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Who Started It This Time?

Chapter Text

"See? It's not so bad, is it, Historia?" the older girl asked, nudging her little sister and pointing at the colorful walls in the hallways. "Look how pretty these portraits are, aren't they nice?"

The little girl glared up at the portraits on the wall. They were pretty, but she couldn't let that show. As far as she was concerned, Historia had mentally sworn all things in this place to be her enemy. She has to hate everything this place has. She didn't care how bright and happy everything looked, this place was her doom and she knew it. Nothing could disguise that.

After all, it was school.

Historia pouted, nearly on the verge of tears. "But I don't wanna go! Can't I go to your school, and stay with you today?"

Frieda sighed and turned at the corner, flipping her hair and heading toward the classroom at the end of the hallway.

"Come on, Historia, don't be a baby," she retorted, "it's only a new school, and you're still in kindergarten. There's nothing for you to worry about. Besides, if you don't hurry up, I'm going to be late, and the teachers at my school would be furious. They wouldn't be any happier if I brought in a five-year-old either, believe me."

Frieda was always too calm about everything, it seemed. She hadn't even batted an eye when their father had announced that they were moving, hadn't even flinched when he had struck Historia after after she'd complained about it (though she did give her an ice pack after the encounter).

Historia bit her lip, now conflicted. She didn't want to be thrust into this school just so suddenly, but she also didn't want to cause Frieda any more stress than she already has; Frieda's practically all she's got. She can't disappoint her big sister, especially since she's Historia's only friend.

She picked up the pace to catch up with her sister, who was now at the door of the classroom. Nervous, Historia hid behind her sister's skirt, burying her face into it to avoid looking at the other kids. Frieda was speaking with the teacher, who seemed less than pleased to see that he had a new student on board.

"I really hope I haven't caused too great of a disturbance, Mr. Rivaille, really, I understand that you currently a bit on your hands at the moment..."

Historia peered out of the side of Frieda's skirt, taking in the scene laying out before her. She'd expected it to be a quiet classroom full of children patiently sitting at their desks, staring directly at her, judging her, waiting for her to take her seat so that the teacher could finally move on teaching.

However, that clearly was not the case. Only a few students had noticed the Reiss girls, but they only looked mildly interested. Most of the students were attempting to stifle their laughter, and Historia could definitely see why. The teacher was trying to bat a kid off of his leg with a feather-duster, scolding the child to quit being so noisy, he was trying to listen to Frieda speak.

Frieda continued to speak, but the teacher just nodded quickly, straining to listen, and hurriedly waved her off and pointed toward the desks.

"Yes, yes, just have her sit in any of the empty chairs, go now, go, go!"

Frieda turned, swooping down to give Historia one last hug before departing. She could already feel her lip quivering as her sister gave a wave goodbye from the doorway. Historia watched her until she couldn't even see any of Frieda's shadow on the ground.

Don't go, Frieda, Historia thought, tears welling in her eyes. Don't leave me alone here. I don't care if I'm acting like a baby, I wanna stay with you.

No. She couldn't be a baby about this. Historia wasn't going to let her sister down. She can do this, just one day, right?

Meanwhile, Mr. Rivaille was still trying to shake the screaming kid off of his leg, much to Historia's shock. Seriously, where had this kid been raised?

Maybe she should focus on that to keep her mind off of Frieda. She was not going to cry on her first day at a new school.

"But I don't wanna sit next to Jean!" the boy screeched, digging his nails into the teacher's calf. The teacher's eye was twitching, clearly already regretting to sign on as a kindergarten teacher this year.

Historia winced at the boy's rudeness. If she'd ever thrown a fit like that, her dad would make sure to leave a mark on her face that'd last weeks. Honestly, didn't this boy know what the word 'please' was?

Historia took advantage of the fact that most of the class hadn't been paying any attention to her to choose one of the empty seats. The desks were all arranged into groups of three, and a single seat was empty in about three of the groups. One of the currently vacant spots was beside a boy with a shaved head and a brown-haired girl, both of whom were loudly and excitedly chatting with each other, making almost as much noise as the kid up front.

She wrinkled her nose. No, they'd probably be too loud for her to adjust to. There were only two other seat options, one of them beside a haughty-looking boy, who Historia assumed had been Jean, seeing as he seemed to be extremely offended with what the kid had been screaming about. Well, she thought, if a kid was this upset to sit by him, maybe I should avoid him too. That only left one other option. The seat in the back, next to a dark-haired girl, where the group only consisted of two desks.

Historia trudged through the rows of desks in the classroom, head down, refusing to make eye contact with any of the students. She hastily took her seat and focused her attention up front, still trying to take her mind off of Frieda. She still had to hold back her urge to cry, even though Frieda had long since left.

There was now an Asian girl up front as well, trying to help pry the boy off of the teacher's leg. She was also doing her part to calm him down too, even though he didn't seem like he was going to let go any time soon. The girl was talking quietly, saying the same thing over and over again.

"Eren, Eren, Eren, Eren, stop that-"

Historia closed her eyes. Maybe if she'd begged a little more, Frieda would've taken her with. Historia didn't know much about middle school, but it sure sounded a lot more appealing than sitting with all of these... these heathens.

She was so lost in thought, she hadn't even realized that someone had been poking her shoulder for the past couple of minutes, at least, not until said person pinched her. She jolted.

"Ow! What'd you do that for?" she asked, wincing and rubbing at her arm. She glared at the girl sitting next to her, who wasn't even looking in her direction.

But Historia was no fool. She knew the trick. The girl had pinched her, and then looked away, just so Historia would think she hadn't pinched her. The wide smirk on the girl's face gave it away as well. Historia huffed, trying to convey to the other girl that she was not going to put up with this today.

"I know that you pinched me, you know."

The girl didn't answer, probably thinking that she could still pull it off. Historia narrowed her eyes at her. Two could play at this game.

Waiting for the attack was key, Historia thought. She waited awhile, until the girl sitting next to her seemed to get more bored, until Historia had practically memorized every freckle on the girl's tanned face. The boy up front had long since stopped fighting with the teacher, and Mr. Rivaille had been teaching them arithmetic for the past ten minutes now. Historia readied herself. Any moment now...

The door opened, and another teacher poked her head in, interrupting her train of thought. "Mr. Rivaille? I need to speak with you for a moment, if you will."

The teacher sighed and put the chalk down. "Yeah, yeah, I'll be there in a moment."

He pointed at the Asian girl who had been helping him earlier. "Mikasa, you're in charge while I'm gone. Understand?"

Mikasa grinned, pleased with her newfound authority over everyone else in the classroom. Once Mr. Rivaille left the room, Historia went in for the kill. In one swift move, she had whipped her hand out and yanked the freckled girl's dark ponytail with all of her might, and she turned her head away as she was doing so, mimicking the other girl's past action, though she was watching out of the corner of her eye.

The girl yelped loudly, eyes wide. Historia felt proud of herself for a moment, for coming up with such a devious scheme on the spot. But what she hadn't been counting on was for the other girl to fight back.

Before she even knew it, the freckled girl had grabbed onto her arm with a vice-like grip and was now staring daggers into her eyes. Historia shrank back, trying to pull her arm free.

"If you do that again, I'm gonna tell everyone you were crying. I saw it," she said threateningly, digging her nails into Historia's arm, similarly to how Eren had been doing to the teacher earlier.

Historia paled. "I wasn't crying!" she said indignantly.

"Yeah, you were! You were crying like a baby, just because you didn't want your mommy to leave you!"

Historia glared at her yanked her arm free and stood up on top of her chair, fuming. She felt her face going hot. "I don't even have a mommy!" she shouted, ignoring all of the stares she got from the other kids, who she hadn't even realized had been watching the commotion.

Historia attempted to shove the other girl over while standing on the chair, but being a lot lighter than the freckled girl, wound up losing her balance and falling over, crashing down on top of the other girl.

Her face burned even more as the girl had the audacity to laugh at her.

The two teachers burst through the door to hear what that loud crash was, only to see two girls lying on the ground on top of each other, glaring and incoherently shouting at one another. Mikasa looked stressed, as she had been trying to drag the bickering girls away from each other, to no avail.

The freckled girl suddenly stopped shouting, looking behind Historia with a terrified expression. Historia didn't know why, at lest until she felt her weight being lifted off of the ground. Mr. Rivaille had grabbed onto her and positioned her so that she was standing upright. He was glowering at them in a way that made Historia want to hide in the corner.

He was scary when he got mad, she thought to herself. The other girl was still laying on the floor, also looking like a cornered mouse in front of a hungry lion. Historia wanted to laugh at the look on her face, but then felt that she shouldn't, seeing as she probably looked just as scared as the freckled girl did, if not even more.

"Ymir! Historia! What do you two think you were doing?"

Both girls pointed at each other, indignant to not find themselves guilty.

"She started it!"

Chapter Text

It had only been a small scuffle, but Frieda had been enraged to hear that Historia had gotten herself into trouble on her first day of school. What her sister had said to her on the way home that day continued to echo through Historia's head, practically haunting her.

You do realize that they probably called our father about this, right, Historia? I can't believe you would start off your school year this way! That's so unladylike of you, fighting another girl! What would Mother say, if she were here?

It made Historia want to cry again. Her father wasn't nearly as forgiving to her as he was with Frieda. If the school had contacted him, she'd probably have to stay home from school for a while after he was done dealing with her.

What had she been thinking anyway, fighting back? That's all Ymir wanted in the first place anyway: to get a rise out of her. Why had she let her temper best her? She was better than that; she knew better. Frieda had raised her to be more civilized than this.

