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(You'll Remain) The Perfect Crush

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Eren murmured in discontent when Armin squirmed underneath his head but he kept his eyes closed. They were spread out on Armin’s bed together, the blonde stretched out along the bed’s length on his stomach with his latest Naruto volume opened in front of him and Eren’s head pillowed in the small of his back while curling up perpendicular to Armin.

“I can’t feel my legs anymore,” Armin commented idly, flipping the page. Eren hummed and stretched out a hand to stroke the other’s pale leg. It was soft and smooth beneath his hand, Armin had never had very much body hair and what he did have was fine and almost invisible it was so blonde. Slowly he worked the calf under his palm in a half-assed massaging motion, too lazy to sit up and do it properly.

In retaliation Armin swung his leg back, his knee popping lightly as it hinged closed, and lightly tapped Eren’s forehead with the heel of his foot. He squeaked and tried to jerk it away, however, when Eren’s hand snapped up and caught his ankle in a loose but iron clad grip.

He drew the foot back down to his face and pressed a gentle kiss to the Achilles tendon before letting it go again.

Armin crossed his arms over his manga and buried his blushing face in them. He and Eren had been so close for so long that this felt like the next logical step for both of them but it still embarrassed him when Eren did such tender things. A happy smile stretched across his lips and he couldn’t stop his body from wiggling happy. Eren was so aggressive and hard with everyone else so when he was gentle with him it made Armin feel unbelievable special.

He held back a giggle as he felt Eren’s hair brush across his back where his shirt had ridden up from his movements as the other turned his head, “Hey,” Eren murmured unable to say it too loudly but needing to say it anyway, “I love you.”

Armin stretched an arm back and lifted Eren’s head off of him, rolled onto his back, and lowered Eren’s head down to rest on his stomach “I love you, too,” Armin offered just as quietly.

They grinned at each other, Armin gently running his fingers through Eren’s hair, and then settled back into silence.

After a while Eren turned his head to look at his love again “The basketball game is at home tonight,” it was presented as an unbiased observation but Armin knew what Eren was asking; if he wanted to go. He thought of mercury eyes, pale skin, black hair and lightening movements and nodded his head. Yeah, he definitely wanted to go.

“He’s so handsome,” Eren confessed, not for the first time, and Armin sighed in agreement. He remembered the first time that the brunette had come to him, eyes glossy with tears, and confessed that he’d found someone else attractive, that he might feel things for someone besides Armin.

He’d blinked and cocked his head, eyeing Eren for a moment before carefully voicing the question burning on the tip of his tongue “Do you prefer him over me?”

Eren had almost given himself whiplash he’d shaken his head no so fast and before Armin knew it the brunette was on his knees in front of him, arms wrapped around his hips and face pressed into Armin’s stomach, “Never,” he’d breathed with reverence and Armin had allowed a smile of relief to stretch across his face.

“Then its fine,” he had said, absolving Eren of his make believe sins. Later, when Eren had calmed down, Armin had asked who Eren had a crush on. That was the first time that he’d heard the name Levi Ackerman. Now, over half a year later, Armin shared in Eren’s crush on the raven haired senior and was still comfortably in love with Eren—he wondered sometimes if there was something wrong with them, surely it was unnatural to love someone so wholly as they did each other but still have room to have a crush on another person.

But it worked for them, and he supposed that that was the important part. He shoved at Eren’s head, trying not to laugh, as the other boy broke him out of his thoughts by turning his face into Armin’s stomach and blowing a raspberry in the soft flesh above his bellybutton.

“Cut that out!”

Eren just laughed and allowed himself to be pushed away, leaning up on his elbows to catch Armin’s lips in a kiss instead. He smiled into the kiss and parted his lips to let Eren’s tongue slip in.

They only pulled away when a knock on his bedroom door startled them apart, “Armin?” his grandfather asked, declining to just simply open the door.

“Yeah?” Armin called, trying not to let his gasping for air get in the way of talking.

“Are you and Eren going to the game tonight?” A blush spread across both of their faces and Eren buried his in his hands; Armin’s grandfather was a smart man and way more observant than they gave him credit for, he definitely knew something was up with them.

“If that’s alright with you,” Armin said

“Fine, fine,” he could practically picture his grandfather waving it away with his hand on the other side of the door.

He pushed himself off the bed, accidently elbowing Eren, who threw a pout at him, and opened the door to talk to his grandfather face to face.

“Are you sure its fine? We can just stay in tonight it you don’t want us going,” Armin tried, feeling a bit guilty for leaving his grandfather at home alone so often.

The old man chuckled and ruffled Armin’s blonde hair “As long as Eren’s driving, it will be fine.”

Eren cackled from the bed and pushed himself to his knees “I absolutely will!”

The blonde threw a glare over his shoulder but it only caused Eren to laugh louder and crawl off the bed completely. He came to stand behind Armin, slipping his arms around the blonde’s waist, and dropped his chin down to his shoulder “You’re brilliant at a lot of things, you really are, but driving is definitely not one of them.”

“Only Heaven knows how you got a license,” his grandfather agreed, and Armin knocked his head against Eren’s in retaliation. It wasn’t fair, you run a few stops signs and red lights and hit the mailbox while backing out of the driveway one time and suddenly you’re put on permanent suspension from driving anything larger than a bicycle.

And he was never ever to even sit in the driver’s seat of Eren’s Jeep Wrangler. Not that he ever wanted to, he honestly kind of hated the thing. The first thing Eren had done after getting it was save up the money to put a lift kit on it—not a hard top, not full doors instead of the half ones, but a lift kit to jack it up off the ground even farther. Just thinking about it irritated him, he wasn’t as tall as Eren and it was a pain in the ass to climb inside of the jeep.

“Aw, come one ‘Min, don’t make that face,” Eren said, fingers moving to tickle his sides lightly.

“As long as we don’t take the jeep.”

Eren huffed “Please? We’ve been taking the Jetta to school every day.” Armin could hear the implied and that’s boring tacked on to the end.

With a sigh he relented “Fine, but you better stay on the roads, I don’t care if the jeep can climb up those concrete slabs by the bridges, I don’t want to.”

“Fine,” the other boy sighed, sounding put upon and Armin almost stomped on his foot—he would have too, if Eren hadn’t drop a kiss on his cheek immediately after speaking.

“If you boys want to get good seats, you should probably head down and grab some dinner because you’ll want to leave soon,” the old man observed, a small smile pulling at the corners of his mouth; Eren was so good for his shy grandson. He would never understand how Grisha could just leave the boy on his own after Carla’s death.

Both boys nodded and let out a ‘yes, sir’ before shuffling out of the door and down the stairs.

The pair quickly ate dinner; Armin pressed a kiss to his grandfather’s cheek in goodbye while Eren grabbed their wallets and jackets from Armin’s room, and then grabbed the keys to the Jeep, heading out the door and towards the game.

