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between breaths (an xy perspective)

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“For someone so smart, you really suck at thinking things through,” Jean says from somewhere above Armin’s left ear. “Are you going to stop running now?”


Armin’s response is immediate. It’s also a bald-faced lie. But Jean just frowns at him and grips Armin’s wrists a little tighter. The idea that Jean might know him well enough to know when he’s bluffing is alarming. Even Eren hasn’t quite managed to figure it out (although Mikasa can see through him each and every time). It’s not that Jean’s stupid, but Armin didn’t think he had been paying that much attention to him.

Any other time, Armin would be flattered. But tonight has alcohol thrumming through his veins, mixing rage with courage, and Armin doesn’t have the time to waste being pleased over empty platitudes. Instead he glares up at Jean, anger cool as ice.

 “Will you just listen to me already?” Jean snaps in a burst of breath, and Armin sneers at him with all the coldness he can manage.

“Fuck you.”

“You’re being an asshole,” Jean tells him, and when Armin doesn’t reply, Jean grits his teeth.

“Fine. I’ll tell you what I want to tell you, and then I’ll leave you alone. I don’t know what Eren told you, but it was probably a lie. I’m not into Mikasa anymore, and it’s kind of shitty that you think I am when I’ve been pretty straightforward about you. And if you really think I’m the kind of guy who would lead you on like that, then it wasn’t going to work out anyways.”

Jean says this all in one breath, and when he’s done, he lets his hands fall to his sides, exhaling. Armin thinks Jean sounds shaken.  And then he looks, really looks, at Jean and feels something akin to panic bloom in his chest, anger evaporating into concern.

“Jean, are you –”

“Shouldn’t you be going now?”

“No,” Armin says, carefully ignoring the tightness in Jean’s voice. “I think maybe we should keep talking.”

“Now you want to talk,” Jean snaps, but he’s rubbing an arm over his eyes and Armin feels like the biggest asshole in the entire universe because when has anyone ever made Jean cry?

“I didn’t mean it like that,” Armin tries, voice small and quivery. “I just. You liked her so much.”

“Yeah, liked. Past tense.”

“Well I don’t know,” Armin snaps. “I don’t know why you would pick someone like me over someone like her anyways.”

“Now you’re being stupid.”

“I’m not!”

“You are,” Jean snarls. “It’s not like that. It’s not like you’re a substitute for her or whatever you think. I like you for you. Why can’t you just trust me?”

“I do! But it’s hard for me Jean! People don’t like me the way that they like you!”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Just forget it,” Armin mutters. He feels like he’s about to start crying, eyes burning, lips trembling, and Jean’s still looking at him like he’s a moron. It’s all too much. Armin balls his hands into fists, prepared to run, and Jean pounces.

“You’re being stupid,” Jean’s voice is low, arms caging Armin in. “People like you. I like you.”

“I’m sorry,” Armin babbles, trying to ignore the way his voice wobbles. “I’m sorry, I –”

“Shut up,” Jean says, and then his breath is hot on Armin’s cheek.  “Just shut up and stop thinking about things for once.”

His kiss is rougher than Armin had expected. Jean’s lips are chapped and dry against Armin’s, and when Jean’s mouth opens against his, he can taste alcohol. He’s pulling away before Armin can really process what’s happened.

“Do that again” he says without thinking, taken aback by his brashness.

“Do what again?” Jean teases. He smirks down at Armin.  His eyes still look unsure; like he’s afraid Armin will cry or run away again. Before Armin can talk himself out of it, he grabs Jean by the collar of his shirt and kisses him as hard as he knows how.

“Shit, Armin,” Jean breathes as Armin pulls away. He sounds shocked, like he’s surprised Armin has it in him to be so forward. Armin’s surprised at himself too kind of, but it’s totally worth it to have Jean looking at him like that, eyes wide and lips parted.

“I told you. Don’t tease.”

“Okay,” Jean replies, and then exhales heavily. “Okay.”

His hands on Armin’s shoulders are firm and steadying, which is great, because Armin’s pretty sure his knees are going to give out. He’s expecting Jean to kiss him again – he closes his eyes in anticipation, and nearly wakes half the town when Jean instead bites at his jaw.

“Shhhh,” Jean whisper-hisses frantically. “You have to be quiet.”

“I wasn’t expecting that,” Armin whispers back, trying to ignore the way his voice hitches when Jean kisses his neck.

“You’re doing that on purpose,” he protests weakly, sliding his hands under Jean’s shirt, and chuckling when Jean starts at the coldness of his hand.

