” Eren shifted onto his back. “It’s less work then high school but somehow more tiring…”

“It’s more mentally exhausting because of the sudden shift of scheduling. You have more breaks but are-”

“Armin.” Eren interrupted. Armin chuckled.

“Sorry. By the way… have you gotten any texts recently?” Eren frowned, recalling who he’s talked to in the past few hours.

“No. That’s odd… I’ll message Mikasa.” Eren pulled his phone from his back pocket and opened it up.

“Open texting. Mikasa. How are you?”

“Message sent.” Eren plopped his arm back down, the phone resting lightly in his hand.

“Thanks for reminding me, Armin.”

“Uh. Sure.” Eren cocked his head at his tone. It was somewhat awkward.

“What’s up?”

“Nothing.”

“Really.” Eren deadpanned. “I can hear it.” Armin sighed.

“Just some trouble with a new friend.” Eren shot up in bed.

“Really? You made a friend?”

“I can make friends!” Armin scoffed. Eren was going to push the matter further but a pounding on the door stopped him. “I got it.” He heard the bed creak as Armin got up.

“Armin!!” Sasha screeched. Eren heard Armin sigh again. “Is Eren here?”

“Yep. He’s all yours.” Uh oh. Soon enough his bed was bouncing as Sasha jumped on. An arm was thrown around his shoulders.

“Eren! I want you to meet my new friend, Connie.” He heard a shuffling of feet in front of him. “Connie, this is Eren.” Eren held out his hand and felt someone grasp it soon enough. They had a strong grip. He smiled.

“Nice to meet you, Connie.”

“Likewise.” A light voice, like honey, replied. Sasha bounced the bed again.

“And Connie, that is Armin.”

“Connie what?”

“Armin!” Sasha scolded. Sasha and I knew where he was going with this. Poor Connie had no clue.

“Springer.” Armin hummed and his bed creaked as he retreated to his laptop.

“Armin…” Sasha warned. Eren leaned over to Sasha to distract her.

“Sasha, are you going to invite him Saturday?” She gasped, turning her body to him, pulling at the sheets.

“Can I?” Eren snorted.

“What kind of question is that?” Sasha jumped up.

“Connie!! Want to come for dinner on Saturday? Here? We are making it a weekly thing and you need to bring something to chip in and sign up on a sheet and it’s really fun cuz both of us cook and it’s our majors and-”

“Sasha…” Eren sighed and interrupted. She shut up so fast she choked. Connie just laughed at her much to Eren’s relief.

“Sure, why not? What do I have to bring?” Sasha squealed.

‘I’ll go grab the sheet!” Eren thought for a bit.

“I need to call the people who signed up to see if they are still coming and what they are bringing. For now, think of drinks or dessert.”

“Alright.”

“Here, sign this, name and number.” Sasha told him.

After a couple minutes of idle chatter, the two left, filling the room with a sense of peace once more. Eren was still seated on his bed.

“Sooooo?” He asked.

“So what?” Armin replied in a sarcastic tone.

“What’s the news on this Connie guy?” Whenever a new friend was introduced to their group, Armin had a habit of looking them up. He hacked into police and school systems to get the information he wanted.

Armin chuckled at Eren.

“You used to try and get me to stop.” Eren shrugged.

“Yea, well, that didn’t work. And now I’m curious.”

“Alright, let’s see… He graduated high school with B and C grades. No suspensions. But… he does have three speeding tickets and a minor thievery case.”

“Ooh a rebel.”

“I think he’s clear.”

“Okay.” Eren smiled.

His phone beeped. He lifted it and pressed a button, the soft voice filling his ear.

“One new text from… Mikasa. Press three to continue.” He pressed it. “Working out at the gym. You?” Eren smiled. Typical Mikasa.

“Who was it?” Eren frowned again. Strange. Armin almost never asks.

“Mikasa.”

“Oh.”

Eren shook his head and raised the phone to his mouth after pressing a button to reply.

“Of course. Tempted to take a nap. Send.” He fell back onto the bed once more. His phone beeped again.

“One new-”

“Yea yea.” He muttered, skipping ahead by pushing buttons.

“But it’s four in the afternoon.” Eren chuckled, he could almost hear the sarcasm through the text. He set his phone down and stretched his arms above his head, closing his eyes.

 

Levi POV

 

Levi sat on the couch, phone in hand. He was done with classes and basic homework for the day and no more excuses to wait. Erens number was open and his fingers hovered over the keyboard. He hesitated and typed out “hi”. He frowned and deleted it. “Hello”. Grumbling he erased that too. “Hey, I don’t know if you remember me, Levi, from the coffee shop. Your friend Armin gave me your number.” He stared at it.

“Fuck!” He deleted it as well and threw his phone on the coffee table. He crossed his arms and leaned back into the couch.
After pondering for a couple minutes, he sighed in defeat.

“I have no choice, do I?” Levi lamented as he grabbed his phone once more.

To Hanji
3:52
I need a favor.

His phone went off almost immediately.

From Hanji
3:53
YOU NEED CONDOMS?

“Motherfucking…” He muttered.

To Hanji
3:53
NO. I don’t know how to text Eren.

From Hanji
3:53
YOU HAVEN’T TEXTED HIM YET?

To Hanji
4:04
Obviously not.

From Hanji
4:04
Alright, don’t get your panties in a twist. Let me think

Levi sighed in relief. Hanji might be… eccentric… but when she really puts her mind to something she can accomplish a lot. A couple of minutes later had him reaching eagerly for his cell.

From Hanji
4:09
Keep it casual. Start out with hey or something and introduce yourself. If he asks tell him you got the number from Armin. Also invite him to coffee at the end of your next shift.

Levi frowned.

To Hanji
4:10
All in the same sentence? Say hey, introduce myself, and invite him to coffee?

From Hanji
4:10
Yes but keep it casual, don’t make it seem like date. I KNOW. Say you want to apologize for being so rude earlier.

To Hanji
4:10
You’re a genius.

From Hanji
4:10
I know :P

Levi took a deep breath and opened up a chat with Eren again. Here we go…

 

Eren POV

 

“Eren.” A sigh.

“Eren.” Eren groaned and rolled over.

“Shut up, Armin. I’m trying to sleep.”

“It’s not even five! And if you sleep now you’ll screw up your sleeping schedule.”

“I don’t care.” Eren mumbled into his arm.

“Eren.”

“Whaaaaat.”

“Your phone went off.”

“I’ll check it later.”

“I think you should check it now.”

“If I check it will you shut up?”

“Yep, for a bit.” Armin chuckled.

“Thank god.” Eren flopped his arms around trying to locate his phone. Eventually the inside of his forearm hit it. He raised it to his ear.

“One new text from: unknown.” Eren frowned.

“That’s odd.”

“What?” Armin sounded excited.

“It’s from someone unknown.”

“Ooooh?” Armin crowed. Eren sighed at him and pressed the button.

“Hey Eren. It’s Levi, the barista from The Corps coffee shop. I wanted to apologize in person for my rude behavior the other day. I’ll buy you a coffee or two as an apology the next time you come in.” Eren slowly turned and sat up.

“Armin.”

“Who was it?”

“I think you know.”

“YES!” Armin cheered. “Finally!”

“Armin!!” Eren whined. “How could you?”

“Oh come on! He wouldn’t stop eyeing you every time you went! Have a little fun!”

“Armin…” Eren sighed.

“What did he say?” Armin asked excitedly. Eren raised his hand to toss his phone at him but paused. If Armin got his hands on it who knows what he would say back.

“He said he wanted to apologize and buy me a coffee the next time I went.” Armin clapped his hands and laughed.

“Excellent! You going tomorrow?” Eren chewed his bottom lip nervously.

“I don’t know.”

“Aw come on! If you don’t like him you can just leave!” Eren still didn’t say anything. “You can tell Mikasa and she can come and walk you back if you decide to leave…” Armin prodded.

Eren shook his head. “Fine…” He grumbled, bringing up his phone. Armin cheered again.

“Sounds good. Do you work tomorrow? Send.”

“Open texting. Mikasa. Hey, I’m going to meet up with someone tomorrow, think you can come pick me up if things go wrong? Send.” Eren sighed and leaned back. Mikasa was the first to reply, with an “of course, just tell me the time.” Eren waited anxiously for Levi to text back. The second his phone went off it was pressed tightly against his ear.

“Yes I work tomorrow, from noon to four.” Eren went over his schedule in his head. Tomorrow he finished at two so he could make it.

“Okay, I’ll see you sometime after two. Send.”

Erens last class got out early and he hovered in the building. He debated on going over to the coffee shop now or waiting until the assigned (ish) time. He ran his fingers through his hair. Ah fuck it. He left the building and got onto the bus. It took him to the edge of campus and he pulled out his phone.

“Open maps. Directions for The Corps coffee shop.”

“The Corps coffee shop at 850 Titan avenue. Is this correct?”

“Yes.”

“Walk straight for fifteen steps.” Eren really loved technology. And this app. It was designed for blind people and measured distance in steps. It also told him how many buildings to pass, when a street was coming up, etc.
He arrived about ten minutes later and pushed through the door. He was greeted within seconds.

“Eren! What coffee do you want?” Eren smiled, relieved he was in the right place. He made his way to the counter.

“Coffee frappuccino.”

“Again?”

“All day every day.” Eren grinned when he heard a soft chuckle.

“Alright then.” Eren went over and waited in his usual spot by the counter. Soon enough,

“They’re done.” Eren smiled and held out a hand, feeling his cold drink pressed into it. He heard Levi make his way around the counter and pause next to him. Eren felt his hesitation and held back a laugh. He folded is stick and pocketed it, holding out his arm.

“Care to show me to a table?”

“Um, yea, sure.” Levi carefully took his arm, holding it lightly and tugging him forwards.

They sat down at a nearby table.

“So, uh, what are you going to college for?” Eren’s mouth twitched at Levi’s awkward attempt at conversation.

“The culinary arts.”

“Really?” Surprise colored Levi’s tone. “I never pegged you for a cooking type.”

“I’ve always loved cooking, the smells and tastes.”

“That makes sense.”

Eren rested his elbows on the table, a hand around his drink.

“Are you attending the college too?”

“Yea. I’m a junior in the art program.”

“Oh, that’s neat. What else do you do besides making coffee or art?” Eren tilted his head. Levi hummed and tapped the table.

“Watch t.v. mostly. Or waste time on the computer.”

“What shows?” Eren had obviously taken charge of the conversation, making it flow easier. He thought it funny that for all Levi’s gruffness he was awkward when it came to simple social interaction.

“Thinking something funny, brat?” Levi asked, interrupting his thoughts. Eren blinked, one side of his mouth turning up,

“Nah, sorry. Just thinking. Any shows you really like?” He could practically feel the skepticism and a glare being shot his way. He frowned at Levi and heard him scoff.

“Supernatural, Game of Thrones, and Hannibal.” Eren leaned forwards eagerly.

“Really?? I love Supernatural and I just started Game of Thrones.”

“Oh? Want to know what happens?”

“No!” Eren shouted, slamming his hands onto the table.

“Are you sure?” He heard humor lacing through his voice.

“No. Spoilers.” He said firmly.

“Everyone dies.”

“Gahhh!” Eren threw up his hands, exasperated.

Eren stayed for the rest of Levi’s break, which was surprisingly an hour long. Eren didn’t expect to hang around and actually enjoy Levi’s company. But he did. They were still at the table after his time was up.

“Levi, get your sorry ass over here!” Eren heard Levi turn in his seat and actually growl.

“I’m coming old man, a few minutes isn’t the end of the world!”

“No, but it’s the end of your pay, shorty! Date time is up!”

“Hey!” Levi sputtered. Eren just laughed. They both stood, Levi taking his empty cup from Eren.

“So… I’ll text you later?” Eren nodded and smiled at Levi in response to his question. Then he hesitated, hearing Levi move away.

“Hey, wait.” The steps paused. “This Saturday a bunch of friends and people from the dorm are coming to a dinner me and my friend are making. Are you free?” Eren tensed at the silence, shifting from foot to foot.

“Yea, sure. Text me the address.” Eren could hear a smile in his voice. He grinned.

“Alright! Awesome.” Eren pulled out his phone as he left, the grin still on his face.

“Open texting. Mikasa. I had a good time and I’m heading back to the dorm now. Send.”

“Message sent.” Eren followed the apps directions back to campus and took the bus the rest of the way.
The second he walked into his room he was bombarded with questions.

“So, it went well? Are you guys dating now? Why didn’t he come back with you?”

“Armin…” Eren threw down his stuff and pulled off his jacket. Then he plopped onto the bed.

“Yea. It went well.”

“Like… now you’re dating well or you’re leaving the shop smiling well?”

“No, we’re not dating… jeez. And… wait.” Eren sent a glare in the direction he hoped Armin was. “You didn’t.”

“Uh…”

“Armin.” Eren warned.

“Well… I might of hacked the security cameras across the street to check up on you…”

Eren dragged his hand down his face and flopped backwards with a gusty sigh.

“Although I appreciate your concern, if that’s what it even is,” He heard Armin scoff, “that’s kind of creepy.”

“It’s not like it was a date or anything, right?” Armin asked in a sly tone. Eren threw his arms into the air above him.

“I give up. I give up on your devilish ways.” Armin laughed at him from across the room. They were silent for a couple minutes. “I invited him to dinner this Saturday.”

“YES!” Armin cheered.

“Shut up.”

“You’re smiling.” Eren raised a hand to his face to confirm it. And yes, there was a smile stretching across his face.

“Shut up.”

 

Levi POV

 

Levi spent the rest of his shift on cloud nine. It went well. He thought it went well. The talking was easy once Eren took control of it, not once mentioning Levi’s awkwardness. Dinner. On Saturday. With a bunch of germy freshmen. With Eren.

He couldn’t wait to go.

Levi let himself into his apartment completely lost in his thoughts. He put his shoes neatly on a shoe tray and hung his jacket on a hanger. He wandered through the living room and into the kitchen, turning on the lights. There was a flash of lights and a maniacal grin that was illuminated. He gasped and jerked back, a hand over his heart.

“HANJI!” She began cackling, sitting on a stool at his counter. “What the fuck are you doing here?” He growled at her. She leaned over the counter, pressing her abnormally large breasts on his island. He glared at her. “Get those filthy water bags off my counter top.” She grinned even more.

“How is the progress with Project Eren?” Levi continued glaring at her, crossing his arms.

“Get. Out.” He gritted.

“No. Sooooooo how was it????”

“GET OUT.”

“NO.” He sighed and rubbed one eye with the heel of his hand.

“How the fuck did you get in here anyways?” Hanji sent him a sly look as one hand darted into her back pocket. In her hand was a key.

He stared at it.

“I don’t have any spares.”

“Remember that time you asked me to open your door?”

“Yea, and you didn’t give it back for like ten minutes.” Levi slapped a hand to his forehead. “Fuck.” Hanji giggled.

“I made an impression of it and made a spare for emergencies!”

“This isn’t an emergency!” Hanji straightened up and bounced on the stool. She patted the one next to her.

“Come, come. Tell me everything.” Levi finally gave in, but settled with leaning on the counter, keeping distance between them. Levi explained the what had occurred.

“Then he invited me to dinner with his friends on Saturday.” Levi ignored Hanji’s gasp and continued, “Apparently he’s making it a regular thing with people in his dorm.” Hanji clapped her hands.

“That’s so exciting! Coffee and dinner!” She leaned over into his personal space. “What are you going to wear?!”

“My usual casual outfit and there is no way in hell I am letting you choose.”

“Awwww, why not?” She pouted, slumping into her seat.

“If it was up to you, I would be going in an old man’s outfit or lingerie.” She cackled and shrugged her shoulders.

“Probably. So. Counting down the hours?”

“Fuck yes I am.”

Chapter Text

Eren couldn’t wait until Saturday. He had texted Levi the address and instructed him to message him when he was outside. The dorm is locked 24/7 and without an id that was already swiped, he wasn’t getting in. Eren would go down or he would send Mikasa. She wouldn’t do anything mischievous like Armin would. No, she would just be critical and blunt. Levi seemed like the kind of guy to be able to handle that. But Armin… He was left alone with Mikasa’s now ex-boyfriend for no more than a few minutes. Later, Mikasa found a good eight condoms tucked into pockets and waistbands. The poor guy didn’t even notice Armin placing them there. He was more ecstatic that he got free condoms though. So it’s a win win. But Mikasa was furious, and refused to talk to him for over a week.

“Eren.” Sasha’s voice called him out of his thoughts. He blinked a few times to clear his head.

“Yea, sorry. I got distracted.” He replied. He heard Sasha snicker.

“What were ya thinkin about, eh?”

“You and Armin both are going to be the death of me.” Eren sighed. He felt a nudge in his side.

“Were ya thinkin about Levi??” Sasha teased. Eren threw out an arm and smacked her on her belly. She grunted.

“What else do we need to get on the list?” He asked, diverting the conversation. Sasha jumped on it right away. Kind of hard for her not to, I mean come on. It’s food.
They were at the grocery store getting ingredients for the dinner the next day. Almost everyone on the list had answered with a yes. They managed to round up a good fifty dollars from people to get the required ingredients. The people who chose not to donate were bringing drinks or dessert or plates, cups, silverware, etc. Things are going smoothly now. Things would go smoothly later. Hopefully. Eren sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. Another nudge in his side.

“Hey, don’t worry about it.”

“Yea, okay.” He replied. Eren felt his phone begin to vibrate in his pocket. He brought it up to his ear.

“One call from: Dad.”

“Ignore.” Eren shoved his phone away. It vibrated again. And again. He gritted his teeth and yanked his phone out, turning it off. A hand on his shoulder.

“Is he calling again?” Sasha asked in a quiet voice.

“Yea.” He replied curtly.

“You ever going to answer him?”

“No.”

They finished shopping and checked out at a somewhat decent price. There were a lot of bags but they managed to divvy the bags between the both of them, even with Eren holding his cane.

“Ughhh there’s so many…” Sasha whined next to him as they started walking back to the dorm.

“Get a car.” Eren countered.

“But I can’t afford it…” She continued to whine.

“Go to the gym.”

“Erennnnnnnn.”

A comfortable silence fell between the two. They stopped conversation to save their breath and energy, they were going to need it. The store wasn’t too far from the dorm, it was right off campus. About a ten minute walk from their building. It really isn’t that long, but with heavy bags and weak arms the trip can feel so much longer.

“That’s it. I’ve stopped giving a shit. I will steal a cart next time.” Sasha panted. Eren chuckled at her, too out of breath to reply.

“Everybody does it anyways.” She continued. “It sucks being a law abiding citizen. I quit. I’m a criminal now.” She bumped her shoulder with his. “Want to join me in my spiral of criminality?” He bumped his shoulder into hers.

“Nah. I’ll stick with cooking food.”

“Amen!” Sasha shouted. “Eren, I’m hungry.”

“We’re almost to the dorm. Just wait a bit.”

“You dummy. Did you forget what we’re carrying?”

“Sasha, no! We need that for tomorrow.”

“But Erennnn.”

“Whiner baby.” Eren sighed.

Back at the dorm with the food stashed and locked away, mainly from Sasha, Eren was finally able to relax. He had the room to himself for a few hours, Armin was taking night classes. He took out his phone and turned it back on.

“You have: four new messages.”

“Yeayea I don’t care.” He would delete them later, but he was too lazy right now.

“You have no new text messages.”

Damn. Levi hadn’t texted him. Eren bit his lip. Should he text him? Or does he not text? Would he be annoying? Eren pushed the questions from his mind to deal with later.

“I’ll see him tomorrow anyways.,” He muttered to himself. There was a light knock on the door, just one light tap. Mikasa. She always knocked like that. That way, Eren would know if it was his father or her mother knocking and would choose to answer it accordingly. Eren debated not letting her in. He had a feeling he knew what she was here for. Another light tap sounded throughout the small room. He sighed and got up, opening the door a crack.

“What’s up, Mikasa?”

“You know what’s up. Let me in.”

“No.” He said childishly. Her sister would put a the most stubborn mule to shame. Mikasa sighed and shoved her way in, Eren not really putting up much of a resistance. He learned that lesson already. Eren had gone into a really depressed kind of phase and locked himself away in his room for days, refusing to come out and eat. It was close after his mother’s funeral. His father gave up first, followed by his stepmother, Mary. But every morning, afternoon, and evening there would be a light tap on the door and warm food waiting outside. After a while Mikasa got fed up with him and wouldn’t stop knocking. Just one tap after the other. For an entire hour. Then she kicked the door down. Busted the knob and cracked the wall.

Eren shut the door softly and turned, leaning his back on it and crossing his arms. He could feel a frown pulling at his mouth already.

“He called.” Yep. Mikasa. Straight to the point. Eren nodded. “When are you going to answer?” Not if. When.

“I’m not. So leave it be.”

“He’s your father, Eren.” Anger was leaking into her voice. They’ve had this conversation many, many times.

“That he is.”

“Why won’t you speak with him? I speak with my mother.” She sighed.

“You have a better relationship with her.” He gritted his teeth.

“Do you blame him for your mother’s death?” Mikasa asked in a raised voice, but not quite a yell.

Eren flinched. He didn’t like that reminder. He was content to run away from reality and just keep the happy memories. He felt anger boil within him. But everyone just loves to keep reminding him of it.

“No, I don’t.” He snapped. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Then help me understand!”

“No!” He yelled at her. A tense silence filled the room. He stepped to the side and opened the door. “We’ve had this conversation multiple times, Mikasa. It’s not going to change anytime soon.” Silence. Then a quiet growl and stomping feet. She left his door open. He slammed it.

And regretted it instantly. There were other people on the floor and the loud bang probably echoed far down the hallway. He made his way to his bed once more, grabbing his backpack.

After a half hour of trying to do homework, he gave up. He was in a really bad mood. He had already thrown his overpriced textbook across the room followed by his pencil and calculator. He ground his palms into his eyes and gritted his teeth. He could feel a head ache coming on. The meds are in the bathroom but he didn’t want to put effort into moving.

Eren felt like his head or chest was about to explode with anger, stress, and pain. And his math homework certainly didn’t help any. Usually when he was stressed, he would talk to Mikasa or Armin. He groaned and buried his head into a pillow. Then he grabbed more, piling them around his head. Then he screamed into them. Feeling a bit better he rolled onto his side and made breathing room around his face. Surprisingly enough, he fell asleep.

Only to be woken an hour later. Armin had gotten back and set his stuff down loudly. But seeing as that hadn’t woken him up he decided to come over and shake Eren’s shoulder.