Eren’s jeep was a forest green two door with a tan rag top and he absolutely loved it, he just wished Armin liked it a little more. He knew the blonde was frustrated that he’d but the lift kit and suspenders on it and that it was a stick shift (which the blonde couldn’t drive to save his life, he stalled the engine at least three times any time Eren took him out to practice) but he thought it was a pretty smooth ride. Still, the blonde climbed in the passenger’s seat without complaint and tossed their jackets into the backseat; for all that he complained, the Jeep’s air condition unit was amazing and heated air would fill the car as soon as Eren started it up.

He curled a hand around the roll bar at the top while the other went to fiddle with the radio station. He stopped when he found 103.3: The Titan, Trost’s rock music station.

Eren grinned when Armin turned the radio up She likes to shake her ass, she grinds it to the beat. She likes to pull my hair when I make her grind her teeth. I like to strip her down she's naughty to the end! He watched from the corner of his eye as his blonde bombshell started bobbing his head to the beat, occasionally whipping his hair from side to side as he sang at the top of his lungs.

He pushed in the clutch and shifted gears, singing to himself but mostly pleased to hear Armin sing; no one would ever guess that the nerdy genius would be in to this type of music, but he was.

During the commercial break Armin turned the radio down and turned to look at Eren, watching the confident way his boyfriend handled the Jeep, steering with his left hand and smoothly shifting gears with the right. After a beat his settled his own hand on top of Eren’s right just to feel the flex when he shifted down to take curves or pull up to stop lights.

The radio was turned back up when music started to filter through the speakers once more and the pair continued to sing to every song they knew, but were content to remain silent otherwise.

Finally the pulled in to the school’s parking lot where, Eren managed to find a parking spot at the gym’s entrance. He shot Armin a satisfied look, which the blonde replied to with a roll of his eyes, very few other vehicles had a turning radius that could match a Jeep’s and without it they never would’ve been able to park in that spot.

Armin’s grandpa had been right, forty-five minutes to tip-off and already the gym was filling rapidly on both sides of the court. They managed to find good seats, close enough to the floor to see the plays perfectly but far enough up that they could see the entire court.

To kill time, Eren pulled out his phone, plugged his headphones in and handed one ear to Armin, and turned his music library on shuffle. Discretely they tangled their fingers together, hiding them with Eren’s hoodie; which was casually draped over the arm rest in between their seats.

After about ten minutes the players entered the gym, every other player dribbling a basketball. They split into two lines and began to pass the balls around in a complicated patter, the lead of the line running down to sink a layup every time they finished the pattern. The passes were smooth and the players were like a well-oiled machine, clicking together in perfect sync. Eren was jealous of their speed and grace and amazed at the concentration it took to be able to do a simple warm-up exercise.

Beside him Armin had straightened up in his seat and was watching the routine with rapt fascination as well. The brunette sighed wistfully when he heard the blonde’s breath catch, Levi had just stepped up to the front of the drill and the two of them watched as he drove down for his own layup, lobbing it gently through the hoop without the aid of the rim or the backboard.

Eren relaxed back into his chair and watched as the raven haired teen jogged down the sideline to get back in line for the drill. He really was the perfect person to crush on: handsome, athletic, smart, generally polite to teachers and above bullying students like Armin and Eren. He was also absolutely unobtainable for them. They would never have to know heartbreak or rejection from him, would never have to see his disgust at them for being in a relationship and wanting someone else to join them. It was perfect.

He was perfect. Their Perfect Crush.

Together they watched the game, watched as he outran, outmaneuvered, and outsmarted the other team. The crowd roared when Levi sank a three pointer as the halftime buzzer filled the air. Armin gripped his hand tightly and Eren stroked the back of his hand with his thumb.

“I bet they’ll pull him out for the second half, we’re so far ahead that running him down would be pointless, besides, they’d be risking an injury,” Armin murmured and Eren hummed in agreement.

“If they do we should cut out and go get some ice cream, bet the Dairy Queen’s practically empty.”

Armin glanced at Eren with a raised eyebrow, there was no way he could be hungry. He chuckled when the taller boy simply shrugged, “Yeah, a Blizzard sounds prefect, actually.”

The second half started and immediately they both noticed that Levi was benched. Exchanging glances they gathered their stuff.

Eren immediately dropped everything, including Armin’s hand—which shocked the blonde until he noticed what was happening—when they rounded the sidewalk to get to the Jeep only to run into a crowd of teenage boys hassling someone.

“Come on darling,” one of the hissed and Eren picked up his pace, “Let me see your face.”

“I’m telling you,” another slurred, and immediately started off after Eren; they were drunk. “She looks exactly like that shithead Ackerman, look at her face.”

Through the crowd, Armin could see their target. She couldn’t have been more than ten, and Armin ground his teeth angrily. He hated bullies.

“We should rough her up then, show him not to mess with us,” another suggested.

“Or,” Eren cut in casually, throwing his arm around that boy’s shoulders and locking it around his neck tightly “You can fuck right off before I kick your asses.”

Armin joined him and pulled his feet apart and raised his arms in a fighting stance, suddenly thankful for all the self-defense classes Eren had dragged him to all these years.

The group of boys looked them over and a tall red head, who appeared to be the leader, stepped forward “Bring i—”

Before he could finish his challenge, Eren was swinging his fist and it connected solidly with the other’s face. Armin could hear the boy’s nose breaking but he couldn’t muster up even the slightest amount of guilt or sympathy.

“Holy fuck man!” One of the others said, stumbling away “What the hell?”

“What?” Eren asked, a mean smirk twisting across his face “Just realized that I’m not a little girl that you can push around?”

He tightened his arm even further around the kid’s neck and he let out a chocked cough.

“You’re crazy!” The red head called, it sounded garbled and muffled from where his hand was holding his bleeding nose “Let’s get the fuck out of here!”

Eren let the boy go and Armin relaxed his stance, moving to stand beside him when he crouched down to meet the girl at eye level.

“Hey,” he said quietly. The girl met his eyes with a straight stare and Armin had to blink at her courage.

“What are you doing out here alone?” He tried again when she remained silent.

“My uncle said to wait out here until he got back,” she replied so quietly that Armin had to strain to hear. She frowned and looked around, “but he left in his car and said he’d pick us up after the game was over.”

Armin had to fight back a scowl and he could feel his hand curling tightly in the fabric of Eren’s shirt where it rested on his shoulder.

“Right,” Eren said, derision for her uncle seeping into his voice “Well, my…friend, Armin and I are going to get ice cream, do want to come with us and we’ll bring you back when the game is over?” He looked around, just noticing something, “You said us, is there someone else here with you?”

“He’s playing basketball,” she said quietly, trying to hide behind her hair.

“Well, then, how about ice cream?”

“Eren,” Armin hissed quietly “You can’t just take a child, that kidnapping!”