As for her mother, Historia didn't know. Their mother had passed on when she was too little to remember, but she imagined that her mother must've been a lot like her older sister. If her mother were here, there's no doubt that she would be ashamed of Historia as well.

She couldn't do that again, that's for sure. But, there was one small problem here. She has to sit next to Ymir for the rest of the school year now. How was she going to be able to handle that?

Frieda had always told her that the best thing you could do to someone who was bothering you was to ignore them, and to treat them like they'd never done anything to wrong you. Eventually, they might stop bothering you and become equally as kind to you as you were being to them.

It was a stretch, but it was the only option Historia could think of that wouldn't end with her getting sent to the principal's office, or beat with a belt.

Maybe she could even become friends with the other girl.

From now on, she wasn't going to let anything Ymir says or does to her bother her, or, at least, she wouldn't let Ymir know that it was bothering her.

Kill them with kindness, right?



Or at least, when it came to Ymir.

Historia attempted to be friendly with her a few times, which only lead Ymir to continue to bully her just like she did on the first day, if not worse. After a few weeks, she gave up on trying to be nice to the freckled girl. Instead, she chose to give Ymir the cold shoulder.

She decided that no matter how much she appeared to not care about Ymir's constant teasing, in her heart she would always be Historia's nemesis.

Even if Ymir did clean up her act, Historia would make it a point to not treat her as a friend.

However, the pestering never really stopped.

Every year, it was constant, and for some reason that Historia would never be able to understand, teachers kept placing the two girls together, whether it was in class, field-trip-buddies, gym partners, project partners... absolutely everything. It was almost as if they were doing this on purpose.

Maybe the teachers had the intent of trying to force the two of them to be friends. What they failed to notice was that both Ymir and Historia had no intention of ever cooperating with each other. No matter what, they always managed to fight about something when they were together.

Historia hadn't ever broken the promise she'd made to herself in kindergarten; she never once bothered to voice her anger with Ymir, only calmly took it and gave her greatest effort to ignore it. She would fight back, of course, just in a more passive-aggressive way, in a way that only Ymir caught onto it.

It was the exact same pattern every time: Ymir would bother her out of boredom, Historia would ignore it, and Ymir would continue until Historia got angry enough with her to nearly resort to physical violence, which, of course, Historia had always managed to hold back.

The number one trait that Ymir possessed that Historia hated the most was by far her ability to completely read people's emotions, with hardly any effort at all. Even though Historia kept her exasperation with Ymir's antics totally concealed, somehow, the freckled girl always knew exactly what to do or say to push her buttons.

And to top it all off, she also knew exactly how irritated Historia was with her, so no matter how well she kept up her placid, sweet facade, Ymir always just knew that she'd gotten a rise out of the shorter girl, and never left a quarrel unsatisfied.

And it absolutely infuriated Historia.

For example, when they were in second grade, Historia had caught Ymir copying off of her test, and after the test, she had gone straight to the teacher to inform her of the incident, since Ymir's test probably looked nearly identical to hers. This way, she could discreetly get back at the other girl: by getting her in trouble.

But Ymir had seemed prepared for something like this to happen, because she seemed to already have an argument ready for how the opposite had probably happened instead.

The altercation had ended with Historia getting docked points in that class for "lying to the teacher about who copied whose test". That's probably the moment she had lost faith in the school.

In fourth grade, they were paired together in a science project, and Historia had it all settled for them: Historia would focus on doing one part of the project, and Ymir would focus on the other half.

They'd both do it separately, so that way they could get the project done well without even having to interact with each other. It was a win-win situation.

Until the day it was due, and the two girls had brought in their halves of the project, and to her horror, Ymir had done the part of the assignment that Historia had done.

At first she'd dismissed it as a miscommunication, but the insufferable smirk on Ymir's face after they'd been given an F made it pretty clear that Ymir had done it on purpose.

Honestly, the lengths that Ymir went to just for the sake of agitating her really were quite impressive.

And Historia would probably never forget the incident at their fifth grade field trip to the zoo. To this day, she still avoided fish at any cost possible. She shuddered at the very thought of that day, and tried to keep it buried in the back of her mind, in a vain attempt to forget that it had ever happened.

And those were only a few examples.

But, by a long way, sixth grade was the roughest.

Since middle school was usually the time that everyone was hitting puberty, it obviously wasn't only everyone's appearances that changed; it also affected certain aspects of everyone's personalities.

And, of course, it lead to a different type of teasing than what she was used to. Historia couldn't exactly pinpoint just when Ymir had stopped pulling at her hair and pinching her in exchange for things like tripping her in the halls and stealing her clothes from her locker in the changing room, but she was sure that it occurred sometime during that year.

Seventh grade was a blessing for her.Finally, they had been placed in different classes for the year. But one thing she hadn't been counting on was the loneliness.

Sure, the kids in her grade liked her in general, but she'd spent so much of her free time at school bickering with Ymir, she hadn't gotten a chance to become good friends with anyone, and now that they were in seventh grade, practically everyone had formed their own solid group of friends, and even if they did welcome her, she'd always be a bit of an outsider in the group.

She decided that she could use this year to make friends with other people for once, and to give a lot of effort into it, and it actually had paid off.By the end of that year, she'd made pretty good friends with Sasha, Connie, and Marco (and Jean, by extension, but she never really talked to him that much).

Eighth grade was a strange year for Historia, to sum it up. Ymir had been put in the same class as her again; they'd even ended up being desk partners. On the first day, she'd braced herself for it, for Ymir to fall right back into her usual pattern.

But...she didn't.

In fact, the other girl had spent the entire day silent, completely ignoring Historia in the exact same way that she had done to Ymir in their past years together. Ymir made it a point to avoid eye contact with her, shying away from her any time that she even came near the taller girl.

It was only when they were forced to work together that Ymir had ever made a single scathing remark to her, as if reminding Historia that even though she wasn't as aggressive as she used to be, she still wasn't going to play nice.

Ymir's comments hadn't gotten any less nasty, in fact, they were a lot worse than what Historia was used to. But the fact that it wasn't as frequent as it was back in elementary school made it easier to deal with.

And Ymir hadn't changed all that much, either, personality-wise. Historia had figured that the main reason for this particular development was that now that she had made more friends, Ymir was too nervous to try anything. 

And the girls' bitterness hadn't frozen over one bit, that was evident enough in the way that they interacted.

There was only one factor left to officially settle the basis of the girls' feelings toward each other. High school. _____________________________

"Please don't do this to me, Historia. I don't deserve this kind of pain, I really don't."

Historia winced. "I'm sorry, Sasha. It's just the way it has to be."

Connie leaned across the table and took hold of Sasha's hand, tightly clenching his palm with hers.

"Sasha," he said, "we're only doing this because we love you."

Sasha's lower lip quivered, and she squeezed Connie's hand back. She turned her head away, a tortured expression on her face.

"Fine, do it," she whispered, voice cracking as though she was about to cry. "Make it quick though, I don't want him to suffer too long."

Jean stood up to do the honors. Head bowed down to the ground, he marched through the cafeteria before stopping in front of the garbage cans, ceremoniously turned the lunch tray upside down, letting the large slice of chocolate cake hit the bottom of the trash can with a loud thump.

Sasha sobbed into Historia's shoulder.

Jean looked bored with the whole affair more than anything, most likely going along with it because he was simply too tired to register exactly what he was doing.

He probably had a late night, or else he would have eaten the cake right in front of her, Historia thought to herself, amused.

The bell rang for them to go back to class, which felt like an inappropriate time for it to happen.

Sasha at least deserved some time to mourn the loss of her favorite devil's food cake.

She shrugged. Oh, well. Sasha would get over it soon enough. Right now, Historia's primary concern was to make it to gym class on time, since it was all the way across the school.

She didn't have the same gym class as Sasha, so they had to part ways once they made it into the hallways. Historia immediately picked up the pace, keeping herself at a slow and steady jog. That way, she'd make it to the other end of the school on time and not be completely out of breath.

Not that she was a bad athlete or anything, it's just that she has major issues with keeping her breathing steady while running long-distance. She knew for a fact that today they would be having gym class outside, so she had already put on her gym clothes even before she had lunch.

She'd figured thinking ahead meant that this time she wouldn't have to run an extra lap on the track for being late. That was just pure torture.

Historia struggled before managing to push the heavy wooden front doors open, and once she succeeded, a blast of cool air blew at her so suddenly and harshly, it felt like the wind was slapping her straight across the face.

She still had a few minutes left, so she figured that there was enough time for her to walk the rest of the way. Just to be sure, she took the shortcut through the parking lot.

She leaned her head back, tying her hair back into a ponytail as she strode toward the football field, where she already saw a few girls stretching.

About halfway through the lot, Historia stopped dead in her tracks.

Is that...?


Sure enough, Ymir was in the parking lot with her. Except she didn't seem to notice Historia standing literally right behind her. If she had, Historia was sure that Ymir would've made a run for it.

Why? Because Ymir was currently spray-painting a car. And not just any car; it was Principal Smith's car. Ever since sophomore year had begun, Ymir had been taking part in any dumb stunt she could possibly get into, and still hadn't been caught once.

Historia knew all along that it had been her doing this.

She snorted, not even able to contain herself. "Wow, you really have a death wish, don't you?"

The taller girl nearly dropped her can of red spray-paint, whipping her head around with a panicky look on her face. Her eyes grew large and round, like saucers, and her mouth was agape, as a fish's was.