“What.” Eren grumbled, head fuzzy from sleep. “Leave me alone.”

“Eren.” Another pull. Eren snuggled deeper into his pillows. “Eren, you need to set alarms and get ready for bed.” Eren pulled away from his grasp, mumbling incoherently. “Eren! Get up! Do you have any homework due at midnight?”

Eren shoved Armin away and slowly sat up, his hands rubbing his eyes.

“No, I don’t.” He muttered. He heard movement across the room and drawers being opened and closed.

“You going to use the bathroom first or second?” Armin asked.

“First. I won’t take more than two minutes.”

“Mmk. Mikasa talked to me.” Armin casually remarked.

Eren stiffened. He stood. Ignoring his friend he went over and locked himself in the bathroom. A couple of minutes later there were knocks on the door followed by a sigh. Eren was hiding in the bathroom and it didn’t take Armin too long to figure that out.

“I’m sorry, Eren. I know you hate talking about it and I’m sure you already went through it with your sister.” A pause. “If you ever do want to talk about it, I want you to know that I’m here.”

Eren finally relented and opened the door, walking out and finding Armin. Eren rested a hand on his shoulder.

“I know.” He said quietly. He hesitated. “Here.” He walked over to his dresser and grabbed his phone, turning and handing it to Armin. “You can listen to them, but when you’re done, delete them.”

“Eren…”

“I don’t want to listen to them. If you do, go ahead. If not, delete them anyways.” Eren turned and crawled back into bed, leaving Armin standing by the bathroom. About fifteen minutes later a quiet hand replaced his phone. Eren waited until Armin had went back to his side and heard the click of his lamp being turned off. Then he took his phone.

“No new messages. No saved messages.” Eren relaxed. Good. He honestly didn’t care whether his friend listened to them or not. He only cared that they were off his phone. Eren quickly set his alarms, yes alarms. He was a deep sleeper and not a morning person. He needed about four alarms. Some to wake him up over a period of time and one to get him up. Eren rolled over and fell asleep almost immediately.

 

Levi POV

Todays the day. The dinner with Eren. Levi was up early, unfortunately, and it left him too much time to do before he had to leave. So he cleaned. He cleaned his already spotless apartment from top to bottom. And it still left too much time. Five hours. So he put in a movie. But he couldn’t really pay attention. Every couple of minutes he was glancing at the clock. Urging it to go faster. He gave up on the movie soon enough. Four hours.

He pulled out his homework and managed to distract himself in it. Two hours. He tried sketching some more. Hour and a half. He got dressed. He chose to wear dark jeans that were scuffed and ripped and a black shirt that was buttoned halfway down. He combed and gelled his hair and applied the faintest bit of eye liner. He liked the look. Levi knew Eren couldn’t see, but it was his trademark look. Next, he debated on cologne. Would it be too much? Too strong? Would it not smell good? After a while, Levi just decided to skip it and wear simple deodorant instead.

He grabbed his pocket size hand sanitizer and sat back on the couch. One hour.

“Fuck it.” Levi muttered. It’s not the end of the world if he was there early. Maybe he could help. Well that, and see Eren cook. Hopefully. Plus, he was tired of waiting.
It took about a half hour for him to drive and find a parking spot somewhat close to the dorm. As he approached it he texted Eren to let him know he was here. Not even minute later he replied.

From Eren
5:37
I'm sending my sister down, I have to finish cooking up here.

Levi raised an eyebrow. His sister? He quelled the disappointment before it even got a chance to rise. A bit later, an Asian looking girl with dark hair stuck her head out of the door, looking around. They made eye contact. Levi raised his eyebrow once more as her eyes scanned him from head to toe. Her eyes narrowed.

"Are you Levi?"

"You must be Eren's sister." He smirked at her. She glared. She held the door open but let it slam on him when he walked in. They took the elevator up. The second Levi stepped out his nose was greeted with a very sweet smelling aroma. He inhaled deeply. God, it smelled good. He followed her to a room in the corner of the building, the kitchen apparently. There were a lot of people waiting at the tables inside but his eyes went straight to Eren. He was at the stove performing magic over food with another girl at his side. Sasha, he recalled. Levi stepped further into the room, not quite sure what to do. He contented himself with staring at Eren's ass. Sadly, that didn't last long. Eren's sister stepped in his view and nodded to an empty chair. Levi smirked at her and moved to a different empty chair. He leaned back and crossed his arms. Eren turned and faced the room.

"Mikasa, did you get him?"

Mikasa snorted.

"I'm not a dog, brat. I'm here."

Eren's head turned towards his voice and a grin broke out on his face. Bright like the sun, Levi thought faintly. Eren set down the utensils in his hands and began to approach him.

Chapter Text

Levi POV

Eren slowly approached him. Levi felt someone lean over and repressed a shudder. They were close. Too close. He turned to snap at them but paused when he saw Armin. Armin gave him a knowing look.

“Go to him, he won’t be able to find you easy in here.” Armin whispered.

Well, shit. He should have thought of that sooner. Levi jumped to his feet and quickly made his way to Eren.

“Hey.” He said, announcing his presence to the brunette. Eren stopped and smiled again.

“Hello. Have any trouble finding your way here?”

“No. Your sister was interesting though.”

Eren raised his eyebrows.

“Did she do anything?” He asked in a surprised tone.

“Actually, no. Just tried to be intimidating.” Levi replied.

“Tried? I think she is very intimidating.”

Levi chuckled.

“She is, in a way. Not to me. Most people find me intimidating.”

“Nah, I don’t think so.”

“Oh? Then how do you find me, then?” Levi asked with a raised eyebrow. He swore he saw Eren blush a bit. Or maybe that was just his hopeful imagination. Eren opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted.

“Erennn!!!!! I need help over here!” Sasha shouted over her shoulder. She also threw an apologetic glance to Levi.

“Oh shit! Coming!” Eren shouted back over his shoulder. He turned to Levi. “I’m sorry, I’ll be back.” Eren turned and made his way back to Sasha, who had an arm stretched behind her for Eren to find.

“Tch.” Levi muttered under his breath. He turned and made eye contact with Mikasa. He smirked, an idea suddenly coming to mind. He found Armin and swiftly walked over. Another boy with a buzz cut sat next to him at the table and an empty seat next to that kid. Levi leaned over Armin just like he had previously.

“A little help here, matchmaker?” He asked. Armin turned his head slightly, a smile forming on his lips.

“What can I do for you, Prince Charming?”

Levi tch’d again but decided to ignore the nickname. Touché.

“Where is Eren sitting?”

Armin smiled even more, teeth showing. He nodded his head over to the corner of the table. An empty chair sat at the end and a tense Mikasa next to it. Levi frowned.

“Can you do anything about guard duty over there?” Levi asked him. Armin chuckled and nodded.

“Back off a bit though.” Levi went opposite of Mikasa and waited with arms crossed. Armin raised an arm.

“Hey, Mikasa! Join me over here, don’t be a loner!”

Mikasa narrowed her eyes at him and glanced over at Levi, who acted non chalant.

“Why?” She asked. “I’m comfortable here.” Armin chuckled.

“Because guess who will sit in the empty seat next to you when he arrives?”

Mikasa’s eyebrows furrowed and Armin sighed.

“He has a horse face…” Armin prodded. Her eyes cleared and a disgusted expression came over her face.

“Oh.” She looked over at Eren.

“You can keep a better eye on him from here.” Armin said. That seemed to do the trick. She nodded and stood, walking around the table to sit on the other side of Armin. He turned to her.

“Mikasa, this is Connie.”

Levi tuned out there conversation and quickly took the now unoccupied seat. He snickered when Mikasa glared at him. She began to stand but stopped at Armins hand on her arm. She sent him a betrayed look and he just shrugged with a smile on his face. Mikasa remained seated but sent frowns his way every now and then.

Levi leaned back and continued watching Eren. His hands were flying everywhere; him and Sasha worked in perfect harmony. More people arrived and sat down, filling up the tables fast. Some people brought chips, drinks, and stuff to eat off of. Levi frowned. He didn’t bring anything. Was he supposed to?

There was a clapping of hands and everyone fell silent. Eren and Sasha stood side by side, facing the room.

“Dinner is ready!” Sasha announced, her arms thrown up in the air. Eren was grinning, his hands still clasped together from clapping.

“Please serve yourself!” He announced as well. There were cheers as people stood and formed a line. Levi grimaced but joined them.

Eren had already seated himself, with Sasha’s help, and had a plate of food in front. He did not begin to eat though, he sat and waited.
Finally, Levi reached the front of the line, grabbing a plate and fork. There was some sort of alfredo pasta with stuff in the sauce that smelled heavenly. There were also baked potatoes and dressings. And some sort of cold soup fruit looking thing. Once Levi had grabbed all that he wanted, he joined Eren at the table. Eren tilted his head towards him, a frown on his face.

“Not Mikasa.” He said. Levi smirked and turned his body towards him, not saying anything. Eren frowned more.

“Levi?”

Levi decided to break his silence.

“Congratulations. Took you only two guesses.”

“Yea, well, you seem to have a habit of being silent without a peep.” Eren smiled. Levi raised his eyebrows.

“Oh, really?” He drawled. “I can talk a lot if I feel like it.” He turned and began to eat, after placing a napkin on his lap of course. He saw Eren cock his head out of the corner of his eye.

“Well then, I can’t wait.” Eren started digging into his food as well. Levi paused, a fork halfway to his mouth. Then he hid a smile behind his forkful of food.

 

Eren POV

 

Things were going smoothly. Levi was here, the food turned out nice, a lot of people showed up… Somehow Levi was sitting next to him. He was sure Armin had something to do with it. He made a mental note to ask him later. A comfortable silence hung between them as they ate, but it was soon broken. Eren heard a quiet moan from the man beside him and he paused, suppressing a shiver from working its way down his spine.

“You can really cook. Damn. Makes everything in my house taste like shit now.” Levi stated in a serious tone. Eren flushed and kept facing his plate.

“Sasha and I make a good team.”

“Hell yea, you do.”

They resumed eating and Eren could feel a smile on his face, It wasn’t long before he heard the shuffling of feet behind him and a hand on his shoulder. Mikasa leaned down and whispered in his ear.

“Is the shorty bothering you?” She asked in a serious, semi annoyed tone. Eren struggled to keep from grinning. So. He’s short.

“Nope. Things are going great.” He whispered back. And he meant it. He was having a lot of fun and he enjoyed Levi’s presence. “How’s Jean?” Eren heard a deep sigh and then the sound of Mikasa walking away. Things were still a little bit tense between them, but hopefully it would go away in time. Eren decided to remember to tease her about Jean later. It seemed like he wasn’t backing off. Eren must have had an amused look on his face because he felt a light nudge in his side.

“Mind sharing whats so funny?” Levi asked, slightly leaning closer to Eren. He recalled Mikasa calling him short and turned his face away, hiding his expression.

“It’s nothing.” He tried to say casually. He failed.

Eren felt hot breath on his ear and heard a deep, velvety voice.

“You’re lying…” Levi whispered teasingly. This time Eren couldn’t prevent the shiver and it made Levi laugh softly. He heard him lean away, back into his seat. Eren really tried committing the laugh to memory. He really liked that laugh. He felt his face heat up. Shit.
The rest of dinner passed with small but casual conversation led by, of course, Eren. After dinner, everyone except Eren and Sasha cleaned up the food and washed the dishes.

People started saying their goodbyes and leaving the kitchen with full bellies and sighs of contentment. Eren heard someone approach him. He was beginning to recognize the soft footfalls of Levi. He smiled.

“Want me to walk you to the door?”

“How did you know it was me?” Levi asked incredulously. Eren held out an arm.

“I’m psychic.” He heard a snort. Levi carefully took Eren’s arm and led him out into the hallway. On the ride down in the elevator he turned to Levi.

“So. Next Saturday?” He asked tentatively. A hand on his arm tightened slightly.

“I’ll make sure I’m free.”

Eren grinned.

“You’re smiling like I just gave you a puppy.” Levi remarked.

“I’m smiling cuz I’m happy.” He replied. Levi remained silent until they were outside of the building. Eren could easily get back in with his id, he checked that he had it before he let the door close. They stood side by side, neither moving or speaking; neither wanting to leave.

Eren swallowed nervously, an idea forming in his mind.

“Spit it out, kid. You look constipated.”

Eren snorted, but then hesitated. He turned so his body was facing Levi.

“I, uh, have a question.”

“Obviously.” Came Levi’s sarcastic reply. Eren bit his lip.

“Can I see what you look like?” There. He finally asked. Eren waited anxiously.

“Huh?”

“Oh, right, uh… Can I, um…” Eren raised his hands a bit and wiggled his fingers. “See what you look like?” He asked again. He heard a soft “oh…” of realization. There was only silence. He jumped when he felt soft fingers encircling his wrist. They slowly pulled his hands down slightly. Levi placed Eren’s palms on his face. Eren hesitated once more, but then decided to just fuck it.

He let his fingers roam. Levi had a small nose and sharp cheekbones. His thumbs ghosted over closed eyelids and ventured down to slide over a soft and supple mouth. He could feel Levi shiver beneath his touch. Eren swallowed thickly and felt a blush begin on his neck and ears. Levi had soft skin and even softer hair that was kind of long and wavy. All in all, Eren’s fingers painted a very handsome face in his mind. Well, as much as possible. When he was done, he let his hands slide to their original position. Levi leaned into his hands the slightest bit and sighed gently.

Eren grudgingly removed his hands, dropping them down in front of him. He forgot that Levi was still holding his wrists, so when he dropped his hands they slide into Levi’s. Eren gasped slightly and jerked his hands back.

“Sorry.” He muttered. But before he could pull his hands back, Levi gripped them even tighter.

“Text me.” Levi said softly before releasing him and stepping back. Eren smiled and heard retreating footsteps. He was probably blushing like crazy. It was night though. It’s supposed to be dark, right? Maybe he didn’t notice. Eren turned and went back into the dorm. On the elevator up, he pulled out his phone and paused. He quickly sent off a text before he could lose his nerves.

To Levi,
10:37
Coffee tomorrow?

Chapter Text

Levi POV

Levi finally had his inspiration for his landscape project. It came to mind the second he got home after the dinner with Eren, his face still tingling from his touch. Even though it was late, Levi grabbed his supplies and settled down for a long night.

His brush stroked over the canvas, smearing a beautiful blue. Minutes later a little green was added to it. It was an emerald green color that covered more than half the space. It was the ocean. The color of Eren’s eyes lit up by a setting sun with a red tinge, the color of his lips. The colors mixed and shined, shimmering like happiness within eyes of a boy that wouldn’t leave Levi’s mind. The fading sky was free of clouds, free of melancholy as the rays stretched across. They seemed to be stretching to anyone who looked at it. To warm them up, instill a sense of contentment, a sense of protection and love.

His arm never wavered and neither did his softened gaze. Seven hours later all motion stopped and his body drooped. It was done. Levi stood, rubbing at his dry, irritated eyes, not looking at the painting. It was a rule he set for himself long ago. He would not look at it when his mind and hands decided it was finished. If he did, he would nit pick at it, change things, ruin things. He would look later. But early that morning, with the first rays of dawn creeping in, he was tempted to break his golden rule for the first time. But he didn’t. He crashed on the couch and set an alarm for an hour nap, leaving time for a shower before heading to his class.

Once he closed his eyes his mind zapped wide awake. He was exhausted and sleep deprived, but his mind had other ideas.

“Damn fucking insomnia.” He muttered, rolling onto his stomach. He is finally able to rest and he can’t fall asleep.

So he recalls last nights events. The delicious dinner and Eren. He thought about when Eren asked if he could “see” him.

“Can I see what you look like?” An eager yet anxious brat asked of him. Levi was utterly confused, isn’t he blind?

“Huh?” He managed to say. Not the most intelligent response, but oh well. Eren looked embarrassed and brought up his hands in a rush, stumbling over his words.

“Oh, right, uh… Can I, um…” Eren wiggled his fingers for emphasis. Ohhhhh. “See”. Levi understood now. The brat wanted to feel his face to “see” what he looks like. Oh. Levi could feel the blush spread over his face. He looked up at Eren, feeling a bit awkward. Eren looked like he was about to turn tail and run; maybe he felt as awkward as Levi. Or not. This is how he looks at people. Before either of them could make a decision they might regret, Levi reached up and gently grabbed Eren’s wrists. The brunette jumped at his touch and Levi cursed silently at himself. He pulled the hands down and set them on his face. He saw Eren swallow thickly before Levi closed his eyes, basking in the warmth of his hands.

Soft and gentle fingers danced over his face and a bit into his hair. Levi relaxed under his touch and shivered when a light touch stroked over his lips. Far too soon the exploring stopped and the hands rested back where he set them. Levi sighed and unconsciously leaned into his touch. The hands were removed and Levi opened his eyes, quelling his disappointment.

Eren dropped his hands, sliding them right into Levi’s. A shock went through his body and he heard a gasp and a muttered apology. Without thinking he gripped Eren’s hands tight, not letting him go, not wanting to lose their connection. Levi looked up into a surprised face. His eyes lingered on the lips so close to his. He hesitated, doubting himself. He resisted.

“Text me.” Levi told him, releasing his hands unwillingly. He missed the brats smile as he turned and made a hopefully not so hasty retreat. He had to leave. Now. Before he grabbed the brunettes shirt and yanked him down into a kiss. Levi returned home with doubts and desire swirling around in his mind.

Levi sighed and rolled onto his side. Half an hour. Half a fucking hour and he was still awake. After another couple minutes, he gave up. He decided to shower and eat breakfast in his extra time. It wasn’t until after he was dressed he noticed he had a text. He cursed his stupidity when he saw how much time passed. Coffee? Oh yea. With Eren? Fuck yea. Today? Hell yea.

 

Eren POV

 

Eren sat in class with Armin. He knew he was supposed to be paying attention, but he couldn’t care less. Their bet was already over and he got shitty sleep. He worried all damn night about the text he sent Levi. It’s been hours and hours with no reply. He told me to text him. And Eren did. But no reply.

He sighed and ran his hand through his messy hair. After numerous times of pushing fingers through the strands all morning it was unbrushable. He felt a poke in his side and held back another sigh. He was in a horrendous mood and was trying his hardest not to take it out on his closest friends. Eren slightly tilted his head towards Armin, hearing him lean up and over in his seat.

“You’re going to blow away the professor with all your huffing and puffing. What’s got your panties in a knot?”

Eren huffed out a soft laugh.

“My panties are not in a knot.”

“Oh? So you admit wearing panties?”

“Fuck. Armin… I DON’T wear panties for goodness sake…”

“You sure?”

“Actually no. Who helped me buy my under clothing last? If it was you there might be a slight possibility…”

“Stop avoiding my question, Eren.”

“Fuck.” Eren let out a sigh this time and frowned. He didn’t really want to tell Armin. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust his best friend, he was just very insecure with himself and he didn’t want to put Armin in that position as a consoler. Another poke to the side.

“Patience is a virtue, Armin.”

“With you it’s not. Is it about Levi?”

Silence.

“Bingooo. What’s the problem, Eren? He looked like he was going to fuck you over the table last night.”

Eren covered his gasp with his hand to muffle it, leaning back from Armin. He could not believe he just said that.

“Eren you’re blushing.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

Armin chuckled beside him.

“Too much?”

“I can’t believe you said that.” Eren was still in shock. He was trying his best to not imagine what his friend suggested. He didn’t want to pop an awkward boner in the middle of class.

“I hate you…” Eren mumbled.

“Soooo?” Armin prodded. Eren grumbled at him.

“Fine.” Eren ran a hand through his hair yet again. “He told me to text him, so I did, and he hasn’t replied or anything." Armin lightly smacked him on the forehead. Eren frowned and rubbed at it. “What the fuck was that for?”

“Because you’re an idiot. Maybe he went to bed early and hasn’t woken up yet. It’s still early in the morning.” Armin smacked him again but on the shoulder this time. “Fucking idiot. Don’t worry over it yet.” Eren leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms.

Armin didn’t even hesitate to smack him. He thought he was being an idiot right off the bat. Maybe it wasn’t something to worry about. Yet, anyways. Maybe he was being stupid. Eren relaxed and worked on pushing his worries out of his mind. He didn’t remember a word of the lecture.

The second class ended, Eren was pulling out his phone.

“One new text from: Levi.” He sighed in relief.

“Looking forwards to it. The Corps, 3:00?” Eren smiled.

“Reply. See you soon. Send.”

“See? I told you not to worry.” A voice spoke over his shoulder. Eren jumped.

“Armin! Did you hear it?”

“Of course not. The goofy grin on your face is obvious enough.” Armin scoffed.

“I don’t grin goofy.”

“Yes you do.”

“No I don’t!”

Eren grabbed at Armin before they parted ways. His arm snagged a shoulder and Armin paused.

“No creepy stalking me this time. Capiche?”

“Awww…..”

“Armin.”

“Alright…” Armin sighed. He slapped Eren’s shoulder. “Go get ‘em tiger.” Before Eren could retort Armin walked off. That sarcastic little shit. Eren shook his head.

The day dragged on and on. Eren made sure to pay attention in his next classes. The last thing he needed was to fall behind because he couldn’t stop mooning over someone for an hour or so.

Three o’clock found Eren trudging into the coffee shop like a zombie. He heard a heavenly chuckle surround him.

“Tired?” Levi asked. Eren grumbled, rubbing at his eyes. “Caramel frappicino?”

Eren smiled at the voice. “Yea.”

“Double shots of coffee?”

“Hell yea.”

Levi chuckled at him again before shuffling around and making his drink. Eren closed his eyes as he waited against the counter. He only opened them when he felt a gentle hand on his arm and the soft footfalls next to him. He raised a hand and his cold drink was soon pressed into it. He smiled at Levi again as he was pulled towards a table.

“So why are you so tired?”

Eren cocked an eyebrow at the man across from him. Levi starting a conversation? A light kick to his shin made him grin.

“Couldn’t sleep. What about you?”

“Not much better.” A slight pause. “Sorry it took so long to reply. I got caught up in one of my art assignments.”

Eren hid another smile behind his drink.

“What was the assignment about?”

“I had to paint a landscape.”

“Ah. How long did it take?”

“Seven hours.”

Eren choked.

“Seven hours?! Holy shit. You probably got less sleep then me.”

“Eh. Who knows.”

Both sipped their drinks in a comfortable silence for a bit. Although Eren was comfortable with being blind, there were some things he wished he could see. Like art. Or a smile. The lighting up of someones eyes as they laughed, or a sun setting. The glowing embers of a fire or the explosion of fireworks.