She cut off anything else he had to say with a firm nod of her head. He sighed, and tugged Eren up, hand snaking down to twin with the other’s fingers, knowing that he’d lost the battle.

“I’ll climb in the back so she can sit with you,” he whispered to Eren, who smiled widely at him and planted a swift kiss on his cheek after checking to make sure the girl wasn’t watching.

“So,” Armin said, looking down at the girl as Eren fumbled with the keys to get the Jeep open, “I’m Armin, that’s Eren, what’s your name?”

She looked up at him through scrunched eyes, sizing him up, after a minute she replied “Mikasa.”

He smiled softly “What a lovely name.”

She smiled in return and his heart softened slightly. They were probably going to end up being arrested for kidnapping, but it was worth it if it meant not leaving this little girl alone outside at night.

Armin hoisted Mikasa into the passenger’s seat and went around to scramble in behind the driver’s seat, which was a tighter fit but he managed; even if he did squeak when he felt Eren’s hand palm his ass briefly.

Eren immediately turned the volume down but Mikasa turned to him with wide, solemn eyes “My cousin likes that music too.”

“Do they? They must be really cool then,” Eren said with a smile.

Mikasa looked from him to Armin and then back at Eren “He’s a pipsqueak, and I’ll crush him one day.”

The Jeep’s engine made a wound noise as Eren laughed so hard that his hand slipped on the gear shift, causing him to kick a gear higher than he meant to go.

Armin covered his mouth in shock and tried to keep his own laughter in as Mikasa glared at Eren.

“Oh look,” Eren said, clearing his throat to dispel the last of his laughter “We’re here,” he met Armin’s eyes in the mirror, “Should we go in or get it to go?”

Armin glanced at his phone, checking the time, “Ah, let’s get them to go, I’d rather be early then late.”

Eren nodded and pulled up to the drive through menu, “What do you want, Mikasa?” He didn’t even bother to ask Armin, knowing exactly what the blonde wanted.

Mikasa stared at the menu, reading over the options slowly.

“Chocolate cone,” she decided finally, and Eren nodded.

“Hi, welcome to Dairy Queen, how can I help you?” a female voice crackled over the speaker.

“Ah, can a get a small M&M blizzard, a medium double fudge cookie dough blizzard, and a chocolate dipped cone, and uh, a large coke.”

The cashier rattled back the order and then gave the price when Eren confirmed it as correct.

“Please pull to the second window.”

Eren shifted back into gear and pulled up. He could feel Armin staring at him, “What?” he asked, meeting the other’s gaze in the review mirror.

“A medium, really?”

Before Eren could reply the window slid open and the cashier repeated the price, closing the window once more after Eren handed over exact change. Mikasa turned around and glared lightly at him until Eren started to talk “Well, I know you’re going to want some once you finish yours.”

Armin blushed and Mikasa furrowed her eyebrows and looked back and forth between them, clearly not understanding what was going on.

“Thanks,” Armin mumbled and looked away.

The window slid open again and the cashier handed Eren their order. First Mikasa’s then Armin’s, and lastly Eren’s medium came through. Handing the other two theirs he wedged his own between his thighs, glad that he’d decided to wear denim jeans that evening.

Mikasa and Armin dug into theirs while he focused on driving them back, “Armin,” he called, not turning around “Give me a bite.”

He held his mouth open and waited, letting out an ‘ahhhh’ sound.

Armin snorted but unbuckled his seatbelt, scooped out a bite, and leaned forward. His stomach quivered when Eren’s lips closed around the spoon and he could feel the other sucking the ice cream off.

He slipped the spoon out of Eren’s mouth and into his own after he checked to make sure Mikasa wasn’t looking. He caught Eren’s eyes in the mirror, and gave the spoon a suck of his own, feeling bold.

It was satisfying to watch the blush spread across Eren’s cheeks, and he gave a small, smug smile, and went back to actually eating his blizzard.

When they got back to the school, the game was clearly over, and people were flooding to get out of the parking lot and out onto the road.

They managed to snag the parking spot they’d been in before and hurriedly ushered Mikasa to where she said she was meant to meet her uncle.

Standing there with an irritated look on his face was Levi Ackerman. Eren and Armin looked at each other, both wanting to turn around and run, and pressed forward with Mikasa walking securely in between them, still munching quietly away on her ice cream cone.

“Oi, brat, we’re have you been?” He asked, when he noticed the trio walking up. His eyes narrowed as they zeroed in on Eren and Armin, and the blonde resisted the urge to grab Eren’s hand and run.

“And who the fuck are you?”

“Levi!” Mikasa almost shrieked “Be nice, these are my new friends, Eren and Armin!”

“Oh, they are? So kidnapping you and buying you ice cream seems friendly to you, seems pretty fucking illegal to me,” he drawled.

Armin stiffened and shot Eren an ‘I told you so’ look.

“Don’t be mean!” Mikasa snarled, sounding angrier than Armin thought any child could, “They saved me! A group of boys tried to, to, bully me! They said they were going to rough me up!”

A thunderous look stretched across the older boy’s face and he looked over Eren and Armin again, clearly reevaluating them.

“Thank you,” he said stiffly, shifting from one foot to the other, clearly uncomfortable with expressing gratitude.

Eren waved it off and Armin shot him a small smile “It was no problem,” he said softly, pushing Mikasa forward with a small shove of his hand.

“Ah, actually,” Levi said, casting his eyes around the parking lot, “Could you give us a ride; it seems like my shitty father took off with my car and isn’t coming back.”

“Yeah,” Eren said, stepping closer to Armin, silently asking for comfort; this wasn’t supposed to happen. They were never supposed to talk to Levi; what were they supposed to do now? What were they supposed to say?

When Levi bent down to grab his gym bag, Armin brushed a hand across the small of Eren’s back for comfort.

The older boy stepped up to them, ready to follow the other boys but is stopped by Mikasa who slid back in the small gap in between Eren and Armin and reached up her hands to grip theirs. She twisted her neck to shoot Levi a look that neither Eren nor Armin could decipher.

Levi hummed and quickened his pace to come up beside Armin “So,” he said causally “Did the two of you come to see the game before you turned into kidnappers, or where you just patrolling the area for potential victims?” it was said with firm tone, but Armin could see amusement dancing in the other’s silver eyes.

“We saw the first half, but decided that DQ sounded better than seeing the second half,” Armin replied with a shrug.

The other hummed and threw a glance at Eren out of the corner of his eye, “And then you happened upon Mikasa and that one jumped in head first, huh?”

Armin turned to the other male and blinked “How did you guess?”

He let out a dark and low chuckle that made Armin’s insides quiver and he noticed the way the back of Eren’s neck, just below the collar of his shirt, pinked, he was glad he wasn’t the only one effected by the other male. “He looks reckless.”