"Y-you...don't tell anyone a-about this!" Ymir stammered, her brown face paling.

Historia narrowed her eyes, glaring at Ymir. "Oh, really? I think I should."

Ymir grabbed at the shorter girl's arm, looking desperate. "Please! I-I'll, uh, buy you dinner or something if you keep your mouth shut, I promise!"

Historia raised a brow. "Seriously? You would buy me dinner?"

Ymir sighed, defeat clear in her voice. "Yeah, yeah. Whatever. As long as you don't tell anyone, okay?"

Historia thought it over. If Ymir was to get caught, it was possible that she would rat out Historia for knowing about it and not informing anyone as well. But on the other hand, until now, Ymir had never been caught in the act yet, and she would be getting a free dinner out of this if she agreed to keep quiet...

She extended her free arm toward Ymir. "We have a deal."

Chapter Text

You know when you say something out loud and it doesn't come out the way you wanted it to, or, in some cases, you didn't mean to say it at all? And it haunts you for the rest of the day, no matter how insignificant your little slip-up was?

That's the feeling that Ymir had been ensnared by today. And it wouldn't let go of her. It didn't seem as though it would let her go anytime soon, either.

What were you thinking?

How stupid did that sound, anyway? Who, in their right mind, would offer a girl dinner in exchange for her silence? More importantly, why Historia Reiss, of all people?

Ymir mentally kicked herself. She was really screwed over this time. Her plan would have been bad enough in general, but Historia?

She was doomed.The gods above were cursing her for every stunt she'd pulled this year; she had already known beforehand that there had to be some sort of payment to get away with all of this.

She just hadn't been counting on it being something as big as being in debt to the girl she'd hated on sight ten years ago.


"Wow Ymir, who pissed in your cereal today?"

Ymir lifted her head from the desk she'd been resting it on, lazily redirecting her gaze toward Reiner.

"Is it that obvious that I'm having a rough day?" she asked.

"Well, considering the fact that you've been biting your nails and glaring at the wall like you wanted to fight it for the past twenty minutes, I'd say that something's up."

Ymir didn't respond, only turning her head away from the large blond boy. She focused on glaring at the wall again.

Reiner grinned wolfishly. "Come on, spill; you've been like this since after lunch. What's eating you?"

"I'm blaming this one on you, Reiner," she huffed.

His wide grin vanished almost instantly. "Wait, what? What'd I do?"

"Two words, Reiner," she said, holding up two fingers, "Principal's. Car."

Reiner's jaw dropped, panic nearly taking over his face. "Don't tell me you got caught! This is a joke, right? I swear to god, if you told him that it was me who planned it-"

Ymir shook her head. "It wasn't the principal who caught me, don't worry about that."

"Then, who did catch you?" Reiner asked, confusion etched over his features.

The freckled girl's eyes narrowed. She didn't answer his question, knowing fully well that Reiner was just going to ignore her and keep talking even if she didn't respond.

"Well, seeing as Principal Smith isn't holding your severed head on a silver platter at the moment, I'm guessing that you did manage to convince them to keep their mouth shut, at least."

Ymir buried her face in her hands at that. "It's not worth it, Reiner," she mumbled. "I should just turn myself in while I've got the chance. She's not telling anyone because I promised to buy her dinner after school."

Reiner rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on, it can't be all that bad if it's just dinner..."

Ymir jerked her head back up, slamming her fists on the desk. "It is when it's Historia!" she hissed.

Reiner's eyes widened. Ymir instantly regretted telling him about her situation at all when she saw his previously shocked expression mold into a wide smirk. She buried her face back into her hands again, bracing herself for the worst.

"Well, I'm glad to see that you've finally, uh, made your move," he said.

Ymir felt her face turning a dark shade of red, as she could hear the suggestiveness in his tone.

She uncovered her face and balled her fists at him."S-shut up!"


Ymir checked her watch for the third time in the past minute. It was almost four o'clock. Was Historia just not going to show up?

Hopefully, she thought to herself. She was dreading this whole affair and the only two things she had been counting on were the smaller girl not showing up, or for this to pass by quickly enough so that she could just erase it from her mind after it was all over.

Another flaw was that she'd never even bothered to ask Historia where they were going to eat; after all, Ymir had told Historia that she could pick whatever place she wanted.Ymir hadn't realized until now that the other girl might pick a really expensive place, and nearly empty Ymir's wallet with her choice.

Actually, now that she was thinking about it, she was almost positive that that's why Historia had agreed to this deal.

"I'm ready to go."

The voice, though soft, jolted Ymir out of her thoughts and nearly caused her to jump. She turned around to see Historia standing there, hands on her hips.

Ymir shrugged and put her hands in her pockets, masking her earlier surprise with a calm facade.

"Whatever, let's just get this over with," she mumbled, stepping onto the sidewalk and strolling toward the plaza. "Where to?"

The shorter girl scrunched up her face in thought. "Um, I don't McDonald's okay with you?" she asked.

Ymir stopped short in her tracks. McDonald's? She was given the opportunity to go anywhere she wanted, and she chose McDonald's, of all places?

She mentally praised the girl for making such an easy, cheap decision. McDonald's wasn't expensive at all!

She didn't let it show, of course. She couldn't let Historia know that she was actually pleased with her about something.

"Alright, sounds good to me, I guess."


They sat in silence as they ate. After all, the two girls weren't exactly friendly with each other, so Ymir decided it would be best to keep thinking about other things to distract her from her current situation.

But somehow, she just couldn't. No matter how hard she tried, Ymir's gaze just went straight back to Historia. she couldn't help it, there was just so many different things to notice about the petite blonde.

They weren't things you generally paid attention to when being with another person, but Ymir found herself paying attention to the littlest of things about her, from the empty holes in her ears where she'd gotten piercings to the way she played with her hair when she was trying to decide what to order.

Of course, Historia hadn't been paying any attention to Ymir the whole time, which, oddly, both offended and relieved her. At least she wouldn't notice Ymir's staring. Historia had just been stuffing her face with her double cheeseburger for about ten minutes now, and she still hasn't even looked up yet.

Ymir was definitely taken aback by how savagely Historia had been eating. It almost made her not want to eat any of her food at all. She couldn't help but comment on it.

"Please tell me that you don't always eat like a rabid animal."

Historia set down her burger and glared at Ymir. "Shrt mf, um urngry," she retorted, mouth still full.

"English, please?"

Historia swallowed. "I said 'shut up, I'm hungry,'" she translated. She then eyed Ymir's nearly untouched burger. "Are you gonna eat that?"

"You're even worse than that Sasha Braus girl, I swear," Ymir muttered, sliding the plate over to her. "

I am not! It's just that I forgot my lunch today!" Historia protested.

Ymir held up her hands defensively. "I'm just kidding, no need to get so offended, geez!"

Historia just pouted and went back to chowing down her burger like there was no tomorrow. Ymir sighed, grateful for the silence.

Thinking back, Ymir should've kept her food for herself. If she had kept it, then she could've finished it, and she could've been done with this a lot earlier. But since it was in Historia's hands now, she had to wait for her to finish both of the burgers.

Honestly, Ymir was having a rough time with decision-making today.

After a short while of awkward silence, Historia spoke up.

"So, why did you do it, anyway?"

Ymir frowned, now confused with the other girl. "Huh?"

"You know. The car. Why'd you cover it in graffiti?" Historia asked, a curious look on her face.

"Oh, that. Reiner bet me ten dollars that I wouldn't be brave enough to do it, that's all."

"So you just...did it?"

Ymir waved her off. "Yeah, yeah. Don't give me that 'if your friends jumped off a bridge' speech, alright? I only took the bet because I wanted to. No other reason."

Historia shook her head. "That's just dumb. It's mob mentality, and you know it."

Ymir blinked. "What now?"

"Mob mentality," Historia said. "if you turned down the offer, he and all of your other friends would've made fun of you for being too scared to do it. You did it just so you could avoid that."

"That's not true at all, I couldn't care less what they think," Ymir snapped. "Now mind your own business and finish the damn burger."

Historia held up her hands and made a mockingly defensive face at her. "I'm just kidding, no need to get so offended, geez!" she said, in probably the worst impression of Ymir's voice that she'd ever heard in her life.

Ymir shut her mouth for now, no longer willing to argue. Thanks for reminding me of how much I despise you, she thought to herself.

Though, the over-the-top expression she had just been making was kind of cute...

Wait, what?

Ymir mentally slapped herself. Just dismiss it as a dumb intrusive thought, don't think about that. Remember how annoying she is? There's nothing "cute" about Historia. Nope. Not a thing.

Thankfully, not that much later, Historia finished her food. Now all she had to do was walk the girl home, and she could pretend that tonight had never happened.


They didn't say a word to each other during the walk. Ymir had no idea where Historia lived, so she just walked beside the other girl, mentally making a route that would lead Ymir back to her own home after she dropped Historia off.

Historia stopped at the edge of the neighborhood and nodded. "This is it," she muttered, talking more to herself than to Ymir.

Ymir followed her to the steps that lead to what she supposed was the front porch of Historia's house. It wasn't a very impressive house, but it wasn't too small either. All of the lights were off inside, so Ymir couldn't see a thing through the windows.

As Historia opened the door, she slowly turned toward Ymir, biting her lip. "Um, thanks," she said, so quietly Ymir could barely hear her. "You know, for buying the food-"

"It's no problem," Ymir said nonchalantly.