“What did you paint? Or draw?” Eren asked, curious. Levi cleared his throat and shuffled a bit.

“I uh, painted the ocean at sunset.”

Eren smiled softly. That was another thing he wished to look upon. The rolling and shining waves of the deep blue sea. Sea gulls flying above it and boats fishing out on the horizon. Eren has read all about the things in books, words describing sights he could not see. A gentle hand on his face brought him back to reality.

“Oh, um, sorry?” The thumb gently stroking the skin under his eye was impeding his ability to think clearly. Levi withdrew his hand, leaving his cheek cold and tingling.

“You spaced out there. Was it something I said?”

Eren ducked his head and rubbed a hand on the back of his neck.

“Kind of. It’s just that… Going to the ocean is something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I was a kid. Sorry about that.”

Levi’s foot tapped his under the table.

“Don’t worry about it.”

Eren smiled and tapped his foot back against Levi’s. He heard Levi shift and lean over closer.

“Hey, Eren, have you ever thought of playing music?”

Eren tilted his head in confusion. The thought hasn't occurred to him recently. When he was a child he was desperate to be able to create something beautiful. he couldn't paint or draw because of his sight.

“Not really. My mother tried getting me into playing a violin when I was young, but it didn’t work out. I couldn’t connect notes and the strings together in my mind.”

“And you haven’t tried since then?”

Eren shook his head. “No. Why would I?” He heard Levi stand. Eren frowned, completely confused with what was going on.

“Do you trust me, Eren?”Levi asked in a voice that sounded like he had a mischievous plan in mind.

Eren blinked up at where his voice was coming from. Did he? He barely knew Levi.

“Yes.”

“Ok then. I’m holding my hand out to you. Coming?”

Eren felt excitement bubble up inside. This was unexpected. This was daring. He was willing to place his trust in Levi, let him take Eren farther than just a small setting. Something he allowed only his closest friends and sister. Eren grinned and reached up a hand. Levi’s grasped his searching hand firmly and pulled him out of the seat.

“Hey, Petra-” Levi shouted over his shoulder.

“I’ve got the rest of your shift. Go have fun!” A soft and gentle voice called back. Levi excitedly tugged Eren out of the coffee shop and down the sidewalk. His hand left Eren’s momentarily to weave an arm through his before grabbing his hand once more. Eren relaxed and let Levi take him somewhere. Not much later they were pushing through a door into a quiet shop.

“Moblit?” Levi called out.

“Ahh, Levi! I haven’t seen you here in quite a while.” A pause. “Oh my. Who is this young man here?”

Eren raised a hand in a wave. “I’m Eren.”

“Oh.” Moblit said softly before walking over and grabbing his hand and shaking it. Eren raised his eyebrows. Looks like this man saw that he was blind almost instantly. “A pleasure to meet you.” He told Eren.

“Moblit.” Levi said, gaining his attention. “Can I use one of the back rooms for a bit?”

“Of course. Anytime.”

Levi was tugging at him again. He closed a door softly behind them, isolating all sound. Eren gasped slightly and turned in circles, marveling at the difference in sound. It was utterly silent in the room, not a spec of sound from outside. He reached out a hand and touched a wall. It felt weird.

“Sound proof room. No one can hear anything from the outside.”

Eren turned to Levi’s voice.

“Amazing.” He whispered. Levi laughed at him and grabbed his hand again.

“This isn’t what I wanted to show you.” He pulled Eren further into the room and sat him down on a bench. Levi then sat next to him, letting their thighs touch. He could practically hear Levi hesitate before he placed a hand over Eren’s. His hand was lifted and gently placed them on something cold. He pressed down, a note singing out.

“A piano?” Eren asked. “You know how to play?” Levi moved his fingers over Eren’s on the keys.

“My mother taught me.” He said softly. There was pain in his voice, a pain that was still fresh. Eren suspected that his lack of presence here, as mentioned by Moblit, had something to do with that freshness. Levi’s hand on top of his tensed. “Do you want to learn how to play?”

Eren bit his lip, pondering over the question. Could he really learn? Could he really create beautiful music and weave it through the air? Piano seemed like something precious and dear to Levi, and the fact he was willing to share it with Eren made his heart race. He flipped his hand and entwined his fingers with Levi’s.

“Sure.” He smiled and said just as softly as Levi had before. Levi squeezed his hand before tapping with one of his fingers, signaling for Eren to flip it back over. He did.

The next two hours went by quickly. Levi taught him a bit about the right hand, the treble clef part of piano playing. He learned the names of the keys, where they were. He learned about sharps and flats. He mapped out the piano with his fingers and how to press the keys down gentle or hard. Levi’s soft hand and voice guided him the entire time, completely patient with him. Levi taught him slowly and carefully in a way that Eren actually understood. Eren was so excited he was learning that when they were done he threw his arms around Levi without thinking. He realized what he did seconds later and a body tensing in his arms.

“Oh shit.” He jerked back. “Sorr-” Levi’s hands were cradling his face and a thumb rested over his lips, silencing him. He heard Levi shift and a leg brush his until he was straddling the bench and facing Eren. Eren could feel himself blushing, still unable to say anything. Levi’s thumb moved until both were gently stroking the sides of his face. Eren’s eyes drooped. The fingers left trails of fire over his skin. The motions stopped and suddenly Levi’s lips were on his. Eren tensed, surprised a bit. Then he relaxed into the kiss, his eye lids fluttering closed and his lips began to dance with Levi’s. One of his hands ended up weaving itself into Levi’s soft hair and the other rested on his chest.

They parted for breath and Levi rested his forehead on Eren’s. The thumbs resumed their soothing movement. Eren sighed and leaned into Levi. A thumb came down and brushed over his lips once more, following its curvature.

“You’re smiling.” Levi spoke quietly.

“Like you just gave me a puppy?”

Levi chuckled.

“Shitty brat.”

Eren’s hand was still behind Levi’s head, tangled in his hair. He pulled Levi in for another kiss that lasted longer than the first but was just as sweet.

Minutes later found Eren resting his head on Levi’s shoulder, face buried in his neck. Levi had his face resting on Eren’s head. Their arms were around each other. Eren sighed in contentment and Levi’s arms tightened and pulled him closer.

“You going to fall asleep on me brat?”

“Mmm.” Eren mumbled, his lips brushing against skin. Levi shivered.

“I should take you home.” He whispered into Eren’s hair. Eren nodded reluctantly. They untangled from each other and Levi pulled Eren up. “Should we continue tomorrow?”
Eren smiled and nodded again. Levi pulled him in for a chaste kiss before they walked back to the coffee shop. Levi drove Eren back to his dorm and dropped him off with a promise to text him. Eren returned to his room in a happy daze. He collapsed onto his bed and fell asleep with a smile on his face.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

 

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing

Eren groaned and rolled over, his hand searching for his phone.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing

“Motherfucking…” Both of his hands were searching towards the noise.

“Here.”

Eren jumped at Armin’s voice so close to him. He held out a hand and felt his now silent phone pressed into it. He hesitated, remembering the tone in his friend’s voice. A cautionary tone with an underlying layer of scolding. Armin sighed before heading over and crawling back into bed.

“What time is it?” Eren asked groggily.

“Why don’t you check your phone?” Armin countered. Yup. He has a good idea who called. Eren reluctantly pulled his phone up to his ear.

“One missed call from: Dad.” Eren pressed a button. “One missed call at: 4:34 am.”

“Four thirty in the fucking morning?!” Armin grumbled from across the room. Why would he call so early? To get me to pick it up and not realize who was calling? Or is it an emergency? Eren thought to himself, his phone clutched in his hand. After a few minutes of debate he decided to ignore his Dad. As usual. If it really was an emergency he would either call again or call Mikasa, who would then come over and get him.

Eren set his phone on the nightstand and snuggled into his sheets. For another four hours he clenched his eyes shut and tried to not remember. Instead he focused on the good memories of his mother.

Eren kneeled in the dirt, the coolness of it soaking through his pants. He reached out and brushed his chubby, little fingers over something slightly fuzzy.

“Mommy? What’s this?”

A hand covered his own and showed his fingers the leaves and the stem of a plant.

“This is peppermint.”

Eren wrinkled his nose.

“But it doesn’t really smell like it.”

His mother laughed beside him, pinching his fingers together and pulling off a leaf. Eren gasped.

“Mommy, did I kill it?!”

“No, sweetheart. Just took a bit. With water and love it will grow another.” She placed the leaf in his palm. “Now, put it in your mouth and chew it. But don’t swallow. Spit it out when you’re done. Do you understand?”

‘Yes, Mommy. No swallowing.” Eren placed the leaf on his tongue and the flavor exploded in his mouth. It was sharp, making his mouth and eyes water. But his nose tingled and cleared, and he could smell things so much better. Then it faded, leaving a dull and slight pepperminty taste. He spit it out and clapped his hands.

“Another, another!”

Her laughter echoed around him once more as she picked him up in her strong arms.

“Maybe another day, little one.”

Eren sighed and shifted his position under the covers because his back was cramping. He recalled a conversation he had with his mom three years ago.

Eren walked through the door, just getting home from school.

“I’m home!” He shouted out, like he did every day.

“Hi, honey.” His mother called back, like she did every day.

Eren frowned. Not again… For the third day in a row, his mother had sounded melancholy. He sought her out, hands trailing on familiar walls.

“Mom?”

“In the kitchen, sweetie.”

And, again. She tended to bake when she felt down. He walked in to the warm smell of brownies. He inhaled with a small smile.

“Yummmm….” He stretched out a hand, which his mother soon took. Her hand felt gritty and he lifted it to his nose.

“Flour?”

She chuckled quietly. “I’m making a mess in here.”

Eren didn’t know how to broach the topic. He didn’t even know what the topic was.

“Mom?” He carefully asked.

“Yes, dear?”

He pulled her hand up to his face, setting her palm on his cheek.

“Why are you sad?” He heard her breath hitch in her throat and she pulled her hand away. He reached his up and placed it on her neck, his way of asking to see her face. She sighed and leaned into his touch, her signal for yes. His hand explored up to feel a frown, more flour and some dough on her cheeks, and swollen bags of skin under her eyes. Her eyes themselves weren’t puffed, thankfully, meaning she hadn’t been crying recently. “Mom?” He prompted. She placed a hand on his and squeezed gently.

“Me and your father just aren’t getting along right now. We are going through a hard time.” His heart clenched and fear wormed its way in.

“Are you… Are you guys getting divorced?” His mother stiffened under his touch and she suddenly pulled him into a hug.

“No! Nonono! We aren’t, sweetheart. I’m so sorry to worry you like that. No, we aren’t getting a divorce.” She hugged him tightly and he relaxed in her arms. Her voice rang out truth and honesty. He was relieved.

After a few days, things seemed to clear up and the tension in the house disappeared. Playful banter between his parents resumed and things seemed normal. Then a week later everything went to hell and his mother was taken from him.

Eren gave up on even trying to sleep, and opted to just keep his eyes open and let his brain wake. He curled up on himself as dark thoughts weaseled their way into his head. He checked the time. 6:27 am. He has to get up at eight. But oh well.

Eren climbed out of bed and felt his way to the bathroom. He opened the medicine cabinet, his fingers searching for something he hadn’t needed in a long time. He hesitated before popping open the prescription bottle. Why couldn’t his dad just leave him alone? He obviously needs time and space. Yes, it’s been about three years, but grief doesn’t fade so easy. And neither does sadness. Eren took the prescribed depression pills and swallowed them down with water from the sink. The water left a chlorine-ish taste in his mouth.

“Disgusting…” He muttered to himself. He pulled on some random clothes, only knowing that they were dark in color, before he grabbed his cane and backpack and left the room. He really didn’t feel like going to class today. Well, actually, he didn’t feel like doing anything today at all. But if he stayed in the room he knew he would just get depressed and think of things he really didn’t want to. And Armin would notice, again, and then he would tell Mikasa and that would start a huge explosion of concern. She would urge him to go to back to counseling or some shit. He just didn’t want to deal with anyone or anything right now.

So he went to the library, plugging in his music and blasting it into his brain. There was a small café in the entrance that was always open early. He sat there, drinking coffee and playing with his phone until it was time to go to class. While he was waiting he texted Levi. Eren needed to talk to him. Needed to feel normal and happy. But he had no idea how to go about introducing Levi to his past. Maybe it was too soon… Eren wasn’t even sure if they were officially dating or anything. They shared a few kisses, that’s it. He decided to wait. Levi can hear it another day.

To Levi
7:03 am
Want to meet up for coffee again?

By the time Eren got out of class, Levi still hadn’t replied. Probably not even awake yet. Lucky bastard. Eren was walking to his next class. There was no point in going back to the dorm, by the time he got there he would have to turn around and leave anyways. He usually just sat outside the building until fifteen minutes before it started.

Voices around him faded as he turned onto the field. It was a stretch of grass in the middle of four buildings where students hung out or threw frisbies around. But it was the morning so it was pretty empty. He liked walking across, using it as a shortcut. He didn’t have to deal with as much people anyways. But he only did it in the morning, when people usually weren’t playing any sports. He would be able to hear the shouting, running of feet, and panting breaths if they were.

“Eren!”

He jerked his head up and froze. He knew that voice. Ohhh shit. He thought about pretending he didn’t hear, but realized it was far too late. He was already stopped. Eren swallowed thickly and turned around.

 

Levi POV

 

Things had gone wonderful yesterday, Levi recalled as he ate breakfast, ever so slowly waking up. He hadn’t intended to molest Eren yesterday in the sound proof room. Levi paused. Well. That sounded perverted. He hadn’t intended to kiss , he corrected himself, Eren yesterday. It just happened. When the brat turned to him a grin on his face and cheeks red, all excited and throwing his arms around him.

Levi was surprised at the hug, he wasn’t a very touchy feely person. But it had felt warm, it felt right. And when Eren had pulled away to apologize, Levi just couldn’t let him. And one thing led to another.

Levi smiled to himself. He was alone. He allowed his lips to curve. He was happy that Eren hadn’t pushed him away. He was happy that Eren had similar feelings. He couldn’t wait to see him again. The world seemed so much brighter with the brunette around.

Levi got ready for a long day, dressing in comfortable cloths and grabbing brewed coffee. He always drank black coffee. Like his soul.

Levi chuckled to himself and went out the door. Right as it closed he realized he forgot his phone. Cursing he twirled around and struggled with his keys to unlock it again. He saw a light flashing when he picked it up. He cursed again, seeing how long ago Eren had texted him.

To Eren
7:40 am
Definitely. 2:00 again?

Levi sat in class, bored out of his mind. The professor was droning on and on about past painters that Levi didn’t care about. He just wanted to paint in his own style. He pulled out his phone and discreetly checked it. He frowned. It was already 8:00 and no response from Eren. He usually replied right away. He shrugged and pocketed the phone, leaning his chin on his palm as he pretended to take notes. Halfway through the class his phone began buzzing in his pocket. He tilted it and looked down.

“Eren…” He murmered. Why on earth was he calling him? Levi was apprehensive as he walked quickly out of the classroom to answer the call.

His heart plummeted when he heard a panicked female voice on the other line.

 

Eren POV

 

“Hello, Dad.” Heavy footsteps walked to stand in front of him.

“Hello, son.” A deep voice replied. A voice that sent chills down his spine. Why? He had no fucking clue. “You’ve been ignoring me.” His dad continued. And oh boy, he did not sound happy. Eren swallowed again.

“I told you. I just need time and space.”

“What, from me? Or memories of your mother?”

“I just…. Need space, alright?”

He heard his father huff.

“How am I the problem? What did I ever do?”

Months and months of pent up anger boiled in the back of his mind.

“You married another woman shortly after the funeral of your wife!” He snapped. His father sighed again.

“I’m not allowed to be happy? Is that what you’re saying?”

Eren clenched his fists. “No, that’s not what I’m saying. Your wife was murdered and barely in the ground before you found someone else to replace her. Did you even grieve?”

“I did not replace your mother! And of course I grieved!” He growled at Eren.

“When? When did you grieve? When you arrived drunk to the funeral and gave a shitty speech? Did you grieve when you ignored me? Did you grieve when you only came home to sleep smelling like alcohol? Did you grieve when you fucked another woman?” Eren was suddenly yanked forwards, his father fist gripping his shirt. He could feel rank, hot breath wash over his face.

“Shut up.” His father warned. Eren stupidly ignored it.

“Oh look. Your breath doesn’t reek of booze. What an achievement. Mary must have really done a number on you.” His father shook Eren.

“I said, shut up!”

“I had to feed myself, look after myself. Mikasa was the only one who cared to help, and I barely knew her.” Eren spoke softly, anger dissipating bit by bit. “Did you even realize how depressed I got? My friends did. If they hadn’t intervened, who knows where I would be now.” His father said nothing. “Maybe I would be in the ground, next to Mom. Would you then replace me with another son?”

Silence fell between them, only filled by heavy, angered breaths from his father.

“I already have.” He spoke just as soft as Eren had.

Eren froze. “What?” He whispered. His father released his shirt and stepped back.

“Mary is pregnant.”

Eren felt like he was going to puke.

“Then why come here? Why couldn’t you just leave me alone?”

“I will never leave you alone! I will never let you go!” He spat out. Eren furrowed his brows in confusion.

“But why?”

His father inhaled deeply and replied in a broken voice. “It’s your fault. It’s all your fault.” Shock buzzed through Eren, raising the hairs on his arms. All feeling drained out of him until he was empty, numb.

“What?” He whispered again. “How… How is it my fault she died?” His father heaved sob, his breath shaky.

“She loved you so much. She loved more than me!” His voice changed. “Her precious son, oh so perfect since the day you were born. Well,” He sneered, “Until you were blind.” Eren was gasping quietly, his heart racing.

“What?” He sounded like a broken record. He heard a step forwards.

“You dare ignore me.” His father said darkly. “You’re coming home, son.” A hand grabbed his shirt again. Fear choked his throat.

“Let go.” He said in a shaky voice.

“No.” His father laughed at him.

“I’ll start screaming.” He leaned close to Eren’s face again.

“No you won’t. Or I’ll-” Eren didn’t give him a chance to finish. He started screaming.

“HELP!” His father jerked back and cursed, releasing his shirt. He heard shouts in the distance. He sighed in relief. Until pain exploded across the side of his face and he fell backwards. He sat in shock. His father punched him. He actually punched him. He lifted shaky fingers to the swelling skin on his cheek. Eren heard running all around him and someone suddenly kneeling beside him. He flinched away.

“Hey, hey, it’s alright. My name’s Krista.” A female voice spoke to him reassuringly. “Don’t worry, ok? He’s gone. Some other boys are chasing after him.”

Eren still sat in shocked silence, his hand still raised to his face. He flinched again when a hand settled on his shoulder. Krista quickly withdrew it.

“What’s your name?” No response. “Do I need to call 911?” No response. “Is there someone I can call for you?” She sounded really worried now. Eren didn’t care. He just wanted to forget what just happened. He barely felt it when his phone was pulled from his pocket or hear someone else kneeling across from him.

“Is he all right?”

“I don’t think so, it’s like he’s gone catatonic or something.” He didn’t see the hand waving in front of his face or hear the fingers snapping in his ear.

“Ymir!” Krista hissed. “He can’t see!”

“Oh.”

“Ymir, look. He texted this Levi guy. Let’s call him.” By that point, Eren had pulled his knees to his chest and buried his face in his arms. The two girls fell silent. He heard whispers all around him. He felt like he was being scrutinized. He squeezed his eyes shut and put hands over his hears. Now he was left to the voices in his head. Echoes and snatches of the conversation he just had with his father.

“Your fault.”

“All your fault.”

And suddenly he was being pulled into familiar arms. Warm, safe arms.

“Eren…” Levi whispered into his hair. Eren wrapped arms around him and pulled him closer, burying his face into his shirt, right over his heartbeat.

“What happened?” Levi demanded in an angry tone. Krista spoke up.

“I’m not sure. He was arguing with some big guy and then he started screaming for help.”

“Then the dude punched him in the face.” Ymir added.

The hand on his back moved around until there were fingers under his chin, slowly tilting his face up. There was sharp intake of breath as his thumb gently brushed over the bruise.

“Did anyone catch the fucking bastard or see who he was?”

Eren tensed when he heard a chorus of “No”’s and “He got away”. Levi tightened his arms around him. Levi swore under his breath and carefully pulled Eren to his feet.

“Come on, let’s get you home.”

“Home. You’re coming home, son.”

Eren tensed again and pulled against Levi’s grip, which only got tighter around his waist.

“You want to stay at my place for now?” Levi asked softly. Eren stilled and relaxed. He nodded into Levi’s chest. “Alright, let’s go.” He pulled away only to weave his arm with Eren’s and grab his hand.

“Wait!” Ymir called out. Levi paused.

“Here’s our numbers if you need us to be witnesses or anything.”

“Thanks.” Levi replied. Eren felt his arm move, probably to grab a paper.

Everything after that went by in a blur. Levi led him to his car and brought him somewhere. The last thing he remembers is being led to a couch before falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

Eren walked through the door, just getting home from school.

“I’m home!” He shouted out, like he did every day.

He was greeted with silence. He paused and stretched his hands to the familiar walls. There was a wet, sticky substance on them. He jerked his hand away in disgust.

“Mom?” He called out, tentively stepping forwards.

Drip.

He froze, searching for where he heard the noise.

Drip.

Eren swallowed nervously.

“Mom?” He whispered, placing one foot in front of the other once more.

Drip, splatter, gurgle.

He picked up his pace until he rounded the door frame leading into the living room. His breath was coming in labored gasps now, fear spiking through his body.

“Mom?!”

He stepped into the room only to slip in a puddle and fall to the floor. He rolled onto his hands and knees and paused. He could feel the liquid soaking through his jeans and pooling around his palms. It smelled weird. Metallic. With trembling limbs he lifted a hand to his nose. No. No. It can’t be.

“No…” He whispered. He frantically crawled across the floor, sloshing through even more liquid until he collided with something. Something big. Something still. Something cold.
His hands traced the familiar facial features of his mother. He knew this smell.

Blood. It was all over him. All over his still mother. She wasn’t breathing.

Drip.

Drip.

Eren froze. Then blood was pouring all over him, all around him.

Suffocating.

Drowning.

Sliding down his throat, thick and warm.

Eren woke with a scream, a hand shooting up to grab his throat. He barely registered someones hands on his shoulders, his breath coming out in panicked gasps.