“Yeah, yeah he is,” Armin couldn’t keep the fondness out of his voice, and Eren tossed him a soft look over Mikasa’s head.

Levi’s eyes moved from one to the other and he hummed, but said nothing.

“Eren!” Mikasa cried “Sit with me in the back!”

Eren chuckled and shook his head “Sorry, Mikasa, but Armin’s been banned from driving indefinitely and he’s never driving my Jeep, ever.”

“Why not?” She asked innocently.

“Because,” Eren started, but Armin cut him off with a “Hush, Eren!”

The other boy chuckled “Here we are,” and unlocked the door, once more Armin lifted Mikasa in—into the back this time—and crawled in after her, leaving the front seat open for Levi.

“Here,” Eren said, pulling his half eaten Blizzard from the cup holder and handing it to Armin, who accepted it with a small smile.

He was two bites in before he noticed the weird look Mikasa was giving him, her nose scrunched in confusion.

“How come you’re using his spoon? My teacher tells us not to, even if it’s with friends, because that’s how germs are spread.”

Armin froze, spoon still between his lips, as he looked at her. He had no idea what to say. Eren came to the rescue with a carefully worded answer.

“Mikasa,” he started slowly, “sometimes, when you’re really, really good friends with someone, you can share spoons and drinks, and Armin and I are a really, really good friends, so sometimes we share things because it easier, or because we want to, like how Armin wants the rest of my Blizzard but he already threw his empty cup and spoon away.”

Mikasa’s face was scrunched in concentration as she thought it over but eventually she nodded in understanding.

Levi remained silent in the passenger’s seat, seemingly content to let the rest of them chatter around him.

He directed Eren to his house with one word directions, but it somehow wasn’t rude or curt. Armin got the feeling that was simply just how he was.

Levi’s house was big, a lot bigger than Armin’s house and could’ve easily fit the tiny apartment Eren shared with his dad inside at least five times over. Eren and Armin tried not to stare at it but also tried not to look at Levi, who was climbing out of the Jeep and popping the passenger’s seat forward to pull Mikasa out while they tried to hide their awkwardness.

Instead of getting out, Armin pulled the seat back into place and climbed over the small center console, squeezing between the two front seats with ease. It was only after he’d settled down in the seat that he realized that Levi was still there, leaning casually against the Jeep’s front fender.

“I’m assuming that the two of you go to Trost?”

They nodded and Levi nodded once in return “Good, I’ll see you tomorrow; I’m taking you out after school to thank you for saving Mikasa.”

He turned and jogged into the house, free of his gym bag, Armin noted, he must have given it to Mikasa to take into the house as a way to give the three of them some time alone.

“We’re fucked,” was all Eren said after the house’s front door closed behind the older teen.

Armin shook his head “It’s only one dinner, to say thank you, and then he’ll never speak to us again, it’ll be fine,” he reached over the lay a hand over Eren’s right and curled his fingers around the gear shift’s round head as well.

Later that night they curled up in Armin’s bed together, Eren in nothing but his boxer’s and Armin—who got cold at night, no matter what—in a pair of the taller boy’s pajama pants, with Eren’s arm snaked tightly over Armin’s bare chest.

The brunette rarely ever went home and most of his things—favorite clothes, his entire record collection, his guitar and his Jeep—stayed permanently at the Arlert residence and he felt completely at home in what they both thought of as their bed.

Thoughtfully, Armin turned and pressed a kiss to Eren’s bare shoulder but didn’t pursue anything more; they were both too tired, mentally and physically, to get up to anything more, “He’ll probably have forgotten by tomorrow.”

Eren hummed, “I hope so,” it was weird, he thought to himself, most people would be disappointed if their crush forgot about a dinner they’d promised them but he and Armin were so scared of Levi getting to know them, of him rejecting them for who they were.

They settled into silence at that and Armin turned in Eren’s arms, tucking his head under the brunette’s chin to comfort both of them. Soon they drifted to sleep like that, each warmed by the other and content to stay where they were.

The next morning came way to early and Eren tried his hardest to stay buried in their nest of sheets and pillows, but Armin managed to lure him out of bed with the suggestion of a shared shower.

In the bathroom Armin turned on the waterproof radio that they kept in the shower and grinned mischievously when he heard the song that was on. He turned and crooked a finger at Eren, hips swaying from side to side.

She wraps those hands around that pole. She licks those lips and off we go. She takes it off nice and slow, because that's porn star dancin'.

His hands slipped down his sides slowly, stopping when they reached the low hanging hem of his over-sized pajamas laughing internally when Eren leaned heavily against the closed door, eyes following his movements raptly.

With a tug of one of the strings that tied the bottoms in place and a few rocks of his hips the pajamas slowly inched down his skin unaided. Eren’s swallowed heavily as more of Armin’s smooth pale skin was revealed.

She don't play nice, she makes me beg, she drops that dress around her legs and I'm sittin' right by the stage for this porn star dancin’.

It wasn’t very often that Armin got into sexually playful moods like this, but when he did he brought Eren to his knees.

He went to move closer but froze when Armin crooked his eyebrow at him and lifted a finger, silently commanding him to stay where he was, before going back to touching himself lightly—grazing his fingers down his sides, skimming through the curly patch of hair surrounding his cock, coming up to tweak his nipples every once in a while.

After a bit more teasing Armin finally shoved the pajama bottoms off and stepped into the shower, leaving the bottoms pooled where they were on the floor; he threw a glance over his shoulder at Eren and asked it a light voice “Are you coming?”

The brunette scrambled to get his clothes off, almost tripping over his boxers, and practically dove into the shower after Armin. Mouth attaching to the blonde’s immediately as his hands slipped down those smooth thighs. Before the other could protest, Eren cupped his hands around Armin’s thighs, hauled him up, pinning him to the shower’s tile wall, and clasped the blonde’s thighs tightly to his own hips, only loosening the grip slightly when Armin moved to wrap his legs around Eren.

Heat stirred in his get and he felt himself start to harden even as he felt Armin’s cock twitch against his stomach. He held Armin up and against the wall with one hand while the other stroked up and down the blonde’s thigh and calf; he loved Armin’s legs, they were so long compared to his torso.

They broke the kiss and Eren panted out “Fuck you’re gorgeous.”

Armin blushed the way he always did when Eren complimented his looks or implied that he was sexy. It never failed to turn him on even more.

He kissed the other again, behind his ear, and buried his face in wet blonde hair. They were grinding against each other now, trying to get enough friction going to get off but it wasn’t enough.

Frustrated by the situation, Eren let Armin back down but attacked his neck and shoulders with fervor to make up for not having Armin against the wall anymore.

“Eren,” the blonde moaned out, gasping when Eren reached down to wrap a hand around both of their cocks. He must have squirted a dab of shampoo on his hand while Armin wasn’t paying attention because his hand moved easily over their lengths and left a coating of a lotion-like substance over them. Armin wrapped his arms around Eren’s neck and leaned into him, letting the other support most of his weight.