Historia rocked back and forth on her feet, before, in a moment's whim, she wrapped her arms around Ymir in a tight embrace.

"Thanks," she said again, pulling away before Ymir even had a chance to decide whether or not she'd hug her back.

Before anything more could be said, Historia slammed the door shut, leaving Ymir to stand on her porch at nearly eight at night, face heating up from the encounter.

Why did she hug me? I was nothing but rude to her all night.

And what was this wrenching feeling in her gut? It felt slightly familiar...

Oh, no.

Chapter Text

Historia froze in place, staring at the doorknob that her fingers were still clasping onto tightly, still processing what she'd just done.

Crap, I didn't mean to slam the door that loudly!

Her brain immediately went to overdrive. That loud echo was probably enough to wake someone up, so she'd better hurry up the stairs quickly, or else Father would-

"It's about time you got here, Historia," her father said, flicking the lights on as he interrupted her thought process.

Historia let go of the doorknob at the sound of his voice. "S-sorry..."

He grabbed onto her shoulder and turned her around, so that she was facing him. He was giving her scrutinizing look, as though he was a predator inspecting his already-dead prey, which pretty much summed up how she was feeling about the situation.

"You should look people in the eyes when you're talking to them, Historia."

She gulped, swallowing a large lump in her throat. "Uh, yeah, sorry about that too-"

"Where have you been this entire time, huh?" he interrupted, narrowing his eyes at her.

"J-just studying at the, uh, the library," Historia lied.

Sure, there probably wasn't much harm in telling him where she actually had been, but she realized beforehand that she would probably have to explain the reason she went to McDonald's with a girl that she hated, and that would not only break her promise to keep what had happened in the parking lot, but she'd also be in trouble with her father for helping a "problem child" get away with a crime.

She already knew that her father was the type to think that a mistake should mean that the person who made the mistake deserved punishment to atone for it.

"Sure is a long time to be spending at the library. It's nearly nine o'clock, and it's a school night, after all," he said, scratching at his chin.

"Well, I do have a lot of tests coming up soon," Historia said, getting more confident with her lying ability. Maybe she could pull it off for tonight without getting any trouble!

"You are going to do well this time round, right, Historia? We can't have a repeat of last semester."

She shook her head. "No, I'll make sure that never happens again."

Last semester hadn't done good things to her, to put it in short. But hey, it wasn't exactly her fault that no one had told her that she had to keep all of her old notes. That one was on the school.

"You'd better. I can't have you disappoint me like that again," he said condescendingly.

Historia nodded, not bothering to argue with him about it. She yawned.

"Well, since I've been studying so hard, I think I should get some rest now," she said. "Is that alright with you, or..."

He waved her off. "Go ahead."

Historia grinned, unable to contain the pleasure she felt at successfully lying to him. "I will, don't worry," she said, moving past him so that she could make her way up the staircase and into her room.

However, her father called her one last time.

"Historia, one last thing."

She stopped, halfway up the stairs. She swiveled her head around, looking puzzled. What did he want now?

Her father held his hand out, beckoning towards him."Phone. Now."

Historia sighed, and slipped her phone out of her back pocket, handing it over to him. She'd almost forgotten his "no phone at night" rule. "Is that all?"

"One more thing, actually," he said.

Historia frowned. "What?"

"Next time, don't lie to me about where you were."


Historia had been having a pretty rough morning so far, and she didn't think it would end anytime soon.

She'd spent the entire night stressing over an assignment that she'd forgotten to do, and had stayed up until almost 2 AM. That, topped off with the extra stress that her father had given her, had caused her to out-stress herself to sleep.

And now that it was morning, she had nothing else to worry about, which had resulted in her remembering the events of last evening.

Honestly, just thinking about the way she'd acted was embarrassing enough that she wanted to die just thinking about it. From the beginning to end of the entire evening, all Historia had done was give Ymir more reason to make fun of her.

She's probably laughing at me in her head every time she sees me, Historia thought to herself. But really, Historia didn't blame Ymir for it this time.

She attempted to focus on the lecture that Professor Shadis had been giving for about half an hour now, but the worst thoughts she could've possibly been having at the time kept intruding.

Did you seriously have to hug her afterward?

She felt her face flushing at the thought. Why had she done that, anyway? There was no reason for Ymir to deserve a hug in the first place! Ymir had been so rude the entire time, and Historia hugged her?

Except...she sort of did deserve it. Of course, she didn't know that she had deserved one, but Historia had gone and done it anyway.

She needed to say thank you to Ymir in some way, after all. Ymir was the reason that she'd gotten to spend nearly all day away from her father...

Though Ymir knew nothing about Historia's current familial situation, she had unintentionally helped her. Historia couldn't just not pay her back for doing that.

And she did still feel really guilty about the fact that she'd taken so long to eat; she usually was much quicker when it came to food. Nobody eats that slowly. She had only been trying to stall extra time, so that she wouldn't have to go home until much later.

And that wasn't even the half of what she'd done to humiliate herself. Taking Ymir's burger, eating like a caveman, not minding her own business...

Historia praised the gods above that Frieda hadn't been in the fast-food restaurant yesterday, or else she would've never heard the end of it from her about "acting ladylike".

"Hey, Historia, you okay?" Connie asked.

Historia snapped awake, nearly slamming her spine against the back of the chair. She blinked a few times, and looked around at the empty classroom she was in.


"Yeah, class already ended; I think you slept through the entire thing," Connie said, raising his eyebrows at her. "Though, I'm impressed that you managed to sleep with your eyes open. Did you not get any sleep at all last night, or something?"

Historia rubbed at her eyes, reaching to take her bag off of the floor. Connie helped her stand up, and she walked out the door with him, following him to their next class.

"Something like that..." Historia mumbled tiredly. "When's lunch? I'm starving."

"How can you be starving?" she heard Ymir's voice huff behind them. Historia and Connie both whipped their heads around to look back at her.

Connie frowned. "What do you mean?" he asked her.

Ymir grinned. "Oh, she hasn't told you yet?"

Historia silently elected to ignore her, for the sake of peace. Maybe she'll just go away...

However, clearly, the odds weren't in her favor today.

Instead of backing off, Ymir chose to sling her arm around Historia's shoulders and continue talking to Connie. She tried her best to block out everything that Ymir was saying by counting the square tiles on the floor as they walked down the hallway together.

It's not that she didn't hear it, though. She only attempted to dismiss everything being said, and tried to ignore the hand that was tightly gripping at her shoulder, like a vice.

"And then she took my food and ate it right in front of me, can you believe that? I swear it's like she doesn't even know what- HEY!"

Historia had stomped on Ymir's foot as hard as she could, in an attempt to get her to shut up for once.

Maybe I should do that more often, Historia thought to herself, as Ymir headed off in another direction, still clutching her foot.


One issue that she had to deal with now was that Connie was now aware of what was going on, and he'd been using it to his full advantage.

He hadn't even bothered to listen to Historia when she'd tried to explain the real reasons for the events that transpired yesterday.

She blamed Ymir for this. Ever since the taller girl had recounted their, as Ymir called it, "dinner date" (did she seriously have to call it that, of all things?), Connie had been teasing her all day about it, whether or not he actually said anything out loud.

Historia did what she always did with her problems: ignored it until he eventually got bored of making faces at her and suggestive comments about her "love life", which, by the way, was totally nonexistent.

The worst part was that Connie didn't even have the decency to not tell anyone. Sure, he only told Sasha and Marco, but Historia knew from experience that rumors could travel and change so fast, it wasn't even funny.

She trusted Marco, but Sasha?

Hell no.

For all she know, by tomorrow half the school would think that they hooked up in a dumpster, or something stupid like that, if Sasha accidentally miscommunicated something to someone, which was more than likely.

And that's the worst part about rumors: everyone always knew that they weren't true, but they'd spread it anyway and never shut up about it.

Come to think of it, that might've been the reason Ymir seemed okay with telling other people about it.


Historia decided to stay at the library for a little while after school, and maybe she'd actually study for finals, which were coming up next week. If she didn't do well, then she'd have to somehow explain to her dad that those supposed hours she'd spent studying had done nothing to improve her grade.

Plus, she needed an excuse to stay away from home for a little while. Because yesterday, she did feel a bit liberated.

And today, I won't even have to be with Ymir! It's a win-win situation!

Historia sprawled her notes across the empty table she was sitting at in the library. She winced at the sight of them. Even when she did take notes, they always wound up so incoherent that even she couldn't figure out what she was reading at first glance.

It wasn't that she was bad at her handwriting, it's just that she had a habit of simplifying the notes she took, so that she wouldn't have to write too much, and it wouldn't take up too much space in her notebook. However, it was extremely hard for her to tell what the original note had said after she "simplified it."

"Those are probably some of the most pathetic-looking notes I have ever seen in my life."

Historia clenched her fists, instantly recognizing the voice behind her. "Have you been following me or something?"

Ymir rolled her eyes and took a seat next to her. "No, you idiot. My ride's just stuck in traffic, so I'm gonna wait for them in here."

"Yeah, but couldn't you sit in a different place or something?"

Ymir laughed. "Nah, you're way too fun to tease. It's been so long since I've done it; I'd almost forgotten how fun this was."

Historia's face reddened at the comment, now having a hard time keeping her temper down. "Haven't you bothered me enough for today?"

Ymir held up her hands. "Well, I was going to offer you some help with those disastrous notes, but if you really want me to leave..."

Historia stopped short, taken aback at this new proposal. "You'd...lwhat?"