“-en.”

“-ren!”

“Eren!”

He jerked his head up at the concerned voice.

“L-Levi?”

He reached out a shaking hand and seconds later another hand grabbed his, its warmth calming him.

“I’m here.” Levi whispered as he grabbed Eren and pulled him into his chest, his arms wound tight around him. Minutes passed as Eren slowly relaxed and his breathing became regular. He was tucked against Levi, curled into him with his arms between their chests.

Eren pulled away slightly and lifted his hand, hesitating. Levi leaned into his palm, allowing Eren to trace his features. Levi’s brows were creased and his mouth was pulled into a frown. He was worried.

“I’m alright.” He whispered.

“I didn’t ask.” Levi whispered back. He reached up and grabbed Eren’s hand, entwining their fingers. “And no you’re not.”

Eren sighed and closed his eyes. Not that that made any difference. Levi placed his other hand on his shoulder before moving it to softly grab the nape of his neck, fingers idly playing with the small hairs there. He pulled Eren forwards and rested their foreheads together, their noses barely brushing.

“Talk to me.” Levi quietly asked.

Eren let out a shaky breath and bit his lip.

Then he began talking softly. He told Levi about his childhood, about his Mom, and then Mikasa. Then he told him about the nightmare, a hand wandering back to his throat. Levi removed his hand from Eren’s hair and grabbed the hand at his throat to pull it away. He then wrapped arms carefully around Eren and pulled him closer, slowly, slowly laying them down on the couch so that their legs were tangled and they were facing each other; wrapped in each others arms.

“And today?” Levi asked. “Who was that man?”

Eren sighed and snuggled closer to Levi, seeking his warmth.

“My father.” He murmured into his chest. He felt Levi tense.

“Why?” He asked, disbelief coloring his tone.

Eren felt sleep pulling at him once more but forced it away.

“He... he said that his new wife is pregnant and that he could never leave me be because…” Levi placed a gentle kiss on top of Eren’s head, urging him to continue. “He said…. That it was my fault.” Levi tensed again and pulled Eren closer, cursing under his breath. He felt fingers under his chin once more and his face was tilted up towards Levi’s face. He frowned at the man, wondering if he somehow forgot that he can’t see. Instead, Levi placed another gentle kiss on his forehead, leaving his lips hovering over the skin as he spoke.

“Her death isn’t your fault.” Eren cringed. “It’s not your fault. You understand that, right?” Eren swallowed and then nodded.

“I know.” He whispered. “He said it was my fault,” he paused when he heard Levi huff. “He said he thought it was my fault because she loved me more than him.” He heard the sharp intake of air but ignored it, furrowing his brow as he recalled the argument. “He wanted to take me home. I didn’t want to, and he threatened me, so I started screaming.”

“I’m glad you did. It was the right thing to do.”

“He wanted to take me home… Why did he want me to go home, Levi?” Eren asked in a broken whisper. Levi raised his hands to cup Eren’s face and wipe away tears. Eren didn’t even realize he was crying.

“I don’t know. Probably nothing good. But listen to me, Eren. Listen. I am not going to let him take you anywhere. Do you understand?”

“You can’t promise that.”

Levi was silent for a few moments and Eren stilled, worried that he made him angry.

“I can promise this.” Levi’s hands lifted his face even higher until his lips were hovering over Erens, his hot breath washing over his face. “I will never let you go. I will do all I can to prevent him from taking you, but if that fails, I will find you. Whatever it takes.”

Eren felt his heart clench and warmth flow throughout his entire body, but before he could reply Levi’s lips were on his, gentle and soft. Levi’s hand carded through his hair and pulled him closer, deepening the kiss. Eren’s lips trembled and he grabbed onto Levi’s shirt with both hands, leaning towards him. Levi held him so carefully, so gently, it almost hurt. He felt a few tears slip out and he silently cursed at himself.

Without missing a beat, Levi moved from his lips to his cheeks, kissing away the wet streaks. Eren took the opportunity to breathe, panting slightly. Soon enough Levi returned to his lips, Eren meeting him halfway.

Levi pulled back, slightly out of breath as well.

“I promise.” He whispered before tucking Eren against his chest once more. Eren sighed contentedly and let himself relax in Levi’s arms. Eventually his breathing slowed and he fell into a dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

Eren woke surrounded by warmth. He couldn’t remember his dream, if he dreamed at all. It took a few seconds before he remembered. Dread worked its way into his chest as he recalled his father. Something wasn’t right with him, he didn’t seem the same. Almost like a robot. Someone shifted against him and he tensed. After a few moments he heard deep breathing.

Eren exhaled slowly and carefully extracted one arm that was trapped between his chest and Levi’s. He lifted it until he found what he was looking for. His hand carefully, slowly, and gently traced over Levi’s face. His mouth was still in a slight frown but much more relaxed then it was earlier. He had the beginnings of bags under his eyes. Eren felt a twinge of guilt but pushed it away. Levi seemed to be the kind of person to not deal with something if he honestly didn’t want to, and the fact he was still here meant a lot to Eren. Speaking of here…

Is he at Levi’s house? He took a breath. Definitely not his dorm room. It smelled like cleaning products and laundry. Eren imagined Levi being a clean freak, and somehow it seemed to fit his personality. Eren chuckled at the mental image of Levi cursing about a tiny spot of dirt in the floor and scrubbing at it relentlessly.

Eren wrapped his free arm around Levi and snuggled in closer once more, content to just lay there until he woke up. Plus, Levi was holding on to him too tightly to pull himself away. He lost track of time as he listened to the other man’s slow breathing and the comforting beat of his heart.

Levi had reacted well to Eren telling him his past. That made Eren wonder what made Levi Levi. What was his childhood like? How was his family? Where was he born? When did he start painting? Eren wasn’t sure if or when he should ask, if he should let Levi tell him when he wanted to. There seemed to be pain around the topic of his mother and piano playing. Something Eren wasn’t so sure he wanted to poke at. He personally didn’t like it when people intentionally reminded him of something painful in his past.

Eren decided to let things play out as they would. If Levi told him so be it, in the meantime he would try to hold his tongue on the matter or wait until the moment was right.

Eren was disturbed by his thoughts of the front door being unlocked and opened. He tensed, trying to recall if Levi lived with anyone. He couldn’t remember. He debated on waking him up, instead Eren closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep. If he heard the person get close, then he would wake Levi. A sudden click made him jump. A click that sounded like the camera on a phone. Eren jumping jerked Levi awake. Eren was still tense and Levi lifted his head and removed an arm from around Eren’s waist to most likely rub at his eyes. Eren tilted his head up and murmured into his neck.

“Who is it?”

Levi tensed and then cursed under his breath.

“Hanji.” His tone was downright murderous. Insane giggling erupted from behind him. “What the fuck are you doing at my apartment?”

Ah. So that's where he is.

“Checking on you silly! Erwin was worried because you didn’t show up to your afternoon classes!”

Eren tilted his head up at Levi and frowned. Levi grumbled and wound his hand into Eren’s hair, coaxing his face back into the crook of his neck. The action made Eren chuckle lightly. Levi huffed at him.

“OHHHH!!!! THIS IS JUST SO CUTE!!” You HAVE to be Eren! I haven’t seen him smile that that in ages!”

Eren was glad his face was hidden, he could feel a blush begin to form.

“Hanji…” Levi warned. “Get. Out.”

“Hmm… Let me think about that. No!” She giggled again as Levi let out a long sigh. Eren found the whole situation amusing. He slowly sat up, Levi’s arms reluctantly letting him go. He turned and held a hand out.

"Hey, Hanji. Nice to meet you.” He greeted. Hanji squealed and an enthusiastic hand gripped his. Levi groaned and maneuvered around Eren.

“Don’t mind me while you make friends with a crazy woman.”

“Levi!!” Hanji exclaimed in a fake insulted tone, removing her hand from Eren’s. “I thought we were friends!”

“I’m going to go take a shit.”

Eren snorted at the scene around him and heard Levi pause. He felt lips gently kiss his forehead before he left. Eren smiled and stood, stretching.

“So. Hanji. Is he out of the room?”

“Yes?” She asked in a curious tone. A breeze went by him and he suddenly felt breath close to his face as his hands were grabbed by hers once more. “Do you have a secret?” She asked in a loud whisper. Eren winced at the loudness before shaking his head.

"I don’t but you do.”

“Huh?” She asked, sounding bewildered. Eren smiled and leaned just a touch closer.

“Make sure to make copies of that picture, if he ever finds out he’ll delete it.” There was a moment of silence before she began cackling again. Eren smiled.

Arms were suddenly wrapped around his waist, pulling him from Hanji’s clutches, who was still cackling. Levi rested his head on Eren’s shoulder.

“I think you broke her. Please tell me how.” Levi drawled. Before Eren could reply Hanji finally managed to calm herself.

“I like him! You two boys have fun now, you hear!” Her voice moved farther away, her steps loud and uneven, like she was running or skipping. The sound of the front door being opened was heard. “BE SAFE!” She called before the door slammed closed. Levi had moved his head to follow Hanji, but now he just groaned and dropped his head on Eren’s back.

“She’s going to be the death of me…” He mumbled into Eren’s shirt.

Eren chuckled and leaned into his embrace.

“You two seem close.” He mumbled, closing his eyes and enjoying their shared warmth. Levi hummed in acknowledgement. Eren began repeating a mantra in his head, don’t ask about his past, don’t ask, don’t ask, don’t ask… His thoughts were interrupted by Levi pulling away and grabbing his hand.

“I’m hungry.” He stated, gently tugging on his hand. Eren followed. “Are you?” He asked Eren. Eren opened his mouth to reply, but before he could his stomach rumbled. Levi snorted.

“I guess so.”

Eren felt his blush return and ducked his head. By then they were stopped, in presumably the kitchen. He felt fingers under his chin. He let them guide his head up slightly so he was facing Levi. Warm fingers traced his cheek.

“You’re beautiful when you blush.” Levi spoke softly. Eren was shocked, embarrassment momentarily forgotten. Then the words took their impact and his blush increased three fold. He frowned and tucked his head into Levi’s neck, finding it easily. Levi sighed and carefully tugged on his hair, asking him to lift his head. Eren refused and kept where he was.

Levi suddenly stepped back, causing Eren to stumble forwards. But Levi was already there, grabbing his face, one hand carding through his hair to the nape of his neck. He tugged Eren down and kissed him with a passion that made Eren’s heart flutter.

“I mean it.” Levi whispered against his lips before continuing the kiss. Levi pulled away and backed off, leaving Eren in a daze behind him.

“What do you want to eat?”

Eren heard the sound of a fridge door opening.

“Um. Uh…” He was still confused from the kiss. Levi chuckled at him. Eren shook his head.

“Anything sounds good to me.” He mumbled before stretching hands out to take in his surroundings.

“Eggs and bacon it is then.”

Eren’s stomach growling echoed through the room.

Levi POV

Levi smiled at the sound of Eren’s stomach before turning back to the fridge to pull out the necessary ingredients. He was a bit insecure about his cooking, especially compared to Eren’s, but so far the brunette didn’t mention anything about it. Levi could cook the basics, though he wasn’t even close to Eren’s level.

He kept a close eye on Eren as he began cooking and as Eren explored the room. It looked like he knew what he was doing, taking slow steps and feeling everything before him as to not bump into anything. Levi glanced around to make sure nothing sharp was left laying about. He wasn’t surprised that there wasn’t, he was a clean person and didn’t leave things cluttered on flat surfaces.

Levi began humming tunelessly as random snitches of piano melodies ran through his head. His humming made Eren pause and tilt his head towards him. Levi was flipping the bacon when Eren found the chairs at the island and sat down in one of them. He leaned his chin in his hand and closed his eyes, a small smile on his face. Levi let his lips curve into something similar, since there was no one around to see. He finished shortly and placed a plate and fork in front of Eren with a quiet “Here you go” as to not startle him. Eren sent him a smile and found the fork. He waited until he heard another plate being placed on the island. Levi leaned against the island so he could eat facing Eren.

They ate in comfortable silence. Levi washed the plates when they were done, pushing a protesting Eren back into his seat. Eren frowned at him the entire time, causing Levi to smirk without him knowing. It was cute to see him a bit frustrated. When he finished, he returned to his spot leaning against the counter. A sudden thought popped into his mind.

“Hey, Eren. How did your sister take this whole situation?” He hated to bring up what happened yesterday but needed to know if Eren contacted her yet. At Erens pale face he assumed that he did not. Eren gasped and shot out of his chair.

“Shit!” Eren dug around his pockets for his phone, pulling it out in a hurry. He opened it and paused, an indecipherable look coming over his face. Levi frowned and reached over, placing a hand over his.

“I’m sure she’ll understand your disappearance.”

Eren shook his head.

“That’s not it.” He chewed on his bottom lip in worry. Levi moved around the island and pulled out a chair next time him, moving it so he was sitting facing Eren. He carefully placed a hand on Eren’s knee.

“Can I move the chair so your facing me?”

Eren nodded and Levi gently moved his chair. He pulled it so their knees were touching. Levi then grabbed Eren’s hands, one which still held the phone. And then he waited patiently.

Eren sighed and gripped Levi’s hands tighter.

“Mikasa… She…” He sighed again, trying to organize his thoughts. “She and Armin always thought that I should make an attempt to form a better relationship with my father and that I shouldn’t ignore him all the time.”

Realization washed over Levi. Eren continued before Levi could say anything.

"I’m sure this will come as a shock to them, I know that Mikasa will feel guilty as hell and blame herself. I also don’t want to come off as ‘I told you so’ to them.”

Levi pondered for a bit and watched as Eren did the same.

He had an idea. He opened his mouth but hesitated. Eren lifted his head up, hearing Levi’s intake of breath. Well. Too late to back out now. Levi took a breath,

“Maybe this isn’t something that should be discussed over the phone. Do you want to invite them over here or gather them in your dorm room?”

Eren blinked a few times and thought over his words.

“They don’t have a car, so it would be better to go back to the dorm.”

Levi nodded and stood.

“Okay. Let me get my keys.”

Eren’s uncertain voice stopped him.

“Levi…” He waited. “Can you… um… Can you stay with me?”

Levi smiled and turned towards Eren.

“Of course.”

Eren gave him a grateful smile.

Thirty minutes later found them parked outside the dorm. Before they left, Eren had sent a text to Armin and Mikasa to meet him in his room and that he was fine. He had then ignored the flurry of texts after. He was quiet the entire drive over and that concerned Levi. But he let him get lost in his thoughts. The upcoming conversation wasn’t going to be easy.

Eren took a deep breath and moved to get out of the car. Levi grabbed his arm and made him pause. He turned to face Levi, a questioning look on his face. Levi pulled him closer and gave him a quick peck on the lips.

“For good luck.” Levi told Eren at his bewildered look. Eren shook his head with a soft smile and stepped out of the car. Eren fidgeted the way up in the elevator and to the door. He hesitated before it. Then resolutely lifted his hand and opened it. Within seconds he was tackled by Armin and Mikasa, both hugging him tightly.

“Where were you?!” Mikasa shouted. Armin noticed him first as Levi quietly shut the door behind him. Armin nudged Mikasa who turned to him. With one step she was hissing in his face.

“YOU." She said venomously. “What are YOU doing here?”

Levi raised his eyebrows at her as a distraught Eren pulled her away.

“Mikasa, listen!” He pleaded. Mikasa paused at his tone and turned to him, worry written all over her features. “Please,” he continued, “sit down and let me explain. Mikasa took a deep breath and nodded, muttering a quick ‘ok’. Her and Armin went over and sat on Armin’s bed while Levi sat next to Eren on his.

Eren slowly and haltingly recounted the events of yesterday, keeping his head tilted towards the floor. Somewhere during his story he had reached over to find Levi’s hand and grip it tightly. Levi squeezed his hand reassuringly.

Levi carefully watched Armin’s and Mikasa’s faces go from concern, to shock, to pain, and then to guilt. There was a heavy silence once Eren finished. Armin was the first to speak.

“I’m sorry, Eren. I shouldn’t have taken your dads side.” He whispered.

“You didn’t know.” Eren quietly replied. Armin frowned.

“But I should have trusted your judgment on him!” He argued. Eren just shrugged.

“It is what it is.”

Armin glanced over at Levi.

“Thank you for being there for Eren and taking care of him.”

Levi blinked in surprise and then gave him a nod of his head. Armin turned to Mikasa who still seemed to be in a state of shock. Armin nudged her, making her jump out of her thoughts. Tears formed in her eyes and she stood, crossing the room in swift strides to Eren. She bent down and wrapped him in another hug.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” She whispered over and over. Eren hugged her back with his free arm. “Armin’s right, we should’ve trusted you. I should have trusted you. Instead I was blinded by my loss of my father that I thought you should cherish yours.” She sniffled. “But I think you lost him a while ago.” Eren tensed and then nodded into her shoulder.

“He doesn’t seem the same. He’s… changed.” He said to his sister. Finally Mikasa stepped back and faced Levi. He raised an eyebrow at her in a silent challenge. Instead, she surprised him.

“Thank you, Levi.” She stuck out her hand and he just stared at it for a second, not quite sure what was going on. “ I shouldn’t have judged you before getting to know you. Care to start over?” Levi blinked a few times and then grabbed her hand. She sighed in relief.

“Well then. Mikasa, I am Levi, Eren’s boyfriend.”

Eren jerked his head around in surprise. Levi squeezed his hand. Mikasa laughed weakly.

“That’s not quite what I meant, but okay. Hello, Levi. I am Mikasa, Eren’s overprotective sister.”

“Nice to meet you.”

Chapter Text

Eren

Eren rolled over in his bed and sighed. Yesterday was a huge mess of emotions that he routinely tried to avoid. But the time with Levi was worth it. Eren grinned, recalling when Levi called him his boyfriend. Ne wasn’t a hundred percent sure of their relationship, but the past two days kind of confirmed it. He was surprised when Levi showed up on that field after his father left. Eren made a note to ask Levi next time he saw him. Eren shifted under the sheets again, trying to get comfortable. He had no idea what time it was but he just couldn’t sleep. He could hear Armin snoring lightly from across the room.

Levi had left soon after the “introductions” and Mikasa soon after him, with a lot of persuading. Eren knew she would be feeling guilty for quite a while. Armin was silent but supportive once they were alone. He told Eren that if he ever wanted to talk he was there. They both silently agreed to go to bed. Except Eren’s plan backfired and he was left in an uncomfortable bed, thinking. Unfortunately he still had class tomorrow; he already skipped yesterday and he didn’t want to fall too far behind. He was sure that Armin wouldn’t approve and try to get him to stay in bed for the day. After all, tomorrow is Friday. Thank God.

Eren’s weekends were usually relaxing. He wondered if he and Levi were going to do anything. They did miss their coffee date the other day. Eren made another note to ask Levi. Maybe they could go to that piano place again and Eren could learn some more. Eren groaned and sat up, feeling around for his phone on his nightstand. His hand bumped it causing it to fall to the, thankfully, carpeted floor, making no noise. Eren sighed dramatically, slumping where he was and debating on getting out from under the covers or not. He decided to just screw it and threw back the covers, standing up and shuffling his feet around. He found his phone soon enough and held it up to his ear, sitting back down on his bed.

It is five fourty two am.

Eren let his hand with the phone fall to the mattress and rubbed at his forehead with his free hand. There was an on campus coffee shop that opened at 6 am about five minutes of a walk from the dorm. Sleep is a lost cause and coffee was the next best thing. Eren stood and made his way quietly over to his closet, pausing to make sure he could still hear the soft snores. His hand paused on his blue shirt, hovering on the tag for a few seconds. Not yet… He moved on and grabbed a plain black tee and his familiar school hoodie. He packed the necessities in his bag, laptop, books, phone, and of course, loose cash.

Eren grabbed his walking cane and snuck out the door, closing it softly and slowly behind him. He breathed a sigh of relief once he was in the hall. It was quiet, almost eerily so if it wasn’t so early in the morning. He pulled the hood over his head once he stepped outside, giving himself some privacy from prying eyes if there were any. The air was cold and he shivered, hunching over to make himself warmer. Fall was well on its way. Eren couldn’t wait for winter, for the smell of snow and the crunch of it under his feet, the sledding down a hill on his coat with his friends, and competitions of who can slide across the ice on their feet without falling. He smiled to himself as he trudged towards the shop. He heard no one else around him, except for one pair of footsteps that were in a hurry. He kept to the side of the path and walked at a decent pace. Slow walkers on campus were in for some trouble during rush hour, from both walkers and bikers. Most people minded him though, which was nice. Still, he knew how it felt to be stuck behind someone walking slow and not being able to go around them. Sometimes he just wanted to take his stick and start swinging it back and forth in front of him, forcing people to move or get hit.

Eren arrived at his destination soon enough and pushed open the door into the heated room. He missed the jingle of a bell above a door and wished he was at the other coffee shop. The barista was a tired sounding man who surprisingly made his coffee in a short period of time. Eren thanked the man and asked where there was a table with outlets. Eren settled at an empty table in the corner, which wasn’t too hard since he was the only customer there. Luckily almost every table was paired with outlets, the only exceptions being the three tables along the other wall which was an older section of the store. Eren plugged his phone in to charge, not even knowing the percentage. He couldn’t have his phone dying on him anytime soon. Next he grabbed his ipod and put his earphones in. He had the menu memorized and knew how to navigate to what he wanted. He set some peaceful background music on play and grabbed his Game of Thrones book from his bag. The ear phones were just so people would leave him alone. Most college students knew the unspoken rule to not bug somebody with headphones on. The music didn’t distract Eren from the book at all, if anything it helped him concentrate on it more as his fingers skimmed across the pages.

He spent the next two hours immersed in George Martin’s world and didn’t even realize how much time went by. He finished the book and set down so he could stretch, popping his back and shoulders. He realized how long he had been there when he checked his phone. He cursed and scrambled to gather his things. He had half an hour to get to the other side of campus, during rush hour no less. A different barista called out a cheery farewell when he left and he threw a half-hearted wave over his shoulder in response. He felt much more energized and calmed down. He almost felt foggy and slow, after reading a book for so long. And the horrible cliff hanger at the end… He would have to buy the next book soon.

He barely made it to class on time, sliding in right when the professor was closing the doors. He hurried to find a vacant seat, which wasn’t hard as long as you went for the first row. It felt like all eyes were on him, judging him for being late. He couldn’t help but feel that way even though in reality no one probably cared. He took a deep breath one he was settled and resigned himself to an hour and a half of listening to the professor.

