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Jean had always enjoyed working at the farm the Jaeger family had. He remembers being ten years old, walking through a vast expanse of healthy land, lines upon lines of different vegetables and fruits rooted to the Earth surround them as the morning sunshine glistens off of the morning dew, as he listens to his dad talk about tending to the cows and the horses.

It was his favorite thing to do, to be in the farm and to work out his muscles by tilling the soil or getting the water mill to run. Jean enjoys it a lot, and he had always been fond of the horses.

*

When Jean was twelve years old, he met Eren Jaeger. Grisha, the owner of the farm, had brought the sun-kissed brunette with him during a late Saturday afternoon.

Jean had to go to school on weekdays, and Saturdays were the only days he would fully spend at the farm. It was probably a coincidence that they met. Grisha had rarely brought anyone else to the farm, and Jean never really thought of it much. All that he really knew about his dad’s employer was that the man was wealthy enough to buy all of Shiganshina, is apparently a very talented doctor, and that his wife had died of an incurable disease a long time ago.

Jean had also known that Grisha had a son, but that’s all the knowledge he really had on that matter. So at that moment, he tried to soak in as much of Eren Jaeger as he can.

“Jean, boy,” Grisha greets, and Jean offers the man a kind smile. Jean hollers towards the barn for his father, and his dad replies with a ‘wait a second!’

“Good afternoon, sir.” Jean greets, and his eyes drift over to the smaller frame of the boy holding onto Grisha’s hand.

“Same to you, Jean. Have you met Eren?” Grisha asks, letting go of a reluctant Eren and pushing the smaller boy towards Jean. Jean smiles at him, and Eren peers at him through thick lashes and a messy tuft of brunette hair. Jean extends his hand, “Hi, kid. The name’s Jean. Nice to meet you.”

Eren’s eyes widen, like he wasn’t expecting Jean to interact with him. Big and round Caribbean eyes bore into hazel ones and Jean takes a split moment to admire the incredible hue. Eren extends a hand of his own, clasping Jean’s. His hands are extremely soft and smooth, unlike Jean’s rough and calloused ones, but Eren doesn’t seem to mind as he smiles shyly at him. “ I’m Eren. Nice to meet you too.”

Jean grins, and then with the hand that was holding Eren’s, he abruptly turns and runs towards the general direction of the horse range, careful not to step on the vegetables that line their path. Eren lets out a sharp gasp of surprise, before giggling and running along.

“Jean, where are you going?” Jean hears his dad say, and Grisha bellows out a deep and rich laughter. “Let them be, Ravi, let them be.”

Jean listens to the fading sounds of Grisha’s laughter, instead focusing on Eren’s harsh breaths. “Where are we going?” Eren asks loudly. “I’m going to show you how to ride horses!” Jean replies.

Eren squeezes his hand, and yips in excitement.

*

They become best friends, even though Eren is home schooled and Jean can only meet him during weekday afternoons and all through out the weekend. Jean learns about Eren’s passions, and his troubles. Learns that even though Eren is a good five years younger than him, the brunette is extremely more talented in terms of music and arts.

Jean likes to listen to Eren play the violin, specially after a long hot day spent running through the river banks near the horse ranges.

Jean also learns about Eren’s inadequacy in anything concerning the farm. Jean likes to ridicule the brunette about it, how his family owns the largest farm in all of Shiganshina but he has no idea how to work things around it. Jean likes to spend long hours teaching Eren how to pick out weeds, and how to collect chicken eggs and how to chase sheep.

Eren is absolutely entertaining to watch, the kid’s got a temper, but he’s also very stubborn. He’s the type to never give up on something he sets his sights on, and Jean is extremely satisfied with watching how Eren reacts when things doesn’t go the way he wanted it to or how he expected it to.

Like that one time they went to gather the baby lambs.