"It's not like I've got anything better to do right now. Besides, science is my only good subject. Consider it another payback for keeping quiet for me, you know?"

Historia narrowed her eyes at the other girl. She couldn't be serious, right?

 Historia briefly wondered if Ymir was doing this just so Historia would have to owe her something. She probably was, most likely.

 But that doesn't mean that she's not going to accept the extra help, she needs it right now.

"Alright then, I guess we should start off with Chapter 18, Lesson 1..."

Chapter Text

"This feels more like detective work than science notes," Ymir remarked, tilting the notebook upside down, as if somehow it would make more sense if she read it that way.

"That's the third time you've said that," Historia grumbled. "Maybe you shouldn't try to-"

"No, I got this," Ymir said, determined. She rolled up her sleeves and rubbed her hands together. "I'm practically a genius. Your spelling sucks, by the way. Seriously, there aren't two t's in mitosis."

"Maybe I should compare my notes with yours, since we're in the same science class. If we do that, then it'd be a lot easier to figure out," Historia suggested hopefully.

Ymir shook her head as she fumbled with her backpack. "How do I know you're no just going to copy my notes?"

"Like I can read your godforsaken doctor's handwriting anyway," Historia snapped.

Honestly, did it just not occur to Ymir that she'd already known about Ymir's awful penmanship since she was in third grade? Seriously, that project they'd had to work on together was a nightmare because of that.

"Alright, alright, I get it," Ymir muttered, flipping through her notes. "Really, I don't know which one of us takes worse notes, looking at my writing."

"Ooh, let me see," Historia said, now intrigued.

She peered over Ymir's shoulder to take a look at the notes, and sure enough, Ymir's handwriting still looked like little more than scribbles. This study session would probably take a lot longer than she thought.

"Can you read them?" Historia asked. "Because that's the only way we'll be able to figure any of this out."

Ymir shrugged. "Sort of. I usually give up, though."

"Then how is it your 'best' class?" Historia asked, annoyed with the other girl.

Seriously, she doesn't even give any effort in this class?

Ymir laughed. "I sit next to that Arlert kid, and let me tell you, he sucks at covering his paper up."

"You copy him?"

"Not really. He knows that I'm doing it, but he still lets me do it. He's such a pushover, it's great."

Historia shook her head in disapproval, taking the notebook from Ymir and setting it down on the desk, next to where hers was lying. She decided it was best not to ask more about Ymir's 'studying tactics'.

"Alright, let's get to work now. For real this time."


Historia plopped her head down on the desk. "This is ridiculous. We've been at it for almost two hours, and we've only gotten through two pages."

Ymir shook her head. "It's mostly your fault for not taking your notes properl- what the hell is that?"

The shorter girl sat up, focusing her gaze back down at her notebook. "Huh? What else did I do wrong?"

"That abomination," Ymir said, jabbing her finger down at the page. "Please tell me you haven't drifted off into hieroglyphics; I can't read those!"

"Ymir, that's just a drawing of a cat."

"An atrocious one," the freckled girl huffed angrily.

Historia sighed. "Maybe we should do the unthinkable and just use our textbooks, this is just a futile effort."

Ymir sat up and opened her mouth like she was going to protest, but she seemed to think over it for a second, and she immediately slumped back down in her seat. "Yeah, okay. let's get this over with."

Historia frowned, concerned. She was surprised that Ymir actually had been agreeing with her during their study session. It wasn't like her. Sure, she was definitely still keeping up with her usual routine teasing, but she'd been completely evading any actual arguments of Historia.

Not that it wasn't a nice change, but it just seemed...weird. This wasn't the Ymir that she was used to.

She didn't even bother stopping herself from imposing the question onto the taller girl.

"Are you okay?"

Ymir snapped her head up, staring at Historia with a befuddled expression. "What are you talking about?"

"You're not know, acting like yourself today," Historia explained, gesturing with her hands. "Not, like, in a bad way. You're just being...different lately."

The other girl's mouth twisted into a frown. "How so?"

"Well, you're a lot nicer to me lately, you know? Like, today you haven't been arguing with me at all and you actually offered to help me with things..." she trailed off, not exactly knowing how she should put it.

Oddly, she felt herself grinning at her own words. Was Ymir...actually trying to become her friend?

Ymir turned her face away from her, cheeks tinged pink. "Don't take it personally, seriously. I just don't have anything better to do right now."

"Are you sure?" she was more concerned now. Her response hadn't explained anything at all, and it only made her more sure that something was wrong.

She wanted to be absolutely sure that Ymir was okay. Sure, she'd never really gotten along with Ymir, but that didn't mean that she didn't have the capacity to care about her. "

Yes, now would you drop it already? I don't want to be here any more than you do, alright?"

Historia's face fell. "Oh, sorry. Never mind, then."

She opened up her book, keeping her head down and looking anywhere but at Ymir, who hadn't even been looking at her.

"Sorry," Historia said quietly, still practically burying her face into the textbook.

She felt her face heating up from embarrassment. Why'd she have to make assumptions so quickly? There was no way that Ymir wanted to be friends with her, she should've known this already.

Seriously, had she learned nothing from back when she was in kindergarten?

I shouldn't have even tried. I hate her anyway, why would I care what she thought of me?

She would've continued mulling over this in her head, but two hands fell on her shoulders, stopping her thought process.

"Hey, w-wait, don't cry!" Ymir said, frantically gesturing toward the smaller girl with her hands.

Historia blinked and looked up at the tall brunette. She'd been crying? She wiped away at her cheek, and sure enough, it was wet.

"Sorry, I was being dumb," she said, in an attempt to shrug it off. "You can leave if you want, you know. You're not, like, obligated to stay here or anything."

Ymir bit her lip. "But..."

"No, really. I don't want to force you to do anything that you don't want to do," Historia said.

"Okay, I, uh, I'll walk you home though, is that okay?" Ymir asked.

Historia shut the book and gathered it with everything else she'd taken out, slipping them into her backpack. She decided that she'd just agree with it; she didn't want to spark an unnecessary argument over it.

"Alright, I guess so. But don't you have someone coming to pick you up?" Ymir shrugged.

"Well, yeah, but I can just tell them that they don't need to. Come on, let's go."


The walk home was awkward, to put it in short. Ymir seemed hellbent on ignoring Historia, attempting to shut down any conversation that she tried to start. It irked the shorter girl. Why did I agree to let her take me home again?

When they neared Historia's house, she tried to walk a little slower, savoring her time with Ymir. Sure, she wasn't particularly enjoying this walk, but it was a hell of a lot better than being at home with her family.

Hopefully, this time Frieda would be at home from college; her father was much less likely to lash out at her if her big sister was around. Not to mention that she missed her a lot ever since she'd left about three months ago.

"That one's your house, right?" Ymir asked, pointing toward the house third from the end of the street.

Historia nodded, teeth chattering. The wind had made the weather much colder than it should've than it should've been. Now she was torn between leaving and going inside, where it was warm, and staying out with the other girl.

Well, there was one solution... She decided to give it a shot.

"Hey, Ymir. would you want to study with me at my house?"

Ymir jerked back, away from her. "What? Why?"

"Well, I do still need some help with it, science is probably my worst subject, actually...i-it's okay if you don't want to..."

Please say yes, she thought. If I brought someone over, my father would probably be a lot less likely to try anything.

Ymir scratched her head. "Uh, alright, I guess. But what's the use of us coming here if we're just going to do exactly what we were doing at the library?"

Oh, right. Historia hadn't thought about that.

"We don't have to study, I guess. We could, I don't know, just hang out or something," Historia said quickly.

The taller girl suddenly stopped where she was. "You want to hang out. With me."

Historia covered her face with her hands, regretting speaking up immediately. "Shut up."

"I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it. Why would you want to hang out with me, of all people? Don't you have any other friends?"

Historia shifted her feet, staring down at the ground. "Y-yeah, but I just..."

Ymir narrowed her eyes, scrutinizing the smaller girl. "Come on, spit it out already."

Historia took a deep breath. Was it a bad idea for her to ask? She concluded that there wasn't really anything to lose, so it wouldn't hurt too much for her to ask this.

"Do you think that we' able to start all over again?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know," Historia gestured to the both of them. "this. Do you think we can try to be...friends?"

Ymir gawked at her, mouth agape. "Y-you...uh...really?"

Historia smiled at the other girl, pleased that she sounded almost excited.

"Yeah. Deal?" she inquired, holding a hand out to shake on it.

Ymir took it reluctantly, looking a little nervous. "Alright, sure."

Historia's smile grew wider, almost reaching all the way across her face. She squeezed the freckled girl's hand, and yanked on it, pulling her along, making her way to the house, now with a little more skip in her step.

Ymir didn't protest, just let the shorter girl drag her toward her home. There she was again, just going along with whatever Historia wanted, the very thing that had been bothering Historia in the first place.

She mentally made it top priority to figure out what Ymir's problem was, first chance she could.

For now, she decided that she'd try to focus on making amends with everything that had transpired between the two girls for all of those years that they knew each other.

It was a small way to begin things, but it was a start, nonetheless.

When they reached the door, for the first time in a while, Historia felt ecstatic to enter through the door.

Chapter Text

Frieda wasn't home today, evidently because her car wasn't parked out front, but Historia couldn't bring herself to be too upset about that fact. After all, she had just managed to convince a girl, one whom she was sure hated her, to try to be friends with her.

Historia could've slapped herself over this, as well. All of this time spent arguing with Ymir, but making up with her just took one time of directly asking her?

She just wasn't buying it.