Eren grunted in response to every one of Armin’s moans, orgasm building with every pump of his fist and hitch in Armin’s breathing.

The blonde came first with a gasped “Eren!” And he followed quickly after.

They stood together under the shower’s spray, unmoving, for just long enough to catch their breaths before they untangled and began to wash up, tending to themselves and trying to avoid looking at each other; laying hands on each other to help wash hair or lather on soap would only lead to Armin pinned to the wall with Eren balls deep in him, which meant they’d be late to school.

Dressing quickly, they grabbed their stuff and headed to the door, throwing a quick goodbye over their shoulders to Armin’s grandfather. Eren grabbed the keys to Armin’s car while Armin grabbed their lunches and coats.

As soon as Eren started the engine the last CD (a mixed disc that Armin had made) they’d listened to started up again, causing Armin to smile widely and start singing alone, head banging a little widely. Eren watched him occasionally out of the corner of his eye with a soft smile on his face. He remembered a time when Armin had scrunched his nose up at the heavy guitars and loud drums, confused at the sound and irritated by the loudness. Now he was head banging to his favorite songs and saving up every dime he could for concert tickets to their favorite bands.

He was a firecracker in disguise and no one but Eren would ever know it.

After he pulled into a spot and put the car into park he turned to watch his lover. The blonde wiggled and whipped his hair and sang along, oblivious to his audience or the fact that the car had stopped. When the clock on the radio read 7:50, Eren reached over and gently tangled his fingers in Armin’s long hair, bringing his dancing to a stop.

He chuckled as a blush spread across Armin’s cheeks and brought the blonde’s head closer to his own to catch him in a kiss. It was a brief thing that said ‘have a good day, I love you, I’ll see you later’ instead of speaking of passion or fire.

The parted only a few seconds later and pulled completely away from each other, grabbing their stuff as they did. They climbed from the car and Eren locked it, “I’ll see you after school,” he said, looking over at the other boy, who nodded.

None of their classes matched up, they didn’t even have lunch together because Eren had first lunch while Armin had second. They separated at the school’s front, Eren headed to English and Armin headed to AP chemistry.

Eren worked through his first three classes with the sort of half assed diligence that often made Armin scold him—but he couldn’t help it, school just wasn’t his thing, writing was his thing, music was his thing, math and history and science weren’t—and he couldn’t help but sigh in relief when the bell for lunch rang.

He sat alone like always, the few friends he and Armin actually had all had second lunch with Armin (which he was okay with, because he’d rather be alone himself then have Armin eating by himself), and began to dig in only to pause when the chair on the other side was pulled out. Some snorted and Eren looked up confused, food still half chewed in his mouth.

“Where’s the little blonde one?” It was Levi Ackerman and Eren continued to chew his food carefully, trying his hardest not to choke in shock.

He swallowed and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, face twitched in amusement as the other boy’s nose wrinkled in disgust.

“Armin has second lunch,” he said casually, reminding the older teen of his boyfriend’s name without calling him out on it.

The other hummed, “How do the two of you feel about Thai food?”

Eren shrugged, “As far as I know, Armin’s never had it and I’ll eat just about anything.”

So he hadn’t forgotten about it after all. Eren wondered exactly just how fucked he and Armin where but he shrugged; a few hours of eating and possibly stilted conversation—because what on earth could they have in common with Levi Ackerman?—couldn’t be that bad.

“Good,” the raven haired teen said. He pulled a small square packet out of his back pack and opened the plastic tab up; it was a packet of napkins. No, Eren corrected himself as he watched on with mild amusement; it was a thing of wet wipes.

He watched as Levi thoroughly wiped the table down and found it kind of cute how the other cleaned at least half of the table three times before he stacked the discarded wipes together and off to the side.

Once that was finished he pulled out his lunch and placed a neatly folded square of cloth down and then placed his food on top of that instead of the table.

“What are you looking at brat?” It came out on the verge of being defensive and Eren wondered if people had been rude about—what appeared to be—his habit.

“Do you do that on all tables or just the ones in here?” He was careful to try to make the question sound curious and harmless instead of it sounding like he was making fun of the other.

“I always clean tables off before I eat on them, but these tables get a special treatment because filthy ass shithead teenagers use these and who knows what kind of shit they leave behind.”

Eren nodded thoughtfully but didn’t say anything else on the matter. They ate comfortably in a relative silence that was broken every once in a while by one asking the other a question which was promptly answered. It was nice. Eren could, and did, listen to Armin chatter for hours about whatever had caught his interest that day, and he knew he could ramble like a champion about things that irritated him, but the silence was a nice change of pace.

“Why’d you help Mikasa?”

The question startled Eren, causing him to almost drop his sandwich, “Uh, what?” He asked, feeling stupid. What the hell kind of question was that?

“Why,” he emphasized, eyebrow ticking as he looked up at Eren, “did you save my cousin?”

“Why wouldn’t I?” Ere asked, taken aback, “She was a little girl who was about to get hit by men almost twice her age, was I supposed to let that happen?”

The other boy cocked his head, looking at Eren with a complicated look on his face, “Some people would have.”

“Yeah, and some people are assholes, but I’m not,” he paused, “Well, I am, but not like that, and Armin’s not an asshole at all, so he would’ve stepped in even if I didn’t.”

Levi nodded and went back to his lunch without another word. He stayed that way until the bell for lunch. He looked up when Eren stood and shoved his lunchbox back in his messenger bag “Meet me here after school with the blonde, Armin.”

Eren nodded his understanding and then headed to class. The rest of the day passed in a boring haze of mind-numbing classes he didn’t care about.

As the three o’clock bell rang Eren slowly packed his bag, letting the rest of the class filter out, and made to head for his locker to meet Armin as per usual. Which was why he was rightly surprised to see Armin standing outside of the classroom with a heavy looking box of junk.

“Can I have the car keys?” Armin asked, sounding strained. Eren immediately handed him the keys.

“Do you need me to carry it?” Eren asked, concerned.

Armin shook his head “Go meet Levi; I’ll be waiting at the car.”

Eren gave him a dubious look but nodded. Armin was stubborn and if he said he could do it, then he’d do it, even if he had to put the box down and take a break on the way to the car.

A dark eyebrow cocked up when Eren showed up in the cafeteria alone.

“Armin had to go put something in his car, if you want to head that way?” Eren paused for a minute and looked at the other boy “Unless you want to drive or want us to follow you?”

The other thought about it “I was going to drive, but if you want to I suppose I can just give you directions.”

“Ah, thanks, I just prefer to drive.” Eren said sheepishly, and the older teen shrugged.

“If you get me into a wreck I’ll kill you, just so you know, shitty brat.”

He felt his eye twitch in irritation at the name calling but he grinned instead “No problem, old man, I’m a great driver.”