Afterwards he honestly couldn’t say what was covered that day. He got lost in his thoughts, thinking about Game of Thrones and what could possibly happen next. He watched the show to season 3 and wanted to catch up in the books before he continued with season 4. Holding back wasn’t too hard, considering the emotional devastation after the Red Wedding. Levi was right, everyone does die. Eren could admit that he didn’t say that coming from a mile away. He didn’t see it coming from three seasons away. And Arya was so close…

Eren shook his head to dispel his thoughts. He has already spent way too much time thinking about it already. Instead he pulled out his phone to message Levi. He should be up around now… Possibly.

To Levi
10:03 am
Coffee this afternoon?

Eren frowned, suddenly recalling that he had a dinner to plan for tomorrow.
“Fuck…” He mumbled under his breath as he texted Sasha reminding her as well. It’s strange, Sasha has been quiet lately. Eren wondered if it had anything to do with that Connie guy. Sasha’s reply was almost immediate.

From Sasha
10:04 am
YES! I am totally up for it!! Are you? :/

To Sasha
10:05 am
Yes? Why wouldn’t I be?

From Sasha
10:05 am
Mikasa said you were going through a tough time and not to bug you about it this weekend? You doing better bro?

Eren sighed. His sister always had good intentions but seriously… Eren shook his head.

To Sasha
10:05 am
Of course. If anything it will help.

From Sasha
10:05 am
OK!! Meet me tonight for planning and groceries?

Eren added it to his mental calendar as he texted her back that he would. He would have to remind Levi as well if he wanted to come… Suddenly it felt like Eren had so much to do. He went over his list of classes in his head and if there was any homework or upcoming tests. It made him feel better when there was none.

Eren sat through his next class bored out of his mind. He really wasn’t into it today, he couldn’t concentrate like he usually did. He blames it on no sleep and emotions. And the lack of motivation. Levi sent a text sometime during that class but he didn’t notice until after. He wasn’t stupid enough to pull out his phone in the front row, feet from the professor. As if. He has heard plenty of students get chewed out for doing that or sleeping and they were in other rows. Levi had agreed and said he was working there until four. He said Eren could come by sometime before then and he would wait to take his break when Eren got there. That didn’t make too much sense to Eren, he might as well wait until four to swing by. Levi reluctantly agreed and Eren started to think about what he was going to do during the two hours between his last class and when Levi. Dinner. He could start thinking about dinner.

His attention span lasted about a half hour though his next class. The material made him get ideas about cooking dinner and he fell into imagination land about new techniques he should cover with Sasha tonight. Apparently duck eggs were good for baking, even though they tasted like shit scrambled or plain. The duck eggs make the baked item, such as cookies, cakes, and breads sweeter and a somewhat smoother taste. He wanted to try it but had no idea where to get duck eggs. Especially fresh ones. Do grocery stores even sell those? He hated buying grocery eggs. At home, their neighbor had a hobby farm with about twenty or so chickens. They bought fresh farm eggs from them every week.

After class he went to the library, reveling in the silence. The first floor and the lobby were usually somewhat noisy, but the higher and farther in you went the quieter it got. He isolated himself in some far part of the place and pulled out his laptop. His fingers swept over the braille covered keys and he plugged his head phones in. Using touch navigation on a computer specifically designed (and altered/enhanced by Armin) for those with sight problems, Eren looked up how to find duck eggs. The computer read back the websites to him. It originally came with a generic boring voice but thanks to Armin, it now read everything to him in Morgan Freemans voice. Fucking. Awesome. Oh how sweet technology can be… And a technology savvy friend…

Eren sorted through a bunch of useless websites before getting the idea to look up if the town had any farmers markets. He was surprised when he found out they did, but only once a month, on the fifteenth. He would have to wait until next month… Eren sighed. Maybe he could get Levi to go with him. And drag Sasha as well, he would need someone to keep an eye on her. Maybe the whole gang, get them and Levi more comfortable around each other. Plus, the more people to watch after Sasha the better. He secured the location and time of the market and marked it in his phone and set reminders. Although he had a great memory he still tended to forget some things that were far in the future. Like more than a week. He didn’t need to think ahead over seven days usually… And had no desire to do so. That would probably stress him out with all the homework, tests, and random events he would have to do.

Surprisingly enough the two hours didn’t drag on and Eren was on his way to The Corps, almost behind schedule. Then again, to Eren, on time was ten or fifteen minutes early. He always liked to plan for anything that could slow him down on the way, thus actually being able to arrive exactly on time and not late.

He walked into the coffee shop with two minutes to spare and was greeted by a very annoyed sounding Levi.

“Go the fuck away, Shitty Glasses!”

“But whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…” A very familiar voice whined. Eren chuckled as he recognized Hanji. They both fell silent as they realized he was there.

“Eren…” Levi said warmly. There was some rustling and then arms were around him, pulling him in close. Eren jumped a little but relaxed once he inhaled the smell of cleaning supplies. Hanji cooed obnoxiously causing Levi to swear under his breath as he released Eren, no doubt going after Hanji.

Eren held a hand out in her general direction.

“Nice to-” He was cut off by Hanji snatching his hand and yanking him into one of her bone crushing hugs. As Eren struggled to breathe he wondered why he even bothered with the attempt at a handshake. Luckily Levi pried him from her grasp and kept a hand on his arm.

“We’re leaving now. No. Following. Us. Got it?”

Hanji giggled. “Of course, of course.”

Levi paused and huffed, then shook his head and led Eren out of the door. Eren pocketed his cane and tilted his head towards Levi.

“No coffee?” He teased.

“Not with that maniac there, goodness gracious.” He growled. Eren couldn’t help but laugh at him, earning himself an elbow in the side.

“Is she following us?” He asked, feeling Levi turn to glance over his shoulder.

“FUCK. Yea she is.” They stopped and Levi grabbed both of his hands.

“Ready to run?”

Eren smiled and gripped his hands tighter. Oh boy. “Don’t let me run into anything.”

“I won’t.” He promised. He released one hand. “Stay behind me.”

Eren positioned himself and with his free hand latched onto the back of Levi’s shirt.

“3…2…1…” Levi muttered before taking off, gently pulling Eren with him. They raced down the street, taking random twists and turns. Eren panted for breath, heart pounding as he had no idea where he was going or what was in front of him. It was… exhilarating. Everything about Levi was.

They finally stopped somewhere next to a wall. Eren collapsed against it, leaning into it for support, laughing breathlessly and still clutching Levi’s hand.

“Did…we….lose her?” Eren asked in between air and chuckles. Levi huffed at him in amusement.

“Yea. I think so.” He said, only sounding slightly out of breath.

When Erens lungs finally regained the ability to properly function he turned to Levi.

“God, how are you not tired? Do you work out or something?”

“I work out sometimes.” He could hear the smirk in Levi’s voice.

“Only sometimes?” Eren asked incredulously.

“What? Want me to take off my shirt so you can ‘see’?”

Eren choked and felt his face begin to burn.

“Uh…um…”

Levi chuckled and ruffled Eren’s hair.

“Come on.” He pulled at their still entwined hands.

“Where are we?” Eren asked curiously, trying to force down his blush.

“A diner that I go to sometimes. Their food is good. I figured we could eat instead of coffee.”

Eren smiled. “Sounds good to me.”

Levi led him into the warm diner that smelled absolutely heavenly. They were greeted by a cheery waitress. Eren paused, her voice sounding familiar but not being able to place it.

“Hi! Welcome to… Oh my goodness! You’re Eren, right?”

Chapter Text

Eren

 

Eren tilted his head upon hearing his name, feeling Levi tense up beside him.

“Yes, that’s my name…?”

“Krista, right?” Levi asked.

“Yup! That’s me! Last time we meet I was with my girlfriend, Ymir…” She trailed off uncertainly and her voice finally clicked inside Eren’s head. She was there when his father came for him. He felt Levi squeeze his hand. Eren shook his head to clear it and put on a smile.

“Ah, I remember now. Thanks for all your help. How-” Eren was cut off by Levi clearing his throat. He shot a confused face in hopefully the right direction towards Levi as Krista gasped.

“Right! Welcome to the Rose Diner, I will be your waitress for the afternoon. Please follow me over here to your table.” Krista chattered in a polite voice. Eren frowned.

They sat across from each other at the table and Krista left them with the menus.

“Levi…”

“What?” He asked innocently.

“Did you scare her off?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Eren shook his head with a chuckle, lightly kicking Levi under the table.

“No need to. She seems really nice.” He heard Levi grumbling under his breath and let a sly grin settle over his face for a brief moment. He casually leaned back and folded his hands on the table. “Maybe I should invite her to dinner this weekend…” He mused. Soon enough he felt warm hands over his own that pulled them apart and were interlaced with Levi’s fingers.

“Are you trying to make me jealous?” Levi saw straight through him.

“I don’t know, is it working?”

“No.”

“Then no, I am not trying to make you jealous.”

“She has a girlfriend you know.” Levi added a bit sarcastically.

“Let’s invite her too then.”

Eren heard Levi huff and he smiled and ran his thumbs over the back of Levi’s hands, feeling the smooth skin.

“Care to read me the menu?” Eren asked.

“Nope.”

Eren blinked in surprise, angling his face towards Levi’s and making a pouty face. Levi laughed silently and pulled his hands further across the table.

“I’ll order you something, brat.”

“What if I don’t like it?”

“You’ll like it.”

“But how do you know?”

Levi didn’t reply but instead brought a hand upwards. A sharp bite to his knuckle had Eren gasping and yanking his hand back to his chest.

“Levi! What was that for?”

He just laughed and tapped the table. “Just trust me and have some fun once in a while. Give me your hand back.”

“No.” Eren pouted, clutching his free hand to his chest.

“Give me your hand and I’ll kiss it better.”

Eren felt a slight blush begin to form. He turned his head petulantly and shook his head ‘no’. He heard Levi sigh along with the creak of worn out cushions. Eren frowned and tensed, trying to figure out what he was going to do. Suddenly, he felt a feather light brush of Levi’s lips against his own. He froze in surprise, not noticing Levi grabbing his hand and pulling it back across the table with him as he sat back down. Eren was fairly sure his face was a full blown tomato at this point.

“Now I know how to make you quiet.” Levi said coyly, bring Eren’s injured hand up to his lips.

Eren ducked his head, “Shut up.” He said with no real bite to it. He felt Levi smile against his hand. He relaxed and smiled back.

Levi released his hands to pick up the menus and a few seconds later he heard Krista’s cheery voice.

“Have you two decided what you would like?”

“Yes we have.” Levi replied. Eren heard some shuffling and the sound of a menu opening. “I would like the number fifteen and Eren will take this one.” Eren pouted once more over at Levi.

“Sure thing!! I’ll get these to you as soon as possible.”

“Thanks, Krista.” Eren managed to say before she left. Levi grabbed his hands again. “You’re not going to tell me what you ordered, are you?”

“That would ruin the surprise, wouldn’t it?”

Eren kicked him under the table again. “I can have fun you know.”

“Oh? How so?”

Eren paused. How did he have fun? He smiled softly, lowering his head a bit. “I have fun with you.” There was a brief silence across from him and Eren fidgeted.

“Good.” Levi replied fondly. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

The two fell into a comfortable silence and separated their hands when the food arrived.

“So, you going to tell me now or I am I going to be sticking my hands into something gross?”

“It’s the best sandwich in existence.”

Eren raised an eyebrow but said nothing, choosing to pick up the sandwich and take a bite. Flavors exploded across his tongue in a massive array of different ingredients. He sat there trying to figure out what on earth they put in it to make such a delicious combo. He must have sat there too long because Levi kicked his shin, and hard . Eren jerked in surpise.

“Pretty good, huh?” Levi asked, sounded pretty damn satisfied with himself. Eren stuck out his tongue and took another bite. “I told you would like it.”

Eren swallowed his bite, “Shut up.” Levi merely chuckled as Eren enjoyed every bite he took of the sandwich.

When they finished, Eren was still sitting there thinking over it. It frustrated him a bit but in the end he opted to ignore the natural urge to find out how to make it and instead just enjoy it. Not a position he was in often. Eren stretched his hands out and Levi obliged him by grabbing them with his own.

“Thank you.” Before Levi could reply, Krista bounced up to the table again.

“Did you enjoy everything?”

Eren smiled over at her. “Yes, very much. Please give my compliments to the chef, the sandwich was amazing.” He heard Krista giggle.

“I will, it is a favorite here.” Something was set down on the table. “Here is your check! Enjoy the rest of your day.”

“Hey, Krista!” Eren called out before she left, suddenly remembering what he told Levi.

“Yes?”

“My friends and I host a sort of dinner every weekend and invite a bunch of people over. Would you and your girlfriend like to come?”

“Sure!” She replied enthusiastically, “I’ve been trying to get Ymir to meet new people anyhow. When and where?”

Eren gave her the details and Levi remained silent. They held hands after they paid and left.

“I can’t believe you actually invited her.” He sounded genuinely surprised but not angry, which was very good. Eren smiled and nudged his shoulder.

“Have some fun once in a while, Levi.”

Levi huffed and elbowed him in the ribs.

“Owwwwwwwwwww, Leeeviiii!”

“Want me to kiss it better?” Deft fingers grabbed at the hem of his shirt. Eren shrieked and backed away into a wall, a laughing Levi following him.

They were chest to chest; Eren could feel Levi’s breath on his face. He wrapped his arms around Levi’s neck and wove his fingers through his undercut. Levi got the hint and closed the short distance between them to press their lips together. Levi’s lips were warm compared to Eren’s chapped ones, but neither minded.

Levi nipped his bottom lip and pulled away reluctantly. He grabbed Eren’s hand and tugged him down the sidewalk.

“Come on, brat.”

Chapter Text

Eren

Eren was scrambling around with Sasha, attempting to make dinner. They were behind schedule, They forgot to buy a key ingredient for their recipe. They spent twenty minutes going over what they had and what they could make. They eventually came up with something and were now trying to make up for lost time. Eren gave Levi a quick hug when he arrived and went back to cooking with Levi chuckling after him. The people who were waiting chatted casually, and thankfully were not upset or impatient for the food. Not that they had energy to, it was the time for midterms. Levi and Eren hadn’t had much time with each other due to tests and time spent studying. Luckily, both of them were done and Eren was going to head back with Levi to his apartment for the night. Earlier that day, Armin had jumped around the room ecstatically and shoved a bunch of condoms in Eren’s hand. It took a while to calm him down and explain that they weren’t to that stage yet and were just going to hang out. Armin didn’t seem convinced and Eren wouldn’t be surprised if he found condoms in his bag later that night.

Dinner was finally done and distributed to everyone in the room. It was a quiet affair, and people left early, thoroughly sleepy and ready for bed. Eren was slumped against Levi, ready to do the same but valiantly trying to keep himself awake. He heard footsteps stop near them.

“Goodnight brother, get some rest.” A quick kiss to his cheek. He mumbled nonsense back to her. “Take care of him for me.”

“I will.” He heard Levi reply. He heard Armin giggle.

“Have fun, Eren.”

He grumbled at him, trying to warn him off but not giving the effort to do so. The footsteps left.

“Come on, brat. Still want to come to my house or want to go to bed?”

Eren was up in an instant, swaying on his feet.

“No.” He said stubbornly. “Let’s go to your place.” He hesitated. “As long as that’s okay with you?”

Levi huffed and looped an arm with us.

“Of course it is.” Levi led him outside and a short walk to where his car was parked, buckling him in and ruffling his hair. Eren grumbled again leaning his head back. The ride was a blur, and so was the trip up into the apartment, Levi probably carrying him a bit. They finally ended up lying down, facing each other. Eren snuggled deeper into Levi’s arms, tucking his head against his chest and listening to the beating of his heart. He patted Levi’s chest.

“Levi…” He mumbled, struggling to keep his eyes open. Levi pulled him closer.

“Shh. Sleep.”

Sure. He could do that.

“Nimmngt.”

Levi chuckled at him, somehow understanding what he meant.

“Night.”

 

Eren was cocooned in warmth when he woke and he sighed in contentment. He stiffened when he felt arms around him before remembering where he was. He felt his face heat up.

“Mornin’ sunshine.” Levi’s voice was deep and gravely, still sounding sleepy. Eren smiled at the sound and the way his chest vibrated. Levi grumbled, weaving his fingers into Eren’s hair and gently tugging. Eren obliged and lifted his head. He felt lips on his nose and giggled.

“Morning.” Eren replied, angling his face away, only to bring it back when fingers grabbed his chin.

“What’re doin?”

“I’m sure I have morning breath.”

“So do I. Gross. I didn’t even brush my teeth.”

Eren felt Levi cringe after saying that. He laughed at him but was quickly quieted by lips meeting his in a brief peck. Levi sat up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed, pulling the sheets and making the mattress dip on one side.

“Nooooooooooo come baaaaackkkk.” Eren lunged forwards and wrapped his arms around Levi’s waist. “You’re making me cooooold.”

Levi grabbed Eren’s wrists and tried to pry them apart.

“Muahhahaha you shall never leave now!” Eren crowed, pulling Levi backwards. Levi suddenly twisted in his arms, straddling Eren and resting his weight on his arms next to Eren’s head.

“Wha-” Eren was cut off again by lips meeting his, but this time was different from the first. Levi’s tongue traced the seam of his lips, which slowly parted. Eren felt hands at the nape of his neck, deepening the kiss as Levi’s tongue traced the cavern of his mouth. All of a sudden, he was gone, jumping off the bed and running into the bathroom with a loud,

“MUAHAHAHHA TO YOU!”

Eren was left sprawled on the bed, his face burning. Soon enough, Levi came back, lightly slapping his leg.

“Get up, let’s get some breakfast.”

Eren said nothing and numbly stood, suddenly realizing he was in unfamiliar territory when he took a few steps forwards, arms outstretched.

“Am I… in your bedroom?”

Arms wound around his waist from behind and a kiss was left behind his ear. He shivered and leaned back into Levi’s warmth.

“You just realized that now? My bed is ten times comfier then that couch. Come on.” He led Eren out, pausing to let him get a feel of the area, and pushed him towards the bathroom. Before he could go in he felt fingers in his hair, pushing it away from his ears.

“Are your ears red? I wonder why.” He said in a playful voice.

Eren recalled the event minutes before and slammed the door in Levi’s face, hearing him snicker as he walked away. Eren’s face fell in his hands, feeling the heat radiating from them. He smiled.

He was beginning to map our Levi’s apartment, it wasn’t very large but it was a decent size for one person. He made his way to the kitchen where he assumed Levi would be. He was greeted and pulled into a warm embrace once more.

“What do you want to eat?” Levi asked him, pulling him close. Eren paused to think for a moment.

“How about french toast?”

“I’m afraid the last time I attempted those I nearly burnt my kitchen down.”

Eren laughed and gently pushed Levi towards the chairs.

“I’ll make breakfast this time.” He paused. “Wait, come back. I don’t know where your stuff is.”

 

They ate breakfast in relative silence and then cuddled close on the couch together, random music playing softly in the background. Levi was mostly on his back with Eren laying across his chest. Levi ran a hand through Eren’s hair, sorting out all the tangles. After a while, he softly nudged the brunette.

“What are you thinking about?”

Eren was silent for a moment and hesitated before speaking.

“Something my Dad said.”

Levi’s hand froze for a moment then resumed.

“You know you shouldn’t believe anything that bastard says.”

“I know… but…”

“But what?”

Eren sighed.

“He said something about how ‘perfect’ I was or whatever and that made my Mom love me more. He said that I was ‘perfect’ until I became blind. Like he implied he had something to do with it.”

Levi pondered for a minute, his other arm curling around Eren.

“Well, did either of your parents mention if you were born blind or not?”

Eren shook his head.

“No, they never said anything about it. I just assumed I was always this way.”

“I don’t think you should think too much into it, he was probably trying to scare you.”

Eren hummed.

“Yea. Probably…” Eren let the thought go, relaxing into Levi’s warmth. The couple dozed on and off until Eren’s phone beeped, startling them both. Eren groaned.

“I forgot I had that damn thing on loud…” He ignored it. Then it went off again. With a dramatic sigh he untangled himself as little as possible and pulled it out, holding it up to his ear.

Two new text messages from: Mikasa.

Eren hit the button.

Eren, are you still at Levi’s?

I need you to call me, stay where you are.

Eren abruptly sat up and Levi followed soon after.

“Somethings wrong.” Eren managed before holding the phone to his ear and tapping his foot. Levi grabbed his hand and rubbed his thumb over the back. Eren switched the phone to the other side and leaned closer to Levi so he could hear. Mikasa picked up on the second ring.

“Eren? Where are you?”

‘I’m still at Levi’s, what’s wrong? Are you alright?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine.” Mikasa hurriedly assured him. “Mary just texted me.” She paused. “She said she is coming to visit and needs to talk. She also made it clear that she’s coming alone.”

Eren released the breath he was holding.

“What do you think that can mean?” He asked.

“I don’t know… But I think it’s best if you stay away from the dorms for a while.”

Eren nodded.

“Alright… And Mikasa?”

“Yea?”

“You know that the problem I have is with my father, right? That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t trust your Mom.”

There was a slight pause.

“I know. But my mother is incredibly smart, and she wouldn’t stay with a drunkard who could be abusive, especially with their kids. Something just doesn’t feel right.”

“Okay… Just be safe and keep me updated.”

“Sure thing. Bye.”

Eren hung up and set his phone on a nearby surface. He didn’t realize he was frowning until Levi’s hand came up and traced his mouth.

“Don’t be worried. Your sister can handle herself.”

Eren leaned back against him.

“I know… But Mikasa has really good instincts and always trusts them. I just don’t want anything to ruin her relationship with her mom. She trusts her, and trust with Mikasa is a very precious thing.”

Levi gently pushed at Eren’s shoulders until he turned, then he wrapped his arms around him.

“Whatever happens, we’ll get through it. You can stay here as long as you need.”

“Thank you.” Eren mumbled, feeling drowsy. Levi leaned them back until they were in their original position, hand combing through his hair once more.