But she elected to ignore it for now, because she didn't want to prompt another fight between the two of them that they didn't need to have. Even though Ymir had agreed to starting over with her, they weren't necessarily friends yet. And Historia didn't want to ruin it, or make things any worse with her.

She turned to the other girl as soon as they entered the house. "Make sure that you-"

"Who the hell are you talkin' to?" a voice interjected.

Historia flinched at the noise, surprised that her father was already home. Sure, she knew that he would be in the house while she had Ymir over, but he wasn't supposed to be home for another hour!

Ymir frowned, clearly unsettled by the tone of her father's voice. Historia didn't blame her, really.

She let go of Ymir's hand and motioned for the other girl to follow her into the other room.

Inside, she saw that her father hadn't even cleaned up after another disastrous attempt at making coffee. Coffee grounds were all over the countertop, even a few on the floor. Wet paper towels were placed over them, as if he thought that would somehow automatically make the mess disappear.

Historia made a mental note to wipe it up later, after Ymir left.

Her father was sitting at the table with his "coffee", almost expectantly, as though he'd gotten home early just for the sake of waiting for her.

He took a sip, and then gestured the coffee mug behind her, in Ymir's direction. "Who's this?" he asked harshly.

Historia turned to Ymir, who she'd just noticed was looking very uncomfortable with the scene before her. Once again, she didn't blame the taller girl for it.

She grasped for the other girl's hand again. "S-she's a friend. From school. We're uh, w-working on a-"

Her father only narrowed his gaze, giving her a death glare that said something like: I know what you're up to.

"We're studying," Ymir said coldly, interrupting Historia. Her facial expression showed no emotion, but her dark eyes bored into her father's to the point where even he had to look away.

Historia fought back a grin. Was Ymir really making him nervous?

This was almost too good to be true.

She pulled Ymir toward the stairs, up toward her room. "We'll be studying for a while, so don't bother us!" she called back, directing her statement toward her now-befuddled father.

She knew that later she'd have to pay for saying something so demeaning to her own father, but at the moment, she was too giddy to care. Historia felt as though she'd just gotten drunk: in her mind, there were no consequences to her actions.

"So," Ymir said as Historia led her into her room. "he seems pretty friendly."

Historia froze at the tone in her voice when she said that. That's the same as what Sasha and Connie had said the first time they had come over for a project last year. Thankfully, they hadn't really seemed to catch onto anything. She'd easily managed to lie to those two that he was just having an off day.

But Ymir? Historia would have trouble making up something believable enough. Especially on the spot.

And the way that Ymir was looking at her made her stomach feel queasy. It almost seemed like she knew already.

Just change the topic, Historia!

She laughed nervously. "Uh, yeah, haha! He probably didn't have too good of a work day today, that's probably why he's home earlier than usual! Should we get started studying now?"

Ymir's mouth almost fell right open, but she stopped herself before it did, and wound up opening and closing it again, like a goldfish. "U-uh, okay..."


Historia concluded that she shouldn't have just dismissed Ymir as unintelligent the first time that they'd met, from these few hours studying together. She supposed it was a part of hating someone- to assume that they had no redeeming traits. She would normally excuse herself from this sort of thing, seeing as she was five years old when she'd first met the other girl.

But, it had only changed recently, so how many others there were out in the world right now, thinking the same exact thing about the people they happened to dislike. The thought was frightening, actually. She hoped that they would be able to make reconciliation with them.

But really, Ymir was quite dedicated to her work, it seemed, although Ymir seemed to show next to no interest in anything. She definitely recognized the look of passion on her face. But she didn't bring it up, because knowing Ymir, she'd probably completely deny the idea of liking anything to do with school.

It was probably another act that she uses to seem cool around her other friends, Historia thought to herself, amused. She wondered if any of Ymir's friends were secretly like this as well.

"Hey, are you even listening to what I was saying?"

Historia blinked, coming back to Earth. "Huh?"

Ymir rolled her eyes. "You see, this is why you're having trouble with science. Pay attention, Ms. Reiss."

Historia mock-saluted. "Yes, sir."

Ymir nodded approvingly. "Now, what is the difference between RNA and DNA?"

The shorter girl faltered. "U-uhhh..."

Ymir hit her lightly with the book. "See, you weren't even paying attention this whole time!"

Sorry, you're just really distracting, Historia thought.

Wait, what? Historia shook her head. Where did that one come from?

She didn't mean it in that way, not one bit. It was just some small things about Ymir that captivated her in a strange way, like the freckles that were sprinkled across her dark face, much like stars in the night sky, her choppy dark brown hair, with side bangs that were long enough to almost nearly cover her eyes when she leaned forward...

Okay, that didn't make anything sound better at all.

It's not like it meant anything, either way. Just because she had only recently realized that Ymir was actually really appealing to look at didn't mean-

"Hey, Historia, are you okay?"

She immediately sat upright when she realized that she'd been staring at Ymir for a while.

"Uh, yeah, sorry," she mumbled. When the other girl only stared back at her, she waved her off. "Go ahead, continue."

Ymir sighed and went back to reading from the textbook.

Historia could've sworn that at any given moment her face would go up in flames. Maybe something was wrong with her. She didn't usually act like this around Ymir! Was it possibly just because she was still getting used to seeing Ymir as a friend, rather than an enemy?

Whatever it was, she had to figure it out and gain control of it, first chance she got. Because whatever this was, it felt weird.

Ymir closed the textbook without a word, sliding it into her backpack and heading toward the door to her room. Historia frowned at her.

"What'd you do that for?"

"I'll come back another time, alright? It's almost time for dinner at my house, and I'm not gonna miss it spending time helping a girl study when she's not even going to actually listen to me."

And with that, she swung the door open and exited the room, leaving Historia to stand in her room, feeling guiltier than she had ever felt in a while.


She didn't know why exactly she'd started following Ymir to her home, seeing as the other girl was definitely upset with her at the moment. It really would've been best to leave her alone, but Historia had done it anyway. She had to apologize for wasting Ymir's time.

"H-hey! Ymir!" she called, in an attempt to get the freckled girl's attention. It was fairly obvious that Ymir had heard her, seeing as she had stopped a moment before walking again.

Historia huffed. She really hated having to run while it was still cold outside.

She tried to start out speed-walking down the sidewalk, which she eventually picked up into a slow jog, before chasing after Ymir. Her breath was already starting to run out, coming out in heavy little puffs of air, until she could see the breath that had come out of her mouth from the frigid weather.

She wasn't that far behind Ymir now, only about five feet. She tried calling out to her again.

"Ymir, wait!"

This time, Ymir looked back, over her shoulder, and stopped just long enough for Historia to catch up with her. Once Historia saw the look on the taller girl's face she regretted chasing after her. Ymir no longer looked annoyed with her; she looked almost outraged.

Historia looked down at the ground, avoiding all eye contact with her. "Listen, I'm sorry, alright? I didn't, uh, I didn't mean to waste your time or anything, and I get it if you don't want me to hang around you so much-"

"Save it, I don't really care." Ymir said dully, her face taking a calmer turn but then, more concerned: "Where the hell is your coat?"

Oh, was that why Ymir looked angry?


Historia looked herself up and down. Sure enough, she hadn't even brought any gloves, or a hat either. No wonder it seemed so much colder than it had been earlier.

"Oh, I guess I forgot it. So, we're good?" she asked hopefully.

The taller girl rolled her eyes. "Yeah, I wasn't really that mad, just a little pissed that you weren't paying any attention, that's all. And it's cold outside, put on a damn coat, Reiss."

"Oh, thank god," Historia breathed, ignoring the last thing the taller girl had said.

Ymir frowned at her. "Seriously, though, do you want my coat? You look like you're gonna freeze to death."

Historia gave the girl a look. "Ymir, my house is like two blocks away, you don't need to- hey!"

Ymir had already shrugged her coat off and threw it at the shorter girl. "Keep it for now, okay? I've got another one at home, anyway."

Historia stood there, dumbfounded and holding a dark, fuzzy coat that was much too large for her. "But-"

"No buts! Now just go back home, alright? I don't wanna be late, and I wouldn't wanna be the reason you'd die of frostbite."

Historia hastily put on the coat, grumbling about how Ymir was acting so motherly all of a sudden. Where did she get the right to act like that?

Still, as she watched the taller girl trudge through the icy sidewalk, farther and farther away from her, she couldn't help but feel thankful for the extra warmth.

However, there was one problem: Ymir had left her alone with no one but her father to socialize with.

She sighed. Well, at least she'd probably get to see Ymir again tomorrow. She was already looking forward to it, actually.

Historia had an odd urge to find out more about the other girl, other than her basic mannerisms, that is. Historia already knew far too much about that.

What she did want to know was what Ymir's favorite hobbies were, if she had any siblings...really, anything. She was absolutely fascinated with her newfound friend, and she had high hopes that Ymir was the same when it came to her, as well.

But, this feeling of excitement also came with another feeling, one like the odd one she had felt earlier, when they'd been studying.

What was it? Could it be...

Historia froze in her tracks at her doorstep.


Chapter Text

"Hey, Ymir, where were you yesterday, anyway?" Reiner asked, plopping himself down right next to her.

Ymir didn't respond, though not entirely out of rudeness. Okay, well, partially out of rudeness. She was just extremely tired. She'd stayed up all night trying to finish her studying, and not like the half-assed version of it she'd done while she was at Historia's.

Reiner had now begun repeatedly poking her. "Hey, hey Ymir, hey..."