“No, you have to lure them towards the den, not away!” Jean says, voice cracking in awkward intervals. He’s a healthy fifteen year old boy going through the harsh stages of puberty, okay, he’s allowed to have his voice crack.

“This is so stupid! Why won’t they just – go?” Eren huffs, annoyed and tired. Jean tries not to laugh at the deep red dusting Eren’s cheeks.

“Look, you’re scaring them with how much you’re stomping around. Watch this.” Jean says, letting Eren lean against one of the poles that makes up the lamb den.

Jean begins with silently hording the lambs to one side of the field, slowly inching away to the den and whistling in high pitches every now and then. Sooner than later, the baby lambs were filing into the open gates of the den and Eren stares wide eyed at Jean.

“And that’s how you do it!” Jean declares, closing the gates and moving over to where Eren was pouting at him, a furrow between his brows.

Eren grumbles, “That’s unfair.” He says, and Jean sidles up beside him to bump their hips, listening to the baby lambs play inside the den. “How so?” Jean asks.

Eren remains silent for a few moments, head bowed and eyes darting elsewhere. Jean is momentarily worried, had he been too much?

“Eren, hey, look it’s – “

“Of course they would listen to a horseface!” Eren suddenly blurts out, running as fast as he could away from Jean and laughing maniacally. Jean gawks, jaw dropping before finally picking up his feet and running after the brunette.

“Why, you little – come back here!” Jean shouts, and he grins wide when he hears Eren laugh at that.

Eventually, they end up on the porch steps on the quaint little two-story house in the middle of the farm. It’s not where the Jaegers took residence, because Jean is fairly sure the gigantic mansion near the town proper wasn’t owned by any other Grisha Jaeger, but it was a place they could stay in when they wanted to.

Jean ends up tackling Eren into the wooden floorboards, leaning most of his weight onto Eren and using both of his hands to pin the younger boy’s wrists on either side of his head. Jean’s got his knees on either side of Eren’s hips, and their breaths are harsh and heavy.

“What did you call me?” Jean whispers, and Eren’s eyes look at him straight on, still the strikingly beautiful Caribbean orbs that Jean remembers.

“Horseface.” Eren replies, chest heaving and face impossibly close. Jean smirks, and before Eren can get out of his grasp he immediately removes his grasp from his wrists and proceeds to tickle the boy’s sides.

Eren giggles and writhes from under him, and Jean knows he’s won when Eren starts to heave out broken forms of ‘I give! I give!’ between his laughter.

Jean stops tickling him, and he’s suddenly too aware of their current position.

He’s practically straddling Eren, who’s hair is a mess and is breathing heavily, looking completely debauched and with a soft pleased smile playing on his pink lips. Jean feels his cheeks flare up, and before he does something he would regret he makes a run for it, dashing towards the grape garden.

He can hear Eren laugh from behind him, and Jean feels his cheeks burn hotter.

He’s learned a lot about Eren the past three years, but for the first time since meeting the brunette, Jean learns something about himself.

*

“How about Mikasa?” Eren voices from where he was sat in front of the easel he had set up on the front porch of the farm house. Jean was sitting in front of him, on the porch steps, eyes darting from the chickens clucking along in front of him and Eren’s features.

“She’s too much for me, no thanks.” Jean replies, flicking a corn leaf between his fingers as he side eyes how Eren’s face relaxes as his brush strokes another color into the painting he was working on.

“Good point,” Eren replies, mulling it over. Jean allows the brunette a few silent moments to think of whatever it is he’s thinking about, and Jean, on the other hand, spends that time to admire Eren’s gorgeous face.

He’s been doing a lot of that for the past four years.

Eren’s fourteen years old, and he’s grown into a beautiful teen. Naturally sun kissed skin, paired with full lips and round expressive eyes with the color of the ocean. His hair maintained their unruly state, which had only added to his charm. Jean also appreciates the freckles that litter the younger boy’s skin, and how Eren has grown attached to wearing crop tops and shorts whenever he’s around the farm nowadays.