The other smirked at the come back and Eren felt his own grin melt into a matching smirk.

Together they made their way out to Armin’s car and Eren couldn’t help but laugh at the look on Levi’s face as he took in the look on his face as they approached. Armin was sitting in the driver’s seat, long blonde strands loose from the tight bun he usually kept it in when he was out in, as he played the air drums. The blonde turned then, eyes narrowing in on Eren, and lifted his hand, mouthing the words out to him. Eren’s smile widened when he picked up on them ‘All I want to do is make love to you…’

Blue eyes widened in embarrassment as they caught sight of Levi and Armin almost melted into the seat and as far out of sight as he could get.

The older teen surprised Eren when he let out a chuckle, eyeing the top of Armin’s head with amusement “He’s a shy thing, isn’t he?”

Eren shrugged “Sometimes, yeah.”

Armin crawled over the console and into the backseat, too embarrassed to actually get out of the car. The other two teens pulled open the doors right as the door open. The blonde watched Levi look over the car, subtly swiping a finger across the dashboard and inspecting the tip for dust, and felt oddly relieved when the raven head nodded once to himself, apparently satisfied with what he found.

‘In the daylight, I’m your sweetheart; your goody-two-shoes prude is a work of art. But you don’t know me, and soon you won’t forget—bad as can be, yeah you know I’m not so innocent’

“Other times, however,” Eren said as he turned the music down and shot Levi a look, leaving the sentence hanging.

The raven haired boy nodded in understanding as the smirk on his lips took on a slightly wicked look.

“Other times, what?” Armin asked, curiosity weighing in more heavily than his embarrassment. His head

“Nothing, shy brat, don’t worry about it.” Levi said casually, turning his head to give Armin a look.

Armin squeaked and ducked back down into the seat. This was…bizarre. Levi wasn’t supposed to be here with them and now that he was he shouldn’t fit in so well. It was like he belonged in the car with them, gently teasing Armin and sharing smirks and rude jokes with Eren.

“Oi, shitty brat,” Levi said, pulling Armin out of his thoughts “I thought you said you could drive?”

Eren shot him a confused look and then glanced down at the steering wheel pointedly.

“Don’t give me that look, dumbass, blinkers are meant to be used when you turn.”

Eren rolled his eyes “We were just pulling out of the parking lot, its fine.”

“It’s not fine, if you’re going to do something do it right.”

Armin chuckled as he watched Eren being scolded. The brunette had the same usual defiant look that he got whenever Armin chastised him.

Silence fell after that leaving only the sound of the low music to fill the car and Armin sat in the back, mouthing the words to himself as Levi gave Eren directions. Armin perked up as one song silently ended and another began. It was one of the few songs that he and Eren owned that wasn’t a rock song and it had ended up on the cd because Armin absolutely loved it.

He sang along quietly, unable to keep himself from voicing the lyrics. He looked up and caught Eren’s eyes as he sang ‘Round and round like a horse on a carousel, we go. Will I catch up to love? I could never tell. I know chasing after you is like a fairytale, but I…feel like I'm glued on tight to this carousel.’

Eren’s lips lifted in a self-deprecating smile as he sang one like with Armin ‘This horse is too slow, we’re always this close, almost, almost, we’re a freakshow,’ before falling silent.

Neither noticed the raven haired teen staring at them with narrowed eyes.

“Oi brats,” Levi cut it and the pair started, “What kind of music do you like?” He waved a hand at the radio face as if to reinforce his question.

“Mainly rock, and most of the subgenres—punk, metal, alternative,” Eren explained with a shrug “but sometimes Armin gets into the mood to listen to pop, some dance on occasion.”

Levi nodded, a pleased look on his face, and Armin could see the gears turning in the older teens head but said nothing. It probably didn’t have anything to do with them anyway.

The restaurant was a small but nice looking place that was tucked in the corner of strip mall between a small shoe store and a place where people drank wine and painted.

Eren scanned the parking lot for a good spot and backed into the spot he almost passed. Levi hummed at the job and checked the lines; the brunette was parked perfectly straight with an almost even amount of space between the car and the white lines on either side.

“Not too bad, brat.”

Eren busied himself by digging in his backpack for his wallet so that he could hide the blush that crept up his cheeks at the compliment.

“Shouldn’t have doubted me, old man, I told you I was good.”

Armin snorted, “Because you’re a paragon of absolute truth,” he jibed “He’s right to doubt when you start bragging.”

Levi huffed out a laugh at that, which turned into a chuckle when Eren pulled his head out of the back seat with a confused look painted on his face.

“Come on brats, I’m hungry.”

Eren’s stomach rumbled out an agreement.

Armin rolled his eyes but followed after the two dark haired boys.

The inside of the restaurant almost sparkled it was so clean and Levi looked satisfied at the level of cleanliness. Armin watched as the tight muscles—and he only then noticed how tense the other was, did he always walk around that wound up?—in his shoulders relax slightly.

The smell of spices filled the air and Armin’s stomach tightened at the scent; just inhaling made his mouth water.

“Thai food,” Levi whispered to him as they were show to a booth. Eren and Armin slid in together on one side, leaving the other side for Levi.

Armin nodded and picked up the menu, looking over all of the unfamiliar foods, he’d never had Thai food before and was a little excited that Levi had picked this place to take them. Finally he settled on something that looked good but not too spiced; he would hate to get something that was too spicy for him to eat.

He folded his menu and leaned on Eren to look over his menu to see what he was looking at. He was looking over the Pad noodle dishes.

He was about to ask Levi what he was getting but a tall girl who introduced herself as their waitress walked up before he could.

She looked over both Eren and Levi with appreciation but gave Armin a quick, almost dismissive, look. Armin was shocked at the curl of possession that snaked through him not only for Eren (which happened more than he’d ever admit) but for Levi as well. His hand slipped under the table and brushed over Eren’s knee before he could stop himself and he tried to breathe quietly through his nose. He had no right to feel jealous over someone making eyes at Levi, he wasn’t theirs. Eren nodded at the girl in hello, oblivious to the looks she was throwing his way, and Levi ignored her almost completely, only giving her a nod to signal he’d heard her.

“Green tea,” Levi said simply when she asked for their drink orders and Armin was a little taken aback at how short he was with her, but felt the shock melt when the girl threw the older teen another flirty look. It must get annoying to get looks like that when all you wanted was food, Armin acknowledged.

“Ah, can I have the Thai tea, please?” Armin asked when the girl turned her gaze on him. It was bored, as if she could care less about him and brightened considerably when it landed on Eren. Armin’s hand tightened on his knee and the other shot Armin a curious look but brought his eyes back to the girl as he ordered the Thai coffee.

Levi gazed at the pair of them for a moment and Armin shifted under the stare uncomfortably before the other spoke “Are you two brats fucking?”