Ymir sighed, annoyance quickly taking over her body. Really, did Reiner just not have an off-switch?

She already knew the answer to that one, actually: he did not. It didn't matter if she was in the middle of working, or if it was four o'clock in the morning. No matter what, Reiner was always wide awake and ready to chatter away. It unsettled Ymir. It was just...unnatural.

No one should be this upbeat after waking up at six in the morning and, as for now, getting to school on the bus. In fact, Ymir was pretty sure that everyone on this bus besides Reiner looked like the equivalents of zombies at the moment.

"Ymir, stop ignoring me! Where were you?" the beefy boy persisted, now poking her even harder.

She slumped down even lower in her seat than she had been before. "I was studying. Now would you please leave me alone? Go ruin someone else's morning for once."

However, to Reiner, that probably translated to "please stay and talk to me". Ymir constantly needed to remind herself that for some reason, he's her friend.

"By the way," Reiner said, a smirk creeping up on his face, "how did things go with Historia the other day?"

Ymir groaned, burying her face into the backpack she'd been holding onto. "Next question," she said, voice muffled by the bag.

Reiner laughed. "It was that bad?"

Ymir lowered the backpack from her face and blew a puff of air out of her nose. "According to her, we're friends now."

She'd said the word 'friends' rather scathingly, as though she'd said something gross like "toilet sewage" or "Bill O'Reilly". She hadn't meant to make it sound that way, because it's not as though she was upset that she'd befriended Historia.

Though, in a way, she did...

Reiner furrowed his brows, only looking more and more confused by the second. "Wait, so you're not happy that you're her friend now?"

Ymir sighed, turning away from Reiner and looking out the window. "I don't wanna talk about it."

Reiner didn't exactly register what she said, though. "What, are you upset that you don't have anyone to annoy the living hell out of anymore? That's really messed up and you know it, Ymir..."

"It's not that," Ymir muttered, mostly to herself. Her eyes widened as soon as she'd said it. Great. Now even he probably could figure it out in less than a minute. Ymir mentally kicked herself for being so stupid.

And, just as expected, the long-dreaded became reality. A wide grin spread across Reiner's face, which made Ymir kind of want to stab him in the face.

"Ohhhh, I like her!" he exclaimed.w

Ymir sent him a death glare as she slapped a hand over his mouth, already feeling her face getting hot. "Shut up! Not so loud, geez!"

She removed her hand from his mouth and turned away from him, pulling her hoodie up over her head. Reiner sighed and leaned back in his seat, putting his hands behind his head, looking more pleased than anything. "I can't wait to tell Bert and Annie that they both owe me twenty dollars, then."

Ymir spun around. "What?"

The blond boy chuckled. "Oh, well, you see, back in fourth grade we all made a bet on when you and Historia were gonna stop arguing and get married already."

Ymir blinked. "In fourth grade?"

"You weren't exactly subtle, Ymir," he deadpanned.

Ymir huffed and faced the window again, this time ignoring him completely. He was still talking of course, but practically talking to a wall, since Ymir felt no obligation to listen to him. Instead she focused all of her attention into driving her thoughts away from Historia. She silently cursed Reiner for bringing the topic up.

Really, just everything about Historia had always bothered Ymir. And lately, it was even more so. It had been one thing for her to have a sort-of crush on a girl that she could easily pretend she hated to cover it up, but befriending her?

Bad idea.

Thanks to the current events that had transpired between the two girls, now Ymir's sort-of crush on Historia had hit her much harder than it did when they were younger, with so much force that it almost hurt now.

And becoming friends with Historia only meant that she would most likely find out soon, and Ymir didn't want to have to be there for that.

It wasn't only the fact that she knew that Historia probably would never like her back. At least, not in the way Ymir wanted her to. There was also something about the other girl that she sensed was wrong. From the looks of it, it was something Historia had no intention of telling her anytime soon.

The bus screeched to a stop in front of the building, and before it had even stopped, half of the kids riding the bus with her were already scrambling to get off. Reiner wasn't quick enough to make it into the aisle, leaving both him and Ymir trapped in their seats.

"Hey, we're still renting a movie with Annie and Bert, tonight, right?" Reiner asked her.

Ymir nodded. "Yeah. Have you picked out a movie yet?"

"I couldn't find anything that looked good, so I figured we should just do this usual."

"Make fun of The Lightning Thief again?" Ymir inquired, grinning from ear to ear.

"You bet. Hey, maybe you can invite Historia over, too!"

Ymir shuddered, suddenly rethinking going there at all. "I don't know about that."

Reiner shook his head and stepped out into the now-clearing aisle. "Just consider it, alright? Who knows, maybe she likes you back!"

Ymir punched him lightly. "Shut it," she muttered, her eyes downcast.

"You want me to help you out with it?" Reiner hadn't even budged from his current position.

Ymir blinked. "Huh?"

"I'll help you out with your, ah, Historia issues. I'll be your wingman!"

Ymir wondered how much more embarrassing of a friend Reiner could possibly be today. But with the look of pure determination on his face, she decided not to ruin his fun. Besides, maybe she could use some help. After all, she knew virtually nothing about dating.

She shrugged. "Go for it, I guess," she told him monotonously. "I guess I'll ask Historia if she wants to join us, then."

Reiner pumped his fist in the air. "Yes! Come on, Ymir, let's get off of this smelly cheesewagon!"


Of course, once Ymir had finally gathered up the courage to invite Historia over, something would go wrong that would potentially screw her entire plan up.

The problem?

She couldn't find Historia anywhere.

After a while of peeking through random classroom doors and waiting by her locker, Ymir sought out Connie, most likely the one who knew her best. It wasn't hard to find him; he was always being obnoxiously loud.

She tapped on the shorter boys' shoulder, causing him to jump and turn around. "What?" he snapped.

Ymir raised her eyebrows. Wow, even Connie was grumpy in the morning, she thought to herself. Jut more proof that Reiner was probably some sort of freak of nature.

She decided to get straight to the point with Connie. "Do you know where Historia is?"

Connie nodded. "Yeah, she's staying home today. Says she caught a fever overnight. Why?"

Ymir rolled her eyes, impatience taking over quickly. "I'm not going to hurt her, Connie. You don't have to lie or anything."

"Why the hell would I lie about a dumb thing like that?"

Ymir stopped short. He had a point; there wasn't really any reason that he should have to lie to her. But now she was confused.

"But I was studying with her up until it was practically nighttime, and she was just fine! There's no way that she could get sick that quickly!" Ymir protested.

Connie formed his mouth into an 'o' shape. "Yeah, she does that sometimes. She just needs to take breaks from school every once in a while, it's kinda weird. I used to bug her about it, but she always got really upset with me whenever I did, so I just let it be her business."

Ymir decided that Connie probably didn't know enough to be able to help her figure anything out, so she decided to leave the boy alone. She figured that the best option would be for her to go and visit Historia after school to confront her about it.

It was the exact opposite of what Connie had told her to do, but there weren't any other better plans she had in mind. But she still had to have a cover-up as to why she'd just randomly visit, just in case her antisocial father decided to answer the door instead.

If there was a time for her to figure out what Historia's problem was, it was today.


The house was eerily quiet when Ymir'd shown up, making it look like a haunted house, more than anything.

She tapped her foot, impatiently waiting for Historia to finally let her in before she died of frostbite. Come on, I rang the doorbell at least three times now!

Since the shorter girl had been taking so long, Ymir was given extra time to mull over whether or not coming here was a bad idea. Most of her thoughts were in favor of bolting on the spot.

What if Historia really had been sick? Ymir would just look like an idiot if she showed up and demanded for a sick girl that she "knew she wasn't really sick".

The best idea was for her to also be under the guise of what she'd originally brought to fool Mr. Reiss: pretend that she was only there to bring Historia the work that she'd missed that day.

There's still time to run away and never come back to this house again, she thought.

But right as she was about to turn back around and go home, the door swung open, a very disgruntled-looking Historia standing in the open doorway.

It was evident that Historia had only just woken up when Ymir had rung the doorbell, from the rumpled-up pajamas to her bird's nest bedhead. Her pretty blue eyes were only halfway opened, and she was stifling a yawn.

"What is it?" she asked groggily.

Ymir thrust the worksheets toward the shorter girl. "Here, it's all the work you had to miss today."

"Huh? Oh, thanks." Historia grabbed the small stack and motioned toward the kitchen with her head. "You can come inside, if you want."

Ymir scratched the back of her head nervously. "Well, uh, actually I was gonna ask you something, but, ah, never mind, really, I'll just be going now-"

"No. What'd you want to ask me?" Historia asked, now looking more awake than she had before.

"Well, you see, my friends and I were gonna rent a movie later tonight, and I was just wondering if you wanted to come with me, that's all. But since you're sick it probably wouldn't be the best idea, you know?"

Historia shrugged. "No, I'll come. When should I get there?"

"Uh, I'd say about, three hours maybe?"

Historia smiled faintly. "Alright then. Do you want to come inside now? You look pretty cold..."

She didn't need to ask Ymir twice. She nearly shoved the shorter girl over trying to get in.

"Oh, god. Please tell me you've got some hot chocolate in here."

Chapter Text

Historia hadn't had an enjoyable day, and she wasn't exactly sure if Ymir showing up at her house made things any better. Actually, for the most part, it made things at least one hundred times worse.

First of all, there was the possibility that her father would get home early again, like he had yesterday, which spelled out nothing other than bad idea.

Secondly, after the realization that she may or may not have a crush on Ymir, she wasn't sure if she'd be able to handle being around the other girl until she'd sorted that one out.