“How about Annie then?” Eren asks, and I hum, not really thinking about it. “Nope.” I reply, instead.

“Sasha?” He tries again, “She’s already with Connie.”

“Marco?” He shoots back, and I sigh. “Marco isn’t even into guys to begin with, and even if he was it’s a no.”

Eren rests his hands on his lap, the other holding a paint brush and the other a palette, looking at me with pouty lips and concerned eyes. “Do you really want to get into a relationship?” He asks, and I nod eagerly.

“Of course I do. I just graduated from high school, I’d like to live a little!” I reply, and Eren grunts. “Then why aren’t you even considering my suggestions, I’m trying to help you out here.” He groans.

Jean considers it, and before he knows it he’s up from where he was sat, making his way towards Eren and hooking a finger under his chin. Eren’s breath catches in his throat, confused Caribbean eyes boring questioningly into hazel ones, and Jean considers it for a minute.

He thinks about it, like how he’s been thinking about it since that day he realized that he was totally gay for his best friend. He mulls it over carefully in his head, looks at Eren, at his unwavering and trustful gaze. Eren is fourteen, Jean just turned nineteen.

Jean feels Eren’s breath against his cheek, feels the softness of Eren’s skin from where he has his finger hooked on his chin. Jean leans forward, inching closer and closer until he’s sure he could count the lashes fluttering against Eren’s flushed cheeks.

Jean closes the distance between them.

He bumps his forehead against Eren’s, startling the younger teen.

“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.” Jean says, a playful smirk on his lip as he watches Eren’s face morph into a series of emotions. Confusion, annoyance, then embarrassment. Jean pulls away, abruptly turning on his heel to make his way inside the farm house.

“H-Hey! Jean!” Eren stammers, but Jean has already shut the screen door behind him with a faint thud.

He casually goes towards the kitchen, and when he’s hidden from view, he slumps against the wall, running his hands through his two toned hair and tugging at the strands. “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” He mutters.

He closes his eyes, tries to slow his erratic heart. He’s been nursing this crush – this attraction – for far too long.

He’s not sure how he does it, but he’s going to try and keep doing it.

*

When Eren turns seventeen, he starts to grow into the man he’s going to become. His baby fat is now entirely gone, making way for a sharp jawline and a defined nose. He’s got a lot better at incorporating various types of clothing into his wardrobe, and he seems to have taken a liking to wearing yoga pants.

That’s when the dreams start.

*

Jean often wakes up unsatisfied and sweaty, from dreams of tanned legs wrapped around his waist, of sharp fingernails trailing red marks against his back, of soft brunette hair that smells like the river and the Earth buried into the crook of his neck as he pounds into a tight heat that sucks the life out of him.

He dreams of gentle pecks and bruising kisses, of whispers of romance between activities urged by lust. Dreams of endless Caribbean depths, of sinful kiss-swollen lips, of freckled tanned skin.

He dreams of Eren.

And then he wakes up, and somewhere down the line Jean has somehow lived into the farm house in the Jaeger farm. Sometime later, Eren had taken the majority of his belongings from the mansion he lives in to accompany Jean in the farm house. Jean wakes up to a soft bed, next to a peacefully sleeping brunette he’s in love with.

Because that’s what it is – he’s in love. It’s not everyday you come by someone you’ve totally been smitten with for ten years and not call it love.

Jean would peel over the warm sheets from his body, would make his way to the bathroom and relieve some of the pent up frustrations he has, before carefully slipping into the bed once again.

He watches Eren in his sleep, watches how the brunette would softly mumble something incoherent, how his nose would probably scrunch up after a few moments. Watches how the sunlight would pour into the room and bathe the tanned god in it’s morning glory.

Eren wakes up to Jean looking at him with a sort of fondness, and Eren smiles.

*

They go horseback riding during Sunday mornings, before Eren has to go to the university to teach as one of the head professors in the Arts department.