Chapter Text

Mikasa POV

 

Mikasa was currently sitting in a small café waiting nervously for her mother. She recalled the phone call, Mary had sounded frantic and almost scared. She asked to meet in a public space where she could talk to Mikasa privately. She also stated that she was alone. Was this something about Grisha? When she was a child he had seemed somewhat off, detached from the world, always with a glaze in his eyes. But Mary had said that was due to the alcohol. Her thoughts were interrupted by the bell above the door. Mikasa stood when she saw her mother to wave her over. Mary was pale, and haggard, wearing wrinkled clothing and no make-up, which was very rare. Her mother always had a pristine appearance and was a neat freak. Mikasa’s eyebrows furrowed and she pulled her scarf over her nose to hide her concern when she sat down with Mary across from her. Mary smiled wanly,

“Hello dear. It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

Mikasa nodded. “What's wrong, Mom?”

Her mothers smile faded and she glanced over her shoulder before hunching forwards on the table to lean closer to her daughter.

“Things have been… a bit tough.”

“Does it have something to do with Grisha?”

Mary blinked in surprise and then hesitantly nodded. “About his visit… You told me he hit Eren. Grisha has been acting differently lately, drinking more and more and almost always being drunk.” Mary sighed and ran her hand through her tangled hair. “He quit his job and just stays home all the time. The smallest thing will set him off and he will be angry. He rants to himself and paces the living room, and recently has been ranting about Eren, muttering about all sorts of things, how much he hates him.” Mary finally glanced up. Mikasa had been still and listening but had stiffened in her seat. Mary met her eyes and leaned forwards even more. “I heard him whispering about even killing Eren a couple times.” Mikasa’s eyes widened and an almost inaudible gasp escaped her lips.

“Have you called the police?!”

Mary shook her head. “I don’t have any evidence, and he said it while he was drunk. I don’t know how he made it all the way here and even found Eren in his state.”

Her mother seemed frustrated and angry, sitting tense in her chair with her head down. Mikasa took this as guilt. She reached a hand forwards and placed it on her shoulder.

“It’s not your fault, you can’t work and keep an eye on him.” Her mother just sighed and slumped in her chair.

“Mom?” Mikasa asked cautiously. “Has Grisha ever hit you?” Mary tensed and slowly lifted her head, her faced closed.

“Um, rarely, only when he is really, really drunk. And he doesn’t hit very hard either, it isn’t enough to be concerned about.”

That made Mikasa angry. “It is! Does he verbally insult you too? Or threaten you?” Her mother remained silent in her chair. Mikasa stood halfway out of her chair, her scarf slipping down from her face. “This isn’t okay, Mom!”

Mary reached across the table and shushed her daughter, begging her to sit and quiet down while glancing around. Mikasa slowly obliged, her eyes furious.

“Mom, you can live with me for a while, get away from him!”

Mary shook her head and smiled gently.

“No, sweetheart, he will probably kill himself if I don’t go back, and I still have work.” She cut off Mikasa’s next retort. “But I took some vacation time and decided to stay here for a week to visit you, if that’s alright?”

Mikasa eagerly nodded her head. “Of course it is! You can stay with me.”

Her mothers smile faltered, “No, no, it’s fine, I don’t want to intrude. I have a place at Cherry’s Bed and Breakfast. It’s a nice little place.”

“But Mom-”

“Really, dear. I insist.”

Mikasa huffed and glared at her mother but finally relented, falling back into her chair. She took a deep breath, if Mary was here for only a week then she shouldn’t be so angry. She forced a small smile on her face and gestured to the counter across the room.

“Do you want a coffee or tea? I wouldn’t mind getting you one.”

Mary shook her head and stood, suddenly more energetic. Mikasa stood as well, slightly confused.

“It’s alright, dear.” She pulled Mikasa into a hug. “I best be off, I have some groceries to pick up. Let’s get together tomorrow, alright? Just call me when and where!” She stepped back and turned to leave, waving over her shoulder, leaving a dumbfounded Mikasa behind. She shook her head and went to the counter to order a small pick me up.

As she walked back to her dorm she couldn’t help but think about the conversation. She was really concerned for her mother, especially if Grisha was abusing her and she was playing it off lightly. But when Mary left the restaurant she seemed almost… satisfied. But she should be, considering she was away from Grisha. But something still seemed off, maybe Mary wasn’t telling her everything. Was Grisha going to come here? Is he coming after Eren? Is Mary running for her safety?

Before she knew it Mikasa was back to her building and stood staring at the door before eventually pulling out her key card to get in. When she got to her room she pulled out her cell phone and dialed Eren’s number.

 

Eren POV

 

Eren sat in Levi’s living room listening to random music as he anxiously waited for his phone to ring. He had it in his hands and kept checking it for missed calls, even though he knew if he couldn’t hear it he would be able to feel it vibrate as well. Eren wanted to be up and pacing around but Levi had him tucked securely in his arms as he attempted to keep him calm. Eren sighed and leaned back into Levi, trying to relax his muscles but mostly failing. Levi hugged him closer. After Mikasa had first called he managed to fall asleep once more but woke up a few hours later. He shot up and had grabbed his phone, thinking he missed a call. Levi had quickly assured him that he had been paying attention and it didn’t go off. Now, Eren didn’t know how much time had passed, probably not a lot, but with how worried he was it felt like a long time.

Eren nearly jumped off the couch when his phone finally went off in his hands, he did however, break out of Levi’s embrace. Eren immediately answered it and held the phone to his ear, Levi leaning up to listen.

Once he heard his sisters voice he starting shooting off questions. “Mikasa? How was she? What did she want to talk about? Was it about Gr-”

“Eren! Slow down!” Mikasa interrupted. When Eren quieted she took a deep breath and recounted the events at the café. When she finished Eren had calmed down and sat thinking over what she said.

“Do you really think he is abusing her?”

“He did hit you, remember?”

“Of course I do! But that was only once! I don’t… I can’t really imagine him…” Eren sighed. “I don’t know.”

“Try not to worry about it so much. We’ll figure it out and deal with whatever problem there is.” She paused. “If you wanted, you could talk to her yourself.” She suggested quietly. Eren thought for a moment.

“Maybe… I don’t know anymore. What did your instincts tell you?”

“Something was different, I don’t think she is telling me everything. I think she is holding back, but I don’t know what it is or why, but I plan on figuring it out.”

“You said she is staying for a week? Maybe we could get her to relax a bit, take her out and show her around, get her to a quiet and secluded place and then confront her about it.”

“So does that mean you are willing to meet up with her?”

“If it means finding the truth, yea I guess.”

“Don’t do this if you really don’t want to, Eren, okay? She told me to call her tomorrow to set up a time and place. If you want to join just call me in the morning around ten and we can come up with a plan.”

“Alright then. Get some sleep, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Eren hung up and sat with the phone in his hands. He almost forgot about Levi’s presence until his arms wound around him once more.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

Eren nodded. “I need answers.”

Levi kissed the top of his head. “I’m worried about you.” He muttered.

Eren maneuvured around until he was laying on top of him. He cradled Levi’s face in his hands and gave him a quick peck.

“I think I know what I am doing, Mikasa will keep me safe. I would love for you to come but she will never open up in front of a stranger.”

Levi sighed. “I know, just… be careful. I don’t like how all of this sounds.”

They lay in silence for a bit before Eren broke it.

“Hey, Levi.” He poked the raven in the chest. Levi hummed. “Can we order takeout?”

Levi huffed, “What, don’t like my cooking?”

“Nah, I’m just in the mood for Chinese.”

Levi shook his head and leaned to grab the phone, muttering about silly brats and shitty food. The rest of the evening was uneventful and quiet as Eren mentally prepared himself for the next day and Levi thought about what he was supposed do by himself.

Chapter Text

Eren waited anxiously with his sister for Mary to arrive. They had decided to meet in the park. It was quiet, peaceful, and somewhat secluded. There was also a really good ice cream stand halfway though. Eren had suggested that they ask Mary some of their questions after a stroll through the park but Mikasa disagreed. She said it was too soon in Mary's visit and that they should wait until another day. So today the plan was simply to get her to relax and have some fun.

Mikasa sighed next to him, she had already given up on trying to calm him down and have him sit on the bench next to her. He wasn’t much better earlier that morning, and it certainly hadn’t gone unnoticed by Levi. Levi was worried about him but wished him well, sending him off with the memory of warm and soft lips on his. Levi decided to hang out with Hanji while waiting for Eren, which was good since Hanji had been threatening on coming over herself to say hello. Levi had also claimed he was going to get his spare key back from her as well, although Eren seriously doubted he would succeed. The eccentric woman probably had a whole stash of copies, keeping her out was just not going to happen.

Eren finally sat down on the bench with his sister, letting out a gusty sigh as he did. Mikasa wrapped an arm around him without a word. Eren let himself relax into her warmth.

“It’s been a while since just me and you hung out, hasn’t it?” There was a pause and then Mikasa replied.

“Yea, it has. I guess we’ve been pretty busy lately. Do you want a sibling bonding time, brother?”

Eren chuckled, “Maybe not as fancy as a bonding time. But a movie sounds good. Maybe I’ll grab Sasha the morning of and bake some desserts….” He mused aloud. “Hey ‘Kasa, have you made any more friends? Besides your weights and muscles of course.”

Mikasa lightly punched him in the arm and scoffed. “As a matter of fact I have. Sort of. Remember those girls you invited to the dinner? Ymir and Krista?”

Eren nodded. He had been tired that evening and hadn’t really spoken to them after being the one to invite them. He felt guilty about it afterwards but forgot about it in the recent events. Eren was pulled out of his thoughts by his sister.

“Well Ymir is interested in going to the gym but doesn’t really know what to do, she has told me that she runs a couple times a week. She is also trying to convince her girlfriend as well. I promised to give them a tour of the place, hook them up with some people, and coach them myself, although I am thinking Krista may enjoy Yoga more than the machines…”

“That’s really generous of you, are you sure you have enough time?” Eren asked.

“Probably. It isn’t going to be very time consuming since I spend most of my time there anyways.”

Eren scoffed, “That’s very true. If I didn’t know better I would think you lived there.” Eren heard her draw a breath to reply but was interrupted.

“It’s so nice to see you two getting along so well!” Mary exclaimed from behind them. Eren felt Mikasa jump and was shocked she hadn’t seen her coming. Mikasa usually had really good instincts and was constantly aware of her surroundings.

They stood and turned to face Mary.

“Mom!” Mikasa said warmly and moved towards her, Eren assumed, for a hug. He swallowed nervously and held out a hand in front of him, hoping she would get the hint.

“Hey, Mary.” He attempted to say nicely. There was a slight pause and then a petite hand gently grasped his.

“Hello, Eren. You look really well, I hope college is going good for you?”

Eren nodded in response and withdrew his hand.

“Any luck with girlfriends yet?” She continued. Mikasa choked.

“Ah…. No…” Eren slowly replied, not wanting to discover her opinion on his sexuality.

“Oh well! Don’t worry, you’ll find someone for you someday.”

There was another awkward pause until Mikasa threw and arm over his shoulders and exclaimed, “Let’s walk!”

They strolled down the path and the farther they walked, the more comfortable they got. Mikasa began talking about her major and all the professors she was making connections with. Then she spoke about a potential internship at a local gym that she was thinking of applying for.

“Hey! You never told me about that!” Eren exclaimed, gently elbowing her in the side. “I would say to go for it, what’s the harm? That you don’t get picked? You definitely won’t get that internship if you don’t apply.”

Mikasa hummed.

“I agree with Eren, sweetheart. I would also say to apply for a bunch of different internships so you have a choice of selection, even if you don’t get the one you want.You can accept it anyways and gain experience.”

There was a pause in their conversation.

“Hey, Mikasa, are we close to that ice cream stand yet? It’s kinda hot out.”

He heard Mary exclaim, “Ice cream?”

Mikasa giggled at her over-enthusiasm and then gasped suddenly.

“Mom!” She nearly shouted, halting their walk, “I almost forgot! How is your pregnancy?”

Eren heard a hitch in Mary’s breathing as she replied,

“Well enough, dear. Nothings showing yet, but I suppose I am having cravings…”

It seemed like Mary didn’t really want to talk about, probably due to who the father is. He took a deep breath and reached forward until his hand gently found her arm, entwining it with his.

“Then let’s go get some ice cream.” He gently pulled her along the path, almost feeling the mute shock coming from Mikasa somewhere behind him. She re-joined them soon enough.

They spent the rest of the afternoon just chatting and catching up. Mikasa told her about Ymir and Krista and urged Eren to talk about college as well. Even Eren joined in a little, even giving her some tips about cooking and some websites to check out for simple recipes. They parted ways as the sun began to set.

Eren walked with Mikasa back towards Levi’s apartment. Eren noticed an odd silence with Mikasa and nudged her with his shoulder.

“Hey, ‘Mika.” Mikasa hummed in acknowledgement. “You… seem kinda off. I thought the meeting actually went pretty well… Maybe a few more like that and I may begin to like her.” He attempted to joke, but heard no response. Mikasa heaved a sigh.

“I don’t know… She just… seemed different somehow. Not like herself.”

Eren tilted his head and thought a bit before replying. “Well… it sounds like she is having trouble with Grisha like…” Eren swallowed, shoving the memories back, “like I was.”

Mikasa huffed in frustration, “No, not like that. Like the mother I knew growing up wasn’t there, or was only a shadow of who I knew. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just tired and overthinking it.”

Eren stopped and pulled her into a poorly aimed one arm hug, which she eagerly returned. He hugged her tight and said, “Don’t worry about it for tonight. You can ask her about it tomorrow or we can all look into it.” Mikasa sighed again and Eren had a sudden thought. “’Mika… Do you remember Hannes?” He asked cautiously.

Mikasa suddenly stiffened in his arms. “Eren…” She said in a warning tone. Hannes had been a close family friend of theirs back when their mother was alive. He is a cop and was one of the first responders on scene after Carla’s murder. They had fallen out of touch after that, the memories and grief too painful.

Eren avoided the topic carefully, knowing it would upset them both. “Hannes is probably still in the police, ‘Mika. We can ask him to look into some of Mary’s files.”

Mikasa pulled away and was silent for a while. “I feel like that is a serious breach in privacy as daughter to mother…. But I really do think something strange is going on. Trust me, something is up.”

Eren smiled. “Of course I trust you. Let’s call him tomorrow, together.” Eren heard a relieved sigh this time.

“Okay then, brother.” Her mood seemed to swiftly change, causing Eren to pause. “Let’s get you back to your boyfriend so you can make SWEET SWEET LOOOOVE!” Eren slapped a hand over Mikasa’s mouth, feeling his face rapidly turning a bright red.

“Mikasa!!!” His sister burst into giggles and pulled him back into a walk. “You need to meet Hanji… I have a feeling you two would get along.” He grumbled as he let Mikasa pull him along. Then he paused to think on what he said. “Wait no. No. Actually that would be a terrible idea!”

“Hanji, you said? Didn’t you mention she was going to spend time with Levi?”

Eren could see where she was going with this.

“No. No. No I don’t think I did…”

“So that means she is with Levi now… Hurry brother!! I must return you to your prince!”

Eren sighed and dragged his feet, but he let a small smile on his lips at his sisters improved mood.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

Eren woke to soft breathing, warmth, and strong arms hugging him close. Eren sighed in content and snuggled closer to Levi, inhaling his familiar scent. Yesterday, Mikasa had walked Eren back to Levi’s apartment and, luckily, by that time Hanji had already left. Before Mikasa went back to the dorms she had pulled Eren aside.

“Eren, do you remember what you said earlier?”

Eren could hear the trepidation in her voice. He thought for a moment. “I don’t know… I said a lot of things earlier.” He cocked his head and reached out for Mikasa’s shoulder, worried something was wrong.

“What you said about Hannes.” Realization swept over Eren as Mikasa continued, “I think we should call him. I have his number somewhere back in my room, in an old contact book. I’m sure of it.”

Eren pulled Mikasa into a light hug, knowing she wasn’t usually one for close contact. Mikasa wrapped her arms around his waist and surprisingly hugged him back.

“Only if you’re sure, this is about your mother.” Eren replied.

“I know. I think it might be for the best. Something is going on and I want to know what it is.”

Eren nodded into her shoulder.

“Can I come over tomorrow sometime in the afternoon and we can call him?”

Eren smiled brightly, “Of course! That also means that I can sleep in!”

Mikasa poked him in the side. “Or that means you can do your homework, don’t forget tomorrow is Sunday, not Saturday.”

Eren groaned at the reminder. “But Mikasaaaa….”

Mikasa pulled away with a slight chuckle, patting him on the back with mock sympathy. “You can always ask your boyfriend for help.”

Eren grumbled again but followed Mikasa to the door to say goodnight.

Arms tightened around his waist and brought him out of his thoughts. Levi grumbled incoherent words into his hair as he slowly woke up. Eren tilted his face, his lips brushing the underside of Levi’s chin. He lightly nipped it. Levi huffed and carefully sat up, muttering “coffee” under his breath. Eren reached out with a frown, his hand coming in contact with Levi’s arm. He felt Levi still and his body turn towards him.

“Did you not sleep well?” Eren asked, sitting up too. He felt a hand cup his face and a thumb trace his frown.

“I slept fine, although I may have had too many drinks with Hanji yesterday and now my head is regretting it.”

Eren chuckled at him remembering how he noticed Levi was out of it last night.

“I was wondering what had you acting weird.”

Levi suddenly stiffened and reached out to grab Eren, pulling him to his chest.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get drunk and make you feel uncomfortable, I won’t let it happen again if you want…”

Eren cut him off, finally understanding Levi’s behavior. “You didn’t make me feel uncomfortable and I’m not stupid, you know. I know the difference between my Dad…” Eren’s breath hitched, “I mean, Grisha and you.”

Levi relaxed a bit. “You’re not stupid. I don’t think you’re stupid.”

Eren laughed and tucked his face in the crook of his neck. “Ya know, if anything it was actually kind of funny.” Levi groaned, falling backwards and pulled Eren on top of him. Eren propped his chin on Levi’s chest and continued. “You were actually kind of clingy.”

Levi shushed him and tried covering his mouth.

“And you were all snuggly…”

Levi scoffed. “Snuggly? Is that even a word?”

Eren nodded against his palm and pulled his hand away. “I think I can call you a koala bear drunk.”

“Eren.” Eren hummed in response. “Do you remember my trick for getting you to stop talking?”

Eren furrowed his brows in confusion, only having a split second to think before Levi’s lips were on his. Oh. He thought faintly, before Levi gently flipped them over so Eren’s back was on the bed and Levi’s forearms were supporting his weight next to his head. Eren buried his hands in his boyfriends hair, pulling him closer. Levi tilted his head, and licking his lower lip asking for entrance. Eren granted it, letting Levi explore his mouth.

A sudden knocking on the door had Levi jerking back and Eren gasping for air.

Eren cursed between breaths. “That’s probably Mikasa. What time is it?”

Levi chuckled and pushed himself off the bed. “It’s past noon.”

Eren groaned and rubbed his eyes, pushing the thoughts of his homework to the back of his mind. He sat up at the same time something hit his face. Eren reached into his lap to feel the soft fabric of a shirt. His face burned bright red at the realization that his chest was bare. Levi huffed at him and footsteps led to the bathroom. Eren pulled on the shirt and felt his way out of the room and to the front door, hearing his phone buzz on the nightstand behind him as he left. He hesitated just as he grabbed the door knob.

“Who is it?” He called out, thinking it was better not to assume it was Mikasa.

“It’s your sister you dweeb.”

Eren shook his head and unlocked the door, letting her inside. He heard her pause after he closed the door.

“It’s amazing you actually have clothes on.” She then moved past him and into the living room. A very confused Eren followed.

“What?” He asked. He heard footsteps and then arms wrapping around his waist.

“What’s going on?” Levi asked.

“I don’t know. ‘Mika?” He heard her scoff.

“Oh please, with his hair and your red face I think I might have interrupted something.”

If it was even possible Eren felt his face burn even more.

“Eren, when I said to let Levi help you I meant with your homework.”

Eren gasped and hid his face in his hands. Levi huffed in amusement into his neck and Mikasa let out a soft laugh as she settled onto the creaky couch. Eren sighed into his hands, thinking of Levi’s nice, comfy bed in a quiet room. Levi moved from behind him, grabbing his wrists and gently lowering them and leading him to the couch as well. Eren snuggled into Levi’s side and refused to acknowledge Mikasa’s presence.

Levi quietly murmured into his ear, “And you said I was the snuggly one.” Eren shuddered at the warm breath and tucked himself even more into Levi.

“Please don’t forget that I am still here.” Mikasa grumbled.

Eren realized he was conveniently in the middle of the couch and kicked out his foot, hitting Mikasa in the side. She grunted in pain.

“Alright, alright.” She muttered. Silence fell between them as they remembered what Mikasa was there for. Eren sighed and felt Levi begin to run his hand through his hair. Levi spoke up, realizing the siblings were both avoiding making the call.

“Do you two need a phone?” He hesitated, “Or privacy?”

At that, Eren reached out and grabbed some of Levi’s shirt in his hand, silently asking him not to leave. Mikasa heaved out a sigh and said,

“I’ll call him.” There was some rummaging and then she put her phone on speaker as it began to dial. After three rings someone picked up.

“Officer Hannes speaking.”

“Hannes, it’s Mikasa.”

There was a brief silence.

“Mikasa…” Hannes said warmly. “It’s been a while. How is your brother?”

“He’s here too, you’re on speaker.”

“How are you kids?”

“We’re doing alright… except a few strange things have been going on and we were wondering if we could ask you a favor.”

Hannes picked up on the serious tone Mikasa had.

“What’s going on?”

Mikasa ignored the question. “We are hoping you can look into someone’s file for us.”

“Kids, tell me what’s going on.”

Eren finally spoke up. “We don’t really know ourselves right now, we just need some answers.”

“I’m coming down there, I’ll leave in a few hours-”

“No!” Mikasa interrupted. “We really need to know more about this person, and we need you there.”

“Are you kids in danger?” Hannes asked, worry lacing his tone.

Eren and Mikasa hesitated.

“I don’t think so, at least not right now.” Mikasa replied.

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

“Please, Hannes.” Eren pleaded. There was a heavy sigh as Hannes conceded.

“Alright… Who is it?”

Mikasa quietly answered. “My mother.” There was silence from Hannes and then an intake of breath, but Mikasa spoke again before him. “Please don’t ask questions right now, I promise I will answer them later.” There was another heavy sigh.

“You kids need to give me at least something if you want me to break the law for you.”

Eren answered this time. “It has something to do with my father and her mother, something is going on. Possibly something to do with my vision.” Eren added the last sentence as a quiet afterthought, recalling his father’s words. “She loved you so much. She loved more than me!” His voice changed. “Her precious son, oh so perfect since the day you were born. Well,” He sneered, “Until you were blind.”

