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Two for the Show

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Going to the movies as a first date seemed like a good idea, despite the arguments and shouting about which movie and what time. That took a whole hour to sort out, even though Eren was pretty sure they had agreed on the movie choice right away and fell into bickering just to ease the nervousness of committing themselves to actually try and do the dating thing for once. 

They settled for the morning eleven o’clock showing (less people, matinée prices – Jean insisted), and Eren was debating if arriving thirty minutes beforehand was maybe a little too early until he saw Jean already sitting on one of the benches outside.

“I was waiting for an hour,” Jean said, like it had been a contest all along. He stuck his hands in his pockets and scowled.

Jean had always been a nice dresser, casual if not a little expensive with his brands, but today he was wearing a crisp striped shirt with a vest, and dark-washed denim that didn’t look half bad in a way that Eren took the time to notice. The effort was painfully apparent, and Jean looked good, better than usual. It was only then that it hit Eren that this was, for all intents and purposes, a real date. 

“Hey,” he said, wracking his brain for a compliment, and failed entirely. “You didn’t have to dress up all nice.”

And it wasn’t like Eren didn’t do his fair share of rooting through his closet either – Mikasa had chosen a dark green button down for him, forcibly rolling the sleeves a quarter of the way up, and deadpanned, “Jean likes your forearms” before wrestling Eren down to dab the old cologne sample they got in the mail behind his neck and wrists.

“I mean you look good,” Eren hastily amended, all the words sticking to his throat.

Jean was looking at his forearms. “What?”

And if that wasn’t the most optimistic start he hoped for, Eren didn’t know what was.

The movie was the latest summer blockbuster, carefully chosen so that any potential awkwardness could be swallowed and covered up by violence, witty one-liners, and explosions. As an extra precaution, a single bowl of popcorn was wedged in between them as a buffer. Thankfully the two of them managed to avoid brushing fingers, though that could be because Eren was too wholly absorbed in the movie to think about eating.

About ten minutes in Eren felt Jean lean over, the weight of his shoulder pressing in and head angled in an alarming manner. Eren wasn’t exactly sure what was going through his mind at that moment, only the baffled and half-panicked thought that it was a weird time to try to kiss when the protagonist of the movie was getting stabbed by a massive sword.

Jean’s hushed whisper was warm against his ear; “Real steel armor doesn’t work like that, you know.”

He was a talker. Of course he was. 

Eren tore his gaze away from the screen and stared, trying to convey as much disapproval as he could with one look. Jean took it as encouragement.

“I mean, I don’t care how big that sword is. Steel doesn’t shatter from that in real life.”

“It looked cool though.”

“Well, yeah. But-” and Jean was interrupted as something blew up so prettily on screen even he let out a breathless, “woah.”

By the time the midway point of the movie came around, Eren had been treated to various and wholly unnecessary comments about the special effects, the acting, the scenery, and even costuming at one point. Patience was never a strong suit of his, and Jean’s arm constantly touching him and lips almost brushing against his ear could only go so far. 

Jean shifted in his seat again. Eren guessed that he was about to offer another unwanted criticism about how impossible it was for a character to run through a wall without breaking anything. Eren, for the most part, found a hard time caring.

He grabbed a handful of popcorn and stuffed it into Jean’s mouth. If Jean’s tongue just happened to accidentally lick the tips of his fingers then Eren considered the sacrifice worth the immediate silence.

“Just watch the damn movie,” he hissed, tilting his head to knock against Jean’s until there was a cheek was resting against his shoulder. He was met with bewildered silence and reluctant munching in his ear.

“You smell nice,” Jean muttered angrily into his neck.

He fed Jean another handful of popcorn. “Thanks, I guess.”

Lunch was on Eren since Jean had paid for the movie tickets. He was expecting Jean to protest going to the cheap diner near the theater, but apparently no one in the world could have argued against a solid combo of burgers and fries with shakes.

“Wait, so you actually liked the movie?”

“Yeah, I did,” Jean said over a mouthful of burger. He reached over and stole a couple of Eren’s fries.

Eren easily retaliated by taking a long sip of Jean’s soda, gnawing on the straw for good measure. “But all you did was complain during the whole thing.”

“Just because I’ve got problems with something doesn’t mean I can’t like it. Kind of like what I think of you,” Jean said, sounding too off-handed to realize his confession. He took another bite of his burger.

Eren snorted. Jean glanced up, seemed to run the comment over in his head, and his face turned red.

“Wait. Wait. No. I, uh, didn’t mean-“

“Forget it. I’ve got a ton of problems with you too, Jean,” Eren said, hoping his smirk would hide the fact that his ears felt like they were heating up. “For one thing; you talk too much during movies.”

Jean kicked him underneath the table. “And you get too excited, you little shit.”

Eren kicked him back. “So where do you want to go next time?”

“Definitely not the movies again.”

Eren grinned. “Fine by me.”

Second date confirmed.