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A warm hug

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Lying in the grass under the biggest tree at the Orphanage farm, Eren was enjoying the soft breeze and the warm sunlight. No one of the 104th squad was around today. They went with Levi for a mission one week ago, while he was still training his Titan power with Hanji.

Today Eren got a day off and decided to spend it at the Orphanage. Since the queen - Historia opened this place for children from the underground and the ones who lost their parents, he and his friends worked here. Not just worked, they played with the kids, taught them to read and write and gave them family vibes.

This place felt like a home for him and because of this, he spent every free minute there.

"Eren!"
He heard a child's voice but didn't move from his position. On the contrary, he kept his eyes closed and ignored the voice.
"Eren!!!"
Now it was a different child who called for him but still, he didn't react.

He loved them, every one of them. But for now, he just wanted to chill. No playing, no explaining, and no child-stories. He only wanted to lie a little more by himself.

"Eren, don't ignore us!"
Phil, the sassiest brat among all other kids jumped on Eren's belly to gain his attention. The Titan-boy screamed when he felt the two little feet landing on him. He grabbed the boy on his shirt and threw him slightly beside him.
"You...," Eren hissed while looking at Phil with contracting eyebrows.
"Uncle Levi gave me this idea," he answered and stuck out his tongue.
Uncle Levi, huh? Eren thought pissed and pulled Phil on his ear until he screeched.
"Ahhh! Stop, it hurts!!!"
"This is your punishment for your lack of respect."

"Eren," the small girl Anna in pigtails looked with wide eyes to him. In one hand was her plushie teddy bear and her other hand pulled his shirt. "Can you come with us?"
He couldn't resist her asking eyes. He preferred to lecture Phil but in the end, he sighed and nodded defeated by Anna's cuteness. She grabbed his hand happily and started running.

Phil and Anna stopped with Eren in front of the Orphanage's door and looked up at him. With a questioning face, Eren tried to understand what his little friends wanted from him. He was about to open the door but got stopped by them.

Anna asked him friendly if he could close his eyes and promised to guide him by holding his hand. So he didn't need to worry, she explained.
He softly smiled at her and fulfilled her wish. Feeling her small hand around his two fingers, he heard the squeaky opening door.
Slowly they entered the room and then -

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY EREN!"

Happy birthday?
Shocked, he opened his eyes and saw all the kids in front of him. They were clapping, screaming his name and singing for him. It was loud and chaotic but wonderful.

His birthday? Today was his birthday?

He almost forgot this special day. He even didn't remember when he celebrated his birthday the last time.
The kids jumped on him, hugged him and wished him happy birthday again and again.

"Eren," he heard his name and looked at the source of the voice, "Happy birthday. I'm glad you were born into this world."
It was her - Historia.
She smiled at him and he had to admit it; her smile was beautiful. It's satisfying, it's comforting and reminded him of home.

 
"You organized everything?"
"Not alone, everyone helped me, right?" She looked at the kids and didn't stop smiling. They nodded proudly.
"We wanted to surprise you, Eren," one of the kids said.
"Yeah, and we even baked a cake for you!"
"Right!" Historia interrupted them. "Everyone, let Eren go. We are going into the kitchen. The cake is waiting!"
"Yeah!!!" They screamed synchronously and followed Historia.

They went into the kitchen and the first thing Eren saw, was the decorated dining table. They put flowers and candles on it and in the middle was the strawberry cake - his birthday cake, to be exact.
Anna guided him to his place. He sat down in the chair at the head of the table and the children around it. In front of him, Historia took her seat.
"I'm speechless," Eren said.

 
He couldn't describe the feeling at the moment. He was happy, incredibly happy. The last time he celebrated his birthday was with his parents, Mikasa and Armin. Since then he always forgot about this day. Mikasa was the only one who congratulated him yearly, but it wasn't a big deal for him. He never wanted others to know about it. Birthdays reminded him of his parents, his happily family-life. Those days died for him - he thought until now. Sitting here with the children, he realized that he still had a family. A place he could call home.

"Historia, now!"
He looked at the queen coming to him after one of the child's called her. She put a small candle on the table and lit it with a match.
"Before eating the cake, you need to blow the candle and wish for something."
"Blowing the candle and wish? Why?" Eren asked curiously.
"Historia read a book for us last time. It said that when you blow out the candle on your birthday, you will get your wish. Just close your eyes, wish for something secretly and blow out the candle. After that, we can eat the cake," Anna explained excitedly.  
Such traditions exits, Eren thought and looked to Historia. She nodded simply.
The Titan shifter put his arms on the table, leaned with his face more on the cake and waited a few seconds.

 A wish?

Freedom for everyone, he thought and wanted to blow out the candle until a certain person interrupted him.
"One rule! You need to wish something for you, personally. Not for everyone else," Historia said.
It was like she knew what was on his mind.  He smiled and thought again for a wish.

A warm hug- he wished and blew out the candle finally.


After they ate the cake and talked a little bit about Eren's childhood, the kids went out to play together. However, Eren and Historia cleaned the kitchen. While she washed the dishes, he dried them listlessly.
Eren leaned against the kitchen cabinet next to Historia.

"Today is my birthday, right? So why do I have to do it?"
"Don't complain and do it faster," Historia commented and put another plate in the sink.
"Hay, Hay your majesty, as you wish."