Hannes voice broke him out of his thoughts. “You mean when you were three years old?”

Eren stiffened. “What?” He asked in shock.

“Uh oh…” He heard Hannes mutter.

“Hannes…” Mikasa said in a threatening voice. “What aren’t you telling us?”

Hannes cursed softly. “I didn’t realize Carla didn’t tell you.”

“Tell me what?” Eren asked cautiously.

“I’m sorry Eren, I suppose she didn’t tell you if you didn’t remember. You weren’t blind until you were three years old; you had perfect vision before that.” Eren listened in stunned silence, vaguely feeling Levi pull him closer. “You got very sick very quickly, no one knows why. Your father initially refused to take you to the hospital, saying he could take care of you himself. Carla got so worried though, she even called me. She took you to the hospital herself while Grisha was asleep.” Hannes paused to take a breath. “The doctors there had no idea what could have gotten so sick, most likely something you ate or got into when no one was looking. Some sort of chemical. They had to put you in a medically induced coma until you were better. When they woke you was when they realized you lost your vision. Your case was a medical mystery to them.”

Eren couldn’t speak, he was so confused. And kind of numb.

“Thanks for telling us Hannes.” Mikasa said in a soft tone.

“Yea, well, I hope it was the right thing to do. I’ll see what I can get my hands on for you kids. Take care of yourselves alright?”

They said their goodbyes and Mikasa hung up the phone. Eren felt her get off the couch and then there as a gentle hand on his face.

“Eren, are you alright?” She asked.

Eren nodded. “I think so. Just… surprised I guess.” And he really was alright, he honestly didn’t expect that news but it did clear up his confusion on some things Grisha had said to him. He couldn’t miss what he didn’t remember, right?

“Okay. I’ll be headed out then.”

Eren nodded at Mikasa again and heard her leave, quietly shutting the door behind her.

“Are you really alright, brat?” Levi asked him.

Eren nodded once more and pulled at Levi until they were lying on the couch together. “Yea, I really am.” Levi pulled him close and Eren sighed in content. A thought suddenly occurred to him and he patted Levi’s chest.

“Hey, Levi?”

“Hm?”

“When all this is over do you think we can go back to that weird room and I can learn to play on the piano some more?”

“Yes, of course.” He replied warmly. He placed a kiss on his temple and Eren felt him smile.

 

Mikasa POV

She shut the door behind her quietly and stood a moment outside of the apartment. Things were getting more and more confusing. Grisha obviously knew about Eren’s blindness, but did Mary? Mikasa wanted answers and she hoped Hannes might give them to her. She didn’t want to wait possibly days for Hannes to get back to them. Some answers she could find out for herself, right now. Mikasa remembered the place her mother mentioned she was staying at. Cherry’s Bed and Breakfast. Mikasa set out from the apartment, determination in her steps. This could be a good idea or a very bad one.

Chapter Text

Mikasa POV

 

It was a little after 1:00 pm. That meant Mary could be out for lunch or groceries and whatnot. This gave Mikasa some time to return home, eat some food, and find out how to get to Cherry’s Bed and Breakfast. Mikasa began heading back to her dorm room, sighing to herself. She did feel guilty about not telling Eren her plan, but she figured he wouldn’t be too upset. He wasn’t too fond of her mother after all. She smiled, remembering Eren’s genuine effort to be friendly towards Mary. She just hoped that her mother was going to be okay. She was going to get to the bottom of this no matter what.

Mikasa returned to the dorm building quickly, caught up in her thoughts. As she approached her door she looked down to dig her keys out of her pocket. She heard someone clear their throat and looked up to find Jean standing awkwardly outside her door. She sighed again; she really didn’t want to deal with this right now. She paused in front of him.

“What?”

He cleared his throat again and shuffled his feet. “I- Um. I-I really like your hair.”

She blinked at him. Then blinked at him again. “I need to get into my room, so excuse me.”

Jean didn’t move. “Look, I really- I really like you, okay? Do you want to go out to eat sometime?” He said all in one quick breath.

“No.”

“You’re not even going to give me a chance?”

Mikasa glared at him. “I’m not into men.”

Jean snorted. “Aw come one, all girls say that.”

Mikasa growled and grabbed the front of his shirt, hauling him out of the way and slamming him onto the opposite wall. “Prick.” She muttered as she quickly entered the dorm, slamming the door behind her, making sure to lock it. She took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, and then released it. She opened the mini fridge and pondered what to eat.

 

Eren POV

 

Eren was currently snuggled into Levi’s side on the couch, right where Mikasa left them. He frowned. She sounded upset with the news, well obviously he was too, but she seemed to take it differently. He sighed; it was no good to worry about it now. He would contact her later tonight. Eren lifted his head and propped his chin on Levi’s chest.

“Hey Levi.”

“Hmm.” A hand wove into his hair and rubbed the back of his head.

“Levi, I’m hungry.”

Levi snorted and bopped Eren in the nose. “Then go get some food you brat.”

“But Leviiiiiii.” He heard Levi huff, soon followed by a chuckle.

“God, you are starting to sound like Hanji.”

Eren grinned and took a deep breath, fully prepared to scream at the top of his lungs like Hanji always does. But before he could release any sound Levi slapped his hand over his mouth.

“Don’t even think about it, brat.”

Eren licked the hand over his mouth and then burst into laughter at the sound Levi made. Eren rolled off Levi and stood, headed towards the kitchen. He mentally counted the cupboards and drawers, listing off their contents and thinking about what to make. He paused in front of the fridge. Soon enough he felt a pair of arms wound around his waist.

“Anything you’re in the mood to eat, Levi?”

Levi hummed and slowly rubbed his hand down towards Eren’s lower stomach, sliding his hand under the shirt. Eren gasped at the touch and then his breathing stuttered when Levi kissed the side of his neck. Levi chuckled again and hugged him closer, removing his hand from under his shirt. “Whatever you want.”

“Huh?” Came Eren’s unintelligible reply.

Levi huffed. “Whatever you want to eat.”

“O-Oh, right.”

Levi smiled into Eren’s neck.

Eren ended up making simple sandwiches, too tired to put effort into anything else. After lunch they ended up in the bed, cuddling together in the silent room.

Eren shifted against Levi. “Hey, Levi?”

“Don’t ‘hey Levi’ me you just ate.”

Eren laughed and snuggled closer. “That’s not what I meant grouchypants.” Eren fell silent, contemplating on how to voice his request. A hand rubbed soothingly over his back.

“Eren?”

He could hear the worry in Levi’s voice. “Can you talk to me?” He blurted out suddenly.

“What do you mean?”

Eren could just feel the confusion radiating off him. He was never really one for words. “I-I meant… could you talk to me? About anything? I can’t stare at you… so…” Eren trailed off awkwardly and hid his head against Levi’s chest. The hand on his back paused at the question.

Levi kissed the top of his head. “Sure.” He paused to gather his thoughts, and then began telling random stories from his childhood.

 

Mikasa POV

 

Mikasa finished tying the laces on her running shoes and headed out of her room, carefully peeking around the door to make sure Jean was nowhere in sight. Seeing that the coast was clear she ran out of the building, re-opening Google Maps. The bed and breakfast was a pretty far walk, but she could take the bus lines half way and jog the rest, arriving in time for an early dinner.

Mikasa pocketed her phone, hearing the bus come to the stop. She quickly climbed on, paying the one-time fee and sitting near the back. The ride passed quietly as she stared out the window attempting to wrap her mind around what the hell was going on.

When the bus was a few stops away she shook her head to clear her thoughts and looked around. It was only her and the bus driver. Mikasa began stretching, getting ready for her upcoming jog. Once the bus arrived she hopped off and thanked the driver. She rolled her shoulders and switched Google Maps to the walk mode to get her to the bed and breakfast. Plugging her earbuds in, she began to jog.

Her phone buzzed, letting her know she was close to her destination. Mikasa slowed down, pocketing her earbuds and pulling out the phone. The bed and breakfast should be around the next corner. She slowed more to a comfortable walk to cool down. As she rounded the corner she saw a beautiful wooden building labeled “Cherry’s Bed and Breakfast” with warm porch lights and pleasant music coming out the front door. There was a lit ‘Open’ sign in the window that flickered as she approached. It was a small building; it looked like it could offer four bed rooms at max, and through the windows it looked like most of it was a dining hall.

Mikasa stepped through the entrance and walked up to the front desk. The place had a cabin-like interior with a large fire place. The attendant up front looked up at her approach.

“Hi! Welcome to Cherry’s Bed and Breakfast, what can I do for you today?”

Mikasa smiled at him, “I am here to visit my mother, Mary Ackerman?”

The attendant folded his hands on the desk, “Ah, I’m sorry but we can’t give out client information.”

Mikasa held back her frown, quickly improvising. She pulled out her driver’s license, “Look, I understand that, but my Mom isn’t answering her phone and I’m worried about her.” She slid the license across the desk. “See? Same last name.” Mikasa held her breath as the attendant looked at the license. She could see him hesitate. Biting her lip she asked in a quieter tone, “Please? I’m really worried about her.”

The attendant sighed and handed back the license. “Fine, but don’t tell anyone I gave you the information.”

Mikasa nodded as he typed away at the computer.

“Alright, go through these doors at the back. We have small cabins where the guests stay. She is in Cabin 7.”

Mikasa beamed at him and thanked him, rushing through the doors. Once outside she had to pause to let her vision readjust. On the way down the path she passed a multitude of cabins, each looking exactly the same except for the number on the outside. They looked like one bedroom cabins with a small room in the back. Most likely for a bathroom. They looked cozy.

Mikasa quickly came up to cabin 7. However, as she drew closer she noticed someone else outside on the porch. She slowed and crouched down as she recognized the figure. Grisha.

Her brain kicked into overdrive as she thought about what to do. And then it clicked. She pulled out her phone and opened her video camera. If she could record Grisha’s behavior but stop him before he got too close to her mother then she would have enough to put him in jail.

He pounded on the door. “I know you’re in there…” The door opened to a surprised Mary. Mikasa rolled forwards on her feet, ready to jump up and run over.

“You’re early, Grisha.”

Mikasa froze. Mary stepped aside and let him in. What. The. Hell. Was. Going. On? She took a deep breath and crept forwards to the door. Grisha hadn’t closed the door all the way, and stayed close to it. Mikasa remained out of sight but slid her phone so she could look into the room through her camera, letting it record the scene. Mary and Grisha were standing in the center of the cabin facing each other, Grisha’s back to the door.

“I know what you’ve been up to, bitch.” Grisha snarled at Mary, clenching his fists.

“Oh? Do you really? You didn’t eat the dinners I made for you, did you?” This was a side of her mother that Mikasa had never seen: coy and devious.

Grisha moved forwards a step, swaying a little. “You drugged me!”

Mary sighed. “Yep. You didn’t eat the dinners. The sedatives would have been more than enough to keep you from coming after me for at least two days.” She sighed again and began pacing towards the bed. “This is what happens when I’m not home. Nothing gets done…”

Grisha followed her, step by step, keeping an even distance between them. “You’ve been drugging me for months!”

“Oh, for a lot longer than that sweetheart . There is no way you could have sobered up that quickly.” She turned to look at him, she grinned. “You can’t even focus you’re eyes, can you? What did you think you could accomplish, coming here?”

Grisha was breathing hard and trembling all over. “You have something of mine.”

Mary cocked her head confused. After a few moments a look of realization swept over her face. “Oh…” she put her hand on her belly. “You mean this?”

“Yes! I want my son! You will sign divorce papers and leave him to me!” Grisha snarled at her.

Mary laughed, turning towards the bed and rifling through her suitcase. “You’re an idiot, Grisha. I knew you would come for me, why do you think I ‘accidentally’ left my reservation on the table?” Grisha got only a few steps closer to her before she turned around, gun in her hand. He froze, looking at the weapon pointed straight at him. “I’m not pregnant, Grisha. I just wanted you to leave me alone. Effective, wasn’t it?” Grisha kept silent, his hands clenched and shaking at his sides. “You…” Mary continued, “You are getting nothing .” She paused, looking him up and down. “You’re research is invaluable, but you no longer have any use for me.” Grisha took a step back. She pulled the trigger.

The gunshot seemed to echo through her mind as everything seemed to go in slow motion. Mikasa watched his body hit the ground and the blood pool around him. She screamed.

Mary froze, a look of shock on her face as her daughter tumbled through the door, phone clutched in her hand. Mikasa looked up and saw the gun swing in her direction. She turned and ran. She ran faster than she ever had in her life.

She ran, and ran, and ran.

Chapter Text

Levi POV

Him and Eren were watching some random show on TV when the pounding on the door startled them both. Levi hesitated and then stood, making his way quickly to the door. He opened it to a frantic Mikasa, clothes covered in dirt and watery eyes. Wordlessly Levi let her in.

“Levi?” Eren called, “Who was that?”

All it took was a shaky inhale and a sniffle for Eren to be bolting up and feeling his way over to his sister. He hugged her tightly.

“Do I need to call the police?” Levi asked.

“Yes? I don’t know, I don’t know what to do… She-she shot him…”

Eren pushed her towards the couch, sitting down carefully beside her and grabbing her hands. Levi sat next to Eren. Mikasa seemed to be in a state of shock, trembling and staring at nothing.

“She-” Mikasa started. She swallowed and shook her head. Pulling her cell phone out of her pocket she handed it to Levi. “Just… just watch and listen.”

Eren leaned closer to him once he heard the video start. Levi saw the dark, slightly grainy video of a man knocking on a door.

I know you’re in there!

You’re early Grisha.

-Time skip to the end of the video-

Levi sat in stunned silence, the cell phone timed out and the screen going dark. Mikasa had her head in her hands and Eren was still as a statue.

“What the hell is going on?” Eren whispered.

Mikasa shook her head. “I don’t know anymore.”

“You should call your cop friend back.” Levi intervened, “this should be enough evidence to open your mothers file.”

Eren nodded his head and handed the cell phone back to Mikasa who took it and began dialing mechanically.

“Where’s Mary?” The question was like a pin dropping in the room. Levi felt realization sink in, she either ran or she was coming for them.

“She probably ran.” Levi answered. He turned to Mikasa, seeing she was still in a state of shock. “Do you want me to take the phone?” She handed it over without looking at him.

After a few rings a groggy voice answered, “What time is it?”

How the hell should he know? “Hannes, my name is Levi, I’m his...” He hesitated, not sure whether Eren was out to him.

“Boyfriend.” Eren muttered, loud enough for the phone. Levi almost smiled. Remembering their situation Levi said, “I’m sending a video to you now.”

They all waited for the muffled sounds of the video in the background to fade. It was quickly followed by every conceivable curse word that could exist along with shuffling noises. There was a click noise and then the booming voice of Hannes carried over the phone, “This is Officer Hannes! I need the task force in the office now!” More shuffling, “Yes right now! I don’t care who you have to wake up!” A slamming of a door and then, “Alright kids, stay safe, I’ll get on this immediately. I’ll try to call the station down there to get a protective unit.”

Eren spoke up, “There’s no need for that Hannes. We will be fine.”

“But-” Eren interrupted Hannes, “We will invite people over. We will be fine.” There was brief silence then a sigh. Hannes agreed and hung up. Silence filled the room once more.

Levi took initiative, “I’ll call Hanji and Erwin. Eren can you call Sasha? Mikasa can you call Armin?” Both nodded and Levi handed Mikasa the cell phone again.

Within the hour the doorbell rang. Levi got up once more and opened the door only to stop and say, “Hell no.”

Hanji threw her arms out dramatically exclaiming, “The squad is here reporting for duty!”

Levi pinched his nose and let them in, sitting next to Eren once more. Eren turned to him with a confused expression. Levi answered the unspoken question, “Looks like she brought extra people.”

Sasha spoke up, “We sure did! We are calling it ‘Mission Guard Duty’!”

Eren tilted his head and asked, “Who all is here?”

Armin stepped forward and gently grabbed one of Eren’s hands. “Well, you know how Sasha likes to gossip,” Ignoring the ‘Hey!’ behind him Armin continued, “Sasha, me, Connie, Ymir, Krista, and even Jean and his friend Marco are here.”

Levi looked at the familiar faces surrounding him and let himself show a small smile at them. “My friends are here as well,” he squeezed Eren’s hand letting him know he was talking directly to him, “You know Hanji and Erwin, the rest are Petra, Oluo, Eld, and Gunther. They are also friends from college.”

Eren tensed at all the new names. Armin leaned forwards to whisper, “Don’t worry, only Sasha, Hanji, and Erwin actually know what is going on. The rest were just asked to come for support.”

Levi felt Eren slowly relax. Sensing the awkward silence, “I never thought I would say this…. But Hanji….” He held out the remote, “Pick something to watch.”

Hanji squealed and ran forwards to snatch the remote. The next few hours were filled with Disney movies as everyone sprawled around the somewhat small living room. Eventually, Eren and Mikasa stopped waiting for the cell phone to ring and dozed off. Along with practically everyone else. Levi sighed. How did his apartment become a half-way house for the crazy? He made eye contact with Erwin across the room. Erwin had positioned himself closest to the door where he could keep an eye on it. Levi sent him a grateful smile. Man. He was smiling too much lately. What has gotten into him? Levi glanced down at Eren laying tucked in his arms. He was breathing softly, his long eyelashes occasionally fluttering as his eyes moved in his sleep. Levi gently stroked his cheek, his heart fluttering as Eren turned into the touch without waking up.

Levi gently pulled him closer and glanced at Erwin one last time, letting his head fall back on the couch. His eyelids slipped closed against his will and he drifted off into sleep.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

Eren woke to grumbles and groans. And the phone ringing. Fully awake he rolled towards the noise, arm stretched out, only to fall off the couch and onto something soft.

“I’ve got it.” Mikasa groaned.

Realization sank in when he felt a chest far too bumpy to be Levi and skinny arms encircle his waist. “Um….” He awkwardly started, “Who did I fall on?” A high pitched giggle confirmed it. “Hi, Hanji.” He said tiredly.

A voice off to his left, “Careful Jaeger, you’re going to make Levi jealous.”

“Fuck off horse face.” Eren replied. ‘Ooohhs’ and ‘Buuuurn’ quickly filled the room and anyone who might have been still asleep definitely woke up now. Sure enough, he felt Hanji’s arms ripped away and he was gently pulled up. Laughing, Eren hugged a grouchy Levi back. Suddenly remembering the phone call, Eren tensed, “Mikasa?” he asked. He heard a sigh. Levi’s hand gently stroked up and down his back. There were footsteps and Mikasa grabbed his hand, tugging him to a more private space.

“It was Hannes.” She replied. “He said that local cops couldn’t find her at Cherry’s Bed and Breakfast but they have a search out for her. They are waiting on a search warrant for the house but they shouldn’t have any trouble getting it.”

Eren cocked his head, “Why?”

Another sigh. “They found something in her office, Eren.” She hesitated, “It was in a locked false drawer. It… they found a detailed folder of Carla’s schedule.” Eren tensed as Mikasa continued, “It listed where she would be and when she would be there and Eren…” Mikasa grabbed both his hands now. He could feel dread coiling in his stomach. “Eren, the schedule was dated long before Grisha and her met, or at least before he told you they met.”

“What does that mean?” He whispered. Eren felt lightheaded all of a sudden but didn’t want to move to sit down.

“It might not mean anything Eren, maybe she was trying to get to Grisha or-”

“Or so she could she kil-” Eren breathed sharply through his nose. “I’m sorry Mikasa, she’s your mother, you must be worried.” He reached out and she pulled him into a hug.

“Honestly, I don’t know what to think about my mother right now. Things are so confusing and she’s not who I thought she was.” She sniffled. “I just don’t know where it all went wrong. She couldn’t have always been like this, she was a good mother when I was a child.”

Eren hugged her tighter. “We’ll get through this. Hannes will find answers.” She nodded. They stood in silence until both of them had calmed down. Calm might not be the word, perhaps numb. Eren stepped back with a deep breath. “We should probably head back out there. Does Armin know?”

“Yea. He was close enough to hear the phone call.” She replied.

They both made their way out to the living room, only to walk into a loud argument between Hanji and Sasha. Upon entering, Eren was immediately assaulted by Hanji who jumped at him and latched on like a koala. He barely had enough time to react and keep himself from falling over.

“Hanji!” He reprimanded only to have her scream in his face.

“EREN! Waffles or pancakes?!”

“What?”

“Waffles or pancakes?”

Eren shook his head. “Han-” Hanji was quickly pulled off him.

“She’s like a fucking leech isn’t she.” Levi’s voice came from beside him. The arguing picked back up again.

“What is going on in here?”

Levi huffed, “Tch. Hanji wants waffles but Sasha wants pancakes. Sasha thinks since she is the cook she gets to decide.”

“What does everyone else want?”

“I think they’re far too entertained to decide.” Levi muttered.

After a moment of deliberation, Eren clapped his hands, the room falling silent. “Alright! Sasha, we will make waffles and pancakes.” Ignoring the groan from Sasha and the screaming from Hanji he made his way over to the kitchen, prepared to keep his mind busy and off other things.

--Time Skip—

Everyone sat sated around the living room. And it was blessedly quiet. Eren was in between Levi and Mikasa, but there was a voice missing from the morning chatter. “Where’s Armin?” He asked.

“Busy.” Erwin replied.

Eren turned his head towards his voice. “Busy doing what?”

“I don’t know. Said he was going to go all ‘James Bond on their ass’, whatever that means.”

Eren groaned, throwing his head back. “Thanks, Erwin. I better go find him.” Eren stood, Levi not too far behind. Levi led him to his bedroom. Eren turned to Levi, “You let him in your bedroom?” He felt Levi shrug beside him.

“It’s not like there is anywhere else private besides near the front door, right?”

They entered the room. The only thing Eren heard was furious typing. “Armin… What are you doing?” The typing stopped.

“Investigating…” Came the cautious reply.

Eren sat next to him, making himself comfy. He felt the bed dip nearby. “Investigating what?”

“Did you know that Mary was the first responder on the scene for your moth-. Uh. That night at your house?”

“She’s a cop, Armin.” Eren hedged, shoving memories away.

“Yes, well, she responded within minutes of the call. Said she was nearby. Did you also know that most of the case is redacted or missing? And that the same thing happened with the murder of her husband? Break in, nothing stolen, boom.”

Eren swallowed, trying to ignore the possible implications. “Don’t tell Mikasa yet, that isn’t definite proof of-. Wait. How do you know this?”

Silence.

“Armiiiin…… Please don’t tell me you hacked into the police system.”

Silence.