Armin blinked at the crude question and Eren tensed, draping an arm over Armin’s shoulders for support; he didn’t really want to get in a fight in the middle of a restaurant, but he would if the other boy came at Armin or said something to upset the blonde.

Eren lifted his head in defiance and met the silver stare head on as Armin tried to meld himself into Eren’s body.

“And if we are?”

“Tch. Brave aren’t you shitty brat, to challenge me like that.” It was said with an amused tilt of the lips and a cocked eyebrow. Levi Ackerman was recognized as the strongest boy in school and was supposedly unbeatable when it came to tests of speed.

“I’m sure I can handle a little old thing like you.” Eren returned, emphasizing the jabs about the other’s age and height.

Levi chuckled at that and relaxed back in his seat, “Calm down brat, it was just a question; you don’t even look old enough to get it up.”

“We’re dating, yes,” Armin said, before Eren could say something inappropriate in the middle of the eatery, a blush dusting his cheeks at saying it out loud. It wasn’t like they were a closeted couple or dating in secret, everyone important knew, but they didn’t openly advertise it at school or anywhere else.

“Dating, hm?” Levi asked, leaning to prop his elbow on the table to rest his chin in his hand.

Armin could see something being calculated behind those eyes but he wasn’t sure what the other was up to.

“If the shitty brat here is the shield and sword, I suppose you’re the brains of the two of you?” He asked, looking Armin over.

He shrugged not feeling offended by the question; it was obvious he wasn’t a fighter. Eren, on the other hand, did bristle.

“He might be smart, a hell of a lot smarter than either of us,” he admitted brazenly, saying exactly what he thought without thinking of the consequence “but he’s also got a mean roundhouse kick,” his chest puffed out slightly, obviously proud of Armin’s vicious kicks.

Armin slunk down in the bench, trying to hide; he really didn’t think he was as good as Eren made him about to be.

“Reallly?” Levi was skeptical and Armin could tell which made him want to sink down further.

“Yep!” Eren said enthusiastically, “He got me in the side one time before I could block and I had the bruise for weeks, he even bruised the ribs.”

The blonde was almost embarrassed about how excited Eren was about it; his eyes were backlight with a fire and a wild grin was stretched across his face.

The raven shared the brunette’s wild grin to a less extent and Armin’s heart warmed just a bit.

“You’ll have to show me some time,” Levi said, turning to look at Armin with an unfamiliar look.

Only Eren’s hand on his shoulder stopped him from slinking below the table.

They were interrupted once more by the waitress who immediately handed Levi and Eren their drinks, did a double take at Eren’s arm around Armin’s shoulders, and then slammed his tea down with noticeable force.

Eren frowned in confusion and Levi’s eyebrows knitted together, left eye twitching slightly, while Armin used the tips of his fingers to pull the drink into the safety of his hands.

The waitress turned a charming smile on the two taller males and asked in an airy voice “Are you ready to order or would you like more time?”

“Red curry with beef,” once more Levi was curt with the girl, closing his menu with a snap. He handed the menu to the girl, keeping his hand on the corner so that their hands wouldn’t touch.

Eren glanced down at the menu once more to make sure he was ordering the right dish “I’ll have the chicken Pad Thai.”

He handed his menu to Armin, who set it on top of his own and turned to hand them to the waitress. He almost recoiled from the mean look on her face, “I-uh,” he stuttered out “I’d like the coconut curry, please.”

The waitress snatched the two menus from his hands, causing one of the faux gold tipped corners to catch and drag across the flesh of his palm. He hissed to himself and quickly released the menus. The girl gave him a vicious smile and turned on her heel, hips swaying as she left.

Armin curled his fingers around his palm and dropped his hand under the table to hide the red mark from Eren; he was hungry and really didn’t need for Eren to get them thrown out. He never noticed Levi watched with knowing eyes.

“So Levi,” Armin said, turning his attention to the person sitting across from him “You’ve asked us questions, but you haven’t told us anything about yourself.”

The other lifted a shoulder in a half shrug.

“What kind of music do you like?”

He tilted his head and looked Armin over in thought, as if he was wondering if Armin was actually serious.

“Symphonic metal, but I also like rock in general,” he finally replied, and Armin and Eren both perked up.

“Like Nightwish and Within Temptation?” Eren asked, leaning forward.

Levi blinked in surprise, “Yeah.”

Armin leaned forward next, “So who do you prefer, Nightwish or Within Temptation?”

The other answered immediately “Within Temptation.”

Eren and Armin nodded in agreement and soon the conversation devolved into a game of twenty questions; each of them asking questions and then giving their own answers. Nothing was off limits and the questions ranged from favorite movies and television shows (Eren liked anything with explosions and action, Armin liked anime and the occasional romantic comedy, and Levi didn’t really watch either and when he did it was mainly kid shows with Mikasa, though he did have a leaning towards reruns of Courage the Cowardly Dog and The Powerpuff Girls that she watched) to political stances and social issues.

Too soon the waitress showed up again, arms laden with their orders. Armin blinked when she sat his down and then looked over at Eren’s and Levi’s; there’s both looked right but his…didn’t. He stayed quiet, however, thinking that perhaps he was wrong.

“Oi,” Levi said suddenly, startling everyone at the table, he was looking the waitress dead in the eye, “Take that shit back,” he pointed at Armin’s dish, “and send someone else over here.”

The waitress blinked and opened her mouth “Shut up,” the older teen snapped, a scowl firmly fixed on his lips, cutting here off.

She turned on her heel and scurried away, leaving the plate where it was.

Not even a minute later an older woman was hurrying over to their table with a red face, the tag on her shirt proclaimed MANAGER is bold letters. She looked a lot like the girl who had just fled and Armin swallowed, this couldn’t end well.

“Is there a reason you’re harassing my employee, is there a problem here?” She asked tightly.

“Yes,” Levi answer gruffly, not backing down from the woman’s ire “There is a problem, your waitress has been extremely unprofessional throughout her service and has even injured my friend here, show her your hand, Armin.”

The blonde hesitated but held out his hand when Levi turned his narrow eyed look on him and repeated his name firmly.

A light welt ran across his palm and Eren growled behind him “What is that?”

“My palm was cut when she took the menus from me, she jerked them away and the metal tip caught my skin,” he explained, running his other hand up and down Eren’s thigh under the table in an attempt to sooth him.

“She also handled his drink roughly, has given him unnecessary and rude looks the entire time, and brought him the wrong dish purposely,” Levi listed off tonelessly, watching the woman’s face darken with over word.

“I see,” she said tightly, “and what would you like me to do?”

“You’ll take that dish away, bring his correct order, coconut curry, out immediately, and his dinner will be taken off my receipt, including his tea.” The demand was delivered with a cool calmness, the completely opposite of the hot rage Eren vibrated with and Armin was impressed, caught somewhere between their extreme moods.