“C’mere,” Jean says, and then they’re kissing again, Jean melting boneless against him. Jean’s mouth is hot – of course it is. Armin scolds himself. No shit. He hadn’t expected it to be this hot though, and yeah Jean tastes like alcohol, but he also tastes like saliva, wet and salty, and –

“You’re thinking too much again,” Jean murmurs, chastising. He bumps his forehead against Armin’s, and Armin leans into it, heart thumping.

He wants this. That in and of itself isn’t surprising – Armin’s been pretty sure about Jean for a while now. It’s the ferocity of which he wants this that alarms him, the need to press himself into Jean’s skin until he’s there permanently, as much a part of him as he is. His hands are trembling as he rakes his fingernails across Jean’s ribs. Jean hisses “fuck, Armin” in his ear, and it’s as if a dam has broken.

Jean is suddenly everywhere, hands on Armin’s hips, knee between Armin’s thighs, lips on Armin’s collarbone. He can smell Jean and feel the weight of him pressing him against the wall. It’s intoxicating in a way that Armin hasn’t felt before, overpowering and overwhelming. His hands scrabble up to Jean’s shoulders, nails digging into his skin with a grunt. He’s hard, really embarrassingly hard, and he can’t help but to rub against Jean’s thigh with a strangled moan.

“Feel good?”

“That’s a stupid question,” Armin complains, but he’s too breathless to sound convincing. “Are you…?”

“Am I what?”

“You know,” Armin says, suddenly shy. “Hard?”

That’s a stupid question,” Jean tells him, chuckling. He shifts his hips slightly, and Armin moans a silent oh into Jean’s shoulder.

“Never mind,” Armin squeaks. He jerks his hips against Jean’s experimentally, and the feel of Jean’s erection against his own sends a jolt down his spine.

“Holy shit,” Jean pants, and Armin does it again, relishing in the keening noise that Jean makes.

“Feel good?” Armin teases, and Jean huffs against Armin’s earlobe.

With his hands on Jean’s waist, Armin holds him steady and grinds hard, grinning when Jean moans loudly against him.

Armin had always imagined it differently (not that he would ever admit to imagining it, ever). He’d pictured his first time in a bed, for one thing. And he’d always thought that he would be… better. He’d fantasized about taking Jean apart slowly, every action calculated and attuned to Jean and what Jean wants. Instead, Jean has him behaving like an animal, rubbing against each other against a wall in the middle of a semi-public street.

It’s kind of awesome.

Armin stands on his tiptoes, grazing his teeth over Jean’s pulse point, pleased with the way that Jean tenses against him, and the way that Jean breathes his name like it’s a prayer.

He rolls his hips against Jean’s and Jean tries to match him, hips stuttering. Jean’s breathing is erratic; fingers clutching Armin’s hips hard enough that they might bruise. Armin stands on his tiptoes and grazes his teeth over Jean’s pulse point, and Jean’s hips buck against Armin’s.

“I’m gonna –” Jean whines, and then his head bows, lips brushing against Armin’s jaw. Armin turns to catch Jean’s lips with his own, sucking his way into Jean’s mouth, kissing Jean through his orgasm.

“You’re an asshole,” Jean tells him breathlessly, and Armin can’t help but be smug. “My pants are all gross and we still have to walk back.”

“Not my problem,” Armin tells him cheerfully, reaching to undo his fly. He’s hard and he’s close, and even though it’s kind of awkward to jerk off in front of Jean there’s no way he’s waiting until he’s back at base.

“Oh fuck no,” Jean says, slamming into Armin with enough force to knock the breath out of him. “If I’m walking back with –” he gestures helplessly at his crotch, face red “– in my pants then so are you.”

He palms roughly at Armin’s cock, and Armin can’t help but groan, suddenly breathless.

“Not fair.”

“Very fair.”

Jean rubs him again, stroking him roughly through the fabric of Armin’s pants, and he shudders, hips canting. He wants Jean to be touching him like this without his clothing in the way.  He wants to feel Jean’s hands, calloused and rough and warm wrapping around his cock. He wants…

He comes with a low cry, hand fisting in his mouth to keep from being noisy. Jean rocks back on his heels, looking far too proud of himself. Armin makes a face at the feel of cooling stickiness.

“I hate you so much right now.”

“Yeah yeah,” Jean says, yawning suddenly. “We should head back.”

Without thinking, Armin grabs Jean’s hand, lacing their fingers together. He doesn’t miss the way that Jean smiles to himself, small and genuine.

"So... are you telling Eren, or am I?"