Historia looked with an annoyed expression into his green eyes and splashed some water from her fingers in his face.
"Hey!" Eren groaned and wiped the towel over her face.
"Eren, stop," the petite girl tried to free herself from his act.
"You started it."
"No, you! I hate it when you call me majesty!"
"It's fun to spite you."

She ignored his last sentence and continued with washing the dishes. Historia felt her hair on her face and tried to wipe them out with the back of her hand, but it didn't work. Then she started to blow them away.
But still, it felt like as they were all over her face.
Eren watched her the whole time and put the towel on the kitchen cabinet. He stepped behind her and touched her ponytail. Slowly he pulled her hair tie and went with his fingers through her blonde hair.

"What are you doing?" Historia asked nervously and felt her heart beating like crazy.
"I gather your hair into a new ponytail. Your braid was too loose."
She was relieved that he stood behind her and couldn't see her blushing face right now.
"I'm always wearing it loosely," she answered and tried to ignore her feelings in her stomach.
"I know. Well, it reminds me of my mom."

He did her braid - crooked. But he did it, somehow.

Historia turned around and saw directly in his face.
"Your mom?"
"Yes. You have the same hairstyle."
"So you thinking about your mom when you look at me?"
"Sometimes," he simply said and didn't know that his answer made Historia unhappy.
Unhappy might be a wrong word, but for some reason, she didn't like it to know that she only reminds him of his mother.

"I'm not your mother," she finally said slightly pissed and wiped her hands on her apron.
"Thank god you aren't. My mother was an angel. You are scary."
He grinned now about her expression. Slowly she looked grimly and wanted to say something but probably didn't know what exactly.

"I'm kidding! Don't look at me like that."
"You are not funny at all. You're 17 years old now. Your hair has grown. You look like an adult but acting like a child."

Wow, 17 years old, he thought and wondered how fast time flew.

"But you know Eren, I'm older than you. This must be frustrating for you," Historia said proudly and put her hands on her hips.
"Well, but you surely are the smallest Queen ever," he necked her and stepped one step forward to check their high difference.
"Wow, you only reached my chest."
Historia put her hands on his shoulders to push him away. He was always like that to her. Sometimes Historia had doubts about their friendship. A friend never would neck someone so hard.
He surely hated her, she thought.

"Every part of your body is so small, Histo-"
He stopped and looked with wide eyes at her. She covered her breasts with her arms and turned lateral to him.

"This isn't something a girl wants to hear, idiot," she murmured embarrassed. Eren, on the other hand, realized what she misunderstood and blushed.
"No! You... ehm, I..." he tried to say something but couldn't find any words for this until he heard her laughing voice.
"You pervert," she said and laughed again about the expression he made.
"You are the pervert here. Making fun about such nasty topic."
"I wish you could see your face," she continued laughing, it almost brought tears to her eyes. And Eren must have admitted that he liked watching her now.

"You're beautiful," he said suddenly so that Historia stopped laughing. She looked at him with shocked eyes.

Did he just call her beautiful?

Again her heart jumped out of his place. How could he tell something like that so casually?

"Thank you for everything today. It made me really happy, Historia. I have a few years left-"
"Stop," she interrupted him "Don't say more. I don't want to talk about it."
Eren will die in a few years.
She knew it, everyone knew it but it made her hurt. She didn't want to lose him. She didn't want him to leave her. He was the most important person in her life.
Of course, all her friends and the children were precious for her. But Eren had a different place in her heart. They shared so many things together, he always supported her and he was the first person, who truly accepted Historia - her true self. He gave her a reason to live.

"It's my destiny."
"I don't accept this destiny. I promise you, I will find a way."
Eren put his right hand on Historia's head and smiled. It was a soft smile. A thank you, or a don't force yourself - smile.

"But," he started to break the awkward silence between them "I don't get a gift yet. A birthday without a gift isn't a real birthday."
"We did this surprise party! Aren't you satisfied?" Historia complained.
"You're the queen and we've known one another for years."
"Oh... well. I'm sorry but I just found about your birthday yesterday and hadn't the time to buy a present for you."

Honestly, he should be happy about getting a birthday party, Historia thought.

"Hmm... can you hug me then?"
"WHAT?!" Historia cried.
Was he dense?!


Eren laughed broken about his own request and slowly sat on the ground. He leaned his back against the kitchen cabinet and stretched his legs out.
"Sorry. I said it accidentally. It's been a while since someone hugged me wholeheartedly."

Historia sighed and moved between his legs. She sat down on her knees, pushed his head against her chest and put her own head on his. Her hands glided on his back and began to stroke it. With her fingers, she began to make soft circles on his back.

It was an embarrassing position for her but she liked it. Her fingers danced on his back and crawled it. And then she moved one of her hands to his neck, scratched it with her nails and continued to play with his hair.

Every touch of her comforted him. He liked it and didn't want her to stop. He put his both arms around her small body and pressed her tightly against him.
Historia stopped out of reflex after she felt him hugging her.
Why she felt so attracted to him? Why did she want to stay like that forever?

"Don't stop," Eren groaned.

Hearing him talking so suggestively with her made her nervous. She was never so close with a man.

This wasn't just a simple hug between friends.

"Eren! Historia! What are you doing?"
Both of them broke their hug immediately and felt their heating up faces. Anna and Phil interrupted their hug.

Eren didn't know what to think or say. He even was afraid to look at her now.
But to be honest, he never thought he would get his birthday wish so fast.

"Blowing out candles… we should do this often," he said with a smile and felt Historia's questioning glance.