The woman gave a short nod and collected the plate. Armin watched her angry strides eat up the small length from their table to the kitchen.

Rough fingers traced down and he turned away with a soothing smile on his face, thinking the fingers belonged to Eren. Instead, his lover was turned towards the kitchen, hand curled into fists on the table’s surface, watching the woman’s retreat like a hawk. The fingers that trailed over his hand were paler then his own skin and gracefully long and skinny, unlike Eren’s long, thick digits or Armin’s short squared fingers.

The look on Levi’s face as he gently stroked his fingers over Armin’s palm was intense and he almost wanted to pull away. This wasn’t right. He wasn’t supposed to be here, he wasn’t supposed to be so nice to them, and he wasn’t supposed to stick up for Armin. He wasn’t supposed to make them start to fall in love with him.

He was supposed to be distant and unapproachable. Not…this. This hard sort of compassion wrapped in an aloof façade.

Armin glanced at Eren, who wore a look of heartbreak nakedly on his face as he looked at Levi who was looking at Armin’s hand. They were fucked.

Levi ran a finger over the mark one last time and pulled his hand away. By the time he looked up, they’d both coaxed their faces into not looking that someone had ripped their kidneys out and instead they were relaxed smiles.

One side of the older teen’s lips lifted at the corner and he shrugged dismissively.

Neither Eren nor Live touched the food on their plates as Armin’s order was prepared and instead the three sat in a comfortable silence. Eren’s hands remained curled into fists and Levi shot the kitchen a glare every few minutes, but Armin pretended that he didn’t see anything and instead relaxed into Eren and cautiously stretched out his feet to brush against Levi’s legs under the table. The dark haired teen raised an eyebrow but pressed his right ankle firmly into Armin’s.

He also moved his left foot to tuck it behind Eren’s, locking them together heel to heel. Eren looked up at him with confusion in his eyes but the older boy ignored it and set another glare in the direction that their original waitress had scurried off in.

This time when the manager came to their table, she had tray balanced carefully in one hand with Armin’s dish and refills for their drinks scattered evenly across the tray.

All three of them straightened up and Eren and Armin began to unroll their silverware. Levi pulled his wallet from his pocket, opened it, and pulled out a pair of white packets. Eren immediately recognized them as sanitation wipes and held back an eye roll, choosing instead to dig into his food.

Armin, on the other hand, watched as Levi carefully cleaned the utensils he needed. The ravenette stiffened under his gaze and looked up to meet Armin’s eyes from under his bangs. Whatever he saw made him relax and he went back to cleaning. Armin dropped his stare and went to eat his own curry.

“Here,” Eren said, nudging Armin in the side. He held up a fork and Armin quickly swooped down and ate what Eren had offered him. He hummed and chewed slowly. It was good, but he liked his curry better. He pushed his bowl over to Eren in return and the other quickly took a bite, and then took two more.

Before you could go in for a forth bite, Armin pulled his food back to him and looked up at Levi, who was looking at them with a puzzled expression.

“You share food?” He asked, nose crinkling up as he spoke and Armin laughed softly.

“We share a lot more than that,” he explained, taking a guess at what had bothered Levi, “If I was going to catch something from him, it probably wouldn’t be because we shared a spoon at dinner.”

Levi looked thoughtful, as if it had never occurred to him, and nodded slowly.

They settled into silence and ate swiftly; glad to remain uninterrupted by the manager or another waitress.

When it was time to pay the bill, Levi picked up the receipt before Armin and Eren could look at it and quickly slid a credit card into the black slip. The manager silently came around and picked it up, bringing it back just as quickly.

Armin watched as Levi filled out the tip line, with a big, pointed zero, and signed his name at the bottom. His hand writing was fluid and graceful, unlike Armin’s frantic chicken-scratch or Eren’s large childish letters.

“Let’s go, brats,” Levi said, tucking the paper into the black slip, and slid out of the booth.

Armin and Eren followed after him and climbed back into the car. Once again Armin climbed in the back to let Levi have the front seat beside Eren.

Which was why he was shocked when Levi slid in the seat alongside him. The other made himself comfortable on the driver’s side of the car as Armin was seated behind the passenger’s seat.

He didn’t say anything and Armin met eyes in the review mirror and lifted an eyebrow. Eren shot him a smile and a shrug.

“Oi, short brat.”

Armin turned to give Levi, trying to ignore the fact that he wasn’t that much shorter than Levi. It didn’t matter much to him anyway. Especially because he could swear he heard an undertone of fondness in Levi’s nicknames for him and Eren.

“Where do you live?”

Armin dug around his bag for a pen, tore the corner of his loose-leaf binder pages off, and quickly jotted down the address.

Levi glanced at it, folded it up, and tucked it into his pocket.

“Where’s your car?” Eren asked from the front, looking about the lot. The cars of teachers and assorted students were still parked in various spots.

“Near the front, in the fourth row.”

Eren nodded, impressed. Being in athletics definitely offered some perks, he supposed, such as close parking. The first two rows were designated to teachers and the rest was a free for all, but it was an unspoken rule that important people parked in the next handful of rows while losers like Eren and Armin hiked from the back.

“Right here,” Levi said, pointing at his vehicle. It was a small truck but spotless on the outside and the silver shined flawlessly. Before either of them could react, Levi brushed a gentle kiss across first Armin’s and then Eren’s checks and slid out of the car.

“Be ready by 7:30, brats, I’m picking you up at his house,” he pointed at Armin, “in the morning.”

With that he closed the door and pulled himself into his own vehicle and cranked the engine and pulled off through the empty spot in front. Armin quickly clambered out of the car and into the front seat, lacing his hand with Eren’s as he did so.

“Well then,” he sounded croaky, even to his own ears, and his throat felt dry.

“Yeah,” Eren didn’t sound much better, “we’re so fucked.”

“Not,” he swallowed and cleared his throat, “Not yet, I think, maybe he likes us too?”

Eren shot him a hopeful look and Armin nodded.

“I guess we’ll see, huh?” He squeezed Armin’s hand lightly in his.

As they crawled into bed that night, Armin set their alarm and settled down with a book while Eren curled up under the covers and buried his face in Armin’s thigh to hide from the dim light that their bedside lamp cast out in a halo.

The blonde used one hand to hold the book open and the other carded through Eren’s hair. This was good. This was great. What they had now was amazing and Armin wouldn’t trade it for anything, but, he thought as he reflected on the evening, maybe with Levi it could be perfect; balanced in a way that they had never been.

He read for another hour or so, lulled into a peaceful rhythm by the turn of his pages and Eren’s light snores. When he came to the end of the chapter he closed the book with a quiet exhale; it was such a good book and he wished Eren had the patience to read so that he could share it with him, but his brunette boyfriend just couldn’t sit still long enough.

He sat the book aside and clicked the light off, wiggling down in Eren’s tight grip to lie down.