Today was a Sunday, and like usual Jean and Eren were strolling through the riverbanks near the horse ranges, the steady thrum of the river flowing beneath the horses’ hooves a familiar and soothing sound.

“You know, Jean,” Eren starts, and Jean feels his heart skip a beat. “Hmm?” He asks.

Eren pulls his horse’s rein, skidding to a stop beside Jean. Jean watches as Eren shifts his torso so that he was facing him, and the next thing he knows is that Eren’s pulling him down by the collar and that those lips he had wanted to taste for so long was against his.

Eren starts to pull back, but Jean doesn’t let him. Instead, he puts a hand behind Eren’s neck to pull him closer, and another hand to hold Eren’s, twining their fingers together.

Jean kisses Eren the way he’s been dreaming of, and Eren kisses him back with the same sort of desperation. Jean pulls away, but he keeps his forehead rested against the brunette’s.

“How long?” He breathes, and Eren’s got tears in his eyes by this point.

“Too long.” Eren replies, and before his tears fall, Jean kisses him again.

*

It’s egg day.

Egg day is Eren’s favorite day.

Jean is already thirty years old but that doesn’t seem to stop his boyfriend from waking him up at the ass crack of dawn for egg day.

Jean wakes up to his cock in Eren’s mouth, the brunette sucking languidly at the head of his dick and running talented fingers over the veins that run along the underside.

“’Mornin,” Eren greets, and Jean moans at the vibrations. “Eren – “ Jean starts, breath hitching when Eren suddenly swallows his cock down to the hilt. “Fuck.” The older man breathes out, making Eren groan.

Eren pulls off of Jean’s hardened dick, pumping him with his hand. “Time to get up. It’s egg day!” He says, and of course Jean is aware of that. Eren wouldn’t be so excited at waking up so early if it weren’t for egg day.

“I need my dick in your ass first. Sex now, eggs later.” Jean groans, making Eren chuckle in delight. “Alright, I guess the chickens can wait.”

*

Eren’s got his basket in one hand, and Jean’s hand in the other. They walk hand in hand towards the chicken coop, Jean listening to Eren chatter excitedly about today’s batch. Jean hums in appropriate intervals, still in a post-orgasmic haze.

They reach the chicken coop soon enough, and Jean is suddenly awake.

“Alright, as usual I start here!” Eren, twenty-five years old, cheers enthusiastically, causing the chickens to cluck annoyingly. “Oops, sorry!” Eren stage-whispers.

“Okay, Eren, be careful with – “

“Geez, Jean-bo, I know!” Eren fights jokingly. A small smile pulls at Jean’s lips as he watches Eren gently reach into the chicken nests, feeling for the eggs, then carefully placing them into the basket he brought. Eren talks to the chickens, apologizing every bow and then for disturbing their sleep, and Jean just wants to smother him with kisses at that point.

Eren reaches the last nest on his side of the chicken coop, and Jean braces himself.

For a few seconds, Eren just feels his way through the nest, looking for the egg, but instead –

“What the – “Eren says, pulling his hand away from the nest and coming up with a gold band. “ – heck?”

Jean makes his way towards him, trying to fight his way through the hordes of chickens clucking along as he plucks the ring from between Eren’s fingers and shakily getting down on one knee.

“Jean, what – “

“Eren, I love you.” The older man cuts him off, and Jean watches as a deep blush spreads through his cheeks and ears, down to his neck.

“I love you too,” Eren replies.

Jean takes a deep breath, blinking rapidly to prevent the onslaught of tears threatening to fall from his eyes. Damn it, Eren, the things you do to me.

“Marry me?” Jean asks, and Eren nods eagerly, pulling him to his feet and smashing their lips together. Jeans pulls away to put the ring into his ring finger, and Eren smiles.

Jean smiles back.

The chickens are still clucking fucking loudly though, but that’s okay. It’s totally fine.