“Armin!”

Levi snorted.

“Whaaat? How else was I to find that information?”

Eren groaned, throwing his hands up. “One of these days you’re going to get caught.”

“Hey, hand me your phone would ya?” Armin asked.

“Why? So you can use it to hack somewhere else?”

“No, of course not. I need to call Hannes and let him know.”

Eren took a deep breath. Calm. “Are you fucking insane?!” Nope. Not calm. “Armin, when I said one day you’re going to be caught I didn’t mean today!”

Armin huffed. “Fine. I’ll send an anonymous and untraceable email.”

“Armin!” Levi’s hand fell on his knee. “Fine. Better then calling Hannes directly.”

A few minutes of typing and clicking and then Armin said, “Alright, done! That will speed things up a bit.”

They re-joined everyone in the living room. Eren heard someone choking and people laughing. “What’s going on now!” He exclaimed, trying not to sound too concerned.

Petra spoke up, “Don’t worry, he just bit his tongue. Happens all the time.”

A voice Eren didn’t recognize yelled out, “I do no-!” CRUNCH.

Eren shuddered and the room burst into laughter again.

--Time Skip—

By the time the sun set everyone except Armin, Mikasa, and Eren had left Levi’s apartment. They still has not had any word from Hannes. They did receive a call from someone at the local department that said they were stationing a cop outside on the street to keep an eye on the building.

Around 9 pm they read a text message from Hannes that said the search warrant was granted and the search would begin tomorrow. With nothing else to do but worry, they fell into an uneasy sleep.

The next Eren woke he was on something soft, and warm, and… moving? Slowly moving his hands he realized he was partially on Levi’s chest and the soft sheets meant he was in the bedroom. Last thing he remembered was falling asleep on the couch…

As he woke up more fully he quickly realized that Levi wasn’t wearing a shirt. And Eren was on his bare chest. Taking a slow breath he listened, but could only hear deep breathing and feel a slow and steady heartbeat. Hoping Levi was still asleep he carefully brought one of his hands up and set it on Levi’s chest. Still no reaction. Gently, he explored, finding the dips of his chest and the muscles of his abs. As he brought his hand back up it was grabbed by Levi. Jumping, Eren moved his face toward where he guessed Levi’s head was.

“L-Levi! How long were you awake? Um, good morning?” A deep chuckle and lips on his forehead had him relaxing again.

“Not too long. Were you molesting me?” Levi joked.

“Well, I thought it would make up for yesterday.” Levi made a confused sound in response and Eren continued, “You know… When I woke up on top of someone for the first time I never thought it would be Hanji. Boobs aren’t as comfortable as everyone says.”

Levi burst out laughing and it filled the room. Eren could feel his eyes widen and he listened in wonder, trying to memorize the sound. Eren felt Levi’s hands on his hips and was soon pulled so he was straddling him.

“Let me make it up to you then.” Levi murmured. He pulled Eren down and kissed him slowly. Eren got lost in the soft glide of Levi’s lips and the touch of his tongue. He pulled away to breathe only to have Levi move to his neck. Eren gasped as he felt teeth.

A sudden and loud knocking had Eren jerking back and Levi groaning in frustration.

Armin’s voice carried through the door. “I know you two lovebirds are probably getting it on in there but I think you should know Hannes is on the phone.”

Both of them jumped up immediately. Levi handed Eren some clothes and they were dressed and out in minutes.

Once they were all assembled in the living room Mikasa put Hannes on speaker.

“Hey kids.” Hannes said. His voice sounded tired and weary. “I have good news and bad news. Bad news first,” Eren reach out towards Levi until he grabbed his hand tightly, “Thanks to some anonymous person, we dug deeper into Carla’s file and Mary’s husband, John. There are similarities between them and both seem to have been edited and the original deleted. The paper files are missing as well. Eren, did you know there was a basement in your house?”

Eren shivered, nausea crawling up his throat and a distant screaming in his head. He shook it. “I-I don’t think so.” He replied.

Hannes continued, “Well, it looked like a locked cupboard but was actually a door. We found a lot of files down there. Some dusty, some new. And kids, it… it isn’t too good.” He paused, sighing.

“Just spit it out Hannes. We need to know eventually.” Mikasa said.

“Well, it looks like Grisha and Mary were working on something called a ‘Titan Serum’, some sort of performance enhancement drug. There are older files here too, authored by Grisha and Mary independently. Looks like they were both working on it and then decided to team up. There’s a schedule down here too. Mary has been drugging Grisha for months, and it looks like he found out. It’s a mess down here, most of what looks to be a lab table has been destroyed.”

“This still isn’t making any sense…” Eren whispered.

Hannes, not hearing Eren over the phone, kept speaking. “There is still a lot of paperwork to go through but our best guess, along with the evidence we have gathered… I’m sorry Mikasa, but everything we have so far suggests that Mary planned and carried out Carla’s murder for Grisha’s research. That and… Your father, Mikasa, was researching it as well, with Mary before he died.”

Mikasa grabbed Eren’s other hand and asked, “How do you know?” Her voice stuttering slightly.

“His name is on a lot of the research papers alongside Mary’s. There is a handwritten note on one of them. It says that your father was murdered by a group with the initials ‘MP’? We will look into that further.”

Eren heard Mikasa exhale shakily. He squeezed her hand. “Hannes?” He asked, “What was the good news out of all of this?”

They could hear Hannes hesitate, “Well… we found some of Grisha’s research where he developed a tester serum. And research on a test subject. Eren, the tester serum was used years ago. 19 years ago to be exact. It was for enhanced eyesight.”

Eren felt his stomach drop and lurched forwards, clutching his throat as his heart began to slam against his ribs. He dimly felt hands on his back and familiar hands cup his face. “I-I was the subject…Wasn't I?” The distant screaming came back along with… images? They came too fast for him to make sense of them. A person, his father? Something sharp?

“Eren!”

He jerked back a bit.

“Eren, breathe for me, ok?” Levi’s worried voice finally filtered through. Eren inhaled shakily and then exhaled. In and out. “There you go.” Levi murmured, sitting next to him once more.

“You okay there kid?” Hannes asked.

“Yea…. Yea I think so.”

“Eren,” Hannes called, “There’s more.” Well fuck. “The research papers list out exactly how it was made. Eren, we have an on-site scientist, if we get this to the right people we can make a counter serum and reverse the effects.”
“What?” He whispered.

Levi finally spoke, “Don’t say shit like that when you don’t know if it will work!”

“But it will!” Hannes asserted, “It is listed in the research papers and everything! We just need someone to make it, someone who knows what and how these chemicals work.”

Levi took a deep breath and turned to him. “Eren… is this something you want to try?”

Reverse the serum? Undo his… blindness? See again? “Will it make it worse or do something else?” He tentatively asked.

“We… we don’t know.” Hannes slowly answered.

Eren turned towards Levi. “Yea… Yes. I want-I want to try this, at least have someone look at it.”

“Okay…” Levi exhaled, “Then, I know someone who can do it. Her name is Hanji Zoe.”

Chapter Text

Narrator

After much research, asking around, and maybe a little hacking, the full story was revealed. A group mysteriously called the ‘MP’ sent out a task to a select number of scientists to work on something they called the ‘Titan Serum’. No other information could be found on MP, the number of scientists tasked, or even the scientists themselves. If they were even still alive. Mary and her husband John, and Grisha were three of those scientists. All were given the task without being aware they weren’t the only ones. Mary and John came close, but not close enough. See, John began having doubts on the project, perhaps moral ones. There seemed to be some sort of mishap with one of the experiments, not much else is known. Turns out, John was ready to stop the process and raise its awareness to other levels of authority. Mary disagreed and, being fearful of the repercussions John’s actions may cause, she grabbed most of the research and ran with Mikasa. Two days later, John was found dead in his living room, throat slit. It was labeled as a robbery and/or break-in.

Without John’s intelligence with her own, Mary began looking for someone else to help her. Her inquiries brought her inevitably to Grisha. After searching the house when the family was gone she found the basement along with his research on the ‘Titan Serum’. Seeing Grisha as the perfect choice, she began running into him ‘accidentally’ on multiple occasions. She tracked the whereabouts and habits of everyone in the family, plotting a way to manipulate Grisha. As we all know, she ended with the plan of wooing Grisha and murdering Carla, mimicking the murder to look like the same people who killed her husband. Once she secured her position with Grisha and his research, the project began anew. And we all know the story from there.

As for Grisha, he saw this task as the cure-all. He would get money, fame in the right places, and his name would be remembered forever. Turns out, the serum is very, very hard to perfect. This was evident in his first experiment on his son. He had worked the serum out for months, perfecting the formula and testing it on rats with success. It either did nothing or slightly enhanced their vision. Certain he had it right, and already holding unwarranted grudges against his son, he tested the serum on the three year old boy. The result of which resulted in his blindness. As cruel and as twisted he may have been, he still felt guilt at the time. That guilt resulted in the reverse formula, which took years to create. Grisha chose not to make the serum, test it, and give it to Eren. He chose not to give the vision back. Perhaps it was fear of making it worse, perhaps it was just out of spite. We’ll never know.

Eventually, yes, months down the road, way after more of this story will be revealed, Mary is caught. She had a good, long run. Kept throwing the police and private detectives off her tracks at every turn. She was good. But she made a mistake. A simple one, really. She ran out of money, needed to access one of her accounts. She paid some cheap guy to hide her tracks. Thing is, he didn’t do it very well. You get what you pay for, I suppose. They swarmed on her location in less than 12 hours after the access. She was put in jail and awaiting trial. In less than a month there was an ‘accident’ and she was murdered in some brawl. No evidence suggests foul play, but people suspect.

Once Hanji got her hands on the reverse serum research she studied it for days, weeks, to make sure it was right. She tested it out on rats with most success. During the process she may have received an anonymous email listing out the task for the ‘Titan Serum’. She deleted all evidence of the email, secured her home, and may have been quite paranoid for a while. She never spoke a word of it and keeps a wary eye over her shoulder.

After consulting with Eren, Levi, and the whole squad she presented her findings and gave the necessary warnings along with some personal advice: “Eren, this has never been tested on humans. We don’t know what will definitely happen. I know what should theoretically happen. This could make things better, worse, or even keep things the same. My advice to you, ask yourself if this is what you truly want. If this is well worth the risk, the risk of your life or another vital function in your body. Think on it for 24 hours and then come give me your answer, not a minute sooner.”

Eren had never seen her so serious. She was the opposite of the quirky, happy, and excited Hanji he knew. He took her advice and sat alone. He even doubled the deadline, waiting two days before returning to her lab. After informing his family and friends he agreed to the experiment. Hanji prepared the operation and called in a few favors to fellow scientists and doctors to monitor Eren’s vital signs every single step of the way.

As well as he had been living so far, this was something that was taken from him. And there were two things he wanted to see most.

 

Eren POV

That slow beeping of those stupid hospital machines is what woke him up, as cliché as that is. It took a while for his brain to sort through the drug induced haze. Memories slowly came back to him: Mary, Grisha, the serum, all of it. He was awake. His heart began to pound, increasing the beeps. If he was awake that means the operation was done…

“Eren?” Hanji called quietly, leaning forwards. He felt a hand on his shoulder. He swallowed thickly.

“Should I… Should I open my eyes? Did it work?”

“We don’t know yet, Eren. It’s just you and me in this room. Carefully open your eyes for me, yea?”

Eren took a deep breath and opened his eyes to see- his heart stopped-nothing but black.

“All the lights are off.” Hanji quickly interjected. “If you have your vision back we need to take this slowly, your brain can be overwhelmed.”

He released the air he was holding. “Okay…” He heard Hanji shuffling around.

“I’m going to light a candle on the other side of the room. Don’t squint, just have your eyes open and let me know if you see anything.”

He nodded. He heard a few clicks and then a small ‘whoosh’. The black was suddenly pushed away by… orange. One of the primary colors. His mother’s voice echoed in the back of his head. He stared at it flickering, completely entranced.

“Eren?” Hanji tentatively asked.

Eren choked on a gasp, realization sinking in. Then he felt tears begin to pour down his face. “I can see it…” He whispered, his hand on his throat. “Holy shit, Hanji… I can see…”

Over the next two days Hanji worked with Eren on what she called ‘light therapy’. She would slowly introduce him to more and more light, in small doses. She was right, he became easily overwhelmed. It took at least the first two days for his brain to accept he was able to see again. However, there was a side effect from the experiment. A small, and slight one luckily. One of his green eyes had shifted color to gold. Hanji called it Heterochromia Iridium. Eren didn’t care, he wouldn’t know the difference from how they were before anyways.

After the three day trial period and the Hanji-enforced quarantine, Eren was finally able to see his family and friends. Actually see them with his eyes this time.

--Time Skip—

Eren had his eyes closed, waiting for Hanji to bring Mikasa, Levi, and Armin to his room. The lights were dimmed, he still was not able to handle bright fluorescent lights or sunlight at noon. It was just so bright. Hanji ordered him a pair of fancy sunglasses he will have to wear outside for the next couple of weeks.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the door opening. He heard someone next to him and felt the bed dip. As per his usual he lifted his hand up and waited. Shortly after his hand was guided to their face. Eren smiled as his fingers traced the familiar features of Levi. His hand stopped their tracing and cupped his face. Levi placed his hand on his. Eren slowly opened his eyes… and stared. Just… absorbing. Eren had relearned colors over the past few days and was able to place Levi’s eyes at some sort of grey. He was pale, with sharp features, black hair, and a small smile, just for him. That’s one out of two of the things he wanted to see the most.

“You’re beautiful…” He whispered. Levi’s eyes widened and he reached forward to brush a thumb under his newly golden eye.

“Have you looked in a mirror yet?” He whispered back. Eren moved his hand on Levi's cheek to the back of his head, running his hand through his hair. His mouth opened in awe as his fingers brushed through the undercut, utterly fascinated by the feel and look. Levi hiccuped a laugh and Eren pulled him forwards into a deep kiss that left his breathless. He probably should have been embarrassed but he was too damn happy to care.

“Okay, okay! Enough lovebirds it’s my turn!” A black haired woman in a red scarf plopped herself down on the other side of Eren, drawing his gaze to her.

“Mikasa?” He asked, reaching a hand out to trace her features. She gently grabbed his hand and brought it to her face. The same happened with Armin, blonde hair and kind of short. But not nearly as much as Levi, Eren had to bite back a comment on it.

The next few weeks were exhausting. Eren had to learn to connect what he knew as touch and sound to what he was seeing. As exhilarating as it was it was also quite terrifying. Even after months after the experiment he still found himself feeling his way around, listening. One of his favorite days was when Levi took him back to the music store and that strange room with the piano. Apparently pianos are black and white and really oddly shaped. He also found it easier to watch his hands when learning how to play. He kept doing it no matter how many times Levi smacked him in the back of the head and pointed to the sheet music.

As with every big change and gossip, people wondered how he got his vision back. They concocted some tragic sob story that he was hit on the head and voila! They all agreed they wanted to avoid any possible attention from scientists and whoever ‘MP’ was. Looks like it worked. Although, sometimes Eren felt the back of his neck prickling but never saw anyone strange when he looked over his shoulder.

They all graduated amongst the bright colors of their school, throwing their caps high into the air and preparing a long time of working to pay off the debt. Mikasa was hired after the internship she had at the training gym and eventually became one of the most sought out trainers for the Olympics. Armin never talks about where he was hired, just giving them a wink about some James Bond shit or other. Probably a high end hacking job for the country. Super confidential and all that. Levi went forwards in his music and art, painting on the side and composing music main time. He was well off, not famous but quite popular. And Eren… He became an international renowned chef alongside with his assistant, Sasha. He was well known for the artistic and beautiful composition of food on a plate, along with the orgasmic taste of course.

Years later, living with his amazing boyfriend, Levi approached him. He had been saving for almost a year for a very special trip. This trip will take Eren to the second thing he wanted to see most.

Chapter Text

Eren POV

The flight was exhausting and Levi wouldn’t leave Eren alone, insisting he watch movies with him and keeping him company. Eren didn’t really mind, loving this childish side of him. Levi said he had to show him all his favorite movies and let him develop his own as well. He picked the first and Eren picked the second. The first was some creepy one called The Village. It had an interesting plot line and a nice romance, but still was a bit odd. Eren knew he wouldn’t be looking at the color red the same way again for a while. The movie Eren picked was called The Transformers. Eren really liked it but was a bit overwhelmed with so much going on.

Eren was relieved when they finally landed, he was ready to crash and sleep. It was still sunny out which still weirded Eren out. They eventually collected their bags and checked out a rental car. Eren groaned when he finally collapsed into the passenger seat of the car, not bothering to really look at it. Levi chuckled at his antics and reached over to ruffle his hair.

“Get some sleep. The drive to the hotel is about an hour away.”

Eren frowned at Levi.

“You sure? Need me to keep you awake?”

Levi looked over and gave him a small smile, his eyes sparkling.

“Nope. Get some rest. I’ll wake you when we get there.”

Eren leaned his head back and stared at Levi as he drove. He couldn’t get over how perfect he was, the sharp cheekbones, black hair with an undercut, and striking grey eyes. Eren could look at him for hours, watching every expression, which he is still learning, and see the life in his eyes. Levi huffed.

“You going to stare at me the whole time?”

Eren smiled affectionately, unabashedly gazing away.

“I certainly wouldn’t mind.” Eren’s smile grew as Levi’s cheeks rapidly became red. Levi reached a hand over and gently shoved at his forehead.

“Get some sleep dumbass.”

Eren chuckled and closed his eyes, drifting off faster than he thought possible.

 

Levi POV

 

Levi glanced over at the brunette, smiling softly. Eren had taken to staring at him a lot, as if he would disappear any second and he had to memorize every feature. He was still learning facial expressions and when to move his gaze. He had come a long way from the incident, and Levi was proud of him. Eren was brave, he faltered a few times but everyone was there to support him. Levi couldn’t help but feel like they grew so much closer, that their bond was strengthened to a point where neither of them could break it even if they wanted to. Levi certainly wouldn’t mind having the brat around for the rest of his life.

Levi shifted in his seat, getting anxious. Him, Armin, and Mikasa have been planning this surprise for a long time. Levi told Eren that he wanted him to meet his aunt, which is true. Isabel and Farlan had been more like parents to him then grandparents, and introducing his boyfriend to them meant a lot to Levi. Eren was confused but went along with it easily. Levi could remember the day in the The Corps, when he felt so spontaneous, when Eren grabbed his hand, trusting Levi to take him anywhere. Eren had never faltered in that trust since then. And now, Eren needed to trust Levi again, and Levi couldn’t wait to show him what he had in store. Yes, they came here to visit his aunt, but they also came for something else, something Eren had no idea of. Luckily, Eren never paid attention in geography or even where Levi said they were going. Levi shifted again, breathing out shakily.

About forty minutes later, he was there. He pulled into the parking lot and left the car idling. Levi spent the next ten minutes just looking at Eren. He seemed so peaceful, so content in his sleep. It was something he could wake up to every morning for the rest of his life. Levi smiled and pulled a piece of fabric out of his pocket. He then leaned over, his face close to Eren’s, and cradled his face.

“Eren.” He called softly, brushing his lips over Eren’s. Eren shifted a bit, grumbling under his breath.
“Eren, wake up. We’re here.” Eren scrunched his face and slowly opening his eyes, a sleepy haze to them.

“Mmhm.”

Levi chuckled at him, his hands keeping Eren’s face from looking around.

“Levi?” Eren asked, looking more alert. Levi gusted out another shaky breath.

“Do you trust me, Eren?”

Eren blinked and his lips quirked up.

“Yes.” He answered simply.

“Close your eyes.” Eren did without hesitation. “I’m going to blind you for a bit, alright?” Eren nodded.

“A bit kinky today, are we?”

Levi slapped him lightly on the back of the head. Eren laughed at him but kept his eyes closed. Levi loosely, but securely, tied the fabric around Eren’s eyes. Eren seemed to relax. Sometimes he would walk around with his eyes closed, finding comfort into what was familiar to him. Levi leaned back once he was done.

“I’m going to come around the car and lead you out.”

Eren made an affirmative noise. Levi sprinted around the car and looped an arm with Eren’s, pulling him out of the vehicle. Eren smiled at him and waited for further instructions. Levi lead him forwards onto the sand. Eren tilted, grasping onto Levi with his other hand.

“Holy shit, what the fuck is that?”

Levi said nothing, continuing pulling him forwards.

“Leviii, the ground is moving…” He whined.

Levi shook his head.

“Just a bit more.”

They stopped once they were are the edge of the water. Eren had stiffened, going completely still.

“Levi…. Do you hear that?” He asked quietly.

Levi smiled and reached up, kissing Eren while pulling off the blindfold. He took a step back and slightly to the side to watch. Eren’s mouth dropped open and his eyes became really wide.

“The ocean…” He whispered in an awestruck voice. He teared up, gazing at the wide expanse of water in front of him. “It’s more beautiful than I could have ever imagined…” He finally turned to look at Levi, a wide grin on his features and his eyes brimming with joy, the tears beginning to fall down his cheeks. He wrapped his arms around Levi and pulled him close, burying his face in his hair. “Thank you…” He whispered. “Thank you so much… you know how much this meant to me…”

Levi clutched Eren close, tucking his head into Eren’s shoulder.

“Of course I do. Took me forever to plan, and I couldn’t have done it without Armin’s and Mikasa’s help.”

Eren chuckled.

“I thought you three seemed a bit suspicious.”

Levi slightly stiffened.

“And you didn’t say anything?” He asked Eren incredulously. Eren shook his head.

“You really don’t understand, do you? I trust you, Levi.” Eren pulled back, bringing a hand up to cup Levi’s face. Levi leaned into the touch, gazing into Eren’s eyes. He smiled at Levi, such a gentle smile and a look in his eyes that Levi couldn’t quite decipher. Eren’s face turned red, all the way to his ears. He took a deep breath. “I trust you, Levi. I always will as long as you believe in me. I love you.” Levi’s eyes widened and his breathing stopped. Eren was fidgeting, looking embarrassed but determined as well. Levi’s mouth opened but no sound came out. He lunged forwards, connecting their lips and plunging his hands into Eren’s hair. Eren responded enthusiastically, opening his lips when Levi licked them. Their tongues danced together, Levi coaxing Eren’s into his mouth where he sucked at his tongue. He pulled back, both of them panting for breath. Levi pulled him close again.

“I love you.” He whispered against those lips before claiming them again. Yeah. He could get used to this for the rest of his life.