He landed on branch to take a look on his squad training around him, all of them mastered the 3D maneuver gear abilities perfectly years ago already . There was no problem in dodging branches, making sharp turns, taking down fake titans, yes and they also had perfect team work, there was no doubt he was proud of his squad. He watched how Nanaba drew her blades into the fake titan's neck, cutting out a piece exactly one meter long and ten centimeters wide, her movements were undoubtedly elegant. He suddenly remembered the day when he had first seen her, it was the day of her graduation, she was standing there with a perfect salute and waiting to be accepted to Survey Corps. One question found it's way to his head that day, it was the one she was herself questioned many times, but he never asked himself, Is that a boy or a girl? He told himself that day that it doesn't matter to him as long as she's a good soldier and friend.
"Hey what's up with you Mike?" shouted Gerger landing few trees from his leader, followed by the rest of his squad.
"It's nearly time to go back," Nanaba said softly looking into his eyes, from the very same bench as the rest occupied.
"Guess you're right." he ran his hand thru his blonde hair before adding," everyone make sure you are not injured anywhere and take a shower when we're back. Now lets go!" he set out to headquarters, the sound of other gears told him they are following.
"Are you ok with cooking again?" he asked Nanaba, when he found her in a kitchen peeling potatoes.
"Yeah, I really love cooking, so I don't mind at all," her tone was upset and also her smell seemed somehow nervous. He didn't ask, all he did was taking a knife and helping her out with the potatoes. They were working in awkward silence for quite a while when she spoke: "Mike I'm really sorry for yesterday. I... I really didn't meant to upset you. And today you seemed not like your usual self you know," Mike studied her profile, while she was looking at half peeled potato and a knife in her hand in a confusion. Like always when she was talking like that he just placed his huge hand on hers and caressed it with his thumb. The woman turned to look up into his eyes, there were no needs for words in this conversation, but still they knew perfectly well what is the other trying to say. He squeezed her hand before smiling down on her and returning to the potatoes. They didn't spoke all the time preparing dinner, they just exchanged few smiles when Mike sniffed out what spices need to be add to Nanaba's super goulash.
The thing that happened the previous night, it was unusual what happened, whatever were Mike's feelings about it he was not even bit angry. That night he heard his door open in a half sleep, than someone approached him and whispered: Mike? when he turned to look who was it, there stood Nanaba looking at all really pale and terrified, Mike, Can...Can I sleep with you? He held the blanket for her in a response. Her arms closed around him tightly, he felt her pulse going really fast on his chest. He put his arms around her in an attempt to heat the freezing body falling asleep again in a second.
"Food," most of soldiers from all of the squads burst into to get a bit of a meal what's smell was spreading thru the headquarters' halls. In twenty minutes was all of the food gone, all the soldiers chatting happily and sipping their beer. Mike found himself sitting with Hanji, Erwin and Levi while Nanaba was miles away with Henning, Rene and Gerger. He was not even listening when they were chatting.
The night before he had his closest physical contact with Nanaba, for the few years of relationship they had, she never let him touch her much. There was a certain reason, she didn't fell like her body was hers, she didn't liked it and when Mike was touching it she felt uncomfortable, like the reason was her body, not her. He never forced her into anything, not that he had never wanted to kiss or to do something with her, but nothing would be right if she didn't fell the same way, even if she would let him just because she loved him, yes they loved each other, deeply, platonically but really deeply, it would be bad. The body doesn't matter to me, it's you what matters to me. Those were the words to her when he first confessed about his feelings, but it took her months, maybe a year to understand that he really meant it. He also told her, he knew, how she felt about her body and about being woman, ever since he discovered she is binding her chest.
"Hanji calls Mike, Hanji calls Mike," Hanji was swinging pocket watch in front of his face and by looks on Levi's and Erwin's face she was trying to get his attention for quite some time now.
"What?" he asked confusedly.
"Man you've been out for good five minutes at least. Was there a titan in your mind?" it was hard not to escape Hanji's glassed eyes.
"Sorry I'm just a bit tired tonight that's all. I'll better go sleep now," noone prevented him from getting up and leaving the canteen, his eyes met Nanaba's before he left for his room.
He couldn't sleep, he couldn't stay lying in the bed either, he just put on his grown before letting his long legs to carry him to the roof. He spend a lot of time stargazing wadering about the constellations.
"So you are here," small blondie approached him grabbing his hand.
"Nana?" he laced their fingers not taking his eyes of the sky.
"Hmm," she murmured.
"Would you tell me what was that nightmare about, the one you had yesterday?" when he looked down to her he could see even in the poor moonlight that her face darkened.
"It was just... us being devoured by them, by titans," her voice was not much among whisper, though clear to hear. He turned her to herself and grabbed her other hand: "Nothing is happening, right, now we are alright, don't be afraid and come to me whenever you'll have a dream like this, because I'll always be there for you," he gave her a smile that was among all the kisses in the world, getting the same kind of smile in response.
When she was lying asleep again curled to his chest and he was still not able to fall asleep his mind was once again going in a full speed. How long are we going to keep surviving like that? When the time will come and titans will eat one of us while the other will be watching? And what are we going to do next? Have, we humans even some chance against those monsters or all of our attempts meaningless? When his mind finally found the peace of sleep, he was holding onto Nanaba's hand for dear life, too afraid to loose someone so precious to himself.
This work is named after this song, what started playing while I was editing this and I thought it was nice and somehow suited to this work so I gave it there :) This song is a cover so here you are for the original, what is also beautiful ;)