And lastly, because she was still feeling ill from yesterday's events, and she wasn't sure if her concealer covered her bruises well enough. Get too close to another person, and they just might see the slight bumps on her face. One to the forehead, and another on her left cheek.

In other words, it hadn't exactly been an easy night for her after she had gone back to her house yesterday. After her father had punished her for 'getting an attitude' with him, she'd thrown up a little bit and had felt sick ever since.

She reminded herself to thank Frieda for teaching her how to use makeup so well. It did pay off, at least a little bit.

And now, she'd just agreed to going to watch a movie at Ymir's friend's house, who, she reminded herself, she barely even knew. But she'd already told Ymir that she was coming, so she supposed it couldn't be helped for now. She'd just have to be extremely careful for the night.

She decided that the best option was to leave early, before her dad came home, so that way she could avoid him for a little longer. But how was she going to convince Ymir to leave the house so suddenly, when Historia had just invited her inside?

"You're being awfully quiet," Ymir remarked, sipping at the last of the hot chocolate that she had prepared for herself. "If you're actually sick, then you should probably stay home. I mean like, I don't wanna get sick, and it would probably ruin the whole 'movie' experience, ya know?"

Historia shrugged noncommittally.

Ymir frowned, leaning her head forward and searched Historia's face, up to down. The shorter girl focused her gaze to the table, avoiding eye contact with her at all costs. Please don't notice, please don't notice, please don't notice...

Historia jerked her head up, determined to steer the conversation elsewhere. "Hey, maybe it'd be a good idea if we got to your friend's house earlier, you know?"

Ymir blinked. "Uh, I can barely stand staying at that pigsty of a house for the time that it takes for the movie to end. Why would we want to show up four hours early?"

"We can stop to get food on the way," Historia suggested.

"Well," the taller girl said, a grin creeping up on her face, "when you bring food into it..."

Take the bait, Historia thought impatiently.

"but you're still sick. Are you sure you can handle it?"

Historia bit her lip. Oh, right. She wasn't sure yet if she was completely good to go, especially for such an extended period of time.

The freckled girl laughed. "Seriously, if you're sick, I won't be mad if you back out now."

Historia slumped her shoulders. She supposed the best thing to do was for her to just stay in her bedroom for the remainder of the day, and let Ymir have her fun without ruining it all for her just because her stomach was all queasy today.

"Yeah, sorry. I hope you have fun watching it, though," she mumbled.

"It's The Lightning Thief, Historia," Ymir said, rolling her eyes in disgust. "Trust me, I'm not going to enjoy myself. I thought that if you were there, then it might actually be worth it-"

She stopped mid-sentence, cheeks turning crimson. "Uhhh...wait, no, I didn't, uh, you still shouldn't go though, since you're not feeling so well, uh... I didn't mean that!"

Historia stifled her laughter. Despite her more threatening demeanor, Ymir could be really cute sometimes.

"It's fine, really. You don't have to feel guilty about going without me."

Ymir scrunched her face up in thought. "Yeah, but still..."

It would probably be best if she were to let Ymir sort this out herself, instead of butting in and encouraging her to go without her.

Historia sighed, standing up and stretching. Wow, her limbs really were sore, she thought with a wince. "Well, just let me know when you've figured it out."

The taller girl shrugged. "It's not like I'd be missing out on anything good. I could just stay here for tonight."

"No," Historia blurted, before she could stop herself.

Ymir cocked an eyebrow. "And why not?"

"B-because, well, you see..." Ymir put a hand over her mouth, putting her spluttering to a stop. "Enough. I'm staying and that's final. We're going to make popcorn and watch terrible movies and have pillow fights and act like all of those annoying kids in 80's movies."

Historia had to admit in her mind, that it did sound fun, but she had no idea how her father would feel if he saw Ymir in his house again. Actually, no. She knew exactly how he'd react.

She sighed. "Whll, uh dono f uh cun..."

"Oh, sorry," Ymir said, taking her hand off of Historia's mouth. "What'd you say?"

"I said that I don't know if I can," she repeated.

Ymir rolled her eyes. "I know that your dad doesn't like me already, alright? If you don't want him to know that I'm here, he won't have to find out, you know."

"And how would he not know?"

"We just gotta be careful. Like if he starts coming upstairs, I just hide in the closet. I'm good at that."

"That's impossible. You're way too loud, you'd never get away with it."

"I can try!" she protested, crossing her arms.

"It'd just be easier for both of us if you didn't stay over tonight," Historia explained, slowly getting more and more distressed with Ymir's lack of understanding.

Meanwhile, the other girl just looked offended, and Historia honestly couldn't tell whether or not she was actually hurt by her words.

"Preposterous!" Ymir gasped dramatically. "Who else will take care of the poor, ill village princess?"

Historia was about to respond that she'd be fine on her own, but it was cut short when Ymir grabbed onto her and swooped her up, carrying her up the stairs, bridal-style.

"Where to, Your Highness?"

"Put me down, dumbass," Historia retorted, swatting at Ymir's arm.

"I'm only going to put you down if you let me stay over," Ymir said, smirking. "Take it or leave it."

"You're so stressful," the shorter girl whined.

"So is that a yes, or nah?" Ymir asked, stopping after she'd reached the top of the stairs.

"Fine," Historia grumbled. "Just put me down."

"As you wish." Instead of nicely setting her down, Ymir just straight-up dropped her on the floor. Usually, she would've been more angry than anything, but honestly, Historia should've seen it coming that time.


About two hours later, she finally heard the garage opening, signifying that her father was home. Ymir froze in place.

Ymir gave her a glance that said, Should I hide now?

Historia shrugged. Being too lazy to get up and off of the floor, she scooted herself forward on her stomach and peeked through the crack under her door. She squinted, waiting to see if any feet would appear in front of the door.

Ymir sat up, inching herself backward, toward Historia's closet. When the two girls both heard a slight thump on the stairs, they both scurried. Ymir closed the door to the closet that she was now sitting in as silently as she could, careful that it wouldn't creak too loudly. Historia leaped upward and dove into her bed, sliding under the covers and turning her face away from the door, faking sleep.

The door burst open, and Historia struggled to keep her breathing even as she felt her father's presence in the room.

"I see you've learned your lesson from yesterday, Historia," he murmured, seemingly to himself.

Historia tried to keep her face relaxed, despite the fact that his hand was on the back of her head now.

Don't flinch, don't flinch, don't flinch...

Luckily for her, he lifted his hand off of her. After a few moments of hearing nothing except for the slight shuffling of feet, the door closed. She turned, facing the other side of the bed, and cracked an eye open. He was gone now.

Letting out a sigh of relief, she sat up in her bed and listened for his footsteps. Judging from how far away they sounded, he was probably heading back downstairs. She slid off of her bed and tip-toed to the closet, careful to not make too much noise. You could never be too careful, and it'd take a bit before her father would stop bothering to check on her.

When she opened the door to let Ymir know that it was safe, she almost jumped backwards. Ymir had a predatory look on her face, as though she was ready to kill.

"Ymir?" she asked, not keeping her voice anything above a whisper.

"I heard him. I heard what that asshole said." Ymir grumbled.

"Don't get the wrong idea or anything, he's probably just-"

"Having a bad day. Right? Isn't that what you were gonna say?" Ymir interrupted, looking even more outraged now.

Historia was going to warn her to not speak so loudly, but Ymir's words had rendered her speechless. Had it been that obvious that she'd been hiding this from Ymir from the start?

"Don't lie to me, Historia," she said, grasping Historia's shoulders and glaring daggers into her eyes. "This is just what I think it is, isn't it?"

Historia nodded weakly, unable to move. She shut her eyes, bracing herself for it. She was used to it by now, after all. Might as well be ready for it. It was too late for her to apologize now.

But the blow never came. She reopened them, surprised to see that tears were welling up in Ymir's eyes.

"Why?" Ymir's voice cracked as she spoke. "Why didn't you tell anyone?"

Historia looked away from the taller girl. She couldn't bear having to look her in the eyes and tell her the truth.

"I...I just didn't want to bother anyone else with my problems, a-and even if I did, I d-don't think that it would make any difference," she said, her own eyes watering as she spoke, voice trembling.

To her own surprise, she kept talking, voice becoming less audible as she spoke, her face leaking in tears.

"Frieda t-told me that when she could, she'd get me out of here, b-but she doesn't have enough money to be able to take custody of m-me in court, so we're waiting until she'll be able to, so f-for now we just have to wait, and I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but I didn't w-want you to be too concerned about me..." she trailed off, unable to continue.

Ymir let go of her shoulders and pulled her in for a hug, not saying anything to her. She didn't even attempt to comfort her with words such as "it'll be alright" or "we can fix this".

But, to her surprise, this was exactly what Historia needed right now. Just someone who had the time to sit there and listen to her, instead of offering up empty promises that things would just 'get better eventually'.

"Historia, you've got the wrong idea," Ymir mumbled, gently stroking her hair.


"Being your friend now means that I have to be concerned for you, and not treat it like a burden. Don't think that I'm not going to want to be near you anymore; especially since you told me the truth just now."

"You mean you...forgive me?" Historia asked, hopeful that she was right.

"It doesn't matter that you lied to me before, since you're not doing it anymore. Just remember that I'm not going to stop being friends with you when you need one, okay? I promise, no matter what, I'm..." Ymir stopped mid-sentence.

Historia looked up, lifting her head off of Ymir's chest. "You're what?"

"I-I'm... on your side."